Obama Celebrates Auto Bailout at Idle Factory + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Thu 01/08/2015 by

0


The Patriot Post ~

THE FOUNDATION

“But if we are to be told by a foreign power … what we shall do, and what we shall not do, we have Independence yet to seek, and have contended hitherto for very little.” –George Washington, letter to Alexander Hamilton, 1796

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Celebrates Auto Bailout at Idle Factory

Barack Obama celebrated his economic policies before 700 Ford employees Wednesday by congratulating himself for bailing out the auto industry in 2009. “There is no doubt thanks to the steps we took early on to rescue our economy,” the president said. “America is coming back. The facts are the facts.” But Investor’s Business Daily had some inconvenient facts Obama overlooked. The company that got America on the road with the Model T didn’t take the government’s handout, though it still took a loan to comply with the government’s onerous regulations telling it what kind of cars to make. The bailout was a carrot to entice the auto industry to agree to average fuel economy standards of 54.5 miles per gallon – a standard IBD says that can only be met if automakers turn to hybrid, electric and compact cars. IBD writes, “The problem is that consumers have never been very interested in these kinds of cars, which is evidenced by the fact the plant will be idle when Obama visits. Slumping sales of the Focus and C-Max Hybrid models caused the plant to stop production for three weeks.” Obama took a victory lap on his economic policies when behind him, an idle auto plant blasted his arguments. More…

Fire Chief Sacked Over Christian Book

The Atlanta fire chief suspended for self-publishing a book that, in part, decried homosexuality has been fired by the city’s mayor, Kasim Reed. Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran wrote “Who Told You That You Are Naked?” in 2013 as a way to explain his faith – that men can be clothed with Christ. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, “The mayor said he decided to terminate Cochran not just because the fire chief didn’t consult him before publishing the book, but also spoke out about his suspension despite being told to remain quiet during the investigation into his leadership. What’s more, Reed said he believes Cochran opened up the city to the potential for litigation over future discrimination claims.” The fire chief’s personal beliefs didn’t align with the mayor’s office, so the “tolerant” leftist fired him. Imagine how Cochran would have been treated if he was a supporter of homosexuality, attending rallies and speaking out. Probably, the mayor of Atlanta would have lauded him. More…

GLAAD Condemns Lifestyle Choice of Mormon Families

So much for the pro-LGBT lobby group GLAAD sticking to its advice of living life however you please. The group is protesting a new TLC reality TV show called “My Husband’s Not Gay,” a show that follows the lives of several Mormon families where the husbands say they’re battling same-sex attraction. GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis blasted the show, saying, “This show is downright irresponsible. No one can change who they love, and, more importantly, no one should have to. By investing in this dangerous programming, TLC is putting countless young LGBT people in harm’s way.” The intolerant leftists even put together a petition asking TLC to not air the show. But the families featured in the show made a decision about the best way to live their lives – and GLAAD is condemning their decisions in a striking display of intolerance. More…

Al Sharpton Responds to Shakedown Allegations

A phone conversation between Al Sharpton and a reporter from the Daily Caller unfolded about how you’d expect. According to the Daily Caller, the race hustler hung up on the reporter once, shouted and asked to record the conversation to later lampoon the conservative news site on his MSNBC television show (and the request was honorably granted). Two days ago, the New York Post published an article describing how Sharpton has threatened companies, telling them to pay him money or he would launch boycotts against them. Sharpton told the Daily Caller that he doesn’t understand why the Post would go after him … because the company that owns the Post has given money to him in the past (as if that should affect the decisions between the two Post reporters and their editors). Sharpton told the Daily Caller reporter, “I am not prepared to do anything but to say that Rupert Murdoch has given, through News Corp, money to us and that we’re on the board, on their, have been on their diversity board. I am going to force you to use the quote I give you because that is the only quote I am giving you.” In trying to discredit the story, Sharpton further illustrates how far he has gone. More…

EPA Punts Major Emissions Rule

Just one day before its Jan. 8 deadline, the Environmental Protection Agency delayed its highly anticipated rule that will require a significant reduction in fossil fuels emitted by new coal-fired plants. The purpose, they claim, is to wed the release with other rules scheduled for later this year. “[T]he Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it would wait until midsummer, and issue the new power plant rules with a separate regulation aimed at cutting the pollution blamed for global warming from the existing coal-fired power fleet,” the Associated Press reported. EPA Air and Radiation Administrator Janet McCabe remarked, “This is all about the best policy outcome, and the appropriate policy outcome. That is what we are talking about here, and that is why we think it is important to finalize these rules in the same time frame.” Actually, there’s a better explanation. With Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress threatening to overhaul the EPA, Democrats are waiting for NOAA’s forthcoming announcement that 2014 was the “hottest year ever,” which will provide Democrats with much-needed leverage. We need to “do something”! But Republicans are being obstructionists! The same strategy will be employed at the pivotal UN climate assembly later this year. It’s quite clever, really. Unfortunately, it doesn’t bode well for Liberty.

For more, visit Right Hooks.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Obama’s Ratings Rising, on how the president is taking advantage of rising GDP and falling gas prices.

If you’d like to receive Alexander’s Column by email, update your subscription here.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

The Real Islamic Threat

Two weeks after terrorists killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stephens and three other Americans in Benghazi in September 2012, Barack Obama announced to the UN, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

The Religion of Peace™ took his advice Wednesday in Paris, as jihadis killed 12 people for daring to “slander the prophet of Islam.”

Two of the victims were police officers (one of whom was wounded and then executed), and 10 were journalists (including the editor-in-chief) for the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which was firebombed in 2011 for printing cartoons of Muhammad. Charlie Hebdo recovered from that terrorism and published a few more cartoons skewering Muhammad and, more recently, the Islamic State. ISIL filled the terror vacuum in the Middle East after Obama claimed victory against al-Qaida ahead of his 2012 re-election bid.

Three masked men perpetrated the well-planned attack with Kalashnikov rifles and other small arms – perhaps either a rocket or grenade launcher. They reportedly knocked on office doors asking by name for individuals who had created certain offensive cartoons. In a clip aired on French television, the attackers were recorded shouting, “We have killed Charlie Hebdo. We have avenged the Prophet Mohammad.”

The jihadis escaped after the attack – quite a different ending from most such killing sprees. One turned himself in to police; the other two are still at large.

The men told the journalist they forced to let them in the building that they were from al-Qaida. Meanwhile, ISIL supporters praised the attack.

Not surprisingly, however, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest initially declined to call it terrorism: “[T]his is an act of violence that we certainly do condemn. And, you know, if based on this investigation it turns out to be an act of terrorism then we would condemn that in the strongest possible terms, too.” He also once again referred to Islam as a “Religion of Peace™.”

And the White House issued a statement condemning the attacks while not mentioning the words Islam, Muslim or jihad.

Former DNC Chief Howard Dean flat out denied Islam’s culpability: “I stopped calling these people Muslim terrorists. They’re about as Muslim as I am. I mean, they have no respect for anybody else’s life. That’s not what the Koran says. … I think ISIS is a cult. Not an Islamic cult. I think it’s a cult.”

Meanwhile, numerous media outlets cowered in fear, refusing to show the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, blurring them out if images were shown at all. By contrast, the Associated Press and other outlets had no problem showing the “piss Christ” “art” some years ago.

Not cowering, however, was cartoonist and Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier, who was killed Wednesday. In 2012, he said, “I prefer to die standing than living on my knees.”

The Obama administration clearly would rather kneel, or at least bow. Yes, Secretary of State John Kerry declared the murdered French journalists “martyrs for liberty,” and said we “wield something that is far more powerful” than the weapons the jihadis used. But, again, it was his boss who said, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

Ironically, in 2012, Obama was condemning an obscure Internet video defaming Muhammad, which his administration blamed ahead of the 2012 presidential election for the al-Qaida attack on Benghazi. Obama’s campaign was built on having defeated al-Qaida. And not only did he criticize free speech, U.S. taxpayers footed the bill for ads in Pakistan condemning the video.

Not only will Obama not stand for such “slander,” but he has been regularly releasing terrorist leaders from Gitmo, who historically just return to their deadly trade.

While there was much media handwringing about freedom of speech after North Korea compelled Sony to censor a satirical movie, the real threats to free speech are Islamist terrorists. For example, instead of firing off a nasty letter to the editor, the Paris jihadis brutally murdered Charlie Hebdo employees.

Also noteworthy is that the police who initially responded to the attack were, incredibly, unarmed and quickly fled. Indeed, given all the videos that were shot of this attack, it’s too bad that Paris is a gun free zone – instead of shooting videos, someone could have been returning fire.

Furthermore, the French have allowed this Islamist menace to fester in their country for years. In fact, one of the men was a known and convicted terrorist. Now they are paying the price, and make no mistake, this menace is also festering in our homeland. Islamists, like Nidal Malik Hasan, who killed 14 people (including an unborn child) and wounded 30 others at Fort Hood, will continue to strike with increasing frequency. See also the attacks in Boston, Australia and Canada.

While the media refers to these deadly assaults as “lone wolf attacks,” there are no such thing. Nor is there a “homegrown” Western threat. All these actors are part of an ideological Islamist web that is not Western. (Anyone for terrorist profiling?)

All the Children Left Behind

Bush signing Kennedy’s bill

As millions of students returned to school this week after Christmas break – pardon, “winter holiday” – 535 children legislators convened in Washington to determine, among other things, whether they will allow to continue unchecked the steep deterioration of America’s educational system.

No Child Left Behind, the behemoth federal legislation that’s left not simply one child but an entire generation behind, may be approaching its day of reckoning. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Rep. John Kline (R-MN), chairs of their respective chambers’ education committees, are preparing an overhaul of the legislation that would divest the federal government of much of its control over education – control our Constitution never authorized Washington to have in the first place.

Signed into law in 2002, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was the successor to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), first passed as part of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.” Easily the most far-reaching federal legislation affecting education, ESEA, in its initial form, was 32 pages long, included five titles and provided about $1 billion in federal education funding. Thanks to the growth of federal mandates, programs and general bureaucracy, in fiscal year 2014, funding for NCLB surpassed $25 billion. This, of course, is only a fraction of the more than $130 billion the federal government spends on elementary, secondary and higher education.

The late Ted Kennedy, NCLB’s initial sponsor, once complained, “The tragedy is that these long overdue reforms are finally in place, but the funds are not.” Wrong. Even as education funding skyrocketed over the years, so-called reforms failed to improve education for America’s children. Naturally, the Left’s response is always more money, more regulation and more federal control. Considering the smashing success of Common Core in its nascent years, however, more people are beginning to question whether little Susie really should be learning math according to Washington bureaucrats.

Not surprisingly, the prospect of disentangling federal tentacles from education is an ambitious one. Still, several proposals on the table are not only viable but also quite likely to yield real improvement in the quality of education available to children.

For starters, federal education funding has become so tied to federal mandates that local – and parental – control over education has all but disappeared. To remedy this, the Heritage Foundation notes, “[P]olicymakers should enable states to completely opt out of the programs that fall under No Child Left Behind.” Instead states should be able to “consolidate their federal education funds and use them for any lawful education purpose they deem beneficial.” Such an opt-out option would return a significant portion of educational control to states and local school districts, a fierce contrast to unelected Beltway bureaucrats playing educational puppet masters.

It’s called federalism. The nation should try it.

Similarly, reform should address bureaucratic mandates that hide behind the face of supposed accountability – for example, Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements. Like many federal programs, AYP requirements sound good on the surface, but in actuality their effects are detrimental. As the Washington Examiner notes, “The longer a school fails to make adequate yearly progress, the more dramatic its required restructuring. Schools can even be taken over by the state or face mass replacements of school staff.” (As if this is the sure way to scholastic excellence.) Certainly, measuring student progress can be beneficial, but the federal government’s dictating such measurements and issuing penalties for failing to make the grade has clearly failed.

Additionally, as proponents of true education reform have long said, any legislation truly aiming to provide students the opportunity for the best education possible will allow families to choose public, private, parochial or charter schools. So, to the horror of teachers unions everywhere, a meaningful overhaul of federal education legislation must allow for funding portability, in which dollars follow the child instead of being used to hold children hostage in failing schools.

Of course, for those who (rightly) argue that the federal government has no constitutionally authorized role in education at all, a more appealing option would be for states not simply to opt-out of federal programs and “consolidate” federal education funds but for them not to send these funds to Washington in the first place.

It’s a battle whose outcome is far from determined, as powerful teachers unions have a reckless president and his pen on their side. But if ever Congress has a chance to do something that not only helps restore a bit of our constitutional order but also supports true educational opportunity for America’s youth, it’s now.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626): “If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”

AEI scholar Michael Rubin: “Satire and ridicule are like carnival caricatures. They may exaggerate, but they strike a chord because their basis in fact resonates with a wide audience. Such is the case also with satire. Islamists cannot handle free thinking at the best of times, but ridicule is their kryptonite, for it shows that the would-be caliphs have no clothes. Free speech can be a powerful tool, and so Western liberals should rally around Charlie Hebdo. To suggest that the satirical outlet brought violence upon itself is to suggest women wearing bikinis invite rape. Do not blame the victims, but rather the perpetrators. Recognize that free speech is under assault, and that it is a value worth protecting. Let us hope that no government or publisher responds to today’s violence with self-censorship, as some commentators and journalists have counseled under similar circumstances. If they do, the Islamists have won and all man’s progress since the Enlightenment is at peril.”

Historian Victor Davis Hanson: “In contemporary straitjacket Democratic orthodoxy, there is no concession that a white male mechanic could face more economic difficulty than a Latina journalist, African-American federal employee or Asian dentist. Lockstep obedience to the mantras of diversity, affirmative action and preferential hiring does not allow that race can be increasingly divorced from class. Moreover, race is not always either absolute or easily definable. Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has to emphasize that he is Latino. Otherwise, based on his name, appearance and speech, he appears to be just another successful grandee of unknown lineage. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren can cynically claim to be Native American – with all the perks that such lineage entails. … For a liberal, when the poor waste money on $300 Air Jordans, such spending should not be criticized. But for the middle class to supposedly squander cash on a shotgun or Jet Ski is gauche. If an undocumented immigrant has seven children, it is not declared to be unwise family planning with the same disdain shown a Mormon blue-collar roofer with a comparably large family. … Democrats’ problem is that the working classes are large and know that they no longer fit into what liberalism has become.”

Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “The thing about speech is that no matter how ‘offensive’ it is, it’s entirely within the individual’s power to choose how to react to it. Like most Americans, I haven’t actually studied Islam enough to know whether it promotes violence or not. One problem is there’s a very large portion of the world where a death sentence for blasphemy and apostasy is considered normal.”

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.

Read more excellent articles at The Patriot Post