IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Of course the fix was in on behalf of Hillary Clinton. Brazile’s “scoop” isn’t a surprise.
- Why are Papa John’s pizza sales down? Its founder blames the NFL.
- The House GOP released its tax reform plan, and there are a lot of changes.
- It turns out the best way to combat the opioid epidemic is to repair broken families.
- Will there soon be three Californias? Don’t count on it, but some people are trying.
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“The accumulation of all powers … in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” —James Madison (1788)
By Thomas Gallatin
In what many are describing as a “bombshell” revelation, Donna Brazile, former interim head of the Democratic National Committee, has admitted what we actually knew last July — that the DNC rigged the nomination processes to ensure that Hillary Clinton defeated upstart Bernie Sanders. Brazile wrote in a Politico article Thursday, “I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process. … By Sept. 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart.”
Democrat darling and favorite American Indian Sen. Elizabeth Warren also said she believes the nomination was rigged: “Yes, I think it was. What we have to focus on now as Democrats is, we recognize the process was rigged.” She continued, “And now it is up to Democrats to build a new process, a process that really works and works for everyone.”
Hold on a minute. Haven’t Democrats and the Left been screaming and moaning for the past year that the election was stolen from Hillary? America has endured months of Demo/MSM insistence of a phony Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy that supposedly swung the election to Donald Trump. And then there’s the oft-repeated refrain that Hillary deserved to be president because she won the popular vote, followed by calls to abolish the electoral college. Over and over again, the message has been how unfair the system was toward Hillary and that Trump needs to be resisted with the goal of eventually impeaching him.
Now, suddenly Democrats are turning on Clinton. To borrow a phrase from a certain book title, what happened? It’s certainly not new news that the DNC rigged the nomination process to ensure Clinton was the nominee. Again, we’ve known this for well over a year. It’s the reason that former DNC chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign. So after 25 years of Clinton corruption, why are Democrats only now throwing Hillary under the bus?
First, the corruption waters surrounding Hillary are getting too hot for comfort. We learned last week that the Clinton campaign paid for the infamous dossier that started the whole Russia collusion narrative. And it was revealed just yesterday that Team Hillary paid $168,000 to produce it. Like we have been saying for months, the Mueller investigation may turn against Democrats. And if they don’t have “Trump colluded with Russia” to assuage their Trump Derangement Syndrome, they’ve got nothing.
Second, after 18 months of trashing Trump, the Democrat Party’s approval rating is no better than his, which doesn’t bode well for its mid-term election hopes. Democrats are seen by an increasing number of Americans as a party of the extreme Left and not the mainstream.
So, it appears that since Clinton not only lost the election but blew up the narrative of how she was cheated out of it, Democrats are no longer willing to put up with her lying and corruption.
On an interesting and yet not surprising side note, the big three major news networks didn’t even bother to cover Brazile’s accusation in their newscasts last night. Heads in the sand?
By Jordan Candler
The proliferation of national anthem protests in the NFL has culminated in falling television ratings and a shrunken fan base. But the political theater on display by athletes has repercussions beyond the field. For seven years, Papa John’s has branded itself around being recognized as the NFL’s official pizza sponsor. That was obviously a boon for business. At least until now.
Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter has revealed that business is sluggish due to fallout over his company’s ties to the NFL. He minced no words, either, reportedly complaining, “The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction. NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.” He added, “Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership.” From Schnatter’s standpoint, “This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”
According to Bloomberg, “Back in 2014, when Papa John’s posted a nearly 10 percent gain in North American same-store sales, the company credited its close relationship with the NFL and [Peyton] Manning for driving its business in the U.S. On Wednesday, the tone was quite different. Papa John’s post-earnings conference call was dominated by negative talk of the NFL. The league’s name came up 44 times during the discussion, compared with 12 mentions in the year-earlier call.”
The NFL fallout affects Papa John’s in terms of less exposure (not as many eyeballs are seeing ads). And a dwindling base translates into fewer orders. One also could assume that some fans are so fed up with the politics of the NFL that they are boycotting the companies associated with it as well. Of course, Papa John’s is free to take sponsorships elsewhere, and it may come to that. But its lackluster sales are yet more proof that the NFL opened a can of worms when it neglected to quickly and effectively diffuse the situation.
The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October in rebound from hurricanes (CNBC)
GOP’s tax bill cancels $23 billion in credits claimed by illegal immigrants (The Washington Times)
Mueller focused on Tony Podesta and a former GOP congressman (Associated Press)
Team Clinton paid $168,000 for Trump dossier (Reuters)
The real scandal of the declassified Osama bin Laden trove implicates Obama and the CIA (Washington Examiner)
Trump names Jerome Powell as Fed chair (CNS News)
Antifa apocalypse? Anarchist group’s plan to overthrow Trump ‘regime’ starts Saturday (Fox News)
Twitter employee “deactivated” Trump account on last day (BBC)
Humor: In response to mounting criticism, President Trump comes out as gay (The Babylon Bee)
Policy: Asia trip a chance for Trump to set things right (The Heritage Foundation)
Policy: Sustainable tax reform requires taming entitlements (National Review)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
By Michael Swartz
Moving like greased lightning — at least by congressional standards — House Republicans yesterday released the tax plan that President Donald Trump wanted to call the “Cut Cut Cut Act.” Perhaps that’s just good branding, but after lawmakers backed off a proposal to restrict contributions to 401(k) plans at Trump’s behest and kept many of the cherished ideas that he campaigned on last year, it might make sense to use his pet name. Granted, certain sectors of taxpayers may pay a little bit more, but that name’s offense to the language would pale in comparison to that of the Affordable Care Act.
While what the House is calling (more sedately) the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act did away with the proposed additional tolls on retirement accounts, there are still a number of features sure to raise the ire of specific groups. For one, the reviled top tax rate of 39.6% is unchanged, although the threshold to reach it is increased significantly for married couples — $1 million in annual income. By that same token, there are certain income levels and situations where the tax rate will increase, hitting the extremely poor and upper-middle class in strange ways.
The proposed rates are 12%, 25%, 35% and 39.6% — four rates instead of the current seven.
In addition, home builders and realtors hate the bill because it caps the mortgage deduction to loans of $500,000 or less and eliminates the deduction for a second home. The proposal is “a direct assault on the American Dream of homeownership,” complained National Association of Home Builders chief executive Jerry Howard. A compromise to allow up to a $10,000 deduction for property taxes, while effective for most of the nation, wasn’t the restoration of full deductibility of state and local taxes that Republicans who represent high-tax states wanted to preserve.
Overall, Speaker Paul Ryan is right to tout the plan as one “for the families who are out there living paycheck to paycheck who just keep getting squeezed.” With increases in the amount and scope of the standard deduction (up to $12,000 for individual filers and $24,000 for married couples) and child care credit (up to $1,600 from $1,000) — albeit at the loss of the individual exemption and certain deductions — families may find they benefit greatly. House Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Kevin Brady termed the package “the beginning of the end of this horrible tax code in America.” Indeed, it’ll make tax time less onerous for most taxpayers.
The Daily Signal reports, “We estimate that doubling the standard deduction would roughly cut the percentage of taxpayers who itemize their deductions in half — from 30 percent to 15.5 percent — saving about 22 million taxpayers from the headache of keeping track of all their itemized deductions.”
The bill also has some sweeteners for business owners. Corporate tax rates would plummet from 35% to 20%, while small business owners who earn what’s known as pass-through income would also see a rate decrease to 25% — although for them the devil is in the details. Those who wish to pass on their businesses to their heirs get some immediate help, as the asset exemption from the estate tax would double to over $11 million. But this is another compromise, as the “death tax” would remain on life support through at least 2024.
Needless to say, Democrats and their media allies are already running hard against the bill. “This bill is like a dead fish — the more it’s in sunlight, the more it stinks,” Sen. Chuck Schumer panned.
Others are complaining for the oddest of reasons: “The tax reform proposal unveiled today does not … reflect the goals President Trump and I have discussed over the last several months,” claimed West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. “It puts investors ahead of workers, raises rates on the small businesses who create most of our jobs, and dramatically increases our national debt.” Never mind his inaccurate claims — since when were Democrats concerned about the national debt?
It’s quite likely the (up to) $1.5 trillion in additional deficits over the next decade would be largely made up for in additional tax revenue based on increased economic activity, just like that which occurred in the 1980s.
President Trump set the ambitious goal of wrapping up tax reform by the holidays, touting the “big, beautiful Christmas present in the form of a tremendous tax cut, which will be the biggest cut in the history of our country. It will also be tax reform and it’ll create jobs.” That “biggest in history” line is typical Trump overstatement, and “Christmas present” may be overpromising. So far his track record on legislation has been subpar due to GOP defections in the Senate, where they haven’t created a tax cut bill yet. A bill that already has hurdles aplenty in the House may face a more difficult road in the Senate by the time John McCain, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and the other usual suspects get through with it.
For this bill to be a success to us regular folks, though, it has to do away with many thousands of pages in our nation’s abominable tax code. Simply moving brackets around and removing a few deductions won’t get that done.
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
- The Key to the Drug Crisis Is Family — For too long we’ve looked to the government to solve our problems, while the family unit has fallen into tatters.
- Three Californias? — Over 500,000 signatures will be needed in order for Californians to vote on breaking up their state.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Michael Reagan: Cut Taxes, Reagan-Style
- Erick Erickson: When Disagreement Is Evil
- Ed Feulner: Burying ‘Sue and Settle’
- E. Calvin Beisner: Time to End Ethanol Mandate and Subsidies
- Michael Barone: Keep Calm and Carry On
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Erick Erickson: “The reaction of the press corps … was predictable and swift after the New York City attack happened. They openly worried about a backlash against Muslims. Then they congratulated themselves for noting that the white guy in Las Vegas had a bump stock, which Congress has yet to ban. But, they noted, at least the New York terrorist had no guns. Of course, had Congress banned the bump stock the American citizen in Las Vegas would still have had a constitutional right to guns. But had Democrats not created the diversity visa program, there would have been no terrorist running over people in New York City. That is the reality they choose to ignore. In their mostly large cities, progressives and the press have isolated themselves from others. It is far easier for a progressive to avoid daily contact with a conservative than it is for a conservative to avoid progressives. It is also far more likely that a Republican will encounter more diverse voices in his party than a Democrat will. Democrats have made pro-life and traditional marriage supporters unwelcome in their party. Republicans have both pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage supporters among them. Democrats talk a great game on tolerance and diversity, but they increasingly view anyone who thinks differently from them as evil. They can do so only because they have chosen the superficial diversity of color and gender over the more complex diversity of thought.”
Insight: “It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.” —Justice Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954)
Upright: “Robert E. Lee was an honorable man. He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.” —White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on the flap over Confederate monuments
Dezinformatsiya, part I: “ISIS claims responsibility for NYC truck attack, without evidence.” —NBC News headline, despite the fact that the attacking jihadi claimed Islamic State inspiration
Dezinformatsiya, part II: “As with any attack like this, there is no single reason Mr. Saipov [the NYC Islamist] reportedly decided to kill innocents.” —New York Times
Non Compos Mentis: “President Trump, instead of politicizing and dividing America, which he always seems to do at times of national tragedy, should be focusing on the real solution — anti-terrorism funding — which he proposed cutting in his most recent budget.” —Sen. Chuck Schumer, who politicizes every incident that involves a gun
Just sayin’: “Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats, lead [sic] by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Let’s go FBI & Justice Dept.” —Donald Trump on Elizabeth Warren’s comments
Late-night humor: “Facebook says it shut down nearly six million accounts in the U.S. last October. Five million were Russian agents, while the rest were people who kept posting ‘so ready for the weekend.’” —Jimmy Fallon
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher