Good Monday morning!
Here’s what’s on President Trump’s agenda today:
- In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
- The President will then announce the Air Traffic Control Reform Initiative.
- In the afternoon, the President will have lunch with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
- In the evening, the President and First Lady Melania Trump will host a reception for Gold Star Families.
Trump to privatize air traffic control
As part of his infrastructure reform plan, President Trump is expected to announce the privatization of the air traffic control system.
President Trump will reportedly introduce a plan on Monday to privatize the air traffic control functions of the Federal Aviation Administration this week as part of a broader push for infrastructure reform.
According to the WaPo, Trump’s plan includes “spinning off the air traffic control functions of the Federal Aviation Administration to a nonprofit corporation.”
Advocates of the idea argue that privatization would speed up glacial efforts by the FAA to modernize a system that still relies on land-based radar at a time when other countries have switched to GPS systems that allow more direct routes at lower costs.
The unions are not happy about the move.
A union representing FAA technical workers has also said it [sic] “extremely concerned” about spinning off air traffic control functions.
“Privatizing the air traffic control system is a risky and unnecessary step,” Mike Perrone, president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, said in a statement in March after Trump signaled interest in moving in that direction.
Trump’s infrastructure initiative is expected to promote more public/private partnerships. The WH has also”floated the idea of selling roads and airports to private investors, which would in turn could [sic] free up funds for new projects.” I don’t expect that to go over well.
Qatar voted off the island
PJ Media’s Pat Poole was ahead of the game on this one. As usual. Read his whole story.
Several countries took major moves against Qatar today over its support for terror. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain severed diplomatic ties, setting off a major crisis in the Middle East.
There are major consequences for Qatar. The BBC tells us: “Riyadh had closed its borders, severing land, sea and air contact with the tiny peninsula of Qatar.”
More from the BBC:
- The UAE has given Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave the country. Abu Dhabi accuses Qatar of “supporting, funding and embracing terrorism, extremism and sectarian organisations,” state news agency WAM said
- UAE airlines Etihad Airways, Emirates and Flydubai said they would suspend all flights to and from Qatari capital Doha from early Tuesday, local time
- The Gulf allies said they had closed their airspace to Qatar Airways, which has suspended all its flights to Saudi Arabia
- Bahrain‘s state news agency said it was cutting its ties because Qatar was “shaking the security and stability of Bahrain and meddling in its affairs”
- The Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting Yemen‘s Houthi rebels also expelled Qatar from its alliance because of its “practices that strengthen terrorism” and its support to groups “including al-Qaeda and Daesh [IS], as well as dealing with the rebel militias”, according to SPA.
There are questions about Qatar’s connections to ISIS.
While Qatar has joined the US coalition against IS, the Qatari government has been forced to repeatedly deny accusations from Iraq’s Shia leaders that it provided financial support to IS.
However, wealthy individuals in the emirate are believed to have made donations and the government has given money and weapons to hardline Islamist groups in Syria. Qatar is also accused of having links to a group formerly known as the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate.
And Pat Poole adds: “Apparently it was Qatar’s close ties with Iran and siding with the Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen that contributed to this crisis.”
All hat and no cattle
Democratic Senator Mark Warner admitted on Sunday that there’s a lot of smoke in the Russia collusion investigation but no smoking gun.
“There’s a lot of smoke,” Warner (D-Va.) told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We have no smoking gun at this point. But there is a lot of smoke.”
If you are wondering what the smoke is and where it came from, it’s from the Democrat/media complex turning everything into a scandal and writing stories based on anonymous sources with an interest in damaging the president.
Warner even distanced himself from twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s claim that America helped “weaponize” information from the Russians to damage her campaign.
“I’m not where Secretary Clinton is in terms of jumping to a conclusion,” Warner said. “But this is one of the many questions that we need to investigate.”
Yeah, we need to investigate and if we investigate enough, we think they’ll find something and nail someone, anyone for some “process crime.” If we concede that the Russians’ goal is to weaken the U.S., there’s no better way to do that than to undermine the president. And we all know who are the conductors of that train.
Liar Susan Rice continues to get national news platform
If I’m a journalist in the news industry and I want to present truthful information to the public, why would I continue to allow a confirmed liar to appear on my platform to spread propaganda? Why wouldn’t I be mad that the liar used my platform to lie to me, to my network, and to the American public about an important national security matter? Why would I trust anything this liar tells me? These questions are not questions that Clinton buddy George Stephanopoulos and ABC News ask themselves.
After a couple of whirlwind weeks of the media bashing President Trump on everything from how he “lectured” U.S. allies at the NATO meeting, to his son-in-law Jared Kushner allegedly looking for a Russian back channel, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos sought the opinion of Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice. During her appearance on This Week on Sunday, Stephanopoulos gave Rice free reign to smear the current administration, often teeing her up for it himself.
Rice was there to add some more smoke to the “smoke but no fire Russia” story.
She then suggested that Trump’s actions were scoring points for Putin. “And when the United States, the most important player in NATO, casts doubt about our commitment to at the vital alliance, it undermines our security,” she explained to Stephanopoulos. “It undermines the security of our closest allies. And it’s a big win for Vladimir Putin.”
The Clinton shill asked: “With the benefit of hindsight, should President Obama and your team have done more to blow the whistle on Russian interference earlier in the campaign?”
“I think what’s unfortunate is that that very important warning got lost in the coverage of other events that transpired,” Rice responded. “It was indeed later the very same day that the Access Hollywood videotape came out, more WikiLeaks came out. And so, I think that it didn’t get the attention that it deserved.”
The media barely covered the WikiLeaks emails because it was damaging for Hillary. It got almost no attention from any legacy outlet. What is Rice talking about? You won’t get an answer to that from Rice because Stephanopoulos will never ask her.
Violence from the usual suspects at Oregon Trump rally
USA Today writes about the violence that broke out at a Portland, Oregon, Trump rally. If you recall, Portland Mayor Tim Wheeler wanted to shut down the free speech rally because he feared there would hateful rhetoric and violence. Let’s read on to find out what happened:
Rally organizer Joey Gibson held a moment of silence for the two men who were stabbed to death and pleaded with the crowd to refrain from violence. He later told them that goal is to wake up the liberty movement. “It’s OK to be a conservative in Portland,” he said.
In a video posted on Facebook, Gibson condemned Christian and acknowledged that some rallies have attracted “legitimate Nazis.” He described Christian as “all crazy” and “not a good guy.”
So that’s from the rally organizer. We aren’t given any examples of hateful rhetoric or discrimination coming from the rally or attendees at the rally. On the other hand…
Police arrested 14 people and seized more than a dozen weapons as thousands of demonstrators and counter protesters converged in downtown Portland, Oregon, on Sunday.
What kind of weapons? According to the story “several dozen knives, bricks, sticks and other weapons were seized.”
And look who showed up:
By late afternoon, police closed nearby Chapman Square where a separate group of protesters — many wearing masks and black clothing and identified as anti-fascists — also demonstrated. Police used flash-bang grenades and pepper balls to disperse that crowd after saying protesters were hurling bricks and other objects at officers.
The people gathered at the free speech rally organized by the conservative group Patriot Prayer and counter-protesters at City Hall were not involved in those clashes, police said.
So where is Mayor Tim Wheeler on this? The violence is coming from the other side, not from the Trump/free speech supporters. Will the mayor take action against and condemn the professional agitators who show up at these events? Probably not.
Watch Chris Wallace beat Al Gore back into his lockbox
With all this talk about the Paris accord, did you ask yourself why the world didn’t end or melt or die when the climate fear-mongering industry told us this would happen millions of times over the last 20 years? Well, Chris Wallace asked Gore about that:
“Weren’t you wrong?” Wallace asked.
“No,” Gore replied. “Well, we have seen a decline in emissions on a global basis. For the first time, they’ve stabilized and started to decline. So some of the responses for the last 10 years have helped, but unfortunately and regrettably a lot of serious damage has been done.”
“Greenland, for example, has been losing one cubic kilometer of ice every single day. I went down to Miami and saw fish from the ocean swimming in the streets on a sunny day. The same thing was true in Honolulu just two days ago, just from high tides because of the sea level rise now,” he added.
“We are going to suffer some of these consequences, but we can limit and avoid the most catastrophic consequences if we accelerate the pace of change that’s now beginning,” Gore said.
By the way, the environment ranked 12th on a list of 15 top issues in the 2016 election.
And speaking of which…
Withdrawal from Paris accord sees its first major success
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) has pledged $15 million from his philanthropy efforts to the United Nations to pay the United States’ contribution under the Paris climate accord.
In a press conference Friday, Bloomberg promised to coordinate contributions from the U.S. to the climate fund after President Trump announced that he would withdraw from the accord.
Private sector for the win.
“The United States, through strong action from local leaders, businesses and investors, remains committed to fulfilling the Paris agreement,” said Bloomberg, who serves as the U.N. special envoy for cities and climate change.
“I look forward to working with [French President Emmanuel Macron] and [Paris] Mayor [Anne] Hidalgo to ensure that the Paris Agreement remains in full force.”
I think this is fabulous and I support all the states and their governors (and their taxpayers) who want to voluntarily sign on to this effort.
“Local governments and businesses and individuals can do their part. If states can do something, that’s great. We need action,” Bloomberg said.
Federalism, it’s what’s for dinner.
And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!