Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 9, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” —James Madison (1788)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Pending IG Report on FISA Abuse — Beware Media Spin

The long-anticipated report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz on abuse of FISA relating to surveilling Donald Trump’s campaign is due to be publicly released today. So, what should expectations be? The best answer is to expect a bit of a mixed bag. This is due in part to the role of IGs in general. Horowitz’s report, while concerned with exposing wrongdoing, will likely focus only on specific individuals within the FBI rather than any larger possible deep-state conspiracy. By its very nature — and by rule — Horowitz’s investigation was limited in scope to interview only current agency employees. This is why many folks are more focused on U.S. Attorney John Durham’s criminal investigation.

However, while Horowitz’s report may not be the bombshell many conservatives have anticipated, it should provide important answers to some burning questions. For instance, what was the actual criminal allegation the FBI made against Trump campaign aide Carter Page? Did the Justice Department follow the proper procedures in applying for the FISA warrant? As has long been alleged, did the FBI’s application to the FISA court present false or misleading information? If so, who all was directly involved in crafting the application?

Also look for answers for why the FBI’s Bruce Ohr continued to have contact with British ex-spy Christopher Steele after the FBI had terminated his role as an informant. Who set up Ohr as a go-between with Steele and FBI leadership? Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said it wasn’t him. There’s also the question as to whether the FBI used Ohr’s wife Nellie, who then worked for Hillary Clinton-hired opposition research firm Fusion GPS, to help obtain the FISA warrant.

Questions surround the timing of when the FBI actually launched its surveillance of the Trump campaign, known as Crossfire Hurricane. Officially the FBI stated it began on July 31, 2016; however, it is now known that the FBI had already begun an investigation of the Trump campaign earlier.

Finally, the Leftmedia has for several weeks been spinning supposedly leaked information suggesting Horowitz’s report will amount to little more than a nothing-burger. Don’t expect the media to change their tune once the lengthy report is released. There should be some insight into how Durham’s criminal investigation overlaps, which will give a better picture of what he has uncovered and what crime he is pursuing.

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The Pensacola Attack and Training Foreign Military Personnel

Three sailors were killed and seven more wounded Friday at the Naval Air Station Pensacola when a jihadi from Saudi Arabia opened fire. The assailant was killed by responding sheriff’s deputies. Killed in the attack were Cameron Walters, Joshua Watson, and Mohammed Sameh Haitham.

“This was not a murder,” noted Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL). “This was an act of terrorism.”

“FBI officials have detained nearly a dozen Saudi nationals and are searching for several others” in the wake of the attack, reports The Daily Wire. Authorities suspect some of the Saudi nationals of filming the attack.

Recall that military bases are “gun free” zones, as was the case at the Naval Reserve center here in Chattanooga as well as Fort Hood. Walters was killed in Pensacola standing watch — unarmed — outside the classroom building where the attack occurred.

Gaetz focused on another issue: “I think it’s important for us to know a little bit about why Saudi Arabian officials are in our community.” He did acknowledge, “Training is a critical part of the mission that we engage in in NAS Pensacola. One way that we leverage that training is to ensure that our allies around the world are capable and familiar with U.S. systems, that they’re comfortable working with U.S. officers, and that we have an interoperability in our lexicon and in the way we engage in battle.”

However, he continued, “This event represents a serious failure in the vetting process and in the way in which we invite these people into our community. … I’m going to be very active in working with the Department of Defense and the Department of State to ensure that we have extreme vetting for the people that come into our country on our bases and in our communities.”

Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott agrees, saying, “We need to take steps to ensure that any and all foreign nationals are scrutinized and vetted extensively before being embedded with our American men and women in uniform. There is no reason we should be providing state-of-the-art military training to people who wish us harm.”

Vetting may have been an issue, as investigations may bear out. But Mark Alexander offered a few words regarding the knee-jerk objections: “For the last 30 years, I have been in annual training forums that included foreign students at both the Naval and Air War Colleges, as well as the National Defense University. These national security forums embed a small number of senior allied military personnel with our military officers, all of whom are the best and brightest who will form the next generation of military leaders. The personal relationships bonded in these forums and academic programs between our key military people and allied personnel, particularly those in the Middle East, are incredibly valuable.” In other words, this training shouldn’t be a casualty of this particular attack, but military and DOJ investigators should indeed get to the bottom of how this radical was permitted access.

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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

PREMISE: House Judiciary Committee releases report defining impeachable offenses before today’s hearing (The Daily Caller)

VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTION? Trump heads to court in fight over emoluments clauses (The Hill)

AN OVERLY OPTIMISTIC PICTURE: U.S. officials misled public about progress in Afghanistan: “The American people have constantly been lied to” (National Review)

NARRATIVE BUSTER: Border Patrol agent debunks viral video showing illegal immigrant scaling Trump wall (The Daily Wire)

UNFORTUNATELY, THE CASE IS STILL PROCEEDING TO TRIAL: A biased California judge dropped six of the 15 bogus charges filed against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt related to their undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood (LifeNews,com)

SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION: Bankrupt PG&E reaches $13.5 billion settlement with California wildfire victims (Reuters)

SEVERE DISRUPTION: Tighter government climate regulations by 2025 could wipe up to $2.3 trillion off the value of companies in industries ranging from fossil fuel producers to agriculture and car makers (Reuters)

FACING UP TO FIVE YEARS IN JAIL: First person charged under Florida “red flag” law found guilty (Fox News)

POLICY: Study confirms the healthcare dangers of a public option (Washington Examiner)

POLICY: “Free” college is a terrible idea. Here’s a better one. (National Review)

HUMOR: World’s high-school dropouts reveal they’ve actually been protesting climate change this whole time (The Babylon Bee)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Gary Bauer: “Speaker Pelosi suggested several times Thursday that America can’t survive another four years of this administration. Well, based on Friday morning’s incredible jobs report, I suspect many Americans feel differently. Job creation in November — 266,000 new jobs — shattered the experts’ predictions of 187,000. In addition, the figures for September and October were adjusted up by 41,000 jobs. Wages are up, and the unemployment rate is at a 50-year low. No wonder Democrats are so desperate to impeach this president. They know they can’t beat him on the issues.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.” —Ronald Reagan

Upright: “People ask me questions about present situations in life, and I say, ‘I don’t know, I’m just an actor.’ I don’t have any opinions. Actors are pretty stupid. My opinion is not worth anything. There’s no controversy for me, so don’t engage me in it, because I’m not going to participate.” —actor Anthony Hopkins

Braying jackass: “The president doesn’t give a s—t about what’s good for our country, what’s good for Ukraine. It’s all about what’s in it for him personally and for his reelection campaign.” —Rep. Adam Schiff

Grand delusions: “I think the case we have, if presented to a jury, would be a guilty verdict in about three minutes flat.” —Rep. Jerry Nadler

Non sequitur: “There’s always money. It’s there. Are we going to spend the money on defense or are we going to spend the money on our children?” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Mind-numbingly dumb: “Pearl Harbor. Pensacola. Not even our military bases are safe from gun violence. I’m heartsick for the victims and their families. We must end this epidemic and protect the lives of our service members.” —Elizabeth Warren

Non compos mentis: “I shouldn’t [have claimed to be Native American]. I am not a person of color. I am not a citizen of a tribe. And I have apologized for confusion I have caused on tribal citizenship, on tribal sovereignty, and for any harm that I’ve caused.” —Elizabeth Warren, who advanced her academic career with that claim

Let’s hope Biden suffers the same fate: “16 years ago this month, pundits and the polls had written me off.” —2004 Democrat nominee John Kerry stumping for Joe Biden in Iowa

Hardly impartial: “They get a paycheck, but with your paycheck comes some restrictions.” —billionaire Mike Bloomberg on restricting his reporters from digging up dirt on Democrat candidates

Friendly fire I: “He hurt me, there’s no doubt about it, and I hope he doesn’t do it again to whoever gets the nomination. Once is enough.” —Hillary Clinton blaming Bernie Sanders for her 2016 loss

Friendly fire II: “I’m sorry that Hillary Clinton is rerunning 2016.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders

And last… “This is your daily reminder that Obama weaponized the IRS against conservative groups who disagreed with his radical agenda. The woman who led the effort, Lois Lerner, was never held accountable for her crimes and received pension and benefits on the taxpayer dollar.” —Charlie Kirk

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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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