Rancorous House Passes ‘CRomnibus’ + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Fri 12/12/2014 by

0


The Patriot Post ~

THE FOUNDATION

“The instability of our laws is really an immense evil. I think it would be well to provide in our constitutions that there shall always be a twelve-month between the ingross-ing a bill & passing it: that it should then be offered to its passage without changing a word: and that if circumstances should be thought to require a speedier passage, it should take two thirds of both houses instead of a bare majority.” –Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison, 1787

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Rancorous House Passes ‘CRomnibus’

Both Republican and Democrat caucuses in the House cracked and splintered as the chamber approved the CRomnibus (part omnibus, part continuing resolution) spending package Thursday night. Republicans needed 80 Democrat votes to send the bill to the Senate, and that’s with making the bill as enticing as possible for the Left. Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) said, “In 20 years of being on the appropriations [committee], I haven’t seen a better compromise in terms of Democratic priorities,” because the bill funded ObamaCare, early childhood education and the EPA. But progressive members of the party balked at the provision rolling back the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. The White House skipped up to Capitol Hill to lobby for the legislation, but Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) created a coalition in her office of 20 fellow Democrats to oppose the president. She said, “We don’t like lobbying that is being done by the president or anybody else that would allow us to support a bill that … would give a big gift to Wall Street and the bankers. … So I’m opposed to it and we’re going to fight it.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the bill “blackmail.” Still, the bill is now headed to the Senate.

Brennan Admits Mistakes but Defends CIA

CIA Director John Brennan responded to Senate Democrats’ “torture” report in a rare Langley press conference Thursday, defending the agency but also admitting serious mistakes. “In many respects the program was uncharted territory for the CIA, and we were unprepared,” Brennan said. “But the president authorized the program six days after 9/11, and it was our job to carry it out.” He acknowledged that some techniques the CIA employed were “abhorrent and should be repudiated by all” involved, adding, “None of these lapses should be excused, downplayed or denied.” Brennan also conceded it is “unknown and unknowable” if information gleaned from enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) could have been obtained otherwise, and he supports “the president’s decision to prohibit the use of EITs” (because he likes his job and wants to keep it). But he insisted, contrary to the Democrats’ report, “The detention and interrogation program produced useful intelligence that helped the United States thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives.” That included information leading to Osama bin Laden. Furthermore, “[F]or someone to say that there was no intelligence of value … that came from those detainees once they were subjected to EITs, I think … lacks any foundation at all.” More…

Lerner Emails: DOJ and IRS Colluded on Targeting Conservatives

The Department of Justice faced a conflict of interest as it “investigated” ex-IRS official Lois Lerner and the agency’s targeting of conservative groups. Judicial Watch released a 2010 email exchange between the DOJ’s Election Crimes Division and the IRS’s Tax Exempt Division. The DOJ invited an IRS official “to meet with us concerning 501©(4) issues.” While the then-head of the Tax Exempt Division couldn’t make the meeting, her deputy, Lois Lerner, did. As president of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton said, “[I]t is of particular concern that the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section, which would ordinarily investigate the IRS abuses, is now implicated in the IRS crimes. No wonder the Department of Justice under Eric Holder has done no serious investigation of the Obama IRS scandal.” Now that we’ve established a corrupting relationship between the DOJ and the IRS, we need to find that connection where the White House was calling the shots, taking aim at its political enemies. More…

Obama Says His Executive Action Won’t Be Undone by Executive Action

Barack Obama’s policies on immigration are the correct policies, politically speaking, according to Obama. “It’s true a future administration might try to reverse some of our policies,” Obama told a gathering in Nashville. “But I’ll be honest with you – the American people basically have a good heart and want to treat people fairly and every survey shows that if, in fact, somebody has come out and subjected themselves to a background check, registered [and] paid their taxes, the American people support allowing them to stay. So any future administration that tried to punish people for doing the right thing, I think, would not have the support of the American people. It’s true; theoretically, a future administration could do something that I think would be very damaging. It’s not likely, politically, that they reverse everything we’ve done.” He went on to say conservatives should be thanking him, as some amnesty advocates want to all but erase the border between Mexico and the U.S., but nice-guy Obama stopped them – this time. Essentially, Obama is saying he’s a one-of-a-kind president, because only he can change the law and make it permanent, and, by definition, anyone who disagrees is doing damage. More…

Sebelius Thinks Problem With ObamaCare Is Branding

We’re not the stupid American voters Kathleen Sebelius thinks we are. The former HHS secretary declared the “Affordable” Care Act would be a smashing success if it wasn’t named after the unpopular president. “I think we may need to call it something in the future different [sic], but it is working. ObamaCare, no question, has a very bad brand that has been driven intentionally by a lot of misinformation and a lot of paid advertising,” she said, without a hint of irony. Sebelius, who recently challenged the financial literacy of her fellow Americans, may not want to admit it’s not the law’s name that makes nearly 60% of Americans support repealing it. We don’t like the law because it disrupts our lives and redistributes our wealth. And because it was sold on a pack of lies. And because it encroaches on the Constitution, the free market and Liberty. More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

Publisher’s Note

My friend Jim Angle filed his last report with Fox News Thursday, and is retiring from the field at the top of his game as FNC’s Chief National Correspondent. Jim is a gentleman journalist, and one of the most respected investigative reporters in Washington. He previously worked for CNN, ABC and was NPR’s Senior White House Correspondent during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He joined Fox in 1996, the same year we launched The Patriot Post. Perhaps my Texas friend will be able to spend a little more time in the mountains of East Tennessee now. Job well done, Jim!

RIGHT ANALYSIS

Democrats Reload on Gun Control

Democrats are nothing if not persistent. In the wake of their second straight midterm election shellacking, they have decided to double down on one of their pet issues: gun control. Republicans will soon have more members in Congress than they’ve had in more than 70 years, while Democrats have completely lost the South and have been routed at the state level. Yet they believe gun control is their silver bullet.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched the “Big Ideas Project” this week to gather ideas from the public in order to reenergize Democrats. If gun control is the big idea they came up with, they should keep asking questions.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) trumpeted this new initiative. “When you don’t pass background checks,” he warned, “it’s much more likely that someone will get their hands on an illegal gun and use it to kill their neighbors and classmates.”

His fellow Connecticut Democrat, Richard Blumenthal, made an even more outrageous claim: “Congress’s failure to act makes it, in fact, an aider and abettor to those deaths that could be prevented.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that a universal background check bill is “inevitable.” She claims the bill has 180 cosponsors. Of course, it would need 218 votes to pass, though Democrats promise they’ll try.

Democrats have relied these tired, old arguments and shame tactics for years to make their case for infringing Second Amendment rights. Facts go by the wayside, actual public sentiment is ignored and logic gives way to emotions.

Of course, we all want to prevent mass shootings, but the universal background check bill Democrats roll out after every horrific killing spree is not the answer. A review of mass shootings going back two decades shows that killers either obtain guns legally after passing a background check, or they steal them from their legal owners. Mass murderers almost never procure a gun on the black market. And any background check law that Congress could pass would not affect murderous psychopaths too young to purchase a gun legally.

Meanwhile, public opinion is against Democrats. Legal gun sales have risen dramatically since 2009, thanks to the gun salesman of the decade – Barack Obama. And a report issued earlier this week by the Pew Research Center indicates support for gun rights is now at its highest in two decades. According to the report, 52% believe it is more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns. This level of support has risen seven points since January 2013, just after the Newtown murders provided the crisis Democrats needed for their ensuing exploitative push for tighter gun control. Some 57% of Americans say gun ownership does more to deter crime than create it, while only 38% believe it endangers public safety. Support among blacks for gun rights has also risen, with 54% saying gun ownership deters crime – nearly double the percentage of supporters in December 2012.

Looking at partisan views on the issue, it’s easy to see where it all breaks down. Six in 10 Democrats say guns do more to put safety at risk, while eight in 10 Republicans believe guns deter crime. According to Pew, Republican support has gone up 17 points since 2012.

Democrats look at these statistics and say the study is flawed, claiming that the questions are misleading and not framed correctly. They also resort to insulting people who support gun rights. Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post called the Second Amendment the “refuge of bumpkins and yeehaws who like to think they are protecting their homes against imagined swarthy marauders desperate to steal their flea-bitten sofas from their rotting front porches.” Not exactly a statement designed to win hearts and minds to a cause.

With this attitude being so prevalent among Democrats, is it really any wonder why they are losing elections so badly?

A growing majority of the public believes legal gun ownership is a solid deterrent to crime, and facts support this view. If Democrats couldn’t pass gun control after the highly politicized Newtown shooting in 2012, in what environment do they think they could attain their goal?

As important as this public opinion is for preserving our rights, however, the most critical fact comes straight from our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” and among them is self-defense. That won’t be made untrue by any law or public opinion poll.

Are College Women Crying Wolf?

We’ve been told repeatedly by Barack Obama and others in his truth-challenged administration that one in five college women across the nation will be the victim of sexual assault. One in five. Congress is working on legislation to address the issue. Magazine articles and books are written with the narrative as background. But is the story true?

Earlier this week we told you about all the trouble caused by a phony Rolling Stone rape exposé. Reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely interviewed a woman named Jackie, who, as it turns out, falsely accused members of a University of Virginia fraternity of gang-raping her at a party. While the magazine has backtracked on most of the account, University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan did not relent on a suspension of all fraternity activities for the remainder of the semester and winter break. Sullivan still considers sexual violence among the “most difficult and critical issues facing higher education today.”

This Rolling Stone hit piece came hot on the heels of HBO celebrity Lena Dunham’s autobiographical claim that she was raped by a “mustachioed campus Republican named Barry” during her days at Oberlin College. Her book publisher later walked back the story when the alleged perpetrator cried foul and lawyered up.

So one has to ask why these stories fall into the “fake but accurate” school of journalism. We think it’s because they fit so neatly into the prevailing progressive narrative of women as sexual victims. As the tale is told, predatory males (for example, of the Duke lacrosse team) go to college to drink, party and prey upon college women. Therefore, to question (read: to seriously investigate) any allegation is to be, in the parlance of feminists, a “rape apologist.”

Sexual assault is a horrific crime, and too often women don’t report it. But the Obama administration’s now-engrained statistic is bogus, and it does damage not only to the fight against real sexual assault on campus but also to the perception we have of college men in general.

This week, the Bureau of Justice Statistics – part of Eric Holder’s Justice Department – released a new survey that scrutinized nearly two decades’ worth of crime statistics and revealed that the oft-repeated one-in-five tale grossly overstated the true statistical likelihood of such an occurrence. Instead of 20%, the actual figure came out to be 0.61%. So the narrative that college is unsafe for women simply falls apart under the light of investigation. In fact, the college campus is actually slightly safer than the “outside world” off-campus, where the figure was 0.76%.

These statistics don’t settle the debate, however. Some women never report their assault, and some guilty men get away with it. Yet to point out that the narrative is false is to become a pariah. Just ask political analyst George Will about his experience in questioning the one-in-five stat earlier this year. The ironclad narrative defense has also led to the loss of due process for male students, as federal rules are encouraging colleges to adopt a lower standard – simple “preponderance of the evidence” – to adjudicate on-campus sexual assault allegations.

As the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education notes: “Because campuses provide victims with a lower standard of proof, utilize definitions of consent that effectively flip the burden of proof onto the accused, and prohibit cross examinations, complainants are predictably steered away from the criminal justice system until it is often too late to initiate an effective law enforcement response.”

Again, just because the narrative is incorrect doesn’t mean we should do less for those who are victims. But the evidence clearly shows that males on a college campus, even those in fraternities, should not automatically be looked upon with suspicion as potential rapists. Leftists hurt their own cause when they fail to remember the tale of the girl who cried wolf.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Economist Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992): “The greatest danger to liberty today comes from the men who are most needed and most powerful in modern government, namely, the efficient expert administrators exclusively concerned with what they regard as the public good.”

Columnist Charles Krauthammer: “The report by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding CIA interrogation essentially accuses the agency under George W. Bush of war criminality. … It’s a common theme (often echoed by President Obama): Amid panic and disorientation, we lost our moral compass and made awful judgments. … So what was the Bush administration to do? Amid the smoking ruins of Ground Zero, conduct a controlled experiment in gentle interrogation and wait to see if we’d be hit again? A nation attacked is not a laboratory for exquisite moral experiments. It’s a trust to be protected, by whatever means meet and fit the threat. Accordingly, under the direction of the Bush administration and with the acquiescence of congressional leadership, the CIA conducted an uncontrolled experiment. It did everything it could, sometimes clumsily, sometimes cruelly, indeed, sometimes wrongly. But successfully. They kept us safe.”

Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “Killing is worse than torture. Life in prison might be called torture for some people, and yet we consider the death penalty a more severe punishment. Most people would prefer to be waterboarded than killed. All sane and decent people would rather go through what Khalid Sheikh Mohammad went through than see their whole family slaughtered from 10,000 feet by a drone. And yet President Obama routinely sanctions drone strikes while piously outlawing the slapping of prisoners who might have information that would make such strikes less necessary – and, more importantly, would prevent the loss of innocent American lives. It’s odd: Even though killing is a graver moral act, there’s more flexibility to it. America killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people in World War II, but few would call that murder because such actions as the firebombing of Dresden were deemed necessary to win the war. In other words, we have the moral vocabulary to talk about kinds of killing – from euthanasia and abortion to capital punishment, involuntary manslaughter and, of course, murder – but we don’t have a similar lexicon when it comes to kinds of torture.”

Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “You made 24 a hit show and suddenly you’re against torture? Whatever, America.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

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.

Advertisements