Calendar of Events
Thursday, 20 April – Newly seated Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch casts first consequential decision. Thursday night Gorsuch rejected a last minute stay-of-execution appeal in Arkansas Death Penalty case. The state of Arkansas scheduled eight executions in 11 days. Where’s the fire? The state’s lethal cocktail was due to expire. The other seven will see another day; Ledell Lee will not. Lee was executed peacefully 24 years after his 26-year old victim was raped and bludgeoned.
On February 9, 1993, 26-year-old Debra Reese was sexually assaulted and murdered in her own home. She was struck approximately 36 times with a tire thumper, a tool used by truck drivers to check their tire pressure. Her husband was a truck driver and had given her the tire thumper as a means of protection while he was on the road.
Welcome to the bench, Justice Gorsuch.
Friday, 21 April to Monday, 24 April
- Friday, 21 April
- Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ arrived in Israel Thursday (20 April) afternoon. This morning Mattis will meet with his Israeli counterpart Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. It’s expected Lieberman will “brief him [Mattis] again on the numerous threats to Israel in the region, including on its northern border where there is a growing presence of Hezbollah and Iran in Syria.” Israeli President Reuben Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot will confer with Mattis later in the day.
- While in Jerusalem, the Secretary will participate in a wreath-laying service at the World Holocaust Remembrance Center two days ahead of the Holocaust Remembrance Day opening ceremony.
- The Trump’s will stay at their second (or is it their third??) home this weekend The White House where they plan to open the WH gardens to the public Saturday and Sunday.
- Saturday, 22 April
- Earth Day 2017: A rational Conservative’s Quote – “I believe the climate is changing. I believe some of it is naturally occurring, but some of it is also caused by man-made activity. The question is how do we address it in a thoughtful way that doesn’t compromise economic growth, the affordability of energy or American jobs.” – Energy Secretary, Rick Perry.
- Secretary Mattis will travel to Qatar. Of the five states, Qatar could be the most significant, “Since August 2014, US-backed coalition aircraft have flown tens of thousands of sorties to bomb ISIS. Almost all of them are commanded out of the sprawling, high-tech al-Udeid air base in Qatar. In other words, the base is crucial to our war efforts.” Saturday’s visit is one to watch.
- Australia and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is next up on the VP and Mrs. Pence Asia-Pacific tour. Top of the agenda: North Korea, Syria, and trade. They’ll also be a little mending of the bosses fences today as well, “Observers believe Mr. Pence will also use his time in Sydney to smooth relations between Washington and Canberra following Mr. Trump’s outburst at Australia’s planned asylum-seeker deal during his notorious phone call with Mr. Turnbull in January.” The Pence pair will remain in Sydney until Monday where they will transition home by way of Hawaii.
- Sunday, 23 April
- The final stop for Mattis is Djibouti (Horn of Africa). Djibouti is home to the only full-scale and permanent US military base in Africa – Camp Lemonnier. It is “the most important base for drone operations outside the war zone of Afghanistan.” Of interest, China is constructing its first overseas base in Djibouti as a “logistics and fast evacuation base,” says Beijing and six weeks later Saudi Arabia decided to set up camp, as well. Lots to talk about with President Ismail Omar Guelleh. Although the country is strategically situated to Yemen and Somalia, Djibouti is also rich in resources. China is especially eager to exploit the depressed country for its gold, petroleum and natural gas.
- 1 pm (EDT) World Holocaust Remembrance Day Opening Ceremony in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Netanyahu in the past has used the forum for fiery international call-to-arms speeches. Live Broadcast.
- Monday, 24 April
- Congress is back in Session. Agenda to include keeping the country from defaulting on its promises.
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