America Celebrates Independence Day – All across the 50 US states Americans celebrated the 243rd birthday of the nation by taking a day (or weekend) off, going on vacation, having picnics, watching fireworks and even going kayaking (as I did). President Trump led a massive display of patriotism in Washington, DC called Salute to America, in which he gave an address praising each of the five branches of the nation’s military, flyovers and fireworks. The majority of the media spent weeks attacking Trump for his Fourth of July celebration, claiming it was similar to military celebrations held in North Korea and other murderous regimes, and that Trump would politicize the event. He did not.
Iran Breaks Enrichment Limits – Iran this week broke past the limit on enriched uranium that they agreed to in the 2015 deal with the US and European nations. The regime said that they would begin enriching uranium to weapons-grade levels if European nations did not offer them a deal to salvage the 2015 agreement by July 7th. Tensions in the Persian Gulf have been rising for the past few months. Due to possible dangers posed to ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz, President Trump has requested that ally vessels should provide escorts to oil ship to ensure their safety.
SEAL Acquitted Of Murder – A Navy SEAL standing trial for killing an ISIS prisoner has been acquitted of murder. Edward Gallagher says he made serious mistakes but that he is using those mistakes as a learning opportunity. Gallagher had allegedly killed a captured, but not convicted, member of ISIS, and took a selfie with the corpse.
Trump Steps Into North Korea – During a brief meeting at the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, President Trump was invited by Kim Jong Un to cross over the border into North Korea. President Trump accepted the offer, becoming the first US president to ever cross into land controlled by the repressive regime. President Trump said he was “proud” to step into the country, and Kim said his doing so showed he was serious about advancing relations between the US and North Korea.
Trump Mulling Executive Order On Census Question – President Trump is not backing down from his demand that a citizenship question be included on the 2020 census. The US Supreme Court ruled that asking such a question is unconstitutional and censuses have begun printing without one. But Trump is reportedly furious about it, and sources say he is mulling issuing an executive order to force the question on to the census.
Amash Leaves Republican Party – In a Washington Post op-ed printed on July 4, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan said that he was declaring his independence from the Republican Party. Amash, a strong conservative elected during the Tea Party wave, has been a thorn in the side of Trump and has publicly called for his impeachment. President Trump seemed to take the news in stride, tweeting “Great news for the Republican Party as one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress is ‘quitting’ the Party. No Collusion, No Obstruction! Knew he couldn’t get the nomination to run again in the Great State of Michigan. Already being challenged for his seat. A total loser!” Amash says he will now become an independent.
Economy Keeps Adding Jobs – The Bureau of Labor & Statistics released the jobs numbers for June on Friday morning, and they are good. The US added 224,000 jobs in June versus an expected 160,000 and the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7 (3.6% expected). The added jobs mean that the United States has now added jobs every months for 105 consecutive months.
Two Nominated To Fed Board – In a series of tweets, President Trump announced that he would be nominating two highly-qualified individuals, Christopher Waller and Judy Shelton, to the two seats on the Fed board that are currently vacant. Waller is currently the executive vice president and research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and Shelton is the US executive director for the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development. Both will require Senate confirmation before taking their position at the Federal Reserve.
Trump Outpaces Democrat Fundraising – President Trump’s reelection campaign announced a staggering Q2 haul of $105 million in campaign donations, far outpacing all of his Democratic challengers. The Democrat with the highest donation total was Pete Buttigieg who raised $35 million. That means Trump raised 3x more than the next closest 2020 candidate. Not bad for a campaign with the election still more than a year and a half away.