Mid-Day Digest

Feb. 7, 2018

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Government by crisis continues with the second shutdown of 2018 looming.
  • Democrat Adam Schiff fell for a Russian prank about Trump pics.
  • A young girl wrote to Trump about school shootings and got a touching response.
  • Late-night hosts just keep going further left. How long can Jimmy Fallon hold out?
  • So Trump reportedly wants a military parade and, predictably, leftists go nuts.
  • The Pentagon is certainly guilty of waste, but it’s also on stronger footing than most.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“The pyramid of government-and a republican government may well receive that beautiful and solid form-should be raised to a dignified altitude: but its foundations must, of consequence, be broad, and strong, and deep. The authority, the interests, and the affections of the people at large are the only foundation, on which a superstructure proposed to be at once durable and magnificent, can be rationally erected.” —James Wilson

IN BRIEF

Another Government Shutdown Looming as Deadline Approaches

It’s that time again. Congress has until Thursday to work out a spending bill in order to avoid another government shutdown. And once again the issue of immigration will be front and center as Democrats (claim to) demand a deal on DACA. In that light, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) announced a bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for illegal alien Dreamers. The proposed legislation is likely dead on arrival, however, as it provides no funding plan for a border wall and it essentially would grant amnesty to well beyond President Donald Trump’s number of 1.8 million illegal immigrants.

McCain is seeking to placate Democrats in order to get full funding for the military. Defending his proposal, he said, “For months, I have been calling on my colleagues to complete a bipartisan budget agreement to lift the caps on defense spending and fully fund the military. While reaching a deal cannot come soon enough for America’s service members, the current political reality demands bipartisan cooperation to address the impending expiration of the DACA program and secure the southern border.”

Trump set a deadline of March 5 for ending Barack Obama’s unconstitutional DACA program. On Tuesday, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said he doubted “very much” that Trump would extend the program, explaining he was “not sure this president has the authority to extend it.” The pressure is on Congress to act, but Trump’s comments on supporting a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal aliens did not sit well with people at Immigration and Customs Enforcement. National ICE Council President Chris Crane recently sent a letter to Trump, stating, “We simply cannot in good faith support any legislative effort on immigration that does not include provisions regarding immigration detainers, sanctuary cities and the smuggling and trafficking of children across U.S. borders.”

And the recent death of Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson, killed by a twice-deported illegal alien who was drunk and driving unlicensed, will only serve to add more fuel to the demands that America finally and fully crack down on illegal immigration. Ironically, Jackson was killed on Super Bowl Sunday. Jim Geraghty of National Review notes, “Unsurprisingly, there are now voices lamenting that Jackson’s death should not be ‘politicized.’ This inevitable discussion is not politicizing what occurred; it is vividly illustrating the consequences of when a government decides, without much public debate, that certain laws, like entering the country illegally, may be violated without much consequence. Yes, some people enter the country illegally as adorable moppets and grow up to be high school valedictorians. But some people who enter the country illegally end up becoming drunk drivers. When you’re convicted of a DUI and then deported, we must have an ability to ensure those people will not come back.”

Back to spending legislation. The House passed a short-term measure to fund the government through March 23, but Senate Democrats — surprise — object and can block it. Thus, we continue to see government by crisis and political gamesmanship.

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Russians Prank Democrat Adam Schiff

The top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (CA), was duped last year by two Russian pranksters who go by the nicknames “Vovan” and “Lexus.” The pair have a history of pranking high-ranking American government officials, including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Thanks to Schiff’s prominent role in the FISA memo debacle, we’re now learning that, 10 months ago, Schiff took a phone call from Vovan and Lexus, one of whom identified as a fictitious chairman from the Ukrainian Parliament claiming to have compromising information on President Donald Trump. During the phone call, the pranksters claimed that in 2013 Trump had attended the Miss Universe competition where he met with Russian journalist and celebrity Ksenia Sobchak, who subsequently provided Trump with a Russian prostitute. The pranksters claimed to have naked pictures of Trump, which Russian President Vladimir Putin had obtained.

During the conversation Schiff asks, “And so Putin was made aware of the availability of the compromising material?” The pranksters answer, “Yes, of course,” adding that Putin wanted Trump to know “all those compromising materials will never be released if Trump will cancel all Russian sanctions.” To which Schiff responds, “Alrighty. Good, this is very helpful. I appreciate it. … We will try to work with the FBI to figure out, along with your stuff, how we can obtain copies.”

A spokesperson for Schiff insists that he knew all along the call was bogus and a prank, but the Daily Mail reports that Schiff’s office did in fact attempt a follow-up with the pranksters, sending emails seeking details on where and when to pick up the compromising material.

