Mid-Day Digest

Jan. 29, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness.” —George Washington (1793)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Dems Are ‘for Border Security,’ They Just Oppose Securing the Border

Thomas Gallatin

Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw on Sunday inadvertently exposed the reason behind Democrat opposition to securing the U.S. southern border when he noted, “On the Republican side, a lot of people see the rise of an extraordinary, important new constituent in American politics, Hispanics, who will come here and all be Democrats.” Brokaw further asserted, “Hispanics should work harder at assimilation.” Predictably, such an “outrageous” statement caused a social-media backlash over his “racist” comments. Brokaw subsequently apologized.

The fact of the matter is Brokaw let the cat out of the bag. Leftists oppose immigrant assimilation because their aim is to create a hardened voting block of segregated Hispanics committed to their own unassimilated communities instead of the broader American society. This explains House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats objecting to funding a border barrier.

Immediately following President Donald Trump’s shutdown capitulation, an important point may have been missed by the mainstream media. Trump effectively called Pelosi’s bluff. She claimed to want to debate the issue of border security after the government was funded. Trump has now forced her hand.

Suddenly Democrats are stuck in a contradictory position of, on the one hand, claiming to support border security, while at the same time defending their refusal to act on securing the border via a barrier. Listening to Democrats attempt to send a pro-border-security message is actually quite humorous. Pelosi on Monday insisted, “Democrats are committed, uh, to border security, and we think we have some better ideas about how to do so, that, uh, protect our borders, honor our values, and are cost-effective.” Pelosi’s fellow Sanctuary-State-of-California Rep. Maxine Waters likewise claimed that Democrats “believe in border security … and we have offered, you know, how we think it can be done.” She then offered this tidbit: “We want to make sure that [Trump] understands that it’s not simply about a wall.”

Echoing the talking-points memo, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson declared, “Democrats remain committed to effective border security but will only allow taxpayer money be spent on border security measures that will actually make a difference.” No word on what those “effective” measures would be.

Finally, there were the comments from Democrat presidential frontrunner Kamala Harris, who pledged, “I’m not going to vote for a wall under any circumstances, and I do support border security.” She then talked about employing cameras and drones along the border, while at the same time decrying the effectiveness of a wall, stating, “The idea that we’re going to sell this thing to the American public and require taxpayers of our country to pay $5 billion for something that will not deliver what he is suggesting we need is ridiculous, and I will not support it.” In this same interview, Harris expressed support for eliminating private health insurance in favor of creating a government-run single-payer health care system that is estimated to cost taxpayers $32.6 trillion over the next decade. Talk about wasting taxpayer money on an ineffectual government power grab.

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American Socialists Unite Behind Tyrant Maduro

Nate Jackson

Venezuela’s experiment with socialism has yielded predictable results, and the nation’s people are beginning to rise up against that tyranny. As our Thomas Gallatin noted last week, “On … the anniversary of the ousting of military dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez in 1958, the president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Juan Guaido, took the presidential oath before a massive crowd filling the streets of Caracas.” President Donald Trump immediately moved to support Guaido diplomatically and tighten the screws on dictator Nicolas Maduro economically. The administration announced new sanctions yesterday against Petroleos de Venezuela, the state-owned oil company, which could result in $11 billion in lost sales.

Perhaps these U.S. moves — and National Security Advisor John Bolton’s warning that even military action is “on the table” to stabilize the country — explain why Guaido is still alive and holding rallies in Caracas.

So what are the Democrat socialism deniers saying about Trump’s moves against their preferred form of government?

Bernie Sanders is “feeling the Bern,” declaring, “The United States should support the rule of law, fair elections and self-determination for the Venezuelan people. We must condemn the use of violence against unarmed protesters and the suppression of dissent. However, we must learn the lessons of the past and not be in the business of regime change or supporting coups — as we have in Chile, Guatemala, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. The United States has a long history of inappropriately intervening in Latin American countries; we must not go down that road again.”

That’s right. Sanders is so worried about “regime change” that he’d rather support an anti-American murderous tyrant who stole the 2018 election.

And California Democrat Ro Khanna got a retweet of endorsement from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for saying, “The U.S. should not anoint the leader of the opposition in Venezuela during an internal, polarized conflict.” Khanna might want to look up the word “anoint.” It was the elected Venezuelan National Assembly, not the Trump administration, that installed Guaido, and only after a protracted constitutional battle involving Maduro’s hand-picked Supreme Court dissolving the Assembly and reversing course only under international pressure.

Meanwhile, Demo Rep. Ilhan Omar decried “Trump’s efforts to install a far right opposition.” Wrong again — Guaido is actually center-left.

The history of Venezuelan socialism over the last few years is appalling. Is the Democrat position really that, no matter how bad an executive gets, “impeachment” is off the table? Keep that in mind as they #Resist the duly elected president of our own nation. A president, by the way, who’s leading a resurgence in economic freedom that stands in stark contrast to the Democrat/Maduro model.

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

PROFILES OF VALOR

Profiles of Valor: Lt. Col. Charles Kettles, RIP

Vietnam War veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Col. (ret.) Charles Kettles died last week at the age of 89. The Michigan native went above and beyond the call of duty during a battle in Vietnam, when in a daring rescue under enemy fire he saved over 40 soldiers and four crew members from a damaged UH-1D helicopter. His official Medal citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Major Charles S. Kettles distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving as Flight Commander, 176th Aviation Company (Airmobile) (Light), 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, Americal Division near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam. On 15 May 1967, Major Kettles, upon learning that an airborne infantry unit had suffered casualties during an intense firefight with the enemy, immediately volunteered to lead a flight of six UH-1D helicopters to carry reinforcements to the embattled force and to evacuate wounded personnel. Enemy small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire raked the landing zone, inflicting heavy damage to the helicopters; however, Major Kettles refused to depart until all helicopters were loaded to capacity. He then returned to the battlefield, with full knowledge of the intense enemy fire awaiting his arrival, to bring more reinforcements, landing in the midst of enemy mortar and automatic weapons fire that seriously wounded his gunner and severely damaged his aircraft. Upon departing, Major Kettles was advised by another helicopter crew that he had fuel streaming out of his aircraft. Despite the risk posed by the leaking fuel, he nursed the damaged aircraft back to base. Later that day, the Infantry Battalion Commander requested immediate, emergency extraction of the remaining 40 troops, including four members of Major Kettles’ unit who were stranded when their helicopter was destroyed by enemy fire. With only one flyable UH-1 helicopter remaining, Major Kettles volunteered to return to the deadly landing zone for a third time, leading a flight of six evacuation helicopters, five of which were from the 161st Aviation Company. During the extraction, Major Kettles was informed by the last helicopter that all personnel were onboard, and departed the landing zone accordingly. Army gunships supporting the evacuation also departed the area. Once airborne, Major Kettles was advised that eight troops had been unable to reach the evacuation helicopters due to the intense enemy fire. With complete disregard for his own safety, Major Kettles passed the lead to another helicopter and returned to the landing zone to rescue the remaining troops. Without gunship, artillery, or tactical aircraft support, the enemy concentrated all firepower on his lone aircraft, which was immediately damaged by a mortar round that shattered both front windshields and the chin bubble and was further raked by small arms and machine gun fire. Despite the intense enemy fire, Major Kettles maintained control of the aircraft and situation, allowing time for the remaining eight soldiers to board the aircraft. In spite of the severe damage to his helicopter, Major Kettles once more skillfully guided his heavily damaged aircraft to safety. Without his courageous actions and superior flying skills, the last group of soldiers and his crew would never have made it off the battlefield. Major Kettles’ selfless acts of repeated valor and determination are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

“We got the 44 out,” Kettles later said. “None of those names appear on the wall in Washington. There’s nothing more important than that.” Indeed, a lot of men and their families will forever be grateful to Kettles for his heroism. Rest in peace.

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP HEADLINES

  • Pew Research Center survey says Americans want both parties to move to the right (The Daily Wire)
  • Five facts on the deal to (temporarily) end the shutdown (RealClearPolicy)
  • Trump to deliver State of the Union Address on Feb. 5 (The Hill)
  • Kamala Harris vows to get rid of private health care plans: “Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on” (Fox News)
  • Acting attorney general says Robert Mueller’s investigation is coming to an end (Townhall)
  • New details of 2016 meeting with Trump dossier author conflict with Democrats’ timeline (Fox News)
  • White House eyes reducing capital gains taxes without Congress (The Daily Signal)
  • U.S. announces new sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned oil company (The Hill)
  • Germany to shutter all 84 coal-fired plants (The Hill)
  • Humor: Facebook to replace all reaction buttons with pure outrage (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: Latest CBO budget projections show why Congress must stop delaying spending reforms (The Daily Signal)
  • Policy: A real reform to curb the harm of government shutdowns (Washington Examiner)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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TODAY’S MEME

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TODAY’S CARTOON

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Rich Lowry: “In 1920, when we were absorbing another historic wave of immigrants, the newcomers were evenly distributed across nationalities. No single group predominated. In contrast, the wave of the last few decades has been heavily tilted toward Mexico in particular and Latin American countries in general. In the early 20th century, we also reduced numbers of immigrants after 1924, facilitating the breakup of ethnic communities and a de-emphasis on ethnic identity. We have never tapped the brakes on the current wave. A National Academy of Sciences study noted that Spanish-speaking immigrants are acquiring English more slowly than other immigrant groups: ‘A major reason is the larger size and frequent replenishment of the Spanish-speaking population in the United States.’ Reducing levels of immigration would aid in assimilation, if that is still considered a universally desirable goal.”

SHORT CUTS

Friendly fire: “Elizabeth Warren wants a ‘wealth tax.’ It might backfire.” —Washington Post editorial

Observations: “The left thin[k]s everything is about identity politics, so they falsely claim [Republicans] don’t like [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] because she is a ‘female, millennial, working-class Latina.’ That’s a terrible analysis. I don’t like her because she’s a liberal, anti-Israel socialist who supports a 70% tax rate.” —Ari Fleischer (“I have often wondered whether the left’s identity politics shaming is grounded in their abject ignorance of what conservatives actually believe or their just raw, cynical politics.” —David Limbaugh)

Food for thought: “Think of all the stupid, useless books you were made to read in school. Then consider that you explicitly were not made to read the most influential book in the history of the world. What reasonable person could possibly oppose Bible literacy?” —Michael Knowles

Braying Jackass: “The Catholic Church doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose.” —NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo defending his state’s ghoulish abortion law (No, the Catholic Church believes in the right to life.)

Alpha Jackass: “[Trump] betrayed our country and I don’t say that lightly.” —Rep. Eric Swalwell

Non sequitur: “You can be in favor of the Second Amendment and also understand that there is no reason in a civil society that we have assault weapons around communities that can kill babies and police officers.” —abortion advocate Kamala Harris

Hot air: “I support a Green New Deal. Climate change is an existential threat to all of us, and we have got to deal with the reality of it.” —Kamala Harris

What? “We are literally as a world on a collision course with time.” —former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz warning about climate change

Non Compos Mentis: “The least sexy part of socialism is effective, efficient bureaucratic administration but the project lives or dies based on it.” —MSNBC’s Chris Hayes (“I think the least sexy part is the death toll and complete stripping of individual rights. But that’s just a matter of different taste, I guess.” —David Harsanyi)

And last… “Kamala Harris apparently got a head start on her career by having sex with a married man. She’s a champion for women — except the woman whose husband she slept with. Seems like rather a conspicuous caveat.” —Matt Walsh

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Join our editors and staff in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families. We also humbly ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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