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Thousands rally for Trump in Fairfield, Connecticut, Sat. August 13, 2016


Crowd of 4,000 to 5,000 people above, 8/13/16, Trump rally in Fairfield, Connecticut, “Tonight Enough said. We are going to win.


Most of the fat cats are invested with the Democrat party, but an occasional one comes Trump’s way. 8/1/16, “Woody Johnson throwing pricey Hamptons fundraiser for Trump,” NY Post, Bennett Marcus
8/13/16, Trump turns up the heat at Fairfield rally,”, Neil Vigdor
FAIRFIELD: Donald Trump confounded the tea leaf readers with a rare general election cameo Saturday in Connecticut, where the bombastic real estate mogul became the first Republican since Bob Dole in 1996 to make a foray into the true blue state this late on the political calendar.

It came on the hottest day of the year in the state and just 48 hours before a $33,400-per-plate fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in Greenwich.

There was thunder and lightning — not just from Trump — during his visit to Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. A passing storm cell forced thousands of Trump’s supporters to take cover in the school’s steamy basketball arena after the presidential hopeful’s rally.

“We’re making a big move for the state of Connecticut,” a late-arriving Trump told a capacity crowd.

Twice in April during the primary race, Trump visited Connecticut, where he romped over Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. But this is new territory for Republicans and Trump, who has been second-guessed by the pundits for diverting time and resources from the battlegrounds of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, where he is trailing Clinton.

Connecticut GOP Chairman J.R. Romano, a Derby native, dismissed the detractors.

“Same guys that were giving Mitt Romney advice,” Romano said. “This electoral map may look a little different than what we’re used to.”

The William H. Pitt Center, the university’s basketball arena, felt more like a sauna, with 4,000 to 5,000 people wreaking havoc on the air conditioning. Outside, an overflow crowd listened to an unscripted Trump hurl insults at “crooked Hillary and Connecticut’s governor, Dannel P. Malloy, while protesters dotted a nearby intersection.

“By the way, the fact that it’s 190 degrees in this room makes me appreciate the people of Connecticut even more,” Trump said. “It’s like a sweatsuit I’m wearing.”…

Trump came out on stage to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” and did not use a TelePrompTer. The onetime Greenwich resident was loaded for bear on Connecticut’s tax climate, Clinton’s email scandal and his favorite foe, the media.

“It’s a garbage paper,” Trump said of the New York Times. “Maybe we’ll start thinking about taking away their press credentials from them.”…

The Catholic university faced criticism for hosting Trump, who is friends with the university’s top benefactor, former wrestling executive and twice-thwarted Senate candidate Linda McMahon. The WWE matriarch was in attendance.

Wilton’s Annalisa Stravato, the state GOP’s vice chairwoman, said Trump is loyal to a fault, including to the primary voters who embraced him in April.

“I think he realizes that Connecticut came out big for him, and we will do it again,” Stravato said….

Sherman First Selectman Clay Cope said he is honoring the will of Republicans in the 5th District, where he is challenging Democrat Elizabeth Esty.

“I have to support Trump because he won in the 5th District,” Cope said, pointing out that his opponent was a Clinton superdelegate even though Bernie Sanders won in the 5th District primary. “If people want Trump, I’ve got to support Trump.”

State Sen. Michael McLachlan, R-Danbury, a delegate for Trump to the GOP national convention last month in Cleveland, said it was disappointing that some of his colleagues were giving Trump a wide berth.

“I can’t imagine they’re voting for Hillary Clinton,” McLachlan said. “Let’s face it, the U.S. Supreme Court is in the balance this election.”

Connecticut hasn’t broken the way of a GOP presidential candidate since 1988, when Greenwich-raised George H.W. Bush carried the state over Michael Dukakis. It hasn’t elected a Republican to Congress or statewide office in a decade, giving Democrats a power monopoly that includes the governor’s office and both chambers of the Legislature.

But that history and voter registration disadvantage for Republicans belied the reception from the predominantly white audience for Trump, who swept all 28 of the state’s GOP delegates with his April primary landslide in the state.

Thousands of people — many of them grassroots Trump supporters with no political background — endured triple-digit heat and long lines to absorb the candidate’s unfiltered and frequently-controversial message…

Trump’s sun-burnt legions started waiting in line more than two hours before the rally, some seeking refuge under umbrellas or in the shade of trees.”…


Above, 8/13/16, Trump supporters in Fairfield, Connecticut, photo from CT Post, Hearst Connecticut Media

Saudi Arabia is America’s top weapons customer as of March 2002. Despite US flooding the country with weapons for decades, Saudi Arabia is still helpless to defend itself from attacks and would need US forces for it to survive-Fed. of American Scientists, March 2002

8/9/16, US approves $1.15 billion sale of arms to Saudi Arabia,Press TV

Following the 1990-91 war against Iraq, more than 5000 US troops, and thousands of US military contractors have been continuously based in Saudi Arabia.” (This is sick. No US troops should permanently be in any foreign country. Why shouldn’t other countries put a few thousand troops in the US?  Saudi Arabia is the world’s greatest sponsor of Islamic terrorism and therefore of human suffering. US taxpayers are forced to sell them weapons and protect them with the US military.  And we’re supposed to say wow, isn’t everything great.)

March 2002, Saudi Arabia Country Profile,”Arms Sale Monitoring Project, Federation of American Scientists,

Opposition to American military presence on Saudi soil

Despite high military spending, Saudi Arabia remains unable to defend itself, principally because of its small population and large territory. There are only about 7 million Saudis, while there are 21 million people in Iraq and 66 million in Iran. The chief of U.S. naval intelligence has said that, regardless of “long-term plans to expand their military with the purchase of equipment…, it is doubtful that the Saudis would be able to counter threats from Iran and Iraq completely. The United States, or a coalition, would have to be called upon again to provide protection or to repel aggression.” A prominent Saudi official has said the Gulf War demonstrated that “no matter how built up we become, we can’t replace the U.S….The U.S. is our protector.”  
The “invasion” of Saudi Arabia by hundreds of thousands of Western soldiers during Operation Desert Storm [George HW Bush, Jan. 16-Feb. 28, 1991] caused a backlash among Saudi conservatives, and some liberals, who want to preserve Arabian culture and fear domination by the West. Some secular Saudis dislike the Saudi family’s domination of the state and the corruption it breeds. More radical Muslims assail the royal family for allying itself with the infidel United States. For decades, the Saudis avoided publicly associating themselves too closely with the United States unless absolutely necessary.
A powerful bomb exploded at Saudi National Guard headquarters in Riyadh on 13 November 1995, killing eight and wounding 60 more. Over 1,300 U.S. Army and civilian contractors work there training the Guard, whose main function is to protect the ruling family.”…
[Ed. note: In 1995, 1300 US Army employees were in Saudi Arabia for the purpose of training Saudi citizens to protect the Saudi royal family. Right. And of course some of Americans were killed there.]

(continuing): “Five of the dead and half of the casualties were Americans. Since the blast, the U.S. embassy has repeatedly advised the 30,000 Americans in Saudi Arabia (many of them arms contractors or military personnel) to “keep a low profile.” Lt. Gen. Thomas Rhame, director of the Pentagon’s arms sales agency, notified Congress two days after the blast that, “The overall effectiveness of the U.S. security assistance mission in Saudi Arabia is not expected to be hampered as a result of this incident.”
Two Islamic groups claimed responsibility for the bombings, and four Saudis were publicly beheaded on 31 May 1996 for their connection to the bombing. Their confession which implicated Saudi financier Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network of terrorists was later dismissed.
A second bomb exploded at the Khobar Towers, just outside an airbase in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on 25 June 1996. Nineteen American servicemen were killed and 100 were seriously injured in the blast. Speculation that bin Laden was behind the bombings has more recently been dismissed, but the U.S. Justice Department has charged that the Saudi Government is withholding evidence and hindering the investigation into the bombing.

The U.S. government continues to support the government of King Fahd, but it has decided to move U.S. troops away from major cities to more secure (isolated) parts of the country. In June 1997, Secretary of Defense William Cohen traveled to Saudi Arabia, where he met with King Fahd. The two confirmed the “firm and unshakable” relationship between the two countries (Washington Times, 15 June 1997).
Political repression and violations of human rights
Despite the show of U.S. support demonstrated by this astounding quantity of arms sales, Saudi Arabia’s human rights record is very poor.  According to the U.S. State Department’s 2000 Human Rights Report, the Saudi government’s “human rights record remained generally poor in a number of areas, with reports of arbitrary arrest, prolonged detention and physical abuse of prisoners. Such practices technically violate Saudi law, yet security forces commit abuses with the acquiescence of the government.  In addition, the government prohibits or restricts freedom of speech, the press, assembly, association, and religion. Since Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, there is no method or right by which citizens can bring about government change.

Amnesty International has recently launched a campaign to highlight the worst abuses of the Saudi justice system and the relative silence of the international community. 
Concurring with and expanding upon the State Department’s annual report, Amnesty documents experiences young, female, foreign workers who have been charges and sentenced without any semblance of due process, such as access to a lawyer, consulate, or even information about the crimes allegedly committed. Also detailed are tales of torture of prisoners using electro-shock batons weapons that the U.S. Commerce Department has authorized to be shipped to Saudi Arabia at least a dozen times. 
Saudi Arabia’s position as a strategic Gulf ally has blinded U.S. officials into approving a level and quality of arms exports that should never have been allowed to a non-democratic country with a poor human rights record
The United States has also sold small weapons and security equipment most likely to be used in the commission of human rights abuses. The Pentagon delivered $23 million worth of guns and ammunition to Saudi Arabia during 1996-98, and the State Department authorized export of another $4.8 million of guns, grenade launchers, police riot control equipment, ammunition, and ammunition raw materials and manufacturing equipment during the same time period. The U.S. Department of Commerce has authorized the transfer of electro-shock batons, and police equipment possibly including thumb cuffs, leg irons, shackles, and handcuffs. 
The following reports by Amnesty International on Saudi Arabia are available online:

A Justice System Without Justice, May 2000.

Saudi Arabia:  a Secret State of Suffering, March 2000

“Military, Security and Police Relations:  Stop Arming the Torturers, 

For an overview of political instability in Saudi Arabia, see Milton Viorst, “The Storm and the Citadel,” Foreign Affairs, Jan./Feb. 1996.
Regional tensions

Saudi Arabia’s relations with its smaller neighbors have been difficult on occasion, even with the fellow monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Qataris and Saudis clashed over a disputed border post in September 1992, leaving two dead. Qatar boycotted several GCC meetings after the skirmish. Qatar and Saudi Arabia were also at odds over the civil war in Yemen in 1994 (Jane’s Intelligence Review, August 1994).
In Yemen, victorious northern forces accused the Saudis of sending arms, money and mercenaries to breakaway southern forces. Saudi Arabia tried, and failed, to conquer Yemen, which lies on its southern border, during its consolidation of the Kingdom in the 1930s.

James Wyllie of the University of Aberdeen suggested in 1992 that “Yemeni democracy presents a sharp and embarrassing contrast to Saudi Arabia’s deep-seated political conservatism (Jane’s Intelligence Review, June 1992). Yemen’s 1993 elections, in which women were allowed to vote, were the first ever held on the Arabian peninsula.
Saudi Arabia expelled between 500,000 and 800,000 Yemenis in 1990 and 1991 to punish Yemen for its opposition to the war against Iraq.
Concerns about proliferation: nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles

The Saudi inclination to buy security may have included attempts to acquire nuclear weapons, according to a Saudi defector. Mohammed Khilewi, first secretary at the Saudi mission to the United Nations until July 1994, said that the Saudis have sought a bomb since 1975….
While the U.S. government vocally opposes the development or procurement of ballistic missiles by non-allies, it has been very quiet about the fact that Saudi Arabia possesses the longest-range ballistic missiles of any developing country. In February/March 1988, it was revealed that the Saudi regime had bought an estimated fifty CSS-2 missiles from China. The missiles can travel a distance of more than 1,500 miles and deliver a payload of over 4,000 lbs.
The Saudis have also been accused of retransferring U.S. military equipment or technology without U.S. approval in violation of obligations under the Arms Export Control Act. The Saudis allegedly gave Iraq 1,500 U.S. 2,000-pound bombs during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War (Los Angeles Times, 14 September 1992). “Inadvertent” transfers of bombs and vehicles to Syria and Bangladesh during the Gulf War have also been reported (Arms Control Today, May 1992). Another “inadvertent” transfer almost took place when an asylum-seeking Saudi F-15 pilot flew his aircraft to Sudan in November 1990. The plane was returned (Washington Post, 15 November 1990).
Support for international terrorism
Mohammed Khilewi, who accused the Saudis of trying to buy access to a nuclear weapon, also says Saudi Arabia has supported terrorism, and has spied on Jewish-American groups and on U.S. military installations. However, the State deparment has found no evidence of official Saudi support for terrorism.
In a June 1994 Congressional hearing, the State Department said:

Some Saudi citizens probably provide funds to HAMAS and other radical Palestinian groups throughout the region, as well as to extremist elements in Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Private Saudi benefactors also sponsor paramilitary training for radical Islamists from many countries in Afghanistan, Yemen and Sudan. The State Department has no evidence that the Government of Saudi Arabia sponsors these activities.

In its yearly report, Patterns of Global Terrorism 1996, the State Department maintains this view and says that money from private Saudi citizens flows chiefly to two groups, HAMAS and HUA (the Harakut ul-Ansar, a Pakistani group that operates in the Kashmir region).
Saudi financier Osama Bin Ladin is reportedly a major bank-roller of terrorists and is said to want to rid Saudi Arabia of American forces. He is believed to be in Afghanistan under the protection of the fundamentalist Muslim Taleban militia. Saudi Arabia revoked his citizenship in 1994.
While the Saudi government may not be directly supporting terrorist groups, it has not been very cooperative in arresting wanted terrorists. In April 1995, the Saudi government prevented U.S. officers from arresting Imad Mughniyah for his reputed roles in the 1983 car-bombing that killed 241 U.S. troops in Lebanon and for a 1985 TWA hijacking in which one American died. U.S. law officials–who were acting on a last-minute tip by an unnamed informant–were on route to the Jeddah airport to seize Mughinyah during a stop over of a Middle East Airlines flight. However, the Saudi government denied permission for the U.S. plane to land. (Washington Post, 22 April 1995) The U.S. government issued a protest, but the Saudi government said that it could not permit allow a foreign government to arrest a foreign citizen on its soil (Washington Times, 24 April 1995)….
Arms Sales Tables

Country Profile

Saudi Arabia is America’s top customer. Since 1990, the U.S. government, through the Pentagon’s arms export program, has arranged for the delivery of more than $39.6 billion in  foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia, and an additional $394 million worth of arms were delivered to the Saudi regime through the State Department’s direct commercial sales program during that same period. (Foreign Military and Construction Sales and Direct Commercial Sales are recorded and published by the Dept. of Defense in Foreign Military Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and Military Assistance Facts; the most current online edition includes information through FY 1999.)

Oil rich Saudi Arabia is a cash-paying customer.  It receives no U.S. military assistance to finance these purchases, although it does demand that about 35 percent of all major contracts be “offset”-that is, economic benefits equaling 35 percent of the arms contract value must be steered back to the Saudi economy. (Check out the Offsets Monitoring Project for more information on this phenomenon.)

The United States has very close and long-running military ties to the Saudi regime dating back to 1945. Following the 1990-91 war against Iraq, more than 5,000 U.S. troops and thousands of U.S. military contractors have been continuously based in Saudi Arabia. However, several concerns have been raised about this close military cooperation and the related sales of sophisticated arms. These concerns are:

Sophisticated arms sales to Saudi Arabia spurring regional arms races

With billions of petro-dollars, Saudi Arabia has been buying very modern, deadly weapons from America.
Many of the systems on order, such as the M-1A2 Abrams main battle tank, M-2A2 Bradley armored vehicles, F-15E Strike Eagle attack aircraft and Patriot surface-to-air missile, are the top-of-the-line systems deployed with U.S. forces.
A flurry of expensive arms sales followed the 1990-91 Gulf War. However, long before Iraq invaded Kuwait, Saudi Arabia sought to obtain America’s most sophisticated weaponry in order to counterbalance its much more populous regional rivals-Iran and Iraq. From 1986-93, these three countries accounted for nearly 40 percent of all arms exports to developing world countries. Saudi Arabia imported $55.6 billion in arms, Iraq imported $22.7 billion, and Iran imported $13.9 billion. (Richard F. Grimmett, Congressional Research Service, Conventional Arms Transfers to the Third World, 1986-93,” 29 July 1994)
Recent U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia have dramatically raised the level of military technology in the region, spurring arms races with other Persian Gulf states and with Israel. Having denied Egypt’s request for the sale of Apache helicopters equipped with Longbow radar, the U.S. government has approved the possible sale of this technology to Saudi Arabia. This move opens the way for a further shift in the balance of power and technology in this region.

The sale of F-15E bombers provides a good case study of how others respond to sales of high-tech U.S. arms. Saudi Arabia had sought to buy the jet in the mid-1980s, but Congress opposed the sale on the grounds that it would threaten Israel. (While relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia improved following the Gulf War, the two are technically still in a state of war.) In September 1992, the Bush Administration and Congress approved the export of 48 of the aircraft to Saudi Arabia, largely on the basis of an aggressive “jobs now” campaign waged by McDonnell Douglas (MD), the manufacturer of the aircraft. The Air Force was finished procuring the jet, and so MD devised a national campaign to promote the controversial sale explicitly on the number of jobs that it would sustain (see Arms Sales Monitor No. 16 and No. 17). The sale got caught up in presidential politics, with then-candidate Bill Clinton endorsing the deal while on a campaign stop in St. Louis, where the jet is manufactured. Shortly thereafter President Bush announced his support for the sale while at a campaign-style rally at the McDonnell Douglas factory.

This was the first time the jet–which can deliver twelve tons of bombs 1,000 miles–had been exported to any nation. Only two years previously, the plane was rushed into service with the U.S.Air Force for the Gulf War, where it was used on hundreds of deep-strike bombing raids. The Saudi planes will be less capable than U.S. F-15E jets: they will carry less ordnance and are not currently slated to carry AMRAAM or HARM missiles, and the radar will have a lower resolution. Nevertheless, this was the most sophisticated combat aircraft the United States had ever exported…until a year and a half later, when the Clinton Administration and Congress agreed to give Israel 21 F-15E bombers with greater capabilities, in order to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge over Saudi Arabia.

Having gained U.S. government approval for two sales of its most advanced fighter-bomber, MD is eagerly anticipating more: It recently competed (unsuccessfully) for a sale of 20 to 80 long-range attack planes to the United Arab Emirates. The winner of that $8 billion-plus competition is Lockheed Martin, which will develop an “enhanced strategic” version of its popular F-16 fighter for the U.A.E. The F-16″ES” would have several improved features over the F-16s flown by the U.S. Air Force: a reduced radar signature, conformal fuel tanks, internal navigation and targeting gear and a un-refueled combat range of 1,000 miles. In addition, as a condition of the sale, the U.A.E. has demanded that the jets be equipped with the Air Force’s most advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM)– and the Clinton Administration agreed. Previously the U.S. had declined to export this missile to countries in the region. Now Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia have all lined up to get AMRAAMs.

Since the U.A.E. jet sale, Saudi Arabia has been making noises about buying more F-15s, which Israel opposes.  Saudi Arabia has threatened the United States not to base future export decisions on regional security and avoiding arms races: Officials in the Saudi capital have hinted that the kingdom may look elsewhere for a replacement for the F-5 if the USA continues to link future military sales to Israeli security concerns. (Country Briefing: Saudi Arabia, Jane’s Defense Weekly, 18 August 1999, p. 30).

Through these sales, the U.S. government has dramatically raised the standard of combat aircraft and munitions of U.S. allies in the region, many of whom are engaged in a “cold peace” with each other. Large-scale sales of advanced conventional weapons to our Middle Eastern allies play into the threat perceptions of “unfriendly” governments as well, in this case Iran and Iraq, spurring them to seek countervailing weapons.

Such sales by the United States also give the green light to other arms exporters to introduce new levels of military technology into this and other tense regions. A 1995 report by the CIA’s non-proliferation center noted that “as countries’ reliance on exports to maintain their defense industrial base grows, pressures will increase to export advanced conventional weapons and technologies to remain competitive with the United States in the world arms market (emphasis added). By making multi-billion dollar sales of extremely advanced weaponry to the Middle East, the United States government has diminished credibility in pressing other governments to refrain from making sales that it views as dangerous. [See U.S. Nonproliferation Policy, hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (Washington: U.S. GPO, 1994), pp. 27-29 on the difficulty the United States faces in persuading Russia to forgo arms exports to Iran, given high level U.S. arms transfers to Persian Gulf countries.]

At the same time, defense and intelligence officials now routinely cite the spread of advanced and, on occasion, low end conventional weapons as a threat to U.S. security. And, completing the circle, the military services and industry justify development and production of next-generation weapons on the basis of arms being acquired by Third World nations, including previously-exported U.S. systems. In lobbying Congress for production funds for its F-22 fighter, Lockheed cites the widespread proliferation of very capable combat aircraft, like the Russian MiG-29 and the American-made F-15 and F-16.

High level military expenditures undermining stability

From 1987-97 Saudi Arabia is estimated to have spent $262 billion (constant 1997 dollars) on its military, with its annual military expenditure consuming on average 18 percent of GNP. (By comparison, the United States spent about 4.6 percent of its GNP on the military during this same time.) During just 1995-97, over $31 billion was spent on arms imports from the United States and Europe. (U.S. State Department, World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 1998)

Low oil prices, a $60 billion tab for the 1991 Gulf War, and tens of billions of dollars worth of new weapons have led to large budget deficits for the past several years. These budgetary problems have led the Saudi Kingdom to revise payments on $25-$30 billion of U.S. arms contracts. A January 1994 deal between the United States and Saudi Arabia extends payment and delivery schedules for outstanding weapons orders; less important orders may be postponed. Saudi financial problems will grow when the embargo on Iraqi oil sales–in place since 1991–is lifted.

According to William Quandt, a middle east scholar at the Brookings Institution, “This is not a popular regime. It’s a huge patronage system that has spread the wealth around. If you take that away, you could contribute to a political crisis” (New York Times, 23 August 1993)….

The United States has been helping Saudi Arabia define its military needs for over fifty years. In 1991, Lt. Gen. Dennis Malcor completed the most recent DOD assessment of Saudi Arabia’s security needs, which presumably laid the ground work for recent U.S. sales of Patriot anti-aircraft missiles, F-15E bombers and M-1A2 tanks. And, according to a report in the Washington Times in May 1995, the Pentagon recommended that the Saudis buy several Aegis-class destroyers and cruisers at $1 billion each. 

Background Information

CIA Factbook

      entry for Saudi Arabia.

State Department Human Rights Report

      on Saudi Arabia for 2002.

State Department Human Rights Report

      on Saudi Arabia for 2001.

Saudi Arabia: Current Issues and U.S. Relations

      CRS Issue Brief,            March 2002.

State Department Human Rights Report

      on Saudi Arabia for 2000.

State Department Human Rights Report

      on Saudi Arabia for 1999.

State Department Human Rights Report

      on Saudi Arabia for 1998.


Last Updated:  March, 2002″


Dec. 5, 2010, Saudi Arabia is ‘biggest funder of terrorists,'”, UK Independent, Rob Hastings

Saudi Arabia is the single biggest contributor to the funding of Islamic extremism and is unwilling to cut off the money supply, according to a leaked note from Hillary Clinton.

The US Secretary of State says in a secret memorandum that donors in the kingdom still “constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide

” and that “it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority”. In a separate diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks last night, the militant group which carried out the Mumbai bombings in 2008, Lashkar-e-Toiba, is reported to have secured money in Saudi Arabia via one of its charity offshoots which raises money for schools.

Saudi Arabia is accused, along with Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, of failing to prevent some of its richest citizens financing the insurgency against Nato troops in Afghanistan. Fund-raisers from the Taliban regularly travel to UAE to take advantage of its weak borders and financial regulation to launder money.

However, it is Saudi Arabia that receives the harshest assessment. The country from which Osama bin Laden and most of the 9/11 terrorists originated, according to Mrs Clinton, “a critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Toiba and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during the Haj and Ramadan”.

These pilgrimages, especially the Haj, are described as a “big problem” in another cable dated 29 May 2009. Detailing a briefing from the Saudi interior ministry to Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, it notes: “The Haj is still a major security loophole for the Saudis, since pilgrims often travel with large amounts of cash and the Saudis cannot refuse them entry into Saudi Arabia.”

It also quotes one of the officials admitting that the Haj is “a vacuum in our security”. The huge annual influx of Muslims from around the world offers a prime opportunity for militants and their donors to enter the kingdom to exchange funds, launder money through front companies and accept money from government-approved charities.

The memo underlines that the US supports the work of Islamic charities, but is frustrated that they are so easily exploited to fund terrorism.

In 2002, the Saudi government promised to set up a charities committee that would address this issue, but has yet to do so,” Mrs Clinton’s cable reads, before seeming to admit with disappointment that merely “obtaining Saudi acknowledgement of the scope of this problem and a commitment to take decisive action” has proved hard.”


How neocons destabilized Europe and caused the refugee crisis after destabilizing the Mid East, Africa, and Ukraine. American neocons and their liberal interventionist partners have been wrong about everything but are now deeply embedded in the US power structure and looking for more war

Sept. 2015 article
9/7/2015, How Neocons Destabilized Europe, by Robert Parry,
“The refugee chaos that is now pushing deep into Europestarted with the cavalier ambitions of American neocons and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks who planned to remake the Middle East and other parts of the world through “regime change.”

Instead of the promised wonders of “democracy promotion” and “human rights,” what these “anti-realists” have accomplished is to spread death, destruction and destabilization across the Middle East and parts of Africa and now into Ukraine and the heart of Europe. Yet, since these neocon forces still control the Official Narrative, their explanations get top billing – such as that there hasn’t been enough “regime change.”
For instance, The Washington Post’s neocon editorial page editor Fred Hiatt on Monday (2015) blamed “realists” for the cascading catastrophes. Hiatt castigated them and President Barack Obama for not intervening more aggressively in Syria to depose President Bashar al-Assad, a longtime neocon target for “regime change.”

But the truth is that this accelerating spread of human suffering can be traced back directly to the unchecked influence of the neocons and their liberal fellow-travelers who have resisted political compromise and, in the case of Syria, blocked any realistic efforts to work out a power-sharing agreement between Assad and his political opponents, those who are not terrorists….
A Dozen Years of Chaos

So, we can now look at the consequences and costs of the past dozen years under the spell of neocon/liberal-hawk “regime change” strategies. According to many estimates, the death toll in Iraq, Syria and Libya has exceeded one million with several million more refugees flooding into – and stretching the resources – of fragile Mideast countries.

Hundreds of thousands of other refugees and migrants have fled to Europe, putting major strains on the Continent’s social structures already stressed by the severe recession that followed the 2008 Wall Street crash. Even without the refugee crisis, Greece and other southern European countries would be struggling to meet their citizens’ needs.

Stepping back for a moment and assessing the full impact of neoconservative policies, you might be amazed at how widely they have spread chaos across a large swath of the globe. Who would have thought that the neocons would have succeeded in destabilizing not only the Mideast but Europe as well.

And, as Europe struggles, the export markets of China are squeezed, spreading economic instability to that crucial economy and, with its market shocks, the reverberations rumbling back to the United States, too.

We now see the human tragedies of neocon/liberal-hawk ideologies captured in the suffering of the Syrians and other refugees flooding Europe and the death of children drowning as their desperate families flee the chaos created by “regime change.” But will the neocon/liberal-hawk grip on Official Washington finally be broken? Will a debate even be allowed about the dangers of “regime change” prescriptions in the future?

Not if the likes of The Washington Post’s Fred Hiatt have anything to say about it. The truth is that Hiatt and other neocons retain their dominance of the mainstream U.S. news media, so all that one can expect from the various MSM outlets is more neocon propaganda, blaming the chaos not on their policy of “regime change” but on the failure to undertake even more “regime change.”

The one hope is that many Americans will not be fooled this time and that a belated “realism” will finally return to U.S. geopolitical strategies that will look for obtainable compromises to restore some political order to places such as Syria, Libya and Ukraine. Rather than more and more tough-guy/gal confrontations, maybe there will finally be some serious efforts at reconciliation.

But the other reality is that the interventionist forces have rooted themselves deeply in Official Washington, inside NATO, within the mainstream news media and even in European institutions. It will not be easy to rid the world of the grave dangers created by neocon policies.”
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and”… via WBAI radio interview

June 2014 article

6/20/2014, Being a Neocon Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry,” Foreign Policy, Stephen M. Walt 
“These guys were wrong about every aspect of Iraq. Why do we still have to listen to them?” 
From 2001 until sometime around 2006, the United States followed the core neoconservative foreign policy program. The disastrous results of this vast social science experiment could not be clearer

The neoconservative program cost the United States several trillion dollars and thousands dead and wounded American soldiers, and it sowed carnage and chaos in Iraq and elsewhere.

One would think that these devastating results would have discredited the neoconservatives forever, just as isolationists like Charles Lindbergh or Robert McCormick were discredited by World War II, and men like former Secretary of State Dean Rusk were largely marginalized after Vietnam. Even if the neoconservative architects of folly are undaunted by failure and continue to stick to their guns, one might expect a reasonably rational society would pay them scant attention.  

Yet…neoconservative punditry is alive and well today. Casual viewers of CNN and other news channels are being treated to the vacuous analysis of Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, and Bill Kristol.
More worrisome still: It seems to be having some impact, insofar as President Barack Obama appears to have bowed to pressure and dispatched 300 U.S. military advisors to help the incompetent and beleaguered Maliki government in Iraq….
Neoconservatives would have much less influence if mainstream media didn’t continue to pay attention to them. They could publish their own journals and appear on Fox News, but the big force multiplier is their continued prominence in places like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other outlets. Neocons continue to have frequent access to op-ed pages, and are commonly quoted by reporters on a range of foreign-policy issues.
This tendency is partly because some important members of the mainstream media are themselves neoconservatives or strongly sympathetic to its basic worldview.

David Brooks of the New York Times,
Charles Krauthammer and  
Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post, and
Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal

are all card-carrying neoconservatives and were, of course,
prominent voices in the original (Iraq) pro-war camp….

The final source of neoconservative persistence is the continued support they get from their close cousins: the liberal interventionists.
Neoconservatives may have cooked up the whole idea of invading Iraq, but they got a lot of support from a diverse array of liberal hawks. As I’ve noted before, the only major issue on which these two groups disagree is the role of international institutions, which liberals view as a useful tool and neoconservatives see as a dangerous constraint on U.S. freedom of action. Neoconservatives, in short, are liberal imperialists on steroids, and liberal hawks are really just kinder, gentler neocons.

The liberal interventionists’ complicity in the neoconservative project makes them reluctant to criticize the neoconservatives very much, because to do so draws attention to their own culpability in the disastrous neoconservative program. It is no surprise, therefore, that recovering liberal hawks like Peter Beinart and Jonathan Chait — who both backed the Iraq war themselves — have recently defended neoconservative participation in the new debate over Iraq, while taking sharp issue with some of the neocons’ position.
The neoconservative-liberal alliance in effect re-legitimates the neoconservative world view, and
makes their continued enthusiasm for U.S.-led wars look “normal.” When the Obama administration is staffed by enthusiastic proponents of intervention like Samantha Power or Susan Rice, and when former Obama officials like Anne-Marie Slaughter are making neocon-like arguments about the need to send arms to Syria, it makes neoconservatives sound like a perfectly respectable faction within the broad U.S. policy community, instead of underscoring just how extreme and discredited their views really are…. 
What, if anything, might reduce the neoconservative influence to its proper dimension (that is to say, almost nil)? I wish I knew, for if the past ten years haven’t discredited them, it’s not obvious what would. No doubt leaders in Moscow and Beijing derive great comfort from that fact: For what better way to ensure that the United States continues to lurch from crisis to crisis, and from quagmire to quagmire?
Until our society gets better at listening to those who are consistently right instead of those who are reliably wrong, we will repeat the same mistakes and achieve the same dismal results. Not that the neoconservatives will care. (end of article)



US acceptance of refugees by the millions has enabled tyrannical and incompetent governments around the world for decades. Normal consequence of bad government can’t take place because US is always there to take the pressure off. Corrupt governments appreciate this service–Johnson, Human Events, Feb. 2005

“Normally, bad government is unstable government. When a government makes a substantial part of its population destitute or unhappy, it can expect them to work against that government, first as individuals and over time as political parties, gangs–or even armies. But with America close-by to absorb the most unhappy, bad governments have found a release for those segments of their populations they most fear: the poor, the ambitious, the disgruntled.”
Feb. 2005 article (during Vicente Fox administration):

Feb. 8, 2005, “Vicente Fox, Labor Pimp,” Human Events, Mac Johnson
“Mexico’s president, Vicente Fox, has made increasing the flow of his people out of Mexico and into America his highest priority in his relationship with the US. His expressed desire is that the border should pretty much cease to exist — at least for Northbound traffic. He would prefer that America voluntarily acquiesce to his desire to depopulate his nation’s poorest neighborhoods, but he is also prepared to achieve this depopulation unilaterally. Mexican consulates brazenly issue official-looking ID cards to illegal aliens in the U.S. to help them appear legitimate to employers and banks.
And, infamously, the Mexican government recently published a “how-to-guide for those wishing to illegally smuggle themselves into the United States. In poignant testament to the extent to which Mexico’s government has utterly failed its people, the guide was issued in comic book form, to facilitate its use by the illiterate….
The attitude of Mexico’s rulers to this chronic exodus now appears to have changed to something more like “Good riddance”. Apparently, they believe every Mexican that leaves Mexico is a Mexican they don’t have to solve any problems for….
The merits of mass immigration, both legal and illegal, from Mexico into the US are a source of constant discussion in America. But consider, for just a moment, what the situation must look like from the other side of the broken border. With his enthusiastic support for emigration by the tens of millions, Vicente Fox has essentially said to his people “My best idea for Mexico is to send Mexicans someplace where people have better ideas.” Apparently, Mr. Fox lacks the “vision thing”. Imagine if President Bush’s plan for economic recovery in the last recession had been exporting the unemployed. (But the situation in Mexico is worse than that, because not only do Fox’s policies inspire no outrage, they are popular. When told by their government that perhaps they should just give up and leave, the response of many Mexicans is simply to agree–a sad state of affairs.)
The motivation of Mexico’s leader in becoming an active accessory to the transnational smuggling of his country’s labor force is not just that Mexico is economically dependent upon the dollars that expatriate Mexicans wire home each month (although that motivation should not be discounted). Also at play is his desire to take advantage of a little commented-upon effect that America has had on the world for decades. America’s acceptance of refugees by the millions has made it, effectively, the safety valve for tyrannical and incompetent governments the world over.
Normally, bad government is unstable government. When a government makes a substantial part of its population destitute or unhappy, it can expect them to work against that government, first as individuals and over time as political parties, gangs — or even armies. But with America close-by to absorb the most unhappy, bad governments have found a release for those segments of their populations they most fear: the poor, the ambitious, the disgruntled.
America, of course, does not see itself this way. Our motives for accepting the huddled masses may not be entirely pure, but among these is not the desire to stabilize failure abroad. However, the rulers of other countries recognize the service America unwittingly provides. The most flagrant proof of this was the Mariel boatlift in 1980, in which Fidel Castro organized a mass exodus of 125,000 Cubans from the port of Mariel, Cuba, to Florida. These refugees included common criminals and the mentally ill released from Cuban jails and asylums (Cuba’s “universal healthcare” apparently has it limits), but the overwhelming majority of the migrants were simply the proverbial poor yearning to be free –exactly the sort of people Castro could not depend upon to help maintain his oppressive rule. Castro may claim to detest the fact that Florida is just 90 miles away from the shores of his communist paradise, but if it weren’t, his regime might have ended long ago. Florida is full of the Cubans who would most like to change Cuba. They do Castro little harm in Miami. 
Most nations are not so obvious in their use of the safety valve, but America is filled with diverse immigrants who do little to agitate the status quo in their homelands, and the ruling classes in these lands were not sad to see them go.
Mexico is a far cry from Cuba and Vicente Fox is certainly no Castro. But he understands the many ways in which shunting his discontented poor out of the country benefit him and his political allies. 
There is no shame in poverty and no sin in seeking work, but there is something unseemly in a leader who sees people as a product for export. In all the discussion of the immigration issue, the one aspect I have not seen bluntly assessed is what a failed and myopic leader Vicente Fox is. In America, men are made rich and families are well fed by the energetic labor of Mexicans. An admirable Mexican government would set about reforming the country so that that same energetic Mexican labor could create riches and feed families inside Mexico. Fox’s government simply wants to avoid the issue, preserve the established power structure, and make sure it gets a cut when Mexico’s workforce auctions itself off to more efficient economies. Seeing his people forced to sell their labors abroad, Fox simply wants to act as pimp on the sale….
The current (2005) administration of Mexico has apparently decided to support the wholesale export of its people to America as a desirable economic policy.

The stream of economic refugees that has flowed northward from Mexico for sixty years was once a source of embarrassment for the ruling elite of Mexico –obvious evidence that Mexico was so poorly-governed and corrupt that its people’s best hope for a better life lay in escape to America.”…

Added:  Jan. 2008: Officials from Mexican state of Sonora complain to US state of Arizona (whose Gov. then was Janet Napolitano) that they can’t afford to take back Mexican illegal aliens working in Arizona, can’t handle demands for housing and schools they’d create. (All sides accept that US taxpayers have no country and are global slaves).

1/16/2008, Sonoran officials slam sanctions law in Tucson visit,Tucson Citizen, by Sheryl Kornman

A delegation of nine state legislators from Sonora was in Tucson on Tuesday to say Arizona’s new employer sanctions law will have a devastating effect on the Mexican state

At a news conference, the legislators said Sonora – Arizona’s southern neighbor, made up of mostly small towns – cannot handle the demand for housing, jobs and schools it will face as illegal Mexican workers here return to their hometowns without jobs or money.

The law, which took effect Jan.1, punishes employers who knowingly hire individuals who don’t have valid legal documents to work in the United States. Penalties include suspension or loss of a business license.

Its intent is to eliminate or curtail the top draw for immigrants to this country – jobs.

The Mexican delegation, members of Sonora’s 58th Legislature, belong to the National Action Party (PAN), the party of Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderón. 

They spoke at the offices of Project PPEP, a nonprofit that provides job retraining for farmworkers and other programs. 

The lawmakers were to travel to Phoenix for a Wednesday breakfast meeting with Hispanic legislators.

They want to tell them how the law will affect Mexican families on both sides of the border.

“How can they pass a law like this?” asked Mexican Rep. Leticia Amparano Gamez, who represents Nogales.

“There is not one person living in Sonora who does not have a friend or relative working in Arizona,” she said in Spanish.
“Mexico is not prepared for this, for the tremendous problems” it will face as more and more Mexicans working in Arizona and sending money to their families return to hometowns in Sonora without jobs, she said.

“We are one family, socially and economically,” she said of the people of Sonora and Arizona. 

Amparano said the Mexican legislators are already asking the federal government of Mexico for help for Sonora.

Rep. Florencio Diaz Armenta, coordinator of the delegation, represents San Luis, south of Yuma, one of Arizona’s agricultural hubs, which employs some 28,000 legal Mexican workers.

What do we do with the repatriated?” he asked. “As Mexicans, we are worried. They are Mexicans but they are also people – fathers and mothers and young people with jobs” who won’t have work in Sonora.”

He said the Arizona law will lead to “disintegration of the family,” as one “legal” Mexican parent remains in Arizona and the other returns to Mexico.

Rep. Francisco Garcia Gámez, a legislator from Cananea and that city’s former mayor, said the lack of mining jobs there has driven many Mexicans to Arizona to find work. He said they depend on jobs in Arizona to feed their families on both sides of the border.
Gov. Janet Napolitano, in her State of the State speech Monday, said the new law needs some modifications, including a better definition of what constitutes a complaint.

Barrett Marson, director of communications for the Arizona House of Representatives, said Speaker Jim Weiers, R-Phoenix, “has some concerns about how the law will be administered and applied.”
He said the speaker sought testimony from the business community last fall “to get ideas about how to make following the law easier. In the end, that’s what he wants – compliance, but make it as easy as possible to do.”

Marson said Weiers iswaiting for the governor to come out with her idea of what she wants to dobefore he makes his own recommendations.”


Added: Mexico’s #2 source of revenue in 2015 was remittances sent from the US, money earned by Mexicans in the US and wired home:

Feb. 2, 2016, The Bank of Mexico says money sent home by Mexicans overseas hit nearly $24.8 billion last year, overtaking oil revenues as a source of foreign income for the first time,AP via US News, Mexico City
The central bank reported Tuesday that money sent home by Mexicans overseas hit nearly $24.8 billion last year, overtaking oil revenues for the first time as a source of foreign income.

Remittances were up 4.75 percent from 2014 when they totaled $23.6 billion, the Bank of Mexico said. They had never before surpassed petroleum since the Bank of Mexico began tracking them in 1995.
Analysts pointed to slumping global prices for oil, which earned Mexico $23.4 billion in 2015, and improved economic conditions in the United States, home to more than 11 million Mexicans and the source of nearly all Mexico’s remittances.
“There is an advance in the recovery of the U.S. economy that has a very high correlation to jobs available for immigrants, and that has a very important impact on the amount of money they send to Mexico,” said Alfredo Coutino, Latin America director for Moody’s Analytics.
Alejandro Cervantes, an economist with Grupo Financiero Banorte, said remittances’ rise over oil reflects an economy that has diversified since the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994.
Before NAFTA the flow of petroleum exports represented nearly 80 percent of the total dollar income for the Mexican economy, Cervantes said, noting that today it is less than 20 percent. “The lesson is that the Mexican economy, on the whole, is no longer so dependent on oil.”

Manufacturing exports are currently Mexico’s No. 1 source of foreign income.”


Added: US Federal Reserve Bank partners with Mexican government in the remittance market, a market that helps keep Mexico a third world country whose poorest will endlessly flood the US with cheap labor

Nov. 2008 article

11/1/2008, “Directo a Mexico helps customers join the financial system,Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Michael Grover, Jimmy Nguyen

The Directo a Mexico remittance service could have two major benefits: helping financial institutions in the U.S. compete more effectively in the money-transfer market, and increasing the number of Mexicans who use the mainstream banking system”…
“Recently, financial service providers have developed alternative strategies for lowering the cost of remittances for Mexican workers in the U.S. One alternative is the Directo a México® initiative sponsored by the Federal Reserve Banks and Banco de México, Mexico’s central bank. The principal aim of the initiative is to help financial institutions in the U.S. compete more effectively in the remittance market. Financial institutions in the U.S. that offer Directo a México generally charge lower transaction fees than the big MTOs charge. As the initiative gains ground and market share, its fee structure has the potential benefit of increasing the amount of money families in Mexico receive from their relatives in the U.S….

A cross-border partnership

In 2001, Banco de México and the Federal Reserve Banks agreed to study the possibility of linking the two countries’ payment systems by creating an efficient, interbank mechanism that would be available to all financial institutions in both countries. The service was proposed to improve access to the payments system network for financial institutions on both sides of the border. It also aligned with the Federal Reserve Banks’ mission to ensure an efficient, effective, and accessible retail payments system. From this partnership, the FedACH (Federal Reserve Automated Clearinghouse) International® Mexico Service, now known as Directo a México, was created in 2003. Marketing of the new service to financial institutions in the U.S. began in the summer of 2005.

The main selling points of Directo a México to U.S. financial institutions and the Mexican-American customers they serve are the service’s security, speed, and low cost. Directo a México lowers the cost of sending a remittance in two important ways. First, financial institutions can make money transfers through the service with a very low, per-item surcharge of $0.67. Second, the service offers a competitive exchange rate for converting dollars into pesos, regardless of the amount transferred, that is generally lower than the exchange rate charged by MTOs. For example, the Federal Reserve Banks estimated that the service would save 55 pesos (approximately $5) on a $350 remittance transfer, in comparison to the fee charged by a typical MTO.5/  
While financial institutions charge an add-on fee to their customers for using Directo a México, the overall per-transaction cost of the service is generally at or below $5, or roughly half the total fee charged by most MTOs.6/
One of the key requirements of the program is that both the sender and receiver of the remittance need to have a bank account. Bank-to-bank transfer services are a more secure method of transferring money across the border than informal means such as the mail. Additional advantages of using the service include the ability to automate recurring transfer payments and the fact that money is available to recipients in Mexico on the next banking day. In addition, the Directo a México program helps financial institutions overcome the English-Spanish language barrier. The service provides Spanish-language promotional templates for brochures, pamphlets, and other marketing materials that enrolled U.S. financial institutions can use.

One challenge for Directo a México is that the market for bank-to-bank transfers may be limited by the relatively small proportion of households in Mexico with bank accounts. Several studies suggest that roughly 30 percent of Mexican households have bank accounts, compared to roughly 64 percent7/ in the U.S.
To help overcome this hurdle, the Federal Reserve Banks and Banco de México collaborated with BANSEFI, a bank owned by the Mexican government, to create the Beneficiary Account Registration (BAR) web site. The site allows financial institutions in the U.S. to generate an 18-digit bank account number, also known as a CLABE, at a BANSEFI branch. The financial institution can use Directo a México and the CLABE to transfer funds from the U.S. to Mexico. The web site enables originating financial institutions in the U.S. to initiate a Mexican bank account at any of BANSEFI’s branches, which are typically located in rural and low-income areas throughout Mexico. The beneficiary must then go to the BANSEFI branch, or its affiliated financial institutions, with proper identification to formalize the account. The BAR web site promotes financial inclusion by encouraging the otherwise “unbanked” Mexican citizen to open a bank account and participate in the country’s financial system.

One credit union’s story

To date, more than 380 financial institutions in 42 states have enrolled in Directo a México, compared to just six institutions when the service was launched in 2004. In the Ninth Federal Reserve District, 29 institutions have signed on. The earliest adopters include St. Paul Federal Credit Union, Franklin National Bank, Bank Cherokee, Arcadia Credit Union, and Royal Credit Union.

According to Elizabeth McQuerry, assistant vice president of the Retail Payments Office at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the prevalence of credit unions on that list is no surprise.
“Directo a México is a natural fit for credit unions, because they are community-focused institutions that work to build and maintain strong relationships with their members. They also tend to be physically located in the neighborhoods of their member base.”

Of the 29 Ninth District institutions that have adopted Directo a México, St. Paul Federal Credit Union (FCU) in St. Paul, Minn., is the market leader in terms of the number of members using the service and the average dollar amount of their transactions. At present, approximately 70 customers use the St. Paul FCU Directo a México service, making a total of 30 to 40 remittance transfers a month and averaging about $600 per transaction.

St. Paul FCU officially kicked off its Directo a México service in July 2007 at a ceremony attended by 200 community members and officials, including representatives from the The Consulate of Mexico in St. Paul, the Mexican government, Banco de Mexico, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Minneapolis, Caja Morelia Valladolid (a Mexican credit union), and Minnesota elected officials

According to St. Paul FCU Branch Manager David De Santiago, encouragement from the consulate played an important role in his institution’s involvement in the program.

“The Mexican consulate helped identify that most of our money transfers in the St. Paul area are to one particular city in Mexico, the city of Tarímbaro. It also identified the credit union branch that most of the beneficiaries use in Tarímbaro, which is Caja Morelia Valladolid. St. Paul Federal Credit Union shared this information with BANSEFI, and BANSEFI in turn added Caja Morelia Valladolid to the BAR web site and initiated a networking relationship between the two institutions.”

Thanks to the Directo a México promotional templates, St. Paul FCU is able to market the service using monthly newsletters, colorful brochures, and press releases. The credit union charges a flat fee of $3 per remittance, regardless of the amount transferred. Since it began offering the service, St. Paul FCU has seen Directo a México serve as an entry product that enables customers to move into a fuller, traditional banking relationship. According to De Santiago, “Directo a México is a useful tool to pull in customers, but it is up to us to keep them as customers and introduce them to all the other traditional products the credit union has to offer.”

Since the inception of Directo a México, participation in the service has steadily climbed. Now, more and more financial institutions are expressing an interest in entering the remittance market

According to McQuerry, “We’ve seen significant increases in payments volume since the creation of Directo a México, and new depository financial institutions sign up to participate in the service every month. Including government items, Directo a México has processed more than 1.3 million items to date, with zero payments lost.”

Still, the true test of the service lies ahead. One of the key challenges for Directo a México will be to gain market share against the more established remittance providers, like Western Union and MoneyGram. It also remains to be seen whether the new service will increase the number of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who leave the ranks of the unbanked. Early evidence suggests that as word of the new service spreads and more financial institutions sign on, the potential benefits of Directo a México may indeed be realized.”

“For more information on Directo a México, visit Jimmy Nguyen served as a Community Affairs intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in the summer of 2008. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics at the University of St. Thomas.”


Cheap Labor recovery: Since 2014 US has added half a million waiters and bartenders and no manufacturing workers-Zero Hedge. (US is obedient puppy dog of Wall St and globalist fat cats. It’s who we are)

“Whichever approach is taken by the political parties to lure the white working class, it’s going to have to go up against powerful forces that have reduced working-class wages around the globe.”9/25/2014, “Why Working-Class White Men Make Democrats Nervous, Newsweek, by Matthew Cooper….Obama free trade deal analyst Wessel notes: Companies are scouring the globe for countries they can get to produce most cheaply.” That, he said, results in constant downward pressure on American wages.“” 10/9/2015

8/5/16, Since 2014 The US Has Added Half A Million Waiters and Bartenders And No Manufacturing Workers: Here’s Why,” Zero Hedge, Durden

“As part of our monthly tradition showing the gaping disparity in the quality of the US labor market, we present the breakdown between the lowest paid jobs available, those for workers in “food services and drinking places”, also known as waiters and bartenders, and compare them to the number of workers in the traditionally best paid sector, manufacturing.

Here is the bottom line: as the chart below shows, there have been half a million waiter and bartender jobs added since 2014, and no manufacturing jobs

This explains why contrary to the BLS’s seasonally adjusted models optimistically showing a pick up in wage growth, the US economy has so far failed to observe any form of benign demand-pull inflation.

So what accounts for this troubling deteriorating in the US labor market continue every single month? Here is one explanation.

Back in January, the ECRI’s Lakshman Achuthan’s made a troubling observation. The sustained decline in the official jobless rate – now near the Fed’s estimate of “full employment” – is a misleading indicator of labor market health, he said.

Indeed, the stagnation in nominal wage growth is consistent with the weakness in the employment/population (E/P) ratio. After dropping to three-decade lows in the wake of the Great Recession, the E/P ratio has barely improved since the fall of 2013, reversing only a quarter of its decline from its pre-recession highs.

Furthermore – as a breakdown of the E/P ratio by education level shows – even this modest improvement is illusory. 

Since 2011, when the E/P ratio for those with less than a high school diploma bottomed, that metric has now regained all of its recessionary losses (green line). But the E/P ratio for high school or college graduates – i.e., eight out of nine American adults – has not recovered any of its recessionary losses, and has barely budged in four years (red line).

We have updated the chart below and it looks as follows:

Unfortunately, this data underscoreshow the jobs recovery has been spearheaded by cheap labor, with job gains going disproportionately to the least educated — and lowest-paid — workers, many of whom have to work multiple jobs to make ends meets. 

It also means that while the BLS can liberally apply seasonal adjustment lipstick on the unadjusted payrolls report to make it more attractive, the truth for most Americans is that the so-called recovery continue to escape most working-age Americans. The only good news is that restaurant workers appear to still be hiring… at least until all new waiters are replaced by robots.” charts from Zero Hedge

Hillary and Trump in statistical tie in Reuters Ipsos July 31-August 4, 2016 national poll of Likely Voters. 2.4 difference is within 3 pt. error margin. Hillary lead down from nearly 8 pts. on Monday-Reuters

Hillary 42 (41.5)
Trump 39 (39.1)

2.4 difference is within 3% error margin

July 31-Aug. 4, 2016 national poll of 1154 Likely Voters. 3% error margin

Images from Reuters Ipsos
as of 8/5/16, 7pm ET

8/5/16,Clinton’s lead over Trump narrows to less than three points: Reuters/Ipsos, Reuters, Grant Smith
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s lead over Republican rival Donald Trump narrowed to less than 3 percentage points, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday, down from nearly eight points on Monday.

About 42 percent of likely voters favored Clinton, to Trump’s 39 percent, according to the July 31-Aug. 4 online poll of 1,154 likely voters. The poll had a credibility interval of plus or minus 3 percentage points, meaning that the results suggest the race is roughly even.

Among registered voters over the same period, Clinton held a lead of five percentage points, down from eight percentage points on Monday, according to the poll.

The reasons behind the shift were unclear. Clinton had pulled well ahead of Trump on the heels of the Democratic National Convention last week.”…!poll/TM651Y15_DS_13/filters/LIKELY:1/type/smallest/dates/20160710-20160804/collapsed/true/spotlight/1

Crowd rallies for Trump in Portland, Maine, August 4, 2016. Media asks Maine Gov. LePage if he still supports Trump. LePage answers, “Yes. More than ever.”

Above, 8/4/16, Portland, Maine, rally for Trump, “Merrill Auditorium was filled to capacity for Donald Trump’s campaign rally Thursday. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer,” Portland Press Herald

Above, 8/4/16, “Maine crowd listen to in Portland 9h9 hours ago”

Above, 8/4/16, Trump rally in Portland, Maine, “Donald Trump signs autographs for supporters after his rally in Merrill Auditorium on Thursday. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer”

City officials estimated the crowd at 1,600, which effectively filled the venue given the space reserved for about 200 members of the media for Trump’s speech.

LePage was given a standing ovation when he introduced Trump.

Thank you all for coming out for supporting the next president of the United States of America,” LePage said. He said the media has asked if he still supports Trump. He said, “Yes. More than ever.”

Some supporters began showing up as early as 7:30 a.m. to hear Trump.”…

8/4/16, Trump stays on message, despite protesters, at campaign rally in Portland, Portland Press Herald, G. Graham and R. Billings