Thursday Top News Executive Summary

Background checks, Trudeau's hypocrisy, Iran's "act of war," immigration-court backlog, climate sins, and more.

Media Editors · Sep. 19, 2019

Above the Fold

BACKGROUND CHECKS: “Representatives from the White House and the Department of Justice met Tuesday with senior Republicans to discuss expanding background checks for the sale of firearms within the parameters of legislation first introduced by Senators Joe Manchin (D., W.V.) and Pat Toomey (R., Pa.). The relevant legislation seeks to expand background-check requirements to include ‘all advertised commercial sales, including sales at gun shows,’ according to an idea sheet first obtained by The Daily Caller. Such background checks would be conducted ‘either through an FFL [Federal Firearm Licensee] or through a newly-created class of licensed transfer agents.’” (National Review)

TRUDEAU’S HYPOCRISY: According to the Associated Press, “Canadian leader Justin Trudeau’s campaign was hit Wednesday by the publication of a yearbook photo showing him in brownface makeup at a 2001 costume party. The prime minister apologized and said ‘it was a dumb thing to do.’” Political commentator Matt Walsh observes, “Personally, I don’t give a damn what costume anyone wore 20 years ago. But, my Lord, the audacity to go around screaming ‘racist’ at everyone and everything while you know you have this in your background. That’s what gets me. That’s why Trudeau deserves to be pilloried.” He also points out, “Remember when Megyn Kelly was fired for simply talking about blackface?”

National Security

“AN ACT OF WAR”: Fox News reports: “U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday doubled down on accusations Iran is responsible for the weekend bombing on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, telling reporters that the strike was ‘an act of war.’ Pompeo, speaking from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, added that even if the ‘fraudulent claims’ of responsibility by the Yemen Houthi rebels were true, ‘it doesn’t change the fingerprints of the [Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] as having put at risk the global energy supply.’ His comments come hours after President Trump tweeted that he had ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to ‘substantially increase sanctions’ on Iran, amid escalating tensions between the two countries.” Meanwhile, Sen. Tim Kaine — in true Trump Derangement Syndrome fashion — claimed, “We are provoking Iran every day with the sanctions and with military action, and they’re responding.”

IMMIGRATION-COURT BACKLOG: “The backlogged deportation docket pending in U.S. immigration courts surpassed one million cases in August, despite the Trump administration’s varied attempts to cut back on asylum claims. The backlog this year has grown at a record pace, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, which tracks immigration court data. The figure has nearly doubled since President Trump took office in January 2017, when about 542,000 cases were pending.” (The Wall Street Journal)

LAND TRANSFER: “The Department of the Interior announced Wednesday they had transferred over 500 acres of federal land to the Army to build more barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. … Lands that were transferred over include parts in El Paso, Texas; San Diego, California; and Yuma, Arizona. The Department of Defense has allocated $3.6 billion to fund 11 barrier projects at the southern border following President Trump signing Presidential Proclamation 9844 in February.” (Washington Examiner)

Government & Politics

INTEREST-RATE CUT: “The Federal Reserve approved a much-anticipated quarter-point interest rate cut Wednesday but offered few indications that further reductions are ahead as members split on what to do next. Following its two-day policy meeting, the central bank announced that it would take down its benchmark overnight lending rate to a target range of 1.75% to 2%. That comes nearly two months after the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee went ahead with its first cut in 11 years.” (CNBC)

LEFTCOAST POLLUTION: “President Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One Wednesday that within a week, his administration will slap San Francisco with a notice of environmental violations related to the city’s homelessness problem. … Trump said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will give San Francisco a notice related to the ‘tremendous’ amount of pollution flowing into the ocean from the city’s storm sewers, Reuters reported. He also said hypodermic needles also littered the sewers there and were polluting the sea.” (Fox News)

CLIMATE CHURCH: NBC News asks Americans to confess their climate-change sins (The Daily Caller)

Closing Arguments

POLICY: The California vehicle-emissions waiver and political disinformation (American Enterprise Institute)

POLICY: Medicare for All is already looking more expensive (Foundation for Economic Education)

HUMOR: All the other states beg California to add them to travel ban (The Babylon Bee)

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

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