Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 12, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.” —James Madison (1829)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Pelosi Rejects Impeachment … For Now

In a wide-ranging interview published in The Washington Post Magazine, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a statement that appears to be aimed at tamping down all the Democrat rhetoric on wanting to impeach President Donald Trump. “I’m not for impeachment,” Pelosi stated. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”

So, what can be made of Pelosi’s statement? Three possibilities, and perhaps a combination of all three.

First, it’s important to note that Pelosi’s statement does not preclude any future impeachment attempts. Instead, she has simply conceded that Democrats do not presently have enough political capital to instigate impeachment proceedings. In other words, Pelosi recognizes that as things currently stand, an attempt at impeachment would be more politically damaging for Democrats than for President Donald Trump. And practically speaking, with the Senate under GOP control, an impeachment attempt without any real evidence would only push Republicans to further coalesce behind Trump. To put it bluntly, Pelosi knows it would be a politically damaging effort in futility.

Second, Pelosi may have deduced something about or even been privy to Robert Mueller’s forthcoming report. If, as we have long speculated, the report finds no evidence of any Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy, Pelosi will need to have her party repositioned in such a fashion as to avoid appearing to have invested any real political capital in Mueller’s findings. By downplaying the impeachment mantra that has been entirely linked to Russian collusion, Pelosi is attempting to pull back and make Democrats look the part of objectively minded statesmen, not the politically invested hacks they are.

Finally, Pelosi is flexing her intra-party authority over the young and popular upstarts within her own party. By publicly speaking out to a prominent Leftmedia outlet, Pelosi is communicating to her young leftist firebrands that whatever their rhetoric may be, she will be the one to decide what if any action will be taken on impeachment, not them. And no action will be taken — yet. Of course, that will all change if House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler’s fishing expedition turns up anything.

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Carlson and ‘The Outrage Machine’

So it turns out that, more than a decade ago, Tucker Carlson said some insensitive, rude, and vile things … while he was talking with a shock jock. Shocking, we know. But leftists are on it.

While conversing with “Bubba The Love Sponge,” Carlson used salty, misogynistic, racist, and degrading language about women, blacks, Iraqis, and others. It was indeed objectionable. He also made comments defending white men for “creating civilization and stuff.” That’s an arguable point, regardless of the race-baiters’ “outrage.” In any case, the muckrakers at Media Matters — try not to laugh, but it’s a leftist website dedicated to finding conservative bias in the media — dug up those comments, fomenting hysteria and calls for boycotting and firing Carlson from the Fox News show he’s been hosting only since 2016.

Now, we’re not going to defend everything Carlson said. In fact, we’d likewise condemn a lot of it. But context matters, as does a simple question: Did Carlson’s comments reflect his actual beliefs? Leftists aren’t concerned with that. They’re too busy trying to get his scalp.

Carlson addressed the controversy in his monologue last night:

As anyone who’s ever been caught in its gears can tell you, the great American outrage machine is a remarkable thing. One day you’re having dinner with your family, imagining everything is fine. The next, your phone is exploding with calls from reporters. They read you snippets from a press release written by Democratic Party operatives. They demand to know how you could possibly have said something so awful and offensive. “Do you have a statement on how immoral you are?” It’s a bewildering moment, especially when the quotes in question are more than a decade old.

There’s really not that much you can do to respond. It’s pointless to try to explain how the words were spoken in jest, or taken out of context, or in any case bear no resemblance to what you actually think, or would want for the country. None of that matters. Nobody cares. You know the role you’re required to play: You are a sinner, begging the forgiveness of Twitter. So you issue a statement of deep contrition. You apologize profusely for your transgressions. You promise to be a better person going forward. With the guidance of your contrition consultants, you send money to whatever organization claims to represent the people you supposedly offended. Then you sit back and brace for a wave of stories about your apology, all of which are simply pretexts for attacking you again.

Not just attacking you — attacking the very culture of First Amendment-protected free speech that helped make America great in the first place.

