“NBC is reporting that President Donald Trump was mulling the hit on Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani seven months ago, with war hawks such as John Bolton urging him to go for it. This further erodes the administration’s claim that the assassination was done to stop an “imminent” attack on U.S. lives.
“According to five current and senior administration officials,” NBC reports, Trump gave the order in June 2019, “with the condition that Trump would have final signoff on any specific operation to kill Soleimani.” Trump said that signoff would come if any Americans were killed, their sources said, which “explains why assassinating Soleimani was on the menu of options that the military presented to Trump two weeks ago for responding to an attack by Iranian proxies in Iraq.” That proxy attack killed a U.S. contractor.”
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo quickly and repeatedly attributed it not to retribution but to an alleged imminent threat to dozens (sometimes “hundreds”) of American lives.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo quickly and repeatedly attributed it not to retribution but to an alleged imminent threat to dozens (sometimes “hundreds”) of American lives.”
“Yesterday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told Face the Nation that he knew of no “specific evidence” to support the claim that Iran was planning embassy attacks.”
“”The administration didn’t present evidence to Congress regarding even one embassy. The four embassies claim seems to be totally made up. And they have never presented evidence of imminence—a necessary condition to act without congressional approval—with respect to any of this.””
“The primary driver of this crisis is that President Donald Trump’s policies are sending thousands of migrants back to Mexico, where there isn’t enough safe, temporary housing in which they can stay.
In 2018, US Customs and Border Protection officials started limiting the number of asylum seekers it processes at ports of entry each day. Those waiting had to do so in Mexico, where migrant shelters are at capacity. Many have been forced to sleep on the streets. The amount of names on lists of those waiting to be processed exceeded 26,000 in August.
Once they are processed, though, they may quickly be returned to Mexico under the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). More than 56,000 migrants have been sent back to await decisions on their US asylum applications.”
“the Space Force will now become the sixth branch of the US armed services. It is the first new service since the creation of the US Air Force in 1947.
The Space Force won’t be built from the ground up, however; it will be created largely by reshuffling the military’s organizational chart.
It will function as a part of the Air Force, supporting the newly promoted US Space Command, and will ultimately be overseen by the secretary of the Air Force, according to military officials. However, the day-to-day operations of the Space Force will be handled by a chief of space operations who will have a seat on the nation’s top body of military advisers, the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
“the White House faced a military that was not in favor of a Space Force — a former Navy secretary said it was “a solution in search of a problem,” and then-Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters last summer: “The Pentagon is complicated enough. This will make it more complex, add more boxes to the organization chart.”
In a sort of compromise, rather than delivering on the administration’s initial grandiose vision for space dominance, Congress attempted to answer both the White House and Pentagon’s concerns.
“Part of the argument for Space Force was that space was kind of getting lost within the Air Force, with its focus on air dominance,” Kaitlyn Johnson, an associate fellow and associate director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The Verge.
The Space Force, then, will focus just on space — and on countering Russia and China there — as the Trump administration wanted. But, in response to military concerns, it will not add a completely new structure to the Pentagon, housed as it is in the Air Force. (Its leaders will, however, have the authority to make operational and training decisions without consulting the Air Force.)”
“”The function of Space Command, or USSPACECOM, differs from Space Force. As a unified combatant command, USSPACECOM is responsible for space warfighting. The organization decides how to utilize the domain of space in the best interests of national security, whether that’s providing space-based communications capabilities for troops overseas or surveilling certain portions of the globe. The Space Force, on the other hand, is responsible for “operating, training, and equipping” all of the space assets that USSPACECOM needs. That entails acquiring the right surveillance or communications satellites, getting them into space, and training people to operate those vehicles.””
“Federal regulators are now actively working to counteract the effects of state-level clean energy policy, despite opposition from virtually everyone except the fossil fuel generators that directly stand to benefit. And by doing so, they will crank up costs on 65 million consumers (as a start).”
“US farmers have taken a particularly harsh beating this year from a one-two punch of nasty flooding exacerbated by climate change and a trade war with China.”
“Burge’s analysis, published Thursday, finds that on issues ranging from border security to immigration detention, white evangelicals — a group that includes dozens of individual denominations, from the Southern Baptist Convention to the Pentecostal movement — are substantially more conservative than the average American and even the next most conservative religious group.”
“on the whole, the president’s views on immigration have drawn support from evangelicals, a key voting bloc that helped carry him to victory in battleground states in 2016. It’s a strategy that his campaign is hoping to replicate in 2020 and, so far, it appears to be working: Trump has a 75 percent approval rating among white evangelicals, compared to 42 percent among all Americans.”