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Mid-Day Digest

Jun. 5, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.” —Thomas Jefferson (1802)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

Editor’s Note:

For our Weekend Snapshot subscribers, a note: Beginning tomorrow, we will send that edition at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

FEATURED ANALYSIS

A Reopening Economic Miracle

Nate Jackson

We’ve long pushed for reopening the economy from the coronavirus shutdown, wondering very early on if the cure wasn’t worse than the disease. Many governors, primarily Republican, began reopening their states by the end of April and beginning of May, forging on in spite of valid warnings of a spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths. Not only have those spikes so far failed to surface, but the economy is already beginning to recover as a result — far sooner than prognosticators expected.

The May jobs report posted not the eight million jobs lost that economists predicted but a GAIN of 2.5 million jobs — by far the largest one-month increase since 1939. The headline unemployment rate fell to 13.3%, down from 14.7% in April and vastly better than the forecasted 20%. CNBC notes, “A more encompassing unemployment figure that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons fell to 21.2% from 22.8%, the highest in the series history.”

Obviously, we have a long way to go. Early in the shutdown, the St. Louis Federal Reserve forecasted 47 million jobs lost, which turned out to be more accurate than we hoped. Yesterday’s jobless claims were a reported 1.9 million and brought the overall total to 42 million.

And there’s still the impact of enhanced unemployment checks, which Congress is debating extending. The Washington Times reports on the Congressional Budget Office estimate: “Roughly 80% of recipients of expanded federal unemployment insurance would get more money from the benefits than they could expect to earn from a job if the emergency program is extended another six months.”

The CBO also warns that the pandemic will cost the economy nearly $8 trillion over a decade and that it will be years before we dig out of the hole.

Meanwhile, however, the stock market is … roughly where it was in early March. That’s useful as a barometer of economic confidence, as well as a specific measure of the retirement accounts of millions of Americans.

Finally, don’t discount the bad effect riots have had on the economy. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Many businesses in big cities had reopened or were set to reopen only to be looted or forced to board up during the protests. That could delay their reopening by days or weeks and cause another round of job losses.”

In short, seemingly contradictory statistics, lagging indicators, and societal unrest will require some time to sort out before we get the true economic picture. Stay tuned for possible major revisions to these numbers.

That said, we wrote just last week about how Democrats are panicking over economic recovery because it will damage their political prospects in November. That recovery seems to have begun, and Democrats must be terrified.

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When Is It ‘Enough’ Insurrection?

John J. Bastiat

To hear the leftist version of it, the whole world is on fire because of President Donald Trump’s recent statement, “If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the U.S. military and quickly solve the problem for them.” It’s not on fire, their theory goes, because of widespread, unchecked looting, vandalism, and rioting in the wake of the George Floyd homicide. It’s Trump’s fault for alluding to his legitimate power to invoke the Insurrection Act.

We’ve previously discussed the president’s authority to invoke the Insurrection Act. The nutshell version is this: The Act authorizes the president to use federal forces to quell lawlessness in any state that is unwilling or unable to do so. Moreover, the Act is an exception to the oft-ballyhooed proscription in the Posse Comitatus Act for domestic uses of federal forces. Many also do not realize the Act has been invoked 19 times since its passage in 1807, most recently during the 1992 race riots in Los Angeles.

So the claims that an invocation of the Insurrection Act would be unconstitutional and/or without precedent are — like most leftist rhetoric — wholly false. Nor are the circumstances even unique. Out of the 10 most recent applications of the Act, nine were invoked as a result of race riots and associated tensions. With this backdrop, let’s evaluate a few of the more over-the-top statements from those who ought to know better — namely, a handful of retired general officers with axes to grind.

For instance, in a virtue-signaling piece in The Atlantic, “I Cannot Remain Silent” — you know, because “silence is violence” — former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) and retired U.S. Navy Admiral Michael Mullen stated:

I remain confident in the professionalism of our men and women in uniform. They will serve with skill and with compassion. They will obey lawful orders. But I am less confident in the soundness of the orders they will be given by this commander in chief, and I am not convinced that the conditions on our streets, as bad as they are, have risen to the level that justifies a heavy reliance on military troops. Certainly, we have not crossed the threshold that would make it appropriate to invoke the provisions of the Insurrection Act.

Setting aside the fact that violence, not silence, is violence, we respectfully disagree with the pandering admiral, who was “sickened to see security personnel — including members of the National Guard — forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president’s visit outside St. John’s Church.”

We suppose the good admiral would rather the mob take out the president?

In this case, the admiral once again tips his biased hand when he alludes to “the soundness of the orders … given by this commander in chief.” As to the threshold for provoking “provisions of the Insurrection Act” and echoing the title of this article, tell us, admiral: Where, exactly, is that line to be drawn? Moreover, who are you to presume such wisdom, without taking on so much as a hint of the accountability that accompanies making such a decision? Does this decision not fall exactly under the aegis of the president? If not, then whose?

Another star political appointee and former CJCS, retired U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey, tweeted, “America’s military, our sons and daughters, will place themselves at risk to protect their fellow citizens. Their job is unimaginably hard overseas; harder at home. Respect them, for they respect you. America is not a battleground. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy.” Right. Because Trump sees his fellow Americans as the enemy. This is a straw man worthy of Dempsey’s former boss, Barack Obama. I mean, it couldn’t have anything to do with the widespread lawlessness and abject local-leader failures to control the riots, looting, vandalism, and violence. No, of course not. Once again, it’s “Orange Man Bad!”

Potomac fever is a real thing, and the pile-on seems unending. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper even distanced himself, stating, “The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now.” But we have been fast approaching that situation, and the president noted he might use the Insurrection Act — and then followed up with “I don’t think we’ll have to.”

And of course, no Donald-flogging would be complete without a weigh-in from retired Marine general and former Defense Secretary James Mattis. “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution,” he inveighed, adding, “When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens…” Mattis then declared, “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us.”

Insisting that the use of military forces to protect citizens from anarchists who are burning down inner cities (as past presidents have done) is tantamount to “violating the Constitutional rights” of the offenders is so absurd as to call into question who edited the Mattis missive. In effect Mattis is saying, This president is against all of America and wants to usurp the Constitution. Thanks, Mad Dog, and congrats on having punched your ticket to a lifetime of Beltway bubble cocktail parties.

The reality is that these generals and political wonks are all career “government men,” and Trump — the consummate non-politician New Yorker businessman — is a total mystery to them. They toss epithets like so much confetti at a parade, but the reality is that they completely misunderstand the dynamic that is Donald Trump. Will he invoke the Insurrection Act to suppress the riots? Probably not. Do they understand this? No. Absolutely not.

As to the longer-term ramifications of invoking the Insurrection Act, this is exactly what elections are for. If the people don’t like President Trump’s decisions — for any reason — they can register that displeasure in November. Admiral Mullen and the other members of this Beltway Battalion can then attack these issues anew. For now, though, silence isn’t violence; it’s golden.

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The Cotton-Picking Times

Douglas Andrews

Earlier this week, we wondered whether President Donald Trump had been onto something when he tweeted last March, “The Fake News Media has NEVER been more Dishonest or Corrupt than it is right now.”

Never say “NEVER,” Mr. President.

On Wednesday, The New York Times published a thoughtful op-ed from Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton about the need to restore order across the nation. A day later, the Times was tripping over itself to apologize for having done so.

“We’ve examined the piece and the process leading up to its publication,” went the Times’s initial statement. “This review made clear that a rushed editorial process led to the publication of an Op-Ed that did not meet our standards. As a result, we’re planning to examine both short term and long term changes, to include expanding our fact checking operation and reducing the number of Op-Eds we publish.”

Notice that the Times’s statement never said what “standards” were lacking in the senator’s piece. But we suspect it had something to do with Cotton’s contention that the U.S. military can be lawfully and effectively deployed during times of great unrest. Or perhaps Cotton’s sin was simply in taking President Trump’s side of an argument. Either way, the Times’s speedy retreat was both unseemly and unsurprising.

But that initial apology wasn’t enough for some. Editorial Page Editor James Bennet penned more than a thousand words of contrition, while three Times staffers published an even more exhaustive piece covering that apology and numerous others. (Remember: This is the same New York Times that once ran an op-ed titled “Pedophilia: A Disorder, Not a Crime.” Without apologizing.)

As for Cotton’s piece, it began innocently enough, laying out the fact that “rioters have plunged many American cities into anarchy, recalling the widespread violence of the 1960s.” Cotton then detailed some of this violence and those who’ve enabled it, and he acknowledged the “wrongful death” of George Floyd. But the snowflakes started to melt when Cotton, a former U.S. Army captain and Bronze Star recipient who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the following: “One thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers.”

The Daily Wire’s Hank Berrien offers a look at some of the more insightful reactions to the Times’s newsroom hysteria, one of them from an enemy within, staffer Bari Weiss: “The New Guard has a different worldview. … They call it ‘safetyism,’ in which the right of people to feel emotionally and psychologically safe trumps what were previously considered core liberal values, like free speech.” Not surprisingly, Weiss was quickly savaged by her colleagues.

Tom Cotton, of course, is no rube. He’s a Harvard Law School graduate and a deeply serious student of both foreign and domestic affairs. He’s also a Patriot, and the case he made in the Times op-ed was both compelling and widely popular with the American people. And let’s be clear: He is not advocating the kind of totalitarian military force displayed 31 years ago in Tiananmen Square.

Referring to a recent Morning Consult poll, The Federalist’s Ben Domenech put The Gray Lady’s latest capitulation into proper perspective, tweeting, “The New York Times has apologized for publishing an opinion supported by 58 percent of Americans, written by a U.S. Senator.”

Indeed, and within this 58% majority are, as Cotton notes, “nearly half of Democrats and 37 percent of African-Americans.” But the self-proclaimed “Paper of Record” isn’t interested in a diversity of opinion, despite what it might have us believe.

Beneath each op-ed on its pages is the following simple sentence: “The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor.”

Committed? They must think we’re idiots.

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Young America — Embrace the ‘Dream,’ Not the Nightmare

Mark Alexander

Sharing my perspective in this excerpt from my conversation thread with a group of young people:

Here is what I know to be true. The VAST majority of ALL Americans of ALL colors and creeds are good people trying to go about their day making ends meet. The 24/7 mass- and social-media sludge of urban protest and violence is but a tiny fraction of who we are as a people.

Turn it OFF!

It can be difficult sometimes NOT to see beyond our differences — how we look, how we dress, etc. But love transcends all those differences.

Reach out to those who are not in your tribe, especially right now. Make a point of smiling at other people and saying hello. Create opportunities to learn more about the lives of people who are different than you.

Embrace the “dream that one day … the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning, ‘My country 'tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, Land of the Pilgrims’ pride, From every mountainside, Let freedom ring.‘ When we let freedom ring … we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children — black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics — will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, We are free at last!’” (Martin Luther King Jr., 1963)

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The Hoax — and Its Aftermath

Michael Swartz

Andrew McCarthy didn’t coin the term “Obamagate,” but he might just as well have. The onetime chief United States attorney and current contributing editor for National Review has been following this scandal for a long time. In his most recent book, Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency, McCarthy succinctly summed up the biggest political scandal in American history: “In 2016, the incumbent Democratic administration of President Barack Obama put the awesome powers of the United States government’s law-enforcement and intelligence apparatus in the service of the Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign, the Democratic party, and the progressive Beltway establishment.”

By way of an update — and perhaps a “told you so” — McCarthy added in a riveting op-ed this week, “The Trump-Russia investigation was a politically driven fraud … opened on false pretenses, sustained by investigative abuses, and will undoubtedly end in recriminatory angst, which is what happens when the kind of accountability the victims demand does not, indeed cannot, come to pass.” In a continuance of his book’s “stinging indictment,” McCarthy lays out a thorough indictment of the major players, but also adds insight on the strategy employed by those who wanted to neuter a presidency before it even began.

On that topic of deep-state chess, McCarthy explains, “It was … vital for his antagonists to sideline Michael Flynn and Jeff Sessions, Trump loyalists with deep experience in intelligence and law enforcement, who could have put a stop to the farce if they’d remained, respectively, national security adviser and attorney general.”

Sadly, the scandal now finally being pieced together was one hatched four long years ago — compare that to how quickly we moved from a bungled break-in at a Washington hotel to the downfall of a president who was about to be impeached and likely convicted of a cover-up. From its start to the resignation of Richard Nixon, Watergate barely lasted two years.

The America of 2020, however, is one that cries out for justice on a number of fronts: justice for George Floyd; justice for those who’ve been victimized by the rioting in George Floyd’s name; justice for the victims of the Communist Chinese government, whose duplicity allowed the coronavirus to race around the globe; justice for the American businesses who’ve been crushed by government lockdowns and “safer at home” orders.

With all that, and the prospect of electoral change in the air despite the cognitive decline of the presumptive Democrat nominee, the scandal involving Joe Biden’s former boss may well be swept aside — making it more and more likely that McCarthy’s pessimistic prophecy will be a self-fulfilling one.

Yet the impact of Obamagate reaches far beyond simple retributive justice. Without a corrupt outgoing administration sowing the seeds of discord and the willing blindness of the mainstream media leading them to avoid rigorously fact-checking the budding Trump-Russia-collusion story, perhaps Republicans would’ve been more ambitious with their legislative agenda. Sure, we got those tax cuts, but we also could’ve ripped out the last vestiges of ObamaCare and replaced it with a better system, and we could’ve made progress on trade, immigration, and government reform.

In addition, it’s clear that the constant media drumbeat of “scandal” in the Trump administration created the so-called “blue wave” in 2018 — a House takeover that could have been averted with the switch of just three out of a hundred voters from Democrat to Republican. Certainly the modern Republican Party has always governed with the headwind of an antagonistic press corps, but keeping the House would’ve kept Nancy Pelosi bottled up as minority leader and kept the likes of Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler from their all-powerful “oversight” positions. And so on and so forth.

The biggest tragedy in all this, though, is what McCarthy calls “recriminatory angst.” We as a nation have learned the hard way that there are now two systems of justice: one for the elite and well-connected, and another for the rest of us. To find Lady Justice peering out from beneath her blindfold with pre-tilted scales is a disappointment, regardless of your injury or slight, and it’s a subject desperately in need of attention.

The mainstream media has chosen to ignore Obamagate, but McCarthy’s passionate study lays bare an injustice that, if not rectified, will have by far the largest long-term negative impact.

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Ignoring the Real ‘Pandemic’ Plaguing Black Americans

Thomas Gallatin

NBC News ran an article last night titled, “New York protesters say they are facing two deadly pandemics: racism and coronavirus.” The obtuse piece sought to use New York protesters to juxtapose the threat of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 20,000 New Yorkers and 110,000 Americans, with the “need” of black individuals to protest against supposed “systemic racism.” As we have noted repeatedly, hard data simply does not support the Left’s claims of widespread racism, let alone anything even remotely equating to “systemic.”

While the article fell far short of presenting any legitimate conundrum, it did ironically serve to expose the absolute hypocrisy of the leftist Black Lives Matter crusade. One of the leading protest organizers, Chelsea Miller, hit on this hypocrisy without realizing she was doing so. In attempting to address the challenge of protesting during the China Virus pandemic, Miller asserted, “We have reached a crux where we must choose between potentially losing our lives at the hands of the police or the pandemic. In many ways we’re choosing between the lives of our unborn sons and those of our parents.”

Obviously, in referencing the lives of unborn sons, Miller inadvertently alluded to the genuine pandemic — a genocide, in fact, that has been meted out on the lives of preborn babies with decimating effects, especially on the black community, over the decades. Even more tragic is the fact that in New York City, less than half of preborn black babies live to see the light of day. Planned Parenthood may lament “violence against black lives,” but the nation’s largest abortion mill terminates 247 black lives every day — all in service to the eugenics agenda of its venerated founder, Margaret Sanger.

Irrespective of what Miller and the Left may claim, there is no pandemic of racist police brutalizing the black community; there is, however, a pandemic of preborn babies being killed in their mothers’ wombs. The ones who survive are often left fatherless, which arguably is another pandemic for the black community.

The sad reality is that the primary threat to the lives of black Americans comes not from COVID-19 or from law enforcement but from other black Americans. Blaming police and faux “systemic racism” are simply a means for deflecting attention away from the real root of problems plaguing so many black communities.

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Americans Aren’t Having Enough Babies

Brian Mark Weber

Considering the chaos and instability of American society during the first half of 2020 due to the coronavirus and now to widespread civil unrest, most of us aren’t focused on other real issues that will have a significant impact on our country’s long-term viability. One of these issues is the plummeting U.S. birth rate. It’s a problem that can’t be ignored if we want to remain a competitive civilization in the 21st century.

Without immigration, each woman needs to have 2.1 babies in order to maintain our current rates of population. The current birth rate in the United States is 1.7.

One of the reasons typically given as to why Millennials aren’t having children is that they simply don’t have the money. Given that the coronavirus shutdowns plunged America into a recession, money is indeed a real issue. However, as The Federalist’s Nicole Russell suggests, “Perhaps rather than $5 daily coffees, fancy restaurant brunches, and the newest iPhone, millennials could put some resources aside for something that lasts longer than a mimosa hangover or an Anthropologie shirt.”

But money isn’t the only problem, and the birth rate didn’t just start declining. Mike Stobbe of the Associated Press says, “The decline is the latest sign of a prolonged national ‘baby bust’ that’s been going on for more than a decade. And some experts believe the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy will suppress the numbers further.”

Stobbe adds, “There are a number of causes, but chief among them are shifting attitudes about motherhood: Many women and couples delay childbearing and have fewer kids once they start.”

The results of these new attitudes will be profound in many ways.

For one, we’ll need more immigrants to replace fewer workers and to sustain our generous and underfunded entitlement system. Unfortunately, we’ve seen the fabric of Western European countries ripped apart as a result of the clash of traditions, values, beliefs, and histories.

Another reason why Millennials are taking up what is called the “child-free” movement is the fear of losing freedom to be individuals. In a society obsessed with entertainment and adventure, why take on the burden of kids when you can backpack across Europe?

Young American women live in a society pushing them to have college degrees and careers rather than children. Career-oriented women who want children often feel pressured by employers to choose one or the other. For many young men, the idea of a lifelong commitment to a wife and child is no longer appealing, especially when their significant others don’t even want children.

There are many other reasons why these individualistic attitudes have developed, including the movement away from religion or a Hollywood culture that mocks family life, but we’re in the process of completing a transformation in our society over more than a century from large, extended families to nuclear families and now to the lack of families altogether.

A society made up of millions of individuals rather than families is not one that can survive for long. The love between parents and their children is a powerful, stabilizing force in a culture. One that can’t be replaced by being a “dog dad” or a “cat mom.”

Where we go from here is the big question.

We have “no governing norms of family life, no guiding values, no articulated ideals,” David Brooks suggests in The Atlantic. “On this most central issue, our shared culture often has nothing relevant to say — and so for decades things have been falling apart.”

Let’s hope that we rediscover the important, necessary role that children play in making our lives more selfless and making our society more prosperous.

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More Great Analysis

Thomas Gallatin relays the story from Washington that Guns Don’t Kill People, COVID-19 Does.

Roger Helle offers his perspective on the media coverage of the riots: Denial Ain’t No River in Egypt.

NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

Above the Fold

  • On May 22, a dubious hydroxychloroquine study that appeared in the medical journal The Lancet surmised “that treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients [with the drug] actually increased their risk of death,” Reason reports. But, lo and behold, “Three authors of the study are now retracting it.” The retraction statement explains: “Our independent peer reviewers informed us that Surgisphere [a medical data aggregation firm] would not transfer the full dataset, client contracts, and the full ISO audit report to their servers for analysis as such transfer would violate client agreements and confidentiality requirements. As such, our reviewers were not able to conduct an independent and private peer review and therefore notified us of their withdrawal from the peer-review process.” Peer reviews are not only necessary but are to be expected. So it goes without saying that failing to submit to an audit is rather suspicious.

  • Yesterday, Joe Biden mimicked Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” snub when he bloviated, “There are probably anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the people out there who are just not very good people.” As Fox News reminds us, “The remarks harken back to the controversial comments made by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election when, at a campaign event, she estimated that ‘half’ of Trump’s supporters belong in a ‘basket of deplorables.’” That insult worked really well for her in November 2016.

Government & Politics

  • Black Lives Matter sues Trump administration over use of force on DC protesters (NBC News)

  • Attorney General William Barr defends decision to push back “unruly” protesters (National Review)

  • Trump to sign executive order that attempts to speed up infrastructure projects by suspending environmental regulations (The Daily Caller)

  • The partisan New York Times issues an apology for publishing Senator Tom Cotton’s “Send in the Troops” op-ed (The Daily Wire)

Business & Economy

  • May sees biggest jobs increase ever as economy starts to recover from coronavirus (CNBC)

  • This is the greatest 50-day rally in the history of the S&P 500 (CNBC)

  • AMC, the world’s largest movie theater chain, has “substantial doubt” that it can survive shutdown (CNBC)

Culture & Heartland

  • Los Angeles is cutting $100–$150 million from LAPD budget to be “reinvested in black communities and communities of color” (Disrn)

  • Minneapolis City Council vows to “dismantle” police department (Fox News)

  • Judge rules that Tennessee must allow vote by mail for all amid virus (Politico)

  • “Consider destroying your enemy”: Project Veritas infiltrates antifa, insanity ensues (Hot Air)

  • Hundreds of nursing homes ran short on staff, protective gear as more than 30,000 residents died during pandemic (The Washington Post)

National Security

  • U.S. Navy veteran Michael White detained in Iran is freed (Fox News)

  • On sad anniversary, few to mourn the D-Day dead in Normandy (Fox News)

  • Chinese, Iranian hackers targeted Biden and Trump campaigns (NPR)

  • Huawei Technologies hid business operation in Iran (Reuters)

Other Notables

  • Coronavirus appears to be declining in potency and people are contracting it less easily, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center doctors reveal (UK Daily Mail)

  • “Never forget June 4”: Tens of thousands defy Hong Kong police to gather for Tiananmen Square vigil (The Daily Caller)

Closing Arguments

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

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VIDEOS

Video: Video: Candace Owens on George Floyd — “We are being sold a lot of lies … at the detriment to America as a whole.”

Video: Ben Shapiro Debunks the Myth of Systemic Police Racism — “This is the way a country falls apart — by holding people accountable for things they did not do.”

Video: After David Dorn, I’m Done Trying to Empathize With Anyone — Anthony Brian Logan responds to the black retired officer murdered in St. Louis.

Humor Video: Why the Lockdown Should Last Longer — The lockdown has been used and extended. Many think it should end. Here’s why they’re wrong.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

SHORT CUTS

Good question: “Why didn’t President Barack Obama’s administration deal with this alleged ‘systemic’ or ‘structural’ or ‘institutional’ police brutality against blacks in his eight years in office? Meanwhile, over Memorial Day weekend in Obama’s adopted hometown of Chicago, 10 people were killed, and 49 were shot. In a city where roughly one-third of the population is black, 70% of the city’s homicide victims, according to the Chicago Police Department, are black. When and where do the protests begin?” —Larry Elder

Food for thought: “There is no natural place where one can logically stop with the collective culpability racket. If I as a ‘white’ American of multi-European ethnicities have ‘benefitted’ from the political and economic systems in the United States, one could just as plausibly argue that I benefitted from the Irish Potato Famine, the Inquisition, the Thirty Years’ War, the bubonic plague, the sacking of the library at Alexandria and every other historical event that somehow made it possible for me to be who and what and where I am at this moment. … History has proven — amply — that a political system founded upon class resentment, blame, hatred and violence destroys everything and helps no one.” —Laura Hollis

For the record: “The truth is that we have a much larger, deeper and more chilling problem on our hands. There is no doubt in my mind that foreign intelligence services are orbiting in or around this issue and contributing to the violence. They see an opportunity to further destabilize the United States. They want to roll back our influence. Unable to defeat us militarily, they want to strike at us economically and to chip away at our society, causing the population to lose confidence and trust in our system and structure of government. We must not play into their hands.” —Armstrong Williams

Upright: “It is only through honest conversations with your neighbors, your friends and the new people you bring into your life that we can begin to really hear one another again. Our political polarization has helped inspire extreme reactions. When we are ranting at one another from our own separate corners, our own news sources and our own social media clusters, we cannot listen, and we cannot solve anything. We have to stop reacting to everything out of our deep-seated ideologies and start having real conversations with one another again.” —Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Non compos mentis: “We’re devastated, grieving, and outraged by violence against Black lives. We must continue to demand accountability, justice, and an end to the inequity that continues to define every moment of life for Black America from the racist institutions that uphold white supremacy.” —Planned Parenthood, which, as Tyler O'Neil points out, butchers 247 black babies in the womb every day

Alpha jackass: “There are probably anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the people out there who are just not very good people.” —Joe Biden

Race bait: “[America is] a private club founded by old rich white men, for rich white men.” —Charlamagne tha God

And last… “The same politician who destroyed your business a few weeks ago is now making value judgments on when and where you can practice your freedoms. It is a massive scandal.” —David Harsanyi

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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