Hillary Email Scandal Catches Obama in Transparency Untruth + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Tue 03/10/2015 by


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“Is there a legislative power in fact, not expressly prohibited by the Constitution, which might not, according to the doctrine of the Court, be exercised as a means of carrying into effect some specified power?” –James Madison, Letter to Spencer Roane, 1819


Hillary Email Scandal Catches Obama in Transparency Untruth

Hillary Clinton has addressed her private email scandal so far only with a lone tweet, although she reportedly plans to publicly address the issue today. But Barack Obama has already taken plenty of flak on the subject. Over the weekend, CBS News asked Obama when he learned of Clinton’s private account. “The same time everybody else learned it – through news reports,” Obama replied. “The policy of my administration is to encourage transparency, which is why my emails, the BlackBerry I carry around, all those records are available and archived.” But that little untruth was undermined by Obama’s spokesman, Josh Earnest, who admitted Monday that Obama emailed Hillary at her private account. Earnest told reporters, “The president, as I think many people expected, did over the course of his first several years in office trade emails with his secretary of state. I would not describe the number of emails as large, but they did have the occasion to email each other.” Unlike Technology subcommittee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Obama knows how to use email; his oft-repeated story of incompetence can’t help him in this instance.

Social Security Continuing to Implement Amnesty Actions

It was the logical next step. If illegal immigrants are getting Social Security numbers, then they are going to collect benefits. Stephen Goss, chief actuary for the Social Security Administration, wrote a letter to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) claiming that by 2017 some 16,000 illegal immigrants amnestied by Barack Obama’s executive action would start receiving Social Security benefits. Furthermore, Goss admitted the agency is ignoring the injunction blocking the implementation of Obama’s executive decrees. In the letter, Goss wrote, “Based on the best advice and counsel we have gotten, we’re working on the assumption that these [mass amnesty actions] will persist. Most indications we seem to get are that it’s likely that this will get back on track, with some delay.” This is the administration that has 6.5 million active Social Security numbers for people 112 years old or older. Put another way, the administration is rife with bad record keeping, fraud and a host of illegal immigrants who are using stolen numbers to stay in the country. More…

McConnell Promises to Raise Debt Ceiling

Raise the debt ceiling? No problem, says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “I made it very clear after the November election that we’re certainly not going to shut down the government or default on the national debt,” McConnell said Sunday. “We will figure some way to handle that. And, hopefully, it might carry some other important legislation that we can agree on in connection with it.” At issue is, yet again, the legal limit on the nation’s debt. Last year, lawmakers opted for a “debt ceiling holiday” instead of a specific statutory limit increase, but the holiday ends March 15. The national debt stands at nearly $18.2 trillion, up from $10.6 trillion at Barack Obama’s inauguration, but it’s still not enough. Instead of putting up a fight after gaining control of both chambers of Congress, McConnell said the GOP would rather just play nice. It’s not that shutting down the government is the desirable strategy every time Republicans disagree with Obama, but they have repeatedly shown deathly fear of the very idea. Obama knows that, which only strengthens his resolve and makes each of these fights more of a farce. Republicans gained exactly nothing last time, and now they appear to be chickening out in advance.

SCOTUS Upholds Religious Liberty in ObamaCare Case

Before the Hobby Lobby case, the court system told the University of Notre Dame it had to comply with ObamaCare’s contraception mandate – even if doing so violated the Catholic university’s collective conscience. But in a ruling by the Supreme Court Monday, the case was sent back to the lower court with instructions that the court must decide the case based on the Hobby Lobby ruling. Mark Rienzi, senior counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said, “This is a major blow to the federal government’s contraception mandate. For the past year, the Notre Dame decision has been the centerpiece of the government’s effort to force religious ministries to violate their beliefs or pay fines to the IRS. As with the Supreme Court’s decisions in Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby, this is a strong signal that the Supreme Court will ultimately reject the government’s narrow view of religious liberty.” The court is willing to buck the Obama administration on ObamaCare for the sake of religious Liberty. Hopefully, it will, in a similar manner, decide to buck politics in its King v. Burwell ruling. More…

