The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Predictably, enforcing immigration law yields fewer attempted illegal border crossings.
- Pelosi and the Democrats go nuts about tax reform because it takes away their power.
- The Supreme Court heard arguments in the infamous “bake the cake” case.
- Time’s “Person of the Year” — the women who spoke up about sexual abuse.
- Trump reverses a small part of Obama’s massive land grab. Leftists go crazy.
- Is fascism Left or Right? Definitely Left, and here’s why.
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“Personal security and private property rest entirely upon the wisdom, the stability, and the integrity of the courts of justice.” —Joseph Story (1833)
By Thomas Gallatin
News is out on illegal immigration statistics this year and it’s good. The number of illegal aliens caught crossing the border this year has dropped to a 45-year low, indicating a significant drop in the number of individuals attempting to cross illegally. At the same time, the number of illegal aliens arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in the nation’s interior rose by 40%.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke credited President Donald Trump’s policies, declaring, “We have clearly seen the successful results of the president’s commitment to supporting the front-line officers and agents of DHS as they enforce the law and secure our borders. We have an obligation to uphold the integrity of our immigration system, but we must do more to step up and close loopholes to protect the American worker, our economy and our communities.”
Critics of Trump’s border wall responded to the news by suggesting that the decrease in illegal crossing indicated there is no need for a wall, calling it a waste of money. However, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted that Trump remains committed to his campaign promise. “The need for the border wall and border security, as well as responsible immigration reform, still stands,” she asserted. “And we still need to look at all the ways that we can protect our national security. And we still feel strongly that [the wall] is one of them.”
Tom Price, the acting director of ICE, pressed for more action against illegal immigration, highlighting the ongoing problem of “sanctuary” cities. “We need to confront and address misguided policies and loopholes that only serve as a pull factor for illegal immigration,” he said. “We must continue to target violent gangs like MS-13, and prevent them from rebuilding what we have begun to dismantle. Finally, we need to find a solution to the dangerous sanctuary city policies and the politicians who needlessly risk innocent lives to protect criminals who are illegally present in the United States.” Kate Steinle’s family knows about that.
Overall, the news on the problem of illegal immigration is good, but there is clearly a long way to go for the government to get this decades-long problem under control.
By Jordan Candler
Republicans in the House and Senate are in the process of reconciling their respective tax reform bills, which means agitated Democrats are fomenting fear and trepidation. Nancy Pelosi introduced an outlandish rant against tax reform in October, when she hysterically asserted, “This tax bill is Armageddon.” With tax reform nearing completion, she is regurgitating this garbage-filled talking point, claiming again, “It is the end of the world. … This is Armageddon. This is a very big deal.”
In a sense, this isn’t hyperbole for Democrats. Their power and political influence depends on the redistribution of wealth, so in a way this is the end of their world.
In the real world, however, tens of millions of middle class Americans aren’t complaining about the extra money they’ll pocket if Republicans prevail. Democrats, however, are of the opinion that any boon to “the wealthy” — even if it’s disproportionately less — is more than enough reason to quash tax reform and therefore justifies their efforts to derail it. But the Democrats’ broader strategic angle is to protect their statist endeavors. To accomplish this, they routinely inflict discord by way of hyperbole.
Columnist David Harsanyi hits on this in a new piece: “How did so many liberals convince themselves that tax reform (a rare cut that is, according to sometime-reliable Washington Post factcheckers, only the eighth largest in history) signals the implosion of American life? Everyone tends to dramatize the consequences of policy for effect, of course, but a Democratic Party drifting towards Bernie-ism is far more likely to perceive cuts in taxation as limiting state control and thus an attack on all decency and morality. Taxation is the finest tool of redistribution, so it’s understandable.”
But it’s also not excusable. Hysteria, hyperbole and falsehoods are a proven way for malcontents to breed resentment. At which point those who feel resentment are vulnerable to exploitation, which Democrats pursue without even thinking twice. Pelosi’s vexation is no excuse for absurdly hyperbolic remarks chock full of lies. Until subjectivity and relativism are tossed aside, vitriol and the speedy trend toward tribal politics will worsen. A little homework on the part of every American would defuse the situation and render these tirades ineffective.
Trump to declare Jerusalem capital of Israel (ABC News)
Islamist suicide plot to assassinate Prime Minister Theresa May foiled (Sky News)
Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed as new DHS secretary (Townhall)
The enforcement wall: Border arrests plunge, deportation arrests soar (Associated Press)
Mueller spends in four months what Benghazi investigation cost in over two years (The Washington Free Beacon)
International Olympic Committee bars Russia from 2018 Winter Games over doping (NBC News)
DC has highest percentage of heavy drinkers (WTOP)
Don’t call us snowflakes — it damages our mental health, say young people (The Telegraph)
Humor: New York Times reports 18 billion people will die from Republican tax plan (The Babylon Bee)
Policy: Four promising takeaways from Masterpiece Cakeshop arguments (National Review)
Policy: ObamaCare’s medical standards are harming our medical system (City Journal)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
Note From the Editor
Here at The Patriot Post, part of our core mission is to expose the very real collusion between the Democrats and their MSM propagandists. From day one back in 1996, chief among our objectives was to dislodge the mainstream media’s monopoly stranglehold on public opinion. Incredibly, this work has been made possible ever since thanks solely to the financial generosity of Patriots like you. The deadline to raise funding for our daily operations budget into the third quarter is quickly approaching — we have some ground to cover to reach that goal, with approximately $130,000 left to raise. If you find our editions useful, please consider supporting our mission today. Thank you for partnering with us in this vital work. —Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
By Louis DeBroux
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case with serious implications for religious liberty in the United States.
At issue is balancing the Constitution’s guarantees of freedom of religion, speech and association with public accommodation laws that prohibit denial of service based on “disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry.”
The facts of the case are straightforward, though often misrepresented. Jack Phillips is the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado. A few years ago, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, two homosexual men, were traveling to Massachusetts to get married (this was prior to the Obergefell ruling in 2015), with a reception to be held in Denver. The two approached Phillips about providing a wedding cake, but Phillips politely declined, explaining that his religious convictions prevent him from providing services for same-sex weddings. The couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Commission on Human Rights, which sued Phillips, eventually winning a ruling that required him not only to provide services for same-sex weddings, but mandating he and his employees undergo “compliance training” (in North Korea this is referred to as “re-education camp”).
Lest one think Phillips is anti-homosexual, it should be noted he offered to provide a wedding cake to the couple — just not with any customization. In fact, he has served many homosexual clients in the past, and continues to do so. It should also be noted that his religious convictions prohibit him from providing cakes for Halloween (a pagan holiday) or second marriages, or anything with anti-Christian, anti-American or vulgar messages.
In a pluralistic society like America, this should not be an issue. The plaintiffs admit there were plenty of other bakers who would provide the cake, but this was never about getting a cake. No, it’s about forcing endorsement of the homosexual agenda and punishing a Christian for living by his faith.
Phillips is so committed to living by his faith that, rather than violating it, he stopped offering customized wedding cakes altogether while the litigation process continues, costing him a staggering 40% of his revenue.
The Supreme Court has issued prior rulings coming down on both sides of religious liberty. In West Virginia State BoE v. Barnette (1943), the Court upheld a Jehovah’s Witness’s right not to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. In Wooley v. Maynard (1977), the Court said New Hampshire could not compel a Jehovah’s Witness to display the state motto “Live Free or Die” on his license plate, as it would violate a citizen’s right “to hold a point of view different from the majority and to refuse to foster … an idea they find morally objectionable.”
On the other hand, in Employment Division v. Smith (1990), a Native American failed to win a religious exemption allowing him to smoke peyote, and of course, in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the Court swept aside the duly enacted legislation of the people of three dozen states in codifying marriage as between a man and a woman, compelling acceptance of a redefinition of marriage that two-thirds of states found objectionable.
There is also an undercurrent that reveals an unequal application of the law by government which is hostile to Christians.
For example, the same Colorado Commission on Human Rights that compelled Phillips to bake the cake allowed three bakers to refuse service to customers seeking to buy cakes with messages criticizing same-sex “marriage,” an obvious refutation of the claim that this is about enforcing viewpoint neutrality. The state is punishing speech it finds objectionable.
In fact, a study by the First Liberty Institute, which tracks violations of religious liberty, found a 15% increase in legal cases that affect religious liberty in America. From unequal access to federal funds for churches, to lawsuits demanding removal of Christian symbols and memorials from public spaces, to denying freedom of religion to military service members, to compelling Christian bakers, florists, photographers and other artists to participate in same-sex weddings, a clear trend is evident in the oppression of the religious liberties of Christians.
This is mostly due to the larger debate about rights. For the Right, rights are about individual liberty, and these rights are enumerated in the Bill of Rights. For the Left, “rights” are made up out of whole cloth to serve the desired outcome of some constituency, and, in order for these rights to be exercised, it usually means someone else must be compelled to provide something for the recipient.
The outcome of this case will be far-reaching. In fact, some wonder whether, for example, Christian medical professionals soon will be forced to participate in abortions or assisted suicide, or Catholic Adoption Services forced to place children in homes with same-sex parents. The possibilities are as endless as they are frightening.
The reality is that the plaintiffs suing Christian business owners are not interested in equality, or accommodation, but in government-compelled acceptance of something tens of millions of Americans find religiously and morally objectionable.
Marriage is found nowhere in the Constitution, much less a “right” to same-sex marriage. However, the freedoms of religion, speech and association are found in the Constitution, right there in the First Amendment.
If the black-robed oligarchs of the Court (here’s looking at you, Anthony Kennedy) have any respect for the language and intent of the Constitution, Jack Phillips’ freedoms will be protected. There are reasons to be hopeful, but time will tell.
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
- Time for #MeToo — The wave of sexual misconduct allegations mean “The Silence Breakers are the 2017 Person of the Year.”
- Trump Reverses Democrat Land Grabs — It’s an issue of federalism, and the president did the right thing with national monuments in Utah.
- Video: Is Fascism Right or Left? — Dinesh D'Souza breaks down the socialist history of fascism for Prager University.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Star Parker: A Wedding Cake and the Blessings of Liberty
- Ben Shapiro: Fiscal Responsibility or Lower Taxes?
- Rebecca Hagelin: Pearl Harbor & Why We Stand
- L. Brent Bozell and Tim Graham: Brian Ross Should Be Fired
- Hans von Spakovsky: Guam Has a Racist Voting Law
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Star Parker: “Those in favor of redefining and legalizing marriage between individuals of the same sex had a great victory in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. However, many supporters of that decision distort its spirit. It wasn’t about forcing all Americans to accept homosexuality. It was about including this behavior under the umbrella of our guarantees of freedom. The gay couple that wants to force a Christian man to make a cake for their wedding, against his deepest religious convictions, does not respect the ideal of liberty in which the Obergefell decision was handed down. If they did, they would respect differences and go elsewhere for their cake — something easily done. … How can … Christians, white and black, possibly feel that the U.S. Constitution secures for them the ‘blessings of liberty’ if, on a whim, a gay couple can walk into their establishment and demand a product that violates their religious convictions? Especially when those demanding this product or service can easily obtain it elsewhere. No, this is not like refusing to serve blacks in a restaurant. The spirit of that behavior is racism, the antithesis of ‘securing the blessings of liberty.’ At the end of the day, our Constitution is only as good as the goodwill of our citizens. Things will only work when the ideal of ‘securing the blessings of liberty’ is taken seriously and respected by all.”
Insight: “It is largely because civilization enables us constantly to profit from knowledge which we individually do not possess and because each individual’s use of his particular knowledge may serve to assist others unknown to him in achieving their ends that men as members of civilized society can pursue their individual ends so much more successfully than they could alone.” —Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992)
For the record: “The special counsel investigation run by Robert Mueller has cost taxpayers more in four months than what the investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attack cost in over two years.” —The Washington Free Beacon (Flashback: “Republicans continue to drag out this political charade closer to the 2016 presidential election, and the American taxpayers continue to pay the price.” —Rep. Elijah Cummings, January 2016)
Braying Jenny: “I want every single California Republican to understand this. Your ideology doesn’t come first. Your party doesn’t come first. The PEOPLE come first. If you fail to recognize that, you don’t belong here.” —Nancy Pelosi (Translation: Conservatives “don’t belong here.”)
They’re not saying it’s racism, but it’s racism: “The stunning fall of Democratic Rep. John Conyers … has left confusion, anger, resentment and bewilderment inside the ranks of the Congressional Black Caucus, a group that Conyers helped found nearly four decades ago. Many CBC members see a double standard at play. They won’t say the treatment of Conyers is racist, necessarily … but they think white politicians accused of similar misconduct like Blake Farenthold, Al Franken, Roy Moore and Donald Trump get a ‘benefit of the doubt’ that black politicians don’t enjoy.” —Politico
Do as I say, not as I do: “Reports indicate the president will move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I wrote him last week to explain why that would be a terrible decision.” —Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who in 1995 voted in favor of legislation permitting Trump’s move
And last… “As we’ve learned, incompetence, bias, and sleaziness know no ideological bounds. But unless our nation can diversify its civil service (and unless civil servants themselves stop acting recklessly and foolishly) public trust will continue to erode, and everything will be viewed through a partisan lens, all the time.” —David French
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