The Friday Filibuster: The one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about this week in politics.
#BlueLivesMatter: The week started off on an incredibly somber note after two NYPD officers were assassinated in Brooklyn over the weekend. The perp, Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, had a long criminal history as well as reported mental health problems. According to statements he made on his Instagram account, Brinsley was avenging the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Tensions between law enforcement and Mayor DeBlasio were running high after the incident. Former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani reminded folks that the vast majority of law enforcement want to help the communities they serve, not hurt them. He also took a shot at the politicians who’ve been trying to separate communities from the police, saying their actions are “shameful.” Ron Hosko, former FBI assistant director and law enforcement legal defense fund president, also slammed criminals, the media, and race baiters and said that law enforcement are constantly under attack from those who seek to evade responsibility. Meanwhile, showing incredible generosity, the Yankees will be covering the education costs for one of the officer’s two sons.
In the military: President Obama’s approval rating among active duty service members has plummeted to just 15 percent. And as many as 1,300 more troops will be heading back to Iraq this year to serve in what the administration insists is an “advisory role” to help “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS. Meanwhile, the State Dept is offering a $5 million reward to get back an al Qaeda terrorist that the U.S. released from Gitmo in 2006. Townhall’s Guy Benson also recently spoke with a former CIA official who defended the agency’s use of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques on suspected terrorists after 9/11, saying that it saved an untold number of American lives. The Warner Bros. recently released a trailer for the upcoming film “American Sniper” about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who became the most deadly sniper in U.S. history during his four tours of duty in Iraq. There’s also an interesting new documentary out about what it’s like to be in the IDF.
Economy: Some relatively good news for the U.S. economy came out this week, with the Commerce Department releasing revised figures showing that the economy surged in the third quarter of the year. Now for the bad news: Fewer Americans are working today than before the recession began.
Campaigns and elections: Despite the endless attacks against wealthy Republican donors during the 2014 election cycle, it turns out Democrats were the party that relied more on the rich to fund their electoral pursuits. And looking ahead to 2016, did Sen. Rand Paul announce he will run for president during a Twitter Festivus celebration?
“The Interview” saga continues: Last week the FBI determined North Korea was behind the cyber attack against Sony, but they continued to deny it and threatened to strike the U.S. for “recklessly” spreading that rumor. The country also experienced major Internet outages this week just days after President Obama had promised to respond proportionally. And in light of President Obama saying that Sony had made a mistake for not releasing the film (a point Sony’s CEO said Obama was mistaken about), Townhall’s Conn Carroll wonders why the president didn’t call the entertainment network, seeing that other leaders in similar situations have done just that. In the end, Sony released the film online and in select theaters.
Cuba vows to protect cop killer: While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie urged President Obama to demand that Cuba return cop killer Joanne Chesimard before the U.S. normalizes diplomatic relations, Cuba has defiantly said no, stating their right to protect ‘persecuted’ fugitives.
Inside the Beltway: The pizza industry will continue fighting against one of Obamacare’s more onerous regulations. And the law as a whole will get another day in the Supreme Court, meaning the GOP has until June to replace it. Speaking of next year, here’s nine fights you’ll be seeing in Washington in 2015. It’s too bad retiring Sen. Tom Coburn can’t get his wish.
Immigration: A federal judge dismissed Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s lawsuit challenging President Obama’s immigration overhaul this week. What does that mean for the suit filed by Texas?
Merry Christmas: On the nice list is rock band Madison Rising, which is raising awareness for military families this holiday season. On the naughty list? You guessed it: Barack Obama. The GOP gave the president coal this year, but not for the reason you might think. Finally, we hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!
Graphics by Feven Amenu.