Putin Punks Obama

The most glaring example of diminishing United States power and influence around the globe is the dynamic taking place between the U.S. and Russia regarding Syria.

Russia has dispatched a flotilla of eleven warships, almost half of which have the ability to carry hundreds of marines to the eastern Mediterranean.  Some of those ships are to be docked in Syria. It is the greatest display of Russian power in the region since the start of Syria’s current conflict.

This is clearly a part of Russia’s effort to become a decisive power broker in Syria, and by extension, the Middle East.  Syria is Russia’s one remaining ally in the region and home to Tartus, the last remaining Soviet era military base outside of Russia.

The unusually large size of the deployment announced by Moscow can be considered a message.  The message is not just to the Middle East, but also to the United States.  The message is: We are strong and you are weak.

Not unexpectedly, the response from Washington was, to put it politely, muted.  Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council said:  “Russia maintains a naval supply and maintenance base in the Syrian port of Tartus.  We currently have no reason to believe this move is anything out of the ordinary, but we refer you to the Russian government for more details.”

The nature of this response will reaffirm to Putin that the current Oval Office occupant is willing to react passively and submissively to the Kremlin.  Leading from behind is seen by experienced global power brokers like Putin as weakness.

Although KGB style secrecy and the Kremlin’s careful manipulation of his image make him difficult to read, watching the recent body language between Putin and Obama makes it is clear for all to see that Putin has little respect for Obama.

Whether Putin or any other Soviet/Russian leader likes you or not is irrelevant to a successful foreign policy.  Ronald Reagan understood that.  George W. Bush understood that.  Mikhail Gorbachev respected Ronald Reagan and grew to like him.  Putin never openly displayed affection for Bush in the way Gorbachev did for Reagan, but Russia’s relative inaction during Bush’s presidency indicated that Putin respected him.  It seems clear that Putin saw, as a result of Bush’s actions, that Bush was ready and willing to promote U.S. interests and power abroad.  In Obama, Putin sees the inverse.  Putin does not see a partner in Obama.  He does not see an adversary in Obama.  In Obama, Putin sees a tool, a weakling who can be punked at will.  Russia’s military deployment to Syria reinforces that conclusion.

Obama’s insistence on making the world like him the cornerstone of his foreign policy is but one of a multitude of reasons why removing him in November is vital to American interests.

Putin Punks Obama

Bret Baier Won’t Be Leaving Fox News Anytime Soon After This Deal

FOX News Channel (FNC) announced Tuesday that host Breit Baier has signed another multi-year contract.

Baier will continue as the anchor and executive editor of Special Report and chief political anchor of the network, President & Executive Editor, FOX News and FOX Business Network (FBN) Jay Wallace said in a statement.

The tenured FNC host’s contract lasts beyond 2020, a source close to the matter says, and Baier will be co-anchoring all 2020 election coverage.

“Bret continues to be the gold standard not only across FNC, but the entire news industry and his reporting has played an integral role in the success and growth of the network,” Wallace said.

The renewed contract comes as Baier also celebrates his 10 year anniversary as anchor of Special Report, which he took over from Brit Hume in 2009.

“Having just marked my 10 year anniversary of anchoring Special Report and being at FOX News for more than two decades, there is no group of people I would rather be working with to bring complete, fair and balanced news to our viewers,” Baier said in a statement.

“I am very honored to continue in this role and value the trust that FNC has placed in me to do what I love every day,” the news host added.

As the anchor of Special Report since January of 2009, Baier, 48, has led the program to the number one news program on cable in its time slot, averaging 2.3 million total viewers in 2018, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Baier’s track of high-profile and widely watched interviews include those with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, former President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In addition to his lengthy accomplishments as an anchor, Baier has also hosted more than 50 FNC specials in more than 74 countries, including 12 live reports from Iraq and 13 from Afghanistan.

Baier is the author of three New York Times bestsellers.

Prior to his current positions at FNC, the New Jersey native was the chief White House correspondent, covering President Bush from 2006-2009, and before that served as national security correspondent from 2001-2006.

Fair Tax Series: America’s Road to Prosperity Part 5: Conclusion

THE FAIRTAX SERIES: AMERICA’S ROAD TO PROSPERITY

Part 5: Conclusion

 

In this final installment of the FAIRTAX series I want to review the content of the series and give a few personal thoughts on our country, our system, and how I see the FAIRTAX being an integral part of the solution to our debt issue, though not the only aspect, and of how we get the United States back on steady financial ground.

As I write this series our nation owes more than $14 trillion to other nations, mostly Communist China. Our debt ceiling has just been raised to about $17 trillion, money that will surely be spent as fast as government presses can print it. Our overall unfunded liabilities, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all of the other unfunded promises run in the neighborhood of $130 trillion depending on which numbers you believe. From watching our esteemed federal government the last 40 years, I tend to lean towards believing the higher numbers, with no foreseeable end in sight to the irresponsible activities of those elected to “govern” us.

It is apparent to me that cutting taxes, changing the tax structure, or confiscating every dollar of We the People will not do all that is necessary to solve our financial woes. We face basically two major problems. One is government spending, a matter I will delve into later. The other problem is taxation. The FAIRTAX is designed to be revenue neutral, which means it won’t destroy government funding as some alarmists would have you believe. On the other hand, the FAIRTAX will not raise the cost of everything you buy by the 30% that the alarmists would also have you believe.

I would much prefer to receive the entire paycheck and decide for myself how it is used. The studies that have been done to show why companies locate overseas have been overwhelming to me. The cost of labor is being driven ever higher by the tax structure, which is a never ending catch-22 situation. The more taxes paid by those doing the hiring the less there is for them to pay We the People for work. The more I have to pay in taxes the more money I need to combat inflation. Every penny collected in taxes makes it more difficult to survive and prosper. Every job shipped overseas due to the tax structure, prohibitive regulation, and government “oversight” makes our nation that much less prosperous and safe.

Those who say “tax the rich more” don’t realize, or don’t care, that the money paid in taxes does not benefit the overall financial situation of the nation. Higher taxes on the “rich” doesn’t make the poor any wealthier, as a matter of fact, it has the opposite effect. A poor person never provided me with any income. If the reverse was true Communism would not fail everywhere it is tried.

I see that out of 500 company CEO’s surveyed, 80% said that under the FAIRTAX they would build their next production facility in the United States, and the other 20% would move their entire operation here.   That causes me to believe that those jobs that have gone overseas would be right back here and we would find ourselves in the position of having more jobs than applicants, a good position for the working class people as that would cause wages to rise. This in turn adds to the taxable income available. More jobs mean a broader tax base, more income for the government coffers, and more prosperity for more people.

Under our current system those who produce legally pay the taxes. Under the FAIRTAX everyone would contribute. Those here illegally and working under the table for cash would contribute. Drug dealers, prostitutes, and tourists would also contribute to the tax structure where they don’t do so now. I can’t find any reason to not like the FAIRTAX system.

The Pre-bate is designed to take into account the cost of taxes on the basic necessities of life. I like the idea of food, medicine, utility costs, and other necessities being tax free, up to the poverty line. Every penny I don’t have to pay to the government in some form of tax is another penny I can spend on my family to make our quality of life better. This part of the FAIRTAX will benefit those at the lower end of the financial spectrum greatly as more money would be available to improve the quality of life for those with less to start with. If I choose to save money instead of spend it I can benefit where under the current system I can only save after the greedy politicians have taken their cut from my hard earned wages.

Today we find about 45% or so pay no income or employment taxes at all and many of these complain that the 55% who do pay income and employment taxes aren’t paying their “fair share”.   I find this rather ironic. Someone who pays nothing complains about someone else is not paying enough, not paying their “fair share”. I wonder how much the “fair share” of those not paying anything would be if the playing field was level. I believe that everyone should pay at least some taxes. We all have a stake in the safety and prosperity of the United States, not just the “rich”. This issue has been used by politicians for my entire life to divide and conquer for their own benefit, not for the benefit of We the People.

Remember, government does not produce wealth; they only take the production of others, filter it through their pockets, and then give it to those they deem deserving, mostly those who are too lazy to work for their keep and know how to game the system for their own benefit. Politicians use tax rates to buy votes. The latest figure I have seen, as of 2009, say that 28 cents of every welfare dollar actually goes to help recipients. The other 72 cents goes to “administrative costs”. I fail to understand how the current system “helps” anyone at all. I would think that a job paying money directly to a wage earner would be a much more efficient way of providing sustenance for people.

As any other decent American, I believe that taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves is the responsibility of all able bodied people. Paying women to have baby after baby to be able to stay on welfare rolls, those faking injuries to draw SSI, and those who are drug addicts and use that as a “disability” to draw SSI are all problems that are not “fair” to those of us working for a living. The FAIRTAX, or any other tax system, will not solve these problems.

I have seen various arguments made against the FAIRTAX. I don’t have the time or space to answer every argument made against this plan but I can say that I have not seen a better plan come out with the specificity of the FAIRTAX. Most of the arguments made at the various places I have posted this series are debunked in the book this series is based on, FAIRTAX: The Truth. The authors devote an entire chapter to covering the misunderstandings, the lies, and the disinformation that has been passed out to defeat this plan.

My intent in this series is to give an overview of the book, and a basic understanding of the plan, not rewrite it here.   I can say that 86,000 pages of tax rules and regulations are a bit excessive and should be eliminated. The FAIRTAX does exactly that, and more.

The legislation is H.R. 25 and can be found at the Thomas Congressional Library website (http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php). You can look it up by bill number or by name as you wish. I also encourage you to buy the book and get a more in-depth understanding than I can give you. After reading the initial article a friend decided to buy the book and get more details. He e-mailed me that the book, FAIRTAX: The Truth, can be bought on Amazon.com for $3.95. This is the Cliff notes version and is designed to give you as broad and as fair a description as possible with the hopes that all who read my articles will look further and get a more complete understanding of the FAIRTAX and how it is designed to improve the lot of all Americans.

I understand that the FAIRTAX is not the only answer to our nation’s financial ills. Spending by politicians bent on preserving their power and prestige is a huge issue that must be addressed if we are to ultimately solve our nation’s financial problems. A large part of the spending problems stem from the fact that politicians of both parties can demagogue the tax issue, using class warfare to pit one American against another for the benefit of themselves, the political ruling class. The FAIRTAX goes a long way towards ending this practice.

I can assure you that if the FAIRTAX was of great benefit to the ruling class we would already have it in place, not just being bandied about, or more precisely, ignored by the ruling class. The more politicians oppose the plan the more I like it. Many economists and others have spent months coming up with this plan and I believe it is a much better system than we currently use. Nothing will ever be perfect but this comes as close as anything I have heard or read about. It gives We the People more say in how our wages are used.

Tax and spend politicians need to be sent home and people with common sense, and the safety and prosperity of all as their first priority elected to do the job they swear to do when they take office. The self-interest of politicians and the corruption they participate in every day needs to be stopped if we are to survive.

I have read the FAIRTAX book very carefully twice and parts of it more than that. Many people take a quick look at the plan and begin to berate it without truly understanding what it means and how it works. At one time I also looked at the FAIRTAX and thought “so what”!! I began to hear more about this plan, and as I took the time and effort to look into it a little more thoroughly I began to change my opinion about the FAIRTAX. I am convinced that this plan will make great strides in helping our nation come out of the financial doldrums and put us back on the road to prosperity in a hurry. All we have to do is convince the ruling class to put it to work. We do that by letting them know of our support for this plan and our insistence that they act soon.

You are welcome, and encouraged, to share any of these articles with anyone you would like to share with. Information is power and I write these to inform, educate, and motivate people. I hope everyone you know sees these articles.

Again, the legislation is H.R. 25 and can be found at the Thomas Congressional Library web site (http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php) . The bill is very short and very simple to read. It is up to We the People to make the changes necessary to promote prosperity, not wait on self-serving politicians to do what is best for us. The bill can also be found at this link:

http://www.americanvoice.com/112th-congress/bills/h+25

I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.

 

Bob Russell                              Claremore, Oklahoma                                    November 25, 2011

The World’s Sliding Scale of Moral Values

Imagine a world where destruction of historic and archeological sites is dismissed as unimportant and irrelevant by the World Community. Imagine a world where the murder of innocents gets a moment of silence but is otherwise ignored by that same World Community. Imagine again, that this is not a make-believe world, but truly the one we live in. The World Community seems to be quite a tolerant bunch depending on what group you belong to. Perhaps they’ll even admit you into their little organizations – despite or perhaps because of past ‘activities’.

Let’s start with the UNESCO vote to allow the “Palestinians” into their agency. UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. I wonder if anyone could list what the “Palestinian” contributions have been to humanity at large up until this point? Anyone?

Aside from the fact that the “Palestinians” deny Jewish history – denying that the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem ever existed, denying that modern day Jews are the descendants of those Jews of 3000 years ago, denying 3000 years of Jewish existence in the Land of Israel, and even denying the Holocaust – is the fact that the “Palestinians” actively destroy Jewish historical artifacts and sites.

One would imagine that actively destroying anyone’s historical artifacts and sites would be frowned upon by UNESCO – but I suppose that it depends on who is doing the destruction. The “Palestinians” seem to be exempt.

Here are just a few examples of important Jewish holy sites being attacked and destroyed:
* In Septemer 1996, Palestinian rioters destroyed a synagogue at Joseph’s Tomb in Schem/Nablus.
* Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem has been repeatedly attacked since 1996.
* In October 2000, Joseph’s Tomb was torched after the Israeli garrison guarding it was temporarily withdrawn. It was subsequently rebuilt as a mosque.
* Also in October 2000, the ancient synagogue in Jericho was destroyed by arson and a second historic synagogue was damaged.
* The Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the holiest site in Judaism, home of the First and Second Temples, has also seen tremendous destruction of historical artifacts. From 1996-2001 historic parts of the Temple Mount were destroyed to make way for underground mosques.

In November 1999, the Islamic clerics opened what they called an “emergency exit” to the new mosque. Over three days and nights, the “exit” expanded into a gaping hole, 18,000 square feet in size, and up to 36 feet deep. Thousands of tons of ancient fill from the site, subsequently found by Israeli archeologists to contain artifacts dating as early as the First Temple period, were dumped into the Kidron Valley.

In February and March 2001, an ancient arched structure built against the eastern wall of the Temple Mount enclosure was razed by bulldozers in order to further enlarge the “emergency gate” of the new mosque at Solomon’s Stables.

Furthermore, without any archeological supervision, approximately 6,000 square meters of the ancient surface level of the Temple Mount were dug up by tractors, paved, and declared to be open mosques. The previous director of the Antiquities Authority has called this “an archeological crime.” No Israeli official has seen any plans or has set limits on the work being carried out.

One would imagine that the destruction of a 3000 year site would stop a world body from allowing these “people” from joining the ranks of those who care about history and the preservation of ancient artifacts. But again, I suppose it matters who is doing the destruction and whose property is being destroyed.

I also suppose that we shouldn’t be surprised by any of this. World organizations seem to like to reward egregiously destructive behavior such as those demonstrated by the “Palestinians”.

The 1996 Olympics in Atlanta saw the “Palestinians” participate in the Games for the first time. Only 24 years after the Munich Olympic Massacre of the Israeli athletes – unarmed civilians there to complete on the world stage, the “Palestinians” were welcomed to compete as well. Once again, it matters who is doing the murdering and who is being murdered. The “Palestinians”, of course, again get a pass.

So which world organization is next to admit the “Palestinians”? Would it be the World Heath Organization (WHO)? Perhaps using ambulances (Red Crescent and UNRWA) to transport bombs and terrorists would be sanctioned by WHO. Is this scenario really so far fetched?

Everything seems to be morally relative when it comes to the “Palestinians”. Destroy historic artifacts and sites, holy sites not withstanding, and get admitted to UNESCO. Murder innocent Jewish athletes at the Olympics, and be admitted to those same Games a few years later. All is forgiven. Moral relativity at it’s best – all dependent on the parties at hand. The World at large seems to have a sliding scale of standards, but then again, no surprise there.

Weiner Out: Disgraced Ex-Pol Leaves Jail For Halfway House

Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner was transferred from a federal detention facility in Devens, Massachusetts, to a residential re-entry center in Brooklyn, New York, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Weiner will register as a sex offender as a condition of his release from custody, which is currently scheduled for May 14. His sentence was lessened by several months due to good behavior.

Inmates confined to residential re-entry centers — sometimes known as halfway houses — receive employment and health care services and may only leave the facility for approved activities, the Bureau of Prisons advises.

Before now, the ex-congressman has been confined at Federal Medical Center, Devens, a facility that specializes in the rehabilitation of sex offenders.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote gave Weiner a 21-month sentence in September 2017 after he pleaded guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor. Weiner transmitted lewd messages and photos of himself to a 15-year-old girl from North Carolina who has not been publicly identified. Those revelations first appeared in the Daily Mail.

A tearful Weiner told the judge that he was “a very sick man” during sentencing.

“The crime I committed was my rock bottom,” he said. 

The ensuing investigation may well have altered the trajectory of American history: Former FBI Director James Comey reopened an investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after a cache of emails from her private, unauthorized server were discovered on a laptop Weiner used to communicate with the minor in October 2016.

Weiner was married to Huma Abedin, a senior Clinton aide. She has since filed for divorce.

Just 11 days after Comey reopened the inquiry, President Donald Trump prevailed in the 2016 election.

Weiner’s fall from grace — he was once seen as a rising figure in the Democratic Party — is chronicled in the documentary “Weiner” from directors Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg.

Crying at Work? How Emotions Are Perceived In The Workplace

  • Survey: More Than 4 in 10 Workers Have Shed Tears on the Job
  • Nearly Same Number of Executives Say It’s OK

Everyone knows keeping emotions in check isn’t always easy. But is it ever OK to express feelings of sadness or frustration on the job? According to a new survey from staffing firm Accountemps, more than four in 10 workers (45 percent) have admitted to crying at work. About the same proportion of CFOs (44 percent) said shedding tears is acceptable as long as it’s not an everyday occurrence.

Employees are harder on themselves than executives: 32 percent of workers compared to 26 percent of CFOs said crying is never acceptable at the office.

Workers and CFOs were asked, “How does crying at work impact your reputation?” Their responses:

Workers

CFOs

Crying is OK from time to time, but doing it too often can undermine career prospects

38%

44%

Crying has no negative effect — it shows you’re human

31%

30%

Crying is never OK at work — people will perceive you as weak or immature

32%

26%

101%*

100%

*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.

Workers were also asked, “Have you ever cried at work?” Their responses:

Yes

45%

No

55%

100%

Additional findings:

  • Workers age 55 and older are more likely to think crying doesn’t affect one’s reputation (43 percent) than those ages 35 to 54 (31 percent) and 18 to 34 (25 percent).
  • More than half of employees (52 percent) have lost their temper on the job.
  • Of those who admitted showing anger, 65 percent said their emotional outburst was directed toward a colleague; another 37 percent said it was aimed at their manager.

View an infographic on how emotions are perceived at work.

“We’re all human, and sometimes emotions can get the best of us,” said Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps. “Workplace challenges are inevitable, but how you respond and move forward can demonstrate your professionalism, resilience and emotional intelligence.”

Steinitz added, “Thinking before reacting will not only help your professional reputation, but also show that you are considerate of your colleagues. Frequent emotional displays can be disruptive to coworkers and ultimately damage your work relationships.”

Here are five scenarios that can test even the coolest head and advice for handling each with professionalism and emotional intelligence:

  1. The overbearing boss — Your manager keeps a close eye on you and gives you little control over projects. This can cause more stress and decreased morale and productivity. Instead of becoming frustrated, set up a private meeting with your boss to discuss ways you can build trust and gain more independence.
  2. The combative coworker — You and your colleague keep butting heads on a business problem. Try to consider your coworker’s perspective. Hearing another point of view may help you both resolve the dispute more quickly.
  3. The innocent error — As soon as you hit “send” on an email to your boss, you realize you’ve made a mistake. Instead of yelling out in frustration and distracting others, keep a level head as you address the situation. Send a follow-up note or speak with your manager to apologize and correct the issue.
  4. The personal emergency — Private struggles, such as a family crisis or health concerns, are bound to affect your work life at some point in your career. Consider talking to your boss — without oversharing — and request scheduling flexibility or a personal leave. Being transparent can ultimately benefit you and your employer.
  5. The unbearable workload — Juggling too many tasks can lead to burnout. Instead of lashing out when your manager assigns you more work, meet to prioritize and possibly delegate projects to your teammates or temporary hires.

The Ups and Downs of Emotions at Work (PRNewsfoto/Accountemps)

Used Vehicle Price Index Slows for Second Consecutive Month

In the November 2018 Used Car and Light Truck Guidelines Industry Update, analysts at J.D. Power Valuation Services note that after decelerating in September, the used vehicle market slowed for the second consecutive month in October. As a result, the Seasonally Adjusted Used Vehicle Price Index decreased by 1 point, relative to September, to 120.6.

Highlights from the free monthly report point out:

  • Wholesale Prices Decline in October
    • Prices down by an average of 3.1%
  • Used Vehicle Price Index Slips
    • Index declines 1 point to 120.6
  • New Vehicle Sales Inch Up
    • Sales remain relatively flat, new vehicle SAAR reaches 17.46 million
  • Incentive Spending Decline
    • Incentives decline for the second time since April 2015

“Wholesale prices of used vehicles up to 8 years in age declined by an average of 3.1% in October, which was right in line with the period’s previous five-year average decline of 3%,” said David Paris, Executive Analyst at J.D. Power Valuation Services. “As expected, there wasn’t any noticeable strengthening in wholesale prices for the October period due to hurricane replacement demand.”

Dark Money Org Gave $2 Million to Group Funding Fusion GPS, Steele

  • A dark money group based in California contributed $2 million to The Democracy Integrity Project, the organization that has contracted with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to investigate President Donald Trump.
  • The Democracy Integrity Project’s founder, a former staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, has acknowledged to the FBI that the group provides information to the press, lawmakers and investigators.
  • Fund for a Better Future is the second Democracy Integrity Project donor to have been identified. George Soros gave $1 million to the group.

A dark money group with links to several high-profile liberal activists contributed $2 million to The Democracy Integrity Project, an organization founded by a former Dianne Feinstein staffer that has contracted with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to investigate President Donald Trump.

Fund for a Better Future (FBF) donated $2,065,000 to The Democracy Integrity Project (TDIP) in 2017, according to IRS filings reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

TDIP was founded on Jan. 31, 2017, by Daniel Jones, a consultant who worked for Feinstein, a California Democrat, when she controlled the Senate Intelligence Committee. Jones has disclosed to the FBI that he hired Fusion GPS and Steele, the author of the anti-Trump dossier, to continue an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

He also told an associate that TDIP operated as a “shadow media organization helping the government.” Jones suggested to the associate, Adam Waldman, that his TDIP team planted several anti-Trump articles.

Little is known about the donors behind both TDIP and FBF. Both of the organizations are 501(c)(4)s, the type of public advocacy group most closely associated with “dark money” contributions. FBF has contributed to a mix of environmental organizations and politically active groups, including Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Priorities USA — the political group that backs Democrats — and the League of Conservation Voters, a progressive dark money group.

Scott Walter, the president of Capital Research Center, a conservative watchdog that tracks liberal groups’ funding, said the arrangement is a prime example of “dark money.”

“You’ve found one ‘dark money’ outfit providing dark millions to another ‘dark money’ outfit and refusing to reveal anything to you. That’s ‘dark’ two or three times over,” Walter told TheDCNF.

“Ironically, ‘dark money’ is most often applied only to conservative funding,” said Walter, who noted that “the Left has a vast empire of ‘dark money’ groups, including the Fund for a Better Future and The Democracy Integrity Project.”

An environmentalist who served as California’s undersecretary for resources, Michael Mantell, runs FBF. Board members in 2017 included David and Lucille Packard Foundation trustee Jason Burnett and Molly McUsic, the president of the Wyss Foundation, a charity founded by Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, who funds numerous environmental causes.

Another FBF board member is Open Space Institute President Christopher Elliman. A trustee of that New York-based nonprofit is Hume Steyer, the older brother of Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist financing a campaign to impeach Trump. Tom Steyer hired Fusion GPS in 2012 to work on a California ballot initiative.

There is no indication from FBF’s filings that Tom Steyer has contributed to the group, but a current FBF board member has also worked closely with the California billionaire.

Kathleen Welch, of the election strategy firm Corridor Partners, was listed by Politico along with Tom Steyer as two of Hillary Clinton’s top green energy donors during the 2016 presidential campaign. Clinton campaign emails published by WikiLeaks showed that Welch and Tom Steyer took part in conference calls with the Clinton campaign to discuss environmental issues.

According to FBF’s most recent audit, the organization has four main donors, none of whom are identified.

One other prominent TDIP donor has been publicly identified.

George Soros contributed $1 million to TDIP, a spokesman for the billionaire financier told The New York Times in October. That disclosure came only after TheDCNF reported that Jones told his associate, Waldman, that Soros was one of TDIP’s funders.

According to a report released by the House Intelligence Committee in April 2018, Jones told the FBI in March 2017 that his group would receive $50 million in funding from seven to 10 wealthy donors from New York and California. TDIP’s tax filings in 2017 show that the group received far less: $9,036,836.

Jones also said that TDIP “planned to share the information he obtained with policymakers … and with the press” and that his group “had secured the services of Steele, his associate [redacted], and Fusion GPS to continue exposing Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.”

Fusion GPS, which was founded by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson, hired Steele in June 2016. Fusion was working at the time for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee to investigate Trump’s links to Russia.

Few details are known about the work Fusion and Steele, a former MI6 officer, have done since the 2016 election. Both have been ensnared in legal fights over publication of the dossier, which remains unverified and has been heavily disputed. But there is some evidence they have continued their efforts to bolster the dossier and to plant negative stories in the press about Trump.

In a March 17, 2017, exchange obtained by TheDCNF, Jones sent Waldman, a lawyer with ties to Steele, a text message with a link to a Reuters article about Russian investments in Trump Organization properties in Florida.

