Daily Recap — June 11

“Your friends will believe in your potential, your enemies will make you live up to it.”

— Tim Fargo


.

.

.

.

IT’S FINALLY HERE

.

.

Here we go, folks. The big Trump-Rocket Man summit is a mere few hours away at the time of this writing.

I’ve analyzed the North Korea situation to the point of carpal tunnel, but just to keep things fresh in everyone’s mind, we’ll do a comprehensive rundown of what to expect from this historical meeting. 

Let’s get it on!

.


.

WHY SINGAPORE?

.

Singapore is well-known for punching above its weight in both diplomatic and strategic terms in Asia. Its diplomats are top-notch and have experience hosting high-level, international events—like the historic meeting between Chinese President Ping Pong Table and then-Taiwan president, Ma Ying-jeou, in 2015.

Singapore also has comparatively balanced relations with China and the United States, so it’s seen as a politically neutral host. The venue also offers diplomatic backup for the U.S. and North Korea since both countries maintain embassies there.

It’s probably the best possible venue for this sort of thing.

.


.

WHAT WILL BE DISCUSSED?

.

Well, lots of things, but the gist could be described as follows: denuclearization in exchange for economic development. Many questions will need to be answered along the way, though.

For example, will the two leaders lay out timelines for denuclearization, including agreement regarding a ladder of follow-on engagements to drive towards that goal? Will they agree on interim steps to build confidence and provide visible proof points of progress? Will Rocket Man commit not to proliferate nuclear or missile weapons technology while this process unfolds? Will Rocket Man renew his pledge not to test nuclear or missile technologies while talks are ongoing?

These are just a few examples, all of which are modest and doable if there is a genuine shared desire to resolve some of the underlying challenges. And that’s why Rocket Man will be required to, at the very least, answer all these questions before the summit can be considered a success.

.


.

WHAT WILL DENUCLEARIZATION LOOK LIKE/MEAN?

.

Now that’s the $350,000 question (the $64K question adjusted for inflation).

I’ll address two issues: One is to lay out a way to think about a step-by-step process for denuclearization; the second is to think longer term about the U.S.-South Korea alliance if and when the NK threat is reduced or diffused.

In a nutshell, I think a good way to think about denuclearization is a step-by-step process based on the general understanding that we’re not going to get everything we want right away. We’re just not. I can’t see a man whose regime has been telling us for many years that it needs nuclear weapons for its security to give these up lightly—even if Rocket Man does receive lots of economic benefits.

It’s more realistic to think about the current freeze on testing being followed by a verifiable cap on the size of the NK arsenal. The way to do that is to verify that the centrifuges aren’t spinning and that reprocessing facilities aren’t chemically removing plutonium from fuel rods, which means we have to get on the ground with inspectors to get verifiable data.

We’re going to have to make some inducements to NK just to get that, even though it’s a reversible step because they could always kick the inspectors out and turn the centrifuges back on. So, for that stage of capping—the second stage—I think the inducement are likely to be real, but modest. We could suspend a couple of U.N. sanctions, perhaps, or give some humanitarian aid. There are many avenues by which to trade here.

The third step is dismantling North Korea’s production capability for making more nuclear weapons and longer-range missiles. At that stage, PDT could argue that he had gotten further than the Agreed Framework, or even the Iran Deal, because he could have dismantled and removed those capabilities from North Korea.

This would put a ceiling on the future North Korean nuclear arsenal, and I think for that, we could first suspend and then lift a lot of the U.N. sanctions that have been imposed in the last three years or so. That allows Rocket Man to trade with South Korea, China, Russia, and others. We still would keep the U.S. sanctions on, in my estimation, until he gets to the fourth stage, which is actual disarmament, because we cannot condone a nuclear NK at any time. We could continue to have diplomacy with Pyongyang, and we could even have a peace treaty along the way, but don’t look for any serious sanctions relief package until that arsenal is verifiably reduced.

So in summary, it’s freeze, cap, dismantle, disarm. Some of these steps could overlap, and one could imagine, say, a down payment of ten nuclear warheads earlier on in the process. I just don’t think we’re going to do very well if we expect all the nuclear warheads to come out in the first year, or even in PDT’s first term.

.


.

THE OTHER SIDE OF DENUCLEARIZATION

.

Now that we’ve covered what denuclearization is likely to look like, let’s explore what it actually means, which could vary according the respective sides.

As I explained recently, Kim is using these negotiations as leverage to drive a wedge between U.S./South Korea relations. It’s like this: whereas we view denuclearization as the complete; verifiable and irreversible destruction of the North Korean nuke program, the North Koreans (or Rocket Man, more specifically) view denuclearization as the Americans getting the hell out of the region. 

This is a non-starter for our side, at least for now. According to (reliable) reports, the prospect of removing U.S. troops from South Korea is off the table. But as previously explained, that shouldn’t be seen as an indicator that U.S. troop redeployment is never on the table.

What would be the purpose of the U.S./South Korea alliance if we achieve a demilitarized North Korea? It’s worth starting to think about—and socialize with South Korea and China—some concepts for why the U.S.-South Korea alliance actually should endure over the longer term. The South Koreans would of course come to their own decisions about what kind of alliance they might want, as they should.

Let’s be clear — the US/SK alliance isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, if for no other reason than our intertwined economies. The threat from North Korea preceded its nuclear program, and conventional, chemical, and other forces could continue afterwards. So the U.S.-South Korea alliance still makes sense in the long term, even if North Korea as a threat goes away. That being said, the face of the US/SK military alliance could very well change drastically over this next decade depending upon North Korea’s posture in the region. 

A simple way to think about it is the more toothless Rocket Man becomes, the more willing we’ll be to lighten our footprint on the Korean Peninsula. But those nukes will have to go before any moves are made in that direction. 

.


.

BIG PICTURE:

.

While certain aspects of the North Korea analysis have changed over the past year, the bottom line has not: Rocket Man must fear Trump.

That is to say, he must leave that summit tonight without a shred of doubt in his mind that PDT will crater his palace if things aren’t kept above board. One needn’t attend the Center for Information Dominance to reach that conclusion. It’s a brute fact of the world; bad guys respond to strength above all else, often to the exclusion of all else. 

So we can sit and discuss the finer points of denuclearization and the geopolitical leverage at play in trying to achieve it, but none of it means anything unless PDT looks Rocket Man straight in the eye tonight and doesn’t blink.

If history is any guide, he’s up to the task.

Some would even argue that he was born for it. 

.


.

.

.

.

.

GRASSLEY STILL PUSHING

.

.

On Feb. 15, 2017 — 16 months ago to those of you keeping score — Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein asked the DOJ to turn over the transcript of former national security adviser Mike Flynn’s infamous call with the Russian ambassador (the call that ultimately got him fired), plus other documents related to the Flynn case.

Shocker! — they refused.

Some of Grassley’s and Feinstein’s questions were answered the next month, on March 15, 2017, when the FBI’s then-director Leakin’ James Comey briefed the committee on Flynn and other #PutinGate matters. It was at that briefing that Comey dropped a bombshell, telling lawmakers the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he lied to them.

“Then-director Comey led us to believe during that briefing … that the Justice Department was unlikely to prosecute [Flynn] for false statements made in that interview,” Grassley wrote later.

After the March 2017 briefing, Grassley and others made the reasonable assumption that Flynn would not be charged. They were surprised on Dec. 1, 2017, when — months after the PutinGate investigation passed from Comey and the Justice Department to King Bob Mueller’s witchhunters — Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.


.

Last month, a Feinstein-less Grassley repeated his demand for the Flynn transcript, and also for the FBI’s so-called 302 report, in which the agents who interviewed Flynn made extensive notes on what was said. Grassley also asked for any other notes or documents relating to the interview. And Grassley asked that the FBI make available agent Joe Pientka, one of the two agents (along with NeverTrumper Peter Strzok) who conducted the Flynn interview.

Again, the DOJ refused, and this time with more than a hint of impatience. In a May 29, 2018, letter to Grassley, assistant attorney general Stephen Boyd recounted details of the Flynn plea deal at length and delivered what boiled down to a simple message: Flynn pleaded guilty, so stop bothering us.

“Whatever Mr. Comey may have said and whatever Mr. Flynn’s demeanor,” wrote Boyd to Grassley, “the evidence in the public record proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Mr. Flynn knowingly made false statements about contacts with the Russian ambassador.” Referring to the Flynn case as a “pending criminal prosecution” — Flynn is currently awaiting sentencing — Boyd said turning over evidence to Congress could create “the reality or appearance of political interference.”


.

Grassley wasn’t impressed. And now, for lack of a better term, he’s friggin pissed.

“The department’s reply … is insufficient,” Grassley wrote in a June 6 response, adding that Boyd “relies on improper excuses in refusing to provide the requested information.”

