Israel Defense Forces Troll Iran On Twitter After Dropping Bombs On Iranian Targets In Syria

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) took to Twitter Monday to take a jab at Iran’s presence in Syria after it carried out a strike against Iranian targets in the region, which Israel claims was in response to an Iranian rocket fired at the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

The IDF’s official Twitter account posted a picture of a map of the Middle East decked out with pink arrows pointing to where Iran is, and where it “belongs” with the caption: “Iran, you seem to be lost.”

The apparent troll on Iran came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed a series of Israeli strikes against Iranian targets in and around Damascus, including munition storage sites and training camps as well as a few Syrian aerial defense batteries, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The attacks killed 11 people, and at least two of them were Syrian nationals, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

“Whoever tries to hurt us – we hurt them,” Netanyahu tweeted Monday. “Whoever threatens to destroy us will bear the full responsibility.”

We are acting against Iran and against the Syrian forces that abet the Iranian aggression.

Netanyahu said their strike came “after Iran launched a missile from there at our territory,” referring to a medium range surface-to-surface missile that was fired toward the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights Sunday afternoon.

The IDF claims the missile was launched by Iranian forces in Syria as part of a “premeditated attack.”

“We will not ignore such acts of aggression as Iran attempts to entrench itself militarily in Syria and given explicit statements by Iran that it intends to destroy Israel, as the commander of the Iranian air force has just said,” Netanyahu continued.

The Israeli strikes in Syria were “the most intense and violent [attacks] against the regime forces and their allies in terms of casualties since May 2018,” according to the SOHR.

After Mattis Quit Over Fighting Trump, New Acting Defense Secretary Vows To Advance President’s Agenda

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan replaced James Mattis in the Pentagon role late Monday and vowed to work with President Donald Trump to advance his agenda, a task Mattis professed in his resignation letter to no longer being able to do.

Trump announced the leadership change Dec. 23, just three days after Mattis submitted his letter of resignation and announced his plan to serve through February. Mattis wrote that Trump reserves “the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects.”

Mattis decided to leave his post after clashing with Trump and his plan to begin pulling American troops from Syria, but Shanahan’s Tuesday statement reads with a slightly, more agreeable tone.

“I now look forward to working with President Trump to carry out his vision alongside strong leaders including the service secretaries, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the combatant commanders, and senior personnel in the Office of the Secretary of Defense,” Shanahan said.

“It is an honor to work with such a dedicated team committed to the greatness of our nation,” he added.

Shanahan, a former Boeing Co. executive, is now confronted with the Syria pullout, a move that drew bipartisan hysteria.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a usual Trump ally but opponent on this issue, signaled Sunday that Trump is re-evaluating his rapid troop removal.

“I think we’re slowing things down in a smart way,” Graham told reporters outside the White House after meeting with the president. “But the goal has always been the same: To be able to leave Syria, to make sure ISIS never comes back, our partners are taken care of and Iran’s contained,” he added.

Mattis delivered a final message to the military Monday before handing the reigns over to Shanahan, advising his fellow Department of Defense employees to “keep the faith in our country and hold fast, alongside our allies, aligned against our foes.”

Chinese Manufacturing Sinks To 3-Year Low As Trump Tariffs Take Hold

Chinese manufacturing sunk to a three-year low in February as the U.S. ratcheted up pressure on China over trade issues, according to data released Thursday.

The news comes after high-level talks between the U.S. and China last week that resulted in President Donald Trump delaying higher tariffs set to take effect Friday.

Thursday’s data was the lowest since March 2016 and “is the latest among many signs of persisting weakness in a slowing economy,” reported The Wall Street Journal. If U.S.-China trade negotiations fail, the manufacturing decline could continue, according to CNBC.

China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) in dropped to 49.2 in February from 49.5 in January, data from the National Bureau of Statistics cited by TheWSJ showed.

Economists also noted that the low figures coincided with a long Lunar New Year celebration but that the data still pointed to a slowdown.

Trump announced on Twitter Sunday that he and Xi will hold a summit at Mar-a-Lago following the trade talks between U.S. and Chinese officials.

“I am pleased to report that the U.S. has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“As a result of these very productive talks, I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1,” he continued. “Assuming both sides make additional progress, we will be planning a Summit for President Xi and myself, at Mar-a-Lago, to conclude an agreement. A very good weekend for U.S. [and] China!”

Trump’s trade war had caused China’s manufacturing industry to contract in December 2018 as well.

The trade war had caused some businesses to frontload orders of Chinese exports as China and U.S. engaged in tit-for-tat tariff impositions, reported TheWSJ.

Police Confirm Suspects Arrested In Jussie Smollett Hate Crime Are Black Men

The Chicago Police Department confirmed Friday that the suspects arrested in the alleged racist and homophobic attack against “Empire” star Jussie Smollett on Jan. 29. were two black men.

The men were identified as Nigerian brothers, The Associated Press reported. CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said both were arrested for suspicion of assault and battery. One of the suspects was on “Empire.”

TMZ reported the names of the suspects, but CPD officer Michelle Tannehill said to The Daily Caller News Foundation over email they “do not have the names of the persons of interest.”

Smollett reported two men beat him up, tied a rope around his neck, said racial and homophobic slurs and threw an unidentified chemical substance on him on Jan. 29, according to The AP.

He claimed that the attackers said “This is MAGA (Make America Great Again) country,” in a follow-up interview with CPD.

TMZ originally reported the alleged attackers were white and they were told twice that their reporting reflected Smollett’s version of events accurately.

CPD said the attack could have been racially motivated in a statement released after the incident was reported.

The “Empire” star disputed that he ever said the attackers wore MAGA hats in a Good Morning America interview Thursday. Smollett added he believed more people would have supported instead of doubted him had he said the perpetrators were Muslim, Mexican or ‘someone black.’

Several media outlets and journalists circulated allegations from sources that Smollett and the two men were conspirators and the attack was staged. Guglielmi, however, said the “supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate” on Twitter Thursday.

Police do not have footage of the incident, but are still looking, The AP reported.

Democrats Targeting A Very Specific Demographic For 2020

Newly-announced presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris will visit South Carolina Friday in an attempt to appeal to black women voters, who have historically been a solid voter base for Democrats.

The California Democrat will visit with her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sisters during the trip to the early-primary voting state, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Ninety-two percent of black women voted Democrat in the state’s 2018 midterms, according to an Associated Press VoteCast poll. Black women made up 37 percent of the electorate in the state’s 2016 Democratic primary — the largest voting block when broken down by race and gender, according to a CNN exit poll.

“Black women have enormous power. We vote overwhelmingly for Democrats no matter what,” said Our Revolution President Nina Turner. The group is an American progressive political action organization.

Nearly 30 percent of South Carolina’s population is black, according to Census data.

Black women were “critical” to Democrat Doug Jones’ victory over Roy Moore for the Alabama Senate seat, according to Harris.

Harris announced Monday that she is officially running to be the next president of the United States. Harris raised roughly $1.5 million Tuesday after her announcement.

A CNN reporter said in October that Harris has received a “rock star reception” in Iowa. The future candidate now has even an action figure, according to The Hill.

No other senator spent as much money on Facebook as Harris did in summer 2018, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Harris is the third female senator to announce her bid for president. Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are also running for president.

More than 300 Illegal Aliens Taken into Custody by Border Patrol Agents in New Mexico

Sunland Park, N.M. – As large groups of illegal aliens continue to cross through the Lordsburg area near the Antelope Wells, New Mexico, Port of Entry, U.S. Border Patrol Agents from the Santa Teresa Station discover a group of over 300 illegal crossers entering at Sunland Park, New Mexico.

On Monday, February 11, 2019, shortly before midnight, Border Patrol Agents working near Mt. Cristo Rey noticed a large group of 311 illegal aliens make their way around the pedestrian fence in Sunland Park and took them into custody. Though this trend has been a constant in the Antelope Wells area of New Mexico, this is the first large group that has been encountered in this area this fiscal year. As with the previous groups encountered in Antelope Wells, this group is comprised primarily of Central American families and unaccompanied juveniles.  The group was transported to the Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station for continued processing.

The Sunland Park group is the second to include more than 300 people on February 11.  Earlier in the day, Border Patrol agents at Antelope wells apprehended a group of 330 who entered illegally.

The smuggling of large groups within the local communities present various challenges to ensure criminals do not use these tactics to exploit vulnerabilities. Criminal organizations continue to search for ways to shift Border Patrol resources from one area in hopes of creating gaps in coverage to move drugs and criminals through other areas. Agents remain ever vigilante to counter those efforts and provide the border security that is paramount for our citizens.

Another Big Blue State Rejects A Major Pillar Of Democrats’s Climate Agenda

A Maine lawmaker is pulling his bill imposing a carbon tax on citizens as the state sought be the first to adopt one of the key pillars of the Democratic Party.

State Rep. Deane Rykerson, a Democrat from Kittery, Maine, announced Thursday that he is pulling a bill imposing the nation’s first statewide carbon tax. He intends instead on creating a “Carbon Pricing Study Group” that will explore the tax and recommend solutions. State Republicans are cheering the decision.

“This is a middle- and low-income family crushing tax,” Nick Isgro, mayor of Waterville, told reporters Thursday, adding in a subsequent tweet to his followers that “the sponsor (Rykerson) now wants the tax bill replaced with a study. Thank you all…WIN!” Maine’s decision to ding the proposal comes amid a similarly crushing defeat in the state of Washington.

Washington voters rejected two ballot measures imposing a carbon tax, one of which was designed to be revenue neutral. Initiative 1631 was the third attempt to impose a carbon tax in Washington state. Voters rejected a similar ballot measure in 2016, and carbon tax legislation failed earlier in 2018.

Supporters of Washington’s November 2018 proposal pumped more than $15 million into their campaign, including $1 million each from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who is considering a presidential run in 2020. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, was a supporter of the measures before he officially announced his intention to run for higher office.

Maine’s proposals would have resulted in sky-high gas prices for many citizens, according to some experts. The nonprofit group Maine People Before Politics, for instance, claimed in a February press statement that the bill would result in taxes of about 40 cents per gallon, which would have given the state one of the highest gas tax in the country.

Democrats and Republicans passed a measure in July 2018 disapproving any carbon policies. The measure at the time passed along party lines, with only six Republicans opposing the resolution. Democrats overwhelmingly voted against the measure, which would voice opposition against any future carbon tax Congress might propose.

The Democratic Party is now moving toward more lofty goals as it takes up the majority in the House. Democrats’ Green New Deal resolution, for instance, calls for “upgrading all existing buildings” to “achieve maximum energy efficiency” as well as a slew of other completely unrelated welfare and “social justice” goals. Costs of upgrading every U.S. building within the decade laid out in the resolution would be expensive.