‘No Religion Is Responsible for Terrorism’ + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Thu 02/19/2015 by

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The Patriot Post ~

THE FOUNDATION

“I have long been settled in my own opinion that neither philosophy, nor religion, nor morality, nor wisdom, nor interest, will ever govern nations or parties, against their vanity, their pride, their resentment, or revenge, or their avarice, or ambition. Nothing but force and power and strength can restrain them.” –John Adams, Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1787

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

‘No Religion Is Responsible for Terrorism’

Speaking at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, Barack Obama denied Islam’s influence in terrorism, though he started with a caveat of sorts: “Al-Qaida and ISIL and groups like it are desperate for legitimacy. They try to portray themselves as religious leaders – holy warriors in defense of Islam. That’s why ISIL presumes to declare itself the ‘Islamic State.’ … We must never accept the premise that they put forward, because it is a lie. … Al-Qaida and ISIL do draw, selectively, from the Islamic texts. They do depend upon the misperception around the world that they speak in some fashion for people of the Muslim faith, that Islam is somehow inherently violent, that there is some sort of clash of civilizations.” And then came the “but.” He continued, “Of course, the terrorists do not speak for over a billion Muslims who reject their hateful ideology. They no more represent Islam than any madman who kills innocents in the name of God represents Christianity or Judaism or Buddhism or Hinduism. No religion is responsible for terrorism. People are responsible for violence and terrorism.” And then he had the complete lack of self-awareness to say, “We can’t paper over problems, and we’re not going to solve this if we’re always just trying to be politically correct.” In fact, his foolish political correctness can better be described as blinding Islamophilia, and it’s dangerous. That’s why he launched into a lecture about working to bring jobs to Jihadistan. A parting question: Why does he excuse Islam for terrorism but insists guns are responsible for shootings?

Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer said Obama “sounds like a community organizer talking about outreach to aggrieved communities.”

VA Secretary Strait Up Lied About Wait Time Firings

When Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald first took his position, he said he was going to clean house after the wait-time scandal left veterans without care. He had a list, and he was going to fire 1,000 VA employees. In an interview over the weekend, McDonald claimed the VA fired 60 people who manipulated wait times. The Washington Post fact-checked his claim, however, and found that only eight VA employees were fired, including just one executive. The VA’s own spokesman James Hutton told Post, “Regarding the 60 figure, it is most accurate to say that ‘VA has proposed disciplinary action related to data manipulation or patient care against more than 60 employees nationwide.’ This takes into account the full range of accountability actions including admonishments, demotions, reprimands, and termination.” Because of the VA’s misleading report and its failure to speed up wait times, it has turned into a bureaucracy only concerned with keeping the bureaucracy in place – and it will lie to do so. It’s a good thing former Obama adviser David Axelrod says “there hasn’t been a major scandal” during Obama’s administration, or vets would really be in trouble.

Veterans Affairs Touts ‘I CARE’

The Obama administration continues to treat American veterans as more of a disgrace than as heroes. Despite the Department of Veterans Affairs being exposed for mistreating the very ones willing to sacrifice it all, the agency continues to sink deeper into controversy – even as administrators promise reform. And what better way to encourage changes than with a cute acronym? “The embattled Veterans Affairs Department … is reminding employees in a memo why they should care about their work,” says The Washington Times. “The document circulating among employees is titled the ‘I CARE Quick Reference’ sheet, and it spells out the desired core values of the VA: integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence. The memo says the VA is ‘a model of unrivaled excellence due to employees who are empowered, trusted by their leaders, and respected for their competence and dedication.’” No, really, that’s what it claims. According to one anonymous employee, “Management has made a mockery of it.” Concerned Veterans for America CEO Pete Hegseth added, “Adopting a catchy acronym and circulating a checklist is not enough. It’s easy to put on an ‘I CARE’ pin, but it doesn’t matter unless you actually demonstrate that care through your actions and the results you deliver.” But government doesn’t judge itself by standards, and that’s the problem. Thanks to ObamaCare, we’ll all experience just how much the government doesn’t care. More…

Holder’s Final Legacy: Civil Rights Charges for Ferguson

Attorney General Eric Holder needed some kind of retribution after the world watched Ferguson, Missouri, burn when the grand jury announced officer Darren Wilson would not be charged in the death of Michael Brown. The civil rights charges against the officer didn’t stick, either, so Holder hinted this week that the Department of Justice may prosecute the city’s police department for a culture of civil rights violations. A St. Louis nonprofit filed a federal lawsuit alleging Ferguson was keeping the coffers full by running something of a debtor’s prison, so DOJ prosecutors met with the lawyers on that case. In a statement, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said, “We believe this lawsuit is disturbing because it contains allegations that are not based on objective facts.” But this is Holder’s last hurrah, and “objective facts” don’t matter. In the last few days before Loretta Lynch replaces Holder, he’s going to come down on the Ferguson Police Department as if it was a police force controlled by the KKK during Reconstruction. More…

Former NBA Star Lays Out Plan to Change Places Like Ferguson

When asked for his opinion on what happened in Ferguson, former NBA athlete Karl Malone told Huff Post Live that it’s time for black communities to stop bemoaning race issues. For real change, “The Mailman” said those communities need to work on self-improvement instead of playing the race card. “We need to look in our mirror ourselves,” he said, “stop waiting on someone to come march on our behalf, take ownership in our self, make our community better, and stop looking for a handout. Do something about it yourself that you can control. Stop using that excuse about race. I am sick and tired that every time you turn around, that’s what we dangle.” That kind of advice – the message of hard work – helped Malone deliver those 36,928 career points that landed him in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and it’s advice anyone can take to heart. More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Courting the Gangland Vote

Attorney General Eric Holder has long pushed for restoring voting rights to convicted felons. A year ago, we explained his real motive: Votes for Democrats. Just recently, however, this issue – otherwise dead-on-arrival in the Republican-held Senate – gained renewed life with the revival by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) of the Civil Rights Voting Restoration Act. This is an unfortunate move by Paul, but we suspect the measure may simply be a play for votes, particularly minority votes, in anticipation of his potential presidential run.

Under the bill, after being free on probation for at least one year, felons convicted of nonviolent crimes would have the right to vote in federal elections. While at first blush this might seem like a reasonable bill – to restore those who’ve paid their debt to society back to “full status” – a closer examination of the issues reveals serious constitutional and practical flaws with this line of reasoning.

First, there’s that whole “constitutionality” thing: The bill itself is unconstitutional. It’s no secret the doctrine of federalism – the fundamental constitutional doctrine distributing political power between the federal government and the states – has been under attack since the founding of our Republic. It’s also no secret those attacks have accelerated over the course of the last hundred years. What apparently is a secret is the furtive means by which these attacks execute.

For example, by its very title Paul’s bill ostensibly restores “civil rights” by giving formerly disenfranchised felons the right to vote again. What’s not to like about that, right? How noble. The problem with this linguistic shell game is that, first, a convicted felon’s “right” to vote isn’t a right at all; and, second, the determination of the qualification of voters is a constitutionally secured right – that is, an actual right – belonging to the individual states.

While the so-called “Elections Clause” in Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution empowers Congress to alter the “times, places and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives,” nowhere does the Constitution authorize Congress to determine voter eligibility. That power belongs exclusively to the states, as a number of cases have borne out over the past two centuries, culminating with the landmark Supreme Court case, Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona. In that case, the Court conclusively ruled that only states have the power to determine the qualifications of its federal voters. As the Court explained, the primary reason the Founders gave this power solely to the states is to take away the incentive and power for Congress to control its own electorate. Such a self-licking-ice-cream-cone would open the door to a host of corruptions and undermine the very framework of the Constitution itself.

If enacted, however, Paul’s federal bill would throw this state power under the constitutional bus and apply a one-size-fits-all diktat to take the decision out of states’ hands and give it to the federal government. Oh, did we also mention his bill effectively mandates that those convicted of treason, bribery, voter fraud, espionage and the like – all “non-violent” crimes, of course – must be allowed to vote? We can’t wait to see the kinds of levelheaded rules that bunch votes into law.

Beyond this fatal constitutional flaw, however, lies perhaps a greater, even more basic philosophical problem. The Fourteenth Amendment specifically provides that a state may deny individual citizens the right to vote “for participation in rebellion, or other crime.” The amendment’s implicit rationale is simple: Why should those unwilling to follow the law be permitted to make the law or vote for those who do? Further, who better to determine if a paroled felon (a.k.a. “would-be voter”) is more likely to continue to follow the law than the state in which the felon resides? According to the Justice Department, over two-thirds of felons released from prison are rearrested for a new crime within three years of release – that number spikes to over three-quarters within five years of release.

Is it unreasonable, then, that some states now mandate a “waiting period” to see whether ex-cons will remain in the majority of prison recidivists? Or that some states mandate an application process so that individual determinations of worthiness to regain the voting franchise can be made by states where the franchise is sought? All crimes – even felonies – are not equal. Numbers and frequencies of crimes impact this equation even further, of course, as does time. An individual who committed a crime three decades ago is likely a much better candidate to receive reinstated voting rights than one who was paroled a year ago for the same crime. Parsing through these case-by-case matters is best left to the states for the obvious reason that the states are closer to the issues and the people whose lives they impact.

Regardless of the debate on the merits as to whether the voting franchise should be reinstated to any particular class of paroled felons or to felons generally, any legislation passed by Congress that purports either to grant powers to the federal government that are constitutionally reserved by the states or to deny those same powers to the states themselves is both unconstitutional and foolish.

Trust, but Verify – Even Conservative PACs

We’ve all seen the post-election map showing that, despite concentrations of blue, America remains overwhelmingly red. Why, then, don’t we see even more conservative candidates elected to office? If one recent report is to be believed, much of the blame lies at the feet of inefficient and, in some cases, downright dishonest faux conservative political action committees (PACs) that are capitalizing on Americans’ passion for Liberty but using funds for other purposes.

According to Right Wing News (RWN), scam conservative PACs have become “a wide scale problem that is unquestionably having an enormous negative impact on the conservative movement.” The article, by John Hawkins, cites a research report Hawkins commissioned that focuses on how several conservative PACs spend money, along with whether those PACs represent themselves accurately. According to the report, some PACs, such as Club for Growth, direct the bulk of their spending to electing conservatives – in Club for Growth’s case, 88%. Others, however, such as the National Draft Ben Carson for President Super PAC – which, incidentally, isn’t actually associated with Dr. Carson – spent nearly $13 million in 2014, but less than $600,000 went to candidates and none of it went to Carson. Therein lies the problem.

Hawkins writes that some PACs pay large amounts to vendors that, curiously, are owned by individuals working for the PAC. While this practice is not necessarily bad, it opens the door to shifting funds in a way that keeps donors in the dark and avoids FEC reporting requirements. Additionally, some PACs use money for things like research, media and volunteer organization not directly tied to candidates.

After highlighting several good – and several supposedly questionable – PACs, RWN alleges that “perhaps the biggest reason grassroots candidates have been having trouble breaking through in recent years is because such a large percentage of the money that was intended for them is being siphoned off to vendors, wasted, and just plain old pocketed by people in these PACs.”

(As a note, The Patriot Post is not a PAC, nor do we raise funds for political candidates. All donations support our operations and mission – fanning the flame of Essential Liberty.)

Is the moral of the story, then, that Americans should throw their hands up (while keeping their money in their pockets) and not support conservative PACs? Far from it.

As Red State’s Erick Erickson notes in an interesting counterpoint, while the RWN report highlights some important things, it also misses several. For example, several of the PACs which RWN lumps in with scam PACs are those that have legitimately not only helped elect candidates but also helped conservative candidates stand up to Establishment Republicans.

Take for example the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF). Erickson says while RWN claims this PAC spent only 22% on candidates, in reality, it spent more than 70% on candidates and issue advocacy. Part of the discrepancy is that RWN’s report leaves out $4.7 million that SCF raised and gave directly to candidates and more than $2.5 million that SCF’s super PAC expended on behalf of those candidates. Additionally, Erickson notes that RWN counts $3.5 million SCF spent as “wasted” on overhead costs, when in reality it was spent on issue ads. RWN addresses some of these discrepancies in a footnote, but not every one reads footnotes.

Erickson wonders, “If the Right Wing News report missed all these facts about SCF, including by subjectively deciding its commercials promote itself more than its cause, what else did it miss?”

So what’s a conservative to do? Simply, our first goal should always remain standing up for First Principles and Essential Liberty. And the more we can thoughtfully work together to do so and to elect conservative candidates who will do so, the better. That said, just as with contributing to charities, it’s always wise to research organizations and evaluate how they use donated funds, as well as whether they represent themselves accurately. In other words, read the fine print – and we don’t mean the print in publications like Mother Jones and Politico that will latch onto any anti-conservative story, real or imagined, and cry foul.

When all is said and done, the reality remains that solid conservative candidates benefit greatly from the help of solid, conservative and well-managed PACs that honor donor intent and invest in advancing Liberty. And these types of organizations are worth our contributions.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Mark Twain (1835-1910): “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

Columnist Michael Reagan: “How did Marie Harf – the deputy spokesperson for the State Department’s Bureau of Public Affairs – get her job? … Appearing on MSNBC’s ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews,’ Harf said the best way to fight Islamic terrorism is not with guns and bombs but with job programs. … Harf was being dumb, but she was completely serious. … Instead of beheading or incinerating innocent people merely for being Jewish or Christian, they could flip burgers at the Baghdad McDonalds, work on an Exxon oil rig or become a community organizer in Mosul. … But at least she used the correct term ‘Islamic extremism’ to describe what ISIS and its terrorist soldiers are practicing and what we are fighting against. Obama’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge that reality is perverse. … Attorney General Eric Holder thinks it doesn’t matter whether his boss calls terrorists ‘vicious, violent zealots,’ which Obama has said, or ‘radical Islamist terrorists,’ which he won’t say. Holder knocked Fox News Tuesday for its crusade to get Obama to use the accurate term, saying that the president’s military deeds speak louder – and are more important – than his words. … The crazy thing is, this administration actually uses tougher language on Fox News than it does on radical Islam.”

Historian Victor Davis Hanson: “Putin, the Islamic State and Iran at first glance have as little in common as did Germany, Italy and Japan. But like the old Axis, they are all authoritarians that share a desire to attack their neighbors. And they all hate the West. The grandchildren of those who appeased the dictators of the 1930s once again prefer in the short-term to turn a blind eye to the current fascists. And the grandchildren of the survivors of the Holocaust once again get blamed. The 1930s should have taught us that aggressive autocrats do not have to like each other to share hatred of the West. The 1930s should have demonstrated to us that old-time American isolationism and the same old European appeasement will not prevent but only guarantee a war. And the 1930s should have reminded us that Jews are usually among the first – but not the last – to be targeted by terrorists, thugs and autocrats.”

Ann Coulter: “Last week, an Associated Press-Gfk poll showed that Obama’s single most unpopular policy is his position on illegal immigration. In other words, Obamacare is more popular than amnesty. That’s like losing a popularity contest to Ted Bundy.”

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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