“Our team helped with this,” Jones wrote Waldman.

TDIP has also worked closely with New Knowledge, a cybersecurity firm that has been accused of orchestrating a self-described “false flag” operating in the special election for an Alabama Senate seat in 2017. TDIP and New Knowledge partnered to work on a website called Disinfo2018, which tracked the stories Russian bots promoted during the 2018 midterm elections.

New Knowledge collaborated with the Senate Intelligence Committee on a report about Russian disinformation that was released in December.

A spokeswoman for Mantell declined to comment on specifics about the FBF’s donors or its relationship with TDIP. McUsic, the Wyss Foundation executive, did not respond to a request for comment.

Jones has also not responded to numerous requests for comment.

Hey Pelosi, Here's Your Astroturf!

Occupy Wall Street is Van Jones’ bottom up, top down, inside out strategy at work. The fringe leftist radicals were hoping the Tea Party would go violent so they could be blamed, but since the Tea Party didn’t oblige, the fringe leftist radicals are calling their own out on to the streets. Of course, in complete contradiction with reality, the fringe leftist radicals will conjer up a way to blame their actions on the Tea Party.

This 100% astroturf “movement”, completely manufactured by “progressives” who seek to destroy the American way of life, are “progressive” Tea Party copycat wannabees. Is it any surprise that this action was initiated by Van Jones, a self avowed Communist? That reality is certainly no accident. Now, the protestors are joined by “progressive” propoganda minions MoveOn.org (funded by anti-American “open borders” champion George Soros) and multiple unions like the Chinatown Tenants Union, the Transit Workers Union, community organizations such as the Working Families Party and United NY. Their demand are simple. What do they want? FREE STUFF!! When do they want it? ALL THE TIME!! Their “message”? Capitalism, mortgage bankers, commodity traders and corporations are all evil. In short, they’re a bunch of tax the rich Communist nitwits who’re in dire need of a bath.

Americans should laugh at and ignore these “progressive” useful idiots who’re clogging the streets and being arrested by the hundreds. Let the current White House occupant and his “progressive” political allies call out the muscle against their own followers, upon whom their re-election chances rely.

Hey Pelosi, Here’s Your Astroturf!

100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers in America

Harvest season is here! In celebration of crush season, a magical and exhilarating time for winemakers, as ripened grapes journey from vine to barrel, OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of Booking Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), today released its 100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers in America. Featuring restaurants across 26 states, from sizzling steakhouses to Italian cucinas, French brasseries to seafood eateries, the list offers wine lovers everywhere the opportunity to pair an upcoming dining experience with the perfect vintage.

Featuring exquisite vintage wines from renowned wineries as well as those harvested from local vineyards, the list highlights some of the country’s best, including Bottega Napa Valley in California, Balthazar in New York and Sixty Vines in TexasNew York is the most recognized state, with 12 restaurants on the list, followed by California with ten and Nevada and Texas with eight apiece. Additional states represented include AlabamaArizonaColoradoConnecticutFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIllinoisIndianaLouisianaMarylandMassachusettsMinnesotaMissouriNew MexicoOhioOregonPennsylvaniaSouth CarolinaTennesseeVirginiaWashington and the district of Washington, D.C.

“Whether you’re a wine aficionado or a novice looking to expand your palate, this year’s list showcases a variety of restaurants that carefully curate the finest wine selections to complement their menus,” said Caroline Potter, Chief Dining Officer at OpenTable. “From deep dives with sommeliers to approachable tastings to find the perfect pairing for any meal, these winning restaurants have earned rave reviews for their stellar dining experiences and impressive wine offerings.

The 100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers list is generated solely from more than 12 million verified OpenTable diner reviews for more than 28,000 restaurants in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. collected between August 1, 2017, and July 31, 2018. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of reviews for which “notable wine list” was selected as a special feature.

Based on this methodology, the 100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers in America according to OpenTable diners, are as follows (in alphabetical order):

100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers in America
Abe and Louie’s Boston – Boston, Massachusetts
Al Biernat’s – Oak Lawn – Dallas, Texas
Altius – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Angelina’s Ristorante – Bonita Springs, Florida
Annie Gunn’s – Chesterfield, Missouri
Balthazar – New York, New York
Barolo Grill – Denver, Colorado
The Bistro at Gervasi Vineyard – Canton, Ohio
Bistro Jeanty – Yountville, California
Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood – San Antonio, Texas
Bones – Atlanta, Georgia
Bottega Napa Valley – Yountville, California
Bouchon – Yountville, California
Boulevard – San Francisco, California
Boulud Sud – New York, New York
Brennan’s – New Orleans, Louisiana
Butcher & Singer – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Café Monarch – Scottsdale, Arizona
Campiello – Naples – Naples, Florida
Carlo & Johnny – Cincinnati, Ohio
Charleston – Baltimore, Maryland
Charleston Grill – Charleston, South Carolina
Charley’s Steak House – Tampa – Tampa, Florida
Chicago Cut Steakhouse – Chicago, Illinois
Collage Restaurant – St. Augustine, Florida
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant – Multiple Locations
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House – Multiple Locations
Del Posto – New York, New York
Delmonico Steakhouse – Las Vegas, Nevada
Devon Seafood + Steak – Hershey – Hershey, Pennsylvania
Eiffel Tower – Las Vegas, Nevada
Emeril’s Restaurant – New Orleans, Louisiana
Filomena Ristorante – Washington, D.C.
Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck – Dallas, Texas
Flight Restaurant & Wine Bar – Memphis – Memphis, Tennessee
Gallaghers Steakhouse – Manhattan – New York, New York
Geronimo – Santa Fe, New Mexico
Giada – The Cromwell – Las Vegas, Nevada
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse – Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
Gordon Ramsay Steak – Paris Las Vegas – Las Vegas, Nevada
Gotham Bar and Grill – New York, New York
Gramercy Tavern – New York, New York
Grill 23 & Bar – Boston, Massachusetts
GW Fins – New Orleans, Louisiana
House of Prime Rib – San Francisco, California
Hugo’s Cellar – Four Queens – Las Vegas, Nevada
Iron Bridge Wine Company – Columbia – Columbia, Maryland
J. Gilbert’s – Wood Fired Steaks & Seafood – Glastonbury – Glastonbury, Connecticut
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse – Nashville – Nashville, Tennessee
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab – Multiple Locations
Killen’s Steakhouse – Pearland, Texas
L’Auberge Chez Francois – Great Falls, Virginia
Le Coucou – New York, New York
Le Diplomate – Washington, D.C.
Mama’s Fish House – Paia, Hawaii
Manny’s Steakhouse – Minneapolis. Minnesota
Maple & Ash – Chicago, Illinois
Marea – New York, New York
Mariposa – Sedona, Arizona
Mastro’s Ocean Club – Newport Beach – Newport Beach, California
The Metropolitan Grill – Seattle, Washington
Mitchell’s Ocean Club – Easton Town Center – Columbus, Ohio
The Modern – New York, New York
Mon Ami Gabi – Las Vegas – Main Dining Room – Las Vegas, Nevada
Mustards Grill – Yountville, California
Nostrana – Portland, Oregon
Old Ebbitt Grill – Washington, D.C.
OMBRA Cucina Italiana – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
The Olde Pink House Restaurant – Savannah, Georgia
Osteria Mozza – Los Angeles, California
Panorama – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse – Multiple Locations
Parc – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Passionfish – Pacific Grove, California
Peninsula Grill – Charleston, South Carolina
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille – Birmingham – Birmingham, Alabama
Petit Louis Bistro – Roland Park – Baltimore, Maryland
Pier W – Cleveland, Ohio
Portland City Grill – Portland, Oregon
Quartino – Chicago, Illinois
The Refectory Restaurant & Bistro – Columbus, Ohio
Restaurant August – New Orleans, Louisiana
Restaurant R’evolution – New Orleans, Louisiana
RingSide Steakhouse – Uptown – Portland, Oregon
River Cafe – Brooklyn, New York
RPM Italian – Chicago, Illinois
RPM Steak – Chicago, Illinois
Shanahan’s Steakhouse – Denver, Colorado
SINATRA – Encore at Wynn Las Vegas – Las Vegas, Nevada
Sixty Vines – Plano – Plano, Texas
Sparks Steak House – New York, New York
St. Elmo Steak House – Indianapolis, Indiana
Steak 44  – Phoenix, Arizona
Steak 48 – Houston – Houston, Texas
Top of the Hub – Boston, Massachusetts
Top of the World Restaurant – Stratosphere Hotel – Las Vegas, Nevada
Trattoria Lisina – Driftwood, Texas
Ulele – Tampa, Florida
Vintana Wine & Dine – Escondido, California
Vivace Restaurant – Tucson, Arizona