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August 7: United Press International: U.S. economy added 1.8 million
jobs in July surpassing expectations; unemployment now 10.2%
The U.S. economy added nearly 2 million jobs during July, the Labor Department said in its monthly report Friday.  The widely-anticipated assessment said 1.8 million payrolls were added for the month. The unemployment rate declined to 10.2%.  "In July, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, government, retail trade, professional and business services, other services and healthcare," the report states.  The assessment showed that the number of unemployed persons in the United States fell by 1.4 million last month.

August 7: New York Post: Trump to sanction Hong Kong leaders
The Trump administration said Friday it will sanction Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and 10 other Hong Kong and Chinese leaders for eliminating political autonomy in the territory.  The sanctions come less than a month after President Trump signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act to penalize authorities responsible for a broad crackdown on free speech.  “The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong and we will use our tools and authorities to target those undermining their autonomy,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Black U.S. Veteran on what Biden thinks about blscks August 7: Fox News: Iraqi Vet: What Biden thinks about
Blacks is “offensive and gross”
Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden thinks the Black community is too “stupid to have a diversity of thought,” said Iraq War veteran Rob Smith on Friday.  “He is saying that our community is not as diverse in our thought as other communities and, by the way, this comes just a few months after he said that 'you ain’t Black' if you don’t vote for him,” Smith said.  “It’s offensive and it is gross,” he contended.


August 7: Fox News: Biden again praises Latino diversity as being
unlike the African American community”
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden doubled down on his praise of "diversity" within the Latino community "unlike" the Black community.  Speaking virtually on Thursday to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials conference, the former VP vowed that his administration will reflect "the full diversity of this nation" as well as "the full diversity of the Latino communities."  "Now what I mean full diversity, unlike the African American community and many other communities, you're from everywhere," Biden explained. "You're from Europe, from the tip of South America, all the way to our border in Mexico, and the Caribbean. And different backgrounds, different ethnicities, but all Latinos. We're gonna get a chance to do that if we win in November."

August 7: The Daily CallerMayor Wheeler to protestors: you will re-elect
Trump if you continue to try to murder cops
Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler told demonstrators they were helping President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign during a news conference Thursday after another night of protests in Portland, Oregon.  Protests on Thursday targeted a police precinct, where demonstrators allegedly disabled security cameras, broke windows, removed boards used to barricade the doors, started fires and shined lasers at officers’ eyes.  A number of civilian employees and 20 officers were apparently inside the precinct. “When you commit arson with an accelerant in an attempt to burn down a building that is occupied by people who you have intentionally trapped inside, you are not demonstrating, you are attempting to commit murder,” Wheeler said

August 6: The Wall Street Journal: White House seeks crackdown on US-listed Chinese firms
Chinese companies with shares traded on U.S. stock exchanges would be forced to give up their listings unless they comply with U.S. audit requirements under a plan recommended Thursday by the Trump administration.  The proposal addresses a long-simmering dispute over U.S. regulators’ inability to inspect the financial audits of Chinese companies that sell shares in U.S; markets.

August 6: The Daily Caller: Chinese sentence three Canadians to death as tensions intensify
China sentenced a third Canadian citizen to death on drug charges Thursday as tensions between the two countries grow.  Xu Weihong was given his sentence by the Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate Court. He had allegedly been making Ketamine, a powerful and commonly abused painkiller, since 2016.  Tensions between China and Canada have been escalating since 2018 when the daughter of the founder of Chinese tech company Huawei was arrested at an airport in Vancouver. Beijing saw the arrest as a move to prevent China from growing as a global technology power.  The U.S. wants Wanzhou extradited to face fraud charges related to deals that Huawei made with Iran.

August 6: The Washington Times: Trump signs buy American medicines executive order
President Trump signed a long-promised executive order Thursday that compels federal agencies to “Buy American” when it comes to a list of essential medicines and supplies, saying the coronavirus pandemic has underscored the need to bring supply chains home.  The order also streamlines the regulatory process for approving and standing up domestic manufacturing, so U.S. companies are prioritized.  Another component of the order will crack down on counterfeit medicines that flow into the country, mostly from China.

August 6: The Washington Examiner: Facebook slaps President’s PAC with 90 day ban
In what some are calling politically motivated, Facebook announced a ban on digital advertisements from the pro-Trump political action committee The Committee to Defend the President for sharing alleged misinformation.  The ban is expected to continue past Election Day.  The move comes one day after the social media giant deleted a video the president shared where he claimed most children are "almost immune" to the Chinese coronavirus, which the company said violated its coronavirus "misinformation" policy.

August 6: The Wall Street Journal: U.S. jobless claims decline for the first time
since COVID-19 started
Filings for jobless benefits fell to their lowest level since the coronavirus hit the U.S. in March—a sign layoffs eased somewhat in a still struggling labor market—but remained high.  Initial unemployment claims fell by a seasonally adjusted 249,000 to 1.2 million for the week ended August 1, the Labor Department reported.

August 5: The Washington Times: Trump Admin announces
$1 billion COVID-19 vaccine deal with Johnson and Johnson
The Trump Administration on Wednesday announced a billion-dollar deal with  Johnson & Johnson to secure 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine once it is developed, with President Trump saying a vaccine should be available well before the end of the year.  As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on public health and the economy, experts have raised concerns about whether a vaccine will be readily affordable and accessible to truly combat the spread in the U.S.  Johnson & Johnson said its vaccine would be provided on a “global not-for-profit basis.”

August 5 : The New York Post: An issue that cannot be ignored; Bidens mental acuity
He might be riding high in the polls, but Joe Biden’s mental acuity increasingly is an issue in the election campaign, and growling at reporters who ask about it is no way to alleviate voter concerns.  Asked during an event with the National Associations of Black and Hispanic Journalists if he had “taken a cognitive test,” Biden snapped.  “No, I haven’t taken a test! Why the hell would I take a test? C’mon, man!”  Frowning and irritated, he paused before ripping into the reporter, Errol Barnett of CBS News.  Continuing Biden said that’s like asking if reporter took a drug test for cocaine before coming on the program and asking if he was a junkie.

Before and After satellite images of the devisttion caused by the Beirut blastAugust 5: Fox News: Beirut blast –
before and after satellite images
The scale of devastation from Tuesday's Beirut blast can be seen in new satellite images that provide a sobering perspective of the pair of explosions that killed more than 100 people, injured 4,000 others and leveled several warehouses and buildings in the surrounding area.  The new pictures show massive damage to the city's industrial waterfront following the blasts that erupted next to the Beirut Port Silos.  Hospitals were also damaged and windows shattered miles away as the shockwave from the explosion moved from the industrial waterfront to the city's residential areas and shopping districts. The blast also changed the shoreline in the port, according to local reports. [Click on image for a larger view]

August 5: The Washington Examiner: U.S. Atty Durham set to interview John Brenan
U.S. Attorney John Durham will soon interview former CIA Director John Brennan, another sign that the investigation of the Trump-Russia investigators is ready to wrap up by the end of the summer.   Brennan has acknowledged that he is in the “crosshairs” of the criminal inquiry into the Russia investigation led by Durham. He recently claimed, and the White House acknowledged, that he asked the CIA for his official records, including his personal notes and any classified CIA documents that he had signed to help him write his upcoming memoir, but the agency denied his request.   

Meanwhile a top Mueller prosecutors has urged DOJ officials to “resist” Barr investigationsOne of former special counsel Robert Mueller's top prosecutors urged Justice Department officials to consider refusing to cooperate with two investigations overseen by Attorney General William Barr.  Andrew Weissmann, who was known as Mueller’s “pit bull” during the Russia investigation, struck a sense of urgency in a New York Times op-ed piece.  The two investigations noted are being conducted by U.S. Attorneys John Durham and John Bash related to the Russian investigation and the "unmasking" requests by Obama administration officials. 

August 5: The Washington Times: Sally Yates: Comey went “rogue” on Flynn
Former Deputy Attorney General  Sally Yates told senators Wednesday that James B. Comey went rogue as FBI director in January 2017 when he dispatched agents to interview Michael Flynn, President Trump’s national security adviser at the time, without her authorization.  Yates, who was the No. 2 official at the Justice Department in the early stages of the Trump-Russian collusion probe, said she neither authorized nor knew ahead of time about the FBI interview with Flynn.

August 5: Townhall.com: U.S. firm gets oil development contract with Syrian Kurds
A U.S.-based oil company has secured a contract with the Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) to begin extracting oil in the Autonomous Administration of Northern Syria, Al-Monitor reported earlier this week. It named Delta Crescent Energy LLC as the U.S. company and said the deal was conducted “with the knowledge and encouragement of the White House,” according to a source.  Syrian Democratic Council representative Sinam Mohamad confirmed the intelligence to Al-Monitor but did not give any further details.

August 4: United Press International: Dozens killed, thousands
i
njured in Beirut explosion
Two explosions rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Tuesday afternoon, shattering windows for miles across the city. Dozens were killed and thousands injured, local officials said.  Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan said the blasts killed at least 73 people and injured more than 3,700. The Lebanese Red Cross said those numbers are likely to increase as the dust settles.  Authorities said a warehouse near Beirut's port was the source of the explosion after a fire started inside the building.  The secondary blast was larger, creating a shockwave that pushed through the city for a radius of miles, blowing out windows in its path. Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said the presidential palace sustained damage to windows and doors, though no one there was injured.

August 4: Fox News: FBI has opened 300 domestic terrorism
cases as a result of the recent riots
The FBI has opened more than 300 domestic terrorism investigations since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis which kicked off nationwide unrest and riots.  U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said at a Senate hearing that the feds have opened hundreds of federal criminal investigations surrounding the violence and rioting.  "They have since May 28 [opened] over 300 domestic terrorist investigations," Cox told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on preventing violent protests. "That does not include any potential civil rights investigations or violent crime associated with the riots."  In addition, Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told lawmakers that an estimated 140 federal law enforcement officers guarding a Portland federal courthouse sustained 277 injuries due to the violent and sustained nightly attacks at the building.

August 4: The Daily CallerHere is what GOP Senators want in a COVID-19 stimulus package
Senate Republicans remain skeptical about passing a trillion-dollar phase four coronavirus package before the August recess, as they say Democrats refuse to negotiate.  Florida Republican Marco Rubio said, the final bill “… needs to be something that helps people that are looking for jobs and can’t find them right now, helps small business survive, helps protect companies from being sued out of existence, helps develop more testing capability — and hopefully, ultimately, a vaccine — and helps with the extraordinary costs of going back to school in order to make schools safe.”  Meanwhile the Democrats seem to be stonewalling efforts to hammer out a compromise, even rejecting a short extension of the current law to allow time to come to agreement.

August 4: The Washington Examiner: Kobach looses bid for Kansas seat
in the Senate, deflating options for Democrats to nab the seat
Kobach, 54, lost his Kansas Republican Senate primary against Kansas U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, wealthy plumbing executive Bob Hamilton, and others for the right to contest retiring Sen. Pat Roberts's seat.  The Tuesday race became a flashpoint for the GOP because of concerns it might cost spending more resources to defend him again his Democrat rival, a former Republican, now Democrat -- state Sen. Barbara Bollier.

August 3: Fox News: Seattle Police Chief speaks out
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best is urging elected leaders to "stand up for what is right" after a group of  protesters appeared outside her home over the weekend as pressures continue to mount over the enactment of police reform measures.   In a Monday letter to the nine-member City Council, Best said her home in Snohomish County was targeted Sunday night by "aggressive" protesters, prompting concerns from her neighbors. The crowd wasn't able to trespass or engage in illegal behavior, Best said, despite their attempts to do so.  "These direct actions against elected officials, and especially civil servants like myself, are out of line with and go against every democratic principle that guides our nation," she wrote. "Before this devolves into the new way of doing business by mob rule here in Seattle, and across the nation, elected officials like you must forcefully call for the end of these tactics."

August 3: Townhall.com: Why Trump is calling for a recount in a primary election
President Trump on Monday suggested that a Democratic Primary in New York should undergo a "revote." It's been six weeks since the election took place and there are still no declared winners in New York's 12th Congressional District and 15th Congressional District, both located in the New York City area.  “This is a small race with literally thousands of people… and it’s all messed up. They’re six weeks into it now they have no clue what’s going on."  According to the New York Times the results are still in limbo because the authorities failed to prepare for a massive increase in absentee ballots.  In fact, election officials saw 10 times the number of absentee ballot applications, likely due to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. There have also been major delays in counting the roughly 400,000 ballots that were received. 

August 3: United Press InternationalTrump cracks down on federal
use of foreign worker visas
Federal contractors will no longer be able to fire high-skilled American workers to hire cheaper outsourced labor through H-1B visas, according to an executive order issued Monday by President Trump.  Trump's order requires federal agencies to audit contractors to assess whether competitive jobs are being taken away from Americans, a statement from the White House said. The White House criticized the federally owned Tennessee Valley Authority, which announced in June that the agency would lay off more than 60 information technology workers.  "President Trump's actions will help combat employers' misuse of H-1B visas, which were never intended to replace qualified American workers with low-cost foreign labor," a statement from the White House said.

August 3: The Washington Examiner: Montana Senate race heats
up with Democrat challenger’s actions questioned

A Republican ad suggests Montana’s Governor, Steve Bullock, used his gubernatorial power to enrich his brother’s company.  Bullock (D-MT) is seeking a U.S. Senate seat.  While he often flaunts campaign finance reforms that he signed into law  a paper trail revealed a close relationship between Bullock and the firm, including the previously unreported fact that the company is a tenant in a building in which the governor has a sizable financial stake.   "Bullock has been accused of steering state contracts to his brother's company," the ad says.  “In fact, the company founded by Bullock's brother received more than $14 million from state agencies.”

August 2: The Washington Times: US struggles to preserve access to Diego Garcia
It has been described as the most strategically vital U.S. military installation in the world, but the Diego Garcia air base is at the center of a bitter geopolitical fight over colonialism, national security and human rights, a fight that has pitted Washington and London against virtually the rest of the world.  The base, named for the largest island in the Chagos Archipelago in the remote waters of the Indian Ocean, sits on land claimed by the British and leased to the U.S. government for the sole purpose of operating a military base. The United Kingdom separated the islands from Mauritius, a former British colony, three years before Mauritius gained its independence in 1968.  Diego Garcia is now a part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, which critics paint as a vestige of the United Kingdom’s colonial past.

August 2: Washington Free Beacon: Chinese try to blame pandemic on U.S Army
Chinese propagandists are casting blame for the coronavirus pandemic on a U.S. military research lab that shuttered its biowarfare division more than 50 years ago.  Chinese diplomats and state-run media outlets have repeatedly spread the conspiracy that the coronavirus originated in Maryland's Fort Detrick research lab, often in response to criticism about the country's response to the pandemic.  President Richard Nixon closed down Fort Detrick's offensive biowarfare division in 1969—50 years before the first coronavirus cases were reported in Wuhan, China. Fort Detrick now focuses on defensive biological research as well as cancer research. U.S. officials have frequently criticized the Chinese government for using the Fort Detrick conspiracy theory—and other unproven allegations—to blame the outbreak on the United States.

August 1: The Washington Times: GOP convention is three weeks out;
tentative plan is to keep the press out
No journalists will be allowed in the room when President Trump is re-nominated by the Republican Party, according to the tentative plan three weeks out from the convention.  This, a first in modern history, was revealed by a spokesman for the convention who said that the party expects all events in Charlotte NC, later this month to be restricted because of the coronavirus.  Reportedly the restrictions are related to the space available and limitations imposed by North Carolina leaders.  Convention spokesmen said that the intent is for parts of the convention to be live streamed.  However, representatives of the National Republican Committee have said the decision has not yet been finalized.

August 1: Breitbart News: Trump offers solutions to jobless aid; Democrats reject
them in a cat-and-mouse game where the Dems want a sweeping bill
With aid expiring, the White House has offered a short-term extension of a $600 weekly unemployment benefit that has helped keep some families and the economy afloat during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.  The Democrats, however, have rejected it.  Democratic leaders panned the idea in late-night talks at the Capitol, opting to keep the pressure on for a more sweeping bill that would deliver aid to state and local governments, help for the poor and funding for schools and colleges to address the pandemic. Without action, the benefit runs out Friday. 

August 1: The New York Post: Trump-loving grandma outs
grandson to feds as Portland bomber
Shortly after midnight on Tuesday morning, videos captured the moment a makeshift bomb was thrown at the Portland federal courthouse during another night of violent protest. A Trump-loving, 69-year-old woman soon stepped forward to out the suspect publicly — as her own grandson.   Karla Fox says she recognized the alleged bomber as her daughter’s son.  In the hours after the IED attack, social-media users analyzed videos showing a slim male, wearing a distinctive olive vest with the word “ICONS” printed on it, throwing something over the fence at the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse. Seconds later, a large explosion erupts, covering the front door in flames. The man picks up something off the ground and sprints off-camera. Police said the concussion could be “heard and felt more than a block away.”

August 1 : The Washington Times : Rubio rips potential Biden VP
pick as a Castro sympathizer
Trump campaign surrogates in Florida on Saturday attacked Rep. Karen Bass, a potential running mate of Democrat Joseph R. Biden, as a communist sympathizer who would try to bring the U.S. closer to the socialist governments of Cuba and Venezuela.  “If God forbid Joe Biden is elected president and Congresswoman Bass becomes vice president, she will be the highest-ranking Castro sympathizer in the history of the United States government,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican. “I don’t believe in the last six decades that there has ever been anyone considered for the vice presidency … with this level of sympathy towards a Marxist regime.”

July 31: The Washington Times: Trump: NY’s mail-in voting
mess should be a warning for November
President Trump on Friday pointed to the still-undecided election results in New York’s 12th Congressional District, which was inundated with absentee ballots on June 23, as an example of the chaos looming if states rely on universal mail-in voting in the November presidential election.  “They’re never going to have the result of that election — never the correct result,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House. “Thousands and thousands of ballots are missing.”  He said if mail-in voting is expanded on a national scale in November, “You won’t know the election result for weeks, months…”
[See related story]

July 31: Fox News: Supreme Court rules on case on building a border wall
Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli gave "two enthusiastic thumbs up" Friday to the Supreme Court's 5-4 vote denying a request to halt construction of the border wall over environmental concerns.  "The president has told us and he has directed his administration to press ahead aggressively, but always within the boundaries of the law, always within the boundaries of the law," Cuccinelli said.  “And the Supreme Court acknowledged that today and has let the building of the wall continue past 200 miles more than a month ago, [it] will pass 300 miles before well before the end of the summer. And we'll pass 400 miles not long after that."

July 31: The Daily Caller: Biden criticized Trump’s handling of PPP
loans as son-in-law benefited from the program
A medical investment firm staffed by Joe Biden’s son-in-law, Dr. Howard Krein, and co-founded by Howard’s brother, Steven Krein, received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in April, less than two weeks before Biden publicly criticized the Trump administration’s management of the program.  Krein, who is married to Biden’s daughter, Ashley Biden, and also serves as an informal advisor to the Biden campaign, is the chief medical officer of StartUp Health, which as of Septemer 2018 had built up an investment portfolio valued at over $31 million. The firm received a PPP loan valued between $150,000 and $350,000 on April 12 to retain the jobs of 18 people, according to The Wall Street Journal.

July 31: The Washington Examiner: Trump to ban Communist China’s TikTok from the U.S.
The United States will ban the popular social media app TikTok, President Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday.  The president suggested he would be able to use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce a ban of the app.  “Well, I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order,” Trump said.  He could do so as early as Saturday.  TikTok, a Communist Chinese-owned app that allows users to share short-form videos, has been scrutinized by the State Department and federal officials over possible cybersecurity concerns. The move to ban the app comes as tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

July 31: Townhall.com: Women arrested for stealing crucial
medical information on behalf of China Communist Party

A 46-year-old California woman who used to live in Ohio has pleaded guilty after stealing pediatric medical research for the Chinese Communist Party.   “Li Chen was a trusted researcher at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, conducting cutting-edge U.S. government-funded research,” FBI Cincinnati Special Agent in Charge Chris Hoffman released in a statement. “With her guilty plea, she admits that she abused this trust to establish a company in China for her own financial gain. The FBI is committed to working closely with partners such as Nationwide Children’s Hospital to protect the innovations that make America a world leader in science and technology.”

July 30: News Busters.com: CBS experiment proves mail-in ballots could be a disaster
CBS did an experiment to determine just how safe mail-in ballots will be in November. CBS Weekend News journalist Tony Dokoupil set up a campaign “headquarters” and mailed 100 “ballots” to himself through the U.S. Post Office. The results were not encouraging. They also refute the dismissive tone of other journalists when covering Donald Trump’s concerns about mail-in voting.   “Twenty-one percent of our votes hadn’t materialized after four days.” That number eventually improved, but concluded with a shocking three percent failure rate. Dokoupil explained consider the fact that that means three people who tried to vote by mail in our mock election were, in fact, disenfranchised by mail. In a close election, three percent could be pivotal, especially in what’s expected to be a record year for mail-in voting.

July 30: The Daily Caller: NASA launches rover to Mars;
searching for signs of ancient life
NASA launched its new Mars rover, Perseverance, atop a United Launch Alliance V rocket Thursday from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.  Perseverance is the largest and most technically complex Mars rover ever built, the Associated Press reported. The car-size rover is plutonium-powered and contains an assortment of cameras, microphones, drills and lasers.

July 30: The Washington Times: Finally, Portland clears protesters from riot staging area
Police early Thursday cleared the park that had been used as the staging area for attacks on the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, as local officials began to make good on their promise to step up security so federal forces could draw back.  The move came after another night of clashes that saw demonstrators throw objects and breach the fence surrounding the Hatfield Courthouse, and federal police push back with tear gas.  The protesters chanted “Feds go home,” aware that under a deal between Gov.  Kate Brown and the Trump administration, Homeland Security agents and officers are supposed to begin leaving Thursday and state police will take over the lead on calming protests.

July 30: The Washington Examiner: Full DC Circuit agrees to hear the Michael Flynn Case
An appeals court has agreed to rehear the criminal case against retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, which the Justice Department is attempting to dismiss.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an order on Thursday that states that oral arguments for the en banc review are scheduled for Aug. 11.  Judge Emmet Sullivan, the judge overseeing the case, had filed a petition for a rehearing of the case against President Trump's former national security adviser by the full appeals court after a three-judge panel ordered him to accept the DOJ’s motion to dismiss the case.

July 29: The Washington Free Beacon: Local officials buck Virginia Dem’s Gun Control Push
Local officials across Virginia are resisting the push from Virginia Democrats to adopt gun-free zones.  Lawmakers in Powhatan County—located just outside Richmond— unanimously passed a "No Local Gun Control" resolution that would prevent localities from creating gun-free zones. Larry Nordvig, the independent Powhatan County supervisor who introduced the county's resolution, said he hopes the resolution sends a message to the statehouse.  "The tension is growing and the blame is entirely theirs," he said. "Our natural-born rights are being eroded at lightning speed, and I intend to help citizens stand against government overreach. … The time for talk is over. It's time for action."  Powhatan is the fifth county to pass the resolution since the new gun-control measures went into effect in July.

July 29: The Daily Caller: Philly NAACP President under pressure
to resign over anti-semitic post
Officials are putting pressure on Philadelphia NAACP President Minster Rodney Muhammad to resign after a now-deleted anti-Semitic Facebook post.  Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania State Sen. Steve Santarsiero, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia have all called for Muhammad’s resignation.  The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia spokesperson Steve Rosenberg said that the group is “absolutely calling for him to step aside.”  “I think it was Sen. Williams that said the leader of a wonderful civil rights organization, and the minister of this mosque, with the history of the posts that have gone on, can’t remain in that role,” Rosenberg said.

July 28: The Washington Examiner: Rep. Jordan: Stop interrupting
the witness, let him respond
Democrat members of the House Judiciary Committee asked Attorney General Bill Barr lots of questions but by-and-large refused to let him answer, instead reclaiming their time to ask another leading question.  This prompted Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan to condemn committee Democrats for what became a pattern of asking questions only to interrupt and not allow him to answer. Jordan noted hours into the hearing that Democratic members had repeatedly cut off Barr while shouting that they were "reclaiming my time." He asked why Democrats even invited Barr to testify if they were not going to allow him to fully answer their inquiries.  "I don't think we've ever had a hearing where the witness wasn't allowed to respond to points made, questions asked, and attacks — attacks made. Not just in this hearing, not just in this committee, but in every committee I've been on," Jordan said. "Particularly when you think about the fact that we have the attorney general of the United States here."

Meanwhile the Washington Times reports Bill Barr called out Democrats’ refusal to condemn the violence that has swept across Portland, Oregon, and other American cities.  “What makes me concerned for the country is this is the first time in my memory the leaders of one of our great two political parties, the Democratic Party, are not coming out and condemning mob violence and the attack on federal courts,” Barr said in testimony.  “Why can’t we just say violence against federal courts has to stop. Can we hear something like that?” he asked.

July 28: Breitbart News: Oregon AG: Portland riots are “peaceful protests”
Ellen Rosenblum, the Oregon Democrat Attorney General, said on Monday that the violent riots in Portland were “perfectly peaceful.”  Rosenblum, the national co-chair for the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA), spoke to Politico about the riots that have emerged in Portland, Oregon.  During the interview, Rosenblum described the violent attacks against law enforcement as “perfectly peaceful” and dismissed the targeted destruction of federal property by leftist mobs.  Despite Rosenblum’s claim, Attorney General William Barr told the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that rioters in Portland, Oregon, brought “knives, rifles, and explosives” as they protested outside of the federal courthouse in Portland.

July 28: The Washington Free Beacon: Biden speaks but doesn’t know where he is
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden told reporters he did not know where he was before a speech Tuesday in Wilmington, Del.  "Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to Kingswood Community Center," Biden said, before freezing for a few seconds. "Actually, that's the one down where I used to work. That's a joke. I didn't know where we were."  After appearing to refer to notes, he correctly identified the location as the William "Hicks" Anderson Community Center. Biden, 77, said the late Anderson, whose name he had just forgotten, was a friend of his.

July 27: The Washington Examiner: Senate unveils GOP HEALS Act
proposal targeted round of COVID-19 aid
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Republicans will introduce a bill later today to provide a new round of coronavirus aid that would reduce an expansion of unemployment benefits and provide a new batch of stimulus checks, but to a smaller group than a prior round of help.   “Senate Republicans have authored another bold framework to help our nation,” McConnell said, describing the GOP plan as “carefully tailored to this crossroads” in the coronavirus pandemic.  The measure will be introduced in segments addressing health, economic assistance, liability protection, and schools.   “They will be coming to the floor shortly to introduce their components. Together, their bills make up the HEALS Act,” McConnell said of the GOP bill, which is expected to cost roughly $1 billion.

July 27: The Daily Caller: Trump in NC: Two COVID-19 vaccines starting
Phase Three trials this week
Trump told reporters Monday in North Carolina that Moderna’s vaccine had already begun Phase 3 trials — conducted under the government’s Operation Warp Speed initiative — and noted that “there’s never been anything like this in terms of speed, nothing even close.” He added that Pfizer, which just landed a Warp Speed contract worth nearly $2 billion, plans to begin Phase 3 trials for its vaccine candidate later this week.   “We have shaved years off of the time that it takes to develop a vaccine,” he continued. “We have done it while maintaining safety.”

July 27: The New York Post: Sanders co-chair: Voting for Biden is like
eating half a bowl of sh _ t
A co-chair of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign vividly described how she feels about choosing between Biden and President Trump.  “It’s like saying to somebody, ‘You have a bowl of sh–t in front of you, and all you’ve got to do is eat half of it instead of the whole thing.’ It’s still sh–t’, ” Sanders co-chair Nina Turner said.  Turner, a former Ohio state senator, was quoted in an article analyzing Trump’s paths to re-election, including by exploiting disaffected supporters of Sanders’ socialist campaign, which lost to Biden despite winning the first three state Democratic contests this year.  Trump alleges the Democratic Party cheated Sanders, a Vermont senator, out of the nomination.

July 27: Fox NewsAG Barr to come out slugging over RussiaGate before House Judiciary
In his first-ever appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Attorney General Bill Barr will condemn the "grave abuses" in the "bogus Russiagate scandal," while also highlighting Black-on-Black violence and defending law enforcement officers in no uncertain terms, according to a transcript of his prepared remarks provided to the Committee.  Barr's unusually aggressive posture will be matched by a full-throated defense from GOP lawmakers on the panel, including ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. "Ever since I made it clear that I was going to do everything I could to get to the bottom of the grave abuses involved in the bogus Russiagate scandal, many of the Democrats on this committee have attempted to discredit me by conjuring up a narrative that I am simply the president’s factotum who disposes of criminal cases according to his instructions," Barr is expected to say at the outset of his remarks. "Judging from the letter inviting me to this hearing, that appears to be your agenda today."

July 27: The Washington Free Beacon: Australia joins U.S. in opposition to Chinese expansion in the South China Sea
Australia submitted a diplomatic note to a United Nations commission on July 23, signaling a shift from neutrality to support for the United States in its fight against China’s expansive South China Sea claims.  Australia’s note to the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf challenged the legal basis for many of China’s claims, including those to the Paracel and Spratly Islands, as well as rights to sovereign and internal commerce in the sea’s zone.  Even further, Canberra rejected one of China’s more ambitious claims—that artificial islands can become internationally recognized—as fully incorrect. Australia "does not accept that artificially transformed features can ever acquire the status of an island," the diplomatic brief reads.
July 27: United Press InternationalU.S. to attempt to fly a helicopter on Mars
After years of design tweaks and dozens of flight tests, engineers are confident the Ingenuity helicopter is ready to make history with the first flight by a powered aircraft on another planet.  The mission is scheduled to launch from Florida on Thursday. If all goes as planned, the Mars helicopter will lift off from the Martian surface next April. But even if Ingenuity never makes it off the ground, the project won't be in vain, engineers said.   "Getting to Mars and doing a system check, that will be a victory. Separating from the rover, that's another victory. Every one of these milestones will be a reason to celebrate," Teddy Tzanetos, test conductor for the helicopter said.
July 26: The Washington Free Beacon: Biden campaign staffers claim the campaign is suppressing Hispanic voters
Nearly 100 Biden staffers are complaining that the former vice president's campaign is "suppressing the Hispanic vote" in Florida.  The campaign field organizers  claim in an internal letter, which was sent to the Florida Democratic Party and obtained by the Miami Herald, that the Biden campaign inexplicably relocated several Hispanic staff members away from an area with a significant number of Spanish-speaking residents.  "The [Coordinated Campaign of Florida] is suppressing the Hispanic vote by removing Spanish-speaking organizers from Central Florida without explanation, which fails to confront a system of white-dominated politics we are supposed to be working against as organizers of a progressive party," the organizers wrote, according to the Herald
July 25: Fox News: US officials raid Chinese consulate spy hub in Houston
U.S. officials pried open the doors of the Chinese consulate in Houston on Friday and took over the building shortly after Chinese officials vacated the facility on orders from the Trump Administration.  Federal officials and local law enforcement surrounded the Houston facility Friday afternoon as the Chinese officials moved out of the building.   The U.S. alleged that the consulate was a nest of Chinese spies who tried to steal data from facilities in Texas, including the Texas A&M medical system and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

July 25: Townhall.com: Black Trump supporter executed in broad daylight in Wisc
A black man, well-known for his boisterous support of President Trump, was shot and killed by an unknown assailant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Thursday. Authorities say Bernell Trammell, 60, was sitting outside his publishing company when a vehicle pulled in front of the business and someone fatally shot and killed Trammell execution-style before speeding away. Trammell had reportedly spent the weeks leading up to his death advocating for Trump's reelection.

July 25: The Washington TimesFederal judge blocks Seattle’s ban
on crowd-control tools as police brace for weekend protests
A federal judge late Friday blocked a recently approved Seattle City Council ordinance banning police from using crowd-control measures like pepper spray as officers braced for a weekend of protest violence.  At an emergency hearing, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart issued a temporary restraining order on the Seattle ordinance passed last month, which bans the use of “less lethal” tools such as tear gas, rubber bullets, bean bags, pepper spray, flashbangs, ultrasonic cannons, water cannons, and other tools used to break up crowds.

July 25: The Washington Examiner: Thousands gather for anti-Putin rally
In Khabarovsk, Russia, protesters showed up on Saturday for their third straight weekend of demonstrations challenging President Vladimir Putin.   The city in Russia's far east drew tens of thousands of demonstrators to voice their outrage over the arrest of the region's popular governor. On July 9, Gov. Sergei Furgal was dragged out of his car and sent to Moscow on a 15-year-old murder accusation. Putin further inflamed the situation when he appointed Mikhail Degtyarev, an outsider, as the acting governor of the Khabarovsk region last Monday.  People in the streets shouted, "Shame on the Kremlin," and "We are the ones in power."

July 24: UK Daily Mail: Portland, OR: Federal agents fend
off 2,000 protestors
Federal agents violently clashed with about 2,000 Portland protesters overnight just hours after the Justice Department said it was investigating the use of force during demonstrations and President Trump threatened to send 60,000 officers into more cities.  The bloody standoff between protesters and authorities, which lasted into the early hours of Friday, marked the 57th straight day of unrest in Oregon's largest city as rioters continue to demonstrate against racism and police brutality.   Portland has become the scene of a controversial crackdown by federal agents, ordered by President Donald Trump, in a bid to stop violent protests that have been ongoing since the death of George Floyd two months ago. 

July 24: The Wall Street Journal: China retaliates, tells US to
close its consulate in Chengdu
As a deadline neared for China to vacate its Consulate in Houston, Beijing struck back with the latest in a series of near-daily blows in the downward spiral of the U.S.-China relationship.  On Friday, Beijing ordered the closure of the U.S. Consulate in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu, retaliating against Washington’s decision earlier this week to close China’s diplomatic outpost in Houston amid intelligence that Chinese diplomatic personnel were involved in economic espionage and visa fraud.

July 24: United Press International: Minnesota Governor signs police reform bill into law
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed into a law police reforms following weeks of protests.  The Minnesota Police Accountability Act, which passed the Democratic-led House and the Republican-led Senate earlier this week, provides for mental health and crisis intervention training for officers, mandates monthly reports for each use of force incident and bans so-called warrior training and chokeholds. 

July 23: The Washington Free Beacon: Landmark Speech: Pompeo says
China is world’s biggest threat
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday identified China as the world's greatest threat and called on Western nations to unite against Beijing as part of a global effort to eradicate the Communist Party's growing control of the international order.  In one of his most significant foreign policy speeches since taking office, Pompeo said the Communist Party has committed gross human rights abuses, cyber espionage attacks, and routinely bullied Western nations. Pompeo said the world must immediately act to ensure that Communist China's vision for world dominance is not realized.  Pompeo spoke frankly about the dangers Communist ideology poses to the world and sought to reestablish America's democratic principles, saying the country will never bow before Beijing.

July 23: The Washington Examiner: AOC introduces amendment to defund
Trump “opportunity zones”

Liberal congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib filed an amendment to a House spending package on Wednesday that would defund the "opportunity zone" program created by President Trump's 2017 tax law.   If made into law the amendment would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from using any funds in a large House spending bill to administer or enforce the opportunity zone program, a tax break created by the 2017 tax bill meant to revitalize poor communities through private investments.   The tax incentive was created to benefit poor neighborhoods. Democrats opposed the measure.

July 23: United Press International: Trump cancels Jacksonville portion
of the National Republican Convention
President Donald Trump on Thursday canceled the Jacksonville, Fla., component of the Republican National Convention.  Trump said that the portions of the rally planned to take place in Florida would be replaced with “telerallies” and online events citing surging COVID-19 numbers in the state. Florida reported 10,200 new cases Wednesday for a total of 389,900 since the pandemic started.   "The timing for this event is not right, with what's happened recently, the flare-up in Florida, to have a big convention ... it's not the right time," he said.  The president added that he would still give a convention speech "in a different form" and portions of the event set to take place in the original host site in North Carolina, including nominations, would continue.

July 22: Fox News: China harboring military-biologist fugitive at its San Francisco consulate
The Chinese consulate in San Francisco is harboring a biology researcher who falsely denied connections to the Chinese military to obtain a visa and gain access to the country, according to the FBI.  Tang Juan is named in a filing document that cited a slew of other episodes in which Chinese nationals allegedly lied on their visa applications by hiding their military connections.  She stated on her J-1 visa application that she "had never served in the military, but open source investigation revealed photographs of her in the uniform of the Civilian Cadre of the People's Liberation Army  and that she had been employed as a researcher at the Air Force Military Medical University, which is another name for the Fourth Military Medical University," the FBI claimed. This information comes on the heels of President Trump ordering the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston.

July 22: The Washington Examiner: Taiwan fears an attack by China
Chinese Communist strategists have a growing interest in an assault on Taiwan, the island government fears.  "If we look at the contested issues around China's periphery, we see that for China, Taiwan would be an extremely convenient sacrificial lamb,” Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said at a Wednesday briefing for foreign press. "The threat is on the rise.”   Taiwanese officials seek to avoid a violent confrontation with the mainland regime while encouraging the growth of informal international support for Taipei, the last stronghold of the government overthrown in the Chinese Communist revolution.  Taiwanese officials seek to avoid a violent confrontation with the mainland regime while encouraging the growth of informal international support for Taipei, the last stronghold of the government overthrown in the Chinese Communist revolution.

July 22: The Washington TimesOregon elected officials AWOL while riots burn down Portland
Democrats have been lambasting President  Trump for sending in officers to protect federal buildings in Portland, but Republicans are increasingly asking where Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Mayor Ted Wheeler are. As the city braced for another night of violent protests, Oregon Senate Minority Leader Fred Giron cheered the arrival of federal law enforcement and said the governor should have handled the chaos herself.  “We have a governor that hasn’t lifted one finger to try to contain any of this, and today is its 56th day,” Mr. Giron said Wednesday on Fox News.

July 22: The Daily Caller: Ben Carson: HUD to rescind Obama-era housing rule
“At the request of the President, HUD will be tearing down the Obama Administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said.   “In nearly every case, it is a fact that local governments are more adequately equipped to deal with their community’s unique needs than any unelected bureaucrat in Washington.  President Trump made a promise to preserve America’s neighborhoods, I am pleased to report that promise has been kept.”  The Administration contends the rule hurt low income Americans by forcing federal funds into wealthy areas causing numerous local jurisdictions opted out of the program due to the cost. 
 
July 21: The Daily Caller: Trump: Mail-in voting could lead to
“most corrupt election in US History
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that mail-in voting could jeopardize the accuracy of the 2020 election. Republicans and Democrats have repeatedly clashed over funding for mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic. The president has long expressed concern that an implementation of nationwide mail-in voting could lead to a surge in voter fraud ahead of November’s election.  A survey conducted earlier this year by the Republican National Committee (RNC) found that 62% of voters believe there is fraud in U.S. elections, and that 57% of Americans are concerned that mail-in voting could taint the integrity of U.S. elections.

July 21: The Washington Examiner: DHS will not pull federal law enforcement from Portland
The acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (Chad Wolf) vowed not to pull federal law enforcement officials out of Portland amid continued violent attacks on federal facilities despite local leaders demanding they leave.  Over the past two nights, protests have turned into criminal attacks on federal agents and officers standing guard at the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse and other facilities.  Wolf said the department has sent in dozens to hundreds of personnel to the city because Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler has not done anything to shut down the violence 52 days since it began.

July 21: United Press International: Trump orders ban on counting
undocumented immigrants for House apportionment
President Donald Trump issued a memorandum Tuesday that blocks undocumented immigrants from being counted for apportionment of House representation after the 2020 census.  Trump ordered the ban in a presidential memorandum that he signed Tuesday.  The memorandum has sparked challenges in light of the Department of Commerce losing a Supreme Court case last year where it attempted to include a question about citizenship status on the 2020 census.  Still, the memorandum said that the constitution does not require undocumented immigrants to be counted for the purpose of apportionment of the House of Representatives.

July 21: Fox News: Trump: COVID-19 pandemic may get worse, encourages wearing masks
In his first official press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic since April, President Trump  admitted that the public health crisis is likely to worsen as cases surge across the country and asked all Americans to wear masks in public.  While he hailed his administration’s response to the pandemic and the work toward developing a vaccine, he bluntly disclosed that the crisis is likely to spread more before it can be completely contained.  “It will get worse before it gets better,” Trump said of the pandemic that has infected close to 4 million Americans. “That’s something I don’t like saying but it is.”  Noting the concerns that forcing wearing masks  may impinge  personal freedoms, Trump pleaded with Americans to wear masks out in public to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  “We’re asking everybody when you’re not able to socially distance to wear a mask,” Trump said.

July 20: The Washington Times: California town erases BLM mural rather
than allow MAGA street art
A California city stripped away a Black Lives Matter street mural rather than allow a pro-Trump mural to be painted on its streets.  According to a report in the Sacramento Bee, Redwood City not only approved the mural near its Courthouse Square over the Independence Day weekend but even supplied the yellow poster paint.  But the mural was erased last week by the city’s power-washing crews.  Redwood City made the decision after a local attorney noted that the city was letting the Courthouse Square be used as a public forum.  Maria Rutenberg requested permission to paint a “MAGA 2020” mural nearby.

July 20: The Washington Free Beacon: St. Louis couple charged with felony;
was any crime committed

The armed St. Louis couple at the center of a June standoff with a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters outside their home was charged with felonies on Monday, according to the city's circuit attorney.  St. Louis Democratic circuit attorney Kimberly M. Gardner said she is bringing felony charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey for brandishing weapons at protesters who gathered outside their property. She accused the couple of trying to intimidate protesters by pointing firearms at them during the ordeal, which was captured on a viral video.

July 20: United Press International: Supreme Court denies Democrat request
to speed up case for Trump’s tax records

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from congressional Democrats to finalize a ruling that would allow them to quickly resume the fight for President Trump's tax records.  Democrats petitioned the court last week to make final their ruling earlier this month that sent the case back to a lower court for further examination. Doing so would allow them to "accelerate the proceedings in the lower courts."

July 20: The Washington Times: Eastern Oregonians
seek to be part of Idaho

Rural Oregonians are considering bolting to Idaho after nearly two months of daily protests and rioting in Portland.  The “Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho” group seeks to take the eastern and rural counties out of Oregon and put them in Idaho.  The group has already gotten enough signatures to put the initiative on the November ballot in at least one county!  Fueling the separatist effort is Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s coronavirus shutdown and the escalating protest violence in Portland where this weekend rioters ignited a fire inside the Portland Police Association office.  Such border-shifting movements are long shots at best — no state has done so since West Virginia left Virginia in 1863 — but the inability or unwillingness of Portland authorities to quell the unrest has created a political climate in which the old rules no longer appear to apply.

July 19: The Daily Caller: White House Chief of Staff anticipates Durham probe indictments
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Sunday he expects indictments to be handed down from U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.  “You’re going to see a couple of other documents come out in the coming days that will suggest that not only was the [Trump] campaign spied on, but the FBI did not act appropriately as they were investigating,” Meadows also said in an interview on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

July 19: The Washington Examiner: Portland, OR: Police union building broken into and burned
Rioters in Portland set the city's Police Association office on fire during riots over the weekend.  The Portland Police Department said that protestors gathered outside the union building around 10:30 p.m. local time on Saturday after being cleared from a demonstration roughly two miles away from the building. When they arrived, the rioters cut off access to the area by lighting dumpsters on fire in the middle of the roads. They then broke down the doors of the facility and rushed inside and started a fire.

July 19: The Washington Free Beacon: Virginia mandates slavery lessons
for kindergarten, parents and educators take issue with new curriculum

Loudoun County is adding "social justice" to the mission of teaching elementary school students reading, writing, and arithmetic. The Washington, D.C., Virginia suburb—the richest county in the country—has teamed up with the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) education arm Teaching Tolerance to develop its new curriculum. The proposed lesson plan will restructure history and social studies classes to emphasize slavery as fundamental to American society for students from kindergarten to the fifth grade.

July 18: The Washington Times: Two-thirds of voters believe the media has a political agenda
The public’s distrust of the news media continues, though it is far more pronounced among Republicans than it is among Democrats, according to a new poll.  Almost two-thirds of likely U.S. voters — 63% — believe most major news organizations in America have their own political agenda according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey, which found that only 27% of the respondents felt these large-scale news operations are impartial.  “Democrats (42%), however, are far less likely than Republicans (87%) and voters not affiliated with either major party (63%) to believe most news organizations are politically biased,” the poll analysis said.

July 17: The Washington Times: Iranian dissidents rally for regime change in Tehran
Iran’s theocracy is at the weakest point of its four-decade history and facing unprecedented challenges from a courageous citizenry hungry for freedom, Iranian dissidents and prominent U.S. and European politicians said Friday at a major international rally calling for the downfall of the dictatorship in Tehran.  The annual “Free Iran Global Summit,” held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, brought together Iranian resistance groups and their allies around the world behind the common cause of pushing to replace Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s regime with a nonviolent democracy.  The summit was something of a technical marvel, uniting via Zoom tens of thousands of participants from 102 countries and 30,000 separate locations around the world.

July 17: Fox News: Trump blames surging violence on “stupidly run” cities
The President blamed surging violence across the country on “stupidly run” cities, while also offering support for facial coverings to stop the spread of coronavirus but saying he wouldn't issue a national mandate.  During the exclusive interview Trump was asked to explain why murder rates were up in cities like  Chicago and New York.  “I explain it very simply by saying they’re Democrat-run cities, they are liberally run. They are stupidly run,” the president said.  The president's comments came after at least 17 people were shot in NYC on Monday.  Trump added that Democrats who run the cities seeing a spike in violence “want to defund the police, and Biden wants to defund the police.”

July 17: United Press International: South Korea set to launch its first
military communication satellite
South Korea is poised to launch its first dedicated military communications satellite Sunday from Florida.  Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is planned during a nearly three-hour window starting at 5 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, adjacent to Kennedy Space Center.   A 40% chance of storms or clouds that could interfere with the launch exists, according to a U.S. Space Force forecast.  Elton Musk's SpaceX delayed the launch Tuesday, with Musk posting on Twitter that the company was being extra cautious by checking everything thoroughly.

July 17: Fox News: Portland protests flood police precinct, chant about burning it down
Hundreds of protestors took to the streets surrounding a Portland, OR police precinct Thursday night, blocking traffic and chanting about burning it down, according to social media and a local report.   This was the 50th day of protests in the city.   Authorities told a local TV outlet someone lit a small fire in the street, while other protesters entered the police property.  Originally the police said they had no plans to engage with protesters, but changed their tune less than an hour later when a department tweet announced that they had heard people from the crowd discussing their desire to “enter the property and burn down the precinct.”

July 17: The Hill: Justice Ginsburg undergoing chemo for resurgence of liver cancer
Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg revealed on Friday that she has been undergoing chemotherapy since May due to a recurrence of liver cancer.  Ginsburg said in a statement that the treatment is unrelated to the infection that sent her to the hospital this week. She reported that the chemotherapy has been "yielding positive results." "My most recent scan on July 7 indicated significant reduction of the liver lesions and no new disease," she said in the statement. "I am tolerating chemotherapy well and am encouraged by the success of my current treatment. I will continue bi-weekly chemotherapy to keep my cancer at bay, and am able to maintain an active daily routine."

July 16: The Washington Free Beacon: Democrats spend over $50 million
defeating qualified black candidates in contested primary elections
Democrats spent more than $50 million this cycle to ensure that white candidates won the party's Senate nomination in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Texas. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of the hopes and dreams of qualified black candidates attempting to bring more diversity to Congress.  White candidates Amy McGrath in Kentucky, Cal Cunningham in North Carolina, and MJ Hegar in Texas received early backing from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), which helped them win primary races against qualified black opponents.

July 16: The Washington Times: Trump takes on red tape regulations,
warns Biden would reimpose this burden
The President took a victory lap Thursday for his nearly four-year crusade of cutting Obama-era regulations on everything from farm ponds to light bulbs, a celebration carrying a warning that Democrat Biden would bury the president’s progress under an avalanche of new red tape.  A day after his administration finalized a rule speeding up environmental reviews of infrastructure projects, the president said he has been waging “the most dramatic regulatory relief campaign in American history.”  “We must never return to the days of soul-crushing regulation that ravaged our cities, devastated our workers, drained our vitality right out of our people and thoroughly crippled our nation’s prized competitive edge,” he said.

July 16: The Washington Examiner; China urges western companies
to ignore Pompeo’s warning of “Chinese thievery”
Chinese officials are urging Western companies to ignore U.S. warnings about the downsides of economic investments under the regime, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounces Beijing's aggressive economic and security policies.  “You’ve made the correct choice of putting down your business roots in China to seek development,” Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping wrote to the Global CEO Council in a letter released Thursday on state-run media.

Meanwhile Pompeo attacked the NYT’s 1619 project as an attack on the American way of life and a gift to the Chinese Communist Party.  “The Chinese Communist Party must be gleeful when they see the New York Times spout this ideology,” Pompeo said at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. “Our founders also knew the fallen nature of mankind,” Pompeo said. “So, in their great wisdom, they established a system that acknowledged our human failings, checked our worst instincts, ensured government wouldn’t trample on these unalienable rights.”  Pomoeo blamed the 1619 Project for the recent wave of efforts to topple historic statues, issuing a condemnation that seemed to distinguish between monuments to Confederate leaders and memorials erected in honor of other icons of American history.

July 16: Reuters: Second Federal execution after Supreme Court weighs in
The U.S. government executed a convicted murderer on Thursday in the second federal execution in as many days after a 17-year pause, overcoming court orders that said condemned men should have time to contest the legality of a new one-drug lethal-injection protocol.  Following another overnight volley of final legal challenges that were cleared away in the small hours by the Supreme Court, Wesley Purkey was pronounced dead at 8:19 a.m. EDT.

July 15: The Washington Examiner: Congress likely to let the $600 unemployment benefit die
The extra $600 a week unemployment benefits currently, provided by the federal government, is highly likely to expire at the end of the month.  It is unlikely that any new relief bill will be completed within the next three weeks. This means that the $600 in additional unemployment benefits, created under the $2.3 trillion CARES Act coronavirus relief bill in March and scheduled to expire on July 26, will lapse for some time before Congress has a chance to decide whether continuing the benefit is appropriate.  Some on Capitol Hill believe this benefit encouraged some to stay on unemployment because they are getting paid more from the government than if they worked.

July 15: The Washington Times: Trump says he is willing to send in federal
law enforcement to help cities run by Democrats to combat “war zones”
President Trump is planning to direct federal law enforcement “help” for Democratic-run cities that have seen a rise in violence this summer, calling them “war zones.”  In a meeting with Attorney General Barr and other federal officials at the White House on Wednesday, the president said he’ll make a “very exciting” official announcement next week. “The left-wing group of people that are running our cities are not doing the job that they’re supposed to be doing,” Mr. Trump said adding that he may soon announce “what we’re planning to do to help them.”

July 15: Fox News: The National Association of Police Organizations e
ndorses Trump after backing Biden as VP in 08 and 12
The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) endorsed President Trump’s reelection Wednesday, praising his “steadfast and very public support” for law enforcement.  NAPO President Michael McHale said Trump's support is needed “during this time of unfair and inaccurate opprobrium being directed at our members by so many.”  “We particularly value your directing the Attorney General to aggressively prosecute those who attack our officers,” McHale wrote in a letter.

July 15: United Press InternationalBritain purchases General atomics
protector drones  for $81 Million
San Diego-based General Atomics will build three Protector drones for Britain in an $81 million deal, the British Ministry of Defense announced on Wednesday.  The aircraft will also be deployed in intelligence, surveillance, targeting and reconnaissance missions, replacing Britain's current fleet of Reaper drones.  The aircraft is a modification of the MQ-9B drone, and features a 66-foot wingspan and the capability of traveling 300 mph.  It can carry a 3,900-pound payload of missiles and bombs, but most crucially is the first unmanned air vehicle to be certified as a remotely powered air system.

July 15: Townhall.com: Prominent Democrat civil rights attorney to support Trump
Civil Rights attorney Leo Terrell, a prominent black Democrat has decided to be a Trump supporter.  He has come under fire from his colleagues for refusing to support Joe Biden and Black Lives Matter. Terrell said the 2020 Democrat party has been “hijacked by Black Lives Matter and that's why I've shifted away from the Democratic Party. Two major reasons: One, Joe Biden made the assumption that … if you're black you have to vote Democrat. I find that insulting and offensive to every African American because we don't vote as one group."   Continuing he said "Secondly, defunding the police is absolutely ridiculous. Democrats believe in law and order. Those are two major reasons I left the Democratic Party."

July 15: The Washington Free Beacon: Obama appointed judge blocks federal death penalty
D.C. District Court judge Tanya S. Chutkan on Wednesday halted the scheduled execution of a federal death row inmate, marking another instance of the Obama appointee stalling the Department of Justice's efforts to restart federal executions.  The order issued just hours before the inmate's scheduled death cited the execution of convicted murderer Wesley mental illness and dementia as potentially rendering him incompetent to be executed.  Chutkan also separately halted three other currently scheduled executions.  The Department of Justice appealed Chutkan's orders to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. From there it may need to proceed to the Supreme Court.

July 14: The Wall Street Journal: UK to ban China’s Huawei
from 5G networking
The British government said it would bar telecom companies from purchasing new equipment made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co. for their 5G networks in a further sign of the deteriorating relations between Beijing and the West. 

July 14: The Washington Times: Trump signs bill authorizing China sanctions
over Hong Kong crackdown

President Trump signed legislation Tuesday sanctioning Chinese officials and entities for China’s “repressive actions” against the people of Hong Kong, and issued an executive order ending the territory’s preferential treatment by the U.S.   The law authorizes the State and Treasury departments to impose sanctions on those involved in imposing the Hong Kong security law, and also targeted banks involved in significant transactions with offenders. In an hour-long announcement heTrump also highlighted his Democrat opponent, Joe Biden’s allowing “China to pillage our factories, plunder our communities, and steal our most precious secrets.  Joe Biden’s entire career has been a gift to the Chinese Communist Party,” Trump contended.
[See video of the President’s news conference (starts 21 minutes in)
]

July 14: The Washington Examiner: “Open discrimination”:  CA’s churches
resist second shutdown
When California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that large sections of California would have to shut down businesses and churches because of a Chinese coronavirus, many religious leaders refused to comply with the order.   But even with the state's caution, some church leaders say that shutting down again is not an option. San Francisco and Western America Russian Orthodox Archbishop Kyrill, in an open letter to Newsom, said that the state's strictures on religious services, especially on singing, are "open discrimination," reminiscent of the "the era of godless persecutions in the U.S.S.R."

July 14: United Press International: First federal execution after US Supreme Court ruling
The federal government carried out its first execution in 17 years on Tuesday, putting killer Daniel Lewis Lee to death at a facility in Indiana after a rare early morning decision by the U.S.  Supreme Court.  Lee was put to death by lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute, a medium-security prison operated by the federal Bureau of Prisons. It was the first federal execution since 2003.

July 13: The Washington Times: Biden leads Trump in national polls but the lead is shrinking
Joseph R. Biden has a 7-point advantage over President Trump in a new national poll released Monday, but his lead has been cut nearly in half since late May.  The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee topped Mr. Trump 49%-42% in the new national survey of likely voters by John Zogby Strategies and EMI Research Solutions.  The same poll in late May showed Mr. Biden ahead by 13 points, 54%-41%.

July 13: United Press International: CA Gov closes indoor businesses, places limits on churches
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday ordered multiple business sectors to close down once again amid rising COVID-19 cases in the state.  Newsom ordered dine-in restaurants, bars, movie theaters, zoos, museums and some other businesses to close throughout the state which reported 8,358 new cases on Monday.   Under the order some of California's most populous areas including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino and Ventura counties, will be required to shut down fitness centers, worship services, protests, offices for nonessential sectors, malls, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops.

July 13: The Washington Free BeaconThe number of police searches
and stops in Minneapolis plummets
The embattled Minneapolis Police Department has mostly ceased stopping and searching residents of the city, as resources are stretched thin by anti-cop protests and surging gun violence.  Official data released by the MPD show that cumulative stops fell 36 percent in the week after George Floyd's death at the hands of three officers, sparking nationwide protests. That trend has persisted—over the week between July 6 and July 12, MPD officers made just 193 stops, down 77 percent from the same week in 2019.

July 13:
The Daily Caller: TX Lt. Gov: “America better wake up and get angry about this”
Republican Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick condemned calls to defund the police and the Black Lives Matter movement, calling people who want to send social workers to domestic disturbances “plain out idiotic” Monday.  He accused Democrats of not wanting to back police officers at all and added that he is “so tired of this mob and these people on Facebook and Twitter attacking our police.”  “We are not going to have any police left,” Patrick said as he railed off statistics about cops dying. “America better wake up, and while they didn’t start this fire, Joe Biden and the Democrats are aiding and abetting this.”

July 13: Fox NewsHong Kong virologist claiming coronavirus cover-up
tells 'Bill Hemmer Reports': 'We don't have much time'

A Hong Kong virologist who fled to the U.S. earlier this year said in an exclusive interview Monday that that lives could have been saved if the Chinese government hadn't censored her work.  "This is a huge pandemic we have seen in the world," Li-Meng Yan said. "It's more than anything we've known in human history. So, the timing is very, very important. If we can stop it early, we can save lives." Yan told Fox News Digital last week that she believes the Chinese government knew about the novel corononavirus well before acknowledging the outbreak publicly. She claimed her supervisors, renowned as some of the top experts in the field, also ignored research she was doing at the onset of the pandemic that she believes could have saved lives.  "I have to hide because I know how they treat whistleblowers, and as a whistleblower here I want to tell the truth of COVID-19 and the origin of the SARS-2 COVID virus," Yan told Fox News Digital.

uly 13: Washington Free BeaconConcerns emerge as Congress moves
to hand airport security to the private sector
Congress is poised to hand over control of sensitive airport screening information to private companies, an unprecedented move that would limit the federal government’s control of passenger information and inspection.  The Senate is considering the Registered Traveler Act of 2020, which would entrust private airport screening companies such as Clear to assume control of security procedures that have traditionally been handled by the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration. These privately owned companies would gain access to TSA databases containing passenger information and other data about individuals who may pose a national security risk. Currently, private companies are not permitted to access this government data.

July 12: The Washington Examiner: MO AG slams St. Louis prosecutor for “politically motivated decisions”
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said the prosecutor in the case of Mark and Patricia McCloskey has “a record of making politically motivated decisions not based on the law.”  The McCloskeys made headlines earlier this summer for brandishing their guns at Black Lives Matter protesters who marched through their gated community. On Friday, St. Louis police seized the rifle seen in viral videos of the couple after officers executed a search warrant at their home. An attorney for the couple said he hopes to meet with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner soon, as she was weighing charges against them.

July 12: The Washington Times: Dead cat gets a voter registration application in the mail
In a presidential election year, there’s always a push to get people registered to vote. For one Atlanta family, that push got a little interesting.  Ron Tims said he checked his mail Wednesday and found a voter registration application addressed to Cody Tims - his cat, who died 12 years ago.  “Third-party groups all over the country are targeting Georgia to help register qualified individuals,” the Secretary of State’s Office said in a statement. “This group makes you wonder what these out-of-town activists are really doing. Make no mistake about it, this office is dedicated to investigating all types of fraud.”

July 12: Fox News: Iran admits responsibility for shoot down of Ukrainian
airliner, blames miscommunication for the incident
A report released Saturday by Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization blames the shootdown of a Ukrainian jetliner on a misaligned missile battery and miscommunication between troops and their commanders.  The report signals a new phase in the investigation into the crash, as the aircraft's black box flight recorder is due to be sent to Paris, where international investigators will finally be able to examine it. It also comes as public opinion remains low over Iran's government as it faces both crushing U.S. sanctions and vast domestic economic problems.

USS Bonhomme Richard ablaze in San DiegoJuly 12: United Press InternationalFire breaks out on USS Bonhomme Richard, 21 injured
At least 21 people were injured after a three-alarm fire broke out following an explosion on the USS Bonhomme Richard, the Navy said.  A fire was called at 8:30 a.m. as the ship was docked at a Naval base in San Diego; 17 sailors and four civilians sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were transferred to hospitals for treatment, Naval Surface Forces reported on Twitter.   "USS Bonhomme Richard is going through a maintenance availability and has a crew size of approximately 1,000," they said. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear. USS Bonhomme Richard is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, commissioned in 1998. It’s name is derived from the pen name of Ben Franklin.

July 11; The Washington ExaminerPeople will die with violent US-China
clash possible, says GOP lawmaker
A violent confrontation between the United States and China could take place within months, according to an American lawmaker wary of Beijing’s expansionist foreign policy.   “I would predict there will be a clash within the next three to six months,” Florida Rep. Ted Yoho, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee for Asia, said.  Yoho’s forecast attests to the suspicion that has come to characterize U.S.-China relations in recent years, as U.S. intelligence officials  assess that the world’s largest communist power is waging “a cold war” against Washington. That competition has played out in the economic sphere and between spy agencies, but Yoho thinks it could soon turn percussive as China seeks to tighten control of the shipping lanes around its borders.

July 11: The Hill: Trump wears mask during visit to Walter Reed
President Trump wore a face mask during his visit to Walter Reed hospital on Saturday, marking the first time he has done so in front of cameras.  Trump visited the medical center in Maryland to meet with wounded soldiers and health care staff who have been caring for COVID-19 patients. He wore a mask as he walked down a hallway with hospital officials, but the rest of his time at Walter Reed was closed to the press. 

July 11: Fox News: Rep Collins: Trump will ultimately prevail against Biden
Joe Biden maybe leading President Trump in some recent 2020 presidential election  polls, but Biden will soon have to answer for and explain his recent policy pitches, U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA)said Saturday night.  "I'm not worried because when you put up this president against Joe Biden, Joe Biden has to come out of the basement more than just to give a speech and a plan and remarks that he's going to have," Collins said.

July 10: The Daily Caller: College professors and
Students attempting to stop ICE deportations
Several of the nation’s top universities and professors have started developing plans to prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from deporting students holding educational visas that aren’t attending in-person classes.  Starting this fall, students would be eligible for deportation unless they are taking at least one in-person course.  Students who hold F-1 or M-1 visas, which are for educational purposes, may not remain in the U.S. if their course load is entirely online, ICE said.  Numerous universities switched to online courses following the outbreak of coronavirus, but some are rethinking this decision in light of the ICE mandate. Several students and professors at universities that had previously shut down on-campus activities have begun to find ways to establish in-person classes to safeguard foreign students, and some institutions have sued the federal government.

July 10: The Washington Examiner: FBI concluded Flynn wasn’t
an agent of Russia and wasn’t lying
An internal Justice Department draft memo from late January 2017 indicates that the FBI concluded retired Lt. General Michael Flynn was not acting as an agent of Russia and noted that agents believed he did not think he was lying to them during an interview about his calls with Russia's ambassador.   The heavily redacted document (dated Jan. 30, 2017) was released to the Flynn defense team earlier this week and was made visible to the public on Friday in a filing with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

July 10: United Press International: Trump commutes Stone sentence
President Trump on Friday commuted the sentence of former campaign adviser Roger Stone, allowing him to avoid prison time for lying to Congress.  Stone had been scheduled to begin his 40-month prison sentence on Tuesday, though his lawyers were attempting to delay his report date because of the coronavirus pandemic.

July 10: The Washington Free Beacon: Iran reels after mysterious explosions
A large explosion rocked Iran’s capital for the third time in three weeks, according to the New York Times.  Though the exact site of the Thursday night explosion remains unspecified, analysts have reason to suspect "sabotage" due to its proximity to military and training institutions.  The incident is the latest in a series of explosions occurring near Iranian military sites between midnight and 3 a.m. since June. The first two transpired near Iran’s largest missile production facility and near the centrifuge of a nuclear base. Though the exact cause is unclear, intelligence analysts speculate that other countries looking to curb Iranian ambitions may be conducting sabotage while Tehran deals with internal crises, including the coronavirus pandemic.

July 9: Fox News: Supreme Court ruling in “Little Sister’s” case
big victory for religious freedom
The Supreme Court bolstered its standing as a defender of religious liberty with two decisions Wednesday vindicating that ideal. One of them, the Little Sisters of the Poor Saint Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania.  The Little Sisters, a Roman Catholic nuns order runs homes for the elderly poor all over the world.  The Obama Administration forced them to comply with the Obamacare requirement to provide free contraceptives to employees.   Things changed when President Trump’s administration arrived and adopted a rule that expanded the conscience protection to cover the Little Sisters and other previously unprotected entities with sincere religious or moral objections to providing contraceptive coverage.  Then Democrats in Pennsylvania and New Jersey went to court and secured a nationwide injunction against enforcement of the accommodation.  Thankfully, the Supreme Court’s decision upheld the conscience protection. This is a victory for freedom of religion and conscience.   

July 9: United Press International: Australia ends Hong Kong extradition
treaty, extends visas with residency path
Australia said Thursday it will suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and create a path to permanent residency for citizens from the former British colony with temporary visas in response to a draconian national security law Beijing imposed last week. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said duringa press conference hat Australia has formally notified Hong Kong and advised Chinese authorities of plans to end their extradition treaty, stating the new security law "constitutes a fundamental change of circumstances" in regards to Australia's relationship with Hong Kong.

July 8: Townhall.com: With NYC in crisis what should happen to Mayor DeBlasio
The Democratic mayor of New York City has led his constituents into a circumstance involving multiple crises, including widespread violence, murders, looting, economic devastation, and abandoned school children. Now is the time for him to end the damage he has wreaked on the nation’s most populous city by vacating Gracie Manor


July 8:The Washington Times: Gap between social distancing vs. free pass on COVID-19 protests
For three weeks, Seattle officials allowed hundreds of protesters to take over a six-block area of Capitol Hill that included Cal Anderson Park, but parents still isn’t allowed to take her child to the local playground. “Apparently, my toddler is much more dangerous [than protesters],” said Ms.Sadovnik, a Seattle-based lawyer for the Freedom Foundation. “I guess all the law-abiding people have to be subject to all these restrictions, but if you’re protesting and looting and rioting, that’s OK, you don’t spread coronavirus.”

July 8: The Daily Signal: Supreme Court decides in favor of religious liberty
The Supreme Court strengthened the separation of church and state Wednesday and, for once, that’s a good thing.  The 7-2 keeps government out of decisions by religious institutions about who may teach their faith.   The high court’s decision combined two cases in which Catholic schools in California each fired a fifth-grade teacher, the fired teacher in one school said age was the real reason for her firing, while the teacher in the other one claimed it was disability.  The issue in these cases was whether religious institutions, such as schools and churches, may make certain personnel decisions without government interference. Federal courts have recognized that the First Amendment creates what is often called a “ministerial exception” to employment discrimination laws regarding certain positions.

July 8: The Daily Caller: Democrat Houston Mayor cancels Texas GOP
in-person convention while defending Floyd protests
Democratic Houston mayor Sylvester Turner announced during a virtual City Council meeting Wednesday that the Texas GOP would not be allowed to hold an in-person convention in Houston, but defended the George Floyd protests that took place in the city.  Turner said he instructed the publicly-owned Houston First Corporation, which operates the George R. Brown Convention Center, to cancel its contract with the Texas GOP.  The convention had been scheduled to take place July 16 and expected an audience of roughly 6,000 people.

July 8:
The Washington Free Beacon: Maine Senate Democrat candidate’s
husband benefits -- $1-2 million – from program she opposes

Maine Senate candidate Sara Gideon's husband directly benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) even as the Democrat railed against Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) for supporting the small business relief fund.  Gideon, who serves as the state House speaker, has frequently criticized the PPP in the last few months, accusing Collins of creating a fund that bails out large corporations but abandons small businesses. What Gideon did not say in her PPP attack ads—one of which earned three out of four “Pinocchios” from fact-checkers—was that her husband's law firm received between $1 to $2 million in financial assistance from the fund.

July 7: Breitbart News: SD Governor: Monument debate “This isn’t
about equality anymore – This is a radical rewriting of history”

Gov.  Kristi Noem rejected the claim the push to remove statues and monuments was about “equality.”  She praised President Donald Trump’s efforts, including his July 3 speech at Mount Rushmore in her state, to defend monuments.  “I think it’s important we protect our history,” she said. “This isn’t about equality anymore. This is a radical rewriting of our history to take away our freedoms and liberties. It’s really trying to rewrite the foundation of this country. And so it’s alarming to me. I’m thankful that the president made the statement that he made in his speech about protecting Mount Rushmore and other monuments across the country.”

July 7: United Press International: US restricts Chinese over human rights record
In its latest reproach of China's human rights record, the U.S. State Department on Tuesday said they will deny Chinese officials entry to the United States who have restricted access of American government officials, journalists, independent observers and tourists to the Tibetan Autonomous Region.  In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said access to the Tibetan areas was of "increasingly vital" importance to regional stability due to the People's Republic of China's human rights abuses in the area and its failures to prevent environmental degradation near Asia's major waterways there.

July 7: Townhall.com:  USA Today twists itself into a pretzel trying to
explain about party roots of the KKK and the Civil War
Well, if you ever want to see linguistic gymnastics, just take a look at this USA Today’s fact check of the claim that the Democrats didn’t create the Ku Klux Klan or start the American Civil War. Are they really just low on material over there? Because this wasn’t even said by a major politician. It was an Instagram user. Yeah, so for USA Today to pull out the fact check guns on this is a tell-tale sign that the Left is fully aware of their racist past. And given how left-wing mob violence has grown and ‘woke’ crybabies taking scalps at major publications, best to just show you’re part of the team and strike back whenever you can.
 
[The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this blog or its contributors]

July 7: The Washington Times: Obama judges undermine pipelines
in sneak peek of the Biden energy pan
The nation may be awash in oil and natural gas, but U.S. pipelines are running on fumes after three high-profile conduits ran aground in 24 hours, the victims of Obama-appointed judges and regulatory uncertainty under the possibility of a climate-woke Biden presidency.  In Monday’s triple whammy, a federal judge ordered the three-year-old Dakota Access Pipeline to empty pending an environmental review. The still-under-construction Keystone XL pipeline was further delayed after the Supreme Court upheld a lower-court order blocking a permit.  And despite winning its Supreme Court case last month, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy stunned the industry by abandoning after six years the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, citing the “increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States.”

July 7: United Press International: Lawmakers urge Pentagon to stop buying F-35 parts from Turkey
A bipartisan group of US senators sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper this week asking the Pentagon to more quickly end its F-35 partnership with Turkey.  The U.S. formally removed Turkey from the international F-35 partnership in 2019 after it received delivery of a Su-35 Russian missile defense system, which the U.S. has warned could compromise the F-35.  Turkish manufacturers have been involved in building more than 900 parts for the F-35, and while Pentagon officials have found replacement suppliers for most, the shift could cost more than $500 million.


July 7: Fox News: Iowa BLM activist faces felony leak charges for allegedly
showing confidential police document on TV
Prosecutors in Iowa have filed a rarely used leak charge against Black Lives Matter (BLM) protestors accused of stealing a confidential police documents and displaying it during a television news broadcast.  Two protesters have been charged with this felony that carries upto five years in prison.  The statute was intended to punish officers and others who share information that could undermine criminal investigations or violate privacy protections.  The document in question was a Des Moines Police Department bulletin that included photos of suspects.  It is document officers and state troopers had with them while patrolling a July 1 protest at the Iowa Capitol.

July 6: The Washington Times: “Unlock Michigan” launches veto-proof drive
to repeal Governor’s powers
Organizers said Monday that they will begin collecting voter signatures within days for a veto-proof measure that would repeal a law that has given Gov. Gretchen Whitmer broad emergency powers during the pandemic.  The ballot committee Unlock Michigan announced its plan after the state elections board approved a summary of the petition. It would rescind a 1945 law that the Democratic governor has cited to close businesses, limit gathering sizes and restrict other activities to curb the coronavirus.

July 6: Reuters.Com: U.S. Supreme Court curbs “faithless electors” in electoral college
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to free “faithless electors” in the Electoral College system that decides the outcome of presidential elections from state laws that force them to support the candidate who wins the state’s popular vote.  The justices unanimously rejected the idea that electors, who act on behalf of a state in the Electoral College vote that occurs weeks after voters go the polls, can exercise discretion in the candidate they back. The decision erased a potential complicating factor in the Electoral College as President Donald Trump seeks re-election on Nov. 3 against Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

July 6: United Press International: ICE authorized to deport foreign students
who are taking courses only online
International students in the United States on student visas cannot attend a university this fall if their studies are entirely online, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Monday.  In a statement, ICE announced that students on non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 visas who attend universities that operate entirely online amid the COVID-19 pandemic "may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States."

July 5: The Washington Times: Supreme Court Justice Roberts decisions are about politics
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has been labeled the Supreme Court’s swing vote after siding several times with the liberal wing, but both conservative and liberal court watchers say his judicial moves are all about politics.  Conservatives say he’s trying to strike a balance so the high court doesn’t appear too political. Critics say that balancing act is falling short and is resulting in an inconsistent record that appears to be more political than rooted in a particular jurisprudence.

July 5: The Washington Examiner: NYC shootings up 205% since disbanding police unit
After making the decision to disband its plainclothes "anti-crime" unit, New York City has seen a 205% increase in shootings in comparison to the same time period last year.   According to the New York Post, 116 shootings took place in the city since the officers were reassigned from June 15 to July 2.  In 2019 there were 38 shootings during the same period.   "I feel like we are giving the streets back to the criminals," said the mother of one shooting victim, whose son was shot just days after the unit was disbanded. "Whatever the problem they have, address it. But don’t disband the unit. Many lives would have been saved. Not just my son," she said.

July 5: Fox News: Trump announces second rally, this one in New Hampshire
President Trump’s re-election campaign announced Sunday that the president will headline an outdoor rally in the battleground state of New Hampshire next weekend, just his second rally since the Chinese coronavirus pandemic swept across the nation in March.  Campaign staffers said the rally will be held next Saturday, July 11, at the Portsmouth International Airport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

July 4:
WhiteHouse.gov: The text of President Trump’s remarks at Mount Rushmore
“Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.  Many of these people have no idea why they are doing this, but some know exactly what they are doing.  They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive.  But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow our country, and all of its values, history, and culture, to be taken from them,” Trump said.

July 4: The New York Post: Trump gives fiery speech at Mount Rushmore
In a fiery speech at Mount Rushmore Friday night, President Trump slammed what he called the “left-wing cultural revolution” that has led to “violent mayhem” in the streets and the toppling of historic statues.  “They want to silence us. But we will not be silenced,” Trump said to cheers of “USA! USA!”  “We will not be intimidated by bad, evil people. It will not happen!” he said to more cheers from the thousands of supporters in the monument’s amphitheater before a Fourth of July fireworks show.  “We will never surrender the spirit and the courage and the cause of July 4, 1776,” he said.

July 4: Fox News: Trump announces new national monument
President Trump signed an executive order to establish a garden honoring “historically significant Americans who have contributed positively to America throughout our history,” Trump said.   It comes as a response to the anti-monument fervor that has gripped segments of the country, who have taken to either calling for the removal of, or simply attempting to tear down, monuments and statues of past American figures.   The proposed names on the list include Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia, the conservative justice who died in 2016, black major league baseball player Robinson, teacher and Challenger astronaut Christa McAuliffe, the Wright Brothers, educator Booker T. Washington, and women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony.

July 4: United Press International: Trump signs bill extending pay check protection program
President Donald Trump signed a law Saturday extending the deadline for small business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.  The extension of PPP, which was established to provide small businesses relief from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, was passed by Congress earlier in the week. Trump signed the legislation to extend the PPP, which expired Tuesday with $130 million unspent.  The new deadline for this program is August 8.

July 4: The Washington Examiner: Kavanaugh declines permission for
Illinois GOP to hold political rallies
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh rejected an application from Illinois Republicans challenging the governor's ban on political activity during the coronavirus pandemic.  Kavanaugh, a conservative member of the high court, declined the emergency request (which was placed to him by geography alone) that complained that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, allowed religious gatherings and protests but not political rallies or gatherings beyond 50 people.

July 3: The Daily Caller: Getting out of hand – protestors block roads
to Mount Rushmore ahead of Trump’s arrival
Protesters blocked the roads leading up to Mount Rushmore ahead of President Donald Trump’s Fourth of July speech that is scheduled to take place there Friday evening. Footage shows protesters standing on top of several large white vans and blocking traffic into the monument ahead of Trump's appearance. The protesters were holding signs and flags and had reportedly slashed the tires of the vans they were standing on.

July 3: Fox News: Seattle police arrest ten in clearing out protestors
Seattle police clashed with protesters after being attacked with rocks, bottles and fireworks overnight Thursday in the now-cleared Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone. Police said 10 people were arrested after violence erupted.  Helmeted police forcibly cleared the area after the mayor ordered the response following weeks of non-action and two recent fatal shootings.  When the zone was cleared Wednesday, more than three dozen people were arrested on charges of failure to disperse, obstruction, assault and unlawful weapon possession.

July 2: United Press InternationalSenate passes bill to punish China
over its actions against Hong Kong
The U.S. Senate on Thursday unanimously passed bipartisan legislation to punish China for imposing a new sweeping national security law on Hong Kong, sending the bill to President 's desk to be signed into law.  The bill, the "Hong Kong Autonomy Act" will impose mandatory sanctions on persons and entities who contribute to China's defiance of its responsibilities to Hong Kong and those who infringe upon its autonomy as well as banks that conduct "significant transactions" with those people.

July 2: The Washington Free Beacon: WHO backtracks on China’s telling world about COVID-19
According to a WHO timeline tracking the spread of the virus, contrary to claims from both Chinese officials and the World Health Organization, China did not report the existence of the coronavirus in late 2019. Rather, international health officials discovered the virus through information posted to a U.S. website.  The quiet admission from the international health organization, which posted an "updated" timeline to its website this week, flies in the face of claims from some of its top officials, including WHO director general Tedros Adhanom, who maintained for months that China had informed his organization about the emerging sickness.

July 2: The Washington Times: Jobs Report shatters expectations
Employers added a record 4.8 million jobs in June as the economy bounced back from coronavirus shutdowns, prompting President  Trump to celebrate the “spectacular” news four months before he faces voters, while a key government forecaster warned that a full recovery is still years away.  The robust job gains bolstered nearly every sector of the U.S. economy. as the unemployment rate declined to 11.1% from 13.3% in May.  Combined with a revised 2.7 million jobs added in May, the Labor Department said 7.5 million Americans went back to work over two months. 
The DOL reported the ten states with the highest unemployment rates at the end of June were Nevada: 25.3%, Hawaii: 22.6%, Michigan: 21.2 %, Rhode Island: 16.3, Massachusetts: 16.3%, California: 16.3%, Delaware: 15.8%, New Jersey: 15.2%, Illinois: 15.2%, and Washington: 15.1%, most controlled by Democrats.

July 2: The Washington Examiner: U.S. Attorney: 150 cases tied to rioting
The top prosecutor in the nation’s capital said the Justice Department has charged 150 people in cases related to acts of violence during protests that followed the death of George Floyd.   Acting U.S. Attorney for D.C., Michael Sherwin, selected by Attorney General William Barr in mid-May after a stint as deputy attorney general for national security, revealed the number on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show Thursday evening while providing an update on the Justice Department’s law enforcement efforts tied to the demonstrations over the past five weeks. 

July 2: Townhall.com: Liberal journalist reports on Minneapolis riots and media coverage
Reporter Michael Tracey walked by the Minneapolis police headquarters, noting that the place looked like Bosnia. He also said that the breadth of the destruction is probably not being covered by the media because it could be seen as helping President Trump, who has promised to maintain law and order during the chaos. He found one dentist’s office that was used to give care to the uninsured in the community that was utterly destroyed. 

July 1: The Daily Caller: Hong Kong police arrest more than
300 less than a day after enacting security law
Hong Kong police arrested more than 300 people Wednesday during protests less than a day after China enacted a national security law for the autonomous territory.  Thousands of protesters gathered downtown Wednesday for a rally marking the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from the United Kingdom, and were met with riot police deploying pepper spray and pellet rounds, Reuters reported. The police made arrests as crowds reportedly chanted “resist till the end.”

July 1: The Washington Times: D.C. sued over BLM painted street
Judicial Watch filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday demanding access to D.C.’s streets to paint its own messages, after the city painted Black Lives Matter on one street and allowed protesters to paint their own “Defund the police” message next to it.  The conservative group said it wants to paint its own motto, “Because No One is Above the Law,” on a street near its D.C. officers.  Judicial Watch said the city has turned its streets into a public forum for political expression by painting and allowing the other messages, which means that it cannot shut out other competing messages or else it runs afoul of the First Amendment.

July 1: The Washington Examiner: Pompeo accuses China of “hostage taking”
to pressure Canada on Huawei
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused the Chinese Communist Party of “hostage-taking” for its imprisonment of two Canadians, a move the Chinese government made after Canada arrested and began the extradition process for a top Huawei executive.   Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested by Canadian authorities in December 2018 at the request of the United States, indicted in the Eastern District of New York in January 2019, and charged with bank fraud and wire fraud as well as conspiracy to commit both alleged crimes. In the same 13-count indictment in the Brooklyn court, Huawei was charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and violations of sanctions against Iran.  After Meng’s arrest, China arrested two Canadian citizens who remain imprisoned.

 


Go to the Chronology of News Stories from the first half of 2020