One in Nine Congressmen Is ‘Re-Educated’ in Israel

Israel’s “powerful stranglehold on the American government” hasn’t lessened since Jim Traficant spoke those words in 2009. In the last month alone, AIPAC’s “charitable” sister organization, the American Israel Education Foundation, has funded more than 50 U.S. congress members’ trips to Israel for “educational seminars” where they’re wined, dined . . . and indoctrinated.

By John Friend

The late Jim Traficant, the populist and courageous former congressman from Ohio and a regular contributor to this newspaper, was a powerful critic of the death grip the pro-Israel lobby and other high-profile and well-funded pro-Israel organizations have over the American government, particularly America’s congressional representatives.

“I believe that Israel has a powerful stranglehold on the American government,” Traficant boldly declared in a 2009 interview with Greta Van Susteren following his release from prison on trumped-up corruption charges. “They control both members of the House . . . and Senate.”

Traficant’s frank assessment of the pro-Israel lobby’s control and influence over the United States Congress has been proven accurate once again, as it was recently reported that more than 50 congressional representatives of both major political parties visited Israel last month.

That amounts to just under one-eighth of the 435 congressmen and women currently in Congress. The trips to Israel were funded in part by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), a charitable organization associated with AIPAC, America’s most prominent and influential pro-Israel political lobby. According to its official website, AIEF “funds educational seminars to Israel for members of Congress and other political influentials” in order to “help educate political leaders and influentials about the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship through firsthand experiences in Israel, briefings by experts on Middle East affairs, and meetings with Israeli political elite.”

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U.S. congressmen and women—Democrats and Republicans alike—regularly visit Israel to consult and network with their Israeli counterparts, a long-running tradition in American politics that is largely overlooked by the average American voter. A report published by the Jewish News Service highlighting the August trips to Israel noted the bipartisan nature of the trips, as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) led the groups during their time in the Zionist entity.

The American lawmakers met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, were briefed on strategic threats in the region, and met with other Israeli political, security, military, and media officials and representatives during their August visit. LegiStorm, a top congressional watchdog group that provides analysis and intelligence to D.C. insiders and policymakers, reported that AIEF “spent nearly $490,000 for a week of travel for 12 freshman, five other Democratic members, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) and three of Hoyer’s aides.”

Roughly one week later, “AIEF spent $668,000 to send 31 Republican members to an education seminar in Tel Aviv,” according to the report. The AIEF-funded trips to Israel are clearly paying off for the pro-Israel lobby, as support for Israel remains a bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill. The Trump administration and virtually every other prominent political official also constantly voice their unwavering support for Israel. President Donald Trump recently met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and reaffirmed “the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel” and “the unwavering commitment of the United States to Israel’s security,” according to the official White House announcement highlighting the meeting.

The news comes as the United States opened its first permanent military base in Israel earlier this week. The base, located in southern Israel near the city of Beersheba, will “house dozens of U.S. troops and a missile defense system,” according to a report published by The Hill. The American taxpayer dishes out billions of dollars annually to Israel, most of which is related to maintaining Israel’s military advantage in the region.

John Friend is a writer who lives in California.




Congress Says White Groups Are Terrorists

Lawmakers have condemned peaceful protesters and demanded the president do the same, yet they remain silent about leftist violence perpetrated by groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter.  

By John Friend

The Senate and House recently passed a joint resolution specifically condemning white nationalists and other so-called “hate groups”—including “neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists”— and urged President Donald Trump to speak out against such groups and devote federal resources toward addressing the purported “threat” posed by them.

The resolution, S.J.Res. 49, was introduced by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) with the support of Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Corey Gardner (R-Colo.) and others in the wake of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., a rally legally organized by leading members of the so-called alt-right that was sabotaged by a combination of state and local police, state of Virginia political officials, and a violent crowd of radical leftist counter-protesters.

The rally resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman who was among the counter-protestors when she was struck by a vehicle driven into a crowd by a young man who was there to support the alt-right. The circumstances surrounding the car crash and Ms. Heyer’s death remain murky. Some allege that the driver of the vehicle, James Alex Fields Jr., was violently attacked in his vehicle by counter-protesters shortly before he drove into the crowd.

Fields allegedly has had a troubled history, having been accused in the past of assaulting his own mother on two occasions, and was reportedly on medication to help manage his outbursts of anger. The joint resolution, which was approved by the Senate on Sept. 11 and by the House on Sept. 12, condemns “the racist violence and domestic terrorist attack” that took place during the Unite the Right rally, while completely ignoring and dismissing the violence committed by counter-protesters that day. It also offers condolences and support to the Heyer family and families of the state police officers killed when their helicopter crashed as it left the Charlottesville area and specifically rejects “white nationalism, white supremacy, and neo-Nazism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”

The resolution goes on to demand that President Donald Trump “speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and white supremacy” and to devote federal resources “to address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States.” Days after the resolution was adopted, Trump signed and endorsed it, saying he rejected bigotry in all its forms. “No matter the color of our skin or our ethnic heritage, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God,” Trump declared in a statement following his endorsement of the resolution.

Shortly after signing the joint resolution, during a conference call with a number of prominent Jewish groups, Trump condemned those who spread anti-Semitism. “We forcefully condemn those who seek to incite anti-Semitism or to spread any form of slander and hate—and I will ensure we protect Jewish communities, and all communities, that face threats to their safety,” Trump stated during the call.

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The president has come under fire for not denouncing the alt-right rally and its organizers quickly or forcefully enough. Never mind that the rally was legally organized and represented an entirely legitimate expression of the First Amendment. The highly distorted controlled media narrative immediately disseminated during and after the rally portrayed the alt-right rally attendees as unhinged, violent white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Klansmen who were determined to violently confront the leftist counter-protesters who mobilized across the city of Charlottesville in response to the rally.

In reality, the vast majority of the violence was initiated and instigated by the radical leftist counter-protesters themselves, who threw urine and feces not only at alt-right demonstrators but also at media and police officers.

In light of the joint resolution and Trump’s endorsement of it, many Americans are left wondering when a similar resolution will be adopted and endorsed that specifically denounces and rejects the radical left, which has for decades engaged in blatant acts of violence, intimidation and terrorism. In recent years, various leftist groups—Black Lives Matter, Antifa, radical communists, anti-capitalists and anarchists—have become increasingly bold and violent, particularly since Trump stepped onto the political scene.

Black Lives Matter activists have burned down and looted entire neighborhoods, while Antifa and other radical leftists have attacked Trump supporters, damaged and destroyed private property, and otherwise engaged in violence and mayhem in a variety of cities across the United States. Efforts are already under way to demand Trump declare Antifa a terrorist organization. So far, though, Trump and other federal officials have not made any decisive moves to condemn and reject the radical left, which truly does pose a threat to the safety and security of Americans.

John Friend is a writer who lives in California.




Roy Moore’s Senate Bid Gets Boost After Top Republican Busted in Corruption Probe

Roy Moore, former Alabama chief justice, came to national prominence when he refused to obey a federal court order to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building. Later, he became embroiled in the “gay marriage” issue when he directed Alabama’s probate judges to continue enforcing the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Now, Moore is now vying for the U.S. Senate seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. Attorney General. 

By AFP Staff

Judge Roy Moore’s candidacy for Alabama’s Republican U.S. Senate seat, to be decided in a run-off election Sept. 26, got a shot in the arm last week when news outlet “Alabama Today” revealed Luther Strange, Moore’s run-off opponent, has been involved in a company that “sells” visas to get into the United States.

The news outlet revealed that Strange owns nearly 17% of Sunbelt EB-5 Regional Center, which offers a program whereby wealthy foreign nationals can “purchase” visas from real estate developers for $500,000. Under the program, those foreign nationals, their spouses, and their unmarried children under age 21 are able to apply for green cards.

More than 80% of the 2016 EB-5 visas were given to mainland Chinese investors.

Strange, a former Washington lobbyist, also asked the state legislature to weaken a law that applied to illegal immigration and sanctuary cities when he was the state’s attorney general in 2011. Federal courts had already eliminated some provisions of the law.

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Last month, Moore won a three-way primary with 39% of the vote. Strange was second with 33%. Only 20% of Republicans voted for Rep. Mo Brooks. Brooks has endorsed Moore, but the establishment is behind Strange.

As AFP goes to press, President Donald Trump said he will be campaigning with Strange.

The winner of this week’s primary will face a Democrat on Dec. 12 to fill the seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions who was appointed U.S. attorney general by President Trump.

Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s super PAC, multiple energy and insurance PACs, Washington lobbyists, and Alabama businesses have either endorsed or provided funding to Strange’s $3.2 million war chest. Moore has only raised some $459,000. Democrat Doug Jones has $288,000 in the bank.

Consejo de Latinos Unidos (CDLU) called on the feds to investigate Strange’s involvement in alleged corruption and the trampling of the civil rights of a father of four young children who was allegedly targeted, falsely arrested, and defamed by one of Strange’s most ardent financial and political supporters.

Then-Attorney General Strange entered a friend of the court brief in a matter against banking collections business lawyer Burt Newsome in August 2016—two years after a judge had cleared Newsome in a criminal case.

Newsome filed a civil suit in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Ala., last month alleging a conspiracy involving malicious prosecution, abuse of process, defamation, several instances of intentional interference with a business or contracted relationship, and more. Part of the evidence is a disappearing voter registration record. Unfortunately, Judge Carole Smitherman sealed the case, allowing for secret proceedings.

Strange’s filing helped the law firm of Balch & Bingham, one of the alleged co-conspirators, gain precedence to reopen the criminal case in Alabama, CDLU suggests. “Strange’s top political advisor and former campaign manager, Jessica Garrison, was ‘of counsel’ at Balch until this past spring, a known revolving-door for political operatives,” said K.B. Forbes, executive director of CDLU.

Smitherman and Strange received more than $15,000 from Balch’s PAC in previous campaigns.




Build That Wall

The Trump administration is progressing with its plans to build a wall on our southern border, according to a recent announcement from Customs and Border Protection. Eight companies are now involved in the wall project and, unfortunately, an Israeli-owned defense manufacturer, is among them—chosen from the 200 companies that bid on the project. We wonder why Trump’s America-first administration didn’t put America first by contracting only American firms for the $25 billion project.

By Mark Anderson

At a mid-September southern California press conference, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Deputy Commissioner Ron Vitiello announced that procedures are under way to design and construct a physical wall along the southern border— using suitable technology and materials to achieve complete border control.

The move is part of the Department of Homeland Security’s plan to implement President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13767 of Jan. 25, 2017. That order requires border security and immigration-enforcement improvements, toward the ultimate goal of building a full-fledged border wall.

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NBC affiliate KVOA Channel 4 in Tucson, Ariz. reported: “The Department of Homeland Security has issued [an order] to waive certain laws, regulations, and other legal requirements to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers in the vicinity of the international border near Calexico, Calif. The waiver was published in the Federal Register.” Calexico, near Baja California, is an area of particularly high illegal entries, hence the current focus on that area.

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The U.S. border with Mexico, which is some 1,980 miles long, from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, spans six Mexican states and four U.S. states: California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. It’s the mostly frequently crossed international boundary in the world, with estimated legal crossings pegged at 350 million annually. It has 48 border-crossing points. While some 12 million people are estimated to be living in the United States illegally, that’s about the same number of people living in all the counties and municipalities that hug the border from one end to the other.

There are eight companies now involved in the wall project. Notably, an Israeli firm is among them.

According to “Israel National News,” “Elta North America, an Israeli-owned defense manufacturer with U.S. headquarters in Maryland, was one of four companies chosen to build a prototype for the border wall between the United States and Mexico. The company is a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries. Some 200 companies vied for the tenders, which will provide a $300,000 to $500,000 grant to develop a model. . . . In total, eight companies are building prototypes for the nearly [2,000-mile-long] wall. Four will be concrete and four will have see-through or ‘smart’ walls. Elta was chosen to work on the see-through walls project. The final project could cost up to $25 billion.”

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Having toured and photographed south-Texas points at Donna, Progreso, Pharr, and Mission, while also checking the border-fence status near Brownsville, this writer found the current fencing includes scattered incomplete sections, some of which are rusting. Several are surprisingly far removed from the actual border zone.

This odd configuration, of which many Americans are unaware, creates major gaps through which immigrants illegally enter the country. Installing new fence sections often requires court actions to secure easements so affected private property owners are compensated for construction. The process can be messy.

Yet, while these and other challenges cannot be denied, the Trump White House seems much more focused than its predecessors in wanting to complete a border wall in tandem with reworking the NAFTA trade scheme. If this process were to help Mexico’s economy, then the incentives for Mexicans to enter the United States in the first place would be reduced.

Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as the roving editor for AFP. Email him at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




Can the GOP’s Shotgun Marriage Be Saved?

Given all the backbiting and infighting amongst Republicans, including even between some of Trump’s own Cabinet members and the president, can the GOP be salvaged? For that matter, can America be saved?

By Patrick Buchanan

Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, 2016, Republicans awoke to learn they had won the lottery. Donald Trump had won the presidency by carrying Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. All three states had gone Democratic in the last six presidential elections.

The GOP had won both houses of Congress. Party control of governorships and state legislatures rivaled the halcyon years of the 1920s.

But not everyone was jubilant. Neocons and Never-Trumpers were appalled, and as morose as they had been since the primaries produced a populist slaughter of what GOP elites had boasted was the finest class of presidential candidates in memory.

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And there was this sobering fact: Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote. Her margin would rise to near three million, making this the sixth in seven presidential elections that the GOP lost the popular vote. Trump had cracked the Democrats’s “blue wall,” but a shift of 70,000 votes would have meant a third straight GOP defeat.

Seven months into the Trump presidency, the promise of a new Republican era has receded. It is not because Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have proven to be such formidable adversaries, but because the GOP coalition has gone to battle stations—against itself.

Trump has taken to disparaging Senate Leader Mitch McConnell for failing to pass healthcare reform, though the decisive vote to kill the bill came from John McCain, who, for his own motives and to media cheers, torpedoed McConnell’s effort and humiliated his party.

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And as Allan Ryskind writes in The Washington Times, McConnell is responsible for Neil Gorsuch being on the Supreme Court. Had Mitch not kept his troops in line to block a Senate vote on President Obama’s election-year nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, there would have been no vacancy for Trump to fill with Gorsuch.

McConnell is also indispensable to the Trump-GOP effort to repopulate federal appellate courts with disciples of Antonin Scalia.

What purpose is served by the coach trashing his quarterback—in mid-season?

Undeniably, Congress, which the voters empowered to repeal Obamacare, reduce tax rates and rebuild America’s infrastructure, has thus far failed. And if Congress fails to produce on tax reform, the GOP will have some serious explaining to do in 2018.

As for Trump, while public approval of his performance is at record lows for a president in his first year, he has fulfilled some major commitments and has had some major achievements.

He put Gorsuch on the court. He pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris Climate Accord. He persuaded NATO allies to put up more for defense. He approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

Border security is markedly better. The economic news has been excellent: Record run-ups in the stock market, near full employment, growth approaching the 3% he promised. The coal industry has been liberated, and the Trump folks are renegotiating NAFTA.

Yet the divisions over policy and the persona of the president are widening. Trump is disliked and disrespected by many in his own party on Capitol Hill, and much of the Republican media proudly despise him.

And that form of bribery so familiar to D.C.—trashing one’s president at the coaxing of the press, in return for plaudits to one’s “courage” and “independence”—is openly practiced.

More critically, there are disputes over policy that again seem irreconcilable.

Free-trade Republicans remain irredeemably hostile to economic nationalism, though countries like China continue to eat our lunch. In July, the U.S. trade deficit in goods was $65 billion, an annual rate of more than $780 billion.

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Interventionists continue to push for confrontation with Russia in the Baltic States and Ukraine, for more U.S. troops in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, for scrapping the nuclear deal with Iran.

On social issues, the GOP seems split, with many willing to soft-peddle opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion and wait on a Supreme Court that ignited the culture wars to reverse course with new Trump appointees.

Even Cabinet members and Trump aides have let the media know they sharply dissent from Trump’s stand in the Charlottesville brawl. And the coming clash over statues of Confederate soldiers and statesmen is likely to split Northern and Southern Republicans.

The white working class that provided Trump his margins in the Middle West wonders why affirmative action, reverse discrimination at their expense, has not been abolished.

As for Speaker Paul Ryan and others committed to entitlement reform—paring back Social Security and Medicare benefits while raising the contributions of the well-to-do to ensure the long-term solvency of the programs—they have not been heard from lately.

What seems apparent is that the historic opportunity the party had in January, to forge a coalition of conservatives and populists who might find common ground on immigration, trade, border security, spending, culture, and foreign policy, is slipping away.

And the battle for the soul and future of the GOP, thought to have been suspended until 2020, is on once again.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and many other titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority available from the AFP Bookstore.

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Trump Wants Immigration Cut

The recently introduced RAISE Act–Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy–would utilize a merit-based point system to increase the English language fluency and technical skills level of foreign citizens accepted into the U.S. while at the same time decreasing the total number approved for entry. While countries around the world have just such a commonsense system in place, left-leaning groups in America are screaming “racism” and “discrimination” over the idea the U.S. would implement a similar strategy. 

By John Friend

In yet another effort to fulfill his campaign promises, President Donald Trump recently announced a major new immigration proposal designed to significantly reduce the number of legal immigrants entering the U.S. each year.

The president has been and remains a vocal critic of illegal immigration and has taken serious and commendable measures to crack down on it. However, legal immigration is arguably an even more urgent problem that needs to be addressed, as over 1 million legal immigrants enter the U.S. each year, and this proposal aims to tackle this issue head-on.

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The bill is known as the RAISE Act, which stands for Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act. It seeks to transform the current immigration paradigm to incentivize highly skilled immigrants by creating a merit-based system for prospective migrants, a stark departure from the previous immigration model that allowed family members and relatives of immigrants already settled in America to gain residency regardless of their skills, education, and economic prospects upon entering the U.S.

The Trump administration has been working closely with two key GOP lawmakers—Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.)—to craft the legislation and announced their proposal last week during a White House ceremony.

Trump explained to reporters that the proposed legislation “would represent the most significant reform to our immigration system in a half a century.”

During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump regularly criticized America’s broken immigration system, which he correctly argued has harmed America’s economy and its workers, jeopardized American national security, and facilitated the resettlement of millions of largely unskilled, uneducated immigrants who have little to offer the U.S. economy.

“As a candidate, I campaigned on creating a merit-based immigration system that protects U.S. workers and taxpayers, and that’s why we are here today,” Trump told reporters during the White House ceremony announcing the legislation.

The bill’s proponents argue that it will “spur economic growth and help raise working Americans’ wages” by “ending chain migration, giving priority to the most highly skilled immigrants from around the world, and reducing overall immigration by half,” according to a fact sheet released by Cotton and Perdue.

“Only 1 out of every 15 U.S. immigrants come here because of their skills, and we do not prioritize the ultra high-skilled immigrants who spur innovation, create jobs, and make America more competitive,” the fact sheet contends. “At the same time, the United States accepts 1 million immigrants annually—the equivalent of adding the entire state of Montana each year—and most are low- or unskilled. A generation-long influx of low-skilled immigrant labor has put downward pressure on the wages of working Americans, with recent immigrants’ wages hardest hit.”

The bill seeks to upend America’s disastrous immigration policy by tackling these issues head-on.

The RAISE Act would establish a skills-based points system that prioritizes visa applicants based on a number of important factors, including their education, English-speaking ability, job offers, and overall economic prospects. It would also outright eliminate granting visa preference for the extended family members and relatives of immigrants already settled in the United States, and would eliminate the State Department’s so-called “Diversity Visa Lottery,” which the bill’s authors argue is “plagued with fraud” and “advances no economic or humanitarian interest.” Finally, the bill would limit the total number of refugees seeking permanent residency each year to 50,000.

“Immigrants coming here on skills-based visas will be better educated, more skilled, more fluent in English, have more working-age years ahead of them, and have a stronger entrepreneurial spirit,” proponents of the bill contend. “They will have a greater shot at becoming successful Americans, which will work to the benefit of all Americans in the form of an expanded and more competitive economy.”

The legislation has been praised by a number of conservative groups and leaders as well as a variety of immigration think tanks that favor more restrictions on immigration, such as the Center for Immigration Studies, NumbersUSA, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform, while Democrats, the radical left, and a variety of ethnic lobbying organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have hysterically condemned the proposed legislation.

“This proposed legislation is cruel, anti-family, and un-American,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the ADL, stated in response to the RAISE Act. “These are the types of policy markers that exacerbate immigrant bashing and nativist attitudes in this country. Diversity is our country’s strength and immigration has made America great.” Greenblatt and other opponents of the bill have pledged to “work hard against this cruel legislation.”

A number of prominent Republicans have also voiced their suspicion and outright hostility toward the RAISE Act, complicating matters for the president. Passing the legislation will no doubt prove to be a challenge, as has virtually everything else Trump has attempted to accomplish.

John Friend is a writer who lives in California.




AUDIO INTERVIEW & ARTICLE: Texas Maverick Runs for Congress

Texas native and Libertarian congressional hopeful Nicholas Landholt pays no income taxes and pushes for state militias to defend against tyranny. Landholt sat down for an interview with Dave Gahary to discuss his congressional campaign and related issue.

By Dave Gahary

Nicholas Landholt is a man on a mission. Born in San Antonio, Texas in 1955, Nick served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years, where he met his wife, and has been married for 36 years. Landholt ran for Congress in 2016 on the Libertarian Party of Texas ticket last year and did surprisingly well, and he’s gearing up for another run next year.

American Free Press sat down with Landholt—whom some libertarians call “The Militia Guy”—for an exclusive interview on his upbringing and his ideas to get America back to the people it was founded for.

Click on the image below for AFP’s exclusive interview with Nicholas Landholt.

“I almost went into the seminary,” Landholt began, “but my dad was seeing some of the uproar that was happening in the Catholic Church, so he thought it best that I not go into the seminary where I could possibly lose my faith. I sort of did during high school and college anyway.”

Landholt’s dad, who—like his mom—had a great impact on his life, had another idea.

“My dad thought it would be good for me to get into the military and to kind of grow up, you might say,” he said.

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WILLING TO TAKE THE HEAT

“In 1996, I stopped paying and filing [federal] income taxes,” he said, “but I stayed underneath the radar because I had three boys and a wife that I was supporting. But it was in the last five years—because the boys are grown now—that I said it’s time to have a coming-out party. And whether it’s shaming patriots or so-called “Christians” into doing what we’re supposed to be doing—living the Gospel and taking on the enemies of Christ the King—we need to do something quickly. So I want people to know I’m for real and I’m willing to take the heat, but I need a support team behind me; I don’t wanna be charging up the hill on my own.”

Landholt recounted his anti-tax/pro-militia congressional campaign in Texas’s 11th congressional district.

“I filed to run in December 2015, and it was a few months later that I started to get into the whole militia aspect and the IRS,” he said. “I don’t know if those were just two hot issues that the Libertarians did not want to address or not, but . . . I was basically kind of left out there on my own. So not having run a campaign, not knowing rules, I just kind of let it come to me, and it never did come to me.”

Although he had no campaign contributions, he did quite well at the polls.

“In 2016, running a one-man campaign with no bank account, I still got over 23,000 votes,” he said. “My campaign was against 10-year incumbent Mike Conaway, [a] RINO.”

A RINO, or “Republican in Name Only,” is a term frequently used to describe “insufficiently conservative” Republicans.

Kenneth Michael “Mike” Conaway—in office since Jan. 3, 2005—Landholt explained, “has a ‘Liberty Score’ of ‘F’ with Conservative Review,” a group that ranks politicians along a conservative scale.

“[Conaway] got just over 200,000 votes,” Nick said, in a district of about 750,000 residents.

Landholt figures there are at least another 200,000 voters who never went to their polling place. The 11th congressional district is very rural, encompassing 29 counties.

“So there are 29 county sheriffs,” Landholt explained, “[who] could be educated on the income tax and why they should be keeping the IRS agents from harassing taxpayers who choose to actually follow the IRS regulations regarding income tax.”

“It was a very winnable race,” Landholt continued, “and I think the fact that I got 23,000 votes without basically doing anything kind of tells the level of disgust that Texas voters have with status-quo politics. We need resources, so that’s why I’m looking for a campaign manager who knows what they’re doing and can go from there.”

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Landholt explained his views on why Americans are not required to pay federal income taxes.

“I always tell people we’re distinguishing here between income taxes and other taxes,” he explained. “Obviously, I pay taxes; I pay my fair share. You pay taxes almost all the time: sales tax, gas taxes etc. But federal income taxes, I’m not a federal citizen. I don’t work for an employer who contracts with the federal government. And that’s kind of in a nutshell what it boils down to. But I don’t ever advise somebody to just stop paying taxes; that’s a decision you’re gonna have to make on your own.”

NICHOLAS LANDHOLT ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT:

“The Preamble of the Constitution begins ‘We the People,’ meaning the People are the authority over the Constitution. And it is not a stretch to say that the first 13 words of the Second Amendment—‘A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State’—are the most important words in the Constitution. The People ARE the Militia, and patriots can see that our Founders were telling us ‘No Militia, No Free State.’ ”

AFP asked the purpose of the militia as it relates to his views on the federal income tax and if it would be used to physically fight the federal government.

“No, [Constitutional] militia is a defensive situation, and it’s not just fighting, but militias can be used for natural disasters—Hurricane Katrina and those kind of things. Instead of having FEMA, National Guard troops, the local militarized police forces going up and down the street knocking on doors and taking weapons away, you’d have local people who are militia helping out during situations.”

Landholt continued. “The purpose of the militia is threefold: to execute the laws of the Union, repel invasions, and suppress insurrections,” he began. “The money powers are not going to give up their investment—and we’re talkin’ over a hundred years—without a fight, and of course, they use the police state as their weapon of choice to fight Christian patriots. The IRS, the money powers, they’re not gonna go away quietly, so I presume that we’re going to need militias for defensive purposes.”

Landholt harkened back to the origins of this once-great national federation.

“As the Founding Fathers said,” he stated, “if you read between the lines—the lines being the first 13 words of the Second Amendment—‘a well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State.’ Reading between the lines, the Founders were saying, ‘No militia, no free state.’ Well, that’s what I’m trying to get across not only to voters but to the youth, because the youth have no future if they don’t get involved and help us turn things around.”

AFP readers can reach out to Landholt to help get him in office at nlandholt@hotmail.com or by phone at 631-741-1757.

Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See erasingtheliberty.com or call (850) 677-0344 for more information and to get the new book on which the movie will be based, Erasing the Liberty.




Clinton Researcher Commits Suicide Before Releasing Info on Crime Couple

Longtime Republican political operative and private equity industry manager from the Chicago area Peter W. Smith was found dead of alleged suicide 10 days after being interviewed by mainstream media about his investigation of Hillary and Bill Clinton. Sadly, information that would confirm or deny his suicide is not being released by the Chicago police or the coroner. Will Smith become simply one more open-ended mystery in the long string of individuals who’ve died under questionable circumstances after publicly revealing Clinton wrong-doing?

By Mark Anderson

Considering the sordid history of political intrigue and foul play surrounding Hillary and Bill Clinton, the rather mysterious death in Rochester, Minn. of a longtime investigator of the Clintons isn’t generating anything close to the level of public interest it deserves.

What’s worse is that national TV-media outlets evidently are blacking out news about investigator Peter W. Smith’s “suicide” and how and why he died in mid-May.

This broadcast-news suppression is even harder to explain considering several sizable newspapers and social media have to some extent covered Smith’s apparent “suicide.” Yet, the national TV networks did not run with the story, even as they obsess nonstop over flimsy Trump-Russia “collusion” allegations.

The Wall Street Journal, to its credit, took the lead in publishing reports on Smith’s research on Hillary, having interviewed Smith just 10 days before he was found dead. Smith is reported to have left a suicide note, stating that he took his own life at age 81 due to ill health. Smith allegedly had traveled to Rochester to visit the famous Mayo Clinic.

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The official explanation: In Rochester’s Aspen Suites Hotel on May 14, Smith did himself in by putting a plastic bag around his head and pumping the bag full of helium from a propane-style tank, to displace the oxygen and asphyxiate himself. At least that’s what police, a funeral home employee, and some mainstream newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune, have reported.

And in the note that police claim they found, Smith reportedly “apologized to authorities and said that ‘no foul play whatsoever’ was involved in his death. He wrote that he was taking his own life because of a ‘recent bad turn in health since January 2017’ and timing related ‘to life insurance of $5 million expiring.’ ”

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PROBED BOTH CLINTONS

Smith’s investigations of the Clintons covered a lengthy time period—back to Bill Clinton’s “Troopergate” sexual-scandal days as Arkansas governor and during the Clinton White House and its countless collusions, including Chinagate.

Chinagate saw well-connected Chinese businessmen enter the White House dozens of times to make financial arrangements—dare it be called bribery—for obtaining U.S. military missile-guidance technology for Chinese companies through Clinton, among other things that dwarf anything that President Donald Trump is being accused of.

But Smith’s latest project involved looking into Hillary’s emails from her time as secretary of state from 2009-2013. He had been poking around lately to get more information on over 30,000 emails that Hillary claimed she deleted simply because they contained personal matters.

What really matters here is what Hillary’s emails contain, not who hacked them. Hillary’s emails likely contain information exposing that foreign officials—government and/or corporate, etc.—donated money to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for political favors via Hillary’s secretary of state office.

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The Tribune is among the relatively few newspapers that has sustained the probe into Smith’s research and seemingly sudden suicide, although, in so doing, this formerly intrepid newspaper, once operated by legendary anti-war conservative Col. Robert R. McCormick, appears prone to giving Chicago native Hillary Clinton considerable leeway.

Former President Barack Obama was incubated in the same Chicago political machine from which Hillary ascended—and where former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel serves as mayor. And there have been rumblings that Hillary may run for mayor.

The Tribune said it “obtained a Minnesota state death record filed in Olmsted County, saying Smith committed suicide in a hotel near the Mayo Clinic at 1:17 p.m. on Sunday, May 14.” However, an autopsy was carried out, but the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office “declined a Tribune request for the autopsy report and released limited information about Smith’s death.”

A spokeswoman for AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co., listed in recovered documents as Smith’s insurance carrier, “had no immediate comment,” the Tribune also noted.

By not releasing the autopsy report, the coroner has made it harder for researchers to make an assessment of what happened to Smith independent of Minnesota authorities. Making matters worse, Smith’s body was cremated in Minnesota.

Rochester Police Chief Roger Peterson did describe Smith’s death as “unusual.” A Rochester Cremation Services employee, from the funeral home that responded to the hotel’s call, added to the controversy by saying he recalled seeing a “tank” when he helped remove Smith’s body from the hotel room.

“The employee, who spoke on condition he not be identified because of the sensitive nature of Smith’s death, described the tank as being similar in size to a propane tank on a gas grill. He did not recall seeing a bag that Smith would have placed over his head. He said the coroner and police were there and that he ‘didn’t do a lot of looking around,’ ” the Tribune noted.

Police said they found a receipt from a local Walmart “time-stamped from the previous day, May 13 at 12:53 p.m.” for the purchase of “Helium Jumbo” tanks and other items. Yet because police, perhaps naively, feel that no foul play occurred, they apparently have not bothered to access Walmart security videos to see if Smith himself purchased the tanks.

Finally, police said that the two helium tanks in the room were draped with vinyl-covered ankle or wrist weights, the kind used for exercise.

“The report did not offer an explanation for the weights,” the Tribune added.

Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as the roving editor for AFP. Email him at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




If the GOP were a business, they would be investigated for false advertising on Obamacare repeal

During the 2016 election campaign season, repealing and replacing Obamacare was a main plank for Republican party candidates. Yet now, even holding a majority in the House and Senate and the White House, Republicans can’t seem to take action on that promise. Is it time for a new party?

By Robert Romano

If the Senate Republican conference was a business, it would have to be investigated by the Federal Trade Commission for false advertising.

For almost a decade, Republicans have promised the American people that, given the opportunity, with majorities in the House and Senate plus the White House, they would pass legislation repealing Obamacare.

The movement fueled the tea party insurgency that won Republicans the House of Representatives in 2010.

It propelled Senate Republicans to a majority in 2014.

And, in part, it helped President Donald Trump secure a majority of the Electoral College in the 2016 election.

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Each and every time, one of the central planks of the Republican agenda to govern was that they would get rid of the healthcare law and replace it with a free-market alternative.

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In 2015, 48 Senate Republicans still serving today passed legislation that repealed most of Obamacare. That bill was put on then-President Barack Obama’s desk and vetoed. It would have phased out Medicaid expansion and ended the premium subsidies, cost-sharing subsidies, individual and employer mandates, reinsurance, risk corridors and risk adjustment, and the taxes and spending from the healthcare law.

The senators who voted yes on that bill included Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). But come 2017, Capito and Murkowski had changed their tune. Now they were opposed to the very same legislation they had voted for in 2015.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning blasted Capito and Murkowski in a statement, saying, “All that needed to happen was for the Senate to vote for exactly the same legislation it adopted in 2015, and prove that it was not simply a show vote. This terrible outcome proves Senators Capito and Murkowski were never sincere in their promise to repeal Obamacare. They were just phonies.”

Manning added, “If the 2015 bill was good enough for Obama to veto, it should have been good enough for President Donald Trump to sign. Instead, Capito and Murkowski turned out to be faithless senators who through their failure are putting the GOP congressional majority at risk.”

This may be Republicans’ last chance to deal with any of these healthcare and social programs for the foreseeable future. 2018 without wins in Congress (and Trump supporters showing up at the polls) could get ugly. Failure to lead will land at Congress’s feet, not the president’s.

Liberty StickersThe GOP has had the trifecta of the House, Senate, and White House only three times since the Great Depression. One might think they’d wield their power with purpose, understanding how rare this moment is. Where’s the leadership in Congress? Where are the reforms to purchase insurance across state lines?

None of that was even on the table as the House and Senate wasted months of the congressional session on a go-nowhere bill.

Now the do-nothing Republican Congress will attempt to go back to voters in 2018 and say they just need a few more senators to fulfill their promises. Good luck with that. But when you’ve got the likes of Capito and Murkowski to depend on in the foxhole, perhaps reinforcements are in fact necessary.

That was the case President Donald Trump made to the American people in a tweet, stating, “With only a very small majority, the Republicans in the House & Senate need more victories next year since Dems totally obstruct, no votes!”

For Republican voters then still committed to implementing the Trump agenda, including repealing Obamacare after 2018, that means they need pay extra careful attention to the Senate Republican primaries in Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, all states that Trump carried in 2016.

It is questionable whether such a gambit might actually work—where Republican voters reward Republicans with more seats after failing to get their agenda through—but, on the other hand, very few gave Trump much of a shot in 2016 to win in the first place. Time will tell how Trump’s use of the bully pulpit might still be used to galvanize his base to the polls in 2018—or how other failures, for example on tax reform or building the southern border wall, might impact the president’s assessment of congressional Republicans.

After all, if the Republican Party will not implement the Trump agenda it ran on in 2016, perhaps the American people need a new party that will.

For now, it appears Trump is still engaged and determined to see the agenda he ran on enacted. Contrast that with former President George W. Bush, who after Social Security reform died, almost did not say a word about it. In the meantime, clearly Republican voters need to be more discerning about who they nominate for Senate seats. On to the primaries!

Robert Romano is the vice president of public policy of Americans for Limited Government. 




Trump Cannot Improve Relations With Russia When Trump’s Government and the US Media Oppose Improved Relations

When President Trump’s own appointees publicly disrespect and contradict him, does the president of the United States have any power whatsoever? And, why has he not yet simply said, “You’re fired!”? It would appear the deep state completely controls him, to the detriment of the entire world.

By Paul Craig Roberts

President Trump Has Been Contradicted by His Own Government, Which Has Lined Up Against Him in Favor of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, and the Russophobic Presstitute Media that serves the military/security complex and the neoconservatives.

I am afraid that The Saker and Finian Cunningham are correct. Nothing can come of Trump’s meeting with Putin, because, as Cunningham puts it: “Trump doesn’t have freedom or real power. The real power brokers in the U.S. will ensure that the Russophobia campaign continues, with more spurious allegations of Moscow interfering to subvert Western democracies. Trump will continue to live under a cloud of media-driven suspicions. And thus the agenda of regime change against Syria and confrontation with Russia will also continue. Trump’s personal opinions on these matters and towards Vladimir Putin are negligible—indeed dispensable by the deep powers-that-be.”

Cunningham points out that instead of lauding the meeting as the beginning of the process to defuse the high tensions between the two major nuclear powers, the U.S. media denounced Trump for being civil to Putin in the meeting.

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What is missing from the media in the entirety of the Western world and perhaps also in Russia is the awareness that the dangerous tensions are orchestrated not only by Hillary and the Democratic National Committee, the neoconservatives, the U.S. military/security complex, and the presstitutes, but also by President Trump’s own appointees.

Trump’s own ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, and Trump’s own Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, sound exactly like Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, the neoconservatives, The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, and the rest of the totally discredited presstitute media that is committed to raising tensions between the U.S. and Russia to the point of nuclear war.

On the same day that President Donald Trump said, “It is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia,” and the day after he said, “I had a tremendous meeting yesterday with President Putin,” the ignorant, stupid Nikki Haley, who Trump appointed as U.S. UN Ambassador, publicly contradicted her president, forcefully stating: “We can’t trust Russia and we won’t ever trust Russia.”

The ignorant, stupid Haley is still in office, a perfect demonstration of Trump’s powerlessness.

The ignorant, stupid Haley has gone far beyond Obama’s crazed UN Ambassador, neocon Samantha Power, in doing everything in her power to ruin the prospect of normal relations between the two major nuclear powers. Why does Nikki Haley work in favor of a confrontation between nuclear powers that would destroy all life on Earth? What is wrong with Nikki Haley? Is she demented? Has she lost her mind, assuming she ever had one?

How can President Trump normalize relations with Russia when every one of his appointees wants to worsen the relations to the point of nuclear war?

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How is President Trump going to improve relations with Russia when President Trump stands powerless in the face of his dressing down by his UN Ambassador? Clearly, Trump is powerless, a mere cipher.

Joining Nikki Haley was Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. Tillerson, allegedly a friend of Russia, is also working overtime to worsen relations between the two nuclear powers by publicly contradicting the president of the United States, thereby making it clear that Trump is barely even a cipher. Tillerson, a disgrace, said that Putin’s refusal to admit that Putin elected Trump by interfering in the U.S. election “stands as an obstacle to our ability to improve the relationship between the U.S. and Russia and it needs to be addressed in terms of how we assure the American people that interference into our elections will not occur by Russia or anyone else.”

Trump’s incompetence is illustrated by his appointments. There is no one in “his” government that supports him. Every one of them works to undermine him. And he sits there and Twitters.

So, what is President Putin’s belief that an understanding can now be worked out with Washington worth? Not a plugged nickel. Trump has zero authority over “his” government. He can be contradicted at will by his own appointees. The president of the United States is a joke. You can find him on Twitter, but nowhere else, not in the Oval Office making foreign or military policy. The president Twitters and thinks that is policy.

The Trump administration was destroyed when the weak Donald Trump allowed the neoconservatives to remove his National Security Advisor, General Flynn. Trump has never recovered. “His” administration is staffed with violent Russophobes. Wars can be the only outcome.

We know two things about the alleged Russian interference in the Trump/Hillary presidential election. One is that John Brennan, Obama’s CIA director, and Comey, Obama’s FBI director, implied repeatedly that Trump was elected by Russian interference in the election. The other is that the charge is false. Neither the CIA nor the FBI have provided any evidence whatsoever that any such interference occurred. Indeed, months into the case, the special prosecutor, the former FBI director, can produce no evidence. The whole thing is a sham, but it is ongoing. There will be no end to it, as it is designed to undermine President Trump with the people who elected him. The message is: “Trump is not for America. Trump is for Russia.”

This is astounding! The NSA has intercepts of all transmitted data. If Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election the evidence would be obvious and immediately available.

Despite the obvious lies told by Brennan and Comey, The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of the scum, no one has been arrested and put on trial for their efforts to overthrow the elected president of the United States. This proves beyond all doubt that the president of the United States is a non-entity, a figurehead incapable of action independently of the Deep State that controls him.

If Vladimir Putin really believes from his meeting with Trump that all of the orchestrated false charges against Russia can now be removed and normal relations restored, Putin is in la-la land. Nikki Haley says that the U.S. will NEVER trust Russia. If Putin trusts Washington, Russia will be destroyed—and the rest of the world with Russia.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President Ronald Reagan and was associate editor and columnist at The Wall Street Journal. He has been a professor of economics in six universities, and is the author of numerous books available at the American Free Press bookstore.




Deception Inside Deception: The Alleged Sarin Gas Attack

American Free Press has repeatedly questioned the allegations that the Syrian government and military used chemical weapon on their own people. Now, respected journalist Seymour Hersh confirms this with a new report detailing his extensive interviews with U.S. officials. The problem for Hersh, though is that his account seems odd when one considers the military-industrial complex’s efforts to oust Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. Could Hersh have fallen victim to a planned disinformation campaign?

By Paul Craig Roberts

Seymour Hersh, America’s most famous investigative reporter, has become persona non grata in the American Propaganda Ministry that poses as a news media but only serves to protect the U.S. government’s war lies. Among his many triumphs, Hersh exposed the American My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the Abu Ghraib torture prison run by the Americans in Iraq. Today his investigative reports have to be published in the London Review of Books or in the German media.

From Hersh’s latest investigative report, we learn that President Trump makes war decisions by watching staged propaganda on TV. The White Helmets, a propaganda organization for jihadists and the “Syrian opposition,” found a gullible reception from the Western media for photographs and videos of alleged victims of a Syrian Army sarin gas attack on civilians in Khan Sheikhoun. Trump saw the photos on TV and, despite being assured by U.S. intelligence that there was no Syrian sarin gas attack, ordered the U.S. military to strike a Syrian base with Tomahawk missiles. Under international law this strike was a war crime, and it was the first direct aggression against Syria by the U.S., which previously committed aggression via proxies called “the Syrian opposition.”

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Reporting on his sources, Hersh writes: “In a series of interviews, I learned of the total disconnect between the president and many of his military advisers and intelligence officials, as well as officers on the ground in the region who had an entirely different understanding of the nature of Syria’s attack on Khan Sheikhoun. I was provided with evidence of that disconnect, in the form of transcripts of real-time communications, immediately following the Syrian attack on April 4.”

The belief that sarin gas was involved in the attack comes from what appears to be a gas cloud. Hersh was informed by U.S. military experts that sarin is odorless and invisible and makes no cloud. What appears to have happened is that the explosion from the air attack on ISIS caused a series of secondary explosions that produced a toxic cloud formed by fertilizers and chlorine disinfectants that were stored in the building that was hit.

U.S. officials spoke with Hersh, because they are disturbed that Trump based a war decision on TV propaganda and refused to listen to the detailed counter-assessments of his intelligence and military services. A national security source told Hersh: “Everyone close to him knows his proclivity for acting precipitously when he does not know the facts. He doesn’t read anything and has no real historical knowledge. He wants verbal briefings and photographs. He’s a risk-taker. He can accept the consequences of a bad decision in the business world; he will just lose money. But in our world, lives will be lost and there will be long-term damage to our national security if he guesses wrong. He was told we did not have evidence of Syrian involvement and yet Trump says, ‘Do it.’ ”

Concerns about Trump’s purely emotional reaction to TV propaganda persist. Hersh reports that a senior national security adviser told him: “The Salafists and jihadists got everything they wanted out of their hyped-up Syrian nerve gas ploy” (the flare-up of tensions between Syria, Russia and America). The issue is, what if there’s another false-flag sarin attack credited to hated Syria? Trump has upped the ante and painted himself into a corner with his decision to bomb. And do not think these guys are not planning the next faked attack. Trump will have no choice but to bomb again, and harder. He’s incapable of saying he made a mistake.”

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As we know, the White House has already released a statement predicting that Assad is preparing another chemical attack, for which, the White House promises, he will “pay a heavy price.” Clearly, a false-flag attack is on the way.

By all means, read Hersh’s report. It reveals a president who makes precipitious decisions likely to cause a war with Russia.

I do not doubt Sy Hersh’s integrity. I accept that he has accurately reported what he was told by U.S. officials. My suspicions about this story do not have to do with Hersh. They have to do with what Hersh was told.

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Hersh’s report puts Trump in a very bad light, and it puts the military/security complex, which we know has been trying to destroy Trump, in a very good light. Moreover, the story strikes me as inconsistent with the subsequent attack on the Syrian fighter-bomber by the U.S. military. If the Tomahawk attack on the Syrian base was unjustified, what justified downing a Syrian war plane? Did Trump order this attack as well? If not, who did? Why?

If national security advisers gave Trump such excellent information about the alleged sarin gas attack, completely disproving any such attack, why was he given such bad advice about shooting down a Syrian war plane, or was it done outside of channels? The effect of the shootdown is to raise the chance of a confrontation with Russia, because Russia’s response apparently has been to declare a no-fly zone over the area of Russian and Syrian operations.

How do we know that what Hersh was told was true? What if Trump was encouraged to order the Tomahawk strike as a way of interjecting the U.S. directly into the conflict? Both the U.S. and Israel have powerful reasons for wanting to overthrow Assad. However, ISIS, sent to do the job, has been defeated by Russia and Syria. Unless Washington can somehow get directly involved, the war is over. 

The story Hersh was given also serves to damn Trump while absolving the intelligence services. Trump takes the hit for injecting the U.S. directly into the conflict.

Hersh’s story reads well, but it easily could be a false story planted on him. I am not saying that the story is false, but unless we learn more, it could be.

What we do know is that the story given to Hersh by national security officials is inconsistent with the June 26 White House announcement that the U.S. has “identified potential preparations for another chemical attack by the Assad regime.” The White House does not have the capability to conduct its own foreign intelligence gathering. The White House is informed by the national security and intelligence agencies.

In the story given to Hersh, these officials are emphatic that not only were chemical weapons removed from Syria, but also that Assad would not use them or be permitted by the Russians to use them even if he had them. Moreover, Hersh reports that he was told that Russia fully informed the U.S. of the Syrian attack on ISIS in advance. The weapon was a guided bomb that Russia had supplied to Syria. Therefore, it could not have been a chemical weapon.

As U.S. national security officials made it clear to Hersh that they do not believe Syria did or would use any chemical weapons, what is the source for the White House’s announcement that preparations for another chemical attack by the Assad regime have been identified?

Who lined up UN ambassador Nikki Haley and the UK Defense Minister Michael Fallon to be ready with statements in support of the White House announcement? Haley says: “Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia and Iran who support him killing his own people.” Fallon says: “We will support” future U.S. action in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

How clear does an orchestration have to be before people are capable of recognizing the orchestration?

The intelligence agencies put out the story via Hersh that there were no chemical attacks, so what attacks is Nikki Haley speaking about?

A reasonable conclusion is that Washington’s plan to use ISIS to overthrow Syria and then start on Iran was derailed by Russian and Syrian military success against ISIS. The U.S. then tried to partition Syria by occupying part of it, but were out-manuevered by the Russians and Syrians. This left direct U.S. involvement as the only alternative to defeat. This direct U.S. military involvement began with the U.S. attack on the Syrian military base and was followed by shooting down a Syrian war plane. The next stage will be a U.S.-staged false-flag chemical attack or alleged chemical attack, and this false flag, as has already been announced, will be the excuse for larger scale U.S. military action against Syria, which, unless the Russians abandon Syria, means conflict with Russia, Iran, and perhaps China.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President Ronald Reagan and was associate editor and columnist at The Wall Street Journal. He has been a professor of economics in six universities, and is the author of numerous books available from the AmericanFreePress bookstore.




House Budget Committee Takes $200 Billion Step Toward Restoring Fiscal Sanity

The House Budget Committee, under Chairwoman Diane Black (R-Tenn.), has taken a strong first step toward reining in out-of-control federal spending by putting forward a budget that cuts $200 billion from “mandatory spending” over the next decade. It’s a start.

By Robert Romano

Sixty-nine percent of the $3.8 trillion federal budget consists of so-called “mandatory” spending. That is, $2.7 trillion of spending that occurs automatically whether or not Congress votes to adopt a budget or even pass a single appropriations bill—a constitutionally dubious process, but there it is.

Much of it includes things like Social Security ($910.2 billion), Medicare ($588.4 billion), Medicaid ($368.3 billion), food stamps ($96 billion), and unemployment payments ($32.3 billion). It also includes interest owed on the nearly $20 trillion national debt, now $429.9 billion, including $145 billion of interest paid to government trust funds.

This is the spending that occurs on autopilot, and tends to increase every year based on the population of people eligible to receive the benefits increases. This is why they are often called entitlements, because recipients are “entitled” to receive them under the law, although many readers might take exception to that term because they paid taxes into those programs. Fair enough.

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But because it increases almost every year, it is refreshing then to finally see a proposal coming out of Congress that would cut other parts of it—without touching Social Security or Medicare that seniors depend on.

The House Budget Committee, led by Chairwoman Diane Black (R-Tenn.), has put a budget on the table that would actually cut so-called “mandatory” spending by $200 billion over the next decade off of the baseline. It actually started out as $150 billion of cuts, but another $50 billion was added to offset planned increases in defense spending.

Guess mandatory spending isn’t so mandatory after all.

It may seem comparatively small, a little less than 1% of the mandatory spending budget, but Chairwoman Black says it’s a start.

“I strongly believe that we need to begin to address mandatory spending and to change the culture of Washington with real reforms. This is an important first step that we can continue to build on in future Congresses,” Black said in an emailed statement.

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It could add up. For example, if Congress found $200 billion of 10-year cuts every year out of mandatory spending, after five years, that would add up to $1 trillion of real savings over 15 years.

That’s still a ways to go to get to the $2.5 trillion of mandatory spending cuts proposed over the next decade in the Trump budget, but we’re making progress.

So far, it is not clear where the $200 billion of cuts will specifically fall, as House committee leaders hammer out the details. But, said Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning, it’s a step in the right direction.

“We have to get the nation’s $20 trillion debt under control, and Congress’s part in that is clamping down on spending. The House’s constitutional role is to set the stage for the nation’s spending priorities. Chairwoman Black’s budget is doing what Congress is supposed to do, which is to set priorities and make choices,” Manning said.


Manning also called on Congress to build on the proposal, with even more cuts: “The only amendments that should be accepted to Chairwoman Black’s budget are additional deficit-reducing cuts.”

To which, there is a major incentive in Congress’s budget rules. The budget bill Chairwoman Black is working on is supposed to become the basis of the tax cut bill Republicans want to pass on budget reconciliation. Rightly or wrongly, tax cuts get counted toward the deficit by the bean counters at the Congressional Budget Office.

Meaning, the bigger the spending cuts that go into the bill, the bigger the tax cuts Congress will be able to get via the budget rules.

Just one more reason for the American people to root for more spending cuts in the budget as this legislation winds through the budget reconciliation process.

After the budget is signed into law by President Trump, don’t forget to thank Chairwoman Black when you get your tax refund next year.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.




Are Illinois & Puerto Rico Our Future?

 

 

By Patrick J. Buchanan

If Gov. Bruce Rauner and his legislature in Springfield, Ill. do not put a budget together by Friday, the Land of Lincoln will be the first state in the Union to see its debt plunge into junk-bond status.

Illinois has $14.5 billion in overdue bills, $130 billion in unfunded pension obligations, and no budget. “We can’t manage our money,” says Rauner. “We’re like a banana republic.”

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Speaking of banana republics, Puerto Rico, which owes $74 billion to creditors who hold its tax-exempt bonds and $40 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, has already entered bankruptcy proceedings.

The island’s imaginative 38-year-old governor, Ricardo Rossello, however, has a solution. Call Uncle Sam. On June 11, Rossello held a plebiscite, with a 23% turnout, that voted 97% to make Puerto Rico our 51st state.

“(T)he federal government will no longer be able to ignore the voice of the majority of the American citizens in Puerto Rico,” said Rossello. Washington cannot “demand democracy in other parts of the world, and not respond to the legitimate right to self-determination that was exercised today in the American territory of Puerto Rico.”

Had the governor been talking about the island’s right to become free and independent, he would have had a point. But statehood inside the U.S.A. is something Uncle Sam decides.

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Rossello calls to mind Count Mountjoy of Grand Fenwick, who, in The Mouse that Roared, plotted to rescue his bankrupt duchy by declaring war on the U.S., sailing to America to surrender, and then demanding the foreign aid America bestows on defeated enemies.

Yet Puerto Rico’s defaults on its debts may soon be our problem. Many bond funds in which Americans have invested their savings and retirement money are full of Puerto Rican bonds.

According to The New York Times, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Marianas, and Guam are in the same boat. With 100,000 people, the Virgin Islands owes $6.5 billion to pensioners and creditors.

Then there is Connecticut, a state that has long ranked in the top tier in per capita income and wealth.

Connecticut, too, appears wobbly. Rising pension benefits, the cost of servicing the state debt, and falling tax revenue due to fleeing residents and companies like Aetna and General Electric have dropped Connecticut to near the national bottom in growth prospects.

“The state’s population is falling: Its net domestic out-migration was nearly 30,000 from 2015 to 2016. In 2016, it lost slightly more than 8,000 people, leaving its population at 3.6 million,” reports Fox News. “(R)ecent national moving company surveys (show) more people leaving Connecticut than moving in. In 2016, the state also saw a population decline for the third consecutive year.”

As its example of a welfare state going belly up, the EU offers us Greece. And questions arise from all of these examples. Is this an inexorable trend? Has the old New Deal formula of “tax and tax, spend and spend, and elect and elect” finally run its course?

Across the West, social welfare states are threatened by falling revenues, taxpayer flight, rising debt as a share of GDP, sinking bond ratings, and proliferating defaults.

Record-high social welfare spending is among the reasons that Western nations skimp on defense. Even the Americans, who spent 9% of GDP on defense under President Kennedy and 6% under President Reagan, are now well below that, though U.S. security commitments are as great as they were in the Cold War.

Among NATO nations, the U.S. is among the least socialist, with less than 40% of GDP consumed by government at all levels. France, with 57% of GDP siphoned off, is at the opposite pole.

Yet even here in America we no longer grow at 4% a year, or even 3%. We seem to be nearing a point of government consumption beyond the capacity of the private sector to provide the necessary funds.

Some Democrats are discovering there are limits to how much the government can consume of the nation’s wealth without adversely affecting their own fortunes. And in the Obamacare debate this week, Republicans are running head-on into the reality that clawing back social welfare benefits already voted may be political suicide.

Has democratic socialism passed its apogee?

Native-born populations in the West are aging, shrinking, and dying, not reproducing themselves. The cost of pensions and healthcare for the elderly is inexorably going up. Immigration into the West, almost entirely from the Third World, is bringing in peoples who, on balance, take more in social welfare than they pay in taxes.

Deficits and national debts as a share of GDP are rising. Almost nowhere does one see the old robust growth rates returning. And the infrastructure of the West—roads, bridges, tunnels, ports, airports, subways, train tracks—continues to crumble for lack of investment.

The days of interstate highway systems and moon shots seem to be behind us. Are Puerto Rico and Illinois the harbingers of what is to come?

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles, including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Bookstore

COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM



Senate releases Obamacare repeal and replace—actually makes some improvements on House bill

The Senate’s Obamacare replacement healthcare bill, introduced for discussion today, is an example of the way the legislative process should work, says Robert Romano. Before being brought to the floor, legislators will have an opportunity to “analyze, discuss, and provide thoughts.”

By Robert Romano

The GOP Senate majority has released its discussion draft of its plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the floor, “There will be ample time to analyze, discuss, and provide thoughts before legislation comes to the floor.”

The American people should be pleased that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not rushed to bring the final version of the Senate proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare to the floor, for there is much to discuss.

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The discussion draft ends the tyranny of the individual and employer mandates, phases out Medicaid expansion—although perhaps not soon enough—but also provides states more flexibility in implementing Medicaid.

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The Senate bill even improves on the House version by eliminating the “continuous coverage” penalty—which as reported by Kaiser Health News, “increases premiums for people who buy insurance if they have gone 63 consecutive days without a policy during the past 12 months. Their premiums would rise by 30% and that surcharge would last for a year.” That’s gone now, leaving no vestige of the individual mandate.

Overall, the Senate bill appears to stick to many of the parameters of the House legislation, including creating a meaningful opt-out for states to get out from under Obamacare’s crushing Section 1302 regulations, as the House version did via the MacArthur amendment.

These state waivers should be strengthened by providing for automatic approval, as the MacArthur Amendment does. That way, a future president cannot attempt to administratively re-institute Section 1302 nationwide.  This is critical. State opt-outs were the cornerstone of the compromise that got through the House, and should be fully reflected in the Senate version—and protected to avert any future implementation of Obamacare regulations without a vote of Congress.

Liberty Stickers

Elsewhere, there is obviously more that can be done.

Neither the House nor Senate bills end the American Medical Association’s monopoly on doctor certification via control of medical schools, the Food and Drug Administration monopoly on approving new drugs, or the government-created state-by-state insurance monopolies. They also do not address medical malpractice reform.

Also, solo physicians and small practices could be given a waiver to MACRA, which requires electronic medical record keeping in order for doctors to treat Medicare patients. At a time when there are more seniors than ever entering the Medicare program, they will need as many doctors as possible to treat them.

Forcing electronic medical records on Medicare doctors is compelling many doctors to simply stop treating Medicare patients. With a limited waiver for smaller practices, seniors could get at least a few more options for care.

Other obvious areas for improvement would be to give consumers the option of going across state lines to purchase insurance, as Republicans have been promising on the campaign trail for several election cycles.

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) opened the door for additional changes focused upon lowering consumer healthcare costs in a joint statement, saying: “Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor. There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current healthcare system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their healthcare costs.”

And this is how legislation should happen: drafts proposed, individual Senators providing input and negotiating changes, the public informed in advance of votes, and eventually passage through both houses with the president’s signature.  This is a far cry from the ‘you’ll have to pass it to read it’ approach taken by Obama, Reid, and Pelosi that delivered the nation the failed Obamacare plan.

The framework for a deal is basically in place, and if through the efforts of Cruz, Johnson, Lee, and Paul the healthcare system becomes more free-market and less state-control focused, providing more individual choices, the legislative process will have worked the way it is supposed to. And most importantly, the American people will no longer be compelled to buy health insurance packages that they cannot afford with deductibles that make it useless in all but the most extreme circumstances.

The Obamacare replacement bill has turned an important corner and, with a few improvements, will hopefully soon be heading for home.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government. Rick Manning contributed to this report.




Wells Fargo Cancels AFP’s Credit Card Processing With No Notice

Day after day, it seems, this popular, unattributed quote becomes more appropriate. . . . “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” 

By AFP Staff

First they came for the “fringe, radical right” and the so-called “haters.” Now they’re coming for anyone who is simply politically incorrect. Who will be left if you don’t take a stand today?

Will all politically incorrect publications be railroaded out of business? Let’s be honest: That is the true goal of those behind this outrageous assault on the independent media and American Free Press in particular. And it is a concerted effort involving the wealthiest corporations on the planet and the most powerful, well-funded pressure groups. It is a direct attack upon the very principles on which our nation was founded.

Understand, what the powers that be are doing makes any alleged book burnings in all of history pale in comparison.

And that’s no exaggeration.

On June 22, when AFP staffers checked the orders first thing in the morning, they noticed something was strange. The online credit charges beginning at midnight had all come back as unsettled. A “general error” was listed as the reason for the processing problem.

After calling AFP’s merchant service provider, the company that processes our credit cards, we were told in no uncertain terms that our account had been closed.

“The risk department sent over the closure notice yesterday afternoon,” said “Jacob,” the poor guy from Colorado who was being paid close to minimum wage by an answering service to field the phone calls. “I guess it went through at midnight.”

In 2013, AFP had set up an account with USB Payment Services, a merchant service provider based out of Baltimore, Md., for the sole reason that we preferred to do business with an independent company that was not beholden to shareholders at some mega-bank. For four years, that company took a percentage in “fees” of all of the credit card sales that AFP made.

A few months ago, however, USB was bought out by banking giant Wells Fargo.

And with no phone call, letter, or email, someone at Wells Fargo just decided to cancel AFP’s credit card processing account, and they were not even going to tell us about it.

Doing business with banks is bad enough, but in 2017 you unfortunately have to hold your nose and do it if you want to make it easy for your supporters to help fund your organization.

The truth is, we knew it was only a matter of time before it happened to us. Already, more controversial publications and organizations had lost their merchant and PayPal accounts. So far, AFP’s PayPal account is still active, but we’re not holding our breath in anticipation of what’s to come.

Despite the fact that Wells Fargo does business in countries that jail and kill religious heretics, gays, and political dissidents, selling books that tackle important topics like race and war from a truly conservative and politically incorrect perspective was apparently too much for them.

AFP is in the process of contacting other merchant service providers so we can get back up and running. However, we ask, until further notice, that you

  1. Continue to buy books and DVDs from us; and
  2. Print out your order and mail us cash or a check.

And please take a moment to send in a donation to help keep us going as well.

There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The big banks, radical pressure groups, and the entrenched establishment are working together, day and night, to crush free speech and free thought in this country—and across the world.

Take a stand today to support the First Amendment by helping AFP. But remember: cash, checks, and money orders only!