It is a simple and straightforward memorial: a stretch of white marble and plain stars plus this statement: “In honor of those members of the Central Intelligence Agency who gave their lives in the service of their country.”
There are no names listed, a true testimony to the clandestine calling of the CIA.
“The Central Intelligence Agency held its annual Memorial Ceremony to remember, honor, and celebrate the courageous CIA officers who died in the line of duty for their country,” the federal agency noted late Tuesday. “CIA added four stars to its Memorial Wall this year to commemorate four distinguished officers who can be known to the public not by their names or the circumstances of their deaths, which remain classified, but by a star.”
CIA dedicated the wall at its headquarters over four decades ago, with 31 stars designating those who have fallen since the agency was founded in 1947. There are now 129 stars on the wall.
“They live on in our thoughts and prayers and remain forever among our ranks — a constant source of pride, inspiration, and strength for those of us who carry on their mission,” CIA director Gina Haspel told assembled families, presenting each with a marble replica of their loved one’s star.
“We are the nation’s first line of defense. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go,” the agency notes on its Twitter profile.
MADAME PRESIDENT IN WAITING
Bumper stickers pining for a presidential run by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki R. Haley have been around since the 2016 election, back when she was still governor of South Carolina. Talk of such a run has emerged once again following a particularly pivotal and unprecedented event.
“Haley has been credited with helping make the historic summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a reality. Haley played a key role in achieving what the Trump administration calls a ‘maximum pressure campaign’ on North Korea, including getting all 15 members of the United Nations Security Council to place crippling sanctions on the rogue regime,” noted a Fox News analysis, which cited Mrs. Haley’s persuasive prowess with Russian and Chinese diplomats in particular.
“I’ve actually heard a lot of people on both sides of the aisle say if we’re going to have our first female president, it could very likely be Nikki Haley,” Fox News contributor Jessica Tarlov told the network.
“She’s the surprise rock star of this administration. She’s so tough and she’s so consistent. And you just know you’re not going to move her. That has been a huge strength — and a huge surprise at the U.N.,” said Fox News anchor Melissa Francis.
But just like the North Korean summit, the prospect of Mrs. Haley’s presidential run has been the subject of interpretation in the news media, particularly among journalists who believe — or wish — that there is uneasiness between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Haley. MSNBC made the case several times earlier this year.
“The juiciest gossip in that regard came from The New York Times, which, in detailing a growing feud between U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and the president, suggested there may be an unholy alliance between Haley and Vice President Mike Pence heading into 2020,” wrote Esquire magazine in April.
Fox News Channel is marking its 22nd week as the No. 1 network in the entire cable realm according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News had the top five prime time cable telecasts, led by “Hannity,” which consistently drew 3.2 viewers. Fox also leads its news rivals as it has done for the past 16 years, 1.4 million viewers throughout the day, compared to 670,000 for CNN and 914,000 for MSNBC.
Fox Business Network, meanwhile, continued its winning streak over CNBC, with a 40 percent advantage over the competition. “Varney & Co” marks 55 consecutive weeks as the most-watched stock-market analysis program on television while “Lou Dobbs Tonight” remains the most watched program in the business TV genre.
NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT
A local church will offer a one-hour prayer service on Wednesday “to uplift and extend spiritual support for all candidates running for office” in the entire state of Maryland.
“The election season can be extremely grueling, and that is why our congregation desires to cover all of our candidates in prayer. This is a way to ask for spiritual guidance and seek solace in God,” says Henry P. Davis III, pastor of First Baptist Church of Highland Park, located in Landover — just east of the District of Columbia.
Early primary voting begins in Maryland on Thursday.
HEY, BIG SPENDER
Brace for impact. Here comes a bunch of big numbers.
“The federal government collected a record $1,143,141,000,000 in individual income taxes through the first eight months of fiscal 2018 (Oct. 1, 2017 through the end of May), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement. Despite the record individual income tax collections, the federal government still ran a deficit of $532,241,000,000 over those same eight months, according to the Treasury statement,” writes Terence P. Jeffrey, editor-in-chief of CNSNews.com.
“The approximately $1,143,141,000,000 in individual income taxes that the Treasury collected in October through May of this fiscal year was $56,273,800,000 more (in constant May 2018 dollars) than the $1,086,867,200,000 (in constant May 2018 dollars) in individual income taxes that the Treasury collected in October through May of fiscal 2016 — which was the previous record,” Mr. Jeffrey noted.
“Despite the record individual income taxes that the Treasury collected in the first eight months of this fiscal year, the federal government still ran a deficit of $532,241,000,000 during the period. That is because while it collected $2,224,526,000,000 in total taxes, the federal government spent $2,756,767,000,000.”
POLL DU JOUR
• 32 percent of U.S. voters says it is “extremely likely” they would vote for a Democratic candidate for Congress with “the specific intention of providing a check on Republican control of Congress and the presidency”; 5 percent of Republicans, 13 percent of independents and 60 percent of Democrats agree.
• 23 percent say it is “somewhat likely” they would vote for that candidate; 15 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree.
• 11 percent say it is “not very likely” they would vote for that candidate; 17 percent of Republicans, 13 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats agree.
• 28 percent say it is “not at all likely” they would vote for that candidate; 57 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of independents and 5 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Fox News poll of 1,001 registered U.S. voters conducted June 3-6.
• Chatter, innuendo to firstname.lastname@example.org
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