Daily Recap — May 24

‘There is no compromise when it comes to corruption. You have to fight it.”

— A. K. Antony


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TRUMP TAKES BACK CONTROL

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The big story of the day was undoubtedly PDT’s letter to Rocket Man informing him that the previously planned Singapore summit set for June 12 is now officially cancelled. It comes after a week of uncertainty following Rocket Man’s sudden attitude shift, the possible reasons for which were covered in yesterday’s Recap. 

The entire letter can be read below:

The letter is a good move. It’s hard to think of a better message to deliver or a better way to deliver it, as it covers all the bases. The endgame remains the same. We need Kim to see this as a choice between prosperity and self-preservation and total destruction.

In the meantime, however, there will be negotiating and lots of it. That means lots of erratic statements and behavior to go along with it. Rocket Man very well be planning on giving up the goods in the end, but he’d be an idiot not to give us a hard time along the way. He wants to get all he can, as any leader would.

Or perhaps he has no intention of ever letting go of his nukes or his ICBM program and this is all a dog and pony show to distract us until the aforementioned weapon capacities are completed. In that case, Kim would have to either be crazy or simply unconvinced that PDT is willing to use force. 

In any event, the Trump letter elicited a response from Rocket Man that gives us hope that things may work out after all. 

kimletter

The most significant portion of the North Korean response is the signaled openness to resume talks with the U.S. So long as that remains the case, we have a chance. 

However, we’ve yet to see how serious they truly are about this sit-down, as they’ve gone in the complete opposite direction the last few days. Aside from the renewed fire and fury threats, North Korean officials failed to show up to a recent meeting with U.S. officials, which was one of the main reasons PDT cancelled the summit altogether.

“They waited and they waited,” one official said. “The North Koreans never showed up. The North Koreans never told us anything. They simply stood us up.”

And now they’re putting out messages pretending not to know what the hell is going on, as if PDT just randomly cancelled the meeting despite North Korea being completely above board in every way. This is what I was worried about when I warned about the supposed destruction of the North Korean nuke site, which had already been deemed unusable by people who know about this sort of thing. Kim is being deceitful, and that doesn’t bode well for the future of this situation. 

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BIG PICTURE:

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Let’s get right to the point here.

By agreeing to meet with Lil Kim, we conferred an air of legitimacy to his regime. Now, he’s milking it for all it’s worth to see just how far he can go with his nonsense. My personal opinion is that Kim has every intention of sitting down with PDT. He would be insane not to, and I don’t for a second believe him to be deranged. He’s proved himself to be rational in the past, at least every time it’s mattered.

The big prize Kim is currently after is the “complete denuclearization of the peninsula.” Remember, that has a completely different meaning for Rocket Man than it does for us. As I’ve covered in depth here on several occasions, Kim’s idea of complete denuclearization is the wholesale removal of American troops and thus influence in the region, whereas our idea of complete denuclearization is just him getting rid of his friggin nuke program. 

And as I’ve said numerous times, this request isn’t all that far-fetched in the big picture of things, as no one wants to stop policing Korea more than PDT. He’s a non-interventionist by nature, though the early stages of his presidency haven’t afforded him the luxury of action in that direction. 

The problem is, Kim will want it immediately and that simply isn’t going to happen. We need our contingency forces on hand to ensure things go exactly as they’re supposed to, meaning Kim doesn’t enjoy the absence of U.S. troops at the exact time that his missile capabilities reach their long-awaited goal. We need his weapons destroyed before anything else happens. We’d be stupid to accept anything less; in fact, anything less would be a waste of time. 

The path forward is dangerous but simple. The maximum pressure sanctions campaign will continue, as will PDT’s insistence that we’re prepared to use very bad weapons against North Korea if they leave us no choice. It will be a tense time, to be sure, but Kim will make a mile out of any inch we give, and thanks to our feckless leaders over the last 30 years, we no longer have any miles to give.

I continue to believe that Kim takes the threat of force from PDT seriously, which is incredibly important. Without the credible threat of force, none of this happens.

Now, it’s a matter of seeing how much BS the Rocket Man regime is willing to push until things really get serious. 

Simply put, they’re looking for Trump to blink. I believe they’ll be thoroughly disappointed in the result. 

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IMPORTANT INTERVIEWS AHEAD

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House Republicans are preparing to conduct the first interviews in more than four months in their investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Hillzdawg email probe, and these could be of serious significance.

A joint investigation run by the Judiciary and the Oversight and Government Reform committees has set three witness interviews for June, including testimony from Bill Priestap, the assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, and Michael Steinbach, the former head of the FBI’s national security division.

The third witness is John Giacalone, who preceded Steinbach as the bureau’s top national security official and oversaw the first seven months of the Clinton probe, according to multiple congressional sources.


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Priestap is the biggest prize.

As the head of the FBI counterintelligence division, he held a pivotal leadership position in both the Hillzdawg and PutinGate probes and was in a supervisory position over everyone’s favorite Trump-hating counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok. You know, the idiot who texted his corruption over FBI-issued phones.

 

The joint Judiciary–Oversight review — led by chairs Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Trey Gowdy (R-SC), respectively — is centered on the bureau’s decisionmaking in both the investigation of Hillary’s private server probe and PutinGate. The only question is why Priestap and co. weren’t hauled up to Capitol Hill a long time ago. Of all the people to speak to about possible improprieties with these investigations, you’d think he would be the first guy called in.

Then again, maybe they wanted to gather some information first. 


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Then again, the joint Oversight-Judicial review has left much to be desired in the months since it was launched.

Since October, the panel has reportedly interviewed only two witnesses — of about 20 friggin potential witnesses total — which is a flat out failure of investigation any way you slice it. 

I suppose I shouldn’t complain, though, since we seem to be cooking with grease now.


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All three interviews are scheduled separately. Priestap will appear in the first week of June, Giacalone in the second and Steinbach in the final week of the month, at least according to congressional aides.

The eerily and unreasonably shiny Trey Gowdy has described the investigation as a serious inquiry into the bureau’s conduct during the Clinton investigation — which also happens to be under the watchful eye of Justice Dept. IG Mike Horowitz — rather than an effort to re-litigate the decision not to bring charges against Hillary.

Why is Gowdy running from the mere suggestion that they’re relitigating the Hillary case? THAT’S WHAT YOU DO WHEN A CASE WASN’T LITIGATED PROPERLY THE FIRST TIME, YOU WORTHLESS GOP OXYGEN THIEVES. 


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The Judiciary–Oversight inquiry is running on parallel tracks to the investigation spearheaded by House Intelligence Committee, which is led by our boy Devin Nunes, who has zeroed in on the shady surveillance of the Trump campaign by the DOJ and FBI during the election.

But the two investigations — alongside similar probes from a handful of Senate Republicans — share many of the same targets, especially Strzok. Despite his being smack dab in the middle of pretty much every corrupt scheme to be uncovered thus far, though, neither he nor his mistress and fellow coochie-capper Lisa Page are scheduled to testify on the Hill in June. It doesn’t mean they won’t testify, but it won’t be in the next few weeks. 


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As his subordinate, Strzok would run pretty much all his decisions by Priestap, as his text messages with Page clearly show.

Priestap was also involved in another hotly-contested episode during the 2016 election: The decision by Leakin’ James Comey to call Hillary’s handling of her emails “extremely careless” rather than “grossly negligent,”a move clearly designed to avoid criminal prosecution, as “grossly negligent” is the exact language used in the federal statute. Never mind that the two terms literally mean the exact same thing. 

God I hate lawyers.

According to records released earlier this year by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Priestap reviewed and provided edits to the statement Comey gave in July 2016 announcing that he would not be recommending charges.

That’s a big deal because it demonstrates Priestap’s involvement in the cover-up. He knew what he was doing when he suggested those edits. He’s just as bad as the rest of them. And like Strzok, he’s right in the middle of everything.

I sincerely hope Gowdy does his homework and doesn’t screw this up. 

Priestap’s name also appears in a controversial memo drafted by staff for Nunes, alleging that the DOJ inappropriately obtained a surveillance warrant on wannabe campaign aide Carter Page by using the pee-pee dossier that was paid for in part by Hillary, Inc.

According to the Nunes memo, Priestap told the committee that corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its “infancy” at the time the bureau first applied for a surveillance warrant on Page, which is fancy bureaucrat-speak for “not a damn thing in there had been verified.” 


 

Steinbach, as executive assistant director of the national security division, also worked closely with Comey and Strzok on both the Hillary and PutinGate investigations and was involved in the drafting of the Comey statement.

He left the FBI last year and has been a public defender of a number of Trump/Nunes targets at the FBI, including Deep State McCabe and Strzok.

 

As for Giacalone, it’s unclear exactly how much he has to offer, but seeing as how he ran the Hillzdawg probe in its first few months, there must be something. If Gowdy is the prosecutor everyone says, he should be able to ask about investigatory protocols and whether they were followed when Giacalone ran the show.

You know, like, “Mr. Giacalone, is it standard practice for the bureau to give immunity to virtually every person of interest in an investigation despite not even having impaneled a grand jury?”

YOU KNOW, STUFF LIKE THAT. 


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BOTTOM LINE:

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Priestap knows where the bodies are buried, so to speak. The legacy media isn’t going to follow this story at all so we’re going to have to keep our eyes and ears glued to alternative media. It took some serious digging just to learn that they were headed to Capitol Hill.

Do NOT let this opportunity get away, Gowdy and co. These interviews have the potential to completely blow up this scandal.

Then again, something tells me PDT knows a whole lot more about Bill Priestap than Gowdy ever will. 

And he certainly knows better how to use that ammo.

Stay tuned. 

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LONG LIVE COMMUNITY BANKS

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PDT today signed a bipartisan bill (I know, it shocked me too) to loosen key portions of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, cementing the first major changes to Barry Soetoro’s landmark banking law and beginning the unraveling of yet another big, horrible component of the Obama legacy. 

“We’ve kept a lot of promises,” #TheDonald said at a ceremony in the West Wing. “This is truly a great day for Americans, and a great day for workers and small businesses across the nation.”


The big guy enacted the legislation during a White House ceremony just two days after the House of Representatives passed the bill to exempt dozens of banks from strict federal regulation.

Trump has long pledged to dismantle Dodd-Frank and giddily touted the bill he signed today as the first step in that process, which it most certainly is. It’s not a full repeal and replace as had been promised, but the easing of restrictions on dozens of banks is most certainly a gut punch to the communist law, just as the repeal of the individual mandate torched the foundation of ObamaCare. 




The final compromise, which required the help of many moderate Dims, leaves a substantial chunk of Dodd-Frank in place, but provides a major boost for banks and thus the entrepreneurs to whom they seek to lend. The measure releases regional banks from tighter regulation by raising the threshold for closer Fed oversight from $50 billion to $250 billion in assets.

Banks below the new threshold will no longer be automatically subject to annual Fed stress tests and capital buffers meant to protect large firms are from severe financial crises.

Those banks are also no longer required to submit for Fed approval a “living will” that outlines how a bank’s assets could be liquidated upon the firm’s failure without causing a widespread meltdown.

The bill includes several provisions to scrap rules for community banks and credit unions. Firms that hold 500 or fewer mortgages a year will no longer have to report some home loan data to federal regulators under anti-discrimination laws.

It also broadens the definition of qualified mortgages for smaller firms and exempts banks and credit unions with less than $10 billion in assets from the Volcker Rule, which bans firms from making risky bets with their own assets.


PDT said the rollbacks would help community banks and credit unions become “vibrant and strong,” insisting years of overregulation had suffocated small firms.

“They shouldn’t be regulated the same way as big complex financial institutions,” Trump said. “This is all about the Dodd-Frank disaster.”

This excerpt from a Hill article describes the reaction of the small independent banking community: 


Bank and credit union lobbying groups praised Trump for enacting the regulatory relief they’ve sought for years.

Rebeca Romero Rainey, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America, said the law “unravels many of the suffocating regulatory burdens our nation’s community banks face and puts community banks in a much better position to unleash their full economic potential.”


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BIG PICTURE:

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This will have the same effect as most of the other deregulatory efforts of the Trump administration, which is more freedom and thus more prosperity. It can be pretty boring to get deep into the weeds with this stuff, so I’ll explain it as succinctly as possible.

The big guys can afford government regulation, the little guys can’t. Just as big corporations can afford lawyers to sift through and pay for thousands of pages in government rules while their small competitors are put out of business attempting the same feat, large banks have been able to use their advantage in regulation management to put smaller banks out of business.

Are you looking to start a small business? Have you thought about going to your community bank for a loan to start that venture you’ve always dreamed of?

Welp, there’s never been a better time.

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RIGHT TO TRY PASSES

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It really is amazing how much the Trump administration gets done amid all the chaos.

For over a year, PDT has been telling Congress to pass “Right to Try” for terminally ill patients. Now, after passing the Senate nine friggin months ago,  the House has finally followed suit with 250-169 vote.

“Patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives,” PDT said back in January during the State of the Union. “It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the ‘Right to Try.'”

Trump was all too happy to point out yet another accomplishment that previous administrations were unable to produce:

“Big legislation will be signed by me shortly. After many years, RIGHT TO TRY and big changes to DODD FRANK,” he tweeted yesterday.

