Think before you tweet.
That should be our new national slogan.
In less than 140 characters, the President told us what he thought of the First Amendment yesterday.
In response to an NBC news report that he suggested increasing the nation’s nuclear arms stockpile during a meeting with top Cabinet officials, Trump tweeted, "With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!"
With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2017
Ok, let me break this down.
What is bad for the country is our President advocating for obstructing the free press.
What is bad for the country is violating the Constitution.
What is bad for the country is not understanding the First Amendment at the most basic level. That goes for every American citizen and every elected official serving those citizens.
Look, I get it. NBC can be absolutely shameful. Believe me, I’m not a fan. But that doesn’t mean the President can just shut them down because they say things he doesn’t like.
And even if Trump wanted to challenge their license, he couldn’t. NBC doesn’t have a broadcast license. NBC’s local affiliates do, not the national network. And it would be highly unusual for the FCC to revoke a local license based on a broadcaster’s content. It just doesn’t work that way.
Here’s some free advice for Trump.
One. You need to do some homework. Learn about how the Federal Communications Commission works and re-read our country’s Constitution.
Two. Stop caring about what NBC says about you. They will never be fair to you. I’ve been there. They are not going to like you. Get over it. Try to focus on the things that actually matter like North Korea, Puerto Rico, California, for example.
And three. Always think before you tweet.
Hell has come to California.
22 wildfires have sprung up all over the state of California, scorching everything in their path. As of this morning, 23 people have been killed and almost 300 are missing.
Despite the numerous earthquakes this state has seen, this could be the worst natural disaster in California history. 170,000 acres of land and over 3,500 buildings have been destroyed. 20,000 people have been evacuated, and thousands are without power.
Napa Valley has taken the worst of it. The images are straight apocalyptic. Rivers of wine boil as they leak out of scorched vineyards. Entire communities have been wiped off the map. Neighborhoods near Santa Rosa look like WWII pictures of Stalingrad or Hiroshima.
Many residents in the worst-hit areas never even knew the fires were sweeping down on them until the last minute. All was quiet until the shouts of frantic neighbors jarred people from their homes. As they walked out into their front yards, the sound of smoke detectors could be heard from nearby neighborhoods. Car horns added to the chaos as families sped down the roads in desperation.
Where was the warning? The truth is many people didn’t get any. Cell towers were being wiped out by the fires and landlines were destroyed. The area has access to the federal Wireless Emergency Alert system, but it’s unclear if authorities even used it, and if so, why so many people received nothing.
San Jose has had this problem before. Just a few months ago, the city got nailed for not warning the public of destructive floodwaters. A report found that “there was a general lack of institutional knowledge” on how to use the Wireless Emergency Alert system. I’m sorry but this is just ridiculous. Lives are at stake, and those in charge don’t know what to do. How is this even possible in this area! This is Silicon Valley! The tech community needs to come together and ensure this doesn’t happen again because the local government isn’t getting it done.
A cold front is blowing in this morning creating winds that will keep these fires moving fast. The carnage is expected to last, at least until Saturday. The American spirit has been tested a lot this year. From multiple catastrophic hurricanes to massive floodwaters, and now this. Help your fellow man --- and if you can’t help --- send your prayers toward California today.
U.S. soldiers have been killed in Niger.
It was just supposed to be a “routine reconnaissance mission.” But four American soldiers were killed. It happened last week, in Niger.
Did you even know about it? Did you know that the U.S. has soldiers operating in Niger?
We’re suffering from content inflation --- a fire hydrant of so much useless information and juvenile bickering that we miss stories that are actually important.
The U.S. has 800 troops stationed in Niger to help train Niger’s military and help gather intelligence in the fight against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in the region.
A dozen Green Berets and 20 Niger soldiers were on a reconnaissance mission when they were ambushed by terrorists driving pickup trucks with mounted machine guns. The fire-fight lasted 30 minutes. When it was over, four Green Berets lay dead and two others wounded. Four Niger soldiers were also killed.
The Pentagon is now investigating the incident, but officials believe Al Qaeda was responsible for the attack. The terrorist group operates along the border between Niger and Mali, near where the U.S. and Niger soldiers were.
The U.S. Defense Department attempts to follow what is known as the “golden-hour standard,” in which the military tries to rescue wounded soldiers within one hour of being wounded. One U.S. general said it’s not possible to have the golden hour standard in Africa because of the extremely remote locations in which some U.S. soldiers operate. Niger is a land-locked, mostly desert nation in northwest Africa, about twice the size of Texas. These remote operations leave U.S. soldiers particularly vulnerable to ambushes.
American helicopters did not arrive to rescue the wounded troops in Niger. French helicopters finally arrived from 275 miles away in Burkina Faso. Some soldiers say the standard rescue wait time in Africa is closer to ten hours.
These are the first American troops to die in the counterterrorism effort in Niger, where the U.S. has been since 2015.
Why hasn’t this story been more prominent in the news? America’s been too busy talking about kneeling during the national anthem. Oppressive statues. Melania’s footwear. Empathy tents. There are bigger issues at stake --- and we’re either ignoring them, or missing them altogether.