ISIL Presents ‘The Most Diverse Array of Treats’ in a Long Time + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Fri 09/19/2014 by

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TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

ISIL Presents ‘The Most Diverse Array of Treats’ in a Long Time

Australian police conducted multiple raids Thursday to capture suspected Islamic extremists. According to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, there were direct instructions “coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings” in the Land Down Under. Meanwhile, there are many American Islamists now actively serving with ISIL in the Middle East. They have significant networks of support back in the United States, and, in fact, there are now law enforcement bulletins warning of ISIL attacks on U.S. soil. According to CIA Director John Brennan, the Australian news is “just one more demonstration that this is an internal challenge” and it’s “going to be with us for a generation.” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper added, this environment “is composed of the most diverse array of threats and challenges as I’ve seen in my 50-plus years in the [intelligence] business.”

Gen. Mattis: ‘You Just Don’t Take Anything Off the Table’

Recently retired U.S. Gen. James Mattis testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday regarding the ISIL threat and the question of boots on the ground. He didn’t mince words: “You just don’t take anything off the table up front, which it appears the administration has tried to do. Specifically, if this threat to our nation is determined to be as significant as I believe it is, we may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American ‘boots on the ground.’ If a brigade of a our paratroopers or a battalion landing team of our Marines would strengthen our allies at a key juncture and create havoc [and] humiliation for our adversaries, then we should do what is necessary with our forces that exist for that very purpose. We have the most skilled, fierce and certainly the most ethical ground forces in the world and I don’t think we should reassure the enemy in advance that they will never face him.” Mattis wasn’t demanding we send troops to face enemy fighters that “aren’t that good,” but he’s correct that taking the option off the table is foolish. It’s also a politically motivated choice for a president who can’t bear to look anything like George W. Bush. Meanwhile, even Jimmy Carter gets it, saying, “I think we need to attack [ISIL].”

Code Pink Kerry

Feminist protesters from the leftist group Code Pink interrupted Secretary of State John Kerry’s testimony before Congress on ISIL. Instead of ignoring their nonsense, however, he took the opportunity to address their concerns. “I understand dissent,” he said. “I’ve lived it. That’s how I first testified in front of this country in 1971.” Indeed – Kerry served in Vietnam (which he incessantly reminds us) only to come home as an anti-war protester. He then slandered his fellow servicemen before Congress, alleging horrific crimes. In our view, he’s also guilty of treason for his meetings with the North Vietnamese. But back to Code Pink. He added, “I also know something about Code Pink. You ought to care about fighting ISIL, because ISIL is killing and raping and mutilating women, and they believe women shouldn’t have an education. They sell off girls to be sex slaves to jihadists! … And they’re not offering anyone health care of any kind.” So we’re supposed to fight ISIL because they’re raping women and not offering health care? Not to minimize their atrocities, but the U.S. doesn’t take military action for those reasons. We take action because our security is threatened. Instead, Kerry made a mockery of the issue to appease some permanently disgruntled women.

Scots Reject Independence From England

The New York Times, in its assessment of the Scottish secessionist movement, offered the Tea Party a backhanded compliment: “When you get past the details of the Scottish independence referendum Thursday, there is a broader story underway, one that is also playing out in other advanced nations. It is a crisis of the elites. Scotland’s push for independence is driven by a conviction – one not ungrounded in reality – that the British ruling class has blundered through the last couple of decades. The same discontent applies to varying degrees in the United States and, especially, the eurozone. It is, in many ways, a defining feature of our time. The rise of … the Tea Party in the United States [is] rooted in a sense that, having been granted vast control over the levers of power, the political elite across the advanced world have made a mess of things.” The Scots are generally pretty far Left on the political spectrum, so they aren’t like the Tea Party in that sense. But while voters for Scottish independence didn’t end up with a majority, they, like the Tea Party, may bring about change nonetheless. More…

Texas Man Pays Chick-fil-A for the People Behind Him

Sometimes, people really know how to make someone else’s day. Earlier this week, one Texas, handed the Chick-fil-A cashier $1,000, making the day of the people in the next 88 cars behind him. According to the local NBC News affiliate, “The man in the drive-thru lane told employees he wanted to pay for everyone behind him for as long as the cash lasted.” The franchise owner, Brian LaCroix, said the kind gesture even left one woman in tears. “She just had an awful day,” LaCroix said. “We told her the story and she just started crying.” Paying it forward does make a difference. More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

Losing the Half-Century War on Poverty

We were only a few short years into the War on Terror when the Left demanded we pull the plug because of a lack of results. Yet 50 years into the War on Poverty declared by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, we’ve spent an estimated $22 trillion trying to alleviate poverty with little to show for it.

One in seven Americans still live in poverty, roughly the same rate as when the policies began to take effect in the late 1960s. The 2013 poverty rate of 14.5% was the first decline in the year-over-year rate since 2006, as the 2012 rate was 15%. But even during flush economic times, we’ve never driven the poverty rate below 10%.

Despite the stagnation in the poverty rate, the changes wrought by Johnson’s “Great Society” have manifested themselves in a number of societal ills that were uncommon five decades ago. Many of those stem from an out-of-wedlock birthrate that has skyrocketed from single-digits in 1964 to over 40% today. With the marriage rate in steep decline, we could call it the era of the “baby daddy” – despite recent U.S. Census reports indicating a female-headed single-parent family is five times more likely to be poor than a married-couple one. Marriage really does matter.

On the other hand, to be poor in this day and age carries with it a number of advantages even middle-class families could only dream of a generation or two ago. Contrary to popular perception, the average poverty-level family likely has a car (and perhaps two) as well as their own place to live, whether a single-family home or apartment – less than one in 10 live in a mobile home or trailer. Just 4% of those considered poor are homeless at some point during a calendar year, according to Census Bureau statistics. (The Heritage Foundation has done an outstanding study detailing these and other facts about our poor.)

The dirty little secret about America’s “poor” is that most of the dozens of means-tested government programs aren’t considered income for recipients. If these programs were given an income equivalent, only a tiny percentage of the 45.3 million Americans who fall below the poverty line would be considered poor and the perceived need for these programs would decrease. Last year the Cato Institute put out a controversial study claiming that welfare programs in many states paid more than minimum wage jobs, providing a disincentive to work but a tremendous incentive to vote in such a way as to assure the gravy train will continue to roll. The more people who are touched by government assistance, the easier it is for politicians distributing the “help” to maintain power. As the saying goes, those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the vote of Paul.

In short, the Great Society has created the great dependent underclass, a massive voting bloc that is now beholden to statists. No longer do we hear of the generation too proud to accept “relief” from the government. And no longer do we subject our dependent class to the humiliation of cashing welfare checks or counting out food stamps – now it’s as easy as swiping a credit card, only with no payment due. Meanwhile, those from the faith-based community who used to provide for society’s less fortunate by providing a hand up rather than a handout are more and more shut out of the process.

The stated intention of the Great Society was to simply provide the tools to bring people out of poverty – they still had to do the work. But work is hard and handouts are easy, and that simple truism has brought us to the unsustainable situation we’re in today, with no end in sight unless radical change comes from the very government that has become the vote-gathering provider to so many. It won’t be under this regime, of course, as Barack Obama has put us on a path to throw another $13 trillion at the problem over the next fruitless decade.

Bobby Jindal Sets Up 2016 Presidential Bid

Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal released a comprehensive energy plan this week that he believes will put America on the road to energy independence while reinvigorating the economy and reducing government interference. It also serves to set him apart from other prospective 2016 GOP presidential candidates.

This 48-page policy vision covers six major areas of the energy debate, and also spends a fair amount of ink criticizing the Obama administration and its leftist cadres who would love nothing better than to create scarce resources and higher prices.

The plan, released by Jindal’s nonprofit policy group “America Next” and co-written by Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), calls for promoting responsible development of domestic energy resources and building an infrastructure to transport it. This means supporting oil and natural gas exploration and refining, going forward with the Keystone XL pipeline, and embracing clean coal and nuclear power as the viable energy sources that they can be.

Jindal’s plan also examines the negative impact government regulation is having on the energy industry, and proposes eliminating the most burdensome and redundant restrictions that keep the energy industry from growing. He wades into the debate over renewable energy, recognizing that there is great potential for jobs and fresh energy sources. He believes the government should encourage technological innovation, but he points out that the crony capitalism of the Obama administration has created a rigged game where ineffective companies like Solyndra get pumped up with taxpayer dollars and then fail miserably.

The proposal emphasizes how a clear energy strategy can guide America to a stable future. More jobs and cheaper energy in the long term will be an obvious boost to the economy. Energy independence will make the nation safer and less reliant on foreign sources, many of which are in the hands of America’s enemies.

Jindal faults the Obama administration and the environmental lobby for deliberately creating a situation where energy is more expensive and consumers pay more for it. Environmentalists always turn against forms of energy as soon as they become widespread and inexpensive. Leftists love it when natural gas was expensive, he said, but “as soon as it became affordable, all of the sudden they decided they didn’t like it so much.”

This is because, as Jindal explains, scarcer, more expensive energy gives the government a foothold on greater control of the economy. Energy scarcity is a myth; there is more than enough natural gas, oil and coal under our feet in this country alone to power this nation at current levels of consumption for decades, if not centuries. But Obama would have us believe that we are approaching crisis levels, thereby creating an excuse for greater regulation, when then artificially raises prices. In effect, he’s arbitrarily deciding which companies win and lose in the marketplace.

Jindal’s energy policy is not without its controversies. Calling for the phasing out of ethanol and lifting the ban on oil exports, though reasonable, will create arguments within GOP circles. But he is stirring the debate, much like he did with the release of his health care proposal in April. In the coming months he will be releasing similar policy plans on education, defense and jobs.

These policy prescriptions together make for an interesting presidential platform. Jindal says he hasn’t decided whether he will run, but none of the likely candidates have made formal announcements yet. That won’t happen until after the dust from the midterms settles. Jindal does have a name recognition problem; few people in the general electorate know much about him.

On the plus side, Jindal has been vocal about the problems of the Obama administration. More importantly, at each step, he has offered alternatives to the statist policies wrecking our country. Anyone who can do that deserves to be heard.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Canadian psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden (1930- ): “The policy of seeking values from human beings by means of force, when practiced by an individual, is called crime. When practiced by a government, it is called statism.”

Columnist Arnold Ahlert: “You almost have to wonder why Obama keeps any generals around at all, since he never seems to listen to any of their advice. … Many Americans might not know it, but arming Syrian rebels is not new news, it’s old news. As the Washington Post reported on September 11 – 2013 – the CIA had ‘begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria.’ And they did so after Obama waived Section 40, and Section 40(a) of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) aimed at preventing the sale of weapons to terrorists, so that we could supply weapons to ‘vetted’ Syrian opposition groups. While he was at it, Obama also ‘waived’ the provision of the law that required him to notify Congress about the specifics of such transactions, 15 days before they occurred. … We are fighting ISIS halfheartedly in Iraq, while [Congress] just voted to arm them in Syria, all denials to the contrary notwithstanding. It doesn’t get much more political – or pathetically dangerous – than that.”

Columnist Charles Krauthammer: “They [ISIL] count on Barack Obama quitting the Iraq/Syria campaign just as he quit Iraq and Libya in 2011 and is in the process of leaving Afghanistan now. And this goes beyond Obama. They see a post-9/11 pattern: America experiences shock and outrage and demands action. Then, seeing no quick resolution, it tires and seeks out leaders who will order the retreat. In Obama, they found the quintessential such leader. … We tend to forget that at this stage in its career, the Islamic State’s principal fight is intramural. It seeks to supersede and supplant its jihadi rivals – from al-Qaeda in Pakistan to Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria – to emerge as champion of the one true jihad. The strategy is simple: Draw in the world’s great superpower, create the ultimate foil and thus instantly achieve supreme stature in radical Islam as America’s nemesis. It worked. … [W]hen the enemy deliberately brings you into combat, it is all the more imperative to show the world that he made a big mistake.”


Comedian Jimmy Kimmel: “The official ballot [for Scotland’s referendum was] one line: ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’ And that’s it. Why is it that I have to go through 18 pages of terms and conditions to download iOS 8 while a whole country can secede from the United Kingdom by checking a box that says ‘Yes’?”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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