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Mid-Day Digest

Sep. 13, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“On the other hand, the duty imposed upon him to take care, that the laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of office, that he will ‘preserve, protect, and defend the constitution.’ The great object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose; and without it, be the form of government whatever it may, it will be utterly worthless for offence, or defence; for the redress of grievances, or the protection of rights; for the happiness, or good order, or safety of the people.” —Joseph Story (1833)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Demo Debate: Gun Confiscation

Long story short, Democrats want to take away stuff you legally bought and “give” you other “free” stuff by taking more of your money through taxes to pay for it. And they want you to think them generous and caring for doing it.

The “shock” moment of the third Democrat presidential debate came from Beto O'Rourke, who ranted about the dangers of certain semiautomatic rifles before thundering, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15!” Leftists have become more candid in recent years about their desire to confiscate legally purchased rifles with certain cosmetic features, though they usually couch that gun grab in terms of a “buyback.” How the government would buy back something it never sold in the first place is unclear except by defining it as confiscation. So should we thank Beto for his honesty?

On the one hand, this is a loudmouth, no-shot candidate desperately seeking attention with a confiscation demand he’s made more than once. On the other hand, his repeated push could be the strategic play of the Democrat National Committee to float an unpopular proposal through a bottom-tier candidate to bring in the party’s collective constituencies to the ultimate nominee’s fold. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others have similarly spoken of confiscation in the past.

According to National Review, “Briscoe Cain, who represents the Houston area in the Texas state legislature, wrote ‘my AR is ready for you Robert Francis’ in a since deleted tweet sent Thursday night” in rebuttal to O'Rourke’s comments. Beto whined about that being “a death threat,” providing an example of why Cain “shouldn’t own an AR-15 — and neither should anyone else.”

Few are willing to say this, but what was Beto’s threat about confiscation except a death threat? What if American Patriots refuse to yield their legally purchased, Second Amendment-protected firearms to heavily armed government agents who knock down their doors to take them? Will those government agents say, “Ok, never mind; have a nice day”? Or will there be massive bloodshed?

And just like that, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15!” became the Republicans’ most effective option for a campaign ad.

As for the rest of the Democrat debate, it was pretty standard fare. Frontrunners Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders argued over how far left the party should go on Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and other leftist fever dreams. Meanwhile, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Julián Castro, and O'Rourke vied to achieve some sort of breakout moment, primarily by offering more “free” stuff, sanctimoniously lecturing about how awful America is, or by saying outrageous things about President Donald Trump (have you heard he’s a “racist”?).

For choice quotes, see our Short Cuts below. But we’ll highlight a final one here: “Anybody that does what [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro does is a vicious tyrant,” insisted Sanders, who also protested, “In terms of democratic socialism, to equate what goes on in Venezuela with what I believe is extremely unfair.” His protests notwithstanding, it’s not unfair. Sanders’s socialist salesmanship and his love affairs with China and the Soviet Union prove it. But you know what happened in Maduro’s socialist paradise of Venezuela? Gun confiscation.

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House Passes Sweeping Gun Regulations

The Democrat-controlled House passed three gun-control bills this week that Speaker Nancy Pelosi asserted were “a measure offering grants to states to set up ‘red flag’ laws, a prohibition on gun ownership for those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes, and a ban on magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.” Fortunately, none of these draconian bills will see the light of day in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Pelosi was asked whether she regretted not bringing the House back early from its August recess “to keep the flame lit on gun violence.” She became clearly agitated, firing back, “We did our job. The Senate was supposed to come back. Why don’t you all get that straight? The Senate did not come back to pass the bill.” After expressing her anger over the “silliness of these questions,” Pelosi bloviated, “Lives are at stake. Senator McConnell is standing in the way. … Don’t ask me what we haven’t done! We have done it! … Sen. McConnell hasn’t acted. Why don’t you go ask him if he has any regrets for all the people who died?”

Getting past Pelosi’s emotional theatrics, the reality is that Democrats are seeking to force McConnell into taking up some of their gun-control proposals. Ironically, even with these clearly Orwellian bills that Pelosi knows would never pass constitutional muster, Democrats are still backing away from passing their most loudly advocated gun-control measure: a ban on so-called “assault weapons.” Since Pelosi and company know that these bills amount to little more than anti-gun virtue signaling, why not go all the way and pass their “assault weapon” ban?

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DOJ Rejects McCabe’s Appeal, Indictment Imminent?

On Thursday, the Justice Department rejected an appeal by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to avoid indictment regarding charges that he lied to the DOJ inspector general. This decision opens the door for U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu to move forward on indictment of the infamous coup co-conspirator.

Recall that McCabe was fired back in March 2018 following the IG’s finding that he had lied about his involvement in leaking to The Wall Street Journal the fact that the FBI was investigating the Clinton Foundation. His rationale for leaking this information was likely an attempt to deflect the charge by then-candidate Donald Trump that McCabe was in the tank for Hillary Clinton because his wife had received significant contributions for her failed state senate run from longtime Clintonista and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

If indicted, McCabe’s defense will be that the only reason for it is because he has long been targeted by Trump, who pressured the DOJ to act. However, as former DOJ prosecutor Andrew McCarthy writes, “According to the IG, McCabe at one point dressed down the FBI’s chiefs in New York and Washington, as if their field offices were responsible for the leak. That is, he knew that he himself was the culprit, yet he tried to shift suspicion and blame to innocent agents. If proved, that is the kind of fact that would not endear McCabe to a jury. It would also make it hard for him to portray himself as a fundamentally honest guy who would never deceive other FBI agents.” In other words, irrespective of Trump’s opinion, the IG found significant grounds to recommend charges.

All that said, as former Rep. Trey Goudy cautioned, an indictment does not equate to guilt. “He’s presumed innocent,” Gowdy said. Everyone is entitled to the same due-process rights of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law. This obviously includes McCabe, but it also should serve as an encouragement to all that even those in high positions of government are not above the law. Well, except Hillary Clinton.

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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

9/11 JUSTICE: “The U.S. said Thursday that it will disclose the name of a Saudi citizen sought by lawyers for victims of the Sept. 11 attacks who want to link the kingdom to the terrorist plot. … Justice Department lawyers said in a court filing that the FBI will make the name available to a limited circle of people that includes lawyers for survivors and victims’ relatives as well as to attorneys for the Saudi government. The decision is a big step forward for Sept. 11 victims, who allege in a long-running lawsuit that Saudi Arabia provided support for the attacks.” (Associated Press)

UKRAINE AID: “The Trump administration has released $250 million in military aid to Ukraine that had been held up despite criticism that the money was desperately needed to deter Russian aggression and territorial expansion. That move came before a Senate Appropriations panel debate Thursday, when lawmakers from both parties were set to rebuke the administration.” (Associated Press)

SPEED BUMP: According to Reuters: “The Trump administration is moving forward with a plan to revoke California’s authority to set its own vehicle greenhouse gas standards and declare that states are pre-empted from setting their own vehicle rules, three people briefed on the matter said on Thursday. … The EPA in August 2018 proposed revoking a waiver granted to California in 2013 under the Clean Air Act as part of the Trump administration’s plan to roll back Obama-era fuel economy standards.” California was endeavoring to set fuel-efficiency standards for the entire country.

MAKING THE PROBLEM WORSE: “On Wednesday, California lawmakers approved AB 1482, which caps rent increases at 5 percent per year plus inflation, and prevents landlords from evicting tenants without citing a government-approved reason. … Economists and other policy experts have long criticized rent control for reducing the supply and quality of rental housing in the long-run.” (Reason)

DIABOLICAL: “During the preliminary hearing this week in the criminal case against undercover journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, a ‘semi-retired’ Planned Parenthood executive admitted that the abortion business had no ban on altering abortion procedures in order to better harvest baby body parts that would later be sold, allegedly for a profit.” (The Daily Wire)

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH: Christine Blasey Ford’s father supported Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation (The Federalist)

POLICY: Pension bailout bill would only worsen the underfunding crisis (The Daily Signal)

POLICY: Are we due for a global recession? (American Enterprise Institute)

HUMOR: Ocasio-Cortez proposes tuition-free school for children who can’t read good and wanna learn to do other stuff good too (The Babylon Bee)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

David Limbaugh: “It is undeniable that Jesus repeatedly and emphatically commands us to care for the poor, and Christians take these directives lightly at their own peril. But these commands are directed at individuals, not governments. They are anything but a mandate for socialism. Progressives, especially those contemptuous of biblical Christianity, have long claimed a monopoly on compassion for the poor and insisted conservatives are greedy and indifferent. Their support for an ever-growing welfare state has seductive appeal to those who equate government-coerced redistributions of wealth with personal charity. It is attractive to those who don’t understand or who willfully ignore socialism’s historical record of impoverishing and enslaving people. Conservatives don’t believe you show your compassion through virtue-signaling advocacy of large wealth transfers when those transfers reduce individual liberties and suppress economic growth and prosperity for all — not just the wealthy. There is nothing noble in using government force to equalize incomes, and nothing about it is consistent with the American idea.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “There used to be the old saying that … when white America catches a cold, African Americans get pneumonia. Well, it’s going the opposite way now. White unemployment is going down. African-American unemployment is going down. That’s a plus-plus that you can’t argue with. And as I said earlier, I give the president credit for doing positive things.” —Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson

Observations: “The AR-15 is owned by 20 million+ Americans. Democrats argue they can’t deport 21 million illegal aliens, but they’re going to confiscate semi-automatic rifles.” —Katie Pavlich

Circling the wagons: “[The American people] understand that impeachment is a very divisive measure, but if we have to go there, we’ll have to go there, but we can’t go there unless we have the facts, and we’ll follow the facts and we will follow the obstruction that the president is making … and make a decision when we’re ready.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Epic fail: “Play the radio, make sure the television — excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the phone — make sure that kids hear words.” —Joe Biden outlining his education plan

The BIG lie: “Comparing this president to the president we [had] is outrageous, number one. We didn’t lock people up in cages. We didn’t separate families.” —Joe Biden

Disputing two sides of the same coin: “In terms of democratic socialism, to equate what goes on in Venezuela with what I believe is extremely unfair.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders

Non compos mentis: “We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world. And yet we have the highest child-poverty rate of almost any country on Earth.” —Bernie Sanders

Alpha jackass: “On August 3rd, in El Paso, Texas, two things became crystal clear for me and I think produced a turning point for this country. The first is just how dangerous Donald Trump is. The cost and the consequence of his presidency. A racism and violence that had long been a part of America was welcomed out into the open and directed to my hometown of El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed, dozens more grievously injured by a man carrying a weapon he should never have been able to buy in the first place, inspired to kill by our president.” —Beto O'Rourke

Race bait I: “Anyone who supports [Trump] is supporting racism.” —Pete Buttigieg

Race bait II: “If I am president of the United States, we will create an office in the White House to deal with the problem of white supremacy and hate crimes. And we will make sure that systemic racism is dealt with in substantive plans from criminal-justice reform to the disparities in healthcare to even one that we don’t talk about enough, which is the racism that we see in environmental injustice in communities of color all around this country.” —Sen. Cory Booker

And last… “The science is pretty settled we have only 10 years left to stop climate change. I mean, people have been saying that consistently for decades.” —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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