Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 23, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • The Leftmedia’s agenda is simple: Divide and distract. The Gold Star flap is just that.
  • Yet another judicial pronouncement against religious liberty tramples the First Amendment.
  • George Bush got a lot right in his much-ballyhooed speech, but he also missed the point.
  • Fundamentally transforming America, $18 billion at a time.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“If by the liberty of the press were understood merely the liberty of discussing the propriety of public measures and political opinions, let us have as much of it as you please: But if it means the liberty of affronting, calumniating and defaming one another, I, for my part, own myself willing to part with my share of it.” —Benjamin Franklin (1789)

IN BRIEF

The Demo/MSM’s Gold Star Defamation

Last Thursday, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly sought to put to bed a week-long, Leftmedia-driven story of Donald Trump’s phone call to a grieving widow. Kelly rightly called out Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) as an “empty barrel” for her self-promoting politicizing of a sacred, private event — separate from her criticism of Trump’s phone call and exploitation of a widow’s grief — even though he was inaccurate on the details. His point was that Wilson is a grandstanding narcissist who, in the words of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is “all hat, no cattle.” Kelly is exactly right. Ignoring his call for respecting American military personnel killed in action and their grieving loved ones, however, Wilson and her cohorts in the media labeled Kelly’s remarks as racist, demanded an apology for Kelly’s “character assassination,” and further churned an entire weekend’s worth of “news.”

Meanwhile, having already once made this assertion, on Sunday Wilson tweeted that “Niger is [Trump’s] Benghazi. He needs to own it.” Like the good Demo/MSM propaganda outlet that it is, CNN and other Leftmedia outlets took the cue to search for the “massive intelligence failure” in Niger prior to the ambush killings of four Americans. CNN also sought to exploit other grieving Gold Star parents in an attempt to paint Trump as uncaring and un-presidential.

Mark Alexander explains, “CNN is doing everything possible to use the death of four Americans in Niger as political fodder to hack Trump. This time, it’s trotting out a grieving couple whose son was recently killed complete with subtext lines initially targeting Trump. But this family had no intention of letting their son’s death be used as fodder for CNN’s totally disgraceful political charade.”

In continuing to run with this story, CNN and the Leftmedia are not simply continuing their anti-Trump resistance campaign. They are seeking to sow division between military members and Trump, as well as divert attention away from, of all issues, Russia. The Mueller Special Counsel investigation into Russian election meddling has recently turned its focus onto several Democrats. There is also renewed interest being shown over the deal Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made with the Russians to sell them uranium.

Back to that CNN interview — a tearful Sheila Murphy, the mother of a fallen soldier, told the host, “I have no hard feeling towards anyone, because it’s not about me. It’s about my child and all the other countless fallen heroes, and those who are still over there now and the families that are here grieving. … That’s what it’s all about. I don’t want it to be about me or a letter, I want it to be about my child. And what he stood for, and what they’re fighting for over there right now as I speak.” Wise words.

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90-Year-Old WWI Cross Memorial Ruled Unconstitutional

The Fourth Circuit Court recently ruled in a 2-1 decision that a 40-foot tall cross honoring Prince George’s County, Maryland, veterans who died fighting in World War I was unconstitutional because it violates the Establishment Clause. The monument, known as the Peace Cross, was erected in 1925 with funding from local families and The American Legion and it sits on public land. It has been maintained over the years by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, a state agency.

Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory, who was the sole judge voting against the majority decision, stated that the majority “ignores certain elements of the memorial … and confuses maintenance of a highway median and monument in a state park with excessive religious entanglement.” He also said, “This memorial stands in witness to the valor, endurance, courage and devotion of the forty-nine residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland ‘who lost their lives in the Great War for the liberty of the world.’ I cannot agree that a monument so conceived and dedicated and that bears such witness violates the letter or spirit of the very Constitution these heroes died to defend.”

In its ruling the court rejected the argument that since Arlington National Cemetery contains overt displays of religious symbols, specifically crosses, and is public land, that removing the Peace Cross would set a precedent that would eventually require the removal of those religious symbols as well. Judge Stephanie Thacker said that the difference here is one of size, “The crosses there are much smaller than the 40-foot tall monolith at issue here,” she said. “And, significantly, Arlington National Cemetery displays diverse religious symbols, both as monuments and on individual headstones.”

So, once again the First Amendment declaration that government should not establish any one religion is used to eliminate the free exercise of it. Moreover, the symbol of the cross is understood to be synonymous with sacrifice, an entirely appropriate symbol to use to recognize the ultimate sacrifice these men gave in service to their country. It’s a shame that the prejudicial offense of the few should so limit the freedom of expression for the entire country.

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Top Headlines

  • GOP tax plan could raise GDP by 5%, wages by 7% (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • Mueller shifts to Tony Podesta, Democratic lobbying firm (The Hill)

  • FBI watched, then acted as Russian spy moved closer to Hillary Clinton (The Hill)

  • Jimmy Carter: Media tougher on Trump than any other president in memory (Fox News)

  • EPA chief set to bar government-funded experts from agency’s science panels (The Daily Signal)

  • Melania Trump cuts bloated first lady payroll from Michelle Obama days (Fox News)

  • Trump will allow release of classified JFK assassination files (Washington Examiner)

  • Americans are retiring later, dying sooner and sicker in-between (Bloomberg)

  • Students love Trump’s tax plan — when they’re told it’s Sanders’ plan (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • Humor: Attempting to understand these NFL protests (Chad Prather)

  • Policy: How the electric grid has been compromised (The Washington Times)

  • Policy: What tax reform owes families (Institute for Family Studies)

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

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

Bush’s Speech Was About Three Years Too Late

By Robin Smith

A lot of commentary has been written and spoken about two speeches given on the same day last week by two former presidents using words seeking unity in our republic. Both speeches were rightfully compared and appeared to hit the same targets with pointed rhetoric. President Donald Trump and his agenda (legal immigration enforcement, the repeal of ObamaCare, tax reform and a strong military) won in November 2016, yet Trump and his supporters were the intended targets of words such as bigotry, racism, nativism and bullying. That, in a nutshell, is also why Trump won.

Despite the George W. Bush Foundation’s event in New York City being planned well over a year in advance, his remarks were not. The speech was a significant departure from Bush’s almost stone silence for eight years as Barack Obama fundamentally transformed America through weaponizing government and turning every policy disagreement into an argument about race and bigotry. Now “W” seems pretty comfortable rebuking those who seemed to threaten a doctrine of globalism with a heightened recommitment to American exceptionalism.

Let’s dissect the words of the 43rd president to see where he went wrong and also to give him credit where it’s due.

First, it’s mighty easy to engage in identity politics, whether from the Left, political center or Right. What America witnessed on Thursday was two presidents engaged in identity politics rather than a policy debate. As conservatives know all too well, once you’ve been objectified, marginalized or simply insulted, the other side isn’t looking for a response. That’s the standard operating procedure of the Left these days. America was surprised to find Bush, who suddenly found his voice after two terms of socialism, using the same lexicon of the Left, if for his own different reasons.

By that we mean what National Review’s Rich Lowry meant when he explained, “W. must be appalled by [Trump’s un-presidential behavior], given how he went out of his way to avoid adding unnecessarily to the nation’s political rancor and how deeply — and even, I’d say, sacrificially — he thought about the right way to conduct himself as president.”

Second, just as reliable as the Law of Gravity, when the press lauds a Republican, it’s because said Republican is parroting the exact same insults at the conservative base that come from their leftist talking points. Such were the almost interchangeable comments made by Obama and Bush on Thursday.

The Washington Post was jubilant in noting, “George W. Bush delivered an unexpected and rather eloquent speech against Trumpism and its offshoots on Thursday at a George W. Bush Institute event in New York.”

Now don’t get us wrong — Bush’s speech had some merit. He was quite right that America has benefited from free markets and global alliances and, in most cases, has led in each of these pursuits to achieve economic, national and political security. Yet we do live in a time of peril relative to our constitutional form of government. The United States should be the leader of the free world in modeling civil rights, sound elections, opportunity, education, national security and free and fair trade.

Bush was accurate to declare, “Yet for years, challenges have been gathering to the principles we hold dear. And we must take them seriously.” Trust in many public institutions, chief among them the U.S. government, has severely eroded over the last few decades for any number of reasons, among them the overreach in every area of our lives giving in to the power of special interests, corporate entities and even governments at the expense of the American citizen.

Bush’s own two terms as president seeded the conditions for Obama and, thus, Trump.

“W” was also correct in this proclamation: “We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times, it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization. Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions — forgetting the image of God we should see in each other.”

Somehow, The Washington Post didn’t see that part aimed at the Left.

America’s 43rd president was spot on saying, “Our identity as a nation — unlike many other nations — is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. Being an American involves the embrace of high ideals and civic responsibility.” Yet, within the same speech, he perpetuated the false narrative that legal enforcement of immigration laws and protecting American citizens’ interests from the invasion of those who reject assimilation and have no such regard for civic responsibility is somehow equated with racism.

But let’s take the same Bush speech and hurl it into the atmosphere of 2014. What would’ve been the response of Democrats and the Leftmedia to such terms and statements then? George W. Bush will have to answer as to the reason he sat silent for almost a decade, but deduction and common sense tells us he refused to engage in what would’ve been repackaged as hate speech toward a black president or run the risk of having return fire from a hyper-partisan White House operation that held no punches in every turn to blame Bush.

So why the ease now? Remember when Bush made these statements when asked about his silence on Obama? “You won’t see me out there opining or criticizing my successor,” Bush said in 2010. “I don’t think it does any good. It’s a hard job. He’s got plenty on his agenda,” he said in 2013. “A former president doesn’t need to make it any harder.” In 2014 Bush asserted, “I don’t think it’s good for the country to have a former president undermine a current president; I think it’s bad for the presidency for that matter.”

In 2016, Americans elected an unconventional leader who spoke to the issues of greatest concern to the working class. The political, polished governing class missed it … for decades. Now, those same leaders, attempting to govern in the same manner that was rejected in 2016, are using identical terms to silence an unapproved leader, his agenda and its supporters.

Maybe the best standard to measure Liberty is to see which of these policies — those of the established ruling class, filled with contempt of Trump, versus those of the Trump agenda — actually do open free markets, provide for national security, confront the war on terror and reduce the size of a malignant government.

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

TODAY’S MEME

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

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

Jeff Jacoby: “Coercing workers to pay for representation they don’t want isn’t a benefit. It’s extortion. And it’s particularly galling when those extorted payments are used to fund political speech and public-policy activism that employees have no wish to underwrite. … It should never have come to this. Thomas Jefferson rightly declared long ago that ‘to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.’ Under the First Amendment, it should have been out of the question for government to force public employees to turn over part of their wages to a labor union they don’t belong to — or, for that matter, to any other political, ideological, or special-interest organization. … If unions are to be tolerated in government workplaces, their support and funding must be wholly unforced. Government workers who choose to join and pay dues … are free to exercise their First Amendment rights of speech and association. Equally free should be those who want nothing to do with the union. Free not to join, and free not to pay.”

SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “I’ve learned in Washington that [it’s] the only place where sound travels faster than light.”

Belly laugh of the week: “If you have to win a campaign by dividing people, you’re not going to be able to govern them. You won’t be able to unite them later.” —Divider in Chief Barack Obama

Alpha Jackass: “At least the Taliban were honest enough to say, ‘I’m the guy who’s gonna cut your throat.’ Here, it could be the guy I pass in the corridor who’s going to sign the paper that sends me away for life. We may as well go back to kangaroo courts and lynch mobs.” —confessed deserter Bowe Bergdahl on the U.S. Army

Stopped clock, part I: “I think [NFLers] ought to find a different way to object, to demonstrate. I would rather see all the players stand during the American anthem.” —Jimmy Carter

Stopped clock, part II: “I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about. I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.” —Jimmy Carter

Braying Jenny: “The White House itself is full of white supremacists.” —Rep. Frederica Wilson

Braying Jackass: “We have the most dangerous president in American history and one of the most reactionary Congresses in American history.” —DNC chairman Tom Perez

Well then… “I would tell people, absolutely. After my Donald Trump tweets I deserved that suspension. I deserved it. Like, absolutely I violated the policy, I deserved that suspension. … The only thing I ever apologize for, I put ESPN in a bad spot; I’ll never take back what I said.” —Jemele Hill

And last… “A lot of people, they ask me, you know, a guy from Wisconsin, what’s it like to work with an abrasive New Yorker with a loud mouth? But you know, once you get to know him, Chuck Schumer’s not all that bad.” —Paul Ryan

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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