“Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution.” —Joseph Warren (1775)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- With Kavanaugh on the brink of confirmation, the FBI found a Ford tidbit…
- Is the electorate really informed? Civics ignorance is a big problem.
- Iran’s ayatollah says Islam has the solution for #MeToo.
- Will California dictate emissions for the whole country?
- Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists, and Short Cuts.
The Senate this morning voted to end debate on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. A final vote is scheduled for Saturday, and it looks like it will be a party-line nail-biter.
From the moment Kavanaugh was nominated to fill Anthony Kennedy’s seat, Senate Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer (NY) and Dianne Feinstein (CA), worked a deliberate strategy to derail his confirmation at all costs. It began with a campaign to paint Kavanaugh as the justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade, and upon this ground Democrats declared him too partisan to be confirmed. When it became clear that this tactic would fail to stop his confirmation, Feinstein and Company elected to go with character assassination, announcing 11th-hour allegations of sexual assault that Feinstein had sat on for weeks, presumably because even she knew at the time it lacked any corroborating evidence, as the latest FBI investigation confirms.
Democrats’ game plan was to turn up the heat on Kavanaugh enough to convince him and Republicans that it wasn’t worth it; they hoped Kavanugh would succumb to the mounting public pressure and withdraw. This required weaponizing the #MeToo movement to scare Republicans into conceding to the Democrats’ demands lest they suffer significant losses in the upcoming midterms thanks to women voters.
But Republicans wisely, though at times rather weakly, called Feinstein’s bluff. Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, was given a Senate hearing, in which Democrats demanded a seventh FBI investigation into Kavanaugh. Dems got their week delay, but, as everyone knew would be the case, the resulting probe found no new evidence to corroborate Ford’s allegations (or those of a second accuser). In fact, if anything new was uncovered by the FBI, it’s that Ford’s lifelong friend, who Ford says was at the supposed party, claimed she was pressured by allies of Ford to “revisit” her initial statement denying her presence or even knowing Kavanaugh.
No matter. Democrats anticipated the FBI’s findings and quickly dismissed their relevance — even before receiving the report. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) declared that “the whole thing is a sham,” while Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) insisted the investigation was “bulls—t.” Meanwhile, Democrats had already begun to pivot to their next attack, charging that Kavanaugh’s emotional testimony last Thursday displayed a “temperament” that made him unfit for serving on the Supreme Court. And they got help with a broadside from none other than former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who said Thursday, “[Democrats] suggest that he has demonstrated a potential bias involving enough potential litigants before the court that he would not be able to perform his full responsibilities. And I think there is merit in that criticism and that the senators should really pay attention to it.”
Thursday evening, Kavanaugh pushed back against this latest attack on his character, writing in a Wall Street Journal op-ed:
I testified before the Judiciary Committee last Thursday to defend my family, my good name and my lifetime of public service. My hearing testimony was forceful and passionate. That is because I forcefully and passionately denied the allegation against me. At times, my testimony — both in my opening statement and in response to questions — reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of horrible conduct completely contrary to my record and character. My statement and answers also reflected my deep distress at the unfairness of how this allegation has been handled. …
Going forward, you can count on me to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good. As a judge, I have always treated colleagues and litigants with the utmost respect. I have been known for my courtesy on and off the bench. I have not changed. I will continue to be the same kind of judge I have been for the last 12 years. And I will continue to contribute to our country as a coach, volunteer, and teacher. Every day I will try to be the best husband, dad, and friend I can be. I will remain optimistic, on the sunrise side of the mountain. I will continue to see the day that is coming, not the day that is gone.
I revere the Constitution. I believe that an independent and impartial judiciary is essential to our constitutional republic. If confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Supreme Court, I will keep an open mind in every case and always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law.
That is exactly what Democrats fear most. This whole Democrat-created fiasco was never about any questionable rulings, or #MeToo, or judicial temperament; rather this was all about Democrats’ fear that a constitutionally committed justice wouldn’t concede to their anti-constitutional activism. In other words, Kavanaugh is a huge roadblock to their leftist agenda — a roadblock they fully intended to destroy.
While last week we were singing the praises of Millennials for staying together in matrimony, one area where they’re falling short is the understanding of our basic system of government. Then again, they’re not alone: According to a survey conducted for the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, just one in three Americans could pass a 10-question test derived from the U.S. Citizenship Test, which is required of all immigrants who wish to become American citizens. Tellingly, those under age 45 had just a 19% passage rate, meaning that fewer than one in five could answer six or more of the 10 questions correctly. (On the other hand, respondents over 65 had a 74% passage rate.)
“Unfortunately this study found the average American to be woefully uninformed regarding America’s history and incapable of passing the U.S. Citizenship Test,” said Foundation president Arthur Levine. “It would be an error to view these findings as merely an embarrassment,” Levine warned. “Knowledge of the history of our country is fundamental to maintaining a democratic society, which is imperiled today.”
Regular readers will recall that we’ve sounded this alarm bell before, particularly when Constitution Day comes around. All kidding about “Civics for Dummies” aside, though, ignorance of the basic tenets of our government leaves our citizenry vulnerable to abuse by those people who realize how simple it is to game the system to their advantage. “We don’t need a citizenry made up of constitutional experts,” wrote our own Brian Mark Weber, “but how can we expect voters to make informed decisions if they know next to nothing about our system of government or their rights under the Constitution?”
It’s almost too easy to blame the educational system, whether it’s the replacement of traditional American history by “New Civics” classwork at the college level or a lack of emphasis in high school — a glaring deficiency that prompted the Obama administration to simply stop measuring the lack of progress in teaching these subjects. Noteworthy was a 2012 Tufts University study, which found that while most states required a basic civics course for high-school graduation, only eight had a civics portion as part of mandated testing to graduate. Moreover, the remaining tests were becoming easier, having dropped their short-answer and essay requirements in favor of simpler multiple-choice questions. Those 2012 students are today donning the civics dunce cap.
Picking up on the admonition of the Woodrow Wilson Institute, the editors at The Wall Street Journal are correct in stating flatly: “It’s embarrassing.”
When just 13% of Americans can recall when the Constitution was ratified — most said 1776, meaning they can’t keep the Constitution and Declaration of Independence straight — and 60% don’t know which countries the United States fought in World War II, woe is us. And is it merely comical or downright shameful that “only 24% can identify something that Ben Franklin was famous for, and 37% credit him for having invented the light bulb.” In Millennial-speak: “OMG!”
With Election Day less than a month away — in fact, early voting has already begun in a few select states — this study should be yet another wake-up call to ratchet up our awareness a few notches. Unfortunately, subjects that don’t lend themselves to becoming popular iPhone apps aren’t high on the Millennial priority list — and, hey, they don’t mind socialism anyway.
Barbie once complained that “math class is tough.” Maybe so, but try convincing today’s education establishment that it’s important to properly teach our young people about the Constitution and the role of government. Given these latest dismal results, it’s time to take on this toughest of tasks.
The supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claimed on Wednesday to have the “solution” to the problem of sexual assault exposed by the #MeToo movement. Using his official social media account, Khamenei wrote, “The disaster of countless sexual assaults on Western women — including incidents leading to #MeToo campaign — and Islam’s proposal to resolve it.” The message then linked to a video of Khamenei giving a speech at last March’s International Women’s Day, in which he introduced the Islamic solution to prevent abuse against women — the hijab. Khamenei stated, “By introducing [the] hijab, Islam has shut the door on a path that would pull women towards such deviation.”
So, in other words, forcing women to cover themselves with the hijab will “solve” the problem of sexual assault and harassment. Isn’t this a classic example of blaming the victim? Secondly, does this not remove all responsibility from men to control their own behavior? “It was her fault I sexually assaulted her, officer, because she failed keep herself appropriately covered up.” Yeah, that sure sounds like the “solution” to the problem.
No word, however, from American leftists about Islamic oppression of women.
Ironically, just days prior to Khamenei giving advice to the West, Iran executed a 24-year-old woman for murdering her husband. She was a child bride who had confessed under duress, but then told a judge that her husband really had been murdered by his brother, who she also said had raped her several times. But what is the word of a woman worth in Iran?
Well, according to a UN report, under Iran’s Islamic penal code, “A woman’s testimony in a court of law is regarded as half that of a man’s.” So, by this logic, it would take the testimony of two women to equal that of one man. Now that sounds like a system of misogynistic jurisprudence. If American leftists truly believe that our justice system is unjust, a cursory look around the world should disabuse them of that notion.
Unemployment rate hits the lowest level since 1969 (CNBC)
Senate votes to advance Kavanaugh nomination, setting up final vote for Saturday (Fox News)
Cook Political Report shifts three Senate races toward Republicans (The Hill)
Anti-Trump, far-left California judge shows why judicial nominations matter (Investor’s Business Daily)
The EPA is reportedly going to stop one of its costliest abuses — the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule (The Daily Signal)
Senate sends opioid bill to Trump’s desk (The Washington Free Beacon)
DACA “Dreamer” arrested for smuggling meth (The Washington Times)
New White House counterterrorism strategy singles out “radical Islamists” (The Washington Free Beacon)
Mike Pence paints China as foremost threat to U.S.: “We will not be intimidated” (ABC News)
Humor: FBI investigation implicates entire world: “There is none righteous, no, not one” (The Babylon Bee)
Policy: Why spatial reasoning matters for education policy (American Enterprise Institute)
Policy: Is corporate tech patenting in space unfair? (American Enterprise Institute)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- Will California Dictate National Emissions Standards? — Golden State regulators are fighting Trump to keep Obama’s standards on cars.
- Khamenei Claims to Have a ‘Solution’ to #MeToo Problem — Iran’s Ayatollah claims that sexual assault wouldn’t happen if women wore hijabs.
- Video: Who Needs Feminism? — It’s a mean-spirited, small-minded and oppressive philosophy that can poison relations between the sexes.
OPINION IN BRIEF
David Limbaugh: “[Democrats] tell us they want further investigations of Kavanaugh when their real aim is to defeat the confirmation through endless delays and flagrant abuse of their advise and consent role. The Democrats, almost to a person, have pre-announced that they will vote against confirmation, so please don’t insult our intelligence by suggesting they’re only extending the investigation for fact-finding purposes. The Democrats’ opposition to Kavanaugh has nothing to do with Kavanaugh and has everything to do with their lust for power through the judicial branch that they can’t reliably acquire through democratic processes. As usual, they claim they have the moral high ground when they are making a mockery of morality and the rule of law. But I’ll give them one thing: They are formidable and tireless warriors. And until the GOP recognizes this and unites against them with the same degree of ferocity, determination and energy, we will continue taking it on the chin.”
Re: The Left: “You’ve humiliated this guy enough. There seems to be no bottom for some of you. … Why don’t we dunk him in the water and see if he floats?” —Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) responding to Kavanaugh’s “witch hunt” protesters in the halls of Congress
Dezinformatziya: “Enough has been learned about his partisan instincts that we believe senators must vote ‘no’ [on Brett Kavanaugh]. We do not say so lightly. We have not opposed a Supreme Court nominee, liberal or conservative, since Robert H. Bork in 1987.” —The Washington Post (The editors didn’t mention that Ted Kennedy’s shameful treatment of Bork provided the Democrat template for character assassination of judicial nominees to the point that “Borking” became a verb.)
A vast right-wing conspiracy I: “I have seen [the FBI report] and … my very emphatic opinion is that this set of interviews is at best, most charitably, woefully incomplete. To put it bluntly, it smacks of a whitewash, even a cover up.” – Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) (“The evidence for this supposed ‘cover up’ can be found right next to Blumenthal’s Vietnam War records, and in the same drawer as all the corroboration of the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh.” —Guy Benson)
A vast right-wing conspiracy II: “It’s obviously a cover-up. The Trump White House, working with the Republican leadership in the Senate, have deliberately circumscribed this investigation.” —Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-MA)
From an expert on barnyard excrement: “Just read the FBI report on Kavanaugh — if that’s an investigation, it’s a bulls—t investigation.” —Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Braying Jenny: “What I can say is that the most notable part of this report is what’s not in it. As we noted by the White House, the FBI did not interview Brett Kavanaugh, nor did the FBI interview Dr. Blasey Ford.” —Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (And here we thought Feinstein and Company already interviewed them…)
Braying Jackass: “[Years ago] I thought [Kavanaugh] had the qualifications for the Supreme Court should he be selected. I’ve changed my views for reasons that have no relationship to his intellectual ability. … I feel his performance in the hearings ultimately changed my mind.” —former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens
Meaning what, exactly? “As we go towards the midterm elections, if someone in your family even remotely seems like they may go the wrong way, you need to be sure that you turn up on them at the dinner table. Do not allow people to be comfortable around you supporting racists and bigots.” —Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory
And last… “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has sometimes frustrated conservative activists. But right now every conservative in America owes McConnell a huge debt of gratitude.” —Gary Bauer
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher