“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 Constitution
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- The show will go on tonight, but how about a look back at last year’s achievements?
- Northam’s racist past and Fairfax’s sexual-assault allegation put Democrats in a bind.
- Daily Features: More Analysis, Columnists, Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Opinion in Brief, and Short Cuts.
Now that all the gamesmanship regarding the shutdown and the schedule for the State of the Union is over, the pomp and circumstance is on schedule for tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern in the House chamber. The annual address has become an increasingly tedious affair, marked less by actual policy achievements or proposals than endless hours of cable-news churn about who sat on their hands, made what facial expression, or brought what guest.
Democrats have already made quite the show of trolling President Donald Trump with their announced guests. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) is bringing a Guatemalan woman who was fired from the Trump National Golf Club when it was discovered she was here illegally. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) welcomes a Guatemalan mother and daughter who were separated after trying to cross the border illegally. And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) invited Ana Maria Archila, the George Soros-funded professional protester who publicly harassed Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) during the Brett Kavanaugh fiasco.
Republicans also have statement guests, including Border Patrol agents. As for Trump, he’s invited Joshua Trump, a Delaware sixth-grader regularly bullied because of his name.
But the state of our union is far more than this ridiculous tit for tat. So as we prepare for tonight’s speech, let’s review highlights from last year’s SOTU.
Trump failed to reach agreement with Congress on proposals for infrastructure spending, paid family leave, or immigration reform. (As we’ve said before, both sides view immigration less as a problem to be solved than as a useful political cudgel. Until that changes, expect the stalemate to continue.) Iran and North Korea likewise remain in flux — though the president has made strides, Congress could not come to any meaningful agreement.
On the other hand, Trump succeeded in several areas. One partial success was signing an executive order making it easier to fire bad federal employees, though it was blocked by a federal judge (as are so many of Trump’s initiatives). But on that note, Trump has won Senate approval for more circuit-court judges in his first two years than any other president, and there are more in the wings. He signed the Right to Try Act so terminal patients can seek experimental medication, and he’s eased the FDA’s approval process for drugs, bringing the price of prescriptions down for the first time in 46 years. He increased military spending to rebuild our Armed Forces and protect America. And while he was merely able to boast at having passed major tax cuts last year, 2018 showed how well those cuts are working to fuel economic growth. The CBO even now projects those cuts will recover "costs” better than previously estimated.
Finally, the only excerpt released from his speech tonight is telling: “Together we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.” Trump’s call for unity will probably be met with Democrats sitting on their hands. If not, Stacie Abrams will eviscerate it in her SOTU response.
Virginia Democrats find themselves caught in a pickle — a pickle their party is responsible for promoting and fostering. As calls continue to mount for Gov. Ralph Northam to resign over the revelation of a 1984 yearbook photo allegedly depicting him in either blackface or a KKK costume, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who would succeed Northam, is now fighting for his political life as he attempts to push back on allegations of sexual assault.
On Sunday, conservative media outlet Big League Politics, the same outfit that first published the story on Northam, broke a story alleging that Fairfax sexually assaulted a Stanford fellow back in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
On Monday, Fairfax called the report false, noting that “not one other reputable media outlet has seen fit to air” it. But no less than The Washington Post pushed back against his assertions that the paper had found “red flags” with his accuser’s story. The paper insisted that the only reason the editors originally chose not to publish the story was due to the fact that they could not find any corroborating witnesses. Fairfax admitted that he and his accuser did have an encounter, but he insists that it was “consensual.” Mark Alexander observes, “All such claims are ‘behind closed doors’ and can’t be corroborated. Most of these cases depend on a pattern of behavior. If another woman comes forward, Fairfax is toast.” Fairfax first took to insinuating Northam had leaked the accusation before shifting blame to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, a possible competitor to Fairfax in 2021.
Initially, following the revelation of Northam’s racist 1984 yearbook photo, it appeared that Democrats were well positioned to deal with the fallout. They would get Northam to resign and then Fairfax, who just happens to be black, would step in as the “knight in shining armor” to save the day. It would reinforce Dems’ commitment to the Left’s grievance ethic, which affords no room for forgiveness or reconciliation. However, that notion quickly soured upon the revelation of sexual-assault allegations against Fairfax. And ironically, Democrats have only themselves to blame for weaponizing #MeToo’s flawed ethic of “always believe the victim” in their underhanded attempt to thwart Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Now both Northam and Fairfax are damaged goods, serving as massive beacons of Democrat hypocrisy.
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“A gun-wielding good Samaritan brought a harrowing road rage incident to a safe end, reportedly stopping a driver who’d been racing through Massachusetts — with a 65-year-old man clinging to the hood of his SUV.
"An unidentified person ordered Mark Fitzgerald, 37, at gunpoint out of his SUV, allowing Richard Kamrowski to climb down from the car unscathed, police said.”
“The SUV driver ultimately came to a stop, we believe with the intervention of some good Samaritans, and was taken into custody by responding troopers,” Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio said.
Read more at Fox News.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
TOP HEADLINE SUMMARY
- From the New York branch of the Trump #Resistance: Prosecutors continue to fish for any crime that can implicate the president. NBC News reports, “Federal prosecutors have issued a subpoena for documents from President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, a representative of the committee said Monday night. The U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York is investigating allegations that the committee misspent some of the tens of millions it raised from donations and that some donors gave money in exchange for access to influence Trump administration policy positions.”
- Voters have very little trust in the government, a new Gallup survey finds. In fact, “Just 35 percent trust the government to handle domestic problems and 41 percent international issues,” the Washington Examiner reports. Alarmingly, “Republican trust has dropped the most, a possible 2020 election warning sign.”
- Judicial activism: According to The Daily Signal, “Federal district judges who preside over a portion of a single state have been able to block President Donald Trump’s actions 30 times through nationwide injunctions — far more than any other administration in history, according to the Justice Department. The trend has prompted the Trump administration’s Justice Department to seek an end to nationwide injunctions, following a similar argument made by the Obama administration.”
- Sen. Patty Murray single-handedly quashed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would have prohibited infanticide. Democrats needed a volunteer from a safe seat in a blue state to be a lightning rod for the party’s infanticide support.
- “Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that state income tax revenues plummeted by $2.3 billion since he introduced his new budget plan last month — a bombshell that will force him to curb spending,” the New York Post reports. Predictably, “Cuomo’s preliminary analysis claims much of the impact is coming from a drop in revenues from the state’s highest income earners most impacted by the loss of write-offs of state and local tax deductions, known as SALT.” Keep in mind, lavish SALT deductions largely benefit the wealthy in blue states with high taxes at the expense of taxpayers in low-tax red states.
- By 2060, the Census Bureau estimates that the number of foreigners coming to live in the U.S. will equal the current populations of France and Belgium. According to the Washington Examiner, “The figures shows that of the 79 million more in 2060, 75 million will be legal and illegal immigrants and their families.” Moreover, “Without immigration, according to the Census analysis from the Center for Immigration Studies, the U.S. population would increase by just 3.7 million, the latest sign that the country is on a path to zero native population growth.”
- On the mend: After weeks of seclusion following cancer surgery, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has made her first public appearance, The Washington Post reveals. “The 85-year-old justice attended a production of ‘Notorious RBG in Song’ at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington.”
- Warning signs: “The Islamic State group is regrouping in Iraq faster than in Syria, according to a new Pentagon report, underscoring the fluid nature of the security threat in the Middle East. The assessment of the efforts by ISIS to reestablish a foothold in the region comes as the U.S. military is moving forward with a plan to pull out of Syria.” (NBC News)
- Humor: After the Northam blackface controversy, Democrats are suddenly concerned about due process, teases The Babylon Bee. “At publishing time, the nation’s Democrats had confirmed that they would return to ignoring due process completely the next time a Republican is accused of anything.”
- Policy: “If nothing else, President Donald Trump’s foreign policy has been unconventional, bucking orthodoxies of the Washington establishment,” Aaron Kliegman assesses of Trump’s foreign policy in The Washington Free Beacon. His conclusion? “Trump should continue casting aside the tenets of Obama’s foreign policy that so emboldened America’s enemies.”
- Policy: Socialism has decimated Venezuela, thanks in large measure to that regimen’s hostility toward property rights, says Alexander Hammond at the Foundation for Economic Education. “The now-impoverished nation offers a clear reminder of the necessity of property rights for any functioning economy.”
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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OPINION IN BRIEF
Cal Thomas: “What has been legislated in New York, been attempted in Virginia and may be coming soon to a state near you, can be considered nothing less than an updated form of child sacrifice. Some ancient cultures offered their children on altars of fire or killed them and presented them to ‘gods’ in hopes of receiving some twisted blessing. Instead, their uncivilized civilizations collapsed from moral rot. Child sacrifice was specifically condemned in the Bible. In Leviticus 18:21, 20:3 and Deuteronomy 12:30-31 and 18:10, there are condemnations and laws against child sacrifice, along with human sacrifice in general. Human sacrifices are seen as the barbaric customs of idol worshippers. ‘They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and daughters to false gods. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood.’ (Psalm 106:36-38, NIV). Modern idols — personal peace, convenience, pleasure — are more sophisticated. Our sacrifices today are justified on the basis of who is inconvenient, imperfect or even the wrong sex. Did we think we could get away with this and not suffer national, cultural and spiritual consequences?”
For the record: “Tariffs offer the classic political problem of concentrated benefits and diffuse losses. Steel executives get to strut with their record profits, earned under Uncle Sam’s protection. Mr. Trump gets to proclaim himself a blue-collar savior, despite flat steel employment. Everyone else picks up the tab.” —The Wall Street Journal
We are shocked! “Republicans are now noting that the long list of Democratic senators who said ‘we believe her’ and ‘we have to believe her first’ in the Kavanaugh hearing … are silent in the … Fairfax issue so far.” —Bret Baier
Friendly fire: “Right now we need to embrace the things we can have to move towards universal health care. Like a public option which we’re embracing in my state. Like integrating physical and mental health. Like allowing earlier buy-in and an option of Medicare for those who want to enter into the program, like reducing the age in Medicare. These are all things we can do without eliminating private insurance carriers.” —Washington Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee
Socialist lovefest: “Great to speak to [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] on the phone … and hear first hand how she’s challenging the status quo. Let’s build a movement across borders to take on the billionaires, polluters and migrant baiters, and support a happier, freer and cleaner planet.” —UK Labour Party leader and anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn (AOC replied by saying, “It was an honor to share such a lovely and wide-reaching conversation with you… Also honored to share a great hope in the peace, prosperity, + justice that everyday people can create when we uplift one another across class, race, + identity both at home & abroad.”)
And last… “Democrats will protect American children from the evils of trans fats and gay conversion therapy, but not from doctors who will kill them through negligent homicide in the first few hours of their lives. This is the ugly reality of the contemporary abortion debate. It’s why most advocates will do about anything to avoid describing the unpleasant realities and consequences of their increasingly radical position.” —David Harsanyi
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher