Mid-Day Digest

Apr. 10, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.” —George Washington (1796)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Pollaganda: Why Americans Don’t Think They Got a Tax Cut

Just yesterday, we rebutted the continuing Leftmedia narrative about tax refunds. Yes, refunds may be a bit smaller so far in 2019, but that’s because the vast majority of taxpayers paid lower taxes throughout 2018.

But some propaganda is really tough to combat. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll revealed that just 17% of Americans think their taxes will go down as a result of the 2017 Republican tax cut. Some 28% don’t know, while 27% say their taxes will stay the same, and a mind-numbing 28% think their taxes will go up.

NBC News says nothing at all to correct the record for an obviously misinformed public. At least The Wall Street Journal does tell readers “the reality”: “For 2019, 48% of households are getting a tax cut greater than $500. … Just 5.5% of households face tax increases greater than $100” [emphasis added].

The Daily Signal adds, “As a result of tax reform, 9 out of 10 taxpayers got a tax cut.” In fact, “The average American household paid about $1,400 less in taxes as a result in 2018,” and even better, “Over the next 10 years, thanks to a larger economy, the typical American will benefit from over $26,000 more in take-home pay, or $44,697 for a family of four.”

And yet most Americans don’t think they got a tax cut. Why? Democrat propaganda churned by the Leftmedia. This latest entry is pollaganda, reflecting that Americans can accurately repeat what they were told for the last year.

Leftist Vox editor Matt Yglesias claimed a big win: “Nobody likes to give themselves credit for this kind of messaging success, but progressive groups did a really good job of convincing people that Trump raised their taxes when the facts say a clear majority got a tax cut.” That’s what we call dezinformatsiya in a nutshell.

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Socialist Sanders: Capitalism Made Me a Millionaire!

“I wrote a best-selling book,” Sen. Bernie Sanders boasted in a recent interview with The New York Times. Then in an ironic twist, the die-hard socialist gave a plug for capitalism when he added, “If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.” Either Sanders is going senile or, as is the case with most hypocritical leftists, he sees no problem embracing the wealth and status he garnered for himself via capitalism, while at the same time condemning others for applying the same free-market system to earn their own wealth.

Back in the 1980s, Sanders infamously said that breadlines were “a good thing.” Asked about his support for the Marxist Sandinistas of Nicaragua, Sanders opined, “It’s funny — sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, that people are lining up for food. That is a good thing! In other countries, people don’t line up for food. The rich get the food and the poor starve to death.” His policies would yield the equivalent of breadlines.

Meanwhile, Sanders declared that he will be releasing 10 years of his tax returns, giving away the game by declaring, “I hope that Donald Trump will do exactly the same.” Presumably, this is so socialist Sanders can attack capitalism for allowing a guy like Trump to become a wealthy man. It’s the pot — Sanders, with his millions of dollars and three homes — smugly calling the kettle black.

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No, White-Supremacist Violence Is Not a Major Problem

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing that Democrats billed as an examination of “hate crimes, the impact white nationalist groups have on American communities, and the spread of white identity ideology.” It quickly became quite evident that the Democrats’ true intention for the hearing was to promote the mendacious narrative that “white extremism” is a major and growing problem — and President Donald Trump is supposedly the driving force behind it.

In a seemingly coordinated effort to advance this narrative, The New York Times last week ran an article claiming that “Attacks by White Extremists Are Growing.” The story highlighted the attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a self-proclaimed white supremacist murdered 50 people in an act of terror aimed at Muslims. The article then claimed that the Christchurch murderer “drew inspiration” from “an informal global network of white extremists whose violent attacks are occurring with greater frequency in the West.”

Once again we have a case of the narrative leading the story. It’s clear that the narrative the Times is pushing is that violence perpetrated by white supremacists is a serious and growing threat that is worse than people may believe. But do the facts support such a conclusion? Well, as is often the case with Leftmedia outlets like the Times, not so much.

The Times excluded several important contextualizing details, which immediately calls into question the reliability of the entire narrative. For example, no numbers were provided so as to establish the total number of extremist-related violent incidents globally. In 2017 alone, nearly 20,000 people were murdered by groups associated with radical Islamic extremists — a number not provided by the Times.

Meanwhile, the Times offers a nine-year timeline that notes 15 incidents of “white extremist” violence resulting in 194 people killed that were purportedly committed by individuals motivated by white racism. However, after a closer look into these attacks, one quickly finds that the motive of “white extremism” is not entirely clear … or even there at all.

As Seth Barron, writing for City Journal, observes, “Some of the most prominent killings … resist categorization as acts of white racial terror. Ali Sonboly, the son of Iranian Shi'ite Muslim immigrants and visibly a racial minority, carried out the 2016 Munich mall shooting. The 2016 Umpqua Community College shooting was carried out by a self-identified ‘mixed-race’ man, as was the 2014 Isla Vista massacre, whose perpetrator believed that being half-Chinese made him unattractive to women. The 2018 Toronto van massacre was perpetrated by a white man who declared that he was part of an ‘Incel Rebellion’ against the ‘Chads and Stacys’ of the world — in other words, he was angry that he could not get a girlfriend and was committed to overthrowing the ‘beautiful people.’ The killer mowed down pedestrians in Toronto’s business district at random. The Times’ inclusion of these four incidents calls into question the value of its diagnosis of ‘white extremist killers.’”

Finally, as The Wall Street Journal reports, “Since 1990, far-right extremists have killed 477 people in 214 attacks in the U.S., according to the crime data. A majority of the assaults targeted minorities, with 241 people dying in 170 attacks. (In the same period, the Global Terrorism Database records 31 far-right attacks with one or more deaths.)” In other words, violent attacks committed by “white extremists” are not on the rise — rather, the frequency of these violent hate crimes has remained relatively steady for the past 50 years. In any case, the crimes are dwarfed by attacks perpetrated by Islamofascists.

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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

  • NETANYAHU PERSEVERES: “Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to be headed toward a historic fifth term as Israel’s prime minister on Wednesday, with close-to-complete unofficial election results giving his right-wing Likud and other nationalist and religious parties a solid majority in parliament. The outcome affirmed Israel’s continued tilt to the right and further dimmed hopes of a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Re-election will also give Netanyahu an important boost as he braces for the likelihood of criminal charges in a series of corruption scandals.” (Fox News)
  • BORDER CROSSINGS EXPECTEDLY SURGE: “U.S. officials encountered more than 103,000 undocumented immigrants crossing the country’s southwest border in March, Homeland Security officials said Tuesday,” reports NBC News. “The number makes last month a record for March for border crossings since 2007, when more than 115,000 immigrants were stopped at the border. The officials said crossings by families were at record highs. More than 53,000 people traveling as part of families were apprehended, up from just more than 36,000 in February.” Meanwhile, according to the Washington Examiner, “A northern Texas sheriff says his county has seen a big uptick in methamphetamine and heroin seizures since October, saying Mexican drug smugglers are using large groups of migrants to divert Border Patrol’s attention while they run narcotics over the border in nearby areas.”
  • DHS DEPUTY OUT: According to The Hill, “Claire Grady, acting deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), offered President Trump her resignation Tuesday,” which “comes after DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced Sunday she was leaving her post.” As critics of unconfirmed appointments have pointed out, the secretary role by law should have been filled by Grady unless her employment was terminated. Trump evidently got the memo, and Grady was invited to leave.
  • MUELLER-REPORT COUNTDOWN: “The long-awaited report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be released ‘within a week,’ according to Attorney General William Barr. Barr … said that the process to redact sensitive and classified information was going ‘very well,’ and he would be able to release the report according to the schedule he had previously suggested.” (The Daily Wire)
  • MEDICARE SCAM: “The Justice Department announced charges on Tuesday against 24 individuals allegedly involved in a $1.2 billion Medicare scam. … All told, 130 medical-equipment companies involved in the scheme are said to have charged Medicare $1.7 billion, of which $900 million was paid out.” (National Review)
  • AFFIRMATIVE ACTION TAKES A HIT: “Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center has agreed to stop using race when considering applicants to its medical school, bowing to pressure as the Trump administration campaigns to curtail the use of affirmative action in education. The action is the first of its kind under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and signals the approach her agency plans to take with other schools. … Last year, DeVos revoked Obama-era guidance that offered schools a road map on how they could legally consider race in the interest of promoting diversity.” (The Washington Post)
  • ANTI-VACCINATION FALLOUT: “A measles outbreak in Brooklyn, primarily among Orthodox Jewish children, prompted New York City on Tuesday to declare a public health emergency, requiring unvaccinated people in the affected areas to get the vaccine or face fines,” Reuters reports. “The Brooklyn outbreak has been traced to an unvaccinated child who became infected on a visit to Israel, which is also grappling with an outbreak, according to New York City’s Department of Health.” Unfortunately, the erroneous anti-vaccination campaign is a two-edged sword. It spreads diseases while also creating a vacuum for statists to fill with mandates.
  • NEW ZEALAND FIREARMS CRACKDOWN: “Lawmakers in New Zealand voted almost unanimously on Wednesday to change gun laws, less than a month after its worst peacetime mass shooting, in which 50 people were killed in attacks on two mosques in Christchurch. … The new curbs bar the circulation and use of most semi-automatic firearms, parts that convert firearms into semi-automatic firearms, magazines over a certain capacity, and some shotguns. … The bill grants an amnesty until Sept. 30 for people to surrender prohibited items.” (Reuters)
  • HUMOR: Nation’s progressives issue friendly reminder that if you don’t agree with them on everything, they will destroy you (The Babylon Bee)
  • POLICY: Top 10 anti-vaccine falsehoods and the truth about each (The Federalist)
  • POLICY: National School Lunch Program has morphed into massive, wasteful entitlement program (The Daily Signal)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Gary Bauer: “As you know, Democrats are demanding that the IRS surrender Donald Trump’s tax returns. Even the state of New York is trying to get ahold of them. There should be universal outrage over the left’s weaponization of the IRS. I can’t imagine a worse message to send to the American taxpayer: Don’t get on the wrong side of the powers that be or we’ll expose your tax returns! Does anyone on the left see how bad this looks? Have they already forgotten the Lois Lerner scandals? When the left was running the IRS, it punished anti-tax organizations, pro-life organizations and groups fighting radical Islam. Why on earth would any reasonable person trust the left with more power?”

SHORT CUTS

Delusions of grandeur: “In terms of leadership, if we fail to act [on climate change], or even if we delay in acting, we will have blood on our hands.” —Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Belly laugh of the week: “Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez has in fact offered more leadership in one day or in one week than President Trump has in his lifetime on this subject.” —John Kerry

Non sequitur: “When John F Kennedy said, ‘I want to put a man on the moon in 10 years,’ he didn’t know if he could do it. But he knew it was an organizing principle. He knew it would be the mission for a generation to say, ‘We’re going to be the greatest entrepreneurs and innovators because we’re going to put a man on the moon.’ … Why not do the same here?” —Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on the Green New Deal

The BIG Lie: “The NRA is largely funded by the gun manufacturers. The gun manufacturers want to make money at all costs. It doesn’t matter who they are selling the gun to. The reason why they are against universal background checks is they want to sell a weapon to somebody on the terror watch list. They want to sell a weapon to someone gravely mentally ill with a violent background. They want to sell a weapon to someone with a criminal conviction for a violent crime. They’re against the Violence Against Women’s [sic] Act. Why? Because they want to make sure a predator or someone who beats his wife can have easy access to a weapon. Literally.” —Kirsten Gillibrand

More collusion delusion: “The hearing started in a very organized way but as soon as we talked about that four-page letter and I asked [Attorney General William Barr] whether he discussed it with the White House, at that point, he just shut down. So it was clear to me that the White House had some input in the letter and we intend to pursue our questioning so we get to the truth.” —Rep. Nita Lowey

Alpha Jackass: “If Trump really wants to put kids in cages, he should start with Eric and Donald Jr.” —Jimmy Kimmel

Non compos mentis: “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” —Rep. Ilhan Omar (Those “some people” were jihadis who murdered 3,000 Americans.)

And last… “The lengths people go to defend Omar’s many disturbing comments is really curious — and probably telling.” —David Harsanyi

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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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