Mid-Day Digest

Apr. 13, 2018


  • James Comey’s book of political axe grinding.
  • Holocaust ignorance means American education is failing.
  • Trump and the GOP take a big step toward real welfare reform.
  • Reining in the unaccountable “deep state” is creating enemies.
  • Trump is using his Pompeo pick as leverage with Putin.
  • Leftists mark the myth of the gender wage gap.
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.


“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth — and listen to the song of that syren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?” —Patrick Henry (1775)


Comey Outs Himself as a Partisan Hack

By Thomas Gallatin

Excerpts of former FBI Director James Comey’s soon-to-be-released book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, were widely released to the mainstream media on Thursday. Predictably, most of the coverage disparaged President Donald Trump as a dangerous liar, while defending Comey’s own decisions on Hillary Clinton. As NBC News’ headline succinctly puts it, “Comey, in new book, paints Trump as a liar divorced from reality.” There is little question that Comey’s aim is to blast Trump and exonerate himself after his firing last year. However, there really are no “bombshell” revelations; instead it’s just more of Comey’s axe grinding.

In a telling excerpt, Comey defends his investigation into Clinton’s email abuse from accusations of bias by Hillary supporters who insist that former Secretary of State Colin Powell also used private emails. Comey writes, “In fact, it entirely misses the point. I have never seen any indication that Powell discussed on his AOL account information that was classified at the time, but there were numerous examples of Secretary Clinton having done so.” So once again the question is raised: Why did Comey decide to let Clinton off the hooktwice?

The answer may be inferred from another revealing excerpt. Comey explains why he decided 11 days before the election to reopen the Clinton email investigation, a decision that Hillary has blamed (along with a litany of others) for her election loss. In a particularly damning passage, Comey basically admits the political nature of his decision: “It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls.” How exactly does this admission by the nation’s former chief law man give Americans any confidence that those running the FBI aren’t making decisions politically and capriciously rather than by the Rule of Law?

This is the deep state at its worst, where individuals are so caught up in their own self-importance and views of how things “should” be that they are willing to ignore and bend the rules in order to bring about the “good.” In essence, it is the manifestation of that Machiavellian standard of the ends justifying the means. And that is anything but just.

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In America, the Holocaust Is Losing Its Shock Factor

By Jordan Candler

Some Americans joined Israel and its allies Thursday in solemnly observing Holocaust Remembrance Day. To commemorate it, the White House issued a proclamation in which the president “hereby ask[s] the people of the United States to observe the Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust, April 12 through April 19, 2018, and the solemn anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camps, with appropriate study, prayers and commemoration, and to honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution by internalizing the lessons of this atrocity so that it is never repeated.”

That last part — “so that it is never repeated” — is particularly noteworthy. We noted already that only some Americans commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day. As it turns out, the Holocaust is slowly losing its shock factor among Americans. According to The New York Times, “For seven decades, ‘never forget’ has been a rallying cry of the Holocaust remembrance movement. But a survey released Thursday, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, found that many adults lack basic knowledge of what happened — and this lack of knowledge is more pronounced among millennials, whom the survey defined as people ages 18 to 34.”

All told, 31% of Americans — a number that jumps 10 percentage points among Millennials — are under the impression that Jewish victims numbered about two million, which is one-third of the true total of six million. Furthermore, the Times reveals, “Forty-one percent of Americans, and 66 percent of millennials, cannot say what Auschwitz was. Only 39 percent of Americans know that Hitler was democratically elected.”

These revelations are partly due to anti-Jewish hostility, particularly on the Left. They’re also due to our failed education system, which glosses over certain aspects of history. Granted, the Times adds: “Despite the gaps in the respondents’ knowledge, the study found an overwhelming consensus — 93 percent — that all students should learn about the Holocaust at school. And Holocaust denial remains very rare in the United States, with 96 percent of respondents saying they believe the genocide happened.” But the lesson is clearly losing its weightiness. And the less impactful atrocities become, the less inclined people are to “never forget.”

That term also gets thrown around routinely when it comes to 9/11. But based on the vehement uproar leftists in America display when Republicans advocate policy prescriptions that would avert terrorist acts, it’s evident that the significance of that fateful day is also beginning to wane. That’s exactly how history repeats itself and how presumably safe societies end up, quite literally, on the ash heap of history.

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Top Headlines

  • Balanced Budget Amendment, a month late and $1 trillion short, fails to gain two-thirds majority in the House (The Hill)

  • Trump to take another look at Trans-Pacific Partnership (The Daily Caller)

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hacked hundreds of times, risking sensitive U.S. financial data (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • Trump meets with national security team as Britain joins U.S., France in planning Syria strike (The Washington Times)

  • President Trump poised to pardon Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff (ABC News)

  • State pension crisis: Funding gap reached a record high of $1.4 trillion in 2016 (Associated Press)

  • Obama judge OKs lawsuit forcing companies to hire DACA recipients (American Thinker)

  • Tennessee defunds Planned Parenthood (The Daily Wire)

  • Trump signs presidential memo to cut red tape for manufacturers (CNS News)

  • Trump issues executive order demanding review of Postal Service finances (The Washington Times)

  • Policy: Amazon controversy makes the case for a private-sector Postal Service (The Daily Signal)

  • Policy: Four actions policymakers can take on welfare reform (The Daily Signal)

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

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A Big Step Toward Real Welfare Reform

By Brian Mark Weber

President Donald Trump signed an executive order this week entitled “Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility,” and House Republicans unveiled the 2018 Agriculture and Nutrition Act, the $844 billion farm bill. Both items focus on getting people working and off of welfare. No wonder the statists are angry. As Investor’s Business Daily put it, “If increased dependence on the federal government is your goal, anything that moves in the opposite direction is a bad thing.”

Trump recently said, “I know people that work three jobs and they live next to somebody who doesn’t work at all. And the person who is not working at all and has no intention of working at all is making more money and doing better.” The president thereby expressed the sentiment of millions of Americans who are willing to take on an extra job to pay the bills rather than be on the public dole but are frustrated by those who benefit from another choice.

But haven’t we done this before? What about the welfare reform efforts of Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton in 1996?

Barack Obama effectively undid that good work by directing the Department of Health and Human Services to dismantle the work requirement for welfare recipients in 2012. Last year, President Trump ordered HHS to reinstate that work mandate.

But the president isn’t stopping there. The administration announced that states will be able to include work requirements for Medicaid and require SNAP recipients to work after three months of benefits. Additionally, tougher requirements for those receiving assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program are being considered, as well as mandating weekly work hours for recipients of housing benefits.

Presidential domestic policy council director Andrew Bremberg says, “Part of President Trump’s effort to create a booming American economy includes moving Americans from welfare to work and supporting and encouraging others to support common-sense reforms that restore American prosperity and help them reclaim their independence.”

Helping people to reclaim their independence isn’t a novel idea, but it’s one that politicians reflexively push aside in favor of government programs that merely perpetuate a caste system in which people born into poverty have no way out.

And that’s the real difference in President Trump’s approach to welfare reform. While other presidents have talked about the need to address poverty, the Trump administration seems to realize that the only way to make a real difference in the lives of the poor is to create real jobs and implement pro-growth economic policies.

Naturally, critics of welfare reform or welfare-to-work policies claim that reducing government benefits, or suspending them altogether after a period of years, places a burden upon those unable to support themselves with a good job. Indeed, once millions of people receive regular assistance from the government, breaking the cycle of dependency creates a burden.

Yet the burden becomes greater when politicians force American jobs overseas, make it harder for small businesses to thrive, and leave some of the most vulnerable populations in our country, including blacks, more likely to fall into poverty.

To those asking whether welfare-to-work policies actually work, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas implemented a program four years ago known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The result was that the number of Kansans on welfare decreased by 17,000, and within two years those who were employed had more than doubled the amount of income they had been receiving on welfare.

For all the critics of welfare reform, the new approach doesn’t eliminate the government’s helping hand. Kristina Rasmussen, vice president of federal affairs at the Foundation for Government Accountability, stated, “By strengthening the work requirement for able-bodied adults on food stamps and approving states’ waivers for Medicaid work requirements, agencies can ensure that resources are preserved for the truly needy.”

And that’s what we’re really talking about here: helping those who really need it. Others who are able to work and earn a living should be encouraged to do so, but no one is suggesting that people unable to fend for themselves be neglected. The difference is that the Trump administration seems poised to take a serious look at free-market solutions to the problems government can’t solve.

President Trump’s executive order is a serious first step in weakening the Left’s class-warfare rhetoric, empowering people to gain independence, and creating a society that’s great not because of government handouts but because of government getting out of the way.

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



For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.



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


David Limbaugh: “Does anyone think that in this politically hostile, hate-Trump atmosphere fomented by the media and the Democratic Party … [Paul] Ryan would have had a snowball’s chance in Hades of getting to first base on any entitlement reform proposal? Does that mean Ryan or other Republicans should abandon reform? No. But when you are under relentless fire, you’d better fire back right then, or you won’t be around to fight another day. And it’s not just Democratic demagoguery and the unpopularity of reforms that stand in the way of action but also the tyranny of the urgent. Ryan didn’t choose the speakership. He even resisted the position. But he eventually relented. It soon became clear that the mood of the country was to work on Trump’s agenda, and that did not include entitlement reform. Ryan can be fairly criticized perhaps, along with many others, for the GOP failure on repealing and replacing Obamacare, but if he had dreams of addressing long-term entitlement reform in the short run as speaker under Trump, they would have been just that — dreams. The hard, cold fact is that we do have more pressing problems than entitlement reform, and we always will — until we finally bankrupt ourselves. But the political climate has made current attention to such reform almost impossible. … If you say that reform is impossible, then you are necessarily saying the country is headed for destruction — sooner than we imagine. Are you willing to live with that?”


Observations: “It’s true that the United States is, in large part, run by a bunch of elderly politicians completely unsuited to regulate the tech industry. The obvious lesson, though, was still lost on many. Rather than trying to elect more technocrats, we should come to terms with the fact that in an increasingly complex world, politicians will be unsuited to regulate most industries, which is why they should do so sparingly.” —David Harsanyi

Upright: “It very well may be that every step … by [Robert] Mueller was justified legally, the same as Ken Starr’s trajectory from Whitewater to Monica Lewinsky. But the gravitational pull of such investigations is toward expansion. By the end, the Starr investigation was a pure partisan fight for power. The same will be true of the Mueller probe, if it isn’t already. This puts the lie to the idea that such investigations can ever be truly above politics.” —Rich Lowry

Alpha Jackass: “We’ve got to the point in this world now where we have to rely on the sanity of Kim Jong-un and [Vladimir] Putin over the president of the United States.” —"The View’s" Joy Behar

Tone-deaf: “Who’s getting the most? We’re getting crumbs.” —Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) mimicking Nancy Pelosi’s reference for tax reform

Village Idiots: “Senators should reject Mike Pompeo’s nomination to be Secretary of State. He denies the climate crisis, and has been doing the bidding for fossil fuel interests his whole career. The American people deserve better.” —Al Gore

Non Compos Mentis: “I’m a member of the African-American community. I’ve been where you are. I’ve been in your communities.” —Gary Shipman, a North Carolina state legislature candidate who also happens to be white

And last… “President Trump signs a bill to protect women and girls from online sex trafficking. The Women’s March defends a website that facilitates sex trafficking. You pick which party is truly championing women.” —Liz Wheeler

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