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Mid-Day Digest

Feb. 13, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure.” —Thomas Jefferson (1823)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

NY Law Enforcement Backs Trump Over Cuomo

Nate Jackson

There is a growing phenomenon of “sanctuary” jurisdictions — cities, counties, and states that not only refuse to cooperate with federal authorities on immigration but actively undermine federal prerogatives on Rule of Law and protection of citizens. Fortunately, the Trump administration is fighting back, which our Arnold Ahlert covered in depth Monday. And a lot of law-enforcement officials stand with the administration.

First, a little background. Last year, New York passed a law allowing illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses while becoming the only state to prohibit Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from accessing state records on driver’s licenses. As a result, CBP disallowed New York residents from participating in federal Trusted Traveler programs like Global Entry because background checks are required for approval.

New York sued DHS, laughably claiming, “Defendants’ decision to ban all New York residents from enrolling or re-enrolling in the Trusted Traveler programs not only defies this Congressional mandate and disregards the recommendations of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, but also profoundly jeopardizes public safety for New Yorkers and all travelers. Defendants have intentionally made us less safe.”

The exact opposite is the truth.

Thus, reports The Washington Times, “The New York Association of Chiefs of Police is backing Homeland Security over its own state leaders.” In a letter to acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, association president Patrick Phelan wrote, “Our members fully recognize that sharing pertinent law enforcement information and vital resources across local, state and federal boundaries is critical to ensuring the safety of the communities we serve.”

It’s highly unusual for the association to oppose the governor. Public-safety grants are dependent upon allegiance to Democrat Andrew Cuomo. But apparently, police chiefs’ higher allegiance is to the men and women in law enforcement who serve the state of New York and its citizens.

Meanwhile, Cuomo is set to meet President Donald Trump today to discuss a deal in which Cuomo gets to keep the law and dictate to DHS what access he’ll allow. Don’t bet on Trump taking that deal.

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U.S. Leads World in Decreasing CO2 Emissions

Thomas Gallatin

When President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the dubious Paris Agreement in June 2017, climate activists, world leaders, and the Democrat Media Complex immediately protested, declaring that the Trump administration was signaling its intention to increase CO2 emissions. Fast-forward to Tuesday’s report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) evaluating CO2 emissions around the globe. Lo and behold, the U.S. led the world in 2019 for “the largest decline in energy-related CO2 emissions.” The IEA’s report further noted that “US emissions are now down almost 1 Gt [gross tonnage] from their peak in the year 2000, the largest absolute decline by any country over that period.” As Sen. Ted Cruz observed, that’s a “fact you will never see on the 6 o'clock news.”

In fact, far from the dire predictions since Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the U.S. has not only continued its trend of decreasing CO2 emissions but increased the rate of the decrease. The primary cause for this precipitous decline is not due to more government regulation; rather it has everything to do with the government getting out of the way of innovation brought on by capitalistic enterprise. “Coal-fired power plants faced even stronger competition from natural gas-fired generation, with benchmark gas prices an average of 45% lower than 2018 levels,” the report notes. This move to more natural-gas-fired power plants is thanks in large measure to increased fracking lowering the cost of natural gas — “as a result, gas increased its share in electricity generation to a record high of 37%.”

Furthermore, the dubious Paris Agreement seems to have had little effect on reining in the world’s largest CO2-emitting country, China, which remains a signatory. As The Daily Wire observes, “The IEA noted that 80% of the increase in CO2 emissions came from Asia and that China and India both contributed significantly to the increase.”

Meanwhile, climate alarmists like Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are calling for a national ban on fracking — the very thing responsible for reducing emissions. On Wednesday, AOC announced her legislation, the Fracking Ban Act. “Fracking is destroying our land and our water,” she asserted in her announcement. “It is wreaking havoc on our communities’ health. We must do our job to protect our future from the harms caused by the fracking industry.”

There is little evidence supporting AOC’s dubious claims of harm, but there is solid scientific evidence of the benefits fracking has afforded the U.S. As National Review reports, “The fracking boom is widely credited with turning the U.S. into a net energy exporter and reducing the country’s reliance on oil imports. While environmentalists have voiced concerns over the drilling method, fracking proponents have pointed to the economic benefit it brings to the U.S. and the industry’s increased attention to environmental concerns.”

In reality, should Warren and AOC’s fracking ban occur, it would not only end America’s energy independence but reverse the country’s decreasing rate of CO2 emissions. Finally, if Warren and AOC were truly concerned with cutting the nation’s emissions, they would be the biggest advocates for increasing the use of nuclear power. Instead, they have called for that to be banned as well. As Warren stated last September, “In my administration, we won’t be building new nuclear plants. We will start weaning ourselves off nuclear and replace it with renewables.”

It’s clear the leftist agenda has little to do with addressing the challenges of climate change and everything to do with pushing socialism.

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Bye Bye Biden?

Arnold Ahlert

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s descent has been dramatic, despite what Fox New host Tucker Carlson describes as the effort by party insiders to establish Biden as the unstoppable front-runner. “Way back in the spring, they decided that this election would amount to an Obama restoration,” Carlson writes. “By beating President Trump we could all return to the world before Trump. Joe Biden was the designated leader of this kind of revolution.”

It should have been apparent Biden was not up to the task.

During the first Democrat presidential debate, Biden anemically responded to Kamala Harris’s attack on his record on busing and civil rights. During the second debate, Biden was surprised when other candidates began knocking Barack Obama’s immigration policies in an effort to criticize Biden himself. At the third debate, Biden was more combative but, as NBC News noted, he still “fumbled on a question about race” and “offered up word salad on some answers.” After the fourth debate, CNN labeled Biden one of the night’s losers. At the fifth debate, when discussing violence against women, Biden insisted it’s necessary to “keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it.” At the sixth debate Biden had a fairly good night, but only a season-low six million viewers saw it. At the seventh and final debate before the Iowa causes, Newsweek’s Tara Francis Chan described Biden’s performance as “lackluster,” but insisted that “so far his stumbling debate performances haven’t hurt him, and that seems to still be the case.”

Not quite. While the Iowa caucuses demonstrated the Democrat Party’s ineptitude, there was no disputing that Biden finished fourth behind Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.

The result precipitated a shakeup in Biden’s staff, yet it didn’t seem to matter. At the eighth presidential debate, prior to the New Hampshire primary, CNN’s Chris Cillizza yet again labeled Biden as one of the night’s losers. “Unlike Sanders and Buttigieg, the former vice president needed something in this debate to change his trajectory,” Cillizza wrote. “I’m not sure he got it.”

Biden himself saw the handwriting on the wall, acknowledging that he’d “probably take a hit” in the New Hampshire primary. On Tuesday morning, he canceled plans to remain in the state for the outcome, where polling had him sitting in fifth place. Even more ominously, Quinnipiac University poll released Monday revealed that Sanders had overtaken Biden as the front-running candidate nationally.

The polls were right. Biden finished fifth with only 8.4% of the vote. Perhaps even worse, no one was remotely surprised.

Yet why should they be? Biden’s debate track record is only part of the story. He is also a man prone to “gaffes,” as the media refer to his plethora of outlandish and otherworldly sounding statements. And Biden didn’t disappoint going into New Hampshire. Last Sunday, he referred to a student who questioned his anemic finish in Iowa as a “lying dog-faced pony soldier” when she insisted she had attended a caucus. Biden had previously (and erroneously) attributed the phrase to an unnamed John Wayne movie — as in a reference likely to reinforce the idea that he has been around too long and is too old for the job.

Biden further cemented that image on the same day when he insisted on a “rational policy” regarding guns means you “cannot have 20, 30, 40, 50 clips in a weapon.” In a rather astonishing followup, Biden also asserted that “if you’re going to take on the government, you need an F-15 with Hellfire Missiles,” because there is “no way an AK-47 is going to take care of you if you’re worried about the government knocking down your door.”

Monday proved no better. Appearing on “CBS This Morning,” Biden hammered President Trump and his “thug” lawyer Rudy Giuliani for suggesting his son Hunter did anything wrong with regard to Ukraine. Apparently, it hasn’t occurred to Biden that it was the impeachment of Trump that brought Hunter front and center, along with a 2018 videotape of Biden himself bragging about how he got a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Hunter fired by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loans.

Biden has also expressed hostility on the campaign trail, telling people to “vote for someone else” — including Trump — if they disagreed with any of his policies. He called an Iowan voter who wondered about his age and his son “a damn liar” and challenged him to a pushup contest. He also dismissed an 18-year-old activist who asked about his super PAC donations, saying, “Look at my record, child.”

Yet in the end it comes down to the one thing Democrats can no longer hide: Biden’s increasingly age-related debilitation. “Every off-script moment of Biden’s now is a loud cry for help,” writes columnist Stephen Kruiser. “Put the man out of our collective misery and run him out of this primary race ahead of schedule.”

Underscoring that reality was Biden’s statement following his loss: “Iowa and Nevada have spoken.”

Moreover, one of the few reasons party insiders had to support Biden — his supposed support among black Americans that topped all the other candidates — is no longer a reality: A nationwide Quinnipiac poll on Monday revealed a devastating decline in that support, from 49% to 27% in the space of just two weeks.

So who’s the party insider heir apparent? The media are ecstatic about a “surging” Amy Klobuchar — and her third-place finish in New Hampshire.

Biden’s collapse? Not exactly new news. “Biden has run for president three times,” Intelligencer columnist Jonathan Chait reminds us. “He has not yet managed to finish higher than fourth in any primary or caucus.” In fact, he’s yet to win a single delegate.

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RBG Says ERA Is DOA

Thomas Gallatin

Last month, the Virginia state legislature, currently under Democrat control, passed the controversial Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Why does that matter? It makes Virginia the 38th state to ratify the long-defunct 28th Amendment that Congress passed in 1972, which is seemingly significant because Virginia becomes the final state needed to push the ERA over the required ratification threshold of two-thirds of states for the adoption of a constitutional amendment.

There are, however, a couple of major roadblocks that make it highly unlikely that the ERA will become the 28th Amendment to the Constitution anytime soon. First, when Congress passed the ERA, it gave the states a 10-year deadline to reach the two-thirds ratification threshold needed for adoption. That deadline passed way back in 1982. Second, following the failure of the necessary number of states to ratify, five states have withdrawn their ratification. (The House is voting today to make a new deadline, for whatever difference that will make.)

For those reasons, even the Left’s favorite Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, believes the ERA’s chance of becoming the 28th Amendment is dead. “There’s too much controversy about latecomers. Plus, a number of states have withdrawn their ratification,” she says. “So if you count a latecomer on the plus side, how can you disregard states that said, ‘We’ve changed our minds’?”

While the ERA was packaged to sound fair in theory — with its calls for protecting “equality of rights” between the sexes — in reality it would have created a massive backdoor opening for the injection of socialism, enshrining abortion rights in the Constitution, and eviscerating the difference between the sexes to the detriment of women. Fortunately, even a feminist champion like Ginsberg recognizes the irony in seeking to break the law in an effort to enforce a new law. If only she always believed in that principle.

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Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Jonah Goldberg’s ‘Terrible Week’?. Trump didn’t create the hatred expressed by his adversaries; he revealed it — and likewise their contempt for his supporters.

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NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: China confirms 15,152 new cases, 254 additional deaths; consequently, Communist Party chiefs have been sacked (CNBC)

TROY PRICE OUT: Iowa Democrat Party chair resigns after caucus fiasco (NBC News)

“NUMEROUS CRITICAL ISSUES … WERE IGNORED”: House Republicans boycott intel hearing, accuse Adam Schiff of ignoring FISA abuse (Fox News)

IVY LEAGUE CORRUPTION: Department of Education launches investigation into foreign-gifts reporting at Harvard and Yale Universities (Ed.gov)

CRACKING DOWN: Pentagon set to back Huawei restrictions (Politico)

“HORRIFYING TO ANYONE WITH NORMAL SENSIBILITIES”: Thousands of fetal remains found in Illinois are buried in Indiana (Fox News)

ABOUT TIME: High-school students file lawsuit to block transgender athletes in Connecticut (National Review)

POLICY: Don’t get caught up in reports of divisions within the Democratic Party over “Medicare for All” vs. “public option” legislation (The Heritage Foundation)

POLICY: What a Republican climate-change agenda might look like (National Review)

HUMOR: In appreciation for primary win, Bernie Sanders promises to make New Hampshire the site of his very first reeducation camp (The Babylon Bee)

IN RELATED HUMOR… Bernie assures public that his reeducation camps will be tuition-free (Genesius Times)

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

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VIDEOS

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “I hear much of people’s calling out to punish the guilty, but very few are concerned to clear the innocent.” —Daniel Defoe (1660-1731)

Good question: “I don’t understand why pro-life people want to know if they are ‘welcome’ to join the democrat party. Why would any civilized person want to support a barbaric platform that champions abortion for any reason through all nine months funded by taxpayers?” —actress Patricia Heaton

Belly laugh of the week: “Joe Biden finished the night in a distant fifth place. And now the four people ahead of him are scared, because the last place you want Joe Biden is behind you.” —comedian Jimmy Fallon

Friendly fire: “South Carolinians don’t want socialism. We want to know how you are going to get things done and how you are going to pay for them. Bernie’s proposals to raise taxes on almost everyone is not something the Lowcountry wants and not something I’d ever support.” —Democrat Rep. Joe Cunningham

The definition of insanity is… “We’re not going to take our options off table.” —Rep. Eric Swalwell when asked if the Roger Stone situation could lead to another impeachment

“What [AG William] Barr has done [with regard to Roger Stone] should mean that we are demanding a resignation. And if that guy won’t resign, then the House should start impeachment proceedings against him.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren

The BIG Lie: “The year is 2020 and here we women are still in so many ways not fully free, still shackled. … But this isn’t an accident. The American Constitution is sexist by its very design.” —Rep. Ayanna Pressley

And last… “DEMOCRATS: ‘Give up your AR-15s; it’s ridiculous you’d ever need them to fight tyranny. BTW, we’ve decided to go full Communist.’” —The Babylon Bee’s Frank J. Fleming

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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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