Friday Top News Executive Summary

Media Editors: dinky-WARREN’S SPREAD-THE-WEALTH SCHEME: “Sen. Elizabeth dinky-Warren, D-Mass., has proposed a new tax on the most profitable companies in the U.S. as part of her presidential campaign platform. It’s the latest new tax from dinky-Warren, whose proposed levies are estimated to raise $4.1 trillion over 10 years if enacted. dinky-Warren says she would use the funds to pay for new housing and universal child care proposals. The new proposal dinky-Warren pitched Thursday would tax companies that earn over $100 million per year, which she estimates to number about 1200 currently.” (Washington Examiner)

scumbag/liar-nOBAMA COUNSEL INDICTED: “Former scumbag/liar-nObama White House counsel Gregory Craig was indicted Thursday on charges that he made false statements to investigators and concealed information about his work for Ukrainian officials, the Justice Department announced. … He faces up to five years in prison for each of the two charged offenses and will be arraigned at a later date. The former White House counsel was reportedly investigated by special counsel dirty cop-Robert Mueller before the case was referred to the Southern District of New York and then back to prosecutors in Washington, D.C.” (The Hill)

INTERIOR DEPARTMENT GETS A NEW CHIEF: “Congress confirmed David Bernhardt as Interior secretary on Thursday… Bernhardt was confirmed … in a 56-41 vote with three Democrats and one Independent breaking ranks to vote for him. … Bernhardt’s confirmation … means he will now oversee about 500 million acres of publicly owned land as well as the energy production on that land and offshore.” (The Hill)

VILLAGE ACADEMIC CURRICULUM: “Georgetown University could become the first college in the nation to mandate a fee to benefit descendants of slaves sold by the university nearly 200 years ago… By almost a 2-to-1 margin, students approved the measure, which still must be approved by the university to go into effect. The school’s undergraduates voted Thursday on the referendum, which would increase tuition by $27.20 per semester to create a fund benefiting descendants of the 272 slaves sold to pay off the Georgetown Jesuits’ debt — a move that saved the university financially.” (ABC News)

PRO-LIFE VICTORY: “Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) gave a victory to the pro-life movement Thursday by signing one of the strictest pro-life bills in the nation. … The Human Rights and Heartbeat Protection Act makes it illegal for women to receive abortions after the first heartbeat is detected. … The bill was sent to the governor’s office twice before, but former Gov. John Kasich vetoed the measure both times.” (Townhall)

MORE CHARGES FOR AVENATTI: “Federal prosecutors revealed a batch of new criminal charges against Michael Avenatti on Thursday, accusing the combative celebrity lawyer of embezzling $12 million from his clients to pay for personal expenses, a coffee business and a private jet. … The new charges are the latest blow to the brash lawyer who not long ago battled President Donald Trump over hush money the president had paid to an adult film star and now faces criminal charges in two states.” (USA Today)

MILITARY ENACTS TRANSGENDER POLICY: “The Pentagon’s new policy that places limits on the military service of transgender individuals goes into effect on Friday, nearly two years after President Donald Trump tweeted that he wanted to ban transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military. The new policy largely requires service members and those wishing to join the military to adhere to the standards associated with their biological sex.” (ABC News)

POPE BENEDICT’S CULTURAL DIAGNOSIS: “Former Pope Benedict has blamed the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal on the effects of the sexual revolution of the 1960s, homosexual cliques in seminaries and what he called a general collapse in morality. … The 91-year-old … argued that the sexual revolution had led some to believe pedophilia and pornography were acceptable. He also said that an openly gay culture in some Catholic seminaries meant they had failed to train priests properly.” (Reuters)

BDS LEADER REJECTED: “On Thursday, Omar Barghouti, a Qatari-born Palestinian-Arab best known as a co-founder and international leader of the inherently anti-Semitic ‘Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions’ movement that incites economic warfare and sundry other forms of ‘lawfare’ against the world’s only Jewish state, attempted to board a flight from Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport to the United States. … But in a stunning move, U.S. immigration authorities did not allow Barghouti, described by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs as ‘a famous Hamas leader in the West Bank,’ to board the U.S.-bound flight.” (The Daily Wire)

JUSSIE SMOLLETT’S LEGAL JEOPARDY: “Outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration says it has gone to court to try to force Jussie Smollett to pay Chicago back for an alleged hate crime hoax even though Cook County prosecutors dropped all charges against the ‘Empire’ actor. The lawsuit, filed late Thursday in Circuit Court, comes after Smollett failed to pony up $130,106 by a deadline imposed by the city to cover the cost of the police overtime hours expended in the investigation into his allegations.” (Chicago Tribune)

HUMOR: Scientists recommend reducing the number of Democratic presidential candidates to help fight climate change (The Babylon Bee)

POLICY: Why the West should support Iran’s labor movement (The Washington Post)

POLICY: Are crazy state liquor laws constitutional? (National Review)

~The Patriot Post


Senators Question Pentagon Plan for Space Force

by Bill Gertz

{ } ~ Despite growing threats of space warfare, the Pentagon’s plan to create a new military branch called the Space Force faced tough questioning on Capitol Hill Thursday from both Republicans and Democrats… who voiced concerns about costs, increased bureaucracy, and impact on military readiness. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.) told a hearing of senior military and defense officials that future conflicts with Russia and China will involve attacks “from, in, and through space.” “This would profoundly disrupt our society which is heavily dependent upon satellite communication, positioning, navigation and timing, and other vital space-based technology,” he said. “We must restore our margin of dominance in space over our adversaries.” Inhofe, however, noted that when he first heard about the creation of the new military service he asked what the branch would fix and how much it would cost. “I have yet to get satisfactory answers on either one of these,” he said. The Space Force plan calls for creating a military branch under the Air Force that would be similar to the Marine Corps, a part of the Navy. A separate weapons acquisition center called the Space Development Agency will be created to support the force and eventually be folded into the force…


Trey Gowdy Discusses AG Bill Barr and “Spying” -vs- “Surveillance”

by sundance

{ } ~ Trey Gowdy appears on Fox News to discuss the current issues and political arguments around “spying” -vs- “wiretaps and surveillance”. This interview is not quite as noteworthy as one Gowdy gave yesterday… however, the notation about someone wearing a wire into the Trump campaign is interesting. Both interviews are worth Last night Trey Gowdy gave an interview that was much more interesting. In last nights interview Gowdy discusses the two-page EC and FBI origination documents he reviewed where the “Trump Campaign” was outlined as the target: Fox never uploaded this video. However you can find the interview at 07:15.




The Liberal Media ‘Matrix’

by Matthew Continetti

{ } ~ I used to laugh every time I heard someone like Elon Musk say that we are living in a Matrix-like simulation. These days, not so much. Don’t call the funny farm just yet… On the major question of the nature of sense experience, I remain with Aristotle and against Bishop Berkeley. Matter is real. But there is also the question of how we perceive “the news”; how established media institutions present and frame information; how we are supposed to respond to the “takes” purportedly expert and knowledgeable voices serve up to us by the second on social media. And here, I’m skeptical. It’s hard not to be. Think of the headlines we’ve encountered since the beginning of this year. We were told the Covington Catholic boys were smug racist Trump supporters on the basis of a snippet of video. A young man, a private citizen, whose only offense was traveling to Washington, D.C., to march for life, was transformed at light speed into a symbol of hate and systemic oppression. However, just as Nick Sandmann’s reputation as a villain was about to set in stone, additional videos revealed that the students’ encounter with a far-left American Indian activist and the Black Hebrew Israelites was far more complicated than initially reported. The Covington Catholic boys had been smeared. People who cast themselves as agents of professional knowledge, expertise, and moral authority had circulated and amplified a lie in the service of a political agenda. Not for the first nor last time. We were told Jussie Smollett, a rising gay African-American actor and singer, had been the victim of a hate crime committed by MAGA-hat-wearing Trump supporters in the dead cold of a Chicago night. Journalists and bloggers who asked questions about Smollett’s story were decried as bigots, even as key details went missing and the shifting timeline became more and more curious. Then the city’s African-American police commissioner announced Smollett had been arrested for orchestrating a bizarre hoax. The state’s attorney filed charges—charges subsequently dropped after behind-the-scenes lobbying by Michelle scumbag/liar-nObama’s former chief of staff…


Northrop Grumman Awarded $3.2-Billion E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Contract Modification

by Ben Werner

{ } ~ The Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a $3.2-billion five-year contract modification to buy 24 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne surveillance aircraft… The new award, announced by the Pentagon late on April 10, modifies a $99.8-million contract awarded to Northrop Grumman in February 2018. The previous contract paid for long-lead parts and support associated with the full-rate production covered by the new multi-year procurement (MYP) contract. Loaded with sensors and communications equipment, such as the powerful AN/APY-9 radar, the E-2D is often described as a carrier strike group’s “quarterback” because of its central role in executing a networked warfare concept. The Hawkeye increases battle space awareness by detecting, tracking and linking sensors to shooters, according to Northrop Grumman. “This is a critical element in providing the next generation of world-class command and control aircraft to the fleet,” Capt. Keith Hash, the Navy’s E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data Systems Program Office (PMA-231) program manager, said in a statement. “The use of the MYP contract allows a substantial savings over the use of single-year contracts and helps us fulfill our mission to increase U.S. naval power at sea by providing our fleet the information they need to accurately plan and win the fight today and tomorrow.” The new contract is a continuation of the Navy’s effort to upgrade the networked capabilities of its carrier strike groups. In 2014, the Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a $3.64-billion contract to build 25 E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes. Congress later added a 26th Hawkeye to the previous multi-year…


Iranian Oil Exports Continue to Surge Despite U.S. Sanctions,

by David Adesnik

{ } Iranian oil exports climbed to roughly 1.7 million barrels per day in March, an increase of 70 percent compared to three months earlier… This poses a direct challenge to the Trump administration, which seeks to reduce Iranian exports to zero while maintaining stable prices. Tehran’s oil exports peaked at about 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in April of last year, with typical volumes closer to 2.4 million bpd. The U.S. then withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran in May and reinstated its sanctions in early November. By that time, Iranian exports had fallen below 1.8 million bpd. After declining further to less than 1 million bpd at the end of 2018, Iranian exports have grown steadily in 2019. Bloomberg reported that Iranian exports reached 1.76 million bpd in March, while S&P Global put the figure at 1.70 million, and Tanker Trackers provided the highest estimate, 1.80 million. One major driver of this growth is China’s appetite for imported oil it can purchase at a discount because of sanctions. Bloomberg shows Chinese imports rising to 613,000 bpd in March, compared to 452,000 bpd in January. Tanker Trackers concluded that Chinese imports in March had actually risen to 767,000 bpd. China and seven other countries have permission to import Iranian oil pursuant to six-month waivers that the U.S. granted last November when it reinstated sanctions on Iran. Each waiver authorizes a specific volume of imports, but the State Department has not made those amounts public. Nor has the department clarified whether the cap applies to monthly imports, or to average imports over the full six-month period…


Medicare Scam Rakes Taxpayers for $1.2 Billion

Michael Swartz: If you place a vast enough pot of money before a large enough pool of people, you eventually find out just how far people will go to get their greedy hands on the loot. Such is the case in a multinational Medicare scam that made headlines this week for its sheer size — the 24 arrested reportedly took a cut out of $1.2 billion in purloined fraudulent Medicare payments for various orthotic braces patients didn’t truly need.

The scam was as complex as it was widespread, involving overseas telemarketers preying on elderly Medicare recipients who were directed to a telemedicine firm where doctors would write prescriptions for durable medical equipment sight unseen. Medicare was charged between $500 and $900 per brace, depending on the type, with the call centers receiving a $289 kickback and the equipment retailer keeping the rest.

As for the patients? “Often in our interviews with patients, we find this equipment in the closet,” said Gary Cantrell, a deputy inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services. “It’s not even being utilized because it was never needed to start with.”

Sadly, this is not the first major Medicare scam to be uncovered, and it probably won’t be the last. A recent Government Accountability Office study found, “Estimated improper payment rates declined more than one percent from fiscal year 2016 to 2018 for all parts of Medicare — to 8.12 percent, 8.10 percent, and 1.66 percent for FFS, MA, and Medicare Part D, respectively. However, according to the Office of Management and Budget, the rate and amount of improper payments made in Medicare still represent some of the highest in the government.” In FY2018, that added up to $48 billion — by comparison, that’s nearly $9 billion more than the Trump administration requested on foreign aid for this fiscal year. You could have added to that the budget for a smaller Cabinet office like Commerce or Labor and still barely matched the amount taxpayers lost to fraud.

Moreover, the effect of this theft is that of sapping the little remaining strength from a sickly, frail patient. One recent estimate predicted the Medicare trust fund would run dry by 2026; a date our Brian Mark Weber pointed out is the same doomsday date we heard 18 years ago. (Social Security isn’t much better as it has a 2034 day of reckoning.) As our more seasoned readers are aware, while the alarm bells have sounded for decades thanks to Democrat scare tactics regarding cuts to entitlement programs, their “solutions” are the same old “tax the rich” bromides they’ve been peddling for years, now coupled with the new wrinkle of expanding the number of dependents by instituting “Medicare for All.”

Yet with an estimated “Medicare for All” price tag of an additional $3 trillion a year over and beyond a federal budget already well north of $4 trillion, imagine the enhanced opportunities for grifters and criminals to dive into that pile of cash. If it’s anything like the most recent Medicare scam, those ill-gotten gains will be laundered through a number of shell corporations and spent on luxury cars, yachts, and real estate in resort areas around the world while taxpayers foot the bill.

So allow us to remind our fellow Americans once again: If you place a vast enough pot of money before a large enough pool of people, you’ll realize that insane greed is an ugly but common human trait. ~The Patriot Post 


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