Mid-Day Digest

Jun. 19, 2019


“Unequivocal in principle, reasonable in manner, we shall be able I hope to do a great deal of good to the cause of freedom & harmony.” —Thomas Jefferson (1801)

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‘Yuge’ Florida Crowd Celebrates Trump’s 2020 Launch

President Donald Trump officially announced his “Keep America Great” reelection bid to a packed house in Orlando, Florida, yesterday. Trump strolled to the podium amid the deafening chants of “USA” from the filled-to-capacity 20,000-seat Amway Center arena. He thanked the crowd for coming and quipped that if two or three seats had been empty, “The fake news will say, ‘Headlines: he didn’t fill up the arena.’” Trump thrives in such an environment, touting his administration’s accomplishments while blasting his opponents to adoring fans.

“We stared down the unholy alliance of lobbyists and donors and special interests who made a living bleeding our country dry,” Trump asserted, once again embracing the image of the anti-establishment Washington outsider. Setting aside his expansion of the ethanol boondoggle, he’s right. He added, “The swamp is fighting back so viciously and violently. For the last two and a half years, we have been under siege.”

Trump heaped criticism on the Democrats, charging that the creation of Robert Mueller’s investigation was their seeking a “do-over” of the 2016 election. He highlighted the extreme Left’s takeover of the Democrat Party, noting, “There’s so many great things we could do right now in a bipartisan way. But they’ve been afflicted with an ideology sickness that protects foreign borders but refuses to protect our borders; that promotes jobs overseas but allows our factories to close; that promotes democracy abroad but shreds our Constitution at home; that declares support for free speech and free thought but relentlessly suppresses them both; and that constantly savages the heroes of American law enforcement. We don’t want that.”

However, his most critical statements against the Democrats were reserved for the border crisis. “On no issue are Democrats more extreme and more depraved than when it comes to border security,” he correctly argued. “The Democrat agenda of open borders is morally reprehensible. It’s the greatest betrayal of the American middle class — and frankly American life — our country has as a whole.”

He then called out the Democrats running for president: “In the ultimate act of moral cowardice, not one Democrat candidate for president — not a single one — has stood up to defend the incredible men and women of ICE and Border Patrol. The job they do is incredible.” Clearly, Trump still sees illegal immigration as a primary election issue.

Trump also warned, “A vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American Dream.” He then urged, “Vote, vote, vote. This time, we’re going to finish the job.”

All told, it was a successful opening rally for Trump. The huge crowd will gin up excitement within his base in Florida, a major swing state he will need to hold onto. On a final note, Trump’s campaign raked in $25 million in donations yesterday alone.

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Shanahan Out, Esper in at Pentagon

There’s upheaval at the Pentagon after acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan resigned and withdrew from the consideration for the full post Tuesday. Informally announced as President Donald Trump’s nominee to permanently fill the role vacated by James Mattis last December, Shanahan’s FBI background check turned lengthy, likely because of domestic violence in his home. Rather than put his family through that trauma again, Shanahan withdrew. Trump tapped U.S. Army Secretary Mark Esper to serve as acting DOD secretary.

Shanahan’s story is an odd one. He and his ex-wife both told police in 2010 about domestic violence on the part of the other. He still insists he “never laid a hand on” her, and she was the only one arrested. And in another incident in 2011, his then-17-year-old son hit his mother (Shanahan’s former wife) in the head with a baseball bat, leaving her unconscious in a pool of blood, with a skull fracture and other injuries requiring surgery.

In any case, it’s hard to determine who knew what when in the vetting process. Democrats and the Leftmedia are having a field day slamming Trump for poor vetting, and even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of Trump’s biggest Senate allies, said, “We need to do a better job” on vetting nominees. However, he said, “That’s over. I appreciate his service, but it’s now time to find somebody else.”

That somebody else may permanently be Esper. Like Shanahan, he’s a former defense contractor, but Esper has served as Army secretary since 2017. And Fox News notes his extensive military service: “Esper graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1986 — the same year as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He received his commission in the infantry and completed Ranger and Pathfinder training. Esper served on active duty for over a decade. In the early 90s, he served with the 101st Airborne Division in the Gulf War. He later commanded an airborne rifle company in Europe. Following his service on active duty, he served in both the Virginia and District of Columbia National Guard and Army Reserve. He retired in 2007.”

Esper also seems to have his pulse on the needs facing the U.S. military in light of the rise in power and challenge from both China and Russia. So assuming his background checks out, Esper could serve the Pentagon well.

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


  • EPA’S REGULATORY ROLLBACK: The Washington Post reports that the EPA “finalized its biggest climate policy rollback Wednesday, requiring the U.S. power sector to cut its 2030 carbon emissions 35 percent over 2005 levels.” The Post laments that “The Affordable Clean Energy rule … demands much smaller carbon dioxide reductions than the industry is already on track to achieve, even without any federal regulation.” So why is it complaining?
  • NEW YORK’S REGULATORY ENLARGEMENT: Meanwhile, “Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said … he has reached an agreement with legislative leaders over a bill to slash New York’s greenhouse gas emissions, setting the stage for one of the most significant state climate victories since President Trump took office,” E&E News reveals. “The legislation calls for reducing emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030 and 85% by 2050. The remaining 15% of emissions would be offset, making the state carbon neutral. The bill would also require that all electricity generation come from carbon-free sources by 2040.”
  • TRADE TALKS REKINDLED: “China and the United States are rekindling trade talks ahead of a meeting next week between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, cheering financial markets on hopes that an escalating trade war between the two countries would abate.” (Reuters)
  • BORDER DEAL: “The top members of the Senate Appropriations Committee have struck a deal on President Trump’s request for more funding tied to the U.S.-Mexico border after weeks of stalemate… The deal … would provide Trump more than $4.5 billion for the border funding package.” (The Hill)
  • BORDER COURTS: “The Trump administration, looking for ways to alleviate the crush of asylum-seeking migrants at the United States’ southern border without being granted additional resources, is considering opening a series of ‘immigration courts’ at key border checkpoints to speed the asylum process by offering quick adjudication of asylum claims.” (The Daily Wire)
  • DRUG BUST: “Federal authorities seized 15,000 kilos of cocaine, worth as much as $1 billion, at a Philadelphia shipping port, officials said Tuesday.” (NBC News)
  • DEMS REPUDIATE TRANSGENDER TROOP BAN: “The House voted Tuesday to block the Pentagon’s new transgender troop policy, taking a swipe at President Donald Trump’s move to ban transgender service in the military. During debate on a $1 trillion spending package, lawmakers voted 243-183 to adopt an amendment from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) to block funding to implement the new policy.” (Politico)
  • MAINTAINING THE STATUS QUO: “The House on Tuesday rejected an amendment that would have limited the government’s ability to collect Americans’ personal communications without a warrant. … Congress last year reauthorized Section 702 of FISA with few alterations after a bitter battle between privacy activists and security hawks in both chambers.” (The Hill)
  • POLICY: Can Trump really deport millions of illegal immigrants? (The Daily Signal)
  • POLICY: Sorry, banning plastic bags won’t save our planet (Bjorn Lomborg)
  • HUMOR: Harvard teaches incoming students valuable life lesson that people can never change (The Babylon Bee)

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

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Ben Shapiro: “The commentariat calling for [Kyle] Kashuv’s expulsion was loudly decrying Harvard for having barred Michelle Jones, who killed her own 4-year-old, just two years ago. The problem for Kashuv is that he is conservative; the old racist slurs were merely a means of damaging him. There is little question that were pro-gun control David Hogg the Parkland survivor at issue rather than Kashuv, a little more grace might have been applied here. Second, public life comes with inherent risks and thus should be avoided by rational actors. Kashuv would have been admitted to Harvard if he had never engaged in activism: He scored a 1550 on his SAT and graduated second in his class. No one on the radical left or alt-right would have tried to destroy his academic career; no one would have bothered. Kashuv dared to speak up politically and thus became a target. … The social media mob was motivated not by a desire to purify by our politics … but by a desire to damage the Parkland student they just didn’t like.”


For the record: “When Republicans say outlandish things, the media lectures us on inciting violence. When a sitting Democratic member of Congress accuses Republicans of operating concentration camps, the media lectures us on how she didn’t mean death camps like the Nazis, just concentration camps.” —Erick Erickson

The bottom line: “Trump remains the chaotic figure he always was, and that has always put people off. But he has to convince the public that the nation’s trajectory under his leadership — so long as you ignore the frenzied and often fake day-to-day news coverage — is just fine. To the extent that he can make that case to voters, he will gather support for 2020. And if he gets distracted with other irrelevant messages, he will fail.” —Washington Examiner

You’ve been warned: “First thing I would do as president is eliminate the president’s tax cut.” —Joe Biden

Belly laugh of the week: “I believe that our border is as secure as it ever has been.” —Julian Castro

Braying Jenny: “I hope Iran chooses a different path. But let’s be clear: Trump provoked this crisis. He has no strategy to contain it, he’s burned through our friends and allies, and now he’s doubling down on military force.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Village Idiots: “Don’t you think Jesus would agree that a woman has the right to choose what to do with her body?” —Madonna

Alpha Jackass: “My immediate reaction when I really dug into [Kyle Kashuv’s racist comments is that] these are the social media postings we see of a shooter and we ask, ‘Where were the signs?’ … The young man deserves redemption. But he also deserves a closer look if someone with this profile should be able to purchase a firearm under the gun laws in the United States.” —MSNBC contributor David Jolly

And last… “Many of the same people who shrug off Iran’s and Hamas’ genocidal ambitions against Jews while calling for boycotts against the Jewish state of Israel are saying that temporary detention of illegal immigrants is akin to the Holocaust.” —Ben Shapiro

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.



For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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