Tuesday Top News Executive Summary
Dem litmus tests, Twitter lawsuit, illegal-immigrant identify theft, Gillibrand's #MeToo, student loans, anti-vaxxers, and more.
“Whether or not to expand the Supreme Court is emerging as a key litmus test in the crowded 2020 Democratic primary field,” declares The Hill. “Once dismissed as a fringe idea, reforming the nation’s highest court is gaining traction with a growing number of Democratic 2020 candidates as progressive outside groups and high profile officials … have vaulted the idea into the national spotlight.” There is no constitutional proscription on expanding (or shrinking) the Supreme Court, but the Democrats’ timely political play is solely for the purpose of further empowering the rule of men.
And while we’re on the subject of litmus tests: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday called for abolishing the Electoral College and moving to a national popular vote for presidential elections. … South Bend, Indiana Mayor and fellow Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has also called for getting rid of the Electoral College, saying earlier this year that it has made the U.S. ‘less and less democratic.’ Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) … in 2016 called for a ‘reassessment’ of the Electoral College.” (The Hill)
According to Fox News, “California GOP Rep. Devin Nunes filed a major lawsuit seeking $250 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages against Twitter and a handful of its users on Monday, accusing the social media site of ‘shadow-banning conservatives’ to secretly hide their posts, systematically censoring opposing viewpoints, and totally ‘ignoring’ lawful complaints of repeated abusive behavior.” Furthermore, “Although federal law ordinarily exempts services like Twitter from defamation liability at all levels, Nunes’ suit said the platform has taken such an active role in curating and banning content — as opposed to merely hosting it — that it should face liability like any other organization that defames.” Shadow-banning is of course disgraceful, but a court will have to determine the merits of Nunes’ argument.
“Undocumented [read: illegal] immigrants who use false Social Security numbers to get jobs would be easier to prosecute under a case the Supreme Court agreed to hear Monday,” USA Today reports. “The justices will hear Kansas' appeal of a lower court’s decision that the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over such cases — a ruling the Trump administration agrees should be overturned.” Kansas Solicitor General Stephen McAllister stated, “The victims of identity theft can face devastating consequences. This nationwide, indeed worldwide, problem and its consequences are more than the federal government alone can address.”
#MeToo II: “A second top adviser to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has made advocacy for women and the #MeToo movement central to her 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, departed over an allegation of sexual harassment,” according to the Washington Examiner, which adds that the alleged pervert, who stepped down in 2017, “continued to be paid despite his misconduct. He was not dismissed and was kept on Gillibrand’s staff. He remained on the senator’s payroll ‘for about three months after the incident, even though he didn’t do any work,’ one former aide said. Details of the exit … emerged after Gillibrand’s military adviser was fired for sexually harassing a junior female aide in July 2018.”
Good start: “The Trump administration on Monday proposed placing limits on federal student borrowing programs as part of a series of initiatives to amend the Higher Education Act. … A senior administration official said the White House wants to institute a limit on loans through the PLUS program, which graduate students and parents of undergraduates use to help pay for college or trade school. … The administration is also calling for Congress to simplify loan repayment programs, in part by condensing five income-driven repayment plans into one plan that would cap monthly payments at 12.5 percent of the borrower’s discretionary income.” (The Hill)
More fallout from SCOTUS’s narrow ruling in the Jack Phillips case: “On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from a Christian bed and breakfast owner who was found at a lower court to have violated an anti-discrimination law by turning away a lesbian couple from her establishment. … Phyllis Young, owner of Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Honolulu, Hawaii, refused to rent a room to Diane Cervilli and Taeko Bufford in 2007 due to her Christian beliefs with regard to sexuality. While Young pointed to the First Amendment to evidence her protection in practicing her religion without government prohibition, a state court found the business owner in violation of Hawaii’s Civil Rights Commissions’ public accommodation law.” (The Daily Wire)
The lone voice of reason: “Fox News announced Monday that former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile has signed on to be a contributor to the network,” Mediaite reports. “In a statement via press release, the former head of the DNC acknowledged that she expects blowback from progressives, but argued that the left cannot afford to abandon the Fox News audience.” Brazile astutely noted, “If we’ve learned anything from the 2016 election, it is that we can’t have a country where we don’t talk to those who disagree with our political views.”
Anti-vaxxers — not just an American problem: “Eleven people have died and more than 30,000 have been infected this year in a major measles outbreak in Ukraine, the European country worst hit by the disease, Kiev said Monday. … Some 30,500 people, including 17,000 children, have been infected so far this year. Authorities said shortages of vaccine in previous years and anti-vaccination sentiment, often driven by online campaigns spreading false information about the alleged risks, were the main reasons behind the outbreak.” (Agence France-Presse)
“Theresa May’s Brexit strategy was dealt a major blow by House of Commons Speaker John Bercow when he effectively banned her from bringing her deal back to Parliament for a third time, unless it changes significantly. Government officials conceded that another vote on the agreement is now unlikely before Thursday’s European Union summit and the U.K. will have to seek an extension to its EU membership, potentially giving time to May’s opponents to force a rethink of the divorce.” (Bloomberg)
Dark humor: Pelosi: “Any child who somehow escaped both abortion and infanticide has earned the right to vote" (The Babylon Bee)
Policy: Should teenagers be allowed to vote? No, says The Daily Signal’s Jarrett Stepman, and the reason is simple: "The fact is, socialism attracts widespread support from millennials and members of Generation Z who at the same time are ignorant about socialism.”
Policy: “The latest fashion that’s captured the political left is Modern Monetary Theory (MMT),” writes economist David Youngberg, adding: “MMT extrapolates from a series of accounting identities with reckless abandon. By leveraging America’s infinite ability to print its own currency, MMTers think they can sidestep the need to balance budgets. They are wrong.” Read more at the Foundation for Economic Education.
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.