Friday Top News Executive Summary

Media Editors: Budget & Economy

SPENDING BILL CLEARS HOUSE: “The House approved new budget limits Thursday, surging spending and debt over the next two years — though the vote showed a growing rebellion among Republicans over surging deficits and President Trump’s willingness to sign hefty funding increases. … The final vote tally was 284-149, with more than 90% of Democrats backing it. More than two-thirds of Republicans defied Mr. Trump and opposed the bill.” (The Washington Times)

TARIFF COUNTERBALANCE: “The U.S. government will pay American farmers hurt by the trade war with China between $15 and $150 per acre in an aid package totaling $16 billion, officials said on Thursday, with farmers in the South poised to see higher rates than in the Midwest. The assistance, starting in mid-to-late August, follows Republican President Donald Trump’s $12 billion package last year that was aimed at making up for lower farm good prices and lost sales.” (Reuters)

2Q GROWTH SLOWS: “Growth decelerated in the second quarter, but not by as much as Wall Street thought, as tariffs and a global slowdown weighed on the U.S. economy, the Commerce Department reported Friday. GDP increased 2.1%, down from 3.1% from the first quarter, and the weakest increase since the first quarter of 2017 when President Donald Trump took office.” (CNBC)

MPG DETOUR: “Four major automakers have reached a deal with California to toughen standards for gas mileage and greenhouse gas emissions, bypassing the Trump administration’s push to relax mileage standards nationwide instead. Ford, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen signed the deal with the California Air Resources Board, the state’s air pollution regulator, which had been at odds with the Trump administration for months, in a contest that automakers fear could set up years of confusion and litigation in the industry.” (Associated Press)

CLIMATE-PLAN BOONDOGGLES: “Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) released her ‘moonshot’ plan to address climate change on Thursday, calling for $10 trillion in spending over the next decade,” The Washington Free Beacon reports. In the same manner, “Tom Steyer, the newest entrant to the presidential race, introduced a climate change plan Thursday night that is more aggressive than most of his competitors,” according to the Washington Examiner. “Steyer aims for the U.S. to cut ‘fossil fuel pollution’ from all economic sectors to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the entire economy by 2045, a faster timeline than major Democratic candidates have proposed except Jay Inslee, who has set the same date. … He projects his plan to cost $2.3 trillion in government spending.”

National Security

IRAN MISSILE TEST: “Iran successfully test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile Wednesday which flew more than 600 miles from the southern part of the country to an area outside the capital. … It was not clear whether Wednesday’s test was in violation of any sanctions against Iran. The 2015 nuclear deal did not address Iran’s conventional missile program.” (Fox News)

NEW JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF CHAIRMAN: “The Senate on Thursday confirmed Gen. Mark A. Milley to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing Gen. Joseph Dunford as the Pentagon’s top uniformed officer and filling another key post at the top of the military command.” (The Washington Times)

RECORD BORDER FIGURES: “A record 61,000 unaccompanied migrant children have surged over the U.S.-Mexico border and been handed to federal care facilities since October, and there are still over two months left in the fiscal year, according to immigration officials. The number tops the total for fiscal year 2016, at 59,170 turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services.” (Washington Examiner)

Other Notables

GOOGLE SUED: “Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), a 2020 presidential contender, is suing Google over claims that the tech behemoth violated her right to “free speech.” In a federal complaint filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Gabbard alleged Google censored her presidential campaign when it suspended their advertising account for several hours last month.“ (The Hill)

COLLUSION DELUSION, PART I: Now they tell us: New York Times story says Mueller was hands off, short on stamina (Fox News)

COLLUSION DELUSION, PART II: Democrats struggle to figure out next move against Trump after Mueller hearing falls flat (The Washington Post)

Closing Arguments

POLICY: Higher taxes are not the solution to out-of-control spending. We need to address the problem at its roots. (The Heritage Foundation)

POLICY: Most people don’t think about economics when they dream about flights to the stars. They ought to start. (Bloomberg Opinion)

HUMOR: Snopes rolls out new opinion check feature (The Babylon Bee)

~The Patriot Post


Mueller Testimony Called ‘Disaster for the Democrats’ and ‘the Reputation of Robert Mueller’ by Chris Wallace

By Jack Davis

{ } ~ Fox News host Chris Wallace did not mince words Wednesday morning as he assessed the debacle of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony to Congress… “This has been a disaster for Democrats and for the reputation of Robert Mueller,” the “Fox News Sunday” host said as part of Fox’s live coverage of Mueller’s appearance. Mueller was appointed by the Justice Department in May 2017 to investigate allegations that the campaign of Donald Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. The far-ranging investigation ended almost two years later, with Mueller admitting that there was no collusion. The report Mueller authored left open the issue of whether Trump — who opposed the investigation — obstructed justice by not fully cooperating. House Democrats, who have been stymied in various investigations of Trump, summoned Mueller to testify in hopes that he could provide material that might be the foundation of an obstruction or impeachment case against the president. Wallace said Democrats have come up empty. His conclusion was shared in a tweet from Trump. Wallace highlighted a comment from Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas, who attacked Mueller’s contention that he could not exonerate Trump. “Which DOJ policy or principal sets forth a legal standard that an investigated person is not exonerated if their innocence from criminal conduct is not conclusively determined?” Ratcliffe asked, according to The Hill. Ratcliffe asked for an example aside from Mueller’s own investigation. “I cannot, but this is a unique situation,” Mueller said…



Is This the End of Office of Special Counsel?

by Alan M. Dershowitz

{ } ~ Robert Mueller’s performance in front of Congressional committees should mark the end of special counsels, special prosecutors, independent counsels and the like… These hearings demonstrated, if any further demonstration was required, how dangerous it was to go outside of the normal processes of criminal justice. Ordinary prosecutors are not allowed to comment about why they decided not to prosecute the subject of an investigation. The Mueller Report, when made public, violated that salutary tradition. It contained negative information about people, including the president, who will have no opportunity to respond in a legal proceeding. The report and the testimony introduced the novel and dangerous concept into our legal vocabulary: “Not exonerated.” This concept, which finds no basis in the rules of the Justice Department or the Special Counsel, is a variation on the nefarious theme articulated by the disgraced former FBI director, scumbag-James Comey, when he went beyond announcing that scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted, and expressed his opinion that she had been extremely careless in her treatment of emails. This statement said, in effect, that scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton was not being exonerated. Mueller’s testimony was confused and confusing on many scores. He couldn’t explain why he had reached a formal decision on conspiracy with Russia but had failed to reach a formal conclusion about obstruction of justice. He had to pull back on his answer to whether the decision not to charge the President was based on a Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president. There was no explainable pattern as to why he chose to answer some questions while declining to answer others. He seemed not to be familiar with the contents of the Report that bears his name. It was almost as if he had signed his name to the Report without carefully reading or understanding it. The night before Mueller’s testimony, I was asked on a TV show whether it was a Hail Mary pass thrown by the Democrats. I predicted that it would be an intercepted pass. I was right. Even many Democratic stalwarts viewed the Mueller testimony as harmful to their cause. As a liberal Democrat, I share that view and it doesn’t please me. But as a patriotic American, I care far more about the implications of the Mueller testimony for all Americans and for the rule of law…


Things are heating up between Israel and Hezbollah in the Golan


{ } ~ It’s been a hot summer in the Golan. And it’s not only the weather. The past week alone saw two deadly attacks against Iranian proxies in southern Syria attributed to Israel… Earlier this week an explosion killed Hezbollah operative Mashour Zidan in southern Syria and a few days later a rocket struck the strategic Tel Haraa site not far from where Zidan was killed. Israel has remained mum on the attacks, but the Jewish State has made it clear that it won’t accept Hezbollah’s growing presence in the Syrian Golan. But Assad, along with Iranian backed troops, retook the Golan last summer, so what’s changed? According to Phillip Smyth, the Soref Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the buildup of local forces by Iran and Hezbollah is a major aspect that has been overlooked. “Hezbollah doesn’t want to have to execute an entire war on its own in southern Syria. It’s much easier to apply plausible deniability and harder to bust a Hezbollah cell if they are locals,” he told The Jerusalem Post, adding that they have taken a slightly different approach and being very pragmatic in terms of who they recruit. Zidan, a Druze resident from the village of Hadar, is believed to have been a senior Hezbollah operative responsible for recruiting volunteers from villages near the border with Israel as part of Hezbollah’s Golan File.Senior intelligence officers in the IDF’s Northern Command said that Hezbollah’s Golan Project began last summer following the reconquering of the Syrian Golan by regime troops. Operatives involved in the clandestine file have weaponry available from the civil war and if needed, will receive additional weaponry from Lebanon or existing arsenals kept by Hezbollah and Iran. “Hezbollah knows that Israel is watching, so they are being much more covert than in the past,” Smyth said, adding that they are using more local forces rather than sending brigades of Lebanese fighters to the area. Military success in Syria has also allowed Hezbollah to redeploy senior operatives and troops to the area as well as southern Lebanon. The group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah has said as much himself in a speech in mid-July…


The Left’s Immigration Con Job

by Michael Cutler

{ } ~ Frequently Americans who understand the true significance of our immigration laws and need for secure borders lament that the Left appeals to the emotions of Americans… The emotion that is most often cited is that of compassion. Americans are among the most kind-hearted and generous people on earth. Therefore appeals to compassion can be very effective. Frequently we make decisions either based on emotions or reason. Generally emotional decisions ignore cold, hard facts. Consequently the Radical Left, the media and globalist immigration anarchists have weaponized compassion using our best intentions against us, always portraying illegal aliens in the most sympathetic ways possible. While many illegal aliens are simply desperate people who want to flee the grinding poverty of their home countries to come to the United States for a better life. However the United States does not have infinite resources. We need to compare the United States to an overcrowded lifeboat that is tossed in a storm with many other people thrashing about in the cold water. The problem is that if we permit those in the water onto the lifeboat, it will capsize. Simply stated, uncontrolled immigration is an invasion that will quickly overwhelm our nation’s economy and infrastructure. Overcrowding our schools has a deleterious impact on the education our children receive. Flooding America with millions of additional aliens impacts the price and available of housing, driving up prices while the massive influx of competing foreign workers frequently displaces Americans and drives down wages. This causes massive increases in homelessness across the United States…


Goliath’s birthplace believed to be unearthed below ancient Philistine city ‘David Giving Thanks to God After the Death of Goliath’


{ } ~ Archaeologists have discovered remains more ancient and impressive than those previously discovered at the Philistine city of Gath… where the giant Philistine warrior Goliath was born and once lived. Previous excavations at the site, known as Tell es-Safi, uncovered ruins dating to the 9th and 10th centuries BCE, but the new discovery suggests that the city of Gath was at its height in the 11th century BCE, during Goliath’s time. Goliath was the Philistine whom David of Bethlehem, the eventual second king of Israel and Judah, famously defeated in single combat (1 Samuel: 17.) Together with Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Ekron, Gath was one of the five Philistine cities until its fall in c. 830 BCE at the hands of the Aramean king Hazael. While archaeologists have known for decades that Tell es-Safi contained the ruins of Goliath’s birthplace, the recent discovery beneath a pre-existing site reveals that his native city was a place of even greater architectural grandeur than the Gath of a century later. For Prof. Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University’s archaeology department, who directed the discovery at Tell es-Safi, the findings offer a way to make sense of the biblical accounts of massive giants like Goliath when no archaeological evidence exists to verify them. “There are no skeletons of people who are taller than NBA centers,” Maeir said. He suggested instead that the mythical stories of the Bible reflect how a society allegorizes the accomplishments of its ancestors, as seen through the massive structures they left behind. “Gath was the largest city in the land of that time, and seems to have had very, very impressive architecture,” Maeir said. “The Philistines were the dominant culture in the region, both politically and militarily and probably culturally.” The memory of this dominance, he said, accompanied by the presence of the society’s physical remains, inspired the tradition that the inhabitants of Gath were giants, a theme that appears in other biblical tales as well. “When people see remains of very impressive architecture and say, ‘Wow! How could someone have built that?’ one of the explanations they sometimes offer is, ‘This must have been done by giants of the past,’” he said. Maeir, who has been studying the Tell es-Safi site for 23 years, found impressive remains from many cultures but from the city of Gath in particular. “One of the nice things about excavations at this site – and archaeology in general – is that every time you excavate, there are surprises,” Maeir said. “Up until now, we thought that Gath was the largest of the Philistine cities in the 10th and the 9th centuries BCE, and the find that we have now may indicate that it was also the largest in the 11th century BCE. There are things that you thought you knew, but new discoveries tell you, ‘There’s something new here.’”


Promise Exceeded: Trump’s Deregulatory Record

Nate Jackson: The national debt will continue to rise under the new deal struck by President Donald Trump and congressional leaders Monday. No one in Washington cares about the debt, and too many voters are in the same boat. But the U.S. economy is still growing in spite of this massive burden, and one big reason for that is another part of Trump’s agenda: deregulation.

The Republican tax cuts — which every single Democrat opposed and has spent two years lying about — spurred economic growth not seen during the doldrums of the Barack scumbag/liar-nObama years. Regulation is a form of taxation, adding hidden costs to nearly everything Americans produce, buy, and do. Thus, when Trump cuts regulations, he is again cutting taxes, and that helps the economy.

Better yet, he’s been doing it even faster than he promised he would. On the campaign trail, Trump pledged to cut two scumbag/liar-nObama-era regulations for every new one imposed. “We’ve hit 13 to 1,” said Russ Vought, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. And doing so has saved American taxpayers $33 billion, as well as spurring a projected rise in household income of $3,100 over the next few years.

Every Democrat presidential candidate promises to undo that progress.

According to Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, it’s the president’s “real-world experience” in business that formed his deregulatory worldview. Unlike scumbag/liar-nObama, Trump actually had a job in the private sector, where he had to contend with onerous regulations. “The president has it because he had to go and pull a permit to build a building and deal with bureaucracy and doesn’t like that and knows why that impedes growth and impedes development, impedes creativity,” said Mulvaney. “It’s an extraordinarily commonsense approach.” An approach every American should appreciate from the central government. ~The Patriot Post


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