Thursday Top Headline Summary

by Media Editors: Jussie Smollett’s hate-hoax theatrics may well land him behind bars. Authorities have officially leveled a felony charge against the actor, accusing him of fabricating a police report. A guilty verdict comes with the possibility of three years in prison.

Economic headwinds: “The United States and China have started to outline commitments in principle on the stickiest issues in their trade dispute, marking the most significant progress yet toward ending a seven-month trade war,” Reuters reports. Despite being “far apart on demands made by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration for structural changes to China’s economy,” the report notes that “a deal is beginning to emerge from the talks … as the two sides push for an agreement by March 1.”

The Associated Press says that “House Democrats will file a resolution Friday aimed at blocking the national emergency declaration that President Donald Trump has issued to help finance his wall along the Southwest border,” even as “the effort seems almost certain to ultimately fall short.” The resolution may pass the Democrat-controlled House, but its prospects in the Senate are fuzzy. “The law that spells out the rules for emergency declarations seems to require the Senate to address the issue too, but there’s never been a congressional effort to block one and some procedural uncertainties remain.”

Alarmingly, 47,893 illegal immigrants were nabbed this past January along the southern border, which represents an 84% increase over January 2018, the Washington Examiner reveals. Data extrapolators “suggest that border officers will make over 600,000 apprehensions this year,” according to the Examiner. On a related note, Fox News reports, “At least 25 people affiliated with the MS-13 gang were deported from Mexico after they were revealed to be concealed within the caravan of 1,600 Central American migrants just across the U.S. border.” Nevertheless, Democrats insist there is no border crisis.

Good idea from Rep. Mark Green and Rep. Chip Roy in an appeal to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “We write to urge the Department of State to consider designating many of the world’s most violent drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). … Violent drug cartels are not just a domestic policy issue limited to their home countries. These groups view America’s sovereign borders as merely minor inconveniences. In 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement made more than 2,300 fentanyl arrests and 405 seizures of fentanyl totaling 2,383 pounds. Additionally, cartels operate human trafficking operations into the U.S. that compel victims into forced labor or sexual slavery.”

“America’s foreign-born population has reached its highest level in over 100 years, driven by immigrants from Latin America, according to new Census Bureau data. What’s more, the Pew Research Center has found that most Latinos feel the percentage of foreigners in the United States is just about right, though 14 percent said America needs more. The analysis from Pew showed that the last 50 years have seen the biggest surge in immigration into the U.S. since before the Civil War. There are currently 44-45 million foreign-born in the U.S., 14 percent of the total population.” (Washington Examiner)

Here we go again: According to The Daily Wire, “Legislators in the Vermont House are expected to approve an abortion bill that is so insane it allows abortion at any time, with no qualifications at all. … New York’s abortion law states that abortion is permitted after 24 weeks of pregnancy only if ‘there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.’ Vermont’s law has no similar statement.” Meanwhile, The Hill says, “Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Tuesday signed into a law a measure that would automatically ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.”

The ugly face of identity politics: “A Coast Guard lieutenant who was arrested last week is a ‘domestic terrorist’ who drafted an email discussing biological attacks and had what appeared to be a hit list that included prominent Democrats and media figures, prosecutors said in court papers. Christopher Paul Hasson is due to appear Thursday in federal court in Maryland after his arrest on gun and drug offenses, but prosecutors say those charges are the ‘proverbial tip of the iceberg.’” (Associated Press)

In 2014, Alabama resident Hoda Muthana relocated to Syria to consort with the Islamic State. A year later she encouraged Americans to “Go on drivebys, and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them [infidels].” But according to National Review, “In a recent interview … Muthana pleaded with U.S. officials to allow her return to America, citing her youth and immaturity at the time she fled to Syria.” Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reminded us that actions have consequences. He stated: “Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States. We continue to strongly advise all U.S. citizens not to travel to Syria.” And as Matt Walsh points out, “scumbag/liar-nObama had an American citizen executed by drone strike. Then he killed the guy’s teenaged son, too. Trump’s treatment of the ISIS bride is extremely merciful by comparison.”

“As the deadline approaches for the withdrawal of U.S. forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria, America’s closest European allies have turned down a Trump administration request to fill the gap with their own troops, according to U.S. and foreign officials,” The Washington Post reports. “Allies have ‘unanimously’ told the United States that they ‘won’t stay if you pull out,’ a senior administration official said. France and Britain are the only other countries with troops on the ground in the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State.” Some countries rightly view America as the world leader, while others demand we do all the heavy lifting. This development is likely a combination of both attitudes.

Humor “Opinion”: Everyone who makes more money than I do isn’t paying their fair share (The Babylon Bee)

Policy: The Washington Free Beacon’s Aaron Kliegman says, “The U.S. needs to recognize the connection between Iran’s internal strife and the regime’s imperial foreign policy.” Read more in “Beyond Sanctions: How to Exert Maximum Pressure on Iran.”

Policy: “For many in the Republican party, the political imperative in 2020 is to claw back support among the moderate white women who have fled the party in droves, especially in America’s suburbs, apparently because of the president’s caustic style and divisive tone,” writes Albert Eisenberg at National Review. “But the GOP path to victory in 2020 may runs through minority communities that have been neglected for too long.” See “How Republicans Can Win Over Minority Voters.”

~The Patriot Post


Trump Will Officially End Negotiations With California On Fuel Economy Rollbacks

by Michael Bastasch

{} ~ The Trump administration will soon announce the end of negotiations with California regarding a proposed rollback of scumbag/liar-nObama-era fuel economy regulations… The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned. White House officials met with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) officials Tuesday evening to discuss the announcement, which is expected to come Wednesday afternoon, according to a source familiar with the matter. The move comes as California leads a coalition of states suing to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration for the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump’s declaration allows him to divert more funding for a border wall, which California opposes. The decision also comes on the heels of DOT announcing it canceled a $929 million grant for California’s high-speed rail line and is “exploring every legal option” to recoup $2.5 billion previously granted to the largely defunct project…


Trey Gowdy Draws Distinction – McCabe Ain’t Talking About “Crossfire Hurricane”

by sundance

{} ~ This is one of those rare interviews where granular substance surfaces. On a particular issue Trey Gowdy is a valuable SME. Gowdy has seen all of the classified documentary evidence that surrounds the July 31, 2016… FBI counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign to include Crossfire Hurricane FISA documents, and issues related to “spygate”. Gowdy was one of the few who reviewed all source documents. In this interview Gowdy draws a distinction between 2016 CH spygate and what Andrew McCabe is discussing; highlighting how the investigative issues McCabe continues to talk about are the two additional FBI investigations, one counterintelligence and one criminal, McCabe started on May 10th, 2017. For sake of brevity there are essentially three investigations: ♦One counterintelligence investigation known as Crossfire Hurricane, began on July 31, 2016, into the Trump campaign and possible Russia involvement. ♦One counterintelligence investigation that McCabe started on May 10th, 2017, Trump as the target w/Russia; and ♦one criminal investigation Trump obstruction that also began on May 10th, 2017…



Sheer Madness From Ms. commie-Ocasio-Cortez

by Ben Stein

{} ~ Now for the charming topics of commie-Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Ed Markey, and the so-called “Green New Deal.” If ever there was a multi-pronged way to snatch Depression from the Jaws of prosperity… Ms. commie-Ocasio-Cortez seems to have hit upon it. Ms. commie-AOC has discovered that the planet is warming to an alarming degree. Never mind that she is in no sense a scientist. Never mind that many climatologists say that climate change is a hoax — and many say it’s not a hoax at all. Never mind that there are many different possible causes of climate change and that human activity is only one of several possible culprits. Never mind that the huge bulk of air pollution spreading over the earth comes from China, far beyond the reach of our laws. And India and Brazil and other places far beyond our legal control. Ms. commie-AOC has reached the conclusion that the earth is warming to a degree that will end all animal life on the planet in about 12 years. And she’s sure she knows who’s responsible. Corporate America is killing the earth, or so Ms. commie-AOC is certain. Ms. commie-AOC has also noticed that America generates most of its power by burning coal, oil, and natural gas, as well as breeding immense herds of cattle which let off breathtaking amounts of flatulence. She has also noticed that while the economy is wildly prosperous, there is still some unemployment in America. She has a solution: The Green New Deal…


Oops: Rashida Tlaib Caught Supporting The Occupation

by Aaron Kliegman

{} ~ Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) first declared her support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel in December. “I personally support the BDS movement,” said Tlaib… the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress. She even refused to go on an annual trip to Israel hosted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee for freshman members of Congress, instead organizing a congressional delegation to the West Bank. So Tlaib must have been quite embarrassed when the Israel Advocacy Movement, an organization based in Britain, revealed Sunday that an Israeli company built her official campaign website, which she still uses. In a video posted online, the group’s founder, Joseph Cohen, shows how the source-code for the website says, “ Website Builder.” Wix, a cloud-based web development platform, was founded in 2006 by developers based in Israel. The company now has 110 million users worldwide. To clarify, one of America’s most public supporters of boycotting Israel uses Israeli technology to support her political aspirations. Practicing hypocrisy is part of the job description for members of Congress, but Tlaib’s hypocrisy here is really remarkable. And she is far from the only advocate of the BDS movement to use Wix. Cohen details how several other anti-Israel activists and pro-Palestinian college groups who call to boycott Israel use websites with the line “proudly created with” clearly displayed at the bottom of the page…Tiaib must go.


Colo. Secretary of State Pushes Transparency, Withholds Emails on NPV

by Todd Shepherd

{} ~ Griswold, the newly elected secretary of state in Colorado, advocates transparency for state lawmakers, yet recently declined to disclose internal communications from her office… about the “National Popular Vote” effort that would be a constitutional workaround to the Electoral College. Shortly after Griswold, a Democrat, testified to the Colorado General Assembly in favor of legislation aimed at having the state join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, the Washington Free Beacon requested communications from her office that referenced the compact spanning a two-week period. Some communications were turned over as a matter of law under the Colorado Open Records Act. However, the secretary’s office also noted that some documents were withheld because of the “work product” privilege, an exclusion prescribed in the law. The same statute that carves out the work product privilege also allows the elected official to turn over the documents voluntarily. When the Beacon requested that the privilege be waived and the documents turned over, a legal analyst replied, “I’m sorry, but the Secretary does not release work product prepared for her.”…


Religious Liberty Gets a Small Boost

From a Jurist

by Michael Swartz: In a narrow but still surprising ruling, the University of Iowa was thwarted in its covert effort to rid the campus of a number of religiously based, mostly Christian groups. U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie Rose ruled last week that the school was not enforcing its stated policy in a fair manner.

The university had threatened to withhold official recognition and access to its facilities from the Business Leaders in Christ student group (and more than 30 similar groups), which hadn’t strictly adhered to the University’s human-rights policy. Business Leaders in Christ was in the spotlight because a homosexual student who sought a leadership position within the organization was denied because he disagreed with the group’s stated belief that “God’s intention for a sexual relationship is to be between a husband and wife in the lifelong covenant of marriage.” The student countered by claiming that Business Leaders in Christ denied him the position because he was “openly gay.”

In 2017, after the student’s complaint had been investigated by the University, the group’s registration was suspended once efforts to bring it into compliance were deemed unsatisfactory by university administration. That administrative decision compelled Business Leaders in Christ to turn to the courts for relief, claiming the school’s human-rights policy was being selectively enforced.

Needless to say, those who stand for religious liberty weren’t shocked by these allegations. “This blatant government animus against religious groups on taxpayer-funded college campuses is a direct violation of students’ First Amendment rights and demonstrates significant disdain for religious people, who have every right to gather and express their faith on a public campus,” wrote Nicole Russell for The Federalist.

A similar reaction came from National Review’s David French, who called the university’s action “textbook viewpoint discrimination, and it’s blatantly unconstitutional.” Furthermore, added French, the Business Leaders in Christ case was a story that should have gotten far more media coverage.

This case is the latest fallout from a 2010 Supreme Court case, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, in which the Court held 5-4 that religious groups desiring official campus recognition were not free to exclude those who didn’t agree with their teachings. The deciding vote was cast by since-retired “swing” Justice Anthony Kennedy, who joined the four leftist members of the Court.

While the Business Leaders in Christ case was somewhat different because the student, who was already a member, was denied a leadership position based on his beliefs, it’s the small reversal — by a Barack scumbag/liar-nObama appointee, no less — of what’s become a trend within academia: taking a hard line against Christian groups who adhere to Biblical teaching on marriage. Other recent examples include Vanderbilt University, Bowdoin College, and the University of California system. Yet, as French argued in the Vanderbilt case, Greek fraternities and sororities discriminate against those who seek admission to their groups for the most picayune reasons, but administrators would “never dare mess with a sorority/fraternity system that has existed for decades, maintains a vibrant alumni network, and works to draw new students to campus.”

Christians should be cautioned, however, that Judge Rose’s opinion is only based on the University of Iowa’s selective and unequal enforcement of the human-rights policy. “There is no fault to be found with the policy itself,” Rose wrote. “But the constitution does not tolerate the way defendants chose to enforce the human rights policy. Particularly when free speech is involved, the uneven application of any policy risks the most exacting standard of judicial scrutiny, which defendants have failed to withstand.”

College should be a place where differing viewpoints are encountered and respectfully debated in order to broaden one’s academic horizons. But just as colleges are selective in their admissions policies, shouldn’t on-campus groups be allowed to be selective for their needs, too? Judge Rose only (begrudgingly) gave Christians half a loaf in this ruling; the real work will come if and when a similar case calling the prevailing “all-comers” policy into question makes it back to the Supreme Court. ~The Patriot Post


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