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1  Theology / Bible Prescription Shop / ANTIDOTES! on: March 20, 2017, 07:51:11 PM
ANTIDOTES!
From Timeless Grace Gems
James Smith, 1858



    My mind is at times harassed with fear, tormented with doubts, and burdened with a load of guilt. I have tried a variety of things in order to get relief, and have looked for deliverance in many ways. But experience has taught me, that the only way to conquer fear, dissipate doubts, and remove a burden of fresh-contracted guilt — is to look back to the cross! There, I see Jesus as the Sinner's Substitute, bearing our sins, in his own body on the tree, paying all the debt we had contracted, answering all the demands that can be made upon us, harmonizing all the perfections of God in our salvation, and providing a free and full salvation for us. As I look on the cross — I feel peace flow into my soul, and a holy quietness take possession of my spirit.

    I ask, "What should I fear? Jesus has made a full atonement for all my sins. He has given full satisfaction, to the law and justice of God, for all my misdeeds.

    Why should I doubt? God is love, or he would not have given his Son to die the just for the unjust. Having given his Son, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself — will he not deal graciously with me, and freely give me all things?

    Why should I carry a load of guilt? Has not Jesus been punished for me, that I may not be punished? Did not Jesus die, that I may live forever? Is not the atonement of God's own Son sufficient? Does not the blood of Jesus cleanse from all sin? If Jesus suffered for me, if he died in my stead — then surely I may go free.

    Thus looking back to the cross, and exercising faith in Jesus, I find my fears depart, my doubts remove, and my sense of guilt taken away. I have peace with God, confidence in God, and can leave all things with God.


    Sometimes I feel sad and lonely. I have no one to whom I can open my heart, or into whose ear I can pour all my complaints. I need one who has a fellow feeling with me. One who has experienced what I do. One who can stoop to and help me. At such times I find it best to look up to the throne of grace, and sigh for fellowship with Jesus. He has been tried in all points like as we are. He has a human heart. He has carried the experience of earth, with him to Heaven. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He is our brother still. He remembers the lonely mountain, the howling wilderness, and the gloomy garden. He never forgets how he felt the need of sympathy, and friendly fellowship, when he went backwards and forwards to his disciples, and found them sleeping. I will therefore lift up my eyes to Jesus in the Heavens, and will seek to pour out my heart before him, and receive comfort and consolation from him. I have always one who feels for me, and feels with me. One that will listen to me, and prove his love by sustaining, cheering, and delivering me.

    O Jesus, Savior of my soul, when I look up to you, and believe that you are before the Father for me, and ever sympathize with me — I feel relieved, and the principal sense of loneliness and isolation leaves me! O my soul, whenever earth refuses to furnish you with a companion, a comforter, a friend who can identify himself with you — look up to Heaven, for Heaven will furnish what earth denies!


    "Why should any living man complain?" Lamentations 3:39. Occasionally, I am tempted to complain of my hard lot — and think myself harshly dealt with. Ingratitude rises and works in my heart. This always makes me wretched. I then find it profitable to look down into Hell — and realize its horrors and agonies as my just desert.

    If anyone ever deserved to go to Hell — I did!

    If justice was ever honored in a sinner's damnation — it would have been in mine!

    If anyone was ever saved by grace alone — I am the man!

    Shall I then, who deserve to be in Hell — but am not; shall I who am an heir of Heavenly glory — though no one ever deserved it less; shall I, because of a few trials, troubles, and disappointments, or because I have rather a heavy cross to carry — shall I dare to murmur, or fret, or complain, or think myself harshly dealt with?

    Shocking inconsistency! What are my present pains or sufferings — compared with the Hell that I deserve!

    All the afflictions that I am called to endure here on earth — cannot even be compared with only twenty-four hours in Hell! And yet my desert is, not to be in Hell for a few hours — but forever! Surely every lost soul, every damned spirit — will be ready to rise up in judgment against me — if I complain of my present lot! What base gratitude — if I do not praise the Lord with joyful lips, for His rich, free, and sovereign grace!

    O my soul, whenever tempted to complain of my difficult lot — think of my deservings! Think of what would have been my eternal doom — if God had not saved me by His sovereign grace! Yes, I do find that looking down into Hell . . .
    silences my complaints,
    awakens my gratitude, and
    humbles me in the dust before my God!


    Now and then, I get weary and ready to faint along the long and difficult way. The journey appears so long, the road is so rough, the seasons are so trying, the difficulties increase so fast — and my strength and courage are so small. Every little trouble is magnified — and numberless mercies are overlooked! Then I find it of advantage to look forward to — the heavenly crown promised, the glorious mansion provided, and the eternal kingdom prepared. O what a splendid close to this dreary pilgrimage! O what a finish to this exhausting race!

    A heavenly crown — and a crown for the likes of me! A crown of life, a crown of righteousness! A crown of glory which fades not away.

    A mansion — a glorious residence in my Heavenly Father's house. A residence fitted up by Jesus expressly for me. A residence which anticipates all my wishes, gratifies all my desires, and far exceeds my highest expectations!

    An eternal kingdom — and a kingdom prepared to express God's highest love, to display God's deepest wisdom, and to exhibit the exuberant riches of God's glorious grace!

    Heaven! Oh, what will Heaven be! The vision of God. The presence of Jesus! "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand!" Psalms 16:11

    Heaven! Oh, what I shall see, hear, feel, and possess in Heaven! "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined — what God has prepared for those who love him!" 1 Corinthians 2:9

    Looking forward to Heaven — how can I do otherwise than pant for glory? What are the trials along the way — when I think of the end! What are the sorrows of earth — when I think of the joys of Heaven! What are my sufferings for Christ — when compared with the glory which shall be conferred by Christ!

    May I, whenever depressed and disconsolate, whenever disheartened and cast down, whenever sad or sorrowful — look forward to the eternal rest which remains for the people of God — to the glorious inheritance promised, to that eternal city that has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. O the glory, the glory — which awaits the way-worn pilgrim, the toil-worn laborer, the exhausted sufferer in the cause of Christ!


    And is it not the province and prerogative of faith to act thus? Does not faith ever look BACK to the cross of Jesus — for pardon, peace, and reconciliation to God? Does it not look UP to the throne of God — and sigh for fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ? Does it not look DOWN into the eternal pit, the prison, the torments, from which there is no redemption — in order to fill the soul with gratitude, love, and praise? Does it not also look FORWARD to the unfading crown, the eternal kingdom, and the glorious inheritance — and inspire with hallowed pantings for glory? Yes, it is even so!

    Then, O gracious God, increase my faith, and help me to look BACK to Jesus crucified for me — that I may enjoy unspeakable peace, and solid satisfaction of soul!

    Help me to look UP to your throne — that I may enjoy the closest, the sweetest, the most hallowed fellowship with you possible!

    Help me to look DOWN to the gloomy regions of despair, the abode of misery and woe — that I may be grateful for my deliverance from such a fearful doom!

    Help me to look FORWARD to the glory, the splendor, the unspeakable bliss — which is laid up for all who love you, and look for the appearing of your Son.

    May my faith be strong, simple, and rightly directed. May it be influential and work by love. May it grow exceedingly, and be found unto your praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. Author of faith — work faith in me! Object of faith — be ever present with me! End of faith — let me embrace you, and rejoice in you forever!
2  Entertainment / Poetry/Prose / Twenty-four hours in Hell! on: March 20, 2017, 07:49:20 PM
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From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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Twenty-four hours in Hell!

(James Smith, "ANTIDOTES!" 1858.)

"Why should any living man complain?" Lamentations 3:39

Occasionally, I am tempted to complain of my hard lot--and think myself harshly dealt with. Ingratitude rises and works in my heart. This always makes me wretched. I then find it profitable to look down into Hell--and realize its horrors and agonies as my just deservings.

If anyone ever deserved to go to Hell--I did!

If justice was ever honored in a sinner's damnation--it would have been in mine!

If anyone was ever saved by grace alone--I am the man!

Shall I then, who deserve to be in Hell--but am not;
shall I, who am an heir of Heavenly glory--though no one ever deserved it less;
shall I, because of a few trials, troubles, and disappointments, or because I have rather a heavy cross to carry--shall I dare to murmur, or fret, or complain, or think myself harshly dealt with?

Shocking inconsistency!

What are my present pains or sufferings--compared with the Hell that I deserve!

All the afflictions that I am called to endure here on earth--cannot be compared with only twenty-four hours in Hell! And yet my desert is, not to be in Hell for a few hours--but forever! Surely every lost soul, every damned spirit--will be ready to upbraid me--if I complain of my present lot! What base gratitude--if I do not praise the Lord with joyful lips, for His rich, free, and sovereign grace!

O my soul, whenever I am tempted to complain of my difficult lot--think of my deservings! Think of what would have been my eternal doom--if God had not saved me by His sovereign grace!

Yes, I do find that looking down into Hell . . .
  silences my complaints,
  awakens my gratitude, and
  humbles me in the dust before my God!
3  Theology / Bible Study / Series on Grace - Part 5 Grace Abounding on: March 20, 2017, 07:41:38 PM
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Series on Grace - Part 5
Grace Abounding


by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Rom. 5:20).

It is amazing that God should still send forth a message of grace in a world where His Word and will are increasingly despised. The increasing sinfulness of this age, of course, only emphasizes the true character of grace, for grace is “the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man,” wholly regardless of either “good” or evil works.

It is interesting to note that while the Gospels and the Acts take up twice as much space in our Bible as the epistles of St. Paul, yet the word “grace” in the original appears only 27 times in the Gospels and the Acts while it is used 107 times in the Pauline epistles. Furthermore, only a few times in the Gospels and the Acts is the doctrine of grace referred to, while in the epistles of Paul almost every reference to grace has to do with the doctrine of God’s favor to undeserving sinners.

“Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ,” but it was not fully manifested until God cast aside all distinctions between Jew and Gentile and sent the Apostle Paul with the glorious message of the unsearchable riches of Christ.

“Salvation is of the Jews,” said our Lord to the woman at the well (John 4:22). At Pentecost Peter reaffirmed this when he said to “the house of Israel,” “For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all [“of your children” according to Dan. 9:7] that are afar off.”

But Ephesians 2:14-16 tells us that God has now “broken down the middle wall of partition between us…that He might reconcile BOTH unto God in one Body by the Cross.” During this age of grace there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile. “God hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy upon all” (Rom. 11:32). At one time the worship and Word of God were committed to Israel, but today Israel is as far from God as the Gentiles. BOTH need to be reconciled. “There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him” (Rom. 10:12). “God hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy upon all.” This is boundless, impartial grace! When God set aside Israel as a nation He ushered in the dispensation of Grace. We must always be careful to distinguish between grace in a dispensation, and the dispensation of Grace.

“The dispensation of the grace of God,” did not begin when Christ was on earth, nor yet at Pentecost. The first chapters of Acts will be searched in vain for a reference to it. It was to Paul that this glorious message was committed (Eph. 3:2).

The careful student of the Word will be thrilled to note how often the references to “grace” in the Pauline epistles are coupled with words such as “free,” “abundant,” “exceeding,” “rich,” “sufficient.” It is thus that God would emphasize the fulness of His loving provision for sinner and saint. Let us examine some of these Scriptures.

GRACE ABOUNDING TO THE LOST

See Romans 5:15, “Not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” “Not as…so.” Sin spread like a germ from one to all, but not so grace. Here we find the abundance at the beginning. He is “full of grace,” and at the Cross He made “all grace” available to “all men.”

“But,” says some conscience-stricken sinner, “You do not know how far I have lived from God.” Very well, God knows. In fact He gave the Law to show you “the exceeding sinfulness of sin.” “Moreover the law entered that the offence might abound.” But don’t stop reading there, for the verse goes on to say, “But where sin abounded grace did much more abound” (Rom. 5:20). Listen to Paul’s own testimony here:

    “According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust….Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”

    “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting” (I Tim. 1:11,13-16).

You may feel that you are the chief of sinners, but this is not so. Not only did Paul say that he was the chief of sinners, but the Holy Spirit says so. And the Holy Spirit tells just why He saved Saul of Tarsus. Read Verse 16 over again thoughtfully and prayerfully. Any sinner who wonders whether God is either able or willing to save him should read Ephesians 1:7,8: “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence.”

GRACE ABOUNDING TO THE SAVED

The boundless grace which can save the vilest sinner is also extended to us who are saved for our blessing and encouragement.

Do we need power to overcome sin? Grace, and grace alone can help us. “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under law but under grace” (Rom. 6:14).

Do we want to be used of God? “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (II Cor. 9:8.).

Are we weak in body? Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” which he thrice besought the Lord to remove, but the answer came back, “My grace is sufficient for thee;” and Paul learned what thousands upon thousands of believers have learned from that day to this: that it is often more blessed to experience God’s grace in suffering than to be delivered by the Lord from suffering.

GRACE IN THE AGES TO COME

Some day, “in the ages to come,” God is going to display “the exceeding riches of His grace.” How? “In His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7).

Friend, have you accepted the grace of God in Christ Jesus? Do you believe that He loves you and gave His beloved Son to bear all the blame and shame and punishment that was your due, so that He might justify you “freely by His grace” (Rom. 3:24). If you will take Him at His word He will use you, “in the ages to come,” to display to the universe “the exceeding riches of His grace.” We close with one of the most wonderful messages of grace to be found in all the Word of God:

    “For all things are for your sakes. That the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God” (II Cor. 4:15).
4  Theology / Bible Study / A Watchman For Israel And The Apostle Of Grace on: March 20, 2017, 07:38:14 PM
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A Watchman For Israel And The Apostle Of Grace
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “…I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me” (Ezek. 33:7).

The Prophet Ezekiel was appointed by God as a “watchman” over the house of Israel. He was held responsible to warn the wicked from their way, for while God must deal justly with sin, He had declared: “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Verse 11).

If Ezekiel failed to warn the wicked they would die in their sins, but their blood would be required at his hand. If he faithfully warned them, however, and they refused to heed the warning, they would die in their sins, but he would be absolved of all responsibility (See Verses 8 and 9).

Would some Christian reader remind us that we are living under another dispensation and that our message is one of grace? True enough, but this does not diminish, it increases our responsibility toward the lost.

    “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (I Cor. 14:8.).

If we believers carelessly allow the lost to go to Christless graves, are we not morally responsible for their doom? Will we not be held accountable at the Judgment Seat of Christ? (See II Corinthians 5:10,11). This is why we find Paul reminding the Ephesian elders that he had not ceased to “warn” men “night and day with tears” (Acts 20:31).

As the apostle looked back over his ministry among the Ephesians he could say: “I take you to record this day that I am pure from the blood of all men” (Verse 26). And this had been so of his ministry in general. Indeed, it was now his desire that whatever the cost, he “might finish his course with joy, and the ministry which he had received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Verse 24).

May Ezekiel, and the Apostle Paul, that great warrior for the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, be memorials to us — of our great responsibility toward the lost!
5  ChristiansUnite and Announcements / ChristiansUnite and Announcements / The Patriot Post Digest 3-20-2017 on: March 20, 2017, 07:22:33 PM
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The AAM further explained meeting those standards would cost far more than the $200 billion originally estimated by Obama’s EPA because the “electrified technologies” needed to meet them would raise the price of vehicles and depress auto sales. As the Journal notes, the onerous standards might have been feasible when gas cost $3.60 per gallon and passenger cars comprised more than half of all vehicle sales. But when the price of gas dropped, sales of trucks and SUVs skyrocketed, with trucks gaining a 61% market share in 2016. Moreover, the decline in gas prices mitigated the benefits of customer fuel savings the EPA used to justify the increased CAFE standards.

Those standards also increased vehicle production costs, driving vehicle manufacturers to Mexico in search of cheaper labor.

The Obama administration knew all of this and originally promised the incoming administration would get a “midterm review” of the CAFE standards to be completed by April 2018.

Make that an incoming Clinton administration. When Trump was elected, Obama’s EPA set the 2012 standards in stone, even though their own projections revealed fewer than 1% of gas-burning cars would comply with the 2022 mandate, and none would meet the standards set for 2025.

Trump’s having none26 of it. “We are going to restore the originally scheduled midterm review and we are going to ensure that any regulations we have protect and defend your jobs, your factories. We’re going to be fair,” Trump said. “That is why I’m proud to say I followed through on my promise.”

Predictably, Democrats and their eco-zealot allies are furious. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) characterized the review as “all-out assault” to “dismantle important environmental protections.” Kristin Igusky, Climate Program Associate at the World Resources, declared “the administration is creating more uncertainty and blocking progress toward cleaner, more efficient vehicles for America.”

Christian Science Monitor columnist Zack Coleman joins the chorus. “Transportation is now the leading sector for greenhouse gas emissions in the United States,” he writes27. “The lower the so-called Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard, the smaller will be the reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles.”

Not quite. The expansion of the aforementioned “electrified technologies” necessary to meet the Obama EPA standards have environmental problems of their own as onerous, if not more so, than vehicles themselves. “So we’re chasing the car that is fueled solely by the electricity that comes out of our walls,” writes28 columnist Rich Cromwell. “That electricity is apparently generated by magic, never coal, so battery-powered options would reduce cars' carbon footprint and create a more sustainable future.”

While environmentalists and their Democrat allies in Congress are quick to tout the transparent benefits of electric cars or CAFE standards, they are rather myopic regarding the unforeseen — or is that conspicuously ignored — deleterious tradeoffs that accompany them.

And not just environmental tradeoffs. As Robert Tracinski explains29, one would have to drive a $90,000 electric-powered Tesla for 30 years to equalize the costs between it and a $45,000 gas-powered Lexus, based on the average number of miles most Americans drive, coupled with slightly higher gas costs than they’re currently paying. Thus, many “green energy products” are a long way from being economically viable. On the other hand, Tracinski adds, they remain “very much a plaything or status symbol for the wealthy and upper middle class, the sort of people who uniformly believe in man-made global warming and who can afford to spend tens of thousands of extra dollars just to feel good about themselves.”

One suspects ordinary Americans who can’t afford a Tesla or a Lexus and struggle to make ends meet are less “high-minded.”

And what if CAFE standards are solely about holier-than-thou self-aggrandizement? The benefit touted by the Obama administration — a “decrease global temperatures by 0.007 degrees to 0.018 degrees Celsius in 2100” — would be more than offset by “massive losses” imposed on consumers who would increase the number of miles they drive with more fuel-efficient cars offsetting carbon reductions. Many would also eschew higher-priced new car purchases and “delay upgrades, leaving older vehicles on the road longer.”

Pruitt has assured the nation his review of CAFE standards will engender a program that is “good for consumers and good for the environment.” Such balance is a refreshing change from the Obama administration’s “kill the economy to save the planet” mindset.

Nonetheless, he will face resistance. As columnist Ned Barnett reveals30, the EPA is still infested with careerists who “believe their own views on global warming and a host of other environmental issues are the only ‘true’ positions. The president, for his part, is clearly preparing to take the challenge directly to the EPA’s permanent staff.”

Hopefully under a swamp-draining Trump administration, there’s no such thing as administrative permanence.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

    The Budget Is All About Negotiating31 — The “Art of the Deal” is key to understanding the president’s approach.
    Americans Are Clamoring for … Chelsea Clinton?32 — The only thing that “persists” is the Clinton dynasty.
    Reminder: ObamaCare Isn’t an Option for Millions33 — Bernie Sanders is blind to his own double standards.
    Target’s Transgender Policy Encourages Predators34 — Women and girls have been filmed by men in Target’s facilities.
    Do Venezuelans Love Socialism?35 — No, but totally ignorant American Democrats sure do.
    About That ‘Busted’ Blizzard Forecast…36 — Both the public and meteorologists could use some fresh air on this issue.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

    George Will: Questions for Judge Gorsuch37
    Peggy Noonan: Reach Across the Aisle, Mr. President38
    Herbert E. Meyer: How Intelligence Works (When It Does)39

For more, visit Right Opinion40.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Jeff Jacoby: “Instead of solving the system’s problems, Obamacare only entrenched them. While Democrats portray repeal of the Affordable Care Act as an assault on baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet, Republicans ought to be reminding voters how Obamacare played out in real life: reminding them, for instance, that it hurt more families than it helped. That it saddled insurers with losses so massive they were forced to pull out of many state exchanges. That it forced millions of Americans off their existing health plans. That it fueled double-digit annual increases in premiums. That it added billions to the national debt. Since 2010, Republicans have been swearing up and down that they would scrap Obamacare. The way to do that is to scrap Obamacare. Scrap the subsidies, the community-rating rules, and the guaranteed-issue requirements. Scrap the employer mandates and the individual tax penalties. Scrap the ‘slacker mandate’ for those 26 and under. Scrap the guarantee of coverage for pre-existing conditions. And then keep going.”

SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant. It’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

Observations: “When it comes to nomenclature, it occurs to me that we not only have a general tendency to misname things, but to reverse their meanings. Take ‘social media,’ for instance. Every time I go to a restaurant, I am certain to spot three or four young people sitting in the same booth, each of them engrossed in their electronic toys, communicating with people who have the good fortune to be somewhere else. Or consider ‘civil servants,’ if you will. Not only are they not civil, but if you’ve ever tried to fire one of them, you have quickly discovered that they aren’t your servants; you’re theirs!” —Burt Prelutsky

Upright: “[Chuck] Schumer’s chosen role as demagogue stands in stark contrast to what is demanded of judges and can be expected of [Neil] Gorsuch. Judges and justices are charged with upholding the Constitution and applying justice fairly to everyone. Most of them, liberal or conservative, would never endanger the rule of law with careless comments like those Schumer has made in longstanding and unsuccessful efforts to politicize the judiciary. In the end, politicians such as Schumer are the best reminder that we need more judges like Gorsuch.” —Washington Examiner

Dezinformatsiya: “[Trump] has spent his whole life bulls—ting. He has succeeded by bulls—ting. He has gotten to the presidency by bulls—ting. It is very hard to tell somebody at that point that bulls— doesn’t work, because look at the results, right?” —CNN’s Fareed Zakaria

Non Compos Mentis: “I worry that if half the country wants this guy to be president we do need the UN to step in or the United Federation of Planets, or something.” —Bill Maher

And last… “Hillary is sending a substantive message to serious women everywhere — when you fail miserably, try again with a new hairstyle.” —Twitter satirist @weknowwhatsbest

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
6  ChristiansUnite and Announcements / ChristiansUnite and Announcements / The Patriot Post Digest 3-20-2017 on: March 20, 2017, 07:21:22 PM
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Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 20, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

    The rubber meets the road as Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings begin.
    Did Turkey just threaten to invade Europe with refugees?
    Trump promises to reevaluate Obama’s emissions standards.
    Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“Judges, therefore, should be always men of learning and experience in the laws, of exemplary morals, great patience, calmness, coolness, and attention. Their minds should not be distracted with jarring interests; they should not be dependent upon any man, or body of men.” —John Adams (1776)

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Senate Hearings on Gorsuch Begin1


Monday will see the start of the Senate’s confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch2. Democrats have promised to raise much resistance to Gorsuch, primarily to placate their leftist base. But with Gorsuch being such a squeaky clean nominee, the real drama will be in witnessing just how desperate Democrat leaders become as they seek to convince fellow Democrats — especially those up for election in red states come 2018 — to hold the line in opposition. The principled “textualist” versus the leftist obstructionists.

For many conservatives, concern over the Supreme Court nominee was the primary reason they voted for Trump3. And Trump, staying true to his campaign promise, validated their trust with his choice of Gorsuch.

Democrat opposition has less to do with Gorsuch himself than with resentment over the fact that the Republican majority leadership refused to consider4 Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, last year. Democrats are simply engaging in a little tit-for-tat sanctimony.

Tom Goldstein, a Washington DC lawyer who regularly argues before the Supreme Court and publishes ScotusBlog, states, “It would be shocking if Neil Gorsuch wasn’t confirmed to the Supreme Court in the coming weeks. The Democrats are committed to opposing him. Their base is insisting on it, because of what happened to President Obama’s nominee. But the reality is, they just don’t have the votes and don’t have the goods.”

It’s certainly true that Democrats simply “don’t have the goods.” Instead, they’ll seek to embellish a narrative that paints Gorsuch as a heartless judge who has consistently sided with the powerful over and against the weak. This narrative proves to be nonsense when the actual cases are examined, but when has that ever stopped Democrats? What will be interesting to see is just how cautious an approach Democrats take in their questioning. It has been well established that Gorsuch is highly intelligent and well-spoken, which may give his interrogators some pause in their attacking tactics out of fear of being made to look foolish. Where’s Ted Kennedy and his viciously disgusting “Robert Bork’s America5” speech when you need him?

Ultimately, the only win for Democrats would be to prevent Gorsuch from receiving the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster in an attempt to force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to engage the “nuclear option,” thereby relegating the filibuster to the annals of history. Either way, it seems a pretty sure bet that Gorsuch will become the nation’s next Supreme Court justice.

Turkey Threatens European Invasion?6

It’s no secret — at least to those informed by anything other than Leftmedia propaganda — that jihadis infiltrate the ranks of “refugees” in order to carry out terrorist attacks. Even Barack Obama’s State Department quietly acknowledged that fact. While American judges bemoan Donald Trump’s travel ban7 because it “targets Muslims,” some Muslims certainly don’t have any trouble making it all about religion.

As Gary Bauer notes8, “A diplomatic spat erupted recently when Turkey wanted to send diplomats to the Netherlands to campaign among the Turkish residents there for an upcoming constitutional referendum in Turkey. Dutch officials refused to allow the visit, which coincided with their own hotly contested election, and the Turkish government erupted in rage.”

“Shame on the EU,” Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan thundered. “Down with your European principles, values and justice.” He wasn’t done, claiming, “They started a clash between the cross and the crescent. There is no other explanation.”

Worse, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu threatened, “Soon wars of religion … will start in Europe.” This might happen because, he added, “We could open the way for 15,000 refugees … each month and blow [Europe’s] mind.”

Now, a brief history lesson. Less than 100 years after Mohammad’s death, Muslims were invading Europe — first Spain and then France before Frankish King Charles Martel defeated them at the Battle of Tours in 732. Hundreds of years of subsequent Muslim aggression led to the Crusades. So no, Dutch politicians did not “start a clash between the cross and the crescent.” Muslims did that 1,400 years ago and they’ve never stopped. The battle just looks different now, and the “army” is a horde of “refugees.”

Did we mention that Turkey is a member of NATO and ostensibly an ally of Western Europe?

Top Headlines9

    FBI Director Comey: Justice Dept. has no information that supports Trump’s tweets alleging he was wiretapped by Obama. (The Washington Post10)

    Justices on Ninth Circuit feuding over travel ban ruling. (The Hill11)

    Philadelphia cancels Cinco de Mayo parade over deportation fears. (The Hill12)

    Oh no! Illegal immigrants are cancelling SNAP benefits to avoid deportation. (Hot Air13)

    Maryland county’s count suggests noncitizens voting across U.S. (The Washington Times14)

    Trump administration to boycott UN council over anti-Israel agenda. (The Washington Free Beacon15)

    Secret Service removes agent who didn’t want to take “a bullet” for Trump (Washington Examiner16)

    Poll: Majority of 18-30 year olds see Trump as an illegitimate president — the American educational system is failing. (Hot Air17)

    Brexit will begin on March 29. (UK Telegraph18.)

    Policy: Another federal court of appeals attacks the Second Amendment. (National Review19)

    Policy: Supreme Court needs judges like Gorsuch because America has leaders like Schumer. (Washington Examiner20)

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report21.

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
Reassessing Obama’s CAFE Mandates22


By Arnold Ahlert

Last week, President Donald Trump announced his administration will reassess23 the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) mandates the Obama administration’s EPA tried to lock in before the Jan. 20 transition of power. “We’re going to work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again,” Trump told a cheering crowd of auto workers in Ypsilanti, Michigan. “We’re going to help companies so they are going to help you. We’re going to be the car capital of the world again.”

New EPA chief Scott Pruitt promised his agency will coordinate with the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to decide whether the Obama administration mandates will remain in place. The deadline for making the decision is April 2018.

Why the reassessment? “In 2012 the EPA set ambitious mileage standards that required auto makers to achieve an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, nearly twice the 2011 mandate,” the Wall Street Journal explains24. “The increases were backloaded such that manufacturers had to hit 36.6 miles a gallon by 2017 and 46.8 miles a gallon by 2022. In the last three years, car makers would need to squeeze an additional eight miles out of each gallon.”

In a letter25 sent to Pruitt in February, the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers (AAM) insisted no government agency “had ever set emissions standards so far into the future,” and that the final determination engendered by Obama’s EPA was “riddled with indefensible assumptions, inadequate analysis, and failure to engage with contrary evidence.”
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It goes without saying that major media outlets, which still buy ink by the barrel, have gone off the rails with angst25 regarding the Trump budget blueprint — in particular, the aforementioned Washington Post, which caters to the bureaucrats who may soon find themselves in the position of seeking an honest living in the private sector.

But the Post and other media outlets aren’t writing to deliver the facts about the budget; they’re writing to warn Congress about derailing the gravy train that’s in place. Why else would these relatively modest cuts in the grand scheme of a $4 trillion budget be compared to the plans Ronald Reagan had29 when he first took office? (All we’re missing is Tip O'Neill and his fellow Democrats vowing the budget will be “dead on arrival” in Congress.)

But when a candidate runs on a platform that puts America first, it should surprise no one that defense wins out over foreign aid. Thus, the State Department is subject to a 28% cut30. Trump wants to put $1.5 billion into a down payment on a border wall as well, along with funding additional judges to deal with deportations. While the Department of Education as a whole will be leaner to the tune of $9 billion31, Trump allocates an extra $1.4 billion to school choice programs.

These are all things the voters who supported Trump demanded. As is the call to bring the Environmental Protection Agency to heel32 with a cut of almost one-third of its current budget. Addressing so-called “climate change” won’t be a priority item for the Trump administration, and EPA apologists are already claiming Trump’s reductions will make it “easier for polluters to get away with breaking the rules.”

Lefty columnist Eugene Robinson laments33, “Trump budgets for a dumber, dirtier America.” Trump probably even hates puppies.

Yet since much of Congress will face the voters before President Trump does, members seem to have a cool reception to the budget proposal. “The administration’s budget isn’t going to be the budget,” noted Senator Marco Rubio, adding that all any president can do is give a suggested blueprint to Congress.

Rubio’s reminder is made evident by the fact that over the last six years Republicans in Congress routinely ignored Barack Obama’s budget proposals. His 2012 offering won exactly zero congressional votes. That gridlock led to government by continuing resolution, with attempts to control spending such as the sequester eventually falling by the wayside along with the debt ceiling. A compromise continuing budget resolution passed last December spared us the prospect of a government shutdown just before Christmas, but that temporary fix will expire at the end of April. So this Trump budget proposal may simply be the opening point of negotiations to deal with that as well as an increase in the debt ceiling.

The overarching question in all this talk about the budget, though, is similar to the one bedeviling congressional Republicans who campaigned for the last eight years on their opposition to ObamaCare only to punt on full repeal34 after voters put the GOP fully in charge of government. Now that they have a president who’s willing to eliminate many of the agencies the GOP vowed to dismantle if they were put back in power, will they stand up to the media and lobbyists to do so? The answer to that question may dictate whether Trump’s presidency will be a difference-maker or simply the latest in our nation’s drift from freedom and prosperity toward a European-style mediocrity.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

    A Nation of Addicts35 — The epidemic of opioid addiction has clearly raised the stakes.
    Political Labels Aren’t Always What They Seem36 — The Democrat/Republican label is often relative to geography.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

    Erick Erickson: The Hue and Cry Is Tiring37
    David Limbaugh: Judge Watson’s Abominable Travel Ban Ruling38
    Charles Krauthammer: The Real World of ObamaCare Repeal39

For more, visit Right Opinion40.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Erick Erickson: “President Trump wants to curtail the Meals on Wheels program. The progressive outrage over this is to declare the budget ‘not Christian.’ Let us leave aside the humor of people who demand Christians bake cakes for same-sex weddings claiming a budget cut is anti-Christian. … There is no evidence that such programs cannot be responsibly handled by non-profits and local communities. Christians, in fact, are admonished throughout the Bible to take care of widows, orphans, refugees and the poor. Thanks to an ever-expanding federal government, many Christians have abdicated personal responsibility for that care to the federal government. Churches were given a way out of needing strong social programs because the government took them over. As a result, people became less dependent on local churches and their local community in general. Whether cause or correlation, there is no real dispute that as American society becomes increasingly secular, families break down, vitriol in the public square increases and society destabilizes.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine Providence in behalf of the human race.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Observations: “If President Trump blinks, protestors take to the street. If he yawns, a Starbucks goes up in flames by outraged anarchists. If he tweets, progressive activists burn trashcans and hurl them onto interstates blocking rush hour. There is nothing the president can do to avoid the left-wing outrage. It is exhausting just observing it.” —Erick Erickson

Braying Jenny: “Because I have information about the president doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a scandal. It doesn’t mean that it’s damning information. If other people leapt to that conclusion without me indicating that it was, that hype is external to what we did.” —Rachel Maddow (So now she’s admitting Trump’s taxes are much ado about nothing5? Whew!)

Doubling down: “If you are old and you have no health insurance … and you’re sick, you will die. You may die because you can’t get to a doctor when you should.” —Bernie Sanders

The BIG Lie: “One of the biggest differences between Democrats and Republicans is, we really do want to work in a bipartisan way. We have enough humility about ourselves to think there might be a good idea on the other side.” —Nancy Pelosi

“Should we subject all spending to the harshest scrutiny? We certainly should. And those of us who have advocated for some of it are the harshest critics. … But that’s not what [Trump’s budget] is about. This is systemic deconstruction of the federal government and its role.” —Nancy Pelosi

And last… “In America, once an entitlement is created, it’s extremely difficult to get rid of. It turns out that people like free things. And when they can’t get stuff for free, they like to purchase it at way below true cost. The wrong road comes with amazing subsidies. The right road has a daunting tollbooth.” —Jonah Goldberg

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
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Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 17, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

    Hacking, wiretapping, and more hacking. But Trump wasn’t colluding.
    The Left’s latest lame attempt to attack Neil Gorsuch.
    Trump’s budget cuts aren’t exactly “yuge,” yet Dems go nuts.
    Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“Foreign influence is truly the Grecian horse to a republic. We cannot be too careful to exclude its influence.” —Alexander Hamilton (1793)

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Russians, Hackings and Allegations1


The favorite conspiracy narrative peddled by Democrats and their Leftmedia allies after Donald Trump’s historic election victory was the baseless theory of the Trump campaign colluding with Russia in order to throw the election to Trump. After months of the intelligence community conducting investigations, no evidence has yet been found to substantiate the Left’s claims. And the narrative seems to be quickly dying. On Thursday, Barack Obama’s former CIA director, Mike Morell, threw more cold water on the collusion narrative, stating, “There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.” As Trump has been saying, there is simply nothing there.

But there also appears to be little evidence to support Trump’s claim last month that Obama “wiretapped2” his Trump Tower headquarters during the campaign. This bomb shell announcement was effective in that it brought back to light other instances in which Obama targeted journalists and others for surveillance. It also served to effectively counter the mainstream media’s meritless accusation against Trump and his supposed Russian connections. While there seems to be little evidence in support Trump’s claim, questions still abound as to whether Obama may have ordered some sort of surveillance of Trump or of his associates. Trump hasn’t backed off his accusation.

This week, a much more substantive Russian spying story came to light. Four Russians were indicted for the massive criminal hacking of Yahoo in 2014. Two of the Russians are agents of the FSB — the successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB, equivalent to our CIA. These agents were part of Center 18, which was a unit that had been working with the FBI in helping to catch cyber criminals. The creation of this cooperative cybersecurity task force was Obama’s brain child.

But here’s the rub. A report from the Justice Department states, “Instead of working with the FBI and CIA to catch hackers, the FSB officers were actually working with hackers themselves.” Isn’t that what one would expect spies to do? To put it bluntly, Obama wanted to play nice with Moscow and foolishly invited the foxes into the hen house. This is the real story that should have Americans seriously worried, not some unsubstantiated story of Trump colluding with the Russians.

Leftmedia Attempts Hit Piece on Gorsuch3

The New York Times decided to help out its Democrat buddies by running a story clearly designed to be used as a hit piece against Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. The Times article, entitled “Neil Gorsuch Has Web of Ties to Secretive Billionaire4,” attempted to paint Gorsuch as a puppet of the wealthy conservative business man Philip Anschutz, due to the fact that Gorsuch had previously worked for the man years ago when he was a lawyer. The story submits no compelling evidence supporting its insinuation of corruption and offers little anecdotal evidence besides. It’d be laughable if it weren’t so outrageous. The best they could come up with is that Gorsuch and some executives at Anschutz’s companies decided to go in together on buying a vacation house. Shocking, no?

This story contains about as much news as Rachel Maddow’s silly reveal of Trump’s 2005 tax return5. There’s no there, there. Gorsuch had already disclosed all his prior business ties, including his having worked for Anschutz. He has also recused himself from hearing any cases involving his former clients. The fact that Gorsuch is friends with former clients is only natural. Besides, it’s not as if Anschutz is some nefarious fellow. His business assets are well known and are all above board.

The problem for the Leftmedia and Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is their belief that a judge should base his rulings primarily upon social activists' concerns, not upon the Constitution and the letter of the law. Gorsuch has a sound and proven track record of ruling appropriately, even if he thinks that a given statute may need changes. In his rulings, he has repeatedly recognized and emphasized that a judge is bound and limited by the law, and that it’s the role of legislators, not judges, to create laws. That’s why Gorsuch presents such a threat to leftists and their disregard for the Rule of Law.

With activist justices such as Sonia Sotomayor6 and Ruth Bader Ginsburg7 already on the bench, it’s indeed refreshing to hear a judge speak so clearly about the limits set upon the judicial branch by the Constitution. The more Democrats and the Leftmedia attempt to smear Gorsuch, the more he’s proving to be an excellent choice for the Supreme Court.

Top Headlines8

    12.2 Million signed up for ObamaCare in 2017, half of what CBO projected. (The Washington Free Beacon9)

    Trump on the House’s health care bill: “We will take care of our people or I’m not signing it.” (Hot Air10)

    Judge who froze first travel ban hands Trump a victory. (Washington Examiner11)

    Senate approves National Security Adviser McMaster, 86-10. (Defense News12)

    Rex Tillerson: Military action against North Korea is “on the table.” (NBC News13)

    White House on climate change: “We’re not spending money on that anymore. … A waste of your money.” (CNS News14)

    It’s not fake news: Predators are taking advantage of Target’s fitting room policy. (The Daily Signal15)

    Minimum wage effect: McDonald’s tests mobile ordering before national rollout. (Associated Press16)

    Assisted suicide loses in New Mexico. (National Review17)

    What you didn’t know about St. Patrick. (FaithZette18.)

    Policy: Trump must drain the Iran appeasement swamp in the State Department. (Washington Examiner19)

    Policy: Regulatory implications of the American Health Care Act. (American Action Forum20)

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report21.

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
Trump’s Budget Axe Falls on Discretionary Spending22


By Michael Swartz

Beltway bureaucrats can’t say they weren’t warned23 about the number of cars that would be uncoupled from their taxpayer-funded gravy train. As President Donald Trump alluded to in his campaign and promised24 prior to his address to a joint session of Congress, there are a number of federal agencies that will be subjected to large-scale cuts and 19 that will be shuttered entirely25 if Trump has his way with the budget.

On the chopping block: The favorite conservative targets26 of the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Corporation for Public Broadcasting. As the Washington Post screamed27, this budget is the “worst-case scenario for arts groups.”

Instead, the Trump proposal is a budget that’s heavy on certain core government issues — you know, constitutionally enumerated powers such as defense and immigration. As previously noted, Trump calls for a $54 billion increase28 earmarked for defense spending and billions set aside for border security and combating illegal immigration. Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney was tasked with producing a budget “that emphasizes national security and public safety,” and the OMB head has delivered.
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In August 2012, during the height of the pivotal election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid erroneously charged, “The word’s out that [Romney] hasn’t paid any taxes for 10 years.” It was a blatant lie that even The Washington Post flatly condemned13. Even in the ensuing years Reid remained stubborn14, haughtily saying things like, “Romney didn’t win, did he?” and, “It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

Then there’s Hillary Clinton. At a presidential debate last fall, she stated, “You’ve gotta ask yourself, why won’t [Trump] release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. … Maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes.” Of course, we now know that Trump’s 2005 tax rate of 25%15 dwarfed that of Obama and, yes, even Bernie Sanders. Especially Bernie Sanders, whose income was taxed at just 13% in 2014. And as for Clinton, at least half the reason for the Clinton Foundation’s existence was to provide a tax shelter for Bill and Hillary’s exorbitant speaking fee income.

Republicans are constantly bombarded with accusations of tax evasion and exploitation, but the fact is that the real tax deception is coming from the Left, whose continued gamesmanship with faux accusations is hurting them mightily at the ballot box.

Top Headlines16

    Trump budget: $1.5 billion for border wall, 28% slash to State Department. (The Daily Signal17)

    Feds hit debt limit — again; Debt now exceeds limit set in 2008 by $8,550,505,000,000. (CNS News18.)

    EPA confirms it will reopen review of 2025 fuel rules. (Reuters19)

    Ryan: Health care plan must change to pass the House. (The Washington Post20)

    U.S. indicts Russian FSB agents in Yahoo hack targeting journalists, government officials. (The Washington Times21)

    Dan Coats confirmed as director of national intelligence. (USA Today22)

    Admiral, seven other Navy officers charged with corruption in new “Fat Leonard” indictment. (The Washington Post23)

    Fed raises benchmark rate as inflation approaches 2% target. (Bloomberg24)

    U.S. military likely to send as many as 1,000 more ground troops into Syria ahead of Raqqa offensive, officials say. (The Washington Post25)

    Students from immigrant households in U.S. public schools doubles since 1990. (The Washington Times26)

    Policy: Winners and losers under Trump’s budget plan. (Washington Examiner27)

    Policy: Slow down and fix the GOP health care bill. (National Review28.)

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report29.
Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Are Sanctuary Cities Safer?30. The “sanctuary city” movement is nothing more than a pandering political charade aimed at Hispanic voters — and sanctimonious fellow leftist elites.

If you’d like to receive Alexander’s Column by email, update your subscription here31.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

    An Increasingly Dangerous North Korea32 — Trump can thank Obama, Clinton and Carter for the trouble.
    New Climate Study Vindicates EPA’s Pruitt33 — CO2 may not be as culpable as alarmists claim.
    Obama’s Meddling Ways?34 — Republicans call for investigation of whether he tried to influence foreign elections.
    Time to Say Goodbye to Michelle Obama’s School Lunches35 — Kids will eat if the food’s good.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

    Jeff Jacoby: Climate Models Fail So Often Because Climate Science Is So Incomplete36
    Veronique de Rugy: 3 Actions for Combatting Government Favoritism37
    Hans von Spakovsky: Preet Bharara ‘Fired’: A Phony Scandal Created by an Obama Appointee38

For more, visit Right Opinion39.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Jeff Jacoby: “Earth’s climate system is unfathomably complex. It is affected by innumerable interacting variables, atmospheric CO2 levels being just one. The more variables there are in any system or train of events, the lower the probability of all of them coming to pass. Your odds of correctly guessing the outcome of a flipped coin are 1 in 2, but your odds of guessing correctly twice in a row are only 1 in 4 — i.e., ½ x ½. Extending your winning streak to a third guess is even less probable: just 1 in 8. Apply that approach to climate change, and it becomes clear why the best response to the alarmists' frantic predictions is a healthy skepticism. The list of variables that shape climate is very long. … But for the sake of argument, say there are merely 15 variables involved in predicting global climate change, and assume that climatologists have mastered each one to a near-perfect accuracy of 95 percent. What are the odds that a climate model built on a system that simple would be reliable? Less than 50/50. (Multiplying .95 by itself 15 times yields 46.3 percent.) Is it any surprise that climate-change predictions in the real world — where the complexities are exponentially greater and the exactitude of knowledge much less — have such a poor track record?”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “A good writer of history is a guy who is suspicious. Suspicion marks the real difference between the man who wants to write honest history and the one who’d rather write a good story.” —Jim Bishop (1907-1987)

About that “vast right-wing conspiracy”: “President Trump’s assertion that his phones at Trump Tower were tapped last year has been treated as hilarious — and in some circles as beyond contempt. But I can vouch for the fact that extracurricular surveillance does occur, regardless of whether it is officially approved. I was wiretapped in 2011 after taking a phone call in my congressional office from a foreign leader.” —former Democrat Rep. Dennis Kucinich

A futile effort: “I think there’s a difference between not supporting an order on policy grounds and finding it unconstitutional. I do not think [Trump’s travel ban is] unconstitutional. I do think the Supreme Court will uphold it even if [Neil] Gorsuch is not yet on the Supreme Court.” —Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz

Alpha Jackass: “The senator from Kentucky [Rand Paul] is now working for Vladimir Putin.” —Sen. John McCain

Demo-gogues: “I think what’s going on now is a fundamental question in our government about whether or not the Justice Department, including our U.S. attorneys, are truly independent and committed to the rule of law or whether or not they are tame and more committed to Donald Trump and Donald Trump’s agenda.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Late-night humor: “College students are out of town for spring break. This is the time of year students take a well-deserved break from partying and drinking at school to go party and drink on a beach or perhaps another town.” —Jimmy Kimmel

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
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Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 16, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

    Another judge takes issue with Trump’s second travel ban for the wrong reasons.
    So it turns out that study about how “racist” voter ID laws are is complete bunk.
    When it comes to Trump’s tax returns, Democrats are awfully deceptive.
    Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“One single object … [will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation.” —Thomas Jefferson (1825)

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
Banning the Travel Ban, Redux1


By Allyne Caan

Just one day before President Donald Trump’s revised immigration executive order was slated to take effect, a federal judge in Hawaii has blocked it. Surprise!

In a 43-page order2, Judge Derrick K. Watson issued a preliminary injunction against the order, claiming the challenge against it had a “likelihood of success” based on the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. To his credit, at least Judge Watson cited the Constitution, even if incorrectly — especially since the state of Hawaii, as one of the plaintiffs in the case, argued against the order based on the impact it would have on the state’s university system and tourism industry. Because nothing is more important than national security except, well, lots of happy tourists from the six countries on Trump’s ban list.

Instead, Judge Watson bought the Establishment Clause argument of plaintiff Dr. Ismail Elshikh, which basically says he feels the executive order is a condemnation by the government of his Muslim religion that would make him and his family feel like second class citizens. Watson agreed, writing that “a reasonable, objective observer — enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements, and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance — would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion.”

Clearly, Watson is more concerned with a couple of Trump’s statements on the campaign trail than the actual law at hand.

More to the point, has anyone told the good doctor and judge that jihadi terrorists are Muslim3? Or that the six nations on the ban list are pretty much the most dangerous and least vetted places in the world?

Although Watson concedes this order “does not facially discriminate for or against any particular religion” and that the government defends it “principally because of its religious neutral text” in that it applies to individuals of all religions in six countries linked to terrorism, yet he blisteringly claims, “The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable.”

Of course, as Hans von Spakovsky notes4, there actually was some logic in selecting the six countries named in the order: “Three of the countries — Iran, Syria, and Sudan — are listed by the State Department as official sponsors of terrorism, while the other three — Libya, Somalia, and Yemen — were listed as ‘countries of concern’ because of their terrorism problems by Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security secretary under Obama.”

Undoubtedly, had Watson or anyone else scoured the world to find predominantly Christian or Hindu countries that are official sponsors of terrorism, he would have come up empty handed. But facts aside (as they often are when it comes to judicial rulings), for now at least, the order is on hold.

Trump blasted the “terrible” ruling that was “done by a judge for political reasons.” In fact, he said, “The danger is clear, the law is clear, the need for my executive order is clear.”

Meanwhile, the First Amendment isn’t the only one getting attention when it comes to immigration. The Tenth is getting in on the action, too. On Monday, Tennessee became the first state to use the “reserved powers” clause to sue the federal government — not for keeping immigrants out but for forcing refugee resettlement within state borders.

The Tennessean reports5, “The lawsuit … alleges that the federal government has violated the 10th Amendment, which says the federal government possesses only the powers delegated to it by the U.S. Constitution and that all other powers are reserved for the states.” It argues that the feds have “unduly forced states to pay for the refugee resettlement program” and “asks the court to force the federal government to stop resettling refugees in Tennessee until all costs associated with the settlement are incurred by the federal government.” The Tennessean reports that in fiscal year 2016, more than 2,000 refugees were resettled in the state.

Of course, Barack Obama, not Donald Trump, ordered the forced resettlement, though as of yet, Trump hasn’t vacated that order. Hence, although filed against the Trump administration, the lawsuit is targeting an Obama-era policy.

It remains to be seen how the court will rule, but if Tennessee wins, perhaps Hawaii will volunteer to take Tennessee’s allotment of refugees. After all, opposition to Trump’s executive order aside, of the nearly 85,000 refugees the U.S. admitted in fiscal year 2016, guess how many the Aloha State took in? Exactly zero6.

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Anti-Voter ID Study Debunked7


Last month the Leftmedia heralded a study8 from the universities of San Diego and Bucknell purporting to show that voter ID laws suppress the minority vote. The Washington Post helped the cause by injecting a racist angle, running a story titled, “New evidence that voter ID laws ‘skew democracy’ in favor of white Republicans.” The trouble is, the study turns out to be bunk. Professors from Stanford, Yale and the University of Pennsylvania released their review9 of the voter ID study and, well, you could say the professors gave it an “F.”

David Freddoso of the Washington Examiner sums it up10: The original study’s authors “used the wrong data, they misinterpreted that data, they failed to take into account other pre-existing factors that explain differences between states with and without voter ID, and when tested, their model demonstrably assumes what it is trying to prove.”

The Left’s opposition to common sense voter ID laws has been a long-running effort to promote the false narrative that such laws are inherently racist and are a tool of Republicans designed to suppress the minority vote. On this flawed basis, leftists summarily dismiss legitimate concerns over the integrity of the vote as being merely Republican political pandering and the problem of voter fraud as practically nonexistent.

The review of the study flatly contradicts what its authors originally claimed. The reviewing professors found no varying voting numbers between those states with voter ID laws and those without. The review states, “In no specification do we find that primary or general turnout significantly declined between 2010 and 2014 in states that implemented a strict voter ID law in the interim.” And why would it? Various other ID laws11 abound across the nation and in every state, and those laws are not deemed racist or suppressive. They are understood to be common sense tools necessary for the proper functioning of a modern society. Certainly for any representative government to function with integrity, it must protect its citizens' vote.

What is clear is that the progenitors of the faulty study manipulated the data in order to support their political agenda. Logan Churchwell, a spokesman for the Public Interest Legal Foundation, states, “For a perfect example of the term ‘alternate facts’ look no further [than this faulty study]. For years, activists and academics have been searching for the silver bullet to prove voter ID is harmful to minorities, despite broad support for the laws across every demographic.” Too often what is passed off as “scientific fact” is more accurately categorized as unsubstantiated opinion.

The Dems' Tax Deception Problem12

Democrats like chiding Republicans on the tax issue, particularly when it comes to “the wealthy” who “don’t pay their fair share.” It’s a convenient talking point geared toward constituents because it conjures up feelings of anger, jealousy and resentment. And the Democrat Party has exploited it to the fullest extent possible in an effort to sway elections.
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Chattanooga’s gang violence has increased significantly in the last four years under its inept and philandering Democrat mayor, Andy Berke. Despite that increase, just ahead of the recent election Berke announced his support13 for the faux sanctuary city parade, most assuredly giving violent crime a boost.

On that latter assertion, my lib lawyer acquaintance insisted that sanctuary cities are safer than other cities, citing a study by the leftist Annenberg Public Policy Center14.

Well, not exactly. I responded that the study primarily cited crime-rate comparison by immigrants and non-immigrant populations, not illegal aliens.

He responded with another study from the Cato Institute15 on immigration and crime. But this study also primarily cited crime-rate comparison by immigrants versus non-immigrant populations, not illegal aliens. In fact, the Cato study concluded with this caveat: “Note on Illegal Immigration — The public focus is on the crime rates of unauthorized or illegal immigrants. The research papers above mostly include all immigrants regardless of legal status.”

Now, I would agree with research findings that legal immigrants are less likely to commit criminal acts than some indigenous racial or ethnic groups — particularly poor blacks and Hispanics who’ve been enslaved by generations of leftist statist policies on what amount to urban poverty plantations16.

I then advised the lawyer that I wasn’t basing my conclusion about crime and sanctuary cities on political rhetoric from either end of the spectrum but on the facts — and the fact is that in almost all declared sanctuary cities, violence is growing rapidly. For example, in 2015, in one of the nation’s largest sanctuary cities, Los Angeles, violent crime was up 19.9%: homicides up 10.2%, shootings up 12.6%, rapes up 8.6%, robberies up 12.3% and aggravated assault up 27.5%.

Of course, we have covered the explosion of violent crime17 in the most celebrated of sanctuary cities, Chicago, under its inept Democrat mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

But these grim statistics alone don’t prove that the increase in violence is due to criminal aliens, primarily because the Obama administration intentionally scrubbed federal criminal records of data that would identify assailants as criminal aliens versus U.S. residents. But one GAO study from 201118 did sneak through, and it indicated that the percentage of criminal aliens in U.S. prisons is disproportionate to the estimated percentage of illegal aliens in America.

However, this does prove my case: I have spoken with federal and state law enforcement command line personnel across the nation — they are my first-hand sources on illegal aliens and crime — and they consistently make two declarations about violent crime:

    The perpetrators of 95% of violence in major sanctuary cities are associated with gangs and/or drugs networks.

    The most violent gang and drug networks have been infiltrated by criminal aliens.

It is no coincidence that in the nation’s largest “sanctuary city,” New York, it was announced this week that 10 of the 14 members of the MS-13 gang, who were indicted for the brutal murder of two teenage girls in neighboring Suffolk County, are criminal aliens.

Finally, I asked my acquaintance to view this video message19 from Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones to Barack Obama, after two deputies, Danny Oliver and Michael Davis, were murdered by an illegal immigrant20 on Obama’s watch.

The deputies' widows, Jessica Davis and Susan Oliver, were in the gallery for Trump’s February address to Congress21. “Their husbands,” said Trump, “were slain in the line of duty in California. They were pillars of their community. These brave men were viciously gunned down by an illegal immigrant with a criminal record and two prior deportations. Sitting with Susan is her daughter, Jenna. Jenna, I want you to know that your father was a hero, and that tonight you have the love of an entire country supporting you and praying for you.”

Notably, a colleague who recently retired after a career in both military and federal civilian law enforcement had this suggestion for political leaders refusing to enforce our nation’s immigration laws in their jurisdictions: “Any state or local government leaders inviting illegal aliens into their ‘sanctuary cities’ should lose the qualified immunity normally granted to government officials acting under color of law, thus leaving them open to civil suits from the victims (or survivors of victims) of the violent crimes committed in those jurisdictions by illegal aliens.”

Now, removing that legal liability limitation would be a Trump executive order that would give pandering sanctuary city politicians reason to reconsider.

While there are police chiefs who oppose deportation, the basis for most of those objections (those not politically motivated to appease a mayor) is concern about the increased threat to their officers resulting from interactions with offenders who are criminal aliens.

And a final note: There is some good news on the illegal migration from south of the border. Whether you approve of Donald Trump’s border enforcement policies or not, his commitment to enforce Rule of Law22 has already had a dramatic effect on illegal border crossings23. According to Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly, in the first month of this year24, “the flow of illegal border crossings as measured by apprehensions and the prevention of inadmissible persons at our southern border dropped by 40 percent.”

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertas — 1776
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Are Sanctuary Cities Safer?

By Mark Alexander

Mar. 15, 2017

“The policy or advantage of [immigration] taking place in a body (I mean the settling of them in a body) may be much questioned; for, by so doing, they retain the language, habits, and principles good or bad which they bring with them. Whereas by an intermixture with our people, they, or their descendants, get assimilated to our customs, measures, and laws: in a word, soon become one people.” —George Washington1 (1794)

My interactions with rational liberals (not always an oxymoron) provide a window into how they process “facts,” reshaping them to comport with their statist and utopian worldviews.

I had an opportunity to engage one such lefty this week — an acquaintance who’s an attorney, and who took strong exception to my characterization of so-called “sanctuary cities” as being more dangerous because they advertise immunity for illegal aliens, thus attracting more violent offenders.

Liberals, of course, become insufferably sanctimonious when advocating for things as ostensibly wonderful as a “sanctuary,” but, despite all the “warm and fuzzy feelings,” the secret among Democratic Party2 leaders is that the sanctuary city movement is nothing more than a pandering political charade aimed at Hispanic voters — and sanctimonious fellow leftist elites.

The previous administration’s “immigration reform strategy3” was designed to fail, because otherwise it would flood the markets of their dwindling union and blue collar constituencies with cheap immigrant labor, and the former would never tolerate the latter. Instead, the policy has always been one of smoke and mirrors: placating Hispanic voters with empty promises of blanket amnesty, while never losing a constituent by fulfilling that promise.

That notwithstanding, there are now more than 5004 sanctuary cities, large and small, all across the United States. That’s almost twice the number of a year ago. Not surprisingly, the growth has been driven by opposition to President Donald Trump’s commitment to enforce our nation’s immigration laws5. Consequently, Trump has put those cities on notice6, threatening to cut $2.7 billion in federal funding if they refuse to abide by the law.

So, here’s how my debate with a big-hearted but light-headed lawyer began.

Last week, a friend was on his way home to our mountain community outside of Chattanooga. He stopped at a hardware store for some supplies, and when he returned to his vehicle in broad daylight, he was subjected to aggravated kidnapping (at gunpoint) and robbery. A local gang thug forced my friend into his vehicle for an “ATM joyride” — after stealing the money in his wallet, the thug forced him to drive to a nearby money machine and withdraw hundreds of dollars. My friend kept his calm, though, and was later released without bodily harm.

My friend, a physician and man of strong faith who had no option to fend off the armed assailant, told the gang member at the end of the ordeal as the offender left his car, “I will be praying for you — and this story is not over.” The gang member was later arrested, and I suspect the next chapter of this story will likely be my friend’s role in leading the offender to the transformation of God’s grace — behind bars.

But the first chapter of this story — which now occurs with alarming regularity across our country — could have ended in violence and tragedy. Indeed, most gang violence occurred between gang members a few years ago, but it is now metastasizing into frequent violence against citizens who have nothing to do with gangs.

According to the FBI’s most recent Uniform Crime Reports (2015), there were 1,197,704 violent crimes, up 3.9% from 2014 — a trend that started several years earlier after Barack Obama initiated his war on cops7.

That violence, which is erupting across the U.S., is part of Obama’s failed legacy.

For the record, my home state of Tennessee ranks near the top of conservative states8. Overall, conservative principles have put our state at the top of many lists, including economic growth and freedom indexes. Just this week, our state initiated a lawsuit against the federal government rejecting Obama’s leftover Middle Eastern migrant resettlement plans, citing violation of the Tenth Amendment9 as the basis of its complaint. (Yes, they are migrants, not refugees10, according to the UN’s own accounting of the mass migration.)

However, our urban centers have been subject to the same social entropy and blight that afflicts other cities under Democrat “leadership.” And the most costly measure of that blight is violent crime.

Memphis is ranked #4 on the list of most dangerous cities11 nationwide, and now Chattanooga is moving to the top of the ratings12 for violent cities with populations under 200,000.
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As summarized brilliantly by Robert Tracinski26 at The Federalist, “The point of insurance is not that healthy people pay for sick people. … The point of health insurance is not to provide health care. The point is to hedge against financial risk. … You still set aside a certain amount every month, as you do with savings, but you control for the short-term risk of needing your benefits before you have fully paid for them. Some people will pay premiums for only a few months before they need the benefits. Others will pay for decades without needing them. You accept this because you don’t know ahead of time which one of those people you are going to be.”

“But you can make calculations about which one of those people you are likely to be,” Tracinski continues. “So you want your premiums to be correlated to your own level of risk and not just be a slush fund to be ‘shared’ with others, because that looks a whole lot like getting ripped off. If you find yourself required to pay extremely high premiums while you’re still young and healthy and with a healthy lifestyle, and therefore with a very low risk of using much of your coverage, then you may well decide you’re better off without insurance.”

By definition, ObamaCare can’t be called insurance because it prohibits insurers from basing premiums on risk factors such as age, race (certain races have higher likelihoods of contracting certain diseases than others), lifestyle (smoking, drinking alcohol, and promiscuous sexual behavior all significantly increase health risks), etc. So a chain-smoking 50-year-old man could not be charged much more than a 23-year-old female triathlete. Insurers were also not allowed to deny coverage, or charge higher premiums, for those with pre-existing conditions.

This creates a perverse incentive for both younger people who were unlikely to be sick and for people living an unhealthy lifestyle to go without insurance, knowing they could wait until they needed costly medical care before signing up. At worst they would have to pay a small penalty, which would be more than offset by the money saved from not paying monthly premiums for years.

Without cost being tied to risk, there is little incentive for people to be responsible and to sign up for insurance. In the end, the insurance companies, who salivated at the thought of government forcing everyone to buy their product, lost billions of dollars as they saw primarily sicker and older people signing up, without the young and healthy paying premiums to offset the costs.

That’s why 18 of the 23 ObamaCare co-ops have already gone bankrupt, and why major insurers are pulling out of markets left and right.

Fixing the failures of the health insurance market will require a return to free market principles. It will require insurance to be insurance, not a slush fund shoveling money from the young and healthy to the older and infirm. It means returning to a model where we pay for routine care out of pocket27, and use insurance as it is meant to be used — namely, to deal with unforeseen, catastrophic health problems. How much would auto insurance cost if government required it to cover new tires, oil changes, and windshield wipers?

Real reform will require risk-based premiums, and addressing the issue of pre-existing conditions, which would be better addressed by moving those people into a high-risk pool subsidized by the states. That’s welfare, not insurance, but it would make risk assessment more reality-based and lower overall costs.

It will require a firm spine and some political capital, but our leaders need to have a frank discussion with the American people28 and disabuse them of the notion of an eternal, cost-free gravy train. We are at $20 trillion in debt, and rising. Major entitlements are the primary drivers. We can either responsibly address the crisis now, or wait until the house of cards collapses. Prudence and wisdom dictates that we act now.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

    The American Melting Pot29 — Is it demographics or an idea? A look at what makes us great.
    Just What the Doctor Ordered30 — Trump’s choice to head the FDA will bring badly needed reform to the agency.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

    John Stossel: Ignorant Media31
    Ben Shapiro: Are We on the Verge of Violence?32
    Walter Williams: [Liberty Is Not for Wimps)(https://patriotpost.us/opinion/47950)

For more, visit Right Opinion33.

OPINION IN BRIEF

John Stossel: “As this week’s storm approached the East Coast, the media reverted to breathless hype: ‘monster storm … very dangerous.’ Here I blame my beloved free market: Predicting scary weather works. Viewers tune in. What galls me more is the reporters' government-centric thinking. ‘Everything is closed,’ they say. ‘Employees can’t get to work.’ But the corner grocery stayed open. So did many gas stations and restaurants. Why is it that when government buildings close, so many private businesses stay open? Because their own money is at stake. The store’s employees probably make less money than government workers. They are less likely to own all-wheel-drive cars. But they get to work. Some sleep there. Their own money is on the line. Reporters don’t think about the distinction.”

SHORT CUTS

Non Compos Mentis: “When someone gets shot by a gun with a silencer, it’s quiet. Witnesses might not hear. Police will be less likely to track down the shooter.” —Kirsten Gillibrand on suppressors, a.k.a. “silencers” that don’t actually make anything silent (“And you can’t scream for help because the silencer pulls sound out of your mouth.” —Frank Fleming)

Belly laugh of the week: “[My young son] now does an impression where whenever I’m bothering him he says, ‘Fake news.’” —CNN’s Jake Tapper (Smart kid!)

The Snowflake Monologues: “I’d like to share with you an experience I had today. It’s uncomfortable and scary for me… An older man with white hair came up to me at my seat today at a basketball game. He said, ‘May I take your picture?’ I said ‘Yes.’ … He said to me with open hostility as he was backing away, ‘We like Trump.’ … I feel very sad that this happened, and frankly scared.” —Ashley Judd

Flip-Flop Minority Leader: “If Republicans insist on inserting poison pill riders such as defunding Planned Parenthood, building a border wall, or starting a deportation force, they will be shutting down the government and delivering a severe blow to our economy.” —Chuck Schumer (“In 2006, Schumer was among 26 Democrats who voted for the Secure Fence Act … that was passed by both chambers of Congress and signed by President George W. Bush.” —The Daily Signal’s Rachel del Guidice)

Hyperbole: “If this [health care] legislation is passed, and millions of people are thrown off of health insurance, not able to get to a doctor when they must, thousands of Americans will die.” —Bernie Sanders (They won’t, but thousands of people actually would die under Sanders' socialist vision.)

And last… “This CBO thing about 14 million people ‘losing’ coverage is like saying people who voluntarily leave the army ‘lose’ their base housing.” —Jonah Goldberg

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
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Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 15, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

    What’s the real deal with Trump’s tax returns?
    As DC closed for a snow day, here are some men who never leave their posts.
    Insurance isn’t what most people think it is, and that’s what’s wrong with health care.
    Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species.” —James Madison (1792)

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

The Real Story on Trump’s Tax Return1


Tuesday evening, with much ballyhoo, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow revealed two pages of Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return, which she claimed to have obtained under what can only be described as dubious circumstances. Maddow declared, “For some reason that we cannot discern, this document has been made available. It has surfaced. It has been handed to a reporter.” And what does the return show? Trump earned a lot of money — $150 million — and paid a lot in federal taxes — $38 million, or what amounts to about 25% of his income. Stop the presses!

Catching wind of the story, the White House preempted MSNBC by releasing a statement that included Trump’s earnings and taxes paid. The statement concluded, “Despite his substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns. The dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the President will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans.”

During the primaries, we called for Trump to release his tax records2 for reasons of learning who and what he has supported, not to know how much he’s worth or whether he paid his “fair share” in taxes. We also noted then and will reiterate now that Trump is under no legal obligation to share his tax returns, irrespective of what previous presidential candidates have traditionally practiced. What is truly disconcerting is the growing notion that it’s totally acceptable for the mainstream media to obtain and disseminate illegally leaked confidential information in an effort to harm Trump.

This latest Leftmedia witch-hunt exposes yet again just how anti-Trump they are. Recall the MSM collective yawn over Barack Obama’s numerous nefarious connections3, such as Jeremiah Wright4 or Bill Ayers. Where was the dogged reporting by the MSM exposing Obama’s truly scandalous past associations? It was conveniently absent. In fact, great energy and effort was put into defending Obama against legitimate questions, often by dismissing them as merely the kooky concerns of the tinfoil hat club.

Now the Leftmedia is invested in the narrative of Trump being illegitimate, and no matter what the facts reveal, they have committed themselves to discrediting Trump at every conceivable opportunity. That’s what’s truly behind this tax story. And yet as has happened repeatedly, it’s proving only to blow up in their faces.

Slush Holidays at Taxpayer Expense5

By Mark Alexander

Yesterday afternoon I received a call from one of our contributing authors after he left work and was driving north on I-95 just south of Washington, DC. He found it humorous that there was not a single vehicle in the southbound lanes — normally a parking lot of rush-hour traffic. Today, Weather.com and other “weather news” outlets are doing their best to excuse all the hype they stirred up over the great March blizzard6. But the Daily Mail called winter storm Stella “The Blizzard that WASN’T,” while the New York Post declared “NYC Blizzard is a Dud.”

Fortunately, the DC media posted a “Snow Survival Guide7” ahead of the two inches of slush that besieged the nation’s capital yesterday, so all food market shelves were denuded of milk and bread.

Of course the 24-hour weather prognosticators face the same constraints as the rest of the 24-hour news recycling talkingheads — they are motivated, first and foremost, by market share and advertising revenues. In other words, they are driven by financial incentive, which is why they incessantly hype news — everything is a crisis, stay tuned 24/7! Of course there is rarely national news that rises to the level of the media’s hyperbolic “ALERT” bulletins. But in all fairness, the weather prognosticators have the task of trying to predict something, while the rest of the MSM are constantly rehashing news about something past — ad nauseam.

Top Headlines8

    Schumer, who voted for the border wall in 2006, now threatens a government shutdown over funding it. (The Daily Signal9)

    GOP senators say House health bill won’t pass without changes. (The Wall Street Journal10)

    White House seeks to cut billions in funding for United Nations. (Foreign Policy11)

    Trump to ease Obama-era rule on auto fuel economy standards. (The Washington Times12)

    Congress demands investigation into Obama administration meddling in foreign elections. (The Washington Free Beacon13)

    Senate Judiciary Committee demands all records on FBI plan to pay British ex-spy who made “Russia dossier” on Trump. (CNS News14)

    Study debunks oft-cited research alleging voter ID laws are racist. (LifeZette15)

    Tennessee sues federal government over “refugee” resettlement, citing violation of the Tenth Amendment. (CNS News16)

    Student loan defaults are surging, study finds. (Associated Press17)

    Congress passes legislation to undo Obama restrictions on drug tests for unemployed. (Washington Examiner18.)

    Humpday Humor: Disrespect our flag? Here’s a challenge for you! (Video19)

    Policy: How the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is trying to kill the Second Amendment. (America’s 1st Freedom20)

    Policy: America’s way ahead in Syria. (Critical Threats21)

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report22.

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
Making Health Insurance Insurance Again23


By Louis DeBroux

The release this week of the Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of the GOP’s ObamaCare replacement24 bill brought on immediate condemnation, hyperventilation, and Chicken Little the-sky-is-falling theatrics from all the usual suspects in the Democrat Party and the Leftmedia (but we repeat ourselves).

According to the CBO, the GOP plan would reduce the deficit by several hundred billion dollars, but add 14 million to the ranks of the uninsured in 2018. Pretty horrible, right?

Not if we keep in mind the CBO’s track record, which is not very good. By law, the CBO must score legislation statically (essentially net-zero formulations) rather than dynamically (factoring in human behavioral responses to economic changes). Unable to factor in human behavior, CBO projections are generally off by a wide margin.

In 2009, the CBO predicted ObamaCare would cost taxpayers $900 billion over 10 years, but just two years later the projected costs had more than doubled. Likewise, the number of Americans added to the insurance rolls was a fraction of projections, and a sizeable chunk of those added were lumped into Medicaid, which is a taxpayer-funded welfare program, not insurance.

Lost in the discussion of premiums, enrollment rates, deductibles and so forth is the fact that ObamaCare was never an insurance program. Rather, it was a quasi-socialist health payment program, a temporary bridge to what Democrats actually wanted — single-payer, government-run socialized health care. ObamaCare was never intended to work; at least, not as it was sold to the stupid American people25.
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On paper these ideas of alternative sources sound fantastic, and perhaps in the decades to come they will be consistent and more affordable. But for now, oil, is still the cheapest, most reliable form of energy, and U.S. energy policy should reflect that reality.

In the summer of 2016, Rystad Energy, an oil consulting firm, released new data23 revealing that the United States has more oil reserves at an estimated 264 billion barrels than any other country in the world. This, for the first time in history, surpasses Russia at 256 billion barrels and Saudi Arabia at 212 billion barrels.

If we have so much of our own oil, it seems reasonable to ask, why are we still relying on the Middle East to provide this valuable resource? The short answer is that we only have approximately 22 billion barrels of proven reserves — that is, we only have the ability to tap into 22 billion barrels of oil due to technological limitations and regulations. The cost of extraction is another factor in calculating proven reserves, which is why “cheap oil” effectively reduces these reserves — cost exceeds profitability when oil is cheap.

Several years ago, oil production in the U.S. increased substantially with the use of new extraction technology. Hydrologic fracturing, or “fracking,” was the new means of production and Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Texas saw the largest increases in oil (and natural gas) production.

This new availability of oil posed a significant threat to the U.S.’s previous primary supplier of oil, Saudi Arabia. Before this expansion in extraction, the price for a barrel of oil was $115. Once the 21st Century American boom began, the Saudis, in an attempt to drive American innovators out of the oil business, lowered the price per barrel to $30, gambling their economy on the hopes that U.S. oil companies would run out of cash and close up shop, thereby forcing continued American reliance upon Saudi Arabian oil.

Their plan didn’t quite work. In fact, the Saudi economy is declining. “The International Monetary Fund in January slashed its forecast for Saudi economic growth this year to 0.4 percent from 2 percent,” Bloomberg reports24. “Net foreign assets, though still above $500 billion, are shrinking as the government uses savings to plug a budget deficit that reached $79 billion last year — $107 billion if delayed payments to contractors are included.”

What does all of this mean and why does it matter?

First, Saudi Arabia’s declining economy has weakened its strategic position in the Arab world, and that, combined with Barack Obama boosting Iran’s influence, has fueled instability in the Middle East.

Second, the U.S., because of the technological advances resulting in more American oil production, has transitioned from being a net oil importer to a net exporter of oil. In fact, the biggest onshore oil discovery in 30 years was just announced in Alaska. This, of course, is welcome news with its lower consumer fuel prices and more American jobs.

Finally, as we look forward, President Donald Trump’s administration has the opportunity to create sound energy policy. We should continue striving toward energy independence, but do so without paralyzing other economies in the world. Furthermore, the largest driver of cost in the energy sector is regulation. The Trump administration should push for deregulation across the board for those businesses who are seeking new, better and safer ways to tap into America’s vast resources. Unleashing the power of competition amongst American businesses and workers is what will drive success in the energy sector.

Our nation has a bright future when it comes to energy. The key is going to be harnessing that energy through the free market.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

    Is This the End of ‘Liberalism’ in the USA?25 — Militant leftist extremists have taken over a large swath of the Left.
    Rolling Back the Administrative State26 — Trump’s proposed budget: More military, less for other agencies.
    College Students' Fascist View of Tolerance27 — Most students think Muslims and Christians don’t have the same rights.
    Kids Slammed for Wearing Patriotic Clothing28 — Des Moines North High School has a large refugee population.
    Democrats Flip-Flop on Russia29 — A video montage of politics at its worst.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

    Dennis Prager: Some on the Left Now Criticize the Students They Created30
    Stephen Moore: Europe’s Lesson Teaches Us: Don’t Go Green31
    Hans von Spakovsky & Grant Strobl: What the Media Won’t Tell You About Illegal Immigration and Criminal Activity32

For more, visit Right Opinion33.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Marvin J. Folkertsma: “There is a chasm separating our country’s elites from regular citizens, a matter that has been addressed increasingly by thoughtful observers of American politics. Although developments in our country have not reached the crisis levels that destroyed Rome, for instance, or France under Louis XVI, clearly the existence of vast, interconnected swath of overseers — actors and activists, professors and pundits, politicians and bureaucrats — who are insulated from reality and the consequences of what they say and do spells doom for America. Which means that any measures that force elites into the world of responsibility should be welcomed, regardless of preposterous screeches of protest such efforts would ignite. The normals among us fervently hope that such efforts succeed before it is too late, before our ‘land of the free’ succumbs to the tyrannies (soft or hard) that inevitably ensue when irresponsible elites lose all interest in preserving the country that made them so important in the first place.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labor tends, and of which every desire prompts the prosecution.” —Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Upright: “Nothing in Washington happens by itself; no policy ever self-destructs; it takes the political equivalent of a pile of plastic explosives to make something happen. Unless, of course, Obamacare suddenly (and inexplicably) were applied to members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, their staffs, and everyone else on a government payroll. Then, before you could say ‘Affordable Healthcare,’ Barack Obama’s signature legislation would vanish overnight. In short, forcing lawmakers to obey their own laws would do wonders to clarify minds and speed up lethargic congressional processes.” —Marvin J. Folkertsma

Non Compos Mentis: “I hope that [Republicans] would pull the bill. That’s really the only decent thing to do. Numbers are important. They see the numbers. They should know how that transfers into people’s lives.” —Nancy Pelosi who is suddenly concerned about a health care bill’s harmful effects

Contemplations of an alternative journalist: “Is it as striking to you in the briefing room as it is to television viewers that an alternative universe is being proposed, alternative definitions are being trotted out in real time?” —Brian Williams

Village Idiots: “Nazism is alive in the West.” —Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

And last… “Why would anyone be offended by someone saying that ‘Western civilization’ is preferable to the alternative? No one is forced to come here. So why would any newcomer be insulted if his prospective home expected him to adopt Western values? That’s what we do here. To be American is an ideal.” —David Harsanyi

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
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