Mid-Day Digest

Feb. 1, 2018

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Rather than debate the memo, Democrats and bureaucrats want to hide it.
  • Gowdy joins GOPers headed for the exits, but Democrats may not want to celebrate yet.
  • Trump’s very generous immigration package is resoundingly rejected by the Left.
  • A lot more on intellectual freedom, government 5G, Joe Kennedy’s SOTU response, Kerry’s Logan Act violation and an intriguing new health care proposal.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive.” —Thomas Jefferson (1787)

IN BRIEF

Maligning of the FISA Memo

Over the objections of Democrats, the Justice Department and the FBI, the White House announced that President Donald Trump has given the go-ahead to release to the public the controversial House Intelligence Committee’s memo on the FBI’s use of surveillance later today. Finally, the American people will get to see for themselves what the handwringing by Democrats and deep state bureaucrats is all about.

The leadership at the FBI has painted the memo as a danger to national security, saying that releasing it would be “extraordinarily reckless.” After Director Christopher Wray reviewed the memo, the FBI stated, “With regard to the House Intelligence Committee’s memorandum, the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it. As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.” Interesting, though it now appears the FBI will have ample opportunity to fill in those “omissions” for the American public. The fact of the matter is, whether the DOJ and FBI acknowledge it or not, they have a trust problem with the American people, irrespective of anything Trump or the House Intel Committee has said. The appearance of wanting to prevent the public from seeing the information contained within the memo while at the same time seeking to discredit it only furthers speculation of impropriety within the agency, fueling greater distrust.

And of course Democrats aren’t helping matters. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) claims there were “substantive” and “material” alterations done to the memo by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), “changes not approved by the Committee.” A spokesman for Nunes responded to the charge saying that changes to the memo were minor “grammatical fixes and two edits requested by the FBI and by the Minority [Democrats] themselves.” Here’s an idea: Once the memo has been made public, Schiff can then enlighten Americans as to what was altered. At this point it is Schiff and his fellow Democrats, not Nunes or Republicans, who are seeking to mislead the American public regarding the memo.

The scandals such as the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups and the DOJ’s “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal under Barack Obama reveal that he weaponized executive agencies so as to advance his leftist agenda. And those are merely two of several examples. Ultimately the U.S. government is accountable to the American people. If those in government service seek to manipulate and subvert the system in order to further their own political aims and agendas, then those individuals need to be exposed and held to account. A broad trust in government is an essential element for the health and sustainability of any democratic republic. If those granted governing power are found to have lied and sought to hide the truth, then trust is the first casualty. And with the collapse of trust comes the eventual collapse of Liberty.

At least now Americans will be able to see for themselves the contents of the memo.

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Gowdy Joins Exiting GOPers, but Demo Hopes Take a Hit

By Nate Jackson

On Wednesday, the day after President Donald Trump’s triumphant State of the Union address, Rep. Trey Gowdy announced his retirement. Why? Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has been a bulldog for Republicans in going after Democrat corruption from Benghazi to the Russia collusion fiasco. That makes sense because he’s a prosecutor — and he says he wants to return to the judicial system. “Whatever skills I may have are better utilized in a courtroom than in Congress,” Gowdy said, “and I enjoy our justice system more than our political system.” On that note, there just happened to be a vacancy pop up on the Fourth Circuit Court this week, so don’t be surprised to see Trump appoint Gowdy to the seat, which perhaps could be a springboard to the Supreme Court someday. We can only hope!

Gowdy joins 40 other House Republicans in heading for the exits, compared to just 16 Democrats. Nine outgoing GOPers are committee chairmen, and committee term limits play a big role there. As Dan McLaughlin put it, “The days of chairmen who ruled their fiefdoms for decades are over. … Term limits for committee chairs are pretty effective at forcing steady turnover.”

Moreover, midterm elections usually bode well for the opposition party, and Democrats have made no secret of their status as dreamers who hope to retake Congress. But will they be able to ride a campaign against peace and prosperity to electoral victory?

Count us among the skeptical. Beyond Democrats’ lousy strategy, here are some tea leaves to consider. First, Republicans are vastly out-raising Democrats. In fact, the Republican National Committee just announced record fundraising in 2017, a non-election year. And its haul was twice that of the DNC.

“Our strong fundraising numbers reflect voters’ optimism and continued support as President Trump fulfills his promises to the American people,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

Second, Democrats’ lead in generic polling has plummeted from 15% to just 2%. After 2016 in particular, we think every American should suspect polling, so take from that what you will. Yet it’s hard to think Democrats won’t be hurt by the spectacle of scoffing at tax cuts and stubbornly staying seated as Trump talked of rising wages, pride in America and the like in his State of the Union.

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Top Headlines

  • Keen sense of the obvious: Why don’t Trump voters feel betrayed? Because they’re getting what they wanted. (The Washington Post)

  • Now Democrats have their own “repeal and replace” mantra … for tax cuts (Hot Air)

  • Analyses find White House plan cuts immigration 33 to 44 percent (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • In eight years of Obama, GOP AGs sued 46 times; Democrats already sued Trump 35 times (The Daily Signal)

  • Train carrying dozens of Congress members hits truck, killing 1 (Stars and Stripes)

  • In shocking move, feds drop all charges against Sen. Bob Menendez (NJ.com)

  • CFPB is constitutional, DC Circuit Court rules, in victory for unaccountable bureaucrats everywhere (Reason)

  • Disclosed House settlements now number 41 and total $1 million, but more remain hidden (The Daily Signal)

  • U.S. oil output reaches highest level since 1970 (Bloomberg)

  • Humor: F-35 revealed to be horror movie M. Night Shyamalan has been working on for years (Duffel Blog)

  • Policy: These three changes would drastically improve our immigration system (The Heritage Foundation)

  • Policy: Setting priorities for welfare reform (The Heritage Foundation)

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

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

Democrats’ DACA Double-Dealing

By Arnold Ahlert

“Who shall be admitted to citizenship is the question. Next to that, who we let in to do what looms small. Citizenship determines who shall rule, to what ends, and what life among us will be. Such decisions are quintessential to popular sovereignty.” —Angelo Codevilla

“I’ve already talked to Thom Tillis in person and he looked me in my face and told me that we have until March 5. He told me to my face that undocumented youth are not immigrants, are not a priority. I’m not a priority. F—k this conservative! F—k this person!” —an unidentified illegal alien who was part of group of activists that stormed the office of Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), one of the most pro-amnesty Republicans in Congress

If there is one redeeming feature of progressives, it is the almost congenital determination to overplay their hand. Nothing made that clearer than the Democrats’ reflexive rejection of President Donald Trump’s offer to legalize 1.8 million “Dreamers” — nearly triple the number protected by Barack Obama — and grant them full citizenship after 12 years. In exchange, Trump wants a $25 billion trust fund for border security, an end to the “catch-and-release” of illegals caught at the border, faster deportations for visa over-stayers, strict limits on “chain migration” and an end to the Diversity Visa Lottery. E-Verify, arguably the most effective tool for preventing employers from hiring illegals, didn’t even make the cut.

How did Democrats react? “The White House is using Dreamers to mask their underlying xenophobic, isolationist, and un-American policies,” said Congressional Hispanic Caucus chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM). House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) insisted the proposal is “an act of staggering cowardice which attempts to hold the #DREAMers hostage to an unmistakable campaign to make America white again.” Immigration activist group UnitedWeDream called it a “white supremacist proposal.”

That these potential recipients of amnesty are overwhelmingly non-white is apparently irrelevant to Democrats. Why? Because Democrats are “not all that interested in the ‘Dreamers’ as people,” explains columnist Roger Simon. “They just want to make the Republicans look, well, racist and lose elections.”

No doubt, but wouldn’t Democrats accepting Trump’s proposal as it stands alienate a substantial portion of his base and accomplish the same thing? National Review’s Mark Krikorian called it a “preemptive surrender on several issues.” Townhall’s Scott Morefield insisted Republicans and Trump “could very well be signing their own political death warrants.” And Bob Dane, executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), warned that the Republican base “will inflict a scorched-earth policy” on the party in the midterm elections.

So why would Democrats look a proverbial gift horse in the mouth? Because Democrats don’t want to solve America’s immigration problem. They want to “solve” America’s “white supremacist” problem.

“If the border were closed and the melting pot allowed to work, the façade of identity politics would vanish in a generation,” explains Victor Davis Hanson.

That is exactly why Democrats would never abide any solution that ends illegal immigration.

And identity politics is only part of the equation. More important, Democrats and their open border allies need a continuing influx of illegals to reduce the value of American citizenship to zero. That’s because debasing what columnist Rachel Bovard rightly describes as “the heart of our republic” in turn advances the debasement of America’s traditions, customs, culture and language.

Codevilla warns, “We obfuscate reality if we pretend that today’s influx is a mere continuation of the hallowed heritage of American immigration; if we ignore that people who want to come to America differ in their motivation, character, and above all in relevance to our constitutional republic.”

Democrats are more than willing to obfuscate reality if doing so abets their efforts to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.”

Are Trump and his fellow Republicans oblivious to these realities? Radio host Bill Mitchell believes Trump’s offer is a clever ploy. “Remember, Trump’s broader stated goal is ‘merit-based’ immigration,” he tweets. “His new ‘DACA deal’ is just that. He brings the illegals out of the shadows by registering them. They screw up once, they’re gone. He just added a ‘merit-based’ filter to illegal immigration. Smart.”

Columnist Monica Showalter believes Trump’s 10-12 year window for citizenship will weed out all the underachieving Dreamers, leaving the nation with people “who would actually like being Americans and succeed at it.”

Americans themselves will ultimately have to decide if Trump is selling out his base, genuinely trying to forge a compromise, or if he’s a clever “Art of the Deal” tactician who understands Democrats are so invested in “The Resistance” that they must avoid any deal on immigration — even one where they get more than 1.8 million Dreamers put on a pathway to citizenship.

Are Democrats really that cynical? Imagine what would happen if they did make a deal. A “racist” Republican party and its president would get at least partial credit for solving a problem Democrats refused to solve, even when they had the Oval Office, the House and a filibuster-proof Senate majority during Obama’s first term.

Moreover, a largely distractive issue would be taken off the table for the 2018 election — and a Trump-revived economy might become the central focus instead. If that happens, Democrats, who currently believe they are riding a tidal wave of anti-Trump sentiment to victory in November, might not win a majority in either the House or the Senate. In turn, that makes their dream of impeaching Trump impossible to achieve.

Thus, both Democrats and dreamers are doubling down. During his state of the Union speech Tuesday, Donald Trump stated something blindingly obvious: “Americans are dreamers, too.”

The following day, DACA recipients in California “said they were disgusted with Trump’s rhetoric,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Democrats? They “were infuriated” by Trump’s speech and insisted he “put an immigration deal even further out of reach with what they called bigoted remarks,” according to Politico.

According to a CBS poll, 75% of Americans approved of Trump’s speech. Even worse, a January 2018 Monmouth University poll reveals the 15 point edge Democrats held on generic congressional ballots in December has cratered to only a two-point edge. Thus, it appears an increasing number of Americans are beginning to realize a Democrat Party “platform” that consists of reflexive support for illegals — and reflexive hatred for the president and his supporters — isn’t one they wish to support in next November’s midterm elections.

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TODAY’S CARTOON

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

TODAY’S MEME

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

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read ‘Our New American Moment’ — President Trump’s 2018 SOTU. “All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family can do anything. We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.”

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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

Victor Davis Hanson: “Washington, DC, is often considered out of touch, both politically and geographically, with the rest of America. Given Washington’s huge number of federal workers, why not disperse at least some of its agencies westward to ensure demographic diversity? Transferring the Department of Agriculture to, say, Topeka or Fresno would allow bureaucrats far more intimacy with the farmers they regulate. Putting the Department of the Interior in Salt Lake City would make practical sense, given that the federal government owns about half the land of 11 coterminous Western states, including Utah. Either Houston or Bismarck would be a seemingly ideal spot for the Department of Energy. … Youngstown and Flint seem like perfect locales for the Department of Labor and the Department of Commerce. These Rust Belt cities played historic roles in America’s industrialization and are in dire need of outside investment and attention. Such moves would also reduce Washington’s congestion and the soaring cost of living in the nation’s capital. Moving the centers of federal power would defuse the populist rebellion by bringing the administrative state closer to those it administers — and by dousing bureaucratic fantasies with pragmatic realities. Breaking up Washington’s monopoly on power would also diminish the leapfrogging careerism of professional Washington bureaucrats and politicians. Often, they spend their lives crisscrossing capital boulevards between jobs at bureaucracies and nearby lobbying firms. Government certainly needs fresh faces and diversity.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “I heard Nancy Pelosi, before the tax cut was voted on, predicted economic armageddon. It’s just amazing to me that after this tax cut passes, three million Americans get another $1,000 in their pockets in many cases, and she actually described that as ‘crumbs.’ … If you’re going to say that $1,000 is crumbs, you live in a different world than I’m living in.” —Mike Pence

For the record: “I think Nancy Pelosi looks like that all the time. I think she should smile a lot more often. I think the country would be better for it. She seems to kind of embody the bitterness that belongs in the Democrat Party right now.” —Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Regrets, she has a few: “I very much understand the question I’m being asked as to why I let an employee on my 2008 campaign keep his job despite his inappropriate workplace behavior. The short answer is this: If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t.” —Hillary Clinton

Re: The Left: “It takes some guts to publish a 1,500-word Facebook post 20 minutes before the State of the Union explaining why you, Hillary Clinton, feminist hero, didn’t fire a dude for sexually harassing one of your young female staffers despite the fact that everyone in your campaign told you to get rid of him ASAP.” —Sonny Bunch

D'oh! “While I can’t comment yet on what’s in the GOP memo, it is a very misleading spin designed to attack the FBI and the Department of Justice. It has a lot of flaws in it.” —Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who just commented on the GOP memo

Alpha Jackass: “[Nikki Haley] seems to have embraced [allegations of an affair with Trump]. All she does is hammer on this fact. … She hasn’t tried to avoid this, let’s say.” —Michael Wolff (Actually, Haley categorically denied the allegations.)

And last… “What a great prank! Somebody put glue on half of the seats at State of the Union Address!” —Pat Sajak

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher