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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Iran President Rouhani's Private 2013 Dinner Photos: Louis Farrakhan, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Gregory Meeks

    In 2013 when then-newly elected President Hassan Rouhani came to New York to speak to the United Nations General Assembly, he held a private dinner and time of discussion at the One UN Hotel in Manhattan where the Iranian delegation was staying. On Friday, February 9, 2018, the Wall Street Journal published my commentary entitled "Keith Ellison, Louis Farrakhan and Iran," a follow-up to the prior week's "The Dems’ Farrakhan Problem." My new piece revealed that the 2013 event, previously reported as a gathering of US Muslim leaders, including Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan, also included Rep. Keith Ellison (M-MN), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN).
    In attempting to debunk the story Saturday, the Iranian government Saturday inadvertently confirmed it. The Fars News agency reported that Iranian Vice-President for Communications and Information Parviz Esmayeeli denied that Rouhani meet with the congressman. But the evidence provided by Esmayeeli not only shows that Ellison and Meeks were present, but added the detail that Ellison and Farrakhan sat nearly directly across from one another, facing one another during the event.
    Below are photos from The Final Call (a Nation of Islam publication) and the Islamic House of Wisdom (an Islamic center in Dearborn Heights, Michigan,) as well as photos that appear on the government website of the President of Iran.
    The juxtaposition of these photos from various sources lay to rest the idea that, as Parviz Esmayeeli put it, the 2013 meeting of Rouhani and the congressmen is a "sheer lie." 
    The first three photos below are drawn from the Islamic House of Wisdom site. 


    In this photo, Rouhani can be seen in the top-center and the very back of Louis Farrakhan's head can be seen on the left.


    Here, Farrakhan is seen across the table near the center of the photo, and Rep. Gregory Meeks on the right of the photo with Rouhani visible just above Meeks's head.


    This photo is a little wider shot of the previous photo with Farrakhan still visible across the table and again Rep. Meeks on the right. Rep. Carson does not appear in the photos, only being mentioned as a participant in the text of the Final Call and Islamic House of Wisdom reports on the meeting.

    The remaining photos come from The Final Call.


    This close up of Farrakhan shows his face more clearly along with the two men on either side of him, matching the wider shots in the earlier photos.


    The final two photos, which The Final Call posted as a set, shows Meeks more clearly, and also includes the gentleman to Meeks's right who is captured in the wider-angle photos above. The photo of Ellison does not line up with the previous wider-angle views, but the flowers in the foreground and the blue curtain behind him match the decor from the other photos of the meeting.
    Finally, below are photos from the official website of Iranian President Rouhani. The Fars article reporting the denial the the congressmen attended the dinner included the link to the photos.


    The above photos shows a wide shot of the entire group of attendees at the dinner. The positions of the participants match the photos on The Final Call and Islamic House of Wisdom sites. (This shot also includes a videographer visible on the left suggesting a video record of the meeting may exist.)



    These two photos focus on the front right corner of the room, to the left of President Rouhani. The gentleman with the white hair and beard can also be seen sitting to Ellison's right in the close-up of Ellison that appears at The Final Call. The final photo below is a zoomed clip of the center-right portion of the photo above, and it focuses on the place card on the table to the left of the white haired gentleman.


    The first two letters are unclear, but the rest of the portion of the card that is visible reads "Rep Keit", the remainder having been cut out of the photo. The place card is obviously that of Rep. Keith Ellison, matching his position in the other photos.
    It is unclear at this point who took these photos and whether more than one person was involved. I contacted Askia Muhammad, the photographer who took the picture of then-Senator Barack Obama and Louis Farrakhan that was suppressed for 13 years before being released last month. Muhammad told me, " I did attend two New York dinners on successive years when President Rouhani spoke at the U.N. Minister Farrakhan attended one meeting. I never saw Keith Ellison at either of those events." Muhammad did not say which years he attended. Rouhani has addressed the UN in New York each of the five years he has served as Iran's president (2013-2017.)
    As of Saturday evening, Rep. Meeks is the only congressman to have responded. As I mentioned in the Journal, Meeks's press secretary, when asked if Rep. Meeks wished to respond to my request for details of the meeting replied via email, "We do not. Thanks."
    Now that the Iranian government has weighed in with a risible denial, additional questions must be asked. Why is the Iranian government so anxious to deny meeting with the congressmen in question? Why are the congressmen avoiding questions about the meeting? Was Andre Carson indeed present as The Final Call and the Islamic House of Wisdom reported? What was discussed at the meeting? Is video of the meeting available? Did the congressmen and Louis Farrakhan interact with each other at the meeting?
    Finally, will the Democratic Party finally demand that its members make a clear and public break with a man that even the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a Black Separatist and leader of a group that, in Ellison's own words, spreads "hatred and division, including, anti-Semitism[.]"? Will this be the final straw?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Is President Trump Spiking Maiden Names? Speak With Authority Investigates!

    Let me just say up front: this is trivial.

