Mid-Day Digest

May 24, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.” —James Madison (1792)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

Our office will be closed Monday, May 27th in honor of Memorial Day, and our editions will return Tuesday. We’re eternally grateful to the Patriots who gave their all in defense of our great nation.

IN BRIEF

Americans Have No Trust in Congress

The latest Gallup poll finds that 77% of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing. The RealClearPolitics average of all the latest polling isn’t much better, as it finds Congress’s disapproval rating at 69.2% overall, with a positive approval rating of just 20.2%. Why is this the case?

As the White House observes:

On January 3, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took over as Speaker of the House for the second time in her career. In the four and a half months since, Americans have gotten another close look at what career politicians do best: anything but solve real problems.

For more than two years, Congressional Democrats excused inaction by attacking President Donald J. Trump every day for a crime he did not commit. The Mueller Report — a 400-page document that cost American taxpayers at least $35 million — recommended no charges against the President. That should have ended the matter.

Instead, Democrats have a new obstruction strategy: weaponize the subpoena powers of Congress to fish for political ammunition to use against the Trump Administration. …

Today, 4 percent of Americans say they have a great deal of trust in Congress. …

Between 1958 and 2015, public trust in Washington plunged from 73 percent to 18 percent.

So on that note, Thursday evening, President Donald Trump authorized Attorney General William Barr to declassify any documents related to the federal government’s surveillance of his campaign in 2016. Clearly, this was a timed response to Pelosi’s vacuous allegation that Trump was engaged in a cover-up — for a crime Democrats have yet to determine. But it also serves to highlight the reason the vast majority of Americans currently hold such an unfavorable view of Congress. Instead of working to solve actual problems facing the country, such as the ongoing border crisis or the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, Pelosi and company have decided to play obstructionist politics.

Trump has therefore called Pelosi’s bluff. He knows she doesn’t have the cards to play. She knows she can’t actually instigate impeachment without seriously endangering her party’s chances of holding onto the House in 2020. Ergo, Pelosi’s ridiculous political game of insisting Trump is guilty of something, while at the same time suggesting that impeachment is a no-go. Is it any wonder Americans have such a dim view of Congress?

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Never Forgotten

By Roger Helle, Vietnam Vet and the subject of Mark Alexander’s 2007 Veterans Day profile

It was just one of many routine patrols in Vietnam that night. The 13-man Marine squad made their way through the village silently. The point man paused now and then to listen for any unusual sounds before continuing down the trail. They arrived at the edge of the village and began the nearly two-mile hike across open rice paddies toward their destination — a small fishing village on a tributary of the Perfume River just south of Hue, the Imperial City of South Vietnam.

It was a moonless night as they approached the village where the Viet Cong were believed to be gathering. As the squad entered the village, the stillness of the night was broken when the jungle tree line erupted in automatic-weapons fire. At the same time, a “daisy chain” of mines exploded, throwing three Marines at the end of the squad like rag dolls into the rice paddy.

When the firing stopped, stillness fell upon the trail and, like ghosts, the Viet Cong emerged from the jungle, moving quickly among the bodies of the dead or dying Marines, taking their weapons and equipment and disappearing into the night. The three Marines blown off the trail slowly regained their senses, two of whom had taken the brunt of the explosions. Shock gave way to pain and they began moaning. One 18-year-old Marine had somehow been spared and was only dazed by the force of the explosion. He called for the reaction force that was always on standby at the nearby base of Phu Bai.

After what seemed like hours but was less than 30 minutes, a helicopter landed a platoon of Marines who set up a perimeter on the trail. The two wounded men were flown to Da Nang and the third man, just a kid really, was taken back to the base at Phu Bai. The next day, the surviving Marine was told the other two Marines did not make it. It was a guilt he would carry for nearly 23 years.

It was 1989. The young Marine, now 41, stood on the rice paddy dike where his friends had died. With his family and a dozen other Vietnam veterans in over 100-degree heat, they held a memorial service for the fallen whose memory he had carried with him every day for the past 23 years. While the impromptu ceremony was being held, a crowd of villagers quietly gathered around this group of Americans, the first they had seen since the end of the war in 1975.

An elderly woman carrying a little girl came and stood next to the Marine. Through an interpreter, he told the local villagers that his friends had died here and he had come to honor their memory. The older woman walked up to the Marine and laid her head against his chest and wept. She too had suffered loss during the war, so they cried together.

Today, I am 71, but the memory of Vietnam is with me forever. I still remember Vietnam, but by God’s grace, He has taken away the pain I once had from those memories. What I do remember is the brave men I fought alongside and the love they had for their country.

A favorite saying I saw all over during my tours in Vietnam was, “To those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor that the protected will never know.”

