Mid-Day Digest

Apr. 4, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Dems Double Down on Anti-Trump Witch Hunt

On Wednesday, the Democrat bagmen at The New York Times published a hit piece on Attorney General William Barr suggesting that his summary report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation “failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry.” The Times based its report on unnamed sources claiming that Barr’s summary left out information that is “potentially more damaging” for President Donald Trump than his summary indicated.

This serves as just the latest example of Democrats’ refusal to accept reality and facts. When they don’t like the truth, they simply reject it and spin a false narrative purely for their own political aims. In this instance, they still refuse to accept that Trump won the election fair and square or that his presidency is legitimate. For the two years of Mueller’s investigation, both Democrats and the Leftmedia repeatedly asserted that the investigation’s findings would prove to the nation that Trump was guilty of both collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice.

However, since Mueller found no evidence to support either of these two narratives, it has instead served to exonerate Trump, who has long insisted he was innocent and the victim of a Democrat-initiated witch hunt. Democrats are scrambling to save the narrative and their own credibility by demanding to see the full report immediately, as they assert Barr is hiding something. In an attempt to give weight to the Democrats’ latest spurious claim, and to defend its own peddling of fake news about Russian collusion, the Times obviously intends to undermine the credibility of Barr’s summary report.

But Democrats aren’t content to focus their anti-Trump witch hunt merely on the utterly collapsed Russian-collusion narrative. They are also going after Trump over his refusal to release his tax records, which he argues is due to his being under audit. But Democrats have refused to accept Trump’s answer and have instead spun it as evidence supporting their claim that he is hiding something nefarious. So, on Wednesday, the Democrat chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal (MA), sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Retting asking for Trump’s tax records from the last six years.

In his letter, Neal claims that his motives are not about politics but policy. “My actions reflect an abiding reverence for our democracy and our institutions,” he opines, “and are in no way based on emotion of the moment or partisanship.” Color us skeptical. Trump’s refusal to release his tax records may be a divergence from historic precedent, but it is certainly not unlawful and it doesn’t justify Democrat claims.

In fact, as former Rep. Jason Chaffetz notes, the law is on Trump’s side and was designed specifically to protect against this kind of partisan attack. “Congress long ago contemplated the potential for IRS filings to be weaponized,” he writes, adding, “They wrote the law very specifically to protect taxpayers, laying out very clearly in [the IRS] code who is authorized to access tax records.”

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Mitch Goes Nuclear

He’s been threatening to do it for weeks, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finally pressed the button on another version of the nuclear option over confirmation votes. The rule change limits debate on district judges and most executive nominees to only two hours instead of 30. The rules do not change for Cabinet nominees or for nominations to appellate courts and the Supreme Court.

“Our colleagues across the aisle have chosen to endlessly relitigate the 2016 election rather than actually participate in governing,” McConnell said. “This problem goes deeper than today. We’re talking about the future of this very institution and the future functioning of our constitutional government.”

Long story short, as our Brian Mark Weber explained last month, Democrats were using and abusing a procedure under which “any senator can hold up the process and force the Senate to engage in a lengthy debate on each nominee.” Obstructionist Democrats had employed this strategy to force extra debate time (which they often don’t even show up for) and cloture votes on more than five times as many of President Donald Trump’s nominees — both judicial and executive — as the last 12 administrations combined. That not only delays nominations, it slows all Senate business to a crawl.

As The Wall Street Journal editorial board observes, this has crossed over into the theater of the absurd: “McConnell has offered the example of President Trump’s nominee — drum roll, please — to the Federal Railroad Administration. Ronald Batory had worked in the railroad industry for 45 years and attracted no opposition, yet the Senate blocked his nomination for more than 200 days. Another classic: A cloture vote on a nominee to run the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Who knew seasonal adjustment could be so controversial?”

Everything is controversial when all Democrats have is “Hate Trump.”

Judicial fights in particular have dominated the Senate for years, primarily because Democrats keep turning up the heat on Republican presidents. But Democrats were the ones who nuked the filibuster on judicial nominees in 2013. At the time, McConnell warned, “I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, you’ll regret this. And you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.”

McConnell, who also orchestrated entirely blocking Merrick Garland from the Supreme Court, was right — to the crocodile-tear caterwauling of the Democrats. By the way, these battles might not be so fierce if leftist judges hadn’t turned the judiciary into the despotic branch with fiat rulings contemptuous of the Constitution.

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • Joe Biden, a possible 2020 contender who is suddenly being castigated by his own party for being handsy, responded to his critics and accusers in a video in which he vowed, “I will be more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space.” He added, “Social norms have begun to change, they’ve shifted, and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset. I get it. I get it. I hear what they’re saying.” But as Politico points out, “Biden notably did not apologize for his actions in the video posted Wednesday.”
  • CVE Technology Group Inc. in Allen, Texas, was raided this week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which apprehended more than 280 illegal-immigrant employees. Special Agent Katrina W. Berger revealed, “As far as immigration-related arrests, this is the largest ICE worksite operation at one site in the last 10 years.” According to an ICE news release, “All of the immigration status violators … will be interviewed by ICE staff to record any medical, sole-caregiver or other humanitarian situations. Based on these interviews, ICE will determine if those arrested remain in custody or are considered for humanitarian release. In all cases, all illegal aliens encountered will be fingerprinted and processed for removal from the United States.”
  • After reviewing the circumstances behind the recent Boeing 737 Max crash, Ethiopia says that the pilots acted appropriately. As Bloomberg reports, “Pilots on a doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight followed proper procedures and still couldn’t bring the 737 Max out of a dive, Ethiopia’s transport minister said, pressing manufacturer Boeing Co. to fix flight controls to avoid further disasters.” Market analyst Michael Hewson suggests, “They’re saying that the pilots were not to blame. It places much more scrutiny on Boeing’s processes.”
  • Thousands of Amazon workers will be pulled out of Seattle over the coming years as a consequence of the animus that developed between the corporation and the city. The transferees will be moved to Bellevue. The foundation for the exodus was laid in 2018, when a city councilwoman sought to impose a hefty “head tax” on large corporations. The idea was eventually quashed, but the damage was done. Amazon’s expansion plans were suspended — a decision that prompted the pugnacious councilwoman to further criticize Amazon. Jeff Bezos evidently decided not to put up with it anymore.
  • Good news from the heartland: “In Tuesday’s Wisconsin supreme-court election, conservatives appear to have scored a shocking upset victory. With only a handful of precincts left to report, conservative-backed Brian Hagedorn leads liberal-backed Lisa Neubauer by nearly 6,000 votes out of 1.2 million cast, according to unofficial results. … If Hagedorn’s lead holds, he will replace retiring liberal justice Shirley Abrahamson, increasing the Wisconsin supreme court’s conservative majority from 4–3 to 5–2. In Wisconsin, justices are elected to ten-year terms, so a Hagedorn victory could solidify that majority for years to come.” (National Review)
  • Nanny-state news from the heartland: “Two [New York City] council members have announced plans for legislation to place a fee on paper shopping bags. The proposal follows the state banning most single-use plastic bags beginning next March. Under the new law, each municipality has the option of imposing a 5-cent fee on paper bags. The goal of the fee is to encouraging people to shift to re-usable bags.” (CBS New York
  • Update from across the pond: “MPs have narrowly approved a bill which compels Theresa May to seek a further extension of Article 50 to prevent a no-deal Brexit on 12 April. The bill … requires the government to bring a legally binding vote to the Commons, seeking an extension to Article 50, where MPs will be able to determine the length of the extension. … However, this does not bind the European Union to the decision, who could reject the outcome of the vote and not offer an extension.” (Sky News)
  • Humor: Monkey with typewriter produces reasonable alternative to Green New Deal (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: “Equal Pay Day” is misleading and counterproductive (Independent Women’s Forum)
  • Policy: The Supreme Court’s absurd death-penalty debate (National Review)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Gary Bauer: “House Democrats aren’t talking about ways they can cooperate with the president. Instead, they are talking about voting on a resolution condemning President Trump for threatening to seal the border. Keep in mind that this is coming on the heels of two recent House votes against President Trump’s border emergency declaration. Think about the message the left is sending with yet another vote against the president’s border security efforts. They are telling the migrants now marching toward our border that they have nothing to worry about, that progressives are resisting every effort by Trump to stop them from pouring across the border. How will that message do anything to end this crisis?”

SHORT CUTS

The BIG Lie: “If anybody tells you that raising the minimum wage wrecks your economy, you send them my way. We got the highest minimum wage in America, tied with Massachusetts; the best wage growth; the best job growth; the best GDP growth. We’ve been listed as the best place to do business and the best place to work. You send them to Washington. I’ll show you a good place to work.” —Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

Braying Jenny: “The Trump administration is a walking, talking, living, breathing threat to national security.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Braying Jackass: “What I’d say to those Republican governors and attorneys general all over this country who are working overtime to try to suppress the vote for people of color, for young people, for poor people in general … is that they don’t have the guts to participate in a free and fair election. They should get the hell out of politics and get a new job.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders

Alpha Jackass: “History will not only judge Donald Trump harshly. It will judge Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan and all the other cowards who refused to stand up to this president and allowed the party of Lincoln to die.” —DNC Chairman Tom Perez

Non compos mentis: “[The Electoral College] is one of those bad compromises we made at day one in this country. There are many others we can think of and they are all connected, including the value of some people based on the color of their skin. There is a legacy and a series of consequences that have persisted and remain with us to this day.” —Beto O'Rourke

Who needs the Constitution, anyway? “Our next Supreme Court justices and everyone nominated to a federal bench should believe in a woman’s right to make her own decisions.” —Beto O'Rourke

Snowflakes: “These last two years and some months have certainly caused a lot of us to start speaking to an inanimate object called a television and to shout at that thing. It has caused a lot of us to go through individual and group therapy. It has caused a lot of us … to feel a bit of despair and depression and anxiety and fear.” —Sen. Kamala Harris

Village Idiots: “Joe Biden’s response that he never meant to make anyone uncomfortable and that he’ll listen and learn from anyone who says otherwise is exactly the leadership we need to build a culture where women are heard and are equal. … Just as we must believe women that decide to come forward, we cannot assume all women’s experiences are the same.” —Alyssa Milano, who led the witch hunt against Brett Kavanaugh

And last… “There is nothing we can ever give to the Democrats that will make them happy.” —Donald Trump

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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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