Friday Top News Executive Summary
Binge spending, Justin Amash’s political theater, citizenship question, border funding, and more.
Government & Politics
PATRIOTISM: “President Donald Trump sang the praises of the US military and American heroes of the past two and a half centuries Thursday, skirting politics in a rousing Independence Day speech in Washington. ‘What a great country,’ Trump exclaimed in an address saturated with patriotism and exceptionalism, after critics accused him of hijacking the annual celebration.” (Agence France-Presse)
‘UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCE,’ OR ‘UNFORESEEN IRONY’? “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton withdrew from the cybersecurity conference where she was scheduled to be the keynote speaker, citing an ‘unforeseen circumstance,’ according to an email from the FireEye Cyber Defense Summit. Clinton — who infamously transmitted classified information over a homemade server once housed in her bathroom — was [to be] the centerpiece of the October 9-10 summit in Washington.” (The Daily Caller)
BINGE SPENDING: “Driven largely by the Defense Department, the federal government’s discretionary spending spiked to a seven-year high in fiscal 2018, with agencies obligating more than $554 billion for products and services, up $100 billion from 2015. … The government closed the 2018 fiscal year on a massive spending spree — due in part to funding increases after a delayed budget agreement — and early fiscal 2019 spending data indicates the government isn’t slowing down its contract spending.” (Nextgov)
ADIOS! “Michigan Rep. Justin Amash announced his exit from the Republican Party in an op-ed he published Thursday in the Washington Post. … Amash’s split from the party comes after he faced intense criticism for becoming the first and only Republican to declare that Robert Mueller’s report into Russian interference in the 2016 election shows that ‘President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.’” (Washington Examiner)
On the Immigration Front
CENSUS SCRUTINY: “President Donald Trump is exploring using an executive order to move forward with the battle over the 2020 census question… While the White House may be discussing the potential of an executive order, it is not yet clear how much that will factor into the rationale the Department of Justice lawyers are preparing to bring before the Maryland district judge by the Friday deadline.” (ABC News)
BORDER FUNDING, STRIKE 2: “A federal appeals court in San Francisco on Wednesday blocked President Trump’s plan to shift $2.5 billion from the military budget to erect a border wall, finding by a 2-1 vote that the administration violated federal law by diverting funds Congress had appropriated for other purposes.” (The Wall Street Journal)
ENABLING THE LAWBREAKERS, PART I: “Presidential hopeful Cory Booker was in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on Wednesday and traveled with asylum seekers as they crossed the U.S. southern border. … Booker helped five women make it to a U.S. shelter and not a detention center, according to Andrew Kimmel. Those women were originally sent back to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols, and Booker told reporters Wednesday that his office intends on keeping in touch with them.” (Washington Examiner)
ENABLING THE LAWBREAKERS, PART II: “Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday released a plan to address the increasing numbers of migrants crossing the southern border, calling among other things for decriminalizing illegal border crossings.” (National Review)
Around the Nation
ECONOMIC FIREWORKS: “Payroll growth rebounded sharply in June as the U.S. economy added 224,000 jobs, the best gain since January and running contrary to worries that both the employment picture and overall growth picture were beginning to weaken. The unemployment rate edged up to 3.7% as labor force participation rose, according to the Labor Department.” (CNBC)
UNMASKING THE HOODLUMS: “On Wednesday, in the wake of the violence that erupted in Portland last Saturday in which journalist Andy Ngo was assaulted by masked members of the far-left group Antifa, Police Chief Danielle Outlaw called for anti-mask laws, asserting, ‘We cannot allow people to continue to use the guise of free speech to commit a crime. A lot of people are emboldened because they know they can’t be identified.’” (The Daily Wire)
POLICY: The folly of reentering the Iran nuclear deal (The Washington Free Beacon)
POLICY: What Conservatives get wrong about the campus wars (National Review)
HUMOR: Ocasio-Cortez claims Border Patrol agents turned her into a newt (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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