Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 2, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“Is the relinquishment of the trial by jury and the liberty of the press necessary for your liberty? Will the abandonment of your most sacred rights tend to the security of your liberty? Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings — give us that precious jewel, and you may take every things else! Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel.” —Patrick Henry (1788)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • “Believe women”? Democrats don’t always believe them.
  • House Republicans pass bill to make tax cuts permanent.
  • Trump touts the new NAFTA.
  • Evaluating women in combat.
  • The heartwarming story of an ill boy and a police officer.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists, and Short Cuts.

IN BRIEF

Democrats Don’t Always Believe Democrat Women

Thomas Gallatin

“An allegation standing alone is not necessarily sufficient to conclude that conduct occurred,” stated Susan Ellingstad, the attorney hired by the Minnesota Democrat Party to investigate the allegations of domestic violence against DNC Deputy Chairman and Rep. Keith Ellison. Recall back in early August, Ellison’s ex-girlfriend and leftist activist Karen Monahan accused him of physically and emotionally abusing her. Ellison, who is currently running for Minnesota attorney general, welcomed Ellingstad’s findings from what he termed an “impartial” investigation.

Ellison’s opponent, Republican Rep. Doug Wardlow, quickly blasted the notion that the Democrats’ in-house investigation was “impartial,” asserting, “As predicted, the sham ‘investigation’ led by the DFL (Democrat-Farmer-Labor) party attorney’s legal partner has concluded in favor of the party’s Attorney General candidate. But the publicly available evidence contradicts that conclusion.”

University of Minnesota political science professor Larry Jacobs echoed Wardlow’s sentiments, stating, “I don’t know why anyone would be surprised by that. The Democrat Party hires lawyers close to the Democratic Party to investigate a sensitive candidate, and they come back saying ‘not enough here.’ I don’t think that was surprising.”

Meanwhile, Democrats and their cohorts in the mainstream media continue to parrot completely unsubstantiated and uncorroborated allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as justification for assuming his guilt. The Democrats’ hypocritical double standard could not be more obvious. When allegations are made against their own, they demand the application of the correct and just judicial standard: innocent until proven guilty. (And then even in the face of overwhelming evidence, they sometimes stand by their man.) Yet whenever accusations fly against their political opponents, they demand the opposite: The accused must be presumed guilty (due to the seriousness of the charge) and the accuser’s self-proclaimed victim status must never be called into question. If credible evidence is lacking, that still isn’t justification for doubting the validity of the allegations. In the end, a cloud of probable guilt must hang over the head of any “credibly” accused conservative individual, even if no substantiating evidence is ever found. Clarence Thomas knows a thing or two about that.

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House GOP Passes Tax Reform 2.0

With everyone’s attention seemingly focused on the circus surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, GOP House members were busy passing Tax Reform 2.0. On Friday, House Republicans, joined by three Democrats, passed the bill by a vote of 220-191. The legislation, should it pass the Senate (which will be a tall order), makes permanent the tax cuts established by last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

As usual, Democrats came out complaining that the legislation favored the rich. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lamented, “The GOP’s priorities have been laid bare. How can we milk the public, exploit the taxpayer by adding to the wealth of the wealthiest 1%?” Ironically, it has been Democrats who are most guilty in seeking to carve out tax breaks for the wealthy. In the high-tax states that are almost exclusively Democrat controlled, their biggest objection to Republican tax reform is that it reduces the amount of state and local taxes (SALT) deductible on a federal tax return. As we previously noted, Democrats are out to protect their rich constituents from the effects of higher state and local taxes they themselves have created.

Democrats are not really “for the people.”

So who has gained the most from the GOP’s tax reform? The short answer: The Forgotten Man — middle-class and low-income workers toiling to make their lives better. As Grover Norquist and Alex Hendrie recently noted in The Hill, “Thanks to [tax reform], 90 percent of wage earners are seeing higher take-home pay. A family of four earning the median annual income $73,000 per year will see a 58 percent reduction in federal taxes, while a single parent with one child earning $41,000 will see a 73 percent reduction in federal taxes.”

And Tax Reform 2.0 does more to add to the middle- and low-income workers’ gains. As the Joint Economic Committee report highlights:

  • Taxpayers with incomes under $50,000 will see their share of the total federal tax burden drop from 4.2% to 3.9%.
  • Those with less than $10,000 in income will see their taxes slashed by more than half.
  • Average taxpayers with incomes between $10,000 and $20,000, a group that frequently claims refundable tax credits, will have no tax liability and receive an additional refund.
  • Millionaires will actually see their share of the total federal tax burden rise to 20.2%, compared to 19.6% if tax relief expires.
  • While taxpayers will enjoy an average 5.2% cut in their taxes, taxpayers that earn over $1 million will see a below-average reduction of 2.3%.

Republicans need to be banging this drum all the way to the midterms.

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Top Headlines

  • Mitch McConnell says Senate to vote on Brett Kavanaugh “this week” (The Washington Times)
  • Rachel Mitchell’s memo is damaging to Christine Blasey Ford’s case against Brett Kavanaugh (Washington Examiner)
  • White House authorizes FBI to expand Kavanaugh investigation (The Hill)
  • Kavanaugh won’t return to teach at Harvard Law School next semester (Townhall)
  • Soros-backed progressive activist group takes credit for Flake confrontation (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • Obama doesn’t list Ellison among endorsements in Minnesota races (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • In FY 2018: Debt up $1,271,158,167,127; Feds borrowed $8,172 per every American with a job (CNS News)
  • Study: Consequences cut illegal immigration (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • Amazon to set $15 minimum wage after Bernie Sanders attacks (Washington Examiner)
  • Humor: Mike Pence admits to heavy root beer drinking in high school (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: Not safe for kids: Fixing our broken child welfare system (American Enterprise Institute)
  • Policy: How public pension boards are making a crisis worse (Governing)

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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GOOD NEWS

Boy Who Can’t Play Outside Bonds With School Officer

Six-year-old Braylon Henson used to spend many of his recesses alone. The first-grader from Bay Minette, Alabama, has a form of a disease called ectodermal dysplasia and was born without sweat glands. So when his classmates are outside playing, Braylon often has to stay indoors. If it’s above 74 degrees, he runs the risk of overheating. But thanks to a new friend, Braylon doesn’t spend recess alone anymore. 

Henson formed an unlikely friendship with School Resource Officer Ronald Saladin.

For more, visit CBS News.

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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

Out With NAFTA, in With USMCA

Lewis Morris

The United States and Canada reached a trade agreement moments before the Sept. 30 deadline, establishing a new North American trade pact between those countries and Mexico. The trade agreement will be renamed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), ditching the NAFTA title that has been used since 1994.

Renaming the agreement allows President Donald Trump to be able to say that he shredded NAFTA in favor of a better trade deal, and indeed the new pact looks to be a worthy if not really revolutionary replacement to its predecessor. So far, Mexico and Canada both seem to agree with Trump that this is an improvement on the old trade pact.

But how different is it? Investor’s Business Daily notes that markets reacted “with a sigh of relief,” adding that’s “not because it’s a radical shift from the flawed former North American Free Trade Agreement, but because it isn’t.”

That isn’t to say there aren’t good provisions. The USMCA will be reviewed every six years, which negotiators say will institute strict accountability among the three nations. The pact also includes provisions not seen in NAFTA that address intellectual property, digital assets, corruption, and regulatory practices.

Meanwhile, Canada will allow U.S. farmers more access to its dairy market, formerly a sticking point in negotiations. In return, Canada (and Mexico) will be protected from any current and future U.S. automotive tariffs. Earlier this year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had dug in his heels on Trump’s calls for a new trade deal, but he changed his tune when Trump pivoted and announced a bilateral trade deal with Mexico in late August.

“USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a joint statement. “It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home.”

Leaders from the three nations are expected to sign the trade accord in the next 60 days. After that it goes to the U.S. Senate for approval, and it would take effect in 2020.

Trump’s opponents have railed against his economic policies, including his vow to scrap NAFTA and replace it with a better trade deal. Yet, once again, he’s done just what he said he would do. Trump took heat in the press for claiming that NAFTA destroyed millions of jobs and thousands of businesses in the U.S. While American jobs and companies took a lot of hits during the NAFTA era, it’s difficult to determine whether NAFTA was the cause of all the economic heartache that took place. In some ways yes, in some ways no.

Just the same, Trump’s dealmaking skills forced Mexico and Canada to rethink the old arrangement, and he has come up with something that, while not a game-changer, looks to be better for the U.S. and will make the North American trade bloc more competitive on the world stage.

“But wait,” says Gary Bauer. “There’s more! Lost in the Kavanaugh kerfuffle last week, President Trump signed a new trade agreement with South Korea. In addition, China just announced that it is slashing tariffs on more than 1,500 products, responding to pressure from the Trump administration to open its economy to more American goods.”

While much of the media misses this kind of chess, renegotiating NAFTA is only one move in Trump’s larger strategy to achieve fairer trade for the U.S. with North America, Europe, and China. It sure would seem that Trump’s practice of putting America first is paying off for the American worker.

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

OPINION IN BRIEF

Cal Thomas: “This is not a Monica Lewinsky case where there was forensic evidence from a blue dress stained with Bill Clinton’s DNA. This is about attempting to prove behavior, which Ford believes occurred (‘100 percent’) and Kavanaugh denies (‘100 percent’). There are as yet no corroborating witnesses. Here are some other things the FBI might look into. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) was confronted in an elevator by a woman named Ana Maria Archila. She claimed to have been sexually abused as a child but never told her parents. A CNN camera just happened to broadcast the moment live. Archila is the executive director for the Center for Popular Democracy, a liberal nonprofit advocacy group, which has received funding from the Open Society Foundations, underwritten by liberal activist George Soros, and the Democracy Alliance in which Soros is a member. Could Soros be behind this smear of Kavanaugh?”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Any one of the strange laws we suffer is a compromise between a fad and a vested interest.” —Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)

These accusations are literally on thin ice: “Kavanaugh is a gang rapist. Ok, not a gang rapist, but a serial rapist. Not a serial rapist, but a rapist. Ok, not a rapist, but a blackout drunk. Not a blackout drunk, but an alcoholic. Not an alcoholic, but he drinks beer. Ok, he just threw ice at somebody once in the 80s.” —Sean Davis

Inquiring minds want to know: “Should we be mad that MSNBC interviewed Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick and put her on camera, considering the implausibility of her claims? Or should we be pleasantly surprised that MSNBC pointed out all of the ways that her story doesn’t add up?” —Jim Geraghty

Speaking truth to power: “I consider you a part of the Democrat Party.” —Donald Trump to the media

Non Compos Mentis: “Overturning Roe v. Wade by an all male majority, two of whom have had credible accusations of sexual misconduct lodged against them, would not be a legitimate action, and that is the question of the court — legitimacy.” —ABC News’s Terry Moran

Braying Jackass: “If Senate GOP ignores Dr. Blasey Ford and tries to muscle an attempted rapist onto the Supreme Court: 1. They will pay dearly this November. 2. Senators up in 2020 (Collins, Gardner et al) will feel intense heat for next two years. 3. Kavanaugh will not serve for life.” —former Hillary Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon

Alpha Jackass: “Look at [this] chorus of entitled white men justifying a serial rapist’s arrogated entitlement. All of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes.” —Georgetown University professor Carol Christine Fair

And last… “If a leftist SCOTUS nominee was accused of rape, with eye witnesses, pictures and DNA evidence, we wouldn’t be hearing about it half as much as we’ve heard about Brett Kavanaugh throwing ice when he was drunk.” —Allie Beth Stuckey

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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