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Mid-Day Digest

May 9, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” —Samuel Adams (1749)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Dems Claim ‘Constitutional Crisis’ Over Faux Scandal

“Not one of the six Democrats granted access to what amounts to 99.9 percent of volume II of the Mueller report, which details the president’s behavior as it relates to obstruction of justice, have taken the opportunity to examine it,” writes National Review’s Jack Crowe. But according to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), there’s a “constitutional crisis” after President Donald Trump, at the request of the Justice Department, asserted executive privilege to protect Attorney General William Barr from being held in contempt of Congress. Undeterred, Democrats maintained their vacuous assertion that Barr is hiding something and voted to hold him in contempt anyway.

Spare us the hand-wringing over constitutional fidelity and the Rule of Law. This is nothing more than pure Democrat political theater meant to advance their manufactured faux scandal. Nadler peddles a myth when claiming that Barr is “not being truthful with Congress.” How has Barr not been truthful? In fact, the AG went above and beyond the requirements of law in order to get as much of Robert Mueller’s report to the American public as is legally possible. Anyone can get a copy, and key Democrats even have access to all but a few lines of redacted material.

But that’s not enough for Democrats. Their demand is that Barr break the law by presenting the report fully unredacted. As Hans von Spakovsky of The Heritage Foundation explains, “Unless Congress’s request for Rule 6(e) grand jury material falls squarely into one of the statutory or court-created exceptions, the attorney general — any attorney general — is prohibited from disclosing that material to Congress. And the congressional request doesn’t fit any of the exceptions.”

Why are Democrats making this demand, since Mueller’s team, which consisted of mostly Democrat lawyers, determined after nearly two years of investigation that no crime was committed? Because, as Mark Alexander notes, “It’s not about the substance of the Mueller report. It’s about keeping the fake narrative alive.” Democrats will not be satisfied with anything short of removing Trump. So, if there is a “constitutional crisis,” it’s not coming from Trump and the executive branch.

Nadler’s claim that the executive branch has somehow overstepped the Constitution’s delineation of powers is a charge that is nonsense on its face. Using the term “co-equal,” Nadler and the Democrats act like that means the executive branch is fully answerable to the legislative branch’s every petty demand. Clearly, Democrats believe their political position and interests are “more equal” than Trump’s.

Recall that it was the same Jerry Nadler who back in 2012 touted that he “just joined the #walkout of the House chamber to protest the shameful, politically-motivated GOP vote holding AG [Eric] Holder in contempt.” When it was a Democrat sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Nadler was singing a completely different tune. But it’s 2019 and Trump is president…

The truth is, Democrats know that there is no “smoking gun” to be found in any of the redacted portions of the Mueller report. They just want an excuse to claim that Barr is engaged in “obstruction.” And they’re trying to tar Barr as a biased Trump stooge who is so politically compromised that he cannot be trusted as the nation’s number-one lawman. The real play? Self-protection. As Victor Davis Hanson observes, “Progressives are terrified that a number of Trump’s critics — Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe — may soon be indicted. They apparently seek to preempt such indictments by attacking Barr, a seemingly no-nonsense prosecutor who will likely follow up on any criminal referrals from any inspector general that reach his desk.” Those coup co-conspirators pose the real constitutional crisis.

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Notable Factors in the Colorado Attack

We deliberately waited a day to comment on Tuesday’s school shooting in Colorado, leaving one dead (Kendrick Castillo, 18) and eight wounded. Facts take time to come to light and the media is obsessed with these types of murders — while ignoring most other murders. Those two factors gave us reason for pause. Several elements of the Colorado attack, however, are worth noting.

The attack was perpetrated by two assailants, which is unusual except for the Columbine “model” the assault was meant to emulate almost exactly 20 years later. Indeed, one of the more troubling aspects of this is the fact that there is a dangerous subculture of disaffected sociopaths who idolize the two Columbine assailants.

There has been much media confusion regarding the second “boy” attacker — because “he” is actually a she who is “transitioning” to male. Yet the national media dutifully insists on using male pronouns to describe her. Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock got it right, saying, “We originally thought that we had a juvenile male in custody but through our interviews yesterday late afternoon determined that we had a juvenile female that is in custody.”

The two were both involved, as were the Columbine killers, in the “Goth” lifestyle. They were also virulently anti-American, anti-Trump, and anti-Christian, if not downright Satanist.

Castillo, the only person killed in the assault, was three days from graduating. And he’s a hero, joining two other students (including a Marine recruit) in immediately trying to tackle one of the shooters, giving his life in the process. National Review’s David French notes that we’re seeing more of this. “I do wonder if the sheer number of mass killings has caused a psychological change in a segment of the American people. I do wonder if ‘fight’ is replacing ‘flight’ in enough American hearts that immediate and courageous resistance becomes the norm — and that killers will start to understand that they’ll have to instantly battle one or more raging, charging men before they can complete their terrible, deadly work.”

Gary Bauer sums up the real cultural issues: “We have spent decades telling impressionable young people, with increasing access to all kinds of drugs, that everything they see is a cosmic accident. They are told that it is foolish to believe in God, that it is a constitutional right to kill unborn children, that the country of their birth is evil. And yet we are still shocked and surprised when this sort of thing happens. Sadly, there will be more such senseless violence, and it has virtually nothing to do with guns.”

That doesn’t mean Democrats don’t keep trying to make it about guns. In fact, multiple students walked out of what was billed as a vigil for Castillo when two Democrats — Sen. Michael Bennet (who’s running for president) and Rep. Jason Crow — took turns calling for gun control. Such cynical political gamesmanship will always be unwelcome.

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • TRIPLE-DIGIT BORDER APPREHENSIONS: “Apprehensions and denials of migrants at the nation’s southern border hit 109,144 in April, the highest number in a single month since 2007. … A majority of those apprehended were traveling in family units, showing a sustained pattern of Central American family migration to the United States.” (The Hill)
  • MORE FENCING: “The Pentagon said Wednesday that it has enough funding to build 256 more miles of border wall in the near future, and will start construction at a rate of about a half mile a day over the next six months.” (National Review)
  • REPUGNANT: “The United Nations decided it would be a good idea to elect several countries with terrible track records on women’s rights to sit on boards that promote… women’s rights. Somalia was elected to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, while the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Lebanon, Nigeria and Sierra Leone were among those elected to the U.N. Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.” (Townhall)
  • TRUMP’S TARIFF THREAT, EXPLAINED: “The diplomatic cable from Beijing arrived in Washington late on Friday night, with systematic edits to a nearly 150-page draft trade agreement that would blow up months of negotiations between the world’s two largest economies. … In each of the seven chapters of the draft trade deal, China had deleted its commitments to change laws to resolve core complaints that caused the United States to launch a trade war.” (Reuters)
  • EX-IM REVIVED: “The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm three board members for the Export-Import Bank, reviving — over the objections of conservatives — a controversial federal agency that allows foreign countries to borrow taxpayer dollars.” (The Daily Signal)
  • TAXPAYERS ON HOOK FOR STUDENT LOANS: “Student loans, already a hardship for many young borrowers, now are projected to be a burden for another class of people: U.S. taxpayers. The federal student loan program will cost the federal government $31 billion over the next decade, according to recent estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That’s a shift from past CBO forecasts that the government would profit from the program.” (Bloomberg Government)
  • LONG-AWAITED CHANGES: “Pope Francis on Thursday issued a sweeping new law aimed at holding leadership more accountable while overhauling how the Roman Catholic Church deals with accusations of abuse and coverup. … When the rules come into force June 1, priests and nuns will be required for the first time to report abuse accusations to church authorities.” (The Washington Post)
  • FALSE NOTIONS ON VOTER SUPPRESSION: “It just so happens that two weeks ago the Census Bureau released a report on voter turnout in 2018, which climbed 11 percentage points from the last midterm election, in 2014, and surpassed 50% for the first time since 1982. Moreover, the increased turnout was largely driven by the same minority voters Democrats claim are being disenfranchised. Black turnout grew around 27%, and Hispanic turnout increased about 50%.” (Jason L. Riley, WSJ)
  • SETTLED SCIENCE: “A comprehensive new study on cholesterol, based on results from more than a million patients, could help upend decades of government advice about diet, nutrition, health, prevention, and medication. … The study … centers on statins, a class of drugs used to lower levels of LDL-C, the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol, in the human body. According to the study, statins are pointless for most people.” (Reason)
  • HUMOR: While cracking down on fringe conspiracy theorists, Facebook accidentally bans CNN (The Babylon Bee)
  • POLICY: The U.S. is hurtling toward sequestration and no one seems to care (RealClearPolitics)
  • POLICY: This could be the year of regime change in Iran (Issues & Insights)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Victor Davis Hanson: “The besmirching of Barr’s conduct is surreal. He certainly has not done anything even remotely approximating the conduct of former President Obama’s two attorneys general. Has Barr dubbed himself the president’s ‘wingman’ or called America a ‘nation of cowards,’ as did former Attorney General Eric Holder? Has Barr’s Department of Justice monitored reporters’ communications or ordered surveillance of a television journalist? Has Barr used a government jet to take his family to the Belmont Stakes horse race, as did Holder? Has Barr met secretly on an airport tarmac with the spouse of a person his Justice Department was investigating, as did former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who had such a meeting with Bill Clinton?”

