Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 13, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Doug Jones may have won in Alabama, but it’s a big loss for Democrats.
  • More revelations from the politicized circus known as the Mueller investigation.
  • Tax cuts benefit all Americans, notwithstanding Democrats’ class warfare whining.
  • Conservative warnings about the federal debt aren’t just crying wolf.
  • A geriatric Twitter battle has amusing results when Elizabeth Warren steps in it.
  • Lois Lerner argues the public doesn’t care to know about her misdeeds.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“A good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life.” —George Washington (1790)

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Jones Wins, Democrats Lose

By Mark Alexander

Roy Moore narrowly lost his bid for the Senate Tuesday, a gain of one for Democrats in the Senate but a major political loss for Democrats’ 2018 campaign strategy.

A month ago, The Washington Post published a politically timed hit piece detailing allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore — claims that are almost 40 years old. Clearly, the Post sat on the allegations until after Moore won the primary so as to do maximum damage to the GOP and President Donald Trump. Of course, the Post has a gloating editorial this morning.

Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, was a Democrat placeholder in a state Trump won in 2016 by almost 28 percentage points. He was destined for defeat until the Post bushwhacked Moore, leaving no time to disprove any of the allegations.

Moore’s unconvincing denials — the “creep factor” — and the fact Trump had supported his Republican primary opponent, Luther Strange (only in the last week promoting Moore’s election as a Republican placeholder), combined with Al Franken’s pending resignation over less serious charges, sank Moore’s campaign.

Republican endorsements for Moore quickly vanished, and despite the fact many Alabama voters believed the accusations against Moore should be adjudicated in court and not judged by Leftmedia talkingheads, many, like Sen. Richard Shelby, could not bring themselves to vote for Moore without those charges being resolved. Thus, in a state Democrats hadn’t won in 25 years, 12 counties flipped from red to blue, and Moore lost 49.9% to 48.4% – in a state where Republicans consistently have won statewide elections by 65 percent or more. His defeat brings the GOP’s Senate majority down to 51-49.

Trump backhandedly complimented Jones, saying, “Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in [2020].”

So what are the lessons?

First, this was a big loss for Steve Bannon, who thinks Mitch McConnell is a worse enemy than Chuck Schumer. McConnell is far from perfect and the GOP majority has failed to do some big things this year (i.e., repeal ObamaCare as promised), but it has also succeeded in other areas. Yet fratricidal infighting in the name of destroying the “establishment” will accomplish nothing for the GOP/Trump agenda.

Second, the Jones win is a big loss for Democrats. The Democrat Party had hoped to drag out Moore’s ethics case and hang him around the necks of every Republican in the 2018 midterm elections. As it is, yes, Democrats gain a Senate seat … for now. As The Wall Street Journal concludes, “The good news is that Mr. Moore’s loss may give the GOP a better chance of holding the Senate majority next year. Democrats were primed to make Mr. Moore a national symbol of sexual harassment to drive turnout among women. GOP incumbents would have been asked about Mr. Moore every day.”

That advantage is now gone. And, as Jim Geraghty quips, “I guess this means Al Franken has to go ahead with his resignation, huh?” We argued last week that Franken was waiting to see if Moore won as part of the Demos’ effort to profile Moore and Franken.

However, with no impeachable offense emerging from Robert Mueller’s fake collusion investigation, Democrats now have a proven “sexual allegation” strategy to use against Trump as a centerpiece of their 2018 and 2020 campaigns.

In the meantime, with a one-seat Senate majority, it’s time for Republicans to get to work passing tax reform and the rest of their agenda, earning the trust of voters and leaving this Moore circus in the rearview mirror.

And a footnote: It will be interesting to see where the Moore allegations end up now that they have served their intended political purpose. I predict they go away, given the claims are decades old, unsubstantiated by any burden of proof standard, and thus unprovable.

Growing Stench of Politicization Rising From Team Mueller

By Thomas Gallatin

An all-too-familiar stench of politicization is now strongly wafting from Robert Mueller’s investigation, which is looking more and more like a swamp creature than a corruption fighter. Even as there continues to be a total lack of evidence supporting the Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy, on which the creation of Mueller’s special counsel hinged, there is a growing pile of evidence suggesting that the investigation itself is compromised; that it is rife with Obama-Clinton deep state corruption.

For starters, six of Mueller’s team of 15 lawyers were Hillary Clinton donors. While that’s not illegal, it does little to alleviate concerns over the possibility of the investigation being a designed partisan hit job. Second, and what is proving to be most concerning, are the incestuous connections between Mueller team members and Obama/Clinton.

So who are these Mueller team members who are potentially compromised?

Andrew Weissman is a veteran prosecutor who was found to have praised Sally Yates, an Obama holdover at the Justice Department, for her refusal to enforce Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban executive order. Weissman emailed Yates, “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respect.” Sounds impartial, no?

How about Aaron Zebley, who had a long working relationship with Mueller and was known as his “right hand” man when Mueller headed the FBI. In 2015, Zebley represented Justin Cooper, Clinton’s IT staffer who helped set up the former secretary of state’s secret home server, and participated in the smashing of Hillary’s Blackberry devices to avoid them being subpoenaed.

Then there is the too-hot-to-trot pair Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, both no longer on the Mueller team, who were engaged in an extramarital affair. The pair shared over 10,000 texts in 2016 that are currently being reviewed by Justice Department. The content of those texts show both were highly critical of and opposed to Trump while they favored Hillary, with texts such as “F Trump” and “Hillary should win 100,000,000 – 0.”

But there’s more to these two. Both Strzok and Page were key players in the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton email scandal. Strzok was responsible for the significant language change that softened the implications against Clinton from criminal “grossly negligent” to the less prosecutable “extremely careless.” Strzok was the agent who oversaw the FBI’s interviews of Mike Flynn, who has subsequently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. And Strzok was also a key figure in the FBI’s handling of the fake Clinton/DNC-funded anti-Trump “dossier” created by Fusion GPS.

Speaking of Fusion GPS, it is now being reported that Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official who was recently demoted from a senior position, is married to a woman who worked for Fusion GPS through last fall. Her online published works shows that she has written extensively on Russia-related topics, and Fusion GPS has confirmed her hiring to investigate Trump.

There are just too many convenient connections here for one to naively conclude that the Mueller team is engaged in an impartial and unbiased investigation. Rather, this is a witch-hunt looking for any means possible for taking down the target.

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Top Headlines

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.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

OPINION IN BRIEF

Walter Williams: “Society’s first line of defense is not the law but customs, traditions and moral values. Customs, traditions and moral values are those important thou-shalt-nots, such as thou shalt not murder, shalt not steal, shalt not lie and shalt not cheat. They also include respect for parents, teachers and others in authority, plus those courtesies one might read in Emily Post’s rules of etiquette. These behavioral norms — mostly transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings — represent a body of wisdom distilled over the ages through experience, trial and error, and looking at what works and what doesn’t. The importance of customs, traditions and moral values as a means of regulating behavior is that people behave themselves even if nobody’s watching. There are not enough cops. Laws can never replace these restraints on personal conduct in producing a civilized society. At best, the police and the criminal justice system are the last desperate lines of defense for a civilized society. Unfortunately, customs, traditions and moral values have been discarded without an appreciation for the role they played in creating a civilized society, and now we’re paying the price — and that includes the recent revelations regarding the treatment of women.”

SHORT CUTS

For the record: “To give you a sense of the magnitude of the conservative rebellion [Tuesday], consider some numbers. Donald Trump won Alabama by 28 points. Jeff Sessions had such a hammerlock on this seat that he ran unopposed in 2014 — collecting more than 97 percent of the vote. The closest Senate election in a generation was a 19-point GOP victory in 2002. In other words, what happened [last night] wasn’t the result of changed hearts and minds in a tiny few swing votes. It was a mass rebellion.” —David French

Food for thought: “[Steve Bannon] has a very definite interest in maintaining his political street cred as a sort of blue collar Robespierre. He doesn’t care whether Republicans win or lose — he’ll just keep on blaming the ‘establishment’ for the candidates he supports losing unlose-able races, and hoping that anti-media, ‘anti-establishment’ ire will carry the day. But Republicans would be fools to think of him as anything but the charlatan he is.” —Ben Shapiro

Non Compos Mentis: “The president would have us believe there is honor in his declaration of Jerusalem as capital of Israel. … Oh, yeah? I can distinctly remember a far larger promise Trump made in the campaign, far more important and far more wide-ranging in its consequences. He promised again and again and again that he would not enter this country into what he called stupid wars.” —MSNBC’s Chris Matthews

What could possibly go wrong? “Move over, taxes on carbon and sugar: the global levy that may be next is meat. Some investors are betting governments around the world will find a way to start taxing meat production as they aim to improve public health and hit emissions targets set in the Paris Climate Agreement.” —Bloomberg

And last… “One would hope that Republicans would now recognize how ridiculous it would be for them to continue acting like Mitch McConnell is the problem. McConnell is the single most important person for getting the ‘Trump agenda’ passed, and declaring open war on him and backing fourth rate candidates is not just dumb, it actually hurts Trump more than it does McConnell.” —Jonah Goldberg

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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher