Menendez spokesman's firm guided Turkish authoritarian

Earlier today, disgraced United States Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) had spokesman Michael Soliman issue a weirdly worded attack (published in InsiderNJ.com) accusing American "millionaires" (plural) of "engaging in sleazy personal attacks" against his boss.  Hey, should a guy who works for a firm that shills for Islamist strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey really be attacking Americans -- regardless of their income levels?

That's right.  And why is a United States Senator using, as a spokesman, a political operative in an international firm representing the interests of the Turkish government?  This firm itself is a subsidiary of an even larger international firm that handles the image-making  for Russian President Vladimir Putin, receiving credit for, among other accomplishments, getting Putin's face on the cover of Time magazine -- as the "Person of the Year" for 2007.

The firm is called Mercury Public Affairs.  Michael Soliman joined Mercury in 2013 and became a partner two years ago.  Mercury Public Affairs has 11 partners and over 160 employees.  Omnicom purchased Mercury in 2003.

Michael Soliman

PARTNER

Michael Soliman is one of eleven Partners at Mercury, working out of the New Jersey and DC offices. His extensive knowledge and lifetime experience on the region’s politics, government relations, and strategic communications proves to be an invaluable resource to clients throughout the entire Northeast.

Strategic advisor to Congressman-elect Josh Gottheimer’s successful campaign against a 14 year incumbent

Lead strategist for U.S. Senator Cory Booker’s successful 2014 Senate campaign

Served as Senator Robert Menendez’s State Director and New Jersey Chief of Staff since 2007

Managed Senator Menendez’s successful re-election campaign in 2012

District Director for U.S. Congressman Steve Rothman

Advised the campaigns of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg, former Governor Jon Corzine, and Congressman Bill Pascrell

Worked on campaigns of various Democratic officials, including Mayor Glenn Cunningham of Jersey City and State Senator Bob Gordon

Frequent guest lecturer at academic institutions including St. Peter’s University and the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics

Appeared on the PolitickerNJ Power List for the past 9 years

Selected as an influencer by Campaigns & Elections Magazine

St. Peter’s University, Political Science (BA)

Bloustein School at Rutgers University (MPP)

http://www.mercuryllc.com/experts/michael-soliman/

Mercury Public Affairs has 18 offices worldwide -- including London; Mexico City; Washington, DC; New York; and Westfield, New Jersey.  The New Jersey office of Mercury includes a satellite office in Trenton.

In January 2015, Michael Soliman registered with the United States Justice Department, pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as a person representing the Embassy of the State of Qatar.  You must have read about Qatar in the news...Amnesty International has accused Qatar of being complicit in human trafficking and modern-day slavery.  Yes, slavery.  In fact, the United Nations recently gave Qatar one year "to end migrant worker slavery" or face an international investigation. 

Qatar is just one of freedom's garden spots represented by Mercury.  Remember the controversy in Uganda, when the President of that country decided that homosexuality was a crime that should be punishable by death?  Well, the law he wanted passed was "moderated" in December 2013, substituting life imprisonment for the death penalty.   In 2015, Mercury was brought on to provide public relations, lobbying, and media monitoring services with regards to the Office of the President and the Ugandan government in general on subjects beginning with "human rights" and ending with "good governance."  For which the contract calls for Mercury to be compensated at the rate of $50,000 per month, with $150,000 up front.

Mercury also represents individuals.  Folks like Khalid bin Saqr Al Qasimi, who in 2003 led an anti-American demonstration in which he personally burned an American flag.  For its work, Mercury pocketed a $30,000 monthly retainer, plus expenses.

In January 2016, Mercury Public Affairs partner Morris Reid negotiated a contract with Amsterdam & Partners, an international law firm with offices in London and Washington, DC.  The document is marked "confidential and privileged" but is public information under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.  In August of last year, Amsterdam & Partners signed a contract with the Turkish Ambassador to the United States to provide legal services related to a "matter of importance" to the embassy.  The government of Turkey pays Amsterdam a retainer of $50,000 a month.

While the contract stipulates that the greatest security and confidentiality be observed, under the terms of the contract between Amsterdam and Turkey, third parties may be hired "as the Firm and the Client agree in writing are necessary to further the Engagement."  And so, in March of 2016, Amsterdam hired Mercury to perform work on behalf of the Turkish government for $20,000 a month -- above and beyond what was being paid to Amsterdam by Turkey.  It is in the contract between Amsterdam & Partners and Mercury Public Affairs that we learn what all this cloak and dagger is in aid of.

