Phony NYC gun store punks customers, ATF faces backlash, Cruz announces, and Starbucks brews race controversy – Daily Digest

Posted on Mon 03/23/2015 by

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“A single assembly is apt to grow ambitious, and after a time will not hesitate to vote itself perpetual.” –John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

That Time a New York ‘Gun Store’ Shamed Its Customers

Displaying the Sandy Hook gun

Some anti-gun zealots will go to great lengths to stop law-abiding citizens from buying firearms, including opening a fake gun store in New York City only to shame potential customers with the history behind the guns it stocked. “Collectors love this one,” the bearded attendant tells one customer as he displays an AR-15. “Adam Lanza’s mom had this in her collection too. Until he took this and several other guns and killed her, then went down to Sandy Hook and killed six teachers and 20 innocent children.” New Yorkers Against Gun Violence set up the storefront for just two days while States United to Prevent Gun Violence produced the video of the customers and their follow-up reactions to learning the horrific and tragic history of each gun in the store.

But it was all for show. According to Guns.com, “The firearms, like the store itself, were all fake and a New York Police Department official was on site to monitor operations.” That’s little comfort because many of the guns on display don’t comport with New York’s misnamed “SAFE Act” – even if they were only props. In fact, the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association wants an investigation for violations of the law, which would certainly be ironic for these gun grabbers. Regardless, why was the NYPD participating in this kind of political shenanigan? To add to the hypocrisy, Guns.com says the guy behind the counter is “Ned Luke, known for his depiction of a hyper violent criminal in the [Grand Theft Auto video game] series.”

The people responsible for this mockery of the Second Amendment clearly have no shame. It’s proof that the gun control industry cannot advance its objectives without resorting to deceit and psychological manipulation.

(See the video.)

If You Mess With People’s Second Amendment Rights…

…You face a backlash. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives received about 80,000 comments about its proposed regulation banning M855 ammunition, most commonly used in the AR-15 rifle, before deciding to drop the idea. But still, the feedback continued to pour in. ATF spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun told the Washington Free Beacon, “We’ve received more than 310,000 public comments. We’re still receiving some letters which are postmarked prior to the end of the comment period, March 16th.” That’s right: The ATF dropped the proposal when only about a third of the feedback came into their offices. Kinda drowns out the calls congressional Democrats made to the ATF asking it to resurrect the ban. And in related news, B. Todd Jones is stepping down as ATF director, effective March 31. Coincidence? Not likely. More…

Cruz Announces POTUS Race to Beat the Odds

In an effort to gain tactical advantage by being first onto the Republican presidential primary field, Sen. Ted Cruz announced his presidential campaign nine minutes after midnight on Twitter. “I’m running for President and I hope to earn your support!” he tweeted along with releasing a 30-second campaign video.“ But Cruz faces long odds in scoring the GOP nomination. “A CNN/ORC International poll released last week showed Mr. Paul among the early top tier of Republican Party hopefuls with Mr. Bush and Mr. Walker, while Mr. Cruz was far behind,” The Washington Times reports. “Just 4 percent of Republican voters said Mr. Cruz would be their first choice for president. … Mr. Cruz has not received more than 6 percent in any Republican primary poll this year, according to Real Clear Politics data.” Announcing early will help churn up press coverage and conservative donors for the Cruz campaign – something he needs if he’s going to beat out candidates like Sen. Rand Paul, who is expected to formally announce his own candidacy in early April. More…

U.S. Lost the War With Al-Qaida in Yemen

How will the Obama administration explain this one? As recently as last September, Barack Obama was pointing to Yemen as an example of his (sole?) foreign policy success. “This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years,” he boasted. But Yemen is a vastly different place as of last weekend, because ISIL claimed responsibility for a series of mosque bombings that left 137 people dead and 357 wounded. In response, the U.S. decided to pull the 100 U.S. Special Forces from the country. The spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington, DC, Mohammed al-Basha, wrote on Twitter, “I hate to say this, but I’m hearing the loud and clear beating of the drums of war in Yemen.” The Iran-backed Houthis group has grown in the country, ISIL may have opened up one of its terrorist franchises there, and al-Qaida still exists, despite the U.S. drone program that is now nonexistent thanks to the troop pullout. The only group standing up to the impending chaos? The Yemeni army. As The Wall Street Journal said: The U.S. just lost the war with al-Qaida. More…

Fun Camps for Everyone!

You know what America needs? Fun camps. That’s right, because everyone knows “we have a huge fun deficit in America.” So said Hillary Clinton to an Atlantic City audience. “As I have gotten older, I have decided we really need camps for adults,” she said. “I mean, really. None of the serious stuff, none of the ‘life challenge’ stuff. More fun! I think we have a huge fun deficit in America. And we need to figure out how to fill that fun deficit – certainly for our kids, but also for the rest of us.” And who better to school us about fun than Hillary? Just don’t expect to get more information from her by email. Unfortunately, she’s really only borrowing an idea – “adults” in Brooklyn are already attending preschool again. It used to take a village. Now, evidently, it takes a camp.

For more, visit Right Hooks.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

Starbucks Brews Race Controversy

It’s not often that a business with an unmistakable aura of holier-than-thou self-righteousness is willing to up the ante on its own obnoxiousness. But last week Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz plowed ahead with a political campaign that consists of printing the words “Race Together” on the chain’s coffee cups and giving coffee-serving baristas the option of engaging in a discussion about race with their customers. USA Today will buttress this initiative with a series of inserts containing info on race relations from a variety of perspectives. The inserts will also be available at Starbucks coffee shops.

Then, over the weekend, Schultz informed Starbucks employees that writing “Race Together” on the company’s coffee cups will no longer be encouraged. Schultz claimed that phase of his effort had always been scheduled to end Sunday, but he also insisted the rest of the campaign remains “far from over.” Perhaps. Yet one suspects several other revisions might be forthcoming if Starbucks’ bottom line is affected. Even “enlightened” capitalism has its financial limits.

Schultz’s foray into political activism is hardly a sea change. In 2013, he wrote an open letter to (former?) customers “with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.” He claimed it was an effort to avoid politics, but in doing so he made it political.

And as recently as last year, the coffee chain apparently felt compelled to issue a statement reassuring its customers that neither Starbucks nor Schultz provides financial support to Israel, nor to its army, following its 2003 decision to close all of its shops in that nation due to “operational challenges we experienced in that market.” The same statement indicated there was no intention to re-address those challenges, even as Starbucks operates stores in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates via its partnership with Kuwaiti-based family business MH Alshaya WLL.

The most interesting part of that statement? “We do not make business decisions based on political issues.”

Please. In a video presentation to Starbucks’ 200,000 employees, of whom 40% are minorities, Schultz dismissed the notion that talking about race with customers is a bad idea. “I reject that. I reject that completely,” he said in the video address. “It’s an emotional issue. But it is so vitally important to the country.”

The “country” apparently disagrees. As The New York Times reports, the campaign “unleashed widespread vitriol and derision” so intense, Corey duBrowa, Starbucks’ senior vice president for global communications, felt the need to temporarily delete his Twitter account. “I felt personally attacked in a cascade of negativity,” he wrote. “I got overwhelmed by the volume and tenor of the discussion, and I reacted.”

Isn’t a discussion exactly what Starbucks ostensibly wants?

No doubt Gwen Ifill, co-anchor of “PBS NewsHour,” voiced what is undoubtedly the most widespread emotional reason for the animosity. “Honest to God, if you start to engage me in a race conversation before I’ve had my morning coffee, it will not end well,” she tweeted.

Columnist Joe Berkowitz relayed his own firsthand account of the campaign’s brainless impracticality. “When it’s my turn, I order a small coffee and glance at all the people on line behind me,” he writes. “It’s so many people – at least enough to fill a jury box. If the barista and I are to have an effective meditation on identity politics, all of these people are going to be made to wait. It’s the first time that the wild impracticality of this campaign, as I understand it, fully dawns on me. Could Schultz really expect people on line to patiently wait while the barista and I – and the rest of America, by extension – make inroads toward unity?”

You betcha. “Where others see costs, risks, excuses and hopelessness, we see and create pathways of opportunity,” Schultz insisted last Wednesday at a meeting in Seattle. “That is the role and responsibility of a for-profit, public company.”

That pathway places quite a burden on the company’s workforce. An internal memo reveals that employees have to watch Schultz’s video, print two copies of the USA Today insert, putting one on the counter sign and the other on the store’s bulletin board, pass out Race Together stickers to customers, wear one on one’s apron, and write “Race Together” or “Together” on coffee cups – all as a prelude to engaging in a conversation to “foster empathy and a common understanding” in a country that faces “ongoing racial tension.” Aside from “Race Together,” the rest of this nonsense will continue.

And you know what real tension is? Standing in an early morning, glacial-paced line for an overpriced cup of joe, wondering if you’ll make it to work on time because customers and baristas who make around $9.50 an hour are engaged in a effort to “solve” America’s race problems.

Ironically most of those conversations, if they take place at all, will be at Starbucks locations far away from the racial strife Schultz is determined to address. That’s because Starbucks has no stores in many cities with majority black populations. Those cities include Highland Park, Michigan; East St. Louis, Illinois; Gary, Indiana; Selma, Alabama – and, oh yeah, Ferguson, Missouri.

Perhaps the oh-so-high-minded Schultz should consider walking the walk – before he requires his employees to talk the talk. In the meantime, the bet here is the overwhelming majority of Starbucks customers will embrace this bit of dialogue: “Gimme my coffee, take my money – and keep your opinions about race to yourself.”

The Consequences of JV Foreign Policy

There are two completely different narratives about America’s international relations and foreign policy in the Middle East. One is true, and the other is fantasy.

The narrative told by the narcissist in chief and his leftist legions is that the Middle East is in turmoil because Israel refuses to cede land to a mortal enemy and because the unemployment rate is too high among jihadists.

On the other hand is the truth: Obama’s foreign policy malfeasance has exacerbated the turmoil, undermined stability at every turn and endangered U.S. national security.

Obama’s first act of “leading from behind” was removing Moammar Gadhafi from leadership in Libya in 2011, which triggered a cascade of instability and anarchy and created an opening for ISIL in North Africa. The residue of his failure continues even as ISIL went to work just last week in Tunisia, murdering 23.

America’s “leader” was re-elected in 2012 while proclaiming al-Qaida was “on the run,” including declaring victory in Yemen, home to al-Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Yemen is now in utter chaos.

In 2013, Obama drew a red line in Syria regarding chemical weapons. Dictator Bashar al-Assad not only crossed it repeatedly but stomped on it with disdain.

In 2014, Obama belittled the Islamic State as the “JV team,” but ISIL now controls vast swaths of land and is wreaking havoc from Iraq to Nigeria.

Obama’s campaign to improve America’s standing in the world – in contrast to the “cowboy” actions of his favorite demon, George W. Bush – is an utter failure. The community organizer in the Oval Office has been extremely consistent in his antipathy toward Israel and in his clear determination to negotiate with enemies of the United States.

As early as March 2009, Obama saluted “the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran” in a video message that was a complete reversal of the “axis of evil” doctrine placing rogue, terrorist-supporting nations such as Iran and North Korea in a league of their own. And just this past week, Obama sent a video message to the Iranian people again, declaring, “Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons.” Well, Khamenei also renewed the “death to America” chant, too. Obama neglected to mention that.

While Obama is coddling enemies, he’s berating our ally Israel, slamming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at every opportunity – even when he’s supposedly “congratulating” him on an election win. Sen. John McCain rightly referred to this outrageous display from the man-child president as a “tantrum.”

In short, Obama’s political failures in the Middle East are of legendary proportion. U.S. foreign policy has never been perfect, but that’s what happens when you blame America first. Looking ahead to 2016, let’s not screw up again by rewarding Hillary Clinton with her own opportunity to implement “smart power.”

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

The Gipper: “We cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide.”

Columnist Star Parker: “Freedom House, which publishes an annual report measuring freedom around the world, rating nations based on political rights and civil liberties, has recently issued its 2015 report. … Freedom House rates on a scale of 1-7, ‘1’ being the most free and ‘7’ the least. Israel is rated 1.5, receiving a grade of 1 on political rights and 2 on civil liberties. The Israeli democracy just held free elections and gave a sound victory to current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. … When Netanyahu became clear he would not cave to pressure from Washington to support a Palestinian state, Israelis said ‘thank you’ and swept him back to power. President Obama hesitated congratulating Prime Minister Netanyahu on his victory. Yet, in January, President Obama cut short a trip to India so that he could go to Saudi Arabia and pay respects to their newly installed King Salman. On Freedom House’s 1-7 rating, Saudi Arabia is rated 7 – as ‘Unfree’ as it gets. … Republican leaders should take a close look at what just happened in Israel. Voters are looking for clarity today and they are looking for leadership. Leadership that is willing to take a clear and bold stand for freedom and American values. America needs these kinds of leaders, as does the world.”

Columnist Burt Prelutsky: “An interesting aspect of the rumored treaty with Iran is that, at the very least, they will be able to pursue nuclear energy to their heart’s content, which is more than the liberals, taking their marching orders from environmental zealots, will allow us to do. How is it we’re not insisting that Iran start relying on solar panels and windmills for its energy needs? Although nuclear energy is cheap, available and safe, and would make us energy independent for the foreseeable future, we haven’t built a nuclear plant since the 1970s. Perhaps if America could go to Switzerland and negotiate with John Kerry we, too, could start building centrifuges for peaceful purposes.”

Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “During a speech [last week], President Obama discussed the country’s successful economy and said, ‘I’m going to take a little credit.’ Then the people at the rally said, ‘Dude, we’re all here in the middle of the day because we don’t have jobs. So stop talking about how good the economy is.’”

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