Mid-Day Digest

Jul. 19, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.” —John Adams (1787)

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Team Socialist heads to Kansas to entice Millennials.
  • Rand Paul nails Obama’s CIA director for his Trump Derangement Syndrome.
  • NATO’s holiday from history is over.
  • How Russia got kompromat on Germany — natural gas.
  • MSM presents late-night comedy as actual news.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

IN BRIEF

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez Team Up to Entice Millennials

Thomas Gallatin

Longtime socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is teaming up with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the social justice activist and socialist who recently defeated 10-term New York Democrat Rep. Joe Crowley, to stump for leftist Democrats in Kansas. Their objective is to spread the message that socialism “can win across the country.” Ocasio-Cortez opined, “The political revolution is alive and well in Kansas.” Comrade.

Taking the same leftist message he used in his presidential campaign, Sanders declared, “All across this country people understand that we need a government that represents all of us, and not just billionaire campaign contributors. We need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. We need health care for all. We need to make public colleges and universities tuition-free. And we need to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. These are popular ideas in Vermont, in the Bronx, in Kansas, and in every state in the country. Candidates who run on a progressive agenda can and will win.”

This pairing is clearly targeting the Millennial demographic with its “revolutionary” rhetoric and pie-in-the-sky notions of a “classless” economy where the rich pay for everything. And for the time being, Democrats are more than willing to welcome them into the fold insomuch as it helps bring in what they hope becomes The Millennial Vote™.

But some Democrats see danger in the party’s pandering to the hard Left, as it has spurred a #WalkAway movement — a growing number of moderates leaving the party from which they’ve become alienated. As The Hill notes, “Despite Ocasio-Cortez’s new high profile, some House Democrats are expressing concerns about the Democratic candidate, fearing she could drive a wedge within the party by pushing policies from the left.”

Indeed, it’s beginning to look like Ocasio-Cortez may be becoming more of a liability than an asset to Democrats.

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Paul Nails Brennan for Trump Derangement Syndrome

As we’ve duly noted, President Donald Trump blundered in his Helsinki press conference Monday with Vladimir Putin. But, as we’ve also observed, the response of hyperventilating leftists infected with Trump Derangement Syndrome is way over the top. Such was the case with former CIA Director John Brennan.

“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors,’” Brennan declared. “It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”

Well, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has come to the president’s defense. “It makes me wonder whether [Brennan] should be getting a government pension if he’s going to be disrespecting the commander-in-chief, calling the president treasonous,” Paul responded. “That’s about as overtop as you can imagine.”

Context matters, too. “You have to realize John Brennan started his illustrious career by voting for the Communist Party. … That’s who he wanted to win the presidency back in the ‘70s,” Paul said. “When he came to be head of the CIA, I filibustered him because I thought he was bad news from the very beginning.”

“I think John Brennan is completely unhinged,” Paul argued. In fact, he added, Brennan is “the most biased, bigoted, over-the-top, hyperbolic sort of unhinged director of the CIA we’ve ever had.” And, Paul continued, as CIA chief, Brennan was “one of the most powerful people in the world who has the ability to destroy anybody in the world and gain information on anything you do.” He wondered “what other things he could possibly have been doing with that power.”

As far as the overall reaction, Paul asserted, “It’s all about partisan politics now. This is truly the Trump Derangement Syndrome that motivates all of this.” Paul is spot on.

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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.

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

FEATURED ANALYSIS

NATO’s Holiday From History Is Over

Arnold Ahlert

For those who know the prevalent mindset in Pennsylvania Dutch enclaves, “that’s the way we always done it now” has a familiar ring. And while long-held traditions among insular communities might engender a status quo-obsessed worldview, most Americans might expect otherwise from those who inhabit the upper echelons of government and the media. Nonetheless, judging by the tiresome tut-tutting and handwringing with regard to President Donald Trump’s performance at the NATO summit, those expectations are wholly unwarranted. The chattering classes have convicted Trump of disrespecting our friends and allies. Unfortunately for the critics, a damning article reveals how much those friends and allies disrespect themselves — while expecting America to pick up the slack.

“A recent opinion poll found that small minorities in the core European members of NATO were willing to fight for their country under any circumstances,” reports Asia Times columnist Spengler. “At the bottom of the rankings were the Netherlands and Germany, at 16% and 18% respectively; at the top was Poland, with 48%.”

In other words, even an existential threat to one’s own country is viewed as a bridge too far. Perhaps this stunning level of cultural indifference should be expected from a continent where nationalism and democracy have been subsumed by technocratic governance emanating from Brussels. Yet it has bred an unseemly arrogance laid bare when Trump asked a most uncomfortable question: “What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy?” he wondered.

What good indeed? Ever since the end of WWII, when the need to confront the Soviet menace was plain, the presumptions surrounding NATO’s reasons for being have hinged on the idea that the United States would do the heavy lifting — as in most of the fighting and dying — wherever and whenever defending Western interests became necessary. Columnist Christopher Roach illuminates the consequences of that stultification. “Trump is asking the right questions and making the right criticisms,” he writes. “As a successful businessman, and not a credential amateur, he rightly asks, 'What’s in it for us?’ The answer is not satisfactory. U.S. investment in NATO has provided diminishing returns to the United States after the end of the Cold War, and increasingly functions as an economic subsidy to Western European nations unserious about their own defense.”

How unserious? As of now only five of the 29 alliance members are expected to reach their military spending goal of 2% of GDP by the end of 2018. In sharp contrast, the U.S. accounts for 74% of the military spending among those 29 members and 22% of NATO’s overall budget. Trump wants NATO nations to increase their budgets to 4% of GDP, but one suspects such lofty expectations are an “art of the deal” subterfuge aimed at getting them to the 2% threshold that many of them have pledged to reach — by 2024.

In the meantime, an “offended” Germany imports more than 80% of its natural gas supply — approximately 50% of which is supplied by Russia. Moreover, in 2017 Gazprom, Russia’s giant state-owned natural gas company, provided Europe with approximately 40% of its gas, a level that represents an all-time high in gas purchases — and dependency on Vladimir Putin.

Were that the sole example of EU schizophrenia, as in consorting with adversaries NATO was created to defend against, Trump’s assertion that Germany is “a captive of Russia” might have been considered over the top. Yet as columnist Daniel Horowitz reveals, that is hardly the case. The EU has also countenanced massive amounts of immigration by middle Eastern immigrants, undermining its member nations’ sovereignty and safety, turned a blind eye to the Islamist ambitions of NATO “fifth columnist” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and expressed support for Hezbollah and Hamas, while regularly criticizing Israel.

It gets worse. On Monday, the EU provided European firms with legal cover to operate in Iran, courtesy of a “blocking statute” that prohibits EU companies from complying with U.S. sanction demands, allows them to recover damages from that lack of compliance, and nullifies any foreign court rulings against them. Three EU nations — France, Britain, and Germany — have also indicated they will be activating accounts for the Iranian central bank with their national central banks to counteract the Trump administration’s efforts to keep up economic pressure on the world’s foremost state sponsor of Islamist terror.

“At what point does an ally cease being an ally?” Horowitz asks. “At what point does the hypocrisy, self-destruction, and sabotage of U.S. interests at the hands of the Western European powers cross a red line in our relationship, especially when we are shouldering most of the burden for NATO?”

When there isn’t even one EU nation among the core members of NATO with a majority of citizens who would fight for their country under any circumstances, perhaps we have reached the ultimate inflection point.

With $21 trillion of national debt, America can no longer afford to indulge holidays from history, courtesy of a continent with a diminishing appetite for defending itself. In short, “that’s the way we always done it now” no longer suffices.

It’s about time.

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

OPINION IN BRIEF

Kay Coles James: “Yesterday, I had the honor of welcoming Ambassador Nikki Haley to The Heritage Foundation. And as she spoke before a packed audience, I realized we were witnessing a true profile in courage. Ambassador Haley’s principles and tenacity have served her well all her life, first as a young businesswoman, then as South Carolina’s first Indian-American legislator, and later as the Palmetto State’s first female and minority governor. And today, they serve America well in her role as our ambassador to the United Nations. To do that tough job right — to stand firm for freedom-loving people in the face of despotic regimes — requires extraordinary courage. Consider the abuse she has endured for pulling the U.S. out of the UN Human Rights Council. … As a black American who spent my early years in a poor household, I know quite a bit more about poverty and human rights in America than ‘UN experts’ who spend 20 days in the U.S. before writing their reports. I know firsthand the overwhelming challenges faced by America’s rural and urban poor. I also know firsthand that America provides the greatest opportunity for its citizens to experience life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. … Ambassador Haley was right to call out the council for its hypocrisy and to deprive it of the legitimacy it gains by having the U.S. as a member. America doesn’t need the council. Because with courageous leaders like Nikki Haley, we are doing far more to promote human rights without it.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “The U.S. Constitution represents our ‘rules of the game.’ Supreme Court justices should be seen as umpires or referees, whose job is to enforce neutral rules. I’ll give a somewhat trivial example of neutral rules from my youth; let’s call it Mom’s Rule. On occasion, my sister and I would have lunch in my mother’s absence. She’d ask either me or my younger sister to divide a last piece of cake or pie. More often than not, an argument would ensue about the fairness of the cut. Those arguments ended when mom came up with a rule: Whoever cuts the cake lets the other take the first piece. As if by magic or divine intervention, fairness emerged, and arguments ended. No matter who did the cutting, there was an even division. That’s the kind of rule we need for our society — the kind whereby you’d be OK even if your worst enemy were in charge.” —Walter Williams

For the record: “The intelligence community’s assessment has not changed. My view has not changed, which is that Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and that it continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day. … To me, it’s a threat we need to take very seriously and respond to with fierce determination and focus.” —FBI Director Christopher Wray

Braying Jackass: “We’ve had presidents who were too willing to make deals with dictators (Nixon), seemed weak vis-a-vis dictators (Carter), or relegated America to leading from behind, which benefitted dictators (Obama). Have we ever before had a president who was, to put it simply, pro-dictator?” —Bill Kristol

Non Compos Mentis: “It is a serious & complex issue when ‘controversial’ rightwing speakers force universities to pay exorbitant amounts of money for security to protect them while they are on campus.” —author Joyce Carol Oates, who’s apparently unfazed by the fact that violent leftists are the reason for such security needs

And last… “The only question regarding Russia that should matter to U.S. policymakers is this: Using constitutional means, how do we advance the freedom, prosperity, and security of the American people in our dealings with Russia? But today, many liberals in Washington, DC, are asking: How can we use U.S. relations with Russia as a political weapon against President Trump?” —Terence Jeffrey

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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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