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Deep State War? 7 Russian Officials Murdered or Found Dead Since Election Day

Russian diplomats seem to be an endangered species, as seven officials have been found dead under mysterious or unexplained circumstances just since Election Day, and — although any link remains as yet unprovable — the deaths certainly provoke a number of questions.

1. Sergei Krivov:

First is the perplexing case of Sergei Krivov — disputably a consular duty commander at the Russian Consulate in Manhattan — died on November 8, Election Day, under perhaps the most problematic circumstances of any of the deaths listed.

Found unconscious and unresponsive on the floor inside the consulate, Krivov suffered blunt force trauma to the head — initially reported as received in a fall from the roof of the building — and passed away before emergency services could reach the scene.

Consular officials quickly backtracked that Krivov died after plunging over the building, instead insisting he’d suffered a heart attack — but the diplomat’s lack of a paper trail, and ambiguity from officials about his career position, make the death appear to be far from ordinary.

“That position is no ordinary security guard,” reported BuzzFeed on Krivov’s ambiguous role at the consulate. “According to other public Russian-language descriptions of the duty commander position, Krivov would have been in charge of, among other things, ‘prevention of sabotage’ and suppression of ‘attempts of secret intrusion’ into the consulate.

“In other words, it was Krivov’s job to make sure US intelligence agencies didn’t have ears in the building.”

2. Andrey Karlov:

On December 19, Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, met his fate while giving a speech at an art exhibit in Ankara, when Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş — an off-duty Turkish riot police officer — fired several shots from behind, fatally wounding the diplomat and injuring several others.

Altıntaş proceeded to declare jihad and implored the terrified, small crowd of attendees and press, “Do not forget Aleppo, do not forget Syria!”

It was later revealed Altıntaş had used his law enforcement identification to enter the gallery; but at the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin railed against the attacker, thin security allowing him to enter the exhibit, “Russia Through Turks’ Eyes,” without issue, and the possible implications for resolving the conflict in Syria, stating,

This murder is clearly a provocation aimed at undermining the improvement and normalization of Russian-Turkish relations, as well as undermining the peace process in Syria promoted by Russia, Turkey, Iran and other countries interested in settling the conflict in Syria.

3. Petr Polshikov:

At some point on the same day — and prior to the brazen assassination of Karlov — Petr Polshikov, a senior diplomat in the Latin America division at the Russian foreign ministry, died in his Moscow apartment of a gunshot wound to the head. An announcement of the suspicious death did not become public until a few hours after Altıntaş shocked the world in Ankara.

Detailed information on Polshikov’s untimely demise remains difficult to obtain, but reports at the time alleged authorities found two bullet shells on the scene and a firearm under a sink in the bathroom.

4. Oleg Erovinkin:

Ex-KGB chief, Oleg Erovinkin — believed to have assisted former British spy, Christopher Steele, with a lurid dossier alleging explicit acts by President Donald Trump — was found dead in his black Lexus on December 29.

Erovinkin had been close to Igor Sechin, a former deputy prime minister and now head of State-owned oil company, Rosneft, and had acted as a key liaison between Sechin and Putin.

Although validity of the contents of that dossier have been called into serious question, Erovinkin’s alleged involvement in compiling the information makes his death dubious by nature. An investigation is ongoing.

5. Andrey Malanin:

Despite living alone on a tightly-guarded street, Andrey Malanin — head of the consular section at Russia’s embassy in Athens — was “found on the floor of his bedroom by a member of the embassy’s staff with no evidence of a break-in, the official said on condition of anonymity,” Reuters reported January 9.

Authorities also told Reuters there were no indications Malanin had been murdered, but homicide officials are investigating the death due to his status as a diplomat.

6. Aleksandr Kadakin:

On January 26, Russian ambassador to India, 67-year-old Aleksandr Kadakin — who had served in the position since 2009 and spent over two decades as a diplomat — died in New Delhi, ostensibly from heart failure.

Although it appeared the man’s death was unrelated to the others and had been natural, the timing in conjunction with Karlov, Polshikov, Erovinkin, and Malanin raised some eyebrows.

7. Vitaly Churkin:

Then, last week, Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died one day before his 65th birthday in New York City — reportedly of a heart failure.

According to the New York Times on February 20, “The Russian government said he died suddenly but did not specify a cause. The New York City police said there were no indications of foul play.”

However, Pravda reported, “According to ABS-CBN, a post-mortem examination of Churkin’s body showed the presence of poison in his kidneys. Allegedly, the diplomat had had late supper, at around midnight, hours before his death. Perpetrators could have added an unknown substance in his food.”

Churkin had been a vocal critic of hypocritical Western foreign policy, particularly concerning military actions in Syria.

An obituary in the Guardian stated Churkin “hated the moralising tone of his US, British and French counterparts on the UN security council who, he felt, were not only hypocritical but were playing to the global gallery and aiming to score rhetorical points instead of looking for compromises that could lead to the resolution of differences. This applied particularly to the war in Syria, about which western governments tabled resolutions that could lead, in the Russian view, to full-scale military intervention against the Syrian government and which they knew Churkin was bound to veto. Russia preferred to produce resolutions that criticised the Syrian army for using ‘disproportionate’ force and sought agreement on ceasefires. Churkin consulted the security council’s five permanent members on these resolutions, but chose not to provoke vetoes when he realised there was no consensus.”

What, if anything, this growing Russian diplomat body count actually means might never be fully known, but many suspect the deaths evince a methodical, covert war between the Deep State and Russia — particularly as hostilities continue mostly unabated — as a shift in power away from the ailing imperialist U.S. empire gathers speed. (For more from the author of “Deep State War? 7 Russian Officials Murdered or Found Dead Since Election Day” please click HERE)

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Why Are U.S. Marshals Now Conducting Biometric Scans and Collecting Other Information on Americans as the LEAVE the United States?

During the war on terrorism, Americans compromised their liberties to fight for freedom. Now, during the war on immigration, Americans will again be compelled to sacrifice liberties for American sovereignty.

In the name of security, anywhere, anytime. All measures will be justified, everyone will be authorized and the population will be controlled.

That is the moment we have arrived at in America.

A combination of policies that President Obama put into place, as well as fresh executive orders put in place by President Trump, have created a new front in the world of national security. They are now using biometrics to verify passport and identity, in the name of cracking down on immigration.

Additional scrutiny, and an over-bearing scent of Gestapo is again cropping up in airports, as yet another layer of surveillance is added to the line up.

Here’s a look at one version of the machines now being tested and phased in at airports and other checkpoints:

Both visitors from abroad, and American citizens alike have now been required to submit to biometric iris scans in order to board a flight. Wow.

via Jeffrey Tucker of the Foundation of Economic Education:

For some 15 years, airport security has become steadily more invasive. There are ever more checkpoints, ever more requests for documents as you make your way from the airport entrance to the airplane. Passengers adapt to the new changes as they come. But my latest flight to Mexico, originating in Atlanta, presented all passengers with something I had never seen before.

We had already been through boarding pass checks, passport checks, scanners, and pat downs. At the gate, each passenger had already had their tickets scanned and we were all walking on the jet bridge to board. It’s at this point that most people assume that it is all done: finally we can enjoy some sense of normalcy.

This time was different. Halfway down the jetbridge, there was a new layer of security. Two US Marshals, heavily armed and dressed in dystopian-style black regalia, stood next to an upright machine with a glowing green eye. Every passenger, one by one, was told to step on a mat and look into the green scanner. It was scanning our eyes and matching that scan with the passport, which was also scanned (yet again).

Like everyone else, I complied. What was my choice? I guess I could have turned back at the point, decline to take the flight I had paid for, but it would be unclear what would then happen. After standing there for perhaps 8 seconds, the machine gave the go signal and I boarded.

I talked to a few passengers about this and others were just as shaken by the experience. They were reticent even to talk about it, as people tend to be when confronted with something like this.

I couldn’t find anyone who had ever seen something like this before. I wrote friends who travel internationally and none said they had ever seen anything like this.

I will tell you how it made me feel: like a prisoner in my own country. It’s one thing to control who comes into a country. But surveilling and permissioning American citizens as they leave their own country, even as they are about to board, is something else.

This isn’t required for all flights, yet.

This writer encountered a Homeland Security / U.S. Customs and Border Protection test at select airports… they are still working out the kinks.

But the question is, after all the frustrations that Americans had with flying after 9/11, and watching their liberties sacrificed at the altar of security, after dealing with ridiculously long lines – are Americans now willing sacrifice even more liberties and submit their biometric scans?

Unfortunately, they may be.

As a general mass, Americans have proved underwhelming in their opposition to invasions of privacy on the part of private corporations, especially those online and in computing and communication devices. They have also shrugged off and become immune to fifteen years of airport harassment and additional checks and scans.

Now, iris scans might even one day make security faster – but it’s a devilish tradeoff, and an enormous trust of power an agency that was created into existence out of the 9/11 emergency atmosphere, and which grows only when feeding the machine fear and terror.

Update: a reader has pointed me to this page at Homeland Security:

As part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) border security mission, the agency is deploying new technologies to verify travelers’ identities – both when they arrive and when they leave the United States – by matching a traveler to the document they are presenting. CBP’s goal is to enhance national security and protect a traveler’s identity against theft through the use of biometrics.

Biometric information (such as finger, face, or iris) measures a person’s unique physical characteristics. CBP incorporated fingerprints for biometric identification and verification in 2004, and is now testing facial and iris imaging capabilities to help improve travelers’ identity protection, the integrity of our immigration system, and our national security.

I happened to be on the “one daily flight” that gets exit scanned.

[…]

What people don’t often consider is that every rule that pertains to immigration ultimately applies to emigration as well. Every rule that government has to treat immigrants a certain way also necessarily applies to citizens as well.

Chandran Kukathas is right when he says that “controlling immigration means controlling everyone.” (source)

It looks like their tests have so far met with very little resistance, and all signs green, as support for Trump’s new order of police, border, military and security agencies are given new mandates to enforce laws, and take necessary measures to control borders, verify individuals and protect the country. That’s the narrative, and Americans are cheering it on with very little forethought about the consequences it could hold.

For now, Americans are willing to accept new controls.

That is, if nobody reawakens to the massive civil liberties issue that is going on.

Welcome Aboard, But First US Marshals Will Scan Your Retina, BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT FREE

(For more from the author of “Why Are U.S. Marshals Now Conducting Biometric Scans and Collecting Other Information on Americans as the LEAVE the United States?” please click HERE)

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Is America’s Cult of Death and Free Sex on the Verge of Dying?

Perhaps nothing has so inspired Donald Trump’s detractors as the threat that he and his administration pose to the cult of what we might call “free sex.”

This cult’s god requires free sex for its faithful: free of restraint, free of cost, and free of consequences. It has rites: unrestricted promiscuity and sexual variety, the ready availability of all manner of contraceptive drugs (which must be included in all health plans, as well), and abortion. Abortion subsidized by government monies for those with limited financial resources. Because somebody else has to pay for the consequences of all this “free sex.”Abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy for any and every reason.

The cult has clerics, men and women in positions of power who guard the temple of free sex through law, academia and popular media. Gloria Steinem, Nancy Pelosi, Cecile Richards, new Democratic National Committee chairman Thomas Perez, Ashley Judd and Madonna to name a few.

The cult has a creed: “Abortion on demand and without apology.” Why should legal abortion be rare if it is morally neutral or even a good thing?

And the cult has an eschatology: A future made bright through a final victory over their adversaries, those who oppose elective abortion, abortifacient contraceptives, the victimization of women through a predatory abortion industry, any government funding of any kind for abortion, and so forth. This future will include the silence of all dissent from the cult’s orthodoxies.

The cult has a lectionary: In our country, the death cult’s advocates frame their arguments in terms of freedom, choice and faux-medical language. “Fetus” instead of unborn child, “dilation and extraction” instead of partial birth abortion, “reproductive rights” instead of abortion are among its most prominent and reassuring euphemisms.

The cult is demanding. It requires the full allegiance of its adherents. Any move toward legally protecting unborn children is viewed as heresy, false teaching whose heretics must readily be thrown from the fold of the cult’s enlightened ones.

Though human sexuality according to the divine design is a source of life, the cult of free sex is a cult of death. In this, it is not unique. The rush that comes from exercising the will to power is as old as Eden: Satan caused the first human deaths with his successful temptation of our first parents. One who had wanted to dethrone God could not create life, but could destroy it. From the beginning, as the Lord Jesus said, Satan was a murderer.

Cults of death have, throughout history, convinced themselves they were doing good by murdering others. They believed their killings brought prosperity and freedom, purity and the promise of blessed end. Is the American cult of death really different?

That Which Must Not Be Spoken

American advocates of free sex avoid certain topics. Life within the womb? Admitted freely. But “personhood?” Despite the massive scientific evidence, the unborn child is amorphous goo, not fully human.

And then there are STDs. In October 2016, the federal Centers for Disease Control issued a report on sexually transmitted diseases which stated that

nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in this country, half among young people aged 15-24, and account for almost $16 billion in health care costs. Each of these infections is a potential threat to an individual’s immediate and long-term health and well-being. In addition to increasing a person’s risk for acquiring and transmitting HIV infection, STDs can lead to chronic pain and severe reproductive health complications, such as infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

Well, even the high priests and priestesses of the cult will admit that these are not altogether good things. But hey, that’s why there are condoms and “safe sex” practices and, of course, federally mandated health insurance provisions for treatment of STDs and even federal funding for such treatments as needs be. Again, someone must pay for the consequences of free sex.

Donald Trump, Unlikely Foe of Free Sex?

Enter a new pro-life Administration. Whether it were headed by Mr. Trump or anyone else, the cult’s public spokesmen, inside operators, and ready acolytes would marshal to stop any and all efforts to curtail abortion on demand. This is why Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, a jurist who takes the text of the Constitution seriously, a man of unimpeachable character and legal standing, is so horrifying to them.

Many women, misled by the lies of the cult of death, have been lulled into believing abortion is merely a surgical procedure or, at worst, an unpleasant necessity for the sake of their futures. As ultrasound technology continues to be refined, such farcical nonsense cannot be long sustained.

This is why the clerics of the cult are panicked, outraged, afraid. They dread seeing their god exposed to the harsh light of reality, its draperies of soothing rhetoric flung back to reveal a glaring, decaying creature of death.

If the Supreme Court corrects, even partially, Roe v. Wade, access to abortion will become much less easy. That will require, at least among many younger men and women, greater sexual restraint. As they consider the consequences of their one-night mutual objectifications — babies — they will become not just more careful but more judicious in their conduct.

Imagine an America with dramatically fewer abortions, STDs, broken lives and broken hearts. This will not usher in the Kingdom of God, but it will make America a much better place to live and thrive.

Death to the American cult of death. And all power and glory to the Prince of Life, Who will reign forever and ever. (For more from the author of “Is America’s Cult of Death and Free Sex on the Verge of Dying?” please click HERE)

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Girl Who Identifies as Male and Takes Testosterone Wins Girls Wrestling Championship

Mack Beggs, a girl who identifies as a male (what much of the media refer to as “transgender boy”), won the Texas’ 6A girls state wrestling championship Saturday, after coming under much controversy for taking testosterone injections.

Beggs took the championship with a handy 57-0, though two of those opponents forfeited.

Under Texas’ athletics rules, governed by the University Interscholastic League (UIL), students must compete according to the gender listed on their birth certificate. As a result, Beggs, who began taking testosterone in 2015, must compete with the women, even though the 17 year old wrestler has expressed the desire to compete against boys.

Despite Beggs stated desire to compete against boys, UIL deputy director Jamey Harrison noted that none of the athletes in this championship had requested to change divisions. (Read more from “Girl Who Identifies as Male and Takes Testosterone Wins Girls Wrestling Championship” HERE)

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Teachers: OK to Instruct Kids to Thwart ICE; Disciplined If Privately Promote Legal Compliance

If you’re a teacher in some places, you can’t tell readers of your personal Facebook page how to comply with immigration law. In other places, however, you can hand out flyers telling students and their families how to respond when ICE comes to the door.

OK to Teach Children to Thwart Immigration Law

Recently teachers in Austin, Texas, handed out flyers to illegal immigrant youth instructing them how to avoid deportation by ICE. Created by the radical organization United We Dream, the flyer — pictured above — instructs immigrants not to answer the door, speak or sign anything. It urges them to “fight back!” with a picture showing a clenched fist.

The flyers are part of materials provided by the teachers’ union Education Austin to its 3,000 members. The teachers’ union held a training session attended by 250 on immigration law and rights.

Handing out these flyers goes contrary to the school district’s own policy. The district’s attorney responded by sending out out a memo reminding teachers they cannot share their “political affiliation, views, protests, advocacy, or other controversial issues or topics.” They cannot distribute materials that are partisan or “advocate for imminent lawlessness.” Teachers may not hand materials out during class or on school grounds.

On February 11, over 400 teachers in western Oregon participated in a day of workshops entitled “Teaching in the Time of Trump.” Organized by the Critical Educators Collective, the day “offered perspectives in the hope that teachers might be better able help students during what they view as long road of hardship under President Donald Trump’s administration,” reported The Portland Tribune.

One panelist, a high school teacher, told of countering another teacher who said teachers should keep their politics out of the classroom. The teacher asked her how she’d feel if someone taught against abortion. “I was really taken back by her statements,” she told the workshop, “but when I took a step back, I realized she needed to be exposed to the teaching around anti-discrimination work and social justice work and she needed to know her role in disrupting discrimination.”

On February 14, teachers from from the Reynolds School District in Oregon held a rally outside the local courthouse to express their support for illegal immigrant students. It is unclear whether or not they had requested vacation time to participate in the activity.

Several school districts across the country have declared themselves “safe zones” for illegal immigrants, and will not cooperate with ICE unless there is a criminal warrant.

Not OK for Teachers to Privately Support Upholding Immigration Law

In contrast, a teacher in Washington was suspended for urging people to report illegal immigrants during Thursday’s nationwide “A Day Without Immigrants” strike. The Prosser School District issued a press release saying that an unidentified teacher at Keene-Riverview Elementary School had been placed on administrative leave and under investigation after receiving complaints about the post.

The teacher was later identified as Cheriese Rhode, 29, who teaches first grade.

The press release claimed that “The post may be considered hostile and/or offensive on the basis of national origin.” Notably, the teacher’s post did not address students at all, but illegal immigrants generally. The superintendent of schools admitted to a newspaper that “it’s not clear what steps the district could take in response to a statement made outside of class.”

Rhode’s post said in part, “They [ICE] will need to know names, locations (either work place or residence) and any other specific information you can provide. If this offended you in anyway [sic] do me a favor and unfriend my American a**!!!” Rhodes ended the post, “TRUMP all the way!!!”

Washington has over 20 sanctuaries which shelter illegal immigrants, including criminals. Police arrested five illegal immigrants last month in connection with the shooting death of 31-year-old Jill Sundberg in Grant County.

Era of Lawlessness

Yet so far under the Trump administration it appears only students who engage in criminal behavior have been accosted by ICE, and even then they are not necessarily deported.

For example, Josué Romero, 19, a “Dreamer” in Texas, was caught possessing marijuana and required to check in with ICE. ICE released him. Romero responded, “For now, it gives me a certain feeling of comfort that I’ll be able to continue my life normally.” He is, however, under supervision and must check in with ICE regularly.

The Trump era has ushered in a strange new phenomenon, where school districts defiantly refuse to comply with the federal government, while teachers who support the law are disciplined. It is part of an overall effort by local governments around the country to thwart the Trump administration on illegal immigration, as well as law enforcement generally. Merely standing up for law enforcement has become an offense. (For more from the author of “Teachers: OK to Instruct Kids to Thwart ICE; Disciplined If Privately Promote Legal Compliance” please click HERE)

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ISIS Gains Ground, Targets Egyptian Christians in Sinai

In the past three days, Islamic State militants in Egypt’s volatile northern Sinai region abducted four men accused of collaborating with the government, three of them during a brazen raid in the middle of a public market. Two of the men have been found slain while the others remain missing; Egyptian officials say that one of the slain men had his eyes plucked out and was set on fire before being shot to death.

Women are being threatened with punishment if they don’t wear the niqab and farmers are being forced to pay financial tribute to ISIS under the guise of the “zakat” mandatory Islamic donation to charity. The militants have set up their own checkpoints especially on the roads around the city of Rafah, which borders the Gaza Strip. Passengers are forced to recite from the Quran before being allowed to pass, according to area residents and tribal leaders.

This recent show-of-strength campaign by ISIS loyalists in northern Sinai comes on the heels of a recent easing of the military campaign against them and represents a move to reassert their control over the local civilian population, according to residents, tribal leaders and officials. (Read more from “ISIS Gains Ground, Targets Egyptian Christians in Sinai” HERE)

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How Trump’s DOJ Can Start Enforcing Federal Marijuana Law

On Thursday last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he “believe[s] that we will see greater enforcement” of the federal laws against recreational marijuana.

While he acknowledged that the question to which he was responding was better directed to the Department of Justice, Spicer said that state legalization of recreational marijuana “is something the Department of Justice, I think, will be further looking into.”

Spicer’s comments are welcome news for those advocating commonsense drug policy.

Scientists agree that marijuana is a dangerous drug, and no major national medical organization advocates legalization. Whether you agree with that or not, marijuana remains illegal for good reason.

Thorough scientific reviews by President Barack Obama’s Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration—as well as drug classification reviews by federal judges—have affirmed that marijuana should remain a Schedule 1 drug. Such drugs are defined as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

As I have written here and here, the predictable consequences of marijuana legalization are beginning to emerge in states like Colorado and Washington.

Annual reports from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, and the Colorado Department of Public Safety have analyzed the negative impact that marijuana legalization has had on health and public safety in Colorado.

With such research finally emerging, the Trump administration and the Department of Justice are in a strong position to enforce federal law and take appropriate and aggressive action in crafting a commonsense drug enforcement policy for marijuana.

The Trump administration should consider the following actions:

1. Reaffirm support for the law. Issue a statement affirming the incoming administration’s commitment to the Controlled Substances Act with the goal of reducing, not expanding, the use of marijuana in the nation.

2. Coordinate with lower-level officials. Have the new attorney general prioritize reaching out to governors and key law enforcement officials in states that have legalized marijuana to work with them on enforcement of federal marijuana laws.

3. Reassert America’s drug position on the world stage. The White House should make clear that the United States continues to support the three international drug conventions, and that it intends to change its domestic policy to reflect that support.

4. Up the profile of key drug enforcement personnel. Restore to Cabinet-level status the position of the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and adequately fund the office so that it can be effective.

5. Rescind and replace the August 2013 memorandum from then-Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole—i.e. the “Cole Memo.” The Department of Justice could do this by reiterating that marijuana cultivation, distribution, and sale are against federal law and that while states may decriminalize possession of marijuana, they may not issue licenses to sell it or commercialize it. Reiterate that the federal government is not locking up people for smoking marijuana, and that state employees are not going to be arrested, but that the Department of Justice fully expects states to not permit commercialized marijuana production and sale.

6. Select marijuana businesses to prosecute. Find a handful of cases in which large, well-funded marijuana businesses are in violation of both state and federal marijuana laws and prosecute both their management/operators and financiers. A real threat of prosecution will raise the cost of capital in the industry significantly, and seriously impede any operations above the cottage-level. Moreover, selection of unsympathetic defendants in violation of both state and federal law will (1) minimize political pushback, (2) avoid conflict with congressional appropriations provisions, and (3) clearly demonstrate the failure of the Cole Memo.

7. Rescind the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s guidance for banks and oppose efforts to expand banking services to the marijuana industry. One of the principal brakes on the expansion of the marijuana industry is its lack of access to banking. Once pot businesses have regular, unimpeded access to institutional capital, their ability to scale up will expand significantly—and the financial sector will begin to lobby in favor of expanded sales of the drug.

8. Support state attorneys general in nonlegalized states. Nonlegalized states have suffered significantly from illegal diversion of marijuana from legalized states, and from the apparent uptick in sophisticated cartel activity there. Support could include entering as an amicus to support the merits of the suit Nebraska and Oklahoma filed against Colorado.

9.Prosecute those dealing in marijuana—which is illegal under federal law—using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Those who engage in a pattern of racketeering activity through a corporation or other enterprise are liable for three times the economic harm they cause. RICO gives federal courts the power to order racketeering enterprises and their co-conspirators to cease their unlawful operations.

10. Prosecute those who provide financing for marijuana operations. Federal anti-money laundering statutes make it illegal to engage in financial transactions designed to promote illegal activities, including drug trafficking. Start with one major marijuana financier and successfully prosecute it.

11. Empower the FDA to take action to regulate marijuana in order to protect patients and the public. Marijuana legalization poses a public health problem, and the FDA should be tasked with investigating marijuana for chemical contamination and pesticides. Marijuana should also be subject to the standards of the rigorous criteria of the FDA approval process, which has been carefully constructed to protect consumer and patient health and safety.

None of these recommendations advocate criminal prosecution for simple possession of marijuana. Enforcing federal marijuana laws should not be about putting people in jail. In fact, that is not the current state of federal marijuana enforcement.

As Kevin Sabet writes in his book “Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana,” according to the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice,

[O]nly one-tenth of 1 percent of people in state prisons are serving sentences for first-time marijuana possession. Just three-tenths of 1 percent of people in state prisons are serving time for marijuana possession if they have prior offenses, and only 1.4 percent of people are in jail for offenses involving only marijuana-related crimes … Unless it is in the context of a parole or probation violation, virtually no one is serving prison time for using small amounts of marijuana.

Thus, it has not been the case and should not be the case that people are criminally prosecuted and jailed for simple possession of small quantities of marijuana.

However, the recommendations listed above provide a targeted approach to marijuana enforcement that focuses on protection, not punishment. These recommendations should be part of any commonsense approach that is consistent with an interest in public health and safety. (For more from the author of “How Trump’s DOJ Can Start Enforcing Federal Marijuana Law” please click HERE)

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Trump Pledges Boost in Military and Infrastructure Spending, Cut in Foreign Aid

President Donald Trump’s first budget will boost military spending by $54 billion and pay for it by scaling back nondiscretionary spending—including cuts to foreign aid—the president and his budget director said.

“This defense spending increase will be offset and paid for by finding greater savings and efficiencies across the federal government,” Trump said Monday morning announcing his budget proposal.

“We’re going to do more with less and make the government lean and accountable to the American people,” Trump said. “We can do so much more with the money we spend.”

The budget blueprint lays out administration priorities for each agency to follow. The full budget proposal will be presented in May, according to Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

“It is an America first budget,” Mulvaney told reporters during the White House press briefing. “It will show the president is keeping his budget and doing exactly what he said he was going to do when he ran for office.”

Mulvaney said the budget will also secure the border, take care of veterans, and increase school choice.

“It does all of that without adding to the currently projected [fiscal year] 2018 deficit,” Mulvaney said.

Top-line defense discretionary spending will be $603 billion, a $54 billion increase for the military. Top-line nondefense discretionary spending will be $462 billion, which is a $54 billion savings, under the pending proposal. That’s the largest proposed budget reduction since the Ronald Reagan administration, Mulvaney said.

More details will come in Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night. But, during his Monday morning remarks in a National Governors Association meeting, Trump pledged the budget would include infrastructure funding.

“We spend $6 trillion in the Middle East and we have potholes all over our roads,” Trump said. “So we are going to take care of that. We are going to start spending on infrastructure big.”

The Daily Signal asked how committed the administration is to a border adjustment tax for the budget.

“I’m not going to get into tax reform today. The president has said we will have an outline soon,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer responded during the White House press briefing.

Spicer continued:

What I will say is he has talked about the concerns he has with current regulatory and tax policy that benefit people for moving out of the country and shipping product back in while shedding American workers. He will continue to fight for policies that promote manufacturing and job creation in the United States and supports American workers. I don’t want to get ahead of policy. There has been a lot of input, as I mentioned.

The Trump budget seems to have broken the wall between defense discretionary and nondefense discretionary spending, said Romina Boccia, deputy director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies.

“Previously, defense increases were used as an excuse for domestic increases,” Boccia told The Daily Signal. “This is more responsible than what we’ve seen from the Obama administration.”

Boccia said Congress and the administration must demonstrate a willingness to cut programs in order to build credibility for entitlement reform. (For more from the author of “GOP Governors Say Real Threat Comes If Obamacare Not Repealed” please click HERE)

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GOP Governors Say Real Threat Comes If Obamacare Not Repealed

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said he’s puzzled his predecessor, Steve Beshear, will be delivering the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress.

Democrats have touted Beshear for making Obamacare work in Kentucky. Bevin said that’s not the case.

“He unilaterally chose to expand Medicaid in Kentucky, enrolled hundreds of thousands of people, and the result has been a remarkable decline in access to health care coverage,” Bevin told reporters at the White House Monday.

“More people covered, but covered by what?” Bevin asked, rhetorically. “Fewer people are even able to see a doctor, in 50 percent of our counties there is only a single health [insurer]. There are only three in the entire state, and only one covers the entire state. So it hasn’t been successful anywhere, including Kentucky.”

The National Governors Association held its winter meeting over the weekend. Governors met with Trump Sunday evening and Monday morning. Afterward, several Republican governors addressed the media.

Trump will talk more about the plans for repeal and replace during his address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said he didn’t want to get ahead of the president on details.

“The timeline is right now. That’s why the president and the vice president and the administration is all hands on deck,” Walker told The Daily Signal. “This is an important issue because I don’t think we can reiterate enough, Obamacare is collapsing. The Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable, and not me or any of these governors here, but a Democratic governor said that last year. It is collapsing right now and to show compassion [toward] our fellow citizens, we’ve got to do something about it. That’s why we’re on top of it. We’re going to hear the president’s vision tomorrow.”

Walker was referring to Minnesota’s Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, who said last year that Obamacare was no longer affordable. Walker also noted that former President Bill Clinton said last year that Obamacare wasn’t working.

Trump addressed the governors earlier Monday, where he spoke about his budget proposal. He said that before proposing tax cuts, he would have to fix health care.

“We have to do health care before we do the tax cut,” Trump said. “The tax cut is going to be major. It will be simple, and the whole tax plan will be wonderful, but I can’t do it until I do health care because we have to know what the health care is going to cost … Obamacare is a failed disaster.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also met with the president at the White House Monday afternoon about addressing Obamacare. (For more from the author of “GOP Governors Say Real Threat Comes If Obamacare Not Repealed” please click HERE)

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Trump Has Reversed the Transgender Bathroom Mandate. Here’s How Moms Like Me Pushed the Fight.

As a woman and a mother, I am thrilled that the Trump administration has rescinded President Barack Obama’s unlawful transgender school policy regarding the use of showers, locker rooms, dorms, and bathrooms in public schools and universities.

President Donald Trump has returned the policymaking power back to parents and state and local officials.

Like many Americans, I was shocked by the Obama administration’s “Dear Colleague” letter threatening our nation’s schools with loss of federal funds unless they adopt radical gender identity policies. The Obama letter twisted Title IX—a law banning sex discrimination in education—and opened the door to a myriad of real dangers to women and girls, the very people Title IX was meant to help.

Wanting to protect my school-aged children, and also having been a victim of sexual assault, I initiated the “United We Stand” campaign last summer to generate calls to the White House respectfully requesting that Obama reverse course.

A decade ago, I worked in the correspondence office at the White House and learned firsthand that administrations take citizen communication very seriously.

Presidents need to hear from the people when they’ve done something wrong, but also when they’ve done something right. So last week, I called the White House comment line to relay my gratitude.

Trump’s decisiveness on this issue shows that he cares more about people than political correctness—that all our children deserve a safe and respectful learning environment, not just a very small minority, and that privacy and free speech are rights that American parents hold dear.

It also shows respect for the right of self-governance. An issue like bathroom policy is best determined at the local level, by the people closest to it—not by bureaucrats in Washington. The new guidance from the administration is both good policy and good governance.

But the fight is far from over, as there is no guarantee that local school boards will adopt sensible solutions unless they hear from concerned parents and students instead of just a vocal minority backed by well-funded outside activist groups.

In my local school district of Fairfax County, Virginia, parents are speaking out every other week asking our school board to reverse its transgender policy. We aren’t asking to “discriminate” against gender confused children, but to accommodate them with individual private facilities so that no one’s privacy is put at risk. We are merely asking for commonsense solutions for all students, not just a few.

Have you ever attended your local school board meeting? You will find they are democracy in action, but only if people make the effort to attend and voice their concerns.

Sadly, Trump is receiving a lot of flack for merely righting his predecessor’s wrong. While “just 28 percent of all Americans believe the federal government should be responsible for setting bathroom policies in elementary and secondary schools,” according to a recent poll, a vocal minority has dominated print and airwaves, and very likely the White House comment lines, giving the impression that the people are against Trump’s wise move.

The silent majority must no longer be silent. With Trump, we now have a president who is focused on remedying the lawlessness of the prior administration.

This mom has conveyed her support and gratitude. I hope others will follow. (For more from the author of “Trump Has Reversed the Transgender Bathroom Mandate. Here’s How Moms Like Me Pushed the Fight.” please click HERE)

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