Biden, ISIL and the Gates of Hell + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Thu 09/04/2014 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“What is a Constitution? It is the form of government, delineated by the mighty hand of the people, in which certain first principles of fundamental law are established. The Constitution is certain and fixed; it contains the permanent will of the people, and is the supreme law of the land; it is paramount to the power of the Legislature, and can be revoked or altered only by the authority that made it.” –William Paterson, VanHorne’s Lessee v. Dorrance, 1795

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Biden, ISIL and the Gates of Hell

Joe Biden loves to talk tough. Whether it’s babbling about firing a couple of shotgun blasts in the air or even through the front door to scare away would-be assailants, or incessant bragging about killing Osama bin Laden, the vice president is fond of his own machismo. This time, he’s threatening ISIL – you know, the group against which the president has no strategy. “As a nation we are united, and when people harm Americans we don’t retreat, we don’t forget,” Biden declared. “We will follow them to the gates of Hell until they are brought to justice, because Hell is where they will reside.” His words about “justice” are confusing given that he also declared himself judge, jury and executioner. We don’t think ISIL’s brutal beheadings are merely criminal acts (they are acts of war), but Biden is blurring the lines, all in a lame attempt to cover for his boss having no strategy.

DC Circuit Agrees to En Banc Hearing of ObamaCare Ruling

In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled in Halbig v. Burwell that ObamaCare subsidies given through the federal exchanges were illegal because the law provides for them only through state exchanges. It was a huge blow for the law’s supporters, who ironically argued the law doesn’t mean what it says. However, the full court has granted a rehearing en banc in December. Clearly, Barack Obama hopes for a favorable ruling this time before the case heads to the Supreme Court. This is exactly why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went nuclear to change confirmation rules so Obama could pack the court with his jurists favorable to his lawlessness.

Louisiana Judge Upholds Democratic Process in Marriage Ruling

A federal judge in Louisiana bucked the slow march towards the Supreme Court deciding homosexual marriage was a federal right found under the U.S. Constitution by saying the issue must be addressed “through the democratic process. In the ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman wrote, “This Court is persuaded that Louisiana has a legitimate interest … whether obsolete in the opinion of some, or not, in the opinion of others … in linking children to an intact family formed by their two biological parents, as specifically underscored by Justice Kennedy in Windsor.” In other words, it is in the state’s interest to preserve marriage because it is a stable place for children to grow – otherwise marriage is a contract between two, or more, adults – and for that to change, the citizens must move to alter it. The wording of the ruling is careful. Feldman knows he is flying in the face of a large and popular opposition to his ruling, which may be the last, legal stand for traditional marriage. More…

Holder to Investigate Ferguson Police Department

Attorney General Eric Holder has ridden into Ferguson on a white horse with a Colt peacemaker on his hip to rustle up some justice. His Justice Department will respond to the shooting of Michael Brown by investigating the law enforcement departments of St. Louis County for civil rights violations. The Washington Post reports the Ferguson Police Department has its problems, because “five current and one former member of the Ferguson police force face pending federal lawsuits claiming they used excessive force. The lawsuits, as well as more than a half-dozen internal investigations, include claims that individual officers separately hog-tied a 12-year-old boy who was checking his family mailbox, pistol-whipped children and used a stun gun on a mentally ill man who died as a result.” Holder has investigated 34 other police departments across the nation for this kind of alleged constitutional violation – more than twice that of former attorneys general. As Larry Elder pointed out, Holder “equates ‘equal rights’ with ‘equal results,’” which makes him a dangerous person for dishing out racial justice. More…

Businesses Launch 2A Counter Attack

The assault on the Second Amendment is prompting thousands of business owners across the nation to launch a counter move of their own – openly welcoming gun owners to their establishments. Bryan Crosswhite, a Virginia restaurant owner, hosts Second Amendment Wednesdays and tells The Washington Times, “We definitely see more traffic since we started this. It’s been an overwhelming response.” But White has taken his activism beyond the local establishment, the result of which is a vast and growing group of business owners proudly showing support for gun rights. “Mr. Crosswhite has started an organization that lists other pro-Second Amendment companies nationally, called www.2amendment.org,” the Times continues. “He started the venture this winter and already has 57,000 businesses signed on.” And it’s paying handsome dividends for folks like “Sharma Floyd, owner of Shiloh Brew & Chew in Maryville, Tennessee,” the Times explains. Floyd “has gained national media attention by putting a sign in the window of her restaurant welcoming firearm owners with permits, and business has been booming.” Which option do you think deters more crime: A business packed with lawfully armed citizens, or the “gun-free zone” next door that prohibits guns altogether? More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

By the Way, ObamaCare Is Killing Employer-Based Insurance

When then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously declared in 2010 that Congress had to pass ObamaCare in order “to find out what’s in it,” who knew that the contra-factually named Affordable Care Act would be the unwanted gift that just keeps on giving (or, rather, taking)? Well, actually, everyone who opposed the bill knew – and warned against it. But it’s become increasingly obvious that even the ObamaCare-loving Democrats knew. Only they lied about it. And that’s putting it nicely.

According to Ezekiel Emanuel, a former White House special adviser on health policy who was in the inner circle of designing ObamaCare, 80% of employer-provided health coverage will be gone within the next 10 years. And according to research by S&P Capital IQ, that number will be closer to 90%. This isn’t an “oops” side effect of Obama’s health care plan – it was the plan all along.

Of the disappearing health plans, Emanuel said, “It’s going to actually be better for people. They’ll have more choice. Most people who work for an employer and get their coverage through an employer do not have choice.” Of course, what he leaves unsaid is that Barack Obama’s White House firmly believes the government knows what’s “better” for Americans more than Americans do.

Recall, if you will, that Obama criticized a Republican health care proposal during his first campaign, arguing it “would lead to the unraveling of the employer-based health care system. That I don’t think is the kind of change that we need.” Then again, he also repeatedly said, “If you like your plan you can keep you plan.” And we’ve all seen how well that turned out.

Alas, a lot can happen between campaign promises and government takeover. And politicians developing a penchant for truth-telling typically isn’t one of them.

The reason so many employer-based plans will be going the way of Obama’s campaign promises is, under ObamaCare, companies pay a $2,000-per-employee penalty for not providing a government-approved health care plan – far less than the cost of actually providing coverage. But that’s okay, supporters argue, because those who lose their employer-provided coverage will be dumped into the ObamaCare exchange. Of course, that’s exactly where Democrats planned for them to be all along – a government run health care system with “more choices,” as long as those choices are within the limits of what the government deems Americans should want to choose. It’s for your own good.

That truth made it all the more laughable when Obama declared this week, “[P]eople want more control over their lives, not less.” He’s the one taking that control away.

This isn’t to say employer-provided insurance plans are perfect. Written into our tax law for the past seven decades is a provision (born from Word War II wage freezes) that gives tax preference to employer-provided insurance, making the cost of the insurance deductible for employers and not counted as income for employees. The problem, as political analyst Michael Barone points out, is this: “High-earning employees with gold-plated, employer-provided health insurance get deductions that are worth many thousands of dollars. Those without employer-provided health insurance, or low-earners who are among the 40 percent of earners who do not pay income tax, get exactly zero.”

In another column, Barone notes, “A freer market in health insurance means eliminating this tax preference, presumably through a tax credit for those purchasing health insurance on their own.”

This is what Sen. John McCain suggested in 2008 when Obama accused him of yanking the string to unravel employer-based coverage. Which brings us exactly to where we are today thanks to ObamaCare: the unraveling of employer-based coverage, only this time, dishonestly and covertly.

As imperfect as this coverage may be, it’s undoubtedly better than the debacle we are only really beginning to suffer, and eliminating employer coverage is hardly how Obama billed his plan. Then again, his advertising isn’t known for accuracy. Far truer were the warnings that from the beginning ObamaCare was little more than a Trojan horse for a single-payer system. Just watch out. As things on the health care front get even worse, the Left will undoubtedly swoop in with the “real” fix. Forget Greeks bearing gifts. Beware of Democrats bearing promises.

Is It Time to Propose More Constitutional Amendments?

In the U.S. Constitution, America’s Founding Fathers crafted the world’s preeminent governing document securing Liberty. Yet they also understood their work wasn’t perfect, and thus they created an avenue for amending it. Unfortunately, for most of the last century, the Left discarded the amendment process in favor of adopting what they call the “living constitution” – a malleable document that means whatever they want it to mean at the time they want to mean it.

Outgoing Sen. Tom Cole (R-OK) says the time has come to rectify some of the wrongs done by calling for an Article V convention to propose amendments to the Constitution. That is different from a constitutional convention in which a new document would be written.

Article V of the document lays out the process for amendments: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress.”

All 17 amendments enacted after the Bill of Rights were accomplished through the first of the two constitutional methods prescribed – two-thirds of both houses passing an amendment. There has never been a convention held upon application by the states.

But Coburn is aiming high. “I think [George] Mason was prophetic that we would devolve to where the federal government became too powerful, too big and too unwieldy,” he said. “That’s why he put Article V in.” There are specific things Coburn wants, too. “I think we ought to have a balanced budget amendment,” he asserted. “I think we ought to have term limits. I think we ought to put a chokehold on regulation and re-establish the powers of the Congress.”

The last item is of utmost concern given the imperial presidency of the last six years. As The Hill notes, “President Obama’s use of executive action to pursue an array of policy goals related to climate change, immigration and healthcare reform has precipitated what many conservatives are calling a constitutional crisis.”

It’s not just conservatives. Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, a long-time Obama supporter, warned recently, “We are seeing the emergence of a different model of government, a model long-ago rejected by the framers.” Turley added that we have “a system that is in crisis.” In fact, he argued, “The president’s pledge to effectively govern alone is alarming, and what is most alarming is his ability to fulfill that pledge. When a president can govern alone, he can become a government unto himself, which is precisely the danger the framers sought to avoid.”

Coburn knows a convention would never succeed if it becomes only a way to push for partisan changes. Lawrence Lessig, a liberal professor at Harvard Law School, supports a convention, though he agrees with Coburn that politicizing it would guarantee failure. Lessig says, “The legitimate constitutional questions that are being put on the table are questions about the balanced budget, the size of government … as well as the integrity of the electoral process. That’s the stuff the people on the left are talking about.”

All conservatives see a federal government that has completely disregarded the Constitution and Rule of Law, yet many see problems with calling an Article V convention. Amending the Constitution assumes, first of all, that the federal government would abide by those amendments when it has clearly not remained within current bounds. A convention also opens the door to undesirable changes (Democrat efforts to stifle free speech, for example) – but then again, so did starting a revolution. That said, any proposed amendments would still have to clear three-fourths of the states.

(As an alternative to Coburn’s proposal, Mark Alexander has suggested a Constitutional Confederation.)

In the words of George Washington, “The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution, which at any time exists, ‘till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People, is sacredly obligatory upon all.”

Coburn’s idea has its merits, but our primary hope in restoring that truth is educating the American people about Essential Liberty and in electing representatives, including at the state level, who will honor their oath to “support and defend” the Constitution, and then to hold those government officials accountable.

As was the case at the dawn of American Liberty, we are but a small band of American Patriots facing an empire of statists, but we remain steadfast in our sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

English author William Ralph Inge (1860-1954): “It is astonishing with how little wisdom mankind can be governed, when that little wisdom is its own.”

Historian Victor Davis Hanson: “What ends wars? Not the League of Nations or the United Nations. Unfortunately, war is a sort of cruel laboratory experiment whose bloodletting determines which party, in fact, was the stronger all along. Once that fact is again recognized, peace usually follows. It took 50 million deaths to remind the appeased Axis that Germany, Italy and Japan in 1941 were all along far weaker than the Allies of Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States. The Falklands War ended when Argentines recognized that boasting about beating the British was not the same as beating the British. Each time Hamas builds more tunnels and gets more rockets, it believes this time around it can beat Israel. Its wars end only when Hamas recognizes it can’t. … [A]fter centuries of civilized life, we still have no better way of preventing Neanderthal wars than by reminding Neanderthals that we have the far bigger club – and will use it if provoked.”

Columnist Cal Thomas: “The communist government in Beijing has been nipping at the edges of Hong Kong’s freedoms for some time, but last Sunday it decided to take a bigger bite. Writes The New York Times, ‘China’s legislature laid down strict limits … to proposed voting reforms in Hong Kong, pushing back against months of rallies calling for free, democratic elections.’ The ‘strict limits’ include new guidelines for nominating candidates, which means Beijing would choose who runs the city’s government. … Some, including me, expressed hope that Hong Kong’s freedom might eventually lead to China’s liberation from communism. Maybe it will in the long run, but that possibility seems a long way off. Those pro-democracy demonstrators must now decide whether to continue their protests, running the risk of another Tiananmen, or submit to the dictatorship. As for the broken promise of one country, two systems, it should surprise no one that communists and other dictators lie.”

Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “Texas Senator Ted Cruz has invited President Obama to play golf on the U.S.-Mexico border. Cruz thought it was a funny way to point out problems the president hasn’t fixed yet, while Obama said, ‘So are we playing or not?’”

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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