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Mid-Day Digest

Aug. 28, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“We are, heart and soul, friends to the freedom of the press. It is however, the prostituted companion of liberty, and somehow or other, we know not how, its efficient auxiliary. It follows the substance like its shade; but while a man walks erect, he may observe that his shadow is almost always in the dirt. It corrupts, it deceives, it inflames. It strips virtue of her honors, and lends to faction its wildfire and its poisoned arms, and in the end is its own enemy and the usurper’s ally.” —Fisher Ames (1807)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

NYT: Don’t Expose Our Journalists’ Racist Comments

In the latest example of leftist hypocrisy, The New York Times ran a story Monday entitled, “Trump Allies Target Journalists Over Coverage Deemed Hostile to White House.” The story behind that nefarious title boils down to the Times arguing that conservatives and supporters of President Donald Trump should do as the Leftmedia says, not as the Leftmedia does. In other words, what’s fair game for the Leftmedia should be off-limits for those on the Right.

The Times writes, “A loose network of conservative operatives allied with the White House is pursuing what they say will be an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile to President Trump by publicizing damaging information about journalists.” And what is the source of this damaging information on biased “journalists”? Why, it’s their very own public statements.

For example, a senior political editor at the Times, Tom Wright-Piersanti, was recently exposed for having a history of expressing anti-Semitic sentiments. One of his social-media comments from years past came back to bite him, leading to his demotion. Wright-Piersanti had written, “I was going to say ‘Crappy Jew Year,’ but one of my resolutions is to be less anti-Semitic. So… HAPPY Jew Year. You Jews.” Or how about this example out of CNN, whose Mohammed Elshamy tweeted, “More than 4 jewish pigs killed in #Jerusalem today by the Palestinian bomb explode.” It’s important to reiterate that these statements were public on social-media platforms.

It’s not just social-media pronouncements of racism, either. Remember, this is the same New York Times that recently launched its racist and historical-revisionist 1619 Project, asserting that America’s “true founding” was upon the arrival of slaves on the continent.

So, while the scribes and hacks at the Times make a living off of exposing statements made by politicians, celebrities, and other journalists, it is indeed ironic that they themselves cry foul when the standard they apply to others is applied to them.

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Sanders Praises Red Chinese but Credits Capitalism

Cranky Bernie Sanders lost himself at least one vote after his campaign team stopped at a famous California restaurant in San Francisco for dinner. John Konstin, the owner of John’s Grill — which opened back in 1908 and was famously used as a backdrop of the 1941 movie “The Maltese Falcon” — was none too impressed with the socialist Democratic presidential candidate, stating, “It was all very nice, except for cranky Bernie. He was just rude, not friendly. I think he was hungry and just didn’t want to be a politician. He lost my vote.”

Contrast Sanders’s behavior to that of President Donald Trump, who has been described as warm, friendly, and engaging on the campaign trail. As The Atlantic reported back in 2016: “The 70-year-old Republican nominee took his time walking from the green room toward the stage. He stopped to chat with the waiters, service workers, police officers, and other convention staffers facilitating the event. There were no selfies, no glad-handing for votes, no trailing television cameras. Out of view of the press, Trump warmly greets everyone he sees, asks how they are, and, when he can, asks for their names and what they do.”

Perhaps Sanders’s crankiness and rudeness toward the peasantry can be explained by his longtime affinity for totalitarian regimes — which should give every Liberty-loving American serious pause. The man who honeymooned in the Soviet Union is now crediting China’s communist regime for pulling millions of Chinese out of poverty. In a recent interview, Sanders asserted, “China is a country that is moving, unfortunately, in a more authoritarian way in a number of directions. But what we have to say about China, in fairness to China and it’s leadership, is, if I’m not mistaken, they have made more progress in addressing extreme poverty than any country in the history of civilization, so they’ve done a lot of things for their people.”

What Sanders failed to mention was what China did to lift millions of people out of poverty. The reality is that, in 1979, Beijing abandoned socialist economic controls and started to embrace capitalism, which, distorted though it was, quickly ignited a massive economic turnaround — leading to a rapid reduction in the nation’s poverty rate. Ironically, Sanders’s mention of China’s pulling people out of poverty undercuts his own claims that socialism is the way to greater prosperity and economic freedom.

Finally, it’s worth pointing out what Sanders conveniently ignores — Chinese communist dictator Mao Zedong’s solution to poverty was to force a socialist economy onto the populace at the expense of an estimated 65 million lives. As The Heritage Foundation notes, “Anyone who got in his way was done away with — by execution, imprisonment or forced famine.”

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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

GOD & COUNTRY SLUMPS: What are the consequences of a culture increasingly devoid of principles and spiritual meaning? The Wall Street Journal reveals the ominous corollaries: “The values that Americans say define the national character are changing, as younger generations rate patriotism, religion and having children as less important to them than did young people two decades ago, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey finds.” The rate reductions range from nine to 16 percentage points. The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro deduces, “If you get rid of patriotism … get rid of religion … and then you get rid of even a care for the future … the question becomes: What exactly are the ties that are supposed to bind us together other than watching the Super Bowl on TV once a year?”

COLLEGE QUID PRO QUO: “The company that administers the SAT college admissions test is replacing the so-called adversity score with a tool that will no longer reduce an applicant’s background to a single number, an idea that the College Board’s chief executive now says was a mistake,” according to Time magazine, which goes on to explain that “the revised tool will provide a series of data points from government sources and the College Board that are seen as affecting education.” Dropping the adversity score is good. But replacing it with yet another affirmative-action tool is still beyond the scope of what the College Board’s role should be.

ANNALS OF THE ABSURD: “A federal appeals court has ruled that Idaho must pay for a transgender inmate’s surgery,” reports The Daily Caller. “Thirty-one-year-old Adree Edmo is a convicted sex offender who is scheduled to be released from jail in 2021. The sex offender was diagnosed with gender dysmorphia in 2012, identifies as a woman, and is currently housed in a men’s prison.” According to Edmo’s attorney, “They treat a prisoner with diabetes, or other chronic conditions. So, we have a medically recognized condition that’s very treatable and we have been trying to get her [sic] the treatment that she [sic] very much needs.” In other words, you will be made to care.

ABORTION RESTRICTIONS BLOCKED: “A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a Missouri law banning abortions after eight weeks, one of the most restrictive proposals nationwide. … ‘The various sections specifying prohibitions on abortions at various weeks prior to viability cannot be allowed to go into effect on August 28, as scheduled,’ U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs, a Carter appointee, wrote in an 11-page opinion. … Sachs wrote in his ruling that the law conflicts with Supreme Court precedent, which said that states could not interfere with a woman’s right to abortion until a fetus is viable after 24 weeks of pregnancy.” (The Hill)

NEW SECURITIES LEADER: According to CNSNews.com’s Terence Jeffrey, “Entities in Japan have surpassed entities in Mainland China as the top foreign holders of U.S. Treasury securities, according to the latest estimate published this month by the Treasury.” As of June, Japan owned $1,122,900,000,000 in Treasury securities, which is slightly higher than China’s $1,112,500,000,000. “That marked the first time since May 2017 that entities in Japan have owned more U.S. Treasury securities … than entities in China,” Jeffrey notes. Better an ally than an enemy.

SEEING THE WRITING ON THE WALL: “The maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, and its owners, the Sackler family, are offering to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits against the company for $10 billion to $12 billion,” NBC News reports. The timing isn’t coincidental. On Monday, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $572 million over its role in the opioid epidemic.

IMMIGRATION UPDATE: Twenty miles of new border barriers were authorized this week by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, according to The Hill. “The Army Corps of Engineers determined that lower-than-expected contract costs could allow for another 20 miles of barrier.” Meanwhile, The Washington Free Beacon reports, “Thousands of would-be illegal immigrants are being returned to await asylum hearings in Mexico as part of a program the Trump administration has credited with curbing the recent wave of family migration at the southwestern border.”

RUSSIA’S HARD FEELINGS: “Republican and Democratic U.S. senators said Russia refused to grant them visas for a visit to Moscow next week, amid disagreement within Washington and among U.S. allies over whether the country should be readmitted to the Group of Seven,” Reuters reveals. The two senators are Chris Murphy and Ron Johnson, both of whom sit on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Murphy and Johnson also support levying sanctions on Russia.

SCALIA NOMINATED: “President Trump on Tuesday officially tapped Eugene Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, to be his administration’s next secretary of labor. The president forecast his nomination of Scalia last month, just days after Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta resigned amid criticism of his kid-gloved handling of Florida prostitution charges against the late billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.” (National Review)

TFCC SINKS: CNSNews.com reports that the U.S. Navy’s Task Force Climate Change (TFCC) was surreptitiously shuttered in March. The decade-old TFCC was a pet project of Barack Obama tasked with gauging “how climate change affects or could affect Naval and national security operations.” Retired Navy Rear Admiral Jon White, a former TFCC director, groused, “It all goes back to the White House.” Yes it does. Because the Trump administration wants to focus on actual military readiness.

POLICY: The racist origins of minimum-wage laws (Foundation for Economic Education)

POLICY: Why climate action flopped at the G7 summit (National Review)

HUMOR: CNN apologizes to Stalin and Mao after comparing them to Trump (The Babylon Bee)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Ben Shapiro: “Two significant projects in recent years demonstrate the scale of China’s ambitions. First, there’s the so-called Belt and Road Initiative, in which China has helped subsidize building infrastructure in a bevy of countries throughout the world. Up to 68 countries are already taking part. The project is designed to place these countries in hock to the Chinese government; it’s also designed to maximize China’s naval power in the region. Then there is China’s heavy focus on government-subsidized building of 5G, using Huawei as the tip of the spear. China is offering 5G technology to developing countries at discounted prices, and those countries, hungry for the technology, have been accepting, likely at the cost of their own privacy and security. The goal, as always: maximization of China’s sphere of influence. … At least Trump recognizes the threat China represents. The chattering class has, for far too long, ignored that threat, to the detriment of the United States and her allies.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance.” —C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

The BIG lie: “If we give Trump four more years, the planet may never recover from his utter disregard for the climate crisis and scientific fact.” —Joe Biden

Race bait: “White folks are the reason we have institutional racism.” —Joe Biden

Grand delusions: “[The Chinese] have made more progress in addressing extreme poverty than any country in the history of civilization, so they’ve done a lot of things for their people.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders

Alpha jackass I: “Shortly after Trump took office, I noted that Republicans were preparing an ethnic cleansing. Now, in 2019, I stand by that statement.” —UT-Austin entomology instructor Alex Wild, who later declared, “Trump is a Nazi. At this point, you are too if you still support him.”

Alpha jackass II: “[Trump] does terrible things to people. The children who are being detained in cages are a good example. … If you think about it psychologically, this is what some of us once called soul murder. That’s what he’s doing to these children.” —retired Harvard psychiatrist Lance Dodes

With “friends” like these… “It’s not only that Trump has to lose, but that all his enablers have to lose. We have to collectively, in essence, burn down the Republican Party. We have to level them because if there are survivors — if there are people who weather this storm, they will do it again.” —Jennifer Rubin, “conservative” blogger for The Washington Post

Non compos mentis: “If someone calls it socialism, then we must compel them to acknowledge that the Bible must then promote socialism. Because Jesus offered free healthcare, and he never charged the leper a co-pay.” —Rev. William Barber (“The Bible teaches charity with one’s own time and money. Socialism teaches charity with other people’s time and money. So….not the same thing.” —Rep. Dan Crenshaw)

And last… “A woman in Washington has come forward and claimed that the woman’s husband wants a divorce because of his relationship with [Rep. Ilhan] Omar. … Omar already had fishy circumstances around a marriage and she likes to preen about the President’s behavior and morality. Given Dr. [Beth] Mynett’s allegations and Omar’s behavior, it is probably time for her to shut up and stop preening.” —Erick Erickson

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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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