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THAT’S NICE, TREY, BUT WHAT THE HECK IS IT?

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Excellent question! 

The “Right to Try” bill allows terminally ill patients to ask for experimental medicines that have passed Phase 1 of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process.

It would authorize patients diagnosed with life-ending illnesses to use unapproved medications — so long as they have undergone early testing on humans and are under continual evaluation. Patients also would have to have tried other treatment options.

Simply put, it allows people on death’s door to bypass typical FDA regulations in order to try experimental drugs that could potentially save their lives. The odds of success will likely be low in most cases, but it’s a heckuva lot better to have a low chance than none at all. 

Honestly, why would anyone be against this? What do we have to lose by allowing a consenting, terminally ill adult to try something that’s in development? Not only could it be beneficial to the patient, but the medical community can get data on the drug’s efficacy. We literally have nothing to lose here. 

 


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Thank you for getting this done, Mr. President. If it only saves one life, it’s worth it. 

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MEDAL OF HONOR AWARDED

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I can’t speak for PDT, but I’m willing to bet that if asked, he would tell us that the awarding of the Medal of Honor is among his greatest joys as POTUS. It’s hard to imagine a higher honor.

Members of  “the Old Guard” placed American flags at more than 228,000 graves at Arlington National Cemetery today for Memorial Day, and a retired Navy SEAL, whose mind is flush with the memories of some of those men on a daily basis, was awarded the Medal of Honor.


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In March 2002 an ambush took place that would became known as the Battle of Roberts Ridge, one of the most savage of the Afghan war.

Navy SEAL Britt Slabinski led his seven-man recon team onto a ridge line from which he could call in air strikes on al Qaeda fighters in a valley 10,000 feet below. But the enemy had already occupied the ridge and opened fire on Slabinski’s helicopter.

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures after awarding the Medal of Honor to Retired Navy Master Chief Special Warfare Operator Britt Slabinski for “conspicuous gallantry” in the East Room of the White House in Washington

PDT conducting one of his highest honors as POTUS

 

“The aircraft was moving very violently and hydraulic fluid all over the floor from the — those big bullets the size of your finger were passing through the aircraft,” Slabinski said. 

One of his team, Neil Roberts, slipped and fell out of the helicopter as it veered off to make a crash landing. Slabinski commandeered a second helicopter and went back to get Roberts. He made the decision to go back in even though he knew the enemy would be waiting. 

“I knew that Neil didn’t really have any other options, that we had to go get him,” Slabinski said. 

A video from a Predator drone overhead shows Slabinski and his men coming off the helicopter to rescue Roberts. What they didn’t know is he had already been killed. Next to Slabinski was Air Force Sgt. John Chapman. A machine gun opened fire.

“John went down right away and I could feel the bullets passing through my clothes,” Slabinski said. 

Slabinski tried to silence the machine gun, but the incoming fire was overwhelming.

“My guys are basically just being torn apart up here,” he said. 

He ordered his team to pull back off the ridge, but first he checked on Chapman. 

“I go over to where John was and crawl right over the top of John and I’m looking for some sign of life from John. I didn’t get any, any sign from him,” Slabinski said. 

But later analysis of the video indicated Chapman might have been still alive, raising the awful possibility that he had been left behind.  

Slabinski remains certain he saw no sign of life in Chapman, but it is a decision that will stay with him for the rest of his life.

“Not a day goes by — not a day goes by that I don’t think of it. Not a day,” Slabinski said. 


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The battle raged for 17 more hours and five more Americans lost their lives before it was. 

“The magnitude of what we lost there is what I want people to focus on, because that’s what I carry with me every day,” Slabinski said. 


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Britt Sablinski embodies the best of every service member; a man of selfless service who thinks of his men long before he ever takes himself into account. He would give anything to have them back, including the fancy medal around his neck.

Before receiving the award, he specifically asked PDT to recognize his entire squad, as it could have been any one of them standing in his place. They all fought for each other on the ridge that day. And they would all do it again.

With all the partisan foodfights raging daily on television, online, at dinner tables and classrooms, let us never forget to stop and recognize what a real fight looks like. And with all the politicians posing as leaders and looking at focus group data to determine which issue they’ll tackle with the most fervor, let’s always remember what real courage and leadership looks like.

Britt Sablisnki’s service doesn’t end with the battlefield. He serves every day to remind us of what real Americans look like.

Thank you, Sir. 

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There it is, homeskillet. You know the drill: questions, comments, concerns, memes, insults, compliments, stickers, jokes, emojis and, if we have time, complaints.


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