Mid-Day Digest

Feb. 14, 2018

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • There’s a big difference between DACA and DACA-plus.
  • The Education Department has flushed Obama’s potty policies for public schools.
  • Trump’s food stamp reform is a pretty good idea. Will Congress bite?
  • Solving infrastructure, Trump style.
  • Rob Porter’s a sleaze ball, the administration failed, and the Leftmedia is exploiting it.
  • More evidence the ethanol mandate hurts the economy.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“The republican principle demands that the deliberate sense of the community should govern the conduct of those to whom they intrust the management of their affairs; but it does not require an unqualified complaisance to every sudden breeze of passion or to every transient impulse which the people may receive from the arts of men, who flatter their prejudices to betray their interests.” —Alexander Hamilton (1788)

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Democrats Overplay Their Hand With Extreme DACA Demands

By Louis DeBroux

The current immigration debate is surreal, worthy of a chapter in a Lewis Carrol novel, where logic is turned upside down and words have no meaning whatsoever because they mean what their utterers want them to mean in that moment.

The current crisis du jour is the pending end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as “DACA,” through which Barack Obama granted protection against deportation for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens.

In 2010, with Democrats firmly in control of Congress, Obama faced immense pressure to push amnesty for millions of illegals. At first, Obama rightly recognized the limits of his power, stating, “I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.” In March 2011, he reiterated that position, saying, “With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case.” In 2012, desperate for Hispanic voters to bail him out at the ballot box, Obama did an about-face and announced the implementation of the DACA program.

Of course, Democrats never allow the truth to ruin a political narrative, so despite Obama’s confession that DACA is unconstitutional, and despite the courts concurring, Democrats now claim President Donald Trump is a heartless racist for ending a program that Obama had no right to implement. And two activist judges have issued orders to block Trump’s move.

In actuality, Trump is being far more compassionate than the law requires. In exchange for securing the border and ending chain migration and the visa lottery, Trump is offering to grant not only amnesty but a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegals — nearly three times more than signed up for Obama’s DACA program.

Such generosity has been met with extreme demands by Democrats: amnesty without border security, and a continuation of chain migration, further exploding the number of illegals entering the U.S.

There is zero legal obligation for the U.S. to grant amnesty to any illegals, and even the claim of a moral obligation is tenuous at best. The blame lies solely with the parents of the illegals who were brought here as children in direct defiance of U.S. immigration laws.

Regardless, because Americans are a compassionate people, there is widespread agreement that those illegal alien children who are truly here through no fault of their own, and who have known no other country, should be allowed to stay. Even Numbers USA, which advocates for strict limits on immigration, supports giving the so-called “Dreamers” legal status.

It is important to delineate between the “Dreamers” under DACA and what might be called “DACA-plus.” The DACA recipients took advantage of Obama’s (illegal) program and applied for the deferral, paid fees and were issued work permits that allowed them to be hired by American employers. There were about 800,000 who took advantage of the program, minus the approximately 110,000 who were deported for crimes, or failed to renew their green cards, or married U.S. citizens. These are the people Americans support allowing to stay.

Not good enough, say Democrats. They cynically shut down the government last month to pressure Republicans to capitulate to their demands to expand the amnesty pool to include illegals who came here late in their teens, who were not born here, and for whom America is not their only home. It was a showdown they lost, but it was a revealing moment.

What is particularly galling to many Americans is to have their compassion rewarded with contempt and ingratitude. The job of the American government is first and foremost to protect the rights and interests of American citizens. As President Trump stated in his State of the Union Address, “My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans, to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. … Because Americans are dreamers, too.”

Democrats are overplaying their hand, and it will come back to bite them. Nothing will erode the goodwill of the American people like being told that their kindness is not only owed to the illegals who broke our laws but that it is insufficient.

No other nation takes in as many immigrants as the United States. No other nation treats them as well as we do. Not only have we allowed them to stay, we have spent tens of billions of dollars feeding, housing and educating them.

Compare that to Mexico, home to many of these illegals. Mexico is in the process of a harsh crackdown on illegals coming up through Central America. In Mexico, instead of access to welfare programs and education, illegals are rounded up in police raids, imprisoned, beaten and often tortured.

America’s current situation is untenable. Our immigration laws must be reformed to deal with those here and those who want to come here. But in doing so, Americans and their interests should come first. Not one single immigrant or illegal alien has a “right” to come to America. Those allowed to stay do so out of the kindness of the American people.

And limiting immigration to those who truly love America, who want to embrace our history and culture, who promise to obey our laws, and who will be a net gain for our country is not an unreasonable demand.

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IN BRIEF

Flushing Obama’s Potty Policies

By Nate Jackson

Stories of President Donald Trump’s administration undoing the bankrupt policies of Barack Obama’s White House are especially welcome news. The latest episode is the announcement from Betsy DeVos’s Department of Education that it will no longer intervene in kerfuffles over public school bathroom use on behalf of transgender individuals.

In May 2016, Obama’s school powder room police dictated that public schools must accommodate kids suffering from gender dysphoria — not by actually helping them, of course, but by forcing female students to share bathrooms and locker rooms with males claiming to be females. Federal funding always comes with strings attached. It was nothing less than part of a growing pattern of progressive child abuse.

The law in question says simply, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The key word is “sex.”

Education Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Hill explained, “Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity. In the case of bathrooms, however, longstanding regulations provide that separating facilities on the basis of sex is not a form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX.” Indeed, words mean things, and leftists’ constant redefinition of accepted terms is a big part of enacting their agenda. “Sex” does not mean gender “identity.”

Unfortunately, what was enacted by a pen and undone by a pen can be re-enacted with a pen by the next Democrat administration — at least until the courts weigh in, and at least one case is headed to the Supreme Court. Regardless, leftists will by no means concede defeat in the bathroom wars. For the moment, however, there is some semblance of common sense coming from the Department of Education.

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Trump SNAPS to It With Reform Proposal

By Jordan Candler

It goes without saying that every welfare and entitlement program demands a major overhaul. Constitutional issues aside, there simply isn’t enough money flowing into the Treasury to continue the status quo. More importantly, the way in which these programs are structured is broken and unsustainable. Consequently, this makes them highly vulnerable to abuse to varying degrees, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a.k.a. food stamps.

For example, in 2011, a Michigan SNAP recipient outsmarted the system after winning a $2 million lottery. As Michigan’s Department of Human Services public relations director explained it: “Under federal guidelines, lottery winnings are counted as income when determining whether a person is eligible for food assistance if the client receives regular ongoing payments. Under federal guidelines, if the person received a lump-sum payment, the winnings are not counted.” As a result, the man, despite suddenly swimming in hundreds of thousands of dollars thanks to the lottery, proceeded to continually charge taxpayers for his grocery bills. How noble of him.

And according to a 2010 Government Accountability Office report, “The amount of SNAP benefits paid in error is substantial, totaling about $2.2 billion in 2009.” The report added, “Of the total $2.19 billion in payment errors in fiscal year 2009, $1.8 billion, or about 82 percent, were overpayments. Overpayments occur when eligible persons are provided more than they are entitled to receive or when ineligible persons are provided benefits.”

You can find even more deleterious examples here.

Fortunately, the Trump administration is recommending some much-needed changes to the program by emulating Blue Apron — a pioneer in food kit distribution. According to Fox News, “The plan, outlined in the administration’s budget blueprint for fiscal year 2019, is being dubbed ‘America’s Harvest Box’ by the Department of Agriculture. It would provide 16.4 million households, about 81% of current food stamp recipients, with boxes of non-perishable food items grown by U.S. farmers in place of some of their SNAP aid. The government’s proposed program would apply to households that receive more than $90 in food stamp benefits.”

Of course, Democrats, right on cue, grumbled against “a risky scheme that threatens families’ ability to put food on the table,” as Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Stacy Dean fretted. On the contrary, the changes wouldn’t be taking anything away from Americans; instead, it would streamline the process while disincentivizing those who don’t need it from abusing the system. The White House envisions 10-year savings of $129.2 billion if these changes are implemented.

The only problem is that food stamp reform is part of Trump’s budget proposal, and, like any other past president, the odds are stacked highly against his proposal getting much — if any — traction in Congress. However, it gives lawmakers a solid idea to chase on their own via an independent bill. Let’s hope they bite.

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Top Headlines

  • Duplicitous Democrats block vote on sanctuary cities (The Washington Times)

  • Democrat wins legislative seat in Florida — 36 elections go from red to blue since 2016 (The Washington Post)

  • Israeli police recommend bribery charges for Netanyahu (The Hill)

  • U.S. strikes killed scores of Russian fighters in Syria (Bloomberg)

  • Another global warming oops: Sinking islands are apparently growing (The Resurgent)

  • High school bans “racially offensive” national anthem (The Washington Times)

  • Dumb and Dumber: Trump’s lawyer says he paid Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket (Fox News)

  • Who would have guessed? More cops mean less crime, analysis shows (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • Trending now: Facebook lost around 2.8 million U.S. users under 25 last year (Recode)

  • Humor: Trump announces plan to replace food stamps with new low-income foraging program (The Onion)

  • Policy: Assessing the Trump infrastructure plan (City Journal)

  • Policy: Valentine’s Day is here, and the sugar lobby will take its cut (American Enterprise Institute)

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

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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: “Americans should be proud of the tremendous gains made since emancipation. Black Americans, as a group, have made the greatest gains, over some of the highest hurdles, in a shorter span of time than any other racial group in mankind’s history. What’s the evidence? If one totaled black income and thought of us as a separate nation with our own gross domestic product, black Americans would rank among the world’s 20 richest nations. It was a black American, Colin Powell, who, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, headed the world’s mightiest military. There are a few black Americans who are among the world’s richest and most famous personalities. The significance of these achievements is that in 1865, neither a former slave nor a former slave owner would have believed that such gains would be possible in a little over a century. As such, it speaks well of the intestinal fortitude of a people. Just as importantly, it speaks well of a nation in which such gains were possible. Those gains would have been impossible anywhere other than the U.S. Putting greater emphasis on black successes in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds is far superior to focusing on grievances and victimhood. Doing so might teach us some things that could help us today.”

SHORT CUTS

Excuses, excuses: “I think it was difficult for Hillary Clinton to get by even the macho atmosphere prevailing during that campaign, and she was criticized in a way I think no man would have been criticized. I think anyone who watched that campaign unfold would answer it the same way I did: Yes, sexism played a prominent part.” —Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Demo-gogues: “After I got appointed, I went down to Brooklyn to meet with families who had suffered from gun violence in their communities. And you immediately experience the feeling that I couldn’t have been more wrong. I only had the lens of upstate New York. … I was embarrassed. I was wrong.” —Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on her evolving stance against firearms

Alpha Jackass: “What’s the over/under that it was just [Vanessa Trump’s] coke dealer dropping off the usual but she did too much & this is a cover story?” —Tara Dublin on this week’s “white substance” scare that sent Vanessa to the hospital

Delusions of grandeur: “Obama’s historic election was a departure from America’s past, but he also embodied the ideals that define some of the other presidents portrayed in these halls: Lincoln’s secular faith in our national union; Kennedy’s commitment to public service; Reagan’s optimism that America’s best days are still to come.” —Smithsonian Institution Secretary David Skorton

Self-inflicted Victimitis: “I don’t want my Olympic experience being about Mike Pence.” —Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon, who volunteered his criticism of Pence and thus made his own Olympic experience what it is

D'oh! “I find it obscene — the term ‘chain migration.’ It is incredibly cruel to those whose ancestors were brought to this country in chains in slavery.” —Sen. Robert Menendez (“Menendez’s comments characterizing the phrase ‘chain migration’ as racist came a month after he jointly released a bipartisan statement with five other lawmakers using the term.” —The Washington Free Beacon)

And last… “Last week: Trump wants a military parade like a dictator! This week: The admirable precision of North Korea’s cheerleaders will warm your heart!” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher