Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 16, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.” —Thomas Jefferson (1820)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Comey Rebuked for False Spin on Horowitz Report

James Comey once again displayed why he is the worst kind of lawman. In a hard-hitting interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Sunday, the former FBI director was left spinning answers to the damning findings of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation into the FBI’s abuse of FISA applications. From the moment the report was released, Comey has downplayed the significance of Horowitz’s findings, distancing himself from any culpability for the “errors and mistakes” and painting himself and the FBI as the real victims.

Comey feigned that he would “be very concerned about [the IG’s findings] and diving into it,” but he pushed back on any notion that anyone in the FBI may have acted with intentionality against Donald Trump. Evidently, Comey doesn’t believe the overt anti-Trump and pro-Hillary text messages between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page showed any bias. Hogwash.

While admitting that errors and mistakes did occur, Comey chalked them up to simple “sloppiness” that was done in good faith. (You know, kind of like Hillary Clinton’s email server.) Yet Wallace noted that Comey had previously asserted having full confidence in the FBI’s handling of the FISA warrants. Comey responded, “I was overconfident in the procedures that the FBI and Justice Department have built over 20 years. I thought they were robust enough.” He then deflected, “It’s incredibly hard to get a FISA [warrant]. I was overconfident in those because [Horowitz is] right: There was real sloppiness.”

Comey also lamely claimed that he was too distant from the Trump investigation to have been aware of the “significant errors” that occurred under his watch — even on the FISA warrant applications he repeatedly signed off on. “As the director, you’re not kept informed on the details of an investigation,” Comey asserted. “So no, in general I didn’t know what they’d learned from the sub-source. I didn’t know the particulars of the investigation.”

Wallace wasn’t buying that excuse. He pushed back, “But this isn’t some investigation, sir. This is an investigation of the campaign of the man who is the president of the United States. You had just been through a firestorm investigating Hillary Clinton. I would think if I had been in your position I would have been on that like a junkyard dog.” Comey then played Barack Obama’s favorite trick, claiming he was just too busy running a massive agency and that it would have been “impossible” to know all the details behind the FISA warrant application.

In one of the more telling exchanges, Wallace asked Comey if he would have resigned following Horowitz’s report if he had still been the FBI director. “No. I don’t think so,” Comey answered, adding, “There are mistakes I consider more consequential than this during my tenure.” Yikes.

Finally, Comey blasted as “an irresponsible statement” Attorney General William Barr’s assessment that the IG’s findings left open the possibility to infer bad faith by certain members within the FBI. Pot, meet kettle. Comey’s bad faith — and higher loyalty to Hillary Clinton — has been on display for some time to anyone willing to look. And as for Comey’s pathetically self-serving admissions, former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy aptly summed it up: “Sometimes … it’s better late than never, and sometimes it’s just too damn late. And in this case, Comey is about two years too late.”

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The Rainbow Mafia’s Hallmark Card

Netflix has declined to remove a “comedy” special portraying Jesus Christ as homosexual, despite well over one million signatures to a petition demanding it. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for the companion show about Muhammad — even the Rainbow Mafia won’t challenge Muslims. No, when it comes to homosexuality, the only powerless people are Christians who remain faithful to Scripture.

Beyond the Netflix episode, that was evident in the dispute over an ad on the Hallmark Channel. Zola, a company providing services for wedding planning and registry, created the attention-seeking ad, featuring two women kissing at a same-sex “wedding” ceremony. After objections from One Million Moms, a division of the American Family Association, Hallmark pulled the ad.

A win for families, right?

Not so fast. The Rainbow Mafia isn’t defeated so easily, because no one uses pressure tactics better. As Allie Beth Stuckey put it, “The left doesn’t like other people playing the game they created.” Within hours, Hallmark reversed its decision, issuing a groveling apology for making the “wrong decision” and “for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.” Hilariously, the company claimed, “It is never Hallmark’s intention to be divisive or generate controversy.” But without the remotest sense of self-awareness, Hallmark went on to tout its LGBTQ-friendly record and promise to work “with GLAAD to better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands.”

How about apologizing to American families forced to educate their too-young children about same-sex marriage because their kid saw it in a commercial during a family movie? As One Million Moms put it, “Until recently, Hallmark had a good record for keeping their movies and commercials family-friendly. Now, parents can no longer trust Hallmark because Hallmark is no longer allowing parents to be the primary educators when it comes to sex and sexual morality. Parents need to know they could now come face-to-face with the LGBT agenda when they sit down to watch the Hallmark Channel.”

We have written on numerous occasions about this insidious indoctrination. Establishing emotional connections in children — even via a commercial — is very effective in producing adults who won’t dare question the leftist narrative.

By the way, wasn’t it just recently that leftists were losing their minds over an ad for an exercise bike because it represented “the patriarchy”?

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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

PIVOTAL END-OF-YEAR VOTES: Congress faces high-stakes week with impeachment, trade, and funding votes ahead (CNBC)

MAGA ACHIEVEMENTS: While the media and his critics focused on the bitterly divided House impeachment hearings, President Trump last week collected the most agenda wins yet (Washington Examiner)

SETTLING THE MATTER ONCE AND FOR ALL: Supreme Court justices to take up dispute over subpoenas for Trump records, with a decision expected in June (Associated Press)

“THERE IS NOTHING NEW AND UNUSUAL”: Freshman Democrat Jeff Van Drew to switch parties over nothing-burger impeachment (National Review)

OR MAYBE THE FEARS WERE UNFOUNDED TO BEGIN WITH? U.S. economy shakes free of recession fears in striking turnaround since August (The Washington Post)

LEFT-WING VIOLENCE: Antifa’s deadly year shows the extremism on the far Left (Newsweek)

SURRENDERING TO THE RAINBOW MAFIA: In reversal, Hallmark throws conservatives under the bus by reinstating same-sex marriage ads (Associated Press)

STILL A BRIDGE TOO FAR: Virginia Democrats are proposing a mandatory state gun registration measure after widespread public outrage forced them to back off a more aggressive plan to confiscate so-called assault weapons (The Epoch Times)

BLUE LIVES MATTER: Arkansas police officer “executed” in car was shot 10 times in the head, investigators say as video emerges (Fox News)

COMMUNIST SPIES: Two Chinese diplomats expelled from U.S. after entering military base (New York Post)

POLICY: How to turn the reviving North Korea crisis into a triumph (The Federalist)

POLICY: The Chinese economic miracle: How much is real, and how much is a mirage? (American Enterprise Institute)

HUMOR: It’s time to admit that “Orange Man Bad” is the only legitimate reason for impeachment (NPC Daily)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Jeff Jacoby: “When Gallup earlier this year asked Americans to name the ‘most important problem facing this country today,’ just 1 percent cited the gap between rich and poor. When respondents were given a list of a dozen ‘priorities’ for Congress and the president to tackle, ‘the distribution of income and wealth’ tied for last place. Contrary to progressive belief, America is not divided into rigid economic strata. The incomes of the wealthy often decline, while many taxpayers go from being poor at one point to not-poor at another. Research shows that more than one-tenth of Americans will make it all the way to the top 1 percent for at least one year during their working lives. The very rich, wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald, ‘are different from you and me.’ Are they, though? You’d never know it to hear Warren and Sanders fulminate, but the gaping inequality they rail against might just be an illusion.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “In this springtime of hope, some lights seem eternal; America’s is.” —Ronald Reagan

Braying jackass: “America can overcome four years of Donald Trump’s chaos and corruption, but if re-elected it will forever fundamentally change the character of who we are as a nation. We can’t let this happen. This election is about the soul of our nation and Donald Trump has poisoned our soul.” —Joe Biden

Belly laugh of the year: “There is one indisputable fact about the impeachment of President Donald Trump that should be clear to all Americans: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is making the Constitution great again.” —USA Today columnist Alexander Heffner

Monumental lack of self-awareness: “William Barr is unfit to be attorney general.” —former AG Eric Holder

Clueless? “I’m certainly willing to admit that the inspector general found serious abuses of FISA that I was unaware of. Had I known of them … I would have called out the FBI at the same time. But I think it’s only fair to judge what we knew at the time, not what would be revealed two years later, but yes, there were very serious abuses of the FISA process. They need to be corrected. We need to make sure they never happen again.” — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff

Look in a mirror: “Hate, sinful … rhetoric is very dangerous and it’s becoming synonymous with the Republican Party.” —Ilhan Omar

Non sequitur: “If pitchers can make $324 million, we can pay every teacher in this country at least $60,000.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders

World’s tiniest violin: “I feel like the forgotten man. I made more movies directed by women and about women than any filmmaker, and I’m talking about 30 years ago. I’m not talking about now when it’s vogue. I did it first! I pioneered it!” —Harvey Weinstein

And last… “Few Americans trust the media these days and coverage of impeachment is one of the reasons. It is also one of the reasons so few people are changing their minds. Most people recognize the media can no longer be trusted to play it straight.” —Erick Erickson

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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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