Mid-Day Digest

Jan. 12, 2018

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Yes, Trump is crude, but he’s got a point and Democrats have a counter strategy.
  • Facebook is once again working to influence what users see.
  • Democrats have grand visions of winning in 2018, but they ought to be cautious.
  • Congress is working on a controversial renewal of NSA surveillance.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government.” —George Washington (1796)

IN BRIEF

The Uncensored President

If you haven’t figured this out yet, Donald Trump tends to be unfiltered and uncensored. While we in our humble shop do not condone his coarse language or style, and see it as unbecoming the office he holds, the fact is Trump resonates with the majority of “blue-collar” Americans. As Mark Alexander noted in his profile on Trump Wednesday, “He is a New Yorker, and he’s always acted like an archetypal New Yorker — brash, boastful, profane and unpredictable.”

In regard to Trump’s now infamous “s—thole countries” remark, Alexander observed, “Trump should be credited with exercising restraint in his description of those countries.”

For the record, most of your Patriot editorial team members have traveled to some of the countries Trump was referencing (among others), and some of us have lived in them. We can corroborate first hand that Trump’s alleged remarks regarding Haiti, El Salvador and some countries in Africa are accurate — because they have been governed by corrupt tyrants for generations. That does not, however, mean that citizens from those nations coming here to make a better life have no value, as Trump crudely implied.

Joe Concha, media analyst for The Hill, noted: “This is how he speaks. He’s inelegant, yes. He’s unfiltered, yes. But what people like about him so much is that he’s authentic. … I don’t think one Trump supporter jumps to the other side because of this comment.” Actually, Trump’s remark will bring more working blue-collar Democrats, those who have been ignored by the Democrat Party for 30 years, onto the Trump train.

Predictably, Demos and their mainstream media outlets are feigning outrage that such a word was used in the White House. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who confirmed reports of Trump’s comments, wailed from the fainting couch, “I cannot believe that in the history of the White House and that Oval Office any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak.” What planet has he been on? Bill and Hillary Clinton’s undisputed tirades, as described by their Secret Service agents, make Trump’s remarks sound like playground banter.

Of course, all the hyperbolic rhetoric on the Left is an effort to paint Trump as a racist.

Their strategy is to undermine Trump’s plans for immigration reform and border security. Democrats know that their political future depends on growing the immigrant population — a population they label as a victim class, which they can then exploit for votes. As Democrats have veered further left, their working-class base has diminished. Rather than pivot back to the political center, they have only doubled down on immigration, further rejecting the American worker in favor of the non-American.

On a final note regarding Haiti, it was Bill and Hillary Clinton who exploited the Haitian people for their own financial gain…

Comment | Share

Facebook’s Feed Filtering

By Christy Chesterton

In what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls “a major change in how we build Facebook,” the company announced Thursday that it plans to reduce publisher and brand content in news feeds while prioritizing what friends and family interact with. “[R]ecently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other,” Zuckerberg wrote yesterday in a Facebook post. “Since there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do — help us connect with each other. We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being.”

Zuckerberg’s announcement was spurred in part by recent criticism from several former employees, including one who expressed “tremendous guilt” for his role in building the platform. “It literally is a point now where I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. That is truly where we are,” former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya told Stanford business students last month.

In a rare move, Facebook addressed some of this criticism in a post questioning whether the amount of time spent on social media is good for us or drives us apart.

While concern about society’s dependence on social media is a very valid matter, Facebook’s announcement highlights the amount of control the platform has in determining what is “best” for your viewing pleasure. The move will likely have a significant impact on businesses and organizations (like ours) that depend on the platform to reach customers and readers. It’s no secret that Facebook has already been suppressing conservative news. Perhaps that’s because they blame Liberty lovers for “ripping apart the social fabric”?

In fact, in addition to the news feed change, The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is considering “ranking news outlets based on some measures of credibility, such as public polling about news outlets, and whether readers are willing to pay for news from particular publishers.” Given Facebook’s aforementioned history with conservative sites, this bears watching.

Bottom line: Mr. Zuckerberg, if we’ve chosen to “like” a page, that means we want to see it. We don’t need or want you determining that for us.

Comment | Share

Top Headlines

  • House Republicans roll out immigration bill packed with border security and immigration reforms (The Daily Signal)

  • White House pushes back after Gang of Six announces immigration deal (The Washington Times)

  • House votes to renew NSA spying, rejects reform push (The Hill)

  • Trump renews call for Internet tax, making a veiled threat against Jeff Bezos’s Amazon (CNBC)

  • Fiat Chrysler will move Ram production, 2,500 jobs to Michigan from Mexico (Fortune)

  • Lawsuit filed against ObamaCare insurer over coverage (The Hill)

  • Judge tosses NAACP lawsuit challenging Alabama’s voter ID law (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • NFL investigates Oakland Raiders: May have hired white head coach before interviewing black one (The Daily Wire)

  • Feminists are ditching “pussyhats” because they’re racist and transphobic (National Review)

  • Humor: In historic compromise, border wall to be built around Hollywood (The Babylon Bee)

  • Policy: Germany — the new poster child for climate change hypocrisy (The Daily Signal)

  • Policy: The middle class is better off now than it was decades ago (American Enterprise Institute)

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

Comment | Share

FEATURED ANALYSIS

About Democrats’ ‘Certain Victory’ in 2018

By Brian Mark Weber

It’s not looking good for Republicans.

At least that’s what the mainstream media want you to believe. Then again, haven’t they been saying that during the entire first year of Donald Trump’s presidency? Heck, weren’t they predicting the same gloom and doom for Republicans in 2016? Nonetheless, Democrats are feeling good right now and boasting of their prospects in the next two elections.

True, Democrats aren’t all talk. Billionaire Leftist Tom Steyer is putting his money where his mouth is. As Ben Kamisar writes in The Hill, “Steyer plans to channel the money in the House effort, which he said would total at least $30 million, toward his advocacy group, NextGen America. Steyer, who has also funded a multi-million dollar ad campaign calling for President Trump’s impeachment, wants to use the $30 million to boost turnout among millennial voters across 10 states.”

Notably, however, Steyer has reduced his Demo graft — having dumped $74 million into the 2014 midterm when voters gave Republicans control of the Senate and their largest House majority since 1928. He then spent $91 million for Democrats in the 2016 election, when Republicans held their majorities and elected Donald Trump. And his $20 million on a campaign to impeach Trump resulted in only 58 of 435 House members voting to impeach — that’s $344,827.59 per vote.

Clearly, leftist billionaire bucks alone aren’t enough to win elections. If it were, The Pantsuit would be president. What message are the Democrats going to run on? Taking back your tax cuts? Taking away your doctor? Sending companies back overseas? Dialing the Dow back to 17,000? Pushing for peace with the Islamic State? Let’s face it: Their platform is higher taxes, bigger government and more illegal immigration. And loathing Donald Trump.

Indeed, Nancy Pelosi scoffed, “In terms of the bonus that corporate America received versus the crumbs that they are giving workers to kind of put the schmooze on is so pathetic. It’s so pathetic.”

Other issues Democrats face include betting on history (the minority party usually picks up seats in mid-term elections), hoping that Americans will see the election as a referendum on the Trump presidency, and counting on favorable polls. But it’s what Democrats aren’t looking at that could upend their hopes of taking back the Congress.

As it stands, Democrats lack a compelling message for fixing any major problem facing the country. The utter dearth of any agenda is astounding.

Yes, they’ve embraced a cynical and convenient crusade against sexual harassment, but they’re otherwise a rudderless opposition party. In the end, Dan Balz of The Washington Post asks a critical question: “As they begin what amounts to a three-year campaign cycle of midterm elections followed by a critically important 2020 presidential race, will Democrats be forthright in assessing and dealing with their own vulnerabilities?”

Democrats are still a party in denial.

They don’t get Trump, they don’t get why he beat Hillary Clinton, and they don’t get the Republican Party. Former Democrat aide Brent Budowsky suggests, “On fundamental issues that motivate voters, the Trump Republicans include the entire upper strata of Republican leadership in the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. There is barely a dime’s worth of difference between the policies of President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Roy Moore of Alabama, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)”

Not a dime’s worth of difference? This is why Democrats lose elections. They make assumptions about what Republicans and their voters think, they tell pollsters about their assumptions, and then they come up with every conspiracy theory they can think of to explain their losses. There’s a world of difference between Trump and Ryan and McConnell (and 250 other Republicans). That’s why it took nearly a year for the Republicans in Congress to send a major piece of legislation to the president’s desk. They couldn’t agree on anything.

Peter Hanby raises some additional concerns for Democrats in stating that “partisan gerrymandering has lowered the number of competitive House seats, that most of the competitive Senate races are taking place in red states where Trump is more popular than the national average, that the economy is actually doing pretty well. All of them are true. The Senate map is particularly difficult terrain for Democrats, who would have to win in places like Arizona, North Dakota, Missouri, and Tennessee to take back the upper chamber.”

Reading headlines from leftist websites and newspapers is enough to dampen the spirits of any conservative these days, but reading beyond the headlines shows that there’s a lot of wishful thinking going on in Democrat think-tanks and media outlets. Still, Democrats really like their chances in the 2018 midterms.

Political science professor Eric Smith has projected a Democrat takeover of the House, and possibly the Senate, based on a model he “drew on a forecasting model originally developed by political scientists Michael Lewis-Beck and Tom Rice.” Smith writes, “The model predicts that the Republicans will lose 38 seats in the House, a number that would give the Democrats a majority in the next Congress. But it’s important to note that simple models such as this one produce forecasts with real uncertainty. In this case, you can think of the forecast as having a ‘margin of error’ of 38 seats. Thus, a Democratic gain is likely, but the size of that gain is difficult to predict with confidence. Still, a House majority is very much within the Democrats’ reach.”

Is that all they can come up with? As for the GOP, the key will be whether they can keep their act together as they did on tax cuts.

Larry P. Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, gives credence to this notion, opining, “Trump has addressed this problem more directly than anyone since Ronald Reagan — in some ways, more than anyone including Reagan. He would drain the swamp. He would abolish the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Education. He has rallied the people in direct opposition to their governing elite. He has appealed to the people directly in opposition to their government.”

But what about the Trump administration’s significant and numerous accomplishments, as outlined by Mark Alexander in “The Trump Effect”? Arnn notes that we now have “a constitutional majority that controls all the popular branches at the federal level, soon to have a profound effect on the judiciary. In addition, his party advanced from a strong position in state legislatures and governorships. The party of Trump, if the Republican Party is that party, is in a position to make changes, as good or better a position as it has enjoyed since the Great Society.”

Between now and November, the degree to which President Trump is able to realize his bold vision for the country will have a significant impact on the election. That’s why speculation at this point should be taken with a grain of salt.

Comment | Share

TODAY’S MEME

Share

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

TODAY’S CARTOON

Share

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

Gary Bauer: “Investigative reporter Sara Carter told Sean Hannity that three credible sources in the Department of Justice confirmed to her that the FBI did indeed use the discredited Trump/Russia dossier to obtain secret warrants from a special intelligence court to spy on the Trump campaign. Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid a law firm that in turn contracted with Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Donald Trump. Fusion hired an ex-British spy who used Russian sources to compile a work of fiction filled with salacious lies. To put it another way, Hillary’s campaign indirectly colluded with the Russians to first defeat Trump and then to destroy his presidency before it could even get started. What makes this so serious is that they were aided and abetted by left-wing ideologues at the highest levels of America’s law enforcement and national security agencies. We should expect our enemies to try to upset our democratic form of government. That is something we can manage because Russia has been trying to upset democracies for a century. What we cannot tolerate are elements within the security apparatus of the United States putting their thumbs on the scale because of their ideology. That is a threat that goes straight to the core of whether we can maintain a constitutional republic and a government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Though of all poses a moral pose is the most offensive, still to have a pose at all is something.” —Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Upright: “Those claiming that the president of the United States (Obama or Trump) is ‘overall’ more detrimental to press freedoms than the leaders of Russia, Turkey, Egypt or China not only denigrates those truly fighting for press freedoms in authoritarian nations but also shows us that they don’t really understand how American rights work to begin with. Because not only is the United States far more superior in its embrace of open political discourse than authoritarian states, or developing nations, or (nearly) every state in Middle East, the United States is superior to Western European nations, as well.” —David Harsanyi

Preach! “I don’t think we need more gun control; I think we need more idiot control.” —Sen. John Kennedy

Come again? “The one regret I have is that I should have spoken with Senator Grassley before [I made the Fusion GFS transcript public]. And I don’t make an excuse but I’ve had a bad cold and maybe that slowed down my mental facilities [sic] a little bit.” —Dianne Feinstein

Braying Jenny: “In terms of the bonus that corporate America received versus the crumbs that they are giving workers to kind of put the schmooze on is so pathetic. It’s so pathetic.” —Nancy Pelosi on how GOP tax reform has yielded significant raises and bonuses for American workers

And last… “As a culture, we’ve elevated ‘authenticity’ to a new form of moral authority. We look to our feelings for guidance. Actors, as a class, are feelings merchants. While they may indeed be ‘out of touch’ with the rest of America from time to time, actors are adept at being in touch with their feelings. And for some unfathomably stupid reason, we now think that puts us beneath them.” —Jonah Goldberg

Comment | Share

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

Subscribe! It's Right. It's Free.