Keystone Kop veto, immigration stand-off, DOJ drops Zimmerman civil rights case, and the virtues of Marco Rubio – Daily Digest

Posted on Wed 02/25/2015 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“A question arises whether all the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judicial, shall be left in this body? I think a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one assembly.” –John Adams, Thoughts On Government, 1776

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Congress to Attempt to Override Keystone Veto

Yesterday, Barack Obama whipped out his Cross Townsend roller-ball pen and vetoed authorization of the Keystone XL pipeline. In his veto message, Obama wrote, “[B]ecause this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest – including our security, safety, and environment – it has earned my veto.” Obama vetoed Keystone for all the wrong reasons. First, he’s arguing that Congress is infringing on the power of the executive branch – ironic, considering Obama’s recent politicking over immigration. Second, this veto is the pet crusade of ecofascists. It’s clear Obama bent his ear to their lobbying efforts. Finally, a Keystone veto only means less security, as oil is shipped by rail to meet the demand. Freight trains derail. Oil gets spilled and boom: Environmental disaster. Now the bill is back in Congress, where Republican leadership will need to court Democrats to override Obama’s veto. Already, four Democrat senators promised to vote with Republicans.

Justice for Chris Kyle

On Feb. 2, 2013, famed Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, a Patriot from Texas and author of the book “American Sniper” on which the movie of the same name is based, and his colleague Chad Littlefield were murdered in Texas. On Tuesday, a little over two years after the tragic slaying, a verdict was rendered. “It took an Erath County, Texas, jury less than two hours to convict Eddie Ray Routh of capital murder,” Fox News reported. “State District Judge Jason Cashon sentenced Routh to life in prison without the possibility of parole.” Routh pleaded not-guilty by reason of insanity, which proved unsuccessful. According to Fox, “[P]rosecutors said … that whatever episodes Routh suffers are self-induced through alcohol and marijuana abuse.” District Attorney Jane Starnes argued, “That is not insanity. That is just cold, calculated capital murder.” In the end, the jury agreed, and Routh will now spend the rest of his life behind bars. There’s no bringing back Chris Kyle, but there’s at least some consolation knowing his murder won’t go unpunished.

Even Holder Can’t Pin Civil Rights Violations on Zimmerman

Nearly three years to the day since George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin in what was ruled self-defense, the Obama Justice Department finally admitted its investigation found “insufficient evidence” to charge Zimmerman with violating Martin’s civil rights. Attorney General Eric Holder grudgingly conceded the evidence didn’t meet the “high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution,” though he insisted we “continue the dialogue” about racial tension. Holder, Barack Obama and the usual suspects of professional racial grievance immediately seized on Martin’s death as a platform for their brand of “social justice.” That included Obama’s infamous pronouncement, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” But attempting to make him a poster boy for “hate crimes” diverts attention from a terribly inconvenient truth: A grossly disproportionate number of murder victims in any year are black men, women and children – about 9,000 annually. And most of these victims are murdered by other blacks – with only a handful of cases that might be associated with racism. More…

The Welcome Mat for Muslims

Barack Obama’s Summit on Countering Violent Extremism went over about as well as one might expect from an administration determined to deny the truth regarding that extremism’s origins. But the problem is much worse than just semantics. Paul Sperry writes at Investor’s Business Daily, “Between 2010 and 2013, the Obama administration imported almost 300,000 new immigrants from Muslim nations – more immigrants than the U.S. let in from Central America and Mexico combined over that period. … Many of the recent Muslim immigrants are from terrorist hot spots like Iraq, where the Islamic State operates. From 2010-2013, Obama ushered in 41,094 Iraqi nationals from there. Now the State Department says it will quadruple the number of refugees brought here from Syria, where IS is headquartered.” Perhaps many or most of these people are truly refugees. But maybe some are jihadis looking for an American gun-free zone to attack. It’s clear that combining Obama’s immigration policies with his views on national security is dangerous, and it could have dire implications for our nation. More…

A Stupid Deal With Iran

Barack Obama once claimed his foreign policy was based on the principle, “Don’t do stupid s—.” Well, here is one of the most egregiously stupid ideas in recent memory: The U.S. is reportedly considering accepting a deal with Iran that would simply kick the can down the road by a decade or so, allowing Iran to continue its nuclear developments in the meantime and even allowing for reduced restrictions toward the end of the agreement period. (John Kerry, of course, denies the report.) Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, displaying a keen mastery of the obvious, said any such deal would require highly intrusive inspections to verify Iran was meeting the deal’s terms. Perhaps fellow State Department deep thinker Marie Harf could explain to him that we are in this mess precisely because Iran has refused to live up to its previous intrusive inspection requirements under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. After 12 years of lying, cheating, hiding facilities, hindering inspectors, etc., now we’re supposed to believe Iran will agree to a new deal’s inspection terms? Despite all the technical arguments and political dynamics, the problem is a very simple one. Iran is obligated under the Non-Proliferation Treaty to give the International Atomic Energy Agency full, unrestricted access to inspect and verify Iran’s peaceful use of nuclear energy. Iran has refused to do so for more than a decade, openly dismissing the IAEA’s authority and even more openly mocking the UN’s ability to force Iran to comply. Pretending the previous 12 years never happened and accepting Iran’s word that this time it really, truly means it when it pledges to accept intrusive inspections is the very definition of “doing stupid s—.”

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

Cue the GOP Immigration Disaster

It’s been less than 100 days since the Republican Party won Congress in the midterm elections. And in that time, it has garnered Barack Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL pipeline and a fight over immigration that could gridlock Congress for the rest of the legislative session.

On Feb. 27, the Department of Homeland Security will run out of money and partially shut down if Congress doesn’t reauthorize its budget. But Senate Democrats are blocking the vote because Republicans tied the issue to funding DHS, the department tasked with discharging Obama’s unconstitutional executive actions legalizing five million illegals – or as the administration now calls them, “Americans-in-waiting.”

Three times Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brought forward a bill to fund DHS but defund Obama’s immigration policies. Three times Senate Democrats covered for their president, blocking even the consideration of the bill, in order to show how the GOP is frozen with infighting.

If DHS is funded fully as Democrats want, then Obama continues his executive reign unchecked. If the GOP stands its ground, Democrats will score a political victory, as DHS would shut down and the Leftmedia talkingheads would skewer the GOP for it. Obama’s plan was shrewd.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen took some of the peril out of the legislative process when he issued an injunction last week halting the implementation of Obama’s rulemaking. With the cost of failure high, Republicans no longer have to halt Obama through the legislative process.

Obama has sworn he’ll fight anything that undermines his polices. In an opinion piece he wrote for The Hill, he audaciously called the check on his abuse of power “partisan disagreement over my actions.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice appealed the court ruling, and DHS hinted it would make this partial shutdown as painful as possible. While government employees tasked with the security of this nation can’t leave their posts, they won’t get paid. No word yet on what Obama would shutter – White House tours and the World War II Memorial are not under DHS jurisdiction.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson warned that terrorists want to attack America – specifically mentioning Minnesota’s Mall of America. “I am not telling people to not go to the mall,” he said. “I think there needs to be an awareness. There needs to be vigilance.” Yes, the jihadi threat to America is real, but Johnson is helping Democrats turn the political screws: It sure would be terrible if anything were to happen to America when partisan Republicans are holding up DHS money.

But yet a broad coalition of people stand against Obama, his immigration policies and a clean DHS funding bill. While Obama has his executive branch and Democrat senators, the opposition consists of the majority of Congress, 26 states and a Texas judge.

Democrats have done all they can do until Feb. 27, so now it’s time for a Republican power play.

McConnell introduced legislation separating the congressional response to Obama’s executive amnesty from DHS funding. He told the Senate, “Some Democrats give the impression they want Congress to address the overreach. But when they vote, they always seem to have an excuse for supporting actions they once criticized. So I’m going to begin proceedings on targeted legislation that would only address the most recent overreach from November. It isn’t tied to DHS’ funding. It removes their excuse.”

By untying the two issues, McConnell hopes to pick off a few Democrat votes. That may work, but he’ll also probably lose a few from his own party – especially in the House. And Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced he won’t agree to the bill he wants unless House Speaker John Boehner does too.

Again, because the judge in Texas temporarily blocked the implementation of Obama’s immigration decrees, the strategy can change. No longer is DHS funding a hill on which Republicans have to die. Republicans have two more years of rule. And then there’s 2016. What the party does in the next few months will demonstrate to the nation what a conservative president will look like in Congress.

Republicans have three days. Here’s what they should do:

  • Don’t own DHS failures. Currently, the Department of Homeland Security is firmly Obama’s responsibility. Any mistake in that organization is a mistake that comes back to him. But if it’s defunded, it becomes a Republican problem. Let Obama’s problems be Obama’s problems.
  • Hang together. House Republicans want Obama’s immigration diktats defunded and his power grab curtailed. So do we. But McConnell is the prime minister of Congress and he has to deal with a strong Democrat resistance. He needs realistic compromise if Obama is going to be checked. Republicans need a unified front with a smart strategy, not a suicide mission. So far that hasn’t been the case.

Conservatives have already blocked Obama’s executive amnesty through the courts. But, unfortunately, congressional Republicans don’t have a good option for winning the DHS funding fight. And the longer they drag it out, the worse it becomes.

The Virtues of Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio began his race for the Republican presidential nomination with a bang by snagging Jim Merrill, Mitt Romney’s top campaign aide in both of his presidential bids. Though the cat’s out of the bag, Rubio’s not expected to formally announce until April.

In joining the first-term senator from Florida, Merrill declared, “What Mitt [Romney] said is right. It’s time for the next generation of Republican leadership.” Merrill called Rubio the “most exciting candidate in the field.” He continued, “I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t think he could win. He knows … [how to] engage voters, do town halls, run personal door-to-door campaigns. I’ve never seen a more talented guy.”

Rubio, the son of naturalized Cuban immigrants, would be the first Latino Republican candidate. That in itself should warm the cockles of establishment-type GOP hearts. And make no mistake – Republicans must improve with minorities.

Bright, articulate and energetic, Rubio served eight years in the Florida House of Representatives, eventually being elected speaker in 2006. In 2009, he ran against Charlie Crist in the Florida senatorial primary. Beginning as an underdog, Rubio climbed the polls quickly and won the primary. Crist then ran as an independent, but Rubio beat him again in a three-way race.

In his first term as a U.S. senator, Rubio has authored, introduced or co-sponsored more bills than many of his senior colleagues, and he’s established himself as a substantial cultural and fiscal conservative.

Rubio’s major obstacle in his quest for the nomination may be fellow Floridian Jeb Bush, the man rallying GOP elites. With the establishment behind the former Sunshine State governor and with his own family’s connections, Bush has many wealthy donors already committed to him.

By comparison, Rubio has so far won the backing of George Seay, a Texas financier who supported Gov. Rick Perry in 2012, and Norman Braman, a car dealer billionaire and philanthropist. He was well received at a gathering of donors the Koch brothers put together and will likely win yet more support. But he’s still David to Bush’s Goliath.

His pitch is that he’s the right messenger (an eloquent, young, Cuban-American who can appeal to a diverse array of voters) with the right message (an optimistic plan for American exceptionalism, born of his personal story) for the 21st century.

Rubio espouses conservative cultural and fiscal conservative values – he’s pro-life, pro-religious freedom and pro-Second Amendment. He opposes same-sex marriage and recreational marijuana use. He wants to limit the growth of federal spending via a balanced budget amendment and to restore George W. Bush’s tax cuts. He favors helping small business through tax cuts, including capital gains, and promoting research and development in science and technology, including bringing the moribund space program back to life.

In his senatorial race, Rubio was the Tea Party candidate, and he probably can still expect substantial Tea Party support, even with several candidates competing for that backing.

Some pundits compare Rubio to Barack Obama’s running against a party favorite. Virtually no one knew Obama, so running against Hillary Clinton was risible. She was so far ahead in the polls that his candidacy seemed quixotic. But despite Hillary’s seeming popularity, many Democrats didn’t want a Clinton dynasty. Obama knew it, and he was able to out-charisma Hillary for the nomination.

In most respects, there’s no similarity between Rubio and Obama, but the comparison stands up on one point. Like Obama, Rubio is young and has a popular message, so with a few dozen stump speeches the polls could begin to swing. And average Republicans are leery of a Bush dynasty. Then again, this analogy discounts the several other candidates who have their own sizable followings – something Obama did not face.

Rubio presents himself and his family as being winners because of American exceptionalism – a word conservatives ache to hear again from their president. Unlike the current Oval Office occupant, Rubio exudes patriotism. His parents came from Cuba, escaping poverty and seeking opportunity, and they found it in America. We need a leader who can show us that this great nation will revive economically, will destroy ISIL and will begin to reverse its cultural decline. Maybe Rubio can do it.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

British economist Harold J. Laski (1893-1950): “The only real security for social well-being is the free exercise of men’s minds.”

Columnist Ben Shapiro: “Democrats have for years been questioning the decency of Republicans as human beings. During the Obamacare rollout, President Obama accused Republicans of wanting to deprive people of healthcare; he openly accused President George W. Bush of being ‘unpatriotic’ for raising the national debt. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that Republicans are ‘indifferent’ to hungry and poor children. Anyone who opposes any aspect of President Obama’s agenda has been deemed a racist. The point here is not the media’s double standard, which is egregious but unchangeable. The point is that this perception of Republicans has pervaded the public arena. Republicans’ fundamental burden is not explaining to the American people that Democrats are great people, but wrong on policy. Their great burden is overcoming the generalized perception that they are money-grubbing Snidely Whiplashes bent on strapping widows and orphans to the train tracks. You cannot overcome that perception by ardently pleading that the very folks who call you racist, sexist, homophobic bigots are well-intentioned but incompetent.”

Columnist Michelle Malkin: “The Department of Homeland Security refuses to release a report on ‘right-wing’ terrorism that somehow found its way into CNN’s hands last week during the farcical White House summit on Don’t Say Islamic Extremism. Your tax dollars are once again hard at work – defaming conservatives, deflecting from worldwide murderous jihad and denying the public access to information they funded. CNN splashed the big scoop on its website: ‘DHS intelligence report warns of domestic right-wing terror threat.’ The fear-mongering piece featured a huge map of 24 alleged acts of ‘violence by sovereign citizen extremists since 2010.’ … When I asked DHS public affairs officer S.Y. Lee for the document, he told me it’s ‘not for public release’ because it’s ‘an FOUO document (for official use only). Same as many DHS products to law enforcement.’ I asked whether CNN now qualifies as ‘law enforcement.’ No response.”

Comedian Conan O’Brien: “During her Oscar acceptance speech, Patricia Arquette called for equal pay for women. Then Oprah stood up and said, ‘She’s right, I can’t live like this. I can’t take another second of this living hell.’”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

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