Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 20, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Leftists detest the GOP tax bill because they’re vindictive and power hungry.
  • Yet again, a judge orders that illegal minors should be granted abortions.
  • Obama let Hezbollah sell cocaine in the U.S. to placate Iran for the nuclear deal.
  • Socialist Venezuela is starving thousands of children. Capitalist America feeds kids.
  • The Heritage Foundation has announced its new president: Kay Coles James.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“A rigid economy of the public contributions and absolute interdiction of all useless expenses will go far towards keeping the government honest and unoppressive.” —Thomas Jefferson (1823)

IN BRIEF

Taxes and the Vindictive Nature of the Left

Democrats and the Leftmedia often accuse conservatives and Republicans of being interested only in catering to the interests of the wealthy. They, on the other hand, claim for themselves the mantel of defenders of the interests of the poor and working class. No more has this false assertion been more evident than in recent weeks as the GOP has worked to bring about significant tax reform that benefits the vast majority of Americans. With Republicans on the brink of enacting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (pending a re-vote in the House over rule tweaks), The Washington Post published an article labeling the plan as “more regressive than current law.”

After admitting that the GOP tax bill will indeed lower taxes for 95% of Americans, the Post proceeds to explain why this is a bad thing. Referencing the leftist Tax Policy Center as if it were an unbiased, nonpartisan organization, the Post argues that the tax bill is unfair because the wealthy would receive the most in tax relief. Talk about a vindictive perspective. Evidently, the Post would prefer that no one get tax relief if the wealthy should in any way benefit. Sticking it to the rich is of greater importance than supporting tax cuts for all Americans, as well as spurring economic growth.

According to the Post, “In 2018, taxpayers earning less than $25,000 would receive an average tax cut of $60. … Those earning between $49,000 and $86,000 would get an average cut of about $900; those earning between $308,000 and $733,000 would receive an average cut of $13,500; and those earning more than $733,000 would receive an average cut of $51,000.” A mere $60 cut does seem rather paltry compared to $51,000. But most taxpayers earning less than $25,000 don’t actually pay income taxes. So how are they supposed to get a “cut”? And “those earning more than $733,000” includes people making multiple millions per year. Thus the “average cut of $51,000” seems more understandable.

Indeed, as Veronique de Rugy writes, “Over 70 percent of the tax is paid by the top 10 percent of earners. That means any reform of the income tax is probably going to affect them the most.” And yet after the bill becomes law, the top 10% will pay even more of the overall burden.

Still, the Post then quotes TPC director Mark Mazur, who states, “Overall, the conference agreement is more regressive than current law.” Notice the use of the loaded term “regressive.” It implies that Republicans are seeking to move backwards and undo “progress.” Because progress to the Left is moving away from individual freedom to an increasingly powerful and controlling governmental authority built on income redistribution. Taxation is one of the primary means by which this power exchange is accomplished.

The reality is not that the Post is worried about the poor and middle class Americans not getting a fair shake; rather it’s the fact that this bill effectively downsizes the government’s claim on other people’s money. This bill limits the government, and that’s what they don’t like.

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Heritage Foundation: A New President for a New Era

By Mark Alexander

The Patriot Post counts among our most influential supporters who helped us launch in 1996 two in particular. It was with the sage advice from conservative protagonists William F. Buckley (National Review, Emeritus) and Edwin Feulner (Heritage Foundation, Emeritus), among others on our National Advisory Committee, that we had a successful launch as the first conservative news, policy and opinion digest on the Web.

Ed Feulner has been an inspiration for years as president of the nation’s most prestigious policy think tank, The Heritage Foundation. This week, he announced his successor, Kay Coles James, who has served on Heritage’s board of trustees since 2005. Ed noted, “I look forward to expanding the conservative movement in a positive, inclusive way as we build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society flourish.”

For her part, Kay said, “You have my commitment: Heritage is safe with me. I’m in awe of this treasure you’ve built, and I pledge to you that I will protect it and grow it with the greatest care possible. The work of this extraordinary institution is so important. We’re not just a bulwark against the left. We’re a battleship for liberty.”

She has an impressive résumé and record in government, academia and the private sector, beginning with key roles in Ronald Reagan’s administration. Most recently, she helped lead Donald Trump’s transition for the Office of Management and Budget.

Kay is the right person to take Heritage forward, and we welcome her leadership there!

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Top Headlines

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

Obama Allowed Hezbollah to Traffic Cocaine in U.S.

By Louis DeBroux

“The Obama administration has been remarkably scandal-free.” —New York Times faux conservative columnist David Brooks, Feb. 9, 2016

Scandal-free. That is a plausible claim … as long as you ignore the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal, IRS targeting of conservative groups, trading five hardened terrorists for traitor Bowe Bergdahl, a private email server and use of aliases between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Benghazi, NSA warrantless collection of every American’s private communications, etc., etc., etc.

But this latest bombshell may be the most shocking and egregious violation of the public trust yet.

As revealed in an in-depth investigative report by Politico, Obama used his presidential power to cripple Project Cassandra, an aggressive DEA operation targeting a cocaine trafficking operation run by the Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah. The DEA had collected ample evidence showing Hezbollah had evolved from a Middle Eastern terrorist organization into “an international crime syndicate … collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.”

According to the report, Hezbollah is a major supplier of cocaine to the U.S., using the violent Los Zetas drug cartel to move the drugs from Mexico into the U.S., to the tune of $200 million per month. The drug money would then be laundered through a network of 300 American used car dealers by purchasing cars that would then be shipped to Benin on the west coast of Africa. The car dealerships in West Africa would then take those billions in profits and send them to Hezbollah-friendly banks, which would then fund additional terrorist attacks.

Why would Obama do this?

Specifically, Obama sabotaged the DEA operation to appease Iran (Hezbollah is a proxy for Iran) during negotiations of the nuclear deal, which Obama saw as crucial to his legacy.

As detailed in Politico, after amassing enough evidence to make its move against Hezbollah, the DEA was thwarted by the Obama administration as it sought to go after the major players. For example, Obama’s Justice Department denied Project Cassandra’s requests to file criminal charges against Hezbollah’s “high profile” Iranian envoy, a Lebanese banker who had laundered billions in drug money for the organization and who was “a central player in a U.S.-based cell of the Iranian paramilitary Quds force.” The Obama State Department also refused requests to lure “high-value targets” to U.S.-friendly countries so they could be arrested.

Furthermore, Obama prevented the DEA and FBI from going after Hezbollah operations being conducted on U.S. soil, refusing prosecution of a Hezbollah official in Philadelphia who facilitated the sale of what Politico called “1,200 Colt M4 military-grade assault rifles” that were shipped to Lebanon. Of course, it is possible that Obama was simply trying to avoid the appearance of favoritism between the Islamic terrorists and the violent Mexican drug cartels to which he had previously sold weaponry.

This is particularly enraging because Iran was taking these drug profits and funding terrorist attacks, including the financing of Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFPs), the most lethal type of IEDs, capable of “ripping M1 Abrams tanks in half” and responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq.

During testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, former Obama Treasury Department official Katherine Bauer testified that “under the Obama administration … these [Hezbollah-related] investigations were tamped down for fear of rocking the boat with Iran and jeopardizing the nuclear deal.”

Jack Kelly, the veteran DEA supervisory agent tapped to form and lead the Cassandra task force, said, “The FBI and other parts of the USG [U.S. government] provide a little or no assistance during our investigations. The USG lack of action on this issue has allowed [Hezbollah] to become one of the biggest transnational organized crime groups in the world.”

David Asher was the Defense Department illicit finance analyst who helped establish Project Cassandra and then provided oversight. According to Asher, the task force had, if anything, underestimated the scope and significance of Hezbollah’s operation, which was funding coordinated terrorism efforts between Islamic jihad and Iran. Asher testified before Congress that the operation represented the “largest material support scheme for terrorist operations” the world had ever seen.

Oh, and by the way, it was Obama’s mentor, the racist “Rev.” Jeremiah Wright, who once accused the CIA of allowing drugs into the country to poison poor black communities. No, it was actually his protégé.

Sadly, Obama’s actions are in line with his fundamental view of America as the source of much of the world’s ills, and the Middle East’s in particular. During his infamous 2009 apology tour, Obama directed much of the blame for Mideast violence on America’s foreign policy in the region, making a concerted effort to bestow international legitimacy on the Iranian regime.

An astute observer will recall that Obama also paid a $1.7 billion bribe to Iran, flying in the first $400 million, stacked on pallets in a cargo plane, in order to get around the U.S. and international sanctions that had effectively isolated the Iranian banking system from world financial markets. The deal also gave Iran access to the international arms market. And that’s not to mention the dangerous seven Iranian-born prisoners Obama released

So as we continue to endure the ludicrous Trump/Russia investigation, let us contemplate the fact that a U.S. president took actions to intentionally provide support for violent Mexican drug cartels and Islamic terrorists and the sad reality that he will never pay any price for doing so. But thank God, quite literally, that Obama’s successor, President Donald Trump, is aggressively undoing the damage Obama has done.

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Ben Shapiro: “As a society, we’re beyond suggesting that women are doing anything wrong in consenting to non-marital sex; women are free to do what they want. But we are in the midst of a push to punish male aggressors. And if we water down consent to nothingness, how can we ever expect men to feel safe in the knowledge that a sexual encounter won’t come with life-altering implications? … There are costs to societal expectations. Traditional mores ruled out the male expectation of sex in non-commitment scenarios. Yes, men had hopes of sex — all men do, virtually all of the time. But men had no expectation that such hopes would be achieved absent serious commitment. Thanks to our consent-only society, however, in which sexual activity is a throwaway and any notion of cherishing it is scoffed at as patriarchal, men have developed expectations that too many women feel they must meet — and men have taken up the feminist standard that consent is a goal to be achieved. The cost to such a system is borne almost entirely by women. The healthiest system of sexual interaction is a system in which most women can be sure enough of themselves most of the time to feel decent after saying yes. That system no longer exists, thanks to the disconnect between commitment and sex. And the continuing disconnect between consent and expectation will continue to burden women in heavier and heavier ways.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan to indulge in benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds… I find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution.” —Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)

For the record: “Of the 150,493,263 filers who submitted individual income tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service for the 2015 tax year, only 99,040,729 paid any income tax at all. … And the divide gets worse. There were 30,417,609 filers who did not pay income taxes and received $89,614,869,000 in cash back from the federal government.” —Terence Jeffrey

Braying Jenny: “This GOP tax scam is simply theft — monumental, brazen theft — from the American middle class and from every person who aspires to reach it. The GOP tax scam is not a vote for an investment in growth or jobs, it is a vote to install a permanent plutocracy in our nation. They’ll be cheering that later.” —Nancy Pelosi

Reflections: “Right now any woman can say anything and a man’s career is ruined. Now, a lot of women can say things that are true, and [the men’s] careers should be ruined. But the problem is that any woman can say anything, and that’s it — it’s over. Is that how we’re running businesses now?” —MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski

The BIG Lie: “Sorry, NRA: The U.S. was actually founded on gun control.” —Ed Asner and Ed Weinberger in Salon (Actually, it’s the other way around.)

Belly laugh of the week: “I’ve served with eight presidents and I’ve gotten to know four of them very well. I’ve never met any president that has more character, more integrity, and more backbone than [Barack Obama] does. And [after] eight years, not a hint — not a hint — of a scandal.” —Joe Biden

Non Compos Mentis: “I believe it is very important for American, Mexican, Canadian, Central and South American, British, Swedish and children from any region and nation whose most important holiday is Christmas to know that Christmas is a Palestinian festival, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, an Abrahamic Prophet who was born in Bethlehem, a Palestinian City.” —former Pace University professor Golbarg Bashi

And last… “This year, an ideology that killed millions in the twentieth century attempted to resurrect itself. Oh, and the Nazis tried to make a comeback, too.” —Robert Tracinski

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher