Thursday Top News Executive Summary

Media Editors: Fox News reports that “Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand is immediately banning assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and ‘military style semi-automatic rifles’ like the weapons used in last Friday’s attacks on two Christchurch mosques. Ardern announced the ban Thursday and said it would be followed by legislation to be introduced next month.” This is what happens in a nation with no Second Amendment.

Meanwhile, Ars Technica says that “New Zealand authorities have begun prosecuting people for sharing copies of last week’s … shooting in Christchurch and for posting hate speech in the wake of the attack.” While such behavior shouldn’t be condoned, this is what happens in a nation with no First Amendment.

“Blue states are getting crushed by red states, and it’s a big source of embarrassment for the liberals because they don’t have a very good explanation for that,” according to economist Stephen Moore, co-author of “Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index.” As The Daily Signal explains, “The latest report ranks Utah at No. 1 in economic outlook for the 11th year in a row. New York landed at the bottom of the list at No. 50.” The corollary? “Every day in America, [Moore] said, 1,000 people flee states with high tax rates and migrate to states with lower tax rates.”

A new report in the New York Post piles on additional evidence: “41 percent of city dwellers … say they can’t cope with New York’s high cost of living, according to a Quinnipiac poll published Wednesday. Separately, 41 percent fear they’ll be ‘forced’ to pull up stakes and seek greener pastures where the economic climate is more welcoming.”

Overwhelmed: “U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on Tuesday released 50 migrants recently detained at the border near Mcallen, Texas due to a lack of space in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers they would otherwise be sent to while awaiting their asylum hearings,” according to National Review, which also says “the migrants released Tuesday represent just the first wave of a group of hundreds whom they will be forced to release in the coming days due to a lack of resources.” As one CBP official put it, “It is a crisis. It’s not a self-proclaimed crisis.”

According to an analysis by Heritage Foundation economist Tori Whiting, “In 2018, the Council of Economic Advisers reports, $14.4 billion in revenue was collected from goods subject to new tariffs. Put another way, the Trump administration increased taxes on Americans by $14.4 billion last year. Tariffs typically benefit a small group of people, leaving these costs to be dispersed across the economy.” Trump unquestionably has good intentions, but tariffs inevitably hamper the U.S. economy.

The central bank has made some relatively major changes to its agenda. According to CNBC, “The Federal Reserve decided Wednesday to hold interest rates steady and indicated that no more hikes will be coming this year,” which represents “a sharp dovish turn from policy projections just three months earlier.” Additionally, “The move came along with reduced expectations in GDP growth and inflation and a bump higher in the unemployment rate outlook. For a central bank not so long ago intent on normalizing policy from its financial crisis-era accommodation levels, the developments at this week’s meeting represent a striking change in direction.”

“In the first significant check on the Trump administration’s ‘energy-first’ agenda, a US judge has temporarily halted hundreds of drilling projects for failing to take climate change into account,” The Guardian breathlessly reports. Upon deeper reflection, though, the ruling may be more fragrance than substance. The moratorium applies to just 300,000 acres of public land in Wyoming (a relative pittance), and the Bureau of Land Management is simply being required to produce another environmental analysis. That seems like a far cry from knocking “the entire oil & gas drilling program … off the rails,” as one environmentalist declared.

The Leftmedia is looking for anything it can get to cudgel Trump’s EPA. According to The Washington Free Beacon, “The number of Freedom of Information Act requests the Environmental Protection Agency received from mainstream outlets … spiked immediately after Republican President Donald Trump took office.” The New York Times has already bombarded Trump’s EPA with 100 FOIA solicitations. scumbag/liar-nObama’s EPA was hit with just 13 of them between 2013 and 2016. The Washington Post’s solicited scumbag/liar-nObama’s EPA just once from 2013-2016, which jumps to 43 under Trump. The same goes for Politico, The Hill, CNN, BuzzFeed, and ABC News, and others. This is a search-and-destroy campaign borne out of policy disagreements with the EPA’s current overhead.

Good news: “Kentucky governor Matt Bevin on Tuesday signed a bill that bans abortions chosen on the basis of an unborn child’s sex, race, or disability. … Physicians must now certify in writing that the patient did not request the abortion for a reason related to the baby’s sex, race, or disabilities. Flouting the new law puts doctors at risk of losing their medical license or being prosecuted for a felony, although the mother of the unborn child would not be targeted.” (National Review)

Humor: Candidates propose changes to fix a flaw in the Constitution that allows Republicans to be elected (The Babylon Bee)

Policy: Packing the Supreme Court would have harmful ramifications, but why, exactly? Pepperdine University professor Gary M. Galles provides a comprehensive explanation at the Foundation for Economic Education.

Policy: National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis reveals why “The Lee-Ernst Paid-Leave Plan Would Be a Win for Working Families.”

~The Patriot Post


Why Would a Small State be Part of The Union Without Electoral College?

by Dimitri Simes

{} ~ On his nationally syndicated radio talk show “The Mark Levin Show” Tuesday, host Mark Levin defended the electoral college, arguing… “Why would a small state be part of the union if all it is to be taxed to support the union?” “The purpose of the Electoral College is to ensure that all of the country is represented, not just the population centers,” Mark Levin contended. “Why would a small state be part of the union if all it is is to be taxed to support the union? It wants a say too.”Mark Levin’s remarks came as a response to the National Popular Vote interstate compact, an agreement among a group of states to cast their Electoral College votes for the winner of the popular vote nationwide – even if the candidate loses in their state. According to the website, 13 jurisdictions have joined the initiative.



Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows Send Letter to AG Barr Requesting Update on McCabe Criminal Referral

by sundance

{} ~ With a few exceptions CTH is not a big fan of expecting congressional letters to deliver results and information. However, that said, I hope this is one of the exceptions… Representatives Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows send a letter to Attorney General William Barr wanting to know what is the status of the criminal referral for fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The referral was made April 19th, 2018, approximately five days after the OIG published their report outlining McCabe’s lies. The McCabe criminal referral was made to Jessie K. Liu, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia who is also a member of the Attorney General Advisory Council (AGAC). According to reporting from last year there was a grand jury impaneled in/around July 2018..


Brace Yourself for the 2020 Medicare Wars

by Michael R. Strain

{} ~ Democrats called President Donald Trump’s budget “dead on arrival” when it landed in Congress last week, and they are almost surely correct… After all, Congress, not the president, controls actual spending levels. But that doesn’t mean Trump’s plan for fiscal year 2020 should be ignored. Instead, it can be seen as a reflection of his 2020 campaign priorities. That is why it was startling to see more than $800 billion in proposed cuts to Medicare funding over the next 10 years. In the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly promised not to cut Medicare. He presented himself as guarding it and Social Security against his Republican primary opponents, and even against scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton. And this seemed like a campaign promise the president intended to keep. A year and a half ago, it was widely reported that when his budget director wanted to discuss Medicare cutbacks for an earlier budget, Trump shut down the conversation before it could start. So I was surprised — and encouraged — that the president is pushing significant reductions in the program’s spending. True, his previous budgets have had Medicare cuts. But the 2020 plan calls for much larger reductions. And they take place against the backdrop of a coming presidential election in which several Democrats are running on a platform of significantly expanding Medicare. The contrast to the president’s 2016 posture is striking…


2020 Democrats heed commie-AOC call to ‘pack’ the Supreme Court and force America to the left

by Jerry Dunleavy

{} ~ When commie-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proclaimed that Democrats should “pack the Supreme Court of the United States of America,” she was floating a fringe fantasy of increasing the number of justices from… nine to 15 as a way of kick-starting a left-wing transformation of America. Now, the idea has gone mainstream. No longer the little-known primary candidate she was when she was speaking on Oct. 1 last year, commie-Ocasio-Cortez, 29, is in the House of Representatives and her massive social media profile has propelled her to international fame. commie-AOC, as she is almost universally known, is one of the most prominent faces of the Democrats. Her pronouncements and the uncompromisingly radical section of the progressive movement she appeals to is pushing the Democratic party to the left. Four 2020 candidates are following her lead and have endorsed or are open to “packing the court.” The pressure group Pack the Courts is advertising using Means of Production, a self-described pro-Marxist production firm that produced viral online ads for commie-Ocasio-Cortez. Linking the Democratic party’s leftist and establishment wings, Pack the Courts has teamed up with Demand Justice, a group run by Brian Fallon, a former scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton press secretary. The Supreme Court has been set at nine seats since 1869, and the last attempt at packing the court occurred in the 1937, when FDR was frustrated that the court had stymied some of his New Deal proposals. He proposed appointing a new justice for every sitting justice over 70 years old, and even the Democratic-controlled Congress at the time was opposed… Its time to disregard and stand against commie-AOC.



Marco Rubio Introducing Legislation To Block Democrats’ Supreme Court Packing Scheme

by Randy DeSoto

{} ~ Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida plans to introduce a constitutional amendment to keep the number of seats on the Supreme Court at nine… The Republican’s announcement Tuesday came after multiple Democratic presidential candidates, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, lowlife-Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth dinky-Warren of Massachusetts and former Texas Rep. socialist-Beto O’Rourke, expressed they are open to “court packing,” Politico reported. The idea is to increase the total number of seats on the high court and fill them with liberal justices. When asked about court packing, another 2020 Democratic hopeful, Sen. scumbag-Cory Booker of New Jersey, told MSNBC he supports “having a national conversation” about changes to the court and believes justices should have term limits in a way that allows every president to choose three of them. Rubio revealed his plan to block any attempt at court packing in a tweet Tuesday. “We must prevent further destabilization of essential institutions,” he said. “Court packing is quickly becoming a litmus test for 2020 Democratic candidates. Therefore I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to keep the number of seats on #SCOTUS at 9.” In an Op-Ed for Fox News, the senator wrote, “The rhetoric used by some of my Democratic colleagues that suggests our institutions are increasingly unable to resolve modern society’s conflicts is dangerous.” Rubio recounted how Democrat Franklin Roosevelt proposed the same scheme 82 years ago when he was president because he became frustrated with the Supreme Court blocking some of his progressive agenda…


Deflating College Degrees

Culture Beat: What is a college degree really worth these days, as opposed to how much it costs? One of the Democrats’ favorite policy platforms recently has been the call for “free college.” That this message is so popular with the younger generation may be an indication that the increasing cost of a college degree and the ballooning student debt associated with it (now more than $1.5 trillion) has not placed graduates on the fast track to the higher-paying jobs educated professionals once enjoyed. Instead, more and more college graduates are finding themselves ill prepared to successfully engage in a dynamic free-market world that rewards innovation, enterprise, and hard work.

In other words, a college degree no longer provides, in and of itself, a path to earning income that is greater than that of those without a college degree. Nor is that income sufficient to pay off student loans — now grossly inflated by government guarantees, which preclude any liability to educational institutions. Those institutions should be co-liable for student loans rather than being enriched by them while taxpayers bear the burden of default. And worse, millions of young people incur several years of student debt and never finish their degree. (The Trump administration has proposed limits on student loans as a first measure to resolve this debt crisis.)

It didn’t used to be this way. To put it bluntly, education standards have slipped considerably. How else can one explain why Rep. commie-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who majored in economics and graduated cumlaude from Boston University, fails to understand the most rudimentary economic principles?

But why have the standards slipped? One of the main factors is that academic merit, which should be the primary and sole criteria for admission into institutions of higher learning, has become secondary. Academic merit has been displaced by financial considerations, athletic ability, favored racial-minority status, and legacies. The results are predictable: When students are admitted who fail to meet the higher academic standards, what eventually occurs is that those standards are gradually lowered. Secondarily, the requirements for gaining a degree begin to slip as well. For example, in 2017, Yale changed its course requirements for English majors so that it is now possible to graduate without ever having read or studied Shakespeare.

Unlike the recent case where students cheated the admission system, in this case the admission system has cheated the students.

In recognizing this dumbing down of higher-education standards, Harvard University Professor Harvey Mansfield, who has been teaching for over 60 years, applies a unique practice to demonstrate how the pressure to lower academic standards has produced deficient students. Mansfield gives all his students two grades — the first grade goes into their official transcript and is one that has been artificially inflated; the second is the grade they have actually earned. His reason: to honestly show his students how they really did.

It would seem that too many colleges and universities today are more concerned with producing “woke” activists than sober academics. ~The Patriot Post


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