IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Senate Republicans take aim at the ObamaCare mandate in tax reform.
- Are emissions racist? Is EPA deregulation also racist?
- The trouble with higher education is a shocking lack of diversity.
- Issues of life and religious liberty converge in various stories.
- The rich are leaving blue states in droves because of higher taxes.
- The New York Times runs a pathetically racist op-ed.
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises.” —James Madison (1790)
Senate Republicans are working to get their version of a tax reform bill to the full Senate floor this week with the goal of holding a vote after Thanksgiving. Among the more interesting and appealing elements is that Republicans are now floating the idea of repealing the “Affordable” Care Act mandate as part of tax reform (the Supreme Court, after all, ruled that it’s a tax). The Congressional Budget Office estimates repealing the mandate would save the government upwards of $318 billion over the next decade, freeing up that money to offset the estimated revenue lost to tax cuts. That then allows the Senate to comply with its budgetary rules and avoid having the tax bill increase the deficit over the $1.5 trillion threshold, which would have required 60 votes to pass rather than a simple majority. In other words, repealing the ACA mandate would allow Republicans to pass tax reform without needing any Democrat votes. But once again the challenge for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is to get at least 50 Republicans on board, something he failed to do with the GOP’s attempt to repeal and replace ObamaCare by itself, let alone with tax cuts.
When the focus was health care and the number of individuals insured, several Senate Republicans balked at the idea of ending the ACA mandate. Now that the focus is tax reform and aiming to save Americans money, suddenly talk of ending the mandate in order to pass tax reform has become more palatable. Was this the plan for Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) the whole time?
Out-of-control spending is why the debt keeps growing. While ending the ObamaCare mandate is a welcome idea that does indeed cut spending on insurance subsidies, it’s essentially being used by Republicans to avoid serious spending cuts elsewhere. And repealing the mandate as a tax does not repeal the ACA’s other regulations, which several have argued could actually lead to even higher health care premiums, eventually creating fertile ground for a de facto single-payer system. Would Republicans and Donald Trump then give in to pressure to bail out insurance companies lest they fail and potentially leave millions of Americans uninsured? Think 2008 and the bank bailout.
Yes, Americans want tax cuts, but they also demand that Republicans enact fiscally responsible change that seriously cuts government spending. By ending the ACA mandate, Republicans would almost have to take up another attempt at fuller repeal. With the recent election losses, Republicans may now be feeling the heat and know they need to come through on their promise to end Barack Obama’s onerous law.
By Jordan Candler
The Obama administration facilitated the most onerous climate-related regulations ever devised. The Trump administration is doing just the opposite — giving agencies like the EPA a much-needed deep cleaning. But according to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) along with the Clean Air Task Force (CATF), Trump’s deregulation initiatives are — you guessed it — racist.
That exact word isn’t found in the duo’s new “Fumes Across the Fence-Line” report, but it’s most certainly implied. The report surmises that minorities “are impacted by the negative health impacts of oil and gas facility operations because of discrimination.”
The study highlights these statistics: “More than 1 million African-Americans live within a half mile of existing natural gas facilities and the number is growing every year.” By extension, “Over 1 million African-Americans live in counties that face a cancer risk above the EPA’s level of concern from toxins emitted by natural gas facilities,” and more than “6.7 million African-Americans live in the 91 counties with oil refineries.”
“African-Americans are exposed to 38 percent more polluted air than Caucasian Americans,” the report elucidates, “and they are 75 percent more likely to live in fence-line communities than the average American.” To summarize: “In the current regulatory environment, the disproportionate burden of pollution will only increase for low-income communities and communities of color.”
As Joe Biden is fond of saying, this is a bunch of malarkey. Even if you could so precisely quantify pollution’s disproportionate effects on minorities, it’s important to consider that many blacks are confined to areas that have been designated by the government (a.k.a. urban poverty plantations). Republicans promote economic freedom and prosperity, which would give minorities the incentive to escape these supposedly toxic housing areas (again, assuming it’s as bad as the report claims). Not to mention that regulation in general disproportionately affects the poor. Thus, deregulation helps them.
But part of the “fix,” the NAACP and CATF assert, is to permanently abandon oil and gas facilities. Economically, this is absurd. Furthermore, to insinuate that Republicans are racist malcontents because they want to bolster the economy and livelihoods helps nobody. Ben Carson had a point back in May when he opined, “I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind.” Poverty and agendas that include bogus platitudes about “discrimination” in the energy sector go breathlessly together.
House passes nearly $700 billion defense authorization bill (The Washington Post)
GOP targets ObamaCare mandate repeal in Senate tax bill (The Hill)
Sessions: Not enough basis to appoint a second special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton (CNS News)
Sessions testifies again on Capitol Hill (Fox News)
Thanks SPLC hate map? Wrong North Carolina church burned by leftist hate group (PJ Media)
Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel is latest gender pay gap hypocrite, says new report (The Washington Free Beacon)
RNC cuts ties with Roy Moore campaign (Roll Call)
Just in time… House to adopt mandatory anti-sexual harassment training (Associated Press)
Democrat governors outsource climate campaigns to activist groups, emails reveal (The Washington Times)
VOA will fire employees for interviewing Chinese dissidents (The Washington Free Beacon)
Policy: The data show the ObamaCare mandate is a dismal failure (The Daily Signal)
Policy: Do states have a role in making climate policy? No (Manhattan Institute)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
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By Lewis Morris
American higher education is in crisis. And not just because of $1.45 trillion in crippling student loan debt or declining enrollment or the even the violence that seems to pass for accepted behavior on college campuses.
The real crisis here is a complete lack of intellectual diversity in America’s colleges and universities. Faculty and administration in a vast majority of America’s institutes of higher learning are not just overwhelmingly left of center politically but nearly unanimously so. A 2016 study found that America’s left-of-center college faculty outnumber right-of-center faculty 10 to one. That used to be two to one.
To be clear, we are not talking about people who lean left. In most cases, these academics are unapologetically, vocally and even militantly leftist if not outright Marxist. And they are in positions of power in many of America’s colleges and universities, teaching our children, shaping their academic curriculum, and running the student life of college attendees.
This is a trend that has been going on for 50 years. When the protest era of the 1960s came to an end, a number of avowed leftists were forlorn that they did not achieve their dream of tearing down the United States of America. They realized that direct confrontation would not work. They didn’t have the numbers, and their arguments supporting the leftist political viewpoint were intellectually and morally bankrupt. What to do?
They stayed in school. The protesters became professors. They wormed their way into the higher education apparatus and changed the rules of the game. Over the intervening decades, they slowly but steadily slipped their ideology into the curriculum of America’s colleges and universities. They taught their leftist propaganda to students, who grew up to become professors, who taught their leftist propaganda… You see where this is going?
We are now at a point of critical mass. This leftist takeover of the American education system, which also includes public grade schools, has been going on for years. It has become painfully evident since the election of Donald Trump. Leftists thought they were assured victory when Hillary Clinton was within reach of following Barack Obama into the White House. But the country came to its collective senses, and the Left did what it does best: It got really angry.
The damage from the leftist takeover of American higher education is immense and growing. In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, University of California, Santa Cruz, professor John Ellis points out, “The imbalance is not only a question of numbers. Well-balanced opposing views act as a corrective for each other: The weaker arguments of one side are pounced on and picked off by the other. Both remain consequently healthier and more intellectually viable. But intellectual dominance promotes stupidity. As one side becomes numerically stronger, its discipline weakens. The greater the imbalance between the two sides, the more incoherent and irrational the majority will become.”
This is why we don’t see intellectually stimulating debate when Ben Shapiro or Milo Yiannopoulos appear on a college campus. Leftists would rather shout down and attack people. They are constantly surrounded by like-minded views, so they don’t have the intellectual capacity to frame their thoughts in a coherent way when challenged. In short, their brains don’t get exercise.
Of course, any free-thinking person knows that the Left’s viewpoints are generally indefensible anyway. And leftists know that, too. That’s why they have purged America’s college campuses of intellectual opposition. And this has had a ripple effect that has impacted our whole society.
The anti-male, every-man’s-a-rapist meme and the hostile social environment pushed by radical feminists on campus plays a major role in the 30% dropout rate among freshman males. A Brookings Institution study revealed that one in five college students believe that violence is an acceptable response to unacceptable speech. No wonder college enrollment is down. Who would want to put their family in massive debt sending their kid to school in such an environment?
If the American higher education system remains in the grip of rabid leftists posing as academics, then the whole country will suffer. The social squishes who emerge from these institutions are ill-prepared to handle real life, shrinking back from every “micro-aggression” they experience, unable to take criticism and learn from it, and unable to be the leaders that this country’s next generation will need.
Ellis points out that there is a solution — making these institutions of higher learning accountable. “What if voters were to insist … answers to some elementary questions? For example: How can a department of political science that excludes half the spectrum of viable political ideas be competent to offer degrees in the field? How can a history curriculum be taught competently when only one extremist attitude to social and political questions is present in a department? How can these extraordinary deficiencies deserve either accreditation, or support by state and federal funds?”
Americans need to take back their schools and stop letting the Left run them as re-education camps. Higher learning is supposed to prepare you for a better life where you have the freedom to make your own choices and plan your own way to success as you define it. It’s not supposed to serve the ends of a bankrupt ideology whose only way to win an argument is to beat down the opposition.
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
- Issues of Life and Religious Liberty — The Supreme Court takes up a California law, while Notre Dame flip-flops on Catholic doctrine.
- The Rich Are on the Move — Democrat-controlled states are chasing the wealthy out by continuously raising income tax rates.
- The Racist Times — The New York Times features an op-ed titled, “Can My Children Be Friends With White People?”
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Rebecca Hagelin: Sex Scandal (Part One)
- Tony Perkins: Bodies of Evidence Point to Planned Parenthood
- Michelle Malkin: Silence on Sleaze-Bob Menendez
- Byron York: At Air Force Academy, a Perfect Hoax for Age of Trump
- Walter Williams: Stalking Horses
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Rebecca Hagelin: “America is in the midst of a huge, sordid sex scandal. As horrific as it is to have so much alleged sexual harassment and abuse coming to light from Hollywood to the halls of Congress and seemingly everywhere in-between, worse still is the reality that we should not be surprised. For several decades American culture has been fed a steady diet of highly sexualized leftist movies, television shows and advertisements. Pornography abounds on the Internet, and sleazy magazines that used to be hidden from view and read in secret are now boldly on display at the grocery store checkout counter. And I’m not referring to just ‘men’s’ journals either. Among the most sexualized magazines today are those written for America’s teen daughters. Graphic ‘sex education,’ for crying out loud, is even forced on innocent little kindergarteners. Homosexuality and transgender ideology are so pervasive and ‘acceptable’ that such individuals touting their sexual preferences and perversions are given awards, accolades and their own TV shows. Yet we are collectively shocked that sexual harassment is so pervasive? Adults love to dump on teens and talk about ‘these kids today.’ As it turns out, an entire generation of liberal adults — now older — first ushered in the cultural sewage in which America’s children continue to drown. Most of the men accused of sexual exploitation and harassment are of the same generation that has been producing the garbage media for decades. And just like any untreated infection, the rot and rotten behavior have spread to virtually every demographic, political persuasion and faith background.”
For the record: “Raging against the establishment for the sake of raging is an agenda for losers, and it will cost conservatives the votes in Congress they need to achieve conservative goals.” —The Wall Street Journal
Upright: “Envy doesn’t create wealth. Freedom and character does. How about we focus less on punishing those who succeed and more on helping those who are not realizing their potential?” —Star Parker
Non Compos Mentis: “Pupils need to be able to play with the many cloaks of identity… Children should be at liberty to explore the possibilities of who they might be without judgement or derision.” —"guidance" from The Church of England
The BIG Lie: “While gun safety may not seem like a feminist issue at first blush, it doesn’t take too much digging to see that women are uniquely vulnerable to and disproportionately the victims of gun violence.” —Wendy Davis (“In 2015, the gun homicide rate for men was 19.3 for every 100,000 Americans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. By contrast, the rate for women was six times lower, at 3.2 per 100,000 people.” —Washington Free Beacon’s Alex Griswold)
Fear-mongering: “We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, [and] has a decision-making process that is so quixotic that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests.” —Sen. Chris Murphy
A blind squirrel finds a nut: “The accusers of Bill Clinton back in the ‘90s were never given the credence, and treated with the same respect that these women [accusing Roy Moore] are being treated. And I think that there is something to be said about how society has evolved since then, but, in addition, it’s hard not to look back at that period and think: 'You know what? The media treated those women poorly.’” —CNN’s Jake Tapper
And last… “Do you think Bill Clinton inspired a whole generation of lecherous ‘male feminists’? It was quite a message: Have the right politics, and you can get away doing anything to women.” —Frank Fleming
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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher