Mid-Day Digest

Apr. 11, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all citizens.” —Thomas Jefferson (1816)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

No Holds Barr: Spying Did Occur Against Trump

During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr finally called a spade a spade. He responded to a question posed by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) regarding the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign, saying, “I think spying did occur.” Barr continued, “But the question is whether it was adequately predicated, and I am not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated… I am not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it is important to look at that. And I am not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.”

Barr then noted, “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. It’s a big deal.”

It is a big deal, which is why Democrats immediately attacked Barr’s credibility. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the way, grousing, “I don’t trust Barr. I trust Mueller.” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer charged, “[Barr] is acting as an employee of the president. I believe the attorney general believes he needs to protect the president of the United States.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff — the man currently in hot water for notoriously claiming to have evidence that Trump was guilty of Russian collusion while producing none — offered this downright laughable response: Barr “should not casually suggest that those under his purview engaged in spying on a political campaign,” Schiff lectured. “This type of partisan talking point may please Donald Trump, who rails against a deep-state coup, but it also strikes another destructive blow to our democratic institutions.” Please.

The fact of the matter is that the FBI admitted to spying, as has been documented via the FISA warrants for surveillance of members of Trump’s campaign — specifically Carter Page. The only reason the Democrats are so up in arms over Barr’s use of the term “spying” is that in common parlance it evokes more sinister imagery. However, what Democrats are actually more worried about is that Barr is doing what any good AG would do — investigating the investigators to determine whether they were justified in their actions. He’s begun to turn the tables on the Democrats’ longrunning anti-Trump narrative, which could prove that the Washington establishment engaged in a coordinated effort to oppose Trump from the get-go.

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The Assange Arrest

“WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was forcibly bundled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and into a waiting British police van on Thursday,” reports the Associated Press, “setting up a potential court battle over attempts to extradite him to the U.S. to face charges related to the publication of tens of thousands of secret government documents.” He was “arrested on behalf of the United States authorities,” London police said, and the U.S. quickly filed charges of conspiracy to disclose classified information.

Assange has spent the last seven years hiding away in Ecuador’s embassy, but evidently, President Lenin Moreno had had enough. “The discourteous and aggressive behavior of Mr. Julian Assange, the hostile and threatening declarations of its allied organization, against Ecuador, and especially the transgression of international treaties, have led the situation to a point where the asylum of Mr. Assange is unsustainable and no longer viable,” Moreno said.

In 2010, info anarchist Assange conspired with U.S. Army PFC Bradley Manning (now “Chelsea” after his taxpayer-funded gender reassignment while he was in prison for treason) to dump 750,000 purloined classified U.S. military documents on the Web. It was the most significant intelligence compromise in United States history, but Barack Obama, as a gift to his constituents suffering from chronic gender dysphoria, actually commuted Manning’s sentence just before departing office in January of 2017 — one of the most inexcusable actions of Obama’s tenure. Astoundingly, emboldened by that commutation, in 2018 Manning mounted a run for Senate in Maryland.

Assange’s WikiLeaks was also involved in the 2016 release of hacked DNC emails, which was timed “to heighten their impact on the 2016 presidential election” and was allegedly coordinated with Russian military intelligence. That was a topic of interest in the Mueller investigation, now concluded and on life support. That connection to 2016 means Assange is one or all of three things: a bright, shiny distraction from Bob Barr’s spy statement, the opening salvo of the Great Russia Collusion Correction, or a peace offering from the Brits. One thing’s for sure: Donald Trump will not be commuting any future conviction and sentence Assange receives.

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The Real Fraud of Medicare for All

In the same week that the lid was blown off of a massive $1.2 billion Medicare scam, Sen. Bernie Sanders decided to reintroduce his single-payer-health-insurance bill — the socialist scam called Medicare for All. What could go wrong?

The bill’s 14 cosponsors include Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Cory Booker, and Sen. Kamala Harris, all of whom are 2020 presidential contenders. It has quickly become a litmus test for Democrats.

We could talk about the outrageous cost, given that an earlier and slimmer version of Sanders’s bill is estimated to run an eye-popping $32 trillion over 10 years. Or we could evaluate how catastrophic it would be to force 177 million Americans off of their private health insurance and onto the government dole by making it generally “unlawful” to even sell private insurance. (“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” is so 2008.) And then there’s the abortion-on-demand coverage that would force millions of Americans to fund the slaughter of innocent babies in utero.

But it’s the very premise of Medicare for All that’s deeply wrong.

“I want to end the international embarrassment of the United States of America being the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee health care to all people as a right and not a privilege,” Sanders pontificated. That, of course, hearkens back to the Left’s incredibly twisted interpretation of “rights,” which largely consist of services that have to be provided by someone else.

Economist Walter Williams explained this back in 2016 — oddly enough while rebutting Sanders for asserting the same thing about health care as he is now. “In the standard historical usage of the term, a ‘right’ is something that exists simultaneously among people. As such, a right imposes no obligation on another,” Williams explained. However, for the Left, “Those supposed rights do impose obligations upon others. … If one person has a right to something he did not earn, it requires another person’s not having a right to something he did earn.”

The Democrats’ agenda in a nutshell is to offer as many “free” goodies to as many constituents as possible to secure their own power. Calling such redistribution a “right” is merely a way to psychologically persuade those constituents that they deserve it. Trampling the Constitution and actual rights? Never mind that when there are elections to win.

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • SPEAKING OF DEMOCRAT RUSSIAN COLLUSION… “The legal team for former Obama White House lawyer Greg Craig say that they expect Craig to be indicted in the near future on charges related to work that he performed in 2012 for the Russia-aligned government of Ukraine. … The case against the 74-year-old Democrat — who has served in senior legal positions under two Democrat presidents — originated from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.” (The Daily Wire)
  • DRILL, BABY, DRILL: “Aiming to streamline oil and gas pipeline projects, President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed two executive orders making it harder for states to block construction because of environmental concerns. The orders were prompted by fossil fuel industry pressure after officials in New York and Washington state had stopped new projects with permitting processes in recent years.” (USA Today)
  • CARAVAN NUMBERS: “Halfway through fiscal year (FY) 2019, 104 caravans of 100 or more migrants tried to enter the U.S. via its southwest border — up from only 13 in all of FY2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported Tuesday. … The 104 large caravans encountered in the first six months of FY2019 (through March) resulted in 17,242 apprehensions of migrants trying to enter the U.S.” (CNSNews.com)
  • ICE CHIEF THROWING IN THE TOWEL: “The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Ron Vitiello, has resigned amid an agencywide restructuring of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Vitiello had originally been nominated to take over the post permanently, but his nomination was abruptly pulled last week by President Trump, who said he wanted to go in a ‘tougher’ direction. … Vitiello’s last day at ICE will be Friday.” (The Hill)
  • OPM TROUBLES: According to The Washington Free Beacon, “China is mining intelligence from an estimated 23 million records of American federal workers, including intelligence and security personnel, stolen in cyberattacks against the Office of Personnel Management.” Perhaps it’s good timing, then, that the White House “has been looking into dismantling the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and appears to be moving closer toward accomplishing something no president since Reagan has,” as reported by The Daily Wire.
  • MAXINE WATERS’S BLAME-SHIFTING: “House Financial Services Committee chairwoman Maxine Waters was brought up short Wednesday after she targeted banking chiefs over the student loan crisis, even though the federal government took over student lending in 2010.” (The Washington Times)
  • TAXPAYER-FUNDED ABUSE:A group of hundreds of concerned parents is calling for an immediate halt to a taxpayer-funded study on transgender youth where the young participants are given powerful hormone blockers to stave off puberty and later a regimen of cross-sex hormones. … Four pediatric gender clinics were awarded a $5.7 million grant in 2015 by the National Institutes of Health for the five-year study, ‘The Impact of Early Medical Treatment in Transgender Youth,’ which had 279 participants in the cross-sex hormone cohort and 71 participants in the puberty blocker cohort as of April 30, 2018.“ (National Review)
  • HUMOR: Progressives officially redefine "hate speech” as “speech we do not like” (The Babylon Bee)
  • POLICY: The NRA is right about the Violence Against Women Act (Reason)
  • POLICY: Three reasons Congress should not bring back Obama-era net neutrality (Independent Women’s Forum)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Cal Thomas: “When the Shah of Iran was forced out in 1979 with the assistance of the Carter administration, the religious leadership that replaced him established the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps], ostensibly to promote government social policy. It quickly became an organization through which funding was provided to entities designated by several countries as terrorist groups. The IRGC has roughly 150,000 military personnel, including ground, aerospace and naval forces, and along with the Quds Force, one of its warfare units, became a major trainer of Islamic terrorists. The U.S. government has blamed groups supported by Iran for the deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan and Syria and during the Iraq war. These groups are also a constant threat to Israel, which several Iranian religious leaders have vowed to one day eliminate. … President Trump has taken an important first step in designating the IRGC a foreign terrorist organization. He should be joined by other nations, which also have a strong interest in deterring terrorism within their borders. The ultimate goal for every nation that faces threats from the Iranian regime should be the removal of its current fanatical leaders.”

SHORT CUTS

Friendly fire: “Most often delusions are harmless. Sometimes they are not. At the moment my fellow Democrats are suffering from two that are harmful. The first is that Americans long for a president who will ask us to pay more for the pleasure of increasing the role of the federal government in our lives. … The second Democratic delusion is that Americans were robbed of the truth when Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and Attorney General William Barr concluded that President Trump did not collude with Russia in 2016.” —former Nebraska Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey

Braying Jenny: “I want to address a serious oversight matter: your unacceptable handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. … I must say, it is extraordinary to evaluate hundreds of pages of evidence, legal documents, and finding[s] based on a 22-month-long inquiry and make definitive legal conclusions in less than 48 hours. Even for someone who has done this job before, I would argue it’s more suspicious than impressive.” —Rep. Nita Lowey berating Attorney General William Barr

If by “constitutional” you mean unconstitutional: “I’m the only candidate calling for a mandatory national ban and buyback of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons. It’s bold and will cost money, but it is constitutional and it rightly treats gun violence as a life-or-death matter.” —Rep. Eric Swalwell

The BIG Lie: “How climate change is forcing vulnerable children into sex trafficking.” —Associated Press headline

Braying Jackass: “We have to be a state that is not only friendly to business. We’ve got to be friendly to the women who work in these businesses. You should not have to worry about your ability to control your bodily autonomy because the governor has pushed such an abominable and evil bill that is so restrictive. It’s not only bad for morality and our humanity, it’s bad for business.” —Stacey Abrams literally calling Georgia’s life-saving fetal-heartbeat legislation “evil”

Nominal Christianity: “Just because you are LGBTQ doesn’t mean it’s okay to discriminate against you. I think most people get that. I think most Christians get that. And it’s time for us to move on toward a more inclusive and more humane vision of faith than what this vice president represents.” —South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg

And last… “Buttigieg not only decided his struggle was not about sin, but that God made him that way. And now he is attacking Christians like Mike Pence for maintaining Biblical orthodoxy instead of rejecting it like he has. … He is … hiding behind ‘God made me this way’ instead of recognizing all men are fallen. No sin is immutable. Buttigieg has decided his sin is and, in trying to reconcile his faith to his sexuality, has departed from orthodoxy in determining his sin is therefore not sin despite the very plain and clear teachings of scripture.” —Erick Erickson

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TODAY’S MEME

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TODAY’S CARTOON

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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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