Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 9.18.19

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Israel: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday canceled a visit to the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week amid political uncertainty in Israel, where he appeared to fall short of a government majority in national elections.”

* More provocative rhetoric: “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday accused Iran of perpetrating an ‘act of war’ after weekend strikes on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, saying the attack had the ‘fingerprints of the Ayatollah.’”

* In related news: “President Donald Trump on Wednesday pledged to ‘substantially increase’ sanctions on Iran as tensions in the Middle East continue to rise following an attack on a Saudi oil field.”

* This did not satisfy the White House: “The Federal Reserve cut its benchmark lending rate by one-quarter of a point on Wednesday, the second time this year it has reduced rates in the face of a weakening global economy.”

* When Lindsey Graham annoys his ally in the Oval Office: “President Trump engaged in a long-distance debate over Iran with one of his closest allies on Tuesday as Republicans sought to influence the administration’s response to the attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia over the weekend.”

* Inexcusable: “Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said Wednesday that President Donald Trump had put her in danger by retweeting a video of her dancing with a description that falsely claimed it showed her celebrating on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.”

* The risks of deregulation: “The Trump administration will allow pork plants to reduce the number of Department of Agriculture line inspectors assigned to them and run their slaughter lines without any speed limit under a new rule intended to modernize an antiquated inspection system. But the changes have alarmed consumer advocates who believe the rule will make food less safe and endanger workers.”

* The odds are still against meaningful action, but this raised some eyebrows today: “A Justice Department proposal being circulated on Capitol Hill would expand background checks to include all gun show sales and create a system for sellers who aren’t licensed dealers to complete the background check process.”

See you tomorrow.