In a video spreading quickly on social media, a Seattle man is shown attempting to speak to the Seattle City Council. What comes next highlights how the ruling class view the electorate… WATCH:
Yesterday the U.S. Treasury announced sanctions against two Chinese shipping firms for violating ongoing sanctions against North Korea [TREASURY HERE].
With USTR Robert Lighthizer and Secretary Mnuchin set to travel this weekend to Beijing for ongoing trade discussion, the sanction timing complicates the dance with the dragon. Subsequently President Trump sends the following tweet:
Slamming China with sanctions (over DPRK dragon activity) while Beijing is showing the Panda mask (during Beijing trade negotiations) is not wise. If the Panda mask drops during trade negotiations to reveal the Dragon face, then ok. However, the majority of the West, driven by a misunderstanding of the China-DPRK relationship, does not know how directly a manipulative Beijing controls Pyongyang.
Taking aggressive sanction action against China could backfire with Beijing ordering those around Chairman Kim to test a missile.
President Trump and USTR Lighthizer know the nuance and subtlety needed in the dance with the dragon. The larger issue of DPRK denuclearization, the bottom-line reason for the North Korea sanctions, will be solved within the U.S.-China trade discussion.
Of course the media, who have no concept of the dance with the dragon/panda; and no concept of Chairman Xi’s control over Chairman Kim; will jump in to say President Trump is only exhibiting short sighted egoism toward a relationship with Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping. President Trump is doing exactly the opposite of being short-sighted; in fact he’s looking at the much larger picture.
The White House puts out a statement: “President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary.” Again, President Trump is playing to the current Panda mask position of Chairman Xi, and positioning U.S.T.R Lighthizer’s upcoming trip to China without the controversy of recent sanctions looming over the negotiations.
In the dance with the dragon, all action must take place toward the face that is currently visible. Beijing is currently showing the Panda face. The U.S. Team know the Panda mask is just that, a mask. This is one of the nuances in dealing with China.
It would be poor form, and ultimately result in little progress, to approach the Panda mask using dragon hostility. This is not how successful outcomes against the Chinese are reached.
The dragon weapons, in this case brutal sanctions, are saved for when the Panda mask is visibly removed; and/or when the Chinese opponent knows you are aware of their duplicity. Deploy countermeasures too early, and your give an excuse for the Panda to drop the mask.
When dealing with China all negotiations must come from a place where China gains something. From the Chinese position if it does not benefit China; if it does not gain them value; it is not done. If there is nothing positive to gain from negotiations, then no action is taken.
The outcome of negotiating to ‘lose less’ is not a position that China accepts.
President Trump already has the Chinese government controlled economy in a state of worry. That worry keeps companies away from engaging with China. That worry is a negative position for Beijing. The elimination of that worry is a positive outcome. China will negotiate terms if they can gain the value of eliminating economic worry.
Thus, the dance with the dragon.
Re-Posted from The Conservative Tree House on March 22, 2019 by sundance
Earlier this morning President Trump delivered remarks to the White House press pool as he departed for Mar-a-lago. [Video and Transcript below]
Transcript] – South Lawn – 9:45 A.M. EDT[
Q Mr. President, do you expect the Mueller report to be submitted today?
THE PRESIDENT: I have no idea about the Mueller report.
I’m going to Florida. We have meetings with the five Caribbean leaders. That’ll be at Mar-a-Lago. We have a lot of other meetings set up for this weekend on trade. We have a lot of talks with China. And a lot of things are happening. We’ll be doing it from Florida. And a lot of very important things are happening.
Q You said the Democrats are anti-Israel —
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
Q You said the Democrats are anti-Israel and that they are anti-Jewish. They’re all skipping the AIPAC conference next week, but you’re not going as well.
THE PRESIDENT: The Democrats have very much proven to be anti-Israel. There’s no question about that. And it’s a disgrace. I mean, I don’t know what’s happened to them. But they are totally anti-Israel. Frankly, I think they’re anti-Jewish.
Q (Inaudible) reports that there were 100,000 illegal (inaudible) border (inaudible) —
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, we’re being very, very strong on the border. The number is enormous of people that we’ve captured, people that we’ve apprehended, but we’re going to take care of it. We are being very, very tough at the border.
Q Congressional investigations, Mr. President — are you telling your staff not to comply?
THE PRESIDENT: It’s just a continuation of the same witch hunt. They know it. And behind closed doors, they laugh at it. It’s just a continuation of the same nonsense. Everybody knows.
They ought to go to work, get infrastructure done, and get a lot of other things done instead of wasting everybody’s time.
Q Mr. President, what’s your reaction to the reports that —
THE PRESIDENT: I can’t hear you.
Q What’s your reaction to the reports that Jared Kushner used an encrypted app to communicate with foreign officials?
THE PRESIDENT: I know nothing about it. I’ve never heard that. I’ve never heard about it.
Q Mr. President, if Robert Mueller is presiding over a hoax, do you think Robert Mueller is personally dishonest in this whole thing?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re going to see what happens. It’s going to be very interesting. But we’ll see what happens. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. Everybody knows it. It’s all a big hoax. It’s — I call it the witch hunt. It’s all a big hoax.
So we’ll see what happens. I know that the Attorney General, highly respected, ultimately will make a decision.
Q Mr. President, is there (inaudible) process (inaudible) —
THE PRESIDENT: There won’t be. And if there is, it’ll only play to our advantage.
Shortly before the president signed an executive order on affirming first amendment rights on college campuses yesterday, President Trump sat down for an extensive interview with Maria Bartiromo.
The interview covers a wide range of topics with a primary focus on the U.S. economy, ongoing trade discussions and issues that impact the U.S. workforce. One of the granular issues that surfaces is a subject we discuss frequently, the value of the ‘chicken tax‘; the 25% tariff on imported trucks and SUV’s. WATCH:
Everything about last year’s headline story just two-weeks before the mid-term election was weird; including the refusal of the FBI to state what ‘specifically’ was the material suspect Cesar Sayoc was accused of using to create his Acme looking pipe bombs.
You might remember: FBI Director Christopher Wray outlined during his remarks that the devices consisted of PVC pipe, clocks, batteries, wiring and “energetic material that can become combustible when subjected to heat or friction”.
The FBI director went out of his way to state: “these were not hoax devices.” The DOJ then moved to seal all court filings and the case against the nut continued behind the curtain of ‘national security’. Suspect Cesar Sayoc was scheduled to go on trial this summer on charges relating to the pipe bombs. However, today he entered a guilty plea before a federal judge in New York.
(Via Washington Post) Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man accused of mailing explosive devices to more than a dozen politicians and media figures who have been critical of President Trump, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court.
Sayoc, 57, was arrested and charged in October after a series of possible explosive devices were sent to former president Barack Obama, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and the news network CNN, among others. Officials said he sent a total of 16 devices to 13 people across the country.
On Thursday, he appeared in a Manhattan court room and read from a brief written statement in a quiet, raspy voice. Sayoc acknowledging that he created the devices and sent them in the mail.
“I knew these actions were wrong. I’m extremely sorry,” Sayoc said. He briefly lost his composure at one point while speaking, prompting his attorneys to rub his back.
Responding to a question from U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff, Sayoc said: “I was aware of the risk that they would explode.”
Sayoc’s guilty plea had been anticipated since his court docket showed last week that a pretrial conference scheduled for Thursday had been changed to a “plea” hearing. He had previously pleaded not guilty. (read more)
President Trump participates in an Executive Order signing and delivers remarks on “improving free inquiry, transparency, and accountability on campus.” Anticipated start time 3:20pm EST
UPDATE: Video and Transcript Added Today, President Donald J. Trump will deliver remarks on promoting and protecting free speech on college campuses and sign an Executive Order on “Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities.”
[Transcript] – East Room -3:43 P.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Please be seated. I am truly delighted to welcome so many impressive young Americans to the White House. This is a very exciting day. What we’re doing is very important. And we’re here to take historic action to defend American students and American values. They’ve been under siege.
In a few moments, I will be signing an executive order to protect free speech on college campuses. Just the thought of it sounds good. We’re grateful — (applause). It’s true.
We’re very grateful to be joined today by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Betsy? Where are you, Betsy? Hi, Betsy. (Laughter.) And Secretary of Health and Human Services, who has done a really great job — we have prescription drug prices coming down — first time in 51 years, so — Alex Azar. Thank you very much, Alex. (Applause.)
Most importantly, let me thank all of the college students and recent graduates here with me on stage. Incredible young people. These courageous Americans have stood up [DEL: for :DEL] [to] the forces of political indoctrinations — and they really stood up to it, too, like very few people have been able to; censorship; and coercion.
You refused to be silenced by powerful institutions and closed-minded critics, of which there are many. You faced down intimidation, pressure and abuse. You did it because you love your country and you believe in truth, justice, and freedom. And I want to thank you all, everybody in the room, including a lot of folks in the audience. Charlie. A lot of folks,
You’ve fought bravely for your rights and now you have a President who is also fighting for you. I’m with you all the way. Okay? All right? (Applause.)
In America, the very heart of the university’s mission is preparing students for life as citizens in a free society. But even as universities have received billions and billions of dollars from taxpayers, many have become increasingly hostile to free speech and to the First Amendment. You see it all the time.
You turn on the news and you see things that are horrible. You see people being punched hard in the face. But he didn’t go down. He didn’t go down. (Applause.) I said, “You have a better chin than Muhammad Ali, and he had a great chin.” (Laughter.) And you see the cowbell scene. You saw that horrible scene. That was a disgraceful thing at a school, at a university.
Under the guise of “speech codes” and “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings,” these universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity, and shut down the voices of great young Americans like those here today. These are great people.
All of that changes starting right now. We’re dealing with billions and billions and billions of dollars. (Applause.) Taxpayer dollars should not subsidize anti-First Amendment institutions. And that’s exactly what they are: anti-First Amendment. Universities that want taxpayer dollars should promote free speech, not silence free speech. (Applause.)
Today’s groundbreaking action is the first in a series of steps we will take to defend students’ rights. We are proudly joined by several young Americans who can speak directly about ideological intolerance on campus.
Here with us is Ellen Wittman, a junior at Miami University in Ohio. A great school. Ellen is the President of Students for Life.
In 2017, Ellen planned an annual event to display small wooden crosses representing the lives of the unborn. School officials informed Ellen that she would be required to post signs all over campus providing a “trigger warning” to other students regarding her display.
Ellen, please come up. Say a few words. Tell us your story, please. (Applause.) Thank you.
MS. WITTMAN: Well, thank you, Mr. President. This is a truly historic day in our country’s history. And I am so grateful that we have a President who recognizes that the First Amendment is under attack on our college campuses.
My story is so important because I have seen lives saved through my Students for Life efforts on campus. But I never imagined the hostility I would face when trying to express my beliefs. It’s ridiculous that it has gotten to this point.
Universities are supposed to be marketplaces of ideas. They should be encouraging free speech, not shutting it down. And speech is not free when university officials put conditions on student speech. The only permit we need to speak on campus is the First Amendment. Thank you, Mr. President. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: You watch, we will be witnessing today some great future political leaders. There’s plenty of them in the room. Not just up here, right? Out there too. We really appreciate it. That was beautiful. Thank you very much.
We’re also joined by Kaitlyn Mullen, a student at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. While simply standing at a table to represent a conservative group on campus, Turning Point USA — which does such incredible work. And thank you very much, Charlie. It’s true. Come on. We can give him a hand. (Applause.) Thank you.
Kaitlyn was approached by staff and a graduate instructor, and was berated and cursed at. School officials tried to bully Kaitlyn into leaving, but she bravely stood her ground. Kaitlyn, please come up and say a few words. Okay, Kaitlyn? Thank you. (Applause.)
MS. MULLEN: Thank you, Mr. President. What happened to me is common on universities today and students are getting shut down and silenced on campus. So I’m really thankful that President Trump is addressing this issue because, as the future of America, it’s important that our universities are a place where we could speak freely and have healthy, respectful dialogue on campus.
So thank you so much, President Trump, for doing this. No other student should have to go through what I’ve gone through on campus. So thank you. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you, Kaitlyn. Beautiful.
And I have to say that, you know, we have — in my opinion, we have more than they have. People don’t realize that. You see what’s going on.
I just came back from Ohio. The streets were lined with people. I came back recently from Alabama, where they had that horrible tornado. It was terrible. But the people were lined as far as the eye could see — lined up with people. And we’re here. This is the White House. I’m the President. And we’re together.
And hopefully, we can bring everybody together. That’s really what we want to do. And they can have different views. And if they do have different views, we encourage that. But they have to let you speak. They have to let you speak.
Also here with us today is Polly Olson, a student at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Last year, Polly was handing out homemade Valentine’s Day cards with messages such as “You are special” and “Jesus loves you.”
College officials stopped her and told her that she would be restricted to so-called “free speech zone” because some people might find her cards offensive. I don’t. (Laughter.) I love that card. (Applause.) In fact, Polly, give me some. I’ll send them around to my friends. (Laughter.)
Polly, please say a few words. Polly. Polly, thank you. (Applause.)
MS. OLSON: So freedom of speech is near and dear to my heart. My mother told me while she was homeschooling me that I would need to know what my First Amendment rights were because someday they would be violated and I would have to stand up for them.
So I’m carrying on her legacy of handing out these little valentines encouraging people to know that they are loved and cared for. And within 15 minutes of setting foot on my campus this past year, I was told that I was soliciting and disrupting the learning environment and that it would not be tolerated and that I would have to stop handing out my valentines.
And I contacted some friends of mine and they sent me to WILL to have legal counsel because this wasn’t the first time the school had done it to me. They had stopped me a year — well, a few months after my mom died — and told me that I was not allowed to do it then. So I went through months of trying to get them to change this policy that they were enforcing, and they told me that they would do it. Well, that was five years ago.
So now it was time to take action and make them follow through with what they were telling me that they were going to do — trying to shut me up. I’m just one of many students that are out there that universities and schools are trying to shut down, sweep it under the rug, and make them be quiet.
And I told them I’m not going to be quiet this time. I’m going to talk to anyone and everyone I can about our freedom of speech in this country because it’s really the core of America’s freedom. And without freedom of speech, we don’t have America anymore.
And so I challenge America to learn to love one another as Christ did on the cross for each one of us. And that — speak your differences. It’s okay. We are in a country of freedom. And, really, that’s what’s important — is to embrace the diversity that we have here because that’s made America great in the first place.
And we need to carry on that legacy of protecting freedom of speech on campuses and in our workplaces. People at work should not be afraid to express their beliefs. It’s our right. It’s our freedom. Thank you. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: So thank you all for your courage.
Today, we are delivering a clear message to the professors and power structures trying to suppress dissent and keep young Americans — and all Americans, not just young Americans like Ellen and Kaitlyn and Polly — from challenging rigid, far-left ideology. People who are confident in their beliefs do not censor others — we don’t want to censor others — they welcome free, fair and open debate. And that’s what we’re demanding.
Under the policy I am announcing today, federal agencies will use their authority under various grant-making programs to ensure that public universities protect, cherish — protect the First Amendment and First Amendment rights of their students, or risk losing billions and billions of dollars of federal taxpayer dollars. (Applause.)
