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Media Editors / Sep. 25, 2019

Wednesday Top News Executive Summary

Impeachment backfire, Sanders's wealth registry, Iran terrorist funding, fentanyl surge, and more.

Above the Fold


IMPEACHMENT BACKFIRE? “President Donald Trump, in a midsummer phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, asked him to look into why that country’s top prosecutor apparently had ended an investigation of the business dealings of Joe Biden’s son, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company,” according to NBC News. In the just-released transcript from July 25, Trump is shown saying, “[Joe] Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.” That’s quite a juicy nothingburger. Nevertheless, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, yielding to mounting pressure from fellow Democrats and plunging a deeply divided nation into an election-year clash between Congress and the commander in chief,” the Associated Press reports. Furthermore, Politico says, “The White House is preparing to release to Congress by the end of the week both the whistleblower complaint and the inspector general report at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, according to a senior administration official, reversing its position after withholding the documents from lawmakers.” Political analyst Byron York is right: This latest witch hunt “might not produce the ending Democrats want.”

Read the phone-call transcript below:

“BILLIONAIRES SHOULDN’T EXIST”: “Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders on Tuesday rolled out his plan to levy an ‘extreme wealth tax’ on millionaires and billionaires, which he plans to enforce through the creation of a ‘national wealth registry,’” National Review reports, which adds, “Sanders’ annual tax on the top 0.1 percent would apply to Americans with a net worth of over $32 million, or about 180,000 households, and would raise approximately $4.35 trillion over the next decade, the Sanders campaign estimates. … Under the plan, the IRS will be required to audit 30 percent of the top one percent’s wealth tax returns and 100 percent for billionaires.” The senator further groused on Twitter, “Billionaires should not exist.” And socialism should?

National Security


THANKS, OBAMA: “Iran has spent more than $16 billion during the past several years to fund militant terrorists across the Middle East, cash that was repatriated to the Islamic Republic under the terms of the landmark nuclear deal, according to new disclosures from the Trump administration. As Iran’s economy teeters on the brink of collapse under the tough sanctions regime imposed by the Trump administration, the Islamic Republic’s authoritarian leadership has spent its limited cash reserves to bolster terror groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as militant terrorists in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.” (The Washington Free Beacon)

FENTANYL SURGE: “The flow of the deadly narcotic fentanyl from China to the U.S. has surged despite President Trump’s trade war with the communist country and President Xi Jinping’s promise to crack down on the illicit trade. Customs and Border Protection agents have seized nearly 2,400 pounds of fentanyl this year through Aug. 31, enough to kill roughly 475 million people. That represents a nearly 32% increase from the same period last year. CBP’s numbers represent a sliver of fentanyl flowing into the U.S. because U.S. authorities missed so much of it. China, the world’s largest producer of fentanyl, accounts for 68% of the synthetic opioid’s movement.” (The Washington Times)

TURKEY’S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS: “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hinted at an interest in acquiring nuclear weapons, telling the United Nations that it is unjust for the weapons to be possessed only by major powers. ‘It bothers us like anyone else that the weapons of mass destruction are used as leverage in every crisis instead of their total elimination,’ Erdoğan said Tuesday during the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. ‘The position of nuclear power should either be forbidden for all or permissible for everyone.’” (Washington Examiner)

Other Notables


VOTER FRAUD: Michigan city clerk charged with altering ballots in 2018 midterms (National Review)

E-CIG FREAKOUT: Massachusetts to ban sale of all vaping products for four months in toughest state crackdown (The Washington Post)

Closing Arguments


POLICY: How “Medicare for All” could block medical progress (The Daily Signal)

POLICY: The “new energy economy”: an exercise in magical thinking (Manhattan Institute)

HUMOR: Bernie Sanders unveils new plan to levy special tax on anyone who makes more money than Bernie Sanders (The Babylon Bee)

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

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