“National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman.” —John Adams (1815)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Iranians shoot down an airliner, leftists blame Trump.
- Pelosi may slow-walk impeachment, but McConnell’s not playing.
- Trump pitches an important environmental deregulation plan.
- Daily Features: More Analysis, Columnists, Headlines, Opinion in Brief, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
On Tuesday, roughly four hours after Iran launched several missiles at a number of sites in Iraq at which U.S. military personnel were located — a retaliatory measure for the U.S.‘s killing of Iran’s top terrorist — a Ukrainian commercial jetliner crashed minutes after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, killing all 176 persons on board. Among those on board were 82 Iranians, at least 63 Canadians, and 11 Ukrainians. Iranian officials initially claimed that the three-year-old Boeing 737’s crash was caused by a technical malfunction. But that explanation has quickly fallen apart upon U.S. intelligence officials’ determination that the airliner was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. Furthermore, video evidence has surfaced that appears to corroborate that report.
Tellingly, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has accepted the intelligence assessment. “We have intelligence from multiple sources including our allies and our own intelligence,” he said. “The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. This may well have been unintentional.” And in all likelihood the downing of the airline was unintentional, but that doesn’t absolve the regime in Tehran of instigating this tragedy with its malicious incompetence.
However, unsurprisingly, Democrats and Leftmedia pontificators can’t see past their own Trump Derangement Syndrome to accurately lay the blame on the guilty party. “Innocent civilians are now dead because they were caught in the middle of an unnecessary and unwanted military tit for tat,” Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg absurdly lamented. As a military veteran he knows better. Dem Rep. Jackie Speier (CA) falsely asserted that Iran’s downing of the airliner was “collateral damage from the actions that have been taken in a provocative way by the president of the United States.” And then there was The Atlantic’s David Frum, who bloviated, “Soleimani abundantly deserved to die a violent death. The 176 innocents he took with him did not. President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama both flinched from doing justice to Soleimani, because they asked, ‘And what will happen next?’ Trump did not ask that question. Families over half the world are now grieving a consequence that Trump’s ego forbade him to imagine or ponder.”
The fact of the matter is that Trump did not start this. The tensions between the U.S. and Iran were initiated by the current Iranian terror-funding regime back 1979, and the U.S. as well as much of the Western world have been at loggerheads with Iran ever since. To assert that Trump is primarily responsible for causing this bloodshed is a flat-out lie. As Matt Walsh observes, “[The Leftmedia] are providing PR cover to a foreign enemy that has murdered an American, attacked our embassy, and now blown up a commercial aircraft, all in the span of a month. This is despicable bordering on treasonous. And it further demonstrates why Democrats can never be given control of the government. They do not have the interests of Americans at heart. They do not love our country. And we cannot trust them.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell officially forced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand on Thursday. He signed on to cosponsor Sen. Josh Hawley’s resolution to dismiss the House Democrats’ articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump should Pelosi fail to send them to the Senate soon. The Hill reports, “The resolution would give the House 25 days to send articles of impeachment over to the Senate. After that, a senator could offer a motion to dismiss ‘with prejudice for failure by the House of Representatives to prosecute such articles’ with a simple majority vote, according to Hawley’s proposal.”
Following McConnell’s announcement earlier this week that he had secured enough votes to adopt impeachment-trial rules that don’t include the precondition demanded by Pelosi, the speaker has struggled to maintain party support for her stalling gambit. At least four Democrat senators and several Democrat House members have called on Pelosi to submit the impeachment articles.
And yesterday, following his joining Hawley’s resolution, McConnell blasted Pelosi and Democrats for their clearly partisan impeachment charade. “They have initiated one of the most grave and most unsettling processes in our Constitution and then refuse to allow a resolution,” McConnell declared. “The speaker began something that she herself predicted would be ‘so divisive to the country’ … and now she is unilaterally saying it cannot move forward towards a resolution.”
In order for Hawley’s resolution to be adopted, it would require a two-thirds majority vote, an unlikely prospect given Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s certain opposition. But that would leave McConnell the option of invoking the “nuclear option” eliminating the two-thirds threshold and passing the resolution via a simple majority vote. To put it in gambling terms, McConnell is playing with house money, while Pelosi is quickly running out of chips.
President Donald Trump has made substantial progress over the years undoing some of the regulatory damage done by his predecessor. He announced his latest proposal this week — what The Wall Street Journal called “the first comprehensive overhaul of National Environmental Policy Act rules in more than 40 years.” Infrastructure is a big motivator for Trump, who said, “We want to build new roads, bridges, tunnels, highways bigger, better, faster. These endless delays waste money, keep projects from breaking ground, and deny jobs to our nation’s incredible workers.”
So what is Trump aiming to do? He’s calling for a time limit on the onerous “environmental reviews” mandated by EPA regulations. These reviews average between five and seven years, but they can take more than 10 years in some cases and are to blame for needlessly delaying an estimated $1 trillion in transportation infrastructure alone. Trump is right: This is an “outrageously slow and burdensome federal approval process.” He added, “The United States will not be able to compete and prosper in the 21st century if we continue to allow a broken and outdated bureaucratic system to hold us back from building what we need.”
The president proposes limiting less comprehensive reviews to one year, while bigger ones would be granted two years. “It took four years to build the Golden Gate Bridge, five years to build the Hoover Dam and less than one year — can you believe that — to build the Empire State Building,” Trump said. Surely, environmental reviews can be completed in such timeframes.
Leftists, who if they’re honest simply don’t want much new infrastructure, predictably reacted with dreadful apocalyptic warnings that grossly mischaracterize what Trump is doing. According to Brett Hartl of the Center for Biological Diversity, “Forcing federal agencies to ignore environmental threats is a disgraceful abdication of our responsibility to protect the planet for future generations.”
Unions, however, support Trump’s move. That reveals yet again the divide between blue-collar workers and Democrats, who would rather regulate jobs out of existence to “save the planet” and give the jobs that do exist to illegal aliens.
Trump has rolled back several of Obama’s ecofascist regulations and — you may want to sit down for this — our air is still breathable and our water is still drinkable.
Finally, what has Trump’s deregulation truly done? Allowed robust job creation. December job creation slowed a bit to just 145,000, down from November’s 256,000, but headline unemployment remained at the historic low of 3.5%. December marked 10 straight years of job growth, which is the longest stretch in 80 years. It’s tough to keep adding jobs at essentially full employment, but Trump is proving the American economy is quite capable.
ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- Featured Analysis: Blue States Will Lose Power in 2020 — New York, California, and others are losing people — and thus voters, power, and money.
- Greta Thunberg Is a Victim — She’s a teenage puppet for leftist alarmists who want to increase government control.
- Grassroots Perspective: Democrats Rush to Defend America? — Hardly. When Trump took out a terrorist, leftists loudly complained about his action.
- Video: Dems Say Soleimani ‘Was a Murderer and Terrorist BUT’ — A montage of Democrats getting the inconvenient truth out of the way before arguing.
- Video: Medal of Honor Recipient Talks American Strength — “The threats to our nation — they don’t sleep. They’re watching our every move.”
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
POLITICAL UPBRAIDING: House passes War Powers Resolution in rebuke of Trump’s actions against Iran (Fox News)
FOR THE RECORD: In 2011, Pelosi said Obama did not need authorization to attack Libya (Townhall)
CLEARLY TRUMP’S FAULT, LEFTISTS SAY: Iranian missile system shot down Ukraine flight, probably by mistake (Newsweek)
CALLING PELOSI’S BLUFF: McConnell backs measure to change Senate rules, dismiss impeachment without articles (The Hill)
“OUTRAGEOUSLY SLOW AND BURDENSOME”: Trump administration proposes major changes to bedrock environmental law (NPR)
FAKE PERSECUTION: Judges denied 70% of migrant asylum claims in 2019 (Washington Examiner)
HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: The number of people arrested or stopped entering the United States along the Mexico border fell for a seventh straight month in December (Associated Press)
DESIGNATION DENIED: Army won’t reinstate elite status of soldier given clemency by Trump (NBC News)
ANOTHER PREVENTABLE TRAGEDY: New Jersey gave Texas church shooter plea deal that wiped out gun felony (NJ1015.com)
KALIFORNIA: Golden State considers statewide ban on gas-powered garden tools (CBS Sacramento)
POLICY: A needed update to the nation’s environmental rules (Washington Examiner)
POLICY: Climate-change alarmists are getting more delusional in their predictions (The Heartland Institute)
HUMOR: As part of settlement with Nick Sandmann, CNN hosts must wear MAGA hats during all broadcasts (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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OPINION IN BRIEF
Erick Erickson: “In the modern era, it is difficult to come up with an administration that has spent as much energy trying to sabotage its successor in office. Obama administration officials have worked tirelessly to embed themselves into media outlets as supposedly objective voices. … Obama officials now guard what news you can and cannot hear. They anchor news desks and serve as purportedly objective analysts. When the Obama loyalist as news anchor asks the Obama loyalist as news analyst what happened, we can be sure they will blame Trump and protect Obama’s legacy. A media that continues to lecture Trump voters about truth increasingly does not know what truth is.”
For the record: “I support the president, and I applaud what he’s done. More than any other president in my lifetime, this president has respected and restrained his use of commander-in-chief power afforded to him under Article II of the Constitution.” —Sen. Mike Lee
Observations: “We have become unable to rouse ourselves to take public problems seriously unless we can persuade ourselves that they present immediate and utterly apocalyptic dangers. As a result, we can’t focus on the routine demands of self-government, or on the longer-term preconditions for a thriving society. This perverse and frenzied myopia — call it hellscape short-termism — stands in the way of a functional American politics.” —Yuval Levin
Political futures: “It’s kind of unreal when you think about it. Democrats spent the last two months free-falling in the polls ‘cause of their dumb impeachment, and now their recovery plan is to attack Trump for killing a terrorist. Genius.” —Jesse Kelly
Dezinformatsiya: “I think it’s difficult for most people in the United States and outside of Iran and perhaps the region to grasp the unique place and role that General Soleimani played in Iran and in regional politics. … To be clear, there were plenty of Iranians who did not love or respect General Soleimani, but there were activists, there were opposition figures who had been jailed by the regime who attended. And when I asked them, 'Why are you there, why are you going?’ the response was, ‘General Soleimani protected our national security. He transcended politics. He was a national hero.’” —New York Times’s Farnaz Fassihi
False equivalency: “When Princess Diana died … there was a huge emotional outpouring. … Elvis Presley in our culture. It turns out that this general [Trump] killed was a beloved hero of the Iranian people. … There’s no American emotion in this case, but there’s a hell of a lot of emotion on the other side. Should our leaders know what they’re doing when they kill somebody?” —MSNBC’s Chris Matthews
The BIG Lie: “We are concerned that the senators will not be able to live up to the oath that they must take to have an impartial trial.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Braying jenny: “I’m not holding [impeachment articles] indefinitely. I will send them over when I’m ready.” —Nancy Pelosi (“Speaker Pelosi has managed to do the impossible. She has created growing bipartisan unity — in opposition to her own reckless games with impeachment.” —Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell)
Trump Derangement Syndrome: “Innocent civilians are now dead because they were caught in the middle of an unnecessary and unwanted military tit for tat. My thoughts are with the families and loved ones of all 176 souls lost aboard this flight.” —Pete Buttigieg
Non compos mentis: “I think every time … I hear of conversations around war, I find myself being stricken with PTSD. And I find peace knowing that I serve with great advocates for peace and people who have shown courage against war.” —Rep. Ilhan Omar
And last… “If you’re blaming the United States because Iran shot down a commercial airliner, you are a lying hack whose lies and hackery are in service to a foreign enemy. You are an embarrassment to this country and the rest of us are ashamed of you.” —Matt Walsh
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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