IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Another radical Islamist went on a murderous rampage. The connection is obvious, right?
- Memo to Time‘s editors: Trump’s government wrecking ball is a feature, not a bug.
- Health care spending is incredibly wasteful, and the real costs are unknown.
- ObamaCare enrollment is open again. It could be underwhelming.
- Is antifa colluding with the Islamic State? A new book says the FBI thinks so.
- The latest on the dustup over Russian Facebook ads.
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“It is a principle incorporated into the settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute.” —James Madison (1816)
By Nate Jackson
Eight people were murdered and 11 injured in New York City Tuesday in the latest jihadi terrorist attack with a truck. Five of the victims were Argentine citizens, and another was Belgian. Not surprisingly, witnesses say the suspect yelled “Allahu Akbar!” as he exited the rented truck/murder weapon. Fox News reports, “The man accused of plowing into New York pedestrians Tuesday had a printout of an ISIS flag in his car and left behind handwritten notes pledging his loyalty to the Islamic State, as a clearer picture emerged Wednesday morning of Sayfullo Saipov’s alleged links to the terror group.” Police shot him and he remains in the hospital.
So another radical Islamist went on a murderous rampage. Surely, the connection is obvious … right?
“All the evidence we have suggests that he was acting alone,” New York’s Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo insisted. “The so-called ‘Lone Wolf syndrome.’” Except Cuomo then proceeded to contradict his own assertion, adding correctly, “You have to remember a couple of years ago [the Islamic State] telegraphed this — that they were going to individual acts, they said, ‘Use a knife, use a car, use a truck, use whatever you can get.’ That’s what this was.”
But then he went back to his first position of willful blindness and obfuscation: “We have no evidence whatsoever that this was anything other than a person acting individually. We have no evidence that it’s connected to anyone or anything, or there are any follow-up measures.”
Never mind the evidence Cuomo had just presented. Indeed, Saipov used the same method and vile catchphrase that so many other jihadis have used and promoted.
Let’s be clear, again. There is no such thing as a “lone wolf” jihadi attacker. As Mark Alexander explained, “These attacks and those to come were and will be directly tied to worldwide Jihad by way of the Qur'an, the foundational fabric linking all Islamist violence.”
Not all Democrats are so blind as Cuomo. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said, “We have to expect that as the capital of the [Islamic State] caliphate has now fallen, there are going to be increasing efforts to show that they remain dangerous and lethal, and to expand the virtual caliphate.”
Uzbekistan, Saipov’s country of origin, increasingly has become a hotbed for Islamic State recruiting. And Saipov came to the United States seven years ago under the Diversity Visa Program, which President Donald Trump and the GOP aim to eliminate.
Trump responded to the attack on Twitter, saying, “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!” Furthermore, he said, “I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!”
Not when lives are at stake.
Footnote: As if the Islamic State weren’t enough of a problem, there are new reports of its collusion with antifa…
By Jordan Candler
Big government defenders at Time magazine are lamenting the Trump administration’s focus on government deregulation. Using what they thought was a derogatory term, Time editors’ latest cover story directs their ire at “The Wrecking Crew” by complaining that “Trump’s Cabinet is dismantling government as we know it.” Oh, the humanity!
What, pray tell, do Time‘s editors imagine he was elected to do?
Newsbusters’ Tom Blumer writes, “Separate reports singled out EPA Director Scott Pruitt, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and HUD Secretary Ben Carson for scrutiny.” He observes, “Of course, none of Time‘s four articles pointed out that 'government as we know it’ has gone from spending just over $2 trillion per year to just shy of $4 trillion in the past 20 years. After taking inflation into account, that’s a 41 percent increase in real terms. Today’s ‘government as we know it’ doesn’t accomplish much more than it did 20 years ago — unless getting in the way of progress is considered an accomplishment.”
It’s a systemic problem, reaching far and wide in all aspects of government. For example: The federal government for decades has encroached on our education system and allocated billions of additional dollars to improve grades. The results are … underwhelming. Not only are grades not improving, but the increasingly dire situation in inner city schools has spurred the school choice movement. And who can blame the parents? In fairness, Time does give Betsy DeVos accolades for emphasizing a return to due process on the issue of campus rape. Nevertheless, as the cover bemoans, she is a member of “The Wrecking Crew” and must be stopped.
The same goes for Ben Carson. Time does ask the question, “How can the government help people in need by propping them up without becoming a crutch?” Nevertheless, as the cover bemoans, he is a member of “The Wrecking Crew” and must be stopped.
The editors show Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt no mercy, accusing him of coddling special interest groups and “weaken[ing] an agency designed to save lives.” He, above all else, is a critical member of “The Wrecking Crew.” Therefore, as the cover bemoans, he must be stopped.
Time may view these governmental changes and reforms as a train wreck, but its editors don’t seem to understand that “The Wrecking Crew” is a feature, not a bug. And it’s a term Republicans gladly embrace. It’s why voters picked Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton — because the status quo isn’t working. Meanwhile, Time continues wrecking its reputation.
NYC foreign terror suspect entered U.S. with “Diversity Visa” Trump wants to end (The Daily Wire)
Consumer confidence hits highest level seen in 17 years (The Washington Free Beacon)
Home prices reach new all-time highs in August (CNBC)
EPA Chief Scott Pruitt bars government-funded science advisers from panels (The Daily Signal)
Latino group pulls racist anti-Gillespie ad showing truck attack after New York terror incident (The Washington Times)
Left-wing Oakland radicals worked with ISIS, new book reports (Townhall)
Thousands attended protest of Trump organized by Russians on Facebook (The Hill)
Senate confirms Barrett as judge; Democrats decline Cruz dare to defend religious liberty (The Daily Signal)
Prager University sues YouTube for discriminating against conservative videos (The Federalist)
Policy: Junk Obama’s Clean Power Plan (Hoover Institution)
Policy: The state of free speech and tolerance in America (Cato Institute)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
By Paul Albaugh
Now that Halloween is behind us, Americans are faced with something far more frightening for the foreseeable future. The cost of health care is one of the scariest things facing all Americans and there is currently no viable solution to the monstrosity of Barack Obama’s Unaffordable Care Act. Congressional Republicans have been completely inept at getting any meaningful legislation to President Donald Trump’s desk.
The extreme cost of health care and the spending involved is something recognized by nearly all policy experts. However, there is a chasm of disagreement between experts on how to address the problem. Those on the Left advocate for a single-payer system, while those on the Right advocate for a return to free-market solutions. With both sides arguing for completely different solutions, there seems to be little hope that anything meaningful will get accomplished.
That said, there are currently two primary problems with health care in America: wasteful spending on behalf of the federal government and the individual cost. We have known for decades that the federal government has a spending problem, and with health care taking up more than one-fifth of the economy, it should be no surprise that there is just as much wasteful spending with health care as there is with any other government function.
In particular, Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, notes two facts that are worth highlighting:
First, it is the consensus of the relevant studies and health-policy experts that about half of all health-care spending in the U.S. is wasted. That is, if we spent half as much as we spend, we wouldn’t be worse off at all, so long as we spent the remaining money on what’s truly needed. In fact, we might be better off, and not just because an enormous dead weight would be lifted off the economy.
Second, not only has this fact not registered at all on the American public consciousness, but the vast majority of health-policy experts are in denial about it — not in the sense that they straightforwardly reject the non-controversial finding, but in the sense that they seem very reluctant to admit it or talk about it and certainly seem to behave as if it were not the case.
Perhaps even harder to swallow than the wasteful spending itself is that the most wasteful health care spending is also the most popular.
First is the idea that everyone somehow is entitled to health care, and that makes for two popular entitlements: Medicare and employer-paid health insurance. (We use the word “entitlements” here to mean benefits mandated by law.) Medicare has been a disaster for decades, but more taxpayer money keeps being dumped into it, all while there is less value that comes out of it.
Then there is employer-paid health insurance. Since soon after World War II, employers have used health insurance as part of their benefits package to help attract workers. It’s certainly nice to have employer-paid health insurance, but Gobry correctly notes that it’s “subsidized by the biggest loophole in the tax code,” which really makes it more of an entitlement than a benefit.
Gobry argues, “Some conservatives resist that sort of language in the interest of a philosophical defense of private-property rights, the idea being that to call a tax break government spending presupposes that our money belongs to the government. I applaud and share the philosophical attachment to private-property rights, but we shouldn’t let it obscure the fact that macroeconomically, tax expenditures have many of the same effects as government spending, since they represent spending directed by the government rather than private individuals.”
Another popular yet wasteful area of health care spending — that no one wants to mention because they probably know someone personally in the profession — is doctors. Unfortunately, many within the medical profession put their own interests ahead of those they serve, much like politicians.
Of course most doctors aren’t at fault, but there are many who have used the medical profession and its positive image to create a legal structure that fills their pockets and prevents accountability. Among other things, there are countless procedures that could be performed by less skilled medical personnel but they legally can’t because they don’t have the title of “Doctor.”
Finally, there’s one more angle to look at the problem with our current health care system as we know it. No one knows the actual cost that each individual specifically imposes on the health care industry. Every person is different and everyone’s medical needs are different. Thus a one-size-fits-all scheme like ObamaCare was bound to fail.
In other words, most Americans are paying for health care that they don’t really need, not because they want to but because they must. If we could somehow determine how much health care for each individual actually costs, then individuals could choose to purchase the health care that they need.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that the current health care monstrosity is going to be fixed anytime soon. In fact, it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. Most people’s health insurance premiums are already expected to rise from 10-20% again this year, and with this fundamental problem of cost left unaddressed, it’s no wonder. If only our representatives had the courage to do something different.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- ObamaCare’s Rolling Disaster — It’s enrollment season again, but this year’s sign-up period will be like no other before.
- Antifa Colluding With Islamic State? — Recent FBI field report warns of American leftist radical groups meeting and learning from Islamic terrorists.
- How Many Facebook Users Saw Russian Ads? — The Russians have been attempting to meddle in American elections for decades. This problem is not new.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Star Parker: Free the Tax Code From Special Interests
- Gary Bauer: Antifa & ISIS
- Hans von Spakovsky: 7 Questions the DOJ Must Answer About Uranium One and Clinton Foundation
- Jonah Goldberg: Legalization Isn’t the Solution to the Opioid Crisis
- John Stossel: Communism Turns 100
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Star Parker: “According to American Enterprise Institute economist and blogger Mark Perry, some 70 percent of the federal budget, about $2.6 trillion, is transfer payments — funds recycled from one set of private citizens to others. Most of federal government spending is not about paying for functions of government, but for social engineering, meddling in our lives. According to the Tax Foundation, compliance with the U.S. tax code consumed, in 2016, 8.9 billion hours at a cost of $409 billion. Per Giving USA, total private charitable contributions in the U.S. in the same year, 2016, came to $390 billion. We spend more complying with the tax code than what we give in private charity. The $390 billion in charitable giving comes to about 2 percent of our GDP. The Biblical guideline for charity is the tithe, 10 percent. From this perspective, Americans sound stingy. Are we? No, I don’t think so. Much of our charitable spirit is swept up by government. According to the Congressional Budget Office, federal government spending on welfare and anti-poverty programs in 2016 was $750 billion. If we look at our welfare and anti-poverty spending as government-mandated compassion, it comes out to almost twice what we give in private charity. Or about 4 percent of GDP. Government welfare and anti-poverty spending together with private charity amounts to 6 percent of GDP, getting us closer to the 10 percent. … Wouldn’t we all be much better off if we stopped using Washington as a massive social-engineering, money-recycling machine, and got back to a simple tax code designed to finance the limited functions of government, as laid out in our Constitution?”
Upright: “If you want to ‘drain the swamp,’ you have to start with the institutions themselves, not with the people. The problem isn’t having the worst people running the government; it’s having the worst forms of government drawing the worst people.” —Ben Shapiro
For the record: “When homicidal warriors for Allah are maiming and murdering non-Muslims according to the plain directives of the Quran — and spelling out their celebration of Islam-inspired violence word (ALLAHU) for word (AKBAR) — it is crazy and delusional to say their actions cannot be understood. Stop the whitewash. Stop the insanity. Jihad denial is suicidal.” —Michelle Malkin
Observations: “The overdose crisis is largely driven by the fact that once addicted to legal opioids, people seek out illegal ones — heroin, for example — to fend off the agony of withdrawal once they can’t get, or afford, any more pills. Last year, 64,000 Americans died from overdoses. Some 58,000 Americans died in the Vietnam War.” —Jonah Goldberg
Braying Jenny: “We’ve had our fill of scares this year. Having President Trump and Republicans in control of Washington is far scarier than any ghoul or goblin.” —Nancy Pelosi
Race bait: “[NFL owners] have kind of a plantation mentality. The players are objectified in some sense.” —Jesse Jackson
And last… “I’d urge [Trump] to declare this coming Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, a day of remembrance and order that flags be flown at half-staff on all federal buildings. Why? It will be the anniversary of what must have been a most traumatic day for mainstream media people and the political pundits they interviewed. I am not a psychologist; however, I did take several courses in psychology and sociology as an undergraduate. Thus, I have enough training to analyze the continuing trauma resulting from last year’s presidential election.” —Walter Williams
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