John McCain Fights To Preserve Obamacare, Again Voting ‘No’ On GOP Repeal Of Affordable Care Act • Now The End Begins

John McCain, who killed the previous repeal effort with his dramatic “no” vote in July, released a statement saying he would not support the latest proposal, by Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is Mr. McCain’s closest friend in the Senate.
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Senator John McCain of Arizona announced on Friday that he would oppose the latest proposal to repeal the Obamacare Affordable Care Act, leaving Republican leaders with little hope of succeeding in their last-ditch attempt to dismantle the health law.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In his last remaining days in the Senate, RINO John McCain is committed to protecting and preserving the legacy of Barack Hussein Obama. He opposes President Trump at every turn in his quest to maintain the Liberal party line. I cannot think of a better case for term limits than John McCain. 

John McCain, who killed the previous repeal effort with his dramatic “no” vote in July, released a statement saying he would not support the latest proposal, by Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is Mr. McCain’s closest friend in the Senate.

McCain to vote ‘no’ on health care proposal:

“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” Mr. McCain said. “I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it.” source

Source: John McCain Fights To Preserve Obamacare, Again Voting ‘No’ On GOP Repeal Of Affordable Care Act • Now The End Begins///

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MEGABUCKS: Obama Becomes Paid Evangelist For Fat Cat Oil Companies And Wall Street Robber Barons • Now The End Begins

Obama is coming to Wall Street less than a year after leaving the White House, following a path that’s well trod and well paid. While he can’t run for president, he continues to be an influential voice in a party torn between celebrating and vilifying corporate power. His new work with banks might suggest which side of the debate he’ll be on and disappoint anyone expecting him to avoid a trap that snared Clinton.
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Hillary Clinton says she made a mistake when she gave speeches on Wall Street after leaving government. Taking money from banks, she writes in her new memoir, created the impression she was in their pocket. Her old boss doesn’t seem to share her concern.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Remember President Obama, and how he used to rail against things like “crony capitalism” and “wall street influence”? Less than a year after leaving office, Obama is now firmly in the paid pockets of any and all Wall Street companies that will have him. His fee to speak is now $400,000 per, and there is no shortage of Wall Street fat cats wanting his services, dubious as they are. Isn’t it amazing how many Democrats are super-rich, and pass laws favoring the super rich? Yet they want me and you to live under a Socialist system while they roll in piles of capitalist cash like Scrooge McDuck

Last month, just before her book “What Happened” was published, Barack Obama spoke in New York to clients of Northern Trust Corp. for about $400,000, a person familiar with his appearance said. Last week, he reminisced about the White House for Carlyle Group LP, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, according to two people who were there. Next week, he’ll give a keynote speech at investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s health-care conference.

Obama is coming to Wall Street less than a year after leaving the White House, following a path that’s well trod and well paid. While he can’t run for president, he continues to be an influential voice in a party torn between celebrating and vilifying corporate power. His new work with banks might suggest which side of the debate he’ll be on and disappoint anyone expecting him to avoid a trap that snared Clinton. Or, as some of his executive friends see it, he’s just a private citizen giving a few paid speeches to other successful people while writing his next book.

Tucker: Obama taking $400K from Wall Street is indefensible

“He was the president of the entire United States — financial services are under that umbrella,” said former UBS Group AG executive Robert Wolf, an early supporter who joined the Obama Foundation board this year. “He doesn’t look at Wall Street like, ‘Oh, these are individuals who don’t want the best for the country.’ He doesn’t stereotype.”

Since leaving office, Obama has delivered public and private speeches that are “true to his values,” Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for the former president, said in an email. “His paid speeches in part have allowed President Obama to contribute $2 million to Chicago programs offering job training and employment opportunities to low-income youth.”

Obama’s relationship with Wall Street hasn’t always been good. Bankers still boil over with rage about him, wincing over his 2009 line about fat cats as if the wounds were fresh. But his Justice Department prosecuted no major bankers for their roles in the financial crisis, and he resisted calls to break up the biggest banks, signing a regulatory overhaul that annoyed them with new rules but didn’t stop them from pulling in record profits.

The brokerage and investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald isn’t one of those giants. S&P Global Ratings announced this year that the New York-based firm’s debt grades could be cut to junk. Cantor’s investment banking division is run by health-care specialist Sage Kelly, who left Jefferies Group after divorce-case accusations became salacious tabloid fodder in 2014. His ex-wife later apologized for the storm caused by the claims, which he had denied.

Obama’s Wall Street speeches generate big pay day:

When Obama was president he railed against Wall Street, but now that he’s a private citizen he grabbing all the ill-gotten loot from Wall Street that he can stuff in his pockets.

Cantor Chief Executive Officer Howard Lutnick, whose firm lost more than 600 people in the Sept. 11 attacks, said the former president will make remarks and take questions. The three-day conference for current and prospective clients begins Sept. 25. Obama will be paid about $400,000, according to a person familiar with the arrangement.

“Everybody would like to come,” Lutnick said. “Hopefully, we will really talk about the Affordable Care Act in interesting and nuanced ways, which I think is really cool.”

Obama’s appearance at the Carlyle conference in Washington was previously unreported.

The private equity giant has enjoyed some of the best political connections in the world, with executives and advisers who have included former presidents, prime ministers and cabinet secretaries. Obama discussed his life and the decisions he made in the White House, the people who heard him said. A spokesman for the firm wouldn’t comment.

The ex-president has been busy. His foundation is raising money for a library in Chicago, and he and his wife signed a book deal with Penguin Random House after an auction that went above $60 million, according to the Financial Times. He spoke about food in Milan, democracy in Jakarta and himself at an A&E Television Networks event in New York. He vacationed in California and Hawaii and on Richard Branson’s Necker Island with its billionaire owner.

Obama has picked private equity, hedge fund, venture capital and banking veterans to oversee his foundation, and an alumnus of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to advise him on investments.

President Obama Announces The Obama Foundation Summit:

Remember the Clinton Foundation, and how it was going to “change the world“. As it turned out, the only thing the Clinton Foundation did was make the Clintons richer. Now Obama is starting his own foundation to “change the world”. Hmm…looks like we won’t be running low on Democrat financial scandals any time soon.

Northern Trust is a bank that specializes in wealth management for rich families and services for big funds. The event had gone unreported, but a program accessible on the firm’s website lists Obama alongside executives from Microsoft Corp., IBM and Michael Bloomberg, majority owner of Bloomberg LP.

Northern Trust, based in Chicago, gave Obama a discount on a $1.32 million loan for a mansion in that city in 2005, after he was elected to the Senate, the Washington Post reported. The rate was changed to account for an offer from another lender, a spokesman for Obama said three years later. Doug Holt, a spokesman for Northern Trust, wouldn’t comment for this story.

Obama is getting advice on investments from Robbie Robinson, who’s on leave from BDT & Co., according to a person familiar with the arrangement. That Chicago-based firm works with wealthy families and is run by Byron Trott. Both bankers worked for Goldman Sachs.

Obama has known executives there for more than a decade. He spoke at the 2006 Goldman Sachs partners’ meeting in Chicago. Then a senator, he appeared between Hank Paulson and Warren Buffett in the Fairmont hotel’s Imperial Ballroom, an event program shows.

Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump blasted Clinton for her lucrative Goldman Sachs speeches, and the issue is still raw. Sanders and fellow Senator Elizabeth Warren have tried to pry the Democratic Party away from its coziness with Wall Street. If Obama is hoping the party will be a big tent with room for corporate giants, they may stand in his way.

Obama’s donor friends tend to mention the same reason when they defend his Wall Street speeches, saying he’s no longer president and not running for office. Morgan Stanley Vice Chairman Tom Nides is one of them.

“I love Barack Obama, and if someone is willing to pay him to give a speech, God bless America,” said Nides, a deputy secretary of state under Clinton in Obama’s administration.

But Jeff Hauser, who studies political corruption as head of the Revolving Door Project in Washington, said Obama should play by the same rules as other politicians because of his ongoing work with the Democratic Party.

“He’s continuing to exercise the authority,” Hauser said, citing Obama’s support for the party’s redistricting committee and the push he gave Tom Perez in the race to head the Democratic National Committee. If he wants to play a role, “he ought to forgo a few hundred thousand here and maybe a half-million there.”

Few leaders have left the top of the U.S. government recently and resisted the lure of corporate money. Former Vice President Al Gore is a director at Apple Inc. and a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the venture capital firm whose chairman, John Doerr, is on the Obama Foundation’s board. Dan Quayle, another ex-vice president, has spent almost two decades with private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP. Trump’s White House has lost officials so quickly that Sean Spicer has already made arrangements to speak to a financial firm this year.

“Not everyone’s going to be a Jimmy Carter, who does purely good works after he gets out,” said Sean Coffey, a Democratic donor who chairs the complex litigation group at corporate law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP. Obama is used to being criticized, the attorney added. “I don’t think getting any grief for doing this is going to bother him at all.” source

 

Source: MEGABUCKS: Obama Becomes Paid Evangelist For Fat Cat Oil Companies And Wall Street Robber Barons • Now The End Begins

The State Department’s Strange Obsession – Israel News

The law of Occam’s Razor, refined to common parlance, is that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one.

If we apply Occam’s Razor to recently reported positions of the US State Department, then we can conclude that the people making decisions at Foggy Bottom have “issues” with Jews and with Israel.

Last Friday, JTA reported that the State Department intends to abide by an agreement it reached in 2014 with the Iraqi government and return the Iraqi Jewish archives to Iraq next year.

The Iraqi Jewish archives were rescued in Baghdad by US forces in 2003 from a flooded basement of the Iraqi secret services headquarters. The tens of thousands of documents include everything from sacred texts from as early as the 16th century to Jewish school records.

The books and documents were looted from the Iraqi Jewish community by successive Iraqi regimes. They were restored by the National Archives in Washington, DC.

The Iraqi Jewish community was one of the oldest exilic Jewish communities.

It began with the Babylonian exile following the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem 2,600 years ago. Until the early 20th century, it was one of the most accomplished Jewish communities in the world. Some of the most important yeshivas in Jewish history were in present-day Iraq. The Babylonian Talmud was written in Iraq. The Jewish community in Iraq predated the current people of Iraq by nearly a thousand years.

It was a huge community. In 1948, Jews were the largest minority in Baghdad.

Jews comprised a third of the population of Basra. The status of the community was imperiled during World War II, when the pro-Nazi junta of generals that seized control of the government in 1940 instigated the Farhud, a weeklong pogrom. 900 Jews were murdered.

Thousands of Jewish homes, schools and businesses were burned to the ground.

With Israel’s establishment, and later with the Baathist seizure of power in Iraq in the 1960s, the once great Jewish community was systematically destroyed.

Between 1948 and 1951, 130,000 Iraqi Jews, three quarters of the community, were forced to flee the country. Those who remained faced massive persecution, imprisonment, torture, execution and expulsion in the succeeding decades.

When US forces overthrew the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003, only a dozen or so remained in the country.

Today, there are none left.

As for the current Iraqi government that the State Department wishes to support by implementing its 2014 agreement, it is an Iranian satrapy. Its leadership and military receive operational orders from Iran.

The Iraqi Jewish archive was not created by the Iraqi government. It is comprised of property looted from persecuted and fleeing Jews. In light of this, it ought to be clear to the State Department that the Iraqi government’s claim to ownership is no stronger than the German government’s claim to ownership of looted Jewish property seized by the Nazis would be.

On the other hand, members of the former Jewish community and their descendants have an incontrovertible claim to them. And they have made this claim, repeatedly.

To no avail. As far as the State Department is concerned, they have no claim to sacred books and documents illegally seized from them.

When asked how the US could guarantee that the archive would be properly cared for in Iraq, all State Department spokesman Pablo Rodriguez said was, “When the IJA [Iraqi Jewish archive] is returned, the State Department will urge the Iraqi government to take the proper steps necessary to preserve the archive, and make it available to members of the public to enjoy.”

It is hard not to be taken aback by the callousness of Rodriguez’s statement.

Again, the “members of the public” who wish to “enjoy” the archive are not living in Iraq. They are not living in Iraq because they were forced to run for their lives – after surrendering their communal archives to their persecutors. And still today, as Jews, they will be unable to visit the archives in Iraq without risking their lives because today, at a minimum, the Iraqi regime kowtows to forces that openly seek the annihilation of the Jewish People.

And the State Department knows this.

Then there is the second story that came out this week, whose implications are no less dismal.

Friday, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is leading an effort by State Department officials to convince President Donald Trump to force Israel to return $75 million in congressionally authorized supplementary aid.

On the face of it, the demand is part of a turf war that the State Department has long fought with Congress regarding the scope of Congress’s power to engage in foreign policy. In the final year of the Obama administration, Obama forced Israel to agree not to accept supplementary appropriations in defense aid from Congress beyond what was agreed upon in the memorandum of understanding he concluded. Obama’s position was rightly viewed as a means to undermine Israel’s relations with members of Congress.

But it was equally a means to undermine Congress’s ability to assert its constitutional power to appropriate funding.

As negotiations between Israel and the Obama administration progressed last year, Senator Lindsay Graham implored Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to accede to Obama’s demand.

But in the empty hope of averting a last-minute move by the Obama administration to enable an anti-Israel resolution to pass at the UN Security Council, and concerned that a Hillary Clinton administration would offer Israel less assistance than Obama had offered, Netanyahu signed the deal.

Graham reacted to the MOU’s conclusion by stating that it is unconstitutional and therefore Congress would disregard it.

After Trump was elected, his advisers assured Israel that they would not enforce the MOU’s restrictions on supplementary funding. And yet, now, the State Department is seeking to do just that.

While in many ways this is an internal American fight, the unmistakable fact is that the State Department always seems to fight its turf war with Congress over issues relating to Israel. Moreover, the fight always involves bearing down on some of the dumbest aspects of traditional US Middle East policy.

Over the past 20 years, the State Department has fought and won two major battles against Congress relating to Israel. First, the State Department has continuously blocked the 1996 Embassy Act that requires the State Department to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Second, the State Department fought and won a Supreme Court battle to block implementation of the law requiring it to permit US citizens born in Jerusalem to have Israel listed as their country of birth on their passports.

In both cases, the State Department’s actions reflected a longstanding policy of mollycoddling antisemitic Arab regimes and terrorist groups at Israel’s expense. No US interest has been advanced by these efforts. To the contrary, as Senator Tom Cotton argues in relation to the State Department’s current efforts to force Israel to return the $75m. supplemental appropriation for missile defense projects, the US harms itself by undermining its key ally in fighting the enemies it shares with Israel.

Moreover, the $75m. supplemental assistance for development of missile defense technologies is not a gift to Israel. As the current standoff between the US and North Korea makes clear, the US itself is in dire need of just the sort of anti-missile technologies that Israel is developing. Indeed, the US stands to lose if Israel cuts back its missile defense programs due to lack of funding.

So again, we return to Occam’s Razor.

The State Department’s determination to return the purloined Iraqi Jewish archive to the Iraqi government, like its efforts to convince Trump to demand that Israel return the supplemental aid, doesn’t appear to be guided by any underlying concern for US interests.

Why would Egypt or Saudi Arabia object to Israel developing new means to intercept Hamas, Hezbollah or Iranian missiles? So like its fights against congressional efforts to recognize Israel’s capital city, and indeed like the State Department’s insistence that the US has no option other than recertifying Iranian compliance with Obama’s nuclear deal with the ayatollahs despite overwhelming evidence of Iranian noncompliance, there is an undercurrent of obsessive vindictiveness to the State Department’s current efforts.

In issue after issue, the same officials engage in behavior that appears to reflect a compulsive habit of always demanding that the US adopt positions that weaken US-Israel ties and undermine Jewish rights in Israel, and throughout the Middle East.

Perhaps there is another explanation for this consistent pattern of behavior.

But the simplest explanation is that the State Department suffers from an unhealthy obsession with regard to Jewish rights and the Jewish state.

Reprinted with author’s permission from The Jerusalem Post

Read more at https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-State-Departments-strange-obsession-504808#rMAYOASRBz7pbhRK.99

Source: The State Department’s Strange Obsession – Israel News

State Department Waging “Open War” On White House

 

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By Soeren Kern/Gatestone Institute September 18, 2017
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The U.S. State Department has backed away from a demand that Israel return $75 million in military aid which was allocated to it by the U.S. Congress.
The repayment demand, championed by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was described as an underhanded attempt by the State Department to derail a campaign pledge by U.S. President Donald J. Trump to improve relations with the Jewish state.
The dispute is the just the latest example of what appears to be a growing power struggle between the State Department and the White House over the future direction of American foreign policy.
The controversy goes back to the Obama administration’s September 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel, which pledged $38 billion in military assistance to Jerusalem over the next decade. The MOU expressly prohibits Israel from requesting additional financial aid from Congress.
Congressional leaders, who said the MOU violates the constitutional right of lawmakers to allocate U.S. aid, awarded Israel an additional $75 million in assistance in the final appropriations bill for fiscal year 2017.
Tillerson had argued that Israel should return the $75 million in order to stay within the limits established by the Obama administration. The effort provoked a strong reaction from Congress, which apparently prompted Tillerson to back down.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) “strongly warned the State Department that such action would be unwise and invite unwanted conflict with Israel,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) added:
“As Iran works to surround Israel on every border, and Hezbollah and Hamas rearm, we must work to strengthen our alliance with Israel, not strain it. Congress has the right to allocate money as it deems necessary, and security assistance to Israel is a top priority. Congress is ready to ensure Israel receives the assistance it needs to defend its citizens.”
A veteran congressional advisor told the Free Beacon:
“This is a transparent attempt by career staffers in the State Department to mess with the Israelis and derail the efforts of Congressional Republicans and President Trump to rebuild the US-Israel relationship. There’s no reason to push for the Israelis to return the money, unless you’re trying to drive a wedge between Israel and Congress, which is exactly what this is. It won’t work.”
Another foreign policy operative said: “It’s not clear to me why the Secretary of State wishes to at once usurp the powers of the Congress and then to derail his boss’s rapprochement with the Israeli government.”
Since he was sworn in as Secretary of State on February 1, Tillerson and his advisors at the State Department have made a number of statements and policy decisions that contradict Trump’s key campaign promises on foreign policy, especially regarding Israel and Iran.
August 10. The State Department hosted representatives of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), an umbrella group established by the Muslim Brotherhood with the aim of mainstreaming political Islam in the United States. Behind closed doors, they reportedly discussed what they said was Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and the removal of all Israeli control of the Temple Mount and holy areas of Jerusalem.
Observers said the meeting was part of larger effort by anti-Israel organizations to drive a wedge between the Trump administration and Israel. The USCMO includes a number of organizations, including American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which promote “extreme anti-Israel views” and “anti-Zionist” propaganda, and which support boycotts of the Jewish state.
July 19. The State Department’s new “Country Reports on Terrorism 2016” blamed Israel for Palestinian Arab terrorism against Jews. It attributed Palestinian violence to: “lack of hope in achieving statehood;” “Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank;” “settler violence;” and “the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount.”
The report also characterized Palestinian Authority payments to the families of so-called martyrs as “financial packages to Palestinian security prisoners…to reintegrate them into society.”
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) called on the State Department to hold the PA accountable in State Department Country reports: “The State Department report includes multiple findings that are both inaccurate and harmful to combating Palestinian terrorism…. At the highest level, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership incites, rewards, and, in some cases, carries out terrorist attacks against innocent Israelis. In order to effectively combat terrorism, it is imperative that the United States accurately characterize its root cause — PA leadership.”
June 14. Tillerson voiced opposition to designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, saying that such a classification would complicate Washington’s relations in the Middle East. During his confirmation hearings on January 11, by contrast, Tillerson lumped the Brotherhood with al-Qaeda when talking about militant threats in the region. He said:
“Eliminating ISIS would be the first step in disrupting the capabilities of other groups and individuals committed to striking our homeland and our allies. The demise of ISIS would also allow us to increase our attention on other agents of radical Islam like al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and certain elements within Iran.”
June 13. During testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tillerson said he had received reassurances from President Mahmoud Abbas that the Palestinian Authority would end the practice of paying a monthly stipend to the families of suicide bombers and other attackers, commonly referred to by Palestinians as martyrs. One day later, Palestinian officials contradicted Tillerson, saying that there are no plans to stop payments to families of Palestinians killed or wounded carrying out attacks against Israelis.
May 22. Tillerson sidestepped questions on whether the Western Wall is part of Israel, while telling reporters aboard Air Force One they were heading to “Tel Aviv, home of Judaism.” Asked directly whether he considers the Western Wall under Israeli sovereignty, Tillerson replied: “The wall is part of Jerusalem.”
May 15. In an interview with Meet the Press, Tillerson appeared publicly to renege on Trump’s campaign promise to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem:
“The president, I think rightly, has taken a very deliberative approach to understanding the issue itself, listening to input from all interested parties in the region, and understanding what such a move, in the context of a peace initiative, what impact would such a move have.”
Tillerson also appeared to equate the State of Israel and the Palestinians:
“As you know, the president has recently expressed his view that he wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we cannot advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine. And so I think in large measure the president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact a peace process.”
Critics of this stance have argued that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would, instead, advance the peace process by “shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.”
March 8. The State Department confirmed that the Obama administration’s $221 million payment to the Palestinian Authority, approved just hours before Trump’s inauguration, had reached its destination. The Trump administration initially had vowed to freeze the payment.
In July 2017, the Free Beacon reported that Tillerson’s State Department was waging an “open political war” with the White House on a range of key issues, including the U.S.-Israel relationship, the Iran portfolio, and other matters:
“The tensions have fueled an outstanding power battle between the West Wing and State Department that has handicapped the administration and resulted in scores of open positions failing to be filled with Trump confidantes. This has allowed former Obama administration appointees still at the State Department to continue running the show and formulating policy, where they have increasingly clashed with the White House’s own agenda.”
A veteran foreign policy analyst interviewed by the Free Beacon laid the blame squarely on Tillerson:
“Foggy Bottom [a metonym for the State Department] is still run by the same people who designed and implemented Obama’s Middle East agenda. Tillerson was supposed to clean house, but he left half of them in place and he hid the other half in powerful positions all over the building. These are career staffers committed to preventing Trump from reversing what they created.”
Notable holdovers from the Obama administration are now driving the State Department’s Iran policy:
Michael Ratney, a top advisor to former Secretary of State John Kerry on Syria policy. Under the Trump administration, Ratney’s role at the State Department has been expanded to include Israel and Palestine issues.
Ratney, who was the U.S. Consul in Jerusalem between 2012 and 2015, oversaw $465,000 in U.S. grants to wage a smear to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office in 2015 parliamentary elections, according to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Ratney admitted to Senate investigators that he deleted emails containing information about the Obama administration’s relationship with the group.
Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., a career foreign service officer who serves as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Shannon, the State Department’s fourth-ranking official, has warned that scrapping the Iran deal would lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
“Any effort to step away from the deal would reopen a Pandora’s box in that region that would be hard to close again,” he said. His statement indicates that Shannon could be expected to lead efforts to resist any attempts to renege or renegotiate the deal; critics of the deal say that Iran’s continued missile testing has given Trump one more reason to tear up his predecessor’s deal with the Islamist regime.
Chris Backemeyer is now the highest-ranking official at the State Department for Iran policy. During the Obama administration, Backemeyer made his career by selling the Iran deal by persuading multinational corporations to do business with Iran as part of an effort to conclude the Iran nuclear deal.
Ratney, Shannon and Backemeyer, along with Tillerson, reportedly prevailed upon Trump twice to recertify the Iran nuclear deal. The Jerusalem Post explained:
Washington was briefly abuzz on the afternoon of July 17 when rumors began to circulate that President Trump was eager to declare that Iran was in breach of the conditions laid out in the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA).
Those receptive antennas were further heightened given the previous signals sent. After all, the State Department already released talking points to reporters on the decision to recertify Iran. The Treasury Department also had a package of fresh sanctions on over a dozen Iranian individuals and entities ready to announce to appease the hawks who were eager to cut loose from the deal.
But Trump didn’t want to recertify Iran, nor did he want to the last time around in April. That evening, a longtime Middle East analyst close to senior White House officials involved in the discussions described the scene to me: “Tillerson essentially told the president, ‘we just aren’t ready with our allies to decertify.’
The president retorted, ‘Isn’t it your job to get our allies ready?’ to which Tillerson said, ‘Sorry sir, we’re just not ready.'” According to this source, Secretary Tillerson pulled the same maneuver when it came to recertification in April by waiting until the last minute before finally admitting the State Department wasn’t ready. On both occasions he simply offered something to the effect of, “We’ll get ’em next time.”
Originally published by the Gatestone Institue – reposted with permission.

Source: State Department Waging “Open War” On White House

Black Lives Matter Criminals Attack The Police In St. Louis And Attempt To Shut Down Local Shopping Mall • Now The End Begins

 

Black Lives Matter thugs hurled bricks at police officers. Three police officers were transported to the hospital. U2 already cancelled their concert scheduled for Saturday in St. Louis because police were unable to provide protection for the audience following the Black Lives Matter violence Friday. Now protesters want to shut down malls.
black-lives-matter-domestic-terror-group-saint-louis-nteb

Black Lives Matter protests spilled over into Saturday after Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer was acquitted of first-degree murder charges in the shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Back when OJ Simpson was acquitted of killing his ex-wife and friend Ronald Goldman, everyone including the lawyers that got him off knew he was guilty. Millions were outraged when the cowardly killer was allowed to go free, but the prosecution was unable to make their case, and that’s how justice works in America. Number of  non-black people who publicly rioted over that ruling and looted and destroyed property? Zero. Black Lives Matter protested the acquittal of St, Louis cop Jason Stockly in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith in the only way they know how. They held innocent people captive, issued threats of physical violence to local store owners, and tried to shut down a shopping mall. This is criminal behavior, and thankfully dozens of them were arrested. It is time to petition the White House to have Black Lives Matter declared a domestic terrorist organization. #AllLivesMatter

Black Lives Matter thugs hurled bricks at police officers. Three police officers were transported to the hospital. U2 already cancelled their concert scheduled for Saturday in St. Louis because police were unable to provide protection for the audience following the Black Lives Matter violence Friday. Now protesters want to shut down malls.

Protesters stormed West County Mall in St. Louis, forcing a temporary shut down. Macys staffers closed their doors out of fear as protesters tried to march into the store.

A few hundred people walked through West County Center in Des Peres, an upscale community west of St. Louis, loudly chanting slogans such as “black lives matter” and “it is our duty to fight for our freedom” to decry the judge’s verdict Friday clearing ex-St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith. A short time later, they demonstrated at Chesterfield Mall and at a festival featuring restaurant food from across the region. No arrests were reported at any of the demonstrations.

The mall protests followed raucous daytime marches in downtown St. Louis and through the city’s posh Central West End area during the night. Protesters were making it clear, they said, that the entire region, not just predominantly black areas of St. Louis, should feel uncomfortable with the verdict and its impact.

“I don’t think racism is going to change in America until people get uncomfortable,” said Kayla Reed of the St. Louis Action Council, a protest organizer.

Susanna Prins, a 27-year-old white woman from University City, another St. Louis suburb, carried a sign reading, “White silence is violence.” “Not saying or doing anything makes you complicit in the brutalization of our friends and neighbors,” Prins said.

Smith’s death is just one of several high-profile U.S. cases in recent years in which a white officer killed a black suspect, including the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson that sparked months of angry and sometimes violent protests.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens was highly critical during his 2016 campaign of how former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon managed the Ferguson protests, suggesting that with the right presence and leadership there could have been peace by the second night.

In advance of the Stockley verdict, Greitens met with Smith’s fiancée, black state lawmakers, black St. Louis faith leaders and law enforcement in the hopes of projecting a shared message that peaceful protest would be tolerated but violence wouldn’t.

Before the verdict, Greitens put the National Guard on standby, and some troops were deployed Friday night to guard fire stations and other “critical infrastructure” that Greitens didn’t specify. He was in St. Louis Friday night and met with local law enforcement officials.

Police erected barricades around their own headquarters and the courthouse and dozens of officers in flak jackets and helmets who wielded batons and shields corralled demonstrators throughout the day and evening.

Demonstrators occasionally lobbed objects into the fortified line of officers, who used pepper spray to repel the crowd.

Tensions flared several times, including when protesters blocked a bus full of riot officers, damaged a police cruiser with rocks and later broke a window and spattered red paint on the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson.

After a tense standoff at the mayor’s home, police used tear gas to clear the area.

Police said they made nearly two-dozen arrests before dark and more in the evening, though they still hadn’t provided an updated figure more than 12 hours later.

Police reported that 10 officers suffered injuries by the end of the night, including a broken jaw and dislocated shoulder, and some journalists reported having equipment damaged and being threatened by protesters.

Anticipating more demonstrations Saturday, the band U2 canceled its evening concert in St. Louis because the police department said it wouldn’t be able to provide its standard protection for the event, organizers said.

Police generally stayed a step ahead of protesters on Friday, preventing them from efforts to block an interstate highway or storm the city’s convention center.

Protesters seemed to be taking a different tact on Saturday. During a morning gathering in a suburban park they forced members of the media to stand away from them, over the objections of reporters, including one from The Associated Press. At that meeting, they devised the plan to meet at the malls.

The civil disobedience followed the acquittal of Stockley for fatally shooting Smith, 24, after the suspected drug dealer crashed his car following a chase.

Stockley testified that he saw Smith holding a silver revolver as he sped away and felt he was in imminent danger as he was approaching the vehicle later.

Prosecutors said Stockley planted a gun in Smith’s car after the shooting — Stockley’s DNA was on the weapon but Smith’s wasn’t. Dashcam video from Stockley’s cruiser captured him saying he was “going to kill this (expletive), don’t you know it.” Less than a minute later, he shot Smith five times.

Stockley’s lawyer dismissed the comment as “human emotions” uttered during a dangerous pursuit and the judge said it could be ambiguous.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson said prosecutors didn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Stockley murdered Smith or that the officer didn’t act in self-defense.

In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after the verdict, Stockley, 36, said he understands how video of the shooting looks bad, but that he did nothing wrong.

“I can feel for and I understand what the family is going through, and I know everyone wants someone to blame, but I’m just not the guy,” said Stockley, who left St. Louis’ police force in 2013 and moved to Houston. source

Source: Black Lives Matter Criminals Attack The Police In St. Louis And Attempt To Shut Down Local Shopping Mall • Now The End Begins

Fed Up With Useless, Do-Nothing Republicans, Trump Finds Success In New Alliances With Democrat Leaders • Now The End Begins

Frustrated by the failure of GOP majorities in both chambers to pass his agenda, President Trump followed through on threats to work with Democrats. Signs suggest it was not a one-off deal, as the president already is discussing other topics with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma helped spark his decision. Trump was clear that, especially on storm relief, he wanted fast, bipartisan action that reflected the way ordinary Americans were helping each other, especially in hard-hit Houston. With Irma aiming at Florida and the southeast, the president recognized that the public would have rightly viewed political squabbling during national emergencies as an infuriating failure.
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Keep these numbers in mind: 316 to 90 and 80 to 17. They were the lopsided votes in the House and Senate in support of the deal President Trump made with Democratic leaders on storm aid, the debt limit and government funding.

EDITOR’S NOTE: From the way the GOP in Washington are acting, you would think they were the ones that lost the election and not the Democrats. The Republicans have spent more time resisting President Trump than they have passing the legislation the people elected them to do. President Trump is 100% correct in now bypassing the pusillanimous GOP and forming new alliances with the Democrats. The GOP would do well to remember that we didn’t vote “Republican” in 2016, we voted for Donald Trump. Get on the Trump Train, Republicans, or get run over. That is all. 

Remarkably, all the no voters were Republicans. The numbers shout that we are witnessing a potential turning point in the Trump presidency, one that could further shake up Washington and rattle the calcified political parties.

Frustrated by the failure of GOP majorities in both chambers to pass his agenda, President Trump followed through on threats to work with Democrats. Signs suggest it was not a one-off deal, as the president already is discussing other topics with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma helped spark his decision. Trump was clear that, especially on storm relief, he wanted fast, bipartisan action that reflected the way ordinary Americans were helping each other, especially in hard-hit Houston. With Irma aiming at Florida and the southeast, the president recognized that the public would have rightly viewed political squabbling during national emergencies as an infuriating failure.

Still, the circumstances didn’t stop all the GOP grumbling, with some Republicans astonished that a president from their party had accepted Dems’ terms on the debt limit to get a quick deal. Not surprisingly, Trump was hardly apologetic, firing back on Twitter: “Republicans, sorry, but I’ve been hearing about Repeal & Replace for 7 years, didn’t happen!” — a reference to the failure to overturn ObamaCare.

He also issued a warning on tax reform, tweeting: “Republicans must start the Tax Reform/Tax Cut legislation ASAP. Don’t wait until the end of September. Needed now more than ever. Hurry!”

The developments show the president shedding the party straitjacket and being true to his disrupter candidacy. If he continues and is successful, he could create a new coalition that includes revolving members of both parties, depending on the issue.

That’s an ambitious scenario, given the hyper-partisan atmosphere in Washington and the cultural and political chasms across the country. But at least the president is proving in the short term that it is possible to get things done — and get them done quickly, a point he emphasized by signing the legislative package as soon as it reached his desk.

Naturally, the prospect of a bipartisan approach alarms both ends of the political spectrum, with leftists angry that Schumer and Pelosi dared to even talk to Trump, let alone make a deal. That attitude is both a cause and effect of the gridlock that has gripped the capital for the better part of two decades and turned compromise into an insult.

Yet beyond the professional activists, ideologues and consultants, much of America yearns for more government cooperation and less combat.

Like children watching their parents fight, most voters just want a productive peace, not an endless battle for ­total victory that yields nothing of common value. Above all, they want a government that works for them, not one fixated on partisan scorekeeping and ideological litmus tests.

Indeed, Trump’s promise to change Washington was a key ingredient in his victory, and he may be uniquely positioned to carve out a new model. Throughout his business life, he’s been on both sides of big issues, and comes to the presidency with less of a fixed political core than anyone in ­recent memory.

That’s made him understandingly suspect to many conservatives and his inexperience has been compounded by mistakes, but that outsider, pragmatic perspective can now work in his favor. If he can find both common ground and real solutions, we might look back one day and see a more bipartisan approach to governing as the one silver lining of the weather calamities of 2017. source

Source: Fed Up With Useless, Do-Nothing Republicans, Trump Finds Success In New Alliances With Democrat Leaders • Now The End Begins

Hate Group Southern Poverty Law Center Urges Alt-Left Hate Groups To Start ‘Tearing Down Army Bases’ • Now The End Begins

 

The SPLC included Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Benning in Georgia on a list of 1,500 “Confederate monuments” that the SPLC claims could inspire more violence like what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia last month. All three bases are named after Confederate military leaders. The list makes no mention of renaming namesakes of Confederate monuments; taking the monuments down is presented as the only option.
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The Southern Poverty Law Center has declared three of America’s largest Army bases Confederate monuments “with the potential to unleash more turmoil and bloodshed” if activists don’t “take down” the Army bases.

EDITOR’S NOTE: They claim to “fight and expose hate groups” but ironically are one of the most highly-funded hate groups in existence today. The Southern Poverty Law Center is the new home of the Alt-Left, and they won’t quit until they have remade America in their progressive, Leftist, Democratic image. In the meantime, they are now identifying US Army bases as “confederate monuments” that need to “come down”. If that’s not anarchy I don’t know what is. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center included Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Benning in Georgia on a list of 1,500 “Confederate monuments” that the SPLC claims could inspire more violence like what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia last month. All three bases are named after Confederate military leaders.

The list makes no mention of renaming namesakes of Confederate monuments; taking the monuments down is presented as the only option. The recent leftist campaign against Confederate namesakes and monuments has included a willingness among some far-left actors to destroy government property to accomplish their goals.

The Southern Poverty Law Center: The Real Hate Group

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“More than 1,500 Confederate monuments stand in communities like Charlottesville with the potential to unleash more turmoil and bloodshed,” the SPLC website states. “It’s time to take them down.”

Elementary and middle schools, local streets and even entire towns are included on the SPLC’s list of “Confederate monuments.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center is urging leftists around the country to flood their local newspapers with letters to the editor urging the removal of the monuments, although the group’s campaign against the army bases could serve as a dogwhistle for left-wing militants willing to take extreme measures to take down Confederate monuments.

The SPLC’s map of “Confederate monuments” resembles the group’s “hate map” that has repeatedly smeared conservative organizations as “hate groups” and inspireddomestic terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins II to shoot up the Family Research Center in 2012.

At the same time that the SPLC is waging its campaign against Fort Hood, approximately 400 American soldiers stationed at the base are down in Houston helping victims of Hurricane Harvey. source

Source: Hate Group Southern Poverty Law Center Urges Alt-Left Hate Groups To Start ‘Tearing Down Army Bases’ • Now The End Begins