Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 17, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“It behooves you, therefore, to think and act for yourself and your people. The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.” —Thomas Jefferson (1775)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

FEATURED ANALYSIS

The Schiff-Schumer Tag Team

As the Democrats’ Impeachment Express barrels ahead toward the cliff, Adam Schiff and Chuck Schumer have weighed in on the beginning and likely end of the trip.

A quick refresher: The FBI used the Hillary Clinton-funded “dossier,” fabricated by Christopher Steele, to obtain dubious FISA warrants under false pretenses to surveil Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. In 2018, then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes laid all this out in a memo. Schiff, who was the ranking Democrat at the time, rebutted Nunes with a dishonest rewrite of history. According to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Nunes was right.

That brings us to Schiff’s transparent and pathetic attempts to save face. He declared this week:

[The FBI was] right to seek a FISA on Carter Page. And there wasn’t some deep-state conspiracy. There was no spying on the Trump campaign. There was no effort to — based on political bias — open the investigation. It was properly predicated. But there were, nonetheless, serious abuses of FISA which were not apparent two years ago, but which have become apparent now, with 170 witnesses interviewed and two million documents reviewed by the IG. And I am glad that the IG made the recommendations that he has made, and the FBI is going to follow them. But that wasn’t apparent to us two years ago. But the most significant things, I think, are that corrective steps will be taken, in terms of the FISA process, and that the IG debunked these claims by the president, by Mr. Nunes and others, of this deep-state conspiracy, this improper investigation.

What a load of bunk. Even the Trump-deranged Washington Post grudgingly admitted that Nunes was right and Schiff was wrong, so it takes a lot of gall for Schiff to stick to his story.

Schiff wasn’t done. He claimed, “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 … yes, I would have called out the FBI at the same time.” Nunes told Schiff about those abuses nearly two years ago. Instead of “calling out” the FBI, Schiff directed his fire at Nunes.

That’s because Schiff and every other Democrat in the swamp has been fixated on one thing since Nov. 9, 2016: impeaching Trump.

Veteran journalist Brit Hume was incredulous. “[Schiff] says he didn’t know about that?” Hume marveled. “What utter nonsense. One of the most striking things about this IG report … is how closely it mirrors what the Devin Nunes investigation … found and what he said about the FISA abuses, and so on — to which this very same Adam Schiff issued a report and rebuttal, which disputed the Nunes findings — findings now confirmed by the IG report. And now he claims he didn’t know about those things. Of course he knew about them; he wrote a rebuttal to them. And the rebuttal was full of falsehoods.”

And don’t forget it was after all that when Schiff colluded with the whistleblower to set up Trump for impeachment 2.0.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is about to take the reins on behalf of Democrats, as soon as House Democrats inevitably vote this week to impeach. But it is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republicans who will be calling the shots in the upper chamber.

Schumer is already challenging McConnell over procedure and witnesses. “It seems to me that no good case has been made for witnesses,” Schumer said.

Oops — that was back in 1999 during Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Now Schumer is demanding witnesses.

“To engage a trial without the facts coming out is to engage in a coverup,” he declared Monday. “To conduct a trial without the facts is saying, ‘We’re afraid. We have something to hide.’ To conduct a trial without relevant witnesses who haven’t been heard from, to just rehash the evidence presented in the House, just doesn’t make any sense. If Leader McConnell doesn’t hold a full and fair trial, the American people will rightly ask, ‘What are you, Leader McConnell, and what is President Trump hiding?’”

The New York Democrat tried his darnedest to explain the distinction by saying “children would be watching” in 1999 and didn’t need to hear Monica Lewinsky’s testimony. “It’s a totally different situation [now],” he insisted. “There’s no analogy.”

Sure thing, Chuck. To be clear, Schumer’s strategy now is to have the Republican Senate deny witnesses like John Bolton so he can bang the “they have something to hide” drum. Then again, with Bolton, Schumer might be careful what he wishes for.

Democrats have been calling for McConnell to “recuse himself” because he won’t be impartial. News flash: That would also immediately disqualify every Senate Democrat currently or previously running for president.

Just keep in mind that, from start to finish, from Schiff to Schumer, the Democrats’ impeachment charade has been full of lies and fabrications, driven by an acute case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. No facts, witnesses, or reports will change that.

We’ll just leave you with this headline from The Daily Wire: “Impeachment Support Collapses With Public As Trump Approval Ties Record High.”

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Virginia: Front Line of the 2A Rights Fight

Following the Democrat Party’s narrow takeover of both houses of Virginia’s General Assembly this past November, those majorities are teaming up with Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam to undercut the commonwealth’s historically staunch pro-Second Amendment status. In response, thousands of patriotic Virginians have risen up in defense of their constitutionally protected rights to challenge the Democrats’ planned gun-grabbing agenda by declaring their communities Second Amendment Sanctuaries. Thus far, 75 of Virginia’s 95 counties and 18 of the commonwealth’s legally independent cities have enacted Second Amendment Sanctuary policies.

However, the fight is far from over, as Democrats have begun issuing threats against their fellow Virginians should they refuse to comply with Northam’s proposed draconian gun-grabbing legislation (SB 16). “I’m not the governor, but the governor may have to [mobilize] the National Guard to enforce the law,” warned Democrat state Rep. Donald McEachin. “That’s his call, because I don’t know how serious these counties are and how severe the violations of law will be. But that’s obviously an option he has.”

Virginia’s National Guard was quick to respond, “We understand and respect the passion people feel for the U.S. Constitution and 2nd Amendment rights. We will not speculate about the possible use of the Virginia National Guard.” In other words, Keep us out of this.

McEachin also threatened to withhold tax revenue from 2A sanctuary counties. “They certainly risk funding,” he warned. “If the sheriff’s department is not going to enforce the law, they’re going to lose money. The counties’ attorneys offices are not going to have the money to prosecute because their prosecutions are going to go down.”

While McEachin alone is not in a position to back up his threats, Democrats in the General Assembly have in fact taken action with a bill clearly aimed at compelling law enforcement into enforcing whatever anti-2A legislation they may pass. The recently introduced HB 67 would terminate the employment of any law-enforcement officer who refuses to enforce a state law, irrespective of the local government’s position. Democrat Rep. Gerry Connolly explained, “I would hope they either resign in good conscience because they cannot uphold the law which they are sworn to uphold, or they’re prosecuted for failure to fulfill their oath. The law is the law. If that becomes the law, you don’t have a choice — not if you’re a sworn officer of the law.”

Northam himself echoed Connolly’s comments: “If we have constitutional laws on the books and law-enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books, then there are going to be consequences, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it.” Just what those “consequences” would be, Northam refused to elaborate. And he might want to explain how “constitutional” laws can ban constitutional rights.

Northam has attempted to prevent the growth of the 2A sanctuary movement by offering to insert a “grandfather clause” into SB 16 exempting currently owned “assault weapons” from the legislation’s ban on possession of AR-15s and many other firearms, but many Virginians aren’t buying it. “Any erosion of our constitutional rights is just the beginning,” one Virginia resident argued. “This is just the tip of the iceberg on what they ultimately want, which is complete gun confiscation across the whole United States. These United States were founded with firearms. All the other rights we have are only guaranteed because of this right.” Well said.

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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

UGLIER THAN A CHRISTMAS SWEATER: Congress finalizes 2020 budget bill ahead of impending shutdown; bill includes federal research into “gun violence” and raising the tobacco buying age to 21 (National Review)

TONE DEAF: Chuck Schumer issues list of Democrat demands for Senate impeachment trial, gets wrecked for hypocrisy related to Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial (The Daily Wire)

NEVER-ENDING WITCH HUNT: House vows to continue impeachment probes regardless of Senate outcome (Politico)

THE INSTIGATOR SPEAKS: Dossier author Christopher Steele breaks silence with IG report rebuttal (The Washington Times)

BOMBSHELL OR BLUSTER? Giuliani says he has new proof of massive corruption in Ukraine involving Bidens (The Washington Times)

SKIPPING THE 2020 DEBATES? Trump slams debate commission, raising questions about his participation (The Hill)

BARACK OBAMA, HYPOCRITE-IN-CHIEF: Women “indisputably” better than men, says dude who prevented female from becoming president (The Washington Free Beacon)

A TINY FRACTION OF THE 47,000 INDIVIDUALS: Just 11 migrants have qualified for asylum under Remain in Mexico program (The Daily Caller)

THERE ALMOST SEEMS TO BE A PATTERN HERE: Starbucks again apologizes after employees allegedly treat law enforcement with disrespect (The Daily Wire)

THOUSANDS OF JOBS IN JEOPARDY: Boeing will halt 737 Max production in January as FAA reviews software fix (The Washington Post)

POLICY: Eleven more examples of how firearms save gun owners’ lives and property (The Daily Signal)

POLICY: Congress should promptly scrap the medical device tax, once and for all (RealClearMarkets)

HUMOR: Santa Claus accused of quid pro quo for giving children gifts in exchange for good behavior (The Babylon Bee)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Rich Lowry: “The Supreme Court just ensured that the nation’s homelessness crisis will continue. The court declined to take up an appeal of a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, covering the western United States, that homeless encampments are a de facto constitutional right. The 9th Circuit has a long history of reading the law as if its judges are actors in an absurdist play; in the encampment case, stemming from a Boise, Idaho, ordinance, it truly lived up to its cracked standards. The court maintained that enforcing a prohibition against camping in public places is a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. … Since the basis of the 9th Circuit’s decision is that sleeping is a basic human need, it puts at risk other commonsense statutes. It is also a basic human need to defecate and urinate. A drug addict feels a need to use drugs. When will the 9th Circuit, or some other adventurous court, find Eighth Amendment protection for these? There is an obvious public interest in tearing down encampments and keeping them from springing up. They are dens of public health risks, drug abuse and crime that significantly degrade the quality of life.”

SHORT CUTS

Political futures: “Here’s what we do know. First, no president since World War II has failed to be reelected when the unemployment rate was below 7.4 percent. Second, the unemployment rate in November 2020 is almost certain to be well below 7.4 percent.” —Paul Mirengoff

A Republic — if you can keep it: “We are exactly where the Framers hoped we would never be when they added the impeachment clauses to the Constitution: in a governing system in which impeachment has been trivialized into a partisan weapon for straitjacketing the incumbent administration, rather than being reserved as a nuclear option for misconduct so egregious that Congress must act, transcending partisan, factional, or ideological considerations.” —Andrew McCarthy

For the record: “The two articles of impeachment [have] no basis in the Constitution. They were a reflection of the comparative voting power of the two parties, precisely what one of the founders, Alexander Hamilton, warned would be the ‘greatest danger’ of an impeachment.” —Alan Dershowitz

What’s your definition of “full and fair”? “To engage a trial without the facts coming out is to engage in a coverup. To conduct a trial without the facts is saying, ‘We’re afraid. We have something to hide.’ To conduct a trial without relevant witnesses who haven’t been heard from, to just rehash the evidence presented in the House, just doesn’t make any sense. If Leader McConnell doesn’t hold a full and fair trial, the American people will rightly ask, ‘What are you, Leader McConnell, and what is President Trump hiding?’” —Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

A blast from the past: “[Republicans] know that these allegations do not meet the test of the Constitution. They know that there are not impeachable offenses, but they pressed forward because it is really a coup d'état where … they are trying to do with this impeachment what they were unable to do at the ballot box.” —Rep. Maxine Waters during Bill Clinton’s impeachment ordeal — except that Clinton actually committed impeachable offenses

Braying jackass I: “I’m absolutely confident that for two years if every nation on earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything.” —Barack Obama, who prevented Hillary Clinton from winning in 2008

Braying jackass II: “If you look at the world and look at the problems it’s usually old people, usually old men, not getting out of the way.” —Barack Obama, who seems to be working to prevent Joe Biden from winning in 2020

Non sequitur: “The US needs to become an advanced society. That includes establishing healthcare as a right to all people.” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who seems to think “rights” are things other people are forced to provide you

And last… “Democrats continue to make the case that if Trump isn’t impeached, he’ll steal the election of 2020. How isn’t that a statement of deep concern over their 2020 candidates?” —Ben Shapiro

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