Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 6, 2018

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • With all the rank hypocrisy, is it any wonder the Oscars ratings hit record lows?
  • Government is worried about inflation, but the biggest cause of inflation is government.
  • Democrats are moving ever further left on the Second Amendment.
  • What Antonin Scalia can still teach us today.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“In reality there is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will now and then peek out and show itself.” —Benjamin Franklin (1771)

IN BRIEF

Hollywood’s Self-Inflicted Ratings Deflation Continues

By Thomas Gallatin

Over the weekend, most of America missed watching the 90th Academy Awards. Put another way, this year the award show set the record for the lowest viewership ratings in Oscars history. In fact, total viewership dropped a whopping 20% from last year alone, continuing a downward trend for Hollywood’s premier awards show. Jimmy Kimmel, the hypocritical late-night talk-show host and leftist demagogue, hosted the award show for a second consecutive year and his polarizing presence certainly didn’t help matters.

It was a surreal combination of Kimmel’s preaching to the choir and Hollywood stars’ virtue signaling their leftist dogma ad nauseam. They ignore their own blatant hypocrisy, all the while congratulating themselves on being the culturally “woke” arbitrators of morality — a nauseating recipe for unwatchable TV. So many Americans simply tuned out and chose to spend three hours Sunday evening engaged in less vacuous pursuits. Honestly, how many people will tolerate being told, “Do as we say, not as we do?”

Following the show, James Woods, one of Hollywood’s few conservative actors, tweeted, “Sad. How can Hollywood stop itself from alienating its audience?” President Donald Trump had a more humorous take, tweeting, “Lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY. Problem is, we don’t have Stars anymore — except your President (just kidding, of course)!”

The fact of the matter is that Hollywood has long been a bastion of the Left, propagating its fantasy so incessantly it has become an ideological and isolated echo-chamber that has completely lost touch with real life in America. These Hollywood elites blame their own glaring sins on the rest of America and supposedly backwards conservatives rather than turning introspectively and seriously examining how — maybe, just maybe — they are their own monster.

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Biggest Driver of Inflation Is the Government

Much of the recent volatility in the stock market can be attributed to growing fears over the Federal Reserve enacting interest-rate hikes due to concerns over increasing inflation. On the subject of inflation, however, it is the government’s meddling in the market that tends to be the greatest contributor. Economist Mark Perry, who has tracked changing prices for over two decades, has noticed a common trend with the price of various goods and services — costs have increased over the inflation level for those goods and services that have lacked competition. This should be no surprise to conservatives.

Specifically, those goods and services that have seen the greatest overall price increases are in the fields of medical and education-related services. And those two fields are most directly impacted by the government’s intervention in the marketplace, via subsidy and regulation. As the costs for health care and schooling only continue to increase, they in turn significantly impact the overall rate of inflation.

As Investor’s Business Daily explains, “All that subsidy money was premised on the goal of making these things [health care and schooling] more affordable. The result is, for many, the exact opposite. By paying most of the tab, the government has insulated consumers from the true cost of these things — a recipe for runaway prices.”

In short, much of the stock market’s current uneasiness can be laid directly at the feet of government for its work to limit competition, all in the name of making these goods and services more affordable. In the end, the American taxpayer is left footing the bill.

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Top Headlines

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

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

Dems Coalescing Around Second Amendment Elimination

By Jordan Candler

Democrats are so perturbed by the Second Amendment that they are resorting to the distribution of fraudulent data. For example, during a recent congressional meeting with President Donald Trump, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) presented findings from professor Louis Klarevas, whose analysis points to a homicide-through-mass-shooting reduction rate of 37% between 1994 and 2004 — when the 10-year Federal Assault Weapons Ban Feinstein championed was in effect. Even if we ignore the reality that this claim is an extreme outlier — it has virtually no peer backing — there are still some major issues with Klarevas’ assessment. According to Ars Technica co-founder Jon Stokes:

There are few actual “assault weapons” of any type in his dataset, either pre- or post-ban. Klarevas and his allies are taking an apparent drop in fatalities from what are mostly handgun shootings (again, pre-ban as well as post) and attributing this lowered body count to the 1994 legislation. … Had Klarevas chosen a “mass shooting” threshold of five fatalities instead of six, then the dramatic pause he notes in mass shootings between 1994 to 1999 would disappear too.“

Columnist Burt Prelutsky makes a cogent point when he observed, "Those on the Left seem to view all murders through a prism of their propaganda value.” There is no better example than the Left’s demonization of so-called “assault weapons.” Back to Stokes’ point about handguns, they are the primary tool by which homicides are inflicted. According to the FBI’s Crime in the United States data, “Handguns comprised 64.6 percent of the firearms used in murder and nonnegligent manslaughter incidents in 2016.”

More precisely, of the 11,004 homicides by firearm that year, 7,105 involved a handgun, whereas just 374 — or 0.03% — involved a rifle of any type. You read that right. In fact, the number of homicides committed with rifles is outpaced by “blunt objects,” which accounted for 472 murders in 2016. The bottom line? Rifles unfairly get most of the flak despite criminals’ relatively rare use of them.

Nevertheless, Democrats are increasingly belligerently opposed to citizens possessing rifles. According to The Hill, “Democratic senators seen as possible contenders for the White House in 2020 are all taking positions in strong support of an assault weapons ban, pressuring their colleagues up for reelection this year.” Those names include Elizabeth Warren (MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Kamala Harris (CA), Cory Booker (NJ), Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Chris Murphy (CT).

The piece adds: “Support for the ban on assault weapons has grown among Democrats over the last 11 years. In 2007, 67 Democrats supported a ban. That number continued to grow in 2013 with 83 Democrats co-sponsoring legislation. The number grew to 149 in 2015 before settling on 167 co-sponsors this year.” Alarmingly, the Democrats’ true vexation actually runs even deeper than that. At the national level, a new poll finds that the complete elimination of the Second Amendment has the support of one-third of the Democrat Party and almost one-quarter of all Americans.

Clearly, the party is moving further left — to the point that they think this is a winning campaign issue.

Regarding Democrats, Prelutsky writes, “If they thought they could get more mileage out of church shootings, the endless homicides in Baltimore or the attack on the Republican congressmen at the baseball field in Virginia, they would focus on those crimes. But they realize they can better utilize school shootings emotionally because of the age of the victims.” To accomplish gun control, leftists are citing bogus evidence and carefully choosing which tragedies to exploit. Another ban on semiautomatic rifles with certain cosmetic features wouldn’t just fail like the first one did; it would also be a gateway to broader restrictions on and the eventual elimination of the Second Amendment.

James Madison said, “Power is of an encroaching nature.” The Left’s encroachment on the Second Amendment is Exhibit A. Leftists won’t stop until guns are completely outlawed. To prevent it, constitutionalists need to be effective in opposing lies, damned lies and statistics.

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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.

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Gary Bauer: “The Oscars were on Sunday night. If you didn’t watch, don’t worry. Early ratings suggest a lot of Americans are tuning Hollywood out. And that’s a good thing. Host Jimmy Kimmel said he was going to avoid politics. Well, he didn’t avoid politics; he avoided humor. In one ‘joke,’ Kimmel said, ‘We don’t make films like "Call Me By Your Name” to make money. We make them to upset Mike Pence.’ The audience roared with laughter. That movie is about an adult man who seduces a teenage boy. That used to be called pederasty. Shouldn’t that upset everybody and not just Mike Pence? How many more childhood male actors need to come forward, claiming #MeToo? Here’s another example of Hollywood’s hypocrisy. While the stars were calling for gun control and standing with illegal immigrants, the Oscars were held under massive security with huge gates and 500 armed police officers. Many of the attendees are hypocrites who live in gated communities and have armed private security. Walls are okay for A-list celebs. Guns too. Just not for the rest of us.“

SHORT CUTS

Insight: "Often, the surest way to convey information is to tell the strict truth.” —Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Braying Jackass: “I think [Trump] may have done something during the election, but I don’t know that for sure. … [Robert Mueller] thinks Trump is the Manchurian candidate. … I believe that Carter Page was colluding with the Russians. That Carter Page is a weird dude.” —former Trump aide Sam Nunberg, who was fired in August 2015 for controversial Facebook posts

For the record: “Nunberg has an axe to grind against the administration. Trump sued him for $10 million dollars! That sort of treatment might make one say dubious things on cable news.” —Philip Wegmann

Non Compos Mentis: “A candidate [Jason Isaac] seeking the Republican nomination to succeed Lamar Smith of San Antonio in the U.S. House says more black Americans die from abortion than any other cause. … Isaac’s characterization of abortions as killing babies is disputed. … Heart disease was the leading cause of death for black and other Americans in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency didn’t list the abortion procedure among causes of death. We rate [Isaac’s] claim Mostly False.” —PolitiFact Texas’s W. Gardner Selby

Blatant hypocrisy: “The lack of urgency that we saw from the Republican leadership in 2016 [to address Russia], we continue to see to this day today. It’s beyond time for Congress to work with the administration, to work with the states, to ensure that our electoral systems are ready to go. This is not a game.” —Obama’s former chief of staff Denis McDonough (Your boss literally did nothing.)

Fantasy world: “You technically have an obstruction of justice case that already exists. I’ve known Bob Mueller for 20, 30 years; my guess is he’s just trying to make the case as good as he possibly can.” —Eric Holder

And last… “Pointing out there are no mass shootings in gunless Iran, China, or North Korea isn’t making the point you think it is.” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
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