Closing Thought–25Jul18

I have pretty much stayed away from the immigration stories….basically because there is just too much bullshit circling around the subject (silly noise)……but the other day a friend sent my something in an email and asked if I had heard anything about this situation…..

L. Francis Cissna, director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), revealed to the Associated Press (AP) that his agency would be creating a task force to find and denaturalize immigrants who, in the agency’s view, should not have been naturalized in the first place.

According to the AP report, Cissna’s task force would be focused on “cases of immigrants who were ordered deported and are suspected of using fake identities to later get green cards and citizenship through naturalization.”

But the announcement raised immediate concerns that the agency may in fact begin targeting any naturalized citizens the administration deems undesirable, stripping them of their citizenship and expelling them from the country on whatever pretext the government might choose.

I had to admit that I had not heard or read of this situation at all……and I can see the danger here……this situation could become political at the drop of a hat.

Has anyone heard of this?  If so, please share with the readers of IST that may be interested…..


It is Iran (Again)


That Tweet was this past Sunday….apparently Our Dear Leader is using the technique he used with North Korea…..

After a virtual yelling tantrum aimed at Iran….Our Dear Leader found his calmer voice two days later……below was verbal not a thumb cramp for Twitter….possibly after a cold shower…..

During his speech in Kansas City on Tuesday, President Trump said he is “ready to make a real deal” with Iran, adding that “Iran is not the same country anymore.” He also said this new deal would not be like the “disaster” deal made by the Obama Administration.

The statement comes just two days after President Trump’s bellicose Tweet threatening Iran with “consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.” Speculation was that this was an attempt to replicate the US strategy in North Korea, where threats were followed with successful diplomacy.

Yet Iran and North Korea are clearly dramatically different situations, not the least of which because Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons, or a nuclear arms program to dismantle. Willingness to negotiate at all with Iran is a substantial difference in Trump Administration position, however.

Trump’s position that Iran is “not the same country anymore” is also a significant one, even if he didn’t elaborate in this speech. In previous comments, Trump has suggested Iran shows the US more respect since he withdrew from the P5+1 nuclear deal.

This could be a significant long-term aspect of Trump’s position on Iran, if he feels that presenting Iran’s behavior as improving is important to defending his decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal. When the president feels that a deal would vindicate his past policies, he seems much more eager to make such deals.


As a foreign policy wonk I am seeing a new style of international relations……this calmer and milder Trump is a break from the strong words of Pompeo, Pence and others…..confuse them with bovine fecal matter then anything after looks like genius….

The Coming “Farm Aid”

It will not be Willie Nelson and John Mellenkamp… music….no foot long hot dogs… crappy beer on tap……

The story making the rounds is the tale of the American farmer and how he/she is losing markets and money thanks to the policies of Our Dear Leader……but not to worry….there is relief coming from DC…..

President Trump showed off a new campaign hat on Monday—it’s green with yellow letters, reminiscent of the John Deere logo, and it reads “Make Our Farmers Great Again,” notes Politico. (See Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue sporting one here.) The message is a calculated one as the White House seeks to ease farmers’ concerns that a US trade war will hit them hard. On Tuesday, the White House put the word out that its efforts will go well beyond hats, however—it’s rolling out $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers, especially those dealing with dairy, pork, and soybeans, reports CNBC. Details:

  • The money: It will come partly from a program set up in the Depression to help farmers called the Commodity Credit Corporation, reports the Washington Post. Because it’s an existing program, congressional approval isn’t necessary. Trump had asked Perdue to explore options months ago, and more details are still to be released.
  • Short-term: Perdue said the “one-time” program would help farmers dealing with “illegal retaliation” to US tariffs, reports the Wall Street Journal. “This is a short-term solution that will give President Trump and his administration time to work on long-term trade deals.”
  • The politics: The rollout comes as Trump travels to Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa ahead of the midterms, states where the agricultural community has voiced concern about the fallout of retaliatory tariffs from other nations. “The farmers will be the biggest beneficiary,” Trump said of his trade disputes in Missouri on Tuesday, per USA Today. “Just be a little patient.”
  • Criticism: The new plan isn’t sitting well with members of Trump’s own party who are worried about the longer-term picture. “What is our future down the road?” asks Senate Agriculture Committee chief Pat Roberts of Kansas. “We are trying to make the point that we don’t want aid, we want trade.” Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse: “This trade war is cutting the legs out from under farmers and White House’s ‘plan’ is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches.” But it wasn’t only politicians: “This proposed action would only be a short-term attempt at masking the long-term damage caused by tariffs,” Brian Kuehl of the trade group Farmers for Free Trade tells the New York Times.
  • ‘Welfare’ theme: Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Rand Paul of Kentucky both hit upon the same phrase in their criticism: “If tariffs punish farmers, the answer is not welfare for farmers—the answer is remove the tariffs,” Paul tweeted. “Our farmers have been in nonstop, saying they want trade, not aid, and now they’re being put on welfare,” said Corker. “Hopefully soon this ill-thought out policy will end.”

No end in sight: Most stories point out that the emergency aid is a good sign that Trump doesn’t intend to stop the trade disputes anytime soon. He extolled them again on Tuesday morning with a “Tariffs are the greatest!” tweet. And in Missouri, he said, “What the European Union is doing to us is incredible, how bad. They sound nice but they’re rough.”

There you go…the answer to crippling tariffs……agriculture welfare!  WAIT!  According to dim wits that would be creeping socialism (Humor!)…..I believe  Our Dear Leader fell asleep in the Wharton School when they taught trade and tariffs……never fear he is a genius.  (wink wink, nod, nod)

News From The Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea

There is not much in the news these days about North Korea…..the news has been too toxic even for news about Kim.

And that is why I am here to give my reader that which the MSM refuses to report…..

According to Dear Leader after Singapore NK will work to rid the nukes from the Korean Peninsula……but what about all those missile that he was firing off last Summer?

Just days after the Korean Peninsula’s top US military commander warned that North Korea’s nuclear production capability remains intact, some slightly more encouraging news: The country appears to be dismantling its main satellite launch site, the BBC reports. US-based monitoring group 38 North reported Monday that satellite images of the country’s Sohae station, believed by the US to be a test site for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles, appear to show that North Korea has started dismantling “key facilities” at the site. And an official from South Korea’s presidential office said Tuesday that Seoul has also been detecting dismantlement activities at the site, the AP reports. 38 North calls it “an important first step towards fulfilling a commitment made by Kim Jong Un at the June 12 Singapore Summit” with US President Trump, during which Kim reportedly agreed to denuclearize.

But analysts say that unless the entire Sohae site is dismantled, North Korea’s military capabilities won’t be diminshed. And sources tell CNN that North Korea expects the US to reciprocate in the form of agreeing to a permanent peace treaty with Pyongyang, that ensures the survival of Kim’s regime, if negotiations are to continue. Multiple sources recently told the Washington Post Trump, who has publicly been urging patience with the denuclearization process, has privately been expressing frustration with the perceived slow pace. But Trump hit back at that report Monday, tweeting, “A Rocket has not been launched by North Korea in 9 months. Likewise, no Nuclear Tests. Japan is happy, all of Asia is happy. But the Fake News is saying, without ever asking me (always anonymous sources), that I am angry because it is not going fast enough. Wrong, very happy!”

That is good news indeed…….we will keep an eye on the progress.

Do you, my reader, recall the saga of Otto Warmbier…he was that American that was held by North Korea and tortured until he was in a coma and then sent back to the US…….this was news amplified….it took up most of the day or so that it was milked…..but has there been any further details coming out?

Doug Bock Clark begins a lengthy piece for GQ on the fate of Otto Warmbier with a bold assertion: That what happened to the 21-year-old American college student “is even more shocking than anyone knew” and that he had the “untold story.” So does he? The piece, the result of six months of reporting, is indeed incredibly detailed and filled with one major previously unreported nugget. He gives a timeline of the intense efforts made to free Warmbier, from meetings with the “New York Channel” (North Korea’s reps at United Nations headquarters) to a proposal to have then-president-elect Trump pick Warmbier up in his plane. After learning in June 2017 Warmbier was unconscious, North Korea was “unilaterally informed” that a US plane would arrive to collect him.

“Intense negotiations” followed on the ground, and Michael Flueckiger, the medical director for Phoenix Air, whose Gulfstream G-III jet was being used in the mission, was finally allowed to see Warmbier. He knew immediately that “the Otto of old was already gone,” though he noted the hospital care had been of quality (Warmbier had no bedsores, for instance, which is difficult in the case of a comatose patient). Flueckiger tells Clark that the hospital staff told him Warmbier had been admitted unresponsive the morning after he was sentenced to 15 years, a timeline detail that hadn’t been made public. But only two weeks prior, Warmbier appeared on TV and seemed healthy. The narrow window between the two suggests to Clark that the theory that Warmbier was continually beaten doesn’t hold up, and he provides other evidence in support of that. So what happened? Clark presents one theory: that it was a suicide attempt gone wrong. Read his full piece here.

That is where we are today with the Otto saga……is it the rest of the story….hard to say but we will keep watching for further details.