Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 5, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“It is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our government… Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever persuasion, religious or political.” —Thomas Jefferson (1801)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Is Mueller’s Investigation Wrapping Up?

Thomas Gallatin

With Tuesday’s recommendation from Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller that the court not sentence Michael Flynn to any jail time for perjury due to Flynn’s “substantial” cooperation with the Mueller’s team, many media pundits have concluded this signals that the investigation is about to wrap up. Yahoo News’s Michael Isikoff reported, “Mueller’s prosecutors have told defense lawyers in recent weeks that they are ‘tying up loose ends’ in their investigation, providing the clearest clues yet that the long-running probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election may be coming to its climax, potentially in the next few weeks.”

Given the movement on Flynn and others in the Trump orb, it does indeed appear that Mueller is winding down his investigation. It’s also important to note that the only criminal charges directly related to the investigation into Russian election meddling were leveled against Russians — Russians with no ties to Donald Trump. The only charges brought against Americans and members of Trump’s campaign team are for lying during the investigation. In other words, there are as of yet no charges that directly support the Trump/Russia collusion narrative.

However, in Mueller’s heavily redacted Flynn sentencing recommendation, there is one possibly significant statement that some are speculating may implicate Trump. Mueller notes that Flynn’s cooperation was helpful in three probes, including a criminal one. Could the target of this probe for an unnamed crime be Trump? Time will tell, though that seems unlikely.

Meanwhile, there’s more news on the real Russia-collusion story that the mainstream media has intentionally downplayed and ignored. On Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray as well as the Justice Department’s internal watchdog, Michael Horowitz, demanding information and answers on a recent raid of a former FBI contractor’s home. That contractor is Dennis Nathan Cain, who claimed that he was under protected status as a whistleblower and that Horowitz was aware of this status. The FBI says it conducted the raid to recover stolen federal property. And what was that stolen federal property? Evidently it was documents related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s corrupt Uranium One deal with Russia.

Also on Monday, Grassley alleged that Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, the firm hired by Clinton to produce the infamous anti-Trump dossier, lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee in August 2017 when he answered that he “had no client after the election.” This answer runs counter to a report in April in which a former staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Daniel Jones, told the FBI that Fusion GPS was working with him to “continue exposing Russian interference” after the election. So clearly either Simpson or Jones is lying. Will this generate any charges?

In any case, it’s interesting once again to contrast the media’s treatment of Clinton’s scandals with Trump’s supposed ones.

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Trump and Graham Play Good Cop, Bad Cop

Nate Jackson

“Trump-GOP rift grows over Saudis,” blared the headline in The Hill. The topic at hand is the ongoing kerfuffle over Saudi Arabia’s deliberate and brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October. The specifics this week include CIA Director Gina Haspel’s briefing to the Senate, in which she reiterated the agency’s assessment that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder, and Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Wall Street Journal op-ed rebuking the Saudis — and Trump.

Graham wrote not just of the murder but other issues: “The Saudi regime’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi, its reckless military campaign in Yemen, its blockade of Qatar, and its effort to remove Lebanon’s prime minister all show astounding arrogance entitlement, and disregard for international norms. If these actions make Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Saudi Arabia a ‘source of stability’ in the Middle East, I’d hate to see what destabilizing behavior looks like.”

Moreover, Graham called Salman “a wrecking ball to U.S.-Saudi relations” and insisted, “The fear that the Saudis will stop cooperating with the U.S. on terrorism or Iran isn’t rational. Those threats pose as much of a danger to the Saudis as they do to America. Demanding better from allies isn’t downgrading the relationship; it’s a sign that Americans take our principles seriously and won’t be taken advantage of by anyone, friend or foe.”

Graham’s words are tough and true. But we also think the “rift” between GOP senators and the president is not as wide as the Leftmedia would have us believe. In fact, we’d argue this is a good cop, bad cop routine between Trump and his critics. Trump takes a backseat to no one when it comes to bashing people as it suits his purpose. He can also be just as effusively gracious when that is more likely to meet his goal.

