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Mid-Day Digest

Nov. 13, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.” —George Washington (1795)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

‘Schiff Show’ Roundup: Public Hearings, Giuliani, Whistleblower Trouble

There are several noteworthy happenings on the impeachment front. Here’s the roundup:

The Democrats’ impeachment charade enters a new phase today: Public hearings. The Associated Press reports, “All on TV, committee leaders will set the stage, then comes the main feature: Two seasoned diplomats, William Taylor, the graying former infantry officer now charge d'affaires in Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary in Washington.”

The Daily Signal notes four things to expect.

As has been the case from day one, the question isn’t really whether there was a quid pro quo but if President Donald Trump’s request violated the law or was impeachable. “Quid pro quo” is, roughly translated, Latin for “foreign policy.” (We kid — it’s literally “this for that.”) But Democrats and their Leftmedia allies want you to think it means Trump broke the law by temporarily delaying military aid to Ukraine for requested cooperation and favors. So it’s little wonder that a developing feature of the Democrats’ effort is the shift in terminology away from quid pro quo and toward “extortion” and “bribery.”

This is all done to obfuscate what is, at heart, a policy disagreement. Andrew McCarthy, who wrote a book on impeaching Barack Obama, says of the testimonies of several key people in the policy community: “It is the president, not the bureaucracy, who was elected by the American people.” He adds, “Bureaucrats are not free to substitute their judgments for the president’s.”

Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is at the center of this fiasco. He published a Wall Street Journal op-ed rebutting the “false narrative built on selectively leaked testimony from Rep. Adam Schiff’s closed-door Intelligence Committee hearings.” Giuliani argues that Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed only matters “of serious mutual concern.” One was Ukraine’s interference in the 2016 election by releasing documents related to Paul Manafort, whose short stint as Trump’s campaign manager was ended by that disclosure. The other was the possible corrupt dealings of Joe and Hunter Biden, which Giuliani says include “documents showing that [Ukrainian energy company] Burisma transferred $900,000 to Rosemont Seneca Partners, a lobbying firm owned by Hunter Biden, and that the money was for lobbying Joe Biden.” The elder Biden, of course, already admitted his own quid pro quo regarding Ukrainian corruption investigations.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s collusion conspirator, the whistleblower — widely identified as Eric Ciaramella — may be in legal trouble for soliciting a quarter-million dollars in illicit donations via GoFundMe. Remember, the whistleblower’s attorney, Mark Zaid, declared in 2017 that the “coup has started.”

Finally, The Washington Post has “five questions we still need answered.” It more or less outlines Democrat strategy going forward. Victor Davis Hanson, on the other hand, lists Ten Reasons Why Impeachment Is Illegitimate. The overarching reason? Because the Democrats’ strategy is transparently vindictive.

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No, There Is NO Major ‘Hate Crime’ Problem

In a nation of more than 325 million people, there were 7,120 “hate crimes” reported to the FBI in 2018. That isn’t to minimize those crimes; it’s to put this in perspective. This represents a slight decrease from the prior year (7,175), which should be good news. Of course, the Leftmedia only sees fit to push the false “woke” narrative that America is the “land of bigotry.” NBC’s headline reads, “Nearly 1 in 5 hate crimes motivated by anti-LGBTQ bias, FBI finds.” CBS blares, “FBI: Hate crime murders hit record in 2018; crimes targeting transgender people soar.” (That record is 24 murders out of more than 16,000.) And The Mercury News states, “FBI report shows surge in hate crime murders and crimes against Latinos, transgender people.” With headlines like these, one is lead to believe that “hate crimes” are a major and pressing problem. Hyperbole sells. But more significantly, it shifts perceptions.

First and foremost, American conservatives by their very value system utterly reject these “hate crimes,” irrespective of how the MSM may caricature them. Despite how exceedingly tiresome it is, it bears repeating that any group that elevates race and ethnicity as primary to one’s political ideology, i.e. white nationalists, is no more conservative than is Louis Farrakhan.

The truth is, America today is far from a racist and bigoted nation. America is also a nation with a vibrant political system in which roughly half the population adheres to a relatively conservative perspective on the role of government. Unfortunately, rather than seeking to honestly and impartially recognize this reality, much of America’s mainstream media, following the lead of leftist Democrats, regularly demonizes conservatives as being motivated by hatred and bigotry. That supposedly serves as the explanation for conservative political perspectives and rejection of socialism.

Frankly, it’s amazing that there aren’t more “hate crimes” given the Left’s constant promulgation of divisive identity politics. Indeed, if Democrats’ and the Leftmedia’s characterization of conservatives were actually true, then one should expect to see “hate crimes” numbering in the tens if not hundreds of thousands. Just think of how many firearms conservatives own. But we digress.

Demanding that everyone not only tolerate but embrace lifestyle choices that directly attack the core values of millions of people — and then crying foul and destroying lives when people refuse — is an attitude and expectation that is itself contentious, provocative, and an invitation for conflict. When the Rainbow Mafia verbally attacks and labels people as “homophobic” and bigoted for refusing to bow to their sexually deviant dogma, there will unfortunately be a few who lack the patience and good sense to not criminally hit back.

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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

WHO? Republican Mark Sanford abandons presidential primary run (National Review)

THIRD TIME’S A CHARM? Hillary Clinton continues to fuel speculation that she will run in 2020 — or perhaps it’s the many, many, many voices in her head urging it (The Daily Wire)

DEATH BY DEFICIT: Study: Elizabeth Warren plan would hike deficit $15 trillion, create “soaring demand” for healthcare (The Washington Free Beacon)

BORDER ARRESTS SHRINK: Border arrests fall again in October, down almost 75% since May (The Daily Wire)

WARRANT REQUIRED: U.S. court rules against warrantless searches of phones, laptops of international travelers (NBC News)

FOR THE RECORD: Man who slashed “Baby Trump” balloon: “First time” leftists are “mad about chopping up a baby” (The Daily Wire)

POLICY: Three major reforms NATO needs to keep from collapsing (The Federalist)

POLICY: Smart government focuses on essentials: reviving family and business formation (Issues & Insights)

HUMOR: Epstein island sold to wealthy Middle Eastern businessman Haadid Nahkil Muhssef (Genesius Times)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Walter E. Williams: “Leftists exempted communist leaders from the harsh criticism directed toward Adolf Hitler, even though communist crimes against humanity made Hitler’s slaughter of 11 million noncombatants appear almost amateurish. According to Professor R.J. Rummel’s research in ‘Death by Government,’ from 1917 until its collapse, the Soviet Union murdered or caused the death of 61 million people, mostly its own citizens. From 1949 to 1976, Mao’s Communist regime was responsible for the death of as many as 76 million Chinese citizens. Today’s leftists, socialists and progressives would bristle at the suggestion that their agenda differs little from that of past tyrants. They should keep in mind that the origins of the unspeakable horrors of Nazism, Stalinism and Maoism did not begin in the ‘20s, '30s and '40s. Those horrors were simply the result of a long evolution of ideas leading to a consolidation of power in the central government in the quest for 'social justice.’”

SHORT CUTS

Demo-gogues, part I: “Bribery … as the founders understood bribery, it was not as we understand it in law today. It was much broader. It connoted the breach of the public trust in a way where you’re offering official acts for some personal or political reason, not in the nation’s interest.” —House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff

Demo-gogues, part II: “When you consider the serious terms of whether the president has committed an impeachable offense, the fact that the scheme was discovered, the fact that the scheme was unsuccessful, doesn’t make it any less odious or any less impeachable. If the president solicited for help in the U.S. election, if the president conditioned official acts on the performance of these political favors, whether Ukraine ever had to go through with it really doesn’t matter. What matters is: Did the president attempt to commit acts that ought to result in his removal from office?” —Adam Schiff

Demo-gogues, part III: “I have to hope that my Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle will keep an open mind, will do their constitutional duty, will set aside the party of the president. Because otherwise, why are they even there and what does their oath of office really mean?” —Adam Schiff

Keep dreaming: “I think about what kind of president I would have been all the time. I think about what I would have done. How, obviously, I would have been different. How I think I would have been a better, more successful president.” —Hillary Clinton

Missing the forest for the trees: “Trying to live a gusty life doesn’t mean you are always successful in doing so. And I think about the presidential campaign of 2016. I thought I was as gutsy as I could be, but I probably could have been gutsier — if I figured out a way to reveal what was happening in a more effective way.” —Hillary Clinton

Non compos mentis: “It would be disruptive to classes and two, unfortunately, with gun violence in the U.S., there was some concern that we would cause a panic if someone heard gunshots on grounds.” —University of Virginia President Jim Ryan on why the traditional Veterans Day 21-gun salute by members of UVA’s ROTC was canceled

Village idiots: “We will not prosecute cases involving quality-of-life crimes. Crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc., should not and will not be prosecuted.” —incoming San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin

And last… “No doubt we want more Americans to do better economically. But what’s the main driver of affordability? Minimum wage or prices? It’s prices. What drives down prices? Free markets. Competition. Choice.” —Rep. Dan Crenshaw

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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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