Grassley noted that he and the rest of the committee waited for more than a year for the Flynn criminal inquiry to conclude. “It has been more than five months since his guilty plea,” Grassley wrote. “Thus, there is no longer any legitimate reason to withhold facts from the Senate about the circumstances of his conversations with the Russian ambassador and his FBI interview.”

Grassley specifically didn’t buy the department’s argument that Grassley might be interfering with a “pending criminal prosecution.” “There is no pending prosecution” with the guilty plea five months in the past, Grassley argued.

“Simply disclosing facts to the committee could not possibly ‘interfere’ with the case at this late date,” Grassley continued, “assuming those facts are consistent with the representations that prosecutors arranged for Lt. General Flynn to swear to in federal court.”

Did you catch that?

That was the little bomb in Grassley’s letter: The chairman raised the possibility that the facts of the case — the evidence in the phone conversation transcript and the FBI 302 — might be at odds with the particulars of Flynn’s plea. And in case anyone missed the reference, in the next sentence, Grassley wrote: “If the facts are inconsistent with the plea agreement, that would be an entirely different kettle of fish.”

Grassley explained that his request was not done on Flynn’s behalf, nor on the FBI’s. “It might not be in the interests of either the defendant or the prosecutors to disclose facts inconsistent with the plea agreement,” he wrote. “However, it would absolutely be in the interest of Congress and the American people to be aware of any such inconsistencies that may exist.”

Grassley noted that the Flynn case has been talked and talked and talked about. There have been multiple leaks about it. Comey has talked about it during his book tour. A White House memo outlining the developments of January and February 2017 has been leaked. Given all that talk, Grassley wrote, “Presuming that the facts are consistent with the plea agreement, there is absolutely nothing for the department to hide and no reason to act like it has something to hide.”

“Congress has a right to know the full story and to know it now.”

.


.

It’s likely Grassley will eventually get what he wants. After all, in August 2016, in the middle of the presidential campaign, the FBI gave Congress the 302s from interviews with Hillzdawg Clinton and others in the email investigation — an investigation that would be re-opened a few months later. Congress also received 302s in investigations into the Waco debacle, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Clinton pardon scandal, among many other examples.

But why does Grassley want the Flynn 302 so much? What is the source of the clear skepticism in his letter? What does he believe went wrong in the Flynn investigation?


.

First of all, Grassley is a fervent believer in congressional oversight. He is also a long-time supporter of inspectors general, who investigate their agencies and report to Congress. Above all, Grassley simply believes lawmakers have a right to know.

That certainly applies to the Flynn case. “In a briefing in March of 2017, then-FBI Director Comey indicated to Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein that agents who interviewed Lt. Gen. Flynn saw no signs that he was being untruthful, and that the Department was unlikely to bring charges against him,” said Judiciary Committee spokesman Taylor Foy in an email statement. “Obviously, that wasn’t the case, and Mr. Comey has since denied that he ever suggested otherwise. The committee needs a better understanding of the FBI’s interview with Mr. Flynn to reconcile these inconsistencies. Considering that a plea agreement was entered in this case months ago, there’s no reason for the Department to continue withholding information related to the FBI’s investigation into Mr. Flynn.”

Beyond that — and this is referring to Congress generally, not Grassley specifically — there’s no doubt that a number of Republicans suspect the Flynn case is not what it seems. They know that Flynn, a former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, would have been keenly aware of U.S. surveillance capabilities and practices, and thus would have known that a conversation with the Russian ambassador was highly likely to be intercepted and recorded.

Think about it. Flynn knew full well that calls made by Russian officials are intercepted. Does it make sense that he would knowingly lie about a conversation when he knew his questioners had a transcript of the conversation? It defies logic. 

In all likelihood, Comey was telling Congress the truth when he said the DOJ did not anticipate charging Flynn. But then something changed.

That something, of course, was the arrival of King Bob Mueller. All of a sudden, an investigation that appeared to be heading for a big nothingburger was revved back up and resulted in a false statements guilty plea.


.

Was that because some new and damning information was discovered? Was it because Mueller saw the case as a vehicle for pressuring Flynn to become a witness against the president? Was there some other reason?

The FBI 302 will not provide all the answers, but it will be a start.

If you’re impatient, though, I can give you the big picture.

Flynn stumbled upon an answer or two and gave inconsistent facts, as people often do, being human and all. There was no intent to lie and never was, which is supposed to be the bar for prosecution of process crimes such as lying to the FBI.

Flynn was scalped as a way to get to the POTUS, just like Manafort and everyone else involved in Mueller’s witch hunt. It’s just that simple.

Now, we just need the details of how it was done.

.


.

.

.

.

A LITTLE LESS VOTER FRAUD

.

.

Hip hip, hooray! The SCOTUS was useful again today!

.

The court ruled 5-4 that Ohio did not violate federal laws by purging voters who failed to vote for six years and did not confirm their residency. Ohio has the strictest law of its kind in the nation.

The ruling protects similar laws in six states, including several electing governors or U.S. senators this fall. They are Pennsylvania, Georgia, Oregon, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Montana.


.

Justice Samuel Alito noted in his majority opinion that about one in eight voter registrations in the USA are invalid or inaccurate. He said failing to vote cannot be the sole reason for purging voters, but Ohio “removes registrants only if they have failed to vote and have failed to respond to a notice.”

“A state violates the failure-to-vote clause only if it removes registrants for no reason other than their failure to vote,” Alito said. By contrast, he said, Ohio waits six years before removal, following federal law “to the letter.”

Coochie-cap Justice Stephen Breyer penned an eye-bleeding 18-page dissent for the #Resistance wing of the court, marking the sixth time this term the four liberal horsemen have dissented as a bloc. Rather than focusing on messy voter rolls, he recited the history of literacy tests, poll taxes and other restrictions he said were designed to “keep certain groups of citizens from voting.”

Breyer noted that most voters simply ignore the warning notices, leaving their failure to vote as the principal cause for being purged from the rolls. The number who don’t vote or return notices far exceeds the number who actually have moved, he said. 

“The streets of Ohio’s cities are not filled with moving vans; nor has Cleveland become the nation’s residential moving companies’ headquarters,” Breyer said. Rather, Ohio’s process “erects needless hurdles to voting of the kind Congress sought to eliminate.”


.

BIG PICTURE:

.

Ahhhhh, you gotta love that tired old liberal “voting suppression” argument. You see, liberals don’t believe minorities are capable of doing menial tasks such as sending back a confirmation notice or retaining a voter ID card, therefore any effort to make them do so is “racist.” 

Yes, the irony is completely lost on them. That’s what makes them liberal.

It’s a mental disorder. 

The good news is, states have been further empowered to purge their voting rolls in order to ensure that people who don’t belong there go #ByeBye. This naturally upsets the Left, who want as many chances to defraud the process as possible. JFK would’ve never been elected if not for several large graveyards in Illinois, after all.

The big picture is our voting process got a little more secure today. And for that, we should all be thankful.

.


.

.

.

.

DEEP-STATER SURRENDERS

.

.

The former head of security for the Senate Intelligence Committee has turned himself in to the FBI as part of an investigation into government leaks.

James A Wolfe, 58, had served for almost 30 years as one of the Swamp’s top security guys. Now, he’s just another dude charged with lying to the FBI.

.


.

What is he charged with?

.

Wolfe, who retired in May, was charged last Friday for making false statements in December 2017, including his use of encrypted messaging applications and providing sensitive information about the Senate committee to two reporters.

The DOJ accuses Wolfe of being in regular contact with reporters, who he allegedly met at restaurants, bars and in a Senate office building.

In a FBI investigation into unauthorised leaks, agents examined how former #FailingPileOfGarbage Buzzfeed reporter Ali Watkins had learned that former Trump campaign aide Carter Page had met Russian operatives in 2013.

FBI agents confronted Wolfe about knowing Watkins, and he initially denied knowing her.

When agents showed Wolfe pictures of the two together, he admitted they had been in a relationship beginning in 2014, but maintained he had never disclosed to her classified information, according to court documents.  

When last week’s charges against Wolfe were announced, the failing New York Times, where Watkins now works, reported that the FBI seized a year’s worth of records from her as part of the investigation into the leaks. This immediately led to talk of OMG THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS TARGETING REPORTERS, which conspicuously failed to mention what had been done to reporters under the Obama administration, including espionage, hacking and threats to kill credentials. 

After hearing of Wolfe’s arrest, PDT told reporters: “I’m a very big believer in freedom of the press, but I’m also a believer that you cannot leak classified information.”

Unfortunately, Wolfe hasn’t been charged with leaking classified information, although leaking anything about the committee’s official business is illegal. It’s known as “secured info” and it’s not supposed to be leaked.

.


.

Complicating matters further, it appears that the Wolfman lied about a romantic relationship he had with Watkins, who first made a name for herself as a senior at Temple University in 2014 by helping break a major story involving…..wait for it…..the Senate Intelligence committee.

Just a coinky-dink I’m sure.

The indictment also says Wolfe and Watkins had “exchanged tens of thousands of electronic communications, often including daily texts and phone calls”.

Lots of genitalia pics sure to be included in that haul. 

.


.

BIG PICTURE:

.

PDT told his DOJ to crack down on the leaks that have plagued his administration – and now they have made their first high-profile arrest.

James Wolfe is anything but a household name, but as a long-time Senate Intelligence committee staffer he had access to the kind of classified information that has repeatedly surfaced in media reporting.

But while this particular arrest is far from the wave of justice that Trumpers have so long pined for, there are aspects of this story that should worry deep-staters and their butt buddies in the Fake News. Most notably, FBI investigators gained access to communications with journalists via encrypted messaging apps, which should give pause to reporters and sources who might believe their words are hidden from prying eyes.

Not only is the Trump administration in the huddle of high ranking people on Capitol Hill, they’re in places that were formerly thought to be safe. They mean business. 

I don’t look for many bombshells to emerge from the Wolfe case in particular, but I do believe it could be a harbinger of things to come. 

Let’s hope so. 

.


.

.

.

.

YOU HAVE TO GO BACK

.

.

Much can be said of Keebler Jeff’s tenure as AG, but no one can say he hasn’t tried on immigration.

Today, Keebler Jeff announced the Trump administration will stop granting asylum to victims of gang violence and domestic abuse, 

“Generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-governmental actors will not qualify for asylum,” Sessions wrote in his decision.

“The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes — such as domestic violence or gang violence — or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, cannot itself establish an asylum claim,” he continued.

DID YOU HEAR THAT, LIBERALS? THE MERE FACT THAT A COUNTRY SUCKS DOESN’T MEAN AMERICA MUST BE A DUMPING GROUND FOR THEIR PROBLEMS.

I wish more people understood that painfully simple logic.


.

Keebler told the judges — administrative employees of the DOJ, rather than part of the judicial branch — that the asylum system was being “abused to the detriment of the rule of law.”

He came to the decision by overturning a case known as the Matter of A-B-, a Salvadoran woman granted asylum by the Board of Immigration Appeals on the grounds that her husband had abused her and the police had done nothing to stop it.
 
“In reaching these conclusions, I do not minimize the vile abuse that the respondent reported she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband or the harrowing experiences of many other victims of domestic violence around the world,” Sessions said in the decision.
 
But, Sessions added, quoting an earlier decision, “the ‘asylum statute is not a general hardship statute.’ “
 
In overturning the A-B- appeal, Keebler also overturned a prior decision that allowed for women fleeing domestic violence without state protection to be considered a “particular social group.”
 
Under asylum law, migrants seeking asylum can claim to be part of a particular social group that is fleeing persecution. And boy, do they know it. Just make it to the border, say you’re a member of the x, y, or z protected class and voila! — welcome to America. 
.
Not anymore, Jack. 
 

.

.

BIG PICTURE:

.

Look, no decent person condones domestic or gang violence. Our hearts ache for innocent victims of any violent crime.

But the fact is, our good hearts have been used and abused by those who would take advantage of them. We simply can’t allow every person with a sob story into our country. I’m sorry that Central and South American police aren’t as responsive to domestic abuse calls as American police. I’m sorry that Central and South American culture is generally much worse for women than in America.
.

The world is not a nice place. I saw things around the world as a Soldier that changed me forever. Frankly, if not for Christianity, I’d have no faith in humanity at all. I wish we could fix every problem for everyone in the world. But the truth is, we can’t. We never could and we never will.

Therefore, we must turn our attention to those we actually can protect: our people. Our children, our women, our elderly, our future.

As the saying goes, we lock our doors not because we hate the people outside, but because we love the people inside. 

It’s time we showed that love on a grand scale; starting with common sense immigration measures such as these and ending with the biggest locked door of them all: the wall.

Keep the faith, and never let anyone tear you down for protecting our own. 

.

.

.


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


Donations

Hi everyone, if you enjoyed this article and feel that I’ve earned a tip, I would greatly appreciate any help you can give. If you would like to give more than $1, simply change the number in the box to multiply the donation. If not, I still love you and keep up the good fight!

$1.00

 

Categories Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close