MARKING THE ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11 + More – Daily Digest

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The Patriot Post ~

THE FOUNDATION

“There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.” –George Washington, Fifth Annual Message, 1793

MARKING THE ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11

Today we solemnly mark the 13th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, when 2,996 innocents, mostly American citizens, were murdered by Islamic fascists. In keeping with the presidential proclamation designating Sept. 11 of each year as Patriot Day, all flags should be flown at half-staff in memory of those who lost their lives that day.

We invite you to join us as we offer our prayers for the families of those lost and for our Armed Forces now serving on the front lines of the Long War against Jihadistan. We are already paying the price of appeasement and tolerance in the Middle East against a jihadi foe that is alive and well. The rise of ISIL proves the need for vigilance.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Keep reading below for Alexander’s rebuttal of Barack Obama’s speech last night.

Also, read Rise of the Islamic State – A Retrospective, on the manifestations of Obama’s foreign policy malfeasance.

If you’d like to receive Alexander’s Column by email, update your subscription here.

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Even New York Times Accuses Obama of Ignoring Iraq

New York Times reporter Tim Arango took to Reddit to answer questions about his experience covering Iraq for the last two years. He accused the Obama administration of ignoring the stories coming out of the country. “[W]hen officials spoke about what was happening there, they were often ignorant of the reality,” Arango wrote. “They did not want to see what was really happening because it conflicted with their narrative that they left Iraq in reasonably good shape. In 2012, as violence was escalating, I wrote a story, citing U.N. statistics, that showed how civilian deaths from attacks were rising. Tony Blinken, who was then Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s national security guy, pushed back, even wrote a letter to the editor saying that violence was near historic lows. That was not true. Even after Falluja fell to [ISIL] at the end of last year, the administration would push back on stories about [then-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-] Maliki’s sectarian tendencies, saying they didn’t see it that way. So there was a concerted effort by the administration to not acknowledge the obvious until it became so apparent – with the fall of Mosul – that Iraq was collapsing.” In other words, Obama’s failures are obvious even to the Leftmedia. More…

Russia Responds to NATO Summit

While Vladimir Putin’s military is growing, adopting and building its armaments for a “guaranteed nuclear deterrent,” Barack Obama’s Pentagon shrinks the size of the U.S. military to pre-World War II levels. Obama returned from last week’s NATO summit where the great community organizer talked about forging NATO into a “spearhead” to quickly respond to security threats around the world. Putin responded by announcing a military exercise in Eastern Russia. “We have warned many times that we would have to take corresponding countermeasures to ensure our security,” he said. Instead of building a self-sufficient nation that can take care of its own security, thank you very much, Obama wants to gather all the neighborhood kids to take care of the bullies on the block. More…

Continuing to Fund the Government With Resolution

House Republicans this week unveiled their kick-the-can-down-the-road plan to fund the government – a continuing resolution good through Dec. 11. The Washington Post reports, “Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said the bill would keep federal agencies open through Dec. 11, would match President Obama’s request for $88 million in funds to help fight the spread of Ebola in Africa, and would provide flexibility to departments working on the U.S.-Mexico border to handle the flood of unaccompanied Central American minors arriving at the border.” The bill is expected to pass the House Thursday, and head to the Senate. But wait. According to The Hill, “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is threatening to use a stopgap government funding measure to torpedo President Obama’s executive order on immigration.” Haven’t we seen this movie before? As pitiful as the continuing resolution is, and as lawless as Obama is on immigration, a shutdown right before the election would be political disaster. Cruz knows it and we don’t expect him to carry through with one.

Two VA Employees Arrested for Distributing Cocaine

It was a double no-no: Robert Tucker and Erik Casiano had the brilliant idea of dealing cocaine using the mailroom of the Veterans Affairs Hospital. Packages with kilograms of cocaine would be shipped from Puerto Rico to the mailroom in the Bronx medical center. First, the U.S. Postal Service doesn’t take kindly to people mailing large amounts of drugs. Second, we’re sure the VA doesn’t want its employees running side businesses while on the clock – especially illegal pharmaceutical businesses. In a Department of Justice press release, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “As alleged, the defendants used the cover of a facility dedicated to caring for our nation’s heroes to further a scheme to distribute large amounts of cocaine.” But at least the crime duo wasn’t distributing the cocaine to patents or leaving them overnight at a crack house. Seriously, what is up with VA employees and cocaine? More…

Uniformed Soldier Barred From Entering School

Twenty-four-year Army veteran Sherwood Baker devoted his life to defending the United States from enemies, both foreign and domestic. But he didn’t anticipate finding trouble with the security guards at his daughter’s high school. Michigan station WJBK explains: “Lieutenant Colonel Sherwood Baker says he is just a father who was trying to help his daughter find her way at her new high school. Sherwood … was told by Rochester Adams High School security that if he wanted to get into the school with his daughter he was going to have to go home and change his clothes. Baker’s wife Rachel Ferhadson says, ‘Before he was allowed in, the security guard stopped him and said, “Sorry, you’re not allowed in the school.” Security told him men and women in uniform weren’t allowed because it may offend another student.’“ Offend a student how? By the mere presence of a uniformed officer, who happens to be guarding these students’ very freedoms? The school did apologize, but the fact this was even an issue in the first place should outrage every American. More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

Obama Wants Iraqi Mulligan

By Mark Alexander

After all the blood and treasure our nation sacrificed in Iraq, and after discarding the Bush Doctrine and ordering a retreat and withdrawal from the region in 2011, Barack Obama is now asking for a mulligan, a replay.

Let’s review why Obama is re-launching the war on terror and consider a few of his remarks from his address to the nation.

In 2008, Obama campaigned on “ending the war in Iraq.”

In 2009, he upended our long-term military objectives to establish a forward military operating capability in Iraq in order to maintain stability in a region where we have very critical national interests, and he set a new course for retreat and withdrawal from the region.

In 2011, having rejected the Bush strategy of establishing a status of forces agreement (SOFA) to secure our hard-won gains in Iraq and the region, Obama declared, “Everything Americans have done in Iraq, all the fighting, all the dying, the bleeding, the building and the training and the partnering, all of it has led to this moment of success. … We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.”

In 2012, amid the cascading failure of his domestic economic and social policies, Obama centered his re-election campaign on his faux foreign policy successes crafted around the mantras, “Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. I did,” and, “al-Qa’ida is on the run.”

In the final 2012 presidential debate, Obama chastised his opponent, Mitt Romney: “You say that you’re not interested in duplicating what happened in Iraq, but just a few weeks ago you said you think we should have more troops in Iraq right now. And the challenge we have – I know you haven’t been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong.”

Despite Obama’s re-election, clearly Romney was right.

Predictably, Obama’s “hope and change” strategy in the region left fertile ground for the resurgence of a far more dangerous incarnation of Muslim terrorism under the name Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which has displaced al-Qa’ida as the dominant asymmetric threat to our national security. (Read in more detail, The Rise of the Islamic State.)

Thus, on the 13th anniversary eve of the September 11, 2001 attack on our nation, Obama had the audacity of asking the nation for a redo, without a word owning up to his colossal policy failure in the region.

What follows are a few excerpts of his remarks, which at best only serve to inform our Islamist adversaries what we will and won’t do.

BO: “Let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not ‘Islamic.’ … And ISIL is certainly not a state.”

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! Fact is, more than a third of the Muslim trilogy (Koran, Hadith and Sira) is devoted to Islamic Jihad as instructed by Mohammed. And Obama needs a lesson on Jihadistan, that borderless nation of Islamic extremists that constitutes Muslim terrorist groups around the world.

BO: “I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.”

Well, if nine nations (not including Great Britain and Germany, by the way) constitute a “broad coalition,” OK. But that is well short of the 37 nations that backed us in 2003.

BO: “Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.”

As noted by The Washington Free Beacon’s Aaron MacLean, “Twice [last night], Obama stated that the nation’s strategy towards the Islamic State is to ‘degrade, and ultimately destroy’ it. … The modifier ‘ultimately’ is a dodge of tremendous proportions.”

BO: “I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

Of course, all Obama has done is hesitate.

BO: “This effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. … American forces will not have a combat mission – we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq. … It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”

Well, unless you count the 1,043 service personnel now on the ground in Iraq and the additional 475 he just ordered up.

BO: “So this is our strategy. … This is American leadership at its best…”

No, this is, and has been, American leadership at its worst.

BO: “This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.”

Few military and intelligence analysts would describe Obama’s strategy in Yemen and Somalia as a “success.”

BO: “America is better positioned today to seize the future than any other nation on earth.”

No, Obama’s domestic and foreign policies have greatly undermined our ability to “seize the future.”

Sebastian Gorka, a counterterrorism specialist in the Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University, said of Obama’s redo, “It completely lacks any serious counter-ideological component. Ultimate victory against such an enemy will only come when we delegitimize its motivating force – the power it has to recruit terrorists and insurgents, just as we delegitimized the totalitarianism of the Cold War.”

Former Vice President Dick Cheney aptly summarized the problem with Obama’s foreign policy: “[Obama] has demonstrated his own distrust for American power as a force for good in the world. Five years ago this month, he put it this way to the United Nations: ‘No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed.’ This is one sample from a whole collection of such sayings that seem to regard American influence as a problem to be solved in the world, rather than a solution to be offered.”

Cheney continued, “While the president was claiming the tide of war was receding and core al-Qa’ida had been decimated, the threat is actually increasing. From Iraq, Syria and Yemen, over to Pakistan, all the way down to Somalia and Nigeria, in various places under various names, a whole new wave of jihadists was on the rise.”

National Review’s Jonah Goldberg concluded, “It’s obviously the case that he is doing this not because the facts on the ground convinced him he had to do what was necessary to protect America but because the polls and the political climate convinced him he had to plug a hole in the hull of his presidency.”

So here is my suggestion: Forget bombs – we should drop Obama administration policy makers on Iraq and Syria. That would ensure the ruin of the Islamic State in no time!

Another Way Taxpayers Were Fleeced by the ‘Stimulus’

A few months after Barack Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus package into law in 2009, Joe Biden admitted that the spending would result in some waste mistakes. Two years later, perhaps sufficiently scolded for making such bluntly truthful remarks, he exuberantly announced that while “naysayers” said the stimulus bill couldn’t be implemented without massive waste fraud and abuse, “You know what? They were wrong.”

Claiming the government is able to manage $800 billion in taxpayer dollars without wasting any of it is like saying there is not a smidgen of corruption in the IRS – that’s right, “not even a smidgen.” But with Sheriff Joe on watch, that’s what this administration wants Americans to believe.

Not having been born yesterday, we didn’t believe it then. Now, a yearlong study by McClatchy newswire service and ProPublica, a non-profit investigative organization, found that not only was waste rampant in those “shovel ready” projects nationwide but so was government-approved exploitation of workers.

The investigation, which examined payroll records for federal housing projects in 28 states, uncovered “widespread cheating by construction companies” – all part of “a massive labor scheme that harmed workers and cheated unsuspecting American taxpayers.” And most of these projects were funded at least in part with stimulus money. How exactly did this happen? In order to submit competitive bids and win those stimulus-funded federal contracts, construction firms listed workers as contractors rather than employees, thereby saving money through avoiding state and federal taxes while also depriving employees of benefits and workers’ compensation insurance.

It’s a practice termed “misclassification,” and it’s simple, really. When filling out paperwork required for contracting with the federal government, companies that classified workers as contractors would simply not list taxes withheld – with some companies instead including notes such as “pays own taxes” or “1099” (the IRS form used for independent contractors). However, many workers didn’t pay their own taxes. Indeed, while the government collects most of what’s owed by employees of companies, its collection rate is far lower when it comes to self-employed individuals.

The government has vowed to fix misclassification for years, but bureaucrats have been particularly lax in dealing with it when it comes to federal contractors on stimulus projects. Shocking? Not really. It turns out agencies receive no specific requirements when it comes to looking out for contractors who are misclassifying employees. As one former IRS assistant special agent said, “You would think that common sense would lead you to believe … it should be done, but it’s not what happens.” Of course the first mistake here is associating common sense with government.

The result? Billions of dollars in tax revenue were lost in the “no-waste” stimulus bill. In Florida, for example, nearly $400 million per year was lost; in North Carolina, almost $500 million. And in Texas, the figure was $1.2 billion.

According to the McClatchy investigation, “More than 14 percent of the companies submitting payroll records on 23 projects across the U.S. that were examined didn’t withhold the taxes employers are obligated to deduct from employees’ pay.”

At first glance, this might seem like a case of pure-and-simple (and illegal) tax evasion. It is that, but it’s also a practice that harms American workers, costing them benefits and unemployment insurance, and also undercuts law-abiding companies. One above-board company that previously won 80% of job bids won just a third of its stimulus bids.

Unions are crying foul, too. United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America lawyer Matt Capece asked rhetorically, “So we the taxpayers are paying the tax cheaters who are exploiting their workers and stealing work from law-abiding employers?” Yep, that’s about it. Then again, either unions are complaining because they receive less dues through this scheming, or they are going to use this to justify forcing more unionization – or both.

But don’t worry – Obama promised that those misusing taxpayer money would have to answer for it. Well, Mr. President, we’re waiting for that answer.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

English poet Matthew Arnold (1822-1888): “The free-thinking of one age is the common sense of the next.”

Columnist Ann Coulter: “Obama now says he will wait until after the November elections to implement an ‘executive amnesty’ for 11 million illegal aliens, so as not to hurt Democrats’ chances this year. Instead of waiting to be enraged in December, voters, could you please be enraged now? … There is no more important political issue than this: Republicans must take the Senate this year. You know how much you’ve been enjoying the courts overturning state referendums prohibiting gay marriage? Get ready for a lot more of your hard-won political victories to be nullified by the courts if Republicans don’t take a Senate majority. Remember how the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare on a 5-4 vote? Obama could have a shot at replacing another Supreme Court justice in the next two years. As a senator, he voted against both of Bush’s nominees, so he can’t very well complain if Republicans reject his loony-bird nominees. … The surge of needy foreigners across our Southern border, so far, will be nothing compared to what’s coming if Obama does this. He says he will. He thinks voters are too stupid to notice. Prove him wrong.”

Economist Thomas Sowell: “After leaving home as a teenager, I discovered that what I could earn would only enable me to rent a furnished room about 6 by 9 feet. Instead of a closet, it had a nail on the back of the door – which was completely adequate for my wardrobe at the time. It became painfully clear that there was no great demand for a high school dropout with no skills and no experience. My choices were to get angry at my employer or to acquire some skills and experience – and try to pick up some more education, while I was at it. Even to a teenage dropout, that choice was a no-brainer. There was no one around to confuse the issue by telling me that I was somehow ‘entitled’ to what other people had produced, whether at the expense of the taxpayers or the employer.”

Twitter satirist @hale_razor on shorter Obama ISIL speech: “‘My forthcoming attack is constitutionally based on the authorization I opposed in 2002 to start a war which I ended in 2011.’ … They said if I voted McCain & Romney, we’d have a POTUS who has our military fighting vague goals in Iraq indefinitely. #AndTheyWereRight”

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.

Read more excellent articles at The Patriot Post

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