Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 27, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Trump administration settles with Tea Party groups targeted by Obama.
  • The JFK assassination document dump doesn’t settle the long-brewing controversy.
  • What’s in a Halloween costume? All kinds of racism, if you believe the Left.
  • A Leftmedia mogul visits “flyover country” and finds … normal and likeable people.
  • There’s a taxing debate over 401(k)s and retirement savings.
  • Why didn’t the Big Bang create and then destroy the universe? Settled science!
  • The illegal minor’s abortion is a loss for everyone.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“States, like individuals, who observe their engagements, are respected and trusted: while the reverse is the fate of those who pursue an opposite conduct.” —Alexander Hamilton (1790)

IN BRIEF

Gov’t Settles With Tea Party Groups for IRS Targeting

By Thomas Gallatin

On Thursday, the U.S. government apologized for the IRS scandal of illegally targeting Tea Party groups during the Obama administration. Barack Obama’s enemies list sidelined literally hundreds of conservative organizations looking to exercise their free speech rights during the 2012 election. Attorney General Jeff Session slammed “the last administration,” saying that the targeting “was wrong and should never have occurred.” Sessions continued, “There is no excuse for this conduct. Hundreds of organizations were affected by these actions, and they deserve an apology from the IRS.” Indeed, though if Obama won re-election because of this weaponization of government, an apology is woefully inadequate.

The government reached a “very substantial” settlement agreement in a class action lawsuit that had been brought by more than 400 conservative groups illegally targeted by the IRS. Edward Greim, the lawyer representing the targeted groups, said, “A true reckoning is finally up to the agency itself. Until the IRS itself steps forward to admit what really happened, we cannot have faith that the same abuse won’t be repeated again.”

While this settlement is indeed a win for those who suffered under Obama’s politicized IRS, it does not close the book on the issue. Several new filings have been raised that specifically single out the former IRS director of Exempt Organizations, Lois Lerner, for her role in “failing” to stop the targeting by IRS employees. Recall that in 2015 a joint Justice Department and FBI investigation found “substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia,” and yet dubiously “found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.”

Tom Zawistowski, head of the Portage County Tea Party in Ohio, believes that Lerner should have faced criminal charges for her role in attempting to hide the agency’s activity while still approving of the targeting tactics. To date no evidence has come to light directly linking the IRS targeting scandal with the Obama White House — nor will it, thanks to a deft use of cutouts and other tactics to avoid leaving fingerprints.

And this is what so frustrates many Americans. When laws have been clearly violated, those in Washington who are guilty of having violated the law are seemingly immune to having to face any criminal liability or accountability. Lerner is enjoying a lucrative retirement. The scandal is simply swept under the rug and business continues as usual. This is why the swamp must be drained, as more and more Americans have lost their faith in government.

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JFK Documents Released Amidst Continuing Cloud

By Nate Jackson

On Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a procession in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald was quickly identified as the assassin, though he himself was killed after being taken into custody. And there are few events in American history that have ginned up as many conspiracy theories — including Donald Trump’s outlandish charge during the GOP presidential primary that Raphael Cruz, Ted Cruz’s father, was involved.

Thus it was big news when, on Thursday, President Trump released 2,800 records on Kennedy’s assassination but delayed the release of thousands more, evidently under pressure from the CIA and FBI so as not to harm national security. The remaining documents will be reviewed over the next 180 days, after which there’s no guarantee they’ll see the light of day. The release was in compliance with a law signed in 1992 by George H.W. Bush.

The Washington Post reports, “Researchers had hoped the release would shed new light on Oswald’s movements and contacts in the months before he shot Kennedy. Historians were particularly eager for new details of Oswald’s six-day trip to Mexico City, where he met with Cubans and Soviets two months before the assassination. None of those documents appeared to be in the batch released Thursday.”

In fact, no documents released Thursday undermined the conclusion of the Warren Commission that Oswald acted alone, and yet a majority of Americans continue to believe there was a wider plot. Perhaps that’s because part of the unveiled material included this from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover: “The thing I am concerned about … is having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin.” That was likely just an observation, but those inclined to disbelieve the government may always wonder if it was an imperative.

A president must make different decisions than a presidential candidate, and the CIA may be correct about not wanting to reveal assets or methods, even more than 50 years later. But we remain puzzled by the shroud of secrecy surrounding JFK’s assassination and think the whole country would benefit from more transparency.

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Top Headlines

  • First reading on third-quarter GDP up 3.0%, vs 2.5% rise expected (CNBC)

  • FBI to turn over anti-Trump dossier documents to Congress next week (The Washington Times)

  • Premiums rising 34% for most popular ObamaCare plan (ABC News)

  • Trump declares opioids a U.S. public health emergency (Reuters)

  • Noncitizen immigrants voted illegally in Pennsylvania elections (The Daily Signal)

  • OMB: Top 20% pay 95% of taxes, middle class “single digits” (Washington Examiner)

  • Scathing report reveals ICE directive encouraging agents to seize property for financial gain (The Daily Signal)

  • Trump’s border wall prototypes unveiled (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • ESPN heading for more painful layoffs (Sporting News)

  • Catalonia lawmakers declare independence from Spain in defiant vote (The Washington Post)

  • Policy: Why Trump (rightly) won’t declare opioids a “national emergency” (National Review)

  • Policy: Cutting corporate tax rate to 20% projected to create nearly 600k jobs, lift wages and GDP (Tax Foundation)

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

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

The Politically Correct Halloween Horror Show

By Lewis Morris

The Left has done a fine job of taking the fun out of just about everything by injecting movies, television, sports, holidays and so much more with its politically correct groupthink. Halloween appears to be the latest target of its manufactured rage.

Writing for a blog called “Raising Race Conscious Children (the title alone says it all),” Sachi Feris goes on at length about how she twisted herself in knots over whether her daughter should dress as Disney’s Moana for Halloween. Her issue was that she feared her white daughter would be engaging in “cultural appropriation” by dressing up as the Polynesian character. Then Feris wondered if her daughter should be dressing up as Elsa from “Frozen,” because that would be flaunting white privilege.

As a side note, you may be wondering what the heck “cultural appropriation” even means. Wikipedia defines this leftist concoction as follows: “Cultural appropriation is the adoption of the elements of one culture by members of another culture. … Cultural elements which may have deep meaning to the original culture may be reduced to ‘exotic’ fashion or toys by those from the dominant culture.”

Well then.

Feris’ article sparked both imitation and mockery across the Internet. Redbook wrote a piece later republished by Cosmopolitan that scolds parents about the dangers of racism inherent in letting your kids dress up as characters of another race for Halloween. Redbook’s editors pontificate, “This isn’t about putting a damper on your kid’s creativity; it’s about exercising sensitivity towards anyone who doesn’t get to choose how the world at large sizes them up. Whether or not your kids get that is up to you.”

This seems like a lot of stress over a holiday that is basically about letting kids dress up as comic characters and going door to door in their neighborhood begging for candy. But to the “microaggressed” Left, it’s just one more opportunity to try to exercise control over society.

For years, Disney was the target of race-baiters for not having enough diversity in its character catalogue. Now that the entertainment conglomerate is expanding its range of characters, the race-baiters are saying that white kids should not pretend to be those characters because it’s cultural appropriation. This is typical of leftists, though. They are constantly moving the goalposts because their philosophy feeds on and thus foments discord and hatred.

For any adult who stops and thinks rationally for two seconds, labeling parents as racially insensitive for letting their children dress up as a character from a different race for Halloween goes too far. It doesn’t show respect for different racial groups. In fact, it further segregates them. It doesn’t celebrate different cultures or show respect for them. It just keeps people divided in politically convenient little tribes.

Why shouldn’t a kid be allowed to dress up as Moana if she’s white? Does this also mean that black girls can’t dress up as Elsa? Does a boy have to be of Northern European heritage to be Thor? (Never mind that Thor’s now a woman in Marvel’s comics…) Where does it end?

On the humorous side, blogger Matt Walsh has 9 Tips To Avoid Being A Racist Bigot This Halloween. From avoiding costumes of characters outside your race to avoiding them within your race, from avoiding costumes made in historically oppressed regions to avoiding costumes you buy at the store, Walsh eventually gets to the “logical” conclusion of leftist insanity: “Avoid costumes.” But not only that, you have to “Avoid avoiding costumes.”

Feris, Redbook and their ilk insist that parents have conversations with their children about race. But what they are really asking parents to do is teach their kids that skin color is everything; that you must constantly be thinking about a person’s race. This is not the world we want to raise children to live in. The real lesson here is that the amount of melanin in someone’s skin is not a basis for judging their character or for making decisions about how you treat them. And let kids be kids. If they want to dress up as Moana or Elsa, let them do it. And have a Happy Halloween.

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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.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

OPINION IN BRIEF

David Harsanyi: “While Clinton’s plans for the presidency did indeed fail, I’ve been informed on numerous occasions that a foreign attack on our democratic process is tantamount to a declaration of war. I mean, we know that Clinton has been tied to Russian uranium interests going back to 2009, but this all happened just last year. Surely, those who are ready to condemn Attorney General Jeff Sessions for attending the same party as a Russian diplomat are somewhat concerned about the DNC hiring a firm that was actively attempting to weaken the Magnitsky Act during a national election. Now, some of us believe much of the Russia scare is a politically motivated effort to undermine the legitimacy of an election. Voting totals were never ‘hacked.’ Not one vote was manipulated. Americans still possess free will. On the other hand, there’s no doubt Russia would love to instigate unrest in the United States. Democrats have been telling us this for a year. So those who automatically dismiss this inconvenient Fusion GPS story as irrelevant only reveal that they were never very serious about the Russian interference in the first place.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.” —Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

For the record: “Conflating a 93-year-old man’s actions with those of Weinstein and others, to lump it in with the #metoo Twitter campaign, is just wrong. Then again, we’re now politicizing the deaths of American soldiers, with lawmakers in cowboy hats calling the president a liar over whether he remembered the slain soldier’s name, so perhaps it’s just the times. And sad times they are, indeed.” —Joseph Curl

Victimhood award: “[Rep. Frederica Wilson] spent this week in [her Florida] district because of concerns about her safety in the aftermath of the feud that President Trump started with her. … Calls have run the gamut from racist and rude to outright menacing. It is only because of these extraordinary circumstances that to her dismay she did not travel to Washington to vote.” —Joyce Jones, Wilson’s spokeswoman, on the feud that Wilson started for political gain

Belly laugh of the week: “[The Uranium One probe] is a partisan effort to distract. It’s a partisan effort aligned with what the White House has been urging, and Fox and Breitbart, and which there was no consultation with the Democrats in Congress. And I think that tells you all need to know about whether this is good faith or not.” —Rep. Adam Schiff

Dud of a bombshell: “While I have never publicly discussed it before today, I have been aware for some time that I was targeted by Russian operatives whose interests were aligned with Donald Trump.” —Rep. Maxine Waters

And last… “As special counsel, Mueller has conflicts all over the place, including his personal ties to Comey (who was Mueller’s favorite to succeed him at the FBI in 2013) and by the fact that he headed the FBI during the time that Hillary was engaged in soliciting donations, selling access to the office of the secretary of state, and officially approving the highly questionable Uranium One deal. … It’s time to let special counsel Robert Mueller go, and dismantle the Russian investigation he leads.” —Investor’s Business Daily

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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