Mid-Day Digest

Jan. 20, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“It behooves you, therefore, to think and act for yourself and your people. The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.” —Thomas Jefferson (1775)

Comment | Share

IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Opening Salvos in the Trump Impeachment Trial

“The Articles of Impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their President. This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election — now just months away.” That’s the summation of the Democrat impeachment charade according to a letter to the U.S. Senate from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Donald Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow. The letter was the opening statement from Trump’s defense team as the Senate’s impeachment trial gets underway.

The blistering letter continues, “The Articles of Impeachment are constitutionally invalid on their face. They fail to allege any crime or violation of law whatsoever, let alone ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors,’ as required by the Constitution.”

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, a self-described liberal Democrat, has also joined Trump’s legal team in a limited role, though, as he put it, “I think it overstates it to say I’m a member of the Trump team.” In any case, he’s been a harsh critic of impeachment for months, and he slammed Democrats for impeaching Trump over “two non-criminal actions” that aren’t’ actually impeachable. Worse, Dershowitz said, their actions amount to “the greatest nightmare” of Founders like James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. Rather than counter Dershowitz on the merits, Leftmedia outlets just reiterate that he served on the defense team for Jeffrey Epstein … though somehow the name of Epstein’s buddy Bill Clinton eludes the Beltway’s intrepid reporters.

What else is the Leftmedia doing? Worrying over how partial Republican senators are going to be during the trial.

Speaking of being impartial, here’s what one senator had to say about this partisan political theater:

It has shaken me that we stand at the brink of removing a President — not because of a popular groundswell to remove him and not because of the magnitude of the wrongs he’s committed — but because … a small group of people who hate [the President] and hate his policies … very cleverly and very doggedly exploit the institutions of freedom that we hold dear and almost succeed in undoing him.

That was a letter written by now-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in defense of Bill Clinton in 1999. The extent to which Schumer gets it backwards would be funny if it weren’t so serious.

As a final note, expect to frequently hear the name Lev Parnas in the same scandalized tones usually reserved for Russian mobsters. Who is Parnas? A crony of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, who has documents pertaining to both Trump’s policy toward Ukraine and the firing of former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. Like the Government Accountability Office’s bogus finding that Trump broke the law by temporarily delaying military aid to Ukraine, however, Parnas is part of the Democrats’ new narrative that “further investigation” is critical before the Senate can vote on Trump’s fate.

Comment | Share

SCOTUS Case Could Derail Effort to Negate Electoral College

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear cases that hold significant implications for the Electoral College and states’ rights. During the 2016 presidential election, four Electoral College electors, one from Colorado and three from Washington, cast votes for candidates who did not win their state’s popular vote. In Colorado, the elector cast a vote for John Kasich instead of Hillary Clinton, and in Washington, three electors cast their votes for Colin Powell rather than Clinton. Both the states of Colorado and Washington are among approximately 30 states that require Electoral College electors to cast their votes in concurrence with their respective state’s popular vote.

Following the votes of the so-called “faithless electors,” both states responded — Colorado voided the elector’s vote and Washington fined the electors. The electors responded by suing their respective states; the Colorado elector won, but the Washington state supreme court ruled against the electors and upheld the fine.

The question that SCOTUS will answer is whether state requirements mandating that electors cast their vote with a state’s popular vote is constitutional. The ramifications of the Court’s ruling could derail the Left’s effort to circumvent the Electoral College via the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC), the effort by several blue states to throw their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote regardless of the state’s popular vote. Ironically, 13 of the 16 states that have thus far joined the NPVIC movement have laws requiring EC electors to vote for their respective state’s popular-vote winner.

SCOTUS will likely hear the cases in April with a ruling expected in June, so this should be decided well before the 2020 election.

Comment | Share

A Nascent College Accountability System

Quite likely, most Americans have never heard of Harvey Mudd College. Yet when the salary-comparison site PayScale analyzed alumni salary data of 3.5 million respondents representing more than 4,000 colleges and universities across the U.S. for its 2019-2020 College Salary Report, the undergraduate science and engineering institution in Claremont, California, topped the list. Its graduates earn $88,800 in their early careers, and $158,200 in their mid-careers. Making data like that easily available might influence thousands of students’ choices regarding which college to attend. The Trump administration has begun doing something about that — something with the potential to upend a contemptible status quo where by thousands of students are drowning in college-loan debt with little or nothing to show for it.

“In November, the Department of Education released post graduate earnings and debt data broken down by college program — which will have a revolutionary impact on higher education,” columnist Andrew Gillen explains. “Students (and policymakers) can now get accurate information about how much recent graduates earned by college and degree (e.g., a Bachelor’s in Physics from Ohio State University).”

Unfortunately, the data set is limited. It includes only students receiving federal financial aid and, as of now, those students’ earnings only one year after they’ve graduated. But when one considers the reality that hundreds of billions of dollars from federal, state, and local governments are provided to institutions of higher learning on an annual basis — with no consideration for the actual outcomes produced by those institutions — one suspects the political pressure ultimately brought to bear in a nation besieged by skyrocketing tuition costs and $1.5 trillion of outstanding student-loan debt with be impossible to ignore.

The Trump administration is not the first one making the attempt to increase transparency. In 2014, President Barack Obama championed a government rating system aimed at holding the nation’s 7,000 colleges and universities accountable for the $150 billion in federal loans and grants they were receiving at the time.

Quite unsurprisingly, those who’ve benefited from this arrangement were appalled. “Applying a sledgehammer to the whole system isn’t going to work,” Robert G. Templin Jr., former president of Northern Virginia Community College, complained at the time. “They think their vision of higher education is the only one.”

Adam F. Falk, former president of Williams College in Massachusetts, agreed. “As with many things, the desire to solve a complicated problem in what feels like a simple way can capture people’s imagination,” but, he added, it is likely to be “oversimplified to the point that it actually misleads.” Charles L. Flynn Jr., president of the College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx, insisted a rating system “cannot be done well and that the initiative was "uncharacteristically clueless.”

Ultimately, the Obama administration precipitated Gainful Employment regulations, whereby vocational programs that engendered too much student debt would no longer be eligible for federal financial aid. The Trump administration rescinded the regulations because they targeted for-profit programs while exempting most public and nonprofit programs.

Moreover, the Obama administration’s efforts to bypass Congress created unnecessary partisan rancor belied by the reality that a federal accountability system applied to all colleges is something both parties favor. In February 2019, Sen. Lamar Alexander, GOP chairman of the committee, proposed overhauling the Higher Education Act by streamlining federal student-aid applications, simplifying student-loan repayments, and holding colleges accountable for repayment rates on student loans. Two months later, Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy proposed four measures of accountability: graduation and loan-repayment rates, whether loan debt is too burdensome for graduates, and the release of data showing the proportion of low-income students who are admitted and graduate.

In a nation as polarized as this one, such bipartisanship is rare. And despite the aforementioned rule recision, Gillen believes Gainful Employment would make an excellent starting point for the Trump administration’s effort to precipitate the next level of accountability. “Adjusting the original Gainful Employment rules to account for differences in the student cohorts as well as differences in the earnings and debt measures, we can apply what I call Gainful Employment Equivalent (GEE), to explore what a similar accountability system might look like,” he states.

It is likely GEE would not be well received by those being held accountable, because it would reveal some highly damning data. As Gillen reveals, approximately one million graduates per year “received federal financial aid to attend a college program that does not pass a reasonable debt-to-income test.” The same test reveals that 69% of students attending law school — where the average student-loan debt for 2015-16 graduates was a whopping $145,500 — would also fail to receive an adequate bang for their buck.

The other part of the equation is just as critical. “For years we’ve asked students to make one of life’s most important decisions essentially blindfolded,” Gillen rightfully notes. “We’ve told them a college degree is the surest path to success but have given them little guidance on where to go to college or what major to choose once they get there.”

Again, such a rating system, whereby students wold be pointed toward statistically well-paying majors or the most lucrative parts of risky ones would be utterly anathema to a number of colleges not only replete with worthless majors, but those with ever-expanding bureaucracies invariably tied to some aspect of “social justice” or “diversity” — all of which drive up tuition costs.

“Not every college or program will survive,” Gillen warns. “But those that do will be stronger.”

Yet one more thing is critical to the mix: Colleges must be held accountable for some percentage of student-loan defaults. Those defaults are currently underwritten in total by taxpayers, and this contemptible dynamic allows colleges to raise their costs with impunity.

It also precipitates bone-headed plans like Elizabeth Warren’s assertion that she will implement student-loan forgiveness by executive fiat. Such a disastrous “solution” not only fails to incentivize colleges to rein in their costs, it engenders moral hazard on steroids, as in the idea that freely made personal commitments can be “justifiably” cast aside.

No doubt that resonates among some younger Americans, long-marinated in a cultivated sense of “grievance,” whereby some broken promises are perfectly acceptable. But such capriciousness is utterly catastrophic for any society other than one that embraces anarchy.

Maybe if we finally hold colleges truly accountable, some of those socialist/Marxist wannabes will get a clue.

Comment | Share

Martin Luther King Jr.

By Mark Alexander

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ … I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. … And if America is to be a great nation this must become true.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

Despite the fact that the Democratic Party claims King’s legacy, and Democrats argue they are the sole protectors of his “dream,” they have turned this iconic sovereign’s message upside down, as if King had said, “I have a dream that my children will one day be judged by the color of their skin, not the content of their character.” They’ve converted it from a dream into a nightmare, and their failed statist “Great Society” programs have enslaved generations of poor, mostly black Americans on urban poverty plantations.

But poor blacks have been a staple constituency, having been inculcated with the belief that they are perpetual “victims of injustice” who must depend on their Democrat masters to take care of them.

King’s 1963 address from the Lincoln Memorial was his most famous, but you have likely never read King’s 1966 assessment of racial violence in Barack Obama’s hometown of Chicago: “This is the most tragic picture of man’s inhumanity to man. I’ve been to Mississippi and Alabama and I can tell you that the hatred and hostility in Chicago are really deeper than in Alabama and Mississippi.” King added, “Those who are associated with ‘Black Power’ and black supremacy are wrong.”

So you thought racism was just a “Deep South problem”? That’s what the Democrats and their Leftmedia sycophants would have you believe.

In 2009, Obama was heralded as the savior of black America, promising to take them from suppression to black supremacy, precisely what was drilled into Obama’s psyche by his Marxist mentor Frank Marshall Davis and his religious mentor Jeremiah Wright.

As was the case with the four decades of Democrats before Obama, at the end of his long eight years in office in 2017, he proved to be nothing more than a race-bait political hustler, who delivered only more statist institutionalized suppression and dependence. Fact is, these charlatans have proven time and again that black lives don’t matter — other than their votes.

There is nothing new about race-hustlers. In his 1911 work, “My Larger Education,” Booker T. Washington wrote: “There is a class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. … There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.”

But there is new hope for the poor black Americans MLK wanted to lift up. In fact, there is new hope for Americans from all walks of life — from somebody who Democrats and their mass media PR outlets deride daily: Donald J. Trump. His administration’s economic policies have proven to be the rising tide which, in the words of John F. Kennedy, has “lifted all boats.”

I think MLK would have recognized and acknowledged this.

Despite questions about King’s personal character and his proper place in history, I encourage you to read his letter from a Birmingham jail, which provides a window into the soul of King’s vision for all Americans.

Comment | Share

Beyond King’s Dreams

Grassroots Perspective from Patrick Hampton

Concerned about the future of black Americans, Martin Luther King Jr envisioned a world where unity, compassion and harmony prevailed for all people. Today, Democrats and liberals still ride the coattails of King’s campaigns, latching themselves onto the oppression and injustices of the past despite the many proven advancements in racial reconciliation. Their actions suggest one thing: King’s dream is largely unrealized in today’s society.

King was an important visionary for America. Though his liberal ideology does not line up with my own personal vision for our nation, he deserves to be heralded as an agent for change.

Sadly, MLK’s legacy is caught up in a game where politicians profit on past injustices, as pundits and influencers like to put words in King’s mouth when it comes to whether he’d be pleased with today’s society. These leaders and lawmakers in all levels of government prop up King’s dream, using it as an excuse to push forward socialistic agendas that have failed numerous other societies.

While King’s campaigns for economic redistribution were good-hearted in nature, they were painfully naive to pursue. Leaving our capitalistic economic model for democratic socialism (or socialism in disguise) only serves to give out crumbs, creating a permanent underclass of our society and nothing more. But because MLK’s influence is so grand, today’s social justice warriors have romanticized the African-American visionary, seeking to emulate his movements while overlooking the flaws within them.

Waking Up to A New Dream

King’s dream, while well meaning, still sleeps on the true path toward a prosperous America for all. This gives forth a new dream, one that is being fulfilled by our current POTUS and through the efforts of this new generation of black Americans seeking change.

At the core of MLK’s desires is a nation where all can partake in a prosperous society. Despite having so many Democrats attempt to embody his vision, not one has been able to successfully match the achievements of President Donald Trump.

Rather than use flowery conjecture and suppositions, I pair King’s sentiments alongside the facts of our current administration’s achievements:

Regarding unemployment, under the Trump Administration:

  • African-American, Hispanic-American, and Asian-American unemployment achieved the lowest rates ever recorded.
  • Women’s unemployment reached the lowest rate in more than six decades.
  • More than 400,000 manufacturing jobs have been created since Trump’s election, boasting the fastest rate of growth in over 30 years.

King was among leaders who organized the 1963 March on Washington, which demanded the institution of laws to prohibit racial discrimination in the workforce. So it’s indisputable that King would have celebrated the aforementioned achievements of Trump’s presidency.

Regarding welfare, nearly four million Americans have been lifted off food stamps since President Trump was elected in 2016. This is directly in line with King’s sentiments to lift black and brown people out of poverty and into the stream of economic prosperity.

In terms of racial reconciliation, the primary political ideologies are still highly segregated, as minorities gather under the umbrella of the Democrat Party, whereas the Republican Party tends to attract fewer black and brown people, but more whites. This calls for NEW dreamers, which is why the #BLEXIT movement is so integral to creating the harmonious society that would surpass even King’s dream.

Those of us waving the #BLEXIT banner seek to do away with division, using facts, education, and fellowship to pull blacks out of the Democrats’ ideological plantation and into the vastness of a freed mindset. Blame and victimhood, marches, and racial-superiority ideas are relics of the past. A more unified approach that reaches across party lines and embraces all people as one would be a perfection of King’s dream. Instead of riding the coattails of King’s campaigns of yesteryear, a new generation of black conservatives are prepared to go forth and create a world that would even gain King’s approval if he were alive to see it.

Comment | Share

NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

HERE’S HOPING FRINGE GROUPS DON’T HIJACK IT: Virginia braces for gun-rights rally as worries over violence, hate groups, and militias grow (Fox News)

POTENTIALLY BIG RAMIFICATIONS: Supreme Court to hear “faithless electors” case (NPR)

GOOD RIDDANCE: School lunch guidelines rolled back on Michelle Obama’s birthday (Hot Air)

BEHAVE — OR ELSE: GOP senators considering “kill switch” option should impeachment trial spiral out of control (Fox News)

KARMA: Chuck Schumer’s 1999 letter about impeachment comes back to bite him (New York Post)

STATISM’S DEEP ROOTS: Supreme Court again agrees to consider ObamaCare contraceptive-mandate exemptions (National Review)

NOT THE RIGHT VENUE: Federal court dismisses teenagers’ climate-change case against the government (Washington Examiner)

CORRUPTION: Puerto Rico governor under fire after emergency aid found sitting in warehouse (Townhall)

A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS: Mexican troops block U.S.-bound caravan travelers (AFP)

DECLINE: The Women’s March took place Saturday and attendance was way down. Again. (The Daily Wire)

POLICY: The woke Left versus Martin Luther King Jr. (Washington Examiner)

POLICY: Trump’s vast deregulatory landscape goes unnoticed by the experts (E21)

HUMOR: DNC to take 90% of Bernie’s votes and redistribute them to less popular candidates (Genesius Times)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

Comment | Share

VIDEOS

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “A government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.” —Ronald Reagan

Editorial exegesis: “We should recognize [Martin Luther] King’s role in paving the way for progress even as we acknowledge there’s still a long way to go. Yet it’s important also to acknowledge that those who claim to be carrying on King’s struggle for justice in modern times have strayed far from his dream of his children growing up ‘in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’ Instead, they have embraced an identity politics that veers from merely fighting against all forms of discrimination, to carving people up by race, gender, sexual orientation, and placing those distinctions above all else. … From his jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama, he called out the ‘white moderate’ who looked the other way on racial prejudice and the ‘black nationalist’ who had ‘lost faith in America’ and ‘repudiated Christianity.’ He spared no criticism and rejected tribalism in all of its forms.” —Washington Examiner

For the record: “The Government Accounting Office determined that Barack Obama broke the law seven times. By the left’s logic, Obama should have been impeached seven times! Where was Pelosi’s outrage then?” —Gary Bauer

Nailed it: “Nancy Pelosi is going out on TV crowing that the president has been impeached forever. Well, when we get to final judgment, the president will have been acquitted forever of these bogus impeachment charges.” —Sen. Ted Cruz

Grand delusions: “We saw a strong case, an infallible, undeniable case for the impeachment of the president, so no future president would ever think she or he could get away with what President Trump has been getting away with in his view.” —Nancy Pelosi

Epic lack of self-awareness: “This is an election that will have such profound impact, so take your vote seriously. And for Democratic voters, try to vote for the person you think is most likely to win. Because at the end of the day, that is what will matter — and not just in the popular vote, but the electoral college.” —Hillary Clinton

Why her poll numbers are dropping: “How could the American people want someone who lies to them?” —Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren after being asked if lying should disqualify a candidate

And last… “How funny is it that CNN is coming after us for spreading disinformation? I find that kind of rich.” —Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon

Comment | Share

TODAY’S MEME

Share

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

Share

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.


Join us in prayer for our Patriots in uniform and their families — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way, and for our nation’s First Responders. We also 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

It's Right. It's Free.