Thursday Top News Executive Summary
National emergency, Beto O'Rourke, Boeing 737 Max, Paul Manafort, Brexit, Elizabeth Warren, and more.
“The GOP-controlled Senate is poised to pass a Democratic resolution Thursday blocking President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build a wall on the Mexican border,” The Hill reports. However, Trump this morning stated, “I am prepared to veto, if necessary. The Southern Border is a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare, but it can be easily fixed!”
According to the Associated Press, “Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke announced Thursday that he’ll seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, ending months of intense speculation over whether he’d try to translate his newfound political celebrity into a White House bid.” O'Rourke unsuccessfully tried to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz during the midterms. But as the AP notes, “He got within 3 percentage points of upsetting Cruz in the nation’s largest red state — and shattered fundraising records in the process — immediately fueling chatter that he could have higher ambitions. Now O'Rourke must prove whether the energy he brought to the Texas campaign will resonate on a much larger stage.”
“The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday grounded all Boeing 737 Max jets in the U.S., citing new evidence that showed similarities between two fatal crashes of the popular planes that have killed 346 people in less than five months,” CNBC reports. “The move marks a stunning turnaround for the U.S., which has stood by the American-made aircraft as dozens of countries around the world grounded the planes.” U.S. airlines operate 74 of the approximately 370 total jets.
“New York prosecutors Wednesday announced criminal charges against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, only minutes after his sentencing in a federal case. The indictment … charges Manafort with 16 counts related to mortgage fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records. … Earlier Wednesday, a federal judge sentenced Manafort … to 43 months of additional prison time on conspiracy charges lodged by Mueller as part of his probe of Russian election meddling and possible Trump campaign collusion. Less than a week earlier, Manafort had received a 47-month prison sentence in another federal case lodged by Mueller. Manafort’s combined prison time in the Mueller cases totals 7½ years.” (CNBC)
Quartz reports that New Mexico “is the latest to embrace carbon-free electricity, passing a bill that will require all electricity from public utilities to come from carbon-free sources.” California, Hawaii, and DC have already instituted carbon-free requirements. The incremental mandate in New Mexico “requires the state (now one of the country’s top oil, gas, and coal producers) to get 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030 and 80% by 2040. By 2045, it must go entirely carbon-free.” On the upside, the scheme presumably incorporates nuclear power.
“President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit left by now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday 53-46. The vote to confirm Neomi Rao to the appellate court was entirely along party lines, with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., not voting. … Rao came under fire from liberal activists seeking to derail her nomination to the court by attacking pieces she wrote in college that criticized irresponsible drinking and calling race a ‘hot, money-making issue.’” Translation: She was targeted for speaking truth. (The Daily Signal)
“British parliament on Wednesday approved an amendment prohibiting a so-called no-deal Brexit, in which the U.K. would exit the E.U. without first securing alternative trade and immigration arrangements. … Having now rejected the default position that the U.K. will exit the E.U. on March 29 regardless of whether a deal has been secured, Parliament is expected to vote Thursday on an amendment that would extend the Brexit deadline until May 22.” (National Review)
“The Senate voted Wednesday to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen, its latest rebuke of the Trump administration’s continued embrace of the Saudi monarchy despite growing frustration among lawmakers with its actions on the world stage. … The resolution must still be taken up in the House, where members passed a nearly identical resolution to end U.S. participation in the Yemen war earlier this year. It is unlikely, however, that either chamber would have the votes necessary to resuscitate the measure if President Trump vetoes it.” (The Washington Post)
Elizabeth Warren has “zero” sympathy for people caught up in the college-admissions scam, The Daily Wire reports. “That would be a rather ironic sense of moral indignation for someone of alleged 1/1024th Cherokee ancestry who nonetheless thought it fit to rely upon that purported ancestry as part of her application for the State Bar of Texas. Perhaps Warren ought to consider that she is not the most well-suited spokesperson for this particular crusade.”
“The parents of 11-year-old Desmond Napoles, a so-called ‘drag kid’ known as ‘Desmond is Amazing,’ have been investigated by authorities for alleged child abuse,” according to The Daily Wire. “Desmond, dressed in full drag, danced in a sexually suggestive manner on stage at a New York City-based gay bar called 3 Dollar Bill. As Desmond took off his jacket, howling men in the audience handed him dollar bills, as one might see at a strip club.” Amazingly, though, “The boy’s mother said in a post that authorities have claimed the abuse allegations are ‘unfounded.’ Wendy evidenced this with screenshots of such determinations via social media.” Simply inexcusable.
Humor: Fox News worried it might lose far-left demographic amid Tucker Carlson controversy (The Babylon Bee)
Policy: When it comes to student loans, the Manhattan Institute says: “Policymakers should turn … to the standard instrument to finance risky ventures that has long served the interests of investors as well as those in need of financing: equity.” That is to say, “Rather than fixing payments at a set amount every month, an individual would repay more of his obligation if he were financially successful and less if not, just as shareholders in a corporation receive larger returns when the company does well. Today, we call this concept an ‘income-share agreement’ (ISA).”
Policy: “Politicians always have talking points when it comes to criminal justice reform,” writes Trace Mitchell, “but few have actual policy solutions that will move the ball forward. … One policy solution state legislatures should consider is the adoption of drug courts, a reform that has been wildly successful in Florida.” Read more at the Foundation for Economic Education.
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.