House GOP Tackle Immigration While Senate Skips Town + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Mon 08/04/2014 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“Let us consider, brethren, we are struggling for our best birthrights and inheritance, which being infringed, renders all our blessings precarious in their enjoyments, and, consequently triffling in their value. Let us disappoint the Men who are raising themselves on the ruin of this Country. Let us convince every invader of our freedom, that we will be as free as the constitution our fathers recognized, will justify.” –Samuel Adams, A State of the Rights of the Colonists, 1772

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

House GOP Tackle Immigration While Senate Skips Town

House Republicans, after days of deliberation, passed a $694 million border package and voted to slow Obama’s Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program late Friday, though the Senate had already adjourned for summer recess. “But,” The Hill notes, “passage of the bill is nonetheless a big success for House Republicans, who will now be able to go on a five-week recess having said they took action to secure the border and deal with a wave of child immigrants that have overwhelmed authorities.” The House subsequently took aim at Barack Obama’s memorandum targeting young illegal aliens. The Hill adds, “Following passage of the border supplemental package, the House approved a second measure in a 216-192 vote that would prevent the Obama administration from expanding the DACA program. The program provides two-year work permits for undocumented immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children before 2007.” No wonder Democrat senators skipped town – they vehemently oppose any Republican fixes, and they know Barack Obama is preparing to take action on his own. Why risk voting on a politically vulnerable measure when they can count on Obama to flout Rule of Law? More…

CIA: ‘Sorry for Meddling With the Senate’

The CIA has apologized for hacking the computers Senate Intelligence Committee staff were using to investigate the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) accused the CIA from the Senate floor in March of the hacking, but CIA director John Brennan denied it then, saying the accusations were “beyond the scope of reason.” But now, the CIA has apologized and members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are calling for Brennan’s resignation. Feinstein said, “CIA personnel inappropriately searched Senate Intelligence Committee computers in violation of an agreement we had reached, and I believe in violation of the constitutional separation of powers.” More…

Obama Says CIA Engaged in ‘Torture’

The CIA’s concession of hacking the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee prompted reporters to ask Barack Obama about a new Senate report – set to be declassified soon – ridiculing the agency for their treatment of terrorists following he September 11, 2001 attacks. Obama’s response? “We tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values.” However, according to The Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin, “[T]he report will not accuse the CIA outright of ‘torture,’ an accusation that could have political, diplomatic, legal, and even criminal implications.” HotAir’s Noah Rothman further notes, “[Republicans] warned that even the cautiously worded findings could go off like a bomb in the Arab World, and American diplomatic personnel should be prepared for any resulting fallout. If the report … might have inflamed sentiment in the Muslim World, Obama’s blunt declaration that the United States engaged in torture will surely have a more significant impact. Obama’s statement is a momentous development, and it is likely to have far-reaching implications. And by the way, no one is talking about the CIA spying on the Senate anymore. Funny how that worked out.” More…

Judicial Watch Cracks Fast and Furious Stonewalling

Judicial Watch announced after a lengthy lawsuit it will receive documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal. Remember that one? It was when the Department of Justice let guns walk into the hands of Mexican gangsters, who turned around and used the firearms to murder civilians and a Border Patrol agent. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia told DOJ they must give Judicial Watch its Vaughn index, a list of all the documents the agency didn’t disclose and the reasons why. DOJ didn’t hand over the documents to Congress, claiming Obama’s “executive privilege” and warning it would upset the “balance of power,” which is probably the first time the Obama administration said that phrase. Judge John Bates, who wrote the decision, said, “To the extent DOJ argues that the mere production of the Vaughn index – not involving the release of any documents in dispute – would alter the historical balance of powers between the branches, any unbalancing would result from FOIA itself, a law passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, and which this Court cannot ignore forever.” Transparency, press freedom and Truth: 1. Obama administration: 0. More…

Study Finds Shift in Security Threats

A study finds that local law enforcement agencies consider sovereign citizens a greater threat to the nation than radical Islamists, with patriot groups coming in third on the threat level assessment. Professors from Michigan State University and Indiana University authored the study, “Understanding Law Enforcement Intelligence Processes,” for the Department of Homeland Security. The report reads: “[L]aw enforcement perceptions about what is a serious threat in their community has changed significantly over time. Law enforcement is much more concerned about sovereign citizens, Islamic extremists, and militia/patriot group members compared to the fringe groups of the far right, including Christian Identity believers, reconstructed traditionalists (i.e., Odinists), idiosyncratic sectarians (i.e., survivalists), and members of doomsday cults.” While law enforcement increasingly looks domestically for terrorists, real and imagined, they cannot forget the threats growing in Syria, Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

Fundamental Conflagration in Libya

As we warned in early 2011 while analyzing U.S. military intervention in Libya’s “civil war,” the Obama administration’s foolish military and political support of the so-called Arab Spring would yield dire consequences down the road. Well, down the road is here and yes, so are the dire consequences.

Our prediction wasn’t rocket surgery. On the contrary, the Left’s strategy was obvious: Foment unrest, covertly stoke and fund that unrest, withdraw support from governments previously regarded as friends of the U.S., then sit back and watch as democracy magically takes over the world. Sadly, reality invariably destroys leftist utopian visions, hence our ability to make seemingly uncanny predictions using leftist-worldview templates.

For instance, in early 2011, the Left claimed the Arab Spring’s initiatives would spread in rapidly expanding waves of democracy and peace over North Africa and the Middle East. Thus, immediately we knew: a) democracy, in any recognizable form, was a dead letter; and b) the words “peace” and “Arab Spring” are antonyms. One of the Left’s predictions, however, did prove all too true: The Arab Spring indeed rapidly expanded – in waves of pandemic, virulent revolution.

Ostensibly a movement of democratic-oriented “spontaneity,” in reality the Arab Spring was the perfect storm of civil unrest coupled with leftist ideology, the resultant of which lit the entire region on fire. That fire is still raging out of control. The U.S. needed a foreign policy that both protected vital U.S. national interests and promoted peace and stability in the region. We got neither. The actual results of U.S. foreign policy under the Obama administration can be seen in the aftermath of Libya’s implosion.

Recall that Libya was severely spanked by the U.S. in 1986 for sponsoring the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over the skies of Lockerbie, Scotland, and it later saw the writing on the wall for terrorist organizations that pose a clear and present danger to the U.S. As a result, then-president Moammar Gadhafi made a renewed effort to kept his country out of the wake of 9/11. Libya renounced all state support for terrorism and vowed to remain peaceful. Gadhafi stood by that commitment until the fall of his regime in October 2011. Thus, while still not a friend of the U.S., Libya was no longer an enemy or a threat. From a vital-U.S.-national-interest standpoint, then, the U.S. had nothing to gain from “spreading democracy” in Libya.

Unfortunately, the true vital national interests of the U.S. were at odds with the thinking of the Obama administration. We described that thinking in detail, the net result of which was unilateral U.S. executive action against Libya under a coalition veneer derived from UN support – but without either authorization for, or support from, our own Congress. Weakened by the two-pronged attack of the Arab Spring and U.S. military intervention, Libya fell. Gadhafi was brutally murdered. And Libya’s new government existed – until now, at least – in an embattled interim state, at best. Last week, that interim state totally collapsed. What remains are the ashes of what had once been a largely peaceful country since 9/11.

Of course, the usual suspects appeared as talking heads from the State Department to “clarify” the U.S. position on Libya. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki, for example, asserted that the U.S. is “committed to the future of Libya,” and that “democratic transitions” are “never easy and require the long view before assessments can be made.” Thanks, Jen – that clears things up a lot. Of course, “the long view” will actually be indefinitely long, given current U.S. foreign policy. Never mind also that “democracy” isn’t the key to U.S. vital national interests: peace, stability and Rule of Law are. Unfortunately, we must now witness the Left’s version of “democracy” played out not only in the streets of Libya, but also spanning the entire Middle East region, many parts of which have been repeatedly stained in the blood, sweat and tears of American service men and women.

During his 2008 campaign for president, Obama promised “fundamental transformation.” Years later, with the diminution in U.S. international stature, military might and economic power wrought by six years of leftist abuse, North Africa and the Middle East now understand what that his phrase really means: fundamental conflagration.

ObamaCare: GAO Report Pegs Website Cost Overruns

Color us surprised: The launch of the Healthcare.gov website accounted for $840 million in cost overruns, and it’s still not working correctly. In fact, the poorly-designed initial version had $150 million in additional costs before its launch last October, said the Government Accounting Office.

From the start, when those overseeing this disaster frequently changed their orders and led contractors down a number of dead-end paths on the way to an opening plagued with system crashes and customer frustration, the ineptitude was shocking. Sadly, though, it’s something we’ve come to expect. As the GAO put it, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), which was placed in charge of these federal exchange websites, “launched HealthCare.gov without verification that it met performance requirements.” If Detroit put out a car without fully testing it, the government would order it taken off the market, but the ObamaCare site went up as scheduled.

Moreover, with the next open enrollment period in mid-November, the CMS site still has no provision to accept payment for the insurance companies providing the services. CMS Deputy Administrator Andy Slavitt testified that CMS doesn’t expect work on that part of the website to be completed until next year, after the next open enrollment period is complete. While puffing up enrollment numbers, those running the website weren’t as concerned about securing payment for the participating private insurers.

And without a back-end of the site, insurers are blind to ObamaCare’s effects. Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, admitted on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that there’s been attrition from the ranks of his insured over the last several months but doesn’t know exactly who’s leaving because that back-end isn’t built yet.

Furthermore, if the court ruling stands that those who enroll in ObamaCare via the federal exchange – which is the default method for the 36 states without state exchanges – do not qualify for federal subsidies, that shedding will likely become a stampede as their cost for insurance skyrockets. It’s yet another reminder that passing something before we know what’s in it generally produces bad results for our economy and our liberty.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

The Gipper: “Government is like a baby. It is an alimentary canal with an appetite at one end and a no sense of responsibility at the other.”

Columnist Arnold Ahlert: “The public is worried about a lethal virus [Ebola] gaining a foothold in America. I would make the argument one already has. … A poll taken between July 24 and 27 reveals that 44 percent of the American left believes Israel has gone too far in the conflict with Hamas, compared to only 33 percent who think the response has been about right. Yet the new survey reveals something far more disturbing. When the question was posed, ‘Who is the most responsible for the current violence?’ a whopping 28 percent of Americans said they ‘didn’t know.’ That’s amorality. … I believe we are living in a time where ignorance is cultivated because … ignorance, and the amorality that accompanies it, accrues to the interests of our ruling elite. A ruling elite that has convinced large swaths of the American public that defending one’s nation … is a futile endeavor at best, or an utterly immoral one at worst. Like I said, Ebola can be contained. Our cultural decline? The ‘patient’ is in serious need of intensive care, lest the condition become irreversible. We are dangerously close to that point.”

Economist Larry Kudlow: “What’s the GOP plan to increase take-home pay? Or to cut business taxes for large and small companies that would not only increase growth and jobs but throw 70 percent of the benefits to wage earners? And what happened to monetary reform that would boost King Dollar? House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan gets it right with his new state-sponsored anti-poverty program. But he’s often a lone GOP voice on issues like these. And then there’s ObamaCare. It’s a wet blanket over business hiring and the economy. And recent polls show that ObamaCare is even more unpopular today. But Republicans seem to have dropped the issue. Why aren’t they promising to end the much-disliked mandates? … They could play a hugely positive role today if they unveiled and campaigned on a clear economic-growth agenda. Markets want it. And America wants it. But will they?”

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel: “Congress is about to head off on their August recess, which seems appropriate. Adults go on vacation; children go on recess.”

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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