The Patriot Post · http://patriotpost.us/digests/31553
Dec. 8, 2014
“There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. ‘Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.” –George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Down Goes Another Democrat1
The GOP picked up another Senate seat Saturday. The Associated Press reports, “Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy defeated Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu on Saturday, denying her a fourth term and extending the GOP’s domination of the 2014 midterm elections that put Republicans in charge of Capitol Hill for the final two years of President Barack Obama’s tenure. With Cassidy’s victory, Republicans will hold 54 seats when the Senate convenes in January, nine more than they have now.” Landrieu failed in her bid to stave off the GOP tide, even though she pushed the Keystone XL pipeline. Louisiana voters saw through the charade, however, and opted to aid a higher purpose – stopping Barack Obama. Her loss also means that 30 of the 60 Senate Democrats who voted for ObamaCare are no longer in Congress. Talk about an albatross. More…2
Nearly 12 Million Have Left the Workforce Under Obama3
November’s jobs report4 no doubt contained good news. Payrolls jumped by 321,000, which was far above the 230,000 jobs forecast by economists5. September and October also saw positive revisions. The most recent year with superior job growth was 1999. Add it all up, and the economy has clearly turned a corner after subsequent years in deep shambles. However (how many times have we had to say that?), the economy continues to lag significantly in potential; you can thank the Obama recovery for that. The one particularly troubling statistic pertains to the labor participation rate that remained unchanged last month at 62.8% – meaning 92,447,000 Americans aren’t seeking a job. The cumulative effect of a stubbornly low participation rate is alarming to say the least, as nearly 12 million workers have called it quits during Obama’s presidency. CNSNews.com reports, “When President Obama took office in January 2009, there were 80,529,000 Americans who were not participating in the office, which means that since then, 11,918,000 Americans have left the workforce.” That’s far more than the number of jobs Obama claims to have “created.” So while the headline employment numbers have improved, there are still underlying problems that remain unresolved. That is why speculators remain pessimistic despite the media’s rosy narrative. More…6
Jihadist Relieves Himself, Thwarts U.S. Hostage Rescue7
The Navy SEALs’ attempted rescue of American journalist Luke Somers, who was captured by al-Qaida in Yemen, did not play out like the heroic 1976 Israeli hostage rescue, Operation Entebbe. The jihadists released a video telling the U.S. to comply with their demands (which they didn’t state in the video) or else Somers would die within 72 hours. In a statement, Barack Obama said, “Other information also indicated Luke’s life was in imminent danger. Based on this assessment, and as soon as there was reliable intelligence and an operational plan, I authorized a rescue attempt.” However, as the 40-man special operations team was establishing a perimeter, a jihadist stepped outside – probably to go to the bathroom – and saw the rescue force. U.S. officials say Somers was executed. However, the Wall Street Journal commends8 the Obama administration for taking a hard line against jihadist kidnappers. Terrorists now know if they kidnap Americans, they might wake up to the knock of a U.S. commando team in the middle of the night. More…9
White House Mulls Destroying Relationship With Israel10
The White House and the State Department deflected questions from Washington reporters about an Israeli newspaper story alleging the Obama administration is considering slapping sanctions on Israel. Both White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest11 and State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf refused to talk about the sanctions with reporters because it’s “internal deliberations.” According to Haaretz12, the U.S. may impose sanctions on its ally because it continues to build settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. According to Yeshiva World News13, the U.S. is also considering withdrawing its political protection of Israel at the UN, allowing anti-Israel motions to move through the international body. The Washington Free Beacon14 quotes an anonymous senior congressional aide: “If these reports are true, this would mark a new era of unprecedented hostility from the White House against our strongest ally in the Middle East. It’s impossible not to notice the irony of the administration mulling sanctions on Israel while threatening to veto new sanctions against Iran.”
Deportation Policies Let Almost Anyone Stay15
While an Immigration and Customs Enforcement report shows deportations in general dropped16 during the 2014 fiscal year, the report goes on to say that immigration enforcement officials are lax with illegal immigrants who have committed crimes. According to the Removal Operation Report17 for fiscal year 2014, 30,862 foreign criminals were released into the United States. Of the 315,943 people deported from the United States, the majority were caught at the border and 86,923 were caught committing a crime. The drop in deportations comes as the Obama administration has set high low standards on who it will and will not deport. In a statement, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) told the Los Angeles Times, “We essentially tell citizens of other countries, ‘If you come here, you can stay – don’t worry, we won’t deport you.’ The reality on the ground is that unless you commit multiple crimes, the chances of your being removed from this country are close to zero.” More…18
For more, visit Right Hooks19.
From the Department of Corrections20
The Leftmedia have a story to tell, and they’re generally not going to let facts get in the way. This truth came in to stark relief with Friday’s massive correction21 Rolling Stone issued to its November report on a gang rape at the University of Virginia.
The correction was so big, it may be easier to recount what the original report got right than what it got wrong. A quick recap:
A UVA student given the name “Jackie” recounted21 how a man Rolling Stone calls “Drew” and his fellow fraternity brothers raped her at a party. But among numerous other errors, it turns out Drew belongs to a different fraternity than the one in question, and there was no party the night Jackie says she was raped. Much trouble would have been avoided had reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely not acceded to Jackie’s request not to interview the accused because she feared retribution. Bad decision.
The story was evidently too good to check because it fit the narrative of a widespread “rape culture” supposedly evidenced by the epidemic of sexual assault on campuses around the country. In fact, Erdely went around looking for just the right story to support that narrative. We’ve already questioned the breadth of the epidemic22 itself, and Rolling Stone’s shoddy and reckless journalism hardly does anything to correct the record, much less help true victims of rape.
Jackie may have been raped, and just because some of the facts were wrong doesn’t mean all of them were. And it should go without saying that this doesn’t invalidate other rape accusations. But truth cannot be a casualty of narrative.
Other media outlets swallowed Rolling Stone’s original story hook, line and sinker, leading to a cascading effect turning a lie into a legend. Media often blindly take up a cause célèbre in pursuit of ratings and the almighty advertising dollar. (We note that this is one reason The Patriot Post doesn’t accept advertising, instead relying on the support of our readers23 for our sustenance.)
It’s noteworthy that, just like the Jonathan Gruber videos24, the UVA story began to fall apart because of the efforts of an independent blogger25.
Worked into a tizzy by Rolling Stone’s story, feminists hammered “rape apologists” who dared ask questions. To them, men accused of rape are guilty until proven innocent. And to many of them, they’d even rather cling to a false story than admit men are innocent.
That recalls the response to rape accusations against Duke University’s lacrosse team several years ago. Those likewise proved to be false, though only after the reputations of those young men were destroyed.
Nevertheless, UVA students protested, while university president Teresa Sullivan responded to the allegations by shutting down activities at all fraternities and sororities. When Rolling Stone essentially retracted the story, Sullivan didn’t apologize for overreacting – she doubled down. “Over the past two weeks,” she said in a statement, “our community has been more focused than ever on one of the most difficult and critical issues facing higher education today: sexual violence on college campuses. Today’s news must not alter this focus.”
Reason Contributing Editor Cathy Young concludes26: “Commentators across the political spectrum have expressed concern that Rolling Stone’s sloppy journalism will damage what Bloomberg View columnist Megan McArdle calls ‘the righteous fight for rape victims.’ But despite its righteous goals, the crusade against rape has leaned too far toward promoting the dangerous idea that accusation equals guilt and that to doubt an accuser’s word is heresy. Finding the balance between supporting victims and preserving the presumption of innocence is a difficult line to walk. Perhaps the lessons of the UVA story will help steer the way toward such a balance.”
In Young’s separate analysis of the Obama administration’s Department of Education push to have colleges and universities more vigorously prosecute sexual assault, she writes27, “The Department of Education has recommended that colleges use the lowest burden of proof – ‘preponderance of the evidence,’ which means a finding of guilt if one feels the evidence tips even slightly toward the complainant. Missing is virtually any recognition of the need for fairness to the accused.”
Bottom line: Sexual assault allegations should be investigated and prosecuted by qualified law enforcement agencies, not on the pages of Rolling Stone or other pop media outlets.
Days after headlines captured America’s slide from its status as the world’s number one economy to number two behind China29, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report30 spun off a few articles about America’s declining birthrate. Let’s just say if you’re an employed taxpayer, you’d best grab your wallet.
While many in the ranks of high-brow policy don’t want to engage in the discussion of what many deem as so-called cultural “wedge” issues such as abortion, fertility and population, it’s all about the math. And that math has implications in tax policy, foreign policy, health care policy – you name it. The reality remains that if there are fewer babies, there are fewer future workers and consumers.
Let’s look at the math as it relates to our standing economically.
If our population does not replace itself, the labor market – and with it the tax base – will shrink, all while government spending rages on.
What does that CDC report say?
“Childbearing is on the decline in the United States overall and among women under age 30 and women in each of the largest race and Hispanic origin groups.” In 2013, the birthrate his a near-low of 1.86 live births per female.
The big deal?
A birth rate of 2.1 children per childbearing female is necessary just to maintain stasis. The U.S. missed the mark for the first time in 1972, and it has hit “replacement” numbers only twice since then – in 2006 and 2007.
The good news is abortions are down, too. Consistent and intense educational efforts of the pro-life movement through ultrasounds during pregnancy in tandem with state policy efforts to defund “health care” clinics offering abortion on demand has reduced the number of abortions performed.
As for the overall birthrate, the contributing factors have been the economic pressures of the 2007 recession either delaying or cancelling family plans, a more educated population that delays the birth of children, and other things such as gender disorientation pathology31, access to long-acting birth control, and, candidly, selfishness that refuses to include others, such as children, in a myopic definition of success.
In light of this consistent, documented population decline, has our government spending seen appropriate adjustment? Has our need for military might changed? Are the IOU’s repaid in the “Social Security Lockbox” to fund the current retirees? No, no and no.
Still not convinced this is a big deal? Let’s look across the pond at Europe. The nations that currently make up the European Union (E-28) tracked their fertility rate at 1.45 live births per women in 2002 with only a slight increase to 1.58 births in 2012, as published in a May 2014 European Commission report. Clearly, that’s far below the demographically necessary rate of 2.1 for generational replacement.
The nations of the European Union continue to struggle with government spending that averages 49% of gross domestic product32, with its member nations hovering around a 10% unemployment rate.
The National Bureau of Economic Research says it plainly in its online report, “The Cost of Low Fertility in Europe33”: “In the long run, low rates of fertility are associated with diminished economic growth. … If fertility rates stay at current levels … Europe’s share of working-age people will fall from about 70 percent today to somewhere between 50 and 55 percent in the long run … a 25 percent drop in the number of workers per capita.”
Clearly, changes in population cause disruption in the demand for services, produced goods and the volume of money the populace spends in any given economy.
Here in America, this decline is seen most obviously in a single government program, which happens to be the largest federal expenditure after surpassing defense spending back in 1993 – Social Security.
When the first benefits were paid in the Social Security retirement program in 1940, there were 42 workers paying into the system for each retiree receiving benefits. As of April 2014, that number is 2.8 workers per beneficiary.
Furthermore, the U.S. Treasury has borrowed money from the Social Security Trust Fund and, according to the Trustee’s 2014 report, owes $2.8 trillion as of December 2013. According to the same report, due to declining birthrates and increased life expectancy, the trust fund will be exhausted in 2033, just 19 years from now. The Heritage Foundation, meanwhile, says it could be insolvent in just 10 years34.
If America continues pursuing policies that transfer wealth from workers to non-workers, allows mass immigration of a new underclass that will only increase the pressure on government entitlement services, and refuses to recognize there must absolutely be a reduction in spending, we will only remember the good old days when our economy once led the world.
OPINION IN BRIEF
The Gipper: “I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal.”
Columnist Peggy Noonan: “[Obama’s] executive action on immigration, seen by many as daring and clever, may not prove clever. … In making that move he removed one of the Republican Party’s problems. They were split on immigration, their adversaries said the reason was racism. The whole issue roiled the Republican base. Now the president has taken it out of their hands. And he has united them in their condemnation of the manner in which he did it. At the same time the president took an issue that was a daily, agitating mobilizer of his base and removed it as a factor. He took the kettle off the heat – but that kettle had produced a lot of steam that provided energy to his party. Now the president has to implement his directive, and implementation has never been his strong suit. He has to tamp down grievance from those who came here legally or are waiting in line. He has to answer immigration activists who think they got too little. He has to face all the critics who will experience and witness the downside of his action on the border. He took an issue that was a problem for Republicans, and made it a problem for Democrats. That may well prove a political mistake of the first order.”
Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “[Sen. Chuck] Schumer’s speech at the National Press Club is a marvel to behold. … ‘Democrats must embrace government. It’s what we believe in; it’s what unites our party,’ Schumer explained. ‘If we run away from government, downplay it, or act as if we are embarrassed by its role, people won’t vote for our pale version of the Republican view.’ … The senator has no principled objection to a government takeover of health care; what he objects to now is the timing. Back in 2009-10, he was a vocal champion of the law [ObamaCare]. Last week, he said, ‘Unfortunately, Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem – health care reform.’ The senator said he still favors Obamacare’s goals, but ‘it wasn’t the change we were hired to make.’ Voters wanted Obama and his party to fix the economy. Indeed, in a remarkable moment of honest cynicism, Schumer went into great detail lamenting how the law was designed to help mostly poor people who for the most part don’t vote. Morally, this is a fascinating admission. In Schumer’s hierarchy of needs, winning elections for Democrats matters more than helping the truly needy. Call it uncompassionate liberalism.”
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel: “The birthrate in the United States is at an all-time low. Whereas our death rate is still holding strong at 100 percent.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
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