Obama, Airstrikes and a Snowball in Hell + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Wed 09/24/2014 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.” –James Madison, National Gazette Essay, 1792

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Obama, Airstrikes and a Snowball in Hell

All the media is adoring Barack Obama for what political analyst Jonah Goldberg described as “a light show” in Syria. While the administration is now warning us the effort could take “years,” former Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway says Obama’s strategy of only airstrikes don’t have a “snowball’s chance in hell” of succeeding. Certainly, airstrikes aren’t going to fill the vacuum left when Obama prematurely pulled our troops out of Iraq so he could claim he kept his promise for the 2012 election. Now he wants a mulligan. Another interesting note: We’re bombing the Khorasan Group, an elite gang of al-Qaida fighters nearing “the execution phase of an attack” against the West. The strikes possibly killed Khorasan’s leader, Muhsin al-Fadhli, which would be a positive development. But we thought Obama had already “decimated” al-Qaida.

Obama’s ‘Latte Salute’

This commander in chief has never been a fan of the military – from cutting its budget to cutting and running, Barack Obama doesn’t seem to care much for our Armed Forces. (The feeling is mutual, we’re sure.) The latest incident occurred when he disembarked from Marine One. According to a Marine Corps manual, the salute is “the most important of all military courtesies.” Its instructions include this: “In general, do not salute when … carrying articles with both hands or being otherwise so occupied as to make saluting impractical.” Obama, however, was so preoccupied he couldn’t even bother to move his latte to his left hand to make a proper salute. It’s not a required gesture for the president, but if he’s going to do it, he could at least take the time to care for three seconds. But as the Marines always say, Semper Fi Venti Mocha Latte.

Obama Organizes World Community on Climate Change

The great community organizer stood before the United Nations and rallied the peoples of the world on global warming. “Nobody gets a pass,” Barack Obama said, not even developing nations. At this point, he might have shot the Chinese delegation a glance over his teleprompter. He continued, “The alarm bells keep ringing, our citizens keep marching,” he said, alluding to the environmentalists rallying elsewhere in New York. Did he evoke a presidential mandate from his election? No, the country is too divided for that. Instead, he based his authority for executive action on the 350,000 or so hippies, tourists and students caught up in the People’s Climate March. “We can’t pretend we can’t hear them,” Obama said. “We need to answer the call. We need to cut carbon emission in our countries to prevent worse effects, adapt and work together as global community to tackle this global threat before it is too late.” He might have worn out his welcome in the neighborhood of Capitol Hill, but this new neighborhood seems promising. More…

Federal Agencies Can’t Stop With the Red Tape

Try as it might, the Obama administration can’t seem to trim the reams of red tape. In 2011, Barack Obama released what might have been his only good executive order mandating the agencies in the executive branch review regulations for places where they could alleviate the pressure of burdensome rules to promote economic growth. But instead of cutting back, the agencies only added to the existing regulation, according to a report by the American Action Forum. Since Obama ordered the retrospective review of the regs, federal agencies have added $23.3 billion in costs and 8.7 million paperwork hours – a hefty burden. But don’t worry – the executive branch can stop throwing up red tape whenever it wants. More…

DC Approves Concealed Carry Legislation

Grim-faced council members of the District of Columbia approved initial legislation “legalizing” (the Constitution already recognizes the right to “bear” arms) the carrying of concealed firearms, ending a more than three-decade-old ban on the practice. The Washington Times reports the bill is good “for 90 days, at which time permanent legislation is expected to be signed into law by Mayor Vincent Gray.” District leaders made it as difficult as possible to obtain a permit, which assuredly means additional lawsuits are forthcoming. Attorney Alan Gura explains, “The court instructed the city to treat the carrying of handguns as a right rooted in the constitutional interest in self-defense. It’s not much progress to move from a system where licenses are not available to a system where licenses are only available if the city feels like issuing them. It’s something of a joke.” Council member Marion Barry decried the vote, saying, “I don’t believe in guns. I don’t believe in carrying guns. I think the public ought to understand that all of us here are doing something we really don’t want to do.” Frankly, what zealots “want to do” isn’t the issue. More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

Lois Lerner, the Misunderstood Puppy Rescuer

Lerner is not the victim

After twice pleading the Fifth Amendment in congressional hearings about the targeting of conservative 501©(4) groups, Lois Lerner, former head of the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Division, emerged from the shadows and gave Politico a two-hour interview published Monday.

Politico’s Rachael Bade’s 3,700-word puff piece paints a glowing portrait of Lerner, the generous boss who baked brownies for her managers, put her babysitter’s son through college, and flew to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to rescue animals. We’d like to see what ended up on the cutting room floor, but considering that during the interview Lerner – in a scene reminiscent of Don Michael Corleone’s appearance before Congress – was flanked by her lawyer husband, Michael R. Miles, and three other attorneys, it probably isn’t worth the time.

Lerner denies any wrongdoing and she is sorry for nothing. She still claims to be apolitical and says her personal opinions “never affected my work,” although emails in which she lambastes conservatives as “crazies” and “a–holes” suggest otherwise. She complains that she has endured great personal harm, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for lawyer fees, lost her job, and because she is “toxic” cannot get another one.

But, unlike many pariahs, Bade writes Lerner “refuses to recede into anonymity or beg for forgiveness for her role in the IRS tea party-targeting scandal.” Lerner bravely steps into the public square undisguised and – according to Bade – suffers the slings and arrows of passersby (though how many could even identify her is dubious). Presently, she spends her time as an art volunteer, walking dogs and suffering through long days cooped up in the couple’s $2.5 million hovel in Bethesda, Maryland.

Glaringly missing from the article is any mention of Lerner’s contempt of Congress citation in May. Nor does Bade address why Ronald Machen, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, has failed to bring Lerner before a federal grand jury to answer for that citation. Eric Holder’s Justice Department has a knack for making unpleasant things disappear.

Lerner excuses herself from any culpability in the curiously coincidental computer crash that allegedly lost damning emails from the period during which the targeting of conservative groups occurred. Lerner retorts, “How would I know two years ahead of time that it would be important for me to destroy emails … and why wouldn’t I have destroyed the other ones they keep releasing?” Yet the mystery of the crash remains. Surely the IRS maintains backup systems, and the emails must still be accessible somewhere unless someone went to great trouble to erase all the backups. Lerner would have faced these and other questions had she cooperated with Congress.

Bade goes to great length to paint Lerner as apolitical, but had she done her homework, she would have known and asked Lerner about her tenure at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as the associate general counsel and head of the enforcement office. Craig Engle, a Washington, DC, attorney who worked as the executive assistant to one FEC commissioner, says, “I’m probably one of the few people in Washington who really knows her whole career.” He describes Lerner as “a woman predisposed to back Republicans against the wall while giving Democrats a pass.”

Mark Hemingway at The Weekly Standard describes Lerner’s “politically motivated harassment” of the Christian Coalition. In 1994 Lerner led the FEC’s largest action in its history against the Christian Coalition, including investigating this shocking atrocity: At one point FEC lawyers demanded Lt. Col. Oliver North explain in a deposition why Pat Robertson was praying for him and why he later thanked Robertson. Five years later, the action was dropped.

Many other questions remain about Lerner, but she represents only a microcosm of a government agency gone rogue. The IRS code is 73,954 pages long, written in a dense government-ese that almost no one outside the IRS can comprehend. In a republic, Rule of Law is the fundamental promise of justice for all citizens, but we now have a system in which law is neither representative nor just. In a gigantic agency like the IRS, this atmosphere breeds little Napoleons such as Lerner who act out their own idea of law. Lerners will abound until the IRS and the other such bureaucratic behemoths are reined in.

When Obama Fled Iraq, He Invited Iran to Come In

Ayatollah Khamenei

The latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (U.S., UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) began last week in Geneva. The issues involved are well-known to Patriot readers so we will not recite them here. But an interesting new wrinkle has emerged, and it bears close scrutiny in the coming weeks and months.

Various Iranian officials, all speaking on condition of anonymity, have made clear Iran wants a quid pro quo in the nuclear talks for any cooperation Iran provides in dealing with the growing threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Iran is in a unique position to provide meaningful assistance in the fight against ISIL – all the more so after Barack Obama ran for the exit in Iraq in 2011. With no U.S. military presence to speak of in Iraq, Iran is well-positioned to provide intelligence, logistics, training and even kinetic assistance to Iraqi forces that the United States cannot provide. Iranian Qods Force units have been supporting Iraqi forces for several months now in an attempt to keep Islamic State forces out of Baghdad, and there are credible reports that Iranian SU-25 ground attack aircraft provided to Iraq are being flown by Iranian pilots.

Both U.S. and Iranian officials have downplayed and even outright denied any possibility of military cooperation between the two nations. But as the fight escalates – as it must if it is to have any meaningful outcome – Iran’s leverage will only grow. Iran has significant ground forces, including large and reasonably competent special forces, that could go to Iraq to assist their Shia cousins. Iranian aircraft can easily reach areas where the Islamic State operates, and the Iranian government is far less concerned about having pilots shot down and captured than is the United States.

In a different setting, the U.S. would welcome such assistance from a nation located near ISIL’s operating areas, but there is no upside to partnering with Iran. First, it would give prestige and respectability to the world’s leading pariah nation to be seen operating with the U.S., especially as so few other nations seem willing or able to do so (we’re looking at you, Europe). Furthermore, Iran might plausibly be able to achieve military ends the U.S. cannot, thereby increasing its stature.

Second, cooperation would expand Iran’s existing influence over the Iraqi government, which is already a major hindrance to stability in Baghdad. In fact, it would continue Iran’s 35-year effort to portray itself as the indispensable nation of the entire Middle East.

Third, Iran would gain precisely the leverage it seeks in the nuclear talks if its military forces were carrying a sizeable part of the load in fighting the Islamic State.

For all of these reasons, the Obama administration and especially Secretary of State John Kerry must – must – resist any efforts by Iran to link the nuclear negotiations to Iranian help against ISIL. Iran will act as it deems necessary against the Islamic State in any case, but it should not expect or receive any payoff in nuclear negotiations.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

American writer Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988): “Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.”

Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “Last Friday, the White House announced its ‘It’s On Us’ initiative aimed at combating sexual assaults on college campuses. I’m all in favor of combating sexual assault, but the first priority in combating a problem is understanding it. That’s not the White House’s first priority. Roughly six weeks before Election Day, its chief concern is to translate an exciting social media campaign into a get-out-the-vote operation. … [The Left’s claim of a rape epidemic] comes from tendentious Department of Justice surveys that count ‘attempted forced kissing’ and other potentially caddish acts that even the DOJ admits ‘are not criminal.’ According to one Department of Justice survey, more than half the respondents said they didn’t report the assault because they didn’t think ‘the incident was serious enough to report.’ More than a third said they weren’t clear on whether the incident was a crime or even if harm was intended. … And yet those who question the alleged rape epidemic are the ones who don’t take rape seriously? I would think conflating a boorish attempt at an undesired kiss with forcible rape is an example of not taking rape seriously.”

Columnist Walter E. Williams: “According to a recent study conducted by Bond University in Australia, sharks are nine times as likely to attack and kill men than they are women. If sinister motivation is attributed for this disparity, as is done in the cases of sex and racial disparities, we can only conclude that sharks are sexist. Another sex disparity is despite the fact that men are 50 percent of the population and so are women, men are struck by lightning six times as often as women. I wonder what whoever is in charge of lightning has against men. … Courts, bureaucrats and the intellectual elite have consistently concluded that ‘gross’ disparities are probative of a pattern and practice of discrimination. Given all of the differences among people, such a position is pure nonsense.”

Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “Chicago is reversing its plan to name a high school after President Obama after it received multiple complaints from people in the community. I guess parents were afraid their kids would spend eight years at the school and still not get anything done.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

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