News Domestic and International

Subpoena Deutsche Bank regarding Russia, Democrats tell GOP committee chief (Michael Kranish/Washington Post)

Memeorandum - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:45

Michael Kranish / Washington Post:
Subpoena Deutsche Bank regarding Russia, Democrats tell GOP committee chief  —  A group of Democrats implored the Republican chairman of the House Financial Services Committee to reverse course and authorize an investigation into whether any of the hundreds of millions of dollars in loans …

Former Mueller deputy on Trump: 'Government is going to kill this guy' (Joe Concha/The Hill)

Memeorandum - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:45

Joe Concha / The Hill:
Former Mueller deputy on Trump: ‘Government is going to kill this guy’  —  CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd warned that President Trump is agitating the government, saying during a Thursday afternoon interview with CNN anchor Jake Tapper that the U.S. government “is going to kill this guy.”

realdonaldtrump

Trump Instagram - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:42
"Consumer Comfort Reaches 16-Year High on U.S. Economic Optimism" via Bloomberg

"Consumer Comfort Reaches 16-Year High on U.S. Economic Optimism" via Bloombergpic.twitter.com/X6KdszrxsS

Trump Twitter - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:42

"Consumer Comfort Reaches 16-Year High on U.S. Economic Optimism" via Bloomberg

Trump: If Kim utters one overt threat, he’ll regret it — and regret it fast

Hot Air - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:41

I don’t know why he keeps drawing red lines around threats, as he did the other day, instead of around provocative actions, as Mattis did. Kim’s going to cross Trump’s red line. He already crossed it by threatening Guam. Threats are North Korea’s main international export. The only skill the country has developed in the past 60 years, apart from nuclear weaponry, is bombastic bellicose propaganda. We’re not going to bomb the guy for threatening people.

But yeah, you know, this could work out okay:

This could be a sustainable relationship where Trump and North Korea just threaten each other daily in grand terms and never follow through https://t.co/NFumJoQtl8

— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) August 11, 2017

I don’t think there’s any strategy in what Trump’s doing beyond “sound tough, project strength,” but maybe a global rank-out war in which he draws rhetorical lines in the sand and Kim duly crosses them will make everyone happy. For the NorKs, it’s a cheap way to show the locals they’re willing to defy the American Satan. For Trump, it’s a cheap way to contrast himself with Obama, a foreign-policy marshmallow whose weakness emboldened North Korea to keep going with nukes for eight long years. Ask Trump’s critics among the European diplomatic set, in fact, and they’ll tell you that Obama, not Kim or Putin or anyone else, is his true opponent in charting his path internationally:

“He has no historical view. He is only dealing with these issues now, and seems to think the world started when he took office,” a diplomat told BuzzFeed News, pointing to Trump’s remarks and tweets about defence spending. “He thinks that NATO existed only to keep the communists out of Europe. He has a similar attitude in Asia-Pacific with Japan, ignoring that the US basically wrote their constitution.” During his presidential campaign, Trump called out Japan to pay more for the security US provides, including for hosting the US troops in the country. Japan’s constitution restricts its military options.

They also believe Trump’s foreign policy is chiefly driven by an obsession with unravelling Barack Obama’s policies. “It’s his only real position,” one European diplomat said. “He will ask: ‘Did Obama approve this?’ And if the answer is affirmative, he will say: ‘We don’t.’ He won’t even want to listen to the arguments or have a debate. He is obsessed with Obama.”

Would Obama threaten to put a hurt on North Korea if they so much as overtly threatened the U.S. or its territories? No? Well, then it must be the right thing to do. In fact, the most interesting part of this clip isn’t his response to Kim, it’s what he says at the beginning about how the media wouldn’t have freaked out about his “fire and fury” comments a few days ago if another president, by which he obviously means O, had said them. That’s true — certainly they wouldn’t have freaked to the extent that they did, and certainly ideological bias feeds that. But it’s also because Trump really is unpredictable and talked in unusually stark terms as a candidate about punishing America’s enemies (“bombing the sh*t” out of ISIS, waterboarding jihadis, etc) that the “fire and fury” stuff feels off-kilter and concerning coming from him. If Mattis had said the same thing, there would have been grumbling that that sort of rhetoric is “unhelpful” but everyone would have assumed it’s part of a deliberate strategy because everyone trusts Mattis’s intelligence and judgment. When Trump pops off, you don’t know if there’s a plan, if he’s just going full alpha-male, if he’s in a bad mood, if he doesn’t understand how bad a new Korean War could get, or what have you. The fear that he might do something rash militarily or that he’ll bait Kim into doing something rash militarily because he doesn’t know when the tough talk has gone too far is real. But yes, in the president’s defense, probably overstated.

The post Trump: If Kim utters one overt threat, he’ll regret it — and regret it fast appeared first on Hot Air.

‘CNN Caved on First Amendment’: Pro-Trump Commentator Fired After Mocking Media Matters ‘Nazis’

Info Wars - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:32
Jeffrey Lord's sarcastic ‘Sieg Heil’ tweet taken out of context.

Pictures show the White House getting major upgrade

Daily Mail - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:27
President Donald Trump is away in Bedminster, New Jersey for most of August during a 'working vacation,' giving workers time to apply much needed upgrades to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

University releases guide to 'microaggressions'

Daily Mail - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:27
The New School university in New York City has released a guide to so-called microagressions.

Isolation Could Become A Bigger Public Health Threat Than Obesity

Newsy - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:26

Watch Video

You might enjoy your alone time, but we've evolved to be highly complex social creatures. Some scientists say socialization is a "fundamental human need."

We certainly notice when we're by ourselves. Prolonged bouts of social confinement and isolation can lead to symptoms associated with PTSD, as well as anxiety, hopelessness and, in some cases, thoughts of suicide.

Although it's easier than ever to stay in contact with people, these days, more than a quarter of Americans live alone, and half aren't married.

The problem also gets worse as people get older. It's estimated more than 40 million U.S. adults over age 45 suffer from chronic loneliness.

SEE MORE: Our Lonely Galaxy Probably Exists In The Middle Of Cosmic Nowhere

Some psychologists say social isolation, loneliness and living alone might pose the same risk for premature death as obesity. And as people live longer, loneliness has more time to take hold.

There's no clear solution. Some researchers say children should learn more about social skills in school. Others say financial planning might help because much of people's social life stems from work.

But doing simple things might also keep loneliness at bay. Experts say greeting people with a "hello" can do more good than you'd think.

Trump sends Kushner to Middle East to discuss peace

Daily Mail - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:23
President Donald Trump is sending his son-in-law Jared Kushnerto the Middle East soon to meet with regional leaders and discuss a 'path to substantive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.'

Suicide notes released in triple murder-suicide

Daily Mail - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:21
The new details emerged when officials in South Carolina released documents related to the rampage carried out by Jessica Edens that took the lives of her children and another woman.

Clapper: Trump likes 'selective' intelligence (Robin Eberhardt/The Hill)

Memeorandum - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:20

Robin Eberhardt / The Hill:
Clapper: Trump likes ‘selective’ intelligence  —  The former director of National Intelligence says President Trump chooses to receive intelligence “on a selective basis.”  —  James Clapper on Thursday told CNN that Trump accepts intelligence about countries he doesn't like, but won't do the same when the subject of intel is Russia.

Hackers Are Targeting Nuclear Plants And Critical Infrastructure

Newsy - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:19

Watch Video

As the U.S. government investigates foreign hacking in the presidential election, hackers have set their sights on critical infrastructure, including nuclear power plants. 

"Cyberattacks provide another vector that could assist terrorists or adversaries in sabotaging U.S. nuclear facilities," said Edwin Lyman, a nuclear expert with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

It's unclear how many facilities hackers were able to penetrate, but at least one nuclear plant in Kansas was breached.

The Department of Homeland Security said it detected the attacks but said there's no risk to national security. Hackers did get into administrative networks but couldn't access the reactors because they're controlled separately. 

Bill Gross chairs the cybersecurity task force at the Nuclear Energy Institute, which works with all 99 nuclear reactors in the U.S.

SEE MORE: Online Trolling Wreaks Havoc On People — And On Democracies

"We implement some pretty strict measures regarding cybersecurity," Gross said. "We don't operate these plants connected to any type of network. They're completely isolated in that regard."

He also said: "We don't store information that's sensitive to the plant or its protective strategies on any type of external network. That information is treated similar to national security information and is not stored on any networked computers."

Cybersecurity experts say the hacking of our electric grid is even more worrying. It's already happened in Ukraine. Officials accuse Russia of being behind the attack last year that knocked out part of the power grid in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.

