Looking at Leftist Deep State


Crooked Clintons, Dems, Obamunists, Uranium One, Fusion GPS, Russia Collusion and Probably MORE

 

John R. Houk, Editor

Posted November 13, 2017

 

It’s time to look at some anti-Trump Deep State horse pucky the Leftist Mainstream Media (MSM) is ignoring and yet still fabricating Trump/Russia collusion and calling for President Trump’s impeachment based on ZERO legal reasoning.

 

Let’s begin with a Wikileaks TV video posted on 11/10/17. (Hat Tip: G+ Community Conservative Against Liberal Media (C.A.L.M.) on 11/12/17)

 

JRH 11/13/17

Please Support NCCR

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VIDEO: JUST IN …HOUSE FREEDOM CAUCUS ORDERS FOR IMMEDIATE ARREST OF HILLARY CLINTON

 

Posted by wikileaks tv

Published on Nov 10, 2017

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Fusion collusion with Veselnitskaya proves Trump, Jr. meeting was a set up

 

By press

November 7, 2017

Americans for Limited Government

 

Nov. 7, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement reacting to the revelation that Fusion GPS CEO Glenn Simpson met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya both before and after her meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. in June 2016:

 

“Today’s report that Fusion GPS CEO Glenn Simpson met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya both before and after her meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. in June 2016 is breathtaking. It is clear the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign paid for a consultant who was using Russians in an attempt to create the appearance of collusion through false offers of dirt on Hillary Clinton. Even the Closseau-like Robert Mueller should be able to piece this together and see that Fusion GPS is at the center of his investigation into the 2016 election.

 

“It is also reasonable to assume that the Clinton campaign did not receive any information from that meeting that they deemed relevant in the campaign, except for the meeting itself, or else they would have used it. If taking a meeting with Russians is deemed a criminal act, then Simpson and everyone else who used Russian sources for the dossier, including the Clinton campaign since they paid for it, should apparently be in jail. It should also be clear to anyone with an ounce of honest blood flowing through their veins that the entire foundation of the Mueller investigation is based on a manufactured concept. If taking a meeting is criminalized, no one in Washington, D.C. can be exempt from Mueller’s witch hunt. It’s time to close Robert Mueller’s desperate search for criminality where none exists.”

 

Attachments:

 

“Why did the Russians try to deliver ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign—three times? And what did Fusion GPS know about it? Was the Trump campaign being set up?” By Robert Romano, Oct. 31, 2017 at http://netrightdaily.com/2017/10/russians-try-deliver-dirt-hillary-clinton-trump-campaign-three-times-fusion-gps-know-trump-campaign-set/

 

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 100 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts.

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I want Truth. Hillary- I deleted Truth

 

Is the Clinton Cartel about to take a fall?

FBI Provides Necessary Documents to Prosecute Crooked Hillary Clinton

 

Posted by Dee Fatouros

Posted on November 8, 2017 5:51:00 AM   

The Realistic Observer

 

Original Posting:

By Kevin Jackson

Nov 7, 2017

The Blacksphere

 

It’s finally underway. The unraveling of the Clintons.
With no James Comey to protect her, and a complicit crooked president to provide cover, Hillary Clinton finds herself naked and standing before the man.

 

“Spread your butt-cheeks,” yells her jailer, as he waters her down, and checks for a “keestered” weapon.

 

According to The Hill, the unraveling of the Clinton Cartel has begun:

 

The FBI has begun turning over to Senate investigators hundreds of pages of memos regarding the bureau’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, sources told The Hill.

The sources said the Justice Department notified the Senate Judiciary Committee late Friday and the FBI began transmitting memos soon after to assist Congress in its review of former Director James Comey’s handling of the Clinton email case.

The memos detail how and when the bureau’s leadership declined to pursue criminal charges against Clinton for transmitting classified information on her private email server as secretary of State, an investigation that has remained controversial since the 2016 presidential campaigns.

FBI officials declined to comment. “We don’t have any information for you,” spokeswoman Carol Cratty told The Hill.

The Senate committee has been seeking the memos for some time as it investigates whether Comey chose to absolve Clinton of criminal liability before the election-year probe was complete and before she was even interviewed. Comey ultimately concluded that while Clinton’s handling of classified emails was careless, there was not enough evidence of intent to warrant criminal charges.

 

Despite David M. Hardy running interference for the Clintons, the records are now available.

 

READ THE REST

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Fusion GPS official met with Russian operative before and after Trump Jr. sit-down

 

By Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne, Cyd Upson

November 7, 2017

Fox News

 

The co-founder of Fusion GPS, the firm behind the unverified Trump dossier, met with a Russian lawyer before and after a key meeting she had last year with Trump’s son, Fox News has learned. The contacts shed new light on how closely tied the firm was to Russian interests, at a time when it was financing research to discredit then-candidate Donald Trump.

 

The opposition research firm has faced renewed scrutiny after litigation revealed that the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for that research. Congressional Republicans have since questioned whether that politically financed research contributed to the FBI’s investigation of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – making Fusion’s 2016 contacts with Russian interests all the more relevant.

 

The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya occurred during a critical period. At that time, Fox News has learned that bank records show Fusion GPS was paid by a law firm for work on behalf of a Kremlin-linked oligarch while paying former British spy Christopher Steele to dig up dirt on Trump through his Russian contacts.

 

But hours before the Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, Fusion co-founder and ex-Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson was with Veselnitskaya in a Manhattan federal courtroom, a confidential source told Fox News. Court records reviewed by Fox News, email correspondence and published reports corroborate the pair’s presence together. The source told Fox News they also were together after the Trump Tower meeting.

 

Simpson’s presence with Veselnitskaya during this critical week in June — together with revelations about Fusion’s simultaneous financial ties to the DNC, Clinton campaign and Russian interests — raise new questions about the company’s role in the 2016 election.

 

READ THE REST

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Podesta Email: “And Then The Bundys Showed Up”

 

By TIM BROWN

NOVEMBER 9, 2017

Freedom Outpost

 

In the pile of emails released by Wikileaks, there was one from American Progress Action to Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta that contained a brief reference to the Bundys.

 

The email address progress@americanprogressaction.org sent Podesta an email on January 11, 2016 with the subject line: And then the Bundys showed up.

 

The text of the email read as follows: After years of conflict, residents of Harney County, Oregon had finally begun to rebuild ties between ranchers and the federal government. Then the Bundys showed up. And, President Obama is leaving a seat open for shooting victims at tomorrow’s State of the Union address. In case you missed it, gun violence survivors speak out in this powerful video (editor’s note: tissues recommended).Additionally, there was a list of articles linked to Think Progress and at the top of the list was one titled How The Bundy Standoff Could Screw Over Ranchers. The article has been removed and has not been archived. [Blog Editor: web cache version courtesy Google]

 

Keep in mind, this email was sent less than 2 weeks before Oregon State Troopers, alongside the FBI shot and killed LaVoy Finicum, also a rancher who stood alongside the Bundys at Bundy Ranch in Bunkersville in 2014 and at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in late 2015 and 2016.

 

This may also be insightful since we know from texts and emails that the White House, at the time, was in communication with the Oregon governor and helping to orchestrate the takedown of men who were simply exercising their constitutional rights, even to the point of killing one of them.

 

I reported on those documents in March 2016:

 

…Northwest Liberty News radio show, a bombshell from documents Jim White and I obtained indicates that the entire operation of January 26, 2016 goes up not only to Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s office, but even to the White House. Because of the language that was used in the documents by the officers, we speculated along with Red Smith of ShastaLantern.com and Paul Preston of Agenda21radio.com that the White House orchestrated the entire thing and that when it comes to calling the shots, we don’t look to Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah, but rather to Obama’s mama, Valerie Jarrett.

 

First, let me remind you that there are over 600 emails and texts that indicate the Governor Brown was in the loop on everything that was going on in Oregon during the protest at the Malheur Refuge, including some emails and texts that were directly from her. Second, due to newly released documents, we know that at least one Oregon State Trooper specifically acknowledged that the county to which the protesters were traveling on the day of LaVoy Finicum’s murder was a well-known “UN free zone.” The officer made the statement as though it was common knowledge, so does that mean that Harney County is not a “UN free zone”?

 

However, in those same documents, we have run across even more chilling and telling statements concerning where the command for the roadblock and the ambush came from.

 

If you pick up the radio show at the 7:00 mark here, then you will hear Red Smith detail what is in the documents.

 

 

Additionally, I would encourage you to watch this video by Lo K and check out the documentation below listed in the video and connect that dots.

 

 

 

  • Mueller is planning to conspire in the cover-up of James Comey, Peter Comey, The Clinton Foundation, Uranium One, Loretta Lynch, Ron Wyden, Adam Wyden, Jeff Merkley, Steven E Grasty, Brent Grasty, Neil Kronze, Gregory Kronze, Harry Reid, Rory Reid, George Soros, Barrack Hussein Obama and others for TREASON. Mueller Hires 13 Lawyers, Including One Who Represented Hillary! – BB4SP https://bb4sp.com/mueller-hires-13-lawyers/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

READ ENTIRETY

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Grassley: Special Counsel Should Investigate ‘Potentially Criminal’ Uranium One Deal

 

As seen on Fox & Friends

Oct. 26, 2017 9:10am

Fox News Insider

 

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is calling for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the Obama-era Uranium One deal.

 

Uranium One refers to the name of a Canada-based company with mines in the U.S. that was bought by Rosatom, a company backed by the Russian state. The State Department, then led by Hillary Clinton, was one of nine U.S. government agencies that had to approve the controversial 2010 deal, which gave Russia control over more than 20 percent of U.S. uranium supplies.

 

Republicans have raised concerns about Russian efforts to influence Clinton to sign off on the deal – citing donations to the Clinton Foundation as well as a $500,000 speaking fee received by former President Bill Clinton.

 

 

 

On “Fox & Friends,” Grassley said that if a special counsel was necessary to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election, then one is also necessary to look into these “potentially criminal, fraudulent money laundering activities.”

 

He said he’s looking forward to hearing from a former FBI informant, who claims to have information about efforts to bribe the Clintons involving the uranium deal.

 

The Justice Department said Wednesday night that it had lifted a gag order the informant, clearing the individual to speak to Congress.

 

“We ought to know about [what he knows], because transparency brings accountability,” Grassley said, explaining that READ THE REST

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Surprise! Big Media Ignores the Real Russian Scandal

 

By Susan Stamper Brown

Oct 23, 2017 6:57 AM

Townhall

 

 

Additionally, the chairman of Uranium One is a close friend of the Clintons and is on the board of the Clinton Foundation, according to Peter Schweizer, author of “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”

 

Fast forward to now.

 

Enter: Rod Rosenstein, Andrew McCabe, Robert Mueller and James Comey –the same folks investigating the so-called Trump-Russia collusion investigation were also involved in Uranium One.

 

DOJ documents disclose the investigation was ultimately supervised by Rosenstein and  McCabe. Robert Mueller was FBI director when the probe began and James Comey was director until Trump fired him.

 

We now know the FBI was aware of multi-faceted Russian wrongdoing long before the Uranium One nuclear deal was approved.

 

The Hill reports the “FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.”

 

Investigators also knew “Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns,” The Hill reports.

 

Apparently, the Obama administration was desperate to keep this under wraps and allegedly threatened an FBI informant to remain silent. Fox News reports that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa has asked the DOJ to “lift an apparent ‘gag order’ on the FBI informant who “allegedly was ‘threatened’ by the Obama administration to stay quiet.”

 

All that, while we were told there was nothing to see here.

 

READ ENTIRETY

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New Memos Reveal Obama Admin Lied About “Uranium One” Exports

 

By Brian Thomas

November 3, 2017

The Federalist Papers

 

Despite the mainstream media’s best efforts to dismiss and ignore the Uranium One bribery scheme, newly released memos show that the Obama Administration worked hard to deceive Americans into thinking the sale wouldn’t result in uranium exports.

 

The Uranium One deal landed the Clinton Foundation roughly $145 million, but former President Obama approved of the obvious bribe.

 

 

But the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission repeatedly assured Congress that U.S. uranium reserves wouldn’t be exported.

From the Hill:

 

“No uranium produced at either facility may be exported,” the NRC declared in a November 2010 press release that announced that ARMZ, a subsidiary of the Russian state-owned Rosatom, had been approved to take ownership of the Uranium One mining firm and its American assets.

 

A year later, the nuclear regulator repeated the assurance in a letter to Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican in whose state Uranium One operated mines.

 

“Neither Uranium One Inc. nor AMRZ holds a specific NRC export license. In order to export uranium from the United States, Uranium One Inc. or ARMZ would need to apply for and obtain a specific NRC license authorizing the exports of uranium for use in reactor fuel,” then-NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko wrote to Barrasso.

 

 

The 2011 Barrasso letter makes it clear that Rosatom didn’t have an export license and explained why such a liscense is of value to the “common defense and security of the United States.”

 

 

Freshly released Nuclear Regulatory Commission memos, however, prove that exports were approved.

 

Yellowcake uranium was exported from the U.S., regularly between 2012 and 2014.

 

To cover their tracks, Obama signed a waiver which allowed the uranium to be first driven to Canada, where it would then be exported to Europe.

 

The Hill continues:

 

Yet NRC memos reviewed by The Hill show that it did approve the shipment of yellowcake uranium — the raw material used to make nuclear fuel and weapons — from the Russian-owned mines in the United States to Canada in 2012 through a third party. Later, the Obama administration approved some of that uranium going all the way to Europe, government documents show.

 

NRC officials said they could not disclose the total amount of uranium that Uranium One exported because the information is proprietary. They did, however, say that the shipments only lasted from 2012 to 2014 and that they are unaware of any exports since then.

 

NRC officials told The Hill that Uranium One exports flowed from Wyoming to Canada and on to Europe between 2012 and 2014, and the approval involved a process with multiple agencies.

 

Rather than give Rosatom a direct export license — which would have raised red flags inside a Congress already suspicious of the deal — the NRC in 2012 authorized an amendment to an existing export license for a Paducah, Ky.-based trucking firm called RSB Logistics Services Inc. to simply add Uranium One to the list of clients whose uranium it could move to Canada.

 

The license, reviewed by The Hill, is dated March 16, 2012, and it increased the amount of uranium ore concentrate that RSB Logistics could ship to the Cameco Corp. plant in Ontario from 7,500,000 kilograms to 12,000,000 kilograms and added Uranium One to the “other parties to Export.”

 

Uranium left U.S. shores after all, and the efforts to cover up the move left Congress in the dark for years.

 

The Hill received an email from “Uranium One’s American arm” admitting that uranium was trucked to Canada to be exported throughout Europe and Asia. According to the letter, the move technically complies with federal law.

 

READ ENTIRETY

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Mueller Now Connected to a Covered-Up Bribery Scheme Involving Hillary Clinton

 

By amorgan

November 11, 2017

ConsJournal.com

 

Well, well, well.  It looks as if former FBI director Robert Mueller, who is now special counsel in charge of the Justice Department’s Russia investigation, allegedly hid evidence that was collected as early as 2009 which shows Russian officials were involved in a bribery scheme with Hillary Clinton’s charity in order to expand their atomic energy business within the U.S.

 

According to The Hill:

 

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

 

Rather than bring immediate charges for the scheme though, the FBI and Justice Department decided to continue “investigating” the issue for four more years – leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.

 

The details were revealed in a report earlier this week.  Apparently, the evidence was withheld from lawmakers while they were questioning the Obama administration’s approval of the sale of Uranium One to Russia’s nuclear giant Rosatom in 2010, which ultimately led to Russian control of 20% of U.S. uranium supply.

 

Then, in 2011, the administration approved Tenex, a subsidiary of Rosatom, in partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp., to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants.  Prior to that, Tenex was only allowed to sell reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s “Megatons to Megawatts” peace program U.S. nuclear power plants.

 

An anonymous person who worked on the case informed The Hill, “The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions.”

 

READ THE REST

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Ned Ryun: Stronger Evidence Of Russian Collusion Between Fusion GPS, DNC, And Clinton Than Trump

 

By Ian Schwartz 

November 8, 2017

Real Clear Politics

 

[Blog Editor: RCP post a 56 second video of Trish Regan and Ned Ryun discussing the issue of a criminal cover-up in the Obama Administration. There was no embed at RCP. But I did find a Facebook on Trish Regan’s video page. I’ll embed that first followed by a more detailed similar version I found a Youtube video of Regan and Ryun on the same subject but four-minutes in length.

 

Trish Regan Facebook VIDEO: RPT. Russian Lawyer Met with Fusion GPS Before & After Trump Jr. Meeting

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FRealTrishRegan%2Fvideos%2F847750472069276%2F&show_text=0&width=560

 

VIDEO: What did Russia do with US uranium imports?


 

Posted by Fox Business

Published on Nov 3, 2017

 

American Majority CEO Ned Ryun on the Uranium One deal and Russia reportedly exporting U.S. uranium to Canada and Europe.]

 

American Majority CEO Ned Ryun talks to FOX Business Network’s Trish Reagan about the Russian connection between Fusion GPS, DNC, and the Clinton presidential campaign. Ryun also said the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer smells like a setup.

“This Russian lawyer we will discover that she was actually one of the unnamed sources for the Russian dossier,” Ryun said Wednesday on FOX Business. “The thing that is amazing to me in all of this is we have seen harder and stronger evidence over the last two weeks for Russian collusion between Fusion GPS, the DNC and Hillary Clinton with Russia than we have any evidence for the Trump campaign and Russia for the last year.”

“The reason I think the Intelligence Committee is trying to get ahold of all of their bank records — I think Fusion GPS was actually paying journalists to promote their manufactured news,” he said. “And so you asked if there was anything illegal. We’ll have to find that out and that’s why I want to see the DOJ to go under the RICO statutes and look what Fusion GPS has done. It’s highly unethical.”

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Uranium One and New START

 

By Bill Gertz

November 1, 2017

Washington Times

 

Some U.S. national security officials are urging an investigation of the burgeoning Uranium One scandal to focus on whether the New START arms treaty with Russia was compromised by Moscow payoffs and not just by Obama administration policies that sought to curry favor with the Kremlin.

 

The Obama team, through the Treasury Department-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), approved the 2010 sale of 51 percent of Canada-based Uranium One to JSC Atomredmetzoloto, or ARMZ, the mining arm of Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear energy agency. The merger gave Russia control of some 20 percent of U.S. uranium extraction capability.

 

In 2015, it was revealed that nine lobbyists for Uranium One paid the Clinton Foundation, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable organization, $145 million before, during and after the deal was approved. Bill Clinton also traveled to Moscow, where he was paid $500,000 by a Russian government-linked bank for a speech.

 

Last month, the Uranium One case resurfaced when news reports revealed that the FBI apparently covered up information about illegal Russian attempts to lobby then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

 

The deal was approved by senior Obama officials, including Mrs. Clinton, apparently without knowledge of an FBI probe that led to the conviction of a Russian lobbyist linked to the deal who was found guilty of bribery and kickbacks. A confidential source used in the prosecution was forced to remain silent and only recently revealed details of the payoffs.

 

Since the disclosures, Congress has jumped on the Uranium One deal and is investigating, including potential links between conciliatory policies toward Moscow by the Obama administration and the New START treaty.

 

 

Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon nuclear official, said there are national security implications to the Uranium One deal — but not much linkage to New START.

 

“Russia has enough plutonium and highly enriched uranium for a nuclear force vastly larger than the one it can possibly produce in the next two decades,” he said.

 

“We have killed our uranium enrichment capability, which in turn has killed our tritium production capability. The emerging tritium crisis eliminates any potential to hedge against a greater-than-expected threat, and we will soon start losing capability that even the Obama administration thought was necessary.”

 

Uranium One will solidify Moscow’s hold on the uranium enrichment market and will increase leverage on nations that use low-enriched uranium-powered reactors.

 

“Uranium One is a symptom of Third World corruption coming to the United States,” Mr. Schneider said.

 

“The Russians bought the secretary of state with massive bribes — $500,000 for a speech and $145 million for the Clinton Foundation, their personal piggy bank,” he said. “The Democrat leadership in the Congress does not care. Unless they are punished, this is just the beginning.”

 

READ ENTIRETY

__________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Any information enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

Typically, I display the copyright of each cross post. Not today. Go to the linked webpage to realize I did not write it. 😊

 

How the Elderly Lose Their Rights


I’m nearing age 61. I say my age because an old Internet friend sent me an article relating to elderly abuse published in The New Yorker. The article could almost be read as a short story of terror except for one mitigating fact. IT IS TRUE!

 

If you are a son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, beloved nephew or niece; YOU need to pay attention! The elders you love in whichever relationship, might be in danger of a complete stranger unilaterally having a court declare your elder loved ones too incompetent to take care of themselves and become declared their guardian. It gets worse! After becoming the legal guardian of your loved elders, they become in charge of all the loved ones’ assets – house, money, expensive furniture, expensive art and so on. Once in charge by order of the courts, the guardian can duly fleece your elders of everything they own for the guardian’s personal gain.

 

This is how my friend introduced the link:

 

This is a must read. People all across the country are using the courts to rob elders and I believe they are willing to kill them. Total strangers claim guardianship responsibilities then commit them to retirement homes or mental health institutions. On the excuse of paying for those services, they take everything they own, bank accounts, homes, furniture, everything!!!

 

Read the true horror.

 

JRH 10/27/17 (Hat Tip: Bob Judge)

Please Support NCCR

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How the Elderly Lose Their Rights

Guardians can sell the assets and control the lives of senior citizens without their consent—and reap a profit from it.

 

By Rachel Aviv

A Reporter at Large

October 9, 2017 Issue

The New Yorker

 

Guardian-Strangers Fleecing ElderlyIllustration by Anna Parini

After a stranger became their guardian, Rudy and Rennie North were moved to a nursing home and their property was sold.

 

For years, Rudy North woke up at 9 a.m. and read the Las Vegas Review-Journal while eating a piece of toast. Then he read a novel—he liked James Patterson and Clive Cussler—or, if he was feeling more ambitious, Freud. On scraps of paper and legal notepads, he jotted down thoughts sparked by his reading. “Deep below the rational part of our brain is an underground ocean where strange things swim,” he wrote on one notepad. On another, “Life: the longer it cooks, the better it tastes.”

 

Rennie, his wife of fifty-seven years, was slower to rise. She was recovering from lymphoma and suffered from neuropathy so severe that her legs felt like sausages. Each morning, she spent nearly an hour in the bathroom applying makeup and lotions, the same brands she’d used for forty years. She always emerged wearing pale-pink lipstick. Rudy, who was prone to grandiosity, liked to refer to her as “my amour.”

 

On the Friday before Labor Day, 2013, the Norths had just finished their toast when a nurse, who visited five times a week to help Rennie bathe and dress, came to their house, in Sun City Aliante, an “active adult” community in Las Vegas. They had moved there in 2005, when Rudy, a retired consultant for broadcasters, was sixty-eight and Rennie was sixty-six. They took pride in their view of the golf course, though neither of them played golf.

 

Rudy chatted with the nurse in the kitchen for twenty minutes, joking about marriage and laundry, until there was a knock at the door. A stocky woman with shiny black hair introduced herself as April Parks, the owner of the company A Private Professional Guardian. She was accompanied by three colleagues, who didn’t give their names. Parks told the Norths that she had an order from the Clark County Family Court to “remove” them from their home. She would be taking them to an assisted-living facility. “Go and gather your things,” she said.

 

Rennie began crying. “This is my home,” she said.

 

One of Parks’s colleagues said that if the Norths didn’t comply he would call the police. Rudy remembers thinking, You’re going to put my wife and me in jail for this? But he felt too confused to argue.

 

Parks drove a Pontiac G-6 convertible with a license plate that read “crtgrdn,” for “court guardian.” In the past twelve years, she had been a guardian for some four hundred wards of the court. Owing to age or disability, they had been deemed incompetent, a legal term that describes those who are unable to make reasoned choices about their lives or their property. As their guardian, Parks had the authority to manage their assets, and to choose where they lived, whom they associated with, and what medical treatment they received. They lost nearly all their civil rights.

 

Without realizing it, the Norths had become temporary wards of the court. Parks had filed an emergency ex-parte petition, which provides an exception to the rule that both parties must be notified of any argument before a judge. She had alleged that the Norths posed a “substantial risk for mismanagement of medications, financial loss and physical harm.” She submitted a brief letter from a physician’s assistant, whom Rennie had seen once, stating that “the patient’s husband can no longer effectively take care of the patient at home as his dementia is progressing.” She also submitted a letter from one of Rudy’s doctors, who described him as “confused and agitated.”

 

The Illuminati of the Subway

 

Rudy and Rennie had not undergone any cognitive assessments. They had never received a diagnosis of dementia. In addition to Freud, Rudy was working his way through Nietzsche and Plato. Rennie read romance novels.

 

Parks told the Norths that if they didn’t come willingly an ambulance would take them to the facility, a place she described as a “respite.” Still crying, Rennie put cosmetics and some clothes into a suitcase. She packed so quickly that she forgot her cell phone and Rudy’s hearing aid. After thirty-five minutes, Parks’s assistant led the Norths to her car. When a neighbor asked what was happening, Rudy told him, “We’ll just be gone for a little bit.” He was too proud to draw attention to their predicament. “Just think of it as a mini-vacation,” he told Rennie.

 

After the Norths left, Parks walked through the house with Cindy Breck, the owner of Caring Transitions, a company that relocates seniors and sells their belongings at estate sales. Breck and Parks had a routine. “We open drawers,” Parks said at a deposition. “We look in closets. We pull out boxes, anything that would store—that would keep paperwork, would keep valuables.” She took a pocket watch, birth certificates, insurance policies, and several collectible coins.

 

The Norths’ daughter, Julie Belshe, came to visit later that afternoon. A fifty-three-year-old mother of three sons, she and her husband run a small business designing and constructing pools. She lived ten miles away and visited her parents nearly every day, often taking them to her youngest son’s football games. She was her parents’ only living child; her brother and sister had died.

 

She knocked on the front door several times and then tried to push the door open, but it was locked. She was surprised to see the kitchen window closed; her parents always left it slightly open. She drove to the Sun City Aliante clubhouse, where her parents sometimes drank coffee. When she couldn’t find them there, she thought that perhaps they had gone on an errand together—the farthest they usually drove was to Costco. But, when she returned to the house, it was still empty.

 

That weekend, she called her parents several times. She also called two hospitals to see if they had been in an accident. She called their landlord, too, and he agreed to visit the house. He reported that there were no signs of them. She told her husband, “I think someone kidnapped my parents.”

 

On the Tuesday after Labor Day, she drove to the house again and found a note taped to the door: “In case of emergency, contact guardian April Parks.” Belshe dialled [sic] the number. Parks, who had a brisk, girlish way of speaking, told Belshe that her parents had been taken to Lakeview Terrace, an assisted-living facility in Boulder City, nine miles from the Arizona border. She assured Belshe that the staff there would take care of all their needs.

 

“You can’t just walk into somebody’s home and take them!” Belshe told her.

 

Parks responded calmly, “It’s legal. It’s legal.”

 

Guardianship derives from the state’s parens patriae power, its duty to act as a parent for those considered too vulnerable to care for themselves. “The King shall have the custody of the lands of natural fools, taking the profits of them without waste or destruction, and shall find them their necessaries,” reads the English statute De Prerogative Regis, from 1324. The law was imported to the colonies—guardianship is still controlled by state, not federal, law—and has remained largely intact for the past eight hundred years. It establishes a relationship between ward and guardian that is rooted in trust.

 

In the United States, a million and a half adults are under the care of guardians, either family members or professionals, who control some two hundred and seventy-three billion dollars in assets, according to an auditor for the guardianship fraud program in Palm Beach County. Little is known about the outcome of these arrangements, because states do not keep complete figures on guardianship cases—statutes vary widely—and, in most jurisdictions, the court records are sealed. A Government Accountability report from 2010 said, “We could not locate a single Web site, federal agency, state or local entity, or any other organization that compiles comprehensive information on this issue.” A study published this year by the American Bar Association found that “an unknown number of adults languish under guardianship” when they no longer need it, or never did. The authors wrote that “guardianship is generally “permanent, leaving no way out—‘until death do us part.’”

 

When the Norths were removed from their home, they joined nearly nine thousand adult wards in the Las Vegas Valley. In the past twenty years, the city has promoted itself as a retirement paradise. Attracted by the state’s low taxes and a dry, sunny climate, elderly people leave their families behind to resettle in newly constructed senior communities. “The whole town sparkled, pulling older people in with the prospect of the American Dream at a reasonable price,” a former real-estate agent named Terry Williams told me. Roughly thirty per cent of the people who move to Las Vegas are senior citizens, and the number of Nevadans older than eighty-five has risen by nearly eighty per cent in the past decade.

 

In Nevada, as in many states, anyone can become a guardian by taking a course, as long as he or she has not been convicted of a felony or recently declared bankruptcy. Elizabeth Brickfield, a Las Vegas lawyer who has worked in guardianship law for twenty years, said that about fifteen years ago, as the state’s elderly population swelled, “all these private guardians started arriving, and the docket exploded. The court became a factory.”

 

Pamela Teaster, the director of the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech and one of the few scholars in the country who study guardianship, told me that, though most guardians assume their duties for good reasons, the guardianship system is “a morass, a total mess.” She said, “It is unconscionable that we don’t have any data, when you think about the vast power given to a guardian. It is one of society’s most drastic interventions.”

 

After talking to Parks, Belshe drove forty miles to Lakeview Terrace, a complex of stucco buildings designed to look like a hacienda. She found her parents in a small room with a kitchenette and a window overlooking the parking lot. Rennie was in a wheelchair beside the bed, and Rudy was curled up on a love seat in the fetal position. There was no phone in the room. Medical-alert buttons were strung around their necks. “They were like two lost children,” Belshe said.

 

If we can’t find all the ingredients, we’ll just make something horrible.”

 

She asked her parents who Parks was and where she could find the court order, but, she said, “they were overwhelmed and humiliated, and they didn’t know what was going on.” They had no idea how or why Parks had targeted them as wards. Belshe was struck by their passive acceptance. “It was like they had Stockholm syndrome or something,” she told me.

 

Belshe acknowledged that her parents needed a few hours of help each day, but she had never questioned their ability to live alone. “They always kept their house really nice and clean, like a museum,” she said. Although Rudy’s medical records showed that he occasionally had “staring spells,” all his medical-progress notes from 2013 described him as alert and oriented. He did most of the couple’s cooking and shopping, because Rennie, though lucid, was in so much pain that she rarely left the house. Belshe sometimes worried that her father inadvertently encouraged her mother to be docile: “She’s a very smart woman, though she sometimes acts like she’s not. I have to tell her, ‘That’s not cute, Mom.’”

 

When Belshe called Parks to ask for the court order, Parks told her that she was part of the “sandwich generation,” and that it would be too overwhelming for her to continue to care for her children and her parents at the same time. Parks billed her wards’ estates for each hour that she spent on their case; the court placed no limits on guardians’ fees, as long as they appeared “reasonable.” Later, when Belshe called again to express her anger, Parks charged the Norths twenty-four dollars for the eight-minute conversation. “I could not understand what the purpose of the call was other than she wanted me to know they had rights,” Parks wrote in a detailed invoice. “I terminated the phone call as she was very hostile and angry.”

 

A month after removing the Norths from their house, Parks petitioned to make the guardianship permanent. She was represented by an attorney who was paid four hundred dollars an hour by the Norths’ estate. A hearing was held at Clark County Family Court.

 

The Clark County guardianship commissioner, a lawyer named Jon Norheim, has presided over nearly all the guardianship cases in the county since 2005. He works under the supervision of a judge, but his orders have the weight of a formal ruling. Norheim awarded a guardianship to Parks, on average, nearly once a week. She had up to a hundred wards at a time. “I love April Parks,” he said at one hearing, describing her and two other professional guardians, who frequently appeared in his courtroom, as “wonderful, good-hearted, social-worker types.”

 

Norheim’s court perpetuated a cold, unsentimental view of family relations: the ingredients for a good life seemed to have little to do with one’s children and siblings. He often dismissed the objections of relatives, telling them that his only concern was the best interest of the wards, which he seemed to view in a social vacuum. When siblings fought over who would be guardian, Norheim typically ordered a neutral professional to assume control, even when this isolated the wards from their families.

 

Rudy had assured Belshe that he would protest the guardianship, but, like most wards in the country, Rudy and Rennie were not represented by counsel. As Rudy stood before the commissioner, he convinced himself that guardianship offered him and Rennie a lifetime of care without being a burden to anyone they loved. He told Norheim, “The issue really is her longevity—what suits her.” Belshe, who sat in the courtroom, said, “I was shaking my head. No, no, no—don’t do that!” Rennie was silent.

 

Norheim ordered that the Norths become permanent wards of the court. “Chances are, I’ll probably never see you folks again; you’ll work everything out,” he said, laughing. “I very rarely see people after the initial time in court.” The hearing lasted ten minutes.

 

The following month, Even Tide Life Transitions, a company that Parks often hired, sold most of the Norths’ belongings. “The general condition of this inventory is good,” an appraiser wrote. Two lithographs by Renoir were priced at thirty-eight hundred dollars, and a glass cocktail table (“Client states that it is a Brancusi design”) was twelve hundred and fifty dollars. The Norths also had several pastel drawings by their son, Randy, who died in a motorcycle accident at the age of thirty-two, as well as Kachina dolls, a Bose radio, a Dyson vacuum cleaner, a Peruvian tapestry, a motion-step exerciser, a LeRoy Neiman sketch of a bar in Dublin, and two dozen pairs of Clarke shoes. According to Parks’s calculations, the Norths had roughly fifty thousand dollars. Parks transferred their savings, held at the Bank of America, to an account in her name.

 

Rennie repeatedly asked for her son’s drawings, and for the family photographs on her refrigerator. Rudy pined for his car, a midnight-blue 2010 Chrysler, which came to symbolize the life he had lost. He missed the routine interactions that driving had allowed him. “Everybody at the pharmacy was my buddy,” he said. Now he and Rennie felt like exiles. Rudy said, “They kept telling me, ‘Oh, you don’t have to worry: your car is fine, and this and that.’” A month later, he said, “they finally told me, ‘Actually, we sold your car.’ I said, ‘What in the hell did you sell it for?’” It was bought for less than eight thousand dollars, a price that Rudy considered insulting.

 

Rudy lingered in the dining room after eating breakfast each morning, chatting with other residents of Lakeview Terrace. He soon discovered that ten other wards of April Parks lived there. His next-door neighbor, Adolfo Gonzalez, a short, bald seventy-one-year-old who had worked as a maître d’ at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, had become Parks’s ward at a hearing that lasted a minute and thirty-one seconds.

 

Gonzalez, who had roughly three hundred and fifty thousand dollars in assets, urged Rudy not to accept the nurse’s medications. “If you take the pills, they’ll make sure you don’t make it to court,” he said. Gonzalez had been prescribed the antipsychotic medications Risperdal and Depakote, which he hid in the side of his mouth without swallowing. He wanted to remain vigilant. He often spoke of a Salvador Dali painting that had been lost when Parks took over his life. Once, she charged him two hundred and ten dollars for a visit in which, according to her invoice, he expressed that “he feels like a prisoner.”

 

Rudy was so distressed by his conversations with Gonzalez that he asked to see a psychologist. “I thought maybe he’d give me some sort of objective learning as to what I was going through,” he said. “I wanted to ask basic questions, like What the hell is going on?” Rudy didn’t find the session illuminating, but he felt a little boost to his self-esteem when the psychologist asked that he return for a second appointment. “I guess he found me terribly charming,” he told me.

 

Rudy liked to fantasize about an alternative life as a psychoanalyst, and he tried to befriend the wards who seemed especially hopeless. “Loneliness is a physical pain that hurts all over,” he wrote in his notebook. He bought a pharmaceutical encyclopedia and advised the other wards about medications they’d been prescribed. He also ran for president of the residents, promising that under his leadership the kitchen would no longer advertise canned food as homemade. (He lost—he’s not sure if anyone besides Rennie voted for him—but he did win a seat on the residents’ council.)

 

He was particularly concerned about a ward of Parks’s named Marlene Homer, a seventy-year-old woman who had been a professor. “Now she was almost hiding behind the pillars,” Rudy said. “She was so obsequious. She was, like, ‘Run me over. Run me over.’” She’d become a ward in 2012, after Parks told the court, “She has admitted to strange thoughts, depression, and doing things she can’t explain.” On a certificate submitted to the court, an internist had checked a box indicating that Homer was “unable to attend the guardianship court hearing because______,” but he didn’t fill in a reason.

 

I’m ashamed of it all, to be honest.”

 

The Norths could guess which residents were Parks’s wards by the way they were dressed. Gonzalez wore the same shirt to dinner nearly every day. “Forgive me,” he told the others at his table. When a friend tried to take him shopping, Parks prevented the excursion because she didn’t know the friend. Rennie had also tried to get more clothes. “I reminded ward that she has plenty of clothing in her closet,” Parks wrote. “I let her know that they are on a tight budget.” The Norths’ estate was charged a hundred and eighty dollars for the conversation.

 

Another resident, Barbara Neely, a fifty-five-year-old with schizophrenia, repeatedly asked Parks to buy her outfits for job interviews. She was applying for a position with the Department of Education. After Neely’s third week at Lakeview Terrace, Parks’s assistant sent Parks a text. “Can you see Barbara Neely anytime this week?” she wrote. “She has questions on the guardianship and how she can get out of it.” Parks responded, “I can and she can’t.” Neely had been in the process of selling her house, for a hundred and sixty-eight thousand dollars, when Parks became her guardian and took charge of the sale.

 

The rationale for the guardianship of Norbert Wilkening, who lived on the bottom floor of the facility, in the memory-care ward, for people with dementia (“the snake pit,” Rudy called it), was also murky. Parks’s office manager, who advertised himself as a “Qualified Dementia Care Specialist”—a credential acquired through video training sessions—had given Wilkening a “Mini-Mental State Examination,” a list of eleven questions and tasks, including naming as many animals as possible in a minute. Wilkening had failed. His daughter, Amy, told me, “I didn’t see anything that was happening to him other than a regular getting-older process, but when I was informed by all these people that he had all these problems I was, like, Well, maybe I’m just in denial. I’m not a professional.” She said that Parks was “so highly touted. By herself, by the social workers, by the judge, by everyone that knew her.”

 

At a hearing, when Amy complained to Norheim that Parks didn’t have time for her father, he replied, “Yeah, she’s an industry at this point.”

 

As Belshe spoke to more wards and their families, she began to realize that Lakeview Terrace was not the only place where wards were lodged, and that Parks was not the only guardian removing people from their homes for what appeared to be superficial reasons. Hundreds of cases followed the same pattern. It had become routine for guardians in Clark County to petition for temporary guardianship on an ex-parte basis. They told the court that they had to intervene immediately because the ward faced a medical emergency that was only vaguely described: he or she was demented or disoriented, and at risk of exploitation or abuse. The guardians attached a brief physician’s certificate that contained minimal details and often stated that the ward was too incapacitated to attend a court hearing. Debra Bookout, an attorney at the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, told me, “When a hospital or rehab facility needs to free up a bed, or when the patient is not paying his bills, some doctors get sloppy, and they will sign anything.” A recent study conducted by Hunter College found that a quarter of guardianship petitions in New York were brought by nursing homes and hospitals, sometimes as a means of collecting on overdue bills.

 

It often took several days for relatives to realize what had happened. When they tried to contest the guardianship or become guardians themselves, they were dismissed as unsuitable, and disparaged in court records as being neglectful, or as drug addicts, gamblers, and exploiters. (Belshe was described by Parks as a “reported addict” who “has no contact with the proposed ward,” an allegation that Belshe didn’t see until it was too late to challenge.) Family who lived out of state were disqualified from serving as guardians, because the law prohibited the appointment of anyone who didn’t live in Nevada.

 

Once the court approved the guardianship, the wards were often removed from their homes, which were eventually sold. Terry Williams, whose father’s estate was taken over by strangers even though he’d named her the executor of his will, has spent years combing through guardianship, probate, and real-estate records in Clark County. “I kept researching, because I was so fascinated that these people could literally take over the lives and assets of people under color of law, in less than ten minutes, and nobody was asking questions,” she told me. “These people spent their lives accumulating wealth and, in a blink of an eye, it was someone else’s.”

 

Williams has reviewed hundreds of cases involving Jared Shafer, who is considered the godfather of guardians in Nevada. In the records room of the courthouse, she was afraid to say Shafer’s name out loud. In the course of his thirty-five-year career, Shafer has assumed control of more than three thousand wards and estates and trained a generation of guardians. In 1979, he became the county’s public administrator, handling the estates of people who had no relatives in Nevada, as well as the public guardian, serving wards when no family members or private guardians were available. In 2003, he left government and founded his own private guardianship and fiduciary business; he transferred the number of his government-issued phone to himself.

 

Williams took records from Shafer’s and other guardians’ cases to the Las Vegas police department several times. She tried to explain, she said, that “this is a racketeering operation that is fee-based. There’s no brown paper bag handed off in an alley. The payoff is the right to bill the estate.” The department repeatedly told her that it was a civil issue, and refused to take a report. In 2006, she submitted a typed statement, listing twenty-three statutes that she thought had been violated, but an officer wrote in the top right corner, “not a police matter.” Adam Woodrum, an estate lawyer in Las Vegas, told me that he’s worked with several wards and their families who have brought their complaints to the police. “They can’t even get their foot in the door,” he said.

 

Acting as her own attorney, Williams filed a racketeering suit in federal court against Shafer and the lawyers who represented him. At a hearing before the United States District Court of Central California in 2009, she told the judge, “They are trumping up ways and means to deem people incompetent and take their assets.” The case was dismissed. “The scheme is ingenious,” she told me. “How do you come up with a crime that literally none of the victims can articulate without sounding like they’re nuts? The same insane allegations keep surfacing from people who don’t know each other.”

 

In 2002, in a petition to the Clark County District Court, a fifty-seven-year-old man complained that his mother had lost her constitutional rights because her kitchen was understocked and a few bills hadn’t been paid. The house they shared was then placed on the market. The son wrote, “If the only showing necessary to sell the home right out from under someone is that their ‘estate’ would benefit, then no house in Clark County is safe, nor any homeowner.” Under the guise of benevolent paternalism, guardians seemed to be creating a kind of capitalist dystopia: people’s quality of life was being destroyed in order to maximize their capital.

 

When Concetta Mormon, a wealthy woman who owned a Montessori school, became Shafer’s ward because she had aphasia, Shafer sold the school midyear, even though students were enrolled. At a hearing after the sale, Mormon’s daughter, Victoria Cloutier, constantly spoke out of turn. The judge, Robert Lueck, ordered that she be handcuffed and placed in a holding cell while the hearing continued. Two hours later, when Cloutier was allowed to return for the conclusion, the judge told her that she had thirty days in which to vacate her mother’s house. If she didn’t leave, she would be evicted and her belongings would be taken to Goodwill.

 

The opinions of wards were also disregarded. In 2010, Guadalupe Olvera, a ninety-year-old veteran of the Second World War, repeatedly asked that his daughter and not Shafer be appointed his guardian. “The ward is not to go to court,” Shafer instructed his assistants. When Olvera was finally permitted to attend a hearing, nearly a year after becoming a ward, he expressed his desire to live with his daughter in California, rather than under Shafer’s care. “Why is everybody against that?” he asked Norheim. “I don’t need that man.” Although Nevada’s guardianship law requires that courts favor relatives over professionals, Norheim continued the guardianship, saying, “The priority ship sailed.”

 

When Olvera’s daughter eventually defied the court’s orders and took her father to live at her seaside home in Northern California, Norheim’s supervisor, Judge Charles Hoskin, issued an arrest warrant for her “immediate arrest and incarceration” without bail. The warrant was for contempt of court, but Norheim said at least five times from the bench that she had “kidnapped” Olvera. At a hearing, Norheim acknowledged that he wasn’t able to send an officer across state lines to arrest the daughter. Shafer said, “Maybe I can.”

 

Shafer held so much sway in the courtroom that, in 2013, when an attorney complained that the bank account of a ward named Kristina Berger had “no money left and no records to explain where it went,” Shafer told Norheim, “Close the courtroom.” Norheim immediately complied. A dozen people in attendance were forced to leave.

 

Do you have a seat in business with a view of economy?”

 

One of Shafer’s former bookkeepers, Lisa Clifton, who was hired in 2012, told me that Shafer used to brag about his political connections, saying, “I wrote the laws.” In 1995, he persuaded the Nevada Senate Committee on Government Affairs to write a bill that allowed the county to receive interest on money that the public guardian invested. “This is what I want you to put in the statute, and I will tell you that you will get a rousing hand from a couple of judges who practice our probate,” he said. At another hearing, he asked the committee to write an amendment permitting public guardians to take control of people’s property in five days, without a court order. “This bill is not ‘Big Brother’ if you trust the person who is doing the job,” he said. (After a senator expressed concern that the law allowed “intervention into somebody’s life without establishing some sort of reason why you are doing it,” the committee declined to recommend it.)

 

Clifton observed that Shafer almost always took a cynical view of family members: they were never motivated by love or duty, only by avarice. “‘They just want the money’—that was his answer to everything,” she told me. “And I’m thinking to myself, Well, when family members die they pass it down to their children. Isn’t that just the normal progression of things?”

 

After a few months on the job, Clifton was asked to work as a guardian, substituting for an absent employee, though she had never been trained. Her first assignment was to supervise a visit with a man named Alvin Passer, who was dying in the memory-care unit of a nursing home. His partner of eight years, Olive Manoli, was permitted a brief visit to say goodbye. Her visits had been restricted by Shafer—his lawyer told the court that Passer became “agitated and sexually aggressive” in her presence—and she hadn’t seen Passer in months. In a futile attempt to persuade the court to allow her to be with him, Manoli had submitted a collection of love letters, as well as notes from ten people describing her desire to care for Passer for the rest of his life. “I was absolutely appalled,” Clifton said. “She was this very sweet lady, and I said, ‘Go in there and spend as much time with him as you want.’ Tears were rolling down her cheeks.”

 

The family seemed to have suffered a form of court-sanctioned gaslighting. Passer’s daughter, Joyce, a psychiatric nurse who specialized in geriatrics, had been abruptly removed as her father’s co-guardian, because she appeared “unwilling or (more likely) unable to conduct herself rationally in the Ward’s best interests,” according to motions filed by one of Shafer’s attorneys.

 

She and Manoli had begged Norheim not to appoint Shafer as guardian. “Sir, he’s abusive,” their lawyer said in court.

 

“He’s as good as we got, and I trust him completely,” Norheim responded.

 

Joyce Passer was so confused by the situation that, she said, “I thought I was crazy.” Then she received a call from a blocked number. It was Terry Williams, who did not reveal her identity. She had put together a list of a half-dozen family members who she felt were “ready to receive some kind of verbal support.” She told Passer, “Look, you are not nuts. This is real. Everything you are thinking is true. This has been going on for years.”

 

During Rennie North’s first year at Lakeview Terrace, she gained sixty pounds. Parks had switched the Norths’ insurance, for reasons she never explained, and Rennie began seeing new doctors, who prescribed Valium, Prozac, the sedative Temazepam, Oxycodone, and Fentanyl. The doses steadily increased. Rudy, who had hip pain, was prescribed Oxycodone and Valium. When he sat down to read, the sentences floated past his eyes or appeared in duplicate. “Ward seemed very tired and his eyes were glassy,” Parks wrote in an invoice.

 

Belshe found it increasingly hard to communicate with her parents, who napped for much of the day. “They were being overmedicated to the point where they weren’t really there,” she said. The Norths’ grandsons, who used to see them every week, rarely visited. “It was degrading for them to see us so degraded,” Rudy said. Parks noticed that Rennie was acting helpless, and urged her to “try harder to be more motivated and not be so dependent on others.” Rudy and Rennie began going to Sunday church services at the facility, even though they were Jewish. Rudy was heartened by what he heard in the pastor’s message: “Don’t give up. God will help you get out of here.” He began telling people, “We are living the life of Job.”

 

At the end of 2014, Lakeview Terrace hired a new director, Julie Liebo, who resisted Parks’s orders that medical information about wards be kept from their families. Liebo told me, “The families were devastated that they couldn’t know if the residents were in surgery or hear anything about their health. They didn’t understand why they’d been taken out of the picture. They’d ask, ‘Can you just tell me if she’s alive?’” Liebo tried to comply with the rules, because she didn’t want to violate medical-privacy laws; as guardian, Parks was entitled to choose what was disclosed. Once, though, Liebo took pity on the sister of an eighty-year-old ward named Dorothy Smith, who was mourning a dog that Parks had given away, and told her that Smith was stable. Liebo said that Parks, who was by then the secretary of the Nevada Guardianship Association, called her immediately. “She threatened my license and said she could have me arrested,” Liebo told me.

 

After Liebo arrived, Parks began removing wards from Lakeview Terrace with less than a day’s notice. A woman named Linda Phillips, who had dementia, was told that she was going to the beauty salon. She never returned. Marlene Homer, the ward whose ailments were depression and “strange thoughts,” was taken away in a van, screaming. Liebo had asked the state ombudsman to come to the facility and stop the removals, but nothing could be done. “We stood there completely helpless,” Liebo said. “We had no idea where they were going.” Liebo said that other wards asked her if they would be next.

 

Liebo alerted the compliance officer for the Clark County Family Court that Parks was removing residents “without any concern for them and their choice to stay here.” She also reported her complaints to the police, the Department of Health Services, the Bureau of Health Care, and Nevada Adult Protective Services. She said each agency told her that it didn’t have the authority or the jurisdiction to intervene.

 

At the beginning of 2015, Parks told the Norths that they would be leaving Lakeview Terrace. “Finances are low and the move is out of our control,” Parks wrote. It was all arranged so quickly that, Rudy said, “we didn’t have time to say goodbye to people we’d been eating with for seventeen months.” Parks arranged for Caring Transitions to move them to the Wentworth, a less expensive assisted-living facility. Liebo said that, the night before the move, Rudy began “shouting about the Holocaust, that this was like being in Nazi Germany.” Liebo didn’t think the reference was entirely misguided. “He reverted to a point where he had no rights as a human being,” she said. “He was no longer the caregiver, the man, the husband—all of the things that gave his life meaning.” Liebo also didn’t understand why Belshe had been marginalized. “She seemed like she had a great relationship with her parents,” she said.

 

Belshe showed up at 9 a.m. to help her parents with the move, but when she arrived Parks’s assistant, Heidi Kramer, told her that her parents had already left. Belshe “emotionally crashed,” as Liebo put it. She yelled that her parents didn’t even wake up until nine or later—what was the rush? In an invoice, Kramer wrote that Belshe “began to yell and scream, her behavior was out of control, she was taking pictures and yelling, ‘April Parks is a thief.’” Kramer called the police. Liebo remembers that an officer “looked at Julie Belshe and told her she had no rights, and she didn’t.”

 

Belshe cried as she drove to the Wentworth, in Las Vegas. When she arrived, Parks was there, and refused to let her see her parents. Parks wrote, “I told her that she was too distraught to see her parents, and that she needed to leave.” Belshe wouldn’t, so Parks asked the receptionist to call the police. When the police arrived, Belshe told them, “I just want to hug my parents and make sure they’re O.K.” An officer handed her a citation for trespassing, saying that if she returned to the facility she would be arrested.

 

I don’t like the way women are portrayed in the constellations.”

 

Parks wrote that the Norths were “very happy with the new room and thanked us several times,” but Rudy remembers feeling as if he had “ended up in the sewer.” Their room was smaller than the one at Lakeview Terrace, and the residents at the Wentworth seemed older and sicker. “There were people sitting in their chairs, half-asleep,” Rudy said. “Their tongues hung out.”

 

Rennie spent nearly all her time in her wheelchair or in bed, her eyes half-closed. Her face had become bloated. One night, she was so agitated that the nurses gave her Haldol, a drug commonly used to treat schizophrenia. When Rudy asked her questions, Rennie said “What?” in a soft, remote voice.

 

Shortly after her parents’ move, Belshe called an editor of the Vegas Voice, a newspaper distributed to all the mailboxes in senior communities in Las Vegas. In recent months, the paper had published three columns warning readers about Clark County guardians, writing that they “have been lining their pockets at the expense of unwitting seniors for a very long time.”

 

At Belshe’s urging, the paper’s political editor, Rana Goodman, visited the Norths, and published an article in the Voice, describing Rudy as “the most articulate, soft spoken person I have met in a very long time.” She called Clark County’s guardianship system a “(legal) elder abuse racket” and urged readers to sign a petition demanding that the Nevada legislature reform the laws. More than three thousand people signed.

 

Two months later, the Review-Journal ran an investigation, titled “Clark County’s Private Guardians May Protect—Or Just Steal and Abuse,” which described complaints against Shafer going back to the early eighties, when two of his employees were arrested for stealing from the estates of dead people.

 

In May 2015, a month after the article appeared, when the Norths went to court to discuss their finances local journalists were in the courtroom and Norheim seemed chastened. “I have grave concerns about this case,” he said. He noted that Parks had sold the Norths’ belongings without proper approval from his court. Parks had been doing this routinely for years, and, according to her, the court had always accepted her accounting and her fees. Her lawyer, Aileen Cohen, said, “Everything was done for the wards’ benefit, to support the wards.”

 

Norheim announced that he was suspending Parks as the Norths’ guardian—the first time she had been removed from a case for misconduct.

 

“This is important,” Rudy, who was wearing a double-breasted suit, said in court. “This is hope. I am coming here and I have hope.” He quoted the Bible, Thomas Jefferson, and Euripides, until Belshe finally touched his elbow and said, “Just sit down, Dad.”

 

When Rudy apologized for being “overzealous,” Norheim told him, “This is your life. This is your liberty. You have every right to be here. You have every right to be involved in this project.”

 

After the hearing, Parks texted her husband, “I am finished.”

 

Last March, Parks and her lawyer, along with her office manager and her husband, were indicted for perjury and theft, among other charges. The indictment was narrowly focussed [sic] on their double billings and their sloppy accounting, but, in a detailed summary of the investigation, Jaclyn O’Malley, who led the probe for the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, made passing references to the “collusion of hospital social workers and medical staff” who profited from their connection to Parks. At Parks’s grand-jury trial, her assistant testified that she and Parks went to hospitals and attorneys’ offices for the purpose of “building relationships to generate more client leads.” Parks secured a contract with six medical facilities whose staff agreed to refer patients to her—an arrangement that benefitted the facilities, since Parks controlled the decisions of a large pool of their potential consumers. Parks often gave doctors blank certificates and told them exactly what to write in order for their patients to become her wards.

 

Parks and other private guardians appeared to gravitate toward patients who had considerable assets. O’Malley described a 2010 case in which Parks, after receiving a tip from a social worker, began “cold-calling” rehabilitation centers, searching for a seventy-nine-year-old woman, Patricia Smoak, who had nearly seven hundred thousand dollars and no children. Parks finally found her, but Smoak’s physician wouldn’t sign a certificate of incapacity. “The doctor is not playing ball,” Parks wrote to her lawyer. She quickly found a different doctor to sign the certificate, and Norheim approved the guardianship. (Both Parks and Norheim declined to speak with me.)

 

Steve Miller, a former member of the Las Vegas City Council, said he assumed that Shafer would be the next indictment after Parks, who is scheduled to go to trial next spring. “All of the disreputable guardians were taking clues from the Shafer example,” he said. But, as the months passed, “I started to think that this has run its course locally. Only federal intervention is going to give us peace of mind.”

 

Richard Black, who, after his father-in-law was placed into guardianship, became the director of a grassroots national organization, Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship, said that he considered the Parks indictment “irrefutably shallow. It sent a strong message of: We’re not going to go after the real leaders of this, only the easy people, the ones who were arrogant and stupid enough to get caught.” He works with victims in dozens of what he calls “hot spots,” places where guardianship abuse is prevalent, often because they attract retirees: Palm Beach, Sarasota, Naples, Albuquerque, San Antonio. He said that the problems in Clark County are not unusual. “The only thing that is unique is that Clark County is one of the few jurisdictions that doesn’t seal its records, so we can see what is going on.”

 

Approximately ten per cent of people older than sixty-five are thought to be victims of “elder abuse”—a construct that has yet to enter public consciousness, as child abuse has—but such cases are seldom prosecuted. People who are frail or dying don’t make good witnesses—a fact that Shafer once emphasized at a 1990 U.S. congressional hearing on crimes against the elderly, in which he appeared as an expert at preventing exploitation. “Seniors do not like to testify,” he said, adding that they were either incapable or “mesmerized by the person ripping them off.” He said, “The exploitation of seniors is becoming a real cottage industry right now. This is a good business. Seniors are unable to fend for themselves.”

 

And The Crowd Roars

 

In the past two years, Nevada has worked to reform its guardianship system through a commission, appointed by the Nevada Supreme Court, to study failures in oversight. In 2018, the Nevada legislature will enact a new law that entitles all wards to be represented by lawyers in court. But the state seems reluctant to reckon with the roots of the problem, as well as with its legacy: a generation of ill and elderly people who were deprived of their autonomy, and also of their families, in the final years of their lives. Last spring, a man bought a storage unit in Henderson, Nevada, and discovered twenty-seven urns—the remains of Clark County wards who had never been buried.

 

In the wake of Parks’s indictment, no judges have lost their jobs. Norheim was transferred from guardianship court to dependency court, where he now oversees cases involving abused and neglected children. Shafer is still listed in the Clark County court system as a trustee and as an administrator in several open cases. He did not respond to multiple e-mails and messages left with his bookkeeper, who answered his office phone but would not say whether he was still in practice. He did appear at one of the public meetings for the commission appointed to analyze flaws in the guardianship system. “What started all of this was me,” he said. Then he criticized local media coverage of the issue and said that a television reporter, whom he’d talked to briefly, didn’t know the facts. “The system works,” Shafer went on. “It’s not the guardians you have to be aware of, it’s more family members.” He wore a blue polo shirt, untucked, and his head was shaved. He looked aged, his arms dotted with sun spots, but he spoke confidently and casually. “The only person you folks should be thinking about when you change things is the ward. It’s their money, it’s their life, it’s their time. The family members don’t count.”

 

Belshe is resigned to the fact that she will be supporting her parents for the rest of their lives. Parks spent all the Norths’ money on fees—the hourly wages for her, her assistants, her lawyers, and the various contractors she hired—as well as on their monthly bills, which doubled under her guardianship. Belshe guesses that Parks—or whichever doctor or social worker referred her to the Norths—had assumed that her parents were wealthier than they actually were. Rudy often talked vaguely about deals he had once made in China. “He exaggerates, so he won’t feel emasculated,” Belshe said. “He wasn’t such a big businessman, but he was a great dad.”

 

The Norths now live in what used to be Belshe’s home office; it has a window onto the living room which Belshe has covered with a tarp. Although the room is tiny, the Norths can fit most of their remaining belongings into it: a small lamp with teardrop crystals, a deflated love seat, and two paintings by their son. Belshe rescued the art work, in 2013, after Caring Transitions placed the Norths’ belongings in trash bags at the edge of their driveway. “My brother’s paintings were folded and smelled,” she said.

 

The Norths’ bed takes up most of the room, and operates as their little planet. They rarely stray far from it. They lie in bed playing cards or sit against the headboard, reading or watching TV. Rudy’s notebooks are increasingly focussed [sic] on mortality—“Death may be pleasurable”—and money. “Money monsters do well in this society,” he wrote. “All great fortunes began with a crime.” He creates lists of all the possessions he has lost, some of which he may be imagining: over time, Rennie’s wardrobe has become increasingly elaborate and refined, as have their sets of China. He alternates between feeling that his belongings are nothing—a distraction from the pursuit of meaning—and everything. “It’s an erasure,” he said. “They erase you from the face of the earth.” He told me a few times that he was a distant cousin of Leon Trotsky, “intellect of the revolution,” as he called him, and I wondered whether his newfound pride was connected to his conflicted feelings about the value of material objects.

 

A few months after the Norths were freed, Rudy talked on the phone with Adolfo Gonzalez, his neighbor from Lakeview Terrace, who, after a doctor found him competent, had also been discharged. He now lived in a house near the airport, and had been reunited with several of his pets. The two men congratulated each other. “We survived!” Rudy said. “We never thought we’d see each other on the other side.” Three other wards from Lakeview Terrace had died.

 

Rennie has lost nearly all the weight she gained at Lakeview Terrace, mostly because Belshe and her husband won’t let her lounge in her wheelchair or eat starchy foods. Now she uses a walker, which she makes self-deprecating jokes about. “This is fun—I can teach you!” she told me.

 

In July, Rennie slipped in the bathroom and spent a night in the hospital. Belshe didn’t want anyone to know about her mother’s fall, because, she said, “this is the kind of thing that gets you into guardianship.” She told me, “I feel like these people are just waiting in the bushes.”

 

Two days after the fall, Rennie was feeling better—she’d had thirteen stitches—but she was still agitated by a dream she had in the hospital. She wasn’t even sure if she’d been asleep; she remembers talking, and her eyes were open.

 

“You were loopedy-doopy,” Scott Belshe, Julie’s husband, told her. They were sitting on the couch in their living room.

 

“It was real,” Rennie said.

 

“You dreamed it,” Scott told her.

 

“Maybe I was hallucinating,” she said. “I don’t know—I was scared.” She said that strangers were making decisions about her fate. She felt as if she were frozen: she couldn’t influence what was happening. “I didn’t know what to do,” she told Scott. “I think I yelled for help. Help me.” The worst part, she said, was that she couldn’t find her family. “Honest to God, I thought you guys left me all alone.” ♦

____________________

This article appears in the print edition of the October 9, 2017, issue, with the headline “The Takeover.”

 

Rachel Aviv joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2013.

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We Americans NEED Tax Reform


John R. Houk

October 24, 2017

President Trump’s tax reform has a bit of everything beneficial from rich to poor. NOT JUST THE RICH as the Democrats deceptively tell their listeners. Sensibly, along with the give there is also some take. After all, tax revenue is what operates the government whether every Joe-American likes it or not.

 

The Democrats and Left-oriented media obfuscate the reality of Trump tax reform with claims it benefits only the Wealthy and harms the Middle Class. That claim simply is not true because deductions benefitting the rich are stream lined as much to wealthy as to all the other tax brackets. Since the Wealthy pay a majority of the tax revenue, even with a reduced tax rate the reduction in deduction choices still gives the Wealthy a punch to the gut.

 

Talking about tax brackets, President Trump wants three reduced from the present day seven brackets. Speaker Paul Ryan apparently wants to add a fourth bracket aimed at the uber-wealthy most likely to kowtow to the Democrats accusation of a tax plan only benefitting the rich.

 

The Original Tax Bracket Proposal (Source: TheBalance.com 10/23/17)

 

  • Lowest Rate: 12% (down from 15%)

 

  • Middle Rate: 25% (down from 28%)

 

  • Highest Rate: 35% (down from 39.6% – let’s just call it 40%)

 

If GOP Establishment Has its Way – The Fourth Bracket

 

 

TheBalance.com has an accurate of the plusses and minuses of Trump Tax Reform with no pun intended, balancing to the plus-side. SavingToInvest.com is apparently running a constant update on where the Trump Tax Reform seems to be at based on recent information.

 

The Heritage Foundation has a fantastic analysis of the proposed Trump Tax Reform looking through the eyeglass of Congress-talk with the term “Unified Framework”. The Heritage analysis begins by detailing how tax reform will benefit Corporations in the sense of benefiting the U.S. economy. The Corporation analysis is written terms that we every-day Americans can understand. Then Heritage looks at how tax reform affects us normal American individuals. I encourage you to read it: http://tinyurl.com/yalz2k35

 

Today, we have an anti-growth, complex and out-of-date tax code. President Donald Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear before the November 2016 election that pro-growth tax reform would be a major legislative priority for Republicans in 2017 if they were given the chance to govern.

Our tax code currently suppresses American business growth, is far too complex for the average citizen, and is full of cronyism. Accordingly, I encourage [you] to stick to the following principles on tax reform: lower and simplify individual tax rates, lower the corporate tax rate, permit “full expensing,” establish a territorial tax system, and end cronyism.

 

The American people gave Republicans control of the House, Senate and White House, and there is a real opportunity to achieve comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform. Congress can use this as an opportunity to pair tax reform with spending cuts in order to comply with the rules of budget reconciliation and maximize the economic benefits of tax reform. After all, the federal government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. (Hat Tip: HeritageAction.com)

 

JRH 10/24/17

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Trump’s New 70-Point Immigration Plan Is Bad News For…


President Trump’s 70-Point plan on immigration reform pretty much hits the head of the nail on accomplishing his campaign promise. He even offers a compromise bone on DACA to the Leftist Dems if they go along with funding The Wall and strengthening border security. But let’s be clear! The only way this plan doesn’t get through Congress is will be due to RINO members joining the Dem hysterical lies.

 

JRH 10/10/17 (H/T: Freedom Outpost email alert 10/9/2017 4:09 PM)

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Trump’s New 70-Point Immigration Plan Is Bad News For DACA, Sanctuary Cities And Violent Gang Members

“…restore the rule of law to our immigration system, prioritize America’s safety and security, and end the lawlessness.”

 

By Jack Davis

October 9, 2017 at 7:27am

Western Journalism

 

President Donald Trump unveiled a vast overhaul of America’s immigration policies Sunday night.

 

The package would require that in exchange for any legislation to allow children of illegal immigrants to remain in the United States, Congress must approve funding a wall along the southern border, approve curbs on federal grants to sanctuary cities and fix the leaky border to stop potential gang members from crossing into the U.S.

 

Trump’s package of proposals would also give federal agents more ability to stop illegal immigrants at the border, detain them if they slip into the country and deport them faster.

 

“These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients,” Trump wrote in a letter to Congress. “Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end.”

 

The proposals received support of many lawmakers and officials.

 

“President Trump has put forth a series of proposals that will restore the rule of law to our immigration system, prioritize America’s safety and security, and end the lawlessness. These are reasonable proposals that will build on the early success of President Trump’s leadership. This plan will work. If followed it will produce an immigration system with integrity and one in which we can take pride. Perhaps the best result will be that unlawful attempts to enter will continue their dramatic decline,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

 

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., praised the administration for “a serious proposal” and said that “we cannot fix the DACA problem without fixing all of the issues that led to the underlying problem of illegal immigration in the first place.”

 

When Trump announced that he wanted to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allowed children of illegal immigrants to remain in the United States, he said he was open to a deal with Congress to allow the estimated 800,000 DACA participants to remain.

 

“Anything that is done addressing the status of DACA recipients needs to include these three reforms and solve these three problems,” a senior White House official told The Washington Times. “If you don’t solve these problems then you’re not going to have a secure border, you’re not going to have a lawful immigration system and you’re not going to be able to protect American workers.”

 

“We would expect Congress to include all the reforms in any package that addresses the status of the DACA recipients,” one White House aide said on the conference call with reporters. “Other views had their fair day in the democratic process.”

 

But Democrats were outraged and accused Trump of racism.

 

“The administration can’t be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans,” Senate Minority Leader Church Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a joint statement Sunday evening, according to The Washington Post. “We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures … but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise.”

 

Others were not so restrained in their opinions of Trump.

 

“Congress should reject this warped, anti-immigrant policy wish list. The White House wants to use dreamers as bargaining chips to achieve the administration’s deportation and detention goals,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.), vice chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus

 

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., called the package of reforms “an extension of the white supremacist agenda.”

 

He said it is “fanciful thinking that you can sit down with a man who has based his presidential aspirations and has never wavered from his xenophobic positions. I never understood — I just never got it, how you go from Charlottesville and white supremacists to reaching an agreement with him.”

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Republicans Break Faith With America


I believe medical insurance reform is essential. I also believe the Obama/Dem effort at reform was a debacle of lies to Americans. Obamacare/ACA must be completely scraped to rebuild an actual affordable medical insurance plan. Justin Smith has the critique.

 

JRH 10/2/17

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Republicans Break Faith With America

A System Going South

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent 10/1/2017 1:23 AM

 

Americans need insurance plans that translate into real affordable health care and solutions for the mess created by Obamacare, which cannot be found in more Republican nonsense and Obamacare Lite bills, like Graham-Cassidy. More spending and continued regulation only moves America one-step closer to a nationalized single-payer health care system, and if Republicans truly believe Obamacare has harmed America, as often asserted, they have a duty to revitalize the free market segment of health care insurance, through a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

 

No matter how many welfare dollars Congress pours into these fabricated markets or any amount of price fixing they set, the exchanges are unsustainable, and Graham-Cassidy offered a permanent drain on this already strained system and the U.S. treasury. It also added a $700 billion dollar deficit next year to America’s $20 trillion dollar debt, without repealing a single Obamacare insurance regulation.

 

The only real solutions exist in a clean slate and a full repeal of Obamacare, ripping it up by the roots. At least a full repeal would save over a trillion dollars in spending over the next decade, instead of trying to save pennies on the dollar and leaving a poor health care system largely intact, through a bad bill like Graham-Cassidy.

 

Fortunately, Graham-Cassidy failed to be presented for a vote in the Senate, during the last week in September. It failed, after Susan Collins (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ) and Rand Paul (R-KY) made it clear they would vote “no”, keeping it from the 51-vote threshold in a reconciliation vote.

 

Only Senator Rand Paul held the moral high ground in his decision. On September 20th, Senator Paul told Real Clear Politics: “That [Graham-Cassidy] is not what I promised voters. I promised repeal [of Obamacare]. … Block granting Obamacare doesn’t make it go away.”

 

Described as “a lousy process”, the New York Times (September 26th, 2017) quoted Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska stating: “The U.S. Senate cannot get the text of a bill on Sunday night, then proceed to a vote just days later, with only one hearing — and especially not on an issue that is intensely personal to all of us.”

 

Senator John McCain complained Republicans should have worked with Democrats, to restructure America’s $3 trillion per year health care system, which is simply asinine, in light of the fact, Obamacare is an entirely Democrat partisan piece of legislation, and it widely restructured a vital part of the national economy. These same Democrats destroyed dozens of governing norms through their lies, and they manipulated the Congressional Budget Score, in order to coerce every American’s participation.

 

Perhaps, once the problems associated with Obamacare compound themselves or Obamacare actually collapses, the Democrats will make an honest effort to compromise on substantive changes, rather than seek more spending and regulatory controls on consumer choice. However, to date, these Commie Travelers have had millions of ideas on how to expand the welfare state and not a single one to save Americans from it.

 

Many Americans should already have the option of circumventing Obamacare through the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). This act enables people to buy inexpensive insurance across state lines, by joining an insurance group or co-op through one’s workplace; and, it proves the U.S. really doesn’t need such an expansive program as Obamacare, which makes people pay for many services they don’t want or need, like abortion.

 

Americans want freedom of choice on their health insurance plans and plans with less comprehensive coverage than Obamacare allows, which would reduce the cost of premiums. They want the expansion of health savings accounts and an end to mandate taxes and penalties. And if possible, most of us would truly appreciate Medicaid reform.

 

Currently, the Alexander-Murray stabilization package offers subsidies to insurance companies to reimburse them for reducing out-of-pocket expenses for low income people and more freedom for sates to restructure their insurance markets. While the Democrats see the subsidy payments as essential, most Republicans, especially in the Freedom Caucus, see the subsidies as bailouts for insurance companies that would prop up Obamacare. Sensible leaders will not readily burn more of the taxpayers’ money in a system going south.

 

President Trump has the full authority to place a sunset deadline on the Obama administration’s unconstitutional subsidy payments, which it created to keep Obamacare from imploding, and he should do so immediately. Let the Democrats howl “sabotage”. There is not any political, policy or moral reason for the GOP to continue the payoffs.

 

The recent request for a twenty-three percent rate hike by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina [Blog Editor: BCBS asked for an updated a reduction to 14.1% 8/2/17] further illuminates the corruption within the current system. The company acknowledges that it would have asked for only an 8.8 percent increase, if President Trump had agreed to fund the federal subsidies through 2018, and so, the U.S. taxpayer gets raked over the coals and robbed blind by Obamacare once more.

 

Premium prices have doubled and quadrupled, and doctors are harder to find. Barack Obama promised Obamacare would boost the economy, but across America, small and large businesses report Obamacare impedes their ability to expand and hire.

 

One must wonder how much of the Republican Party’s reluctance to fully repeal Obamacare lies with lobbyist efforts and donations to Republicans. Records show that between 2011 and 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell received a total of $424,650 from Kindred Healthcare, Humana and Blackstone. Sen. Orrin Hatch received $133,500 from Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cancer Treatment Centers of America, while Sen. Lamar Alexander took $61,100 from Blue Cross Blue Shield and Community Health Systems in Franklin, Tennessee. And the list goes on.

 

After seven years of promises, where are the voices in the Senate offering passionate arguments for repeal? Where is the unified effort from the Republicans to speak for millions of Americans, who currently suffer under Obamacare’s spiking premiums and decreasing choices? It has all seemingly vanished, since repeal became a possible reality.

 

America’s well-being is more important than any political party’s legacy and any insurance company’s bottom line, and so, Republicans must not allow this abominable and failed Obamacare “law” to be prolonged and continue to hurt the American people in despicable fashion. The next Democratic administration will surely expand its reach and push towards a single-payer system, if it is not soon repealed, as suggested by Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT).

 

The Republicans and America really do not have any reason to save a failed Obamacare, and they certainly cannot afford to let it become more entrenched, while it cuts a liberty destroying path through our society. Until Republicans gather the backbone to counter the ACA or fully repeal it, the Republicans have broken faith with the American people.

 

By Justin O. Smith

__________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All text enclosed by brackets and All source links are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith

Awan Funneling ‘Massive’ Data Off Congressional Server, Dems Claim It’s Child’s HOMEWORK


VIDEO: MeTV Hogan’s Heroes Promo

Wasserman Shultz & Sgt. Schultz

 

If you listen to the Mainstream Media (MSM) you probably are little aware of Imran Awan, the Pakistani national who served as a House IT guy for a lot of Dems including Debbie Wasserman-Schultz the former DNC Chairman (Chairwoman, Chairperson or whatever politically correct terminology you feel comfortable about) who fixed the Dem nomination for Crooked Hillary.

 

Apart from all the criminal enterprises Awan used to self-aggrandize himself and his immediate family, it appears Awan snatched terabits of data from the House Dems which went or was used for whatever is not yet public. (For my fellow computer illiterates, I just learned there is a difference between a terabit and a terabyte.)

 

All this time the Dems and their legions in the MSM have trying to paint President Donald Trump as the nemesis to the America that elected him to Office. AND YET the Daily Caller and Circa have uncovered that the Dems are attempting to pass the fake news that Awan’s much usage of terabits of data from House servers is nothing to see here, just forget about it and move on.

 

JRH 9/27/17

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Awan Funneling ‘Massive’ Data Off Congressional Server, Dems Claim It’s Child’s HOMEWORK

 

By Luke Rosiak

September 26, 2017 7:20 PM 

The Daily Caller

 

Democratic congressional aides made unauthorized access to a House server 5,400 times and funneled “massive” amounts of data off of it. But there’s nothing to see here, Democrats told The Washington Post: They were just storing and then re-downloading homework assignments for Imran Awan’s elementary-school aged kids and family pictures.

 

A congressional source with direct knowledge of the incident contradicted the Post’s account, saying that now-indicted IT aide Imran Awan and his associates “were moving terabytes off-site so they could quote ‘work on the files’” and that they desperately tried to hide what was on the server when caught, providing police with what law enforcement immediately recognized as falsified evidence and an indication of criminal intent.

 

WATCH ROSIAK’S REPORTING ON AWAN CASE SO FAR:

 

Youtube version of Daily Caller VIDEO: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Corruption Continues: Awan Brothers IT Scandal

 

Posted by The Daily Caller

Published on Jul 31, 2017

 

Daily Caller’s Luke Rosiak investigates a story that further embroils embattled former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in an ever-growing scandal.

 

The Post described the amount of data improperly flowing out of the congressional network as “massive.” One congressional source told Circa it was “terabits.”

 

A terabyte is a million megabytes; a terabit is about one-tenth of that. Awan’s three children are in elementary school or younger. A book report in Word document format could clock in at under a megabyte, even if it were 100 pages long. To fill a terabyte with family photos, a person would need 250,000 photos.

 

Rules aside, there would be little reason for a staffer to upload his children’s homework and family photos to a congressman’s server. For one, cloud services such as Google Drive and Google Photos readily provide that functionality, with a web interface. The congressional computer was a server with no monitor, so you couldn’t view the photos on it, and they had to have been uploaded onto it by another computer. It makes little sense that Awan would upload personal data from a home computer onto a House server only to re-download it.

 

Awan’s wife, Hina Alvi, was the sole person that was supposed to be authorizing the Caucus server, and she could have uploaded pictures of her children without attracting attention.

 

Yet she accessed it only 300 times as part of her job, while other people — including Awan’s two brothers and his friend Rao Abbas — accessed it 5,400 times. It’s unclear why extended family and friends would be uploading Awan’s kids’ homework and pictures more than their own mother would.

 

The Post did not note the “massive” outgoing data and unauthorized access until the 40th and 42nd paragraphs of its story, after it had quoted multiple defense attorneys and ventured into a lengthy and seemingly irrelevant but humanizing backstory on Awan’s childhood.

 

Its print headline was “Evidence Far Exceeds Intrigue” in the probe, yet it quoted only a congressional staffer who, The DCNF’s congressional source said, would not have been able to make assurances that there was nothing to the criminal investigation, because Congress has been fire walled from the criminal probe since it was turned over.

 

The Post also did not specify that data was also being backed up online via unofficial Dropbox accounts. Wasserman Schultz has acknowledged that the accounts were used for congressional data, and that she has used the service in violation of House rules “for years.”

 

The server was under the auspices of Xavier Becerra, who left Congress Jan. 24 to become California attorney general and asked for the server to be wiped at that time. Police first asked for a copy and received what they identified as an elaborately falsified image, leading police to ban them from the network immediately because they viewed it as an attempt to tamper with a criminal investigation and an indication of clear criminal intent, The DCNF reported before the Post story ran. The Awans were banned from the House network Feb. 2.

 

The Post reported:

 

By midsummer [2016], with the approval of the House Administration Committee, the Inspector General’s Office was tracking the five employees’ logins. In October, they found “massive” amounts of data flowing from the networks they were accessing, raising the possibility that an automated program was vacuuming up information, according to a senior House official familiar with the probe.

 

Initially, investigators could not see precisely what kind of data was moving off the server due to legal protections afforded by the Constitution’s “speech and debate” clause, which shields lawmakers’ deliberations from investigators’ eyes.

 

Investigators found that the five IT employees had logged on at one server for the Democratic Caucus more than 5,700 times over a seven-month period, according to documents reviewed by The Post. Alvi, the only one of the five who was authorized to access that server, accounted for fewer than 300 of those logins, documents show.

 

The invocation of “speech and debate” suggests that Democrats barred law enforcement from looking at the apparent data breach. The Post — which has highlighted the importance of cybersecurity and the intolerability of hacks on government — suggested finding any of this odd would be “unfounded conspiracy theories and intrigue.”

 

Yet, according to a senior congressional official familiar with the probe, criminal investigators have found no evidence that the IT workers had any connection to a foreign government. Investigators looking for clues about espionage instead found that the workers were using one congressional server as if it were their home computer, storing personal information such as children’s homework and family photos, the official said.

 

There are indications that Awan is less than a doting family man, and that he would use his congressional position for ill. Three women have called police on him in the last three years. One is his stepmother, Samina Gilani, who said she was kept “in captivity.” In court documents, she alleged: “Imran Awan threatened that he is very powerful and if I ever call the police [he] will do harm to me and my family members back in Pakistan and one of my cousins here in Baltimore … Imran Awan did admit to me that my phone is tapped and there are devices installed in my house to listen my all conversations … Imran Awan introduces himself as someone from U.S. Congress or someone from federal agencies.”

 

A second told police she felt “like a slave,” and a third said she “just wanted to leave.” The latter two were apparently in romantic relationships with Awan, who lived in small apartments in Alexandria, Va. that he paid for while he lived with his wife.

 

Awan began selling off many of the multiple houses that his family owns around the time he learned he was subject of the cybersecurity probe, and wired money to Pakistan, resulting in Awan and his wife being indicted for bank fraud.

 

The Post confirmed that Democratic IT aides had no experience, such as Rao Abbas, who worked at McDonald’s. But it did not mention that an Iraqi politician tied to Hezbollah sent $100,000 to a company the family set up while working for Congress, and that Awan had a secret account unknown to authorities, 123@mail.house.gov, that was tied to the name of an intelligence specialist working for Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana. The intelligence specialist denies knowing anything about the account.

 

Imran Awan: A Continuing DCNF Investigative Group Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

+++

 

The IT guys in the House criminal probe could read these members’ emails

 

The Awans and their associates collected more than $5 million in pay from congressional offices, often drawing chief-of-staff level pay though there is reason to believe many didn’t even show up. They are suspected of cybersecurity violations.


The money is broken down by year, congressional office and family member paid:


Imran, Abid and Jamal Awan and Hina Alvi, Natalia Sova and Rao Abbas.

Show current members only
Click a year to sort by payments that year

READ THE REST OF THE CHART

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The End of the Line


In the 2016 election cycle I was a Cruzer. I only became a Trumpster after he sealed up the GOP nomination for POTUS. Frankly, I completely enjoyed much of his campaign rhetoric. However, Trump’s reputation as the great deal maker led me to believe he would not deliver on some or much of his campaign promises.

 

Why? Deals require give and take to accomplish most of a desired goal. This would mean deals will step on some toes on both the Left and the Right.

 

The problem I am seeing is too many Conservative toes are being stepped on largely because the GOP Establishment has blocked the Trump agenda AND there is an obvious Deep State hand countering President Trump’s agenda.

 

The Deep State thing for a Deal Maker is demonstrating decisions I have a problem with as well. Many of the Trump supporters that helped him win the election in 2016 have been dealt out of Executive staff jobs probably under the false hope Deep Staters will comply on some of the goals.

 

I believe Justin Smith would agree due to this critical editorial on how President Trump is dealing with DACA illegal immigration status.

 

JRH 9/25/17

Please Support NCCR

****************

The End of the Line

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent 9/24/2017 8:42 AM

 

President Donald Trump was elected, in part, to halt illegal immigration and persuade Congress to help him in the endeavor, and although his recent extirpation of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was a fine and necessary end to an illegitimate and unConstitutional use of an executive order, President Trump’s subsequent meeting and agreement with Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, on September 13th, ended in statements of support to legalize “Dreamers” through legislation. Trump basically lent his name and a new sense of urgency to a legislative amnesty, that certainly doesn’t put America or Her people first.

 

America must not take on the added burden and consequences that will follow any poorly outlined legalization of these DACA recipients. President Reagan’s 1986 amnesty for three million illegal aliens added fifteen million to our population, and, without specific codified pre-conditions, which President Trump and the Democrats seem prepared to ignore, 800,000 DACA folks will add approximately four million new Democratic voters and Republican serfs, while the promise of border security in the future, similar to the 2013 Gang of Eight bill, is never realized.

 

As long as anyone is eligible for amnesty, they will receive amnesty, so it seems. Nearly twenty years after the 1986 amnesty, the Ninth Circuit Court was still granting amnesty to thousands of illegal aliens, who unbelievably claimed they were unfairly denied, because they weren’t residing in America for the first amnesty.

 

On September 14th, Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) stated: “Every time anybody in Congress or in the administration starts talking about, … ‘a deal for amnesty for this or to legalize that’, then we get a huge surge in people coming across our southern border”.

 

How can President Trump not see, that if he gives the Democrats the amnesty they seek now, he will never receive the promised, although unspecified, border security measures in the future? We’ve been down this road before. Is Trump really so politically naive?

 

No deal on DACA in Congress is better than a bad deal. Let DACA die in six months, and each DACA recipient can petition the immigration courts, utilizing existing U.S. law, on a case by case basis. If this upsets a bunch of future Democratic voters, who shouldn’t be here anyway, how is this America’s problem?

 

Any potential Congressional deal on DACA, that might have existed, has already been undermined, by Trump’s tweet he might “revisit” his decision, if Congress doesn’t legalize DACA. His suggestion that DACA illegal aliens have nothing to fear also makes a deal less likely.

 

Hardcore opponents to any amnesty deal are unlikely to soften their position, in the face of an army of lawyers for La Raza, who are feverishly working for continued open borders and a constant flow of illegal aliens into America, with no end in sight. They understand that racist La Raza advocates seek to “reconquer” the Southwest and destroy white Christian America and America’s predominant Western European culture. Only a fool aids in their own destruction.

 

The Dreamers do not have any standing or right to demand anything from us, especially something so precious as U.S. citizenship and all its endowments, or even legalization, and yet, they have made these demands repeatedly and finally acquired DACA. Emboldened by Trump’s sympathy for them, they are now demanding the legalization of all illegal aliens in America.

 

During a recent press conference with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, illegal alien protesters chanted, “All of us or none of us … all eleven million”. They used the Progressive statistic and the assertion that only 11 million illegal aliens reside in the U.S. currently, when the figure is actually much closer to 30 million [Blog Editor: Pew & U.S. Govt. stick with 11 million; disputed by Daily Signal, former Mexico Ambassador to U.S. and Cairco.org]; and, the mere fact they demand legalization, rather than politely request it, is astounding and exhibits their complete lack of respect for America.

 

The majority of DACA recipients are no longer children, as many dishonest politicians would have us believe. They are largely between twenty and thirty-six years old, and by the time they applied for college or some security sensitive areas of employment, they certainly were aware of their illegal alien and “undocumented” status. Whether they have known of their illegal status for two or twenty years, why have they not corrected their situation through legal channels over the years?

 

Some softhearted Americans propose giving legal residence to Dreamers, who pass tough background investigations, pay any owed back taxes, complete high school and enroll in college, get a job or join the military. While this may seem like a good solution, many other Americans see this as a slap in the face of legal immigrants, who came to America properly, and all Americans who fought, bled and died in defense of the Constitution and America.

 

When President Trump said, “We’re not looking at amnesty. We’re looking at allowing people to stay here”, isn’t that a de facto amnesty?

 

Trump also enjoys repeatedly talking about the massive, impenetrable, “big and beautiful” wall he still intends to build, which gained him monumental support during his campaign. However, he fluctuates between insisting it will be built and rationalizing why it isn’t being built. How disappointed many have become, as they discover they were cheering for routine maintenance at the border and more sensors.

 

It is mind-boggling to witness President Trump prepare to give away the farm, without getting any concessions from the Democrats, other than a vague reference to “border security” that will disappear under the next Democratic president. Legislating DACA without including E-Verify and the RAISE Act is feckless. Changes to the proposed DACA legislation must ensure that they can’t bring their entire tribe with them, from the miserable Third World hellholes they abandoned.

 

When asked if a bill that gives legal status to DACA recipients could pass without funding for a border wall, Representative Dave Brat (R-VA) said: “No way. I don’t think DACA is passable with a wall. We would also need to require E-Verify and end chain migration.”

 

No one will be left to listen to their lies, if President Trump and today’s Republican leadership, along with the Democrats, pass any type of amnesty for the illegal aliens in DACA, or any others too. They will have crossed a line of no return, without the support of many of their voters, who are tired of shouting their demands at the deaf ears of GOP elitists. Millions of Republicans will no longer offer any loyalty to a party that has broken one promise after another, and DACA amnesty will be the end of the line.

 

By Justin O. Smith

_______________

Edited by John R. Houk

All source links as well as text embraced by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith