Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 25, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“No compact among men … can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other.” —George Washington (1789)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Dems Stop Obstructing Emergency Relief

Thomas Gallatin

In the early morning hours on Wednesday, Senate Democrats finally agreed to a China Virus relief deal — a package totaling a whopping $2 trillion. This is the largest stimulus bill in U.S. history by far.

“The rescue package will send $1,200 checks to most Americans at a cost of $250 billion,” The Washington Times reports. “It set up a $367 billion loan program to help small businesses make payroll and $500 billion in subsidized loans for big businesses. The aid includes $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits, $150 billion of stimulus spending for states and local governments, and $130 billion for hospitals.”

Importantly, “the deal bars any of the payouts going to President [Donald] Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, cabinet officials, Congress members or any of their immediately family.”

Following the deal’s announcement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had blasted congressional Democrats on Sunday for backing out of the bipartisan deal at the last minute, stated, “Democrats are finally taking ‘Yes’ for an answer. Help is on the way.” McConnell further noted that the $2 trillion relief package essentially amounted to a “wartime level of investment into our nation.”

News of the impending deal sent stock markets surging to the biggest one-day rise since 1933. This is welcome news to the millions of Americans who’ve witnessed their retirement accounts take a beating.

Trump expressed an unusually magnanimous tone following the agreement, declaring, “I also want to thank Congress, because whether or not we’re happy that they haven’t quite gotten there yet, they have been working long hours. I’m talking Republicans and Democrats — all of them, the House [and] the Senate. I want to thank Congress because they are really trying to get there, and I think they will.”

Trump also added a note of optimism, stating that he “would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” However, he readily acknowledged that such a goal was subject to change depending on the state of the pandemic. “We’ll be looking at a lot of things,” he noted. “We’ll also be looking at very large portions of our country, but I’ll be guided very much by Dr. [Anthony] Fauci and by [Dr.] Deborah [Birx].”

The relief bill is by no means a perfect package. It wasn’t before the Democrats’ obstruction gambit and it certainly isn’t any better after they finished with it. However, such is the nature of political gamesmanship, even during a national crisis. Essentially, what changed was that Democrats were able to gain more money for their special interests, in direct contradiction to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s preposterous lie: “Everything we’re suggesting just relates to COVID-19. It’s not about making law for the future. … It’s not changing policy except as it applies here.”

Now the bill heads to the House, where it is expected to pass. There have been a few representatives on both sides of the aisle who have expressed reservations with the Senate bill, but Pelosi is unlikely to derail the relief package a second time and risk further political damage.

In the end, the looming question is a troubling one: How many of the legislation’s “temporary” relief provisions will actually be permanent?


Editor’s Note: For more on today’s top news, check out our daily Executive Summary.

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American Spirit Shines Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Louis DeBroux

The American people are, in the words of President Donald Trump, “one big beautiful American family.” How true that is. Like family we get along with some more than others. We disagree on things, often loudly and vehemently. We argue and fight, laugh, cry, and love.

Yet no family in the world sets aside differences and strengthens each other in times of crisis more than the American people. Whether it be the aftermath of the radical Islamist terrorist attacks of 9/11, the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a massive outbreak of tornadoes in the Midwest, or flooding following Hurricane Katrina, we come together to rescue our neighbor, comfort them, and help them put their lives back together.

And we do it spontaneously, without command or instruction. We see a need, and we rise to meet it; family helping family, neighbor helping neighbor. It is the epitome of the American spirit, a spirit unlike anywhere else in the world.

We saw with the Cajun Navy, an ad-hoc group of volunteers who hitched their boats to their trucks and drove toward Hurricane Katrina as it bore down on Louisiana. These heroes saved thousands of lives, plucking them from the raging waters that engulfed their homes. These same volunteers rescued thousands more following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Florence, and Michael.

The COVID-19 coronavirus presents a much different danger, but a more formidable one. More lives are at risk. And once we are past the danger, there will be time to go back and review what could have been done better and where we can be better prepared next time. But despite the inevitable stumbles and bureaucratic hurdles, no other nation was more prepared than the U.S. to deal with this crisis.

And once again, in the face of danger and national crisis, the American people instinctively look for ways to help their neighbors; not only meeting their basic needs, but lifting their spirits and giving them hope.

Many of the much-maligned corporations voluntarily and proactively stepped up to help their employees, with Walmart and other large companies announcing they would give two weeks of paid leave to any employee who is sick or taking care of a sick family member.

Other businesses took a more entrepreneurial approach. Shine Distillery and Grill in Portland, Oregon, is converting its alcohol waste byproduct into a hand sanitizer and giving it away.

Helping relieve anxiety and stress, the Metropolitan Opera began streaming nightly performances for free for quarantined fans. The video-communications firm Zoom is offering free streaming of religious services. And as millions of children are now stuck at home, doing school remotely, Charter Communications announced free broadband for two months to homes with students.

Millions more individual Americans are seeking opportunities to aid those in need.

NBA rookie and former Duke phenom Zion Williamson announced he will pay the salaries of the workers of the Smoothie King Center (New Orleans Pelicans’ arena) who found themselves out of work when the NBA canceled its season. And Charlotte Hornets Sports and Entertainment, along with Hornets players, created a fund to provide financial aid to its 500 part-time employees no longer working after the season abruptly ended.

In Houston, after Harris County announced a mandatory shutdown of all bars and nightclubs, a patron left a $9,400 tip at Irma’s Southwest Restaurant with a note on the receipt that read simply, “Hold tip to pay you guys over the next few weeks.” And while few Americans have that kind of money to drop as a tip, many are ordering take-out from local restaurants to help them stay afloat.

In Walnut Creek, California, a dentist is offering free emergency dental services at home to ease crowding in hospital emergency rooms. Around the country, private citizens are tutoring children for free. Others are using the Nextdoor app to coordinate food, medicine, and aid for the vulnerable.

In Smithfield, North Carolina, Nathan Sheppard played guitar on Facebook Live and asked for donations. He raised $235 and gave it to Jessica Young, a local waitress and single mother of three who is awaiting kidney and pancreas transplants. Churches across the country are mobilizing to respond to the increased needs.

These seemingly random and sometimes coordinated acts of kindness and generosity are occurring countless times each day across America. The vast majority will never make the news or be applauded. Yet they go on, day after day, blessing the lives of those who receive them.

There are some in the media, and some driven by politics, who portray America as having Third World healthcare and greedy, self-interested people who care nothing for the suffering of others. They demand more government, claiming only government can save us (when they are not blaming government for our predicament, that is).

But these critics are cynical and selfish in their motivations, and to be dismissed, or rebuked.

America is the greatest, most compassionate, most generous, most entrepreneurial, most resilient nation on the face of the Earth. If you doubt that, simply ask yourself one question: In the current pandemic, where else would you rather be?

(Correction: Hurricane Katrina was in 2005, not 2016 as implied by in the original. Given that the Cajun Navy operated during numerous hurricanes, we’ve removed the year.)

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National Medal of Honor Day

Mark Alexander

“Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.” —Thomas Jefferson (1775)

In 1787, George Washington and the Constitutional Convention delegates composed this preamble: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

For all Americans, and especially those of us who have sworn “to support and defend” our Constitution, securing the “blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity” is more than just an aspiration. It is our sacred duty.

March 25 is National Medal of Honor Day — the anniversary observance of the first Medal of Honor recipients — an opportunity to recognize all of the recipients of our nation’s highest military award and recall their extraordinary service and sacrifice on behalf of their brothers in arms and in defense of American Liberty.

On this day in 1863, Private Jacob Parrott was the first of six men to receive the Medal of Honor for their actions as members of Andrews’ Raiders, whose valorous acts on April 12, 1862, were immortalized in print and film as “The Great Locomotive Chase.” Those actions occurred just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Birthplace of the Medal of Honor and home of the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center. The Heritage Center is focused on six character-trait pillars of the Medal of Honor — traits that are common to all recipients: Courage, Sacrifice, Patriotism, Citizenship, Integrity, and Commitment.

Since the first medals were awarded, American presidents and military commanders have, in the name of the United States Congress, presented 3,527 Medals of Honor to 3,508 individuals, including 19 double recipients.

In a nation of some 330 million people, only 71 recipients are living today.

Notably, Chattanooga was also the field of service for the only woman who holds a Medal of Honor, Dr. Mary Walker. Other well-known recipients from our area include World War I’s Alvin York, whose life story was immortalized in the film “Sergeant York.” More recently, the heroic actions of my old neighbor, World War II veteran Desmond Doss, were featured in the movie “Hacksaw Ridge.”

I have profiled several Medal of Honor recipients: Desmond Doss (Army), Col. Wesley Fox (Marine Corps), and Col. Leo Thorsness (Air Force).

For additional inspiration, read “Our Flag — What Do You See?” by Col. Thorsness.

In 1992, during Ronald Reagan’s final public address, he offered these words about honoring our legacy of Liberty: “My fondest hope for each one of you is that you will love your country not for her power or wealth, but for her selflessness and her idealism. May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will make the world a little better for your having been here. May all of you as Americans never forget your heroic origins, never fail to seek divine guidance, and never lose your natural, God-given optimism.”

I invite you to help us extend “the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity” by ensuring that we as Americans “never forget our heroic origins” and by promoting and extending the legacy of all Medal of Honor recipients to the next generation. Please consider making a designated gift online or make a check payable to Patriot Foundation Trust (noting NMoHHC on the memo line), and mail to Patriot Foundation Trust, PO Box 407, Chattanooga, TN 37401-0407.

Read about The Patriot Post’s Mission of Service to our Armed Forces, including Operation Shield of Strength supporting our Patriots in uniform and their families.

I’ll leave you with these words, which recipient Kyle Carpenter recently noted are the foundation for his service and sacrifice: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” —John 15:12-14

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How to Make China Pay for Coronavirus Cover-Up

Harold Hutchison

With the need to hold the People’s Republic of China accountable for the coronavirus cover-up that cost American lives, there is one question we need to answer: How? The good news is that there is a cornucopia of options, some of which were already being pursued. They just need to be accelerated.

One big item, which President Donald Trump has already been pursuing, is to create supply chains that are not dependent on China. The coronavirus pandemic will accelerate that trend, and that will be very helpful on multiple fronts — job creation and lower strategic vulnerability among them. But this is not all we can do.

Beijing needs more than just a hit in the pocketbook — it needs to be diminished on the world stage and humiliated over the cover-up. Beijing lied, people died, and its communist leaders are playing the race card to suppress criticism in the United States. That cannot be permitted to stand.

Part of that effort might be the bicameral legislation introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY). “There is no doubt that China’s unconscionable decision to orchestrate an elaborate coverup of the wide-ranging and deadly implications of coronavirus led to the death of thousands of people, including hundreds of Americans and climbing,” Stefanik said. “This Resolution calls for China to provide compensation for the harm, loss, and destruction their arrogance brought upon the rest of the world. Simply put China must, and will, be held accountable.”

We suffered a massive economic disruption. It needs to be made whole. We are less worried about corporations buying back their own stock than we are about mitigating the effects of China’s negligent (at best) actions.

For starters, the United States needs to openly pursue ties with Taiwan, which would send a strong signal to its would-be Chinese overlords. Taiwan warned about the risk of human transmission in December but was ignored by the World Health Organization. Clearly, Taiwan knew what was going on, and depriving America of access to information from Taiwan is a mistake. The United States also needs to demand Taiwan receive full membership in organizations like the WHO — as Taiwan, not the “Chinese Taipei” moniker Beijing demands. There should be bilateral meetings, port visits by U.S. warships, joint exercises, the whole nine yards. Taiwan should be rewarded for its efforts, just as Beijing should be punished. If Xi Jinping doesn’t like it, he can go pound sand.

There is more that can be done. The People’s Republic of China needs to be countered globally. The campaign against Huawei’s involvement in building 5G networks around the world needs to be ramped up. If anyone is building 5G for the world, it should be us. For the obvious reasons (more jobs for Americans), and maybe for other not-so-obvious reasons.

This should be accompanied by a major increase in our military’s force structure. We’ve covered what needs to be done for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, and we can add the Space Force to the list as well. There are two reasons for this.

First, our military has been undersized for a long time. We’ve seen problems in the War on Terror because of the lack of quantity. More importantly, a potential military conflict with China will be in the air, in space, and on the sea. That requires a very different military than one intended to combat terrorism motivated by radical interpretations of Islam, and we should maintain both sets of capabilities. That is just common sense.

The second reason is because a more powerful American military will hurt China’s position in the world. Why? Because as the gap grows, the Butchers of Beijing will face the need to keep up with the Americans. But they will have dwindling economic power to make that happen, and it will put them in a bind. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch, if you ask us.

Making China pay for their cover-up of the coronavirus is a necessity. It should be a full-spectrum effort, hitting Beijing on every front possible. In this case, making an example of China will hopefully encourage better behavior.

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States Use Pandemic to Suspend Second Amendment

Thomas Gallatin

State governors across the country have issued orders mandating the closure of all businesses not deemed essential or “life-sustaining” in response to the growing China Virus pandemic. Unfortunately, several states have included firearms retailers in their list of “nonessential” stores, effectively limiting their residents’ access to their Second Amendment rights.

In Pennsylvania, the commonwealth’s Supreme Court recently upheld Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf’s shuttering of all gun stores. In his dissenting opinion, Justice David Wecht blasted the governor’s order, writing, “In my view, it is incumbent upon the Governor to make some manner of allowance for our citizens to continue to exercise this constitutional right.” Wecht continued, “Such an accommodation may be effectuated while preserving sensible restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, but nonetheless provide a legal avenue for the purchase and sale of firearms, thus avoiding an impermissible intrusion upon a fundamental constitutional right.” In short, there is no legitimate excuse to suspend Americans’ civil rights due to a crisis.

Fortunately, Wolf partially reversed course late Tuesday. The Washington Free Beacon reports, “The governor will allow gun dealers to reopen their stores, but his order still severely restricts what they are allowed to do. The updated order says gun stores may only operate ‘to complete only the portions of a sale/transfer that must be conducted in-person under the law,’ likely referring to the completion of a background check, which must be done in person.” The order requires an “individual appointment,” as well, “during limited hours.”

Wolf is not the only governor to dismiss Americans’ gun rights as “non-essential.” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, also a Democrat (surprise!), included gun stores in his list of nonessential businesses that must shutter indefinitely due to the pandemic. Murphy faces a lawsuit brought by resident Robert Kashinsky, New Jersey’s Second Amendment Society, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Legends Firearms.

Andrew Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, argued, “Gov. Murphy cannot simply suspend the Second Amendment and neither can Supt. Callahan. Yet, under this emergency order, that’s exactly what they’re doing. The Constitution and federal law don’t allow that.”

Fortunately, not all state governors have chosen to ignore the Constitution. Illinois Democrat Gov. J.B. Prizker last week issued a “shelter in place” order yet recognized firearms retailers as an essential business that can remain open “for purposes of safety and security.” Would that all governors respected Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

There is a silver lining in all this, which is that firearms retailers are reporting a near 300% increase in sales since the pandemic, while noting that 90% of recent purchases have been first-time gun owners. It takes a crisis for some folks to recognize the wisdom of our right to bear arms. Self-defense is not a luxury; it is a responsibility.

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Something Ain’t White in the Milk

Grassroots perspective by Willie Richardson

Have you ever been about to put something succulent in your mouth, but decided to look twice and realize you almost made a mistake? You were hungry and this was your favorite restaurant serving your preferred dish. However, there was something in your food that didn’t quite look right — maybe a strand of hair. Yuck! Immediately you would be suspicious and while your stomach was still growling, you would be hard pressed to put that fork of your favorite dish in your mouth.

Welcome to the politicized COVID-19 crisis.

Something on the Left doesn’t smell right. The Democrats have just waved their hands in the faces of Americans vehemently. They have proclaimed that they couldn’t care less about the American people, preferring their Big Government agenda. What’s it going to take for Americans to realize the Left has left “We the People” out of the equation?

Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi pushed the following (and many more) demands after blocking the bipartisan stimulus bill amid “pandemic-fueled” economic collapse:

1) Unprecedented collective bargaining powers for unions
2) Increased fuel emissions standards for airlines
3) Expansion of wind and solar tax credits

The Democrats strike again! What do these things have to do with the stimulus bill for Americans? House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) reportedly told Democrats on a conference call last week that the party should exploit the coronavirus stimulus: “This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

What? “Our vision”? So, forget about the millions of Americans who are suffering financially through this frenzy. The one person that spoke to the outright tomfoolery of this blockage of $1.7 trillion dollar stimulus bill was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. He spoke to the conditions of “We the People”:

I am no stranger to robust political and policy disagreements. But we are in the midst of a global pandemic. People are dying. People are suffering. [Sunday] night when the Senate voted on whether to move forward with emergency relief legislation for the millions of people being devastated by the economic disaster we’re seeing as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, every single Democrat in this body voted to block consideration of this bill. Now for those of you at home who are not pouring over a Senate procedural matter, what does it mean to vote to block consideration? It doesn’t mean they voted against the bill. It means they voted against even starting to take it up.

The New York Times headline moments afterwards said, “Democrats block $1.7 trillion stimulus bill.” Of course that headline had the fault of being accurate and so within minutes the New York Times changed it to “Democrats block $1.7 trillion stimulus bill, citing worker concerns.” That was headline number two. But then apparently the partisan leanings in the New York Times were too strong for that, and so they revised it a third time to say, “Partisan division halts discussion of the bill.”

No, it wasn’t a partisan division. It was one party — the Democratic Party — saying to this chamber and the American people, “Hell no. We won’t even take this up and discuss it.” At a time of crisis, at a time when people are dying, that’s wrong. That’s shameful.“

Something ain’t white in the milk, and Senator Cruz spoke on behalf of "We the People!” Thank you Senator Cruz for your passionate speech to light a fire under the American people. We will remember in November! In the meantime, prepare for the worst and expect the best.

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NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

Above the Fold

  • “AT LAST WE HAVE A DEAL”: Senate and White House agree on $2 trillion stimulus plan (National Review)

  • OPTIMISM: Dow posts 2,112-point (11%) gain on Tuesday — the biggest ever (Fox Business)

  • GOOD NEWS: Scientists say coronavirus does not undergo significant number of mutations (The Daily Wire)

Government, Politics, & Economy

  • “WE HAVE TO GET BACK TO WORK”: President Trump calls for restarting economy by Easter (Fox News)

  • “CHEAP MANUFACTURING BE DAMNED”: Sentiment builds for moving U.S. companies out of China (Washington Examiner)

  • PRESSING ON: Bernie Sanders refuses to drop out of presidential race, will participate in April Democrat debate (National Review)

  • TRAVELERS GET A BREAK: Real ID deadline pushed back due to the coronavirus (USA Today)

Leftmedia

Heartland

  • AN EXCUSE TO INFRINGE ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT? North Carolina sheriff suspends new pistol permits due to “250 percent increase in demand” (National Review)

  • DEATH BY WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY: Ohio abortion providers say they will defy state shutdown order (The Washington Free Beacon)

Closing Arguments

  • POLICY: A litany of useless laws have been exposed by the coronavirus (Foundation for Economic Education)

  • POLICY: Start with common ground on climate-change policy (National Review)

  • HUMOR: The biggest stock rebound in history is actually due to President Obama’s economic policies (NPC Daily)

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: The Red Tape Pandemic — “The time it took to get rid of [onerous] rules allowed the virus to spread farther,” says John Stossel.

Video: Even During the Pandemic, There Is Some Good News — Like becoming independent from communist China, self-preservation, and social benefits.

Humor Video: The Self-Quarantine Life — “Now what?”

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

SHORT CUTS

Observations: “Before this health crisis hit, our economy was strong. Our country is fundamentally strong. But we’ve taken an unusual and hard physical blow. This is not like other economic crises, where the collapse was the result of some major flaw in our existing institutions or the way we are managing our affairs. This crisis is the result of shutting down our economy because of an immediate health threat.” —Star Parker

For the record: “The economy cannot remain shuttered indefinitely; the federal government cannot engage in endless cash expenditures on the basis of treasuries nobody is buying. Nor is the economy merely Wall Street. The vast majority of those who will lose their jobs are not day traders but workers. Small companies are more likely to go under than large ones. The economy isn’t an abstraction. It’s the real lives of hundreds of millions of American citizens, and costs to those Americans must be weighed in the balance. That’s not controversial. That’s a simple fact.” —Ben Shapiro

Perspective: “About 35,000 people die in car accidents every year in this country. Many more are maimed and crippled. That works out to about 100 dead per day, half of them under the age of 50. … Why? Well, though nobody would ever put it like this, it’s because we’ve decided that 35,000 dead people is a cost worth paying in order to keep our cars.” —Matt Walsh

Belly laugh of the week: “Ukraine legislature to impeach Pelosi for withholding aid to America.” —Twitter satirist hale_razor

Be judicious: “If you don’t have symptoms, you don’t need a coronavirus test.” —Vice President Mike Pence

What could possible go wrong? “If it comes to it, and we still have the virus … and best practices is being away from one another, disaggregated, then I think we ought to go to an election by mail.” —House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer

The BIG Lie: “Everything we’re suggesting just relates to COVID-19. It’s not about making law for the future. … It’s not changing policy except as it applies here.” —Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the now-scrapped 1,400-page House CV19 emergency funding bill — loaded with unrelated special-interest pork

And last… “We’re going to see what capitalism is really all about. When we have these big conversations about the direction the country is headed and what direction the country ought to be headed — this is a chance, unlike anything I’ve ever seen, for corporate America to step up and do what the government simply can’t do.” —Mike Rowe

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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.


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

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