Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 17, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • More cops were killed in the line of duty in 2016. What conclusions can be drawn?
  • The NFL protests are so watered down by leftist grievances as to be meaningless.
  • While Trump has made some welcome changes to ObamaCare, the law is still Obama’s.
  • After 16 years in Afghanistan, what’s next?
  • Gun rights are women’s rights — take it from a gun-owning woman.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“Liberty is not to be enjoyed, indeed it cannot exist, without the habits of just subordination; it consists, not so much in removing all restraint from the orderly, as in imposing it on the violent.” —Fisher Ames (1801)

IN BRIEF

More Cops Killed in the Line of Duty — Why?

By Nate Jackson

The FBI released its annual report on law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty Monday, and there are some noteworthy statistics and observations. Some 118 officers were killed in 2016, up 37% from the 86 who died in 2015. More troublesome, however, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions noted in a statement, “We saw a staggering 61 percent increase in the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty because of a felony (66 killed feloniously, up from 41 in 2015), and on average, more than 150 officers were assaulted in the line of duty every single day. These numbers are as shocking as they are unacceptable.” Indeed, that’s a worrisome increase, especially in tandem with the FBI’s crime statistics, which have also risen.

There is one caveat: The number of officers feloniously killed in each of the last 10 years has varied substantially. Beginning in 2007, the numbers are 58, 41, 48, 56, 72, 49, 27, 51, 41 and 66. There don’t seem to be any obvious conclusions to draw from that pattern.

Nevertheless, we’ll make some observations.

Police officers are human and thus have the same tendencies toward abusing power or misbehaving as anyone else. In the age of body cameras and ubiquitous cell phone videos, we’re going to see what seems like more of this from a few bad apples than in years past. Community distrust can then be expected to rise.

But officers are by and large just trying to uphold the law while making it home to their families each night. They deserve our respect and support, not our disdain and protest.

To the latter, Barack Obama’s war on cops has been not only a factually wrong and reprehensible political charade leading to obnoxious public displays like the NFL protests, it has been violent and deadly as inner city thugs channel that hate into rioting and the murder of police officers. If cops aren’t killed, they’re assaulted. No matter what they do, it seems, they’re accused of racism. The result has been what’s dubbed the “Ferguson Effect” — a reduction in policing followed by a substantial rise in crime, particularly in Democrat-run major cities.

While the statistics don’t reveal an indisputable conclusion, we do know that law-abiding citizens don’t kill cops. And the cop-killers do tend to be constituents of one particular political party.

“Every law enforcement officer goes to work knowing that today might be his or her last,” Sessions said. “Our law enforcement deserves the support of the people they serve. Fortunately we have a President who understands this.”

Comment | Share

Kaepernick, Clinton and the Anti-America Message

By Thomas Gallatin

What exactly are those NFL players protesting? Racism? Cops? The flag? The national anthem? Some ill-defined perception of systematic injustice? America itself? After Colin Kaepernick started the whole fiasco last football preseason when he sat pouting on the bench, it seems at that moment even he had no clear idea what he was protesting, or even that he was protesting at all. Was Kaepernick motivated by some altruistic concern over the lack of justice, or was he frustrated by his own playing situation? Due to poor play, he had lost the starting quarterback job the season prior, a precipitous fall after having led the San Francisco 49ers to Super Bowl XLVIII. But his sitting on the bench during the national anthem happened to be caught on camera and questions were quickly raised. Only then came Kaepernick’s explanation that his refusal to stand for the anthem was out of protest against police brutality and racial injustice, among other things. Thus a Leftmedia “hero” was born to rally folks to the anti-America social “justice” cause.

An example that exposes the lack of a cohesive message or understanding among the players themselves comes from former NFL wide receiver Donté Stallworth. The now CNN reporter explained the message confusion: “[Players are] telling me it’s also about the gender pay gap, it’s also about housing discrimination — they have so many things that they are interested in and advocating for.” If the supposed pay gap is an issue, it’s ironic that no NFL cheerleaders have seen fit to join the players in protesting the anthem.

The trouble is that as the kneeling fad spread throughout the NFL, most fans and much of the country were rightly offended by this disrespectful display. Rather than any kind of specific and relatable social problem, it shouldn’t have been surprising that protesting the flag and anthem, no matter what the cause, was perceived as hating America.

When Donald Trump, with his finger on the pulse of much of Middle America, publicly blasted players who were protesting the flag, NFL ratings, which were already down, took a nosedive. The NFL commissioner responded by issuing a memo pressing players to stand.

But Hillary Clinton, evidently still striving for relevancy, recently weighed in on the kneeling protests. On Monday, while at a literature festival in London, Hillary said that people should resist “what are very clear dog-whistles” by Trump. She continued, “That’s what black athletes kneeling was all about. That’s not against our anthem or our flag.” She even opined, “Actually, kneeling is a reverent position. It was to demonstrate in a peaceful way against racism and injustice in our criminal system.”

Trump responded, “Well, that’s why she lost the election. I mean, honestly, it’s that thinking — that is the reason she lost the election. When you go down and take a knee … for our great national anthem, you’re disrespecting our flag and you’re disrespecting our country. … I think that her statement in itself is very disrespectful to our country.”

And that is exactly the point that Clinton, Democrats and the Left don’t seem to understand. The political brand they are attempting to sell to Americans is one that is in essence anti-American. Telling Americans that they are the problem, that their freedoms amount to social “injustice” and need to be increasingly limited, that to be patriotic and proud of one’s country is to be bigoted and racist — that message just doesn’t ring true for much of America. It is not a sin to be an American.

Comment | Share

Top Headlines

  • FBI confirms Comey drafted letter on Clinton email investigation before completing interviews (Fox News)

  • FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow (The Hill)

  • Trump says drug czar nominee Tom Marino is withdrawing after opioid investigation (The Washington Post)

  • New report: GOP tax reform could boost household income by $4,000 (The Daily Signal)

  • Trump, McConnell pledge unity on tax reform, health care after feud (Fox News)

  • Feminists bash actress for saying she tries to “dress modestly,” doesn’t “act flirtatiously” (Fox News)

  • Drag Queen Story Hour at the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library in LA (CBS Los Angeles)

  • Toronto school district to remove “chief” from job titles because it’s a microaggression (National Review)

  • Apple executive sorry for saying white people can bring diversity (The Washington Times)

  • EPA head seeks to avoid settlements with green groups (Reuters)

  • Policy: Environmentalist policies are exacerbating wildfires (The Daily Signal)

  • Policy: A stop to unconstitutional subsidy payments (E21)

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.

Comment | Share

Don’t Miss Patriot Humor

Check out Flag Protest.

If you’d like to receive Patriot Humor by email, update your subscription here.

FEATURED ANALYSIS

ObamaCare Is Still Obama’s

By Robin Smith

It’s been said that since ObamaCare became law, the U.S. government is now a health insurance company that fields a military. Sadly, that’s not far off the mark and is an affront to those who understand the Constitution and personal liberty.

Pitifully, a growing population turns first to the government to solve their problems, such as health insurance coverage, despite the enumerated powers laid out by the Law of the Land. Now we have a very large sector of America’s economy that is manipulated by government rules, regulation and control that standardizes inefficiencies and ineffectiveness, not to mention inflates costs.

The good news is President Donald Trump acted last week to halt illegal subsidies paid from the U.S. Treasury to insurance companies to cover their losses and, ostensibly, to keep premiums lower. Naturally, the #VeryFakeNews media has been in hyperdrive to frame the narrative of the Hateful Republican President who is killing people by taking away their health care through the wrongful use of an executive order.

Let’s apply the truth to the hyperventilating Left and the insurance companies that spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying for this failed policy and who are now trying to cover up the need for billions in taxpayer bailouts — a.k.a. in bureaucratic-ese, cost-sharing reduction payments.

Fact: In the original “Affordable” Care Act, a risk pool of funding was created to pay insurance companies for potential losses and subsidize low-income patients. But, when the losses were totaling hundreds of millions of dollars because young, healthy individuals didn’t take the carrot/stick to pay high premiums for insurance with an enormous out-of-pocket deductible to finance the expansion of Medicaid and artificially lower premium costs for the sick, that risk pool ran dry. This explains the sky-high annual premium increases since ObamaCare took effect.

Fact: Since the risk pool was woefully inadequate to cover losses and to reimburse commercial insurance companies for the mandated low-cost premiums for some, Barack Obama made an appropriation request of the Congress that was not approved. In response, he used his pen to do it anyway — an action deemed illegal by a federal district court in 2016. The ruling came after a 2014 lawsuit filed by the House challenging the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments as lacking a specific, legal appropriation.

With his phone and his pen, Obama, the once-constitutional lecturer, overstepped the Constitution’s declaration that “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law…” The Appropriations Clause, as he should know, enumerates the power of the purse to lie in Congress, not by an imperial attempting to salvage his signature legislation.

Fact: These cost-sharing reduction payments, being illegal, were rightfully halted by President Trump with the issue returned to Congress to address. So, despite the dripping hatred from leftists who cannot get over the loss of their coroneted queen, Trump acted in a constitutional manner to correct a wrong.

Relentless in their aim, the Left parrots false statements to grip the GOP with fear. That includes the usual Democrat/media claims that Republicans hate poor people and are trying to kill them just as 2018 ObamaCare enrollment opens on Nov. 1.

Again, the antidote to a plague of lies is a big dose of truth with the disinfectant of sunshine.

In news accounts that began seeping into the public back in the summer as insurance companies were making premium cost projections, the “uncertainty” of the CSR payments pushed some state insurance regulators to have commercial insurers include in their projected premium cost increases the absence of these subsidies or at least submit two projections — one with the CSR and one without.

So, another fact: According to the American Academy of Actuaries July publication, attributed to next year’s premium costs much of the requested increases already made this year. Get that? States like Tennessee approved premium increases this summer to account for the elimination of the CSR payments.

But here’s the part that really disrupts the narrative of folks like those who penned the Oct. 12 Bloomberg editorial, “Trump’s Healthcare Wrecking Ball.” The hypoxic-inducing tantrums that Trump’s move will hurt the poor by shifting costs to the sickest patients, while schizophrenically declaring in the same article that the healthy subsidize the sick, are simply false.

Back to the July American Academy of Actuaries, which notes, “Although those who receive premium subsidies would be insulated from the full increase in premiums, nonsubsidized enrollees would face the full increase, potentially affecting their enrollment behavior and therefore the morbidity of the risk pool” if the CSR payments were to be eliminated.

While President Trump eliminated the illegal payments from the U.S. Treasury to insurance companies, the law still demands that insurance companies offer lower premiums based on income. So, by law, insurance companies must keep prices artificially low for some with the nonsubsidized enrollees paying full price. Again, according to the Actuaries, those forced into buying government-sanctioned insurance with no subsidies “would face the full increase.”

Let’s sum this up. A law empowering government to control health insurance is failed policy and law. Using taxpayer money to make illegal payments to private insurance companies to correct flaws in the law has rightfully been halted with the issue returned to Congress for action. Failing ObamaCare is still in place despite more than seven years of GOP promises to repeal and replace the law, and despite the president’s smart moves to inject free-market, consumer-driven controls into the health insurance market.

ObamaCare should now be called ObamaScare considering the frightful tactics of the Left to attempt to affix wrongful blame. But notwithstanding attempts to hang it around Republican necks, this law will forever be the dud prize of Obama and Democrats. It’s now up to Republicans to restore the order of a constitutional government and work with a president whose agenda is overwhelmingly supported by Americans to replace a failed law with effective policy.

Comment | Share

Share

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

Share

For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

OPINION IN BRIEF

Gary Bauer: “Hillary Clinton took her book tour overseas this weekend. During an interview with the BBC, Clinton was asked about the Harvey Weinstein scandal and her relationship with the progressive megadonor. At first, Clinton deflected, saying that Weinstein’s behavior was ‘just disgusting and the stories that have come out are just heartbreaking.’ Hillary added, ‘I really commend the women who have been willing to step forward now and tell their stories.’ Then, she went on the attack, saying: ‘I think it’s important that we not just focus on him and … his behavior but that we recognize that this kind of behavior cannot be tolerated anywhere, whether it’s in entertainment [or] politics. After all, we have someone admitting to be a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office.’ Correction, Hillary. We HAD a president like that in the Oval Office and his name is Bill. And let’s remember who led the charge to discredit and demonize the courageous women who stepped forward to tell the truth about Bill Clinton. That was Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “One sword keeps another in the sheath.” —George Herbert (1593-1633)

Political futures: “If we don’t cut taxes and we don’t eventually repeal and replace ObamaCare, then we’re going to lose across the board in the House in 2018. And all of my [Senate] colleagues running in primaries in 2018 will probably get beat. … Mitch McConnell is not our problem. Our problem is that we promised to repeal and replace ObamaCare, and we failed. We promised to cut taxes, and we’ve yet to do it. If we’re successful, Mitch McConnell is fine. If we’re not, we’re all in trouble, we lose our majority, and I think President Trump will not get re-elected.” —Sen. Lindsey Graham

Musings: “You no doubt have heard the Santayana quote, ‘Those who do cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.’ I can’t help but wonder if those who did worst in history class are determined to destroy it, because it reminds them of their inadequacies.” —Jim Geraghty

Non Compos Mentis: “It’s not just [about] police brutality and community policing. … It’s also about the gender pay gap. It’s also about housing discrimination. They have so many things that they are interested in and advocating for and they want the NFL to take ownership in and help be able to use the NFL’s platform.” —former NFL receiver Donté Stallworth on what players tell him they’re protesting

The BIG Lie: “When women are elected to the United States Senate … we do face an extra barrier that men do not. When a man is elected to the Senate, it’s assumed that he belongs there. My experience has been that we women have to prove that we belong there, and once we do that, we’re accepted.” —Sen. Susan Collins

Belly laugh of the week: “If [Paul] Ryan became President because the Trump/Pence campaign committed treason, who should he nominate as his Vice President? The answer seems unavoidable: He should nominate the person defeated by the treason of his own party, and then step aside, and let her become the President.” —Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig

And last… “My woke 8-year-old asked me why do consumers of social media fabricate third parties to propagate falsehoods and signal their hyperawareness.” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

Comment | Share

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. We also humbly ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher