A Moving Memorial Day Message From President Reagan

As Memorial Day 2017 enters its waning hours, it is my hope that you’ve enjoyed time with your families, time to relax, time to reflect on the rivers of sweat and blood that were shed to keep this nation free.

John 15:13 NIV – “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

This verse of Scripture has been used time and again to describe the American military, and with good reason.

They leave their families and their comfort behind for months, even years at a time.

They risk life and limb in foreign lands, to keep the fight from coming to our shores.

And for some, they pay the ultimate price, laying down their last in service to their country.

It seems fitting to finish out the day with a word from our last, truly great Commander-in-Chief.

Nobody gives a message quite like Reagan. He always had a way of leaving a lump in your throat and a haze in your eyes.

What I wouldn’t give for a bit of Reagan, today.

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The Shine May Be off Golden Boy Kushner in Trump’s White House

So just how secure is a family bond in the Trump White House?

Granted, Jared Kushner’s bond is only by marriage to Trump’s favored child, but the president has turned the grand bulk of his duties over to his son-in-law and senior adviser.

It’s coming to a point where he may need to find a new Golden Boy, if rumors are to be believed.

Trump has had an embattled start to his presidency, in the kindest of terms. The news that Kushner has managed to land in the crosshairs of the FBI, due to his efforts to set up a secret line of communication between the Trump team and the Kremlin was one more Russian headache the president did not need.

How much of a liability has Kushner become?

Enough that his influence within the White House may be waning.

That allegation may be one of the last straws for Trump and Kushner. The president has tried to distance himself from negative reports by pulling away from Kushner in private, but remaining warm in public, according to a new report in the New York Times. Trump even praised Kushner in a statement released Sunday night, just two days after the latest finding dropped.

“Jared is doing a great job for the country,” Trump said in a statement to the paper. “I have total confidence in him. He is respected by virtually everyone and is working on programs that will save our country billions of dollars. In addition to that, and perhaps more importantly, he is a very good person.”

Did he mean it, or was that just the public façade?

It was Kushner that recommended he fire James Comey, telling him it would win him points with Democrats, who have held a grudge since Comey reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails just before the election. Many feel that October surprise aided in her defeat.

That was a grand miscalculation.

Getting rid of Comey wouldn’t suddenly make Clinton president, so of course, the move backfired. They had no reason to suddenly love President Trump.

Trump’s ham-fisted handling of the firing didn’t help, actually. He managed to turn a man who was distrusted and disliked by both sides into a sympathetic character.

Kushner has also not-so-discreetly lobbied his father-in-law to get rid of chief strategist Steve Bannon. While Trump was said to have reconciled differences between the two last month, Kushner, a centrist, has continued to work Trump to move on Bannon, as well as press secretary Sean Spicer, both staunch conservatives who represent Trump’s voting bloc.

To top off the complications, Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, recently told investors in Beijing that she could attain EB-5 visas to the U.S. if the financiers of a Kushner Companies condominium project spent more than $500,000.

It almost appears Kushner has used his position as senior adviser to promote his own brand. Whatever the case, reports are now that he’s used up the family goodwill that helped him into such a plumb role, to begin with.

Trump is said to be using meetings to snipe at Kushner and his family. I have to imagine that excludes Ivanka and the grandkids.

I also can imagine this is a sweet time to be Steve Bannon.

In recent days, Kushner and Ivanka are said to be considering a move back to Manhattan. I don’t believe this is coincidence.

They’re framing it as “reevaluation” of their duties in Washington.

That’s a funny way of saying: Getting out of town while the getting is good.


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Sen Grassley Raises Concern Over Promotion Of Kushner Business Venture Promising Visas To Chinese Investors

So Jared Kushner’s family gives a presentation in China several weeks ago, promoting their new real estate project, and the company sponsoring the event, Qiaowai, makes a few questionable statements about the access investors will have to the presidency, due to Kushner’s name being attached.

Things like that tend to catch the attention of lawmakers, and this was no different.

The chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is asking that these “potentially fraudulent” claims be investigated.

“Given all of these concerns, a closer look at Qiaowai Group and the U.S. Immigration Fund are clearly warranted, as reports suggest both companies have long employed questionable practices,” Grassley wrote.

Qiaowai and Kushner Companies are looking for investors to help finance a pair of luxury apartment buildings as part of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program. That program offers visas in exchange for a $500,000 investment in a U.S. business.

