Leftmedia Self-Censors to Appease Violent Islamists + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Thu 01/15/2015 by


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“Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both.” –James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791


Leftmedia Self-Censors to Appease Violent Islamists

The Leftmedia’s resolve to uphold the freedom of speech buckled this week as, one by one, television news stations reported on the latest Charlie Hebdo edition featuring a weeping Muhammad but did not show the cover. (We haven’t shown the cover for the simple reason that it’s lousy and even phallic.) NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” told its viewers what to think of the image that they didn’t show, describing the front page as “a triumph for free speech.” SkyNews went so far as to reprimand a writer for Charlie Hebdo when she tried to show the image during a live interview. As she held up the paper, the station cut away and the anchor said, “We at SkyNews have chosen not to show that cover, so we’d appreciate it, Caroline, not showing that.” He continued, “I do apologize, for any of our viewers who may have been offended by that.” CNN digressed even further when its religion editor, Daniel Burke, compared the Muslim communities in France to the community in Ferguson, Missouri. “There is a prevailing feeling in France among many Muslims that they are not treated as part of the state at large,” Burke complained. Pandering to violent extremism is only one sign that our culture’s moral fortitude has begun to decay.

White House Proposes Methane Regs

Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency spent most of its first six years targeting CO2 emissions. In a move clearly intended to snarl the energy sector, the White House this week formally proposed methane gas regulations, reports The Washington Times: “Obama on Wednesday put forth long-awaited regulations on methane emissions, setting an ambitious goal of reducing those emissions by 45 percent over the next decade and again drawing the ire of many in the energy industry.” There’s no denying that methane, a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing – the technique often used to extract oil or natural gas from the earth – is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. But as we wrote last month, years before the natural gas boom, environmentalists heralded natural gas as the solution to America’s energy problems. It’s cleaner than oil, it’s plentiful and it’s easy to reach. But now that we are actually harvesting more energy, the environmental lobby wants to shut it down. Moreover, a recent study revealed that there are few methane leaks from fracking. If you’re looking to point a finger, much of the blame lies with, yes, cows passing gas. What are Democrats going to come up with next? A plan to regulate nature? Oh, wait…

Cost of Government Regulations Predicted to Rise

According to Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, government regulation will cost Americans $1.882 trillion in 2015. Now that Obama has ushered in the era of the imperial presidency, much of this cost will be hidden in executive orders and rule-making. “Regulations plus interventions, bans, gov’t-steering-while-the-market-rows and the like may have impacts greater than government spending, but it is not monitored and disclosed like government spending, and accountability is abysmal,” writes Crews. “Unmeasured costs, and in particular, ‘regulatory dark matter,’ the ‘costs of benefits’ and citizens’ loss of liberty imply that if we’re missing regulation, we are missing the biggest part of government’s role in the economy, perhaps society itself.” At least we have low gas prices – until some lawmaker decides he or she thinks the American people can afford a higher gas tax. More…

Bill de Blasio Forgets Definition of Citizen

Ever since last February, disgraced New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been trying to make the Big Apple welcoming to immigrants – regardless of legal status. Now, he’s giving out rights a mayor has no power to grant. NPR writes, “New Yorkers 14 and older can now join the largest municipal identification program in the country. De Blasio said renting an apartment, opening a bank account and entering a school building will now be easier for the city’s estimated half-million unauthorized immigrants. ‘We don’t want any of our fellow New Yorkers to feel like second-class citizens. We don’t want them to feel left out,’ he said.” Wait… Illegals are second-class citizens? It must be hard for them come voting season. Using de Blasio’s logic, we’re rude if we don’t let people who disrespect our laws determine the course of the country. More…

Marines Capture Would-Be Robber Without Messing Up Uniforms

Three Marines foiled an attempted robbery that happened outside a Washington state recruiting office Jan. 6, detaining one perpetrator – without even ruining the blue dress uniforms they were wearing. A 60-year-old woman was getting into her truck when two men approached her, told her she was being robbed and that they had a gun. The woman replied that she was an ex cop and put up a fight. The suspects fled, but not before the commotion attracted the attention of Staff Sgt. Bryson Twigg, Sgt. Ricardo Schebesta and Staff Sgt. Ben Shoemaker inside the nearby Lynnwood recruiting office. The three tore after the suspects. “That kid was never going to outrun me,” Shoemaker told KIRO-TV. “Marines run towards the sound of chaos.” Shoemaker, who faced combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, told the New York Daily News he didn’t care if the suspects had a gun. “I’ve been shot at before. It’s not as bad as everyone thinks. Most people miss.” When he caught up with Diego Tavares, 19, Shoemaker wasn’t about to tackle him. “I was wearing my dress blues. I was not going to the ground,” he said. Instead, he placed Tavares in an arm bar until the police could arrive. Later, police would discover that Tavares was armed with a baseball bat he hid inside his pants. Another reason to be thankful for the few and the proud. Semper Fi! More…

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Will GOP Fight Amnesty?

Following in the footsteps of John Kerry’s famous “I was for it before I was against it” approach to governing, House Republicans voted Wednesday to defund Barack Obama’s amnesty plan – that is, after they voted in December to fund it.

Lacking the anatomical necessities required to take a stand against the president’s abuse of the executive office, Republican leadership last year opted to support Obama’s amnesty plan through the “CRomnibus” bill that funded through Feb. 27 the Department of Homeland Security – the agency responsible for carrying out Obama’s immigration action. They justified the vote with the promise that, come this year, they’d vote to defund amnesty. Forever the optimists, they apparently believed Santa would bring them their long-lost backbone for Christmas.

With February looming, Republican leadership has decided to drum up some courage and vote to halt the egregious executive overreach. And they’re serious this time. No, really. Honest. Sort of. Well, maybe. Okay, maybe not so much.

By a vote of 236-191, with 10 Republicans voting nay and two Democrats yea, the House passed a bill funding DHS through September while cutting off money for Obama’s executive actions, which effectively granted amnesty to five million illegal aliens.

Addressing the lower chamber, House Speaker John Boehner said, “Today I rise, and the House rises, to support and defend our Constitution. … This executive overreach is an affront to the Rule of Law and to the Constitution itself. … [W]hat we are dealing with is a president who has ignored the people, has ignored the Constitution, and even his own past statements. … Enough is enough. By their votes last November, the people made clear they want more accountability from this president. And by our votes here today, we will heed their will, and we will keep our oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”

Boehner pointed to at least 22 instances when the president himself stated he did not have the authority to act unilaterally. Indeed, on one occasion Obama explained, “I am not a dictator. I’m the president. … If in fact I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress then I would do so. … I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.” If by “execute” he means kill, dismember and bury existing laws in order to make up his own, he’s spot on.

Unfortunately, the House passage of the bill may turn out to be little more than symbolic. Senate Republican votes aren’t guaranteed, and, if it comes right down to fighting a promised presidential veto or funding DHS without defunding amnesty, even Republican border security stalwarts may buckle. For example, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama said, “We need to fund DHS. I think that’s high ground.”

Mark Krikorian of National Review notes, “[T]he way we’ll know how serious Mitch McConnell is about trying to curb Obama’s lawlessness is whether he starts work on the bill right away or he sits on it, running out the clock on DHS funding to try to force conservatives[s] to capitulate.”

How serious is the Senate majority leader? McConnell said the Senate will focus on the bill in February – still weeks away – which hardly inspires confidence in the GOP establishment’s commitment to counter the president’s disdain for the Constitution.

Meanwhile, as the Senate waits, Democrats are practicing their talking points – specifically noting the optics of defunding DHS after the jihadi attacks in Paris. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that after the “horrible, horrible terrorist attack took place in Paris … [y]ou’d think it would have heightened the urgency to pass a homeland security bill, but the Republicans still say no to passing a clean bill unless they can be a menace to immigration.”

And White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest lectured, “House Republicans … are mucking around with DHS funding just weeks before the funding deadline. … [T]here’s never a good time to muck around with the funding of the Department of Homeland Security, but given the events of the last week this seems like a particularly bad time to do so.” The Paris attacks didn’t warrant a presidential visit, but they’re fair game for his party’s political spin – including Earnest’s laughably backward charge that Republicans’ plan is “essentially a vote for amnesty.”

Given that the Senate appears poised to do nothing in the immediate future, you can be sure that Democrats will use the next several weeks to perfect this spin.

A Bolt of Enlightening

One might think that with the phenomenal “success” of the Chevrolet Volt gas-electric car – for the record, that’s sarcasm – we wouldn’t see another General Motors (GM) foray into the quicksand of failed eco-car ventures for quite some time. Unfortunately, in the Kafka-esque world wrought by Barack Obama, one would be wrong.

The perverse system of incentives and penalties set up by the economic rubes within the current regime is simply too strong for automakers to ignore. Witness GM’s buffoonerific redux of its electric Edsel, the Volt, recast with a new, totally-thinking-out-of-the-box name, the … … “Bolt.” Yeah. That’s what we thought, too.

To be sure, the Bolt promises to deliver a 200-mile-per-charge range, considerably better than the anemic 38-mile range of its impotent older brother. But at a time when gas prices have plummeted, putting another government-subsidized (to the tune of $7,500 per vehicle) eco-pipedream on the road doesn’t seem to make sense – or does it? We’ve lamented on numerous occasions this administration’s willful disregard of economic reality in lieu of Pollyanna visions of zero-fuel-emission tomorrows and social-engineering agendas. This mindset is what brought GM to its knees before Obama’s $10 billion auto industry bailout, resulting in its cynical renaming by the public as “Government Motors.” But it gets worse: This delusion is also the reason domestic auto companies like GM produce things like the Volt and its progeny in the first place.

Let’s review: The reason GM created the Volt was to help reach absurd federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for automobiles sold in the U.S. Team Audacity, leveraging its recycled “save-the-planet” politics, then upped the ante, mandating a thermodynamic-law-defying 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) fleet average. (That number is based on zero scientific or engineering support, according to an in-depth congressional investigation on the subject.) The full force and effect of that mandate is conveniently set to trigger in 2017, after the man inflicting that damage has conveniently jumped ship from the smoldering remains of the executive branch. He and his cronies can then point fingers at follow-on administration officials for having abandoned such “worthy” – and utterly unreachable – goals.

Meanwhile, automakers earn “credits” to offset this other-worldly mpg target to the extent they produce electric vehicles (EVs) that lower overall mpg values per manufacturer. Hence, the Dolt – er, Bolt EV. Markets will respond to incentives, no matter how skewed the outcomes or how loaded the dice. In this case, those dice have been loaded by central planners promising a “better tomorrow” – the same ones who somehow always manage to escape accountability for yesterday’s abject failures or today’s stark realities.

Setting aside the abysmal failure of the Volt and its ilk, the more fundamental, chronic, systemic failure is that of this administration to acknowledge the reality of Economics 101. Witness, for example, that while Obama postured and preened even as he bad-mouthed Republicans’ “drill, baby, drill” game plan gas prices roughly halved overnight thanks to drilling. His response? Why, taking credit for the incredible drop, of course!

“America is the number one producer of oil, the number one producer of gas,” Obama boasted. “That’s helping to save drivers about $1.10 a gallon at the pump over this time last year.”

Never mind that oil production on government-controlled land dropped 16% since 2009, or that private production increased 61% over the same period – facts are irrelevant when you have a great smile, after all. No, the “important” takeaway was that the Obama administration brought cheaper gas prices to the pump through its standard acts of miracle-working and hand-waving.

Notwithstanding these charlatans, in a better world, the free market itself would establish how many SUVs, sport cars, EVs and the like would compose the U.S. auto market, and what the value of each auto would be. Unfortunately, we do not yet live in such a world, and will not until at least 2017. In any case, as long as the American public can be snowed by such thinly cloaked, self-serving political posers as Obama, we will continue to get what we deserve: Talking heads instead of true leaders.

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French philosopher Henri-Louis Bergson (1859-1941): “Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.”

Columnist George Will: “[Barack Obama] said [Keystone] would create ‘a couple thousand’ jobs (the State Department study says approximately 42,100 ‘direct, indirect, and induced’) and said, unintelligibly, ‘those are temporary jobs until the construction actually happens.’ Well. Obama revealed his economic sophistication years ago when he said that ATMs and airport ticket kiosks cost jobs. He does not understand that, outside of government, which is all that he knows or respects, all jobs are ‘temporary.’ John Tamny, editor of RealClearMarkets and an editor of Forbes, notes that Borders had 10,700 employees and 399 bookstores until it had none of either, thanks in part to Amazon, whose 150,000 employees have probably participated in enough creative destruction to know that permanence is a chimera. Blockbuster … had 60,000 employees and more than 9,000 stores until rivals such as Netflix appeared. To oppose the pipeline is to favor more oil being transported by trains, which have significant carbon footprints, and accidents. To do this in the name of environmental fastidiousness is hilarious. America has more than 2 million miles of natural gas pipelines and approximately 175,000 miles of pipelines carrying hazardous liquids, yet we are exhorted to be frightened about 1,179 miles of Keystone?”

Columnist Terence Jeffrey: “[W]hat does the Islamic State of the 21st century have in common with the Communists of the 20th? Communism and the radical Islamist vision of the Islamic State are both ideologies that seek to re-order the entire world from the top down – using the force of unrestrained government to tell us how we must live. Communism and the radical Islamist vision of the Islamic State both work in opposition to the natural God-given law that is the foundation of Western Civilization and the only true bulwark of human freedom. As a consequence, Communism and the Islamic State deny freedom of speech and freedom of conscience and violate the right to life itself. As with the defeat of Communism, the defeat of the radical Islamist vision begins with the simplest of acts: speaking truth about it.”

Comedian Conan O’Brien: “A congressman from Texas sent out a tweet comparing President Obama to Hitler. That is ridiculous because at this point in his career Hitler had a much higher approval rating.”

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