“It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition.” —Thomas Jefferson (1785)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
- Impeachment Trial Day 3: Can We Get a Witness?
- FISA Court Declares Two Carter Page Surveillance Warrants Invalid
- Trump Becomes First President to Attend March for Life
- The Racist History of Gun Control
- Citizens United: A Decade of ‘Dark Money’
- SCOTUS Appears to Side With Public Funding for Religious Schools
- The 21st Century Content of Character Minority Report
- Daily Features: News Executive Summary, Videos, Best of Right Opinion, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
As we reflect on Day 3 of the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, three things stand out:
Witnesses and the whistleblower
Senators continue to haggle over whether to call additional witnesses and who those witnesses might be. Democrats still want former National Security Advisor John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Republicans maintain that the House should have done its job in calling witnesses and that the Senate is responsible only to try the evidence at hand. Nevertheless, if witnesses must be called, they want to hear from Joe and Hunter Biden and the so-called “whistleblower.”
The Democrats’ entire case hinges on Trump’s request that Ukrainian officials investigate Hunter Biden’s sweetheart deal with Burisma. Anyone with an IQ above 50 can connect the dots between Hunter’s profiteering and the political position of then VP Joe Biden. To suggest that they would not be on a witness list is absurd. Democrats even opened the door to Hunter’s testimony by protesting a bit too loudly that he has nothing to do with corruption allegations against his father.
He just became even less desirable this week after Paul Sperry of RealClearInvestigations revealed this inconvenient tidbit: “Barely two weeks after Donald Trump took office, Eric Ciaramella — the CIA analyst whose name was recently linked in a tweet by the president and mentioned by lawmakers as the anonymous ‘whistleblower’ who touched off Trump’s impeachment — was overheard in the White House discussing with another staffer how to remove the newly elected president from office, according to former colleagues.”
And Fox News’s Laura Ingraham reported that the whistleblower also has some extremely inconvenient connections to the Bidens and Burisma.
Clearly, Democrats don’t want any of these witnesses to see the light of day in the Senate trial — with the exception of Bernie Sanders, whose rising political fortunes would clearly benefit from seeing the Bidens locked up in Senate testimony.
Nadler’s accusation backfires
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, whose personal animus toward Trump dates back to the early 1980s, challenged Republicans on witnesses. “Will you bring Ambassador Bolton here? Will you permit us to present you with the entire record of the president’s misconduct?” he asked. “Or will you instead choose to be complicit in the president’s cover-up? So far, I’m sad to say, I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses. [It’s] an absolutely indefensible vote — obviously a treacherous vote.”
That “cover-up” language is part of the Democrats’ strategy to win the Senate by accusing Senate Republicans of obstructing a fair trial. But, for now at least, Nadler’s hyperbolic charge appears to have backfired.
GOP senators rejected Nadler’s characterization. Susan Collins said she was “stunned by Congressman Nadler’s approach,” while Lisa Murkowski said she was “offended,” and Ron Johnson called it “offensive.”
Nadler may have just united Republicans against voting to call any witnesses. Nice work.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff gave an impassioned speech Thursday to make the case against Trump, though he led with a “joke” about hoping senators “don’t choose imprisonment” over paying attention to him. He opined at length with an exceedingly mendacious interpretation of events before concluding, “If right doesn’t matter, we’re lost. If the truth doesn’t matter, we’re lost. The Framers couldn’t protect us from ourselves if right and truth don’t matter.”
To hear Schiff lecture on right and truth is laughably absurd. Schiff was completely wrong about FISA surveillance of Trump’s campaign, which launched impeachment charade No. 1. He’s the man who, as we mentioned, colluded with the whistleblower through his staffers and then lied about it. He knew the case against Trump was so weak he fabricated Trump’s conversation for dramatic effect.
Moreover, Schiff’s party calls a preborn baby a clump of cells that can be aborted. Schiff’s party says a man can claim he’s a woman and play women’s sports and use women’s bathrooms. Schiff’s party claims that marriage can mean two men. Schiff’s party believes that taking your money to pay someone else who doesn’t work is the moral thing to do. Schiff’s party believes that Trump is corrupt and that American voters can’t be trusted to weigh in.
Is this really the man or the party to judge the president or to lecture anyone about right and truth?
While the mainstream media is preoccupied with breathlessly reporting every angle of the House Democrats’ impeachment charade, more evidence exposing the biggest scandal in American political history — implicating Barack Obama’s administration and not President Donald Trump — was made public. On Thursday, the Justice Department published the declassified and redacted version of a FISA Court order revealing that two of the FBI’s surveillance-application renewals for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page were “not valid” due to “material misstatements and omission.” Therefore, the court said, the FBI had “insufficient predication to establish probable cause to believe that Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power.”
Notably, the two FISA applications ruled “not valid” were the second and third Page surveillance renewals signed by then-FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, respectively. Furthermore, the court has yet to make a ruling on the validity of the original FISA warrant application and the first renewal, which may indicate they are still under investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham.
Finally, isn’t it ironic that Adam Schiff, the Democrat leading the effort to remove Trump from office on the dubious charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, obstructed and lied about congressional Republicans’ efforts to investigate the deep-state plot to take Trump out? This is the genuine scandal that should have every American up in arms.
President Donald Trump today becomes the first sitting president to attend and speak at the annual March for Life rally. Over its 47-year history, no Republican president (and obviously no Democrat) has made an appearance at the nation’s largest pro-life rally. Though George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan did offer brief supportive remarks via phone and satellite to the marchers, they always maintained a degree of separation.
But Trump is unlike any previous Republican and is most in his element when speaking to a massive rally. While Trump’s checkered personal history and his past support of abortion cause some to question his commitment, his impressive presidential actions in support of life simply cannot be ignored or deemed insignificant. While he and the previous Republican Congress failed to defund Planned Parenthood, Trump has followed through on other promises — nominating pro-life judges, signing a bill allowing states to block Title X funding from going to “family planning” organizations that perform abortions, and reinstating a federal policy preventing foreign aid from being used to provide or endorse abortions.
Trump is now boldly enjoining himself to the pro-life movement in a manner avoided by prior Republican presidents. Of all the negative character flaws one can criticize Trump for, boldness to stand up for what he believes is not one of them. Trump’s decision is truly momentous in the history of the pro-life movement.
This week’s Second Amendment rally in Richmond, Virginia, was a big disappointment … but not for those in attendance. More than 20,000 protesters marched peacefully in Virginia’s capital city in support of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
But for members of the Leftmedia, many of whom characterized the event as an uprising of violent white nationalists, the day was a stark reminder that they just don’t understand this country or its people.
Satya Marar attended the gun rally, and he writes at the Washington Examiner, “While white men certainly seemed to be the majority of protesters, many other kinds of people turned up to voice their concerns about gun control as well, such as women, blacks, and members of the gay community who see their basic right to self-defense as at risk.”
Of course, we’re unlikely to see this sort of balanced and accurate reporting in The Washington Post or The New York Times. Thus, some Americans might be surprised that the issue of gun rights would bring together such disparate groups. But the fact that folks from across the political spectrum were united for a common cause reveals the importance of the right to self-defense, not to mention the reason why progressives are so eager to confiscate guns from millions of peaceful, law-abiding citizens.
Maybe that’s why Beltway Democrats and leftists across the country have declared war on the National Rifle Association: They know that gun rights are the guarantor of all other rights and are thus the ultimate check against statism and tyranny.
While the media wants Americans to think all card-carrying members of the NRA are rural white supremacists, the organization’s history proves otherwise.
“The NRA has historically opposed laws that were virtually tailor made to deny African-Americans the right to keep and bear arms,” says gun writer Sam Jacobs. “Many gun control laws to this day stem from the KKK’s fear of armed and independent minorities. The Rosewood Massacre in 1923 — a bloodbath led by a white mob that resulted in the destruction of an entire black community in Florida — was a clear example of how an armed black people could prevent future KKK raids.”
There are countless examples, going back three centuries, of black Americans fighting against those who would oppress them. But like the slave owners of the 19th century, today’s Democrat politicians would prefer that blacks remain unarmed and subservient to those in power.
“Forcibly disarming blacks in the South was among the early Ku Klux Klan’s reasons for organizing and one of its first goals,” David S. D'Amato writes at The Hill. “They knew what today’s well-meaning advocates of gun control do not — that the black letter of the law is one thing and de facto power relations are quite another. These gun control laws were passed to disarm black citizens. We might do well to keep this history in mind today when we consider how new, more restrictive gun laws will be applied.”
Not coincidentally, our nation’s strictest gun-control laws tend to be in its most crime-ridden cities — cities whose inhabitants are largely non-white. Millions of inner-city blacks live in fear while being denied the right to protect themselves by the very Democrats they continually elect to office.
Maybe that’s why so many blacks are now taking up arms.
“In 2015,” writes Harvard history professor Tiya Miles in The New York Times, “Philip Smith founded the National African-American Gun Association in Georgia. His members, he said, are predominantly first-time gun owners and educated professionals.” She adds that today’s NAAGA has 75 chapters in 30 states, and Smith expects them to be “in every state within a year.”
In the end, this week’s Virginia rally might be a turning point in the perception that many Americans have of gun owners. While Democrats and the media (but we repeat ourselves) have been hell-bent on dividing people, Americans from all walks of life put politics aside and came together without a single shot being fired.
Lost in this week’s ongoing impeachment saga was an important commemoration: the 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a First Amendment victory decried by leftists who claim it has opened up political speech to anonymous “dark money” special interests.
As Democrat FEC member Ellen Weintraub complained, “It’s a victory for free speech for billionaires but not a victory for free speech for the rest of us.” Put another way, the Left doesn’t like political speech that opposes the progressive agenda, which includes ObamaCare, extremist environmental policies, and gun control.
Citizens United is a conservative group that describes itself as being “well known for producing high-impact, sometimes controversial, but always fact-based documentaries filled with interviews of experts and leaders in their fields.” The court case stemmed from the group’s efforts to promote, during the 2008 presidential campaign, a documentary that was critical of Hillary Clinton. Its effort was denied because it failed to comply with restrictions put in place by the old McCain-Feingold “campaign-finance reform” rules, which forbade “electioneering communications” paid for by corporations within 30 days of a primary or 60 days before the general election. With the 2008 primary season getting a very early start and lasting though much of the spring, such campaigning became basically off limits for several crucial months. For this reason, critics called McCain-Feingold and other similar measures “incumbent protection acts.”
On the anniversary of the decision bearing the group’s name, Citizens United President David Bossie observed, “If people want to band together to spend money to influence an election, it’s their First Amendment right to do so, but the Left’s dire predictions about corporate money taking over our elections never transpired.”
In fact, even with the rise of billionaire bundlers, the top 10 individual spenders only contributed 7% of election spending in 2018 — a sum dwarfed by the mountains of money that smaller donors are now contributing, especially to Democrat presidential contenders whose very presence on their debate stage depends on hitting a quota of individual contributors. (Notably absent because of that contribution caveat: billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who has so far spent $250 million of his own fortune yet seems to be immune from the Left’s criticisms about Citizens United and the buying of elections.)
In the past decade, we’ve heard the constant caterwauling of leftist politicians and their media allies, all of whom prefer the old system and the control it afforded them over our political speech. Couple that with a general lack of awareness about the issue, and it’s easy to see why support for the Citizens United decision has eroded. A Morning Consult/Politico poll from last July found that 54% of respondents opposed the decision, while only 19% supported it. (Oddly enough, 49% also agreed they were “likely” to support a candidate who funds his own campaign while just 20% opposed it.) So thoroughly maligned is Citizens United that Americans are reportedly even willing to change the Constitution to kill it off once and for all.
We in our humble shop will be the first to admit that our political financing system is the worst one out there — except for all the others. Try as they might, though, no amount of political spending can convince the people to pull the lever for someone or something they oppose. Thus, Mike Bloomberg can buy every available ad spot for next week’s Super Bowl, but he won’t be able to change the vote of a single Second Amendment supporter. And that’s the beauty of our system.
After hearing arguments in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, a case in which parents contend that the Montana Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a school scholarship program was in violation of their constitutional right to religious exercise and equal protection, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared poised to overrule the state court and granted a win for religious liberty.
As The Wall Street Journal reported, “The program at issue was relatively small; it provided up to a $150 tax credit to residents who contributed a like amount to organizations providing scholarships to private schools, whether secular or religious. The Montana Supreme Court struck down the entire program, finding it violated the state constitution’s ban on public support for sectarian schools.”
The crux of the issue is whether allowing religious schools to receive public funds is a violation of the First Amendment’s so-called Establishment Clause. Siding with the parents, Deputy Solicitor General Jeffery Wall argued, “You can’t deny a generally available public benefit to an entity that’s otherwise qualified based solely on its religious character.”
Citing the 2017 Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer case, in which SCOTUS in a 7-2 ruling held that Missouri couldn’t exclude religious schools from receiving grant funding to resurface playgrounds, Justice Samuel Alito observed that the state wasn’t funding “private education at all, but if they choose to provide scholarships that are available to students who attend private schools, they can’t discriminate against parents who want to send their children to schools that are affiliated in some way with a church. That’s the simple argument. And it’s hard to see that that’s much different from Trinity Lutheran.”
Justice Brett Kavanaugh put it bluntly, asking whether Montana’s constitutional ban against public aid to sectarian schools stemmed from “grotesque religious bigotry,” a reference to the unsuccessful 1875 Blaine Amendment that sought to ban any taxpayer funds from going to sectarian schools — an effort that clearly targeted Catholic schools.
Chief Justice John Roberts also weighed in, wondering whether Montana’s decision to end the scholarship program entirely wasn’t akin to the actions of several Southern communities back in the 1950s and ‘60s, which shut down their public parks and schools in an effort to avoid desegregation. The High Court is expected to issue its ruling early this summer.
Grassroots Perspective by Willie Richardson
“I have a dream that my children will one day live in a nation where they will [not be judged] by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Nonetheless, when you evaluate minority children in education, the numbers are staggering concerning character. For example, the Minneapolis school district suspends an unconscionable number of black students compared with white ones, and it’s struggling to figure out why. Spoiler alert: It’s because of the lack of character! There, I said it.
In 2017, districtwide, black students made up 41% of the overall student population but accounted for 76% of the suspensions. Numbers like that prompted Barack Obama’s administration in 2014 to draft tough new policies to try to address racial disparities in school discipline across the country. It was called “Rethink Discipline.” I could have solved this “rethinking discipline” problem a long time ago. There was once a time that a principal had the authority to discipline students on sight for insolent insubordination. That discipline forced you to “rethink” your behavior.
Unfortunately, at Justice Page Middle School, African-American students are 338% more likely to be suspended than their white peers. “It’s painful sometimes,” Principal Rathke said, “but I have to say, 'Yes, that’s probably true.’”
Does brown skin have a disproportionate melanin count that turns children into menaces to society? No! Do minority children have a biological bent toward violent behavior and talking back to teachers? Absolutely not. So what is the problem? Negligent parenting and low character.
Dr. King wanted his children to be judged by others according to the “content of their character.” However, we had President Obama chiming in and making excuses for bad behavior amongst minorities.
According to Ann Coulter, teachers in St. Paul, Minnesota, have been hospitalized and permanently disabled by their “disruptive” African-American students, thanks to former St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Valeria Silva’s commitment to ending the “school-to-prison pipeline.” One kid was “disruptive” by punching and strangling a science teacher, giving him a concussion and permanent brain injuries. The African-American student walked away from the teacher’s body splayed out on the floor, saying, “Did you see me slam that white-a— teacher?” This “disruptive” thug was sentenced to 90 days house arrest and probation.
Fast forward to today, and the Trump administration is trying to reverse those “rethinking discipline” policies in part, administration officials say, as a response to school shootings.
Today, many minorities would rather their character be overlooked and blame anyone of judging their character as automatically racist or mean. Was Dr. King’s dream for his children to be judged by their character instead of their color more of a fairytale than a reality? Even the Bible speaks against people judging based off appearance, yet many do it still. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
God was not saying, “Don’t judge.” He was saying do not judge based on “appearance.” We are to judge righteously. This righteous judgment includes character, conduct, and behavior. If Dr. King had to judge the character of minority students in our public education system today what would he say?
Personally, I have a desire from God to love and train my children in such a way that their lifestyles will be shaped by Christ’s character and, no matter how people view them from the outside, I want their lights to so shine from the inside that men might see their good character and glorify the God of Heaven.
This is the world and it is evil. Changing the world will not happen. However, changing your own thinking can change your own world. Let’s rethink character.
NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
A TALE OF TWO WHISTLEBLOWERS: Whistleblower who reported government waste, fraud, and abuse gets none of the protections the anti-Trump whistleblower received (RealClearPolitics)
VIOLATES FEDERAL LAW: Trump administration plans action against California over abortion-coverage requirement (The Wall Street Journal)
WARREN CORNERED: Father asks Elizabeth Warren if he’s going to get his money back after paying for daughter’s education (The Daily Wire)
VILLAGE ACADEMICS: Democrat professors outnumber Republicans 9:1 at top colleges (Washington Examiner)
VILLAGE ACADEMIC CURRICULUM: LGBTQ education is now mandatory in New Jersey schools (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
THE UGLINESS OF IDENTITY POLITICS: Miami PD suspends white officer who begins identifying as “black” (The American Mirror)
RIGHT TO LIFE: Tennessee governor announces fetal heartbeat bill, other abortion restrictions (National Review)
FOR THE RECORD: Toxic “forever chemicals” found in drinking water throughout the U.S. (USA Today)
POLICY: State Department is right to tackle “birth tourism” (The Heritage Foundation)
POLICY: Google is posing a serious threat to innovation (Issues & Insights)
HUMOR: Democrats warn that American people may tamper with next election (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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- Video: Will Hunter Biden Testify in the Impeachment Trial? — If he does, it’s likely to buttress Donald Trump, while further blemishing the Bidens.
- Video: Hillary Says Nobody Likes Bernie — History repeats itself!
- Video: All the Narratives Died in Richmond — It was total success despite constant smearing, says Matt Christiansen.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Upright: “The only cover-up that I’ve seen is actually Adam Schiff and his team’s cover-up on their coordination with the whistleblower.” —Rep. Mark Meadows
Belly laugh: “What do you think the second term Trump impeachment will be for? I sure hope it’s more exciting and better concocted than this one.” —Mollie Hemingway
For the record: “I think that this [impeachment] will go down as one of the greatest historic blunders of a House of Congress."—constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley
Alarming lack of self-awareness: "We have to stop re-litigating past elections and have to start planning for future elections.” —Stacey Abrams, who deludedly believes she won Georgia’s gubernatorial election
Rainbow quotas: “My administration will be committed to diversity and inclusion, starting on day one. I will: Build a Cabinet and senior leadership team that reflects the full diversity of America, including having at least 50% of Cabinet positions filled by women and non binary people.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren
OK Fauxcahontas: “It’s pretty clear that there are some Republicans who are challenged on the concept of conflict of interest.” —Elizabeth Warren
Grand delusions: “Since President George Washington took office in 1789, no president has abused his power in this way.” —Rep. Jerry Nadler
And last… “Did you know: In Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, both Norma (Roe) and Sandra (Doe): Never had an abortion. Were poor & struggling. Were lied to & preyed upon by lawyers. Both became pro-life advocates. #RoevWade was built upon the exploitation of women.” —Live Action President Lila Rose
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis