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Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 1, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck.” —Thomas Jefferson (1822)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

About the Altered Whistleblower Reporting Form

Last week, a writer with The Federalist published a potential bombshell story alleging that “the intelligence community secretly” changed a whistleblower complaint form to eliminate “a requirement that whistleblowers provide direct, first-hand knowledge of wrongdoings.” The story ignited a firestorm of accusations after President Donald Trump demanded to know “WHO CHANGED THE LONG STANDING WHISTLEBLOWER RULES JUST BEFORE SUBMITTAL OF THE FAKE WHISTLEBLOWER REPORT? DRAIN THE SWAMP!”

On Monday, top House Republicans sent a letter to Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson seeking answers: “Based on the language on [the May 24, 2018] form, it appears that the requirement for first-hand information has been an ICIG policy regardless of how a whistleblower makes an urgent concern report. Curiously the urgent disclosure form that now appears on the Office of the Director of National Intelligence website has recently changed and no longer contains this explicit first-hand information requirement. … The timing of the removal of the first-hand information requirement raises questions about potential connections to this whistleblower’s complaint. This timing, along with numerous apparent leaks of classified information about the contents of this complaint, also raise questions about potential criminality in the handling of these matters.”

There has been pushback over the Federalist’s claim of an altered document, including a statement from the office of the ICIG noting that the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA) does not specify that a whistleblower must have direct knowledge to make a complaint. Furthermore, the statement says, “The whistleblower stated on the form that he or she possessed both first-hand and other information.” No specific date was given for when the original form was altered.

The questions are these: When was the form altered and why? Could it have been altered to either A) fast-track the complaint to Congress, or B) provide greater anonymity protection to the whistleblower, or both? But the biggest question is this: Who is this “whistleblower”? This is especially relevant because the whistleblower’s complaint of a quid pro quo has been refuted by the transcript of the phone call in question. This should have ended the issue, but now the Democrats are only doubling down even harder on impeachment.

Meanwhile, as more information comes to light, it appears clear that Trump and other administration officials were, and remain, intent on investigating the origins of the Democrats’ first Russia-collusion political charade. Both Trump’s calls to the Ukrainian president and his communication with Australia’s president bear this out. He’s not seeking dirt on his 2020 campaign rivals; he’s looking into who is responsible for obstructing his presidency from Day 1.

Finally, what do Democrats actually have here? The best they’ve got — and this is stretching it to the extreme — is a violation of campaign-finance laws. In other words, they have nothing to justify their impeachment demands. However, the Democrats aren’t worried about facts or even laws. It’s all about projection of the narrative that Trump is corrupt and unfit for office, and Democrats aim to keep that narrative front and center through the 2020 election campaign. And they can depend on their Leftmedia propagandists to do just that — as is apparent in the recent media-driven shift in public sentiments about impeachment.

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Impeachment Coup and Civil War?

Donald Trump shared a warning from Pastor Robert Jeffress about a “Civil War-like fracture” given that Democrats are, again, undertaking what has all the markings of a coup d'état to remove him from office. The point was to assert that using deep-state operatives to overthrow a presidency is tantamount to insurrection.

Jeffress said, “Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats can’t put down the impeachment match. They know they couldn’t beat [Trump] in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, and they’re increasingly aware of the fact that they won’t win against him in 2020, and impeachment is the only tool they have to get rid of Donald Trump. And the Democrats don’t care if they burn down and destroy this nation in the process.”

In fact, he continued, “I don’t pretend to speak for all Evangelicals, but this week I have been traveling the country and I’ve literally spoken to thousands and thousands of evangelical Christians. I have never seen them more angry over any issue than this attempt to illegitimately remove this president from office — overturn the 2016 election and negate the votes of millions of evangelicals in the process. And they know that the only impeachable offense President Trump has committed was beating Hillary Clinton in 2016. That’s the unpardonable sin for which the Democrats will never forgive him.” Jeffress predicted, “If the Democrats are successful in removing the president from office, I’m afraid it will cause a Civil War-like fracture in this nation from which this country will never heal.”

Democrats have only two things to offer in 2020: socialist redistribution of wealth by way of an endless list of “free” stuff in return for votes, and impeachment to appeal for votes from those suffering severe Trump Derangement Syndrome. And, on top of that, they are openly proposing to confiscate guns. Unfortunately, these combined threats to Liberty make the reference to “civil war” relevant.

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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

ANOTHER LEAK: “President Trump pushed the Australian prime minister during a recent telephone call to help Attorney General William P. Barr gather information for a Justice Department inquiry that Mr. Trump hopes will discredit the Mueller investigation,” The New York Times reports, citing “two American officials with knowledge of the call.” However, as Erick Erickson points out, “If the President of the United States wants to ask Australia to help the Attorney General investigate 2016, it is his right to do so. This is an absolute nothing burger of a story.” He adds, “I have never bought into the coup rhetoric, but this is starting to look like the President and intelligence services are at war with each other.”

GIULIANI SUBPOENAED: “Democrats on Monday subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer who was at the heart of Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden’s family. … With Congress out of session for observance of the Jewish holidays, Democrats moved aggressively against Giuliani, requesting by Oct. 15 ‘text messages, phone records and other communications’ that they referred to as possible evidence. They also requested documents and depositions from three of his business associates.” (Associated Press)

DOWN ANOTHER MAN: “Republican congressman Chris Collins, one of the first members of Congress to throw his support behind President Trump, reportedly resigned his congressional seat Monday a day before he is expected to plead guilty to insider-trading charges he had previously vowed to fight. Collins, 69, is accused of working with his son, Cameron Collins, to avoid more than $700,000 in losses using confidential information about the Australian company Innate Immunotherapeutics.” (National Review)

FAKE HATE CRIME: “The family of a young girl who claimed to be the victim of a hate crime at a Virginia Christian school where Karen Pence teaches admitted Monday that the girl invented the incident. The 12-year-old girl told her grandmother Wednesday that three boys in her grade at Springfield’s Immanuel Christian School held her down and cut her dreadlocks while using the racially charged term ‘nappy.’ … Major news outlets emphasized that Second Lady Karen Pence is an art teacher at Immanuel Christian’s elementary school.” (The Washington Free Beacon)

HONG KONG BATTLEFIELD: “Hong Kong police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at pro-democracy protesters throwing petrol bombs in the Asian financial hub on Tuesday as its Chinese rulers celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. … The South China Morning Post and television reports said at least one person was wounded in the chest by police firing live rounds.” (Reuters)

MANUFACTURING CONTRACTION CONTINUES: “A gauge of U.S. manufacturing slumped to the lowest level in more than 10 years in September as exports dived amid the escalated trade war. The U.S. manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index from the Institute for Supply Management plunged to 47.8% in September, the lowest since June 2009, marking the second consecutive month of contraction. Any figure below 50% signals a contraction.” (CNBC)

POLICY: Releasing more call transcripts will cripple future presidents (Issues & insights)

POLICY: Funding by crisis doesn’t have to be the status quo (The Heritage Foundation)

HUMOR: BOMBSHELL: Shadowy spies say Trump has overdue library book (The Daily Wire)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Stephen Moore: “The whole history of modern times is for human ingenuity, innovation and technological know-how to combat the challenges that mankind confronts. If you think global warming is a challenge, thank God you don’t have to deal with smallpox, typhoid, tuberculosis, polio or the plague. The black death in Europe killed about 1 of every 4 residents. Now, that is an apocalypse. What the young lack today is perspective. AOC thinks she has problems? It wasn’t so long ago that as many as 1 in 10 women died while giving birth. I always marvel that the ‘woe is me’ refrain from the young today is often recited as they tap on their $600 iPhones (charged with the electric power they want to do away with) and they carry around their caramel lattes from Starbucks. I tell my kids that without fossil fuels, they may not have power for their computer games. That gives them pause. … Our responsibility as parents, teachers, clergy and lawmakers is to teach the children how to solve problems effectively, not to preach the end of the world.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “The march of freedom and democracy … will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people.” —Ronald Reagan

Non compos mentis: “Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!” —Donald Trump

For the record: “Media right now: It was wrong of the [White House] to try to protect sensitive phone calls with foreign leaders, and by the way, now we are going to publish leaked versions of all his phone calls with foreign leaders.” —Rich Lowry

Friendly fire: “If we do [impeachment], the country is going to be paralyzed. … It’s going to be paralyzed for a very long time and all the oxygen in the room is going to be taken by this.” —Bill Maher

Friendly fire II: “That’s why I won’t be a candidate of the Democratic Party. Because [gun confiscation is] so impractical. I don’t know how you’d even do it. It would be such a rallying cry for people to say, ‘They’re overstepping their bounds.’ That is not the way to win this issue.” —Michael Bloomberg

Dezinformatsiya: “What happens when a Democratic speaker of the House — third in line to the presidency, according to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 — is suddenly thrust into the Oval Office, succeeding a Republican president and vice president who resign, embroiled in scandal? Such a scenario is attracting attention."—The Washington Post in a piece titled, "President Pelosi? It could happen.”

The BIG Lie: “The reality is that Republicans are going to cheat [in the 2020 election]. They’re going to try to keep people away from the polls. They’re going to move polling places. They’re going to do a whole variety of things.” —Eric Holder

Alpha Jackass: “Governor [Greg] Abbott hates trees because one fell on him.” —Travis County (TX) Judge Sarah Eckhardt (“Abbott was paralyzed from the waist down at age 26 when a tree fell on him while he was jogging on a windy day in Houston in 1984. He has used a wheelchair ever since.” —The Federalist’s John Daniel Davidson)

And last… “I genuinely feel sorry for you if you’re getting your ‘news’ from The NY Times or Washington Post. I’m not kidding. They’ve gone all-in in a Pravda-like propaganda effort in order to help the Democrats bury their role in Spygate, the biggest political scandal of our generation.” —Dan Bongino

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TODAY’S MEME

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TODAY’S CARTOON

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