Mid-Day Digest

Feb. 26, 2018

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • While four officers waited outside the Florida school, one unarmed cop responded.
  • Progressive school polices put students at risk.
  • The Democrat FISA memo rebuttal actually confirms Republican allegations.
  • Trump is still tweaking around the edges of ObamaCare.
  • A recap of CPAC and why the gathering is so important this year.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.” —James Madison (1788)

IN BRIEF

The Officer Who Didn’t Fail to Do His Duty

By Nate Jackson

Sgt. Jeff Heinrich of the Coral Springs Police Department was off duty and unarmed when the murderous sociopath attacked Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, almost two weeks ago. Heinrich’s wife is assistant athletic director at the school and his son plays on the football team. Heinrich was on campus that day, watering an athletic field, but when shots rang out, he “dropped the hose … and ran towards” danger. After attending to a wounded student, he met up with a Coral Springs PD SWAT member, grabbed a tactical vest and a backup firearm, and joined the other officer to enter the school. They “systematically cleared” the area, looking for the perpetrator. He did his duty even while not knowing if his wife and son were safe.

Contrast the bravery of Sgt. Heinrich with the cowardice of not just School Resource Deputy Scot Peterson, who did not enter the school to help anyone or confront the attacker, but three other Broward County sheriff’s deputies who likewise waited outside the school. When the Coral Springs police arrived, those deputies reportedly did not follow them into the school.

Thus, yet another revelation adds to the list of failures by school administrators, federal and state government officials and law enforcement. As our Thomas Gallatin wrote Friday, “Not only was the killer a known problem to local law enforcement, but the sheriff admitted his agency had received no less than 23 calls on him since 2008, and the FBI had been warned twice about this teenager and his talk of wanting to be a school shooter. … The gross incompetence displayed by public officials is staggering.”

There are growing calls for Democrat Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to resign. Republican state lawmakers joined that call Sunday, accusing the sheriff of “incompetence and neglect of duty.” Israel refused, however, insisting, “Of course I won’t resign.” In fact, he retorted that calls for his resignation were “shameful” and “politically motivated.” He also defiantly and arrogantly asserted, “I’ve given amazing leadership to this agency.”

Amidst all this government failure, Democrats, their Leftmedia sycophants and leftist corporate hacks are busy blaming the NRA and it’s five million law-abiding members — none of whom are culpable for any part of this sickening loss of 17 innocent lives.

We’re grateful for all the police officers and sheriff’s deputies nationwide who do respond bravely to the call. Sgt. Heinrich and his fellow officers are to be commended. But officers are human and sometimes will fail. Citizens must, therefore, be prepared to defend themselves — not be disarmed by hysterical and reactionary bad policy.

Comment | Share

Demo Memo Unwittingly Confirms GOP Allegations

By Thomas Gallatin

House Democrats led by Rep. Adam Schiff on Friday released their 10-page memo supposedly rebutting House Republicans’ FISA memo. In the heavily redacted memo, Democrats argue that the FBI acted prudently and well within the bounds of the law when seeking and obtaining a surveillance warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to wiretap Carter Page, a former campaign aide for Donald Trump.

Recall the most damning revelation from the GOP’s memo, written by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), asserted, “Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding [Christopher] Steele’s efforts.” The Demo memo seeks to rebuff this allegation, claiming that the “DOJ was transparent with the court about Steele’s sourcing.” It also includes a footnote from the FBI’s FISA application, which states:

[Steele] was approached by an identified U.S. Person, who indicated to Source #1 [Steele] that a U.S.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. Person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1’s ties to Russia. (The identified U.S. Person and Source #1 have a long-standing business relationship.) The identified U.S. Person hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified U.S. person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1’s ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. Person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign.

Based on this application excerpt, the Demo memo argues that it was clearly inferred that the persons and campaigns in question were that of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, meaning the Republicans’ claim that the FBI failed to disclose who was behind the hiring and funding of the opposition research was false. The trouble for Democrats is that this excerpt actually only confirms the GOP memo’s allegation.

Secondly, the other highly damning assertion made in the House GOP memo was the statement by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who “testified before the committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the [FISA court] without the Steele dossier information.” At the time of the memo’s release, Democrats rushed to claim this statement was false, but their memo made no attempt to rebut McCabe’s testimony, nor was it even mentioned.

Finally, keep in mind that the Senate GOP’s memo was even more damning of the FBI’s malfeasance than the House version was.

What is apparent is that Democrats are not interested in digging into the truly concerning questions raised by this FISA abuse. For example, to what degree did collusion occur between the Hillary campaign, the DNC and Barack Obama’s Department of Justice in working against Donald Trump? Instead, Democrats would rather obfuscate, recriminate and further politicize the whole episode for political advantage in 2018.

