Friday Top Headline Summary

Media Editors: “The House passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and other bigotry Thursday, with Democrats trying to push past a dispute that has overwhelmed their agenda and exposed fault lines that could shadow them through next year’s elections. … An earlier version focused more narrowly on anti-Semitism. The final resolution did not mention [Ilhan] Omar by name. Getting this debate right will be crucial for Democrats in 2020. U.S.-Israel policy is a prominent issue that is exposing the splits between the party’s core voters, its liberal flank and the more centrist Americans in Trump country the party hopes to reach.” (Associated Press)

Rupturing the Democrat narrative: “The IRS released statistics Thursday showing that the average refund size in the first five weeks of the filing season was up $22 compared to a similar period last year. The average refund through March 1 was $3,068, which is 0.7 percent more than the average refund of $3,046 through March 2, 2018. … The new batch of IRS data is the second batch in a row showing the average refund size up slightly for the year.” (The Hill)

“Job growth came to a near halt in February after a blistering start to the year, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by just 20,000 even as the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday. … A more encompassing unemployment rate that counts discouraged workers as well as those holding jobs part time for economic reasons, often called the ‘real’ unemployment rate, plunged to 7.3 percent in February from 8.1 percent in January. … There was other good news in the report: Average hourly earnings increased by 3.4 percent on year over year, easily the best of the economic recovery that began nearly 10 years ago.” (CNBC)

“Slowing global growth and trade friction may cloud the economic horizon, but U.S. small businesses in February went on an historic hiring binge. That’s according to the latest employment report from the National Federation of Independent Business… The organization’s chief economist William Dunkelberg reports that they’ve never seen results like these: ‘Job creation broke the 45-year record in February with a net addition of 0.52 workers per firm (including those making no change in employment), up from 0.25 in December and 0.33 in January. The previous record was 0.51 reached in May 1998.’ NFIB also found a historic low in the percentage of business owners reducing employment — just 3% of survey respondents.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“At an economic forum at the White House [Wednesday], CEOs of a number of companies told President Trump that they are hiring an increasing percentage of workers who do not have college degrees. Apple and Lockheed Martin both stated that about half their hires last year did not have degrees, while IBM noted that there are strong opportunities for people without degrees. This is good news for people who choose paths other than college, such as training and employment in the skilled trades.” (The Resurgent)

“A federal judge known for his impatience in court sentenced former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Thursday to less than four years behind bars, defying a requested prison term of 19 to 24 years by special counsel dirty cop-Robert Mueller. T.S. Ellis III, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and serves on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, called dirty cop-Mueller’s recommended sentence ‘excessive.’ Instead, the former U.S. Navy aviator … handed down a 47-month sentence.” (Washington Examiner)

“A federal judge on Thursday dismissed Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit against President Trump that sought to end a hush-money settlement agreement between her and the president. The Los Angeles judge ruled that because Trump and his former lawyer have agreed not to hold Daniels to their non-disclosure agreement, the suit was inapplicable.” (New York Post)

“Freshman Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib appeared to clash with party leadership on Wednesday after joining protesters to say she’d introduce a resolution this month urging the Judiciary Committee to move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Trump. … Tlaib faced backlash early this year after she was captured on video, just hours after being sworn in, recalling a conversation with her son where she told him, ‘We’re gonna impeach the motherf—r.’” (Fox News)

“President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen filed a lawsuit against Trump Organization on Thursday alleging that he was not paid for legal fees he incurred after turning on the president. Cohen, in the lawsuit filed in New York, says he was part of an agreement with the Trump Organization that outlined the business would cover expenses for his legal expenses as he became a focus of federal prosecutors in New York and with special counsel dirty cop-Robert Mueller’s office. He claims that in June 2018, when he began telling others he would cooperate with prosecutors, the Trump Organization stopped paying without any notice. Since then, he says, he’s incurred more than $1 million in legal expenses, which he argues Trump Organization should pay.” (USA Today)

“The last injunction blocking President Trump’s transgender military ban from taking effect was lifted by a federal judge Thursday, moving the administration closer to being able to enforce the policy. In a six-page order issued on Thursday, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland Judge George Russell III wrote that he was lifting his injunction because ‘the court is bound by the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the preliminary injunctions in their entirety.’” (The Hill)

Humor: Ilhan Omar withdraws support from bill to save the earth after learning that’s where Israel is (The Babylon Bee)

Policy: Writing in The Daily Signal, Derrick Hollie argues: “The ‘Green New Deal’ will fail for many reasons. One is that the people pushing it seem oblivious to the needs of poor and minorities families, who would be directly hurt by the plan.”

Policy: “As Americans work to file their taxes, Congress is setting to work on a package of expired tax credits this spring to enrich a few energy technologies at the expense of federal taxpayers,” reports The Heritage Foundation’s Katie Tubb, who adds: “Congress … does no service to these energy technologies and companies in the long run by subsidizing them.”

~The Patriot Post


Trump Has Secured Funding For More Than Half Of Border Wall

by Saagar Enjeti

{} ~ One hundred eleven miles of new or replacement wall is either being built or is in progress on the southern border… after Trump’s first two years in office, an administration official tells The Daily Caller. All told, the administration has secured funding for approximately 445 miles of the total 722 miles desired by the Trump administration, a Caller analysis finds. The analysis holds only if all national emergency and executive action funding is upheld in court challenges. The administration official stressed that this figure constitutes only 18-foot bollard wall fencing or 32-foot levee wall fencing, which is the barrier that Trump has emphasized as necessary. The wall accounting begins in Fiscal Year 2017 in which $341 million was obligated for replacement wall in California, New Mexico, and Texas. This money funds construction for 40 miles of new or replacement wall of which 37 miles is completed or in progress…


McConnell Mocks HR 1 As ‘Parade Of Horrible’

by Whitney Tipton

{} ~ Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held a press conference Thursday to step up his attacks against HR1… the massive election reform bill currently being debated in the House, as a “turkey” and a “parade of horrible,” warning Democrats that supporting the bill will help Republicans win in 2020. McConnell was defiant when asked why he wouldn’t bring HR1 to the Senate floor. “Because I get to decide what we vote on,” was his response. McConnell criticized the bill again this morning during the Senate’s opening remarks. Of all the provisions he finds troublesome, he took specific issue with the section that would restructure Federal Election Commission (FEC) governance, dismantling the agency’s bi-partisan six member commission in favor of a format he believes will lead to partisan control. Summarizing the bill’s FEC reform as “a hostile takeover of the body that regulates political speech,” McConnell added “Democrats aren’t after an FEC that enforces the law, they’re after an FEC that enforces their ideology.” When asked if there was any compromise that would make the bill Senate floor-friendly, McConnell suggested breaking it apart. He would also like to see the issue of ballot harvesting included in the bill, a practice he believes leads to rampant vote fraud. With 236 House Democrat co-sponsors, the measure is likely to pass this Friday.


House passes broad resolution calling out racism, ‘anti-Semitic’ comments — without naming Ilhan Omar

by Gregg Re

{} ~ After several days of infighting and a near-rebellion by rank-and-file Democrats, as well as a major last-minute revision… the House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan resolution that only indirectly condemned Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s repeated ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘pernicious’ comments — without mentioning her by name. The final vote was 407 to 23, with 23 Republicans voting no, and all Democrats, including Omar, voting yes. Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King, who faced his own bipartisan blowback for comments purportedly defending white nationalists, voted present. The final draft of the resolution was expanded Thursday afternoon to condemn virtually all forms of bigotry, including white supremacy, in what Republicans characterized as a cynical ploy to distract from Omar’s remarks. Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, speaking on the House floor to announce that he would vote against the resolution, remarked, “Now the resolution condemns just about everything. … Hatred for Israel is a special kind of hatred. It should never be watered down.” Gohmert was joined in voting down the resolution by House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, as well as Reps. Lee Zeldin, Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Michael Conaway, Chris Collins, Mike Rogers, Paul Gosar, Pete King, Rick Crawford, Ted Budd, Ted Yoho, Chip Roy, Dan Meuser, Jeff Duncan, Thomas Massie, Doug LaMalfa, Tom Graves, Steve Palazzo, Greg Steube, Mo Brooks, Mark Walker, and Michael Burgess. “Today’s resolution vote was a sham put forward by Democrats to avoid condemning one of their own and denouncing vile anti-Semitism,” Cheney said in a statement. “While I stand whole heartedly against discrimination outlined in this resolution, the language before the House today did not address the issue that is front and center.”…



Somaliland – Key to Winning America’s Longest War

by Michael Rubin

{} ~ On February 7, 2019, Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, AFRICOM commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that U.S. airstrikes alone would not defeat al-Shabaab… the Al Qaeda-affiliated militant group with deep roots in Somalia. Instead, he said, local forces need to “step up.” He is right, so it is especially unfortunate that when local forces step up to rebuff al-Shabaab, AFRICOM ignores them. Consider Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia which borders Djibouti and controls 460-miles of coastland along the Gulf of Aden. While Somalia descended into chaos in 1991, the northern clans in Somaliland restored peace throughout the region which accounts for about 30 percent of Somalia’s territory. That peace has not come cheap: While the region has very few natural resources—livestock is its major export—it continues to spend one-third of its $350 million budget on security and defense. Recruits to its 15,000-man army or small coast guard must purchase their own weapons. Such figures—almost entirely generated locally through customs and taxation—are a pittance compared to the foreign and military aid offered Somalia. In addition, the U.S. spends $70 million annually to rent facilities in Camp Lemonnier, the headquarters of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) and is spending many times that amount to upgrade its facilities. Somaliland’s security priorities correspond with those of the United States: It seeks to deny its territory to Al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups and, to date, have been successful, despite the hostility of terrain along their border with Somalia. Sweden recently donated three boats for Somaliland coast guard, which they now use to patrol the coast to deter weapons smuggling from Yemen. Local officials brag there has not been a single instance of piracy launched from Somaliland’s territory, even though Puntland, the Somali region adjacent to Somaliland, became its epicenter. While both Somaliland political and military authorities told me over the course of a week’s visit that they would welcome any U.S. assistance, their top priority is merely a liaison to help coordinate anti-Shabaab, anti-weapons smuggling, and anti-piracy efforts…


Moldova’s Elections Show Putin’s Limits

by John Lechner and Aykan Erdemir

{} ~ Moldovans went to the polls on Feb. 24 to elect a new parliament. Candidates and outside media touted the contest as a choice between Russia and the West as they had done in the run-up to presidential elections in 2016… Moldovans have been deeply divided on the country’s political orientation since the former Soviet republic declared independence in 1991, and security is always a pressing concern. Indeed, Moldova’s pro-Russian breakaway enclave, Transdniestria, has remained outside Chisinau’s control for over 25 years. Yet geopolitics aren’t what motivate most Moldovans at the voting booth. Corruption, the lack of rule of law, and failing institutions are of greater concern. Given these circumstances, it was no surprise that the ruling, nominally pro-EU Democratic Party, or PDM failed to hold its majority, garnering just 24 percent of the vote. The PDM’s chairperson, Vladimir Plahotniuc, is Moldova’s richest oligarch and is implicated in a slew of corruption scandals. The Party of Socialists of Moldova, pro-Russian and led by the country’s President Igor Dodon, secured 31 percent, less than expected for Moscow’s preferred candidate. The pro-European opposition bloc ACUM came in second with 26 percent. With no party gaining an outright majority, the true consequences of the election are yet to be seen; snap elections remain a possibility. Three developments, however, merit close attention. First, the elections showed the limits of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s influence in this small nation long considered to be in Moscow’s “near abroad.” After frequently polling in the mid-to-high 40 percent range, Dodon delivered far less, despite several Kremlin attempts to boost his prospects. Last November, Putin granted amnesty to all Moldovan immigrants working in Russia illegally, if they went home to vote. Two days prior to the election, Russian authorities launched an investigation into Plahotniuc’s alleged role in laundering funds for a “criminal syndicate.”…


States Increasingly Police Family ‘Thoughtcrimes’

Jordan Candler: Oregon, Washington state, and even Iowa are trailblazing another assault on constitutionally protected individual rights. The state legislature in Oregon is currently mulling over a bill that “directs Oregon Health Authority to study home visiting by licensed health care providers.” The bill contends that home visits are “necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety.”

There’s a similar scheme being conjured up in Washington. In January, Gov. Jay Inslee (now a 2020 Democrat presidential contender) declared: “My budget would also offer universal home visits. This gives every new parent the opportunity to get a visit from a nurse during the first few weeks back home with their newborn to share important information and build confidence.”

“Iowa Democrats are also attempting to gain oversight of families, specifically those of homeschoolers,” The Resurgent’s James Silberman reports. “IA HF272 would mandate quarterly ‘health and safety visits’ to homeschool families by school district officials. The bill states that these visits would be with the consent of the parents but also specifies that parents can be overridden if a judge determines there is probable cause for home inspection.”

PJ Media columnist Paula Bolyard astutely observes, “As someone who has been involved in the homeschooling movement for more than 20 years, I have seen many attempts to increase the oversight of children taught at home by requiring home visits by a teacher or social worker. … Anytime a state or locality has tried to draft legislation requiring home visits for homeschooled children, the immediate response has always been, ‘What are they going to do next, require inspections for children from birth until they enter school?’ The answer to that, of course, is yes. That has been the plan all along.”

This is statism, pure and simple. The Daily Signal this week relayed the story of a parent who said, “I was shocked when my 13-year-old daughter told me she was really my transgender son.” The parent added, “Where did she get the idea she was transgender? From a school presentation.”

This is precisely why more and more families are pulling their kids from public schooling and increasingly homeschooling. And while their reasons for doing so are more than justified, statists are ensuring that no age and no home is off limits when it comes to regulating thoughtcrimes. ~The Patriot Post


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *