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Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 16, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason.” —Benjamin Franklin (1735)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Demo Debate: Taking on the Constitution

Tuesday night’s Democrat presidential debate in Westerville, Ohio, featured 12 candidates — the most crowded presidential debate in history. The three-hour spectacle was full of lies, divisive politics, and unconstitutional proposals. As is our custom, we’ll digest a few of the lowlights.

(Full transcript here.)

Attacking the new frontrunner

Elizabeth Warren has steadily rallied support in the polls, even overtaking Joe Biden in several of late. That means she was finally attacked by almost every other candidate. The most effective attacks were over her incessant refusal to admit that middle-class taxes will go up to fund her version of Bernie Sanders’s $32 trillion Medicare for All.

“Costs will go up for the wealthy and for big corporations,” Warren repeated, while “for hard-working middle-class families, costs will go down.”

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg jabbed, “Your signature, senator, is to have a plan for everything, except this.” Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar was even harsher: “At least Bernie’s being honest here and saying how he’s going to pay for this and that taxes are going to go up. And I’m sorry, Elizabeth, but you have not said that, and I think we owe it to the American people to tell them where we’re going to send the invoice.” Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke said Warren was “more focused on being punitive or pitting one part of the country against the other.”

Yes, that is what Democrats do. Indeed, Warren has no plan to pay for this multitrillion-dollar scheme (which has numbers that don’t add up anyway) beyond an unconstitutional “wealth tax” on the hated rich. On that note, she had a Barack “You Didn’t Build That” Obama moment: “Look, I don’t have a beef with billionaires,” she said. “My problem is you made a fortune in America, you had a great idea, you got out there and worked for it. Good for you. But you built that fortune in America. I guarantee you built it in part using workers all of us help pay to educate. You built it in part getting your goods to market on roads and bridges all of us helped pay for.”

Debt

There have been more than 300 questions in the Democrat debates so far. Zero have asked about our national debt, which is at more than $22 trillion and rising rapidly. The only five mentions of the word “debt” in last night’s debate were about student-loan debt, which most Democrats on stage want to raise the federal debt to pay for. That’s true of all their other vote-buying schemes, too. So the reason they’re not asked about how to handle the debt we already have is that they’re too busy proposing ways to rack up new debt.

Gun confiscation

The September debate featured O'Rourke’s outrageous call for gun confiscation. Last night’s follow-up showed him backing off just a tad. If a law-abiding citizen refuses to turn in his semiautomatic rifle, or, he said, “brings it out in public and brandishes it in an attempt to intimidate — as we saw when we were at Kent State recently — then that weapon will be taken from them.”

Memo to Beto: It wasn’t citizens with guns doing the shooting at Kent State.

“If they persist,” he continued, “there will be other consequences from law enforcement,” though he claimed he expects Americans will “do the right thing” and that “we don’t go door-to-door for any other laws in this country; we’re not doing it here.” Unconstitutional laws like gun confiscation should hold no sway over Americans in any case. But Beto also said if a citizen didn’t submit to a “buyback,” “there would be a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm.”

Other candidates disagreed with O'Rourke only because his proposal is politically bad. According to Buttigieg, “We are this close to an assault-weapons ban,” and O'Rourke shouldn’t mess it up. Klobuchar agreed: “I just keep thinking of how close we are to finally getting something done on this.”

Memo to Demos: We’re not close to another ineffective and unconstitutional ban on the cosmetically different rifles pejoratively and inaccurately known as “assault weapons.”

Impeachment

The Democrats’ impeachment coup attempt is their primary strategy for 2020, so of course it came up last night. Indeed, it was the first topic, and it was also Biden’s roughest moment. (More on that here.)

Warren declared that impeachment “must go forward.” Bernie Sanders, who proved he’s alive and kicking after his recent heart attack, agreed because, he pronounced, “In my judgment, Trump is the most corrupt president in the history of this country.”

Klobuchar added, “We have a constitutional duty to pursue this impeachment.”

Anytime a Democrat mentions the Constitution, you are permitted to laugh. Last night, the only times it came up were during demands for impeachment or with Kamala Harris’s ridiculous assertions about “reproductive rights” being somewhere in the Constitution. Every proposal Democrats made on stage is unconstitutional, and they violate their oaths “to support and defend” the Constitution on a daily basis.

But a couple of Democrats advised caution on impeachment. “First of all, we must be fair,” said Sen. Cory Booker. “We are talking about ongoing proceedings to remove a sitting president for office. This has got to be about patriotism and not partisanship.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard concurred, saying, “If impeachment is driven by these hyperpartisan interests, it will only further divide an already terribly divided country.” Moreover, she said, “If the House votes to impeach, the Senate does not vote to remove Donald Trump, [then] he walks out and he feels exonerated, further deepening the divides in this country that we cannot afford.”

As with the Constitution, Democrats are decidedly not driven by any patriotic interest, but rather partisan divisiveness. Impeachment is inherently political, and their attempt is more so than previous ones. But that’s why Booker and Gabbard aren’t the standard bearers for a Democrat Party that is hell-bent on taking out Donald Trump.

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Hunter Biden Fails to Smother Smoke From Ukraine Scandal

Joe and Hunter Biden need to get their stories straight. In an obvious attempt to tamp down the smoldering scandal of the Bidens’ apparent pay-to-play deal with Ukraine, Hunter sat down for an interview with ABC News. While insisting that he did nothing wrong, Hunter conceded, “In retrospect … I think that it was poor judgment on my part.” He continued, “Was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is … a swamp in many ways? Yeah.”

ABC aired the interview Tuesday morning, strategically timed so as to be drowned out by all the coverage of the Democrat presidential debate coming only a few hours later. However, in spite of this, the interview did little to make the scandal go away, and in fact it may have only made it worse for Joe Biden.

During the debate, Biden was asked, “If it’s not okay for a president’s family to be involved in foreign businesses, why was it okay for your son when you were vice president?” Biden responded by contradicting his son’s admission of “poor judgment” in an obvious attempt at damage control. “Look, my son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the United States government in rooting out corruption in Ukraine. My son made a judgment. I’m proud of the judgment he made.” Biden then doubled down by insisting, “I never discussed a single thing with my son about anything having to do with Ukraine. No one has indicated I have.” Actually, Hunter Biden has. Oops.

Biden also deflected to President Donald Trump: “He’s going after me because he knows that if I get the nomination I will beat him like a drum.” Settle down, tough guy.

Thus far the record shows that Trump’s Ukraine interests appear to have been primarily focused on seeking answers to the origins of Russia’s 2016 election meddling and were not merely an attempt to dig up dirt on Biden. The real scandal is that neither Biden has convincingly explained how Hunter, who has no background or expertise in energy, was able to land a lucrative position on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma while his father was the vice president. Nor has any adequate explanation been given for why the elder Biden dubiously used his position as vice president to ensure that a corruption investigation into Burisma was quashed.

However, Hunter may have inadvertently let the cat out of the bag. Near the end of the interview he was asked, “If your last name wasn’t Biden, do you think you would have been asked to be on the board of Burisma?” He answered, “I don’t know. Probably not. I don’t think there’s a lot of things in my life that [would have happened] if my last name wasn’t Biden.” Bingo.

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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

SHORT ON VOTES? “Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday she will not stage a vote on the House floor to officially launch an impeachment inquiry into President Trump,” according to The Hill. Pelosi claims, “There’s no requirement that we have a vote.” Instead, Democrats, led by Adam Schiff, are using a nefarious legal process. As such, Rudy Giuliani won’t comply with a Democrat-issued subpoena.

VETO, PART II: Trump vetoes measure to end his emergency declaration on border wall; similar measure was vetoed in March (Reuters)

DOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR MIKE PENCE VISIT: Recep Tayyip Erdogan vows never to declare a ceasefire in northern Syria despite U.S. backlash: “We are not worried about any sanctions” (National Review)

MEANWHILE… “Officials are reviewing plans to evacuate up to 50 U.S. nuclear bombs that have long been stored at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey in the wake of Ankara’s military offensive in northern Syria.” (Fox News)

CONSCIENTIOUS PROTECTIONS: Federal court strikes down Obama administration “transgender mandate” for doctors (Fox News)

POLITICAL FUTURES: Hispanics become the largest voting-eligible minority group in the country (National Review)

APPEASING THE LAWLESS: California will allow illegal aliens to serve on government boards (Hot Air)

SWEEPING TOLL: “The opioid crisis cost the U.S. economy $631 billion from 2015 through last year — and it may keep getting more expensive, according to a study released Tuesday by the Society of Actuaries.” (Associated Press)

DIABOLICAL: Syrian regime accused of dozens of torture methods from “crucifixion” to rape to eye-gouging (Fox News)

POLICY: Free speech must be protected inside and outside the college classroom (American Enterprise Institute)

POLICY: Carbon taxes will never be enough (Capital Research Center)

HUMOR: Oppressed Chinese citizens apologize to NBA players for disrupting their difficult week (The Babylon Bee)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Byron York: “Not long ago, House Republicans complained that Democrats imposed excessive secrecy on interviews conducted as part of the drive to impeach President Trump. Now, the situation appears to have gotten worse. The recent interview of Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, marked a new point — a low point, as Republicans see it — in Democratic efforts to keep impeachment information out of public view. … In his much-criticized letter to Congress, White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Democratic handling of the impeachment investigation ‘violates fundamental fairness.’ He meant fairness toward the target of the proceeding, President Trump. But there is also the question of fairness toward the American people trying to follow an impeachment process shrouded in secrecy. Don’t they have the right to know what the president’s accusers say?”

SHORT CUTS

For the record: “2020 Democrats doubled down on their radical, socialist ideas that would bring our great American comeback to a halt. Their proposals would destroy millions of jobs, kick hundreds of millions off of their health care plans, increase government control over nearly every aspect of their lives — and it would all come at an astronomical cost to taxpayers.” —RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

Political futures: “It is clear that Warren has supplanted Sanders as the leader of the progressive movement in the Democratic field. As a result, it will be difficult — if not impossible — for Sanders to reestablish himself ahead of Warren.” —Doug Schoen

From the Lack of Self-Awareness Department: “Democratic politicians seem to spend about half the day accusing President Trump of trashing vaguely defined Constitutional norms — and the other half explaining how they plan to trash enumerated Constitutional rights.” —James Freeman

Hyperventilating hyperbole: “There are states that have passed laws that will virtually prevent women from having access to reproductive health care. And it is not an exaggeration to say women will die. Poor women, women of color will die because these Republican legislatures in these various states who are out of touch with America are telling women what to do with their bodies.” —Sen. Kamala Harris

Socialist bloviating: “The truth is, we cannot afford to continue this level of income and wealth inequality, and we cannot afford a billionaire class whose greed and corruption has been at war with the working families of this country for 45 years. If you are asking me, ‘Do I think we should demand that the wealthy start paying — the wealthiest, the top 1% — start paying their fair share of taxes so we can create a nation and a government that works for all of us?’ yes, that’s exactly what I believe.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders (“I remember when Bernie Sanders used to believe billionaires AND millionaires shouldn’t exist. Why does he just attack billionaires now? Because he’s a multi-millionaire who made all of his money stealing from the American people.” —Charlie Kirk)

Non compos mentis: “I hate when people talk about black women being obese. I hate it because it becomes a way to blame us for a set of conditions that we didn’t create. We are living in the Trump era. And look, those policies kill our people. You can’t get access to good health care, good insurance. … It’s literally that the racism that you’re experiencing and the struggle to make ends meet actually means the diet don’t [sic] work for you the same.” —Rutgers University professor Brittney Cooper

“So, just so we’re clear, you can say ‘my body, my choice’ when it comes to killing your baby, but I can’t say ‘my money, my choice’ when it comes to paying for it?” —Allie Beth Stuckey

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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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