Mid-Day Digest

Sep. 12, 2019


“When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.” —Thomas Paine (1776)

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‘Some People Did Something,’ ‘Airplanes Took Aim’

Earlier this year, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) spoke at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) fundraiser, where she described the 9/11 terrorist attacks with some of the most callous and dehumanizing language we can imagine from a member of the United States Congress. Nearly 3,000 Americans were slaughtered by 19 Islamist jihadis on 9/11, but in praising CAIR for standing up for Muslims and “all of us [who] were starting to lose access to our civil liberties” in the aftermath, Omar said of 9/11 that “some people did something.”

Most Americans were appalled at that description and rejected it at the time. The 9/11 remembrance ceremonies yesterday provided another opportunity.

Nicholas Haros Jr., speaking at Ground Zero about the murder of his mother that day, had some choice words for Omar. Haros said, “‘Some people did something,’ said a freshman congresswoman from Minnesota. … Today I am here to respond to you. Exactly who did what to whom? Madam, objectively speaking we know who and what was done. There is no uncertainty about that. Why your confusion?” After recounting the events of that horrific day, Haros said rhetorically, “Is that clear?”

He then said to the victims’ families gathered at the memorial, “But as to whom, I was attacked, your relatives and friends were attacked, our constitutional freedoms were attacked, and our nation’s founding on Judeo-Christian principles [was] attacked. That’s what some people did. Got that now? We are here today, congresswoman, to tell you and ‘The Squad’ just who did what to whom. Show respect in honoring them, please. American patriotism and your position demand it.”

In a related bit of dehumanizing spin, the flagship newspaper of the Leftmedia, The New York Times — yes, the one based in New York — marked the day with this: “18 years have passed since airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center. Today, families will once again gather and grieve at the site where more than 2000 people died.”

Were those planes on autopilot and the whole thing was just a terrible accident? The Times’s editors did get the message, changing that to read, “Eighteen years have passed since terrorists commandeered airplanes to take aim at the World Trade Center and bring them down.”

That’s more accurate, though it still only makes an ambiguous reference to “terrorists” with no reported motive. But the original transparent effort to direct attention away from the jihadi perpetrators is akin to the Leftmedia’s propaganda narrative about guns committing crimes. Where media outlets do pin the blame on an assailant, it’s always a “gunman” so as to emphasize the tool he used rather than his own twisted motivations. Sept. 11 was no more an “airplane problem” than mass shootings are a “gun problem.”

In short, words mean things, and when discussing the ideologically driven murder of thousands of people, it’s critical to get those words right.

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SCOTUS Backs Trump on Asylum Rule

President Donald Trump was handed a big win by the Supreme Court on Wednesday when the justices terminated all nationwide injunctions that prevented the administration from enforcing its new asylum rule. The rule in question bans asylum requests from individuals who crossed an adjacent country to the U.S. without having first sought asylum in the adjacent country.

The rule was added as a temporary measure, explained acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, to “reduce a major pull factor driving irregular migration to the United States and enable DHS and DOJ to more quickly and efficiently process cases originating from the southern border, leading to fewer individuals transiting through Mexico on a dangerous journey.”

On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar’s nationwide injunction against Trump’s asylum rule could only apply to the region of the Ninth Circuit, not the entire nation. However, the next day Judge Tigar, a Barack Obama appointee, reissued his nationwide injunction arguing that it was necessary to “maintain uniform immigration policy.”

It’s important to note that SCOTUS’s ruling was not on the merits of Trump’s asylum rule; rather it was over the legality of a district judge’s authority to issue nationwide injunctions. The case now returns to the Ninth Circuit, which is less of a bad thing than it used to be. That court has received quite the facelift since Trump’s election. As Fox News reports, “The San Francisco-based appellate court has seven Trump-appointed federal judges — more than any other federal appellate bench. The radical transformation of the court, which has 29 seats, is largely the result of Trump’s push to nominate conservative judges and bypass traditional consultations with Senate Democrats. Thirteen of the 29 seats are now occupied by GOP-appointed judges. Last year, that number stood at six.”

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Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

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HISTORIC MILESTONE: “The U.S. Senate confirmed President Trump’s 150th judicial nominee Wednesday, helping to fulfill the president’s campaign promise to remake the federal bench with a conservative bent. Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham called the number of confirmations a ‘historic milestone.’ ‘These conservative judicial appointments will impact our nation for years to come,’ the South Carolina Republican said.” (The Washington Times)

GESTURE OF GOOD WILL: “President Trump offered an olive branch to Beijing in the U.S.-China trade war. Less than a month after his administration committed to a hike in tariffs on Chinese goods on Oct. 1, the president announced a ‘gesture of good will’ Wednesday by saying he would delay the extra taxes by two weeks. … Prior to Trump’s tweets Thursday evening, China made a gesture of its own by waiving some tariffs on U.S. goods.” (Washington Examiner)

CLEAN WATER RULE REFORM: “The Trump administration is officially rolling back an Obama-era environmental rule that threatened farmers and other landowners with significant fines or jail time if they failed to comply with onerous regulations on waterways. The Clean Water Rule, more commonly referred to as the ‘Waters of the US’ rule or WOTUS, was finalized by the Obama administration in 2015. The rule attempted to clarify which waters were subject to the regulations of the Clean Water Act, but in many cases ended up confusing landowners even further.” (The Daily Caller)

TAKING AIM AT NATIONWIDE INJUNCTIONS: “Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R., N.C.) introduced legislation Wednesday to end nationwide injunctions after a California judge took action to stop a change in the Trump administration’s asylum policy from going into effect. The legislation, titled the ‘Nationwide Injunction Abuse Prevention Act,’ would prevent individual district court judges from issuing nationwide halts to new policies.” (The Washington Free Beacon)

E-CIGARETTE BAN: Time magazine reports: “President Donald Trump called vaping a ‘problem’ and his health secretary said the government would force companies to remove flavored vaping products from the market after reports of hundreds of U.S. cases of a mysterious illness related to e-cigarette devices. … More than 450 cases of the respiratory condition were reported as of Sept. 6, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The severity of the cases vary, but six people have died.” The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh observes, “The few deaths from vaping are almost all tied to unlicensed, blackmarket products. A ban on vaping will only drive more people towards precisely the kind of vaping that’s causing the problem in the first place. The government is once again solving a problem by creating one.”

DEM DEBATE: Seven questions heading into tonight’s 10-candidate Democrat debate (Associated Press)

VIRTUE SIGNALING: One hundred forty-five CEOs implore Senate leaders to act on “gun violence,” saying doing nothing is “simply unacceptable” (The Washington Post)

OPIOID SETTLEMENT: “Purdue Pharma, maker of the painkiller OxyContin, has reached a tentative comprehensive settlement with 22 state attorneys general and thousands of local governments and tribes that had sued the drug manufacturer, charging that it catalyzed the opioid crisis. The $10 billion to $12 billion settlement reportedly requires the dissolution of the Stamford, Conn. company, which is accused of helping jumpstart the opioid epidemic and is expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy soon. A new company will be created, which will still sell OxyContin but also contribute funds to combat the opioid epidemic. The company’s owners, the Sackler family, will pay $3 billion of the settlement out of their personal $13 billion fortune over the next seven years and give up control of Purdue Pharma.” (National Review)

FED CRITIQUE: “U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on the ‘boneheads’ at the Federal Reserve to push interest rates down into negative territory, a move reluctantly used by other world central banks to battle weak economic growth that risks punishing savers and banks’ earnings in the process.” (Reuters)

POLICY: Why did the deficit just top $1 trillion? (Issues & Insights)

POLICY: The deeply destructive climate-change litigation game (RealClearMarkets)

HUMOR: New NRA survey: Average American has more guns than “The Matrix” lobby scene (IMAO)

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

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Jeff Jacoby: “In my view, the United States should be unambiguous in its support for democracy and human rights in Hong Kong. There is room for reasonable debate about how far to go in backing the protesters or confronting Beijing. But when liberty is being choked off by a dictatorship, US policy should never be one of neutrality. Barack Obama’s greatest failure in world affairs was his paralysis in the face of atrocious persecution by tyrants. For fear of being ‘seen as meddling,’ he declined to support brave prodemocracy protesters in Iran, or to act when Syria crossed his ‘red line’ and murdered civilians with chemical weapons. George H.W. Bush similarly blundered in 1989 when he refused to utter any word of encouragement for the throngs of Chinese citizens peacefully protesting for more freedom — or any word of condemnation when the tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square, and thousands were killed or maimed. US leaders who share this reluctance to champion democratic ideals and promote freedom abroad think of themselves as realists, but a short-term focus on security and stability has never been in America’s long-term interest. On the contrary: An explicit policy of expanding liberty and the rule of law ultimately keeps America safer than excusing or accommodating despotic regimes.”


Insight: “Freedom can’t be kept for nothing. If you set a high value on liberty, you must set a low value on everything else.” —Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Upright: “I don’t think there’s any evidence [that Russia stole the 2016 election]. And, you know, I really don’t think that’s a good conversation to have. I think that really does devalue the people in Wisconsin and Michigan and others who decided to vote for President Trump. Whether you like this president or not, whether you believe that he should have been president or not, let’s give the credit to the Americans who went out and voted for somebody who they thought would bring change.” —Condoleezza Rice

Friendly fire: “What does it say that Fox News is nicer to me than the lefties are? What does it say that the conservatives are nicer to me?” —Marianne Williamson

Belly laugh of the week: “We do not [discriminate].” —Facebook executive Monika Bickert regarding anti-conservative prejudice

The BIG lie: “Unlike Donald Trump, I know what it’s like to be in a family that lives paycheck to paycheck.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders

Non compos mentis: “Sometimes, life comes along and imitates art instead of the other way around. And as I was re-writing this book, all at once I find out we’re locking little kids up in cages on the border and I’m thinking to myself, ‘This is like my book.’” —Stephen King

Non sequitur: “The president is right to take action on e-cigarettes. Six people have died, and that is a tragedy. We need to know more about all of this, but we cannot ignore what we know about other threats to the public as well. 38 people died in mass shootings in this country just last month. What about them?” —CNN’s Don Lemon

Braying jackass: “[Trump] now wants to ban [flavored e-cigarettes] to protect children from being harmed or killed. And I think that’s good. I’m fine with it. You know what else harms and kills children? Assault rifles do. … Maybe if the NRA starts flavoring those you’ll ban them too.” —Jimmy Kimmel

And last… “The few deaths from vaping are almost all tied to unlicensed, blackmarket products. A ban on vaping will only drive more people towards precisely the kind of vaping that’s causing the problem in the first place. The government is once again solving a problem by creating one.” —Matt Walsh

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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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