“[A] good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life.” —George Washington, 1790
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
And we thought the holidays were about joy, hope and peace. The commander in chief — who is leading a government that 56% Americans believe cannot protect the nation from a large-scale attack and 77% believe cannot protect the nation from a lone-wolf attack — said his intelligence community has not received credible information that there will be a terrorist attack over the holidays. “At this moment our intelligence and counterterrorism professionals do not have any specific and credible information about an attack on the homeland,” Barack Obama said Thursday. “That said, we have to be vigilant.”
The biggest obstacle to the Obama administration’s ability to protect the homeland is that Obama makes everything political. Currently, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations sent a letter of questions to the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson kicking off an investigation into the DHS policy of not reading what visa applicants post on the Internet via social media as part of the vetting process for entrance. This is the same administration that shuttered a task force that was tracking members of the Muslim movement to which one of the San Bernardino killers belonged because it was “profiling Muslims.”
Meanwhile, the feds charged the friend of Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the San Bernardino murderers, for conspiring to commit another terror attack with Farook in 2012. Enrique Marquez Jr. passed a background check and bought the rifles Farook used in the San Bernardino attack — a straw purchase. And who wants to bet that Obama, ever the opportunist to plug for gun control, uses this to argue that the nation’s background check system isn’t doing a good enough job vetting citizens seeking to purchase arms? Better to ban, he might say. And in the meantime, given his impeccable timing for national security boasts, you better watch out this holiday season.
Playing fast and loose with secrets — national and otherwise — is only a problem for Democrats if political enemies do it because that’s when the rules matter. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is in hot water with the Democratic National Committee after his staffers accessed voting data compiled by the Hillary Clinton campaign. As part of its service to the candidates, the DNC keeps a database of potential Democrat voters (and you thought they didn’t want to keep track of illegal immigrants). Each candidate’s campaign can access the data, and add their own information and firewalls to keep the candidate’s own research secret from the others. During scheduled maintenance on Wednesday, a Sanders staffer accessed the data of the campaign of the heiress to the Democrat nomination. In this age of data-driven campaigns, this was a huge no-no. The DNC blocked Sanders’ access to the data until there was assurance that all of the ill-gotten information was destroyed. Maybe Sanders just wanted his fair share.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that the Party of Clinton played fast and loose with sensitive information. Regarding that email scandal, a recent review from the intelligence community confirmed (despite State Department protests) that at least two emails containing information that was top secret — the highest classification level — passed through Clinton’s server. Meanwhile, Obama Defense Secretary Ashton Carter admitted Wednesday that he too used his private email account to communicate about official business. Think about it: The cabinet member heading up the defense of the nation was using unsecured email. Amazingly, Carter kept using his private email for at least a full two months after Clinton’s email habits were discovered and roundly criticized. It seems that Democrats — and especially those in the Most Transparent Administration in History™ — have a systematic problem with following the rules.
Wheaton College professor Larycia Hawkins created a stir last week by announcing she would wear a hijab, the head scarf worn by Islamic women, to “stand in religious solidarity with Muslims” during Advent. Hawkins was later suspended by the school, though not for the reasons presumed by secularists and even some Christians. To be clear: We believe there are numerous flaws in the way she spiritually rationalizes and physically chose to display solidarity. But that alone is not a sufficient reason for punishment. What got Hawkins suspended was a fundamental assertion in her statement: “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”
It’s not difficult to see why this might raise some critical issues for a Christian school. In a statement, Wheaton wrote, “The freedom to wear a head scarf as a gesture of care and compassion for individuals in Muslim or other religious communities that may face discrimination or persecution is afforded to Dr. Hawkins as a faculty member of Wheaton College. Yet her recently expressed views, including that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, appear to be in conflict with the College’s Statement of Faith.”
As RedState’s outgoing editor in chief and seminary student Erick Erickson points out, “Muslims are not ‘people of the book’ in common understanding among evangelicals, though they do descend from Abraham. They do not worship the same God. According to Islam, Allah neither begets nor is begotten — a line explicitly rejecting the trinity. Professor Hawkins and her supporters may wish to distract or may not even care, but Wheaton sets its hiring standards and requires fidelity to the Bible. Professor Hawkins’ statement suggests a theological diversion not in keeping with Wheaton’s standards.” That’s why the college’s response isn’t just justified, but warranted.
FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
By Arnold Ahlert
There’s an old saying attributed to Russians who endured the travails of Soviet totalitarianism: “The future is known — it’s always bright — but the past keeps changing.” According to Hollywood Reporter, Apex Entertainment is producing a feature movie entitled “Chappaquiddick,” a film whose utterly twisted rationale is revealed by Producer Mark Ciardi: “I’ve done a lot of true life stories, many sports stories, but this one had a deep impact on this country. Everyone has an idea of what happened on Chappaquiddick, and this strings together the events in a compelling and emotional way. You’ll see what [Senator Ted Kennedy] had to go through.”
What Kennedy had to go through? How about what Mary Jo Kopechne had to go through?
Hollywood may wish to engage in another Orwellian effort stringing together events in a “compelling and emotional way,” but pesky facts are indisputable: After a drunken Kennedy drove his car off Dike Bridge into Poucha Pond, the man who would become the “Lion of the Senate” extricated himself and left the 28-year-old Kopechne to drown.
According to Edgartown search-and-rescue head John Farrar, who reached the scene the next morning, Kopechne’s corpse was positioned in a way that indicated she was searching for pockets of air. Farrar believes she lived for two hours after the crash. In other words, if Kennedy had merely knocked on the door of the nearest house — only yards away — and summoned that rescue squad, Kopechne might have survived. Not that anything Farrar said became part of the public record. “I was told outright by the D.A.’s office that I would not be allowed to testify on how long Kopechne was alive in the car,” he told People magazine in July 1989. “They were not interested in the least in anything that would hurt Ted Kennedy.”
After leaving the scene, the rest of Kennedy’s “ordeal” consisted of walking back to the party he attended — and trying to get his cousin, Joe Gargan, to say that it was Gargan driving the car. Gargan refused, but insisted that they return to the scene and attempt to rescue Kopechne. When that proved unsuccessful, Ted went back to his hotel room, where he tried to set up an alibi with the hotel clerk. After that he went to bed without notifying authorities until after 8 a.m. the next day.
Kopechne was buried only a day after she died, and a petition by a district attorney to exhume her body was denied by a judge, making it impossible to determine the exact cause of her death. Ultimately, Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident causing injury. Judge James Boyle suspended the minimum sentence requirement of two months’ imprisonment, citing Kennedy’s “unblemished record.” That would be an unblemished crime record: Ted was suspended from Harvard for cheating and was arrested four times for traffic violations as a law student in Virginia. Moreover, proving he remained a person of “integrity” going forward, he and former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd shared in a “sandwich” with a distraught La Brasserie waitress in 1985. We’ll spare you the details in keeping with our standards as a family publication.
Chappaquiddick occurred in 1969. Nonetheless, the liberal voters of Massachusetts kept re-electing Teddy, who remained a senator until his death in 2009, 40 years later. Adding insult to injury, Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, a place where America buries its war heroes.
Kennedy biographer and former New York Times reporter Adam Clymer sums up the liberal mindset regarding Ted’s sordid life, insisting his “achievements as a senator have towered over his time, changing the lives of far more Americans than remember the name Mary Jo Kopechne.” Liberal blogger Melissa Lafsky did Clymer one better, grotesquely speculating that because of Kennedy’s “life and career that are being (rightfully) heralded,” maybe Kopechne would have felt her own death was “worth it.” Author Joyce Carol Oates was equally despicable in the effort to find the right balance between Kopechne’s death and Kennedy’s subsequent career, asking, “If one weighs the life of a single young woman against the accomplishments of the man President Obama has called the greatest Democratic senator in history, what is one to think?”
In a world uncontaminated by a bankrupt political ideology, one would think Obama is lying, Clymer, Lafsky and Oates are sickos who think a young woman’s life is a “reasonable” tradeoff for a privileged politician’s lifelong liberalism, and that Ted got away with murder — figuratively and literally.
But we don’t live in that world. We live in a world where substantial numbers of Americans learn “history” by watching Oliver Stone’s and Michael Moore’s revisionist movies in all their propagandistic glory. According to Hollywood Reporter, “Chappaquiddick” is a “political thriller that chronicles the true story of what is described as the seven most dramatic days of Kennedy’s life. On the eve of the moon landing, Senator Kennedy becomes entangled in a tragic car accident that results in the death of former Robert Kennedy campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne. The senator struggles to follow his own moral compass and simultaneously protect his family’s legacy, all while simply trying to keep his own political ambitions alive.”
“Entangled?” Apparently, the car drove itself into Poucha Pond. And no doubt Teddy struggled to follow his own moral compass, give or take a “waitress sandwich” — or his alleged attempt to treasonously enlist the Soviet Communists to unseat President Ronald Reagan in 1984, an utterly unsuccessful plot that was discovered in 1991, when USSR archives were declassified by Boris Yeltsin.
On several occasions, comedian Dennis Miller has asserted that Hillary Clinton will be our next president — because she best exemplifies what America has become. If she does, perhaps it’s because the only thing leftists are better at than airbrushing the contemptible career of a dead Democrat is airbrushing the contemptible career of a living one. And maybe in the midst of next year’s presidential campaign, another leftist hack channeling Lafsky or Oates will assure us that Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Chris Stevens would have felt that dying in Benghazi was “worth it” in return for Clinton’s ascension to the Oval Office.
When it comes to progressive historical revisionism, the sky — or the bottom of a bottomless pit — is the limit.
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- Squaring the Immigration Circle
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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
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For more, visit Right Opinion.
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For more, visit Patriot Headline Report
OPINION IN BRIEF
Jonah Goldberg: “The whole system seems to have lost its mind. That there’s even a debate about whether security officials should be allowed to look at the social media posts of immigrants is a sign that our bureaucrats have such open minds their brains have fallen out. We should have seen this coming five years ago, when we learned that Obama told the new head of NASA to make one of his top priorities outreach to the Muslim world. Terrorism is a big concern, but this sense that the political system is unresponsive, unaccountable and operating on its own self-interested ideological agenda is bigger. It is the ur-complaint that explains everything from enduring outrage over the lies that greased Obamacare’s passage to fury over illegal immigration, disgust over corruption at the IRS and VA, the immortality of the Ex-Im Bank and countless other outrages du jour. The failure of credible politicians to address this anxiety created an opportunity for Donald Trump. At least he’s willing to say Washington is stupid.”
Insight: “Arbitrary power has seldom … been introduced in any country at once. It must be introduced by slow degrees, and as it were step by step.” —Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773)
Upright: “I believe the church should be leading when it comes to what we call racial reconciliation, or what we call unity. … Leadership in churches has to make a concerted effort to even speak about these things. A lot of times they don’t because it’s uncomfortable for the people [who’re] sitting in pews. But these are the uncomfortable conversations that need to come from the pulpit as well as in the small groups, as well as around the dining table as well as in the homes — there needs to be an honest conversation about race. That’s how things change. Things change through repentance.” —New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson
“Imagine ‘life in a magical land where abortions and birth control are free and plentiful.’ This place exists.” —Planned Parenthood promoting a piece by Fusion’s Rosie J Spinks
Wrong prescription: “Only by recognising and treating Isis as a bona fide state can we hope to understand its workings and motivations and, ultimately, contain its murderous advance across the region.” —The Independent’s Vadim Nikitim on “Why it’s time to grant Isis diplomatic recognition”
The lady doth protest too much: “I don’t have horns.” —Hillary Clinton
Village Idiots: “We have built in some unfortunate incentives [into ObamaCare] that discourage full-time employment. … I really worry about it because there is a trend to try and move more and more people into part-time work.” —Hillary Clinton (That’s what happens when a bunch of bureaucrats with no free-market understanding approve an economic bludgeon. Clinton’s reforms wouldn’t solve any of these issues.)
Braying Jackass: “The only time I turn football on during the week … is when the Redskins play, because I love to see them lose. And they’ve lost more than they’ve won this year. If they’re ahead, I turn it off. I check back later to see if they’re losing.” —Harry Reid
And last… “A Bernie Sanders staffer patched into [Hillary Clinton’s] campaign model system but [you can] trust her email was safe from the Chinese.” —Stephen Miller
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.