- The Washington Times
Thursday, April 13, 2017

The news media is always poised to deploy its own bombs on select targets. There was authentic hubbub, however, when word emerged that the U.S. had dropped a 30-foot, 21,600-pound, GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB) on an Islamic State target in Afghanistan. Fueled by both wonder and incredulity, journalists scrambled after “MOAB” — dubbed the “Mother of all Bombs” by the Pentagon itself. Headlines and social media immediately erupted; #MOAB and #MotherOfAllBombs instantly appeared on Twitter garnering thousands of mentions. There was some mirth as well.

“Next they are going to drop the mother-in-law of all bombs, which will nag ISIS into submission,” tweeted Jim Antle, Washington Examiner politics editor.


“ISIS gets the MOAB. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch,” noted National Review writer David French, who later added, “I’m betting that the blast and the mushroom cloud from the MOAB are going to start ‘America dropped a nuke’ rumors all over the region.”

“Are people mad that Trump bombed ISIS? Were we supposed to send James Taylor?” quipped talk radio host Dana Loesch.

The bomb also became an attack device of a different sort, used to criticize President Trump. One missive from a Georgia-based Democratic group deemed the bomb “the mother of all distractions,” claiming the event only drew public attention from “Russiagate.” Other variations declared the bomb to be a ruse to hide an undesignated “mother of all scandals.”

Meanwhile, the most popular headline of all proved to be “What is MOAB?”, decked out fancy infographics, special reports and old Air Force video footage. Things grew complicated once the media discovered the existence of “FOAB,” the “Father of All Bombs” — a thermobaric weapon developed by Russia and thought to be four times as powerful as MOAB.

And as a kind of finale, journalists skirmished over MOAB vs. MOP. For the uninitiated, MOP stands for GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator — a bunker-busting bomb about 8,000 pounds heavier than MOAB.

MR. PENCE ON THE MOVE

Things are about to get very busy for Vice President Mike Pence. Accompanied by his wife, Karen, and two daughters Charlotte and Audrey, Mr. Pence departs Saturday on a major 10-day tour which includes stops in South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, and Hawaii.

The trip will “emphasize President Trump’s continued commitment to U.S. alliances and partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region, highlight the administration’s economic agenda, and underscore America’s unwavering support for our troops at home and abroad,” according to the White House. There are also many “listening tours” and encounters with the local business communities on the agenda.

The Pence family will spend Easter Sunday in Seoul with U.S. and Korean troops, and the vice president will meet with acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn. Then it’s on to Tokyo and time with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and an on-board tour of the USS Ronald Reagan. Next up is Jakarta, Indonesia and face time with President Joko Widodo, followed by a visit to Sydney, Australia, and a meeting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The vice president arrives in Honolulu on April 24 to meet with senior leadership from the Pacific Command, visit the USS Arizona Memorial and spend time with U.S. troops and their families. Then it’s home to Washington.

NEWS FROM ELSEWHERE

The United States Concealed Carry Association recently met in Fort Worth, Texas, to honor products they consider to be the best in the industry. Curious?

The Wisconsin-based interest group named the Glock 19 as the “top firearm” because of its versatility and reduced size. The “best holster” award went to the Crossbreed IWB SuperTuck, a waistband holster deemed the most comfortable and concealable.

The winner in the “top ammo” division was Hornady Critical Defense Ammunition, cited for proven performance and reliability. The title of “National 2nd Amendment Hero” went to Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr.

“His pro-gun stance has made him the target of many national anti-gun groups, all of whom have tried to have him removed from office. So far, he has beaten every challenger, no matter how well-funded by outsiders who would push an anti-gun agenda,” says Tim Schmidt, president and founder of the organization.

A TAXING SITUATION

One street in the nation’s capital will be crowded Saturday. Progressive activists will stage a “Tax March” along Pennsylvania Avenue from the U.S. Capitol past the Trump International Hotel, just three blocks from the White House — then it’s on to the Lincoln Memorial.

MoveOn.org and a coalition of 27 other groups are the organizers, and they are obsessed by one idea: President Trump’s tax returns.

“What are you hiding? We need a president who works for all Americans, and a tax system that does, too. Release your tax returns and commit to a fair tax system for the American people,” the coalition says in a joint statement.

“Feel free to wear your own costumes/outfits and bring your own clever signs!” the organizers advise participants.

Speakers include Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Reps. Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Maxine Waters of California plus such supporting organizations as the Endangered Species Coalition, the American Federation of Teachers, the Working Families Party and the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

“We don’t know very much about our president, his financial entanglements, or his taxes because he refuses to reveal them,” notes Ms. Waters.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

At public auction: The Minneapolis Shoal Light Station, built in 1934 on northern Green Bay, near Big Bay de Noc, Michigan. On National Register of Historic Places; 26,000 square-feet, includes lighthouse keeper’s quarters, cellar, machine rooms. Includes 30-foot high steel-reinforced concrete base pier plus 17-foot octagonal tower. Current bid is $15,000; available through GSAAuctions; found here.

POLL DU JOUR

• 71 percent of Americans file their taxes by April 1; 62 percent file as soon as they get their W-2 forms.

• 27 percent hire someone to do their taxes for them.

• 27 percent use their tax refund to pay off debt, 24 percent save the money, 13 percent buy “a treat.”

• 11 percent say taxes stress them, 9 percent “absolutely hate” filing taxes, 7 percent enjoy it.

• 6 percent wait until the night before Tax Day to file forms; 2 percent file for an extension.

Source: A NationalToday.com survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted April 3.

• Ballyhoo and balderdash to [email protected]; follow her on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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