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Trump Just Gave A Chilling Preview Of What’s In Store For North Korea

Laura Conway

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Trump Just Gave A Chilling Preview Of What’s In Store For North Korea

 

While eschewing new negotiations with North Korea, President Trump continues his campaign of brinksmanship that brings the world closer to nuclear war with a belligerent enemy that seems empowered by his ever harsher threats.

On the same day, the U.S. and South Korea launched their largest live drills ever feating tanks and helicopters – and one day after the U.N. passed stiff new economic sanctions on North Korea – President Trump declared that the pressure to stop the renegade regime’s nuclear program has just begun.

“But those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen” he told reporters after a meeting with the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The resolution passed unanimously by the 15 member U.N. on Monday in the wake of North Korea’s biggest nuclear test yet would have been much tougher if China and Russia had not insisted on removing a full oil import sanction, a travel ban and sanctions on North Korea’s bombastic leader Kim Jong Un, which apparently did not sit well with Trump.

The current sanctions include limits on how North Korea can use banks to finance itself, but the U.S. has been critical of some Chinese banks it believes still work with that regime.

So this morning – although he needs China’s help to make the threats meaningful – Trump threatened additional sanctions against China if it does not do more to shut down banks and other Chinese firms that are aiding North Korea, reports The Wall Street Journal.

One way Trump can turn up the pressure is to act unilaterally instead of waiting to negotiate additional sanctions through the U.N.

The model may well be the sanctions that were used against Iran before President Obama negotiated a deal to tamp down their nuclear program, according to Anthony Ruggiero, a former deputy director of the U.S. Treasury Department and an expert in the use of targeted financial measures for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, according to Reuters.

“These U.N. resolutions only work when complimented by robust U.S. sanctions,” says Ruggiero, “which is exactly what happened with Iran.”

“The difference here is we have wide-ranging U.N. sanctions that go beyond what we had on Iran,” adds Ruggiero. “We also have U.S. sanctions that go beyond the U.N. sanctions.”

“The Trump administration has already used U.S. sanctions against China and Russia,” continues Ruggiero, “and Washington should do more like fines against Chinese banks and targeting additional firms and individuals facilitating sanctions evasion.”

Trump came to office with no international diplomatic experience and instead has brought a tough attitude and tough talk coupled with a refusal to negotiate with North Korea because of his view that has not worked in the past.

The problem is that North Korea just gets more angry, bombastic and threatening when cornered. Kim Jung Un seems to feed off Trump’s angry rhetoric, ramping up his own threats.

While Izumi Nakamitsu, the U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, insisted today that North Korea does not want a nuclear war because “that is just too catastrophic,” the sense is that the world has never been closer to a nuclear war, and Trump’s threats, and Kim Jon Un’s predictable responses,  just keep moving both sides closer to the brink.

Trump is unpredictable and acts impulsively, often without fully consulting his State Department, security and military advisors, which makes him a real threat to peace.

The problem is that in the nuclear age, there may be winners, but there will be a lot of losers far beyond the borders of North Korea as clouds of radioactivity float over the planet in unpredictable ways.

There is also the concern that as the Russia investigation pulls a noose around Trump’s throat, and his domestic programs flounder in Congress, Trump may see a military option as the one sure way that he can be in control and be seen as a powerful president.

Via: Occupy Democrats

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Trump will declare North Korea a state sponsor of terror

Riot Housewives

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Trump will declare North Korea a state sponsor of terror

President Trump said Monday that he will designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, a move designed to further isolate the nation for its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Trump said the move will impose further penalties on Pyongyang and result in the “highest level” of sanctions ever placed on the country. He added that the designation will be formalized Tuesday.

Trump said the decision “should have happened years ago” and will ramp up pressure on the “murderous regime” to “end its unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile development.”

The decision returns North Korea to a list it was removed from in 2008 to ease nuclear talks with the George W. Bush administration.

Trump’s announcement comes days after his return from a five-nation tour of Asia, which focused on curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

White House officials telegraphed the move before Trump’s departure.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters earlier this month that the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother at a Malaysian airport played into the decision. The half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, was killed with a banned nerve agent.

North Korea will join Iran, Sudan and Syria on the State Department’s list of terror sponsors.

The designation allows the U.S. to cut off foreign assistance, weapons sales, commercial exports and financial transactions with Pyongyang.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson conceded the “practical effects may be limited” because Pyongyang is already heavily sanctioned by the U.S. government.

But he called the move “very symbolic” of the U.S. desire to increase pressure on Kim Jong Un in an effort to persuade him to drop his nuclear program.

“We still hope for diplomacy,” Tillerson told reporters during a surprise appearance at the White House. “This is only going to get worse until you’re ready to come and talk.”

Trump had been under pressure from members of Congress to slap the designation on North Korea.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) applauded the administration for relisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.

“Over the past year alone, Kim Jong Un and his regime brazenly assassinated his brother with a chemical weapon and brutally tortured Otto Warmbier, leading directly to his tragic death,” he said in a statement, referring to the American student who died after his release from custody in North Korea.

“These aren’t isolated incidents, but are examples of a consistent pattern of terror,” Royce said, adding that Pyongyang’s push to develop nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles threatens global security.

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Politics

Fox News Host Thinks Its Possible To Keep Roy Moore Away From The Senate (TWEETS/VIDEO)

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Fox News Host Thinks Its Possible To Keep Roy Moore Away From The Senate (TWEETS/VIDEO)

 

On Sunday morning, Alabama’s largest newspapers ran a front-page editorial pronouncing Roy Moore unfit for the Senate on a number of counts–not the least of which was the numerous allegations that he molested and improperly pursued women and girls over several years.

Moore’s reaction was predictable. First, he threw red meat to his supporters by reminding them that his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, supported abortion.

He then reverted to what has become his standard line–the allegations are a witch hunt orchestrated by Democrats and establishment Republicans to keep him out.

Well, by Moore’s definition, Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett is a full-on, bleeding-heart liberal. After all, Jarrett believes that if Moore wins in December, the Senate shouldn’t seat him until it looks into the allegations.

Jarrett has been responsible for some of the worst recent moments on the fair and balanced network. He believes that Hillary Clinton should have faced a grand jury over her emails, believes any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign was legal, and thinks James Comey broke the law by leaking his memo of the now-infamous conversation in which Donald Trump told him to lay off Michael Flynn. All of these statements have been called out as BS by other legal analysts.

It initially looked like more of the same when the allegations against Moore first broke. Jarrett said that he was skeptical of them because they were reported by The Washington Post after that paper endorsed Jones. But as more and more women have come forward, Jarrett has become a vocal opponent of Moore. On Wednesday, he told Sean Hannity that from his perspective, the accusers’ stories were credible because of their detail.

On Sunday’s edition of “Fox & Friends,” Jarrett dropped a bombshell–he believes that Moore should not be allowed to take his seat until it is determined that he is fit to serve in that august body.

 

Jarrett was discussing the furor over Al Franken’s sexual misconduct in 2006 with hosts Pete Hegseth, Abby Huntsman, and Ed Henry when the discussion turned to Moore. While noting that the Senate Ethics Committee would potentially be investigating the incident even though it took place before Franken was in the Senate, Henry wondered if the committee would do the same with Moore.

Jarrett believes that “it’s a sure bet” the Ethics Committee will look into the allegations. But he went further than that. He believes that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans should not seat Moore until the completion of that review.

And what if the committee finds there’s a there there?

“If the committee says this man is not fit to sit in the U. S. Senate, and I happen to think that his the case, then he would never be seated.”

Henry cried that it would open a Pandora’s box, raising the prospect that every Senator could face an ethics investigation. Hegseth agreed, wondering how it would look if “six people in a distant capital,” rather than “millions of voters,” decided who was fit to serve in the Senate.

Jarrett pointed out that under Senate rules, it is “within their latitude, authority, and discretion” to refuse to seat an elected Senator. He was referring to Article One, Section 5 of the Constitution, which makes each chamber of Congress “the Judge of the Elections, Returns, and Qualifications of its own Members.”

Admittedly, this situation has taken us into uncharted waters. At this point, the allegations against Moore seem to be reaching the proportions of those against Bill Cosby–far too many women have come forward for them to be credibly dismissed. No one wants a serial sexual harasser and pedophile in the Senate.

However, as much as the thought of saying “Senator Roy Moore” turns my stomach, merely refusing to seat him could potentially open a can of worms. In 1967, the House refused to seat Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. amid a series of scandals. Powell sued, and the case eventually made it to the Supreme Court.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled in Powell v. McCormack that the House could not deny Powell his seat, since he had been lawfully elected and met the constitutional requirements to serve in the House. The Court found that since the House erred by excluding him by a simple majority, rather than moving to expel him with a two-thirds majority.

Based on that precedent, if I were McConnell, I would let Moore be seated, but deny him any committee assignments pending an Ethics Committee investigation. If the committee finds there’s a there there, Moore should be expelled–an idea that Cory Gardner of Colorado has already proposed. In the absence of something we haven’t heard or seen, it shouldn’t be too hard to find 60 votes to expel him.

Based on Moore’s current line, he would likely scream that the Senate is trying to overturn an election. But he’s dead wrong. If done properly, the Senate would be well within its rights in booting out a manifestly unfit person from its ranks.

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NBA

‘I Should Have Left Them In Jail’ (Trump’s Juicy TWEET)

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‘I Should Have Left Them In Jail’ (TWEET)

 

President Donald Trump has regularly shown that he will lash out against people he feels do not show him the proper respect. Go ahead and add three players of the UCLA Men’s Basketball program to that list, all thanks to LaVar Ball, who is the father of one of those players, as well as our President’s tiny ego.

The three basketball players were arrested in China for shoplifting sunglasses. One of the players, LiAngelo Ball, is part of a high profile basketball family. His father, LaVar, had some controversial words concerning the President’s role in bringing his son home.

Appearing on ESPN Friday, LaVar was asked about the President’s role in keeping his son out of jail. LaVar responded in his typical braggadocio:

What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

In reality, the three athletes never actually went to jail. Trump spoke with the Chinese President Xi Jinping after hearing of their predicament, and they were allowed to return to the United States. They have since been suspended by the UCLA athletic program.

However, LaVar’s comments to ESPN appeared to strike a raw nerve with President Trump. He posted the following to Twitter, again making use of his newfound 280 character limit:

His tweet reads:

Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!”

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Just… unpack that.

The President of the United States is picking a fight with three college students, all because the father of one of those students brushed off the President’s role in keeping his son out of a Chinese jail for shoplifting sunglasses.

Meanwhile, the former President of the United States was apparently born in Kenya and is a secret Muslim spy. His handpicked predecessor is the leader of a tightly knit criminal conspiracy (and a WOMAN!). She also apparently raped children in the basement of a pizza parlor.

 

Featured image via Flickr user Michael Vadon / CC BY 2.0.

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