Thursday Top News Executive Summary

Media Editors:  Above the Fold

PANEL VOTE LATER TODAY: The House Judiciary Committee launched a lively, marathon session Thursday ahead of voting on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump (Associated Press)

JUDICIAL TRANSFORMATION: Trump secures 50th appellate court appointment, with another 9th Circuit judge confirmed (Fox News)

Government & Politics

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: During congressional testimony, Inspector General Michael Horowitz rips FBI “failure” in Russia probe, says nobody vindicated by report (Fox News)

IT’S NOT A REVENUE PROBLEM: Feds collect record taxes through November, still run a $343.3 billion deficit with second-highest spending in nation’s history (

“SCRATCHING THE SURFACE”: Education Department uncovers $1.3 billion in foreign university funding (Washington Examiner)

Culture & Heartland

SAD REALITY: Jersey City gunman was a Black Hebrew Israelite, so don’t expect to hear much more about the shooting (Washington Examiner)

“SO STUPID”: Naval Air Station Pensacola shooting leads Navy instructor pilots to tell top brass: “Arm us” (Fox News)

“THE CITY IS NOT PERMITTED TO RESTRICT POLITICAL SPEECH”: Federal judge blocks enforcement of Los Angeles law requiring city contractors to disclose NRA ties (Associated Press)

AND HE WOULDN’T HAVE TO ADMIT WRONGDOING… Harvey Weinstein reaches tentative $25 million settlement; some accusers understandably object (NBC News)

LEFT COAST INSANITY: In Spokane, 649 rape kits are awaiting attention, an opioid crisis is raging, and a serial killer hasn’t been caught, yet the city is throwing the book at a pastor who objects to a sexual minstrel show performed for children (The Federalist)

Closing Arguments

POLICY: How to hold colleges accountable for the education they provide (Manhattan Institute)

POLICY: How the biggest farms are getting more per acre in trade-war subsidies (MarketWatch)

HUMOR: Trump’s popularity surges after nation learns he may have obstructed Congress (The Babylon Bee)  

~The Patriot Post     

Chairman Lindsey Graham Discusses His View of IG Horowitz Testimony

by sundance{ } ~ Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham appears on Fox News with Sean Hannity to receive attaboys for his efforts and discuss his views on IG Horowitz testimony… Chairman Graham notes he would like to hear from current FBI Director Christopher Wray and former Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.  


Jim Jordan Delivers Remarks During House Impeachment Mark-up: “they don’t like us, that’s what this is all about”

by sundance{ } ~ Representative Jim Jordan recaps the history of the investigative targeting of President Trump and the malicious partisan political impeachment… “They don’t like us”… “that’s why they want to get rid of us”… “that’s why they want to weaponize the government”…You know why the entire apparatus is united against President Trump. You know why the corrupt Wall Street financial apparatus is united against President Trump. You know why every institutional department, every lobbyist, every K-Street dweller, every career legislative member, staffer, and the various downstream economic benefactors, including the corporate media, all of it – all the above, are united against Donald Trump.  Donald Trump is an existential threat to the existence of a corrupt DC system we have exposed to his disinfecting sunlight. Donald Trump is the existential threat to every entity who benefits from that corrupt and vile system.


DOJ Official Bruce Ohr is Not Fired, and That’s Okay – For Now

by sundance{ } ~ There are several dozen critical issues that stem from revelations about the DOJ and FBI conduct in/around the Carter Page FISA application (2017) and Steele Dossier writ large… but DOJ official Bruce Ohr still being employed isn’t one of them, and here’s why. What exactly would Bruce Ohr be held accountable for? What Mr. Ohr did wrong was back-channel information from dossier author Christopher Steele into the FBI; made worse because this is after Chris Steele was persona non grata; and done by Ohr without telling his bosses at Main Justice.  Obviously, not good. However, considering the time-frames of the FD-302 reports written by Ohr’s handler FBI agent Joseph Pientka, Bruce Ohr was channeling information into the Crossfire Hurricane team in 2017. That same FBI team became the Mueller investigation FBI team, and from the 302 notes we know Ohr was channeling information from Christopher Steele into the Mueller team after the administrations’ changed. Again, not good, but…Bruce Ohr wasn’t the only non FBI person back-channeling information from corrupt source Christopher Steele into the FBI and Mueller team in 2017. SSCI Vice-Chairman Mark Warner was doing exactly the same thing. Senator Warner was having secret contacts, “would rather not have a paper trail”, with Steele through liaison Adam Waldman, and then relaying information to Robert Mueller…  

CNN Ignores Opening Statements in Senate Judiciary Hearing on IG Report

by Graham Piro { } ~ CNN broke from other major networks Wednesday and did not broadcast opening statements during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing… on the recently released DOJ inspector general’s report. The network only showed a brief segment of Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R., S.C.) statement, during which he discussed Russian interference in the 2016 election, and displayed video of the hearing without audio while reporters and pundits discussed the impeachment inquiry. The network did not show any of Sen. Dianne Fein-stein’s (D., Calif.) opening statement. By contrast, MSNBC broadcasted Graham’s opening statement for a little more than 20 minutes before cutting to a panel discussion. Fox News aired Graham’s entire statement. MSNBC showed Fein-stein’s whole opening statement, which was significantly shorter than Graham’s. Both CNN and MSNBC eventually broadcasted Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s opening statement.  Graham in his comments ripped media coverage of the inspector general’s report and criticized the FBI’s conduct in obtaining permission to surveil a member of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Graham said the media overlooked the FBI’s errors because its misconduct did not fit their narrative, focusing instead on the finding that there was no political bias in the investigation. The report faulted the FBI for committing numerous “significant errors or omissions” in its application to surveil Trump aide Carter Page. Both CNN and MSNBC previously opted to give full coverage to House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. scumbag/liar-Adam Schiff’s (D., Calif.) opening statements during the impeachment hearings held by his committee.  

Air Force Keeping Up Presence Operations Over South China Sea

By Dzirhan Mahadzir{ } ~ Though they don’t get as much attention as the Navy’s, U.S. Air Force has been conducting its own regular freedom of navigation flight operations in the South China Sea… Commander of Pacific Air Forces Gen. Charles Q. Brown told reporters on Friday. “We’ve been flying in and around the South China Sea for really about the past 15 years, and I would probably tell you we’ve done some as recently as this week. It doesn’t probably get as much press as what you hear about with the freedom of navigation and the maritime environment, but we do hear about it because we do get calls from Beijing,” he said in a media conference with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. Brown did not say what specific activity took place last week but said that the U.S. has a number of air activities in the South China Sea, be it with the U.S. Navy’s P-8 aircraft or with the Air Force’s bomber, U-2 and RQ-4 Global Hawk fleets. Goldfein later added that the U.S. will continue to operate both in the air and at sea, in international waters and international airspace, and keep those areas open for others as well. While the Air Force has since the end of the Cold War shrunk by 3,000 aircraft and about 300,000 personnel, its footprint and posture in the Pacific has remained unchanged, he said. Goldfein also stressed the U.S. commitment to its partners in the region. The service’s top general said the commander of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force told him that the JASDF has “intercepted more aircraft this year than they have in several years combined. So we stand shoulder to shoulder with them as the challenge in the region continues” and Japanese air space is threatened. In regard to whether readiness would be affected by the suspension of exercises in South Korea, Brown stated that readiness remained high despite the suspension, as tactical-level training continued as normal… 

Iran fills the Vacuum Created by Trump’s Withdrawal

by Con Coughlin{ } ~ The threat by a senior commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps this week “to flatten Tel Aviv” from Iranian-controlled bases in southern Lebanon provides arguably the most graphic example of the deepening dangers… the region faces as a result of the Trump administration’s decision to scale down its military presence. With next year’s presidential election contest now very much the primary focus of President Donald J. Trump’s attention, many of America’s long-standing allies in the Middle East are becoming increasingly concerned at the president’s desire to improve his electoral prospects by scaling down America’s military footprint. Mr Trump has made no secret of his dislike of America’s long-standing military involvement in the Middle East, which dates back decades, and which Mr Trump claims has cost the American taxpayer a mind-blowing $8 trillion. His attitude towards the region was best summed up by the remark he made in October following his unilateral decision to withdraw US forces from northern Syria, when he said: “Let someone else fight over this long bloodstained sand.” To this end, Mr Trump has hastened the withdrawal of American forces from Syria, and is actively seeking to reduce America’s military presence elsewhere in the region, with troop withdrawals under active consideration in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, as former US Vice President Dick Cheney warned earlier this week, the US withdrawal of troops from key areas of the Middle East is causing deep alarm among some of America’s allies. Speaking at a Gulf security forum earlier this week, Mr Cheney, 78, who served as Vice President in the Bush administration from 2001-09, warned that the US was in danger of departing from the “sound traditions” of American foreign policy, thereby playing into the hands of hostile states such as like Russia, Syria and Iran…

Washington Post Reports What We Already Knew About Afghanistan

Harold Hutchison:  A new report by The Washington Post about the state of Afghanistan is being treated like a bombshell. In reality, though, we knew much of what that report was saying already … and the response of many Patriots who have followed the war should be, “No kidding. Did the Post also figure out that water is wet, the Pope is Catholic, and bears poop in the woods?”

We ran through America’s options in that war-torn country — and none have been really good. We’ve discussed what lessons we should learn from the Global War on Terror, which has gone on for 18 years, and will go on for more. George W. Bush had some things right, but his mistakes of omission have left us in a bad spot. Barack scumbag/liar-nObama’s efforts made things far worse.The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has been conducting a lot of reports — and has documented how many times the money spent has not been spent well. It’s disheartening. But worse is that these expenditures were approved by Congress, and often part of these lucrative deals find their way into the campaign coffers of those either in Congress or running to be in Congress.Then again, if you have followed this war closely, then you know all this already. Many Americans haven’t — largely because since 2012, much of the fighting has been passed on to Special Operations Command, and casualty counts went down. Still, it’s not unheard of for some of these operators to have 10 tours or more.Yet there was no buildup of forces to ease the burden on the special operators. The United States once had the 6th and 8th Special Forces Groups in the active-duty Army, and the 11th and 12th Special Forces Groups in the Army Reserve. The Navy SEALs planned to increase their force structure, but that is on hold. Even then, the SEAL expansion didn’t get more SEALs on the front lines; it just added more units that the same number of SEALs will have to fill in.Looking at that, as well as the controversies that led to pardons last month, as well as the dishonorable treatment of the heroes who got Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other high-ranking terrorists to talk  among other things, make it seem like America is not serious about winning the Global War on Terror.When America asks the CIA to come up with a way to get terrorists to talk, and the CIA does so, gets it legally cleared, then actually executes the procedures and succeeds in getting information, the response should not be to turn on those we sent to do the job in the first place. But politicians did exactly that. Those who took the risk became villains, while those who sanctimoniously second-guessed them in the safety of offices and with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight became heroes.More than 2,300 Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice and nearly 21,000 have been wounded in Afghanistan. Countless others suffer the invisible wounds of post-traumatic stress disorder. What is most frustrating is that we will see precious little — if any — accountability for the failure to succeed, or to even allow our troops to win.  ~The Patriot Post  


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