Under NV Law, Gun Carrying Homes Can’t Give Foster Care

Brian and Valerie Wilson are at the forefront of the effort to change foster care policies in Nevada. The couple – who started carrying handguns after an attempted home invasion – wanted to become foster care parents, but they were denied because Nevada rejects applications from couples if they have gun permits. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, assemblywoman Michele Fiore, who cosponsored a bill changing the foster care polices, said, “I don’t know if some of my peers have toured Child Haven or have been in Child Haven, but we have children in need of great foster care, and we have had people that are law-abiding citizens that have gotten their background checks, that have their CCWs, literally denied to foster a child because they have a concealed-weapons permit.” It’s an unjust policy. Couples like the Wilsons are law-abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights, yet the foster care system rules that gun ownership is somehow less lawful. More…

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Does the Ethanol Mandate Include Singing Its Praises?

Republicans pledge allegiance

A number of potential Republican presidential candidates descended on the Iowa Ag Summit this past weekend to shore up their bona fides with the state’s agricultural industry. Unfortunately, when it came to the subject of ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), most of the White House hopefuls resorted to pandering to voters rather than speaking truth about failed policy.

The hard-charging environmental lobby rallies around corn-based ethanol as a fuel alternative because ecofascists have great faith that it’s better for the environment (spoiler alert: it’s not). Farmers, particularly those in Iowa, embrace the policy mandating ethanol as a fuel additive because it raises demand for corn and puts more money in their pockets.

The environmental and agricultural lobbies have been strong enough to keep the RFS alive even after a number of scientists and economists have disproven the effectiveness and benefits of ethanol.

Sure, ethanol combustion in automobiles does produce less CO2 than fossil fuel combustion, which gives climate change fanatics warm fuzzies. However, growing all the corn necessary to meet Washington’s arbitrary mandate (and its subsequent effect on food prices), along with the intensive production process of manufacturing ethanol, heavily outweighs any benefits we experience through ethanol use. And that’s not to mention the fuel’s destructiveness for engines, or that CO2 is not a pollutant.

An Associated Press investigation into ethanol production revealed that, in their rush to clear land to plant corn, farmers “wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies.” Wetlands were devastated, and billions of pounds of fertilizers contaminated rivers. Had manufacturers of any other product taken these actions, the Obama White House would be calling for investigations and fines. Instead, the administration plows ahead with current policy.

And as Mark Alexander wrote last year, “More than 90% of our nation’s corn crop went toward feeding people and livestock in the year 2000, with less than 5% of the crop going toward ethanol. In 2013, however, a whopping 40% went toward ethanol. To illustrate this grossly inefficient use of our natural resources, the amount of grain required to fill a 25-gallon automotive fuel tank with ethanol is enough grain to feed one person for an entire year.”

Nevertheless, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad played the role of Captain Obvious when he stated that any candidate who publicly opposes the ethanol mandate would probably not win the Iowa caucus next year. In truth, it’s tough to stand in front of a crowd of potential supporters and tell them you are against their favorite policy. But no one ever said having the courage of your convictions was easy.

Almost all of the major GOP White House contenders failed the conviction test in Iowa.

Rick Perry said, “I don’t think you pull the RFS [Renewable Fuel Standard] out and discriminate against the RFS and leave all these other subsidies.” In other words, subsidies are good because subsidies exist.

Chris Christie and Lindsey Graham voiced full-throated support for the RFS, and Mike Huckabee claimed ethanol was good for national security policy by reducing dependence on foreign imports. Rick Santorum argued ethanol “creates jobs in small-town and rural America, which is where people are hurting.”

Even Scott Walker, who opposed ethanol in 2006, said that while he is opposed to government intervention he will support the ethanol mandate. “Right now we don’t have a free and open marketplace,” he asserted, so why not keep the mandate going? He did add that eventually there will be “no need to have a standard,” but his squishiness was palpable.

Jeb Bush was less objectionable, but also ducked making any substantive statements. “The markets are ultimately going to have to decide this,” he said, though he equivocated by refusing to set a firm deadline for phasing out the RFS.

Only Ted Cruz managed to get it right. “I recognize that this is a gathering of a lot of folks where the answer you’d like me to give is, ‘I’m for the RFS, darn it,’” he said. “But I’ll tell you, people are pretty fed up, I think, with politicians who go around and tell one group one thing, tell another group another thing, and then they go to Washington and they don’t do anything that they said they would do.”

Cruz added, “I don’t think Washington should be picking winners and losers. When it comes to energy, we should have an all-of-the-above approach, but it should be driven by the market.” Exactly right.

The audience applauded Cruz’s candor for coming out against the RFS, but no doubt many also made a mental note to scratch him off their short list for 2016.

Republicans don’t seem to have a problem speaking out against ObamaCare’s mandate that Americans buy health insurance. Why do they then embrace the mandate that Americans buy ethanol?

The answer is simple: Iowa is always an important state for presidential candidates as its caucus kicks off the primaries. But the ethanol debacle illustrates why this privilege should no longer reside in the Hawkeye State. GOP candidates should be standing by free market principles instead of corporate welfare, but thanks to the primary structure they’re forced to pander to Iowa farmers.

Little Support for Obama’s ‘Strategy’ Against ISIL

Problems continue to abound for Barack Obama in dealing with the Islamic State and other jihadists in the Middle East. He claims he wants congressional support, and he boasts there is a united front to combat the Islamic State, but, given the current situation in the Middle East and Obama’s record of failed foreign policy, few are lining up to follow his lead.

Early last month, Obama submitted to Congress his request for an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) to fight the Islamic State. As we noted then, his request prohibits any enduring offensive combat operations and sets a timetable for three years, which in his warped view will show the world our resolve in countering the Islamic State.

In reality, the 2001 AUMF against al-Qaida and the 2002 AUMF for military operations in Iraq allow Obama to pursue the Islamic State. But those AUMFs were during the Bush administration, and since Obama doesn’t want to commit to a ground campaign, or for that matter have any part of Bush’s war strategy, he wants his own AUMF.

It appears, however, that due to his numerous failed strategies in the Middle East (Libya, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Iraq) he can’t even convince Senate Democrats to approve his AUMF request. Obama obviously wants Congress to share responsibility for his strategy debacle against the Islamic State, but lawmakers aren’t taking the bait.

If Congress was to grant his AUMF request and things deteriorate further, Obama would shift the blame on Congress. At the same time, if Congress doesn’t grant his AUMF request, he will blame Congress for not giving him authorization. But remember, he already has authorization under the 2001 and 2002 agreements, yet he won’t commit to putting boots on the ground. For now, we will just have boots in the air.

Speaking of boots in the air, the U.S. air campaign has had some success in Syria, but is also doing the lion’s share of work. According to The Washington Post, “Of the 2,738 airstrikes the coalition has conducted in Iraq and Syria since last summer, the Americans have carried out 2,203.”

The Post adds that “the picture on the ground in Iraq is similar,” with U.S forces of just under 3,000 troops far outnumbering other countries such as Australia and France. This despite Obama saying there would be no ground troops. Move along; nothing to see here. They are strictly advisers and trainers, the administration says – that is until they’re shot at and must fight back. But we digress.

Meanwhile, there are no members of the Arab alliance who have announced they will send advisers to Iraq. Since the Iraqi government can’t seem to muster support for its fight against the Islamic State, who then to turn to but the United States? Well, kind of.

The Iraqi government is asking for the U.S. to start dropping bombs on Saddam Hussein’s home town of Tikrit, which is currently held by ISIL. Baghdad wants Tikrit back, but it isn’t happy with Washington. An aide to the prime minister complained, “The Americans continue procrastinating about the time it will take to liberate the country.” If the Iraqis are waiting for Obama to admit he left too soon or is acting too slowly, they will be waiting forever.

While Baghdad waits for Obama to act, the Iran-Iraq coalition – yes, you read that right – has made little progress. According to World Affairs’ Michael Totten, “The Iraqi armed forces consist partly of Iraqi Shia militias led by Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.” But, he writes, “The Iranian-Iraqi coalition has made almost no progress at all in Tikrit. ISIS laced the area with mines and is dispatching suicide bombers with reckless abandon – another bit of irony. Iran’s Lebanese client Hezbollah pioneered suicide bombings in the Middle East during the 1980s, and now that very deplorable tactic is being used against its own architects closer to home.”

With Tikrit consisting primarily of Sunni Muslims, and with a deep distrust for Iran, is there any reason to believe more sectarian violence won’t erupt? For Iraqis in Tikrit, it’s essentially a choice between being slaughtered by ISIL or taken over by Iran.

The violence, political chaos and instability in the Middle East is made worse when a sitting president with no foreign policy experience fails to recognize, deal with, or at the very least contain the spread of radical Islam. Given the circumstances in Syria and Iraq and the fact that Iran is seeking to expand its influence (while pursuing nuclear weapons), what good would Obama’s AUMF request do anyway?

He has not decimated al-Qaida and the Islamic State is still growing. In fact, Boko Haram recently announced its allegiance to the Islamic State. When Obama declared terrorists were on the run, he must have meant that they were running to join forces.

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St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD): “Though defensive violence will always be ‘a sad necessity’ in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men.”

Columnist Ed Feulner: “[T]he FCC has assured the public that it won’t resort to regulating broadband providers as fully as the law would allow. They’ll still have a large degree of autonomy, we’re to believe. But you don’t have to be as skeptical of government promises as I am to view this assurance with a heavy dose of suspicion. I’m not saying the FCC is necessarily being disingenuous. But consider the government’s track record. President Lyndon Johnson, for example, told us that the welfare system he signed into law in the 1960s would be a ‘hand up,’ not a handout. Yet until the 1996 reform, it was impossible to view as anything but a handout. More recently, we have …. Dodd-Frank and Obamacare. Policymakers can have all the good intentions in the world, but it doesn’t change what can and does happen when their so-called solutions are put into practice. … [W]e’ve been here twice before, once in 2006 and again in 2010. Both times, net neutrality didn’t survive a court challenge, and that’s where we look now. … Sorry, but net neutrality is like a virus or a bad line of code. It needs to be eradicated, not embraced. The government is here, all right, but not to help. Time to hit ‘delete.’”

Columnist Arnold Ahlert: “Iran is the Shi’ite side of the terrorist equation. The Sunni side is equally problematic. Nigerian terror group Boko Haram has reportedly pledged its allegiance to ISIS. ISIS itself has expanded operations in Libya, resulting in the beheading of eight guards after last week’s assault on an oil field. Nine foreigners were also abducted. Eight was the ‘magic number’ in Iraq as well, as in eight dead bodies hung by their feet in Iraq’s Kirkuk province. ISIS was equally busy destroying antiquities dating back to 717 BC. … It bears repeating for the terminally addled members of the Obama administration and their equally clueless sycophants: Every day ISIS remains viable is another day they remain inspirational to domestic jihadists who have already made it clear that places like Paris, Sydney, London, Cophenhagen, Oklahoma, Canada and New York can be converted into killing fields. Nevertheless, Obama and company remain in second gear as his promise to ‘degrade and destroy’ what he once referred to as a ‘JV team’ rings increasingly hollow.”

Twitter satirist @weknowwhatsbest: “[Obama] stays informed by watching mainstream media news telecasts. No wonder he thinks he has no scandals.”

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