Mid-Day Digest

Feb. 19, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks; it is not less essential to the steady administration of the laws; to the protection of property against those irregular and high-handed combinations which sometimes interrupt the ordinary course of justice; to the security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction, and of anarchy.” —Alexander Hamilton (1788)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Emergency Declaration: Demo States File Obstructionist Lawsuit

Thomas Gallatin

As President Donald Trump predicted when he announced his decision to declare a national emergency over securing the border, 16 states filed a lawsuit on Monday with the leftist Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Trump has “veered the country toward a constitutional crisis of his own making,” the states allege. California fronts the list, which includes Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia. Notably and not surprisingly, all of these states have Democrat attorneys general and all but one have Democrat governors.

But conservatives have been divided over Trump’s decision as well, with many raising objections over questions surrounding the constitutionality of his action. Others have questioned whether the long-running illegal-immigration and border-enforcement problem is in fact a national emergency.

The National Emergencies Act of 1976 does not define by what parameters a “national emergency” may be determined; rather it grants that authority to the president. What the law does limit is what the president can do once an emergency has been declared. The declaration of a national emergency is entirely up to the president’s discretion, but once an emergency has been declared, the actions the president is authorized to take have been limited by Congress. The Federalist’s Sean Davis does a nice job highlighting the two most important statutes related to questions of the president’s authority regarding national emergencies: “one authorizing the president to declare national emergencies (50 U.S.C 1601 et. seq.) and the other authorizing the president to reprogram existing federal appropriations in response to an emergency declaration (10 U.S.C. 2808).”

In our view, Trump has thus far operated fully within the narrow bounds of established federal law. Debating if he should or should not have declared a national emergency is a legitimate argument to have, though conflating “should” with “can” serves only to confuse the matter. Whether his decision will have positive or negative political consequences is another matter entirely from questions of constitutionality or statutory authority.

The better argument to have is over the constitutionality of the law Congress passed in 1976. National emergencies have been invoked 59 times by presidents since, and a total of 18 times by George W. Bush and Barack Obama over their terms. As the legal challenge works its way through the courts, we hope the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of the law itself. Until then, blaming Trump for taking advantage of the authority the law grants him is misplaced outrage.

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‘Feel the Bern,’ Round Two

Nate Jackson

Surprising exactly no one, Bernie Sanders threw his hat in the ring Tuesday for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination. “We began the political revolution in the 2016 campaign,” he said, “and now it’s time to move that revolution forward.”

Narrowly defeated by Hillary Clinton and DNC shenanigans in 2016, the Vermont senator is the guy who made socialism “cool” again. Medicare for all? $15-an-hour minimum wage? Bernie’s ideas, and pretty much every 2020 Democrat is running on them. In fact, the Democrat Party has gotten to the point that, as Mark Alexander wrote in 2016, “The distinction between ‘progressive Democrat’ and ‘Socialist’ is now largely in name only — a distinction without a difference.”

What does Sanders bring to the table? The Wall Street Journal rightly points out that he has “a loyal group of supporters and arguably the strongest online fundraising machine in Democratic politics.” Sanders won 22 states during the 2016 primaries and raised more than $230 million. Columnist David Harsanyi argues, “Bernie Sanders has had more national success than any Dem running. In a different kind of primary, he might have been the 2016 candidate. As a socialist, he also represents the future of his party. Why shouldn’t he run?”

Good question, and there are a couple of answers. Unlike 2016, Sanders isn’t competing against a very unlikeable and scandal-ridden Hillary Clinton; he’ll be vying for the socialist vote with the far more charismatic lineup of Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker, among others — Sanders is the 12th Democrat to announce a run.

Sanders is also a 77-year-old white guy, which is pretty much the worst thing a person can be by today’s leftist standards. Thus we think NPR, of all places, has it right: “Sanders could be a victim of his own success.” His (terrible) ideas have captivated Democrats, but he’s too old and too white and too male to see them through himself.

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CBS’s Lara Logan Eviscerates Leftmedia ‘Propagandists’

When Leftmedia journalists call out the Leftmedia for bias and outright propaganda, we take note. Such was the case when CBS News Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan sat with retired Navy SEAL Mike Ritland for his “Mike Drop” podcast and gave an interview that “is professional suicide for me.”

Logan lamented the ideological echo chamber that makes up most of the media:

This is the problem that I have: There’s one Fox. There’s one Fox and there’s many, many, many more organizations on the Left. … The problem is the weight of all these organizations on one side of the political spectrum. When you turn on your computer, or you walk past the TV, or you see a newspaper headline in the grocery store, if they’re all saying the same thing, the weight of that convinces you that it’s true. You don’t question it, because everyone is saying it. And unless you seek out Breitbart on your computer, you’re probably not even going to know what the other side is saying. Right?

Moreover, Logan said, journalists are too often actually Democrat Party members:

The media everywhere is mostly liberal, not just in the U.S. But in this country, 85% of journalists are registered Democrats. So that’s just a fact. No one is registering Democrat when they’re really a Republican. So, the facts are on the side of what you just stated: Most journalists are Left, or liberal, or Democrat, or whatever word you wanna give it.

Finally, on the subject of what Americans are being fed on a daily basis, Logan had a strong word for it: propaganda.

How do you know you’re being lied to? How do you know you’re being manipulated? How do you know there’s something not right with the coverage? When they simplify it all and there’s no gray. There’s no gray. It’s all one way. Well, life isn’t like that. If it doesn’t match real life … something’s wrong.“

So, for example, all the coverage on Trump all the time is negative. … That’s distortion of the way things go in real life … because although the media has historically always been left-leaning, we’ve abandoned our pretense, or at least the effort, to be objective today.”

The journalist then gave an example of former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson admitting as much:

[Abramson] says, “We would do dozens of stories about Trump every single day, and every single one of them was negative.” She said, “We have become the anti-Trump paper of record.” Well, that’s not our job. That’s a political position. That means we’ve become political activists … and some could argue propagandists. And there’s some merit to that.

She’s right.

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

GOOD NEWS

Gary Sinise Receives All-Star Thanks for Dedicating His Career to Vets

“Gary Sinise has dedicated his career to helping veterans and their families — and now an all-star crew that includes Gen. Colin Powell and several high-caliber actors is taking time to show their gratitude in a special surprise video tribute.”

“Completely shocked and speechless by this surprise video,” the “Forrest Gump” actor wrote on Facebook. “Incredibly touched and grateful by everyone’s support. I’m crying, so choked up, I thought I’d share.”

Read more at Fox News.

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP HEADLINE SUMMARY

  • According to Bloomberg, “Elizabeth Warren proposed a universal child care plan that would limit American families’ expenses to 7 percent of income regardless of how many children they have in care — paid for by a tax on the ultra-wealthy.” The scheme “would make child care free for families with incomes below 200 percent of the poverty level, or less than $51,500 for a family of four.” The price tag is reportedly $70 billion annually and is estimated to double child-care attendance. But as with anything taxpayer-funded, this cost is likely woefully underestimated.
  • According to Gallup, “Thirty-five percent of Americans name the government, poor leadership or politicians as the greatest problem facing the U.S. This is the highest percentage Gallup has recorded for this concern, edging out the previous high of 33% during the 2013 federal government shutdown.” Furthermore, “The current percentage of Americans naming government as the most important problem is nearly twice as high as the 18% recorded in November. That increase likely reflects public frustration with the government shutdown that occurred from late December through most of January.” Not surprisingly, therefore, immigration is No. 2 on the list, with 19% calling it a top problem.
  • Smaller tax refunds put GOP on defensive, headlines The Hill, which then goes on to report the truth — smaller refunds mean people paid less all year. If only Americans didn’t have to wade through Dezinformatsiya headlines to learn that.
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz recently revealed that “Democrats in the Judiciary Committee … voted against notifying ICE when an illegal alien fails a background check to buy a gun.” He further observed, “They hate ICE so much that they’d keep ICE in the dark when illegals try to get guns!” As Townhall reports, “Last year a record number of illegal aliens, millions of them, tried to purchase firearms in the United States. Not only is it illegal to enter the United States without permission, it’s also illegal to purchase or possess a gun.” Ironically, Democrats’ demands for gun control is demonstrably confined to lawful citizens.
  • “A 45-year-old Mexican national detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection died Monday at a medical facility in McAllen, Tex., after twice seeking medical attention,” The Washington Post reports, adding, “Another death is likely to raise fresh questions for the border control organization … especially as the president crusades for a wall at the southern border.” The underreported issue is that “the unnamed adult was apprehended on Feb. 2 for ‘illegal reentry,’ which means the individual had tried to enter the country at least once before.” Moreover, the individual, who had cirrhosis of the liver and congestive heart failure, was administered health care twice upon request.
  • “‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett, upset after a racist letter sent to the show’s studio didn’t get a ‘bigger reaction,’ is suspected of paying two men to attack him a week later, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the investigation,” CBS Chicago reports. “‘When the letter didn’t get enough attention, he concocted the staged attack,’ a source told CBS 2 Investigator Brad Edwards. Other sources corroborated that information.” There are also reports that Smollett scouted the location and rehearsed the attack.
  • WBKO reports, “A Tennessee man is in jail after being accused of pulling a gun on a Sam’s Club customer Saturday.” But why? “According to the alleged victim … a man pulled a gun on him because he was wearing a Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat. … The police report confirms that the suspect, identified as James Phillips, admitted to flipping off Pierce and Pierce’s wife because of their hats.” The mainstream media response? Crickets.
  • Humor: Nation’s liberals devastated after learning hate crime didn’t actually happen (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: “Democrats intend to save ‘democracy’ by putting themselves in charge of elections,” says The Daily Signal’s Jarrett Stepman. “As absurd as that sounds, it really is a part of the inappropriately named ‘For the People Act of 2019,’ or H.R. 1, moving through the House of Representatives.” Read more on why this is a recipe for one-party rule.
  • Policy: “Don’t look now, but China’s advances in intellectual property (IP) are beginning to catch up to the country’s rapid technological progress.” Michael Rosen explains the meaning of this at the American Enterprise Institute.

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Dennis Prager: “Do leftists believe global warming will destroy the world as we know it in 12 years, as recently suggested by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? I don’t know. They seem to talk themselves into believing their hysterias. But they don’t act on them. Here’s a simple proof that the left is lying about the imminent threat of global warming to civilization: Leftists don’t support nuclear power. It is simply not possible to believe fossil fuel emissions will destroy the world and, at the same time, oppose nuclear power. Nuclear power is clean and safe. Sweden, a model country for leftists, meets 40 percent of its energy needs with nuclear power. If you were certain you were terminally ill yet decline a medicine that is guaranteed to cure you, the rest of us would have every reason to assume you didn’t really believe you were terminally ill. Here’s more evidence the left doesn’t believe its global warming hysteria: How many leftists with beachfront property anywhere in the world have sold it? If leftists really believe global warming will cause the oceans to rise and soon inundate the world’s coastal areas, why would any leftist not sell his beachfront home while he could not only make all his money back but make a profit as well?”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “[Basing stories on anonymous sources is] not journalism; that’s horses—t. Responsibility for fake news begins with us.” —CBS News Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan

Stopped clock: “If it is found that [Jussie] Smollett and these gentlemen did, in some way, perpetrate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum. Let us get to the bottom of it, and let justice be done.” —Al Sharpton, who promoted the infamous Tawana Brawley racist rape hoax

The BIG Lie: “I remember in the hours right after this happened … that our bosses were advising to pump the brakes a little bit because there were things already that didn’t add up. I was frankly surprised how many people jumped on board to side with Jussie Smollett before there were photos, before there were police statements, before all that stuff.” —CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, who’s network absolutely propagated fake news — again

The BIG Lie II: “The evidence seems to suggest [a stolen election]. I came to Georgia for Stacey [Abrams] because I just think the world of her, and I think that the whole notion that she fired up people, she got them to the polls, and somehow those votes didn’t get counted, I don’t think that’s how democracy is supposed to work.” —Elizabeth Warren

From the Complaints Department: “This was a deal that was gonna bring $27 billion in revenue to the state and city for things like public education, mass transit, affordable housing and that $3 billion that would go back in tax incentives was only after we were getting the jobs and getting the revenue.” —New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on the withdrawal of the Amazon headquarters after protests by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alpha Jackass: “Ms. Omar from Somalia — she started talking about ‘the Benjamins’ and they are trying to make her apologize. Sweetheart, don’t do that. Pardon me for calling you sweetheart, but you do have a sweet heart. You sure are using it to shake the government up, but you have nothing to apologize for.” —Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan praising Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic comments

Non Compos Mentis: “The far right wants to eliminate what it considers the vestigial organs of government, including the Education, Commerce and Energy departments. The far left wants to Abolish ICE. They’re both thinking too small. What America really needs to do — and what might actually receive strong bipartisan support — is to Abolish Congress.” —Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell

And last… “The most disgusting thing about the Jussie Smollett hoax is the left WANTS to believe that everybody who wears a MAGA hat is racist & willing to attack a man for his skin color & sexual orientation.” —Liz Wheeler

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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