“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” —Tenth Amendment
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Replacing Kennedy might just mean overturning some really bad precedents.
- Is Trump to blame for the Annapolis massacre? The media says so.
- The economy is roaring, so why the tariffs?
- Mexico’s rising communist regime is a threat to America.
- Facebook cracks down on “bad actors.”
- Gowdy says it’s time to finish the Russia probe.
- Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
In a piece devoted to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s departure, National Review’s David French lays out the case for why the “the consequences of Kennedy’s retirement — both legal and political — are immense.” Justice Kennedy is universally regarded as a swing jurist. French observes that “he wrote or joined a number of solid opinions that protected and reaffirmed core constitutional liberties, including liberties protected by the First and Second Amendments.” But Kennedy also “served as the primary judicial guardian of abortion rights and was more responsible than any other justice for the relentless legal march of the sexual revolution.” Therefore, the addition of another originalist will be unquestionably influential.
The Washington Examiner editorial board highlights six pivotal cases that could be overturned without Justice Kennedy: Roe v. Wade, which “struck down all state abortion restrictions in 1973” (Kennedy himself voted in support of Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992 — a case that would have overturned Roe v. Wade); Kelo v. New London, which in 2005 “re-established that private property can be taken from owners through eminent domain for nonpublic uses”; Obergefell v. Hodges, which “established in 2015 that all states are constitutionally mandated to recognize marriages between two people of any sex”; Massachusetts v. EPA (2007), which mandates that “the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate carbon dioxide”; U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton (1995), which stipulates that “individual states … may not set rules for would-be members of Congress that are more restrictive than what’s outlined in the U.S. Constitution”; and Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008), which “blocked the expansion of the death penalty for violent crimes where the victim did not die and was not intended to be killed.”
Kennedy’s departure doesn’t mean all of these will be overturned in the near future. Some (most?) may not be overturned at all. However, another originalist at least denotes that all of these cases face the possibility of being reversed. French ends his op-ed with a cautionary tone: “We’ve been here before. We’ve had opportunities to remake the Court. President Reagan and the first President Bush together appointed a majority of the Supreme Court. Yet Roe endured, and the Court even moved left on key issues.” True enough. However, many of the people on Trump’s Supreme Court list are exceptional, bona fide conservative candidates. It’s certainly not unrealistic to envision an A-team-caliber Supreme Court majority whose decisions will result in a defense of life (literally), Liberty and justice unforeseen in our modern day.
Five journalists who worked at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, were murdered Thursday when an individual with a longstanding grudge against the newspaper blasted his way into the building seeking revenge for a lost 2015 defamation lawsuit he had leveled against the paper. It was personal animus against that specific newspaper, not some generalized anti-media sentiments. Nevertheless, as news of the attack quickly spread across the country, once again leftists politicized the atrocity by blaming President Donald Trump.
The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman wrote, “What happened today is sickening. This alleged gunman appears to have had a longstanding grudge against the paper and little else is known so far. But Trump is the only president in memory to call the press ‘the enemy of the people.’”
Reuters’ Rob Cox went further, angrily pontificating, “This is what happens when [Donald Trump] calls journalists the enemy of the people. Blood is on your hands, Mr. President. Save your thoughts and prayers for your empty soul.” Others joined in with similar memes.“
The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway observed, "We also didn’t see [the MSM] wonder if the media’s harsh treatment of Republicans led to the mass assassination attempt on a baseball field filled with Republican senators and members of Congress last June. They also didn’t wonder if anti-police rhetoric led to the targeted murders of various policemen in recent years. The blame game seems to work one way with traditional media sources.”
Is it any wonder that 72% of Americans think the MSM intentionally reports misleading news?
The reality is that these mass attacks consistently have one common denominator, and it isn’t the presence of or lack of gun-control laws, nor is it political rhetoric. Rather in almost all of these atrocities the perpetrator is known in his local community to be a problem.
While it may be tempting to play the Left’s game of blaming the lawless actions of individuals on political opponents, one must take care not to conflate the two. Trump chastising the MSM for propagating fake news is not the same as Democrat Maxine Waters explicitly calling on people to harass Trump administration officials. The irony is that much of the MSM is more than willing to excuse Waters over her call to harassment as merely political rhetoric while seeking every opportunity to blame Trump for instigating and fueling vitriol and violence simply because he calls out their lies.
- Color us skeptical: Maxine Waters cancels events over “very serious death threat” after she told people to harass Trump associates (National Review)
- Trump meets with lawmakers to discuss Supreme Court vacancy (Fox News)
- Deputy AG Rosenstein, FBI Director Wray grilled by House panel on Clinton inquiry (USA Today)
- White House Chief of Staff John Kelly expected to depart as early as this summer (The Wall Street Journal)
- House passes $675B Pentagon spending bill (The Hill)
- Senate farm bill ignores conservatives: It’s bad on food stamps and farm subsidies (The Daily Signal)
- DOJ charges 600 with $2 billion in opioid fraud (National Review)
- California’s costly global warming campaign turns out to be worse than useless (Investor’s Business Daily)
- Fallout: University of Missouri struggles with $50 million shortfall, reduced enrollment after racial protests (The College Fix)
- Humor report: First Star Destroyer in Space Force to be named “USS Civility” (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: The real prescription for lower drug prices: Get Europe to drop its price controls (Washington Examiner)
- Policy: After Janus, conservatives and teachers’ unions should collaborate (National Review)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Brian Mark Weber
So this is what an economic boom looks like.
Unemployment numbers for women, blacks and Hispanics are at the lowest levels in decades if not in history. Money is pouring back into the country from overseas. Small business optimism is soaring. Consumer confidence is sky-high. Wages are growing.
President Donald Trump’s decision in 2017 to support Republicans’ dramatic decrease in the corporate tax rate, from 35 to 21%, has paid off significantly for the American economy. Not to mention the reduction in income tax rates for individuals and deregulation that’s created a business-friendly environment like some have never seen.
One of the benefits of Trump’s economy is the influx of money from abroad.
Investor’s Business Daily reports, “American companies were commonly estimated to have about $2.6 trillion parked in overseas accounts as of 2017. So in the first three months of 2018 alone, some 12% of that overseas stash came back to the U.S. It’s now available here for companies to invest, pay out in dividends and bonuses, hire new workers, purchase new plants and equipment, or just buy back stock.”
In real numbers, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that more than $300 billion was returned to accounts in the United States from overseas — on pace for more than $1 trillion this year.
So much for the dire warnings of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who harshly derided the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 as a “scam” that was “simply theft, monumental, brazen theft from the American middle class and from every person who aspires to reach it.” She added that the “GOP tax scam is not a vote for an investment in growth or jobs.”
“Crumbs.” That’s what she called the $1,000-, $2,000- and $3,000 bonuses that many American workers were receiving due to that reduction in the corporate tax rate.
So that’s why Democrats keep losing power at all levels of government.
Back in the real world, the benefits of the tax cuts are clearly having an impact on the way Americans perceive the national economy.
According to the latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey, Trump’s economic approval rating surged six points to 51%. Moreover, 54% say the economy is good or excellent, the highest recorded by CNBC in the 10 years of the survey.
The survey even shows that nearly a third of Democrats give the president support for the economy.
There is one dark cloud, however. While President Trump and Republicans should be applauded for their pro-business policies, the long-term impact of the president’s decision to impose tariffs is still unknown. Never underestimate the importance of free trade.
It’s one thing for Trump to call out countries that have long enjoyed a massive trade surplus with the United States or who are clearly engaging in unfair trade behavior. But it’s another thing for a sitting president to directly threaten American companies for their decision to move operations overseas. Recently, Harley-Davidson announced that it would be moving more production abroad in response to Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on some European countries.
The Washington Post reports, “The company’s announcement sparked a massive sell-off in the stock market amid fears that other companies might follow suit, worried about getting caught in the middle of Trump’s trade war with Europe, Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and possibly India.”
Since his days on the campaign trail, the president has used the threat of levying taxes on companies that leave the U.S. And as president-elect, Trump convinced Carrier to keep some of its operations in the U.S. rather than outsourcing jobs to Mexico.
But Trump also warned of similar consequences for other companies that considered pulling up the stakes here at home. Clearly, this was more than mere campaign rhetoric. The president continues to hold this threat over the heads of other companies who worry about a trade war.
And while the president slams Harley-Davidson for abandoning America after more than a century of motorcycle production, it’s moving only a portion of production. As the Washington Examiner’s Philip Wegmann writes, “Harley-Davidson will make motorcycles for the European market in Europe because Trump’s trade war threatens to eat into their profits. According to a report filed with the SEC, retaliatory tariffs on aluminum and steel, which just so happen to be the main materials on a motorcycle, would increase sticker price overnight by more than $2,200.”
No doubt Trump’s moves are in part an effective strategy to keep his political base energized, but we still have to worry about the long-term implications of tariffs on the national economy. For now, the president seems to be holding back from a full-scale trade war, though he’s clearly willing to use a strong economy to his advantage in setting about to clean up a decade of malaise, his way. Tariffs are just one chess piece.
Meanwhile, Democrats are hoping that painting immigration restrictions or Anthony Kennedy’s retirement as the end of “democracy” as we know it might turn Americans away from Republicans and President Trump, but for now the largely fantastic economic news is trumping all other issues. As Bill Clinton’s political adviser James Carville once famously said, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
If the economy keeps roaring at its current pace, Democrats will have a hard time convincing Americans that we need a change in leadership on Capitol Hill this November.
MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- Mexico’s Rising Communist Regime — Our neighbors are about to elect a communist president backed by the drug cartels.
- Pence Delivers a Message on Mass Migration — To South America: “The U.S. respects your borders and your sovereignty. We insist that you respect ours.”
- Facebook Cracks Down on ‘Bad Actors’ — The social media giant takes another step to aggressively limit fake news and “hate speech.”
- Video: Gowdy on Russia Probe: ‘Finish It the Hell Up’ — “Russia isn’t being hurt by this investigation right now. This country is being hurt by it.”
OPINION IN BRIEF
Marc A. Thiessen: “Democratic senators such as Joe Manchin III (WV), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Jon Tester (MT), Claire McCaskill (MO), and Joe Donnelly (IN) … are running for reelection in states Trump won by double digits. Their political survival depends on being perceived as centrists, and they will now have to spend months campaigning while caught in the crossfire of a liberal-conservative battle royal over a Trump-nominated Supreme Court justice. Vote yes, and their liberal base will be apoplectic; vote no, and their pro-Trump constituents could revolt. For all these reasons, Trump’s appointee is likely to be confirmed. If that happens, Trump will have led one of the most consequential conservative presidencies in modern American history. Not only is Trump expanding the conservative Supreme Court majority, he is also moving at record pace to fill the federal appeals courts with young conservative judges who will preside for decades. Imagine if it were Clinton making all these appointments. The consequences for human life, religious liberty, the Second Amendment and limited government would have been disastrous. Instead, the choice of the next Supreme Court justice is in President Trump’s hands. So, to all the conservatives who cast their ballots in 2016 for just this moment — you did the right thing.”
Observations: “By being the deciding vote on so many issues, [Justice Anthony] Kennedy in effect became the Court itself, making him the de facto incarnation of the judicial branch, the way the president is the physical personification of the executive branch. This became all the more problematic because Kennedy’s philosophy of judicial review all too often took the form of a deep personal inventory of his feelings rather than of Constitution’s text. Thus, Kennedy’s decision not to live forever — or at least until a Democratic appointee could replace the Reagan-appointed justice — was seen as a personal betrayal, because the political has become so personal for so many.” —Jonah Goldberg
Demo-gogues: “The menacing truth is that we have to face a reality coming at us where we might lose some of the precious ideals of our country. And I stand here to say, ‘This will not happen without a fight.’” —Sen. Cory Booker
Bad precedent: “I view Roe v. Wade as being settled law. It’s clearly precedent and I always look for judges who respect precedent.” —Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) (We suppose that means she’d have been in favor of the infamous Dred Scott “precedent.”)
Apples and oranges: “If Republicans were consistent they would wait to consider Justice Kennedy’s successor until after the midterm elections. … Why should a midterm election by any less important than a presidential election? Leader McConnell is simply engaging in hypocrisy.” —Chuck Schumer
Non Compos Mentis: “As a woman, I think you’re trying to take my rights away. … If you take my right away from me, to judge what I do for my family and my body, I got a little problem with that. You got a problem. You don’t want people to take your guns? Get out of my behind! Get out of my vagina! Get out!” —constitutional scholar Whoopi Goldberg
Braying Jackass: “[Justice Kennedy’s leaving] creates an opportunity for those who don’t believe in our Constitution to lock in an anti-American majority for a long time to come."—Sen. Jeff Merkley
That escalated quickly: "I believe that [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] has become a deportation force. … I believe [we] should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works.” —Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
And last… “Maybe if government didn’t interfere so much in our lives, every Supreme Court decision wouldn’t be such a life-or-death deal.” —Jon Gabriel
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher