Holder Inserts Himself Into Ferguson Riots + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Thu 08/21/2014 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“We are, heart and soul, friends to the freedom of the press. It is however, the prostituted companion of liberty, and somehow or other, we know not how, its efficient auxiliary. It follows the substance like its shade; but while a man walks erect, he may observe that his shadow is almost always in the dirt. It corrupts, it deceives, it inflames. … It is a precious pest, and a necessary mischief, and there would be no liberty without it.” –Fisher Ames, Review of the Pamphlet on the State of the British Constitution, 1807

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Holder Inserts Himself Into Ferguson Riots

Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ferguson, Missouri, and spoke at the Florissant Valley Community College, where he told of his experiences being racially profiled. “I think about my time in Georgetown – a nice neighborhood of Washington – and I am running to a picture movie at about eight o’clock at night. I am running with my cousin. Police car comes driving up, flashes his lights, yells ‘Where you going? Hold it!’ I say ‘Whoa, I’m going to a movie.’ Now my cousin started mouthing off. I’m like, ‘This is not where we want to go. Keep quiet.’ I’m angry and upset. We negotiate the whole thing and we walk to our movie. At the time that he stopped me, I was a federal prosecutor. I wasn’t a kid. I was a federal prosecutor. I worked at the United States Department of Justice. So I’ve confronted this myself.” While Holder’s empathetic words may have helped to finally bring relative peace Wednesday night, he should not be inserting his feelings into every racial flashpoint. His job is to enforce the law, not sympathize with those who break it. More…

Some Mass. Residents Have to Re-Enroll in ObamaCare

Approximately 400,000 Massachusetts residents, or nearly 17% of the state’s population, will need to re-enroll in the state’s ObamaCare exchange, “and many of them probably do not even know it,” according to The Boston Globe. “They are people who do not have employer-sponsored health insurance and who instead sought insurance through the state. After the Massachusetts insurance website failed last year, most of them were enrolled in temporary coverage that ends Dec. 31, which is why they must select a new plan.” The exchange, called Massachusetts Health Connector, plans to spend between $15 million and $19 million dollars on a publicity campaign to get those facing the possibility of losing coverage re-enrolled. And even then, it’s not guaranteed the new system will be stable. As former Department of Health and Human Services official Michael Astrue put it, “[It’s] likely that, at best, we will only have a partially functional system on Nov. 15,” the day the new system goes online. Partially functional pretty well describes ObamaCare. More…

Illegal Alien Kills Two, Shielded From Deportation

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was Barack Obama’s first pass at amnesty for select illegal aliens. It was an illegal abuse of power that has had tragic results in at least one case. Breitbart reports, “Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros, an illegal immigrant who came to the U.S. from Mexico as a child and was shielded from deportation by DACA, was convicted of two counts of felony hit and run after she killed two Forest Grove, Oregon stepsisters – Anna Dieter-Eckerdt and Abigail Robinson ages 6 and 11 respectively – playing in a leaf pile last October.” Last week, a judge dismissed the deportation case against Garcia-Cisneros, returning her to DACA protection. The parents say they forgive the woman, but it’s a travesty that the politics of illegal immigration are playing out in this way. More…

A Win and Loss in Fast and Furious Decision

A judge appointed by Barack Obama has ordered the Department of Justice to hand over to Congress a list of all the documents it was withholding from the legislative branch. The DOJ had invoked “executive privilege.” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said, “This administration has been so intent on hiding the contents of these documents that it allowed Attorney General Holder to be held in contempt instead of just turning them over to Congress. The privilege log will bring us closer to finding out why the Justice Department hid behind false denials in the wake of reckless conduct that contributed to the violent deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and countless Mexican citizens.” But the DOJ is also happy with the ruling, saying the court upheld its confidentiality claim because the court only ordered the list of the documents released, not the documents themselves. The ruling may give the executive branch even more reason to stonewall. More…

Venue Fined Over Religious Convictions

Big Brother coercion is alive and well. The owners of Liberty Ridge Farm, a wedding venue, were penalized by the government for standing firm in their traditional view of marriage. According to The Daily Signal, “On August 8, [the New York State Division of Human Rights] fined Cynthia and Robert Gifford $13,000 for acting on their belief that marriage is the union of a man and woman and thus declining to rent out their family farm for a same-sex wedding celebration. The Human Rights Commission ruled that ‘the nature and circumstances of the [Giffords’s] violation of the Human Rights Law also warrants a penalty.’” What about the rights of the Giffords? The same-sex couple looking for a venue could have taken business elsewhere, but chose instead to file a complaint. “The Giffords’ case illustrates the growing conflict between religious liberty rights and laws that grant special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” the Signal notes. “In a nation founded on limited government and religious freedom, government should not attempt to coerce any citizen, association, or business into celebrating same-sex relationships.” More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read The Real Tragedy in Ferguson – and Across the Nation, on what the true agenda is with the riots and unrest.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

It Will Take More Than Words of Outrage to Defeat ISIL

Fist-bumping on the golf course Wednesday

Jihadis with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) gruesomely beheaded American journalist James Foley, whom they kidnapped in 2012 in Syria. They posted video of the murder online to taunt the United States. Before his execution, Foley was forced to read a statement condemning “my real killers, the U.S. government.” He said the Obama administration “hit the last nail in my coffin with the recent aerial campaign in Iraq.” Finally, “I wish I wasn’t an American.” Beside him was Steven Joel Sotloff, another American journalist and one of perhaps three other Americans under threat of death depending on Barack Obama’s “next decision.”

It’s a grisly reminder of the barbaric nature of our enemy.

The Pentagon released a report saying it had attempted a Special Forces mission to rescue Foley earlier this summer. A fierce firefight occurred in Syria – the first acknowledged “boots on the ground” in that country – and one U.S. soldier was injured. But the mission failed to free Foley or Sotloff because they were not present where intelligence said they would be.

Clearly, the administration released this information to save face after Foley’s murder, though they claim it was to preempt imminent media reports. Publicly detailing a Special Forces operation was incredibly foolish, as it greatly compromises sources, methods and future operational capabilities.

Left out of the White House account, however, was the inconvenient report that Foley and Sotloff were captured by the Dawood Brigade, a group that defected to ISIL from the Free Syria Army – the “moderate” rebels backed by the administration.

Perhaps the whole thing would have worked out if Obama had simply traded five more Gitmo detainees.

The president took time to call Foley’s family, which is a step rarely taken for the families of U.S. Armed Forces personnel killed in service to their country. Obama also made a statement Wednesday regarding the murder, if only to remind the press how important they are to him and to show the country that he cares. At least in between rounds of golf. He headed straight for the golf course immediately following the statement. Compare that to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who cut his vacation short to consider action given the jihadi in the murder video spoke with a British accent.

To be fair, Obama began with appropriately touching words about Foley and his family, and he had stern words for his murderers: “Jim Foley’s life stands in stark contrast to his killers. Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages – killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children, and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims – both Sunni and Shia – by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can for no other reason than they practice a different religion. They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people.” That’s well said.

Unfortunately, the president then ventured into politically correct nonsense about Islam. “ISIL speaks for no religion,” he said. “Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.” He might want to check his copy of the Koran. It contains numerous verses calling on faithful Muslims to kill infidels. It’s where the term “jihad” originates – Koran-prescribed holy war against unbelievers, and if other Muslims get in the way, so be it. There are indeed peaceful Muslims, but to deny ugly reality and insist that Islam is only The Religion of Peace™ is either ignorant or disingenuous.

Obama also dismissed the idea of war: “[ISIL] may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision, and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior.” Just because he doesn’t have the stomach for a fight doesn’t tell us anything about ISIL.

“The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people,” he declared. “We will be vigilant and we will be relentless.” He promised a “common effort to extract this cancer, so that it does not spread.”

Yet his tough words don’t match his actions. He couldn’t wait to get every U.S. soldier out of Iraq in 2011, and he’s bent over backwards to avoid sending more than a relative handful back now despite the sweeping advances of ISIL over wide swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria. Instead, he’s called ISIL the “JV team” and dismissed the threat. The cancer has spread, and it’s thanks to the vacuum he left by abandoning Iraq.

The Associated Press reports, “[M]ilitary planners weighed the possibility of sending a small number of additional U.S. troops to Baghdad.” U.S. forces also conducted more airstrikes, bringing the total to well over 80 since our involvement resumed. That’s all well and good, but it’s defensive and will do nothing to dislodge ISIL from it’s so-called caliphate.

“[P]eople like [ISIL] ultimately fail,” Obama pontificated Wednesday. “They fail, because the future is won by those who build and not destroy.” And, he assured, “One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.” Translation: ISIL is on the “wrong side of history” – one of Obama’s favorite formulations used to spurn his political opponents. But ISIL won’t be defeated simply because Obama says they’re mean relics of another century. Unfortunately, those paying the price for Obama’s foreign policy malfeasance will be those in the military. And those of us in our humble shop with family members serving don’t say that lightly.

Underestimating the Burden of Corporate Taxes

As more and more companies seek to lower their tax burdens through a strategy known as inversion – merging with foreign-based companies and then re-incorporating overseas to take advantage of lower tax rates – one new academic paper is claiming the corporate tax rate in the U.S. isn’t so bad after all.

According to Edward D. Kleinbard, a professor at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law and a former chief of staff for the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, our tax code is actually the “envy” of international companies. And that highest-in-the-world corporate tax rate? Yes, 39.1% – that one. Hardly a burden. Who knew?

In fact, according to Kleinbard, tying corporate competitiveness to our tax rate relative to the rest of the world is a “fact-free” narrative. In his paper, he writes, “Despite the claims of corporate apologists, international business ‘competitiveness’ has nothing to do with the reasons for these [inversions]. … [W]hether one measures effective marginal or overall tax rates, sophisticated U.S. multinational firms are burdened by tax rates that are the envy of their international peers.”

What Kleinbard means is, in reality, corporations pay far less than the actual rate. He cites a 2013 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report noting that, for tax year 2010, U.S. corporations paid around 13% in federal income taxes and approximately 17% when foreign, state and local income taxes were included.

He writes, “It is true of course that the federal corporate tax rate – nominally, 35 percent – is too high relative to world norms, and that the ersatz territorial system requires firms to waste money in tax planning and structuring, but effective marginal tax rates and overall effective tax rates reach the level of the U.S. headline rate only when firms studiously ignore the feast of tax planning opportunities laid out before them on the groaning board of corporate tax expenditures.”

In other words, the tax rate is high, but it’s not so bad because corporations don’t actually pay it. So it doesn’t impact competitiveness. It’s a nice sound bite, but even as Kleinbard claims the competitive narrative lacks facts, his lacks logic.

As economists Stephen Moore and Arthur Laffer note, for example, despite having the highest corporate tax rate in the world, the U.S. has one of the lowest tax revenues, at just 1.5% of GDP. This underscores the fact that the exorbitant rate is, indeed, driving companies to identify legal ways to lower their tax burdens. It also highlights all the tax favors such as wind-tax credits and energy subsidies that are essentially graft doled out to various politicians’ favorite campaign supporters. That system will be very difficult to change.

Furthermore, the costs of complying with the tax code are significant and the high tax rate encourages companies to outsource jobs overseas. Not only that, but as the American Enterprise Institute’s Kevin Hassett points out, “[C]orporate tax rates affect wage levels across countries. Higher corporate taxes lead to lower wages.” So the burden of these supposedly not-too-high taxes impacts wages, thereby hurting employees, and increases compliance costs to companies – costs invariably passed on to shareholders, consumers and, again, employees in the form of lower wages.

But it doesn’t end there. We can’t discuss the corporate tax code without taking into account the many small businesses that file taxes as individuals. The Patriot Post is one of them. Lacking the legal benefits and breaks corporations receive – and unable to relocate or move profits overseas – these small businesses can face a federal tax rate of up to 39.6%. Small businesses are key to American employment, and high taxes hurt.

Barack Obama has called on corporations that use inversions to lower their taxes to display a little “economic patriotism” instead. But perhaps the true patriotism would be in supporting an economic climate that actually encourages American businesses and entrepreneurs to grow, produce and create jobs.

Instead of focusing on punishing profit with the government-stamped seizure of revenue and aiming for the “fundamental transformation of the United States,” Obama and Congress should work to make taxes as low and impartial as possible. But we’re not holding our breath.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Judge Jerome D. Frank (1889-1957): “Increasingly constructive doubt is the sign of advancing civilization.”

Columnist George Will: “Washington’s response to the menace of school bake sales illustrates progressivism’s ratchet: The federal government subsidizes school lunches, so it must control the lunches’ contents, which validates regulation of what it calls ‘competitive foods,’ such as vending machine snacks. Hence the need to close the bake sale loophole, through which sugary cupcakes might sneak: Foods sold at fundraising bake sales must, with some exceptions, conform to federal standards. What has this to do with police, from Ferguson, Mo., to your hometown, toting marksman rifles, fighting knives, grenade launchers and other combat gear? Swollen government has a shriveled brain: By printing and borrowing money, government avoids thinking about its proper scope and actual competence. So it smears mine-resistant armored vehicles and other military marvels across 435 congressional districts because it can. … Contempt for government cannot be hermetically sealed; it seeps into everything. Which is why cupcake regulations have foreign policy consequences.”

Columnist Thomas Sowell: “The only time I ever pointed a firearm at a human being, I had no idea whether he was armed or unarmed. To this day I don’t know whether he was armed or unarmed. Fortunately for both of us, he froze in his tracks. Was I supposed to wait until I made sure he had a gun before I used a gun? Is this some kind of sporting contest? Some critics object when someone with a gun shoots someone who only has a knife. Do those critics know that you are just as dead when you are killed with a knife as you are when you are killed by a gun? If we can’t be bothered to stop and think, instead of repeating pat phrases, don’t expect to live under the rule of law. Do you prefer the rule of the media and/or the mob?”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Forbes published a poll showing the Puritan Work Ethic is alive and well in America. The survey showed only twenty-five percent use all their paid vacation time. Seventy-five percent of Americans use just part of their paid vacation time and give the rest to President and Mrs. Obama.”

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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