Mid-Day Digest

May 4, 2018

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Trump and Giuliani have made a deliberate play at chaos for a reason.
  • There’s good economic news and Dems would rather you didn’t know.
  • Cecile Richards leaves Planned Parenthood after 12 years of butchery.
  • What’s going on with rising gas prices? Russia and Saudi Arabia.
  • Hillary Clinton the “capitalist” blames the socialists for her loss.
  • Let’s take away lawfully owned guns, says a Democrat.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men.” —Samuel Adams (1775)

IN BRIEF

Waiting for the Stormy to Blow Over

Thomas Gallatin

Rudy Giuliani surprised much of the nation and the mainstream media this week when he acknowledged in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity that President Donald Trump had, via his longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen, paid off adult actress Stormy Daniels over her allegations of an affair. The surprise had little to do with questions surrounding Trump’s character and the possibility of his affair 12 years ago — most Americans knew full well that Trump was no choir boy. Instead, it was the sudden admission of the payment after Trump had previously denied any knowledge of it. Did Giuliani just admit to Hannity that Trump lied? It sure looks like it, but, as they say, the devil is in the details.

Recall that Giuliani, a renowned prosecutor before he became mayor of New York City, recently joined Trump’s legal team with the stated objective of bringing Robert Mueller’s investigation to a swift end. Last month, after the story broke that the FBI had raided Cohen’s home and office, it was learned that Daniels’ allegations that she had been paid off were confirmed. Questions then arose as to whether the payoff broke any laws, specifically regarding campaign finance. With the long-running Mueller investigation seemingly having given up on finding any crime of a Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy and instead turning to other possible infractions, Trump (via Giuliani) decided to go on the offensive.

But in order to aggressively do so, the one potentially significant and legally dangerous card the Mueller investigation has to play — a charge of violating campaign finance law — must be dealt with. That explains Giuliani’s public confirmation of the payment to Daniels, while at the same time denying that Trump had knowledge of the payment before a month ago. It also explains the comments about Cohen being paid a regular retainer to look out for any potential problems for Trump, without Trump having to be directly alerted to them. In other words, while it may seem a dubious assertion to claim that Trump had no knowledge of the payoff, it does give him the legal room for plausible deniability. Giuliani is seeking to get any legal entanglements for Trump out of the way before hitting hard on the Mueller investigation. Needless to say, it’s messy and it comes at the cost of a hit to Trump’s credibility.

In the long run, that may be the bigger hurdle for Trump. If the events surrounding this affair eventually show clearly that Trump knowingly and deliberately lied to the American people, that may prove to be the most damaging aspect of this whole scandal. As is often the case, the cover-up becomes worse than the offense. So will Trump and Giuliani’s intentional chaos play work to confuse and keep everyone guessing until a deal is done? Time will tell. In the meantime, it’s bound to get even more, er, stormy.

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A Good Economy Is Bad for Democrats

Nate Jackson

Fresh off the socialist May Day protests, Hillary Clinton’s hilariously bad socialist/capitalist blame game and a day ahead of Karl Marx’s 200th birthday, there’s some positive news for our lower-taxed, less-regulated, free-market economy.

April saw another 164,000 jobs created, which isn’t fantastic but it’s progress, and the headline unemployment rate dropped to just 3.9%, an 18-year low. The fuller measure of unemployment fell to 7.8%, a 17-year low. Black unemployment hit a new record low of 6.6% — doubly interesting in the midst of the Kanye West controversy. March’s jobs numbers were revised up from 103,000 to 135,000. Government payrolls declined by 4,000. People applying for unemployment benefits for the first time is now at the lowest level since 1973. Wages grew at an unimpressive 2.6% annualized rate, which bewilders experts, but according to the Employment Cost Index, first-quarter wages grew at the fastest pace in 11 years. That would be prior to the Democrat-caused financial collapse of 2008 for those keeping score.

The lone dark cloud was that unemployment dropped in part because more people aren’t even looking for work. As Reuters reports, “236,000 people dropped out of the labor force. The labor force participation rate, or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one, fell to 62.8 percent from 62.9 percent in March.” That said, job growth can’t help but slow when the labor market is at essentially full employment.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department recently announced its estimate for first-quarter GDP growth of 2.3%, which is better than expected. Of course, Americans who rely on nightly newscasts didn’t hear about that good news. Other news organizations spun it in a negative light for President Donald Trump.

And that right there is the key. A lot of the Leftmedia churn undermines consumer confidence, and the economy is all about confidence. To the extent Democrats — with the help of their Leftmedia allies — can erode confidence in the administration, the more they undermine the economy. The trick is for Republicans to hammer home the message of tax cuts, deregulation and a growing economy.

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Top Headlines

  • Trump blasts NBC over botched Cohen report: “wrong again!” (Fox News)
  • McConnell: Confirming judicial picks is a top priority in Senate (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • In a reversal, Speaker Ryan says the House chaplain will remain in his post (The Washington Post)
  • Trump initiative protects religious rights, faith groups’ equal access to federal dollars (The Daily Signal)
  • Opposite Obama, Trump refugee policy favors Christians over Muslims, 3-1 (Washington Examiner)
  • Dozens more caravan asylum seekers let in to U.S. from Mexico (Reuters)
  • Pentagon confirms Chinese fired lasers at U.S. pilots (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • U.S.-China trade talks end with key differences still unresolved (Bloomberg)
  • Planned Parenthood sues Trump administration for favoring abstinence programs over family planning with Title X grants (CNS News)
  • Amazon boots Christian nonprofit from donations program because of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate list” (The Federalist)
  • Policy: The consequences of historical ignorance (The Daily Signal)
  • Policy: Keep the Electoral College, because states matter (National Review)

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

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

Richards’ Legacy in Planned Parenthood’s Cult of Death

Brian Mark Weber

“After her final day as president of abortion provider Planned Parenthood Monday, thousands of people took to social media to celebrate Cecile Richards and thank her for killing 3.5 million people during her tenure.” Or at least that’s the way The Babylon Bee satirically “reported” this week. The Bee went on, “The nation offered kind remarks on Richards’ positive attitude, support for women’s rights, and ruthless genocidal efficiency.”

In reality, Richards was celebrated by abortion advocates and Planned Parenthood supporters who gushed on social media over her contributions to the organization.

Reflecting on her catastrophic tenure, Richards opined, “12 years ago, I almost didn’t go to the job interview at Planned Parenthood. I had a long list of reasons why I wasn’t qualified. So I did what any grown woman would do: I called my mom. [Former Texas Gov.] Ann Richards wasn’t having it — she told me to get a grip, and thank goodness she did!”

“Thank goodness”?

It must be nice to have had an opportunity to live a full life and reach out to her mom for guidance. Except Richards denied this same right to millions of innocent babies over the last 12 years — children who never got a chance to gaze lovingly into either of their parents’ eyes, much less ask for advice.

Sure, we’re often told that Planned Parenthood is an organization whose primary mission is to provide women’s health services, but its website offers an in-clinic abortion service as though one were simply dropping an item in an Amazon shopping cart.

Some of the reasons listed on Planned Parenthood’s website for women seeking an abortion include not wanting to be a parent, wanting to be the best parent possible to an older child, and wanting to achieve other goals before having a baby.

In other words, a prospective mother who’d really rather go backpacking in Europe this summer or who isn’t quite ready to give up the single life can simply drop by the clinic and irrevocably end the life of that little human being kicking around in her belly.

It’d be one thing for a private baby-killing operation to fund itself via donations from heartless groups and individuals (although even that scenario would be chilling and reprehensible). But forcing millions of decent, hard-working Americans to kick in $500 million per year in public funding to do the same is an outrage for a nation founded upon Judeo-Christian values and the unalienable rights of every human being to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

During the decade-plus in which Richards led the organization and raked in a seven-figure salary, Planned Parenthood took in billions in taxpayer dollars. Yet during this time, women’s health services fell dramatically while the number of aborted children skyrocketed. The Daily Wire reports that Planned Parenthood “saw huge drops in patient numbers and actual health services and scandal after scandal involving aborted baby body parts trafficking, sexual abuse cover-ups, Medicaid fraud and more.”

Although many pro-life Americans were dismayed by the omnibus spending bill signed into law by President Donald Trump earlier this spring, there are some encouraging signs. Peter Sullivan at The Hill writes, “More than 85 anti-abortion groups signed a letter Tuesday saying that the family planning money, known as Title X, should not go to Planned Parenthood and other groups that perform or refer women for abortions. This shift would reinstate a regulation put in place by President Reagan.”

House and Senate Republicans are also putting some pressure on Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to make changes to Title X.

Pro-life senators recently asked Azar to “restore the regulations issued on February 2, 1988 (53 FR 2922) which clarified that Title X programs may not promote, counsel, or refer clients for abortion or co-locate or combine family planning services with abortion activities. These rules required not only complete financial separation, but also physical separation of abortion activities from Title X service sites and separate personnel.”

Ridding family-planning centers of abortion would be a small but significant step in restoring the focus on families rather than the murder of the unborn. You know — actually planning parenthood.

Naturally, Planned Parenthood has decried the effort to change Title X as a “threat” to women’s health and is suing to stop it. But we mustn’t continue to fall for this lie. For example, the organization’s supporters — including Barack Obama — have long touted mammograms as an important service offered at its locations, but in 2015 Cecile Richards appeared before a congressional committee and admitted, “We do not have mammogram machines at our health centers.”

But this is nothing new for Planned Parenthood. The objective has always been to keep the truth from getting out — whether it’s about health services or targeting minority populations. As Margaret Sanger, the eugenicist founder of Planned Parenthood, said in 1939, “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”

In the Information Age, however, and with tens of millions of lives having already been lost, the organization can no longer stop the word from getting out. The real and ruthless mission of Planned Parenthood has been exposed, and it’s long past time to cut off public funding of this brutal butchery.

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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

Jonah Goldberg: “By now you’ve probably heard that an American teenager wore a traditional Chinese dress to her prom. The young lady, Keziah Daum, is not ethnically Chinese or Asian. And this infuriated a lot of people on Twitter. … Cultural appropriation was originally a sociological term to describe how a majority culture borrows or adapts from a minority culture some custom, fashion, cuisine or practice. At some point, alas, it went from being descriptive to proscriptive. … Without cultural appropriation, American blacks would never have picked up European musical instruments to create the blues and jazz. Without cultural appropriation, white and black artists alike would never have spun these wonderful creations into rock and roll. Nearly every meal you’ve ever eaten is the byproduct of centuries of cultural appropriation, to one extent or another. … The New York Times did a great journalistic service this week: It investigated whether the Chinese were offended by Daum’s alleged hate crime. The overwhelming response? Nope. Chinese social media and cultural commentators celebrated Daum’s decision as a compliment. But in America, unfortunately, some people are so insecure in their identity and so desperate to be offended they have breathed new life into H.L. Mencken’s definition of puritanism: ‘the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.’”

SHORT CUTS

Re: the Left: “The idea that partisans and journalists who’ve made a living using favorable leaks regarding the investigations into the Trump administration are suddenly concerned about the sanctity of a criminal investigation is ludicrous.” —David Harsanyi

For the record: “Some Democrats complained about [Mike] Pompeo’s stances on gay issues. But they’re the party that blocked for seven months the nomination of a gay ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell.” —Michael Barone

Upright: “If Trump wants to succeed, he must want a deal less than Kim [Jong-un] does. He must be willing to walk away and to make Kim understand that he is serious about a military option if negotiations fail. He can’t do so if he is even remotely thinking about a Nobel. Winning a Nobel Prize is irrelevant. Reagan never got a Nobel, but he is remembered as the president who brought about the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union and won the Cold War. Barack Obama, by contrast, won a Nobel Prize just nine months after taking office for doing nothing (except not being George W. Bush). Simply by forcing North Korea to the negotiating table, Trump has already done more to deserve the prize than Obama did.” —Marc A. Thiessen

The equivalent of asking for war: “Reinstating the federal assault weapons ban that was in effect from 1994 to 2004 would prohibit manufacture and sales, but it would not affect weapons already possessed. This would leave millions of assault weapons in our communities for decades to come. Instead, we should ban possession of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons, we should buy back such weapons from all who choose to abide by the law, and we should criminally prosecute any who choose to defy it by keeping their weapons.” —Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA)

The BIG Lie: “On this panel, no one — as far as I could tell — has ever said anything negative about Trump voters.” —"The View’s" delirious Joy Behar

And last… “If they had the chance, I actually think the Democrats would put a crown of thorns on Trump’s head, make him carry his own cross and send him to be crucified. On national TV.” —Michael Reagan

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher