Jordan Candler / May 14, 2020

Thursday News Executive Summary

CDC's mission creep, Flynn's continuing saga, "unmask" officials exposed, and more.

Above the Fold

  • Reason reports that expenditures at the Centers for Disease Control are up from $590 million in 1987 to $8 billion as of last year. “But spending nearly 14 times as much … did not, apparently, help the CDC combat the emergence of the biggest disease threat America has faced in a century,” the author says. Citing a new Competitive Enterprise Institute report, the author goes on to note that “inflating the CDC’s budget may have weakened the agency’s ability to handle its core responsibility by giving rise to mission creep and bureaucratic malaise.” If there are CDC failures in the coronavirus response, they can’t be laid at Trump’s feet. Rather, they are the corollaries of a bloated bureaucracy.

  • According to, “Federal Judge Emmet G. Sullivan late Wednesday issued a stunning ruling in the prosecution of Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor. The two-pronged order (1) appoints a former federal judge to argue against dismissing the case; and (2) considers holding Flynn in criminal contempt for perjury.” Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley observes, “The court is not only considering denying an uncontested motion for dismissal but considering a new charge based on Flynn’s effort to withdraw his plea. Consider the implications for many cases where defendants seek to withdraw pleas due to prosecutorial abuse. It would create a threat of a judicial charge even when prosecutors agree with defendants.” Law professor Alan Dershowitz also calls it “an unconstitutional judicial power grab.”

Government & Politics

  • List of officials who sought to “unmask” Michael Flynn released: Joe Biden, James Comey, and Obama’s chief of staff among them (Fox News)

  • Samantha Power claimed she never tried to unmask Flynn, but records show she unmasked him seven times (The Federalist)

  • FBI serves warrant, seizes phone of Sen. Richard Burr in stock sales investigation (USA Today)

  • Go figure: GOP victories from Tuesday’s special election races largely ignored by media (Fox News)

  • CNN’s own poll brings it bad news: Trump leading Biden in 15 battleground states (The Daily Wire)

National Security

  • Not good: Senate narrowly rejects plan to require a warrant for Americans’ browsing data (TechCrunch)

  • House Republicans open inquiry into mysterious drone program officials use to police Americans who aren’t social distancing (The Daily Caller)

  • FBI arrests NASA researcher for failing to disclose China ties (National Review)

Culture & Heartland

  • Wisconsin Supreme Court invalidates state’s stay-at-home order (Reuters)

  • Judge orders Massachusetts gun shops to reopen, but imposes unfair restrictions (PJ Media)

  • Los Angeles County announces new “safer at home” order with no end date (FOX 11)

  • Boy Scouts banned from planting American flags on veterans’ graves for Memorial Day (Fox News)

  • Parkland cop, fired after school shooting, will get his job back (South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Other Notables

  • Another 2.98 million Americans file for unemployment benefits (Yahoo Finance)

  • 113-year-old woman, thought to be Spain’s oldest, beats coronavirus (Washington Examiner)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: The Wuhan virus isn’t the only pandemic to come from China (New York Post)

  • Policy: Coronavirus relief could accelerate America’s path to a debt crisis (E21)

  • Humor: As states reopen, Democrats threaten to stay at home and do nothing, just like before COVID (Genesius Times)

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

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