TheFrontPageCover
~ Featuring ~
Easy Questions Only
by Tom McLaughlin
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President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un 
Initial Meeting Remarks – Transcript and Pictures
by sundance
{ theconservativetreehouse.com } ~ Kim’s respiration rate is fast and deliberate; he attempts to calm his nerves with breaths while simultaneously is aware that every moment is being captured... I find myself feeling great empathy for Chairman Kim Jong-un in this video. Again, watch closely this video captures the essence of the meeting better than all others: President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un deliver initial remarks at the beginning of their one-on-one bilateral meeting...
Transcript Link:  https://publicpool.kinja.com/subject-press-conference-by-president-... 
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President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un 
Signing Ceremony – Video and Pictures
by sundance
{ theconservativetreehouse.com } ~ President Donald Trump and North Korea Chairman Kim Jong-un held a joint agreement signing ceremony at the conclusion of their five hour summit in Singapore.
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North Korea agrees to ‘complete denuclearization 
of the Korean Peninsula' after Trump-Kim summit 
by Edmund DeMarche, Benjamin Brown, Serafin Gómez
{ foxnews.com } ~ President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a document on Tuesday stating that Pyongyang would work toward "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula"... a historic concession, which was one of the requirements the U.S. sought at the summit in Singapore. The historic agreement came after the two leaders held several meetings throughout the day. Trump was asked by a reporter if Kim agreed to denuclearize and he said, “We are starting that process very quickly.” Trump did not refer to the document as a treaty or agreement. Trump said at a press conference that he will be ending joint military exercises  between the United States and South Korea. He also said Kim agreed to destroy a 'major' missile testing site, but did not offer specific details...   http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/06/12/north-korea-agrees-to-co...
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Trump, Kim agree to recovering and 
returning US military remains from Korean War 
by Lukas Mikelionis
foxnews.com } ~ President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed Tuesday at a historic summit in Singapore to recover the remains of the U.S. military personnel... missing in action and presumed dead from the Korean War. In a statement signed by both leaders, the countries agreed to the recovery of the remains and the immediate repatriation of those already identified. The statement also assures North Korea would work toward "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” Nearly 7,800 American troops remain unaccounted for from the 1950-53 war in the Korean Peninsula. About 5,300 were lost in North Korea. According to the Pentagon’s Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, most missing Americans died in major battles or as prisoners of war in North Korea. Others died in small villages or along the wayside. Most aircraft crashes also occurred near the battle zones or roads connecting them...I wonder what rino-McCain would say about these events.
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Israelis Debate Future of U.S. Military Aid 
by David Isaac
{ freebeacon.com } ~ For most people, American aid to Israel is the measure of the "special relationship" between the two countries... AIPAC, the major pro-Israel lobby in the United States, considers its efforts to secure this aid its No. 1 priority. It was therefore surprising to hear senior Israeli officials in late May complain about American assistance, with one describing it as a drug addiction. Their outburst centers around two innovations introduced into the 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the official name for the American aid agreement, which was negotiated between the liar-nObama and Netanyahu administrations in 2016. The deal, which pledges an unprecedented $38 billion to Israel over a 10-year period, insists on two Israeli concessions: 1. That Israel spend 100 percent of the aid in the United States Israel had been allowed to spend roughly 26 percent of U.S. aid on its own defense industry; and 2. Israel can't go to Congress to ask for additional funds while the MOU is in effect. Most prominent of the officials to attack the deal is Eyal Younian, the chief financial officer of government-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, who said in a radio interview, "Israel must withdraw from the U.S. aid agreement, because of the damage that it does to Israel's aircraft industry. Twenty-two thousand Israelis will be fired if it goes forward." He further warned: "If the agreement continues, we will lose the aircraft industry."...Then rewrite the agreement for a better solution.    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/israelis-debate-future-u-s-...
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Easy Questions Only
by Tom McLaughlin
 
{ tommclaughlin.blogspot.com } ~ “Nothing is off the table. I don’t think you could possibly insult me,” said Robert Azzi. His June 7th talk: “Ask a Muslim Anything” at the Berwick [Maine] Public Library began at 6:00 pm and I arrived five minutes late. Before I could find a seat and unpack my camera and recorder, the Q&A had started. The first question was something about President Trump not inviting Muslims somewhere. I didn’t hear it exactly and Aziz gave an answer critical of Trump and many in the audience giggled appreciatively. It was a clue about the political leanings of speaker and audience.
 
 
The first questions were from women concerning Muslim women driving in Saudi Arabia and wearing head coverings. Aziz offered a short history of women in Islam going back to “The Prophet” as he referred to Muhammed, who lived 1400 years ago. He described a rising patriarchy a few centuries ago and strengthening in 20th century Saudi Arabia.
 
 
Up to this point, Azzi answered questions graciously. Then a man asked: “Doesn’t that mean that she’s being ‘sharia compliant’ when she wears the head scarf?”

Azzi’s demeanor changed abruptly. “No!” he said.
 
 
A woman asked him to repeat the question and he did, whereupon the questioner said: “…and by the way I have several references in the Koran to where it’s mandatory and also in Muhammed’s Sunna…”

Azzi talked over him saying: “Let’s just take one question at a time, shall we?”

“Well, I wanted to go back to the other question…”

“Well, let me — let me talk about sharia for a minute, all right?” said Azzi, clearly agitated.

“Sure, that would be good,” said the man.
 
 
“I think, for example, that a lot of Muslims can lead a more sharia-compliant life the United States than they can in most Muslim majority countries, and that is…” Then he stopped, and said testily to the questioner, “Don’t look so puzzled. Let me finish here.” I recalled his opening assertion that nothing would be off the table and he couldn’t possibly be insulted.

“Sharia is not a body of law,” he claimed.
 
 
“But it is a body of law,” the man said. “It was codified in ‘The Reliance of the Traveller’ back in the 14th century.”

Talking over him again and stuttering about Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition, he raised his voice and said: “Now let me finish!”



“Go ahead,” said the man.

“Sharia in the Koran speaks to justice, and authority, and hospitality, and equity…” Then he stopped again. “I’m not finished!” he yelled, though no one had interrupted. “We have a lot of time here. I’m here for two hours.”


“Umm,” murmured the questioner.

“If you would kindly memorize your questions rather than looking at your tablet…” said Aziz scornfully. The man had an iPad in his lap.

Then he lectured us all, saying Americans’ views are affected by their “privilege” and that Middle Eastern countries were “exploited, marginalized, and colonized by Europeans they’re now trying to recover from.” He cited Ferguson, Baltimore, Denver, and Minneapolis/St. Paul as “our own colonies.”
 
 
A woman referred to Iran under the ayatollahs, and young people rising against the totalitarian regime. “I think you need to be very careful there,” said Azzi, then blamed everything on a CIA coup more than half a century ago. My suspicion that Azzi and the audience were left-of-center was strengthened. “…if the [western imposed] burdens were lifted off all these countries equally, Iran was probably the most pro-American country in the Middle East,” he claimed.
 
 
Another man said Muslims are encouraged to emulate Muhammed and compared him unfavorably with Jesus Christ citing the former’s multiple wives, sex slaves, and consummation of marriage to a nine-year-old. Then he asked how Aziz could leave Christianity and adopt Muhammed’s religion. Aziz seemed to have regained his composure and answered that difficult question fairly well. He said New Hampshire allowed 14-year-olds to marry until recently, that Muhammed’s life was in a different place in time with different mores, and made other points.

“Why are there so many suicide bombers in the Muslim religion?” asked a woman.
 
 
He paused for several seconds. “[Because] we’ve entered an age of asymmetrical conflict where the marginalized and the disenfranchised don’t have the weapons and tools of resistance that their oppressors have,” he claimed.

It’s all our fault, I guess.
 
 
A woman who grew up in the Middle East suggested culture there valued life less than we do. Aziz said that was racist, that she disdained Muslims because they’re not white Jews, or Christians and privileged, and her statement was offensive. Another man who spent years in Afghanistan said he agreed with the woman. The rest of the audience started snapping at them both. Azzi let that go on a while before wrapping it up.
 
 
I left thinking the program might better have been called: “Ask a Muslim easy questions.”

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LIGHTER SIDE

 

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ALERT ALERT

 Will  Tea Party Hand The Liberals Their Ass On Election Day? 

It was this week two years ago that Hillary Clinton’s victory looked assured, when the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape of Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault appeared all but certain to end his campaign.

Jesse Ferguson remembers it well. The deputy press secretary for Clinton’s campaign also remembers what happened a month later.

It’s why this veteran Democratic operative can’t shake the feeling that, as promising as the next election looks for his party, it might still all turn out wrong.

“Election Day will either prove to me I have PTSD or show I’ve been living déjà vu,” Ferguson said. “I just don’t know which yet.”

Ferguson is one of many Democrats who felt the string of unexpected defeat in 2016 and are now closely — and nervously — watching the current election near its end, wondering if history will repeat itself. This year, instead of trying to win the presidency, Democrats have placed an onus on trying to gain 23 House seats and win a majority.

The anxiety isn’t universal, with many party leaders professing confidently and repeatedly that this year really is different.

But even some of them acknowledge the similarities between the current and previous election: Trump is unpopular and beset by scandal, Democrats hold leads in the polls, and some Republicans are openly pessimistic.

FiveThirtyEight gives Democrats a 76.9 percent chance of winning the House one month before Election Day. Their odds for Clinton’s victory two years ago? 71.4 percent.

The abundance of optimism brings back queasy memories for Jesse Lehrich, who worked on the Clinton campaign and remembers watching the returns come in from the Javits Center in New York.

“I was getting texts after the result was clear – including even from some political reporters and operatives – texting me, you know, ‘Are you guys starting to get nervous?’ or ‘What’s her most likely path?’” he said. “I was like, ‘What do you mean, starting to get nervous? What path? They just called Wisconsin. We lost.’”

“People were so slow to process that reality because they just hadn’t considered the possibility that Donald Trump was going to be the next president,” he continued.

Lehrich said he sees similarities between 2016 and 2018. But he said he thought Democrats were cognizant of the parallels and determined not to let up a month before the election, as many voters might have two years ago.

Other Democratic leaders aren’t so sure. Asked if he thought his party was overconfident, Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton responded flatly, “Yes.”

Democrats could win a lot of House seats, he said, or could still fall short of capturing a majority.

“The point is that we’ve got to realize that this not just some unstoppable blue wave but rather a lot of tough races that will be hard-fought victories,” Moulton said.

If Democrats are universally nervous about anything after 2016, it’s polling. The polls weren’t actually as favorable to Clinton and the Democrats as some remember, something 538’s Nate Silver and some other journalists pointed out at the time.

But Clinton’s decision not to campaign in a state she’d lose, Wisconsin, and the failure of pollsters everywhere to miss a wave of Trump supporters in red areas are mistakes Democrats are still grappling with today.

“Clearly last cycle, polling was off,” Ben Ray Lujan, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told reporters last month. “There were a lot of predictions that were made last cycle that didn’t come to fruition.”

Lujan emphasized in particular how pollsters missed the rural vote, calling it a “devastating mistake.” He said the DCCC has taken deliberate steps since 2016 to get it right this time around, but underscored a congressional majority still required a tooth-and-nail fight.

“So I’m confident with the team that’s been assembled, but I’m definitely cognizant of the fact we need to understand these models and understand the data for what it is,” he said.

One Democratic pollster said the data he’s seen makes plain that the party is favored to win a majority — but that it’s still not a sure thing. He said even now it’s unclear if the political environment will create an electoral tsunami, or merely a good year where Democrats might still fall short of a House majority.

“We’ve all learned a lesson from 2016 that there are multiple possibilities and outcomes,” said the pollster, granted anonymity to discuss polling data one month before the election. “And if you haven’t learned that lesson, shame on you. That 20 percent outcome can happen. That 30 percent outcome can happen.”

This year, Democrats have history on their side: The incumbent president’s party historically struggles during midterm elections. That wasn’t the case in 2016, when Democrats were trying to win the presidency for three consecutive terms for the first time in their history since Franklin Delano Roosevelt (The GOP accomplished the feat only once in the same period, with Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.)

Some Democratic leaders say the reality of Trump’s presidency — unlike its hypothetical state in 2016 — changes the dynamic entirely.

“Democratic energy is at nuclear levels,” said Steve Israel, a former DCCC chairman. “Democrats would crawl over broken glass to vote in this election.”

Israel said he still has concerns about November (political operatives always have concerns about the upcoming election). But he waves away the notion that the party might fall short of a House majority.

“Most Democrats and a heck of a lot of Republicans I speak to believe that Democrats will have the majority,” he said. “The real question is, by how much?”

Ferguson is, of course, of two minds: He thinks the push to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the day-to-day reality of Trump’s presidency fundamentally changes how voters will see this election.

But he’s also gun-shy about what could change in the next month, after the multitude of surprises that occurred during the last month of the 2016 race, whether the “Access Hollywood” recording or then-FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that the investigation into Clinton’s emails was re-opened.

Many Republicans argue the 2018 election has already seen its October surprise, with the confirmation fight over Brett Kavanaugh finally motivating conservative voters to vote.

“I don’t know what the October surprises will be,” Ferguson said. “But we make a mistake if we assume that what we’re seeing today is what we’ll see for the entire month. We lived through it two years ago.”

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