Friday Top News Executive Summary
Impressive first-quarter GDP, judicial activism on abortion, offshore-drilling moratorium, Green New Deal, and more.
GDP ON SOLID FOOTING: “The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.2% annual rate in the first three months of the year, a far better outcome than expected, overcoming a host of headwinds including global weakness, rising trade tensions and a partial government shutdown. The advance in the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, marks an acceleration from a 2.2% gain in the previous October-December period, the Commerce Department reported Friday. … It was the strongest first quarter growth rate since 2015.” (ABC News)
MORATORIUM ON OFFSHORE DRILLING: “The Trump administration is hitting pause on its ambitious and controversial plans to expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic. Newly confirmed Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said the agency has indefinitely sidelined its exploration of offshore drilling options as it grapples with a recent court order that blocks similar drilling in the Arctic.” (The Hill)
GREEN NEW DUD: “A new study from the American Enterprise Institute questions whether the Green New Deal would have any real impact on climate change at all — leaving it little more than an effort to dismantle industry. The AEI report breaks down the GND into bite-sized policy proposals, assessing not simply the cost, but the proposed effectiveness of each legislative item to address the core goal of the GND: reducing American carbon emissions to a ‘net zero’ by 2050. The researchers’ ultimate conclusion? ‘It is not to be taken seriously.’” (The Daily Wire)
JUDGE HELPS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT CIRCUMVENT JUSTICE: “Federal prosecutors charged a Massachusetts judge with obstruction of justice Thursday, saying she prevented immigration agents from arresting an undocumented immigrant after a state court hearing by allowing him to leave the courthouse through a back door. … The indictment accuses District Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph and a court officer, Wesley MacGregor, of allowing the immigrant to leave the courthouse, out of a federal agent’s sight, and lying about it later.” (USA Today)
BALTIMORE MAYOR UNDER SCRUTINY: “FBI and IRS agents on Thursday raided the home and city hall offices of Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh as part of an investigation into possible public corruption… Pugh took a leave of absence from her position earlier this month after it was revealed that she made $500,000 selling copies of her Healthy Holly children’s-health book to the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) while sitting on the system’s board. It was later revealed that health insurance provider Kaiser Permanente paid Pugh $100,000 for 20,000 copies of the book while the company was seeking a lucrative contract to insure the city’s employees.” (National Review)
JUDICIAL ACTIVISM ON ABORTION: “A federal judge in Washington state on Thursday blocked a Trump administration rule that would prohibit taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers. The preliminary injunction bars enforcement nationwide of a policy that was due to go into effect on May 3 over the vehement objections of abortion supporters who have decried it as a ‘gag rule’ designed to silence doctor-patient communications about abortion options.” (Reuters)
BANK OF AMERICA’S BIG ABORTION LIE: “2ndVote has released documentation challenging Bank of America’s defense of its contributions to Planned Parenthood. In a letter recently obtained by 2ndVote, the president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation apparently responded to a customer concerned with the bank’s support for Planned Parenthood: ‘Bank of America does not make any direct grants to Planned Parenthood.’ Bank of America did contribute over $50,000 in what appears to be so-called ‘matching gifts’ to the abortion giant through its foundation in 2017.” (2ndVote)
WOODSHED PREPARES FOR JAMES COMEY: “A ‘bombshell’ report on former FBI Director James Comey is coming out in two weeks, attorney Joe diGenova said on Wednesday. … ‘The Horowitz report is coming out in May or possibly early June,’ Joe diGenova, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said. He was referring to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation. ‘There’s another report that everyone has forgotten about involving James Comey alone,’ diGenova said. ‘That will be out in two weeks. That report is going to be a bombshell. It is going to open up the investigation on a very high note, and there are going to be criminal referrals in it.’” (Washington Examiner)
INCARCERATION DROPS: “The number of people serving prison or jail sentences in the United States dropped 10 percent over the decade ending in 2017, the Department of Justice said Thursday, the latest evidence that a lower crime rate and changing sentencing policies are having an effect on the number of people behind bars. After decades of increases, the latest figures show that the incarceration rate — the number of prisoners compared to the U.S. population — is at the lowest level in 20 years, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.” (NBC News)
HUMOR: Elizabeth Warren proposes replacing government-created problem with new, bigger government-created problem (The Babylon Bee)
POLICY: Should we shutter the Department of Education? (Washington Examiner)
POLICY: Congress must a play a critical role in securing the U.S. border (American Enterprise Institute)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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