Mid-Day Digest

Jun. 6, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“Those gentlemen, who will be elected senators, will fix themselves in the federal town, and become citizens of that town more than of your state.” —George Mason (1788)

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • With Dems obstructing everything, the Senate recess is canceled.
  • Gleanings from Tuesday’s primaries.
  • Homeschooling is an increasingly attractive option as public schools degrade.
  • Is recycling even worth it? The science increasingly says no.
  • Bernie Sanders picks a fight with Disney over socialist ideas.
  • Texas has a plan to tackle school violence.
  • Remembering D-Day.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

IN BRIEF

McConnell: Obstructing Dems to Blame for No Recess

Nate Jackson

“Due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president’s nominees, and the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year, the August recess has been canceled,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. “Senators should expect to remain in session in August to pass legislation, including appropriations bills, and to make additional progress on the president’s nominees.”

Vacation was set to begin Aug. 3 and run through Labor Day, leaving just three weeks to complete appropriations work before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. That kind of last-minute scrambling is part of how we end up with lousy budgets like the omnibus passed in March. So McConnell did the right thing here by eliminating all but the first week of the break, and he’s in sync with President Donald Trump while doing it. “The Senate should get funding done before the August break, or NOT GO HOME,” Trump declared in May.

As McConnell noted, appropriations bills aren’t the only problem. Democrats have vigorously obstructed Trump’s nominees. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) observed, “We still have 271 nominations to confirm.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took a strategic view, saying, “We have got a historic opportunity here. It is rare to have unified Republican control of the federal government. In the last hundred years, that has only happened four times. Since World War II, we have had a total of eight years with a Republican president and majorities in both houses. We can’t waste this opportunity.”

The bad news is Republicans are quite adept at wasting opportunities.

Finally, there’s the political angle. While just one Republican senator is seeking reelection in a state Hillary Clinton won — Dean Heller in Nevada — 10 Democrats are trying to save their seats in states won by Trump. Gee, we wonder if McConnell was thinking about giving them less time on the campaign trail.

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Primary Results — Both Parties Held Serve

Thomas Gallatin

California, due to its high population and “jungle primary” system, was the clear focus for analysts seeking any hints as to whether Democrats’ hope for a “blue wave” in November is materializing or if Republicans will be able to repel the challenge and maintain their majority control of Congress. The results, as is often the case, are proving to be a mixed bag. In other words, both national parties have positives they can take from Tuesday’s results, specifically in California, though neither comes away with an obvious or decisive advantage.

For Democrats in California, their goal of getting a candidate on the ballot in every district looks to have been accomplished, pending the results in a couple of districts. This sets the stage for Democrats to challenge all the Republican-held House seats in the state, which they need to have any hope of seeing a blue wave come November. Secondly, California Democrats locked up the Senate seat, as Dianne Feinstein easily won the primary and will be pitted against fellow and far-left Democrat Kevin de Leon. Republicans failed to even secure a challenger.

However, the biggest surprise of the night may prove to be a bigger problem for Democrats than many realize. Going into Tuesday, it was widely assumed that the state’s governor race would boil down to a fight between two well-known Democrats, current Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. However, Republican candidate John Cox’s strong second-place finish blew up that narrative, guaranteeing a Republican challenger for the governorship. In the weeks leading up to the primaries, Cox got a strong endorsement from President Donald Trump, which clearly benefited his campaign. And as Cox noted, “It wasn’t Donald Trump who made California the highest tax state in the country. It was Gavin Newsom and the Democrats.” Having Cox on the ballot bolsters the GOP’s get-out-the-vote drive. Republicans now have a chance to vote for their candidate at the top of the ticket, which in turn boosts Republican congressional and state candidates down the ballot. Secondly, it’s a win for Trump in the state that represents the Democrats’ vanguard in their anti-Trump resistance.

It’s also worth highlighting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s comments over the weekend. Gingrich opined, “I actually believe we are closer to a ‘red wave’ than a ‘blue wave.’ … Starting with passing the tax cuts, with what President Trump has done consistently on conservative judges, on deregulation, on trade negotiations, what he’s done with North Korea — I think people now have a sense that we’re moving in the right direction.”

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Top Headlines

  • Job openings started exceeding job seekers in March (National Review)
  • McCabe asks for immunity ahead of congressional hearing on handling of Clinton case (Fox News)
  • Demoted FBI agent Peter Strzok had larger role in Clinton, Russia probes than previously disclosed (Fox News)
  • Pardoned sailor files lawsuit against Obama, Comey for unequal prosecution of Clinton email case (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • Social Security now running a deficit; insolvency set at 2034 (Washington Times)
  • Obama hid efforts to aid Iran’s windfall (The Washington Times)
  • Eagles cancel events for DC-area kids because they’re not going to the White House (Washington Examiner)
  • Facebook gave data access to Huawei, Chinese company U.S. deemed a security risk (CBS News)
  • San Francisco voters reject Prop. D’s 500% tax increase, instead choosing Prop. C’s 1,000% tax increase (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Humor: Bill Clinton: “I thought #MeToo was a Pokemon” (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: The future of America’s entitlements: What you need to know about the Medicare and Social Security Trustees reports (American Action Forum)
  • Policy: Social investing drives pensions into a ditch (E21)

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.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Many Factors Drive the Rise in Homeschooling

Louis DeBroux

In 2010, Patriot Post columnist Burt Prelutsky said of our underperforming public school systems, “It’s not a school system, it’s a penal colony with report cards.” At the time, it seemed humorously hyperbolic. Today, it seems depressingly understated.

Perhaps that’s why, as The Washington Times recently reported, there has been a surge in parents turning to homeschooling.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, from 1999-2012, the number of homeschooled children in the U.S. more than doubled from 850,000 to 1.8 million. That number has since risen to an estimated 2.3 million.

One thing is certain: In the wake of recent school mass murders, interest in homeschooling has skyrocketed. Louisiana alone has seen a 50% increase since 2011, and in Texas, homeschoolers now outnumber private schoolers.

The “why” is multi-faceted. Safety is near the top of the list for many parents, but it is much more than that. Many parents are fed up with poor academic results despite the vast amounts of money spent on education, and parents think they can do better.

Others cite the prevalence of drugs or a system openly hostile to Christianity. More and more parents are unwilling to continue tolerating schools undermining the values they teach at home — schools where condoms and birth control are dispensed to youth without parental permission, where alternative gender theory is treated as fact (forcing students to share bathrooms and showers with students of the opposite sex), and where the Rainbow Mafia’s agenda is pushed aggressively through sex-ed curriculum so graphic and so pornographic that it has been deemed inappropriate to read at school board meetings.

During the Obama administration, “LGBT” activist Kevin Jennings was appointed “safe school czar.” Jennings, the founder of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network), one of the largest homosexual activist organizations in America, had a mission to promote homosexuality in K-12 schools. This was done over the objections of parents, who were told they had no right to dictate curriculum content to schools. This indoctrination continues today, trampling parental rights and putting children at risk.

Bullying is another major factor in the decision to homeschool. Far from the schoolyard taunts and name-calling of past years, today many children are being assaulted and psychologically traumatized. One such heartbreaking example is that of a Maryland family. The mother found a suicide note written by her nine-year-old son that read, simply, “Kill me. I mean nothing. I have issues.” The boy was the target of relentless bullying at school; mocked, punched in the face and thrown in the mud by another student. When his parents complained to school officials, little was done.

That wasn’t all. When their 12-year-old daughter was repeatedly sexually harassed by another student, the parents again complained to school officials, but were told the offending student has rights. And when their 18-year-old son reported another student with a knife, and the student made subsequent threats against him on the bus, the school told the family they would not remove the student from the bus, and if their son was scared, he should find another way to get to school.

Part of this insanity is due to Obama’s Department of Education threatening to withhold federal funding to schools where there was a “disproportionate” level of discipline of minority students versus white students. This led to intentional underreporting of bullying, assaults and other criminal acts by minority students in order to stay out of the Obama administration’s crosshairs.

Students are also being pressured into engaging in sexual activity and drugs. And it’s not just other students who are the offenders. A recent report by the Chicago Tribune revealed more than 500 reports of sexual misconduct in the Chicago Public School system — over 100 of which involved adults sexually assaulting and enticing children. These were principals, teachers, coaches, security officers and others in positions of authority.

The report found, despite it being a criminal act to fail to report such sexual misconduct, none of the school employees who stayed silent or covered up the incidents were charged. In fact, the CPS Law Department, which has the responsibility to defend the school system in lawsuits, is also tasked with investigating the incidents and interrogating the victims; a blatant conflict of interest.

With a variety of homeschool networks, support groups, online and even hybrid-homeschooling options, the number of homeschoolers is still relatively small, but it’s increasing rapidly. That’s causing serious heartburn for many public school officials who see a growing threat to their funding.

Takisha Coats Durm, lead virtual school teacher for the Madison County (Alabama) school system, claims homeschooling parents are teaching their kids the wrong lesson. “Even though it seems we may be protecting them,” she says, “we may be sheltering them instead of teaching them to work and find a solution for the issues and not necessarily running away from them, because these things are going to happen.”

Of course, she conveniently ignores the fact that if these things — physical and sexual assault, drug use, bullying — were done in the adult world, they are crimes for which the perpetrator can be prosecuted. When they’re committed against children, often permanent damage is done. Yet in our school system, she insists they are simply tough lessons to be learned.

School shootings may have been the final straw that drove many parents to homeschool, but it’s the tip of an iceberg that has been building for years.

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

OPINION IN BRIEF

Walter Williams: “Having enjoyed my 82nd birthday, I am part of a group of about 50 million Americans who are 65 years of age or older. Those who are 90 or older were in school during the 1930s. My age cohort was in school during the 1940s. Baby boomers approaching their 70s were in school during the 1950s and early ‘60s. Try this question to any one of those 50 million Americans who are 65 or older: Do you recall any discussions about the need to hire armed guards to protect students and teachers against school shootings? Do you remember school policemen patrolling the hallways? How many students were shot to death during the time you were in school? For me and those other Americans 65 or older, when we were in school, a conversation about hiring armed guards and having police patrol hallways would have been seen as lunacy. There was no reason. What’s the difference between yesteryear and today? The logic of the argument for those calling for stricter gun control laws, in the wake of recent school shootings, is that something has happened to guns. Guns have behaved more poorly and become evil. Guns themselves are the problem. The job for those of us who are 65 or older is to relay the fact that guns were more available and less controlled in years past, when there was far less mayhem. Something else is the problem. Guns haven’t changed. People have changed. Behavior that is accepted from today’s young people was not accepted yesteryear.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “There is no crime more infamous than the violation of truth. It is apparent that men can be social beings no longer than they believe each other. When speech is employed only as the vehicle of falsehood, every man must disunite himself from others, inhabit his own cave and seek prey only for himself.” —Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Fat chance! “Democrats believe that health care coverage needs to be universal and more affordable. Premiums, deductibles, and the cost of care are still too high for many. To that end, I urge [Mitch McConnell] to dedicate the new three-week August work period to considering legislation that would lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs.” —Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, whose health care demands would augment the high cost of health care

Braying Jackass: “When I saw the interview, I thought that because they had to distill it and it looked like I was saying I didn’t apologize and I had no intention to. And I was mad at me. And not for the first time. … I still believe this #MeToo movement is long overdue, necessary, and should be supported.” —Bill Clinton

Well that escalated quickly: “Trump disinvites Eagles from White House — while millions of Americans hurt. Puerto Rico suffers. Allies fret. The planet warms. He uses our National Anthem to sow disunity in what’s supposed to be the UNITED States of America. I think history will mark it as akin to McCarthyism.” —Dan Rather

Take their ball and go home: “I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the [White House] invite anyway, so it won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.” —NBA star LeBron James on skipping a championship White House visit

And last… “I hope soon-to-retire Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz chooses to run for president, because I really want to measure the appeal of a 'woke corporate executive’ in the Democratic primary.” —Jim Geraghty

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher