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Don McGahn to step down, Emmet Flood floated as new White House Counsel

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Don McGahn to step down Emmet Flood floated as new White House Counsel

Don McGahn’s tenure as White House Counsel has been tumultuous to say the least. He has been at the heart of everything in the administration’s legal sphere, which is a lot. From Robert Mueller to Jeff Sessions to inheriting challenges with the likes of Paul Manafort, McGahn has been extremely busy.

Now, it appears he is leaving soon.

White House counsel Don McGahn set to depart sometime this fall

https://www.axios.com/don-mcgahn-white-house-counsel-departure-emmet-flood-b4aeedcd-ac15-4502-995a-1e972ffa530e.htmlTop White House officials and sources close to White House counsel Don McGahn tell Axios that McGahn will step down this fall — after Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court, or after the midterms. The president later confirmed Axios’ reporting in a tweet.

The big picture: This potentially puts a successor in charge of fielding a blizzard of requests or subpoenas for documents and testimony if Democrats win control of the House in the midterms. And if the White House winds up fighting special counsel Robert Mueller, an epic constitutional fight could lie ahead.

Emmet Flood’s name is the natural choice and fits with the times. If there are challenges for the administration that turn into impeachment talks, Flood has experience as a Bill Clinton administration alumnus. If it doesn’t go that far, he’s still a solid choice as someone respected by both sides of the political fence.

Regardless of who replaces McGahn, this is a big story. It won’t get the same attention as bigger names in Trump’s world, but it’s significant. Even Chris Cillizza, whose opinion I rarely respect, came to the right conclusion on McGahn’s impending departure:

Yes, Don McGahn leaving the White House is a very big deal

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/29/politics/don-mcgahn-donald-trump-mueller/index.htmlIf McGahn’s departure had nothing to do with the ongoing legal and political swirl created by the Mueller probe, he could have easily delayed his departure into the private sector for a few more months — maybe lasting until after the Mueller report was released. He isn’t. That’s telling.

Make no mistake: None of this is “going according to plan” for the Trump administration. McGahn’s departure takes an already difficult situation for this White House and this President and makes it that much tougher. No spin can change that basic fact.

Yes, there will be spin. But there is no way to paint this as good news for the President. McGahn was pressing all the legal levers for the President. Rudy Giuliani is just a public relations lawyer. That means someone else will have to be shown all the skeletons during an extremely important time in this presidency.

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Foreign Affairs

Is Israel on the brink of war?

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Is Israel on the brink of war

Israel and Iran continue to trade threats and missile attacks over Syria as the latest round targeted Iranian Quds forces near Damascus. The IDF, which has confirmed attacks recently, went so far as to announce the attacks on Twitter.

This attack was in response to a missile launched from Syria by Iranian Quds Forces into the Golan Heights. The missile was intercepted by the Iron Dome, which was captured on camera by skiers on Mt. Hermon.

The overnight attacks on Syria resulted in many missiles and guided bombs being shot down, but enough made it through to damage Quds training grounds, weapons depots, and kill at least 11 people. There are no reports of how many of Iran’s elite forces were killed, though British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said only two of the dead were Syrians.

Israel, in rare move, announces attacks on Iranian targets in Syria, delivers warning

https://www.foxnews.com/world/israel-attacks-iran-forces-in-syria-military-confirmsIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently confirmed that Israel had struck hundreds of targets in Syria linked to Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group, including a weapons facility two weeks ago.

Iran and Hezbollah are allied with the Syrian government in the civil war.

Iran has begun its loudest saber-rattling in some time as they send clear threats of war and the destruction of Israel through state television.

“The young people in the air force are fully ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth,” IRIAF Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh said following the strike.

Iran says ready for war with Israel that will ‘lead to its destruction’

https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Iran-We-are-ready-for-a-war-that-will-lead-to-the-destruction-of-Israel-578108The commander of the Iranian Air Force warned on Monday that Iran was prepared for a decisive war with Israel, “which will bring an end to the IDF’s attacks on Syria.” “Our armed forces are prepared for a war that will bring the crushing destruction of Israel,” he said, according to media reports.

“We are ready for the day when we will see the end of Israel.”

My Take

Americans are often unaware of the importance of Syria to Iran. For years, it’s been assumed the only reason Iran hasn’t attacked Israel, especially when they were at the height of their power during the latter years of President Obama’s administration, is they have no clear path to reach Israel. Iraq, Syria, and Jordan are between Iran and the tiny Jewish state, making it nearly impossible for them to have any real reach into the heart of Israel.

This is why they are so intent on having an embedded military presence in Syria. It’s why Israel is doing everything in its power to prevent them from getting a serious foothold there.

Iran’s military is strong and somewhat sophisticated, but it’s still no match for Israel. However, Iran could take advantage of Israel’s small size if they can get enough missiles and launchers into Syria. Doing so would allow them to use Syrians as cover, a strategy currently in use by anti-Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.

As long as Iran continues to pursue entrenchment in Syria, war is on the near horizon. Israeli strikes may be a catalyst for war, but they’re necessary if they have any hopes of preventing Iran from taking over their Syrian neighbors wholesale.


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Automotive

First 2020 Toyota Supra sells for whopping $2.1 million at auction

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First 2020 Toyota Supra sells for whopping 21 million at auction

The buzz surrounding the return of the legendary Toyota Supra has most in the automotive world clamoring. It has some very rich people licking their chops as well, and one happy buyer is putting his or her money behind their love for the new 2020 Toyota Supra to the tune of $2.1 million.

The base price of the Launch Edition Supra is $56,180.

Before you balk at the outrageous expenditure, keep in mind that all proceeds from the auction of the first Supra to roll of the production line go to the American Heart Association and Bob Woodruff Foundation.

The Barrett-Jackson auction, which was held in Scottsdale, included the sale of the first 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 for $1.1 million, which is much more of a road beast than the Supra on paper, and the first 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition for $2.5 million. Before anyone notes the GT sold for more than the Supra, it should be known that the base price for the GT Heritage is expected to be north of $500,000.

When it gets released to the public later this year, the Supra is going to be a true disruption for the mid-range sports car segment. Until then, we’re stuck staring at 90s model Supras that occasionally pass us on the highway.


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Guns and Crime

Mobile police officer Sean Tuder shot and killed in line of duty

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Mobile police officer Sean Tuder shot and killed in line of duty

A suspect is in custody after the shooting death of Alabama police officer Sean Tuder. The victim was following up on an investigation when the suspect opened fire.

According to Police Chief Lawrence Battiste, Tudor “was doing some follow-up work on an investigation and was gunned down by a suspect” at the Peach Place Inn in West Mobile. The suspect, 19-year-old Marco Perez, has been sought by local police for theft and filing a false police report and by federal law enforcement for probation violations.

Alabama officer shot, killed in line of duty, suspect in custody, police say

https://www.foxnews.com/us/alabama-officer-shot-killed-in-line-of-duty-suspect-in-custody-police-sayTuder was with the police department for less than five years, and “was really just getting into that part of his career where he started having a really major impact on not just the people in the community, but the men and women who work here in this department,” the police chief said.

Tuder was named “Officer of the Month” in August 2017 and was praised at the time for “his numerous drug arrests, with four cases being sent for federal prosecution, and recovering six firearms.”

My Take

Law enforcement has always been a dangerous job, but it feels as if incidents like these are becoming more commonplace. That’s anecdotal. Perhaps I’m just more sensitive to reports than I was before. Either way, we must support these brave men and women.


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