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Mid-Day Digest

Nov. 20, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.” —Patrick Henry (1775)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

‘Schiff Show’ Roundup: Vindman Linked to Whistleblower

Four witnesses were called to testify Tuesday in the Democrats’ long-running impeachment gambit. Two of the witnesses, U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams, special advisor to Vice President Mike Pence on Europe and Russia, are the first witnesses to actually have any firsthand knowledge of President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Both Vindman and Williams listened in on the call.

Each witness testified that there was no bribery or quid pro quo present in the phone call, while at the same time both described Trump’s request of Zelensky to investigate the Bidens’ connection to Burisma as “inappropriate.” On the issue of the Democrats’ new semantic choice of the word “bribery,” no evidence was present to substantiate such an allegation.

There was new information that was learned, however. Under Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan’s pointed questioning, it became clear that Vindman is the one who leaked to the whistleblower. As Jordan honed in on the individuals with whom Vindman admitted discussing the president’s phone call, only one individual, an intelligence officer, remained unnamed. In fact, Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) jumped in to interrupt Jordan’s questioning in order to forbid the individual’s name from being mentioned. Schiff’s action only further demonstrated that he has been lying about not knowing the identity of the whistleblower.

As for Vindman, it became clear that he allowed his own political views to direct his actions rather than follow the well-established chain of command. His testimony prompted a stinging response from Benghazi hero Mark Geist, who stated, “Vindman is a disgrace to all who have served. [In the] transcript of his previous closed door testimony he clearly admits to undermining the POTUS foreign policy and now he has chairman Schiff advising him on how to answer questions.” Navy Seal Robert O'Neill, the one who killed Osama bin Laden, seconded Geist, writing, “I agree. I wish the left wouldn’t use his uniform to make him a saint. He’s an operative with an agenda.”

Mark Alexander wonders whether Vindman “is part of the deep-state cabal” endeavoring to undermine Trump.

Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine, and Timothy Morrison, deputy assistant to the president and the National Security Council’s senior director for Europe and Russia, were the other two witnesses to testify. Their testimonies only further demonstrated the fact that Democrats continue to lack evidence to support their charge that Trump engaged in an impeachable offense — let alone anything even remotely criminal. Volker, however, did throw shade at Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, asserting, “President Trump had a deeply rooted, negative view of Ukraine rooted in the past. He was receiving other information from other individuals, including Mayor Giuliani, that was more negative, causing him to retain this negative view.” So, again, that’s a policy dispute, not fodder for impeachment.

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Leftmedia Pulls More Fake ‘Kids in Cages’ News

“A Nov. 18 story headlined ‘U.S. has world’s highest rate of children in detention — U.N. study’ is withdrawn,” Reuters reports. “The United Nations issued a statement on Nov. 19 saying the number was not current but was for the year 2015.” Agence France-Presse and National Public Radio likewise scrubbed stories about this. And the Associated Press explained in its retraction, “The story quoted an independent expert working with the U.N. human rights office saying that over 100,000 children are currently being held. But that figure refers to the total number of U.S. child detentions for the year 2015.”

Other than that, the story was accurate!

These stories initially made it past the vaunted fact-checkers solely because they were meant to vilify the Trump administration over immigration detentions. They fit the leftist narrative of Trump’s “xenophobic and racist” immigration policies. Of course, that was untenable because the data was collected during the Obama administration.

In fact, there are roughly 6,500 minors detained in the U.S. at the moment, and over the past year, the Trump administration has detained less than 70,000 kids at any point or duration. Again, 100,000 was the cumulative total for all of 2015. Hope ‘n’ Change and all that.

Moreover, says the Washington Examiner’s Becket Adams, “That ‘100,000’ figure should have never made it past the editing process, let alone launch a handful of headlines declaring the U.S. the leader in detained children. That figure requires not just shoddy math but also a total suspension of disbelief regarding what goes on in the darker, more tyrannical corners of the world. To say the U.S. is a world leader in detained minors would mean that America is being measured against all countries, including China, Russia, and North Korea. If you believe U.N. investigators have reliable figures from any of those countries, then, oh boy, have I got a bridge to sell you.” China is currently detaining as many as two million Uighurs. Think maybe some of them are children?

We’ve seen this movie before. Back in the summer 2018, when outrage over the Trump administration’s detention polices was at its peak, the media hyped pictures of kids in cages that were actually taken during Obama’s regime, all to make Trump look bad. Fake news often happens because of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

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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

STOPGAP FUNDING BILL: House votes to avoid government shutdown for a month, sending funding bill to Senate (CNBC)

EPSTEIN PROBE: FBI looking into possibility that “criminal enterprise” was involved in Jeffrey Epstein’s death (National Review)

NEVER MIND: Elizabeth Warren gives up on Medicare for All: By planning to pass single-payer in year three of her presidency, she’s acknowledging it will never happen at all (Reason)

GESTURES: Senate passes bill in support of Hong Kong protesters (UPI)

PUSHBACK: Navy seeks to eject four, including sailor championed by Trump, from elite SEALs (NBC News)

DOWN BUT NOT OUT: ISIS rebuilds in Syria after Turkish incursion and U.S. drawdown, Pentagon watchdog says (NBC News)

TOTAL SURRENDER: GLAAD commends Chick-fil-A for dropping donations to Christian groups but demands franchise change “anti-LGBTQ” brand (National Review)

BALTIMORE MAYOR CHARGED: Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh charged with fraud, faces up to 20 years in prison (National Review)

DIVINE INTERVENTION: Sixteen-year-old girl arrested before attack on predominantly black Georgia church (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

IRAN DISSENT: Iran imposes “largest Internet shutdown ever” as protests spread (National Review)

POLICY: How Medicare for All would make most families poorer (The Daily Signal)

POLICY: Trump admin is right to reapply sanctions to Iran’s uranium enrichment (The Federalist)

HUMOR: BREAKING: Two Epstein prison guards scheduled to be suicided tomorrow (Genesius Times)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Ben Shapiro: “Despite the fact that Chick-fil-A had never discriminated against gay customers — it would sell a chicken sandwich to anyone — then-Boston Mayor Thomas Menino promised to ban the franchise from the city. Then-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel quickly followed suit, pledging to support an alderman’s plan to block Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant at Chicago O'Hare Airport. San Antonio recently blocked Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant at its airport, and the airport in Buffalo, New York, followed suit. San Jose, California, pledged not to renew Chick-fil-A’s lease when it ran out. … Our First Amendment culture is endangered when local governments are given the capacity to block businesses from operating, not on the basis of business discrimination but on the viewpoint of the company’s founders alone. That’s precisely what’s happening here. If giving to Christian charities now bars you from opening a restaurant at the airport, our culture is beyond the point of no return. … America’s social fabric is already fraying. Politics has invaded everything from education to sports, from movies to fashion. Should politics now determine where we buy a chicken sandwich? A country that punishes restaurants because its founders don’t openly celebrate same-sex marriage is a country destined to bifurcate. And that’s pretty fowl.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “There is no such entity as ‘the public’ — since the public is merely a number of individuals — the idea that ‘the public interest’ supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others.” —Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

Belly laugh of the week: “Trump’s failure to tweet about FartGate is perhaps the greatest disappointment in the history of American politics.” —Matt Walsh

For the record: “They’re trying to remove a president for having a better foreign policy than Barack Obama and Joe Biden.” —House Minority Whip Steve Scalise

The BIG Lie: “I think there is, of course, no deep state. There is no resistance within the bureaucracy across government agencies pushing against this president.” —former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe

Braying jenny: “Stephen Miller has just been exposed as frankly a neo-Nazi and a white supremacist. He was citing eugenics as the rationale for our policy in the southern border and Donald Trump clearly thinks that, clearly believes in eugenics, given the fact that he has put and maintained Stephen Miller in a position of power after these revelations.” —Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who supports the eugenicist-founded Planned Parenthood

Village idiot: “Unless you are a homophobe, [Pete Buttigieg is] married in a very traditional marriage.” —Joy Behar

Tone deaf: “A fact of American politics that everyone should recognize going forward: our political institutions are not designed to work amidst a party abandoning all sense of constitutional responsibility and serving only short-term political interests.” —Vox’s Ezra Klein

Non compos mentis: “There’s no one way to be a man. Men who get their periods are men. Men who get pregnant and give birth are men. Trans and non-binary men belong. #InternationalMensDay” —ACLU

And last… “Lectures from Democrats on the Constitution are quite interesting.” —David Limbaugh

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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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