IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Democrats shut down the government hoping for political gain in 2018.
- The March for Life and the Women’s March couldn’t have been more different.
- Today is Sanctity of Life Day, and we remember the 60 million lost to abortion.
- The economy is looking up, but there’s one dark cloud on the horizon.
- A look at what Trump should really consider doing with Iran.
- We’ve also got numerous videos on socialism, the media and mean tweets.
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“It behooves you, therefore, to think and act for yourself and your people. The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.” —Thomas Jefferson (1775)
By Thomas Gallatin
“I believe in immigration reform. What if I persuaded my caucus to say, ‘I’m going to shut the government down; I’m going to not pay our bills unless I get my way’? It’s a politics of idiocy, of confrontation, of paralysis,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) … in 2013. Schumer, then Harry Reid’s lieutenant, also stated ahead of the government shutdown that year, “You know we could do the same thing on immigration. … We could say, ‘We’re shutting down the government. We’re not going to raise the debt ceiling until you pass immigration reform.’ It would be governmental chaos.” Well, surprise, surprise — just a few years later, now-Senate Minority Leader Schumer has totally reversed his “convictions” and has embraced the “politics of idiocy,” holding the government hostage over his demands for an immediate deal on the non-imminent DACA issue. As Donald Trump’s director of legislative affairs Marc Short pointed out, “There’s no DACA bill to vote on, and there’s no emergency on the timing.”
Democrats saw to that by leaking and making a spectacle of Trump’s alleged vulgar remarks, all to paint him as a racist and undermine any deal. Now they’ve shut the government down, too.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) pointedly questioned Democrats’ motives for resisting working out a necessary budget deal. “Are Democrats going to shut the government … because we want basic reforms and enforcement measures that are going to prevent further flows of illegal immigrants and unskilled immigrants?” he asked rhetorically. “Seems to me like a tough position to win in light of the 2016 election.”
Furthermore, recall Barack Obama’s words during the 16-day shutdown in 2013, when he smugly lectured, “You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election. Push to change it. But don’t break it. Don’t break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building. That’s not being faithful to what this country’s about. Now, there’s been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of this shutdown. But let’s be clear. There are no winners here. These last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy.” Oh how times change.
Genevieve Wood of The Heritage Foundation hit the nail on the head, noting that the government shutdown was Democrats’ political objective. She writes, “The reality is [Democrats] don’t really want a deal on immigration. They talk about addressing the needs of the DACA population, but they have no time to address the other side of the immigration issue, border security and enforcement.” Wood continues, “Here’s the deal. Democrats are fearful that President Trump and Republicans could go into the midterm elections with both victories on tax cuts and immigration reform. So at the end of the day, that’s what all of this is about. It’s an election year, and that means politics, not people, are their priority.”
That’s Democrat deceit and duplicity in a nutshell.
By Nate Jackson
Pro-life activists from around the nation gathered Friday in Washington, DC, for the annual March for Life — a peaceful event to stand for the sanctity of life on the anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade decision. President Donald Trump addressed the crowd, as did House Speaker Paul Ryan. “Roe v. Wade has resulted in some of the most permissive abortion laws anywhere in the world,” Trump said. “For example, the United States is one of only seven countries to allow elective late-term abortions, along with China, North Korea, and others.” He called for the Senate to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act as the House did in October, a bill that would largely ban such late-term abortions.
Ryan declared, “Truth is on our side. Life begins at conception.” Indeed, even a major Leftmedia outlet, The Atlantic, admitted in a story, “Science Is Giving the Pro-Life Movement a Boost.” Ryan also announced that the House on Friday passed the Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act, which would protect “the life of those babies who suffer from failed abortions.” But “most importantly,” he said, “the pro-life movement is on the rise because we have love on our side. We believe every person is worthy of love and dignity.”
Contrast this to the other side, which claims to be the party of science, all while they insist an unborn baby isn’t alive or that a man can be a woman, and which screams “love wins” as they cajole, sue, threaten and sometimes physically assault those with whom they disagree.
Also this weekend, the Women’s March took to the nation’s capital (and other cities around the nation) to protest … well, peace and prosperity, apparently. Clearest of all is that they hate Donald Trump in particular, but basically all men are horrible and should be hated. While some feminists recently decided that the pink hats named with the vulgar term for a woman’s anatomy were racist and transphobic, many women insensitively sported them anyway. No, the leftist women protesting conservative policies didn’t turn violent, but they sure were crass and hateful. Many of the signs they displayed were vulgar, and their message continues to be either deceitful or despicable.
The contrast couldn’t be more stark.
But on a lighter note, Karen Townsend quips, “Women across the country staged marches to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the presidential inauguration of Donald J. Trump. The economy is booming, consumer confidence has rocketed out of the national malaise of the Obama years and is at a 17 year high. Unemployment numbers of women and African Americans are at a historic low, and the unemployment rate of the general workforce is likely to drop to its lowest since 1969 by 2019. Sounds like the past year deserves a celebration.”
Senate headed for Monday vote on bill to reopen government (The Hill)
CNN panics, suggests government shutdown will leave Earth vulnerable to asteroids (The Daily Wire)
GOP bouncing back in 2018 polls after tax cuts (Axios)
House rejects Democrat effort to impeach Trump in, er, excruciatingly close 355-66 vote (The Hill)
Texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page: AG Lynch knew how the Clinton email case would end (Hot Air)
Justice Department says it will retry Sen. Robert Menendez following mistrial on bribery charges (The Washington Post)
Facebook will let users rank news organizations they trust (USA Today)
How to avoid fake news: Stop getting your news from Facebook (Washington Examiner)
Google removes fact-check feature targeting conservative media (The Daily Signal)
Terror concerns prompt stricter TSA scrutiny of air cargo from five mostly-Muslim countries (CBS News)
Policy: The shutdown will further weaken our military (The Daily Signal)
Policy: Why pro-lifers have cause for hope (The Daily Signal)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
By Arnold Ahlert
Thanks in large part to the Trump administration’s deregulation efforts, and the tax package passed by Congress last month, it appears real growth has returned to the American economy. The headline unemployment rate is at 4.1% (the fuller measure is 8%) and last week, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to its lowest level in nearly 45 years. Many companies have announced they would offer bonuses and wage increases, and it’s possible the U.S. will achieve an annualized growth rate above 3% for the first time in over a decade. Yet it is also possible the past may come back to haunt us — and the Federal Reserve will be the proverbial ghost in the machine.
After the 2008 financial meltdown nearly blew up the world’s financial system, former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke implemented a program known as Quantitative Easing (QE). In short, the Fed printed money and bought up billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities and longer-term Treasury securities, a.k.a. “bad paper.” This buying occurred on a monthly basis in three separate rounds of QE over five years.
Bernanke combined QE with a zero interest rate policy (ZIRP). Both polices were based on the Keynesian-based economic theory that an artificial and massive “stimulus” program was necessary to jumpstart a moribund economy that couldn’t recover on its own.
Bernanke was half right, as the stock market skyrocketed. Yet the other half of his vision, that this so-called “wealth effect” would invigorate the “Main Street” economy, never happened. Wages remained flat, and Barack Obama became the only president in history who failed to deliver a single year of 3% or greater economic growth.
Moreover, ZIRP amounted to one of the more pernicious “taxes” ever imposed on responsible Americans, who had no desire to take their hard-earned savings and gamble them in the stock markets. That’s because for more than seven years, ZIRP pushed down the yields on traditional interest-bearing assets such as CDs, money markets and saving accounts to historic lows.
Yet ZIRP’s perniciousness pales in comparison to the economy-wrecking possibilities that QE might precipitate. The Fed spent $3.7 trillion during the three rounds of QE, and by last April, the Fed’s balance sheet had risen to $4.52 trillion. As columnist Jeff Cox explained, “The stock and bond markets have come to depend on the Fed’s programs — both the low interest rates and the balance sheet expansion — in the post-crisis years.”
Now that the economy is ostensibly in recovery, the consequences of that dependency must be addressed, and the Fed’s experiment — the largest stimulus program in the history of the world — must be “unwound.”
The Wall Street Journal poses the ultimate question in that regard: “But if QE lifted stocks as it expanded, will the reverse happen as it unwinds?”
The Journal editorial continues, “It’s certainly possible, and students of financial history know that sooner or later rising interest rates will weigh on stock prices. This is another way of saying that the biggest threat to growth and financial markets — Donald Trump’s trade agenda or a Speaker Pelosi aside — may be the Federal Reserve as it reverses Mr. Bernanke’s experiment. Mr. Bernanke has already taken a half dozen victory laps, but they’ll have been premature if the unwinding leads to asset selloffs that create financial disruption and a recession.”
That’s a nice way of saying Bernanke — exactly like our political class in both parties — has been “kicking the can down the road.” In fact, QE, coupled with the Obama administration’s ineffectual “shovel ready” stimulus package, and its trillions of dollars in deficit spending that also failed to jumpstart the economy, increased the national debt by $6 trillion during that period.
While the extra debt was being accumulated, Bernanke and the Obama administration used ZIRP to justify the binge, because they were borrowing “cheap money” to underwrite it, and because ZIRP also kept down the interest payments on the existing national debt, making that borrowing more attractive.
The supposed band-aid for all of it? Increased growth. As the Journal notes, business sentiment “is as bullish as we can recall. Business Roundtable chief Jamie Dimon, also CEO of J.P. Morgan, captured the mood last week when he said ‘animal spirits’ have been unleashed.”
Perhaps they have. But many of these people were the same ones who aided and abetted the unleashing of animal spirits in the housing market prior to the 2008 meltdown. The same people who received $700 billion in TARP funds to save the financial system they crashed — including $25 billion to J.P. Morgan — without a single resignation demanded in return. The same people, as it took a Freedom of Information Act filed by Bloomberg News to discover, whose institutions received more than $7.7 trillion in undisclosed loans — from the Federal Reserve.
These machinations institutionalized “too big to fail,” a noxious concept that may explain why younger Americans are attracted to socialism. A genuine capitalist system punishes incompetence, allowing new entities to replace those that failed.
Will the Great Recession, or worse, repeat itself? Absent what would amount to a paradigm shift in congressional spending habits, which, if truth be told, would necessitate a paradigm shift in the American public’s schizophrenic mindset — the one that simultaneously demands fiscal responsibility and an ever increasing cradle-to-grave welfare state — the answer is no. And it doesn’t matter whether a decided lack of statesmanship engenders a decided lack of self-reliance and personal responsibility, or whether it’s the other way around. We are a nation seemingly more comfortable lurching from crisis to crisis rather than finding ways to avoid them altogether — or even hold the people who created them accountable. Yet as economist Herb Stein once stated, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”
America is still kicking the can down the road — but we’re running out of road.
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
- Honoring the Sanctity of Life — Reflecting on the Roe v. Wade anniversary and the millions of children lost.
- What Trump Should Really Do With Iran — U.S. policy should be to apply maximum pressure on Iran with the goal of changing Iran’s government.
- The Dangers of Asserting ‘Hottest Year Since…’ — It’s one thing to compare satellite temps and quite another to make claims using dubious 100-year-old logs.
- Administration Protects Religious Rights — HHS sets up new division to enforce laws to protect health care workers’ rights of conscience.
- Stonewall Jackson — Marking the birth anniversary of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson (1824-1863).
- Video: Media Defend Clinton’s Health, Slam Trump — Despite Hillary Clinton’s public health scares, she got the benefit of the doubt as far as the Leftmedia is concerned.
- Video: How’s the Mental Health of the White House Press? — Navy Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson fielded nearly an hour’s worth of questions about Donald Trump’s health.
- Humor Video: Shapiro & Stuckey Read Mean Tweets — Two young conservatives, Ben Shapiro and Allie Stuckey, have a little fun at the expense of ridiculous Twitter trolls.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Jeff Jacoby: In an Age of E-commerce, the ‘Quill Rule’ Is More Vital Than Ever
- Tony Perkins: March Shows Trump in Step With Pro-lifers
- Kathryn Jean Lopez: Love on the March
- Bill Wagner: The Immigration Blame Game
- Todd Starnes: Grade School’s Anti-Border Wall Posters Describe Police as Predators
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Gary Bauer: “Washington is buzzing … about a ‘devastating report’ compiled by the House Intelligence Committee detailing widespread abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by top officials of the Obama FBI and Justice Department. The abuse reportedly relates to how secret warrants were obtained to spy on the Trump campaign. Sources tell investigative reporter Sara Carter that the report is ‘explosive’ and could very well result in numerous officials being forced out of government. Several members of Congress who have read the report are demanding that it be released to the public. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) described the report as ‘troubling’ and ‘shocking.’ ‘Part of me wishes that I didn’t read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country,’ Meadows said. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said, ‘The classified report … is deeply troubling and raises serious questions about the upper echelon of the Obama DOJ and Comey FBI.’ ‘You think about, "Is this happening in America or is this the KGB?” That’s how alarming it is,’ Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) said. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told Sean Hannity, ‘I believe there are people who will go to jail.’ Rep. Steve King (R-IA) called the report ‘sickening’ and ‘worse than Watergate.’ This is not a hard call for congressional leaders. Release the report and demand accountability! We have been focused on collusion with Russia, for which there is no evidence. This appears to be evidence of people who wanted us to become Russia — using the power of government to crush political opponents.“
The Gipper: "When you see all that rhetorical smoke billowing up from the Democrats — well, ladies and gentleman, I’d follow the example of their nominee; don’t inhale.”
Masterful trolling: “Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!” —Donald Trump
For the record: “It is amazing how much Senate Democrats’ messaging over the weekend relies on no interviewer pointing out that they are filibustering, and thus requiring 60 votes, not 50, to pass a continuing resolution to reopen the government.” —Jim Geraghty
Is the dam breaking? “If [a border wall is] what it’s going to take to take 800,000 young men and women and give them a chance to live freely and openly in America, then I’ll roll up my sleeves, and I’ll go down there with bricks and mortar and begin the wall. A brick for lives? Okay, let’s do it.” —Rep. Luis Gutierrez
Shutdown theatrics: “Congress funds much of the scientific research done in this country. In 2013, that meant some experiments went on hold and suffered costly losses of data. And in space that same year, for more than two weeks NASA reportedly stopped monitoring potentially dangerous asteroids. A big one, by the way, is expected to brush by Earth on February 4th.” —CNN’s Tom Foreman
Tone-deaf: “Women have beaten the odds to elect our own to office. That’s right, women of color, transgender women, rural and urban women, and these victories were led and made possible by women of color, so, white women, listen up: We’ve got to do better, we’ve got to do better. It is not up to women of color to save this country from itself. That’s on all of us.” —Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, whose organization was founded by a eugenicist and continues to disproportionately target minorities today
And last… “True believers in equality would recognize that tax cuts, a booming economy and deregulation empower women more than this cancerous intersectional feminism ever could.” —Allie Stuckey
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