Lawmakers Want Trump to Seek Congress Approval for Any Use of Force in Mideast

The Ugly Truth

The bipartisan plea to House Speaker Paul Ryan, signed by 46 Representatives, comes three weeks after Trump ordered Tomahawk missile attack on Syrian air base

ed note–how many times did Congress demand from George W. Bush that he seek approval of any military actions after operation ‘shock and awe’ was put into motion? Likewise with Obama and his drone strikes throughout the world, his destruction of Libya and his raising up of ISIS and other terrorist groups tasked with destabilizing Syria and elsewhere?

Answer–ZERO, and for the simple reason that Bush (and to a slightly lesser extent, Obama) was on board with Israel’s demands and therefore both were given free rein to inflict as much  murder and mayhem in the Middle East as they wanted.

Despite the emotionally-based ‘analysis’ offered by various ‘experts’ in this movement that Trump’s missile attack on the Syrian airbase was done as a continuum of…

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Even Katy Perry can be anti-Semitic?

Will Katy Perry Apologize for Her Anti-Jewish Caricature?

 

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Earlier this week, the hip-hop wunderkind Macklemore was called to task for a performance at an event in which he wore a bad wig, beard and large beak-like nose — what Gawker and others labeled as an offensive Jewish caricature. Macklemore was quick to respond to the accusations — not only clarifying that the character was not intended as a Jewish caricature but that he is opposed to ethnic and racial tropes of all kinds and that he hopes to be a champion of tolerance and diversity. But the world has yet to hear any words from Katy Perry about playing a Jewish caricature in her Birthday video, which debuted last month and now has over 12 million views.

In the eight minute video she cross-dresses to play Yosef Shulem, a DJ at a bar mitzvah party who is portrayed as a nerdy, food-obsessed, and socially awkward Jewish man. Just to be absolutely clear about how disturbing her character is in this video it is helpful to know the context: In the video she plays four other characters: a clown, an elderly stripper (a rip-off of Johnny Knoxville’s Bad Grandpa), an animal trainer, and a lazy princess. The Jew is the only ethnic or race-based character. The overall message of the video? Clowns and elderly strippers and lazy princesses and weird animal trainers and Jewish men are really fun to laugh at.

In the first part of the video Shulem says:

I do bar mitzvahs. I do weddings. I don’t do funerals… but for a price I’ll do your funeral.

Ha! Jews will do anything for money! That is so funny. Then Shulem makes a circumcision joke. One can only watch this video and wonder how many millions of her fans will come away with a warped view of Jewish men.

Just to be clear, perceived Jewish nerdiness is not off-limits in terms of comedy. Another woman who cross-dresses to play a Jewish man — Vanessa Bayer of Saturday Night Live — riffs on the intellectualism of Jewish men in her act Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy. Bayer portrays a young Jewish man with an insider’s comic sensibility — mixing in a critique of class and family bonding with a sweet nod to Jewish values of critical thinking. Perry’s caricatured Jewish man, on the other hand, is ridiculed for his horrible beat boxing. It makes me cringe — and wonder — has she heard the Beastie Boys or Mattisyahu? Does she know Yuri Lane or Jay Stone? Or is the world just supposed to laugh at the thought of a Jewish man beat-boxing?

When the video was released, Daniel D’Addario of Salon pointed out the Jewish stereotype as did Nolan Freeman of TIME and Ariana Bacle of Entertainment Weekly. Those voices need to be amplified.

Years from now, Americans will look back on this video and be reminded of a time when it was still acceptable to ridicule Jews in public. Perry’s video will be placed alongside Asian caricatures like Long Duk Dong of Sixteen Candles and gay caricatures like those in Damon Wayans’ Mo’ Money. She’ll probably wish that she never made this video.

As for now, I hope that Perry offers an apology along the lines of Mackelmore and pulls the video off the web. It belongs as part of history — but has no place in a society that values cultural and ethnic diversity.

Why Is Zionism Called Zionism?

The Ugly Truth

Theories for the origin of the word reach into long-forgotten eras of history, and the speculated origin in ‘wild cat’ isn’t necessarily the most fanciful.

ed note–I/we don’t expect the reader to wade through all the minute details of the writer’s thesis but instead to focus on a few minor details contained therein–

1. The religious roots of Zionism. Indeed, as the evidence shows and has shown from the beginning, Zionism is indeed rooted in Judaism and anyone–whether they are secular or else those ‘good Jews’ at Neturei Karta–who try and make the ridiculous argument that ‘Judaism and Zionism are different and distinct’ are either fools or liars, borrowing on oft-used phrase from the irreplaceable Mike Piper.

2. That the beating heart of Zionism is JERUSALEM, the place from which Judaism teaches that the Moshiach–the Jewish Messiah–will rule the world with a rod of iron, imposing ‘Jewish ethics’ upon mankind…

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Deep State still after Trump.How relations between White House and intelligence agencies crumbled in Donald Trump’s first 100 days Mr Trump cannot shake off the allegations that he was the ‘Muscovite Candidate’

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Kim Sengupta

The intelligence and security agencies in the US played a key role in Donald Trump’s election victory and they may yet be the ones who bring down this most extraordinary of presidents in recent American history.

Hillary Clinton could well have been in the White House now had it not been for James Comey. She was riding high when the FBI Director announced, just days before polling, that the investigation into the former Secretary of State’s use of her email account was being reopened.

Soon afterwards Mr Comey stated that nothing untoward had been discovered against Ms Clinton. But the damage had been done by then – her campaign lost momentum while that of Mr Trump solidified. While effectively sabotaging the Democrat campaign, Mr Comey helped Mr Trump’s by failing to reveal that an investigation into links between Mr Trump and Moscow, with evidence mounting, had been ongoing for months.

 

 

There were accusations that the FBI had tried to hide the Trump inquiry while focusing on Ms Clinton. Among those who claimed this to be the case was Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer who produced a report on Mr Trump’s Kremlin links for the Democrats, and subsequently passed on incriminating information on Mr Trump and his associates to the FBI without any action being seemingly taken.

The New York office in particular appeared to be on a crusade against Ms Clinton. Some of its agents had a long working relationship with Rudy Giuliani, by then a member of the Trump campaign, since his days as public prosecutor and then Mayor of the city.

Two days before Mr Comey made his bombshell announcement about the Clinton reinvestigation, Mr Giuliani, part of the Trump team, talked about “a surprise or two you’re going to hear about in the next few days. We’ve got a couple of things up our sleeve that should turn things around”.

But Mr Trump cannot shake off the allegations that he was the “Muscovite Candidate”. Russia has been the dominant theme in the first 100 days of the presidency, raising fundamental questions even about his legitimacy in office. The Kremlin’s long reach, reads the charge sheet, ranges from cyber-attacks on Democratic Party computers to the funding of the Republican candidate’s election campaign.

There are now FBI and Congressional investigations into Mr Trump’s Moscow connections. The President has tried to dismiss them in his endless rambling tweets and tried to deflect attention with false claims such as that he had been wiretapped on the orders of President Obama. There have, in addition, been attempts to stop important witnesses from testifying. But the inquiries continue.

Mr Trump is now at loggerheads with the intelligence community. The antipathy of many of them towards him has been hardened by episodes such as his behaviour when he visited the CIA headquarters. Standing in front of the Memorial Wall – a place of reverence in the Agency – Mr Trump boasted about the fictitious size of his inaugural crowd and his own intellect: “And then they say, ‘Is Donald Trump an intellectual?’ Trust me, I’m like a smart person.” Former CIA director John Brennan let it be known that he was “deeply saddened and angered at Donald Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandisement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of agency heroes. Mr Trump should be ashamed of himself”.

Meanwhile, even senior figures in the Trump administration, including Defence Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have acknowledged Moscow’s interference in the US election.

Mr Tillerson’s own Kremlin connections have been questioned. He forged close ties with Russia during his 40 years of work for Exxon Mobil, and he worked on projects with the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft. He is said to be close to its head Igor Sechin, a close confidant of Vladimir Putin. In 2013 the Kremlin awarded him the Order of Friendship.

Senior Republicans like Senator John McCain had questioned whether Mr Tillerson was a fit person for his job with his close Russia ties. There have been questions, in particular, about Mr Sechin, who was named in the Steele report as one of the senior Kremlin officials who had met members of the Trump team before the election.

There are, however, others in the team who are under more intense scrutiny than Mr Tillerson. There has already been a high-profile casualty, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who resigned as Mr Trump’s national security  who resigned as Mr Trump’s national security advisor after just three weeks over his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the US.

Lt Gen Flynn was accused of lying to Vice President Mike Pence over his insistence that he had not discussed against Russia with Sergey Kislyak. It transpired later that he was under investigation by the Pentagon for allegedly accepting Russian payment during trips to Moscow. He was to go on to admit working as a “foreign agent”, receiving money while representing the Turkish government in a dispute with the United States.

Lt Gen Flynn resigned on the same day Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russia for attempting to influence the presidential election, and hours after Mr Trump had expressed “full confidence” in his National Security Advisor.

Lt Gen Flynn has subsequently offered to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee in return for immunity from prosecution – an offer the Committee has so far rejected.

Paul Manafort’s resignation as Mr Trump’s campaign manager came before the election. He had filled the same role with Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s former president, an ally of Mr Putin who is now in exile in Russia after being overthrown in the Maidan protests. It was money he received in his Ukrainian job which led to him leaving the Trump team, although he appears to have remained an influential voice behind the scenes.

There are now fresh allegations that Mr Manafort received vast sums in “suspicious payments” from Mr Yanukovych. Prosecutors in Kiev want to question Mr Manafort and say they have requested the assistance of Mr Comey in doing so. It is seen as a sign of the Trump administration’s nervousness about what may unfold that it appears to be trying to distance itself from Mr Manafort. In a recent briefing to journalists, the White House spokesman Sean Spicer brought up Mr Manafort’s name unprompted, and claimed, to general incredulity, that “he played a very limited role, very limited amount of time” in the presidential campaign.

Trump’s first 100 days in numbers

The same kind of damage limitation is being tried with Carter Page, who Mr Trump had formerly described as a foreign policy advisor and Mr Spicer now wants to stress was “not really a major part of the campaign”.

According to Mr Steele and others who have provided information to the FBI, Mr Page had discussed intelligence being held by Russia on Ms Clinton with a senior Kremlin official and the issue of ending sanctions against Moscow with Mr Sechin. He also allegedly met a Russian intelligence operative, Victor Podobny, in 2013 and offered to provide him with documents about the energy industry.

The FBI obtained a warrant under the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to carry out surveillance on Mr Page as the suspected “agent of a foreign power”.  Mr Page says “that his civil rights have been violated” and he is the “real victim of a conspiracy”.

As investigations continue into Mr Trump, “conspiracy” is a recurring theme among his supporters. They warn of a “coup” being planned by the “deep state” of the establishment and the intelligence services to unseat an elected President.

Mr Trump’s many enemies, meanwhile, hope that the investigations will lead to eventual impeachment of the President they loathe. What the intelligence and security agencies uncover, or fail to do, in the weeks and months ahead will shape the fate of the Trump presidency.