Tuesday Top News Executive Summary

Planned Parenthood defunded, warrantless border searches, Warren's whitewashing, anti-trust probe, and more.

Media Editors · Aug. 20, 2019

Government & Politics

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: National Review reports, “Planned Parenthood will refuse all Title X funding rather than comply with the Trump administration’s restrictions governing the discussion of abortion at clinics that participate in the program, the group announced Monday.” Erick Erickson called the development “a massive, massive victory for the pro-life cause” while also dolefully observing that Planned Parenthood “has no interest in helping poor women if it cannot offer to sacrifice their children to Moloch.”

MORE TAX RELIEF? “Several senior White House officials have begun discussing whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut as a way to arrest an economic slowdown,” The Washington Post reveals. However, “Even though deliberations about the payroll tax cut were held Monday, the White House released a statement disputing that the idea was actively under ‘consideration.’”

WARRANTLESS SEARCHES: Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reaffirmed that “border officials may conduct suspicionless manual searches of cell phones.” But as Reason’s Damon Root uneasily writes, “The U.S. Supreme Court has long recognized a ‘border search exception’ to the Fourth Amendment’s normal warrant requirement. But the Court has yet to address whether that exception deserves to hold sway in the current era of smartphones and related high-tech devices.”

CHIEF OF PRISON BUREAU REPLACED: “Attorney General William Barr announced Monday the appointment of a new director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons following the shocking suicide of accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein inside a federal lockup earlier this month. … The change in leadership comes amid the fallout from the death of Epstein, 66, who hanged himself in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Aug. 10 while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy.” (Fox News)

MORE WHITEWASHING: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D., Mass.) presidential campaign removed her DNA test ancestry video on Monday as her campaign attempts to put the issue behind her. The Warren campaign scrubbed their launch video where it showed Warren talking about a DNA test which was supposed to counter President Donald Trump’s ‘attacks’ on her heritage. The release of Warren’s DNA test results was not well received, as the test revealed she could be anywhere from 1/64th to 1/1024th Native American.” (The Washington Free Beacon)

Around the Nation

ANTITRUST PROBE: “A group of states is preparing to move forward with a joint antitrust investigation of big technology companies, according to people familiar with the situation, adding another layer of scrutiny to an industry already under a federal spotlight. The effort involving state attorneys general is expected to be formally launched as soon as next month, the people said. It is likely to focus on whether a handful of dominant technology platforms use their marketplace powers to stifle competition.” (The Wall Street Journal)

SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS PREVAIL: “New York Police Department officer Daniel Pantaleo has been fired, five years after he was filmed putting his arms around Eric Garner’s neck while trying to arrest him for allegedly selling loose cigarettes,” according to The Daily Wire. This despite the Justice Department opting not to charge the officer last month. Our Mark Alexander analyzed this case in 2014, ultimately concluding, “The case isn’t exactly black and white.”

VILLAGE ACADEMIC CURRICULUM: “Only half of all Americans now have a positive view of colleges and universities, according to a new survey from Pew Research,” Reason’s Robby Soave reveals. “The number of people who take a negative view has increased from 26 percent in 2012 to 38 percent in 2019. The change largely reflects a growing dissatisfaction on the right with the culture of college campuses. The percentage of Republicans who see value in higher education has collapsed in recent years, from 53 percent in 2012 to just 23 percent in 2019.” One explanation is because, as Campus Reform observes, “Social justice majors and other social justice-themed activities are becoming an increasingly regular occurrence on college campuses.”

National Security

SHOW OF FORCE: “The U.S. military conducted the first test of a ground-launched cruise missile since the United States withdrew from the landmark 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia this month.” (The Washington Free Beacon)

ISIS RESURGENCE: “Five months after American-backed forces ousted the Islamic State from its last shard of territory in Syria, the terrorist group is gathering new strength, conducting guerrilla attacks across Iraq and Syria, retooling its financial networks and targeting new recruits at an allied-run tent camp, American and Iraqi military and intelligence officers said.” (The New York Times)

Closing Arguments

POLICY: How the U.S. should approach talks with the Taliban (The Daily Signal)

POLICY: Solar energy: Good for virtue signaling and not much else (Issues & Insights)

HUMOR: Bernie Sanders arrives in Hong Kong to lecture protesters on how good they have it under communism (The Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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