Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 14, 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. After discriminating, therefore, in theory, the several classes of power, as they may in their nature be legislative, executive, or judiciary, the next and most difficult task is to provide some practical security for each, against the invasion of the others.” —James Madison (1788)

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Lee’s Plan to Save Trump’s Emergency Declaration

The Senate will vote today on a resolution to override President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to fund the border barrier. The Democrat-controlled House easily passed the resolution last month with the help of 13 Republicans who joined the Democrats. It’s likely that the Senate will also pass the measure, as up to 15 GOP senators may vote to override.

Republicans find themselves in a difficult position. While the majority agree with Trump on the need to secure the border, some object to his evoking an emergency declaration as the means to garner greater funding. Many conservatives have long argued that the National Emergencies Act cedes too much power from Congress to the executive branch.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) on Tuesday sought to offer a possible solution that would serve to uphold Trump’s emergency declaration while at the same time reining in executive power on future emergency declarations. Lee’s bill, which actually has Trump’s support, would require congressional approval within 30 days of an emergency declaration by the president or it would automatically terminate. Lee argued, “If Congress is troubled by recent emergency declarations made pursuant to the National Emergencies Act, they only have themselves to blame. If we don’t want our president acting like a king, we need to start taking back the legislative powers that allow him to do so.”

The trouble is that, should the Senate take up and pass Lee’s resolution — the unwieldily named Assuring that Robust, Thorough, and Informed Congressional Leadership is Exercised Over National Emergencies (ARTICLE ONE) Act — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has already declared it DOA in the House.

So, as things currently stand, even if the Senate passes the House’s resolution, Trump is certain to veto it. And the Senate doesn’t have the votes to override that veto, effectively keeping Trump’s emergency declaration in place while it’s duked out in the courts. “And for what?” The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board asks. “The President doesn’t need to invoke a national emergency to build his wall along the southern border. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee has pointed out that the White House already has funds at its disposal without declaring an emergency.”

Trump currently has enough money to move forward on constructing the border barrier through to the next round of budget negotiations in the fall, when he can once again press Congress for more border funding. Seemingly, all the emergency declaration has done is give Democrats more political fodder to attack Trump, while dividing Republicans over the issue of executive overreach. We still argue that Trump has not exceeded his authority under the law as it stands currently, but we also believe that the National Emergencies Act grants too much power to the executive branch.

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Beto Was ‘Born to Run’?

The clown car that is the Democrat 2020 presidential field just added a new member — Robert Francis “Beto” O'Rourke. The former punk-band bassist, drunk-driving arrestee, and three-term representative from Texas rose to heartthrob status during his losing bid to take Ted Cruz’s Senate seat in 2018. O'Rourke has clearly bought into the hype about himself. Indeed, he coordinated his official announcement this morning with yesterday’s release of a nearly 9,000-word hagiography in none other than the aptly named Vanity Fair, in which he admitted, “You can probably tell that I want to run. I do. I think I’d be good at it. … I want to be in it. Man, I’m just born to be in it.”

Well, he’s got the ego to go toe to toe with Donald Trump, that’s for sure.

In his announcement video, O'Rourke pledged to tackle “the interconnected crises in our economy, our democracy and our climate.” And in a bid to distinguish himself from a crowded field of socialists, O'Rourke insists, “I’m a capitalist. I don’t see how we’re able to meet any of the fundamental challenges that we have as a country without, in part, harnessing the power of the market.” It’s the “harnessing” part that should be most worrisome to Americans.

Besides the pure force of his ego, how will O'Rourke, a privileged white man who married into money, handle the biggest problem most Democrats see in our country — white men? “The government at all levels is overly represented by white men,” he said. “That’s part of the problem, and I’m a white man.” Not to worry; he’ll just hire the right people, he says. “So if I were to run, I think it’s just so important that those who would comprise my team looked like this country. If I were to run, if I were to win, that my administration looks like this country. It’s the only way I know to meet that challenge. But,” he continued, “I totally understand people who will make a decision based on the fact that almost every single one of our presidents has been a white man, and they want something different for this country. And I think that’s a very legitimate basis upon which to make a decision.”

Race is a “very legitimate” basis to decide things in a nation where “all men are created equal.” Got it.

For a better sense of what Beto brings to the table, we’ll leave you with two things. First, the former representative of El Paso said last month, “Absolutely, I’d take the wall down.” What a contrast with President Trump that would be. Far more alarming, however, is O'Rourke’s contemptuous view of the Constitution. “I think that’s the question of the moment: Does this still work?” he said of the Constitution. Tearing down the wall is bad enough. The next Democrat president, whether O'Rourke or any of the others, would immediately set about to continue Barack Obama’s work of tearing down the Constitution.

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Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read A Black Female Harvard Professor Reconsiders the Second Amendment. “The NRA has long been a boogeyman for me.”

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Native American Tribe Covers Funerals for Victims of Alabama Tornadoes

“A Native American tribe in Alabama has donated $184,000 to help cover the funeral costs of the 23 people killed by powerful tornadoes that hit a small town in Alabama last week.”

“‘This disaster occurred so quickly and affected so many families who had no way to prepare to cover the cost to put their loved ones to rest,’ Stephanie Bryan, CEO and chairman of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, told ABC News. ‘We live in an area that is prone to tornadoes and other natural disasters, so this a tragedy that strikes close to home in many, many ways.’”

“Bryan said that Lee County Coroner Bill Harris reached out to the tribe for financial aid in the aftermath of the tornadoes. Beauregard, a small town within Lee County, was torn apart by two tornadoes on March 3. Initially, the tribe had agreed to donate $50,000, but Harris said it wasn’t enough, Harris told ABC News.”

“[The tribe] said, ‘Tell us what it would take to cover all of it,’ Harris told ABC News. ‘I told them [$184,000] and they said, 'Fine.’”

Read more at ABC News.

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


  • “The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday grounded all Boeing 737 Max jets in the U.S., citing new evidence that showed similarities between two fatal crashes of the popular planes that have killed 346 people in less than five months,” CNBC reports. “The move marks a stunning turnaround for the U.S., which has stood by the American-made aircraft as dozens of countries around the world grounded the planes.” U.S. airlines operate 74 of the approximately 370 total jets.
  • “New York prosecutors Wednesday announced criminal charges against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, only minutes after his sentencing in a federal case. The indictment … charges Manafort with 16 counts related to mortgage fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records. … Earlier Wednesday, a federal judge sentenced Manafort … to 43 months of additional prison time on conspiracy charges lodged by Mueller as part of his probe of Russian election meddling and possible Trump campaign collusion. Less than a week earlier, Manafort had received a 47-month prison sentence in another federal case lodged by Mueller. Manafort’s combined prison time in the Mueller cases totals 7½ years.” (CNBC)
  • Quartz reports that New Mexico “is the latest to embrace carbon-free electricity, passing a bill that will require all electricity from public utilities to come from carbon-free sources.” California, Hawaii, and DC have already instituted carbon-free requirements. The incremental mandate in New Mexico “requires the state (now one of the country’s top oil, gas, and coal producers) to get 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030 and 80% by 2040. By 2045, it must go entirely carbon-free.” On the upside, the scheme presumably incorporates nuclear power.
  • “President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit left by now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday 53-46. The vote to confirm Neomi Rao to the appellate court was entirely along party lines, with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., not voting. … Rao came under fire from liberal activists seeking to derail her nomination to the court by attacking pieces she wrote in college that criticized irresponsible drinking and calling race a ‘hot, money-making issue.’” Translation: She was targeted for speaking truth. (The Daily Signal)
  • “British parliament on Wednesday approved an amendment prohibiting a so-called no-deal Brexit, in which the U.K. would exit the E.U. without first securing alternative trade and immigration arrangements. … Having now rejected the default position that the U.K. will exit the E.U. on March 29 regardless of whether a deal has been secured, Parliament is expected to vote Thursday on an amendment that would extend the Brexit deadline until May 22.” (National Review)
  • Elizabeth Warren has “zero” sympathy for people caught up in the college-admissions scam, The Daily Wire reports. “That would be a rather ironic sense of moral indignation for someone of alleged 1/1024th Cherokee ancestry who nonetheless thought it fit to rely upon that purported ancestry as part of her application for the State Bar of Texas. Perhaps Warren ought to consider that she is not the most well-suited spokesperson for this particular crusade.”
  • “The parents of 11-year-old Desmond Napoles, a so-called ‘drag kid’ known as ‘Desmond is Amazing,’ have been investigated by authorities for alleged child abuse,” according to The Daily Wire. “Desmond, dressed in full drag, danced in a sexually suggestive manner on stage at a New York City-based gay bar called 3 Dollar Bill. As Desmond took off his jacket, howling men in the audience handed him dollar bills, as one might see at a strip club.” Amazingly, though, “The boy’s mother said in a post that authorities have claimed the abuse allegations are ‘unfounded.’ Wendy evidenced this with screenshots of such determinations via social media.” Simply inexcusable.
  • Humor: Fox News worried it might lose far-left demographic amid Tucker Carlson controversy (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: When it comes to student loans, the Manhattan Institute says: “Policymakers should turn … to the standard instrument to finance risky ventures that has long served the interests of investors as well as those in need of financing: equity.” That is to say, “Rather than fixing payments at a set amount every month, an individual would repay more of his obligation if he were financially successful and less if not, just as shareholders in a corporation receive larger returns when the company does well. Today, we call this concept an ‘income-share agreement’ (ISA).”
  • Policy: “Politicians always have talking points when it comes to criminal justice reform,” writes Trace Mitchell, “but few have actual policy solutions that will move the ball forward. … One policy solution state legislatures should consider is the adoption of drug courts, a reform that has been wildly successful in Florida.” Read more at the Foundation for Economic Education.

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

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Cal Thomas: “For young people who weren’t alive during the Cold War and the horrors that came from socialism and its evil twin, communism, the notion that they can get free stuff from the government is addictive. Having sacrificed little for their country (members of the military excluded), too many young people have bought into the idea that rich people and big corporations are evil because they have ‘stolen’ money from others, especially the poor. … Ironically, one of the top issues for Generation Z is the national debt, now at $22 trillion. Have young people considered that socialist programs will significantly add to the debt? Apparently not, because to them, it seems that feelings are more important than observable results. … Ronald Reagan said: ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.’ Will this be the generation that fulfills his prophecy? Much is riding on the 2020 election.”


Upright: “We are having the anti-vaccine discussion for the same reason we are having to remind people that commies are bad. People haven’t experienced mass pandemics or Soviets in some time. They’ve forgotten and now the loudest voices are the ones who believe the lie.” —Erick Erickson

Food for thought: “We are blessed to live in a time and a place where diseases that killed our ancestors are easily treated through preventative measures in the early childhood years. Let’s not squander that blessing because of something someone wrote online.” —Jay Sanders

For the record: “I don’t miss it. You know, everything now … everyone has to know your politics. I tried to use Johnny’s model, and I would get hate mail from both sides equally and thought, ‘Well, that’s fabulous. That’s exactly what I want.’ But when people see you as one-sided, it makes it tough. And, you know, I did it when Clinton was horny and Bush was dumb, and it was just a little easier. Now it’s all very serious. I’d just like to see a bit of civility come back to it.” —former late-night comedian Jay Leno

A blind squirrel finds a nut: “Yes, I do [believe in capitalism]! I think it also, when it doesn’t work, it’s been a force for bad, but that’s been true of every form of government that we can identify. We’ve gotten it right sometimes, and we’ve gotten it wrong sometimes. When you let markets work with rules and with people on the beat to enforce those rules, we can produce a lot of wealth in this country.” —Elizabeth Warren

Non Compos Mentis: “We should be excited about automation, because what it could potentially mean is more time educating ourselves, more time creating art, more time investing in and investigating the sciences, more time focused on invention, more time going to space, more time enjoying the world that we live in. Because not all creativity needs to be bonded by wage.” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Braying Jackass: “This motherf—er is like ruining the planet and all kinds of other crazy s—t. And the people think that’s okay. It’s not f—ing okay. And if you’re not saying anything, then you’re complicit.” —Samuel L. Jackson on Donald Trump and his supporters

And last… “Get ready to see lots of reporters throwing their panties, and I’m not just talking about the men from Vox. Robert Francis O'Rourke is running for President.” —Erick Erickson

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.



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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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