Friday Top News Executive Summary

Media Editors: Government & Politics

PATRIOTISM: “President Donald Trump sang the praises of the US military and American heroes of the past two and a half centuries Thursday, skirting politics in a rousing Independence Day speech in Washington. ‘What a great country,’ Trump exclaimed in an address saturated with patriotism and exceptionalism, after critics accused him of hijacking the annual celebration.” (Agence France-Presse)

‘UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCE,’ OR ‘UNFORESEEN IRONY’? “Former Secretary of State scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton withdrew from the cybersecurity conference where she was scheduled to be the keynote speaker, citing an ‘unforeseen circumstance,’ according to an email from the FireEye Cyber Defense Summit. scumbag/liar-Clinton — who infamously transmitted classified information over a homemade server once housed in her bathroom — was [to be] the centerpiece of the October 9-10 summit in Washington.” (The Daily Caller)

BINGE SPENDING: “Driven largely by the Defense Department, the federal government’s discretionary spending spiked to a seven-year high in fiscal 2018, with agencies obligating more than $554 billion for products and services, up $100 billion from 2015. … The government closed the 2018 fiscal year on a massive spending spree — due in part to funding increases after a delayed budget agreement — and early fiscal 2019 spending data indicates the government isn’t slowing down its contract spending.” (Nextgov)

ADIOS! “Michigan Rep. Justin Amash announced his exit from the Republican Party in an op-ed he published Thursday in the Washington Post. … Amash’s split from the party comes after he faced intense criticism for becoming the first and only Republican to declare that Robert Mueller’s report into Russian interference in the 2016 election shows that ‘President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.’” (Washington Examiner)

On the Immigration Front

CENSUS SCRUTINY: “President Donald Trump is exploring using an executive order to move forward with the battle over the 2020 census question… While the White House may be discussing the potential of an executive order, it is not yet clear how much that will factor into the rationale the Department of Justice lawyers are preparing to bring before the Maryland district judge by the Friday deadline.” (ABC News)

BORDER FUNDING, STRIKE 2: “A federal appeals court in San Francisco on Wednesday blocked President Trump’s plan to shift $2.5 billion from the military budget to erect a border wall, finding by a 2-1 vote that the administration violated federal law by diverting funds Congress had appropriated for other purposes.” (The Wall Street Journal)

ENABLING THE LAWBREAKERS, PART I: “Presidential hopeful scumbag-Cory Booker was in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on Wednesday and traveled with asylum seekers as they crossed the U.S. southern border. … scumbag-Booker helped five women make it to a U.S. shelter and not a detention center, according to Andrew Kimmel. Those women were originally sent back to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols, and scumbag-Booker told reporters Wednesday that his office intends on keeping in touch with them.” (Washington Examiner)

ENABLING THE LAWBREAKERS, PART II: “Representative commie-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday released a plan to address the increasing numbers of migrants crossing the southern border, calling among other things for decriminalizing illegal border crossings.” (National Review)

Around the Nation

ECONOMIC FIREWORKS: “Payroll growth rebounded sharply in June as the U.S. economy added 224,000 jobs, the best gain since January and running contrary to worries that both the employment picture and overall growth picture were beginning to weaken. The unemployment rate edged up to 3.7% as labor force participation rose, according to the Labor Department.” (CNBC)

UNMASKING THE HOODLUMS: “On Wednesday, in the wake of the violence that erupted in Portland last Saturday in which journalist Andy Ngo was assaulted by masked members of the far-left group Antifa, Police Chief Danielle Outlaw called for anti-mask laws, asserting, ‘We cannot allow people to continue to use the guise of free speech to commit a crime. A lot of people are emboldened because they know they can’t be identified.’” (The Daily Wire)

Closing Arguments

POLICY: The folly of reentering the Iran nuclear deal (The Washington Free Beacon)

POLICY: What Conservatives get wrong about the campus wars (National Review)

HUMOR: commie-Ocasio-Cortez claims Border Patrol agents turned her into a newt (The Babylon Bee)

~The Patriot Post


America under Attack

By Jeffrey Folks

{ } ~ America is a providential nation, chosen by God always to be a beacon of freedom and hope. In the freedom and opportunity it offers its citizens and in the example it offers to other nations… America is that “city upon a hill” envisioned by John Winthrop, first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. By that, he meant that the pilgrim colony in New England, standing proudly as if on a hill, would be a model of goodness and right living for all to see. America is still that city upon a hill, but our future is less certain. Will we remain a nation in which our basic freedoms are guaranteed? We face a progressive movement that is willing to sacrifice our liberty in exchange for what it calls social justice. That fact has been apparent for over 40 years, what with President Carter’s universalist idea of America as merely one nation among others, one that showed everywhere a face of weakness and compromise, and certainly since Sandra Day O’Connor’s ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) that schools had the right to employ race as a factor in determining admissions. O’Connor as much as admitted that her ruling was unconstitutional — that is, it violated the equal protection clause by admitting students with inferior qualifications ahead of others more qualified — but she argued that the “compelling interest” of diversity overrode constitutional liberty. In the years since Grutter, most colleges and universities have institutionalized roundabout racial quotas condoned by the Court. O’Connor’s ruling in Grutter was one more brick in the wall of the progressive assault on liberty. Justice Thomas, in a dissert joined by Justice Scalia, wrote that with Grutter, the Court “has placed its imprimatur on a practice that can only weaken the principle of equality embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Equal Protection Clause.” On this Fourth of July, Americans should consider Justice Thomas’s words and resolve to restore the full measure of liberty that our Founders intended. America cannot be the home of “partial liberty.” Any violation of any of our constitutional liberties must be offensive to all Americans. Those who are willing to cede the rights of others, thinking it will not impact them, are sadly mistaken. This is especially true at a time when assaults on Second Amendment rights of gun ownership and First Amendment rights of religious expression and free speech are under widespread attack by progressives. The attempt to force Christians to spend tax dollars funding abortions is an egregious example. The problem with O’Connor’s principle of “compelling interest,” aside from that it is a direct violation of the Constitution, is that it can come to mean anything. If society has a compelling interest in admitting a “critical mass” of minority students to elite institutions, it can also be said to have a compelling interest in restraining population growth through abortion or sterilization, or in eliminating or jailing certain groups judged to be offensive. If Justice Ginsberg’s concept of a “living Constitution” prevails, none of our liberties is safe. We could be imprisoned for speaking the name of Christ, and our right to free and fair elections can be stolen by the IRS, the FBI, the Justice Department, and the federal courts themselves. If society is willing to violate the original text of the Constitution, then it is left with no yardstick for measuring right and wrong. To ignore the Constitution in the interest of social justice is to open the door to the worst sort of tyranny…


Everyone Quotes The Declaration, But Not Many Read It

By Nathanael Blake

{ } ~ The Declaration of Independence is one of those unfortunate documents that everyone quotes but no one reads… On the Fourth of July, the Declaration will be everywhere recited—incompletely and out of context. Even though the Declaration is brief shorter than many columns published here at The Federalist, only the preamble and conclusion of this world-historical document are regularly read and quoted, and they are often combined with excerpts from the Constitution. The substance of the Declaration is the list of reasons the American colonists gave for their separation from the British Empire, but this is usually ignored, as is the context in which it was written. This neglect allows our national history to be misinterpreted and misrepresented. Regarding the Declaration’s context, it is often overlooked that the war between the American colonies and the British Empire was more than a year old when the Declaration was approved on July 4, 1776. The Battles of Lexington and Concord occurred in April of 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought that June. Congress appointed George Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the army in July of 1775. Nor was the Declaration the first American assertion of independence. States and localities had already begun declaring independence; Rhode Island, for instance, did so on May 11, 1776. These precursors do not negate the importance of the Declaration, in which the representatives of the American colonies explained why they were at war with their mother country and what they hoped to attain. The announcement by the American colonies that they were separating from Great Britain and uniting with each other is deservedly celebrated as the nation’s birthday. But, as with a birth, there was much beforehand that should not be ignored. Nations, like people, do not spring forth ex nihilo, and the time of our nation’s gestation should not be passed over. The Declaration did not constitute the opening lines of the drama of our nation’s founding, and ignoring the first act distorts our understanding of our country’s origin…


Navy Completed Hellfire Tests on Littoral Combat Ship, Will Likely Deploy Later This Year

By Megan Eckstein

{ } ~ The Navy has finished the structural testing needed to confirm that the Hellfire anti-surface missile can safely operate on the Littoral Combat Ship… and the missile will go out on a ship deployment later this year, USNI News understands. The service had previously wrapped up structural testing for the Freedom-variant ships that are homeported in Mayport, Fla., a source told USNI News. Testing on the Independence-variant hulls wrapped up about two weeks ago with a successful engagement. The AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire missile makes up the surface-to-surface missile module, which supplements the rest of the LCS’s surface warfare mission package. As such, Independence-variant USS Montgomery (LCS-8), which deployed from San Diego in late May, does not have the SSMM piece of the mission package but is equipped with the over-the-horizon Naval Strike Missile, USNI News understands. Montgomery was scheduled to pick up the NSM during a port visit to Hawaii in June. However, the NSM launchers were not clearly visible in photos released by the U.S. Embassy when the LCS made a port call to Davao City, the Philippines, on June 29, 2019. Prior to Montgomery’s deployment, USS Coronado (LCS-4) experimented with anti-ship missile canisters mounted on the ship’s bow behind the deck gun.The source added that USS Detroit (LCS-7), which is undergoing maintenance now, is still on track to deploy to U.S. 4th Fleet later this year and would likely bring the SSMM with it. Detroit’s deployment would be the first from Mayport in the LCS program’s history. Montgomery’s recent deployment is the first for the entire LCS class since the class went through an overhaul in its organization and deployment model…


Germany: A Shocking Degree of Self-Censorship

by Judith Berman

{ } ~ A new survey on self-censorship in Germany has shown that Germans censor their own speech to an astounding degree… Asked whether it is “possible to express oneself freely in public” a mere 18% answered yes. By contrast, 59% of Germans said that in their circle of friends and acquaintances they express themselves freely. “Nearly two-thirds of citizens are convinced that ‘today one has to be very careful on which topics one expresses oneself’, because there are many unwritten laws about what opinions are acceptable and admissible” according to the survey, conducted by Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach for the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). “The refugee issue is one of the most sensitive topics for the vast majority of respondents, followed by statements of opinion on Muslims and Islam,” it stated. By contrast, “The situation is different when it comes to topics such as climate protection, equal rights, unemployment or child rearing, about which one can express oneself frankly, according to the overwhelming majority”. As an example, 71% of Germans say, according to the survey, that one can only comment on the refugee issue “with caution”. Among the topics considered taboo, a significant development has occurred over roughly the past two decades. In 1996, only 16% of Germans felt that patriotism was a sensitive issue. Today that figure has risen to 41%. “Patriotism, cosmopolitanism and support for Europe”, meaning support for the EU did not use to be mutually exclusive, according to the survey. Today, however, “The population is no longer so sure that the elites, with their strong support for European integration and in a globalized global economy, are still holding the nation in high regard… citizens increasingly fear being considered right-wing when they emerge as patriots. Meanwhile, a third of the population says that politicians should be wary of proclaiming national pride if they do not want to expose themselves to harsh attacks”…


The Council of Europe Blunders

By Michael Curtis

{ } ~ What do Abkhazia, South Ossetia, North Cyprus, and Crimea have in common? They are all the subjects of territorial changes in Europe which to a large extent have not been fully accepted by the international community as legitimate… The most disputed case is that of Crimea. After the Russian Federation invaded and annexed Crimea in February-March 2014, the actions were denounced by many nations as a violation of international law. The UN General Assembly resolved, by vote of 100-11-58 on March 27, 2014, that states should not recognize or act in any way that might be interpreted as recognition of the annexation. In addition, the Council of Europe in April 2014 suspended the voting rights of Russia in its Parliamentary Assembly. It is therefore surprising and disconcerting that the Plenary Assembly of the Council on June 24, 2019 ended the suspension and reintegrated Russia into the organization. The decision can be looked at in two ways. Defenders of the decision argue that Russian citizens can now appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, and that it is good news for Russia’s civil society. They, including France and Germany, agreed that all members of the council should be entitled to participate on an equal basis in the activities of the Council. Russia which supplies 33 million euros (10% of the total) is also helpful to end the financial crisis of the council which had as deficit of 53 million euros in 2018. Opponents argue that the decision makes the council a willing conduit for Russian President Vladimir Putin to spread his influence throughout Europe. The most cutting criticism has come from Garry Kasparov, arguably the greatest chess player in history and well-known human-rights advocate. He called the decision a betrayal worse than the appeasement policy of Munich in 1938. He holds the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council (PACE) as hopelessly corrupt and kneeling before Gazprom and Rosneft. Other comments are that the council is not getting any concessions from Russia in return. The event focuses attention on a relatively obscure international organization. The council is a little-known body. In a sense its origin can be traced back to speeches by Winston Churchill in March 1943 and September 19, 1946 in Zurich when he called for the enemies of World War II, France and Germany, to constitute the nucleus of a “kind of United States of Europe.” This was followed by a meeting in 1948 of European leaders suggesting the creation of a European Assembly to discuss political issues, especially human rights, in the different European countries. On May 5, 1949, the Council of Europe, not to be confused with the European Union, was created in London by 10 countries, including Italy and Germany. It consists of a Committee of Ministers, the foreign affairs ministers of member countries, and a Parliamentary Assembly. It now has 47 members…


Census Should Ask About Citizenship — But Supreme Court Fails to Resolve Issue

Hans von Spakovsky

The Supreme Court’s fractured and fragmented decision on whether the Commerce Department can reinstate a citizenship question as part of the 2020 census was a partial victory and a partial loss for the Trump administration. Now a giant question mark hangs over whether census form will include a question asking people if they are U.S. citizens.

Following the high court’s 5-4 decision Thursday to temporarily block the Commerce Department from including the citizenship question on the census form, President Trump said he would try to delay the census until the court can issue a final ruling in the complex case.

The president tweeted: “Seems totally ridiculous that our government, and indeed Country, cannot ask a basic question of Citizenship in a very expensive, detailed and important Census, in this case for 2020. I have asked the lawyers if they can delay the Census, no matter how long.”

Common sense tells us that the citizenship question should be included as one of many questions in the census to obtain accurate data on our population. The purpose of the census, after all, is to collect such demographic information.

But opponents of Trump administration plans to ask about citizenship argue that the question would discourage immigrants — particularly illegal immigrants — from responding to the census and being counted. This would lead to an undercount of the U.S. population that could result in less federal funds and fewer congressional seats going to districts with large immigrant populations, the opponents contend.

Yet as the Supreme Court noted, all but one census taken from 1820 to 2000 included a question about citizenship or place of birth for at least some portion of the population. And since 2000, a citizenship question has been on the American Community Survey — a mini-census sent out every year to a large sample of American households.

The majority Supreme Court decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, is not a final ruling. Rather, it sends the case back to a lower court to further investigate the basis for the Trump administration’s desire to include the citizenship question.

The deadline for finalizing the 2020 census form is fast approaching, however. By kicking the case back to a lower court for further consideration, the high court essentially punted the administration back deep into its own territory, with little time left on the clock — unless Trump can succeed in delaying the census.

The question now is whether Justice Department lawyers can produce evidence needed to convince the lower court to approve the citizenship question before time runs out, or whether the census can be postponed to give the administration more time.

Significantly, the Trump administration won on many of the substantive issues raised by the challengers in this case.

The challengers claimed, for example, that it would be unconstitutional to ask a citizenship question on the census. The Supreme Court disagreed, saying the Constitution’s Enumeration Clause — which directs Congress to conduct a census every 10 years — allows Congress to ask a citizenship question. That provision says the census will be conducted as Congress “shall by Law direct.”

In addition, the Trump administration won on the question of whether the Commerce Department secretary has the authority to put a citizenship question on the census. The challengers claimed that Secretary Wilbur Ross didn’t have that power.

However, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress delegated its authority to the Commerce secretary in a law that gives him broad authority to decide the content and form of the census. This authority includes deciding what questions are asked.

However, the high court ruled that broad authority is not unlimited. Justices said the Commerce secretary’s decision is subject to judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act, which is a federal law that governs the issuance of new rules and regulations by federal agencies.

On another issue — the claim that adding a citizenship question would drive down the response rate among noncitizen households — the Supreme Court upheld Secretary Ross’s decision to improve the accuracy of the citizenship data collected by the Census Bureau by adding the citizenship question. The court said Ross’s decision was neither arbitrary nor capricious.

Ross was faced with deciding between the value of obtaining more complete citizenship data from across the country with a new census form, or against the uncertain and undetermined risk that reinstating the citizenship question would result in a materially lower response rate, the high court found.

The Commerce secretary’s decision that adding a citizenship question was the better choice was reasonable and reasonably explained, the court found.

However, the case fell apart for the Trump administration because it had said the main reason for reinstating the citizenship question was to improve enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

In a partial dissent joined by Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the court should have stopped its analysis when it determined the citizenship question is both constitutional and within the legal authority of the Commerce secretary.

But Chief Justice Roberts, joined by the court’s four liberal justices, found that the Voting Rights Act enforcement reason seemed “contrived,” because Ross was already considering adding the citizenship question a week into his tenure as secretary. This was before the Justice Department sent the Commerce Department a letter saying more accurate citizenship data was needed for enforcement purposes

“The evidence tells a story that does not match the explanation the Secretary gave for his decision,” Roberts wrote.

Justice Thomas dismissed this argument, saying that doubting Secretary Ross’ motives ignored “the presumption of regularity” the courts owe to federal agencies. The administration gave a rational explanation for adding the citizenship question and that should have been the end of the Supreme Court’s review, Thomas said.

Because of this issue, the high court temporarily blocked adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. But it approved the decision of the lower court that sent the issue back to the Commerce Department, giving the department the opportunity to present more evidence that would justify its decision to ask about citizenship.

Whether that can be done in time to meet the practical deadlines under which the Commerce Department is operating is the big question. It’s also unknown whether the president can succeed in delaying the census.

To succeed, the Commerce Department will have to provide substantive grounds for Ross’s decision, submit that to the lower court for review, get a decision from the judge, and then appeal that decision if it goes against the Trump administration.

In other words, Trump administration officials must throw the legal equivalent of a Hail Mary pass and hope they make it into the end zone.

The game isn’t over, so we’ll all have to wait and see what comes next. ~The Patriot Post  


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