Mid-Day Digest

Jul. 17, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“I think all the world would gain by setting commerce at perfect liberty.” —Thomas Jefferson (1785)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Trump’s Outstanding Deregulation Record

Nate Jackson

Deregulation has been one of President Donald Trump’s best calling cards over the last three-plus years, especially given how much he has done to undo the work of his predecessor. Trump’s reelection pitch is that we need to move forward, not backward. In remarks Thursday on the South Lawn of the White House, he declared, “For every one new regulation added, nearly eight federal regulations have been terminated” by his administration. He insisted, “We must never return to the days of soul-crushing regulation that ravaged our cities, devastated our workers, drained our vitality right out of our people, and thoroughly crippled our nation’s prized competitive edge.”

Ever the showman, Trump recited a long list of his deregulatory accomplishments while flanked by blue and red pickup trucks, symbolizing the two parties. Both were heavily laden with stacks of weights, though a crane labeled “Trump administration” lifted the burden from the red truck to deftly illustrate the massive weight of regulation.

Trucks were an appropriate metaphor given that, earlier this year, Trump rolled back Barack Obama’s onerous fuel-economy standards. Arguably more significantly, Trump’s biggest move this week was to cut environmental red tape for infrastructure projects. “Environmental review” would routinely bog down infrastructure building for an average of 4.5 years and in many cases far longer. Trump has now reduced that to no more than two years for environmental impact statements, and just one for environmental assessments. It’s hard to overstate the positive impact this change will have on building highways, gas pipelines, and other needed projects.

In general, Obama’s heavy-handed regulation stagnated the economy for eight long years, whereas Trump’s red-tape cutting unshackled businesses and led to a solid economic expansion — an expansion that put our nation in position to withstand the dual assault of a pandemic and the resulting shutdowns.

Remember, regulation is a form of taxation. The president claimed, “Our historic regulatory relief is providing the average American household an extra $3,100 every single year.” By contrast, according to The Washington Times, “The Trump campaign said Thursday that the federal government during the Obama administration’s eight years imposed $872 billion in new regulations on the U.S. economy, creating 583 million hours’ worth of paperwork to comply with.” Trump said that “cost the average American an additional $2,300 per year.”

Joe Biden wants to turn back the clock and restore his former boss’s punishing regulatory regime … and then some. His newly proposed Green New Deal alone would hamstring the economy in disastrous ways, all while costing future generations big time.

“Our entire economy and our very way of life are threatened by Biden’s plans to transform our nation and subjugate our communities through the blunt force instrument of federal regulation at a level that you haven’t even seen yet,” Trump warned. He added that if Biden and a Democrat Senate are elected, “The American Dream would be sniffed out so quickly and replaced with a socialist disaster.”

Indeed, that kind of tyrannical economic devastation is on the ballot this November. Unless voters reject it.

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Lies and Lying Liars

Douglas Andrews

It isn’t news that the mainstream media is pulling for Clueless Joe Biden, or that it reflexively assumes the worst in every bit of reporting on the Trump administration. What’s news, though, is just how brazen it’s become in its willingness to lie.

A White House press briefing yesterday provided just such an example. Indeed, it was the confluence of two opportunities — a chance to attack Donald Trump’s press secretary and a chance to help the Left keep our kids out of the classroom this fall — which made the media’s urge to lie irresistible. As The Daily Wire reports, “Several left-wing reporters misleadingly quoted White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday, falsely asserting that McEnany indicated that the administration’s position on opening schools was that science regarding the COVID-19 pandemic should not be taken into consideration.”

Now, before you dismiss this as a complicated case of she-said, that-Trump-hating-army-of-anti-American-scoundrels-said, spend a minute — just a minute — looking at the videotape evidence from The Washington Post itself.

What part of a statement that includes “The science is very clear on this” and “The science is on our side here” and “We encourage localities and states to just simply follow the science” would cause an honest human being — much less a group of them — to instead run with a headline reading, “The science should not stand in the way of this”?

Yet that’s exactly what the Post did. And what The New York Times did. And what USA Today did. And what NBC News did. And what Yahoo! News did. And what PBS News Hour did. And what C-SPAN did. And what CNN’s Jim Acosta did. And, well, you get the idea.

Hey, media: Collude much?

But even CNN’s Trump-deranged Jake Tapper felt compelled to call out his colleagues. “Folks,” he tweeted, “read the ENTIRE McEnany comment about ‘the science should not stand in the way’ of opening schools. She’s arguing that the science is on the side of those who want to open them, she cites a JAMA study. I’m not taking a position on the matter but be fair.”

Two cheers for Jake.

It’d be encouraging if those in the media were sufficiently ashamed of this episode to do some soul searching, but the scorpion can’t not sting a frog. It’s what they do.

Power Line’s John Hinderaker summed it up best: “It is impossible to overstate how low ‘journalism’ has fallen in the United States,” he began. And he ended with, “A sound adage holds that you should never assume malice when stupidity is a sufficient explanation. Here, the only explanation is malice. No one is as stupid as America’s reporters and editors pretend to be. The sooner their companies go out of business, the better.”

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Barr Blasts Hollywood, Big Tech Hypocrisy on China

Thomas Gallatin

In a stirring speech given at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Thursday, Attorney General William Barr blasted Hollywood and Big Tech hypocrites for kowtowing to and assisting the Chinese Communist Party in its “aggressive, orchestrated, whole-of-government (indeed, whole-of-society) campaign to seize the commanding heights of the global economy and to surpass the United States as the world’s preeminent superpower.”

“American companies must understand the stakes,” Barr pointedly warned. “The Chinese Communist Party thinks in terms of decades and centuries, while we tend to focus on the next quarterly earnings report. But if Disney and other American corporations continue to bow to Beijing, they risk undermining both their own future competitiveness and prosperity, as well as the classical liberal order that has allowed them to thrive.”

“To tilt the playing field to its advantage,” Barr explained, “China’s communist government has perfected a wide array of predatory and often unlawful tactics: currency manipulation, tariffs, quotas, state-led strategic investment and acquisitions, theft and forced transfer of intellectual property, state subsidies, dumping, cyberattacks and industrial espionage.”

Barr used Disney as a prime example of how the CCP’s tactics have gotten Hollywood to kowtow, leading to the company willingly compromising itself. “I suspect Walt Disney would be disheartened to see how the company he founded deals with the foreign dictatorships of our day,” he observed.

Due to Hollywood’s financial greed, Barr noted, “Chinese government censors don’t need to say a word, because Hollywood is doing their work for them. This is a massive propaganda coup for the Chinese Communist Party.”

“Appeasing the [People’s Republic of China] may bring short-term rewards, but in the end, the PRC’s goal is to replace you,” he warned. “A world marching to the beat of Communist China’s drums will not be a hospitable one for institutions that depend on free markets, free trade, or the free exchange of ideas.”

Barr did have some praise for tech companies in their recent efforts to stand against the CCP. “If they stand together,” he stated, “they will provide a worthy example for other American companies in resisting the Chinese Communist Party’s corrupt and dictatorial rule.”

Finally, Barr closed by calling on all Americans to resist the CCP’s efforts to destroy our freedom, which has made our nation the envy of the world: “The CCP has launched an orchestrated campaign, across all of its many tentacles in Chinese government and society, to exploit the openness of our institutions in order to destroy them. To secure a world of freedom and prosperity for our children and grandchildren, the free world will need its own version of the whole-of-society approach, in which the public and private sectors maintain their essential separation but work together collaboratively to resist domination and to win the contest for the commanding heights of the global economy. America has done that before. If we rekindle our love and devotion for our country and each other, I am confident that we — the American people, American government, and American business together — can do it again. Our freedom depends on it.”

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Free and Fair Elections?

Brian Mark Weber

Free and fair elections.

The phrase is usually uttered by hopeful observers in third-world countries. But if Democrats get their way, the 2020 presidential election will demote America to nothing more than a banana republic.

Hillary Clinton, the disgruntled loser of the 2016 election, is already sending out warnings, but in classic Clinton fashion she’s blaming everyone else.

Clinton said she couldn’t rule out voter suppression and foreign interference in this year’s vote. She also wonders if Trump will accept the results of the election and leave office peacefully should he lose.

The same woman who refused to take responsibility for losing to Donald Trump, spent three years casting blame in every direction but her own, and funded the fake Steele dossier that enabled the Russian-collusion hoax now wonders whether President Trump will accept the results.

Clinton goes on to identify what she thinks Republicans are up to this fall: preventing blacks and Hispanics from voting by creating long lines and preventing mail-in voting measures.

For the record, Democrats are actually the ones guilty of voter intimidation. In 2008, 2012, and 2016, Republican election monitors were turned away from voting centers in heavily Democrat locations. And in each of those elections, members of the racist New Black Panther Party had a strong presence at polling places. (In 2008, one of them stood sentry with a night stick, menacing passersby and voters as they walked up to cast their ballots. This slam-dunk case of felony voter intimidation was inexplicably dropped by the Obama Justice Department.)

Clinton keeps making the claim that since Trump votes absentee, the rest of the country should be able to do the same. But there’s a big difference between absentee voting and widespread mail-in voting. A citizen must request an absentee ballot and provide a reason for not voting in person. This ensures that ballots are sent directly to people who can verify their identities. Also, the actual number of ballots is limited and more easily controlled. Mail-in voting simply blasts out ballots to all registered voters, some of whom may have moved or died since registering to vote. This obviously increases the likelihood of error and fraud. From the time the ballot leaves the printing press to the time it’s returned for processing, the opportunities for tampering are virtually limitless. In New Jersey, for example, a “bearer” may collect and turn in up to three ballots.

During the March presidential primaries, California rejected more than 100,000 ballots due to mismatched signatures, unsigned ballots, or late postmarks. In Philadelphia, an elections judge pleaded guilty this spring to taking bribes and stuffing ballot boxes. In New Jersey, four people, including a councilman and a councilman-elect, were charged this spring with stuffing mailboxes with completed ballots. Other issues came up in Wisconsin, where hundreds of mail-in ballots never reached voters.

But according to Democrats and Big Tech censors of the president’s tweets, voter fraud isn’t a thing.

Attorney General Bill Barr points out that not only do voter signatures on the outside of ballots allow others to find out how they voted, but other countries could print thousands of counterfeit ballots and throw the election to their preferred candidate.

“If voters remain reluctant to cast ballots in person, November is likely to bring an even more massive wave of voting by mail than what has swept across the country during primary season,” suggests Amy Gardner at The Washington Post. “That, in turn, means that a close race between President Trump and former vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in a pivotal state could take days, even weeks, to resolve, election officials across the country are warning.”

That’s just enough time for the Democratic Machine to do its dirty work.

Is it any wonder, then, why Democrats continue to push for mail-in voting? They always talk about free and fair elections, but behind closed doors in urban Democrat strongholds such as Philly, Detroit, and Milwaukee, they have a pretty good feeling they’ll be able to “find” the votes.

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Federalism Under Fire

Michael Swartz

The onset of the coronavirus has created a different America than the one we knew just six short months ago, but President Donald Trump’s approach to dealing with it has also beautifully illustrated a trend that has overtaken our constitutional republic in recent decades.

Back in January, the president created the White House Coronavirus Task Force. With that entity in hand, it was perhaps expected that President Trump would use his executive powers to take control of the situation. Accordingly, the president “charged the Task Force with leading the United States Government response to the novel 2019 coronavirus and with keeping him apprised of developments.”

While the Task Force has made a celebrity out of the previously obscure Dr. Anthony Fauci, those media experts expecting President Trump to be the tyrant they always assumed him to be were shocked by the hands-off approach he’s taken in dealing with the Wuhan flu and its effects. Of course, since they’re stuck on “Orange Man Bad,” they now complain that Trump doesn’t take the virus seriously enough.

But true to our intended federalist system of government, President Trump has chosen to allow each individual state significant license in handling the outbreak within its borders. At first, nearly every state shut itself down in response to the virus, a mid-March action that was initially believed to require 15 days, then extended to Easter as an “aspirational goal”. Once Easter came and went and the virus stayed on, we began to experience the open-ended (or never-ending) lockdown we see today.

Federalism has thus created a nation where state situations run the gamut from needing a second shutdown like in California to never really shutting down at all (smiling at you, South Dakota). This may sound like a poor way to do policy, but a one-size-fits-all approach would likely be causing healthy South Dakotans to chafe under a lockdown they didn’t need because the outbreak was half a country away. Government tends to respond to the worst-case scenario in these situations, and the coronavirus more than proved that point.

And so did the media. As we’ve seen, states handling the China Virus as they see fit have created a media feeding frenzy. Those that were the first to open up and begin putting people back to work and reversing the severe economic downturn have been raked over the coals of public opinion, while utter failures like the governor of New York are taking tone-deaf victory laps and being accorded heroic status.

In their coverage of COVID-19 and their cheerleading of policy ideas like Joe Biden’s promise to make mask wearing mandatory, we can more clearly see that the media and its leftist allies have instilled the idea into Americans that the only good solution is a big-government federal solution. A decade ago, a different president began “fundamentally transforming” America by shifting power over healthcare to the federal government — and the media cheered, labeling as racists those “deplorables” who objected. Back then, the people stood against the concept of federalizing the health-insurance industry, but once Trump and the GOP came to power and sought to defund ObamaCare, the media mustered the means necessary to preserve it.

Yet we can’t just reflexively blame the media, either. Some place the blame on the two-party system, but Zachary Faria argues in a recent Washington Examiner op-ed, “The problem of polarization in politics is not the existence of the two-party system but the gradual and ongoing nationalization of power, especially in the hands of the president. When these issues are pulled out of the local legislatures and made into national questions, the localities get left behind.”

Once states became dependent on the fiscal narcotic of Uncle Sam’s largesse, legislators bent on increasing federal power began placing preconditions on the states to retain their share of funding. For example, a state seeking its full share of federal highway dollars must ensure that its impaired-driving laws conform to a particular standard for blood-alcohol limits. For generations, members of Congress have won or lost reelection based on just how well they bring home the bacon, but people forget that the price of the bacon is borne by everyone.

Thanks to all that conditioning, those who used to make their case for change to city hall now bypass that step and take demands directly to the street, preferably with breathless news coverage. Thus we see Minneapolis voting to disband its police force after the death of George Floyd while begging for federal taxpayer money to pay for the rioting local authorities allowed. Uncle Sam apparently owns an ever-growing money tree.

There will come a day, though, when other people’s money runs out, so encouraging a state-level response to a national crisis may be good practice for the future. States can still be the creators of their own success, but too many states have citizens who believe that this requires too much work and independent thought.

If listening to the drumbeat of negative media has led you to become one of those citizens, it’s time to turn off the noise and reevaluate the situation. There’s still a place for personal responsibility in this country, and the biggest rewards often come from taking a risk — just like those who founded this nation did. It’s a shame this teachable moment had to come from a pandemic.

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BLM’s ‘Anti-Racism’ Curriculum in Classrooms

Thomas Gallatin

The neo-Marxist anti-racism cult better known as Black Lives Matter has seen tremendous success in the weeks following the unjust death of George Floyd in convincing swaths of the American public that the U.S. is a country rife with “systemic racism.” Bowing to social media pressure campaigns launched by an online army of “social justice” agitators, many American businesses have dutifully signaled their “woke” virtue, hoping to avoid becoming the next target of the cancel-culture mob.

In this intolerant, impatient, and illiberal environment, it comes as little surprise that many of America’s private schools, ironically often the source of this “woke” ideology, are now finding themselves pressured to go even farther down the rabbit hole and become full-fledged indoctrination centers for the anti-racism cult. Of course, the “woke” cult defines “racist” as any unapproved political perspective or opinion.

“Swaths of private secondary schools have since pronounced support for Black Lives Matter, or at least its principles,” reports the Washington Examiner. “Many came out with ‘anti-racism’ statements last month, following accusations from some alumni of color on 'Blackat[name of school]‘ Instagram accounts, claiming they experienced instances of racism during their time as students at the institutions. Schools then apologized to black former or current students who experienced 'systemic racism’ and described actions to eliminate ‘white supremacy.’ All the while expanding initiatives related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and promoting ‘social justice.’”

One example of this growing effort to indoctrinate students comes from George Washington University, where students read Conservatism and Racism, and Why in America They Are the Same as part of the school’s “Solidarity Resource Syllabus.” The book states, “Conservatism as a philosophy and ideology … is and always has been hostile to the aspirations of Africans in America, incompatible with the struggle for freedom and equality.” The author of the book, San Fransisco State University professor Robert Smith, writes, “Repeatedly I was asked, ‘Are you saying that conservatism is racism, that all conservatives are racist? Aren’t there black conservatives? Are they racists?’ … My answer to most of these questions was a qualified ‘yes.’” In other words, “wrong” political opinions now equate to “racism.”

Fortunately, some colleges are resisting. Michigan’s Hillsdale College is a great example of a principled stand. Others should follow this example.

By painting as “racist” all ideologies that don’t conform to a Marxist vision of equity and justice — insinuating that free thinkers, and not the mass-murderous tyrants of communism, are immoral — the Left hopes to end all debate and critical questioning of its agenda. This explains why so many universities are fast devolving into centers of leftist indoctrination rather than places of genuine free thought, inquiry, and education. America is not reckoning with racism; America is being hoodwinked by Marxist revolutionaries.

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Don’t Let Feelings Fool You!

Roger Helle

When I was a kid, I enjoyed watching the old WWII movies on TV. I remember one where the American GIs are in foxholes and the Japanese are everywhere in the jungles around them. At nightfall, the Japanese soldiers taunt them, yelling, “GI, tonight you die!” When morning comes, they find several soldiers with their throats cut and no one saw a thing.

Fast-forward a few years and now I’m in a foxhole with Viet Cong guerillas all around us. One night, I was sent out on guard to a “listening post,” a foxhole on the very edge of our perimeter. Normally there were two Marines in the listening post, but this particular night I was all alone. I was on watch from 2200 hours to 0400 (10:00 PM - 4:00 AM). We had been on a long patrol that morning and filled sandbags for our security on the perimeter all afternoon. I didn’t get a nap, so when I got to my position I was already tired.

While on the edge of the perimeter, I was trying everything I could think of to stay awake. Slapping myself in the face wasn’t an option — it would give away my position. I thought about putting my chin on the bayonet on the end of the rifle. In my thinking, if I started to nod off the sharp point of the bayonet would wake me up. You also have to know a little history of my life: I tend to be accident prone. I could see my chin dropping and the bayonet going all the way through my mouth.

While thinking of ways to keep awake, I heard a noise in front of my foxhole. Instantly I was awake as the adrenaline rush brought me to full alert. My heart was beating and sweat poured down my face. My body was now on 100% alert as I flashed back to the movies when I was a kid. I knew there was a Viet Cong sneaking up to jump in my foxhole and kill me.

I put my combat knife on the side of the foxhole, silently clicked the safety off my rifle, peering into the darkness for movement. Suddenly, a lizard about 18-20 inches long jumped across the front of my position. It scared the cr… I mean, it scared me! Here’s where feelings come in. My “feelings” told me I was in a life-threatening situation. But in reality, the lizard did not pose any danger to me as there are no poisonous lizards in Vietnam. But my “feelings” were very real to me.

I believe there are many conservatives and Christians right now who “feel” we’re going to lose this next election and lose the country. All of the polls and talkingheads on TV are telling us that Biden is going to win the election. You are being lied to, just like everything else they’ve lied about: Impeachment, treason, Russia collusion, and now the “polls.”

There are far more people in this nation who have the common sense to know the Left has nothing to offer voters to make the country better. Leftists want to turn the U.S. into another Venezuela. It’s not going to happen. Be of good cheer, do your part, pray, and vote in November.

Something to think about?

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NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

Above the Fold

  • According to Fox News:“ The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a request to block a Florida law requiring those who have been convicted of felonies and served their sentences to pay outstanding fines and fees owed in connection with their cases before voting. The court’s order keeps the law in place heading into the state’s primary election for non-presidential races, which is scheduled for Aug. 18 with a registration deadline of July 20.” Democrats have increasingly and sinisterly courted felon voters because, commensurate with the way they treat black voters, felons represent a powerful voter bloc. Thankfully, the Supreme Court is permitting Florida to mitigate the Democrats’ scheme.

  • “Democrats and Republicans need to resolve several disputes about what to include in a developing coronavirus relief bill as the pandemic wreaks havoc across the United States and financial lifelines are set to expire, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday,” CNBC reports. In the words of Pelosi: “First it was going to be no bill. And then it was going to be some little bill. Now it’s $1.3 [trillion]. That’s not enough.” The mind-blowing federal deficit suggests otherwise, but in any event, The Washington Post adds, “The White House is insisting that Congress include a payroll tax cut as part of the next coronavirus stimulus package.” That, our Mark Alexander has argued, is how to achieve real COVID relief.

Government & Politics

  • Donald Trump’s list of 42 disastrous things Joe Biden would do as president (Breitbart)

  • Republican National Committee restricts convention attendance over virus concerns (AP)

  • Attorney General William Barr deservedly slams Hollywood and Big Tech for “kowtowing” to the Chinese Communist Party (The Federalist)

  • The media are just plain lying about Kayleigh McEnany “science” quote (Washington Examiner)

  • USA Today "corrects" (by which we mean absurdly renders “INCONCLUSIVE”) ridiculous “fact check” comparing Trump campaign shirt to Nazi iconography (Washington Examiner)

Health

  • U.S. drug overdose deaths resurge to a record 72,000 in 2019 (The New York Times)

  • Who’d a thunk it? Vaping rate among naturally rebellious youth increased with anti-vaping campaigns (Competitive Enterprise Institute)

  • Florida and Texas both set coronavirus death records Thursday — but both are still far short of New York and New Jersey (Forbes)

  • Even mild obesity linked to severe coronavirus infection and death (Newsweek)

  • Radiation emerges as an intriguing — and divisive — treatment for COVID-19 (STAT)

Business & Economy

  • U.S. workers filed 1.3 million jobless claims last week as pandemic intensifies (National Review)

  • Fixed 30-year mortgage rates fall below 3% for the first time ever (UK Daily Mail)

  • Retail sales pop 7.5% — more than expected in June (CNBC)

  • Additional hospitals face bankruptcy due to moratorium on elective surgeries and ER volume drop (Washington Examiner)

Culture & Heartland

  • “Does not have the legal authority”: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp sues Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over defiant face-mask order (NPR)

  • But by all means, let’s concentrate on a harmless nickname! More than a dozen women allege sexual harassment and verbal abuse by former Washington Redskins team employees (The Washington Post)

  • Three churches sue Governor Newsom after California bans singing in places of worship (Fox News)

  • What could possibly go wrong? Prison populations down 8% amid coronavirus outbreak (AP)

  • ViacomCBS fires rapper Nick Cannon for “hateful speech” and spreading “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories” (CNS News)

World

  • Doh! Iranian spies accidentally leaked videos of themselves hacking (Wired)

  • United Kingdom ISIS bride can return to country to challenge citizenship annulment after leaving for Syria in 2015, court rules (American Military News)

Other Notables

  • New York City eliminated its anti-crime unit. Violent crime has surged. (The Daily Signal)

  • Lockdowns and protests causing big spike in child trafficking (The Federalist)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: The State Department’s human-rights report marks a turning point (National Review)

  • Policy: It’s time to elevate America’s trade relationship with Mongolia (The Daily Signal)

  • Humor: White House adds cry room for fussy reporters (The Babylon Bee)

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

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

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VIDEOS

Ninja Defense Skills Now Portland Mandatory — Antifa attacks the wrong car.

Satire: Democrats vs. Nuns — There’s nothing theocratic about religious freedom.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “I think this is a time … to do the obvious to declare a kind of armistice on the vitriol and the apocalyptic rhetoric and simply say, ‘We are a republic. We have a loyal opposition. Let’s be loyal, let’s be civil on both sides.’” —Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018)

Friendly fire: “Ignorance is bliss. And that is to say I’m a big advocate of people sitting down around the table and having sensible discussions, and if they were to have sensible discussions about these things, people would be more careful about anything that resembles mob action. And that is what has happened to Ulysses Grant. I know enough about history to know that Ulysses Grant was the best friend that former slaves had coming out of the Civil War. I know that what caused him great pause when he was about to get married — the young lady he wanted to marry, he had real problems that her family owned slaves. I know that he was made the gift of a slave that he set free, and I think that if people knew Ulysses Grant’s history, they would not tear down his statue. That’s why we have to be careful. You go through this, all the people who lived though this period of time did not advocate slavery. He never did. He was just the opposite. So it is a big mistake on the part of anybody to tear down his statue. And that applies to a lot of others.” —House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn

Belly laugh of the week: “Joe Biden saved the auto industry. He’s been a champion of American manufacturing and of standing up for American workers in the face of abuses by other countries for years.” —Biden campaign senior policy advisor Jake Sullivan

Too late… “We don’t want to be considered a bunch of thieves.” —House Spaker Nancy Pelosi on the latest House plan to buy constituent votes with the next generation’s debt

Alpha jackass: “Donald Trump is actively trying to kill our children.” —Rob Reiner

And last… “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.” —Thomas Sowell

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TODAY’S MEME

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TODAY’S CARTOON

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