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Price Resigns

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Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, an outspoken Obamacare opponent, has resigned over his private plane trips. The trips were seen by many as an extravagance and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

With the GOP’s failure to repeal Obamacare, many saw Price as the last, best option to administratively unravel the controversial healthcare insurance law. With his resignation, the future of efforts to undo some of the damage done by the Democrat-only enacted law remains in doubt.

Acceptance of Price’s resignation seems like a wise move by Trump, as his Administration is already inundated with a plethora of distractions and real crisis such as multiple hurricanes and potential military conflict with North Korea. It does, however, add to an already long list of departures of cabinet and staff position from The young Administration.

What led to this?

Besides a withering, long-term attack from the left-wing press? The remark below is probably what did him in. Now, it’s obvious to anyone that from the context, Price meant “to make sure I am above board” or “in compliance with the law,” or both. But he said what he said and the press gives no grace nor a hall pass for people on their “we don’t like you” list.

Very poor choice of words by HHS Secretary Tom Price

The takeaway

To work for President Trump, qualifications include: being able to withstand being called an idiot in an open meeting, in the Oval Office; being able to afford at least $500,000 to reimburse the government for things that Democrats take for granted; being perfect in all that you say or do, because the press is always watching. And finally, you must never, ever become a bigger story than the boss. Even if it’s not your fault.

Tom Price Resigns As HHS Secretary | The Daily Caller

http://dailycaller.com/2017/09/29/tom-price-resigns-as-hhs-secretaryDon Wright will serve as Acting Health and Human Services Secretary. Wright was previously serving as deputy assistant secretary for health and director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

“He’s a very fine man. We’re going to make a decision sometime tonight,” Trump told reporters before Price’s resignation about the man’s fate. “I certainly don’t like the optics. I’m not happy, I can tell you that. I’m not happy.”

From this morning, before it was too late…Liberal media goes in for the kill on Tom Price. Trump should resist

http://noqreport.com/2017/09/29/liberal-media-goes-kill-tom-price-trump-resist/This is so obviously a coordinated smear attempt. The same tactics were used in the early 2000s to get rid of another favorite target of the media: John Ashcroft. His religious faith, conservative credentials, and decades in politics simply caused too much headache for the Bush administration, that was fighting three wars. Two wars against terrorist enemies, and one against the media.

 

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Mastermind behind Iranian parade attack allegedly killed

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Mastermind behind Iranian parade attack allegedly killed

Iranian state television is reporting the mastermind behind last months’ terrorist attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, Iran. 25 people were killed, including a dozen members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

An alleged member of the Islamic State, Abu Zaha, was killed by Iran along with four other militants in Diyala province in Iraq. They gave no indication of how the operation was carried out. Though the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack, many believe it was the Ahwaz National Resistance, an Iranian separatist group that also claimed responsibility.

Iran Claims It Has Killed Mastermind of Deadly Attack on Parade

https://www.algemeiner.com/2018/10/16/iran-claims-it-has-killed-mastermind-of-deadly-attack-on-parade/The Sunni Muslim Islamic State group, in decline in Iraq and Syria, considers the majority Shi’ite Muslims of Iran to be heretics.

Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said those responsible for the parade attack were paid by Sunni Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and that Iran will “severely punish” those behind the violence.

My Take

It behooves Iran to get their justice from the Islamic State rather than Ahwaz National Resistance. ISIS is an easy operator to blame for the attacks whether they did it or not. It’s believable and presents an enemy that isn’t as close to home as Ahwaz National Resistance. It also allows them to maintain their narrative that ISIS is funded by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

We’ll likely never know if Zaha was really the mastermind behind the attack. If similar attacks happen in the coming months, it’s likely that Ahwaz National Resistance is behind them, not ISIS.

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Foreign Affairs

White House plan to kick Iran from Syria leaked

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White House plan to kick Iran from Syria leaked

Syria has been in a state of disarray for nearly a decade now. Ever since the infamous “red line” that President Obama failed to enforce, the Middle Eastern nation has been suffering through war, poverty, and occupation by hostile forces ranging from the Islamic State to Russia and Iran.

The Islamic State may no longer be an occupying threat in Syria, but Iran and Russia are. The White House has a plan to push them out of the country. It does not involve military engagement, though U.S. military personnel may engage if they feel threatened. Instead, the plan is to offer aid to the Syrians wherever they need help, except where Iran and Russia have a presence.

This represents a huge chunk of the crumbling nation.

Trump administration has new plan to drive Iran out of Syria

“There’s a real opportunity for the U.S. and its allies to make the Iranian regime pay for its continued occupation of Syria,” said Mark Dubowitz, chief executive at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank strongly opposed to the Iranian regime.

Driving Iran out of Syria would be one prong in an approach that would also involve continuing to destroy remaining pockets of Islamic State fighters and finding a political transition after the exit of both ISIS and Iran that does not call for Syrian President Bashar al Assad to step aside.

My Take

Any measure that does not put Americans in harms way is worth pursuing. As long as Syria is as vulnerable as it is, there are risks to both American and Israeli interests in the region. The war-torn nation needs help rebuilding so they can rightly remove Iran’s and Russia’s presence.

Perhaps more importantly is the need to rejuvenate a homeland for millions of refugees. They are already causing major problems in countries throughout Europe and Asia. If we can expedite the renewal of their homeland, it will prompt many to return.

We have no business fighting battles in Syria. The White House plan would use diplomacy and economic pressure to rid Syria of their occupying forces. It’s a long shot, but it’s better than further military conflicts.

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Australia considers moving their embassy to Jerusalem

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Australia considers moving their embassy to Jerusalem

When U.S. President Donald Trump announced he would be moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the international outcry was fairly universal. The thinking for decades has been that if the international community recognizes Israel’s capital, then tensions and conflict in the region would grow.

A year after the announcement, not much has changed. Conflict is still there, though not notably higher. The world hasn’t ended even though we’re months away from the move being completed. Now, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has indicated he may be willing to follow President Trump’s lead and move their embassy to Jerusalem as well.

My Take

A nation should be allowed to declare its own capital. Israel is the only nation on the planet that the international community refuses to allow this privilege because they believe the “contested” lands in Israel will some day be “returned” to the Palestinians.

Even as just about every world leader pushes for a two-state solution, it’s refreshing to see concessions being made to Israel instead of the incessant cries for Israel to concede everything they have.

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