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In The News:
In a 5-4 ruling upholding a South Dakota law challenged by Wayfair Inc, Overstock.com Inc and Newegg Inc, the justices overturned a 1992 high court precedent that had barred states from requiring businesses with no “physical presence” there, like out-of-state online retailers, to collect sales taxes.
Shares of online retailers fell sharply following the ruling, which opened the door to a new revenue stream to fill state coffers – up to $13 billion annually, according to a federal report. Because many e-commerce companies do not collect state sales taxes on purchases, they have had an advantage over brick-and-mortar businesses that do collect it.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the way the Securities and Exchange Commission hired its administrative law judges is unconstitutional, a decision that will have an effect on hundreds of similar judges throughout the Trump administration.
In particular, the National Labor Relations Board, the federal government’s main labor law enforcement agency, could face numerous challenges to cases it is pursuing as a result of the 7-2 decision in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission. The board uses administrative law judges who perform similar functions to the ones at the SEC.
At issue in the case was whether the administrative law judges were “officers” under the Constitution and therefore must be political appointees and not civil servants who are merely hired by the agency.
On Wednesday, no fewer than 47 nonprofit leaders maligned by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) — many if not most of whom are considering a lawsuit against the organization — warned a vast array of executives and leaders that if they parrot the SPLC’s damaging “hate group” labels, they would be “complicit” in “defamation.”
“Editors, CEOs, shareholders and consumers alike are on notice: anyone relying upon and repeating its misrepresentations is complicit in the SPLC’s harmful defamation of large numbers of American citizens who, like the undersigned, have been vilified simply for working to protect our country and freedoms,” the signatories wrote.
After the flurry of amazing recent economic news, MAGA might well stand for “Make America Grow Again.” It’s time we start to call this economy “The Trump Boom.“
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s GDP model now forecasts second quarter national growth at an astounding 4.7 percent. This growth is a stark contrast from the Obama era, where the benefits of that slow-growth era flowed primarily to the very top of the economic strata through asset inflation rather than on-the-ground Main Street growth.
For example, the National Association of Manufacturers just released its latest survey and an astounding 95 percent of manufacturers reported a positive outlook for their companies,
Opponents of Trump’s new small business healthcare plans have labeled it “junk insurance.” The truth is that the plans are economically sensible, even if not politically nor moving the system in the direction desired by some. For they make corrections (no more than mild nibbles as yet, though) to the basic problems underlying the healthcare insurance system.
To an economist, the most obviously beneficial change is that the plans don’t have to cover the 10 essential health benefits mandated by Obamacare. That is, they are more like insurance plans than they are prepayment for healthcare plans. This is the largest mistake in the current arrangements, that many things entirely unsuited to an insurance model are lumped together into the one insurance plan.
Limiting insurance plans to just what insurance usefully covers — high-cost and low-risk events like cancer, car crashes, and the like — is economically sensible. We should use other methods (savings plans, or out of pocket payments perhaps) to deal with more routine expenses.
The second change is that these plans can be sold across state lines.
One of the activists who chased Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen out of a Mexican restaurant Tuesday night over the Trump administration’s immigration policies is an employee of the Department of Justice, The Daily Caller News Foundation has confirmed.
Members of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America crashed Nielsen’s meal with a demonstration full of chants and other outbursts.
One of those participants, Allison Hrabar, actually works for the Trump administration – as a paralegal in the DOJ.
Sony Pictures has released a statement on Peter Fonda, the actor who has sent vile, disturbing threats to women and children associated with the Trump administration.
Sony Pictures Classics, which will be releasing a movie co-starring Fonda in a matter of days, said in a statement sent to The Daily Caller that Fonda’s comments were “abhorrent, reckless and dangerous” and that “we condemn them completely.” The statement goes on to explain that Fonda has only a “minor role” in the film and the studio will not be pulling it in fairness to the other actors in the ensemble cast. Sony’s full statement:
On Wednesday morning, TV writer Pat Dussault targeted Donald Trump Jr’s daughter Chloe, who, again, is just four years old.
Replying to a tweet from the Trump son addressing the horrific tweet from Fonda concerning Barron, Dussault wrote, “Don’t worry, we’re coming for Chloe, too.”
The writer’s Twitter account has since either been suspended by Twitter or deleted by Dussault, but screenshots of the threat were captured first:
Michael Graham Lowe, 25, of Prattville, Alabama, was sentenced to serve 220 months in prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release for the sex trafficking of a minor and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor.
Joshua David Rose, 30, also of Prattville, Alabama, was sentenced to serve 200 months in prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release for the sex trafficking of a minor. The defendants were sentenced by U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler of the Northern District of Alabama, who ordered both Lowe and Rose to pay restitution in the amount of $560 to one victim and ordered Rose to pay an additional $7,140 in restitution to two victims.
The Associated Press published a story on Thursday about alleged abuse of child immigrants that buried the fact that the abuse began during the Obama administration.
The AP story focuses on court filings from Latino teens who allege that they were abused while being held in an immigration detention facility. The allegations are horrific, with one young immigrant claiming, “Whenever they used to restrain me and put me in the chair, they would handcuff me … They have total control over you. They also put a bag over your head. It has little holes; you can see through it. But you feel suffocated with the bag on.”
The article mentions President Donald Trump and his administration’s zero-tolerance policy at least four times in the first ten paragraphs, leaving the implicit suggestion that the Trump administration is responsible for the alleged abuse.
It is only when the reader gets to the 20th paragraph of the story that they discover the allegations stem back to at least 2016 — during President Obama’s administration.
The Justice Department on Thursday sought to modify a federal court order that limits the ability of US officials to detain children.
The move is part of the department’s execution of President Donald Trump’s new executive order designed to keep families together and will likely prove an uphill climb for Justice officials, as the request has already previously been denied under the Obama administration.
NEWARK, NJ – Within the past week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed two public safety threats to their respective countries of origin.
“Both of these individuals were a threat to public safety,” said John Tsoukaris, field office director of ERO Newark. “The courageous and targeted efforts of our officers have ensured that there are now two less dangerous criminals in our community.”
ICE removed or returned 226,119 aliens in fiscal year 2017. The proportion of FY17 removals resulting from ICE arrests increased by nearly ten percent over the previous fiscal year, and the number of ICE interior removals in FY17 increased by over 15,000 from FY16.
The Defense Department will house up to 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children on military bases in coming months, a Pentagon official said Thursday, the latest twist in the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement effort.
The agreement comes after the Department of Health and Human Services made the request. Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a military spokesman, said Thursday that the Pentagon will support it.
President Trump discusses immigration during cabinet meeting.
A former Republican presidential candidate and a convicted U.S. Army leaker are among the candidates that will appear on ballots next Tuesday as voters in seven states make their primary election picks.
And in the South, voters will head to the polls again in two primary runoffs to determine who will be on their November ballots.
Here’s a look at the money being spent in New York, Maryland, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Mississippi and South Carolina ahead of Tuesday’s primaries:
The White House Office of Management and Budget unveiled an ambitious government restructuring vision Thursday to reduce redundancy by shaking up agency roles.
The OMB also proposes creation of a new Bureau of Economic Growth within the Commerce Department and moving food safety regulation under one roof at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. OMB Director Mick Mulvaney discussed the plans during a Cabinet meeting.
The is part of a broader administration vision of modernizing government, including a recent trio of executive orders reducing union rights and quickening firing procedures for federal workers.
The House on Thursday defeated a Republican immigration reform bill in the first of two doomed votes that some had hoped would pave the way to stronger border security and a pathway to citizenship for “Dreamers” caught in legal limbo.
Lawmakers voted against a measure authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, that is considered the more conservative of the two options considered on Thursday.
And in another sign that Republicans were struggling to find votes in their own party, GOP leaders decided to delay a vote on the second bill from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., until Friday.
WASHINGTON—The House on Thursday narrowly passed a Republican-written bill that reauthorizes farm programs while also imposing controversial new work requirements on food-stamp recipients, acting on legislation that is important to a critical GOP constituency before the midterm elections.
The bill passed on a 213-211 vote. The Senate is expected to vote next week on its own version of the bill, which funds crop insurance and payments to farmers when commodity prices or revenues drop below set levels. The measure also funds programs to help low-income people afford basic nutritional needs.
Former President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity czar confirmed Wednesday that former national security adviser Susan Rice told him to “stand down” in response to Russian cyber attacks during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Michael Daniel, whose official title was “cybersecurity coordinator,” confirmed the stand-down order during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing held to review the Obama and President Donald Trump’s administrations’ policy response to Russian election interference.
Rice’s order to Daniel was first reported in “Russian Roulette,” a book published in March that details Russia’s meddling in the election.
Democratic members of Congress want taxpayers to subsidize their housing, signing onto legislation that would allow them to deduct living expenses for members of the House of Representatives.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.) introduced a bill that would ban members of Congress from sleeping in their offices and would change the tax code to allow House members to deduct their spending on housing in D.C. up to $3,000. The deduction would not apply to senators.
As Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s list of scandals continues to grow, one nonprofit at the center of one of the latest controversies is noteworthy for donating millions of dollars to groups associated with Pruitt while he served as Oklahoma’s attorney general.
The Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), a 501(c)(4) organization that has historically donated more than $3.3 million to groups affiliated with Pruitt, temporarily employed the EPA chief’s wife, Marlyn, after Pruitt enlisted an aide’s help in finding her a job, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. Pruitt and the aide reportedly solicited Republican donors and conservatives connected to the Trump administration while hunting for jobs, raising questions about Pruitt’s compliance with federal ethics rules.
The scandal is one of the latest in a series of controversies involving the EPA chief, who has also been scrutinized for installing a $43,000 soundproof booth in his office, spending taxpayer money on first-class air travel and living in a condo owned by a lobbyist whose husband lobbied the EPA, among other things.
The political action committee of one of the country’s largest public-sector unions reported nearly $1 million in TV ad spending last week in support of Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, one of five Democratic Senate incumbents in toss-up races in November.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) PAC reported $973,000 in TV ad costs, according to a recent Federal Election Commission filing.
AFSCME’s PAC is one of the largest sources of campaign contributions and outside spending on behalf of Democrats among public sector unions, along with two public school unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) this week requested National Science Foundation (NSF) Inspector General Allison Lerner investigate the NSF’s grant-making process, relaying their concern that the NSF has “issued several grants which seek to influence political and social debate rather than conduct scientific research” in contradiction of federal law and the agency’s mission.
Among the examples, the senators cited the NSF providing over four million dollars to a climate-change coalition to turn television meteorologists into climate change evangelists (with almost three million coming after initial research revealed a significant lack of consensus on climate change among meteorologists), as well as a grant to increase the engineering industry’s activism on social justice issues.
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said Thursday he’s “optimistic” that OPEC will reach a deal Friday to boost oil production, which could help consumers at the pump.
“The most important thing is the consumers,” Khalid Al Falih said. “We’re not going to allow a shortage to materialize to the point that markets will be squeezed and consumers will be hurt.”
OPEC and Russia are meeting in Vienna to hash out a deal to increase production by one million barrels per day, the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets reported.
BEIRUT – Syrian government forces shelled rebel-held areas in the south on Thursday, further undermining an international “de-escalation” agreement backed by the United States ahead of a threatened offensive, prompting a warning from the U.S. of “serious repercussions” for the violations.
The U.S., Russia and Jordan negotiated a truce for the area, which borders Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, in July of last year. But the calm has started to unravel in recent weeks, and a war monitoring group said more than 12,500 people have been displaced since Tuesday, with most moving into other rebel-held areas.
The number of terrorist attacks increased from 142 in 2016 to 205 in 2017. Last year 68 people were killed and 844 injured. In 2016, 142 people were killed, but fewer than half were injured, with 379 victims.
That there were only half as many deaths is down to the fact that attackers are ‘less organised’ than previously and also due to emergency services prompt intervention.
Of the 68 deaths in 2017, 62 were attributed to Islamists. By far the most attempted or actual attacks were again in the UK, followed by France.
Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been charged with a serious of crimes including fraud over misuse of public funds on Thursday.
Netanyahu, 59, was also charged with breach of trust in connection with the “Prepared Food Affair,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
Netanyahu was accused of misusing about $100,000 of public funds for catering services at the prime minister’s Jerusalem home while falsely stating there were no cooks on staff, the justice ministry stated.
American students to pay more fees but not illegal Aliens. This is not sitting well with Diamond And Silk.
Laura Ingraham said she believes liberals are using the controversy over migrant family separations at the border to push for their real goal: a borderless world.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order to allow children to stay with parents caught crossing the border illegally — moving to stop the family separations that have triggered a national outcry and political crisis for Republicans.
In response, many Democrats — including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) — slammed the order, which they claim allows illegal immigrants to be detained indefinitely.
Tucker: The Left doesn’t believe Americas has the right to stop poor people from coming over our southern border under any circumstances, legal or not. Most voters disagree with that. It would be nice to have an honest national debate about this before the midterm elections. But that’s the last thing Democrats want. They’d lose. So instead they’re whipping their supporters into a frenzy of mindless rage.