Mid-Day Digest

Nov. 9, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.” —John Adams (1797)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Democrats: Recounts and fraud may still help them win.
  • Rebutting media misinformation about the Thousand Oaks massacre.
  • Honoring American Veterans.
  • Daily Features: Columnists, Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, and Short Cuts.
  • Featured Analysis: The Founders’ vision of the federal government.

IN BRIEF

Vote Shenanigans in FL, While AZ Still Counting

Thomas Gallatin

A legal fight is brewing in Florida as Democrats seek to upend the Republican Senate win, while evidently Arizona still uses the Pony Express for transporting ballots, as a final vote total may still be days away.

When the Florida results came in late Tuesday evening, it seemed apparent that Republicans had won both a Senate seat and the governorship. In the race for governor, Andrew Gillum conceded to Rep. Ron DeSantis, as he was behind by 80,000 votes and mathematically eliminated from possible victory. The race between Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Senate incumbent Bill Nelson was tighter, with Scott holding a 60,000 vote lead by the end of the night. However, even though he was mathematically eliminated based on the initially reported overall vote totals, Nelson refused to concede defeat. Doing the math, Scott declared victory and went to bed.

Cue the Democrat shenanigans. In two of Florida’s bluest counties — Broward and Palm Beach — irregularities in reported vote totals began to emerge. Both counties’ Democrat election supervisors added tens of thousands of previously uncounted votes, and there is still no word yet on how many total votes were cast in either county, even three days after the election.

By Thursday, Scott filed lawsuits against Broward and Palm Beach County election supervisors demanding access to public records, including the total number of ballots cast and the number counted. “I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election from the great people of Florida,” Scott stated. Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) posted video footage appearing to show ballot boxes in Broward County being transported in private vehicles. Rubio noted, “This violates all chain of custody requirements for paper ballots,” adding, “has anyone in local media looked into this claim or asked elections dept. about it?”

Scott and Rubio have good reason to be ringing the alarm bells over potential voting fraud, as Broward County election supervisor Brenda Snipes has a history of questionable behavior. In 2016, a judge ruled that Snipes broke state and federal laws by destroying ballots. In August of this year, Snipes was ordered by the court not to open mail-in ballots in secret or before the county’s three-member canvassing board could meet to determine a ballot’s validity. So it’s beginning to look like legal fights may come into play before all is decided in Florida. Sound familiar?

Meanwhile in Arizona, things aren’t looking good for Republican Senate candidate Martha McSally, who now finds herself down by more than 9,000 votes to Arizona-hating Democrat Kyrsten Sinema as the vote numbers continue to trickle in. Evidently, there are still 400,000 votes yet to be counted, but some have suggested they are coming from areas that favor Sinema. We may not know until Monday who won the Senate race. We hope this ridiculously slow vote-counting process will push the state to develop a more efficient system.

So it’s possible that, if everything goes Democrats’ way in Florida and Arizona, Republicans will have picked up just one Senate seat. That could have serious ramifications for judicial nominations and most specifically a potential Supreme Court nominee, as it would give Republicans little wiggle room. This is precisely why Dems are fighting so hard for seats.

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Another Mass Murder and More Media Misinformation

Nate Jackson

On Wednesday night, the nation endured yet another horrific mass murder, this one perpetrated by a mentally ill Marine veteran with a pistol in Thousand Oaks, California. He killed 12 innocent people at a bar, including a responding sheriff’s sergeant, before taking his own life.

We opted to let the story develop yesterday before comment, but today we find we must once again set the record straight against those who would use the deaths of innocents for political gain.

The Associated Press reports, “[He] joined the Marines at 18 and was married as a 19-year-old in Honolulu in June 2009, according to military and court records. His military service lasted nearly five years, and he was honorably discharged with the rank of corporal in 2013, the Pentagon said. He was part of the infantry, responsible for hauling and shooting machine guns.” He also was deployed to Afghanistan for seven months in 2011, which is when his marriage fell apart.

Unfortunately, he likely suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, if not other things. Yet the assailant somehow passed a mental health assessment — or at least the specialist brought in by authorities to evaluate him after he caused a domestic disturbance concluded he could not be involuntarily committed for treatment. And he was still able to legally purchase a firearm.

As for that firearm, the mainstream media is up to its usual misinformation campaign. According to Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean, the assailant used a .45 caliber Glock 21 with “an extended magazine.” We still don’t know how many rounds that magazine could hold, but California law limits capacity to 10 rounds. We also know that mass murders at Columbine and Virginia Tech happened despite the killers using mostly 10-round magazines.

Media reports often refer to standard-capacity magazines as “high capacity,” however, and other reports claimed it was a “high-powered” handgun, just like they do any time an AR-15 is used. Leftists routinely use deliberate but meaningless hyperbole to make these massacres even scarier for people who don’t know anything about guns, and then they push emotionally driven bans on certain demonized firearms based on dishonest rhetoric.

The fact that this shooting occurred in California, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, didn’t stop California (and other) Democrats from making a soap box out of caskets. Likely incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said gun control “will be a priority for us going into the next Congress,” because more such laws, she claims, “will save many lives.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein insisted, “Some will say California’s strong gun laws didn’t prevent this shooting, but without stronger federal gun regulations, there’s little California can do to keep guns coming in from other states.” She then proceeded to list the Democrat grab bag of gun-control fantasies, none of which would have done a thing to stop the massacre in Thousand Oaks.

Finally, as we often point out, there are more than 40 murders in this nation every day, most of which happen on Democrat-run urban poverty plantations. Roughy a third of those murders are committed without a firearm at all.

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Honoring American Veterans

Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of Veterans Day.

Above all the rancorous political tensions this week, Mark Alexander reminds us in “The Right to Vote, Guaranteed by Patriot Veterans,” that American Liberty is not ensured by politicians; it is and has always been sustained by generations of American Patriots in uniform, who honor their oaths “to support and defend” our Constitution with their lives. It is to them we owe our deepest gratitude.

“Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.” —Gen. Douglas MacArthur

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.” —Army Veteran Charles M. Province

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” —John 15:12-14

We invite you pause and read our Veterans Day profile, and contemplate their service and sacrifice under our national banner.

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ON THE WEB TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP HEADLINES

  • Illegal border crossers now ineligible for asylum, White House says (Fox News)
  • Federal appeals court rules against Trump administration effort to end DACA program (USA Today)
  • The Left won’t celebrate these history-making Republican women, so we will (The Federalist)
  • Mueller’s team has started writing its final report (The Hill)
  • Federal judge temporarily blocks Keystone Pipeline construction (Townhall)
  • The welfare generation: 51.7% of kids in 2017 lived in households getting government assistance (CNS News)
  • Antifa expands its hit list as political violence escalates (The Washington Times)
  • Three million have fled Venezuela’s socialist crisis (Washington Examiner)
  • New U.S. sanctions on Iran omit half of entities tied to Tehran’s terror-tied fighting force (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • Humor: Democrats, Republicans vow not to learn any lessons from the election (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: We don’t know how to stop mass shootings (National Review)
  • Policy: Amazon’s “‘HQ2” ruse exposes the folly of state tax incentives (Investor’s Business Daily)

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.

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Not the Founders’ Vision of Congress and the Presidency

Brian Mark Weber

With most — but not all — of the midterm dust having settled, Democrats have won at least 30 House seats and will take the speaker’s gavel when the new Congress convenes in January. Despite this, Republicans made important gains in the Senate — even if their seeming wins in Arizona and Florida are now in jeopardy of being overturned.

Oddly, the day after the election, there was little talk of the emerging Democrat majority in the House.

Instead, President Donald Trump hosted an epic 90-minute press conference in the White House, during which he fielded dozens of questions and engaged in presidential theater the likes of which few have seen. He even claimed a Republican victory in the midterms, thereby taking some of the wind out of Democrat sails.

Rarely has a political party ever won such an important electoral victory that felt more like a stinging defeat. But that’s the state of contemporary American politics, in which congressional elections are characterized by the media as referendums on the sitting president.

So much for the old adage that all politics is local. Politics today is a national affair, but why?

As Jay Cost writes at National Review, “The rise of mass communications and the growth of federal power during the 20th century created the mammoth executive office that now exists. The president draws the attention of the people toward him and away from Congress, the courts, and the states. So even though Congress remains at the center of constitutional government, it is the president who dominates public opinion. It is in this way that the president can influence Congress so enormously.”

Cost’s analysis has some merit, but it also misses some important points. For example, one of the reasons why the presidency draws so much attention is that Congress has abdicated its own authority to check the executive’s power.

Jim Fossel explains at The Press Herald said, “The president starts wars and signs international agreements on his own, and the opposition party grumbles, but rarely offers any serious oversight. Instead, they use their grumbling to motivate their base, then turn around and do the exact same thing once they get the Oval Office back in their hands.”

How convenient. Members of Congress no longer have the courage to fight for anything, but they then blame the president when things go awry. That’s how republics become dictatorships, but in this case the House and Senate are intentionally empowering the presidency.

Another factor, of course, is the media. Fossel adds, “This is reflected in the growing tendency of the press to report breathlessly on everything the current occupant of the Oval Office does on a day-to-day basis, even if it’s not particularly relevant to policy or governance. This has had a corrosive effect on our culture at large, as the country has become more divided with each administration, and everything — from sports to entertainment to technology — is viewed these days through a political lens. It’s thanks to the prevalence of the president in our socio-political lives that the country is increasingly split into two political tribes that value loyalty to their party (or, indeed, to one person) above all else.”

Sure, President Trump himself contributes to the political circus with his odd-hour Twitter barrages and banal press-conference controversies, but the media invariably takes the bait and gives him outsized attention while virtually ignoring Congress. Congressional candidates, too, could help out by not nationalizing their campaigns.

None of this is good for a constitutional republic, and our Founders didn’t envision this for our country. For two centuries, Congress asserted its authority to declare war, approve budgets, and serve as a check on the power of the presidency. In the last 50 years, however, Congress has established a pattern of deferring to the president on too many important matters.

As Paul Kane and Derek Willis at The Washington Post lament, the Congress of our Founders now “functions more as a junior partner to the executive, or doesn’t function at all when it comes to the country’s pressing priorities.” Sure, Congress has always been criticized for moving too slowly on legislation, but that’s what the Founders wanted in order to prevent the national government from becoming too powerful.

What the Founders did not want — in fact, greatly feared — is a Congress unwilling to perform its basic constitutional duties while bowing low to an imperial presidency.

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The Price of Liberty

On Sunday we pause to honor American Veterans. These Patriots form the heart and soul of The Patriot Post’s Mission of Service to our Armed Forces.

The Patriot Post, under the able leadership of many veterans now serving with our National Advisory Committee and editorial team, has become one of the nation’s leading advocates for our Armed Forces and their mission — by providing millions of Americans with the right perspective on that mission and the demanding tasks our military personnel have carried out with pride. It is for that reason that we request no financial support from our military readers around the world, opting instead to provide our publications and resources to them as a small token of our gratitude for their service.

Today we are asking for your support to ensure that The Patriot Post’s encouraging message of Liberty reaches an ever-wider audience of military Patriots and their families. We have just a few short weeks left to raise the remaining half of our annual operating budget. Please make a secure online donation toward The Patriot Fund’s Year-End Campaign today. Thank you for your support. —Mark Alexander, Publisher

OPINION IN BRIEF

Hans von Spakovsky: “There is no question that Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who was fired Wednesday — had a rocky relationship with President Donald Trump, tied to Sessions’ recusal from the investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. But Sessions’ firing on orders of Trump should not diminish the fact that Sessions’ very commendable leadership over the past two years has helped restore the integrity of the Justice Department and get it back in the business of enforcing the law. … Jeff Sessions put the nation’s largest and most powerful law enforcement agency back on course, enforcing the law and administering justice in an impartial, objective, and nonpartisan manner. For that, we should all be thankful.”

SHORT CUTS

What happened to the “Sessions is a right-wing extremist” narrative? “Jeff Sessions’ firing at the hands of the President is an alarming development that brings us one step closer to a constitutional crisis.” —Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)

Friendly fire: “CNN stopped doing news a long time ago. … There [were] vicious winds and storms in the Northeast the other day, not covered on any of the three cable networks. Not covered. So when CNN started covering Trump — they were the first — they covered every speech he made and then they made Trump the story. So, Trump is the story in America. I guess it’s to their regret.” —former CNN host Larry King

Race bait: “I think you know there are a lot of white folks out there who are not necessarily racist who felt uncomfortable for the first time in their lives about whether or not they wanted to vote for an African-American.” —Bernie Sanders on elections in Georgia and Florida, though he must have missed that Barack Obama was elected president twice


Dumb and dumber:

“I don’t think people are ready for the crisis that will follow if Democrats win the House popular vote but not the majority. After Kavanaugh, Trump, Garland, Citizens United, Bush v. Gore, etc, the party is on the edge of losing faith in the system (and reasonably so).” —Vox’s Ezra Klein

“Republicans lost the popular vote in Senate races by over 15 percentage points, but still gained two seats. Our country is not a democracy.” —Salon’s Amanda Marcotte

“There won’t be free and fair elections in the United States until the Senate is abolished.” —ThinkProgress’ Ian Millhiser

“Democrats have a 12-point lead in the overall popular vote for the Senate and have lost three seats.” —Evan Hill


Non Compos Mentis: “What I saw was a battery, not by Jim Acosta, but by the young White House aide.” —"The View" co-host Sunny Hostin

And last… “A presidential press conference, no matter who is president, is a forum to ask questions as tough as you like, but don’t argue. And you get one chance, maybe one followup. Your colleagues are waiting their turns. Show them some respect and the president. It’s not about you.” —Brit Hume

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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