‘Lone Survivor’ Responds to Critics + More Daily Digest

Posted on Thu 01/16/2014 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.” –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 15, 1787

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

‘Lone Survivor’ Responds to Critics

Marcus Lutrell, the retired Navy SEAL whose story of surviving a Taliban attack on a four-man SEAL team in Afghanistan in 2005 is told in the movie “Lone Survivor,” fired back at critics who claim the film glorifies war. “I mean, is [pro-war] a real term?” Lutrell asked incredulously. “Because there’s nothing glorious about war. … There’s nothing glorious about holding your friends in your arms and watching them die.” That isn’t to say war is never justified. “The bottom line,” he says, is that there are “bad people everywhere. And every now and again, we’re going to have to step on them to make sure that we preserve our way of life.” Indeed, as John Stuart Mill wrote, “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.”

Gates Slams Reid

In 2007, amid George W. Bush’s “surge” in Iraq, Harry Reid declared that it was useless because “this war is lost.” Well, among the things former Defense Secretary Robert Gates had to say about events during his tenure was to let Reid know exactly what he thought of those comments: “I thought that was one of the most disgraceful things I’ve ever heard a politician say.” And that’s saying something. But Gates explained why: “That sends a riveting message to kids who are putting their lives on the line every day that they’re doing it for nothing, and that was absolutely not the case.” Reid should still be ashamed of himself.

$533 Billion of Debt in 3 Months

CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller on Tuesday tweeted this interesting tidbit: “In the nearly 3 months since funding [was] restored to the Govt on Oct 17, the National Debt has increased $533-billion to $17.28-trillion.” Given Congress’ inability to articulate mathematics, we’ll present it another way: That’s $533,000,000,000 tacked on to the burden of future generations in just one quarter of the fiscal year. As devastating as Democrats claim the “shutdown” was, it pales in comparison to the federal government’s perpetual spending binge.

Another ObamaCare Delay

The issues paralyzing ObamaCare have forced the Obama administration to extend yet another deadline – this time the Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan (PCIP), which is now scheduled to expire March 15 instead of January 31. This is the second time HHS has granted the program more time; it was originally scheduled for termination at the end of December. HHS spokesman Steve Weiss said this delay “gives cancer patients and others who had no health insurance options before enrolling in PCIP extra time to choose a marketplace plan that works best for them and their families.” But what Weiss conveniently failed to point out is why patients are being given more time: because ObamaCare’s not working. But don’t expect facts to get in the way of a perpetual PR initiative.

Dear Climate Alarmists: ‘Back Off’

MIT Professor Richard Lindzen is a leading climate change expert. But even he says the Left needs to cool it. While he believes the climate is changing, he argues, “The changes that have occurred due to global warning are too small to account for.” Furthermore, all the hype is “just a dream come true for politicians,” he says. “The opportunities for taxation, for policies, for control, for crony capitalism are just immense. You can see their eyes bulge.” He warned that folks should “back off from catastophism. It’s the politicians and the green movement that like to portray catastrophe.” Well sure – that’s where the votes and the money are.

For more, visit Right Hooks.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Unemployment Benefits Don’t Benefit

PP_SolvingUnemployment_2014-01-16-8fae7259Early in the Great Recession, Democrats pushed to extend unemployment benefits from the normal 26 weeks to as many as 99, claiming, as Barack Obama did again just last week, that “extending emergency unemployment insurance actually helps the economy, actually creates new jobs.” Actually, no, it doesn’t.

In its latest working paper, the well respected National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the organization that determines when recessions officially begin and end, reports, “Most of the persistent increase in unemployment during the Great Recession can be accounted for by the unprecedented extensions of unemployment benefit eligibility.” The NBER calculates that these extensions have kept unemployment 3.6 percentage points higher than it would have been without the extensions. According to the study, “During the Great Recession, unemployment benefits have been on average at 82.5 weeks for approximately 16 quarters. … Translating this to rates, we would predict a rise in unemployment from 5% to 8.6%.”

As the NBER further explains, extended benefits have two main effects on unemployment. First, the unemployed do turn down jobs they might otherwise take either because the wages aren’t high enough or because they don’t want to lose benefits. Second, because some number of the unemployed chose benefits over work, overall wages rise, suppressing employers’ demand for labor – when labor is more expensive, employers buy less of it.

Of course, Democrats benefit most from this cycle because they’re portrayed by the Leftmedia as the party that “cares” while evil Republicans only want to “slash benefits.” Furthermore, most of the unemployed will never realize the macroeconomic reasons for their plight, leaving the Democrats’ BIG Lie as the most plausible explanation. Just take a look at the fact that labor force participation for blacks is at the lowest level ever recorded and then watch how blacks vote (again) this November. And so the cycle continues.

NSA Surveillance Is Ineffective

PP_NSA_2014-01-16-2e9b6d65While the White House continues to defend the NSA’s sweeping data mining operations targeting U.S. telephone records, a recent independent report from the New America Foundation states that the NSA program has had “no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism.” The report examined 225 terrorism cases that have been prosecuted in the U.S. since 9/11, attempting to determine which investigative methods led to the capture of the terrorists. According to the Foundation, only four of the cases involved Section 215 surveillance, the part of the Patriot Act upon which the NSA bases its broad and indiscriminant collection of U.S. telephone records. The bulk of the investigations that led to capture were the result of community/family tips and other informants.

However, the study has a significant hole – a full 27.6% of the cases examined were investigated using “unclear” methods. That large unknown category could include more Section 215 cases, but it’s impossible to know for sure. And of the four cases that were definitely nailed because of Section 215, the question must be asked whether they alone justify the danger to civil liberties inherent in the NSA program.

Barack Obama is unlikely to stop the surveillance altogether, however, if for no other reason than his penchant for avoiding responsibility. He doesn’t want to be in the hot seat should a successful attack occur after Section 215 is shuttered. Recognizing that to be the case, a group of former NSA intelligence operatives have petitioned him to meet to discuss a series of reforms. The group has 21 recommendations including: forcing the NSA to be subject to U.S. District, Appeals and Supreme Court precedent on Fourth Amendment matters; establishing severe penalties for government officials who violate privacy rights; applying effective whistleblower protections to members of the national security apparatus; and outlawing the use of foreign intelligence partners to circumvent U.S. laws.

On Friday, Obama plans to issue new guidelines for the surveillance program, the most high profile response he’s given since Edward Snowden’s leaks. From all appearances, his plan is to straddle the fence.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

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TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Columnist George Will: “The Obama administration has purchased states’ obedience by partially conditioning waivers from onerous federal regulations (from No Child Left Behind) and receipt of federal largess ($4.35 billion in Race to the Top money from the 2009 stimulus) on the states’ embrace of the Common Core. Although 45 states and the District of Columbia have struck this bargain, most with little debate, some are reconsidering and more will do so as opposition mounts. Many proponents seem to deem it beneath their dignity to engage opponents’ arguments, preferring to caricature opponents as political primitives and to dismiss them with flippancies such as this from Bill Gates: ‘It’s ludicrous to think that multiplication in Alabama and multiplication in New York are really different.’ What is ludicrous is Common Core proponents disdaining concerns related to this fact: Fifty years of increasing Washington inputs into K-12 education has coincided with disappointing cognitive outputs from schools. Is it eccentric that it is imprudent to apply to K-12 education the federal touch that has given us HealthCare.gov?”

Columnist Michael Reagan: “[T]he president is one of the few guys on the field who doesn’t realize that the ball he wants to move forward has been out of air for almost a century. The most powerful leader on the planet still doesn’t get it when it comes to economic policy – and obviously never will. He still thinks like a naive 20-something community organizer from South Chicago who has never had to meet a payroll or raise a dime of capital. … It doesn’t matter how many lightly taxed and lightly regulated ‘Promise Zones’ President Obama sets up in North Carolina or Texas with a wave of his mighty pen. The whole country needs to be turned into a permanent ‘Promise Zone.’ But that’s never going to happen as long as we have someone in the White House who doesn’t appreciate or like the free market and doesn’t know the difference between capitalism and cronyism.”

Lord Acton (1834-1902): “Whenever a single definite object is made the supreme end of the State, be it the advantage of a class, the safety of the power of the country, the greatest happiness of the greatest number, or the support of any speculative idea, the State becomes for the time inevitably absolute.”

Heritage Foundation’s Amy Payne: “The President has come a long way from his stance in 2011, when he told an audience, ‘The idea of doing things on my own is very tempting, I promise you, not just on immigration reform. But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions.’ And yet, despite the fresh threat of Obama’s executive pen, this isn’t a new strategy for the Administration. The Administration hasn’t needed Congress to enact new regulations on the Internet, businesses, energy production, and religious institutions. It has used its power to give struggling labor unions a new edge. It has granted amnesty to illegal immigrants. And it has rewritten welfare law to gut out the work requirements. In short, Obama’s redefined the presidency.”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “The FBI said Monday it found no lawbreaking in the IRS’s targeting of the Tea Party. Last summer the IRS admitted it was targeting conservative groups. President Obama called it an outrageous practice and said he’d immediately have his Benghazi investigators look into it.”

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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