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

GOOD NEWS

Nine Young Adults Explain Why They’re Conservative

“At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, young Americans from across the country made a strong showing. The Daily Signal spoke with nine young adults to get their take on conservatism and why they identify as conservatives.

"Brandon Morris, a graduate of Santa Fe College, says he grew up as a Democrat for most of his childhood. A former pan-African, Black Panther member and Black Lives Matter supporter, Morris once regarded conservative views as racist.

”‘I thought Republicans or conservatives were racist,’ he said. ‘And then once I learned the history of everything, and [got] deeper into the policies and what actually takes effect, it made me comfortable to actually become a conservative Republican.’

“What led Morris to his conversion? After a two-hour political debate with his conservative college roommate and his roommate’s friend, Morris says he decided to research conservative viewpoints more closely to better combat their arguments.”

Read more at The Daily Signal.

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP HEADLINE SUMMARY

  • “President Trump kicked off a new battle with Congress on Monday by releasing his fiscal 2020 budget plan seeking billions more in funding for a border wall and controversial work requirements for Americans collecting a variety of welfare benefits. Both proposals are sure to face resistance from Democrats, especially coming off a partial shutdown triggered by a border wall dispute that only ended when Trump declared a national emergency over immigration — a step being litigated in the courts and challenged in Congress. The requests are part of the president’s $4.7 trillion budget plan.” (Fox News)
  • “As growing chaos took hold in Venezuela, a country whose people have had little power, water and communications for days, the United States announced plans to withdraw all remaining personnel from its embassy there this week. … [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo announced the decision late Monday as Venezuela struggles to restore electricity following four days of blackouts around the country and a deepening political crisis.” (Associated Press)
  • “The 2020 Democratic National Convention will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez announced Monday, a decision that comes after Hillary Clinton narrowly lost the critical state to Donald Trump in 2016. … The city beat out Miami and Houston as the site to host the Democratic Party’s convention, which will take place between July 13 and 16. … Clinton’s unexpected loss in Wisconsin sparked widespread griping in the party that the state, which she did not campaign in once during the general election, was largely ignored in favor of bigger electoral prizes like Florida, which also ultimately went to Trump on election night.” (ABC News)
  • According to Politico, “Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), one of the most outspoken advocates of the #MeToo movement who has made fighting sexual misconduct a centerpiece of her presidential campaign, spent last summer pressing legislators to update Congress’ ‘broken’ system of handling sexual harassment. At the same time, a mid-20s female aide to Gillibrand resigned in protest over the handling of her sexual harassment complaint by Gillibrand’s office, and criticized the senator for failing to abide by her own public standards.” Recall back in December when a Kamala Harris aide stepped down for likewise harassing a female.
  • “The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a far-left nonprofit known for its ‘hate group’ designations, has surpassed a half billion dollars in total assets and now has $121 million parked offshore, according to the group’s most recent financial statements. … The SPLC’s assets increased despite its total revenue falling by $15 million last year. The SPLC hauled in $136 million in total revenue throughout 2017. This number fell to $121 million in 2018. Its contributions and grants also fell by more than $20 million from 2017 to 2018, from $132 million to $111 million. Despite the fall in revenue, the SPLC’s vast investment portfolio expanded in 2018, which included a drastic increase in the amount of money it has parked overseas.” (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • “ICE health officials have been notified of 236 confirmed or probable cases of mumps among detainees in 51 facilities in the past 12 months, compared to no cases detected between January 2016 and February 2018. Last year, 423 detainees were determined to have influenza and 461 to have chicken pox. All three diseases are largely preventable by vaccine. As of March 7, a total of 2,287 detainees were quarantined around the country.” (Reuters)
  • “President Trump apparently is tired of switching clocks just like everyone else,” Fox News reports. Coming off a universally sleep-deprived weekend during which America set the clocks to spring forward an hour, Trump tweeted that he’s ‘O.K.’ with making Daylight Saving Time ‘permanent’ — in other words, enough with the clock changing. … Republican Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott filed a bill last week to extend daylight saving time for the entire year, called the Sunshine Protection Act.“ Help fight communism by making daylight great again.
  • Humor: "We must resist Trump!” cries woman whose life hasn’t changed in the slightest since Trump was elected (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: “It would take real reforms to Medicare that change its spending and funding formulas in order to get the U.S. government off its current path to fiscal disaster,” write the Washington Examiner editors. “Wealthy retirees should be responsible for more of their own coverage. More services should have larger co-pays. But the Trump White House has timidly sworn off these reforms.”
  • Policy: The Heritage Foundation’s James Gattuso says, “Just over one year ago, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to repeal the network neutrality rules it adopted in 2015. However, the FCC regulation could make a comeback if House Democrats have their way.” Here’s why this is a bad idea.

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Rich Lowry: “The same Democrats outraged by Donald Trump’s alleged offenses against the First Amendment passed, as their first priority, a speech-restricting bill opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union. … The wide-ranging legislation purports to reform campaign finance with a series of vague, sweeping measures that will act to chill speech when they don’t actively regulate or squelch it. HR 1 is called the For the People Act, but would be more aptly titled the Be Careful What You Say, It Might Be Illegal Act. Progressives can’t abide the notion that people in this country get together to spend money on advocacy outside the purview of the government — in other words, freely promote their favored causes as befits a free people living in a free country. … The Supreme Court has long put an emphasis on bright lines in its campaign-finance jurisprudence exactly to avoid a chilling effect on advocacy. It has said that laws must be ‘both easily understood and objectively determinable.’ The campaign-finance provisions of HR 1 are neither. What HR 1 makes abundantly clear is that the foremost threat to the First Amendment are the people who believe that there is something untoward about unregulated political speech and seek to bring it under control.”

SHORT CUTS

Friendly fire: “Earth to Democrats: Republicans are telling you something when they gleefully schedule votes on proposals like the Green New Deal, Medicare for all, and a 70 percent marginal tax rate. When they’re more eager to vote on the Democratic agenda than we are, we should take a step back and ask ourselves whether we’re inadvertently letting the political battle play out on their turf rather than our own. If Trump’s only hope for winning a second term turns on his ability to paint us as socialists, we shouldn’t play to type.” —Rahm Emanuel

If work is irredeemable, what does that make socialist handouts? “To me capitalism is irredeemable.” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Non Compos Mentis: “We should not be haunted by the specter of being automated out of work. We should be excited by that. But the reason we’re not excited by it is because we live in a society where if you don’t have a job, you are left to die. And that is, at its core, our problem.” —Ocasio-Cortez

Oh, that must be it: “I don’t think our colleague [Rep. Ilhan Omar] is anti-Semitic. I think she has a different experience in the use of words, doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning that she didn’t realize.” —Nancy Pelosi

Trafficking hate: “Absolutely not. … One is human the other is not.” —Ilhan Omar asked if Barack Obama and Donald Trump are the same (“Anti-Semites who dehumanize their opponents? Who could have predicted that?” —Ed Driscoll)

“I think Islamophobia is very much among the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party. And I know that’s hard for people to hear, but there’s only been four members of Congress that are of Muslim faith. Three of them currently serve in this institution. More of us need to get elected, but more of us need to understand as we come into this institution that I have a lot of work to do with my colleagues.” —Rep. Rashida Tlaib

Dezinformatsiya: “I think the question should be, is Fox [News] state-run TV or is the White House state-run government by Fox TV? … The fact is [Fox anchors] work at a place that has done tremendous damage to this country.” —CNN President Jeff Zucker

The jack of all trades: “I’m trans. I’m a person of color. I’m an immigrant. I’m a lesbian. I’m a gay man. I’m the disabled. I’m everything.” —Alyssa Milano (You’re also a nut.)

The BIG Lie: “Women aren’t the only people who get pregnant or the only people who need to access abortion. The fight for reproductive freedom is a fight for ALL.” —NARAL

And last… “I remember a time when you could enjoy — or not enjoy — a movie based on its merits. Now we have to worry about the politics of casting, the social implications of the film and even the validity of the reviewing process. The joy is being sucked out of pretty much everything.” —Pat Sajak

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TODAY’S MEME

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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
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