The Chinese firm boasted about its connections to President Trump via Kushner and promised clients that Trump would ensure their visas were approved, according to The New York Times.

If this is the case, it could potentially be another instance of someone in the Trump family enriching themselves through the office they hold.

Grassley wrote a letter to the Department of Homeland Security and the Security and Exchange Commission on May 25, seeking to have the issue addressed.

As the senator pointed out in the letter, Qiaowai made the statement to investors, regarding this project, that there was “no chance” it could fail. They also stated that the president would make sure it came through.

After a Reuters report, those statements were deleted from the company website.

A portion of Grassley’s letter reads:

Such guarantees are problematic for several reasons, and the SEC and USCIS have coordinated to halt similar cases of investment fraud in the past.6 It is a fundamental rule of the EB-5 program that an applicant’s investment must remain “at risk” up to the end of the alien’s conditional permanent resident status, and a “guaranteed” investment fails this basic EB-5 test7 ; if Qiaowai is in fact guaranteeing the safety of the investment principal, all related EB-5 petitions should be rejected by USCIS. In addition, a petition submitted on the basis of such a guarantee seems to constitute misrepresentation of “a material fact . . . to procure . . . a visa . . . or admission to the United States or other benefit,” 8 rendering the petitioner inadmissible to the United States pursuant to section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. 9 Further, by guaranteeing green cards and assuring that funds are “safe,” Qiaowai appears to be in violation of laws governing the offer and sale of securities, such as antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. 10 Specifically, Rule 10b-5 states that it is unlawful “for any person, directly or indirectly. . . to make any untrue statement of a material fact. . . in connection with the purchase or sale of any security.”

To be clear, Jared Kushner was not at the early May conference where the project was touted to wealthy Chinese investors. His sister, Nicole Meyer was, however, and she not-so-subtly invoked her brother’s name while presenting the idea of this project.



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Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s Memorial Day Message (VIDEO)

It’s Memorial Day, and the fact that we here at RedState.com (and most every other media outlet) are free to express our opinions – popular or unpopular – to an equally free nation, rests not with politicians or professors, but with men and women who paid a debt in blood to keep our nation cloaked in liberty.

From the first charge into battle at Lexington and Concord, to every fallen warrior fighting to abroad, it is the U.S. military, with all its branches that has kept us free.

There will be many messages to give thanks and in remembrance of our fighting forces today. Former Texas governor, and current Secretary of Energy Rick Perry delivered his own message this morning.

Being a Perry supporter for some time, I had to bring this to you.

Well said, Sir, and thank you for always taking a stand for our military men and women.

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WikiLeaks Founder Assange Rushes To Defend Jared Kushner

Well, here’s a ringing endorsement.

On the heels of the news that President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner may have attempted to set up a secure line of communication with the Kremlin, maybe having Julian Assange, of WikiLeaks fame, isn’t really the kind of backup that instills a sense of ease into the hearts and minds of politicos.

Sure, WikiLeaks posted thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee, as well as Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.

Those leaked emails definitely damaged Clinton’s appeal with Bernie Sanders loyalists, highly miffed to find that the DNC was actively working against Sanders, in order to assure a Clinton nomination.

That suddenly made the file sharing outfit, along with founder, Assange, a righteous idol for Trump’s loyalists, including men like Sean Hannity.

Of course, the tune was completely different in 2010, when WikiLeaks poured out Afghan war documents and diplomatic cables that discussed how to stop Iran.

The damaging releases set patriots on edge, knowing our diplomatic efforts, our intelligence, and our troops were jeopardized.

The long-held belief is that Russia is behind those leaks, which makes Assange’s defense of Kushner now, all the more laughable.

Trump’s son-in-law reportedly spoke with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, in December about setting up a secret communications channel at Russian diplomatic facilities where U.S. intelligence officials would be unable to pick up the private discussions.

On at least three occasions during or after the presidential campaign, Kushner failed to disclose his communication with Kislyak.

Kushner’s lawyer has claimed that his client doesn’t remember the conversations with Kislyak.

Remember or not, you have to wonder if Assange’s tweet was meant to help, or to further stir the pot?

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Ramble On, Ramblin’ Man: Goodbye To Gregg Allman

I’m a music fan.

I’ve been a music fan – a serious music fan – since elementary school.

The origins of my love began with AM radio and 6am stumbling out of bed, while Mama rushed around the house, washing faces, laying out school clothes, and brushing spilled Cheerios from the table.

In pigtails and knee socks, I could sing every song on the radio.

During the summer, family vacations began equally early.

My parents would pull me and my brothers out of bed, get us dressed and fed, then we’d load the old station wagon with snacks, sodas, and our pillows, to begin the nearly 2-hour drive to the North Carolina coast.

Along the way, the radio would play and every song locked in, making the soundtrack for what would be my childhood memories.

I still remember my daddy’s favorites, as he kept a lot of 8-tracks on hand (I know I just blew somebody’s mind, as they furiously Google “8-track”).

For Daddy, it was the Eagles, the Marshall Tucker Band, Free, and the Allman Brothers Band.

These were the AM classics I remember, and while I’m pretty much a heavy metal headbanger, now, a piece of my childhood died today.

Gregg Allman, frontman and founding member of the Allman Brothers Band passed away today, due to complications from liver cancer.

The New York Times had a nice cover of Allman’s style and career today, in tribute.

The band’s lead singer and keyboardist, Mr. Allman was one of the principal architects of a taut, improvisatory fusion of blues, jazz, country and rock that — streamlined by inheritors like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band — became the Southern rock of the 1970s.

The group, which originally featured Mr. Allman’s older brother, Duane, on lead and slide guitar, was also a precursor to a generation of popular jam bands, like Widespread Panic and Phish, whose music features labyrinthine instrumental exchanges.

Mr. Allman’s percussive Hammond B-3 organ playing helped anchor the Allman Brothers’ rhythm section and provided a chuffing counterpoint to the often heated musical interplay between his brother and the band’s other lead guitarist, Dickey Betts.

Gregg Allman’s vocals, by turns squalling and brooding, took their cue from the anguished emoting of down-home blues singers like Elmore James, as well as from more sophisticated ones like Bobby Bland. Foremost among Mr. Allman’s influences as a vocalist, though, was the Mississippi-born blues and soul singer and guitarist known as Little Milton.

Gregg Allman was also married to Cher in the 70s, and the two have a son together, Elijah Blue.

Cher tweeted out a sad goodbye, using what was apparently their pet names for each other.

I think I’ll just say goodbye with one of my AM favorites, and tonight, I’ll dream of those sleepy summer mornings, traveling to Cherry Grove or Sunset Beach, and every other good memory associated with Gregg Allman’s voice.

Ramble on, Gregg. Ramble on.



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Russian Banker Kushner Met With Considered A “Putin Crony”

He wasn’t just a rank-and-file Russian government employee.

There’s a reason the FBI and U.S. intelligence have raised red flags concerning President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner in recent weeks.

The Russian banker Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner met with in December is viewed by U.S. intelligence as a “Putin crony” and a graduate of a “finishing school” for spies who was often tasked with sensitive financial operations by Putin, according to multiple U.S. officials and documents viewed by NBC News.

Sergey Gorkov, 48, graduated from the FSB Academy, which was chartered in 1994 to educate Russian Intelligence personnel. He has long served Russian President Vladimir Putin in critical economic roles. Most recently, Putin chose him to head of the state-owned VneshEconomBank (VEB). As the Russian state national development bank, VEB has played a critical role in blunting the impact of U.S. sanctions against Russia by finding other sources of foreign capital.

Before that, Gorkov was the deputy chairman of Sberbank, Russia’s biggest bank, also state-owned, and also under U.S. sanctions since 2014.

This seems to go along with the general flow of the conversations that led to the ousting of national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Flynn is accused of having conversations with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak about U.S. sanctions on Russia, then misleading the administration about that contact.

The news that broke on Friday evening about Jared Kushner suggests that in a December meeting, Kushner, Flynn, and Kislyak met to discuss setting up a secure line of communication, using Russian facilities, between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin.

Kushner’s meetings and the purpose for their communications has been somewhat muddied by the fact that the administration and VEB seem to have different versions of how and why these calls happened.

They both agree Kushner and Gorkov met at a banking “road show” in December.

The White House subsequently characterized the meeting as part of Kushner’s role as a transition adviser and conduit for the State Department. But Gorkov in a written statement to Reuters, said it was a business meeting. According to Reuters, Gorkov met “with a number of representatives of the largest banks and business establishments of the U.S., including Jared Kushner, the head of Kushner Companies.”

So which is it?

I’ve seen several theories floated about Kushner’s interactions with Gorkov and Kislyak, as well as his desire to set up secretive channels of communication. Both are valid for discussion.

The one theory is almost hopeful, giving some indication of naivete, if not outright careless and dumb.

In this theory, Kushner was acting on the mistrust perpetuated by his father-in-law and those in his close circle for the U.S. intelligence community.

Trump began his war of words with the FBI and CIA early on.

If this theory is to fly, we have to believe that maybe… just maybe… the distrust was so much that Kushner was attempting to set up communications that couldn’t be intercepted and used against the administration.

However, he created a self-fulfilling prophecy when U.S. intelligence intercepted conversations Russian officials were having and they found out about his efforts through those conversation, bringing him under the scrutiny of the FBI.

The second theory is more insidious.

There was something in it for them.

Kushner saw a way to work towards some mutually beneficial goal for Kushner and Trump businesses with the Russian government.

In order to make that highly illegal move, they had to be sure it was being kept private.

Both are theories, of course, and we could be a long way from knowing exactly what happened.

Suffices to say, Kushner may have painted himself into an uncomfortable corner, and the calls for his firing will likely put pressure on President Trump, once he returns from his first trip abroad.


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More Details: Kushner-Kremlin Report Raises Many Concerns

So how serious is what Jared Kushner did, by attempting to secure a private line of communications with the Kremlin?

A story from Business Insider has more details.

To recap:

 During the presidential transition period leading up to Trump’s inauguration, Kushner held a series of meetings with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, and the head of a Moscow bank that was under US sanctions.

In talks with Kislyak in December, Kushner floated the possibility of setting up a secure line of communication between the Trump transition team and Russia — and having those talks take place in Russian diplomatic facilities in the US, essentially concealing their interactions from US government scrutiny, The Post wrote, citing US intelligence officials briefed on the matter.

So let’s first make it clear that Kushner did NOT want U.S. officials to know he was talking with the Kremlin.

(Russia is not our friend.)

Further, it appears Kushner also had telephone conversations with Kislyak between April and November of 2016 that he did not disclose.

So I ask again, how serious is it?

“GOOD GRIEF. This is serious,” said Bob Deitz, a veteran of the NSA and the CIA who worked under the Clinton and Bush administrations.

“This raises a bunch of problematic issues. First, of course, is the Logan Act, which prohibits private individuals conducting negotiations on behalf of the US government with foreign governments,” Deitz said. “Second, it tends to reinforce the notion that Trump’s various actions about [fired FBI Director James] Comey do constitute obstruction.”

“In other words, there is now motive added to conduct,” Deitz noted. “This is a big problem for the President.”

It certainly sounds like a big problem.

“If you are in a position of public trust, and you talk to, meet, or collude with a foreign power” while trying to subvert normal state channels, “you are, in the eyes of the FBI and CIA, a traitor,” said Glenn Carle, a former top counterterrorism official at the CIA. “That is what I spent my life getting foreigners to do with me, for the US government.”

Carle noted that, if the Kushner-Kislyak meeting and reported discussion were an isolated incident, then it could be spun as “normal back-channel communication arrangements among states.”

Here’s an interesting bit:

As the White House has vowed to crack down on leaks, the story of Kushner’s meeting with Kislyak came from an anonymous letter to the Washington Post, back in December. Some are wondering if it was someone also on the team who tipped them off.

Additionally, as a longtime diplomat, Kislyak would have known that his communications were being monitored. So the possibility remains, Carle said, that the Russians used the meeting with Kushner to distract the intelligence community and the public from potentially more incriminating relationships between the campaign and Moscow.

Indeed, Kushner also met with the CEO of Russia’s state-owned Vnesheconombank, Sergey Gorkov, in December 2016, The New York Times reported in late March. The meeting — which had not previously been disclosed and came on the heels of Kushner’s meeting with Kislyak at Trump Tower — caught the eye of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and whether any members of Trump’s campaign were complicit.

It was supposedly Kislyak who set up the meeting between Kushner and Gorkov.

The more that unfolds, the more troubling this looks.

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UNBELIEVABLE: Trump Senior Adviser Sought Private Line With Kremlin Before Inauguration

When the news broke last week that a senior adviser with the Trump administration was under scrutiny, most of us had a feeling it would be son-in-law/senior adviser/power-behind-the-throne, Jared Kushner.

We were right.

It was revealed this week that Kushner was, indeed, in the crosshairs of the FBI.

Earlier Friday, more details emerged.

A new report says Kushner spoke with a top Russian official in December, in an attempt to establish a private line of communication between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin.

The president’s son-in-law and senior adviser inquired about using Russian diplomatic facilities for the communications, apparently to shield the talks, U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports told The Washington Post.

Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak told his superiors that Kushner floated the idea during a meeting at Trump Tower on Dec. 1 or 2, according to the Post, which cited intercepts of Russian communications reviewed by U.S. officials.

Why would the man who is basically the President-by-proxy want private communications between the transition team and the Kremlin?

Nothing suspicious here, at all.

So who else was at that meeting?

Michael Flynn.

The FBI is interested in the details of Kushner’s meeting with Kislyak, a meeting that the White House first disclosed in March.

Officials told the Post that knowledge of the discussion came because of communication surveillance on the Russians, not on the meeting or U.S. citizens.

Kislyak reportedly balked at the suggestion. Letting an American use Russian communication equipment would likely cause some security issues for both sides.

Kushner hasn’t been charged with anything and for the time being, he’s simply under scrutiny by the FBI, as they continue the investigation into potential collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Russia.

Kushner also raised some red flags when it was discovered that he failed to disclose communications with Kislyak, as well as Russian bank executives on his security clearance paperwork.

President Trump, himself, may be clean as a whistle, but even his most ardent supporters have to admit he’s surrounded himself with a lot of shady characters, engaging in some really sketchy behavior.

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SICK: President of Manhattan Young Democrats Arrested for Disturbing Crime

This is probably the most sickening (and infuriating) thing you’ll see today.

This is the kind of thing that makes even the most gentle hearted of us see red.

A young employee of New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio was recently arrested for possessing a massive stash of child pornography, and not even his father can say he’s innocent of the charges.

The New York Post put the story out there earlier Friday.

Jacob Schwartz, 29, was busted for allegedly keeping more than 3,000 disgusting images and 89 videos on a laptop after downloading the filth from the internet.

The illegal smut shows “young nude females between the approximate ages of 6 months and 16, engaging in sexual conduct… on an adult male,” court papers say.

This isn’t just the kind of stuff you stumble on while looking for cat memes or surfing YouTube for cooking videos.

You have to be actively searching for this kind of depravity, out of some deep level of soul sickness that the rest of us can’t understand (nor do we want to).

And I completely get that our children can disappoint us. At 29, Schwartz should have been long out of the care of his parents. That being said, you don’t suddenly develop a taste for child porn. This is something that has been brewing for many years.

Schwartz’ father — labor lawyer and Democratic insider Arthur Schwartz — called his son’s case “a personal tragedy.”

“I understand these are serious charges,” said the elder Schwartz, who watched his son get arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday night.

“He’s already in therapy for this.”

The younger Schwartz, president of Manhattan Young Democrats, and the downstate region vice president of the New York State Young Democrats, turned himself in to the computer-crimes division of the NYPD, 13th Precinct on Thursday morning.

How long was he in therapy before anyone convinced him to turn himself in?

According to the report, he has been under investigation since March 29 of this year. He gave law enforcement written permission to investigate his laptop, and that led to the discovery of the disgusting material.

He had to know they’d find it, so either someone was really in his ear, or he was struggling with those demons.

If it’s the former, he may not be truly repentant of what is one of the most monstrous, unimaginable crimes there is: the sexual exploitation of very young children.

If it is the latter, and he made this move on his own, there’s hope that the root of his pedophilia can be found and treated.

But he should never, ever be near children.

Schwartz is employed as a $66,360-a-year computer programmer analyst in the city Department of Design and Construction, where he works on the “Build It Back” Hurricane Sandy recovery and resiliency program.

Schwartz was hired after working there as an intern in fiscal 2015, records show.

So he’s a successful young man, at least, in his public life.

According to his online biography, Schwartz got involved in politics at a young age, helping his father campaign for Democratic district leader in Greenwich Village.

Speaking of his dad, he was the New York counsel for Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, and also was campaign treasurer for liberal activist Zephyr Teachout (she challenged Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2014).

And this part of the report:

Jacob Schwartz was charged with promoting a sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance by a child under 16, both felonies, and released on $7,500 bail.

I don’t know how bail works in New York, but $7,500 seems shockingly low for these crimes.

I’m nauseous over this.

Who were these kids, and who is taking care of them?


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