Court Says NSA Record Collection Exceeded Patriot Act Authority + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Thu 05/07/2015 by


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“I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessing on this house, and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof!” —John Adams, letter to his wife Abigail, 1800


Today is the National Day of Prayer.

In 1775, on the eve of Revolution, the First Continental Congress called for “a day of publick humiliation, fasting, and prayer.” Indeed, our Founders saw a national day of prayer as a fitting observance.

In 1952, Congress established the National Day of Prayer as an annual event by a joint resolution, signed into law by President Harry Truman. The NDP designation (36 U.S.C. § 119) calls for the nation “to turn to God in prayer and meditation.”

Prayer is Almighty God’s prerequisite for true hope and change, and our nation needs an abundance of both right now. The Patriot Post’s National Advisory Board and staff invite you to join us, and millions of our countrymen, in prayer for our nation today at 12:00 local time.


Court Says NSA Record Collection Exceeded Patriot Act Authority

In a win for opponents of the National Security Agency’s massive telephone metadata collection efforts, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday the program is not authorized by the Patriot Act. The three-judge panel did not, however, go so far as to declare it unconstitutional. As The Wall Street Journal reports, “The NSA has used the Patriot Act to justify collecting records of nearly every call made in the U.S. and entering them into a database to search for possible contacts among terrorism suspects.” It’s an attempt to collect all the hay, make a stack and then look for needles. But the judges didn’t order a stop to the collection because Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which the NSA specifically cited for its authority, is due to expire on June 1 and is currently under debate in Congress. The House Judiciary Committee has already passed a bill ending the bulk collection in favor of requiring case-by-case consideration.

As we wrote two years ago, the issue with bulk collection is one of trust. Obama’s tenure in the White House has been plagued with scandals — political targeting at the IRS and the EPA, wiretapping of news outlets, the Benghazi cover-up, VA wait lists and Fast and Furious — all of which makes this data collection for a war he doesn’t even want to fight unsettling.

Obama’s Bold New Idea: How About a Missile Defense System?

A few weeks ago, Barack Obama was announcing the rough draft of a nuclear agreement with Iran. It was supposed to prevent, or at least give the West and its Middle Eastern allies warning of, a nuclear breakout from Iran. In the coming week, it appears that Obama’s helping countries belonging to the Gulf Cooperation Council run for the bunkers. CNN reports that the Obama administration will bring up the idea of creating a ballistic missile defense system that would protect the countries from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia to Oman — just in case Iran ever develops a nuclear warhead or two.

The Obama administration’s policy has been to generally discourage the development of missile defense systems. In 2001, the then-State Senator Obama said, “I don’t agree with a missile defense system.” In 2009, his administration traded a missile defense system that protected Poland and the Czech Republic against an Iranian missile attack for an assurance by Russia that it would discourage Iran’s nuclear program. (“Reset!”) It was around this time that former Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen announced Iran had enriched enough uranium to fabricate a nuclear warhead. But in April, Russia approved an $800 million sale of its S-300 missiles to Iran, undercutting the West’s ability to knock out the Islamic Republic’s nuclear production facilities in the event it did achieve breakout.

If Obama were serious, he would bolster missile defense in the U.S. and Europe. In February, Iran successfully launched a missile that put a satellite into orbit, which prompted Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) to say, “While rogue states like Iran develop sophisticated ballistic missile systems and space satellite programs, President Obama continues to turn his back on any type of long-term strategy for our military and national defense.”

NYPD Mourns Fallen Officer

The New York Police Department is mourning another fallen officer. Brian Moore, 25 and white, died three days after being shot in the face by Demetrius Blackwell, who is black. (According to Investor’s Business Daily, “FBI crime data over the past decade show that African-Americans commit a disproportionately high 40% of all cop-killings — more than three times their representation in the population.”) The reason in Blackwell’s case? Moore and his partner were in their unmarked vehicle when they asked Blackwell if he had a gun in his waistband. Instead of answering, Blackwell drew the stolen firearm and fired on the two, mortally wounding Moore and wounding his partner. The funeral will be Friday. “Officer Moore put his life on the line in order to protect his fellow New Yorkers, and our state is a better place because of him,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “Like so many of his brothers and sisters in uniform, Officer Moore served with selflessness and courage, and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.” Yet this 25-year-old won’t receive the level of attention Freddie Gray, also 25, has. The reason is simple: Gray’s death after an injury while in police custody fits a narrative; Moore’s does not.

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Who’s Up for Federalizing Police?

By Allyne Caan

If you like the federal government picking your insurance plan, targeting your free speech via the IRS, feeling you up at the airport and planning your kids’ lunch menu, you’ll love its taking over your local police department.

The “Reverend” Al Sharpton recently called for such a takeover, saying in reference to the Baltimore riots, “We need the Justice Department to step in and take over policing in this country. In the 20th century, they had to fight states’ rights to get the right to vote. We’re going to have to fight states’ rights in terms of closing down police cases. Police must be held accountable. I don’t think all police are bad; I don’t even think most are bad. But those that are need to be held accountable.”

And, naturally, Sharpton thinks the best way to “hold accountable” the small minority of police who abuse power is to federalize all police. The federal government has already been arming local PDs with decommissioned military equipment, so why not finish the job?

Sharpton’s idea, as frightening as it is, is hardly original. Back in 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama, who was spouting out campaign promises faster than Hillary Clinton can wipe her hard drive, floated an idea for a national civilian police force, saying, “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded.”

He eventually seemed to drop the idea, but maybe he just had to wait for a more opportune crisis.

And what better way to push a federal police force than to capitalize on Baltimore, Ferguson and New York as justification for Big Brother to step in and save the day? Indeed, less than a month after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, the Justice Department announced an investigation of the Ferguson PD. In December, the DOJ announced an investigation into the death of Eric Garner in New York. And Wednesday, Baltimore Democrat Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake asked the Justice Department to launch a civil rights investigation into her city’s police department following the death of Freddie Gray — a request the Department is “actively considering” and no doubt will jump on.

The guise may be accountability, but the solution is laughable. As University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn Reynolds points out, federal agencies hardly have a stellar record when it comes to law enforcement. There’s the Secret Service engaging in extracurricular entertainment of the whorish sort; the Drug Enforcement Agency allegedly attending sex parties — with prostitutes funded by drug cartels, no less; and the Capitol Police leaving loaded firearms unattended, including one in a bathroom found by a child. And remember that little scandal called Fast and Furious? Imagine if your local police force smuggled firearms to known drug rings in town. Yeah, that would go over well.

Yet this is just the kind of oversight and “accountability” that federalizing police would bring. Oh, and there’s the minor detail that it’s unconstitutional. The Tenth Amendment clearly states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” A federal police force is not one of the delegated powers. And we doubt this was an oversight on the part of our Founders. Of course, given Obama’s view of the Constitution as little more than an inconvenient pamphlet, this would hardly deter him.

Be prepared for the Left to issue more calls for a police takeover, using anything from isolated incidents to larger terror threats to justify it. But unless America wants its police force attaining the same stellar reputation for accountability and justice as the IRS, the NSA and the VA, we’d better be prepared to reject any attempts at a federal takeover.



For more, visit Right Opinion.


Victor Davis Hanson: “Why did Rome and Byzantium fall apart after centuries of success? What causes civilizations to collapse, from a dysfunctional fourth-century-B.C. Athens to contemporary bankrupt Greece? The answer is usually not enemies at the gates, but the pathologies inside them. What ruins societies is well known: too much consumption and not enough production, a debased currency, and endemic corruption. Americans currently deal with all those symptoms. But two more fundamental causes for decline are even more frightening: an unwillingness to pay taxes and the end of the rule of law. … Increasingly in the United States, the degree to which a law is enforced — or whether a person is indicted — depends on political considerations. But when citizens do not pay any income taxes, or choose not to pay taxes that they owe and expect impunity, a complex society unwinds. And when the law has becomes negotiable, civilization utterly collapses.”


Upright: “Barring a miracle, the family that has existed since antiquity will likely crumble, presaging the fall of Western civilization itself. This is a time for concerted prayer, divine wisdom and greater courage than we have ever been called upon to exercise.” —James Dobson

Non Compos Mentis: “[H]ate speech is excluded from protection. dont [sic] just say you love the constitution…read it.” —CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Twitter

The annals of the absurd: “Muslims are seen as more violent than other religions, they’re seen as less civilized than other religions, they’re seen as more prone to terrorism than other religions. … I see that as baseless.” —Morehouse College professor Marc Lamont Hill, who clearly hasn’t been paying attention

Race bait: “I’m asking the Department of Justice to investigate if our police department has engaged in a pattern or practice of stops, searches or arrests that violate the Fourth Amendment. I am asking that they investigate what systemic challenges exist within our police department that can contribute to excessive force and discriminatory policing.” —Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Village Idiots: “There was no attempt to hide [donations]. The guy that filled out the forms made an error. The guy put it on the wrong form … I can’t explain why they didn’t do it — all I can do is fix it.” —Bill Clinton, blaming the accountant for his Foundation failing to disclose some foreign donors

Dezinformatsia: “Socialist Sanders might actually make Americans realize that Republicans are liars when they call Clinton and Obama socialists — and force a real debate on economic inequality. It will be a great relief to see a Democrat who’s unapologetic about the role of government in creating a more inclusive economy.” —Salon’s Joan Walsh

Late-night humor: “Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign announced that it raised over $1.5 million in the 24 hours after he announced his bid. Meanwhile, a 12-year-old on Kickstarter just raised $7 million in five minutes after announcing his idea for juice box water guns.” —Jimmy Fallon

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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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