August Jobs Numbers Disappoint + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Fri 09/05/2014 by

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“It is not possible that any state should long remain free, where Virtue is not supremely honored.” –Samuel Adams, Letter to Joseph Warren, 1775

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

August Jobs Numbers Disappoint

Just when the media was ready to fire off the confetti for another month with more than 200,000 jobs created, the realities of Barack Obama’s “recovery” put a damper on the party. CNBC reports, “Job growth cooled in August, with nonfarm payrolls adding just 142,000 even as the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent, according to the Labor Department.” The July headline rate was 6.2%. CNBC notes the reason for the decline: Fewer people in the labor market. “The fall in the headline rate came as labor-force participation fell, declining to 62.8 percent, tying the 2014 bottom and remaining at the lowest level since 1978.” Some 268,000 people left the workforce, and jobs numbers from June and July were revised down by 28,000, as well. On the other hand, the U-6 rate, a broader measure that includes those who have given up looking for a job, fell to 12% from 12.2% in July, and the number of long-term unemployed dropped to its lowest since January 2009. It’s not that the economy isn’t recovering at all, it’s that big government has made the recovery far too slow. More…

No, Actually Al-Qaida Was Not ‘On the Run’

During Operation Neptune Spear, the U.S. Special Forces mission to terminate Osama bin Laden, Navy SEALs recovered a treasure trove of intelligence information on al-Qaida. One official called it “the single largest collection of senior terrorist material ever.” That information has been kept tightly under wraps. There’s good reason for secrecy, but The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes notes something interesting: Much of the intelligence told a very different story from Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign narrative that al-Qaida was “decimated” and “on the run.” There was a grain of truth in Obama’s claims, but as Hayes writes, the problem was “the administration chose to portray [its] short-term tactical successes as long-term strategic victories.” Furthermore, “The official spin required a static analysis of al Qaeda and its leadership, an assumption that al Qaeda wouldn’t adequately replace fallen leaders or adjust its strategy to counter U.S. moves.” (Wait, al-Qaida had a strategy?) The administration carefully leaked particular information to bolster its deceitful claims, all while U.S. intelligence was telling them of al-Qaida’s expansion (take its present push in South Asia, for example, or its outgrowth in ISIL). It’s inexcusable for intelligence to become merely campaign PR, but false PR is even worse. More…

WH Advisor: We’re Just Being ‘Deliberate’ About ISIL

White House Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken has joined numerous others in the Obama administration trying to clean up the spill on aisle 7 created by the commander in chief who announced he had “no strategy” for dealing with ISIL. “This, as the president has said, is going to have to be a sustained effort,” said Blinken, who went on to suggest that a future president will likely be cleaning up Obama’s mess. “It’s going to take time,” he said, “and it will probably go beyond even this administration to get to the point of defeat.” But the White House is focused, he said, and they’ve been “deliberate.” Blinken seems to be implying a sense of purpose, which contracts having “no strategy.” Perhaps he meant “deliberate” in the other sense: endless discussion and dithering.

NATO Summit Produces Only Talk

The NATO Summit kicked off Thursday in Wales at the only place Barack Obama would discuss international security – at a golf resort. Obama was “noticeably absent” at the beginning of the summit. The official story is he was talking to King Abdullah of Jordan, but the report didn’t say whether or not the meeting happened while they were putting down at the 9th hole. The goal of the summit is to mold NATO into an organization that can respond to the present security challenges. So far, they’ve issued a sternly-worded statement to Russia on Ukraine and made a non-binding agreement that all the countries increase military spending to 2% – despite the United States giving 4.4.% of its massive GDP to NATO, essentially keeping the organization afloat. So far, there has been no decisive action on ISIL, Ukraine or cyber attacks – just more talk at a golf course. Oh, and an air show. More…

Healthcare.gov Hacked

Healthcare.gov was hacked in July, an attack that left consumers’ data untouched but the website’s trustworthiness (snicker, snort) damaged. A hacker, most likely trolling the web for a specific type of web server, stumbled onto one for Healthcare.gov. Whoever the hacker was, they might not have known they were breaking into the hilarious bag of fail of a website when they placed malware on the site to attack other sites with denial-of-service attacks. “There was a door left open,” an official at the Department of Homeland Security told The Wall Street Journal. Had the hacker been interested in stealing medical information and Social Security numbers of the 5.4 million people who have used the website, he or she was already over the threshold. Medical identification theft is particularly pernicious, according to the World Privacy Forum, which provides information about how to combat the crime. And this hack was not identified until August – after the malware sat on the website for about a month. More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

ObamaCare’s Rehearing Aid

The full court will hear it

The Master of Disaster in the Senate, Harry Reid (D-NV), is surely reveling in the retrospective of his underhanded-yet-timely use of the so-called “nuclear option” on Senate confirmations of judicial appointees. We detailed this blatant power-at-all-costs move by the Democrats back in November. Even then, everyone knew Reid’s motive: Provide a way for Barack Obama to pack the nation’s second most powerful court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit that will hear most challenges to ObamaCare.

Thursday, that newly packed court bore its first fruit for the not-so-good senator in deciding to rehear Halbig v. Burwell. That was a July decision from a three-judge panel of the court’s members that ruled the plain language of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “ObamaCare”) essentially kills the end-run the Obama administration had hoped to pull on the execution of its own law. Team Tyranny would have cut all states out of the decision loop for implementing ObamaCare and circumvented defensive actions by 36 states that lawfully (under the statute) refused to establish the administrative frameworks for ObamaCare’s egregious wealth transfer scheme. We described that end run attempt over a month ago and predicted yet another soon to come: “We should expect the next move to be to ask for an en banc ruling (i.e., a ruling from the entire [packed] DC court) to overturn the three-judge ruling.” Sure enough, that was the next move of this lawless White House. They requested – and were granted – the rehearing.

Never mind that an en banc review by the DC Circuit is an extreme rarity, or that no real basis for the rehearing was offered beyond the case being “very important,” or that panel member Judge Harry Edwards had strongly advocated up until this point against en banc rehearings because of their substantial draw on court resources and potentially divisive impact among the court’s members. This would be the same Judge Edwards who spewed vitriol at plaintiffs’ counsel during oral arguments, angry that they were trying to “gut the statute,” and who openly questioned the plaintiffs’ motives in his dissenting opinion. Both moves were – well, let’s just say highly unusual for a sitting circuit court judge, and we’ll leave it at that. In any case, none of these facts apparently mattered: The decision will be reheard by the full 13-member court.

No, what really mattered on the rehearing decision was that Reid’s House-of-Cards-like behavior back in November changed the basic makeup of the DC Circuit with the addition of three Democrat appointees, so that it’s now composed of five Republican appointees and eight Democrat ones. Clearly, the Obama administration hopes to thwart – through lower, less-visible, more politically malleable courts like that of the DC Circuit – attempts to bring substantive issues underlying Halbig and related cases to review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ultimately, we believe the ObamaCare dike has too many holes in it to hold up in the long term. The statists in the White House believe this, too, whether or not they admit it. That’s why they’re bent on stalling in the interim, in hopes that – like the welfare gravy train of LBJ’s “Great Society” – the intoxicating impact of “free-money” subsidies from the federal government will begin to move public opinion and render the question of the lawfulness of ObamaCare irrelevant.

Renewing the Election-Year Push for a Minimum Wage Hike

Those of you reading this from major metro areas may have noticed the outsized news coverage of a fast-food industry walkout, with dozens arrested around the country according to a website supporting the worker uprising. Workers and organizers involved argue the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is not enough and are demanding a new pay rate of $15 per hour. Note, however, they’re not pledging to be more productive.

