Democrats Reload on Ammo Ban + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Fri 03/13/2015 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“When men exercise their reason coolly and freely, on a variety of distinct questions, they inevitably fall into different opinions, on some of them. When they are governed by a common passion, their opinions if they are so to be called, will be the same.” –James Madison, Federalist No. 50, 1788

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Democrats Reload on Ammo Ban

After 90,000 comments and condemnation from congressional Republicans, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives backed away from its proposal to ban the 5.56 M855 “green tip” ammunition. But congressional Democrats have taken the idea, expanded the breadth of the proposed ammo ban, and run with it. In a letter to the ATF, Democrats encourage the bureau to move fast and use its “existing authority” to limit any rifle cartridge that can be fired from a handgun. Democrats wrote, “We hope that the Bureau will swiftly review comments on the proposed framework and issue a revised proposal that will address the danger posed by handguns that fire 5.56mm and other rifle ammunition.” They have introduced legislation in the House to ban the green-tipped rounds, and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) said she would introduced a broader bill to ban even more forms of armor-piercing ammunition. Because cops wear light body armor and there are some unique pistols out there (Thompson Contender pistol chambered in 30-30, anybody?), Democrats are opening the door for potentially banning all center-fire rounds. And the ATF welcomes this lobbying. Its director, B. Todd Jones, said “any 5.56 round” threatens the safety of police officers – a distorted fear if ever there was one.

Also note that Barack Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest promised, “The president’s commitment to putting in place common-sense rules that will protect Second Amendment rights, but also prevent those who shouldn’t have firearms from getting them, is as strong as ever. I think the president’s own personal conviction on this matter has been pretty evident to those who have watched his public comments.”

Nobody Even Read Hillary’s Deleted Emails

Hillary Clinton deleted her “personal” emails wholesale – without so much as reading them first. Fox News’ Chris Stirewalt writes, “How did Hillary Clinton know that the tens of thousands of emails from her time in office she ordered destroyed were personal? Did she or even her staff scroll through her sent items scanning emails about ‘yoga routines’ or ‘family vacations’ before deleting them? Nope. No one looked at them. The Clinton campaign said those emails that did not crop up in a keyword search performed by her team were automatically deleted. No eyes. No one to be subpoenaed. Just highlight all and press delete. That method seems better for missing emails than to finding them. And it would sound reckless and haphazard coming from another politician. In this case, though, it sounds like a woman covering her tracks in preparation for a long and bloody legal fight over subpoenas to come.” The story isn’t going to go away just because Clinton hit the delete key. More…

Did Hillary Commit a Felony?

Hillary Clinton’s email scandal continues to yield serious questions. According to The Washington Examiner, “Clinton, like all departing federal employees, was required to fill out and sign a separation statement [Form OF-109] affirming that she had turned over all classified and other government documents, including all emails dealing with official business.” Did Clinton sign the form? The State Department refuses to say just yet. If not, why not? And if so, did she commit a felony? “There’s no question” she did, says Shannen Coffin, former counsel to Dick Cheney. “There’s no doubt … that wherever the secretary had those records – if she had them in her Chappaqua home, if she had them in her office, if she had them somewhere else – she’s got to bring all of the records to the table, and turn over any official records at the time of her departure,” Coffin said. “Not – most definitely not – two years later.” He added, “The form itself says, ‘Hey, before you sign this, understand that you are certifying something that we can prosecute you for. Making a false statement in this context, knowingly and willfully’ – which, I can’t imagine anything more knowing and willful than knowing you have 55,000 records sitting in your home – ‘if you do that, it is a felony.’” Clinton’s flippant dismissal of questions at her Tuesday press conference left many things unanswered. And she’s looking worse all the time.

Don’t Mess Up the Ferguson Narrative

Barack Obama swapped jokes with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel last night, laughing it up at the expense of a few million bucks in taxpayer-funded security. But he also turned to a serious note, speaking about the two police officers shot in Ferguson. He extended brief condolences to the wounded officers and their families before launching into predictable race-bait. “[W]hat had been happening in Ferguson was oppressive and objectionable and was worthy of protest,” Obama asserted. “But there was no excuse for criminal acts. And whoever fired those shots shouldn’t detract from the issue. They’re criminals, they need to be arrested.” He later added, “[T]here was a whole structure there, according to the Justice Department report, that indicated both racism and just a disregard for what law enforcement’s supposed to do. As I’ve said before … it is not unique, but it’s also not the norm.” Obama isn’t directly responsible for the actions of the criminal who fired on police, but he isn’t helping the situation either. It is not appropriate for the leader of this country to repeatedly tell angry rioters and looters they have perfectly legitimate grievances against racist cops. But that’s why you don’t put a community organizer in the White House.

Holder Says Ferguson Shooter Was a ‘Damn Punk’

Attorney General Eric Holder responded quickly to news that two Ferguson police officers were shot Wednesday night during a round of protests. “What happened last night was a pure ambush,” Holder said. “This was not someone trying to bring healing to Ferguson. This was a damn punk – a punk – who was trying to sow discord in an area that is trying to get its act together, and trying to bring together a community that has been fractured for too long.” He continued, “This really disgusting and cowardly attack might’ve been intended to unravel any sense of progress that exists, but I hope that that does not happen.” He’s right about a punk not trying to bring healing. But Holder’s Justice Department just released a report finding generally racist practices in the Ferguson Police Department, and Holder has spent the better part of a year blasting racist police. Forgive us for thinking he – like his boss – sounds a bit more concerned about damage to the narrative than the lives of the officers.

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

$16 Million Bill

The Clintons have done quite well for themselves since January 2001, when they grabbed $190,000 worth of china, flatware, furniture and rugs on their way out the White House doors – thank you very much. No, really, thank you, the American taxpayer.

Multimillion-dollar book deals, lucrative speaking engagements and whatever it is they do at the Clinton Foundation account for the bulk of the Clintons’ vast wealth. These, though, are not the only reasons that Bill and Hillary are so well off. Thanks to the Former Presidents Act, taxpayers will have given Bill a collective $16 million by Election Day next year for a variety of expenses about which, predictably, no one really knows too much.

A recent analysis by Politico revealed that the former president has received more money through the Act than any other ex-president. The total accumulation of his pension through 2016 amounts to $3.1 million, including $218,000 this year and $221,000 allocated for next year.

The General Services Administration, which disburses the money, also allocates money for personnel salaries, accounting for nearly $3 million of the $16 million Bill has received since 2001. The GSA doesn’t dictate how that money is to be spent, so there is little information on who’s received how much, other than that most post-presidential employees receive compensation from additional sources. Politico notes that Laura Graham, one of the top Clinton Foundation officials, has seen her salary more than double since 2005. Tina Flournoy, Bill’s chief of staff, is also believed to be on the GSA payroll, having come from Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Another GSA payment includes $947,000 for communications-related costs and equipment. This vague category can include furniture or even technological hardware and software. Like an email server, perhaps.

The Clinton Foundation insists that Bill paid out of his own pocket for the secret server Hillary used during her time at the State Department. But since a big chunk of his money comes from taxpayers, and his money-making entertainment value is wholly derived from his time as president, it’s difficult for him to claim he bought the hardware using the fruits of his own labor.

Incidentally, that server, which the Clintons claim resides at the Clintons’ home base in Chappaqua, New York, is protected, like the rest of the residence, by a full-time Secret Service detail. Presidents and their immediate family members receive lifetime protection paid for by taxpayers separately from the Former Presidents Act.

This new information puts the lie to Hillary’s inane statement about the Clintons being “not only dead broke, but in debt” when they left the White House. At no time were they ever even remotely close to poverty. Hillary’s claim, meant to paint her and her husband as working-class heroes, was widely and rightly ridiculed. Since the day Bill left office, the Clintons have been part of the One Percent – make that the 0.001 Percent – and they are likely to remain there for the rest of their days, thanks in part to taxpayers.

Furthermore, Politico’s story raises once again the question of whether the Former Presidents Act has outlived its usefulness, or if at the very least it should be revisited. Enacted in 1958 to “preserve the dignity of the office,” the Act was inspired by Harry Truman’s post-presidency dire financial straits. Never good with personal finances, Truman was close to losing it all before Congress stepped in to offer a pension that could preserve a certain level of comfort for him and all future ex-presidents.

These days, however, presidents leave office with multiple tracks to financial prosperity. They receive lucrative book deals, scores of six-figure speaking opportunities, invitations to join corporate boards, consulting contracts, you name it.

Pete Sepp, president of the National Taxpayers Union, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) have led a move to cap former presidents’ benefits at $400,000 per year, with deductions equal to any private-sector compensation they receive beyond that number. As Chaffetz said in 2012, “There’s little reason why American taxpayers should be subsidizing these former presidents when they’re doing fine on their own.”

Clearly, Bill is doing more than fine, and by extension so is Hillary. As a (probable) presidential candidate, she benefits from a political existence based entirely on the fact that her husband was president. Her time as a carpet-bagging senator from New York and as secretary of state were offshoots of Bill’s presidency. She received name recognition, public attention and unwavering media adoration that couldn’t be bought or crafted by the country’s sharpest PR firms. She’s not a very good politician in her own right, and it’s laughable to imagine, say, a Hillary Rodham Smith making it this far.

Countering Iran’s Newfound Influence

Despite the stirring words of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a joint session of Congress and the letter signed by 47 Republican Senators reminding Iran that any nuclear deal with the Obama administration is non-binding unless Congress approves it, nations around the Middle East are now acting as if a nuclear Iran is a fait accompli.

Moreover, where the United States once acted as a counterbalance in the region by our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’re now forced to admit Iran’s lead role in fighting ISIL in Iraq is, as Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey put it, “a positive thing.” In fact, it’s the consequence of Barack Obama’s unwillingness to again put “boots on the ground” in Iraq.

Iran is having a far easier time virtually taking over Iraq now than it did in an unsuccessful war during the 1980s. As The Wall Street Journal notes, Iran’s latest military excursion into fighting ISIL in Iraq could eventually win them a “Shiite arc of power” stretching from Tehran to the Mediterranean through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Worried that a nuclear Iran will soon come to pass and concerned about Tehran’s influence in a recent coup in neighboring Yemen, Saudi Arabia found its own nuclear sponsor by recently signing a memorandum of understanding with South Korea for a feasibility study of building two nuclear reactors in the kingdom. Seeing that the Saudis are awash with oil and knowing they have vowed to “match the nuclear capabilities Iran is allowed to maintain as part of any final agreement reached with world powers,” it’s crystal clear to all but those unwilling to see that the Iranian deal opens the door to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, just as Netanyahu warned earlier this month.

We’ve heard statements that the deal with Iran is non-binding, or that the mullahs are much more moderate than in the past. But in that region of the world, talk is cheap and actions speak most clearly. The lack of leadership and willingness to throw away our hard-won advantages gained over the last decade told the Saudis all they needed to know about where America stands these days.

President George W. Bush assigned Iran to the “axis of evil,” but Obama believes Iran can negotiate in good faith. Perhaps we can self-correct this line of thought in the next election, but it’s plain the Saudis don’t want to take that chance.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Japanese Proverb: “The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.”

Columnist Linda Chavez: “There is no doubt that the Ferguson Police Department has major problems and needs reform. … [Its] policy encourages police to make more traffic stops, conduct more searches, issue more tickets and make more arrests and the courts to issue more warrants and fines to drive up revenues. It’s a lousy policy – but one not unique to Ferguson. If the Justice Department were truly serious about changing the abuses more broadly, it would have conducted a larger study that looked at similar patterns in other localities – including largely white tourist towns, where traffic tickets are often a huge source of revenue. But Holder isn’t interested in the insatiable appetite of government for more revenues. He came to Ferguson in search of racism – and of course, he found it. … In every study of racial attitudes among Americans, whites are no likelier to harbor prejudices against people of other races than are blacks, Hispanics or Asians. Eric Holder will leave office as early as next week if the Senate confirms Loretta Lynch to be his successor. It will be none too soon. A man who could have done much to improve race relations will instead leave behind a sorry legacy of inflaming racial tensions when the nation most needed a healer.”

Columnist Charles Krauthammer: “Mrs. Clinton’s other major declaration was that the server containing the emails – owned, controlled and housed by her – ‘will remain private.’ Meaning: No one will get near them. This she learned not from Watergate but from Whitewater. Her husband acquiesced to the appointment of a Whitewater special prosecutor. Hillary objected strenuously. Her fear was that once someone is empowered to search, the searcher can roam freely. In the Clintons’ case, it led to impeachment because when the Lewinsky scandal broke, the special prosecutor added that to his portfolio. Hillary was determined never to permit another open-ended investigation. Which is why she decided even before being confirmed as secretary of state that only she would control her email. … The point of regulations is to ensure government transparency. The point of owning the server is to ensure opacity. … What you’re feeling now is Early Onset Clinton Fatigue. The CDC is recommending elaborate precautions. Forget it. The only known cure is Elizabeth Warren.”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Harrison Ford was reported in good shape in an L.A. hospital after he successfully crash-landed is private plane at the Penmar Golf Club in L.A. It made worldwide news. Fifteen minutes after the plane crash, Obama called the pro shop to make sure the golf course would pull through.”

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