Thursday Top News Executive Summary

Media Editors: IRAN PROVOKES: “Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. drone on Thursday. … The U.S. military’s Central Command released a statement saying the drone, an RQ-4 Global Hawk, was downed in international airspace, describing it as an ‘unprovoked attack.’” (The Associated Press)

BUDGETARY OBSTRUCTION: “Democrats on Wednesday muscled through a nearly $1 trillion spending bill that attempts to block President Trump’s policies on climate change, abortion and immigration,” according to The Hill. National Review adds that the spending bill incorporates the “repeal [of] the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which the Trump administration has appeared ready to cite justifying armed conflict with Iran should such a conflict arise.”

BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU: Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reveals, “A 21-year-old Pittsburgh resident and Syrian refugee accused of planning an attack on a Christian church on the city’s North Side and providing resources to ISIS has been arrested. … According to the complaint, [the man] was born in Daraa, Syria, and was admitted to the United States as a refugee on Aug. 1, 2016.” The Pittsburgh incident positively underscores the Trump administration’s emphasis on stronger vetting.

THE FACES OF EVIL: “In a bid to show the horrific consequences of sanctuary laws, ICE on Monday released details of some of the criminals in Washington and Oregon custody who went on to evade ICE apprehension.” (The Daily Caller)

PEACE CROSS UPHELD: “The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Peace Cross war memorial on public land outside Washington, D.C., can stand, determining it does not violate the Constitution.” (Fox News)

REPARATIONS FALLOUT: “A congressional hearing erupted when Quillette writer Coleman Hughes trashed a bill to study slavery reparations as a ‘moral and political mistake,’ forcing the chair of the hearing to tell the audience to ‘chill’ several times,” according to Mediaite. Hughes warned, “We would turn the relationship between black Americans and white Americans from a coalition into a transaction.” Meanwhile, the New York Post horrifyingly reports, “A black parolee arrested for raping and bashing a white woman on the roof of his Bronx apartment building allegedly told a witness that she ‘deserved’ the brutal attack because of slavery.”

GAMING THE SYSTEM: “A Minnesota man applied for and then received government food stamps for well over a year, even though he is a millionaire, in an effort to prove his belief that the eligibility requirements for the benefits in his state were too loose.” (The Washington Free Beacon)

TRADE WINDS: “Top Chinese and U.S. officials will resume trade talks in accordance with the wishes of their leaders. … Hopes for a revival of negotiations have been rekindled by a telephone call on Wednesday between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, and confirmation they will meet next week in Japan at a G20 summit.” (Reuters)

LAFFER COMMEMORATED: “President Donald Trump on Wednesday awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist Arthur Laffer, whose theories on tax cuts have guided Republican policy since the 1980s.” (NBC News)

POLICY: The problem with a 90% graduation rate (RealClearEducation)

POLICY: Socialism will deprive you of what you need to survive (American Institute for Economic Research)

HUMOR: San Francisco holds nation’s first plastic straw buyback event (IMAO)

~The Patriot Post


US Navy drone shot down by Iranian missile over Strait of Hormuz in ‘unprovoked attack,’ central command says

by Lucas Tomlinson, Edmund DeMarche and Travis Fedschun

{ } ~ U.S. military officials returned fire — verbally — hours after Iran blasted a Navy high-altitude drone out of the sky over the Strait of Hormuz… with U.S. Central Command leaders on Thursday slamming the “unprovoked” strike and Tehran’s subsequent “false” justifications for it. The downing of the drone, via surface-to-air missile, is only the most recent Iranian provocation in the region, coming on the heels of a disputed attack on a pair of oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week. U.S. officials say Iran was behind the tanker attacks, however, the Islamic Republic has not claimed responsibility and even suggested American involvement in the plot. Similarly, Iran claimed the U.S. drone on Thursday was over Iranian airspace when it was shot down — but American officials stated unequivocally the incident occurred in international airspace. U.S. Central Command said in a statement that a U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance ISR aircraft, known as a BAMS-D, was shot down at approximately 7:35 p.m. ET on Wednesday.”Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false,” Capt. Bill Urban, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, said in a statement. “This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace.” The U.S. Navy’s RQ-4A Global Hawk drone was over international airspace and about 17 miles from Iran at the time, a military source told Fox News. The drone provides real-time intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions “over vast ocean and coastal regions,” according to the military. Iran also tried to shoot down another drone, but missed, U.S. officials told Fox News. Officials are now scrambling to find the wreckage in the water before Iranian forces recover it…


Fed leaves interest rates alone, resisting Trump’s pressure for a cut

by James Langford

{ } ~ The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, resisting pressure from President Trump to reduce them as his trade disputes threaten to slow U.S. economic growth… The central bank’s monetary policy committee acknowledged risks are rising, however, and said it will closely monitor developments in the near future. The decision left the benchmark federal funds rate at a range of 2.25% to 2.5%, fulfilling a prediction from Wall Street that a reduction isn’t likely until later this year. Trading in interest-rate futures indicated only a 24% chance of a cut on Wednesday, though that jumps to 65% at the committee’s next meeting, at the end of July.Swiss lender UBS doesn’t expect rates to fall even then, particularly if U.S. trade talks with China manage to stave off any further increase in tariffs. So far, the White House has imposed 25% duties on $250 billion of Chinese imports and threatened to tack them onto another $325 billion of goods if the two countries can’t reach a deal to give American companies more access to China’s markets and halt Beijing’s appropriation of U.S. technology. The tariffs, which drive up prices of goods sold in the U.S., come on top of levies on steel and aluminum. Trump has also threatened duties on auto imports as well as goods from Mexico if that country doesn’t live up to his expectations on curbing illegal immigrant traffic across the southern U.S. border. While the moves have rattled financial markets and prompted warnings from corporate America that the trade dispute is undermining the benefits of GOP-led tax cuts in 2017, UBS believes economic growth will be sufficient for the Fed to maintain current rates, characterizing a September reduction of 25 basis points as “plausible.”…


Netanyahu, at major drill, warns: IDF has huge destructive power, don’t test us

by Judah Ari Gross

{ } ~ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday warned the country’s enemies to “not test” Israel amid concerns that escalating tensions between the United States and Iran… could result in an attack on the Jewish state. The prime minister made his remarks during a visit to a large-scale Israel Defense Forces exercise in northern Israel. “I hear our neighbors to the north, south and east threatening to destroy us. I say to our enemies: The IDF has an immense destructive power. Do not test us,” Netanyahu said following his visit. There is growing concern among Israeli and Western intelligence officials that Iran could initiate action against Israel to escalate its feud with the United States and force Washington to the negotiation table, Haaretz reported Wednesday. Intelligence analyses indicated that Iran is disappointed that it hasn’t succeeded so far in forcing the US to rethink the crippling sanctions it reimposed against the Islamic Republic last year when it withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, the report said. After threats and steps Tehran has taken so far to escalate tensions in the region, it could drag Israel into the crisis through one of its proxy organizations in Syria or Lebanon, including the Hezbollah terror group, the intelligence officials said. On Sunday, the military launched the five-day, division-level drill, which included ground troops, fighter jets, helicopters and a variety of military vehicles, the army said…


scumbag-Schiff Goes Into Overdrive Threatens Mueller With Subpoena

by Cristina Laila

{} ~ “With someone like Bob Mueller, making an appeal to his patriotism and a sense of duty is the right way to go,” scumbag-Schiff said Tuesday in an appearance on CNN… “I think we’re reaching a point where if we can’t reach an agreement, and I hope we will, then we’ll have to use a subpoena,” scumbag-Schiff added. House Dems have been sparring with Mueller over his testimony for several weeks. Last month Mueller announced he is retiring from the Justice Department and that he will not be testifying to Congress during a brief presser. “I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. I am making that decision myself. No one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter,” Mueller said. “There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress — any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report.” “The work speaks for itself — and the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress,” Mueller added. The Democrats originally wanted Mueller to testify before Congress on May 15, however, the plans fell through. House Judiciary Chairman scumbag liar-Jerry Nadler also previously threatened to subpoena Mueller if necessary. “We will subpoena whoever we have to subpoena,” scumbag liar-Nadler said last month. “We will hear from Mueller. We will hear from McGahn. We will hear from a lot of other witnesses.” Mueller doesn’t want to be grilled by Republican lawmakers who will certainly ask him about his reliance on scumbag/liar-Hillary’s phony dossier and all of the corruption and conflicts of interest with his team. Republicans will also want to know why Mueller dragged out his investigation past the 2018 midterms even though he knew early on that Trump did not collude with the Russians.


Philadephia Niqab (face veil) Shock

by Shireen Qudosi

{ } ~ With the hijab debate no more agreed upon than years prior, we’re now wading into the waters of the niqab (face veil) debate… A picture coming out of Philadelphia Muslim’s Eid (holiday) celebration this year brought forward another question on religious garb: Is the right to wear the niqab part of religious freedom? The short answer is no.The niqab is an austere form of clothing designed to conceal the face. Just like with the hijab (head covering) or the burqa (full body covering), there is no direct mandate in the Quran for a woman to cover herself in a particular style beyond the recommendation for modesty as outlined by verse 24:31. Even this verse offers little more than a suggested pathway and is not explicit in its direction. It doesn’t specify a niqab or any other form of garment that 21st century Muslims have falsely branded as Islamic attire. Further, the English translations that paint a portrait of clothing that resembles any specific items are often translations that are swayed by publisher bias. Muslims and non-Muslims, lovers of Islam and its critics, can generally agree that the Quran offers very detailed instruction for military and civilian life. If the Quran had intended to offer detailed instruction for how women should cover themselves, it would have plainly said so as it does with other areas of conduct. It’s also important to point out that the verse doesn’t stipulate punishment if modesty is not perfected, or if a woman should choose to abandon modesty all together. It’s her choice. When we repeat warm and fuzzy catchphrases like “there is no compulsion in religion,” this is the architecture behind that philosophy. If we’re going to win ideological wars against the onslaught of Islamism and fundamentalist Islam, it’s really important to understand how to break apart the exploited assumption of religious right… Why is this an issue in America Philadelphia.


Record numbers of NHS cancer patients face ‘agonising wait’ to see specialist

by Record numbers of cancer patients are waiting longer than they should to see a specialist because NHS services cannot cope with the rise in people suspected of having the disease… In April 19,963 people in England had to wait more than the 14-day maximum to have their first appointment with a cancer specialist – by far the largest number since records began. NHS hospitals are supposed to ensure that 93% of all those referred by their GP for suspected cancer see a specialist within a fortnight. But April was also the first time since the target was introduced in October 2009 that fewer than 90% did so. Performance was just 89.9% – the worst ever. “When someone is first diagnosed or hears the words ‘we think it could be cancer’, their world often turns upside down in a single moment. The wait to see a specialist or to start treatment is an agonising time already, and facing further delays can make things even worse”, said Kate Goldie, a senior cancer information nurse specialist at Macmillan Cancer Support. “Those affected experience worry and uncertainty cannot go about their daily lives, while relatives are left feeling helpless,” she added. NHS England data show that hospital trusts have failed to meet the 93% target in 10 of the last 12 months amid growing demand on, and serious staff shortages, in cancer services. Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said: “It’s disgraceful that suspected cancer patients aren’t being seen on time, especially as we know that early diagnosis leads to better outcomes.”…


Shanahan Out, Esper in at Pentagon

Nate Jackson: There’s upheaval at the Pentagon after acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan resigned and withdrew from the consideration for the full post Tuesday. Informally announced as President Donald Trump’s nominee to permanently fill the role vacated by James Mattis last December, Shanahan’s FBI background check turned lengthy, likely because of domestic violence in his home. Rather than put his family through that trauma again, Shanahan withdrew. Trump tapped U.S. Army Secretary Mark Esper to serve as acting DOD secretary.

Shanahan’s story is an odd one. He and his ex-wife both told police in 2010 about domestic violence on the part of the other. He still insists he “never laid a hand on” her, and she was the only one arrested. And in another incident in 2011, his then-17-year-old son hit his mother (Shanahan’s former wife) in the head with a baseball bat, leaving her unconscious in a pool of blood, with a skull fracture and other injuries requiring surgery. “Use of a baseball bat in self-defense will likely be viewed as an imbalance of force,” Shanahan later wrote. “However, Will’s mother harassed him for nearly three hours before the incident.” When asked about that statement, he walked it back: “I have never believed Will’s attack on his mother was an act of self-defense or justified. I don’t believe violence is appropriate ever, and certainly never any justification for attacking someone with a baseball bat.”

In any case, it’s hard to determine who knew what when in the vetting process. Democrats and the Leftmedia are having a field day slamming Trump for poor vetting, and even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of Trump’s biggest Senate allies, said, “We need to do a better job” on vetting nominees. However, he said, “That’s over. I appreciate his service, but it’s now time to find somebody else.”

That somebody else may permanently be Esper. Like Shanahan, he’s a former defense contractor, but Esper has served as Army secretary since 2017. And Fox News notes his extensive military service: “Esper graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1986 — the same year as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He received his commission in the infantry and completed Ranger and Pathfinder training. Esper served on active duty for over a decade. In the early 90s, he served with the 101st Airborne Division in the Gulf War. He later commanded an airborne rifle company in Europe. Following his service on active duty, he served in both the Virginia and District of Columbia National Guard and Army Reserve. He retired in 2007.”

Esper also seems to have his pulse on the needs facing the U.S. military in light of the rise in power and challenge from both China and Russia. So assuming his background checks out, Esper could serve the Pentagon well. ~The Patriot Post  


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