Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Vox Popoli: The recounts are irrelevant

  Another case of “follow the money”? Now the Green Party has a list of all the gullible Leftists who might be willing to donate money to them in the future. The longer they can drag this out presumably the more money they will be able to raise. Absent election campaigns the Greens always need money to fund their day to day operating costs and lobbying efforts. Of course Stein is no doubt also in sympathy  with fellow Lefties Hillary, Soros and the DNC on many issues, and, as such, believes that de-legitimizing and casting doubt on the Trump Presidency will be a good thing overall in support of the various Leftist transformational agendas.
There is nothing in it. There never was.
Jill Stein has everything she needs to launch a presidential recount. She's got the cash, the grassroots fervor and the spotlight of an adoring media. But there's one thing she needs to overturn Trump's victory: a calendar.

Stein missed Pennsylvania's deadline to file for a voter-initiated recount. That blown deadline is a huge blow for Democrats who have pinned their hopes on recounts in the Keystone State, Michigan and Wisconsin.

"According to Wanda Murren, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of State," the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday, "the deadline for a voter-initiated recount was Monday, Nov. 21."
All of the dark conspiracy theories about overturning the election were nonsensical. Jill Stein's call for a recount was driven by one thing: money. She raised far more money than was required for the Wisconsin recount, publicly stated that all the money raised would not be used for the recount, and publicly posted an incorrect date on the Pennsylvania deadline.

Cobb said they only factored in Wisconsin when they first publicized their $2.5 million goal on their website. Once the campaign realized the cost of a recount for other states, they upped the goal, he said.

The money will be used to pay off the Green Party's campaign debt, which is to say, into the bank accounts of the staffers. It would be informative to know if they knew the November 28th filing date was inaccurate when they posted it.

And then, there is this:
Just two days after confirming that he would participate in Jill Stein's recounts in WI, MI and PA, Hillary campaign attorney, Marc Elias, is now publicly calling on North Carolina Republican Gubernatorial candidate, Pat McCrory, to halt his recount efforts and concede his race.
Once you open Pandora's Box, don't think you can control the demons that are released.

Vox Popoli: An endorsement of General Mattis

General “Mad Dog” Mattis is a colorful character for certain. He could really shake up the DOD and it really needs to have the PC kicked out of it. If Mattis wants to reform the Procurement system he might run into serious opposition in two areas . 1.the DOD career bureaucracy is entrenched is used to getting it’s way over the “temp help” politically appointed leadership. 2. Much of the DOD procurement system is mandated by Federal law so only Congress can change that law. For example Army Chief of Staff GEN Milley recently expressed frustration with the glacial pace the system is moving at to procure a new “joint” handgun for all the Armed Forces. He said that the Army ought to just adopt the Glock 19, as the Army Special Operations Forces is doing for many of it’s units (SOF gets to buy what ever they think they need under law). Then he  had to back off and say that he supported acting within the law. The members of Congress often benefit politically from the way the procurement system is set  up, so they may not be amenable to change. On top of that,  it once made sense to do it that way, only now it’s not working out to everyone’s satisfaction. So regardless of the generally dissatisfaction with the way its going now, you may have a tough sell if you wish to reform many of the particulars of the system. But who knows maybe people with the energy and drive of GEN Mattis and President Trump could make serious defense procurement reform happen.
General Krulak thinks very highly of him. That's a good sign. He'd be a great choice for Secretary of Defense.
A couple of months ago, when I told General Krulak, the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, now the chair of the Naval Academy Board of Visitors, that we were having General Mattis speak this evening, he said, “Let me tell you a Jim Mattis story.” General Krulak said, when he was Commandant of the Marine Corps, every year, starting about a week before Christmas, he and his wife would bake hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Christmas cookies. They would package them in small bundles.

 Then on Christmas day, he would load his vehicle. At about 4 a.m., General Krulak would drive himself to every Marine guard post in the Washington-Annapolis-Baltimore area and deliver a small package of Christmas cookies to whatever Marines were pulling guard duty that day. He said that one year, he had gone down to Quantico as one of his stops to deliver Christmas cookies to the Marines on guard duty. He went to the command center and gave a package to the lance corporal who was on duty.

 He asked, “Who’s the officer of the day?” The lance corporal said, “Sir, it’s Brigadier General Mattis.” And General Krulak said, “No, no, no. I know who General Mattis is. I mean, who’s the officer of the day today, Christmas day?” The lance corporal, feeling a little anxious, said, “Sir, it is Brigadier General Mattis.”

 General Krulak said that, about that time, he spotted in the back room a cot, or a daybed. He said, “No, Lance Corporal. Who slept in that bed last night?” The lance corporal said, “Sir, it was Brigadier General Mattis.”

About that time, General Krulak said that General Mattis came in, in a duty uniform with a sword, and General Krulak said, “Jim, what are you doing here on Christmas day? Why do you have duty?” General Mattis told him that the young officer who was scheduled to have duty on Christmas day had a family, and General Mattis decided it was better for the young officer to spend Christmas Day with his family, and so he chose to have duty on Christmas Day.

General Krulak said, “That’s the kind of officer that Jim Mattis is.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Why Reshore Manufacturing? It's The Only Way To Avoid Defective Pirated Parts | Zero Hedge


Reshoring the entire supply chain so it can be trusted is the low-cost solution once you add up the total lifecycle cost of a hopelessly counterfeit global supply chain.
There are two basic arguments against bringing manufacturing that was transferred overseas (offshored) back to America (reshoring):
1. It's too costly
2. The supply chain is now in China/Asia and it's not possible to source the parts needed to bring manufacturing back to America.
I beg to differ on both counts: nothing is more costly and destructive to profits than defective, pirated parts made overseas. Counterfeits made to look like legitimate parts are highly profitable to the counterfeiter and immensely damaging and dangerous to the manufacturer and end-user.
In a global economy burdened with massive overcapacity, the only way to maintain profit margins is to lower costs by cutting corners: in effect, defrauding customers by delivering deceptively reduced quantity and quality, and/or defrauding the end-producer by shipping low-cost counterfeit parts that mimic legitimate products.
Gordon Long and I discussed this systemic reality in Bankers Crippling the Global Supply Chain (34:50).
Bloomberg/Businessweek recently outlined the scope of fake parts and the impossibility of rooting them out of global supply chains: The Dangerous Game Behind Fake Ball Bearings:
Everything from shoe polish to medication to car parts is pirated. Estimates of the scale of the problem range from $461 billion -- 2.5 percent of global trade -- the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development says, to some $1.8 trillion, according to calculations last year by the International Chamber of Commerce. And while makers of luxury goods -- among the most prominent counterfeited products -- lose profit from the trade, there's little risk to consumers. In the case of more mundane stuff like bearings, forgeries can be dangerous as well as costly.
"Many people believe piracy is limited to handbags and other similar products, but the more serious issue is industrial companies," said Ann-Charlotte Soederlund, co-founder of the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Network, an umbrella organization of fake-fighters around the world. "The effects can be immensely larger than the consequence of a fake handbag."
Knock-off building materials have been shown to catch fire. Counterfeit electronics have caused military equipment to fail. And SKF says a sham bearing in a swimming pool pump sparked a fire that burnt a house to the ground.
Forgeries of its products typically originate in China, often from factories where legitimate competitors make their products, Aastroem said. Workshops there buy unmarked bearings, stamp them with the SKF brand and put them in packaging designed to look genuine, the company says. From China, the bearings are shipped worldwide to customers who often believe they are buying legitimate parts.
How expensive are defective products returned as a result of counterfeit parts failing? How costly is the damage done to brands that depend on quality for their pricing power? How expensive is it to field hundreds of quality-control personnel and investigators, all of whose efforts are the equivalent of shoveling sand against the tide?
Gordon and I discussed the practically endless list of costly products that have to be replaced or repaired (often more than once) due to defective/ failed parts.
What has been commoditified in the global supply chain is not quality or reliability-- what's been commoditified is pirated, defective parts that look exactly like legitimate parts.
There is a solution that's a lot cheaper than shoveling sand against the counterfeit tide: bring the entire supply chain back to America where production can be verified and the parts tested and ID'd/ labeled with technologies that cannot be counterfeited as easily as the parts.
Come home, America, is not just a political slogan: it's simply good business.
If you want to lose your brand, your pricing power and your customers, by all means, rely on a global supply chain filled with defective parts that cannot possibly be detected. Reshoring the entire supply chain so it can be trusted is the low-cost solution once you add up the total lifecycle costs of a hopelessly counterfeit global supply chain.

Retailers Panic: 63% Of Americans Plan Not To Shop On Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, is when the holiday shopping season in the United States traditionally begins and is the day when retailers (at least in the past) finally turned a profit, going from “being in the red” to “in the black.” However, in recent years, this trend has seen turned upside down, with sales on Black Friday slipping, as retailers offer pre-Thanksgiving deals ever earlier than in recent years to capture heavily discounted market share (think OPEC) and draw shoppers as "Black Friday" no longer marks the spending peak at brick-and-mortar chains.
According to National Retail Federation data, the number of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers has fallen by nearly a third in just the past three years to 102 million in 2015, from 147 million in 2012, not only as a result of bricks and mortar stores starting the selling season earlier but due to stiff competition form online vendors, most notably Amazon. Moreover, early holiday promotions and online shopping hurt in-store spending by more than 6 percent last year.
As a result, participation in this year's Black Friday looks like it may be the worst in history: according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll of 1,639 adults showed 63%, or nearly two-thirds, did not plan to shop on Black Friday this year. Some 32% said they plan to finish about half of their holiday shopping on that day. While selling tactics are certainly a factor, one wonders how much of decline in spending is due to lack of disposable income for the tapped out US consumer?
"The holiday season is expanding, and Black Friday is no longer the kickoff for the season," said Natalie Kotlyar, who heads retail and consumer products at business advisory firm BDO Consumer, adding many start holiday shopping at Halloween, Labor Day or even Amazon's Prime Day on July 12.
Still, retailers are not only not giving up but, as Reuters reports, are on the verge of panic, and have not only redoubled efforts this year to boost sales with familiar tactics but greater intensity, all of which assure even lower margins, but are rolling out the heavy artillery to draw in those consumers who will go out on Friday.
Wal-Mart has already said it will increase inventory by more than half this year and make deals typically reserved for Black Friday available online early Thanksgiving morning. Retail pricing and data analytics firm Market Track said an analysis of 15 top U.S. brick-and-mortar retailers and their Black Friday circular announcements online showed they were about three days earlier than last year.
In what is shaping up to be a giant race to the bottom which may result in an unprecedented, below cost inventory liquidation, retailers have just one response: "they are all trying to beat each other to the punch and starting their promotions earlier and earlier every year," said Traci Gregorski, senior vice president, marketing at Market Track.
Ironically, the reason why so few Americans will shop this year is because last year, discounts on popular products deepened by 30 to 40% from Black Friday prices as Christmas got closer, according to Market Track data.
So why rush when consumers now know that "must have" holiday item will only get cheaper?
Mark Cohen, a professor at Columbia Business School and the former chief executive of Sears Canada said the urgency related to Black Friday has greatly diminished. "Consumers know great deals and discounts are available throughout the year, and prices during the holiday season will only get better if they wait," he said.
Sure enough, deals have been available for several days already on websites of retailers like Target, Macy's, Kohl's, Home Depot and Lowe's Cos. Amazon.com joined with a first of its kind month-long Black Friday promotion.
Some brands are getting in on the action by offering steep discounts that reduce the appeal of waiting for Black Friday. Handbag maker Kate Spade is already offering 75 percent off some items, and off-price chain Saks Off Fifth has similar discounts on some clothing and shoes
* * *
With shopping dynamics changing by the year, and escalating discounting prevalent, retailers are in a state of chaotic flux: the year-end shopping season spanning November and December is crucial for retailers because it can account for up to 40 percent of their annual sales. The NRF, which has been overly optimistic at times in the past with its sales projections, expects holiday sales to grow 3.6 percent this year to $655.8 billion. The NRF will be disappointed yet again - about 70% of retailers expect sales to remain flat this year, according to telephone interviews with chief marketing officers at 100 U.S. retail firms, BDO Consumer said.
Still, despite the changing attitudes toward Black Fruday, there will be few strategic changes from recent years: big bricks-and-mortar players like Target and Wal-Mart will still open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

December may kick off with snow, severe weather as storms ramp up across US


While the storm intensity has diminished a bit across the United States during Thanksgiving week, several potent storm systems are forecast during the end of November and into the first part of December.
"Five or six major storms will affect the nation into the second week of December," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.
The jet stream, which is a high-speed river of air that occurs around the altitudes that planes fly, will amplify. The jet stream will transform from its west-to-east setup this week to a very convoluted setup next week.
As this happens, storms will increase in intensity after moving inland from the Pacific Ocean, much like that which occurred for a brief time in mid-November. However, this time more than one potent storm will evolve.
On average, the area from the coastal Northwest to the northern and central Rockies can expect a storm with rain and mountain snow of varying intensity every other day.
"Of these half-dozen or so storms, two or three will bring drenching rain to the Southeastern and Northeastern states," Pastelok said.
© Provided by AccuWeather

The storms will gradually ease the threat of new wildfires igniting and may help to extinguish existing wildfires in the Southeast.
Most of these storms will bring the potential for an inch of rain at the local level, not only in the South, but also in the Northeast. Both areas are experiencing abnormally dry to exceptional drought conditions.
"One or two of the storms could strengthen quickly enough and grab enough moisture to bring some rainfall to parts of the central and southern Plains," Pastelok said.
This portion of the Plains was sliding into abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions in recent weeks.
The storm systems will pose hazards ranging from wintry weather to severe thunderstorms.
"We expect most of the storms to track roughly from the South Central states and toward the Great Lakes and interior Northeast over the next two to three weeks," Pastelok said.
A storm or two can also dip far enough to the south along the Pacific coast to bring rain and mountain snow to the Southwest, including parts of Southern California.
While this track favors rain over snow in much of the Northeast, it can produce rounds of heavy snow or a wintry mix from parts of the northern Plains to the Upper Midwest.
Should one of the storms track farther east, snow could be pulled closer to the coast in the Northeast.
The extreme nature of the pattern could also pump enough warm and humid air up from the south to increase the chance of thunderstorms and perhaps severe weather.
The severity of the thunderstorms in the late fall and winter months is less dependent on daytime heating and more dependent on the strength of the storm system, when compared to the spring, summer and early autumn.

Corps Wants to Put Silencers on a Whole Infantry Battalion

In a series of experiments this year, units from 2nd Marine Division will be silencing every element of an infantry battalion.

In a series of experiments this year, units from 2nd Marine Division will be silencing every element of an infantry battalion -- from M4 rifles to .50 caliber machine guns.
The commanding general of 2nd Marine Division, Maj. Gen. John Love, described these plans during a speech to Marines at the Marine Corps Association Ground Dinner this month near Washington, D.C.
The proof-of-concept tests, he said, included Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, which began an Integrated Training Exercise pre-deployment last month at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.
"What we've found so far is it revolutionizes the way we fight," Love told Military.com. "It used to be a squad would be dispersed out over maybe 100 yards, so the squad leader couldn't really communicate with the members at the far end because of all the noise of the weapons. Now they can actually just communicate, and be able to command and control and effectively direct those fires."
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Christian Wade, the division's gunner, or infantry weapons officer, said the Lima companies in two other battalions -- 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, and 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines -- now had silencers, or suppressors, on all their rifles, including the M27 infantry automatic rifles. All units are set to deploy in coming months. The combat engineer platoons that are attached to these units and will deploy with them will also carry suppressed weapons, he said.
Suppressors work by slowing the escape of propellant gases when a gun is fired, which drastically reduces the sound signature. Used by scout snipers and special operations troops to preserve their stealth, the devices are also valuable for their ability to minimize the chaos of battle, enabling not only better communication but also improved situational awareness and accuracy.
"It increases their ability to command and control, to coordinate with each other," Wade told Military.com. "They shoot better, because they can focus more, and they get more discipline with their fire."
The noise of gunfire can create an artificial stimulus that gives the illusion of effectiveness, he said. When it's taken away, he explained, Marines pay more attention to their shooting and its effect on target.
"They've got to get up and look, see what effect they're having on the enemy because you can't hear it," he said.
He added that suppressors were already in common use by near-peer militaries, including those of Russia and China.
Wade said he is working on putting suppressors on the Marines' M249 light machine gun and M240G medium machine gun, using equipment from Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. The third and final objective will be the suppression of the .50 caliber heavy machine gun, he said.
As the units conduct training and exercises with suppressors, 2nd Marine Division is collaborating with the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab to collect and aggregate data. Weapons with suppressors require additional maintenance and cleaning to prevent fouling, and the cost, nearly $700,000 to outfit an infantry battalion, might give planners pause.
But Wade said he will continue to gather data for the next year-and-a-half, following the units as they deploy. And he expects the idea to have gained significant traction among Marine Corps leadership by then, he said.
"When I show how much overmatch we gain … it will have sold itself," he said.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Shocker: In Wake of Hillary's Defeat, Donations to Clinton Foundation Dry Up


Gee, that's too damn bad.
Who could have seen this coming?
Donations to the Clinton Foundation plummeted amid Hillary Clinton's failed presidential run, it has been revealed. The non-profit organization's latest tax filings show contributions fell 37 per cent to $108million - down from $172million in 2014, according to the New York Post.
Donations fell as the former Secretary of State left the group in April last year shortly after announcing her run for the White House. Her departure also meant that revenue brought in from paid speeches plunged from $3.6 million in 2014 to just $357,500.
The foundation became an issue during the presidential campaign when Donald Trump pledged to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate it amid pay-to-play allegations. Trump called the foundation 'the most corrupt enterprise in political history' adding, 'It must be shut down immediately.'
The Clintons really did gamble everything on hoisting the Dowager Empress of Chappaqua into the White House, because the only alternative was the Big House.
It's not known whether Trump will keep his promise as he has since backed down in a recent interview on his vow to investigate Clinton again for her use of a private email server, calling the Clintons 'good people.' But Rep. Jason Chaffetz, head of the House Oversight Committee, has suggested that the investigation into the foundation will continue.

Polish priest opens spiritual emergency service


A Catholic priest tends to religious emergencies in a small mountain community 24/7, driving a customised Fiat 126. Edward Baran reports.

Warren Buffett's latest $7 billion investment win

Before the election investors were betting on a depressed “bust” economy if Hillary won. Now that Trump won they are betting on a “boom” economy.
Berkshire Hathaway's bank stocks have soared lately. Could there be more upside ahead?

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett was an outspoken Hillary Clinton supporter, but the stock portfolio of his company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A)(BRK-B), has been a major beneficiary of Donald Trump's election.
The market as a whole is at record highs, but bank stocks have been some of the best performers, and Berkshire owns plenty. Here's a look at how Buffett's bank stocks have done since the election, why they've done so well, and whether they're still good buys today.
Buffett's bank stocks
Berkshire Hathaway's stock portfolio contains several bank stocks, including large stakes in American Express (AXP) and Wells Fargo (WFC).
All of Berkshire's bank stocks have performed quite well since the election, as you can see here:
Bank Stock
Number of Shares
Price on 11/7/2016
Price on 11/18/2016
American Express151,610,700$67.00$71.00
Bank of New York Mellon21,136,712$44.03$47.44
Goldman Sachs10,959,519$181.48$210.35
M&T Bank Corp5,382,040$124.88$141.26
U.S. Bancorp85,063,167$44.92$49.23
Wells Fargo479,704,270$45.40$52.82
Holdings as of Sept. 30, 2016. Data sources: Company SEC filings.
In addition, Berkshire holds warrants to buy 700 million shares of Bank of America (BAC) stock, which has climbed from $17.01 to $20.00 in the post-election rally and has been one of the top performers in the financial sector. Buffett has said that Berkshire is likely to purchase the shares just before the warrants expire, and that the investment is one that Berkshire "values highly."
Including the Bank of America investment, the price gains in the chart show that Berkshire has gained a total of $7.1 billion since the election from its bank stocks alone. This is a big contributing factor to the 7.4% post-election gain in Berkshire Hathaway's stock price.
Why have banks done so well lately?
There are a couple of election-related reasons that banks have rallied. And to be thorough, it's not just the election of Donald Trump. It's the combination of a Republican president and Republican control of both houses of Congress that is viewed as a positive catalyst for the industry.
First, Trump has pledged to eliminate regulations, and few industries are as burdened with regulation as the banking industry. Trump has pledged to either ease or repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis with the intention of preventing any more major financial institutions from collapsing, as well as protecting consumers. The regulations imposed by the act are costly to banks, and are seen by many as an overreaction to the crisis.
Additionally, Trump's planned tax cuts and increased spending could be good for banks in several ways. One is the expectation that lower taxes will translate into more money in consumers' paychecks and bank accounts. Another is the fact that Trump's policies are pro-growth, which could lead to higher interest rates, which in turn would translate into better profit margins for banks.
As banking analyst Mike Mayo said in a recent CNBC interview, "Now the industry is transitioning from defense to offense." Separately, analysts at FBR Capital Markets have said that Trump's agenda could result in the most favorable macroeconomic environment for financials since before the crisis.
Too late to get in?
The bank stocks represented in Berkshire's portfolio are certainly not as attractive as they were a few weeks ago but could still be good buys from a long-term perspective. I doubt that Buffett will sell any of these stocks in the wake of the recent rally, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Berkshire add to some of these positions.
In a nutshell, if you have a reasonably long investment time frame (say, five years or more), the effects of a Trump presidency could be many times that of this recent rally, especially if his economic growth plans have their desired effect.
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Matthew Frankel owns shares of American Express, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and Goldman Sachs. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool recommends American Express. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Trump Summons TV Figures for Private Meeting, and Lets Them Have It

About time someone told these Leftie talking heads off. Way to go Mr. President elect!
The defiant president-elect tells on-air stars like Lester Holt, Charlie Rose, George Stephanopoulos and Wolf Blitzer they got it all wrong.

It had all the trappings of a high-level rapprochement: President-elect Donald J. Trump, now the nation’s press critic in chief, inviting the leading anchors and executives of television news to join him on Monday for a private meeting of minds.
On-air stars like Lester Holt, Charlie Rose, George Stephanopoulos and Wolf Blitzer headed to Trump Tower for the off-the-record gathering, typically the kind of event where journalists and politicians clear the air after a hard-fought campaign.
Instead, the president-elect delivered a defiant message: You got it all wrong.
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Mr. Trump, whose antagonism toward the news media was unusual even for a modern presidential candidate, described the television networks as dishonest in their reporting and shortsighted in missing the signs of his upset victory. He criticized some in the room by name, including CNN’s president, Jeffrey A. Zucker, according to multiple people briefed on the meeting who were granted anonymity to describe confidential discussions.
It is not unusual for journalists to agree to off-the-record sessions with prominent politicians, including President Obama, as a way to gain insights and develop relationships.
But after details of Mr. Trump’s hectoring leaked on Monday in The New York Post, it seemed the meeting was being used as a political prop, especially after Trump-friendly news outlets trumpeted the session as a take-no-prisoners move by a brave president-elect.
“Trump Slams Media Elite, Face to Face,” blared the Drudge Report. “Trump Eats Press,” wrote Breitbart News.
Those curious to hear more of what the president-elect had to say at the closed-door session were out of luck: Although more than two dozen prominent journalists attended, many declined to comment because they had agreed to keep the proceedings off the record.
Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to Mr. Trump, described the meeting in more tempered terms. “It was very cordial, very productive, very congenial,” Ms. Conway told reporters at Trump Tower. “It was also very candid and very honest.”
“From my own perspective,” she added, “it’s great to hit the reset button.”
Still, the encounter crystallized concerns that Mr. Trump, emboldened by his victory, may refuse to abide the traditional dynamic of a president and the journalists who cover him, a naturally adversarial relationship that is nevertheless based on some level of mutual trust.
© Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images The CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, center, with Lester Holt of NBC, left, leaving a meeting with President-elect Donald J. Trump on Monday. Some media critics questioned why the television networks, which granted Mr. Trump hundreds of hours of free exposure during the campaign, would agree to Monday’s terms. “They learned *nothing* over past 18 months of covering Trump,” tweeted Erik Wemple of The Washington Post.
Television is of particular interest to Mr. Trump, who is a keen watcher of morning shows and this past weekend tweeted his displeasure at being mocked on an episode of “Saturday Night Live.”
Coverage of Mr. Trump increased ratings and revenue at news networks, even as some executives conceded that, early in the race, the president-elect was granted too much free exposure. By the end of the campaign, Mr. Trump seemed to turn on certain networks and television journalists, in particular CNN, prompting supporters to chant anti-media slogans.
Two people briefed on Monday’s meeting said that Mr. Trump seemed well versed in the networks’ ratings increase during the election and did not hesitate to bring the subject up.
Mr. Trump is meeting with representatives of several news organizations this week, including The New York Times, where he is scheduled to speak on Tuesday with editors, reporters, columnists and the newspaper’s publisher.
Reince Priebus, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff; Ivanka Trump, Mr. Trump’s daughter; and Ms. Conway are expected to accompany the president-elect to The Times, according to a person with direct knowledge of the meeting.
The meeting was organized at the request of Mr. Trump’s team, Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for The Times, said on Monday. Mr. Trump is expected to speak on the record with Times reporters and columnists; there is also a short off-the-record session planned, which Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump, described as “an opportunity to discuss past and future coverage.”
As a candidate, and now as president-elect, Mr. Trump has frequently attacked The Times, establishing the paper as a top target in his continuing feud with the media. Mr. Trump often refers to the “failing’’ New York Times and has threatened to sue the company for libel over an article about two women who accused him of touching them inappropriately years earlier.
The Times angered Mr. Trump with some of its unflattering coverage during the campaign, including reports on his taxes, his treatment of women and his legal troubles with Trump University.
Since being elected president, he has blasted out more criticisms, using Twitter to disparage the newspaper’s coverage and to claim it had lost “thousands of subscribers because of their very poor and highly inaccurate coverage of the ‘Trump phenomena.’” (The Times disputed that assertion, saying that it had added 41,000 net paid subscriptions for its news products in the week after the election.)

Vox Popoli: The blessings of deportation


As usual, the media fails to draw the correct logical conclusion:

Donald Trump's German grandfather begged the prince of Bavaria not to deport him from Germany in the early 20th century,  a newly uncovered letter has revealed.  Friedrich Trump, who built up a fortune through restaurants and boarding houses after arriving in America as an immigrant, was born in the Bavarian town of Kallstadt.

But according to German newspaper Bild, he decided to return to his hometown in 1901 along with his wife, Elisabeth Christ, only to be issued with a deportation notice a few years later. It is understood the notice was issued after the German authorities discovered he had never carried out military service before emigrating to America.

He was therefore banned from reclaiming his citizenship, local historian Roland Paul told Bild.

"The American citizen and pensioner Friedrich Trump, currently residing in Kallstadt, is hereby informed that he is to depart the state of Bavaria, or face deportation," the notice states.

Mr Trump's grandfather even resorted to pleading with the prince of Bavaria not to deport him, Bild revealed, in an emotionally-charged letter. He begged the "well-loved, noble, wise and just" monarch to make an exception and block the deportation order in the note, but a court would later deny the request. The Trump family was then forced to abandon Germany for good and move back to America in 1905, when Elisabeth was pregnant with the US president-elect's father, Fred Trump.

The emergence of the letter has raised eyebrows in some quarters due to Mr Trump's hardline stance on immigration.
Just think. If the USA fails to repatriate millions of immigrants, it may be robbing Mexico, El Salvador, or even Nigeria of a future national leader. We can't take that risk! If even one nation is deprived of a future president, that is too many!

Terror Trial Conclusion Highlights Somali ISIS Crisis in Minnesota


The Trump-obsessed press has paid little attention to important news like a major terror trial wrapping up in Minneapolis: nine Somali men were sentenced last week in Minnesota for their jihad terror crimes. But the liberal media ignores Muslims terror trials in America no matter what else is going on.
Interestingly, the mainstream press has castigated President-elect Trump’s pick for national security advisor General Michael Flynn for calling Islam a “cancer” despite numerous jihad murders in this country in Orlando, San Bernardino, Fort Hood and Boston. You would think that 9/11 never happened, given the public forgetfulness, promoted by the press in its worship of diversity.
The media ignore strong indicators of the continuing failure of Muslim immigration like the Minnesota terror trials. Somalis come here, chirping they came for “a better life,” but the young men want to go to the Middle East and Africa to kill for Allah. What happens when many more of them decide there are plenty of infidels in America to murder? For example, nine persons were stabbed in September in a shopping mall jihad attack.
A news story from a couple months ago reported the US had admitted nearly 100,000 Somali refugees since 9/11. That number sounds low, since the government doesn’t like keeping count of the unfriendlies it imports against the will of the American people.
Minnesota has struggled for years with assorted strategies to get Somalis to assimilate — expensive youth outreach, make-work social programs, even a basketball coaching scheme for one jihadist that failed — but the Africans have shown zero interest in wanting to acculturate. They prefer their Islamic values of jihad, polygamy, Islamic supremacism and misogyny. A filmmaker interviewed Somalis in Minneapolis last year and most openly rejected the Constitution and embraced sharia as their core belief.
The Somalis pictured below (Guled Ali Omar (sentenced to 35 years), Abdirahman Yasin Daud (30 years) and Mohamed Abdihamid Farah (30 years)) were some of the nine aspiring jihadists sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

