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« on: March 08, 2017, 06:16:37 PM »

The Patriot Post Digest 3-7-2017
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription

Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 7, 2017


    GOP unveils ObamaCare replacement. Don’t underestimate the strategic challenges.
    Trump’s new travel ban is sturdier and still has leftists miffed.
    What’s the story with the Trump wiretapping allegations?
    Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.


“In planning, forming, and arranging laws, deliberation is always becoming, and always useful.” —James Wilson (1791)


Diffusing the ObamaCare Time Bomb1

On Monday, House Republicans released an ObamaCare repeal and replacement bill. The legislation would end the most objectionable aspect of Barack Obama’s law, the insurance mandate and accompanying tax penalties, and replace it with a new tax credit program designed to incentivize individuals to purchase health insurance. Essentially, it removes the stick approach in favor of the carrot. The bill is by no means a comprehensive replacement of ObamaCare, nor is it everything conservatives ever hoped for, but it is a first step. Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, “Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill is now out for review and negotiation. ObamaCare is a complete and total disaster — is imploding fast!”

The GOP has been wrestling for weeks2 now over how to repeal and replace ObamaCare. The truth is that it is incredibly difficult to reverse entitlements and subsidies once they have been established. Like it or not, ObamaCare was the beachhead successfully establishing a new entitlement, even though in the short term it was costly for Democrats. The precedent is now set, and a sizable portion of Americans now expect federal government involvement in supporting their health care needs. As Phil Klein of the Washington Examiner writes3, “Liberals … have won the central philosophical argument, and Republicans are reduced to fighting over the mechanics.”

For Trump and the Republicans to be successful in reversing ObamaCare, they will need to be willing to work toward dismantling it via a piecemeal approach versus a completely comprehensive and decisive new law. Conservatives are right to object that the new GOP bill essentially leaves much of ObamaCare in place, but in order to be successful in the long run, short gains need to be embraced. A war is not won in one battle, and the all-or-nothing approach more often than not amounts to nothing. Republicans will need to compromise to get this done — not with Democrats dug into their anti-Trump obstructionist battle trenches, but with each other.

Trump’s Travel Ban, Take Two4

After a legal ruse caused the demise of Donald Trump’s original travel ban on the nations of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, the president on Monday signed off on an improved executive order that contains some specific modifications. The original travel ban was heavily criticized on the Left, and the order is almost universally acknowledged to have been hastily and poorly rolled out. However, the ban was not inherently unconstitutional5. The most questionable part of the ban was the inclusion of legal residents. In the new executive order, there are no prohibitions on green card holders.

The countries affected are the same, less one nation — Iraq. As the Associated Press explains6, “The White House dropped Iraq from the list of targeted countries following pressure from the Pentagon and State Department, which noted Iraq’s role in fighting the Islamic State group.” According to The Washington Times, some additional details include7:

    “Visitors now will be banned for 90 days from six Muslim-majority countries on the list: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

    "During the ban, the administration plans to develop an extreme vetting program for all foreign visitors to the U.S., including a biometric entry/exit system to identify who is arriving and departing the country.

    "It also removed the original order’s exemptions for religious minorities, namely Christians, from the targeted countries, and it eliminated a permanent ban on refugees from Syria. …

    "The 90-day ban on visitors and the 120-day halt to refugee resettlement this time will phase in over a 10-day period, taking full effect March 16.”

Don’t expect any of this to appease leftists, though. Chuck Schumer called it “mean-spirited and un-American.” Democrats are fundamentally and irrationally opposed to any restrictions Trump makes to border policies, even when he’s doing his best to compromise. On the whole, the last version was constitutionally sound. And there is literally nothing in this executive order the courts can justifiably render unsound or unconstitutional. It is a temporary ban, after all. And for those judges who do find fault, you can be sure they’re engaging in political gamesmanship.

Top Headlines8

    300 refugees subject of FBI terror investigations. (Fox News9)

    Police chief to illegal aliens: “Your immigration status is completely irrelevant.” (CNS News10)

    District of Columbia councilwoman holds meeting teaching illegal immigrants how to resist ICE. (The Daily Signal11)

    WikiLeaks publishes thousands of purported CIA documents. (Associated Press12)

    CIA, DOJ sued over leaks of classified wiretaps on former NSA Flynn. (The Washington Free Beacon13)

    “A Day Without a Woman” ignites backlash over left-wing agenda, school closures. (The Washington Times14)

    University language guide deems “homosexual” and “housewife” to be offensive terms. (National Review15)

    Noted social sciences expert blocked from speaking by leftists mob. (The Washington Post16)

    Women’s studies has changed over the years — and it’s more popular than ever. (USA Today College17)

    Humor: Protesting the Protesters — the brutal truth! (Chad Prather Video18.)

    Policy: Stop proof-texting refugee policy with misapplied Bible verses. (The Federalist19)

    Policy: The Feds have transformed Title IX into an enemy of common sense. (The Heartland Institute20)

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report21.
Don’t Miss Patriot Humor

Check out Red Herring22.

If you’d like to receive Patriot Humor by email, update your subscription here23.

Wiretapping Trump: Did Obama Lie and Spy?24

By Paul Albaugh

The state of politics in the Washington Swamp is in absolute disarray. The deceit, cover-ups, scandals and illegal activity amongst government officials both former and current really seem to be the norm these days. And while the Leftmedia scramble to find new stories to discredit President Donald Trump, the American public is becoming more disgusted by the actions of the people who are supposed to be serving us.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted out several statements accusing Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump and his associates at some point during his presidential campaign. Of course, as we noted yesterday25 the Leftmedia were quick to jump all over Trump for presenting no evidence to support his wiretapping claim and for accusing a former president of doing something so egregious.

“Unsubstantiated,” “baseless” and “no evidence” are the Leftmedia buzzwords to try and convince the American public that the Obama administration did no wrong. Except he was citing that same Leftmedia. For instance, in January, The New York Times reported about an intelligence investigation into Trump. Was he wiretapped? We don’t know.

Interestingly, the media slap these labels upon Trump with regard to wiretapping, yet the same media across a multitude of networks have no qualms about telling everyone that the Russians hacked the 2016 election, helped Trump get elected and that Trump welcomed their support.

Without evidence.

Conveniently, it seems that every time Trump does something positive — such as give an impressive speech26 or hold to one of his campaign promises — the Leftmedia attempt to halt his momentum27 by bringing up Russian involvement with the election.

It’s not only the media. Shortly after Trump’s wiretapping tweets, FBI director James Comey on Sunday requested28 that the Justice Department publicly rebuke Trump’s surveillance claims. It’s strange that the head of the FBI would make such an extraordinary request to discredit the president — unless the wiretapping did occur and there were many people within the Obama administration who knew about it.

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The Patriot Post Digest 3-7-2017
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Then again, with all Comey did to help Hillary Clinton29, maybe it’s not so strange after all.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was asked during an interview about any wiretapping. Clapper stated, “To my knowledge” there was no wiretapping activity mounted against Trump or his campaign and that if the FBI had sought a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court order to wiretap the Trump campaign he would have known about it.

Then again, Clapper also initially falsely claimed the NSA had no program conducting widespread surveillance of all Americans.

Obama denied through a spokesman any wiretapping against Trump. Nothing unusual with that, though — Obama always denied any allegations of unlawful actions during his presidency.

Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Susan Collins of Maine, both of whom serve on the Intelligence Committee, were also asked if they had any knowledge of wiretapping being conducted on Trump. Both were unaware, and Collins noted that the Intelligence Committee would be looking into the issue as part of the investigation into Russian influence on the election.

Given Obama’s involvement with other numerous scandals and cover-ups during his presidency — the IRS scandal, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, to name a few — why should anyone, especially the media, immediately dismiss Trump’s claims against Obama? Even if he didn’t “order the code red,” as with the IRS targeting scandal, Obama’s minions knew the objective and didn’t need direct orders.

University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds also points out that Obama’s administration was involved with wiretapping journalists and spying on Congress30. Given that information, along with Obama’s blatant disregard for the Rule of Law, it’s reasonable to surmise that he might not have taken “no” for an answer from the FISA court.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, writing for National Review, explains31:

    First, as Obama officials well know, under the FISA process, it is technically the FISA court that “orders” surveillance. And by statute, it is the Justice Department, not the White House, that represents the government in proceedings before the FISA court. So, the issue is not whether Obama or some member of his White House staff “ordered” surveillance of Trump and his associates. The issues are (a) whether the Obama Justice Department sought such surveillance authorization from the FISA court, and (b) whether, if the Justice Department did that, the White House was aware of or complicit in the decision to do so. Personally, given the explosive and controversial nature of the surveillance request we are talking about — an application to wiretap the presidential candidate of the opposition party, and some of his associates, during the heat of the presidential campaign, based on the allegation that the candidate and his associates were acting as Russian agents — it seems to me that there is less than zero chance that could have happened without consultation between the Justice Department and the White House.

And as talk radio host Mark Levin, a constitutional attorney and former chief of staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese III in the Ronald Reagan administration, put it, “The issue isn’t whether the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign or transition of surrogates; the issue is the extent of it.”

At this point, the two congressional Intelligence Committees need to conduct a thorough investigation and the entire intelligence community needs to get work32 and get to the bottom of all of this. Doing anything else would be a disservice to America. The trouble with both courses of action is that partisanship will steer things awry. Are there enough honest people in the Swamp to sort this out? We hate to be pessimistic, but don’t count on it.


    Wanted: Workers With the Right Skills33 — Millions aren’t in the workforce, and there are millions of jobs unfilled…
    Obama Audited Billy Graham34 — So wiretapping Trump Tower is not a stretch.


    Cal Thomas: The Trump Effect35
    Rich Lowry: The Battle of Middlebury36
    Dennis Prager: Why Do American Jews Want Thousands of Jew Haters in America?37

For more, visit Right Opinion38.


Cal Thomas: “Here are two scenarios. One: you are a retiree who in recent years has been concerned about the value of your stock portfolio. Suddenly, the value of your stocks and stock-based mutual funds surges, the Dow rising 1,000 points to record highs within weeks. You examine the monthly report your broker sends and you are pleasantly surprised at how much your investments have earned since Donald Trump took office. Scenario two: You are reading and watching the news and all you see are stories about meetings between Trump campaign officials and the Russians… If you are a retiree, or approaching retirement, which scenario most affects you? Do you care more about the Russians, or your increasing net worth? … The focus on Russia and ‘scandal’ is the kind of petty politics that soured enough people in traditionally Democratic states to vote for Trump. They are tired of the games politicians play and want their government to work for them, not for the politicians and insiders. If the Trump administration finishes its first year in office with demonstrable results, including a continually improving economy, the Left will have nothing remaining in its bag of tricks and that will make Democrats look even weaker and ineffective heading into the 2018 elections.”


Upright: “Despite the woolly reasoning of the Ninth Circuit, there was never any question of the president’s legal authority to issue his original travel ban. The problems were political — and, to that extent, self-inflicted. This new travel ban has been crafted with more care, and its implementation suggests a welcome preference for deliberateness over haste. Hopefully, strengthened vetting procedures will result that will enable the United States to accept asylum-seekers without compromising our vital national-security interests. And, hopefully, the White House has learned its lesson: that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right — the first time.” —National Review

“Hard-hitting” journalism: “This latest assertion that Obama ordered illegal surveillance of Trump Tower during the 2016 election — tweeted without evidence — could get the president into some legal hot water. Although the law provides a great deal of leeway for political speech, that protection is not all encompassing. And because of the way Trump has leveled unsubstantiated accusations at Obama, he may have libeled his predecessor.” —NBC News

Friendly fire: “I do think, with all due respect in the world for the press, that the press could have done a better job [highlighting Russia’s alleged meddling in the election]. … I think the press were accomplices in the undermining of our election by the Russians.” —Nancy Pelosi

Repulsive: “I was raised in a liberal Christian tradition, and I come to work because of that background, not in spite of it. The Jesus that I was taught about would be holding the hands of women inside the clinic; he wouldn’t be screaming at them.” —Texas abortionist Amy Hagstrom Miller

And last… “Same crew that told me DeVos' appointment would shut down public schools is shutting down public schools Wednesday [to protest Trump]. For the children. Noted.” —Mary Katharine Ham

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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