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Sunday, December 2nd open thread: ‘Natural’

December 2, 2018

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 KJV)

  open-threadHere is the open thread for Sunday, December 2nd. Please feel free to post links to interesting articles and to discuss whatever issues arise during the course of the day. Nothing is off-topic here.

 You can subscribe to America’s Watchtower to receive email updates and you can also follow America’s Watchtower on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links on the right. 

  Here is Imagine Dragons performing “Natural” live from earlier this year, enjoy:

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The United States, Mexico, and Canada sign NAFTA replacement deal

November 30, 2018

  Back in August Donald Trump and Mexico reached an agreement on a new trade deal which would replace NAFTA. The mainstream media and the Democrats, unwilling to wait to see how the whole thing would play out, attacked the deal because it did not include Canada. Then in October Donald Trump made good on his promise to negotiate a new trade deal with Canada and our neighbors to the North signed onto the USMCA.

  With the mainstream media running interference over the last couple of days with the Russia investigation you might have missed it but today the leaders of the three countries officially signed the USMCA, here is more: 

The leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico signed a new trade agreement here Friday, a development that President Donald Trump called “a truly groundbreaking achievement.”

The USMCA pact, largely a modernization of the nearly 25-year-old North America Free Trade Agreement, still must be approved by Congress — a potential challenge for Trump because Democrats take control of the House in less than five weeks.

Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took turns praising the pact’s market access provisions, as well as its labor and environmental standards, before sitting down at a table to affix their signatures to the deal.

“All of our countries will benefit greatly,” Trump said at the signing ceremony, which was held on the margins of a G-20 summit here.

  This fulfills Donald Trump’s campaign promise to renegotiate NAFTA and he has pledged to redo other trade deals as well. Of course this is not official until the legislations of all three countries sign off on it, and you know that the Democrats who have vowed to oppose and resist everything the President does are going to fight tooth and nail to bring take deal down and deny Donald Trump a victory, even if it means hurting the United States.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Donald Trump to sign bump stock ban

November 29, 2018

  Back in February Donald Trump directed Jeff Sessions to create regulations banning bump stocks and other similar devices. Now, according to this story, the new regulations are complete and Donald Trump will be signing the ban shortly. And just for the record, this new ban includes confiscation.

  Here is more:

The Trump administration plans to announce the long-anticipated federal rule officially banning bump stocks in the coming days, according to US officials familiar with the matter.

Bump stocks gained national attention last year after a gunman in Las Vegas rigged his weapons with the devices to fire on concertgoers, killing 58 people. President Donald Trump vowed to outlaw the devices soon after the tragedy, and some lawmakers on Capitol Hill urged him to back a permanent legislative fix.

But opposition from lawmakers and the National Rifle Association ultimately made a regulatory change the only realistic path forward to accomplishing the President’s goal.

Under the new rule, bump stock owners would be required to destroy or surrender the devices to authorities. Members of the public will be given 90 days to turn in or otherwise discard their bump stocks, according to a source familiar with the final rule.

I hate to say it but if you ask me it looks like Donald Trump pulled a Barack Obama; he used his pen and his phone to create a law where none existed because he could not get it through the Congress. 

  However there could be an upside because if you remember correctly Donald Trump promised to repeal two older regulations for each new regulation his administration wrote. I will not be holding my breath…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Robert Mueller accuses Paul Manafort of lying after agreeing to cooperate with the investigation

November 28, 2018

  According to this article Paul Manafort’s lawyer was briefing Donald Trump’s lawyer about his interviews with the investigators after he had struck a deal to cooperate with Robert Mueller. The article goes on to say that although this is unusual there is nothing illegal about it.

A lawyer for Paul Manafort, the president’s onetime campaign chairman, repeatedly briefed President Trump’s lawyers on his client’s discussions with federal investigators after Manafort agreed to cooperate with the special counsel, according to one of Trump’s lawyers and two other people familiar with the conversations.

The arrangement was highly unusual and inflamed tensions with Mueller’s office when prosecutors discovered it after Manafort began cooperating two months ago, the people said. Some legal specialists speculated it was a bid by Manafort for a presidential pardon even as he worked with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, in hopes of a lighter sentence.

  I would say, yeah he was playing both sides of the fence but if there is nothing illegal about it why wouldn’t he? It seems like the smart thing to do, however because of this Robert Mueller’s investigative team is accusing Paul Manafort of lying to them and breaking the plea deal.

While Downing’s discussions with the president’s team violated no laws, they helped contribute to a deteriorating relationship between lawyers for Manafort and Mueller’s prosecutors, who accused Manafort of holding out on them despite his pledge to assist them in any matter they deemed relevant, according to the people. That conflict spilled into public view on Monday when the prosecutors declared that Manafort had breached his plea deal by lying to them about several subjects.

  Because of this Paul Manafort is most likely headed to jail but is it possible that maybe, just maybe, he did fully cooperate with the investigation and there is just nothing there and now he is going to pay the price for something that did not happen because he refused to say it did?

  Somebody has to go to jail, it reminds me of that scene from National Treasure:

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

House Republicans release new tax plan

November 27, 2018

  During the campaign leading up to the mid-term elections Donald Trump stated that he and Republicans were working on a middle-class tax cut plan (which the right does not want to admit, but this was an admission that the middle-class got squat in Donald Trump’s lone legislative accomplishment) but this seemed to take the Republicans by surprise.

  Now we are learning that the House Republicans have released a new tax bill which will fix some “glitches” in the previous tax cut bill, maybe this is what Donald Trump was talking about:

House Republicans on Monday evening unexpectedly released a 297-page tax bill they hope to move during the lame-duck session of Congress.

The legislation would revive a number of expired tax provisions known as “extenders,” address glitches in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and make a range of changes to savings- and retirement-related tax provisions.

Other parts of the bill would revamp the IRS, provide new tax breaks for start-up businesses and offer assistance to disaster victims.

The measure amounts to House Republicans’ opening bid in negotiations with the Senate.

  Details are few and far between at this point but this certainly does not look like the aforementioned middle-class tax cut the President was speaking about during the mid-term campaign.

  Republicans are claiming this has bipartisan support:

In a statement, Brady said, “This broad, bipartisan package builds on the economic successes we continue to see throughout our country.”

“The policy proposals in this package have the support of Republicans and Democrats in both chambers,” he said.

  But I find this hard to believe: Why would the Democrats, who are thisclose to taking over control of the House after running on opposing everything the President wants to do, and after running on repealing the tax cuts, suddenly agree to fix whatever is wrong with the tax bill they oppose?

  The Republicans have had two years with a majority in the House and Senate and they have been a disappointment, I would not expect it to end any other way.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Sunday, November 25th open thread: ‘Lose Yourself’

November 25, 2018

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 KJV)

  open-threadHere is the open thread for Sunday, November 25th. Please feel free to post links to interesting articles and to discuss whatever issues arise during the course of the day. Nothing is off-topic here.

 You can subscribe to America’s Watchtower to receive email updates and you can also follow America’s Watchtower on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links on the right. 

  Here is Eminem performing “Lose Yourself” live, but I am not sure what year this is from:

House Republicans subpoena James Comey and Loretta Lynch

November 23, 2018

 Last week it was reported that the Republican House Judiciary Committee would subpoena James Comey and Loretta Lynch and now it appears as if they have, here is more:

“Happy Thanksgiving. Got a subpoena from House Republicans,” Comey wrote. “I’m still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions. But I will resist a ‘closed door’ thing because I’ve seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion.”

“Let’s have a hearing and invite everyone to see,” the former law enforcement official added.

Additionally, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch received a subpoena from House Republicans. The Obama-era official has yet to comment publically on the matter. Goodlatte is requesting Comey and Lynch appear for private depositions on December 3 and December 4, respectively.

  I think it is safe to put this one in the way too little to late column, now that they are just about out of power I guess they feel the need to bring  this sham investigation to a close so they can write a report and issue recommendations before the Democrats take over and drop the whole thing. What a bunch of frauds…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium