Good Tuesday Morning.
Here’s what’s on President Trump’s agenda today:
- In the afternoon, President Donald J. Trump will have lunch with Vice President Mike Pence.
Related: The new season of “House of Cards” has been released!
ISIS bombs Baghdad
A car bomb exploded outside an ice cream shop in Baghdad leaving 10 people dead and 40 people wounded. A few hours later, another bomb was detonated near the General Retirement Department, killing one person and wounding six others.
Families were gathering after breaking their daily fast as part of Islam’s holy month of Ramadan when the bomb near the ice cream shop went off.Footage from the scene showed blood and body parts scattered everywhere, as a young child in a pink t-shirt walked between bodies, sobbing.
Muslims often stay out late during Ramadan, which began Friday, after breaking their fast.
ISIS published a statement on Twitter and Telegram claiming responsibility for the violence and murder, saying the target of the bombs was a gathering of Shiites.
“They targeted a group of civilians; families, women and children in these nights of Ramadan and this is clear evidence that this organization is a terrorist one trying to kill civilians by any means,” Minister Qasim Mohammad al-Araji told journalists.
Ramadan is “often marked by an uptick in violence in Iraq.” (Actually the uptick is not just in Iraq…)
Last year, Baghdad was rocked by a huge truck bomb attack that targeted a popular retail district in the city center where young people and families were shopping for new clothes ahead of the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. The blast killed hundreds in the single deadliest event in Baghdad since Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003. The IS group also claimed responsibility for that bombing, which ultimately led to the resignation of Iraq’s interior minister.
Manuel Noriega has died
Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega died Monday at 83.
Noriega served a 17-year drug sentence in the United States and was later sent to face charges in France. The final years of his life were spent in a Panamanian prison for murder of political opponents during his 1983-89 regime.
He accused Washington of a “conspiracy” to keep him behind bars and tied his legal troubles to his refusal to cooperate with a U.S. plan aimed at toppling Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government in the 1980s.
ABC News writes about the transformation of Panama post-Noriega
Today the Central American nation has little in common with the bombed-out neighborhoods where Noriega hid during the 1989 invasion, before being famously smoked out of his refuge at the Vatican Embassy by incessant, loud rock music blared by U.S. troops.
Read more about Noriega’s life here.
Paging Mitt Romney
The media’s favorite Republican, Senator John McCain, told the Australian press that Russia’s Vladimir Putin is a bigger world threat than ISIS.
“I think he (Putin) is the premier and most important threat, more so than ISIS,” McCain said to Australian Broadcasting Corp television.
“I view the Russians as the far greatest challenge that we have,” said McCain, chair of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.
“So we need to have increased sanctions and hopefully when we come back from our recess, the Senate will move forward with sanctions on Russia and enact other penalties for Russian behavior.”
However, McCain does have confidence in Trump’s national security team: “I do believe that most of the time that he accepts their advice and counsel. Can I tell you that he does all the time? No. And yes, does it bothers me? Yes, it bothers me,” he said.
Remember when everyone laughed at Mitt Romney for saying such things about Russia? Bad timing.
Portland mayor wants to cancel free speech rally because of “hatred”
A “Trump free speech rally” is in danger of being canceled after the mayor of Portland, Oregon, urged officials to cancel it. The mayor became concerned about the rally after a lunatic stabbed and killed two people trying to stop him from harassing two women on his train. Although the media has repeatedly portrayed the murderer as a “right-winger,” and treated him accordingly, facts tell otherwise.
Writes Derek Hunter at the Daily Caller: “Posts on his Facebook page indicate he was a supporter of socialist Senator Bernie Sanders and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.”
But never mind that. At least that’s the attitude of Mayor Ted Wheeler, who doesn’t acknowledge that political violence is almost always instigated from the left.
The federal government has issued a permit for the free-speech rally Saturday and has yet to give a permit for an event June 10. The mayor says his main concern was participants “coming to peddle a message of hatred,” saying hate speech is not protected by the Constitution.
The First Amendment allows the participants to peddle whatever message they want. But whatever the “message of hatred” is, people better put on their big boy pants and deny themselves a tantrum if they don’t like what they hear at a free speech rally.
President Trump condemned the train attack, but you won’t find that story in many places. Trump wrote on Twitter: “The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them.”
Mayor Wheeler prefers to suppress free speech because his snowflake constituents can’t control their violent impulses. “I hope we rise to the memory of these two gentlemen who lost their lives,” the mayor told reporters. “Let’s do them honor by standing with them and carrying on their legacy of standing up to hate and bigotry and violence.”
How about, let’s honor their memory by not being as intolerant as their killer? How about that message?
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson rides in Rolling Thunder, refuses Ramadan reception
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson mounts up to drive a Harley-Davidson on the 30th Anniversary of Rolling Thunder pic.twitter.com/oTn0ZFLGJO
— AFP news agency (@AFP) May 28, 2017
According to Reuters:
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has declined a request to host an event to mark Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, two U.S. officials said, apparently breaking with a bipartisan tradition in place with few exceptions for nearly 20 years.
Since 1999, Republican and Democratic secretaries of state have nearly always hosted either an iftar dinner to break the day’s fast during Ramadan or a reception marking the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of the month, at the State Department.
Tillerson turned down a request from the State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs to host an Eid al-Fitr reception as part of Ramadan celebrations, said two U.S. officials who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
A State Department spokesperson responded to questions about Tillerson’s refusal: “We are still exploring possible options for observance of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month of Ramadan. U.S. ambassadors are encouraged to celebrate Ramadan through a variety of activities, which are held annually at missions around the world.”
This seems like a bad idea: Illinois passes automatic voter registration
That’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!