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Sunday, May 28, 2017

In "Watershed Moment" Merkel Says Germany Can No Longer Rely On America


One day after Donald Trump infuriated Angela Merkel and the rest of his G-7 peers, when the US president refused to endorse the Paris climate treaty, prompting the German chancellor to say  that “the whole discussion about climate has been difficult, or rather very unsatisfactory... here we have the situation that six members, or even seven if you want to add the EU, stand against one", Germany's prime minister made what many have dubbed, an "era-defining" statement.

Speaking at a CDU election rally in Munich, Merkel said that Europe "must take its fate into its own hands" or as the AFP put it, "Merkel warns US, Britain no longer reliable partners."

Faced with a western alliance divided by Brexit and Donald Trump's presidency, Merkel said "die zeiten, in denen wir uns auf andere völlig verlassen konnten, sind ein Stück vorbei", or loosely translated "the times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out" and added that "I've experienced that in the last few days." 

Merkel then said that while Germany and Europe would strive to remain on good terms with America and Britain, "we have to fight for our own destiny" and she also said that special emphasis was needed on warm relations between Berlin and newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron.

Her comments came after Trump said during the G-7 meeting he needed more time to decide if the US would continue backing the Paris climate deal, which has frustrated European diplomats. A subseqent report by Axios, Trump privately told multiple people, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, that "he plans to leave the Paris agreement on climate change" which will likely further infurate his European allies.

During his trip, Trump also echoed his past criticism of NATO allies for failing to meet the defensive alliance's military spending commitment of two percent of GDP.

Observers noted that he neglected to publicly endorse the pact's Article Five, which guarantees that member countries will aid the others they are attacked. The omission was especially striking as he unveiled a memorial to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the US, the only time the mutual defense clause has been triggered.

On Friday, Trump also described German trade practices as "bad, very bad," in Brussels talks last week, complaining that Europe's largest economy sells too many cars to the US.

Reactions to Merkel's striking comment came pouring in from the likes of Edward Snowden who called her speech an "era-defining moment":

... the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Richard Haass, who called it a "watershed moment"

... and many others:



Read More Here

In "Watershed Moment" Merkel Says Germany Can No Longer Rely On America


One day after Donald Trump infuriated Angela Merkel and the rest of his G-7 peers, when the US president refused to endorse the Paris climate treaty, prompting the German chancellor to say  that “the whole discussion about climate has been difficult, or rather very unsatisfactory... here we have the situation that six members, or even seven if you want to add the EU, stand against one", Germany's prime minister made what many have dubbed, an "era-defining" statement.

Speaking at a CDU election rally in Munich, Merkel said that Europe "must take its fate into its own hands" or as the AFP put it, "Merkel warns US, Britain no longer reliable partners."

Faced with a western alliance divided by Brexit and Donald Trump's presidency, Merkel said "die zeiten, in denen wir uns auf andere völlig verlassen konnten, sind ein Stück vorbei", or loosely translated "the times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out" and added that "I've experienced that in the last few days." 

Merkel then said that while Germany and Europe would strive to remain on good terms with America and Britain, "we have to fight for our own destiny" and she also said that special emphasis was needed on warm relations between Berlin and newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron.

Her comments came after Trump said during the G-7 meeting he needed more time to decide if the US would continue backing the Paris climate deal, which has frustrated European diplomats. A subseqent report by Axios, Trump privately told multiple people, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, that "he plans to leave the Paris agreement on climate change" which will likely further infurate his European allies.

During his trip, Trump also echoed his past criticism of NATO allies for failing to meet the defensive alliance's military spending commitment of two percent of GDP.

Observers noted that he neglected to publicly endorse the pact's Article Five, which guarantees that member countries will aid the others they are attacked. The omission was especially striking as he unveiled a memorial to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the US, the only time the mutual defense clause has been triggered.

On Friday, Trump also described German trade practices as "bad, very bad," in Brussels talks last week, complaining that Europe's largest economy sells too many cars to the US.

Reactions to Merkel's striking comment came pouring in from the likes of Edward Snowden who called her speech an "era-defining moment":

... the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Richard Haass, who called it a "watershed moment"

... and many others:



Read More Here

Media Loves New Orleans Mayor Still Fighting Civil War

Jeff Crourere

As the Robert E. Lee monument was being removed last Friday, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu gave a victory speech to a select group of supporters at Gallier Hall, ironically, a former slave auction house.

In the last week, the speech received lavish praise from the liberal media, both locally and nationally. Landrieu received glowing tributes throughout the mainstream news media, from the pages of the liberal Times Picayune in New Orleans to the editorial page of the liberal New York Times.

In fact, on Sunday, Landrieu will achieve the ultimate award bestowed to a liberal politician, an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.

Surely, partisan Democrat host Chuck Todd will shower Landrieu with praise for having the “courage” to dethrone the four nasty, symbols of white supremacy. Unfortunately, he will probably not ask the Mayor about many of the city’s ongoing problems and unanswered questions.

For example, will he ask about the horrible street conditions, the growing homeless problems, or the ever-increasing murder rate? Will he ask why the Police Department is so understaffed and the District Attorney’s office is so underfunded? Will he ask about why the population of the city has started to decrease for the first time since Hurricane Katrina?

Will he ask about the lack of transparency involved in the monument removal process? Will he ask about the true financial cost of this effort for a city struggling to pay for basic operations? Will he ask about the mysterious anonymous donor who gave the city funds for this operation or the Mayor’s shameful misuse of public employees from the Fire Department and the Police Department to remove the monuments?

Will he ask the Mayor to account for his many lies on this issue, on topics ranging from the number of times Robert E. Lee visited New Orleans to the storage of the monuments after their removal? For instance, the Mayor’s office promised to store the monuments in a city owned warehouse after their removal. Instead, Landrieu discarded the monuments in a city owned junkyard, almost tempting vandals to deface or destroy them.

Finally, will the Trump hating host ask the Mayor the obvious question, “Mr. Landrieu, did you remove the monuments to elevate your national standing and set the stage for a presidential campaign?” Of course, the answer to that question is indeed yes, but Landrieu will never answer it truthfully. The entire disgraceful episode has tremendously harmed the Mayor’s standing in New Orleans, but helped his standing nationally.

In the Democrat Party today, a centrist has no chance to capture the presidential nomination. Only a politically correct, radical leftist has a prayer of being the 2020 Democrat Party presidential nominee. By declaring war on the 300-year history of New Orleans, removing four priceless monuments, dividing the city on racial lines and ignoring much more important problems, all to promote his selfish personal ambitions, Landrieu has perfectly set the stage for a presidential campaign.

Democrats are looking for a leader from a younger generation. They need someone who will confront Donald Trump on a variety of issues. Landrieu has already established his desire to attack Donald Trump by opposing the President’s plan to defund sanctuary cities. Landrieu is very proud of the fact that New Orleans is a sanctuary city and he will not abide by whatever Donald Trump or his Justice Department tries to do.

Removing monuments, fighting Trump on sanctuary cities, and garnering national publicity, are all important initial steps in launching a Democrat Party presidential bid. On a more practical level, running for President gives Mr. Landrieu something to do since he is leaving his Mayor’s post next year and he has no job prospects on the horizon.

Why not just continue to campaign and act like a politician? Landrieu is a lifelong politician who has no training, experience or interest in working in the private sector, so a presidential campaign is perfect.

Another important sign of an upcoming presidential campaign is that the Mayor’s good friend, confidante and fundraiser is a guy who knows how to get someone elected to the White House, a “Ragin’ Cajun” named James Carville, who can easily use his connections to line up positive national press for Landrieu. Carville also will surely advise Landrieu to keep denouncing the monuments as he understands that attacking symbols of the Confederacy plays very well in the leftist world of the Democrat Party today.

This strategy will lead to more opportunities for Americans to see New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu in the national media, vowing to keep the country safe from Confederate monuments. This weekend, he will continue his crusade on the national stage, restarting the Civil War, reopening old racial wounds, but revealing his political ambition, his only true interest.

The stupidest thing Nancy Pelosi has ever said?

Democrats and Islamists Share the Edge of the Cliff

Trump travel ban on shaky ground

Trump travel ban on shaky ground
By Lydia Wheeler - 05-28-17 06:00 AM EDT

President Trump's travel ban faces an uncertain future.

Trump's second attempt at a travel ban was supposed to avoid the legal challenges faced by his first travel ban. But the latest iteration of the ban has itself been blocked in several courts, with the latest attack coming in a public rebuke from a Richmond-based federal appeals court.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals not only refused to reinstate Trump's temporary ban on nationals from six majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States, but dressed down the government in its decision for asking the court to "blindly refer to executive power" and uphold an order that "drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination."

The administration is now waiting for a ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, with court watchers saying that the chances of Trump prevailing in a court that ruled against his first order are slim to none.

The Department of Justice has already announced its plan to appeal to the Supreme Court, but even conservatives aren't sure the court will take the case without a lower circuit court split. Only one court, a Virginia district court, upheld Trump's revised order.

"If the 9th Circuit issues an opinion and there's no circuit split, there's the distinct possibility the court will decide not to take the case," said Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston and a member of the conservative Federalist Society.

"It would be insane because there have been so many errors made in the lower court."

But Blackman said the high court refused to take the case challenging same-sex marriage until at least one lower court had ruled that it was lawful, creating a split.

Even without a lower court split, Blackman claims the government has a number of options to choose from on how to proceed.

"The government said they want to appeal to the Supreme Court, but they didn't say when," he said. "The statement was somewhat open ended."

He claims the administration could seek a rehearing in the 9th Circuit "not if, but when they lose," petition for a Supreme Court review of the 4th Circuit's decision now, ask the Supreme Court for an emergency stay of that ruling or ask concurrently for a stay and for the court to take its case.

But if the court were to take the government's case, liberals say it's going to be tough to persuade Justice Anthony Kennedy - the high court's regular swing voter - to rule in Trump's favor.

Carl Tobias, a professor of law at the University of Richmond School of Law, noted that the 4th Circuit used Kennedy's concurring opinion in a 2015 immigration case to defend its 10-3 decision to break with court precedent and consider Trump's campaign statements about banning all Muslims in finding the order discriminatory.

The majority said Kennedy explained in Kerry v. Din that when a plaintiff makes "an affirmative showing of bad faith" that is "plausibly alleged with sufficient particularity," courts may "look behind" the challenged action to assess its "facially legitimate" justification.

But Judge Paul Niemeyer claimed in his dissent that the majority "relied on a scattershot string of quotations" to "conceal the decisions' faithful application" of court precedent that prevents the court from considering Trump's remarks.

Blackman called the majority's reference to Kennedy's opinion "borderline disingenuous."

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, argued that the Supreme Court could easily strike down the 4th Circuit's ruling.

"You get the bias that basically poisons the opinion when you read the first page when [Judge Roger] Gregory says the executive order in 'context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.' Excuse my language, but that is bullshit," he said.

"You can read the executive order from front to back. There isn't anything in there that authorizes any government agency to discriminate on the basis of religion."

von Spakovsky said he's hopeful the court will side with the administration and "slam" the lower courts for ruling against the president.

"That's what needs to happen," he said. "They need to get slammed for not following previous Supreme Court precedent and they should also be slammed in essence for substituting their judgment for that of the president on national security issues."

But not everyone's expecting the case to reach the high court.

"I don't think the Supreme Court will want to hear this case unless they want to affirm it," said Reaz Jafri, an immigration lawyer who heads the global immigration practice at Withersworldwide.

Jafri argued the case is already moot since the revised 90-day ban would have ended Saturday.

"It's been proven there is no emergency, so why not let Congress go back and legislate the issue of vetting," he said.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Katy Perry SEAL Smackdown: A turning point on celebrity blather?

"FBI’s Kushner Focus Appears To Prove Bannon Right"



White House chief strategist Steve Bannon (L) and senior advisor Jared Kushner speak after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 3, 2017. (PHOTO: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
FBI’s Kushner Focus Appears To Prove Bannon Right
By Peter Hasson
25 May 2017, 08:17 PM

News that White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushneris under scrutinyin the FBI’s Russia probe comes almost two months after chief strategist Steve Bannon expressed concern that Kushner’s meetings with Russian officials could harm Trump’s presidency.

Multiple news outlets reportedThursday eveningthat the FBI is looking into Kushner’s meetings with Russian officials after the election as part of the probe into Russian election meddling. Although Kushner has not been accused of any wrongdoing, the news appears to vindicate Bannon’s concerns that Kushner’s meetings would be a major distraction for the Trump White House.

The New York Timesreportedearly last month that Bannon “told confidants that he believes Mr. Kushner’s contact with Russians, and his expected testimony before Congress on the subject, will become a major distraction for the White House.”

Bannon’s words of caution came as he and Kushner were locked in an internal White House power struggle, which Kushner ended up winning as Bannon saw his role diminished.

Kushner also played a key role in bringing Paul Manafort on as Trump’s campaign manager. Manafort, who left the campaign in August, is reportedly considered a formal subject of the FBI’s Russian investigation. (RELATED: Kushner And Ivanka Played Key Roles In Causing Trump’s Manafort Problem)

The building pressure around the Russia probe presents an opportunity for Bannon to regain some of his lost influence, White House sourcesconfirmedto Axios, which noted that some of the internal bickering in the White House is subsiding as senior officials have found a common enemy.

“It is now very clear that there is a unified opponent and that’s ultimately the swamp, both with regard to the deep state leakers, to the partisan opponents and the people who just don’t want to give up their power. That includes the media,” one source told Axios’ Jonathan Swan. “Obviously you want [unity] under different circumstances but it’s really united this team and helped bring clarity to their focus.”

 

This article has been updated with additional information. 

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

Hillary Clinton Has A New Excuse For Why She Lost



Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at East High School in Youngstown, Ohio, July 30, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

By Peter Hasson
26 May 2017, 09:35 PM

Hillary Clinton’s list of excuses for why she lost the election keeps getting longer.

The former secretary of state has offered up a litany of scapegoats not named Hillary Clinton for her loss. She has already blamed her loss on “misogyny,”former FBI Director James Comey and WikiLeaks. Her aides have blamed “white supremacy” andthe media. Now, Clinton is adding to the list.

Clinton blamed alleged voter suppression for her loss during an interview with New York magazine published on Friday. Clinton, citing no evidence to support her claims, said that the alleged voter suppression was especially bad in Wisconsin, where low turnout hurt her campaign.

Left unmentioned, however, is the fact that Clinton virtually ignored Wisconsin during the general election. Clintondidn’t set foot in Wisconsinonce during her general election campaign, and ranalmost no campaign adsuntil shortly before the election.

Clinton claimed that “what I was doing was working. I would have won had I not been subjected to the unprecedented attacks by Comey and the Russians, aided and abetted by the suppression of the vote, particularly in Wisconsin.”

While searching for explanations after the election, some progressives seized on “voter suppression” — in the form of voter ID laws — as a reason Trump won. Even liberal news sources are having a tough time buying that line of reasoning, however. Reliably liberal fact-checker Snopes ruled the claim “unproven” because there wasno evidenceto support it, while liberal website Voxflat out rejected it.

Clinton’s blaming of voter suppression doesn’t appear to be an off-the-cuff remark.

The largest pro-Clinton super PAC during the 2016 election, Priorities USA, produced an “analysis” of voter turnout that claimed voter suppression had a “significant impact” on the electoral outcome.

Priorities USA Voter Suppression MemobyPriorities USA Presson Scribd

The super PAC then shared that memo offering cover for Clinton’s loss with left-wing publication The Nation, whichaccepted the super PAC’s claims uncritically, pushing out the headline, “Wisconsin’s Voter-ID Law Suppressed 200,000 Votes in 2016 (Trump Won by 22,748).”

Now, Clinton is pushing that unsupported claim as yet another reason for why she lost.

“Whoever comes next, this is not going to end,” she complained to NYMag. “Republicans learned that if you suppress votes you win.”

Another left-wing website,Talking Points Memo, noted Clinton’s accusations of voter suppression and piled on, claiming, “Criticism of Wisconsin’s strict voter ID laws has gained steam in recent months after a series of reports on the hundreds of thousands of people in that state who did not have sufficient identification to vote.”

The only source Talking Points Memo linked to to support its accusation was The Nation’s article that regurgitated the Clinton super PAC’s claims.

Former President Barack Obamaoffered a different explanationduring an interview in December: Clinton ignored rural voters.

“Democratic voters are clustered in urban areas and on the coasts so you’ve got a situation where they’re not only entire states but also big chunks of states where — if we’re not showing up — if we’re not in there making an argument, then we’re going to lose,” Obama said. “We can lose badly, and that’s what happened in this election.”

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson