Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 20, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • John Kelly managed to turn a pathetic political episode into a powerful lesson.
  • An illegal immigrant may just win the right to a taxpayer-funded abortion.
  • Hollywood now laments the monster it created, but without acknowledging its own role.
  • Donald Trump’s tax plan got a boost when the Senate moved on the budget. Stay tuned.
  • Obama’s racial guidelines on school suspensions are still causing problems.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families.” —John Adams (1778)

IN BRIEF

Kelly ‘Stunned’ by Democrat’s Disrespect for the Sacred

By Thomas Gallatin

This is how to handle a situation professionally and respectfully. Earlier this week, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) attacked Donald Trump for being disrespectful and offensive in a phone call to the widow of a fallen soldier. Trump responded by saying that Wilson was lying. Naturally, it was the top story all week.

On Thursday, White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly held a press conference in order to set the record straight, painstakingly describing the process that happens whenever any member of America’s Armed Forces is killed. Here are a few of his statements:

Typically, the only phone calls a family receives are the most important phone calls they could imagine, and that is from their buddies. In my case, hours after my son was killed, his friends were calling us from Afghanistan, telling us what a great guy he was. Those are the only phone calls that really mattered. …

And [President Trump] said to me, “What do I say?” I said to him, “Sir, there’s nothing you can do to lighten the burden on these families.” …

Let me tell you what my best friend, Joe Dunford, told me — because he was my casualty officer. He said, “Kel, [your son Richard, killed in Afghanistan in 2010] was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1%. He knew what the possibilities were because we’re at war. And when he died” — in the four cases we’re talking about, Niger, and my son’s case in Afghanistan — “when he died, he was surrounded by the best men on this Earth: his friends.”

That’s what the president tried to say to four families the other day. I was stunned … and broken-hearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing. A member of Congress who listened in on a phone call from the president of the United States to a young wife, and in his way tried to express that opinion — that [Sgt. La David Johnson was] a brave man, a fallen hero, he knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted. There’s no reason to enlist; he enlisted. And he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be, with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken.

It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation. Absolutely stuns me. And I thought at least that was sacred. You know, when I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases. Life — the dignity of life — is sacred. That’s gone. Religion, that seems to be gone as well.

Gold Star families, I think that left in the convention over the summer. But I just thought the selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die on the battlefield — I just thought that that might be sacred.

Those are powerful words from a man who knows what it is to both serve and to grieve the loss of his own son.

When Rep. Wilson was asked to respond, she said, “Let me tell you what my mother told me when I was little. She said, ‘The dog can bark at the moon all night long, but it doesn’t become an issue until the moon barks back.’”

What? She also had the gall to boast about her own importance in the matter: “I’ll have to tell my kids that I’m a rock star now.”

Jonah Goldberg opined, “It strains all credulity to think that Donald Trump wasn’t trying to be sympathetic and empathetic in that phone call. … The idea that he wasn’t somehow going into this in good faith just strikes me as bizarre and false on its face.” Well, that’s the difference between Democrat charlatans like Wilson and men who’ve served with honor and dignity like Kelly.

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Illegal Minor Gets Abortion Rights Even Americans Don’t Have

By Jordan Candler

Oregon lawmakers aren’t the only ones promoting taxpayer-subsidized death for illegals looking to abort their babies. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan is trying to set an incredibly dangerous precedent in Texas and elsewhere by insisting that illegal immigrant minors can terminate pregnancies at their own discretion and, even worse, at taxpayers’ expense. The baffling ruling was handed down this week in a case involving a 17-year-old minor who entered the U.S. last month and is currently situated in an Office of Refugee Resettlement shelter.

According to Judge Chutkan, “Despite the fact that she’s in this country illegally, she still has constitutional rights.” The judge also claimed: “Plaintiff … will suffer irreparable injury in the form of, at a minimum, increased risk to her health, and perhaps the permanent inability to obtain a desired abortion to which she is legally entitled.” And in a direct effort at stifling the opposition, she exhorted: “Failure to comply with the terms of this Order may result in a finding of contempt.”

According to The Washington Post, “Late Wednesday, however, the Justice Department appealed the case, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to stay District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s ruling.” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton countered Judge Chutkan’s ruling by noting, “No federal court has ever declared that unlawfully-present aliens with no substantial ties to this country have a constitutional right to abortion on demand. If ‘Doe’ prevails in this case, the ruling will create a right to abortion for anyone on earth who enters the U.S. illegally.”

He’s right. But that’s not stopping leftists from advocating abortion on demand, though the Texas case is alarming on a whole new level. As Family Research Council president Tony Perkins points out, “Part of [the government’s] duty is ensuring that our tax dollars don’t fund the taking of innocent human life. After all, this mother’s case is under the care of HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which means that every cent flows through the pro-life Hyde Amendment.”

Not only would a ruling upholding Judge Chutkan’s verdict for illegal minors set an incomprehensible precedent, it may force taxpayers to fund it. Even citizens don’t have that “privilege.” And it’s all because Democrats are making up rules and creating an inviting atmosphere that rewards lawlessness.

As of Friday morning, the initial ruling has been stayed pending another hearing. How this plays out will have profound effects.

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Top Headlines

  • Senate passes $4 trillion budget in crucial step for Trump’s tax overhaul (The Washington Times)

  • Bush slams bigotry, nativism in speech (National Review)

  • Federal court rules World War I memorial cross must be torn down (Fox News)

  • A huge win for cronyism: Scott Pruitt assures Republicans he won’t harm ethanol mandate (Washington Examiner)

  • Grassley calls on DOJ to lift gag order on FBI informant in Russia-uranium-Clinton probe (CNS News)

  • Foiled terror plot raises number of plots, attacks to 98 since 9/11 (The Daily Signal)

  • Transgender charged with raping 10-year-old girl in bathroom (The Daily Wire)

  • ACLU aims to stop transgender bathroom initiative in Montana (Fox News)

  • Sanders to visit Puerto Rico, skip Women’s Convention after backlash (The Hill)

  • Humor: Hollywood confirms plans to continue saying conservatives hate women (The Babylon Bee)

  • Policy: We live in the dystopia young adult fiction warns us about (The Federalist)

  • Policy: The GOP’s bump-stock cop-out (The Washington Post)

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

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

Hollywood Outraged at the Monster It Created

By Brian Mark Weber

Since the counterculture of the 1960s, Hollywood movies and television programs promoting promiscuity, pornography, moral relativism and the objectification of women have saturated our minds. And so it’s fittingly ironic that this smut-driven industry is finally preying on itself amid the still-emerging allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Indeed, Hollywood leftists are going after one of their own, but it’s taken a long time for them to muster the courage to speak out — and some are still clinging to a preposterous defense of this depraved mogul. Apparently, Weinstein has a long track record of using his power to harass and abuse women — and of being protected by hypocritical media powerhouses like The New York Times and NBC News.

What they’ve been protecting isn’t hard to figure out: If you’re a male with political power in DC or star power in Hollywood, you can treat women as you please so long as you stand up for the right causes. Think about it: This system has given us the likes of Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner and now Harvey Weinstein. They all walked the walk and talked the talk when it came to supporting a range of progressive causes.

But let’s not put all the blame on the men. There are plenty of women on the Left who were willing to “stand by their man” as long as their man toed the progressive line on women’s issues. We’re looking at you, Hillary Clinton.

The same people who were indignant over the “Access Hollywood” tape in which Donald Trump boasted about groping women knew all along that there were far more dangerous characters on their side. And yet, just like Hillary Clinton, they remained silent for decades while also silencing, demeaning and destroying any and all victims with the courage to speak out.

What is it about Democrats and their sick propensity to protect and defend the monsters within their own ranks?

Weinstein, of course, is presumed innocent, but let’s not mince words: The behavior of which he’s accused is appalling. Still, we should be careful not to let social media serve as both judge and jury. The understandable desire to convict has in the past destroyed innocent lives.

Michelle Malkin suggests that it’s “irresponsible for news outlets to extrapolate how ‘commonplace’ sexual abuse is based on hashtag trends spread by celebrities, anonymous claimants and bots. The role of the press should be verification, not validation. Instead of interviewing activist actresses, reporters should be interviewing bona fide experts.” Malkin adds, “Rape is a devastating crime. So is lying about it. Ignorant advocates and lazy journalists can be as dangerous as derelict detectives and prosecutors driven by political agendas instead of facts. When #MeToo bandwagons form in the midst of a panic, innocent people get run over.”

Unfortunately, the Left isn’t using the Weinstein situation for self-reflection. Instead of looking within and taking a stand against their culture of sexual predation, leftists seem more intent to attack prominent conservatives who embrace traditional values and morals.

Indeed, the real problem with the Left’s indignation is that it’s grossly hypocritical. Apparently, Weinstein’s enablers would often deliberately leave him alone with a target to do whatever he liked. And yet consider all the criticism Vice President Mike Pence received when it was reported that he doesn’t dine with a woman alone if his wife isn’t present. Progressives characterized Pence as a chauvinist, as an oppressor of women — all while Weinstein was “grooming” his next victim.

Clearly, there’s a lesson here, but our decline into moral oblivion goes unchecked. In response to the #MeToo hashtag movement, actress Mayim Bialik wrote this in an op-ed for The New York Times: “I still make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise. I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with. I dress modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy.”

Oops.

Leftist outrage over Bialik’s common sense statement was immediate and powerful enough to force a complete reversal of her position. And that’s the problem. The “anything goes” mindset is what creates people like Harvey Weinstein. The Left demands accountability on occasion, but not modesty or decency.

This is what the ‘60s counterculture has given us. Traditional marriage is oppressive and discriminatory. Porn is ever present, even among our children. Men are welcomed into women’s bathrooms (and one has been charged with raping a 10-year-old). Gender is subjective. Heather has Two Mommies is actually the title of a children’s book, and a drag queen “demon” reads books to children at school. Even pedophilia is normalized.

In January, a headline in the Los Angeles times read, “Has Hollywood lost touch with American values?” Ya think? It only took decades for someone on the Left to consider the possibility that Hollywood is out of sync with the rest of us.

Remember how many celebrated the life of Hugh Hefner, a man whose Playboy magazine promoted exactly the kind of objectification of women that fed men like Weinstein.

Patrick Trueman considers Hefner’s legacy as “an unlimited supply of pornography on the Internet, a myriad of harms have taken the country by storm: sexual addictions and disorders, damaged and broken relationships, sexting, child-on-child sexual abuse, revenge porn, increased rape on college campuses and the military, rampant sexual objectification of women in popular culture, psychological effects such as anxiety and depression, and the list goes on.”

Going after Harvey Weinstein isn’t going to stop sexual abuse in Hollywood, and a Twitter hashtag campaign won’t change decades of cultural rot, just as wearing an AIDS ribbon won’t cure the disease, nor condemning child slavery will end the practice, nor an artful photo spread of an inner-city neighborhood will solve crime, poverty, drug-addiction and fatherlessness.

In the 1980s, none other than Sen. Ted Kennedy viciously attacked Robert Bork’s candidacy for the Supreme Court. Conservatives knew that a Kennedy lashing out at anyone over morals and values was gross hypocrisy. As Bork titled his book, we really are Slouching Towards Gomorrah.

It only took 50 years for Hollywood to figure it out.

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TODAY’S MEME

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

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

TODAY’S CARTOON

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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

Mona Charen: “I could easily sign onto the #MeToo campaign. Sexual harassment cost me a summer job in college. But the 'men equal bad, women equal good’ slogan is a bit too simplistic. I’ve seen my share of women behaving badly, too. Older women very seldom demand sexual favors from younger men (sorry, Hanna Rosin), but I’ve seen young women use sex to get ahead in workplaces, sometimes targeting other women’s husbands. And I’ve known men of all backgrounds, religious affiliations and political views who were perfect gentlemen not because they were feminists but because they were raised right. A more realistic approach to sexual misbehavior would be to acknowledge that the temptation is always there. Most men aren’t predators — but why make it easier for those who are by pretending that a business meeting in a hotel room is anything other than wrong? Even in offices, an open door is a good policy when a man and woman are alone. Perhaps the slogan we need — for both sexes — is #BeDecent.”

SHORT CUTS

Observations: “With organic divisions comes gridlock, and with gridlock comes an enticement to act outside the process. So, one hopes that Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch and judges elsewhere who take both separation of power and the dangers of the administrative state seriously will help mitigate some of this future abuse. … For those who argue that all of this is nothing more than a malevolent effort to sabotage the Obama administration’s accomplishments, perhaps there is a lesson to be learned: Your legacy is going to be a rickety mess if you build it using imperious diktats rather than consensus.” —David Harsanyi

Upright: “It strains all credulity to think that Donald Trump wasn’t trying to be sympathetic and empathetic in that phone call. … The idea that he wasn’t somehow going into this in good faith just strikes me as bizarre and false on its face.” —Jonah Goldberg

Braying Jenny: “You mean to tell me that I’ve become so important that the White House is following me and my words? This is amazing. That’s amazing. I’ll have to tell my kids that I’m a rock star now.” —Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) laughing it up after she politicized Trump’s phone call to a grieving widow

Exactly: “Well, I don’t know the answer to that.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders when pressed by Sen. Ted Cruz, “What is the difference between a socialist and a Democrat on taxes?”

Novel concept: “I grew up in a time when it was as much the woman’s responsibility as a man’s — how you were dressed, what your behavior was. I’m from the old school that you can have behaviors that appear to be inviting. It can be interpreted as such. That’s the responsibility, I think, of the female.” —Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)


Non Compos Mentis: “[James Comey’s] an honest guy, and the determination that he made [regarding Clinton’s malfeasance] … is based on the facts, based on his interpretation of the law, and it was nothing more than that. It was a good-faith assessment by a person who I think has done a lot for this country.” —Eric Holder

And last… “2004 Dems: Bush is Hitler. 2012 Dems: Romney killed a woman with cancer. 2017 Dems: Why can’t Trump be like Bush or Mitt?” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher