Congress Plans to Continue Unconstitutional Redistribution + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Tue 09/29/2015 by

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“Hence as a private man has a right to say what wages he will give in his private affairs, so has a community to determine what they will give and grant of their substance for the administration of public affairs.” —Samuel Adams, 1772

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Congress Plans to Continue Unconstitutional Redistribution

pro-Planned Parenthood rally before the U.S. Capitol. Photo courtesy Michael M. S., Flickr

The clock is winding down to 11:59 p.m. Wednesday and Congress is on its last lap before it approves a temporary spending measure for the new fiscal year that will keep government running until Dec. 11. On Monday, the Senate approved 77-16 the clean spending bill that keeps federal funds flowing to Planned Parenthood. The legislation has been sent to the House, and, if Republicans there don’t halt the process, it will end up on Obama’s desk. While some Republican lawmakers want to block the $500 million that the government gives to Planned Parenthood, there are other political strategies that are less politically fraught. House Speaker John Boehner, despite his flaws, announced that the House will form a special committee to investigate the organization’s trafficking of baby parts. It’s a compromise: As we learned with the House Select Committee on Benghazi, a bulldog-like lawmaker in the vein of Rep. Trey Gowdy can do much to keep focus on an issue. But as for the talk of grinding the government to a halt over Planned Parenthood, unfortunately, it’s become little more than a political fundraiser for both sides. Of course we shouldn’t be funding Planned Parenthood — because there’s no constitutional authority for doing so. While federal money going to the nation’s largest abortion provider is a particular abomination, nothing in the Constitution empowers Congress to take money from taxpayers and redistribute it to special interests of any sort. But there are thousands of such expenditures in every budget. If we’re going to shut down government, let’s do it to stop all of this unconstitutional spending.

Clinton Indicates Indictment Might Be Imminent

After learning that the FBI was able to recover some of the emails that she deleted, Hillary Clinton launched into damage control, explaining that she didn’t determine which emails were public and which were private. Instead, she claims, she let her lawyers sift through the tens of thousands of emails to weed out any reference to yoga class. “I didn’t look at them,” Clinton now says. “I wanted them to be as clear in their process as possible. I didn’t want to be looking over their shoulder. If they thought it was work-related, it would go to the State Department. If not, then it would not.” But knowing Clinton’s track record in telling the truth regarding this scandal, this statement could be disproven before long. After all, what reason do we have to trust her ever-changing story? Self-preservation is on her brain. As Judge Andrew Napolitano said Monday, “Her most recent troubles show that when she certified under oath, ‘under penalty of perjury,’ to a federal judge that she had surrendered all her emails to the State Department, in fact she had not.” As a result, Napolitano believes the FBI will recommend indicting Clinton over her email use to the State Department. For the first time, Clinton is very clearly saying, “Hey, I was just a bystander here and my lawyers did all of it.” This is a huge shift, the kind of shift you see when she’s really concerned about a felony indictment — and not just for perjury. We can’t see how she avoids an indictment at this point, other than to lay it all on her attorneys. How willing are the Clinton lackeys to fall on a sword for their crumbling political machine?

Trump: Millions Who Pay No Taxes Will Keep Paying No Taxes

Donald Trump offered his tax plan Monday, and it has quite the populist appeal. His plan says, “If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax. That removes nearly 75 million households — over 50% — from the income tax rolls. They get a new one page form to send the IRS saying, ‘I win,’ those who would otherwise owe income taxes will save an average of nearly $1,000 each.” On top of that, he’d lower the top rate from 39.6% to 25%, and reduce corporate taxes from the current highest-in-the-world rate of 35% to 15%. On the other hand, he wants to eliminate deductions that help people like hedge fund managers pay a lower rate than many Americans. We suppose their tax forms will say, “I lose.” Indeed, “eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich” is how he proposes to keep the plan “revenue neutral.” Fat chance of that. His proposed four brackets of 0%, 10%, 20% and 25% will “simplify the tax code,” he said. “It’ll grow the American economy at a level that it hasn’t seen for decades.” It’s worth noting, as Trump does, that there are already millions of Americans who pay no income tax, though they do have to fill out complex tax forms to reach that conclusion. Thus, they have no “skin in the game,” and everyone should bear some of the burden, even if it’s just 1%. But Trump would expand the numbers paying nothing — smart politics. On the other hand, these same workers pay a disproportionate share of the payroll tax, which supposedly funds the biggest drivers of our debt: Major entitlements.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Putin Keeps Taking Obama’s Lunch Money

By Lewis Morris

In dueling speeches at Monday’s UN General Assembly meeting, Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin sounded off in the latest round of tense relations between the U.S. and Russia. Unfortunately, because of Obama’s thoughtless foreign policy America looks weak and clueless on the world stage.

Obama continued to rail against Moscow for its actions in Ukraine. “We cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated,” he declared. “If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today.” Of course, “stand by” is precisely what Obama has done with regard to Ukraine and Crimea.

“Stand by” has also been Obama’s “plan” with regard to Syria. And Putin has used the opportunity to bolster Russia’s presence in the Middle East. In a one-two punch this month, the Kremlin provided military support to bolster longtime Syrian ally Bashar al-Assad, and then — just in time for the UN confab — announced an intelligence sharing agreement with Syria, Iraq and Iran to combat the Islamic State.

The Wall Street Journal explains the significance of that move for Iraq: “It’s hard to fault Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi for the decision. He’s watched for a year while the U.S. coalition has made little progress against Islamic State. His decision risks putting Baghdad further under Tehran’s sway, and pushing more Iraqi Sunnis into Islamic State’s arms. But desperate leaders will act in desperate ways.”

One Iraqi militia leader put it this way: “We believe that Russia and Iran are serious about defeating ISIS while the U.S. doesn’t want to defeat ISIS. We wish that the Iraqi government wouldn’t trust or depend heavily on the U.S. because we’ve had a bad experience with the U.S. in this regard.”

So Obama has not only abandoned Iraq to the Islamic State, but to Iran and Russia.

Russia’s pledge to help Assad catches the U.S. flatfooted after Obama’s own pathetic attempts to combat ISIL in Syria have come to nothing. The haphazard air campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq has had little impact on stopping the terror group’s territorial gains. And the embarrassing $500 million training program that led to a half-dozen pro-Western boots on the ground in Syria didn’t do much more to instill confidence in America’s abilities. In fact, the program has been suspended.

On the positive side, Obama in his remarks promoted the Islamic State from “JV team” to “apocalyptic cult.” Baby steps.

Fox News’ Brit Hume surmised, “Obama’s speech at the UN [Monday] encapsulated perfectly notions that have long driven his foreign policy. He looks upon the behavior of America’s adversaries as not simply self-interested or even evil but mainly outdated, old-fashioned. … Obama warns America against ‘a notion of strength that is defined by opposition to old enemies, perceived adversaries, a rising China or a resurgent Russia, a revolutionary Iran or Islam that is not compatible with peace.’ While those may sound like the very threats we face, Obama further warns against ‘the idea that the only strength that matters for the United States is bellicose words and shows of military force.’ … Does it even occur to him that the problem is not ‘bellicose words’ but following them up by backing down?”

Putin clearly holds the upper hand right now. He has been resolute, bold and committed — all the qualities that Obama has lacked from the beginning. In the name of political expediency, Obama created a power vacuum in Iraq and Syria, allowing the Islamic State to grow and prosper. Now, Russia, which has alternated between being America’s strategic competitor to outright opponent, is stepping in to fill the void.

This is a dangerous situation that will only give Russia (and Iran) a stronger foothold in a region where Obama has steadily ceded U.S. influence and leadership. Regaining the respect of our allies and enemies alike will only get tougher as time goes by. The fact that Putin felt confident enough to call out America at the UN is a prime example of what lies ahead if the U.S. does not regain the mantle of leadership in world affairs.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Thomas Sowell: “Nowhere has there been so much hand-wringing over a lack of ‘affordable housing,’ as among politicians and others in coastal California. And nobody has done more to make housing unaffordable than those same politicians and their supporters. A recent survey showed that the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco was just over $3,500. Some people are paying $1,800 a month just to rent a bunk bed in a San Francisco apartment. … One of the first things taught in an introductory economics course is supply and demand. When a growing population creates a growing demand for housing, and the government blocks housing from being built, the price of existing housing goes up. … Housing prices in San Francisco, and in many other communities for miles around, were once no higher than in the rest of the United States. But, beginning in the 1970s, housing prices in these communities skyrocketed to three or four times the national average. Why? Because local government laws and policies severely restricted, or banned outright, the building of anything on vast areas of land. This is called preserving ‘open space,’ and ‘open space’ has become almost a cult obsession among self-righteous environmental activists, many of whom are sufficiently affluent that they don’t have to worry about housing prices. … How ‘complex’ is it to figure out that letting people build homes in some of that vast expanse of ‘open space’ would keep housing from becoming ‘unaffordable’?”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Equality, rightly understood as our Founding Fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.” —Barry Goldwater (1909-1998)

Upright: “Every Republican tax-reform plan should be rooted in this reality: If you are going to have federal spending that is 21 percent of GDP, then you can have a.) taxes that are 21 percent of GDP; b.) deficits. There is no c. If, on the other hand, you have a credible program for reducing spending to 17 or 18 percent of GDP, which is where taxes have been coming in, please do share it.” —National Review’s Kevin Williamson

For the record: “Most of the 193 countries that belong to the U.N. are not run by representative governments, but rather by thugs of various hues. … The rules of human history were not suspended with the arrival of the U.N. seven decades ago, and the prevention of a third world war has nothing to do with anyone being dissuaded from aggression by peacekeeping troops sporting sky-blue helmets, or by speeches before the General Assembly.” —Investor’s Business Daily

Braying Jackass: “[C]hanting ‘death to America’ does not create jobs or make Iran more secure.” —Barack Obama at the UN (We can hear Iranians quivering in their boots from here.)

Make America grate again: “Everybody’s got to be covered. … I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. … They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And … the government’s gonna pay for it.” —Barack Obama Donald Trump offering ObamaCare 2.0 (“Government’s gonna pay for it” is called Medicaid, which was greatly expanded under ObamaCare.)

Admit nothing, deny everything, make counter allegations: “It is clear that [the Center for Medical Progress] acted fraudulently and unethically — and perhaps illegally. Yet it is Planned Parenthood, not [CMP head David] Daleiden, that is currently subject to four separate congressional investigations. … Planned Parenthood is proud of its limited role in supporting fetal tissue research.” —Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards in congressional testimony

The meaning of “is”: “I think we did the right thing in the right way. We are, even our critics say [the Clinton Foundation is] much more transparent than most similar foundations.” —Bill Clinton (That’s like saying Planned Parenthood is more transparent than most other abortion providers.)

And last… “How about that? A robot will be one of the featured speakers at a Clinton Foundation event. Must’ve figured they needed someone with more warmth and sincerity than Hillary.” —Fred Thompson

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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