News Roundup! Mike Pompeo’s Press Briefing, Mark Esper’s Press Briefing, PDJT Holds Press Availability With Greek PM USMCA Passed Out Of Committee, Trade Deficit Declined 8.2% In November, Virginia Beach Is Now A 2nd Amendment Sanctuary City, Democrats Are Seeing Some Bad Trends Happening In the Rust Belt, Illegals Will Not Be Counted As Part Of the 2020 Census, The Rods From God Have Been Activated…..

Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a press briefing to discuss the ongoing issues with Iran and Iraq.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper held a press briefing yesterday as well.

Yesterday our and FLOTUS welcomed the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his wife Mrs. Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotakis to the White House. Prior to their bilateral meeting the two leaders held a press availability in the Oval Office.

[Video and Transcript Below]

Here are some shorter video clips.

We are one step closer to getting rid of NAFTA. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley held a mark-up hearing yesterday to review the USMCA and vote the agreement out of committee. After debate the agreement passed with a 25-3 vote.

The USMCA is now sent to the full Senate for a vote later this month were only a simple majority is required for it to pass.

From the article linked above:

  • The Senate Finance Committee passes the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. 
  • The full Senate could take up the replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement later this month, and the House has already approved it. 
  • The deal can take effect once all three countries ratify it

Mexico has ratified the trade agreement. Canada may not approve it until later this month. The agreement does not take effect until all three nations ratify it.

The U.S. exports more goods to Canada and Mexico than any other countries.

Trump’s impeachment could complicate the Senate’s efforts to pass the deal. After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends House-passed articles of impeachment to the Senate, the chamber will start a trial on whether to remove him from office.

The speaker has not pushed impeachment to the other side of the Capitol as Democrats pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call witnesses. Without a trial, the Senate has more flexibility to quickly pass USMCA.

“If it can be brought up before the impeachment vote, it’d be very important to get this — the sooner it gets done, for the good of the economy, the better,” Grassley told reporters after the committee voted for USMCA. He noted that impeachment would have to take priority over other matters if it comes before the Senate.

The Economic Train decided to deliver some incredible news yesterday.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released Quarter 4 (November) import/export data showing a considerable drop in the U.S. trade deficit. [Release Here] Exports increased approximately 0.7% ($208.6 billion) while imports dropped 1.0% ($251.7 billion).  Lowering the overall trade deficit to $43.1 billion.

From the article linked above:

The U.S. trade deficit fell to a more than three-year low in November as imports declined further, likely weighed down by the Trump administration’s trade war with China, and exports rebounded, suggesting the economy ended 2019 on solid footing.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the trade deficit decreased 8.2% to $43.1 billion, the smallest since October 2016. The percentage drop was the largest since January.

The trade deficit has narrowed 0.7% through November and is on track to record its first annual decline since 2013.While the shrinking trade bill should provide a boost to gross domestic product in the fourth quarter, falling consumer goods imports also suggest a cooling in domestic demand.

FAKE NEWS doesn’t pay!

From the article linked above:

CNN agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit with Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann.

The amount of the settlement was not made public during a hearing at the federal courthouse in Covington, Kentucky.

Sandmann’s lawsuit sought $800 million from CNN, the Washington Post and NBC Universal.

Trial dates are still not set for Sandmann’s lawsuit against NBC Universal and the Washington Post.

The Washington Post suit sought $250 million. A federal judge let a portion of the suit go forward after The Post filed a motion to dismiss it.

Attorneys say the money they’re seeking is not designed to compensate Nick, but to “deter the defendants” from doing the same thing (that they’re accused of) in the future.

Democrats are going to live to regret what they have done in Virginia come November.

More troubling signs for the Democrats!

From the article linked above:

Heading into the 2016 presidential election, Hancock County, which is located along the curves of the Ohio River, had over 12,700 Democrats and 7,150 Republicans registered to vote. Since then, Democrats have lost 2,000 of their voters either to Republican or independent affiliation.

It is a trend in the Mountain State that isn’t just limited to this town, sandwiched in the panhandle between Ohio and Pennsylvania; all across the state, voters are leaving their ancestral party.

According to numbers posted by the West Virginia secretary of state’s office, the Democratic Party has lost 83,119 voters since the 2016 presidential election, while Republican registrations increased by 13,325. This has considerably narrowed the gap in registration in a once heavily Democratic state. Democrats now have 488,148 voters and the Republicans 411,872.

No one would argue seriously that West Virginia, where Trump got more than two-thirds of the vote, would ever be in play for the Democrats in 2020. But the story of its sentiments and the evolution of these voters aren’t just limited to within the state’s boundaries. In many ways, especially in their connection to place and their distrust of large government, political, and entertainment institutions, these voters are very similar to voters in rural, suburban, and exurban voters in the swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Any report that you read about the 2020 census that refers to states benefiting from their illegals is Fake News. Our President handled that over the summer.

From the article linked above:

The Department of Homeland Security is agreeing to share citizenship information with the U.S. Census Bureau as part of President Donald Trump’s order to collect data on who is a citizen following the Supreme Court’s rejection of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census form.

Trump’s order is being challenged in federal court, but meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security two weeks ago announced the agreement in a report. It said the agency would share administrative records to help the Census Bureau determine the number of citizens and non-citizens in the U.S., as well as the number of illegal immigrants.

Information that will be shared include personally-identifiable data, the Homeland Security document said.

Trump ordered the Census Bureau to collect citizenship information through administrative records from federal agencies and the 50 states after the Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration last summer by deciding that a citizenship question wouldn’t be allowed on this spring’s 2020 Census questionnaire.

I have absolutely no doubt in the world that the Rods from God we’re put to good use last night!

From the article linked above:

[…] multiple earthquakes have been detected around the country, including an earthquake near an Iranian nuclear power plant.

The Strategic Sentinel tweeted: “A 4.9 magnitude earthquake struck near #Iran’s #Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant. The depth and epicenter indicate it was a natural event and unrelated to this evenings events. A similar earthquake struck in late December. USGS report enclosed.”

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