Nothing to See Here + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Thu 05/08/2014 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“The state governments have a full superintendence and control over the immense mass of local interests of their respective states, which connect themselves with the feelings, the affections, the municipal institutions, and the internal arrangements of the whole population. They possess, too, the immediate administration of justice in all cases, civil and criminal, which concern the property, personal rights, and peaceful pursuits of their own citizens.” –Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Nothing to See Here

Just as the Benghazi investigation is getting interesting again, Hillary Clinton says there’s really not much to it. “[O]f course, there are a lot of reasons why, despite all of the hearings, all of the information that’s been provided, some choose not to be satisfied and choose to continue to move forward,” Clinton said of Rep. Trey Gowdy’s select committee. “That’s their choice. And I do not believe there is any reason for it to continue in this way, but they get to call the shots in the Congress.” Clinton’s main reason for wanting it all to just go away is her presidential aspirations. Her continued attitude of “what difference does it make?” is deeply disturbing. More…

Lerner Held in Contempt

Remember Lois Lerner, the former IRS official who last year bragged of targeting Tea Party and Patriot groups? She pleaded the Fifth rather than testify to her agency’s gross abuse of power, and then sauntered off into full retirement. Well, ABC News reports, “The House of Representatives voted Wednesday evening to find former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress and adopted a resolution calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS targeting scandal.” Some 26 Democrats joined Republicans in doing the latter. We’re not holding our breath for the Obama administration to honestly investigate the Obama administration, but the contempt charge certainly ups the ante for dealing with this lawlessness. Especially given that the IRS audited 10% of Tea Party donors – a far higher rate than for the average American. More…

Cruz Quantifies Lawlessness

We all know that the Obama administration is generally lawless, but Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wanted to quantify it. Cruz’s “Legal Limit Report No. 4” documents “76 instances of lawlessness and other abuses of power” by Barack Obama. “Rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men,” Cruz said, echoing one of our major themes. “No one – and especially not the president – is above the law. For that reason, the U.S. Constitution imposes on every president the express duty to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.’ Rather than honor this duty, President Obama has openly defied it by repeatedly suspending, delaying, and waiving portions of the laws that he is charged to enforce.” Arguably, we’d be better off if Obama just sat out the next three years, but that’s not his job.

The Inequality Myth

The American Enterprise Institute’s James Pethokoukis challenges the “income inequality” myth Democrats keep pushing, saying that measuring such inequality depends on the tool you use. Politicians use market income, which is wages, salaries, etc. – the basics. But if you use disposable income, which includes all government income redistribution, inequality hasn’t grown. According to Fabrizio Perri, an economist at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, “[A]lthough inequality at the top in market income is currently at its historical high, inequality in disposable income has actually been flat or slightly falling over the past 15 years. This is because government redistribution between the top and the middle … is also at its historical high.” And it’s never enough for Barack Obama. More…

‘No Obvious Peace Dividend’

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned that sequestration cuts to the military are unwise at this time. Naturally, he blamed “political gridlock in Washington” for that and not the president who came up with sequestration as a carrot and a stick to use against Republicans. But Hagel also stumbled unintentionally into a bit of truth, saying, “History informs us that allowing our military strength to weaken when coming out of a war is always, always a costly mistake, especially costly like today when there is no obvious peace dividend.” We say unintentionally because we doubt he meant to blame his boss, though that’s who bears it. There is “no obvious peace dividend” because Barack Obama irresponsibly ended both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan based on political calculations rather than national security considerations. Every bad actor in the world took notice.

For more, visit Right Hooks.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Benghazi – ‘What Difference, At This Point, Does It Make?’, on the questions that really matter.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

The Employee Protection Agency

It’s hard to pick our least favorite federal agency, as there are so very many bureaucratic candidates from which to choose. But any way we stack them, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) never fails to make the top – or is that bottom – of the list. From claiming “settled science” on global warming when the science is anything but settled to regulating industries to the point of job extinction, the EPA has little to recommend it. Well, if possible, it now has even less.

Last year, news broke that a senior-level EPA employee, John Beale, cheated the agency (read: taxpayers) out of $900,000 since 2000 by repeatedly – and sometimes at length – not showing up for work while claiming he was doing intelligence work for the CIA. In reality, he was riding bikes, reading books, doing housework or vacationing at his Cape Code home. How convenient. As bad as this is, it turns out Beale isn’t the only one in the EPA with secrets to hide.

After Beale’s covert housekeeping operation, the EPA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) began investigating how he was able to swindle the agency for so long without detection. Instead of cooperation from EPA officials, however, the OIG encountered roadblocks, ending in the exposure of a cover-up at the highest levels of the EPA.

The Associated Press reports, “A unit run by President Barack Obama’s political staff inside the Environmental Protection Agency operates illegally as a ‘rogue law enforcement agency’ that has blocked independent investigations by the EPA’s inspector general for years, a top investigator told Congress.” That investigator was assistant EPA inspector general for investigations Patrick Sullivan, who testified before a House oversight committee that “[u]nder the heavy cloak of ‘national security,’ the Office of Homeland Security has repeatedly rebuffed and refused to cooperate with the OIG’s ongoing requests for information or cooperation.”

It’s important to note that this is not the Department of Homeland Security but rather a small office within the EPA, set up by administrative order in 2003 and overseen by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s office. According to Sullivan, the office has no statutory authority to conduct investigations or enforce the law. Still, it somehow in 2012 managed to become the FBI’s primary contact within the EPA on investigations relating to national security.

Furthermore, according to Sullivan, the office “unquestionably has hamstrung the Office of Inspector General’s ability to carry out its statutory mandate to investigate wrongdoing of EPA employees.”

Indeed, a Feb. 24, 2014 letter from EPA Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins Jr. to Sen. Dave Vitter (R-LA) stated, “Over the past 12 months, there have been several EPA officials who have taken action to prevent OI [the Office of Investigations] from conducting investigations or have attempted to obstruct investigations through intimidation.”

One can only guess at the political motivation behind expending energy to block an investigation of someone who has been vacationing for 13 years on taxpayers’ dime. After all, one would think the EPA has other things occupying its time.

Like pornography, for instance.

No, that’s not a bad joke. But it is bad. It seems that while the EPA OIG was investigating “employee misconduct,” the office found that one employee had stored pornographic material on the agency’s network and admitted to spending between two and six work hours per day viewing it. In all, he had downloaded and viewed more than 7,000 pornographic files while on the job.

But sexual titillation isn’t the only thing keeping those EPA folks busy. Investigations also found that one manager had let an employee simply stay home for years while fabricating attendance records – to the tune of more than $500,000. Meanwhile, another senior executive covered for an employee who was allowed to telework for more than 20 years – while producing hardly any work.

With so much on their environmentally friendly plates, it’s hard to imagine how anyone at the EPA has time to block investigations, let alone regulate the universe. Then again, who needs time to work when you’re simply a political puppet of the administration?

The Plot to Muzzle Free Speech

In part, the First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Those on the Left would like these safeguards to apply only to those who think like them, and are therefore seeking to regulate conservative media just like political action groups. They’re also pushing a constitutional amendment regarding campaign financing, all to muzzle conservatives.

Read the rest of the story here.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Author Aldous Huxley (1894-1963): “Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know.”

Columnist Jonah Goldberg): “The latest buzz phrase is ‘microaggression.’ These are allegedly racist, homophobic or sexist statements made by people with no bigoted intent. Essentially, if someone can rationalize a reason to take offense that’s all the proof required. Microagressions are the new vectors for the ‘disease of evil thinking.’ … Democratic House leaders Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steny Hoyer have dubbed critics of Obamacare ‘simply un-American.’ Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid insists the libertarian Koch brothers are ‘un-American.’ President Obama himself has a knack for suggesting that he cares about America while his opponents don’t. He also likes to suggest the time for debate is over on the issues where he’s made up his mind. … Today, it is a kind of evil-thinking not to be part of the war on evil thinking. And so the cause of tolerance demands evermore intolerance.”

Historian Victor Davis Hanson: “Aggressors often attack their weaker neighbors to restore a sense of pride. They calibrate self-interest not so much in getting more stuff as winning greater honor, feeling safer and instilling more fear. … We should stop trying to psychoanalyze [Vladimir] Putin, arguing that he is really weak or is an adolescent showing off his machismo – much less that he has legitimate grievances. Instead, Putin believes that the more he grabs from others, the prouder his otherwise downtrodden citizens will become, the more respect they will earn abroad, and the less likely others will fool with him. Until that is no longer true, Putin will continue.”

Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “If all guns were built with mechanisms that kept them from firing when held sideways, we could end gang violence.”

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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