Mid-Day Digest

Jan. 2, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would … most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.” —George Washington (1783)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Reflections on 2018, Predictions for 2019

Mark Alexander

As year-in-review columns go, none really top the humor of Dave Barry’s much-anticipated “Year in Review” column, which I recommend for the lighter side of the last year.

But for a reality check, both on the year past and the year to come, there are two New Year messages that best summarize the competing factional visions of American politics, and everything those competing views impact.

The first of those is from President Donald Trump. As we approach the two-year mark of his presidency, suffice it to say it has been an interesting ride.

In his New Year’s Eve message, Trump said: “Happy New Year to everyone, including the haters and the fake news media. 2018 has been a year of historic accomplishments! 2019 will be a fantastic year for those not suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Just calm down and enjoy the ride, great things are happening for our country. It’s going to be a great year. Complicated, but great. We’re doing so well as a country. … I’m working hard for you. I’m fighting for you.”

Speaking of Trump Derangement Syndrome, the cult leader of that pathological collective, Hillary Clinton, rang in the New Year with this message: “2018 was a dark time for the country. I’m grateful [for] activists who protected kids at the border, journalists who stood up for truth, organizers who mobilized voters for the 2018 elections, candidates who ran races with grit and inspiration, voters who made their voices heard, and absolutely everyone who marched, donated, called, and protested to fight for the values we share.” (Yes, she invoked Barack Obama’s worn-out Orwellian assertion about “the values we share.”)

Apparently, Clinton’s “dark” assessment of 2018 missed a lot of bright rays of light.

Among those bright lights, I would note all the ways the Trump administration has helped set a course to Make America Great Again for all Americans. GDP is making a significant comeback, with the last quarter report at 3.5%. Reflecting that growth is the lowest unemployment in 60 years, including record lows for those the Democrat Party claims as constituents — black and Hispanic Americans. There were more than 4.3 million new jobs and seven million more job postings than workers available to fill them. An all-time high of 130 million Americans now have a job. Last year, at least four million workers got pay bonuses averaging $1,000-$3,000 from employers, the direct result of Republican tax cuts — bonuses Nancy Pelosi called “crumbs.” Moreover, the average middle-income family received more than $2,000 in tax-cut “crumbs.” Four million Americans came off the welfare rolls. And there were other changes in economic policy that will yield longer-term results, including major cuts in regulations, revised NAFTA and China trade deals, and exiting the socialist Paris climate charade.

All the Demo rhetoric notwithstanding, it turns out that Donald Trump is truly a “blue collar” president, and Democrats step on his grassroots supporters at their own peril.

What follows is a mix of observations from the year past and predictions for the year to come:

Despite the Trump administration’s outstanding economic policy record coming into the midterm election, House Republicans were unable to offset the overwhelming Leftmedia narrative against anything and everything Trump. The Democrat Party was the intended beneficiary of the MSM’s relentless anti-Trump message, and the Demos’ “Hate Trump” platform to foment fear, anger, and division prevailed in the House elections.

And just like that, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is back. Pelosi and her counterpart in the Senate, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, will do everything in their power to further bog down the Trump administration’s agenda, not by offering alternatives — they don’t have any — but by flooding the White House with subpoenas, inquiries, and maybe even an impeachment shot across Trump’s bow.

On the upside, a big plus in the Trump column was increasing the Senate’s Republican majority. The 53-47 margin in the Senate will not only provide a gauntlet against House Democrats but will enhance Trump’s ability to confirm additional judges to federal courts. A big win for Rule of Law last year was the appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

In addition to Pelosi’s planned White House assault, Trump still faces considerable trouble from the Mueller/Comey/Clinton collusion to take down his presidency. As there is no evidence of Russian collusion, a ruse set up by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Democrats will relentlessly hound Trump over accusations of campaign-finance violations in 2019, as that best fits with their now-perennial “stolen election” narrative. It will be faux fodder for impeachment charges.

Unfortunately for all Americans outside the Beltway, blocking the Trump administration’s agenda may get Democrats the recession they’re hoping for ahead of the 2020 elections. For the next two years, job and income prospects for tens of millions of American workers and their families may fall victim to the Demos’ politically induced recession.

Among other gains for the American people, Trump withdrew from Obama’s “deal with Iran” and opened a dialogue with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un aimed at the eventual denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Trump’s trade gamesmanship with China and other nations with whom the U.S. has capitulated on trade is beginning to pay dividends for American workers. And he also renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to increase protection of U.S. jobs, though the agreement is awaiting congressional approval.

Trump’s controversial (by some accounts) First Step Act to bring limited reformations to criminal justice was passed by the Senate just before the year-end break.

Trump is still without sufficient funding for his southern border barrier, and consequently decreed a partial shutdown of government operations at the end of the year to force the issue. (That subject, and his Syria policy, will be covered in substantial detail in my column this afternoon.)

Despite historic equity-market gains in 2017 after Trump took office, the end of 2018, with uncertainty given the Democrat takeover in the House, resulted in significant market losses, which is to say significant losses for tens of millions of Americans who have investments and retirement plans that include equities.

But without question, the losses on Wall Street notwithstanding, the gains on Main Street are substantial and remain strong.

We lost some great Americans in 2018. The Rev. Billy Graham left this world on February 21 at the age of 99. Former First Lady Barbara Bush died April 17 at the age of 92. Pulitzer Prize-winner Charles Krauthammer died June 21 at the age of 68. And former president George Herbert Walker Bush passed away November 30 at the age of 94.

Looking forward…

Trump’s Cabinet will change significantly in 2019, but it has been in constant flux since he took office.

The two most significant losses coming into the New Year are the departures of Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, two of the administration’s most highly respected personnel.

In his departing message, General Mattis told his DoD personnel that it “has been my high honor” serving them and our nation. He noted further, “Our Department’s leadership, civilian and military, remains in the best possible hands. I am confident that each of you remains undistracted from our sworn mission ‘to support and defend’ the Constitution while protecting our way of life. So keep the faith in our country and hold fast, alongside our allies, aligned against our foes.”

Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will be serving as acting secretary until Trump names a successor, but in terms of his standing with those in uniform, Gen. Mattis is irreplaceable.

Both he and Gen. Kelly provided the administration a much-needed degree of stability and respect, and we note both departures with gratitude for their distinguished lifelong service to our nation.

In other significant administration changes, William Barr, former attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, has been nominated by Trump to replace Jeff Sessions. Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is filling in after Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned, as is Andrew Wheeler at EPA after Scott Pruitt’s departure. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will likely be on her way out and Trump has nominated Heather Nauert to replace outgoing UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

It is regretful that 2019 will likely be dominated by much of the political discord that dominated 2018, but that’s the best Democrats and their Leftmedia promoters have to offer.

Regarding New Year resolutions, consider making new habits and rules more than resolutions.

And finally on Christmas past… I came across a report of one small example of the way millions of Americans lift others up all year long — most of those never making a headline. In this case, it was an American who, amid all the border rancor, reached across the border to make a Christmas wish come true.

Just ahead of Christmas, Randy Heiss was walking his dog near his home in Patagonia, Arizona, when he came across a deflated red balloon stuck in a shrub. There was a small note attached to the ballon scribbled in Spanish, a simple Christmas wish list from a little girl in Mexico named Dayami. As a child, Heiss also sent his Santa wish list up by balloon and was determined to answer this one. “It really touched my heart to find it and I said, ‘Well how in the heck am I going to be able to figure out how to make contact with this little girl and make her wishes come true?’”

With the help of a radio station, Heiss was able to identify the child’s family across the border in Nogales, Sonora. He and his wife went to a local Walmart and purchased the list items — some new clothes and watercolor paints — and delivered them to the child. Heiss noted, “We lost our son nine years ago, so we don’t have grandchildren in our future, and so really getting to share Christmas with kids was something that’s been missing in our lives.”

On that note, Christmas Day is past, but in our home, we bring the spirit of Christmas into the New Year. Our red, white, and blue Patriot Tree lights are still shining bright in front of our home, as are all the reminders of Christmas inside our home. Those Christmas items will come down in the next week or so, put away until next December, but we will hold tight to the “reason for the season” in every season!

Note: Thank you to all who supported The Patriot Fund’s 2018 Year-End Campaign — we will provide an update on Thursday. This campaign accounts for almost 50% of our annual operating revenue and sustains our publication from November to April.

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Warren Is a Presidential Pretender

Nate Jackson

And just like that, the 2020 presidential campaign kicked off. Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren didn’t even wait for the 2019 ball to drop in Times Square before announcing her bid for the White House. We’d guess that most Americans are beyond tired of the relentless campaign cycle, making Warren’s announcement — less than two months after the 2018 midterms — worthy of about 300 million eye rolls, sighs, curses, or other expressions of political exhaustion.

Nevertheless, she persisted, so we’ll offer some brief observations.

Being the first big name to launch her campaign does not make Warren the frontrunner. Like a few of the other Democrat presidential hopefuls, Warren will be in her 70s by Election Day 2020, and there are younger alternatives — one of whom is also a woman and an actual minority.

Which brings us to the real problem with Warren: She routinely pretends she’s something she’s not. We’re not just talking about her hilariously inept attempts to prove some imagined Native American heritage — a lie she used to advance her academic career before adapting it for political gain. In fact, as we predicted more than once, she used her ancestry claim to seed her presidential aspirations, though it was conspicuously absent from her exploratory committee launch video.

Far more consequentially for the nation, Warren pretends she’s for the little guy and the middle class. Her announcement was replete with references to how her political career was inspired by fighting Wall Street fat cats after the 2008 financial collapse. She claims to stand for the middle class and minorities against systemic oppression from the racist and the rich. That too is a lie, not because those things don’t ever happen but because “social justice” is merely Marxism repackaged. Warren and her fellow Democratic Socialists used the financial crisis — itself created by Democrat policies — to double down on bigger government and fatter cats. In other words, the very policies she claims help the middle class actually harm most Americans. Indeed, as she says, “America’s middle class is under attack.” By Democrats.

But never mind that; Warren and probably a dozen other Democrats are hoping that those lies, mixed with a healthy dose of fake news and Trump Derangement Syndrome, will propel them to victory in 2020.

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ON THE WEB TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP HEADLINES

  • Skip New Year’s resolutions in 2019 — make a rule of life (The Gospel Coalition)
  • Congress to reconvene with no end in sight for federal shutdown (Reuters)
  • Trump seeks border wall talk with congressional leaders (Washington Examiner)
  • “Violent mob” repelled in attempt to storm the border in San Diego (The Washington Times)
  • Central American countries are helping Middle Easterners illegally enter the U.S. (The Federalist)
  • Mexican president proposes “free zone” to attract investment, reduce migration to U.S. (Fox News)
  • Stocks end the year down, suffering worst decline since 2008 (CBS News)
  • Abortion killed 42 million people in 2018 (The Daily Wire)
  • More police officers die on duty in 2018 than in 2017 (Associated Press)
  • Humor: Dave Barry’s Year in Review 2018 (Miami Herald)
  • Policy: On the budget and the border, let’s make a deal (Washington Examiner)
  • Policy: The difference between the private and public sector (Foundation for Economic Education)

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.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Michelle Malkin: “In the still of the last night of 2018, the silence of California Dems chilled the air and airwaves. Border wall opponent Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted three times between Christmas and New Year’s Eve bemoaning the plight of illegal immigrants and their children. But not a peep was heard from Harris about the brutal shooting death of Newman, California, Police Department Cpl. Ronil Singh at the hands of a Mexican gang member illegally in the country and protected by the very sanctuary policies Harris champions. … The priorities couldn’t be starker: Open borders Democratic hearts bleed for those bent on undermining our sovereignty, while they turn blind eyes to legal immigrants like Indo-American Singh, originally from Fiji, who honored our institutions and enforced our laws. … Singh was the true story of the American dream, brought down by the ongoing open borders nightmare. He cherished his family roots and heritage, but embraced the privileges and responsibilities of legally obtained citizenship as a fully assimilated American. And this is precisely why California Democrats won’t say his name, acknowledge his sacrifice or investigate the policy failures that led to his death. … To speak Cpl. Ronil Singh’s name is to admit the blood on their own hands.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

For the record: “The same people who trashed Brett Kavanaugh for drinking in college were on television [New Year’s Eve] doing shots and funneling champagne.” —Ryan Fournier

A blind squirrel finds a nut: “Next time we have a … shutdown, Congressional salaries should be furloughed as well. It’s completely unacceptable that members of Congress can force a government shutdown on partisan lines & then have Congressional salaries exempt from that decision. Have some integrity.” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Non Compos Mentis: “We must look at climate change as if it were a devastating military attack against the United States and the entire planet. And we must respond accordingly.” —Bernie Sanders

Hypocrite: “We all have a moral responsibility to ensure all children of God are treated with compassion and decency.” —Nancy Pelosi, leading supporter of abortion

Race bait: “In the NFL they got a bunch of old white men owning teams and they got that slave mentality.” —LeBron James

Braying Jackass: “I think [Trump] is without question the worst president we’ve ever had. We’ve had some bad ones, and there’s not even a close second to him. He’ll lie. He’ll cheat. You can’t reason with him.” —Harry Reid

Alpha Jackass: “My New Year’s resolution is to make sure that the Republican Party dies.” —actress Jane Curtin

And last… “Let’s not get too excited about 2019. Our emotional state, going forward, should be hopelessness leavened with despair, as we can see when we look back at the grotesque boof-a-palooza that was 2018.” —Dave Barry

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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

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