Trump is lying to you about MS-13 — and the deplorables just eat it up

The Trump administration’s campaign against immigration conflates the flow of undocumented immigrants from Central America with the growth of MS-13 — the brutal transnational street gang. The president and the attorney general frequently say that stopping the former means stopping the latter. Information about the four-decade-old gang, formally named Mara Salvatrucha, is scarce, but we know enough to dispel some of the misconceptions that have grown up around it.

Myth No. 1
MS-13 was created by Salvadoran ex-guerrillas.

National Geographic said in 2011 that many original MS-13 members “were former guerilla fighters who brought their war experience and a hardened attitude towards life and death.” The Atlantic’s David Frum also embraced the idea of former guerrillas and soldiers who arrived in Los Angeles and founded “criminal gangs to protect themselves and earn a living.”

The gang originated in Los Angeles, mostly in the areas of Korea Town, Pico Union and Westlake, in the early 1980s. It was formed by children of refugees fleeing El Salvador’s 12-year civil war. The original members were teenagers and young adults who bonded around metal music, marijuana and the need to belong to an identity-based group in a foreign land. Their hand sign, with the forefinger and pinky extended, comes from the practice of flashing horns in heavy metal. Most members were too young to know their homeland’s conflict firsthand, but they appropriated war stories to frighten rival gangs.

Today, most MS-13 members were born after the Salvadoran civil war concluded in 1992, and they have no memory of the political conflict that ravaged the region in the 1980s.

Myth No. 2
MS-13 is well-organized and controlled from El Salvador.

In 2012, the Treasury Department designated MS-13 a significant transnational criminal organization and named some of its members as targets of economic sanctions. Its aura as a syndicate has prompted the New York Post to say that “MS-13 has better organizational structure than some corporations.” Some overzealous law enforcement officials told InSight Crime in 2016 that decisions about MS-13 activities are made in El Salvador, not in the United States.

But the gang is only loosely organized in this country. It can be better described as a federation of teenage barrio cliques that share the MS-13 brand. The gang is more structured in El Salvador — where its development, after arriving from Los Angeles, responded to local policies and prison conditions — than in Honduras or Guatemala. There are important differences in the way it operates in every country and in various regions of the United States. Local or national leaderships are usually not recognized across borders, despite the efforts of some operatives, primarily from El Salvador, to control cells on the East Coast. Most of the gang’s activities and criminal dynamics seem to be more determined by local conditions.

Myth No. 3
Illegal immigrants are coming to the U.S. to expand the gang’s reach.

According to U.S. officials, MS-13 leaders in El Salvador are sending gang members to the United States to bolster local cells. As President Trump has equated “illegal immigrants” with MS-13 members who want to “pour into and infest our Country.”

Yet only a minuscule share of undocumented immigrants who have entered the country in the past few years are linked to MS-13, according to Stephanie Leutert at the University of Texas. The overwhelming majority of those who have joined the gang in Central America have never left their countries. A Florida International University survey of mostly imprisoned gang members in El Salvador in 2016 showed that 91 percent have never been in the United States. Those who leave often do so because of family, joining the massive migration flows from Central America, not because the gang instructs or sponsors them. In many cases, they are trying to flee the group and its violence. As with other brand-name gangs that have spread in the United States, the growth of MS-13 seems to be linked more to the relocation of family groups than to a deliberate expansion plan.

Myth No. 4
To combat MS-13, stop immigration from Central America.

Trump has made the case repeatedly that U.S. immigration laws have enabled MS-13 to infiltrate American communities. “I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country,” he said in his State of the Union address this year. If that’s the case, then restricting illegal immigration and enforcing immigration laws are key in the fight against gangs, according to the Center for Immigration Studies (tagline: “Low-immigration, Pro-immigrant”).

But most MS-13 members living in the United States joined the gang here, because of social conditions or life events, according to a study by InSight Crime and American University. As with many other street gangs, recruits often come from broken families or have parents who work several menial jobs to get by. Factors such as community services, the quality of the school system, a student’s peers in school and local law enforcement policies play more critical roles in determining the success of the gang than immigration. In Homestead, Fla., for instance, where the local government offers many of these salutary resources, a substantial and growing Central American immigrant community has produced no significant reports of MS-13 expansion.

Research has shown that the best way to prevent the establishment of street gangs is to work with local communities to address the problems that push young people to seek refuge in such gangs. The ruthless fight against undocumented immigration within Hispanic communities will alienate some of these populations from the authorities and law enforcement organizations that could help.

Myth No. 5
MS-13 is a threat to communities all over America.

The president says MS-13 has “literally taken over” U.S. cities, and the White House claims that the gang has “brought violence, fear, and suffering to communities” nationwide. “The MS-13 Gang Is a National Threat,” said a headline last year in the Trumpet, a Christian news magazine.

Actually, MS-13 is not a large street gang; it’s not even among the biggest in the country. According to Justice Department data, it has some 10,000 members here — half the size of the Bloods and one-fifth the size of the 18th Street Gang (or Barrio 18), MS-13’s archenemy. While its activities in some cities are brutal, MS-13’s threat on American soil is concentrated in a few Hispanic communities, especially around Long Island, Los Angeles and Washington . Its primary targets are other teenagers who live in the same areas.

Memo to Trump supporters: Go fuck yourselves.

In California today, a 14-year-old boy — born and raised in the USA — stood up to speak about immigration.  “Adults” screamed at him.

“You are going to be the first deported”

” Dirty Mexican ”

— were some of the things they yelled at this 14 year old boy. He was defending immigrants at a rally and was shouted down.

The dog-faced bitch wearing the MAGA hat and shrieking at the kid is  Roslyn La Liberte. She owns RC Associates, a construction company she seems to run out of her house in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles.

This is what you TeaPublicans have unleashed on us.  How about you all just go kill yourselves??

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Good Christian professor arrested for taking indecent liberties with girl under 15

BEDFORD, Va. (AP) — Virginia authorities say an educator at an evangelical Christian university led by Jerry Falwell Jr. has been charged with taking indecent liberties with a child younger than 15.

News outlets report 63-year-old Liberty University professor Stephen Kilpatrick was arrested Wednesday. He also is charged with using communications systems to facilitate certain offenses involving children.

A task force against child internet crimes says Kilpatrick was arrested after travelling to meet someone who he believed was an underage girl. The school said in an email that Kilpatrick has been suspended from his position as an associate professor of mathematics “pending the outcome of this matter.”

Kilpatrick was booked into the Bedford Adult Detention Center. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer to comment on the charges.

Read more:

Trump economic adviser lies. Nothing new here.

Former CNBC host and top Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow went Trump-sized with his deficit lies on Fox News Business on Friday morning, claiming that the deficit is going down.

“The deficit — which was one of the other criticisms [of the GOP tax law] — is coming down, and it’s coming down rapidly,” Kudlow said. “It’s throwing up enormous amounts of new tax revenue.”

In reality, the deficit is tens of billions of dollars higher than it was last year at this time, and while the Congressional Budget Office has revised one long-term deficit estimate down somewhat, the big picture is that “The federal budget deficit, relative to the size of the economy, would grow substantially over the next several years, stabilize for a few years, and then grow again over the rest of the 30-year period.”


Turns out, from the Steele dossier we learn Trump was feeding info to the Russians

The Associated Press has compiled a list of the information provided in the list of memos authored by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, and compared it with what has been revealed through court filings and public statements. And while the AP finds what they believe to be “snippets of fiction” in the pages, they also find that a great deal of what Steele produced is proving to have a basis in fact.

What has turned out to be true is the primary narrative thread that runs through all the memos: The Russian government set up an “elaborate operation” to damage Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election through social media, propaganda, and by stealing Democratic information and providing it to Trump. And the Russian government sought to aid Donald Trump, whose campaign responded eagerly to Russian offers of help.

The Kremlin set out to harm Clinton and help Trump. Trump jumped on the opportunity. That makes Trump a colluder, conspirator, and any other c-word that comes to mind.

Steele’s memos were also accurate in many details, such as laying out Carter Page’s meeting with Russian officials at a time when it wasn’t otherwise known, possibly even to the FBI who had been watching Page for years. But there’s another key area of the memos that often gets obscured by the focus on some of the more sensational … yellow elements.

One of the primary claims of the Steele memos is not just that Russia sought to help Trump, but that the flow of information went both ways. Part of the price for Putin’s help, according to Steele’s sources, was that Trump help Putin in ways that he could address even if he didn’t win—by providing the Kremlin with information on wealthy Russians in the United States. It’s not clear whether this information from Trump to Russia has been substantiated. Those portions of the investigations in the House and Senate that have been exposed to the public don’t even seem to have ventured into this territory,

The idea that Donald Trump was providing something to Vladimir Putin in exchange for his assistance months before the elections is certainly intriguing. Trump’s habit of selling property to Russians and other former Soviets would position him to provide this information if asked. So far there doesn’t seem to be anything to indicate that this part of the memos has been verified … but if it were, that would seem to put the final nail in any idea that Trump was not fully on board with efforts to cooperate with Russia.

The AP also notes that the memos have some critics who are not currently in the U.S. House of Representatives—a group of Russian “businessmen” who have sued Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS (which hired him to research Trump), and the news site BuzzFeed which first published some of Steele’s information. The Russians in question are owners of a Moscow holding company called Alfa Group, The four men involved are named in a pair of Steele’s memos that don’t seem to be very connected with other memos, and which are primarily focused on internal issues within Russia. Which brings up the possibility that one of Steele’s Russian sources was trying to use the opportunity to attack rivals.

However … the four men involved in these suits have definite Kremlin connections. And the comments made in the memos seem a lot less ludicrous now than when Steele first handed them over in 2016.

The Gubarev memo said his business “had been using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data” in an operation against Democratic Party leaders.

It’s clear that Russian operatives in 2016 (and today) did use botnets. It’s clear they did use malware to gain entry into Democratic systems and steal data. The only question would be whether or not Steele’s sources fingered the right company when they pointed to Alfa Group.

And if that’s all that Steele got wrong … Donald Trump should be extremely worried about the possibility of other memos being confirmed. For all the attempts Republicans in the House have made to discredit Steele’s work and to suggest that the whole Russia investigation was tainted by association with these memos, Steele seems to have been far more right than he was wrong.

Here’s a newsflash for you TeaPublicans: A lot of us Democrats are armed

Earlier this week, right-wing commentator Josh Bernstein appeared on “The NutriMedical Report Show,” a radio program hosted by nutritional supplement proprietor Dr. Bill Deagle, during which Deagle repeatedly threatened to kill anyone who dares to harass him, President Trump, or any other conservative politician in America.

Outraged about recent incidents such as White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders being asked to leave a restaurant, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi being confronted by protesters, and Rep. Maxine Waters’ call for more such confrontations, Deagle declared that “these people need to understand, they’re not going to have a bad day, they’re going to die.”

Deagle said that if he had been on hand during the confrontation between Bondi and protesters, he would not only have pepper sprayed the protesters but “would have whipped out my concealed carry permit gun and I would have blown them away and put them in a box.”

“They need to understand the right is not going to be shouted down,” he said. “[If] they continue to think they are going to harass the right, these people need to understand they’re not going to have a bad day, they’re going to die.”

I’d like to remind Bill Deagle that a lot of us liberals have concealed carry permits, we own weapons, and we are proficient in the use of firearms.

There’s a .45 semi-automatic pistol under the front seat of each of my vehicles.  The .45 in my truck is supplemented by a 12-guage pump shotgun behind the seat.  Bring it on, asshole, bring it on.