Archive for January 10, 2018

House Passes Resolution Supporting Iranian Protestors 415-2

January 10, 2018

House Passes Resolution Supporting Iranian Protestors 415-2, BreitbartPenny Starr, January 9, 2018

AP Photo/Frank Augstein

The crowd in Los Angeles also expressed thanks to President Donald Trump for his outspoken support of the protesters, according to tweets posted during the weekend.

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The House of Representatives approved House Resolution 676 on Tuesday, putting into the Congressional Record its support for the protesters that have taken to the streets in cities across Iran in opposition to its oppressive radical Islamic government.

HR 676 reads: “Supporting the rights of the people of Iran to free expression, condemning the Iranian regime for its crackdown on legitimate protests, and for other purposes.”

House approves resolution in support of Iran protests, 415-2

Two Republicans voted against the resolution: Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Thomas Massie (R-KY).

The House Radio and TV Gallery confirmed to Breitbart News the vote count and the two members who voted “no” on the resolution.

 The regime in Iran has insisted the protests have been put down, but supporters — including those who have held rallies across the United States in recent days — say the protesters need support for their cause to bring about a Democratic Republic in the country.

Hundreds gathered in Washington, DC, and an estimated 2,000 in Los Angeles, California, over the weekend in support of the protesters.

“Let us declare our solidarity with the people of Iran,” Amir Emadi — whose father was one of 52 Iranian refugees killed in 2013 by Iraqi security forces in Camp Ashraf, Iraq — said at the rally in the nation’s capital.

“We are gathered here to say to the international community; you must recognize the legitimate right of the people of Iran and overthrow the ruling religious dictatorship and establish a secular, democratic, Republic of Iran,” Emadi said. “You must strongly condemn and hold accountable the Iranian regime for murder and mass arrest of defenseless protesters.”

“You must impose sanctions on the regime for killings and arrests during current uprisings,” said Emadi, who supports the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

At least 21 protesters have been killed since protests began on December 27, but some say the number is much higher. Authorities in Iran have said that at least 450 people weredetained, but the U.S. Department of State said the number could be as many as 1,000, CNN reported.

The crowd in Los Angeles also expressed thanks to President Donald Trump for his outspoken support of the protesters, according to tweets posted during the weekend.

Donald Trump—the Grownup in the Room on Immigration

January 10, 2018

Donald Trump—the Grownup in the Room on Immigration, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, January 9, 2018

Immigration Arrest

Donald Trump gets called crazy a lot. Or infantile. Or senile. More than a bit of projection may be operative in these allegations, however. Watching Tuesday’s televised discussion of immigration (video here) with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders, which the president opened to the media, it was hard not to come to an opposite conclusion.

Donald Trump was the real grownup in the room.

Yes, he made occasional jokes, but that’s what grownups do to relax tense situations. To get politicians from both sides of the aisle talking to each other cordially in the current hyper-partisan atmosphere is no easy feat.  But Trump did that.  He showed himself to be what many of us have thought him to be from the outset, whatever the attendant melodrama — a pragmatic businessman with moderately conservative views, even, dare I say it, sometimes weirdly wise. Above all, he is a man who likes to make progress, who wants to move things forward to a better day while recognizing that there is no perfect. How adult is that.

And, yes, it’s possible this event was arranged to counteract the bad publicity from Michael Wolff’s bilious, factually challenged book, but so what?  Basically, Trump (with the help of the cameras) shamed his fellow and gal politicians into civility and evidently cajoled them into at least a partial solution,  later, in closed session, to that most intractable of problems – immigration.  If Trump were anything like his detractors say he is, he couldn’t have done either.  He even urged them on to a more global solution on immigration, reminding the politicians at the table they were closer to that goal than they realized. If that’s crazy, maybe we need more of it.

But what of this partial solution?  By its very nature, ideologues of the left and right will not be satisfied. (Are they ever?)  Lefties want to solve DACA first and then, oncethe “Dreamers” have their “pathway to citizenship,” the left promises to deal with border security and such things as chain migration and the trendily named Diversity Visa Lottery later.  Of course, that’s nonsense. They have no intention of doing anything to mitigate the latter two and to the former they will only pay lip service.

Every politician in the room knew that and so, of course, did Trump.  He made sure it didn’t happen.

On the right, Anne Coulter and others of her ilk will doubtless be disappointed, to put it mildly, that an impregnable border wall will not immediately be erected across the entire Southern border and all eleven million illegal aliens summarily ejected from our country. They will claim Trump promised this during the campaign, and he did at moments, but if you were listening carefully, you knew where he was ultimately going — he hinted at it and more many times — compromise.

And why not? Short of revolution, that’s the only way in the end to get what you want.  Trump’s a negotiator and we’re all lucky for it.  As of now it looks as if chain migration and the lottery are dead and gone.  Good thing too, because they were both conduits for lethal terrorism, as we have seen, potential murder weapons. As for the wall, that awful word compromise will apply again. Some of it will be built. The question is — will it be enough? Probably not.  Second question is — will border security be better than it is now?  Probably yes.

Call me a wuss, but in the real world, I’ll take “probably yes” any time.  And also, while I’m being a slavish Trump admirer, which undoubtedly I am (I admit it), I will remind all of the conclusion of Monday night’s fantastic football game.  As fans will recall, seconds after things looked disastrous for Alabama, its young quarterback sacked for a 25-yard loss or whatever, putting the game seemingly out of reach, the Tide’s same prodigious 18-year old freshman threw a forty-some yard pass for a touchdown and victory.  He did this by “looking off” his opponents, making them think he was throwing in another direction.

That’s what Trump does.  He looks us off a lot. Everyone, especially the press, goes running off in another direction.  Then, when we’re not paying attention or when we think all is lost and calamity is upon us,  something good happens — tax reform passes, the American embassy is moved to Jerusalem, etc.  For a crazy, eleven-year old idiot, this guy seems to know what he’s doing. For now, he’s the best quarterback we’ve got.

One more thing, as they say at Apple. Some are feigning outrage that Trump, at the same meeting, proposed something as retrograde as a return to the dreaded earmarks (unrelated pet projects added to bills to get them passed). Mon Dieu! Trump’s advocating corruption.  Well, not exactly. He’s a realist who realizes that there was something good in earmarks — Democrats and Republicans actually talked with each other and worked together — mixed in with the bad.  Whether a return to earmarks would be a solution to this or whether, as he indicated might be true, there is a way to reform earmarks to make them work is not clear.  But Trump made his point.  Our politicians should learn to cooperate for the good of the people the way they used to — or we like to think that they used to. Whichever is the case, again, his point is made.

South Korean President: You Know Who Deserves “Big Credit” For Panmunjom Talks, Right?

January 10, 2018

South Korean President: You Know Who Deserves “Big Credit” For Panmunjom Talks, Right? Hot Air, Ed Morrissey, January 10, 2018

Wait — Moon Jae-in can’t mean the man who is going to get us all nuked, can he? Well, yes, that’s precisely what South Korea’s president means. After opening the first talks with North Korea in over two years, Moon told reporters that Donald Trump deserves “big credit” for forcing the Kim regime to the table with a fresh strategy of hardball from the US (via Jake Tapper):

South Korean President Moon Jae-in credited U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday for helping to spark the first inter-Korean talks in more than two years, and warned that Pyongyang would face stronger sanctions if provocations continued. …

Seoul and Pyongyang agreed at Tuesday’s talks, the first since December 2015, to resolve all problems between them through dialogue and also to revive military consultations so that accidental conflict could be averted.

“I think President Trump deserves big credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks, I want to show my gratitude,” Moon told reporters at his New Year’s news conference. “It could be a resulting work of the U.S.-led sanctions and pressure.”

Granted, Moon softens this with a conditional in the end, but it doesn’t keep him from providing the credit up front. Previous administrations seemed more content to kick the can down the road, especially the Obama administration, which kept up sanctions but kept trying to downplay the crisis. Thanks to that approach, other players were able to shrug off the North Korean crisis, especially China.

Trump has taken a different tack; he is acting as though the crisis were present, which it is and has been for some time now. Trump has increased the pace and reach of sanctions to the point where North Korea now has very few avenues for trade on critical commodities such as fuel and food. Trump’s belligerence has forced China into action to try to bring its obstreperous client under some form of control. The disruption even forced Moon, who ran as an appeaser looking to dial down tensions, into deploying the THAAD systems he had opposed during his campaign.

Besides the fact that it reflects reality, Moon’s credit sets the table for an eventual US-North Korea negotiations, one expert tells Reuters:

Lee Woo-young, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said it was wise of Moon to praise Trump, his sanctions and pressure campaign.

“By doing that, he can help the U.S. build logic for moving toward negotiations and turning around the state of affairs in the future, so when they were ready to talk to the North, they can say the North came out of isolation because the sanctions were effective.”

At this point, direct negotiations are the only path left to avoid another armed conflict. Trump has said he would consider that option if the conditions were right, although Kim Jong-un has so far balked at the idea until he achieves nuclear parity with the US. This week’s talks could provide a short-cut to a settlement, but don’t expect Trump to take his foot off the gas pedal until those talks become a reality. He’s getting pretty good mileage right now out of his foreign policy toward the Korean Peninsula, and Moon corroborates that.

This makes Andrew Malcolm’s latest column on Trump’s foreign policy and general productivity look prescient:

Trump’s tweets at North Korea’s “little Rocket Man” draw instant media attention, even igniting speculations on the president’s mental health. They reinforce a popular perception that this president is a loose cannon, a perception he sometimes seeks and feeds with unorthodox presidential behavior and statements.

What doesn’t get reported so eagerly nor attributed to Trump’s presidency are puzzling positive developments: Economic growth exceeding three percent by Trump’s seventh month, unemployment falling to longtime lows, 1.84 million new jobs since Trump’s inauguration, confident stock markets soaring to all-time highs, new homebuilding up, dozens of large companies granting bonuses and wage hikes. Even Trump’s job approval was climbing at year’s end.

How can so many things be going so well with an unbalanced usurper in the Oval Office? …

These and other actions demonstrating freshened resolve abroad suggest when it comes to foreign policy, friends and foes alike would do well to note that Trump follows words with action.

They’re beginning to notice that in Pyongyang.

Spokesman: Senior Hamas official shot in the head

January 10, 2018

By Adam Rasgon, The Jerusalem Post
January 9, 2018 13:11

Article Link

{I never realized examining your gun could be so dangerous. – LS}

Imad al-Alami is in critical condition.

Senior Hamas official Imad al-Alami on Tuesday was admitted to a hospital in Gaza City after being shot in the head “while examining his personal weapon in his home,” Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.

Alami is known as a hardliner and has supported Hamas’s ties with Iran.

In a Facebook post, Barhoum said that Alami is in “critical condition.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Senior Hamas officials including Hamas Politburo Chief Ismail Haniyeh and Hamas Chief in Gaza Yahya Sinwar visited Alami in the intensive care unit in Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, Gaza-based media reported.

Alami has been a Hamas member since the late 1980s and was the first Hamas representative in Tehran.

In 2012, he returned to Gaza after spending a number of years outside of the Palestinian territories.

In 2014, one of his feet was injured in an Israeli air raid during Operation Protective Edge, according to Hamas’s official website.