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President Donald Trump on Tuesday will unveil an economic relief package to help Americans who are bearing the economic brunt of the coronavirus.

Trump made the announcement Monday as he, Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the administration’s coronavirus task force, and public health officials briefed the media on the latest developments in the fight against the virus.

“We are going to take care of, and have been taking care of, the American public and the American economy,” Trump said, adding that discussions with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republicans would include “a possible payroll tax cut or relief, substantial relief — very substantial relief. That’s a big — that’s a big number.

“We’re also going to be talking about hourly wage earners getting help so that they can be in a position where they’re not going to ever miss a paycheck,” Trump said.

“We’re going to be working with companies and small companies, large companies — a lot of companies — so that they don’t get penalized for something that’s not their fault,” the president said, indicating that he expected an announcement about the package will come Tuesday.

“It’s not their fault, it’s not our country’s fault,” Trump said.

“This was something that we were thrown into and we’re going to handle it, and we have been handling it very well. The big decision was early when we shut down our borders. We’re the first ones ever to do that. We’ve never done that in our country before. Or we’d have a situation that would be a lot more dire.”

Trump said the economic package will be extensive.

“Also, we’re going to be seeing Small Business Administration and creating loans for small businesses. We’re also working with the industries, including the airline industry, the cruise ship industry — which, obviously, will be hit. We’re working with them very, very strongly,” he said. “We want them to travel. We want people to travel to certain locations and not to other locations at this moment. And hopefully that will straighten out sooner rather than later.

“But we’re working with the industries, and in particular those two industries,” Trump said. “We’re also talking to the hotel industry. And some places, actually, will do well, and some places probably won’t do well at all. But we’re working also with the hotel industry.

“But the main thing is that we’re taking care of the American public, and we will be taking care of the American public.”

During the news conference, Pence indicated that the need to help workers has been shared by many state governors.

“One of the things that I informed the president that I’ve been hearing from governors is the concern about hourly wage earners in this country feeling that they had to go to work, even if they were ill,” Pence said.

“And the president has tasked this economic team, and is working already with leaders in the Congress, to make sure that anyone is not — feels that they’re at risk of losing their job or losing a paycheck because they may contract the coronavirus.

“When we tell people, ‘If you’re sick, stay home,’ the president has tasked the team with developing economic policies that will make it very, very clear that we’re going to stand by those hardworking Americans, stand by those businesses large and small, and make it possible for us, as the president said from the very beginning, to put the health of America first,” Pence said.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin later said that Trump has a range of options he can implement through the executive branch, while others may need congressional approval.

“Our primary focus is there are parts of the economy that are going to be impacted, especially workers that need to be at home — hardworking people who are at home under quarantine or taking care of their family,” he said.

“We’ll be working on a program to address that,” Mnuchin added.

“We will also be working with small businesses who need liquidity through SBA programs. We’re looking at alternatives at the IRS. We have large tax payments coming up of providing certain relief to companies and individuals for liquidity.

“So the president is 100 percent committed that we will provide whatever tools we need, that the economy will be in very good shape a year from now. This is not like the financial crisis where we don’t know the end in sight. This is about providing proper tools and liquidity to get through the next few months.”

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Trump, GOP Lawmakers To Propose Payroll Tax Cut To Combat Coronavirus Economic Fallout

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi more than tripled the spending President Donald Trump asked for to fight the coronavirus, some Republicans put their feet down, along with their thumbs.

“The president asked for $2.5 billion. I would have supported that,” Republican Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado said Friday during an appearance on the Fox News show “The Ingraham Angle.”

But that’s not what he was asked to vote on. The price tag for the final package of programs totaled $8.3 billion, according to Politico.

Buck laid the blame for the extra spending at the door of Pelosi.

“The speaker decided to add all sorts of Christmas-tree ornaments to this bill. It was unnecessary. It was too much money,” he told guest host Tammy Bruce.

Buck and fellow Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona were the only two members of the House to oppose the bill.

A similar package passed in the Senate had one dissenting vote, that of Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Paul tweeted out his objections to the bill:

Buck’s office told Fox News that Buck disliked the $1.25 billion set aside in the bill for funding public health responses in other nations. Buck also opposed the inclusion of $500 million to expand Medicare’s telehealth services.

Moreover, the congressman voiced concerns about a plan that calls for stockpiling masks and other medial supplies without a distribution plan attached to ensure they reach front-line medical professionals and do not end up stacked in warehouses.

During his on-air appearance, Buck decried the political blame game in which Trump has been attacked by Democrats over the outbreak of a virus that has impacted nations around the world.

“I work on Capitol Hill and I see politics every day,” Buck said. “And unfortunately, I see people that try to make political gain out of things that they should not try to make political gain out of.

“And to try to lay this issue, which starts in China, comes the United States and is being handled as well as we could possibly hope — to try to lay this at the president’s feet as unfair,” he said.

“And I think most people have seen three years of unfair treatment by the Democrats of this president.”

Biggs, for his part, issued a statement explaining his opposition to the final proposal.

“In true Washington, D.C. fashion, congressional appropriators turned the president’s reasonable $2.5 billion request into a bloated $8.3 billion package,” he said.

“By passing this larded-up bill, Congress again fails to wisely appropriate taxpayer dollars. I would have supported the president’s request for $2.5 billion, knowing that, if we spent all the funds, Congress could have provided additional funding.”

“Throwing money at a potentially serious issue does not alleviate the American people’s concerns. Nor does politicizing the issue to score points for future elections. Congressional Republicans and Democrats should join the White House to calmly, wisely, and pro-actively communicate a unified response to their constituents. We must rise to the occasion and do what is best for this situation — as well as for future generations. Unfortunately, this bill fell short of that objective,” Biggs said.

“Basically, they throw a bunch of money at it to say, ‘We’ve taken care of it,” he added to KTAR.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Lawmaker Reveals Pelosi Tripled Coronavirus Bill Cost with ‘Christmas-Tree Ornaments’

Fed up with liberal extremists, a record number of Republicans are waging an all-out fight to reclaim the House of Representatives after the 2018 Democratic wave took it away from the GOP.

Federal Election Commission paperwork shows that in 2019 alone, a record 781 Republicans filed required forms to run for the House, up from 593 GOP candidates in 2017, according to Fox News

Many echo the message of Gavin Rollins, a captain in the Florida National Guard who will be seeking the House seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Ted Yoho.

“I say ‘fight alongside our president.’ I chose that phrase very carefully because a lot of candidates who are Republican will say, ‘I support our president.’ But it’s not enough to support him. We need people in Congress fighting alongside him. He had my back in a combat zone. Do you think I’ll have his back to Congress? Absolutely,” he told Fox.

Rollins, 33, said new, young voices need to counteract what he called the “socialism” of liberals such as Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

“I get frustrated by AOC. She’s a millennial who just jumped in and is spouting off all these things. But what has she done to give back to the community?” Rollins said.

“What has she done to serve and make the world a better place at the local level or within her community before she’s now lecturing the rest of us on our country should be? And as a millennial who has served in the classroom, who has served overseas, I want to push back against that narrative.”

George Republican Marjorie Greene said Trump needs reinforcements.

“I’m tired of seeing my president attacked every day,” she said, according to Fox. “I’m tired of seeing our future threatened. I’m tired of seeing my children’s future extremely threatened, and it’s time to get off the bench and really step up to the plate.”

Greene said her campaign shows women are not all what she termed “tyrannical socialist Democrats.”

“These are radical women that will not bend. They do not want to work across the aisle. They only want their policies of the Green New Deal, ‘Medicare-for-all’ and socialism for America,” Greene told Fox. “Oftentimes, it takes a woman to put another woman in her place.”

Collectively, 1,761 people are planning to run for Congress, with 874 Republicans and 842 Democrats, according to Fox.

“It’s all about enthusiasm driven by the president, both negative and positive,” Sarah Bryner, research director at the Center for Responsive Politics told Fox, adding the Republicans “saw the Democrats do it last cycle. So they know that it is possible. They saw some seats picked off that I think shocked the party and the public. They want to get those back.”

Retired Army captain Sean Parnell said Republicans have an edge that Democrats lack.

“The Democrats don’t really have an inspiring figure at the top of the ticket,” said Parnell, who is running to unseat Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb in western Pennsylvania. “They don’t really have a message but higher taxes and banning entire sectors of our economy and hatred of Trump. That’s not going to be enough for them to win.”

