Mid-Day Digest

Sep. 11, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Finally, an NFL squad showed a little class before yesterday’s game.
  • Another well-connected government bureaucrat gets off the hook — Lois Lerner walks.
  • Ivanka Trump has become the champion of increasing the child tax credit.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“We are either a United people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all matters of general concern act as a nation, which have national objects to promote, and a national character to support. If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it.” —George Washington (1785)

IN BRIEF

The Cleveland Browns — Getting It Right?

By Mark Alexander

Four weeks ago, a group of Cleveland Browns players took a knee (ostensibly to pray) during our National Anthem. Recall, if you will, that former star quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started this absurd celebrity protest, is now unemployed, and that is being blamed on “racism” in the NFL, where more than 70% of the players are not white.

A week after the Browns’ protest, former Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown criticized the Browns team and Kaepernick for disrespecting our country:

Colin has to make up his mind whether he’s truly an activist or whether he’s a football player. … I’m going to give you the real deal. I’m an American. I don’t desecrate my flag and my national anthem. I’m not gonna do anything against the flag and the national anthem. I’m going to work within those situations. But this is my country, and I’ll work out the problems, but I’ll do it in an intelligent manner.

As a result of Jim Brown’s remarks and the protests of NFL fans, the following week, all the Cleveland Browns players stood for the national anthem.

Yesterday, the Browns organization took that reversal a step further. Ahead of their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns took the field flanked by police, U.S. military personnel and first responders. (See the video.)

As for Kaepernick, don’t feel too bad for him. According to Business Insider, “After leading the San Francisco 49ers to consecutive NFC championship games and one Super Bowl, Colin Kaepernick was rewarded with a ‘record’ seven-year, $126 million contract in 2014. But after three seasons of declining production, including one season of headlines surrounding his protest of the national anthem, [Kaepernick has only] received $39.4 million from the deal.”

Not a bad run for a child born to a destitute white woman, abandoned by his black father, then adopted and raised in privilege by Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, an affluent white couple. His anger is badly misplaced — it is his birth father who was his “oppressor,” not America, where a very generous white couple came to his rescue. (Wait, that sounds a LOT like the bio of an “oppressed” former president.)

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DOJ Decides to Let Lerner Off the Hook

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has alerted Representatives Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Peter Roskam (R-IL) that the Justice Department will not reopen an investigation into former IRS Director (of Political Targeting) Lois Lerner. In April, Brady and Roskam sent Sessions a letter requesting that he hold Lerner accountable for the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups and for lying to Congress. Brady responded to the DOJ decision, saying, “This is a terrible decision. It sends the message that the same legal, ethical and constitutional standards we all live by do not apply to Washington political appointees — who will now have the green light to target Americans for their political belief and mislead investigators without ever being held accountable for their lawlessness.”

Sessions justified his decision by pointing to the Treasury inspector general’s conclusion that the IRS was guilty only of “mishandling tax-exempt applications,” which “impacted applicants affiliated with the Tea Party and similar organizations.” However, the IG concluded that IRS officials didn’t act with “criminal intent.”

Once again that popular Washington buzz phrase “no criminal intent” has been evoked as a shield against holding anyone in government liable for breaking the law. It’s Hillary Clinton’s pathetic (and successful) “she didn’t mean to do it” defense. This is getting quite tiresome, as Brady rightly points out, because Washington has a double standard for who it requires to abide by the laws of the land. Second, it serves only to reinforce the perspective that those within the politically connected halls of power will be protected against the consequences of running afoul of the law.

Why did Sessions come to this decision? One thought is that the DOJ is still chock full of Obama-era appointees. One of the points we have made repeatedly is that Donald Trump has been too slow in nominating people for government posts. As a result, there remain too many leftist elements in places of power within DC. There also may be an element of concern here in not wanting to appear to be prosecuting out of mere political payback. That’s understandable, but in our estimation it’s unquestionable that Lerner and the IRS broke the law. The consequences of not dealing with that are in the long run greater than fear of inconvenient political optics.

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Top Headlines

  • Irma leaves millions without power in Florida as it continues its assault (The Weather Channel)

  • Hurricane Irma would have killed vastly more people in the past (The Washington Post)

  • News you can use: Florida sheriff has to tell folks why it’s not a good idea to fire guns at Hurricane Irma (BizPac Review)

  • Foiled Virginia attack brings total U.S. terror plots to 97 since 9/11 (The Daily Signal)

  • Wasserman Schultz IT aide planted computer to be found, police report suggests (The Daily Signal)

  • Clinton was so confident of victory she bought a second home in Chappaqua to accommodate White House staff (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • DOJ makes “shocking” flip in SCOTUS religious liberty case — not shocking at all if you’ve paid attention (Hot Air)

  • Congress gives Trump a pass on releasing his tax returns — though, contrary to this article, for good reason (The Washington Post)

  • New Star Trek episodes to use Klingons to represent Trump supporters (Entertainment Weekly)

  • “Miss America” gets political: Contestants asked about Trump-Russia collusion, Confederate statues (Fox News)

  • Policy: America has already forgotten many of September 11’s lessons. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

  • Policy: Don’t prohibit price gouging. (E21)

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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9/11 After 16 Years

Today we solemnly mark the 16th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack on our nation, when 2,977 innocents, mostly American citizens, were murdered by Islamic fascists. In keeping with the presidential proclamation designating Sept. 11 of each year as Patriot Day, all flags should be flown at half-staff in memory of those who lost their lives that day.

We invite you to join us as we offer our prayers for the families of those lost and for our Armed Forces who are now serving on the front lines in the long war to contain Islamic terrorism. We are paying a heavy price for appeasement of jihadi foes under the last administration, but there is cause for renewed hope of success. Our prayer is that right prevails before we have to endure another catastrophic attack on our homeland.

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

Tax Reform Is a Trump Family Affair

By Robin Smith

As President Donald Trump tweets his chiding remarks to a U.S. Congress that has moved its 200-day checklist of accomplishments into a “wish list” of items that may or may not ever happen, it’s pretty obvious: tax reform is a Trump priority and even a family affair.

While the president is consistently on message about both lowering America’s corporate tax rate (the highest among developed nations) and reducing the burden for middle class workers, Ivanka Trump is focused on the role of tax policy to bring relief to working families. She advocates a higher child tax credit to help families dealing with child care — often to the tune of five-figures per year in order to remain employed.

Back in September 2016, candidate Donald Trump began to speak of the policy inspired and driven by his daughter, a working mother of three children. The simplest explanation of the proposal is either a doubling of the child tax credit or to allow dependent care — for up to four children and elderly dependents for individuals earning less than $250,000 — to be deducted from income taxes or a partially refundable tax credit for low-income families.

Ivanka noted last year, “As a society we need to create policies that champion all parents, enabling the American family to thrive.” This statement is so true to recognize the value of families and to understand that removing an obstacle for productive adults to support their families is critical, especially in a world where welfare entitlements are never reformed and easily accessed.

Last week, Ivanka joined Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist in a panel discussion regarding the plan to pass legislation providing tax credits that offset the cost of dependent care. In the audience of this forum were representatives of several conservative and Christian organizations interested in policies that impact families, including the Faith & Freedom Coalition, Live Action, the Family Research Council, Americans for Prosperity, the National Taxpayers Union, American Enterprise Institute, Focus on the Family, March for Life and the Southern Baptist Convention.

A passionate Ivanka Trump began with opening remarks citing specific statistics that point to the reality of the burden for those who want to raise a family and yet strive to achieve an adequate income to raise that family. Ivanka declared that the current child tax credit of $1,000 should “at least double” with “this administration pushing for the largest child tax credit possible.”

The legislators, Lee and Schweikert, spoke of details of a proposed Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit that would be increased to $2,500 and that would be partially refundable — though at a cost of at least $500 billion in taxpayer funds over 10 years, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Research shows that corporate paid parental leave policies do increase work opportunities and wages while reducing dependence on government benefits like food stamps. However, when government mandates policies within businesses, those mandates cost jobs, just as America witnessed in the change of many jobs from full-time to part-time in response to the mandates of ObamaCare. Instead, the use of tax credits can boost overall wages kept by workers who struggle to remain in the workforce while juggling child and dependent care. These credits would also require that at least one parent be actively employed to qualify, making this a support to workers, not an entitlement.

Norquist noted the unique approach to this tax proposal within the comprehensive reforms for business: “We’ve never had a successful tax reform that was not both pro-growth and pro-family. That’s how we put together a winning coalition to understand why we need to do it. It’s also important to do both of those things as we move forward.”

Politically, this approach balances the impersonal, big-business nature of corporate tax reform to address a day-to-day issue within middle class families. While business analysts clamor for the dramatic impact to our nation’s economy that will result from a corporate tax rollback to President Trump’s proposed rate of 15%, middle class families will certainly see a greater earnings potential for those choosing and able to work.

In light of President Trump’s recent pivot to include Democrat minority leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in his legislative efforts after the impotence of the Republican House and Senate majorities to lead, a child tax credit would provide cover for Democrat support of an overall tax proposal that was broad, not “just for the rich, greedy corporations.”

The White House has not yet released a detailed proposal of its desired tax reforms, however, President Trump has remained steadfast in his call for both corporate and individual tax cuts that expand the benefit to businesses and workers. Knowing that his base of working class Americans are looking to see tax reforms that benefit them, not some unseen market that always serves corporate interests, Trump and his oldest daughter seem willing to fight the big money protecting corporate lobbying to see this through.

The tension in expanding tax credits is healthy among conservatives who understand that manipulated markets are not free and don’t self-correct. In other words, there are good reasons to be skeptical of the real economic wisdom of Ivanka’s proposal. Yet Trump’s populist appeal is still strong, and increasing the child tax credit would in many ways be a big boost to families.

While specifics are elusive, the fact remains: Money that remains in the family budget is always better spent than money confiscated and redistributed by a bloated, wasteful, distant government.

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Burt Prelutsky: “In the always tough competition for being named Hypocrite of the Year, I think that even with four months remaining in 2017, we have a winner. In her book, ‘What Happened,’ which I believe should end with a question mark, Hillary Clinton reports that during the second presidential debate, when Donald Trump approached her on stage, she felt she was not only in the presence of evil but that she felt her skin crawling. And, why wouldn’t she? After all, she regarded him as a creep, a serial groper of women, and here he was, absolutely looming over her like a gargoyle. The problem is that for millions of us, it sounded less like a 69-year-old writing a book about a political campaign and more like a page out of Hillary Rodham’s diary after her first date with Bill Clinton. With Mrs. Clinton, the laughs never stop. Consider that when she was asked how it was that she was named Hillary, she mentioned that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, who was knighted for his conquest of Mt. Everest. The problem is that she was born in 1948, and Sir Edmund didn’t climb the world’s tallest mountain until 1953. Frankly, I think we are long past having to select a Hypocrite of the Year on an annual basis. It’s time to either end the competition or at least commission a trophy to be bestowed in the future and call it the Hillary.”

SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “Approximately 80 percent of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation, so let’s not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards from man-made sources.”

Village Idiots: “It’s … scary to know that climate change is due to human activity, and we continue to ignore it, and the only voice that we really have is through voting. … You’re watching these hurricanes now, and it’s really hard … not to feel mother nature’s rage and wrath.” —actress Jennifer Lawrence

Blame Game, episode 423: “[NBC’s Matt Lauer] turned what should have been a serious discussion into a pointless ambush.” —Hillary Clinton grousing in her book about Lauer daring to ask her about her email scandal during the network’s “Commander-in-Chief Forum” about fitness for handling national security

Friendly fire: “Look, Secretary Clinton ran against the most unpopular candidate in the history of this country, and she lost. And she was upset about it. Now, I understand that. … [But] I think it’s a little bit silly to be keeping talking about 2016. We got too many problems.” —Bernie Sanders

Demo-gogues: “I just think the time has come [for single-payer health care]. Back in ‘09, we were not ready to address it. It would never have passed. Here we are nine years later, I think it’s time to hopefully have a very serious good faith look at it. … It’s [been] anathema for a long time, and then suddenly — acceptance.” —Sen. Max Baucus, who steadfastly opposed single-payer in 2009

Non Compos Mentis: “I don’t like broad brushes and I don’t know enough about [antifa] to say that they’re terrorists. … [The group] wasn’t really the issue in Charlottesville at all.” —Sen. Tim Kaine

Probably colluding with the Russians too: “What can we do to deal with the KKK, the white nationalists, the extremists, the alt-right? They’re on the Internet, they’re Breitbart. If you look at the YouTube, you see how much they want to kill me and others.” —Rep. Maxine Waters

Alpha Jackass: “I’m not wishing for it… but I’d be ok if #BetsyDevos was sexually assaulted.” —Texas attorney Rob Ranco

And last… “Berkeley hunkers down and seeks safe shelter from approaching one-in100-years storm of diversity of thought.” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

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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.