Mid-Day Digest

Jun. 20, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Chuck Schumer admits that Democrats are cynically exploiting immigration.
  • America’s exit from the UN Human Rights Council is welcome.
  • Photos you haven’t seen of Obama’s facilities for child detention.
  • Fact or opinion — more Americans can’t tell the difference.
  • Republicans blast FBI bias in congressional hearings.
  • The SPLC’s $3M settlement is a taste of its own medicine.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

IN BRIEF

Dems Cynically Leverage Immigration Crisis

Thomas Gallatin

Supposedly, Democrats care so much for the plight of children that they will do anything in their power to help them — so long as it works in furthering their political agenda and election prospects. As we noted Monday, Democrats and their cohorts in the mainstream media have fomented hyperbolic angst over President Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration-enforcement policy, alleging that it is a moral crisis. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow even went for an Oscar nomination with her pathetic tearful acting job. Democrats point to the children of illegal aliens being temporarily separated from their parents and demand that Trump fix the issue by returning to Barack Obama’s lawless catch-and-release policy. And they are absolutely unwilling to seek any compromise with congressional Republicans on developing a legislative solution.

“There’s no need for legislation. There’s no need for anything else,” insisted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at a press conference Tuesday, making it crystal clear that, for Democrats, this is all about the midterm elections. When questioned as to why Democrats were unwilling to work with Republicans on a legislative solution to end the controversial policy of separating children from their parents at the border, Schumer blamed the legislative process itself. “Well, there are so many obstacles to legislation,” he said, “and when the president can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense.” Schumer then revealed his true motivation: “[Republicans] are feeling the heat. Republicans are saying how bad this is. … They are the ones feeling the heat on this issue, and that’s why they’re squirming.”

Essentially, he’s saying, Grab the popcorn and watch.

Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) proposed legislation that would solve nothing and only further incentivize illegal immigration. Schumer obviously realizes that this one-sided bill has no chance with Republicans, thus his comments about eschewing Republicans’ proposed legislative fix. For Democrats, Hot Air’s Allahpundit asserts, “Any compromise would likely require ending catch-and-release for families and that’s the red line for liberals. Child separation is bad. Reducing illegal immigration is really bad.”

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America’s Welcome Exit From the UN Human Rights Council

Nate Jackson

The entire United Nations is a farce perpetrated on the world by global elitists who delight in using American treasure to undermine American sovereignty. Of the many things this feckless world body has done, the so-called Human Rights Council ranks among the worst. As The Wall Street Journal notes, “The Council was created in 2006 after its predecessor, the U.N.‘s Human Rights Commission, was dissolved for failing to deliver on its mandate to protect rights and for allowing countries with abysmal human rights records to become members.” Well, the new HRC (how’s that for a set of initials?) also has numerous members guilty of human rights abuses — Saudi Arabia, Cuba, China and Russia to name a few. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

President Donald Trump was elected to undo much of Barack Obama’s legacy, and part of that legacy was having Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC, if that wasn’t clear before) sign the U.S. on to participate in this farce after George W. Bush had refused. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley announced Tuesday that the U.S. is withdrawing both membership and funding from the HRC. The final straw was the council’s chief calling U.S. border policies concerning families “unconscionable.”

“The council has failed in its stated objectives,” Pompeo declared, adding that it’s an “exercise in shameless hypocrisy.” Furthermore, he said, “The council’s continued and well-documented bias against Israel is unconscionable.”

Haley rebuked the “hypocritical and self-serving” organization for defending rights abusers. This “cesspool of political bias,” she said, is particularly guilty of “chronic” and “pathological” bias against Israel. She accused the council of “disproportionate focus and unending hostility toward Israel,” which included its issuing of more resolutions (70) condemning Israel than North Korea, Iran and Syria combined. It’s never passed a resolution condemning abuses in China, Russia, Cuba or Saudi Arabia, but it has regularly recommended “improvement” for the United States.

“American participation is the last shred of credibility that the council has,” Haley concluded. “That is precisely why we must leave.”

In effect, the inmates are running the HRC asylum and the Trump administration will no longer indulge that lunacy. It’s about time.

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Top Headlines

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

Fact or Opinion — Americans Can’t Tell the Difference

Louis DeBroux

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” —John Adams (1770)

The findings of a study released this week by Pew Research should be of concern to those who believe in America’s quarter-millennium experiment in self-government. In an 1816 letter to Charles Yancey, Thomas Jefferson famously declared, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

Yet according to the Pew study, Americans are increasingly unable to differentiate between fact and opinion.

The study presented those surveyed with five factual statements (assertions that can be proven through observable evidence) and five opinion statements (expressions of values or beliefs), plus two “borderline” statements that could go either way. Respondents were asked to correctly identify which statements were factual and which were opinion. It should be noted that a factual statement may not be an accurate statement. For example, the survey statement, “Health care costs per person in the U.S. are the highest in the developed world,” is presented as definitively true, but its accuracy can be proven or disproven by various sources and data.

Of the 5,035 American adults who participated in the study, more than half were able to correctly identify at least three of the five factual and opinion statements correctly. Broadly speaking, those who were very interested in the news, those who were “digitally savvy” (comfortable navigating computers, smart devices and the Internet), and those with a high political awareness did better at differentiating fact from opinion.

But only 26% were able to correctly identify all five factual statements as such, and only 35% recognized all five opinion statements as opinion. Both self-identified Republicans and self-identified Democrats were more likely to believe an opinion statement as fact if the statement supported their ideological leanings.

This is a problem.

We live in a nation that has become highly polarized politically, and we are simultaneously bombarded with a tsunami of media outlets, from mainstream/legacy media like CBS and The New York Times to aggregators like The Drudge Report to blogs of every conceivable flavor and bent. Increasingly, Americans gravitate toward news and opinion sources that cater to their personal biases.

One factor is the miserable state of education in the United States. Despite the highest per-student spending in the industrialized world, American students struggle to stay middle-of-the-pack in academic achievement as compared to their global peers. Too many students struggle to read and compute at grade level. They are taught to regurgitate what they are told rather than to use logic and reason to determine fact and truth. In other words, they are taught what to think rather than how to think.

This is compounded by a media universe that no longer presents news truthfully, much less objectively. News is presented with an ideological/political bias, twisting facts to comport with political agendas, and omitting relevant facts that might undermine a political narrative.

This dearth of objective, factual news, combined with an inability to reason, creates destructive dynamics in the social sphere. It renders large sections of the population incapable of engaging in reasoned debate without shouting down those who disagree with them. It increasingly leads to violence. Grown adults hear something that offends them and they become “micro-aggressed” and “triggered,” running to their “safe spaces” (stocked with crayons and Teddy bears and snacks) to escape reality.

This must change, or it will bring about the downfall of our republic (fact check: America is a republic, not a democracy). American citizens must become well-versed in logic, reason, language, history and civics, to name but a few. It is impossible to reach a compromise on public policy when we can’t even agree on a set of facts. True education (as opposed to the progressive indoctrination that too often passes for “education” in our schools and colleges) enlightens, elucidates and civilizes. It brings about peaceful solutions to complex and contentious problems.

These universal truths were succinctly summed up by James Madison in an 1822 letter to W.T. Barry, declaring, “A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

OPINION IN BRIEF

Marc A. Thiessen: “When I worked in the George W. Bush White House and traveled to certain foreign countries with the president, we were required by the Secret Service to remove the batteries from our BlackBerrys, place them in a sealed plastic bag, and leave them on Air Force One for the duration of our visit to prevent foreign adversaries from hacking into the White House email system. But [Hillary] Clinton was so cavalier that she actually used not her government communications device but her unsecured private email to communicate directly with the president of the United States from the territory of a foreign adversary. By emailing Obama directly from hostile territory, she put both her own email system and the president’s at risk of foreign intrusion. Many Democrats blame Comey’s July 2016 statement for causing Clinton irreparable harm in the election. But we now know Clinton’s actions were worse than what Comey presented to the American people. Just imagine if his statement had been full and complete.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “I can say simultaneously that families should not be separated at the border and that the media coverage of the issue is hypocritical. I can say both that we need to tighten the border and that asylum seekers should not be considered in the same moral category as thieves and murderers. I can say at the same time that many — not all — critics of this policy are more interested in attacking Trump than doing the right thing, and that many — not all — defenders of this policy are more interested in defending Trump than doing the right thing. I can say that Sessions’ use of Scripture was really bad proof texting while at the same time saying that CNN and NPR’s sudden interest in Scripture not only is really bad proof texting but also oddly timed. Parents shouldn’t break the law with their children and we shouldn’t punish children for parents breaking the law. We’re going to have to walk and chew gum at the same time.” —Colson Center president John Stonestreet

The bottom line: “It strikes me that officials in our justice system should enforce our laws in ways that do not commit injustice. Our legal system should respect, not attack, human dignity. Apply this to abortion, immigration, marriage, antidiscrimination, religious liberty, etc.” —Ryan T. Anderson

Race bait: “There is a very obvious throughline connecting the worst moments and policies of this administration — the travel ban, Charlottesville, Puerto Rico and family separation at the border.” —MSNBC’s Chris Hayes

Braying Jenny: “So men, if you really are #WithUs and would like us to not hate you for all the millennia of woe you have produced and benefited from, start with this: Lean out so we can actually just stand up without being beaten down. Pledge to vote for feminist women only. Don’t run for office. Don’t be in charge of anything. Step away from the power. We got this. And please know that your crocodile tears won’t be wiped away by us anymore. We have every right to hate you. You have done us wrong.” —Northeastern University professor Suzanna Danuta Walters in The Washington Post

And last… “Prosecuting illegal aliens who break the law, kids in tow or not, isn’t inhumane. Open borders however, are inhumane.” —Katie Pavlich

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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