Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 26, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“It behooves you, therefore, to think and act for yourself and your people. The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors.” —Thomas Jefferson (1775)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • CNN plays the victim, as authorities arrest a suspect in the bombing scare.
  • Justice for Kavanaugh: Avenatti has been referred for a criminal probe.
  • New York and its Democrat governor move to silence dissent.
  • The midterms are a big deal at the state level, too.
  • Diversity or Demo division? Our nation’s history is at stake.
  • Repealing the GOP tax cuts would cost Americans big time.
  • Two different marches receive two very different reactions.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists, and Short Cuts.

IN BRIEF

CNN Plays the Victim in Package-Gate

Thomas Gallatin

“There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media. The President, and especially the White House press secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that,” bellowed CNN president Jeff Zucker in a statement following the rash of (fake) pipe bombs sent to several high-profile Democrats. The obtuse nature of the statement by the head of CNN serves to further demonstrate that the Leftmedia outlet’s blatant anti-Trump bias isn’t merely expressed by some of its reporters — it flows straight down from the very top.

CNN has deservedly become one of President Donald Trump’s favorite punching bags for its biased reporting and repeated incidents of propagating fake news. For its part, CNN has been highly critical of Trump, regularly referring to him as both a racist and a liar. The network is after ratings…

Interestingly, Zucker failed to note the fact that the suspicious package was not intended for CNN but for former CIA Director John Brennan, who appears regularly on the network but is actually a contributor at MSNBC. In other words, none of these packages targeted CNN. Never mind that important detail — Zucker is evidently so united with the Democrats that he has no reservations over presuming that the threat was directed at CNN. Fake news?

It also appears that Zucker intentionally ignored the president’s call for unity when Trump said, “We have to unify. We have to come together. Acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.” Clearly, Leftmedia propaganda outlets don’t believe Trump should be allowed to call them on their own hypocrisy as he did at a campaign rally on Wednesday night: “The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative — and oftentimes, false — attacks and stories.”

Friday morning, Trump responded to CNN specifically, stating, “Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing, yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, ‘it’s just not Presidential!’”

Meanwhile, the FBI has arrested a Florida man in connection with the series of inert packages. However, since we still don’t know his motive, it would be foolish for any professional news organization to assume one — in fact, it would journalistic malpractice. But that hasn’t stopped CNN and other Leftmedia outlets from blaming Trump.

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Justice for Kavanaugh: Avenatti Referred for Criminal Probe

Nate Jackson

In a welcome move, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has referred Brett Kavanaugh’s third accuser, Julie Swetnick, and her porn-lawyer, Michael Avenatti, to the Justice Department and FBI for criminal investigation for lying to Congress.

Avenatti hit the talk-show circuit to repeat Swetnick’s completely ludicrous claims — that Kavanaugh was present for a “gang rape” ring at drunken high-school parties. Days after her initial accusations were made in a sworn statement to the Judiciary Committee, Swetnick walked back important aspects of her story in an interview. We won’t dredge through the whole affair again other than to say Swetnick’s allegations were the least credible and most salacious, which is no doubt why a self-promoter like Avenatti championed her.

In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Grassley wrote, “The law prohibits such false statements to Congress and obstruction of congressional committee investigations. For the law to work, we can’t just brush aside potential violations. I don’t take lightly making a referral of this nature, but ignoring this behavior will just invite more of it in the future.”

Moreover, Grassley continued, “When charlatans make false claims to the Committee — claims that may earn them short-term media exposure and financial gain, but which hinder the Committee’s ability to do its job — there should be consequences.” Indeed there should, and we’re glad to see Grassley going to bat for Kavanaugh, who, as a sitting Supreme Court justice, can no longer practically defend himself.

Avenatti, who’s been teasing a 2020 presidential bid and thinks the nominee “better be a white male,” fired back with his typical bravado, “It is ironic that Senator Grassley now is interested in investigations. He didn’t care when it came to putting a man on the SCOTUS for life. We welcome the investigation as now we can finally get to the bottom of Judge Kavanaugh’s lies and conduct. Let the truth be known.”

He later added a not-so-veiled threat: “Maybe if Grassley was actually a lawyer that knew something about the law, he would realize what he has done. He just opened up Pandora’s box as it relates to Justice Kavanaugh’s conduct. It is Christmas in October!”

We strongly suspect it’s not going to be a Merry Christmas for Avenatti. In recent days, Avenatti has also lost a legal battle that leaves him owing his former law partner $4.85 million (on top of $10 million from a previous judgment), as well as another case in which he was ordered to vacate his firm’s offices for failure to pay rent. Furthermore, Avenatti’s defamation case against President Donald Trump on behalf of his other infamous client, Stormy Daniels, was dismissed, and she must pay Trump’s legal fees. In other words, Avenatti is a pathetic excuse for an attorney and a scummy human being. Which we suppose makes him the perfect Democrat presidential candidate.

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New York Moves to Silence Dissent

Harold Hutchison

Lost in the bustle of the midterm elections has been a very disturbing escalation of New York’s war against those who dissent from left-wing policies. We’ve covered Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his abuse of financial regulations to target the National Rifle Association in the wake of the Parkland shooting. Cuomo’s totalitarianism has drawn belated opposition from the long-silent ACLU, but Fox News reports that other states are starting to employ the Cuomo playbook.

Well, things in New York have gotten worse, not better. The state is suing ExxonMobil for “misleading investors” about the possible risks from climate change. At least that’s what New York’s attorney general is saying in legal documents. In reality, the suit was filed because ExxonMobil isn’t going along with the preferred environmental policies of the current powers-that-be in the Empire State.

This isn’t Cuomo’s first such rodeo involving the use of government to find a back-door restriction on our rights. The Patriot Post team has warned about the use of RICO as a political weapon in the debate over environmental policy in the past.

In the latter years of Bill Clinton’s administration, he supported using an avalanche of civil litigation to compel gun manufacturers to accept policies that had been rejected by lawmakers at the federal and state level — or face bankruptcy.

Back in 2016, we asked, “How do conservatives expect to mount a comeback when even making the argument becomes illegal?” Well, that question has changed — largely because candidate Donald Trump became President Donald Trump. But the fundamental question we posed back then not only remains, it has expanded into a host of such questions.

Can conservatism survive if even making the conservative argument is criminalized? For that matter, can conservative groups compete in the market in the face of Chokepoint 2.0, which could cut them off from financial services? What if conservatives are excluded from law school or medical school? Can conservatives hope to win elections if Silicon Valley muzzles their arguments?

As outlandish as they may seem, those questions are very real. And these actions by New York, which Andrew Cuomo has sought to export to other states, are an abuse of power on par with the Democrats’ “John Doe” investigations in Wisconsin and Barack Obama’s weaponization of the IRS and other federal agencies against the Tea Party.

In essence, the stakes have increased. This is not merely a fight about policy, such as an argument about marginal tax rates or health care. It is now nothing less than a fight for freedom of speech for conservatives.

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Top Headlines

  • Economy grew at an annual rate of 3.5% in third quarter (The Washington Post)
  • Florida man arrested in connection to mail bombs (New York Post)
  • Survey: One in seven Americans are OK with political violence at least “sometimes” (Investor’s Business Daily)
  • Trump mulls plan to bar entry of all migrants at southern border (Fox News)
  • Smugglers have cut 1,700 holes in San Diego’s border fence since 2015 (Washington Examiner)
  • More than half of America gets more in welfare than it pays in taxes (Mises Institute)
  • U.S. ranks 24 out of 35 on International Tax Competitiveness Index (CNS News)
  • Medicaid enrollment declines for the first time in more than a decade as strong economy boosts income for poor Americans (CNBC)
  • Trump outlines plan to lower Medicare drug prices to match prices overseas (Washington Examiner)
  • Humor: Caravan of liberal Americans makes way toward socialist paradise of Venezuela (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: Sizing up the proposed Health Reimbursement Arrangements rule (American Action Forum)
  • Policy: How to improve Trump’s regulatory budget (Washington Examiner)

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.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

OPINION IN BRIEF

Rich Lowry: “The caravan is dramatic, but it isn’t different in kind from the daily reality on the border of Central American minors and members of family units showing up and getting in. Trump is correct that this is an insane way for a sovereign country to run its immigration policy, and that Republicans want to try to fix it by tightening the rules, while Democrats support the latitudinarian status quo. If Trump’s opponents don’t want to see more caravans on TV, they could agree that the border shouldn’t be arbitrarily open to a swath of migrants from Central America and help do something about it. Instead, they cry foul when Trump points out obvious deficiencies in the current system and hope news organizations don’t notice a group of thousands of people heading north to try to take advantage of our laxity.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “No country can maintain its character and purpose if it has what amounts to open borders. A common language is lost, there are fewer incentives to assimilate and immigrants can bring with them their own agendas and objectives. The hyphenating of various ethnic groups is proof enough that they seem to be less willing to be called simply Americans.” —Cal Thomas

Upright II: “The Democrats’ hatred reminds me of the time someone asked Israel’s Golda Meier when she thought there would be peace in the Middle East. She said it would only happen when Palestinians start loving their children more than they hate the Jews. It’s the same for America in 2018. Our political civil war will end only when the Democrats start loving their country more than they hate Donald Trump.” —Michael Reagan

For the record: “No one goes on a bombing spree because of something heard at a political rally. No normal person is moved to murder because he hears an ideological firebrand demonize his opponents. People who engage in mass-murder and other forms of terrorism are either committed to a violent movement or mentally disturbed. In neither event is that attributable to political rhetoric.” —Andrew McCarthy

Braying Jenny: “I think the president of United States should take responsibility for the kind of violence that we are seeing for the first time in different ways. I think the president of the United States has been dog-whistling to his constituency, making them believe that their problems are caused by those people over there.” —Rep. Maxine Waters, who recently told her followers to harass Trump officials and supporters

Village Idiots: “Today they tried to murder two Presidents as well as public servants and journalists. Make no mistake, these terrorists were encouraged and emboldened by the hate speech of Donald Trump. If you can’t see the clear menace of this man’s influence by now then you are a part of it.” —actor Jim Carrey

Better late than never? “I thought Juanita Broaddrick wasn’t credible. I was wrong.” —Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen

And last… “There is one way to settle our disagreements: it’s called peacefully, at the ballot box.” —Donald Trump

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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