Tuesday Top News Executive Summary
Notre Dame fire, Mueller report, Bill Weld, Sanders's tax returns, soda tax, social-justice pandering, and more.
HISTORY CHARRED: “The famed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was engulfed in flames on Monday leading to the collapse of the structure’s main spire,” according to Fox News. “The intense flames leaped out from two of its bell towers minutes before the spire collapsed, and later spread to one of the cathedral’s iconic rectangular towers. However, the main structure of the cathedral remained intact, the Paris fire chief said, adding that the blaze was stopped from spreading to the northern belfry.” More lucidly, however, the fire is an important metaphor for Western Christianity.
MUELLER REPORT TICK-TOCK: “Attorney General William Barr plans to release the final report of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian efforts to sway the 2016 election Thursday. … The 400-page document … will be transmitted to Congress and made public at roughly the same time. Barr said he will keep parts of the report secret.” (USA Today)
BILL WELD’S MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: “Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld announced Monday that he will mount a Republican primary challenge against incumbent Donald Trump. … Weld’s first foray into national politics came in [the 2016 election], when he served as libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson’s running mate. Johnson and Weld ended up capturing just 3.6 percent of the popular vote after a devastating gaffe in which Johnson admitted he was not aware of the existence of the Syrian city of Aleppo, where intense sectarian fighting was then taking place.” (National Review)
SANDERS KEEPS THE WEALTH: The Washington Post reports, “Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has made income inequality a hallmark of his presidential campaign, earned with his wife about $566,000 last year and $1.15 million in 2017, putting them in the nation’s highest income brackets. … Sanders’s annual Senate salary is $174,000. Much of his income came from books he has written about his democratic socialist platform, which includes a call for higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans. … The Sanders campaign said in a news release that he paid a 26 percent effective tax rate in 2018.” Meanwhile, according to NBC News, “The Patriotic Millionaires, a group of about 200 wealthy individuals … say they should be taxed more, and as soon as possible.” Neither Sanders nor the Patriotic Millionaires are prohibited from writing bigger checks to the IRS.
THE FLIP SIDE OF THE TAX COIN: “Of the 150,272,157 tax returns filed for the 2016 tax year, 50,219,667 — or 33.4 percent — were classified by the Internal Revenue Service as ‘nontaxable returns,’ meaning the people who filed them paid $0 or less in income taxes, according to data published by the Statistics of Income Division of the IRS. At the same time, 80 percent of all income taxes paid that year were paid by tax return filers who had adjusted gross incomes of $100,000 or more.” (CNS News)
A BLIND SQUIRREL FINDS A NUT: “Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced on Sunday that she is no longer using Facebook and is cutting back on all social media for health reasons associated with being too engaged with social media,” the The Daily Wire reveals. ‘I actually think that social media poses a public health risk to everybody,’ Ocasio-Cortez said. ‘There are amplified impacts for young people, particularly children under the age of 3 with screen time. But I think it has a lot of effects on older people. I think it has effects on everybody. Increased isolation, depression, anxiety, addiction, escapism.’“ Ironically, firebrands like AOC are an important component behind social media’s devolving into a toxic morass.
SWEET RECOMPENSE? "Philadelphia’s soda tax is barely two years old, but many local lawmakers are saying they’ve seen enough. … Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, a member of Philadelphia’s city council, introduced a bill last month that would phase out and potentially eliminate the soda tax. … Philadelphia’s soda tax, which imposed a 1.5-cent-per-ounce levy on sweetened drinks, raised $79 million in its first year. … While that $79 million sounds great, in fact, the tax lagged projections by about 17 percent. Apparently, pennywise consumers with the means to do so don’t mind shopping outside the city for soda (and when they do, they take other shopping business with them). This leaves the bulk of the tax to be paid by the city’s lower-income population.” (Foundation for Economic Education)
SOCIAL-JUSTICE PANDERING: “The country’s only all-male historically black college will begin admitting transgender men next year. … Transgender men will be allowed to enroll in [Morehouse College] for the first time in 2020. Students who identify as women but were born male cannot enroll, however, and anyone who transitions from male to female will not be automatically eligible to receive a degree from the institution.” (Associated Press)
POLICY: The U.S. must remain wary of the International Criminal Court even after its decision to not target Americans (The Daily Signal)
POLICY: One way to save the planet: Build more nuclear plants (New York Post)
HUMOR: White House implements new policy of dropping all illegal immigrants off at Nancy Pelosi’s house (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.