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Media Editors / March 22, 2019

Friday Top News Executive Summary

Free-speech EO, fake bomber, renewable-energy’s GND quibble, MS abortion restriction, Islamic State “defeated,” and more.

  • “President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday requiring U.S. colleges to protect free speech on their campuses or risk losing federal research funding,” the Associated Press reports. Trump remarked, “Even as universities have received billions and billions of dollars from taxpayers, many have become increasingly hostile to free speech and to the First Amendment. These universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great young Americans.” He added, “We will not stand idly by to allow public institutions to violate their students’ constitutional rights. If a college or university doesn’t allow you to speak, we will not give them money. It’s very simple.”

  • Late last year, numerous inert bombs were dispatched by a criminal sociopath specifically earmarked for Trump critics. Yesterday, the perpetrator pleaded guilty. According to the AP, “He could get life in prison at sentencing Sept. 12 on 65 counts, including 16 counts of using a weapon of mass destruction and mailing explosives with intent to kill. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a charge that carried a mandatory life sentence.”

  • The Big Oil renewable-energy industry is responding to the Green New Deal by trying to bring some levelheadedness to the debate. SunPower CEO Tom Werner says, “If you just broadly endorse the Green New Deal, you are liable to upset one side of the aisle or the other. And that’s not constructive.” Solar Energy Industries Association’s Dan Whitten chimed in, “We love the enthusiasm the Green New Deal has brought to the climate issue … but we need to operate in political reality.” If anything, this further highlights just how fanatical the Green New Deal is.

  • According to National Review, “The Republican governor of Mississippi, Phil Bryant, signed a bill Thursday banning abortions past the point in pregnancy where a fetal heartbeat can be detected.” However, “The law … is expected to face legal challenges from abortion-rights groups before July 1, when it is scheduled to go into effect. Such groups immediately blasted the bill, saying it infringes on a woman’s right to choose to obtain the procedure.” It would also face legal challenges at the federal level under a John Hickenlooper administration. This week the Democrat presidential candidate revealed, “I would make sure as president that … any state that violated a woman’s right to decide her own health care would be met with litigation immediately.”

  • Progress: “U.S.-backed Syrian forces were sweeping on Thursday through the final enclave that had been held by Islamic State fighters, and said they would declare the group defeated once a search for hidden mines and jihadist holdouts was complete. … The last clashes reported … were on Tuesday, indicating that major fighting is over in the last big battle of a five year international campaign against a self-proclaimed caliphate that once comprised a third of both Iraq and Syria.” (Reuters)

  • However, the battle will inevitably reestablish itself elsewhere: “Two U.S. service members were killed during an operation in Afghanistan on Friday, according to U.S. and NATO forces. … Friday’s deaths were the first for U.S. forces there since January. Last year, 13 American troops died while deployed there. The U.S. has held several rounds of talks with Taliban militants in an effort to reach a peace agreement to end the 17-year conflict. Both sides are in agreement about the withdrawal of U.S. forces but remain divided over a timeline and whether some American troops would remain.” (Fox News)

  • “European Union leaders on Thursday night agreed to a short-term Brexit extension in order to allow British Prime Minister Theresa May more time to get her withdrawal agreement through Parliament — just a week before Britain was scheduled to leave the bloc. … May is expected to put her deal again to Parliament next week. … The European Council … had appeared skeptical of giving any delay without a firm plan, but on Thursday night announced they had agreed to a pause until May 22 — although that is conditional on British lawmakers approving the deal next week.” (Fox News)

  • Morris Dees is out, and now a former Southern Poverty Law Center staffer is supplying some insider perspective. Bob Moser branded the beleaguered institution as “a ‘highly profitable scam’ that ‘never lived up to the values it espoused,” The Daily Caller reports. Moser also charged the SPLC with “'ripping off donors’ while turning a blind eye to sexual harassment and racial discrimination within its own ranks.”

  • “The American Bar Association is warning of an ‘existential crisis’ over the unprecedented surge in the number of immigration cases clogging up courts,” according to the Washington Examiner. “In a new 176-page report that repeatedly raps the Trump administration’s policies, the ABA said that the backlog in immigration courts is over 1 million. … Without fast changes, the lawyer’s group added, the immigration court system will collapse. President Trump has sought to increase the corps of immigration court judges.” Thanks, obstructionists.

  • “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” President Trump announced yesterday, to which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu replied: “At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump!” The Hill notes that Trump’s remarks yield “a diplomatic win for … Netanyahu ahead of a tough reelection race.”

  • Humor: Local Chick-fil-A declares itself a “sanctuary space” for undocumented cows (The Babylon Bee) (Based on a true story.)

  • Policy: National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis reveals that Medicare for All “would guarantee ‘free’ abortions for all women — or at least, as ‘free’ as every other type of health care ostensibly would be under [leftists’] implausible regime, which is to say abortion would be underwritten, along with everything else, by taxpayers.”

  • Policy: Lee Friday says, “If [Universal Basic Income] proponents are genuinely concerned about those on the lower rungs of the income ladder, they should abandon their minimum income crusade and instead pressure the government to do two things. First, immediately abolish all regulations which prohibit people from earning income. Second, announce that all welfare programs will be abolished in six months.” Read more at the Foundation for Economic Education.

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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