Friday Top News Executive Summary

Media Editors: MEXICO TARIFFS: “President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he is slapping a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports, effective June 10, to pressure the country to do more to crack down on the surge of Central American migrants trying to cross the U.S. border,” the Associated Press reports. This follows news that “more than 1,000 migrants were apprehended after illegally crossing the border near El Paso, Texas,” according to NBC News, which “is the largest ever encountered by the Border Patrol.”

ECONOMIC COMPETITION DROPS: “The United States no longer has the most competitive economy in the world, according to annual rankings compiled by the Switzerland-based business school IMD. For the first time in nine years, Singapore replaced the U.S. as the world’s most competitive economy. The U.S. dropped down to third on the list.” (Fox Business)

KING CORN: “The Environmental Protection Agency will allow gasoline with a 15% mix of ethanol to be sold year-round, instead of just eight months a year, effective as soon as it is published in the Federal Register, which officials expect to happen within days.” (MarketWatch)

POPULAR VOTE BUZZKILL: “Nevada’s Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have pledged the state’s Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.” (The Hill)

CHINA AND RUSSIA RED FLAGS: “China is rapidly expanding its nuclear forces with new missiles, submarines, and bombers and will double its warhead stockpile in the coming decade, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency said this week. DIA director Army Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley also said … Russia is building large numbers of tactical nuclear weapons in addition to new strategic weapons.” (The Washington Free Beacon)

KIM GOES NUCLEAR: “North Korea executed its nuclear envoy to the United States as part of a purge of officials who steered negotiations for a failed summit between leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.” (Reuters)

FBI CRONYISM: “The FBI did not warn the Trump campaign that two members of its campaign were under FBI investigation when agents met with the campaign in August 2016 to warn it about national security threats. … [Fox News’s Catherine] Herridge noted that the time of the events is significant as days before the briefing [Peter] Strzok and [Lisa] Page spoke about their ‘insurance policy’ against then-candidate Donald Trump.” (The Daily Wire)

PRO-LIFE VICTORY: “Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards on Thursday signed legislation prohibiting abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which usually occurs around six weeks into pregnancy,” National Review reports. Hot Air powerfully adds, “He and his wife faced a wrenching decision when Donna Edwards was in the 20th week of a pregnancy… Their unborn child had spina bifida, a condition with a large range of potential disabling outcomes. Despite being pressured to abort, the Edwardses chose to see the pregnancy through.”

ABORTION HYPOCRISY: According to The Daily Caller, “Netflix plans to step up production in the Middle East, notably Jordan and Egypt, where abortion is illegal, after mulling a company boycott in Georgia on account of the ‘heartbeat’ abortion bill.” The DC also notes, “The Walt Disney Company is considering boycotting Georgia over its new abortion law, even as Disney profits from doing business in China, a notorious human rights violator that is putting Muslims in internment camps.”

BUTTIGIEG’S DECEIT: “Pete Buttigieg’s brother-in-law is accusing the gay Democratic presidential hopeful of hijacking his family’s history for political advantage by crafting a bogus backstory of poverty, homelessness, and homophobia,” the Washington Examiner reports. Even still, National Review reveals that “among Democrats, 35 percent say they have ‘never heard of’ Pete Buttigieg.”

POLICY: Waive goodbye to ethanol (Washington Examiner)

POLICY: Green policies turned California a charred black (Issues & Insights)

HUMOR: Disney CEO: “To avoid filming among depraved, immoral people, we are moving all our Georgia operations back to Hollywood” (The Babylon Bee)

~The Patriot Post


Devin Nunes Discusses Robert Mueller’s National Impeachment Address

by sundance

{ } ~ House Intelligence Committee ranking member Representative Devin Nunes responds to Robert Mueller’s national impeachment address… It sure would be great if someone, anyone, could get Robert Mueller to publicly testify and face questioning… Unfortunately the UniParty rules the swamp.



Joint Chiefs Chairman Says Iran Threat In Middle East Was Real

by John Grady

{ } ~ The Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group, B-52 bombers and sophisticated air defense systems were rushed to the Middle East in early May… because intelligence suggested an Iranian-led “campaign plan” taking shape to disrupt the region, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff said Wednesday. Activities from Yemen to the Persian Gulf to Iraq were “more widespread” and linked than the threats that happened in the past, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said during an appearance at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Dunford discussed several military threats facing the nation, including those posed by Beijing, Moscow and Pyongyang. “Number one, we wanted the Iranians to know that if they did anything, it would be attributed to them,” he said. “We sent a message to Iran” with those immediate deployments, and the sending of follow-up forces shortly after. After the initial response, the Pentagon announced 1,500 additional service members heading to the Middle East. The United States also answered “the question of the will and ability of the U.S. to respond” to this level of Iranian-sponsored activity across the Middle East, Dunford said. “This is designed to protect our people, much like the previous force elements we sent in were designed to enhance our deterrence.” Even with the first response to the intelligence reports and follow-up forces, the region is still threatened by Iran or Iranian-backed forces, Dunford said. A number of tankers were damaged by Iranian mines in the Gulf of Oman, the Saudi Arabian forces shot down an armed drone flown from Yemen near an airport and rocket attacks were launched near the American embassy in Iraq. “Multiple threat streams … were coming together in Yemen, in the Gulf and Iraq,” Dunford said. Washington’s response was not intended to be a provocation, he said. Rather, the steps taken were meant to deter coordinated attacks against the United States and allies and partners in the region. When asked whether the United States is trying to engage in a military-to-military relationship as it does with Russia and China to build confidence and avoid crises, Dunford said there is no framework to base such an engagement. He also doesn’t have a similarly ranked counterpart in Iran…


“Enough Is Enough”: Native Leaders Ask William Barr to Help Fix Alaska’s Law Enforcement Crisis

by Alex Demarban and Kyle Hopkin

{ } ~ Alaska Native leaders called on U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr for federal aid and greater authority for tribes to prosecute certain crimes… saying Wednesday that a dangerous lack of law enforcement is growing worse in the state’s most remote communities. Barr, sitting beside U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, heard that the state and federal governments have failed to provide the resources needed to combat a crisis of rural sexual assault, violence and drug use. Sullivan began the meeting by referencing a recent Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica investigation that found that at least 70 Alaska communities — towns and villages large enough for schools and post offices — had no local police of any kind at some point this year. In some hub communities that do have police, survivors of sexual assault say rapists go unpunished. Mothers of Alaska Native women who were found dead under suspicious circumstances say cases go unsolved. On Wednesday, speaker after speaker, representing more than 200 Alaska tribes, described how crime in rural areas has been raising alarms and how the number of state-funded village public safety officers is at or near an all-time low. The attorney general, in Alaska for four days to learn more about the problems, said he would work to provide greater security in rural areas through the Department of Justice, which he leads. “It’s the responsibility of the attorney general to serve all the people of the United States, every state, every community,” said Barr, who sat at a long table at a tribal health facility, listening to 13 Native leaders from every region. “It’s critical our legal system work for every American and no one be left out of that.” Native leaders told Barr how a handful of local village safety officers are employed in regions the size of large states. They described long waits for Alaska State Troopers to arrive from hub communities, especially when storms ground planes…


Navy to Field High-Energy Laser Weapon, Laser Dazzler on Ships This Year as Development Continues

by Megan Eckstein

{ } ~ The Navy will field versions of both its highest-power laser weapon and its low-end non-lethal laser dazzler later this year… gaining operational experience with directed energy weapons that will continue to focus engineers’ efforts building out the Navy Laser Family of Systems (NLFoS). The family of systems has four parts, including three weapon systems that will eventually go on ships: the Solid State Laser – Technology Maturation system (SSL-TM), which will eventually be a 150 kw laser weapon on amphibious ships; the High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS), a planned 60 kw laser weapon that will see its first test on an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in 2021; and the Optical Dazzling Interdictor, Navy (ODIN) that will also go on a destroyer. Frank Peterkin, the Navy’s senior technologist for directed energy, told USNI News late last month that both SSL-TM and ODIN would see at-sea time this year to allow sailors and engineers to begin learning how the technology performs at sea and how to employ and maintain the weapon at sea. “We’re not fielding these in large numbers, but we’re fielding them – and it’s an important step, I think, because we get a lot of operational feedback that we would never get otherwise,” he told USNI News during a DoD Lab Day at the Pentagon. “You can do everything in the world to understand how you think laser weapons are going to be used, but you put this controller in the hands of a sailor who’s going to play with it and do the thing they do with the operational interface, and then they’re going to decide to use it in ways we can’t imagine. Plus, we’re exercising logistics, training, the safety assessments that have to happen. So we burn down a lot of that operational learning and operational risk by forcing these out to the fleet. And they do provide some warfighting capability, it’s just not the capability of having one on every ship.” The SSL-TM project by the Office of Naval Research has taken lessons learned from the 30 kw Laser Weapon System (LaWS) that was installed on the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) and applied them to the 150 kw Laser Weapon System Demonstrator. The San Antonio class of amphibious transport dock (LPD-17) – and USS Portland (LPD-27) specifically – was chosen to host this highest-power laser weapon due to the ship’s available power and space margins. Other ships, like the Arleigh Burke DDGs that will host a smaller laser, had less margin to support this power-intensive weapon…


Inspector General Finds High-Ranking FBI Official Was Leaking Sensitive Info to Media

by Benjamin Arie

{} ~ Conservatives including President Donald Trump have long warned about improper leaks to the media from government officials, particularly the Department of Justice… The left, of course, has scoffed at this idea — but it once again looks as if those fears have been vindicated. On Wednesday, the government’s watchdog tasked with holding the DOJ accountable released a scathing report, confirming that a top FBI member passed sensitive details to journalists without approval. This didn’t only happen once, but repeatedly. Even more damning, the report stated that it wasn’t a low-level agent who was doing the leaking. Instead, the perpetrator was identified as a “Deputy Assistant Director,” though said individual was not specifically named.“The Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General initiated this investigation upon the receipt of information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, alleging that a then FBI Deputy Assistant Director had numerous contacts with members of the media in violation of FBI policy,” the official report read. Details from the OIG’s report show that this was no minor violation, but the flagrant disregard for safeguarding sensitive information. Worse, it was apparently done over and over. “The OIG investigation concluded that the DAD engaged in misconduct when the DAD: (1) disclosed to the media the existence of information that had been filed under seal in federal court, in violation of 18 USC § 401, Contempt of Court; (2) provided without authorization FBI law enforcement sensitive information to reporters on multiple occasions; and (3) had dozens of official contacts with the media without authorization, in violation of FBI policy,” stated the report. Remember, this was a top FBI official, not a random employee. But it gets worse: The individual also accepted at least one gift from a media source and seemed to enjoy rubbing shoulders with journalists.“The OIG also found that the [Deputy Assistant Director] engaged in misconduct when the DAD accepted a ticket, valued at approximately $225, to attend a media-sponsored dinner, as a gift from a member of the media, in violation of federal regulations and FBI policy,” the inspector wrote. A single line of the official report also indicates that the undisclosed leaker might have avoided facing the consequences of his actions. “Prosecution of the Deputy Assistant Director was declined,” it stated. However, the matter was referred back to the FBI for action, though it’s unclear what they will do about it…


Key Points of Mueller’s Final Statement

What is Robert Mueller really doing with his comments to the press? Ben Shapiro believes Mueller tried to make the case for setting up an impeachment inquiry, and he explains why.

Media Editors: ~The Patriot Post

Gillette Does It Again

Media Editors: ~The Patriot Post

Mueller’s DOJ Press Conference

Two years ago, the Acting Attorney General asked me to serve as Special Counsel, and he created the Special Counsel’s Office.

The appointment order directed the office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. This included investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign…

Media Editors: ~The Patriot Post

Gowdy on Legal Implications of Mueller Remarks

Former South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy breaks down Robert Mueller’s statement.

Media Editors: ~The Patriot Post


Why Afghanistan Still Matters

Harold Hutchison: We are nearing the 18th anniversary of the unprovoked and dastardly terrorist attackscarried out by the radical Islamic terrorist group al-Qaida on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania instead of DC. Almost 3,000 people died in that attack.

In about four and a half months from this article’s writing, children born that day will be adults. Some will even decide to serve in the military, potentially fighting in the Global War on Terror that started with their birth. They may end up in Afghanistan, if not as part of the current campaign, then potentially in the future.

It’s a fight still worth fighting after all these years. For one thing, the Taliban refused to hand over Osama bin Laden and fought to buy him time to make his escape and to his eventual hideout in Abbotabad, Pakistan. In essence, when George W. Bush laid out a choice, the Taliban decided they were with the terrorists. They haven’t given up on their alliance with al-Qaida or their support of radical Islam.

So, really, peace talks with the Taliban are a waste of time. The problem is, despite the moral clarity Bush laid out in 2001, he made the mistake of not building up the military enough to handle a global war on terror. We’re dealing with the consequences of that mistake today.

Now granted, turning Afghanistan into a functioning democracy was and is likely an impossible task. America really needed to find an Afghan version of Augusto Pinochet to help modernize the country, and then just focus on killing al-Qaida, Taliban, and other assorted radical Islamic terrorists. While we do that over the short and medium term, the goal should be to build Afghanistan’s capabilities up to the point that they can take over the job of ridding the earth of Taliban and al-Qaida scumbags.

If we capture any high-ranking terrorists, hold ‘em at Gitmo after they have given us whatever information we need, with enhanced interrogation techniques as an option if they won’t talk. Using those techniques and maintaining “black sites” in various parts of the world prevented attacks, and the smearing of those who were part of that program is truly deplorable. If anything, highly restrictive rules of engagement that have led to some obvious injustices to American troops should be relaxed.

Harsh? Unpleasant? Maybe, but Afghanistan, like elsewhere in the Middle East, doesn’t have a lot of nice neat options. Allowing the Taliban to regain power in Afghanistan would be a huge disaster for the United States on geopolitical grounds alone. America cannot maintain its leadership in the world if the perpetrators of 9/11 are seen to get away with it. At the very least, Taliban and al-Qaida leaders should be looking over their shoulders for the rest of their lives, wondering if today is the day a Navy SEAL or MQ-9 Reaper takes them out.

The fact of the matter is that to win in Afghanistan while still addressing the resurgent threats from Russia and China and containing Iran requires a larger military across the board. In this case, the definition of winning is staying in the fight and making whatever fitful progress we can.

To do that requires a lot, though: The Army needs more deployable combat units. The Navy needs more hulls in the water. The Marines need to restore capabilities that atrophied since the end of the Cold War. The Air Force needs more combat squadrons. Even the Coast Guard needs more. ~The Patriot Post  


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