‘Why Should Anyone Watch’ Obama’s Speech? + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Wed 09/10/2014 by

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TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

‘Why Should Anyone Watch’ Obama’s Speech?

Tonight, Barack Obama will address the nation regarding ISIL. In his speech, he’ll explain why we won’t “put boots on the ground” (even though he already has) and why some half-hearted bombing should be just right. He’ll also explain why he doesn’t need Congress but might ask them anyway. The president knows how damaging it was to admit “we don’t have a strategy yet,” and the White House has been scrambling to recover from his candid admission. Given this information, CBS correspondent Major Garrett wants to know, “Why should anyone watch?” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest fumbled for an answer, saying Obama will “lay out” the strategy to “degrade and destroy” ISIL. Well, Obama also said last week he wanted ISIL to be reduced to a “manageable problem.” Garrett pointed out, “The audience wants to know how we’re going to win.” Unfortunately, “win” is not a word Obama cares about when it comes to wars and foreign policy.

Not the Second Term Obama Envisioned

Gerald Seib writes in The Wall Street Journal of the president’s latest trouble: “When President Barack Obama speaks to the nation on Wednesday, he won’t merely be discussing his strategy for taking on the militant fighters of Islamic State. He will be acknowledging, tacitly, that he is overseeing a second term radically different from the one he imagined.” Seib continued, “The second Obama term was to be about escaping the morass of war and terror emanating from the Muslim world in order to move on to other needs back home; it wasn’t to be about being sucked back into that morass.” That’s true as far as it goes, but it also lets President Passerby off the hook. Yes, Obama wanted to focus on his leftist domestic agenda, including immigration “reform” and the implementation of ObamaCare, but his stubborn insistence on withdrawal from Iraq contributed to the rise of ISIL and resulted in the U.S. “being sucked back into that morass.” While sometimes you just have to play the hand you’re dealt, in this case, Obama chose his own cards. More…

VA Solutions Aren’t Inspiring

New Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald promised he will work to make the department “put veterans at the center of everything we do.” McDonald took the reins in July when Eric Shinseki resigned after the wait-time scandal broke. CBS News reports, “At his first news conference as secretary, McDonald unveiled what he called a three-point plan to rebuild trust among veterans, improve service delivery and set a course for the agency’s long-term future. The plan should be implemented by Veterans Day, Nov. 11, he said. The former Procter & Gamble CEO also said he wants to make the VA less formal, starting with his own title. ‘Call me Bob,’ not Mr. Secretary, he said.” In July, Congress authorized $16 billion in additional spending to fix the system. We’re not optimistic that more money is what the doctor ordered. The problems at the VA weren’t limited to Phoenix, where the scandal broke – the VA suffers from systemic bureaucratic ineptitude, and it’s not going to cut it to throw more money at the problem or for a bureaucrat to say “call me Bob.” More…

Mother Nature Shrugs at Rising CO2 Emissions

Global warming alarmism received another boost after the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that greenhouse gas emissions over the last year increased at the fastest pace in 30 years. BBC News journalist Matt McGrath reports, “[T]he globally averaged amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 396 parts per million (ppm) in 2013, an increase of almost 3ppm over the previous year.” Additionally, “Atmospheric CO2 is now at 142% of the levels in 1750, before the start of the industrial revolution.” Imagine that: Higher fossil fuel levels coincide with a larger population, though Mother Nature just doesn’t seem to care all that much. Despite population stabilization proponents’ cataclysmic predictions, Earth is in the midst of an 18-year global warming hiatus despite the rising CO2 index, which we’ve been told is the culprit behind every climate- and weather-related issue. Plus, plants don’t seem to mind it, either. More…

ObamaCare Shrinks Small Biz Workers’ Incomes by $22.6 Billion

ObamaCare was sold on the faux premise of saving both consumers and businesses money in health care costs. A new report by the American Action Forum finds that, not only is this assertion a big lie, but the “Affordable” Care Act is pulling more than $22.6 billion every year out of small business workers’ incomes – and ObamaCare’s just getting started. CNBC reports, “Individual year-round employees at businesses with 50 to 99 workers lost $935 annually, while those at firms with 20 to 49 workers are out an average of $827.50 per person in take-home pay, the report found. That report also says that there has been the loss of more than 350,000 jobs due to Obamacare-era premium hikes at small businesses.” Worse, “those wage and job-level effects have come before the implementation of Obamacare’s employer mandate, which beginning in 2016 will compel firms with 50 to 99 full-time workers to offer them health coverage or pay a fine.” More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

In Regulating Political Speech, Progressives Forget History

History is against the Democrat senators who introduced a bill this week they hope will become the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.

In 1918, Congress created the 18th Amendment. In prohibiting the creation and distribution of alcohol, progressives at the dawn of the 20th century hoped to alleviate poverty and reduce mental illness. But the “noble experiment,” as Herbert Hoover called it, only resulted in organized crime, disrespect for Rule of Law and finally the 21st Amendment that repealed the hope for that so-called progressive utopia.

Nearly 100 years later, progressives in Congress want to make elections a more civil affair, made “equal” by controlling political contributions. But doing so would gut the First Amendment as we know it by giving the government more control over political speech, and the results could be more like Prohibition than they care to admit.

Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced the bill to amend the Constitution in order to roll back the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FCC, which overturned parts of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance “reform” law. Forty-six Democrat Senators jumped to support the amendment, perhaps hoping to score an election-year victory. If the GOP blocked the bill that restricted the ability for corporations to donate to political campaigns, then Democrats could whip up their Leftist base. But the Republicans played along. In a 79-18 vote, 45 Republicans joined Democrats, allowing the vote to proceed to debate.

Democrats complained that the move will waste precious legislating time before the midterm elections, which only highlights their own cynical political farce. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wrote in an op-ed, “Not surprisingly, a proposal as bad as the one Senate Democrats are pushing won’t even come close to garnering the votes it would need to pass.”

It’s not hard to see why. The amendment obliterates the First Amendment’s command that “Congress shall make no law” and instead gives it a blank check to regulate political speech. While politicians have rammed freight trains through “loopholes” they discovered in the Constitution, this amendment will create a rift the size of the Grand Canyon. Congress would decide how much money should be spent on a campaign, what defines political speech, how much speech is fair and what media outlets qualify as “the press.”

The First Amendment’s absolute ban on the government’s intrusion on speech meant just that – an absolute ban. Anyone – like Ben Franklin – could buy a printer and start rolling out his or her own publications. It’s an idea that supposes every citizen can make decisions for themselves, that they can self-govern and that the government’s idea of truth and fairness may very well be wrong.

But the Left, for the most part, has forgotten the importance of the First Amendment in its chase for the perfect civil election. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said the Democrats’ amendment will restore an equality that will once again allow the country to be governed by and for the people: “Thanks to a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions, most notably Citizens United, the super-rich and giant corporations are pouring money into our elections at record levels. Outside money – hundreds of millions in ‘dark money,’ from sources undisclosed – are determining the contours of elections across the country, often stealing control of campaign narratives from candidates themselves. Degrading and depressing negative ads fill the airwaves, heightening citizen cynicism and frustration.”

The Left envisions an election that’s fair because the government made it fair. No more attack ads, so voters can decide calmly and thoughtfully. Gone will be the day when one candidate outspends his or her opponent. If only this passes, then the people could actually progress. How boring. How tyrannical.

You could call us biased on this one, but politics is messy and fun – always has been, always will be. That’s the American way. Ohio created a law that said all political ads must be truthful. The law was challenged in court earlier this year, and humorist P.J. O’Rourke submitted an Amicus Brief arguing American politics have never been the hallowed event the Left assumes it always was until the Koch brothers decided to donate to conservative causes.

O’Rourke writes: “While George Washington may have been incapable of telling a lie, his successors have not had the same integrity. The campaign promise (and its subsequent violation), as well as disparaging statements about one’s opponent (whether true, mostly true, mostly not true, or entirely fantastic), are cornerstones of American democracy. Indeed, mocking and satire are as old as America, and if this Court doesn’t believe amici, it can ask Thomas Jefferson, ‘the son of a half-breed squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.’”

While the Left goes after “dark money” in politics, it ignores human nature, just like it ignored human nature 100 years ago.

The Left argues the election system is broken because money is being poured into it by Big Business. But the system is broken because politicians can be bought and sold. Yet instead of going after themselves, politicians go after the large political organizations and corporations. The problem is still there because there is still a market. People will still drink their hooch. Politicians will still be influenced by money.

The Left blogosphere, like Daily Kos, is telling its readers to “start calling your Representative until your fingers are bloody.” Disrupt the progressive narrative that this is only a debate between the people versus the big, bad corporations. Contact your senator and tell him or her they should support the First Amendment.

The Trouble With Scotland

King Edward ‘Longshanks’ from ‘Braveheart’

On Sept. 18, the people of Scotland will vote on a referendum for independence from the United Kingdom. Support among Scots has been growing, with some new polling indicating a victory for the referendum. With the rise of ISIL, economic malaise and the latest news on Kim Kardashian, American voters are understandably generally ignorant of what’s happening in the UK. So what happens if Scotland breaks free?

Scotland voluntarily joined England and Wales to form the United Kingdom in 1707, but in recent years has gained some autonomy, including its own parliament. A more complete split would have major political, economic and security ramifications.

Of the UK’s 63.2 million subjects, Scotland’s population of 5.3 million is but a small part. Yet its citizens tend to be further left on the political spectrum than their English cousins, and Scotland has significant political weight. Out of its 41 members of the British Parliament, 40 are of the Labour Party. Without those Scottish representatives, the Conservatives would immediately gain a big advantage in Parliament, which might help England.

