Friday Top Headline Summary
Emergency declaration, Demo tax-hike plan, Rhode Island and abortion, and social media.
The omnibus spending deal received President Donald Trump’s signature this morning. The president simultaneously declared a national emergency, which will be the foundation for seeking another $8 billion in border-barrier funding. There is no question that this battle will soon move to the courts.
“Amazon announced Thursday it will not build its headquarters in New York City after local opposition,” according to CNBC. “The company had originally planned to build the campus in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens” Amazon had no other choice given the prevailing political headwinds.
William Barr is officially the new attorney general following a 54-45 vote in the Senate on Thursday. “Barr now will head the Justice Department during a pivotal time, overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 presidential election,” ABC News reports. “The Senate vote fell roughly along party lines, with a majority of Democrats opposing his confirmation.”
Think Democrats are for “the little guy”? Think again. “Amid all the hoopla about Democrats wanting to raise taxes on the rich, they are quietly working on a bill that would increase taxes on every working family in America,” reports Investor’s Business Daily. “Why? To fund expanded benefits for baby boomers hitting retirement. The Social Security 2100 Act would hike the combined payroll taxes paid by workers and their employers from 12.4% today to 14.8% by 2043. The bill would also apply the payroll tax on incomes over $400,000. According to the Social Security Administration, in the first 12 years alone, this would amount to a $1.5 trillion tax hike.”
From The Hill: “U.S. retail sales in December suffered their worst decline in nine years, according to Commerce Department data released Thursday, a potential red flag for economic growth.” It’s a dark cloud in an overall strong economy.
“In Rhode Island, legislators are considering a bill to put their state on par with New York by repealing nearly all existing protections for unborn life,” report the editors of National Review. “It is part of a national campaign by Democrats to use deceptive marketing to enshrine a regime of elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.”
California Republicans call for re-do vote on high-speed rail project after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “bait-and-switch” on the subject, Fox News reports. “I would support the citizens of the Central Valley putting this up to a vote again,” said Shannon Grove, the Republican Minority Leader of the California State Senate.
Actor Jussie Smollet allegedly staged an anti-gay hate-crime attack against himself and lied to police, who say it’s “unconfirmed” and “inaccurate,” reports Reason. But hey — he’s homosexual and has to be believed. Smollett even complained: “It feels like if I had said it was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me much more.” Or maybe if he had told the truth…
More Facebook facepalm: “Facebook maintains a list of individuals that its security guards must ‘be on lookout’ for that is comprised of users who’ve made threatening statements against the company on its social network as well as numerous former employees,” CNBC reports. Meanwhile, The Washington Post says, “The Federal Trade Commission and Facebook are negotiating over a multibillion-dollar fine that would settle the agency’s investigation into the social media giant’s privacy practices.”
Once you get beyond the government, the greatest threats to free speech and free thought in America are the social media companies that have been allowed to become monopolies,“ argues John Hawkins at Pajamas Media. And he offers 15 quotes from social-media executives and others to make the case.
Humor: Conservatives accused of making liberals look bad by simply reading a list of things liberals believe, teases The Babylon Bee. All this "pouncing” and “seizing on” is just beyond the pale.
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.