Political Editors / Apr. 1, 2019

Monday Top News Executive Summary

Central American aid cut, fentanyl regulations, California magazine ban, Joe Biden’s #MeToo, health care proposal, and more.

  • According to Reuters, “The U.S. government cut aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras on Saturday after President Donald Trump blasted the Central American countries for sending migrants to the United States and threatened to shutter the U.S.-Mexico border.” The announcement coincides with a recent report that March was expected to see 100,000 or more border apprehensions. In regards to cutting aid, Reuters says the State Department “would ‘engage Congress in the process,’ an apparent acknowledgement that it will need lawmakers’ approval to end funding that a Congressional aide estimated would total about $700 million.” Meanwhile, Trump on Saturday forewarned, “Next step is to close the Border!”

  • “China said Monday it would soon begin regulating all fentanyl-related drugs as a class of controlled substances,” CBS News reports. The regulation gets underway on May 1. This news is important because fentanyl currently ranks atop the most lethal drugs in the U.S. And as the report notes, “China already controls 25 variants of fentanyl, plus two precursors used to make the drug. Data from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have shown that when China bans a variant of fentanyl, seizures of that analog in the U.S. fall.”

  • On Friday, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez struck down California’s proscription on “high”-capacity magazines (i.e., 10 rounds or more). Interestingly, the judge used real-world examples as the basis for a judicial review. As USA Today reports, Judge Benitez “cited home invasions where a woman used the extra bullets in her weapon to kill an attacker while in two other cases women without additional ammunition ran out of bullets.” In a nod to the Constitution, Judge Benitez declared, “Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts.”

  • All Democrat crosshairs are currently situated on Joe Biden, who is still mulling over whether to enter the 2020 Democrat presidential race. On Friday, The New York Times critiqued the former senator and vice president by profiling his mixed abortion record. Then over the weekend, the Associated Press reported that “Biden faces new scrutiny from Dems over behavior with women.” Biden’s creepy impulse to touch women is hardly breaking news, but the tide is definitely shifting against him — primarily because he’s an elderly white male. Case in point: Citing Biden’s earlier remark on America’s need to alter its “white man’s culture,” CNN’s Joan Walsh suggested: “There’s six women in the race, four female senators. If you want to change it, that’s a way to change it.”

  • The Washington Examiner reveals, “The White House is quietly working on a healthcare policy proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the matter.” Citing an unnamed health-policy analyst, the Examiner further explains that “the administration has been ‘having conversations’ on healthcare policy and has reached out to numerous think tanks, including the Heritage Foundation, the Mercatus Center, and the Hoover Institute.” The report helps to explain Trump’s recent proclamation that “the Republican Party will be the party of great health care.”

  • CNN’s Jake Tapper yesterday reminded us why his network ranks high up on the fake-news list by asserting, “I’m not sure … the media got [the Russia narrative] wrong. … Other than the people in the media on the left, not on this network, I don’t know anybody who got anything wrong.” The Daily Wire catalogues CNN’s extensive history of fake Russian news.

  • “On Saturday, Twitter temporarily suspended the account for the pro-life movie Unplanned, a film that tells the story of a former abortion clinic director at Planned Parenthood,” PJ Media’s Tyler O'Neil reports. At the same time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is urging social-media regulations to be tightened. Twitter’s snub notwithstanding, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that the film “opened to a strong $6.1 million from 1,059 theaters at the U.S. box office despite a relatively modest footprint.” This represents “the second-biggest start ever for faith-based distributor Pure Flix behind God’s Not Dead 2 ($7.6 million).”

  • On an equally positive note, “Georgia passed a bill that stands to become one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country,” according to The New York Times. “The bill … is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican. The measure generally prohibits the procedure after doctors can discern a fetal heartbeat, a milestone that happens around six weeks of pregnancy.”

  • A no-win situation: “British Prime Minister Theresa May risks the ‘total collapse’ of her government if she fails to get her battered Brexit deal through parliament, the Sunday Times newspaper said, amid growing speculation that she might call an early election. Underscoring the tough choices facing May to break the Brexit impasse, the newspaper said at least six pro-European Union senior ministers will resign if she opts for a potentially damaging no-deal departure from the EU. But at the same time, rival ministers who support Brexit were threatening to quit if May decides to stay close to the EU with a customs union or if she sought a long delay to Brexit.” (Reuters)

  • Humor: Jussie Smollett receives prestigious NAACP award for his work creating jobs for Nigerian-Americans (The Babylon Bee)

  • Policy: When it comes to the Export-Import Bank, the Washington Examiner editors explain why “You can’t beat China by subsidizing it.”

  • Policy: Hans Bader writes, “Going to college no longer expands people’s vocabularies the way it once did: since 1970, there has been a steady decline in the correlation between years of education and people’s personal word stock.”

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

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