White House Admits Goof in Snubbing Paris Rally + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Tue 01/13/2015 by


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“Power in any form … when directed only by human wisdom and benevolence is dangerous.” –John Adams, An Attempt to Land a Bishop in America, 1769


White House Admits Goof in Snubbing Paris Rally

What, the president spending the day watching football or John Kerry trying to proselytize climate skeptics in India while other world leaders showed their support for terrorist-hit France was expected to go over well with constituents? “In a rare admission, the White House [Monday] said it made a mistake in not sending a higher-level official to represent the U.S. at the unity rally in Paris on Sunday, in the wake of last week’s terror attacks,” reports ABC News. Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “I think it’s fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there.” He also explained the security issues that arise with a presidential visit, but the Secret Service says they weren’t even asked about it – not to mention other world leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (a Jew), seemed to manage just fine. Memo to the White House: Leading from behind is not leading. The fact it took an uproar to get that through Obama’s thick skull is quite telling. More…

What Terrorism? Kerry Still Obsessing Over ‘Climate Change’

It wasn’t enough for State Secretary John Kerry to miss a gathering of world leaders in Paris, France, over the weekend following last week’s jihadi attacks. Instead, Kerry wasted his breath spewing more nonsense on a phenomena that demands far less attention. “I am convinced … there is one enormous cloud hanging over all of us which requires responsibility from leaders,” Kerry bemoaned during a speech in Gujarat, India. And what is that cloud? Not Islamic terrorism, according to Kerry: “Global climate change is already violently affecting communities not just across India but around the world. It is disrupting commerce, development and economic growth. It’s costing farmers crops. It’s costing insurance companies unbelievable payouts. It’s raising the cost of doing business, and believe me, if it continues down the current trend-line, we will see climate refugees fighting each other for water and seeking food and new opportunity.” Let’s assume for argument’s sake climate change demands immediate attention. Muslim extremists are interested only in eradicating “infidels,” and frankly don’t care if the globe is warming or cooling. The fight for Liberty’s very existence apparently doesn’t warrant more concern from apologists like Kerry and his ilk. More…

ISIL Hijacks CENTCOM’s Social Media

A group by the name of CyberCaliphate, a hacking group waging cyber jihad against the West and says it’s aligned with ISIL, claimed responsibility for taking control of the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) Monday. For the 40 minutes they had control, CyberCaliphate posted the flag of ISIL, threatened U.S. soldiers and posted non-classified documents containing the names and addresses of senior military leaders. “CENTCOM’s operation military networks were not compromised and there was no operational impact to U.S. Central Command,” the military said in a statement. “CENTCOM will restore service to its Twitter and YouTube accounts as quickly as possible. We are viewing this purely as a case of cybervandalism.” Compared to hacking military servers, gaining control of a social media account is child’s play. But this hack is not just a prank. The lifeblood of ISIL’s social media strategy is spectacle. While this isn’t as shocking as a beheading, this is a victory for ISIL in the propaganda war. More…

UVA Frat Cleared of Rape Charge

The fraternity accused of gang rape in the grossly irresponsible fable Rolling Stone published in December has been cleared by the Charlottesville Police Department of wrongdoing and has been reinstated by the University of Virginia. It seems the fraternity will do anything to get out of the spotlight. In a statement released by the university, the president of UVA’s Phi Kappa Psi chapter, Stephen Scipione, said the fraternity is working with the university to help enact new measures to prevent what never happened at the fraternity to begin with. “In today’s 24-hour news cycle, we must guard against a rush to judgment as we often don’t have all of the facts in front of us,” he said, adding, “We believe that in the midst of this ordeal, there is an opportunity to move forward with important safety improvements. This has prompted us to take a closer look at ourselves and what role organizations like ours may play in this problem.” There you have it. A group of young men were nationally labeled as rapists, but as the police proved their innocence the leftist university president sees the group as champions for her new anti-rape rules. So where’s her apology? More…

New DC Mayor: I Hate Guns

Forget taxation without representation – for years, some residents of the District of Columbia have fought for the basic right to keep and bear arms. Former Mayor Vincent Gray long stonewalled against that basic right. Now, just as the courts have ordered the District to allow its citizens access to handguns, the new mayor has vowed to be as bad as or even worse than her predecessor. In her first week as mayor, Muriel Bower told a gathering at a District church, “You have a mayor who hates guns. If it was up to me, we wouldn’t have any handguns in the District of Columbia. I swear to protect the Constitution and what the courts say, but I will do it in the most restrictive way as possible.” According to The Washington Post, the mayor has bungled the city’s response to a snowstorm and went back on her word that DC would look to host the 2024 Olympics. The Second Amendment, however, is far more consequential. More…

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Income Redistribution Gets New Packaging

If you thought Democrats were going to change their class warfare strategy after being resoundingly rejected at the polls in November, think again. On Monday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), ranking member of the House Budget Committee, announced a proposal to address what leftists believe is the root cause of America’s economic malaise – income inequality.

The proposal, billed by The Washington Post as a “stark shift in messaging,” is an attempt to redistribute wealth from the rich to the middle class. Just how this represents a shift from previous leftist attempts to rewrite the laws of economics is unclear, but the details sound familiar enough.

The first step of Van Hollen’s proposal is a paycheck bonus tax credit worth $1,000 to individuals earning less than $100,000 and worth $2,000 for couples earning less than $200,000. This is a significant jump from Barack Obama’s “Make Work Pay” tax credit from the 2009 stimulus, which paid out $400 per worker.

Other elements of the proposal include raising the child care tax credit from $3,000 per person to $8,000, or $16,000 per couple. Workers who put away at least $500 per year toward retirement or other savings would receive an additional $250 saver’s bonus. There are also provisions to reduce marriage penalties for the working poor.

Democrats estimate these tax credits will “cost” the government more than $1 trillion over a decade, and, since they can never merely cut taxes for its own sake, Van Hollen plans to “pay for it” through a series of new fees and regulations aimed at the so-called one-percenters. Things like a new fee on high-dollar financial transactions, a 0.1% fee on stock trades and an end to a series of tax incentives on investments are just the beginning. Van Hollen’s plan would give the government the power to force employers to increase pay by prohibiting deductions for companies that offer executive performance benefits greater than $1 million. Companies would only be able to claim the deduction if workers’ wages were increased by 4%, which is estimated to be the rate of inflation and productivity growth.

Voters didn’t buy Democrats’ income inequality rhetoric in 2014, preferring to see economic growth rather than wage parity. And with a Republican-controlled Congress, this plan stands virtually zero chance of passing. So why bother?

Prepping for 2016, that’s why.

Democrats are hoping that this latest attempt to reframe income inequality as hindering economic growth will lay the groundwork for a theme sure to be central to Hillary Clinton’s (or Elizabeth Warren’s) presidential campaign: economic “fairness.” Class warfare is what Democrats know best, and since their fortunes in many other policy areas are falling they will likely focus their energies here.

“This is a plan to help tackle the challenge of our times,” Van Hollen told reporters Monday. “We want a growing economy that works for all Americans, not just the wealthy few.”

One problem is the assumption that economic growth is driven by consumer spending rather than investment. Respected economists say this is a backwards view. Investment is the seed of long-term growth. Capital invested in businesses leads to more production, which leads to hiring, which leads to wage growth, and then comes consumer spending.

James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute explains leftists’ unified theory of our economic state of affairs: “To be ‘pro-growth’ in their view doesn’t mean to raise America’s growth potential through investment and ideas – that might require, for instance, lowering the business tax burden – but instead through redistribution and spending.”

Seeing the world as they do, Democrats always double down on an incorrect and disproven view of economics. Instead, they will try to convince voters that they have a solution, dividing along class lines as they go.

The Next Big Lie: ‘Free’ Community College

The community organizer in chief has a plan to offer “free” community college. It’s a terrible idea and one that, as with every other federal program, isn’t free at all.

While the idea of “free” higher education may sound appealing to high school graduates, taxpayers will be on the hook for an almost surely underestimated $60 billion over 10 years. According to The Hill, “[T]he federal government would pay three quarters of tuition for students enrolled at least half-time who maintain a 2.5 GPA. States would be required to chip in the remainder of the cost – an additional $20 billion over the next 10 years. Full-time students would save an average of $3,800 per year.”

Barack Obama, while speaking lecturing at a community college in Knoxville, Tennessee – which is funded by the state’s lottery – tried to frame the issue as being fundamentally American and urged both parties to come together. He quipped, “If a state with Republican leadership is doing this, and a city with Democratic leadership is doing it, how about we all do it?” A better question is that if a state or a city is doing this, and it’s working (a debatable assertion), then why does this president want to ruin it by nationalizing it?

Has the former constitutional professor never heard of federalism?

According to The Wall Street Journal, Obama’s latest entitlement proposal “comes under the pretext of improving America’s workforce.” Given the federal government’s horrible track record of involvement in K-12 education, will two more years of free taxpayer-funded education really improve the workforce? And why not free four-year degrees from prestigious universities? Moreover, how would the requirement for a minimum grade point average of 2.5 lead to an improved workforce? Last we checked, that GPA wasn’t exactly stellar. Perhaps he means to supply more workers, but in his stagnant economy jobs still aren’t plentiful.

The Obama proposal will require community colleges to meet certain standards. The Journal notes, “To be eligible, community colleges would have to offer academic credits that transfer to four-year colleges or occupational programs that produce high graduation rates and degrees in demand by employers.” Further, colleges will also be required to “adopt promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes,” such as paying for books and transit costs.

On the surface, the eligibility requirements for both student and school may look like sound policy. But what happens if a student or community college becomes ineligible? As National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke asserts, “Does anybody believe for a single second that the federal government would kick anybody off of this program?”

Given that the federal government in general has a dismal record of enforcing rules, and with this president specifically refusing to uphold existing laws (immigration, Defense of Marriage Act, etc.) or changing laws when he sees fit (ObamaCare, etc.), are we to believe that this proposal will be any different? Besides, what heartless and uncaring soul would dare deny anyone the opportunity to go to college?

Rest assured this idea of “free” community college will be a partisan issue as Obama and his educrats paint the GOP as being the party of oppression. But Obama’s proposal runs contrary to the principles of Liberty.

He firmly believes that taxing some Americans to redistribute that wealth to other Americans will benefit the entire nation. And he argues that giving everyone the equal opportunity to go to community college will result in an equal outcome. All for an issue on which the Constitution grants no authority to the federal government.

When higher education is paid for by the individual, or help from family, there is an inherent value placed on getting that education. Yes, it can be expensive. But with the numerous avenues for financial aid, it is very feasible for most Americans who want to go to college to do so.

This proposal needs to be left in the hands of each sovereign state, not dictated by an overreaching federal government. No doubt it’s just part of Obama’s agenda to continue fundamentally transforming the nation, and Congress would be wise to not even consider it.

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Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906): “One of the qualities of liberty is that, as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding. Therefore, the man who stands in the midst of the struggle and says, ‘I have it,’ merely shows by doing so that he has just lost it.”

Columnist Dennis Prager: “Why do Western media … always deferentially refer to Muhammad as ‘the Prophet Muhammad’ in news articles and opinion pieces? When Jesus is mentioned, the media never refer to him as ‘Christ, the Lord’ or as ‘the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.’ Just ‘Jesus.’ In fact, ‘A.D.’ (‘anno Domini’ – ‘year of our Lord’) has been completely dropped by the very academics and media who always write ‘The Prophet Muhammad.’ … Before 9/11, the phrase ‘Allahu Akbar’ was translated as ‘Allah is great’ (or ‘the greatest’). Since 9/11, it has been translated as ‘God is great.’ This was deliberate. In 2004, the influential Associated Press Stylebook announced: ‘A new entry has been added to the AP Stylebook: Allah. The Muslim name for God. The word God should be used.’ … Whatever theological side one takes, the fact remains that after 9/11 Allah became ‘God’ in the Western world – in order to essentially show how similar Islam is to Judaism and Christianity. … Here’s the ultimate irony. These PC professors and news media who treat Islam so much better than any other religion are literally Islamophobic. They truly fear Islam.”

Economist Stephen Moore: “Every penny increase in the gas tax will take about $1 billion out of the wallets of consumers. So a 10-cent or 20-cent gas tax will take about $10 billion to $20 billion from consumers. … [Tenn. Senator Bob] Corker is right that America needs more roads and needs to fix the ones we have to reduce congestion and potholes. But this isn’t because the 18.4-cents-a-gallon gas tax raises too little money – $34 billion a year should be plenty and infrastructure spending is near an all-time high. The ‘stealing’ that is going on is from the trust fund. Congress siphons tax dollars away from roads to worthless mass transit systems with tiny ridership. Why should motorists see their gas tax dollars go to transit projects they don’t use? If Washington would simply devote all gas tax dollars to roads, we wouldn’t need a tax hike. … This won’t create jobs, it will destroy them in the oil patches in America. But maybe that’s the point. Even as the politicians in Washington crow about lower gas prices, they continue to do all they can to keep them high. Remember that next time you pull up to the pump.”

Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “The Muslim world is full of inexcusable violence, but the contention is we’re the unlucky ones who get the violence that has logic to it. 12 people get gunned down over there, that’s just mindless violence. If it’s over here, then suddenly there’s logic to it.”

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