Every year, the federal government provides educational institutions with more than $35 billion in research funding. All of that money is now at stake. That’s a lot of money. (Laughter.) They are going to not have to like your views a lot, right? (Laughter.)
We will not stand idly by and allow public institutions to violate their students’ constitutional rights. If a college or university doesn’t allow you to speak, we will not give them money. It’s very simple. (Applause.)
At the same time, private universities should be held to their own policies on free speech. So, from now on, federal agencies will also use their grant-making authority to promote transparency for students at private schools. These colleges should not be able to promise free speech in theory, and then impose restrictive speech codes in practice, which is what many of them do.
Today’s action is just the beginning of our efforts to protect free speech and advance our students’ rights agenda. What I’ve been witnessing over the last long period of time, long before I became President — what I’ve been witnessing is outrageous.
This order will also empower students with vital information about the value of the programs they take on and — having to do with debt. Student loan debt. I’m going to work to fix it because it’s outrageous what’s happening. You’re not given that fair start. You’re too far down. It’s not right. And we’re going to work very, very hard to get it fixed.
But we’re going to start with 43 million people in the United States who are currently working to pay off student loans. And we’ll be talking about that very soon. We’re going to work on that very soon. I’ve always been very good with loans and — (laughter) — I love loans. (Laughter.) I love other people’s money. (Laughter and applause.) And we’re going to work on it. (Applause.) I made a lot of money with those loans, and you’re going to, too. You’re going to do something that’s going to be fair and good. But we’re going to work with you very closely.
The average student loan borrower owes roughly $35,000 dollars — that’s a lot — and, in many cases, much more than that. I’ve seen numbers that go over $200,000. You’re behind the eight ball before you start.
And yet, typically, students who take loans do not have access to critical information about what career outcomes they can expect from their programs, majors, or fields of study. They borrow more money than they can ever expect to pay off or pay back.
Many middle-class American families are getting ripped off, while tax-exempt colleges and large institutions, frankly — they take these tremendous endowments. You look at the money that they have. They’re making a fortune.
For that reason, I am directing the Department of Education and the Department of Treasury to publish detailed information on future earnings and loan repayment rates for every major and every program at every single school. It’s very important. (Applause.)
Today’s order also directs the Department of Education to propose a plan that will require colleges and universities to have skin in the game by sharing a portion of the financial risk of the student loan debt. I believe — (applause).
I believe that colleges and universities, their costs have gone up more than anything I can think of. I’ve watched this. And you watch companies, and they’ll keep it the same for years and years. And you watch these colleges and universities and certain institutions, where it just goes right through the roof.
And the reason — there’s no incentive to them to watch costs. You see people at the heads of the institutions being paid a fortune. They don’t care because the government loans the student the money, they pay the money to the college, and then the student graduates from college — maybe a very good college, but they graduate — or university — and they’re stuck with $200,000 in loans that they won’t be able to pay off for a long time.
So we’re going to make them have an incentive to keep their costs down. Right now, they have no incentive whatsoever. I watched this over a period of time, I figured it out very, very quickly. I’m good at that stuff, believe me. (Laughter.) And I just see their numbers go up so rapidly because they just don’t have the burden on them. And we’re going to put burden on the institutions.
We want them to get the best peop- — teachers and the professors and the administrators and the heads, but the numbers are out of reality. And certainly, they make it out of reality for students when you have to pay back those loans someday.
With today’s action and every action to come, the Trump administration will fight for America’s students. We’re fighting very hard.
And remember what I said: We’re going to give the student loans — where you have way, way over a trillion dollars in student loans — we’re going to start looking at that very seriously and help some of those students that are just mired in debt.
We know that freedom must prevail on college campuses if freedom is to prosper in America. It’s so important. And we believe that greatness must be practiced in our halls of learning if greatness is to thrive in our halls of government and our corridors of commerce.
You’re going to have great lives. But I want you to get off to a great start, not a start where you’re behind a barricade that just doesn’t let you succeed. And we’re going to make it much easier for you — this administration — and we’ve worked very hard on it already.
We’ll be having some meetings. And we’ll be having some very major discussions with some of the biggest colleges and universities. And we’re going to have them shoulder some of the responsibility and some of the money that’s necessary for you to use in order to get your education.
To every student and young American here today: Don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you know is right, from asking questions, from challenging the powerful, or from speaking your mind. And that’s the primary reason we’re here right now. You’re going to speak your mind. You’re going to be fair. You’re going to reasonable. You’re going to do it well. And you’re going to speak your mind.
Never ever quit, never give in, and never back down. Keep standing up for your values, for your classmates, and for your country. And you can be certain that, every day of my presidency, we will always support your rights, and your freedoms, and your future.
Thank you all for being here. This is a great honor for me. I’ve been watching this for too long. I’ve been watching things that are unwatchable and I don’t like it. But we’re going to do something about it. See? We like to act, as opposed to just watching and saying, “Oh, isn’t that a shame?” We don’t say that. (Laughter.) We don’t say that. (Applause.)
And I want to congratulate everybody — everybody — for being here. You have just a tremendous future ahead of you and this will make it a lot easier. And you get that point of view across.
And listen to the other point of view. Maybe you can changed and maybe not. I doubt it. (Laughter.) But maybe. You never know. And you what? If you can, that’s okay. And you’ll change them, too. You’re going to change them, too. But, ultimately, it brings people together.
So congratulations. I’ll sign right now. Thank you all for being here. (Applause.)
(The executive order is signed.)
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
As of today the geographical ISIS caliphate, the open control over territory, has ended. There is no longer a geographic land mass under the control and ownership of the extremist ISIS group known as ISIS. All their territory has been removed.
An review of multiple DoD, State and Media reports essentially boils down to ISIS returning to an insurgency, a loosely connected ideological terror group without control over any specific area.
Interestingly, the foreign fighters who traveled to Syria to fight for ISIS were reported as the last ones to give up the caliphate fight. Presumably because they would be unable to assimilate into the local communities, those foreign fighters were the last to be eliminated.
BAGHOUZ, Syria — The caliphate has crumbled, and the final offensive is over. While the official announcement hasn’t yet been made – Fox News has been told that this village, the last ISIS stronghold, is liberated.
It’s the first time since we’ve been here in Syria for five days that the bombs have stopped dropping and the gunfire has disappeared. We have witnessed the end of the caliphate – the brutal empire that once ruled over 8 million people – is gone
The last five days, Fox News has witnessed the last major offensive up close -– with U.S.-backed SDF forces attacking ISIS from three sides, pushing the fighters back, house to house, then tent to tent, against the Euphrates River.
Inside Baghouz, it’s easy to see how they hid for so long – not just in tunnels but trenches and hundreds of cubby holes covered by tarpaulins, which blend in perfectly to the dirt.
In the end, the majority surrendered. In fact, since the start of the year about 60,000 have dripped into the desert, and most are now held in camps.
There is a major concern about what to do with the camps though. The SDF has asked for U.S. support in setting up a tribunal here to prosecute them. (read more)
President Trump took office with specific instructions to the U.S. military to use all options to eliminate the ISIS caliphate.
For four-and-a-half years, ISIS held this territory, ruling over it with an iron fist. It was the terrorist group’s heartland – and they were so dug in that the only way to push them back was to flatten whole villages. The devastation here goes on for miles – and craters like this are a reminder of the critical role played by U.S. airpower. Military jets still fly overhead.
SDF fighters are all so grateful to the U.S., not just for their help in the battle, but now for its decision to leave troops here when it’s done. (link)
White House Senior Adviser Kellyanne Conway sits down for an interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. Within the interview Bartiromo asks Ms. Conway about her husband’s very public criticisms of President Trump…. and the conversation gets weird.
This is an unusual public conversation about an odd personal dynamic.