Wednesday Top News Executive Summary

Media Editors: Health Care

scumbag/liar-nOBAMACARE DEATH BED? “Federal appeals judges in New Orleans are entertaining the idea of striking some or all of scumbag/liar-nObamacare, appearing uncertain during oral arguments Tuesday over whether Congress intended to toss the entire healthcare law. … The judges didn’t say when they would rule. Regardless of the outcome, the case is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court and could be decided right around the 2020 elections.” (Washington Examiner)

REBATE REVAMP: “President Trump promised to reduce Americans’ pharmacy bills — and he’s delivering. His administration will soon finalize a rule that restructures the drug supply chain and ensure that tens of billions of dollars of hidden rebates and discounts flow to patients. The rule affects Medicare Part D, the federal prescription drug benefit for 45 million seniors and people with disabilities.” (InsideSources)

Government & Poltics

DIPLOMATIC MALFEASANCE: “The British ambassador to the U.S. who criticized President Trump has resigned, the U.K. Foreign Office said Wednesday. Ambassador Kim Darroch — in documents leaked in recent days — slammed the Trump administration as ‘diplomatically clumsy and inept,’ and said he doubted it would become ‘substantially more normal.’” (Fox News)

THE HALLS OF INJUSTICE: According to the Associated Press “The Justice Department can’t replace nine lawyers so late in the dispute over whether to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census without explaining why it’s doing so, a judge says.” In essence, U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman is barring the Trump administration from correcting the so-called issue that Justice John Roberts flagged when ruling against the citizenship question. Talk about having your cake and eating it too. By the way, 55% of Hispanic voters support the citizenship question.

A TWITTERIZED MESS: “The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that President Trump cannot block Twitter users from his official account, finding that the practice is discriminatory,” reports The Hill. On the one hand, public officials aren’t necessarily bound by the same set of rules. On the other hand, Twitter is a private company, and this lawsuit should have been directed at Twitter, not the president. Ironically, Rep. commie-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has also blocked people on Twitter and is consequently being sued for it.

MOVING EVER-CLOSER TO AN OVERHAUL: “President Trump’s nomination of Washington, D.C., attorney Daniel Bress to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday on a party-line vote, giving Trump seven appointees to a court he has regularly denounced. … With Bress’ confirmation, the court will have 16 judges appointed by Democratic presidents, 12 by Republicans and one vacancy. Judges Carlos Bea and Jay Bybee … have announced plans to transfer to senior status with reduced caseloads … creating two more vacancies for Trump to fill.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

Other Notables

FOR THE RECORD: Seven facts about scumbag/liar-nObama’s immigration record leftists refuse to admit (PJ Media)

GUN-CONTROL AGENDA MISSES THE MARK: “Less than two hours after beginning a special session called in response to a mass shooting, Virginia lawmakers abruptly adjourned Tuesday and postponed any movement on gun laws until after the November election.” (Associated Press)

YOUR MOVE, CHINA: “The Trump administration is selling $2.2 billion worth of tanks and missiles to Taiwan but has delayed exports of new F-16s over budget shortfalls in Taipei.” (The Washington Free Beacon

Closing Arguments

POLICY: The too-good-to-be-true way to fight the Chinese military (Bloomberg Opinion)

POLICY: How not asking about citizenship on the census gives Democrats more votes in Congress (The Federalist)

HUMOR: Democrat Party changes mind on border wall after realizing it will keep people from leaving when we switch to socialism (The Babylon Bee)

~The Patriot Post


US Approves $2.2 Billion Sale of Tanks, Missiles to Taiwan

By Bill Gertz

{ } ~ The Trump administration is selling $2.2 billion worth of tanks and missiles to Taiwan but has delayed exports of new F-16s over budget shortfalls in Taipei… The main piece of the latest arms package announced Monday is the sale of 108 M1A2 Abrams frontline tanks and associated equipment, including tank rounds, machine guns, and tank-related gear. “The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region,” said Army Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper in a transmittal notice to Congress. Hooper is director of the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency that is in charge of arms sales. “This proposed sale of M1A2 tanks will contribute to the modernization of Taiwan’s main battle tank fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense,” he added. The tank sale will strengthen Taiwan’s military capabilities and will not alter the military balance in the region, Hooper stated. In addition to the tanks, the Pentagon notified Congress of the sale of 250 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Taiwan. The Stinger sale is one response by the U.S. and Taiwanese to China’s recent decision to unilaterally begin commercial and military aircraft flights along the dividing line through the middle of the 100-mile-wide Taiwan Strait that has forced Taiwan to increase air defense operations over concerns the increased air traffic could be used as cover for a future air assault on the island…


House Defense Bill Would Fail to Rebuild the Military

by Will Coudret

{ } ~ The House Armed Services Committee needs to do more if it’s serious about continuing to rebuild the military and meeting the challenges outlined in the president’s National Defense Strategy… It all starts with the budget. Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., has proposed a version of the National Defense Authorization Act funding our nation’s defense at $733 billion—$17 billion short of the president’s budget request. Last week, the Senate passed its version of the defense spending bill by an 86-8 margin. It would provide $746.4 billion for defense, a 4.2% increase over 2019 levels. The House should strive to meet this level of funding and be on par with the president’s request. The amount authorized by the House Armed Services Committee represents only a 2.4% increase over 2019, which is below the 3% to 5% above inflation growth that the bipartisan Commission on the National Defense Strategy deemed necessary. One of the salient questions in rebuilding the military is what to do with our air power. Both the Senate and the president have called for the production of eight initial F-15EX fighter aircraft. The House has authorized the production of two aircraft as prototypes. In order to get production beyond these initial two planes, the secretary of defense is required to submit a report to Congress detailing specific plans on how the Air Force will develop and field the new aircraft. While it’s a better choice than buying eight aircraft, the purchase of any F-15EXs is a mistake. As stated by John Venable, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, the aircraft will be inadequate against the advancing technology of surface-to-air missiles, and will be restricted to use only in the continental United States. The $941 million set to buy the F-15EXs should instead go toward fielding more F-35s, an aircraft much more capable of surviving today’s high-threat environment… No matter the issue rebuilding the military is more important.


Trump Sanctions Hezbollah Agents in Lebanese Government

By Adam Kredo

{ } ~ The Trump administration on Tuesday issued a bevy of new sanctions on a terror network of Lebanese Hezbollah agents who have been performing “Iran’s bidding” across the region… according to the Treasury Department. The terror network reaches into the upper echelons of the Lebanese government, according to Trump administration officials seeking to disrupt the network’s activities and further penalize the Iranian regime for its regional support of jihadi militants. The three individuals hit with new sanctions are accused of using their positions in the Lebanese government to advance Hezbollah’s terror ideology and the interests of the hardline Iranian regime. The new sanctions come as the Trump administration seeks to use federal resources to thwart Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Iran is poised to cross major thresholds on the amount of nuclear material it stockpiles inside the country, a breach of the landmark nuclear deal that Trump withdrew the U.S. from last year. “Hezbollah uses its operatives in Lebanon’s parliament to manipulate institutions in support of the terrorist group’s financial and security interests, and to bolster Iran’s malign activities” Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement accompanying the new sanctions. “Hezbollah threatens the economic stability and security of Lebanon and the wider region, all at a cost to the Lebanese people,” Mandelker said. “The United States will continue to support efforts of the Lebanese government to protect its institutions from exploitation by Iran and its terrorist proxies, and to secure a more peaceful and prosperous future for Lebanon.” The new designations will hit Hezbollah members of parliament Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Ra’d, as well as a Hezbollah security official, Wafiq Safa, “for acting for or on behalf of Hezbollah.”…


Appeals court rules Trump violated First Amendment by blocking Twitter users

By Ronn Blitzer

{ } ~ A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that President Trump is not allowed to block people on Twitter over statements he does not like… affirming a lower court’s decision that declared the president’s account a “public forum.” In a Tuesday decision, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals noted that because Trump uses Twitter to communicate with the public about his administration, and his account is open to the public for people to comment on his posts, it warrants constitutional free speech protection under the First Amendment. “We do conclude,” the opinion said, “that the First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise‐open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.” According to court documents, Trump admitted that he blocked the plaintiffs in the case in 2017 after they posted tweets that “criticized him or his policies.” Once they were blocked, they were no longer able to view Trump’s tweets while logged in, and no longer had access to reply to tweets or view comment threads on Trump’s Twitter page. The First Amendment prohibits government discrimination against a person’s free speech based on their viewpoint. Trump claimed that his Twitter account is private, so the First Amendment should not apply. The court said that Trump’s account was indeed private before he became president, but that changed once he took office and used it for official business, as it now displays “all the trappings of an official, state‐run account.” The court said that once Trump leaves office, his account will be considered private again. The Justice Department, meanwhile, stands by Trump’s position and indicated an appeal may be forthcoming…


Iraq’s De-militiafication Is a Sham

by Jonathan Spyer

{ } ~ Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi this week announced that the Shia militias of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Shaabi are to be fully integrated into the Iraqi security forces… According to the statement announcing this decision, “All Popular Mobilization Forces are to operate as an indivisible part of the armed forces and be subject to the same regulations.” The prime minister’s statement went on to clarify that headquarters, offices and independent checkpoints maintained by the militias are to be shut down. Militias failing to comply with this directive by July 31 will be considered illegal organizations. Those wishing to continue under their old names as political parties must disband their military component. The Shia militias are the main instrument of Iranian policy on Iraqi soil. Not all groups involved in the 150,000 strong PMU are Iran-linked, but the largest and most consequential groupings are. These include the Badr Organization, led by Hadi al-Ameri, Ktaeb Hezbollah, headed by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, and Hezbollah al-Nujaba. All the above-mentioned groupings are franchises of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. All were established by, and are controlled by, Iran, answering directly to the IRGC’s Quds Force and its leader, Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The Iraqi announcement comes in the wake of a sharp increase in anonymous attacks almost certainly carried out by the militias on US targets in Iraq in recent weeks. These included a mortar attack on the Balad air base in Iraq’s Salah al-Din province on June 14 the base hosts US troops; a mortar attack on the Taji base which also hosts US advisers on June 17; and a Katyusha rocket attack on the Burjesia site on June 19 this area hosts facilities maintained by a number of global oil companies, including Exxon Mobil…


Mini AOC’ Silenced by Death Threats

Arnold Ahlert: For the last few months, Americans who still have a sense of humor have been amused by the video postings of eight-year-old Ava Martinez. The child actress, who did parodies of Rep. commie-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), garnered millions of views on social media. Apparently this was too much for some members of the oh-so tolerant Left. Last Wednesday, the Martinez family announced that due to death threats, Ava would no longer be impersonating commie-AOC, and that all the existing videos would be taken down. “The Left’s Harassment and death threats have gone too far for our family,” Ava’s stepfather, Salvatore Schachter, tweeted. “We have been getting calls on our personal phone numbers. For our safety and for our child’s safety, we deleted all Mini AOC accounts.”

Schachter further revealed that when Ava’s parodies were posted online, the comments they received were “increasingly personal, dark, and dangerous.” He added, “She’s disappointed at not doing Mini AOC going forward, but we explained that this is for the best and she’s okay with it.”

Is America okay with it? Since when is a media-anointed, self-aggrandizing politician wholly immune from the consequences of her self-inflicted inanity? This kid was spot on, right down the interspersion of the word “like” within many of commie-AOC’s pompous assertions.

A video of Ava addressing the commie-AOC-promoted Green New Deal is a classic example. “Like, I want to talk about, like, climate change. Because, like, there’s no doubt cow farts are making the climate change,” Ava states. “Like, in July, the climate was 96 degrees and in February the climate was 36 degrees. OMG, like that’s a huge change in the climate in only” — she pauses to count her fingers — “four months! At this rate, the world is going to end in exactly 12 years.”

How did this all get started? Schachter thought his step-daughter bore a resemblance to the New York congresswoman, and when other family members began referring to her as “Little AOC” he asked her if she wanted to do a video. “She loves acting,” he stated last April, adding that that she and her brother posted their own videos to YouTube. “She’s just a natural performer.”

The public apparently agreed. When Schachter posted the Green New Deal parody at his @SickenLaw twitter site, it initially received a whopping 450,000 views and thousands of shares. “I thought it would gain attention, because she’s adorable, but not like this,” he marveled.

Schachter noted that Ava didn’t know who commie-AOC was when she began making the videos, but it didn’t take long for her to nail the part. And when the youngster wears red lipstick and dons glasses similar to commie-AOC’s, her resemblance to the congresswoman is impossible to miss.

Last May, Ava appeared on Fox Business to discuss her impersonations, revealing her dad and her uncle encouraged her to start making videos for exactly that reason. “They thought I looked like her,” she told host Stuart Varney, “so they said I should start making videos teasing her.”

Even then, the rumblings of leftist disdain were becoming apparent. Newsweek columnist Ben Fearnow referred to Ava as “the darling of conservative news outlets,” and further insisted her teasing was “at commie-Ocasio-Cortez’s expense” and that the “jokes appear to be somewhat scripted, and there are on-camera clues that the 8-year-old California girl is having plenty of input from her relatives.”

Fearnow added disapprovingly, “Her Instagram and Twitter accounts both appear to be operated by her mother, and the account follows an overwhelming number of Fox News handles.”

So what? Like so many leftists, Fearnow apparently believes appearing on Fox, or having an affinity for its programming, is somehow delegitimizing. “Faux News” is the typically derisive term leftists apply to the network, which, no doubt to their chagrin, has just marked its 70th consecutive quarter as the most-watched cable news network among total day and primetime viewers.

Moreover it’s no secret Ava’s parents were involved in her now-aborted career. In an interview with the Gateway Pundit published on May 13, Schachter explained Ava’s videos were “very much so a family effort.” He explained, “I write the skits and Ava’s mom, who has a great sense of humor, directs the skits and helps write them while my brother adds some punchlines as well. Ava will improvise some of the lines, interjecting and removing some to make them her own, and it comes out much better than how it’s originally written. Ava’s brothers and sister help her rehearse and enjoy watching her perform.”

And who’s kidding whom? commie-AOC is a “target-rich” persona. In a November 2018 Facebook posting, she asked her supporters to help Democrats take back “all three chambers of Congress,” before further “clarifying” that she meant the “presidency, the Senate and the House.” Hopefully by now she knows there are three branches of government, and only two chambers of Congress.

Regardless, Schachter and company couldn’t resist. “I’m going to talk about like the three branches of the U.S. government: The Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria,” Ava joked, while holding up four fingers in yet another hilarious video.

That was then. Today her Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts have been shut down, and columnist Monica Showalter believes it’s no coincidence. She surmises a comment made by Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) last week advocating for the arrest and prosecution of “people who are online making fun of members of Congress” holds the key to understanding what’s really going on here.

As Showalter explains, Wilson is an “unusually close ally of Rep. commie-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” and she wonders if the death threats and doxxings might have originated with some member of either politician’s political machines. “It would be useful to know who did them,” Showalter adds. “In fact, since it’s a crime involving a child, it probably ought to be investigated as a crime.”

Showalter shouldn’t hold her breath. When Wilson can call for the evisceration of the First Amendment — without a peep of blowback from her fellow Democrats — one might conclude that many party members harbor the same inclinations. Moreover, the very same Democrats, including commie-AOC, who rail about the “hate” directed at illegal-alien children have no interest in protecting an American kid who isn’t cannon fodder for the progressive cause.

“At a minimum, we can surmise that congressional leftists are really very angry at anyone making fun of them, even a little kid,” Showalter adds. “It’s important to note that Mini-Ocasio-Cortez was very very effective at her ridicule of commie-Ocasio-Cortez and every leftist knows Saul Alinsky’s dictum that ridicule is a powerful tool.”

Schachter has a parting message for this who threatening his step-daughter. “The world has seen Ava’s beauty, talent, and charm, which was the whole reason for Mini AOC to begin with and no amount of hate or anger will change that,” he told Fox News. “Also, like Ava says, ‘Try using your words.’”

Here’s a better message for those who would threaten to kill a child because they can’t handle what she says: When you’re afraid of an eight-year-old, you’ve reached the bottom of the fascist barrel. ~The Patriot Post


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