10/26/17

Moscow Narrative Blows Back On The Dems

By: Trevor Loudon | New Zeal

The Democrats have been in bed with Moscow for 70 years. Hillary Clinton’s  extensive Russia ties were partially exposed in my 2016 documentary The Enemies Within.

The Dems were very unwise to push the Trump/Russia narrative. A case of the pot calling the kettle black. It was bound to blow up in their faces.

Wouldn’t Hillary look great in orange?

10/26/17

3rd Carrier in Region as Mattis is in Seoul v. N Korea

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Pentagon boss Jim Mattis arrived in South Korea on Friday to meet with the nation’s top defense officials and American military commanders on the front line in countering North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Mattis is emphasizing the Trump administration’s push for a diplomatic solution to the problem. But he also has said the U.S. is prepared to take military action if the North does not halt its development of missiles that could strike the entirety of the United States, potentially with a nuclear warhead.

Making his second trip as defense secretary to the U.S. ally, Mattis will meet with South Korean officials as part of an annual consultation on defense issues on the Korean peninsula. He’ll be joined in Seoul by the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford. President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit the city next month.

Related reading: Breakdown in North Korea Talks Sounds Alarms on Capitol Hill

US Navy sends a 3rd aircraft carrier to the Pacific after it completes mission against ISIS

  • The US has three aircraft carriers in the Pacific amid soaring tensions with North Korea.
  • The US Navy says the deployment of the USS Nimitz, the third carrier, was previously planned, but the US Navy has been busy near Korea.
  • The US, South Korea, and Japan just wrapped up a missile-defense drill in the region, and North Korea remains quiet for now.

The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and its accompanying strike group of destroyers have left the Middle East, where they had launched airstrikes against ISIS, to back up US forces in the Pacific, the US Navy announced on Wednesday.

The Navy says the Nimitz is heading to the Pacific on a previously scheduled visit, but it will be the third carrier in the region joining the USS Ronald Reagan, which stays in Japan year-round, and the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which is currently in the Pacific well east of Japan.

According to the Navy, the Nimitz just finished three months fighting ISIS, with over 903 bombs dropped. ISIS fighters are now surrendering en masse as US-back ed regional forces close in on them.

Gen. Jeong Kyeong-doo, chairman of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, and US Forces Korea chief Army Gen. Vincent Brooks met aboard the Reagan after the drills, with Jeong saying that the carrier sent a “strong warning” to North Korea “amid an unprecedentedly grave security situation,” according to Yonhap news.

The US, South Korea, and Japan just concluded a missile-defense drill near Korea with their cutting-edge naval-defense platforms. The drill focused on improving situational awarene ss and readiness while North Korea threatens to send more missiles flying over Japan.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon fires an SM-2 missile during a live-fire exercise. Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Jiang/USN

Despite North Korea’s talk of firing missiles at Guam or into the Pacific, the country remains quiet. Pyongyang hasn’t launched a missile in over a month, marking the longest period of relative quiet since its first missile launch in February.

But a recen t report states that North Korea has remained resolute and unwilling to talk to the US. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump seems intent on hinting at the possibility of war whenever possible.

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North Korean official: Take hydrogen bomb threat ‘literally’

A senior North Korean official has issued a stern warning to the world that it should take “literally” his country’s threat to test a nuclear weapon above ground.

The official, Ri Yong Pil, told CNN in an exclusive conversation in Pyongyang that the threat made by North Korea’s foreign minister last month should not be dismissed. North Korea “has always brought its words into action,” Ri said, visibly angry. More here.

10/26/17

Trump Names New IRS Comish, DoJ Settles Targeting Case

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

DC: President Trump made it official on Thursday that embattled IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will be out of a job next month.

Trump tapped David Kautter, the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for tax policy, to serve as interim IRS commissioner, beginning Nov. 13.

Koskinen’s term ends on Nov. 12. He was eligible for reappointment, but Koskinen is fiercely opposed by congressional Republicans. Members of the House Freedom Caucus attempted but failed to impeach Koskinen last year, largely over his handling of the scandal involving former IRS official Lois Lerner.

Prior to Koskinen’s tenure, Lerner was accused targeting conservative groups who applied for non-profit status. Koskinen was accused of stonewalling congressional investigators looking into Lerner’s activities as well as of covering up for the Obama administration.

Trump had faced pressure from many Republicans to fire Koskinen, who was appointed to head the IRS by President Obama in 2013.

Kautter, Koskinen’s intended replacement, was appointed to his role at Treasury in August. He worked as a tax attorney at the firm Ernst & Young for more than three decades.

Kautter will still perform his Treasury Department duties while overseeing the IRS, according to Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin.

“David will provide important leadership while we wait to confirm a permanent commissioner,” Mnuchin said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.

***

In part:

There are still some parts to the cases outstanding.

Mr. Greim and his team managed to depose former senior IRS executive Lois G. Lerner during the four years his case ran, but those transcripts remain sealed along with records of the deposition of another employee, Holly Paz. The two women have told a judge they fear for their safety if their testimony is released.

But on Wednesday the Cincinnati Enquirer asked the court to make those records public, as well as unredacted court documents that refer to the testimony.

The settlements end two separate lawsuits covering more than 450 groups identified by the IRS as having been snared in the targeting.

The vast majority of them are conservative-leaning groups which began to see long delays, intrusive questioning and other illegal scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status as either 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organizations beginning in 2009.

In the new filings the singled out Ms. Lerner for particular blame in the scheme, saying she “failed” to stop the targeting going on by her employees, and further failed to alert higher-ups at headquarters in Washington — where she also worked — of the problems.

That’s a major shift from before, where the Justice Department — far from blaming Ms. Lerner — actually credited her with being a hero, saying she tried to stop the targeting when she became aware of it.

A lawyer for Ms. Lerner didn’t return an email for comment sent late Wednesday.

Tom Zawistowski, head of the Portage County TEA Party in Ohio, said Ms. Lerner should have faced criminal charges for her role, which court documents filed earlier in the case show involved her trying to shield the activity by changing names, but overall approving and in fact intensifying the scrutiny the conservative groups were given.

He said he still wants to see a special counsel appointed at the Justice Department to pursue the case and get to the bottom of the motive behind the targeting.

Despite initial claims by some Republicans, no evidence has ever traced the targeting back to Mr. Obama or his top political aides.

But emails released this year show the IRS was made aware by its own agents that it was singling out groups based on their politics, not on questions about their tax behavior.

“These cases are held back primarily because of their political party affiliation rather than specifically any political activities,” Elizabeth C. Kastenberg, an official in the agency’s Exempt Organizations division, wrote in an April 1, 2011, email to other IRS employees, including her supervisor.

That contradicts the IRS’s long-stated position that Ms. Lerner and others involved in the targeting were worried in the wake of a 2010 Supreme Court decision about a surge of groups going beyond the usual rules of politics. More here.

10/26/17

Egyptian president visits France: Declares “modernity” while Coptic church is seized

By: Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

The Church of the Virgin Mary and the Martyrs of Margaregs and Abi Sefin has been harassed for years by the state and is constantly under threat of closure.

During President Al Sisi’s press conference upon his visit to France a few days ago (Saturday, Oct 21), a journalist asked about Egyptian human rights. The President replied that Egypt is suffering from disorder and chaos, adding, “I am keen to establish a modern and civil state

Meanwhile in Egypt on the same day, the government Zoning and Planning Commission paid a visit to a four-year old, owned and occupied Orthodox building containing a church for a surprise inspection. The Upper Egypt region of Egypt is primarily Christian and subject to gestapo-like scrutiny with a view to shutting down churches. The village of Al Hager in Suhag has three thousand Coptic Orthodox inhabitants with only one church a mile away – too far to walk.

The following morning before Sunday’s church service, worshipers and the priest arrived to find police forces surrounding the church building while the water and electricity were being disconnected. The reason given was that the state was concerned with security and safety due to complaints from Muslims in the town.

The Church of the Virgin Mary and the Martyrs of Margaregs and Abi Sefin has been harassed for years by the state and is constantly under threat of closure.

Church of the Virgin Mary – Its history of abuse

Beginning in 2006, the Virgin Mary Church was under construction for seven years as a four-story service and sanctuary building. The first floor was for priests only, the second floor for worship service, and the third floor dedicated to the children’s nursery. The top floor provided social services for the congregation.

Delays in construction were endless as they waited for a state church-building permit to be issued (which generally takes many years). The building was finalized and occupied before receiving it. Copts know that non-issuance of church permits is one way the state attempts to obstruct Christian worship.

Upon completion and occupancy in 2013, the Zoning Commission issued a demolition order, but fortunately the courts overturned it when Copts challenged the decision. In the middle of 2013, Copts began to hold two masses weekly on Friday and Sunday mornings.

Now, one day after Al Sisi’s declarations of civility and modernity in France, the church priest toured the property with officials from the Zoning Commission and answered their questions surmising that a shut-down was pending.

That Sunday evening, a delegation from the diocese met with the mayor for more than five hours. In the early hours of Monday morning a decision was reached to “temporarily” close the building until further determinations by the Zoning Commission. No reason given. In June of this year the church in Bani Sweef was subjected to the same closure.

It is easy for a leader to give speeches in foreign countries stating good intentions — another matter to implement them.