The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Democrats want a government shutdown so they can blame Republicans.
- The difference between a literal wall and what Trump promises.
- That alleged Stormy Daniels affair requires some critical thought.
- Common Core is dead, says Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
- Another round in the police shooting stats game.
- Robert E. Lee was a man of honor.
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.” —John Adams (1776)
A government shutdown is looming if Congress doesn’t get a budget deal passed and Republicans know that although they have been willing to negotiate in good faith, it is they, not the Democrats, who will be blamed for a shutdown. In this latest Mexican standoff, Democrats are demanding a deal (amnesty) on DACA be included in any budget deal, but the deal must also exclude any funding for the border wall.
Last week, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) sought to sabotage any potential progress toward a budget deal when he ran to reporters after a closed-door meeting to blast Donald Trump for allegedly using crass language. The stunt proved successful, giving the Leftmedia another faux controversy to exploit while continuing to aid Democrats in their anti-Trump resistance. Democrat duplicity and deceit knows no bounds.
The Democrats are angling for a government shutdown for purely political reasons, even while claiming to be seeking to keep programs such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funded — even after Republicans have been more than willing to reauthorize funding.
As The Wall Street Journal editorial board explains, “Democrats think a shutdown will improve their chances of retaking the House and Senate in November. Everything they do, every decision they make, is a political calculation with that in mind. Thus supposedly grave moral choices like children’s health care and legal status for immigrants are more important as political battering rams than as policy accomplishments. Dysfunction is desirable because Republicans are nominally in charge and will get the blame.”
Last night, in a 230-197 vote, the House passed a short-term spending bill, which includes a six-year funding extension for CHIP. It does not include what Democrats have been demanding — a long-term deal on DACA. Senate Democrats have pledged to continue their stubborn resistance to any spending deal that doesn’t meet their demands for a DACA deal. They are choosing to hold hostage the needs of military personnel and their families for a few hundred thousand illegal aliens. They’re even willing to sacrifice their demands for funding CHIP. As House Speaker Paul Ryan pointedly stated, “I think it’s unconscionable that Democrats would walk away from CHIP, from funding our military, for something that is not a deadline.”
The Senate has until 11:59 Friday night to work out a spending deal to avoid a government shutdown.
So, if this standoff results in yet another government shutdown, the party to blame will be the Democrats, even as their cohorts in the mainstream media are already seeking to convince Americans otherwise. Talk about fake news.
With President Donald Trump having just trotted out his “awards” for fake news, the mainstream media was again on the lookout for an opportunity to discredit him with his base. A seeming opportunity arose after a meeting between Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The Washington Post reported that Kelly told the CHC that Trump had not been “fully informed” on the logistics of building a literal 2,000 mile border wall, and that the Mexican government would not be paying for the wall. Later Wednesday evening in an interview on Fox News, Kelly seemed to acknowledge the accuracy of the Post’s account, while he repeatedly praised Trump for his “flexibility.”
Thursday morning, Trump responded with a series of tweets in which he re-emphasized his commitment to building the border wall and having Mexico pay for it. Uh oh, is Trump clashing with Kelly? Is Trump changing his stance on immigration and securing the border? While the MSM would love for this to be the case, it’s far from it.
There is no doubt that Kelly has brought much-needed order to the White House, specifically regarding messaging consistency. What Kelly is doing here is clearing up misperceptions rather than suggesting any policy changes. Regarding the wall, Trump has been pretty consistent in saying he is not looking for a literal 2,000 mile physical barrier. Trump’s wall is promise of a serious lasting commitment to finally secure America’s southern border, via a physical wall where needed, as well as increased Border Patrol and other measures where geography prohibits an actual wall. Trump has not backed off this campaign commitment, even though the MSM would love to convince his base that he has. As columnist Salena Zito observed during the 2016 campaign, “The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”
Tax bill windfall: As 65 companies award bonuses, networks air just two stories (NewsBusters)
Jobless claims drop to lowest level in nearly 45 years (Washington Examiner)
Stock market’s value under Trump has grown by $6.9 trillion to $30.6 trillion (CNBC)
Republicans call for releasing “shocking” classified memo showing “FISA abuses” in Russian collusion investigation (The Daily Wire)
House panel releases Glenn Simpson testimony transcript (Fox News)
57.9% of illegals caught at U.S.-Mexico border in FY17 not Mexican; from 111 other countries (CNS News)
Senate votes to extend key FISA provision, sending bill to Trump’s desk (CBS News)
Global warming: Half of U.S. soil covered in snow at the same time (New York Post)
Six Chinese ships covertly aided North Korea. U.S. was watching. (The Wall Street Journal)
Humor but true: Comey to teach course on ethical leadership for College of William & Mary (The Washington Post)
Policy: Democrats don’t actually want a DACA compromise (The Federalist)
Policy: Americans need health reform to be a priority issue in 2018 (The Heritage Foundation)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
By Michael Swartz
For several turbulent years, the Common Core State Standards Initiative, better known simply as Common Core, was the hot new trend in education. As such, it was finally at long last going to make our kids smarter and more academically well-rounded for college and career. Sold as a replacement for the George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind program, Common Core got its big push from Barack Obama’s administration when it dangled federal stimulus money in front of the states during its initial Race to the Top program — but only for including Common Core standards in their efforts. No Common Core, no cash. At its peak, all but five states took the money.
But as our erstwhile colleague Allyne Caan wrote a couple of years back, “The real takeaway here is that the federal government makes an abysmal schoolteacher and is no better at being principal or superintendent. Perhaps that’s one of many reasons our Constitution does not include education among Congress’ enumerated powers. Instead, education is rightly a state, local and primarily parental responsibility.”
Added Caan: “Let’s face it. The federal government doesn’t know what’s best for your child and clearly doesn’t understand what private employers value.”
So when Betsy DeVos defied the Left and declined to withdraw her name from consideration to be secretary of education last year, there was hope that Common Core, which had been losing its appeal to the states over the last three years and had prompted thousands of parents to opt out of the too-frequent testing regimen, would finally be shown the door. And while many states are stubbornly maintaining a version of these guidelines, many others have decided to work outside these parameters to some degree or another.
This is why, while the press has been harping on Donald Trump about his alleged vulgar assessment of certain foreign lands, they missed the good news about Betsy DeVos and what she’s doing to address our excrement heap of an educational system. “I agree — and have always agreed — with President Trump on this: ‘Common Core is a disaster,’” said DeVos, who most importantly added, “And at the U.S. Department of Education, Common Core is dead.”
In a speech full of news about a new federal hands-off approach to education, the Education Secretary asked a lot of good questions herself — questions that often get labeled as “non-negotiable” or just don’t get asked at all:
Why do we group students by age?
Why do schools close for the summer?
Why must the school day start with the rise of the sun?
Why are schools assigned by your address?
Why do students have to go to a school building in the first place?
Why is choice only available to those who can buy their way out? Or buy their way in?
Why can’t a student learn at his or her own pace?
Why isn’t technology more widely embraced in schools?
Why do we limit what a student can learn based upon the faculty and facilities available?
It’s obvious that Betsy DeVos wasn’t taught to have a Common Core mindset, isn’t it? Addressing these out-of-the-box questions with creative thinking is what state and local school boards — not to mention parents — would do infinitely better than someone sitting in a windowless cubicle in Washington, DC. At a time when a significant portion of higher education is accomplished online, with thousands of college graduates coming from programs and institutions that use the Internet and the real world as their campus, one has to wonder when some of that will filter its way to the youth.
Common Core was but the latest fancy in a series of educational ideas that, over the last century or so, have attempted to mold all students into what was considered the model citizen — one that could be plugged into his or her assigned slot in society. All the while, we’ve been slipping behind other countries. We’ve tried everything from nationalizing standards to more modern, light-filled school buildings to throwing billions upon billions of dollars at the system in order to refine it. Rarely, though, has anyone in a position of real authority ever challenged the very paradigms and foundations of our educational system.
“We should be horrified of not changing,” DeVos concluded. When one can readily conclude that the average product of the American educational system today isn’t getting the quality of education that those of us who were taught in a different era received, a change would certainly seem to do us good. What we’ve lacked until now is a fresh perspective from someone who isn’t beholden to our failing system.
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
- Robert E. Lee, Man of Honor — Today marks the anniversary of Lee’s birth and its worthwhile to consider the legacy of such an iconic American figure.
- Another Round in the Police Shooting Stats Game — Digging deeper into the numbers on police shootings reveals more than the Left would have you believe.
- Study: Illegal Immigration Is an Economic Bludgeon — The total economic impact of illegal immigration is $116 billion annually — an “unsustainable trend.”
- Germans Are Increasingly Leery of Open Door Policy — A 15-year-old girl is murdered by her migrant ex-boyfriend. How much more violence will Germans take?
- Video: The Southern Poverty Law Center Scam — They release an annual list of hate groups in America. The media cover it, but John Stossel says they shouldn’t.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Erick Erickson: 21st-Century Slavery
- Tony Perkins: Trump to HHS: Proceed With Conscience
- Jonah Goldberg: Does the California Model Really Work?
- David Limbaugh: The Press Is Not Above Reproach
- Michael Barone: Tough Road Ahead for Trump in Year Two
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Erick Erickson: “Proving there is nothing new under the sun, modern progressivism functions like a 5,000-year-old death cult to Moloch. Children once sacrificed for the rain gods must now be aborted to stave off global warming. Children once sacrificed to the gods of harvest must now be aborted to stave off mass starvation. What is old is new again. In fact, the old arguments for slavery made by white plantation owners in the South have been repackaged as the new arguments by white progressives for abortion. Slaves were property the slave owners could do with as they pleased. Now we talk about bodies and how no one else can tell a woman what to do with her body. If she wants to have an abortion, who cares about the kid. It is her property. Likewise, slaves were not real people according to the plantation owners. Now, babies in the womb are not real people. Slaves were actually better off on plantations than as savages in Africa, defenders of the institution told us. Now we are told it is far better to kill the child than have her be born unwanted or unloved. Slaves, we were told, could not really feel the pain of the beatings. Now, babies in the womb cannot feel pain until they leave the womb. … Abortion is the new slavery. As people, some of them survivors of abortions, march in Washington this weekend, we should pray that a resolution comes to this issue more peacefully than how this nation resolved slavery.”
Insight: “Liberty is the hardest test that one can inflict on a people. To know how to be free is not given equally to all men and all nations.” —Paul Valéry (1871-1945)
For the record: “The irony is that those who believe that Trump is a budding despot are themselves violating important norms. The anti-Trumpists fantasize about ending his presidency, via impeachment or the 25th Amendment, before the voters get a chance to render their verdict again in 2020. Josef Stalin wouldn’t tolerate any of this agitation. Donald Trump rages against it, stirs it and enjoys it, one robustly free news cycle at a time.” —Rich Lowry
Crappy metaphoric grandstanding: “[The GOP short-term resolution] is like giving you a bowl of doggie doo, put a cherry on top and call it a chocolate sundae. This is nothing.” —Nancy Pelosi
Fear-mongering: “Shutting down the government is a very serious thing. People die. Accidents happen.” —Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Non Compos Mentis: “We have truly entered the age of insanity when the conservative argument in favor of risking nuclear war is, ‘don’t worry, it will only kill Democrats and minorities.’ Shame on you @DavidAFrench.” —Joy Reid, who later wrote, “Taking back my take on this take — the @rawstory writeup doesn’t reflect @DavidAFrench’s intent.” (It’s amazing the facts that come to light when you take the time to read the original content.)
And last… “Just because the president speaks in a manner alien to the DC press doesn’t mean his mental faculties are in trouble. The fact that a neophyte president doesn’t understand the intricacies of policy is troubling, but it doesn’t mean he’s intellectually incapable of doing his job. Just because Trump’s comments are often coarse or ugly doesn’t mean he’s cognitively impaired.” —David Harsanyi
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