Month: September 2020

Gutfeld on Biden blaming Trump for violence

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s new campaign ad features the violent chaos of Democrat-led cities. Surprise: President Trump is to blame. The Biden ad says: “This is our chance to put the darkness of the past four years behind us. To end the anger, the insults, the division, the violence, and start fresh in America.” Wait? There’s violence? Who knew? I guess now that it’s in a campaign ad you’ll finally see it on CNN and MSNBC. Of course, if Biden wins the violence will vanish. Talk about extortion. He’s saying: elect me or you’re dead! But it’s also based on getting rid of something the Democrats kept denying exists. The Dems kept saying the widespread brutality was fantasy. They pushed it as “mostly peaceful,” as if statistically that’s OK. But how good would you feel if you were told your parachute is mostly safe? But now the Democrats have read the polls and see they were wrong. It’s the only language they respect. But remove their lies and you see the real causes of these police incidents. Drugs, mental illness, noncompliance. It exists across all races. A mind on drugs or plagued by illness won’t comply. The police require compliance. It’s that incompatibility that the media and Dems turned into fodder for unrest. And now boxed in, they must blame Trump. Of course, we could remind them that Trump offered help — but that acceptance would be cooperating with Orange Man Bad. If Portland, Ore., Mayor Ted Wheeler had shelved his ego and taken Trump’s help early on, the Trump supporter killed in that city would be alive, as well as many others. Instead, the Democrats sheltered behind denials until the polls forced them to emerge, finally, to survey the damage done. It wasn’t just Joe Biden in the basement. It was the whole party. They hid from the hell until it was time to campaign. This answers that great philosophical question: if a tree falls in the woods, and no one’s there but Democrats, does it make a sound? Unless it’s Trump’s fault, no.

No kidding.. Thanks Greg! That was adapted from Greg Gutfeld’s monologue on “The Five” on Sept. 8, 2020.

Pentagon: Chinese Air Force fast-becoming massive threat

New attack drones, 5th-generation stealth fighter jets, reconfigured cargo planes and Russian-built air defenses are making China’s Air Force even deadlier. In fact, all of these advances present a great concern to U.S. war planners. The size of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force is reported to include a total of 2,500 aircraft, making it the third-largest in the world, according to the Pentagon’s 2020 China Military Power report. U.S. threat assessors are not merely concerned about the size of the Chinese Air Force but the increasing technical sophistication and multi-mission tactics with which it operates. For instance, as part of its discussion of Chinese airpower, the report notes that China operates highly advanced, Russian-built S-400 and S-500 air defenses. These systems, among the best in the world, increasingly use networked digital processors, faster computer speeds and a wider range of frequencies to detect aircraft. Russian media reports have claimed that their air defenses can even track stealth aircraft, a claim that has yet to be formally verified. Yet another concern with China’s air power is its fast-increasing attack range. The Chinese Y-20 cargo plane, for instance, is likely being configured into a tanker aircraft to nearly double the attack range of Chinese fighter jets. Technically speaking, while the U.S. Air Force’s KC-46 tanker is certainly different from its C-130s, it would not be at all technically difficult to convert a large Y-20 into a tanker configuration. This not only better enables a potential attack on Taiwan but also massively expands the Chinese reach into more areas of the South China Sea from the mainland. While many of China’s fighters are within range of attacking Taiwan on a single sortie, expanded combat radius would not only increase surveillance options but also enable much longer “dwell time” for fighter planes searching for targets in the skies above Taiwan. Operating a large tanker of this kind might also greatly improve China’s aircraft carrier power-projection capabilities by virtue of creating possibilities for longer-range, more expansive combat missions from the ocean. Such a possibility is further strengthened by ongoing Chinese efforts to engineer a carrier-launched variant of Beijing’s J-31 stealth fighter for domestic use. Such a platform, described by Chinese newspapers as a J-31B, brings stealthy 5th-generation attack possibilities to maritime warfare, not unlike the U.S. F-35B and F-35C. These factors are quite likely just one of many reasons why the U.S. Air Force continues to seek accelerated modernization and large size increases. Many senior Air Force leaders express great concern that not only is the force aging and in need of revamped sustainment efforts but is also insufficient to meet the requested mission demands of combatant commanders forward-deployed around the globe. Air Force leaders are continuing to ask for the increase in size up to 386 squadrons first requested several years ago. While many believe current efforts are inadequate to meet the threat, there are a number of impactful sustainment activities underway with U.S. Air Force platforms. F-15 continue to be revamped with new weapons, radar and high-speed computer systems to ensure the 1980s aircraft can stay in front of the Chinese 4th-generation J-10. In addition, the Air Force recently completed software upgrades to F-22 weapons to enhance range, guidance and accuracy. Furthermore, the service is reconfiguring some of the “wing boxes” of its fleet of aging C-130s and a wide swath of upgrades has already made the well-known B-2 bomber much more advanced than it was during its inception. The B-2 is receiving new air-defense warning sensors, upgraded weapons and massively improved computer processing speed, among other things. None of this, however, Air Force weapons developers say, removes the need for new platforms and weapons as soon as possible.

SeaWorld is permanently laying off some of its employees

SeaWorld Entertainment is permanently laying off some of its theme park and corporate employees who were already furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday. “While we were able to bring thousands of furloughed Ambassadors back to work and hoped to bring back everyone, the current environment requires us to setup the company for long term success,” a SeaWorld spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement. “SeaWorld has determined that it must transition certain park and corporate personnel from a furloughed status to a permanent layoff.” The filing nor the spokesperson disclosed how many workers will be impacted or which parks are affected. However, the filing does note that SeaWorld will spend between $2.5 million and $3 million related to employee severance costs. “We deeply appreciate the hard work and dedication of our Ambassadors to our company’s shared mission, values, and goals,” the spokesperson added. “Over our 60-year history, our parks have inspired millions of guests to love, protect and care for our planet’s animals and their habitats. We are sorry to have to part ways with any team members in this difficult moment, but their abiding commitment to our guests, fellow Ambassadors and animals is recognized and made a lasting impact.” All SeaWorld employees impacted will be directly notified this week by mail and will be given information regarding support available to them. All ambassadors in good standing affected by this decision can apply for future available positions at any of SeaWorld’s theme parks and impacted full time and salaried ambassadors will be given up to four weeks of severance pay to assist them in their transition. SeaWorld furloughed 90% of its workforce in April when the company closed its theme parks to limit the spread of COVID-19. The company began reopening its theme parks at limited capacity starting on June 6. Seven of SeaWorld’s theme parks have reopened, including the company’s Aquatica park in Texas, followed by all five Florida parks on June 11, its SeaWorld park in Texas on June 19 and its Sesame Place park in Pennsylvania, which reopened its gates July 24. Earlier this month, SeaWorld reported a 95% loss in revenue for the second quarter compared with the same time a year ago, and a substantial decrease in attendance at its theme parks. SeaWorld’s revenue declined $388 million compared with the year prior, totaling roughly $18 million during the three-month period. Total park attendance for the quarter was 300,000 guests, a 6.2 million decline compared to the previous year. Overall, the company suffered a net loss of $131 million for the second quarter of 2020, a decline of $183.7 million compared to the second quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, both of SeaWorld’s competitors, Universal and Disney, saw their Orlando theme parks hit capacity on Saturday, according to the theme parks’ websites. Despite the uptick in attendance during Labor Day weekend, the pandemic has also hammered both Disney and Universal theme park revenue. Disney posted a loss of $4.84 billion in its third-quarter earnings report, with revenue falling 42% to $11.78 billion. Closing Disney theme parks cost $3.5 billion during the quarter. Universal, likewise, saw its revenue plunge 94.1% to $87 million in the second quarter of 2020, compared to the 1.46 billion generated during the same time the previous year. Disney furloughed 43,000 employees in April. Though many employees have returned to work, others received emails about ‘indefinite’ furloughs last week. Universal also laid off an undisclosed number of employees in June shortly after reopening its theme parks. According to a report by Fox 35 Orlando, Universal Orlando sent notices last week that it was laying off or extending furloughs on more than 1,200 of its hospitality staff.

After historic Israel-UAE flight, other Muslim-majority countries considering to follow suit

Earlier this week, an Israeli plane imprinted with the word “peace” on the outside of its cockpit flew from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi, symbolically sealing a landmark diplomatic deal between the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates. The El Al flight – carrying U.S. and Israeli leaders, including President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner – was the first direct commercial passenger flight ever between the two countries. The Aug. 13 deal is said to already be propelling other countries to follow the Emirates in formally shaking hands with the nation many still don’t even recognize on a map, breaking the decades-long mandate in which many Muslim-majority and Arab countries refused to form ties until there is an enduring peace agreement with the Palestinians. But what country is most likely to come next? Bahrain’s cabinet exalted the deal, and U.S. diplomats orchestrating the Israel-UAE agreement are reported to have discussed economic advancement in the capital, Manama, last year. Moreover, Bahrain’s prime minister is said to have talked to Israel’s spy chief by phone as recently as mid-August, although Bahrain has denied such engagement took place. The tiny constitutional monarchy, which is tightly aligned to the UAE, also perceives Iran as an existential regional threat. Other warming indicators include last year’s hosting of Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and a meeting with King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa in the capital, and Bahrainis competing in a May 2018 bike race – alongside UAE participants – inside Israel. But to date, no official statement regarding Israel-Bahrain liaisons has been issued. Other experts have also pointed toward Oman, which was quick to laud the agreement and in years past has played as interlocutor between Israel and Arab states. Sudan has also been named as a likely suitor, although its public messaging has been mixed. The East African nation’s interim leader, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Uganda in February, signaling that early talks to normalize ties were in motion. Soon after the UAE announcement was made, Sudan – which is currently under turmoil and transition in the rocky aftermath of the April 2019 ousting of long-running ruler Omar al-Bashir – declared it too was in the process but reneged on its communique amid a public backlash. “Sudan, which has long been a global pariah due to its sponsorship of Al Qaeda as well as its egregious human rights violations in Darfur and elsewhere, is hoping to get itself off the U.S. government’s list of state sponsors of terrorism,” explained Raphael Marcus, research fellow at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. “There have been indications since the fall of Omar al-Bashir in Sudan that Sudan’s new government believes its standing in the United States and globally will be improved by ties with Israel.” Over in the continent’s north, Morocco has been listed as another nation prepping for some sort of Israel advancement, having played a significant part in an array of peace efforts over the years. The country has a small Jewish community, which once surpassed 250,000 in the mid-20th century but has dwindled to just 3,000.

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