Wednesday Digest Strategic Blunders Cost GOP + More

Posted on Wed 10/16/2013 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again.” –George Washington

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Strategic Blunders Cost GOP

PP_Hindenburg_2013-10-16-35d00100The Republican strategy is a mess – so much so that Tuesday night the House GOP abandoned its proposal to fund the government through Dec. 15 and raise the debt ceiling through Feb. 7 in exchange for stripping the medical device tax from ObamaCare and forcing members of Congress and their staffers to live with the law. Speaker John Boehner’s plan was similar to the Senate’s version, but many Republicans objected to getting too few concessions on ObamaCare. The Senate proposal, which is also a temporary measure, includes just one ObamaCare tweak: An effort to verify incomes for subsidy seekers. The bottom line is that real concessions will not come until the GOP wins the White House.

The Obama Treasury Department says the nation has until Thursday before it sort of runs out of money, but as we’ve noted previously, that’s an overblown fear even if it does have markets on edge. Yet Fitch Ratings, the third-largest credit agency, threatened to downgrade the U.S.’s AAA rating due to “political brinksmanship and reduced financing flexibility.”

It’s unfortunate that at the very moment of ObamaCare’s Hindenburg-like launch, Republicans stole the spotlight with ill-considered strategy. House Republicans did manage post-shutdown to pass numerous partial measures putting Democrats on the spot, but it shouldn’t have come to that. All they had to do was get out of the way. Since the launch of Healthcare.gov on Oct. 1, the news cycle should have been dominated with stories of its outrageous cost, the overall technical disaster, no enrollees in several states and made-up ones in others, sticker shock for the few who successfully navigated the site and condemnation even from Obama allies. Instead, GOP infighting over strategy and tactics became the focus. And the end result will be that the government reopens and ObamaCare lumbers on.

PP_WouldYouLikeToPayWithCash_2013-10-15-ebdc927a_large

ECONOMY

Supreme Court to Consider EPA Regulations

PP_EPA_2013-01-09-chronicleThe Obama administration has been zealously waging its “war on coal” through EPA regulations on carbon emissions that will both endanger plans for new coal plants and effectively shutter existing ones because the plants can’t meet emissions standards. In June 2012, a three-judge panel of a federal appeals court in Washington, DC, upheld every contention the administration made to defend its regulations – from the assumption that greenhouse gases are causing global warming to the authority of the EPA to basically do whatever it wants to combat it. Now the U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in.

Unfortunately, the High Court is only considering the part of the appeals court ruling dealing with permitting requirements; they are leaving in tact the lower court’s finding on emissions and climate change, which, as we often recount in this space, is dubious at best. But SCOTUS found in 2007 that the Clean Air Act, which doesn’t define CO2 as a pollutant, nevertheless gives the EPA broad authority to regulate carbon emissions, so it’s not surprising that the Court is leaving that issue alone. That earlier ruling focused on vehicles and mileage standards, while this latest case deals with the question of power plants and other stationary facilities.

Though the administration urged the Court to reject the case, EPA chief Gina McCarthy applauded the justices’ decision on a narrow hearing, which she said “confirms that EPA has the authority to protect public health by reducing carbon pollution.” Such Orwellian spin is hard to take from an agency that shackles the U.S. economy with incredibly burdensome regulations. Expect a decision in the case by June 2014.

NATIONAL SECURITY

Warfront With Jihadistan: Iraq’s Undoing

PP_Iraq_2013-10-16-18ff6cc2The mission in Iraq wasn’t accomplished when President George W. Bush made one of his most famous missteps in 2003, but by the time he left office, Iraq was seemingly on its way to becoming a model Middle Eastern nation. It was a status forged with the generous assistance of American troops to provide security and keep the remnants of the once-fearsome al-Qaida at bay.

Yet less than five years later the nation is once again in the grip of a religious sectarian war, with al-Qaida targeting Shi’ites, the Islamic sect mainly represented in the current Iraqi government. Since American troops left the country in 2011, the pace and scope of violence – including car and suicide bombings, prison breaks freeing hundreds of formerly detained al-Qaida members, and other random violence – has accelerated to a point where 700 or more Iraqis have perished each month in attacks since April. Moreover, al-Qaida is strongest in the western part of the country, affording the group easy access to intercede in the Syrian war as well.

Obviously the vacuum left by the departure of American troops has been filled by al-Qaida, which as a group was “on a path to defeat,” according to Barack Obama. If that path meanders through the undoing of what thousands of American troops accomplished at the cost of much blood and treasure, Obama doesn’t seem to mind.

Under this regime, America is quickly transitioning to the position of weakness we had prior to 9/11; meanwhile, Iraqis, once optimistic, are still looking for stability after a decade. It’s a sad state of affairs for a country that had such high hopes half a decade ago.

CULTURE

Village Academic Curriculum: NCLB Deadlines Loom

PP_NoChildLeftBehind_2013-10-16-e1d86c98Twelve years ago, No Child Left Behind set out to ensure that by 2014, all students would reach proficient levels on state tests. With the big deadline just around the corner, eight states are far from ready, with up to 74% of schools in these states missing the mark. Not that the other 42 states and DC are prepared – no, they opted to get waivers from the mandate.

Of the remaining states, three – Illinois, Iowa, and Wyoming – have waiver applications pending, but for the rest, the costs of not making the grade may be high and, in some cases, unachievable. For example, while NCLB promises that a child can choose to move to another school, in Montana, another school may be a significant distance away. And while many schools in states missing the deadline will need to continue providing tutors, in rural areas state-approved tutors are harder to come by. When asked about the consequences of missing the deadline, Education Secretary Arne Duncan advised Montana’s education head Denise Juneau to get a waiver. Hardly comforting. Indeed, when a federal mandate is so onerous that the government’s best advice is to request exemption from it, that’s a sure sign it was a bad idea to begin with. What’s next, ObamaCare waivers? Oh, wait…

BRIEF OPINION

For the Record

Columnist Marc A. Thiessen: “Leaks have consequences. Just ask Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who was kidnapped in retaliation for allowing the United States to carry out a special operations raid in Tripoli that captured a senior al-Qaeda leader, Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known as Abu Anas al-Libi. How did the kidnappers know that the prime minister had approved the raid? … [T]he Obama administration exposed the Libyan government’s cooperation in a top-secret covert action in order to bolster the president against domestic political criticism. It gets worse. … [T]he [New York] Times revealed that a second raid had been planned, but not carried out, ‘to seize a militia leader suspected of carrying out the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi.’ … With the leak that the Libyans approved both raids, and the kidnapping of the Libyan prime minister, his government probably will not authorize more such operations for the foreseeable future. … Even when this administration gets something right, it can’t seem to get it right.”

Essential Liberty

Columnist John Stossel: “Since the 80s, there has been a 300 percent increase in disability claims for hard-to-prove illnesses like back pain, stress and other ‘non-exertional restrictions.’ Over the past two decades, the number of people receiving Social Security disability benefits grew from 4 million to 11 million. … We all want to help the genuinely disabled, but a wide range of subjective ailments are affected by attitude. Labeling people victims, telling them they need help, teaches some to think like victims. Social scientists call that ‘learned helplessness.’ Private charities are pretty good at separating real victims from malingerers. But government is not. Its one-size-fits-all rules encourage people to act like victims. Whether people have real physical ailments or just see the economic deck stacked against them, the most damaging thing say to them is: Give up. You can’t make it on your own. Wait for help. Pessimism changes what we think is possible. It shrinks our horizons. … America is full of success stories. But if we obsess over stories about victimhood, that is what we’ll get.”

The Gipper

“The character that takes command in moments of crucial choices has already been determined by a thousand other choices made earlier in seemingly unimportant moments. It has been determined by all the ‘little’ choices of years past – by all those times when the voice of conscience was at war with the voice of temptation, [which was] whispering the lie that ‘it really doesn’t matter.’ It has been determined by all the day-to-day decisions made when life seemed easy and crises seemed far away – the decision that, piece by piece, bit by bit, developed habits of discipline or of laziness; habits of self-sacrifice or self-indulgence; habits of duty and honor and integrity – or dishonor and shame.”

For more, visit The Right Opinion.

CHRONICLE QUOTES

Insight

American author Albert Jay Nock (1870-1945): “It can not even be said that the State has ever shown any disposition to suppress crime, but only to safeguard its own monopoly of crime.”

Demo-gogues

DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz: “If we put all the women, Republican and Democrat in the House together, the consensus from all of us is that we would get this [budget deal] done in a few hours.”

From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: “We have so many dire, pressing issues that have been – it’s like we blocked out the sun when the government shut down and we almost reached default.”

Braying Jenny

Sen. Barbara Boxer: “I never questioned, never questioned the fact that Republicans, Democrats and independents love this country. … But I have to say, when you start acting like you’re committing domestic abuse, you’ve got a problem.”

Dezinformatsia

CNN’s Piers Morgan: “I have no problem in a country with so many guns in circulation with a family exercising their First [sic] Amendment right to defend their families with a handgun at home. But nobody can tell me that any civilian in America needs a military-style assault weapon or a magazine which has 30 to 100 bullets as we saw in Aurora or Sandy Hook.”

The BIG Lie

USA Today editorial: “In 50 years, Americans are far less likely to be talking about this month’s budget follies in Washington than they are to be asking why this generation was warned about the risks of man-made climate change and didn’t do more about them.”

Short Cuts

Columnist Charlie Martin: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me for five years, I’m an Obama voter.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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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