Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 2, 2017


Today’s news from the heartland… The worst mass shooting in U.S. history occurred in Las Vegas overnight. We don’t know much about the murderer yet, but at least 50 are dead and more than 400 wounded. Meanwhile, Donald Trump got in another Twitter war over the weekend, this time with the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, who is maddeningly mismanaging her city’s recovery from Hurricane Maria. Finally, we take a look at what modern feminism means: thinking in only one, leftist-approved way. Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.


“These are the times that try men’s souls.” —Thomas Paine (1776)


An Atrocity in Las Vegas — What We Know So Far

Americans awoke to the shocking and horrific news Monday morning of a mass-shooting attack in Las Vegas. Early reports are that at least 50 people were killed and more than 400 people have been hospitalized, making it the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history. The suspect, who has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of nearby Mesquite, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel down into a crowd of concert-goers across the street. Police officers responding to the scene eventually located Paddock, who reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the hotel room from which he had launched his attack.

As with any sudden chaotic event, initial details can often be conflicting and confusing before a more thorough investigation takes place. This is what we know so far.

At approximately 10:00 p.m. local time Sunday night, rapid gunfire broke out during country music singer Jason Aldean’s performance at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, with over 22,000 in attendance. Police reported that there were in “excess of 10 rifles” found in the room. Police have yet to identify the weapon(s) used, although audio footage of the attack suggests that the attacker was using a fully automatic rifle, not an easily obtainable weapon.

The motive for the crime is currently unknown. However, federal officials have said that at this time they do not see any international terrorist connections, though there are unconfirmed claims to the contrary. That leaves mental illness as the most likely culprit.

Finally, President Donald Trump tweeted, “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” We echo his message, and add a call to our fellow Americans: Please pray for those affected by this terrible atrocity. Pray for Las Vegas.

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Sometimes Trump Puts the ‘Bully’ in Bully Pulpit

Puerto Rico took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria when the Category 4 storm blew through on Sept. 20. Nearly two weeks later, most of the island’s three million citizens are still without power, water or reliable communication.

The small U.S. territory was underwater in debt and saddled with poor infrastructure after decades of Democrat mismanagement before the hurricane, and the storm only made matters worse. The logistical challenges of bringing aid are formidable, and Carmen Yulín Cruz, Democrat mayor of San Juan, reached her limit. On Friday, she lashed out at Donald Trump’s administration, saying, “We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency, and the bureaucracy.” If logistics aren’t solved, she warned, “What we are going to see is something close to a genocide.” She had plenty of other strong words criticizing Trump’s response, particularly an administration official’s assertion that federal aid to the island has been “a good news story.”

Her dismay is certainly understandable, though we haven’t seen evidence to support her charges. The undertaking is massive, and the federal government is responding. In fact, Trump sent 5,000 National Guard troops to the island before the storm, and thousands more since, all working to help people and distribute necessary items. Restoring basic utilities to the entire island isn’t going to happen overnight, no matter how flawless the federal response. Nevertheless, Democrats politicized the storm from the beginning — whether it was climate change or “more people voting Democrat in Florida” as a result — and the Leftmedia is, of course, happy to portray this as “Trump’s Hurricane Katrina.”

Unfortunately, that constant fake news refrain probably goaded Trump to respond with a bit more weight than was appropriate. As he has a bad habit of doing, Trump couldn’t resist taking to Twitter to hit back twice as hard. “The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” he tweeted … from his golf course in New Jersey. “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They … want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job. The military and first responders, despite no electric, roads, phones etc., have done an amazing job. Puerto Rico was totally destroyed.”

As political analyst Dan McLaughlin argues, “There’s a time and a place for partisan combat, and a tone that the president ought to set even when others are throwing brickbats. People want the man in charge to seem like he’s in charge and focused on helping them, not on his public image or personal feuds.” Or in our parlance, “Don’t swap spit with a jackass.”

Indeed, it certainly seems as though he’s more concerned with his public image and personal feuds when he punches down on Twitter. Furthermore, he mixes very serious tweets — like offering condolences to those in Las Vegas — with petulant and sophomoric spats, which undermines his serious statements and his overall communication. This is the core of the problem with his social media use.

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Top Headlines

  • More than 50 killed, 400 wounded in Las Vegas Strip shooting (Las Vegas Review Journal)

  • FEMA Director: Puerto Rico damage “most logistically challenging even the United States has ever seen” (CNS News)

  • Rick Perry just proposed sweeping new steps to help struggling coal and nuclear plants (The Washington Post)

  • Trump fires HHS Sec Price, further complicating GOP health care push (Fox News)

  • DSCC fundraises off Bernie Sanders’ single-payer bill (Washington Examiner)

  • DC Circuit won’t reconsider decision upholding the right to be armed in public (Reason)

  • NBA: Players must stand for national anthem (New York Post)

  • Two Texas high school football players dismissed from game after Anthem protest (NBC News)

  • American University cancels panel on free speech, Title IX (Hot Air)

  • Tormenting Manafort is seen as Weissmann’s way to snare big prosecution targets for Mueller (The Washington Times)

  • Ex-flight attendant accuses Southwest, union of religious discrimination (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • Policy: No government worker should be forced to pay union dues (National Review)

  • Policy: California’s latest bad idea — outlaw gas-powered cars (Investor’s Business Daily)

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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Faux Feminism

By Arnold Ahlert

In the last two weeks, a couple of prominent women inadvertently revealed the insufferably presumptive arrogance that forms the heart of progressive ideology.

“Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their [sic] own voice,” declared former First Lady Michelle Obama last Wednesday during a conversation with author Roxane Gay at the Inbound conference in Boston.

Mrs. Obama kept digging, insisting the 41% of women who voted for Donald Trump weren’t aware enough to think for themselves. “It doesn’t say as much about Hillary, and everybody’s trying to worry about what it means for Hillary and no, no, no, what does this mean for us, as women?” she asked. “That we look at those two candidates, as women, and many of us said, ‘He’s better for me. His voice is more true to me.’ To me that just says, you don’t like your voice. You like the thing you’re told to like.”

Got that? If you’re a woman who didn’t vote for Hillary it wasn’t about the possibility that she’s eminently unlikeable, is a congenital liar, possesses a gargantuan sense of self-entitlement, or is an un-convicted felon who likely compromised national security. It’s all about the inability to like oneself enough — or be smart enough — to transcend such “petty” concerns.

Perhaps Michelle was inspired by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who weighed in with an equally “astute” analysis of the 2016 election. On Tuesday, in an interview with Charlie Rose on CBS News, Ginsburg stated that she had “no doubt” sexism played a role in the 2016 election. “There’s so many things that might have been decisive but that was a major, major factor,” she insisted.

Or maybe a lot of “sexists” decided that eight years of sub-par economic growth, worsening race relations, innumerable foreign policy debacles, unfettered illegal immigration, or the ongoing effort to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” into a nation of tribalist sub-groups competing for most-aggrieved status didn’t merit the “third Obama term” for which the Leftmedia shamelessly shilled during the 2016 election campaign.

One might think Ginsburg would know better than to insert herself into partisan politics — again. During the 2016 campaign, she abandoned any pretense of the impartiality that ostensibly attends her position on the Court. “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president,” she opined to The New York Times last July. “For the country, it could be four years. For the Court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”

We wonder what Justice Neil Gorsuch thinks about her comment.

Four days later, Ginsburg dug herself a deeper hole in a CNN interview, calling Trump a “faker.” “He has no consistency about him,” she said. “He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”

After she was hammered, not just by Trump, but by the far-left New York Times and Washington Post newspapers, Ginsburg apologized. “On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them,” Ginsburg said in a statement. “Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.”

Apparently circumspection isn’t Ginsburg’s strong suit. Like the former president’s wife, she demonstrates a similar level of prejudice, hypocrisy and political tone-deafness that sweeping generalizations inevitably engender. Moreover, her “apology” rings exceedingly hollow.

Townhall’s Katie Pavlich takes Mrs. Obama to task. “Did women who voted for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democrat primary ‘vote against their voice’ because they voted against the female candidate?” she asks. “Did Michelle Obama vote against her voice for voting for a man, her husband, instead of Hillary?” Pavlich reminds us that would be the same Michelle Obama who “argued Clinton was unqualified to sit in the Oval Office” during the 2008 campaign.

Yet perhaps sexism and mindlessness were factors in the 2016 election. “Me, I intend to vote with my vagina,” declared Dame magazine columnist Kate Harding in April 2015. “Unapologetically. Enthusiastically.”

Part of Harding’s “rationale”? “There has never been a president who knows what it’s like to menstruate, be pregnant, or give birth,” she writes. “There has never been a president who knows what it’s like to be the target of subtle and categorically unsubtle sexism.”

What about Hillary herself? “Ms. Clinton played down the role of gender the first time she ran for the top job, but this time it’s expected to be a core plank of her campaign,” reported NewsHub in 2015.

Fast forward to earlier this month, when Clinton joined Obama and Ginsburg in their effort to denigrate non-progressive women. In an interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein, Clinton tied former FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that he was re-opening the (non)investigation into her emails to the idea that men could turn to their wives or girlfriends and say, “I told you, she’s going to be in jail,” Clinton asserted. “You don’t wanna waste your vote.” Clinton further asserted that women voters who might have been on the fence ultimately decided not to vote for her. “Instead of saying, ‘I’m taking a chance, I’m going to vote,’ it didn’t work,” Clinton added.

In an interview with NPR she singled out white women she believed were “under tremendous pressure from fathers and husbands and boyfriends and male employers not to vote for ‘the girl.’”

For decades, progressives have asserted feminism is all about empowering strong, independent women who are unafraid to think for themselves. Yet as Obama and Clinton make abundantly clear, if a woman’s independent thinking doesn’t align itself with progressive ideology, she is nothing more than a self-hating, go-along-to-get-along lackey subservient to a man. Ginsburg is equally obtuse, but if one assumes her assertion applies to both sexes, then women are lackeys and men are misogynists, much like anyone who failed to vote for Barack Obama — or merely disagreed with him in many cases — was “racist.”

It doesn’t get more arrogant or presumptive than that.

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For more, visit Right Opinion.


Investor’s Business Daily: “California is considering a ban on the sale of gasoline-powered cars. If state officials go this route, it will have little effect on CO2 emissions, but will harm consumers and kill California’s economy. … To put it bluntly, this is one of the most ill-conceived public policy ideas in a state that seems to have them in abundance. First, some perspective. According to the EPA, all transportation — cars, trucks, planes, trains and boats — are responsible for about a quarter of the nation’s CO2 emissions. The share contributed by passenger cars alone is considerably smaller than that. In the European Union, for example, cars account for 12% of CO2 emissions. California’s move would make no noticeable dent in global CO2 emissions. Plus, it would take well over a decade before the entire car fleet turned over to all electric. What’s more, the CO2 reduction claims from such a ban are wildly exaggerated. Remember, electric cars don’t run on magic. They run on electricity. So forcing car owners to buy only electric cars will mean a massive surge in demand for electricity, which is generated largely by greenhouse-emitting natural gas and coal.”


The Gipper: “Any time you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we’re denounced as being opposed to their humanitarian goals. It seems impossible to legitimately debate their solutions with the assumption that all of us share the desire to help the less fortunate. They tell us we’re always ‘against,’ never ‘for’ anything.”

Race bait, part I: “If [Puerto Ricans] were all Anglos, I don’t believe the president would have the attitude that he has because you don’t hear that kind of dog whistle of people not wanting to pull themselves up by their bootstrap when the people are Anglos. That’s something reserved for people of color.” —Rep. Al Green

Race bait, part II: “Given the president’s history on race, given the fact that he — a few months ago — said there were good people on both sides when neo-Nazis were marching in Charlottesville, yeah, I think we have a right to be suspect that he is treating the people in Puerto Rico in a different way than he has treated the people of Texas or Florida.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders

For the record: “[The Puerto Rico crisis] is the most logistically challenging event the United States has ever seen, and we have been moving and pushing as fast as the situation allows. Every day, we make progress. Every day, we have some setbacks.” —FEMA Director Brock Long

Never let a crisis go to waste: “Thoughts & prayers are NOT enough. Not when more moms & dads will bury kids this week, & more sons & daughters will grow up without parents. Tragedies like Las Vegas have happened too many times. We need to have the conversation about how to stop gun violence. We need it NOW.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Non Compos Mentis: “The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get. Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.” —Hillary Clinton

And last… “Yesterday: ‘don’t politicize the week-old Puerto Rico tragedy!’ Today: ‘let’s repeal the 2nd amendment before Las Vegas buries its dead.’” —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.