“To restore … harmony … to render us again one people acting as one nation should be the object of every man really a patriot.” —Thomas Jefferson (1801)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
- South Carolina Primary Fallout
- A Coronavirus Reality Check
- Ginsburg and Sotomayor Exude Supreme Sanctimony
- PragerU Loses to YouTube
- Californians Suffering the Consequences of Prop 47
- Illiteracy — A True Denial of Civil Rights
- Daily Features: News Executive Summary, Videos, Best of Right Opinion, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
On Saturday, Joe Biden’s “firewall” in South Carolina held, effectively propelling him back into contention for the Democrat presidential nomination. Taking home 49% to Bernie Sanders’s 20% of the vote, Biden got the big win he needed, grabbing 38 delegates and pulling himself within eight delegates of the leading Sanders. Biden’s decisive win also provided a much-needed financial windfall, as his campaign raked in over $5 million in donations overnight. With Super Tuesday on the immediate horizon, Biden is poised to make good on the comeback he has been confidently promising.
In move that may help to further boost Biden’s comeback effort, Pete Buttigieg surprisingly ended his campaign Sunday afternoon, citing the need for Democrats to quickly coalesce behind one candidate if they hope to defeat President Donald Trump. “The truth is the path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy if not for our cause,” Buttigieg stated in his announcement. “We must recognize that at this point in the race, the best way to keep faith with those goals and ideals is to step aside and help bring our party and country together.”
Recall that Buttigieg had effectively attacked both Sanders and Michael Bloomberg as “the two most polarizing figures” in the Democrat primary. He declared that the choice between them was “one candidate who wants to burn this party down and another candidate who wants to buy this party out.” Clearly, Buttigieg saw no realistic path for him to emerge as the party’s nominee even as he sits with the third-most delegates headed into Super Tuesday. Therefore, he may have been open to working a deal with Biden. Buttigieg may also have his sights set on the Democratic National Committee chair, a position he ran for unsuccessfully three years ago. With his success in winning Iowa and a strong second-place finish in New Hampshire, he now has the national name recognition and credibility he lacked three years ago.
In the race between billionaires, far-leftist Tom Steyer is the first out, as he ended his expensive campaign on Saturday with no delegates to show for the millions he spent. Still, he pledged to continue to use his fortune to defeat Trump. “I of course will be supporting” other candidates, he said. “I’ve said from the beginning, every Democrat is a million times better than Trump.”
Looking ahead, while Biden is clearly off the schneid, it all may be for naught if he doesn’t pull out some big wins on Tuesday. Since 1988, the winner of Super Tuesday has gone on to secure their party’s nomination 100% of the time, and with Sanders leading in the polls in California and Texas it will be an uphill battle for Biden to win the day. Biden will need a strong showing to keep pace or Sanders will run away with the nomination.
Starting the week off on the wrong foot, after the first reported U.S. coronavirus deaths, The Washington Times’s editorial page editor, Ethan Epstein, published a breathless hyperbolic warning about the COVID-19 flu variant — a case study of Beltway media groupthink that promotes pandemic panic.
According to Epstein, “Americans have done so much screaming at each other to avoid panic over the novel coronavirus that they’ve arguably grown complacent.” He then goes on to affirm the actions being taken in other countries: “China … has locked down tens of millions of people and virtually shut down its economy, the world’s second-largest. Japan has closed schools for a month. In France, which has so far seen fairly minimal numbers, the Louvre was closed. Switzerland, also fairly minimally affected, won’t allow gatherings that draw more than 1,000 people. … Two decades after 9/11, many Americans once again seem to think ‘it can’t happen here.’ But as we’ve learned more than once, it can.”
So, let’s shut the country down?
Will COVID-19 be the next catastrophic attack on America, “The BIG One”? As I have noted previously, it might result in another bad year for U.S. influenza deaths, but nobody can actually project that right now. What is certain, however, is that the “pandemic fear and panic” are great political fodder for Democrats hoping to crash the U.S. economy … and thus President Donald Trump’s reelection.
As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and their Leftmedia publicists continue to foment fear, it is having the desired dire consequences for the economy. By undermining consumer and business confidence, and thus the equities markets, Democrats are playing fast and loose with the job stability of all working Americans and their families. Pelosi said, “The market drop is disturbing,” but I can assure you that she and her Democrat ilk are high-fiving each other in private, knowing that what is bad for American workers is bad for Trump’s reelection prospects.
The immediate effect of the disgraceful Pelosi/Schumer fear and panic tag team is that the net worth and retirement plans of all middle-income families is taking a big hit, and so is breadwinner job stability.
To put the current viral flu threat into perspective, according to the latest 2020 CDC influenza report, in the U.S. the flu season we are now in has already resulted in 29 MILLION diagnosed cases, 280 THOUSAND hospitalizations, and more than 16 THOUSAND deaths. And this is a good year — in one year this past decade there were 63 THOUSAND flu deaths in the U.S.
So, why haven’t Pelosi, Schumer, and Democrats across the country called press conferences to draw attention to each of the other 29 million cases and 16 thousand deaths — and the MSM dutifully reported each one? Because those deaths have no value as 2020 political fodder.
Democrats are proficient at never letting “a good crisis … go to waste,” as they demonstrated back in 2014 with the Ebola pandemic threat. At that time I wrote, “Democrats thrive on manufactured crises, and the current endless loop of hyperbolic rhetoric about the ‘Ebola pandemic’ from all corners of the 24-hour news recyclers” was a good example. Of course, Barack Obama was president then, so blaming him was not part of their politicization of the epidemic.
Over the weekend, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney suggested that the best thing Americans can do to avoid the panic is turn off their televisions and tune out the Democrat and Leftmedia fearmongering. But that would undermine the Demo strategy. Thus Schumer declared, “For Mulvaney to suggest that Americans turn off their TVs and bury their heads in the sand when they’re worried about a global health pandemic is Orwellian, counterproductive, dangerous…”
And then there were the Demo campaign-trail claims that Trump had cut the pandemic budget. Mike Bloomberg claimed, “[Trump] has defunded Centers for Disease Control.” Biden claimed, “[Trump] has cut the funding for the entire effort.”
Those claims are patently false. According to an Associated Press fact check, Congress has actually increased funding: “The National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aren’t suffering from budget cuts that never took effect.” Regarding Schumer’s claim that Trump has no plan, the AP notes, “The public health system has a playbook to follow for pandemic preparation — regardless of who’s president… Those plans were put into place in anticipation of another flu pandemic, and are designed to work for any respiratory-borne disease.”
Adding to that nonsense was the erroneous claim that Trump had written off the coronavirus flu threat as a “hoax.” According to NBC: “Trump calls Coronavirus Democrats’ ‘new hoax.’” Politico repeated that lie: “Trump rallies his base to treat Coronavirus as a ‘hoax.’” In fact, what Trump called a “hoax” is that the Democrats have shamefully and grossly politicized the threat.
And predictably, the most ardent of the Democrats’ Leftmedia propagandists are the talkingheads at CNN.
Fox Business Network host Trish Regan called that what it is: “Diagnosis: Positive. CNN is infected with Trump Derangement Syndrome. I’m calling out CNN for irresponsibly politicizing something that should be a unifying battle against a virus that doesn’t choose sides. Anti-Trump network CNN doing whatever it can to stoke a national coronavirus panic.”
Of course, panic also keeps people tuned in — which is to say, it sells advertising!
As I have previously noted, to be adequately informed and prepared for what may be a bad flu year, the most current information is on the CDC’s page, “What You Should Know,” which provides updates, preventive measures, travel advice, etc. You can review the CDC’s national pandemic-response plan and basic citizen flu-prevention measures. And if you are interested in country-by-country data on the COVID-19 flu virus, that is being tracked at the Johns Hopkins coronavirus interface. For personal and community preparedness, visit our preparation and response resource page.
“I can’t imagine what the country would be with Donald Trump as our president.” —Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, July 9, 2016
“He is a faker. He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.” —Ginsburg again, July 11, 2016
“Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases. It is hard to say what is more troubling, that the Government would seek this extraordinary relief seemingly as a matter of course, or that the Court would grant it.” —Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, criticizing the Court’s 5-4 majority for upholding the “public charge” rule in Wolf v. Cook County
“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.” —Chief Justice John Roberts, Nov. 21, 2018, rebutting the president’s assertion that a lower-court ruling against administration immigration policy was made by an “Obama judge”
Of the many things Americans are constitutionally entitled to regarding the administration of justice, judicial impartiality goes to the top of the list. And while Ginsburg subsequently expressed “regret” for her “ill-advised comments,” it remains impossible to believe that her well-publicized animus has not influenced her decision-making with regard to the Trump administration’s agenda.
As for Sotomayor? Her criticism of SCOTUS’s conservative wing reeks of hypocrisy. Let’s begin with why the Trump administration has sought stays in an “unprecedented number of cases.” No one explained that better than U.S. Attorney General William Barr. “Since President Trump took office, federal district courts have issued 37 nationwide injunctions against the executive branch,” he stated in a speech at the American Law Institute on May 21, 2019. “That’s more than one a month. By comparison, during President [Barack] Obama’s first two years, district courts issued two nationwide injunctions against the executive branch, both of which were vacated by the Ninth Circuit. And according to the [Justice] Department’s best estimates, courts issued only 27 nationwide injunctions in all of the 20th century.”
Thus, activist judges in local jurisdictions have taken it upon themselves to thwart the president’s agenda nationwide, with rulings against an asylum ban, the public charge rule, giving states and counties the option to accept or refuse refugees, building a wall on our southern border, defunding sanctuary cities, or implementing a travel ban against countries with high rates of terrorism.
This activism is purposeful, and a column by the Senate Republican Policy Committee explains how: “A nationwide injunction issued by a district court can be appealed to a circuit court and then the Supreme Court, but while it goes through the process it can interrupt or even dictate federal policy for months or years.”
Thwarting Trump administration policy for months or years is a transparent effort to negate the 2016 election — the one Trump won, largely by promising to implement the very same policies nationwide injunctions are seeking to negate.
Columnist Daniel Horowitz illuminates the consequences. “If we are going to agree as a society that the judiciary now controls every political issue,” he writes, “including issues fundamental to our sovereignty, foreign policy, and national security, that essentially means that foreign invaders and smugglers and cartels control our destiny, regardless of who we elect as president or to Congress. Why? Because of California judges.”
For millions of Americans, the continual usurpation of the legislative and executive branches of the federal government by the judicial branch certainly sounds like “one emergency after another.”
Moreover, genuine prejudice was demonstrated by Sotomayor herself in a speech given at the University of California School of Law at Berkeley in 2001. “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” she asserted.
Not quite. One would hope all judges sitting on the highest court in the nation would reach conclusions based solely on the Constitution, irrespective of their sex, ethnic makeup, or irrelevant life experiences.
Regardless, one thing is certain: Roberts’s assertion there are no ideologically influenced justices is absurd. Moreover, Roberts himself made one of the more political decisions of modern times when he ultimately changed his mind and decided ObamaCare’s individual mandate constituted a tax rather than an unconstitutional effort forcing people to buy a product.
Roberts’s flip-flop was hailed by leftists, but the irony revealed by columnist Ari Melber regarding why is impossible to ignore. He writes, “Justice Roberts has twice led a coalition to reject conservatives’ attempts to achieve at the court what they failed to do at the ballot box.”
In 2016, conservatives not only prevailed at the ballot box, they elected a president who changed the ideological makeup of SCOTUS to the point where Democrat presidential candidates have promised to pack the court with additional justices if they prevail in 2020. Justices who view the Constitution as a “living” document subject to judicial capriciousness, aimed at validating an agenda Democrats have failed to win at the ballot box.
The recent case between YouTube and conservative author and talk-show host Dennis Prager’s Prager University offers another opportunity to examine the tension in defining and practicing free speech. At the heart of the lawsuit before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Prager accused the massive video-content company of censorship by designating some of PragerU’s content as restricted, which reduced its access, viewership, and revenue.
The situation’s pretty simple: Two entities — YouTube (owned by Google) and PragerU — are engaged in communications on a large scale. The former as a platform to reach millions and the latter producing conservative content hoping to reach those same millions. YouTube is the vehicle used to distribute video content; it gains profits via advertisements. PragerU publishes digital content to spread conservative messages as part of the ongoing political, cultural, and religious debate.
The Ninth Circuit’s three-judge panel dismissed the suit, pointing to a Supreme Court ruling just last year noting that while the First Amendment constrains the U.S. government from censoring speech, it doesn’t apply to private entities. The argument that YouTube is operating essentially as a state actor due to massive presence as an open public forum for content, dialogue, and speech was unsuccessful since the video platform is privately owned and not a public utility or government entity.
The court was right to protect both the property rights and the speech rights of the private entity, YouTube. But let’s at least look at YouTube’s selective application of the culture of free speech.
This isn’t YouTube’s first time being accused of censoring conservative content. In 2017, The Daily Signal, supported by The Heritage Foundation, published a video with a reference made by a pediatrician that didn’t support LGBTQ+ indoctrination. Dr. Michelle Cretella’s commentary included this comparison: “If you want to cut off a leg or an arm, you’re mentally ill, but if you want to cut off healthy breasts or a penis, you’re transgender.” YouTube pulled this video. Ironically, the volume of transgender content is so large on YouTube that a study was conducted and published in 2017 supporting the application as an educational tool: “YouTube as Educator: A Content Analysis of Issues, Themes, and the Educational Value of Transgender-Created Online Videos.”
It’s not just “gender fluidity” that’s embraced by YouTube. Last year, Newsweek featured Marc Schulman’s account as a writer who’s worked with Apple, Facebook, and Amazon on content. He recalled having his eight-minute video, entitled “The Holocaust — A Short History,” similarly labeled and restricted by YouTube. Schulman’s own HistoryCentral.com is a website devoted to the education of middle- and high-school students. Yet his educational video about the horrors of the Holocaust (already published elsewhere) was deemed inappropriate and restricted.
Certainly, YouTube is a private entity. But its own screening, labeling, restricting, and blocking of content disproportionately limits the ideological and religious Right. That exposes an unfortunate reality: These private entities are so large and monopolistic in their control over certain avenues of communication that the end result is partisan censorship.
The obvious bias of the content of these social-media platforms reflects the ideology of their owners and many employees. It’s quite interesting that the courts permit privately owned but essentially monopolistic entities like Google and Facebook to limit access to their services but it took the Supreme Court stepping in to permit a small bakery owned by Christians to make the same determinations about a wedding cake based on the First Amendment’s exercise of religion.
Bad ideas, no matter how popular or vociferously promoted, will inevitably lead to tragedy and ruin. Or, as the old adage states, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Back in 2014, Californians passed Proposition 47, a bill touted as a means to cut law-enforcement costs and free up funding for crime prevention and drug-treatment programs. In order to cut law-enforcement costs, Proposition 47 downgraded numerous crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, so crimes like shoplifting, fraud, writing bad checks, and even (temporary) grand theft auto no longer rise to the level of felonies. The resulting change meant that if a thief stole no more than $950 value in property and was later apprehended, he would essentially skate with no more than a small fine or at most a brief stint in jail. Furthermore, since DNA is not collected for misdemeanor offenses, the state’s DNA database, an important and effective tool in solving and prosecuting violent crimes like murders and rapes, has shrunk.
Another unintended but entirely predictable outcome of Prop 47 is its disincentive of law enforcement to respond aggressively or at all to what is now classified as petty crime. How the theft of nearly a thousand dollars does not rise to the level of significant crime only makes sense if an individual is astronomically wealthy; for most Californians, $1,000 is still a sizable sum. And this misdemeanor-level theft has become an increasingly common problem that only seems to be getting worse.
As the president of one San Francisco condo association exasperatedly observed: “Every bicycle in our building has been stolen. I’ve caught so many people stealing packages. They don’t care. They know nothing will happen to them. It’s crazy. It’s horrible. I feel like these people need to go to jail.”
National Review noted back in 2018 that many Californians were getting fed up but were unfortunately focusing their ire on the wrong culprit — law enforcement: “During a recent gathering in San Francisco’s Russian Hill — a beautiful neighborhood that boasts that famous crooked street, Lombard (now infamous for being haunted by rings of gang members who break into cars, steal tourists’ belongings, and relieve news crews of equipment) — an older gentleman who was born and raised in the city now says he feels like a prisoner in his home, afraid to leave. Officers, who are doing their best, urge residents to call the police and report crimes. Yet people are acutely aware that even if they do, justice won’t be served. So they direct their rage toward the police with a ‘you’re not doing your job!’ No one leaves happy.”
Shoplifting has become such a problem in San Fransisco that stores have stopped stocking shelves with goods as a measure to combat constant theft. Residents have also stopped locking their cars and instead place signs in their car windows that read “unlocked no valuables inside” to prevent thieves from smashing car windows.
What motivates this type of disregard for private property and law and order? The insidious doctrine of “fairness” based upon the envious assumption that if someone has more than another it can only be attributed to injustice. This is the same type of thinking behind the socialism of Bernie Sanders, who bases his dangerous, false, and hypocritical policy agenda upon calls for “fairness.”
Grassroots perspective by Patrick Hampton
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” —Frederick Douglas
Americans can’t celebrate their love for books during National Reading Month without also questioning the literacy of our most vulnerable citizens — our youth.
The argument for school choice grows stronger as more research outlines the roadblocks to literacy in our public schools.
According to the latest data administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), nationally, only 35% of fourth graders read at a level that is proficient or above. In my home state of Tennessee, as well as in Hamilton County where my family resides, the numbers average about the same, with little over a third reading above the aforementioned level. Pay a visit to an eighth-grade classroom and the numbers don’t get any better. According to the NAEP data, nationally, only 32 of students could read at a proficient level.
The statistics go on to suggest that students who are “socioeconomically disadvantaged” — including African Americans and Hispanics — show a trend of underperforming in literacy compared to their Asian and Caucasian counterparts.
Why does this matter? According to a study published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, if children cannot read by the fourth grade, not only are they four times more likely to drop out of high school but nearly half of the classroom material will be “incomprehensible.”
But what you won’t see are headlines and articles highlighting this state of emergency in our education system. Instead, you’ll read social-media campaigns about how students are exceeding key “improvement” measures (that of course obfuscates whether these children are actually academically competent).
Our kids can’t read, yet in Hamilton County the school board approved a new four-year contract renewal for current superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson, which also comes with a promised 2.5% pay increase for teachers.
By this logic, you could go into a five-star restaurant, order a sirloin steak, receive chicken strips instead, and still pay a premium and a tip. The order is wrong, yet we must still pay for it somehow. Illiteracy is not the ticket item any of us asked for.
Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), however, allow us parents to take our money elsewhere. (I make my case for this in a previous article.)
With March being #NationalReadingMonth, I urge parents to read between the lines and look closely at what your local legislators are telling you (and not telling you) about the state of our education. Before they ask for your money, ask them for proof of their service. Because for many children, literacy is their one ticket to freedom. To leave our kids illiterate would be a true denial of civil rights.
OBSTRUCTING AN EFFECTIVE POLICY: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocks Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy (Fox News)
ADMIN TO APPEAL: A federal judge has ruled that Ken Cuccinelli was unlawfully appointed to lead the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency and therefore lacks authority to give asylum seekers less time to prepare for initial screening interviews (ABC News)
DNI NOMINEE: Trump picks John Ratcliffe to lead intelligence community (CBS News)
18 YEARS LATER: U.S., Taliban sign controversial peace deal for Afghanistan (The Daily Signal)
ROUND 3: Supreme Court will once again consider fate of Affordable Care Act (The Washington Post)
“NOW WE’RE COMING AFTER THEM”: Trump goes nuclear on Democrats at CPAC (The Daily Wire)
NO AUTHORITY: House Democrats lose appeal to force White House counsel Don McGahn testimony (Axios)
TAWDRY BEHAVIOR: MSNBC political pundit Chris Matthews absent from air amid sexual-harassment allegations (The Hill)
POLICY: The European welfare state is small compared to what Bernie Sanders is proposing (Foundation for Economic Education)
POLICY: Here’s how to prepare if the coronavirus comes to a quarantine (The Federalist)
HUMOR: Biden confident he can win “after taking South Korean primary” (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.
Video: Fake-News Industrial Complex Exposed by ABC Correspondent — David Wright accused his own network of denying Trump credit where it’s due.
Humor Video: Shut Up, America! With Bernie and Joe — FreedomToons satirizes the media’s affinity for Joe Biden, who wins even by losing.
Video: Thinking About Voting for Bernie? Watch This — Whether it’s Barack Obama or Bernie Sanders, leftists have no idea how an economy works.
Video: The Over-Sexualization of Children in the Name of Tolerance — The Culture Wars are wreaking havoc on kids via age-inappropriate concepts.
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Insight: “I urge you to beware the temptation … to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of any evil empire.” —Ronald Reagan
Upright: “Americans are in a sour mood about foreign interventions, and after 18 years in Afghanistan the desire to come home is understandable. But public frustration shouldn’t ignore the major U.S. accomplishments. Our forces have denied terrorists a safe haven and protected the homeland from another large-scale attack. We have killed the al Qaeda leadership, including Osama bin Laden. We have assisted a Kabul government that, while far from perfect, is free and democratic. We have brought basic education to millions of young Afghans who never had it. And we have trained and equipped Afghan security forces to defend themselves. No one should diminish the sacrifices that Americans have made with their lives and long deployments by dismissing these achievements.” —The Wall Street Journal
Political futures: “The Democrats and the United States need a Sanders candidacy, so the existing Democratic Party can be completely defeated and humiliated and most of its most obnoxious officeholders can be flung out of public life head-first; and so the country can administer to itself the emetic necessary to disgorge this socialist idiocy.” —Conrad Black
Friendly fire: “People want results. They’re not looking for revolution; they want results. They want a return to decency. They want to be able to get things done. And I have a record that is far superior on those two issues than Bernie’s.” —Joe Biden
For the record: “73-year-old Donald Trump, the oldest man ever elected president for the first time, is now the youngest man left in the presidential race. (Even his primary challenger Bill Weld is 74.)” —The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles
Belly laugh: “Future CNN headline: ‘As The Youngest Male Candidate In The Field, Does Donald Trump Have The Experience To Be President?’” —Matt Walsh
And last… “With Pete Buttigieg dropping out of the race, Donald Trump is now the youngest man running for president in 2020. I thought Democrats were supposed to be the party of the youth and the future? Yet a 73-year-old man is still running circles around all of them.” —TPUSA’s Charlie Kirk
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
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