Friday Top Headline Summary
Slavery reparations, emergency declaration, troops in Syria, Smollett back on set, “ISIS bride,” and more.
The platforms of Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren include slavery reparations, according to Fox News. “Reparations would involve the federal government’s acknowledgment of the ongoing legacy of slavery and discrimination and providing payment to those affected. Policy experts say it could cost several trillion dollars.” National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson construes reparations as lacking substance: “The proposals are not intended to mitigate evil. They are intended to make Elizabeth Warren … or Kamala Harris, or Kirsten Gillibrand … president of the United States.” Notably, Harris this week met with race hustler Al Sharpton.
“House Democrats pushed ahead Friday with a measure that seeks to terminate President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration that he issued last week in order to circumvent Congress and build his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. … Once it passes the House, the measure would be sent to the Senate, where unlike most pieces of legislation, GOP leaders could not block it from reaching the floor. The federal law requires that the Senate take up the House-passed resolution within 18 days. The resolution is considered ‘privileged’ — which means it would not be subject to a filibuster and require 60 votes to move forward. Instead, it would simply require 51 votes to pass. If all 47 Democrats were to support the measure, they would need only four Republican defections to pass it.” (NBC News)
“The U.S. is not completely pulling out of Syria just yet,” NPR reports. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday stated, “A small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time.” NPR adds, “A senior administration official … [explained] that the decision to leave some troops in Syria was intended to encourage France and Britain to also keep troops there.”
Via Variety: “Jussie Smollett is back on the set of ‘Empire’ in Chicago following his release from police custody on Thursday… Smollett was released after posting bail in Chicago after police charged him with staging what was originally reported as a hate crime last month. He was originally intended to film throughout this week on the Fox series, but his role was dramatically reduced in light of his ongoing legal troubles.” It goes without saying that his role should be reduced entirely.
According to ABC News, “The father of a so-called ‘ISIS bride,’ who was born and raised in the U.S. and now wants to return home with her son, has sued the Trump administration after it declared that she is not a citizen and has no right to enter the country.” Former prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy warned about this possibility yesterday in National Review, where he reasoned, “I would strongly urge the Justice Department to file an indictment against Muthana for treason, material support to terrorism, and any other readily provable offenses. She is less likely to press the issues of citizenship and right to enter if she understands that she faces prosecution and, very likely, lengthy imprisonment if she succeeds in coming here.”
“North Carolina officials on Thursday ordered that a second election take place in the state’s ninth district after the initially victorious Republican candidate conceded that the first vote was tainted by an illegal get-out-the-vote effort indirectly backed by his campaign. The state board of elections voted unanimously to hold a second election after being presented with evidence that Leslie McCrae McDowless, a contractor hired by Republican Mark Harris’s campaign, ordered his volunteers to go door-to-door collecting absentee ballots and, in some cases, filling them out in favor of Harris.” (National Review)
“A veteran IRS employee has been charged with leaking the banking records of President Trump’s onetime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels,” Fox News reports. Regardless of Cohen’s guilt, this is unbecoming. The IRS’s targeting of conservatives was merely a glimpse into what remains a toxic, scandalous environment.
Cue the outrage mob: “Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee wore Confederate uniform in 1980 yearbook photo,” headlines The Washington Post. The best line of the story? “A Lee spokesman added that the governor has never worn blackface.”
And since we’re on the subject of outrage… “Vandals targeted a statute of General Lee outside a North Carolina museum in what the museum curator believes was an act of mistaken identity,” The Daily Wire reports. “The statue defaced was that of General William C. Lee — who fought during World War II — not of General Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general during the Civil War whose monuments are now being vandalized.” Oops.
Regulatory commissars: “A coal-fired power plan that’s operated for more than 100 years is shutting down, and its owners say Obama-era regulations are to blame. Alabama Power’s Plant Gorgas will officially close in April. It’s only the latest coal industry casualty, driven by Environmental Protection Agency regulations and market forces. … Federal regulations for handling coal ash and wastewater made it too costly to continue operating Plant Gorgas.” (The Daily Caller)
Humor: Bernie Sanders disappointed to learn that $6 million in campaign donations was actually in Venezuelan money (The Babylon Bee)
Policy: “Has Pakistan supplanted Iran as the leading terror sponsor?” Read more on why the Washington Examiner’s Michael Rubin believes Pakistan deserves more scrutiny.
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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