The Amsterdam-Mercury contract references an "investigation into Fethullah Gulen and his organization in the United States."  So who is Fethullah Gulen?

Gulen has been in the news since the attempted coup in Turkey in 2016.  Gulen is a religious leader from Turkey, and a one-time political ally of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  Erdogan is the increasingly authoritarian and Islamist President of Turkey.  He has been repeatedly in the news for purging the judiciary, jailing journalists who write unflattering reports, and successfully intimidating the opposition.  Erdogan had a law passed to allow the government to ban websites and he has promised to "rip out the roots" of Twitter.  He has even attempted to censor speech in other nations, recently demanding that Germany prosecute a poet who had written some verse critical of Erdogan.

Erdogan and Gulen had a falling out over allegations of political corruption by Erdogan in 2013.  Gulen's books were banned.  First, he was indicted on charges that a Turkish judge threw out, but then was indicted a few months later for treasonable offenses that carried the death penalty.  Gulen fled Turkey, came to the United States, and was convicted in absentia.  According to Wikipedia, Gulen was one of the first Muslim leaders to condemn the attacks on September 11, 2001, writing a "condemnation article" in the Washington Post, the next day.  He wrote:  "A Muslim cannot be a terrorist, nor can a terrorist be a true Muslim."

The government of Turkish strongman Erdogan has attempted to extradite Gulen back to Turkey to face punishment, but the government of the United States hasn't cooperated.  In the hours after the coup attempt, Erdogan was quick to blame Gulen, while Gulen put forward the theory that Erdogan had staged the coup himself in order to consolidate power.

The Associated Press identified Amsterdam & Partners (the firm Mercury is working for) as "lawyer(s) for the Turkish government" and quoted Robert Amsterdam:  "There are indications of direct involvement (in the coup attempt) by Fethullah Gulen."  Amsterdam added that he and his firm "have attempted repeatedly to warn the U.S. government of the threat posed (by Gulen)."  Amsterdam said that "according to Turkish intelligence sources, there are signs that Gulen is working closely with certain members of military leadership against the elected civilian government."

Why does Mercury want to be a part of extraditing a moderate cleric to satisfy the rage of an Islamist dictator?  The close relationships with powerful figures in American politics that many of Mercury's partners and employees enjoy is a matter for deep concern. Given who their clients are and the relationship they have with them, shouldn't a client like Turkey's Erdogan be out-of-bounds?

Wouldn't it be better if American political operatives stuck with helping to elect the best candidates to serve the American people?  With all this money from foreign powers floating around, at what point does a political advisor to a United States Senator find himself in an existential conflict of interest?

Linda Sarsour casts shadow over Murphy speech at Women's March

She's the Steve Bannon of the Left -- an angry, trash-talking Democrat Party political operative with ties to some pretty unsavory people.  But in Linda Sarsour's case, it isn't the Russians we need to worry about, but rather Islamic Jihadists bent on defeating the West and changing America's culture.

Linda Sarsour, the co-founder of the Women's March, was on the front page of many New Jersey newspapers today -- in an Associated Press story, running her mouth about how many allies she intends to get elected to take power in the United States of America.  Her group is being funded so that they can hold a candidate training seminar in Las Vegas. 

Funny thing though, there was no comment from Governor Phil Murphy about the shadow cast by Linda Sarsour over the group he is set to speak before on Saturday.  Democrat congressional candidate Lisa Mandelblatt, an attorney in Westfield, had nothing to say about Sarsour either.  So let's refresh their memories:

Last summer, the New York Times (08/01/17) looked into some of the antics of the Linda Sarsour, co-founder of the Women's March organization:

The Times piece was titled -- "When Progressives Embrace Hate."  Times Editor Bari Weiss noted that the Women's March is connected to some very unsavory people but that groups like the NJEA (the state teachers' union) and Democrats like Governor Phil Murphy and candidate Lisa Mandelblatt don't seem to care.  Weiss wrote:

"The leaders of the Women’s March, arguably the most prominent feminists in the country, have some chilling ideas and associations. Far from erecting the big tent so many had hoped for, the movement they lead has embraced decidedly illiberal causes and cultivated a radical tenor that seems determined to alienate all but the most woke.

Start with Ms. Sarsour, by far the most visible of the quartet of organizers. It turns out that this 'homegirl in a hijab,' as one of many articles about her put it, has a history of disturbing views, as advertised by . . . Linda Sarsour.

There are comments on her Twitter feed of the anti-Zionist sort: 'Nothing is creepier than Zionism,' she wrote in 2012. And, oddly, given her status as a major feminist organizer, there are more than a few that seem to make common cause with anti-feminists, like this from 2015: 'You’ll know when you’re living under Shariah law if suddenly all your loans and credit cards become interest-free. Sound nice, doesn’t it?'  She has dismissed the anti-Islamist feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the most crude and cruel terms, insisting she is 'not a real woman' and confessing that she wishes she could take away Ms. Ali’s vagina — this about a woman who suffered genital mutilation as a girl in Somalia."

Democrats failed to call out Linda Sarsour, the co-founder of the Women's March, even when she advocated for "jihad" against the democratically elected American government.

Yes, the co-founder of the Women's March actually called for "jihad" against the government of the United States of America.  And Democrats have remained politically-correct silent about it.  Instead, Democrat leaders have praised the Women's March and continue to do so -- lending their support to its leadership while American troops are in the field, engaged in a fight against jihadists.  Why have the Democrats and their candidates refused to comment on these threats of "jihad"?

Last year, Linda Sarsour -- a prominent Democrat Party activist and co-founder of the Women's March -- called for a "jihad" against the American government.  You can catch her act here:

Here's what she said:

"During a speech to the Islamic Society of North America convention in Chicago last weekend, Sarsour, a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention who is an anti-Israel and pro-Sharia activist, made the startling call and also urged against 'assimilation.' 

'I hope that we when we stand up to those who oppress our communities that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad,' she said. 'That we are struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad in the Middle East or in the other side of the world, but here in these United States of America, where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House.'

'Our number one and top priority is to protect and defend our community, it is not to assimilate and please any other people and authority,' she said.

'Our obligation is to our young people, is to our women, to make sure our women are protected in our community. Our top priority and even higher than all those other priorities is to please Allah and only Allah,' she said."

Sarsour started off her call for "jihad" by praising Siraj Wahaj, who she described as her "favorite person in the room."  Wahaj is a controversial New York imam who has attracted the attention of American authorities for years.  Federal prosecutors included him on a 3½-page list of people they said "may be alleged as co-conspirators" in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, though he was never charged, the Associated Press reported.

Since the election of Donald Trump as President, some Democrats appear to have gone completely loopy.  We believe that dissent is an American right, but "dissent" isn't "jihad".  When did the democratic concept of a "loyal opposition" morph into "jihad" -- a "holy war" to be waged by all means necessary?  And why are Democrats and their candidates too afraid to talk about it?

And here is another thing that they are afraid to comment on.   It was reported extensively in the media last year that the Women's March "honored" cop-killer Joanne Chesimard (aka Assata Shakur). 

Referring to the notorious cop-killer, who murdered a New Jersey State Trooper in cold blood, as a "revolutionary" whose words "inspire us to keep resisting", the far-left Women' March organization issued a statement "celebrating" Ms. Chesimard's birthday.

womens march.png

The Star-Ledger reported on this:

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2017/07/womens_march_wishes_nj_cop_killer_a_happy_birthday.html

So did the Save Jersey blog: 

Joanne Chesimard, the Black Liberation Army member hiding in Cuba after murdering New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1973, has long eluded American justice and vexed New Jersey public officials as well as the public at large.

Donald Trump made headlines in June by spiking the Obama-era Cuba deal and citing the case of Chesimard (a/k/a Assata Shakur) as one of the reasons.

Eyebrows were therefore raised on Sunday when the far-left Women’s March’s social media accounts CELEBRATED the notorious cop-killing fugitive’s birthday:

 “I think you guys accidentally left out the part where she shot a police officer in the face, escaped from prison, then fled to Cuba in this post,” responded one Facebook user.

Why haven't we heard from Democrats like Governor Phil Murphy and candidate Lisa Mandelblatt or the NJEA about this?  Why have they remained silent?

Why don't some Democrats appear to mind associating with radicals calling for "jihad" and cop-killers?  Do they consider these legitimate forms of "dissent"?  We are very interested in hearing what Democrats like Governor Phil Murphy and candidate Lisa Mandelblatt think about all this.

When it comes to shitholes, many are hypocrites

By Rubashov

Shitholes... seems like there are a lot of them. 

And how they are defined depends on one's perspective.

When we go to a diner and the soup has a fly in it, the eggs are adorned with someone's hair, the table top is greasy, and we can smell the restrooms (another cozy euphemism, eh?) we say that "we'll never go back to that shithole."

But for others, the bar is set much, much higher.

Like Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, who once said of Binghamton, New York, and its environs:  "This place is kind of a shithole... There was nothing that I passed (on the three-hour ride from New York City) that I couldn’t milk."

We get it.  For some Americans, the fly-over portion of America is, to use Jon Stewart's phrase, "a kind of shithole."

In the aftermath of President Donald Trump's alleged remarks about a few Third World nations, some have attempted to define it as "racist" -- the most overused moniker in use today.  So much today is called "racist" that the word has lost its punch, much in the way the word f*ck has (though still blocked by some Internet filters). 

But can we actually define the term "shithole" in any meaningful way?

Actor James Woods made this attempt:  "Rule of thumb: if the water where you live is not potable because local engineers can’t somehow separate well water from sewage water, you live in a #shithole country."

Fair enough.

Writer Scott St. Clair suggested that we turn our attentions to the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics and its studies of each country's level of "open defecation" to determine which are "shitholes" and which are simply borderline.  Does a high level of shitting in the street define one's nation as a "shithole"? 

Many people don't like the idea of characterizing a whole nation that way.  They say that you can't paint with a broad brush like that.  But many of these same people are quick to claim that all white Americans have "privilege" -- ignoring the fact that there are more of them in poverty than any other "group."  Many of these people assume that all white Americans have ancestors who owned slaves (percentage wise, it is far more likely that a black American had an ancestor who owned a slave or was involved in the slave trade).  Black Lives Matter's great misstep was to ignore all those "sovereign citizen" videos on YouTube and to assume that their white fellow citizens were racists instead of fellow sufferers (albeit, for many, to a lesser degree) of a vastly empowered and increasingly militarized regime of policing. 

BLM could have won outright had it not taken a "minority" position.  But when one considers that Al Sharpton and Chris Christie use the same establishment public relations firm, maybe it has gone the way it was supposed to go.  After all, working class black Americans and working class white Americans haven't been at each others' throats like this for decades... while the one percenters are getting richer and richer off a booming stock market.  Go figure.

The media is constantly programming Americans to paint groups with a broad brush.  The entertainment industry's portrayal of black Americans are the imaginings of suburban Gen-X writers and is decades off.  So too are its ideas about the South -- while its portrayal of working class America, particularly of those who reside in mobile homes... well, talk about one's perception of what a "shithole" is -- the suburban trailer park must jump in the minds of America's media.

It seems to us that two kinds of people make a nation a "shithole" -- that nation's politicians and the world media.  Rich celebrities like Bono -- a world class tax-avoidance artist -- reap public relations windfalls from advocating for the Third World, sending working class taxpayers' money into the hands of a corrupt political class, who invests it in places like Switzerland.  When anyone notices this, they are called "racist" by the media -- who run heart-tugging appeals that picture suffering children, covered in flies, without proper drinking water.  America's taxpayers see all this media and say, "What a shithole!  We need to help those people!"  The people who live there say, "This place is home, but the politicians have turned it into a shithole and there is no getting rid of them, so we're out of here."  You can't blame them.

Yes, you can't blame them, because they are no different than most Americans in wanting to escape the "shithole" and move on.  In America, the grass is always greener somewhere else.  We are a people on the move.  That's not how is used to be.  A few generations ago, we stayed in one place for so many generations, we developed regional --even neighborhood -- accents.  Once upon a time, there were people in a section of Philadelphia who talked like Rocky did.  Now it is an out-of-date stereotype on SNL. 

That's why so many of our most educated and well-to-do fellow citizens take a relaxed view of illegal immigration.  Lacking loyalty to a place -- leaving it for greener pastures instead of staying to make it better -- is a way of life for many Americans.  And when there is something they don't like, they move.  No wonder they so readily understand when others abandon somewhere, leave it to those who would despoil it, to come here.  The working class and the poor, they can't move as easily and are often left with no choice but to improve their community in order to improve their circumstance.  Of course, they look upon illegal immigrants coming into their community differently than do the rich and mobile.  They see increased competition for jobs, increased taxation to support expanding social services, increased pressure on remaining green space, the potential disruption of established folkways, and the loss of property value (which, for many, could lead to them to ending their days in a substandard nursing home, laying in their own piss).

We might expect the better-off and well-educated in places like Haiti to stay put and help their nation out of its troubles -- but how many rich people stayed in Detroit, Michigan, to help the town that raised them get out of its troubles?  No way!  It is easier to tear the shithole down, street by street.  In the end, there will just be two groups left in Haiti -- the political class stealing the international money that media coverage and the western elites bring them -- and the poor who will be kept poor so that those appeals and the money keeps coming.  Who is to blame the more adventurous of poor Haitians who attempt to follow their middle-class to places like France and the United States?  And you can say just about the same thing for Detroit.

If the nation's moving companies are to be believed, New Jersey is one of America's main shitholes.  Lots of people are moving out of New Jersey because of the tax and regulatory policies imposed on them by the political class here.  Not that the political class itself stays.  Rich guys like former Speaker Joe Roberts, Democrat of Camden, get out of this over-taxed shithole the moment they leave office and move to Republican-run states, like Florida. 

Of course, there are a lot of people who come from a whole lot worse shitholes and who would love to get to New Jersey.  So maybe, in the end, what is or isn't a "shithole" is a matter of where you are?

We thought of this when reading a Facebook post by a Republican candidate -- a fellow named John McCann -- who repeated the silly mantra:  "All are welcome."  Yeah, yeah, but this candidate has moved from state to state throughout his life.  He's a lawyer, his wife is a doctor, and they are plenty rich to say "enough of this shithole" if too many people he ends up not wanting to live near take him at his word.  Yep, "all are welcome" until too many of those "open defecators" take advantage of your front lawn, and then... "we're rich honey, so we can move to someplace better."  Only the poor and the working class who can't move get screwed by the silly virtue-signaling of elites like this guy.

Speaking of which, we came across a breathless article on a Trenton-based political website, written by a former official of the administration of Governor Christine Todd Whitman.  This fellow was demanding that every Republican publicly break with President Trump by calling him bad names over his alleged "shithole" comment.  He really had his knickers in an uproar over it.

Too bad that he never had anything public to say about all the sexual abuse and skirt-chasing (by both males and females) that went on during the Whitman administration.  We distinctly recall one high-ranking official chasing after her female assistant with a cigar.  Then there was the high-ranking legislator whose staff made sure that females were accompanied whenever they ventured into his lair, as is done during physical examinations in a doctor's office.  Or another high-ranking legislator who enjoyed luring the female members of his staff into attending what can only be called "sex" parties.  Oh, it goes on and on, and it is all far worse than saying the word "shithole."

Look, for better or worse, Donald Trump is a performance artist.  Always has been.  Like Jon Stewart, he practices what can be called a transgressive art form.  He engages his audience by getting a rise out of us.  By the time his presidency is over, he will probably be running through George Carlin's list of "words you can't say" at the start of his press conferences.  But hey, he is the elected President of the United States and will be so for the next three years unless there is an illegal coup of some kind.  By-the-way, such an act would make the United States of America... officially... a shithole -- politically, if not materially.

Always remind yourselves -- you holier-than-thou pricks in the political and media and corporate establishments -- that it didn't need to be this way.  The Democrat Party could have run an honest primary process.  You didn't all need to conspire to give us the "President" you wanted us to have.  You fixed the Democrat Party primary process but couldn't fix the national election.  So here we are.  Stop complaining about it.

Pastor Brad Winship: The UN vote on Jerusalem

God+and+Country.jpg

Pastor Brad Winship of God & Country Radio delivers a weekly message from his Monmouth County church.  This week, Pastor Winship discusses the recent United Nations vote concerning the status of Jerusalem:

"In December, President Trump broke the precedent of previous presidents and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and instructed the State Department to begin moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.  This resulted in outrage from the rest of the world, and the UN voted 128 to 9 to condemn the U.S. for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 
  
This recent vote by the UN is another confirmation of the Biblical prophecy that at the end of this age, the nations of the world will be united in opposition to Israel. 'It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured.  And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.' ( Zechariah 12:3 ). 
  
This program will inform you about some of the details of this recent event, and hopefully, will help build your faith in the surety of God’s prophetic plan, especially the coming of the Lord."
  
Scriptural References:   Ephesians 2:2 ; Psalm 83 ; Psalm 2:2 ; Revelation 12 ; Zechariah 12:1-3 , 14:2-4 ; Matthew 24:33
  
http://godandcountryradio.org/Audio/324%20-%20UN%20Vote%20on%20Jerusalem%20-%2025%20min%201-14-2018.mp3

YouTube #10  The UN Vote on Jerusalem     

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aP6zARxlIs
  
Pastor Winship can be heard at the following times:

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