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Donald Trump cancels North Korean summit

May 24, 2018

  It is being reported here that Donald Trump has cancelled the North Korean summit. Here is more:

President Donald Trump wrote a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un saying that their planned summit next month in Singapore was cancelled.

The meeting, which would have marked the first face-to-face encounter between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader, was set for June 12 in the southeastern Asian island city state.

“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in the letter, which was released Thursday morning.

  Apparently this is in response to the statement North Korea made about Mike Pence earlier in the day while threatening to cancel the meeting themselves. Hopefully this is still just a little jockeying for position and something  can be worked out, but at the same time it all seemed too good to be true in the first place.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium


North Korea threatens to cancel nuclear summit after comments by Mike Pence

May 24, 2018

  After weeks of progress on North Korea, things began to sour a bit a couple of weeks ago when Kim Jong Un threatened to cancel the nuclear summit over planned war games between the United States and South Korea.

  Earlier this week Mike Pence said the military option was still on the table with North Korea, Donald Trump hinted at the possibility the summit might not go off in June as scheduled, and Mike Pompeo reaffirmed that Donald Trump would walk away from the table rather than sign a bad deal. 

  North Korea has taken offence to Mike Pence’s comments and is threatening to cancel the summit for a second time, here is more:

North Korea will reconsider the planned summit with the United States if Washington sticks to “unlawful and outrageous acts,” its vice foreign minister said Thursday.

In a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency, Choe Son-hui, a North Korean vice foreign minister, said that whether the June 12 summit between its leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump will happen as scheduled entirely rests on the decision and behavior of the U.S.

“Whether the U.S. will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States,” Choe said.

“In case the U.S. offends against our goodwill and clings to unlawful and outrageous acts, I will put forward a suggestion to our supreme leadership for reconsidering the DPRK-U.S. summit,” she added.

“U.S. Vice-President Pence has made unbridled and impudent remarks that North Korea might end like Libya, military option for North Korea never came off the table, the U.S. needs complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization, and so on,” she said. “As a person involved in the U.S. affairs, I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the U.S. vice-president.”

  Both sides want to come into the talks from a position of strength and neither side wants to look weak shortly before the summit. Hopefully this is just a little positioning before the summit, we have come too far at this point to let it slip away.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

The House passes bank reform bill

May 23, 2018

  You might have missed this yesterday with all of the distractions being thrown out by the mainstream media but the House passed a bank bill which will ease some of the Federal regulations imposed by the Dodd-Frank legislation in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

  Here is more:

The House on Tuesday passed a bill to loosen federal regulations on the banking sector, securing an election-year legislative accomplishment that is likely to be touted by members of both parties.

The 258-159 House vote sends the bill to President Trump, who has pledged to sign it.

“We’ve been losing a community bank or credit union every other day in America, and with it the hopes and dreams of millions,” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. “But today, that changes. Help is on the way.”

The legislation represents the first significant overhaul of the banking rules passed by a Democratic Congress in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

While the legislation falls well short of Trump’s campaign pledge to “dismantle” Dodd-Frank, it also includes significant changes to the law that have long been sought by U.S. banks and credit unions.

  While several vulnerable Democrats in districts Donald Trump won in 2016 were co-sponsors of the legislation this drew the ire of Democratic leaders:

“The American people paid a very high price for the weak oversight and discriminatory lending practices that culminated in the 2008 financial crisis,” Pelosi and Waters wrote. “We must not allow the GOP Congress to drag us back to the same lack of oversight that ignited the Great Recession.”

  Donald Trump promised to dismantle Dodd-Frank and according to the above-linked article this leaves most of it in place with some changes:

The final compromise will leave most of Dodd-Frank in place for the foreseeable future, while still providing benefits for all but some of the largest U.S. banks.

The measure will exempt dozens of regional banks from tighter regulation by raising the threshold for closer Fed oversight from $50 billion to $250 billion in assets. That frees several major regional banks, including M&T, Citizens, SunTrust, BB&T, Fifth Third and BMO Financial Corp., from some of Dodd-Frank’s strictest requirements.

Banks below the new $250 billion threshold will no longer be automatically subject to yearly Federal Reserve stress tests or higher capital requirements meant to ensure large firms are able to weather severe financial crises.

Those banks below the threshold will also be exempted from submitting a “living will” for Fed approval — a plan that outlines how a bank’s assets could be liquidated upon the firm’s failure without causing a widespread meltdown.

  There are also a couple of other changes designed to help smaller banks and credit unions which only deal with a small volume of mortgages. But for the most part, as I wrote above, Dodd-Frank mostly remains in place and that includes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Rod Rosenstein orders investigation into FBI Trump campaign ‘infiltration’

May 20, 2018

  Well that did not take long: I just finished writing a post about Donald Trump demanding the Department of Justice investigate whether or not the FBI had a mole in the Trump campaign and how I would not expect to see one forthcoming and then I go back online and find out, according to this story, that Rod Rosenstein has ordered the investigation.

  Here is more:

The Justice Department asked its watchdog to look into any alleged “impropriety or political motivation” in the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, the DOJ said Sunday night — hours after President Trump ordered a review looking into whether federal agents infiltrated or surveilled his campaign for political purposes.

“The Department has asked the Inspector General to expand the ongoing review of the (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) application process to include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election. As always, the Inspector General will consult with the appropriate U.S. Attorney if there is any evidence of potential criminal conduct,” DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores told Fox News.

She also released a response from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein: “If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action.”

  So at least the process has been put in motion but again I remain skeptical.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Donald Trump demands the Department of Justice investigate if the FBI had a spy in the Trump campaign

May 20, 2018

Back on May 11th it was reported that the FBI placed a spy within the Trump campaign and today the President let it be know that tomorrow he would demand an investigation into the Obama era Department of Justice over this story.

This, of course, is not the first accusation made against the Obama administration’s use of surveillance during and after the campaign: there was also the wiretapping of Trump Tower during the transition and  the abuse of FISA warrants during the campaign. We have yet to see an investigation by Jeff Sessions Department of Justice into either of these issues so if I were Donald Trump I would not be holding my breath.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Unintentional hiatus

May 18, 2018

  Some of you probably realized I had  not been on the internet lately. It was due a sudden health issue on my part which led me to the Emergency Room on Wednesday evening with a heart problem.  I am hoping to be dismissed tomorrow but I don’t have  the strength to blog right now.

 Next week I will meeting with a cardiologist about valve replacement and I am prepared “because he loves me” says the Lord, “I will rescue him: “I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. with long life I will satisfy him and show me his salvation.’ Psalms 91:14-16.























North Korea threatens to cancel summit with Donald Trump

May 15, 2018

  Well is looks like a monkey wrench has been thrown into the mix with the scheduled talks with North Korea. Things were going too swimmingly but of course we have all been leery of Kim Jong Un’s intentions.

  According to this story Kim Jong Un is threatening to cancel the summit with Donald Trump over scheduled war games between South Korea and the United States.

North Korea’s government says it is considering calling off a planned nuclear summit between dictator Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump. 

Kim’s regime said through state-run news agency KCNA that ongoing ‘Max Thunder’ joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea are actually a ‘rehearsal for invasion’ of the North. 

‘The United States will also have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-U.S. summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities,’ KCNA said.

  The United States has made great strides with North Korea over the last few weeks and I would hate to see them jeopardized by these scheduled war drills. In the interest of peace talks with North Korea I would not have a problem with Donald Trump backing down on the war drills.

  We have come too far to let it fall apart now but the question is, will Donald Trump see backing down as a sign of weakness? Will his ego allow him to back down? To date the United States has not given anything up and this is one concession I would not have a problem with in the interest of a denuclearized North Korea.

 malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium