“The greatest good we can do our country is to heal its party divisions and make them one people.” —Thomas Jefferson (1801)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
- Biden Ain’t Black
- Haters Desecrate Medal of Honor Gravesite Headstone
- NYT Attacks Military ‘Racism’ Over Memorial Day Weekend
- CDC Revises COVID-19 Numbers — Again
- ACLU Sues — to Undermine Constitutional Rights
- Daily Features: News Executive Summary, Videos, Best of Right Opinion, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden just reminded us all why his candidacy so terrifies his party’s poobahs. “I tell you,” said Biden Friday to Charlemagne tha God, cohost of a nationally syndicated radio show called “The Breakfast Club,” “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
Biden’s comment, which came at the end of the interview, was dripping with condescension and paternalism, and it clearly stunned both his host and his audience, which seemed to make it clear that their votes aren’t necessarily the property of the Democrat Party.
The post-interview fallout was swift and severe, and it came from across the media spectrum — except for CNN, which, of course, tried mightily to pretend it never happened.
“I’d say I’m surprised,” asserted South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who happens to be black, “but it’s sadly par for the course for Democrats to take the black community for granted and brow beat those that don’t agree.” Conservative commentator and Blexit co-founder Candace Owens put Biden’s sentiment more succinctly: “If you don’t do the bidding for wealthy white Democrats ‘YOU AIN’T BLACK.’”
Of course, this wasn’t the first time Biden has stepped in it with a black audience. During Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, he let the race-baiting mask slip before a gathering that included many African Americans at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, Virginia. “They’re gonna put y'all back in chains!” he thundered, referring to those two notorious “white supremacists,” Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. And that’s just one example.
Biden’s blunder lays bare an issue that blacks have begun to recognize in ever greater numbers: The Democrat Party takes them and their votes for granted. Our Willie Richardson wrote about this in February, while noting some of the concrete steps the Trump administration has taken to help the black community — such as criminal-justice reform, funding for historically black colleges and universities, and job-creating opportunity zones.
Is the Democrats’ four-year act finally wearing thin with black Americans? If recent polling is any indication, maybe so. And this possibility terrifies the Left. Why? Because if blacks do decide that it’s time to reexamine their allegiance and look more closely at the Republican Party — if Trump can move the needle on the black vote even from, say, 8% (his share of the black vote in 2016) to 16% — Democrats will have a hard time in swing states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. And they’ll have an even harder time retaking the White House.
We’ll find out in November.
We have previously profiled the most outspoken of the Islamist haters in the House, Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (D-MN). She was elected to the House in 2018 from Minneapolis, which has a growing Muslim population and is now the terrorist-recruiting capital of the U.S.
The 37-year-old Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, rescued from civil war there at age 11, and she and her family were allowed to immigrate to the United States as refugees. She is a key player in the uber-leftist “Gang of Four,” a.k.a. “The Squad,” who are the House protagonists leading the socialist surge in the Democrat Party.
Omar is being investigated by the FBI for reportedly marrying her brother as cover for his illegal immigration, as well as for paying off her former “campaign consultant” to keep their affair quiet. You may recall her inability to call out the Islamist terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attack, instead saying “some people did something.”
Omar represents the worst of American immigrants — someone who was invited to our nation but who has used her status as a member of the House as a platform to spew her hatred for the nation that gave her refuge. Recently, that hatred spilled out of her daughter’s mouth. Isra Hirsi, whose father is assumed to be the second of Omar’s three husbands, broadcast to her national social-media following that American military personnel were “bitches” who are “furthering American imperialism” and “killing innocent children” to achieve those goals. Isra has been in an ongoing war of words with American veterans.
On that note, a day after our observance of Memorial Day, consider the following:
When Omar was still a refugee, one of our nation’s most decorated veterans, Medal of Honor recipient Master Sergeant Gary Gordon, was killed in the Battle of Mogadishu, beside fellow Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant First Class Randall Shughart. They were nominated for their valorous actions by my East Tennessee friend, then-Lt. Col. Gary Harrell. Gary was also wounded while commanding the Delta Force Rangers whose service and sacrifice was immortalized in the film “Black Hawk Down.” I encourage you to read the Gordon and Shughart citations.
In MSG Gordon’s hometown of Lincoln, Maine, police are investigating the desecration of his gravesite headstone. While there is no evidence linking the perpetrators (if they will ever be found) to the constant stream of hatred spewed by Omar and her daughter, this incident serves to starkly contrast the service of MSG Gordon with a couple of ungrateful Islamist refugees he died defending.
“Why Does the U.S. Military Celebrate White Supremacy?” That’s the headline of a New York Times editorial attacking the military for naming some bases in the South after Confederate officers. Why the Times editorial board’s armchair generals chose Memorial Day weekend to tread upon the memory of fallen Patriots with this race-baiting tripe can likely be explained by the new Pulitzer Prize sitting on the shelf for the Times’s race-baiting revisionist history in the 1619 Project. But perhaps it was also a distraction from Joe Biden’s revealing remarks on the black vote. In any case, when all you have is a race hammer, everything looks like a racist nail.
“It is time to rename bases for American heroes — not racist traitors,” declares the Times. Bafflingly, the editorial’s argument begins by recounting a racist’s attack on a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, five years ago. Predictably, the Times also makes multiple Nazi references. Why either has anything to do with the name of Fort Benning in Georgia is left to the deranged imagination of leftists everywhere.
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman offered this response: “On a solemn day for remembering those that have given their lives for our country fighting against tyranny and subjugation, the NYT has more than a million possible stories of the ultimate sacrifice by American patriots that they could tell. But they don’t.”
Likewise, retired Staff Sgt. Joey Jones slammed the paper, saying, “There are 365 days in a year. There has been 150 years since the Civil War. Why is the New York Times writing this on Memorial Day this year of all years?” He added, “To me that’s offensive. That’s as bad as saying that coronavirus was warranted because we had slavery 200 years ago. That’s not how we look at our country. … I find it offensive and repulsive.”
There’s a time and place for thoughtfully evaluating American history, but this was neither the time nor was it thoughtful. More to the point, where does the airbrushing stop?
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery Monday morning. He too used the word “race” in his remarks, though the meaning was entirely different. Praising the National Guard and others who’ve battled the coronavirus pandemic, Trump said, “Once more the men and women of the United States military have answered the call to duty and raced into danger.” Trump appealed for the kind of unity that the Times aimed to destroy. “Together, we will vanquish the virus and America will rise from this crisis to new and even greater heights,” he said. “As our brave warriors have shown us from the nation’s earliest days, in America, we are the captains of our own fate.” Indeed we are.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revised its China Virus numbers yet again, with its current and now “best estimate” for the COVID-19 fatality rate among infected people down to 0.3% — far lower than initial projections that spurred shutdowns nationwide. In fact, the CDC estimates that 35% of individuals infected with COVID-19 never experience symptoms, which means that the total rate of infection is 50% higher than the number of symptomatic cases. This would once again indicate that the virus is much more widespread than previously assumed.
These latest numbers from the CDC appear to support the findings of Thomas A.J. Meunier, a researcher from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. In a recent article published in the medical journal The Lancet, Meunier concluded that the “full lockdown policies in Western Europe countries have no evident impacts on the COVID-19 epidemic.” Meunier argued, “I expect that when we count the number of deaths from COVID-19 in each country in one year from now, the figures will be similar, regardless of measures taken.” Sweden’s former lead epidemiologist, Johan Giesecke, concurred, arguing that lockdowns ultimately don’t prevent deaths; they simply push them a bit further into the future.
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Friday, “We can’t stay locked down for such a considerable period of time that you might do irreparable damage and have unintended consequences, including consequences for health.” He added, “I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go.”
Fauci’s recent comments come on the heels of last week’s letter to the White House from more than 600 doctors calling for an end to the “national shutdown” over growing concerns of a coming “mass casualty incident.” The letter warns, “Millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youth it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.”
