IN TODAY’S EDITION
- The leftist response to Iranian protests reveals a lot about leftists.
- FEMA gets religion and allows churches to partake of disaster relief money.
- Federal bureaucrats are often very well paid for running our lives.
- China secretly helps North Korea in the face of UN sanctions.
- Despite the defeat of the Islamic State, the jihadist threat persists.
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“The fundamental source of all your errors, sophisms and false reasonings is a total ignorance of the natural rights of mankind. Were you once to become acquainted with these, you could never entertain a thought, that all men are not, by nature, entitled to a parity of privileges.” —Alexander Hamilton (1775)
By Nate Jackson
As we noted yesterday, protests in Iran continue as citizens rise up to object to tyranny and corruption in the Iranian regime. Donald Trump and his administration — particularly UN Ambassador Nikki Haley — have clearly stood with the Iranian people in support of Liberty. Meanwhile, American leftists provide quite the teachable moment.
In fact, David Harsanyi nailed it, writing, “The Iranian people are in the midst of their largest protests since the 2009 Green movement, and many on the Left don’t seem especially thrilled about the prospects of a free Iran. The muted reaction is partly due to a troubling trend of justifying and excusing Islamic fascism in a broader and confused attempt at signaling tolerance. But almost surely an even more powerful factor is the need to protect Barack Obama’s legacy and criticize Donald Trump.”
A few examples: The New York Times, in a story that included coverage of the death of 12 protesters at the hands of Iranian government forces, blamed … the protesters. “Iranian authorities have clamped down on Tehran after demonstrators across the country ignored calls for calm,” the paper of record tweeted. Imagine a similar framing of anti-Trump rallies last year had the result been a dozen deaths at the hands of police. That’s right — a similar framing is unimaginable.
Speaking of anti-Trump protesters, the Women’s March, famous for running around the DC Mall wearing vagina hats, has been utterly silent about the Iranian protests, in which The Washington Times notes “women have become symbolic leaders.” American feminists fancy themselves the oppressed subjects of the dystopian TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but when they have a chance to stand up for actually oppressed women around the world, their silence is deafening.
Finally, both The New York Times and Newsweek scolded Trump over his statements about Iran blocking social media sites. When Trump condemned the Iranian government’s crackdown, Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman responded by tweeting, “The president often blocks individual people from seeing the @realDonaldTrump Twitter feed.” Newsweek made the supposed contrast even more clear, tweeting, “Trump bars Americans on Twitter but tells Iran to unblock social media sites.” As if the comparison is even remotely relevant. Hateful leftist Twitter trolls being blocked is not the same thing as shutting down access to Twitter. Oh, and by the way, nearly the entire American mainstream media apparatus is freely opposed to Trump. That’s a contrast from the state-run propaganda in Iran.
But by all means, leftists will continue to ignore protests for Liberty in Iran all while circling the wagons to defend Obama’s horrible nuclear deal.
By Thomas Gallatin
On Tuesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reversed course on churches and disaster money. It had previously excluded churches from applying for disaster relief aid but will now allow them to do so, retroactive to August 23, 2017. This decision comes after lawsuits were brought by three Texas churches against the agency as well as pressure from President Donald Trump, who had tweeted that churches should receive FEMA aid for helping the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston.
Prior to the policy change, FEMA had allowed “community centers” and other nonprofits to apply for and receive federal emergency funds, but the agency had specifically excluded houses of worship due to the fact that they were used for “religious activities, such as worship, proselytizing or religious instruction.” Lawyers for the Texas churches argued that such a policy was discriminatory and unconstitutional, violating the First Amendment’s protection of the free exercise of religion.
Pastor Charles Stoker of the Hi-Way Tabernacle, one of the churches suing FEMA, said that his church sheltered 80 to 90 evacuees, many of whom were not members of the church or even religious. Stoker said, “We’re not trying to cram religion down someone’s throat, we’re trying to help them recover, to show them love.” Stoker’s church was severely damaged by flooding and his lawyer noted that many churches serve as “hubs for the community” and that FEMA’s “denying help to them, to these churches, denies help to the community.”
FEMA’s new policy states that “private nonprofit houses of worship are now eligible for disaster assistance as community centers, without regard to their secular or religious nature.” This is indeed welcome news and the correct decision even from a purely practical point of view. As we noted last September, churches and faith-based groups spearheaded the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and outperformed FEMA. Quite simply, it behooves the agency to support local churches who are often better prepared to deal with natural disasters because they know and are already heavily invested in their communities.
Congressional investigators find irregularities in FBI’s handling of Clinton email case (The Hill)
Clinton aide Abedin forwarded State passwords to Yahoo before it was hacked by foreign agents (The Daily Caller)
The Trump Effect: Business, anticipating less regulation, loosens purse strings (The New York Times (of all places))
Trump administration working to incubate nascent Iranian revolution (The Washington Times)
Feds to crack down on immigrants who become naturalized citizens through fraud (The Washington Times)
$1.6 billion in unemployment insurance benefits paid to individuals who did not seek work (The Washington Free Beacon)
FEMA allows churches to apply retroactively for disaster aid (Reuters)
2017: Chicago homicides outnumber U.S. military casualties 18 to 1 (CNS News)
Don’t tell anybody, but accidental shooting deaths are way down (Hot Air)
Disney princes in “Snow White,” “Sleeping Beauty” are sex offenders, professor says (Fox News)
Policy: Thanks to doctors, there aren’t enough doctors (Washington Examiner)
Policy: Choosing a school should be as easy as choosing a hair salon (The Heartland Institute)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
By Lewis Morris
We’ve all heard the jokes about government jobs and the general lack of efficiency in the federal bureaucracy. Yet in some important ways, the size and scope of the federal government workforce is nothing to crack wise about.
A recent study by OpentheBooks.com, a nonprofit watchdog group, found that taxpayers pay over $1 million a minute to cover the two-million-person federal workforce. Including pay and benefits, that comes out to around $136 billion a year.
Yes, we have a large federal workforce, so perhaps the numbers aren’t surprising. But working for the government also has significant perks, according to the study, which breaks down salaries by agency and states. The average federal worker in 78 government agencies makes about $100,000 per year. After three years, they get 10 federal holidays, 13 sick days and 20 paid vacation days.
Moreover, the report says, “Nearly 30,000 rank-and-file federal employees who received more than $190,823 out-earned each of the 50 state governors.” That’s astounding.
Also, the study does not take into account the Department of Defense or the men and women on active military duty. Of the agencies and departments that were examined, the Postal Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs were the largest employers, accounting for 32% and 19%, respectively, of all federal workers.
Over 400,000 federal employees take home six-figure incomes. Over the last decade, the number of federal workers making over $200,000 a year increased by 165%. There is even a heart surgeon on the VA payroll who makes more than the president.
It’s worth noting that many federal employees are hardworking people who take their jobs seriously and only aim to do patriotic service. Unfortunately, that isn’t true for enough of them.
Public-sector unions have exercised a great deal of power to drive up the wages and benefits for federal workers. And there is a high level of graft and waste that takes place in the federal bureaucracy. This is doubly troubling because it’s this very bureaucracy that manages the government and pretty much all our daily interactions with it.
These bureaucrats often have more influence over us than our elected representatives. Congress makes laws and the president enforces them, as the Constitution dictates, but it is the bureaucracy that handles everything on a day-to-day basis. The growth of the federal government and the waste that takes place within it has reached epic proportions.
What makes the situation even worse is the gaggle of Leftists who populate many of these government agencies. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a perfect example of how the inmates are running the asylum. Upset by President Donald Trump’s appointment of Mick Mulvaney to head the agency, CFPB personnel now flout transparency rules and engage in other tactics meant to sabotage the agency’s workings.
This sort of behavior, which goes on across the federal bureaucracy, is an affront to the American people. Taxpayers deserve to get their money’s worth from federal agencies, but many of the people who work for these agencies act as if they are doing us a favor. With this sort of behavior, it’s no surprise that people don’t trust or even respect the federal government.
If Trump is serious about draining the swamp, then he needs to pursue measures that call for more accountability and transparency within the federal bureaucracy. It will mean a battle with the public-sector unions that will likely get ugly, but it’s a battle that needs to be waged.
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
- China Secretly Tells NoKo: We Got Your Back — China doesn’t desire denuclearization. It’s “brokering” peace while passively dismissing the UN to help N. Korea.
- Despite Islamic State Defeat, Jihadist Threat Persists — Jihadistan is a borderless nation of Islamofascists with global reach. That hasn’t changed.
- Saudi Arabia’s Troubling Actions in Yemen — What began as a response to Iranian-backed terrorists has become more of a humanitarian crisis.
- 25% More Desert by 2050? — Climate researchers suggest Paris Agreement is the only solution to stop disastrous global warming.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Gary Bauer: Tumult in Tehran
- Rich Lowry: A Righteous Campaign Against MS-13
- Byron York: Far From Disappearing, Dossier Investigation Intensifies
- Walter Williams: Dangers of Government Control
- Todd Starnes: Oregon Court Rules Christian Bakery Must Pay $135,000 to Lesbian Couple
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Gary Bauer: “Reports suggest there is much fear among regime leaders in Tehran. Some suggest that the government has not yet fully played all its cards — meaning it has yet to call out the Bassij and other Revolutionary Guard forces. But let me point out the obvious. The Obama administration negotiated a secret deal with Iran when the regime was still killing our soldiers in Iraq. We sent them cash in the middle of the night. We lifted tough sanctions. Obama said that if we gave them an open hand instead of a clenched fist, it would boost moderates and change Iran’s behavior. It has not. This is one of the most brutal and repressive regimes on earth. It defines its existence based on radical Islamist rules. The whole purpose of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to export its revolution in order to prepare the world for the arrival of the Shiite messiah. That is what the ayatollah’s regime is all about. If it ceases to be that, it will collapse. This is an existential moment for the ayatollah and Iran’s mullahs. They will not go quietly."
Braying Jackass: "With wholesale condemnation of Iran and nuclear deal over past year, Trump Admin squandered opportunity to bolster reformists in Tehran and prospects for peaceful political reform in Iran. Bluster is neither a strategy nor a mechanism for exercise of U.S. power and influence.” —former CIA Director John Brennan (“Because eight years of appeasement, including the lifting of sanctions, illegally sending hundreds of millions of cash straight to the Iranian government, and allegedly easing up on Hezbollah worked so well. I’ll take the Trump Administration’s moral clarity on Iran over that any day.” —David Bernstein)
Non Compos Mentis: “Trump, Who Blocks Americans on Twitter, Tells Iran to Unblock Social Media During Protests.” —Newsweek headline (“These situations aren’t remotely the same. Iran is shutting down entire systems of communication, specifically to prevent groups of people from organizing protests and sharing images of their activity. … What Trump has not done is order the FCC to shut down Twitter (or anything else) to limit the opposition to his administration.” —John Sexton)
Dezinformatsiya: “Iranian authorities have clamped down on Tehran after demonstrators across the country ignored calls for calm.” —The New York Times
A blind squirrel finds a nut: “President Trump has been right to tweet his backing for the demonstrators; European leaders, who have been far more cautious, should speak up." —The Washington Post
Measuring stick: "North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"—Donald Trump
And last… "Iranians will have to earn their own freedom, but Americans can help by admitting that this isn’t a fight between moderates and ‘hardliners’ or Tehran vs. Trump. It’s a fight between people who want liberty and their oppressors.” —The Wall Street Journal
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