This Day in History | 1987
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts Aretha Franklyn as its first female member.
Good Morning Middle Americans,
The US airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani is sure to have repercussions. Behind the Ayatollah, Soleimani may have been the most powerful man in Iran, and the most evil. He has the blood of hundreds of Americans on his hands.
Also today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer thinks newly uncovered emails prove president Trump personally held up the military aide destined for Ukraine. President Trump’s winery fired undocumented immigrants, but only after they helped harvest the winery’s grapes.
Finally today, Bernie Sanders has out raised all his 2020 Democratic rivals, but they all still trail the president by a lot.
Read All About It!
- Fraser Dixon
Iran Promises to Avenge U.S. Killing of Top Commander Soleimani
(Reuters) – Iran threatened on Friday to hit back hard after a U.S. air strike in Baghdad killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force and architect of its growing military influence in the Middle East.
Soleimani, a general, was regarded as the second most powerful figure in Iran after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The overnight attack, authorized by President Donald Trump, marked a dramatic escalation in a “shadow war” in the Middle East between Iran and the United States and its allies, principally Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Schumer: New Emails Show Trump Personally Ordered Ukraine Aid Freeze
(Daily Mail) – Leaked emails reveal Pentagon officials were worried that Donald Trump directing a military aid freeze to Ukraine was unlawful.
Just Security was leaked nearly 300 pages of emails shows growing concern from those at the Defense Department that the freeze would violate the Impoundment Control Act.
It included a message from an OMB official who said Donald Trump had given ‘clear direction… to hold’ military aid from Ukraine.
The emails were initially released in two batches last month on December 12 and 21, but the Justice Department decided to black-out several sections, either partially or fully.
Now some of the contents of the blacked-out sections have been leaked.
Senator Chuck Schumer reacted to the content of the emails on Twitter Thursday.
‘The newly-revealed unredacted emails are a devastating blow to Senator McConnell’s push to have a trial without the documents and witnesses we’ve requested,’ Schumer wrote.
Read more here
Trump Winery Fired Undocumented Workers — But Only After Grape Harvest Ended
(New York Times) – For years, the Trump Organization used undocumented workers to tend to its hotels, golf courses and other properties, even as Donald Trump railed against the threat of illegal immigration as both a candidate and president.
This year, faced with a public reckoning after some of those workers came forward, the organization has been cracking down.
Dozens have been fired. The company vowed to follow what was already a widespread industry practice of using E-Verify checks to confirm employment eligibility. Leaders issued messages to laborers that they would need to show proof that they could work. Immigrants from places like El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico have left their jobs.
Then, on Monday, after harvests were complete at Trump Winery in Virginia, the organization fired several more.
Find out more here
Bernie Sanders beat Democratic rivals to raise $34.5 million in the 4th quarter
(CBS News) – Bernie Sanders raised $34.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, his campaign announced Thursday, racking up 1.8 million donations in the quarter ending December 31.
Sanders’ best fundraising month was December, when he collected 900,000 donations totaling over $18 million.
In addition to the impressive total for the quarter, the campaign announced on January 1 that it had reached 5 million campaign contributions, more than any Democratic opponent and more than President Trump’s reelection campaign.
Sanders raised more than any of the other Democratic candidates in the third and first quarters of 2019.
Read more here