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April 2: Fox News: California police take a “wipe” out of crime!
Beverly Hills officers took a “wipe” out of crime Tuesday after pulling over a stolen SUV and finding 192 rolls of toilet paper – a much sought-after commodity as people hoard supplies amid the  coronavirus pandemic.  Beverly Hills police posted a photo of officers searching the white SUV on social media. Two boxes stuffed with rolls of toilet paper are pictured outside the vehicle.  Police arrested the driver. It was unclear whether the toilet paper was also stolen.

April 2: The Daily Caller: Trump: Russia and Saudis considering cutting crude
oil production, good news for USA petroleum industry
Oil prices rallied Thursday after U.S. President Trump hinted his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told him they might reduce crude production.  The two countries have been in an oil production/price war.  Trump said he “spoke to my friend MBS (Saudi Crown Prince), who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels.”  The Dow Jones industrial average jumped more than 500 points after Trump’s remarks. The president’s bold talk provided hopes of a reprieve to a beleaguered oil industry, which saw the price of oil fall roughly 60% over the past month.

April 2: The Washington Examiner: With COVID-19 raging Pelosi & Schiff ramp up another investigation
The team is back in action. On Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. The new panel will have the authority to investigate any aspect of the virus emergency and the Trump administration's handling of it.   Pelosi's announcement came a day after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called for a 9/11-style independent commission to investigate "mistakes" in the virus response. Shortly after that, Schiff told the Washington Post, House Democrats must investigate the Trump administration's handling of virus testing and the government's distribution of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.

April 2: The Daily Caller: Biden: Ignoring Chinese under reporting says U.S. has
more cases of COVID-19 than any other country
Former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that America has “more coronavirus cases than anywhere in the world,” ignoring China’s widely acknowledged undercounting of coronavirus cases and deaths.  Biden, who has repeatedly spread misinformation about the federal coronavirus response, criticized President Donald Trump in a statement released Thursday

April 1; Fox News: Trump:  I can’t confirm China’s numbers because of possible under reporting
President Trump said Wednesday he could not confirm the veracity of the numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths being reported by China, as he warned Americans to brace for more “horrific” days in dealing with the virus.  While Trump said the numbers being reported by Beijing “seem to be a little on the light side,” the president and National Security Adviser Robert C. O'Brien said they currently have no way to confirm the number of COVID-19 cases being reported by the Chinese government. The comments follow accusations from critics that China is underreporting its cases.

April 1: The Daily Caller: Tom Cotton Blasts ‘Apologists’ In Media For Accepting Chinese
Propaganda Surrounding Coronavirus Origins
Senator Cotton (R-AR) said it is wholly appropriate to question whether the coronavirus outbreak originated from a biochemical lab in Wuhan, China, in an exclusive interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.  Noting the Chinese government’s dishonesty surrounding the outbreak from its earliest stages, Cotton criticized the media for their inclination to accept Chinese propaganda at face value.  “The mainstream media are largely apologists for Chinese communists and they will accept Chinese communist propaganda,” Cotton said. “They immediately try to accuse anyone who raises these reasonable questions as conspiracy theorists that are accusing China of creating a biological weapon.”

April 1: The Washington TimesTrump: Iran could be planning an attack on US forces
President Trump on Wednesday suggested that Iran could be planning a “sneak attack” on U.S. troops or assets in Iraq and warned Tehran would pay a “heavy price” if an attack is carried out.  The Trump administration has for months suggested that any Iranian, or Iran-backed militia attacks against Americans in the region would warrant harsh U.S. military retaliation, but Mr. Trump’s surprise announcement indicates new intelligence of a potential threat.  “Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq. If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!” Mr. Trump said in a tweet shortly after a closed-door intelligence briefing.

April 1: The Washington Examiner; Hunter Biden can’t deny impropriety any
more than he can deny paternity
In a recent interview Hunter Biden said his only error was in showing the “poor judgment” of not realizing his board position with a dicey foreign corporation might give “a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father. That’s where I made the mistake.”   The Washington Examiner column notes there is a difference between doing something illegal and something that’s unethical.  The huge ethical problem with taking Burisma’s highly paid board position was that it unambiguously put a cloud over important U.S. diplomacy. When Biden joined Burisma's board on April 18, 2014, his father was already well-ensconced as the Obama administration’s point man on policy toward Ukraine, one of the world's leading diplomatic hot spots. Worse, Biden the son had no obviously relevant experience for the position.

March 31: The Washington Free Beacon: Idaho bars biological male athletes f
rom competing in all-female athletics

Idaho governor Brad Little (R.) on Monday signed the Fairness in Women's Sports Act to prohibit biologically male students from participating in all-female sports.  "Athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls shall not be open to students of the male sex," the  legislation states.  The law cites differences in male and female physiology that results in distinct athletic capabilities.  "Under this bill, boys and men will not be able to take the place of girls and women in sports because it is not fair," state representative Barbara Ehardt said.

March 30: The Washington Times: China resumes allowing the selling of
wild animals, like bats, thought to be the origin of the coronavirus

Brit reporters say Communist China is permitting wild animal markets to resume selling bats, believed to be the source for the deadly coronavirus now killing people across the globe, including over 2,500 Americans to date.  A number of scientists say it is likely that bats either infected other market animals or humans directly. Bats carry a variety of coronaviruses and are blamed on for the 2002 SARS coronavirus epidemic that also originated in a Chinese market.

March 30: The UK Daily Mail: What happened to social distancing;
Crowds gather to see hospital ship Comfort arrive in NYC
Crowds gathered to watch the USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds for patients, arriving in New York City to alleviate the strain on the city's hospitals as it continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic - despite being warned to stay at home. The ship arrived at New York Harbor on Monday morning. It will welcome patients who do not have coronavirus but who still need care in order to clear out the city's other hospitals for those who have tested positive for COVID-19. It came as the death toll in New York City hit 790 and more than 36,000 cases were recorded. New York City is the epicenter of the virus in the US.

March 20: Breitbart News: Pelosi wants to investigate Trump’s response to coronavirus while in February she dismissed the threat during a visit to San Francisco’s Chinatown
House Speaker Pelosi wants to investigate President Trump for his actions in the lead-up to the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S, but in February she dismissed the threat with a visit to San Francisco’s Chinatown.  “We want to be vigilant about what is out there in other places,” Pelosi said to reporters in February as her entourage packed the sidewalk. “We want to be careful about how we deal with it, be we do want to say to people, ‘Come to Chinatown. Here we are. We’re careful, safe. Come join us.'”

March 29: The Washington Examiner: Brits reportedly furious with China
disinformation campaign over the coronavirus
The British government is reportedly furious with China over its handling of the coronavirus epidemic, particularly with the disinformation campaign that the U.S. Army is responsible for the COVID-19 virus outbreak.  Senior British government officials say China risks becoming a “pariah state” for its handling of the virus, which was first discovered in the city of Wuhan,. “There is a disgusting disinformation campaign going on and it is unacceptable. They [the Chinese government] know they have got this badly wrong and rather than owning it they are spreading lies,” a source said to the Daily Mail. 

March 29: Fox News: Trump predicts “peak” of deaths in about two weeks;
social distancing guidelines extended through April 30th

Speaking at a contentious White House coronavirus news briefing on Sunday,  President Trump declared that "the peak in death rate" in the coronavirus pandemic "is likely to hit in two weeks," and said the federal government will be extending its social-distancing guidelines through April 30.  Saying his earlier hope was that the country could reopen by Easter was "just an aspiration," Trump added: "We can expect that be June 1, we will be well on our way to recovery" and that "a lot of great things will be happening."

March 29:
The Daily Caller: ICE takes deportees to Central America b
rings back stranded US citizens on the return trip
ICE Air Operations, the air transportation arm of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has so far rescued 466 U.S. citizens stranded in the Northern Triangle region of Central America amid the coronavirus pandemic.  Following orders of final removal, ICE deported Salvadoran and Honduran nationals back to their home countries on Friday. On the return leg of these flights, the agency took aboard U.S. citizens who were stranded due to COVID-19 lockdowns, according to an ICE press release.

March 29: The Wall Street Journal: Saudis intercept ballistic missiles from Yemen terrorist group
The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said early on Sunday that the kingdom's air defenses intercepted two ballistic missiles on Saturday night launched by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group towards Riyadh and the city of Jizan, Saudi state news agency (SPA) said citing the coalition's spokesman.  The coalition's spokesman said that no fatalities had been recorded so far but that some shrapnel to fall on residential neighborhoods in the two cities.  The spokesman added that firing missiles at this time by the Houthis and Iranian Revolutionary Guards showed the real threat the group and Iranian regime supporting it pose, adding that this escalation does not reflect the group's announcement that it is welcoming a ceasefire.

March 28: Fox News: Trump: Quarantining NYC, NJ and CT should NOT be necessary
President Trump on Saturday night said the administration would not be issuing a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and some of Connecticut as part of the efforts to curb the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.  "A quarantine will not be necessary," he tweeted, noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would issue a "travel advisory" later in the evening.  The CDC shortly after issued a Domestic Travel Advisory urging against "non-essential domestic travel" in the tri-state area for 14 days.

March28: The Daily Caller: World Health Doc cuts off interview when question
suggested Taiwan is not part of China

A senior World Health Organization (WHO) official appeared to pretend he couldn’t hear a reporter and then cancelled the call when she implied Taiwan was a separate country from China. The reporter asked whether the policy (of not allowing Taiwan to be a member of the WHO) might change during the coronavirus pandemic.  “Will the WHO reconsider Taiwan’s membership?” the reporter asked.  It has been widely reported that senior WHO leadership has sympathy, if not ties to, communist China.

March 28: The Washington Free Beacon: Kennedy Center: musicians will no longer
receive pay checks after the April 3 even with the $25 billion earmark in the
Chinese coronavirus stimulus bill
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts informed members of the National Symphony Orchestra that they would no longer be paid just hours after President Trump signed a $25 million taxpayer bailout for the cultural center.  Congress included $25 billion for the Kennedy Center in its $2+ trillion Chinese coronavirus stimulus package.  On Friday night nearly 100 musicians were notified by email that they will no longer receive paychecks after April 3, according to an email from the orchestra's Covid-19 Advisory Committee.  The apparent “abrupt email” said that librarians and musicians will not be paid again until the Center reopens.

March 27: Politico:  “Special deals” in the stimulus package
- Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) managed got a minimum assistance figure for every state — $1.5 billion — to make sure small states like his weren’t left out in the legislation. 
- Casinos will be able to tap government loans for disaster assistance, a payback after casinos were blocked from receiving tax breaks extended to other businesses after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
- Travel agents will be able to apply for part of the $25 billion in loans and loan guarantees reserved for the airlines.
- The final package creates a new tax benefit for student loan borrowers whose employers help them pay off their debt. Under the bill, a company could pay up to $5,250 of an employee’s student loan payments each year on a tax-free basis.
- The deal includes language making it easier for Congress to dole out money for harbor dredging by exempting from discretionary spending caps the Army Corps of Engineers funding provided through the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. The provision is a boon for ports that need dredging work.

March 27: Market Watch: House passes $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package by voice vote
The House of Representatives on Friday approved a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package in a voice vote, with the move coming after Kentucky GOP Rep. Thomas Massie’s push for a recorded vote -- that would create a record of how each member voted -- failed.. The legislation already has passed the Senate and is expected to be signed into law quickly by President Donald Trump.

March 27: MSN.com: Rep. Thomas Massie calling on roll call vote on the
$2 Trillion Chinese coronavirus stimulus bill
U.S. Representative Thomas Massie enraged President Donald Trump on Friday as he has leaders of Congress worried he will delay a planned Friday voice vote on a $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic rescue plan, drawing calls from the White House to throw him out of the Republican Party. But even though requiring a roll call vote might delay the passage of the stimulus package, it would also create a record of how each member voted.  With things that don’t related to the Chinese coronavirus in the bill, this could be damaging for some members of Congress come election time.

March 27: The Washington Free Beacon: PRC gives cold shoulder to U.S.
journalist request to
remain in China
China hit out at what it called "biased" reporting on Friday in a frosty response to a request by three major U.S. newspapers (NYT, WSJ, and Washington Post) to reverse the expulsion of several of their China-based journalists.  The three newspapers published an open letter earlier this urging China to reconsider it’s decision, saying it was "uniquely damaging and reckless" at a time when the world is sharing the burden of fighting the coronavirus.  China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it welcomed media and reporters from all countries to report in China "in accordance with laws and regulations" but that it did not accept "the arrogance and prejudice" it said was revealed in the publisher’s letter.   The statement did not directly answer the newspapers' request but suggested Beijing was in no mood to accept it.

March 26: The Washington Examiner: DOJ charges Venezuela’s Maduro with narco-terrorism
Attorney General William Barr announced narco-terrorism charges against Venezuelan socialist leader Nicolas Maduro for his role in facilitating the global drug trade in coordination with the Colombia-based terrorist group known as the FARC.   The Justice Department said on Thursday that Maduro formed and leads his own drug ring, dubbed the Cartel of the Sun, and gives the FARC free reign to operate in parts of Venezuela.   Investigators said Maduro and his co-conspirators were being charged with conspiracy to commit narco-terrorism, conspiracy to important hundreds of tons of cocaine into the United States, and a variety of weapons charges. The Justice Department said Maduro expressly indented on flooding the U.S. with cocaine to harm the health and well-being of the nation. The chief justice of Venezuela was also charged with international money laundering.

March 25: The Washington Times: By unanimous consent Senate passes $2.2 trillion
Chinese coronavirus stimulus package
The Senate passed the $2.2 trillion emergency stimulus package to assist the overly stressed health care system and tumbling economy Wednesday night. The bipartisan deal passed on a 96-0 vote. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted the unanimous vote as a victory for bipartisanship, despite a drawn-out partisan negotiation process. With the country over a trillion dollars in debt the question some are asking is what will be the long-term impact with an additional $2.2 trillion added to the existing debt.

March 25: The Daily Caller: Former presidential economic advisor opposes
direct payments in Senate stimulus package
Sephen Moore , former economic adviser to President Trump, explained why he, along with economist Art Laffer, wrote an op-ed opposed to the direct payments in the Phase 3 stimulus plan, how Trump settled on April 12, Easter Sunday, as his optimistic date for ending the coronavirus shutdown and more. 

March 25: Fox News: Senate coronavirus stimulus bill contains big bucks for
non-virus-related projects
The Senate emergency stimulus compromise package allocates $75 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the nonprofit that funds National Public Radio (NPR), offers programming featuring the children's character "Big Bird" and supports other public stations.  The massive payout -- which the draft bill says would "make fiscal stabilization grants to public television and radio stations facing declines in non-federal revenues" -- is less than the $300 million that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had proposed in her own coronavirus stimulus proposal. The money nevertheless drew complaints from senators who called the spending unrelated to the coronavirus, and who have long accused NPR of overt political bias.

March 24: The Washington Free Beacon: Senator Scott  rips Pelosi and Dems for
distractions in the coronavirus stimulus package
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) on Tuesday criticized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democrats for slowing down the progress on the coronavirus stimulus package for partisan reasons.  "For absolutely no reason, the speaker's passion for partisan hogwash started causing the type of delays that doesn't simply cripple our economy, but it imperils our health care response to people who are infected by the coronavirus," Scott said on the Senate floor.

March 23: MSN.com: Trump considers relaxing stay-at-home
policy; cure shouldn’t be worse than the virus

President Trump on Sunday night said that the government would reassess the recommended period for keeping businesses shut and millions of workers at home after this week, amid millions of job losses caused by the efforts to contain the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.  “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” Mr. Trump tweeted in all capital letters shortly before midnight. “AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!”

March 23: The Daily Caller: “We are open:” Cleveland abortion clinic
defies health department order to stop during coronavirus outbreak
An Ohio abortion clinic is refusing to cease abortions during the coronavirus pandemic despite an order from the Ohio Department of Health.  A Preterm employee confirmed on Monday that the clinic will not stop performing abortions, despite a Wednesday order from the Ohio Department of Health mandating that all non-essential and elective surgeries cease in order to preserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers.  This was followed by a Friday letter from the Ohio Attorney General ordering two specific Ohio abortion clinics to stop providing any services that require PPEs.

March 23: The Washington Free Beacon: Iranian officials steal $1 billion in funds
earmarked to help fight the coronavirus
Iranian regime officials stole more than $1 billion meant to help the country's people fight the spread of coronavirus, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  European countries intended for more than $1 billion cash for medical supplies to go to the Iranian people, who have been ravaged by the virus. But American officials say regime leaders instead pocketed the money and are now using it to protect themselves from the virus as it spreads throughout the population. This includes hoarding medical supplies that were meant to aid Iranian citizens.

March 23: Fox News: Senate Democrats shoot down stimulus package for second time
Tensions flared on the Senate floor Monday as lawmakers viscerally clashed on camera over phase three of a coronavirus response package, with Democrats blocking Republican efforts to advance the massive stimulus bill for the second day in a row.  Leaving the legislation in limbo once more, the Senate stalled over the package Monday afternoon on a 49-46 vote. It needed 60 votes to advance.  Some believe, given the price-tag of $1+ trillion, that the logjam may not be a bad thing.

March 23: The Washington Examiner: FDA relaxing rules to help auto manufacturers
make ventilators to help combat the coronavirus
The Food and Drug Administration temporarily relaxed regulations on manufacturing regulators to give private companies more flexibility to build medical supplies needed to combat the coronavirus.  Ford, General Motors, and Tesla are adapting their facilities from building automobiles to pumping out regulators for hospitals struggling under an influx of COVID-19 patients. The federal government reportedly is simultaneously easing regulations to help the car companies pass through the bureaucratic process to make medical supplies faster. This includes easing restrictions on sourcing materials, allowing companies to buy ventilator components from a broader range of suppliers.

March 23: The Washington Times: Trump partnering with private sector making USA
supercomputers available for coronavirus research
The Trump administration has partnered with the private sector to make the nation’s supercomputing capabilities available to researchers fighting the coronavirus.  The White House Office of Science and Technology and the Department of Energy formed the new partnership on Sunday with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, IBM and Microsoft.  Also participating in the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium are five national laboratories, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

March 22: The Hill: Democrats are getting nervous about
delaying primary elections

Democrats are increasingly nervous about the coronavirus pandemic upending the Democratic primary calendar.  As more and more states postpone their primaries — delaying their elections as far back as June — some Democrats say that it will make the job of defeating President Trump more difficult.

March 22: The Associated Press:  “Chinese virus” arrives in Gaza
The arrival of the coronavirus in the Gaza Strip, an impoverished enclave where the health care system has been gutted by years of conflict, raised fears Sunday the pandemic may soon prey on some of the most vulnerable populations in the world.  Authorities in Gaza, which has been under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power from rival Palestinian forces in 2007, confirmed its first two cases overnight, in returnees who had come from Pakistan.

March 21: The Daily Caller: China applauds Clinton for spreading communist line about
the “Chinese virus”

China’s ambassador to South Africa on Friday cheered former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for advancing the Chinese Communist Party’s official line about the coronavirus not being a “Chinese virus.”  The state-owned propaganda outlet China News noted how Clinton had been quick to criticize Trump calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” and saying his rhetoric was “racist.” It suggested he was desperate to “eclipse his poor response in curbing the virus outbreak.”

March 21: The Washington Times: McConnell: Getting close on coronavirus deal;
test vote planned for Sunday
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said late Saturday that lawmakers are close to striking a final deal on a coronavirus stimulus package, and he said they’re plowing ahead with plans for a first test vote Sunday afternoon.  “The past two days of intense bipartisan talks are very close to a resolution. I believe we are poised to deliver the significant relief that Americans need with the speed that this crisis demands,” Mr. McConnell said in a statement.

March 21: The Washington Examiner: Nunes considers legal action against Schiff
for releasing phone records

Rep. Devin Nunes said he is exploring "all" of his legal options in response to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff subpoenaing and releasing his phone records during the recent Ukraine-related impeachment investigation. Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee said "We're going to look at all the legal remedies that we can take."  The phone call logs, subpoenaed from AT&T and Verizon, appear in a 658-page December report released by House Democrats.

March 20: The Washington Free Beacon: Government reaction to the “Chinese virus”
raises Constitutional issues
California's Gavin Newsom became the first governor to impose an extraordinary lockdown measure Thursday night, directing state residents to remain at home or face fines, except for essential tasks like grocery shopping or walking a pet. Yet it's unclear whether Newsom's order is constitutional. Even if it isn't, judges might allow such extreme steps, at least for a limited period of time.  Some of the legal questions presented by COVID-19 are new, like Newsom's confinement order, or whether the Centers for Disease Control can impose quarantines inside U.S. borders to contain the virus.  Professor James Hodge, a public health law specialist at Arizona State University, said "We've seen lockdowns in China and Italy. The capacity to pull off similar efforts in the United States at any level of government is sketchy at best because of rights to travel, due process and other specific constitutional norms."

March 20: The Washington Examiner: Israeli drug company donating
six million malaria drugs to help combat the Chinese coronavirus in the U.S.

Israel’s leading drug producer announced Thursday it will donate 6 million doses of anti-malaria drugs to the United States in hopes that it could be helpful treating  coronavirus symptoms. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries says the drug could potentially treat people with the coronavirus and will ship the hydroxychloroquine tablets through wholesalers nationwide by the end of the month and will provide 10 million doses in total.  “We are committed to helping to supply as many tablets as possible as demand for this treatment accelerates at no cost,” Teva Executive Vice President Brendan O’Grady said about the move.

March 20: Fox News: Trump:  Suspension of student loan payments
President Trump on Friday announced that the administration would allow federal student loan borrowers to suspend their payments without penalty for at least 60 days, and that standardized test requirements would not be enforced for elementary and high school students amid the coronavirus pandemic.  The president announced earlier this week that he had waived interest on federal student loans “until further notice,” but took that measure to the next level Friday by suspending payments.  “Borrowers should contact their lenders, but we’ve given them very strong instructions,” Trump added. “That’s a big thing, that’s going to make a lot of students very happy.”

March 20: Breitbart News: Trump Administration shuts down
northern and southern borders to all non-essential travel
During a press conference on Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf announced that the U.S. would be closing off its southern and northern borders for all non-essential travel to stop the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.  Non-essential travel at the southern and northern border includes tourism and recreational travel.  “We’ve reached an agreement with both Canada and Mexico to limit non-essential travel across our land borders,” Wolf said. “Let me be clear that neither of these agreements with Canada or Mexico applies to lawful trade or commerce. Essential commercial activities will not be impacted.”

March 19: The Hill: McConnell introduces massive coronavirus stimulus package
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) unveiled the Republicans third coronavirus funding package which, by some estimates, could cost a trillion dollars!  They will start negotiating the provisions of the 250-paged bill with Senate Democrats on Friday.  The measure will take 60 votes in order to jump the cloture threshold.  Among other provisions the bill proposes to pay individuals who earned up to $75,000 in 2018  $1,200 ($2,400 for married couples earning up to $150,000) and $500 for each child in the household.  It would also extend the federal income tax filing deadline to July 15th and provide relief for small businesses. [See more details]

March 19: The Hill: California estimates 56% of its population will be
infected in the next eight weeks
California Gov. Newsom (D) said in a letter to the Trump administration that 56 percent of the state’s population — 25.5 million people — is projected to be infected with the coronavirus over an eight-week period.   In the letter, Newsom asked Trump to deploy the USNS Mercy hospital ship to the port of Los Angeles until September of this year “to help decompress our current healthcare delivery system in the Los Angeles region in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.”  Jesse Melgar, a spokesman for the governor, specified that the estimate was without mitigating factors.  On Thursday the Trump Administration it would send USNS Mercy to New York City and that it planned to send Mercy to Seattle in the next five to 10 days. Washington is one of the states hit hardest by the virus, with more than 1,887 confirmed cases and 68 deaths.

March 19: MSN.com: California Governor issues statewide stay at home order
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday ordered all Californians to stay at home, marking the first mandatory restrictions placed on the lives of all 40 million residents in the state’s fight against the Chinese coronavirus.  The governor’s action comes at a critical time in California, where 19 people have died and an additional 958 have tested positive for the disease.  The mandatory order allows Californians to continue to visit gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants, banks and laundromats. People can leave their homes to care for a relative or a friend or seek healthcare services. It exempts workers in 16 federal critical infrastructure sectors, including food and agriculture, healthcare, transportation, energy, financial services, emergency response and others.

Airliners in storage in the Arizona desertMarch 19: Yahoo News: Airlines sending airplanes for storage in Arizona desert
Ninety miles south of Phoenix is an airport located in the middle of the Arizona desert just off of an isolated strip of I-10. With only one runway and no passenger terminal, Pinal Air Park doesn't see commercial airline service but it is home to some of the most iconic aircraft ever to roam the skies.  Known in the industry as an aircraft boneyard, Pinal Air Park is where aircraft are housed for long-term storage. In other words, it's a retirement home of sorts for grounded airliners whose time has come as newer, younger planes take their place in airline fleets across the world.  Now Delta, among others, is sending aircraft that are not being used because of the coronavirus to this airfield.

March 19: Washington Free Beacon: Tom Cotton debuts plans to take back Rx
production from China
Sen. Cotton (R-AR) introduced legislation Thursday to repatriate pharmaceutical manufacturing from China to America, aiming to reduce a dependency that could seriously limit the U.S. coronavirus response.  The bill aims to severely curtail the volume of Chinese active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from the U.S. medical drug supply. The PRC currently produces most of the world's APIs—the "active ingredients" in commonly used drugs—leaving the United States and other nations critically dependent on it for medicines.  The White House has been urging “Buy American” efforts while many companies are beginning to see the cost-savings from Chinese-made pharmaceuticals as not worth the risk of undersupply during another pandemic, or during a potential conflict with America's main geostrategic rival.

March 18: Fox News: Judge Napolitano: Opinion Piece on Central
micromanagement of healthcare can kill people
In 1866 the Supreme Court ruled that our rights can only be interfered with by means of due process.  This fundamental right is being put to a severe test today in most states.  Mayors and governors have not been outdone by the feds in their totalitarian impulses. Many have issued decrees that are profoundly unconstitutional.  The governors of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut have all issued decrees closing most retail establishments -- restaurants, bars and theaters. The governor of New Jersey is threatening to ban all travel after dark. These totalitarian impulses have put more than 1 million folks out of work, closed thousands of businesses and impaired the fundamental rights of tens of millions of persons  in violation of the Constitution. 
- The Contracts Clause prohibits the states from interfering with lawful contracts, such as leases and employment agreements. 
- The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the states from interfering with life, liberty or property without a trial at which the state must prove fault.
- The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment requires just compensation when the state meaningfully interferes with an owner’s chosen lawful use of his property.  [Read More]

March 18: The Washington Times:  PRC threatens electronic strikes on
U.S. Naval forces in the South China Sea
China has called for using electromagnetic attacks on U.S. warships transiting the South China Sea, according to a state-run Chinese outlet.  The Communist Party-affiliated organ Global Times, quoting a military expert, said the use of nonlethal electromagnetic and laser weapons should be used by the People’s Liberation Army to expel American warships from the disputed sea.  The report followed China’s potentially dangerous use of a laser against a Navy P-8A maritime patrol aircraft near Guam last month, and an earlier lasing two years ago of C-130 aircraft near China’s military base in Djibouti on the coast of Africa.

March 18: Fox News: President invokes the Defense Production Act;
unpacking what this means

The DPA is jointly administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security(BIS) in the Department of Commerce  and the Department of Defense.  The DPA gives the administration the authority to go to the head of the line in ordering items deemed critical to national security.  Under the DPA companies are required to accept and prioritize contracts from the government.  While this provision has historically been used to ramp up military production, in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic the act will be used for medical supplies such as ventilators, surgical masks, and the like.  The act also allows competing companies to work together, plan, and to coordinate with each other to increase the availability of supplies -- when doing so is approved by the government -- thereby protecting them from antitrust lawsuits.
[FYI: The editor of this blog served in BIS from its creation in 1987 until his retirement in 2004
and helped get the DPA reauthorized by Congress during his tenure at BIS]

March 18: The Washington Examiner: Senate passes $104 Billion Coronavirus package
The Senate cleared a $104 billion federal aid package Wednesday aimed at responding to the coronavirus pandemic, freeing up lawmakers to focus on a third, much more significant budget busting stimulus plan that could cost in the range of $1 trillion. The $104 billion measure, which President Trump is expected to sign quickly, provides up to 10 days of sick leave and 12 weeks of paid family leave for some workers. It also pays for free coronavirus testing for those who need it.

March 18: The Washington Times: Sanders opens campaign offices
in Biden’s home state of Pennsylvania
Despite Sen. Sander ‘ lackluster performance since Super Tuesday, the self-professed democratic socialist has beefed up his presence in  Joe Biden’s boyhood home state of Pennsylvania.  Sanders opened five offices in the key swing state and staffed them with about 20 staffers last week.   The campaign acknowledged, however, that these offices may be short-lived due to the spread of the coronavirus and the campaign’s transition to digital outreach through virtual rallies and town halls. The Pennsylvania primary is scheduled for April 28, though some states are moving their primaries to June because of fears of increased transmission COVID-19 in crowded polling spaces.

March 18: United Press International: 5.7 Earthquake hits Salt Lake City,
shakes homes 150 miles away
A strong magnitude-5.7 earthquake struck the Salt Lake City area on Wednesday, shaking buildings, closing the airport and cutting power to thousands.  The quake was the strongest to hit the city, which sits on a major tectonic fault, since 1992.   The quake that was felt as far as 150 miles from Salt Lake was followed by a 4.4 magnitude aftershock.

March 17: The Wall Street Journal: China bans journalists
from the WSJ, NYT, and Washington Post
China said it would revoke the press credentials of Americans working for three major U.S. newspapers in the largest expulsion of foreign journalists in the post-Mao era, amid an escalating battle with the Trump administration over media operating in the two countries.  China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday it was demanding that all U.S. nationals working for The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Washington Post whose press credentials expire by the end of the year turn those credentials in within 10 days.

March 17: Fox News: Biden takes Florida and Illinois; Arizona too close to call
Biden has decisively won the delegate-rich Florida and Illinois primaries, Fox News projects, further cementing the former vice president as the dominant frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination over rival Bernie Sanders.  Florida and Illinois will award a hefty 219 and 155 pledged delegates, respectively, meaning Biden will significantly pad his growing delegate lead from these victories.  Polls have also closed in Arizona, which has 67 delegates to offer, but it is too early to call.

March 17: Associated Press: Forget the eye-popping national deficit; Trump
asks Congress for authority to send checks to Americans

In a massive federal effort Tuesday, President Donald Trump asked Congress to speed emergency checks to Americans, enlisted the military for MASH-like hospitals and implored ordinary people — particularly socially active millennials — to do their part by staying home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.  His proposed economic package alone could approach $1 trillion, a rescue initiative not seen since the Great Recession. Trump wants checks sent to the public within two weeks and is urging Congress to pass the stimulus package in a matter of days.

Hospital Ship USNS Mercy underwayMarch 17: USNI News: US Navy preparing hospital ships
Mercy and Comfort to assist in treatment of coronavirus patients
The Pentagon is starting the process of activating Navy hospital ships USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) and USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) as part of the Defense Department’s domestic response to the spreading COVID-19 virus. “We’ve already given orders to the Navy… to lean forward in terms of getting them ready to deploy,” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told reporters on Tuesday.  The ships will now begin the several days-long process of bringing aboard medical staff and equipment ahead of deploying along the East and West coasts, a defense official confirmed.

March 17: USA Today: California: millions in lock down, people
calling 911 about neighbors coughing
Six counties across the Bay Area issued a “shelter in place” order on Monday for all residents – requiring about 6.7 million people to stay in their homes – in an attempt to slow the coronavirus outbreak.  For the next three weeks, people living in San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties will be restricted from all “non-essential travel”  by “foot, bicycle, scooter, automobile, or public transit” outside their homes. Also, most businesses will be forced to close until April 7, starting at midnight on Monday. Meanwhile some Coachella Valley police departments say they've started fielding 911 reports from concerned callers convinced a neighbor's overly loud sneeze or hacking cough is proof the person has the virus. 

March 16: The Washington Examiner: House GOP press for hearing
on Chinese threat to  U.S. pharmaceutical industry
Republicans on the House Oversight Committee demanded that Democrats schedule a hearing to look into the “threat” of relying on China for medicines used in the United States.  Striking a sense of urgency, a letter signed by ranking member Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, and 12 other Republicans argued the coronavirus pandemic has brought this issue to a head.  “The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has highlighted a critical threat to the domestic supply of life saving prescription drugs. Too many supply chains for our most critical medicines and medical devices are too dependent on China,” said the letter addressed to Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney.

March 16: Fox News: Trump releases guidelines to slow coronavirus
spread but warns it could be July or August before this is over
President Trump announced on Monday a set of guidelines that he said Americans should follow to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus -- despite admitting that the pandemic could stretch into July or August.  Speaking during a briefing of the coronavirus task force, Trump outlined a plan to slow the spread of COVID-19 in 15 days.  “With several weeks of focused action, we can turn the corner and turn it quickly,” Trump said. “Our government is prepared to do whatever it takes.”

March 16: Fox News New York: Oregon police say stop calling 911
complaining that you cannot get toilet paper
One police department in Oregon posted a reminder on their Facebook page, asking the public to not call for an emergency if they run out of toilet paper due to the coronavirus outbreak. "It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this," police in Newport, Oregon wrote. "Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance." 

Meanwhile, the Palo Alto High School Class of 61 posted comic information about the “Great Toilet Paper Pandemic of 2020” on its website.  Below is a sampling of that post: (Click on Image for larger view)
Montage of comics on toilet paper shortages

March 15: The Daily Caller: Democrat debate between two remaining male candidates
Sunday night’s debate between former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, the last two standing candidates in the 2020 Democratic field, featured both sides trading predictable lines on the coronavirus pandemic and committing to naming female running mates.  The DNC moved the debate from its scheduled location in Arizona to CNN’s studio in Washington, D.C. last week amid coronavirus fears. The only people present in the room were Biden, Sanders, and moderators Dana Bash, Ilia Calderon and Jake Tapper.

March 15: The Associated Press: Federal Reserve drops rates to near zero
The Federal Reserve took massive emergency action Sunday to try to help the economy withstand the coronavirus by slashing its benchmark interest rate to near zero and saying it would buy $700 billion in Treasury and mortgage bonds.  The Fed’s surprise announcement signaled its rising concern that the viral outbreak will depress economic growth in coming months, likely causing a recession, and that it’s poised to do whatever it can to counter the risks. It cut its key rate by a full percentage point to a range between zero and 0.25%. The central bank said it will keep its rate there until it is “confident that the economy has weathered recent events.”

March 14: DNYUZ News: Chinese tycoon who criticized Xi’s response to coronavirus has vanished
Ren Zhiqiang’s latest commentary was among his most explosive yet.  He is an outspoken property tycoon in Beijing, and, wrote in a scathing essay that China’s leader, Xi Jinping, was a power-hungry “clown.” He said the ruling Communist Party’s strict limits on free speech had exacerbated the coronavirus epidemic.  Now Mr. Ren, one of the most prominent critics of Mr. Xi in mainland China, is missing, his friends said on Saturday.  His disappearance comes amid a far-reaching campaign by the party to quash criticism of its slow, secretive initial response to the epidemic which has killed over 3,100 people in China and sickened more than 80,000.

March 14: The Washington Examiner: Surgeon General to the media: “stop finger-pointing at the Trump Administration over coronavirus
Surgeon General Jerome Adams ripped into reporters during a White House press conference, telling them they should stop blaming the Trump administration for their response to the coronavirus outbreak.   "We really need you all to lean into and prioritize the health and safety of the American people," Adams said at the Saturday press conference. "No more bickering. No more partisanship. No more criticism or finger-pointing."

March 14: The Washington Times: Russian recon aircraft closes on U.S. airspace
After Russian reconnaissance aircraft came within 45 miles of the coast of Alaska on Saturday, the commanding general of the joint U.S.–Canada North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said they are seeing repeated incursions into the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone, known as ADIZ.  F-22 fighters assigned to NORAD were scrambled to intercept two pairs of Russian Tu-142 that entered the ADIZ from the west and the north of Alaska. One pair of Russian aircraft spent about four hours in the zone near a spot where the U.S. Navy was conducting submarine operations in the Arctic, NORAD officials said.

March 14: The Daily Caller: Trump adds UK and Ireland to the travel ban
Vice President Mike Pence announced during Saturday’s coronavirus press briefing that the United Kingdom has been added to the White House’s coronavirus travel restriction list.  President Trump announced Wednesday night that the U.S. would ban all travel for foreign nationals who had recently visited Europe but kept the U.K. off that list.  Politico accused the White House of exempting the U.K. in order to protect business at the three Trump-owned golf resorts in Scotland and Ireland.
[Of course they said that…!  Editorial comment, the political gamesmanship needs to stop!]  Pence cited the rising number of cases in the U.K. as the reason for the new travel restrictions.

March 14: The Washington Examiner: House passes coronavirus bill 363 to 40
The House voted just before 1 a.m. Saturday to pass an emergency coronavirus response bill to increase testing and aid people kept from work, a measure meant for quick signing by President Trump next week as the government tries to arrest the pandemic. The bill will provide for free coronavirus testing, guarantee workers two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid leave, increase unemployment benefits, provide lunches for children who would normally eat at school, and increase Medicaid funding.

March 13: The Daily Caller: Governor Abbott declares a “State of Disaster” in Texas
The governor of Texas declared a “State of Disaster” Friday regarding the coronavirus pandemic. “From the very beginning, our number one objective has been to implement preventative strategies that build on our state’s existing public health capabilities so that no matter how this situation unfolds, Texas will be ready,” Abbott said. “That is exactly what our state agencies have done.”

March 13: The Washington Times:   Full Court of Appeals to hear challenges over Don McGahn testimony
The federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., granted a request by House Democrats Friday to rehear cases over testimony from former White House Counsel Don McGahn and funds for President Trump’s border wall.  Both cases are scheduled to be argued before the full circuit court on April 28. Democratic lawmakers in Congress have argued the president violated federal law by reallocating more than $8 billion from the Department of Defense to build the border wall.

March 13: Fox News: More rocket attacks from Iran-backed militia in Iraq
Dozens of rockets slammed into an Iraqi base north of Baghdad Saturday wounding 3 American and 2 Iraqi troops.  It’s the same base where 2 Americans and a British Army medic were killed in a rocket attack Wednesday prompting US airstrike on Iranian-backed forces blamed for the attack.  U.S. Air Force jets destroyed 5 weapon storage sites housing 107 mm Katyusha rockets, the same rockets used in the attack Wednesday and Saturday.

March 13: ABC News: Trump declares a National Emergency over Coronavirus
President Donald Trump announced Friday he's declaring a national emergency to deal with the coronavirus as cases increase. He said his action would give all hospitals the maximum ability to respond to the virus including the waiver of regulations that will now allow doctors in other states to serve those in states where there are critical needs and fewer medical services; the waiver of regulations for “critical access” hospitals that limit the number of beds and the length of stay to 96 hours; and the waiver of requirements for a patient to stay three days in a hospital before being moved to a nursing home.

March 12: The Washington Times: Russian/Saudi oil price war rages
The raging oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia has highlighted the delicate balance between oil prices and energy sector profitability, and analysts think the industry has reached the tipping point at which some companies simply won’t survive.  “A lot of people argue we’re at that moment now,” said Gifford Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association. “I think this is it or we are at least crossing into it, when you go south of $30 or $35 a barrel. These are areas that are pretty precarious because when it comes to the business plans and forecasts, those prices aren’t just off, they’re way off.”

March 12: ReutersChinese: U.S. military may have virus to China; right!
A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry suggested on Thursday the U.S. military might have brought the coronavirus to the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has been hardest hit by the outbreak, doubling down on a war of words with Washington.  China has taken great offense at comments by U.S. officials accusing it of being slow to react to the virus, first detected in Wuhan late last year, and of not being transparent enough.  On Wednesday, U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said the speed of China's reaction to the emergence of the coronavirus had probably cost the world two months when it could have been preparing for the outbreak.

March 12: Fox NewsU.S. forces respond to rocket attack; launch
strikes against Iran-backed militias
The U.S. military launched multiple strikes using warplanes targeting multiple bases used by Iranian-backed Shia militias believed to be behind the rocket attack on Camp Taji,  Iraq, the day before that killed two Americans and one British soldier, a senior U.S. military source told Fox News. The launch began after 1 a.m. Baghdad time. "These strikes were defensive, proportional, and in direct response to the threat posed by Iranian-backed Shia militia groups (SMG) who continue to attack bases hosting OIR coalition forces," the Pentagon said.

March 11: The Washington Free Beacon: California Congressman who owns
back taxes shuttles bill to reveal tax liens
A California Democrat who owes nearly $145,000 in unpaid federal income taxes voted on Wednesday to block a bill requiring members of Congress to disclose tax liens.  The IRS filed a tax lien against Rep. T.J. Cox (D-CA) in January, listing nearly $87,000 and $57,000 in unpaid federal income taxes from 2016 and 2017, respectively. He voted Wednesday to block legislation that would force politicians to reveal such liens in congressional financial disclosures. The bill would also garnish federal wages from elected officials until the debt is resolved.

March 11: The Hill: House passes key surveillance bill with deadline looming
The House on Wednesday passed legislation to reauthorize a key intelligence surveillance bill after weeks of back-and-forth tussling between members in both parties.   The passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), 278-136, comes the day after the House struck a bipartisan deal on the legislation and just before the bill is set to expire on Sunday.  Negotiators had worked for weeks, as both liberal Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans pushed for additional privacy protections, putting them at odds with lawmakers who wanted a clean reauthorization of the FISA bill, which they believed would easily pass in the upper chamber.

March 11: The Washington Times: President announces ban on travel from
Europe for thirty days because of spread of coronavirus

President  Trump said Wednesday he will take the “strong but necessary” action of suspending all travel from Europe for the next 30 days to combat the coronavirus.  The rules will go in effect Friday at midnight.  There will be some exceptions for properly screened Americans, though the decision marks a dramatic escalation in the fight against the disease known as COVID-19. There is also an exception for travel from the United Kingdom which left the European Union earlier this year.

March 11: The Daily Caller: “Buy American” President signs executive order 
to end medical supply chain reliance on China

White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro confirmed Wednesday the administration is working on an executive order to eliminate the government’s reliance on foreign-made medical supplies.  The “Buy American” order comes on the heels of concerns expressed by senators during their Tuesday meeting with President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill.  Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said that during the meeting on easing coronavirus-related financial pressures on Americans, he asked Trump to support the Senate’s “efforts to invest in diversifying our supply chain, especially in pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.”

March 11: Fox News: Hunter Biden slammed by judge for “duplicitous” bid
to delay paternity proceedings
An Arkansas judge issued a scathing order Tuesday evening largely rejecting Hunter Biden’s "duplicitous" requests and his argument that he needed a nine-month delay in his paternity case proceedings because of the coronavirus outbreak and other personal matters.  But soon afterward, the parties said they had reached a "global, final settlement of all issues" -- a surprising turn of events that still needs the court's approval. The abrupt about-face, if approved by Independence County Circuit Court Judge Holly Meyer, would mean that Biden would not need to turn over a slew of financial information to the court.

Biden says "You're full of sh-t"! to auto workerMarch 10: Breitbart News: Biden to Michigan auto worker “You’re full of s _ _ t”
Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden got into an argument over guns with a Michigan plant worker Tuesday, arguing over “AR-14.”  The worker and Biden went back and forth on proposed gun controls, with the working saying, “You are actively trying to infringe our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”  Biden responded, “You’re full of s _ _t.”  Upon further claims that he was trying to take their guns, Biden responded to the worker, “Don’t tell me that,” and said he would “slap” him.

March 9: The Associated Press: Italy shuts down,
Israel tightens entry to country
The battle to halt the coronavirus brought sweeping new restrictions Monday, with Italy expanding a travel ban to the entire country, Israel ordering all visitors quarantined just weeks before Passover and Easter, and Spain closing all schools in and around its capital.  Even as workers in Beijing returned to their jobs and new infections in China continued to subside, Italians struggled to navigate the rapidly changing parameters of the nation’s self-imposed lockdown.

March 9: The Daily Caller: Trump’s Chief of Staff voluntarily self-quarantines self
President Donald Trump’s new chief of staff Mark Meadows announced Monday that he will be self-quarantining after possibly meeting the individual who attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) while infected with coronavirus.  Mark Meadows was advised this weekend that he might have come in contact with the individual. Meadows took a  precautionary test which came back negative. Meadows’ chief of staff Ben Williamson said: “He’ll be self-quarantined till the 14 day period passes Wednesday.”

March 9: Fox News: Schumer’s targeting of Supreme Court justices is not
over as GOP considers censuring him
Senate Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY) may still face consequences from his colleagues after facing criticism from conservatives and liberals alike for remarks he directed towards Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh at an abortion rights rally last week that some have considered threatening.  Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has continued to call for Schumer to be censured after introducing a resolution in the Senate to do just that. And dozens of well-known leaders signed a letter Monday adding their voices to the calls.

March 9: New Scientist: Boeing developing submarine for US Navy that could
kill without any humans aboard
The US Navy is quietly developing armed robot submarines controlled by onboard  artificial intelligence. The vessels could potentially kill without explicit human control.  The Office of Naval Research is carrying out the project, known as CLAWS, which it describes in budget documents as an autonomous undersea weapon system for clandestine use. CLAWS will “increase mission areas into kinetic effects”, say the documents – military-speak for destroying things. 

March 8: Fox News: Hunter Biden accused of contempt for the law by mother of child he fathered
Hunter Biden should be held in contempt for continuing to defy a court order to turn over his financial information, flaunting his lack of "respect" for the legal process and undermining the interests of the child he has refused to support or even acknowledge, according to a blistering new filing from the mother of Biden's child in an ongoing paternity case. The motion comes as Joe Biden has surged to front-runner status in the Democratic presidential primary amid new questions over whether his son may have corruptly benefitted from his father's position as vice president. The case threatens to surface new information about the younger Biden's  overseas dealings in Ukraine, China and elsewhere during the Obama administration -- and his father's apparent knowledge of those arrangements.

March 7: Reuters: Biden warns against blood bath in the Presidential campaign
U.S. Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will campaign in the Midwest on Saturday, as the two prepare for a showdown in Michigan, Missouri and four other nominating contests next week.  After Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, ramped up his attacks on Biden on Friday, Biden told a crowd at a fundraiser in Bethesda, Maryland, he was worried his battle with Sanders for the Democratic nomination could turn ugly.  "What we can't let happen is let this primary become a negative bloodbath. We can't tear this party apart and re-elect Trump. We have to keep our eyes on the ball," Biden said as he telephoned in to the Bethesda event.

March 7: The Washington Free Beacon: Justices asks Supreme Court to uphold “wait in
Mexico” asylum policy amid concerns of increased border crossings
Fearing an unprecedented influx of asylum seekers on the southern border, the Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to lift a court decision blocking implementation of the "Wait in Mexico" asylum policy. The 9th  U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction blocking the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in February. The appeals court limited the injunction to blocking the policy only in Arizona and California. The injunction's reduced reach will still foment chaos at ports of entry, the administration told the justices in a Friday legal filing.  "The injunction is virtually guaranteed to impose irreparable harm by prompting a rush on the border," Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the justices in a legal filing. "There is no need to speculate about the consequences. Immediately following the 9th Circuit's Feb. 28 decision, hundreds of migrants presented themselves at the border for admission."

March 6: The Wall Street Journal: Illinois heading for default?
Long the economic hub of the Midwest, Illinois has lost more than 850,000 residents to other states during the past decade. The state has been shrinking for six consecutive years and suffered the largest raw population decline of any state in the 2010s.  Like Puerto Rico, Illinois is drowning in a sea of red ink. Growing government debt and a crushing tax burden are depressing economic growth. State spending is up, but personal-income growth is lagging. Since 2000, Illinois’s per capita personal income growth has been 21% lower than the national average. Home prices are growing at the second-slowest pace in the nation, at only 2% compared with 5.1% on average nationwide. With speculation that Illinois could be the first state to go into default, ratings firms are paying attention. Illinois’s credit rating is one notch above junk.

March 6: Fox News: House Dems file for rehearing on McGahan subpoena
The Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Friday asking it to have an "en banc" rehearing – a hearing before all 11 judges on the court – of its case to enforce a subpoena against former White House Counsel Don McGahn.  The committee sued to force McGahn to testify and won on the district court level before the appeals court reversed the ruling, arguing that the judiciary would be violating the separation of powers and historical precedent if it were to meddle in this dispute between the other two branches of the federal government.

March 6: The Daily Caller: Administration to deploy active duty military police on the
southern border following 9th Circuit Court decision

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Friday that roughly 160 active duty soldiers will be deployed at two ports of entry along the southern border to assist the agency. Around 80 personnel will be sent to El Paso, while another 80 will be sent to California.  The administration’s decision to deploy military police support stems from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to block Migrant Protection Protocols — a program that keep thousands of asylum seekers in Mexico — in California and Arizona beginning March 12.

March 6: The Washington Times: SecDef Esper presses China
on “unsafe” use of laser on U.S. Navy aircraft
Defense Secretary Mark Esper this week confronted  China’s defense minister over the Chinese military’s use of a high-powered laser to illuminate a U.S. Navy patrol aircraft near Guam last month.  Esper called Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe to discuss several issues, including the Feb. 17 laser incident some 380 miles west of Guam.  China’s government made no mention of the laser incident in the official government readout of the Esper-Wei call, and the Chinese government’s spokesmen have been silent on the provocative action.

March 6: The EIB Network: Romney under pressure, decides to support Hunter Biden subpoena
“Romney obviously is feeling some pressure,” Rush Limbaugh said. “Well, get this. Mitt Romney has said that he will vote to authorize as part of the Senate investigation into Hunter Biden and Ukrainian energy giant Burisma, he’s authorized the subpoenas to look into Hunter Biden.”

March 5: The Washington ExaminerEmails show Hunter Biden touted
political influence to get university position
Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, reportedly touted his political connections in order to obtain a teaching position at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.   New emails reveal that, while communicating with university officials, Biden attempted to convince the administration to have him teach a course on drug policy, providing a potential list of guest lecturers who were largely connected to his father.

March 5: Fox News: Trump:  With all his gaffs Is Biden competent to serve as President?
Trump speaking at a Fox News Town Hall in Joe Biden's hometown of Scranton, Pa., on Thursday evening, openly suggested that the new Democratic front-runner's repeated gaffes could be a sign of a competency issue -- honing a line of attack that Republicans are expected to repeatedly deploy if Biden becomes his party's nominee.  Trump went on to argue that Biden was "damaged" by the impeachment process that implicated his son Hunter in apparent overseas corruption while Biden was vice president. "They aimed at Trump and they took Biden down," the president said.

March 5: The Daily Caller: Warren bows out of Presidential race, fails to endorse another candidate
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren got emotional during her first appearance after dropping out of the 2020 presidential race Thursday, also saying that she won’t be making an endorsement at this time.  “I say this with a deep sense of gratitude for every single person who got in this fight, every single person who tried on a new idea, every single person who just moved a little in their notion of what a president of the United States should look like,” Warren said, her voice beginning to crack.

March 5: Fox News: California leads the nation in non-citizens voting
State officials and lawmakers from California and Texas to Pennsylvania and West Virginia are raising concerns over the threat that noncitizens on the voter rolls pose to the integrity of U.S. elections.  On Thursday, Tomi Lahren said that the issue is most pronounced in California. "We have a voter fraud and election integrity epidemic in the state of California," she said, "I want to expose it so I sat down with the great ladies of Election Integrity Project-California (EIPCa)."  "So to say that illegal immigrants are voting is a given in this state?" asked Lahren.  "Absolutely," said EIPCa president and co-founder Linda Paine, "because when you open the door to corruption and fraud, people are going to walk through it."

March 5: This WeekSouthwest CEO: Domestic travel drop off feels like 911
Mounting concern over the new coronavirus outbreak has caused school closures and movie premiere pushbacks, and now the crisis' effect on the aviation industry is drawing comparisons to 9/11.  Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly told CNBC that the company has lost several hundred million dollars in a week's time thanks to a decline in bookings amid increasing fears over COVID-19. Kelly added that the drop-off was "noticeable" and "precipitous" and has continued declining on a daily basis.  Kelly said of the new coronavirus outbreak "It has a 9/11-like feel."

March 4: WUSA Channel 9: Whistle blower faces retaliation for disclosing alleged under
reporting of crime stats in D.C.
A whistleblower from the D.C. Police Department is talking openly about the crime underreporting she says she’s witnessed inside the Metropolitan Police Department.  “I was surprised,” said MPD Sergeant Charlotte Djossou. “I didn’t want to believe it.”  Djossou, a 15-year MPD veteran previously honored for her service by Police Chief Peter Newsham, is going public with stunning allegations about what she says is going on in her own department.  She claims D.C. police supervisors are ordering investigators to downgrade crime classifications form more serious crimes to less serious ones to make the city’s crime stats look better.  “The commanders and the captains get promoted, and they get awards, when the crime stats are low,” Djossou said.

March 4: The Daily Caller: Ben Carson: The coronavirus has a lesson for politicians
Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of HUD, praised Vice President Pence for his work in fighting the spread of the coronavirus doing so with pharmaceutical companies who he noted are “normally are rivals.”   He noted that they have been working “together voluntarily” along with members of the coronavirus task force to develop therapeutic medications and other remedies to stop the spread of the virus.  “Wouldn’t that be a great lesson for the politicians,” he concluded.

March 4: The Washington Free Beacon: Chief Justice Roberts calls Schumer’s
threats to the Supreme Court “dangerous” 
Chief Justice John Roberts condemned Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY as "dangerous" after the New York Democrat made threatening statements as justices heard oral arguments in a controversial abortion case on Wednesday.  Schumer addressed pro-abortion demonstrators rallying in front of the Supreme Court Wednesday morning and promised the pair (Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh) would "pay the price" if they voted to restrict abortion access. Chief Justice Roberts called such rhetoric "dangerous" saying in a statement "Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous," Roberts said. "All Members of the Court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter.

March 4: Fox News: It’s the Ninth Circuit again, stopping Trump policy of making asylum
seekers remain in Mexico while awaiting hearings
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Wednesday that it would block the "Remain in Mexico" policy in Arizona and California, the two border states where its authority extends.  The three-judge panel did not extend its decision to include federal court circuits in two other border states -- New Mexico and Texas -- as it originally had last week.  The Trump administration said it is asking the Supreme Court to intervene and had asked the policy remain in place until next week for the high court to rule.

March 3: NBC News: Delegate Tracker -  Biden leads Sanders
NBC News is tracking the number of delegates each candidate has won in the 2020 Democratic and Republican presidential races. Each party is governed by their own set of rules, but each state and territory offer a certain number of pledged delegates up for grabs based on the results of primary voting nights and caucuses. The Democratic nominee will be selected by delegates at the Democratic National Convention taking place July 13-16 in Milwaukee. To win the nomination on the first ballot, a Democratic candidate must receive support from a majority of pledged delegates — at least 1,991 of the total 3,979 pledged delegates. 

March 3: The Washington Free Beacon: Supreme Court Case: Does the President have
the authority to fire the head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau?
At issue is the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that includes language that says its director, unlike other senior government officials, may only be removed for "inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office…"  The CFPB is the brain child of Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and the language in the law was upheld by the notorious 9th Circuit Count of Appeals in San Francisco.  The matter is now before the Supreme Court.  In oral arguments Chief Justice Roberts drew attention to the CFPB's funding rules, asking if they exacerbate the constitutional questions. Unlike most agencies, the bureau does not have its budget set by Congress. Instead, the Federal Reserve finances CFPB operations. In that sense, Roberts said, the CFPB director is even more powerful than the president, who largely depends on congressional appropriations.

March 1: The Associated Press: Buttigieg ends campaign for President
Pete Buttigieg, former top-tier candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, ended his campaign on Sunday.  “The truth is the path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy if not for our cause,” Buttigieg told supporters in South Bend, Indiana. “We must recognize that at this point in the race, the best way to keep faith with those goals and ideals is to step aside and help bring our party and country together.”  The decision came just a day after one of Buttigieg’s leading rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden, scored a resounding victory in South Carolina that sparked new pressure on the party’s moderate wing to coalesce behind Biden.

March 1: The Washington Examiner: Nunes:  If we win back the House we
are ready to go after “dirty cops”
California Rep. Devin Nunes said House Republicans have subpoenas "ready to go" if they win control of the House in November.  Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, issued a warning to Justice Department and FBI officials involved in the Russia investigation during an interview with Fox News on Friday. “You can be sure of this, if we take the House in November, we have subpoenas ready to go that will continue going after these dirty cops,” the Republican congressman said.  It's a tall order for the GOP to regain control of the lower chamber. Republicans need a net gain of 18 seats to win back the House. Most committees and subcommittees delegate the power to authorize subpoenas to the panel chairman or chairwoman.

March 1: The Daily Caller: Trump endorses candidate in Texas 7th
Wesley Hunt is quickly gaining notoriety as the Republican candidate for the 7th Congressional District of Texas.  In recent weeks Hunt has gained President Donald Trump’s official endorsement, and Hunt also released a campaign video this week entitled “Chains,” which went viral on social media.  The presidential endorsement launched the army veteran’s campaign into the spotlight as he vies for the position currently held by Democratic Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  In a tweet, President Trump said that Hunt will “help us accomplish our America First policies.” He continued on to say that he is “strong on Crime, the Border, our 2nd Amendment, Trade, Military and Vets. Wesley has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

March 1: Fox News: GOP billionaire buys major portion of Twitter stock
A billionaire Republican has purchased a "sizable" stake in Twitter and "plans to push" to oust CEO Jack Dorsey among other changes, according to new reports, raising the prospect of a shocking election-year shakeup of the social media platform that conservatives have long accused of overt left-wing political bias.  Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. has already nominated four directors to Twitter's board. The Bloomberg News noted that unlike other prominent tech CEOs, Dorsey didn't have voting control over Twitter because the company had just one class of stock; and he has long been a target for removal given Twitter's struggling user growth numbers and stock performance.

February 29: The New York Post: Chinese officials knew of coronavirus but
tried to cover it up
Chinese scientists knew about the coronavirus and its deadly effects as early as December — but were ordered by government officials to suppress the evidence, according to a report.  In late December, several genomics companies tested samples from sick patients in Wuhan — the center of the coronavirus outbreak — and noticed alarming similarities between their illnesses and the 2002 SARS virus, the Sunday Times of London reported, citing Chinese business news site Caixin Global.  The researchers alerted Beijing of their findings — and on Jan. 3, received a gag order from China’s National Health Commission, with instructions to destroy the samples.

February 29: The Associated Press: Biden wins big in South Carolina
Joe Biden scored a thundering victory in South Carolina’s Democratic primary on Saturday, riding a wave of African American support and ending progressive rival Bernie Sanders’ winning streak.   The race now pivots immediately to a new phase when 14 “Super Tuesday” states take the campaign nationwide early next week.  Biden: 48.8% Sanders: 19.8%.

February 29: Fox News: Chicago releases felon sought by ICE; sexually assaults toddler
ICE is claiming that Chiacago released a Mexican citizen who later sexually assaulted a toddler at a fast food restaurant.  A CBS affiliate reported he confessed to placing "the child on his lap while he was in a restroom stall, pulled off her pants, and covered her mouth when she started calling out 'daddy daddy.”  Chrstopher Puente, 34, was arrested on Feb. 19 for sexually assaulting a 3-year-old despite ICE's previous request that police continue detaining the previously deported felon. According to a press release on Thursday, Puente had two felony convictions for forced-entry burglary and forgery.  Despite his background, Chicago declined ICE's June 2019 request to detain Puente

February 29: The Daily Caller: President announces the first Corona death in the US
President Donald Trump announced the first coronavirus death in the U.S. Saturday during a press conference, adding that additional travel restrictions will be imposed on new countries.  The president and Vice President Mike Pence gave updates about the coronavirus, noting that one high-risk patient died in the U.S. from it.  The woman who died was from Washington state. Trump added that 22 people total in America have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and that many of them are well on their way to recovery.

February 28: The Washington Free Beacon: Report:  Programs pushed by Democrat
hopefuls will help the rich and hurt low income families
Although backed by redistributionist rhetoric, many programs pushed by 2020 Democrats would primarily benefit highly educated professionals, often at the expense of the bottom fifth of earners, a new report released by the Manhattan Institute concludes.  The report examines the distributive impacts of major proposals, including Medicare for All, student debt forgiveness, and the repeal of key components of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). It argues that while Democratic candidates talk big about supporting workers and the poor, these programs primarily serve the interests of the wealthy.

February 27: Fox News: Chinese destroyer aims laser and US Navy aircraft in unsafe manner
A People’s Republic of  China (PRC) navy destroyer 161 on Feb. 17 aimed a laser at a  US Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft while it was flying above international waters, according to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.  The incident took place approximately 380 miles west of Guam and occurred without provocation, the fleet's public affairs office said in a statement.  The laser China used, which is invisible to the naked eye, had been observed by a sensor that was onboard the P-8A.  Weapons-grade lasers have the potential to cause serious harm to servicemembers and could have damaged various ship and aircraft systems.

February 27: The Washington ExaminerUS ambassador to NATO stunned by report of
Russian/Syrian attack on NATO ally/Turkish troops

A long-developing proxy clash in Syria between Russia and Turkey is “very much moving into crisis mode,” a senior American diplomat said amid reports that Turkish troops were attacked in an airstrike.  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called an emergency meeting of his national security team late Thursday as local media reported that Russia targeted a Turkish command post in Idlib. Turkish officials blamed the strike on Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, who has survived the civil war by virtue of Russian and Iranian military support for his regime.

February 26: Fox News: Sanctuary Cities: Appeals Court Ruling
A federal appeals court on Wednesday handed a major win to the Trump administration in its fight against “sanctuary” jurisdictions, ruling that it can deny grant money to states that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York overturned a lower court ruling that stopped the administration’s 2017 move to withhold grant money from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, which dispenses over $250 million a year to state and local criminal justice efforts.  The latest decision conflicts with rulings from other appeals courts across the country concerning sanctuary policies, indicating a Supreme Court review is ultimately likely.

February 26: The Washington Free Beacon: Dem candidates/senators miss the born alive vote
Democratic presidential candidates skipped a vote on a bill that would have guaranteed medical care for newborns, a vote that Republicans and pro-life activists say will come back to haunt the candidates in November. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) were not present for the vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would mandate that doctors provide potentially life-saving care to babies who survive abortion. All three 2020 hopefuls voted to block the same bill when it was first proposed in 2019. Bill sponsor Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) ripped the Democratic presidential candidates for dodging the vote.

February 25: Scorecard: Texas convicted voter fraud perp faces deportation
A noncitizen who illegally voted five times in Texas is headed for deportation.  Mexican national Rosa Maria Ortega was  convicted of felony voter fraud in 2017 after falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen on a voter registration application and voting in Dallas County multiple times between 2004 and 2014.  A Tarrant County jury found Ortega guilty of two counts of illegal voting, a second-degree felony, and sentenced her to eight years in prison. After serving nine months in prison, Ortega was paroled in December, then taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She awaits deportation back to Mexico. 

February 26: Fox News: Democrat offering cash for votes faces 50 years in jail
A Cincinnati city councilwoman could face up to 50 years in prison after being arrested Tuesday on federal corruption charges, authorities say, according to reports.  Shortly after being taken into custody, Tamaya Dennard appeared in court in handcuffs and leg irons to face charges of honest services fraud, bribery and attempted extortion, FOX 19 of Cincinnati reported.

February 25: The Daily Caller: ABC suspends veteran reporter over upcoming Veritas video
ABC News has suspended a reporter involved in an upcoming Project Veritas video the evening before the project is set to be released.  Project Veritas plans to release a video Wednesday exposing bias at ABC News.  Veteran reporter David Wright was suspended Tuesday evening ahead of the project’s release, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. ABC News did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.  They have previously received insider videos exposing network biases in numerous networks, including CNN and ABC News. The watchdog group has also aired videos of a Democratic Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ staffer promoting violence against his political opponents.

February 25: The Hill: Moderators come under fire at SC Democrat debate
The CBS News moderators came under fire on social media Tuesday as the Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina grew heated, with crosstalk often drowning them out.  Megham McCain compared the debate’s atmosphere to the contentious discussions she faces on "The View," saying, "these moderators need to get this under control."  Former Democratic National Committee interim chairwoman and Fox News contributor Donna Brazile also addressed the moderation issues, tweeting, "Dear Madam Moderators: throw your shoes down. Get control."

February 24: The Associated Press: Coronavirus spreads to Europe and Middle East
The new virus took aim at a broadening swath of the globe Monday, with officials in Europe and the Middle East scrambling to limit the spread of an outbreak that showed signs of stabilizing at its Chinese epicenter but posed new threats far beyond.  Italian authorities set up roadblocks, called off soccer matches and shuttered sites. In Iran, the government said 12 people had died nationwide, while five neighboring countries — Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Afghanistan — reported their first cases of the virus, with all those infected having links to Iran.  Across the world, stock markets and futures tumbled on fears of a global economic slowdown due to the expanding spread of the virus.

February 24: The New York Post: Weinstein convicted of sex crimes
Harvey Weinstein’s victims, and those who believe them, finally got their Hollywood ending: The dethroned Hollywood mogul led out of a courtroom in handcuffs.  On Monday, after nearly a week of deliberations, the jury returned their verdict: Guilty on two counts, rape and a criminal sex act.  Weinstein, who spent his evenings and weekends throughout the trial partying, his days bantering with press and ignoring admonitions by his trial judge, was immediately remanded to jail.  He will likely never get out.

February 24: Fox News: Trump calls upon Sotomayor and Ginsberg to recuse themselves over comments
President Trump late Monday called on Supreme Court justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsberg to recuse themselves from any cases involving his administration over their past comments.  Trump has proven in the past that he is not bashful about criticizing justices, but he seemed to be particularly bothered by a recent dissent by Sotomayor hinting that conservative-leaning justices have a bias towards Trump.

February 24: The Jerusalem Post: Israel strikes targets in Gaza and
Syria in response to rocket attacks
The IDF struck numerous targets belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group in Syria and throughout the Gaza Strip following rocket fire towards southern Israel over the course of Sunday evening.  The military said that Israeli Air Force fighter jets struck PIJ targets south of the capital of  Damascus, including a compound which was “used as a hub of Islamic Jihad’s activity in Syria” as well as dozens of terror targets belonging to the group across in the Strip.   Palestinian media said that two PIJ operatives were killed in the strike.

February 23: Breitbart News: Democrat elites prefer Trump to Burnie
It’s an article of faith inside the Bernie Sanders campaign that the Democratic establishment is going to do everything it can to stop the him from winning the Democratic nomination this year. This is what happened four years ago during the primary battle, when the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was helping Hillary Clinton win the nomination, even as it feigned neutrality in the contest.   For Democrats this year the intra-party antipathy toward Sanders is even stronger than it was in 2016; it feels like an Anybody But Bernie movement, or even an outright Never Sanders pledge. Anti-Sanders sentiment inside the high pavilions of the Democratic Party is fierce. On February 3, the Onion nailed it with a quip that the Democrats would go so far as to ask Trump as their nominee, as a way of stopping Sanders.

February 23: The Wall Street Journal: White House consider revamping surveillance laws
Senior White House officials are discussing plans to pursue an overhaul of how the government surveils individuals in the U.S. suspected of posing a national security risk. Apparently the effort seeks to take advantage of the looming expiration of some spying powers next month, including portions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a Watergate-era law that Mr. Trump believes has been improperly used.   Overhauling FISA has become a rallying cry for conservatives and allies of the president in the aftermath of a watchdog report detailing several errors made by the FBI in its applications for surveillance.  Some Republicans have called for upending FISA, prompting pushback from some in the administration, including Attorney General William Barr.

February 22: Politico: Dominoes fall in Nevada as Bernie wins the prize
On Saturday in Nevada, Bernie Sanders laid waste not just to his five main rivals but also the  conventional wisdom about the Democratic presidential primaries.   You could see the dominoes of punditry cliches falling inside the caucus rooms. The powerful Culinary Union, which opposes Sanders’ Medicare for All plan and spent the final weeks of the campaign in a high-profile fight with his campaign, was supposed to weaken him. And yet the Sanders’s ranks were speckled with red-shirted Culinary members. (Overall, Sanders won 34% of caucus-goers from union households, besting all of his rivals.)   With over 60% of the precincts reporting Bernie got 46% of the vote, Biden 19.6%, Buttigieg 15.3% and Warren 10.1%.

February 22: The Daily Caller: CNN/MSNBC repeatedly air misleading Bloomberg ad
TV networks, led by CNN and MSNBC, have aired a Michael Bloomberg ad more than 70 times in recent days in which the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful falsely said he led New York City through 9/11.   “I led a complex, diverse city through 9/11, and I have common sense plans to move America away from chaos to progress,” Bloomberg said in a 30-second campaign ad.   The problem with the claim is that Bloomberg did not take over as mayor of the Big Apple until Jan. 1, 2002, four months after terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan.   Rudolph Giuliani served as mayor when the attacks occurred.

February 22: The LA Times: Shake it up baby now, twist and shout: The 9th Circuit Court
When President Trump ticks off his accomplishments he frequently mentions his appointment of 51 judges to the U.S. Court of Appeals across the nation.  In few places has the effect been felt more powerfully than in the sprawling 9th Circuit, which covers California and eight other states.   Trump has now named 10 judges to the 9th Circuit — more than one-third of its active judges — tilting it to the right.  Some of the older appointees are point to Judge Daniel P. Collins, a former federal prosecutor, saying he appears to be oblivious to court tradition saying by sending memos at all times of the night in violation of a court rule.  Collins also moved quickly to challenge some rulings by his new colleagues, calling for review of five decisions by three-judge panels.  Active judges vote on the calls behind the scenes, and the public becomes aware of a failed effort only when dissents are later filed by the judges who favored reconsideration. Judges said it was unprecedented for a new jurist to try to overturn so many decisions in such a short period of time.

February 21: The Daily Caller: Trump and efforts to shake up the Fed
There is more to President Donald Trump’s monetary policy than political self-interest. If the president simply wanted low rates and to ease the regulatory burden of the Federal Reserve, he could achieve these outcomes without much resistance. However, Trump also wants to disrupt the Fed’s ruling monetary clique. To this end, he has nominated Judy Shelton to the FED’s  board.  Shelton’s confirmation hearing  had the drama and combativeness befitting a Supreme Court confirmation fight. To quote Senate Banking Committee Chair Mike Crapo, there was an “orchestrated, calculated effort” to defeat Shelton led by Senators Joh Tester (D-MT) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).  The well-prepared Democrats on the committee left no doubt of their united opposition to her confirmation.

February 21: The Washington Free Beacon: The Presidential race is stacking up
to be a battle of the boroughs
There are  329 million people in the U.S.  They are spread across 3.8 million square miles. The presidential race will be determined by the actions of three of them: Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Michael Bloomberg. Each is a New Yorker. Each hails from a different borough. Trump was born in Queens, Sanders in Brooklyn, and Bloomberg, a native of Massachusetts, has worked and lived in Manhattan since 1973.

February 20: The Washington Examiner: Appeals court blocks Mississippi’s h
eartbeat abortion ban
A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked a Mississippi law that would ban abortions after six weeks into a pregnancy.  A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously Thursday to uphold a federal judge's ruling issued in May 2019 that the law couldn't stand. The same appeals court in December also struck down another Mississippi law that would have made abortion illegal after 15 weeks.  Supporters of six-week bans call them "heartbeat bills" because they make abortion illegal from the time a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat.

February 20: The Hill: Democrats are having second thoughts about
Bloomberg after his first debate  

Democrats are having second thoughts about Mike Bloomberg after he fell flat in his debate stage debut.  Before Wednesday night’s performance — which Democrats across the board labeled “terrible” and “pathetic” — many in the party were hopeful the former New York City mayor would emerge as a strong competitor to front-runner Sen.  Sanders (I-Vt.), who continues to gain momentum.  But Bloomberg’s debate implosion left a lot to be desired.

February 20: Fox News: Judge concurs; original Roger Stone sentence
recommendations were excessive
The judge presiding over Roger Stone’s case agreed with senior Justice Department leadership on Thursday that the original sentence proposal was excessive -- amid a clash inside the DOJ over his sentencing.  U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who sentenced Stone to forty months in federal prison on Thursday, said the original sentence proposed last week by federal prosecutors of 87 to 108 months was steep given the charges.  She said the recommendation was "greater than necessary," while also saying the defense's recommendation of probation was "simply not sufficient."

February 20: The Daily Caller: Trump has first time every positive rating from Gallup
President Donald Trump is enjoying a positive approval rating for the first time since his inauguration, according to a poll released Thursday.  49% of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing, compared to 48% who disapprove of Trump’s performance, according to a Gallup poll published Thursday. The poll also found that the president is enjoying his highest approval ratings among Independents since taking office at 43%.

February 20: Fox News: Navy stations F-35s on amphibs; changes future tactics
The Navy has ushered in a new era in amphibious warfare operations.   Launching a massive, fast-paced air assault from the sea, providing close-air support for amphibious assault forces, and bringing forward-operating surveillance and networking technology to maritime warfare are all part of the changing operational calculus introduced by adding stealth F-35s to maritime attack.  U.S. amphibious assault ships could deploy with over twelve such aircraft, expanding the capabilities of the fleet.

February 19: The Galveston Daily News: Galveston County elections are secure
The bottom line is whenever you rely upon manual counting of paper ballots you introduce human error; the results are usually not accurate. Why spend over $3 million in taxpayer dollars to upgrade to a paper back up when what we have works?  So, when Dwight Sullivan, your County Clerk, says our elections are secure, believe him!  He's telling the truth!

February 19: The Washington Free Beacon: Bloomberg: Bernie, we tried communism
and it didn’t work
Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg attacked Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I., Vt.) economic agenda during Wednesday's debate, saying, "It was called communism and it just didn't work."  Asked if he would support Sanders's economic proposals as a business owner, Bloomberg said, "Absolutely not," adding that Sanders's communist policies have failed historically.

February 19: The Washington Times: Secession fever spikes in five states as
conservatives seek to escape blue rule
You’ve got Oregonians seeking to cascade into Idaho, Virginians who identify as West Virginians, Illinoians fighting to escape Chicago, Californians dreaming of starting a 51st state, and New Yorkers who think three states are better than one.  Separation fever is sweeping the nation as quixotic but tenacious bands of frustrated rural dwellers, suburbanites and conservatives seek to break free from states with legislatures increasingly controlled by liberal big cities and metropolitan strongholds.

February 18: The Washington Free Beacon: Stone gets 14 times more cable
coverage than George Washington on his birthday
An analysis found that cable news networks mentioned former Trump adviser Roger Stone nearly 15 times as often as George Washington on Washington's birthday. A TVEyes search found Roger Stone was mentioned 131 times on Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN on Monday. Excluding references to Washington, D.C., Washington state, and the Washington Post, the founding father received only nine mentions.

February 16: Fox News: Congressman Nunes: AG Barr is trying to clean up
the mess from Obama’s FBI

" I think people need to understand that he’s (Barr) cleaning up the mess from not only the Obama administration, but also the mess that was left with the whole Russia-gate fiasco," Nunes said, “…taxpayers paid tens of millions of dollars to fund then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, that went chasing and trying to put us into a status of a permanent coup against the president of the United States," Nunes continued.  "I think what the attorney general said (about tweeting) was very clear, that the president should be careful making comments about criminal investigations. One should not see that as anything other than but what it is," Nunez said, adding that Barr "didn’t say to stop tweeting, because the fact of the matter is, with 90 percent of the media being hard left and really just working for the Democratic Party, the president has to be able to tweet."

February 16: The Hill: Senate Intelligence Committee to consider
investigating whistleblower complaint process

With Trump’s trial in the rearview mirror, the Senate Intelligence Committee is quietly shifting its attention back to its investigation into the complaint process after hitting pause on the inquiry as the impeachment effort consumed Washington.   The probe will force senators to decide if, and how, they speak with the whistleblower — a controversial call that could test the bipartisan reputation the Intelligence panel has maintained even amid deeply partisan fights in Congress. 

February 16: Fox News: Conway: Bloomberg comments to women
“far worse” than Trump’s access Hollywood tape
Counselor to  President Trump Kellyanne Conway joined Democrats in their criticism of Michael Bloomberg, after a Washington Post report detailed allegations of inappropriate comments toward women and discrimination within the presidential hopeful's media company.  The report described allegations from lawsuits and depositions against Bloomberg, as well as witness interviews, that described misogynistic remarks and a "pattern and practice of sexual harassment, sexual degradation of women and discrimination."  "The way Michael Bloomberg treated employees, female employees … who were relying on him for their livelihood, for their health benefits, for their 401ks, to have created that kind of culture, that unsafe workplace, to feel that you’re being harassed because of your gender, that is problematic, and I think you’re going to hear more of it," Conway said.  Conway contrasted this with her own experience working for President Trump. "He's the best boss I've ever had," she said.

February 16: The Hill: Trump “split screen” with Democrat primary hopefuls
President Trump has injected himself into the early primary states, staging rallies and shadowing Democrats as they campaign for votes in an effort to seize attention and better position himself for November.  The president’s prominence is unusual. Most incumbents have refrained from going full bore on the campaign trail while the opposing party is sorting out its own nominating process. But Trump has made himself a central player in each of the early primary states through his mega rallies.  He has held events in Iowa, New Hampshire, and is expected to go to Nevada and  South Carolina. The strategy has already produced results in the first two voting states. Trump earned 31,464 votes in Iowa and roughly 129,000 in New Hampshire, the most of any of the last four incumbents in those state primaries and may also have long term benefits as he heads toward the November election.

February 15: The Daily Caller: Trump deploying elite border patrol unites to sanctuary cities
The Trump administration is deploying an elite unit of the Border Patrol, including 100 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) apprehend illegal aliens in sanctuary cities.  Members of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) will be helping ICE officers arrest illegal aliens living at large in sanctuary cities, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, Lawrence Payne, confirmed on Saturday. BORTAC officers — considered the SWAT team of the Border Patrol — are specially trained for high-risk operations and typically execute operations against violent targets.

February 15: Breitbart News: Border Patrol seeing more armed undocumented
attempting to enter the US
Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended an allegedly armed human smuggler during an attempt to bring illegals into the country. Sector agents report they have observed an increasing trend in armed human smugglers.  “Our agents are encountering armed smugglers now more than ever before,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a written statement, “These are dangerous criminals who continue to show little regard for human life.”

February 15: The Daily Caller: Pelosi claims Trump not acquitted because there
was no trial in the Senate
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed President Donald Trump wasn’t really acquitted in the impeachment trial during an interview on CNN.  According to her “You can’t have an acquittal unless you have a trial, and you can’t have a trial unless you have witnesses and documents. So he can say he’s acquitted, and the headlines can say ‘acquitted,’ but he’s impeached forever, branded with that, and not vindicated.”   The Senate indeed did vote to acquit Trump in the impeachment trial, with every Republican but one, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, voting against the charge of abuse of power, and all Republicans including Romney voting against the charge of obstruction.

February 14: NBC News: DOJ opens inquiry into FBI interview with Michael Flynn
The Justice Department recently opened an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the FBI's interview of Michael Flynn while he was serving as President Donald Trump's national security adviser.  Reportedly Attorney General Barr has asked the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, Jeffrey Jensen, to look into Flynn's FBI interview.  In early January prosecutors recommended Flynn serve up to six months in jail but were overruled three weeks later when the government submitted a new sentencing recommendation to the judge saying probation for Flynn was appropriate.

February 14:The Daily Caller: White House says Trump “not bothered” by AG Barr’s
comments about tweeting; has full faith and confidence in  Barr
According to White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham President Trump “wasn’t bothered” by Attorney General Bill Barr’s comments about his tweets on the Roger Stone case.  “The President wasn’t bothered by the comments at all and he has the right, just like any American citizen, to publicly offer his opinions. President Trump uses social media very effectively to fight for the American people against injustices in our country, including fake news. The President has full faith and confidence in Attorney General Barr to do his job and uphold the law,” Grisham said.

February 14: The Washington Examiner: Texas poll suggests a brokered
Democrat convention is possible
The latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll of Democratic voters in Texas shows a race where no candidate is close to earning a majority of delegates following the state's primary on March 3. The poll found that Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont leads with 24% support, with former Vice President Joe Biden closely behind at 22%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 15%, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at 10%. This poll from the second largest super Tuesday state indicates that the fight to be a dominant front-runner in the Democratic presidential primary may go on well into late spring or early summer.

USS Normandy (CG-60) underwayFebruary 13: The Washington Free Beacon:
USS Normandy (CG-60) seizes suspected Iranian weapons
destined for Yemen
This week the US guided missile cruiser Normandy seized weapons believed to be of Iranian "design and manufacture," including 150 anti-tank guided missiles and three Iranian surface-to-air missiles, the American military said on Thursday.  In a statement, the military said Normandy boarded a dhow, a traditional sailing vessel, in the Arabian Sea on Sunday.  "… weapons components seized aboard the dhow were of Iranian design and manufacture and included three Iranian surface-to-air missiles," US military sources said.  In recent years, U.S. warships have intercepted and seized Iranian arms likely bound for Houthi fighters in Yemen.

February 12: The Washington Examiner: McConnell: We’re a long way
from finishing confirmations of conservative judges
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said people should not expect him to take his foot off the accelerator in confirming conservative judges to fill vacancies at federal courts across the country.  "My motto for the year is 'leave no vacancy behind,'" McConnell said. "That includes district courts as well. So we're a long way from being finished with doing court confirmations this year."   The Kentucky Republican set up five more judicial nominations for votes last week after impeachment ended.

Bear on golf course at Mammoth Lakes CaliforniaFebruary 12: The LA Times: It’s words, not bullets,
for “bear whisperer” in the Eastern Sierras
Steve Searles is not really a cop, not really a civilian; he lives in limbo between those two worlds.  He has carved out a niche and a career as Mammoth Lakes’ “bear whisperer,” a protector of the wild things that roam the night: the ubiquitous bears, deer, coyotes and all manner of high-country cat. He protects the residents and the 2.5 million annual visitors too, though they have the numerical advantage.  Watch the video

February 12: Fox News: Roger Stone Jury forewoman defends prosecutors after her anti-Trump social media posts become public
Former Memphis City Schools Board President Tomeka Hart revealed Wednesday that she was the forewoman of the jury that convicted former Trump adviser Roger Stone on obstruction charges last year -- and soon afterward, a string of her anti-Trump, left-wing social media posts came to light.  Meanwhile it was disclosed that Seth Cousins, another Stone juror,  donated to Democrat  Beto O'Rourke and other progressive causes.  And another juror's husband reportedly worked at the Justice Department division that played a role in prosecuting Stone.  The revelations came as President Trump called into question the handling of Stone's prosecution. 

February 12: The Daily Caller: Foreigners working for the Sander’s campaign raise questions
Foreign nationals, under the direction of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, have sent thousands of texts and phone calls urging American voters to support the democratic socialist in the Democratic primaries.  Since October 2019, a particularly devoted contingent of about 40 Australian volunteers have sent thousands of messages a day to American voters through a phone banking system operated by the Sanders campaign, according to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  According to the Federal Elections Commission it’s legal for foreign nationals to volunteer for political campaigns as long as they’re not compensated for their services.

February 11: The Washington Times: AG Barr: Rouge DAs responsible for violent crime in large cities
Attorney General Bill Barr on Tuesday slammed “rogue DAs” he said are sabotaging the sanctity of the criminal justice system by bringing lesser charges or pleading down cases in order to keep people out of prison.
Barr, in a speech to the Major County Sheriffs of America, said the “self-styled ‘social justice’ reformers” are contributing to a recent rise in violent crimes in some of the country’s largest cities, defying an overall nationwide trend toward safety.

February 11: The Washington Examiner: Planned Parenthood and ACLU suing Administration
over rule requiring separate billing for abortion and other healthcare services
Planned Parenthood of Maryland and the American Civil Liberties Union are suing the Trump administration over a rule that will require some health insurers to send their customers separate premium bills to cover abortion.   The finalized rule requires Obamacare insurers to send separate bills to enrollees, one for abortion coverage and one for all other healthcare costs.  As required by the Hyde Amendment Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that it "fulfills Congress’ intent and reflects President Trump’s strong commitment to preventing taxpayer funding of abortion coverage."

February 11: The Daily Caller: Virginia’s House passes gun ban and seizure legislation
The Virginia House of Delegates passed a package of gun control proposals Tuesday on a near party line vote. The proposal passed the House 51-48 with all Republicans and several Democrats voting against the bill. The legislation includes a ban on the sale of several firearms defined as “assault weapons,” including the popular AR-15. Virginia residents who currently own these types of firearms will not be forced to participate in a mandatory buyback program as had initially proposed but the bill gives the state government the authority to confiscate certain types of magazines that are considered “high capacity.”

February 11: Fox News: Former CNBC anchor files to challenge AOC in the Democrat primary
Former CNBC anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera is hoping to knock Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), out in this year's primary, as she runs to take New York's 14th congressional district.  A registered Democrat and descendant of Cuban immigrants, Caruso-Cabrera has been a fierce critic of socialism and advocate for free markets. According to CNBC, she filed to run late Monday.

February 10: Defense.gov: President Trump releases his 2021 budget
request; beefs up national defense
The President’s budget request includes $740.5 billion for national security, $705.4 billion of which is for the Department of Defense.  These funds are to be used to continue to improve military readiness and invest in the modernization of a more lethal force;  to strengthen alliances, deepen interoperability, and attract new partners; to  reform the Department for greater performance and accountability; and  to support service members and their families, recognizing that our people are our most valuable resource.

February 9: The Wall Street Journal: Florida law implementing amendment restoring
1.4 million felons voting rights causes confusion

More than a year after Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to an estimated 1.4 million people with felony convictions, widespread confusion surrounds its implementation.  A law aimed at carrying out the amendment has sparked legal battles that remain unresolved, the state has provided little guidance to local elections officials, and some counties are filling the void with inconsistent remedies.

February 9: Fox News: DHS defends barring NY from global entry TTP saying it is not retaliation
DHS stated its move has nothing to do with the state's decision to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, and everything to do with keeping Customs and Border Protection [CBP] officials from accessing necessary data.  Acting Secretary of DHS Wolf stressed the significance of having access to the state's DMV data in order to conduct proper security checks for applicants to programs such Global Entry, saying New York was making it impossible for CBP to do what was needed.

February 9: The Washington Examiner: House will attempt to revive the Equal Rights
Amendment this week
The House is poised this week to pass a measure that would revive the long-dead Equal Rights Amendment by repealing the 1982 deadline imposed on states to ratify it,  “permanently reopen the ratification process for the amendment by eliminating the deadline,” the Congressional Budget Office reported.   But the effort to resuscitate the ERA faces significant obstacles.   The GOP-led Senate is unlikely to endorse the House measure.   Even if the Senate cleared the measure, the Justice Department has ruled it would be unconstitutional.  House lawmakers must start over if they wish to ratify the ERA, the Office of Legal Counsel ruled in January.

February 9: The Jerusalem Post:  Will the sun set on annexation of Judea and Samaria
Likud voters in Judea and Samaria are a relatively small yet influential group, and Netanyahu is left doing damage control and repeating over and over that annexation will really happen. The question is when?

February 8: Channel 4 Jacksonville: Republican voter registration booth rammed by van
Hours after a van plowed through a Republican Party tent where volunteers were registering voters, Jacksonville police arrested a 27-year-old man on two counts of aggravated assault on a person over 65 years old, criminal mischief and driving without a license.  Police Lt. Larry Gayle said after driving through the tent, the driver stopped, took a video and “flipped off” the people who were inside the tent before driving away.  No injuries were reported. One of the volunteers provided photos of the older brown Chevrolet driving away.

February 8: The Daily Caller: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tries unsuccessfully to bully
Facebook and Twitter into removing an
edited video of her at the State of the Union Address
Facebook and Twitter are refusing to bow to requests from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to nix an edited video of the California Democrat tearing up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech.  The edited video was posted on both social media platforms after the Tuesday night SOTU in which Pelosi can be seen ripping a copy of the speech. The video is spliced together to make it appear that Pelosi ripped the speech as Trump is saluting a Tuskegee airman and others in the audience.

February 8: Fox News: Trump to propose 12% increase in NASA’s budget in order to
get men back to the moon in four years
President Trump is seeking billions of dollars in new funding for NASA aimed at returning astronauts to the moon within four years, according to administration officials. Trump will propose a 12 percent budget increase for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration when he releases his spending plan next week. The boost includes funding to develop human landers.  No one has been to the moon since 1972 under NASA’s now-shuttered Apollo program. But since taking office, Trump has made space exploration a top priority, and his administration has set a target of 2024 for the next lunar landing.

February 8: The Washington Examiner: Dershowitz: FISA court needs “reshuffle”
to stop FBI officials with a “grudge”
Alan Dershowitz called for a "reshuffle" of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to protect the privacy of American citizens.  The Harvard Law School professor emeritus said that anyone, could be subject to surveillance abuse if a low-ranking FBI official has a "grudge" and a role in the FISA process.  "This could happen to you or me or anybody. Today, the way the FISA court operates, some low-ranking FBI agent with a grudge against somebody could walk in and say, 'Dershowitz,… were talking to the Russians, let’s intrude on his privacy, his wife’s privacy, his children’s privacy,'" He said that Attorney General William Barr's memo to the FBI ordering the organization to clear any investigations into 2020 candidates with him may not go far enough.

February 7: The Washington Free Beacon: Strained relationship between AIPAC and
the new Democrat party standard barriers

A Democrat-backed effort to boycott the nation's leading pro-Israel group is gaining steam, worrying center-left advocates of the Jewish state who have been struggling in recent months to ensure their party continues to uphold the historically close U.S.-Israel relationship.  Far-left critics of Israel and its supporters in the United States have been gaining traction in the Democratic Party for some time. As young leaders such as Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) gain increasing control of the party, anti-Israel voices once shunned by mainstream Democrats are beginning to find themselves welcomed with open arms.

February 7: The Washington Examiner: Trump: Vindman out because he lacked “judgment”
President Trump explained he fired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman because of his lack of judgment and insubordination.  Vindman “....was given a horrendous report by his superior, the man he reported to, who publicly stated that Vindman had problems with judgement, adhering to the chain of command and leaking information. In other words, “OUT,” Trump reported. Vindman, a key witness in the impeachment trial against Trump, was fired and escorted out of the White House. His dismissal came two days after the president was acquitted on all impeachment charges by the Senate.

February 6: The Daily Caller: DHS suspends travel program for New York residents
The Department of Homeland Security is suspending New Yorkers from enrolling in Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs in response to a new state law that bans information sharing with the federal government.  The “Trusted” program allows expedited entry of pre-approved individuals and is heavily reliant on information from state driver’s licenses.  Because a new law in New York allows illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses and bans information sharing between DMVs and DHS agencies, DHS decided to suspend the program for New York residents.

February 6: Fox News: Senator Scott (FL) calls for amending the Constitution to
require a 60% vote in the House in order to impeach a President
"An act as divisive as impeachment must have bipartisan backing and overwhelming support. It should be harder – much harder – for either political party to take the process our Founders created as a last resort against a tyrannical leader and use it instead as a tool for the tyranny of a political majority," Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) said in a statement. "I look forward to all of my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, joining me in this effort to protect the integrity of our nation and our constitution."

February 5: CNBC News: Trump found not guilty of the two impeachment charges
On Wednesday the Senate voted to acquit President Trump of both counts of impeachment.  Fifty-two Senators voted for acquittal with 48, including Romney (R-UT), voting to find him guilty of abuse of power.  The President was also acquitted of the charge of obstruction by a vote of 53 to 47.  Chief Justice Roberts, in his final remarks before the trial officially adjourned, said that he leaves the chamber “with sincere good wishes as we carry out our common commitment to the Constitution through the distinct roles assigned to us by that charter.”  “You have been generous hosts and I look forward to seeing you again under happier circumstances,” Roberts said.

The First Lady presents the Medal of Freedom to Rush Limvbaugh at the State of the Union addressFebruary 4: The Daily Caller: Trump to give Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom
President Donald Trump plans to award conservative radio legend Rush Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Limbaugh announced on his radio show Monday that he has advanced lung cancer and will be going through treatment for it.  “There are going to be days that I’m not going to be able to be here. Because I will be undergoing treatment,” he said on air.


Speaker Pelosi, is a sign of disrespect toward President Trump rips up his State of the Union speechFebruary 4: ABC News: In a sign of disrespect, Speaker
Pelosi rips up Trump's State of the Union Speech
In a moment that bookended an already divided night at the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore in half a copy of the State of the Union address given to her by the president just as he finished speaking. President Donald Trump didn't appear to notice as Pelosi, standing behind him in the gallery, ripped up the papers. When asked after the event why she ripped up the speech, Pelosi told reporters it was "because it was a courteous thing to do considering the alternative. It was such a dirty speech."

February 4: The Hill: Acquittal of Trump may have
profound impact on Presidential power

President Trump’s acquittal at the end of his Senate trial could set a new bar for future impeachment trials, according to experts and historians interviewed by The Hill.  It may take years or even decades to truly determine what kind of mark Trump’s trial leaves, but historians and legal experts say an acquittal will likely lower the bar for permissible presidential conduct and give the executive branch more power in the face of congressional oversight — if the decision is based in part on the Trump legal team’s expansive view of presidential power.

February 4: Philadelphia Inquirer | Military.com | News Break:
Three highlights from the President’s State of the Union address
Montague of images from the President's State of the Union address
[Philadelphia Inquirer] A Philadelphia mother and her fourth-grade daughter made a special appearance Tuesday night as guests for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.  Stephanie Davis and daughter Janiyah sat in the gallery as the president spoke. He talked directly to the girl while discussing his plans for school choice and federal tax credits. “Some good news for you” the President said,   'I am pleased to inform you that your long wait is over. … an opportunity scholarship has become available, is going to you, and you will soon be heading to the school of your choice,” Trump concluded.

[Military.com] He's only 13, but he's already got his eye on joining the nation's newest military branch, the U.S. Space Force.  Meet Iain Lanphier, the Scottsdale, Arizona 8th-grader.  Sitting next to Ian was 100-year-old Charles McGee, one of the last survivors of the legendary  Tuskegee Airmen -- African-American pilots who fought heroically in World War II. "Charles McGee was born in Cleveland, Ohio, one century ago," Trump said. " ... After more than 130 combat missions in World War II, he came back to a country still struggling for Civil Rights and went on to serve America in Korea and Vietnam." Earlier that day Trump signed the papers making him an honorary brigadier general.

[News Break] President Donald Trump surprised a military family with an unexpected reunion during the State of the Union on Tuesday evening. While discussing how "war places a heavy burden on our nation's extraordinary military families," Trump recognized Amy Williams from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and her two children, 6-year-old Elliana and 3-year-old Rowan.

February 4: Associated Press: Biden’s poor showing shakes up the Democrat establishment
Joe Biden’s third presidential bid enters a critical stretch after a disappointing finish in the Iowa caucuses sent the former vice president on to New Hampshire with a skittish donor base, low cash reserves and the looming threat of billionaire rival Michael Bloomberg and his unlimited personal wealth.  In New Hampshire on Tuesday, Biden insisted he had a “good night” in Iowa even as he trailed the top moderate candidate, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of Indiana; Bernie Sanders, according to initial returns from 62% of precincts. Biden was running fourth, close to Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who just days ago polled in single digits.

February 3: The Daily Caller: Harvard professor arrested  for ties with
Chinese Communist Government
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influence on American college campuses has continued to be of concern, highlighting a trend at America’s most elite institutions.  Most recently, Charles Lieber, the chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard, was charged with aiding the Chinese government and hiding his ties about accepting millions in funding. His involvement with the Chinese government included recruiting skilled individuals to the Thousand Talent Program, which in some cases has resulted in violations of U.S. law, such as espionage, theft of trade secrets, and grant fraud.  Other universities with similar situations include Boston University and the University of Kansas.

February 3: Fox News: Limbaugh announces he has “advanced lung cancer”
Talk radio king Rush Limbaugh stunned his 20-million member audience Monday with the announcement he’s been diagnosed with “advanced lung cancer.”  The 69-year-old conservative talk pioneer closed his broadcast with the grim news, saying he will be leaving his golden EIB microphone for treatment, but hopes to return later this week.  The radio icon then told his audience that his job has provided him with the “greatness satisfaction and happiness” of his life.  “So, I have to tell you something today that I wish I didn’t have to tell you. It’s a struggle for me because I had to inform my staff earlier today,” he said. “I can’t help but feel that I’m letting everybody down. The upshot is that I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.”

February 2: Breitbart News: Sanders could sweep early primary states
Former Vice President Joe Biden is only 5 points ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the latest poll of voters in South Carolina, the state where Biden had built a “firewall” of support among African-Americans.  The new poll result raises the possibility that Sanders could sweep all four of the early primary states that vote in February. He leads in the latest polls in Iowa and New Hampshire; he is statistically tied with Biden in the most recent poll in Nevada; and now he is clinging to a slim lead over Sanders in South Carolina.

February 2: Daily Caller
: Google employees used company resources to resist Trump
Apparently Google employees interpreted Trump’s election as a terrible outcome that they should have done more to prevent the American people from choosing and something they would work hard to make sure didn’t happen again. Indeed, company documents and communications showing Google employees organizing anti-Trump protests using internal company channels, company time, and company office space.  “If your stomach turns when you consider a Trump presidency, I urge you not to let this moment pass quietly,” one Google employee wrote in an email to coworkers, urging them to attend an anti-Trump protest in San Francisco ten days after Trump’s election.

February 1: BBC News: UK begins new chapter outside the European Union
Celebrations and anti-Brexit protests were held on Friday night to mark the UK's departure.  Ex-Brexit Secretary David Davis said everyone would be a winner in the end.  The UK officially left the European Union on Friday at 23:00 GMT after 47 years of membership, and more than three years after it voted to do so in a referendum.  In a message released on social media an hour before the UK left, Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to bring the country together and "take us forward".  "For many people this is an astonishing moment of hope, a moment they thought would never come," he said. "And there are many of course who feel a sense of anxiety and loss."

February 1: The Daily Caller: Democrat Texan Congressman concerned about ICE
apprehending an illegal at local courthouse
Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) said he was “disturbed” to hear that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested a criminal illegal alien in a courthouse. The Congressman was repeating a criticism made by many immigrant-rights activists – courthouses should be considered “sensitive locations,” or off-limits to ICE because such arrests might lead to the illegal immigrant community becoming fearful of approaching law enforcement altogether.  ICE has long pushed back on this argument, pointing out that arrests in these locations are a safe alternative to apprehensions out of the field — where individuals might be armed, and others might be put at risk. Courthouses, where individuals enter through a metal detector and are surrounded by law enforcement, ensure safety for everyone involved.

February 1: The Washington Examiner:  Romney “formerly not invited” to CPAC after
impeachment witness vote

The chairman of CPAC announced that Utah Sen. Mitt Romney is "formally not invited" to the conservative group's annual conference this year.  Matt Schlapp, the head of the American Conservative Union, said Romney is not allowed at the event after the Utah Republican voted in favor of summoning witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. Romney was one of two Republicans who joined 47 Democrats in supporting the motion, which failed to pass on Friday.

January 31: The Daily Caller: Clarence Thomas: Documentary
film in his own words
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is setting the record straight with a new documentary, “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas In His Own Words,” released January 31.  Thomas is most well-known for his fiery defense of his own character during his nomination process, in which his former employee Anita Hill accused him of sexual misconduct. According to Michael Pack, the director and producer of the film, Thomas sees this incident as a product of a more general media bias against black people who espouse conservative ideas. 
See the trailer | Playing through February 6th at the AMC theater, 3301 Town Center Blvd S, Sugar Land

January 31: The Wall Street Journal: Senate rejects witnesses in Trump impeachment trial
The U.S. Senate rejected Democrats’ demands to call new witnesses and documents in President Trump’s impeachment trial, clearing the way for an acquittal on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges next week.  The 51-49 vote late Friday afternoon represented a major victory for the Senate leadership which has sought to complete the trial as quickly as possible.

January 31: Politico: Senate puts off final vote in Trump trial to next week
The Senate impeachment trial for Donald Trump will drag into next week, with a vote set for Wednesday afternoon on two articles of impeachment against the president, according to a bipartisan resolution negotiated by party leaders.  The 4 p.m. vote will conclude a 20-day proceeding, only the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history. The Senate is virtually certain to acquit Trump, and even some Democrats may oppose an obstruction of Congress article approved by the House.

January 31: The Daily CallerRep. Nunes:  Tucker (Carlson) I have some bad news for you
Congressman Nunes:  The bad news:  “…this isn’t going to end. I just can’t imagine that Adam Schiff, after three and a half years of this nonsense — and Jerry Nadler — are not going to continue this, right? They are going to go back and subpoena John Bolton. We’re going to have the same exact thing that you have been seeing for the last three and a half years. I just think you should prepare. Once Mueller collapsed completely, we thought, ‘okay, we’re going to get on to business,'” And then out of nowhere this Ukraine hoax appeared. …This was Adam Schiff and his staff concocting this all together with people that all know each other.   … I bet even after the acquittal we’re gonna be working on this.”

January 30: The Washington Examiner: Republicans feel increasingly
confident the Senate will not vote to call witnesses
“It does look to me like we are headed toward ending this week sometime,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) a member of the GOP leadership team  said Thursday. Republican senators will meet privately Friday morning before the trial convenes again at 1 p.m. When the trial convenes, impeachment managers and defense lawyers will each have two hours to present final arguments before the Senate takes a pivotal vote on whether to end the trial or call additional witnesses.  A vote approving a call for witnesses is now considered unlikely.  Three Republicans are seriously weighing a vote to call witnesses, but the vast majority of GOP senators want the trial to end this week.

January 30: The Daily Caller: Rep. Jeffries says hiring former British Spy to get dirt from
Russian sources about Trump isn’t foreign interference in the 2016 elections
Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, one of the House impeachment managers, argued Thursday that Democrats’ hiring of a former British spy Christopher Steele  to collect dirt from Russian sources about the Trump campaign does not constitute foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election because the information was “purchased” rather than simply obtaining it. “The analogy is not applicable to the present situation because first, to the extent that opposition research was obtained, it was opposition research that was purchased,” Jeffries contended in response to a question from Sen. Richard Burr and a group of Republican senators.

January 30: Fox News: Swing Senator announces he will vote against
hearing witnesses; acquittal of the impeachment of Trump seems likely
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced late Thursday night that he would not support additional witnesses in President Trump's "shallow, hurried and wholly partisan"  Senate impeachment trial, seemingly ending Democrats' hopes of hearing testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton and paving the way for the president's imminent acquittal as soon as Friday night.

January 30: You Tube: John Bolton’s interview with Radio Free Europe regarding Ukraine
Full interview of National Security Advisor John Bolton from August 28, 2019, where he describes President Trump’s two calls with the President of Ukraine as “warm and cordial.”

January 29: Fox News: Impeachment: Chief Justice blocks Paul
question that would reveal the name of the whistleblower
Chief Justice Roberts blocked Sen. Rand Paul  (R_KY) from posing a question during the Senate impeachment trial that would have named the alleged whistleblower at the center of the episode but Paul may try to force the issue during the question-and-answer session that begins Thursday afternoon.  For now Roberts has control over what can be asked but he may soon lose his grip on the proceedings amid a torrent of criticism both inside and outside the Senate.  Paul, who has long raised concerns about possible intelligence community overreach, has not yet indicated what action(s) he may take in the final day of questioning.

January 29: The Conservative Tree House:  Outnumbered and still Trump appears to
have them surrounded
Think about it…  The EU, Asia, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, China, Russia, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Iran, U.S. Congress, Democrats, U.S. Senate, Wall Street, the Big Club, Lobbyists, Hollywood, Corporate Media (foreign and domestic), and the ankle-biters in Never Trump…. All of these financial interests are aligned against Main Street USA and against President Trump.  Name one individual who could take them on simultaneously and still be winning, bigly. They say he’s one man.  They say they have him outnumbered.  Yet somehow, as unreal as it seems, he’s the one who appears to have them surrounded.  
[A friend just sent this to us. Although it was originally published six months ago, we just now became aware of it]

January 29: The Daily Caller: UK to allow China’s Huawei access to 5G networks
Britain announced Tuesday plans to allow Chinese company Huawei limited access to the country’s 5G networks, effectively dismissing U.S. pressure to avoid the telecommunications giant.  The country will allow the company to supply and build 5G network infrastructure but will deny it access to some of Britain’s government sites, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. Britain officials had been under intense pressure from the Trump administration to block Huawei.  President Donald Trump and U.S. officials believe Huawei represents a threat to national security, warning Beijing could direct the company to spy on Americans or cause disruptions to critical infrastructure.

January 28: AmmoLand.com: Trump Administration publishes historic rulemaking to
modernize U.S. firearms export regime

On Jan. 23, 2020, the Trump administration  published rules that will be a boon to the United States firearms industry and all who utilize its products. The new regulations will become effective on March 9, 2020.  The changes move firearm-related commerce from an antiquated Cold War paradigm into the modern era of broader international trade and access to information.  No more will small, non-exporting businesses – including gunsmiths – be caught up in an expansive regulatory scheme for manufacturers of “munitions” and their parts that requires a $2,250 annual registration fee with U.S. State Department.  The rule will move the control for exporting these items from the Munitions List (administered by the Department of State) to the “dual use” list of items licensed by the U.S. Department of Commerce.  The rule was the result of a year-long interagency process.  Meanwhile attorney generals from several anti-gun states have filed suit in Federal Court in Seattle, Washington, in an effort to stop the rule from taking effect.

January 28: The Washington Examiner: Trump and Netanyahu get
down to business while enemies circle
President Trump unveiled what he called his “deal of the century” for peace in the Middle East announcing a four-year halt to Israeli settlement building as the basis for finding a “realistic” two-state solution.  His plan calls for what would be the world’s longest tunnel, linking Gaza to the West Bank, and other bold proposals such as allowing Israel to annex the Jordan Valley in return for Palestinian statehood.  “I was not elected to do small things or shy away from big problems,” said Trump to cheers and applause as he stood beside Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

January 28: Fox NewsRand Paul: Trump’s children should sue Schumer
for defamation of character
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said Tuesday that President Trump’s children should sue Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for defamation of character after Schumer  accused both them and their father of  illegally making money off of the presidency. Paul said he was "offended" and "shocked" that Schumer would "be so scurrilous" as to accuse the president and his children of making money illegally off of politics when "the only people we know who have actually made money off this have been Hunter Biden and Joe Biden."  He continued "So, Hunter Biden makes a million dollars a year. That's documented.  But, Schumer simply creates and makes up and says, 'Oh, maybe the president's kids are making money.'"

January 28:
News One: Trump’s team wraps up impeachment defense;
rejects Bolton testimony
President Donald Trump's legal team argued forcefully against the relevance of testimony from Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday as the lawyers wrapped their defense and the Senate braced for debate on whether to summon Bolton and other witnesses into the impeachment trial.  Attorney Jay Sekulow undermined the credibility of Bolton's book by noting that other administration officials have disputed comments attributed to him.  Trump’s attorneys also argued that the Founding Fathers took care to make sure that impeachment was narrowly defined, with impeachable offenses clearly enumerated.

January 27: The Washington ExaminerPaul: “Disgruntled, angry” Bolton using
leak to “make a lot more money”
Republican Sen. Rand Paul dismissed claims that former Trump national security adviser John Bolton’s testimony would add anything new to the impeachment case and charged that parts of Bolton's book critical of the president were leaked so he could make more money.  “He’s a disgruntled, angry man who was fired. So you’d have to take him with a grain of salt. He wants to sell a book,” the Kentucky senator told Secrets Monday in comments that echoed those of President Trump.  Paul suggested that the book excerpts leaked to the New York Times were part of a scheme to rally calls that the Senate call witnesses, especially Bolton, which would help the former aide cash in even more on his book,

January 27: The Daily Caller: Hemmer asks impeachment manager Demings
three times why the House didn’t subpoena Bolton

Fox News host Bill Hemmer had to ask House Impeachment Manager Val Demings three times why the House had not subpoenaed former National Security Adviser John Bolton — and even then, she did not give an answer.  Hemmer spoke to Demings during a break Monday in the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

January 27: Breitbart News:  Trump defense team lays out their case
Trump defense counsel Cipollone made some quick observations before the Senate adjourns. He said he was thinking how Trump’s impeachment would look like on a law school exam. After going over the fact pattern, he said the first thought would be this could not happen in America. He continued one would reject the impeachment. He concluded by saying the most important point is that this choice belongs to the American people and they will get to make their choice months from now. He said there is no basis in the law for Senators to remove the president from the ballot.

January 26: The Washington Examiner: Should Bolton testify don’t expect
him to slam dunk Trump
John Bolton is unlikely to drop the bombshell on President Trump hoped for by Democrats should he testify in the Senate impeachment trial, according to those who know him well.  Bolton is a committed hawk who devoted his career inside and outside the government to persuading Republican politicians to adopt his foreign policy agenda. Whatever his opinion of Trump with regard to Ukraine Bolton associates are convinced he would not jeopardize his influence with Republicans on national security matters by testifying against the president.

January 26: The Washington Free Beacon: CNN blames bar shooting on lax gun laws; it
got the facts wrong

A CNN article on a recent Kansas City bar shooting mischaracterized the shooter's criminal history to blame the killing on Missouri's gun laws.   29-year-old Jahron Swift was identified by police as the shooter.  All of Swift's prior arrests and weapons charges came before Missouri's gun law went into effect. Even after it was enacted on Jan. 1, 2017, the permit-less carry law would not have nullified Swift's pending unlawful use of weapons charges. But regardless of the permit-less carry law, Swift was convicted of two felonies and therefore could not have legally carried a gun.

January 26: Fox News: Tennessee law would allow agencies to deny LGBTQ
adoption applications for religious  reasons 
The Governor of Tenseness signed a controversial law Friday that allows adoption agencies within the state to refuse to place children in homes that "violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies.”  The measure, signed by Republican Gov. Bill Lee, was widely condemned by members of the LGBTQ community for providing legal protections to agencies that reject foster care or adoption applications from same-sex homes. It also prohibits the state from denying agencies licenses or grants for public funding because they have a religious objection to placing a child in a certain home.

January 26: Yahoo News: Rocket attack his U.S. embassy in Bagdad injuring at least one
Three rockets slammed into the US embassy in Iraq's capital on Sunday in the first direct hit reported after months of close calls, as thousands kept up anti-government sit-ins across the country.  None of the attacks has been claimed but Washington has repeatedly blamed Iran-backed military factions in Iraq. 

January 25: The Daily Caller: Senator Ernst: Trump legal team shredded
House 24 hour impeachment case in just two hours
Republican Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst on Saturday reacted to the White House counsel’s defense against impeaching President Donald Trump, saying they “shredded” the House managers’ case in just two hours.  “Within two hours I thought that the White House Counsel and their team entirely shredded the case that has been presented by the house managers,” Ernst said to reporters on Capitol Hill after listening to Trump’s lawyers.

January 25: Breitbart News: Senator Hawley (R-MO) plans to force subpoena
votes for Bidens, Schiff, and the Whistleblower

Senator Josh Hawley revealed Saturday he has drafted motions to subpoena former Vice President Biden, his son Hunter, House intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA),and the so-called whistleblower.  Hawley will attempt to force a vote on the subpoenas if the Senate approves additional witnesses and documents as part of the upper chamber’s trial.  Hawley’s motion is likely to be opposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has come out against subpoenaing Hunter Biden over concerns that the move will extend the trial longer.

January 24: Real Clear Politics: Trump speaks at March for Life rally in DC
It is my profound honor to be the first President in history to attend the March for Life. We’re here for a very simple reason: to defend the right of every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential. For 47 years, Americans of all backgrounds have traveled from across the country to stand for life. And today, as President of the United States, I am truly proud to stand with you

January 24: Fox News: Trump tells defense team, just be honest and tell the truth
President Trump told Fox News Friday that his defense team in the Senate impeachment trial merely has to "be honest" in laying out the case for why he shouldn't be removed from office before calling the proceedings a "fraud."  "What my people have to do is just be honest, just tell the truth," Trump told Raymond Arroyo at the March for Life rally in Washington. "They’ve been testifying, the Democrats, they’ve been telling so many lies, so many fabrications, so much exaggeration. And this is not impeachable."

January 24: Yahoo.Com: Experts fear too late for China virus lockdown
China's bid to contain a deadly new virus by placing cities of millions under quarantine is an unprecedented undertaking but it is unlikely to stop the disease spreading, experts warn.  The contagious virus has already reached elsewhere in China and abroad, and even an authoritarian government has only a small timeframe in which trapped residents will submit to such a lockdown, they say.  "I think we have passed the golden period of control and prevention," said Guan Yi, an expert on viruses at Hong Kong University.

January 24: Fox News: Senator Ernst impeachment “hypocrisy”
Democrats' claim that the Trump Administration broke America's promise to protect  Ukraine from Russia by withholding military aid is just an example of the party's hypocrisy, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) claimed Thursday.  "The Democratic House Managers’ hypocrisy is on full display," Ernst wrote on Twitter.  "They’ve spent most of their time lecturing the Senate on aid to Ukraine, yet four of them voted AGAINST legislation that provided the very same aid they’re lecturing us on."  "What I find very interesting now is that the House Managers are very, very centered on the fact that Russia was invading Ukraine. And military funding to Ukraine," she said during a break from President Trump’s impeachment trial earlier Thursday, reminding reporters that Crimea was invaded in 2014 during the Obama administration.

January 23: The Daily CallerBiden: DACA recipients are “More American
than most Americans”
Former Vice President Joe Biden said at a campaign event in Iowa on Tuesday that illegal immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are “more American” than most of their U.S.-born counterparts because they do well in school.  “These kids have come, they’ve done well, most of these kids — there’s a lot of them, and they’re not just Hispanic, they’re Asian-Pacific Islanders as well. and they in fact have done very, very well,” Biden said at an event in Ames, Iowa.

January 23: Fox News: Turnabout is fair play; Oklahoma bans
state travel to California
The governor of Oklahoma has banned all state-funded travel to California after officials there placed a similar ban on travel to his state.  Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt announced the ban in an executive order on Thursday, barring all non-essential travel by state employees to the Golden State, with exceptions for business recruiting trips, college sports games and trips by schools to participate in out-of-state programs.  Stitt’s executive order came as a response to similar travel bans imposed by California where Oklahoma was added after enacting legislation allowing adoption agencies to deny placement services to same-sex parents.

January 23: Fox NewsKey GOP senator “Offended” by Nadler cover up charge
House Democrats' handling of the impeachment to date may be turning off Republicans they need to help them in the final vote.  The first sign of a backlash among that critical group came Wednesday when Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)  said she was offended by House manager Jerry Nadler’s assertion that GOP members voting against allowing new testimony and evidence were engaged in a “cover-up.”  Murkowski’s complaint about Nadler's remarks is particularly noteworthy, as she is among the small group of Republican senators seen as a possible swing vote on impeachment and a possible supporter of allowing more witness testimony later on in the trial. But Murkowski is not alone—Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., on Wednesday said Democrats “took a huge step backward” in their opening.

January 23: The Daily Caller: DOJ concedes that two of its Carter Page
FISA orders were “not valid”
The Justice Department recently conceded that two of the four orders to wiretap former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page were “not valid,” Judge James Boasberg said in a court order unsealed Thursday.   The Justice Department made the surprising concession in response to an inspector general’s report that found “significant” errors and omissions in four applications submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to surveil Page.  While the IG report was highly critical of the FBI and Justice Department, it did not weigh in on the validity of the four surveillance applications, which were granted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

January 22: NBC NewsSenate adopts Leader McConnell’s rules for
impeachment trial of Trump
The Senate passed Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's resolution laying out a blueprint for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial along party lines early Wednesday after 13 hours of back and forth between House prosecutors and attorneys for the White House.  Under the terms of the organizing resolution, the House case managers will have 24 hours over three days to make their arguments to remove the president from office on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress. Attorneys for the White House likewise will have 24 hours over three days to state their case for acquittal.

January 22: Fox News: House and White House legal teams tangle causing
Justice Roberts to admonish both
"We've (the President’s legal team) been respectful of the Senate,"  White House counsel Pat Cipollone fired said.   "We've made our arguments to you. And you don't deserve, and we don't deserve, what just happened. Mr. Nadler came up here and made false allegations against our team. He made false allegations against all of you; he accused you of a cover-up. He's been making false allegations against the president. The only one who should be embarrassed, Mr. Nadler is you, for the way you've addressed the United States Senate. This is the United States Senate. You're not in charge here. ... It’s about time we bring this power trip in for a landing."  The attacks went on back and forth causing the Chief Justice to admonish both legal teams

January 22: The UK Daily Mail: Gabbard sues Clinton; I’m no Russian Spy
Tulsi Gabbard is suing  Hillary Clinton for defamation after Clinton indicated she thinks the Hawaii congresswoman is a Russian plant in the 2020 presidential race.  'Rep. Gabbard must defend her good name,' her lawyer said in a statement on Wednesday.  The complaint references Gabbard's military service in the Army National Guard, charges Clinton with hurting her presidential bid, and outlines her belief Clinton made the comments in retaliation for Gabbard endorsing Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary. 

January 22: The Jerusalem Post: Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp Commander
gunned down; raises questions about regime’s ability to deal with unrest
An Iranian Basij Forces commander was gunned down in front of his own home on Wednesday.  The Basij forces, one of the five forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC), are often used to suppress protests and demonstrations in the Islamic Republic.  He was killed by two men who wore masks and were riding a motorcycle, Iranian media reported. The killing could possibly signal that the regime is unable to contain widespread discontent among the Iranian public. 

January 21: The UK Daily Mail: Democrats lose their first battle of
Trump's impeachment trial as Senate rejects subpoenaing the White
House for Ukraine documents
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) blasted a proposed rules package and said Trump sought to 'coerce' Ukraine into helping him 'cheat' in the election. Trump denies he committed an impeachable offense and his defense has assailed the Democrats' process and lack of Republican backing. Majority Leader McConnell modified the initial rules to allow 24 hours of debate for each side over three days.  Minority Leader Schumer proposed an amendment that would allow Democrats to subpoena White House documents.  The Senate voted down the Schumer proposal by a 53 to 47 party line vote.   Several moderate GOP lawmakers - who Democrats had hoped to pick off to their side - said they were fine with waiting to vote on subpoenaing documents and witnesses after each side presents its opening argument, which is the same procedure used in Bill Clinton's Senate trial.

January 21: Fox News: Perino: Schumer risks losing public and senate
interest with amendments to the impeachment rules

Fox News cohost Dana Perino said Tuesday Senate Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY) risks losing the public's -- and the U.S. Senate's -- attention if he continues to offer "amendments" to the parameters of the Trump impeachment trial.  Most observers have a "limited amount of attention span," she said.  "He (Schumer) has to make a decision," Perino said.. "Does he want to go through all of these or tell [Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell: 'Put these amendments in the record. Table them all at once. Get to the substance right away.'"

January 21: Politico: Trump considers expanding travel ban that sparked uproar three years ago
President Donald Trump may expand his controversial travel ban with an announcement expected as early as Monday, the three-year anniversary of the original order, which targeted several majority-Muslim nations.  The list of countries is not yet final and could be changed, but nations under consideration for new restrictions include Belarus, Myanmar (also known as Burma), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania, according to two people familiar with the matter.

January 21: Fox News: Trump addresses World Economic Forum in Switzerland
President Trump on Tuesday addressed the global business community in Davos while his adversaries back home prepared for  his impeachment trial.  Trump took the stage and touted his administration's policies for helping create a historic unemployment level and taking a new proactive stance toward trade. He said recent trade agreements will represent a new model for the 21st Century that is based on fairness and reciprocity.  "Today I'm proud to declare the United States is in the midst of an economic boom, the likes of which the world has never seen before," he said. He went on to vow never to let "radical socialists destroy our economy."

January 20: The Washington Examiner:  White House adds GOP members to defense team
Eight Republican members of the House have joined President Trump's impeachment team ahead of his Senate trial.  The White House released the names including representatives Doug Collins (GA), Mike Johnson (LA), Jim Jordan (OH), Debbie Lesko (AZ), Mark Meadows (NC), John Ratcliffe (TX), Elise Stefanik (NY), and Lee Zeldin (NY). "Throughout this process, these Members of Congress have provided guidance to the White House team, which was prohibited from participating in the proceedings concocted by Democrats in the House of Representatives," the White House said in a statement. "The President looks forward to their continued participation and is confident that the Members will help expeditiously end this brazen political vendetta on behalf of the American people."

January 20: The Jerusalem Post: Iran threatens to pull out of the NPT if Europe
refers it to UN council
Iran said on Monday it could quit the global nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if European countries refer it to the U.N. Security Council over a nuclear agreement, a move that would overturn diplomacy in its confrontation with the West.  The 1968 NPT has been the foundation of global nuclear arms control since the Cold War, including a 2015 deal Iran signed with world powers that offered it access to global trade in return for accepting curbs to its atomic program.  The fate of the 2015 pact has been in doubt since the United States pulled out of it and reimposed sanctions.

January 20: The Daily Caller: Trump considering crackdown on “Birth Tourism”
Reports say every year, tens of thousands of foreign visitors enter the U.S. and give birth.  The Trump administration is reportedly preparing a crackdown on those who visit the United States with the explicit intention to give birth, taking advantage of the country’s birthright citizen laws. The President  is expected to roll out changes to visa requirements in the coming days in order to stifle the “birth tourism” industry . The proposals would be the latest in the administration’s efforts to clamp down on abuse of the U.S. immigration system.

January 20: The Washington Free Beacon: CNN: While covering a peaceful gun
rights rally, repeatedly mentions instances of gun violence
While reporting on a peaceful gun-rights rally in Richmond, Va., on Monday, CNN kept a chyron up about a shooting the night before in Kansas City. CNN reported on three recent gun-related events: a Monday morning shooting in Honolulu, a Sunday night shooting in Kansas City, and a Monday gun-rights rally in Richmond. As the segment transitioned from the Kansas City shooting to the Richmond protest, the chyron title read "Virginia Gun Fight" with the subtitle "2 Dead, 15 Injured in Kansas City shooting."

January 19: The Daily Caller: Chris Wallace challenges impeachment manager
about “solemn” souvenir pen ceremony
“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace challenged New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries directly over the souvenir impeachment pens handed out by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  Jeffries, who was named one of Pelosi’s impeachment managers late last week, spoke with Wallace on Sunday morning and claimed that House Democrats took “no joy” in that ceremony despite the fact that they were all seen smiling, posing for photos and received ceremonial signing pens.

January 18: The Hill: Ted Cruz: Having witnesses could extend an impeachment
trial by up to eight weeks
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Sunday that the Senate’s impeachment trial could last as long as eight weeks if the chamber elects to hear from witnesses.  “I think it’s certainly possible that this trial could last one to two weeks. On the other hand, if the Senate makes the decision to go down the road of additional witnesses, that could extend it to six to eight weeks or even longer,” Cruz said. “This week is going to be the first time in a year that the president has had the opportunity to defend himself, to lay out the facts, to lay out the law, to lay out the actual substance,” he added.

January 18: Fox News: McConnell could provide for a “kill switch” for
impeachment trial if Democrats attempt to drag it out
Senate Majority Leader McConnell reportedly is close to finalizing a rule that would allow President Trump's team to move to dismiss the articles of impeachment in the Senate quickly after some evidence has been presented, as a sort of safety valve in case Democrats try to drag out the trial for weeks.  McConnell, R-Ky., wouldn't be obligated to publicize the final version of his resolution setting the parameters of the impeachment trial until Tuesday, but top Republicans have said they supported affording Trump the opportunity to cut the trial short.

January 18: The Daily Caller: Trump asks Supreme Court to allow plan restricting green
cards for benefit-dependent immigrants
he Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court for permission to enforce a new rule that allows authorities to consider a foreign national’s reliance on government benefits when deciding whether to give them a green card.  The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides that aliens should not be admitted if they are “likely at any time to become a public charge.” In the past, the government defined a “public charge” as a person primarily dependent on a cash assistance program, but the Trump administration expanded that definition in August 2019 to include people who use Medicaid, housing benefits or food stamps for a period of months.

January 17: The Washington Times: Sanders supports threaten to stay home if Biden is the nominee
Bernie Sanders supporters are warning that a lack of enthusiasm for Joe Biden could bring about the same result that nominating another establishment Democrat did four years ago: electing Donald Trump.   Sanders backers fret the socialist Vermont senator, 78, is being consistently ignored and underestimated by Beltway insiders and a Washington-based press corps — the same bunch, in their view, who failed to predict Trump's 2016 White House win and were sure Hillary Clinton, who beat Sanders for the Democratic nomination, would easily prevail.

January 17: Associated Press: Anti-Trump protests have shrunk
Days after President Donald Trump killed an Iranian general and said he was sending more soldiers to the Middle East, about 100 protesters stood on a pedestrian bridge over Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive with an illuminated sign that read “No War in Iran.”  Some 200 people marched in the bitter cold near Boston, while a few dozen people demonstrated on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall and at similarly sized gatherings across the U.S.   Three years after Trump took office and millions of people swarmed to the Women’s March in Washington and companion marches across the country, these typically modest protests are often the most visible sign of today’s Trump resistance.  Buy the Associated Press believes this should not be confused with “…a lack of energy or motivation to vote Trump out of office come November.”

January 17: Fox News: Gingrich: This impeachment will last “forever” but not
how Pelosi thinks

House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA)seemed giddy Wednesday as she announced the impeachment managers who would go to the Senate and attempt to prosecute a case against President Trump.  “He’s been impeached forever,” Pelosi said. “They can never erase that.”  Former Speaker Newt Gingrich said, “The wide repudiation of the House Democratic betrayal of the Constitution is already beginning. As a historian myself, I think it’s important to document these reactions.”

January 17: The Daily Caller: The Supremes’ Cases: State laws on “unfaithful”
electors; religious exemptions to Obamacare
he Supreme Court took up two high-profile disputes Friday as it rounds out its docket for the 2019-2020 term, agreeing to decide on the Trump administration’s bid to enforce exemptions from the Obamacare contraception mandate for religious dissenters, and whether state laws punishing “faithless” presidential electors are unconstitutional.  The latter case will be decided just months before the 2020 election, and could be decisive to the outcome of a closely-fought race.

January 17:  Fox News: Ayatollah lashes out at UK, France, and
Germany as they impose sanctions on Iran

On Friday Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei lashed out at Germany, the U.K. and France, calling them the “footmen of the U.S.,” days after the European countries moved to sanction the Islamic Republic for violating the controversial 2015 nuclear deal.

January 17: The Daily Caller: Starr, Dershowwitz, and Ray to join the
Trump impeachment defense team

President Donald Trump will reportedly add lawyers Alan Dershowitz, Kenneth Starr and Robert Ray to his impeachment legal defense team. Starr helped with former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, and Dershowitz was the former lawyer of Jeffrey Epstein. Ray replaced Starr at the Office of Independent Counsel during Clinton’s administration.

January 17: Fox News: Virginia Sheriff on Dems’ gun control bill
Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins reacted on Friday to the Virginia state House Democratic majority pushing several gun control measures to the upper senate chamber, calling it an "overreaching agenda against the Second Amendment."  “Never have I, or anyone, seen in the Commonwealth of Virginia someone have a topic so strongly opposed as this issue and suddenly this strong uprising against it,” Jenkins said.

January 16: The Associated Press: New Iowa caucus rules could spark clashes
The Iowa caucuses are never simple. Voters spend hours in high school gymnasiums or public libraries, starting their night by declaring support for their preferred presidential candidate. That’s followed by a feverish round of lobbying in which supporters of eliminated candidates are pressed to make a new pick by the evening’s end. This year, the caucuses could be even more chaotic.

January 16: Breitbart News: Seven times GAO found the Obama
Admin. violated federal law
Democrats and journalists were excited to learn the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a legal opinion that the Trump Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had violated the Impoundment Control Act by withholding (actually delayed) Congressionally appropriated aid to Ukraine last summer. The non-binding opinion was disputed by the OMB, which released a memo last month arguing that the “programmatic” delay sought to fulfill, not oppose, congressional intent.   Nevertheless, if a mere GAO finding is sufficient to justify impeachment, then President Barack Obama ought to have been impeached at least seven times over for each of the cases in which the GAO found that the Obama administration had violated federal law.

January 16: The Daily Caller: Rand Paul: Fears GOP may restrict Trump’s
team from calling witnesses of their choice
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said he’s worried that his fellow Republican senators will block testimonies from the witnesses President Donald Trump wants called in his impeachment trial.  Trump previously said he wants Hunter Biden, Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff,  and the whistleblower to testify if the Senate allows witnesses during the impeachment trial.  “Here’s the thing is, fair is fair, and if they’re going to put the president through this, they’re going to have to have witnesses on both sides,” Paul said.

January 16: The New York Times: Justice Dept. appears to be investigating
classified information links, may be focusing on Comey

Federal prosecutors in Washington are investigating a years-old leak of classified information about a Russian intelligence document, and they appear to be focusing on whether the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey illegally provided details to reporters, according to people familiar with the inquiry.  The case is the second time the Justice Department has investigated leaks potentially involving Mr. Comey, a frequent target of President Trump, who has repeatedly called him a “leaker.” Mr. Trump recently suggested without evidence that Mr. Comey should be prosecuted for “unlawful conduct” and spend years in prison.

January 15: Grabien.com: Biden stumbles his way through final Democrat Debate
Democrats’ 2020 front-runner ended the primary debate season much the way he began it: Stumbling and mumbling.  In his final performance before the Iowa caucuses, Biden once again struggled stringing together coherent sentences.  During one of his first answers, Biden attempted explaining his foreign policy toward the Middle East: "It's a mistake to pull out the straw, small number of troops … It's lie that our embassies were going to be bombed."   Discussing North Korea, Biden offered: "I would not meet without Kim absent preconditions." On trade with China, Biden again got tongue-tied: “If we don’t set the rules of the road by going out to our partners, instead of poking our eye — and, uh, excuse me, poking our finger in the eye of our friends ...”

January 15: The Daily Caller: Most of House impeachment team supported
impeachment prior to the “Whistleblower” coming forward
Six of the seven impeachment managers selected by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi supported the impeachment of President Donald Trump before the whistleblower complaint was filed.  House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is set to be the lead manager. 

January 15: The UK Sun: Speaker appoints impeachment team, sends articles to Senate
House speaker Nancy Pelosi announced today the House prosecutors who will lead the case for the impeachment of Donald Trump.  Pelosi said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chair of the intelligence committee, and Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., chair of the Judiciary Committee, are among the seven prosecutors, or "managers."  The other managers include: Representatives Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY, Val Demings, D-FL Jason Crow, D-WI, Sylvia Garcia, D-TX, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-CA.

January 14: NBC Channel 12: Northam declares state of emergency, Capitol
weapon ban ahead of gun rights rally

Fearing a repeat of the deadly violence that engulfed Charlottesville more than two years ago, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a temporary emergency Wednesday banning all weapons, including guns, from Capitol Square ahead of a massive rally planned next week over gun rights.  The governor, a Democrat, announced the plans at a news conference Wednesday afternoon because of credible threats of potential violence and extremism, one official said. Northam’s announcement comes days after Democratic leaders used a special rules committee to ban guns inside the Capitol and a legislative office building. That ban did not include Capitol grounds, which are under the governor’s control and are where thousands of gun-rights advocates are expected to rally Monday.

January 14: Fox News: Hume: Dems push for witnesses is a “Hail Mary Pass”
Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume said Tuesday that Democrats are depending on completing a  "Hail Mary pass" by pushing for witness testimony in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial of President Trump.  "I think that witnesses could happen. But make no mistake about what this is. This is a Hail Mary pass being encouraged mostly by a Democratic prosecution, House prosecutors who obviously don't think that the evidence that they have introduced so far is sufficient for a conviction… …And they're trying now at the last minute to get further witness testimony," Hume said

January 14: CNS News: Federal spending sets record through December
The federal government spent a record $1,163,090,000,000 in the first three months of fiscal 2020 (October through December),  according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released Monday.  That was up $48,008,200,000 from the $1,115,081,800,000 (in constant December 2019 dollars) that the federal government spent in the first three months of fiscal 2019.

January 14: Jerusalem Post: Iranian protests enter third day, injuries reported,
internet disrupted

Iranians continued protests in multiple cities throughout the country on Monday as students and citizens expressed anger at the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 and the failure of the Iranian government to admit their involvement.  Security forces continued to face off with demonstrators, as some reports claimed that protests were violently suppressed.   Internet watchdog Netblocks tweeted that internet connectivity dropped at the Sharif University in Tehran on Monday amid protests, but that national connectivity remained stable. In protests in November, internet connection was shut off around the country for over four days.

January 13: The Daily Caller: Ex-Treasury Department official pleads guilty to
leaking Trump Associates’ financial documents to BuzzFeed
A former Treasury Department official pleaded guilty in federal court in New York City to leaking sensitive financial records of multiple Trump associates and figures in the Trump-Russia investigation to a reporter at BuzzFeed News.  Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, who served as a senior adviser at the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network pleaded guilty to conspiring to disclose Suspicious Activities Reports, known from October 2017 until her arrest in October 2018.  They were used in around a dozen stories published at BuzzFeed by reporter Jason Leopold, according to prosecutors.

July 13: Breitbart News: Rabbi Shmuley: Booker lost because he followed
“Ilhan Omar wing” of the party
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a former close friend of Senator  Booker (D-NJ) said Booker had suffered a decline in his political fortunes because he sided with the “Ilhan Omar wing” of his party. 

January 12: CBS News Denver: First Time! Colorado judge denies confiscation
request under red flag law
For the first time, a judge has denied a request to take away a man’s guns under Colorado’s new red flag law. A Limon woman claimed a man who she had a relationship with threatened her with a gun and filed the request.  Since the law took effect, the red flag law has had many gun owners seeing red. At least four requests have been filed since the first of 2020; CBS4 is aware of them being filed in Denver, in Larimer County and this one — in Lincoln County. Many gun owners, like Jak Gruenberg, despise it. “Red flag laws just allow for harassment of legal gun owners,” he said.

January12: Sacramento Bee: Boy are you in trouble! Police pull over woman with
child in the back seat
Alarmed drivers on a Northern California highway spotted a young girl Saturday evening in a vehicle holding up a handmade sign that read “Help me, she’s not my mom!! Help!!” California Highway Patrol officers say.  After motorists on Highway 99 south of Elk Grove called 911, CHP officers and a K9 unit performed a high-risk stop on the vehicle near 8 Mile Road in Stockton, CHP officers wrote in a release. Then they discovered it was just a hoax cooked up by the girl, who “thought it was a fun thing to do,” CHP officers wrote. The girl’s mom, who was driving, was not in on the prank. After confirming the incident was bogus, officers let the mother and daughter go, the CHP reported.

January 12: Fox News: Kerry deflects question about why he
released money to Iran
Former Secretary of State John Kerry faced a question about his role in releasing billions of dollars to Iran during the Obama administration and responded by first attacking President Trump’s criticism of the move.  President Trump has claimed that Iran’s recent aggression against the U.S. in Iraq was funded by $150 billion that the Obama administration gave to Iran. Kerry insists that this is false, although in the past he recognized the at least some of the money – which was frozen due to sanctions and held in banks around the world before being released at roughly the same time the Iran nuclear deal was made – would end up in the hands of terrorists.

January 12: The Jerusalem Post: Trump expressed support for protestors
demanding Khamenei quit
US President Donald Trump has tweeted his support to the people of Iran, saying "I've stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency."  Hundreds of Iranian protesters demanded Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei step down on Saturday after Tehran admitted that its military had mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian plane, killing all 176 people on board.  “Commander-in-chief [Khamenei] resign, resign,” videos posted on Twitter showed hundreds of people chanting in front of Tehran’s Amir Kabir university.

January 11: Yahoo News: Iran admits shooting down Ukrainian airliner; Ukraine
demands compensation
Tehran admitted Saturday that it accidentally downed the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) plane, killing all 176 people on board on Wednesday, shortly after launching missiles at bases hosting US forces in Iraq.  Ukraine on Saturday demanded that Iran punish those guilty for the incident and compensation. Ukrainian officials said "We expect Iran... to bring the guilty to the courts," the Ukrainian leader wrote on Facebook, calling also for the "payment of compensation" and the return of remains.

January 10: CNN News: Video; Russian ship steams within 60 yards of US destroyer in Middle East
A Russian warship "aggressively approached" a US Navy destroyer while it was operating in the North Arabian Sea Thursday, ignoring warnings from the US vessel and increasing the risk of a collision, the US Navy said Friday.  Video of the incident shows the Russian warship rapidly approaching the USS Farragut, coming as close as 180 feet to the US ship before changing course, according to two defense officials.

January 10: The Daily Caller: Trump would use Executive privilege if Bolton called to testify”
President Donald Trump said in a new interview on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” that he would use executive privilege to prevent former White House aide John Bolton from testifying in an impeachment trial.

January 10: Breitbart News: Game Over; Pelosi to transmit impeachment
articles to the Senate later this week
Speaker Pelosi told Democrats Friday that she is prepared to sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial next week.  “I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate,” Pelosi wrote in the letter. “I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting.”  Pelosi’s announcement marked a sudden reversal of her decision to delay the trial and try to force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to commit to calling additional witnesses and evidence in the trial.  Senate Democrats pressured Pelosi to drop her attempt to draw out concessions from McConnell.

January 10: The Washington Free Beacon: Texas becomes first state to reject refugees
Texas governor Greg Abbott (R.) on Friday told the State Department that his state will become the first in the nation to refuse federal refugee resettlement.  In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Abbott wrote that in the wake of the border crisis that rocked the state in 2019, Texas lacks the state and private capacity to deal with even more demand on its humanitarian resources.  "At this time, the state and non-profit organizations have a responsibility to dedicate available resources to those who are already here, including refugees, migrants, and the homeless—indeed, all Texans," Abbott wrote. "As a result, Texas cannot consent to initial refugee resettlement for FY2020."

January 10: Fox News: Not charged -- Mississippi homeowner shoots home invasion suspect
A Mississippi homeowner who reportedly shot and killed a man who broke into his home in broad daylight Tuesday morning will not be charged.  Walter Williams, 31, was named as the suspect shot before noon in Pascagoula, Miss., by the homeowner, according to Harrison County Coroner Brian Switzer. He was pronounced dead at the scene.  The name of the homeowner -- who was identified as a longtime employee of the coroner's office -- is not being released because he hasn't been charged with a crime at this time.

January 9: Associated PressUS Officials: “Highly likely” Iran shot down Ukrainian Jetliner
Two U.S. officials said Thursday it was “highly likely” that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed a Ukrainian jetliner late Tuesday, killing all 176 people on board.  The crash came just a few hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack against Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops amid a confrontation with Washington over the U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general last week.  “Somebody could have made a mistake on the other side,” Trump said, noting the plane was flying in a “pretty rough neighborhood.”

January 8: The Hill: Graham: The impeachment dam is cracking; anticipate trial will
start in about a week

Sen. Lindsey Grahan (R-SC) said on Wednesday that the Senate will start its impeachment proceedings next week, signaling an end to the stalemate over the articles which have sat in the House since December.  Graham argued that Speaker Pelosi’s (D-CA)  "impeachment dam has broken," pointing to growing calls from some Senate Democrats for her to transmit the two articles of impeachment to the Senate.  "You said it was urgent; if you believe it to be urgent, send it to the Senate for disposition," Graham said. "She's losing Democrats in the Senate. The impeachment dam of Nancy Pelosi is about to crack."

January 8: The UK Daily Mail: Trump: Obama gave the Iranians the
cash they need to buy missiles flung at U.S. bases; offers peace but
warns of “hypersonic weapons” and fast attacks

'The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration,' Trump said, citing $150 billion in frozen assets that the previous president released and $1.5 billion in cash flown by the U.S. to Tehran. 'Under construction are many hypersonic missiles,' Trump warned, and that he was not afraid to use additional force.  However, minutes later he offered an olive branch, urging European nations to make 'a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place' and allows Iran to explore its 'untapped potential' as a mainstream trading partner.  'We want you to have a future, and a great future,' he told Iran's people, claiming its military 'appears to be standing down.’

January 8: Fox News: Fast and Furious: Brian Terry’s killer gets life sentence
The man convicted of the shooting and killing U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in 2010 – a case that exposed the government’s botched “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation – was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison.  Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, who was convicted of  first-degree murder and other charges following his extradition from Mexico, was given the life sentence after U.S. District Judge David C. Bury heard tearful statement’s from Terry’s sisters. The agent's death exposed Operation Fast and Furious, an Obama era  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operation in which the federal government allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them once they made their way into Mexico.

January 8: The Jerusalem Post: Israel unveils breakthrough laser to intercept missiles, aerial threats
The Defense Ministry has made a technological breakthrough in the development of lasers that can intercept aerial threats, including rockets and antitank guided missiles, it announced Wednesday.  New laser technology “makes the security apparatus more lethal, more powerful and more advanced,” Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said Wednesday evening.  Speaking about this new addition to the existing tools of war employed by Israel, he said that “we will add a laser sword when dealing with threats from the North or the South.”

January 8: The U.K. Sun: Ukrainian jetliner shot down?  Iran refuses to release the black box
Iran has refused to hand over to international investigators the black box of a plane that crashed killing 176 people.  The Kiev-bound airliner crashed after taking off from Tehran.  The tragedy came just hours after Tehran fired at least 15 ballistic missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq, sparking fears it could have been shot down by mistake by jittery Iranian air defenses.  And chilling images show pieces of the aircraft's fuselage peppered with shrapnel holes - which some experts say points to a "shoot-down" event.

January 7: Fox News: Iran retaliates with ballistic missile attack
Iran fired "more than a dozen ballistic missiles" into Iraq, targeting U.S. military and coalition forces early Wednesday, Pentagon officials said, in a major retaliation by the rogue regime after the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Quds Force Gen. Soleimani last week.  The missiles launched by Iran targeted military bases in Al-Assad and Erbil, the Pentagon added.  Initial assessments showed "no U.S. casualties," a U.S. military official in Baghdad told Fox News, adding that the U.S. was continuing to look into possible damage.

January 7: Fox News: Senators introduce resolution to dismiss articles of impeachment if they aren’t transmitted to them soon
Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri joined with a host of fellow Republicans to introduce a resolution allowing the chamber to dismiss articles of impeachment against President Trump for lack of prosecution, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delays sending the case for trial.  The resolution specifically would update Senate rules to allow the chamber to bring a motion dismissing the articles.  “In the real world, when a prosecutor brings a case but refuses to try it, the court has the ability and the defendant has the right to have those articles, those indictments, those charges dismissed," Hawley said.  "That is precisely the action that I am proposing today.”

January 6: The Hill: Battle lines harden ahead of pivotal impeachment week
Both sides are digging in as lawmakers enter a pivotal week in the entrenched fight over President Trump’s impeachment trial.  The hardening battle lines come as the two articles of impeachment could be transmitted to the Senate as soon as this week. The House returns to Washington on Tuesday for the first time this year, and Democrats will meet on Wednesday, setting the stage for a crucial decision time.

Aerial view of Diego Garcia Island in the Indian OceanJanuary 6: Fox News: Pentagon deploys B-52 bombers
to Diego Garcia in Indian Ocean

The U.S. Air Force is deploying six B-52 bombers to Diego Garcia, an island base in the Indian Ocean, amid the rising threat from Iran after the U.S.-led airstrike killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.  The move, which CNN first reported, was the latest in efforts by U.S. military officials to bolster resources near the Middle East.  The B-52 bombers reportedly were spotted departing from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana to Diego Garcia, which is located 2,300 miles south of Iran’s southernmost tip.

January 6:
The Daily CallerHow many abortions has Planned Parenthood
perform ed within a year?
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America performed 345,672 abortions during the 2018 fiscal year, the organization’s annual report shows.  Planned Parenthood’s 2018-2019 annual report shows that the organization performed 12,915 more killings during the 2018 fiscal year than the organization did between 2017-2018. Abortion killings made up 95% of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy resolution services, according to the Susan B. Anthony List.

January 6: Fox News: Soleimani’s killilng ignites Russia vs Iran schism in Syria
The death of Iranian commander Soleimani at the orders of President Trump last week, not only has cast a murky shadow on the future of Iraq’s leadership, but also has sent schisms through Syria's leadership, multiple sources say. Over the weekend, Syrian government forces and Iranian associates were documented to have fired several shells at the Conoco gas field in the Deir Ezzor area of eastern Syria, which U.S troops still in the embattled country have been tasked with protecting. Aside from the apparent act of retaliation, sources said that the surprise attack on Soleimani las  While some analysts have speculated that Soleimani’s death will empower Russia in the region, they’ve largely observed a stronger Assad-led tilt toward Tehran over Moscow.t week has prompted deeper divisions within the Syrian government itself.

January 5: The UK Daily Mail: Iran puts $80M bounty on Trump’s head; threatens
to attack the White House

Iran has placed an $80million bounty on Donald Trump's head and threatened to attack the White House in response to the president's warning that any strike on American interests in the region will bring massive retaliation.  Iran has also announced it they will no longer abide by any of the limits of its 2015 nuclear deal.  Earlier on Sunday, the Iraqi parliament voted for US troops to be expelled from the country. The vote will 'obligate the government to work towards ending the presence of all foreign troops on Iraqi soil,' the country's media office stated.

January 5: Reuters: Iraqi parliament passes non-binding resolution calling for
removal of all foreign troops
The Iraqi parliament called on the government on Sunday to work to end all foreign troop presence as a backlash grew after the killing of a top Iranian military commander and an Iraqi militia leader in a U.S. strike in Baghdad.  A resolution passed by a special session of parliament said the government should cancel its request for assistance from a U.S.-led coalition.  Parliament resolutions, unlike laws, are non-binding to the government. But this one is likely to be heeded: Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi had earlier called on parliament to end foreign troop presence as soon as possible.

January 4: Yahoo News: Fear Hits Tehran Over What Might Come Next
Their supreme leader promised revenge and thousands gathered in Tehran to watch American flags burn, but any show of defiance after the assassination of their most prominent military man is laced with anguish for many Iranians.  In the capital, the strike that took out Al Quds commander Qassem Soleimani capped a year that had already been dominated by turmoil and fear as the country’s finances crumbled, the authorities struggled to contain civil unrest, and provocation of the U.S. backfired.

January 4: The Daily Caller: Trump Administration presses Supreme Court on
LA abortion regulations
The Trump administration pressed the Supreme Court Thursday to protect a contested Louisiana rule that requires abortion providers have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. An abortion clinic and two physicians challenging the law, called Act 620, warn that two of Louisiana’s three abortion clinics will close if the regulation takes effect. The Trump administration said the plaintiffs have not made good faith efforts to comply with the law, such that any adverse consequences for abortion access would be their fault and not the state’s.

January 4: The Washington Free Beacon: NRA promises “Strong presence” to
block VA ban on guns

The National Rifle Association said hursday it will work with gun owners to swamp the first hearing of the Virginia Senate committee considering new gun bans in an effort to beat back the gun-control proposals from Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA).  If gun-rights supporters can convince just a handful of Democrats to oppose a new gun-control measure, it will not become law. NRA spokesperson Mortensen said the Courts of Justice committee is the first stop for those new gun-control proposals, and gun owners in the state need to show their opposition to those bills face-to-face.

January 3: Washington Post: Guaido seeks reelection in Venezuela
Venezuela's opposition faces a critical test on Sunday, when its leader, Juan Guaidó, will seek reelection as head of the National Assembly - a title that forms the basis of his recognition as Venezuela's true head of state by nearly 60 countries around the globe.  For Guaidó, the vote amounts to a do-or-die moment. One year ago, he declared President Nicolás Maduro a usurper for claiming victory in tainted elections and declared himself Venezuela's rightful leader - an assertion based on Guaidó's status as head of the assembly. But after a year of failed attempts to oust Maduro, Guaidó is now struggling to maintain opposition unity, confronting flagging domestic support and scrambling to counter an alleged plot against him.

January 3: The Daily Caller: ICE apprehends illegal allegedly behind deadly
hit-and-run and released by local authorities

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was able to apprehend an illegal alien who, after getting arrested for a deadly hit-and-run accident, was immediately released by local authorities.  ICE agents on Monday arrested Jorge Flores-Villalba, a Mexican national living in the U.S. illegally, on Monday following his release from police custody in New York, the agency announced in a press statement on Friday. The arrest by federal immigration authorities is the latest example of ICE’s work to apprehend illegal aliens despite a growing lack of cooperation by local and state law enforcement. 

January 2: The Daily Caller: Over 200 members of Congress urge the Supreme
Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade
More than 200 members of Congress urged the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade on Thursday, ahead of a March case concerning the constitutionality of a Louisiana regulation on abortion providers.  The lawmakers, who include 39 senators and 168 members of the House of Representatives, filed a legal brief arguing abortion case law is haphazard and inconsistent, such that reconsideration of Roe is in order.  “Forty-six years after Roe was decided, it remains a radically unsettled precedent: two of the seven Justices who originally joined the majority subsequently repudiated it in whole or in part, and virtually every abortion decision since has been closely divided,” the brief reads.

Troops loading up on cargo planes destined for the Middle EastJanuary 2: The UK Daily Mail: Army paratroopers deployed to Middle East in response to the attack on U.S. embassy
The first wave of hundreds of U.S. Army paratroopers from a rapid reaction force has deployed to Kuwait in response to the assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad by pro-Iran militiamen, with thousands more soldiers on alert for snap deployment.  The initial force included 650 troops and equipment.  One hundred U.S. Marines have already been added to the security force at the embassy in Baghdad.  [Editorial Comment:  This sure is different response than when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and U.S. forces in Benghazi were attacked.]

January 2: Fox NewsTrump orders attack that takes out top Iranian general and other militants in Baghdad
President Trump ordered a game-changing U.S. military attack that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force at Baghdad International Airport the Pentagon confirmed.  The general was the military mastermind whom Secretary of State Pompeo had deemed equally as dangerous as Islamic State leader  Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In April 2019, the Department of  State announced Iran was responsible for killing 608 U.S. troops during the Iraq War. General Soleimani was the head of the Iranian and Iranian-backed forces carrying out those operations killing American troops. According to the State Department, 17 percent of all deaths of U.S. personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 were orchestrated by Soleimani.

January 1: The UK Daily Mail: Baghdad embassy under siege for second day  by
pro-Iran militia supporters
Pro-Iran militia have stormed the US embassy in Baghdad for a second day, with US marines firing tear gas on the militants this morning following demands for American blood in retaliation for airstrikes on Iraq.  Yesterday thousands of Iran-backed militants demonstrators  rushed through the heavily fortified Green Zone to the U.S. embassy after US air strikes killed 25 members of the Iran-backed Kataeb Hezbollah in air strikes Sunday night.  One furious militant said: 'God willing if this fire reaches inside the embassy, we will not spare a single employee.'  The pro-Iran demonstrators finally ended their siege today after commanders of the Popular Mobilization Force, of which Kataeb Hezbollah is a member, asked its supporters to stand down. 'You delivered your message,' it said in a statement. 

January 1 Breitbart News: Iran: Trump $200B sanctions have wiped out Obama’s $150B Nuclear Deal
Sanctions imposed on Iran by Trump have more than erased the benefits given by Obama under the Iran nuclear deal, according to Iranian sources.  Under the  deal, Iran gained  renewed access to up to $150 billion in assets that had been previously frozen. The Obama administration also gave Iran nearly $2 billion in cash for the release of American prisoners who were effectively hostages. The money is believed to have been used, in part, to fund Iranian terror operations. The Trump-imposed sanctions have punished Iran for its role in developing weapons of mass destruction; for its sponsorship of terror groups in the region and worldwide; and for its repressive human rights abuses against its own citizens.

January 1: Fox News: Judge in Hunter Biden’s paternity case recuses himself
The circuit court judge overseeing Hunter Biden's paternity case, Don McSpadden, recused himself without reason on Tuesday, just days after a private investigation firm sought to intercede in the case.  D&A Investigations, based in Florida, filed a  “Notice of Fraud and Counterfeiting and Production of Evidence” with the court on Dec. 23, claiming Hunter Biden "established bank and financial accounts with Morgan Stanley et al" for Burisma Holdings -- where he served as a former board member -- to satisfy a "money laundering scheme." 

Go to the Chronology of News Stories from the last half of 2019