“No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffusd and Virtue is preservd. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauchd in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.” —Samuel Adams (1775)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Russia manipulated social media, but Democrats undermined the election.
- Jeff Flake’s lasting legacy is now one of pandering and anti-Trump obstruction.
- Daily Features: On the Web, Columnists, Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Opinion in Brief, and Short Cuts.
- Featured Analysis: Government Doesn’t Shut Down — It’s on Autopilot
Sometimes rehearsing history is the only way to keep the 24/7 media churn in perspective. In 2016, Hillary Clinton and the DNC funded the phony dossier on Donald Trump that kicked off the whole “collusion with Russia” fiasco. As part of this opposition-research-as-intelligence scheme, Clinton’s corrupt cronies tipped off Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff, who was among the first to report on the dossier. Clinton then referred to “media reports” on the stump so she could smear her opponent. Former FBI Director James Comey, the Clinton partisan hack who now says he bears no responsibility for the diminished credibility of the FBI, slyly used the dossier and other flimsy “evidence” including Isikoff’s report as justification to launch surveillance of Trump’s campaign and then Robert Mueller’s probe. Other Barack Obama hacks like former CIA Director John Brennan also played key roles.
Fast-forward two long years swamped with investigations and Democrat efforts to undermine Americans’ faith in our election integrity, and Isikoff now says many of the claims in the dossier “will never be proven and are likely false.” But why worry about facts when there’s an elected president to undermine? After all, Isikoff still insists the dossier author, Christopher Steele, “was clearly onto something” regarding “a major Kremlin effort to interfere in our elections” and help Trump.
That latter point brings us to the latest story from The Washington Post: “A report prepared for the Senate that provides the most sweeping analysis yet of Russia’s disinformation campaign around the 2016 election found the operation used every major social media platform to deliver words, images and videos tailored to voters’ interests to help elect President Trump — and worked even harder to support him while in office.”
The Post reported on the study and then gleefully editorialized that it is now indisputable that Russia supported Trump. Is it? Not so fast.
It may be true that Russians targeted the American electorate with messages supporting Trump, and we agree with the WaPo that “this foreign intervention [is] absolutely intolerable.” (It was also intolerable when Democrats sought Soviet help to defeat Ronald Reagan in 1984.) But to think a spate of social-media posts containing thoughts already widely reflected among voters somehow swung the 2016 election — much less that Trump was complicit in it — strains credulity. In fact, we in our humble shop have always believed Russian interference boiled down to this: The Kremlin, along with nearly everyone else, assumed Hillary Clinton would win in 2016, and thus sought to sow discord among American voters that would then weaken an already reset-compromised Clinton, with whom Moscow would rather deal.
That the Russians succeeded beyond their wildest dreams is an indictment of Democrats, Obama “intelligence” hacks, and the Leftmedia, not of Trump.
There are currently 126 vacancies in U.S. district courts and the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals. Back in July 2016, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) warned of a “vacancy crisis,” and yet thanks to the partisan obstructionist tactics of his party, that crisis has now increased by 52%. The Daily Signal notes, “We’re in the longest period of triple-digit vacancies in 25 years.”
We have repeatedly exposed the Democrats’ obstructionist tactics as they have sought to prevent President Donald Trump from filling as many of these judicial vacancies as possible. However, as this lame-duck session of the Senate comes to a close, it has been a Republican who is most to blame. Departing Sen. Jeff Flake (AZ) has made the obstruction of Trump’s judicial nominees his lasting legacy. Couched in his ridiculous demand that legislation be voted on that would prevent Trump from ending Robert Mueller’s investigation, Flake has thrown up roadblocks to Trump’s picks, hampering Americans’ ability to access their judiciary.
Flake and Senate Democrats are doing long-term damage to America’s judiciary, all out of a desire to pander to the Left. Hopefully, with Flake gone and a larger majority, Senate Republicans can make up lost ground and get Trump’s nominees confirmed at a rapid pace.
ON THE WEB TODAY
- Number of Criminal Illegals Arrested Increased 11% in FY2018 — Arrests of murderers, sex offenders, drug dealers, and others proves Trump’s general assessment true.
- Why the National Enquirer Probe Threatens Free Speech — There is actually a bigger issue when it comes to editorial decisions: The First Amendment.
- Video: Heritage Big Ideas on Health Care — Most Americans agree that the health care system is in need of an overhaul.
The deadline to meet The Patriot Post’s operations budget needs into 2019 is quickly approaching, and we are asking for your help to finish strong. For more than 22 years, The Patriot Post has been completely supported by Patriots like you. Please help keep us front and center in the battle for Liberty and
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
- “Real” witches say they’re offended that Trump keeps calling the Mueller investigation a “witch hunt” (The Daily Wire)
- Michael Flynn sentencing marks keystone moment in Mueller investigation (The Hill)
- Comey denies responsibility for decline in FBI’s reputation (National Review)
- ICE: 158,581 illegals arrested in FY2018; 1,641 had homicide convictions, and 1,294 had kidnap convictions (CNS News)
- Martha McSally will be appointed to John McCain’s Senate seat (The Arizona Republic)
- Tennessee GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander announces retirement (Fox News)
- Here are the six most corrupt congressmen of 2018 (The Daily Caller)
- “Unscrupulous politicians” help drive worst year on record for journalist killings (USA Today)
- CBS denies former CEO Les Moonves, an accused sexual deviant, $120 million severance (Associated Press)
- Humor: “Beware of Trump: Keep Out” signs placed along border (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: Corporate welfare is small-scale central planning (Foundation for Economic Education)
- Policy: Canada’s impending gun ban: Three lessons for the U.S. (National Review)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
Cleveland resident Oliviah Hall has been battling a brain tumor since 2017. At the age of nine, Oliviah was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade IV.
Oliviah was able to meet president Trump during the president’s midterm election swing through Ohio, where she took a picture with him. The president eventually signed the photo and inscribed it with the words, “I love you, President Trump,” and also gave Oliviah a challenge coin.
The photo was then hand-delivered by U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Jon Schuck once he received the signed photo.
Read more at The Daily Caller.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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Unless one side or the other blinks — and it appears the White House has — the federal government is headed for a shutdown on Dec. 21 at midnight. At the heart of this latest funding fight is a dispute over national sovereignty. President Donald Trump wants $5 billion for border security, part of it to begin construction on the border wall. One would think that funding would be a slam dunk after the recent migrant caravasion at the U.S.-Mexico border, and given Democrats’ history of support for the wall.
Now, however, Democrats live to defy what was once common sense as well as stymy national priorities because of their Trump Derangement Syndrome. As we reported last week, they keep moving the goal post on the border-funding debate, coming back with lower and lower budget numbers. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are now offering just $1.3 billion in border-security funding, with none of it earmarked for the wall.
At the Oval Office meeting, President Trump proudly declared he would own any government shutdown that results from the Democrats’ bad faith negotiating. This may sound like traditional Trump grandstanding, but the president knows as well as the rest of us that Republicans always get blamed for shutdowns thanks to the Demo-owned and operated media. Might as well proudly own it and explain why.
Just what kind of shutdown will Republicans be blamed for this time around? How bad will the damage be? Well, we won’t be seeing national monuments barricaded like when Barack Obama petulantly made a shutdown as politically painful as possible in 2013.
In fact, despite what Democrats and the media will say, this impending shutdown will not be nearly as disruptive as previous ones. For starters, the government is already 75% funded through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2019. This includes the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor, Energy, and Veterans Affairs. Only $314 billion of the government’s $1.24 trillion discretionary budget is still pending.
Homeland Security, Transportation, and Justice, among some other departments, remain unfunded. But airport-security personnel will still be on duty over the holidays, as essential workers are mandated to work through shutdowns. They’ll just have to wait until Congress returns to work to get their paychecks.
In fact, The Washington Times reports, “More than 400,000 essential government employees could be forced to stay on the job throughout a government shutdown — even if they’d already planned to take holiday vacations. A quirk of federal law says paid leave is considered government spending, and since no unauthorized spending can happen during a funding lapse, no one can take vacation.”
It’s an absolute myth that federal workers are not paid for working through a shutdown. Paychecks in some cases may be withheld, but full salaries are restored with retroactive pay once shutdowns conclude. The issue here is that this potential shutdown would come during the holiday season.
Another reason that a potential shutdown won’t be as painful as we are led to believe is because a vast majority of federal spending is on autopilot. In 2015, $3.2 trillion of the $3.7 trillion the federal government spent did not require any authorization by Congress.
As part of Congress’s long-term goal of divesting its responsibilities so its members can focus solely on reelection, legislators have set up “permanent appropriations” to automatically set spending levels for entitlements like Social Security and Medicare and also for wealth transfers via Medicaid and welfare. Federal agencies have been given power by Congress to spend money without legislative approval.
This trend has grown dramatically, with autopilot spending rising 87% since 1994. With no one minding the store on 86% of federal spending, it should come as no surprise that we have trillion-dollar annual deficits and a $22 trillion debt.
The media could focus on this and the fact that our elected members of Congress are shirking their constitutionally mandated responsibilities to the detriment of the country’s future. Blaming everything on President Trump is much easier, though. Better luck next shutdown.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Cal Thomas: “How many Boy Scouts must suffer abuse before someone at the top of the BSA organization admits they made a mistake by opening the door so wide it became inevitable that some very bad people would enter? How many more children will suffer before BSA admits they did not do their due diligence? Some of the alleged abuses go back to the ‘60s, according to The Wall Street Journal, but that is precisely where the rending of American culture began. The cultural decline was facilitated by court rulings banning prayer and Bible reading in public schools and the Playboy philosophy of Hugh Hefner and his counterpart, Helen Gurley Brown, who told female readers of Cosmopolitan magazine they could be as promiscuous as men. Some scouts and scoutmasters have announced they are leaving or have already left the scouting program and have either aligned themselves with church programs or abandoned scouting altogether. If the Boy Scouts of America files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy their so-called leadership will have only themselves to blame. The last time I checked, a 'tolerance’ badge was not one of the awards Boy Scouts can earn. Given the lowering of standards in the scouting program, it should be no surprise that the Boy Scouts of America is headed for the ash heap that has claimed other ‘morally straight’ entities.”
For the record: “For $5 trillion we could feed everyone on the planet, end malaria, and provide clean water and reliable electricity to every remote village in Africa. And we would probably have enough money left over to find a cure for cancer and Alzheimer’s. The entire Apollo project to put a man on the moon cost less than $200 billion. We are spending twice that much every year on climate change. … The greatest minds of the world entrusted with hundreds of billions of dollars can only come up with a solution that would entail the largest government power grab in world history, shutting down industrial production (just look at the catastrophe in Germany when they went all in for green energy), and throwing perhaps billions of human beings into poverty? If that’s the remedy, I will take my chances on a warming planet.” —Stephen Moore
Nailed it: “[Democrats] want Trump to lose more than they want the country to win.” —Lindsey Graham
Non sequitur: “To all the trump supporters who follow me who I have no desire to spend my time blocking, indictments are not fake news. They are proof of criminal activity. These are facts. Everyone is the president’s circle is a criminal because they all work for one.” —Chelsea Handler
The BIG Lie: “The FBI’s reputation is taking a big hit because the president has lied about it constantly. A whole lot of people … believe that nonsense. That’s a tragedy that will be undone eventually, but that damage has nothing to do with me.” —James Comey insisting the scandalous actions of a few FBI senior staff under his direction have nothing to do with the FBI’s reputation
Braying Jackass: “President Trump should understand there are not the votes for the wall in the House or the Senate. He is not going to get the wall in any form.” —Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
And last… “Still trying to figure out why we can give $150 billion to Iran, a country that hates us, burns our flag, and funds terrorism, but [the president] can’t get $5 billion for the wall to secure our country.” —Charlie Kirk
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher