December 1, 2017

Posted by orrinj at 6:25 PM

"JARED WHO?":

"IF YOU THINK HE'S GOING TO TIE HIMSELF TO THE KID, YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING": AS MUELLER CLOSES IN, JARED KUSHNER MAY BE ON HIS OWN (EMILY JANE FOX, DECEMBER 1, 2017, Vanity Fair)

One person close to the Trumps believes that as loyal as the president is to his family, the first priority always has been, and will continue to be, his own survival. "This is about his legacy. His legacy is on the line," this person told me recently, referring to the president. "If you think he's going to tie himself to the kid, you don't know anything. And people who say that his love for [Ivanka] means he'll stand by [Jared]--the truth of the matter is he left them once before," this person added, referring to his divorce from Ivana Trump in the 1990s. 



Posted by orrinj at 6:04 PM

GREATEST WAR EVER:

Battle may be brewing in Sinai between al-Qaeda, IS groups (Al Monitor, December 1, 2017)

In an audio recording released Nov. 11, al-Qaeda adherent Jund al-Islam declared war on much larger Wilayat Sinai, which is associated with IS, and claimed responsibility for the Oct. 11 attack on a Wilayat Sinai vehicle that killed the four passengers. Jund al-Islam is vowing to eradicate Wilayat Sinai members if they do not repent and abandon what it calls "Baghdadi law," which it says violates Sharia in part because it targets civilians and fellow Muslims.

Though no group has come forward yet, Wilayat Sinai is a top suspect in the Nov. 24 bombing and shooting attack on a Sinai mosque that killed more than 300 people and injured at least 100. Area villagers reported Wilayat Sinai had threated them a week before the attack.

Jund al-Islam also declared war on the Egyptian army, which it described as an "apostate." 

All against the Salafi...including the Salafi...
Posted by orrinj at 12:07 PM

ALL COMEY IS CONSERVATIVE:


Posted by orrinj at 12:02 PM

NO HEAVY LIFTING REQUIRED:

Fiscal reform lessons from the Anglosphere (Alex Brill, Sean Speer, December 1, 2017, Real Clear Policy)

The Anglosphere countries have all been confronted with fiscal crises due to overspending, high debt levels, and a political tendency to put off reform. [...]

 In each case, fiscal reforms mostly focused on government spending rather tax hikes. The economic and social outcomes were generally positive. Anti-austerity warnings failed to materialize. The "fiscal dividend" resulting from greater budgetary discipline enabled a raft of positive economic reforms, including lowering personal and corporate tax rates. The main takeaway is that well-designed fiscal reform can be part of a pro-growth, pro-opportunity agenda.

More specifically, the experience of these Anglosphere countries offers U.S. policymakers five common lessons:

1. Transparency is essential to secure public support for fiscal reform. Reformers must be clear about the scope of the problem and build broad-based support for proportionate solutions. Fiscal reform cannot be a single-party issue.

2. Clear fiscal rules, targets, and criteria can strengthen political will and demonstrate progress to the public. Bogus accounting or arithmetic complexity reduces the chance that reforms will be successful.

3. Focus on reforming government spending rather than resorting to higher taxes. Raising taxes will only dampen economic growth and exacerbate the government's fiscal challenges at the precise moment that dynamism and growth are needed.

4. Fiscal reform must involve a clear-eyed review of all government spending. That means no ring-fencing of the defense budget or carve-outs for favored social services.

5. Fiscal reform ought to be part of a broader agenda focused on reviving American dynamism and opportunity. Eliminating the budget deficit and stabilizing the debt are necessary but not sufficient steps toward a stronger U.S. economy.

Posted by orrinj at 11:52 AM

GREATEST WAR EVER:

Syrian rebels shoot down regime helicopter near Israel border (AFP, 12/01/17)

"Rebel groups shot down a regime helicopter with a guided missile near the border with Lebanon and the (Israeli-) occupied Golan," said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights chief Rami Abdel Rahman.

Posted by orrinj at 11:49 AM

BRING OUT YOUR DEAD!:

ABC report on Flynn rocks Wall Street (Sruthi Shankar, 12/01/17, Reuters) 

U.S. stocks sank on Friday after ABC News reported former national security adviser Michael Flynn was prepared to tell investigators that Donald Trump directed him to make contact with Russians during last year's presidential elections.


The Statement of the Offense is devastating by itself, as the Trump team colluded with an enemy on how to deal with punitive sanctions.
Posted by orrinj at 8:35 AM

THE IRON LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES:

For some Russian oligarchs, sanctions risk makes Putin awkward to know (Darya Korsunskaya, Katya Golubkova and Gleb Stolyarov, 12/01/17, Reuters) 

The threat of new U.S. sanctions has spread anxiety among Russia's wealthiest people that their association with President Vladimir Putin could land them on a U.S. government blacklist, members of the business elite say. [...]

"People are on edge," said a senior figure in a major Russian company.

"If they classify you as close to Putin, just try proving it's not the case," the figure said. "The Americans' tactics are clear: they need to cause pain in all ways possible for those who support Putin."

While most of the business elite remains loyal to Putin, the prospect of personal sanctions -- which can prevent travel abroad or access to foreign bank accounts and freeze foreign assets -- has prompted some to steer clear, the sources said.

Fortunately, neither Vlad nor Donald understands America.

Posted by orrinj at 8:26 AM

APPARENTLY NOT A METAPHOR:

White House maintenance orders reveal cockroaches, ants and mice infestations (JOHN BOWDEN, 11/30/17, The Hill)


Posted by orrinj at 5:50 AM

DUDE, YOU ALREADY CORNERED THE RACIST MARKET:

Trump reportedly says a government shutdown could help him (Erica Pandey, 12/01/17, Axios)

His rationale is reportedly that refusing to budge on immigration will curry favor with his base of supporters who were unhappy he struck a debt ceiling deal with Democrats in the fall.

He's probably not wrong that even the 20% that represents his base needs shoring up, but that won't help him.



Posted by orrinj at 5:40 AM

OBSTRUCTION ALL THE WAY DOWN:

Trump Pressed Top Republicans to End Senate Russia Inquiry (JONATHAN MARTIN, MAGGIE HABERMAN and ALEXANDER BURNSNOV. 30, 2017, NY Times)

President Trump over the summer repeatedly urged senior Senate Republicans, including the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to end the panel's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, according to a half dozen lawmakers and aides. Mr. Trump's requests were a highly unusual intervention from a president into a legislative inquiry involving his family and close aides.

Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, the intelligence committee chairman, said in an interview this week that Mr. Trump told him that he was eager to see an investigation that has overshadowed much of the first year of his presidency come to an end.

"It was something along the lines of, 'I hope you can conclude this as quickly as possible,'" Mr. Burr said. He said he replied to Mr. Trump that "when we have exhausted everybody we need to talk to, we will finish."

In addition, according to lawmakers and aides, Mr. Trump told Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri and a member of the intelligence committee, to end the investigation swiftly.