Mid-Day Digest

Aug. 3, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“When Men are employ’d they are best contented. For on the Days they work’d they were good-natur’d and chearful; and with the consciousness of having done a good Days work they spent the Evenings jollily; but on the idle Days they were mutinous and quarrelsome, finding fault with their Pork, the Bread, and in continual ill-humour.” —Benjamin Franklin (1771)

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Minorities respond to how much Trump has helped them.
  • Air quality is as good as ever, so why’s the EPA still around?
  • The hoopla over 3D-printed guns is ridiculous. Here’s why.
  • The Chinese can politically target tariffs, effectively hacking our elections.
  • Democratic socialism? Be careful what you wish for.
  • Trump “undermines” ObamaCare, panic ensues.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists, and Short Cuts.

Publisher’s Note: August Break Next Week

Fortunately, the House has adjourned for its August recess, though the Senate will remain in session thanks to Democrat obstruction. And in any case, the din of the Beltway Demo/Leftmedia rancor will take no holiday. Because The Patriot Post team operates on a very tight budget, both in terms of manpower and financial resources, our content and quality would suffer if we were a man down during the year while providing our editors and staff a week off with their families. Thus, as they all need a break from the rigors of relentless publishing deadlines, we pause our operations for a week in August.

Of course, our Top Headlines and Right Opinion sections will be updated throughout the coming week. Our Patriot Humor edition will be delivered on schedule Monday, and you’ll hear from Mark Alexander Wednesday. (If you’re not subscribed to Patriot Humor or Alexander’s Column, log in to your account and select those options.) We’ll be back on the regular publication schedule on Monday, Aug. 13.

IN BRIEF

The ‘Most Pro-Black,’ Pro-American President

Thomas Gallatin

“To be honest, [Donald Trump] is probably going to be … the most pro-black president that we’ve had in our lifetime because … this president actually wants to prove something to our community, our faith-based community, and our ethnic community,” stated Pastor Darrell Scott during a meeting with inner-city pastors Trump held at the White House this week. The meeting was aimed at reflecting upon the successful and continuing efforts to revitalize inner-city communities and the need to enact prison reform.

Trump thanked Scott for his encouraging words and noted the economic success over the last 18 months. “We’ve increased and created 3.7 million more jobs since Election Day,” Trump said. “African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates have reached the lowest levels in recorded history, meaning history — the lowest levels ever. African-American and Hispanic, Asian also, women also — [lowest in] 66 years.” He added, “We’ve launched a bold workforce training initiative. So far, over 100 companies and associations have already pledged to train and retrain over four million Americans. So important, because we have companies, once again, coming back into our country, and they want to employ people. So we’re training and working with these people, and we’re getting companies to do the same.”

Trump also highlighted the need to create greater employment opportunity for those coming out of prison. “Our focus on opportunity for every citizen includes helping former prisoners,” he said. “These citizens reentering society have had a tough time. We want them to get jobs so they don’t have to return to a life of crime and go back into the same prison where they just got out. I mean, this has been a tremendous problem, and the best thing we could do, actually, is exactly what we’re doing — creating an environment where the country is doing so well.”

Meanwhile, the latest employment numbers continue the positive economic trend. This bolsters Trump’s agenda for getting all Americans back to work, where they can more freely better themselves and take greater responsibility for their own livelihoods. In July, headline unemployment dropped to 3.9%, near a half-century low. And all Americans are seeing the benefits. Unemployment among blacks sits at 6.6%, Hispanics at 4.5%, and for Asians it declined to 3.1%.

All this good economic news for the U.S. is translating into growing popularity numbers for Trump, even among minority groups. Recent polling indicates that Trump’s approval rating has been steadily increasing among both Hispanics and blacks, up 10% since January among the latter group. And this upward tick is happening despite the 24/7 anti-Trump news coverage from the mainstream media. That’s because Trump’s policies are having a real impact upon people’s lives. It’s not all talk and no action.

Exit question: What have Democrats done for blacks? Nothing good.

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A Fresh-Smell Environment

Jordan Candler

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual “Our Nation’s Air” report is hot off the press. Notwithstanding the ecofascists’ complaints to the contrary, the report underscores the impressive extent to which our nation’s air has been purified.

Since 1990, air pollutant concentrations are astonishingly improved. Carbon monoxide eight-hour concentration is down 77%. Some other reductions include lead three-month average (80%), nitrogen dioxide (50% and 56% depending on the time interval), eight-hour ozone (22%), particulate matter (between 34% and 41% depending on the variable), and one-hour sulfur dioxide (88%). The report also notes that “from 1990 to 2014 emissions of air toxics declined by 68 percent.”

This while the economy’s taking off. According to the report, “Between 1970 and 2017, the combined emissions of the six common pollutants … dropped by 73 percent. This progress occurred while the U.S. economy continued to grow, Americans drove more miles and population and energy use increased.” In fact, Investor’s Business Daily points out, “By comparison, during that time the U.S.‘ economy grew 262% and its population by 60%.”

