Mid-Day Digest

Jan. 13, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“I had always hoped that the younger generation receiving their early impressions after the flame of liberty had been kindled in every breast … would have sympathized with oppression wherever found, and proved their love of liberty beyond their own share of it.” —Thomas Jefferson (1814)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Trump Stands in Solidarity With Iranian Freedom Movement

Over the weekend, protests erupted throughout Iran following the government’s acknowledgment that its military was responsible for unintentionally shooting down a Ukrainian airliner, which killed 176 people. Chants of “Death to the dictator” were shouted by protesters directing their ire toward the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. One banner read “Apologize and Resign,” while a group of protesters was caught in a video clip saying, “They are lying that our enemy is America; our enemy is right here.”

This latest uprising is reminiscent of the massive anti-government protests that erupted across Iran in late 2009. That was known as the Green Movement, and the anger was over rigged elections. It was recognized by many at the time as the first substantial populous uprising against the Islamic Republic and its facade of a democracy since the mullahs took power after overthrowing the Shah in 1979. As in 2009, Iranians are again calling for freedom and the removal of a tyrannical and murderous government.

However, what’s different about these 2020 protests compared to those in 2009 is the U.S. president’s response. Back in 2009, Barack Obama issued a tepid condemnation of violence against the protesters, stating that it was “not how governments should interact with their people.” Beyond that, however, Obama ignored the protests. He even ridiculously asserted that he wanted to avoid providing then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad any U.S. statements that could be used as a “political football.” Then, years later via his terrible Iran nuclear deal, Obama effectively threw the terror-funding Iranian regime a lifeline.

Fast-forward to this past weekend when President Donald Trump issued unequivocal statements in support of the protest movement. “To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I’ve stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage,” he told protesters. On the other hand, Trump also had a message for the Iranian regime: “To the leaders of Iran — DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!” Trump’s messages were also broadcast on social media in Farsi, Iran’s native language.

To recap, Trump reversed Obama’s Iranian appeasement policy by pulling out of the nuclear deal, and he’s ratcheted up pressure on the terror-funding tyrannical regime via sanctions while decisively responding to Iran’s coordinated attack against the American embassy in Baghdad by green-lighting U.S. military action to take out top terrorist Gen. Qasem Soleimani. Furthermore, unlike Obama, Trump recognizes that the main problem with Iran is the elitist authoritarians running the country. Obama turned a cold shoulder to protesters and funded the terrorist regime, while Trump openly embraces the spirit of Liberty.

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Democrat Debate Stage Will Be All White

Blame the voters. While no votes have yet been cast in the Democrat primary, that’s essentially the message from DNC Chairman Tom Perez when asked why no Democrats “of color” will be on stage at Tuesday’s presidential debate in Des Moines. Who made the cut? Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, and Elizabeth “Not a Cherokee” Warren. They’re so white that, put together, they don’t even make half a Native American.

“If you want to make sure that a candidate of color makes the debate stage, when a pollster calls you, make sure you make that preference felt,” Perez said. “Because that is how you move the polling needle and, again, the voters are the ones who are making these decisions.”

He’s got half a point. While the polls clearly don’t reflect a swell of support for candidates like Andrew Yang — or former candidates like Cory Booker (who dropped out this morning) and Kamala Harris — those candidates might enjoy more support if they weren’t terrible. Now, you might be saying, “But the leading candidates are terrible, too.” And you’d be right. Nonetheless, they’re the nationally recognized terrible candidates who have a respectable shot at defeating “President Hitler,” known to normal people as Donald Trump. Biden continues to enjoy the most support among blacks.

The bigger story is how Democrats have so blatantly taken black voters for granted. Trump enjoys more support from minorities than virtually any other Republican in the last 50 years, which is a sign that more minorities see what Democrats are doing … and what Trump has done for them. That isn’t to say the Democrat won’t still win roughly 90% of the black vote, but there are cracks in the armor.

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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

“THE SUPREME LEADER IS A MURDERER”: Iran opens fire on demonstrators. Protesters chant: “Our enemy is right here; they lie to us that it’s America.” (The Daily Wire)

DESPICABLE: No Senate Democrats support measure praising military for killing Soleimani. All GOP senators supported same resolution about Bin Laden during Obama years. (The Daily Wire)

NO HIDING IT: Iran admits it “unintentionally” shot down Ukrainian jetliner (The Washington Times)

BOOKER OUT: Cory Booker drops out of the presidential race (NBC News)

NO CAPITULATING: Taiwan’s president reelected as voters back tough China stance (CNBC)

POLITICAL THEATER: House Democrats block hazardous-substance measure to protect unborn children (The Washington Free Beacon)

TAKING ON UNIONS: Trump administration rolls back Obama-era “joint employer” rule (Washington Examiner)

SORRY NOT SORRY: FBI director apologizes to FISA court — not Carter Page — for warrant application abuses (The Daily Wire)

“TEXAS HAS CARRIED MORE THAN ITS SHARE”: Gov. Greg Abbott says state will not accept new refugees (The Hill)

RECIPROCITY UNDER FIRE: Virginia gun proposal puts concealed-carry agreements with other states in jeopardy (Washington Examiner)

BRAINWASHED: Shocking number of young Americans say other countries are better than the U.S. (The Daily Wire)

POLICY: The FISA court is complicit in the FBI abuses it’s raising Cain over (The Federalist)

POLICY: Climate change: No one left to defend the camels (American Enterprise Institute)

SATIRE: “The View” audience applauds Hitler after revelation he never voted for Trump (The Babylon Bee)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Jeff Jacoby: “The deficiencies of our televised debates are an old story. As far back as 1990, the late Walter Cronkite called them an ‘unconscionable fraud.’ If you’ve watched even one of these encounters, you know that they involve no actual debating. The candidates aren’t interested in vigorously contending for competing policy differences. Their goals are to deploy their carefully honed talking points, to avoid stumbling into a gaffe, and — if the opportunity presents itself — to zing an opponent with an extemporaneous rebuttal carefully planned in advance. Nowhere is it written that White House hopefuls must debate. Until Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy met in a CBS studio in Chicago in September 1960, no presidential candidates had ever faced off in that way. But if we are to have debates, they ought to be more than two hours of grandstanding soundbite theater. Their purpose should be not to see who can come up with the most memorable punchline or the sharpest opposition-research barb, but to give voters some insight into the thinking and substance of people who want to be president, and some insight into how they would conduct themselves in the highest office in the land.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.” —Ronald Reagan

Upright: “It’s [Trump’s] natural instinct to always put America first and keep us safe. The Democrats’ instinct is to blame America first.” —House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

Observations: “Why did … the killing of Soleimani become a point of partisan disagreement? I think it’s got to be because we’re so partisan generally and because we’re at a point where whatever … President Trump does, Democrats will oppose it.” —Joe Lieberman

Dezinformatsiya: “Shocking! After a week of the media declaring Donald Trump was starting World War III, their polling finds most Americans worried or upset at the President’s handling of the matter.” —Erick Erickson

Trump Derangement Syndrome: “I really am disappointed in the reporters who cannot separate themselves from their contempt for Trump. The people of Iran are in the streets, some of them will die, and a lot of American reporters cannot help but treat it all with a level of passive aggression because of Trump.” —Erick Erickson

The BIG Lie: “We gave [Iran] a little bit of money… But the fact is the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] had all the money it wanted. The IRGC wasn’t starving at that point in time, and, in fact, Iran owed billions upon billions of dollars. Most of that money went to pay off their debts and to facilitate their economic initiatives.” —former Secretary of State John Kerry

Braying jenny: “This administration says starving the Iranian economy is in defense of human rights, when it is an abuse of them. … Escalation is deescalation. War is peace. In fact, they’re asking us to deny reality. … This administration has gone abroad in search of monsters to destroy. May God show us the way to freedom, independence, and peace.” —Rep. Ilhan Omar

Non compos mentis: “Let’s send the message once and for all that God does not belong to a political party in the United States of America.” —Pete Buttigieg, whose party flat-out rejects God

What could possibly go wrong? “We will move this country to public funding of elections.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders

And last… “Weird how the same people who gawped at the Soleimani funeral crowds and blamed Trump for Iran shooting down a civilian airliner are now silent about the Iranians protesting the regime. Almost as though their agenda has nothing to do with the aspirations of the Iranian people.” —Ben Shapiro

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TODAY’S MEME

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TODAY’S CARTOON

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