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Mid-Day Digest

Nov. 15, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“Of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants.” —Alexander Hamilton (1787)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

‘Schiff Show’ Roundup: Pelosi, Clinton, and Yovanovitch

Whenever Democrats lecture about defending the Constitution, you know they’re up to no good. The very basis of the Democrat Party is to violate the Constitution wherever possible — tax policy, income redistribution, taking over vast swaths of the economy, and the very impeachment charade House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims is to uphold their oaths.

Pelosi has used the Constitution to explain impeachment before, but she added to it Thursday. “The devastating testimony [Wednesday] corroborated evidence of bribery uncovered in the inquiry,” Pelosi insisted, adding that “the president abused his power and violated his oath by threatening to withhold military aid and a White House meeting in exchange for an investigation into his political rival — a clear attempt by the president to give himself an advantage in the 2020 election.” She later explained, “The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That’s bribery.”

Two things. First, Pelosi was referring to testimony Wednesday in the first public hearings to date. It was hardly “devastating.” Second, Pelosi is solidifying the Democrats’ shift from screaming about a quid pro quo to claiming that President Donald Trump’s actions with Ukraine amount to “bribery.” That’s strategic, because that language is specific to Article II of the Constitution and it will, Dems and The New York Times hope, “resonate with the public.” It’s all about messaging and narrative.

Today features testimony from former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. She was appointed to the position by Barack Obama (though she has served under previous Republican presidents), but Trump fired her in May — two months before the supposedly impeachable phone call with the Ukrainian president. The Washington Post laughably describes her as “one of the first victims of the politicization of the State Department under Trump.” Evidently, the partisans at the Post would like you to forget who ran the State Department for the previous eight years — that would be Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, two of the most politicizing individuals in Washington.

Democrats aim to accomplish two things with Yovanovitch’s testimony: Show Republicans attacking a woman and prove that Trump’s removal of her was corrupt and political. But while officials may not agree with the president, he has a right to set foreign policy with the people of his choosing. End of story.

Finally, Trump has received some important advice on impeachment from, of all people, Bill Clinton. The former impeached president said, “My message [to Donald Trump] would be — look, you got hired to do a job. You don’t get to — every day’s an opportunity to make something good happen. And I would say, ‘I’ve got lawyers and staff people handling this impeachment inquiry and they should just have at it. Meanwhile, I’m going to work for the American people.’ That’s what I would do.” Of course, Clinton was actually on video in 1998 committing perjury, whereas Democrats have yet to actually prove an impeachable offense on Trump’s part. But what’s a detail like that among friends?

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Rewriting Disney’s ‘Woke’ Wrongs

It’s still sort of a big deal when Disney re-releases one of its classic animated movies. In years past, the parents of the six-year-olds who loved “Frozen” swooned over “The Lion King,” while their own parents were likely taken in by “The Jungle Book.” Yet in introducing its new streaming service, the Disney conglomerate has caved to political correctness by running a disclaimer at the beginning of many of its classic movies and warning us that they may contain “outdated cultural depictions.”

But some people are never satisfied. Those who complain that “The Lion King” had “racist hyenas” and “The Jungle Book” was full of its own racial coding don’t think Disney went far enough. Naturally, they’ve taken to Twitter and are comparing Disney’s disclaimer to a stronger one issued by Warner Brothers for its “Looney Tunes” cartoons a few years ago — a warning that the animated depictions were “wrong then and they are wrong today.”

On the surface, it’s surprising just how reasonable Disney’s disclaimer is given how quickly it’s running to placate the Rainbow Mafia with scenes of same-sex kisses and kids “coming out” on the Disney Channel. But the movie studio that brought us Mickey Mouse has already sanitized a significant portion of its history, editing out a character in “Fantasia” and essentially forever erasing the “Song of the South,” with only its classic “Zippity-Do-Dah” tune still in circulation. Disney apparently believes these parts of its past are just too offensive for the sensibilities of today’s audiences. We suppose the company is right.

One thing Disney doesn’t reveal with its disclaimer, though, is just which “outdated cultural depictions” are the trigger within these movies. In that respect, it can be argued (and eventually believed) that the entire movie is an “outdated cultural depiction.” So what happens when the hero is a white, straight male who gets the girl in the end? Is that outdated because today’s heroine must be a woman of color with a same-sex partner?

The other problem is that Disney’s disclaimer implies that the cultural norms of our past — which included things like the nuclear family, faith in our Creator, and a strong work ethic — are now somehow suspect. And in a society that’s theoretically more colorblind than ever, some of these “outdated cultural depictions” might well pass unnoticed by younger audiences that were never exposed to those stereotypes.

Perhaps we should hang onto all those old Disney titles on VHS, because It’s a Woke World, After All.

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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

LANDMARK SCUFFLE: Trump asks Supreme Court to let him keep his tax returns secret, setting up a landmark fight (CNBC)

BIRDS OF A FEATHER, PART I: Congress releases messages showing Rep. Rashida Tlaib asked campaign for personal money, announces investigation into her (The Daily Wire)

BIRDS OF A FEATHER, PART II: Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings faces House ethics investigation of relationship with top staffer (National Review)

TRADE PROGRESS: Nancy Pelosi says finalized trade deal with Mexico and Canada “imminent” (National Review)

MEMO TO STACEY ABRAMS: Bevin concedes in Kentucky governor’s race (The Washington Times)

DUMB AND DUMBER: Elizabeth Warren sells “Billionaire Tears” mug on platform created by billionaire (Townhall)

BACKGROUND HERE: Federal judge rules U.S.-born “ISIS bride” not an American citizen, U.S. not required to repatriate her (National Review)

BORDER FENCING: Trump admin preparing to take over private land in Texas for border barrier — which is progress given that new barriers have yet to be erected (NBC News)

AWKWARD: U.S. manufacturing group hacked by China as trade talks intensified (Reuters)

IRON FIST: Hong Kong violence continues to escalate as China’s Xi Jinping makes strongest statement yet (Hot Air)

POLICY: The Green New Deal isn’t just expensive. It’s also bad environmental policy. (The Daily Signal)

POLICY: Don’t reauthorize the Export-Import Bank — defund it (Washington Examiner)

HUMOR: “We don’t need to look into the Bidens’ corruption,” insists Adam Schiff while attempting Jedi mind trick (The Babylon Bee)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

David Limbaugh: “Trump was likely more concerned about uncovering Ukraine’s possible complicity in the 2016 election and why the Bidens weren’t investigated than in exposing Biden’s corruption to undermine his 2020 presidential bid. The point is we don’t know and won’t know, and yet, they’re going to impeach Trump anyway, imputing a motive to him they can’t possibly divine. The Democrats have been salivating over a plausible opportunity to impeach Trump since before he took office, so why quibble over a little hearsay and imputed motives? People say that the thrust of this impeachment farce is a policy difference between the deep state and President Trump. To be sure, this is a factor, but the main thing is that the Democratic establishment, the leftist media and the entrenched bureaucrats cannot stomach Trump occupying the highest office in the land. They despise him and have contempt for the tens of millions of voters who elected him, and the last thing they want to do is to give Trump and his deplorables a chance to do it again.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Individualism, the love of enterprise, and the pride in personal freedom, have been deemed by Americans not only as their choicest, but their peculiar and exclusive possessions.” —James Bryce (1838-1922)

Good question: “By the way, George Kent testified [Wednesday] that he still believes Burisma — the Ukrainian company that paid Hunter Biden $50,000 a month — deserves to be investigated for corruption. Why isn’t that ‘breaking news’?” —Gary Bauer

Belly laugh of the week: “This isn’t about ‘for Democrats.’ This is for the American people. This is about patriotism.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

The BIG Lie: “If the president has something that is exculpatory … then he should make that known. … So far, we haven’t seen that, but we welcome it.” —Nancy Pelosi, who welcomes only impeachment

Empty rhetoric: “Perhaps you have not heard me when I have said this is something we do with a heavy heart. This is very prayerful.” —Nancy Pelosi

Friendly fire: “I do think there is a legitimate concern about women’s lived experience and the importance of recognizing that, and also the importance of recognizing the self-identification [of transgender individuals]. This is all relatively new. People are still trying to find the language for it, trying to sort it out. I think in the right mindset this can be understood, but it’s going to take some time.” —Hillary Clinton

Village idiots: “I feel when I was working in my early 20s and even in my late teens/early 20s, I felt that I sort of got, somehow, typecast. I was very hyper-sexualized. … Even though it wasn’t a part of my own narrative, it was, kind of, crafted for me by probably a bunch of dudes in the industry.” —actress Scarlett Johannson

And last… “I think the real issue I hear from people back home about is, why isn’t Pelosi bringing up bills to lower prescription drugs? Why isn’t Pelosi bringing the bill to the floor to give our troops the tools they need or to secure our border when, in fact, she’s just obsessed with impeaching the president? We have an election next year. The people of the country should decide it.” —House Minority Whip Steve Scalise

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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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