The latest leader of ISIS - killed by American troops
More U-S troops headed to Eastern Europe —
Here at home — the job market still on a roll.
I’m Paul Brandus — you’re listening to West Wing Reports— it’s Friday, February 4th.
The Situation Room in the West Wing is really more than one room — it’s several rooms spread out over some five-thousand square feet — it was there in one conference room that President Biden got a taste of what its’s like to be commander-in chief — watching in real time — as American commandos attack a compound in Syria where the leader of ISIS was holed up. That terrorist — Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi — is dead.
The mission had echoes of the more famous raid — 11 years ago — that killed Osama bin laden in Afghanistan — the al Qaeda leader behind the 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington. Months in the making, a three-story compound in the middle of nowhere — the American commandos even had a helicopter that malfunctioned.
In any case — one less bad guy — President Biden says it’s quote “testament to America's reach and capability to take out terrorists anywhere they hide in the world.”
While that played out — the president has also been keeping an eye on Russia and Ukraine — the White House maintains that the Russians could invade at any moment — he’s ordered three-thousand American troops to Eastern Europe — to bolster the U-S and NATO presence on Russia’s doorstep.
Meanwhile Vladimir Putin — that’s him speaking at his year-end news conference — has sounded a tad conciliatory in recent days — though there’s no sign that his 130-thousand troops will be pulled back from the Ukrainian border. Putin’s in Beijing right now — a special guest of Chinese President Xi jin-ping. China and Russia are drawn together by their anti-American animosity — both accuse the U-S and its allies of fueling instability.
As I’ve said before — China is watching the Ukraine situation closely — any sense of American weakness could factor in a Chinese decision to move — at some point — on Taiwan.
Troubles abroad troubles here at home — one is crime. The pandemic began in early 2020 — that’s when violent crime began to rise around the country — gun violence in particular.
One huge new problem — so-called “ghost guns” that can be manufactured at home using 3-D printers — you can easily turn a handgun into a machine gun in seconds:
That’s Thomas Chittum — of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms — he tells CBS that cops are simply outgunned — two New York police officers were laid to rest just this week after being killed.
President Biden was in New York this week — he says cops need more money, more tools, more everything to fight this crime wave:
He cites new data showing that 316 Americans are shot daily — a third of them are killed.
Speaking of violence — you know those Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol last year — injured some 140 cops — did millions in damage? The former president says if were to win the presidency again — he might pardon them. Sidebar — isn’t Trump always calling himself a law-and-order guy? His comments provoking outrage from at least SOME Republicans — like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:
There’s no love lost between Trump and McConnell these days — the former president has turned on ANYONE who disagrees with his view that the election was rigged — it was not rigged — and he turns on ANYONE who criticizes his support for the pro-Trump forces that ransacked the Capitol.
By the way, there’s a bipartisan effort underway in Congress to reform the so-called Electoral Count Act — which last year fueled Trump’s delusions that the counting of electoral votes from the 50 states could be halted. This is a very big deal — stay tuned for more in the weeks ahead.
The U-S jobs machine rolls on 467-thousand added to the economy in January — that’s seven-and-a-half million since January 2021 — the unemployment four-percent. The January data also shows big gains in manufacturing — very important data point.
Own a home? You might be what’s known as "equity rich" — meaning what you owe on your mortgage is less than half the property's value. Lots of people are in that enviable position — thanks to the surge in real estate prices that began with the pandemic. A study says as of the end of 2021 — two in five properties tat still have a mortgage fall into this category. Some folks in pricey markets like New York and California have cashed in — selling and moving to cheaper markets.
Other data this week — is far from cheerful, however. Listen to these big numbers — ominous numbers, in fact.
Teachers continue to quit in droves — the Wall Street Journal reporting that one-point-three million workers in the education sector quit between January and November of last year. Who will teach America's children?
U-S diabetes deaths have topped 100-thousand for the second year in a row — federal data shows. Some 100-million Americans — 100-million are either diabetic or pre-diabetic — there are lots of reasons health care costs are soaring — this is one of them.
Covid deaths are approaching one million, as pandemic enters year three.
And 30-trillion with a T — 30 trillion dollars that’s now the size of the federal debt — we could discuss this all day but the bottom line here is that the country continues to live beyond its means — well beyond its means.
In a minute — book banning on the rise around the nation — but mostly, the data shows, mostly in red states. What’s going on? First, though, lets hear about ANOTHER Evergreen podcast — that I know you'll enjoy”
Time now to open up the West Wing Reports archives — and see what made history this week in the past:
I spoke earlier of the electoral college — well in 1789 — it unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president — the only drama was who would become VICE—president
That’s because in those days, each elector cast TWO votes. If a person received a vote from a majority of the electors, that person became president, and the runner-up became vice-president. Since John Adams was the runner-up, he became the Vice-President, This procedure was changed in 1804.
Arguably the most momentous diplomatic meeting of the 20th century: The Yalta conference, which began this day in 1945. Franklin D. Roosevelt British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin — the so-called “Big Three” in attendance.
Yalta shaped post-World War II Europe. FDR, Churchill and Stalin agreed to split Germany into four occupied zones, with the U.S., Britain, France and U.S.S.R. each getting a piece. Germany would also be demilitarized, cleansed of Nazi influence and leaders brought to justice.
Stalin also agreed to enter the Pacific war within 90 days of Germany’s defeat. Yalta is today seen as controversial as it helped cement Soviet control over Eastern Europe. Some historians say the Cold War -a half-century struggle between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. - began at Yalta.
2020: After being impeached by the House, President Trump was acquitted by the Senate on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump wasted no time in taking a victory lap.
It should never happen again - ever - Trump said? It WOULD happen exactly a year later — accused of inciting the murderous attack on the Capitol. He was acquitted in that trial and well.
Want more history? Check out my books on Amazon — I’ll sign ‘em for you too — just shoot me an email: [email protected].
And need a speaker for your event? I do that too — current events, economics, analysis — history — I connect the dots — would love to hear from you.
Speaking of books — I’ll send you one — IF you download my new app — it’s called — West Wing Reports — available in the Apple and Android stores — just download it on your phone or tablet — there’s a button called “What’s on your mind?” All you do is push, talk and send. That’s it. And the question I have for you: “How do you rate President Biden's performance so far?" He’s been in office nearly a year — how’s he doing? Leave a comment — and your name goes into a drawing for any of my books — your choice.
I like to end each week with a quote — something you might find thoughtful: This week: it’s from Abraham Lincoln:
“I don't like that man,” he said. "I must get to know him better.”