In support of this effort, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is trying to get in on the ground floor of organizing these workers, urged union home care workers in several cities to join in the protests. SEIU president Mary Kay Henry said protesters are “invoking civil rights history to make the case that these jobs ought to be paid $15 and these companies ought to recognize a union.” Never mind that such a drastic rise in the wages of a fast-food worker would increase prices an estimated 38%, or that it would hasten the ongoing changeover to automation in the industry.

Still, it’s a populist issue with emotional appeal pitting the cold, heartless mega-corporations against those struggling to get by. Generally, the media coverage focuses on the single mother trying to make ends meet – and there are many of them – but the media don’t ask about the effect this could have on the franchisees who actually own and operate the restaurants, or the jobs of the employees who would then be more expensive.

Naturally, the Leftmedia are helping Democrats. And being an election year, Democrats are flailing for an issue – any issue – to divert the public’s attention from a struggling economy, their unpopular stance on immigration, and Barack Obama’s disastrous policies both foreign and domestic. They’re hoping that this minimum wage issue is a winner.

On Labor Day weekend, Obama embraced the fast-food workers’ movement in a speech in Milwaukee. Earlier, he used his weekly radio address to press again for an increase in the minimum wage. “Raising the minimum wage would be one of the best ways to give a boost to working families,” he said, adding, “If I … wanted an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, I’d join a union.” It’s obvious he’s never actually operated a business, or even had a real job for that matter.

Republicans argue a federally mandated minimum wage increase of 40% would be counterproductive – an argument bolstered by a Congressional Budget Office study earlier this year estimating the proposed hike could cost 500,000 or more jobs. But the optics of a single mom trying to support a family have greater appeal with average voters than talkingheads rattling off statistics, and Democrats know this. It’s why some lawmakers are pressuring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to vote on a minimum wage bill when Congress returns next Monday, sensing an opportunity to excite a base that Democrats desperately need in order to hold the Senate.

For the people on the streets, though, it’s not about politics but the chance to enrich themselves. “We may not have a union yet,” said Kansas City Wendy’s worker Latoya Caldwell, a single mother of four who was arrested in the protests there. “But we’re acting like we do.” Unfortunately, a union like this may well price its members right out of a job.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

French essayist Jean de la Bruyere (1645-1696): “A wise man neither suffers himself to be governed, nor attempts to govern others.”


Columnist Charles Krauthammer: “The real news from Wales is what NATO did not do. It did not create the only serious deterrent to Russia: permanent bases in the Baltics and eastern Poland that would act as a tripwire. Tripwires produce automaticity. A Russian leader would know that any invading force would immediately encounter NATO troops, guaranteeing war with the West. Which is how we kept the peace in Europe through a half-century of Cold War. … That’s what deterrence means. And what any rapid reaction force cannot provide. In Wales, it will nonetheless be proclaimed a triumph. In Estonia, in Poland, as today in Ukraine, it will be seen for what it is – a loud declaration of reluctance by an alliance led by a man who is the very embodiment of ambivalence.”

Columnist Mona Charen: “The clearest expression of a foreign policy doctrine President Obama has articulated came in 2012 when he announced that the ‘tide of war in Afghanistan’ had ‘turned’ and that this was lucky because it was ‘now time to focus on nation building here at home.’ Al-Qaida, defined so narrowly as to exclude everyone save Osama bin Laden and his closest friends, was declared ‘defeated,’ and a satisfied commander in chief confidently turned to domestic matters. … One of the aphorisms attributed to Lenin to excuse the massive crimes he committed on the way to building a socialist paradise was: ‘In order to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs.’ Human rights activist Vladimir Bukovsky noted with bitterness that while he had seen many broken eggs, ‘I have not met anyone who tasted the omelet.’ Obama has turned his back on an explosive world to focus on nation building here at home. Where’s the omelet?”

Twitter satirist @hale_razor: “‘ISIL is a #manageableproblem.’ –guy that couldn’t launch a website.”

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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