Mid-Day Digest

Jan. 23, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“For the same reason that the members of the State legislatures will be unlikely to attach themselves sufficiently to national objects, the members of the federal legislature will be likely to attach themselves too much to local objects.” —James Madison (1788)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Impeachment Trial Day 2: Democrats Impeach American Voters

Adam Schiff led House Democrats in making their opening arguments Wednesday in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Speaking for two hours, Schiff’s case boiled down to the supposed need to remove Trump for his “corrupt purposes.” You see, it’s not that Trump’s actions rise to the level of impeachable offenses; it’s his intentions as interpreted by Democrats that are impeachable. Orange man bad, must be removed. Furthermore, Schiff argued, “The president’s misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won.” Democrats don’t trust the American people to judge for themselves whether Trump deserves to remain in office.

Schiff’s statement is Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” comment repackaged. This is simply how Democrats think about vast swaths of America, proving that they’re not really after Trump; they’re after you, the voter. Ever since Trump defeated Clinton, Democrats have been seeking to impeach the vote of the American people.

Also on Wednesday, the Senate received a letter signed by 21 Republican state attorneys general calling the Democrats’ basis for impeachment illegitimate and for it to be “explicitly rejected.” The AGs argue that the Democrats’ “corrupt motives theory is dangerous to democracy because it encourages impeachment whenever the President exercises his constitutional authority in a way that offends the opposing political party, which is predisposed to view his motives with skepticism and motivated by its own motives to regain that very office.” While this letter won’t stop the impeachment trial, it may serve Senate Republicans. As The Wall Street Journal editorial board argues, “This might take the form of a Senate resolution at the time of acquittal. The crucial point is to reject impeachment as a regular tool of partisan punishment, reserving it for genuine cases of presidential abuse.”

Meanwhile, the Democrats’ push to call more witnesses is proving tricky. There has been some speculation that Democrats would be open to a deal exchanging John Bolton for Hunter Biden, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer quickly shot that down, saying, “I think it’s off the table.” Then he quickly spun it as Republicans wanting to use it “to smear the Bidens.” The fact of the matter is that the crux of the whistleblower’s complaint rests entirely on Trump’s legitimate request that the Bidens’ shady behavior be investigated. It’s disingenuous to claim the Bidens are not tied up in this, but that’s par for the course with these Democrats.

The fact is Democrats will need the votes of at least four Republicans to get Bolton on the stand, and for those votes they will need to give those Republicans something in return. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is playing it smart, stating that the Senate will be open to calling only those witnesses the House itself called; no new witnesses will be considered. He also warned, “It could dramatically change the separation of powers between the House and the Senate if the Senate agrees we will conduct both the investigation and the trial of an impeachment.”

In any case, as Mark Alexander has asserted for months, “What Democrats want is Republicans on the record voting against witnesses so they can perpetuate the ‘Trump is guilty and Republicans covered for him’ myth. They will then use those votes in campaign ads against a few Republicans they believe are vulnerable in November. The Demo impeachment charade has always been about retaking the Senate so that if Trump is reelected they can block conservative SCOTUS nominations. Republicans should call their bluff and seek witnesses — and Schumer and Schiff will run for cover.”

Finally, as far as the House Democrats offering any new or compelling arguments against Trump, the sentiment among Senate Republicans was summed up by Wyoming’s John Barrasso, who commented, “Six hours of testimony so far today… I didn’t hear anything new at all.” That matters not because the Senate is supposed to hear new things but because nothing Democrats have presented so far merits impeachment or removal.

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Putting Prayer Back in Schools

On January 15, known as National Religious Freedom Day, President Donald Trump announced that his administration would update federal guidance on prayer in public schools. “On Religious Freedom Day, we honor the foundational link between freedom and faith in our country and reaffirm our commitment to safeguarding the religious liberty of all Americans,” he stated.

Such reaffirmation is a welcome sign. More on that here and here.

Now, for the background. Three Supreme Court decisions — Engel v. Vitale (1962), Murray v. Curlett (1963), and Abington Township School District v. Schempp (1963) — fundamentally changed the way the First Amendment’s religious protections had been previously understood. In short, a Supreme Court that leaned decidedly left during the 1960s appeared more determined to endorse freedom from religion than freedom of religion.

In Engel, the Court ruled 6-1 that a prayer written by New York state’s Board of Regents and said before classes each day was “wholly inconsistent with the Establishment Clause,” according to Justice Hugo Black writing for the majority.

In Abington Township, which also involved the Murray ruling, the Court determined 8–1 that school-sponsored Bible reading in public schools was also unconstitutional. “The reading of the verses, even without comment, possesses a devotional and religious character and constitutes in effect a religious observance,” the Court insisted. Moreover, the Court also asserted the fact that “some pupils, or theoretically all pupils, might be excused from attendance at the exercises does not mitigate the obligatory nature of the ceremony.”

That the Board of Regents prayer was voluntary and that a religious observance with attendance of zero could still be construed as obligatory is indicative of a Court likely influenced by the tenor of the times. The American Left still reveres the social revolution of the ‘60s, and while there were welcome advances in personal freedom and proper challenges to the racial status quo, the rebellion against traditional views of sex and the wholesale advancement of Secular Humanism gave us a society in which sex became exponentially more hedonistic, morality became “relative,” and the societal bedrocks of marriage and the nuclear family began unraveling.

Ironically, in Torcaso v. Watkins, SCOTUS referred to Secular Humanism as a religion “which [does] not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God.” Justice Black stated, “We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person 'to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.’ Neither can constitutionally pass laws or impose requirements which aid all religions as against nonbelievers, and neither can aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs.”

What about the other way around? Justice Potter Stewart, the lone dissenting vote in Abington Township, had a prescient take on exactly that. He asserted that the removal of prayer from schools “led not to true neutrality with respect to religion, but to the establishment of a religion of secularism.”

Was Stewart right? Over the ensuing decades, several states have passed laws either permanently enjoining parental notification, no law at all, or judicial bypass of parents with regard to a minor getting an abortion. If there is another surgical procedure that can be administered to a child absent parent notification, much less permission, one is hard-pressed to know what it is.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In American schools today, a fear-based global-warming agenda is disseminated with impunity, and math is taught from a “social justice” perspective. A radical leftist teacher-training program known as “Deep Equity” addresses the “dynamics of privilege and power [that] must be confronted to impact real change,” and indoctrination exemplified by a “privilege scorecard” given to students at at Saratoga Springs High School has become routine. Furthermore, several schools teach the transgender agenda to children beginning in kindergarten, and many of the states in which that agenda is disseminated have no opt-out clause.

Thus, in stark contrast to the Supreme Court’s take on religion in schools, nothing is voluntary, the attendance will never be zero, and the ongoing dissemination of Secular Humanism, a.k.a. progressive ideology, in America’s classrooms leaves little doubt that Stewart was right on the money.

SCOTUS will soon rule on a case determining whether state laws excluding religious organizations from government funding available to others is constitutional. If not, school choice would also include funding for religious schools that many American prefer, especially when the alternative choice is a union-centric public school system with a 50-year track record of failure.

“If we win this case, it will be the U.S. Supreme Court once again saying that school choice is fully constitutional and it’s a good thing and it’s something parents should have,” said Erica Smith, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs.

In an age where the totally bankrupt assertion of “my truth” resonates, it’s not a good thing — it’s a great thing.

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Denver Post Fires Writer for Stating Scientific Fact

The Rainbow Mafia strikes again, this time in Colorado, where Denver Post conservative columnist Jon Caldara was given his walking papers after he penned an article in which he criticized the Associated Press stylebook as a “progressive bias … propaganda guide.” In his article, Caldara noted how a “very sizable percentage of Americans” have rejected the mainstream media, and that this is due primarily to the MSM’s leftist bias.

Of course, many journalists appear to be blind to that bias. Caldara argues that this blindness is due to a media culture that has become so “monolithically progressive” it can’t even find the political center anymore. Speaking to reporters about this reality is like “talking to an alcoholic about his drinking,” he said. The reporter “honestly can’t see the issue and will angrily suggest you are the one with the problem.”

As evidence of the hard-left bent within MSM culture, Caldara points to the AP stylebook, which is a repository of “progressively loaded language.” He argues that the stylebook is not merely a “dictionary-like guide for reporters and editors.” Instead, “What it actually does is cement terminology to promote political conclusions. It declares the winners and losers in political debates.” He then observes several examples of how the AP stylebook pushes a blatant leftist agenda, including the scientifically false claim that gender isn’t binary.

Caldara writes, “It’s admirable that reporters want to be compassionate to transgender individuals and those transitioning, as we all should be. But AP reporters first have a duty to the truth, or so they say. There are only two sexes, identified by an XX or XY chromosome. That is the very definition of binary. The AP ruling it isn’t so doesn’t change science. It’s a premeditative attempt to change culture and policy. It’s activism.”

Well, like that alcoholic in Caldara’s insightful example, the Denver Post’s chief editor, Megan Schrader, wouldn’t accept or even tolerate his accurate assessment of the MSM and fired him. Interestingly, Caldara was one of the paper’s most-read columnists, and now Schrader is looking to fill his position with another “conservative” writer. Following his firing, Caldara noted that Schrader “cares deeply” about those who have been victimized but his “frustration is that [Schrader] doesn’t quite understand that the speech code she’s pushing is having an opposite effect … of what she wants.”

Remember when liberals were all about free speech? Those days are long gone.

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Banning Conversion Therapy to Placate the Rainbow Mafia

The state of Utah this week became the 19th state to ban conversion therapy for children who struggle with gender-disorientation pathology. In short, that means therapists are legally prohibited from working with young people to help them recalibrate their sexual desire or identity.

Here’s the Associated Press definition and explanation of conversion therapy:

Conversion therapy is a practice used to try to change sexual orientation or gender identity. Many people who have been through it say it deepened feelings of depression and increased thoughts of suicide. The new rule bans licensed Utah therapists from subjecting LGBTQ minors to the practice that the American Psychological Association has said is not based in science and is harmful to mental health. The Utah Psychological Association also spoke in favor of the rule.

The hypocrisy is so appalling it’s worth recasting that paragraph with a couple of links to prove the assertions:

Gender “reassignment” surgery is a practice used to try to “change” a person’s biological sex, despite the clear science that there are only two sexes. Many people who have been through it say it deepened feelings of depression and increased thoughts of suicide. In fact, an astounding 41% of “transgendered” individuals have attempted suicide, compared to just 4.6% of the overall population. Nevertheless, judges and doctors have subjected minors to the hormone therapy and more — sometimes over the objections of their parents — even though the American Psychological Association used to say this was not based in science and is harmful to mental health.

The American Medical Association also used to classify various gender pathologies as mental illness, even recommending conversion therapy until 1994, when the AMA reversed course and started recommending psychotherapy to help homosexuals “become more comfortable with their sexual orientation.”

Now, we’re not defending any particular brand of conversion therapy, as that would greatly depend on the therapist and vary widely depending on the patient. But it’s clear that over the last 30 years, the Rainbow Mafia has put the screws to doctors, psychologists, and scientists, who have done a total about-face from prior established practice in order to comply with a political agenda. When this sort of pseudoscience is done to teenagers or even elementary-age children, it is nothing less than child abuse.

And yet The Patriot Post has encountered censorship from Facebook on two specific occasions for talking about the science of two sexes and for opposing child abuse. Yet it’s not just memes on social media; it’s laws affecting parents, children, businesses, doctors, and others. Utah has joined 18 other states in criminalizing opposition to the accepted political point of view, and that’s what’s so dangerous.

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Virginia 2A Rally Attendees Pick Up Trash After Peaceful Event

“You know how you see mountains of trash on the streets following pretty much any kind of large-scale protest by leftists, feminists and even environmentalists? Well, I’m not saying that there won’t be any trash at all on the streets of Richmond following the Second Amendment rally on Lobby Day in Virginia’s state capital, but I did see something I rarely — if ever — have seen at any protest by the left,” writes journalist Nick Kangadis. “The rally-goers in Richmond actually picked up after themselves.”

Read more at MRCTV.

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Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

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NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

HISTORIC: Trump will be first president to address March for Life in person (The Resurgent)

A WITNESS DEMOCRATS DON’T WANT: Whistleblower was overheard in 2017 discussing with ally how to remove Trump (RealClearInvestigations)

RED WAVE? Impeachment drives 1,000 GOP candidates to run for House (Washington Examiner)

NEEDED VISA OVERHAUL: U.S. imposes visa rules for pregnant women on “birth tourism” (AP)

RIGHT TO WORK: Union membership falls to record low of 10.3% — down 10% since 1983 (The Hill)

CHALLENGES STILL LOOM: Trump administration approves Keystone pipeline on U.S. land (Associated Press)

“WE CAN’T LET VIRGINIA GO TO WASTE”: White nationalists arrested ahead of Richmond rally planned to kill gun-rights demonstrators to spark civil war (National Review)

INDEFENSIBLE: Less than half of Americans know six million Jews killed in Holocaust (Washington Examiner)

WARPED PRIORITIES: San Antonio’s Chick-fil-A fight has cost more than $300K so far (KENS 5)

MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH? Immune cell that kills most cancers discovered by accident by British scientists (The Telegraph)

VIRUS OUTBREAK: Chinese city halts all air, train traffic to contain spread of coronavirus that has killed 17 (USA Today)

POLICY: How the oil-production boom has benefited America (The Daily Signal)

POLICY: Counting the homeless, searching for solutions (RealClearPolicy)

HUMOR: New, deadlier AR-16 introduced, which is an AR-15 wearing a MAGA hat (The Babylon Bee)

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

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

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VIDEOS

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

SHORT CUTS

Political futures: “While civility is an imperative in a decent society, we can’t ignore that Trump’s coarseness has also helped reveal the liberal establishment’s incivility and disdain for anyone who refuses to adopt its cultural mores. I’m sorry, I have a hard time taking etiquette lessons from people who can’t raise any ire over the Virginia governor’s casual description of euthanizing infants but act as if every Trump tweet should trigger his removal from office through the 25th Amendment.” —David Harsanyi

Good idea: “It’s great that Trump is speaking at the [March for Life]. But the most meaningful thing he can do is defund Planned Parenthood. … Trump could announce that he will not sign any spending bill that sends 500 million dollars to Planned Parenthood. Let Dems force a shutdown to protect their half a billion dollar gift to the abortion industry. Let them bring that argument to the public.” —Matt Walsh

For the record: “I can’t overstate how undermining what the Democrats are doing is to our democracy. [They] say that the president didn’t legitimately win in 2016, and now … put the argument forward that he’s trying to steal an election in 2020. The reality is the Democrats are trying to steal the election from the 63 million voters who elected Donald Trump.” —RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

Belly laugh: “We were giving out aspirin in giant bottles … because, you know, [Adam Schiff] just kept going on and on and on. … It was about lie after lie.” —Rep. Mark Meadows

Non compos mentis: “The president’s misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won. The president has shown that he believes that he is above the law and scornful of constraint.” —House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (“That sounds a lot more like ‘a threat to democracy’ that Democrats keep warning about than anything Trump has ever done.” —Charlie Kirk)

One-trick pony: “The burden to act on the shoulders of the generation of the people alive today is a challenge to our moral imagination. This is Thermopylae. This is Agincourt. This is Dunkirk. This is the Battle of the Bulge. This is 9/11. We have to rise to this occasion.” —Al Gore on — what else — climate change

A blind squirrel finds a nut: “I think the Democrats make a mistake when they cry outrage time and time again. If everything is an outrage, then nothing is an outrage.” —Sen. Mitt Romney, the man Democrats called “Hitler” before Trump came along

And last… “It’s kind of crazy that two weeks before the IA caucuses that will do much to shape national politics over the next year (and perhaps beyond), 3 serious candidates are trapped at an impeachment trial everyone knows the outcome of.” —Rich Lowry

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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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For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.


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