Thursday Top Headlines

by Media Editors: Ending showdown with Pulosi, Trump postpones State of the Union Address (Associated Press)

Trump recognizes Juan Guaido as Venezuela leader, rebuking Nicolas Maduro (Bloomberg)

More than 10,000 Central Americans bound for U.S. request Mexican visas (The Washington Post)

Michael Cohen delays House testimony due to “threats against his family” (ABC News)

House Oversight to investigate Trump administration’s security-clearance process (National Review)

After failed Cohen “bombshell,” BuzzFeed laying off 15% of staff (The Resurgent)

Democrats to advance bill raising age limit for rifle buyers (National Review)

New York governor celebrates allowing abortion up until birth, orders World Trade Center lit pink (The Daily Wire)

Ohio’s new governor says he’ll sign “heartbeat” abortion bill that Kasich vetoed (Fox News)

Michigan Vietnam War hero, Medal of Honor recipient dies (MLive)

California State Senate committee bans saying “he” and “she” (The Daily Caller)

China, Russia building Super-EMP bombs for “Blackout Warfare” (The Washington Free Beacon)

South Korea breached UN rules by failing to report more than 300 tonnes of petroleum products sent to North Korea (VICE News)

Humor: Snopes introduces new “factually inaccurate but morally right” fact-check result (The Babylon Bee)

Policy: Finally, U.S. policy is getting it right on Venezuela (American Enterprise Institute)

Policy: There’s no “lost” economic growth during government shutdowns (Foundation for Economic Education)

~The Patriot Post


What if dirty cop-Mueller doesn’t give Democrats what they want?

by Byron York

{} ~ The position of most Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill is that lawmakers are waiting until Trump-Russia special counsel dirty cop-Robert Mueller delivers his report… before considering whether to impeach President Trump. But what if dirty cop-Mueller does not accuse the president of wrongdoing, or at least impeachable wrongdoing? Would Democrats say, ‘Never mind,’ put away thoughts of impeachment, and move on to the next item on their agenda? That seems unlikely. Many Democrats are deeply, emotionally committed to resisting Trump. Sixty-six House Democrats voted to allow impeachment articles to move forward a year ago. Now, with the House in Democratic hands, and after another year of media-hyped Trump-Russia allegations, there’s no reason to believe Democrats would abandon the Russia issue regardless of what dirty cop-Mueller does. In addition, some Democrats are warning that the public might not see all of dirty cop-Mueller’s report. Justice Department rules don’t require it, and attorney general nominee William Barr, in recent confirmation hearings, did not promise to release the whole thing. So now there is talk about starting a new House Trump-Russia investigation that would essentially replicate what dirty cop-Mueller is doing now, but with the assurance that the proper anti-Trump result would be reached and that it could be used for impeachment purposes. When dirty cop-Mueller poured water on the BuzzFeed report claiming that Trump directed fixer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, Rep. scumbag-Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, pledged to take up where BuzzFeed left off, no matter what dirty cop-Mueller said. “Are you still going to investigate the claims?” scumbsag-Schiff was asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”…They will be wasting time and tax money. But they don’t care.


Netanyahu to Hamas: ‘If you escalate, the response will be destructive’


{} ~ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hamas not to escalate violence in Gaza, warning on Wednesday of a strong response if it does so… “There may be someone in Gaza who thought they could raise their head,” Netanyahu said during a visit to the Shizafon base in the south to observe a military maneuver. “I suggest that they understand that the response will be destructive and very painful, and we are ready for any scenario and escalation.” His comments came after sniper fire from Gaza lightly wounded an IDF officer along the Gaza border on Tuesday. The officer was struck by a bullet that hit his helmet. The IDF responded with tank fire on a Hamas observation post that killed one. Speaking to cadets of the IDF’s officer course currently training at Shizafon, Netanyahu also addressed Iran, reiterating that it is Israel’s “principal enemy.”…


Palestinians: The ‘Political Detainees’ No One Talks About

by Khaled Abu Toameh

{} ~ The mother and wife of a Palestinian man being held without trial in a Palestinian Authority (PA) prison in the West Bank have gone on hunger strike… as part of a campaign to secure his release. Four days after they began their hunger strike, the two women were rushed to hospital for medical treatment. The women say they will not end their hunger strike unless the PA releases Abdel Rahman Shaheen, who was detained in early January. The mother of another Palestinian being held in PA prison, Murad Fattash, has also gone on a hunger strike to protest the continued incarceration of her son, who was also detained by the PA in early January. Palestinians say that Shaheen and Fattash are among dozens of “political detainees” who are being held in PA prisons and detention centers in various parts of the West Bank. Most of the detainees were taken into custody for criticizing the PA and its leaders and policies. They include engineers, lawyers, university lecturers and students, journalists and political activists affiliated with opposition groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the PLO’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. According to some human rights organizations, the Palestinians held in PA prisons are often subjected to various forms of torture…


The First Step Act’s first steps are stalled

by Beryl Lipton

{} ~ When Congress in late December passed the First Step Act – a modest attempt at criminal justice reform in the federal system – there was celebration from across the spectrum… Advocates for prisoners, the American Civil Liberties Union, White House advisor and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, prosecutors, and the Fraternal Order of Police all praised the legislation. With provisions to reduce sentences, steps to limit recidivism, and rewards for well-behaved inmates, the law is seen as an important effort to ease crowding in the federal prison system, which holds about 180,000 people, 14 percent more than it is allowed to house, according to the Federal Prison System’s budget request for 2019. Crowding at high security facilities remains a particular challenge, the agency said. The First Step Act was touted as beginning a reversal of decades of tough-on-crime policies. But just hours after the bill was signed by President Trump, the federal government began a shutdown of “nonessential” government operations, which, now more than a month later, has stopped efforts by the federal government to meet the new law’s first deadline – the selection of a team to develop and help implement a tool to assess risk and needs. As part of the “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act,” the First Step Act’s formal name, the National Institute of Justice – part of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs – was supposed to establish an Independent Review Commission within 30 days of the law’s enactment. The review commission is supposed to assist the attorney general and the Bureau of Prisons in the design and deployment of the risk and needs assessment tool, which will be used to determine the risk of recidivism and violent misconduct as well as assign the types, lengths, and rewards for recidivism reduction programs…


Trump’s Advisers Urge Him to Bench Giuliani After Hapless Media Appearances


{} ~ President Donald Trump’s advisers are reportedly urging him to bench his lawyer Rudy Giuliani and prevent him from making televised appearances… following his hapless performances of late. According to The Associated Press, citing sources in and close to the White House, Trump is irritated by Giuliani’s recent mistakes, involving bombshell statements rapidly followed by confusing backtracking. The president reportedly thinks they distracted from what he views as vindication after an explosive BuzzFeed report was later brought into question. The ordeal has caused some of Trump’s advisers to urge the president to pull Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, from television appearances, though there is not a push for the lawyer to be fired, the AP reported. Moreover, Republicans close to the White House told the AP they believe Giuliani may be appearing on TV after drinking alcohol, so he should be banned from evening appearances on news shows…


Trump’s State of the Union Options

by Cal Thomas

Speaker Nancy Pulosi has given President Trump an opportunity to change the dynamic of the State of the Union address, an event that has become predictable and often boring. It has featured members of Congress popping up and down like whack-a-moles, interrupting the president with applause if they agree with him, or stone silence if they don’t.

Pulosi claims that because of the partial government shutdown, the security of the U.S. Capitol cannot be guaranteed. The Department of Homeland Security debunked her claim, saying that the Secret Service and Capitol Police will perform their duties whether or not they are receiving paychecks.

President Trump might consider reverting to the pattern of previous presidents, sending his address to Congress in writing. Then he might deliver the speech from the Oval Office, or at one of his rallies instead of in the Capitol Building. Democrats wouldn’t be able to instantly respond on television, as they did following the president’s border wall speech, and even if they did, they would likely look as small as Pulosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck scumbag-Schumer (D-NY) did then.

The truth is that the economic state of the union is good. According to Labor Department data, more people than ever are working and unemployment figures, especially in the African-American and Hispanic communities, are at record, or near record lows. The stock market, after a recent decline, has rebounded, for which retirees are no doubt grateful.

Unfortunately, the political state of the country is anything but unified; not even close. For decades the media and their Democrat allies have blamed Republicans for dividing the country when they stand on their principles, only praising members of the GOP when they submit to Democrat demands.

The Constitution requires a president to deliver an annual assessment of the state of the union. George Washington delivered the first one before Congress on Jan. 8, 1790 in New York City, which was the new nation’s provisional capital. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson, believing an in-person address would have made him look like a king appearing before his subjects, set the precedent of writing his state of the union address and having it delivered to Congress by a clerk.

Woodrow Wilson re-established the practice of an in-person speech, but the practice was not consistent even during the latter part of the 20th century. Jimmy Carter delivered a written report in January 1981, shortly before Ronald Reagan was inaugurated. Every president since has delivered a State of the Union address before Congress with Reagan adding a twist, the recognition of balcony guests he and his successors wished to honor.

When radio and especially television offered an opportunity for presidents to be heard and later seen, most have delivered their remarks in person. The House of Representatives offers an impressive backdrop, but shots of some members of Congress smirking, texting and otherwise not paying much attention, do not demonstrate the respect the speech deserves.

Most people who pay attention to the childish and partisan behavior that characterizes Washington these days can do their own assessment of the state of the union. If they have jobs and are prospering, they probably think it is pretty good — the pettiness in Washington notwithstanding.

Should President Trump decide to do an alternative report, either in writing, or from the White House, or even a retro address on radio, he is likely to get more attention than he would receive from delivering it in person. He could also go ahead with a speech in the House of Representatives and by doing so challenge Democrats and Pulosi’s claims of insufficient security. Maybe Pulosi and scumbag-Schumer would boycott the speech; it would certainly appeal to their liberal base. It would also demonstrate who the real culprits are when it comes to the country’s disunity. 

 ~The Patriot Post


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