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Japan, U.S. Affirm Senkakus Defense Under Article 5 

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WASHINGTON — Yujiro Okabe reports: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday afternoon (early Saturday JST) before they held a press conference together.

Regarding the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, Abe said during the press conference, “We have affirmed that they are within the scope of Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty,” which obliges U.S. forces to defend Japan.

Trump stressed, “We are committed to the security of Japan.”

Abe also revealed that they have agreed to start holding a dialogue headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso and Vice President Mike Pence, aiming to expand trade and investment between the two countries. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gallup Poll: President Obama’s Average Approval Rating was Among the Worst of the Post-War Presidents

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Only three presidents scored worse than Obama since Gallup started doing these surveys in 1945.

As President Obama left the White House, the mainstream press was falling over itself proclaiming how popular he was.

“Obama leaving office on a very high note,” was a typical headline.

Yet despite the media’s fixation with polls, the press completely buried one of the more newsworthy poll findings — a Gallup report that came out last Friday, which took a final look at the President Obama’s popularity over his eight years in office.

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“Obama even did worse overall than Richard Nixon, whose average approval was 49%, and was less popular overall than George W. Bush, who got an average 49.4%.”

That poll found that Obama’s overall average approval rating was a dismal 47.9%.

Only three presidents scored worse than Obama since Gallup started doing these surveys in 1945: never-elected Gerald Ford (47.2%), one-termer Jimmy Carter (45.4%), and Harry Truman (45.4%).

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Obama even did worse overall than Richard Nixon, whose average approval was 49%, and was less popular overall than George W. Bush, who got an average 49.4%.

That sounds newsworthy, doesn’t it? But you’d never know this if you relied on the mainstream press for information. That’s because not one of them reported on Gallup’s finding. Read the rest of this entry »


47.9%: Obama Had Lower Average Approval Rating Than Nixon or Bush

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Terence P. Jeffrey reports: President Barack Obama had an average approval rating of 47.9 percent during his time in office, according to the Gallup poll.

That puts him behind Richard Nixon, who resigned, and George W. Bush, who saw his approval rating drop as low as 25 percent near the end of his term.

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“Obama’s approval ratings also fell to 38% in September 2014, shortly after the Islamic State terrorist group released videos showing the beheadings of U.S. journalists captured overseas.”

It puts him ahead of only Gerald Ford (47.2 percent), Jimmy Carter (45.5 percent) and Harry Truman (45.4 percent).

Gallup, in an analysis released Friday, published the average approval rating for all twelve presidents who have served since World War II.

“After his first year he received sustained majority approval only once more during his first term in office. Fortunately for him, that came during his 16th quarter in office — around the time he was re-elected in the fall of 2012.”

— the Gallup analysis said of Obama’s poll numbers

John F. Kennedy ranks highest with an average approval rating of 70.1 percent. He is followed by Dwight Eisenhower (65.0 percent), George H.W. Bush (60.9 percent), Bill Clinton (55.1 percent), Lyndon Johnson (55.1 percent), Ronald Reagan (52.8 percent), George W. Bush (49.4 percent), Barack Obama (47.9 percent), Gerald Ford (47.2 percent), Jimmy Carter (45.5 percent) and Harry Truman (45.4 percent). Read the rest of this entry »


‘I Promise To Work Tirelessly To Achieve My Campaign’s Goals,’ Threatens Trump In Terrifying Address

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WASHINGTON—Leaving the nation in an uneasy state of dread as he spoke from the Capitol steps, incoming President Donald Trump reportedly delivered a disturbing inaugural address Friday in which he repeatedly threatened to work hard to implement his campaign promises…(read more)

 


Meet the Biker Hosting the Biggest Pro-Trump Demonstration at the Inauguration 

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Chris Cox is the head of ‘Bikers for Trump.’

Chris Cox surveyed a small park near the U.S. Capitol, his German shepherd by his side. Wearing a Harley-Davidson jacket and a crocodile-skin cowboy hat adorned with the animal’s teeth atop his moppy, curly hair, Cox made for a particularly discordant sight in the heart of federal Washington on a misty weekend morning.

But Cox had logistics to sort out, an Inauguration Day demonstration with motorcycle die-hards from across the nation to plan.

The 48-year-old chain-saw artist from South Carolina was an early and enthusiastic supporter of President-elect Donald Trump. Now that his guy has won, Cox wants to ensure that the group he founded, Bikers for Trump, strengthens its political muscle during Trump’s presidency and beyond.

The group obtained a permit for what is expected to be the largest pro-Trump rally held by a private group in the nation’s capital timed to the inauguration. Cox calls the planned event at John Marshall Park a “halftime rally” and said there will be speakers, musical performances and upward of 5,000 bikers in attendance.

As he walked through the park with his dog, Trigger — the massive “Bikers for Trump” patch on the back of his jacket visible from every vantage — Cox began planning where to put the stage, the speakers and the portable toilets.

[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]

“Bikers are strongly organized locally,” Cox said. “They just haven’t been organized nationally before.”

Cox launched the organization in October 2015, back when Trump was still running what was considered a quixotic campaign. Since then, he has hosted rallies throughout the country, with his biker group growing to tens of thousands of mostly white men, many of whom are veterans.

During Trump’s own rallies, and at the Republican National Convention, the group has served as a vigilante security force, providing human barricades between supporters and protesters.

When Cox got Trigger a few months ago from the Czech Republic through trades he made with a guy he met at a Trump rally in South Dakota, he joked about naming the new pet Keith Schiller, after the head of security for the Trump Organization.

Ultimately, Cox said, he wants to transform bikers into a distinct voting bloc, akin to the Christian Coalition or Teamsters. His group is composed of members of established groups such as Bikers for Christ and Veteran Bikers MC, and Cox says there are many more unaffiliated “lone wolf” bikers to still bring into the political fray. But the plausibility of creating a unified voting bloc remains to be seen, particularly considering there are at least two other Trump motorcycle events happening in the District around inauguration. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] Statue of Liberty & One World Trade

Source: punditfromanotherplanet.com


Foreign Policy’s David Francis Resurrects Discredited WH Spin: Ambassador Stevens Death ‘Connected to Low-Budget Film’

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Americans Have ‘Stirred the Pot’, Says David Francis

David Francisdavid-francis writes: Violence connected to images depicting the Prophet Mohammed has arrived on American shores.

Five months after an attack at the office of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, and four months after a shooting at a free speech event in Copenhagen, two gunmen were shot and killed outside of a cartoon exhibit and contest near Dallas late Sunday evening. While the motive for the attack is unclear, one of the event’s keynote speakers, Dutch parliament member Geert Wilders, has been denounced by Islamist groups for his criticisms of the Muslim presence in Europe, and its chris-stevens-bodyorganizer, Pamela Geller, is a long time critic of Islam.

“In 2012, protesters stormed the U.S. embassy in Cairo after Mark Basseley Youssef, a U.S. resident, released the anti-Muslim film ‘Innocence of Muslims’. Violence in Benghazi that left U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens dead was also connected to the low-budget film.”

Two Democratic lawmakers recently asked the White House to ban Wilders from entering the United States.

It remains unclear whether the shooting is connected to broader extremist Islamic movements like the Islamic State or al Qaeda. Some Twitter posts by users associated with the group denounced the event in advance. Citing FBI sources, ABC news reported one of the gunmen is Elton Simpson, a target of previous terrorism related investigations. He had previously
Tweeted using the hashtag #texasattacks.

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“Its organizer, Geller, is the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a ‘hate group’.”

Note: The Southern Poverty Law Center’s standards are so ludicrous they’d list a box of cereal a “hate group”. 

The identity of the second gunman is still unknown. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: LOCKDOWN: U.S. Capitol on Lockdown After Reported Suicide

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The U.S. Capitol and the Capitol Visitors Center is on lockdown amid police activity on the scene, according to the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms Office.

Related to this incident, the U.S. Capitol Police are continuing to investigate the suspicious package on the lower West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol Building. They said the suspected shooter has been neutralized, but the U.S. Capitol Building has been locked down as a precautionary measure.

Frank Thorp, a NBC News producer and reporter, said Capitol staff has been instructed to shelter in place after reports of a man shooting himself in the vicinity of the Capitol.

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“The suspected shooter has been neutralized but the U.S. Capitol Building has been locked down as a precautionary measure.”

— Lt. Kimberly Schneider of the Capitol Police.

NBC News reporter Pete Williams said the suspected shooter has shot himself, and the package is a suitcase near the man. Williams reports police are searching for the man’s car.

A DC Alerts notification said police were conducting a suicide investigation in the 100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue….

Developing…

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Police report shots fired on the west front of the Capitol in Washington and say the building has been locked down as a precaution. Read the rest of this entry »


150 Years Ago Today: Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1989

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Weeks of wet weather preceding Lincoln’s second inauguration had caused Pennsylvania Avenue to become a sea of mud and standing water. Thousands of spectators stood in thick mud at the Capitol grounds to hear the President. As he stood on the East Portico to take the executive oath, the completed Capitol dome over the President’s head was a physical reminder of the resolve of his Administration throughout the years of civil war. Chief Justice Salmon Chase administered the oath of office. In little more than a month, the President would be assassinated.

Fellow-Countrymen:

At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public lincolndeclarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”  Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Ohio Man Arrested for Alleged ISIS-Inspired Plot to Bomb U.S. Capitol

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According to government documents, he allegedly planned to detonate pipe bombs at the national landmark and open fire on any employees and officials fleeing after the explosions.

CNN: The FBI today arrested an Ohio man for allegedly plotting an ISIS-inspired attack on the U.S. Capitol, where he hoped to set off a series of bombs aimed at lawmakers, whom he allegedly considered enemies.

Ohio authorities release booking photo of suspect arrested for plot to attack U.S. Capitol. pic.twitter.com/JJCqsckvkl

Ohio authorities release booking photo of suspect arrested for plot to attack U.S. Capitol.

Christopher Lee Cornell, 20, of Green Township, was arrested on charges of attempting to kill a U.S. government official, authorities said.

“I believe that we should just wage jihad under our own orders and plan attacks and everything. I believe we should meet up and make our own group in alliance with the Islamic State here and plan operations ourselves.”

— Cornell, in an online message allegedly written to the informant

The FBI first noticed Cornell several months ago after an informant notified the agency that Cornell was allegedly voicing support for violent “jihad” on Twitter accounts under the alias “Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah,” according to charging documents. In addition, Cornell allegedly posted statements, videos and other content expressing support for ISIS — the brutal terrorist group also known as ISIL — that is wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria.

JM Lopez/AFP/Getty Images. A flag of the Islamic State is seen on the other side of a bridge at the front line of fighting between Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Islamist militants in Rashad, on the road between Kirkuk and Tikrit, Sept. 11, 2014.

JM Lopez/AFP/Getty Images. A flag of the Islamic State is seen on the other side of a bridge at the front line of fighting between Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Islamist militants in Rashad, on the road between Kirkuk and Tikrit.

“I believe that we should just wage jihad under our own orders and plan attacks and everything,” Cornell allegedly wrote in an online message to the informant in August, according to the FBI. “I believe we should meet up and make our own group in alliance with the Islamic State here and plan operations ourselves.”

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Anwar Al-Awlaki at Dar al Hijrah Mosque on Oct. 4, 2001 in Falls Church, VA. Tracy Woodward/The Washington Post/Getty Images

In the message, Cornell said that such attacks “already got a thumbs up” from radical cleric Anwar Awlaki “before his martyrdom.”

Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011, but his online messages calling for attacks on the West live on.

U.S. officials considered Awlaki an operational leader within al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based terror group tied to the deadly assault on a satirical magazine in Paris last week. Read the rest of this entry »


This Day in History : Library of Congress Established April 24th, 1800, by President John Adams for $5000

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President John Adams approves legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress,” thus establishing the Library of Congress. The first books, MTE1ODA0OTcxMjc3MzIxNzQxordered from London, arrived in 1801 and were stored in the U.S. Capitol, the library’s first home. The first library catalog, dated April 1802, listed 964 volumes and nine maps. Twelve years later, the British army invaded the city of Washington and burned the Capitol, including the then 3,000-volume Library of Congress.

Former president Thomas Jefferson, who advocated the expansion of the library during his two terms in office, responded to the loss by selling his personal library, the largest and finest in the country, to Congress to “recommence” the library. The purchase of Jefferson’s 6,487 volumes was approved in the next year, and a professional librarian, George Watterston, was hired to replace the House clerks in the administration of the library. In 1851, a second major fire at the library destroyed about two-thirds of its 55,000 volumes, including two-thirds of the Thomas Jefferson library. Congress responded quickly and generously to the disaster, and within a few years a majority of the lost books were replaced. Read the rest of this entry »


Michelle Fields and Next Generation TV Report on the Anti-NSA Spying ‘Stop Watching Us’ Rally


Libertarian Paradise Revealed: A Tantalizing Glimpse of What the Promised Land looks Like

 Michael Reynolds / EPA A Capitol police officer walks through the Capitol Rotunda, empty of visitors after being closed to tours, during the government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, USA, 01 October 2013.

A Capitol police officer walks through the Capitol Rotunda, empty of visitors after being closed to tours, during the government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington. Michael Reynolds / EPADC, USA, 01 October 2013. 

 In shutting down the government, members of Congress have turned their own U.S. Capitol complex into a ghost town running on a skeleton crew.

Kasie Hunt reports: There aren’t any tourists milling through the Capitol rotunda. Fewer police officers are working, so many entrances are closed. Up to two-thirds of each office’s staff is at home, forced to shut off their BlackBerries. And many of the usual comforts of a lawmaker’s day job have vanished.

“Box lunches. No tablecloths,” said one Democratic senator after emerging from the usual Tuesday lunch for all members of the Democratic caucus. He wasn’t complaining — just responding to a reporter who asked if the gathering featured the usual buffet spread that’s offered each week. Read the rest of this entry »


What Frederick Douglass Stood For

Congress is erecting a monument to him, but they’d be better off remembering his ideals.

By  Michael Tanner

Wednesday, Congress will dedicate a statue of Frederick Douglass in the Capitol Rotunda. The dedication ceremony has unfortunately become wrapped up in the politics surrounding the District of Columbia’s lack of representation in Congress, but that controversy aside, it is hard to think of a man more deserving of the honor.

An escaped slave and leading abolitionist, orator and newspaper publisher, diplomat and adviser to presidents, Douglass was without a doubt one of the great voices for human freedom. Going far beyond opposition to slavery, Douglass was a relentless advocate for individual rights, whether speaking of blacks, women, Native Americans, or immigrants. Equally important, Douglass knew that government power posed a threat to those rights.

Douglass understood that the proper role of government was to protect individual rights and guarantee equality before the law, not to dispense favors to this group or that. For example, in his famous April 1865 speech, “What the Black Man Wants,” Douglass declared, “The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us. . . . I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! If the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!”

Douglass’s message was not just about African Americans. Rather, it offers a stinging rebuke to all those who believe that men and women cannot be the masters of their own fates.The freedom that Douglass agitated for was not the freedom of the welfare state. Simply providing for people’s material needs was not a substitute for giving them their freedom. Besides, “doing for” all too easily morphed into “doing to,” an opportunity to do “mischief,” as he put it. He knew that, as President Gerald Ford once said (in a quote often misattributed to Barry Goldwater), “a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.”

He strongly believed in limited government, claiming there was no “governmental authority to pass laws, nor compel obedience to any laws that are against the natural rights and happiness of men.”

Read the rest of this entry »