As we’ve said from the beginning, Trump is using this incident for leverage with the Saudis. By presenting a “divided” front to the Saudis, Trump and the GOP are arguably more likely to get the desired results from the Saudis than if a united front presented an opportunity for a defensive House of Saud to circle the wagons. Remember: Trump’s strategy — and it’s the right one — is to keep the Saudis in our corner but get them to be better allies to truly serve U.S. interests.

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ON THE WEB TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP HEADLINES

  • National Republican Congressional Committee suffered “cyber intrusion,” spokesman says (Fox News)
  • Dow plunges nearly 800 points on rising fears of an economic slowdown (CNBC)
  • Ninth Circuit: Law barring people from encouraging illegal aliens to enter U.S. is unconstitutional (Townhall)
  • Mattis extends troop deployment at southern border until end of January (National Review)
  • Trump task force proposes major Postal Service overhaul (CBS News)
  • Pompeo asserts U.S. authority at NATO in stinging criticism (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • Trump administration threatens to kill nuclear treaty after Russia found in violation (The Washington Times)
  • Study: Black males twice as likely to be killed, mainly from gang violence (UPI)
  • Resources are almost five times as abundant as they were in 1980 (Reason)
  • Eighty percent using ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion are ineligible, Louisiana report finds (The Washington Times)
  • Humor: Trump releases findings of own independent investigation: “Most innocent president ever” (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: Should we move away from employer-sponsored insurance? (E21)
  • Policy: Memo to Congress: French riots show why U.S. carbon tax should be a nonstarter (Investor’s Business Daily)

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.

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Socialist Climate Policies Drive France’s Riots

Louis DeBroux

In recent weeks, images of “Yellow Jackets” (a reference to the reflective yellow vests, required to be carried by all French drivers, worn by protesters) have dominated media — angry French citizens rioting in the streets, vandalizing monuments, and setting Paris aflame. To be fair, only a small percentage of the nearly 300,000 Frenchmen who have taken to the streets have engaged in violence.

And fewer still seem to appreciate the irony of these protests because, despite the anger, the French are getting exactly what they voted for: socialism.

Last year the French elected socialist Emmanuel Macron in a 66-34 blowout over the nationalist Marine Le Pen, following that up months later by giving Macron’s La République en Marche! (LRM) party complete control of France’s government with 377 of the French National Assembly’s 577 seats.

Today Macron’s approval rating stands at an abysmal 26%, far below that of U.S. President Donald Trump. Yet Macron has repeatedly rebuked Trump for his pro-American “nationalism.” Trump’s nationalism certainly stands in stark contrast to the globalism of world leaders like Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel, who responded to criticism of migration and climate change policies by declaring, “Countries must give up their sovereignty … in an orderly fashion of course.”

The catalyst for the recent protests and riots — the worst in France since the 1968 uprising that led to the downfall of President Charles de Gaulle — was an increase in the gas tax. Why the tax? To force French citizens off of diesel and gas-powered cars and into electric cars so as to combat the ecofascist hobgoblin of “climate change,” which, we’re incessantly told, is a cataclysmic problem that supposedly justifies extreme policies.

For the French, who drive more diesel vehicles than any other European nation, this meant a tax hike that resulted in fuel prices of nearly $7 a gallon. This is extremely painful for the average French citizen struggling to get by in a sluggish French economy.

In an attempt to quell the anger driving the riots, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced this week that the government will suspend the tax for six months.

Of course, it’s an open secret that the war to end “climate change” is really a proxy war to destroy free-market capitalism and replace it with globalist socialism while curtailing individual rights.

In 2015, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of UNIPCC (the global governing body on climate change), declared that the real goal of the “global warming” agenda is not avoiding ecological disaster but destroying capitalism. Figueres said, “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”

If the goal was to reduce CO2 emissions, France and the world would emulate America, which has reduced CO2 output more than any other country in the last 30 years, and by a wide margin (a 14% reduction in U.S. emissions from 2005-2017 alone, versus a 21% increase for the rest of the world), despite rejecting both the Kyoto and Paris climate treaties.

But much like socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders — who owns three houses and a high-end sports car — the French people want to enjoy the feeling of moral superiority of embracing socialism (who can be against equality for all?) without actually having to deal with the consequences of socialism, which is, and always has been, government oppression and widespread poverty.

Even as the French protest and riot over the increase in the gas tax, they reject proposals to cut spending in social services and welfare. As reported in The Washington Post, “A key priority for Macron’s administration has been to honor France’s European commitment to keep its budget deficit below 3 percent of gross domestic product. Suspending the carbon tax will mean that billions of euros will have to be saved elsewhere, possibly in the form of spending cuts that could affect the social services that many yellow-vest protesters also cherish. … But Macron’s political opponents rejected out of hand the suggestion that social services might be cut in any way.”

The Washington Times further reports, “The demonstrations have unexpectedly morphed into a general expression of discontent over living conditions in France. … Specifically, many of the protesters want higher salaries and pensions, jobs, better services and tax cuts.” In other words, more generous wages and benefits at someone else’s expense.

The French do not seem to grasp cause and effect. France is already the second-most heavily taxed of all Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, and while Macron has implemented some pro-business policies, the economy continues to be bogged down by high taxes, burdensome regulations, and massive welfare costs, all of which drives France’s 8.9% unemployment rate (21.5% for youth) and sluggish, sub-2% GDP growth.

It’s not just France, though. These same types of violent protests have spread to Belgium and the Netherlands and continue to build throughout Europe. We saw this occur in Greece when austerity measures were implemented to stave off complete bankruptcy.

American socialists and global-warming hysterics — free to preach their secular gospel while living free of its consequences — take note. America’s commitment to individual rights and the free market have made it the undisputed global leader. Tamper at your own peril.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Jonah Goldberg: “There are a few movie scenes guaranteed to put a lump in my throat every time. Near the top of the list is the end of ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ Steven Spielberg’s World War II masterpiece. Earlier, in a climactic battle scene, a dying Capt. Miller (Tom Hanks) tells Pvt. Ryan (Matt Damon) to ‘earn this, earn it.’ Translation: Live a life worthy of the sacrifice so many made for you. In the final scene, decades later, an elderly Ryan visits Miller’s grave in Normandy, France, and tells the headstone that he’s remembered Miller’s plea every day since. ‘I hope that at least in your eyes, I’ve earned what all of you have done for me.’ He then turns to his wife and beseeches her, ‘Tell me I’m a good man.’ The scene keeps coming to mind since the news of George H.W. Bush’s death at the age of 94. … Bush was surely a good man before he enlisted, but he spent the rest of his life as if he were trying to earn the sacrifice others made.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “We who are engaged in the sacred cause of education are entitled to look upon all parents as having given hostages to our cause.” —Horace Mann (1796-1859)

Cat’s out of the bag: “It’s inevitable that we can use the transition to 100% renewable energy as the vehicle to truly deliver and establish economic, social, and racial justice in the United States of America.” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the fundamental transformation radical leftists aim for with the phony climate agenda

What could possibly go wrong? “The Great Compromise, as it was called when it was adopted by the Constitution’s Framers, required that all states, big and small, have two senators. … Today, in a nation of more than 325 million and 37 additional states, not only is that structure antiquated, it’s downright dangerous. … There is a solution, however, that could gain immediate popular support: Abolish the Senate. At a minimum, combine the two chambers into one, and the problem will be solved.” —former Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)

Long live communism! “Champions of cutthroat capitalism pushed former Soviet states to privatize as quickly as possible, despite the enormous risk of corruption.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Tick-tock: “I’ll be as straight with you as I can. I think I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president.” —Joe Biden

Non Compos Mentis I: “80% of gun owners shoot themselves or members of their own families.” —actor Tom Arnold

Non Compos Mentis II: “Face it — you can’t claim to be a feminist and still eat eggs.” —PETA

And last… “I think one of the greatest antidotes to the spread of leftism is for young people to observe the violent contradiction between the left’s professed beliefs and attitudes and their actual behavior toward others. They are their own worst witness.” —David Limbaugh

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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