SHORT CUTS

Braying Jenny: “‘6 weeks pregnant’ = 2 weeks late on your period. Most of the men writing these bills don’t know the first thing about a woman’s body outside of the things they want from it. It’s relatively common for a woman to have a late period + not be pregnant.” —Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez commenting on Georgia’s fetal-heartbeat abortion ban

Where is that in the Constitution? “I think that anyone who is in a situation where they’re in need of health care, regardless of whether they are documented or undocumented, we have an obligation to see that they are cared for. That’s why I think we need more [health] clinics around the country.” —Joe Biden

Braying Jenny II: “We do have a jail down in the basement of the Capitol. But if we were arresting all of the people in the administration, we would have [an] overcrowded jail situation, and I’m not for that.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Huh? “The president … wants to goad us into impeachment because he knows, as do I, that that’s not a good thing for the country. The point is that every single day … the president is making a case. He’s becoming self-impeachable.” —Nancy Pelosi

Non sequitur: “Remember that time Pearl Harbor was bombed and FDR called the Emperor of Japan? Or the time the Twin Towers were struck and Bush ringed Osama Bin Laden? No? I don’t either. So why’d @realDonaldTrump call Putin after the Mueller Report was released?” —Eric Swalwell

With friends like these… “Pursue crushing civil fines against recalcitrant witnesses, impeach Mnuchin and Barr, seek sanctions to punish lawyers for ethics violations and, yes, if need be, try to lock them up. Perhaps if Democrats start wielding their power, some Republicans (just a few) will recognize the gravity of the situation they have created and head off the administration before a true constitutional calamity ensues.” —Jennifer Rubin

The BIG Lie: “Congress has the right to access the underlying documents of the Mueller report: There is no question about that. I can’t imagine a court ruling otherwise, but they are throwing every obstacle in our way because the president has, in many respects, become a dictator.” —Rep. Jackie Speier (Congress has the documents, which Barr wasn’t even required to provide.)

Belly laugh of the week: “We’ve talked for a long time about approaching a constitutional crisis. We are now in it. We are now in a constitutional crisis.” —House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler remarking on William Barr, whom the committee voted in contempt

And last… “This is not a constitutional crisis. The legislature has asked for information. The executive has declined it. The legislature can impeach. The judiciary will weigh in. The messy gridlock of the system is a feature, not a bug.” —Ben Shapiro

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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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