IN TODAY’S EDITION
- It’s not most FBI agents who are the problem, it’s the corruption at the top.
- House Intel Committee votes to release the infamous FISA memo.
- Criminal justice reform may be in the offing at tonight’s SOTU.
- The “Arab Spring” brought forth a lot of trouble. Syria and Turkey are examples.
- The Trump administration has released a welcome National Security Strategy.
- Social Justice Warriors claim another scalp — the Cleveland Indians’ mascot.
- Conan goes to Haiti to hypocritically slam Trump.
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure virtue.” —John Adams (1776)
By Thomas Gallatin
Monday afternoon the news broke that Barack Obama-era FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had either “stepped down” or was “removed.” However it happened, the fact is McCabe is now no longer working at the FBI. The sudden announcement of McCabe’s departure comes suspiciously on the heels of FBI Director Christopher Wray’s review of the confidential FISA memo — the same memo the House Intel Committee just voted to make public. Recall that it was reported that Wray had earlier resisted pressure from President Donald Trump to remove McCabe, so why now the quick change of mind? Could the memo shed some light on the reason? Or has Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is currently reviewing the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton, come across some damning material?
While more information on the level of deep state corruption is bound to surface, Democrats have sought to spin the narrative that President Donald Trump and Republicans are the ones guilty of undermining and damaging the FBI’s reputation. It’s the same tactic used by the mainstream media, which has regularly blamed Trump for supposedly undermining American’s trust in the MSM when the reality is they have done it to themselves. Similarly, while Trump has been somewhat careless with his rhetoric on the DOJ and FBI, the fact remains that evidence coming out appears to show a corruption problem with certain members within the agency. Members like former Director James Comey, who has admitted to leaking negative information on Trump to the press in order to get the special counsel created, and who decided to exonerate Hillary Clinton months before the investigation into her illegal email server and handling of classified information was concluded. That corruption extended to anti-Trump agents — the texting bias expressed by lead investigator Peter Strzok and lawyer Lisa Page appears to validate GOP suspicions of a deep state cabal within the FBI leadership.
As for McCabe, his wife ran as a Democrat for a state Senate seat in Virginia and took nearly $700,000 in contributions from donors like Terry McAuliffe linked to the Clinton machine. That was at the same time McCabe supervised the Clinton “probe.” He finally recused himself — one week prior to the election.
Did we mention that McCabe is still set to receive his $1.8 million pension package?
To be clear, the corruption charges against a few key DOJ and FBI operatives is not a “condemnation of the FBI,” but rather a condemnation of a handful of Obama deep state actors within the FBI. Democrats are diverting from that fact by accusing Trump and Republicans of “condemning the FBI.” The fact is the vast majority of the 35,000 people employed by the FBI steadfastly abide by their motto: Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity. It’s a good bet that the majority of FBI agents, whose reputations are being sullied by these corrupt officials, are just as frustrated if not more so by these bad apples.
By Nate Jackson
The House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines Monday evening to release the now-infamous memo reportedly detailing abuses surrounding surveillance of at least one associate of then-candidate Donald Trump. The president and Justice Department have five days to review the memo before deciding to make it public or not.
We expect the memo will detail how the FBI used the Hillary Clinton-funded phony dossier on Trump to gain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (Act) (FISA) Court to surveil Carter Page, a former Trump aide who traveled to Russia in July 2016. Put another way, it’s very likely that corrupt deep state officials within the FBI used the opposition research of one political campaign, which just happened to be favored by the
political campaign administration in power, to justify wielding the power of the state against an opposing political campaign. As we’ve noted before, that’s the stuff of banana republics, not constitutional ones.
“If you … want to know whether or not the dossier was used in court proceedings, whether or not it was vetted before it was used,” Rep. Trey Gowdy said, “if you are interested in who paid for the dossier … then, yes, you’ll want the memo to come out.”
Democrat reactions only reinforce our suspicions. “Today this committee voted to put the president’s personal interests, perhaps their own political interests, above the national interests,” complained the House committee’s ranking Democrat, Adam Schiff. No, that’s a Democrat specialty. Schiff also griped that the committee rejected releasing his counter memo. Except the committee did release that memo to the entire House, likely for public release soon thereafter.
Schiff also alleges that Democrats were made aware for the first time Monday of a House Intelligence Committee investigation into both the Justice Department and the FBI. Except that Intel subpoenaed both the DOJ and FBI in August for documents related to the dossier, which might have been a clue of an investigation. The DOJ and FBI also stonewalled on the subpoenas, likely, to borrow Schiff’s words, for “their own political interests.”
In short, the memo is probably not earth-shattering, but it will be an important marker in the interminably long saga of the Democrats’ phony Russia collusion narrative, as well as the corruption undermining the integrity of the FBI.
Ginsburg will not attend Trump’s first State of the Union (The Hill)
Immigrants will be a big part of Trump’s State of the Union address — and live audience (The Washington Times)
They have a dream: Two DACA recipients arrested on suspicion of human smuggling (The San Diego Union-Tribune)
More tax reform benefits: Exxon Mobil announces $35 billion in new U.S. investments over five years (CNBC)
Democrats stand with brutal regimes in China and North Korea, block 20-week abortion ban (Washington Examiner)
Anti-humor: Senate Democrats refuse to grant legal status to children dreaming of being born (The Babylon Bee)
U.S. military revising its rules after fitness trackers exposed sensitive data (The Washington Post)
Couldn’t happen to a “nicer” bunch: Grammy Awards TV ratings hit all-time low (Variety)
Obama’s presidential library ripped as “ugly waste of taxpayer resources” by Chicagoans (The Washington Times)
Policy: Nationalizing 5G would mark the end of wireless innovation (Investor’s Business Daily)
Policy: The Trump growth machine (Hoover Institution)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
By Paul Albaugh
Tonight, President Donald Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address, which will include the accomplishments from his first year in office as well as cover several needed areas of reform, such as immigration and health care, and improvements, like infrastructure. It’s also anticipated that President Trump will spend some time discussing the need for criminal justice and prison reform.
Such reform is something we have written about for the past several years, but little has been done at the federal level to address the issue. While reforming criminal justice and our prison system may not be considered top priorities for many Americans, there seems to at least be some agreement in Washington from both parties on the need to take action.
Both parties recognize that there is a problem with our current justice system and both recognize that our prisons are overcrowded, many with people who have not committed violent crimes. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two parties voting on prison reform is the goal. Republicans would like to see reform occur so that people guilty of non-violent crimes can be given a second chance and become productive citizens. Democrats see it as an opportunity to secure more votes — that is, they would like to restore full voting rights to those who have forfeited them by being convicted of a felony.
American prisons are overpopulated and the Land of the Free has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. There are millions of people in federal prison, many whom are behind bars for years as a result of mandatory minimum sentencing for committing non-violent crimes. Further, the recidivism rate among federal prisoners is also very high. In the past few years, some states — Texas and Kansas, for example — have implemented conservative policies to address prison reform with tremendous success.
Trump and his Justice Department are reportedly “fully on board” with proposals for prison reform. Earlier this month, Trump held a meeting with Governors Matt Bevin of Kentucky and Sam Brownback of Kansas as well as Koch Industries General Counsel Mark Holden to discuss prison reform and reducing recidivism.
Holden, who’s worked on the issue for years, argues that policies like mandatory minimum sentencing are not working. He lamented, “I think our system has miserably failed us in the past 30 to 40 years.” He added, “More people have criminal records than college degrees. If you look at the federal system, they’re still in the 1980s. … They’re still using ‘lock 'em up and throw away the key.’ It’s failing, it’s inhumane, and it’s counterproductive.”
Holden pointed to the tremendous success with Texas prison reform between 2007 and 2015. During those years, Texas “expanded the number of specialty courts from nine to more than 160, expanded substance abuse programs, expanded the number of halfway houses, and challenged local probation departments, offering them additional state funds if they reduced the number of probationers returning to prison by 10 percent.” As result of these reforms, Texas was able to shut down three prisons and six juvenile facilities, save $2 billion from the state budget, and watch the crime rate drop to its lowest level since 1968.
Governor Brownback hailed the success of the mentoring programs within the state of Kansas. The mentoring program consists of person-to-person relationship building, which helps people who were in prison get back on their feet once released. As a result, the Kansas recidivism rate has been cut in half.
As seen above, there have been several successful state prison reform programs, and several conservative groups are hoping for President Trump to push for several proposals at the federal level.
Some conservative groups recommend that AG Jeff Sessions open up the Bureau of Prisons to outside service providers, which currently have limited access. Policies could include a mentoring program that starts when a person enters prison until several years after they leave, as well as ending or reducing mandatory minimum sentencing and allowing for lower courts to decide how much time fits the crime. And don’t get us started on civil asset forfeiture. The goals should be to give people second chances, reduce recidivism, spend less on prisons and ultimately make our communities safer and our people freer.
Trump has an opportunity to bring both parties together on prison and criminal justice reform. Many good policies have been tried and proven to work in certain states and, as is the point of federalism, other states and the federal government can learn a thing or two.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- Syria and Turkey: What the Arab Spring Wrought — The Trump administration has few good options when it comes to dealing with “allies” and foes.
- A Welcome National Security Strategy — Updated for the first time in 10 years, the NDS marks the priorities of the Trump administration.
- Cleveland Indians Scalped by Social Justice Warriors — If we keep going down this road, one wonders how long any sport will remain afloat.
- Hypocrite Pelosi Moves to Allay Her Own Tax Increase — We all want lower their tax obligations. The problem comes down to egregious hypocrisy on the Left.
- Conan Goes to Haiti … to Insult Trump — He ignores the fact that Haiti is one of the poorest and most corrupt nations in the Western hemisphere.
- College Students Hate Trump’s SOTU … Before It Happens — Campus Reform took to the campus of NYU to ask their opinions on President Trump’s State of the Union.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Dennis Prager: Three Reasons the Left Wants Evermore Immigrants
- Stephen Moore: Make Trump Tax Cuts Permanent — Now
- Cal Thomas: A Message for My Evangelical Friends
- Tony Perkins: An Abortion Chief’s Legacy of Death and Taxes
- Bill Wagner: Facts, Leaks and the FISA Memo
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Stephen Moore: “Last month the tax bill was favored by only about one in four voters, but it is growing more popular every day, as voters discover that liberals were lying all along about who really benefits from the bill. If these bonuses and pay raises are mere ‘crumbs,’ as millionaire Nancy Pelosi hisses, workers want more of them. As the old saying goes: Nothing succeeds like success. Republicans should seize the moment of this tax cut miracle cure and make sure that the cuts don’t expire anytime soon. Only about a third of the tax bill’s benefits are permanent. Most of the cuts for the middle class — including the lower income tax rates, the doubling of the standard deduction, and the additional $500 per child tax credit — will expire after 2024 because of arcane budget rules. But fixing that problem is easy: Vote to make the tax cuts permanent so no one faces a tax hike. … If Democrats vote thumbs down again, the party will appear all the more hopelessly out of touch with middle class workers. They will be voting to allow middle class taxes to go up. Bernie Sanders recently said on CNN: ‘We should’ve made the tax cuts for the middle class permanent.’ Well, Bernie, now’s your chance to do just that.”
A blind squirrel finds a nut: “For years, the fundamental complaint of the right in the culture wars has been that the left is hypocritical, and the Nikki Haley episode perfectly confirms the point: A prominent Republican woman is smeared. The author who does the smearing is celebrated by all the A-listers, including the most prominent Democratic woman in the country, who herself has a history of giving a pass (or worse) to men accused of sexual assault and harassment. And yet the arbiters of American culture cheer the Democrat and, in the words of the actor Don Cheadle, tell the Republican who has the gall to defend herself: ‘Sit down, girl. You’re drunk.’” —New York Times’ Bari Weiss
The BIG Lie: “[Releasing the FISA memo] is a distraction from the fact that [Republicans] passed a tax bill that gives 83% of the benefits to the top 1%. They’d like to distract from that. And 86 million middle-class Americans will pay more in taxes. … They do give this gift to corporate America at the expense of our children’s future. They don’t want to talk about that.” —Nancy Pelosi
Self-righteous indignation: “Yes, I think from a moral perspective, [the shutdown] was the right thing to do, and that is to say to these 800,000 young people we are not going to allow them to be subjected to deportation.” —Bernie Sanders
Race bait: “I think a lot of President Trump’s rhetoric is racist. Let’s be very clear: When someone uses the phrase ‘chain migration’ … it is intentional in trying to demonize families — literally trying to demonize families and make it a racist slur.” —Kirsten Gillibrand
That’s not how a Republic operates: “Popular vote went to Hillary, and Democratic Senators represent 40 million more Americans than a [sic] Republican Senators do. Give democracy a chance rather than ignoring the popular majority.” —Sheldon Whitehouse
And last… “The growth rebound in 2017 shows that secular stagnation isn’t destiny; it was the result of policy choices by the previous Administration. The Obama Democrats put income redistribution ahead of growth and got more inequality and less growth. Mr. Trump and the GOP Congress have made growth a priority, and that’s where they need to keep their focus if they want to keep the expansion going.” —The Wall Street Journal
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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher