The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest
“It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.” —James Madison (1788)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- An alarmist emissions report and the American response.
- Trump goes postal, recommends big changes to the USPS.
- Daily Features: On the Web, Columnists, Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Opinion in Brief, and Short Cuts.
- Featured Analysis: Trivializing elections California style.
“We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change,” UN Secretary General António Guterres declared at the UN climate conference in Poland this week. He added, “It is hard to overstate the urgency of our situation. Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption.” What exactly the “havoc across the world” caused by “devastating climate change” actually was, he didn’t elaborate on.
It is exactly this type of hyperbolic pontificating — which relies on dubious computer-simulated climate models that have never accurately predicted the future global climate — that causes so many logically minded individuals to simply roll their eyes at the absurdity. We have less than 10 years left to prevent catastrophe, the climate alarmists declare. Wait, wasn’t New York City supposed to be underwater due to completely melted polar ice caps by now? What are alarmists going to be telling us 10 years from now?
Of course, global warming is all the fault of
mankind people, because of human activity leading to increased levels of carbon dioxide. Never mind the fact that carbon dioxide only accounts for 0.04% of earth’s atmospheric gasses and that water vapor is a bigger contributor to the planet’s climate. And don’t focus on the primary source of earth’s temperatures, the sun, because, well, human activity can’t be blamed for what’s happening on the surface of the sun. No, we’re supposed to ignore all these greater, vastly more significant factors that most directly contribute to global temperatures and instead blame human industry, made that much more efficient by capitalism. Destroying free-market capitalism is the real agenda.
Indeed, limiting human industrial freedom that capitalism unlocks is exactly what the Paris climate agreement aimed to accomplish. It’s a wealth-redistribution scheme covered in the veneer of “science” and concern for preventing “catastrophic climate change,” as if limiting capitalistic enterprise and promoting the politics of globalist socialism is the only solution to a “problem” that alarmists continue to get wrong.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency plans to roll back Barack Obama’s coal-killing environmental regulations. The EPA’s new proposed coal-plant-emissions standard would allow up to 1,900 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour, which is up from Obama’s 1,400 limit. As Reuters notes, “That Obama rule would have forced new plants to install carbon capture equipment that is not yet commercially available.” Which is why Obama’s rule effectively killed coal-powered plants.
Despite all this fearmongering, it is the U.S. — not a signatory to the Paris agreement like the rest of the world’s emitters — that is leading the world in reducing emissions. Keep that in mind the next time we’re told we’re not doing enough.
The task force created by President Donald Trump to find ways to turn around the U.S. Postal Service from 12 straight years of financial loss has issued its report, entitled “United States Postal Service: A Sustainable Path Forward.” After creating the task force back in April, Trump criticized Amazon, suggesting that the retail giant wasn’t paying enough for the services it received from the USPS. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The report, produced by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, notes that since 2007 the USPS has lost a net $69 billion, and if changes are not made to the current model, it’s expected to lose tens of billions more in the coming decade. The report asserts that the USPS is on an unsustainable financial path: “[Its] business model — including its governance, product pricing, cost allocation, and labor practices — was sustainable in an era where mail revenues and volumes grew alongside population and economic growth. However, as the USPS’s financial conduction continues to deteriorate, standalone proposals, such as forgiving the prefunding of post-employment benefits or renegotiating labor contracts, will be insufficient.”
In other words, the USPS is essentially operating as if it were still in the pre-Internet days, and, as a result, it has become financially unsustainable. The largest source of revenue for the USPS is the delivery of First-Class mail, which has declined in volume by 42% since 2007. That decline is, of course, due to a major communications shift to online technology. Meanwhile, even though the USPS’s package volume has increased to 40% of the overall market, that hasn’t been enough to make up the lost revenue from the steadily shrinking mail volume.
Prices need to rise to meet services rendered, the report asserts: “Although the USPS does have pricing flexibility within its package delivery segment, packages have not been priced with profitability in mind. The USPS should have the authority to charge market-based prices for both mail and package items that are not deemed ‘essential services.’” This is where Trump’s accusations against Amazon not paying fair market value to the USPS for its shipping services come into play.
The Package Coalition — a group of online retailers of which Amazon is the largest member — responded to the report with concern that “by raising prices and depriving Americans of affordable delivery services, the Postal Task Force’s package delivery recommendations would harm consumers, large and small businesses, and especially rural communities.”
Finally, one of the task force’s recommendations that has already raised the most vehement opposition is the call to essentially gut the USPS’s labor union. The report notes that the “USPS’ dual-labor model — combining private sector collective bargaining law with government employee compensation law — creates unsustainable labor costs. USPS employee rights should be more closely aligned with other federal employee rights by eliminating collective bargaining over compensation.” The report adds, “USPS employees should not be afforded protections and rights not enjoyed by other federal employees.”
One thing is clear: Americans will end up paying more for mail service either with higher mailing and shipping costs or through a government bailout paid by taxpayers.
ON THE WEB TODAY
- Subsidies for ‘Renewables’ on Chopping Block? — President Trump threatened cuts, which highlights the manifold problems with such cronyism.
- Video: Liberals Dumb Down Speech When Talking to Blacks — But guess who actually treats everyone equally, regardless of skin color?
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Note from the Editor
Here at The Patriot Post, part of our core mission is to expose the very real collusion between the Democrats and their MSM propagandists. From day one back in 1996, chief among our objectives was to dislodge the mainstream media’s monopoly stranglehold on public opinion. Incredibly, this work has been made possible ever since thanks solely to the financial generosity of Patriots like you. The deadline to raise funding for our daily operations budget into the third quarter is quickly approaching — we have some ground to cover to reach that goal, with approximately $135,000 left to raise. If you find our editions useful, please
- Navy will perform unprecedented 21-fighter flyover for George H.W. Bush’s Texas funeral (USNI News)
- Nineteen-year-old Honduran woman in migrant caravan scales border wall to give birth in U.S. after 2,000-mile trip (Fox News)
- Mexico is breaking records for importing natural gas from the States (Hot Air)
- EPA to roll back carbon rule on new coal plants (Reuters)
- France’s Macron scraps fuel tax after protests (Associated Press)
- Federal court upholds New Jersey gun-control law limiting high-capacity magazines (NBC News)
- Massachusetts governor ignores court order to reinstate gun permits (Bearing Arms)
- Facebook let some companies exploit users’ friends data, UK email dump alleges (CBS News)
- “VeggieTales” is “racist” and “dangerous” for children, California students claim (Fox News)
- Humor: “VeggieTales” producers apologize for episode where Larry the Cucumber joins the KKK (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: Direct primary care can rein in our out-of-control health care costs (Washington Examiner)
- Policy: There is a way for affirmative action to become constructive and fair; its practitioners won’t like it (Washington Examiner)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
“A 9-year-old boy has convinced the leaders of a small northern Colorado town to overturn a nearly century-old ban on snowball fights, and he already knows whom his first target will be — his little brother. Dane Best, who lives in the often snow-swept town of Severance, presented his arguments at a town board meeting Monday night, and members voted unanimously to lift the ban.”
Nothing says America like active citizens and snowball fights.
For more, visit the New York Post.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column
Read Tailwinds and Following Seas, President Bush. “There is a God and He is good, and His love, while free, has a self-imposed cost: We must be good to one another.” —GHWB
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Two years ago in California, an act known as AB-1921, amending Section 3017 of the Elections Code, was signed in to law by Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown. It legalized a process known as “ballot harvesting.” Republicans weren’t prepared for the change. Thus, all seven of California’s House districts won by Hillary Clinton but held by the GOP going into the 2018 election were won by Democrats, including District 21, where Democrat T. J. Cox ultimately defeated Republican incumbent David Valadao in the last uncalled race in the nation.
Prior to the change, voters unable to return their vote by mail ballot could designate a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, or person residing in the same household as the vote-by-mail voter to return it. The new law allows any third party — even a paid political campaign operative — to collect and return the ballots.
At the time, Democrats promoted the change as a public service, with the bill’s author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), insisting the old requirements “simply provide yet another obstacle for individuals attempting to vote.” Republicans disagreed, but in a state dominated by Democrats, the legislation passed on a mostly party line vote.
In the process, “Election Day” became an anachronism. “A stunning five million ballots, or more than 40 percent of the overall total, were counted after Nov. 6,” the VC Star reported Dec. 2. In the former GOP stronghold of Orange County, “The number of Election Day vote-by-mail dropoffs was unprecedented — over 250,000,” GOP Party Chairman Fred Whitaker stated in a note to supporters.
Such extended counting produced stunning results. GOP candidate Young Kim, who enjoyed a 14-point lead in polling prior to the election, had an 8,000 vote lead over her Democrat opponent, Gil Cisneros, on election night and the following day. Her victory seemed so assured that she even attended orientation events for freshmen members of Congress. But as the ballots continued to pour in her lead shrank and ultimately evaporated.
California’s results captured the attention of outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), arguably the foremost example of the adage “addition by subtraction” in a party still besieged by far too many milquetoast members. “The way the absentee-ballot program used to work, and the way it works now — it seems pretty loosey goose,” Ryan stated. “When you have candidates who win the absentee ballot vote and then lose three weeks later because of provisionals, that’s really bizarre. I just think that’s a very, very strange outcome.”
Yet staying true to form, Ryan insisted he didn’t see “anything nefarious” regarding the election’s outcome, adding he would not ask California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to investigate.
Even so, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla was incensed by Ryans comments. “It shouldn’t ‘defy logic’ that elections officials are meticulous in counting every eligible ballot,” said the man who won’t cooperate with voter fraud investigations, allow independent inspection of election results, or open up voter rolls. “California works to ensure every ballot is counted properly and every ballot is accounted for. In the most populous state in the nation — and the state with the largest number of registered voters — this takes time. In California, we believe in an inclusive and accessible democracy. We provide voters as many opportunities as possible to cast their ballots.”
Opportunities ripe for fraud. The state’s Motor Voter law registers to vote virtually everyone who interacts with the DMV. In September, the LA Times revealed 23,000 people had been incorrectly registered. In October, the paper added another 1,500 people to the total, including illegal residents, minors, and ineligible felons.
California also has a Conditional Voter Registration process that allows one to vote and cast a ballot on the same day — a provisional ballot process that allows voting by people who show up at the incorrect polling location or have changed their minds about voting by mail. The latter is thanks to a law that allows counties to send every voter a mail-in ballot, whether they requested one or not, and one that permits ballots to be accepted up to a week after Election Day, provided they are postmarked by then. And just 50 days before the election, Gov. Brown signed Senate Bill 759, requiring elections officials to notify every voter whose ballot was rejected because of a mismatched signature.
Furthermore, thousands of felons have also been enfranchised courtesy of California’s radical criminal-justice agenda, whereby numerous crimes were downgraded from felonies to misdemeanors. The state also allows felons to vote while still on parole, and has precipitated early prison releases that enable it as well.
Columnist Monica Showalter asserts that ballot harvesting puts “non-committed voters, or voters with no opinions, or low-information voters” on a par with committed and informed voters. She explains, “Now there’s no commitment needed, no effort — just that paper ballot sitting on the kitchen table and that helpful Democratic ‘service’ come to selectively harvest it for Democrats, leaving those Republican-registered ballots still there on the table.”
Republicans can fight back, but it’s beside the point. Election Day has become election month, and California isn’t the only state that has elevated convenience to the point of absurdity. It’s time Americans realized that nothing better accrues to the interests of a ruling class with visions of permanent power than trivializing one of the foremost responsibilities of good citizenship.
Ballot harvesting is the essence of such trivialization.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Cal Thomas: “Moments like the ceremonies for George H.W. Bush offer opportunities for serious introspection. As Barbara Bush said in her Wellesley [College] speech: ‘At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent.’ The number of ‘formers’ at the Capitol on Monday and the memorial service on Wednesday and some ‘currents’ who will be formers soon enough offer a lesson worth pondering before the engines of political power fire up again. If not in politics, where does real power come from? The answer was suggested in the film, ‘Chariots of Fire,’ in which the character portraying Scottish runner Eric Liddell said, ‘It comes from within.’ It surely doesn’t come from Washington, which lacks the power to fix itself.”
Upright: “The respect you get is usually the respect you earn, and the Bush family put on a public rite of national mourning that reflected well on the character of their father and the entire Bush clan, and gave the country a moment of shared respect it desperately needs.” —The Wall Street Journal
For the record: “Two of Kim [Jong-un]‘s missile bases up in the mountains are not only failing to be dismantled but show signs of ongoing work to expand them. … The fact remains that North Korea’s dictator cannot be trusted. He’s a snake oil salesman of the first order, on top of being a murderous tyrant. He and his family have made numerous promises to western powers over the past few decades and they’ve been shown to be unapologetic liars time and time again.” —Jazz Shaw
Belly laugh of the week: “Democrats have a really hard time … connecting to people’s hearts. … We have a really hard time doing that, and one of the reasons … is that we Democrats know so much that is true. We have to kind of tell everyone how smart we are, so we have a tendency to be very left brain and we think, this — really, that is not how people make decisions.” —Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) (“The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” —Ronald Reagan)
Braying Jackass: “I don’t think I would shake hands with [Donald Trump]. … I would just — nope, couldn’t do it. I’m not that big a person. … [The Obamas] showed the ultimate respect for the office. They do not have to show respect for someone who does not respect them.” —CNN’s Don Lemon pontificating on the camaraderie at Bush’s funeral
Alpha Jackass: “Donald Trump is the only person in the world who can bring down a funeral.” —Stephen Colbert
And last… “41: Bush is a lying warmonger for oil! 43: Bush is a lying warmonger for oil, and also Hitler! 45: Why can’t Trump be more like Bush.” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher