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John Bolton on the ICC

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The International Criminal Court is a typical Nongovernmental Organization/Global Governmental wet dream that sounds good but is subject to zero oversight and has become corrupt in its short life. Needless to say, the United States did not sign on to this organization. We are a soverign nation after all. From the InfoGalactic link above:

The seven countries that voted against the treaty were China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, the United States, and Yemen

National Security Adviser John Bolton had this to say in a speech yesterday - excerpted from PJ Media:

Bolton Vows to Not Cooperate with International Criminal Court, Threatens Sanctions
National Security Advisor John Bolton threatened sanctions against the International Criminal Court, which Bolton opposed long before joining the Trump administration, and hailed the State Department announcement that the D.C. office of the Palestine Liberation Organization would be shut down.

Speaking at a Federalist Society event at the Mayflower Hotel this morning, Bolton slammed the Hague-based ICC as an effort by "self-styled 'global governance' advocates" to override national sovereignty through its investigations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Three excerpts - this:

"Today, on the eve of Sept. 11, I want to deliver a clear and unambiguous message on behalf of the president of the United States. The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court," Bolton continued. "We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us."

And this comment on our friend and ally Israel:

"The United States will always stand with our friend and ally, Israel. And, today, reflecting congressional concerns with Palestinian attempts to prompt an ICC investigation of Israel, the State Department will announce the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office here in Washington, D.C. As President Reagan recognized in this context, the executive has 'the right to decide the kind of foreign relations, if any, the United States will maintain,' and the Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to take steps to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel," he said. "The United States supports a direct and robust peace process, and we will not allow the ICC, or any other organization, to constrain Israel’s right to self-defense."

And he closed with this:

Steering back to the ICC, Bolton wrapped up his address by vowing that "if the court comes after us, Israel or other U.S. allies, we will not sit quietly."

"We will negotiate even more binding, bilateral agreements to prohibit nations from surrendering U.S. persons to the ICC. And we will ensure that those we have already entered are honored by our counterpart governments," he said. "We will respond against the ICC and its personnel to the extent permitted by U.S. law. We will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and, we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system. We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans."

"We will take note if any countries cooperate with ICC investigations of the United States and its allies, and we will remember that cooperation when setting U.S. foreign assistance, military assistance, and intelligence sharing levels," Bolton added. "We will consider taking steps in the UN Security Council to constrain the Court’s sweeping powers, including ensuring that the ICC does not exercise jurisdiction over Americans and the nationals of our allies that have not ratified the Rome Statute."

I am so glad that the stars aligned in the heavens and we got President Trump instead of Crooked Hillary.

Don't mess with an auctioneer

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A wonderful reaction. The proceedings were interrupted by an alt-right "personality" who would not STFU and kept talking over everyone. Congressman Billy Long came up with the perfect distraction:

Mr. Long was a commercial auctioneer before entering politics. FOX News has more:

Rep. Billy Long, an auctioneer, drowns out protester shouting at Twitter's Jack Dorsey during hearing
Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., on Wednesday drowned out a protester who was shouting at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey by using an auction call.

Laura Loomer, a far-right activist, was heard shouting pleas at President Trump "because Jack Dorsey is trying to influence the election, to sway the election, to [inaudible] Democrats steal the election."

"That is why he is censoring and shadow banning conservatives," she added.

After Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., repeatedly called for Loomer to stand down in the hearing room, or else risk her removal, Loomer continued — which is when Long stepped in with a fast-talking auctioneer chant to drown her out.

Long chanted for a few minutes as Capitol Police worked to remove Loomer from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce panel.

"I yield back," Long joked to audible laughter, as the protester was escorted from the room.

Perfect.

Got a point there

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I mean - economy, unemployment, North Korea, EU and China trade. President Trump is showing some serious leadership.

Good news from our neighbors

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NAFTA is pining for the fjords - from FOX News:

Trump says he's 'terminating' NAFTA, announces new trade agreement with Mexico
President Trump on Monday said he plans to terminate the existing North American Free Trade Agreement, as he announced a new tentative agreement between the United States and Mexico that he described as "one of the largest trade deals ever made."

"I'll be terminating the existing deal and going into this deal," the president said in the Oval Office, calling it a "big day for trade."

But the president said Monday “we’ll see” if Canada can still be part of the trade pact, leaving open the possibility of separate agreements.

"We are starting negotiations with Canada pretty much immediately," Trump said.

Trump, sitting at the Resolute Desk, put Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on his speaker phone as the press watched in the Oval Office. The Mexican president, speaking through a translator, congratulated the negotiators on both sides and expressed hope the United States and Canada would come to an agreement.

Talk about win/win. It will be interesting to see Canada's reaction - Justin Trudeau is not exactly a conservative or business oriented.

RIP Senator John McCain

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Not a big fan of his RINO politics but his death is a shame. From NBC News:

Sen. John McCain, independent voice of the GOP establishment, dies at 81
John McCain, who shed a playboy image in his youth to become a fighter pilot, revered prisoner of war and both an independent voice in the Republican Party and its 2008 presidential nominee, died on Saturday, little more than a year after he was told he had brain cancer. He was 81.

McCain’s office said in a statement "Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28 p.m. on August 25, 2018." He announced on July 19, 2017, that he had been diagnosed with a glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain tumor. On Friday his family announced he was discontinuing treatment.

Interesting times - North Korea

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Looks like President Trump's work is coming to fruition - from FOX News:

China's Xi to make first official visit to Pyongyang for North Korea's 70th anniversary
Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to visit North Korea next month, accepting Kim Jong Un's invitation to attend the country's 70th anniversary of its founding, a report said Friday.

Xi's visit to Pyongyang would be his first to the North Korean capital since 2012 when he took power, Reuters reported, citing Singapore's Straits Times.

Baby steps for sure but there is so much to overcome and these steps are very much in the right direction. Chalk another win up for President Trump - this is not a matter of the right time, this is a matter of the right leadership. A great leader does not need to be a popular one.

Never try to out-negotiate President Trump. From Breitbart:

China Buckles, Sends Trade Delegation to Washington to Seek End of Trade War
China and the U.S. are set to resume trade talks for the first time since June.

A meeting between the two countries, which would be between lower-level officials than earlier talks, would mark a breach in the standoff that has arisen since talks broke down in the spring. U.S. officials have repeatedly said they were open to new talks but insisted that China had walked away rather than offer serious reform.

It still is not clear if China’s delegation will carry with it a reform offer serious enough to stave off the Trump administration’s threat of former tariffs. The U.S. side will be lead by Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass.

Game Set Match in two months? Sounds like a win to me.

From John Lott writing at FOX News:

Here's the real reason Democrats are so scared about Kavanaugh joining the Supreme Court
Democrats are getting hysterical about the prospect of Judge Brett Kavanaugh being seated on the Supreme Court. Most of their hyperventilating is nonsense.

In a desperate attempt to block Kavanaugh’s confirmation by the Senate, the Democrats are making wild claims that abortion would be banned, people would be dying in the streets, and the president would gain immunity from investigation and prosecution if Kavanaugh joins the nation’s highest court.

Time for a reality check. Let’s all take a deep breath and look at the facts about the judge who President Trump has nominated to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

And the reason:

The Democrats fear the fact that Kavanaugh is very smart, very articulate and very persuasive. So while he isn’t going to roll back liberals past victories, it means that he will prevent their future ones by being able to convince other justices at times to come around to his viewpoint and side with him on some decisions.

And judges who can write powerfully worded decisions – as Kavanaugh has proven he can – are more likely to be cited in other judges’ decisions, which grants them even wider influence.

As a result, Kavanaugh would pose a threat to Democrats who believe the Constitution can be twisted like a pretzel to justify their belief in Big Government, with a heavy regulatory hand reigning supreme over individual constitutional rights.

Consequently, Democratic will do whatever they can to keep Kavanaugh off the high court.

Much more at the article - John has a lot of backup for his thesis.

Speaking truth to power - Russia

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Judge Jeanine Pirro is spot on:

Looks like the tariffs are working - from CNBC/Reuters:

Chinese leadership is facing a rare backlash for its handling of the US trade dispute
A growing trade war with the United States is causing rifts within China's Communist Party, with some critics saying that an overly nationalistic Chinese stance may have hardened the U.S. position, according to four sources close to the government.

President Xi Jinping still has a firm grip on power, but an unusual surge of criticism about economic policy and how the government has handled the trade war has revealed rare cracks in the ruling Communist Party.

A backlash is being felt at the highest levels of the government, possibly hitting a close aide to Xi, his ideology chief and strategist Wang Huning, according to two sources familiar with discussions in leadership circles.

Heh... Say what you like about his personal behaviour, President Trump is doing great things for the United States.

From Reuters:

Russia tasks Hollywood actor Seagal with improving U.S. ties
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday it had made U.S. actor Steven Seagal its special representative for Russian-U.S. humanitarian ties, a role it said was meant to deepen cultural, art and youth ties between the two countries.

President Vladimir Putin presented a Russian passport to U.S. actor Steven Seagal in 2016, saying he hoped it would serve as a symbol of how fractious ties between Moscow and Washington were starting to improve.

Since then, U.S.-Russia relations have only got worse however with U.S. intelligence agencies accusing Moscow of interfering in Donald Trump’s White House run, an allegation Russia denies. The two countries are also at odds over Syria and Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry likened Seagal’s new role to that of a U.N. goodwill ambassador and said that the actor, who is known for his martial arts prowess, would receive no salary.

“It’s a case of people’s diplomacy intersecting with traditional diplomacy,” the ministry said.

Seagal, who sometimes appears on Russian state TV to talk about his views and career, was cited by Kremlin-backed TV station RT as welcoming the appointment.

Cool - the strangest alliences sometimes happen. Take a look at Jeff Baxter for instance - from his Infoglactic entry:

Jeffrey Allen "Skunk" Baxter (born December 13, 1948) is an American guitarist, known for his stints in the rock bands Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers during the 1970s and Spirit in the 1980s. More recently, he has been working as a defense consultant and chairs a Congressional Advisory Board on missile defense.

Never underestimate President Trump

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It is the stuff like this that we do not hear about that shows us that North Korea is serious about joining the rest of the world. From The Korea Times:

North Korea launches team to mend ties with Japan: report
North Korea has put together a team to negotiate with Japan, which itself is seeking direct talks to settle various issues, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported on Saturday, citing sources familiar with bilateral relations.

Kyodo said the negotiating team was apparently established sometime between April and the historic U.S.-North Korea summit on June 12. If the report is true, the team is a visible indicator North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is interested in exploring dialogue with Tokyo in the midst of a rapid change in the geopolitics of the Korean Peninsula.

"North Korea decided earlier this year that mending ties with Japan would become a future objective if it moves to improve ties with the United States, South Korea and China," the news outlet quoted a source as saying.

Baby steps.  Looks like President Trump has opened a dialog with North Korea and is giving them the opportunity to rejoin the rest of the world while still maintaining 'face'. There have been no more missile tests (flying over Japan and Guam). No more nuclear bomb tests. Their primary missile launch facility is being dismantled. US Soldiers' remains from the 1950's Korean War are being returned. Looks like they are serious.

Now this should be fun to see

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From The Daily Beast:

Inside Bannon's Plan to Hijack Europe for the Far-Right
Steve Bannon plans to go toe-to-toe with George Soros and spark a right-wing revolution in Europe.

Trump’s former White House chief advisor told The Daily Beast that he is setting up a foundation in Europe called The Movement which he hopes will lead a right-wing populist revolt across the continent starting with the European Parliament elections next spring.

The non-profit will be a central source of polling, advice on messaging, data targeting, and think-tank research for a ragtag band of right-wingers who are surging all over Europe, in many cases without professional political structures or significant budgets.

Bannon’s ambition is for his organization ultimately to rival the impact of Soros’s Open Society, which has given away $32 billion to largely liberal causes since it was established in 1984.

Over the past year, Bannon has held talks with right-wing groups across the continent from Nigel Farage and members of Marine Le Pen’s Front National (recently renamed Rassemblement National) in the West, to Hungary’s Viktor Orban and the Polish populists in the East.

He envisions a right-wing “supergroup” within the European Parliament that could attract as many as a third of the lawmakers after next May’s Europe-wide elections. A united populist bloc of that size would have the ability to seriously disrupt parliamentary proceedings, potentially granting Bannon huge power within the populist movement.

I have heard Bannon on the radio a couple of times - he is very articulate and whip-smart. If anyone can pull this off and get all the splinter groups coordinated, it will be him. Like I said, it will be a lot of fun to see.

Great news about the economy. Transcript:

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Moments ago, the numbers for America’s economic growth — or GDP — were just released. And I am thrilled to announce that, in the second quarter of this year, the United States economy grew at the amazing rate of 4.1 percent. We’re on track to hit the highest annual average growth rate in over 13 years. And I will say this right now, and I’ll say it strongly: As the trade deals come in one by one, we’re going to go a lot higher than these numbers. And these are great numbers.

During each of the two previous administrations, we averaged just over 1.8 percent GDP growth. By contrast, we are now on track to hit an average GDP annual growth of over 3 percent, and it could be substantially over 3 percent. Each point, by the way, means approximately $3 trillion and 10 million jobs. Think of that. Each point — you go up one point — that doesn’t sound like much; it’s a lot. It’s $3 trillion and it’s 10 million jobs.

If economic growth continues at this pace, the United States economy will double in size more than 10 years faster than it would have under either President Bush or President Obama.

Perhaps one of the biggest wins in the report, and it is indeed a big one, is that the trade deficit — very dear to my heart, because we’ve been ripped off by the world — has dropped by more than $50 billion. $52 billion, to be exact. It’s dropped by more than fifty. Think of that. The trade deficit has dropped by more than $50 billion. And that’s added — and adding — one point to GDP. That’s a tremendous drop. We haven’t had a drop like that in long time. You’ll have to go back a long time before you find it.

By increasing growth to 3 percent over the next 10 years, that would mean 12 million new American jobs and $10 trillion of new American wealth, at least. And that’s not including the fact that, since I was elected, we’ve created approximately $7 trillion of new wealth.

Much more at the site. Here is the video of his speech:

And:

President Trump's "trade war" was just a bargaining chip. Yes, it would have hurt us but it would have hurt the EU even more.

You can read the Joint Statement here: Joint U.S.-EU Statement following President Juncker's visit to the White House

Talk about win/win - the rising tide floats all boats.

Kim Jong Un has been taking his meeting with President Trump to heart. From 38 North:

North Korea Begins Dismantling Key Facilities at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station
In an important first step towards fulfilling a commitment made by Kim Jong Un at the June 12 Singapore Summit, new commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (North Korea’s main satellite launch facility since 2012) indicates that the North has begun dismantling key facilities. Most notably, these include the rail-mounted processing building—where space launch vehicles are prepared before moving them to the launch pad—and the nearby rocket engine test stand used to develop liquid-fuel engines for ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles. Since these facilities are believed to have played an important role in the development of technologies for the North’s intercontinental ballistic missile program, these efforts represent a significant confidence building measure on the part of North Korea.

Talk about The Art of the Deal... Chairman Kim has lived in the West (went to school in Switzerland) and he wants better for his people. If President Trump does not get the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel committee is clueless.

Insidious I tell you

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Exposed - Putin's plan:

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Great interview with our President

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Fifteen minutes of great questions and answers with CNBC anchor Joe Kernen.

One can dream can't they?

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Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at that meeting:

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Business trumps Politics - taxation

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Heh - economist Arthur Laffer came up with the Laffer Curve which shows that there are optimum rates for taxation. Tax at 0% and you get zero returns (DOH!) - same for 100% because people will figure out all kinds of dodges. There is an optimal level and it took President Trump to implement this.

From Investor's Business Daily:

Income Tax Revenues Are Up 9% This Year — Is Trump Tax Cut Paying For Itself?
Supply-Side Economics: Democrats scoffed at Republicans who said the Trump tax cuts would at least partially pay for themselves through higher economic growth. But it looks like the GOP had it right all along, as revenues climb.

The latest monthly budget report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office finds that revenues from federal income taxes were $76 billion higher in the first half of this year, compared with the first half of 2017. That's a 9% jump, even though the lower income tax withholding schedules went into effect in February.

And of course, we will always have the "special" people to listen to:

But wait a minute. According to Democrats, the Trump tax cuts were supposed to blow a massive hole in the deficit.

Last November, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi promised that "this thing will explode the deficit."

She also said that "after the Republicans' tax plan blows a multi-trillion-dollar hole in the deficit, they will sharpen their knives for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and vital job-creating investments for middle class families."

Even now, Pelosi is sticking to her guns. In June, she called it "the deficit-exploding GOP tax scam for the rich."

A perfect example of someone who is clueless and out of touch. She is not a leader. All she cares about is power and getting re-elected. Her 15 minutes were over a long long time ago - part of the problem.

A safe pick for SCOTUS

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Bret Kavanaugh was not my first choice but he is very moderate and the liberals will not beat him up to badly at the confirmation hearings. I would have loved Senator Mike Lee or Amy Coney Barrett but Kavanaugh is President Trump's choice and I respect that.

I was wondering why he chose him and what came to mind is that there is somethign very big coming down the pike - before the mid-term elections and President Trump wants to reserve all his political "favors" for that. Should be fun - time for a big bowl of popcorn if this is true...

Sounds good - from Gallup:

Small Majority in U.S. Say the Country's Best Days Are Ahead
 Fifty-five percent of U.S. adults believe the United States' best days are "ahead of us," while 41% say they are "behind us." Americans are more optimistic about the country's future than they were the last time Gallup polled on the question, in December 2012, when Americans were nearly evenly split in their views.

The 2012 numbers were 47% ahead of us and 50% behind. Big difference between Obama and Trump.

This President is incredible - talk about leadership. From Reuters:

First Trump-Putin summit has Cold War backdrop, U.S. allies nervous
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet for their first summit on July 16 in Helsinki, a venue famed for its Cold War diplomacy, with nervous U.S. allies in Europe and Russia skeptics looking on.

The Kremlin and the White House simultaneously announced the place and date a day after reaching agreement for the two leaders to meet following a visit to Moscow by U.S. national security adviser John Bolton.Trump will meet Putin after attending a July 11-12 summit of NATO leaders and a visit to Britain. The date will give Putin a chance to attend the July 15 closing ceremony of the soccer World Cup hosted by Russia.

The two leaders have met twice before on the sidelines of international gatherings and spoken at least eight times by phone. They have also made positive comments about each other now and then with Putin lauding Trump’s handling of the U.S. economy.

“The two leaders will discuss relations between the United States and Russia and a range of national security issues,” the White House said in a statement similar to one released by the Kremlin.

I would love to be a fly on that wall - two alpha males dealing with some serious issues. The outcome will be interesting to see.

I can not imagine anyone better suited for the position. From Bloomberg:

Trump Weighing Senator Mike Lee for Supreme Court Vacancy, Sources Say
President Donald Trump has asked advisers their opinions about nominating Utah Senator Mike Lee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, according to three people familiar with the matter.

It remains early in the selection process for a nomination that will be a crucial part of Trump’s legacy, choosing a justice who is likely to serve on the court for decades and cement its ideological balance to the most conservative in generations.

Lee is 47 years old so he would be on the bench for 30-40 years if appointed. His track record in the Senate is spotless.

Heh - from Steven's twitter account:

Interesting news - Supreme Court

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And President Trump gets to pick Justice #2 - from Associated Press:

Justice Kennedy retiring; Trump gets 2nd Supreme Court pick
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday, giving President Donald Trump the chance to cement conservative control of the high court.

The 81-year-old Kennedy said in a statement he is stepping down after more than 30 years on the court. A Republican appointee, he has held the key vote on such high-profile issues as abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, guns, campaign finance and voting rights.

Kennedy said he has informed his colleagues and Trump of his plans, and that his retirement will take effect at the end of July.

Trump praised Kennedy as a man of “tremendous vision” and said his search for a new justice would begin “immediately.”

Without Kennedy, the court will be split between four liberal justices who were appointed by Democratic presidents and four conservatives who were named by Republicans. Trump’s nominee is likely to give the conservatives a solid majority and will face a Senate process in which Republicans hold the slimmest majority, but Democrats can’t delay confirmation.

I wonder if Justice Ginsberg will hold on for the next six years - she is 85. I wish Justice Kennedy the best.

Great news from the Department of Justice:

Justice Department Settles Claims Against Landscaping Company for Discriminating Against U.S. Workers
The Justice Department today reached a settlement agreement with Triple H Services LLC, (Triple H), a landscaping company based in Newland, North Carolina, that conducts business in Virginia and four other states. The agreement resolves the Department’s investigation into whether Triple H discriminated against qualified and available U.S. workers based on their citizenship status by preferring to hire temporary workers with H-2B visas, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The Department’s investigation found that although Triple H went through the motions of advertising over 450 landscape laborer vacancies in five states, it did so in a manner that misled U.S. workers about the available positions and prevented or deterred some from applying. The Department found that Triple H did not consider several qualified U.S. workers who applied for positions in Virginia during the recruitment period, and instead hired H-2B visa workers. In several states where jobs were available, the Department found that Triple H prematurely closed the online job application process for U.S. worker applicants, filled positions with H-2B visa workers without first advertising the jobs to U.S. workers in the relevant locations, or advertised vacancies in a manner that did not make the postings visible to job seekers using state workforce agency online services.

The Department concluded that in taking these actions, Triple H effectively denied U.S. workers access to jobs based on its preference for hiring temporary H-2B visa workers to fill the positions. Refusing to consider or hire qualified and available U.S. workers based on their citizenship status violates the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, regardless of whether an employer has complied with other rules governing the use of temporary employment-based visa programs.

Under the settlement, Triple H must establish a back pay fund, with a cap of $85,000, to compensate certain individuals who were harmed by its practices. The agreement also requires Triple H to pay $15,600 in civil penalties, engage in enhanced recruitment activities to attract U.S. workers, and be subject to Departmental monitoring for a three-year period.

Good - make it hurt. We have a lot of our own people looking for work in the US to start handing jobs out to people from other nations.

Baby steps

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Signs of change - Kim has stopped flying missiles over Japan and Guam, over 500 of our dead soldiers remains have been returned, they have announced the location of several hertofore secret nuclear labs and production facilities and now this - from FOX News:

In sign of detente, North Korea skips annual anti-US rally
In another sign of detente following the summit between leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, North Korea has decided to skip one of the most symbolic and politically charged events of its calendar: the annual "anti-U.S. imperialism" rally marking the start of the Korean War.

Fist-pumping, flag-waving and slogan-shouting masses of Pyongyang residents normally assemble each year for the rally to kick off a month of anti-U.S., Korean War-focused events designed to strengthen nationalism and unity. It all culminates on July 27, which North Korea celebrates as a national holiday called the day of "Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War."

Last year's event was held on Kim Il Sung Square with a reported 100,000 people attending. North Korea even issued special anti-U.S. postage stamps.

Officials had no on-the-record comment on the decision not to hold the event this year. But Associated Press staff in the North Korean capital confirmed Monday it would not be held.

Very cool - a big thanks to President Trump for pulling this off.

An interesting shift - North Korea

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From the Beeb:

North Korean propaganda changes its tune
Banners and posters displayed across the capital and other towns have typically featured the US as a brutal imperialist aggressor and South Korea or Japan as Washington's willing allies.

But visitors to the country say they've seen those posters replaced by propaganda pushing economic progress and the inter-Korean rapprochement.

Leading newspapers in the tightly controlled country have also seen a shift in tone, a sign the country is starting to reflect its recent diplomatic thaw to the people.

Wonderful news - 68 years of war finally coming to a close. Lots of propaganda posters at the site but older and current. Quite the shift!

Reorganizing the Federal Government

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Great idea - he actually uses the word accountable:

Oh this is wonderful

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True leadership:

Progress in North Korea

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Two items of note. From 38 North:

North Korea Razing Key Missile Test Stand
New commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea is razing the missile test stand at the Iha-ri Driver Training and Test Facility north of the city of Kusong in the wake of Kim Jong Un’s April statement announcing a unilateral suspension of ballistic missile and nuclear tests. The stand is the only known facility used for land-based, canister-launched ballistic missile ejection tests critical for developing the solid-propellant Pukguksong-2 (KN-15) medium-range ballistic missile and its follow-on systems. The stand could also have been used for testing larger canister-based ballistic missiles such as the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) displayed during the April 2017 military parade in Pyongyang. It is unclear whether the destruction of the stand is an indication that the North is suspending this portion of its missile program or that Pyongyang plans to erect other similar facilities in the future.

And this from Breitbart:

Trump, Kim, Bolton Featured in Massive North Korean Newspaper Spread
North Korea’s state newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, dedicated its front page and its first spread Wednesday to photos and analysis of Tuesday’s meeting between dictator Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

The photos also prominently featured American National Security Adviser John Bolton, whom various North Korean media outlets described just a few weeks ago as an “absurd” “racist” and “human scum”

North Korea’s government media, the only legal news outlets in the country, have traditionally waited days and sometimes months to publish news from abroad. Rodong Sinmun took months to mention that Kim Jong-un had agreed to meet Trump personally and published photos of Kim visiting Beijing and Dalian, China, days after Kim had returned from that trip. The relatively fast and extensive coverage in the state newspaper reflects a major change in protocol in Pyongyang.

The photos of President Donald Trump are also likely the first that many North Koreans will have seen of the American president, as state media generally avoid broadcasting any content from abroad so as to keep North Koreans from seeing how prosperous the outside world can be:

And this is really good:

Tuesday morning’s edition of Rodong Sinmun featured extensive coverage of Kim Jong-un’s tour of Singapore, including not just photos of the dictator, but Singapore’s impressive skyline and attractive nighttime vistas, an unprecedented look into the outside world for the average North Korean. Kim, the newspaper reported, “said Singapore is clean and beautiful and every building is stylish as he heard of in the past, adding he is going to learn a lot from the good knowledge and experience of Singapore in various fields in the future.”

Kim wants to join the world and President Trump offered a hand.

Meanwhile, back at the office

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From Axios:

Scoop: Kushner to visit Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia for peace plan talks
President Trump's Middle East peace team, senior adviser Jared Kushner and special envoy Jason Greenblatt, will travel to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia next week to discuss the next stages of the peace effort and the crisis in Gaza, a senior U.S. official tells me.

Why it matters: The official said Kushner and Greenblatt want to discuss lingering questions they have as they finish drafting the peace plan, including the optimal time for launching it. The U.S. official added the trip may include other stops as well, but does not include a meeting with Palestinian officials — who are refusing to meet following Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

From the U.S. official:

    • "The peace team didn’t ask for a meeting [with the Palestinians] for this trip. The Palestinian leadership will know Kushner and Greenblatt are in the region and if the Palestinian leadership wants to meet, Kushner and Greenblatt are ready to meet."
    • "The administration wants to launch the plan when the circumstances are right, and Kushner and Greenblatt want to hear the parties’ thoughts on that. The administration has not set a date yet for launching the plan."

I love that the "palestinians" are not being invited to the table. When they act responsibly, they will be given a seat at the adult's table. Until then...

Support from unlikely places! Clinton here. Today, from Vermont Biz:

Sanders statement on Trump-Kim summit
"While very light on substance, the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore represents a positive step in de-escalating tensions between our countries, addressing the threat of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, and moving toward a more peaceful future. Congress has an important role to play in making sure this is a meaningful and serious process and not just a series of photo ops."

The next couple of years will be interesting to say the least...

Heh - from The Daily Caller:

SHE COULD BECOME THE FIRST NATIVE AMERICAN CONGRESSWOMAN — NOW EVERYONE’S MAKING THE SAME JOKE
Deb Haaland is one step closer to becoming the first Native American congresswoman in U.S. history. She won her New Mexico primary Tuesday night in a district that leans blue and is currently held by a retiring Democrat.

In an interview with ABC, Haaland said, “In 230 years, there’s never been a Native American woman in Congress. I have never seen myself in that body of our government. Ten years ago, when I was out in Indian country knocking on doors and driving folks to the polls, I never thought I would run for Congress.”

Haaland is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna Native American tribe and both her parents are veterans. Her father is buried in Arlington cemetery.

When Haaland’s victory was announced, however, commenters on Twitter could not help themselves but poke fun at another “Native American” congresswoman, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Warren infamously claimed Native American heritage on numerous college applications. When confronted over proof of the claim, she said her family has “high cheekbones, like all of the Indians do.”

Warren is a fake. She could not get into Harvard Law based on her scholarship so she lied about her ancestry and got in through the diversity program. All Hail Diversity.

Unlikely compatriots

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This would be fun to see - from the New York Post:

Dennis Rodman will be in Singapore for Trump-Kim summit
NBA star turned Kim Jong Un soulmate Dennis Rodman will be in Singapore during President Trump’s summit with the North Korean dictator next week, The Post has learned.

“The Worm” will arrive in the country a day before the June 12 sitdown — and sources said he could even play some sort of role in the negotiations.

The two are actually bestest buddies - Rodman has traveled to N Korea five times.

All over but the photo op. Don Surber looks at this article and reads between the lines:

Kim fires his generals
Less than 10 days before his summit with President Donald John Trump, Kim Jong Un has fired his top three military men, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

Folks, I smell a surrender.

Reuters reported that they were hawks who oppose the denuclearization of North Korea.

"All of the newly promoted officials are younger than their predecessors, according to Yonhap, especially Ri Yong Gil, 63, who is 21 years younger than Ri Myong Su," Reuters reported.

There is a meme out there. It shows a jubilant Kim embracing a general. The caption says: "Dude, we're getting a McDonald's."

Don is one of those old-school journalists who are too far and few between these days. He actually does his homework and is able to make a decent analysis of a given situation. Don's take:

Kim wants to live in a normal country.

His father sent him to school in Switzerland, where he enjoyed an odd freedom even though the school had strict discipline.

Then as an adult, Kim returned home to a country that is crappy. It is a land of Stalinist skyscrapers with starving people. He is idolized, but trapped living in the worse country on Earth.

Trump can offer Kim normal. Kim's biggest threat is China. His land is China's puppet. Trump said cut the strings, and I'll protect you. Trump knows China cannot do a damned thing. Chairman Xi's regime survives because it has a billion-dollars-a-day trade surplus with the USA. No way he can risk that over a bunch of Korean nobodies.

Makes perfect sense to me - China and Russia are pissed. So are the Democrats. Screw them. MAGA and take North Korea (and South Korea) along for the ride. We are seeing the wakening of an economic powerhouse.

Good news - unemployment

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued their report this morning and the numbers looks good. From The Wall Street Journal:

Unemployment Rate Falls to 18-Year Low; Solid Hiring in May
The U.S. labor market was firing on all cylinders in May: the unemployment rate fell to an 18-year low, employers added jobs at a faster pace and wages modestly improved.

The unemployment rate ticked down to a seasonally adjusted 3.8%, matching April 2000 as the lowest reading since 1969, the Labor Department said Friday. Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 223,000 in May, a jump from gains from March and April. Average hourly earnings ticked up to a 2.7% from a year earlier—and raises were even stronger for nonmanagers.

And a bit more:

The unemployment rate for women, 3.6% last month, was the lowest since 1953, when far smaller share of women sought jobs. The jobless rates for blacks, Latinos and those without high-school diplomas are trending near record lows.

President Trump is doing the job that Obama or Hillary could never do. Those people simply are unfit to govern - they are not leaders.

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