IBD also offers this important sidebar: “Not included in the report, but equally if not more significant, is the fact that CO2 — the main greenhouse gas — overall has plunged 29% since peaking in 2007. That’s been the relentless focus of global warming activists and the left-leaning power elites from their policy perches.”

And as for the ecofascists’ forthcoming demands for additional regulations in light of the demonstrable improvements made by past government oversight, IBD cautions, “The problem with this, of course, is that ‘tougher’ rules are often counter-productive. There’s something in economics called the 80-20 rule, or Pareto principle, that’s valid here. It says that 80% of the improvement in anything comes from 20% of the effort. The final 20% of improvement requires 80% of the total effort — often a waste of money and effort. That’s where we are with environmental improvements, unfortunately.”

This is where, as John Stossel suggested last year, the EPA needs to declare victory and then take a backseat. As he noted, “The agency was necessary in 1970, when it was created. At the time, cities dumped whatever we flushed into nearby waterways — with no treatment. … Now, in a rational world, the EPA would say, ‘Stick a fork in it, it’s done! EPA now stands for "Enough Protection Already.”’ But bureaucracies never say they’re done. ‘Done’ means bureaucrats are out of work. Can’t have that.“

The same goes for the environmental lobby. The air will never be clean enough for them — regardless of what the evidence says. But rest assured that, relative to the past, the air you breathe today is especially refreshing.

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Top Headlines

  • U.S. gains 157,000 jobs in July as unemployment falls to 3.9% (MarketWatch)
  • Underdog Bill Lee, the one who didn’t go negative and spent the least, surges to decisive win in Tennessee GOP gubernatorial primary (Fox News)
  • Naturally: California suing to block rollback of Obama auto-emission standards (National Review)
  • Trump officials sound alarm on Russian meddling, vow to fight back (Fox News)
  • Despite the drama, Trump’s Helsinki performance has forced a tougher U.S. policy against Moscow (Washington Examiner)
  • U.S. issues new warning to Europe: End business with Iran or face harsh sanctions (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • Man arrested for threatening Steve Scalise in voicemails (National Review)
  • How "woke”: New York Times hires left-wing writer with long history of racist tweets … against whites (The Federalist)
  • Good news: Pew survey: Americans pray more than citizens of any other wealthy nation (National Review)
  • Humor: Millennial drops support for socialism after learning how hard it is to get avocado toast in Venezuela (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: The consequences of Philadelphia’s ICE decision (The Daily Signal)
  • Policy: America’s Turkey problem finally comes to a head (National Review)

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

3D-Printed Hype

Brian Mark Weber

Just this week, the U.S. State Department settled a lawsuit filed under the Obama administration that would have forbid the company Defense Distributed from posting blueprints on its website that could be downloaded by anyone wanting to build a 3D gun at home. The settlement allowed the company to begin posting the information as of Aug. 1. But after pleas by attorneys general from seven states and the District of Columbia, a federal judge in Seattle stepped in and put a temporary halt to the agreement due to supposed concerns about the threat to public safety posed by 3D guns.

Even President Donald Trump, a reliable supporter of gun rights, expressed doubt about the safety of 3D guns. The day before the State Department agreement was to go into effect, the president tweeted, “I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!”

Is the outcry over 3D guns overblown? After all, as National Review’s David French correctly asserts, “People have been making homemade guns since before the founding of the Republic. You don’t need a license to make a gun for personal use; you need one only if you make a gun for sale or distribution. Guns can be made at home easily and cheaply. Home manufacture is common.”

And the fact that the Undetectable Firearms Act was passed into law in 1988, long before 3D printers were invented, highlights the fact that there’s nothing new going on here.

So why the sudden uproar from Second Amendment opponents?

One of the reasons might be that the anti-gun crowd is getting desperate. Unable to chip away any further at Second Amendment rights, and with the future of gun control looking bleaker due to the potential of an expanding conservative bloc on the Supreme Court, gun grabbers are taking a final stand. They’re even going to the extreme of claiming that the Tenth Amendment grants states the right to regulate firearms — even while attacking the First Amendment just to get to the Second.

Of course, no one ever accused leftists of being faithful to the Constitution.

Columnist David Harsanyi asks an important question: “How can the state ban the transfer of knowledge used to help someone engage in an activity that is completely legal? Scratch that — to engage in an activity that is constitutionally protected?”

The proverbial cat is out of the bag, and no court ruling is going to stop 3D gun information from spreading online. In fact, it already has. When the government ordered Wilson to take his designs down from the Internet in 2013, it soon discovered that the information had popped up on so many other sites that it was too late to stop it.

Much to the chagrin of gun-control proponents, it’s happening again.

The Washington Times reports, “A judge’s attempt to halt the spread of blueprints for 3D-printed guns backfired Wednesday as the plans spread across the internet, posted and shared by people who said they were determined to strike a blow for free speech, to protect gun rights, or just to thumb their nose at the government.”

In other words, those who tried to stop the spread of 3D gun information this week may have done more to spark interest in the technology than existed before. Now it’s all about spreading misinformation, such as the argument that 3D weapons will easily elude metal detectors.

Gun opponents conveniently leave out the fact that the possession of totally undetectable firearms remains a violation of federal law, but even 3D guns will have a hard time making it past security.

The Liberator — the gun designed by Defense Distributed, contains a metal part specifically designed to be picked up by metal detectors. For those concerned about people making guns without the piece of metal, Popular Mechanics recently discovered that a magazine containing multiple cartridges would still set off most metal detectors.

Surprisingly, even April Glaser of the leftist rag Slate agrees. She reminds us, “Despite what lawmakers were saying this week, it’s not clear that 3D-printed guns pose a serious threat. Plans for printing 3D weaponry never disappeared from the internet as a result of Wilson’s legal challenges, and it seems that 3D-printed guns don’t even work very well — when they do work.”

Let’s not forget that in a country where just about anyone can own affordable and more traditional guns, there isn’t likely to be an explosion of plastic guns.

Despite the fact that the State Department has admitted it has no jurisdiction over controlling domestic gun policies, the fight to ban accessibility to 3D gun schematics is just beginning. But in the end, there’s no stopping the technology unless the government intends to take away our right to free speech on the Internet along with our right to keep and bear arms.

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

OPINION IN BRIEF

Marc A. Thiessen: “[The Trump Tower] meeting should never have happened. When you get an email offering to provide ‘very high level and sensitive information’ from the ‘Crown prosecutor of Russia’ that could ‘incriminate Hillary’ Clinton and is part of ‘Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump’ you don’t reply by saying ‘I love it.’ You call the FBI. … But as bad as the Trump Tower meeting was, it took place at the request of the Russians. They were the ones who approached the Trump campaign, not the other way around. By contrast, the Clinton campaign proactively sought dirt on Trump from Russian government sources. They did it through cutouts. In April 2016, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias retained opposition research firm Fusion GPS to compile incriminating information on Trump. Fusion GPS in turn hired Christopher Steele, a former British MI6 operative with sources among Russian government officials. The result was the salacious dossier, whose sources included ‘a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure’ and ‘a former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin.’ Steele’s work was paid for by Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. That means a paid agent of the Clinton campaign approached Russian officials for damaging material on Trump. … Brian Fallon, Clinton’s campaign spokesman, has said he ‘would have volunteered to go to Europe and try to help’ Steele and would happily have spread dirt obtained from the Russians. ‘Opposition research happens on every campaign,’ he told The Post. He also said: ‘I am damn glad [Elias] pursued this on behalf of our campaign and only regret more of this material was not verified in time for the voters to learn it before the election.’ In other words, ‘I love it.’”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “Donald Trump did not create distrust of the media, distrust of the media helped create Donald Trump.” —Mollie Hemingway

The man doth protest too much: “I’ll say that the press is not the enemy of the people. And, you know, I think maybe we should make some bumper stickers, make some buttons. You know, maybe we should go out on Pennsylvania Avenue like these folks who chant ‘CNN Sucks’ and ‘Fake News.’ Maybe … all journalists should go out on Pennsylvania Avenue and chant, ‘We’re not the enemy of the people.’ Because I’m tired of this.” —CNN’s Jim Acosta (And we’re just as tired of you.)

Braying Jackass: “The president would be a monarch if Brett Kavanaugh becomes a Supreme Court justice.” —Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Friendly fire: “Because I am a liberal Democrat and feminist, I expect my friends on the left will criticize me for speaking up for Kavanaugh. But we all benefit from having smart, qualified and engaged judges on our highest court, regardless of the administration that nominates them. … Democrats should quit attacking Kavanaugh — full stop. It is unbecoming to block him simply because they want to, and they risk alienating intelligent people who see the obvious: He is the most qualified conservative for the job.” —Lisa Blatt in Politico

Braying Jenny: “Here’s a simple inconvenient truth opponents of choice don’t want to acknowledge — for a lot of women, abortion makes their future families possible. … I’m a mother who supports choice and who wants my teenage daughters to have the freedom to choose when and if they have children. This means access to birth control, morning after pills and abortion. Because I love them more than anything in the universe and I want them to be educated, independent, and healthy. People who want to protect their daughters are called mothers. And people who are frightened of that prospect are called misogynists.” —Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams

And last… “It is absolutely vital for every American to watch CNN for five minutes a day. Why? Because it will give you a good idea of what it’s going to be like when you have a stroke.” —comedian Lewis Black

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Join our editors and staff in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families. We also humbly ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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