Memorial Day is not about mattress sales, cookouts, discounted linens, or an extra day off work. It is a day to pause and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend the freedoms that America has unlike any other nation on the face of the earth. They earned your remembrance, because freedom has a price tag!

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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

  • IMPEACHMENTGATE “Wells Fargo and TD Bank have turned over President Trump’s financial records to the House Financial Services Committee … amid a contentious legal battle between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats seeking access to sensitive files.” (Fox News)
  • GOOD RIDDANCE: “Theresa May has said she will quit as Conservative leader on 7 June, paving the way for a contest to decide a new prime minister. In an emotional statement, she said she had done her best to deliver Brexit and it was a matter of ‘deep regret’ that she had been unable to do so.” (BBC)
  • ASSANGE INDICTMENTS: “A federal grand jury in Virginia has indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on 18 charges, including conspiracy to obtain national-security secrets and leaking classified information.” (National Review)
  • FARMER AID: “The Trump administration will provide $16 billion in aid to help keep farmers afloat as they reel from the yearlong trade war between the U.S. and China, the latest sign that the world’s two largest economies are still far from striking a long-term trade agreement.” (NPR)
  • DISASTER AID: “Republicans, Democrats, and President Trump have reached an accord on disaster relief after eight months of partisan infighting. … The measure will provide money for states and Puerto Rico for hurricanes dating back to 2017 as well as wildfires, tornadoes, and recent Midwest flooding.” (Washington Examiner)
  • EARMARK BAN RENEWED: “The Senate Republican Conference adopted an amendment Thursday, pushed by Sen. Ben Sasse, to retain the Senate’s ban on spending earmarks.” (The Daily Signal)
  • MEDIA MANIPULATION: “According to a new Harvard/Harris poll, most Americans wildly underestimate the number of illegal aliens entering the United States each month, and one reason could be the news media’s reluctance to disclose the real statistics.” (NewsBusters)
  • ENVIRONMENTAL DEFIANCE: “Chinese factories are pumping tons of dangerous chemicals into the air despite an international agreement intended to halt the destruction of the ozone layer, a study released on Wednesday said. Two provinces in China have been cited as a source of a spike in emissions of a globally banned chemical chlorofluorocarbon.” (New York Post)
  • WEINSTEIN SETTLEMENT: “Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein has reached a tentative $44 million settlement with numerous women accusing him of sexual assault and harassment.” (The Hill)
  • POLICY: Network matching: an attractive solution to surprise billing (Health Affairs)
  • POLICY: Assessing the Trump team’s Afghanistan peace plan (American Enterprise Institute)
  • HUMOR: Trump announces more aid for farmers hurt by tariffs passed to raise money for aid used for farmers hurt by previous tariffs (The Babylon Bee)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Rich Lowry: “The Democrats could slap together a couple of hearings with law professors and former prosecutors and impeach Trump tomorrow if they wanted to. This is what makes the current situation so crazy. Trump, let alone Attorney General William Barr or McGahn, isn’t the one stopping Congress from pursuing impeachment. They have no control over it whatsoever. Impeachment is entirely a matter for the House, which is entirely under the control of Pelosi. She, not the president, is ‘obstructing’ an impeachment inquiry in the literal sense of not letting one go forward, despite many of her members wanting one and despite the Trump DOJ handing her a potential road map in the form of the 448-page report. If this is a cover-up, it is the worst executed cover-up of all time.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The more that is given, the less people will work for themselves, and the less they work, the more their poverty will increase.” —Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi (1828-1910)

For the record: “The Democrats are a one-note samba. They have no positive agenda — nothing constructive in their arsenal. They have staked their entire political fortune on destroying, discrediting and removing Trump, and, having failed at every turn, they are in denial. They will not give up the ghost.” —David Limbaugh

The BIG Lie: “While Trump stonewalls the public from learning the truth about his obstruction of justice, Trump and Barr conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies. The coverup has entered a new and dangerous phase. This is un-American.” —House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff

Can’t imagine why: “I think I can say at this point that [Robert Mueller] wants to testify in private.” —House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler

Friendly fire: “I think the only reason not to act [on impeachment] is because of politics. Patriotism says act.” —Rep. Steve Cohen in a not-so-subtle jab at Nancy Pelosi

Non compos mentis: “[Michael Avenatti] showed a Trump-like mastery of the media last year. I think there’s been a lot of introspection in newsrooms about the reasons for that mastery.” —CNN’s Brian Stelter

And last… “Democrats only want access to classified documents when they hurt the President. They only want transparency as long as it doesn’t expose their lies. They don’t want what’s best for America. They only want what’s worst for Donald Trump.” —Charlie Kirk

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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.


Join our editors and staff in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families. We also humbly ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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