Mid-Day Digest

Apr. 1, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” —George Washington (1783)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Trump Threatens Border Shutdown Amid Crisis

As the illegal-immigration crisis grows, President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to shut down the U.S. southern border entirely if Mexico doesn’t step up its efforts to stem the tide of illegals currently flowing through its country from Central America. “If they don’t stop them, we are closing the border. We’ll close it. And we’ll keep it closed for a long time,” Trump threatened, adding, “I’m not playing games.” By shutting down the border, Trump was referring to closing all legal ports of entry on the U.S. southern border.

Over the weekend, Trump further threatened to withhold an estimated $700 million in aid funding to the Central American countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, a region known as the Northern Triangle, from which the vast majority of the latest influx of illegals originate. A State Department spokesman explained, “At the Secretary’s instruction, we are carrying out the President’s direction and ending FY 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle. We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.”

The bad news? Even if Congress approves the State Department’s withholding of $700 million, it will likely have little impact, as it amounts to only a drop in the bucket when compared to the $120 billion illegal-alien workers have funneled to their family members back home in the Northern Triangle over the last decade.

Trump’s threats raise further questions. The president does have authority to close ports of entry temporarily in cases of emergency, but he does not have the authority to close the border indefinitely. As with everything else, he will certainly be challenged in the courts should he attempt to do so.

Secondly, closing these ports of entry would have little direct impact on stopping illegal border crossings, so why do so? It appears that Trump’s play here is directed at spurring the Mexican government into greater action to stem the tide. Since 80% of Mexico’s exports go to the U.S., the economic impact of any long-term border closing would prove devastating to the Mexican economy, though with significant economic consequences for the U.S. as well. Therefore, despite Trump’s rhetoric, it appears unlikely that he will order a long-term border shutdown; it’s negotiating leverage.

Interestingly, recent polling finds that Trump now has a 50% approval rating among Hispanics, indicating favorable support for his border-enforcement policy among a demographic of Americans the mainstream media claims would be opposed. Many recognize that flooding the marketplace with hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens only serves to undercut the earning potential of lower-skilled American workers and legal immigrants.

A final note: The underlying issue that needs to be addressed is the pull factor of America’s flawed asylum system. It is currently being exploited by illegal aliens who know that once they get into the U.S., the chances of their being able to stay are significantly higher than their being deported.

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District Judge: CA Magazine Ban Violates Second Amendment

It’s not often that good news about the Second Amendment comes out of California, but that was the case Friday. U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled that standard-capacity magazines will remain legal, at least for now. Buying and selling magazines holding more than 10 rounds has been against state law since 2000, but a 2016 law banned even possessing them. Benitez struck down the entire limitation.

Before we get to the merits of Benitez’s decision, we’ll make an important observation about news coverage. Don’t ever let the Leftmedia dictate gun terminology. That goes for anything from describing the parts of a gun to mislabeling AR-15s as “assault weapons” to calling murderous psychopaths “gunmen” so as to draw the attention to the tool.

In this case, so-called “high-capacity magazines” are actually standard capacity, and they were designed by gun manufacturers to fit particular guns out of the box. But USA Today, for example, began its coverage with the following summary: “High-capacity gun magazines will remain legal in California under a ruling Friday by a federal judge who cited home invasions where a woman used the extra bullets in her weapon to kill an attacker while in two other cases women without additional ammunition ran out of bullets.” What the paper means by “extra bullets” is that the woman’s weapon held the standard-capacity rounds of ammunition.

Now, to the ruling: Benitez rightly concluded that standard magazines are “arms” under the U.S. Constitution, and, thus, the California law “burdens the core of the Second Amendment by criminalizing the acquisition and possession of these magazines that are commonly held by law-abiding citizens for defense of self, home, and state.” He cited both legal and practical justifications, including the real-world self-defense cases USA Today highlighted.

What’s next? The case was already sent back to Benitez by the Ninth Circuit to further develop a ruling on the law, but now it will almost certainly return to the Second Amendment-hostile Ninth Circuit when the state appeals. President Donald Trump’s judicial appointments are more important all the time.

In any case, as Benitez said, the California law “turn[ed] the Constitution upside down,” but it all comes down to one simple thing: “Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts.” Even in California.

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • “China said Monday it would soon begin regulating all fentanyl-related drugs as a class of controlled substances,” CBS News reports. The regulation gets underway on May 1. This news is important because fentanyl currently ranks atop the most lethal drugs in the U.S. And as the report notes, “China already controls 25 variants of fentanyl, plus two precursors used to make the drug. Data from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have shown that when China bans a variant of fentanyl, seizures of that analog in the U.S. fall.”
  • All Democrat crosshairs are currently situated on Joe Biden, who is still mulling over whether to enter the 2020 Democrat presidential race. On Friday, The New York Times critiqued the former senator and vice president by profiling his mixed abortion record. Then over the weekend, the Associated Press reported that “Biden faces new scrutiny from Dems over behavior with women.” Biden’s creepy impulse to touch women is hardly breaking news, but the tide is definitely shifting against him — primarily because he’s an elderly white male. Case in point: Citing Biden’s earlier remark on America’s need to alter its “white man’s culture,” CNN’s Joan Walsh suggested: “There’s six women in the race, four female senators. If you want to change it, that’s a way to change it.”
  • The Washington Examiner reveals, “The White House is quietly working on a healthcare policy proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the matter.” Citing an unnamed health-policy analyst, the Examiner further explains that “the administration has been ‘having conversations’ on healthcare policy and has reached out to numerous think tanks, including the Heritage Foundation, the Mercatus Center, and the Hoover Institute.” The report helps to explain Trump’s recent proclamation that “the Republican Party will be the party of great health care.”
  • CNN’s Jake Tapper yesterday reminded us why his network ranks high up on the fake-news list by asserting, “I’m not sure … the media got [the Russia narrative] wrong. … Other than the people in the media on the left, not on this network, I don’t know anybody who got anything wrong.” The Daily Wire catalogues CNN’s extensive history of fake Russian news.
  • “On Saturday, Twitter temporarily suspended the account for the pro-life movie Unplanned, a film that tells the story of a former abortion clinic director at Planned Parenthood,” PJ Media’s Tyler O'Neil reports. At the same time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is urging social-media regulations to be tightened. Twitter’s snub notwithstanding, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that the film “opened to a strong $6.1 million from 1,059 theaters at the U.S. box office despite a relatively modest footprint.” This represents “the second-biggest start ever for faith-based distributor Pure Flix behind God’s Not Dead 2 ($7.6 million).”
  • On an equally positive note, “Georgia passed a bill that stands to become one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country,” according to The New York Times. “The bill … is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican. The measure generally prohibits the procedure after doctors can discern a fetal heartbeat, a milestone that happens around six weeks of pregnancy.”
  • A no-win situation: “British Prime Minister Theresa May risks the ‘total collapse’ of her government if she fails to get her battered Brexit deal through parliament, the Sunday Times newspaper said, amid growing speculation that she might call an early election. Underscoring the tough choices facing May to break the Brexit impasse, the newspaper said at least six pro-European Union senior ministers will resign if she opts for a potentially damaging no-deal departure from the EU. But at the same time, rival ministers who support Brexit were threatening to quit if May decides to stay close to the EU with a customs union or if she sought a long delay to Brexit.” (Reuters)
  • Humor: Jussie Smollett receives prestigious NAACP award for his work creating jobs for Nigerian-Americans (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: When it comes to the Export-Import Bank, the Washington Examiner editors explain why “You can’t beat China by subsidizing it.”
  • Policy: Hans Bader writes, “Going to college no longer expands people’s vocabularies the way it once did: since 1970, there has been a steady decline in the correlation between years of education and people’s personal word stock.”

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Candace Owens: “The very qualities that cause nearly three-quarters of Americans to recoil from the idea of letting 16-year-olds vote are also what make them so attractive to Democrats. Someone who has never paid taxes, after all, probably won’t be very motivated to vote against tax increases, just as someone whose only experience in the workforce comes from part-time jobs probably won’t see any harm in raising the minimum wage. The lack of impulse control plays right into the Democrats’ hands, too. Impulsivity is key to many of their flagship policy proposals, including Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. That’s because support for such measures invariably collapses once people look beyond tag-lines such as ‘free healthcare’ and ‘save the planet’ to consider the trillions upon trillions of dollars in new taxes and severe restrictions on individual liberty that those policies would entail. Lowering the voting age is just a ploy by the Democratic Party to change the electoral system to favor them in 2020 so that they can avoid a repetition of their embarrassing defeat in 2016.”

SHORT CUTS

The Gipper, Dec. 12, 1983: “I’ve learned in Washington, that that’s the only place where sound travels faster than light.” —Ronald Reagan

Perspective: “Trump antagonists, with the help of the media, used fear over Russia to try to reverse the results of a legitimate election. Nothing like this has ever happened in modern American history."—David Harsanyi

Horrifying thought: "The Russia episode demonstrates how, strangely, Nancy Pelosi is now one of the more restrained, politically astute progressives on the national stage. You can be entirely in the business of checking and defeating Donald Trump, or you can be in show business; Pelosi is in the former, Rachel Maddow is in the latter.” —Rich Lowry

Food for thought: “I don’t think the [Robert Mueller] report should be released at all and I’m frankly surprised that so many Republicans think it should be. … Remember that [Peter] Strzok was biased, that [George] Papadopoulos was set up, that the dossier was a political hit piece. So if the investigation was flawed from its inception, why is the report not also flawed?” —Trey Gowdy

Alpha Jackass: “Adam Schiff is a patriot. He has more integrity in his little finger than @realDonaldTrump or any of the Republicans in Congress today will have in their lifetimes.” —Rep. David Cicilline (Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a veteran who lost an eye defending this country on the battlefield, begs to differ.)

Braying Jackass: “The only reason Jussie Smollett thought he could take advantage of a hoax about a hate crime is … the toxic environment that Donald Trump created.” —Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Friendly fire: “An apology to Jussie Smollett: I’m sorry — you’re even more despicable than I thought you were, and so are the shameful prosecutors who let you off this repulsive fake hate-crime.” —Piers Morgan

And last… “They said, ‘No Jussie Smollett jokes.’ … What a waste of light skin. Do you know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair? My career would be out of here! I’d be running Hollywood. What the hell was he thinking? You’re ‘Jessie’ from now on. You don’t get the ‘u’ no more. That ‘u’ was respect. You ain’t getting no respect from me!” —Chris Rock on Smollett, a nominee at the NAACP’s Image Awards Dinner

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TODAY’S MEME

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

TODAY’S CARTOON

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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

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