The irony here is that Schiff, who was highly critical of the meeting Donald Trump Jr. took at Trump Tower with the Russian lawyer in 2016 over the promise of receiving dirt on Hillary Clinton, seemingly has little problem with attempting to gain compromising material from Russians on Trump. Evidently, if the information feeds the desired political narrative, then by all means bring it on.

Finally, on the subject of being punked…

There is an outbreak of unverified nonsense on conservative blogs, claiming that Adam Schiff is connected to George Soros — that his sister was married to Soros’ son. Indeed, there is a Melissa Robin Schiff who was married to Soros’s son, but Melissa Schiff is the daughter of Marlene and the late Dr. Haskel Schiff of New York, while Rep. Adam Schiff is the son of Edward and Sherrill Ann Schiff of Framingham, Massachusetts.

There is nothing “conservative” about propagating “fake news,” but there actually is a connection between Schiff and Soros.

Schiff’s election to the House in 2000 was backed by MoveOn, the Council of State Governments and Open Society, leftist political fronts backed by Hungarian socialist George Soros, one of the billionaire archenemies of Liberty.

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Top Headlines

  • The end of IRS targeting? Trump prepares to name a new chief tax collector (The Wall Street Journal)

  • Senate leaders near two-year budget deal to prevent shutdown (The Hill)

  • FBI lovers’ latest text messages: Obama “wants to know everything” (Fox News)

  • Tax cuts lowering consumer utility bills (Daily Signal)

  • Just like the 9/11 hijackers, possible Saudi terrorist arrested by the FBI told his flight instructors he wanted to be a commercial pilot (Washington Examiner)

  • DHS secretary: about 70 terrorists try to enter the U.S. daily — “that’s 500 a week, 2,000 a year” (CNS News)

  • Democrats just picked up a seat that went for Trump by 28 points (The Resurgent)

  • Report: Trump wants a big military parade in Washington (Hot Air)

  • Conservative women leaders say Anita Hill defended Bill Clinton and so should not lead sexual harassment commission (Los Angeles Times)

  • From the dumb and dumber files: High school cancels musical after white student lands lead role (Fox News)

  • Policy: Congress should ban government shutdowns (E21)

  • Policy: The Founders had an answer to the “fake news” problem (The Daily Signal)

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

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

The President’s Touching Response to a Seven-Year-Old

By Louis DeBroux

No person with an ounce of humanity can fail to be touched by the letter sent to President Donald Trump by seven-year-old Ava Olsen of Townville, South Carolina. It was heartbreaking to read, first-hand, the emotional trauma this sweet little girl has endured over the last 16 months, haunted by nightmares of the day she lost her best friend.

Little Ava was on the schoolyard playground of Townville Elementary on the afternoon of Sept. 28, 2016, when 14-year-old Jesse Osborne pulled up in his father’s Dodge pick-up, pulled out a gun, and began firing. His shots struck three people before the pistol jammed — Ava’s first-grade teacher was hit in the shoulder, another classmate was hit in the foot, and her best friend, six-year-old Jacob Hall, was struck and killed.

Later accounts reveal Osborne, who had also attended Townsville Elementary, had been a “model” student, but was later the victim of bullying. He was kicked out of his middle school when other students noticed a hatchet in his backpack. The morning of the school shootings, Osborne took the pistol from his father’s nightstand, shot him in the back of the head, and then drove to the school, where he opened fire.

It’s a tragic story from every perspective. An innocent six-year-old died at the hands of a tormented 14-year-old who hit a breaking point and lashed out in a heartless, cruel and cowardly way. Jacob Hall is dead, Ava Olsen is emotionally traumatized, and a small town is left to pick up the pieces.

In her letter, Ava related her experience to President Trump, told him of her nightmares, expressed her hatred of guns, which she says “ruined [her] life,” and then issued a plea for him to “keep kids safe from guns.”

President Trump responded to her letter, telling Ava how brave she is and thanking her for sharing her story. He expressed his sorrow for her loss, and his desire to see American children grow up in safe environments. He promised to focus on protecting Americans and improving safety.

Not unexpectedly, considering the hyper-politicized world we now live in, Trump’s critics attacked him for his response. The Washington Post, which published the story, noted that Trump did not say how he would keep Americans safe before reciting school shooting statistics, as if this were an indictment of Trump himself, not to mention the supposedly lax gun laws we’re supposed to clamor for fixing. (The Post and other major Leftmedia outlets, by the way, are guilty of peddling phony statistics on the matter so as to push their agenda.)

The Post also reported on a second letter from Ava to the president, in which she offered some suggestions of her own as to how to keep schools safe, such as building circular schools with playgrounds in the middle so no one can drive up and start shooting, or moving schools to safer areas, and having people around to make sure no one hurts children. Her suggestions are touching in their innocent sincerity but, as would be expected of so young a child, she doesn’t yet understand certain realities.

She doesn’t understand that when people have freedom, they sometimes use that freedom to do stupid, destructive or hateful things; and the only way to prevent all bad things from happening is to completely control all people and force them to act a certain way, which is an even greater form of evil.

She doesn’t understand that guns are tools with no moral value of their own, and even though a gun was used in this instance in an evil way, guns are used far more often in self-defense, and in preventing or limiting such violence against the innocent. To disarm law-abiding citizens is to guarantee that there will be even more such shootings, with even more victims.

She doesn’t understand that we are a nation of laws, and that American citizens have a Second Amendment right to own firearms for their own protection, whether that be from common criminals or government tyranny. And just as we would never contemplate eliminating free speech protections because some cruel people use their free speech to bully others, neither should we eliminate the right to bear arms because some use them for ill.

She doesn’t understand that laws are the final recourse for bad or malevolent behavior, and that in a civil society such as America, we rely on a shared set of values in order to live peaceably together. Founding Father John Adams once wrote that our Constitution was “was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

In other words, our Constitution only works in a nation where the people are self-governing; where they live by the Judeo-Christian principles upon which this nation was established and our laws structured; where they treat one another with courtesy and respect, not because they fear retributive government force, but because they desire to live in harmony with their neighbors.

Such values were not long ago universally accepted in America. Now they are considered antiquated, judgmental and even harmful. Now people are judged not by the content of their character, but by their sex/race/identity group. By such standards, evil acts are often “justified” if the perpetrator is a member of the proper victimized identity group. As a result, our schools have become war zones, with armed guards and metal detectors, and some call this “progress.”

Such complexities are beyond the grasp of little Ava, not that she should have to grapple with such concepts at so tender an age.

But that is no excuse for the rest of us.

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TODAY’S MEME

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

TODAY’S CARTOON

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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

Walter Williams: “Some people have called for a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution as a means of reining in a big-spending Congress. That’s a misguided vision… The bottom line is the federal budget is always balanced in any real economic sense. For those enamored of a balanced budget amendment, think about the following. Would we have greater personal liberty under a balanced federal budget with Congress spending $4 trillion and taxing us $4 trillion, or would we be freer under an unbalanced federal budget with Congress spending $2 trillion and taxing us $1 trillion? I’d prefer the unbalanced budget. The true measure of government’s impact on our lives is government spending, not government taxing. Tax revenue is not our problem. The federal government has collected nearly 20 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product almost every year since 1960. Federal spending has exceeded 20 percent of the GDP for most of that period. Because federal spending is the problem, that’s where our focus should be. … The nation needs a constitutional amendment that limits congressional spending to a fixed fraction, say 20 percent, of the GDP.”

SHORT CUTS

Food for thought: “We can’t forget the chief culprits in our ongoing national drama: American voters. No one forced primary voters in the Democratic or Republican parties to select two of the sleaziest [presidential] candidates (and sleaziest campaigns) in modern American history. … The single-best way to keep the FBI out of politics is to vote for better politicians.” —David French

Non Compos Mentis: “We like to say ‘peoplekind,’ not necessarily ‘mankind,’ because it’s more inclusive.” —Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Talk about a giant leap back for mankind.)

Trump Derangement Syndrome update: “He is a dangerous man! … Stand behind our special counsel. Help him to have the strength to connect the dots. This president colluded with Russia and he’s obstructed justice! And he’s tearing up our environment. Let’s get rid of him.” —Rep. Maxine Waters

Braying Jenny: “We persist. We persist and we march! We march in pink p—y hats!” —Elizabeth Warren

Belly laugh of the week: “On one side we have a very politically motivated media — Fox, Breibart, InfoWars, etc. — that are pushing a dishonest narrative. And on the other side we’re trying to be like, ‘Well, we’re not on any side, here are the details.’” —The Atlantic’s Julia Ioffe (The same Julia Ioffe whose tenure at Politico ended with the now-deleted tweet, “Either Trump is f—king his daughter or he’s shirking nepotism laws. Which is worse?”)

Playing the victim: “Picking on somebody from one of the coasts, usually ethnic, and making them the poster person of the Democratic Party is old business for the Republicans. They did it with, way back, to some guy from the Bronx back in the ‘40s. They did it with Bella Abzug from the west side of New York City. They did it to Tip O'Neill. They did it to Teddy Kennedy. Now, they’re doing it [to] Nancy Pelosi.” —MSNBC’s Chris Matthews

And last… “Funny how liberals are suddenly obsessed with the legal definition of treason, but didn’t care about the legal definition of 'betraying classified information on a private email server & lying about it.’” —Liz Wheeler

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher