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Mid-Day Digest

Sep. 23, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“My ardent desire is, and my aim has been … to comply strictly with all our engagements foreign and domestic; but to keep the U States free from political connections with every other Country. To see that they may be independent of all, and under the influence of none. In a word, I want an American character, that the powers of Europe may be convinced we act for ourselves and not for others; this, in my judgment, is the only way to be respected abroad and happy at home.” —George Washington (1795)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

‘Whistleblower’ Targets Trump but Hits Biden

Why does the Ukraine phone-call scandal feel eerily similar to Russia-gate? It’s almost as if those same anti-Trump players are hitting the replay button. An unnamed member of the U.S. intelligence community “blows a whistle” against President Donald Trump over a private phone conversation he had with a foreign leader, alleging that Trump made a “problematic promise.” Ah, the whiff of collusion with a foreign leader, this time with Ukraine’s president, as Trump targeted a political opponent. And, as with the Russia hoax, Democrats and the Leftmedia are all too eager to condemn Trump as guilty as they demand his impeachment without any evidence yet produced.

For starters, it has now been learned that this “whistleblower” did not have direct access to the phone conversation in question; rather, CNN reports, he or she “learned information that was not obtained during the course of their work.” So, this individual blew the whistle over information he or she learned secondhand rather than through direct knowledge. Consider us skeptical. How did this “whistleblower” come across this information in the first place? Should it not be concerning to every American that our president cannot have confidence that his private phone conversations remain private — not only to prevent them from being exploited by his political opponents but also for the sake of national security?

And now turning to the actual developing scandal that has Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden squarely in its crosshairs. A scandal that, ironically, he brought to light himself.

Back in May, to demonstrate his tough foreign-relations bona fides, Biden regaled us with the tale of how, as vice president, he demanded that Ukraine fire its then-top prosecutor for what Biden alleged was significant corruption. Biden warned that the U.S. would withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees if Ukraine did not follow through on his demand. Lo and behold, the prosecutor was fired and Ukraine got its loan deal.

That’s where Biden conveniently ended his story, but here’s where the twist comes in: The prosecutor in question was at the time leading an investigation into one of Ukraine’s largest natural-gas companies, Burisma Holdings, which just happened to have sitting on its board of directors one Hunter Biden, Joe’s son. After the prosecutor was fired, the investigation was ended. There is at the very least an air of corruption swirling around this event and it’s not likely to dissipate anytime soon.

Finally, who’s the biggest winner in all this? Elizabeth Warren, who is certain to take advantage of Biden’s suddenly exposed position as she trumpets herself as the Great Corruption Fighter of our time.

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PSA: Stop Exploiting Children for Leftist Agenda

Sandy Hook Promise describes itself as “a national non-profit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Based in Newtown, Connecticut, our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation by providing programs and practices that protect children and prevent the senseless, tragic loss of life.” The deranged perpetrator of that massacre slaughtered 20 kids, six adults, and his own mother. It was obviously a poignant moment in the national debate about school shootings.

Each year, Sandy Hook Promise releases a video to educate parents and children about warning signs and so forth related to such shootings. The 2016 video received a billion views. Sounds helpful, right?

Not in the latest case. “Back-to-School Essentials” begins with kids sharing their excitement about new supplies for class. But the mood gradually shifts to depict students using those supplies during an actual shooting — fleeing an assailant, hiding in a classroom with scissors, using a long sock as a tourniquet, or texting mom from a bathroom stall. By the end, it’s practically a horror movie. And thus it becomes the latest episode of leftists exploiting children to advance a political agenda. The anti-gun Brady Campaign has made similar videos, but guns aren’t the only issue in play. Last Friday, for example, students across the nation skipped class to protest the supposed climate crisis — also at the behest of leftist activists.

A Public Service Announcement should provide viewers with useful information. This Sandy Hook Promise PSA merely scares viewers with an emotional look at frightened children and then directs them to a website. That website feature a large “DONATE NOW” button at the top, and it’s full of phony statistics provided by, among others, Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety — a leftist gun-grabbing group. It’s all meant to direct fearful parents to support “sensible” new gun laws being pushed by the Democrat Party.

On a related note, active-shooter drills are becoming more prevalent in schools around the country. They evoke the old “duck and cover” drills of the Cold War era, but with two very important distinctions. First, they terrorize children by creating needless panic. Second, they might sow the wrong seeds in the minds of disturbed individuals who can see just how effectively they could gain notoriety by attacking a school.

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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

PELOSI DANGLES IMPEACHMENT: “In a letter to lawmakers Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a warning about the Trump administration’s continued efforts to block acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from turning over a whistleblower complaint that reportedly involves the president,” Axios reports. According to Pelosi, “If the Administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the President, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation.”

SPEAKING OF DIVERSIONARY TACTICS… According to Fox News, “Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, embroiled in a blackface picture scandal, on Friday pledged to ban military-style assault rifles in the country’s most ethnically diverse city in a bid to get his campaign back on issue.” The blackface kerfuffle is not what we in our humble shop would even consider a “scandal.” But what is a scandal is leftist politicians’ deeply entrenched hypocrisy. Once that hypocrisy — which can include cooking 10,500 steaks while simultaneously dissuading meat consumption — goes public, diversion is the only resort.

ASYLUM DEAL: “The Trump administration signed an asylum agreement Friday with El Salvador, giving the U.S. the right to repatriate migrants who cross through El Salvador to reach the U.S. and who then request asylum here. Officials hope the agreement, along with a similar one signed with Guatemala over the summer, will change the incentives that have spurred this year’s illegal immigration surge at the border.” (The Washington Times)

TROOPS DEPLOYED: “The United States is deploying military forces to the Middle East after [the recent] drone attacks on major oil sites in Saudi Arabia that the administration of President Donald Trump has blamed on Iran. ‘The president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense,’ U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said at a news conference Friday. Answering reporters’ questions about the deployment, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the troop deployment as ‘modest’ and ‘not thousands.’” (NBC News)

IRAN RESPONDS: “Iran’s president has warned American and other foreign forces to ‘stay away’ from the region, as Tehran paraded long-range missile[s] capable of reaching American bases. Hassan Rouhani said the presence of such troops in the Gulf has always brought ‘pain and misery’, in a speech made at an annual military parade to commemorate the war with Iraq. Mr Rouhani spoke in response to an announcement made by the US on Friday that it was sending more troops to Saudi Arabia after an attack on Saudi oil facilities both nations blame on Iran.” (The Telegraph)

NINTH CIRCUIT OVERHAUL: “President Donald Trump named two nominees for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, tapping a federal prosecutor and a conservative appellate lawyer for the west coast court. The nominees, Patrick Bumatay and Lawrence VanDyke, are likely to elicit strong opposition for Democrats. If confirmed, the pair would raise the number of Trump’s 9th Circuit appointees to nine, with one other nomination pending.” (The Daily Caller)

WALMART PANDERS: NPR reports that Walmart “will stop selling electronic cigarettes, at namesake stores and Sam’s Club locations. The nation’s largest retailer is responding to growing health concerns around vaping, especially among young people.” The ridiculousness of the anti-vaping crusade is supported by the fact that Walmart will continue to sell tobacco products that kill hundreds of thousands of people every year.

EAT MORE CHICKEN: “Chick-fil-A has more than doubled its annual sales since gay rights advocates called for a boycott of the chicken chain restaurant after it was revealed nearly a decade ago that the company donated to organizations that opposed same-sex marriage. In 2018, the company had $10.5 billion in total sales, becoming the third-largest chain in the nation behind Starbucks ($20.5 billion) and McDonald’s ($38.5 billion). It was a 16.7% increase in sales from the year prior.” (Washington Examiner)

POLICY: We must not tolerate Iranian aggression against the U.S. or Israel (Fox News)

POLICY: The climate strike is all about indoctrination, not science (New York Post)

HUMOR: iOS 13 “Dark Mode” is just blackface for your phone and should be classified as a hate crime to use (NPC Daily)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Peggy Noonan: “Here are the reasons, in no certain order, that the accusations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh will never stop and his foes on the progressive left never let up. Because progressives have to prove they were right to advance the sexual-assault accusations of Christine Blasey Ford. … Because people become fixated on their targets. Because #MeToo continues as a potent cultural force. Because as the court assumes an ever more powerful role in American life, confirmation hearings and their aftermath will become more brutal and never-ending. Because the authority and legitimacy of future rulings that are not pleasing to progressives … can be undermined through footnotes that say ‘the 5-4 decision was joined by a justice credibly accused of sexual assault.’ Because the steady drum of allegations diminishes not only Justice Kavanaugh’s stature but that of the court itself, which will be helpful when Democrats attempt to pack it. Because the crazier parts of the progressive left increasingly see politics as public theater, with heroes and villains, cheers and hisses from the audience, and costumes, such as outfits from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ Because modern politics is, for the lonely and strange on all sides, entertainment and diversion. … Because many progressives believe deep in their hearts that conservative men are both sexually obsessed and repressed, that conservatism is a way of looking at the world in which women are lesser, mere prey…. Because where there’s smoke there must be fire. … So it will never end.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “With all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope. We have every right to dream heroic dreams.” —Ronald Reagan

Good question: “If the Dems actually think the world is going to end, shouldn’t they be making big compromises with with Republicans to stop that? ‘We’ll give you all free AR-15s in exchange for a carbon tax!’” —Frank J. Fleming

Friendly fire: “We need to start holding you Democrats accountable, because they’ve been taking black people’s votes and they only talk to black people every four years. All of these politicians only talk to black people every four years because they want their vote.” —Charles Barkley

Friendly fire II: “At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior — it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him for it.” —Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Hypocrite-in-chief: “The president asked a foreign power to help him win an election. Again.” —Hillary Clinton, who hired a foreign entity in an attempt to win the 2016 election

Braying jenny I: “I do think that we will have to pass some laws that will have clarity for future presidents. [A] president should be indicted if he’s committed a wrongdoing — any president. There is nothing anyplace that says the president should not be indicted. That’s something cooked up by the president’s lawyers.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Braying jenny II: “The Founders could never suspect that a president would be so abusive of the Constitution of the United States, that the separation of powers would be irrelevant to him and that he would continue, any president would continue, to withhold facts from the Congress, which are part of the constitutional right of inquiry.” —Nancy Pelosi

Braying jenny III: “If the administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the president, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation.” —Nancy Pelosi

And last… “Environmentalism really has become a full blown religion. It has its core beliefs, its apocalyptic vision, its call to repentance, its rules and moral codes, its priests and priestesses (@AOC, etc), its prophets (Gore, etc), its child saviors (Thunberg).” —Matt Walsh

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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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