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Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 24, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“I suppose, indeed, that in public life, a man whose political principles have any decided character and who has energy enough to give them effect must always expect to encounter political hostility from those of adverse principles.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Republicans Expose Dems’ Impeachment Secrecy

In a move aimed at highlighting the secretive nature of House Democrats’ politically orchestrated “impeachment inquiry,” several House Republicans stormed the Intelligence Committee’s Secure Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), where Pentagon official Laura Cooper was scheduled to testify regarding President Donald Trump and Ukraine.

Prior to storming the SCIF, House Republicans held a press conference explaining their intentions. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) stated, “We’re going to try and go in there, and we’re going to try and figure out what’s going on, on behalf of the millions of Americans that we represent that want to see this Congress working for them and not obsess with attacking a president who we believe has not done anything to deserve impeachment.”

“What is Adam Schiff trying to hide?” Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) asked. “I think that’s the question so many people have, so many of my colleagues have, so many people in the press should have. Voting members of Congress are being denied access from being able to see what’s happening behind these closed doors where they’re trying to impeach the president of the United States with a one-sided set of rules. They call the witnesses. They don’t let anybody else call the witnesses.”

Not surprisingly, after Republicans entered the room, committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-Whistleblower) quickly stopped the hearing. That provoked Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) to assert, “Adam Schiff just SHUT DOWN his secret underground impeachment hearing after I led a group of Republicans into the room. Now he’s threatening me with an Ethics complaint! I’m on the Armed Services [Committee] but being blocked from the Dept. Asst. SecDef’s testimony. This is a SHAM!”

Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) also called out Schiff, stating, “He just got up and left. He doesn’t have the guts to tell us why we can’t come in the room, why he doesn’t want this to be transparent. It’s … the biggest farce I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Predictably, the Leftmedia derided Republicans for a political stunt designed to protect President Trump and obstruct the Democrats’ “legitimate” impeachment inquiry. There’s no question that these Republicans intentionally engaged in theatrics, but they did so to shine a spotlight on the dubious, secretive, and unprecedented manner in which House Democrats have conducted this not-yet-voted-on impeachment inquiry. And the more Republicans can expose the Democrats’ intentional lack of transparency in running this impeachment charade, the better it will be for the American people. Keep in mind that the Democrats’ favorite paper of record, The Washington Post, decided Trump’s presidency was sufficient cause to create a new motto: “Democracy dies in darkness.”

Finally, PowerLine’s Scott Johnson cogently sums it up: “I can’t take anything that leaks out of the closed-door impeachment ‘inquiry’ conducted by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff at face value. Schiff is conducting an impeachment campaign by orchestrated leaks. I decline to follow the leaked testimony until I can take a look at the full record with my own eyes.”

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Rep. Katie Hill’s Brewing #MeToo Scandal

A rather lurid scandal has come to light regarding an upstart and openly bisexual freshman Democrat representative. Rep. Katie Hill (CA), vice chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, is in hot water over revelations of a polyamorous affair between herself, her now-estranged husband Kenny Heslep, and a young female campaign staffer. Heslep called it a “throuple.”

Hill claims she ended the unusual two-year-long arrangement this past May, ostensibly because she wanted to focus “entirely” on her “important” work. Heslep, Hill’s husband of almost 15 years who she’s now in the midst of divorcing, disputes that claim, insisting that Hill ended the polyamorous relationship due to another affair she started with another man — her own legislative director, Graham Kelly. Hill publicly disputes the allegation of an affair with Kelly, blaming it on her “divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me.” However, Hill does not dispute her “inappropriate” polyamorous affair.

If those optics alone aren’t bad enough, there are #MeToo implications. Uncovered text messages among Hill, her 22-year-old staffer, and Heslep suggest that both Hill and Heslep acted abusively toward the young staffer. RedState, which broke the story, notes, “In the age of #MeToo, activists contend that when a large power imbalance exists, such as between a CEO and an employee, the employee is incapable of giving consent. Even assuming that true consent existed at the beginning of the relationship, the power imbalance could keep an employee in a bad relationship for fear that they will lose their job or suffer other negative consequences.” That’s true whether the offender in power is a man or a woman.

The House Ethics Committee has launched an investigation of Hill because a relationship with Kelly would violate new House rules. For her part, Hill is demanding U.S. Capitol Police investigate the release of compromising photos of her.

The Leftmedia initially ignored the story, eventually only grudgingly opting for ho-hum stories consisting almost entirely of Hill’s denials, counter accusations, and victimitis. So, once again, we’re left to imagine the coverage if she had an “R” after her name. A final irony: Hill represents a “swing” district. Make of that what you will.

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

DECEMBER TARGET: Democrats set December impeachment target, but obstacles abound — like the fact the whole thing’s a charade (Reuters)

ADVERSE SOCIETY: Soros-funded group Open Society Policy Center eclipses $70 million spent on lobbying since Trump took office (The Washington Free Beacon)

COMMON GROUND, PART I: Bipartisan bill would streamline path to citizenship for children of U.S. military (The Washington Times)

COMMON GROUND, PART II: House unanimously passes bipartisan bill to make animal cruelty a federal crime (USA Today)

NEEDLES IN A HAYSTACK: State Department says 100+ ISIS prisoners missing after Turkish invasion of Syria (National Review)

AND NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON: Texas governor announces investigation into case of mother transitioning seven-year-old against father’s wishes (The Daily Caller)

IDIOCRACY: Majority of Americans want First Amendment rewritten; 51% of Millennials want fines or jail time for “hate speech” (The Washington Free Beacon)

GOOD RIDDANCE: Florida Senate votes to permanently oust Broward Sheriff Scott Israel (Fox News)

POLICY: Securing the Internet starts with planning and awareness (American Enterprise Institute)

POLICY: Refugee policy reforms — enduring or ephemeral? (National Review)

HUMOR: Walls of Congress dissolve into endless blue void as Zuckerberg informs lawmakers there’s no way to escape Facebook (The Onion)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Ben Shapiro: “Politics is wildly skewing our use of basic language. And that phenomenon is one of the key factors tearing apart the country. Every word becomes a potential dog whistle. Every phrase is parsed by the politically motivated for signs of malign intent. Politically correct language policing becomes the order of the day. Misunderstanding becomes malice; clarity becomes confusion. … We cannot have conversations with one another if we refuse to define terms. But refusal to define terms is one of the most fruitful methods of impugning others. If we seek division rather than unity, we’ll certainly find it. And as we cordon ourselves off into separate interpretations of language we once held in common, we’re less and less likely to ever again find common ground.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “This whole concept of political correctness — you can say this, you can’t say that, you can’t repeat what someone said — is total foolishness and it’s going to destroy our nation. And we need to be more mature than that.” —Ben Carson

For the record: “It’s a non-story that Obama pushed countries to redefine marriage or embrace the killing of unborn children as a price of U.S. aid. It’s a non-story that Joe Biden made an explicit quid pro quo involving $1 billion of U.S. aid for the firing of a prosecutor investigating the company that employed his son. But it’s an outrage, an impeachable offense even, that Trump wants to get to the bottom of the corruption that occurred in 2016.” —Gary Bauer

Food for thought: “So Trump can’t use the word ‘lynching,’ but it’s okay for the Left to call him Hitler?” —Ryan Fournier

Policy: “Republicans in the Senate need to pass legislation banning the chemical castration of children. Let Democrats in the House come out in defense of the barbaric practice publicly if they want. Absolute winner of an issue for Repubs. And more importantly it’s the right thing to do.” —Matt Walsh

The BIG Lie: “You know, Donald Trump inherited a strong economy from Barack and me. Things were beginning to really move. And just like everything else he’s inherited, he’s in the midst of squandering it.” —Joe Biden

Braying jackass: “I’m going to start by reversing the Trump tax cuts. … [The] wealthy didn’t need them in the first place.” —Joe Biden

Grand delusions: “When we [enact universal healthcare], there are no more premiums. You’re not paying anymore premiums. No more co-payments. No more deductibles. No more out-of-pocket expenses. And virtually every person in this country will save money on healthcare.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders

Race bait: “Let’s review the record. First on diversity and inclusion — Facebook has utterly failed. Facebook’s executive ranks and workforce continue to be mostly white and male.” —Rep. Maxine Waters

And last… “If you don’t think it’s child abuse to chemically castrate a sweet innocent child … by forcing him to take puberty blocking medication that is given to CONVICTED SEX OFFENDERS, then I don’t know a more diplomatic way to say this… you are a monster.” —Liz Wheeler

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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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