Monday Top News Executive Summary
Trump veto, smuggling operation, socialist agenda, Kirsten Gillibrand 2020, Boeing investigation, and more.
“President Donald Trump on Friday issued the first veto of his presidency, defying a bipartisan rebuke of the national emergency he declared to circumvent Congress to get more money for his proposed southern border wall,” ABC News reports. “Attorney General William Barr was on hand to tell the president that his emergency declaration was ‘clearly consistent with the law.’ Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told him that the fact that it was an emergency was ‘undeniable.’” Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced, “On March 26, the House will once again act to protect our Constitution and our democracy from the President’s emergency declaration by holding a vote to override his veto.”
On the Senate side, The Hill says: “Republicans are already setting their sights on making it easier to terminate future emergency declarations — setting up an intriguing round two. … Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has tapped Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) to craft legislation … that could win the 60 votes needed for a bill to defeat a filibuster and ultimately pass the upper chamber. … Roughly a third of the Republican conference … is already backing legislation from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) that would require Congress to pass a resolution approving future national emergency declarations within 30 days. … [Johnson stated] that he thought the ‘basic concept’ of Lee’s bill was ‘correct’ and could ‘pass constitutional muster’ but that he expected others would have ideas on what the final legislation should look like.” Unlike the House’s political theater, this is a far more sensible approach. As we stated last week, “We still argue that Trump has not exceeded his authority under the law as it stands currently, but we also believe that the National Emergencies Act grants too much power to the executive branch.” That’s what the Republican Party is rightfully seeking to ameliorate.
Speaking of emergencies: “Criminal organizations in Mexico have mounted a lucrative new smuggling operation that uses express buses to deliver Guatemalan migrant families to the U.S. border in a matter of days, making the journey faster, easier and safer, according to U.S. law enforcement reports and U.S. and Guatemalan officials. … Paying up to $7,000 per adult with child, families are transported to staging areas at ranches and hotels in southern Mexico, where they are organized into bus groups and rushed north along Mexican highways, ‘stopping only for food, fuel and bathroom breaks,’ according to the U.S. law enforcement documents.” (The Washington Post)
“Ambitious proposals to end climate change and provide healthcare for everyone … have failed to win the support of even half of the House Democratic caucus,” the Washington Examiner reports, “effectively dooming any chance of floor consideration.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal has been publicly endorsed by a mere 90 Democrats — a fraction of the caucus’s 235 members. Similarly, the Democrats’ Medicare for All has a relatively lackluster 106 total co-sponsors. However, while it’s good that, as the Examiner headlines it, the “Socialist agenda stalls in the House,” the fact that even this many lawmakers approve of these schemes is cause for alarm.
Then again, maybe socialism isn’t as acceptable to outside-the-Beltway Americans as AOC thinks. According to Fox News, “A Gallup poll released Friday shows that Ocasio-Cortez’s unfavorable rating has risen by 15 points since last September, when she had yet to win the general election, increasing from 26 percent to 41 percent of the American adults polled.” Fox adds, “Since September, Ocasio-Cortez became more widely recognized across the country, with half of the respondents saying they have never heard of her before. Now only a fifth of surveyed people says they aren’t familiar with the self-described Democratic socialist.” Name recognition hasn’t exactly resulted in universal plaudits for Ocasio-Cortez.
“Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand officially announced her bid for president Sunday,” the New York Post says, further explaining, “Prior to the … announcement, the New York senator had simply formed an exploratory committee.” Jonah Goldberg spoke for us all by wisecracking: “To the delight of literally dozens.”
Over the weekend, President Donald Trump stated: “On the recent non-binding vote (420-0) in Congress about releasing the Mueller Report, I told leadership to let all Republicans vote for transparency. Makes us all look good and doesn’t matter. Play along with the game!” As Fox News explains, “Since the measure is nonbinding, [Robert] Mueller, [William] Barr and Trump cannot be forced to release more information to Congress and the public than the Justice Department and federal law require.” Moreover, “Whenever Mueller does submit his report, Barr will review it and is expected to create his own report explaining the findings to Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees.”
NBC News reports, “Beto O'Rourke raised $6.1 million in his first 24 hours as a presidential candidate, according to his campaign, surpassing Bernie Sanders and every other 2020 Democrat who has disclosed their figures. … Sanders beat expectations and stunned observers by raising a then-record-setting $5.9 million in his first 24 hours as a candidate last month.” However, O'Rourke’s haul comes despite his writing murder fantasy, hacking computers, and DUI charge. Oh, and white maleness.
“Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign announced Friday it will have a unionized workforce, a first for a major party candidate,” according to The Hill. Memo to Sanders, et al.: Be careful what you wish for…
The tip of the iceberg? “Federal prosecutors and Department of Transportation officials are scrutinizing the development of Boeing Co.‘s 737 MAX jetliners, according to people familiar with the matter, unusual inquiries that come amid probes of regulators’ safety approvals of the new plane. A grand jury in Washington, D.C., issued a broad subpoena dated March 11 to at least one person involved in the 737 MAX’s development, seeking related documents, including correspondence, emails and other messages, one of these people said. The subpoena, with a prosecutor from the Justice Department’s criminal division listed as a contact, sought documents to be handed over later this month.” (The Wall Street Journal)
“A cancer-stricken U.S. Navy veteran from California who was first detained in Iran while visiting a girlfriend has been sentenced to 10 years in prison there on charges of insulting the country’s supreme leader and posting a photo on social media, his lawyer said Friday. … [Michael] White served in the Navy for 13 years and is believed to be the first American detained in Iran since President Trump took office. … U.S. government efforts to get White released could face difficulties given the fractured relationship between Washington and Tehran that sunk to a new low after the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal last year.” (Fox News)
Humor: Bernie Sanders captures leprechaun to confiscate gold for redistribution (The Babylon Bee)
Policy: “The bribery scheme to get privileged children into elite universities is causing parents and teachers across the country to fume with righteous indignation,” Kenny Xu writes at The Daily Signal. “But the revelations of corruption in the multibillion-dollar college admissions industry is perhaps more indicative of how Americans’ views of college — especially among the elite — are shifting into dangerous territory.” Read why here.
Policy: When it comes to the Remington lawsuit, National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson says: “Two kinds of opportunism are at play against the gun manufacturer: financial and political.” Here’s his explanation.
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.