Friday Top News Executive Summary

Media Editors: Government & Politics

G-7 CONFAB: The Group of Seven summit is happening this weekend, and “one of France’s main objectives as host … is to minimize the chances that President Trump will blow it up,” The Washington Post magniloquently writes. “Subjects on which to tread lightly include some of the biggest problems the world’s major economies are facing — including trade, the system of international rules that has ordered the democratic world for decades and climate change. … Senior administration officials told reporters … that Trump planned to ‘frankly’ discuss sticking points among G-7 nations including trade, a digital services tax and NATO spending obligations.” One thing we know won’t be on Trump’s agenda is the promotion of globalism.

NONCITIZEN ARRESTS: “Approximately 64 percent of the arrests that the federal government made in fiscal 2018 were of non-U.S. citizens,”’s Terence Jeffrey reports, citing a report from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. “That represents a dramatic change from just two decades ago, when approximately 63 percent of federal arrests were of citizens and only approximately 37 percent were of non-citizens. … Although immigration and immigration-related offenses accounted for the vast majority of non-U.S. citizen arrests, non-citizens were also over-represented among those arrested for non-immigration offenses, according to the report.”

MENTAL-HEALTH PROPOSAL: “The White House has been briefed on a proposal to develop a way to identify early signs of changes in people with mental illness that could lead to violent behavior,” The Washington Post reports. “Supporters see the plan as a way President Trump could move the ball forward on gun control following recent mass shootings as efforts seem to be flagging to impose harsher restrictions such as background checks on gun purchases. The proposal is part of a larger initiative to establish a new agency called the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency or HARPA, which would sit inside the Health and Human Services Department.” It’s understandable that mental health is a focal point, but there’s a legitimate fear over what this kind of endeavor can (or will) lead to.

FOREIGN-AID TURNABOUT: The Trump administration has opted not to curb foreign aid, according to The Hill, which explains, “The Office of Management and Budget was expected to release a package this week calling for cuts in $4.3 billion in foreign aid through a process known as rescission. But the plan was taken off the table amid pushback from some top administration officials and lawmakers in Congress, the official said.” While the decision is being bipartisanly heralded, the goal was laudable. As one senior official put it, “The president has been clear that there is waste and abuse in our foreign assistance and we need to be wise about where U.S money is going. Which is why he asked his administration to look into options to doing just that. It’s clear that there are many on the Hill who aren’t willing to join in curbing wasteful spending.”

DAVID KOCH DEAD: Libertarian David Koch, a prolific political donor who until last year helped pilot Koch Industries, passed away today at just 79 years old. Reason magazine contains a good obituary.

Business & Economy

CHINA RETALIATES: “China said Friday it will impose new tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods and resume duties on American autos. The Chinese State Council said it decided to slap tariffs ranging from 5% to 10% on $75 billion U.S. goods in two batches effective on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15. That happens to be when President Donald Trump’s latest tariffs on Chinese goods are to take effect. It also said a 25% tariff will be imposed on U.S. cars and a 5% on auto parts and components, which will go into effect on Dec.15.” (CNBC)

TRADE-WAR FALLOUT: Meanwhile, The Washington Post also says, “The prolonged trade war between the United States and China is taking a toll on the manufacturing sector, which contracted for the first time since 2009, data show.” This development is said to be “a sign that manufacturers are starting to feel the effects of the ongoing trade war,” as “[s]ales of U.S. exports decreased at the fastest pace since August 2009.” In fact, Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi believes, “If manufacturing isn’t in a recession, it is pretty close.”

Other Notables

EPIC FAIL: Gillette is “shifting the spotlight” — meaning it’s abandoning its anti-“toxic masculinity” campaign — after losing $8 billion (The Daily Wire)

QUASI-WAR: “Academic espionage”: China suspected of flooding U.S. with students to access sensitive programs (The Washington Times)

NO CAN DO: According to The Hill, “The U.S. offer to sell Turkey a Patriot missile defense system has expired, a State Department official confirmed Thursday, amid ongoing tension over Ankara’s defense dealings with Russia. ‘We have consistently told Turkey that our latest offer of PATRIOT would be off the table if it took delivery of the S-400 system. Our PATRIOT offer has expired,’ the official told The Hill.”

Closing Arguments

POLICY: Trump is right: The 14th Amendment did not guarantee birthright citizenship (The New American)

POLICY: The media should stop encouraging mass-shooting phobias (National Review)

HUMOR: commie-AOC: Jeff Bezos started Amazon fire to “make billions in insurance fraud” (Genesius Times)

~The Patriot Post


Sarah Huckabee Sanders will become Fox News contributor

by Mike Brest

{ } ~ Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will become a contributor for Fox News… Sanders, who was the press secretary for nearly two years, will make her debut on Fox & Friends during its next live audience show on Sept. 6. “FOX News has been the number one news organization in the country for 17 years running and I am beyond proud to join their incredible stable of on-air contributors in providing political insights and analysis,” Sanders said, according to a Fox News press release. She spent from January of 2017 through that July as the deputy press secretary under Sean Spicer. Sanders was then promoted to press secretary, and remained in that role until she stepped down last month and was replaced Stephanie Grisham. Prior to her time in the White House, Huckabee — the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is also a Fox News contributor — served as a senior adviser to GOP Sen. Tom Cotton in 2014 when he defeated incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Pryor. She was also the campaign manager for Republican Sen. John Boozman in 2010 when he defeated incumbent Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln. Over a decade ago, she, as national political director, helped lead her father to victory in the Iowa caucuses and seven other states. Sanders is also contemplating a run for the governor of Arkansas. The president publicly supported the idea on Twitter when he announced she was leaving her post. He tweeted, “She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!”


What’s the Deal with the Green New Deal?

by Alex Epstein

{ } ~ There’s been a lot of talk about The Green New Deal. Beyond the headlines, what is it really?… Given our energy needs, is it practical? Can we have an abundance of energy and a clean planet? Alex Epstein, the author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, considers these questions and has thought-provoking answers. Don’t miss it!



Even Dems Are Fed-Up With commie-AOC, Aide Makes It Clear She Has ‘No Plans to Serve the People’

By John Salvatore

{ } ~ Rep. commie-AOC has made it clear that she’s concerned with making scenes but that’s about all…. Even a Congressional aide says she doesn’t really care about “the people.” Check this out…A Democrat congressional aide slammed socialist Rep. commie-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in an interview this week, saying that the 29-year-old former bartender has no plans to serve the American people. The comments came in a report from The New York Post about how commie-Ocasio-Cortez’s office blows people off and does not answer phone calls — a claim that The Daily Wire can definitely confirm. “Critics of commie-Ocasio-Cortez suggest making constituents play phone tag is proof that she’s more show pony than work horse,” The New York Post wrote. The aide added, “She has no plans to serve the people. That’s why she has no constituent services operation. If you’re a grandma in Queens who needs help with her Medicare and you call commie-AOC’s ‘district office’ you get a recording that tells you to visit the website instead.” They added, “What kind of elitist nonsense is that? Shameful, it’s all shameful.” commie-Ocasio-Cortez continues to show she knows so very little of which she speaks.This time, she responded to former Florida governor, current Florida senator, Rick Scott. Scott shut her down hard. It all began with 2020 contender Sen. scumbag-Cory Booker’s (NJ) thoughts on creating a federal license for gun owners…


Why Extremism Isn’t About Economics

by ~ Is extremism really about economics? We have all heard the argument that people turn to extremism because of poverty. Yet is this theory substantiated?… If you want to understand what an ideology is about, spending at least some time reading what they say about themselves is key. So when you spend any length of time reading extremist propaganda, either Islamist or neo-Nazism, one of the first things you notice is how little they talk about economics. This is even though many extremists come from less well-off sections of society. Of course, many jihadis – particularly those from Europe who joined the ranks of ISIS — passed through some of the country’s best universities and had bright futures ahead of them. One University in particular, London’s prestigious Westminster University, saw seven students become jihadis for ISIS. Others who came had fewer prospects. A GLOBOSEC report analyzing 197 jihadis arrested in 2017 and 2018 found that 40 percent were unemployed at the time of their arrest, death or expulsion. Some joined jihadism as the next logical step in a progression of subversive violent behavior. “In many European countries, the majority of jihadist foreign fighters are former criminals,” a report by the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence titled Criminal Pasts, Terrorist Futures concluded. Yet economic opportunity does not seem to be why they chose to wage war against the West. Islamist extremists are far more likely to talk about “humiliation,” the dignity of the Muslim people, social exclusion and how their way of life is under threat. Similarly neo-Nazis and white supremacists are also not likely to cite economics. Instead they talk about degeneracy, the risk posed to white culture by mass immigration and how their way of life is under threat. Former White Nationalist and founder of the non-profit group Life After Hate Christopher Picciolini described his motives for becoming a white nationalist as being rooted in acceptance and belonging, rather than an ability to pay bills. “I felt a sort of energy flow through me that I had never felt before,” he told NPR about his joining the movement, “as if I was a part of something greater than myself.” What both of these attitudes have in common is they are rooted in emotions, specifically fear and anger, which were connected to social exclusion, alienation and worry over power. “Critically, unemployment or poverty alone is not the only push factor inciting violence and extremism,” the UN Development Program’s 2016 Preventing Violent Extremism report noted…


South China Sea: Has Beijing Given Up Fortifying Its Illegal Islands?


{ } ~ More than a century before France built the ill-fated Maginot Line, Napoleon Bonaparte supposedly was presented with a similar fortification plan… and his response perhaps apocryphal was, “What are you trying to defend me against, smugglers?” American General George S. Patton is on the record saying, “Fixed fortifications are monuments to man’s stupidity.” More broadly, from the SWAT team preparing to bring in a criminal holed up in a bank, to a bunker-buster bomb crippling the best-engineered underground fortress, if there’s one thing governments know how to do, it’s how to bring overwhelming force down on a known location. That’s been my line of thinking while most everyone else has been fretting about China’s unprecedented fortification of the South China Sea (SCS) — and now it seems that even Beijing has caught on to their error. Steven Stashwick reported earlier this week for Foreign Policy that “China’s military buildup on its artificial islands in the South China Sea, appears to be reaching a peak.” Over the last six years, Chinese engineers have dredged up 3,000 acres of new islands in the region, and fortified them with “long-range sensor arrays, port facilities, runways, and reinforced bunkers for fuel and weapons.” But as conspicuous as the bases’ capacity to project China’s offensive power is how little of that might Beijing has actually deployed there. The Pentagon’s latest report on China’s military notes that no new militarization has been observed since China placed air defense and anti-ship missiles in the Spratlys last year. Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently remarked that if China’s militarization of the islands had plateaued, it was because they had achieved the military capability China required of them. If that’s true, then China requires much less of those bases militarily than their apparent potential to deliver. Imagine if France in the 1930s, had poured all the concrete for the Maginot bunkers, then reconsidered and decided to use the steel and effort which would have gone into the big guns and used it instead for tanks and planes and training — which might have done considerably more good against the Nazis…


Dems Improperly Play Politics With Supreme Court, Threatening Its Independence

Hans von Spakovsky

In an extraordinary and outrageous move endangering the constitutionally mandated independence of the U.S. Supreme Court, five Democratic senators are threatening political retaliation against the court unless it denies the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers in its first gun case in a decade.

Not since 1937 — when newly reelected Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt proposed adding additional justices to the Supreme Court in a blatant move to produce decisions more favorable to his New Deal agenda — has there been such a serious attempt to change the way the judicial branch of government operates in order to change the outcome of its decisions.

In fact, going back even further in history, the threat the Democratic senators are posing to the judiciary’s independence is arguably the greatest since that made by Britain’s King George against the 13 British colonies before they became the United States. Our Declaration of Independence lists these threats as one justification for the American Revolution.

Back in 1937, the Senate Judiciary Committee — led by Roosevelt’s fellow Democrats — refused to go along with what became known as his court-packing scheme. This committee stated in a report on Roosevelt’s legislative proposal that it was “nothing more than the declaration that when the Court stands in the way of a legislative enactment, the Congress may reverse the ruling by enlarging the Court.”

Fast forward to today’s similar situation. Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, scumbag-Richard Durbin of Illinois, worthless-Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York have replaced Roosevelt in the role of trying to manipulate the Supreme Court.

The Democratic senators are threatening the independence of the Supreme Court because they are determined to curtail the constitutional right of Americans to keep and bear arms in a case called New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York.

The legal brief filed in the case by the senators not only threatens the independence of the judiciary — it threatens the rule of law. The senators are engaging in a form of extortion, warning justices that grave harm will befall the Supreme Court if the justices don’t rule the way the senators want.

As they fashioned our unique system of government, America’s founders singled out several elements they considered critical to its success. Alexander Hamilton, for example, wrote that the “independence of the courts” is “peculiarly essential.”

The five senators would be wise to heed Hamilton.

This case before the Supreme Court that has prompted the senators’ move against the high court challenges a New York state law that allows a licensed gun owner in New York City to transport a handgun (even if locked up and unloaded) outside his or her home only to one of a few shooting ranges in the city.

The five Democratic senators want the high court to uphold the law, even though it clearly makes a mockery of our Second Amendment rights. But they can’t demand that result just because they want it.

The brief filed by the senators asserts: “The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it.”

The lawsuit by the senators cites polls supposedly showing that a narrow majority of Americans believe that Supreme Court decisions are “motivated by” or “too influenced by” politics.

The final paragraph of the senators’ legal brief concludes with this ominous warning: “Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’ Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.”

There you have it. These legislators have fired a shot across the judiciary’s bow. Change your ways, ignore the constitutional protections that we don’t like — such as the Second Amendment — or we will change you. Start making decisions that further our political agenda, or we will create a judiciary that will.

Compared to these senators, King George and President Franklin Roosevelt were amateurs in their attacks on the judiciary.

The warning from the senators comes on the heels of growing calls to pack the courts — as Roosevelt tried and failed to do — and an obviously unconstitutional proposal to “rotate” Supreme Court justices in and out of the high court, analyzed here and here.

These — and the five senators’ not-so-subtle threat to “restructure” the judiciary — are not about appointing judges who follow a particular approach to deciding cases. Every president does that.

No, the threat here is to literally manipulate the structure of the judicial branch itself, to reconfigure it to deliberately produce more desirable results in certain cases based on politics — not the law.

In August 1997, then-Attorney General Janet Reno spoke to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, warning against “heated rhetoric” about the judiciary, including criticism that can “undermine the very credibility of the judiciary.”

The ABA took up the cause, creating a commission on judicial independence that held hearings on the issue. Its report warned about criticism that, even if it does not influence court decisions, can undermine “public confidence in the judiciary and judicial independence.”

Where is the ABA today? If it was concerned about criticism undermining judicial independence, how can it be silent when senators threaten to restructure the judicial branch to obtain the decisions they want?

Don’t be misled by the spin from those like the five Democratic senators, who today threaten a hostile judicial takeover. They define decisions they don’t like as proof that the judiciary has been “politicized” because that sounds better than saying they want judges who will deliver the political goods no matter what the law says or what the actual facts are in a case.

Four of the five senators threatening to restructure the judiciary today are current members of the Judiciary Committee — the same committee that killed Roosevelt’s court-packing scheme.

Suppose that we, as lawyers, filed a friend of the court brief in state court where judges are elected, threatening to work against them in their next election unless they ruled our way. We would justifiably be subject to severe sanctions. Yet the five Democratic senators are hiding behind the authority of their elected positions to do the very same thing.

Judicial independence, especially from political manipulation, remains “peculiarly essential” to the system that provides the liberty we all enjoy. It remains, as the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist said, one of the “crown jewels” of our system of government.

All Americans, as well as judges on any court, should reject such attempts to manipulate the judicial system for political gain. ~The Patriot Post  


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