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Mid-Day Digest

Nov. 18, 2019


“Equal laws protecting equal rights; the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country.” —James Madison (1820)

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‘Schiff Show’ Roundup: Yovanovitch, Intimidation, Guilty Until…

Before we kick things off today, a reminder: Upon taking office in 2009, Barack Obama fired all of George W. Bush’s politically appointed ambassadors. At the time, The Washington Post observed, “Political ambassadors sometimes are permitted to stay on briefly during a new administration, but the sweeping nature of the directive suggests that Obama has little interest in retaining any of Bush’s ambassadorial appointees.” Funny how times change.

On Friday, former Ukraine Ambassador Maria Yovanovitch testified before the House Intelligence Committee in the Democrats’ ongoing impeachment charade. She claimed that she was “kneecapped” by President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, leading to her being recalled from Ukraine. Democrats sought to paint Yovanovitch as a nonpartisan civil servant and a casualty of Trump’s alleged attempt to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, irrespective of the fact that she was removed from her posting months prior to Trump’s now-infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Partisan witness: Yovanovitch insisted that she was nonpartisan following allegations of anti-Trump bias raised by Giuliani, but Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) poked holes in her claim, forcing her to admit that she took no action to prevent nor publicly objected to Kyiv siding with Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Unforced error:: During her testimony, Trump tweeted, “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go?” This broadside gave Democrats more ammunition to attack Trump, as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) took the opportunity to read the tweet to Yovanovitch and then absurdly assert that it was witness “intimidation.” She played right into his strategy, agreeing that Trump’s tweet was “very intimidating.” She added, “I can’t speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating.” Baloney. The only reason it was “intimidating” is that Schiff read it to her during her testimony. Trump made no threats; he just complained, as he usually does, via social media.

Still no crime: An exchange between Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) and Yovanovitch was enlightening.

Stewart: “I would now feel compelled to ask you, Madam Ambassador, as you sit here before us, very simply and directly, do you have any information regarding the president of the United States accepting any bribes?”

Yovanovitch: “No.”

Stewart: “Do you have any information regarding any criminal activity that the president of the United States has been involved with at all?”

Yovanovitch: “No.”

Guilty until proven innocent: Speaking of intimidation, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declared over the weekend, “If the president has information that demonstrates his innocence in all of this, which we haven’t seen… If [Trump] has information that is exculpatory … then we look forward to seeing it… [Trump] could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants.” On the contrary, the burden of proof is on the prosecuting Democrats, and they’re apparently not up to the task.

For whatever it’s worth, Trump responded that he’d “strongly consider” testifying.

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Planned Parenthood Whistleblower Guilty of Whistleblowing

Planned Parenthood, the abortion mill that receives half a billion American taxpayer dollars every year, engages in the illicit trafficking of body parts from aborted babies — some of them live births. The nation learned this gruesome truth in 2015 only through the undercover work of David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt via the Center for Medical Progress. Yet perhaps nothing better illustrates Planned Parenthood’s power and influence than the fact that a federal jury in a San Fransisco district court found guilty not Planned Parenthood’s butchers but Daleiden and Merritt for reporting the story.

In a case that originally was launched by then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a 10-person jury found Daleiden and Merritt guilty of racketeering, conspiracy to commit fraud, breach of contract, and trespassing. Unbelievably, Planned Parenthood and several affiliates were awarded punitive damages that may exceed $2.3 million. The pair will appeal the verdict, and there’s reason to think it may reach the Supreme Court. While the case drags out, Planned Parenthood will continue to receive your tax dollars.

Daleiden said in a statement, “While top Planned Parenthood witnesses spent six weeks testifying under oath that the undercover videos are true and Planned Parenthood sold fetal organs on a quid pro quo basis, a biased judge with close Planned Parenthood ties spent six weeks influencing the jury with pre-determined rulings and by suppressing video evidence, all in order to rubber-stamp Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit attack on the First Amendment. This is a dangerous precedent for citizen journalism and First Amendment civil rights across the country, sending a message that speaking truth and facts criticizing the powerful is no longer protected by our institutions.”

Judge William Orrick did indeed prove his own pro-Planned Parenthood bias. “I just want to be very clear that I want these witnesses to be able to testify as to what their reasonable state of mind was with respect to the specific defense … but we’re not going into the truth of abortion procedures. I’ve excluded that,” Orrick said in October. And he also instructed the jury that they must only decide damages, saying, “I have already determined that these defendants trespassed at each of these locations.”

Furthermore, The Federalist’s Margot Cleveland reports, “Judge Orrick was a founder and a longtime officer and director of the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, an organization which, according to Daleiden, houses and participates in a joint venture with one of the named Planned Parenthood affiliates.”

It seems that the only thing separating this show trial over trumped up charges from the Democrats’ impeachment charade is that, this time, the whistleblower is the “criminal.”

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

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MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards hangs on to his Louisiana seat; however, Republicans procure a supermajority in the state senate (Vox)

“WE’RE ABSOLUTELY GOING TO MAKE MISTAKES HERE”: Twitter rolls out ban on political ads covering candidates, elections, and legislation (National Review)

DISASTROUS: Elizabeth Warren’s tax plan would hit some with rates over 100% (The Daily Wire)

LAGGING BEHIND: Immigration jails in Trump era are packed, but deportations are fewer than in Obama’s (The Washington Post)

TRANSPARENCY: Trump’s team delivers a big win for patients by making health costs clearer (Washington Examiner)

AN INDICATOR THAT TRUMP WILL PERSEVERE: As impeachment fizzles, the stock market soars (The Federalist)

ON THE OTHER HAND… U.S. stock market at record but farm bankruptcies at highest since 2011 (MarketWatch)

SHAPING WHAT YOU SEE: How Google interferes with its search algorithms and changes your results (The Wall Street Journal)

POLICY: Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax is bad politics and worse policy (The Week)

POLICY: Improving surface transportation through federalism (The Heritage Foundation)

HUMOR: Supreme Court allows victims of heart disease, obesity to sue utensil manufacture (The Babylon Bee)

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

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Hans von Spakovsky: “[Adam] Schiff used to be an assistant U.S. attorney — a federal prosecutor. Like all people in that position, he had to follow the U.S. Attorneys’ Justice Manual. Before taking a case to a grand jury, much less to trial, Schiff had to convince his boss, in writing, that he had evidence establishing a case. He couldn’t just wing it and submit a case, however weak, based entirely on hearsay, to the grand jury on the off-chance it would indict. Yet that is exactly what Schiff is doing here — throwing witnesses into closed and now open hearings hoping that he can stir the political pot into an impeachment boil. It would undermine our system of government for a duly elected president to be removed through impeachment for partisan reasons. Impeachment should only be used when there has been serious, substantial misconduct of such a nature that we can’t wait for the next election. As far as is publicly known at this time, that standard has not been met regarding Trump.”


Insight: “It was leadership here at home that gave us strong American influence abroad, and the collapse of imperial Communism. Great nations have responsibilities to lead, and we should always be cautious of those who would lower our profile, because they might just wind up lowering our flag.” —Ronald Reagan

Political futures: “One area Reagan hit upon repeatedly is that government should live within its means. I don’t think President Trump or either party have any will to correct this anymore. But the people have voted themselves bread and circuses, so they put up with an unsustainable debt as a permanent fixture that one day others will have to fix. The voters don’t see that the ‘others’ are their own descendants.” —Steve Berman

For the record: “Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called ‘The Resistance,’ and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver available to sabotage the functioning of his Administration.” —Attorney General William Barr

Friendly fire: “The average American doesn’t think that we have to completely tear down the system and remake it.” —Barack Obama with a mild shot at Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

Demo-gogues: “Vladimir Putin doesn’t want me to be president.” —Joe Biden

The BIG Lie: “What the president did was so much worse than even what Richard Nixon did, that at some point Richard Nixon cared about the country enough to recognize that this could not continue.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Tone deaf: “Truth is closing in. Facts are closing in.” —Dan Rather (“Using Dan Rather to talk about truth and facts in politics these days is a bad idea. It immediately turns off people who don’t like Trump, but who recognize bias in the press.” —Erick Erickson)

And last… “Democrats are now trying to impeach the president for ‘bribery.’ That is ridiculous. Do you want to know what real bribery is? Ukrainian companies paying Hunter Biden $83,000 a month to protect their own corruption. Where is the investigation into that?” —Charlie Kirk

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.



For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

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