    OK, now that that is out of the way: Remember that story about Donald Trump asking GOP Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel to drop her maiden name because "Rommey" bugs him? Via the Washington Post:
Before Ronna Romney McDaniel took over as Republican National Committee chairwoman earlier this year, President Trump had a request: Would she be willing to stop using her middle name publicly? 
Trump followed up by saying in a lighthearted way that McDaniel, the niece of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, could do what she wanted, according to two people familiar with the comments. But the change was soon plain for all to see. Though she had used her maiden name for years in Michigan, where her grandfather George W. Romney had been governor, McDaniel dropped “Romney” from most official party communications and has rarely used it since.
    Turns out that all the way through July 6, 2017, Ms. McDaniel had her name on the GOPChairwoman Twitter account as "Ronna RomneyMcDaniel":



    By July 12 (the next archived version available), the Romney was gone! Now it looks like this:


    I contacted the GOP about the change, but to my great surprise, I received no response. Nothing leaped out at me when perusing the news during the week of the change that would explain the timing.
    So what are we to make of this maiden name eliding (elidation?)? If Mike Huckabee goes off the Trump reservation, will @SarahHuckabee suddenly become SarahSanders? Bate your breath!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

In California, Undercover Video of Abortion Clinics, Bad; But For Smog Tests, Great!

    This week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra charged two pro-life activists from the Center for Medical Progress who recorded secret video of Planned Parenthood representatives discussing selling baby parts from abortion. The two are charged with 15 felonies for violating privacy laws (a questionable decision in and of itself, as I noted on Twitter.)
    Becerra replaced Kamala Harris as CA's attorney general when Harris was elected to the US Senate in 2016. Harris began the investigation of the CMP's secret videos, including arranging an FBI raid of one of the defendant's homes.
    Harris, however, has not always taken a dim view of undercover video. In a 2014, Harris used undercover surveillance video to nab a... smog test scofflaw (scoughlaw?).



    So undercover video to reveal abortion industry misconduct and fraud: bad! Smog test fraud? Good! Thanks, California.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Company That Put Up Fearless Girl Statue Has 5 Women on 28 Person Leadership Team


State Street Global Advisors has not responded to a request for comment.

Short Summary of Obamacare and Proposed 'Repeal and Replace'

1) Congress passes law to give lots of people free stuff.
2) Congress considers repealing law.
3) Headlines: People will lose free stuff.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Los Angeles Health Center HIV Awareness Campaign: 'F*** Without Fear'

    The Los Angeles LGBT Center kicked off its provocative "F*ck Without Fear" campaign in January, ostensibly to "raise awareness for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a safe and effective tool to prevent HIV infection." "PrEP" is a medication regimen that, according to the LGBT Center, can "reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 99 percent," if used correctly.
    The campaign plans to use community events, targeted ads, a “Paint the Town Blue” partnership with West Hollywood and Hollywood bar, a "Banjee Ball" sponsorship (a "vogue dance and runway event with live music performances"), and even an Andrew Christian-designed “Fearless F*cker” t-shirt on sale at the designer's flagship store in West Hollywood with sales benefiting the PrEP center.

Photo source: newnownext.com
    In 2015, $350,000 was awarded to the LA LGBT Center by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for a "high impact HIV prevention project." When asked if CDC funds were being used for the current campaign, a CDC spokesperson said after a delay of a few days that "it takes a little time to untangle the various federal funding streams," but finally replied that the "CDC has confirmed with the LA LGBT Center that non-CDC funding was used for the PrEP awareness campaign."
    When asked how the $350,000 grant was used, the CDC said that the funds went towards "HIV testing –  including recruitment, outreach, linkage to care, navigation services and essential support services, ARTAS – which is an Antiretroviral Linkage to Care management intervention, Every Dose Every Day – a medicine adherence intervention for HIV positive persons, and Mpowerment – a community level behavior intervention for high-risk HIV-negative persons."
    After initially responding to an email, a LA LGBT Center spokesperson did not reply to follow up inquiries about the source of the current campaign funding or how the $350,000 grant awarded from 2015 was used.
    In the past three years alone, the LA LGBT Center has received over $13 million in federal grants and contracts, much of the money through HHS, but also from Housing and Urban Development and the Justice Department, among others. The Center has already received more than half a million dollars in fiscal year 2017 from Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) related to a 2013 Obamacare-related award. According to its annual report, the LA LGBT Center is largely funded through private and corporate donations (including Wells Fargo and Toyota), but also a variety of federal and state grants.
   Other HHS funds in the past have been awarded to the LA LGBT Center for:
  • Child Welfare Research Training or Demonstration
  • Outpatient Early Intervention Services with Respect to HIV Disease
  • Transitional Living for Homeless Youth
   The Center calls its message "sex-positive" with "raw, real language to get people’s attention and spur conversation. 
“We’ve got the tools to not only end the fear of HIV, but to end it as an epidemic. Those at risk have to know about the tools, though, and they need honest information about them,” said Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings. “Our campaign provides the truth about PrEP, the information and support to help people get a prescription, and a reminder that condoms are necessary to prevent other sexually transmitted diseases.”
    Numerous state and federal government websites (CDC, Department of Education, HUD, and even the National Park Service) link to the LA LGBT Center website relative to a variety of programs the center offers.
    Although the LA LGBT Center links to the CDC website for more information regarding PrEP, a CDC spokesperson replied only that the CDC "was not involved in the development or evaluation of the campaign" when asked about the soundness or appropriateness of the F*ck Without Fear message.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Heads Up

    When I used to listen to Rush Limbaugh, there were times when he would warn listeners that he was going to be talking about something they might not want to hear or they might not want their children to hear. He'd advise them to turn off their radios for a few minutes, and then count down, "five... four... three..." He'd say, I don't want anyone complaining, because I warned you...
    I am going to post something soon for which I am giving a similar caution. For years, I have had on this site a "I have a fairly low tolerance for bad/crude language" warning posted over there (--->), and this coming post certainly fits the bill, but I think it's important enough to post anyway.
    This warning post may come across as disingenuous hype designed to get more attention, but (unless I am self-deceiving,) it's really not.
    In any case, don't say I didn't warn you...