In a defiant bit of timing, South Korea announced Wednesday
that key parts of a contentious U.S. missile defense system have been
installed a day after rival North Korea showed off its military power.
The South’s trumpeting of progress in setting up the
Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, comes as
high-powered U.S. military assets converge on the Korean Peninsula and
as a combative North Korea signals possible nuclear and missile testing.
North Korea conducted live-fire artillery drills on Tuesday,
the 85th anniversary of the founding of its million-person strong
Korean People’s Army. On the same day, a U.S. guided-missile submarine
docked in South Korea. And the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier is also
headed toward the peninsula for a joint exercise with South Korea.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
With little macro data overnight (aside from a modestly disappointing Australian CPI print), offset by an ongoing of corporate profits (this is the single busiest week for corporate earnings in more than 10 years), today everyone's attention will be focused on three things to come out of Washington: taxes, healthcare, spending.
And while we did our best to summarize what is known and unknown last night, this morning JPM has released what may be the best summary assessment, one which comes to a predictable conclusion, namely that Trump's tax plan "will be virtually impossible to pass through Congress", in other words it is merely a gambit, or as Trump would see it, a first step in a negotiating process with Congress. Whether Congress responds favorable, especially to a plan that has no revenue aspect to it whatsoever, remains to be seen.
Until we wait, for those who may be unfamiliar with the framework of what Trump will propose today, here is JPM's summary:
Washington – three big headlines overnight – taxes, healthcare, spending
Independent Sentinel by S.Noble
Why is Jason Chaffetz teaming up with partisan Elijah Cummings to claim General Flynn might have broken the law? No Democrat would do this. It’s especially ridiculous after all Hillary Clinton has done. The Washington Post reports:
Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and the panel’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), said they believe Flynn neither received permission nor fully disclosed income he earned for a speaking engagement in Russia and lobbying activities on behalf of Turkey when he applied to reinstate his security clearance. They reached this conclusion after viewing two classified memos and a disclosure form in a private briefing Tuesday morning.
“Personally I see no evidence or no data to support the notion that General Flynn complied with the law,” Chaffetz told reporters after the briefing.
Conservative Treehouse by Sundance
This is more than a little funny. Senator Ted Cruz must not be having much success fundraising for his re-election campaign, as his latest publicity stunt
In essence, the architect of Obama’s Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority bill is using the border wall, which he is paid to oppose, as a tool to “gruber” his sheeple followers. Judging by the number of people responding to the tweet, he’s found a goldmine.
As many people are aware, Senator Cruz is part of the ‘controlled opposition’ ploy. As a dedicated UniParty benefactor of the U.S. CoC lobbying expenditures...
Millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars were being foolishly wasted paying for the salaries of non-existent “ghost” soldiers and policemen in Afghanistan under the Obama administration, but no more.
According to the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, John Sopko, who recently sat down for an interview with Sharyl Attkinson of Full Measure, the ongoing problem may have been worse than anyone realized, but was being addressed by President Donald Trump’s Pentagon.
“We’ve been raising this concern about ghosts going back a number of years,” Sopko said. “Actually I want to say we heard about it from (Afghan President) Ashraf Ghani years ago, before he became president, he warned me about ‘ghosts,’ so we started looking three years ago.”
More (by Ben Marquis)
Right Scoop/Sooper Mexican
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today introduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act. The bill would reserve any amounts forfeited to the U.S. Government as a result of the criminal prosecution of “El Chapo” (formally named Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Lorea) and other drug lords for border security assets and the completion of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The U.S. Government is currently seeking the criminal forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits from El Chapo, the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel who was recently extradited to the U.S. to face criminal prosecution for numerous alleged drug-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and money laundering.
For the third time in two months, a federal judge has knocked down an immigration order by President Donald Trump and used Trump’s own language against him.
In a ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Orrick quoted Trump to support his decision to block the president’s order to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate with U.S. immigration officials.
Trump called the sanctuary cities order a “weapon” against communities that disagree with his preferred immigration policy, Orrick said. The judge also cited a February interview in which he said the president threatened to cut off funding to California, saying the state “in many ways is out of control.”
In his recent piece for The New York Times, “What ‘Snowflakes’ Get Right about Free Speech,” Ulrich Baer offers a defense of student groups who disrupt campus speakers. Baer argues that freedom of speech means “balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community.”
The obvious problem with Baer’s philosophy is that there is no objective criteria for evaluating the “inherent value” of any given viewpoint, nor for determining when it deprives another of recognized membership in a community. This problem of subjectivity is compounded by the ideological imbalance in higher education, which raises questions about the ability of liberal academics to collectively assess the merits of conservative speech.
In recent years, students have attempted to interrupt a large number of speakers whose political views were deemed offensive for a variety of amorphous reasons. We cannot assume that students are capable of making correct judgments about these individuals’ views, based on what the read on the internet. Students’ chants at Middlebury College that labeled Charles Murray “anti-gay,” despite his public support for gay marriage, reveal the flaw in this assumption.
(by April Kelly-Woessner}
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Independent Sentinel by S.Noble
A federal judge in San Francisco has blocked a Trump administration order to withhold funding from communities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities.
He’s an Obama embed. These Obama judges don’t do anything according to the law. It’s just politics and that is corrupt.
This one judge in California is trying to tell the President of the United States that he is not allowed to execute an executive order attempting to force sanctuary cities/towns to obey immigration law through defunding.
President Trump should have the mayors and police chiefs arrested instead.
The coastal regions of the country want to rule.
* Yes, Obama is back and here is a picture of it. But I refuse to post almost any pictures of the slimy ex-president.
NYPOST Editorial Board
If you thought you’d already heard the worst about what the Obama administration gave away in order to conclude its nuclear deal with Iran, guess again.
In a blockbuster exposé, Politico’s Josh Meyer reports that Team Obama overruled veteran prosecutors to free seven Iranians, claiming publicly they’d merely violated economic sanctions. In fact, they were charged with posing threats to US national security as part of a weapons-procurement ring.
More, the administration also dropped charges against 14 fugitives involved in smuggling sophisticated weapons to Iran and its terrorist subsidiaries. That move ended the international arrest warrants against the 14 — and Obama & Co. had been obstructing efforts to apprehend them.
The Obama administration mishandled immigrant applications for U.S. citizenship ahead of the 2016 election, leaving tens of thousands of eligible men and women stuck in uncertainty.
Applications for U.S. citizenship increased 14 percent in 2016 from the 2012 election year, which the Department of Homeland Security blamed for the problems, but the backlog rose by 64 percent over the same period, the Washington Times reported Sunday.
The government began last year with about 390,000 pending applications, which is about the usual number, and was averaging four months of processing time. It ended the year with more than 635,000 applications in its backlog and was taking far more than four months. In the final quarter of the year, it received nearly 240,000 applications and processed just 112,000–less than half its intake.
More By Madeleine Weast
In what may the flip-flop that resonates the most among his core voter base, Trump said that contrary to recent reports that the White House demands funding for Trump's proposed wall along the Mexican border be part of the spending bill - which has become a wildcard whether the government is shut on Friday night or not - Trump said on Monday that he is "open to waiting until later this year" to secure funding for said wall, a flop that would clear the way for Congress to strike a deal to avoid a government shutdown on Saturday, the WSJ reported.
As recently as Monday morning, top administration officials had indicated the president wanted to include money to begin building a wall along the Southern border in the bill needed this week to keep the government running after its current funding expires at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, which is also the president’s 100th day in office.
Conservative Treehouse by Sundance
One of President Trump’s greatest strengths is his keen instincts for developing relationships as a strategic tools toward accomplishing consequential objectives. To wit, President Trump invites the entire U.N. Security Council delegation to lunch at the White House.
Now, most of us, myself included, do not think highly of the United Nations as an entity that has ever accomplished anything of worth – beyond pushing an incessant drum-beat of left-wing globalism and ridiculous pie-in-the-sky pontificating.
However, that said, the historic invitation to lunch is quite smartly full-throated use of regional
political proximity. President Trump inviting the U.N Security Council ambassadors to the White House is something Vladimir Putin, or any other leader of consequence, cannot recreate. The Ambassadors themselves acted more like a group of valedictorian school kids on an outing to where the really important people live.
Important leverage is created through personality, nuance, outline of expectations, proximity and exposure to real power.
In the popular video game Mass Effect, the Shadow Broker is the mysterious head of a global organization that trades in information, always selling to the highest bidder, but never letting one customer gain access to all the data.
In real life, the Shadow Brokers is a stealthy cybergroup that is playing a similar game with our national security. The Shadow Brokers leaked National Security Agency documents on April 8 that describe in detail many of the hacking tools that were used by the NSA to conduct advanced cyberespionage, outing not just the NSA but the victims of their attacks and the techniques used to attack them.
In one example, the NSA had recently hacked into the international banking network and covertly breached several banks. The leaked documents additionally provide clear evidence that the NSA also launched a series of successful cyberintrusions against the president of Iran and the Russian Federal Nuclear Center and a myriad of other lesser-known organizations. The documents describe the specific computer code used in such a way that anyone could do the same thing.
More by Steve King
The Trump administration has made significant, if not wholly sufficient, strides to bolster the factor of deterrence that eight years of President Obama’s dangerous doctrine has badly eroded, and Vice President Mike Pence’s Asian tour has been largely a step in the right direction.
Vice President Pence’s trip to East Asia continues the positive momentum on developing strategic clarity the Trump administration has already generated. The vice president diffused a brewing controversy with our democratic ally in Australia, pledging that the U.S. would abide by a refugee deal Obama negotiated to grant 1,250 refugees asylum.
Pence reassured the Japanese during his visit that the U.S. considers North Korea “an urgent and most dangerous threat” to peace. He vowed that the U.S. would collaborate closely with our democratic allies in the region “to bring economic and diplomatic pressure on the regime.”
by Robert G. Kaufman |