Mid-Day Digest

Jun. 2, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression. Without law, liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness.” —James Wilson (1790)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Quelling an Insurrection

Douglas Andrews

Rioting in Minneapolis was virtually nonexistent last night, and state leaders have reason to be at least cautiously optimistic for continued de-escalation. But that doesn’t mean we’ve turned a corner on the violence. Far from it.

The seventh night of civil unrest in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in police custody saw multiple acts of violence against police officers. These included four who were shot in St. Louis and one in Las Vegas, where the officer is on life support. In addition, officers were fired upon in Richmond and in Des Moines, Iowa, and the driver of an SUV plowed through a line of police in Buffalo, seriously injuring two officers.

If these events are any indication, the war against law and order has only become fiercer. But you might not know any of this if your only source for news is the Leftmedia.

President Donald Trump appears to have had enough, however. In a seven-minute speech delivered early yesterday evening from the Rose Garden, the president began by saying, “My first and highest duty as president is to defend our great country and the American people. I swore an oath to uphold the laws of our nation, and that is exactly what I will do.”

The president then acknowledged the obvious: “All Americans were rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd. My administration is fully committed that, for George and his family, justice will be served. He will not have died in vain. But we cannot allow the righteous cries and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob.”

Upon concluding his remarks, he said he would now “pay his respects to a very, very special place.” Accompanied by the Secret Service, he then took a short stroll across the street to Lafayette Park, the site of recent unrest, to historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, which had been set ablaze by rioters Sunday night. There, he put the nation’s milquetoast mayors on notice by dusting off the Insurrection Act of 1807.

“If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents,” he said, “then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”

As The Wall Street Journal reports, “Mr. Trump has discussed invoking the Insurrection Act, a law that allows a president to deploy active-duty military — as opposed to National Guard troops — in response to civil unrest. Mr. Trump was briefed Monday by his national-security team on the possible use of the act.”

As the Journal notes, the Insurrection Act was last employed in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush to quell the Rodney King-inspired Los Angeles riots, and before that in 1968, in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

The denunciations from the Left came quickly and predictably, with Joe Biden pledging that he won’t, if elected, “fan the flames of hate,” nor let anyone “quiet our voice.”

For his part, CNN “journalist” Anderson Cooper sneered, “Who’s the thug here?”

Trump also took criticism from the Right, albeit from lonely voices. Said diehard anti-Trumper Quin Hillyer in the Washington Examiner, “Once again, he proved why he is exactly the wrong man to inhabit the White House in these times.”

The wrong man? We’re not so sure. If the events of recent days have taught us anything, it’s that weakness is provocative. And to restate what the president said yesterday, his ultimate duty is simply “to defend our great country and the American people.”

To our eyes, at least so far, that’s exactly what he’s doing.

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MLK Would Condemn Rioting, Not Condone It

Thomas Gallatin

America’s most famous, influential, and effective civil-rights leader, the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., would be rolling over in his grave regarding a social-media campaign falsely claiming that he’d support rioting after George Floyd’s unjust death while in police custody. A paragraph taken out of context from King’s “The Other America” speech has been widely shared as evidence suggesting that the one who famously advocated for nonviolence as the only viable means for bringing about true change would condone today’s rioting. Those twisting King’s words to defend today’s violence highlight one phrase in particular where King states, “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

King’s statement was an observation, not a justification, as he made clear in his Stanford version of the speech: “It is as necessary for me to be as vigorous in condemning the conditions which cause persons to feel that they must engage in riotous activities as it is for me to condemn riots. I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots.” King went on to once again denounce violence, arguing, “Let me say as I’ve always said, and I will always continue to say, that riots are socially destructive and self-defeating. I’m still convinced that nonviolence is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom and justice. I feel that violence will only create more social problems than they will solve.”

Sadly, King’s “dream” of an America where people are judged by their character and not the color of their skin has been turned on its head by today’s “social justice” warriors. So too has King’s conviction that the only means for bringing about a true end to racial injustice and inequality was via nonviolent protest.

Civil-rights leader and Representative John Lewis, who marched with King in the 1960s, has likewise called for protesters to abstain from violence. “Rioting, looting, and burning is not the way,” Lewis said in a statement. “Organize. Demonstrate. Sit-in. Stand-up. Vote. Be constructive, not destructive. History has proven time and again that non-violent, peaceful protest is the way to achieve the justice and equality that we all deserve.”

Unfortunately but perhaps predictably, Lewis’s message of peaceful protest was explicitly rejected by Black Lives Matter cofounder Alicia Garza. “It’s a familiar pattern: to call for peace and calm but direct it in the wrong places,” Garza said. “Why are we having this conversation about protest and property when a man’s life was extinguished before our eyes? I’m not going to spend my time telling people to go home. … We don’t have time to finger-wag at protesters about property. That can be rebuilt. Target will reopen. The stores will reopen. That’s assured. What is not assured is our safety and real justice.”

Like leftist “social justice” warriors who have redefined racism so as to, ironically, promote racism, so now they’re coopting the icon of MLK to promote the very type of violence he roundly condemned. In the end, it’s all propaganda aimed at attacking the one nation that gave birth to the ideals of Liberty and justice, the core principles that define to all the world what it means to be an American. King understood this, believed in it, and fought to see a day when all Americans no matter their ethnicity would share in this reality. Sadly, today’s leftists malign King’s dream of a colorblind America as evidence for the racist musings of white supremacists.

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The Obama-Biden Racial Tag Team

Nate Jackson

Barack Obama has a well-documented history of subtly and passive-aggressively stoking racial division, especially when it comes to police encounters with black Americans. He’s rarely brash and overt, but he’s always in the middle of it. From his assertion that police were “acting stupidly” to announcing that “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon [Martin],” Obama has fed the narrative of systemic racism and oppression. In so doing, he has fomented a deadly war on cops.

Obviously, every American should take Obama’s remarks about the current race riots with a truckload of salt.

Yesterday, Obama weighed in to denounce the rioting. “Let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it,” he wrote via Medium. “If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.”

Wise and welcome words from a black leader, you might say. That would be true if Obama hadn’t spent the rest of the article excusing “justifiable anger” over the “ongoing problem of unequal justice” and “racial bias in our criminal justice system,” and opining about “a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States.”

He asserts, “The overwhelming majority of participants have been peaceful, courageous, responsible, and inspiring. They deserve our respect and support, not condemnation.” And then he even concludes that the “heightened activism of young people … makes me hopeful.”

Doesn’t sound much like a strong denunciation of rioting and looting.

Almost laughably, Obama even reminds readers of something true while utterly skirting the implications: The levels of government that most impact criminal justice are state and local. Don’t get so focused on the presidency and Congress, he says, that you forget that “the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels” [italics his]. He then complains about low voter turnout in races for mayor, county executive, police chiefs, district attorneys, and so on.

Yet he deliberately neglects to mention that, in the biggest cities affected by rioting, most of these officials are Democrats — and they often have been for decades. Chicago, which just had its deadliest weekend of the year, hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1931. St. Louis, where four police officers were shot yesterday, hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1945. We could go on and on and on, but Democrats run the urban poverty plantations rioters are now burning to the ground in the name of “justice.”

That brings us to Obama’s old (emphasis on old) wingman, Joe Biden, who cowrote the 1994 crime bill that is now roundly blamed for the number of incarcerated blacks. The reasons for that disparity are complicated, but to many, it represents the very “racial bias in our criminal justice system,” Obama decried.

What has Biden said about the riots? “Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. It’s an utterly American response,” he said. “But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not. Violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not.”

Perhaps someone should tell Biden’s campaign staff since they’ve been putting up bail money for rioters.

These two jokers have spent their entire careers fomenting racial division, yet they have the gall to lecture America about “systemic racism” and to tell black voters “you ain’t black” if you don’t vote Democrat. That’s the systemic problem that needs to change.

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Joe Biden’s Police Marksmanship Tutorial

Mark Alexander

The riots consuming some Democrat urban centers across the nation are being perpetrated by opportunists using the unjust death of George Floyd as justification to kill and loot. Amid all that violence comes “sage” advice from Joe Biden on how to solve deadly confrontations between police and “unarmed” assailants.

According to Joe, among all the nonlethal tactics now taught to law-enforcement officers, weapons trainers should be “teaching a cop when there’s an unarmed person coming at ‘em with a knife or something to shoot 'em in the leg instead of the heart…” Yes, he actually said “unarmed person … with a knife.”

That comment is so off target that it begs a response, even though the presumed Demo presidential nominee is Non Compos Mentis.

For the record, years ago I spent the summer between my freshman and sophomore college years at a state police academy getting certified as a uniformed police officer. At that time, as now, the training emphasized nonlethal alternatives to the use of deadly force.

As a 19-year-old, the youngest member of my class, my .357 Colt Python was the first handgun I had ever used, but it was a steady and accurate revolver that made its user a better marksman. On the firing ranges, we were trained that, when shooting at an assailant from any distance with either hand, we should attempt a hit in the “K5” center mass of the target. One afternoon my instructor criticized me roundly because I was taking headshots from the hip at five meters rather than K5 shots. I knew better but still was sternly rebuked by the experienced FBI trainer, who advised me that in a gunfight you always shoot center mass because, under the stress of an assault, that is your best chance at hitting some part of the assailant in order to stop the attack.

One need only turn to YouTube for thousands of videos on police-involved shootings and assaults on police. One video, a shootout between Ohio State Troopers and murder suspects, aptly demonstrates the fact that, under fire, every shot can miss its target. The troopers and assailants fire repeatedly at each other at less than two meters, and all shots missed.

Biden’s “advice” is deadly and demonstrates how out of touch he is with reality. Fact is, the vast majority of Americans, including media talkingheads, politicians, and protesters, don’t have even the most vague concept of the deadly challenges facing cops every day.

Biden and the rest of the Democrat Party notables are all repeating the mantra about ending the “systemic racism” that they insist infests the ranks of every level of our justice system. For the record, this claim of “systemic racism” is a rhetorical caricature of the reality those of us who are or have been law-enforcement officers experience in service to our communities and our nation. There are people who hold racist views on ALL sides, and there is no room for it anywhere, especially among the ranks of those charged with upholding the law. But there is no “systemic racism” in our system of justice.

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Nadler’s Flip-Flop for Mail-In Voting

Lewis Morris

A 2004 video recently surfaced of Democrat New York Representative Jerry Nadler explaining all the problems he had with certain methods of voting. The occasion was a House Judiciary Committee hearing in which a recent Ohio election was discussed. At the time, Nadler came out in clear opposition to paper ballots.

In the video, a private citizen cited an MIT study explaining how paper ballots were safer and more reliable, in part, because miscounts could be identified more easily than with voting machines. Nadler was having none of it. “Paper ballots are extremely susceptible to fraud,” Nadler said. “And at least with the old clunky voting machines that we have in New York, the deliberate fraud is way down compared to paper. When the machines break down, they vote on paper [and] they’ve had real problems.”

This is far different from the Jerry Nadler we know today, who is among the vocal proponents (virtually all Democrats) calling for an all-paper mail-in election this fall. Why the change of heart? Perhaps it’s nothing more complex than the fact that President Donald Trump is against paper ballots. And in the true spirit of Trump Derangement Syndrome, if the president is against it, then his political opponents are for it, even if they were once against it.

Nadler recently accused Trump of being against mail-in voting because “you’re just worried that they won’t vote for you.” This makes Nadler’s flip-flop even more telling. Suddenly, Nadler has no concern about mail-in voting? In the last 16 years, we have completely wiped corruption out of our voting system? Don’t count on it.

A 2005 bipartisan report chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker determined without a doubt that absentee mail-in ballots have the greatest potential for voter fraud. That has not changed. A 1997 Miami mayoral race was overturned by “widespread absentee ballot fraud.” Other smaller mayoral races in Alabama, Indiana, and elsewhere have been overturned for the same reason, as was a 2018 congressional election in North Carolina.

Voter fraud is real and it happens during every election cycle. The Democrat Party insists voter fraud doesn’t exist while seeking to broaden the voter base as much as possible, even by including illegal immigrants. Anyone with even a small amount of common sense must question when a national political party takes so resolute a stance against the existence of voter fraud while opposing measures like voter ID that mitigate fraud and trying to open up voting to what is the easiest way to cheat an election — mail-in paper ballots.

People who file paper ballots are subject to coercion in their voting by others, and paper ballots sometimes never even arrive at the right address or find their proper way to polling locations. Hans von Spakovsky, a former member of the Federal Election Commission, notes, “In 2016, more mail ballots — 6.5 million — were misdirected or unaccounted for than the margin of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.” Additionally, so-called ballot harvesting, which allows partisan political figures to collect mail-in ballots, creates another major problem in reliably counting these votes.

Regardless of the argument over mail-in ballots, it looks as if a large portion of the 2020 election will be conducted by mail. There are 29 states that already have no-excuse absentee voting in place, and if the China Virus is still an issue in November, you can expect a lot of people to take advantage of the mail-in option.

Mail-in voting doesn’t automatically mean that Republicans will take a shellacking, but it does mean that the potential for fraud will be greatly increased. And it should raise questions among anyone when a career politician like Nadler makes a 180-degree change of opinion on the issue — a change that was clearly motivated by political expediency. Nadler and his party don’t care if the 2020 election is conducted above board; they just want to make sure they win by any means necessary.

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The Uncertain Prognosis for the Country

Harold Hutchison

While the prognosis for the conservative movement is guardedly optimistic, when it comes to the country as a whole, things are not as clear-cut. In fact, there are a whole host of things that can go wrong.

To be very blunt, what has been learned about Obamagate/Spygate has really placed the Swamp in a bind. Joe Biden, the presumptive Democrat nominee, is slated to face President Donald Trump — and Biden has a lot to lose if Trump is reelected.

There is little reason to doubt more and more evidence of the abuses of the Obama administration will emerge. Especially due to the declassification authority — once stuff is declassified, it’s out there. The irony is that Barack Obama did the same sort of thing early on with the memos on enhanced interrogation. In essence, the legacy of Obama, and by extension Biden, is going to be tainted with the specters of scandal and abuse of power.

There is only one way for Biden to salvage anything, and that is to get Trump tarred as thoroughly as possible. Multiple investigations have failed though, and even if he does win election and “gets” Trump with criminal charges, huge numbers of Americans would see it as a vindictive abuse of power. With the empowerment that has come from Trump’s example of fighting back, they will speak out.

It wouldn’t just be Trump. Other rising conservative stars will have bullseyes on their backs. Just ask Eric Greitens. The result, of course, would be a messy fight — something that would consume a lot of time and energy.

Because a Biden administration would not be able to just go after Trump. Team Biden would have to rig the system — or, more accurately, re-rig it — to ensure that they keep power. You will see attacks like the “For The People Act” being launched on the First Amendment rights of free speech and petitioning the government for redress of grievances. And you can bet that the IRS will be turned loose — not just on the NRA (as Elizabeth Warren vowed) but also on other groups, like the Alliance Defending Freedom, FreedomWorks, and True the Vote. Conservative media will also be targets.

As such, the country’s future faces an uncertain prognosis. Trump’s reelection would make things much better over the long term, but there may be things that will still be threats years from now, should he leave office. But Biden winning would plunge the country back into an era where those in power thought nothing of using the IRS to target political opponents, among other misconduct.

That would be a disaster.

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NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

Above the Fold

  • “Police officers across the U.S. were targeted in shootings and vehicular attacks Monday night as protests continued in major cities for the seventh night despite President Trump’s vow to clamp down on violence,” Fox News reports. Four police officers were gunned down in St. Louis, one officer took a bullet to the head in Las Vegas, and two officers were harmed in both Richmond and Buffalo, the latter the result of a SUV-turned-battering ram. Multiple episodes led to officer injuries in New York City as well, one of which likewise stemming from a hit-and-run.

  • Meanwhile, in a Rose Garden statement yesterday, President Donald Trump said: “All Americans were rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd. My administration is fully committed that, for George and his family, justice will be served. He will not have died in vain. But we cannot allow the righteous cries and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob. … I am taking immediate presidential action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America. I am mobilizing all available federal resources — civilian and military — to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson, and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your Second Amendment rights.”

Government & Politics

  • Barack Obama obligatorily condemns riots: “Let’s not excuse violence” (National Review)

  • BET founder Robert Johnson calls for $14 trillion in slavery reparations (Forbes)

  • Prosecutor is probing whether Russians fed disinformation to dossier author Christopher Steele (The Daily Caller)

Culture & Heartland

  • Nineteen killed: Chicago has deadliest weekend of the year amid riots, looting (The Daily Wire)

  • California liquor store owner uses AR-15 to protect his property from looters (Fox News)

  • Nebraska bar owner who killed protester in self-defense will not be charged (New York Post)

  • Iron-fisted Governor Gretchen Whitmer at long last lifts Michigan’s stay-at-home order (AP)

Other Notables

  • Sweden launches inquiry into handling of pandemic as deaths per million becomes highest in the world (Hot Air)

  • Hong Kong bans Tiananmen Square vigil for first time in 30 years (The Daily Caller)

  • Family medical examiner concludes George Floyd died of asphyxia, rules death a homicide (National Review)

Closing Arguments

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

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VIDEOS

Video: Black America Needs Fathers — Black America needs fathers and good role models. Broken homes lead to broken communities.

Video: Trump Wields Presidential Power to Threaten Twitter — He signed an executive order making such platforms liable to lawsuits the same as publishers.

Video: Graduation 2020: The COVID Class — What lessons can be learned from this unparalleled situation? Dennis Prager offers three.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “I would say that the president’s comments in the Rose Garden were important. They were significant. They were heartfelt. I think they lead us in the right direction. We need to hear more like that from the president because, frankly, the country rallies around our chief executive when he speaks about bringing the American family together.” —Senator Tim Scott

For the record: “For institutions to be trusted, they must be trustworthy, and for that they have to be run by people with the self-discipline and commitment to place the mission above personal or party or class interests. We don’t have people like that running our institutions anymore, and the price for that is steep.” —Glenn Reynolds

Friendly fire: “This is a bad, bad situation. But … protest in the right way. You don’t have to go and burn down things, steal things, burn things. … We’re not f–ing animals. We’re human beings.” —Dennis Rodman

Demo-gogues: “At a time when our country cries out for unification, this President is ripping it apart. Tear-gassing peaceful protestors without provocation just so that the President could pose for photos outside a church dishonors every value that faith teaches us. … The President’s continued fanning of the flames of discord, bigotry and violence is cowardly, weak and dangerous.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Dumb… “This COVID epidemic has basically shut down the country these last three months. And, by the way, if we had shut it down a month earlier, we’d have probably another 45,000 to 60,000 people — would be alive instead of dead.” —Joe Biden, who held campaign rallies all the way up until March 10

…and dumber: “Instead of standing there and teaching a cop when there’s an unarmed person coming at ‘em with a knife or something to shoot 'em in the leg instead of the heart is a very different thing.” —Joe Biden, not only contradicting good self-defense practice but mind-numbingly suggesting that a person with a knife is “unarmed” (“Anyone who has been trained in police work or the military could tell you: Firing a gun is always potentially deadly force. You shoot for center mass, to kill, or you don’t shoot at all. If you’re not prepared to kill someone, you should not even point a loaded gun at them, much less fire it. If you don’t have grounds to shoot to kill, you don’t have grounds to shoot.” —Dan McLaughlin)

Dezinformatsiya: “Open your eyes, America. Open your eyes. We are teetering on a dictatorship. This is chaos.” —CNN’s Don Lemon

The BIG Lie: “It’s impossible not to notice that at least the protests we see always seem peaceful until the police show up.” —Ben Rhodes

And last… “I see there are many people, most in media, more upset about President Trump walking to St. John’s Church and holding up a bible than they were about the church being lit on fire by rioters.” —Katie Pavlich

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