Parnell told Fox this election will make history, and he wants to be part of it.

“This is the first time in American history, where the president was impeached and he’s going to be on the ballot,” Parnell said. “The GOP turnout is going to be through the roof this election cycle. Everywhere we go, people are excited to vote.”

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Conservative 2020 Wave Grows as Record Number of GOP Candidates File to Run

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, lashed out Wednesday at President Donald Trump for conducting “economic warfare” against Iran through economic sanctions.

In a speech to the nation regarding Iran’s missile attack on installations in Iraq that house U.S. forces (in which no Americans were injured), Trump said that he would respond, but not militarily, to Iran’s aggression.

“As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior,” the president said, according to a White House media pool report.

A livid Omar tapped out her reply on Twitter.

“This makes no sense. Sanctions are economic warfare,” she wrote.

“They have already caused medical shortages and countless deaths in Iran. You cannot claim to want deescalation and then announce new sanctions with no clear goal. This is not a measured response!”

Many who read Omar’s tweet were incensed by her perspective.

Omar spoke differently about sanctions in October in an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.

“I think the opportunity to boycott, divest, sanction is the kind of pressure that leads to that peaceful process,” she said, speaking about the anti-Israel BDS movement.

Earlier in the year, she sponsored a resolution that sought to support the right to boycott Israel.

“We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting,” Omar said then, according to the New York Post.

“And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement,” she added.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Ilhan Omar Rushes To Defend Iran from Trump’s Supposed ‘Economic Warfare’

The recent report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirms that America’s government is being attacked from within, Judge Jeanine Pirro said Saturday on her Fox News show.

“We now have confirmation, corroboration that the deep state exists,” Pirro said on “Justice With Judge Jeanine,” referring to the shadowy network of insiders President Donald Trump has confronted throughout his presidency.

The report addressed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, but was also a wider window on the conduct of the FBI. In his report Horowitz said the FBI did not launch its probe out of bias, but did say that 17 significant errors were made in the documentation that allowed an American citizen to be spied upon.

Pirro’s conclusion was more blunt.

The deep state “worked to spy on and frame a presidential candidate and plant the seed for his overthrow in the ugliest, most corrupt attempted political coup in U.S. history,” she said.

“That it occurred at all, is stunning. But that it was manipulated to take down a president and remove him from office almost as soon as we put him there, essentially overthrowing a government, is an outrage that demands the most severe consequence our criminal justice system has to offer.”

“And although the warrant was to surveil American citizen Carter Page, in truth Page was nothing more than the window through which to view and investigate Donald Trump,” Pirro said.

“Thereafter every one of the 17 errors that the inspector general identified was indicative of the desire to get Donald Trump to continue spying and wiretapping. That’s right, I said it, spy.”

“So Donald Trump was right from the beginning. He said they were spying on him and wiretapping him, and they made fun of him, and they ridiculed and condemned him and belittled him,” she added.

“And although his law enforcement terminology may not have been on point, he was right. Wasn’t he? And every one of the 17 errors identified by the I.G. going against the president and in favor of the radical leftist ideologues indicate no conclusion other than bias.”

Pirro noted that the conclusions of the Horowitz reported were called into question by both Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham. Durham is also investigating the beginning of what would mushroom into the investigation of the Trump campaign for alleged collusion with Russia.

“The Comey FBI counterintelligence division believes they can investigate anyone based on what someone heard in a bar and then run with it. But these guys, they didn’t just run with it, they took every left turn and ran every red light in their effort to get their man,” Pirro said, referring to former FBI Director James Comey.

Pirro said the report makes it difficult to believe that all the errors were just happenstance.

“The I.G. admits there were significant inaccuracies and omissions and that agents failed to meet their basic obligations. He made clear, the I.G., that every step of this operation was briefed up to the highest level of the FBI. That’d be Comey,” she said.

“They found there were, quote, so many basic and fundamental errors made by three separate hand-picked teams on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations. There was a failure of not only the operational team, but the managers, the supervisors and the senior officials in the chain of command.”

“So what do you think the chances of that are? Do you really think that there is no bias when everyone on three different experienced teams, all supposedly smart, all make the same mistakes, all against Donald Trump?” she asked.

Pirro answered her own question.

“Every FBI agent is smart. They were trained. Every one of these agents had years of law school training, courtroom experience. The chances of every one of those getting every one of the 17 mistakes wrong that work in their favor against Donald Trump is slim to none. And it ends up in a four-letter word. Bias. And although Cardinal Jim Comey says ‘I feel vindicated,’ the truth is that even dull, dry Horowitz makes the truth clear,” she said.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Judge Jeanine Says There Is Now Enough Proof ‘That the Deep State Exists’

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York recently excoriated President Donald Trump for appointing judges who were rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association, but there’s a bit of dissonance amid the criticism because Schumer himself has supported nominees who bore that rating.

“As a senator, I have now worked with four separate administrations, Democrat and Republican, on the appointment of federal judges. I can say with perfect confidence that over the last three years, President Trump has nominated — and Senate Republicans have approved — the most unqualified and radical nominees in my time in this body,” Schumer said last week, according to The New York Times.

Schumer said three recent nominees, two for the U.S. District Court and one for the U.S. Court of Appeals, received a “not qualified rating” from the American Bar Association.

“How the heck do we put these people on the bench?” Schumer said in Senate floor remarks.

Then, after saying the issue was not ideology, Schumer attacked the ideology of Trump’s appointees.

“President Trump has nominated judges who are way out on the very extremes of jurisprudence, right-wing ideologues whose views cut against the majority of Americans on nearly every issue. The judges he’s nominating disagree with a vast majority of Americans on issue after issue after issue.

“Whether it’s women’s health and the right of a woman to make her own medical decisions, whether it’s legal protections for LGBTQ Americans, whether it’s the right of workers and collective bargaining, whether it’s fair access to the ballot box and voting rights, whether it’s the most commonsense gun laws and environmental protections.

“These nominees have views way to the right of even the average Republican, let alone the average American,” he said.

But what was not said was that the “not qualified” rating didn’t mean much to Schumer in the appointment of Vanessa Bryant, according to The Federalist.

Bryant was appointed to the U.S. District Court in Connecticut during the administration of former President George W. Bush, when Schumer was on the Senate Judiciary Committee and backed her nomination.

At the time then-Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, now a U.S. senator, said the “not qualified” rating meant little because it used information from anonymous sources.

In its reporting on Trump’s judicial appointments, The Federalist noted that Schumer has supported other nominees who have received a “not qualified” rating.

But what happened on Schumer’s watch that might color his commentary is that Trump has now appointed 25 percent of the nation’s circuit court judges, according to a Twitter post from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Trump celebrated that milestone in a White House ceremony last week, according to a White House media pool report. Trump explained why his judicial appointments are vital to the nation.

“In recent decades, our system has been under relentless attack by the left-wing activists who want to take the powers of the elected branches and give that power to unelected federal judges. They want to impose by judicial decree what they failed to win at the ballot box. Does that sound familiar to anybody? That’s really familiar,” Trump said.

“When judges write policy instead of applying the law, they impose sweeping changes on millions of Americans without the benefit of legislative debate, public rulemaking, or the consent of the governed. As a result, these highly political rulings inflict painful damage on our security, society, and economy, imposing unworkable edicts on businesses, workers, families, and law enforcements, really, alike. They give many, many bad nights to many, many people, including presidents. Including presidents. But we power through it. We have no choice,” Trump said.

Trump also noted the impact of his appointments.

“No president in history has confirmed as many Circuit Court judges, even close — not even close — in such a short period of time. The average age of my newly appointed Circuit Court judges is less than 50. They’re young, smart. That’s 10 years younger than President Obama’s nominees,” he said.

ceremony, McConnell said that, thanks to Trump’s 2016 victory, “we got a chance to set the agenda, just an opportunity to move the ball in the right direction. What’s the most important thing? Clearly, it was the Supreme Court. You had been helped enormously by a decision that I made — and these guys will back me up — not to let President Obama fill that Scalia vacancy on the way out the door.

“And, boy, you didn’t blow it. Neil Gorsuch is an all-star, isn’t he?” McConnell said. “And the president alluded to that easy confirmation we had with Brett Kavanaugh. You made a great choice, Mr. President.

“And it’s not just that. The circuit courts, where 99 percent of litigation stops, are full of bright, young men and women who believe in the quaint notion that maybe the job of a judge is to follow the law. And so, Mr. President, this is one of the many ways you’re helping to make America great again,” McConnell said.

During the ceremony, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina noted that one nomination stands out above the rest: The successful Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation fight.

“The defining moment of your presidency, for me, was the Kavanaugh hearing,” Graham said. “This room would be empty if we had failed Brett Kavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh lived a life we should all be proud of. He worked hard. And the way he was treated was the worst experience I’ve had in politics.

“A lot of people would have pulled the plug on him. Mr. President, thank you for not pulling the plug on Brett Kavanaugh.”

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Schumer Doesn’t Mind Voting for ‘Not Qualified’ Judges, As Long as They’re Not Appointed by Trump

President Donald Trump is not only snubbing a United Nations climate change summit on Sept. 30, he has scheduled a counter-event at the U.N. complex in New York City to celebrate religious freedom.

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to introduce Trump at the event, which will be attended by religious leaders and activists. Trump’s event will be in a conference room with a capacity of 250 people, the New York Post reported.

The U.N.’s annual climate change summit features the heads of about 60 nations.

“The President is working to broaden international support for ongoing efforts to protect religious freedom in the wake of increasing persecution of people on the basis of their beliefs and a growing number of attacks on and destruction of houses of worship by state and non-state actors,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement, according to The Christian Post.

“The President will call on the international community to take concrete steps to prevent attacks against people on the basis of their religion or beliefs and to ensure the sanctity of houses of worship and all public spaces for all faiths,” the statement noted.

The event is titled, “Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom.”

“The President of the United States has decided to set his own agenda for the United Nations General Assembly and that agenda will involve the most sweeping, focused statement on religious freedom ever delivered by any President of the United States to the United Nations,” Johnnie Moore, a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said.

“Not participating and yet showing up at the building is throwing down a gauntlet,” said David Waskow, director of the International Climate Initiative at the World Resources Institute, according to The Guardian.

Others said Trump will distract from the climate change event.

“He’ll clog up the whole system,” Ireland’s Mary Robinson, a former U.N. high commissioner for human rights, told The Guardian. “He won’t go to the climate summit and he wants the distraction factor, I suppose.”

The U.S. will be represented at the climate change summit. Marcia Bernicat, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs, will attend, according to CNN.

In a recent speech to House Republicans, Trump eviscerated a House Democratic effort to have the U.S. the Paris climate agreement, from which Trump withdrew the United States.

“But that would have been a disaster for us. It would have cost us a tremendous fortune. They were going to take away our wealth. They were going to say we can’t do certain businesses. We can’t take the oil and gas. We can’t do anything. This would have been one of the great travesties,” Trump said, according to a White House transcript of his remarks.

“The Paris Accord would do nothing to improve our environment. It would only punish our country while foreign polluters operate with impunity. Isn’t it incredible?

“You look at China, you look at India, you look at Russia, you look at so many other places, their smokestacks are pouring out. Everything is pouring out. And I want to be clean. And we’re going to be clean,” Trump said then.

In July, Trump, a strong supporter of religious freedom, outlines his views on combatting religious persecution during a White House meeting with religious leaders.

“In America, we’ve always understood that our rights come from God, not from government. In our Bill of Rights, the first liberty is religious liberty. Each of us has the right to follow the dictates of our conscience and the demands of our religious conviction.

“We know that if people are not free to practice their faith, then all of the freedoms are at risk and, frankly, freedoms don’t mean very much,” Trump said then, according to a White House transcript of his remarks.

“That’s why Americans will never tire in our effort to defend and promote religious freedom. I don’t think any president has taken it as seriously as me.

“To me, it’s very important,” he said. ” It’s vital. It’s really vital.”

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Trump To Skip UN Climate Summit, Will Host His Own Religious Freedom Summit Instead

New polls show a surge in President Donald Trump’s popularity.

Trump’s job approval rating this month hit 43 percent, according to the latest Gallup poll. That’s an increase from 39 percent last month, and slightly above his average for the year of 42 percent.

The poll shows that Democrats, who have portrayed themselves as the “resistance” to Trump throughout his presidency, are still largely opposed to the president. Only 5 percent of Democrats surveyed by Gallup said they approve of the job Trump has been doing.

The percentage of Democrats telling Gallup they approve of Trump has only hit double digits once this year. That was in April, after former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report cleared Trump of charges his campaign colluded with Russia in 2016.

The poll shows tremendous support for Trump from Republicans, with 91 percent approving of the job he is doing in Washington.

Although Trump’s numbers have fluctuated throughout 2019, the loyalty of Trump’s GOP base can be seen in the fact that Republicans’ approval of Trump has never fell below 87 percent in any Gallup poll this year.

Independent voters, who have handed Trump approval ratings ranging from 31 percent to 39 percent throughout the year, weighed in with a 38 percent approval rating in September.

Gallup noted that the 86-point gap in approval ratings between how Republicans view Trump and how Democrats see him ties the highest gap ever recorded.

Trump has hit the mark three times, while former President Barack Obama also had an 86-point gap in October 2012, when only 6 percent of Republicans viewed him favorably and 92 percent of Democrats did so.

Gallup was not the only polling outlet to give Trump good news this week.Rasmussen Reports, which provides a daily tracking poll of Trump’s approval rating, had the president at 51 percent or higher on two occasions this week, prompting a tweet from Trump.

“Thank you, working hard!” Trump tweeted.

On Thursday, that had dipped slightly to 49 percent. However, Rasmussen pointed out that at the same time in his first term, Obama’s approval rating was at 45 percent.

Trump outlined the choices facing Americans during a recent speech to House Republicans, according to a White House transcript of his remarks.

“Democrats in Congress have embraced an extreme, destructive and dangerous agenda: radical socialism and open borders. Democrats are determined to replicate the most catastrophic failures of world history right here in the United States,” Trump said.

“With the grim specter of socialism descending on the Democrat Party, it’s up to all of us to ensure the survival of American liberty,” Trump said. “We have a big task. We have a very big task.”

Trump noted the importance of his re-election in terms of the ongoing trade battles with China.

“And President Xi of China, he is tough. Oh, boy, he’s a furious kind of a guy. Great guy, but … he’s dying to see — he wants Sleepy Joe,” Trump said.

“Can you imagine those two guys in a room? Here’s Xi: ‘Hwah!’ And here’s Sleepy Joe, ‘What? Where am I? Where am I?’ ‘Just sign here, Sleepy Joe. Just sign here. Like you guys have been doing for the last 25 years. Let us keep taking $500 billion out of your account. Let’s keep rebuilding China with America’s money,’” Trump said.

“That’s stopping. A lot of things are stopping that are bad and foolish, crazy.”

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Trump’s Approval Rating Jumps Up Despite Anger from Democrats

Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw set former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes straight after he questioned America’s credibility on the current crisis with Iran.

Rhodes, who was involved with selling the Iran nuclear deal to the American public during the Obama administration, replied to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement on Thursday that the U.S. was blaming Iran for the attacks by saying America’s word alone was not enough.

“This definitely feels like the kind of incident where you’d want an international investigation to establish what happened. Huge risk of escalation,” Rhodes tweeted.

Texas Rep. Crenshaw sent back a bristling reply.

“So, do or don’t believe the Intel community? And you’re not really a trusted source to weigh in on Iran…You sold the public the falsehood of a moderating Iranian regime – using your media “echo chamber” (your words)- & ignoring the true danger Iran presents in the region,” Crenshaw tweeted.

In 2016, Rhodes used the phrase “echo chamber” to describe the Obama administration’s efforts to ensure that arms control experts would say that backing the Iran nuclear deal would eliminate aggressive behavior from Iran, Fox News reported.

President Donald Trump campaigned against the Iran nuclear deal and has ramped up sanctions against Iran during his time in the Oval Office.

Crenshaw further noted on Twitter that the recent attacks on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman bear all the hallmarks of Iran’s style.

“I’ve been watching for years as Iran moves weapons to proxies around the region, looking for opportunities to destabilize & wreak havoc, and then claim innocence. This is not new. And the Administration is right to strengthen our regional presence as a deterrence,” Crenshaw tweeted, referencing the buildup of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf region that began last month in response to fears of Iranian aggression.

On Friday, a video of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from one tanker was released, backing up Pompeo’s initial claim that Iran attacked two tankers.

The role of former Obama administration officials in taking Iran’s side was noted by David Harsyni in an Op-Ed published by the New York Post.

“(T)he Iranians — not only responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American servicemen but a player in nearly every destructive conflict in the Middle East today — already act with impunity,” he wrote.

“The attacks on shipping are meant to spike oil prices to damage the world economy and undermine Trump’s maximum-pressure campaign.

“An added bonus, of course, is that a campaign may undercut Trump’s electoral chances in 2020 and bring someone into the White House who would almost certainly reenter the Obama-era nuke deal with Iran and allow it a wide berth to destabilize the region,” he wrote.

“Perhaps Iranian leadership has been emboldened after listening to former Obama administration officials like John Kerry tell them to wait out the president,” he added.

Although many European nations have been reluctant to blame Iran for the attacks, Britain on Friday joined the U.S. in attributing the attacks to Iran, according to The Guardian.

“It is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military — the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — attacked the two tankers on 13 June. No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible,” Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Western Journal: Dan Crenshaw Rips Ex-Obama Aide for Questioning Validity of Iran Tanker Attack Intel

Vermont will soon do away with Columbus Day and make the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples’ Day, if Gov. Phil Scott follows through on his plan to sign a bill that has passed the state’s legislature.

“I see no reason that I would not sign it, but we’re reviewing the bill as we speak,” Scott said, according to the Burlington Free Press.

Vermont has been recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day along with Columbus Day since 2016, when former Gov. Peter Shumlin began issuing proclamations to that effect.

Scott has continued that precedent of celebrating both the state holiday and the informally designated Indigenous People’s Day, but the law would now make it official.

Vermont’s Senate strongly supported the bill, but it faced contrary winds in the House of Representatives. Republican legislators sought to preserve Columbus Day and establish a February holiday for indigenous people.

The Vermont House turned back the Republican-led proposal 95-42 on Wednesday.

“I know it’s controversial from many standpoints, from many people, but you know, it’s just a day, and we’ll get through it,” Scott said. “And we’ve been treating it as something different over the last couple of years through resolutions. Without any technical difficulties within the bill, I’ll probably sign it.”

Maine is also considering a bill to change the name of the day. Last week, Maine’s bill received final legislative approval in the state’s Senate and is expected to be signed into law.

The bill had drawn debate in Maine’s House before passage last month, Maine Public Radio reported.

“Christopher Columbus, while making an important impact on history, was also a war criminal,” said state Rep. Rachel Talbot-Ross, a Portland Democrat.

“And is the symbolic genesis of the idea that Indigenous people of the Americas were a savage and inferior race that should be exterminated in order for progress and colonization,” she said.

Not everyone agreed.

State Rep. Roger Reed, a Republican from Carmel, said that the actions of Columbus are part of America’s history.

“But as regrettable as these are, they are still part of America’s’ story. We can’t change what has occurred in the past and we certainly don’t condone what has happened,” he said.

Oami Amarasingham, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, said after the law’s Senate passage that the change was overdue.

“It’s time to stop celebrating a man whose arrival brought death, disease and slavery to hundreds of thousands, and start honoring the people who lived here long before,” Amarasingham said, according to the Bangor Daily News.

“I greatly respect the history of the Italian-Americans and their contribution, however, I think we can honor their presence here without this day, which really isn’t fitting,” Democratic legislator Ben Collings, who sponsored Maine’s legislation, has said, according to the Bangor Daily News.

New Mexico and South Dakota dropped Columbus Day to recognize indigenous peoples. Alaska, which also marks Indigenous Peoples’ Day, never had Columbus Day as an official state holiday.

“Things that are symbolic can carry very far,” Brattleboro’s Rich Holschuh, who belongs to the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, said.

“The degree of disinformation and lack of understanding around the situation of native people in Vermont, as a microcosm of the national situation, is totally exemplified in the way that Columbus has been celebrated and the native people ignored. It’s not trivial and this kind of opens up an opportunity for that story to begin to change,” he added.

Author: Jack Davis

Source: Westernjournal: Vermont Governor Says He Expects To Sign Bill Abolishing Columbus Day

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