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Mid-Day Digest

Jan. 29, 2020


“As our president bears no resemblance to a king so we shall see the Senate has no similitude to nobles. First, not being hereditary, their collective knowledge, wisdom, and virtue are not precarious. For by these qualities alone are they to obtain their offices, and they will have none of the peculiar qualities and vices of those men who possess power merely because their father held it before them.” —Tench Coxe (1787)

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Impeachment Trial Day 7: ‘Trust the American People’

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s defense team finished up its last day of arguments against impeachment by urging senators to “trust the American people” to decide the fate of the president. “You know what the right answer is in your heart,” White House Counsel Pat Cipollone stated. “The election is only months away. The American people are entitled to choose their president. It is time for this to end, here and now.” It was a stark and powerful contrast to Rep. Adam Schiff’s elitist assertion that the American people cannot be trusted to vote the right way.

It was a good move and a powerful way to sum up what this impeachment trial has really been all about: Democrats impeaching the vote of the American people. However, it doesn’t look like Trump will get an acquittal vote without witnesses being called.

While Trump’s defense team appealed to the Senate to end the Democrats’ partisan trial with a quick vote to acquit, it’s looking more likely that at the very least John Bolton will be called as a witness. In a Tuesday evening meeting with Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he didn’t have the votes needed to block witnesses or document requests. It’s a recognition that at least four Republican senators want to hear from Bolton, and a further admission that not calling witnesses will play into Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s twisted narrative that Republicans aren’t interested in the truth, just in covering for Trump.

If calling witnesses is a forgone conclusion, what options does the GOP have to prevent the Democrats from drawing this charade out ad nauseam? First, simply vote to call Bolton and only Bolton. Democrats would immediately wail for adding Mick Mulvaney, but McConnell might have the votes to turn that demand aside.

Otherwise, McConnell could also put forward a list of witnesses that Republicans have long been calling for, including the Bidens and the whistleblower, as part of a take-it-or-leave-it package deal. That would effectively put the pressure back on the Democrats to argue against certain witnesses. Of course, if Schumer and company agreed to this deal, then McConnell would need Trump to agree to not invoke executive privilege, as that would only complicate matters for Republicans, delaying the process and playing into the Democrats’ “cover-up” narrative.

The key for McConnell and Republicans is to prevent Democrats from dictating or dragging out this process. The probability that Bolton will present any new or damning information is low, no matter how the Democrats and their media spin machine may claim, and it might even play in Trump’s favor. Wrangling over witnesses will play out over the next couple of days, with key votes later in the week.

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‘Deal of the Century’ With Israel and the Palestinians?

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined together at the White House on Tuesday to unveil a new plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, including a state for the latter. The first thing to note is the dismal history of such attempts. As Gary Bauer notes, “Almost every American president and Israeli prime minister has tried and failed to negotiate a lasting peace between Israelis and the Palestinians. The problem is not Israel or the United States. The real obstacle to peace is the refusal of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hezbollah and others to recognize the right of Israel to exist at all.” Will this be any different? We’ll see.

The Trump-Netanyahu plan has a few key elements. As Bauer outlines:

  • Jerusalem remains the undivided capital of Israel. (Remember, Trump finally kept a long-standing U.S. promise to move the American embassy there.)

  • The Palestinians must recognize Israel as the Jewish state.

  • Hamas must be disarmed, and the Palestinians must reject terrorism.

  • The so-called “refugee problem” will be settled outside the boundaries of Israel.

  • Israel will suspend construction in disputed territories for four years to give both sides time to implement various aspects of the deal.

  • The president pledged $50 billion of investment to provide hope and economic opportunity to the Palestinian people.

The offer is certainly pro-Israel, but it’s also remarkably generous to the Palestinians, who for more than half a century have terrorized Israeli and rejected every previous offer of peace. The onus is on the Palestinians, not on Israel or the U.S. As David Harsanyi rightly observes, “Israel, in fact, probably feels less external pressure than ever to enter into a deal.” That’s because it is, at the moment, quite secure.

To Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, Trump said, “If you choose the path of peace, America will be there to help you every step of the way.” Yet Abbas is reported to have already rejected the offer, and vehemently so. That’s not surprising, given that Palestinian principals like Abbas have never wanted peace — they want an endless war to delegitimize Israel in the eyes of United Nations elites. It is the Palestinian people who bear the brunt of that evil strategy.

Maybe part of the deal should be Trump shipping the Palestinians a load of those “Hate Has No Home Here” yard signs that are all the rage among chardonnay-sipping leftist elites who hate Trump.

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Hispanic Vote May Be Key to Trump Victory

A decade ago, political talkingheads were claiming that “demography is destiny.” A political neophyte named Barack Obama had won the presidency, the first black man to do so. Longtime Clinton friend and Democrat campaign strategist James Carville famously prophesied an age of Democrat dominance, even writing a book entitled 40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation.

And who could doubt him? The Democrat juggernaut — a coalition of black, Hispanic, women, and liberal white voters — looked unstoppable.

Then the Democrats, thanks to the Tea Party revolution, suffered historic losses in the 2010 midterms and again in 2014. And then, in what is arguably the biggest upset in American political history, Donald Trump defeated the powerful Clinton political machine and won the presidency.

But Democrats are banking on that being an anomaly — not to mention a side effect of an unfair and “racist” Electoral College. After all, if demography is destiny, then destiny is on their side. The share of the white vote has been steadily shrinking, replaced primarily by a growing Hispanic vote. As the Hispanic population grows, Republicans will be ushered into political obscurity.

Or will they?

A recent article in The Atlantic argues that Democrats should not assume that they will continue to dominate the Hispanic vote. Moreover, viewing Hispanics as a monolithic voting bloc and focusing only on the immigration issue is an enormous mistake.

The article notes that the first “warning sign” of the year came in the first week of January, in the form of a rally at the King Jesus International Ministry in Miami, where 5,000 Christian Trump supporters gathered to hear and cheer their president.

Huge rallies with Trump supporters, including Christians, are not unusual these days. So why was this one notable? Because King Jesus is home to the largest Hispanic evangelical congregation in America.

During the rally, President Trump declared, “The day I was sworn in, the federal government war’s on religion came to an abrupt end.” He also warned, “A society without religion cannot prosper. A nation without faith can not endure.”

By assuming Hispanics will always vote Democrat and are driven primarily by immigration, Democrats are making little effort to understand the other issues that are important to Hispanic voters. Those include good jobs, a decent education for their children, the rising cost of college, affordable housing for their families, etc.

They also overlook that Hispanics, who are heavily Catholic, may not be fully on board with the agenda of a Democrat Party that has veered far left on issues like abortion, marriage, and gender itself.

When several candidates began speaking Spanish at a Democrat presidential primary debate, they were accused of “Hispandering,” speaking Spanish as a cheap way to ingratiate themselves to a voting bloc, similar to Hillary’s cringe-worthy display at a black church in Selma, Alabama, on the 42nd anniversary of Bloody Sunday, screeching, “I don’t feel no ways tired…” in a horribly affected black accent, quoting lines from a Negro spiritual.

When it becomes obvious that Democrats are taking the Hispanic vote for granted, it opens the door for Republicans to get their message through.

In 2016, Trump won 29% of the Hispanic vote, and in 2018, 32% of Hispanics voted for Republicans nationwide. And in states Democrats are hoping to flip, 2020 results may surprise many people. Right now, President Trump is polling around 32% with Hispanics.

Several major polls in recent months show Trump’s approval rating among black voters surging to 30% or higher (Trump got just 8% of the black vote in 2016), likely as a result of record-low black unemployment, criminal-justice reform, and record funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

If Republicans can hold firm or increase its percentage of the Hispanic vote, while doubling or tripling their percentage of the black vote, the 2020 elections may be even more of a shocking, crushing defeat for Democrats than 2016.

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China vs. the Rapidly Spreading Coronavirus

With reports of more than 6,000 people infected, 132 deaths, and 50 million people now quarantined in China, fears of the new coronavirus may be spreading faster than the contagion itself. Those fears may not be entirely unfounded, as indicated by China’s sudden and massive reaction — or at least the appearance of a reaction. But there is also a sense that the fear is overblown. For perspective, China is home to 1.4 billion people. And for comparison, there have been 8,200 deaths from the flu here in the United States this season alone.

The coronavirus is believed to have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan known for selling wild-animal meat. Symptomatically, infected individuals suffer symptoms similar to that of influenza, though what has public-health experts worried is the apparent higher mortality rate than the flu and the unusually virulent nature of this virus. Evidently, unlike the flu, an infected individual is contagious prior to showing any symptoms of being sick. Therefore, someone can be contagious and spreading the virus before they even know they’re infected.

Are the ChiComs in a position to handle this health crisis? Well, as The Wall Street Journal reports, “[China] has about 20% fewer physicians per capita than Mexico and 70% fewer general practitioners than World Health Organization standards. About 96% of its doctors are specialists because general practitioners are poorly paid. Hospitals are overcrowded, and people in rural areas rely on medieval village clinics. Doctors at a small city near Wuhan are wearing ponchos because they lack hazmat suits. Hubei province needs 100,000 suits each day, but Chinese manufacture can produce only 30,000. Village clinics are rationing face masks.”

Meanwhile, Beijing has repeatedly rebuffed U.S. offers to send Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials to help, but U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar did observe that China’s response has been significantly better than its response to the 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak.

Thus far five out of more than a hundred people who traveled from Wuhan to the U.S. have tested positive for the virus, but CDC officials say that the current health threat to Americans remains low. In fact, the bigger impact of coronavirus to the U.S. may be to the economy, as China has stopped work for more than 50 million Chinese until mid February. Arguably the biggest problem with the story, however, is that no one can trust the information coming out of China.

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COMMUNIST MILITANCY: Sanders campaign rocked again: More staff caught advocating violence against opponents (The Daily Wire)

THE GOOD, BAD, AND UGLY: U.S. budget deficit to top $1 trillion in 2020 despite strong economy, CBO says (Reuters)

“I WAS LAUGHING AT THE JOKE”: Don Lemon gives disastrous statement in response to outrage over segment mocking Republicans (The Daily Wire)

GOVERNMENT ISN’T THE SOLUTION: Healthcare access has declined in past two decades despite ObamaCare (Washington Examiner)

VILLAGE ACADEMIC CURRICULUM, PART I: Public schools are teaching The 1619 Project in class despite concerns from historians (Reason)

VILLAGE ACADEMIC CURRICULUM, PART II: Minnesota college helps “white students only” deal with “the nasty little racist inside them” (Campus Reform)

VILLAGE ACADEMIC CURRICULUM, PART III: How Drag Queen Story Hour indoctrination expanded across America (The Daily Caller)

A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: Florida governor announces official end to Common Core and outlines new standards (Washington Examiner)

POLICY: How the U.S. should respond to Britain’s Huawei 5G decision (Washington Examiner)

POLICY: Trump’s peace plan is a rejection of Obama’s anti-Israel pivot (The Federalist)

HUMOR: CNN airs free commercial for Trump campaign (no, really) (The Babylon Bee)

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

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


Political futures: “The problem with the [Doug] Collins [Georgia Senate] run is that it allows the Democrats to unite behind a single candidate while the GOP is divided and will also deprive other key races of money needed to win. There’s no primary in this special election. It’ll be two R’s against one D on one ballot.” —Erick Erickson

Grand delusions: “I understand why Leader McConnell and President Trump wanted a very short, incredibly rushed trial. Because the longer it goes on, the more likely that new evidence and more new evidence will come out that further implicates the president.” —Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who didn’t complain when House Democrats rushed their inquiry

And who’s controlling the drip? “There’s been a steady drip, drip, drip of information… In that sense, this is reminiscent of Watergate.” —Chuck Schumer

The BIG Lie: “Hunter Biden has nothing to do with the facts of this trial.” —Chuck Schumer

Grudge-in-chief: “I certainly feel the urge [to run] because I feel the 2016 election was a really odd time and an odd outcome. And the more we learn, the more that seems to be the case. But I’m going to support the people who are running now and do everything I can to help elect the Democratic nominee.” —Hillary Clinton

This. Changes. Everything. “I just think we have to win. I don’t think we can afford another four years by the current incumbent. I think that would be absolutely dangerous to our democracy, and I’ll do whatever I can to make sure the Democrats win this time.” —Hillary Clinton

Not sorry at all: “During an interview on Saturday night, one of my guests said something that made me laugh and while in the moment, I found that joke humorous. And I didn’t catch everything that was said. Just to make this perfectly clear, I was laughing at the joke and not at any group of people.” —CNN’s Don Lemon

Shooting yourself in the foot: “I can think of at least eight women, at least four or five people of color, that I think are totally qualified to be vice president of the United States. But for me, it has to be demonstrated that whoever I pick is two things. One, is capable of being president, because I’m an old guy. No, I’m serious.” —Joe Biden

And last… “Last month: The case is made, it’s not important to fight over witnesses, we need to rush this to the Senate, no time for court. This month: The fate of the Republic hinges on witnesses, and this should drag on in the Senate for as long as it takes because it’s just like court.” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.



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

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