Thursday Top News Executive Summary

Media Editors: Government & Politics

PROTECTING RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: “The Labor Department on Wednesday announced a new rule to grant the ‘broadest protection permitted by law’ to religious organizations contracting with the federal government. The proposed rule to clarify civil rights protections for religious groups will be added to the Federal Register on Thursday, but is now open to public comment.” (The Daily Signal)

FAUX FAUXCAHONTAS POLL, OR LEGIT HEADWAY? “loosev lips liar-Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth dinky-Warren are polling within just one percentage point of each other as dinky-Warren catches up to the former vice president, who has led the pack of Democratic presidential candidates nationally for weeks. loose lips liar-Biden stands at 21 percent support, while dinky-Warren is right behind him at 20 percent, up four points from last week, according to the latest national Economist–YouGov poll.” (National Review)

CONSTITUENTS MIA: “Rep. commie-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has outraised all other freshmen representatives so far in 2019, but nearly all of her reported contributors to her reelection campaign live outside her congressional district… commie-Ocasio-Cortez’s reelection campaign has reported receiving contributions from just 10 individuals living within her district in the first half of 2019, according to its Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings.” (The Daily Caller)

COLLUSION: “Nellie Ohr kept tabs on dozens of Trump associates and Russian businessmen as part of her work for Fusion GPS, according to government documents released Wednesday. Ohr’s husband, Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, provided the documents to the FBI for its investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.” (The Daily Caller)

scumbag-COMEY MEMOS UNTETHERED: “A federal judge ruled against the FBI’s efforts to keep some redacted documents related to former FBI Director scumbag-James Comey’s memos hidden from the public. The ruling comes after the FBI asked Judge James Boasberg to reconsider a district court ruling earlier this year that CNN and other media organizations and watchdog groups were entitled to information related both to scumbag-Comey’s memos and to how those memos were used in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation, which concluded earlier this year. But the FBI battled against disclosure.” (Washington Examiner)

SUBTERFUGE REJECTED: “A federal judge on Wednesday rejected House Democrats’ attempt to try to pick the judge who will hear their lawsuit to compel former White House lawyer Don McGahn to testify, arguing the case is different from Democrats’ other impeachment-related lawsuits.” (The Washington Times)

National Security

ICEBREAKERS: “The FBI is investigating a ‘targeted attack’ in which shots were fired into an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office and another facility associated with the agency in San Antonio, Texas early Tuesday. … Last month, a man was killed by Washington state authorities when he threw incendiary devices at both an immigration center and nearby propane tanks. In Colorado, protesters demonstrating outside an ICE facility replaced the American flag with the Mexican flag.” (Fox News)

NO DEAL: “A Guatemalan immigration agreement signed with the Trump administration won’t work because the Central American nation does not have the resources, the country’s new president-elect says. Alejandro Giammattei, a conservative who was chosen overwhelmingly by voters in a weekend runoff election, said … that Guatemala is too poor to tend to its own people, let alone those from other countries.” (Associated Press)

THE CONSEQUENCES OF OPEN BORDERS: “Two illegal immigrants have been charged with second degree rape of the same 11-year-old girl in Maryland. Montgomery County Police arrested Mauricio Barrera-Navidad, 29, of Damascus, Maryland, and Carlos Palacios-Amaya, 28, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, for allegedly raping the same under-aged girl on multiple occasions.” (The Daily Caller)

Other Notables

STOCK MARKET REBOUNDS: “Stocks rose on Thursday, gaining back some of the steep losses in the previous session. … Thursday’s session follows the Dow’s 800-point loss on Wednesday amid a recession signal from the bond market. The stock market took a huge hit in the previous session with the Dow plunging 800 points in its fourth-largest point drop ever to a two-month low. The Dow’s 3% drop was the worst this year. The S&P 500 also fell nearly 3%.” (CNBC)

OFFICERS DOWN: According to Fox News, “The suspect linked to Wednesday’s hours-long standoff in Philadelphia surrendered to authorities just after midnight Thursday, exiting the residence with his hands in the air and with a police light shining on him, surrounded by a cloud of tear gas. The dramatic shootout in Philadelphia stretched on for hours as six officers were shot — and two officers and three hostages were later freed, apparently unhurt.” Fox News also reports, “Onlookers were seen taunting and throwing things at Philadelphia police Wednesday night amid a wild shootout and subsequent standoff … and video posted online shows one woman shoving a police officer making his way to the scene.” This New York Post report reveals what these kind of anti-police attitudes can lead to: “A veteran cop became the ninth NYPD officer to commit suicide this year when he shot himself in the head at his Queens home Wednesday evening.”

Closing Arguments

POLICY: No, wages are not rising because of minimum-wage laws (The Daily Signal)

POLICY: Can nuclear power be saved? (National Review)

HUMOR: America offers to trade all of its communists for democratic protesters in Hong Kong (The Babylon Bee)

~The Patriot Post

At least 6 Philadelphia officers wounded in shootout; police warn of active scene

By Vandana Rambaran

{ } ~ At least six Philadelphia police officers were shot, one reportedly grazed in the head, in an ongoing shootout in the city’s Nicetown neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon… that has been unfolding for almost four hours. Three officers were rushed to Temple University Hospital, officials told Fox 29. Three other officers were taken to Einstein Hospital, at least one of them was shot in the arm. All six officers were in stable condition and being treated for non-life threatening injuries. “Fortunately, everybody is going to be okay,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross told reporters on Wednesday, even as the shooter refused to surrender to officers during ongoing negotiations. Two other officers, including a police sergeant, were injured in an accident related to the emergency response and were being treated for non-life threatening injuries. High-ranking police officials said two officers with the Narcotics Strike Force were serving a warrant at a multifamily home — in what may have been a drug-related offense — when a shooter opened fire at the home. The two officers were barricaded in separate rooms with as many as four suspects. Hostage negotiators and a SWAT team were on the scene. “Officers are attempting to communicate with the shooter; imploring him to surrender and avoid further injuries,” Philadelphia Police Department Sgt. Eric Gripp tweeted… VIDEO:


Mike Pompeo inches closer to Kansas U.S. Senate run and seeks advice from Steve Bannon…


{ } ~ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is said to be inching closer to running for Senate in Kansas and has reached out to Steve Bannon as he contemplates his next move… Pompeo spoke to the former White House counselor about the contest, according to the Washington Examiner, as Bannon’s feud with Donald Trump has calmed down. Bannon ‘claimed that Pompeo was leaning towards a run,’ according to the newspaper. Pompeo – a former congress man from Kansas who served as Trump’s CIA director before moving to the State Department – has given mixed messages about his future plans. In February, Pompeo publicly ruled out a Senate run. But he told a Kansas radio station last month: ‘I always need to be open to the possibility that something will change and my path in life will change too.’ His allies have told donors to wait on him to make a final decision before adding their weight to the contest, Bloomberg News reported. Pompeo spoke to Bannon last month shortly before Trump tweeted praise for his former adviser, with whom he’s had an up-and-down relationship, particularly in the wake of Michael Wolff’s 2018 book ‘Fire and Fury’ on the administration. ‘Nice to see that one of my best pupils is still a giant Trump fan,’ the president tweeted in early August along with video of an interview Bannon gave CNBC. Many Republicans, including GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, are urging Pompeo to run for retiring Senator Pat Robert’s seat…


Israel Gets Ready to Fight a Multifront War

by Seth Frantzman

{ } ~ Israel’s Ministry of Defense has revealed a new program to design a combat vehicle for the future. Three prototypes, showing off the latest technology that will enable manned and unmanned vehicles to secure terrain… were on display in a dusty field below a series of hills. Beyond one of the hills was a fake village, constructed to resemble the kind of environment Israel might have to fight in during a battle in Lebanon. It was a fitting place for Israel to be discussing the battlefield of the future, while a simulation of the current battlefield is in the background. For Jerusalem the challenge is facing well-known adversaries, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, while looking further afield at an Iranian threat now entrenching in Syria and Iraq. The unveiling of the new program comes just a few days after a Palestinian militant fired on an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) patrol near the Gaza Strip, wounding an officer and two soldiers. According to the IDF, the troops returned fire and killed the assailant. A Hamas military post was targeted in retaliation by an IDF tank. Later the same day shots were fired at Israeli forces in the West Bank. In addition, local media in Syria accused Israel of carrying out an airstrike on the Golan Heights near the armistice line. That day’s activities suggest that a conflict on three or more fronts is brewing for Israel. Israeli media, officials and defense analysts have been warning about a scenario since 2017. The IDF has been working on the assumption that the next war could be fought simultaneously on multiple fronts. Former Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, who has said Israel struck more than one thousand Iranian targets in Syria in the last years, asserted last year that Israel faces challenges in Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, Gaza, and in Sinai. In addition, a sixth layer should be added to this, one that includes Iraq, which is where Israeli jets reportedly struck targets. According to this scenario, Israel sees some Iraqi Shi’ite paramilitaries, which are linked to Iran, as a threat. Potential threats include paramilitary militias that could join a future conflict by cutting through Syria to the battlefield and Iranian supplied precision-guided missiles based in Iraq. These Iraqi Shi’ite paramilitaries, such as Kata’ib Hezbollah, are linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which Washington has designated a terrorist organization. Israel hasn’t faced a multifront conflict like this since 1973. At that time the war was fought between Israeli conventional forces and the armies of Egypt, Syria, as well as elements of Iraqi armored divisions and other allies of the Arab states. Today the situation is dramatically different. As a result, Israel is honing its hi-tech military to be more precise, effective, and agile using artificial intelligence, drones, and missiles that fly further than before…


Why Blacks Should Ignore the Liberal Agenda

by Walter E. Williams

{ } ~ There is discrimination of all sorts, and that includes racial discrimination. Thus, it’s somewhat foolhardy to debate the existence of racial discrimination yesteryear or today… From a policy point of view, a far more useful question to ask is: How much of the plight of many blacks can be explained by current racial discrimination? Let’s examine some of today’s most devastating problems of many black people with an eye toward addressing discrimination of the past and present. At the root of most of the problems black people face is the breakdown of the family structure. Slightly over 70% of black children are raised in female-headed households. According to statistics about fatherless homes, 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes; 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father figure; 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes; 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes; and 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions have no father. Furthermore, fatherless boys and girls are twice as likely to drop out of high school and twice as likely to end up in jail. One might say, “Williams, one cannot ignore the legacy of slavery and the gross racism and denial of civil rights in yesteryear!” Let’s look at whether black fatherless homes are a result of a “legacy of slavery” and racial discrimination.

In the late 1800s, depending on the city, 70% to 80% of black households were two-parent. Thomas Sowell has argued, “The black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the liberal welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.”…


Senators Call for Closing “Loopholes” That Make Health Care Fraud Easy

by Marshall Allen

{ } ~ Following a detailed account of how scam artists can easily gain access to health care cash… six Democratic senators this week sent a letter to federal regulators urging them to “close loopholes” that allow “bad actors” to commit fraud. The letter came in response to a recent story by ProPublica and Vox that traced the brazen scam of a Texas personal trainer, who despite having no medical credentials was able to submit a blizzard of fake bills with some of the biggest insurance companies in the country and recoup millions. The story revealed not only how David Williams exploited weaknesses at each step, but how slowly the insurers responded to his ongoing fraud. Williams’ con, for which he was later prosecuted, was initially enabled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The federal agency issues and administers National Provider Identifiers, or NPIs, the unique numbers medical providers need to bill insurance plans. ProPublica found that Medicare doesn’t check the credentials of medical providers who apply for NPI numbers, such as whether they have valid licenses, which means scammers can lie to obtain them. Williams obtained at least 20 NPI numbers and used them to bill insurers. The insurers he scammed — Aetna, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare — then allowed his fraud to proceed for years, largely unchecked. The companies also failed to verify that Williams was a licensed physician, even as he billed them for complex, and expensive, office visits as an out-of-network provider. Instead, they paid him more than $4 million over a span of four years, despite alerts from his ex-wife and her dad about his scam. Williams was convicted of four counts of health care fraud in 2018 and sentenced to about nine years in federal prison. The insurers declined to comment on his fraud. Current and former investigators for health insurers and federal prosecutors said the simplicity of Williams’ scam, combined with weak oversight and enforcement, raises questions about what’s being done to combat rampant health care fraud. Experts estimate fraud consumes about 10% of the country’s $3.5 trillion health care tab — although the story found that large swaths of fraud are not being tracked. Those losses are eventually passed on to the public in the form of higher monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs as well as reduced benefits…


American INF Withdrawal Will Help

Contain China

Harold Hutchison: Those who criticize the withdrawal of America from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty cite the new arms race with Russia as a big negative. The thing is, that is too small a view. There is another major power that we should be thinking about: the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

PRC arguably has a huge edge in sub-strategic nuclear warfare. This is because while the 1987 INF Treaty required the United States and Soviet Union to get rid of any land-based missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,000 miles, China was not a party to that deal. That meant it not only got to keep its current missiles (at the time) but it could develop and deploy more modern missiles over the 32 years that treaty was in force.

This is why American carriers now face the highly hyped Chinese DF-21 anti-ship ballistic missile, among other threats. While China may not have a lot of these missiles, what it does have already forces America to make some real adjustments.

The good news: The United States Navy uses the RIM-161 Standard SM-3 missile, which has been very successful in tests. It can reliably knock down missiles like the DF-21. But that is where the good news ends for the Navy.

To take out an incoming target, it’s not always a case of firing one missile and scoring a hit. Usually, to guarantee a hit, standard operating procedure is to fire two or more missiles, as the USS Mason (DDG 97) did when fired upon by Iran’s Houthi stooges in 2016.

Suppose a hostile country had 24 of these missiles. If you assume three missiles fired per incoming missile, the initial salvo would consist of 72 missiles. While an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer has a total of 96 missile cells, those are used to do more than just shoot down ballistic missiles.

Burke-class destroyers also provide anti-aircraft defenses, which require surface-to-air missiles like the RIM-66 Standard SM-2 and the RIM-174 Standard SM-6. It will also need point-defense missiles like the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile or the RUM-139 Vertical-Launch ASROC for anti-submarine missions. Then, of course, there is the BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile.

All of a sudden, 72 SM-3s seem like a bit much for one ship to have. That’s even before one considers the risks of putting all those eggs in one basket. There is the option to spread out the missiles among other ships (either Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers or other Burke-class destroyers), but then each ship has its other missions compromised.

The thing is, the U.S. can turn that around on the Chinese. Imagine if they could develop new ground-based cruise missiles — say, versions of the Tomahawk (or a replacement) for land-attack roles. Base those in South Korea, Vietnam, and Japan, and China would then have a whole new set of problems. In a similar vein, a ground-launched version of the Navy’s AGM-158C based on Palawan Island or near Haiphong would give Chinese ships in the South China Sea something to worry about. That wouldn’t even include the United States having mobile intermediate-range ballistic missiles deployed in the region as well.

The deployment of land-based missiles in Poland, Norway, Romania, and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania could have the same effect on Russia as it does on China — especially with the Navy having a huge shortage of hulls in the water.

The fact is, withdrawing from INF ranks as one of President Trump’s smartest moves. In today’s lawless world, arms-control treaties are increasingly just a sucker’s game that is as effective on the international stage as gun control has been in cities like Chicago and Baltimore. ~The Patriot Post  


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *