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« on: April 12, 2018, 05:23:14 PM »

The Patriot Post Digest 4-11-2018
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription

The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest
Apr. 11, 2018 · https://patriotpost.us/digests/55293-mid-day-digest


Two big takeaways from Day 1 of Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony.
Loretta Lynch is still trying to rewrite history over the Clinton email scandal.
The CBO blames tax cuts for predicted ballooning deficits. That’s wrong.
Is “The Simpsons” racist for its portrayal of an Indian-American storeowner?
As the rich get richer, the poor get richer, too.
Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.


“Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech.” —Benjamin Franklin (1722)


Zuckerberg and the Facebook Data Black Hole1

By Thomas Gallatin

On Tuesday, Facebook creator and CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced pointed questions in a Senate hearing prompted by the recent kerfuffle over Cambridge Analytica’s accessing of Facebook-generated user data2. Senators on both sides of the aisle grilled Zuckerberg. A particularly revealing exchange that got right to the heart of the problem — protecting Americans’ privacy rights — occurred between Zuckerberg and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). To be fair, Durbin deserves credit for avoiding political grandstanding and the whole fake news gambit to focus on the actual issue.

Durbin: “Would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?”
Zuckerberg (taking a long pause): “Um, no.”
Durbin: “If you messaged anybody this week, would you share with us the names of the people you’ve messaged?”
Zuckerberg: “I would probably not choose to do that publicly here.”
Durbin: “I think that may be what this is all about. Your right to privacy. The limits of your right to privacy. And how much you give away in modern America in the name of, quote, connecting people around the world. A question basically of what information Facebook’s collecting, who they’re sending it to, and whether they ever asked me, in advance, my permission to do that. Is that a fair thing for a user of Facebook to expect?”
Zuckerberg: “Yes, senator. I think everyone should have control over how their information is used.”

Data isn’t the only issue Zuckerberg faced. The other serious issue that many conservatives, our humble shop included, have been very concerned with is Facebook’s practice of suppressing conservative content3. Both Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) took the opportunity to grill Zuckerberg over the issue of censorship. Sasse suggested that Facebook’s policies are “less than First Amendment full-spirit embracing.” He also pressed Zuckerberg to define “hate speech,” which the tech guru could not do4, after Zuckerberg had admitted it’s a category used by Facebook as a guideline for limiting speech. Sasse pointedly stated, “I’m worried about the psychological categories around speech. We see this happening on college campuses all across the country. It’s dangerous.”

Cruz also called out5 Zuckerberg over Facebook’s leftist bias, asking, “Do you consider yourself a neutral public forum or are you engaged in political speech, which is your right under the First Amendment?” Zuckerberg responded, “Well, senator, our goal is certainly not to engage in political speech.” But Cruz didn’t let him off the hook and followed up by listing multiple instances where conservative content was limited or censored. Zuckerberg then suggested he was unaware of the biased censoring of political content, but he did admit that Facebook’s location in Silicon Valley “is an extremely left-leaning place.” That’s putting it mildly.

There are two issues at play here; one deals with protecting Americans’ privacy rights, the other with free speech. Facebook plays fast and loose with users’ data. As Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) bluntly opined, “Here’s what everybody has been trying to tell you [Zuckerberg] today, and I say this gently: Your user agreement sucks!” Meanwhile, Zuckerberg and the Left would love to paint Facebook’s primary problem as one of needing help in preventing the dissemination of “fake news” and propaganda, not one of needing to better protect user data. What has made Facebook so profitable has been its ability to accumulate and then sell user data, and that’s why it’s the last thing Zuckerberg wants regulated. Instead, he would love for the focus to be on protecting Americans against the “dangerous” influence of propaganda — from conservatives, of course.

Lynch’s Lying Trip Down Memory Lane6

By Jordan Candler

Ex-Attorney General Loretta Lynch interviewed with NBC’s Lester Holt to address her performance during the exceptionally mismanaged Hillary Clinton email probe7. Clinton, you’ll recall, eluded justice despite her nefariously channeling emails through a surreptitious email server, which not only broke State Department rules but also endangered national security — all with the intent of shielding her foundation (a.k.a. “slush fund”) and political aspirations.

All of which is to say: Clinton deserved to be prosecuted. But Lynch — then the nation’s highest law enforcer — preemptively communicated how the investigation would ultimately conclude when she conversed privately8 with Hillary’s husband during the probe. According to CNS News’ Susan Jones9, “Lynch told Holt that because of her tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton, she would have recused herself from the Hillary Clinton case if legal experts had advised her to do so, but they did not.” Well, of course they didn’t — most, if not all, of them are careerists and leftists who, like Lynch, tried everything they could to ensure Clinton’s coronation.

Still, Lynch acted as if Comey’s personal exoneration of Clinton was wrong. When Lester inquired, “Did he usurp your authority?” Lynch retorted: “Well, it certainly was an unusual move. It was a different way to deliver a recommendation to the attorney general. I have not had any of my other law enforcement agencies deliver a recommendation in a case to me in that way.” She then advised Comey “to speak to why he took those actions.”

Of course, Comey at least pretended to be equally leery of Lynch, though she denies it. In the interview, Lester mentioned that “Comey says you want to call it ‘the Clinton matter.’ He wants to call it ‘the Clinton investigation.’” Speaking of Comey, Lester described this disagreement as something that “bothered him.” However, Lynch now contends that “concerns were not raised” in their dialogues. Who’s the bigger liar?

According to NBC News, “Lynch again insisted she and the former president did not talk about Hillary Clinton … or any other criminal investigations. Instead, Lynch said Bill Clinton told a ‘long but charming story’ about grandchildren. The two also chatted about ‘issues of the day,’ such as Brexit.” That’s about as truthful as claiming Comey’s upcoming book tour isn’t about profiting10 off his firing and accentuating his anti-Trumpness.

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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2018, 05:24:18 PM »

The Patriot Post Digest 4-11-2018
From The Federalist Patriot
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Apparently, Comey and Lynch weren’t just competing when it came to figuring out how to handle the Clinton probe; they’re competing even now. The “he said/she said” imbroglio is not necessarily going to help their case, nor is it necessarily going to fuel the anti-Trump bandwagon. Ironically, and more importantly, it also underscores the extent to which Obama’s Justice Department was far more political than it was impartial.

Top Headlines11

House Speaker Paul Ryan won’t seek re-election (Axios12)

China’s Xi renews vow to open economy, cut tariffs, but holds firm on intellectual property (Reuters13)

Facebook’s largest Black Lives Matter page is a scam tied to a white labor activist (The Washington Free Beacon14)

Bipartisan group of senators moving to protect Mueller’s job (CBS News15)

President warns U.S. missiles “will be coming” to Syria (The Washington Times16)

Trump signs executive order pushing work for welfare (Associated Press17)

McConnell: “certainly worth discussing” a move to undo some of the omnibus spending (CNS News18.)

Bank of America will no longer lend to clients that make AR-15s for civilians (CNBC19)

That’s racist! Los Angeles painting city streets white in bid to combat climate change (Fox News20)

Humor — or is it? Zuckerberg begins testimony by reminding senators he knows all their deepest thoughts, hopes, fears (The Babylon Bee21)

Policy: Nation’s “Report Card” shows federal intervention has not helped students (The Daily Signal22)

Policy: Yes, entitlements are driving the long-term debt (E2123)

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report24.

CBO Report Misleads but Still Underscores Debt Crisis25

By Louis DeBroux

With the newest Congressional Budget Office report26 laying out the impact on the deficit of Republican tax reform27 and the omnibus spending bill28, the national debt is once again a national discussion. Yet it can be an infuriating discussion because the topic is riddled with technocratic minutiae, political doublespeak and fiscal sleight of hand.

The CBO predicts the combination of tax cuts and new spending will drive deficits back above the $1 trillion threshold29 annually for the foreseeable future, and the national debt to 100% of GDP by 2028. The CBO claims tax cuts will “cost” the government $1.3 trillion in revenue.

There are several problems with these claims. First, the CBO is a horrible predictor of economic outcomes30; it’s often inaccurate by orders of magnitude. For example, before ObamaCare was passed, the CBO predicted ObamaCare’s cost at $938 billion over the following decade. Just two years later, the CBO had “revised” that number to $1.76 trillion, doubling the projected cost. Likewise, the CBO drastically overestimated the number of Americans who would enroll in ObamaCare (24 million projected, nine million actual). Historically, the CBO has significantly overestimated potential revenues from tax increases and significantly underestimated economic growth (and thus tax receipts) from tax cuts.

But perhaps the biggest problem is the idea that tax cuts “cost” the government money. For that to be true, one must start from the premise that the money rightfully belongs to the government, not those earning it. That is fundamentally wrong.

Of course, the lamentations of Democrats over increasing the deficit ring hollow. They cheered the nearly $10 trillion of new debt under Barack Obama; indeed, they demanded even more spending, not less.

Despite typical Democrat hypocrisy, the rapidly expanding national debt is leading us toward economic catastrophe31. First gradually, then suddenly32.

Under Obama, America suffered its worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. Obama became the first president to never achieve a single year of 3% GDP growth, averaging just 1.5%. But President Trump’s aggressive agenda to slash regulations and enact pro-growth policies has jump-started the economy, with two 3%+ quarters in his first year. That creates a problem, though. The $10 trillion in debt under Obama was created with essentially 0% interest rates, but as the Trump economy heats up, interest rates rise, so the cost of servicing the national debt rises. The more money taken in taxes to pay interest on the debt, the less for private investment and consumer spending, creating a dampening effect on the economy.

The reality is that the national debt will never be paid off by making the “rich” pay their “fair share,” for several reasons. First, the top 1% pays nearly half of all federal income taxes, and the bottom 50% pay almost nothing. Taxing the most productive people even more is a disincentive for additional work and investment. Why work more if Uncle Sam is going to take half? Second, if government took 100% — every dime — earned by the top 1%, it would fund the government for about six months. After we’ve completely robbed the “rich,” who do we rob next? Third, spending is far outpacing revenue growth.

Obama once told John Boehner, “We don’t have a spending problem.” He couldn’t have been more wrong.

The primary drivers of the national debt are entitlement spending and interest on the debt. Entitlement spending is on autopilot, expanding every year despite shrinking “contributions.” The Social Security Trust Fund has been hemorrhaging red ink for years, and the CBO projects it will be bankrupt in 13 years. That will result in either reduced benefits for seniors or high taxes on the working class, either of which would have a devastating effect on the economy. Likewise, the near-term outlook for Medicare and Medicaid is dismal, with tax revenues unable to keep up with spending growth. By 2028, the public debt will total $82,000 per American33.

So what does this mean for the midterm elections?

Democrats are campaigning on a promise to roll back the tax cuts, which seems bizarre considering the benefits of the tax cuts go disproportionately to the lower and middle class.

As for Republicans, the credit they rightfully deserve for the success of the tax cuts — and the pay raises and bonuses34 that followed — is somewhat negated by their passage of the massive omnibus bill that, while including from GOP priorities like military spending increases, was held hostage by Democrats until they secured domestic spending increases. That was probably inevitable with the GOP holding such a narrow majority in the Senate, but it still doesn’t sit well with a party whose voters have long demanded some fiscal sanity.

While the vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment this week is little more than an election year gimmick, there is another opportunity for Republicans35 to energize their base; use the 1974 Impoundment Act to “claw back” some of the spending allocated in the omnibus bill. The advantages of this are that it can be done with a simple majority vote in the House and Senate, it is not subject to a filibuster, and it is automatically fast-tracked in both houses of Congress. It wouldn’t negate all of the wasteful spending of the omnibus, but it would be a good start36 and would show Republican voters, in what will be an election won by turning out the party base, that Republicans are doing more than paying lip-service to fiscal responsibility.

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The Patriot Post Digest 4-11-2018
From The Federalist Patriot
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And it might just give the GOP the edge it needs to once again buck historical trends and avoid a Democrat wave in November.


The Simpsons’ Is Racist?39 — The long-running show responds to the charge quite humorously. But leftists don’t find it funny.
Video: As the Rich Get Richer, the Poor Get Richer40 — Yes, the rich are getting richer—but the poor are getting richer faster. And what’s driving that process? The market.


Michelle Malkin: The Student Data-Mining Scandal Under Our Noses41
Rich Lowry: Mark Zuckerberg’s Insufferable Tripe42
Hans von Spakovsky: There Are Good Reasons for Felons to Lose the Right to Vote43
Byron York: Lots of Mueller Action, but What About Collusion?44
Gary Bauer: ‘Witch Hunt’45
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion46.


Michelle Malkin: “While congresscritters expressed outrage at Facebook’s intrusive data grabs during Capitol Hill hearings with Mark Zuckerberg this week, not a peep was heard about the Silicon Valley-Beltway theft ring purloining the personal information and browsing habits of millions of American schoolchildren. It doesn’t take undercover investigative journalists to unmask the massive privacy invasion enabled by educational technology and federal mandates. The kiddie data heist is happening out in the open — with Washington politicians and bureaucrats as brazen co-conspirators. Facebook is just one of the tech giants partnering with the U.S. Department of Education and schools nationwide in pursuit of student data for meddling and profit. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Pearson, Knewton, and many more are cashing in on the Big Data boondoggle. State and federal educational databases provide countless opportunities for private companies exploiting public schoolchildren subjected to annual assessments, which exploded after adoption of the tech industry-supported Common Core ‘standards,’ tests, and aligned texts and curricula. The recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act further enshrined government collection of personally identifiable information … and allows release of the data to third-party contractors thanks to Obama-era loopholes carved into the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.”


Insight: “[Self-defense is] justly called the primary law of nature, so it is not, neither can it be in fact, taken away by the laws of society.” —Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780)

Upright: “FACEBOOK SHOULDN’T BE THIS COMPLICATED. Show me the things I want to see based on my friends and pages I ‘like’ — in chronological order. To make money, show me ads based only on sites I’ve visited. That’s it. Don’t ‘tailor’ my timeline. Don’t ‘protect’ me from ‘fake’ news.” —Allie Stuckey

For the record: “It is important to note how little we know about what [Robert] Mueller is doing. For all the public knows, a big collusion indictment could be coming tomorrow. But it is also important to note what we do know. And we do know who Mueller has charged, and with what, after an FBI investigation that began in July 2016 and a special counsel probe that began in May 2017. And so far, there have been no charges … involving alleged collusion.” —Byron York

Selective outrage: “At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, we have got to repeal all of President Trump’s tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations and rebuild the disappearing middle class.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT) on his spontaneous concern “that the federal deficit and national debt will explode over the next decade”

Broken clock: “It’s clear that while much of the weapons stockpile was destroyed [under the Obama administration], other aspects of it were either hidden away or they’ve been remanufactured since, and that has led to this set of just horrific atrocities committed by the Assad regime.” —Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)

And last… “Are you a mildly tech-literate politico horrified by the level of ignorance demonstrated by lawmakers gearing up to regulate online technology they don’t even begin to grasp? Cool. Now you have a tiny glimpse into a day in the life of a gun owner.” —Sean Davis

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. We also humbly ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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