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Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 22, 2016


  • The Leftmedia peddles fake news about “hate crimes.”
  • How will congressional Republicans handle Trump’s infrastructure spending plan?
  • Leftists are still throwing a tantrum over the Electoral College.
  • And more news, policy and opinion.


“To prevent crimes, is the noblest end and aim of criminal jurisprudence. To punish them, is one of the means necessary for the accomplishment of this noble end and aim.” —James Wilson (1790)


When ‘Hate Crimes’ Are Fake News

A middle-aged man by the name of Andrew McClinton was apprehended this week in connection with a high-profile crime in Greenville, Mississippi, where a black church was set ablaze and “Vote Trump” scribbled in paint across the building. According to The Washington Post, “McClinton is charged with first degree arson of a place of worship, said Warren Strain, spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.” But here’s the kicker: “Hopewell Bishop Clarence Green said McClinton, who is African-American, is a member of the church [emphasis added].”

No wonder this isn’t plastered all over the front pages of the nation’s largest newspapers — the development completely unravels the narrative. Just consider the Post’s original coverage from Nov. 3: “The suspected arson is being investigated as a hate crime by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. … Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons called the fire a ‘hateful and cowardly act,’ sparked by the incendiary rhetoric of GOP nominee Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.”

But you won’t find such accusations being thrown around now. The new Post article includes a quote from Mississippi Insurance Commissioner and fire marshal Mike Chaney, who claims, “We do not believe it was politically motivated. There may have been some efforts to make it appear politically motivated.” Yes — like from The Washington Post. Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw put it best, observing, “You can’t simply say that it’s ‘not politically motivated’ just because it turns out to be a different political motivation than the one you originally suspected.”

Notice a trend here? Americans are being inundated with stories of supposed “hate crimes.” Yet, as Fox News reports, “a number of the incidents have been disproven or shown to be hoaxes or ill-timed jokes.” There’s fake news alright, and it’s coming from those who jump to conclusions before the facts are known. On a final note, there’s rich irony in the fact that, in the Mississippi case, the suspect’s name includes “Clinton.” What other evidence do they need?

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Infrastructure Spending: Partisanship or Practicality?

Partisanship can be a powerfully persuasive force for both good or bad policy. Note the power of partisan persuasiveness that compelled Democrats to stand united to pass that disastrous legislation known as ObamaCare without a single Republican vote. It was also the power of partisanship that helped Republicans erect walls of opposition to stymie much of Barack Obama’s agenda.

Since his presidency began, one of Obama’s major talking points for creating jobs has been government spending on infrastructure projects. He promised that rebuilding America’s aging roads and bridges was going to provide “shovel ready” jobs and get the economy going again. Few disputed the need for infrastructural repairs and updating, but there were two sticking points for conservative Republicans: how the federal government would pay for it and whether it would produce economic growth as the Keynesians promised.

Enter Donald Trump, whose election proved that Americans were fed up with politics as usual and believe Trump, with his business acumen, has the know-how to get the economy rolling again. Many congressional Republicans have taken note, bringing that old, powerful force of partisanship into play again.

Trump has taken Obama’s line that the nation’s aging infrastructure needs to be addressed. Trump also knows that it will come with a massive price tag of at least $1 trillion. Where will the money come from? Will Republicans who refused to go along with Obama’s demand for massive spending increases to pay for infrastructure be swayed to do just that with Trump? The report is that many Republicans are more willing to go along with a massive spending increase, but is this evidence of partisanship overruling principle? It may be in part, but there is also a massive difference between Obama’s overall agenda of increased socialism and Trump’s plan to grow the economy through tax and regulation cuts. Trump is putting together an impressive economic team to go along with his own business record, which has earned him a degree of trust that Obama, who hadn’t run so much as a lemonade stand, never had.

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Top Headlines

  • FBI Director Comey under pressure to explain his Clinton bombshell. (The Hill)

  • Cybersecurity firm finds evidence that Russian military unit was behind DNC hack. (The Washington Post)

  • Boeing CEO vows to build new Air Force One for less after Trump complaints. (Fox News)

  • North Carolina Senate votes down repeal of transgender bathroom bill; House doesn’t vote; special session adjourns. (Charlotte Observer)

  • Ex-CIA director: Migrant crisis has Germany “massively overextended.” (LifeZette)

  • Another botched sting? Berlin attack suspect was under surveillance for months and scheduled to be deported. (The Hill)

  • No more gun-free zones: Kasich signs concealed carry law in Ohio. (Red Alert Politics)

  • Illinois lost more residents in the last year than any other state in the union. (Eight states lost population.) What a shocker. (Chicago Sun-Times)

  • Homicides rose in most big cities this year. (The Wall Street Journal)

  • Policy: Trump’s corporate tax plan will make America competitive again. (Independent Women’s Forum, via Washington Examiner)

  • Policy: Firing bad teachers hasn’t gotten any easier. (Fordham Institute)

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Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Obama’s Final Presidential Press Pretense. Despite Obama’s “legacy project” efforts, the fact is he hacked Clinton’s campaign and the Democrat Party.

If you’d like to receive Alexander’s Column by email, update your subscription here.


Democrats Throw Electoral Tantrum

By Allyne Caan

If you’ve ever played a game with a three-year-old, you know he tends to have fun provided he’s winning. But turn the tables, and suddenly the game is stupid or the rules need changing. Three-year-olds on one hand, leftist elites on the other — sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference thanks to the Left’s arrested development.

Now that the Electoral College has officially elected Donald Trump as our 45th president, the game isn’t so fun anymore for crybaby leftists. And the rules the Left was content to play by when Hillary Clinton seemed sure to win? Well, they’ve simply gotta go.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that Trump’s victory has ignited renewed calls to abolish the institution that denied Hillary the title she thought she was owed.

And apparently, any old justification will do.

The winner of the “most creative reason to hate the Electoral College” award goes to Yale Lecturer Todd Cort, who recently blamed the EC for — wait for it — global warming.

You just can’t make this stuff up. Thanks to the Electoral College, Cort explains, both George W. Bush and Donald Trump won the presidency while losing the popular vote. Cort disliked Bush’s record on climate change and predicts more of the same from Trump. Hence, the EC is ruining the planet. This, ladies and gentleman, is why Ivy League institutions shouldn’t intimidate anyone.

Then there’s The New York Times, whose editorial board — sometimes difficult to distinguish from a room of three-year-olds — called for an end to the Electoral College this week because, well, Hillary lost. (Seriously, do you think they would have done the same had Trump won the popular vote but Hillary the presidency? Exactly.)

But again, three-year-olds … losing … rules need changing. You get the point.

The Times whines, “By overwhelming majorities, Americans would prefer to elect the president by direct popular vote, not filtered through the antiquated mechanism of the Electoral College. They understand, on a gut level, the basic fairness of awarding the nation’s highest office on the same basis as every other elected office — to the person who gets the most votes.” Yet, “for now, the presidency is still decided by 538 electors.” Tossing in another trump card for good measure, the Times also claims the EC “is a living symbol of America’s original sin” — slavery. Because it’s just like 3/5 representation? Who knows.

At least you can reason with three-year-olds. The Times editorial board? Not so much.

For a company that boasts of “excellence in its journalism,” the Times either isn’t checking its sources, or is flat-out lying about them. All it takes is a simple read of James Madison’s journals on the Constitutional Convention (which, incidentally, every American should read) to understand the electoral system was actually about preserving the rights of the minority and not about some imagined white supremacy that the Leftmedia (and academia) try to project on any white American male unfortunate enough to have lived before the current age of leftist enlightenment.

As Red State’s Jay Caruso points out, “The process of protecting smaller states from the whims of the larger, more populous states is precisely why the electoral college exists. Contrary to what the editors of the New York Times think, we are not one large nation where the federal government reigns supreme. We are a republic made up of semi-sovereign states. That sovereignty is what protects states like Wyoming and Montana from states such as New York and California.” Indeed, if direct democracy ruled the day, someone could win the White House having never set foot in states like Wisconsin or Utah. Of course, elites who disdain rural America and its values wouldn’t complain were this the case.

Further, as Edward Morrissey writes, the claim that the presidency is decided by 538 electors is “flat-out wrong.” On the contrary, he says, “The presidency doesn’t get decided by the personal whims of 538 electors, but by the voters in the states they represent.”

And finally, 16 years ago, the Times’ editorial board made the case for the Electoral College: “Yet the arguments for the Electoral College are also compelling, and in our view, outweigh the majoritarian case put forward by Mrs. Clinton and others. The nation’s founders sought in various creative ways to create checks and balances, both inside and outside government. The Electoral College was first and foremost a compact among states, large and small, designed to ensure that one state or one region did not dominate the others.”

Lies and wacky reasons will undoubtedly abound in the Left’s continued efforts to dismantle the Electoral College. After all, as Barack Obama bitterly put it, “There are some structures in our political system, as envisioned by the Founders, that sometimes are going to disadvantage Democrats.”

Because at the end of the day, the only fact that matters to the Left is their anointed candidate lost. So, like any losing child would argue, the rules must be changed.

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For more, visit Right Opinion.


Cal Thomas: “Martin Luther’s understanding of what we euphemistically call ‘the real meaning of Christmas’ was absolute. After underscoring the humble backgrounds of Mary and Joseph and noting how rich travelers stayed in far better surroundings than the stable the two who would become the world’s most famous couple were forced to occupy, Luther commented: ‘See, this is the first picture with which Christ puts the world to shame and exposes all it does and knows. It shows that the world’s greatest wisdom is foolishness, her best actions are wrong and her greatest treasures are misfortunes.’ Such a notion should humble a politician, even a president, if that were possible. And yet too many among us put more faith in ‘princes and kings’ in the false hope he (or she) can deliver us, instead of the One who really can.”

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Insight: “Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the ease with which the many are governed by the few.” —David Hume (1711-1766)

Upright: “Some politicians say that Angela Merkel has the blood of the Berlin victims on her hands. I would add that Obama’s hands are not clean either. He was among the most high-profile supporters of her open border policies, which allowed more than 1 million refugees into Germany. Obama said Merkel was on the ‘right side of history’ and promised ‘substantial support.’” —Gary Bauer

Race bait: “A relic from a shameful period in our nation’s history, the Electoral College allows some votes to carry greater weight than others.” —Sen. Dick Durbin, alluding to slavery to complain about Hillary Clinton’s loss

From the Department of Corrections: “An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that the editorial board has been opposed to the Electoral College going back 80 years. It failed to note an exception: in 2000, the board defended the college after the election of George W. Bush.” —New York Times correction

Non Compos Mentis: “If low-wage employers paid their workers a living wage, taxpayers would have saved $153 billion a year from 2009 to 2011.” —Bernie Sanders

Demo-gogues: “I had to live through controversies like the notion that I was trying to kill Christmas.” —Barack Obama

A blind squirrel finds a nut: “[T]he only people who are against school choice are the ones that have it.” —former DC councilman Kevin Chavous

Late-night humor: “Well, there are only [three] days until Christmas. So, Hillary, just choose a tree already. You’ve been in the woods long enough. Choose a tree and come home, Hillary.” —Seth Meyers

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