Comment | Share

Top Headlines

  • Congress returns with bipartisan plans for tougher gun control laws (The Washington Times)

  • Dozens of companies boycott NRA — but it’s backfiring big time (The Blaze)

  • Trump administration to reverse Obama’s deal to loosen sanctions on Iranian terrorists (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • 29 takeaways from America’s biggest conservative conference (The Daily Signal)

  • Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates pleads guilty to two charges in Mueller probe (The Washington Post)

  • The Supreme Court refused to reinstate DACA, which is actually a political win for Trump (The Daily Wire)

  • California Democrats snub party icon Dianne Feinstein, refuse re-election endorsement (Los Angeles Times)

  • Transgender wrestler wins second straight Texas girls’ high school title (The Washington Times)

  • Wheaton College wins huge court battle over Obama’s birth control mandate (The Federalist)

  • Humor: Nation that calls Trump “Hitler” demands he take all guns away (The Babylon Bee)

  • Policy: The weaponization of the EPA is over (The Daily Signal)

  • Policy: UN scandal underscores the need for reform (American Enterprise Institute)

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

Comment | Share

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Progressive Policies Put Schools at Risk

By Arnold Ahlert

Amidst the media-orchestrated hysteria emanating from those who believe gun control will solve America’s mass shooting problem, one of the principal questions being asked is whether children have the right to attend school without fearing for their lives. Tragically, for a nation that has abided progressive ideology for far too long, it’s the wrong question. The more accurate question: How much danger is one willing to put one’s child in to satisfy progressive orthodoxy?

As the Miami Herald reveals, the Florida killer had widely recognized behavioral problems. “Teachers and other students said he kicked doors, cursed at teachers, fought with and threatened classmates and brought a backpack with bullets to school,” the paper reported. “He collected a string of discipline for profanity, disobedience, insubordination, and disruption.”

How did the system handle him? In 2014, administrators transferred him to a school for children with emotional disabilities. Two years later, they changed course and put him back in Marjory Stoneman Douglas. A year later, he was banished again for disciplinary reasons, and ended up being “toggled between three other alternative placements,” as the Herald puts it.

Notice the missing element here — he was never expelled. “Under federal law, [he] had a right to a ‘free and appropriate’ education at a public school near him,” the paper explains. “His classmates had a right to an education free of fear. Their rights often collided.”

With regard to violent students like the perpetrator in Parkland, these laws are problematic. Yet they are only half the problem. A 2017 column by Jeffery Benzing addressed the other half, noting that Broward County “used to rank No. 1 at sending students to their state’s juvenile justice system,” he explained. “The stats troubled Broward County leaders, and they responded with a bold solution: Lower arrests by not making arrests.”

Broward compiled a list of 12 misdemeanor offenses no longer requiring police notification. They included criminal mischief, vandalism and non-violent incidents involving alcohol, marijuana or drug paraphernalia. The program was championed as a move away from a “zero tolerance” policy critics labeled a “school to prison pipeline.”

It gets worse. “One particular motivation behind programs like Broward County’s was the pressure from multiple sources to reduce the statistical disparity between black and Hispanic student arrests on one hand and white and Asian student arrests on the other,” reveals columnist Jack Cashill. Based solely on his last name, the Parkland killer “became a statistical Hispanic,” Cashill adds. “As such, authorities at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland had every reason not to report his troubling and likely criminal behavior to the police.”

Broward wasn’t the only county under pressure. In 2014, the Obama administration sent out a Dear Colleague letter whose subject was the Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline. Issued by the DOJ and the DOE’s Office of Civil Rights, the letter made it clear that an aggressive “disparate impact” approach would be taken with regard to disciplining minority students.

In short, schools that meted out a “disproportionate number” of disciplinary measures to minority students, relative to their percentage of the school population, could be charged with discrimination under Title IV and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Thus, the Obama administration and Broward County officials made sure many kids couldn’t even be disciplined, much less arrested, for egregious behavior.

That “see no evil if its statistically problematic” approach was heartily embraced by a thoroughly politicized Broward County Sheriff’s Department, whose conduct before and after the shooting was nothing short of appalling. But that didn’t stop Sheriff Scott Israel from showing up at CNN’s NRA bash-fest in a despicable attempt to the shift the blame from his department’s criminal incompetence to guns — wholly oblivious to the irony that no better case for self-defense could be made than his own department’s cowardice and ineptitude.

Israel needs to be fired, ASAP.

The bigger picture? America no longer has reform schools where youthful offenders were once sent instead of prison. We have “alternative schools,” along with efforts to maintain all but the most incorrigible students at home. We also have court-monitored probation, curfews and other programs.

All of them appear to have one overriding concern: don’t stigmatize anyone.

Yet at what point does the attempt to avoid stigmatizing a child make it clear to the same child that despicable behavior doesn’t engender serious consequences?

“This is a systemic problem we have that isn’t about blaming one agency or the other,” insisted Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie.

How about blaming an ideology, Mr. Runcie? Beginning in the 1960s, progressives assured Americans they could “do their own thing,” and that “God is dead.” While religious leaders receded, lawyers and therapists stepped up. “Good and evil” became “legal and illegal,” or “well and unwell.”

In the process, shame and objective truth were obliterated.

Thus, it is unsurprising that nothing has been more shameless and less truthful than the avalanche of progressive virtue-signaling with regard to gun control.

America desperately needs culture control. But while cultural degradation continues to metastasize, the nation needs short-term and long term solutions for protecting vulnerable school children.

Short-term, we need armed, qualified security guards and/or teachers at every school in the nation. Those who disagree are progressive fantasists who live in a dream world. In the real world, they must be ignored.

Long-term solutions? The restoration of a public school system where civics and virtue are integral parts of the curriculum. One where disciplinary procedures are clear and apply equally to everyone. One where respect for teachers is paramount, and one where children are taught how to think, not what to think.

Every serious problem this nation has can be tied to the failing state of our public schools. And when those schools seek to blame the parents for those failures, they need reminding that they “educated” the parents — and the politicians and the celebrities, etc., etc. — as well.

A fish may rot from the head down, but a culture rots from the roots up. It’s time to root progressive ideology out of our public schools.

Comment | Share

TODAY’S MEME

Share

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

TODAY’S CARTOON

Share

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

Peggy Noonan: “We discuss motives, but isn’t it always the same motive? ‘I have murder in my heart.’ Why do so many Americans have murder in their hearts? … We have been swept by social, technological and cultural revolution. The family blew up — divorce, unwed childbearing. Fatherless sons. Fatherless daughters, too. Poor children with no one to love them. The Internet flourished. Porn proliferated. Drugs, legal and illegal. Violent video games, in which nameless people are eliminated and spattered all over the screen. … The abortion regime settled in, with its fierce, endless yet somehow casual talk about the right to end a life. An increasingly violent entertainment culture — low, hypersexualized, full of anomie and weirdness, allergic to meaning and depth. The old longing for integration gave way to a culture of accusation — you are a supremacist, a misogynist, you are guilty of privilege and defined by your color and class, we don’t let your sort speak here. At this moment we are in the middle of a reckoning about how disturbed our sexual landscape has become. … A nation has an atmosphere. It has air it breathes in each day. China has a famous pollution problem: You can see the dirt in the air. America’s air looks clean but there are toxins in it, and they’re making the least defended and protected of us sick.”

SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? … Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he’ll eat you last.”

Good advice: “Right now we have a big race coming up in ‘18. You have to get out. You just have to get that enthusiasm. Keep it going. The word really is complacent. People get complacent. It’s a natural instinct. You just won and now you’re happy and you’re complacent. Don’t be complacent.” —Donald Trump

For the record: “[The new tax law] certainly means corporations will pay quite a bit less in tax than they otherwise would. When we make money in 2018 domestically, and subject to a lot of little things here and there, basically we’ll be paying at 21% instead of 35%. That’s a lot of money.” —former GOP tax reform critic Warren Buffett

Braying Jackass: “I certainly don’t know who he is having an affair with. … If I did, it would be in the book.” —Michael Wolff, who has implied on numerous occasions (including in his book) that Nikki Haley is Trump’s mistress

Good luck with that: “Who better to take on Trump than me?” —Terry McAuliffe

Braying Jackass: “There doesn’t seem to be even a moment of silence and compassion and thoughtfulness on the part of gun advocates for what has happened. There’s something kind of aggressively and inhumanly repetitive about this line that guns are essential to American liberties. Hard one to stomach when so many thousands of people are dying every year for this so-called liberty.” —New York Times columnist Bret Stephens

And last… “Events like the CNN town hall go a long way in convincing gun owners that gun control advocates do have a desire to confiscate their weapons. The advocates can’t confiscate weapons right now, so they support whatever feasible incremental steps are available to inch further toward that goal. We don’t know how this plays out in the long run. In the short run, though, it does nothing to stop the next school shooting.” —David Harsanyi

Comment | Share

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