Thursday, September 29, 2016

American Influence In Decline? More Disbelief Regarding Comey's Explanations That Do Not Hold Water. David Malpass Advises..

Has American influence been eclipsed by China?  It would seem so. Why? Because Duerte, President of The Phillipine's, is not longer going to allow his army to hold military exercises with America.

Just one more piece of evidence how Obama, Hillary and Kerry's feckless foreign policy initiatives have cost us allies, respect and power. (See 1 below.)
More disbelief regarding the FBI weasel's rationale. (See 2 below.)
David Malpass advises Trump and is concerned about what I have been warning. (See 3 below.)
I hope these pictures will reprint. (See 4 below.)
Kim Strassel in Atlanta, Nov. 2.

Republican Jewish Coalition
Wednesday, November 2nd
Join the Republican Jewish Coalition and Fulton County GOP
as we co-host a special presentation featuring Kimberley Strassel
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Kimberley Strassel 
Gifted Wall Street Journal Columnist and Excellent Investigative Reporter
With a Special Introduction by 
Bernie Marcus
Member of the RJC Board of Directors
and Founder of Home Depot

"The Intimidation Game"
Kim Strassel-one of the preeminent political columnists writing today and member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board-provides an insightful, alarming look at how the Left, once the champion of civil liberties, is today orchestrating a coordinated campaign to bully Americans out of free speech.

Her recent articles can be viewed here
"The Intimidation Game" will be available for purchase and signing
Wednesday, November 2nd
5:15 p.m. | mix and mingle with fellow Jewish Republicans
5:30 p.m. | program will promptly begin 

*Light Refreshments will be available
Heritage Sandy Springs
6110 Blue Stone Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30328
RSVP is Requested
Please click here to RSVP

There is no charge to attend.



Philippines Leader to End Joint Military Exercises, Naval Patrols With U.S.

President Rodrigo Duterte wants to avoid upsetting China, with which he wants stronger trade and investment ties

Philippines' president Rodrigo Duterte speaks in Hanoi on Wednesday to members of the Filipino community in Vietnam, where he said he was halting future military exercises with the U.S. as well as joint patrols in the South China Sea.ENLARGE
Philippines' president Rodrigo Duterte speaks in Hanoi on Wednesday to members of the Filipino community in Vietnam, where he said he was halting future military exercises with the U.S. as well as joint patrols in the South China Sea. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said joint military exercises scheduled next month between the Philippines and the U.S. will be the last for the longtime allies, as he seeks to avoid upsetting China, with which he hopes to build stronger trade and investment ties.
He also said he would end routine joint naval patrols in the South China Sea.
“I will serve notice to you now that this will be the last military exercise,” Mr. Duterte said to an audience of some 350 Filipinos in Hanoi, during a two-day state visit to Vietnam.
Still, the Philippine leader reaffirmed that his country’s cooperation with the U.S. stands. “I will maintain the military alliance—the RP-US pact, which our countries signed in the early ’50s,” Mr. Duterte said.
The military treaty with Washington was recently updated to allow more American troops to stay in the Philippines for an extended period. Mr. Duterte said he was ending the routine joint patrols in the South China Sea because they, too, risk military confrontation between China and the U.S., with the Philippines caught in the middle.

Mr. Duterte met with his Vietnamese counterpart, Tran Dai Quang, on Thursday. A statement from Vietnam’s foreign ministry said they agreed to boost economic ties and to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea. They agreed to consider extending a rice trade agreement that will expire at the end of this year. The Philippines is among Vietnam’s largest rice export markets, accounting for nearly one-fifth of Vietnam’s total rice shipments. Overall bilateral trade was $2.93 billion last year.“If the battleground will be in San Francisco, or China, then I’m OK with that,” he said.
Mr. Duterte said holding war games with the U.S. might undermine his efforts to improve relations with Beijing, which have soured in recent years as Manila tried to strengthen its claims to part of the South China Sea. China has increasingly asserted sovereignty over that body of water, which is also claimed in part by Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.
Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, who was traveling with the president, told reporters Wednesday that the agreement with the U.S. “will be respected and this is what the president clearly meant.” Only joint patrols of the South China Sea were being suspended, as previously announced, not all joint drills, he said.
Mr. Yasay said at a different briefing Thursday that the various military accords between the Philippines and the U.S. don’t specifically cover holding joint military exercises, meaning they could be suspended even as the alliance continues.
The Philippine defense department said Thursday that it was in the dark about any disruption to the Philippine military’s regular drills with American forces.
“Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana will discuss this with the President to seek more clarification and guidance,” it said in a statement. “All agreements and treaties with the U.S. are still in effect.”
The Philippine military earlier this month invited U.S. troops to joint exercises in October, shortly after Mr. Duterte’s called for the Americans to withdraw their remaining military advisers from the southern island of Mindanao. Mr. Duterte had said their presence hurt efforts to find a peace with Muslim rebels.
Earlier this week, Mr. Duterte said he plans to establish trade alliance with China and Russia. He previously had ordered his defense secretary to seek military equipment from suppliers in China and Russia to fight drug traffickers and insurgents.
Mr. Duterte has made provocative remarks against U.S. President Barack Obama, the United Nations and the European Union since coming to power on June 30. He has bristled at Western criticism of his bloody war on drugs that has claimed the lives of more than 3,000 people, according to police figures.

Mr. Duterte has said he won’t surrender the legal victory the Philippines won in July before an international tribunal in The Hague that dismissed China’s claims to ownership and economic rights over most of the South China Sea. Vietnam has voiced support for the ruling, which has emerged as a main legal challenge against China’s widening maritime presence in the area, including its building of artificial islands housing infrastructure such as airfields and port installations.His words and behavior have frightened foreign investors, who have been pulling back from the country, weakening Manila’s stock market and sending the peso this week to its lowest against the U.S. dollar since September 2009.
2)Nothing James Comey Says About The Hillary Clinton Investigation Makes Any Sense

By protecting her inner circle, the Department of Justice gave Hillary immunity.
Rather than striking immunity deals with virtually every person who had intimate knowledge of Hillary Clinton’s illegal private server and emails, the Justice Department would have saved everyone some time by offering Hillary protection instead.
FBI Director James Comey, who testified in front of two congressional committees this week, still maintains he was unable to recommend that the Justice Department charge Clinton with mishandling classified documents because of insufficient evidence proving “intent” — although the actions themselves are irrefutably illegal.
Well, how exactly did he anticipate gathering this proof when the Justice Department had proactively shielded the five people tasked with setting up the private system and then destroying it? Was he hoping to extract a confession directly from Hillary?
Why would, for instance, a Clinton functionary like Cheryl Mills help prosecutors once she’d already secured safeguards against any criminal prosecution? While testifying in front of the House Judiciary Committee, Comey claimed Mills was already “cooperative” and the Justice Department had assured the FBI she had done nothing wrong. Hence the deal.
If she was accommodating and completely innocent, why would she seek, and be given, immunity? A lawyer for Mills and Heather Samuelson had already admitted the deal was struck to protect her clients from potential prosecution arising from “classification” on their laptops. Apparently, the Justice Department was more convinced of their innocence than their lawyer was.
In the FBI’s summary statement, Mills alleged she didn’t know about Hillary’s email server until after the secretary of State’s tenure was over. Emails since uncovered, however, show this to be untrue. Remember also that President Obama claimed he first learned about Clinton’s illegal server through “news reports?” If that’s true, why did he email Clinton on her private server under a pseudonym?
Comey admitted Wednesday that one of Hillary’s lawyers — “it might have been Cheryl Mills” — told Paul Combetta to delete e-mail files from Clinton’s secret server only days after Congress ordered them to be preserved.  The FBI director assures us that none of this is obstruction of justice. (Rep. Darrell Issa, incidentally, also revealed that one of the deals — he did not mention which — included immunity, not only for a transaction, but for “destruction” of material.)
Then, at another point, Comey told the committee that the Justice Department agreed to immunity because the FBI didn’t feel like wrangling with lawyers for years. “The FBI judgment was we need to get to that laptop. We need to see what it is,” he explained. “This investigation’s been going on for a year.” So I guess Mills was less than cooperative, yes?
And why is Comey, who doesn’t “give a hoot about politics,” concerned about timetables rather than making the best case? If the laptop was important enough to hasten a deal that protected a potential witness from prosecution, why wasn’t it important enough for the FBI to subpoena? If Mills’ lawyer is worried about potential criminality, why take a plea bargain off the table? Is this how it works for everyone?
It was rather amazing to hear Comey concede that the Justice Department’s immunity spree was “unusual.” More unusual, perhaps, was that three of the people with those deals still ended up taking the Fifth, and another didn’t even bother showing up when Congress called him. It’s also unusual that a high-profile case featuring numerous immunity deals resulted in no charges.
It was also “very unusual,” according to Comey, that the FBI would conduct an interview with the target of an investigation — where wholly innocent Hillary Clinton was surrounded by nine lawyers — with two of the immunized witnesses in the case present. That’s something Comey admitted had never happened in his career.
As Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University and who first defended the FBI’s decision not to prosecute Hillary, recently put it:
Of all of the individuals who would warrant immunity, most would view Mills as the very last on any list. If one assumes that there may have been criminal conduct, it is equivalent to immunizing H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman in the investigation of Watergate.
Comey claimed it was not his purview to decide who people use as their lawyers. That is true. What he failed to mention was that he determined the parameters of the interview. He could have pressured Clinton to leave Mills home by impelling the target of the investigation to appear rather than allowing it to be voluntary interview. In a deposition about the email scandal, Mills claimed client-attorney privilege, though she wasn’t Hillary’s lawyer but chief of staff during her tenure at the State Debarment.
Comey attempted to distance himself from the immunity deals by pointing out that he had not personally struck them. “It’s a decision made by the Department of Justice, I don’t know at what level inside,” Comey said in House panel. “In our investigations, any kind of immunity comes from the prosecutors, not the investigators.”
Surely the Justice Department doesn’t offer witnesses protection from prosecution in high-profile cases without asking FBI investigators. If they did, then it would suggest a politicized process — something this case reeks of already.
3) Eight Outrages Urge Trump To Upend Washington
By David Malpass
IT’S HARD TO KNOW which government outrage is the most objectionable. Everyone has his or her own list of major grievances. I’m tendering economic advice to the Trump campaign, so here’s mine–the short version.
–As Secretary of State and afterward, Hillary Clinton transmitted secret information through open Internet channels. As a former State Department official, I find it inconceivable that she was this reckless and that the State Department system looked the other way as it was happening.

President Obama ransomed American hostages for $400 million in currency that was air-freighted to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, one of the world’s most dangerous forces.
–The President “self-ratified” the Paris treaty on global warming, scorning the Senate’s treaty authority, one of the fundamental pillars of the U.S. Constitution.

The Federal Reserve has incurred trillions of dollars in taxpayer liabilities to buy a $4.4 trillion bond portfolio that it intends to hold on to for years, maybe decades. It pays banks–many of them foreign-owned–nearly $12 billion per year in financing, yet the Constitution is clear that the power for appropriations and debt rests solely with Congress.
At the end of August the Fed went even further, raising the specter of its buying a “broader range of assets”–its current portfolio includes Treasury bonds, as well as complex government-guaranteed mortgage securities and the debt of Fannie Maeand Freddie Mac . This Fed trial balloon lays the groundwork for a possible Clinton Administration to reward helpful corporations with Fed bond purchases or to fund infrastructure projects boosted by investments from the Fed.

Without a single Republican vote the President implemented a sweeping new health care system that was designed to fail from the get-go. It has harmed millions of people and cost billions of dollars.
–Failed inner cities operate in a one-party world of corrupt nonprofits and pay-to-play cronyism that leaves millions of people in the lurch. In late August the Fed claimed that the economy was nearing ”maximum employment.” This makes a mockery of the labor statistics, which show that 94 million adults aren’t being counted in the labor force.

The national debt will surpass $20 trillion in 2017. It should be refinanced at much longer maturities, but the Fed is buying back the long-maturity debt, leaving taxpayers exposed to higher interest rates.
The Congressional Budget Office says that current policies will cause economic growth to be only 2% per year. That stagnation will push debt up another $10 trillion over the next decade.

Politicians claim to have a debt limit, but it’s written in such a way that they can keep spending freely. Washington has tapped into an endless supply of money. The debt limit doesn’t really cut into spending, because it comes into play after the spending has occurred. That’s like saying you won’t eat a single bite until you’ve lost ten pounds, calling that a diet and renewing the pledge every month.

The only solution that will help taxpayers is to rewrite the debt limit so that it provides actual restraint on spending once the government exceeds it. One concept for the rewrite is to require a gradual decline in debt as a share of GDP. If violated, apply additional spending restraint. Escalate the restraint with more powerful rules until the debt gets back to its downward glide path.
Under current policies the CBO is projecting a steady increase in the public debt-to-GDP ratio to 85.5% in 2026 versus 75.6% today and 39.3% in 2008. It’s imperative to reverse this uptrend. The reality is that debt as a share of GDP is likely to go up unless policies change dramatically in favor of faster GDP growth and slower spending growth.

Soon after the January 2017 inauguration, a new President will have to tackle the national debt, reestablish checks and balances and set health care on a better course, as well as tackle a long list of major problems.


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