Mid-Day Digest

Sep. 5, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • DHS has an eye on the violent fascists who call themselves “antifa.”
  • Review for the record: It wasn’t Comey’s call to exonerate Clinton, it was Obama’s.
  • How Trump can exit Obama’s no good, terrible Iran deal.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“Democracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man’s life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few.” —John Adams (1763)

IN BRIEF

Classifying Antifa as Domestic Terrorists

The Department of Homeland Security reportedly has formally classified the violence perpetrated by the leftist antifa as “domestic terrorist violence.” The DHS and the FBI have had their eyes on antifa — short for so-called “anti-fascists” — since well before the August 12 Charlottesville violence. As early as April 2016 federal authorities were warning of “anarchist extremists” who were primarily responsible for instigating violence at a range of public rallies. Antifa violence has been identified with its targeting of law enforcement, symbols associated with “the capitalist system,” racism, social injustice and fascism.

After antifa’s recent violent attack on a group of right-leaning protesters at a free speech rally in Berkeley, Mayor Jesse Arreguin asked the University of California at Berkeley to cancel its upcoming Berkeley Free Speech Week. The reason: fears of violence perpetrated by antifa thugs. Thus far the university has rejected the mayor’s request, stating, “We have neither the legal right [n]or desire to interfere with or cancel [conservative students’] invitations based on the perspectives and beliefs of the speakers.”

People can argue over whether officially designating antifa as a domestic terrorist organization is helpful in combating its violence. But what is clear is that federal authorities are taking the threat of leftist violence seriously.

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Comey Followed Obama’s Cue in Exonerating Clinton

As scrutiny continues to mount over the FBI’s questionable handling of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, former FBI Director James Comey has once again become the magnet of criticism. Last week it was learned that Comey began drafting a Clinton exoneration months before the investigation concluded. Obviously, this throws the legitimacy of the whole investigation into even more question. And yet in some ways focusing ire on Comey is actually a bit misplaced.

Recall that when allegations first came to light of Clinton’s use of a non-government sanctioned email account, it was none other than Barack Obama who came to her defense. Obama laid the groundwork for Hillary’s exoneration by stating in April 2016 essentially the same conclusion that Comey would insist upon months later in July — that while Clinton had shown “carelessness,” she was not guilty of “malicious intent in [the] handling of emails.” Truth is that the fix was in from the very beginning, ordered directly from Obama, and his Justice Department made sure it was so.

Andrew McCarthy of National Review sums it up well:

Bottom line: In April, President Obama and his Justice Department adopted a Hillary Clinton defense strategy of concocting a crime no one was claiming Clinton had committed: to wit, transmitting classified information with an intent to harm the United States. With media-Democrat complex help, they peddled the narrative that she could not be convicted absent this “malicious intent,” in a desperate effort to make the publicly known evidence seem weak. Meanwhile, they quietly hamstrung FBI case investigators in order to frustrate the evidence-gathering process. When damning proof nevertheless mounted, the Obama administration dismissed the whole debacle by rewriting the statute (to impose an imaginary intent standard) and by offering absurd rationalizations for not applying the statute as written.

Comey deserves to be blasted for his lack of a backbone — a backbone he suddenly found when Donald Trump won the election. But still, the buck stops at the top with Obama. In this case, Comey is probably better viewed as Obama’s fall guy.

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Top Headlines

  • Trump administration announces plan to end DACA (ABC News)

  • Sen. Graham supports Trump tossing DACA over to Congress (CNS News)

  • Obama ready to “speak out” if Trump cancels DACA (Hot Air)

  • North Korea nuclear progress puts Iran on renewed pathway to bomb (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • North Korea crisis: Russia’s Putin warns of “global catastrophe” (NBC News)

  • Harvey death toll rises to at least 60 (The Hill)

  • Menendez corruption case puts other Democrats at legal risk, sidelines senator for trial (The Washington Times)

  • School district apologizes after teacher bans “Make America Great Again” shirts (Washington Examiner)

  • Verizon wants to build an advertising juggernaut, but it needs your data first (Paywall — The Wall Street Journal)

  • Cuba opens five-month transition likely to end Castro reign (Fox News)

  • Policy: Why we need tax reform now (The Heritage Foundation)

  • Policy: To defeat North Korea, focus on a coordinated strategy (Manhattan Institute)

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

How Trump Can Exit the Iran Deal

By Todd Johnson

As Congress returns to Washington, DC, from August recess, members find President Donald Trump and his team dealing with a plethora of major domestic and international issues. The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the impending debt ceiling and government funding debates and the North Korean government continuing to conduct missile and nuclear testing are just a few of the items consuming much of the intellectual bandwidth of this administration.

While these topics are important, there is another significant subject on the periphery that needs to be re-examined soon. Just last week, former UN Ambassador John Bolton released his thoughts on dealing with Iran. He sheds light on a topic that seems to have fallen off the radar screens of many Americans.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal, was announced in July 2015 and was hailed by then-Secretary of State John Kerry as a major diplomatic milestone that would keep Iran from further development of a nuclear weapon. Regrettably, the pact wasn’t so much about stopping Iran from creating weapons of mass destruction as it was about making Barack Obama and Co. look like they were doing something positive in the region. It was, to paraphrase Tom Clancy’s novel, the sum of all lies.

As part of the deal, the State Department must recertify that Iran is in compliance every 90 days and, in the most recent review back in July, the Trump administration grudgingly did so.

However, after the announcement was made, a Trump official was quoted as saying, “We do expect to be implementing new sanctions.” The following day the administration levied new restrictions against 18 entities emanating from Iran.

However, these measures announced by the State Department don’t go far enough to fix the problem and now — as North Korea tests our resolve — is the appropriate time for the Trump administration to take the next step and announce the United States’ withdrawal from this severely flawed compact.

It is known that Iran is operating more nuclear centrifuges than is allowed under the agreement and David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, stated in testimony to the House Subcommittee on National Security that Iran has violated its 130 tonnes heavy water limit twice since the agreement was signed.

More distressing than the aforementioned infractions is the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inability to access military sites in Iran. According to a June 5, 2017, report written by Albright and Andrea Stickler, “The lack of such access undermines any statement that the IAEA is able to verify the JCPOA. Such access is necessary to verify limits on Iran’s centrifuge production, judge adherence to nuclear weaponization development bans in the JCPOA, and more broadly gain answers about past and on-going nuclear weapons work.”

Last week, an Iranian government spokesman insisted United Nations inspectors will never be able to visit military sites and that any such expectations are “a dream.”

We’ve argued from the beginning that the agreement isn’t worth the paper on which it’s printed. Trump said as much when he stated during the first review in April that Iran “isn’t living up to the spirit” of the deal. Of course, if Trump implements this bold gambit he will once again be subjected to a withering set of ad hominum attacks, but the facts are in his favor.

Further sanctions won’t change the political calculus against the Iranian regime and, as Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass stated recently, “All too often the economic, humanitarian, and foreign policy costs of U.S. sanctions far outweigh any benefits.” In other words, punitive measures against authoritarian governments rarely result in behavior modification.

Iran has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and the JCPOA facilitates its goals of developing nuclear weapons to ensure regional hegemony, all while undermining stability, security and prosperity in the Middle East and the world. It only makes sense for President Trump to make the tough decision and have the United States abrogate this unsound agreement and pursue other viable options. While this decision will unsettle some allies, it will in the long run enable the U.S. and its partners to make the world a safer place.

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Stephen Moore: “It’s ugly and dangerous out there. For decades the Left has preached the need for tolerance, but now it wants to use its own force or the power of the state to silence any voice that disrupts its worldview. The shame of all this is that if liberals had simply ignored the wacko white supremacists who gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, and who represent perhaps 0.01 percent of the conservative movement, their flame of hatred would have burned out quickly and quietly. Love would have triumphed. That’s the last thing the Left wanted. It gave the wackos on the Right a media platform so that militants on the Left would have their own soapbox and spotlight. So just who is spreading a message of hate in America?”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go.” —Charles-Louis de Secondat (1689-1755)

Alpha Jackass: “Seattle has some particular significance for me for lots of reasons. I’ve got a lot of family here, some of whom are here in the audience tonight. I also had my first abortion here at the Seattle Planned Parenthood. … It was my best one. Heads and tails above the rest.” —actress Martha Plimpton

Race bait: “Make no mistake: The ‘real pioneers’ of private school choice were the white politicians who resisted school integration.” —American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten

Braying Jenny: “The party of Lincoln has become the party of Charlottesville, Arpaio, DACA repeal and the Muslim ban. Embodying the very worst sentiments and driven by irrational anger, it deserves not defense but extinction.” —Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin

Village Idiots: “[Trump] might do away with DACA, which is another moral line that he would be crossing, which is something that would be … advancing a white supremacy agenda.” —MSNBC contributor Karine Jean-Pierre

Dispensing with the bandwagon: “To be competitive globally, we have to reduce the corporate tax rate. We’re just not competitive globally because of that. … We can’t just be the party of redistribution of wealth; we need to be the party of the creation of wealth in communities all over the country, not to just Silicon Valley, not just Wall Street, but all over.” —Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan

The BIG Lie: “You know, the president [Barack Obama] was eight years scandal-free.” —CNN commentator Bakari Sellers

Belly laugh of the week: “I’d like to consider myself a patriot.” —Dan Rather

Demo/MSM most confused: “[Trump is] not my bride, and I’m also not his bride or groom.” —Vladimir Putin

And last… “The power of the Right is principle, and the principle of the Left is power. Understand this and you will understand the basis of modern politics.” —J.T. Young

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.