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 Senate Dems Give SCOTUS 2A Ultimatum
Jordan Candler 
Lindsey Graham: FISA Abuse Report Will Be 
‘Ugly And Damning’ For DOJ, FBI
by CHUCK ROSS } ~ Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said he expects the inspector general’s report into FBI surveillance of the Trump campaign will be “ugly and damning”... for the agency and the Department of Justice. “I want it all out. I want people to see how off the rails this investigation got, and I want people to be held accountable,” Graham said in an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.” Since March 2018, Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz has investigated whether the FBI and DOJ misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in applications for wiretap warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Horowitz told Congress June 25 he had completed the investigation and was in the process of writing a report of his findings. Some Republican lawmakers said the report is likely to come out shortly after Labor Day. The FBI relied heavily on the unverified and Democrat-funded Steele dossier in four applications to surveil Page. The special counsel’s report dealt the dossier a heavy blow, by undercutting the document’s core claim that the Trump campaign and Page were part of a “well-developed conspiracy of co-operation” with the Russian government. “I believe the Horowitz report is going to be ugly and damning regarding the Department of Justice handling of the Russia probe,” Graham said Sunday, adding he wants as much of the report as possible to be declassified...
How the Democrats’ Social Security 
Plan Could Finance a Tax Cut
By ANDREW G. BIGGS } ~ Social Security reform hasn’t seen this much activity since President Bush’s ill-fated efforts in the mid 2000s. But this time, the action is on the Democratic side... with near-unanimous support among House Democrats for the Social Security 2100 Act, which would make Social Security solvent by increasing payroll taxes and taxing high earners more heavily. But what most people don’t know is that the Social Security 2100 Act would actually make Social Security’s funding less progressive, because those payroll-tax increases would replace an even more progressive source of funding that the one the program now relies upon. This opens some opportunities for conservatives, who currently are rudderless on Social Security reform, to expand the field for coming to a deal. Thanks to the aging of the population, Social Security faces a future with more beneficiaries and fewer workers to support them. Based on current trends, Social Security’s trustees project it will be unable to pay full promised benefits beginning in 2035. Social Security reform plans would address that looming insolvency by raising taxes, cutting benefits, or both. Social Security 2100 is on the far end of the progressive spectrum, in that it not merely fully funds promised benefits, but actually expands benefits across the board. To pay for these benefits, the Social Security 2100 Act gradually raises the payroll-tax rate from 12.4 percent to 14.8 percent in annual increments of 0.1 points. At the same time, while Social Security taxes currently apply only to earnings up to $132,900 — and benefits are based solely on those capped earnings — Social Security 2100 would also tax earnings above $400,000, with an untaxed “doughnut hole” in between. Since the new $400,000 threshold is not indexed while the $132,900 current-law wage ceiling rises annually with wage growth, the gap would shrink over time, such that by 2048 all earnings would be taxed by Social Security. On paper, this looks like the usual progressive playbook of pushing the tax burden upward, even for a program like Social Security that historically has sought not to appear like a “welfare program.” But there’s another perspective, from which the Social Security 2100 Act would be a regressive change that would make Social Security’s funding less progressive. That perspective takes into account the massive amounts of income-tax revenues that will be funneled into Social Security in the years leading up to its insolvency...    
Spain: Law on Citizenship for 
Sephardic Jews Ends in Failure
by Soeren Kern } ~ A piece of much-heralded legislation to grant Spanish citizenship to up to 3.5 million descendants of Jews expelled from the country in 1492 is about to end in failure... fewer than 10,000 Jews have been awarded Spanish passports ahead of an October 1, 2019 deadline. Spanish leaders promised that the law — which entered into force on October 1, 2015 for a period of three years and was extended for one additional year — would "right a historic wrong" and demonstrate that more than 500 years after the Inquisition began, Jews are once again welcome in Spain. The legislation, however, introduced so many cumbersome bureaucratic hurdles to obtain Spanish citizenship that most prospective hopefuls appear to have been deterred from even initiating the application process. Also known as the "Right of Return" for Sephardic Jews  Sepharad means "Spain" in Hebrew, the law purported to grant Spanish citizenship to anyone able to meet two seemingly straightforward requirements: prove Sephardic heritage and demonstrate a "special connection" to Spain. In practice, however, the process has been far more complicated. The legislation's main barriers to Spanish citizenship have been obligatory exams on Spanish language and socio-cultural history, the need to travel to Spain and exorbitant fees and costs. Although prospective applicants do not need to be practicing Jews, they must prove their Sephardic background through a combination of factors, including ancestry, surnames and spoken language either Ladino, a Jewish language that evolved from medieval Spanish, or Haketia, a mixture of Hebrew, Spanish and Judeo-Moroccan Arabic...   
Hong Kong Demonstration Draws Crowd Of
More Than 1.7 Million Against
Government Orders
by AUDREY CONKLIN } ~ Hong Kong protest organizer Civil Human Rights Front estimates more than 1.7 million people gathered in the rain Sunday... for the city’s 11th consecutive week of demonstrations. Government officials told protesters to stay in Victoria Park, but the large, pro-democracy crowd eventually took to the streets to protest an extradition bill that would allow suspected criminals in Hong Kong to be tried in China, the  South China Morning Post reported. “The most important thing currently is to restore social order as soon as possible,” a government spokesman said, according to SCMP. “When everything is calm, the government will conduct a sincere dialogue with the public to repair strains and rebuild social harmony.”  Protesters were also responding to reports of police brutality during demonstrations that took place last week at a subway station and Hong Kong International Airport.  They chanted, “Go, Hongkongers!” and played the song, “Do you hear the people sing?” from the musical Les Misérables on loud speakers. Many walked two miles into Hong Kong’s financial district, blocking off major roads, and thousands occupied several lanes of public highway space by nightfall, The Wall Street Journal reported...
Supreme Court clamps down on 
'excessive fines' by states
By LYDIA WHEELER } ~ The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled unanimously that states must adhere to the Constitution's ban on excessive fines... a decision that will likely limit the ability of states to impose certain fees and seize property. In delivering the opinion of the court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the Eighth Amendment guards against abuses of the government’s punitive or criminal law-enforcement authority, and that it extends to fines.“This safeguard, we hold, is ‘fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty,’ with ‘deep roots in our history and tradition,’” she said, quoting Supreme Court precedent. Ginsburg, who returned to the bench for oral arguments Tuesday for the first time since undergoing surgery in December, was joined in the ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Justice Clarence Thomas filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. The case centered on Tyson Timbs, who pleaded guilty in Indiana state court to dealing in a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit theft. When Timbs was arrested, police seized the Land Rover he had purchased, for $42,000, from an insurance policy he received when his father died. The state then brought a  civil forfeiture suit against Timbs for his vehicle because it had been used to transport heroin. The trial court denied the state’s forfeiture request. Since Timbs had recently purchased the vehicle for more than four times the maximum $10,000 monetary fine he can be charged for the drug conviction, the court said the forfeiture violated the Eighth Amendment. The Indiana Supreme Court ultimately reversed that ruling, holding that the Excessive Fines Clause constrains only federal action and is inapplicable to state impositions. The high court vacated that ruling Wednesday.  
Senate Dems Give SCOTUS 2A Ultimatum
Jordan Candler:  In 1833, Joseph Story touched on the importance of the judicial system when he noted: “Personal security and private property rest entirely upon the wisdom, the stability, and the integrity of the courts of justice.”

The judicial system is obviously profoundly important — and also extremely susceptible. It’s under constant siege by those who abhor the Rule of Law, which is why Thomas Jefferson in 1819 wrote, “The Constitution … is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”

The Supreme Court is the last line of defense — or, in social activists’ minds, the last line of offense — which makes it extremely powerful, for good or ill. Thomas Jefferson was especially concerned about the latter. In 1821, he wrote, “It has long, however, been my opinion … that the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body … working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one.”

Whether in the past or in the present, too many jurists have used their roles not to enforce constitutional rights but to implement their own objectives — the consequences of which are plainly obvious. Such dereliction is especially true of leftist judicial activists who think of our charter as a “living constitution.” In fact, upholding the Rule of Law is considered unfashionable by their standards. Ironically, it’s those who defend the Constitution who are most viciously assailed today.

This was intimated with scary brazenness this week. According to Fox News, “Several high-profile Senate Democrats [Sheldon Whitehouse, Richard Blumenthal, Mazie Hirono, scumbag-Richard Durbin, and Kirsten Gillibrand] warned the Supreme Court in pointed terms … that it could face a fundamental restructuring if justices do not take steps to ‘heal’ the court in the near future.”

Fox News adds, “The Democratic senators’ brief was filed in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York, which dealt with legal limitations on where gun owners could transport their licensed, locked, and unloaded firearms. They are urging the court to stay out of the case brought by the NRA-backed group, claiming that because the city recently changed the law to ease restrictions, the push to the Supreme Court is part of an ‘industrial-strength influence campaign’ to get the conservative majority to rule in favor of gun owners.”

The brief fumes, “Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’” But as Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw  observes, “What [its] actually threatening to do is the most politically driven and drastic action imaginable in this scenario.” It wreaks of political malfeasance. How else can you parse the demand to, as The Daily Wire’s Paul Bois says, “vote liberal or else have conservatives rotated off the court”?

The Second Amendment is the palladium of liberties, therefore the Left rightly sees it as the biggest hindrance to the rule of men. So expect Democrats to use whatever “influence of politics” they can in their attempt to encroach on it — including by overhauling the Supreme Court for protecting the all-important Second Amendment.  ~The Patriot Post  

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TRUMP:  Trump To Give ‘Start Your Engines’ Command At Dayton

President Donald Trump will give the command for drivers to start their engines before the Daytona 500.

Daytona International Speedway officials named Trump the grand marshal for NASCAR’s season opener, meaning he will deliver the most famous four words in auto racing. “Gentleman, start your engines,” has been a staple of races around the country and world for decades.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said Thursday the president plans to attend the race. Track president Chip Wile confirmed the news in a release.

“Daytona International Speedway has been privileged to have hosted several sitting presidents of the United States over our history,” Wile said. “We’re honored that the president of the United States has chosen to experience the pageantry and excitement of ‘The Great American Race.’”

Trump is the third sitting president to attend a race at Daytona, but only the second to attend the Daytona 500. George W. Bush attended in 2004. Trump is the first to be given an honorary role in pre-race ceremonies.

Trump is scheduled to spend part of the Presidents Day weekend at his private club in Palm Beach, Florida.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a flight restriction for Sunday and the U.S. Secret Service, which is responsible for presidential security, also tweeted to fans that drones are prohibited within 30 miles of the race in Daytona Beach — a restriction put in place for presidential visits.

Trump has hosted previous NASCAR champions at the White House and last October awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to motorsports titan Roger Penske. Last year, Trump also praised retired driver Mario Andretti, the Daytona 500 winner in 1967, reminiscing about a ride Andretti gave him in a race car for his reality show “The Apprentice.”

“I said, ‘Mario, get me out of here. I want to get out of this car,’” Trump recalled. “We went so fast. We literally — we covered four blocks in like a second.”

Tucker: Elizabeth Warren's campaign on its last legs

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