NYC Mayor Makes Temporary Peace With Police + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Tue 12/23/2014 by

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“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” –Thomas Paine, The Crisis, No. 1, 1776

EDITOR’S NOTE

This is our last Digest of 2014. As is our custom, we take leave between Christmas and New Year’s to be with our families. Our next edition will be on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

NYC Mayor Makes Temporary Peace With Police

After the murder of two cops in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio offered a temporary olive branch to the police unions battling him over his disrespect for their profession, and he encouraged protesters to take a break. “We are in a very difficult moment. Our focus has to be on these families,” de Blasio said. “I think it’s a time for everyone to put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside all of the things that we will talk about in all due time.” The two police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, were executed by a man who was seeking revenge in the death of Eric Garner. Earlier in the month, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association circulated a petition among its officers to ban de Blasio from their funerals if one of them fell in the line of duty. But a spokesman for the association said it would not argue with de Blasio “out of respect for the families of the fallen officers until after the funerals.” The protesters, however, declined to honor de Blasio’s request, although some have softened their rhetoric. Meanwhile, cops around the country fear another copycat attack. More…

Charlie Rangel: Blame the Tool

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) echoed a statement from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund after the murder of two NYPD police officers by advising leaders to focus their attention on the tool – guns – instead of the problem – racial discord fomented by Democrat elitists. According to the NAACP, “These two killings … like so many other unfortunate incidences of gun violence, provide a stark example of the need for sensible gun control measures. While some may suggest a causal link between these killings and the recent protests and activism focused on the serious issue of police violence against unarmed African Americans, we caution against escalating an already tense national state through rumor and conjecture.” Meanwhile, coming to the defense of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rangel asserted, “[Police union leaders] should be … talking about how do insane people get firearms and not criticizing but seeing how we can stop insane people from getting an opportunity to get firearms to kill anybody. Two human beings were shot dead; we should not be pointing fingers at the mayor of the City of New York.” As Mark Alexander noted, however, “Officers Liu and Ramos were not murdered by ‘gun violence.’ Their murders were inspired by racist rhetoric.” Indeed, they likely would still be alive today if not for the racist enablers on the Left. More…

Don’t miss The Most Ridiculous Anti-Gun Ad. Ever.

The Al Sharpton Show Above All

Al Sharpton bears his fair share of responsibility for heating up racist rhetoric and causing discord that led to the murder of two NYPD officers over the weekend. In the wake of those murders, Sharpton made himself the issue, complaining that he received death threats, playing one such voicemail threat at a press conference. Then he lectured, “To blame the mayor and others is not what we need. The blame game will only lead to further kinds of venom and further division.” We wish we could say he’s learned his lesson – that his own blame game led to all kinds of division and violence – but such is not the case. In fact, he lamented that the two police deaths could distract from his mission: “We are now under intense threat from those who are misguided – from those who are trying to blame everyone from civil rights leaders to the mayor rather than deal with an ugly spirit that all of us need to fight.” Such appalling nonsense is utterly inappropriate for the moment. He continued, “There are those of us committed to nonviolence and making the system work. And there are those committed to anarchy and recklessness who could care less about the families of police or the families who have raised questions about police accountability.” Of primary importance is putting Sharpton and his ilk permanently out of business. No respectable politician of any stripe should be dealing with this clown.

Almost Anyone Could Have Stalled North Korean Internet

And then, the North Korean Internet went dark. On Monday, the minuscule Internet connection North Korea has with the rest of the world went blacker than the North Korean skyline at night, leaving some to wonder if the United States retaliated against the country it blames for hacking Sony Pictures over the political satire film, “The Interview.” Barack Obama told reporters Dec. 19, “They caused a lot of damage, and we will respond. We will respond proportionally, and we’ll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose.” But almost anyone, from a competent hacker in his mom’s basement to the NSA, could have derailed North Korea’s Internet because there are only about 1,000 Internet addresses in the country. By comparison, Afghanistan has about 100 times the number of Internet hookups. In other words, temporarily taking out the hermit kingdom’s access to YouTube is a weekend project – not exactly a proportional response. More…

Cuba Has No Plans to Change Communist Ways

While Congress has yet to debate lifting America’s trade restrictions on Cuba, island officials are declaring victory over what they consider a failed five-decade embargo. The lesson wasn’t lost on Iran, either. “The defense by the Cuban government and people of their revolutionary ideals over the past 50 years shows that policies of isolation and sanctions imposed by the major powers against the wishes of independent nations are ineffective,” bragged Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Akfham. Moreover, according to The New York Times, Cuban dictator Raul Castro has no inclination to unclench his iron fist: “Castro declared victory for the Cuban Revolution on Saturday in a wide-ranging speech, thanking President Obama for ‘a new chapter’ while also reaffirming that restored relations with the United States did not mean the end of Communist rule in Cuba.” Barack Obama’s idea of foreign policy usually leaves our foes with more flex in their muscles, and our new dialogue with Cuba will be no different. The Castros will be laughing all the way to the bank. It will be up to the new Congress to decide the level of capitulation.

For more, visit Right Hooks.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read The Heavy Price of Obama’s Race-Bait Rhetoric, on the two NYPD officers who paid with their lives.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Vermont Leads the Way

…in scrapping single-payer health care

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, announced that his state is tabling the idea of pursuing single-payer health care – a more pleasant term for socialized medicine – citing that it would be too big a burden for his state’s citizens and businesses to bear. It would have cost the small state $2 billion to pull off the leftist magic trick of providing “free” health care for all its inhabitants. The only way to pay for that would have been an 11.5% payroll tax on businesses and a hike on the income tax to 9.5%. Thank goodness for federalism.

Though Shumlin called the decision “the greatest disappointment of my political life so far,” he bitterly clings to hope. “Medicare took 31 years to become law,” he said, “Medicaid took 50 years to pass. Social Security took 25 years. Our time will come.” Not exactly great examples to cite, since those very same entitlements are driving state and federal budgets off a fiscal cliff.

Shumlin, a lifelong statist, is unashamed of his stance, despite the fact that he has not technically been elected to a new term. He beat Republican Scott Milne by just 2,095 votes out of nearly 200,000 cast in the November election. And Vermont law states that any race without a clear majority must be decided by the state legislature.

Vermont’s heavily Democrat state legislature is sure to re-elect its enfeebled incumbent governor, but that isn’t stopping Milne from proudly proclaiming the death of the single-payer initiative. “I said during the debates,” Milne told National Review Online, “The difference between Peter Shumlin and Scott Milne is that I will tell you before the election that single-payer is dead.”

In fact, Shumlin likely wouldn’t have won had he disclosed the cost of single-payer health care before Election Day.

Milne campaigned against single-payer insurance, saying it would bankrupt the tiny state. Despite its history of being a haven for just-this-side-of-socialist crackpot ideas, many Green Mountain State citizens were concerned about the hit to their wallets necessary to make single-payer a reality. For many, “free” health care just wasn’t worth the high price.

Shumlin’s other big plan of offering universal pre-K went down in defeat for the same reason. It seems that this governor likes to offer his citizens programs that sound rosy, but when it comes time to put pen to paper in the accounting department he gets a dose of reality.

Milne called out Shumlin not only for his unworkable single-payer plan, but also for spending precious state fiscal resources on research to implement the plan. Vermont paid some $400,000 alone to a certain MIT professor who professes expertise in health policy. Yes, that would be the infamous Jonathan Gruber.

The fact that Vermont couldn’t pull off single-payer health care doesn’t bode well for the great leftist experiment nationwide, though it certainly highlights the indispensable virtues of federalism. Not only has Socialist Bernie Sanders represented the state in the House and Senate since 1991, but the small state prides itself as the nation’s “workers paradise.” If Vermont can’t make this socialist dream happen, then who can?

Single-payer is simply not a workable option in the U.S., despite the best attempts of the Obama administration through ObamaCare. It’s less efficient and more expensive than private care, and we can thank Vermont for displaying that so clearly.

Military Not Impressed by Commander in Chief

Over the last six years of the Obama administration, the U.S. military has been forced to embrace significant policy changes that have amounted to nothing more than social engineering during a time of war. When a commander in chief and many members of Congress are more concerned with advancing the homosexual agenda and fighting the so-called “war on women” than they are with winning actual wars, there is sure to be dissent among the ranks.

A new Military Times survey of almost 2,300 active-duty service members finds just that. The Times reports, “Obama’s popularity – never high to begin with – has crumbled, falling from 35 percent in 2009 to just 15 percent this year, while his disapproval ratings have increased to 55 percent from 40 percent over that time.”

While the Military Times survey indicates there has been little upheaval and even increased support for these changes in policy – such as repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – it remains to be seen what the long-term implications will be. Some military personnel chose to leave the service early as a result of the changes, but many acquiesced, and it appears that these professionals just don’t care all that much about someone else’s gender disorientation pathology. The military is, after all, a reflection of the culture.

If the military is undeterred by the social policy changes (for now), then what is the cause for Obama’s plummeting approval rating? It’s his foreign policy – or rather lack thereof. As National Review’s John Fund writes, “Much of the opposition to Obama has come from military members who believe he has been an inconsistent and flawed leader in foreign policy – for example, his 2011 removal of all troops in Iraq helped lead to the rise of the Islamic State, which then required a new U.S. intervention in the region.”

We have pilloried Obama’s foreign policy malfeasance extensively, and the military has grown more and more disgusted with this president specifically and the government in general. Simply put, our men and women in uniform do not want to put their lives on the line for a commander in chief who is so inept and determined to merely end wars rather than win them.

With the rise of the Islamic State, and the growing threat of Islamic extremism worldwide, the uniformed men and women who serve this nation deserve a clear objective so they can accomplish what is asked of them. The president’s half-hearted Operation Inherent Resolve isn’t going to cut it.

It is also worth mentioning that our troops are just as dissatisfied with the dysfunction in Congress. As noted by the Military Times survey, service members pay attention to politics and their elected officials more so than their civilian counterparts, with turnout for midterm elections “about 8 percentage points above civilian rates.” In addition to (or perhaps because of) this phenomenon, both the Republican and Democrat parties are less popular.

In the 2014 midterm elections, 28% of military voters identified as independent, up from 22% in 2006. Libertarian military voters increased to 9% in 2014, up from 3% in 2006. Most of this shift occurred at the expense of the Republican Party, which saw its share of military voters plummet from 49% in 2006 to 32% in 2014. Democrat support remains stuck in single digits.

Duke University political science professor Peter Feaver, a former George W. Bush National Security Council adviser, notes, “The military follows national trends but lags and skews conservative. … The libertarians’ sensibility fits with some of the military’s profile more naturally, particularly the ‘don’t tread on me’ kind of mentality.”

Patriots in uniform largely want to be left alone to do their jobs. They are tired of the commander in chief pandering to our enemies, and they are tired of Washington politicizing every military conflict. Whatever happened to applying overwhelming force to decimate our enemies? Perhaps the newly elected Congress can help shape a brighter future for our military, and 2016 may bring a momentous change in the White House.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948): “The greatest lessons in life, if we would but stoop and humble ourselves, we would learn not from grown-up learned men, but from the so-called ignorant children.”

Columnist Arnold Ahlert: “[T]he overwhelming majority are well aware of the reality that it isn’t Tea Partiers or conservatives or anyone else on the American right manning the ramparts in search of ‘social justice’ that is neither social, nor just. The outpouring of hate and rationalization, with ample dollops of faux surprise that murderous rhetoric fuels murderous reality, emanates wholly from the left side of the American divide. And as I have maintained in a couple of previous columns, it is an appallingly bankrupt ideology on its last legs, as one ugly manifestation after another can no longer be excused or ignored. A nation of fundamentally decent people of every race, color, creed and gender is rapidly reaching the point of permanent alienation from those whose power, profit and prestige depend on keeping Americans as angry and divided as possible. And the shorter their time gets, the more transparent their wretchedness becomes. Their self-anointed aura of legitimacy has been irrevocably tarnished. ‘What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now!’ is a stone-cold loser.”

Columnist Thomas Sowell: “It is a painful irony that, on the eve of the murders of … two police officers in New York, some of the city’s police were already saying that, in the event of their deaths, they did not want Mayor Bill de Blasio to attend their funerals. … Mayor de Blasio has made anti-police comments with Al Sharpton seated at his side. … Make no mistake about it. There is political mileage to be made siding with demagogues like Al Sharpton who, as demagogue-in-chief, has been invited to the White House dozens of times by its commander-in-chief. … Let those who have laid a guilt trip on people in our times, for evils done by other people in past centuries, at least face their own responsibility for the evil consequences of their own notions and policies. If they won’t do it, then the rest of us need to stop listening gullibly to what they are saying. The race card is nothing to play with. It can ruin us all.”

Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “The U.S. is re-establishing relations with Cuba. But before President Obama can lift the embargo, it will need approval from the Republican-controlled Congress – or as Republicans who called Obama said, ‘Close, but no cigar.’”

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