‘Whatever Ideology’? + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Wed 02/04/2015 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“No free government was ever founded or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state…. Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.” –Josiah Quincy Jr., Thoughts on Standing Armies, 1774

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

‘Whatever Ideology’?

Barack Obama refuses to acknowledge that basic tenets of Islam are the ideological foundation of the Islamic State and its army of terrorists. That ideology is metastasizing throughout the Middle East. Obama’s premature withdrawal of our forces from Iraq prior to his 2012 re-election – so he could claim “I ended the war” – left a vacuum filled by ISIL, which has now largely negated all the blood and treasure we expended to establish democracy in Iraq. Yesterday, as King Abdullah II of Jordan, one or our most dependable allies in the region, met with Obama, ISIL released a professionally edited video of caged Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, being burned alive. According to Obama, “It’s just one more indication of the viciousness and barbarity of this organization. … It also indicates the degree to which whatever ideology they are operating off of, it’s bankrupt.” Memo to Obama: The “organization” has a name – it’s “The Islamic State,” and the “ideology they’re operating off of” is radical Islam. And the most prized target in their sites would be Americans – on American soil.

Senate Has Opportunity in Ashton Carter Hearing

Those worried about the White House’s farce of a foreign policy may find some solace in Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense, Ashton Carter. In written testimony to Congress ahead of his nomination hearing today, Carter said he would question Obama’s party line in situations like the drawdown from Afghanistan and the relationship with Iran. While the administration courts the state sponsor of terrorism, Carter wrote to Congress, “Countering Iranian destabilizing activities must be an important priority. Regardless of the outcome of nuclear negotiations, I firmly believe that the United States must also counter these destabilizing regional activities, including Iran’s support to terrorists and militant groups.” Instead of simply using today’s hearing to vent frustration over Obama’s failed foreign policy, senators should use this time to establish a working relationship with Carter. As national security expert Brian Slattery writes at The Daily Signal, senators need to know Carter’s priorities and if he’s willing to work with the current, sequestered budget.

Obama Hits ‘Mindless’ Sequester Again

Speaking about his 2016 budget proposal, Barack Obama offered an olive branch – with which he whacked Republicans. “I want to work with Congress to replace mindless austerity with smart investments,” he said, adding, “We can do so in a way that is fiscally responsible.” He continued along this line: “I’m not going to accept a budget that locks in sequestration going forward. It would be bad for our security and bad for our growth. … Part of the reason why we grew faster last year was [that] we were no longer being burdened by mindless across-the-board cuts.” First, the sequester was Obama’s idea. He used it to gain the upper hand against Republicans in 2011 budget negotiations. Second, when Congress passed it, he’s the one who made it “mindless” in its implementation – everything from scrapping White House tours to making painful military cuts. Rather than cut waste, he cut visible and popular things to make a political point. Finally, as for working with Congress, well, we know how he views that chore going into the fourth quarter of his presidency – it ain’t going to happen.

Since 2009, Obama Gave Away 5.5M Work Permits

For years, the Obama administration has skirted immigration laws, giving out hundreds of thousands of work permits to people who came into this nation with either no visa, or merely student or tourist visas. Since 2009, the Obama administration has handed out 5.46 million work permits, with 532,000 given to people with student visas, 470,000 on tourist visas and 156,000 for dependents of students or guest workers. Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, writes, “This should be a concern; work permits are gateway documents to driver’s licenses and other benefits, and if the government agency issuing them does not know or will not disclose how the bearer arrived in the country how can others rely on the authenticity of an individual’s identity? It is equally disconcerting if the government does know and chooses not to disclose it.” Obama didn’t wake up sometime last year and think: Gee, it would be fun to completely ignore the separation of powers and do some crazy stuff with immigration. No, he’s been doing it from the very beginning. More…

Democrats Taunt GOP Over Immigration Response

The Democrat minority in the Senate was just enough to stall a GOP bill undoing Barack Obama’s unconstitutional executive action on immigration. All 46 Democrats and two Republicans voted against the bill funding the Department of Homeland Security Tuesday. The last session of Congress passed a temporary measure to fund DHS until February, when the new, GOP-led Congress could confront Obama on his immigration actions. But now, the Democrats are reveling in the power they have to jam the legislative process. And Obama still continues to flaunt his executive actions. On Wednesday, he hosted six youths who are in this country due to his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. A White House official told The Hill Obama did this to “reiterate that his executive actions are lawful.” Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid cackled, “We all know this is going to end with a bill funding Homeland Security that goes to the president. We’ll wind up passing a clean bill so why do we wait, why do we agonize?” The lines are drawn on the congressional floor. In the coming weeks, we’ll see if Republicans have the grit to fight a lawless executive branch.

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

Politicizing Vaccination

Republicans hate women, children, puppies, rainbows and especially Science™. If you didn’t believe that, witness the latest kerfuffle over vaccines. Once the province of doctors’ offices and parenting blogs, vaccines have come front and center in the political arena over the last few days, and the Leftmedia are using it to bash the GOP.

Two likely 2016 presidential contenders, Chris Christie and Rand Paul, answered questions about vaccines in the wake of the recent outbreak of measles at Disneyland. They both might have been better off with a “no comment” than to wade into such a “gotcha” issue for a Leftmedia hungry to discredit anti-Science™ Republicans.

Though Christie extolled the benefits of vaccination, he said there must be “some measure of choice” in the matter. Paul argued that most vaccines should be voluntary: “The state doesn’t own your children. Parents own the children. And it is an issue of freedom and public health.” That thought came after he relayed scary but discredited anecdotes involving “many tragic cases of walking, talking, normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.”

The Republicans’ comments followed Barack Obama’s pontification on the issue: “You should get your kids vaccinated. The science is, you know, pretty indisputable. We’ve looked at this again and again. There is every reason to get vaccinated, but there aren’t reasons to not.”

That’s a shade different from Obama’s stance in 2008, however, when he said, “We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. … The science is right now inconclusive, but we have to research it.” Perhaps he settled the science during his first term.

Likewise in 2008, Hillary Clinton and John McCain pointed to vaccines as a possible cause of autism. McCain said there was “strong evidence” of a connection, and Clinton promised to “make investments to find the causes of autism, including possible environmental causes like vaccines.”

As for “investments,” Obama’s latest budget cuts $50 million from a vaccine program for the underinsured. That’s inconvenient.

So now that we’ve established a bipartisan problem, we’ll make a few observations.

Science is rarely “settled” – that’s the point of scientific inquiry. As we often note, climate change is likely happening, but the science is not at all clear on its cause or extent or what we can do about it. Whether eating eggs or too much salt is bad for you has been the subject of years of rigorous debate. Vaccines were created thanks to research and study – and there’s no reason to end such work, or to deny that we don’t know everything.

That said, fears about vaccine risks are often overblown. The Wall Street Journal reports, “The claims about vaccine risks go back to a 1998 article in The Lancet in which British doctor Andrew Wakefield claimed to have found a link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. But the real menace was Mr. Wakefield, whose findings were proven to be fraudulent and who was on the payroll of the plaintiffs bar. The Lancet retracted the article in 2010, and Mr. Wakefield lost his medical license.”

And it’s indisputable that vaccines have been remarkably effective in virtually eradicating communicable diseases that once claimed numerous lives. Measles was declared eliminated in 2000, but international travelers brought it here again, where it spread at Disneyland among the unvaccinated.

Let’s be clear that some children cannot receive vaccinations due to illnesses such as leukemia, and there are indeed perfectly legitimate reasons to forgo vaccinations or to space them out. Parents should research the issue and be as knowledgeable as possible. That includes finding a trustworthy doctor.

Those who opt out of vaccines benefit from what’s known as herd immunity. In other words, as long as about 90% of people are vaccinated, the “more-enlightened” few may choose to avoid doing so and suffer little consequence. But there is a mathematical limit to this gamble, and it’s often upper-class liberals who are rolling the dice.

Wealthy schools in Los Angeles now feature vaccination rates as low as South Sudan. As a result, there’s a resurgence of measles and whooping cough. The California counties surrounding San Francisco (which went for Obama by 84% in 2012) also have especially low vaccination rates.

But remember, it’s Republicans who are anti-Science™.

Some on the Right do oppose government mandates for vaccinations, but the vast majority of conservatives still vaccinate. And most of the time it’s not actually an issue of personal liberty; it’s one of public health and individual responsibility. As 19th century physician Oliver Wendell Holmes put it, “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.” The choice to refuse vaccination – when rooted in vain conceit rather than medical reality – endangers others.

Vaccinations are a very good idea, and, because many people lack common sense, the use of state power through carrots and sticks is not excessive. It was Thomas Jefferson writing in the Declaration of Independence who said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.”

Finally, the issue for both sides of the political aisle boils down to trust in government. Whether it’s global warming, NSA surveillance, IRS audits, ObamaCare or vaccinations, many Americans just don’t think government officials are playing it straight or telling the truth. Most of the time, this distrust is founded in legitimately bad experience. ObamaCare in particular can be blamed for the rising mistrust in medicine.

Unless and until that trust is restored, a growing number of people will eschew good health choices, and, as a result, we may be looking toward a future full of diseases we only thought we had beaten.

Perry’s Claim to Fame Is Simple: Jobs

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is considering another run for the White House in 2016, and his platform is strong in the primary concern of voters. As political strategist James Carville so memorably put it during Bill Clinton’s first campaign, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

In his State of the Union, Barack Obama crowed about the jobs he created since 2010: “America has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan and all advanced economies combined. Our manufacturers have added almost 800,000 new jobs.”

But Obama didn’t give credit where it’s due. Since the start of the Great Recession in 2007, the 1.169 million increase in jobs nationwide up to December 2014 can be attributed entirely to the roaring Texas economy. The other 49 states and Washington, DC, altogether have lost about 275,000 jobs. Texas enjoyed its 51st consecutive month of growth in December, adding more that 2,000 jobs every business day. And while the nationwide headline unemployment rate stands at 5.6%, the rate in Texas dropped to 4.6%. Pretty impressive numbers for a candidate’s résumé.

Of course, Texas owes much of its boom to fracking on privately owned land. Fracking has sparked a recovery in other industries, including construction. From January to November, more building permits for single-family houses were issued in Houston alone than in all of California in the same period.

Unfortunately, some of Texas’ job growth came because of crony capitalism – sweetheart tax deals and so forth. That shouldn’t play well with free-market conservatives, but the average voter probably won’t care much about that angle when Perry can say, “Yeah, but Texas under my leadership is responsible for virtually all the job growth in the nation.”

One issue that will tickle conservative heart strings is that leftists are labeling Perry a “tenther.” Like the supposedly pejorative “denier,” the Left now labels anyone who believes in the Tenth Amendment a “tenther.” We’re mighty proud to be in that club.

Interviewed by Heartland magazine, Perry said that he wants to be a strong Tenth Amendment leader, working with other governors who share his passion: “We need to get back to 50 states competing against other … to become a powerful country, a powerful economy again.” He continued, “We need to … make the states … into laboratories of innovation [again to] put America back on the road to recovery.”

A push to restore the federalism our Founders established is long overdue and we hope the next president and governors have the wisdom to restore the Tenth Amendment as we have the Second.

Meanwhile, should Perry emerge as a viable candidate, the Left will simply lie to destroy him. Lies, character assassination, mudslinging. The Left’s stock in trade.

Indeed, this is why he had a run-in last year with Travis County Democrat District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg after she was arrested for drunk driving with three times the legal limit of blood alcohol. During her arrest and booking, she behaved like a bratty eighth grader. Sentenced to 45 days, she served half. Because she heads the Public Integrity Unit of the DA’s office, Perry asked her to resign. Like any good disgraced Democrat, she refused, causing Perry to cut funding to her office until she was replaced.

Smelling blood in the water, special prosecutor Michael McCrum took the matter to a grand jury and got an indictment for two class A misdemeanors: abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. Got that? Perry allegedly “abused” Lehmberg by demanding her resignation. And he “abused” the power of the veto. That’s rich.

The Leftmedia lost no time headlining: GOVERNOR INDICTED. Unfortunately, the case will drag on for months, keeping Perry’s “sullied” name in the news. He could lose campaign contributors, as ridiculous as that might seem, but Democrats have been at this game for decades, and they know their stuff. Let’s hope the voters show more sense than the media hounds.

In terms of campaigning, two things will work to Perry’s advantage this time: He’s no longer governor and can focus all his energy on the campaign, and he’s not coming off back surgery, which many think put him off his game in 2012. And, again, that job-creation résumé is going to play well in a nation sloughing along under Obamanomics.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

British author Herbert Spencer (1820-1903): “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is a proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is condemnation before investigation.”

Columnist Ben Shapiro: “The point of mandatory vaccinations is not merely to protect those who are vaccinated. When it comes to measles, mumps and rubella, for example, children cannot be vaccinated until 1 year of age. The only way to prevent them from getting diseases is to ensure that those who surround them do not have those diseases. The same is true for children with diseases like leukemia, as well as pregnant women. Herd immunity is designed to protect third parties. But Americans have short memories and enormous confidence in junk science. Parents will ignore vaccinations but ensure that their kids are stocked up with the latest homeopathic remedies, Kabbalah bracelets and crystals. St. John’s wort, red string and crystals all existed before 1962. They didn’t stop the measles. Vaccination did.”

Columnist Arnold Ahlert: “[W]hen is the West going to figure out that every day ISIS remains a murderously viable, propaganda-spewing entity is another day Western nations must address an increasing number of domestic Islamist wannabes? Wannabes looking to ‘one-up’ the atrocities already perpetrated in Canada, Australia, France and the United States. The ‘degrade and destroy’ catchphrase mindlessly reiterated by Obama, along with the promise made by the likes of White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan to ‘stand in solidarity’ with the latest victims of Islamist barbarity, ring exceedingly hollow. … Right now Obama and countless other world leaders are far too willing to tolerate ISIS, one horrific video after another, along with its imitators, one ‘lone wolf’ atrocity after another. Until that equation changes we are virtually assured that Islamist terror will thrive.”

Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “Obama unveiled a $4 trillion budget for 2016 that would increase taxes on the wealthy and spend more money on education. He also made a snowball and put it in the oven just to see which of them would last longer. I’d go with the snowball.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

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