“We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.” —John Adams (1797)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Democrats aren’t very democratic, as revealed in the For the People Act.
- Trump’s budget reveals his priorities but stands little chance of becoming law.
- Daily Features: More Analysis, Columnists, Headlines, Opinion in Brief, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
The Democrat-controlled House passed bill HR 1 Friday — the dubiously named “For the People Act.” The purpose of the bill, according to Democrats, is to “expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules for public servants.” However, far from “expanding Americans’ access to the ballot box,” the bill instead runs roughshod over Americans’ constitutional rights and states’ rights, diminishing the power of citizens’ votes by failing to prohibit noncitizen voting.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) noted the irony of a bill ostensibly crafted to expand and protect the voting rights of Americans but doing the exact opposite: “It sounds like I’m making it up. What kind of government would cancel the vote of its own citizens, and replace it with noncitizens?” Crenshaw added, “Today I offered a motion to recommit #HR1 reaffirming that only US citizens should have the right to vote. Dems rejected it. Next time you go to the ballot box, keep that in mind. The future of their party is in cities like San Fran, where illegals can vote. Let that sink in.”
The bill makes an absolute mockery of federalism, as it would establish greater centralized control over elections by Washington bureaucrats. In other words, this bill is little more than a federal power grab that National Review’s editors criticize for “creating a chilling effect on political communications through sheer uncertainty and confusion.” NR’s editors further note, “Democrats seem to believe that political speech is just too dangerous to be unrestrained. It has to be micromanaged, regulated by technocrats until it is directed into its government-approved lanes. This is of course exactly what incumbent politicians tend to prefer. They want predictable debates, reliable funding streams, and (above all) power — including the power to punish their opponents.”
In fact, HR 1 is so bad that even the leftist American Civil Liberties Union opposes it, writing in a 13-page letter that the bill would “unconstitutionally impinge on the free speech rights of American citizens and public interest organizations.” And the chairman of the Institute for Free Speech, Bradley Smith, observes that the Democrats’ “goal seems to be to limit discussion of candidates to the candidates and parties themselves, at the expense of the public at large. However, even candidates are likely to find their speech severely restricted were H.R. 1 to become law.”
The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky astutely argues, “All legislation proposed by Congress should be necessary, constitutional, and good policy. H.R. 1 is none of these things. It is unnecessary, unconstitutional, and bad policy. It does nothing to protect voters or to help election officials administer a fair and secure voter registration and election process. Put bluntly, it imposes federal micromanagement on the states, reversing the local oversight of the election process that our Founders believed was essential to preserving liberty and freedom in America.”
This is nothing but a bald-faced attempt by Democrats to further direct and control the outcome of America’s national elections. It is anything but constitutional or democratic for that matter. Legislation like this, coupled with the attempt by several Democrat-controlled states to subvert the Electoral College, is yet more evidence of the extreme Left’s near-complete takeover of the Democrat Party. And for all intents and purposes, the current Democrat Party has more in common with one-party Marxism than the U.S. Constitution.
President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget proposal will be released today, revealing his priorities for the next decade and beyond. Frankly, that’s all a president’s budget does — Congress routinely says, “Yeah, thanks,” and then promptly ignores every president’s budget. But what does Trump prioritize? Primarily two things: the military and the border wall.
Trump will propose a big boost for the Pentagon, $8.6 billion in new funding for a border barrier, and what The Washington Post says are “major spending cuts across a range of domestic government programs.” Reportedly, that’s a 5% reduction in nondefense discretionary spending amounting to $2.7 trillion.
In practice, however, what are “major cuts” in Beltway Speak are actually slight reductions in the growth rate. Despite media messaging that permeates even many other conservative outlets, actual cuts — i.e. literally spending less year over year — are rare.
The Post notes, “The government now has more than $22 trillion in debt, and the deficit is projected to run between $900 billion and $1 trillion in the coming years.” Of those numbers, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) rightly complains, “Consider that the president’s budget proposes we spend vastly more money than we take in for 15 years, bust the spending caps again, leave ourselves with about a trillion dollars in deficit spending in fiscal 2020, accumulate debt well over $30 trillion by 2030, and lead us to spending more in interest payments than we do on Social Security or defense.”
Indeed, under Trump’s plan, eliminating the deficit will now take 15 years. “Even with deep spending cuts, the president’s plan would not balance the budget until the mid-2030s,” the Post reports, “falling short of the 10-year time frame that Republicans have sought for years.” Ever notice that we never actually get closer to the end of that 10-year window? Republicans and Democrats alike have been promising to “eliminate the deficit in 10 years” since the last time the federal government had a budget surplus in fiscal 2001. Funny how future Congresses and presidents have their own agendas, including kicking the can down the road.
The media deride the tax cuts for that shift in time frame, but the reality is that Trump campaigned on not touching two of the Big Three major entitlements — Social Security and Medicare — and those programs are the primary drivers of deficit spending and national debt. And most Americans just don’t want the reforms needed to change that.
As for the military, it does indeed need a buildup after years of war and Barack Obama’s policies, so a boost is all well and good. And yes, the border barrier should be a priority, but we all know how well the shutdown worked out for security funding. “Chuck and Nancy” are no warmer to the idea of giving Trump what he wants now than they were in December. “Congress refused to fund his wall and he was forced to admit defeat and reopen the government,” the pair warned in a statement. “The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again. We hope he learned his lesson.”
Few in Washington ever really learn lessons. They just keep spending the money of future generations.
ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- Featured Analysis: Renewable Energy’s Inconvenient Truths — Wind and solar cannot compete with fossil fuels and nuclear energy for efficiency.
- Many Teens Stressed, Depressed, Obsessed With Self — The deleterious effect social-media technology has on mental health is becoming clear.
- R. Kelly: Compassion and the Constitution — The rush to convict and punish even distasteful individuals is contrary to Rule of Law.
- Video: Americans Don’t Know Their Own History — Will Witt took to the National Mall in DC with some American history questions.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
TOP HEADLINE SUMMARY
- With friends like these… “Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar ripped former President Barack Obama in an interview published Friday, belittling his ‘pretty face’ and saying his agenda of hope and change was an illusion,” the New York Post reports. “She cited the ‘caging of kids’ at the Mexican border and the ‘droning of countries around the world’ on Obama’s watch — and argued that he wasn’t much different from President Trump.” Fox News adds, “The broadside delivered at Obama is highly unusual for any Democrat, especially one who has been in the House for two months and has already ticked off party elders with her outspokenness.”
- “A federal judge in California who ordered the Trump administration to reunite more than 2,800 migrant families separated at the southwest border says potentially thousands more could be affected by his ruling. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of San Diego said in a preliminary ruling issued late Friday that parents who were separated from their children on or after July 1, 2017, should be included as part of a class-action lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. … Sabraw said he will hold a hearing later this month to decide whether the government will have to identify and reunite the additional families.” (NPR)
- “Generation Z has a more positive view of the word ‘socialism’ than previous generations, and — along with millennials — are more likely to embrace socialistic policies and principles than past generations, according to a new Harris Poll,” Axios reports. Among these two generations, 73.2% believe in taxpayer-funded universal health care; 67.1% believe in taxpayer-funded college; and 49.6% would rather live in a socialist country.
- Speaking of socialism… “Furious Venezuelans lined up to buy water and fuel on Sunday as the country endured a fourth day of a nationwide blackout that has left already-scarce food rotting in shops, homes suffering for lack of water and cell phones without reception. Authorities have managed to provide only patchy access to power since the outage began on Thursday in what President Nicolas Maduro called an act of U.S.-backed sabotage, but critics insist it is the result of incompetence and corruption.” (Reuters)
- “‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett has been indicted on 16 felony counts following his Chicago attack allegations. … The indictment — eight counts from what he told the officer who responded to the report of the attack and eight for what he later told a detective — comes a little more than two weeks after prosecutors announced one felony count of the same charge.” (Fox News)
- “A lawyer representing Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann said … that Sandmann plans to sue CNN for at least $250 million. … ‘CNN was probably more vicious in its direct attacks on Nicholas than The Washington Post. And CNN goes into millions of individuals’ homes. It’s broadcast into their homes,‘ [attorney L. Lin] Wood told [Mark] Levin. … 'You have a situation where CNN couldn’t resist the idea that here’s a guy, a young boy, with a "Make America Great Again” cap on. So they go after him.’“ (The Hill)
- "The [Trump] administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting U.S. troops pay the full price — plus 50 percent or more for the privilege. That may see some nations asked to cough up five to six times as much as they do now. If the plan gets traction it could prove to be a paradigm shift for U.S. foreign policy and its relationships around the world. It risks fanning debates in some countries about whether they even want U.S. troops and creating a vacuum that might give the advantage to the likes of China and Russia.” (Bloomberg)
- “The Trump administration signaled Friday it intends to implement a ban on transgender people serving in the military after a federal court struck down the last injunction against the policy the previous day. … Former Defense Secretary James Mattis laid out a policy in March 2018 that would allow transgender people to serve if they do so ‘in their biological sex.’” (The Hill)
- Policy: The Heritage Foundation’s Michaela Dodge says, “The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee demonstrated a scary lack of understanding of nuclear weapons policy Wednesday during a hearing seeking outside perspectives on the U.S. nuclear posture. Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., jumped at the opportunity to attack the U.S. fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles, known as ICBMs, calling them unnecessary for deterrence and easily identifiable targets. Smith misunderstands the value that ICBMs bring to U.S. national security and that of our allies, which is scary given the importance of the role he plays.”
- Policy: Three doctors in Congress — Reps. Scott DesJarlais, Paul Gosar, and Andy Harris — diagnose the problems with Medicare for All (The Daily Signal)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Gary Bauer: “After repeated fumbles, the House Democrat leadership finally got their resolution against bigotry across the goal the line Thursday evening. The vote was 407-to-23. I am not going to applaud those who supported this resolution. It was worthless. … Since Democrats decided to expand the subjects covered in the resolution, there was one glaring omission. There was no condemnation of anti-Christian bigotry. I guess the Democrat leadership doesn’t care about that. We have seen judicial nominees attacked by liberal senators worried that their faith would affect their rulings. There is a whole ‘industry’ established to bash Christian schools, labeling them as ‘educating for hate’ because they are teaching traditional Christian views on the sanctity of life and the definition of marriage. Numerous left-wing politicians have called conservative pro-life Christians ‘the American Taliban,’ which is ironic because progressives frequently claim that extremism has nothing to do with Islam. Christian, pro-family organizations are regularly smeared as the equivalent of the KKK by progressive groups. If you speak with any elected Christian official serving at the national level, they will tell you that if they publicly refer to Christ or pray at a public event, the atheist lobby and radical secularists will harass them, and in some cases even threaten them. … Once again, Christians and Jews are reminded of just how much we have in common — we’re at the bottom of the progressive pecking order.”
For the record: “The caricature of environmentalists is that they are just using climate change as a stalking horse for their true agenda, which is to socialize the entire economy. And lo and behold, what does the Green New Deal resolution call for? Net zero carbon emissions in 10 years, universal health care, guaranteed jobs for all, paid family leave, paid vacations, refurbishing every single building in the country to meet environmental standards, eliminating nuclear power and on and on. In fact, most of the resolution doesn’t even address climate change.” —Mona Charen
Friendly fire: “We can’t be only upset with Trump. … His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was. And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.” —Ilhan Omar (Omar feels not rebuked but emboldened. She voted for a resolution to condemn generic “hate” and then promptly attacked the Democrats’ Dear Leader.)
Race bait: “The founders were imperfect geniuses. They wrote a lot of our bigotries into [the Constitution].” —Cory Booker
Demo-gogues: “I always used to laugh when people would say about my tax policies: ‘He just wants to tax you to death.’ First of all, I’m the guy who pays the max tax. … For me to be able to pay my fair share of sustaining this amazing nation so kids coming up behind me are going to have the same opportunities that I do is something that I insist upon.” —Barack Obama
The BIG Lie: “It is a fact that we can change human behaviors without much change to our lifestyle and we can save the future generations of our country and this world.” —Kamala Harris (What about “get your laws off my body”?)
Shot across the Left’s bow: “The central and most serious question in this investigation, the reason Robert Mueller started it: Did the current president of the United States assist the Kremlin in an attack on our democracy? And if Mueller, after two years, comes back and says, ‘I don’t have the evidence to support that charge,’ that’s a reckoning. That’s a reckoning for progressives and Democrats who hoped that Mueller would essentially erase the 2016 election. It’s a reckoning for the media. It’s a reckoning across the country if in fact after all this time there was no collusion.” —ABC’s Terry Moran
And last… “The New York Times editorialized the other day that Trump declared ‘that there’s a crisis at the border, contrary to all evidence.’ Then, the paper ran a news story headlined, ‘Border at 'Breaking Point’ as More than 76,000 Migrants Cross in a Month.‘ Both of those pieces can’t be right. There’s manufacturing a crisis, then there’s ignoring one for fear of conceding anything to Trump.” —Rich Lowry
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher