Japan and U.S. Sign Trade Agreement

The U.S. on Monday signed two trade deals with Japan that are intended to alleviate the hardships American farmers have encountered since President Trump imposed tariffs on U.S. agricultural exports to certain countries. The first and third largest economies in the world signed the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement, just days before U.S. trade negotiators are set to meet with senior officials from the globe’s second largest economy, China, in Washington on Thursday. The two somewhat restrained trade deals cut $7.2 billion worth of tariffs on U.S. agricultural exports. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Shinsuke J. Sugiyama signed the agreements at a ceremony at the White House. “This is a huge victory for America’s farmers, ranchers and growers. And that’s very important to me,” Trump said in remarks at the signing ceremony. “From day one my administration has worked tirelessly to achieve a level playing field for the American worker.” American farmers bore the brunt of Trump’s decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement in 2017. One of the new deals does away with $4.3 billion in tariffs on American food products including wine, cheese, nuts, berries, and grains as well as $2.9 billion in tariffs on beef and pork products. The other agreement commits Japan and the U.S. to $40 billion worth of digital trade. Republican Senator from Iowa Chuck Grassley called the agreement great news for Iowa farmers and said the new deal “strengthens” the administration’s negotiating position with China, which has battled with the U.S. on trade since Trump took office. Nevertheless, the agreements keep U.S. tariffs on Japanese automobiles at 2.5 percent, in line with what Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Trump promised him, that tariffs on Japan-made cars would not be hiked up. The trade deficit between the U.S. and Japan was $58 billion last year, long a point of contention for Trump.

Maryland MS-13 members, illegal immigrants plead guilty to 2 grisly murders

Four MS-13 members—in the U.S. illegally—have pleaded guilty in Maryland to participating in the murders of a 21-year-old woman and a 17-year-old teenager two years ago. Police said the woman, Jennifer Rivera-Lopez, was lured to her death in June 2017 in an Anne Arundel County park where her killers, armed with knives and machetes, chopped her head off and buried her in a secret grave, the Capital Gazette reported Monday. Ronald Mendez-Sosa, 21, Brenda Argueta, 20, Ervin Arrue-Figueroa, 20, and Francisco Ramirez-Pena, 24, all of Maryland, copped to the murder last week in federal court, the paper reported. Mendez-Sosa also pleaded guilty to participating in the murder of Neri Giovani Bonilla-Palacios, the 17-year-old, who turned up dead in the woods in Annapolis in October 2017. He had been murdered two months earlier, investigators said. Court papers said he had been decapitated with a machete and his body had “at least 108 sharp and blunt force injury wounds,” the paper reported. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged detainers against all four after cops arrested them in October 2017. Court papers alleged that MS-13 targeted Rivera-Lopez and Bonilla-Palacios due to their association with a rival gang, the Gazette added. According to the court papers, Argueta reached out to Rivera-Lopez on social media and arranged for the two to meet, the paper reported. The court papers alleged that after using a ruse to get Rivera-Lopez into the car, Argueta used another ruse to get the car to stop “at which point several other [MS-13] members forced [Rivera-Lopez] into another vehicle and took [Rivera-Lopez] to the site of the murder,” the paper reported. The court papers for Mendez-Sosa said he did not help kill Rivera-Lopez but aided in the murder by transporting others to and from the scene, the paper reported.

And just think…  Only a couple years ago, Democrat politicians and the dominantly liberal mainstream media (especially MSNBC and CNN) were attacking President Trump for calling these MS-13 maggots “animals.”  These are not “people” as those Dems claimed.  They are vermin, and a cancer in our communities that needs to be eradicated.  What adds insult to injury is the fact that they are illegal aliens, and shouldn’t have even been in America in the first place!  Please consider this today’s painful reminder that we need to BUILD THE WALL NOW!!!!…and put U.S. Army National Guard troops physically ON the border with Mexico, where they should remain until that wall/fence is finally built above, and under ground (to prevent tunneling)…however long it takes.  At the same time, we need to be deporting illegal aliens by the hundreds of thousands (and yes, you read that correctly), paying particular attention to known gang members, convicted criminal aliens, and those already determined by an immigration court to be deported…regardless of age, gender, or family status.  And that’s just for starters, folks.  To do anything less is NOT in our country’s national security, or economic, interests.  Period.  We have over 20 MILLION illegal aliens in this country (NOT 11 Million; the same figure liberals have been using for over 2 decades..as if that number hasn’t gone up in the last 20 years), and our schools, hospitals, courts, and jails are overwhelmed by that staggering statistic.  Anyway..  If you want to see a photo of Jennifer, the poor young woman who was beheaded, or the MS-13 “animals” who plead guilty to it, click on the text above.  Awful..

Analysis: Trump’s tough trade tariffs on China have raked in $30 billion for U.S.

President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on Chinese products over the Asian superpower’s “unfair” trade practices has brought in tens of billions of dollars, prompting Republican lawmakers to propose ways to pass along the windfall to American taxpayers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection says special levies on China, known as Section 301 duties, have brought in more than $30 billion since they were imposed in July 2018 to combat Beijing’s “harmful industrial policies.” Special levies on steel, aluminum, solar panels and washing machines have reaped roughly $10 billion more from countries, including China, since early 2018, according to CBP data. Mr. Trump frequently points to those numbers to boast that his pressure tactics are paying dividends while White House and Chinese negotiators reach for an elusive trade deal. “We’re taking in billions and billions of dollars in tariffs. We’re taking in tremendous numbers in tariffs,” Mr. Trump said during a press conference last week at the United Nations in New York. Analysts say the sheer amount of revenue isn’t unprecedented but is an unusual turn of events in the post-World War II era. “We used to get most of our revenue from tariffs. But it’s very unusual because for the last 80 years tariffs have been a declining source of revenue, so this is the first time [in recent history] it’s been a rising source of revenue,” said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Tariffs are taxes on imports, largely designed to promote domestic producers by making outside goods less attractive. Mr. Trump said China is “eating” the cost of his levies, but it’s complicated. Some Chinese companies may be forced to offer discounts to U.S. importers, though American-based businesses often pay the cost of the tariffs and pass it along to consumers in the form of higher prices. The price is set to rise this fall when Mr. Trump imposes a 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of additional Chinese goods. It took partial effect on Sept. 1 but won’t be fully implemented by mid-December to avoid ripples during the Christmas shopping season. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase estimated that the average American family could face up to $1,000 more in annual costs once the levies are in place because the tariffs are starting to hit popular consumer goods. China, meanwhile, has retaliated with trade moves and tariffs of its own, hurting farmers in particular. While Mr. Trump is using some of the incoming duties to bail out the agricultural sector, some Senate Republicans say all Americans should get relief. Sen. Rick Scott, Florida Republican, has been meeting with the White House on a proposal that would pass along tariff revenue in the form of tax cuts. “Sen. Scott supports the president’s efforts to get tough on China, but any revenue brought into the federal government should be returned to the taxpayers,” Scott spokeswoman Sarah Schwirian said. Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, filed legislation last week that would gather tariff revenue and give it to working-class taxpayers in the form of a rebate check that arrives several months after tax-filing season. “Tariffs are an effective way to apply pressure to China and other nations in trade negotiations, but there’s no reason that tariff revenue can’t help working Americans in the process,” Mr. Cotton said. U.S. adults who are citizens or legal residents, file federal taxes and earn less than $84,200 as individual filers or $168,400 as joint filers would be eligible for rebate checks. The plan starts with a special rebate check for calendar years 2017 and 2018 — mailed within 90 days of enactment — and would establish a recurring annual rebate for eligible filers as long as money is pouring in from what are known as Section 201, 232 and 301 duties. According to Mr. Cotton’s office, the rebates would be a good way to shore up political support for the U.S. crackdown on China while protecting Americans against any price increases resulting from tariffs. The White House hasn’t weighed in yet — the bill was just released — though Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, has voiced support for Mr. Scott’s push to offer tax cuts equal to the amount the U.S. collects in tariffs. Mr. Scott’s spokeswoman said the senator plans to put forward a formal proposal in the coming weeks.

For more, click on the text above.

Opinion/Analysis: Trump flips tables on foes Pelosi, Schiff

President Donald Trump, in a late Sunday evening Twitter rant, did what he does and continues to do and with just a few short characters spread over a few short tweets, utterly slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff. This is why Trump’s “poll numbers are defying the impeachment mess,” as CNBC recently wrote. He’s the “junkyard dog who digs” out all the dirt on the government, as CNBC’s Jake Novak recently put it. Yep. He’s the guy who doesn’t quit, doesn’t cave, doesn’t back down — and doesn’t sell out the middle-of-America fly-over country citizens to cut lucrative personal-albeit-shady deals with government’s elites. What’s more: He goes on the offensive and attacks when all the cards — all the cowards — say he should retreat. “Nancy Pelosi knew of all of the many Shifty Adam Schiff lies and massive frauds perpetrated upon Congress and the American people, in the form of a fraudulent speech knowingly delivered as a ruthless con, and the illegal meetings with a highly partisan ‘Whistleblower’ & lawyer …,” Trump tweeted. “This makes Nervous Nancy every bit as guilty as Liddle’ Adam Schiff for High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” he said, in a follow-up tweet, “and even Treason. I guess that means that they, along with all of those that evilly ‘Colluded’ with them, must all be immediately Impeached!?” Priceless. Classic Trump. No wonder Sen. Kamala Harris, seeking the high White House office for 2020, wants Twitter executives to boot Trump from the social media platform. She wouldn’t be able to stand his tweeting fire if she were to become the candidate of Democratic Party choice. As it is, Trump took the calls for impeachment those on the left have been railing against him for years — and turned the tables. Flipped the accusations around. Pointed the same fuzzy impeachment finger back at his accusers. Legal? Lawful? Possible under the Constitution to officially impeach Pelosi and Schiff? Well, put it this way: It’s more lawful than going after a president for impeachment when there are no crimes he’s committed that are impeachment-worthy. It’s the messaging that matters. And on that, Trump is aces. He’s taken the cry for impeachment, flipped it around, and slung it right back at his political foes. Let Schiff and Pelosi feel some of the political heat for a while. Let Schiff and Pelosi face the uncomfortable — unAmerican — prospect of proving their own innocence over accusations that aren’t even formally charged. What goes around comes around. Even in politics. Especially with Trump. And for those who’ve still not caught on to the facts: That’s why Trump was elected in the first place.

Agreed..  Thanks to Cheryl Chumley for that spot-on op/ed.  Excellent!!     🙂

Homeland Security secretary shouted off stage at immigration conference

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan walked off the stage at a speaking engagement at Georgetown Law School on Monday after being shouted down by audience members protesting the Trump administration’s immigration policies. McAleenan was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at an annual immigration law and policy conference hosted by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) and Georgetown Law, at the Washington, D.C., university. But before he even began to talk, protesters stood up and shouted: “When immigrants come under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” Some in the audience shouted at the protesters to sit down so they could hear the DHS acting secretary speak. Doris Meissner, a senior fellow at MPI who served as a top immigration official under the Clinton administration, was to moderate the Q&A, and told the protesters they were robbing the audience of their ability to engage in a meaningful dialogue on a contentious and important topic. DHS, in a written statement released afterward, echoed those concerns: “The First Amendment guarantees all Americans the right to free speech and assembly. Unfortunately that right was robbed from many who were scheduled to speak and attend today’s event at Georgetown. Unfortunately the Acting Secretary and the audience did not get the opportunity to engage in a robust dialogue this morning due to the disruptions of a few activists.” The department, which published the secretary’s prepared remarks, said those in attendance would have “learned more about DHS’s successful strategy to work with international partners to reduce unlawful migration and end the exploitation of children by smugglers and cartels, and then they would have had the opportunity to participate in an unmoderated question and answer session.” McAleenan, a longtime civil servant who was the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection before he was tapped to lead DHS, tried three times to start his speech, but was interrupted almost immediately by the demonstrators on each occasion. As McAleenan tried to speak, protesters stood and held banners with phrases like “Hate is Not Normal” and shouted out the names of children who had died in immigration custody. “Lot to cover today, there’s some very serious issues that we can talk about today in candor, or we can continue to shout,” McAleenan said on his third attempt. “What I was going to start with was that I’d like to take our dialogue this morning above the politics and the daily news cycle, talk about the challenges and efforts we’ve faced over the past year, but also that this is primarily an audience of immigration lawyers, advocates and students, to talk about some of the fundamental issues we face with the current legal framework.” Protesters once again began to shout him down, leading McAleenan to thank the conference’s moderators and walk off the stage — after appearing for a little over seven minutes. “In a democracy, it is important to hear from all sides on public policy issues, including from those who are instrumental in developing and implementing policy, whether or not we agree with them, and MPI remains committed to that belief,” MPI President Andrew Selee said in a statement. Selee added: “By drowning out the Secretary’s remarks, the protestors deprived immigration attorneys, service providers, journalists, advocates, business leaders, law students, and many others in the public who were in the audience from hearing his point of view and engaging in a meaningful dialogue.”

Exactly..  The specific speech Nazi group responsible for this nonsense was the liberal group CREDO.  Typical liberals..  They’re all for “free speech,” until its speech they don’t agree with, then they want it censored or shouted down.  The students at Georgetown Law School had an opportunity to interface with a sitting Trump Administration cabinet level official, and were deprived of such an opportunity.  This happens all the time.  So.. I have a question..  Why don’t these venues (colleges, etc.) have security in place to remove these sh_t disturbers when they just show up to disrupt?  The school HAD to know this was gonna happen.  Why not have their campus security there to simply remove these idiots?  I guess that makes too much sense…

Video appears to contradict Warren’s suggestion that school fired her over pregnancy

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., suggested this week that a school principal effectively fired her from a teaching job after she became “visibly pregnant,” but a resurfaced video indicates that wasn’t the actual reason she left the job. “I was married at nineteen and then graduated from college [at the University of Houston] after I’d married,” Warren, then a Harvard Law School professor, said in an interview posted to YouTube in 2008. “My first year post-graduation, I worked — it was in a public school system but I worked with the children with disabilities. I did that for a year, and then that summer I actually didn’t have the education courses, so I was on an ’emergency certificate,’ it was called. “I went back to graduate school and took a couple of courses in education and said, ‘I don’t think this is going to work out for me,'” Warren continued. “I was pregnant with my first baby, so I had a baby and stayed home for a couple of years, and I was really casting about, thinking, ‘What am I going to do?'” By contrast, Warren told an audience at a town hall in Carson City, Nev. Wednesday that she had “loved” working as a special needs teacher. “By the end of the first year, I was visibly pregnant, and the principal did what principals did in those days,” she said. “Wish me luck and hire someone else for the job.” Warren has repeated the story at campaign appearances throughout the summer, each time repeating the “principal did what principals did” line to describe her departure from teaching. The senator’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment to clarify the apparent discrepancy. This isn’t the first time that Warren’s past has raised questions about her credibility. She has been widely criticized for identifying herself as a Native American in legal directories before applying to work at Harvard Law School. Last year, Warren released the results of a DNA test showing she is only between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American — and apologized for identifying as Native American on past forms.

Sen. Warren (D-MA) is a pathological liar.  So, this really isn’t anything new.  It’s just par for the course.  But, we wanted to make sure we passed this latest example along…because the dominantly liberal mainstream media sure won’t.

‘Death by a thousand cuts’: Government-mandated wage, benefits hurting small businesses

Business owners say the government-mandated minimum wage of $15 an hour is hurting New York City businesses, including popular eateries with years of history like Gabriela’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar. Gabriela’s, which opened 25 years ago according to The New York Post, invited customers to eat and drink for the restaurant’s final weekend before closing at the end of September. Owners Liz and Nat Milner told The New York Post that the minimum wage hike basically killed their business. They’re not the only ones making difficult decisions. The New York City Hospitality Alliance surveyed 324 full-service restaurants at the end of 2018 and found that 75% of respondents will cut hours for employees and 47% will cut jobs in 2019 because of the minimum wage hike that went into effect on Dec. 31, 2018. The wage hike affected employees at corporations like McDonald’s and small businesses alike. “It’s death by a thousand cuts,” the alliance’s executive director Andrew Rigie said. “The minimum wage increases put pressure on small businesses. They are well-intended but unsustainable. There’s only so many times you can increase the price of a burger and a bowl of pasta.” That’s what Gabriela’s experienced. The Milners said they had to lay off cleaners, middle managers, their general manager and extra servers. “I’m not against people making more money,” Nat Milner told The New York Post. “These people have worked for me for 20 years. But taxes, groceries, everything is going up and people have a little less money to spend on guacamole and tequila.” Other small business owners are feeling the pinch, too. Wage hikes have led to less hours and education seminars for Philippe Massoud’s staff at Lebanese restaurants Ilili and Ilili Box, the CEO and executive chef said. “I can’t even train or educate my staff the way I want to anymore,” Massoud told The New York Post. The Post editorial board cited the plight of Gabriela’s owners in an op-ed slamming the $15-an-hour minimum wage hike on Monday night. “Just as predicted, the $15 minimum wage is killing vulnerable city small businesses, with the low-margin restaurant industry one of the hardest-hit as it also faces a separate mandatory wage hike for tipped staffers,” the board wrote. “All this is fine with the union organizers behind the ‘fight for $15’ and the elimination of the tipped-wages system: They don’t care about any job, or any business, that doesn’t play ball with organized labor. Mom-and-pop shops can go to hell,” the board added. “Plainly, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature, who are passing the laws the unions want, don’t care much, either.”