“But where says some is the King of America? I’ll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain.” —Thomas Paine (1776)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
- Trump Wins Dems’ SC Debate
- Medical Supply Chain Dominated by China
- Trump’s Successful India Trip
- Marriage Debate Becomes One Over Polygamy
- Daily Features: News Executive Summary, Videos, Best of Right Opinion, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
Democrat leadership’s panic over socialist Bernie Sanders solidifying his front-runner status for the party’s presidential nomination heading into the South Carolina primary on Saturday has become increasingly palpable of late. Naturally, it was assumed going into Tuesday evening’s debate that the rest of the Democrat field would be champing at the bit to cut Sanders down to size, though what emerged was more a Democrat Party that appears torn over how to attack Sanders’s socialism without appearing to attack socialist policy. Other than billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the remaining Democrat candidates are all to the left of Hillary Clinton. They are all either full-blown socialists like Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, are socialist-lite like Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer, or are Joe Biden (whose increased stumbling speech and forgetfulness is seriously concerning).
As previously mentioned, Sanders was clearly the candidate with a target painted on his chest, and he took fire early and often. However, as the debate quickly got out of control, he was able to deflect the blows. Sanders was blasted by Klobuchar over the astronomical costs of his Medicare for All plan, as she observed, “No, the math does not add up.” Buttigieg got in a good ding over Sanders’s expressed admiration for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro only to later chastise Sanders for failing to push the revolution hard enough. Speaking of Sanders’s refusal to support a rollback of the Senate’s legislative filibuster, Buttigieg marveled, “This is not some long-ago vote that Bernie Sanders took. This is a current bad position that Bernie Sanders holds. How are we going to deliver a revolution if you won’t even support a rule change?”
Warren expressed her agreement with Sanders’s socialist policy goals while blasting him for lacking a detailed plan to implement them. “Bernie and I both want to see universal healthcare, but Bernie’s plan doesn’t explain how to get there, doesn’t show how we’re going to get enough allies into it, and doesn’t show enough about how we’re going to pay for it. I dug in, I did the work, and then Bernie’s team trashed me for it.” This rather tepid attack has been Warren’s most severe on Sanders in the debates, which has some folks wondering if she’s aiming to be his running mate.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s attempt to recover from his disastrous first debate fell as flat as his botched delivery on several jokes. His inability to fend off Warren’s predictable attacks over his sexist record further exposed him as a political lightweight hardly ready to take on his fellow Democrats, let alone President Donald Trump. Nevertheless, Bloomberg made the argument that Sanders’s socialism was a recipe for four more years of Trump.
And then there was Biden, who showed a lot of fire, jumping eagerly into fray to tout his record as the only one on stage best positioned to take on Trump. It was likely his strongest debate performance, and yet Biden still came off as a candidate well past his prime. He stumbled over words, took credit for legislation he could not possibly have been involved with, and threw out grossly inaccurate statistics such as his gun-grabbing screed about how “150 million people have been killed” by guns. In truth, his apparent “misremembering” and forgetfulness should be raising questions over his mental fitness for office. Of all the candidates on stage, his advanced age was most evident.
Finally, when it was all said and done, Politico’s headline may have captured it best: “Democrats needed a good debate, but got a bad one.” Chalk this up as another win for Trump. None of the more “moderate” Democrats were able to inflict any real damage on Sanders and his socialist vision, nor were any of them able to offer Americans a realistic, positive, and pro-American reason for voting Democrat. It’s no wonder Democrats are panicking.
Yesterday, we noted the economic trouble brought about by the deadly coronavirus, and that upheaval continued Tuesday. MarketWatch reports, “The Dow finished Tuesday down nearly 880 points to mark its sharpest-ever two-session slide in point terms, losing about 1,910 points.” The Dow is down 8.4% in just two weeks.
That coincides not just with the coronavirus epidemic and economic interruptions in China but with the rise of Bolshevik Bernie Sanders as the new Democrat front-runner. That’s not a coincidence, but it is another story.
As for the U.S. and the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control issued a “strong warning” about it spreading here — a matter, it said, not of “if” but “when.” Naturally, Democrats in last night’s debate used the CDC warning to slam President Donald Trump, or, in Joe Biden’s case, go off on a bizarre rant bragging about his own work on ebola.
With all that in mind, this episode has brought to the forefront another problem with China’s dominance in world markets: the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and supply chains for their ingredients.
According to his recent Senate testimony, Scott Gottlieb, a physician who is also a former Trump administration Food and Drug Administration commissioner, detailed some of our strategic reliance on China for pharmaceuticals: “About 40 percent of generic drugs sold in the U.S. have only a single manufacturer. A significant supply chain disruption could cause shortages for some of many of these products. [In 2019], manufacturing of intermediate or finished goods in China, as well as pharmaceutical source material, accounted for 95 percent of U.S. imports of ibuprofen, 91 percent of U.S. imports of hydrocortisone, 70 percent of U.S. imports of acetaminophen, 40 to 45 percent of U.S. imports of penicillin, and 40 percent of U.S. imports of heparin, according to the Commerce Department. In total, 80 percent of the U.S. supply of antibiotics are made in China.”
Oh, and by the way, Gottlieb notes, “When it comes to starting material for the manufacture of pharmaceutical ingredients, a lot of this production is centered in China’s Hubei Provence, the epicenter of coronavirus.”
This isn’t the free market at work. It’s the result of Beijing’s typical and strategic market manipulation, including underselling global competitors to put them out of business and enable China’s market domination. The U.S. must be equally strategic in thinking through market issues that have national-security implications.
Growing American energy production has moved us toward independence in that sector, providing a buffer particularly for instability in the Middle East. Similarly, we must think through the production and distribution of medicines and medical supplies that are needed to protect our population. Given not just coronavirus itself but questions about its origins and previous experience with contaminated Chinese medicine, it should be painfully obvious that Americans shouldn’t rely on our Red Chinese adversaries to keep us healthy.
President Donald Trump spent the last two days in India, where he was cheered at a massive rally in his honor and inked a $3 billion arms sale with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “You have done a great honor to our country,” Trump told the cheering crowd. “We will remember you forever. From this day onwards India will always hold a special place in our hearts.”
“As we continue to build our defense cooperation,” Trump continued, “the United States looks forward to providing India with some of the best and most feared military equipment on the planet.” The arms deal includes the U.S. selling India roughly $3 billion in military helicopters.
It was a largely successful trip for Trump, who is seeking to exploit the growing regional tension between China and India by working toward solidifying a long-term trade deal with the latter. “We will be making very, very major — among the biggest ever made — trade deals,” Trump pledged. “We are in the early stages of discussion for an incredible trade agreement to reduce barriers of investment between the United States and India. And I am optimistic that working together, the prime minister and I can reach a fantastic deal that’s good and even great for both of our countries — except that [Modi] is a very tough negotiator.”
India is one of the few foreign countries where Trump enjoys a high favorability rating, and he is clearly looking to use his popularity to develop a closer relationship with India. As Power Line’s John Hinderaker observes, “The main news to emerge from Trump’s visit so far is a $3 billion helicopter sale, part of a move toward making the U.S. ‘the premier defense partner of India.’ While it has been lost in the minutiae of political press coverage, this military purchase reflects one of the most important global developments of recent years. During its early years of independence and throughout most if not all of the Cold War, India was a socialist-leaning and Russia-oriented ‘nonaligned’ nation. More recently, India has adopted more progressive, free-market economic policies, and has turned decisively toward the West. Its alliance with the United States is one of the most positive geopolitical developments of recent years, and it is properly being celebrated by President Trump.”
A bill seeking to decriminalize polygamy — passed by the state Senate of conservative Utah, of all places — has reignited the debate over marriage in the United States.
Though not legalizing polygamy, the bill would reduce the penalty from a felony (with a maximum sentence of five years in prison) to a minor civil infraction, with a fine of $750, or community service. The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Deidre Henderson, was approved unanimously by the state Senate, and an amended version was approved by a state House committee this week.
The bill has set off an interesting debate between conservatives. One side sees this as the inevitable result of the Supreme Court’s legal redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples. The other sees this as a relatively minor change that appropriately reduces the penalty for polygamy, which in some instances is harsher than what accused rapists receive.
Both sides have valid points.
In 2015, the Supreme Court upended thousands of years of human history and centuries of U.S. law when it unilaterally struck down the marriage laws of dozens of states, ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that laws limiting marriage to man/woman relationships were unconstitutional. In doing so, Justice Anthony Kennedy and the majority declared that traditional marriage laws were driven by homophobic “animus” rather than based in reason and the collective wisdom of human experience. The ruling made the issue about governmental and societal validation of the romantic feelings of adults, rather than a legal and social framework to protect the interests of children and society.
Though same-sex marriage advocates ridiculed such claims at the time, the logic used in support of their cause unquestionably opened the door to the potential legalization of polygamy. In fact, many conservatives argued the Court’s ruling in Obergefell made polygamy inevitable.
After all, if legal marriage is about validating romantic relationships, then how could one logically argue the relationship between a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, should be legally ratified, but not the relationships between a man and two women, or five women? If all that matters are that those involved be consenting adults, how does one logically defend same-sex marriage but not polygamy? Or incestuous relationships, so long as they are consenting adults?
As Chief Justice John Roberts noted in his Obergefell dissent, “Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective ‘two’ in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not. Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world.”
From that standpoint, it was just a matter of time before polygamists started arguing for legalization; just days, in fact.
Other conservatives see this as an isolated matter that is less about legalizing polygamy than addressing a draconian disparity in criminal sentencing. They correctly point out that the Utah bill does not legalize polygamy; it simply decriminalizes it. Polygamy, therefore, is still illegal in all 50 states. And according to recent Gallup polling, more than 80% of Americans oppose polygamy.
Then again, in 2004, Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court made it the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. As a result, voters of dozens of states passed laws specifically defining marriage, including liberal bastions like California and Oregon. In fact, less than six months after the Massachusetts ruling, 11 states passed such marriage laws.
Yet just over a decade later, the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, and two years later legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, with five leftist justices invalidating the votes of tens of millions of Americans, along with millennia of history.
Realistically, the damage to the sanctity of marriage began decades ago with increasing acceptance of no-fault divorce, cohabitation, and adultery. Same-sex marriage and (potentially) polygamy are just the latest assaults on the sacred institution.
Unless and until marriage is restored as a sacred relationship between man and woman, for the purpose of bringing children into the world in stable, loving families, these aberrant variants of the authentic marriage will continue to sow confusion and discord.
Grassroots perspective by Willie Richardson
Pete Buttigieg is encouraging a nine-year-old boy to “come out the closet” on the stage of a presidential campaign. Hip Hop rapper YG targeted a conservative young man and threw him out of his concert because he would not say, “F— Donald Trump!” Two young Trump supporters were run off the road by a car because of their Trump flags on their bikes. To top it off liberal style, there are rumors that the tarnished Hillary Clinton is being courted as a VP candidate for Bloomberg. Sigh.
If America is to be destroyed it will not explode from outside, but implode from the inside. Hence the phrase “death by a thousand progressives.” America as we know it is being threatened by communism, socialism, and Marxism during this election year. Over a century ago, President Abraham Lincoln had this to say about the potential downfall of America:
At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
Death of a free nation by suicide? This indeed holds true over 150 years later. America is the freest nation in the world. This nation began with the Constitution setting it apart from the rest of the world. Our forefathers put a vision to flight that progressives are trying to willfully crash. The tolerant are really intolerant. The gender benders are actually confused with too much time on their hands. The party “for the people” is actually the party that wants to lord over the people.
Where do we go from here? Grab your first time voters in your family and explain to them what is at stake in America 2020. Tell your nieces and nephews how this great nation became great. Start a conversation with the youth who are leaders at your local church and have a dialogue how faith affects politics. The next generation is watching how we respond to these “progressive” suicide attacks on our great nation. Be humble, yet firm. Show courage in the face of fear.
MARKET STATE OF HEALTH: Coronavirus fears continue to spook markets; CDC warns of “inevitable” spread in the U.S. (The Washington Post)
“TAKING THE NECESSARY STEPS”: San Francisco declares state of emergency over coronavirus (Fox News)
ABANDONING THE PARTY OF SOCIALISM: Eight Mississippi elected officials leave Democrats and independents, join GOP (The Daily Wire)
A WHOLE NEW WORLD: Disney’s Bob Iger steps down as CEO, will remain executive chairman through 2021 (Fox News)
CULTURE OF DEATH: The Senate on Tuesday rejected two Republican abortion bills, one that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks and another that would attempt to raise the standard of care for newborns born alive after botched abortions (National Review)
BLEXIT: Poll from black-led PAC: Blacks getting fed up with Democrat Party (The Daily Wire)
DAMAGE CONTROL: ABC News suspends reporter on eve of Project Veritas exposure (The Daily Caller)
POLICY: What’s really driving the homelessness crisis (Manhattan Institute)
POLICY: When it comes to raw power, few have more of it than central bankers (Mises Institute)
HUMOR: Democrats publish list of “7 Progressive Virtues”: envy, greed, pride, lust, outrage, sloth, gluten-free gluttony (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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Video: Bernie Praises Mass Murderer Fidel Castro — Sanders is under fire for praising Fidel Castro’s communist programs in Cuba.
Video: Nine-Year-Old Comes Out as ‘Gay’ on Buttigieg Campaign Stage — “Kids are too young to understand the complexities and consequences of sexual decisions. That’s why we have an age of consent,” says Michael Knowles
Video: Forbidden Parenting — The government sometimes arrests parents for giving kids responsibility.
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Insight: “Men do not care how nobly they live, but only how long, although it is within the reach of every man to live nobly, but within no man’s power to live long.” —Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC-AD 65)
Grand delusions I: “Imagine if I said we give immunity to drug companies, we give immunity to tobacco companies. That has caused carnage on our streets. One hundred and fifty million people have been killed since 2007 when Bernie voted to exempt the gun manufacturers from liability. More than all the wars.” —Joe Biden
Grand delusions II: “I was part of making sure that [the ebola] pandemic did not get to the United States. Saved millions of lives.” —Joe Biden
The BIG Lie I: “The truth of the matter is Bernie Sanders is not a socialist.” —Democrat strategist David Axelrod
The BIG Lie II: “Every study out there, conservative or progressive, says ‘Medicare for All’ will save money.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders
One reason you’ll never be president: “I believe I’m the only person on this stage who believes in reparations for slavery. Something happened. We should have a formal commission on race to retell the story of the last 400-plus years.” —Tom Steyer
Shooting yourself in the foot: “Let’s just go on the record. They talk about 40 Democrats. Twenty-one of those were people that I spent $100 million to help elect. All of the new Democrats that came in, put Nancy Pelosi in charge, and gave the Congress the ability to control this president, I bought — I got them [emphases added].” —Michael Bloomberg, who admittedly isn’t buying only his own election
Not true: “When I was 21 years old, I got a job as a special education teacher. I loved that job. And by the end of the first year, I was visibly pregnant. The principal wished me luck and gave my job to someone else.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren
And last… “I don’t know what’s a more ignorant statement — believing that socialism works or that farming is easy.” —Vice President Mike Pence
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
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