“Government, in my humble opinion, should be formed to secure and to enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government, which has not this in view, as its principal object, is not a government of the legitimate kind.” —James Wilson (1791)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Trump officials warn about the ever-growing immigration crisis.
- For Facebook, some racial hatred is worse than other kinds.
- Daily Features: More Analysis, Columnists, Headlines, Opinion in Brief, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
Ignoring a problem won’t make it go away. Neither will claiming that it is not a problem. But maybe worst of all is actually acknowledging the problem, claiming to want to work to solve it, and then doing nothing. That latter response has essentially been the modus operandi of Congress regarding illegal immigration and border security for decades now, and as a result that problem has exploded into the crisis America is witnessing today.
On Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner Kevin McAleenan, speaking from El Paso, briefed the press on the current border crisis. According to McAleenan, CBP “is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis all along our Southwest border. And nowhere has that crisis manifested more acutely than here in El Paso. On Monday and Tuesday, CBP started the day with over 12,000 migrants in our custody. As of this morning, that number was 13,400. A high number for us is 4,000. A crisis level is 6,000. 13,000 is unprecedented.” In fact, he said, “We are now on pace for over 100,000 apprehensions and encounters with migrants in March.”
He further noted that the number of families and children illegally crossing has increased exponentially to the point that “65% of crossings are now families and children.” The cause for the increase in family units crossing, McAleenan explained, was “a direct response to the vulnerabilities in our legal framework where migrants and smugglers know that they will be released and allowed to stay in the U.S. indefinitely, pending immigration proceedings that could be many years out.”
With regard to those legal hurdles that are only exacerbating the crisis, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will ask Congress for greater authority to deport unaccompanied illegal-alien minors. In a letter to Congress, Nielsen highlights the plight of illegal-alien children, noting that many “are arriving sicker than ever before after traveling on the treacherous trek.” She further explains that the growing number of unaccompanied children (UAC) is due to the “pull factor” of current U.S. law that prevents DHS from deporting them back to their families in their home countries. Nielson also requests that Congress change policy to “allow asylum-seekers to apply for U.S. protection from within Central America, rather than take the dangerous journey north.”
Clearly, Democrats are exploiting this crisis while pretending it doesn’t even exist. How reprehensibly cynical.
Following the recent New Zealand mosque massacre in which a self-proclaimed white supremacist murdered 50 people, Facebook this week updated its “hate speech” rules to ban so-called “white nationalism” and “white separatism.” The social-media giant had previously banned “white supremacy” from its platforms — Facebook and Instagram — but had allowed explicit content from white nationalists and white separatists. So, why the change?
Brian Fishman, policy director of counterterrorism at Facebook, explained, “We’ve had conversations with more than 20 members of civil society, academics, in some cases these were civil rights organizations, experts in race relations from around the world. We decided that the overlap between white nationalism, [white] separatism, and white supremacy is so extensive we really can’t make a meaningful distinction between them. And that’s because the language and the rhetoric that is used and the ideology that it represents overlaps to a degree that it is not a meaningful distinction.”
While Facebook will now ban explicitly white nationalist and separatist content — for example, phrases such as “I am a proud white nationalist” — the company will not immediately attempt to detect or police implicit or coded white nationalist and separatist content.
There are several interesting issues presented by Facebook’s action here, and few easy answers. The biggest and most obvious problem is the question about freedom of speech. Since Facebook is a private company, it’s free to set its own policy rules for any users of its platform. And, for the most part, conservatives have long agreed with this premise. However, as Facebook has grown to completely dominate the social-media landscape, there’s another question: Has the company become essentially a monopoly, and is it therefore in the position to effectively control the speech rights of others? Sen. Elizabeth Warren pitched a little trust-busting for that very reason.
But there’s also the problem of redefining racism as a “white only” problem. In fact, racism is a human condition that affects all races and ethnicities. Unfortunately, Facebook’s actions single out only white nationalism and separatism as racist “hate-speech,” while at the same time other explicitly racist groups, such as the Basque separatists and worldwide black separatist movements, are given a pass by the company. Facebook, in its press release, tried to defend these non-white racist ideologies by claiming that they’re merely “an important part of people’s identity.”
So, once again, the Left demonstrates that if it weren’t for double standards, they wouldn’t have any at all. But it’s actions like these that leave conservatives — who have long fought against real racism in all its forms — shaking their heads in dismay.
ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- Featured Analysis: Another Pivot to Health Care — Americans care a lot more about health insurance than Robert Mueller’s report.
- A Sanctuary City Becomes a Sanctuary From Justice — The Ninth Circuit dismissed a lawsuit by Kate Steinle’s parents over her killing by an illegal.
- Smollett Nominated for NAACP Award — Seriously, Not Satire — “The system worked in his favor because the system isn’t always fair, especially for people of color.”
- Saving Daylight, European Style — The European parliament voted this week to scrap the biannual time change. Hooray!
- ‘Justice Is Blind’ — Where are we as a country if the justice system can be used solely to ruin political opponents?
- Video: Lee Remarks on the Green New Deal — “I rise today to consider the Green New Deal with the level of seriousness it deserves.”
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- Republican lawmakers are putting Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, in the spotlight due to his relentless and fraudulent pursuit of Russian-collusion charges. The committee is composed of nine Republicans, all of whom yesterday urged Schiff to vacate his leadership position in the aftermath of Robert Mueller’s hollow probe. In a letter, the GOP wrote in part: “The findings of the Special Counsel conclusively refute your past and present assertions and have exposed you as having abused your position to knowingly promote false information, having damaged the integrity of this Committee, and undermined faith in U.S. government institutions. … As such, we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your Constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as Chairman of this Committee.” Unsurprisingly, Schiff scoffed at the request.
- Unfortunately, Schiff’s show business is only the tip of the iceberg. Other colleagues are following his playbook — even going so far as to lay the foundation for “incriminating” Attorney General William Barr. According to The Washington Post, “House Democrats are ready to accuse … Barr of a ‘coverup’ to protect President Trump if he refuses to detail for Congress the information special counsel Robert S. Mueller III provided the grand jury during his investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.”
- Tandra Simonton, the spokeswoman for State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx — who implicated herself in the Jussie Smollett hate-hoax ruse by communicating with Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff and Smollett compadre Tina Tchen — made this confession yesterday: “The State’s Attorney did not formally recuse herself or the Office based on any actual conflict of interest. As a result, she did not have to seek the appointment of a special prosecutor under [state law].” The Washington Examiner elaborates, “The spokeswoman said Foxx’s office used the word ‘recuse’ to talk about her involvement in the case as a ‘colloquial use’ rather than the legal definition of the term.” Amazingly, this story gets even more surreal: Jussie Smollett is now a contender for the 2019 NAACP Image Awards. Meanwhile, Chicago, which spent $130,000 on the investigation, wants Smollett to pay up.
- Going nuclear: “Senate Republicans took the first step Thursday toward triggering the ‘nuclear option’ and cut down on the amount of time Democrats can obstruct presidential nominees. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a test vote next week on a change to Senate rules that would trim the 30 hours of debate allowed on each nominee once a filibuster is defeated. That vote is expected to fail — and the GOP is then likely to use the nuclear option, a shortcut to change the rules by majority vote.” (The Washington Times)
- The Commerce Department on Thursday provided a final reading on fourth-quarter GDP, pegging it at 2.2%. Before, the estimate was 2.6%. By and large, however, the economy last year was a sight for sore eyes, with median GDP coming in at 2.9%. According to CNBC, “In all, 2018 was the best year for the economy since 2015 and well above the 2.2 percent increase in 2017. The economy grew 3 percent when compared with the fourth quarter of 2017.”
- Exhibit A in why spending never gets cut: “President Donald Trump said he would jettison a proposal to slash funding for the Special Olympics, undercutting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the budget proposal he signed. … Trump’s remarks came after widespread criticism targeted DeVos’ budget proposal to eliminate funding for the program, which is designed to help children and adults with disabilities. … The education secretary has explained her rationale by saying the Special Olympics is a private organization — not a federal program — that is better supported by philanthropy.” (USA Today)
- Despite Brexit’s having been rejected twice, Prime Minister Theresa May was hoping that the third time would be a charm. Well, it wasn’t. According to Fox News, “On the day that Britain was originally scheduled to leave the European Union, lawmakers continued their impasse, voting down Prime Minister Theresa May’s stripped-down withdrawal agreement for the third time. … Immediately following the latest defeat, Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn called on May to resign immediately, asking whether she now ‘finally accepts’ that MPs will not support her deal.” The odds of a “no-deal” Brexit are increasing by the hour.
- Humor: AOC calls for recount of 57-0 rejection of Green New Deal (The Daily Wire)
- Policy: “There’s a conservative health care plan that could reduce costs and help Americans get better access to medical care,” write Katrina Trinko and Daniel Davis in The Daily Signal. Get the details here.
- Policy: “Education was never meant to be values-neutral, and recent decades have shown that the public schools are indeed aggressively teaching a set of values to the almost 90 percent of American kids who travel through their halls.” Independent Women’s Forum senior policy analyst Inez Feltscher Stepman provides insight into why “Public Schools Are No Longer a Foundation of America’s Republic.”
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Jonah Goldberg: “Imagine there was a movie about an incoming meteor that could only be stopped with a nuclear warhead, and the heroes insisted that nuclear weapons are just too icky to use, even to save the planet. Audiences would scratch their heads. They might also think they missed a crucial plot point if the protagonists proposed a sweeping government effort to stop the meteor and then, when given the opportunity to vote for it, voted ‘present’ in protest. That’s similar to what happened this week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brought the Green New Deal to the floor for a vote, and Democrats refused to vote for it. Instead, they harangued McConnell for pulling a stunt. They were right. It was a stunt. But sometimes it takes a stunt to expose an even bigger one.”
A blind squirrel finds a nut: “I think there was a fundamental difference between 16-year-old Eric and 18-year-old Eric. … If you’re able to serve in the armed services, you know, potentially give your life for your country, I think that is a really good demarcation line. And at that point I think you ought to have the ability … to vote.” —former Attorney General Eric Holder
Race bait: “Exactly when did you think America was great? It certainly wasn’t when people were enslaved. It certainly wasn’t when women didn’t have the right to vote. It certainly wasn’t when the LGBT community was denied the rights to which it was entitled.” —Eric Holder
Braying Jenny: “We just haven’t even seen the Mueller report, and we don’t expect to accept just the attorney general’s interpretation of it. A little bit arrogant of him to think that that would be the case.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Braying Jenny II: “I’m so proud of the work of [House Intelligence Committee] Chairman Adam Schiff, in stark contrast to the irresponsible, almost criminal, behavior of the previous chair of the committee. … I think [Republicans are] just scaredy-cats. They just don’t know what to do.” —Nancy Pelosi
Oh good grief: “It took [William Barr] only two days to write a four-page summary of an investigation that was conducted over the course of two years, seemingly around the clock. So it calls into question the integrity of the document that he submitted.” —Sen. Kamala Harris
Delusions of grandeur: “[The Mueller report] establishes, I hope, to all people, no matter where they are on the spectrum, that the FBI is not corrupt, not a nest of vipers and spies, but an honest group of people trying to find out what is true. And that’s what you see here.” —former FBI Director James Comey (He’s right about the vast majority of agents, but deceitfully wrong about his own leadership.)
The BIG Lie: “One real threat is the impacts of climate change on our safety. … Cyber-security is a real threat. … Mass gun violence … [is] a real threat. What’s not a real threat to the safety and security of Americans is the southwest border.” —Janet Napolitano
Alpha Jackass: “In America, we have in the aggregate a mass shooting every day because dozens of people are shot and killed. I am frustrated with politicians who all the best they can muster is to give thoughts and prayers. Enough of that. Enough of that.” —Sen. Cory Booker
Pivoting: “I don’t know all the details in the prosecutor’s decision [to drop the Jussie Smollett charges]. I know that’s going to come out. But what we’ve got to know is that this is happening in a larger context where hate crimes in this country are on a rise. Where white-supremacist violence is on the rise. In fact, if you look at the majority of terrorist attacks since 9/11, the majority of them have been done by homegrown, right-wing extremist groups, and the majority of those have been white-supremacist groups.” —Cory Booker
And last… “I wouldn’t mind them dropping charges against Smollett if the condition was that he had to publicly admit his guilt. That would be a worse penalty than jail time for a narcissistic liar like him. The fact that they allowed him to walk free AND play the martyr is the real travesty.” —Matt Walsh
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