Thursday Top Headline Summary

by Media Editors: “The U.S. economy grew last year at its fastest rate since 2015,” CBS News reports](, albeit the 2.9% annual growth rate in 2018 fell just shy of Trump’s promise to hit 3% growth.

“The White House announced Thursday that no deal between the United States and North Korea was reached in Vietnam as President Trump’s second summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was unexpectedly cut short. … A major sticking point between the United States and North Korea was the easing of sanctions, which Kim wanted lifted in their entirety, Trump said. He could not agree to that. … Trump said the sanctions will remain in place and revealed that Kim promised Pyongyang would not resume its missile and nuclear testing.” (Washington Examiner)

“In the strongest sign yet that an accord is near, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Wednesday that the U.S. was abandoning for now its threat to raise tariffs to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods. … Mr. Trump had said Sunday the higher tariffs would be delayed but didn’t give a time frame. … U.S. and Chinese officials suggest the two countries are poised to finish a deal over the next month following a likely summit between Mr. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that would require all would-be gun buyers, including those who wish to enter into private transactions, to undergo a federal criminal-background check. … The bill … would represent the most significant gun-control measure in decades if passed, but it is sure to encounter opposition from the Republican-controlled Senate and President Trump…. Critics of the bill have pointed out that it would not have prevented many of the recent mass shootings that were carried out by individuals who either had no criminal background or stole the firearm they used from a family member.” (National Review)

“Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled an ambitious proposal on Tuesday to move all Americans into the government’s Medicare health insurance program… The bill … would transition the U.S. healthcare system to a single-payer ‘Medicare for All’ program funded by the government in two years. … It is unlikely to gain the support of any Republicans in the House or the Senate, who have derided single-payer healthcare as a socialist policy and oppose government interference in healthcare. It also remains unclear whether Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pulosi will bring the legislation up for a vote.” (Reuters)

National Review reports: “Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib apologized after she called Representative Mark Meadows ‘racist’ during Michael Cohen’s heated congressional hearing Wednesday. The freshman Michigan Democrat had choice words for Meadows after the North Carolina conservative introduced Lynne Patton, who is black and a former employee of the Trump Organization, in an effort to dismantle the claim from Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer, that Trump is racist. … ‘I was not referring to you at all as a racist,’ the congresswoman said, adding that Meadows’s actions are still a ‘racist act.’” Meanwhile, National Review also reveals, “The Democratic National Committee and Senator Elizabeth dinky-Warren both used Michael Cohen’s highly anticipated congressional testimony in fundraising pleas addressed to supporters Wednesday.”

“Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’s signature is all that remains to include Colorado among the ranks of states prepared to abandon the Electoral College system in favor of nationwide popular voting for the next presidential election. Colorado would bring the number of states who have joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to 12, plus the District of Columbia. … States have the constitutional right to manage the awarding of electoral votes in national elections, with many states opting for winner-take-all. If states with 270 electoral votes — or the number needed to elect a president — agree to award their votes to the majority-vote holder, it could effectively convert the presidential election to popular vote. Colorado makes the total electoral votes represented by National Popular Vote Interstate Compact states 181.” (The Daily Caller)

“A federal judge in Texas ruled that state officials ‘created a mess’ when they questioned the citizenship of about 98,000 voters and mistakenly concluded that many of those voters were not eligible to cast ballots. The sharply written ruling by U.S. District Judge Fred Biery of San Antonio ordered Texas officials to halt the removal of any registered voter from state voter rolls. … Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton … said the federal judge was ‘improperly assuming control’ over the state’s voting system.” (NPR)

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday violent crime dropped across the country in 2018. The agency released the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report comparing the first six months of 2018 with the first six months of 2017. … The FBI report found violent crime decreased by 4.3 percent between 2017 and 2018. … Robbery and burglary saw the largest decrease of the crimes tracked by the FBI with the former dropping 12.5 percent and the later dropping 12.7 percent. Arson dropped 9.4 percent, property crime fell 7.2 percent, murder was down 6.7 percent, larceny fell 6.3 percent, car theft fell 3.3 percent, and aggravated assault was down 2 percent. Rape, the only crime to see an increase, was up 0.6 percent.” (The Washington Free Beacon)

Humor: Liberals pinning all hopes and dreams on testimony of seedy lawyer (The Babylon Bee)

Policy: “A new report raises questions about how the U.S. Department of Education monitors the performance of its wide-ranging elementary and secondary education programs. The department currently receives $38 billion for its major K-12 education programs. Yet the assessment says those programs are plagued by ‘complex and persistent’ challenges, many of which have been identified previously, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). … Given the ongoing problems with the department, in contrast to the growth of successful state-level parental choice programs, it is well worth considering abolishing the U.S. Department of Education once and for all.” (The Federalist)

Policy: “Are India and Pakistan lurching toward a war? An escalating confrontation between the South Asian neighbors means that we can no longer rule out the possibility. … For now the path out of the current crisis appears straightforward: Pakistan should return the captured Indian pilot and take concrete steps to rein in jihadist groups like JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba that target India. For its part, India needs to ensure that its official rhetoric remains measured, and that its next steps are not driven primarily by domestic political considerations.” (American Enterprise Institute)

~The Patriot Post


13 Republicans help Democrats vote against Trump’s wall funding grab

by Susan Ferrechio

{} ~ The House voted Tuesday to revoke the national emergency President Trump declared in order to spend federal money to build a physical barrier on the southern border without congressional approval… The joint resolution passed 245-182 with the help of 13 Republican votes. It now heads to the Senate, where many lawmakers predict it will pass with the help of at least four Republicans who oppose Trump’s emergency declaration. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate would vote on the measure by mid-March.Trump has vowed to issue the first veto of his presidency if the resolution reaches his desk, and the House vote indicates there are not enough votes to override his veto. Democrats would need to find 290 votes to override Trump, 45 short of the total seen Tuesday. The 13 Republicans voting with Democrats were Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Mike Gallager of Wisconsin, Jaime Hererra Beutler of Washington, Will Hurd of Texas, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, Francis Rooney of Florida, Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, Elise Stefanik of New York, Fred Upton of Michigan and Greg Walden of Oregon. Democrats used the debate on the resolution to attack Trump’s immigration policies and accuse him of using the emergency declaration to benefit his 2020 re-election effort. They argued there is no emergency on the border, where 50,000 people have been apprehended each month by border patrol agents…


Why Egypt Works to Curb Hamas’ Influence in Gaza

by Hany Ghoraba

{} ~ Egypt’s relations with Hamas have always been turbulent. Hamas was formed in 1987 as a Palestinian offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, and Egypt considers the Brotherhood a terrorist group… But Egypt shares a border by Gaza, which Hamas governs, and the country often has served as an intermediary between Israel and Hamas when fighting breaks out. Egypt moved aggressively against hundreds of Hamas smuggling tunnels after the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government of Mohamed Morsi was ousted in 2013. It closed its Rafah border crossing into Gaza except for humanitarian supplies, citing security threats. Israel has closed its Gaza border in an attempt to stem the flow of weapons and supplies used to make them from reaching Hamas. Egypt also revoked the Egyptian citizenship of some Hamas leaders, including co-founder Mahmoud Al Zahar. Egypt also is wary of Hamas’s close ties to Iran, which pours money and weapons into Gaza. Iran expects Hamas to use that support to attack Israel, while Egypt is hoping to keep the area quiet. Last month, Egypt reportedly made Hamas choose between Iran or Palestinian reconciliation, which it is seeking in hopes of reopening its borders. Egypt and Iran have been feuding since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. Iran has plotted against Egypt for decades…


scumbag-Eric Holder: Abolish the Electoral College

by Joe Kovacs

{} ~ Although scumbag-Eric Holder hasn’t officially announced a run for the presidency in 2020, the former attorney general under Barack scumbag/liar-nObama says it’s time to abolish the Electoral College as the way to elect presidents… “Time to make Electoral College a vestige of the past,” scumbag-Holder tweeted Tuesday. “It’s undemocratic, forces candidates to ignore majority of the voters and campaign in a small number of states. The presidency is our one national office and should be decided – directly – by the voters.” In a separate tweet, supporting Colorado’s move to do eliminate the current method of choosing presidents, scumbag-Holder said: “Change the Electoral College by having a state’s electoral votes go to the national popular vote winner – not the person who won the state. The candidate who gets the most votes – nationally – is elected. Real democracy.” scumbag-Holder’s comments came under immediate fire from Nick Searcy, the actor and director of the recent film “Gosnell.” “This is tyranny,” Searcy tweeted. Leftists like @scumbag-EricHolder want to make America one party rule, just like they have in nations he admires like Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea. That is what they are after. Don’t kid yourself.”…


Former PM of Liberals’ Favorite ‘Socialist’ Country Just Blasted commie-Bernie Sanders

by Ben Marquis

{} ~ While the right points to Venezuela, Cuba, the defunct Soviet Union and other failed or failing socialist/communist regimes… the left dismisses those failures as poor examples of “real” socialism, pointing instead to several Nordic nations — Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden — as illustrative of the the “democratic socialism” they want to impose on the United States. There’s just one problem with that: Those nations aren’t really “socialist,” at least not in the way that most Americans who came of age during the Cold War would view it. That may come as a shock to folks like independent Vermont Sen. commie-Bernie Sanders, whose was singled out Monday by a man who knows those countries well — Carl Bildt, who served for four years as prime minister of Sweden and later served as the nation’s minister of foreign affairs for another eight. Bildt, in reference to old videos of commie-Sanders praising Soviet-style socialism after visits to Nicaragua and Russia in the 1980s, tweeted, “commie-Bernie Sanders was lucky to be able to get to the Soviet Union in 1988 and praise all its stunning socialist achievements before the entire system and empire collapsed under the weight of its own spectacular failures.” Ouch. Indeed, The Washington Post’s fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, noted in a tweet of his own that Bildt’s remark constituted “quite a burn” of the leftist senator, in that it came from the former leader of a nation that commie-Sanders often points to as being an example of “socialist” success…


Megyn Kelly eyes October return for 2020 race

by Sara Nathan

{} ~ Megyn Kelly is considering a return to TV in the fall, in time to cover the 2020 race, sources tell Page Six… although she is still “emotionally scarred” from her unceremonious exit from NBC. For now, the journalist — who was axed as host of the 9 a.m. hour of “Today” in October over her comments about blackface — is busy spending time with her three kids and learning to cook. They say she also finally has the time to take exercise classes. While she’s been off the scene, rumors have swirled that Kelly is working on a tell-all book. But a source close to her denied the scuttlebutt. The source said: “There’s no book. Megyn’s already written a book” — the 2016 autobiography “Settle for More” — “and why would she want to go back and revisit that NBC nonsense? If there was to be a book, it would be based around policy issues, which isn’t likely right now.”...


Keep Bombing the Taliban Dope

by Harold Hutchison: Recently, it was reported that the United States has stopped a program of bombing Taliban drug labs. This is both a good decision and a bad one — at the same time. That may seem like typing from both sides of the keyboard, but don’t think that for a moment.

The United States Air Force had been using some of its F-22 Raptors to attack the drug labs. Now, let’s get one thing straight: Bombing the Taliban is good. Making drug labs go away is also good. Making Taliban drug labs go away via bombs is, therefore, very good.

That said, the F-22 Raptor is not the plane for the job. We have previously discussed the short-handed Raptor force. When you have such a highly advanced plane in such low numbers, it needs to be saved for the most important missions — and bombing Taliban drug labs is overkill.

There is plenty of argument over whether we should just get out of Afghanistan. But consider this: The Taliban were instrumental to 9/11. Yes, it’s been more than 17 years, and we will soon see children graduate from high school who were not even alive on the day al-Qaida carried out its unprovoked and dastardly attack. But the message needs to be sent that perpetrating something like 9/11 is a fatal mistake, and while al-Qaida is a shadow of what it once was, there’s still that score with the Taliban.

After all, we didn’t stop fighting Japan after Tom Lanphier shot down Isoroku Yamamoto’s plane in 1943. That wasn’t even at the halfway mark of World War II in the Pacific. So, when the previous U.S. administration wanted quit the fight after killing Osama bin Laden, someone needed to remind him that the Taliban were accessories to 9/11.

With that out of the way, it’s time to point out that since there really is a need to be involved in Afghanistan and to keep taking out the Taliban, then it is obvious the bombing should continue until the Taliban get the hint. But bombing with which plane?

The answer is a force more equipped to deal with the Taliban. F-22s are overkill and needed elsewhere. But there was a plane that the Air Force has dismissed that could sting the Taliban very well — the Textron Scorpion. This relatively simple, multi-role plane could carry the types of weapons needed to blast Taliban drug labs to bits, like Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) or laser-guided bombs. Scorpions can even haul regular old dumb bombs.

If the Scorpion isn’t an option, then the Air Force could always decide to buy the FA-50, a version of the T-50 that recently lost out in the T-X competition. Maybe the United States should also look into re-opening production of the OV-10 Bronco, a far more capable plane than the two planes in the competition: The AT-29 Super Tucano and AT-6B Wolverine.

This could be done as part of building up the United States Air Force. Yes, the USAF is talking about adding 74 more squadrons, but that’s not nearly enough. The fact is, a larger Air Force should also take into account the need to put bombs on al-Qaida, the Taliban, ISIS, al-Shabaab, and other terrorist groups. After all, just because Russia and China are major threats doesn’t mean we should ignore the radical Islamic terrorists.

When the Taliban decide to hand over any al-Qaida personnel they are harboring, then America can begin talks to stop the bombing. Until then, keep bombing their dope labs — and anything else we can find. ~The Patriot Post


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