Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 7, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Lost amidst other news, the House passed concealed carry reciprocity yesterday.
  • Democrats throw Al Franken under the bus to clear the way for attacking Roy Moore.
  • Trump moves to keep a promise — and the law — on the Jerusalem embassy.
  • A new bill aims to hold accountable government officials who flout immigration law.
  • The Ivy League is immensely wealthy … and still taking your tax dollars.
  • Robert Mueller’s expensive probe is veering toward one focused on obstruction.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” —Cesare Beccaria

IN BRIEF

National Reciprocity: Apocalypse Now?

By Nate Jackson

In good news that was buried by other stuff Wednesday, the House passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, 231-198. Perhaps surprisingly, six Democrats voted for the bill, while 14 Republicans voted no. What isn’t surprising is the Leftmedia’s dezinformatsia about it. “House passes bill to let gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines,” headlined The Washington Post — as if all state lines were previously a barrier. What the bill actually does is ensure that all state concealed carry permits are valid in all states, contrary to the current regime under which states may either offer reciprocity or deny the right to bear arms to citizens of other states. As for citizens of the 12 states that require no permit, they may also carry in any other state. And as of 2014, all 50 states (some grudgingly after court defeats) recognize the right to carry concealed firearms.

In her typically apocalyptic fashion, Nancy Pelosi tweeted, “Inviting violent criminals to carry concealed weapons doesn’t save lives. Inviting domestic abusers to carry concealed weapons doesn’t save lives. Inviting convicted stalkers to carry concealed weapons doesn’t save lives. Yet the @HouseGOP just voted to do exactly that #StopCCR.” Dead wrong. Violent criminals, domestic abusers and convicted stalkers cannot legally obtain carry permits in any state, which the House bill did not change. But when have facts ever gotten in the way for Pelosi and Co.?

The NRA backed the bill, effectively responding to Pelosi in a statement, “Despite scare tactics by the bill’s opponents, concealed-carry licensees as a group have proven to be more law-abiding than the general population and even the police.” Analysis: True.

Meanwhile, House Republicans added the Fix NICS Act to the bill — legislation that would create “maximum coordination” between states and the federal government on the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). It would penalize government agencies for failing to report pertinent information. Clearly, this is a response to the church shooting in Texas; the U.S. Air Force did not report the murderer’s conviction record to NICS. Fix NICS does not expand background checks in terms of who must undergo one or what information must be reported from which agency, though it would likely lead to more complete information in the NICS. Adding the two bills together may have helped in the House, but senators of both parties warn it’s a no-go in the Senate.

Strategically, Democrats oppose gun rights in any form — using hyperbole to do so — because they know the last line of defense against a tyrannical central government is the Second Amendment.

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Much More Than Franken’s Hypocrisy

By Thomas Gallatin

Pressure further mounted on Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) when a majority of Senate Democrats joined together Wednesday in calling on him to resign after yet another woman stepped forward with allegations of his sexual harassment. This is now the eighth woman to accuse Franken of sexual misconduct. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said, “Enough is enough. We need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is okay, none of it is acceptable. We as elected leaders should absolutely be held to a higher standard, not a lower standard, and we should fundamentally be valuing women. That is where this debate has to go.”

As we go to press, Franken is on the Senate floor announcing his resignation.

But why are Democrats just now growing a conscience against allegations of sexual misconduct? Until recently, leftists spent years walking in lock-step in their defense of Bill Clinton, a man accused not only of sexual harassment but of rape. They fully supported Hillary Clinton as a woman who sticks by her man, dutifully ignoring her vindictive discrediting and belittling of all the women who dared to come forward with their stories of abuse at Bill’s hands.

The answer is politics. The wave of revelations of sexual misconduct by powerful men, mostly against those on the Left, means Democrats are scrambling after that all important vantage point in both war and politics: higher ground. With Rep. John Conyers’ (D-MI) resignation yesterday after a mountain of allegations and accusations against Franken seemingly growing by the day, Democrats had to make a move. By getting rid of both Conyers and Franken, they essentially suffer no loss of political power, as both men will be replaced by Democrats, all while they can strategically gain the political capital of being the party standing on moral principles. Meanwhile, Republicans will continue to be painted as the party of morally bankrupt misogynists as they are saddled with the problem of Roy Moore. If he wins in Alabama next week, he will become the Democrats’ poster boy of the morally inferior Republicans. This is all political calculus rather than any newly found moral scruples.

In this current climate — where accusations are accepted as fact and due process is thought of merely as an excuse to deflect guilt — it should be pointed out that Franken has admitted to his misconduct, while Moore has denied the accusations against him, albeit rather inconsistently. Calling on one who has already admitted guilt to resign is no more morally commendable than is defending the right of the accused to be allowed due process. And when Democrats defended Bill Clinton and lionized Ted Kennedy — another philanderer responsible for a woman’s death — the only ground they occupy is the lower swamp.

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Peace Through Jerusalem

Donald Trump continues to be the antithesis of a do-nothing political leader. Yesterday, some 22 years after the Jerusalem Embassy Act became law, Trump finally declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Trump rightly understands that peace through Jerusalem can be achieved only by exercising Ronald Reagan’s approach to foreign policy: “Peace through strength.” Yesterday’s move definitely puts both Israel and the U.S. in a more fortified position. The following are some important remarks from his speech:

We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. All challenges demand new approaches. My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act urging the federal government to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that that city … is Israel’s capital. This act passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority and was reaffirmed by unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.

Yet, for over 20 years, every previous American president has exercised the law’s waiver, refusing to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem or to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace. Some say they lacked courage but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time. Nevertheless, the record is in. After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.

Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering. I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. … This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done. That is why, consistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act, I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will immediately begin the process of hiring architects, engineers and planners so that a new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace.

Notably, what Trump actually did was sign another waiver while making a very strong commitment to begin the process of moving the embassy. Nevertheless, it’s a good strategic move to make real headway on peace in the region. We will have more to say in a detailed analysis tomorrow. Stay tuned.

In other news, Barack Obama compared the Trump era to Hitler’s. No kidding.

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Top Headlines

  • 364-58 — impeachment effort quashed by House Republicans and Democrats (The Hill)

  • Detroit will be in good hands: John Conyers III arrested but not prosecuted in domestic abuse case (NBC News)

  • “Over 10,000 texts” between ex-Mueller team officials found, after discovery of anti-Trump messages (Fox News)

  • From the Department of Corrections: Bloomberg revises story to say Mueller’s subpoena does NOT “zero in” on Trumps’ finances (Hot Air)

  • Ryan pledges entitlement reform in 2018 (The Hill)

  • ISIS remnant scrambling to Yemen, Libya, Africa, Indonesia, Philippines (CNS News)

  • Bombshell Report: Political persecution of Scott Walker swept up high-level GOP officials (The Federalist)

  • Nativity scene with Jesus in a migrant boat not going over well (International Business Times)

  • Amidst kneeling controversy and declining attendance and ratings, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gets five-year, $200 million contract extension (The New York Times)

  • Southern California wildfires force mass evacuations around Los Angeles (Fox News)

  • Policy: Why President Trump is right to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • Policy: When will legislators learn that sin taxes don’t work? (Real Clear Health)

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Frederick, Booker and Martin on the Race Hustlers. The Democrats and their leftist cadres have hot summer plans for 2018!

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Jeff Jacoby: “While climate change brings negatives, it brings positives too. Polar melting may cause dislocation for those who live in low-lying coastal areas, but it will also lead to safe commercial shipping in formerly inhospitable northern seas, and to economic opportunity for high-latitude residents… Shifts in climate are like shifts in the economy: They invariably spell good news for some and bad news for others. Falling interest rates are a blessing to homebuyers but a curse to savers; a strong dollar helps consumers buying imports but hinders exporters selling abroad. In the same way, changes in climate generate winners and losers. Some of global warming’s effects will be disagreeable; others will be very welcome. Worldwide, cold kills 20 times as many people as heat, so a warming planet will save lives. A plethora of data confirms the greater deadliness of cold weather, even in countries with very different climate patterns. One study of mortality rates, for example, found that deaths from cold outnumbered those from heat by a ratio of 33-to-2 in Australia, and 61-to-3 in Britain. Of 2,000 weather-related deaths in America tallied by the Centers for Disease Control, 63 percent were caused by excessive cold vs. 31 percent caused by excessive heat. … Global warming will bring gains as well as losses, upsides no less than downsides. Climate science isn’t a black-and-white morality tale. Our climate discourse shouldn’t be either.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “By the time the bloody world war ended in 1945, more than 400,000 American military men and women had been killed. They proudly fought and honored our flag with their very lives so that you and I could live in peace and freedom. While they endured a hellish nightmare for us, it is beyond shameful that some cannot muster the decency to simply stand in honor of them. … This week as we honor the shattered lives of Pearl Harbor, please take a few minutes to reflect on the entirety of the song that pays tribute to all those who serve.” —Rebecca Hagelin

Non Compos Mentis: “Don’t think [Trump’s Jerusalem decision] isn’t related to Alabama next week. It is related. Because it’s the Christian Evangelicals down there with their crazy ideas about Israel, which is, I don’t know, mythical. They don’t understand the situation over there and how tricky it is ethnically and tribally. They don’t care because it’s a religious belief. Trump’s playing into that this week; you watch him.” —MSNBC’s Chris Matthews

Self-indulger in chief: “As we took [climate] actions, we saw the U.S. economy grow consistently. We saw the longest streak of job creation in American history by far, a streak that still continues by the way. Thanks, Obama.” —Barack Obama

Braying Jenny: “I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president.” —Olympian Lindsey Vonn

Alpha Jackass: “Just evacuated my house. It’s like Donald Trump is setting the world on fire. Literally and figuratively. Stay safe everyone. Dark times.” —Californian Chelsea Handler

Belly laugh of the week: “Fellow conservatives, it’s time to call on Clarence Thomas to resign.” —Jay Kaganoff in The Washington Post

And last… “Ok, we totally exaggerated and cried ‘wolf’ about Mitt Romney, but this tax bill REALLY WILL KILL PEOPLE AND [TRUMP] IS HITLER!” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher