Mid-Day Digest

Feb. 8, 2019


“It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.” —James Madison (1788)

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‘Green New Deal’ Is Just Repackaged Socialism

Michael Swartz

It’s a little over 13 pages, but this week the long-awaited framework and philosophy for the “Green New Deal” (GND) was unleashed onto Congress. Described by House sponsor (and shiny new object) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) as “national, social, industrial and economic mobilization at a scale not seen since World War II,” the measure sets an ambitious timetable for weaning ourselves off our carbon dependency. Of course, it doesn’t get into the specifics of cost, either in dollars or in freedom.

Just remember that the real climate agenda for leftists is socialist economic control, as evident in the insane requirements of the GND.

Written as a resolution rather than a bill, the GND reads as a laundry list of socialistic changes attached to the overriding goal of combating climate change by making America 100% dependent on “clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources … by dramatically expanding and upgrading renewable power sources [and] deploying new capacity.” Along the way, a second chief goal of the GND is to empower “frontline and vulnerable communities,” also known as the victim class.

While those on the extreme Left — including Vox writer David Roberts, who in December authored an extremely long treatise on the GND’s origins and eventual goals — were pleased to see the concept come to life, Roberts and others like him also know that the resolution left a lot of blanks to be filled by actual legislation.

One comparison for the GND could be made to the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is described by author Michael Grunwald as its own “ginormous energy bill.” A significant part of that “stimulus” money went to renewable energy and efficiency projects. But while best known for its support of failed green-energy companies like Solyndra and Ener1, it also created a large funding pool that lifted the solar- and wind-energy industries to the modest market share they now own.

Most of the 2020 Democrat presidential contenders were already behind the Green New Deal in concept, but its introduction allowed them to prove their environmental bonafides. Sen. Cory Booker was “excited” to join in, adding, “Our history is a testimony to the achievement of what some think is impossible — we must take bold action now.” Fellow Senator and GND co-sponsor Kamala Harris insisted, “We must aggressively tackle climate change which poses an existential threat to our nation.” Not to be outdone, Sen. Elizabeth Warren chimed in, “Climate change is real, it threatens all of us, & we have no time to waste to address it head-on.” She’ll also co-sponsor the resolution, which becomes a perfect palette from which these contenders can paint their own proposals to oppose President Donald Trump.

While there were compromises and large parts of the plan open for interpretation, the GND is still getting a cool reception from Democrat leadership. “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?” asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi somewhat dismissively. “Quite frankly, I haven’t seen it,” she added, “but I do know it’s enthusiastic and we welcome all the enthusiasm that is out there.”

Translation: She knows it’s pretty extreme, so just wait for her moderated “compromise” offer. By the way, Pelosi also pointedly did not choose Ocasio-Cortez for a new committee on climate change.

Last month, our Brian Mark Weber called out the Green New Deal for what it really is: “a dangerous scam to destroy the country as we know it.”

Republicans, for their part, should certainly lampoon the GND’s most laughable parts — such as its promise of “economic security for those unable or unwilling to work” or “upgrading all existing buildings in the United States … to achieve maximal energy efficiency” or “build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary” or to “replace every combustion-engine vehicle” (emphasis ours) — but they must be on guard for those aspects that seem somewhat reasonable by comparison.

We can’t dismiss the chance that some portions of the GND will make it through Congress or be executive-ordered by a future president. After all, people thought HillaryCare didn’t stand a chance when it was unveiled in 1993 and failed in a fully Democrat-controlled Congress. But a quarter-century later, Republicans controlled both houses and the White House and still couldn’t get rid of its successor. If nothing else, history shows that leftists are masters of incrementalism, especially when they conjure up a crisis and claim that only they can solve it.

Let’s be mindful of that history when the sun comes out tomorrow and provides its live-giving (albeit unevenly applied) brand of global warming.

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


  • On Feb. 15, another partial government shutdown will commence if a budget deal remains elusive. According to ABC News, “The 17-member committee charged with hashing out a border security deal in order to avert another government shutdown in seven days is inching closer to a deal.” However, that does not mean President Trump will accept the compromise if it’s absent funding for a border barrier. If he doesn’t, declaring a national emergency is even more likely.
  • A Louisiana abortion law that imposed regulations on abortion clinics found disfavor with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. “Roberts joined the Supreme Court’s liberal wing on Thursday in temporarily blocking a Louisiana law that would have placed restrictions on abortion clinics,” says Fox News. Strangely, “The Louisiana law is virtually identical to a Texas measure the justices struck down three years ago by a 5-3 vote, shortly after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Roberts dissented in that case, when he was not the deciding vote, and sided with the conservative minority that wanted to uphold the anti-abortion law — making his decision on Thursday a significant reversal.” Is John “ObamaCare Is a Tax” Roberts once again playing politics?
  • “House Democrats have twice refused now to take up the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act for consideration. The measure is ‘designed to ensure any infant born alive after an abortion receives the same protection of law as any newborn: mandating care and instituting penalties for doctors who allow such infants to die or who intentionally kill a newborn,’ according to a statement from the office of its sponsor Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO).” (Townhall)
  • Meanwhile, “Massachusetts Democrats have taken a page from New York’s radical left and are pushing a bill to legalize abortion at any time during the pregnancy,” Townhall also reports. “The bill … would get rid of the ‘grave impairment’ language so that an abortion could take place after 24 weeks if the pregnancy risks ‘her physical or mental health, or in cases of lethal fetal anomalies, or where the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the womb.’” Of course, “physical or mental health” is an ambiguous term intended to permit abortion on demand.
  • On Tuesday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar intimated, “I’m making a big announcement on Sunday.” But according to The Daily Signal, Klobuchar’s intention “to announce a possible presidential campaign this weekend … may have to wait after a report emerged Wednesday night alleging Klobuchar is cruel and potentially abusive to her staff.” At least three campaign-manager prospects have reportedly backed out, all of whom cited the senator’s propensity for belligerent behavior.
  • End of an era: “Former Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., the longest-serving member of Congress who played a key role in many pieces of landmark legislation, has died. He was 92. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year. ‘Congressman Dingell died peacefully [Thursday] at his home in Dearborn, surrounded by his wife Deborah,’ the office of his wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell, said in a statement.” (NBC News)
  • The Associated Press reports that “the Army is developing a new, more grueling and complex fitness exam that adds dead lifts, power throws and other exercises designed to make soldiers more fit and ready for combat.” The impetus? “Commanders have complained in recent years that the soldiers they get out of basic training aren’t fit enough.” Furthermore, “Unlike the old fitness test, which graded soldiers differently based on age and gender, the new one will be far more physically demanding and will not adjust the passing scores for older or female soldiers.”
  • Humor: Green New Deal promises energy-efficient gulags in every neighborhood (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: The Daily Signal’s Nicolas Loris says, “Here’s the most important fact about the Green New Deal: It wouldn’t work. Ultimately, fully implementing the Green New Deal would have no meaningful impact on global temperatures.”
  • Policy: It’s been nine months since the U.S. pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal. And today, “Europe is coming to acknowledge and act on the nuclear threat posed by Tehran.” Fred Fleitz explains why “Trump’s Iran-Deal Withdrawal Is a Clear Success” in National Review.

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

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Erick Erickson: “Democrats in the House of Representatives have rolled out what they are calling a ‘Green New Deal.’ It is the most serious public policy offering from Generation Tide Pod Eater to ever be unveiled. It is exactly what you would expect. … During World War II, Franklin Roosevelt added about $240 billion to the national debt. Ronald Reagan added about $1.8 trillion. George W. Bush added over $5 trillion, with Barack Obama adding about $8 trillion. The national debt will top $25 trillion by 2021, with interest payments on that debt exceeding every other expenditure. This green program would double the national debt, making it the single largest expenditure in the history of the United States. It would also bankrupt families, businesses and the nation. This Green New Deal would make the national socialists and their kissing cousins, the Soviets of mid-twentieth century Europe, very proud — if only because it would destroy the American economy.”


For laughs: “By the end of the Green New Deal resolution (and accompanying fact sheet) I was laughing so hard I nearly cried. If a bunch of GOPers plotted to forge a fake Democratic bill showing how bonkers the party is, they could not have done a better job.” —Kimberley Strassel

Before: “One reason that people who are politically conservative are skeptical of efforts to combat climate change is that it sounds to them like it requires massive government intervention. … It does, it does. … I have no problem saying that.” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

After: “I think one way that the Right does try to mischaracterize, uh, what we’re doing as though it’s, like, some kind of massive government takeover. Obviously, it’s not that. —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Braying Jenny: "This is one of the most urgent moral issues and crises that we have in America right now. This is not a political issue. Children dying in detention centers should not be a partisan concern. It should be a universal concern for every American in the United States. We’re here to say that an agency like ICE, which repeatedly and systematically violates human rights, does not deserve a dime.” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, just days after an illegal alien murdered a citizen of her sanctuary-city district

If only she were consistent: “Preserving God’s creation … is, in my view, a moral responsibility.” —Nancy Pelosi on unborn life the planet facing climate change

Demo-gogues: “The Virginians will resolve their issues that they have there. It’s sad because they have some very talented leaders there, but they have to have the confidence of the electorate and they have to have the confidence of the legislature that they have to work with. But I’ll leave that up to them. I have enough to do here without getting involved in the affairs of Virginia.” —Nancy Pelosi

And last… “The threat of climate change is so urgent that we can’t solve it unless we commit to giving everybody free healthcare, free college, affordable housing, healthy food, well-paying jobs, and provide economic security to those unwilling to work.” —Philip Klein

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