Wednesday Top News Executive Summary
Mueller testifies, Esper confirmed, anti-trust probe, BDS vote, 9/11 victim fund, and more.
Government & Politics
MUELLER TESTIFIES: “Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller was frequently tripped up and forced to ask lawmakers to repeat their questions during his rapid-fire questioning on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, though he reportedly prepared at length for the hearings. At one point, he even said he wasn’t familiar with Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm behind the controversial anti-Trump dossier.” (Fox News)
ESPER CONFIRMED: “The Senate voted to confirm President Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Defense, Mark Esper. The Senate overwhelmingly voted 90-8 to confirm him. … The Pentagon has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since December, when former Secretary James Mattis stepped down following Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria.” (CBS News)
BIG TECH PROBE: “The Department of Justice is opening a sweeping anti-trust review to determine whether the country’s leading technology firms are stifling competition in violation of federal law.” (National Review)
ISRAEL BOYCOTT REPUDIATED: “The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan resolution Tuesday opposing an international effort to boycott Israel as Democrats try to tamp down increasingly heated political rhetoric over differences with the longtime U.S. ally. The resolution passed on a vote of 398-17. Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., were among the 16 Democrats who voted against the resolution.” (Fox News)
TRUMP’S RETURN FIRE: “President Donald Trump on Tuesday filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the House Ways and Means Committee from obtaining his state tax returns through a newly passed New York law. The president’s lawyers said the state law was nothing more than an effort to get information about his personal finances to embarrass him politically.” (NBC News)
SANDERS FLAK: “Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) 2020 presidential campaign has been hit with an unfair labor practice complaint alleging illegal employee interrogation and retaliation against staffers. The July 19 complaint to the National Labor Relations Board, filed by an unnamed individual in Indiana, was posted to the agency’s website late July 22. It comes as tense negotiations between the Sanders campaign and the union representing staffers recently boiled over publicly.” (Bloomberg Law)
OMAR FLAK: “Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a complaint with the House of Representatives’ ethics office asking for an investigation into possible crimes committed by Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. The possible crimes include ‘perjury, immigration fraud, marriage fraud, state and federal tax fraud, and federal student loan fraud,’ according to the complaint filed Tuesday by Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton.” (The Daily Caller News Foundation)
Legislation & Manifestos
9/11 VICTIM FUND: “The Senate gave final legislative approval Tuesday to a bill ensuring that a victims’ compensation fund related to the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money. The 97-2 vote sends the bill to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.” (Associated Press)
STUDENT-LOAN HANDOUT: “Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday released details about her plan to cancel approximately $640 million in student loan debt for millions of Americans. First unveiled in April, the Student Loan Debt Relief Act … would cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for every household with a gross income less than $100,000, roughly 42 million Americans, or about three out of four borrowers.” (Fox News)
BIDEN PANDERS: “Former vice president Joe Biden on Tuesday released a sweeping plan to reform the U.S. criminal-justice system, in an effort to quiet criticisms of his role in tightening crime laws decades ago as a senator, which critics say contributed to mass incarceration,” reports National Review. “Biden’s plan involves reducing incarceration, eliminating race-, gender-, and income-based disparities in the justice system, and refocusing the system on ‘redemption and rehabilitation.’” Or, as Reason puts it, “Joe Biden’s New Criminal Justice Platform Calls for Eliminating Harsh Policies Sponsored by Joe Biden.”
IMMIGRATION: “After hitting a new high last month, mentions of immigration as the most important problem facing the U.S. increased further to 27% in July. Since Gallup began regularly recording mentions of the issue in 1993, immigration has been cited by an average of 6% of Americans, though it has been higher in recent years.” (Gallup)
‘THE SQUAD’ WHO? “Though many Americans have never heard of [Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib], a CBS News poll released this week shows that those who are familiar with them don’t tend to view them favorably. Ocasio-Cortez has the highest favorable rating at 23%, followed by Omar at 19%, Tlaib at 18% and Pressley at 17%.” (USA Today)
MORE BARK THAN BITE: “More than 2,000 migrants who were in the United States illegally were targeted in widely publicized raids that unfolded across the country last week. But figures the government provided to The New York Times on Monday show that just 35 people were detained in the operation.” (The New York Times)
MEXICO HOMICIDE RECORD: “Mexico set a new record for homicides in the first half of the year as the number of murders grew by 5.3% compared to the same period of 2018, fueled partly by cartel and gang violence in several states. Mexico saw 3,080 killings in June, an increase of over 8% from the same month a year ago, according to official figures. The country of almost 125 million now sees as many as 100 killings per day nationwide. The 17,608 killings in the first half of 2019 is the most since comparable records began being kept in 1997, including the peak year of Mexico’s drug war in 2011.” (Associated Press)
POLICY: Libra rising: The risk of a new international shadow bank (American Enterprise Institute)
POLICY: Empowering America’s small businesses to confront China (Marco Rubio)
HUMOR: Sanders campaign raises pay to $700 per hour by laying off everyone except Bernie (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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