Friday Top News Executive Summary

Hurricane Dorian, U.S. Space Command, Biden's race bait, war on drugs, wildfire statistics, and more.

Media Editors · Aug. 30, 2019

Above the Fold

THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM: “Hurricane Dorian hurtled toward the United States and was on track to become a major hurricane Friday before its expected landfall Monday into Tuesday along Florida’s east coast, forecasters say. The storm was slowly turning west on Friday as it makes it way back toward land and is expected to strengthen in the coming days, the National Hurricane Center said. Dorian is then forecast slam the southeastern United States as a possible Category 4 storm.” (USA Today)

GREAT AGAIN: “President Trump revived the U.S. Space Command in a formal White House ceremony Thursday, putting the commander-in-chief a step closer to launching a military branch focused on the final frontier. … Thursday’s action does not establish a separate ‘Space Force,’ which must be approved by Congress. … Reviving the Space Command was an easier lift for the Pentagon. The command existed decades ago, though it was dissolved into the Strategic Command as part of a military reorganization following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.” (The Washington Times)

Government & Politics

NOT SO FAST: A few weeks ago, a quintet of Senate Democrats gave the Supreme Court a Second Amendment ultimatum by way of a brief, wherein they bellowed, “Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’” The GOP is now firing back. “Senate Republicans sent a letter to the Supreme Court on Thursday saying it ‘must not be cowed by the threats’ from Democrats who urged the justices not to take up a gun case next term and warned that the court could be restructured to reduce the influence of politics in its decisions,” NBC News reports. The letter states, “It’s one thing for politicians to peddle these ideas in Tweets or on the stump. But the Democrats’ amicus brief demonstrates that their court-packing plans are more than mere pandering. They are a direct, immediate threat to the independence of the judiciary and the rights of all Americans.”

RACE BAIT: “[Racism is] a white man’s problem,” Joe Biden declared earlier this week. “White men are responsible for it — not black men.” This is Biden’s effort to get back in the game — his false war stories notwithstanding — and possibly get Sen. Kamala Harris on the phone.

PURGING THE LEAKERS: “President Trump’s personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout … resigned on Thursday, two people familiar with her exit said. Ms. Westerhout’s abrupt and unexpected departure came after Mr. Trump learned on Thursday that she had indiscreetly shared details about his family and the Oval Office operations she was part of at a recent off-the-record dinner with reporters staying at hotels near Bedminster, N.J., during the president’s working vacation.” (The New York Times)

Science, Health, & Environment

SETTLED SCIENCE? “An ambitious new study — the largest ever to analyze the genetics of same-sex sexual behavior — found that genetics does play a role, responsible for perhaps a third of the influence on whether someone has same-sex sex. The influence comes not from one gene but many, each with a tiny effect — and the rest of the explanation includes social or environmental factors — making it impossible to use genes to predict someone’s sexuality.” (The New York Times)

THE WAR ON DRUGS: “The Department of Justice has broken up a drug ring allegedly responsible for conspiring to distribute 23 million opioid pills. Federal authorities announced on Wednesday that they had arrested 41 individuals after searching 15 pharmacies and six clinics. The case, which brought together multiple federal law enforcement agencies, highlights both how widespread prescription opioid trafficking still is, as well as the efforts of the government to crack down on it.” (The Washington Free Beacon)

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH: “Climate activists often warn that global warming is stoking forest fires, but it turns out the amount of land burned by wildfires worldwide has plummeted by 25% since 2003, according to NASA. NASA’s Earth Observatory found that the number of total square kilometers burned globally each year has decreased steadily from 2003-19, based on data collected by Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometers (MODIS) on satellites.” (The Washington Times)

Other Notables

DEFIANCE: “A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld a [Cook County, Illinois] ban on assault weapons and limits on magazine capacity,” Newsweek reports. “The three-judge panel rendered a unanimous opinion for the court, including the assent of Trump appointee Judge Amy Joan St. Eve.” The appellate courts clearly have no interest in submitting to the Supreme Court on this issue.

AFGHAN CONTINGENCY: “President Trump said Thursday that the U.S. would leave 8,600 troops stationed in Afghanistan even if it secures a peace agreement with the Taliban. ‘We’re going down to 8,600 [from the current 14,000], and then we’ll make a determination from there as to what happens,’ Trump said on Fox News radio. "Oh yeah, you have to keep a presence. We’re going to keep a presence there. We’re reducing that presence very substantially, and we’re going to always have a presence. We’re going to have high intelligence.‘” (National Review)

Closing Arguments

POLICY: Trump’s fight against progressive agenda at the G-7 will pay off (The Daily Signal)

POLICY: The ugly side of the pursuit for “sustainability” (Issues & Insights)

HUMOR: As summer ends, journalists look forward to new season of hysterical lying (The Daily Wire)

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

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