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Mid-Day Digest

Jun. 14, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“Public affairs go on pretty much as usual: perpetual chicanery and rather more personal abuse than there used to be.” —John Adams (1826)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Hypocrite Dems Cry Foul Over Foreign Oppo-Research

“Somebody comes up and says, ‘Hey, I have information on your opponent.’ Do you call the FBI? … This is someone that said, ‘We have information on your opponent.’ Oh, let me call the FBI. Give me a break. Life doesn’t work that way,” President Donald Trump stated in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. Bill Clinton’s communications director-turned “journalist” was questioning whether Trump would immediately call the FBI should a foreigner offer information on his political opponent. Trump added, “I think maybe you do both. There’s nothing wrong with listening. If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go, maybe to the FBI.”

Once again the Democrats and their Leftmedia cohorts rushed to their well-worn fainting couches. Trump would accept foreign governments influencing America’s elections, they all shrieked. Never mind the fact that neither Trump nor Stephanopoulos ever said the opposition information was coming from a foreign government or agent. No matter; leftists simply assumed intent.

On Friday, Trump sought to clarify his statements, saying, “If I thought anything was incorrect or badly stated, I’d report it to the attorney general [and] the FBI. I’d report it to law enforcement, absolutely.” Obviously, Trump was not advocating breaking the law, and he is correct in noting that listening to someone, even a foreigner, is not a crime.

But leave it to Democrats to only see criminal intent. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed this proves Trump “does not know right from wrong,” and that “everybody in the country should be totally appalled by what the president said.” Please. And of course, “It’s just one more thing that we have to justify impeachment — when and if it comes,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) vacuously insisted.

The truth is this was just Trump being Trump, speaking his mind freely as an everyman and not as a carefully honed politician. It’s what endeared him to his supporters, but it has also given his opponents ammunition to attack him.

However, what makes the Democrats’ latest conniption fit over Trump’s comments so asinine is the rank hypocrisy.

It was Hillary Clinton and the Democrat Party who actually sought and paid for foreign opposition research against Trump. Foreign agent Christopher Steele was hired by Team Clinton, and he was responsible for creating the infamous anti-Trump dossier that was then used by the FBI to spy on the Trump campaign. This was in turn used as the impetus for creating Robert Mueller’s investigation into the false Trump/Russia collusion narrative. And even after it was proven fallacious, it’s still being used by Democrats as an excuse to justify their calls for impeachment.

So who is it that doesn’t know right from wrong?

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Pompeo: Iran Attacked Those Tankers

Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of Iran Thursday, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laid the blame squarely on Iran.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” Pompeo declared Thursday. “This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.”

Moreover, Pompeo added, “This is only the latest in a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests, and they should be understood in the context of 40 years of unprovoked aggression against freedom-loving nations.”

That unprovoked aggression may come with consequences. Pompeo said, “These unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran. … Iran is lashing out because the regime wants our successful maximum-pressure campaign lifted. No economic sanctions entitle the Islamic republic to attack innocent civilians, disrupt global oil markets and engage in nuclear blackmail.”

In any case, Pompeo concluded, “The international community condemns Iran’s assault on the freedom of navigation and the targeting of innocent civilians. … The United States will defend its interests and stand with our partners and allies to safeguard global commerce and regional stability.”

As for where this fits in the chronology of recent events, The Wall Street Journal editorial board observes, “The assault on the tankers validates the U.S. decision the past month, met with skepticism at the time, to send the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln into the Gulf along with destroyers and cruisers, in the expectation that Iran was planning an attack in the region. Indeed it was.”

And a footnote: One of the responding U.S. Navy vessels was the USS Bainbridge. Students of history will recall that the Bainbridge also hosted the SEALs who killed the Maersk Alabama hijackers. Seems like the Revolutionary Guard is playing with fire — especially considering they’re literally caught on video released by U.S. Central Command.

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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

  • INCOHERENT ON DEBT: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the Democratic-controlled House won’t pass must-do legislation to increase the government’s borrowing cap until the Trump administration agrees to boost spending limits on domestic program,” reports the Associated Press. So Democrats won’t agree to incur more debt until they can spend a ton more money?
  • SARAH SANDERS EXITS: “White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is leaving the Trump administration at the end of June, President Donald Trump announced Thursday. Sanders became the administration’s deputy press secretary after Trump took office in 2017 and was later promoted to press secretary after Sean Spicer left the role.” (The Daily Caller)
  • TRUMP WON’T FIRE CONWAY: “President Donald Trump said on Friday that he has no plans to fire top aide Kellyanne Conway after … the U.S. Office of Special Counsel sent a report to Trump on Thursday that said Conway repeatedly violated the Hatch Act by criticizing Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity.” (Politico)
  • PELOSI WHINES ABOUT MCCONNELL: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) presented a visual representation of the Senate’s "legislative graveyard” at a press conference Thursday morning. She ripped Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R., Ky.) refusal to put several Democratic initiatives up for a vote in the legislative chamber.“
  • FACEBOOK PRIVACY: "Facebook is "worried” about emails which might link company founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg to the company’s “questionable” privacy practices,“ PJ Media’s Stephen Green notes. Remember all the way back in March when Zuckerberg promised to make Facebook "a privacy-focused communications platform”? Good times…
  • FREE SPEECH: “Author and clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan B. Peterson confirmed the beta testing of an upcoming free speech-friendly platform he’s created called Thinkspot, which he teased during a podcast last week.” (The Daily Wire)
  • A DIFFERENT SANCTUARY: “A Texas border city with a population of about 2,200 has declared itself a sanctuary for the unborn and has banned abortion.” (Fox News)
  • TIFF WITH IRAN: “Iran on Friday dismissed U.S. claims that its forces attacked two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, calling the allegations ‘alarming’ just hours after the U.S. Central Command released a video it said showed Iranian vessels retrieving an unexploded mine from one of the damaged ships.” (The Washington Post)
  • NEW ZEALAND MASSACRE TRIAL: “An Australian man pleaded not guilty Friday to 92 charges stemming from a massacre in two mosques in Christchurch three months ago and will stand trial next May.” (NBC News)
  • DEMO 2020 CLOWN CAR UPDATE: “The Democratic National Committee has announced that 20 candidates have qualified for the party’s first presidential debates later this month.” (Associated Press)
  • POLICE UNDER FIRE: “There was a riot in Frayser, Tennessee, a suburb just north of Memphis, on Wednesday night in which 36 officers and deputies were injured,” Hot Air notes. “It all started with an officer-involved shooting of a 20-year-old man named Brandon Webber.”
  • POLICY: A plausible blueprint for fiscal sustainability (Manhattan Institute)
  • POLICY: U.S. economy produces more jobs and higher wages, somehow capitalism stays broken (American Enterprise Institute)
  • HUMOR: Covert Navy SEAL team really starting to regret wearing these pride month uniforms (The Babylon Bee)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Erick Erickson: “Last week, The New York Times ran a story about a study on Google and the press. The story claims that Google made $4.7 billion off the content created by American news outlets. … In this case, the narrative is that social media is killing newspapers. Newspapers are in trouble, but that is different from news being in trouble. In many cases, local television and radio stations have stepped up to cover local government as newspapers declined. Newspapers should be an indispensable part of every community, but some people just do not value them anymore, and that is not Google or Facebook’s fault. … The American media has largely embraced a progressive, anti-conservative and explicitly anti-Trump bias. Stories about the President, such as the Fort Sill story, are put in the worst possible framing, and stories about Democrats are routinely downplayed or ignored. The American media used to believe in telling facts and truth. Now, the press narrates stories that are borderline fables to help their partisan friends.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “According to the Founders’ vision, American political life was to be vibrantly local and limited in scope. Our contemporary obsession with national politics, the natural result of the centralization of enormous political power in Washington, was not what they intended.” —Robert Curry

Political futures: “Until the conservative movement makes a serious, long-term effort to train young people to manage the federal bureaucracy competently until it can be reduced, the swamp will keep winning.” —Lyman Stone

Good for the goose… “I’m hoping that some of my Democratic colleagues will take more seriously that Christopher Steele was a foreign agent paid for by the Democratic Party to gather dirt on Trump.” —Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) after Trump said he’d “take it” if a foreign government offered dirt on a political opponent

Free stuff isn’t free: “Are you truly free if you are unable to go to a doctor when you are sick, or face financial bankruptcy when you leave the hospital? Are you truly free if you cannot afford the prescription drug you need to stay alive? Are you truly free when you spend half of your limited income on housing, and are forced to borrow money from a payday lender at 200 percent interest rates? Are you truly free if you are 70 years old and forced to work because you lack a pension or enough money to retire?” —Bernie Sanders in his speech defining socialism

Complaints, she has a few: “Leader McConnell seems to take great pride in calling himself ‘The Grim Reaper.’ It’s part of his political campaign, it’s part of the pride he takes as leader of the Senate. … [Many Democrat proposals] won’t even get a vote.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Nailed it: “For the first time in my memory, I agree with Nancy Pelosi. … I am indeed the ‘Grim Reaper’ when it comes to the socialist agenda that they have been ginning up over in the House … that would turn us into a country we have never been.” —Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Blind squirrel finds a nut: “The Supreme Court has gotten things horrifyingly wrong in the past. That’s why Congress must preserve our power and independence: we are part of the check + balance.” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (“All of us should remind her and her comrades of this truth the next time they suggest that, say Roe v. Wade is ‘settled law.’” —Peter Heck)

Non Compos Mentis: “Asylum seekers have heartbeats. So take your fake ‘pro-life’ hypocrisy and shove it where the sun don’t shine.” —Alyssa Milano (“Nobody is advocating for killing asylum seekers with heartbeats. But abortion activists ARE advocating for killing unborn babies with heartbeats.” —Liz Wheeler)

And last… “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. Good for you. Getting outraged and paying attention are both stupid.” —Frank J. Fleming

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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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