Mid-Day Digest

Jan. 2, 2018

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Trump endured mercilessly negative news coverage last year surprisingly well.
  • Looking back at fake gun news in 2017, beware of more of the same this year.
  • Iranians are protesting tyranny and Trump is offering needed support.
  • New Year’s resolutions are worthless without resolve.
  • Law and order made significant advances in 2017.
  • Debunking the whole fiction of the proverbial “dreamer.”
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“Newspapers … serve as chimnies to carry off noxious vapors and smoke.” —Thomas Jefferson (1802)

IN BRIEF

Trump Exposes Significant MSM Bias in First Year

By Thomas Gallatin

President Donald Trump noted an interesting thing last week — that his approval ratings match Barack Obama’s at the end of his first year in office. Trump tweeted, “While the Fake News loves to talk about my so-called low approval ratings, @foxandfriends just showed that my rating on Dec. 28, 2017, was approximately the same as President Obama on Dec. 28, 2009, which was 47% … and this despite massive negative Trump coverage & Russia hoax!” And like Pavlov’s dogs, the Demo/MSM rabidly reacted to Trump’s tweet, once again serving only to further prove his observation of their Trump Derangement Syndrome.

The Washington Post jumped to point out that Trump was relying on a Rasmussen poll which, according to the Post, “tends to skew more heavily Republican.” And while it may be accurate to note that various polling organizations produce differing results (this just in!), the fact of the matter is that politicians have a long history of highlighting favorable polls. The bigger factor the Post missed or ignored was that in the face of the overwhelming negative media coverage Trump endured during his first year in office, his favorability rating still matched that of Obama.

How overwhelmingly negative? The Pew Research Center found that MSM coverage of Trump was negative 62% of the time, while he received favorable coverage only 5% of the time. Compare that to Obama’s first year in office, when MSM coverage was 42% positive to only 20% negative. (Somehow we recall the positive coverage was far higher.) Meanwhile, both Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton experienced only 28% negative coverage in their first year.

Coming back to Trump’s favorability rating, imagine what his numbers might look like today if he had benefited from the same positive MSM coverage experienced by Obama. Instead, in 2018 Americans can expect to see only more of the same from the Demo/MSM, which will seek to convince the country that Trump is the worst thing that’s ever happened to America. That in turn will only sow more distrust of the MSM in the minds of many Americans.

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Shooting Down Fake News About Guns

By Nate Jackson

The New Year, as with every year, will require vigilance on the part of Liberty-lovers. In particular, we expect the Second Amendment will remain under assault by those who claim to love safety. Much of that assault comes from a dishonest Leftmedia propaganda machine dedicated to advancing Democrat policies of gun control. What better way to do that than to fill papers, airwaves, TV news and websites full of fake news meant to scare people? Courtesy of Emily Miller, author of Emily Gets Her Gun, here are a few such stories from 2017.

Some stories are spun from pure ignorance, which is, unfortunately, typical of those who would regulate firearms they know nothing about. Whether it’s New York’s Carolyn McCarthy spouting off about barrel shrouds, or former Press Secretary Josh Earnest being unable to define an “assault weapon,” ignorance somehow becomes policy preference.

Hilariously, Miller recalls USA Today’s infamous list of accessories for AR-15s. That list, published after the Texas church shooting, included a “chainsaw bayonet,” which spawned a whole slew of parodies like our own. Incredibly, USA Today’s article still has not been corrected.

But ignorance pales in comparison to deliberate deception. For example, many stories include no pro-Second Amendment view in counterpoint to leftist anti-gun rhetoric. In CNN’s report about the crazed socialist who attempted to murder Republicans, the reporter saw fit only to interview (by email) the president of the anti-gun Brady Campaign. Likewise, NBC’s story about the fifth anniversary of Sandy Hook bemoaned that no new gun control laws had been passed since then — all because the Left failed to unite against the supposedly all-powerful NRA. There was no alternative point of view offered from the plethora of gun-rights groups that stand with the NRA, nor was there a mention of billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s deep-pocketed support for gun control.

