Mid-Day Digest

Jan. 16, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“If by the liberty of the press were understood merely the liberty of discussing the propriety of public measures and political opinions, let us have as much of it as you please: But if it means the liberty of affronting, calumniating and defaming one another, I, for my part, own myself willing to part with my share of it, whenever our legislators shall please so to alter the law and shall chearfully consent to exchange my liberty of abusing others for the privilege of not being abused myself.” —Benjamin Franklin (1789)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

23 Million Americans Feed at the Leftmedia Trough Every Night

Nate Jackson

For more than 22 years, The Patriot Post’s mission has been to combat Leftmedia bias. Thus we weren’t surprised when the Media Research Center released its latest report revealing that coverage of President Donald Trump on network nightly newscasts — watched by 23 million people — was 90% negative in 2018. That matches historically bad coverage in 2017, and it aligns with similar studies by organizations like Pew Research Center and Harvard University, neither of which are conservative.

One major aspect of incessantly negative coverage is Russia. “For the second year in a row,” NewsBusters notes, “the Russia investigation was the single most-covered topic amid the networks’ Trump coverage, garnering 858 minutes of airtime. Since January 20, 2017, the Russia probe has received 2,092 minutes of coverage on just the three evening newscasts.”

Or, as humorist Dave Barry put it, “That was all we heard about, day after soul-crushing day, for the entire year.”

Oddly, Trump’s relationship with the mainstream media is almost symbiotic. As we’ve noted before, the Leftmedia gave Trump $5 billion in free airtime during the 2016 campaign in what was supposed to prop him up for a sure loss to Hillary Clinton. Beset by Trump Derangement Syndrome after he won and desperate for ad revenue, the media ramped up the negative attacks. But Trump feeds off of those attacks, and, as with Democrats retaking the House, he arguably benefits from having a foil or a villain. He loves battling “the FAKE NEWS media,” which he calls “the enemy of the American People!

It works. NewsBuster (a division of MRC) says, “Despite the media’s obvious disapproval, public opinion of the President actually improved slightly during 2018, from an average 40% approval on January 1 to 42.7% approval on December 31, according to RealClearPolitics.” We noted a similar trend last May.

A Republican with less backbone — which is to say virtually every other Republican — would have backed down long ago in the face of this media barrage. Not Trump, for good or ill. The real collusion scandal in our nation is between the media and the Democrat Party. This study is another marker.

As a final question: What would our 50/50 political landscape look like if media coverage was 50/50 instead of 90/10?

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Is May’s Brexit-Deal Defeat Really a Win for the UK?

Thomas Gallatin

As many predicted, British Prime Minster Theresa May’s Brexit deal she had long worked to secure with Brussels went down in flames Tuesday. Members of Parliament from both major parties soundly rejected the deal by a whopping 230 votes, a margin of defeat not seen in the UK in over a century. The immediate fallout raised questions over whether May’s days as PM are numbered and, more significantly, if a new Brexit agreement with the European Union is even possible as the March 29 deadline for avoiding a “hard” Brexit approaches.

For the time being, it appears that May retains majority support, much of which is likely due to the fact that the alternative would be the far-left socialist Jeremy Corbyn of the Labor Party. That said, May’s massive failure is a severe political wound from which she is unlikely to recover. She was voted in as PM specifically to work out a Brexit deal. But she was given the near-impossible task of negotiating an international divorce settlement, which almost half of UK voters never wanted in the first place and for which a vindictive EU bureaucracy demanded its pound of flesh.

Many are now wringing their hands as the Brexit “crash-out” date nears, warning that a “hard” Brexit — exiting the EU without securing any economic agreements — would spell disaster for the British economy. Some UK political leaders are now floating the idea of calling for a second referendum, hoping for a do-over that would end Brexit and keep the UK within the EU. However, that idea has garnered considerable criticism as it suggests that the people’s vote will only be accepted when it aligns with the politically correct sensibilities of the governing elites. In other words, it makes a sham of the democratic process.

But the real question is whether a hard Brexit would be as big an economic disaster as many of the political elites are warning. There would likely be some immediate pain as new trade and economic agreements would have to made, but it also would open up vast new opportunities for global trade agreements free from Brussels’ bureaucratic controls. It would mean a return to greater national sovereignty for the British people.

And finally, what few are acknowledging is the sinking ship that is the EU. As Investor’s Business Daily notes, “The EU is a disaster in slow motion. Its laughable rules, regulations and endlessly detailed directions for its member nations on how to run their economies — instructing them on everything from immigration policy to the size and shape of bananas allowed in markets — represent a massive loss of sovereignty and economic self-rule for its 27 members. Despite all the dire prognostications by pundits, politicians and punters of various stripes, Britain doesn’t have much to lose by leaving the EU. … Nearly everyone expected disaster if the Brexit vote won. It didn’t happen. Instead, Britain did better than the rest of Europe.”

So, as our neighbors across the pond struggle with fears over venturing out as a sovereign nation uncertain about their economic future, we here in America say: Welcome, we’re open for business.

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP HEADLINES

  • Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight (The Hill)
  • Businesses and industries are getting hamstrung by the shutdown (Washington Examiner)
  • The Trump administration has called back tens of thousands of federal workers, including at IRS, to fulfill key government tasks (The Washington Post)
  • DNC cuts ties with Women’s March amid anti-Semitism accusations (National Review)
  • Pelosi asks Trump to reschedule State of the Union (Politico)
  • Boost for Trump as William Barr impresses Democrats in marathon confirmation hearing (Washington Examiner)
  • DOJ report: Guns carried during crimes most frequently obtained off the street or underground (CNS News)
  • U.S. confirms American troops killed in blast claimed by Islamic State in Syria (The Washington Post)
  • CNN analyst accuses radio host of “white privilege” — he’s black (The Daily Wire)
  • Humor: Unspeakably evil: Trump feeds kids (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: The rejection of May’s Brexit plan leaves the UK with few good options (American Enterprise Institute)
  • Policy: China is a dangerous rival, and America should treat it like one (The New York Times)

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

The Consequences of Falling Fertility Rates

Louis DeBroux

“The first principle of society consists in the marriage tie, the next in children, the next in a family within one roof, where everything is in common. This society gives rise to the city, and is, as it were, the nursery of the commonwealth.” —Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman statesman

A careful examination of cultural changes in America leads to the inescapable conclusion that we are engaged in a slowly unfolding, collective national suicide. The very values, principles, and social norms we once accepted as universal truths have given way to a tsunami of mass delusion in which a growing portion of society vehemently, even violently, rejects the standards of past generations.

The evidence is obvious to even the most obtuse person. We now live in a country where a large segment of the population believes sex is not biologically determined but rather an expression of inner feelings, while simultaneously claiming sexual orientation is genetic. We stifle economic growth to save the snail darter and delta smelt while slaughtering tens of millions of human babies in abortion clinics.

And we are even now eroding the foundation of the traditional, nuclear family that has been the bedrock of society since the dawn of mankind.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total fertility rate for American women fell below the replacement rate for the ninth straight year. The total fertility rate (TFR) is an estimate of the number of births per 1,000 women over their lifetimes, and replacement rate is the average number of births child-bearing women must have to maintain static population levels. Replacement rate is generally considered to be 2.1 births per woman and, according to the latest data, the TFR for the United States now stands at 1.75 births per woman.

It’s another checkpoint in a long-term decline in American fertility rates. Since 1971, American woman have only been above replacement rate twice — in 2006 and 2007. These rates also vary by race and region. White women are now having the least children, and Hispanic women the most. Birth rates are highest in the American Southeast and Midwest, and lowest in the District of Columbia.

Though America had long been the exception, with rising birth rates and increasing wealth, our decline now mimics historical trends among advanced nations. The richer a nation becomes, the fewer children families have on average. Additionally, there is a clear correlation between a nation’s religiosity and its birth rate; the more religious a nation is, the more children it has on average. As a nation becomes less religious, its birth rate declines. Higher immigration levels are also associated with higher birth rates, although by the third generation, immigrant birth rates are in line with native birth rates.

In the U.S. there are various factors that contribute to the declining birth rate. According to an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute, in recent years there has been a significant decline of the number of American women in their 30s having children, meaning that Millennial women will likely have far fewer children than previous generations. Part of this is due to notable changes in marriage patterns, with Millennials waiting longer to get married than previous generations.

In addition to the progressive cultural shift that has placed a lower priority upon marriage (and even vilified it as an anachronistic relic of an oppressive patriarchal society), other barriers have impeded marriage and family creation, including prohibitive levels of student-loan debt, decreasing levels of home ownership due to rising costs, an extended adolescence as younger men and women spend longer in college, rising childcare costs resulting in part from a decline in the support of extended families, and a self-centered mindset that places personal desires (for responsibility-free living, travel, accumulation of wealth, etc.) well above the thought of sacrificing in order to create, raise, and provide for a family.

While married women are more likely to have children than unmarried women, there are fewer women getting married during their peak fertility years, with the average age at marriage increasing. So by the time women do get married and begin to have children, the length of time they can conceive, even with the assistance of reproductive technology, declines. Interestingly, women surveyed indicated a desire for more children, and were inhibited by the barriers mentioned previously.

This trend has dire long-term consequences for society. As society falls below replacement rates, the average age of the population increases while the number of younger people working to support the social infrastructure, and available and willing to care for the elderly, declines. With a declining population, the demand for housing lessens, causing home values (the largest asset owned by the average American) to drop. Social Security and Medicare continue to race toward insolvency as the ratio of contributing workers to beneficiaries plummets.

In summary, the abandonment of “traditional family values,” building block of civil society, has led to a dissolution of social cohesion, which in turn has led to myriad social problems.

Fortunately, these principles are eternal, and we can reverse this trend with effort — by restoring respect for marriage and family and elevating the nobility of self-sacrifice in the service of a greater good. Marriage and family require enormous sacrifice, patience, and delayed gratification, but the rewards, both personal and societal, are enormous.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

John Stossel: “While pundits and politicians act as if everything needs government intervention, the opposite is true. Even security work is done better by the private sector. At San Francisco’s airport, security lines move faster. Passengers told me, ‘The screeners are nicer!’ The TSA even acknowledged that those screeners are better at finding contraband. That’s because San Francisco (Kansas City, Seattle and a dozen smaller airports) privatized the screening process. Private companies are responsible for security. Private contractors are better because they must compete. Perform badly, and they get fired. But government never fires itself. Government workers shout, ‘We are essential!’ But I say: ‘Give me a break. Most of you are not.’”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “It may easily be foreseen that almost all the able and ambitious members of a democratic community will labor without ceasing to extend the powers of government, because they all hope at some time or other to wield those powers. … Centralization will be the natural government.” —Alexis de Tocqueville

Upright: “Boys are not lost because of toxic masculinity; they are lost because their fathers have been taken away from them and they cannot figure out how to fill that void with anything but rage and shame.” —Chad Felix Greene

Food for thought: “It’d be great if Trump just delivers the SOTU in written form, but there’s no way he’d agree to it after Pelosi suggested it. Maybe instead he can be convinced to give a short speech, 10 minutes or less, from the Oval Office. No pomp and circumstance. Great precedent to set.” —Matt Walsh

Non Compos Mentis I: “I think that’s the question of the moment: Does this still work? Can an empire like ours with military presence in over 170 countries around the globe, with trading relationships … and security agreements in every continent, can it still be managed by the same principles that were set down 230-plus years ago?” —Beto O'Rourke

Non Compos Mentis II: “[A border barrier] will ensure death. You and I, as Americans, have caused the deaths of others through these walls.” —O'Rourke

Apples and oranges: “If Republicans rebuked Steve King, they must challenge Donald Trump.” —Steve Israel in The Hill, where he bogusly claims, “As long as [Republicans] refuse to challenge the president when he gives comfort to neo-Nazi marchers, vilifies immigrants and mocks native Americans, spews decisive rhetoric, then, really, King is just a pawn.”

And last… “The Washington Post had one of their lead reporters do an entire investigation into the calorie count and cost of Trump serving fast food, yet they did little investigation into 30 congressional Democrats getting drunk on the beach with 109 lobbyists during a government shutdown.” —Charlie Kirk

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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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