Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 4, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“An ELECTIVE DESPOTISM was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.” —James Madison (1788)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Biden’s Super Tuesday

Thomas Gallatin

As the dust settles after the biggest day on the presidential-primary calendar, it’s a Super Tuesday that may go down as one of the most impressive campaign turnarounds in history. Joe Biden was for months the presumptive Democrat nominee, though he nearly frittered away that lead in a lackluster campaign effort, leaving his campaign on life support just a week ago. In the last few days, however, he came roaring back to firmly reestablish himself as the party’s presumptive nominee. And not a moment too soon for establishment Democrats, whose panic over the prospect of socialist Bernie Sanders winning the nomination drove them to near DEFCON 1.

As commentator Erick Erickson notes, “Super Tuesday was formalized by southern Democrats in 1980 to stop the advance of Ted Kennedy against Jimmy Carter and Democrats have used it ever since to blunt the momentum of the far left in their party. They are doing it again this year.”

In just two days following Biden’s big South Carolina win, three candidates, including third-place contender Pete Buttigieg, dropped out and dutifully lined up to endorse Biden. Going into Tuesday, Sanders was leading in the polls in 10 of the 14 states, but as voting numbers came in, like dominoes, the Super Tuesday states fell for Biden; he won nine and possibly 10 of the 14 states up for grabs.

Heading into Tuesday, Sanders had the organizational advantage, the financial edge, and favorable polling numbers over Biden. Yet not only was Sanders beaten, he was beaten badly. That Biden won even Massachusetts, defeating both Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (who limped in at third place in her home state), may have been the icing on the cake. The question is how much longer she’ll stay in.

To that point, if Warren had dropped out ahead of Tuesday and endorsed Sanders, it’s likely that the story today would be much different. Assuming that a large percentage of Warren’s votes would have gone to her ideological comrade, Sanders would have easily won Massachusetts and Maine, and perhaps Texas and Minnesota. Instead of a massive Biden win, the headlines would be addressing the dead heat between him and Sanders.

That said, such speculation still fails to answer why Sanders fared so poorly in the states he was projected to win. The main reason Sanders bombed was that his long-touted youth vote simply didn’t show up.

Adding to Sanders’s misery, Michael Bloomberg suspended his campaign this morning and endorsed Biden. So, unless Warren follows suit quickly and endorses Sanders, it looks like Biden may quickly run away with this, ending any realistic prospect of a contested convention. That said, it will still be far from smooth sailing for Biden. The specter of his questionable Ukrainian deals are certain to come front and center, as well as growing questions surrounding his age and senility. He’s always been a gaffe machine, but even that doesn’t explain some of his more recent flubs.

The two biggest losers on Tuesday were Sanders and the Leftmedia. Interestingly, all the candidates the Leftmedia touted have quickly fallen away.

The final and maybe most important takeaway from yesterday was President Donald Trump’s impressive numbers. In a primary in which the presidential incumbent is essentially guaranteed the party nomination, which typically leads to lower voter turnout, Trump’s numbers were surprisingly high. In fact, if this is any indication of voter enthusiasm for Trump, the Democrats are in big trouble come November. In Texas, for example, Trump received more votes than all the Democrat candidates combined. As of this writing, in California Trump received nearly 450,000 more votes than Sanders, who won the state’s Democrat primary. In short, it looks like Trump is expanding his base.

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Too Much Economic Dependency on China

Lewis Morris

America’s dependence on China for goods in many ways has been a drag on our economy for decades, and if this wasn’t clear to us before, the coronavirus ought to help put it into perspective.

China played a rigged game for the better part of 40 years to tilt the worldwide economic balance of power in its favor. Manipulating its currency, engaging in illegal trade practices, industrial espionage, and other dirty tactics should have isolated the totalitarian regime from global trade. Instead, China was rewarded by convincing many major American and European manufacturers to set up shop there. Furthermore, it used low-paid and sometimes prison labor to manufacture and sell goods in the American market and elsewhere so cheaply that other countries simply couldn’t afford to compete at that level and remain in business.

It wasn’t until Donald Trump became president that the United States finally acted against China’s underhanded tactics. But it will take more than some strategic tariffs to undo the damage done by the communist regime — and previous administrations.

The coronavirus outbreak — which followed China’s three-week New Year break — has all but brought Chinese manufacturing and exports to a halt. U.S. businesses reliant on components from China are facing long wait-times for delivery that range from six to 15 weeks. These major disruptions to the global supply chain will cost American businesses billions of dollars as they work to reschedule construction projects, adjust product orders, and attempt to belay investor concerns. Global tech giants Microsoft, Apple, and Nintendo are all already looking at reduced second-quarter earnings.

One particularly unhealthy aspect of our dependence on China is that country’s dominance of the medical supply chain. Large portions of major American pharmaceuticals are manufactured in China, and we could face a shortage of these products.

Goldman Sachs predicts stagnant earnings growth for the rest of 2020, and best estimates put current investment losses tied to the coronavirus at $2 trillion. Cooler heads on Wall Street still maintain that the stock market is experiencing a course correction and not taking a dive. Of course, Democrats and their Leftmedia propagandists are fanning the flames of panic. They would love nothing more than to see a ravaged American economy because that is the surest way to defeat Trump in November.

It could be, though, that the coronavirus outbreak that has been symbolic of our economic dependence on China could also be the thing that ultimately breaks that hold. Researchers have noted that the virus outbreak comes at a time when China is facing a series of challenges to its economic power. Its economy has been slowing for several years, the country has saturated global markets to the point that expanding exports is quite challenging, and the Trump tariffs dealt it a severe economic blow. And let us not forget that China is a totalitarian regime oppressing its people and seeking hegemony by means of force; it’s not generally considered a model for long-term economic success.

This doesn’t mean that the U.S. has to stand by and wait for China to fall by the wayside, because it may not. Instead, our great nation needs to be more proactive by not only diversifying overseas investments and manufacturing but pushing hard to invest in America First. The United States should lead the world in manufacturing, and moving toward such leadership and care for our own citizens should be paramount in the minds of America’s leading corporations and its elected leaders.

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Education Secretary Threatens Union Power

Louis DeBroux

Since nearly the moment she was announced as President Donald Trump’s selection for education secretary, Betsy DeVos has been under relentless fire from Democrats and their allies in the education establishment. The most ruthless attacks come from national teachers unions like the NEA (National Education Association) and the AFT (American Federation of Teachers) and their state affiliates.

The NEA launched the “Fire DeVos Pledge,” declaring her to be the least qualified secretary of education in history. The claims include: “Her education freedom scholarships are ‘degrading’ to public schools, ‘threaten students’ civil rights,‘ 'widen educational inequity,’ are a personal attack on teachers, and are ‘dangerous.’”

Nor are the attacks limited to rhetoric. Thanks to threats from the teachers unions and their thugs, American taxpayers now spend $6 million per year for a security detail to protect DeVos. And she personally covers their travel expenses.

What atrocities have occurred at the direction of Secretary DeVos that warrant such hostility?

She is an enormous advocate for educational freedom, supporting mechanisms like vouchers and ESAs (Educational Savings Accounts) that put power over children’s education back in the hands of parents instead of bureaucrats. This allows poor children in failing schools the same opportunity for a quality education that children of the affluent and politically connected receive.

The ugly truth is that America’s education system is mediocre at best, an anachronism of the industrial age, ill-equipped to develop the minds of our children in the information age. Our children are placed in educational assembly lines, in batches by age, taught the same things in the same way, regardless of the strengths and weaknesses of each child, and regardless of their interests.

Our children suffer as a result, and teacher-union bosses couldn’t care less.

Al Shanker, former president of the American Federation of Teachers, when asked about the impact four teacher walkouts in less than a year would have on the children, famously retorted that he would “start representing kids when they started paying union dues.” Nothing has changed.

DeVos seeks to expand educational freedom and drastically reduce the size, scope, and reach of Washington politicians and bureaucrats, as well as teachers unions, which have an incestuous, symbiotic relationship. Unions provide (almost exclusively Democrat) politicians an army of campaign workers and millions in member dues in the form of campaign contributions, and the politicians block measures that allow parents the ability to move their children out of failing schools.

The politicians and union leaders thrive, but the children suffer.

The federal Department of Education was established in 1979, with a budget of $12 billion. That grew to $70 billion in FY2017, Barack Obama’s last year, for a department employing more than 4,000 bureaucrats who do nothing but micromanage the decision-making of countless thousands of schools around the country.

