Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 13, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“The truth is that the want of common education with us is not from our poverty, but from the want of an orderly system. More money is now paid for the education of a part than would be paid for that of the whole if systematically arranged.” —Thomas Jefferson (1820)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Wealthy Leftists Caught Cheating College Admissions

On Tuesday, federal prosecutors announced charges against more than 50 people involved in cheating and bribery for admission to colleges and universities. Individuals charged included two well-known actresses, several business CEOs, college coaches, college administrators, and William Rick Singer, founder of The Key, which was the organization responsible for running the whole scheme. The schools implicated include Georgetown, Yale, Stanford, University of Texas, University of Southern California, UCLA, and others. Interestingly, several of the charged individuals have also donated to Democrats.

Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, explained, “Based on the charges unsealed today, all of them knowingly conspired with Singer and others to help their children either cheat on the SAT or ACT and/or buy their children’s admissions to elite schools through fraud. This case is about the widening corruption in elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud. … There can be no separate college admissions system for the wealthy.” He further noted, “For every student admitted through fraud, an honest, genuinely talented student was rejected.”

“The cherry on top?” National Review’s Jim Geraghty asks: “The whole enterprise was granted tax-exempt nonprofit status by the Internal Revenue Service since 2013. Those Tea Party groups couldn’t get nonprofit status, but these crooks could.”

Cheating always raises people’s ire, especially when it comes at the hands of those with wealth and influence. Indeed, as Geraghty put it, “The full description is an epic portrait of graft, corruption, elitism, and sleaze that will leave you wanting to burn down the Ivory Tower.” That said, in many ways the system has been legally rigged for years, primarily through affirmative action. Claiming to seek the goal of equality of access, affirmative action instead promulgates the idea that some groups are inherently more worthy or deserving than others, based upon historical circumstances viewed through the lens of race rather than individual merit.

The point here is that neither cheating the system via bribery nor legally rigging the system to favor (or in the case of Harvard University, discriminate against) racial minorities are just. A truly just system would apply the same standard to all applicants, irrespective of their economic status or race.

How will this criminal fiasco be spun by those on the Left? We predict it will become a call for greater government intrusion; remember, never let a crisis go to waste. Don’t be surprised to see more calls for “free college” as a solution. Leftists will claim that free college will serve to limit the “evil” impact of “white privilege” and the “wealth privilege” of capitalism. This is the same logic Democrats use to defend their free-speech-squelching campaign-finance reform.

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Big Labor Slams Green New Deal

Democrats thrive on dividing Americans into constituency groups, which is a very effective way to win votes by making those groups feel beholden to the party. But every once in a while, there’s a head-on collision at the corner of such “intersectionality.” This time, that clash involves Green New Deal proponents and union representatives.

In a joint letter to Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the chief GND sponsors in Congress, 10 national labor unions on the AFL-CIO’s energy committee wrote, “We welcome the call for labor rights and dialogue with labor, but the Green New Deal resolution is far too short on specific solutions that speak to the jobs of our members and the critical sections of our economy. We will not accept proposals that could cause immediate harm to millions of our members and their families. We will not stand by and allow threats to our members’ jobs and their families’ standard of living go unanswered” [emphasis added].

What immediate harm? The GND calls for, among many other things, eliminating fossil fuels en route to completely restructuring the U.S. economy. Mark Alexander warns the GND’s authoritarian goals “would result in catastrophic worldwide economic collapse.” But if you don’t take his word for it, Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore declared that “it would be basically the end of civilization.”

No wonder unions are a bit worried.

But Ocasio-Cortez tells us there’s nothing to fear from “being automated out of work.” In fact, she says, our “core problem” is that “we live in a society where if you don’t have a job, you are left to die.” That’s not true, of course, but it’s why her since-removed GND FAQ section called for paying even those people “unwilling to work.” Maybe unemployed union workers can ask her for a paycheck.

The irony is that the GND would hurt hard-working, blue-collar people that make up most unions — the same people who have long been Democrat voters. And because renewable energy is simply not sufficient to meet our needs, it would also hurt the poor, who are far less able to shoulder the burden of skyrocketing energy costs and other new expenses imposed by the $93 trillion boondoggle.

So while the Green New Deal is fashionable among chardonnay-sipping coastal elitists and college socialists earning gender-studies degrees, out here in the real world, even other Democrat constituency groups are afraid of its disastrous consequences.

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP HEADLINE SUMMARY

  • According to Reuters, “British lawmakers crushed Prime Minister Theresa May’s European Union divorce deal on Tuesday, thrusting Britain deeper into crisis and forcing parliament to decide within days whether to back a no-deal Brexit or seek a last-minute delay.” The vote was 391-242 and represented the second such rebuke, though the margin this time around was more respectable. Reuters adds, “The vote puts the world’s fifth largest economy in uncharted territory with no obvious way forward; exiting the EU without a deal, delaying the March 29 divorce date, a snap election or even another referendum are all now possible. May might even try a third time to get parliamentary support.”
  • “Gov. Gavin Newsom is putting a moratorium on the death penalty in California, sparing the lives of more than 700 death-row inmates,” The Sacramento Bee reports. An effort to repeal the death penalty was thwarted by voters three years ago, but Newsom is issuing an executive order to circumvent and defy that reproach.
  • “Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page admitted under questioning from Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe last summer that ‘the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information,’ the congressman alleged … Tuesday, citing a newly unearthed transcript of Page’s closed-door testimony. … Page’s testimony was perhaps the most salient evidence yet that the Justice Department improperly interfered with the FBI’s supposedly independent conclusions on Clinton’s criminal culpability, Ratcliffe alleged.” (Fox News)
  • “The Defense Department has approved a new policy that will largely bar transgender troops and military recruits from transitioning to another sex, and require most individuals to serve in their birth gender,” according to the Associated Press. “It falls short of the all-out transgender ban that was initially ordered by President Donald Trump. But it will likely force the military to eventually discharge transgender individuals who need hormone treatments or surgery and can’t or won’t serve in their birth gender. The order says the military services must implement the new policy in 30 days, giving some individuals a short window of time to qualify for gender transition if needed. And it allows service secretaries to waive the policy on a case-by-case basis.” Of course, gender transition is never “needed.”
  • “More than a dozen Republican senators introduced legislation on Tuesday that would make it easier for Congress to terminate future national emergency declarations, days before the chamber will vote on President Trump’s. The legislation, spearheaded by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), would require that Congress pass a resolution extending an emergency declaration after 30 days for it to continue; otherwise the declaration would be terminated. … Lee’s legislation would not impact Trump’s current emergency declaration on the wall but, if passed, would impact any future emergency declarations.” (The Hill)
  • “North Korea is covertly developing and testing nuclear arms and ballistic missiles at civilian facilities in a bid to prevent a ‘decapitation’ military strike against its weapons plants and storage depots, according to a report by a UN panel of experts. Additionally, the Security Council panel stated in the experts’ latest report that North Korea engaged in ‘massive’ illegal transfers of oil and coal in violation of sanctions designed to punish Pyongyang for nuclear and missile development. … National Security Adviser John Bolton on Sunday said the Trump administration is taking a wait and see approach to the activities.” (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • “A federal appeals court upheld the constitutionality of Ohio’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood Tuesday. The 2016 law bars state funding to any healthcare organization that performs or promotes abortions. Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, had sued over the law claiming that it violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 11-6 Tuesday to overturn a previous decision by a three-judge panel in the same appeals court that said the law was unconstitutional.” (Townhall)
  • Humor: Elizabeth Warren leaves brutal 1-star review for Ancestry.com (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: Daniel J. Mitchell says Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “not only reduce long-run growth by distorting the allocation of capital, they also bear considerable responsibility for last decade’s financial crisis since they played a major role in fueling the housing bubble.” As such, they should be shuttered. Read more at the Foundation for Economic Education.
  • Policy: In light of the college admissions scandal, The Heritage Foundation’s Mary Clare Amselem advises “all Americans to rethink the system they are paying into. Celebrities such as Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were able to cheat the system because of their elite celebrity status and high financial capital.”

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Ben Shapiro: “Before the rise of the massive welfare state, Americans gave massive amounts of charity. In 1926, religious congregations spent more than $150 million on projects other than church maintenance and upkeep, with state governments spending just $23 million and local governments spending $37 million, according to economists Jonathan Gruber of MIT and Daniel Hungerman of the University of Notre Dame. Americans have always given enormous sums to charity. And those charitable activities come along with something government redistributionism can’t achieve: a feeling of social belonging and of membership in a social fabric. Free markets create prosperity. And government isn’t the social fabric. Recognition of those two simple facts explains what made America thrive — and can help us thrive again, in spite of those who would prefer to tear down markets and social fabric and replace them with the heavy hand of centralized government.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” —C.S. Lewis

For the record: “The key takeaway from the devastating Lisa Page testimony is that late into 2017 the FBI still suspected the case against Trump could’ve been ‘literally nothing.’ YET, the FBI already swore in front of the FISA court that they’d VERIFIED the info used in the 2016/17 investigation.” —Dan Bongino

Braying Jenny: “Serious questions have been raised about whether these planes were pressed into service without additional pilot training in order to save money. … The Boeing 737 MAX 8 is a major driver of Boeing profits. In the coming weeks and months, Congress should hold hearings on whether an administration that famously refused to stand up to Saudi Arabia to protect Boeing arms sales has once again put lives at risk for the same reason.” —Elizabeth Warren (“She thus manages to wrap an attack on capitalism around an antiwar, anti-Pentagon, anti-Trump conspiracy theory.” —The Wall Street Journal)

Bracking Jackass: “You don’t eliminate bigotry by dealing with it in a politically expedient way. You have to take it head on and we can do this.” —Rep. Al Green, who plans to continue with his impeachment crusade

Friendly fire: “In the absence of very graphic evidence, it would be difficult to get the support in the Senate needed to make an impeachment successful. Again, my feeling is let’s see what Bob Mueller produces. But the evidence would have to be pretty overwhelming.” —Rep. Adam Schiff

Non Compos Mentis: “Should Wells Fargo be held responsible for the damages incurred by climate change due to the financing of fossil fuels and these projects?” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan

And last… “For most kids, college is about the ‘experience.’ For parents, it’s about social status and credentials. For administrators, it’s about money. For many professors, it’s about ideological indoctrination. Few people in any of these groups care about the actual education.” —Matt Walsh

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TODAY’S MEME

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TODAY’S CARTOON

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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