Yet British Prime Minister David Cameron, allegedly a Conservative, doesn’t want Scotland to leave. He’s in Scotland today to appeal directly to voters, which signals the prospect of secession is a real possibility. Cameron pushed for a single “yes” or “no” ballot question (as opposed to other graduated options) to force a clear choice, betting that Scottish voters wouldn’t go quite that far. But support for independence has continued to grow. If Scotland does leave, it’s possible Cameron would lose his job, which wouldn’t be the worst thing we can think of.

Should they vote “no,” British treasury secretary George Osborne offered Scottish voters “more tax powers, more spending powers [and] more power over the welfare state,” and further promised that “Scotland will have the best of both worlds” by avoiding “the risks of separation” while gaining “more control over [its] own destiny.”

Economically, Scotland may be holding England back, despite its 9.2% contribution to UK GDP. National Review’s John Fund writes, “[T]he ruling Scottish National party has often pursued foolish economic policies.” Furthermore, “Scottish voters are currently much more hostile than the U.K. electorate overall to free markets.” By separating, the Scots would be confronted with a healthy dose of reality. In fact, Fund adds, “A recent white paper produced by the Scottish government proposes cuts in corporate tax rates to attract business as well as a more skill-based immigration system as new policies to set in place after independence.”

According to Craig Smith, a political philosophy professor at the University of Glasgow, many Scots blame Margaret Thatcher for their troubles. “Thatcher removed subsidies from some industries and closed down unproductive parts of other industries and privatized other major parts,” says Smith. “They think Thatcher destroyed Scottish heavy industry, when the truth is that Scottish heavy industry destroyed itself with restrictive working practices and the trade unions. Other people could make these things cheaper and better than they could.” Indeed, cronyism is hard to shake, and socialism in Scotland, fueled by this bitterness, may prove intractable.

Surprising though it may seem, international security may take the biggest hit with Scottish independence. Author James Bennett writes, “[Independence] takes 5 million plus taxpayers, and most of the North Sea oil base, out of the funding available to keep the U.K. within the minimum 2 percent GDP contribution to its defense capabilities that NATO calls for, and converts Scotland into yet another free-rider on U.S. defense. It is highly unlikely that Scotland under the Scottish Nationalists will ever honor the NATO spending targets; in fact, their leader Alec Salmond has said it won’t explicitly.”

Furthermore, the UK would need to relocate its Trident nuclear-deterrent base from Faslane, Scotland, adding expense to an already shrinking military budget. The UK has leased 58 Trident II D5 missiles from the U.S. since 1990, and they serve as its primary nuclear deterrent. Some fear Scottish independence would lead the UK to abandon its nuclear program entirely, leaving the U.S. as the only contributing nuclear power in NATO (France is nuclear armed, but doesn’t furnish those arms to the alliance).

On this side of The Pond, the Obama administration has no plans to address the issue. The Department of Defense refers queries to the State Department, which says, “We don’t have anything on this at this point.” This disinterest is somewhat surprising given that St. Andrews in Scotland is considered the “home of golf.”

Clearly, the question facing Scottish voters on Sept. 18 is whether independence serves their interests. Nationalist leader Alec Salmond certainly says it’s best. Is it?

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

British statesman (1729-1797): “There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.”

Economist Stephen Moore: “Welfare caseloads aren’t falling in part because this administration doesn’t want them to. Times sure have changed. Bill Clinton boasted about the reduction in welfare caseloads in the 1990s. What’s most important as a first step toward restoring self-reliance is to at least acknowledge as a nation that when there are 109 million Americans collecting some form of welfare, we have a crisis on our hands. It’s partly the economy, but partly cultural. The poverty lobby has worked hard to erase any negative stigma attached to welfare benefits. In some cities in America food stamps are like a parallel currency. By the way, in 2012 there were 51 million Americans on food stamps. One possible approach has been suggested by Rep. Paul Ryan. He would turn many of the welfare programs, like food stamps, back to the states so they can find ways to expeditiously move people swiftly back into work. What is for sure is that the feds have failed in replacing welfare with the dignity of work. Or worse, they haven’t even tried.”

Economist Walter E. Williams: “Most concerns about money in politics tend to focus on relatively trivial matters such as the costs of running for office and interest-group influence on Congress and the White House. The bedrock problem is the awesome power of Congress. We Americans have asked, demanded and allowed congressmen to ignore their oaths of office and ignore the constitutional limitations imposed on them. The greater the congressional power to give handouts and grant favors and make special privileges the greater the value of being able to influence congressional decision-making. There’s no better influence than money. You say, ‘Williams, you’ve explained the problem. What’s your solution?’ Maybe we should think about enacting a law mandating that Congress cannot do for one American what it does not do for all Americans. For example, if Congress creates a monopoly for one American, it should create a monopoly for all Americans. Of course, a better solution is for Congress to obey our Constitution.”

Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “Obama made a surprise visit to Stonehenge on his way back from the NATO summit in Wales. And even crazier – today he made a surprise visit to the White House.”

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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