The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Kate Steinle’s illegal alien killer acquitted on almost all charges.
- Don’t worry about tax revenue; worry about federal spending.
- What is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, anyway?
- The child tax credit is imperfect, but it can make a big difference for families.
- Is Rex Tillerson on his way out? It sure looks that way.
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“Where there is no law, there is no liberty; and nothing deserves the name of law but that which is certain and universal in its operation upon all the members of the community.” —Benjamin Rush (1788)
By Nate Jackson
On July 1, 2015, Kate Steinle and her father were strolling along a San Francisco pier when she was shot in the back, dying in her father’s arms. She was shot by Jose Ines Garcia Zarate (formerly known as Francisco Sanchez), an illegal alien (or just an “immigrant” in the parlance of The New York Times). Zarate claims he picked up a gun off the ground — a gun that had been stolen from a federal officer a few days earlier — and that it “accidentally discharged.” His case was aided by a ballistics report showing the bullet ricocheted off the pavement before striking Steinle. The jury acquitted him of all counts except for felony possession of a weapon. “Not guilty” of the second-degree murder charge is understandable if ballistics were accurate, but how could the jury not settle on even involuntary manslaughter?
The Justice Department is now considering federal charges.
Zarate was a known serial offender. He had seven felony convictions and five deportations on his record already (he’ll be deported again now), but he chose San Francisco because it is a sanctuary city. In fact, The Washington Post reports, before killing Steinle, Zarate “had been released from jail, where he was being held on a drug charge, even though federal immigration authorities had sought to detain him.”
None of his previous record was allowed in testimony or jury deliberation.
President Donald Trump correctly declared, “A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.”
“Sanctuary” is defined as “a place of refuge or safety,” but leftists have perverted it to mean “a hiding place for illegals.” Those policies threaten the safety and lives of law-abiding citizens. If existing immigration laws were enforced, this repeat criminal never would have been in the U.S., and Kate Steinle would still be alive, walking with her father on that same pier.
On Thursday, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) released its analysis of the Senate GOP’s tax reform bill. JCT estimates that the tax cut’s economic growth will only offset the government’s revenue loss by $400 billion and therefore the bill will add $1 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. While this news is a setback for the Republicans claiming that the bill would pay for itself, it really should have surprised no one that cutting taxes without cutting spending can only increase debt. That said, let’s put this in context: Republicans propose cutting taxes — i.e., letting you keep more of your money — thus adding $1 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, while Barack Obama kept and spent more of your money, adding more than $1 trillion per year to the deficit and $10 trillion over his eight years in office.
Concerns over the deficit had some Republicans (ahem, Bob Corker) proposing the idea of adding a “revenue trigger” to the bill should economic growth fail to significantly offset revenue loss. The measure would have triggered tax hikes on corporations, gradually increasing from the new 20% rate over the next several years. However, the proposal was nixed due to Senate parliamentarian rules. Honestly, any revenue trigger proposal should be aimed at curbing government spending, not increasing taxes. As Ronald Reagan so astutely observed, “The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.”
To illustrate Reagan’s point, keep in mind that, over the next 10 years, the federal government will rake in north of $40 trillion in revenue. The GOP proposal is to confiscate $1 trillion less over that span.
Meanwhile, the Senate is planning to vote on the bill Monday, and with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) having thrown his support behind the legislation, hopes are high that it will pass. President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are banking on a big win.
Michael Flynn, Trump’s ex-national security adviser, pleads guilty to lying to the FBI (CNBC)
White House plans Tillerson ouster from State Dept., to be replaced by Pompeo (The New York Times)
Matt Lauer wants $30 million from NBC after his firing for sexual harassment (Fox News)
Congress secretly paid nearly $100,000 to settle harassment claims against disgraced congressman (ABC News)
Want to end sexual harassment? AG hopeful says “elect candidate who doesn’t have a penis” (CBS Detroit)
CNN fires senior producer on Jake Tapper show for inappropriate behavior (USA Today)
Abortion issue powerful enough to swing Senate race in Alabama (The Washington Times)
Gun background check improvement bill passes House committee (The Washington Free Beacon)
Pharmacy giant to buy health insurance giant — what could go wrong? (Reuters)
Trump donates salary to HHS to combat opioid crisis (CNS News)
Policy: Four misleading arguments against the tax reform bills (Manhattan Institute)
Policy: Recommendations for a future National Defense Strategy (American Enterprise Institute)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
By Brian Mark Weber
When Leandra English walked in to work as the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) earlier this week, there was one little problem: President Donald Trump had already appointed his Office of Management and Budget director, Mick Mulvaney, to head the Obama-era regulatory agency. There were two bosses, but only one had the constitutional authority to pick up the reins of power, and it wasn’t English.
It’s hard to blame English for assuming her role. After all, the CFPB was populated with strong supporters of the biggest names in the Democrat Party. So when her outgoing boss, Richard Cordray, handed over the keys, English probably didn’t give a moment’s thought to the separation of powers or that pesky old Constitution.
Moreover, she had the support of none other than House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who incorrectly tweeted that English is the “rightful Acting Director.” Well, before President Trump stepped in, the CFPB could do just about anything its director wanted — such as appointing his own replacement.
Let’s take a moment to see what the CFPB is all about, and why a seemingly simple appointment is such a big deal.
As noted by PBS, “The agency was created under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, commonly known as Dodd-Frank. The idea for a financial watchdog agency came from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a Harvard Law School professor at the time. Warren first proposed creating the agency in 2007 as a way to better regulate mortgages, student loans, and other financial products.”
Sounds innocent enough doesn’t it? The problem is that government “watchdog” agencies rarely do anything other than empower politicians on Capitol Hill to regulate and control our lives (and thereby empower themselves). Throughout our country’s history, multi-member boards were in charge of agencies in order to diffuse power. That changed when Barack Obama created the CFPB.
How much power does the director of CFPB really have? The Washington Post explains, “The Director of the CFPB possesses enormous power over American business, American consumers, and the overall U.S. economy. The Director unilaterally enforces 19 federal consumer protection statutes, covering everything from home finance to student loans to credit cards to banking practices. The Director alone decides what rules to issue; how to enforce, when to enforce, and against whom to enforce the law; and what sanctions and penalties to impose on violators of the law.”
If it seems like the agency is more about exercising power than protecting consumers, this became even clearer when Cordray stepped down to run for governor of Ohio. He appointed Leandra English without checking with anyone, including the president. And he did it largely to boost his street cred with the #Resistance.
The problem was that the CFPB had a provision that seemingly took precedence over federal law by allowing the current director to appoint a replacement until the Senate chooses a new director. Cordray thus selected his own successor. And when President Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney to replace Cordray, English filed a lawsuit against the president and Mulvaney — a lawsuit that was correctly thrown out by a federal court.
Even the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — historically hostile to Republicans and the Constitution — sided with the president.
In Trump’s favor were a congressional act and the Constitution. The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 is very clear in stating that the president “can designate any Senate-confirmed official (which would include Mulvaney) to perform the duties of a vacant federal office in an acting capacity for a statutorily limited period of time.” And Article II of the Constitution clearly gives the president authority to make executive department appointments.
This was a significant victory for Liberty and the separation of powers. Indeed, until the CFPB was created, there had never been a federal agency that was headed by a single person who possessed such broad powers.
As The Washington Post states, “The CFPB’s concentration of enormous executive power in a single, unaccountable, unchecked Director not only departs from settled historical practice, but also poses a far greater risk of arbitrary decisionmaking and abuse of power, and a far greater threat to individual liberty, than does a multi-member independent agency.” When The Washington Post is worried about government’s threat to individual liberty, you know we’ve got a problem.
Not surprisingly, the agency’s supporters are also donors for the Democrat Party. The Washington Examiner reported that 593 CFPB executives gave money to the likes of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren. Only one gave to a Republican. Clearly, Obama set up this agency to do more than protect consumers.
And what does Trump’s pick to head the CFPB think of the organization he leads?
In a press conference, Mulvaney said, “It is an awful example of a bureaucracy that has gone wrong. It is almost entirely unaccountable to the people who are supposed to oversee it or pay for it. I still have the same fundamental principled misgivings about the way this bureau is structured. I think it is wrong to have a completely unaccountable federal bureaucracy. I think it’s completely wrong,” He added, “I’m just learning about the powers that I have as acting director. They would frighten most of you. They would probably worry you to think about how little oversight Congress has over me now as I’m the director, how little oversight the committees have over how CFPB functions.”
Too many of these agencies become self-serving, all-powerful entities of the Leviathan state, accountable to no one. Mulvaney’s comments about his new job should not be met with calls for reform, but should lead to the abolishment of the CFPB. Doing so would take us one step closer to draining the Swamp and protecting Americans from a further erosion of our Liberty.
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
- Tax Cuts for the Children, Too — Increasing the child tax credit isn’t perfect, but it puts money back in the pockets of parents.
- Bye, Bye, Rex? — Rumors abound that Tillerson will be stepping down as secretary of state in the near future.
- Immigration Enforcement and Leniency Are a Futile Mix — Unified enforcement and prevention are the key to a healthy and strong immigration system.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- David Harsanyi: Newspapers Shouldn’t Act Like Super PACs
- David Limbaugh: Memo to GOP: Pass the Tax Bill
- Michael Reagan: ATT-CNN Merger Doesn’t Worry Me Like Sinclair
- L. Brent Bozell & Tim Graham: NPR and PBS, the Biggest Harassment Hypocrites
- Tony Perkins: Planned Parenthood’s Ark. Rival
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
David Harsanyi: “This week, The New York Times editorial board took over the paper’s opinion section Twitter account, which has 650,000 followers, ‘to urge the Senate to reject a tax bill that hurts the middle class & the nation’s fiscal health.’ To facilitate this, it tweeted out the phone number of moderate Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins and implored its followers to call her and demand that she vote against the GOP’s bill. In others words, the board was indistinguishable from any of the well-funded partisan groups it whines about in editorials all the time. … When consumers see a media giant engaged in naked partisan campaigning, fair or not, it confirms all their well-worn suspicions about the entire paper. You can grouse all day long about readers’ inability to comprehend the internal divide. But how could a Republican trust The New York Times’ coverage of a tax bill after watching it not just editorialize against it but run what could fairly be characterized as an ad that could have been produced by any of the Democratic Party’s many proxies? … The Times has long argued in favor of empowering the government to regulate or shut down corporations — just like The Times itself — that engage in this brand of campaigning by overturning Citizens United and, therefore, violating the First Amendment. This is worth remembering as we watch one of the nation’s largest editorial boards transform into the equivalent of a super PAC.”
Insight: “There is only one remedy for ignorance and thoughtlessness, and that is literacy. Millions and millions of children would today stand in no need of sex education or consumer education or anti-racism education or any of those fake educations, if they had had in the first place ‘an’ education.” —Richard Mitchell (1929-2002)
Upright: “Rarely has the idiom ‘virtue is its own reward’ looked better than it does in light of the sex scandals sweeping the nation. The so-called ‘prudishness’ of a previous generation and the respect most men were once taught to have for women — and which Hugh Hefner and his disciples of ‘free love’ mocked — are looking better with each passing day. Conservatives have been told they can’t impose their morality on others, so how is its opposite working out for individuals and the culture?” —Cal Thomas
Alpha Jackass: “Today is vindication for the rights of immigrants. Nothing about his ethnicity or immigration status was relevant in this case.” —Defense Attorney Francisco Ugarte on verdict for his client Zarate
For the record: “When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public’s safety at risk. San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle.” —Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Unvirtuous: “The liberal attitude toward guns is very strange. One day they’re ranting and raving about the legal use of a firearm, the next they’re defending a chronic felon who pulled the trigger and murdered Kate Steinle. There’s a lot of bloody hands in California this morning.” —Charlie Daniels
Too little too late: “At least liberals are finally telling the truth about Bill Clinton — and just 20 years after it mattered! Of course, considering it took the Democratic Party a century to discover that slavery was wrong, two decades is lightning speed for these moral paragons.” —Ann Coulter
Braying Jackass: “If I watch Fox News, I wouldn’t vote for me. I would watch it and say who is that guy? This character Barack was portrayed in weird ways. It is all edited and shaped.” —Barack Obama
And last… “Politicians will do the right thing when all other options are exhausted.” —Frank Fleming
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