Daily Digest for Thursday
THE FOUNDATION"[T]he States can best govern our home concerns and the general government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore ... never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold at market." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Judge William Johnson, 1823
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKSreport on CIA interrogations Wednesday, calling the "deeply flawed" report a "terrible piece of work," and concluding that it's "full of crap." He asserted the CIA's enhanced techniques, such as waterboarding, provided actionable intelligence that proved "vital in the success of keeping the country safe from further attacks." For example, he said, "We've got Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was the mastermind of 9/11, who has killed 3,000 Americans, taken down the World Trade Center, hit the Pentagon, would have taken out the White House or the Capitol building if, in fact, it hadn't been for the passengers on United 93. He is in our possession, we know he's the architect, and what are we supposed to do? Kiss him on both cheeks and say, 'Please, please tell us what you know?' Of course not. We did exactly what we needed to do to catch those who were guilty on 9/11 and to prevent a further attack, and we were successful on both parts." The most important question, Cheney argued, is this: "What are you prepared to do to get the truth against future attacks against the United States?" On that score, he concluded, "The CIA did one hell of a job."
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notes, a law enacting universal background checks will not prevent another Newtown massacre because the shooter stole the guns from his mother. In other shootings, the perpetrators bought guns legally, passing background checks. The Left's gun control goal comes at a time when 52% of Americans say the right to bear arms is more important than controlling guns in a feeble attempt to reduce crime -- the most support the Second Amendment has gotten in 20 years.
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story the pop culture magazine published alleging she was gang raped at a University of Virginia fraternity. The Post's reporting is damning for Rolling Stone. Jackie's friends say her story changed from when they first responded to their friend's phone calls in 2012 to what eventually hit newsstands a few weeks ago. According to the Post, "The friends said they were never contacted or interviewed by the pop culture magazine's reporters or editors." Even leftist rag Salon's feminist blog, XX factor, sides with the Post on this one, admitting that Rolling Stone's story could very well be a fabrication, with Jackie making up swaths of her narrative -- to the point of inventing a love interest. And then author Sabrina Rubin Erdely took UVA to task while not showing a hint of skepticism herself. Jackie might have been in a traumatic situation, but her story appears to be largely made up. And that will do more to hurt than help real victims of rape. More...
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Jonathan Gruber's testimony before Congress Tuesday, Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) told the emotional story of her husband's October death, in part because of the failings of ObamaCare. "My husband was having chest pains at the time that he was told we were not enrolled in ObamaCare, and come to find out he didn't have all of the tests that he was advised by his physician to have," she said. "So, on October 24, the week before election, my husband went to sleep and never woke up. He had a massive heart attack in his sleep at age 65." Nearly overcome with emotion, she continued, "I'm not telling you that my husband died because of ObamaCare. He died because he had a massive heart attack in his sleep. But I am telling you that during the course of time that he was having tests by a physician, and was told we were not covered by ObamaCare, that he then decided not to have the last test the doctor asked him to have." Lummis added, "There have been so many glitches in the passage and implementation of ObamaCare that have real-life consequences on people's lives." Then, in a direct rebuttal to Gruber's faux apology for having made "glib" remarks, she concluded, "And the so-called 'glibness' that has been referenced today have direct consequences for real Americans. So get over your damn glibness."
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abused God's Word by paraphrasing Exodus in his speech announcing his amnesty executive action. This time, he quoted a verse that doesn't exist: "The good book says don't throw stones in glass houses, or make sure we're looking at the log in our eye before we are pointing out the moat in other folks' eyes." Unfortunately, the Bible never says anything about glass houses, and he's also a bit muddled with logs and moats. Undeterred, Obama continued the Sunday school lesson, saying, "If we're serious about the Christmas season, now is the time to reflect on those who are strangers in our midst and remember what it was like to be a stranger." If he's referring to Mary and Joseph as strangers in Bethlehem, well, that was Joseph's ancestral home -- which might not be the best analogy to today's illegal immigration.
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Liberty Depends on YouNo matter the cost, The Patriot Post will continue to stand on the front lines of the battle to restore the constitutional limits on the central government -- and thousands of Patriots have joined our ranks in the last decade. We don't just "preach to the choir" -- because our donors support the distribution of The Patriot Post without charge, we reach large numbers of those who are politically indifferent and fire them up!
Given the economic struggles our nation faces, we are once again holding the line on our budget -- it's not going up. However, we still must raise $139,604 to meet our Christmas Day goal.
Don't Miss Alexander's ColumnRead Blame All Those Racist Cops?, on the purely partisan attempt to vilify law enforcement.
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The House vote on the 1,603-page bill, which by the way is longer than "War and Peace" and averages more than $630,000,000 worth of spending for every page, comes just hours before the deadline for funding the government. Using those two politically charged words -- "government shutdown" -- as motivation and justification, Republican and Democrat leadership hashed out a deal that has some liberals crying foul, some conservatives arguing it doesn't go far enough, and all Americans on the hook for the cost.
What exactly is in the spending monstrosity? Well, don't expect legislators to know. They only voted on it; reading it is an entirely different matter. But some of the highlights (and lowlights) are worth noting, as We the People are the ones footing the bill.
For starters, ObamaCare is funded. Yes, despite conviction-laden statements about defunding Obama's health care catastrophe, when push came to shove, if you like your funding, you can keep it. Some funding is withheld, though, as the spending bill does not allocate anything related to ObamaCare for the IRS or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Under the bill, the IRS would see its budget cut by $345.6 million. And the agency would also be banned from targeting organizations applying for tax-exempt status simply because of ideology. Not that the IRS was allowed to do this before; this administration just didn't care.
A similar scenario plays out with abortion. The bill prohibits federal funding for most abortions, but ObamaCare already forces Americans to pay for abortions, so again, just because something is law doesn't mean this administration will follow it.
On the military and foreign affairs front, $5 billion is directed to fighting the Islamic State ($1.6 billion of which is for training Iraqi and Kurdish forces) and $1.3 billion is allocated for a new Counterterrorism Partnership Fund. There is also $5.4 billion for security at U.S. embassies around the world -- $46 million more than Obama requested.
The EPA is no doubt unhappy (which makes us happy) because its budget would see a $60 million cut. And despite the fact that Congress has long been entirely unable to balance a budget, they got one math problem right, as the bill would not fund Common Core standards or Obama's failed "Race to the Top" initiative.
Perhaps drawing some of the most ire from the Left is the bill's provision that would increase by tenfold the limit on campaign donations to national political parties. The Wall Street Journal explains, "The higher limit ... is designed to allow the parties to fund their conventions with private dollars, since Republicans have eliminated taxpayer funds for those political shindigs."
But Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the Left's populist darling, warned that this provision is "the worst of government for the rich and powerful." Democrats like to sounds righteous about campaign financing until their own billionaires help them outraise Republicans.
In photo-op fashion, House Appropriations Committee Chair Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) released a joint statement that was anything but unique: "While not everyone got everything they wanted, such compromises must be made in a divided government. These are the tough choices that we must make to govern responsibly and do what the American people sent us here to do." They appear to have forgotten that the American people just fired a number of them.
For the bill to pass, House Republicans need to garner Democrat support as several conservative House Members are expected to oppose the bill for not going far enough regarding Obama's amnesty declaration. Still, most expect the bill to pass and then head to the Senate for a quick turnaround.
And a quick turnaround it will undoubtedly get. After all, the government rarely delays when it has a chance to spend so much taxpayer money.
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In the emotional aftermath of the murderous rampage, the Connecticut government enacted some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, and considered even more legislation -- like regulating homeschooling -- just because the progressive Nutmeggers believe more laws fix everything.
Now, as support for gun rights is at its highest point in two decades, teachers in the Newtown school district believe they are at the tipping point for fundamentally changing America's gun culture. Four of them appeared on CBS News and said their work to roll back the Second Amendment has reached critical mass. Sandy Hook educator Mary Ann Jacob said, "We're at a tipping point. We're up against a really big lobby, but we know we can make a difference."
The teachers have written letters. They have organized to defund the gun industry by persuading teachers unions to divest from businesses that support the gun industry. They have done their best to attack that great leftist Satan -- the NRA. But they haven't considered how guns stopped the shooter -- and could have stopped him sooner. CBS journalist Jane Pauley asked the group of teachers, "Is there no one here that that day didn't wish they had a gun?"
Two teachers said that they didn't wish for a gun in the moments when the shooter sprayed more than 150 rounds in the school. Jacob said it wouldn't have even mattered. "And you know what?" she said, "If there had been someone at the entrance to our school with a gun, they would've been dead, too. There's a reason they call them assault weapons. It's an impossible barrage to survive from. We survived because we were lucky and because he was stopped for whatever reason before he could do more damage."
A few points: "They" call them assault weapons for all the wrong reasons. Handguns kill several times more people each year than rifles of any type. And Jacob fails to consider that while a deranged man attacked the school for five minutes, he stopped only when police surrounded the building with "assault weapons" of their own.
The parents of 10 of the 20 children slain that day are poised to sate their grief by seeking money in the courtroom, the Hartford Courant reports. (Never mind the outpouring of donations and support from around the country, from cash to offers to babysit.) Ten estates have been created in the children's names -- the first step in suing the Town of Newtown, Newtown School Board, the estate of the shooter's murdered mother, and Bushmaster -- the company that made the AR-15 Nancy Lanza legally bought and her son then stole to commit the crime. The parents and their lawyers have only a couple days until the window closes to sue these institutions.
Gun writer Robert Farago points out some of these lawsuits may yield useful information about how law enforcement may have failed to properly respond to active shooter situations. Others, like suing Bushmaster, are frivolous as defined by a 2005 law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which prevents many lawsuits against the gun industry if the firearms are used in a crime.
Days after the Sandy Hook shooting, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy stood before the state's legislature and broke down and cried as he gave his State of the State address. Many of the legislators wore green ribbons to symbolize solidarity with the Sandy Hook victims. If there was a political climate that would do all the wrong things for the sake of security and school children, it was there in that room.
The best Connecticut had to offer was its infamous gun bill, and more money. In the months following, the state threw millions of dollars to its school districts to boost security through the installation of cameras, ballistic glass, buzzer systems and panic buttons. Tellingly, this money didn't extend to the state's private schools. The security strategy seemed fatalistic: If another school shooting were to happen in Connecticut, schools would go into lockdown. Children would huddle on the floor and hope a shooter didn't burst through their classroom door. Meanwhile, school administrators would hope ballistic glass and security cameras were enough to slow the shooter down until the police swooped in to save the day. When seconds count, police are only minutes away.
Connecticut towns were divided over the questions whether to even hire police officers devoted solely to patrolling schools. But despite the headlines, shootings are extremely rare. What do we teach kids about Liberty and self-governorship when we think the only way to keep them safe is to keep a G-man with them always? Besides, there are other soft targets in local communities, such as shopping centers and churches.
Security is not the endgame of education. Liberty is. As for double-doors, buzzers and cameras? They aren't built to stop a shooter as much as they are for custody disputes. Divorce and domestic violence: These are the signs of culture decay found in every school system in the nation.
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For more, visit Right Analysis.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
OPINION IN BRIEFBritish historian Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859): "The maxim, that governments ought to train the people in the way in which they should go, sounds well. But is there any reason for believing that a government is more likely to lead the people in the right way than the people to fall into the right way of themselves?"
Columnist George Will: "In 2012, one of every 108 adults was behind bars, many in federal prisons containing about 40 percent more inmates than they were designed to hold. Most of today’s 2.2 million prisoners will be coming back to their neighborhoods and few of them will have been improved by the experience of incarceration. This will be true even if they did not experience the often deranging use of prolonged solitary confinement, which violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on 'cruel and unusual punishments' and is, to put things plainly, torture. The scandal of mass incarceration is partly produced by the frivolity of the political class, which uses the multiplication of criminal offenses as a form of moral exhibitionism. This, like Eric Garner’s death, is a pebble in the mountain of evidence that American government is increasingly characterized by an ugly and sometimes lethal irresponsibility."
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Historian Victor Davis Hanson: "In such a depressing American landscape, why is the United States doing pretty well? Put simply, millions of quiet, determined Americans get up every morning and tune out the incompetence and corruption of their government. They simply ignore destructive fads of popular culture. They have no time for the demagoguery of their politicians and the divisive rhetoric of social activists. Instead, these quiet Americans simply go to work, pursue their own talents, excel at what they do, and seek to take care of their families. The result of their singular expertise is that even in America’s current illness, the nation still soars above the global competition. ... America is not saved by our elected officials, bureaucrats, celebrities and partisan activists. Instead, just a few million hardworking Americans in key areas -- a natural meritocracy of all races, classes and backgrounds -- ignore the daily hype and chaos, remain innovative and productive, and dazzle the world. The silent few of a forgotten America have given the entire country an astonishing standard of living that is quite inexplicable."
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Comedian Argus Hamilton: "Obama asked Congress for and obtained a ninety-day extension Monday for the NSA to monitor phone calls in the U.S. for terrorist activity. The NSA Director assured Congress that the NSA does not use the information on political opponents. That's the IRS's job and they're a different union."
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
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