“The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.” —Thomas Jefferson (1790)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
- Leftmedia, Not Russians, Biggest Threat to U.S. Elections
- The Sanders Insurgency Takes Nevada
- Free Markets … Really
- Britain’s NHS Tribalizes Healthcare
- Somali Community Leader Confirms Omar Married Brother
- Intellectual Elitism: A Threat to Racial Reconciliation
- Daily Features: News Executive Summary, Videos, Best of Right Opinion, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
The Russians are at it again, seeking to interfere in U.S. elections. We’re shocked — shocked. The Russians have been playing this game for generations now. That this is considered pressing headline news only serves to highlight the gross bias prevalent within the mainstream media.
Case in point: Following last week’s intelligence briefing before the House Intelligence Committee, in which lawmakers were notified of Moscow’s continuing efforts to interfere in our nation’s electoral process, the mainstream media’s headlines declared that Russia favors President Donald Trump in 2020. “It’s 2016 all over again,” declared leftist political pundits and Democrats as they dusted off the false narrative that Trump’s victory was due to Russian interference.
Once again, there is no evidence that our nation’s actual election process was compromised, rigged, or manipulated by the Russians or anyone else. The interference being breathlessly reported is largely that of a disinformation campaign waged mostly online via social media. While serious, it only becomes problematic when Americans lose trust in those ostensibly tasked with objectively reporting the news.
On Friday, a new headline hit declaring that the Russians are working to boost Bernie Sanders’s campaign. The news was based on the leak of a classified briefing Sanders received a month ago in which he was notified by U.S. intelligence officials that Russians were actively engaged in an effort to support his campaign, evidently in a similar fashion to that of Trump’s. There is little doubt that the Russians are doing exactly that, especially given that, ideologically, they have much more in common with Bolshevik Bernie’s policy platform than Trump’s.
The problem, however, is the obviously timed leak to the media. Responding to the news, Sanders alluded to this, stating, “I’ll let you guess, about one day before the Nevada caucuses, why do you think it came out?” In any case, Sanders disavowed any Russian help, insisting, “I don’t care, frankly, who [Vladimir] Putin wants to be president. My message to Putin is clear: ‘Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do.’”
Trump also blasted the media report, declaring, “MSDNC (Comcast Slime), CNN and others of the Fake Media, have now added Crazy Bernie to the list of Russian Sympathizers, along with Tulsi Gabbard & Jill Stein (of the Green Party), both agents of Russia, they say. But now they report President Putin wants Bernie (or me) to win.” He then observed, “The reason for this is that the Do Nothing Democrats, using disinformation Hoax number 7, don’t want Bernie Sanders to get the Democrat Nomination, and they figure this would be very bad for his chances. It’s all rigged, again, against Crazy Bernie Sanders!”
The problem is not the MSM reporting on Russian efforts to interfere; it’s that the MSM plays along with Moscow’s false narrative suggesting that the Russians’ objective is seeing a certain individual win the election, i.e. Trump or Sanders. The real objective of Russia’s disinformation campaign is to sow distrust in America’s electoral system, with the aim of further dividing our nation and weakening our government. Would Putin prefer a feckless Democrat such as Sanders to Trump? Most definitely, but his greater and longer-term goal is permanently disabling Americans’ trust in our electoral system.
Bernie Sanders trounced the rest of the still-crowded Democrat field in the Nevada caucuses Saturday, coming away with nearly 47% of the vote and 14 delegates (with 96% reporting as we go to press). Joe Biden finished a distant second with 20% and the first four delegates he has ever won in his three presidential runs. Pete Buttigieg was third with nearly 14% and two delegates, while Elizabeth Warren came in fourth with just under 10% but no delegates. And then there were other candidates like Amy Klobuchar, whose sixth-place finish (4% and behind billionaire Tom Steyer) showed that, no, she did not have momentum coming out of New Hampshire. Next up is South Carolina on Saturday, followed closely by 15 contests for a third of all delegates on Super Tuesday, when Michael Bloomberg will show up on ballots for the first time.
There are two particularly noteworthy aspects of the Nevada results. First, due to the way the state’s caucuses work, a candidate must exceed 15% at each location to move forward. Voters faced with having to choose another candidate did not coalesce around a more “moderate” choice, however. Instead, Sanders actually increased support as the second choice of voters. Second, Sanders won 53% of Hispanics and 27% of blacks in Nevada. That’s strong minority support, and it undercuts the appeal of Biden in particular.
Longtime Democrat strategist James Carville says a Sanders nomination will be “political suicide” for the party. But Democrats have only themselves to blame. They’ve spent decades selling ever-more fantastical promises to voters, who are mis-educated in Democrat-run government schools. They see Bernie as “authentic” — a virtue to be prized above all others for many Millennials. In other words, Bernie actually believes what he says, while Democrats like Carville (and the rest of the field) have made a living just saying whatever it takes to win.
If Democrats didn’t see it coming before, they do now — their own replay of the Republicans’ 2016 primaries. A crowded field of GOP candidates enabled Donald Trump, who was a Democrat until Barack Obama became president, to keep winning and racking up delegates. Without a single alternative candidate to rally behind, Trump won the GOP nomination despite not winning a majority of the votes. He won due to justly deserved massive dissatisfaction with the Republican Party.
Democrats now face the increasingly real prospect of nominating a guy who has remained staunchly “independent,” not registering as a Democrat until it suited his desire to run for president. They’ll be nominating a guy who honeymooned in the Soviet Union and praised its breadlines, while just this weekend giving some love to Fidel Castro’s “massive literacy program” in Cuba. But if Sanders wins, it will be due to justly deserved massive dissatisfaction with the Democrat Party.
The big difference is that a crass and philandering former Democrat ended up being just the guy to save the Republican Party from self-immolation and the country from the Obama years. But a former “independent” socialist is unlikely to unite America behind his demands for exorbitant and punitive taxes and regulation. That’s why we may witness a growing Never Sanders movement, even as he gains momentum toward the Democrat nomination.
A new group is causing a bit of a stir among talkingheads, columnists, and policy wonks on the Right. American Compass, a new organization set to supposedly reclaim the conservative mantle of capitalism that aims to serve all Americans from the supposed wild west of libertarian free markets, announced its founding last week. It features folks associated with Sens. Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney, along with the Heritage Foundation’s PAC and Hillsdale College, among other notable policy wells.
The group’s argument is simply that the economy under President Donald Trump is being run by free-market fundamentalism and is leaving many behind.
Yet to accept the premise of the American Compass folks, one would have to believe that federal, state, and local governments are pretty much hands-off in their approach to markets. Clearly, that’s just not so. Governments at all three levels routinely pick winners and losers, which always ends up yielding more regulation. That in turn creates imbalance and the redistribution of wealth, which permits bad behavior among individuals who, in completely free markets, would instead stand responsible for behavior and choices.
Sounding a great deal like social justice lite, American Compass Executive Director Oren Cass declares, “Conservative economics will take seriously the effects of social and market forces on each other. It will concern itself with the pernicious effects that the high level of economic inequality can have on the social fabric, the market’s functioning and people’s well-being.”
Instead of focusing on this new group that will get big money, write papers, and posit a new intellectual approach to markets, what if conservatives just addressed the perverted incentives and the constructs of a market that still picks winners and losers?
Let’s take a look.
A growing number of Americans are not embracing socialism because of the failure of capitalism or the mythically unfettered free market. Socialism is popularized in theory because much of America’s economy is influenced by corporatism and cronyism posing as capitalism.
Socialism is an economy of wealth redistribution void of merit or responsibility with concentrated power in the hands of the governing elite overseeing said redistribution. Cronyism is a framework of business where success results from government picking winners and losers with targeted tax breaks or protection laws that either prohibit competition or assist in erecting barriers to competition. Corporatism merges aspects of capitalism and socialism without the complete destruction of private-property rights, but it essentially protects big companies from free-market forces for some identified “public good” that typically serves the well-connected interests of the governing elite over the consumer or other competing interests.
It is not “free-market capitalism” to allow banking, health systems, big tech, and all things big to find protections from competition and distortions of market forces under the premise of a “public good” when the government selectivity protects certain interests and not the power of the individual consumer.
Critics of capitalism are angered with misbehaving capitalists. Bad actors give any effort, cause, or endeavor a bad name. The greedy, the immoral, and the corrupt who operate behind the guise of free markets but are predatory or exploitive give capitalism a bad name. Hence, laws and regulations are put in place to deal with the bad actors and, thus, change the market influence and forces. As William F. Buckley Jr. often quoted, “The trouble with socialism is socialism. The trouble with capitalism is capitalists.” The solution isn’t to fight the straw man of supposedly unfettered markets.
The leading presidential contenders in the Democrat Party all favor eliminating private healthcare insurance by different means, and the machinations they use to get there are about what Democrats are always about: The acquisition and maintenance of power by any means necessary. Equally contemptible? Democrats have long made it clear that anyone who disagrees with any part of their agenda is unworthy of consideration. Those wondering what such a combination would yield in terms of healthcare need wonder no more: Beginning in April, Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) will be able to refuse nonemergency care for “sexist” and “racist” patients.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who believes “no act of violence or abuse is minor,” wrote to all NHS staffers, “Being assaulted or abused is not part of the job. Far too often I hear stories that the people you are trying to help lash out. I’ve seen it for myself in A&Es, on night shifts, and on ambulances.”
To implement his new program, Hancock has reached a joint agreement with police and the Crown Prosecution Service. It will grant the police greater powers to investigate and prosecute cases where NHS staffers are presumably victims of a crime. “All assault and hate crimes against NHS staff must be investigated with care, compassion, diligence and commitment,” he declared.
No sane person would argue that healthcare providers must endure people who threaten them with violence or are actually physically abusive. In fact, staff can currently refuse to treat such people. Yet the additional measures are pure pablum aimed at assuaging progressive sensibilities. As Sky News puts it, the new protections will “extend to any harassment, bullying or discrimination, including homophobic, sexist or racist remarks.”
Defined by whom? Some hypersensitive snowflake indoctrinated to believe “white privilege,” gender “fluidity,” “social justice,” or any other manifestation of the “woke agenda” should be part of the criteria for determining who gets treated and who doesn’t?
Apparently so. While a 2019 survey of 569,000 NHS employees revealed that 15% have experienced physical assault, rising to 34% among ambulance staffers, more than one in four stated they had experienced harassment, bullying, or abuse over the past year. “Racism was the most common form of discrimination, but 2019 also saw the highest levels of reported sexism and intolerance of religion and sexuality,” the Daily Mail reports.
“All colleagues in the NHS deserve to work in a safe, caring and compassionate environment,” Hancock insists. “You deserve a working environment that supports your physical and mental health, and helps you be the very best you can be.”
Again, with a large exception for safety, this is utter nonsense. There is no perfect world where patients, already injured, impaired, and/or stressed enough to seek care, will comport themselves solely in a manner that uplifts the entire consumer-provider relationship and helps the provider to be “the very best you can be.”
As for a compassionate and caring environment, who’s kidding whom? In 2008, British medical ethics expert Baroness Warnock asserted that people suffering from dementia are a burden on the NHS and should be allowed to opt for euthanasia, even if they are not in pain.
Four years later, Professor Patrick Pullicino, a consultant neurologist for East Kent Hospitals and professor of clinical neurosciences at the University of Kent, asserted that the “Liverpool Care Pathway,” which provided palliative care for terminally ill patients, was killing off 130,00 people per year, because they were difficult to manage — or to free up beds for other patients.
In 2017, the NHS decided to single out obese people and smokers. Those with a body mass index over 40 were denied nonemergency surgery unless they lost weight. Smokers had to quit for at least eight weeks and then had to be tested to detect the levels of carbon monoxide in their blood to make sure. Also in 2017, the NHS took away the parental rights of Chris Gard and Connie Yates so their gravely ill son, Charlie, could “die with dignity” rather than receive experimental treatment in America.
Thus, while the latest agreement precipitated by Hancock refers to the possibility that NHS staffers may be abused by people in crisis or with neurological conditions who will ostensibly be handled appropriately, the track record of antipathy toward “certain” types of patients — as in those insufficiently attuned to progressive sensibilities — is impossible to ignore.
The group most likely to offend? “Elderly people make up most of the patients in any health care system,” explains columnist Andrea Widburg. “They are also the people least likely to be ‘woke.’ Without malice, they may use old-fashioned phrases that are now considered offensive when referring to women, homosexuality, or race. They probably don’t even have a vocabulary for ‘non-binary’ people.”
Even more to the point, conditions like early onset dementia and Alzheimer’s engender serious changes in behavior, often manifested as hostility. How will those patients be “appropriately handled”? Columnist Paul Joseph Watson illuminates the arc from the present to a highly dystopian future — one that isn’t solely about lack of treatment for the elderly. “First it was deplatforming people from social media websites, then it was deplatforming people from bank accounts and mortgages.” he writes. “Now it’s deplatforming people from hospital treatment. Literally eliminating people’s right to basic health care because of their political or social opinions.”
Right now, when Americans go to a hospital for nonemergency care, they are usually asked to present proof of insurance and/or another from of identification, such as a driver’s license. Will those politicians who champion a system similar or identical to the NHS ultimately require patients to submit access to their social-media accounts as well?
As columnist Laura Hollis explains, “The new NHS rule is intended to protect health care workers from insults and slurs. But it is easy to see how something similar in the United States could be twisted for political advantage, particularly given the widespread tendency in some quarters to treat every political, policy or cultural disagreement as an expression of hate: racism, sexism, homophobia or other bigotry.”
That would be progressive quarters where “microaggressions,” “triggering,” and “implicit bias” are seen as reasonable ways to determine “improper” behavior.
Yet even Hollis somewhat misses the point. In certain professions, putting up with annoying or tough customers is part of the job, and the notion that anyone could err to the side of hypersensitivity with regard to refusing someone healthcare is absurd. Moreover, unlike Britain, we have a First Amendment that allows for free speech, even if — or especially if — it is offensive.
In reality, the NHS is embracing an exclusionary political agenda sold as compassion. That’s not healthcare. It’s tribalism.
For the first time, a member of Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Somali community in Minneapolis has come forward confirming the long-running rumor that she married her brother to help him remain in the U.S. According to the story published in The Daily Mail, Abdihakim Osman, a Somali community leader who claims to have known Omar for years, “is the first person to go on record to speak of how Omar said she wanted to get her brother papers so he could stay in the United States, at a time when she was married to her first husband Ahmed Hirsi.”
The article continues by noting, “Hardly anyone realized that meant marrying him. ‘No one knew there had been a wedding until the media turned up the marriage certificate years later,’ Osman, 40, exclusively told DailyMail.com.”
The reason Osman claims that Omar’s brother, Ahmed Elmi, ended up in the U.S. from England was due to him getting involved in the wrong crowd. Osman alleges, “[Elmi] was very feminine in the way he dressed — he would wear light lipstick and pink clothes and very, very, short shorts in the summer. People started whispering about him. [Hirsi] and Ilhan both told me it was Ilhan’s brother and he had been living in London but he was mixing with what were seen as bad influences that the family did not like. So they sent him to Minneapolis as ‘rehab.’”
Osman maintains that the Somali community knew nothing of Omar’s legal marriage to Elmi because the two obtained their marriage outside their Muslim community and it was performed by a Christian minister. They then moved to Fargo, North Dakota, where Elmi attended North Dakota State University. However, Osman believes that all throughout Omar’s sham marriage to Elmi she and Hirsi were never really apart.
The Washington Free Beacon reports, “Omar legally married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, who is alleged to be her brother, in 2009. Omar said Elmi was a British citizen at the time, and he began attending college in the United States. The two separated in 2011 but did not legally divorce until 2017. Omar then reunited with Hirsi, and the couple had a third child together. They were married legally shortly after her divorce from Elmi was finalized.”
The FBI has been looking into the claims that Omar married her brother and will likely now be talking with Osman following this latest accusation.
Omar responded by claiming that someone was being paid off to make these “fake new stories in order to delegitimize me and those I represent [and it] isn’t a good look. Desperation is a sad mobilizing tool.” Marrying your brother to defraud U.S. immigration isn’t a good look either.
Grassroots perspective by Patrick Hampton
On Presidents’ Day, I met a pair of tourists who were enjoying their stroll around downtown Chattanooga. Upon wishing them a “Happy Presidents’ Day” greeting, they proceeded to engage with me about our nation’s origins.
After just a few minutes of conversation with the couple, it was clear that they inherited a liberal mindset. The lady openly expressed her hatred for our sitting president, upon which I explained how I actually support President Donald Trump. (Of course this would lead to being called crazy and ignorant. How kind!)
What was initially a cordial conversation turned into vocalized vitriol. Pleasantries turned into put-downs, as she lobbed a fury of insults toward our POTUS before storming off along the bridge walk. The man continued to engage with me, mentioning the usual mainstream-media headlines. His favorite? Where President Trump’s father prevented non-creditworthy individuals from renting an apartment block. Of course, the gentleman equated this to the fact that these low-income individuals were black.
“So are you saying that blacks are poor?” I responded. Anyone with business sense understands why non-creditworthy individuals may not qualify for certain purchases like a home or a rental property. But because the MSM told him so, the man repeated this without understanding how it made him sound.
The man stammered to provide a response, dancing around the question and using anything to justify the notion that Trump is a racist. Of course, running down a list of Trump’s many achievements supporting the black community didn’t make them flinch a single bit. For these individuals, credibility comes from a television screen and not out of the mouths of regular black people like myself. We eventually parted ways, I with a smile on my face, the couple with an imprint of disgust.
These sorts of engagements are actually quite common. People who are far removed from black people get the only information they know about the demographic from television and social media. This, in turn, leaves their minds at the mercy of the programming they receive. Which is why they repeat the hottest headlines without fail. Yet despite their limited knowledge and interaction with actual black people, they always seem to have a remedy for what ails our communities. This hypothesis is often replicated as Democrats come into urban communities and make them worse at the expense of minorities. (From the hills, these wealthy liberals and progressives rule over the black and brown people they live far away from. But I digress.)
We black conservatives are waging a sort of unknown war. But it’s not against black liberals or the black community at all (like many liberals erroneously believe). The battle is against a sort of intellectual elitism — often dealt by white democrats who vote based on what television and mainstream media tells them about the black population. While some are individuals are well-meaning yet uninformed, others simply possess a profound lack of faith in minorities. This intellectual elite abhors and rejects those who think differently — this includes black conservatives and Republicans who don’t fit the narratives that the elite write for them. To engage with one of us — like the couple engaged with me — would trigger a total meltdown every single time.
The fact that black people largely overlook this is baffling. Are we, as a demographic, okay with intellectuals assuming our political ideas? Are black people happy that white liberals are speaking on their behalf, regardless of whether these people know any black people at all or have our interests at heart? What has the intellectual elite done to earn our undying trust? But most importantly, what happens if we disagree? Will your individual views be respected? I don’t know. Let each of us ask a liberal and find out for ourselves.
MEANWHILE… Shelby Pierson “misled” lawmakers about Russia helping Trump win reelection (Townhall)
STATE VISIT: President Donald Trump tours Taj Mahal, draws large crowds in India (CNN)
DAMAGE CONTROL: Michael Bloomberg agrees to release three women from nondisclosure agreements his firm signed over comments he made (The Hill)
MORE FAUXCAHONTAS DOUBLE STANDARDS: In about-face, Elizabeth Warren welcomes super PAC help she once shunned (The Washington Free Beacon)
FOR THE RECORD: Trump’s new spy chief, Richard Grenell, used to work for a foreign politician the U.S. accused of corruption (ProPublica)
BY THE WAY, EPSTEIN DIDN’T KILL HIMSELF: Philip Haney, DHS whistleblower during Obama era, found dead (Fox News)
SNUBBING THE RULE OF LAW: Greyhound bans immigration checks on buses (Hot Air)
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Global outbreak causes pandemic fears after cases jump in Italy, South Korea, and Iran (Fox News)
POLICY: Same-sex marriage was always leading to polygamy (The Federalist)
POLICY: Why Chinese communism could be the final casualty of the coronavirus (Foundation for Economic Education)
HUMOR: BREAKING: Bernie Sanders listed Vladimir Putin as a “significant other” on 1964 mortgage application (Genesius Times)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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Video: Somali Community Leader Exposes Omar’s Sham Marriage — Abdihakim Osman is the first person to go on record regarding the scandal.
Video: Insulting New CA Law Mandates ‘Quotas of Women’ — Failing to comply with corporate-board regulations will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Video: Why President Trump Must Be Reelected — Bill Whittle says we need to reelect Trump “to see the Rule of Law restored in the United States.”
Video: Bernie Was the Big Loser at the Democrat Debate — Michael Bloomberg didn’t do well, but Matt Walsh explains why he thinks Sanders actually finished last.
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Insight: “Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” —Ronald Reagan
Observations: “When The New York Times isn’t busy demonizing our founding, what else is it doing? Well, Friday’s front page of America’s ‘Paper of Record’ was filled with the false narrative that Russia is stealing the 2020 election. Further in you’ll discover that the ‘Gray Lady,’ as the Times is often called, gave over the editorial page to the Taliban. Sirajuddin Haqqani, a Taliban leader, who has a $10 million bounty on his head and is responsible for the murder of many Americans and countless Afghanis, is being allowed by the left’s flagship newspaper to tell us what his demands are. That’s what New Yorkers read Friday morning in the city that was attacked on 9/11 because the Taliban allowed Al Qaeda to plot the attacks in Afghanistan. But according to the left the real threat to America is Donald Trump and Mike Pence.” —Gary Bauer
For the record: “The alleged ‘wage stagnation’ that Bernie and others are constantly referring to is a myth. For one thing, ‘wage stagnation’ fails to take into account the health-care benefits, pensions, vacations, family leave, and other perks now embedded in job packages — somewhere around 30 percent of an employee’s overall benefits. Once those benefits are added, Americans probably have seen about a 45-percent wage increase since 1964.” —David Harsanyi
The BIG Lie: “It’s not run by the government. Medicare allows you to go to any doctor you want for better or worse. This is not socialized medicine. This is keeping the same system intact, but getting rid of the private insurance companies, giving people another card, which allows them complete freedom.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders
Non compos mentis: “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba, but, you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. … When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?” —Bernie Sanders
Braying jenny: “Putin’s Puppet is at it again, taking Russian help for himself. He knows he can’t win without it. And we can’t let it happen.” —Hillary Clinton
Demo-gogues: “A guy has 12 assault weapons with bump stocks, which means you can fire it faster. You can pull the trigger faster. Why in God’s name should anyone … be able to own that? It’s just wrong. … I’m the only guy that has beaten the gun manufacturers. I’m the only guy that has beaten the NRA nationally, and I did it twice, nationally. And gun manufacturers, I’m coming for you. Period.” —Joe Biden
A distinction without a difference: “I would vote for socialism over authoritarianism.” —Joe Walsh
And last… “The Nazis were big into government health care, vegetarianism, and literacy. But if a candidate praised Hitler the way Sanders praises communist dictators … well, actually much of the media would give him a pass, wouldn’t they.” —Erick Erickson
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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