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Mid-Day Digest

Sep. 19, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.” —John Marshall (1819)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Colbert Advises Warren on Tax Increases

Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren was a guest this week on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show,” where the host surprisingly pressed her on how she planned to pay for her Medicare for All plan. The interaction went as follows:

Colbert: You keep being asked in the debates: “How are you going to pay for it? Are you going to raise the middle-class taxes?”

Warren: So, here’s how we’re going to do this: Costs are going to go up for the wealthiest Americans, for big corporations—

Colbert: Taxes is what you mean by costs?

Warren: Yeah, and hard-working middle-class families are going to see their costs go down.

Colbert: But will their taxes go up?

Warren: But, here’s the thing—

Colbert: But, here’s the thing. I’ve listened to these answers a few times before and I just want to make a parallel suggestion for you about how you might defend the taxes that perhaps you’re not mentioning in your sentence. … Isn’t Medicare for All like public school? There might be taxes for it, but you certainly save a lot of money on sending your kids to school, and do you want to live in a world where kids aren’t educated? Do you want to live in a world where your fellow citizens are dying, even if it costs a little bit of money?

Warren: So, I accept your point and I believe in your point. Health care is a basic human right. We fight for basic human rights, and that’s Medicare for All. Everyone gets covered.

While the late-night comedian ventured where no mainstream-media journalists have dared to tread, it would be a mistake to interpret Colbert’s intention as an effort to knock Warren. If anything, Colbert was serving as a campaign consultant, recognizing the fact that Warren’s claim that only the wealthy and Big Business would foot the bill for Medicare for All is simply not a practical or viable solution. Ergo, Colbert’s advice to Warren to put a positive spin on raising middle-class taxes.

There may also be another reason why Warren is reluctant to connect the middle class to tax hikes to pay for Medicare for All. Warren has also promised to repeal President Donald Trump’s tax cuts, which she fallaciously asserts benefited only the wealthy and Big Business, as a means of funding her climate agenda. Add this to the list of all the other “universal” items on Warren’s socialist platform and it quickly becomes apparent that everyone’s taxes will increase to pay for all this “free stuff.” Colbert knows that Warren, should she win the Democrat nomination, will be forced by Trump to come clean on the fact that her Big Government plans will require tax increases on everyone. So he’s trying to prepare her with the right spin.

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Majority of Americans Believe the Future Is Bright

With the incessant negative drum beat coming from much of the media, it’s not difficult to assume that most Americans believe that our nation’s best days are behind us. However, that sentiment, while understandable, doesn’t appear to comport with a recent survey. According to a new Scott Rasmussen poll, the majority of Americans (59%) believe that the nation’s best days are ahead of her. Even more strikingly, “65% believe positive change in America begins outside of politics.”

Rasmussen further notes, “There is no gender gap on these attitudes” and “the views are shared across generational, racial, partisan and ideological lines.” This news is a breath of fresh air given just how negative the mainstream media’s coverage of the nation has been following President Donald Trump’s election victory.

And the reason for this majority optimism may be found in the fact that the majority of Americans are simply not obsessed with national news, especially since it has become so politically focused. As Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw speculates, “It sounds like a lot of the country is tuning all of this stuff out. Those of us caught up in the 24/7 news cycle may have this thrust in our faces on an hourly basis, but there are other Americans who simply aren’t being all that affected. You might even have seen them. They’re the ones outside on sunny days mowing their lawns, enjoying a cold beverage on the porch with a neighbor or heading out to the ballpark or the fishing hole. You know… those kinds of weirdos.”

Ronald Reagan infectiously shared his optimistic vision and hope for our nation when he famously asserted, “America’s best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead.”

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

BACKGROUND CHECKS: “Representatives from the White House and the Department of Justice met Tuesday with senior Republicans to discuss expanding background checks for the sale of firearms within the parameters of legislation first introduced by Senators Joe Manchin (D., W.V.) and Pat Toomey (R., Pa.). The relevant legislation seeks to expand background-check requirements to include ‘all advertised commercial sales, including sales at gun shows,’ according to an idea sheet first obtained by The Daily Caller. Such background checks would be conducted ‘either through an FFL [Federal Firearm Licensee] or through a newly-created class of licensed transfer agents.’” (National Review)

TRUDEAU’S HYPOCRISY: According to the Associated Press, “Canadian leader Justin Trudeau’s campaign was hit Wednesday by the publication of a yearbook photo showing him in brownface makeup at a 2001 costume party. The prime minister apologized and said ‘it was a dumb thing to do.’” Political commentator Matt Walsh observes, “Personally, I don’t give a damn what costume anyone wore 20 years ago. But, my Lord, the audacity to go around screaming ‘racist’ at everyone and everything while you know you have this in your background. That’s what gets me. That’s why Trudeau deserves to be pilloried.” He also points out, “Remember when Megyn Kelly was fired for simply talking about blackface?”

“AN ACT OF WAR”: Fox News reports: “U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday doubled down on accusations Iran is responsible for the weekend bombing on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, telling reporters that the strike was ‘an act of war.’ Pompeo, speaking from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, added that even if the ‘fraudulent claims’ of responsibility by the Yemen Houthi rebels were true, ‘it doesn’t change the fingerprints of the [Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] as having put at risk the global energy supply.’ His comments come hours after President Trump tweeted that he had ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to ‘substantially increase sanctions’ on Iran, amid escalating tensions between the two countries.” Meanwhile, Sen. Tim Kaine — in true Trump Derangement Syndrome fashion — claimed, “We are provoking Iran every day with the sanctions and with military action, and they’re responding.”

IMMIGRATION-COURT BACKLOG: “The backlogged deportation docket pending in U.S. immigration courts surpassed one million cases in August, despite the Trump administration’s varied attempts to cut back on asylum claims. The backlog this year has grown at a record pace, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, which tracks immigration court data. The figure has nearly doubled since President Trump took office in January 2017, when about 542,000 cases were pending.” (The Wall Street Journal)

LAND TRANSFER: “The Department of the Interior announced Wednesday they had transferred over 500 acres of federal land to the Army to build more barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. … Lands that were transferred over include parts in El Paso, Texas; San Diego, California; and Yuma, Arizona. The Department of Defense has allocated $3.6 billion to fund 11 barrier projects at the southern border following President Trump signing Presidential Proclamation 9844 in February.” (Washington Examiner)

INTEREST-RATE CUT: “The Federal Reserve approved a much-anticipated quarter-point interest rate cut Wednesday but offered few indications that further reductions are ahead as members split on what to do next. Following its two-day policy meeting, the central bank announced that it would take down its benchmark overnight lending rate to a target range of 1.75% to 2%. That comes nearly two months after the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee went ahead with its first cut in 11 years.” (CNBC)

LEFTCOAST POLLUTION: “President Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One Wednesday that within a week, his administration will slap San Francisco with a notice of environmental violations related to the city’s homelessness problem. … Trump said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will give San Francisco a notice related to the ‘tremendous’ amount of pollution flowing into the ocean from the city’s storm sewers, Reuters reported. He also said hypodermic needles also littered the sewers there and were polluting the sea.” (Fox News)

CLIMATE CHURCH: NBC News asks Americans to confess their climate-change sins (The Daily Caller)

POLICY: The California vehicle-emissions waiver and political disinformation (American Enterprise Institute)

POLICY: Medicare for All is already looking more expensive (Foundation for Economic Education)

HUMOR: All the other states beg California to add them to travel ban (The Babylon Bee)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Jeff Jacoby: “I would suggest that when all is said and done, major parties are primarily about winning elections — and that their ‘bedrock principles’ are usually softer and more malleable than party members think. Faithful Republicans and Democrats generally associate their parties with certain political values, and often imagine that those values go to the party’s essence. At the Massachusetts Democratic Convention on Saturday, Senator Elizabeth Warren exhorted delegates to remember that ‘Democrats have been on the front lines in the fight for social, racial, and economic justice.’ In a speech to Republican lawmakers the day before, Trump listed the values that he said unite Republicans — they ‘defend the Constitution … stand up for heroes of law enforcement … reject globalism … respect our great American flag.’ This is how most of us tend to think about parties: that they embody a core philosophy, which they win elections in order to implement. But the opposite is closer to the truth: Parties strive to win elections, and over time adapt their views and ideology to do so.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “He who does not bellow out the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.” —Charles Peguy (1873-1914)

The bottom line: “Personally, I don’t give a damn what costume anyone wore 20 years ago. But, my Lord, the audacity to go around screaming ‘racist’ at everyone and everything while you know you have this in your background. That’s what gets me. That’s why [Canadian Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau deserves to be pilloried.” —Matt Walsh on the latest brownface controversy

Nothing to see here… “I don’t want … anyone … to get into the fearmongering that some have fallen prey to saying that the government is going to come and take all of your guns. What we are talking about exclusively is weapons of war.” —Beto O'Rourke

Nope: “So you listen to a justice like Antonin Scalia — you know, not the most liberal justice who served on the Supreme Court — and even he found that there is no absolute guarantee under the Second Amendment and that the government does have a power to regulate those kinds of weapons that are extraordinarily unusual or deadly.” —Beto O'Rourke

Friendly fire: “I can tell you one thing: Beto O'Rourke’s not taking my guns away from me. You tell Beto that, OK?” —Sen. Joe Manchin

Trump Derangement Syndrome: “We are provoking Iran every day with the sanctions and with military action, and they’re responding. We need to stop the provocation, and the United States needs to return to trying to be a diplomatic broker. … The administration is lying to the American public by saying this was an unprovoked attack.” —Sen. Tim Kaine

The BIG Lie: “Experts estimate that [in 2016] anywhere from 27,000 to 200,000 Wisconsin citizen voters, predominantly in Milwaukee, were turned away from the polls… They showed up, but maybe they didn’t have the correct form of identification.” —Hillary Clinton

Braying jenny: “We’re not here today because of famous arches or famous men. In fact, we’re not here because of men at all.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren

And last… “According to a new … poll, Elizabeth Warren is closing in on Joe Biden. … She’s down just six points. If she gets any closer, she’ll be able to sniff his hair. … Bernie has fallen into a distant third place. Since July, he’s seen an increase of just 1%. Yet another reason for Bernie to hate the 1%.” —Stephen Colbert

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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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