On Saturday, Fox News had a brief report about the Somali sentencing, including a clip of Iraq veteran Pete Hegseth visiting Little Mogadishu in Minneapolis, where he had a hard time finding Somalis who could speak English.
Don’t look for any responsibility from Somali parents or the tribe at large: they regard themselves as victims of kuffar persecution and despise America in general.
It’s good the judge at least tried to make a statement about the severity of Minnesota’s jihad problem.
Decades in prison for final 3 sentenced in Minnesota ISIL conspiracy case, Star Tribune, November 16, 2016
Prosecutors doubt remorse, and the judge warns of terror cell.
Seeking to send an emphatic message that there is “no doubt” about the depth of terrorism recruitment in the Twin Cities, a federal judge on Wednesday sentenced the final three of Minnesota’s ISIL conspiracy defendants to the sternest prison sentences yet handed down in a Minnesota terrorism case.
“It’s clear, and I’ve stated it the last two days … this community has to understand that there is a jihadist cell in this community — its tentacles spread out,” Senior U.S. District Judge Michael Davis told a packed courtroom. “Young people went to Syria and died.”
Davis concluded three days of hearings by sending defendant Guled Omar to prison for 35 years, and sentencing two others — Mohamed Farah and Abdirahman Daud — to 30 years each. The three were the only defendants to plead not guilty and go to trial, where a jury in June convicted them of charges including conspiracy to commit murder outside the United States. They were also convicted of conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the same charge on which six others pleaded guilty and were sentenced this week.
Addressing Davis earlier in the afternoon, one of the prosecutors called Omar, 22, “not redeemable,” and said he presented a unique case because he watched his older brother leave Minnesota to join the Somali terror group Al-Shabab, then applied those lessons to advise the current group as its emir, or leader.
“He was like a well that people kept going to to get … advice, and he kept doling it out,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Winter, adding that Omar “has blood on his hands” for helping two men now believed dead after reaching Syria in 2014.
Prosecutors sought a 40-year sentence for Omar, while his attorney, Glenn Bruder, called for 15. Standing before the judge Wednesday, Omar grew emotional as he said he didn’t want to continue down a “horrible path.”
“I understand the seriousness of what I’ve been convicted of, and I understand that I will not be able to go home anytime soon,” Omar said as relatives sobbed nearby. “I always had energy for justice as a young man, but I lost my way.”
But after passing sentence, Davis recalled Omar’s May 2014 attempt to drive away with two co-conspirators planning to cross into Mexico and fly overseas — foiled when Omar’s family intervened.
“Seeing them scream and holler and take the car keys … but you continued and continued,” Davis said. “You’re charismatic, and that’s why you’re being locked up for the period that you are.”
Jurors returned
The day was marked by somber statements from the defendants, clashes between attorneys over their authenticity, and emotional reactions from relatives and supporters gathered at the federal courthouse in Minneapolis.
Outside, a multiracial crowd of demonstrators gathered, waving homemade signs and chanting, “No hate, no fear, Somalis are welcome here.”
Mohamed Omar, Guled’s older brother, stood nearby with a picture of his younger brother. He is on supervised release for threatening agents who arrived at his home to question Guled Omar during the FBI investigation.
“My mom will probably be dead by the time he comes out,” Mohamed Omar said. “He will not get to see her. Although it’s going to hurt us, it’s not going to break us.”
Seven jurors who convicted the men in June returned to see them sentenced on Wednesday. They witnessed a lengthy digression by Davis during Daud’s midday sentencing, as the judge acknowledged that his judgments were harsh, but not “an attack on the Somali-American community.”
“The vast majority of Americans don’t have the slightest idea of what the Somali-Americans have gone through,” Davis said.
“I do,” Daud replied. “I was throwing away the same life that they were saving.”
Daud, 22, was arrested in California in 2015 after trying to buy an illegal passport and cross into Mexico. Dressed in a suit and speaking softly, he bluntly outlined his thinking before the judge Wednesday.
“I was not going [to Syria] to pass out medical kits or food to the people I believed at the time to be innocent,” Daud said. “I was going there strictly to fight and to kill on behalf of the Islamic State, your honor.”
His voice breaking, Daud added: “I am certainly not being persecuted [for] my faith. And I was certainly not entrapped nor lured into doing any of these crimes.” His comment seemed to contradict a group of demonstrators outside the courthouse, who continued to argue that the young men were entrapped by the FBI.
Daud’s attorney, Bruce Nestor, told Davis he believes his client poses no threat to society, but conceded: “I recognize that you cannot and will not take that risk.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Allyn, however, dismissed Daud’s apparent remorse as another lie.
Daud, she said, “knows how to play a role. It’s just him playing a role again.”
Allyn described how Daud told Abdullahi Yusuf, the youngest member of the conspiracy group, to watch terrorist videos, and provided him phone numbers of ISIL contacts in Turkey. Daud was no mere follower, she said.
‘A road nobody expected’
In an unusual development at midday, both Daud and Farah were returned to the courtroom after being sentenced when prosecutors noted that they flashed index fingers pointed upward while looking into the gallery after their hearings. Prosecutors said the gestures symbolized “tawhid” — a tenet representing “oneness with God” — that has also been used by ISIL supporters.
In his own hearing as the day began, Farah, 22, told the judge he now disavows terrorist groups and realizes that extremist organizations such as ISIL “don’t stand for peace.” A day earlier, his younger brother Adnan was sentenced to 10 years after pleading guilty in April.
“We ended up on a road nobody expected,” Farah said. “Your honor, that’s the allure and the dangers of terrorism.”
Mohamed Farah, the eldest of six siblings in a Somali-American family in Minneapolis, was stopped at JFK Airport in 2014 while trying to leave for Syria and was later caught on tape saying he would kill any FBI agents who got in his way. Farah also looked back at his parents and siblings in the courtroom. “For them to see me today in an orange jumpsuit is not my idea for what a role model should be,” he said.
All three defendants sought sentences closer to 15 years.
“These are young kids, young men, that are battling each other, one-upping each other with their level of religiosity,” said Farah’s attorney, Murad Mohammed. “In essence they radicalized each other.”
Mohammed also said that, in retrospect, his client should have pleaded guilty with other co-defendants last spring before more serious charges were added to his indictment.
Prosecutors pointed out that in 2014 and 2015 Farah showed every sign of being a determined ISIL soldier — trying twice to leave the United States for Syria — and that he lied repeatedly to investigators while declining opportunities to cooperate with the government.
Davis, too, returned to the gravity of the crimes committed. As he had done Monday and Tuesday, he showed the courtroom one of the grisly ISIL recruiting videos the young defendants had watched: A 12-minute clip of one of ISIL’s most notorious propaganda pieces, concluding with the burning alive of a captured Jordanian fighter pilot in early 2015.
“Understand they were watching these for hours at a time, day after day after day,” Davis said.