Friday Top News Executive Summary
August jobs report, housing reform, climate town-hall letdown, lightbulb deregulation, and more.
Above the Fold
AUGUST JOBS REPORTS: “Job growth continued at a tepid pace in August, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by just 130,000,” CNBC reports. The headline unemployment rate remains at 3.7%. However, “Wage growth remained solid, with average hourly earnings increasing by 0.4% for the month and 3.2% over the year; both numbers were one-tenth of a percentage point better than expected.” Furthermore, the labor-force participation rate is at a six-year high of 63.2%. Economic growth may not be as strong as what President Donald Trump promised, but much of that is because of near-full employment and also because he’s using a strong economy to coerce China into a fairer trade agreement. The initial result is internal bleeding, but the final outcome may be worth the preliminary price.
HOUSING REFORM: “The Trump administration released a sweeping plan Thursday that could remake the U.S. housing market, starting with ending more than a decade of government control of two massive companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that back half of the nation’s mortgages,” according to The Washington Post. Recall that these entities were considered “too big to fail” and were bailed out by the federal government during the Democrat-caused housing meltdown. And even this plan incorporates a taxpayer contingency plan. “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would pay taxpayers a fee in return for a government guarantee in case they fall into financial trouble again,” the Post adds, meaning a “too big to fail” mindset remains.
DOJ PROPOSITIONS: “The Department of Justice has sent a package of legislative proposals on gun violence to the White House, a person familiar with the matter told Fox News, as the debate rages over how lawmakers and the president should respond to a recent spate of deadly mass shootings. The White House has had the proposals for two weeks, according to the source, but has not yet sent anything along to Capitol Hill. It was not immediately clear what proposals are included in the DOJ package.” (Fox News)
ANTI-OPEN-CARRY BANDWAGON: The Daily Wire reveals that “Wegmans, Walgreens, and CVS all banned open carry in their stores on Thursday, following the same gun policy change from Walmart and Kroger the day before. Unlike the other retailers that only called for a ban on open carry, CVS advised all customers except for authorized law enforcement officers to totally refrain from carrying at all in their stores.” On a related note, according to The Washington Free Beacon, “Walmart clarified its new policy on ammunition sales a day after its CEO announced the retailer would stop selling certain ammunition but didn’t specify exactly which ammunition. … Walmart senior director of communications Delia Garcia … said Walmart would only sell ammunition capable of being used in the remaining firearms they sell.” Tangentially, Tucker Carlson & Neil Patel observe: “Notice that Walmart still plans to sell the remainder of its AR-15 ammunition. This couldn’t really be about saving lives, obviously. It’s about the money.”
TEXAS UPDATES: National Review reports, “Authorities believe the gun used in the drive-by shooting in Midland and Odessa, Texas this past weekend was illegally manufactured and sold by a Lubbock, Texas man… The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is currently investigating a man who they believe illegally manufactured and sold the AR-15-style rifle that [the assailant] used to kill seven people and injure 22 more on Saturday, before he was shot and killed by police.” In related news, National Review also reveals, “Texas governor Greg Abbott on Thursday issued eight executive orders aimed at preventing mass shootings after two massacres last month left the Lone Star State shaken.”
Government & Politics
TOWN-HALL LETDOWN: Via The Hill: “CNN’s 7-hour town hall on climate change with 2020 White House contenders finished last among the three cable news networks in terms of average total viewers, according to early numbers from Nielsen Media Research. CNN averaged 1.1 million viewers from 5 p.m. to midnight, the hours devoted to back-to-back town halls by 10 Democratic contenders. MSNBC finished second with 1.7 million total viewers during the time period, with Fox News winning the time period with an average of 2.5 million.” The Hill also notes that “the average 1.4 million tuning in to CNN for the event was well above its average in primetime in 2019.” Yet it still couldn’t match MSNBC or Fox News. For an issue that’s supposedly an “existential crisis,” viewers don’t seem particularly interested in hearing about it.
LIGHTBULB DEREGULATION: “The Department of Energy announced this week that it’s withdrawing the Obama administration’s energy-rationing mandate for certain lightbulbs. Opponents criticized the rule change, arguing that the move would be bad for consumers and the climate. The reality, however, is that families and businesses will be better off, and the change will have a negligible impact on the environment.” (The Daily Signal)
MSU FINED: “The U.S. Department of Education has levied a $4.5 million fine against Michigan State University for its ‘systemic failure’ to address the sexual abuse committed by Larry Nassar, the MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor who admitted to sexually assaulting his patients for decades.” (NPR)
GOOD RIDDANCE TO A THUG: “Robert Mugabe, the controversial president of Zimbabwe who was forced to resign in 2017 after decades in power, has died at age 95. … Mugabe took power in Zimbabwe after white minority rule ended in 1980. He blamed Zimbabwe’s economic problems on international sanctions and once said he wanted to rule for life. … Despite Zimbabwe’s decline during his rule, Mugabe remained defiant, railing against the West for what he called its neo-colonialist attitude and urging Africans to take control of their resources.” (Fox News)
POLICY: Why the right to bear arms is an individual right (The Daily Signal)
POLICY: Five surprising scientific facts about Earth’s climate (Foundation for Economic Education)
HUMOR: Trump holds up map suggesting hurricane may hit coast of Middle Earth (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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