Obama’s SOTU Oil Slick + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Wed 01/21/2015 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason.” –Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1735

EDITOR’S NOTE

If you’re like most Americans, you didn’t sit through another round of Obama’s statist State of the Union rhetoric. So Mark Alexander did the dirty work for you. Don’t miss his succinct analysis of the more egregious deceptions from the teleprompters – 2015 SOTU: “Mission Accomplished – I’m Just Awesome!”

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Obama’s SOTU Oil Slick

The oil boom blindsided Barack Obama. In his 2012 re-election campaign, the president said the adage “Drill, baby, drill” would never bring about $2 gas. So when he described America’s oil boom, he couched the success of the free market in leftist terms. “We believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and protect our planet,” Obama crowed during last night’s State of the Union. “And today, America is number one in oil and gas. America is number one in wind power. Every three weeks, we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008. And thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save $750 at the pump.” Obama’s green energy has not propelled Americans down the roads, and it won’t unless the government massively manipulates the markets. Despite oil production on federal land being stifled 16%, the federal government snatching up tracts of land, and an Environmental Protection Agency hostile to conventional sources of energy, America’s oil production continues to grow in the private sector. In spite of Obama trying to orchestrate his “middle-class economy,” free enterprise brought a true benefit to the American people.

Who Can Fathom the Depths of ObamaCare Tax Filing?

Perhaps H&R Block is just calling it as it is, or perhaps it’s getting an early start on advertising for business, but the nation’s largest tax preparation service is warning people that ObamaCare has made the already complex tax code incomprehensible. “Now that the Affordable Care Act has made health care a tax issue, no one can understand it,” H&R Block says in a video on its specially dedicated ObamaCare web page. ObamaCare rules that take effect for this tax filing season amount to “the biggest tax code change in the last 20 years.” Now that individuals have been enrolled in ObamaCare for the first time, subsidies – based on income – play a role in tax filing. Some estimates put the number of people who will be forced to repay those subsidies at over three million. Other taxpayers will receive smaller refunds after their penalty tax is confiscated. According to The Daily Caller, “Penalties for non-compliance with Obamacare have tripled since 2013, from $95 to an average of $301.” In short, it’s going to be a painful tax season, because, if you like your refund, you can’t have all of it. More…

Health Care Website Shares Information With Web Marketers

The “Affordable” Care Act demands not only more money, but people’s privacy. It’s not exactly clear why Healthcare.gov needs to share sensitive health information it has trolled from millions of users with web marketing companies. While the government told the Associated Press the web marketers analyze the data to “improve the customer experience,” there is little information about what is shared and how it is used. The AP reports, “[I]t can include age, income, ZIP code, whether a person smokes, and if a person is pregnant. It can include a computer’s Internet address, which can identify a person’s name or address when combined with other information collected by sophisticated online marketing or advertising firms.” According to Peter Suderman at Reason the health care website has had a dismal record protecting people’s data – the Government Accountability Office has proved that. Three can’t keep a secret. Especially if one doesn’t care about privacy and the other is compelled to disclose their private health information by government diktat.

Feinstein’s $1 Billion Conflict of Interest

The real estate company owned by Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband is about to get a windfall thanks to the government-run economy. Here’s what the New York Post’s Richard Johnson had to say about it: “The US Postal Service plans to sell 56 buildings – so it can lease space more expensively – and the real estate company of the California senator’s husband, Richard Blum, is set to pocket about $1 billion in commissions. Blum’s company, CBRE, was selected in March 2011 as the sole real estate agent on sales expected to fetch $19 billion. Most voters didn’t notice that Blum is a member of CBRE’s board and served as chairman from 2001 to 2014.” Apparently, deals like this have been going to the Feinsteins for years. Once again, Feinstein has found a loophole to direct taxpayer money to her husband and the companies owned by his friends. Even while Feinstein says the bidding processes were competitive, her husband has scored military construction contracts, and CBRE was positioned in such a way to catch the windfall from the senator’s tampering with the real estate market. While leftist elite decry the “One Percent,” they don’t mind being part of it themselves. More…

About That Yemen Model…

In September 2014, Barack Obama announced that Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIL would not be like Iraq. It would be like Yemen. “I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Obama said. “It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.” So how about a check-up on that success? The Washington Post reports, “Shiite insurgents overran Yemen’s presidential palace and shelled the president’s residence Tuesday in an escalating offensive striking at the heart of the Western-allied government. … A government collapse could send the country into full-scale civil war and raise fears of militant factions cementing control of key territory in the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula.” Oh. Well, then, Obama might need to look for another model. In all seriousness, this is not good for the fight against terrorism.

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

The Prince of Thieves

During his lame-duck term, Barack Obama intends to pursue what he calls “middle-class economics,” i.e., proposals to reduce income inequality through taxation. Apparently a one-trick pony, Obama is back to raising taxes on the rich.

In last night’s State of the Union Address, Obama explained “middle-class economics” as “the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, everyone plays by the same set of rules. We don’t just want everyone to share in America’s success, we want everyone to contribute to our success.”

Except his policies don’t give everyone a fair shot, or set the same rules for everyone. And only a few at the top “contribute to our success.”

The Hill calls him Robin Hood, taking from the rich and giving to the poor and middle class. But that’s misrepresenting his theft. The idea of Obama’s “giving” anything to the American middle class, for whom his enmity is all but palpable, is ridiculous, but the notion of his playing Robin Hood insults our intelligence. During the Obama era, both the middle class and the poor have lost more ground economically than during any time in the last four decades, yet suddenly along comes Robin Hood to right the wrongs of his first six years.

As Rush Limbaugh astutely explained Monday, Robin Hood did not steal from the rich to give to the poor. According to legend, Robin Hood reclaimed the excessive taxes extorted by the sheriff of Nottingham from the commoners in his shire. In modern parlance, Obama is the sheriff, not the woodsman.

Yet Obama’s appeal to those who believe the wealthy steal from the rest of society has served him well. Rush alluded to exit polls in the 2012 presidential election that showed 81% said they voted for Obama because he “cares about people like me.” For decades, the Left has sweetly whispered into the ears of the unhappy, the aggrieved and the gullible, telling them the rich have stolen everyone else’s wealth. If only the playing field could be equalized, if only everyone had an equal share, all would be peachy.

The socialist utopian dream just will not die because there is always wealth to be redistributed. Obama claims tax hikes will help balance wealth distribution, but not a dime will ever reach a single productive person. Ironically, much of what’s not swallowed by the gaping maw of government will likely go to Obama’s buddies in Big Business, purportedly the Left’s most hated foe.

The Left has seized upon a recent study by two neo-socialist economists, who claim the top 1% (written “0.01” to increase its impact) hold 80% of the wealth in the United States. But like all lefties in good standing, they leave out relevant facts. In this case, they ignore the wealthiest sector of the nation: the United States government.

The federal government forcibly extracted more than $3 trillion from American citizens in 2014 – the first time it crossed that threshold. The study’s authors complain about billionaires but say not a word about the trillionaire in the room. And according to the latest Forbes list of worldwide billionaires, the aggregate wealth of them all totals only $6.4 trillion, barely enough to finance the U.S. government for a year-and-a-half. It’s also less than a third of federal debt. Added to the federal government, the states have their own billionaire club, particularly California, which has one of the largest economies (and hence, governments) in the world.

Enhancing its rather extravagant income, the federal government owns vast swaths of real estate inside our borders (including 87% of the land in the West), an asset of enormous value. So in comparison, the wealthy in our country, two-thirds of whom according to Forbes earned their wealth, could be among the lowest 1% when compared to government.

The authors conclude that the “public will favor more progressive taxation only if it is convinced that top income gains are detrimental to the 99%.” So keep feeding them class envy.

We don’t mean to be apologists for wealthy corporatists, some of whom – such as George Soros and Tom Steyer – use their wealth to buy our political system. (This while leftists hypocritically attack the Koch brothers or other conservative financiers, whose contributions are dwarfed by leftists.) Of course, others are admirable people who’ve made a fortune by grit and guts. This nation’s founding principles guarantee every person the right to the fruits of his labor. Since the 16th Amendment passed, however, that principle has been turned on its head by busybody activists and government officials – hypocritical officials, we might add.

Inside the most exclusive club in the world, congressmen and women “earn” more than several average families combined – on average, just one of them surpasses 18 families’ incomes. And the Redistributionist in Chief lives the life of royalty on a scale never before witnessed, jetting around in the world’s most expensive plane with entourages of hundreds in tow. Where does he – the laughable “savior” of the 99% – get off demanding higher taxes from a “10% family” earning 225,000 badly devalued dollars?

Unfortunately, as long as Democrats can buy votes with taxpayer money, the class warfare of “middle-class economics” will live on. All Obama did Tuesday night was preview the central message of the 2016 presidential campaign.

The Legend of Chris Kyle

The late Chris Kyle is an American legend, joining the likes of Jim Bowie, Daniel Boone and Alvin York. When a solider suffering from PTSD killed Kyle at a gun range in 2013, Kyle’s legacy as one of the great American snipers, with nearly 160 confirmed kills in Iraq, was already cemented into the annals of American war. And when “American Sniper,” the film depicting Kyle’s life, blew out the box office this past weekend, Kyle’s reputation was preserved as an American icon.

To put “American Sniper” in perspective, its opening weekend earned the film $89.5 million. Usually, only superhero movies like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” do this well. But Americans wanted to see the biopic of a real hero. It’s Kyle’s story – with its focus on the cost of war and the struggle he had balancing duty to country with duty to family – that resonated with the American audience. After all, it’s an American story.

The film, starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Clint Eastwood, was nominated for six Academy Awards, but that didn’t stop (or perhaps led to) some members of Hollywood’s leftist elite lambasting the film. Actor Seth Rogen said, “American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds.” Did Rogen just compare the life of Chris Kyle to a Nazi propaganda film? Rogen is about as moronic as the character he plays in the assassination-comedy “The Interview,” which is being used as anti-North Korean propaganda.

Anti-gun documentarian Michael Moore mocked Kyle as a coward: “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.” The only coward here is the one who does his sniping from behind a camera – using a high-capacity magazine full of made-up “facts,” we might add.

Run-of-the-mill liberals also joined in the clamor against “American Sniper,” saying the film is racist because Kyle describes jihadis as savages in the movie, or that Kyle is a war-drunk killer.

There is a difference between Chris Kyle the man and Chris Kyle the legend. The Leftmedia could dredge up enough valid dirt on the man, but they attack the legacy of the fallen sniper because of the American values Kyle represents. Kyle, like any man, was flawed. For example, he was perhaps prone to exaggerated braggadocio, likely fabricating some stories – including having punched former pro-wrestler and Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura in the face. Ventura won a defamation suit over it, which is difficult to do.

But Kyle didn’t return to Iraq again and again because he was arrogant or gloried in killing. According to Kyle, he returned to protect his brothers in arms. “The ideal thing would be if I knew the number of lives I saved, because that’s something I’d love to be known for,” Kyle said in 2012. “But you can’t calculate that.”

If that isn’t an American ideal, what is?

Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, took to Facebook to express how overwhelmed she was that “American Sniper,” an “honest” depiction of her husband’s life, was so successful in movie theaters.

“Thank you for being willing to watch the hard stuff,” she wrote, “and thank you for hearing, seeing, experiencing the life of our military and first responders. I put them together because the battlefields may be different but the experience is the same on many spiritual levels.”

If Kyle has become our hero, he shows the values America still holds dear on and off the battlefield. We laud the man who runs toward the sound of chaos, who handles a gun with ease, yet is still gentle enough to hang up the weapons of war to be with wife and children.

Violence comes at a price, as Eastwood explores in his cannon of films, and that may cost a man his soul or his mind. For thousands of American soldiers, war is a hell that rages in their minds in the form of PTSD. Yet as Kyle shows, that is a burden the American hero bears out of love of country.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

American author Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862): “The universe seems bankrupt as soon as we begin to discuss the characters of individuals.”

Columnist John Stossel: “Obama sure is consistent. His State of the Union address sounded like his other speeches: What I’ve done is great! America is in a much better position. We’ve created a manufacturing sector that’s adding jobs. More oil is produced at home. I cut deficits in half! Give me a break. The deficit is lower now not because of any prudence on Obama’s part but merely because the $800 billion stimulus spending blowout didn’t continue. All the president does is increase spending: free community college, free Obamaphones, free birth control, etc. Yes, our annual deficit is lower, but it’s still $488 billion! Our $18 trillion national debt increases by $3 million every minute! Yes, more oil is produced at home, but that’s in spite of the administration. Oil production is down on public land. Yes, the manufacturing sector added jobs, but that’s mostly because of cheaper natural gas created by fracking, which Obama’s cronies opposed. Also, America is finally recovering from recession. Obama’s policies probably slowed that recovery. Does the President delude himself when he takes credit for oil production, lower deficits, etc.? Or does he mislead on purpose? I don’t know.”

Columnist Terence Jeffrey: “God’s commandment says: Honor your father and mother. Obama supports policies that deny a child the ability to even know a mother. Thus, it should come as no surprise that as he closes out his presidency Obama is proposing a new policy that discriminates against married stay-at-home mothers and provides an incentive for mothers not to take care of their own children. The president’s tax proposal would ‘streamline child care tax benefits and triple the maximum child care credit for middle class families with young children, increasing it to $3,000 per child,’ says a White House statement on Obama’s new proposal to adjust the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. … Who would this tax scheme help and who would it hurt? For starters, an IRS webpage on the Child and Dependent Care Credit stresses: ‘The care provider cannot be your spouse.’ So, one beneficiary is daycare centers. … The perversely logical corollary to Obama’s desire to structure the tax code to the disadvantage of stay-at-him mothers is his desire to use tax dollars to replace working fathers with the government itself.”

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.

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