Evidence seemingly supporting the letter’s dire claims comes from John Muir Medical Center, a hospital located outside of San Fransisco, which reported more suicides this past month than deaths from COVID-19. Dr. Mike deBoisblanc, head of the emergency department, observed, “We’ve never seen numbers like this in such a short period of time. I mean we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.” A trauma nurse stated, “What I have seen recently, I have never seen before. I have never seen so much intentional injury. They intend to die.”
Given that the fatality rate is far lower than expected, while deaths of despair are rising, inquiring minds want to know: Was this whole lockdown worth it?
On May 6, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released her Title IX reforms regarding how colleges and K-12 schools should handle complaints of sexual assault and misconduct. In a great indication it is no longer the organization it has purported itself to be, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a federal lawsuit on May 14, asserting the changes would “inflict significant harm” on victims and “dramatically undermine” their civil rights.
“Victims” is a loaded word. In 2011, then-Vice President Joe Biden and Education Secretary Arne Duncan released a “Dear Colleague” letter to the nation’s 4,600 institutions of higher education, laying out new directives explaining how campuses should approach allegations of sexual assault. “It was the beginning of a concerted effort that radically remade how students could interact sexually, with severe penalties for those who violated increasingly expansive codes of conduct,” reveals columnist Emily Yoffe. “The accused were to be judged under the lowest standards of evidence, the definitions of misconduct were widely broadened, third-party reports could trigger an investigation even if the alleged victim did not think there had been a violation, and more.”
Thus a reasonable question arises: As per these directives, if due process, free speech, and other rights of the accused are denied, who is the genuine victim?
It didn’t matter to the Obama administration. Using the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) as its enforcement mechanism, Team Obama made it clear that any school failing to adhere to the administration’s new guidelines might lose federal funding.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) highlighted some of the absurdities enshrined by the changes. For example the OCR tossed aside the “reasonable person standard,” whereby conduct or speech in question must be objectively offensive, and replaced it with biased subjectivity: “Any sexually related or gender-based expression may constitute sexual harassment if it is subjectively deemed by the complaining student to be ‘unwelcome.’”
In short, self-perceived victimhood was enshrined. Unsurprisingly, many of these incidents involved intoxicated male and female students. And while Title IX ostensibly required male and female students to be treated identically before campus rape tribunals, adjudicators consistently failed to do so. In several ensuing lawsuits, judges held universities to account when their disciplinary actions were triggered by holding male students solely accountable.
Moreover, in the ensuing years, a number of other innocent students who were victimized by what amounted to kangaroo courts — with the attendant destruction of reputations, often followed by expulsion — filed additional lawsuits, and schools such as the University of Southern California, Penn State, Ohio State, Hofstra University, Boston College, and Claremont McKenna College have been on the losing end of decisions. Others, like Northwestern University, Dartmouth College, and Yale, have settled lawsuits.
KC Johnson, a professor at Brooklyn College and the coauthor of The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities, illuminated a big reason why many of the plaintiffs prevailed. “One commonality is the lack of cross-examination,” he said. “Courts are saying each side should have the opportunity to question each other.”
That opportunity is an integral part of DeVos’s reforms. “We can continue to combat sexual misconduct without abandoning our core values of fairness, presumption of innocence and due process,” she stated when releasing the new guidelines.
Furthermore, those guidelines are far more sensible regarding the scope of a college’s responsibilities. While colleges are still required to adjudicate incidents that occur on campus, and at recognized off-campus affiliated locations like fraternities, off-campus incidents will be handled by the police.
Reforms also eliminate the single-investigator model, whereby the same person both investigates and adjudicates a case, and give colleges the opportunity to replace the mandated preponderance-of-the-evidence standard, in which the accused is found guilty based on 51% certainty, with the clear-and-convincing standard, requiring more certainty. Moreover, despite accusations that the rules allow “accused sexual abusers to cross-examine and re-traumatize their victims,” such cross-examinations will be done by an intermediary.
The ACLU remains unimpressed. “DeVos has discarded decades of [the Department of Education’s] experience addressing sexual harassment and assault by promulgating regulatory provisions that sharply limit educational institutions’ obligations to respond to reports of sexual harassment and assault,” the lawsuit states. “If allowed to be implemented at educational institutions nationwide, these provisions will make the promise of equal educational opportunities irrespective of sex even more elusive. This is true for all students, including students of color, LGBTQ students, and students with and without disabilities, in grade school, high school, and higher education.”
Nonsense, but quite indicative of a sea change by the same ACLU that once championed individual rights, the right to an attorney, a fair trial, and the right to cross-examine one’s accuser — as opposed to group grievances and identity politics.
Now? “Students shouldn’t have to jump through hoops just to report abuse, and schools should not be allowed to ignore claims of discrimination on the basis of sex when they would have to respond to claims of discrimination on other protected grounds,” the ACLU asserts.
Jump through hoops? The reforms require students to report any claim to a Title IX official on campus, not just any instructor or administrator. That’s hardly jumping through hoops. Moreover, if any claims were ignored under the Obama administration’s mandates, those made by the accused professing their innocence — and being officially ignored — go to the top of the list.
The suit was filed on behalf of four advocacy groups for sexual-assault victims, including Know Your IX and Girls for Gender Equity, two groups that ensure young women are well aware of their status — as victims. The suit seeks to block the Education Department’s new provisions before they go into effect on August 14.
“Betsy DeVos has created a double standard that is devastating for survivors of sexual harassment and assault, who are overwhelmingly women and girls,” insists Ria Tabacco Mar, director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. “We are suing to make sure this double standard never takes effect.”
Wrong. Led by Joe Biden, the Obama administration championed a presumption of guilt, rather than innocence. That double standard would totally torpedo the Democrat Party’s semi-comatose standard-bearer were it applied to him regarding accusations made by his former Senate staffer, Tara Reade.
Fortunately for Biden, constitutional standards of justice still apply in his case — even as he and the ACLU remain determined to undermine them for other potential defendants.
It doesn’t get more ironic than that.
More Great Analysis
Harold Hutchison provides perspective for this election year based on lessons learned four years ago: Trump Is Not Pleasant; Neither Is Chemotherapy
Thomas Gallatin observes that big retailers like Walmart and Amazon are booming during the “shutdown,” while small businesses are going bust.
In honor of Memorial Day yesterday, Patrick Hampton recounts the service and sacrifice [f the Black American Soldier.
Above the Fold
“Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer faced backlash from Republican lawmakers after a reported request from her husband to get the family’s boat out on the water before Memorial Day weekend — far from their home in Lansing,” Fox News reports. “Whitmer, a Democrat, famously has imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in the country, sparking frequent protests. What’s more, she’s told people not living in Northern Michigan to stay away from vacation spots there during the holiday weekend.” If not for double standards, Democrats wouldn’t have any.
According to the Washington Examiner, “Republicans are broadening their investigation into special counsel Robert Mueller as the Obamagate controversy heats up. Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, said fresh criminal referrals are imminent as more people come forward with information about what Trump allies view to have been a plot to undermine the president.”
Government & Politics
And not a moment too soon: FBI director orders internal review of bureau’s handling of Michael Flynn investigation (National Review)
Republican says Flynn judge may have “conflict of interest” after hiring personal attorney (Washington Examiner)
Trump announces that houses of worship are “essential,” calls on governors to open them up (Fox News)
Trump threatens to move GOP convention over North Carolina’s coronavirus restrictions (The Hill)
Dr. Anthony Fauci — previously a big advocate for lockdowns — now says extended stay-home orders could cause “irreparable damage” (Fox News)
Richard Grenell stepping down as ambassador to Germany following DNI stint (Fox News)
Mike Pompeo condemns China’s Hong Kong law as “death knell” for freedoms (BBC)
U.S. threatens to impose sanctions on China over Hong Kong crackdown (Washington Examiner)
The Latest on Coronavirus
The CDC’s new “best estimate” implies an infection fatality rate below 0.3% (Reason)
Thirty-five percent of patients are asymptomatic, CDC says (Fox13Memphis.com)
U.S. plans massive coronavirus vaccine testing effort to meet year-end deadline (Reuters)
South America a new epicenter; Africa reaches 100,000 cases (Reuters)
Trump suspends travel from Brazil (CNBC)
Culture & Heartland
Republicans sue to stop Governor Gavin Newsom from sending mail-in ballots to all California voters (Washington Examiner)
Federal judge rules Florida felons don’t have to pay fines before registering to vote (Washington Examiner)
Mississippi church that defied coronavirus restrictions is burned to the ground (The New York Times)
Lockdowns prompt raft of lawsuits against states (USA Today)
These are the most illogical COVID restrictions still in place (The Daily Caller)
Most Americans say they would pay more for products not made in China (Bongino.com)
Biden offshore drilling ban would kill 200,000 jobs, oil lobby says (Washington Examiner)
NASA astronauts go back to the future with capsule launch (AP)
Policy: Coronavirus has more Americans rethinking plastic (Issues & Insights)
Policy: U.S. Postal Service needs to get a grip on package pricing (Issues & Insights)
Humor: Obama calls on black community to apologize for racist remarks made by Joe Biden (Genesius Times)
Related humor: Biden: “If you don’t let me sniff your hair, you ain’t a woman” (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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Video: James Carville Fat-Shames Doomed President — Trump is “going to get his fat a— beat,” according to Clinton hawker James Carville.
Video: What Does Separation of Church and State Mean? — Do you know where it’s from? Here’s a hint: It’s not in the Constitution.
Video: Science Concludes Journalists Are Stupid, Childish Drunks — Bill Whittle has become a progressive, placing his faith in the power of science.
Video: Planned Parenthood Receives $80M From COVID Relief Bill — “This would seem to be a deliberate attempt to scam the system, which is no surprise,” says Matt Walsh.
Video: Visiting Arlington National Cemetery — Since 1860, Arlington National Cemetery has served as a final resting place for veterans from the U.S. and 11 other countries.
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Upright: “It is difficult, bordering on impossible, to exaggerate the nature of the threat posed to America this century by the Chinese Communist Party. The People’s Republic of China is not a tiny rogue despotism, a la North Korea or Cuba. Rather, China is the third-largest country by landmass and the second-largest country by gross domestic product in the world. And China acts like it, seeking to create a new global order by forcibly exporting its thuggish political system of one-party rule, Orwellian surveillance state, mass censorship, persecution of religious minorities, currency manipulation, intellectual property theft and cynical allying with the world’s worst geopolitical actors.” —Josh Hammer
Straight from the horse’s mouth: “We can’t stay locked down for such a considerable period of time that you might do irreparable damage and have unintended consequences, including consequences for health. … I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for prolonged period of time is the way to go.” —Anthony Fauci
Race bait: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” —Joe Biden
Nothing to see here… “The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period.” —Biden campaign adviser Symone Sanders
Read my lips: “Nobody making under $400,000 will have their taxes raised. Period.” —Joe Biden (“If it sounds too good to be true that a candidate is promising more than $6 trillion in new government spending (for everything from climate change to infrastructure to healthcare) without raising taxes, well, that’s because it is.” —Brad Polumbo)
Braying jackass: “He’s gonna get his fat a— beat. Now, the question is, by how much? … If we go and take it to him and talk about what a massive, fat failure he is, then we can run away with this thing. The idea is not just to defeat Trump, you have to defeat Trump-ism. You have to defeat the idea that the United States of America is a place and not an idea.” —James Carville, totally misrepresenting “Trump-ism”
Alpha jackass: “I would vote for Joe Biden if he boiled babies and ate them. He wasn’t my candidate, but taking back the White House is that important. Four more years of Trump will replace what remains of our democracy with unchecked rule by kleptocrats, fascists, religious fanatics, gun nuts, and know-nothings.” —The Nation’s Katha Pollitt
Double standards: “I do believe [Tara] Reade. Justice can be delayed, but should never be denied.” —Ilhan Omar, who later added, “I will vote for [Joe Biden] and help him defeat Trump.”
And last… “Your daily reminder that we are 67 days into a 15 day lockdown. Politicians lied.” —Liz Wheeler
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