Tuesday Top Headlines

by Political Editors: Four key questions about Trump’s and Mueller’s constitutional powers (The Daily Signal)

Prosecutors accuse Paul Manafort of witness tampering (NBC News)

Trump disinvites Philadelphia Eagles from White House over anthem dispute (CBS News)

Judge: “In God We Trust” on money isn’t religion endorsement (The Associated Press)

Justice Thomas: America now in conflict between religious liberty and Court’s decree on same-sex marriage (CNS News)

Five things to know about Phase Two of Trump’s tax cuts (The Hill)

Big pharma faces rare day of reckoning as Trump pushes price cuts (Washington Examiner)

Koch-financed groups launch campaign to halt U.S. import tariffs (The Wall Street Journal)

Gun sales set record again in May (The Washington Free Beacon)

Costs of Snowden leak still mounting five years later (Associated Press)

liar-Clinton accuses reporter of giving one side of the facts when asked about Monica Lewinsky (The Washington Free Beacon)

Juanita Broaddrick criticizes NBC: “Is there any reporter willing to ask liar-Bill Clinton about raping me?” (The Daily Signal)

Rolling Stone writer speculates Melania Trump is “concealing abuse,” implicates president in domestic violence (Washington Examiner)

Trump to appeal judge’s ruling that he can’t block Twitter users (The Washington Times)

Putin invites Kim Jong-un to Russia in September (National Review)

Howard Schultz, architect of modern Starbucks, to step down as CEO, ponders run for president (CNBC)

LGBT Pride Month promo deemed “transphobic” for the dumbest of reasons (The Daily Wire)

Humor: Supreme Court drags nation into dystopian nightmare in which business owners can openly practice their faith (The Babylon Bee)

Policy: Trump’s energy bailout is a big mistake (Washington Examiner)

Policy: For SNAP to work, it must emphasize more work (Real Clear Markets) ~The Patriot Post



Trump lawyers reveal previously unknown evidence in Michael Flynn case

by Byron York

{ washingtonexaminer.com } ~ A newly-leaked January 29 memo from President Trump’s first legal team to special counsel Robert Mueller suggests the president believed fired national security adviser Michael Flynn… was no longer under investigation when he famously asked FBI Director James Comey — by Comey’s account — to let the Flynn case go. With a wealth of previously-unreleased information about the Flynn affair, the memo also supports the contention that the FBI did not believe Flynn lied to the agents who questioned him in the Trump-Russia probe. The bureau interviewed Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017, about his transition conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. In March 2017, Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that the agents “saw nothing that indicated to them that Flynn knew he was lying to them.” Comey said the same thing to the Senate Judiciary Committee at around the same time; chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote recently that Comey “led us to believe … that the Justice Department was unlikely to prosecute Flynn for false statements made in that interview.” Now, with the Trump lawyers’ memo leaked to the New York Times, it seems clear that all the key players in the Flynn affair, including the president himself, were aware of the FBI’s assessment in real time. And the president’s knowledge — that the agents did not think Flynn lied, plus strong hints that the investigation was actually over — underlay Trump’s Feb. 14, 2017, statement to Comey that, “I hope you can see your way to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.” Trump’s lawyers argue that the president had no intention to obstruct an investigation he thought was finished… https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/newly-leaked-memo-previously-unknown-evidence-michael-flynn-case


Adam Carolla: Don’t Make Things Worse

by Adam Carolla

{ prageru.com } ~ Adam Carolla, comedian, social critic and host of the wildly popular Adam Carolla podcast, delivers the 2018 commencement address for PragerU. He offers some sage advice and makes a heart-felt request — as only Adam canhttps://www.prageru.com/videos/adam-carolla-dont-make-things-worse

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i6LA-7mi9M


Congress to Crack Down on Chinese Influence in U.S.

by Bill Gertz

{ freebeacon.com } ~ Members of Congress are moving ahead with legislation seeking curbs on Chinese government influence operations in the United States… Lawmakers in the House plan to introduce legislation today that would require Chinese government-funded Confucius Institutes operating on American university campuses to register as foreign agents. The bill, called the “Countering the Chinese Government and Communist Party’s Political Influence Operations Act of 2018” also would require American intelligence agencies to provide a detailed report on Beijing’s extensive covert and overt influence operations…   http://freebeacon.com/national-security/congress-crack-chinese-influence-u-s/?utm_source=Freedom+Mail&utm_campaign=df91788af9-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_06_03_11_07_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b5e6e0e9ea-df91788af9-45611665


The government creates another housing bubble

by Paul H. Kupiec and Edward J. Pinto

{ aei.org } ~ Home prices are booming. So far, 2018 has posted the strongest growth since 2005… “About 60% of all U.S. metros saw an acceleration in the rate of price increases through February this year,” according to Housing Wire. Since mid-2012, real home prices have increased 28%, according to data from the American Enterprise Institute. Entry-level home prices are up about double that rate. In contrast, over the same period household income has barely kept pace with inflation. The current pace of home-price inflation is increasing the risk of another housing bubble. The root of the problem is declining underwriting standards. In April Freddie Mac announced an expansion of its 3% down-payment mortgage, the better to compete with the Federal Housing Administration and Fannie Mae. Such moves propel home prices upward. Because government agencies guarantee about 80% of all home-purchase mortgages, their underwriting standards guide the market. Making lending even more dangerous, CNBC recently reported that “credit scores may go up” because new regulatory guidance allows delinquent taxes to be excluded when calculating credit scores. These are only some of the measures that “expand the credit box” and qualify ever-shakier borrowers for mortgages… http://www.aei.org/publication/the-government-creates-another-housing-bubble/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTVdOa056Qm1PVFppTlRWayIsInQiOiJpbjg4Vk50U0lQem1BTTBaTnZBbG90K2ZIczdjcEp3Q2hTMXYyMStreGlqWmJVSDBuMHRTQll6Vklrbk1OM203emkxYWpMTnJ2Yk80dmJpZnR0WUxrdXpVbm5iRXZnYm5FMm1ZXC9qbFQwK3pWaGFQcXZZNTkzMXB3WnZyUGd5WjAifQ%3D%3D


What’s the Deal With Kuwait, and Why’s the World Ignoring It?

by Tsvi Sadan

{ israeltoday.co.il } ~ Kuwait calling for a UN resolution to set up an international “protection mission” for the Palestinians… is just the latest in a long list of initiatives to condemn and vilify Israel by the oil-rich emirate. One need but recall the outrageous behavior of the speaker of Kuwait’s National Assembly, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, during the Forum for International Parliaments held in St. Petersburg last October. “Occupiers and murderers of children,” he lashed out at the Israeli delegation, who left the forum after Al-Ghanim said that Israel “represents the worst form of terrorism.” For more than two years now, Kuwait Airways has been discriminating against Israelis, a practice that, by the way, was approved by a German court. In short, Kuwait, which owes its very existence to the West, has become a real menace for Israel. To better understand the behavior of Kuwait’s de facto ruler, this 49-year-old billionaire who is largely filling in for the absent 89-year-old Emir Sabah Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, I spoke with Edy Cohen from the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. Cohen, who has tens of thousands of followers on his Arabic-language Facebook page and is one of the very few Israelis invited to speak on Al-Jazeera, knows the Muslim world at least as well as the Muslims themselves…One question that has not been answer is why would the Palestianians bring their children to a war zone.  http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/34142/Default.aspx


Supreme Court Sides With Religious Liberty

by Political Editors: In a major defense of religious liberty and artistic expression, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of baker Jack Phillips in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Recall that Phillips had been charged by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission of having unlawfully discriminated against a homosexual couple for refusing to bake them a customized wedding cake. He had objected based on his strongly held Christian beliefs. Rather than simply find another baker, of course, the couple sued, seeking to force Phillips into compliance.

The Court’s majority opinion, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by all but the dissenting Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, stated, “The laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect gay persons and gay couples in the exercise of their civil rights, but religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression. While it is unexceptional that Colorado law can protect gay persons in acquiring products and services on the same terms and conditions as are offered to other member of the public, the law must be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion.”

The Court did not, however, totally settle the issue of whether religious objections cover a multitude of denied services. Kennedy said larger questions “must await further elaboration.”

During oral arguments, Justice Kennedy notably criticized the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for its disparagement of Phillips’ religious convictions. The commission outrageously compared his beliefs to defenses of slavery and the Holocaust. Kennedy stated at the time, “This sentiment is inappropriate for a commission charged with the solemn responsibility of fair and neutral enforcement of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law — a law that protects [against] discrimination on the basis of religion as well as sexual orientation.” The commission’s hostility to Phillips’ view was the basis for the SCOTUS ruling.

Politically speaking, there are two reasons Democrats will seize on this decision for 2018. First, they will argue this decision is why Demos must control the Senate, so as to keep Trump from appointing any more judges. Second, they will also do so because, even though homosexuals are a minuscule percentage of the population, their biggest supporters are Demos’ biggest and most loyal constituency, women voters.

This ruling should be welcomed by all Americans who hold our religious liberty in high esteem. The Founders certainly did. It’s why they crafted the First Amendment. But there will be more battles on this front in the coming years, so keep your powder dry. ~The Patriot Post



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