Mid-Day Digest

Jan. 11, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf.” —Thomas Paine (1776)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Leftmedia Buzzword of the Week: ‘Manufactured Crisis’

Nate Jackson

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer gave their rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s Oval Office address Tuesday night, they accused Trump of “manufacturing a crisis.” The Democrats’ Leftmedia super PAC dutifully picked up the term and ran with it. Incessantly.

As Mark Alexander says, “So let’s review what they consider a ‘manufactured crisis’: ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records, including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings. The need to secure the border and stop the criminal gangs, drug smugglers, and human traffickers is imperative. Thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country, and thousands more lives will be lost. Last month, more than 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the United States, many being used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims of the lack of a secure border and broken immigration policies supported by Democrats. Illegal migration puts enormous strains on public resources and drives down jobs and wages, especially for black and Hispanic Americans. More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War — many of those drugs are ‘imported’ from south of the border.”

Don’t believe us? How about an authority on the actual situation on the ground at the border? Despite being fired one day after Trump took office, Barack Obama’s Border Patrol chief, Mark Morgan, confirmed that Trump is correct: “I was briefed every single day about the men and women who are risking their lives every day and they’re apprehending murderers, rapists, pedophiles, other violent offenders and gang members. That’s not manufactured; that is real … and it’s still happening today.” Moreover, Morgan continued, “127 Border Patrol agents have died. They didn’t die playing Monopoly. They died … being the front-line defenders of our borders. … I wonder if you asked their families if this is a manufactured crisis?”

In another instance, Morgan argued, “The [wall] issue is political, so we have to be honest about that. The substantive issue is what is important. It doesn’t matter whether it’s called the Secure Fence, Secure Wall, or Secure Barrier Act. The reason it was approved on a bipartisan front is because it was needed. What changed is that at one point it was wanted and needed, and now, because we call it a wall, it’s ‘immoral.’ Really? That’s what we’re talking about now? The size and width of the barrier is the delineation of what is moral or not?”

Finally, Morgan said, “I’m outraged that we haven’t fixed this problem. I’m outraged. Who can say that this is a manufactured crisis? Anyone? … I don’t care who it is — anyone that says this is a manufactured crisis — they are absolutely lying to the American people.”

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‘National Emergency’ Threat Puts Pressure on Dems

As the partial government shutdown concludes its third week and shows no signs of ending, President Donald Trump has sought to turn up the pressure on Democrats by threatening to bypass Congress entirely to fund construction of a border wall. On Wednesday, Trump said of his repeated threats, “I have the absolute right to [declare a] national emergency if I want. My threshold will be if I can’t make a deal with people that are unreasonable.”

On Thursday, Trump doubled down, saying, “If we don’t make a deal, I would say it would be very surprising to me that I would not declare a national emergency and just fund [the wall] through the various mechanisms.”

It has become clear that the possibility of the president invoking his power to declare a national emergency was not merely an off-the-cuff remark but is rather a calculated threat. In his Oval Office address, Trump appealed to Democrats to work toward a bipartisan solution to the border crisis. But this message was really aimed at the American people, whom Trump wants asking: If we have a border crisis that the president is eager to address, why are Democrats standing in the way?

While many presume that Democrats have the upper hand when it comes to government shutdown showdowns, this time it may be Democrats feeling the heat. Most government shutdowns in the past have been blamed on Republicans, primarily because it was the GOP attempting to refuse funding for something Democrats insisted was essential. Here we are witnessing the reverse — it is Democrats who are on the defensive, trying to block funding for a needed government program. And $5 billion is such a small amount when compared to other budgeted items, such as the $10.6 billion being sent to Mexico for its own immigration enforcement, that the party of Big Government will have a difficult time defending their stinginess.

Trump’s power to bypass Congress is up for debate, and conservatives are divided as to whether he should even attempt it. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) believes Trump has the authority and should use it: “Speaker Pelosi’s refusal to negotiate on Wall/Barrier funding — even if the government were to be reopened — virtually ends congressional path to fund Wall/Barrier. Time for President [Trump] to use emergency powers to build Wall/Barrier.”

However, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) offered a very insightful warning: “If today, the national emergency is border security … tomorrow the national emergency might be climate change.” In other words, Trump invoking the power to declare a national emergency here may be setting a dangerous precedent.

The longer this shutdown drags on, the more Democrats rather than Republicans will be feeling the pressure to compromise. That’s especially true as Trump continues to declare that this is an issue of national security for which he has the power to bypass Congress to address, all while insisting he would much rather have Congress on board.

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TODAY’S MEME

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TODAY’S CARTOON

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

The Ecofascist ‘Green New Deal’

Brian Mark Weber

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has been called “the new face of the Democratic Party.” Propped up by the Leftmedia, the Millennial socialist celebrity is pushing forward with the Left’s “Green New Deal” in the hopes that Americans will fall for what’s nothing more than a dangerous scam to destroy the country as we know it.

But you can’t put a new face on socialism, not matter what you call it.

Like FDR’s New Deal, the Green New Deal expands government power while forcing taxpayers to foot the bill. Except this time around, the plan will cost trillions of dollars, gut our economy, leave millions without jobs, destroy our energy independence, and fund social justice programs. Other than that, what’s not to like?

A little climate change doesn’t seem so bad compared to this spending splurge. But make no mistake: This is a disastrous plan, and we’d better start taking it seriously. As with any Democrat scheme, the devil’s in the details.

The Green New Deal would have serious implications for American energy production. Advocates claim that the U.S. would be required to eliminate nuclear power and natural gas. How important is that? As National Review’s Jim Geraghty notes, “Natural gas currently provides about 32 percent of America’s energy, and nuclear power produces another 10 percent.” Additionally, he says, “The ‘Green New Deal’ would also eliminate coal, which provides almost 18 percent of America’s energy, and liquid natural gas and oil, which generates another 28 percent.” Geraghty warns that all of this would require the U.S. to “replace about 88 percent of its current energy sources” in 11 years and would result in the loss of nearly six million energy jobs.

Still not convinced that the Green New Deal is bad for America?

Its proponents also want to reduce our military by half. This would affect our commitments around the world and would likely result in greater global conflict in a matter of a few years, not to mention putting more than a million military personnel out of work.

According to Reason’s Ronald Bailey, the deal also proposes, “All fossil fuel emissions should be ended by 2050. All new passenger automobiles for sale in 2030 should be zero emissions vehicles; all rail, vehicles, and aviation should be totally fossil-fuel free by 2050. Other parts of the Green New Deal include reforesting 40 million acres of public and private land by 2035, greatly expanding mass transit systems, upgrading local water supply and management infrastructure, expanding federal regulation of the waters of the U.S., and requiring that all materials be recyclable by 2040.”

Our nation is already more than $20 trillion in debt, and we’d easily double that number by implementing the Green New Deal. Asked how she’d pay for it, Ocasio-Cortez recently suggested — what else — raising the marginal income tax rate to 70% for the wealthy. But that in itself wouldn’t even make a dent in the costs.

Notice that there’s actually very little in the way of environmental conservation in this deal. It’s really all about realizing Barack Obama’s promise of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” But who’d want to live in an ecofascist nation where economic slavery empowers a totalitarian elite determined to enact socialism under the guise of environmental protection?

Investor’s Business Daily reminds us that the real problem isn’t climate change but “having enough people working and paying taxes to support all the retirees around the world and pay off hundreds of trillions of dollars of global debt. What is a problem is the nonstop fear-mongering, demands for more taxes, and dangerous socialist experiments in expanding government control of the economy, all in the name of warding off the threat of global warming.”

All the details of the Green New Deal speak for themselves. Ocasio-Cortez’s dream of using renewable energy “as the vehicle to truly deliver and establish economic, social, and racial justice in the United States of America” is a pipe dream we cannot afford to pursue.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Rich Lowry: “Legalities aside, a declaration of a national emergency won’t achieve what Trump wants, unless his goal is simply getting out from under the shutdown. That’s easy. He can say he’s going it alone under his emergency powers and agree to open the shuttered parts of the government, then fight it out in the courts. But in terms of his substantive goal of building a fence, and his political goal of building enough of it to showcase in his 2020 re-election campaign, it would get him very little. A district court somewhere would immediately issue an injunction blocking the action. Once the administration gets to the Supreme Court, it might have a chance to prevail if the court concludes that it shouldn’t second-guess the chief executive on questions related to national security. But when would such a decision get handed down? Sometime in 2020? Assuming Trump wins at the high court, it would take time to get anything going on the ground. Progress on the fence probably wouldn’t be any more advanced by November 2020 than it would be otherwise, and perhaps less advanced than if the president simply got some inadequate compromise out of Congress. In a different world, Congress as a body would be more exercised about a potential emergency declaration, but Congress is not a self-respecting institution. It is still a mistake to try to take advantage of its laxity. Such a move would strain our system, and probably not even work.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “[Joy has] been my word all year, and I tried to be intentional with that. For me personally, joy comes from focusing on Jesus, others, and yourself. There’s so many great coaches that are so deserving of a moment like this that never get the chance to experience it, and to do it once and now to get to do it again — it’s a blessing, and it’s just simply the grace of the good Lord to let us experience something like this. All the credit, all the glory, goes to the good Lord!” —Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney

Good idea: “The time that you had cameras in the meeting — I think we need to bring them back, because what [Schumer] described the meeting to be was totally different than what took place.” —Rep. Kevin McCarthy rejecting Schumer’s characterization of Trump leaving the meeting as a “temper tantrum”

Re: The Left: “Ah yes, the tunnel myth. Because it’s so easy to build tunnels. No one would ever notice. Might as well just do nothing, now that the tunneling option has been exposed. Can we have a serious conversation now? That’d be great.” —Rep. Dan Crenshaw rebutting Nancy Pelosi’s pathetic assertion that we should not build a border barrier because migrants would simply tunnel under it

Friendly fire: “For too long in our country, politicians have weaponized religion for their own selfish gain, fomenting bigotry, fears and suspicions based on the faith, religion or spiritual practices of their political opponents.” —Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to her fellow Aloha State Democrat Mazie Hirono regarding anti-Catholic attacks on the Knights of Columbus as a religious test for confirmation (Hirono responded, “It is unfortunate that Congresswoman Gabbard based her misguided opinion on the far right-wing manipulation of these straightforward questions.”)

Non Compos Mentis: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?” —Rep. Steve King

And last… “In 2019, the federal government will spend a whopping $4.407 trillion. Yet Congress and the president are shutting down the government in a dispute between the $1.3 billion the Democrats have approved for border security and the $5.7 billion the president is demanding — precisely 0.0998 percent of the total federal budget. In Washington, that is considered a rounding error. … But now we are shutting down the government over a wall much like the one that Pelosi and Senate Democrats fully supported just five years ago?” —Marc A. Thiessen

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher