Mid-Day Digest

May 24, 2017


  • The media narrative on Trump’s budget: It hurts the poor.
  • The radical Islamist terror threat in Great Britain continues to escalate.
  • ObamaCare’s subsidies for insurance companies present a catch 22.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.


“The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general.” —James Madison


MSM: Trump Robs the Poor

“Trump’s $3.6 Trillion Budget Cuts Hit His Supporters Hard,” blares the Bloomberg headline. The subject, is of course, President Donald Trump’s leaner budget proposal released Tuesday morning. The Bloomberg story begins by fleshing out the headline: “President Donald Trump’s first full budget would dramatically reduce the U.S. government’s role in society, hitting hard many of the rural, working-poor supporters who propelled him into office as he cuts through the safety net for the poor and disabled, impacting farming communities and inner cities alike.” Why would he, as The Washington Post put it so pathetically, release a “budget that would bolster the rich, [and] remove benefits from the poor”?

The Left has always engaged in craven class warfare, pitting the poor against the rich as if the rich have “stolen” from them. And the Leftmedia’s objective with these supposedly alarming stories is to get Trump’s own supporters questioning their man. Indeed, leftists are always astounded when voters don’t vote for the guy promising them the most goodies, but rather a responsible government.

They can’t fathom such civic responsibility because their statist philosophy is essentially based upon the musings of socialist George Bernard Shaw, who once cynically observed, “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” Likewise, another old saying applies: “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.”

Lost upon these government first-last-and-always statists is that Trump’s real goal is to grow the economy with tax reform, not expand the government dole. Those currently receiving benefits will be able to help themselves once government gets out of the way, whereas the Leftmedia would have people believe Trump’s plan is to push them to the brink of starvation.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”

And as the Constitution’s author, James Madison, explained, “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” Leftists would do well to learn that lesson, and quit demanding that every American always vote for the slick politician who promises the most generous benefits.

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The Threat to Britain Keeps Escalating

British Prime Minister Theresa May addressed her nation on Tuesday and announced that she was raising the terrorism threat level from “severe” to “critical.” She explained that her decision was based on information from the intelligence community regarding knowledge of a potential impending attack.

As is usually the case with these atrocities, it has become increasing clear that the jihadi responsible for this latest suicide bombing attack in Manchester was not a “lone wolf” but a “known wolf” acting according to the worldwide hateful ideology of radical Islam. UK authorities are currently tracking 3,500 of these radical Islamist “known wolves” — this in a country whose population is 65 million. Belgium, a country of only 12 million, is currently tracking at about 18,000. Why the significant discrepancy in ratios? One answer may be found in the different immigration and border polices between the two nations, with Belgium having one of the laxest in Europe.

The sad and frustrating thing is that Europe has become increasingly tolerant of these terror attacks, or at least their leaders have. One wonders how devastating an attack would have to be to prompt decisive action to eradicate the threat posed by radical Islam. Across Europe this year alone 45 have been murdered and hundreds have been injured by terrorist attacks. While the people suffer, their leaders continue to placate an ideology predicated on hatred.

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Top Headlines

  • Pope Francis and Donald Trump meet at the Vatican. (The New York Times)

  • WH budget director: Obama administration spent too much on climate change “and not very efficiently.” (CNS News)

  • FISA court: Obama’s NSA record of spying. (Circa)

  • CIA sought FBI probe into Russian targeting of Trump campaign. (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • Fox News retracts story that fanned conspiracy theories of DNC staffer Seth Rich’s murder. (Washington Examiner)

  • Theresa May upgrades terrorist threat level to “critical” and puts soldiers on streets. (UK Independent)

  • The 22-year-old Brit who stopped the global cyberattack is donating his $10,000 reward to charity. (Business Insider)

  • The European Union plans to censor hate speech on social media. (Reason)

  • IRS official tells Congress the agency needs more money to improve customer service. (The Washington Times)

  • Hump Day Humor: Clinton receives 400,000 honorary degrees for college commencement speech. (The Onion)

+Policy: The world is too comfortable with terror. (National Review)

+Policy: Trump’s no-apology tour. (Washington Times)

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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The Health Care Catch 22

By Lewis Morris

The ObamaCare health insurance exchanges are teetering on the brink of collapse as the Trump administration tries to decide whether and how to continue subsidy payments to insurance providers.

You may remember how the House of Representatives brought a lawsuit against the Obama administration over Barack Obama’s continued subsidy payouts to the insurance industry to stem rising premiums. The payouts were illegal, having not been authorized by Congress or allocated as part of the original ObamaCare law. Of course, that didn’t stop the former president from doing everything beyond his power to keep his signature law afloat.

When Donald Trump came into office, he vowed to end the payouts. This was part of his larger plan to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with a better health care law. That better law has yet to materialize, but the problem of the insurance payouts remains.

Without the continued, and illegal, government largesse, health insurance companies are claiming that they will either have to leave the exchanges entirely or significantly jack up premiums for 2018. Either move will send the health insurance market into a tailspin. Whatever decision is made, American consumers will be left holding the bag.

Clearly, then, the Trump administration is hard pressed to make a decision. Put taxpayers on the hook for continuing the subsidies and quietly endorse Obama’s actions and his failed law, or cancel the subsidies and watch premiums skyrocket even further. So far, Trump has done neither, opting to buy time by requesting that the federal courts hold off on their final judgment for another 90 days.

This would leave the ObamaCare marketplaces in limbo until August, allowing Democrats time to find a way to pin the law’s ultimate failure on Republicans while insurance companies continue to extort the federal government.

It’s hard to find sympathy for the insurance companies in this matter. They claim a need for certainty on the payments to continue going forward in the exchanges in 2018, yet they didn’t have certainty going into 2017. With the House lawsuit, Obama’s leaving office, and no guidance from either of his potential replacements on the campaign trail in 2016, there was no way for the insurance providers to know that they would continue to receive the payouts. Perhaps they were gambling that Hillary Clinton would win the election and continue milking the American taxpayer like her predecessor. Worse, perhaps the insurance industry colluded to blackmail the incoming president into continuing the payments so they could maintain the status quo.

This may seem like a chaotic situation, but it was predicted years ago. The Democrats, by design, created a law that would eventually force the government to completely take over health care and lead to a single-payer system. ObamaCare was never going to insure everyone and keep premiums low at the same time; the insurance market just doesn’t work that way. The only way everyone could be covered was if the market was blown up and the government stepped in and took over wholesale.

Whatever the outcome, the Trump administration and the GOP Congress probably shouldn’t count on this episode working out for them politically. Sure, nobody likes ObamaCare, and it has failed continuously and completely to live up to its expectations. But Trump and the Republicans will be the ones who pay the price if it collapses on their watch.

That isn’t fair considering the law was passed without a single GOP vote, and given that Republicans have sought to repeal and replace it since it was passed. But Trump’s other mounting political problems have drained his already meager political capital. His popularity is low. And the news media is in the tank for the Democrats, so they’ll push whatever narrative Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi desire.

If Trump continues the subsidies unilaterally, he will lose his populist edge with his supporters. If he turns off the spigot, he’ll be blamed for rising premiums and hammered for leaving people dying in the streets without insurance. It’s a catch-22.

Well played, Democrats. Well played.

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For more, visit Right Opinion.


Walter Williams: “Free market allocation is conflict-reducing, whereas government allocation enhances the potential for conflict. But I’m all too afraid that most Americans want to be able to impose their preferences on others. Their vision doesn’t differ from one that says, ‘I don’t want my children to say morning prayers, and I’m going to force you to live by my preferences.’ The issue of prayers in school is just a minor example of people’s taste for tyranny. Think of the conflict that would arise if the government decreed that factories will produce either double-breasted or single-breasted suits or that there will be either Cadillacs or Mercedes-Benzes built or that there will be either Apple computers or PCs built. Can you imagine how otherwise-peaceable people would be forced into conflict with one another? Government allocation is mostly a zero-sum game, in which one person’s win necessarily means another person’s loss. The great ignored and overlooked feature of market allocation is that it is what game theorists call a positive-sum game. In positive-sum games, you get what you want, say an Apple computer, and I get what I want — a PC, in this case. My win does not come at your expense, and your win doesn’t come at my expense. And just as importantly, we can be friends.”


Insight: “I want to make one thing clear. This war against our Constitution is not being fought way off in Madagascar or in Mandalay. It is being fought here — in our schools, our colleges, our churches, our women’s clubs. It is being fought with our money, channeled through the State Department. It is being fought twenty-four hours a day — while we remain asleep.” —William Jenner (1908-1985)

For the record: “Leaks have … played a very significant, negative role relative to our national security. The release of information not only undermines confidence in our allies about our ability to maintain secure information that we share with them; it jeopardizes sources and methods that are invaluable to our ability to find out what’s going on and what those threats are. Lives are at stake in many instances and leaks jeopardize those lives.” —Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats

Braying Jackass: “This administration is mounting an onslaught against the needs of children, people with disabilities, women and seniors.” —Hillary Clinton, who describes the Trump budget as “an unimaginable level of cruelty”

Non Compos Mentis: “Iranians show the world how it’s done.” —Jane Sanders praising Iran’s 70% voter turnout, but missing the completely un-democratic nature of the system

D'oh! “To have a president say, if he did, to the director of the FBI, or the DNI, the Director of National Intelligence, or the NRA person that — um, uh, that they should not go forward, it raises questions that need to be answered in a facts and law way, and not hearsay.” —Nancy Pelosi

And last… “[Jihadis] kill us any way possible. They run us down in our streets. They gun down or blow up our children enjoying the innocence of young life. They stab and hack and behead. We weep. Flowers pile up at the scenes of the carnage. Songs are sung. The Islamism apologists leap into action. We are warned not to draw any broad conclusions. Politicians tell us there is little that can be done. What they mean is there is little that they have the courage to do.” —Gary Bauer

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.