SOTU Rebuttal: Climate Change Scheme ‘Wealth Redistribution’ + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Fri 01/23/2015 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.” –Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Cooper, 1802

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Obama’s YouTubing Is Embarrassing

Obama breaking his ban on selfies with YouTube entertainers

Since 2010, the White House has invited fawning political neophytes to converse with the president after his State of the Union address. It’s another way for Barack Obama to circumvent the watchdog media and virtually kiss babies. This year, three entertainers who garnered fame on YouTube “interviewed” Obama. Instead of pitching the hardball questions, Hank Green thanked the president for ObamaCare. Bethany Mota, 19, who earned a following for dispensing fashion advice, admitted she didn’t care about politics until YouTube asked her to conduct the interview. And so, Obama used her naiveté to his advantage by twisting the history of American education, saying politicians created the first colleges. Comedian GloZell Green, who pulled stunts like bathing in a bathtub of milk and Fruit Loops, probably asked the hardball question of the evening when she said former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro “puts the d— in dictatorship.” The interviews were embarrassing – even for Obama, as he was hugging himself at one point. “He’s got a good sense of humor – that’s a political asset,” media analyst Howard Kurtz said. “But it just seemed beneath the dignity of the office to be hanging out with some of these YouTubers.” But the one who is really beneath Obama’s dignity, the White House made clear, is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. More…

Obama Flips on Gov’t Funds Used for Abortion

On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Barack Obama called abortion a “core constitutional right” and threatened to veto a bill Congress has passed every year banning the use of federal funds for abortions. The statement read, “I am deeply committed to protecting this core constitutional right, and I believe that efforts like H.R. 7, the bill the House considered today, would intrude on women’s reproductive freedom and access to health care and unnecessarily restrict the private insurance choices that consumers have today.” It didn’t used to be this way. “And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up,” Obama told Congress in 2009, “under our plan [ObamaCare], no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.” We’re shocked that Obama lied. He not only supports abortion in any and all circumstances but he wants you to pay for it. More…

Saudi King Dead, Iran Advances

“King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who came to the throne in old age and earned a reputation as a cautious reformer even as the Arab Spring revolts toppled heads of state and Islamic State militants threatened the Muslim establishment that he represented, died on Friday,” reports The New York Times. “Toppled heads” is an interesting choice of words, given the Saudis’ regular use of beheading. Still, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have long been allies, in large part because of oil. The Wall Street Journal reports that even with the ascension of Crown Prince Salman, “[T]he kingdom is likely to continue to pump crude in the face of a global glut, which has helped push prices down by more than 55% since last June.” Saudi Arabia is also an important regional counterweight to both al-Qaida and Iran. And as we now see in Yemen, those are getting harder to come by. In fact, Salman assumes the throne at a time when his nation is surrounded by Iran’s proxies – Syria, Lebanon, and increasingly Iraq and Yemen.

SOTU Rebuttal: Climate Change Scheme ‘Wealth Redistribution’

In his rebuttal of Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said the president’s plans to save the earth from climate change by enacting massive regulation are nothing but “a wealth redistribution scheme.” Inhofe argued that even if Obama could enact his policies, they would not do enough to change the globe’s climate. “Why the pain for no gain?” He continued, “The President’s agenda will cost our economy $479-billion dollars; we will experience a double-digit electricity price increase; and tens of thousands of Americans will lose access to well-paying jobs over the course of the next decade.” Inhofe surprised the Left by co-sponsoring an amendment saying climate change is happening. Unlike the Left, however, Inhofe realizes that if climate change can in any way be mitigated, we will need a strong economy to do so. More…

Envirofascists Deploy 1,700 Jets to Switzerland

The 45th World Economic Forum kicked off this week in beautiful Switzerland, where organizers will hash out policy agendas, among them how to address the global effects of climate change. With that glorious goal in mind, one would hope that attendees would at least set a good example by burning as little fossil fuel as possible. After all, writes Brendan Bordelon at National Review, “Climate scientists view air travel as the most costly per-person contributor to carbon emissions, with some estimates saying it accounts for 5 percent of ‘warming.’” Except “green” travel isn’t what they did at all. According to reports, envirofascists needed roughly 1,700 airplanes to transport over 2,500 ticket-holders at $40,000 a pop. And just how does WEF plan on neutralizing such a heavy carbon footprint? So far, the answer to that is … crickets. The enviro-elite are quick to lecture us peons about the importance of ridding the world of fossil fuels. That is, as long as it doesn’t cramp their luxurious lifestyle. More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

An Offer You Can’t Refuse?

Barack Obama hit the campaign trail this week after his State of the Union address to sell his new pet phrase “middle-class economics,” a phrase he’s working to ingrain in the political lexicon. According to the president, speaking at Boise State University, middle-class economics “means helping folks afford child care, and college, and paid leave at work, and health care, and retirement.” But beware of statists bearing gifts.

Middle-class economics is nothing more than a cradle-to-grave welfare state paid for through wealth redistribution. It will ultimately stifle economic growth and require – wait for it – more government welfare spending.

Obama latched onto this middle-class economics concept as a way to set the Democrats’ class warfare theme for the 2016 election. He spent much of 2014 trying to convince the public that, thanks to his policies, the economy was on the mend. Few believed him. So he came up with a clever new name for wealth redistribution and is now trying to rewrite history from the campaign trail.

Going on the road, giving speeches and lambasting Republicans as the enemies of the middle class are parlor games for Obama. This strategy guided everything that he, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid did when Democrats ran all of Washington. Now that Republicans control Congress, it’s a bit more difficult to label them obstructionist – not that Obama won’t try. Republicans have the power to set the legislative agenda, but that’s not going to stop this imperial president.

“I know there are Republicans who disagree with my approach,” Obama told the Boise crowd. “And if they do disagree with me, then I look forward to hearing from them how they want to pay for things like R&D and infrastructure that we need to grow. They should put forward some alternative proposals.”

Of course, Obama doesn’t want to hear ideas that aren’t in lockstep with his agenda. Indeed, he’s already threatened to veto just about every Republican bill under consideration. Yet he has the audacity to declare, “Work with me. Don’t just say no. You can’t just say no.”

Obama and his fellow statists assume the government should be involved in every aspect of the American economy. There is no debate about the constitutional role of government, only over how to pay for all the goodies. And that’s where class warfare and wealth redistribution come in.

Democrats hope to regain control in 2016 by appearing to be champions of the middle class. And they want to do it with “free” gifts paid for with higher taxes on the “wealthy.”

Unfortunately, this strategy often works.

The welfare state has greatly expanded over the last 50 years because people can’t say “no” to “free” stuff. Political analyst George Will explains, “More than twice as many households receive ‘anti-poverty’ benefits than receive Social Security or Medicare. Between 1983 and 2012, the population increased by almost 83 million – and people accepting means-tested benefits increased by 67 million. So, for every 100-person increase in the population there was an 80-person increase in the recipients of means-tested payments. Food stamp recipients increased from 19 million to 51 million – more than the combined populations of 24 states.”

This cycle of government welfare only perpetuates itself. It has become a way of life that is truly changing the American character. In the last 50 years, the number of men 25 to 34 who are neither working nor looking for work has almost quadrupled. The percentage of children born to unmarried women was nearly six times higher in 2012 than in 1964. And the percentage of people living under the poverty line hasn’t budged in 30 years.

Former New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a lifelong liberal, warned, “The issue of welfare is not what it costs those who provide it, but what it costs those who receive it.” Even he saw the inevitable. Today’s Democrats don’t care, however, as long as they can win elections.

Another Foreign Policy ‘Success’ Story

Iranian-backed Houthis gain

As more proof that drone strikes and occasional American advisory assistance are no way to bring peace and stability, let us present the woebegone desert nation of Yemen. It’s virtually under siege and perfectly illustrates Barack Obama’s failed foreign policy.

Few Americans can locate Yemen on a world map, but Yemenis are the largest group still held at Guantanamo Bay, and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which claimed the Charlie Hebdo massacre as one of its operations, is based there. To paraphrase Joe Biden: In the world of Islamic terrorism, Yemen is a “big effing deal.”

It’s so big a deal that the U.S. had to put an informal halt on releasing Gitmo detainees who hail from Yemen.

While Obama had previously pointed to Yemen as a successful model in his fight against radical Islamic terror vague operation of appearing to care about national security, that confidence vanished in recent days. Neither al-Qaida nor Yemen was mentioned in the very brief portion of the State of the Union address that dealt with “violent extremism.” It’s no wonder Obama avoided the topic, as Yemen has crumbled in recent weeks. To mention it also would have brought up the obvious questions about Obama’s absence from the Paris demonstrations and his lack of success against other terror groups.

While direct attacks on Americans, such as a rocket fired at the American embassy last September, are rare, strife in the capital of Sana’a involving Shiite rebels known as the Houthis has otherwise reached a fever pitch. After Houthis battled their way into the presidential palace, pro-American Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi resigned on Thursday, shortly after Prime Minister Khalid Bahah and his 36-member cabinet all left office. This left Parliament Speaker Yahia al-Rai as the nation’s titular head, although the Houthis with the guns are truly in charge.

While a possible fringe benefit of these events could be a check on the Sunni sectarian AQAP, the need for assistance from the Yemeni government for the overall war on terror outweighs the limited advantages.

This was bad news for Obama, as Hadi’s cooperation in Yemen was a linchpin of his hands-off, no-boots-on-the-ground strategy to fight the Long War. Obama said just last September, “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.” With that government out of the picture and infighting among religious, tribal and regional factions tearing apart the small nation, the likelihood of significant progress on that war front is not good.

Not only that, but it’s good news for Iran. Political analyst Charles Krauthammer explains, “Why should we care about the coup? First, because we depend on Yemen’s government to support our drone war against another local menace, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. It’s not clear if we can even maintain our embassy in Yemen, let alone conduct operations against AQAP. And second, because growing Iranian hegemony is a mortal threat to our allies and interests in the entire Middle East. … Our regional allies – Saudi Arabia, the other five Gulf states, Jordan, Egypt and Israel – are deeply worried. Tehran is visibly on the march on the ground and openly on the march to nuclear status.”

In other words, Yemen’s collapse continues Obama’s track record of alienating allies and conceding to foes. So much for a model of success.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Novelist James Baldwin (1924-1987): “Freedom is not something that can be given. Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be.”

Columnist David Harsanyi: “Here’s a short list of things that are less popular than banning late-term abortions: ‘Acting’ on climate change. ‘Free’ community college. Taxing the wealthy. Building the Keystone XL pipeline. President Barack Obama. Future President Hillary Clinton. Every Republican who’s thinking about running for president. … Yet the GOP caves on a bill that would prohibit most abortions after 20 weeks and promises instead to pass another worthless ban on taxpayer-funded abortions – which we all know can be ignored by hiring an accountant. … This is about politics. Tragically incompetent politics. Even though a veto was imminent, you have to wonder: If the party representing the pro-life position, a party with a sizable majority, can’t pull together a vote on an issue as unambiguous and risk-free as this one, what are the chances of it coming to a consensus and offering compelling arguments on issues such as health care and tax reform? Very little, I imagine.”

Columnist Mona Charen: “Barack Obama’s sixth State of the Union address was an homage to France. The president might not have intended it as such – he mentioned the nation only glancingly when denouncing terror attacks in Pakistan and Paris. Yet France was at the heart of the president’s address. … France is Obamaland. Government sucks up 56 percent of GDP. The state offers cradle-to-grave subsidies for child care, health, disability, unemployment, old age and more. The welfare state discourages work in myriad ways – most French retire at age 60, and many at 55. The workweek is 35 hours. (Obamacare defines it as 30 hours.) France’s labor code is 3,600 pages long (sound familiar?) and makes it practically impossible to fire anyone. Shockingly, businesses are wary about hiring. France’s growth rate has averaged .3 percent annually since 2008. Everyone from taxi drivers to notary publics to dentists goes on strike at the drop of a chapeau. All of this looks like paradise to Obama. … France has its virtues, but the policies Obama admires have brought the nation stagnation, unemployment, high taxes, constant strikes, restive and unassimilated immigrants, and domestic terrorism. The French don’t seem to know what went wrong. Our president doesn’t, either.”

Comedian Seth Meyers: “Obama gave the State of the Union address, and I just have to say that I don’t know what union he was describing. But I want to live there. I want to move. It sounds outstanding. There’s a middle class. They have small businesses. It sounds great.”

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