IN TODAY’S EDITION
- The CNN blinders are still active, leading to more fake news.
- Trump honored Mississippi’s new Civil Rights Museum. So John Lewis wouldn’t.
- Beginning in the ‘60s, we abandoned the sacred in favor of the profane.
- Corruption in Wisconsin parallels the squalid activity we’re witnessing in DC.
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been levelled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted, inasmuch as they tend to lessen its usefulness and to sap its safety.” —Thomas Jefferson (1805)
By Thomas Gallatin
The mainstream media does it again! On Friday, CNN reported that Donald Trump Jr. had received an email purporting to give him access to hacked DNC documents that WikiLeaks had obtained but had yet to make public. Ah ha! Another apparent smoking gun for the Leftmedia’s long-running Trump/Russian collusion narrative … except for one tiny little detail. CNN erroneously reported the date of the email to have been Sept. 4 rather than the actual date of Sept. 14, which meant the email was merely alerting Trump Jr. to the already-public WikiLeaks document dump; it wasn’t an inside collusion job. CNN was later forced to admit its error after both The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal noted the mistaken date. Is it any wonder that the vast majority of America doesn’t trust the mainstream media?
Donald Trump took to Twitter Saturday to call out his favorite MSM whipping boy for dispensing more “fake news.” Trump tweeted, “Fake News CNN made a vicious and purposeful mistake yesterday. They were caught red handed, just like lonely Brian Ross at ABC News (who should be immediately fired for his 'mistake’). Watch to see if @CNN fires those responsible, or was it just gross incompetence?” (Recall that ABC’s Ross likewise made a serious chronology error in his zeal to nail the president.) Trump continued, “CNN’s slogan is CNN, THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS. Everyone knows this is not true, that this could, in fact, be a fraud on the American Public. There are many outlets that are far more trusted than Fake News CNN. Their slogan should be CNN, THE LEAST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS!”
The truth is that CNN stepped right into this mess. Its Trump Derangement Syndrome has so affected the news agency that it has become blinded to its own bias. The subjective and absolutely unsubstantiated belief that Trump must have cheated to win the election hampers much of the MSM’s ability to objectively and faithfully report the news. Until journalists understand that their job is not to form public opinion but merely to report events, the problem of bias and blinders will continue.
Representatives John Lewis (D-GA) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) made it clear that they would not attend the grand opening ceremony for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum over the weekend. Why? Well, because Donald Trump also attended the opening — just as the president should, given the historic significance of the event. Lewis explained, “I think his presence would make a mockery of everything that people tried to do to redeem the soul of America and to make this country better.” Ironic that an icon of the civil rights movement would willingly disassociate himself from such a historic moment due to his personal animus toward Trump. Then again, this is the same John Lewis who staged an anti-Second Amendment congressional sit-in to deny civil rights.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to Lewis’ and Thompson’s decision, stating that it was “unfortunate that these members of Congress wouldn’t join the President in honoring the incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history.” Highlighting the need to strive for commonality rather than promote discord, Sanders further wrote, “The President hopes others will join him in recognizing that the movement was about removing barriers and unifying Americans of all backgrounds.”
In the end, NBC News reports, “The growing criticism of his visit led the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the White House to create a separate private program for Trump as a compromise, and the public event occurred without the president.” Pathetic.
To put it bluntly, this stunt was designed as a no-win situation for Trump. He’s damned if he does or damned if he doesn’t. Trump’s visit was used as an opportunity by Lewis and Thompson to grandstand and label Trump a racist, because he’s a Republican. However, if Trump had decided not to attend, then they would have excoriated him for failing to recognize and show the proper respect for the sacrifices made by those Civil Rights-era individuals in their fight for equal rights. Once again, Democrats make the mistake of viewing the man as bigger than the office.
Terror in Times Square: Suspect reportedly tied to ISIS sets off rush-hour bomb (Fox News)
Trump sets January push for $1 trillion infrastructure revamp (The Wall Street Journal)
Democrats remain divided about what they stand for (The Washington Post)
Scott Walker moves forward with plan to drug test food stamp users (CBS News)
More than one in four Americans postpone medical treatment because of the expense (The Washington Free Beacon)
NFL ticket prices plummet to $10 as teams struggle to fill stadiums (The Daily Wire)
Leftist outsiders pour into Alabama Senate race (The New York Times)
The Leftmedia is covering itself with glory in its zeal to get Trump (Hot Air)
Fusion GPS tried to tie Trump to Clinton’s pedophile pal Epstein as part of smear campaign (The Washington Times)
FBI probing Cuomo office’s hiring practices (Times Union)
Policy: National health expenditure report shows we have not solved the cost problem (Health Affairs)
Policy: What kids really want for Christmas (Institute for Family Studies)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
By Arnold Ahlert
Whether Al Franken realizes it or not (bet on not), his resignation speech epitomizes the moral rot that is eating at the foundations of our nation. A lampooning of Franken’s self-serving remarks displayed on the cover of Friday’s New York Post said it all: “I didn’t do anything wrong, but I’m leaving.” How did we become a nation where blaming everyone but oneself for one’s problems can reasonably be labeled as “quintessentially American?” How did we manage to convince ourselves that right and wrong are individualized — and negotiable — concepts? Beginning with the so-called revolution of the ‘60s, we abandoned the sacred in favor of the profane.
Columnist David P. Goldman defines sacred as “that which endures beyond our lifetime and beyond the lifetime of our children, the enduring characteristics that make us unique and will continue to distinguish us from the other peoples of the world, and which cannot be violated without destroying our sense of who we are.” He asserts, “The sacred is what a country’s soldiers are willing to die to protect; unless there is something for which we are willing to die, we will find nothing for which we are willing to live.”
Last week, our nation commemorated what might have been the last time most Americans felt a sustained sense of the sacred. On Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and in the ensuing four years, the overwhelming majority of Americans put aside their differences, and worked together to defeat Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany.
The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack also united us. But by then, many Americans in a nation grown far more cynical, were more than willing to discard that unity — led by a Democrat Party that saw the anti-war platform of activist Howard Dean, who briefly emerged as its front-running presidential candidate in the 2004 election — as the most propitious path back to the White House.
Unity, and the sacredness that undergirds it, was the ultimate casualty.
Yet the seeds for the nation’s moral swoon were sown long before 9/11. “Like many of our social pathologies today, our sexually saturated public culture and the unleashing of sexual predators are the bitter fruit of the free love movement of the Sixties,” writes Bruce S. Thornton. “Those who didn’t live through that period cannot imagine how quickly and radically our society was transformed.”
Thornton blames the mix of “dubious Pop-Freudian psychological ideas” and “left-wing theories of political revolution” aimed at delegitimizing traditional understandings of morality and values that ostensibly empowered “capitalist oppression.”
Half a century later, that original effort to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” still resonates. According to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes Toward Socialism,” 58% of Millennials would prefer living in a socialist, communist or fascist nation instead of a capitalist one.
That those same Millennials reject government control of the economy by a 2-1 margin is indicative of many things, but chief among them is that their understanding of the “enduring characteristics that make us unique” is virtually nil.
This is not surprising. While sexual freedom was the principal theme of the '60s reordering, embracing profanity, a.k.a. secularism, precipitated a paradigm shift in the way many Americans viewed the world. The belief in a higher power gave way to a glorification of the self, freed from the traditional understandings of right and wrong.
In turn, the moral underpinnings revealed by history became increasingly irrelevant, to the point where history itself required removal from the public square, lest it “offend” the egotists and the “superior” modernist morality they purport to represent — 58.5 million abortions since Roe v. Wade notwithstanding.
“Religiously unaffiliated people have been growing as a share of all Americans for some time,” Pew Research columnist Michael Lipka explained in 2015, citing Pew’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study that revealed religious “nones” now comprise 23% of the nation’s adult population.
In 2007, only 16% of Americans defined themselves as religiously unaffiliated. Moreover, the younger the demographic the less religious it is, with 35% of younger Millennials (born 1990-1996) defining themselves as nones, compared to only 11% of the Silent Generation (born 1928-1945) who identify as such.
Columnist John Hart asserts this decline may contribute to the nation’s political polarization, and he wonders if ideology has replaced religion altogether. “Many on the Left and Right are bowing to the same false god of state power from opposite sides of the altar,” he asserts. “The weirdness of today’s cult of personality politics didn’t happen by accident. Pew has identified a gap that ideology has rushed in to fill. The challenge for principled people on both sides is to put ideology back in its place. Ideology is a way to organize ideas and facilitate debate, not to provide meaning, purpose or answers to life’s transcendent and fundamental questions.”
Principled people? Principles do not occur in a vacuum, and while Hart would like to distribute equal blame to both sides of the ideological divide, it wasn’t the American Right who championed the ideas that “God is Dead,” all morality is “relative,” and everyone should “do their own thing” — absent the critical addendum that one should take responsibility for the consequences attendant to one’s choices.
Yet those on the Right are hardly blameless. They have their own share of fallen souls, and many have committed acts as egregious as their leftist counterparts, if not more so.
There is, however, a huge difference between a Right that fails to live up to the moral tenets institutionalized by our Judeo-Christian roots and our Founding documents, and an American Left that has largely abandoned those institutions and documents in favor of what Thornton calls the “liberation of the instincts.”
That liberation has engendered a plethora of social pathologies, including the destruction of the nuclear family, millions of abortions, the sexualization of children, high rates of divorce, and everything else attributable to the triumph of hedonism over virtue.
It is a liberation where people can discard religious notions of right and wrong, replacing them with “legal and illegal,” courtesy of attorneys, or “well and unwell,” courtesy of therapists. Moreover, as the current transgender movement demonstrates, the liberation of the instincts can liberate one from reality itself.
As a result, self-rationalization has become America’s most common moral currency.
Whether a sense of the sacred can be restored is anyone’s guess. But if one views the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as the respectively human-condition-defining and power-limiting contracts between a government and a free people they truly are, it is worth remembering that any contract is only as good as moral standards of those willing to abide by it.
In other words, it isn’t our institutions that are failing us. They are only as good — or as bad — as the people who inhabit them. Without a restored sense of the sacred, we will remain an exceptional nation in name only.
For many years, Americans have been led to believe liberation of the instincts, and the self-glorification it inevitably engenders, is the essence of enlightened thinking.
Pseudo-moralistic anarchy is more like it.
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
- Wisconsin Is Also Swampland — As you read about the corruption in Wisconsin, note the parallels to the squalid activity we’re witnessing in DC.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Ryan Anderson: The Christian Baker Need Not Have Ended Up at the Supreme Court
- John Goodman: Why Liberal Democrats Ignored Sexual Harassment for So Many Years
- Kathryn Jean Lopez: Love, Motherhood and Tragedy
- Richard D. Kocur: Just What the Doctor Ordered
- Burt Prelutsky: Denzel Washington Speaks Out
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
John Goodman: “You might think that sexual harassment would be a rather straightforward issue for the party that claims to be the party of women. In the 1990s, liberal activist groups used the issue to almost derail the appointment of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas and to force the resignation of Sen. Bob Packwood. But the allegations against Thomas and Packwood seem almost trivial by today’s standards. Later, when Bill Clinton was accused of these far more serious transgressions, women’s groups associated with the Democratic Party defended him. Republicans called them 'hypocrites.’ But that misses the point. We now know that sexual harassment has been rampant for years in all the places where liberals congregated — on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, in Hollywood, in the mainstream media, at liberal opinion magazines, etc. If they cared about this behavior they could have said something. But they didn’t. I hope it is now clear to all that sexual harassment to the Democratic establishment was always about elections and achieving political goals. It was never about anything else.”
The Gipper: “The Democrats may remember their lines, but how quickly they forget the lessons of the past.”
Alpha Jackass: “In this Pearl Harbor day, we should remember that the US refused to side with France and UK to confront fascist powers in 1930s.” —French Ambassador Gerard Araud
But the narrative! “If we’re going to go forward with impeachment, I want the American people clearly to understand why that is the case, why it makes sense, why it’s the right thing to do. I don’t think we’re there right now — that’s what the Mueller investigation is all about.” —Bernie Sanders
The BIG Lie: “The worst you can say about Democrats is that they’re too pure.” —Chris Matthews
Hypocrite: “Palestine is an innocent victim… As for Israel, it is a terrorist state.” —Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Just like we predicted: “I just watched Al Franken do the honorable thing and resign. My question is, why isn’t Donald Trump doing the same thing?” —Cory Booker
Cute spin: “U.S. job growth increased at a strong clip in November, painting a portrait of a healthy economy that analysts say does not require the kind of fiscal stimulus that President Donald Trump is proposing, even though wage gains remain moderate. … The fairly upbeat report underscored the economy’s strength and could fuel criticism of efforts by Trump and his fellow Republicans in the U.S. Congress to slash the corporate income tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent.” —Reuters (Does it not occur to the MSM that employers are
Late-night humor: “Mark Zuckerberg announced that he is taking a leave from Facebook to spend more time with his daughters. Like everyone who says they’re leaving Facebook, he’ll come back every hour to see how many likes his announcement got.” —Jimmy Fallon
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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher