U.S. Ship Shot Down Iranian Drone in Strait of Hormuz

Comment by Jim Campbell

July 18th, 2019

The leadership in Iran is destined to start a full on war.

The United States is a net oil supplier.

The Strait of Hormuz is not just a United States issue but concerns all countries who get oil and gas from Iran.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, in Tehran. Photo: Uncredited/Associated Press

The Wall Street Journal

By: —Dion Nissenbaum, Nancy Youssef, Sune Engel Rasmussen and Gordon Fairclough

July 18th, 2019

President Trump said a U.S. Navy ship shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, hours after Iranian forces said they had seized a foreign tanker, the latest in a series of incidents that have heightened tensions in the region.

The president’s comments come after Iranian forces said they had seized a foreign tanker

Mr. Trump said the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, took defensive action against the drone, which he said was “threatening safety of the ship and the ship’s crew.”

The drone was “immediately destroyed,” Mr. Trump said, in comments from the White House.

He called the approach by the drone the latest “of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters.”

A Defense Department official confirmed that the drone came too close to the USS Boxer and was shot down.

The official said the ship was in international waters when the encounter happened.

The encounter Thursday came after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said it had seized a tanker, ratcheting up fears that Tehran could further disrupt shipping traffic on a vital waterway for crude.

The Guard took possession of a small vessel carrying what it said was 1 million liters of smuggled fuel near the island of Larak in the Persian Gulf on Sunday, according to a press release quoted by Iran’s state news agency, IRNA.

Share Your Thoughts

Are fears on Persian Gulf oil disruptions overblown?

Dire Strait

Recent incidents have raised fears over safety in the Strait of Hormuz.

Sources: Defense Department (drone); staff reports; MarineTraffic.com

Oil rose after Thursday’s announcement, with Brent crude up 0.9% at $64.24 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate futures 0.6% higher at $57.12 a barrel. The steep rise in oil prices—despite the small cargo involved—underscores markets sensitivity to oil disruptions in the Persian Gulf.

But prices switched to a 2.9% drop to $61.9 a barrel in afternoon trading, as investors focused on a huge rise in fuel stockpiles, including a 3.6 million barrel jump in gasoline inventories.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, speaking to reporters in New York on Thursday morning, played down the significance of the seizure, saying the vessel was relatively small and smuggling Iranian fuel. Petroleum products sold domestically in Iran are heavily subsidized, so it is potentially lucrative to divert them to foreign markets where they can be sold for a higher price.

“It’s a small ship,” Mr. Zarif said. “We do it every other day. These are people who are smuggling our fuel.”

The U.S. blames Iran for attacks on tankers in recent months meant to disrupt crude exports, which Tehran has denied. The U.S. has lobbied nations that buy and sell Middle East oil to help protect the region’s waterways.

Iran’s announcement came after days of speculation that a United Arab Emirates-based tanker had been captured by Iran after vanishing from radars.

Over the weekend, the vessel, called the Riah, stopped transmitting radio signals as it entered Iranian waters and headed in the direction of Larak Island, according to shipping tracker FleetMon.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that Iran had rescued the Riah after the vessel encountered technical difficulties and sought help while in Iranian waters on Sunday.

But Iran’s state-broadcaster PressTV later aired footage it said showed a smuggling vessel being seized by Revolutionary Guard speedboats Sunday. The tanker bore the Riah’s name as well as its matriculation number and registration as a Panama-flagged vessel.

U.S. officials believe that Iranian personnel boarded the Riah on the starboard side, and now have imagery of a ship of the same size being towed toward Iranian shores.

The Riah’s movements—and its ownership—are opaque. The ship’s registered owners, Prime Tankers LLC, said it sold the vessel last year to another company called Moj Al Bahar in Dubai. An official at Moj Al Bahar said the company was merely providing technical services to the tanker and the owner was an Iraqi company, which couldn’t be reached for comment.

The Moj Al Bahar official confirmed that communications with the Riah’s crew had been cut off over the weekend and said the vessel’s charterer had contacted the Iranian embassy in the U.A.E. seeking an explanation. The charterer, KBR Petroleum in Sharjah, U.A.E., couldn’t be reached for comment.

This undated photo provided by Iranian state television’s English-language service, Press TV, shows the Panamanian-flagged oil tanker MT Riah surrounded by Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels. Photo: Iranian state television Press TV/Associated Press

Over the last year, the Riah has transferred its cargo to vessels that made frequent trips to Yemen and Somalia, according to Windward, an Israel-based shipping analytics firm. The ship switched off its radio signal for 27 days over the past year—an indication it may have wanted to obscure its activities, according to Israeli shipping analytics company Windward.

Last Thursday, the vessel gave Yemen as its destination, according to FleetMon. Two days later, it disappeared in an area where shippers exporting banned Iranian oil frequently transfer cargo to elude authorities and obscure the origins of their shipments.

Even while under U.S. sanctions, the Iranian government typically authorizes shipments of its crude, but the Guard sometimes stops carriers of oil products for which taxes haven’t been paid.

The official at Moj Al Bahar said he didn’t know if the vessel had gone to Yemen.

Fuel has been shipped illegally from Iran to its allies, Houthi Shiite rebels, in Yemen to finance their war against the government, the United Nations said in a January report.

But after Iran said the Riah had been assisted for technical problems, U.S. and Middle East officials have questioned Iran’s explanation of the events.

“This would not be the first time that Iran attacked a boat and then tried to rescue the crew,” said Brian Hook, the U.S. State Department’s Iran envoy.

“It looks fishy because the Iranians responded to a distress call that nobody else heard,” said Bahrain’s foreign minister, Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa, at a think-tank discussion in Washington on Wednesday.

Oil, Defense and Sanctions: Why the Strait of Hormuz Is So Volatile
As tensions between the U.S. and Iran rise, a series of incidents has put a strategic maritime waterway back into the spotlight: The Strait of Hormuz. WSJ’s John Simons explains. Photo: Getty Images

On Thursday, Iran’s deputy Revolutionary Guard commander Admiral Ali Fadavi reiterated longstanding threats to disrupt the region’s maritime waterways.

“Whenever [a foreign ship] enter the Persian Gulf they say among themselves ‘we just entered hell.’ And whenever they exit the Persian Gulf, they say ‘we went out of hell,’” he said. “The U.S. will soon reach the conclusion that it is not in its interest at all to stay in the region. Because in these years it has realized that it will not win this fight.”

Separately, Mr. Zarif said Iran is talking with authorities over one of its tankers being held in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. The U.K. says the tanker was carrying two million barrels of oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions prohibiting crude sales to Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Mr. Zarif referred to that seizure as “piracy,” saying it was done at the behest of the U.S. in what he said was a violation of international law. Mr. Zarif said the vessel’s cargo wasn’t bound for Syria.

“We will not tell them where it is destined for. That is none of their business,” Mr. Zarif said.

Mr. Zarif said Iran had no choice but to sell its oil in the shadows. “We’re not going to explain what we do. It’s not going to be transparent,” Mr. Zarif said. “We will do trade with whoever we can.”

Also Thursday, the U.S. Navy said the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier was conducting search and rescue operations in the Arabian Sea following reports one of its sailors had gone missing.

Write to Benoit Faucon at benoit.faucon@wsj.com and Catherine Lucey at catherine.lucey@wsj.com

THE END

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Iran state TV: Iranian forces seize foreign oil tanker, crew

Comment by Jim Campbell

July 18th, 2019

Once again the mullah driven theocracy is throwing sand in the sand box.

Though the article appears to be true as written, we must remember that the source of the article was Hassan Rouhani’s personal website.

My San Antonio

Nasser Karimi and Aya Batraw

July 18th, 2019

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a meeting during his provincial tour to the North Khorasan, Iran, Sunday, July 14, 2019

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard forces seized a foreign oil tanker accused of smuggling oil, Iran’s state TV reported Thursday.

The vessel appears to be a United Arab Emirates-based tanker that had disappeared off trackers in Iranian territorial waters over the weekend.

The seizure was the latest in a series of dramatic developments as tensions mount between the United States and Iran over the unravelling nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

The Panamanian-flagged oil tanker MT Riah stopped transmitting its location early Sunday near Qeshm Island, which has a Revolutionary Guard base on it, according to data listed on tracking site Maritime Traffic.

Iran’s state television did not identify the seized vessel or nationalities of the crew, but said it was intercepted on Sunday.

It said the oil tanker had 12 foreign crew members on board and was involved in smuggling some 1 million liters (264,000 gallons) of fuel from Iranian smugglers to foreign customers.

The report said the oil tanker was intercepted south of Iran’s Larak Island in the Strait of Hormuz. Larak is a smaller island just southeast of the larger Qeshm Island.

Crude prices, which had been falling since last week, ticked higher almost immediately after reports of the incident.

The seizure of the ship does not immediately appear to directly target any one particular country and shows the Revolutionary Guard cracking down on illegal smuggling of Iranian oil.

If the MT Riah was indeed the ship seized, the move directly singles out UAE-bound and based vessels. The 58-meter (190-foot) Riah typically made trips from Dubai and Sharjah on the UAE’s west coast before going through the strait and heading to Fujairah on the UAE’s east coast.

The UAE has been calling for a de-escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Iran in past weeks, but has also lobbied for tougher U.S. policies on Iran and supports the maximum pressure campaign of sanctions imposed by the Trump administration since the U.S. unilaterally pulled out of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

The ship’s seizure comes after a tense, but brief standoff last week between the British navy and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a fifth of all crude oil passes. The British government said a navy frigate had to warn away the paramilitary vessels from disrupting the passage of a British oil tanker through the strait.

It also comes after British marines helped seize an Iranian supertanker off Gibraltar, a British overseas territory at the southern tip of Spain. Britain has since said it would facilitate the release of the tanker if Iran can provide guarantees the vessel would not breach European Union sanctions on shipments to Syria.

Iran has recently increased uranium production and enrichment over the limits of its 2015 nuclear deal, trying to put more pressure on Europe to offer it better terms and allow it to sell its crude oil abroad.

The U.S. has sent thousands of additional troops, B-52 bombers and advanced fighter jets to the region amid the heightened tensions. Iran also shot down a U.S. surveillance drone, raising fears of a wider conflict.

In May, two Emirati oil tankers were among four tankers attacked in acts of sabotage that the U.S. has blamed on Iran. The UAE has stopped short of blaming any country for the attacks off its coast of Fujairah and maintains that diplomacy is the way forward.

Last month saw two other attacks on oil vessels. Iran denies involvement in any of the vessel attacks.

A U.S. defense official had told The Associated Press earlier this week that America had suspicions that Iran had seized the MT Riah when its tracker was turned off in the Strait of Hormuz. An Emirati official had told the AP the small oil tanker made no distress call before switching off its tracker.

Iran’s acknowledgement that a vessel has been seized by the Revolutionary Guard appears to contradict statements by Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman on Wednesday saying Iran had aided a foreign oil tanker with a malfunction.

The ship’s registered owner, Dubai-based Prime Tankers LLC, told the AP earlier this week it had sold the ship to another company called Mouj Al-Bahar. A man who answered a telephone number registered to the firm told the AP it didn’t own any ships.

THE END

___

Batrawy reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell contributed to this report from Dubai.

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Republican & Jamaican immigrant Scherie Murray to challenge AOC in 2020

Comment by Jim Campbell

July 18th, 2019

AOC’s constituents are not happy with here and she is likely to be a one term member of the house, then back to serving drinks where she belongs.

Ossacio better enjoy all the attention she is get now; she better look in her rear-view mirror and see that she has a worthy opponent hot on her heals.

Murray is a immigrant that loves the USA and wants to see it move forward in a positive direction.

She says; I want to build bridges, not burn them.

Murray is going to be running against Occasio one of the four radical socialists that are members of The Hit Squad

Occasio better milk all she can out of the position she is now in; with Murray hot on her heels, her days are numbered.

Murray better keep looking behind her. Being that Occasio is unstable as she is, if she see her ship is sink, there is no telling what she will do. Desperate people do desperate things.

Using the cliche of the Mafioso from years back; HONEY GO START MY CAR, may not be out of the question.

H/T Goomba

THE END

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America as ‘Garbage’: The Squad’s ‘Horrible’ Words Speak for Themselves

Comment by Jim Campbell

Why is it, it seems that “The racist,” is the one who plays the race card?

A new week, a new manufactured controversy.

This week the story is a presidential tweet and hyperbolic charges of racism.

Instead of passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal, or lifting the debt ceiling, or passing appropriations bills, or ending the human-made crisis at the southern border, House Democrats stopped everything to respond to a tweet.

The U.S. House of Representatives decided to dedicate two days of floor time to debating a tweet by President Trump. A sitting member of Congress, Rep. Al Green, Texas Democrat, even forced a vote on impeachment, as if a tweet could meet the Constitution’s impeachment threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

This week’s manufactured crisis will evaporate quickly and be forgotten.

The Squad is a real threat — to Democrats

In this Monday, July 15, 2019, file photo, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, second from left, speaks, as U.S. Reps., from left, Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.,Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listen, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
In this Monday, July 15, 2019, file photo, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, second from left, speaks, as U.S. Reps., from left, Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.,Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listen, during a news conference at the Capitol in … more >

The Washington Times

By S.A. Miller

November 18th, 2019

The four far-left congresswomen known as “The Squad” have repeatedly raised eyebrows since bursting onto the political scene with descriptions of America as “garbage,” anti-Semitic tweets and odd musings on the “calming” effect of the Holocaust.

For months, the freshmen have rattled fellow Democrats and clashed with party leaders by hurling charges of racism and blaming the U.S. for provoking terrorism.

That was, of course, before President Trump tweeted that they could “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” spurring every House Democrat to rally around the foursome and denounce the president as a racist.

Mr. Trump brushed aside the criticism and dismissed the House resolution passed on a mostly party-line vote that condemned his tweet.

He said he was responding to the hate for America spewed by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — aka The Squad.



“They try and make themselves out to be innocent!” Mr. Trump told The Daily Mail on Wednesday. “Take a look at their quotes from the last two years. You won’t even believe the horror — the horrible quotes that they have.”

Their comments and tweets have been making headlines since they were elected in November.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez once described the state of America as “garbage.”

She provoked a furor by claiming the U.S. was running “concentration camps” on the southern border.

The White House balked when Ms. Ocasio-Cortez sided with Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro against Elliott Abrams, U.S. special representative for Venezuela.

Last week, Ms. Pressley gave a speech at the Netroots Nation convention of liberal activists and demanded ideological conformity from people of color, which invited criticism of being racist.

“We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. We don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice. We don’t need Muslims that don’t want to be a Muslim voice. We don’t need queers that don’t want to be a queer voice,” she said.

In a podcast interview in May, Ms. Tlaib provided her take on the Holocaust.

“There’s always kind of a calming feeling I tell folks when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports,” she said.

“And just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time.

And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them.”

The comments drew rebukes from Mr. Trump and conservative commentators for being anti-Semitic and revisionist history.

Ms. Tlaib responded by appearing on NBC’s “Late Night” and called her critics “racist idiots.”

Shortly after taking office in January, Ms. Omar tweeted that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

The remark was widely deemed an anti-Semitic trope, but Ms. Omar insisted it was a legitimate critique of Israel’s conduct in the Gaza wars.

She later accused Jewish lawmakers of having an “allegiance to a foreign country” for supporting Israel. She also tweeted that U.S. support was “all about the Benjamins baby.” When asked what she meant, she responded “AIPAC!” referring to the prominent pro-Israel lobby.

Critics again called her words an anti-Semitic trope that Jews buy political influence throughout the world.

It spurred a House resolution condemning her rhetoric, though the bill did not name her. House Democrats eventually watered down the resolution to condemn all forms of hatred, including anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination.

The resolution passed on a 407-23 vote. All of the opposing votes were cast by Republicans. Every Democrat, including Ms. Omar, supported the resolution.

A month later, Ms. Omar referred to the 9/11 terrorist attacks by saying “some people did something.”

She said she was tired of being asked to answer for the action of Islamic terrorists, but she also resists condemning groups such as al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

The New York Post responded to her 9/11 remark with a front-page photo of the twin towers engulfed in flames with the headline: “Here’s your something — 2,977 people dead by terrorism.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez called the front-page image “horrifying and hateful.”

She complained that showing photographs of the terrorist attack were “triggering.”

Ms. Tlaib defended her colleague’s 9/11 comments by saying, “She does speak truth.”

Their statements on Israel, terrorism and America’s character “not only put them outside the American mainstream but infect those Democrats who refuse to criticize The Squad,” said Richard E. Vatz, a scholar of political rhetoric at Towson University.

He said there was plenty of criticism to go around in the showdown between the president and the congresswomen.

“Republicans should have no hesitation in criticizing Trump’s style without calling it racist, and Democrats, especially Jewish Democrats, have a moral obligation to castigate The Squad’s appalling and anti-American anti-Semitism and a political obligation to criticize their socialistic initiatives,” he said.

THE END

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Huge demographic shifts over last decade putting Dems on defense in 2020 House races

Comment by Jim Campbell

July 18th, 2019

Of course, the Republicans wanted nationality included in the survey, while at the same time progressive/socialist/Democrats don’t.

Democrats know they must cheat to win, it’s all part of their play book,

The President signed an Executive Order making sure an individual’s race was included.

By: (NationalSentinel)

By Jon Dougherty

July 18, 2019

One of the reasons why Democrats are fighting the Trump administration tooth and nail over the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census is because the party is already well aware that massive population shifts over the past decade are making House races next year extremely competitive.

A report by The Hill on Wednesday summarizes the big challenges ahead for Democrats — and some Republicans as well — thanks in large part to an influx of people in key districts that never used to be competitive but have become much more so in recent years, thanks to demographic shifts:

Democrats will find themselves on defense in dozens of districts the party captured in 2018, including 31 districts President Trump won in 2016. Already, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has identified 36 members for its Frontline program, which protects endangered incumbents.

Republicans, too, will have to defend districts in unexpected areas, seats that Democrats narrowly lost in 2018. Districts that have not been targets for years are suddenly in play, either because suburban voters revolted against Trump or because new residents are moving in and changing the makeup of those areas. !

All told, 89 congressional races were decided by 10 percentage points or less in the 2018 midterm elections.

Registering big population shifts every 10 years when the Census is taken isn’t new. However, The Hill notes, this last cycle has seen the most dramatic population shifts in recent history, as millions of Americans, for example, moved out of the Rust Belt and into the Sun Belt.

Also, economic success in states like Texas is coming with a political price tag. The Lone Star State has seen its economy boom in recent years thanks to conservative tax reform and business-friendly policies. But companies moving in tend to bring or attract Democrat voters, making formerly red districts either purple or even blue.

Austin is a perfect example.

The city has already trended liberal but an influx of technology companies and other leading industries, it’s a solid blue enclave in an otherwise red — or reddish — state, as evidenced by the adoption recently of a homeless policy that no longer criminalizes camping out in public spaces (a policy that is only going to attract more homeless people).

Nearly two dozen congressional districts have seen their populations increase by more than 10 percent since the last census, according to the Census Bureau’s figures, and 52 districts have added at least 50,000 new residents.

In states where lawmakers carefully drew district boundaries to maximize their chances of winning, those population shifts become even more destabilizing.

Nowhere is that clearer than in Texas, where Republicans drew district lines that assured they would hold a supermajority of seats in Congress after the 2010 census. To do so, they had to draw several districts where Democrats would earn huge majorities and others where Republicans could win with 55 to 60 percent of the vote. … 

Texas has grown at such a rapid pace that those careful calculations have been thrown out of whack. Where the average congressional district in the United States has grown by 23,200 people since the last Census, the average Texas district has grown by 74,000 people — and the average competitive Texas district, mostly centered around Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas, has grown by an incredible 96,500 residents.

Texas Republicans publicly celebrate so many new residents, who come from states like California and New York in search of plentiful jobs and lower taxes. Privately, those Republicans bemoan the fact that the new residents still vote like they live in California or New York.

It’s true. States that were previously either reliably red or were listed as swing states have now become solid blue thanks to demographic shifts. They include Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. A GOP president has not won any of them since George W. Bush won all three in 2004.

Still, Democrats aren’t off the hook, either. As POTUS Trump increasingly makes the far-Left faction of the party its face — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar — that’s turning off more moderate Dems as well as Independents, according to recent Democrat internal polling.

THE END

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House Passes Motion Blocking Bid to Impeach Trump

Comment by Jim Campbell

July 18th 2019

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi is having difficulty keeping her indians on the resevation, as many of them continue to push for the parties continued irrelevance.

Join the red wave that will give the Republican’s the majority in the House of Representatives again while sending Nancy Pelosi packing.

The vote made it clear many Democrats are eager to pursue removing the President. from office despite party leaders’ calls for caution

The vote to table the resolution comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) has worked to avoid launching impeachment proceedings. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Those voting not to impeach are likely looking at the upcoming 2020 election knowing that an aye vote would put a target on their backs.

The Wall Street Journal

By Natalie Andrews

July 18, 2019

WASHINGTON—The House voted Wednesday to block an effort to impeach President Trump, but the tally made clear that many Democrats are eager to pursue removing him from office despite party leaders’ calls for caution.

In the first test of the divisive issue since Democrats took control of the chamber, lawmakers voted 332 to 95 to kill the resolution, with all votes against the measure coming from Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) has tried to hold the line on launching impeachment proceedings, which she sees as premature and politically risky.

But outrage over Mr. Trump’s racist tweets about four lawmakers earlier this week prompted Rep. Al Green (D., Texas) to introduce the new impeachment push Tuesday.

He unveiled the resolution shortly after the House voted, largely along party lines, to condemn the president’s remarks.

Pelosi Calls Trump's Tweets 'Racist,' Sending House Floor Into Chaos
The House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning President Trump’s tweets as racist. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s remarks sparked scenes of chaos on the floor. Photo: Getty Images

Because Mr. Green’s resolution was privileged under House rules, it forced a vote.

The new article of impeachment focused on Mr. Trump’s behavior and moral fitness to be president and not on whether he had engaged in obstruction of justice, as the previous resolutions had.

When Republicans held the majority, Democrats forced a vote on impeachment twice. In both cases, the GOP successfully moved to table the resolution.

The impeachment push has divided the Democratic Party. That split was evident in Wednesday’s vote, in which nearly 100 Democrats, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York, opposed the measure to kill the impeachment resolution. One Democratic lawmaker, Peter DeFazio of Oregon, voted “present.”

In all, there are 235 Democrats in the House.

The tally against tabling the measure “was higher than I thought,” said Jim McGovern (D., Mass.), who is the chairman of the Rules Committee and voted against the measure. “And I think that if the resolution had been focused on obstruction of justice, it might’ve been even higher.“

Mr. Green said his effort didn’t fail, in his opinion, because it showed momentum.

“We got 66 the last time,” he said of the vote tally. “This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

In a series of tweets Wednesday, Mr. Trump called the impeachment effort “perhaps the most ridiculous and time consuming project I have ever had to work on.” He painted the vote as a lasting victory, saying: “Impeachment of your President… is now OVER,” though there is nothing to prevent the House from trying to impeach the president at a later date.

The revived impeachment push came as Mrs. Pelosi has tried to hold the Democrats together. In one effort to keep the party united, Mrs. Pelosi is looking to set up a meeting with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), an influential freshman who has challenged party leaders.

Drew Hammill, the speaker’s deputy chief of staff, said that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez contacted the California Democrat on Tuesday to ask for a meeting and that they are working to schedule the talk.

In an interview Wednesday on CBS News, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said “absolutely,” when asked if she wanted to meet with the speaker. The New York lawmaker said that while House Democrats had disagreements on policy, it “does not mean that there is a fundamental fracture or a dehumanizing going on within our caucus.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a backer of liberal priorities such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, has had several public disagreements with Mrs. Pelosi, who has implored Democrats to keep a united front against Republicans.

Their most recent dispute flared over a resolution to send emergency funding for the humanitarian crisis at the southern U.S. border.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, along with close allies Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, pushed for more restrictions on how officials could spend the money.

The intraparty squabble paused Sunday, when Democrats united around the four women after President Trump tweeted that the congresswomen, all minorities, should “go back” to fix what he called the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” As lawmakers, all are U.S. citizens, and all but one were born in the U.S.

Mr. Trump kept up his attacks Wednesday night, individually attacking all four congresswomen and saying, “They don’t love our country. I think in some cases they hate our country.”

The crowd chanted “send her back” in response to Mr. Trump’s rebukes of Ms. Omar and erupted in boos at the mention of each lawmaker.

THE END

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Mexican Drug Kingpin ‘El Chapo’ Is Sentenced To Life Plus 30 Years In U.S. Prison

Comment by Jim Campbell

July 17th 2019

Listening to the press interview given by Mr. Guzman’s attorney leaves me to wonder if he is not in some way related to the Clinton’s.

Using circular logic that was all over the place and made few serious points, the only question in my mind, is why not execute him?

El Chapo’s wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, smiled as she left the court with two bodyguards.

Witnesses during the trial said she helped him escape Mexican prison in 2015 by acting as a liaison between him and his associates. (Source)

She was also accused of smuggling a cell phone into court during the trial to communicate with him. 

The drug lord’s statement did little to sway U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan who said the ‘overwhelming evil’ in the case was ‘so severe’.  

Guzman’s wife is very lucky to have avoided a prison term.

THE END

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What Richard Nixon Was To Have Read Had Appollo 11 Crashlanded On The Moon

Comment by Jim Campbell

July 17th, 2019

So Nixon was to contact each “Widow-to-be.”

Should we be led to believe that the famous sentence, “Houston We Have A Problem,” was scripted as well?

It seems probable if Apollo had crashed all those watching would have likely become immediately aware.

Do you remember where you were that day?

IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER

On July 18 of 1969, the world was waiting anxiously for the Apollo 11 landing on the surface of the Moon. Because they were risking their lives, a speech had to be prepared for President Nixon to read in the event they were stranded on the moon with no way back.

The President’s speechwriter imagined the worst case scenario as he expertly wrote the following somber memo to President Nixon’s Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman.

Its contents: a contingency plan, in the form of a speech to be read out to the nation and the world by Nixon should Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become stranded on the Moon,  followed by some brief instructions relating to its broadcast.


Here’s the full speech, written by future New York Times columnist William Safire.


The last sentence … oh man!

To: H. R. Haldeman  

From: Bill Safire  

July 18, 1969.   

IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER:  

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by the nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at the stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.

_____________________ 

PRIOR TO THE PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT: The President should telephone each of the widows-to-be.

AFTER THE PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT, AT THE POINT WHEN NASA ENDS COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE MEN:  A clergyman should adopt the same procedure as a burial at sea, commending their souls to “the deepest of the deep,” concluding with the Lord’s Prayer.

Then there was Apollo 13………

On the way to the moon one of the Fuel Cells exploded and damaged the space craft. They could not land on the moon but they did make is safely back to earth. Apollo 1

(https://www.archives.gov)

THE END

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If You Don’t Like America You Can Leave

By Jim Campbell

July 16th, 2019

We have a number of members in Congress who will remain nameless, that continually attempt to bring America down through their actions and deeds.

When they were sworn into office they promised to uphold the U.S. Constitution and protect all Americans from enemies, foreign and domestic.

Are they doing that?

Of course not, but make no mistake, the districts they represent deserve them, as their constituents voted them into office.

And as the saying goes, “We get the type of representation we deserve.”

So when President Trump suggests that if they don’t like it here they can leave, is he being racist?

Of course not, they are not being detained against their will.

President Trump says what most everybody already thinks and knows.

Yesterday, Democrat ‘Squad’ Refuses to Denounce Violent Extremism by Antifa, Al-Qaeda. (Source)

They will not be missed!

THE END

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House nears contentious vote to condemn racist Trump tweets: Does anyone care?

Comment by Jim Campbell

July 16th, 2019

In yet another perfect example of “Taxation without Representation,” the do-nothing progressive, socialist, Marxist, Klingon’s occupying the majority in the House of Representatives do what they do, waste time and taxpayer money by using their only viable tactic, obstruction.

Voters have no one to blame but themselves, they elected them, got them and now on a daily basis are the constituents of their own fools.

On the other hand, there is an upside, while playing their games nothing of substance is accomplished, thus taxes aren’t being raised and more of our freedoms are kept intact.

Bloomberg News Service

By Billy House and Jarrell Dillard

July 16, 201

President Trump.
President Trump.(Alex Brandon/Associated PRess)

(Bloomberg) — The House is nearing a contentious vote Tuesday night to condemn comments from President Donald Trump that have been criticized as racist, with some Democrats complaining that party leaders aren’t punching back hard enough.

As the top House Republican dismissed the planned vote as “all politics,” Trump continued his attacks on the four outspoken freshmen Democrats who’ve been the focus of the president’s ire.

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body! The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game,” tweeted Trump. On Sunday, he tweeted that these lawmakers should “go back” to the countries they “originally came from,” instead of telling Americans “how our government is to be run.

Later Tuesday, at a cabinet meeting, Trump said of the four women lawmakers: “It’s my opinion they hate our country.”

All four of the women — Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — are U.S. citizens, and all but Omar were born in the U.S.

Ocasio-Cortez, in her own tweet Tuesday, reminded Trump that she was born in his hometown of New York City, and said Trump may not have racist bones, but that he does have “a racist mind” and “a racist heart.”

The exchanges come against a backdrop of the 2020 campaign for the White House and Congress. Trump won election in part by exploiting anti-immigrant sentiments among some voters, and it’s a message he’s stuck to through his first term. Democrats, meanwhile, are seeking to harness the energy of female and minority voters who helped them win control of the House in 2018 and flip local and state offices in key swing states such as Wisconsin and Michigan.

Trump has indicated that he regards the controversy as a winner for him. Asked if he was concerned that his tweet was seen as racist and that white nationalists found common cause with him, Trump said no. “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” he said.

Trump on Tuesday also tweeted a thanks to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for publicly agreeing that his comments were not racist.

“Why isn’t the House voting to rebuke the filthy and hate laced things they have said?” Trump tweeted, referring to the four lawmakers. “Because they are the Radical Left, and the Democrats are afraid to take them on. Sad!”

On the Senate side, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, “The president’s not a racist,” though he refused to comment on Trump’s statements. “Everyone ought to tone down their rhetoric,” said McConnell, who noted that his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, came to the U.S. at age 8 “and didn’t know a word of English.”

This back-and-forth was a prelude to the planned vote Tuesday night on a Democratic resolution condemning Trump for his comments — a largely symbolic move that some party members said didn’t go far enough.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning with fellow Democrats, urged them to unify behind the condemnation measure and to back the four women, with whom she has had her own recent disagreements. She referred to them as “our sisters,” according to an aide in the room.

Some Democrats say Trump’s tweets have benefited Pelosi by unifying the party and helping her move past her own public squabbles with the same four women. “I think the longer that he does things like that, the easier it is for her to bring the caucus together on our main priorities,” said Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois.

The resolution, H.Res. 489, says the House “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color” by saying that immigrants and people “who may look to the president like immigrants should ‘go back’ to other countries.”

It also criticizes Trump for “saying that members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.”

Some Democrats complained that Pelosi and party leaders — who they said are already pulling their punches by not pursuing impeachment of Trump — were doing so again by not bringing a formal censure resolution to the House floor. They said that would send a stronger message because the House has only rarely taken such action against a sitting president.

“The president has crossed a red line in his chaotic commentary,” according to a statement from Democratic Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee, who introduced a censure measure. “Congress must censure him for this un-American and un-presidential language.”

But Democrat Dan Kildee of Michigan said a censure resolution would be less likely to get Republican support. “Where I come from, people want to know whether we are standing up to the president or not,“ he said. “And what word we attach to it is probably not that significant.”


Although some Republicans in Congress joined in the denunciations of Trump’s original tweets, McCarthy insisted the president’s comments were not racist.

“I will vote against this resolution. It’s all politics,” he told reporters, adding that the House should give similar scrutiny to comments by the four women, including their previous criticisms of Pelosi.

Louisiana Republican Ralph Abraham said on Twitter: “There’s no question that the members of Congress that @realDonaldTrump called out have absolutely said anti-American and anti-Semitic things. I’ll pay for their tickets out of this country if they just tell me where they’d rather be.”

THE END

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