Mid-Day Digest

Jul. 20, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“Liberty is a word which, according as it is used, comprehends the most good and the most evil of any in the world. Justly understood it is sacred next to those which we appropriate in divine adoration; but in the mouths of some it means anything, which enervate a necessary government; excite a jealousy of the rulers who are our own choice, and keep society in confusion for want of a power sufficiently concentered to promote good.” —Oliver Ellsworth (1787)

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Democrats say they’re “For the People,” but that’s the BIG Lie.
  • Tax cuts benefit America, so naturally, Democrats are suing to stop them.
  • It’s time to have more civil political discourse, says hypocrite Barack Obama.
  • Are these Republican-run states really the “worst states to live in”?
  • EU protectionism manifests in the $5B Google fine.
  • One giant leap — a look back at the Apollo 11 moon landing.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

IN BRIEF

Who’s Really ‘For the People’?

Thomas Gallatin

House Democrats this week revealed their latest campaign slogan for the midterms. And it is (drum roll…) “For the People.” With the overly generic motto, Democrat leaders stated, “We basically put it all on paper to say here are our top issues — they’re simple, they’re easy to understand.” That raises two questions: First, just what are the Dems’ top issues that demonstrate they are “for the people”? Second, and more salient given Democrat identity politics, which people are they for? Let’s look at a few key issues (by no means an exhaustive list):

Illegal immigration: Democrats advocate open borders and sanctuary cities. Clearly, they stand with illegal aliens over and against American citizens by rejecting the enforcement of America’s borders and our nation’s laws.

Tax cuts and the economy: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi infamously described Republican tax reform as both “Armageddon” and “crumbs.” Yet the GOP significantly cut taxes for the vast majority of Americans, and it’s proving to jump-start an eight-year-long stagnant economy. Yet Pelosi promises to roll back the tax legislation, which not a single Democrat voted for, once again reinforcing the fact that Democrats simply don’t trust Americans to spend their own money as they best see fit. Evidently, Democrats see record-low unemployment levels, especially within minority communities, as a problem “for the people” rather than a benefit. That’s why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren are running around telling lies about the unemployment rate to talk down a good economy. Democrats can’t win if the economy is good.

Abortion: Democrats advocate for the “right” to end lives before birth, under the dubious notion of supporting women. They’re hyperventilating over the possibility of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick overturning Roe v. Wade. Meanwhile, a millionaire Democrat candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania has spent millions supporting groups that advocate population control; groups that have called for taxing parents who have more than two children “to the hilt” and see abortion as “a highly effective weapon” to combat overpopulation. That rhetoric sounds like the policies of communist China. For the people, indeed. More like for the people’s republic.

Speaking of the people’s republic, Democrats are fast embracing the anti-capitalist ethic of Karl Marx. Look no further than the Democrats’ latest star, Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed socialist who seeks to sell her ideology by advocating free college and free health care, while blaming capitalism for our problems. She recently opined, “Capitalism has not always existed in the world and it will not always exist in the world.”

When it comes down to it, Democrats love to talk about how much they are for the people, but their policies are clearly opposed to the American ideals of individual freedom, limited government, and Rule of Law. When stacked up against the policies and accomplishments of President Donald Trump and Republicans, it becomes quite clear which party is truly for the American people and which party isn’t.

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Dems Sue Trump Over Tax Cuts

Several Democrat-run states joined forces this week in suing the federal government over last year’s Republican tax cut legislation. Led by New York, the states of New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland allege that the GOP’s tax overhaul was a purely politically motivated measure designed to interfere with how states manage their finances. New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo charged that the tax bill “was a political attempt to hurt Democratic states.” Fair weather federalists, these folks.

The crux of the issue is this: Under the new tax law, federal tax deductions for state and local taxes (SALT) are capped at $10,000. That means residents in these high-tax states will feel those taxes more acutely, making it politically more difficult for these state governments to maintain their high taxation policies. The Wall Street Journal reports, “In 2015, the states with the highest percentage of tax filers who claimed deductions for state and local taxes above $10,000 were blue states, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.” That’s not surprising.

Cuomo’s coalition of high-tax states is asking the courts to declare the Republican tax law unconstitutional. Joseph Bishop-Henchman, executive vice president of the Tax Foundation, noted, “The concern that high state taxes might harm the competitiveness or attractiveness of a state like New York or Connecticut is a valid one, but the solution lays with revisiting those state tax rates rather than meritless litigation.” In other words, these spendthrift Democrats are suing because the new law removes the SALT cover that shielded them from the consequences of their tax-and-spend policies.

The Democrats’ complaints here are a bit ironic, given that they’re constantly calling for the rich to be taxed more, and given that their states’ high earners (mostly wealthy Democrats) will be paying more as things stand. In New York, 8.3% of these residents will be affected; in Connecticut, it’s 8.4%. Nationally, 6.3% will pay more. Scott Shackford at Reason also notes the Democrats’ hypocrisy, writing, “These SALT deductions are not claimed equally across the population. They disproportionately benefit the wealthiest citizens who itemize their taxes. New York calculates that New Yorkers will see a $14.3 billion tax hike without the SALT deductions. But that doesn’t mean the hike will be spread across all the citizens of the state. It’s those who earn more than $100,000 a year who claim 81 percent of SALT deductions.”

Here’s the bottom line: Prior to this tax reform, these high-tax blue states were being subsidized by low-tax (and more often than not Republican-run) states like Tennessee, which has no state income tax. Essentially, Cuomo is twisting the principles of federalism in an attempt to keep the lower-tax, fiscally sound states on the hook for helping to foot the blue states’ bills.

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Top Headlines

  • Gallup: record percentage say immigration top problem for USA (CNS News)
  • People hate what Obama and Hillary did on Russia — when they’re told Trump did it (The Daily Caller)
  • Trump invites Putin to White House; says he can be Putin’s “worst enemy” (The Daily Wire)
  • White House rebuffs Russia bid to question U.S. officials (Fox News)
  • FBI director warns China is America’s most significant intelligence threat (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • Texas to become world’s No. 3 oil producer, passing Iran (Hot Air)
  • Maxine Waters is becoming less keen on the idea of mobs publicly confronting political opponents (Washington Examiner)
  • Cue leftists howling at the moon: Trump administration introduces proposal to roll back Endangered Species Act protections (The Hill)
  • NFL suspends ban on national anthem protests amid talks with players’ union (Washington Examiner)
  • Humor: Trump: “The point of a trade war isn’t who wins or loses — it’s having a good time.” (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: State-run retirement plans are the wrong way to protect the poor (American Enterprise Institute)
  • Policy: Geographic-area waivers undermine food stamp work requirements (The Heritage Foundation)

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

Obama the Sanctimonious Lecturer Returns

Brian Mark Weber

Seems like the world of politics has never been more dysfunctional. While it’s always been a brutal affair, nothing today is off limits. Rather than merely pointing out where they differ with their political opponents, partisans from both sides now resort to name-calling, exaggeration, and blatant lying to make their case. There’s more shouting than listening, and many Americans are too quick to judge others and make assumptions about their beliefs. In short, we often bring out the worst in one another.

Now more than ever, we need our political leaders and elder statesmen to step up and remind us of the need for civility in our discourse — just like Barack Obama did earlier this week in South Africa. As so often is the case with our previous president, however, his words rang hollow.

When Obama delivered the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in South Africa on July 17, he extolled the virtues of listening to the other side, reminisced about the great strides the world has taken to overcome discrimination, and called on people to embrace objective truth in politics.

We need to “get inside the reality of people who are different from us,” he said, “so we can understand their point of view. Maybe we can change their minds but maybe they’ll change ours.” He went on to say, “You can’t do it if you insist that those who aren’t like you, because they’re white or because they’re male, that somehow there’s no way they can understand what I’m feeling, that somehow they lack the standing to speak on certain matters.”

That’s rich advice coming from the man who once told a Latino audience that they need to “punish our enemies”; the man who once said at a campaign rally, “I want you to argue with [your friends and neighbors] and get in their face”; the man who once infamously advised his supporters, “If they bring a knife to a fight, we bring a gun.”

Needless to say, some folks aren’t buying Obama’s recent change of heart. That’s because he was really lecturing the Right, not the Left.

Steve Berman rightly suggests, “It’s so easy now for Obama to be a uniter and a truth-speaker when he no longer bears the responsibility of it.” Berman adds, “Some of the things Mr. Obama uttered are positively shocking given where the Democratic Party has gone — straight into the looney dumpster fire of conspiracy, socialism, and identity politics. If they’d only be sane and listen to him (but they won’t).”

Indeed, the fact that Obama’s remarks in South Africa seem sensible and moderate shows just how deranged so many Democrats have become. It’s doubtful that Socialist phenom Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has any interest in understanding the hopes and dreams of small-town Americans. It’s not likely that Democrats who were once considered mainstream and moderate will stop accusing President Donald Trump of being a Russian agent or drawing parallels between the president’s press conference in Helsinki with that of — we’re not making this up — Pearl Harbor or Kristallnacht.

Democrats aren’t interested in Obama’s high-minded call to civility. They’re interested in destroying all who dare to stand in the way of a universal basic income, a cradle-to-grave nanny state, a country with no borders, and a society where the “wrong” kinds of opinions are met with political violence.

And how did they get there? By following Barack Obama.

It was Obama who played identity politics at every turn, dividing Americans by race, gender, sexuality, and class. Democrats are at best suspicious of white males, and that’s largely due to eight years of Obama making them suspect the worst of those “bitter clingers” holding on to their guns and Bibles.

It was Obama who changed the culture of the Left to one in which any opposing view on any issue is reflexively dismissed, derided, and demagogued.

Jim Geraghty writes at National Review that if “identity politics, cynicism, tolerance of corruption, hardline partisanship, shameless dishonesty, a shallow obsession with celebrities, an appetite for utopian slogans instead of serious and realistic proposals, demagoguery … if all of these forces play bigger roles in American politics in 2018 than they did in 2008, whose fault is that?”

Obama gave some good advice in his South African address, but Democrats aren’t inclined to follow it. Perhaps that’s because they know his words weren’t meant for them. Ultimately, its impact will be negligible.

Barack Obama helped to create the very monster that he now warns us about. And rather than reaching out and trying to understand the “deplorables” on the Right, Democrats remain keen on demonizing the current president, shutting down free speech, and sewing incivility.

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

OPINION IN BRIEF

Gary Bauer: “I was on Capitol Hill this week, and I had a fascinating conversation with Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas. As you may know, he aggressively confronted renegade FBI operative Peter Strzok, who was once chief of the FBI’s Counterespionage Section. There were several significant revelations from that hearing, which the media largely ignored. Rep. Gohmert filled me in on some of the details of his exchange with Strzok, and this is something that really can’t be ignored. Strzok told the committee that he was concerned about foreign influence in the 2016 election. Rep. Gohmert asked how serious his concern really was because key officials in the intelligence community had briefed Strzok about an ‘anomaly’ they found on Hillary Clinton’s email server, and he did nothing. They discovered during a forensic analysis that essentially everything Hillary sent on her server had been redirected to a hostile foreign power that was not Russia. Strzok told Gohmert that he could not recall this briefing. Really? He could not recall being told that 30,000 emails from the secretary of state had been contemporaneously redirected to an enemy? It seems that the Obama administration was compromised by a foreign enemy because of the stupidity of the secretary of state and the malfeasance of the FBI’s counterespionage division, which was distracted by its efforts to take down the Republican presidential nominee. In what world is this not a HUGE story? If we had a truly nonpartisan, unbiased free press, this would be banner headlines. But the entire media complex is instead talking about the Trump/Putin press conference.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “By the left’s definition, we could impeach and try for treason any president that even dared to talk to someone who was unfriendly with us. But, really, the left knows this. They choose to ignore it, because by screaming ‘traitor, traitor, traitor’ now, they’ve ratcheted up the hate quotient of their base for Trump. That’s what they want. Imagine if someone had called President Obama a ‘traitor’ for talking to the Castro regime. The squealing by the left would be loud and long.” —Investor’s Business Daily

Cue media outrage: “The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media.” —Donald Trump

Broken clock: “Let me commend President Trump for having gotten $14 billion of more investment in their national defense in our collective security by NATO members by pressing them harder than before.” —Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)

Friendly fire: “Once an election is over and you win, why are you still angry? I think it’s a lack of maturity on [Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s] part, and a lack of political acumen, for her to be that petty.” —Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO)

Braying Jenny: “When people are working at minimum-wage jobs that won’t support them, or they’re working two, three, or four jobs to try to pay the rent and keep food on the table, then simply saying the unemployment figures have gone down just doesn’t get you there.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (Democrats can’t win in November unless voters believe our good economy is actually bad.)

Belly laugh of the week: “I believe in markets. I believe in markets right down to my toes.” —Elizabeth Warren

Non Compos Mentis: “Labor, which is a regular person, cannot travel back and forth across the border. And so corporations, certain people who get certain rights, can go back and forth across the border seeking out the lowest wages, but people, regular people, cannot go back and forth across the border seeking out the highest wages. So what it creates is an imbalance. It creates an injustice.” —Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)

And last… “Society has the tendency to try to solve a problem by swinging in the opposite direction. Male sexism ‘solved’ by female sexism. Legalism ‘solved’ by moral relativism. Offensive stereotyping ‘solved’ by pretending no group characteristics exist. Doesn’t seem to be working.” —Allie Beth Stuckey

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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