Friday Top Headline Summary
"Bigotry" resolution, Manafort sentenced, tax-refund stats, jobs numbers, Stormy Daniels lawsuit, impeachment, and more.
“The House passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and other bigotry Thursday, with Democrats trying to push past a dispute that has overwhelmed their agenda and exposed fault lines that could shadow them through next year’s elections. … An earlier version focused more narrowly on anti-Semitism. The final resolution did not mention [Ilhan] Omar by name. Getting this debate right will be crucial for Democrats in 2020. U.S.-Israel policy is a prominent issue that is exposing the splits between the party’s core voters, its liberal flank and the more centrist Americans in Trump country the party hopes to reach.” (Associated Press)
Rupturing the Democrat narrative: “The IRS released statistics Thursday showing that the average refund size in the first five weeks of the filing season was up $22 compared to a similar period last year. The average refund through March 1 was $3,068, which is 0.7 percent more than the average refund of $3,046 through March 2, 2018. … The new batch of IRS data is the second batch in a row showing the average refund size up slightly for the year.” (The Hill)
“Job growth came to a near halt in February after a blistering start to the year, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by just 20,000 even as the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday. … A more encompassing unemployment rate that counts discouraged workers as well as those holding jobs part time for economic reasons, often called the ‘real’ unemployment rate, plunged to 7.3 percent in February from 8.1 percent in January. … There was other good news in the report: Average hourly earnings increased by 3.4 percent on year over year, easily the best of the economic recovery that began nearly 10 years ago.” (CNBC)
“Slowing global growth and trade friction may cloud the economic horizon, but U.S. small businesses in February went on an historic hiring binge. That’s according to the latest employment report from the National Federation of Independent Business… The organization’s chief economist William Dunkelberg reports that they’ve never seen results like these: ‘Job creation broke the 45-year record in February with a net addition of 0.52 workers per firm (including those making no change in employment), up from 0.25 in December and 0.33 in January. The previous record was 0.51 reached in May 1998.’ NFIB also found a historic low in the percentage of business owners reducing employment — just 3% of survey respondents.” (The Wall Street Journal)
“At an economic forum at the White House [Wednesday], CEOs of a number of companies told President Trump that they are hiring an increasing percentage of workers who do not have college degrees. Apple and Lockheed Martin both stated that about half their hires last year did not have degrees, while IBM noted that there are strong opportunities for people without degrees. This is good news for people who choose paths other than college, such as training and employment in the skilled trades.” (The Resurgent)
“A federal judge known for his impatience in court sentenced former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Thursday to less than four years behind bars, defying a requested prison term of 19 to 24 years by special counsel Robert Mueller. T.S. Ellis III, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and serves on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, called Mueller’s recommended sentence ‘excessive.’ Instead, the former U.S. Navy aviator … handed down a 47-month sentence.” (Washington Examiner)
“A federal judge on Thursday dismissed Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit against President Trump that sought to end a hush-money settlement agreement between her and the president. The Los Angeles judge ruled that because Trump and his former lawyer have agreed not to hold Daniels to their non-disclosure agreement, the suit was inapplicable.” (New York Post)
“Freshman Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib appeared to clash with party leadership on Wednesday after joining protesters to say she’d introduce a resolution this month urging the Judiciary Committee to move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Trump. … Tlaib faced backlash early this year after she was captured on video, just hours after being sworn in, recalling a conversation with her son where she told him, ‘We’re gonna impeach the motherf—r.’” (Fox News)
“President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen filed a lawsuit against Trump Organization on Thursday alleging that he was not paid for legal fees he incurred after turning on the president. Cohen, in the lawsuit filed in New York, says he was part of an agreement with the Trump Organization that outlined the business would cover expenses for his legal expenses as he became a focus of federal prosecutors in New York and with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office. He claims that in June 2018, when he began telling others he would cooperate with prosecutors, the Trump Organization stopped paying without any notice. Since then, he says, he’s incurred more than $1 million in legal expenses, which he argues Trump Organization should pay.” (USA Today)
“The last injunction blocking President Trump’s transgender military ban from taking effect was lifted by a federal judge Thursday, moving the administration closer to being able to enforce the policy. In a six-page order issued on Thursday, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland Judge George Russell III wrote that he was lifting his injunction because ‘the court is bound by the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the preliminary injunctions in their entirety.’” (The Hill)
Humor: Ilhan Omar withdraws support from bill to save the earth after learning that’s where Israel is (The Babylon Bee)
Policy: Writing in The Daily Signal, Derrick Hollie argues: “The ‘Green New Deal’ will fail for many reasons. One is that the people pushing it seem oblivious to the needs of poor and minorities families, who would be directly hurt by the plan.”
Policy: “As Americans work to file their taxes, Congress is setting to work on a package of expired tax credits this spring to enrich a few energy technologies at the expense of federal taxpayers,” reports The Heritage Foundation’s Katie Tubb, who adds: “Congress … does no service to these energy technologies and companies in the long run by subsidizing them.”
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.