— RT (@RT_com) January 23, 2018
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Update 2 and final: Shortly before 1pm ET, the Senate voted to advance a funding bill in an 81 to 18 vote, that will reopen the government, ending a three-day standoff that left federal agencies shuttered and hundreds of thousands of workers furloughed. Democrats agreed to advance a stopgap spending measure lasting until Feb. 8 after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to allow an immigration bill to reach the floor next month.
“After several discussions, offers and counteroffers, the Republican leader and I have come to an arrangement. We will vote today to reopen the government to continue negotiating a global agreement,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said ahead of the vote.
The explosive FISA memo that supposedly details wrongdoing by the Department of Justice against President Trump shouldn’t be released because the American people wouldn’t understand what it means, according to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
Schiff, a top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, was asked by CNN host Ana Cabrera if the FISA memo should be released to the public for them to draw their own conclusions.
“Well, because the American people unfortunately don’t have the underlying materials and therefore they can’t see how distorted and misleading this document is,” Schiff told her.
H/t reader eric:
“Shame most have the memory of a goldfish.”
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Update: That didn’t take long:
Bloomberg is reporting that, according to an aide to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans are opposing invoking the nuclear option, something President Trump urged them to do in a tweet this morning.
Meanwhile, Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters that House Republicans would support a bill that would kick the can to Feb. 8 if the Senate can pass it. While Republicans have picked up a few Democratic votes, they don’t have nearly enough to overcome a filibuster, something that requires 60 votes.
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The first full day of the January 2018 government shutdown saw a spate of hurried but ultimately fruitless negotiations, and already the White House – which has been accused of exacerbating the problem by constantly shifting its negotiating position – has had enough: In a tweet this morning, President Donald Trump said Republicans should consider invoking “the nuclear option” to eliminate the possibility of an opposition fillibuster – allowing Republicans to pass a long-term spending bill with a simple majority (there are 51 Republican senators).
Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget and a key player in the White House’s negotiations, told Fox News Sunday that the government shutdown could persist for weeks…
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Unveiling the Trump administration’s new National Defense Strategy, Jim Mattis said the main focus for US defense was competition with resurgent powers Russia and China which, he said, want to impose an authoritarian model of government on other nations.
“We are facing increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order—creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory. Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security,” says the summary of the new NDS published simultaneously.
There is nothing to be gained from carrying out the bidding of the US in Syria, and right now Turkey and the Kurds alike are learning this the hard way, independent political analyst Dan Glazebrook told RT.
Turkey officially launched a military operation against Kurdish-held enclaves in Syria called operation ‘Olive Branch’ on Saturday, comprising airstrikes and a ground offensive.
Ankara maintains that UN Security Council Resolutions 1624, 2170, and 2178 allow it to conduct operations against terrorists in Syria while preserving the territorial integrity of its neighbor.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said that the UK should welcome Donald Trump, and launched an attack on “puerile and backward-looking” protesters trying to block a visit from the US president.
Writing in his Sunday Telegraph column, Johnson blamed leaders of the Labour Party for stoking up opposition to Trump and “fulminating against what should be a routine event in the diplomatic calendar.” He went on to warn that continuing to denigrate the “special relationship” between the two countries could jeopardize billions of pounds generated through trade.
— RT (@RT_com) January 19, 2018
Ahead of his meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in London on Monday, Britain’s top diplomat also praised Trump’s support for NATO and his actions in Syria, saying he had shown a “new willingness to get stuck in” as regards the Middle East. Trump has been a fierce critic of NATO in the past, calling the organization “obsolete” during the 2016 presidential election campaign and demanding member countries meet their defense spending targets.
It’s official: as of midnight Saturday, the US government has shut down following a failure in the Senate to strike a funding deal. Government funding was due to run out after Dec. 8 but was twice extended, most recently through Jan. 19, at which point the US encountered what’s officially called a “spending gap,” which triggers an official halt to Washington’s work.
In retrospect, this is hardly a novel development, as history shows there have been 18 previous closures starting in 1976, with the last one taking place in September 2013. Almost all of the funding gaps occurred between FY1977 and FY1995. During this 19-fiscal-year period, 15 funding gaps occurred.
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SOCHI (Sputnik) – US troops should not further stay in Syria without approval from Damascus as this may negatively affect the upcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress, Russian Special Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said Saturday.
“Our position is clear, the US troops should not further stay on the territory of a sovereign state without approval from its government. It may negatively affect the congress. Moreover, we expect that the United States, as a permanent member of [UN] Security Council, will send its representative to the Sochi forum in the status of observer,” Lavrentyev told reporters.
By Stephen Lendman
Last year on January 20, he was sworn into office as America’s 45th president.
Every populist promise made was breached straightaway. Instead of draining the swamp, he filled it with neocons, Wall Street predators, hawkish generals, and billionaires.
He assured government of, by and for its privileged class exclusively, the way it’s always been in America from inception, the nation a fantasy democracy, not the real thing – far worse than ever since the neoliberal 90s, notably post-9/11.
The myth of the anti-establishment candidate vanished straightaway after Trump’s inauguration.
The new year is barely three weeks old and already the US Navy’s “freedom of navigation” operations are eliciting furious threats of retaliation from the Chinese military.
Since President Donald Trump took office one year ago, the Navy and Air Force have increasingly sought to test the Chinese military response in the Pacific by sailing or flying within a certain perimeter – usually 12 miles – of one of China’s disputed territorial holdings in the South China Sea, according to RT.
In the latest clash, the USS Hopper missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of Huangyan Dao, a tiny island claimed by China, on Jan. 17.
As is common during US “Freeops,” the US destroyer didn’t solicit Beijing’s permission for entering the waters and was subsequently intercepted by the Chinese Navy, with China’s Foreign Ministry accusing the US of violating “sovereignty and security interests” as well as posing a “grave threat” to its forces stationed in the area.
“China is strongly dissatisfied with that and will take necessary measures to firmly safeguard its sovereignty,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a statement on Saturday. He also warned US forces against further “provocative moves” for the sake of“China-US relations and regional peace and stability.”