The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- More revelations indicating Obama’s systematic abuse of power.
- Oh the many things Jimmy Kimmel gets wrong about health care policy.
- Violence is becoming more acceptable to college students. That’s alarming.
- Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“No compact among men … can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other.” —George Washington (1789)
It’s no secret that Barack Obama pushed his executive branch powers beyond constitutional limits. Obama was bound and determined to impose as much of his socialist agenda onto America as possible with the long-term aim of fundamentally transforming the nation. What he and the leftists liked to call “progress” much of the rest of the country called dangerous, authoritarian and unconstitutional.
For example, during Obama’s time in office, Americans witnessed what can only be classified as the politicized weaponization of supposedly non-political government agencies. The list includes the IRS and its targeting of Tea Party groups, the implementation of leftist social engineering policies on the military, the variety of “environmental” rules created and implemented by the EPA, the use of the ATF to run guns to Mexican drug cartels in service of an anti-Second Amendment agenda … and the list goes on.
But U.S. intelligence agencies’ abuse of power under Obama may be the most troubling.
One individual in particular has become the focal point in Obama’s use of intelligence agencies to spy on American citizens. That person is the former ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power. She had previously been named as one of three former Obama officials, Susan Rice and John Brennan being the other two, who made numerous “unmasking” requests. What makes Power so intriguing is the fact that her position as ambassador wouldn’t seem to merit the information. Furthermore, the sheer volume of her unmasking requests raises questions. Power was so active in making requests that Fox News reports “she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016 — and even sought information in the days leading up to President Trump’s inauguration.”
We know that Obama went after journalists Sharyl Attkisson and James Rosen. We know that the NSA lied about its collecting data on millions of Americans. We know that the CIA was caught spying on Senate Intelligence Committee staffers, even though Brennan denied it. We know that it is an absolute joke that Obama’s was the “most transparent” administration in American history.
As the layers of Obama-era obfuscation are slowly being peeled away, a clearer picture is emerging of the extent to which the executive branch weaponized government agencies against its political opponents. It was a systematic abuse of power, and the appropriately named former ambassador may be just the tip of the iceberg.
Whether leftist politicians and the Leftmedia admit it or not, ObamaCare stinks. It has not done what Barack Obama and Democrats all claimed that it would. Where is the more affordable health insurance? What happened to health care becoming more accessible? Where is the $2,500 in annual health insurance savings promised to American families? What of all those old insurance coverage plans Americans were supposed to be able to keep? And the guarantee that Americans could keep their doctors — boy was that a dozy. But rather than admit that the law has been and is a growing failure, Democrats and their cohorts in the media have pivoted and focused blame for the law’s failure on Republicans who are fighting to repeal it. This is akin to arguing that the reason a student failed his math test was because the teacher didn’t like his answers. In other words, Democrats seek to remove objectivity in favor of emotion-based subjectivity.
Health care policy expert Late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel typified this mindset recently on his show when he decided to launch into another political rant against Senate Republicans for their latest attempt at an ObamaCare makeover. This is not new for Kimmel, but this time he specifically targeted Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, who had previously been a guest on the show, saying that Cassidy had “lied right to my face” about his health care reform plan. Kimmel then laid out “facts” that were essentially talking points taken straight from the Democrats’ “Trump resistance” playbook. It was despicable for Kimmel to turn Cassidy’s good faith appearance and promise into a bludgeon, but that’s typical leftist behavior.
Remember, Kimmel once hosted a program called the “Man Show,” which consisted of little more than the sophomoric promotion and promulgation of misogynistic stereotypes. And this is the guy who has taken it upon himself to lecture America on morality? Please excuse our consternation. To be fair, Kimmel does have personal experience with a child who needed significant special medical attention. And the fact that he lives in a country with cutting edge medicine should be something he is thankful for. But Kimmel’s problem is that he fundamentally does not understand the difference between rights and entitlements.
In a free society, an individual has the right to seek after a service such as health care. That same individual does not have the right to demand that the service be rendered or that other people be forced to pay for it. It’s the seeking that is the right, not the obtaining. It’s the whole “pursuit of Happiness” bit espoused by the Declaration of Independence. Democrats and the Left have long conflated these two separate and distinct concepts.
What if we were to apply to the Second Amendment the same concept of “rights” Democrats apply to health care? Americans everywhere would be demanding that the government provide them with a firearm. But it wouldn’t stop there. The government would also be obligated to provide the ammunition necessary for the operation of the firearm, as well as holsters, cases, cleaning kits and so on. What about those Americans who might object to owning a firearm? Would they be forced to accept or pay taxes for others to be guaranteed the right of bearing arms? By Jimmy Kimmel’s logic, yes. But something tells us that “logic” doesn’t apply across the board. No, it only applies when a millionaire misogynist playboy can lecture the rest of us on his pet issue.
Republicans plan to introduce $1.5 trillion tax cut blueprint in Senate next week (The Washington Times)
Trump orders new sanctions to tighten screws on North Korea nuclear program (Reuters)
North Korea warns of hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Ocean (Washington Examiner)
Trump’s war strategy hailed by Afghan president: ‘A difference of day and night’ (The Washington Times)
The Marine Corps is set to have its first female infantry officer (NBC News)
U.S. household wealth rises $1.7 trillion to another record (Bloomberg)
NFL players lobby Roger Goodell for formal league involvement in racial justice causes (Washington Examiner)
Muslim women, at least 1 bloodied, called police on Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s IT guy, Imran Awan (The Daily Signal)
Go figure: Democrats’ trust in mass media soars to highest level in 20 years (Hot Air)
Filmmaker charges white males $5 more for tickets (The Daily Wire)
Policy: Graham-Cassidy is better than just a fix to ObamaCare (National Review)
Policy: Look who’s helping after Hurricane Harvey (American Enterprise Institute)
For more, visit Patriot Headline Report.
By Brian Mark Weber
As summer turns to autumn, the hallowed halls of academia fill with eager, young minds thirsting for an opportunity to study with thoughtful professors, engage in vigorous and civil debates about the Great Books or the Founding Fathers, and immerse themselves in these venerable laboratories of learning where future citizens are groomed.
Back in our new, warped reality, any parents who think their children are experiencing this once-common campus environment today might want to ask for a refund. Speech is no longer free, and in some cases it’s downright dangerous.
Today’s campus protesters make the college radicals of the 1960s look like boring conformists. Henry David Thoreau’s concept of civil disobedience is out the window. There’s nothing civil about the aggressive and violent nature in which today’s students are shutting down free speech at America’s colleges and universities. And their professors? One was recently charged with four counts of felony assault for donning a black mask and clocking Trump supporters with a bike lock.
A Brookings Institution study revealed ominous signs about the threats to free speech in this country. Some 1,500 students at colleges and universities were surveyed about various ways that a speaker on campus might be stopped. Shockingly, 19% of them responded that violence is an acceptable method of shutting down a speaker.
Lest readers assume this is a partisan problem, the survey shows that among undergraduates, 20% of Democrats, 22% of Republicans and 16% of Independents believe that violence is an acceptable way to silence opponents.
So far, however, it is leftists who are turning this violent mindset into action against disfavored speakers. Sadly, this violence is becoming commonplace as a way to stifle free speech and the expression of uncomfortable ideas.
The response from authorities at colleges and universities has been disgraceful, which only invites future acts of violence. And while many professors are turning a blind eye, others are actually encouraging students to resort to extreme measures in order to shut down free speech.
While these purveyors of violence want us to believe that they’re somehow protecting the community from vile ideas, the average American would be surprised by what they consider hateful and offensive. Joshua Fatzick writes at Voice of America that “students at Claremont McKenna College in California targeted Heather Mac Donald,” author of The War on Cops. Why? Because her book “puts forth the idea that police officers are afraid to perform their jobs because of increased media scrutiny following the 2014 police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.”
So how did we get here? This is a complex question.
Part of the problem is that many students simply don’t know what’s in our Constitution and are unable to identify even one of the freedoms in our Bill of Rights. Without the knowledge that our Constitution protects all speech, even that which expresses ideas contrary to our own beliefs, students are engaging in tactics that not only threaten civil discourse in academia but also threaten our very constitutional system.
The Brookings survey also showed that 44% of college students believe that the Constitution does not protect what is considered hate speech (only 39% believe it does). Robby Soave at Reason writes, “Teenagers are somehow making it through 12 years of primary education without absorbing the most basic civics lesson: The founding documents of the United States of America zealously protect people who make offensive statements from censorship at the hands of government officials or violent mobs.”
One might argue that the Brookings report and other similar surveys distort or exaggerate the degree to which college students are opposed to free speech. The only problem is that professors, students and campus organizations no longer speak in subtle terms about their objectives, but directly challenge our founding documents and values. For years, these views were expressed as a manifestation of our constitutional rights. Now they’re being violently defended in order to oppose our constitutional rights.
Take, for instance, this year’s Constitution Day lecture at Princeton University, in which anthropology Professor Carolyn Rouse argued that “the academy has never promoted free speech as its central value.” Rouse went on to state that it’s up to institutions to determine what they believe to be free speech, “and therefore have their own internal rulemaking capacity, with needs to induce or coerce compliance.” Think about it: We’re paying huge sums of money to have people like this teach our children.
One of the primary obstacles conservatives must overcome in restoring a broad understanding of our country’s principles and values is that our education system continues to politicize the teaching of history or simply ignores it completely.
Making matters worse is that far too many college students are not even aware of the purpose of a university education. Gone are the days when institutions of higher learning boasted of their role in creating free thinkers and future citizens primed to enter the real world as contributing members of a free society.
Peter Berkowitz in The Wall Street Journal asserts, “American colleges and universities should be bastions of self-knowledge and self-criticism, simply because they exist to teach people how to think. But in recent years America’s campuses seem to have abandoned this tradition. Worse, the meager course offerings on the topic of liberal education tend to reinforce misunderstandings about its character and content.”
Where we go from here is critical to the very survival of our basic rights and our Constitution. We can’t merely dismiss anti-constitutional rhetoric as an anomaly on the college campus or a product of aging left-wing professors clinging on to the radicalism of the 1960s. When college students will stop at nothing to silence opposing views, the academy is ill. It is diseased. No longer an issue of liberal or conservative, tomorrow’s leaders will exercise power with a far different notion of Liberty. Our Constitution, and the idea of free speech itself, is hanging in the balance.
MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- A Leaner Government Is ‘Easy.’ But Is It Possible? — Cutting a few things would lead to enormous savings. Too bad Congress won’t do the work.
- Oregon Democrats Cheer Taxpayer-Subsidized Death — The Left is happy to provide “free” abortions for all of Oregon’s residents. Not just happy — jubilant.
- Are Some Cultures Better Than Others? — Dinesh D'Souza explains why some Westerners “have come to despise their own culture.”
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- David Harsanyi: Don’t Fall for Jimmy Kimmel’s Cheap Zero-Sum Emotionalism
- Michael Reagan: Loving Trump’s UN Speech
- Ken Blackwell: Trump’s Warning: An AT&T/Time Warner Merger Is Dangerous
For more, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
David Harsanyi: “In recent months, late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel has taken to scaremongering his audience with well-worn Democratic Party talking points regarding health care insurance policy. Between yuks, he occasionally accuses Republicans of being would-be baby killers, which is treated as an important political development because, well, Jimmy Kimmel is famous. … The comedian’s interest in policy was sparked by the harrowing experience of having a newborn son who suffered from a rare health condition. … [His] monologue … could have been written by any liberal activist. Which is to say it was all about cheap zero-sum emotionalism. Kimmel doesn’t believe Americans deserve the chance to reduce the cost of health care with market-based reforms on the state level, or in giving states any flexibility in catering their plans to their own citizens. Kimmel believes California and New York should spend more per capita and smaller states should suffer. Kimmel doesn’t believe that individuals and families should be allowed to contribute to health savings accounts or use them to help pay ever-growing insurance premiums. Kimmel wants average Americans to suffer. You see? Anyone can play this game.”
Upright: “The problem is not what [Jimmy] Kimmel is doing, but that the same reporters who lament the election of a reality TV star as president are giving moral authority to Jimmy Kimmel to talk credibly about public policy because of his son. He gets expert status and headlines in the press to talk about Obamacare because he is a highly paid celebrity who has access to doctors, income and insurance that the average Obamacare recipient does not have. … The reality is that every Republican in Congress wants to provide health care for those who truly cannot afford it. But they also want those who can afford it to not have to rely on the federal government. But who cares about those details when Jimmy Kimmel has a son and ratings to worry about?” —Erick Erickson
For the record: “[Trump] said as president of the United States he will always put his country’s interests first, just as each [UN member] would put their country’s interests first. The UN rank and file apparently couldn’t understand that idea, unfortunately, because most of them routinely put themselves first, not their own countries. … In the real world probably half of the UN people who come to New York are not coming to work for world peace and greater prosperity. They’re coming to see their mistresses and rack up hundreds of unpaid parking tickets.” —Michael Reagan
Just shut up already: “Impeachment is about whatever the Congress says it is. There is no law that dictates impeachment. … Here you have a president who I can tell you and guarantee you is in collusion with the Russians to undermine our democracy. Here you have a president who has obstructed justice, and here you have a president that lies every day.” —Maxine Waters
Self-adoration: “I feel like I’m a bit of a Paula Revere. I’m trying to sound the alarm about [Russian collusion].” —Hillary Clinton
Not gonna happen: “Is there anything more exciting than the possibility of Trump’s election being invalidated & Hillary rightfully installed as our President?” —actor Carl Reiner
What could possibly go wrong? “Just let North Korea have nukes.” —Paul Waldman
Braying Jackass: “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.” —Kim Jong-un
And last… “All politicians should be wiretapped. I don’t trust any of them.” —Frank Fleming
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.