Friday, May 25, 2018

Mogadishu, Minnesota

Mogadishu, Minnesota
A massive daycare fraud in America’s most welcoming state raises questions about the limits of assimilation.
Scott W. Johnson
When it was noted that the carry-on bags of multiple airline passengers traveling from Minneapolis to Somalia contained millions of dollars in cash, on a regular basis, law enforcement was naturally curious to know where the money came from and where it was going. It soon emerged that millions of taxpayer dollars, and possibly much more, had been stolen through a massive scam of Minnesota’s social-services sector, specifically through fraudulent daycare claims. To make matters worse, the money appears to have wound up in areas of Somalia controlled by al-Shabab, the Islamic jihadist group responsible for numerous terrorist outrages.

Starting in the 1990s, the State Department directed thousands of refugees from Somalia’s civil war to Minnesota, which is now home to the largest population of Somalis outside Somalia itself. As the Washington Times noted in 2015, in Minnesota, these refugees “can take advantage of some of America’s most generous welfare and charity programs.” Professor Ahmed Samatar of Macalester College in St. Paul observed, “Minnesota is exceptional in so many ways but it’s the closest thing in the United States to a true social democratic state.” A high-trust, traditionally homogenous community with a deep civil society marked by thrift, industriousness, and openness, Minnesota seemed like the ideal place to locate an indigent Somali population now estimated at 100,000.

Public discussion of the resulting contradictions has been limited, to say the least.  Minnesota governor Mark Dayton has sought to stifle public discussion with tired imputations of bigotry and intolerance. Indeed, he advised native Minnesotans with qualms about immigrant resettlement to move out. “If you are that intolerant, if you are that much of a racist or a bigot, then find another state,” he said. “Find a state where the minority population is 1 percent or whatever. It’s not that in Minnesota.” Dayton also made an economic argument that did not exactly fit the case of Third World immigrants who are themselves heavy consumers of welfare benefits. “Our economy cannot expand based on white, B+, Minnesota-born citizens. We don’t have enough,” he said. A trust-fund baby himself, Dayton was engaging in a classic case of projection. It was certainly not an invitation to debate.

A September 2015 report of the House Homeland Security Committee task force on combating terrorist and foreign-fighter travel revealed that Minnesota led all states in contributing foreign fighters to ISIS. Reviewing the public cases of 58 Americans who joined or attempted to join ISIS, the task force found that 26 percent of them came from Minnesota. Somali Minnesotans occasionally appear in the headlines as “Minnesota men” who have taken up terrorist jihad. In 2015, ten such Minnesota men were charged with seeking to join ISIS in Syria; six pleaded guilty, and three were convicted in June 2016 (one is presumed dead in Syria).  

Attending the trial of the three who contested the charges against them, I found that these Minnesota men gave the outward appearance of American assimilation, even though—as became apparent in the recordings introduced into evidence—they all hated the United States. They were young, educated, and bilingual. They moved into and out of the workforce at will. The FBI’s Somali informant worked on the tarmac at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, de-icing planes along with one of the convicted co-conspirators. At one time, all three of the men on trial worked at a local UPS facility in a leafy St. Paul suburb, where they enjoyed watching ISIS videos during their breaks.

I found that they were sophisticated users of social-welfare benefits. Two of four Somali-Minnesotans intercepted at JFK airport in New York en route to Somalia had used federal financial-aid funds to finance their travel; one of the defendants even financed one of his planned trips to Syria with a $5,000 debit-card withdrawal on his student-loan account. The daycare case also demonstrates savvy insight into the opportunities to take advantage of the quasi-governmental American social-services apparatus. Ten daycare centers are under investigation for fraud, and dozens more are suspected. Search warrants show that each of these daycare centers has received several million dollars in child-care assistance funds. According to public records and government sources, most are owned by Somali immigrants.

The case of Fozia Ali, recently sworn in as a member of the park board of an upscale Twin Cities suburb, is illustrative. Ali’s daycare center in south Minneapolis was suspected of billing the government for more than $1 million of bogus child-care services. According to Special Agent Craig Lisher, the FBI “found records that she was collecting a significant amount of money for a much larger number of children than were actually attending the center.” Ali’s case also had an international component. “We are aware that some of the funds went overseas, what she was cashing out, money from the business,” Lisher noted. He declined to specify the purpose to which the funds were put.

Ali used a phone app to register charges to the Minnesota state government while she stayed at an $800-per-night hotel in Nairobi. She pleaded guilty in March to charges of wire fraud and is serving time in federal prison. But the scam goes well beyond Ali. Though the total loss to the state’s $248 million daycare program remains to be determined, we have a serious case of deceit, obviously. But the real damage, harder to measure, is likely to be to the high-trust values of Minnesota, where newcomers can dupe the natives so easily.

Scott W. Johnson is a Minneapolis attorney and contributor to the site Power Line.

Column: School shooters are a symptom of a culture that is ill

Column: School shooters are a symptom of a culture that is ill
Santa Fe High School shooting

Photos: Santa Fe High School shooting
Ten people were killed in a mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, on May 18, 2018.
John Kass John KassContact Reporter
Chicago Tribune
I know two Greek-American kids who brought shotguns to high school.

My brother Peter and me.

There were two 12-gauge shotguns. We were going hunting.

I suppose that sounds crazy, after what happened at the Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday.

Another mass school shooting, another horror show with at least 10 students and staff dead, at least 10 others wounded and a disturbed shooting suspect in custody who left explosive devices to kill more people.

His name is Dimitrios Pagourtzis, and he’s 17.

He allegedly used his father’s shotgun and a .38, and so the father is responsible for this, too.

I can’t say yet if he’s legally responsible. But he’s morally responsible. Those were his guns. That was his son.

If he didn’t know that something was deadly wrong with his son, he should have. He’s the father. Ten innocent people are dead.

We live in a legalistic culture now, where responsibility is narrowly defined. The lawyers come up with reasons to mitigate responsibility.

But in my view, the father is the father. The guns were his. The suspect is his son.

As I write this, after the politicians in Texas had their say, the tired liturgy began anew.

You know how this goes. You’ve seen it before: anger, tribal chant and politics, those who want armed security at schools, those who say there are too many guns in America already.

We slide into our default positions. We think by hashtag.

The uglier our thoughts, the harsher they are, the better. People let their anger roll off their thumbs and onto the Twitter accounts. You can watch the number of your Twitter followers grow when you call people like me a “gun fetishist.”

Or you can posture and preen, blame President Trump and the Bill of Rights, and signal your virtue to people you don’t know.

It has nothing to do with understanding.

It has nothing to do with seeing these boy shooters at schools as something more than mere platforms for our gun politics.

They’re monsters, yes. And they’re evil. And the parents in such cases who say they never realized their boy was dangerously mentally ill seem to me to be nothing but liars.

If you want gun control, I’ll offer some now: The mentally ill should be nowhere near guns. I support the Second Amendment, making me an almost extinct creature in the world of journalism.

But I don’t care if the NRA likes that idea or not.

Also, every state should implement some version of a Gun Violence Restraining Order, so families may petition the courts for the temporary confiscation of guns from the mentally ill.

Schools, like hospitals, are soft targets. They must be hardened.

Every school should have a trained law enforcement officer — not an untrained teacher — armed and ready.

There were law enforcement officers at the Texas school, and more would have been killed if they hadn’t been there.

But I see the killers as something else, too.

I see them as symptoms of a culture that is seriously ill.

The boy shooters filled with nihilism and despair, with hate, with little regard for the lives of others. But how were they formed?

The boy shooters weren’t hatched from dead eggs in an empty desert and raised up alone.

We’re all part of the culture. So we shape them, if not directly then indirectly as we pursue our own wants and desires. We till the ground for the young.

Belief in God is mocked in our culture. Religion is belittled. Decency is snickered at. Tradition is deconstructed.

Liberty is defined as doing what we want with our bodies. We glaze our minds with media and say hateful things to people we don’t know by using our phones, because we’re right and those who disagree are wrong.

The wave of school shootings dating back to Columbine are telling us something, but we don’t want to understand, because understanding might make us guilty, and get in the way of our true American pastime: seeking instant gratification.

When Peter and I brought our guns to school, we weren’t threats. We didn’t have Twitter or Facebook.

We were just two boys with a good pointing dog on a cool morning in autumn.

We locked the shotguns in the trunk in the school parking lot and parked in the shade. We left our pointer, Jason, in the car with a bowl of water in his dog cage, with the windows half open.

Then we went to class to be marked as “present” before we ditched and drove to some fields near Kankakee to hunt pheasants.

“We didn’t think about killing anybody,” said Pete.

“No,” I said. “Dad knew what we were doing.”

Pete had just come back from the cemetery where he’d taken our mom and my wife, Betty. They’d gone to tend Dad’s grave.

And when they walked back into the house, I was there with the TV. The Texas shooting suspect’s name was on screen:

Dimitrios Pagourtzis.

My mom’s jaw dropped, the immigrant fear of shame brought upon her people was obvious.

“He’s Greek?”

That doesn’t matter. He’s an American high school student and he’s accused of killing 10 people with his father’s guns.

And now we fight the same fight all over again.

Listen to "The Chicago Way" podcast with John Kass and Jeff Carlin — at
Twitter @John_Kass

Derek Hunter: I Used to be Skeptical of the Existence of a "Deep State." I'm All Out of Skepticism Now.

Derek Hunter: I Used to be Skeptical of the Existence of a "Deep State." I'm All Out of Skepticism Now.

Extraordinary claims require extraodinary proofs.
We now have extraordinary proofs.
The Deep State Is Real, And Much Bigger Than You KnowI used to be a doubter who would cringe, just a little, at any mention of "the deep state." I admit it, it all seemed a little far-fetched to me that there was this cabal of careerists conspiring from within the government to harm President Donald Trump when I first heard it. I never doubted there were individuals doing it, but a wide net of conspirators seemed like something out of a bad movie more than anything that could actually happen in the United States.
I was wrong, very wrong, the deep state is real. But there is much more than just this small group of powerful people working toward a common goal, there is an entire infrastructure created by the left not only to destroy Trump, but to indoctrinate unsuspecting Americans into their agenda.
As the curtain is pulled back on the Obama administration's unprecedented efforts to spy on the Trump campaign, there is a good possibility many of the perpetrators could face criminal charges, or at least should. But it's important to understand that liberals didn’t just create this out of the blue in 2016, it's the culmination of everything they've worked toward for decades.
The infrastructure they used to spy on the Trump campaign was something inherently governmental, simply planting a mole in the campaign couldn't tap phones or access emails. But the ability to cover up that fact requires a level of media complicity that takes time to create.
Getting the desired message out is only part of the battle, it has to be believed by a significant percentage of the public for it to really matter. Conditioning the public to be receptive to that message, without questioning how it came about or why they should care required subtle indoctrination over a lifetime.
As it stands, liberals have that infrastructure in place, they had that support system ready to go. And, not to get all Scooby-Doo on you, they would've gotten away with it were it not for the existence of conservative media.
None of this is by accident, and it didn’t start on November 8, 2016, it just sprang into action. Nearly every aspect of life, to one degree or another, has been or is ready to be weaponized against anyone who dares to stand up to the liberal agenda. And none have stood up to it in a more threatening way than Donald Trump.
But the clock is ticking, the fuse is burning down low.

Derek's got a book coming out called Outrage, Inc.: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood, available June 19th. I just got an advanced copy and will be reading it soon.
Andrew C. McCarthy has also seen the light on the Deep State. Months and months ago, he was largely taking the line that the Armed Wing of the Democratic Party was just a bunch of great ethical heroes who should be trusted in their judgment.
Since then, he has been a steadfast critic of Mueller and the Russia Narrative. He constantly points out that the special counsel law requires the factual statement of an actual crime to be investigated, which Rosenstein and Mueller have completely ignored, instead basing their authority -- lawlessly -- on the premise of a counterintelligence investigation.
But the Special Counsel law says that a crime must be named. You can't evade that requirement by just saying "It's a counterintelligence operation." A Special Counsel cannot be appointed to conduct such an investigation.
Chuck Grassley has picked up on that, and is now demanding that Wray and Rosenstein explain what part of what law they rely on for the proposition that a Special Counsel can be appointed in absence of a named crime:
he regulations authorizing the appointment of a special counsel state that the Attorney General (or Acting Attorney General) may appoint a special counsel "when he or she determinations that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted." The Appointment Order proscribes the Special Counsel's jurisdiction by citing specifically "the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James B. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017." In his March 20 testimony, former Director Comey referred to "the investigation" as a counterintelligence investigation -- not a criminal investigation.Please explain which portion of which regulation authorizes the appointment of a Special Counsel to conduct a counterintelligence investigation.

That letter also has some other "bombshells" in it, btw:

McCarthy also wrote a good column recently comparing the kids-glove treatment of Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, who obviously lied to the FBI -- Hillary claiming she didn't know what (C)meant in a classified report (hint: It stands for "confidential"), and Cheryl Mills claiming she didn't know about Hillary's secret server, despite ample evidence that she did, compared to the Squeeze Their Family Members and Threaten Them With Jail pressure put on former Trump associates.
You can either read that, and/or read Hot Air's John Sexton's take on it.

The reference to the "spy" seeking a job in the Trump campaign is from Axios.

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posted by Ace of Spades

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Journalists' Hatred for Trump Is Destroying Them

American journalists hate Donald Trump so much they have become exactly what he says they are: the purveyors of fake news.
Take for example the New York Timesa former newspaper. The Times used to pride itself on exposing and denigrating our military, intelligence and law enforcement services. The Pentagon Papers, Abu Ghraib, enhanced interrogation, search and seizure: the Times fought hard to thwart the work of our services when they were fighting against and spying on our enemies.
But now that it turns out the FBI and CIA leadership may have been subverting our political process to try to thwart Donald Trump, the Times has become a sort of megaphone for the excuses and spin of the Deep State wrong-doers.
On Thursday, with Devin Nunes relentlessly digging out the facts, and a reputedly damaging inspector general's report on the way, the Times attempted to help anonymous Fed sources spin, play down and obscure what is now obvious to any honest observer: the Obama administration abused its power for political purposes and nowhere so badly as in the DOJ's investigation of Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
On what basis did the investigation begin? Well, back in January, desperate to puncture the right-wing narrative that the Russian collusion investigation was jump-started by the Steele Dossier (Hillary Clinton's unvetted oppo research), the Times declared that no, it was a drunken brag by minor Trump aide George Papadopoulos that put the Feds on Trump's trail. But now that the truth is seeping out, the Times quietly buries that assertion. In the new article's first line, we learn that the investigation was already underway when Papadopoulos's information came to the FBI's attention. So was it the Steele Dossier that started the hunt or not? They don't say.
The Times has also repeatedly accused Trump of lying when he tweeted that his campaign had been wiretapped. But now, desperate to defend Obama's fantasy legacy from his true legacy, the ex-paper tells us that in investigating the campaign:
The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said.
So Trump was worse than wiretapped (though if you count the unmasking of Mike Flynn he was that too). His campaign was spied on.
And then, buried so far in the article it would take a backhoe to dredge it up, is this little titbit:
A year and a half later, no public evidence has surfaced connecting Mr. Trump’s advisers to the hacking or linking Mr. Trump himself to the Russian government’s disruptive efforts.
So a Democrat administration set federal spies and secret subpoenas on a Republican presidential campaign on the basis of — well, we're not quite sure what — to investigate what seems to have been a comically inept Russian attempt to meddle with our elections — and then came up with nothing.
One hardly has to ask but let's: if this had been George W. Bush spying on Barack Obama's first campaign, would the Times be trying to soft-sell it?
And do you doubt that this act of shameful journalistic obfuscation was inspired by pure Trump hatred? Then how do you explain the misreporting of Trump's "animal" remark? At a sit-down with California officials worried about sanctuary laws, Trump was questioned by Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims. The sheriff complained that the laws kept her from holding the vicious, brutal, murderous members of the MS-13 gang for deportation. "There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it," the sheriff said. And the president, sympathizing and obviously referring to the gangsters, answered, "You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals."
CNN, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, the New York Times and even C-SPAN rushed to tweet this comment in such a way as to make it sound as if Trump were referring to illegal immigrants in general. "Trump lashed out at undocumented immigrants during a White House meeting, calling those trying to breach the country’s borders 'animals.'" Well, yes, except they left out the descriptor: "But only those immigrants who beat children to death with baseball bats and cut their enemies' hearts out and are animals."
The last time the press destroyed a president they despised — when they managed to depose Richard Nixon for far more trivial abuses of power than Obama's — Nixon left office with this sa
ge advice: "Others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself."
American journalists should have listened to him. Because, sure enough, their hatred of Trump is destroying whatever integrity, honesty and decency they may have once had.
For more commentary, listen to my podcast Monday through Thursday.


Andrew McCarthy gives the (new) Times origin story the kind of close reading I called for here earlier today. With the benefit of an educated eye, he reads the Times story between the lines and concludes (all emphasis in original):
* * * * *
The scandal is that the FBI, lacking the incriminating evidence needed to justify opening a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign, decided to open a counterintelligence investigation. With the blessing of the Obama White House, they took the powers that enable our government to spy on foreign adversaries and used them to spy on Americans — Americans who just happened to be their political adversaries.
The Times averts its eyes from this point — although if a Republican administration tried this sort of thing on a Democratic candidate, it would be the only point.
Like the Justice Department and the FBI, the paper is banking on Russia to muddy the waters. Obviously, Russia was trying to meddle in the election, mainly through cyber-espionage — hacking. There would, then, have been nothing inappropriate about the FBI’s opening up a counterintelligence investigation against Russia. Indeed, it would have been irresponsible not to do so. That’s what counterintelligence powers are for.
But opening up a counterintelligence investigation against Russia is not the same thing as opening up a counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign.
The media-Democrat complex has tried from the start to conflate these two things. That explains the desperation to convince the public that Putin wanted Trump to win. It explains the stress on contacts, no matter how slight, between Trump campaign figures and Russians. They are trying to fill a gaping void they hope you don’t notice: Even if Putin did want Trump to win, and even if Trump-campaign advisers did have contacts with Kremlin-tied figures, there is no evidence of participation by the Trump campaign in Russia’s espionage.
At the height of the 2016 presidential race, the FBI collaborated with the CIA to probe an American political campaign.
That is the proof that would have been needed to justify investigating Americans. Under federal law, to establish that an American is acting as an agent of a foreign power, the government must show that the American is purposefully engaging in clandestine activities on behalf of a foreign power, and that it is probable that these activities violate federal criminal law. (See FISA, Title 50, U.S. Code, Section 1801(b)(2), further explained in the last six paragraphs of my Dec. 17 column.)
But of course, if the FBI had had that kind of evidence, they would not have had to open a counterintelligence investigation. They would not have had to use the Clinton campaign’s opposition research — the Steele dossier — to get FISA-court warrants. They would instead have opened a criminal investigation, just as they did on Clinton when there was evidence that she committed felonies.
To the contrary, the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation in the absence of any (a) incriminating evidence, or (b) evidence implicating the Trump campaign in Russian espionage. At the height of the 2016 presidential race, the FBI collaborated with the CIA to probe an American political campaign. They used foreign-intelligence surveillance and informants.
That’s your crossfire hurricane.



The FBI and its friends in the mainstream media want to make the Bureau’s spying on the Trump campaign seem as dry, innocuous, and non-cloak-and-dagger as possible under the circumstances. An elderly professor contacted three Trump advisers — Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Sam Clovis.
He met with Page at least several times and maintained an email correspondence with him. He met with Clovis once for coffee. He met several times for dinner with Papadopoulos. He was looking for indications of Russian influence in the campaign. Apparently, he found none.
As dry as this story sounds, it still constitutes the federal government spying on the campaign of the candidate of the party out of power. It’s still a scandal.
It could a use a little spice, though. This report by Chuck Ross at the Daily Caller supplies it.
According to Ross:
Papadopoulos made the trip to (London) and had dinner multiple times with [the spying professor] and a Turkish woman described as his assistant. Sources familiar with Papadopoulos’s version of their meetings said Halper randomly asked Papadopoulos whether he knew about Democratic National Committee emails that had been hacked and leaked by Russians.
Papadopoulos strongly denied the allegation, sources familiar with his version of the exchange have told The DCNF [Daily Caller News Foundation]. Halper grew agitated and pressed Papadopoulos on the topic. Papadopoulos believes that Halper was recording him during some of their interactions, sources said.
[The professor’s] assistant. . .brought up Russians and emails over drinks with Papadopoulos. [She] also flirted heavily with Papadopoulos and attempted to meet him in Chicago, where he lives, a source told TheDCNF.
If true, the FBI didn’t just use an elderly professor to spy. It also used a temptress.
This isn’t as juicy as parts of the anti-Trump dossier, but it may have the virtue (so to speak) of being true.