Mid-Day Digest

Apr. 30, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.” —James Madison (1788)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Blacklisting the NRA — And the Second Amendment

In San Diego last weekend, a sociopathic assailant walked into the Chabad of Poway synagogue and fired a weapon at congregants gathered there. He murdered a woman, Lori Gilbert-Kaye, who was attempting to shield Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was also injured.

The attack ended when Navy veteran Oscar Stewart and Border Patrol Agent Jonathan Morales, who were in the congregation, charged the assailant and chased him from the premises. Morales fired at the assailant. Stewart concluded, “It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.” Indeed it does.

Democrat Party principals were quick to blame Donald Trump for the high-profile attack. Yet they never take credit themselves for the epidemic of daily violence that occurs in their Democrat-controlled urban centers — the direct result of Democrat social policies.

Demos were also quick to reiterate their support for incremental measures that, in effect, repeal our Second Amendment right to bear arms — the First Civil Right and the first line of defense in support of Liberty against statist tyranny. The Second Amendment is “the palladium of the liberties of the republic,” and, as such, a primary target for the leftists, who constantly endeavor to erode our Liberties.

Demo presidential aspirant Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has taken the lead on this Liberty assault, founding her campaign on gun-control measures. Harris declared, “We need leaders in Washington, DC, who have the courage to speak the truth. … Upon being elected, I will give Congress 100 days to get their act together and have the courage to pass reasonable gun-safety laws, and if they fail to do it, then I will take executive action.”

Whenever a socialist Democrat says “speak the truth” or “reasonable gun-safety laws,” beware. While most of us can agree that some laws regulating firearm sales and possession are necessary in society, there are now about 25,000 federal, state, and local gun laws on the books, none of which will completely prevent a sociopath in a synagogue or urban center from killing people. But the Democrats’ political agenda is about constricting the 2A rights of law-abiding citizens, whom they view as a threat to unmitigated central-government power.

The premier organization advocating for the protection of our Second Amendment from encroachment by the Left is the National Rifle Association, which held its annual convention last week — amid assault from without and controversy from within.

President Trump addressed the NRA convention attendees, using the opportunity to announce that he was pulling the U.S. signature from UN Arms Trade Treaty. But the domestic assault on Liberty is much more formidable than that from foreign threats.

Specifically, New York and California are using the power of the state to undermine the NRA, attempting to restrict its legal status and press it ever-deeper into debt with legal costs.

Framing the Left’s objective, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says: “The NRA’s goal is to sell more guns, and they don’t care if they sell them to legal owners or to illegal owners. They want to sell more guns.” That is a lie on every level, but for leftists and their Leftmedia publicists, the truth is whatever they define it to be.

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre summed up Cuomo’s agenda in remarks to NRA members: “The governor wants you, and wants your organization, the NRA, denied financial services. Simply put, the governor wants the NRA blacklisted.”

Trump cast his support for the Second Amendment, which he has consistently done as president, noting, “The NRA is under siege by Cuomo and the New York State A.G., who are illegally using the State’s legal apparatus to take down and destroy this very important organization and others.”

The external challenges to the Second Amendment and the NRA come in a week when the organization was facing internal strife — as many organizations do when attacked from all sides. Organization president Oliver North resigned his post under duress and, on Monday, the NRA board unanimously renewed its support for LaPierre as CEO and elected Carolyn Meadows as its president.

As for the internal disputes, LaPierre is to the NRA what generational leader William F. Buckley was to National Review and Edwin Feulner was to The Heritage Foundation. The NRA is fortunate to have retained LaPierre. I have close contacts within NRA leadership, and I have known Oliver North since his years with Ronald Reagan’s administration.

Without detailing this dispute, in which both sides raised reasonable concerns, suffice it to say that I am disappointed that Ollie took this dispute public. In short, it was an internal battle of titan personalities.

The bottom line: This is a perilous time for the NRA or its members to be distracted by internal division, which is precisely what the Left wants. For the first time in memory, virtually all Democrat presidential contenders and Demo senators across our nation are aligned against the NRA. In other words, they are all aligned against the Second Amendment, the last line of defense for American Liberty.

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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

  • TRUMP MOVES TO BLOCK SUBPOENAS: The Associated Press reports, “President Donald Trump, his family and the Trump Organization filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank and Capital One in an attempt to block congressional subpoenas seeking their banking and financial records. … Two House committees subpoenaed Deutsche Bank and several other financial institutions earlier this month as part of investigations into the Republican president’s finances.” The lawsuit states, “The subpoenas were issued to harass President Donald J. Trump, to rummage through every aspect of his personal finances, his businesses, and the private information of the President and his family, and to ferret about for any material that might be used to cause him political damage.”
  • ASYLUM OVERHAUL: “President Trump called Monday night for a sweeping overhaul to an asylum system he has long said is rife with fraud — including a new fee to process asylum applicants, and the capacity to rapidly adjudicate applicants’ claims while also barring them from working in the U.S. in the meantime,” according to Fox News. “Immigration courts that process asylum claims currently have a backlog of more than 800,000 cases, and asylum applicants are increasingly staying in the U.S. even after their claims for asylum have been denied.”
  • BETO’S GREEN NEW DEAL: Via Fortune: “Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke released a $5 trillion plan to combat climate change over the next decade with a goal of achieving net-zero emissions in the U.S. by 2050. The former congressman … said he would put the U.S. back in the Paris Agreement, if elected, and seek legislation in his first 100 days in office to set a ‘legally enforceable’ requirement that the nation remove as much greenhouse gases as it emits, with half of that goal completed by 2030.” Sunrise Movement executive director Varshini Prakash lamented, “Beto claims to support the Green New Deal, but his plan is out of line with the timeline it lays out and the scale of action that scientists say is necessary to take here in the United States to give our generation a livable future.”
  • DEMOCRATS’ INFRASTRUCTURE HIJACK: “The top two Democratic leaders on Monday told President Trump that any bipartisan infrastructure package needs to take into consideration climate change and include ‘substantial, new and real revenue’ — a preview of the coming fight over tax hikes. … Democrats want the measure for roads, bridges, waterways and other projects to be paid for with tax increases, and with a final price tag of at least $1 trillion over 10 years.” (The Hill)
  • NEW YORK TIMES ANTI-SEMITISM: “The New York Times deleted a political cartoon over the weekend after acknowledging that it contained ‘anti-Semitic tropes,’ an episode decried as the latest example of rising anti-Semitism on the left,” The Washington Times notes, adding, “The New York Times editor’s note was described by some as an apology, although the message did not actually apologize for running the cartoon.” In a statement, the American Jewish Committee said it would not accept the non-apology. “How many @nytimes editors looked at a cartoon that would not have looked out of place on a white supremacist website and thought it met the paper’s editorial standards?”
  • AFA COMMANDANT OUSTED: According to The Colorado Springs Gazette, “The first openly gay general at the Air Force Academy has been removed as commandant of cadets, but leaders were mum Monday on the exact cause of the apparent firing.” The reason Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin was tapped for this post is unfortunate. She wasn’t unqualified, but she had a special “qualification” that other equally skilled candidates didn’t — gender dysphoria. Furthermore, she was removed one month before her rotation would have ended, so there must be something there or she would have just finished up.
  • VENEZUELA QUIVERS: “Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó took to the streets with activist Leopoldo Lopez and a small contingent of heavily armed troops early Tuesday in a bold and risky call for the military to rise up and oust socialist leader Nicolas Maduro. ‘I want to tell the Venezuelan people: This is the moment to take to the streets and accompany these patriotic soldiers,’ said Lopez, who had been detained since 2014 for leading anti-government protests. ‘Everyone should come to the streets, in peace.’” (Associated Press)
  • ISIS LEADER OUT OF THE SHADOWS: “Almost five years after he was last seen publicly, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made a reappearance in an online video, hailing his fighters for not giving up the remnants of the ‘caliphate’ in Syria without a fight, and urging supporters to carry out attacks in France, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere.” (CNSNews.com)
  • HUMOR: CNN intern dutifully resets “Days Without a Fake News Story” counter every morning (The Babylon Bee)
  • POLICY: The Paris agreement and the costly pursuit of the trivial (American Enterprise Institute)
  • POLICY: Let forests burn, if you truly love them (Foundation for Economic Education)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Tony Perkins: “It was a surreal segment of the Friday morning news. Just over the border in Columbia, Maryland, Fox 5 reporters were on the scene of a grisly homicide. ‘I want to remind viewers,’ the anchor warned, ‘that some of the details in this story are very graphic.’ There, in a quiet suburban neighborhood, police had stumbled on the body of a newborn baby — dead, the anchor shook his head, ‘just moments after being born.’ Fox 5’s Ike Ejiochi was as horrified as everyone else. This was ‘a healthy, full-term child who was alive at the time of birth,’ he insisted. Investigators followed the trail of blood from a bathroom to the master bedroom and finally found the little newborn, ‘wrapped in a towel and zipped up in a plastic bag in a closet.’ From the Howard County police to the Fox 5 team, people on camera were appalled that anyone would be capable of such a thing. And yet, if this mother had been in a hospital — and not her own home — Democrats would be the first to argue: this wasn’t a crime. It was a ‘choice.’”

SHORT CUTS

Food for thought: “A person who feels that he does not matter will take a twisted form of solace in the fact that after he has committed his terrible act of violence, everyone wanted to know what was going on inside his head.” —Jim Geraghty

For the record: “We have … seen one of the world’s most prestigious newspapers become a cesspool of hostility towards Israel that goes well beyond any legitimate criticism of a fellow, imperfect democracy. The same New York Times that a century ago mostly hid from their readers the Holocaust of the Jewish people has today made its pages a safe space for those who hate the Jewish state. Through biased coverage, slanderous columns and anti-Semitic cartoons, its editors shamefully choose week after week to cast the Jewish state as a force for evil.” —Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer

Essence of partisanship: “I’m a JFK Democrat. I will pay any price, bear any burden, support any friend, oppose any foe to ensure the defeat of Donald J. Trump. You could be for Medicare-For-All or not, you could shoot my dog and if I think you can beat Trump, I’m going to be for you.” —Paul Begala

The BIG Lie: “Why do these people feel they have license to attack synagogues, to attack Sikh temples, to attack churches across the United States? This has really been fomented because of rhetoric we hear from the White House.” —Sen. Dick Durbin

Braying Jackass: “Spare us your thoughts and prayers. It’s an alibi for inaction. You told the NRA [last week] you’d keep dangerous guns in the hands of dangerous people. We will take it from here with action.” —Rep. Eric Swalwell in response to Trump’s tendering “Thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by the shooting at the Synagogue in Poway, California.”

Belly laugh of the week: “I am painfully aware that the male Fox commentariat nurtures its sickly obsession with Ms. [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez partly because they resent her cleverness, charisma and moral vitality, but mostly because they suspect that in high school she was one of those girls they had no hope of getting a date with.” —David Bentley Hart in The New York Times

Delusions of grandeur: “If we can starve them of budgets and make sure they can’t do their job, then we can say the whole system should be thrown away. I’m not going to back down from protecting the VA.” —Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

And last… “Democrats ARE NOT anti-Semites. We love Jews every two years on Election Day.” —Twitter parody account @AOCpress

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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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