Tucker Carlson Stands Firm after Losing 3 More Advertisers to Leftist Blacklisting Campaign

Leftists launched a social-media campaign to pull ads from the Tucker Carlson Show on Fox News following his comment that uncontrolled immigration can make the United States “dirtier” and contribute to poverty.  He lost three advertisers on Monday because of that but vowed to stand against intimidation and to report the truth. Fox News is supporting Carlson against the intimidation campaign by Moveon.org, Media Matters, and Sleeping Giants. -GEG

Companies that no longer advertise with Tucker Carlson include Minted, Pacific Life Insurance, NerdWallet, Bowflex, Voya Financial, Smile Direct Club, Indeed, Ancestry, Land Rover, Zenni Optical, IHOP, Just For Men, United Explorer credit card and Scotte Vest.

Tucker Carlson lost three more advertisers Monday following a left-wing social media campaign to pressure companies to pull their ads from his prime time Fox News program.

The Wrap reports that Bowflex, Pacific Life, SmileDirectClub, and Indeed all removed their ads from Tucker Carlson Tonight after host Carlson made comments criticizing immigration policy.

Carlson faced social media backlash after saying that immigration can make the United States “dirtier” and contribute to poverty.

“We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poorer, and dirtier, and more divided,” he said in part.

Hollywood director Judd Apatow joined in on the pile on, using his Twitter to target Subaru and Pfizer over their advertising on his show.

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Former National-Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, Receives Blistering Rebuke from Judge

Federal Judge, Emmet Sullivan, delayed Flynn’s sentencing by 90 days and issued a harsh rebuke of Flynn’s actions, saying that Flynn lied to the FBI and to senior officials in the incoming administration. He suggested that Flynn may even have committed treason, but later apologized. Flynn pleaded guilty last December to lying about his role in attempting to influence a vote at the UN – and also lied about working as a lobbyist for Turkey. Prosecutors from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office asked the judge to give Flynn little or no jail time because he cooperated in building a case against Flynn’s former business associates. -GEG

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn expected to be sentenced Tuesday by a federal judge.

But after almost two dramatic hours in a courtroom discussing his crimes, he asked to postpone his sentencing for several months so he can have more of an opportunity to cooperate in federal investigations and attempt to mitigate the judge’s disgust with his actions.
“I want to be frank with you, this crime is very serious,” federal Judge Emmet Sullivan said in the courtroom Tuesday. “Not only did you lie to the FBI, you lied to senior officials in the incoming administration.”
Flynn, who pleaded guilty last year to lying to FBI agents in a January 24, 2017, interview in the West Wing of the White House, told the judge on Tuesday “I was aware” that lying to the FBI was a crime. He said he accepted responsibility for his actions.
Prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office had asked the judge to give Flynn little to no jail time because he had cooperated extensively with them and in at least one other investigation, a case in Virginia against Flynn’s former business associates in which they are accused of illegally lobbying for Turkey. Prosecutors said Tuesday that Flynn had already given the “vast majority of cooperation” the judge should consider for his sentence but it was possible he could still help in other prosecutorial actions.

But Sullivan, of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, veered the sentencing hearing off its course.
After formally accepting Flynn’s guilty plea, the judge threw a series of questions at him that highlighted how unusual Flynn’s case is and how consequential his actions may be.
Did Flynn believe he was not guilty? Did he think he was entrapped by the FBI when they interviewed him without a defense attorney present? Had Mueller’s team considered charging Flynn with other crimes, including treason?
Flynn and the lawyers’ answers to all of these questions were no.
Yet Sullivan pressed on, his voice growing more shrill as he discussed Flynn’s actions.
Flynn lied even “in the presence of the White House,” Sullivan added. “You can’t minimize that.”
“I am not hiding my disgust, my disdain for your criminal offense,” Sullivan said, pausing between each statement. “Yes, your honor,” Flynn said. He was not asked a question.
At one point, Sullivan wrongly suggested Flynn had acted as an illegal agent of a foreign government while serving as national security adviser. “That undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably, you sold your country out,” Sullivan said. Later, the judge walked that comment back, acknowledging that Flynn’s unregistered lobbying for the Turkish government ended in November 2016, while Flynn worked on the Trump campaign and transition and before they took the White House.
As much of the hearing unfolded and the tension in the room grew, there was little obvious reaction from members of the Flynn family, some of whom have embraced and amplified unfounded claims of FBI misconduct on their social media accounts. Many of them sat in the front row of the courtroom, and when the judge rhetorically asked if his “treason” implication was incorrect, some of Flynn’s supporters loudly said, “Yes.”
Before the hearing, about a dozen family members and friends present had appeared to be in a good mood, with Flynn even telling his supporters as he entered the courtroom, “You made it.”
Trump himself had wished Flynn “good luck” in a Tuesday morning tweet, adding that it “will be interesting to see what he has to say.”
Following Sullivan’s courtroom reprimands Tuesday, Flynn took a break to meet privately with his attorneys. When they returned to the courtroom, Flynn’s legal team told the judge they’d like more time before his sentencing.
Both sides now have until March 13 to file a status report with the court. Flynn’s sentencing date has not been rescheduled, and will likely not happen until there is a conclusion in the separate federal criminal case in Virginia, in which his lobbying partner has pleaded not guilty.
Flynn left the courthouse without speaking to reporters. Security guards ushered him to a waiting car as ralliers and protesters chanted “USA, USA.”
Sullivan ordered Flynn to stay within 50 miles of Washington and to surrender his passport. The judge said he was imposing the restrictions because they were typical for defendants released on personal recognizance but he had just learned Flynn had not been under such a restriction. Sullivan said the restriction starts January 4 and he was approving already-planned international travel that the court had been informed about.
After the hearing, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders dug in on the entrapment accusation.
“The FBI broke standard protocol in the way that they came in and ambushed Gen. Flynn and in the way that they questioned him and in the way that they encouraged not to have White House counsel’s office present,” she said at the White House press briefing.

A key Mueller witness

Over the past year, Flynn has given Mueller a key witness on some of the most scrutinized moments during the Trump campaign, transition and first month in the White House — while also turning the former Army lieutenant general into a political cause backed by conservatives wary of Mueller’s approach. “Nothing has been held back” during the cooperation sessions, Flynn’s defense lawyer told the court on Tuesday.
Flynn pleaded guilty last December to one count of lying to the FBI. In his January 2017 interview with two FBI agents, he downplayed the substance of his interactions with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 presidential transition. Flynn had in fact asked Kislyak for certain policy responses from Russia following US sanctions and before a United Nations Security Council resolution vote. Flynn also lied about his lobbying work for Turkey throughout 2016.
He barely spoke to the judge in the courtroom Tuesday, other than answering questions with two- or three-word statements.
Because his guilty plea had been accepted by a different federal judge, who then appears to have recused himself from the case, Sullivan reviewed Flynn’s crimes on Tuesday and made sure Flynn still wanted to admit his guilt.
“I would like to proceed, your honor,” Flynn said about his guilty plea. “Because you’re guilty of this offense?” Sullivan asked. “Yes, your honor,” Flynn said, nodding.
Three previous defendants in Mueller’s probe — Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, the Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan and former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos — pleaded guilty to the same crime of lying. Each received sentences that included prison time, with Cohen getting two months (Cohen was also sentenced to three years in a separate case). But none of those men helped investigators as broadly, willingly or sincerely as Flynn, Mueller’s team has said.
Sullivan, however, drew the contrast that Flynn was singular among them because of his position in the military and the administration.
“My guess was not one of those defendants was a high-ranking government official who while employed by the President of the United States … made false statements on the premises of and in the West Wing of the White House,” Sullivan said.
Another defendant, former Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates, also pleaded guilty to a lying charge in Mueller’s probe. He continues to cooperate with the investigation and has no set sentencing date.

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US Announces $10.6 Billion in Welfare Aid to Central America and Southern Mexico as More Caravans Head to US

President Trump backs away from yet another position that pleased his supporters.  After threatening to shut down the government if Congress did not fund the wall, he has changed his mind.  Instead, the US State Department, which is under the control of the the President, announced $10.6 billion from American taxpayers to be given to governments in Central America and southern Mexico to make life sufficiently better in those countries so that no one will want to migrate to the US. [!]  Meanwhile, four more migrant caravans are on their way to the US southern border. -GEG

The United States pledged $5.8 billion in aid and investment Tuesday for strengthening government and economic development in Central America, and another $4.8 billion in development aid for southern Mexico.

The U.S aid aims to promote better security conditions and job opportunities as part of a regional plan to allow Central Americans and Mexicans to remain in their countries and not have to emigrate.

The plan was announced in a joint U.S.-Mexican statement released by the State Department and read aloud by Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in the Mexican capital.

“In sum I think this is good news, very good news for Mexico,” Ebrard said.

Newly inaugurated President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador waxed poetic about the plan to provide jobs so people won’t have to emigrate.

“I have a dream that I want to see become a reality … that nobody will want to go work in the United States anymore,” Lopez Obrador said at a morning news conference before the announcement.

The combination of public and private investment for the stay-at-home effort doesn’t require congressional approval, unlike Trump’s signature project to stem illegal immigration — a border wall.

The U.S. State Department issued a simultaneous statement saying “The United States is committing $5.8 billion through public and private investment to promote institutional reforms and development in the Northern Triangle,” a term that refers to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Lopez Obrador’s administration has said it is also interested in agricultural, forestry and tourism projects in southern Mexico, and the U.S. said it will contribute to those efforts.

The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation “is prepared to invest and mobilize $2 billion in additional funds for projects in southern Mexico that are viable and attract private sector investment,” according to the statement. “This amount is in addition to the $2.8 billion in projects for Mexico through OPIC’s current investment pipeline.”

Ebrard said “The commitments established here signify more than doubling foreign investment in southern Mexico starting in 2019.”

Southern states like Chiapas and Oaxaca are home to many of Mexico’s poorest communities. Lopez Obrador, who took office Dec. 1, has sought to make development in that region a priority, including plans for a “Mayan train” stretching from touristy parts of the Yucatan Peninsula down to Chiapas.

It was unclear if Mexico would give anything in return. A planned announcement about Mexico’s migration policy was postponed until Wednesday.

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Belgium’s Prime Minister Resigns After Government Collapses Over UN Migration Pact Dispute

Charles Michel, the Belgian Prime Minister, resigned on Tuesday after his government collapsed in the face of opposition to his signing a UN pro-migration pact. Michel lost the support of the Flemish nationalist N-VA, the largest party in his coalition, because the UN agreement opens the door for further mass migration into Europe. Thousands participated in violent protests over the weekend. -GEG

Charles Michel, the Belgian prime minister, resigned on Tuesday night after his government collapsed in the face of virulent opposition to his signing of a UN migration pact from his erstwhile coalition partners.

Mr Michel lost the support of the Flemish nationalist N-VA, the largest party in his coalition, over the non-binding UN agreement, which opponents had claimed would open the door to greater migration.

Belgium is now bracing itself for a snap election as early as next month after Mr Michel said he was going to the king to offer his resignation amid demands for a motion of no confidence in his now minority government.

He had refused to submit to such a vote or the calls from some in the assembly for an early election. A snap poll, he said, would only lead to “stagnation for the whole of 2019”. The next election is due in Belgium in May.

Instead, Mr Michel announced: “I am taking the decision to offer my resignation. I am now going to see the king.”

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California State Water Resources Board Votes to Cut Water to Farms and Bay Area Cities

California’s State Water Resources Control Board voted to approve the Bay-Delta plan, which will re-allocate billions of gallons of water from farms and cities to enhance the environment.  Authorities say that a dwindling fish populations justify this action.

The state plans to double the present water flow to the ocean during dry periods, which will cause an estimated 40% reduction of water to the San Francisco area.  A torrent of lawsuits are expected.  The Trump administration, which has spoken in favor of more water for farms, has threatened to sue over the Bay Delta Plan. -GEG

The cities and towns hit this week with stiff demands to reduce water use, including San Francisco, say they’ll work with state regulators to meet the charge, but they’re also looking at the possibility of lawsuits.

The State Water Resources Control Board approved a far-reaching plan Wednesday to improve the health of California’s rivers and fish by limiting the amount of water that dozens of communities take from four major waterways.

While the plan leaves room for negotiating the extent of the water reductions, the agencies that draw from the San Joaquin River and its tributaries say legal action may be a necessary backstop in case they’re forced to cut more than they can afford.

“At the end of the day, we do serve our customers and we have to do what’s best for the community,” said Samantha Wookey, spokeswoman for the Modesto Irrigation District, one of the state’s biggest water suppliers and now subject to restrictions on the Tuolumne River.

San Francisco, which also relies on the Tuolumne River and faces cutbacks, has begun evaluating whether a lawsuit is appropriate, according to the city attorney’s office.

Under the state plan, San Francisco residents and businesses could face reductions of 40 percent or more during prolonged dry periods, according to estimates from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

The aim of the state water board is to prevent the collapse of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The sprawling estuary, which serves as a hub of state water supplies and is a vital conduit for threatened salmon, has suffered from too little water and too much contamination amid heavy pumping.

While the water board’s plan would saddle water users with restrictions to boost flows into the delta, regulators introduced leniency Wednesday in an effort to head off litigation, which would result in years of delay in the plan’s implementation. The board stipulated that it will attempt to integrate proposals by water agencies to trade habitat restoration for smaller water reductions.

It appears, though, the board’s strategy may not have worked.

Ever since the water board began updating its plan a decade ago, it has had to maneuver a path between water users who don’t want limits on their draws and fishermen and environmentalists who want substantial caps.

The conservation community also presents a threat for legal action, with many having committed to suing if the environmental safeguards approved Wednesday are weakened.

The Bay Delta Plan calls for maintaining an average of 40 percent of the natural flow of the San Joaquin River and its tributaries during peak spring runoff. Currently, the flows average 20 percent or less because of diversions. Sometimes the waterways dry up entirely.

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