Obama Recognizes ‘Privileges’ Secured by Constitution + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Thu 09/18/2014 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men.” –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 21, 1787

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Recognizes ‘Privileges’ Secured by Constitution

Constitution Day didn’t go without notice at the White House. Barack Obama issued a statement Wednesday celebrating the day by saying, “Our Constitution reflects the values we cherish as a people and the ideals we strive for as a society. It secures the privileges we enjoy as citizens.” Correction: The Constitution secures our rights. But for Obama to call them “privileges” is revealing of his statist purposes. He views executive power as something to be wielded to bring goodies justice to favored constituencies the oppressed. And to belittle our rights as merely privileges, he implies they can be taken away. That’s a dangerous and tyrannical idea.

Delaying Accountability for Fast and Furious

The Fast and Furious scandal may need to be renamed Slow and Obstructionist. Attorney General Eric Holder is doing his best to make sure the gun-trafficking-to-Mexico-drug-cartels fiasco isn’t resolved until after Barack Obama leaves office. Politico’s Josh Gerstein reports, “Attorney General Eric Holder is again asking a federal court to delay the transfer of disputed documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious to a House committee. In a new court filing Monday night, Justice Department lawyers asked U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson not to require Holder to turn over any of the roughly 64,000 pages of documents to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee until after her rulings can be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.” That could take months, and might even push accountability beyond 2016 for the “most transparent administration ever.” More…

A Significant Part of Obama’s Legacy Will Be Judicial Picks

Barack Obama’s legacy won’t be limited to whatever executive actions he takes on immigration, or even colossal legislation like ObamaCare. The Daily Signal reports, “In President Barack Obama’s second term, the Senate has confirmed more than twice the number of judicial nominees than were confirmed in President George W. Bush’s second term. This is due mostly to the fact that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., succeeded in eliminating the filibuster for judicial nominees (excluding the Supreme Court, at least for now) in November 2013.” The make-up of the judiciary will have long-lasting effects on our nation as Obama’s judges continue undermining Rule of Law. More…

DC’s Concealed Carry Proposal Is Awfully Anti-Second Amendment

District of Columbia leaders, in a blatant display of discontent with a July ruling nullifying the District’s ban on possessing firearms outside the home, are making it as difficult as possible to obtain a concealed carry permit. The Associated Press reports: “Mayor Vincent Gray and other city officials said they plan to propose legislation that would make the District of Columbia similar to a half-dozen states, including Maryland, where residents can be denied a concealed-carry permit if they can’t show a need for one. … The District is seeking to let the police chief decide whether people have a reason to carry a concealed firearm, and officials said living in a high-crime neighborhood would not be a sufficient reason to obtain a permit.” DC Attorney General Irvin Nathan says, “It has to be personalized. It has to be something specific.” Not according to the Second Amendment. It states, “[T]he right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Moreover, attorney Alan Gura notes, “In America, the police don’t determine what rights we have good reason to enjoy. You don’t need a good reason to speak, to worship, to vote or to carry a gun for self-defense.” But as DC officials are proving, nothing will stop them from infringing on rights with which they don’t agree. More…

Smells Like Politics: How Your Nose Can Tell the Difference

Want to know what someone’s political beliefs are? Follow your nose. National Journal reports, “A new study in the American Journal of Political Science … has found preliminary evidence that people are more attracted to the body odors of others with similar political beliefs. In the study, participants rated the attractiveness of vials of body odors obtained from ‘strong liberals’ and ‘strong conservatives’ on a five-point scale. The participants had no prior knowledge of which vial belonged to which partisan armpit.” In other words, liberals are distasteful in part because they stink. Ever been to an Occupy Wall Street rally? In other news, one Washington town banned from public places those with bad body odor. Bad news for liberals. More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

A Return to Jihadistan Requires Purpose

We are at war – the Long War. We have been at war with ISIL in its previous manifestations for over a decade. Since at least Aug. 8, we have returned to war. We can’t rely on an official declaration of war from Congress – one hasn’t been passed since FDR denounced the “day which will live in infamy.” Yet American pilots are already climbing into their birds, streaking across the sky and making bomb-mash of ISIL in northern Iraq. In other words, there are combat boots in Iraq.

The goal: “Degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIL. It’s hard to imagine how Barack Obama plans on degrading a group of 30,000-something radical Muslims, but one thing is clear: Destroying means their blood will irrigate the sands of Iraq. That’s justice.

The first act of the Long War was violent and deliberate. On 9/11, George W. Bush sat in Air Force One when he told Vice President Dick Cheney, “We’re going to take care of this. When we find out who did this, they’re not going to like me as president. Somebody’s going to pay.”

Unfortunately, the second act is now in the hands of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning president who tried what he could to artificially keep the peace. In the end, even he is using military force.

And that means we’ve entered an even more dangerous time for our nation. Obama isn’t thinking of what we are fighting for, and so, he doesn’t have a strategy for victory or how to return to peace.

We have seen the fruit of this kind of asymmetric war against radical Islam. From the post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), out grew secret kill lists, drones, an intelligence apparatus spying on its own citizens, and, tangentially, police militarization such as that on display in Ferguson, Missouri. Under the guise of greater security, we now have less Liberty.

Osama bin Laden is dead, but the war brought with it hell. Young men who won glory in Iraq returned to the states and could not sleep. Others drank themselves sick. Still others decided life wasn’t worth living. “War is an ugly thing,” John Stuart Mill said, “but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse.”

This is why we need a clear purpose in fighting ISIL. What are we fighting for? Where do our morals lie as we take up arms against ISIL? Is the trade-off worth it?

Obama’s actions over the last few weeks indicate he values peace and cooperation, though above all else is politics.

Worrisome, too, is his morality. Obama acted on ISIL only when he had a supposed consensus from the world’s nations, as if what is good and moral in the world is decided by the majority. But there actually isn’t consensus – and no real “coalition.”

Even Obama’s generals broke rank to oppose his soft war against ISIL because they believe America needs to respond with conviction – boots on the ground if need be. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, told the Senate, “If we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president.”

Gen. Ray Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, has told at least four news outlets the Army may need to return to Iraq. He told The New York Times, “You’ve got to have ground forces that are capable of going in and rooting [ISIL] out. [Airstrikes] will not be the end all and be all solution in Iraq.”

In response, Obama waged political war against his own generals. At MacDill Air Force Base, Obama publicly overruled his generals, saying, “I want to be clear: The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and won’t have a combat mission. As your commander in chief, I won’t commit you and the rest of our Armed Forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq.”

A nation loses war if it unnecessarily limits itself in such a way. Obama’s former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the U.S. will not be successful if they wage this war from afar, using allies in the region as puppets. “And I think that by continuing to repeat that [the U.S. won’t put boots on the ground], the president, in effect, traps himself.”

This is a conversation happening at the high, executive level of government. One man decides the direction of the nation, quickly, with little public rationale for acting.

Obama sends Americans over Iraq in bombing runs, never legally committing to the eradication of ISIL, but instead recycling the AUMF passed after 9/11. He also cites the AUMF that took Bush into Iraq, even though Obama has always opposed it.

Congress has taken up the question of what to do about ISIL. The House quickly passed a resolution to train the Free Syrian Army 273 to 156, but there was little debate, only a quick vote by members with eyes on Election Day.

The legal justifications for Obama to go to war are arguably stale. Politically, there’s no question: Congress must pass a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or better yet, declare war, because the nation needs a clear purpose.

What Can Conservatives Do About Climate Change?

Climate change is clearly a prime issue for Democrats who want to increase government power and reach. “The science is settled,” they insist, even as it’s apparent to those willing to look that the science is not settled at all. Undeterred, Democrats slander “deniers” and demand we all submit to the latest whims of the Environmental Protection Agency. But assuming for the sake of argument the climate is changing, is there a conservative response that would account for it without giving in to leftist demands?

To ask the question is almost to answer it. Yes, conservatives can address the environment without selling out to the other side of the political aisle.

Few deny that climate change is a real feature of the planet we inhabit. What we do deny is that man-made greenhouse gases are the sole cause, or that top-down government control is the only way to address it. Control is the true creed of ecofascists, and it’s why they bang on their highchairs so vociferously about the science as justification.

Climate alarmists make some assumptions that belie the anti-capitalist roots of their environmentalism. Writing in The Atlantic, historian Jeremy Caradonna elucidates: “The stock narrative of the Industrial Revolution is one of moral and economic progress. Indeed, economic progress is cast as moral progress.” He continues scornfully, “This narrative remains today an ingrained operating principle that propels us in a seemingly unstoppable way toward more growth and more technology, because the assumption is that these things are ultimately beneficial for humanity.”

Well, let’s see. Among other things, the Industrial Revolution and accompanying advances eased poverty by making goods and services more affordable (just think of all the comforts and conveniences the poor in the U.S. have today) and dramatically increased life expectancy (which leftists see as a problem). Those things are by no means utopian, nor did they come without cost, but they seem to us “ultimately beneficial.” Certainly beneficial enough to oppose self-interested bureaucrats and politicos who would degrade these advances in the name of questionable science.

So, what is a conservative approach? More specifically, how do we continue supporting an ever-burgeoning human population with growing energy needs while stewarding the planet?

James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute asserts, “[H]umans have a poor record of understanding risk in complex systems, full of interdependencies, feedback loops, and nonlinear responses. Perhaps humility and caution and consideration are warranted. Doing nothing about climate change, I would argue, is a one-way, all-or-nothing bet with huge potential downside.”

In a later post, Pethokoukis added, “[T]he choice doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing bet between (a) doing nothing about carbon emissions and (b) embracing a low-energy future of scarcity and stagnation. Rather, the challenge is creating a high-growth, high-abundance, high-energy future for mankind that minimizes the risk of a dangerous climatic shock.”

We would put it this way: The free market should put forth the best ideas for energy production with the goal of getting the most out of both conservation and wealth generation. Government policy should foster innovation rather than picking winners and losers through political favoritism and cronyism. The current system of heavily regulating some industries while lavishly subsidizing others is antithetical to a market-driven economy, and it’s no way to move forward.

Columnist David Harsanyi writes, “I suppose it makes me a technoutopian to trust that we can adapt and create ways to deal with whatever consequences – and obviously there are consequences – a thriving modern world drops on us. Historically speaking, though, would it have been better for humanity to avoid an ‘Age of Pollution’ and wallow in a miserable pre-Industrial Age, where poverty, death, disease and violence, were far more prevalent in our short miserable lives? Or would we have chosen global warming? I think the latter. And I think we’d do it again.” Think about that the next time Al Gore touches down in his private jet to tell you to quit driving your SUV.

Many people making many little decisions leads to much better and far faster results than one or a few making big decisions. And the risk of many “bad” little decisions is far less severe and far more recoverable than one or a few big bad decisions.

Air Force Birthday

Relentlessly committed to the defense of liberty, the United States Air Force celebrates its 67th birthday today, Sept. 18.

The Air Force began life as the Army Air Corps but became a separate Armed Services Branch when the Department of the Air Force was created by the National Security Act of 1947. As the U.S. Air Force continues its critical mission “to fly, fight and win … in air, space and cyberspace,” we ask that you pray for these brave Patriots prosecuting “The Long War” against Jihadistan, and for their families awaiting their safe return.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935): “A man is usually more careful of his money than of his principles.”

Columnist Ann Coulter: “The most important words printed in The New York Times since ‘REAGAN EASILY BEATS CARTER’ were from a front-page article last Sunday about how, after six years of Obama, the federal judiciary is now dominated by Democratic appointees. Edward Whelan, head of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, responded to this by saying: ‘The best way for conservative voters to prevent further damage to the courts is to swing the Senate to Republican control in the elections this November.’ He’s absolutely right. … For the next six weeks, nothing matters more to the country than Republicans taking a majority in the Senate. When it comes to politics, conservatives need to learn one thing from liberals: All that matters is winning. … No incumbent Democrat had to deal with a primary challenger this year. That’s one reason why Democrats win more elections than their insane ideas would seem to dictate. Liberals understand that you can’t do anything if you don’t win, so Democrats don’t stage primary fights against other Democrats.”

Columnist Cal Thomas: “After some hand-wringing over British citizens who have chosen to fight with ISIS, Prime Minister David Cameron said he thinks one reason for the defection is that too many of the defectors have forgotten what it means to be British. As a means of fighting the radicalization of young people, he wants all of Britain’s schools to again teach ‘British values.’ It is a diagnosis Americans would do well to consider because an unknown number of Americans … have abandoned their country to fight with jihadists. … Since the turbulent ‘60s, some Americans have chosen to ignore, even oppose, values taught to their forebears. These tenets begin with personal responsibility and accountability, hard work, capitalism, self-reliance, faith in God and patriotism. … If we could question those Americans who have gone to fight with jihadists, it would be interesting to see what they were taught in school and how they came to hate America so much. Meanwhile, we had better get back to teaching the current and future generations what we used to teach, or risk losing not only them, but the entire nation.”

Twitter satirist @hale_razor: “Same liberals who were upset Bush went to war in Iraq after getting 14 UN resolutions are totally cool with Obama doing it without even one.”

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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