The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- DOJ is suing California over the state’s obstruction of immigration enforcement.
- The unconstitutional no-fly, no-buy proposal still won’t stop mass murder.
- Is North Korea really willing to denuclearize? Nope.
- Trump’s real tariff gambit has a lot to do with NAFTA.
- A burger-flipping robot enters the minimum-wage foray.
- Is the country music industry turning left?
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws - the first growing out of the last.” —Alexander Hamilton (1794)
By Nate Jackson
The Justice Department filed suit Tuesday against the state of California over the Golden State’s obstruction of federal immigration law. Specifically, the DOJ seeks an injunction against three recent California laws that are deliberately interfering with immigration enforcement. One law prevents businesses from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials by giving workers extra “protections.” Another grants authority to state officials to inspect and monitor Department of Homeland Security-run detention facilities in California. And the third is the infamous sanctuary state law that took effect Jan. 1 — the law prohibits state or local law enforcement officials from notifying their federal counterparts when an illegal alien ends up in custody, or from transferring those prisoners.
Laws meant to protect the lawless are ironic, indeed.
“The Department of Justice and the Trump Administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair and unconstitutional policies,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Last year, the Justice Department also moved to defund sanctuary cities, which is being challenged in court.
California is a key battleground because an estimated 2.5 million illegals reside there. That number will no doubt increase. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is named in the DOJ suit, insists California will continue to “keep our communities safe.” In fact, he argues, “We believe we are in full compliance with the federal Constitution and federal law.” Democrats sure have a funny way of defining those terms.
In some cases, the state is doing even more than claiming supremacy of state law over federal law, in violation of the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2). One example is the recent case of Oakland’s Democrat mayor, Libby Schaaf, publicly warning illegals of upcoming ICE raids, saving an estimated 800 illegals from arrest. It’s one thing to leave enforcement of federal law to the feds and another to actively obstruct that enforcement. Such is the way of today’s Democrat Party.
By Thomas Gallatin
On Tuesday, after North and South Korean officials engaged in diplomatic talks (importantly, talks initiated by the North), South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s office stated, “The North Korean side clearly stated its willingness to denuclearize. It made it clear that it would have no reason to keep nuclear weapons if the military threat to the North was eliminated and its security guaranteed.” That’s a seemingly significant about-face from mere months ago, when North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was threatening “thousands-fold” vengeance, “Armageddon” and vowing to annihilate the U.S. down to “the last man on this planet.” So did Kim just get religion? Not likely.
This is a game the world has seen — and fallen for — too many times. The provoking nation invites the world’s ire and subsequent sanctions, only to then signal a desire to negotiate and willingness to change its provocative ways. Soon it obtains sanctions relief, only to later renege on its promised changes while leveling blame on the other negotiating parties for supposedly failing to uphold their end of the bargain. Kim Jong-un is attempting to play this gambit — the same one both his father and grandfather successfully exploited.
So what is Kim really after here? It appears that his objective is two-fold, and his dangling the carrot of “denuclearization” is merely a ruse that he will quickly pull back as soon as his demands are met. Recall his stated belief that his nuclear arsenal is his “treasured sword.” Kim’s first objective is gaining concessions from South Korea, the UN and possibly the U.S. for sanctions relief. Note the significant effort employed by the rogue regime to promote a feel-good, positive image of North Korea to the world during the recent Winter Olympics — a propaganda effort aided happily by the American Leftmedia.
Second, Kim is aiming to drive a wedge between South Korea and the U.S. with the ultimate goal of pushing all U.S. military presence out of the South. Kim keenly is exploiting a sentiment that has long been expressed by liberals in South Korea who tend to hold a negative view of the U.S.‘s long-running military presence in their country. Kim is also astutely aware of the fact that the South Korean president is a member of the liberal party, which holds a more dovish policy stance toward their northern neighbors and is the same party Kim Jong-il successfully exploited via the “Sunshine policy.”
From North Korea’s sudden desire to negotiate we are learning that President Donald Trump’s policy of severe sanctions is having a significant and desired impact. This also indicates that China has begun to pull back some of its support from its rogue puppet, as the last thing the Chinese want is a war on their doorstep.
The U.S. will need to be cautious, hold the line and not fall for the same old dangling-carrot trick the North Korean regime has played time and again. If Kim is truly willing to denuclearize, then he must do so before any sanctions relief is implemented. Anything less plays right into his hands. But Trump is no dummy when it comes to negotiations, and he seems well aware of the cards in play.
Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser, resigns amid differences on trade policy (The Washington Post)
How the U.S. squandered its steel superiority — unfair trade practices of foreign nations had nothing to do with it (Bloomberg)
Donald Trump right on immigration, gang violence, Sweden finds (The Washington Times)
CIA warns of extensive Chinese operation to infiltrate American academic institutions (The Washington Free Beacon)
DIA: China, Russia engaged in low-level warfare against U.S. (The Washington Free Beacon)
Stanford rejects College Republicans logo — because it includes an American flag (College Fix)
Hero student of Parkland massacre files suit against Sheriff’s office and school (The Daily Wire)
Baltimore mayor pledges to send 3,000 students to anti-gun violence march (The Hill)
Study: Women leaving STEM fields to pursue “social justice” degrees (PJ Media)
Policy: Heritage ranked No. 1 globally for impact on public policy (The Heritage Foundation)
Policy: Be wary of North Korea’s sudden turn towards diplomacy (New York Post)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
By Louis DeBroux
Watching the CNN town hall following the Parkland massacre — in which Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch were accused of being Nazis and complicit in the 17 deaths at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for daring defend the Constitution — reminds us of a truth written by 19th-century British journalist Walter Bagehot. He declared, “A democratic despotism is like a theocracy: it assumes its own correctness.”
During this inquisition, whenever Rubio or Loesch attempted to introduce facts or reason into the gun debate, a howling mob screamed and shouted them down. The mindless outrage, refusing to allow a different opinion to even be spoken, was reminiscent of the “Two Minutes Hate” in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 — every citizen screaming hate and fury for exactly two minutes each day while watching a film depicting the state’s enemies.
This is what public debate has been reduced to, with one side demanding the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens be stripped without due process, and accusing any dissenters of the most malevolent motivations and a desire to see children die gruesome deaths. It leads to a sort of security theater where “solutions” are proposed that do nothing to address the actual problem.
And while this is being mostly driven by Democrats (who, as Justice Clarence Thomas notes in his concurrence in the McDonald v. Chicago case, originally passed gun control laws in order to leave blacks defenseless against KKK mobs), even a few Republicans have joined in, most notably Arizona’s retiring Sen. Jeff Flake.
Flake introduced a bill that recycles a 2016 bill dubbed “No-Fly, No-Buy,” which would prohibit anyone on the federal government’s no-fly list from exercising his or her Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
As The Federalist’s David Harsanyi notes,“One day Sen. Jeff Flake is warning America about rising Stalinism and the next he’s supporting a bill that strips the rights of citizens who’ve been arbitrarily placed on secret government lists without any probable cause or due process.”
Indeed, Flake’s bill represents an egregious infringement of the citizens’ First, Second, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights, giving often incompetent and/or abusively partisan bureaucrats the power to prohibit both travel and self-defense based on an inaccurate, extrajudicial government list.
Both the NRA and the ACLU, which agree on very little, nevertheless concur that the “No-Fly, No-Buy” bill is bad legislation, and even leftist rags like The New York Times and Los Angeles Times published editorials in 2014 arguing that such a ban is unconstitutional.
Why? The no-fly list is arbitrary; hundreds of thousands of Americans placed on the list have not only committed no crime but are not even suspected of committing a crime. By the government’s own admission, 40% of those on the watchlist have “no affiliation with recognized terrorism groups.”
The Washington Examiner’s Philip Wegmann reports, “According to congressional testimony from 2014, the FBI estimates that those lists ‘currently stands at about 800,000 identities.’ Those names aren’t public though, and neither is the selection criteria. There is only one way to find out if your name is in that database: try boarding a plane.”
The watchlist is so riddled with errors that Congressmen Tom McClintock (R-CA) and John Lewis (D-GA), as well as the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) found themselves on it. Despite their connections, it took months to get them removed. Granted, Kennedy probably should not have been allowed to drive a car, but that was no reason to keep him from flying. Regardless, if it took a U.S. senator and a congressman months to get off the list, what chance does the average citizen have of righting this injustice?
Though Democrats are pushing the bill, minorities will be hurt most, especially those of Middle Eastern descent with names similar to actual terrorists. That may seem ironic — until we consider the effect of most Democrat policies. Still, one would think Lewis, who gained fame for bravely defying racist Democrats while crossing Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 and who was beaten with nightsticks by state troopers, would understand the right to defend oneself from violent criminals and tyrannical government alike is not a right to be lightly infringed upon. Alas, he does not.
While in the aftermath of this horrific tragedy it’s understandable that many feel a desire to do something, anything, to fix the problem immediately, the reality is that the solution will not be found in the law but in the culture; and an angry, screaming mob mentality that sacrifices Liberty for political expediency and a false sense of security is unworthy of the highest traditions of the American founding.
We wonder how quickly Democrats would change their tune if the proposed law prohibited these “potential terrorists” from voting or having abortions (after all, at least one innocent child is killed in every one of the 900,000 abortions performed annually in the U.S.).
Guns are the tools of these mass shootings, not the cause. The cause is a society that no longer respects the sanctity of human life. The cause is a society that actively erodes the traditional family bonds that create good and decent citizens. The cause is a society that immerses itself in graphic depictions of violence while pretending it has no impact on our collective psyche.
It’s time to address the cause of these tragedies, while leaving our sacred rights intact.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- The Real Tariff Gambit — Trump indicated this week that Mexico, Canada and NAFTA have a lot to do with his tariffs.
- Video: Trump’s Steel Tariffs Will Hurt Americans — The administration says tariffs will preserve American industries. John Stossel says that won’t work.
- Burger-Flipping Robot Enters Minimum-Wage Foray — Memo to the Left: Companies will either innovate or be forced to purge workers or close business. There’s no in-between.
- Is the Country Music Industry Turning Left? — Mike Huckabee resigned from the CMA Foundation after backlash from leftists in the industry.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Star Parker: What’s Driving the Opioid Crisis?
- Marc A. Thiessen: Tariffs Will Force Trump to Break Key Campaign Promises
- Michelle Malkin: Give VA Secretary David Shulkin the Boot
- Walter Williams: Hidden Agenda or Ignorance?
- Todd Starnes: Court Ruling Could Banish Memorial Crosses From Arlington Cemetery
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Star Parker: “According to a recent report about opioids by the Social Capital Project, organized in the U.S. Senate, ‘the oversupply and abuse of legal prescription pain relievers is at the heart of the crisis.’ This has led to action in Washington with legislation such as the Opioid Addiction Prevention Act, which would impose limits on opioid painkiller prescriptions. However, Dr. Sally Satel … challenges this picture, which she calls ‘a false narrative.’ According to Satel, data show ‘that only a minority of people who are prescribed opioids for pain become addicted to them, and those who do become addicted and who die from painkiller overdoses tend to obtain these medications from sources other than their own physicians.’ … I believe Satel zeroes in on the real heart of the crisis when she says, ‘What we need is demand-side policy. Interventions that seek to reduce the desire to use drugs, be they painkillers, or illicit opioids.’ Here, I see an interesting parallel to the gun debate. That is, the center of the deadly problem is with the disturbed user or perpetrator, rather than with the instrument — whether it is a gun or a drug. The instrument is the result rather than the cause.”
Insight: “Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” —Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
For the record: “Trump promised to champion forgotten Americans, but imposing a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum will hurt more of the forgotten Americans than it helps. The American steel industry employs about 140,000 people, while steel-consuming industries employ 6.5 million. This means Trump is imposing a tax — tariffs are taxes — that will hurt the 6.5 million in order to help the 140,000.” —Marc A. Thiessen
Upright: “Trade only happens when both sides think they are better off for making the trade. Win-win, or it doesn’t happen. Trade is always good because it is voluntary.” —John Stossel
Dezinformatsiya: “The former Mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, Megan Barry, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of felony theft for using taxpayer funds to support her affair with her bodyguard. It was one of the big stories of the day with all three of the evening network news broadcasts giving it airtime. The only problem was with ‘NBC Nightly News’ not reporting Barry’s Democratic Party affiliation. … When former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was forced to resign after the details of his own affair and sick cover-up were exposed ‘NBC Nightly News’ made sure to mention he was a Republican.” —Newsbusters’ Nicholas Fondacaro
Hell hath frozen over: “I think President Trump deserves enormous credit for ratcheting up that pressure [on North Korea] and making sure those sanctions were real. There was no reason the Obama administration couldn’t have done that, and they didn’t.” —New York Times’ David Sanger
And last… “Today, there is far less availability of shotguns, rifles and pistols than any time in our history. That historical fact should raise the question: Despite the greater accessibility to guns in previous decades, why wasn’t there the kind of violence we see with today’s far more restricted access to guns? … We must own up to the fact that laws and regulations alone cannot produce a civilized society. Morality is society’s first line of defense against uncivilized behavior.” —Walter Williams
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