President Trump hosted a midday Cabinet meeting at the White House today. He also took part in an afternoon briefing on border security with congressional leaders. The classified briefing was conducted by homeland security officials in the White House Situation Room. Border security is at the heart of the partial shutdown of the federal government. Trump is demanding several billion dollars to help construct a massive border wall but Democrats have rejected that demand. Dems assume control of the House tomorrow. What did the President really say today? The government shutdown has left America's national parks largely unsupervised. No one is at the gate. No one is collecting a fee. The visitor centers are closed. The Smithsonian Institution, having depleted temporary funding, will close all of its museums and the National Zoo. Also, for one tribe of Chippewa Indians in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the government shutdown comes with a price tag: about $100,000, every day, of federal money that does not arrive to keep health clinics staffed, food pantry shelves full and employees paid.
According to the Asia Times, in his New Year's Day speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reiterated his commitment to denuclearization and said he was willing to meet US President Donald Trump at any time, but also warned that his state could pursue different initiatives if the US continues its sanctions and pressure tactics. How much of this was Kim making nice, nice vs. a subtle warning that the US needs to make some positive steps in terms of sanction relief?
Last year, the conciliatory messaging in Kim's New Year's Day address led to a range of breakthroughs for the previously isolated leader and his state. This year, Kim's key messaging was binary. He also appeared to be aiming at three distinct audiences: the United States, South Korea and his domestic populace. Optics are very important, in the Asia Times they write, In international statesman mode, a grey-suited Kim forewent his usual flamboyant tunic, and instead of speaking at a podium, delivered his address from a leather armchair in a book-lined, wood-paneled office. Who would have thought 3 years ago that Kim would be described as being in international statesman mode?
Mitt Romney's op-ed in today's Post is being widely praised by the usual suspects in Never-Trump Land. So, Mitt Romney, a multi-millionaire Republican — now from Utah and the party's 2012 nominee for president, will be sworn into the U.S. Senate on Thursday pens the piece, "Mitt Romney: The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump's character falls short." He wrote, "It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not…on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office." What did Romney say and what does it mean? Also, what's going on in the Democrat party right now?
Teresa M. Lundy — Government Affairs and Public Relations Specialist and principal of TML Communications, LLC.
Jay Winter Nightwolf — originator and host of The American Indian's Truths — Nightwolf — the Most Dangerous Show On Radio on WPFW 89.3 FM. His show is the only Native American program on FM radio in the mid-Atlantic region. Nightwolf is also the first Native American Indian to serve as a national advisory member of The Progressive Democrats of America.
Dr. Gerald Horne — Professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including Blows Against the Empire: US Imperialism in Crisis.
Eugene Puryear — Co-Host of By Any Means Necessary on Sputnik Radio.
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