“Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks-no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea, if there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.” —James Madison (1788)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Trump failed to secure his border wall in the funding showdown.
- Tucker Carlson: Why The Patriot Post refuses advertising.
- Daily Features: On the Web, Columnists, Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Opinion in Brief, and Short Cuts.
- Featured Analysis: Florida Commission Votes to Arm Teachers
There’s no two ways about it — Democrats won the latest showdown with President Donald Trump on funding the border wall. Trump backed off his funding demands as Congress came to an agreement on a spending deal that averts a government shutdown. Once again, Trump has been thwarted on immigration policy. And fulfilling his signature campaign promise won’t get any easier with the House coming under the control of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) and her Democrat #Resistance army.
While the ultimate blame for failure to fund the border wall falls on Congress — specifically Republicans, who failed to use their majority to pass legislation — the lion’s share of this political defeat falls on the president.
The reason: Trump failed to follow through on his threat to play hardball last week when he boldly proclaimed to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and incoming House Speaker Pelosi, “I am proud to shut down the government for border security because the people of this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. So, I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it. The last time you shut it down, it didn’t work. I will take the mantle of shutting down.” Well, it now appears that Trump had second thoughts on taking up the shutdown “mantle.” It was an empty threat at that, which should be a lesson to him.
And to add insult to injury, the spending deal includes $10.6 billion in funds given to Mexico to help pay for its own border security. What happened to building a wall that Mexico would pay for? That said, as bad as the political optics of this look for Trump, it’s actually not a bad deal in terms of stemming the tide of illegal immigration at its source.
Finally, even from a minority position Democrats have been exceedingly effective in blocking Trump on a campaign issue that they themselves were in favor of a mere decade ago. At this point it’s hard to see Trump ever getting this wall.
This week, there was yet another example of why The Patriot Post has refused, since our inception, to take revenue from advertisers.
Tucker Carlson and Fox News are being boycotted by, among other corporate advertisers, IHOP, the United Explorer credit card, Just For Men, Jaguar Land Rover, Ancestry.com, and Voya Financial. That boycott is because of Carlson’s opposition to illegal immigration, and it’s typical of a growing trend in strong-arm tactics being used by Moveon.org, Media Matters, and other leftist organizations.
The most obvious evidence that The Patriot Post is not subject to such leftist extortion is that our homepage and editions are not cluttered with the often-offensive ads plastered on virtually all mainstream media news sites and in their emails.
However, there is a more subtle and far more invasive reason The Patriot Post refuses advertising requests: Depending on ad revenue adulterates editorial content and perspective. In short, it infringes on free speech.
As outlined on our Mission and Objective page, The Patriot Post’s budget is funded solely by the voluntary financial support of our fellow Patriots. We are not sustained by any political, special interest, or parent organization, and we do not accept advertising to ensure our advocacy and editorial content is not restrained by commercial influence.
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ON THE WEB TODAY
- Prison Reform Gets a Jailbreak — Even with some conservative opposition, the bill sailed through the Senate.
- Leftist Social-Justice Dogma Killing Liberal Arts — The Left bemoans the coming death of the liberal-arts degree, which they are responsible for killing.
- Hypocrite Antifa Thug Unmasked — Pseudonymous fomenter of violence “Jose Martin” and “Chepe” is actually Joseph “Jose” Alcoff.
- Video: ObamaCare Is Unconstitutional. What Now? — Should Republicans even try to restart that battle? Bill Whittle says, “Yes!”
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
- Judge strikes down Trump administration’s attempt to tighten asylum process (National Review)
- Afghan and Iraqi interpreters risk death, wait years for legal U.S. visas while migrant caravan demands immediate entrance (The Daily Caller)
- Trump orders troops to leave Syria as White House declares victory over ISIS (ABC News)
- North Korea says it won’t denuclearize unless U.S. removes “threat” (Associated Press)
- Judges quietly dismiss more than 80 ethics complaints against Brett Kavanaugh (The Daily Wire)
- Read the full text of Speaker Ryan’s farewell address (The Daily Signal)
- Fed hikes rate, lowers 2019 projection to two increases (CNBC)
- Department of Agriculture moves to tighten restrictions on food stamps (USA Today)
- More than 500 priests accused of sexual abuse not yet publicly identified by Catholic church, Illinois attorney general finds (Chicago Tribune)
- Humor: Miss Universe pageant embroiled in controversy as all losers identify as winners (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: The failure of leadership on Syria (American Enterprise Institute)
- Policy: The Fed made the right call with rate hikes (Washington Examiner)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
Sgt. Donovan McPherson, 27, was helping emergency responders in Lenoir, North Carolina, when they received a call for help, WRAL reported. They arrived at a home where a family and a baby had been stranded for three days without electricity after a tree fell on a power line during the snowstorm. “The baby was recently sick,” McPherson told WRAL. “They were worried the baby would get sick again.”
Read more at Fox News.
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 Will Democrats Get the Recession They Want?. For the next two years, job and income prospects for tens of millions of American workers and their families will fall victim to the Demos politically induced recession.
If you’d like to receive Alexander’s Column by email, update your subscription here.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission last week voted 13-1 in favor of allowing teachers who are willing to undergo background checks and training to carry concealed weapons on school campuses. The measure aims to prevent a recurrence of the massacre that killed 17 people last Feb. 14. The move would be a step beyond the current guardian program that allows school systems to arm security guards, administrators, or librarians, and it would require approval by the state legislature.
“We have to give people a fighting chance. We have to give them an opportunity to protect themselves,” said Pinellas County Sheriff and commission chairman Bob Gualtieri. Polk County Sheriff and commission member Grady Judd agreed, and further illumined why. “In the ideal world, we shouldn’t need anyone on campus with a gun, but that’s not the world we live in today,” he said. “One’s not enough. Two’s not enough. We need multiple people in order to protect the children.”
Unfortunately, dealing with the world we live in today is not American Left’s strong suit. Florida’s teachers union and PTA have voiced their opposition to such a measure, insisting teachers are hired to educate, not be law enforcement officers. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), whose district includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, echoed their assertions. “Teachers want to teach, not be armed for combat in their classrooms,” he stated. “Law enforcement cannot push their responsibilities to make our communities safer on to civilians that should be focused on educating their students.”
To be fair, Deutch’s argument has one legitimate aspect to it: The 407-page preliminary report addressed the massive failures by multiple law enforcement officers from Sheriff Scott Israel’s department to respond appropriately to the atrocity. It noted that Israel’s active-shooter policy, which states that officers “may” confront shooters as opposed to “shall” confront them, was a recipe for disaster.
“‘May’ gave them the out not to enter,” Judd explained. “They decided to be cowards instead of heroes.”
Scott Peterson, the lone armed deputy on duty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when the atrocity occurred, tried to exploit that policy. In attempting to get a lawsuit filed against him by the family of murder victim Meadow Pollack dismissed, he asked Broward Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning to rule that he had “no legal duty” to protect teachers and students.
Thankfully, Henning wasn’t buying it. In ruling against Peterson, Henning asserted that a school security guard has the “obligation to act reasonably.” She also found that Peterson was not protected by “sovereign immunity,” which prevents litigation from being filed against public employees based on their official conduct.
Peterson’s attorney, Michael Piper, has promised to appeal the decision. If he is unsuccessful, perhaps Pollack’s family will be able to attach some portion of Peterson’s $8,700 per month pension. The one the 55-year-old deputy began collecting after being initially suspended but ultimately allowed to resign and retire on Feb. 22 — one week after the shooting.
The report notes there were seven deputies who heard shots fired and failed to act, and it characterizes their conduct as “unacceptable and contrary to accepted protocol under which the deputies should have immediately moved towards the gunshots to confront the shooter.” As for organizational leadership, the report states there was “abundant confusion over the location of the command post and the role of the staging area,” which “stemmed from an absence of command and control and an ineffective radio system.” Nonetheless, it recommends that the BSO conduct an internal investigation into the incident.
An internal investigation? Shortly after the shooting, Israel stated his department had been contacted 23 times regarding the alleged murderer and his family. Records showed at least 45 calls were made between 2008 to 2017. When confronted about Peterson’s failures? “I gave him a gun. I gave him a badge. I gave him the training. If he didn’t have the heart to go in, that’s not my responsibility,” Israel stated. Moreover, Israel turned his office into an apparent patronage program, hiring six community affairs employees with salaries totaling $388,729, “from the ranks of his political supporters, building a community outreach wing his critics say doubles as a re-election team,” the Sun-Sentinel reported … in 2016.
Commissioner Max Schachter, whose 14-year-old son, Alex, was killed at the school, cast the lone vote against the motion. He would rather see the state hire police officers for campuses and allow non-teaching staff to carry guns. Allowing teachers to be armed “creates a host of problems,” he insisted.
Problems worse than the mass killer having the ability to reload five times?
Efforts are already afoot to undermine the commission’s recommendations. Duval County’s decision to put armed “school safety assistants” in its elementary schools was met with a lawsuit filed by filed by seven unnamed families and the League of Women Voters of Florida. According to the suit, they prefer an approach “designating unarmed guardians whose job would include implementing key elements of the consensus approach to school safety recommended by experts in the field.”
Unarmed guardians? How many victims who might otherwise be saved must be sacrificed to satisfy inane, anti-gun sensibilities?
The commission’s final report will be presented to Gov. DeSantis and the state legislature by Jan. 1. And in a one-two punch sure to outrage those who blame guns for everything, President Donald Trump’s commission on school safety has recommended revoking the Obama administration’s loathsome federal guidelines that directed schools to punish minority students at lesser rates, irrespective of the frequency of their misbehavior. That policy precipitated Broward’s “diversionary” PROMISE program that intentionally kept minority students out of the criminal justice system by ignoring certain crimes. County administrators and school superintendents, who directed cops to stop arresting such students, lauded the resultant “reduction” in crime rates.
Without that policy in place, the murderous psychopath who evinced highly troublesome behavior leading to expulsion would have likely been prevented from buying a gun. The rest is history — and reprehensibly politicized tragedy.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Gary Bauer: “I’d like you to join me in a thought experiment: Imagine for a moment that somebody wrote a ten-page report filled with an assortment of charges against you. Imagine that some are so awful that if your family and neighbors ever learned about them you’d probably lose your job and your family. And imagine that the people who put together this collection of unverified charges convinced a court to issue a warrant to monitor your phone calls and those of your close friends and associates. And then, fulfilling your worst fears, imagine that your enemies leaked all of this to your local newspaper. How would this make you feel? Needless to say, it would be a nightmare. But we don’t have to imagine because that’s exactly what former FBI Director James Comey did. … No matter whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or a #NeverTrumper, liberal, conservative or libertarian, the political weaponization of our national security apparatus ought to strike fear into the hearts of every American. Using the power of government to harass and destroy political opponents is what fascists do.”
Insight: “I choose free libraries as the best agencies for improving the masses of the people, because they give nothing for nothing. They only help those who help themselves. They never pauperize. They reach the aspiring and open to these chief treasures of the world — those stored up in books. A taste for reading drives out lower tastes.” —Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)
Food for thought: “I suspect the President is keeping his own counsel this week and it is going badly for him. The only groups winning the news cycle right now are the Russians, the Mexicans, and the anti-gun crowd. On top of it all, the President quite possibly began the long goodbye with some of his core supporters by cutting this deal that abandons the wall. Instead of adding to his coalition, he keeps shrinking it instead. It’s almost as if he is sabotaging himself.” —Erick Erickson
For the record: “2018 has been the strongest year since the financial crisis and during that period, we’ve had low unemployment and strong growth, and inflation has still remained just a touch below 2%.” —Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell
What difference does it make? “Who cares? … It didn’t matter.” —James Comey when asked when he found out the fake dossier was funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC
Race bait: “In my research on reducing gender bias and my work conducting training on general diversity and inclusion with fire departments, I find that, when evaluating fitness and competence, firefighters tend to default to a reductive set of traits (physical strength evaluated through strict fitness tests, for example) that serve to maintain white men’s dominance in the fire service.” —UCLA professor Corinne Bendersky
And last… “Many leftists and LGBT activists are simply not content with ‘live and let live.’ It’s ‘embrace completely everything we think, say and do or else we will do whatever we can to ruin you.’ What a special brand of tolerance.” —Allie Beth Stuckey
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