Yet after four decades and hundreds of billions of dollars, the academic achievement of American children is stagnant in math and reading, and worse in science. As Secretary DeVos correctly notes, government can’t fix public schools.

The American people would never tolerate federal bureaucrats and their union cronies dictating where we select our groceries, especially if the stores we were forced to shop at offered no selection, stale bread, moldy fruit, and rotting meat.

Yet that is exactly what government forces us to do with our children, our most cherished possessions: feed them the educational equivalent of stale bread and rotting meat.

President Trump and Secretary DeVos are fighting the unions to obtain quality education and choice for our children. Every American should join them in that fight.

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Mainline Churches Decline While American Christianity Grows

Thomas Gallatin

With mainline denominational churches in America continuing to decline in size and number, is this a sign that the U.S. population is becoming more secular and less religious? According to recent data from Pew Research, the answer actually appears to be no. Even as mainline churches have declined, nondenominational churches have experienced significant growth. In 1998, the number of nondenominational churches in the U.S. was 54,000; by 2012 the number had increased by 42% to 84,000.

To what should we attribute both the decline in mainline churches and the growth in nondenominational churches? The answer to the first question appears to be in large part related to generational changes. As the expectations and demands of a younger generation of society changes, people’s expectations and demands for churches change as well. Older denominational models that fail to adapt and reach out invariably lose people.

As Wheaton College professor Ed Stetzer observes, “Sometimes churches die, and sometimes they should. A new church, not a reboot of the old, should be started in its place.”

Writer Ericka Andersen argues, “The leaders taking Mr. Stetzer’s advice generally focus on creating churches that cater to specific needs. There is a church exclusively for employees of Disney World. Spanish-language services are more popular than ever. ‘House churches,’ composed of neighbors meeting for informal services — usually in living rooms — are on the rise as well. Popular Christian leaders like Francis Chan, a former megachurch pastor who now advocates house churches, offer free training for this model.”

However, within the changing American church landscape an obvious tension is raised; how much can the form and practice of a church change without the core faith message being compromised? One need look no further than former Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who declared that his openly homosexual lifestyle was completely compatible with his declared Christian faith. In fact, Buttigieg went so far as to declare that anyone holding to the historic and biblically consistent sexual ethic was at odds with being a “loving Christian.”

So, while it’s true that Christian denominationalism is on the decline and nondenominationalism is on the rise, this may only be viewed as either a positive or a negative development depending on whether this change is leading people to the worship of God in Spirit and Truth. Since humankind is inherently religious by nature, that the American religious and church landscape is changing should come as little surprise. The more important consideration is what these changes reveal about what Americans are seeking to worship. Are more Americans moving toward worshipping a god who comports with their own imaginations and desires or are they responding in genuine faith, seeking to worship God as He has revealed Himself through the Son according to the Scriptures?

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Back That Vote Up

Grassroots perspective by Willie Richardson

To say that the Democrat Party will do anything for the minority vote is a forgone conclusion. Their ridiculous efforts have reached “whiteface” proportions. From Hillary Clinton’s fake southern accent to Bill Clinton’s saxophone-playing ensemble on the then-famous Arsenio Hall Show, progressives just can’t get enough of patronizing the black vote. Moreover, who can blame them? It’s as easy as convincing the black community that voting liberal will afford them the American Dream. Although it’s painful to watch former presidential hopeful Tom Steyer burst into non-rhythmic dance moves to the beats off the album “400 Degreez” pandering the black vote, I understand the desperation. Democrats don’t reinvent the wheel to keep black people under control. They have a 400-year head start.

As Steyer was on stage with the Hip Hop icon Juvenile, bopping to “Back That A#$ Up” he most assuredly believed this was the way into the hearts and minds of low-info black voters. He was right, but he was a day late and a couple million dollars short. After spending nearly $24 million on television advertising in the state of South Carolina, he finished behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Saturday. He ended his campaign push over the weekend.

Nevertheless, the bigger question is why do Democrats use celebrity minorities to do their political dirty work today? The same reason they used celebrity minorities in times past. Malcolm X called them “puppets.”

“These leaders that they call leaders, this included Lena Horne. This included Dick Gregory. This included comedians, comics, trumpet players, baseball players. Show me in the white community where a comedian is a white leader. Show me in the white community where a singer is a white leader, or a dancer, or a trumpet player is a white leader! These aren’t leaders! These are puppets and clowns.”

Juvenile, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Lebron James, or any black celebrity who has been used for the Democrat Party are puppets. Democrats keep using them because they keep soliciting their services.

Mic drop.

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NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

IDENTITY-THEFT RULING: U.S. Supreme Court gives states latitude to prosecute illegal immigrants (Reuters)

FAKE NEWS MEDIA, PART I: Trump campaign sues The Washington Post for “false, defamatory statements” vis-à-vis Russia (The Daily Wire)

FAKE NEWS MEDIA, PART II: Rep. Devin Nunes sues The Washington Post for Russia-themed “hit piece” (The Daily Wire)

“THE BEGINNING OF WHAT IS HAPPENING ABROAD”: Tensions rise as U.S. death toll from coronavirus reaches 9 (AP)

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will drop limits on virus testing (The New York Times)

FOR THE RECORD: Iran triples its uranium stockpile. IAEA chief realizes Trump’s suspicion of Iran may be correct. (The Daily Wire)

SHOWDOWN WITH TUBERVILLE: Jeff Sessions forced into runoff in Alabama Senate primary (The Federalist)

TENNESSEE TORNADOS: Dozens still missing following storms that killed at least 24 people (The Washington Post)

NON COMPOS MENTIS: Conversion therapy officially banned in Virginia (The Hill)

POLICY: Women are winning under President Trump (GOP)

POLICY: How Prager University should fight social-media censorship instead of losing in the courts (The Federalist)

HUMOR: Biden confident after spending Super Tuesday stumping across Iowa: “It seems like a lot of my rivals have completely given up on the state” (The Onion)

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.

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VIDEOS

Video: China’s Not the Only One Lying About the Coronavirus — So is the American Left. And it’s hoping you’re dumb enough to buy it.

Humor Video: Coronavirus — Why You Should Panic More — What is the coronavirus, and why should you panic more? In this life-enhancing video you’ll have these questions answer.

Video: The Nanny-in-Chief — John Stossel outlines Michael Bloomberg’s arrogant nanny statism.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

SHORT CUTS

For the record: “As Trump’s job approval rating has improved, so has the image of the Republican Party. Now, 51% of Americans view the Republican Party favorably, up from 43% in September. It is the first time GOP favorability has exceeded 50% since 2005.” —Gallup

Nailed it: “If only [Michael] Bloomberg had hired Russians to buy $100,000 in barely literate Facebook ads, instead of spending $700 MILLION, he’d be president now. That’s what the media have told us for 3+ years.” —The Federalist’s Sean Davis

Belly laugh of the week: “Wow. I’m feeling pretty good… Despite very minimal campaigning on my part, I have managed to win only 12 fewer delegates than Bloomberg.” —The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh

Observations: “The momentum for Donald Trump might be the most underreported aspect of Super Tuesday.” —The Patriot Post’s Nate Jackson

Probably when hell freezes over: “I really don’t like the dementia jokes about Biden, because it’s sad. But … honestly? This isn’t a joke anymore. When do people in the media start having a serious conversation about Biden’s mental state?” —"Relatable" host Allie Beth Stuckey

Village idiot: “Yes, Mr. Trump, let’s make America great again. But first, get one thing straight: America was great — before you were elected. … He has demolished our standing in the world with his laughable boasts and breathtaking ignorance. He has put the security of this country, and our planet, in a precarious position by abandoning the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal. He’s a one-man weapon of mass destruction … so reckless that he almost started a war. … Trump can never live up to Obama’s legacy, so he’s trying to erase it. He inherited a growing economy and now claims credit for it, saying it’s the best in history … but that’s another lie.” —actress and singer Barbra Streisand

Braying jackass: “I want to talk to my Republicans. Stay the hell out of our race! Stay the hell out of our race! I get sick and tired of Republicans telling me and my colleagues about our process. … So, [RNC chairwoman] Ronna [McDaniel], go to hell!” —former DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile

Alpha jackass: “Democratic Denver City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca faced conservative criticism Tuesday after sharing a meme on Twitter suggesting she stands in ‘solidarity’ with the idea of spreading coronavirus at President Trump’s campaign rallies.” —Fox News

And last… “Becoming President just wasn’t in Elizabeth Warren’s DNA.” —"Vs Media Podcast" host Stephen Miller

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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 cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.


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