Tuesday Top Headline Summary
Ocasio-Cortez cash transfers, floor action against Omar, illegal-immigrant surge, manufacturer optimism, and more.
“Two political action committees founded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s top aide funneled over $1 million in political donations into two of his own private companies, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday. The cash transfers from the PACs — overseen by Saikat Chakrabarti, the freshman socialist Democrat’s chief of staff — run counter to her pledges to increase transparency and reduce the influence of ‘dark money’ in politics. … Campaign finance attorneys described the arrangement as ‘really weird’ and an indication ‘there’s something amiss.’ They said there was no way of telling where the political donations went — meaning they could have been pocketed or used by the company to pay for off-the-books campaign operations.” (Washington Examiner)
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats will take floor action Wednesday in response to controversial remarks by Rep. Ilhan Omar about Israel, the second such rebuke of the freshman Democrat from party leaders in recent weeks. … A resolution on the floor … would be an extraordinary public admonishment from House leaders, particularly against a member of their own party, and speaks to the seriousness with which Democratic leaders view the ongoing controversy.” (Politico)
“U.S. authorities detained more than 70,000 migrants last month, according to preliminary figures, up from 58,000 in January. The majority were Central American parents with children who arrived, again, in unprecedented numbers. During a month when the border debate was dominated by the fight over President Donald Trump’s push for a wall, unauthorized migration in fiscal 2019 is on pace to reach its highest level in a decade. Department of Homeland Security officials say they expect the influx to swell in March and April, months that historically see large increases in illegal crossings as U.S. seasonal labor demand rises. The number of migrants taken into custody last year jumped 39 percent from February to March, and a similar increase this month would push levels to 100,000 detentions or more.” (The Washington Post)
“California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the Trump administration’s new policy that could strip millions of dollars from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. California became the first state to sue over the policy, arguing that the rule would interfere with the practice of medicine and result in many providers going out of business. … Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D) separately announced Monday that she would lead 20 states and the District of Columbia in filing a national lawsuit against the rule on Tuesday.” (The Hill)
“The nation’s top manufacturers have for the ninth consecutive quarter given the Trump economy a thumbs up, setting record industry optimism of the economy and predicting positive growth unseen during the Obama administration. The National Association of Manufacturers said big and small companies are overwhelmingly optimistic about future growth. In fact, the past nine quarters of have seen record optimism, with an average of 91.8 percent of manufacturers positive about their own firm, compared to an average of 68.6 percent during the last two years of the Obama administration.” (Washington Examiner)
War on women? “In an effort to address wage equity among women and members of minority groups, Google studied its own practices as it does every year. But the results showed the company was underpaying more men than women for doing similar jobs in software engineering.” (CNBC)
“Democrats in the U.S. Congress plan to unveil legislation on Wednesday to reinstate ‘net neutrality’ rules that were repealed by the Trump administration in December 2017. … The Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, voted in May 2018 to reinstate the net neutrality rules, but the House did not take up the issue before Congress adjourned last year.” (Reuters)
“The National Security Agency has quietly shut down a system that analyzes logs of Americans’ domestic calls and texts, according to a senior Republican congressional aide, halting a program that has touched off disputes about privacy and the rule of law since the Sept. 11 attacks. The agency has not used the system in months, and the Trump administration might not ask Congress to renew its legal authority. … Congress ended and replaced the program disclosed by [Edward] Snowden with the U.S.A. Freedom Act of 2015, which will expire in December. Security and privacy advocates have been gearing up for a legislative battle over whether to extend or revise the program — and with what changes, if any.” (The New York Times)
“Measles is spreading from New York to Texas to Washington state in the worst outbreak in years, but some state lawmakers want to take the vaccination debate in the opposite direction: Loosening rules covering whether kids get inoculated,” Politico reports. “In Oregon, state lawmakers will consider a so-called transparency bill favored by the ‘vaccine hesitant.’ New York is simultaneously considering eliminating and expanding exemptions that allow parents to opt out. One bill in Texas would prohibit the state from even tracking exemptions. The push to loosen the rules is occurring even as the U.S. has experienced more than 160 measles cases in 10 states since Jan. 1.” Meanwhile, NBC News says, “Another study finds no link between autism and measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.”
“Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday officially suspended his country’s obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in response to the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the pact last month. Putin said Russia’s participation in the 1987 treaty, which was signed by Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, will end ‘until the U.S. ends its violations of the treaty or until it terminates.’ Last month, the Trump administration announced that the agreement would be terminated in six months unless Russia stopped violating it.” (National Review)
“A federal judge struck down a request Monday to expedite the case of a woman who is begging to return to America after leaving years ago to join ISIS. … At a hearing Monday at the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, [Hoda] Muthana’s attorney Charles Swift argued that her proceedings should be sped up because Muthana is facing danger at a refugee camp in Syria where she currently is residing with her 18-month-old son. But lawyers for the government say Muthana’s case is a ‘chain of speculation’ since it’s not clear what the conditions at the camp are actually like — a sentiment agreed upon by Judge Reggie Walton.” (Fox News)
Humor: Joseph Stalin posthumously identifies as strong woman of color to deflect criticism of socialist policies (The Babylon Bee)
Policy: Hillsdale College associate professor Charles N. Steele says, “Most greenhouse gas emissions in the future will come from China and other developing countries that have no intention of restricting their economies with green socialism. Climate socialism will Venezuela-ize America if we adopt it. It must be utterly, completely rejected and defeated.”
Policy: “If you’re a parent in Virginia or Georgia where teachers have rallied, you could face the same situation. It all follows last year’s walkouts in Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma and West Virginia. What is going on here?” Read The Resurgent’s explanation here.
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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