ObamaCare’s Looming Election Surprises + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Wed 08/13/2014 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“This I hope will be the age of experiments in government, and that their basis will be founded in principles of honesty, not of mere force.” –Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, 1796

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

ObamaCare’s Looming Election Surprises

ObamaCare may yet hold more bad news for Democrats already dreading this November’s election. Politico reports, “Most state health insurance rates for 2015 are scheduled to be approved by early fall, and most are likely to rise, timing that couldn’t be worse for Democrats already on defense in the midterms.” How high could rates go? Politico says, “So far, although no state has finalized its rate, 21 have posted bids for 2015. Average preliminary premiums went up in all 21, though only a few by double digits.” Whew, “only a few.” The other “surprise” for Democrats could be falling enrollment numbers. The White House trumpeted eight million sign-ups by the March 31 deadline, but those numbers are likely phony. Investor’s Business Daily reports, “The nation’s third-largest health insurer [Aetna] had 720,000 people sign up for exchange coverage as of May 20. … At the end of June, it had fewer than 600,000 paying customers. Aetna expects that to fall to ‘just over 500,000’ by the end of the year.” That’s a 30% drop in enrollment. Granted, it’s just one company, but if it ends up being a trend, it’s really going to cut into ObamaCare’s already underwhelming numbers.

District Judge Upholds Maryland’s Gun Ban

U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake, a Bill Clinton appointee, ruled Tuesday that Maryland’s recent draconian gun control law is perfectly fine because it’s well intentioned. The law banning 45 specific firearms, including semiautomatic rifles, and standard-capacity magazines, Blake said, “seeks to address a serious risk of harm to law enforcement officers and the public from the greater power to injure and kill presented by assault weapons and large capacity magazines.” Furthermore, “it does so without significantly burdening” the Second Amendment as interpreted by the Supreme Court. The law was passed in the hysteria following the Sandy Hook murders, and we think it’s clearly unconstitutional. If the Founders meant to restrict the God-given right of self-defense recognized by the Second Amendment, they would have done so. More…

DHS Released 600 Illegal Immigrant Criminals

The Obama administration released 2,226 illegal immigrants, last year. The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general released a report showing the department released illegal immigrants before the February 2013 sequestration, even though 617 of them were convicted of crimes and fell under the category of “mandatory detention.” The Daily Signal writes, “The report provides a scathing portrayal of budget mismanagement and flawed processes at the highest levels inside the nation’s immigration enforcement agency.” The move may have been politically motivated, or it could simply be a bumbling move from DHS. At the very least, it shows the problem at the border does not rest solely at the feet of Barack Obama’s polices but also incompetency (surprise!) with federal regulators. At worst, it could show DHS using criminals and the security of American citizens as pawns in the Left’s political games. More…

Democrat Party Wages War on Minorities

It’s not just the Obama White House caught in “income inequality” hypocrisy. According to a study by the New Organizing Institute, the entire Democrat Party is in the practice of paying minorities significantly below whites. “African American staffers on Democratic federal-level campaigns are paid 70 cents on the dollar compared to their white counterparts,” NOI found. “Hispanics are paid 68 cents on the dollar.” On the other hand, Republicans are incessantly accused by Democrats of waging a war on women for not “doing something” to alleviate the male-female income gap. When all the variables are taken into consideration, women make roughly 95 cents on the dollar compared to men. This represents a far smaller disparity than the one blacks and Hispanics face in working for Democrats – the very Party that prides itself in ostensibly caring most about the plight of minorities. More…

‘Recovery’ Jobs Pay Far Less Than Jobs Lost to Recession

A new study from the US Conference of Mayors and IHS Global Insight reveals (again) that the Obama “recovery” is far from stellar when it comes to jobs and wages. “In 2008 and 2009 the US economy lost 8.7 million jobs,” the study says. “By examining the sectors from which the jobs were lost, most notably manufacturing and construction, we find that the average annual wage in sectors (current wages weighted by number of jobs) where jobs were lost in the downturn was $61,637. A similar accounting of the jobs gains through 2014 q2 shows average wages of $47,171 per year. This wage gap, at 23%, is significantly larger than that of the earlier recession and recovery, and implies $93 billion in lower wage income.” So remind us again who’s waging war on the middle class. More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

Who Is Responsible for the Death of the Young Black Man in Ferguson?

Not justice, just free stuff

In a black neighborhood of Los Angeles called Watts, a six-day riot erupted in August 1965, covering 46-square miles and causing 34 deaths. The spark that set off the riot was a simple traffic stop, but it quickly turned into a confrontation pitting angry mobs against police. Afterward black leaders met with the police, the mayor ordered a blue-ribbon study and three years later the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held a hearing in Los Angeles. Sound familiar?

It’s easy to sympathize with the frustration of LA blacks in 1965 when racism and discrimination were genuine problems. But big change has occurred in the ensuing 50 years. On a per capita basis, blacks have been the majority beneficiaries of the trillions spent on entitlement programs ostensibly meant to ameliorate the causes of black-white inequality. Yet black racial animus is stronger than ever, which one might argue was the point – developing and maintaining an angry Democrat constituency. Author Larry Elder says that whites would be shocked to hear what’s said about them in black barbershops.

Last weekend in Ferguson, Missouri, another riot followed the shooting of a black teenager by a police officer. Local black outrage was followed by another commentary from the “Rev.” Al Sharpton and another promised federal probe by Attorney General Eric Holder.

CNN tells us that Ferguson was “wracked by violence,” but that’s actually nothing new for this St. Louis suburb. Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was just visiting Ferguson that day, and he might have been the victim of a wrongful police shooting – details are still in question so we’ll reserve judgment. Whatever the case, we’re saddened by his untimely death. The biggest problem isn’t this incident, however. It’s the people that created and perpetuate the conditions that killed him. In fact, it could be argued Al Sharpton killed Brown.

People like Sharpton, with no personal stake in the game except the big bucks they collect, play the role of black “leader,” legal advocate, sympathetic social scientist or aggrieved professor. From them comes the dogma that this “community” – this 12% of the American population living in diverse places, having diverse interests and diverse levels of education – is for some unfathomable reason obliged to follow.

As someone once said, “Sometimes [among] African-Americans … there’s the notion of acting white, the notion that there is some authentic way of being black, that if you’re going to be black you have to act a certain way, and wear a certain kind of clothes, that, you know, that has to go.”

Who said it? Barack Obama.

Kids are at once demotivated to do well in school or get a job and simultaneously afraid to do so. Apparently, the message isn’t understood by kids under eight because until about third grade black kids keep up with their peers.

As economist Thomas Sowell has frequently noted, in the post-World War II years, American blacks experienced the best conditions in their history. They still suffered harassment and harm from evil people, but things had improved significantly since the pre-war years. Most lived in well-maintained communities in which they took great pride. They had their own professional class and enjoyed both lower unemployment and divorce rates than whites. Then, in the space of a decade, all these things that took centuries to achieve against such great odds began to unravel. We all know why.

The last thing the Leftmedia wants to report is the effects of a child’s being raised by a single, barely literate mother in a dangerous environment. And it’s no surprise that so many black men become violent offenders when they’ve been raised by third generation 18-year-old welfare “baby mommas.”

Black gangs have been around for a century, but it took the Great Society to free them to become the vicious thugs represented by Crips and Bloods. Once, black fathers would have stood against gangs, but there are few black fathers now. Gangs have more freedom than the mafia did because the Leftmedia won’t honestly report on them, opting instead to blame “gun violence” and the like.

While we’ve focused on blacks, Latinos are also in moral free-fall, following the same path of self-segregation and wallowing in grievances that blacks have taken. They too have their advocates, lawyers and professors. And they even have their own media.

Change can only come from within the two groups, though unfortunately any genuine reformer has been slandered as being “too white” or an “Uncle Tom.” There’s a long way to go to repair the cultural rot of our inner cities, but it can be done. We close with the words of Ronald Reagan, who in the 1980 election campaign said, “I will not stand by and watch this great country destroy itself under mediocre leadership that drifts from one crisis to the next, eroding our national will and purpose. The time is now, my fellow Americans, to recapture our destiny, to take it into our own hands.”

The Media Coverage of ISIL Is Bedlam

Fact or fiction?

They show up on Facebook feeds. We’ve seen them on the corners of the Internet. The headlines whisper: The Islamic State of Syria and the Levant kill children, decapitating Christian children. They’re monsters.

It sounds true, so we believe it. We click on headlines like the one coming out of Catholic Online that states, “WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS (RAW) – ISIS begins killing Christians in Mosul, CHILDREN BEHEADED.” People click because they haven’t seen a beheaded child before. But stories like these are only half-truths exaggerated in the echo chamber of the Internet. Make no mistake: ISIL is brutal, but the information coming from Syria and Iraq is far from clear and accurate.

To verify the authenticity of some of the images accompanying these stories, we searched the dregs of the Internet for copies of the photos. If the photos showed up a year or two before the story, then obviously the image is not about that current news event but was scraped up by some hack not doing his or her research.

The images published on Catholic Online are a mix of images that cropped up a few days ago and others first published much earlier. An image of a crucifixion was first published in July. An image of a beheaded girl first showed up online a year ago. An image of a brutal murder of a woman first appeared in 2008 and is only now attributed to ISIL. Viewed together, the images amount to obscenity for the sake of click bait. It is war porn that degrades the women and children in the photos.

Joe Carter at The Gospel Coalition wrote a response to the Christian beheading articles. “There is no doubt that ISIS is persecuting the Christians in Mosul and other areas of Iraq,” he said. “But almost all have already fled the city and the few that remain are continuing to leave the area. There are, however, journalists from Iraq and Western news agencies still in the city. Why have none of them taken photographs of these atrocities, or even reported on their occurrence? Why have such stories not been reported by the Christians who have fled to the cities controlled by the Kurds?”

Even the most recent images are falsely attributed. An image of a small child with three AK-47 barrels pointed to her head circulated widely in recent days. It’s easy to see why: It doesn’t have blood or violence but it’s emotionally provocative. Catholic Online captioned the photo, “A child is photographed, waiting to be killed by militants. ISIS uses these images to terrorize others and to glorify their spree of terror.” But Carter at the Gospel Coalition points out the child is wearing Yemeni clothes. The image first showed up on a Facebook account of a person from Yemen. Whatever is going on in the photo, it was not taken in Syria or Northern Iraq.

Some of the most fascinating reporting coming out of Iraq and Syria was done by Vice News. Its five-part series gives the West one of the few looks into life under the government of ISIL. It’s a place where strict Islamic law is enforced. Men carrying AK-47s travel the streets and enforce Sharia law. In the videos, they are shown making sure people congregated around a street vendor are observing Ramadan and not eating during the day. They stop a man to tell him his wife’s veil is too translucent.

Vice’s reporter goes into ISIL’s jail and speaks to prisoners remorseful for keeping alcohol in their homes. For a crime like that, ISIL will whip the Sharia-lawbreakers. For a crime like murder, ISIL will crucify the person and display his body publicly. Ironic when ISIL is a murderous gang themselves.

Laws like this show the difference of thought between the West and ISIL’s brand of Islam. The West’s idea of justice stems from “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” what was wrong must be righted. The justice ISIL dishes out sets itself as the sword of a harsh god. There is no chance for grace under that system. If you steal, you better not do it twice, or you will have no hands. Overall, the dispatches from Vice paint a picture of a country of boys lusting after war. It glorifies, yes, tweets and broadcasts, violence.

The Vice report turns to the plight of Christians in ISIL-held territory. On camera, ISIL judge Abu Abdula says, “On January 23, 2014, a pact was made with non-Muslims. It was approved by the Caliph, al-Bagdhadi. Christians asked for this pact, asked for this contract. We met with them in the presence of a representative of the Caliph al-Baghdahdi. He offered the chance for them to convert to Islam. If you don’t accept this, you can pay non-Muslim tax, according to the Koran. If you don’t accept this, there is nothing left between us but killing and fighting. They said, we want to pay the tax. I swear to God, we didn’t harm them or displace them.”

Are Christians being persecuted by ISIL? Yes. Are they dying? Very likely. ISIL took over one of Mosul’s churches, destroyed the cross on top of the building and created an Islamic center. From this place, men carrying AK-47s chant, “We have broken America in two, and we’ve annihilated the countries of Europe. We have brought back the Caliphate, despite tyrants.”

Again, there is the lust for war.

But Foreign Policy points out any images and stories coming out of Syria and Iraq are suspect. ISIL has been able to broadcast its black-hooded fighters marching through cities. Vice’s videos show a young generation eagerly awaiting a time it can fight, or become a martyr for the cause of Jihad. But this could all be ISIL propaganda, FP says. ISIL has said any unapproved photographs will earn freelance photojournalists working in its territory 100 lashes. Vice and news services like Reuters and the Associated Press did not talk to FP about their photos coming out of ISIL territory.

It’s easy to grow discouraged as this area of the world grows dark, as ISIL advances and more people die by their hands. Most of the images show a triumphant ISIL, terrified civilians and that corner of the world descending into unimaginable chaos. It’s easy to assume everything coming out of that country is bad news and any exaggeration is easily believed.

Yet watch for the people who keep the darkness at bay. Watch for stories like the Iraqi helicopter crew that flew water and food to the Iraqi civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar. The crew shot their way past the ISIL lines. Flying 50-feet above the ground, they threw out packs of water and food. They landed and pulled onboard 20 civilians. They had to fly out of Mount Sinjar shooting, a soldier laying down fire out of the open helicopter door. Stories like that show there is good working despite evil.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Albert Shanker, former president of the American Federation of Teachers (1928-1997): “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”

Economist Walter E. Williams: “Securing our border is not only an immigration issue but, more importantly, a national security issue. International terrorists know that our southern border is insecure. They can simply fly to a Latin American country and then sneak across the border with deadly germ or chemical warfare weapons and dirty bombs, which could be planted anywhere. … Here are some questions that should be of concern to every American: Can the U.S. Customs and Border Protection assure Americans that it has arrested every terrorist attempting to make illegal entry to our country? Can it assure us that there are no terrorist cells operating in our country and awaiting word from our enemies to attack us? There’s another question that’s just as important: If there is a terrorist attack through our southern border, will Americans allow President Obama, congressional Democrats, the news media and progressives and liberals to deny that their weak border security policy was responsible?”

Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “No one in the West wants a generational struggle with jihadism any more than Israel wants perpetual war with Hamas in Gaza. The problem is the enemy always gets a vote. It just may be that the Middle East will become the West’s Gaza. And, so far, nobody has a good answer for what to do about it.”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “St. Louis home electronics stores were looted by street mobs after a white police officer killed an unarmed black man who’d assaulted the cop. The mayor’s call for calm was ignored. It didn’t help when Al Sharpton went on TV and urged looters not to forget the remote.”

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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