Mid-Day Digest

Jan. 17, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” —Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Pelosi’s SOTU Political Play

Jordan Candler

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this appeal to President Donald Trump yesterday:

On January 3rd, it was my privilege as Speaker to invite you to deliver the State of the Union address on January 29th. …

The U.S. Secret Service was designated as the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating, planning, exercising, and implementing security for National Special Security Events by Public Law 106-544, December 19, 2000. However, both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security have not been funded for 26 days now — with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs.

Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen immediately contradicted Pelosi’s assertion, saying the Secret Service is “fully prepared” for the SOTU. Pelosi responded curtly, “I don’t care what they say.”

Ed Morrissey quips, “And with that, the new Speaker of the House just made the best case possible for a perpetual shutdown. Kidding! What I meant to say was that Nancy Pelosi has finally sounded a note of wisdom, at least in her reminder that presidents used to just deliver a report in writing to Congress.” Indeed they did. As Pelosi also noted, “During the 19th Century and up until the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, these annual State of the Union messages were delivered to Congress in writing.”

Morrissey rightly says this is “a tradition worth restoring, especially to reverse the treatment of the president as some kind of feudal lord in Congress.”

Philip Klein chimes in, “There may be times when it makes sense for a president to address a joint session of Congress in front of the whole nation, such as when former President George W. Bush spoke to the nation after the Sept. 11 attacks and laid out his vision for fighting the ‘war on terror.’ But as an annual staged event, the State of the Union is pointless. In an era of the 24/7 news, the Internet, and social media, there is no reason for networks to provide airtime to this event. The president has endless tools at his disposal to make his case to Congress and the country.”

Meanwhile, Pelosi is hardly acting with honorable intentions here. As Morrissey points out, “Pelosi’s not looking to restore the proper co-equal-branch dynamics under the Constitution. She was delighted to offer regal hosannas to Barack Obama, and she’d be equally delighted to offer them to President Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or President Jill Stein, for that matter. She just doesn’t want Trump using Congress to beat up Democrats over the wall.”

Indeed, security has nothing to do with her political theater. It’s entirely within Pelosi’s power to end the shutdown, which would render a SOTU delay completely unnecessary. But blocking funding for border security isn’t the only thing she’s after. She also wants to stifle her opponents’ justification for standing their ground. That’s called having your cake and eating it too.

If Trump decides to continue with the address, Ben Shapiro offers this salient advice: “Trump should do a remote State of the Union from the border and feature Border Patrol agents and Angel Moms.”

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Furloughed Fed Employees Are Now on Paid Vacation

Thomas Gallatin

President Donald Trump signed legislation Wednesday ensuring that the roughly 380,000 furloughed federal workers currently not receiving pay will be paid once the partial government shutdown ends. By taking this action, Trump eased the impact of the shutdown on federal employees while at the same time encouraging continued stability for labor-market statistics. As The Wall Street Journal explains, “Had that not occurred, the loss of more than 300,000 employees from the government’s payroll would have most likely overwhelmed any private-sector job creation. That in turn would have caused total nonfarm payrolls to decrease for the first time since October 2010, snapping a streak of 99 straight months of job growth. The streak is the longest on record dating to 1939.”

Even with Trump’s action guaranteeing that there is light at the end of the shutdown tunnel, hundreds of thousands of federal workers — many of them essential and still on the job — are feeling the immediate financial hit from missed paychecks. Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats are content to play political games by refusing to even meet with Trump and Republicans in negotiation efforts and by requesting that Trump postpone the annual State of the Union Address over bogus security concerns. In truth, Pelosi doesn’t want Trump to have that much unfiltered access to the American people, where he can make a strong compelling case for the need for a border wall and can expose the Democrats for being opposed to enforcing the nation’s sovereign right to secure our borders. She’d rather continue the pain and theater of her shutdown so she can better represent people who aren’t even citizens of the nation.

Importantly, though, despite the partial government shutdown, the vast majority of Americans are getting along just fine. In fact, if it wasn’t for the media constantly covering it, would many Americans even know there was a shutdown?

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PROFILES OF VALOR

RIP: Air Force Medal of Honor Recipient Joe Jackson

“Retired Air Force Col. Joe M. Jackson, a Medal of Honor recipient, veteran of three wars and Air Force legend, has died,” Air Force Times reports. “His death leaves James P. Fleming as the only other living Air Force Medal of Honor recipient.”

“Jackson, a native of Newnan, Ga., was famous within the aviation and special operations community for his daring rescue of a team of Air Force combat controllers who were stranded at the besieged airfield of an abandoned Army Special Forces camp during the Tet Offensive. His exploits saved the lives of three men, but risked his own.”

For more, visit Air Force Times.

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP HEADLINES

  • Democrats offer measure to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour (The Hill)
  • FBI foils suspected terror plot on White House (The Daily Wire)
  • FBI records, emails, Social Security numbers exposed in massive data leak (Fox News)
  • Pentagon seeks to expand scope and sophistication of U.S. missile defenses (The Washington Post)
  • Rainbow Mafia pillories Karen Pence for teaching at Christian school (Reuters)
  • Trump celebrates Religious Freedom Day: “Innate to every human person” (The Daily Wire)
  • Six takeaways from new EPA chief’s confirmation hearing (The Daily Signal)
  • The Left attacks Trump’s pick to replace Brett Kavanaugh for her smart college writings (The Daily Signal)
  • British PM Theresa May survives no-confidence vote a day after major Brexit defeat (Fox News)
  • Humor: Gillette now including free manly side bag with every purchase (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: No matter what happens politically, Britain must leave the EU (Investor’s Business Daily)
  • Policy: From caliphate to insurgency: ISIS is not going away (The Washington Free Beacon)

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.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read MLK v the Democrat Party. Black Americans are recognizing that Democrats have turned MLK’s dream into a nightmare.

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

The Razor’s Edginess

Arnold Ahlert

Procter & Gamble Co. has joined the ranks of the corporate virtue signalers catering to the terminally offended. Their target? “Toxic” males — to whom they still intend to sell razor blades.

The company is building a new ad campaign around its “The Best A Man Can Get” tagline, melding it with the #MeToo movement. After opening with “news” about that movement, the ad’s narrator asserts that the notion “boys will be boys” no longer makes the grade. “Is this the best a man can get?” the narrator asks. “Is it? We can’t hide from it. It has been going on far too long. We can’t laugh it off, making the same old excuses.”

Pankaj Bhalla, Gillette brand director for North America, explained P&G’s strategy: “This is an important conversation happening, and as a company that encourages men to be their best, we feel compelled to both address it and take action of our own. We are taking a realistic look at what’s happening today, and aiming to inspire change by acknowledging that the old saying ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ is not an excuse.”

A “realistic look” according to whom? The whiners who insist that an acceptable definition of masculinity requires all men to embrace their inner Pajama Boy? How about the “settled science” crowd, which insists gender is “fluid?” Can a “toxic male” be trapped in a woman’s body, just waiting to get out — and offend?

As The Patriot Post’s Thomas Gallatin reminds us, an American Psychological Association (APA) poisoned by “progressive” dogma “is guided by the leftist theory that gender is a nonbinary social construct rather than a binary reality based upon biology. But even at that, one particular gender is just the worst.”

And for nearly two minutes, the Grey New York ad agency makes sure that message is hammered home. The ad depicts the bullying of a boy by fellow teenagers who text disparaging messages to him that appear onscreen as he is shown being hugged by his mother. Another scene depicts a boardroom and a man patting a woman on the shoulder while saying, “What I think she’s actually trying to say…” It also includes a clip of former NFL player Terry Crews telling Congress he was sexually harassed. “Men need to hold other men accountable,” Crews states.

Enter the narrator again. “Some already are,” the narrator states. “But some is not enough. Because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.”

Make that the docile, emasculated men of tomorrow if the APA and P&G get their way.

Like so many aspects of leftist dogma, the presumption of collective guilt hangs heavy in the air. In other words, “toxic” is the default position for every man insufficiently attuned to the higher consciousness advocated by these self-aggrandizing doyens of political correctness. “It’s time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture. We have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man,” P&G stated. “With that in mind, we have spent the last few months taking a hard look at our past and coming communication and reflecting on the types of men and behaviors we want to celebrate. We pledge to actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man everywhere you see Gillette. In the ads we run, the images we publish to social media, the words we choose, and so much more.”

P&G wants to challenge stereotypes and expectations? Try challenging a toxic culture — one that celebrates fatherlessness as an “alternative lifestyle” and ridicules religious values that transmit common decency and decorum.

Has P&G taken a hard look at the possibility that an ad campaign that lectures potential customers about their shortcomings might alienate those customers? Or, like Nike, has the company calculated that nurturing the victimist mentality will engender enough sales to offset those alienated customers?

PJ Media’s Jim Treacher aptly describes where P&G is coming from. “Consumers, men in particular, must be made to feel worthless,” he explains. “They have to be reminded that their needs and desires are wrong under any circumstances, that their instincts are loathsome, that their very existence is a malignancy, and that they’re responsible for all the world’s ills whether they want to admit it or not.”

“Now give [P&G] your money, you piece of garbage.”

Millions of Americans have zero interest in such pompous pretentiousness. They’re sick and tired of being lectured, cajoled, berated, and bombarded by a collection of self-appointed blowhards who have the unmitigated gall to believe they, and they alone, own the franchise on enlightened thinking, even as they remain utterly oblivious to their own humorless, hypocritical, and overbearing shortcomings.

Those shortcomings erupted like a volcano following the 2016 election. And in keeping with the metaphor, the insufferable “progressive” self-righteousness that has infected awards shows, football, movies, TV, and advertising is the ongoing lava flow.

The best antidote? Laughter and ridicule — and in this particular case, a number of competing direct-to-consumer subscription razor clubs that sell razor blades at considerably cheaper prices — minus the proselytizing.

That’s the best a man can get.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Victor Davis Hanson: “Whether or not they like Trump, millions of voters still think the president is all that stands between them and socialism, radical cultural transformation and social chaos. Many would prefer Trump’s sometimes-over-the-top tweets and hard bark to the circus they saw at the Brett Kavanaugh nomination hearings, the rantings of Ocasio-Cortez, or the endless attempts to remove Trump from office. What usually ensure one-term presidencies are unpopular wars (Lyndon Johnson) or tough economic times (Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush). If Trump avoids both, perhaps a majority of voters will see him as political chemotherapy — occasionally nausea-inducing but still necessary and largely effective — to stop a toxic and metastasizing political cancer.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “To curtail free expression strikes twice at intellectual freedom, for whoever deprives another of the right to state unpopular views necessarily deprives others of the right to listen to those views.” —C. Van Woodward (1908-1999)

For the record: “Nancy Pelosi wants Trump to postpone his State of the Union address due to a government shutdown yet she didn’t postpone her luxury vacation to Hawaii when the government was shutdown.” —Charlie Kirk

Political theater: “What is the State of the Union? The government is closed because of President Trump. If it continues to be closed on the 29th, I think it’s a good idea to delay it until the government is open.” —Chuck Schumer

The BIG Lie: “If Joe Biden gets in, he’s kind of the quintessential centrist, if you will.” —CNN’s Kate Bolduan

Non Compos Mentis: “Conservatives are thrilled a woman with a concealed-carry permit shot and killed a 19-year-old would-be mugger. That’s not how justice works. The penalty for theft is not death, nor do we want it to be.” —Think Progress editor Zack Ford, who added: “The fact she was able to protect herself in no way motivates me to change my belief that she should not have had a gun in the first place.” He also stated, “Of course I don’t think he should have had a gun either, but if she had let him rob her, even at gunpoint, both likely would have survived.” (“What happens if, having collected her purse, the mugger decides to drag her around the corner and rape her? Should she let that happen too? What if he’s high and shoots her for no real reason? The point is, Zack Ford has no idea what would have happened next if the woman hadn’t been armed. More importantly, she had no idea either.” —John Sexton)

And last… “Karen Pence teaches at school that defines marriage as one man & one woman! Nancy Pelosi belongs to [a] church that defines marriage as one man & one woman! Guess which woman liberals attack.” —Liz Wheeler

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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