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Thursday Top News Executive Summary

Impeachment flop, contempt vote, drug impacts, Turkey embargo, natural-gas ban, and more.

Media Editors · Jul. 18, 2019

From the “Loony Left” Files

IMPEACHMENT FLOP: “The House has voted to table Rep. Al Green’s impeachment resolution, with a majority of Democrats voting with Republicans to kill the impeachment push, which was based on President Donald Trump’s attacks against four Democratic congresswomen. The vote was 332-95, with 137 Democrats siding with 194 Republicans and independent Rep. Justin Amash, to end consideration of impeachment.” (ABC News)

HOUSE JESTERS: “The House voted to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt on Wednesday, escalating a battle between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats. The measure holds the Trump Cabinet members in contempt for defying subpoenas for documents on their since-abandoned efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.” (The Hill)


DRUG IMPACTS: The Washington Examiner reports that “Border Patrol highway checkpoints in the southern New Mexico region that normally seize seven figures worth of drugs annually have not seized a dollar in nearly four months” because “Border Patrol closed them to move all personnel to the border to assist with apprehending, processing, and caring for the high number of migrant families arriving.” However, TIME says, “Preliminary federal data suggest the number of Americans who died from drug overdoses finally fell in 2018, after years of significant increases. Provisional data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics predicted that 68,500 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2018, compared to about 72,000 the year before.”

BORDER BACKUP: “The Pentagon said on Wednesday it would send an additional 1,000 Texas National Guard and 1,100 active duty troops to the border with Mexico, the latest deployment in support of President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown. … There are currently about 4,500 active duty and National Guard troops on the border with Mexico.” (Reuters)

KEEN SENSE OF THE OBVIOUS: “Mexicans are deeply frustrated with immigrants after a year of heightened migration from Central America through the country, according to a survey conducted by The Washington Post and Mexico’s Reforma newspaper. More than 6 in 10 Mexicans say migrants are a burden on their country because they take jobs and benefits that should belong to Mexicans. A 55 percent majority supports deporting migrants who travel through Mexico to reach the United States.” (The Washington Post)

National Security

TURKEY EMBARGO: “The Trump administration on Wednesday officially banned Turkey from purchasing American-made F-35 fighter jets, citing the NATO member’s purchases of Russian-made anti-aircraft systems,” National Review reports. “‘Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible,’ a statement from the White House said. ‘The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities.’” This is clearly more evidence of Russian collusion…

IRANIAN GOADING: “Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard forces seized a foreign oil tanker accused of smuggling oil, Iran’s state TV reported Thursday,” the Associated Press reports. “The vessel appears to be a United Arab Emirates-based tanker that had disappeared off trackers in Iranian territorial waters over the weekend.” Meanwhile, The Daily Beast says the U.S. “is preparing to send 500 troops to Saudi Arabia as part of its 1,000 troop deployment to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran.”

OOPS: “A recently released — and subsequently deleted — document published by a NATO-affiliated body has sparked headlines in Europe with an apparent confirmation of a long-held open secret: U.S. nuclear weapons are being stored in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. … A passing reference … appeared to reveal the location of roughly 150 U.S. nuclear weapons being stored in Europe.” (The Washington Post)

GUZMAN SENTENCED: “Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman was sentenced to life behind bars in a U.S. prison, a federal judge in Brooklyn decided Wednesday. … In addition to the life term, the judge ordered a $12.6 billion forfeiture, which prosecutors said was a conservative estimate of the proceeds of El Chapo’s drug trafficking.” (ABC News)

Other Notables

9/11 VICTIM FUND BLOCKED: “Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday blocked an attempt by Democrats to pass an extension of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. … ‘It has long been my feeling that we need to address our massive debt in the country,’ he said. ‘And therefore any new spending … should be offset by cutting spending that’s less valuable. We need to, at the very least, have this debate.’” (The Hill)

DUMB AND DUMBER: “Berkeley has become the first city in the nation to ban the installation of natural gas lines in new homes,” according to SFGate. “The City Council on Tuesday night unanimously voted to ban gas from new low-rise residential buildings starting Jan. 1.” But it gets worse. The San Francisco Chronicle adds, “In an effort to be more inclusive, the Berkeley City Council adopted an ordinance Tuesday to replace gendered language in the city’s municipal code with neutral terms.”

Closing Arguments

POLICY: We need a national citizenship drive (New York Daily News)

POLICY: ICE raids will force long-needed national immigration debate (Issues & Insights)

HUMOR: AOC proposes radical new green-energy program: shoveling money directly into a furnace (IMAO)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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