Then there are lies, damned lies and statistics. Leftist reporters like CNN’s Jim Acosta have a bad habit of citing debunked data on mass shootings. According to Acosta, “Since Sandy Hook there have been at least 1,552 mass shootings, with at least 1,767 people killed and 6,227 wounded.” He got his information from the anti-gun “Gun Violence Archive” rather than actual FBI crime data or even the Congressional Research Service. Miller responds, “In fact, the number of people killed annually in mass shootings has been an average of 23 over the last 30 years.” That discrepancy is largely because of the definition of the term “mass shooting.” While anti-gun groups count all kinds of things to inflate their statistics, the FBI defines the term as an incident in which four or more people are killed outside the home.

As for the supposedly centrist Economist, its story about the Texas church shooting lamented that an AR-15 was used — a gun that “was prohibited in 1994, but legalised in 2004 when America’s assault-weapons ban expired.” Why did it expire? The article doesn’t say, but it’s because it was ineffective and unconstitutional. If The Economist had checked with the FBI, readers would know that of 11,004 gun homicides in 2016, just 374 were committed with rifles of any kind. They might also know the good guy NRA instructor in Texas used an AR-15 to stop the massacre.

In short, as always, beware fake news about guns in 2018 as well.

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Top Headlines

  • GOP business tax cuts force other countries to compete (National Review)

  • Democrats build cynical political case against tax bill but don’t call for repeal so as to keep it as a divisive campaign issue (The Washington Post)

  • Nearly 450,000 people fled these three deep blue states In 2017 (The Daily Caller)

  • Trump: “Time for change” in Iran; “The U.S. is watching” (CNS News)

  • How Islamic State’s caliphate crumbled (The Wall Street Journal)

  • Haley: We cut almost $300 million from UN budget (Hot Air)

  • Secret document reveals China covertly offering missiles, increased aid to North Korea (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • Trump administration releases final 2017 report on incarcerated illegal immigrants (The Daily Signal)

  • Five Colorado officers shot, one fatally, in “ambush-type” attack (Daily News)

  • Baltimore breaks city record for killings per capita in 2017 (Associated Press)

  • Appeals court rules bakers must pay $135,000 for not making wedding cake (The Daily Signal)

  • Stock markets wrap up best year since 2013 (The Washington Post)

  • Policy: What the U.S. should do as protests escalate in Iran (The Daily Signal)

  • Policy: The Greatest Generation and the greatest illusion (City Journal)

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

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

Time to Stand With Iran’s People

Protests in Iran continue on Tuesday as millions of ordinary Iranian men and woman stand up to a regime that is feared, hated and distrusted by the population. The spark for the latest nationwide protests was economic, but it ignited a combustible grievance that has been steadily building since at least the late 1990s — in truth since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

The vast majority of Iran’s 80 million people have no memory of the Revolution, and see only a brutal regime that enforces a medieval Islamic code of social mores while enriching itself and squandering the revenue provided by the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves. Highly educated and technically literate, young Iranians admire and, to the extent feasible, adopt many of the West’s cultural practices in music, television, dress and treatment of women. Yet they see their young Western counterparts enjoying higher employment numbers and freedom of expression, while young Iranians suffer a 40% unemployment rate and state-controlled speech. Very much like Soviet communism in the 1980s, the Islamic Revolution in Iran is old, tired and no longer able to inspire loyalty with its ideas, instead demanding loyalty with its guns.

The regime’s reaction to the latest protests has followed the usual playbook of denunciations by various officials, harsh crackdowns by the security forces, and of course blaming external forces for all of Iran’s problems. President Hassan Rouhani, who is widely blamed for the lack of any economic benefit for ordinary Iranians following the 2015 nuclear deal, stated Monday, “Our great nation has witnessed a number of similar incidents in the past and has comfortably dealt with them. This is nothing.”

As of Tuesday the regime has demonstrated relative restraint, but with protesters reportedly storming police stations and — most remarkably — chanting slogans directly criticizing Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the likelihood of greater violence on the part of the security forces is high. At least 21 are dead already.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have issued strong statements of support for the protesters — alas, choosing Twitter as their medium rather than a formal statement. Twitter comments lack anything resembling serious thought, have a lifespan of mere days, and after a year of non-stop Twitter blasts from the president there is significant Twitter fatigue among Americans and people around the world. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed how it should be done.

Still, the president’s immediate and unequivocal support for the protesters is a welcome change from his predecessor’s unwillingness to do or say anything that might derail his cherished nuclear appeasement — something his buffoon of a secretary of state, John Kerry, continues even now. Kerry could only bring himself to say, “It’s an Iranian moment and not anyone else’s. But the rights of people to protest peacefully and voice their aspirations are universal and governments everywhere should respect that.” Even the reliably leftist Washington Post took a stronger position than Kerry, stating plainly, “The West should support the protesters in Iran.”

It remains to be seen what the latest round of protests will accomplish, and there is little reason to be optimistic in the near term given the regime’s absolute monopoly on force and demonstrated willingness to employ it. But as Trump, Netanyahu and history itself have stated, dictatorial regimes cannot last forever, because there are always more of the oppressed than there are oppressors. Again, the Soviet example is instructive. No regime has ever had a greater monopoly on force or greater willingness to use it, yet it was toppled by the same desire for freedom now rocking Iran. And just as in the Soviet example, the moral and material support of the United States will be vital, both in the short term and the long term. We hope and expect President Trump will keep up his support for the Iranians risking their lives in pursuit of their own freedom.

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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

Jeff Jacoby: “African-Americans constitute 26 percent of Alabama’s people, but they accounted for 29 percent of the voters in last month’s special election for the U.S. Senate. Whites make up 69 percent of the state’s population, yet they were only 66 percent of those who voted. Black voters, in other words, punched above their weight on Election Day, turning up at the polls at a rate that exceeded their share of the general public. Whites, by contrast, underperformed. But surely that’s impossible! Haven’t we been told time and again that Deep Red states like Alabama engage in voter suppression, cynically disenfranchising minorities through outrageous election rules that, as Jay Michaelson wrote in The Daily Beast, ‘just coincidentally happen to disproportionately hit communities of color’? Weren’t we reminded in the weeks leading up to the election that Alabama’s rules amount to ‘a naked attempt to suppress the voting rights of people of color’ and that black electoral clout is undermined by all the hurdles the state’s Republican politicians have devised to deter minorities from casting ballots? … Elections come down to voters, who have minds of their own and routinely upset the experts’ calculations. Alabama is only the latest reminder that when elections are free and fair, outcomes aren’t guaranteed. In the Heart of Dixie, as in the rest of 21st century America, voter suppression is a thing of the past.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Not until right is founded upon reverence will it be secure; not until duty is based upon love will it be complete; not until liberty is based on eternal principles will it be full, equal, lofty, and universal.” —Henry Giles (1809-1882)

For the record: “A great many people have strong belief systems, and at the core of those strong belief systems is the idea that they are good and people who disagree are bad; alternately, my tribe is good and the other tribes are bad. If new information comes along and appears to confirm that they and their tribe are good, or that the other tribes are bad, then they choose to believe it. If new information comes along and appears to confirm that they and their tribe are bad, or that the other tribes are good, they will declare the information false.” —Jim Geraghty

Political futures: “A leading Democratic criticism of the tax bill is that the middle-class tax cuts expire. This should be very easy to remedy — Republicans should make the Democrats vote on extending them as soon as Congress comes back.” —Rich Lowry

Resistance is futile: “2017 was the impossible year. It was not supposed to happen. Yet, we survived it. 2018 is the year of the resistance.” —Univision anchor Jorge Ramos

Dezinformatsiya: “A lot of nations and their populations, no matter how they feel about their governments in particular, do perceive the United States as not really having a moral leg to stand on.” —CNN International Senior Correspondent Arwa Damon on Trump’s promoting regime change in Iran

Friendly fire: “I think that the 2009 timeframe is very instructive. I think we chose to not be as supportive [of Iranian protesters] as we could have been then. And I hope we can be right now, so that Iran can continue to evolve.” —former Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen

And last… “The Iranian people are once again attempting to rise against their oppressor. If only the US & free world had supported their previous attempt in 2009 instead of choosing appeasement and formally allying with the dictatorship in 2013.” —Human Rights Foundation Chairman Garry Kasparov

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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