Mid-Day Digest

Feb. 14, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“A good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.” —George Washington (1790)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Barr Got Trumped — Another Social-Media Fail

Mark Alexander

Shortly after Donald Trump took office in 2017, we noted that while most of the social-media comments he and his media team post are politically calculated, even when caustic, some of those posts are net losers that undermine his agenda.

This week, in what amounts to an unfortunate coincidence — but an entirely avoidable error — at 0145 Tuesday morning, Trump (or one of his social-media minions) posted the following statement about the sentencing of Roger Stone: “This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!”

That statement was correct. And Trump has rightly argued about sentencing before, especially in regard to those who have been caught up in dragnets because he and his administration have clearly been the targets of unjust investigations seeded by deep-state actors.

Unfortunately, once again, after the administration’s best week on record, Trump has unwittingly derailed some of that momentum with an unforced error.

For the record, last week was the best of any for the Trump administration. On Monday, Gallup reported that Americans are very optimistic about our country. Tuesday, the president delivered an outstanding State of the Union Address to Congress. Wednesday, he was acquitted on both articles of impeachment, dispensing with the Democrats’ impeachment charade. Thursday, Democrats were in full panic mode about Bernie Sanders and Trump’s increased prospects for reelection. Friday, the administration’s week ended with a stellar jobs report.

But this week, a careless social-media post has diverted attention from that great week.

As it turns out, Attorney General William Barr, the administration’s strongest right-thinking advocate for Rule of Law, had already determined that he would seek a reduction of Stone’s sentencing after his conviction for lying to investigators and obstructing Congress. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Senior Justice officials had concluded on their own that the sentence recommendation was excessive and had decided to rescind it before Mr. Trump’s tweet.”

Then came Trump’s most egregious error: After becoming aware of Barr’s plan, he doubled down on his assertion about Stone’s sentencing. Trump has the power to pardon Stone, commute his sentence, etc. He should have let this play out and get out of Barr’s way.

In effect, Trump unintentionally set up Barr for criticism, and the latter lamented, “Once [Trump’s comment posted], the question is, now what do I do? Do you go forward with what you think is the right decision or do you pull back?”

Predictably, Democrat Party leaders and their Leftmedia publicists immediately claimed that Trump and Barr were colluding on the Stone sentencing. They demanded the resignation or (yes) impeachment of Attorney General Barr.

For his part, Barr rightly rebuked Trump for his carelessnesses: “I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases. I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody … whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president. I’m gonna do what I think is right, and you know, to have public statements … made about the department, about our people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department, and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we’re doing our work with integrity. I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell backed Barr: “The attorney general has said it’s making it difficult for him to do his job. I think the president ought to listen to the attorney general. … The president made a wise selection in picking Bill Barr. I think he ought to listen to him. … I think the attorney general knows what he is talking about. … I think he’s told the president this is not helpful, making it difficult for him to do his job. I think the president ought to listen to him.”

Responding on Trump’s behalf, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham insisted Trump “wasn’t bothered by [Barr’s] comments at all and he has the right, just like any American citizen, to publicly offer his opinions.” She added, “President Trump uses social media very effectively. … The president has full faith and confidence in Attorney General Barr to do his job and uphold the law.”

Memo to Stephanie: Nobody is questioning the “right” of Trump to post comments on social media. We question the wisdom of those comments. This was not an example of “using social media very effectively.” It was an example of using social media very carelessly.

Moving forward, the real test of whether President Trump is capable of a modicum of teachability will be if he takes Barr’s advice, as indeed he should — a cease and desist regarding pointless distractions from his administration’s extraordinary successes and future agenda. Hopefully, having been challenged by Barr, he will not be so “bothered” that he insults Barr, as he has with other former administration officials who have been loyal to him and their oaths “to support and defend” our Constitution.

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Bloomberg — Authoritarian, Not Racist

Brian Mark Weber

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump deleted a tweet calling Democrat presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg a “total racist.” Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did not delete her tweet saying the same thing. This came after leaked audio surfaced from 2015 when Bloomberg said, “Ninety-five percent of murders — murderers and murder victims — fit one M.O. You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops. They are male minorities, 16 to 25.” Cue the outrage mob.

That remark would’ve quickly ended Bloomberg’s candidacy were he (still) a Republican, but given that’s he’s a Democrat bent on beating Trump, it’s just old news. But after the clown-show caucuses in Iowa and the uninspiring follow-up primary in New Hampshire, the gun-grabbing former New York City mayor stands poised to save the party from itself.

MSNBC correspondent Joy Reid believes Bloomberg is the only remaining candidate who resonates with blacks. And without the overwhelming support of that key voting bloc, neither Bernie Sanders, nor Pete Buttigieg, nor Amy Klobuchar can hope to beat Trump in November.

This is why everyone from Trump to Bloomberg’s fellow Democrats seems to be taking shots at him. And there’s a growing chorus, including prominent conservatives Newt Gingrich and Peggy Noonan, who think he can pull it off. Bloomberg may in fact be the biggest threat Trump faces.

We’re not sure the “RACIST!!!!” charge will stick. We can sift through the political past of any candidate and find racially insensitive comments here or there. Yet some black leaders are quick to dismiss Bloomberg’s history regarding minority crime. This week, three members of the all-Democrat Congressional Black Caucus endorsed Bloomberg, thereby plugging the hole in a public-relations dam that was about to burst.

Given Joe Biden’s weak performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, black voters had already begun to shift their support to Bloomberg according to recent polling. That’s why his “racist” comments suddenly “leaked.” Next up: Relitigating his #MeToo moments.

Yet maybe instead of going after Bloomberg on race (or sex), we should shine a light on his authoritarian instincts.

As Brad Palumbo writes at the Washington Examiner, “[Bloomberg has] intruded on the lives of New Yorkers in the pettiest and most paternalistic ways, such as a nanny state ban on large-sized sodas. Now, Bloomberg is running for president on a platform of toxic, big-government centrism.” Bloomberg also has been critical of a free press, and his own Bloomberg News has stopped covering him altogether during his presidential run.

It is his anti-Second Amendment crusade, however, that is most tyrannical. Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety is the Leftmedia’s go-to source of misinformation regarding crime committed with guns, and Bloomberg — ignorant though he is about firearms themselves — wants to take away Second Amendment rights.

Black Americans may feel they have nothing to fear from a Bloomberg presidency. But if Mayor Mike makes it to the White House, we’re sure to see an expansion of the nanny state — and an equal diminishment of American Liberty.

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Are Americans Ready for a Homosexual President?

Thomas Gallatin

A glaring issue that few conservative pundits have hitherto dared to weigh in on was finally broached by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show Wednesday. Assessing Democrat voters’ options for presidential candidates, Rush observed, “You’ve got Fauxcahontas way back there in the background barely out of the tepee bringing up the tail end. Biden’s gone. So you’re faced with a dyed-in-the-wool socialist who’s not even a Democrat [and] a gay guy, 37 years old, loves kissing his husband on debate stages.”

Limbaugh continued, “You’re looking at your options today, and you’re asking, ‘OK, can we win with Klobuchar? We don’t want to put Klobuchar up there because she doesn’t have a prayer.’ Then they’re sitting there, and they’re looking at Mayor Pete, a 37-year-old gay guy, mayor of South Bend, loves to kiss his husband on the debate stage. And they’re saying, ‘OK, how’s this gonna look — a 37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband onstage next to Mr. Man Donald Trump? What’s gonna happen there?’” He then wondered, “[Democrat leaders] gotta be looking at that. They’ve gotta be saying that despite all the great progress and despite all the great ‘wokeness’ and despite all the great ground that’s been covered, America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage. … They have to be saying this, don’t they?”

Predictably, the Leftmedia ran to the fainting couches, labeling Limbaugh “homophobic” for daring to ask a legitimate and cogent question — a question that no doubt Democrat leadership is quietly considering as well: “Is an outwardly homosexual candidate electable?” To be clear, the question is not whether Buttigieg can win the Democrat nomination; as we have observed in the past, Democrat women in general strongly support homosexuals. (Ironically, should Buttigieg win the presidency, there would be no First Lady or female represented in the White House, but we digress.) In fact, a good argument can be made that the only reason Buttigieg finds himself in contention within the Democrat field is because of his homosexuality, as he checks the Left’s “sexual minority” identity box. However, Buttigieg’s homosexuality may also be a deterrent for a large number of voters who are sick and tired of the mainstream media constantly shoving its homosexual agenda in their faces. The bigger question Limbaugh is addressing is whether the majority of Americans have a problem with a homosexual in the White House.

One who wouldn’t have a problem voting for a homosexual is … President Donald Trump. “I think it’s great,” he said Thursday. “I think that’s something that perhaps some people will have a problem with. I have no problem with it whatsoever. I think it’s good.” And while there’s no indication that Trump didn’t give a genuine answer, it’s also illuminating. First, it negates the “homophobic” smear that would be leveled against him no matter who he faced in the general election, but especially if it is Buttigieg. Second, this also may be Trump tipping his hand as to whom he views as the Democrats’ weakest candidate and the one he would most prefer to run against. In fact, his recent back-and-forth with Michael Bloomberg may be an indication that Trump views Bloomberg as his biggest threat.

Finally, the moral hypocrisy charge with which the Left and many anti-Trumpers love to blast conservative Christians for having voted for Trump given his past indiscretions would only be proven to be the political canard that it is. These self-righteous hypocrites voice their support for an openly proud homosexual like Buttigieg.

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The Real Meaning Behind the Fight Over War Powers

Nate Jackson

The Senate voted Thursday to prevent President Donald Trump from taking military action against Iran without congressional consent. Democrats were joined by eight Republicans — Lamar Alexander (TN), Bill Cassidy (LA), Susan Collins (ME), Mike Lee (UT), Jerry Moran (KS), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Rand Paul (KY), and Todd Young (IN). That follows the House vote last month. It is certain, however, that Trump will veto Congress’s largely symbolic fist-shaking effort.

As we’ve said before, there are legitimate arguments about presidential and congressional war powers, which is the main reason for the votes of those eight Republicans. The problem is primarily because Congress has become content with leaving those decisions to the president. The president wants the freedom to move troops without the partisan and political squabbling inherent in going before Congress. Members of Congress want all of the political benefit from criticizing the president with none of the responsibility for the policy. No one seems to remember the Constitution’s general prescription for war.

In the case of Iran, however, this resolution is particularly interesting coming on the heels of the successful mission to terminate Gen. Qasem Soleimani, leader of Iran’s elite terrorist Corps-Quds forces and murderer of hundreds of American soldiers. It was a legitimate operation against an enemy of the United States, undertaken in an authorized theater of American military operation.

When Barack Obama ordered the mission to terminate Osama bin Laden — not in a theater of American operation, by the way — Mitch McConnell wrote letters of credit and appreciation. Democrats showed no such magnanimity after Trump’s strike against Soleimani. Yet we all know that if Obama had killed Soleimani, there would not be a Democrat on the planet complaining about it.

Speaking of Obama, most of the Democrat consternation over Trump and Iran stems from Trump keeping his campaign promise to exit the sham nuclear deal. Whereas Obama gave Tehran’s mullahs everything they wanted in terms of nuclear development and sent them pallets of cash as ransom for hostages, Trump is having none of it, exiting that deal, increasing sanctions pressure, and killing Iranian terrorists. Democrats can’t stand it and thus are left with toothless resolutions to undermine American foreign policy and national security.

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A Generational Reminder About Civics and Socialism

Michael Swartz

One reason for the archives we keep here at The Patriot Post is to remind people of things like Ronald Reagan’s admonition: “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.” This bears repeating, given that a recent Gallup survey found 45% of Americans would vote for a socialist for president.

That’s a disturbing number, especially to those who remember the Soviet Union, the Berlin Wall, and fellow countrymen fighting and dying to prevent the spread of communism.

Unfortunately, as we detailed a while back, given the state of civics and history education in this country, the Gallup results aren’t entirely surprising. In this era of white-hot political hatred, tens of millions of Americans will vote against President Donald Trump regardless of the opposition.

Not coincidentally, the new frontrunner in the Democrat primaries is, as The Daily Wire’s Josh Hammer aptly describes him, “Soviet Union-honeymooning, Sandinista-supporting, Fidel Castro-praising, full-on socialist loon bag” Sen. Bernie Sanders. While there’s an argument contending that Sanders has hit his electoral peak and is only leading a field where moderate opposition is scattered among several candidates — leaving only him and fast-fading fellow Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the full-on socialist lane — the Gallup results suggest otherwise.

That doesn’t mean Democrats aren’t trying to hedge their bets, especially those who won congressional seats in 2018 in districts Trump carried two years earlier. In the last election, these Democrats managed to con enough of their constituents into believing they were moderates. But midterm elections are historically unfriendly to a sitting president of the opposite party, and making Sanders the Democrats’ standard-bearer scares the daylights out of them.

As he was leaving office in 1989 — the same year AOC was born — President Reagan summed up the problem that would manifest itself three decades later:

Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn’t get these things from your family, you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed, you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties.

But now, we’re about to enter the nineties, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven’t re-institutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom — freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare.

Those who were 35 in 1989 are now reaching retirement age, and most of Reagan’s peers have long since left the political stage. But if freedom is indeed still “special and rare,” those of us who care should redouble our efforts to defend it.

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Girl Athletes Sue Over Boys Competing as Girls

Thomas Gallatin

Recall the story last year of two “transgender” girls, a.k.a. biological boys, finishing one-two in the 55-meter dash at Connecticut’s indoor high-school track championships. It was just the latest outrage in a growing number of instances in which biological boys are allowed to compete athletically against girls simply because they’ve declared their “gender identity” to be female.

Now, however, three actual female athletes who lost to these so-called “transgenders” are suing the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.

Good for them.

Representing the girls is the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which argues that Connecticut’s policy allowing students to compete based on their “gender identity” rather than their biological sex violates Title IX, the federal law designed “to create opportunities for women in education and athletics.” As ADF attorney Christiana Holcomb put it, “Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field. Forcing them to compete against boys isn’t fair, shatters their dreams, and destroys their athletic opportunities. Having separate boys’ and girls’ sports has always been based on biological differences, not what people believe about their gender, because those differences matter for fair competition.”

Siding with the state is, naturally, the American Civil Liberties Union, which ridiculously asserts that the girls’ suit represents “a dangerous distortion of both law and science in the service of excluding trans youth from public life.” Now there’s some twisted doublespeak.

One of the “transgender” athletes, Andraya Yearwood, sought to defend himself, saying, “I have known two things for most of my life: I am a girl and I love to run. There is no shortage of discrimination that I face as a young black woman who is transgender. I have to wake up every day in a world where people who look like me face so many scary and unfair things. I am lucky to live in a state that protects my rights and to have a family that supports me. That is what keeps me going.”

These two biologically male athletes have won 15 women’s state championships since 2017 and, according to ADF, have “taken away more than 85 opportunities to participate in higher-level competitions from female track athletes in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons.”

It was only a matter of time before this abomination ended up in the courts. Here’s hoping the girls prevail.

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NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

“NECESSARY IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST”: Trump administration diverts $3.8 billion in Pentagon funding to border wall (NPR)

DEMOCRAT MEDIA COMPLEX: YouTube nixes video of Rand Paul mentioning alleged whistleblower’s name during impeachment trial (The Daily Caller)

BUDGET IMBALANCE: Federal taxes and spending set records through January (CNSNews)

FAMILIAR FACE RETURNS: Hope Hicks returning to Trump White House as senior adviser (ABC News)

ON TOP OF FRAUD, IP THEFT: Huawei charged with racketeering and defying U.S. sanctions in business with Iran and North Korea (National Review)

CHANGING TIMES: McClatchy, publisher of dozens of U.S. newspapers, files for bankruptcy protection (NBC News)

WHO’S REALLY DIVIDING US? Man arrested for attacking 15-year-old Trump supporter in New Hampshire (The Daily Wire)

POLICY: Skills development, not education, is key to workforce transformation (Issues & Insights)

POLICY: Solve the Kosovo dispute to counter Chinese and Russian influence in Europe (American Enterprise Institute)

HUMOR: Elizabeth Warren hopes to pick up crucial dog-faced pony soldier vote with facial reconstruction surgery (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: “In all men is evil sleeping; the good man is he who will not awaken it, in himself or in other men.” —novelist Mary Renault (1905-1983)

Friendly fire: “Bernie [Sanders] called me a political hack. That’s exactly who the f—k I am! I am a political hack! I am not an ideologue. I am not a purist. He thinks it’s a pejorative. I kinda like it!” —Democrat strategist James Carville

Non compos mentis I: “It has never made sense to me that a tiny group of people should have incredible wealth and power in America while most people have none. That is what we are going to change.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders (“It has never made sense to me why a person who has been a complete drain on taxpayer resources for six decades should have the moral or political standing to demand reordering America.” —Ben Shapiro)

Non compos mentis II: “We’re living right now under Donald Trump in a socialist society. The only difference is, does the government work for working people, or does it work for billionaires?” —Bernie Sanders

It’d be completely different alright: “The fair number should be $22 an hour. That should be the minimum wage in the United States of America: $22. Think about what this country would be like if we had a $22 minimum wage: completely different.” —billionaire Tom Steyer

The BIG Lie: “Nobody has said [Hunter has] done anything wrong. This is a guy who has done nothing but good things his whole life.” —Joe Biden

And last… “In the last week alone: A 15 y/o Trump supporter was attacked. A Republican voter registration booth was [run] over. A California GOP HQ was vandalized. A 50 y/o man was punched after just being mistaken for a Trump supporter. And the media has been silent. I wonder why?” —TPUSA’s Charlie Kirk

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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.


Join us in prayer for our Patriots in uniform and their families — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way, and for our nation’s First Responders. We also ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the Spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

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