THE FOUNDATION"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Charles Jarvis, 1820
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKSMonday in the latest effort to deter Vladimir Putin's aggression toward Ukraine. "The goal here is not to go after Mr. Putin personally," Obama said, but instead his inner circle. "The goal is to change his calculus with respect to how the current actions that he's engaging in could have an adverse impact on the Russian economy over the long haul." Current sanctions certainly haven't been sufficient, and the new round is still very targeted rather than broad. Indeed, even Obama is uncertain, adding, "We don't yet know whether it's going to work." That pretty much sums up his approach to foreign policy.
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Beating the Minimum Wage DrumThe minimum wage is a focal point for Democrats in this fall's election -- a populist issue that they can trumpet for political gain. Barack Obama harped on it again in his weekend address, saying, "[I]n order to make a difference for every American, Congress needs to do something. And America knows it. Right now, there's a bill that would boost America's minimum wage to 10 dollars and 10 cents an hour. That would lift wages for nearly 28 million Americans across the country. 28 million." He neglected to mention, of course, that raising the minimum wage by an incredible 40% would eliminate as many as one million jobs, and reduce hours for millions more. Despite what he may think, money doesn't grow on trees, and if labor costs more, employers purchase less of it.
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'A Stain on America's Honor'Some Republicans are turning the screws on getting immigration "reform" pushed through Congress, particularly John McCain and John Boehner. McCain claims that the 11 million illegal aliens "living in the shadows" are "being abused every day." Therefore, we should pass the "really tough" reform that's been proposed because "if you keep these people in the shadows in this nation, it is a stain on America's honor." Unlike throwing out our laws, we suppose. Meanwhile, Boehner turned to mockery: "Here's the attitude [in the House]. 'Ohhhh. Don't make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard.' We get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems and it's remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don't want to." With friends like these, who needs Democrats?
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No Cover for OregonCover Oregon is no longer covered, as the state has now pulled the plug on its ObamaCare exchange website. The Wall Street Journal reports, "Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber promised to lead the nation on ObamaCare and he did -- from behind. The worst-in-America launch collapsed even harder than Healthcare.gov. The exchange website known as Cover Oregon still hasn't enrolled one person, and the state has spent about $7 million signing up merely 69,000 people manually using paper applications." Oregon's site is the only one not to enroll anyone, but it cost nearly $250 million. That's one expensive train wreck.
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Obama Jumps Into NBA KerfuffleDonald Sterling, the owner of the NBA's LA Clippers, reportedly made racist comments about his girlfriend bringing black people to his games. He's under investigation by the NBA for it, and it's caused quite a stir in a league that pretty well features the athletic talents of blacks. And of course that means Barack Obama couldn't stay out of it. He said, "When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk." It wasn't immediately clear if he was referring to Sterling or himself and his fellow Democrats, but we've always thought quoting the Left was the best way to reveal who they really are.
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For more, visit Right Hooks.
The Internet and Liberty
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is for the third time taking aim at imposing what are known as "net neutrality" rules, which say that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the last round of regulations in January, saying the FCC had no authority to implement such regulations. In this latest round, to stay in line with the court's ruling, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is reportedly taking a different tack, rejecting the notion that regulators should redefine Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as "common carriers," which then would subject them to FCC regulation.
And, reportedly, the unreleased new proposal isn't pure net neutrality. One unnamed FCC official explained, "Broadband providers would be required to offer a baseline level of service to their subscribers, along with the ability to enter into individual negotiations with content providers. In all instances, broadband providers would need to act in a commercially reasonable manner subject to review on a case-by-case basis." So an ISP such as Comcast can charge a content provider such as Netflix more money for used bandwidth just as the two companies recently agreed.
Wheeler dismisses criticism, however, calling reports that the agency is "gutting the Open Internet rule" "flat out wrong." He maintained, "[B]ehavior that harms consumers or competition will not be permitted." However, Reason magazine's Peter Suderman looks at previous and seemingly continuing policy and says, "[T]he end result was that there was no real rule at all, just a vague sense that the Internet should be open which the FCC would enforce at its discretion. In other words, the FCC would pronounce itself the arbiter of what was and wasn't reasonable, and then make determinations on a case-by-case basis. ... What's allowed and what's not won't depend on rules so much as the regulatory agency's whims." That's a scary thought.
In other Internet news, the administration has been working toward turning over control of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the primary domain authority, to the UN in 2015. ICANN is a U.S.-government-chartered nonprofit corporation established in 1998, and it manages the Internet's domain name system (DNS). DNS is what causes typing "patriotpost.us" into your browser to bring up our website.
The plan to turn over control has been in the works since the 1990s. But The Wall Street Journal's L. Gordon Crovitz writes, "Less than a month after announcing its plan to abandon U.S. protection of the open Internet in 2015, the White House has stepped back from the abyss. Following objections by Bill Clinton, a warning letter from 35 Republican senators, and critical congressional hearings, the administration now says the change won't happen for years, if ever." (We'd note that Clinton didn't much like the Internet when it was helping his political opponents.) The administration may extend the contract for U.S. control for another four years.
Republicans want to know how it serves U.S. interests to cede control or whether control could be regained once given away. The problem is that U.S. credibility has been damaged by the NSA's revealed activities, and other nations already want to exert more control over the Internet.
Maintaining U.S. control over a free and open Internet is important, but this particular method isn't the only one, or even the most critical, for doing so. Russia and China already don't need to have any say in regards to ICANN in order to create Great Firewalls and digital Iron Curtains. The Internet cannot be centrally controlled -- that's the point.
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Elections: Actions Have Consequences
Read the rest of the story here.
For more, visit Right Analysis.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Arnold Ahlert: The Supreme Court's 'Half a Loaf' Decision
- Lawrence Kudlow: Anti-Business Obama Strikes Again
- John C. Goodman: Why Is ObamaCare a Rube Goldberg Contraption?
- Jeff Jacoby: Amid Holocaust Remembrance, Antisemitism Adapts and Thrives
- Burt Prelutsky: These Are Embarrassing Times
OPINION IN BRIEFThe Gipper: "I urge you to beware the temptation ... to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of any evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong, good and evil."
Columnist Arnold Ahlert: "As the old expression goes, 'half a loaf is better than none.' And whether Americans realize it or not, that's all they got with the Supreme Court's latest ruling on affirmative action. ... Either the Constitution of the United States means something, or it doesn't. ... Either the people of a state can decide to follow it, or they can decide to ignore it. [Justice Anthony] Kennedy tries to flatter the public ... [by] insisting that there is nothing in their rejection of race-based preferences 'too sensitive or complex to be within the grasp of the electorate; or that the policies at issue remain too delicate to be resolved save by university officials or faculties, acting at some remove from immediate public scrutiny and control; or that these matters are so arcane that the electorate's power must be limited because the people cannot prudently exercise that power even after a full debate,' but that flattery begs a giant question: what if the electorate were voting on the issue of abortion rather than affirmative action? Now you know why progressive heads are exploding."
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Columnist Burt Prelutsky: "If I didn't despise Obama for all the things he's done to America in his attempt to radically transform it, I might feel sorry for him. After all, this is a guy who has coasted through life like a traveling salesman, relying on a smile and a spiel. Suddenly, he has come face to face with the reality that you can't keep the peace by calling for time-outs with people like Putin and the Ayatollah Khomeini the way you can with Sasha and Malia. Affirmative Action, he has finally discovered, can only carry you so far."
Fred Thompson: "Obama said that 'political spite' was what motivated states that refuse to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. Absolutely. That and a childish urge to avoid bankruptcy."
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
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