But the Trump administration seems to have done little to address cyberthreats from Russia. That's alarmed cybersecurity experts and Democratic senators urging President Donald Trump to take action after that attack on Ukraine.

After a face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in July, Trump announced a cybersecurity partnership with Russia but scrapped the idea after officials in both parties criticized it.

"I absolutely think that a top priority of the government is to protect our critical infrastructure, and nuclear plants are part of that," Lyman said. "You can't slip up once because a single mistake can be extremely dangerous."

Trump and Alex Jones Team Up In New Song For Freedom

Info Wars - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:06
Patriot musicians are fighting back against the globalists with epic music videos.

BREAKING – Judicial Watch Sues DOJ For Records Related to Handling of Classified Info Signed by Comey

GatewayPundit - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:05

Washington D.C. – Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced Friday that it filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Justice for all non-disclosure agreements pertaining to the handling, storage, protection, dissemination, and/or return of classified information that were signed by or on behalf of former FBI Director James Comey (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-01624)).

Via Judicial Watch:

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the Justice Department failed to respond to a June 13, 2017, FOIA request seeking “any and all non-disclosure agreements pertaining in full or in part to the handling, storage, protection, dissemination, and/or return of classified and/or sensitive information that were signed by or on behalf of former FBI Director James Comey.”  Such records would include:

  • All SF-312 (Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement) forms
  • All FD-857 (Sensitive Information Nondisclosure Agreement) forms
  • All FD-597 (Receipt for Property Received/Returned/Released or Seized) forms
  • All FD-291 (FBI Employment Agreement) forms
  • All Case Briefing Acknowledgement forms

President of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton had this to say about Comey, “How is it the FBI allowed Mr. Comey to walk out the door with sensitive documents about President Trump? It is remarkable that we have to sue the FBI in federal court to get these answers about this scandal.”

As TGP previously reported, Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch argued that Comey’s notes are property of the U.S. government and that his house and office should have been raided following his stunning admission that he leaked contents of his memo to the press:

“This admission today is stunning. I would argue that Mr. Comey’s notes are property of the United States government and that he has absconded with them. Frankly if I were Attorney General, about 20 minutes after his confession today in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Deputy U.S. Marshals would have raided his home and office. As well as Mr. Richman at Columbia Law School.

Those records and documents must be recovered. Mr. Comey had no business releasing them. It’s an extraordinary admission on his part. It’s lawless. We wonder why we have leakers in the government when the FBI Director is playing these little games for political points or because his tender ego is bruised. This is outrageous.

He took an oath to the Constitution and he’s betrayed it in no uncertain terms.”

https://twitter.com/JudicialWatch/status/896071179840110592

The post BREAKING – Judicial Watch Sues DOJ For Records Related to Handling of Classified Info Signed by Comey appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

Mattis: Hey, don’t forget that war is hell, okay?

Hot Air - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 20:01

Consider this the second sobering thought about pre-emptive strikes on North Korea. At around the same time China warned the US that it would act on any unprovoked attack on the Kim regime, Defense Secretary James Mattis reminded attendees at a California event that military action must remain the last resort. It’s his job to make sure that those options are ready if needed, Mattis said, but right now the matter is in the hands of the diplomats — and that’s where Mattis wants it to stay, too:

While speaking to reporters at the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental(DIUx) event in Mountain View, California, he was asked by a reporter, “Can you talk about the human toll we might see in the event of a nuclear confrontation?”

“My portfolio, my mission, my responsibility is to have military options if you need it,” Mattis responded. “However, right now, Secretary Tillerson, Ambassador Haley, you can see the American effort is diplomatically led, it has diplomatic traction, it is gaining diplomatic results. And I want to stay right there right now. The tragedy of war is well enough known. It does not need another characterization beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic.”

Deviating from the tone of President Trump, who said the U.S. would unleash “fire and fury” upon North Korea, Mattis stressed that the route forward would be diplomatic, and he repeated the importance of the unanimous 15-1 United Nations Security Council vote to impose economic sanctions on North Korea.

“It’s [North Korea’s] aligning the United Nations in very serious sanctions, and I would just tell you that it did not happen by accident,” Mattis said. “That shows where the Trump administration goes in terms of the prioritizing of the threat but also how to deal with it in a diplomatically effective manner.”

But does “fire and fury” amount to a diplomatically effective approach? Actually, yes, argues former Reagan speechwriter Clark Judge. In an essay at US News, Judge says that Trump’s rhetoric is right on target, and helps set the stage for clarity and progress:

Opponents howled when as a candidate the president spoke intemperately about illegal immigration. Yet without a wall or a new law, mainly because of his words, illegal immigration along the southwest border has plummeted by more than 70 percent since he took office.

Europeans had seizures when he let it be known that if they didn’t care enough to contribute as promised to their own defense, they might not be able to count on us alone to do it for them. Except now NATO allies are writing the often-pledged but never delivered 2 percent defense spending into their budgets.

Go to YouTube. Watch Mr. Trump as he delivers his “fire and fury” remark. He looks down twice, apparently at the prepared answer to the question that he and the staff knew was coming. Talking head diplomats may cringe, but after nearly a decade of irresolution in the White House, an American president has sent to the little dictator who has become accustomed to us always backing down a strong, unmistakable message of strength and utter determination.

Here, at least, it is about time.

Diplomacy can take multiple forms, even when two nations do not have direct diplomatic relations. Usually they find ways to set up indirect channels, which work best when kept quiet. For some reason, the Associated Press felt it necessary to identify a back channel between Washington and Pyongyang earlier today in reporting its existence and the scope of their discussions:

Beyond the bluster, the Trump administration has been quietly engaged in back channel diplomacy with North Korea for several months, addressing Americans imprisoned in the communist country and deteriorating relations between the long-time foes, The Associated Press has learned.

It had been known the two sides had discussions to secure the June release of an American university student. But it wasn’t known until now that the contacts have continued, or that they have broached matters other than U.S. detainees.

People familiar with the contacts say the interactions have done nothing thus far to quell tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile advances, which are now fueling fears of military confrontation. But they say the behind-the-scenes discussions could still be a foundation for more serious negotiation, including on North Korea’s nuclear weapons, should President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un put aside the bellicose rhetoric of recent days and endorse a dialogue.

We’ll skip over the identification of the principals for this backchannel, but take note of another dynamic reported by the AP. Backchannels have existed for years between the two nations, but North Korea dropped it recently after the US imposed sanctions directly on Kim Jong-un. Trump, for all his public tough talk, has proven “more flexible”:

Trump, in some ways, has been more flexible in his approach to North Korea than President Barack Obama. While variations of the New York channel have been used on-and-off for years by past administrations, there were no discussions over the last seven months of Obama’s presidency after Pyongyang broke them off in anger over U.S. sanctions imposed on its leader, Kim. Obama made little effort to reopen lines of communication.

The contacts quickly restarted after Trump’s inauguration, other people familiar with the discussions say.

Jaw-jaw is always preferable to war-war, as long as the former isn’t a trap for a surprise version of the latter. Neither side has an element of surprise any longer, so diplomacy is still the best approach. However, we may have to come to terms with North Korean nuclear weapons, and have them come to terms with our permanent presence on the peninsula as long as they demand reunification on their terms.

Update: Maybe Mattis needs to have a talk with his boss:

Pres. Trump: If Kim Jong Un "does anything with respect to Guam" or any U.S. territory or ally "he will truly regret it." pic.twitter.com/LVq9CK44Tq

— ABC News (@ABC) August 11, 2017

This could be a case of good-cop, bad-cop positioning. It is, at the very least, a signal that the US has truly ended its “strategic patience” approach and has opted for the blunt-talk approach instead.

 

The post Mattis: Hey, don’t forget that war is hell, okay? appeared first on Hot Air.

NYC prepared for president's return to Trump Tower

Daily Mail - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 19:58
For the first time since his inauguration, President Donald Trump is expected to return home to Trump Tower for a few days starting Sunday and police say they are ready for him.

Police post hilarious missing poster for llama on Twitter

Daily Mail - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 19:57
Connecticut police posted a hilarious missing poster for a llama (pictured) on Twitter. 'If you are missing this, please contact the Granby Police. No, we are not kidding,' the tweet read.

International travel to US drops for first time since 2009

Daily Mail - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 19:56
In 2016, 75.6 million international travelers visited the US, a two percent drop from the previous year. Their spending also fell by one percent to $244.7 billion

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