Mid-Day Digest

Apr. 26, 2018

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • It certainly seems as though the Supreme Court will back Trump’s travel ban.
  • Democrats lay out the same old socialist policy agenda for 2018.
  • If McCabe isn’t indicted, then it really is time to declare a banana republic.
  • Freedom finds a way, even in California.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“The duty imposed upon him to take care, that the laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of office, that he will ‘preserve, protect, and defend the constitution.’ The great object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose; and without it, be the form of government whatever it may, it will be utterly worthless.” —Joseph Story (1833)

IN BRIEF

SCOTUS Appears to Lean Trump’s Way on Travel Ban

Thomas Gallatin

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in President Donald Trump v. Hawaii, the case regarding his travel ban. By most indications, it appeared to go well for Trump, unlike in lower courts, which mendaciously struck it down. The case against the travel ban presented by Neal Katyal, the attorney representing Hawaii, rested on the dishonest argument that Trump intended it as a ban against Muslims, making it unconstitutional. The High Court’s conservative justices saw through the charade.

Solicitor General Noel Francisco, representing the Trump administration, astutely noted that of the eight countries barred under the travel ban, only six of them are Muslim-majority nations. In fact, he said, “The vast majority of the world, including the vast majority of the Muslim world,” was not included in the ban. Francisco added, “It would be the most ineffective Muslim ban that one could possibly imagine, since not only does it exclude the vast majority of the Muslim world, it also omits three Muslim-majority countries that were covered by past orders.”

Justice Samuel Alito appeared to agree with Francisco and pointed out that Trump’s executive order affected only 8% of the world’s Muslim population. “If you look at what was done,” Alito said, “it does not look at all like a Muslim ban.”

Katyal repeatedly referenced Trump’s campaign rhetoric as evidence to support the charge that the ban was designed to target Muslims, but he also conceded that the actual language of the executive order instituting the travel ban did not specifically target Muslims. Francisco countered that campaign rhetoric was irrelevant and that the actual language of the executive order should be what is judged by the law. The statute that gives the president broad regulatory authority over alien entry into the U.S. states:

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

While the Left and much of the mainstream media have from the very beginning erroneously labeled Trump’s travel ban as a Muslim ban, it has done so not based upon the actual language of the EO but upon their anti-Trump bias. Recall the actual reason Trump ordered the travel ban was to protect American citizens, one of the primary responsibilities of the president. Due to the fact that several countries’ vetting standards did not meet U.S. safety standards, Trump acted. The good news is that it appears the majority of the SCOTUS justices are seeing through the partisan bias and are looking at the letter of the law. The judges that have so thoroughly undermined the Rule of Law in their rulings on DACA should learn a thing or two.

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Dems Lay Out Extreme Leftist Vision for 2018

One of the reasons Donald Trump won the election is the fact that he campaigned as a moderate conservative politically while Hillary Clinton charted a course to the hard left and in so doing alienated a majority of working-class Americans. After losing, Hillary blamed everything from Russia to sexism for her loss. While even Democrats and the Leftmedia have become increasingly weary with her poor excuses, it seems they too have missed the mark in their assessment of why she lost — at least if the Democrats’ recent platform proposals are any indication.

Democrats are primarily running on hatred of Trump, of course, but when they throw out a policy prescription here or there, it’s the same old nonsensical stuff from a socialist utopia. Last year, it was “A Better Deal.” This year, it’s … the same old deal.

The plan getting the most press this week is that of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who wants to “guarantee” a job for every American. Not only that, Sanders wants to pay people at least $15 an hour and include health benefits for every worker. “Where will these jobs come from?” Ben Shapiro asks. “Public works projects a la the failed projects of FDR that helped lengthen the Great Depression by seven years.” Sanders has not done a cost analysis of his proposal — no doubt because the price tag would be laughably exorbitant.

Meanwhile, at the recent Democracy Alliance spring conference, which included party bigwigs such as DNC Chairman Tom Perez and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, as well as Congressmen Raul Grijalva (AZ) and Mark Pocan (WI), Democrats revealed the agenda they desire to implement. The policy agenda, called “Everyone’s Economy,” reads like it came straight from the Communist Manifesto (a lot of people can’t tell the difference). In addition to Sanders’ $15 minimum wage, it includes universal health care via Medicare for all, free college and student loan forgiveness, amnesty for 11 million illegals, $2 trillion for infrastructure and serious momentum toward enacting legislation on reparations.

Since Trump’s election, there has been no movement by Democrats toward a more moderate political agenda. Instead, they continue to push ever further left. The best adjective describing the Democrats’ vision is extreme. No wonder they are loathe to condemn the actions of leftists like antifa. Nor have they been eager in seeking to defend free speech. That’s because their Big Government agenda is a recipe for increased totalitarianism at the cost of individual freedom.

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Top Headlines

  • Jobless claims fall to lowest level in 48 years (MarketWatch)

  • GM adding 700 workers at SUV plant in Tennessee (Fox Business)

  • Trump administration wants it to be easier to shop hospital prices and move doctors (Washington Examiner)

  • Trump’s VA nominee Ronny Jackson withdraws after new allegations raised (NBC News)

  • EPA chief Pruitt faces congressional grilling on spending, ethics (Reuters)

  • French President Emmanuel Macron urges Congress to fight “virus of fake news” (National Review)

  • North Korea’s nuclear test site has collapsed, which may be why Kim Jong-un suspended tests (South China Morning Post)

  • Migrant “caravan” at U.S.-Mexico border prepares for mass crossing (Reuters)

  • $46,654: Annual cost of detaining illegal alien exceeds average American income (CNS News)

  • Judge rules New York City bar can refuse service to Trump supporter wearing MAGA hat — refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, though… (Fox News)

  • Policy: How Trump should define success in Syria (The National Interest)

  • Policy: Here’s what may lie behind North Korea’s latest moves (The Daily Signal)

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

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

A McCabe Indictment — or a Banana Republic?

Arnold Ahlert

“Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”

“A republic, if you can keep it.”

Two hundred and thirty-one years after Ben Franklin’s famous exchange, America has reached a fork in the road. Down one path, we continue our grand experiment in self-governance and maintain our reputation as the last best hope of mankind. Down the other, we devolve into a banana republic, ruled by a cabal of unelected deep-state bureaucrats accountable to no one but themselves. The best indicator of which way we’ll go? Ousted FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Either he gets indicted, or we live in a nation where the well-connected remain wholly insulated from genuine accountability.

The allegations couldn’t be clearer. As the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) report indicates, McCabe “lacked candor” (he lied) on four occasions when speaking with internal investigators. Thus, the OIG has sent a criminal referral to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, DC.

National Review’s Andrew McCarthy explains the genesis of McCabe’s lying, noting the former agent was “stung by a Wall Street Journal story that questioned his fitness to lead an investigation of Hillary Clinton.”

While running for a state senate seat, McCabe’s wife received the unusually large sum of $675,000 in campaign donations from a PAC controlled by longtime Clinton fundraiser and political confidant Terry McAuliffe, who was governor of Virginia at the time. The Journal’s reporter, Devlin Barrett, soon had follow-up questions for a subsequent article, but McCarthy notes his call came in “just as the Bureau was dealing with the controversy over Director James Comey’s reopening of the Clinton emails investigation.”

That “controversy” was the discovery that Clinton emails, some of which were classified, had been found on the computer of convicted “sexter” Anthony Weiner, husband of longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

When the meeting occurred, McCabe was out of town, so he phoned in. Comey ordered him off the call. “The director and his chief counsel were concerned about the perception of pro-Clinton bias,” McCarthy reveals.

Subsequently, a “humiliated” McCabe got in touch with his special counsel, Lisa Page — the same Lisa Page who exchanged thousands of anti-Trump emails with paramour and fellow FBI agent Peter Strzok — and told her to leak a rebuttal to Barrett’s story. It was about McCabe’s alleged efforts to defend the FBI’s pursuit of the Clinton Foundation the Obama administration wanted to end. And in the ultimate testimony to McCabe’s “character,” the IG report reveals that after the Journal published the story with the leaked information, he “called up the heads of the FBI’s New York and Washington field offices to ream them out over the leak that McCabe himself had orchestrated!” as McCarthy puts it.

In response to questions about these machinations, the report states that McCabe “lacked candor, including under oath, on multiple occasions in connection with describing his role in connection with a disclosure to the Journal, and that this conduct violated FBI Offense Codes 2.5 and 2.6.”

Code 2.5 refers to a Lack of Candor — No Oath. Code 2.6 refers to a Lack of Candor — Under Oath.

Lying to federal investigators is a crime.

The findings of the IG’s report were also sent to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which recommended McCabe’s firing. And while Attorney General Jeff Sessions obliged, there is often a sense among government insiders that termination, and the inevitable damage it does to one’s reputation, is sufficient “punishment” and that following up with a criminal indictment is “excessive.”

McCabe certainly thinks so. He has announced plans to sue the Trump administration for defamation and wrongful termination.

Meanwhile, there’s the OIG report’s stunning assertion that McCabe insisted he received an Aug. 12, 2016, telephone call from an unnamed Principal Assistant Deputy Attorney General (PADAG) regarding the FBI’s handling of the Clinton Foundation investigation. “McCabe said that PADAG expressed concerns about FBI agents taking overt steps in the CF Investigation during the presidential campaign,” the report states. “According to McCabe, he pushed back, asking ‘are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?’ McCabe told us that the conversation was ‘very dramatic’ and he never had a similar confrontation like the PADAG call with a high level Department official in his entire FBI career.”

According to FBI and DOJ sources in contact with The Washington Times, “PADAG” refers to Matthew Axelrod, who “quit the Justice Department on Jan. 30, 2017, the same day President Trump fired his boss, Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, for refusing to defend his travel ban executive order,” the paper reveals.

As former Justice Department official Hans von Spakovsky explains, the chances Axelrod acted on his own are virtually nil. “There is no way I would have ever called the FBI on my own unless I raised concerns with my boss or my boss told me to do so,” he stated.

In short, McCabe, by accident or design, has revealed the effort to stonewall the Clinton investigation — and in turn, influence the 2016 election — goes further up the bureaucratic food chain. How much further?

Without an indictment and/or a grand jury investigation, we may never know.

“Washington continues to operate on a type of ‘Animal Farm’ culture where everyone is equal but some are more equal than others,” asserts George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. “There remains a sharp disconnect in how high-ranking officials are treated as opposed to others in our system.”

And not just McCabe. “Comey was tasked with finding leaks and then became a leaker himself,” Turley adds.

Donald Trump was elected president for a host of reasons. One of them was the electorate’s increasing realization that a double standard of justice has become the norm, not the exception, especially in Washington, DC. Moreover, that contemptible status quo has been nurtured by the likes of McCabe, Comey and very likely several other Obama administration mandarins, who not only believe they are immune from the consequences of their actions but are justified in engendering what is likely to be the worst scandal in our nation’s history — in service to “A Higher Loyalty,” as the title of James Comey’s self-aggrandizing tome puts it.

A self-serving, self-perpetuating Ruling Class agenda borne of sheer hubris is more like it.

“McCabe’s testimony is the best way to learn why the FBI and Department of Justice seemingly mishandled everything related to Hillary Clinton and how the intelligence agencies routinely funneled classified material on Donald Trump to friendly news agencies,” asserts columnist Charles Lipson.

Only if McCabe is indicted. If not? America as a nation beholden to the Rule of Law will cease to exist.

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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.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

OPINION IN BRIEF

Ed Feulner: “The question is, how best for Seoul, Washington and Tokyo to proceed? My first piece of advice to everyone involved is to stick together. Don’t let Mr. Kim see any separation between the allies. We’ve worked too long and too hard, side by side, to let this outsider come between us. If we go our separate ways, it will be much easier for him to play us off against each other. My second piece of advice is to demand immediate compliance with our shared objective of the dismantling and removal of all nuclear weapons and delivery systems from North Korea. We should insist that we won’t relax strict economic sanctions until the weapons are out. Our independent inspectors must have unlimited access to proven and to suspected weapons development and storage sites. Never mind promises — they must see the bombs on trucks coming out. These two basic points are essential if we are to rid the region and the world of this nuclear bomb-enabled ruler. The intricacies of political thinking, however, leads me to a third piece of advice: If we insist on the first two, he will find it harder to agree. Therefore, we shouldn’t get our hopes too high for immediate positive action from these summits. So let’s keep our expectations reasonable.”

SHORT CUTS

Observations: “The more Mueller searches for hypothetical lawbreaking, the more he is inadvertently underscoring that actual lawbreakers must be subject to the same standard of justice. Ironically, Mueller’s investigation has reminded America that it is past time to call Comey, McCabe, and a host of Obama-era DOJ and FBI officials to account. For over a year, we have had two standards of legality when there can only be one. A reckoning is near.” —Victor Davis Hanson

Please hold while we process your request… “Please resign so that I won’t have to keep up this fight of your having to be impeached, because I don’t think you deserve to be there. Just get out!” —Rep. Maxine Waters to Donald Trump

Hypocrite: “With the Republicans, I’m not mad, I’m just terribly disappointed in what they’ve done to the institution. I believe the federal government has been so harmed — the legislative branch has been decimated, judicial decimated, checks and balances sliding out the door.” —former Senate leader Harry Reid

Braying Jackass: “There are a number of really fine journalists at Fox News who are doing an outstanding job, but the prime-time shows and the ones that really have the big audience — it’s almost like a state propaganda organ.” —Al Gore

Alpha Jackass: “We’re only a little over a year into this experiment with Donald Trump, and in science and medicine some experiments are terminated early for ethical reasons.” —Al Gore

Belly laugh of the week: “I think [James Comey is] clearly a pillar of integrity. I think he’s a truth-teller. I think whatever flaws have been manifested — and he, himself, has written about some of them — will be for history to judge.” —Al Gore

And last… “Without the 90-plus percent black vote, the Democratic Party, at the national level, is in deep trouble. This explains why they race-bait. Constantly.” —Larry Elder

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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