Tuesday Top News Executive Summary
Immigration, Secret Service, presidential appointments, another 2020 Demo, and more.
JUDICIAL ACTIVISM ON IMMIGRATION: “A U.S. judge decided Monday to block the Trump administration’s policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico as they wait for an immigration court to hear their cases, but the ruling is on hold for several days. Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco granted a request on behalf of 11 asylum seekers from Central America and legal advocacy groups to halt the practice while their lawsuit moves forward, but he held off on enforcing his decision until Friday to give the government a chance to ask an appeals court for a review.” (Associated Press)
SECRET SERVICE RESHUFFLING: “President Trump is removing U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph ‘Tex’ Alles from his position. … The Secret Service recently came under scrutiny for its handling of an incident in which a Chinese national was allowed to enter President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. The woman, who alternately claimed to be there to swim and attend an event for Chinese-American business leaders, was eventually determined to be carrying two Chinese passports and a device containing malware.” (The Hill)
UNLAWFUL APPOINTMENTS: The Washington Examiner points out, “President Trump announced … that Kevin McAleenan will be taking over as acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security following the resignation of Kirstjen Nielsen on Sunday. There’s one problem with this: It’s illegal. Federal law explicitly excludes the application of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to this situation.” By law, the secretary role should be filled by current Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Management Claire Grady unless her employment were to be terminated. Barack Obama also had a penchant for exploiting interim appointments, and any president who takes advantage of them should be rebuked.
DEMOCRAT 2020 UPDATE: “California Rep. Eric Swalwell is the latest Democrat to jump into the race for president. … Swalwell is the 18th Democrat to join the race for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination. One of the key issues the California Democrat, 38, is highlighting is one important to young voters in particular: gun safety [i.e., gun control]. … Swalwell has also taken on the National Rifle Association, proposing an assault-weapons ban.” (NPR)
REPARATIONS POLITICAL THEATER: “Sen. Cory Booker on Monday introduced a bill that would study the possibility of reparations for descendants of slaves, embracing a push that recently has caught the interest of fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. … The measure is a Senate companion to a bill introduced in the House of Representatives in January by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, which if passed into law would set up a commission to study the impact of slavery and continued discrimination against black Americans and make recommendations on reparation proposals for the descendants of slaves.” (Fox News)
HARDLINE ON IRAN: “President Donald Trump on Monday moved to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a wing of the Iranian military, as a foreign terrorist organization. … The designation, which will take effect next Monday, is significant and controversial as it’s the first time that the U.S. has officially identified a branch of a foreign state as a terrorist organization. … President Trump has consistently taken an aggressive posture toward Iran and Monday’s announcement is just the latest iteration of that approach.” (ABC News)
TROUBLE IN JIHADISTAN: “Three U.S. service members were killed by an improvised explosive device Monday near Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. … The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack through the group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid. The insurgent group claimed the attack was conducted by a suicide vehicle-borne IED. … There have been four other U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan so far this year. Those deaths occurred during combat operations in more remote Afghan provinces.” (Military Times)
ISLAMIC DOMESTIC TERRORISM THWARTED: “Federal authorities have charged a Maryland man they believe was plotting to ram a stolen truck into pedestrians at the National Harbor waterfront development in Maryland, just outside the nation’s capital, the Justice Department announced Monday. Rondell Henry, 28, of Germantown, Maryland, has been charged with interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle, but in court documents authorities allege a much more sinister intention. According to authorities, Henry claimed to law enforcement that he was inspired by the Islamic State when he stole a U-Haul van looking to use it as a weapon.” (ABC News)
VINDICTIVENESS OVER KAVANAUGH: “A woman was arrested on Friday after authorities discovered she sent a threatening letter to Sen. Susan Collins’s (R-ME) home in October. The letter, which was sent to Collins’s husband, Thomas Daffron, was reportedly laced with ricin. … Because it was mailed in October, one can only conclude the suspect was [responding] to Collins’s vote in favor of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.” (National Review)
TAX-REFORM DECEPTION: A recent CBS News headline bellowed, “Tax refunds so far this year are down by $6 billion from 2018.” Except you have to reach the fourth paragraph for this caveat: “Lower refunds don’t mean Americans paid more taxes — quite the opposite. Most workers paid less in taxes last year and saw higher take-home pay week in and week out.”
HUMOR: Protesters claim victory after blocking customers from Chick-fil-A for entire Sunday (The Babylon Bee)
POLICY: Retiring the USS Harry S. Truman is a terrible idea (National Review)
POLICY: Why the Left is desperate to sabotage Trump’s health-care plans (The Heritage Foundation)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.