(Bloomberg Politics) – John Kasich Says His Time at Lehman Brothers Helped Him Understand How Business Works – 

The Ohio governor has been criticized over his role at the now defunct financial services company.

At one point during his first event in New Hampshire after announcing he was running for president, John Kasich turned to the cameras in the room just to make sure his point wasn’t missed.

“I learned a lot about the way America works when I worked at Lehman Brothers,” Kasich said to the cameras gathered at a town hall meeting at Rivier University in Nashua.

Kasich, 63, the two-term Ohio governor, who on Tuesday became the 16th Republican to jump into the presidential race, was responding to criticisms from Democrats that his stint as a managing director in investment banking at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. is a black mark against his candidacy.

“I learned how entrepreneurs worked; I learned how boards of directors think.”

Ohio Governor John Kasich
Democrats have criticized Kasich and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who also worked for Lehman Brothers, as profiting from Wall Street while the firm collapsed in 2008 and ushered in the worst recession since the Great Depression.

“He couldn’t be more out of touch with the millions of Americans who struggled to make ends meet after the financial meltdown,” U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Ohio, said of Kasich in a blog posting for The Hill.

“The last thing we need in a president is the Lehman Brothers approach to America,” TJ Helmstetter, Midwest press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement after Kasich’s comment in Nashua.

Kasich made it clear that he’ll continue talking about his business experience on the campaign trail because he met people including the founders of Google and learned what it takes to create jobs.

“I learned how entrepreneurs worked; I learned how boards of directors think,” Kasich said in Nashua. “If you want to rebuild this economy, you better have somebody elected that understands the economic situation in this country and what makes businesses invest.”

Kasich’s former colleagues at Lehman have described him as a facilitator, forging relationships and working with Lehman teams on initial public offerings, debt offerings and other deals in areas including manufacturing, media and technology.

Kasich is spending the next two days in New Hampshire as part of his presidential campaign roll-out, followed by trips to Iowa, South Carolina and Michigan.

While New Hampshire is particularly attractive for Kasich because his record appeals to fiscal conservatives there, the governor will also campaign in the other early-voting states, said John Weaver, his chief strategist.

“We’re going to compete in every state,” Weaver said in an interview before Kasich’s announcement in Columbus. “Our goal is really to be disciplined enough not to get between he and the voters.”

While Kasich’s decision to expand Medicaid and his positions on immigration and the Common Core education standards don’t endear him to some conservatives in Iowa, he can get support among Republicans there once voters hear from him, said Mary Ann Hanusa, an Iowa state representative from Council Bluffs. She accompanied Kasich on a June 24 trip to Iowa and traveled to Columbus for his announcement.

“He’s going to play in Iowa,” Hanusa said. “Iowa conservatives are not a monolithic bloc.”

Kasich, who has been languishing at about 2 percent in recent polls, has been airing televisions ads in New Hampshire in advance of his presidential announcement with hopes of polling high enough to be one of the 10 candidates included in the first Republican presidential debate Aug. 6 in Cleveland.

The ads were paid for by New Day for America, a 527 organization supporting Kasich’s presidential bid that will soon file with the Federal Elections Commission as a super-PAC, New Day spokesman Matt David said.

Kasich acknowledged in response to a question in Nashua about the campaign finance system that he won’t have as much money as other candidates “but hopefully, I’ll have enough.”

Read Source: John Kasich Says His Time at Lehman Brothers Helped Him Understand How Business Works – Bloomberg Politics

(DOD) – Dempsey, Ghani Discuss Transregional Effort Against ISIL

Martin E. Dempsey

By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

KABUL, Afghanistan, July 19, 2015 – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey today discussed the possibility of forming a network to oppose the transregional threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff visited Ghani here this afternoon and said there is a clear need for a transregional strategy to address ISIL.

Terror groups in Afghanistan – most notably the Tehreek-i-Taliban — have rebranded themselves as ISIL, officials said, noting that these are terrorists who believe the Taliban are not vicious enough.

ISIL is the latest and most successful manifestation of the terror threat, they added, posing a military threat and promoting an ideology that appeals to disaffected youths around the world.

Dempsey has said for years the United States should address this transregional threat with a transregional strategy. ISIL began in Iraq and Syria, but has spread to the Sinai, Libya and into Nigeria. Now the group is recruiting in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“I think we’re all having an important discussion on how to address the transregional nature of what is clearly a persistent threat that has to be addressed at a sustainable level of effort over a period of time,” Dempsey said to reporters traveling with him.

Seeks Expanded Assessment

The chairman said he has asked Army Gen. John F. Campbell, the commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission here, to expand his assessment of the current campaign in Afghanistan to include the changing nature of the threat and “to give us his insights into what he thinks we should do.”

Dempsey said Ghani told him in their meeting that Afghanistan should be a regional hub in a transregional network that includes the Levant, Iraq, North Africa and West Africa. “His view is, ‘Hey, look, I’m a willing partner in an area where you may not have willing partners,’” the chairman said. Ghani wants to have a conversation on what Afghanistan can do over time to form a network that will operate transregionally, he added.

The chairman said Ghani’s idea falls in line with his own thinking, but that he would like a discussion among American leaders on what the objective would be. “Once we have a clear idea of what we would like to accomplish … over a 10 year period,” he said, “then we should discuss what authorities would be needed, … as well as what resources can be applied.”

The long-term look is important, the general said, because this is a generational fight and the level of resources supplied must be sustainable over 10 years. “I don’t want to do this one year at a time,” he said.

Afghanistan could be a coalition counterterrorism partner and a South Asia hub. Ghani also pointed out to Dempsey that other global actors – Russia, China and Iran –also are concerned about the rising ISIL movement and are looking to Afghanistan for help. Ghani believes Afghanistan could be an exporter of stability in this type of program, Dempsey said.

Afghanistan is a credible and willing partner in counterterrorism and could be one of the keys to addressing ISIL in all of South Asia, the chairman said, adding that it could also network with similar efforts elsewhere.

Window of Opportunity

This could be a window of opportunity for a strategy against ISIL, the chairman said, noting that there are nine stages of development for an organization that, like ISIL, aspires to be a state.

“In Iraq and Syria, you might say they are in stage 6 or 7 or 8,” he said. “In Libya, they are in stage 3 or 4, and in Afghanistan they are in stage 1 or 2.” Therefore, he said, there is an opportunity in Afghanistan to deal with ISIL while it is still small there.

Any military effort against ISIL must have two components, the chairman said. The main effort should be by, with and through partners. “But we also need to carve out for ourselves the ability to take actions unilaterally when we deem it to be a credible, real and imminent threat to our people, facilities or the homeland,” he said.

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)

Contact Author

Biographies:
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey
Related Sites:
Special Report: Travels With Dempsey

(Fox News) – McDonald’s manager confirms existence of a ‘secret menu’ |

rtertrt4645654fghfhg.jpg

McDonald’s fans have plenty to be excited about. (iStock Photo)

Have you ever tried to order a McGangBang at McDonald’s? What about a Land Air and Sea?

These legendary secret menu items are real things, according to a McDonald’s manager in Scotland who dished on a Reddit Ask Me Anything when user JoshuaTree posed the question: “Can you confirm the validity of the “Secret Menu”? Also, what is the one item you would recommend customers do not order?”

Reddit user orchidhibiscus—who identified himself as a McDonald’s employeefor over three years—confirmed what McDonald’s menu hackers have been discussing for years.

“You can order from the ‘Secret Menu’. Just like with any of our sandwiches, you can add, remove or change ingredients by special request. These are called ‘grill orders’ (i.e. Big Mac no pickle).”

For the uninitiated, a Land, Air and Sea Burger is pretty much the surf and turf Golden Arches style with a Big Mac, McChicken, and Filet-O-Fish all slammed together. A McGangBang is a McChicken sandwiched within a double cheeseburger—with Big Mac sauce of course.

These aren’t official McDonald’s creations, said orchidhibiscus. “Order one and the workers might not know it by name (i.e. Land, Air and Sea burger or the McGangBang), but if you explain what it is, and are willing to pay for all the ingredients, it’s just another ‘grill order’ that we can make up.”

Orchidhibiscus was fine with customers who place so called grill orders, but the user did have one piece of advice for McDonald’s customers.

“DON’T order… the grilled chicken. It’s horrible frozen chicken that we defrost and steam and it’s a bit gelatinous.”

We of course wanted to know if there was a secret menu in the U.S. We reached out to McDonald’s U.S. for comment and are waiting to hear back.  We’ll let you know.

Read Source: McDonald’s manager confirms existence of a ‘secret menu’ | Fox News

(NBC News) –  Obama Honors Vets in Pittsburgh Speech, Orders Flags to Half-Staff 

Flags will fly at half-staff at the White House and on federal grounds through sunset on Saturday to honor the service members killed in the shooting rampage last week in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Obama administration announced on Tuesday.

President Barack Obama said the thoughts and prayers of the country were with the four Marines and sailor who were killed, and he expressed gratitude to the police and first responders who stopped the attack and saved lives.

“We draw strength from yet another American community that has come together with an unmistakable message to those who would try and do us harm: We do not give in to fear,” the president said in a statement. “You cannot divide us. And you will not change our way of life.”

Image: Shooting leaves five dead in Chattanooga, Tennessee
A family brings flowers to a makeshift memorial near a US Military Recruiting storefront after a shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, 16 July 2015. Authorities say the shootings at two different locations left four US Marines and the gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez dead. EPA/ERIK S. LESSER ERIK S. LESSER / EPA

The announcement coincided with a speech by the president to the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, held in Pittsburgh.

Obama pressed his case for the nuclear deal with Iran, saying that sending troops into battle isn’t always the smartest approach. Some Republicans have criticized the agreement as dangerous and shortsighted.

“I’m hearing echoes of some of the same policies and mindset that failed us in the past,” the president said. “Who paid the price? Our men and women in uniform.”

The White House rolled out online tools to argue for the deal, including a Twitter feed, @theirandeal, and a web page.

The president also called on Iran to free the Americans it is holding and U.S. military presence in the Middle East amidst the rise of ISIS. He also lauded moves toward normalized diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Related: U.S. Families of Americans Jailed in Iran Seek Release

He also vowed that his administration would continue to work on shortening wait times at Department of Veteran Affairs facilities. He highlighted federal efforts to hire new doctors, open more clinics and help vets find care elsewhere if the commute to a clinic is too long.

“We’ve got to acknowledge (our) work is not done,” the president said, adding “I’m still not satisfied.”

Obama used the VFW speech to promote a crackdown on predatory lenders who target active-duty soldiers and other service members.

The administration emphasized that the new rule was announced on the fifth anniversary of the financial reform law known as Dodd-Frank, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

A decade ago, things “were at a crisis point,” Holly Petraeus, the bureau’s assistant director of servicemember affairs, told reporters ahead of the speech. She said some payday lenders set up outside bases and charge interest rates of as much as 450 percent.

In 2006, Congress sought to clean up military lending by passing a law capping interest rates at 36 percent. But the law had loopholes, and its protections did not apply to payday loans greater than $2,000 or borrowed longer than 91 days.

Related: GOP again targets predatory lending protections for US troops

Petraeus said she visited bases across the country, where financial counselors told her that troops were struggling under high-interest loans. The administration said it did not have figures for how many troops were affected.

The new rule covers more types of loans and makes all loans subject to the 36 percent cap. It also blocks lenders from requiring service members to send a portion of their paychecks. The rule begins taking effect Oct. 1.

Source: Obama Honors Vets in Speech, Orders Flags to Half-Staff – NBC News

(timeslive.co.za) – UN ship brings food aid to Yemeni port of Aden

Reuters | 21 July, 2015 13:45

Smerdon the spokesman for WFP, called on the warring sides to allow distribution of food aid from the ship and to allow resumption of commercial trade, which he said was the only way to meet Yemen’s food needs. File photo
Image by: KHALED ABDULLAH / Reuters

A ship carrying enough UN food aid to feed 180,000 people for a month docked at the Yemeni port of Aden on Tuesday, having waited for almost four weeks, a World Food Programme spokesman said.

Aden and the other southern provinces of Yemen have been largely inaccessible to U.N. food aid, and around 13 million people – over half the population – are thought to be in a situation of “critical” or “emergency” food insecurity.

“It’s the first WFP chartered ship to berth in the port since the conflict erupted in late March,” spokesman Peter Smerdon said. “We have additional ships chartered which are on standby heading towards Aden carrying more food and fuel.”

Last week WFP negotiated the entry of a convoy of food trucks into Aden province, but said docking a ship was impossible because of fighting raging around the port area.

Since then Yemenis and a Saudi-led coalition fighting against the country’s dominant Houthi militia and its army allies have broken months of stalemate by seizing the airport and then driving the Houthis out of their last redoubt in the west of the city.

Smerdon called on the warring sides to allow distribution of food aid from the ship and to allow resumption of commercial trade, which he said was the only way to meet Yemen’s food needs.

“We (the U.N.) cannot fill that gap,” he said. “That gap can only be filled by the commercial sector being allowed to import food and deliver throughout the country.”

Read Source: UN ship brings food aid to Yemeni port of Aden

(Forbes) – Why Gun Sales Boomed In June

Guns are not perishable items. Kept in good repair a firearm lasts generations. So how is it that gun sales continue to set records when more than 100 million American gun owners already have over 300 million guns?

Last month, for example, was the busiest June for gun sales ever. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for firearms manufacturers, says gun dealers completed 886,825 background checks in June 2015. The NSSF follows the FBI-administered National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) closely. Each time someone wants to buy a gun from a licensed dealer their name must be called into the FBI’s NICS database (or, in some cases, a state-operated database) to check if that person is barred from possessing a gun. The NSSF said the number of NICS checks last June was “the highest” on record “for the 17-year-old [NICS] system.” It was an increase of 10.1 percent over June 2014.

Now, some news reports say this jump in sales is all about gun owners’ fears about more gun control coming in the wake of the horrific attack on parishioners on June 17 at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. The thing is this can’t be the whole story because in May 2015 some 918,707 background checks were called into the FBI’s database, making it the second-highest May ever.

For a deeper explanation I contacted Jim Curcuruto, director, industry research & analysis for the NSSF. He said, “Background checks were up over 19 percent in South Carolina, as compared to the previous June, but that one state isn’t enough to make the NICS checks jump 10 percent nationally. So, after making a lot of calls, we found that some of the bump was related to sales and other deals at retail chains. Some percentage of the rise in sales was definitely related to fear of more gun control. There are also typically spikes in sales regionally after something occurs that prompts people to look for ways to protect their own lives. But there has also been a steady rise in gun sales for some time. So there were multiple factors involved.”

Of course, we’re talking about NICS checks here, not actual gun sales. Just because someone undergoes a background check doesn’t mean they necessarily purchased a gun; also, someone could buy multiple guns after a single background check. This is why NICS is seen only as an indicator of the volume of gun sales.

Now, I started by asking why gun sales continue to set records when more than 100 million American gun owners already have over 300 million guns? This probably had a lot of gun aficionados asking, “What, the average gun owner only has three guns?”

Guns, you see, are heirlooms, works of art, and practical tools used for sport, self-defense and hunting. As works of art or tools—or both—guns have a specific purposes. Hunters will have a specific gun or guns for big game, for upland birds, for waterfowl and so on. Those who are into the shooting sports will find their collection expanding as they mature and try new sports. Those looking for self-defense guns will try new carry guns and more as technology and design adds options. As for collectors, well, by definition they just can’t get enough. So it’s actually not all that helpful to compare the number of guns in private hands to the number of gun owners.

Also on Forbes:

Read Source: Why Gun Sales Boomed In June

(LA Times) – Earthquake: 4.1 quake strikes near Fremont – 

>Earthquake: 4.1 quake strikes near Fremont, Calif.
A map shows the approximate location of the epicenter of Tuesday morning’s quake near Fremont, Calif. (Bing Maps)
By QUAKEBOT Earthquakes

A shallow magnitude 4.1 earthquake was reported Tuesday morning one mile from Fremont, Calif., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 2:41 a.m. PDT at a depth of 7.5 miles.
According to the USGS, the epicenter was one mile from Union City, four miles from Newark, and seven miles from Fairview.

In the last 10 days, there have been no earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater centered nearby.

This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service .

 

Read more about Southern California earthquakes.
Source: Earthquake: 4.1 quake strikes near Fremont – LA Times

(Fox News) – North Korea says it won’t do Iran-style nuclear deal with US

>North Korea’s government said Tuesday that it had no interest in pursuing a nuclear agreement of its own with the U.S. as long as Washington pursued what Pyongyang described as provocative U.S. policies.

The statement from the isolated, totalitarian country’s Foreign Ministry was its first official response to the agreement concluded earlier this month between Iran and six global powers, including the U.S.

The unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesman said the North’s nuclear deterrent was “not a plaything to be put on the negotiating table” in the statement, which was carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. There was no immediate comment form the U.S.

North Korea’s nuclear program is a major regional concern, with the country having conducted atomic weapons tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013. International nuclear disarmament talks have been stalled since early 2009, and outside analysts believe the North has built a small but growing nuclear bomb arsenal.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman said North Korea is different from Iran because it already has nuclear weapons. He said the North faces constant military and nuclear threats from the U.S., citing its regular military exercises with South Korea.

On Thursday, U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman had said that Iran’s compliance with the terms of the agreement, followed by the lifting of sanctions, “might give North Korea second thoughts.”

But Tuesday’s statement said that North Korea “is not interested at all in the dialogue to discuss the issue of making it freeze or dismantle its nukes unilaterally first,” adding that the North “remains unchanged in the mission of its nuclear force as long as the U.S. continues pursuing its hostile policy toward” the country.

In May, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the U.S., South Korea, China, Russia, and Japan were coordinating attempts to engage North Korea in preliminary talks about Pyongyang’s nuclear program. However, officials in Washington and Seoul told the Wall Street Journal that North Korea had not responded to overtures made by the U.S. and South Korea in recent months.

The so-called six-party talks began in 2003 to negotiate for North Korea’s denuclearization in exchange for economic aid and security guarantees. Talks have been stalled since late 2008. Earlier this year, the Journal reported that Chinese experts had warned U.S. officials that North Korea could double the size of its nuclear arsenal by the beginning of next year.

The U.S. stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

Under the Iranian nuclear deal reached by Tehran, Washington and others, Iran’s nuclear program will be curbed for a decade in exchange for potentially hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of relief from international sanctions. Many key penalties on the Iranian economy, such as those related to the energy and financial sectors, could be lifted by the end of the year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click for more from The Wall Street Journal.

Source: North Korea says it won’t do Iran-style nuclear deal with US