“[T]he true key for the construction of everything doubtful in a law is the intention of the law-makers. This is most safely gathered from the words, but may be sought also in extraneous circumstances provided they do not contradict the express words of the law.” –Thomas Jefferson, letter to Albert Gallatin, 1808
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Sanctions, Round Two
Perhaps realizing that his first round of sanctions against Russia resulted only in laughter and mockery, Barack Obama issued another round on Thursday. The U.S. added 20 more prominent Russians to its list, and Reuters reports that it hurt a little1: “Russian shares fell sharply on Friday as investors took fright at tougher than expected U.S. sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle over Moscow’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine.” Meanwhile, Ukraine signed a political association agreement on Friday, finalizing the same deal that Viktor Yanukovych rejected in November, leading to his ouster last month. So far, however, nothing has been serious enough to truly deter Putin, who sees Obama’s and the West’s approach for what it is – weak. Recall if you will, Barack Obama’s assertion on the emerging Cold War chess competition with Russia four weeks ago: “I don’t think this is a competition between the United States and Russia … some Cold War chessboard in which we’re in competition with Russia.” Clearly, Putin has Obama in check.
We Can’t Pay for All This
CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf is no stranger to adding up the cost of congressional schemes. In February, the CBO outlined some of the costs2imposed on the nation by ObamaCare, which turns four on Sunday. Less work and more federal spending about sums it up. Elmendorf had fresh warnings this week, saying we just can’t pay for all this massive government expansion: “So we have a choice as a society to either scale back those programs relative to what is promised under current law; or to raise tax revenue above its historical average to pay for the expansion of those programs; or to cut back on all other spending even more sharply than we already are.” The challenge isn’t so much annual deficits, he said, as “the very high level of debt” over the long term. Call it what we’ve been calling it all along: A debt bomb3.
Pelosi: It’s ‘Affordable,’ I Tell You!
This Sunday marks four long years since the passage of the monstrosity known as ObamaCare. Only don’t call it that around Nancy Pelosi. She recently bawled out a reporter for referring to it that way – even though the president himself has said, “I actually like the name.” “[B]y the way, it’s called the Affordable Care Act,” she scolded. “I know you didn’t intend … anything derogatory, but it’s called the Affordable Care Act. I tell [Obama] the same thing I told you. Affordable, affordable – there’s a reason. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable.” We’d say calling it “affordable” is derogatory, but to each her own we suppose. In any case, Pelosi still insists that Democrats will run successfully on ObamaCare this fall, because, she says, “I believe it’s a winner.” Evidently, she still hasn’t found out what’s in it.
Hawaii Becomes Shall-Issue
The Ninth Circuit Court recently ruled in Peruta v. San Diego4 that California residents did not have to show a “pressing need” for a concealed weapons license. Thursday, the Ninth Circuit extended that to Hawaii by overturning a district court ruling and thus making the Aloha State a shall-issue state. The Court said, “In light of our holding in Peruta, the district court made an error of law when it concluded that the Hawaii statutes did not implicate protected Second Amendment activity. Accordingly, we vacate the district court’s decision denying [the plaintiff’s] motion for a preliminary injunction and remand for further proceedings consistent with Peruta.” We’re glad to see that even the Ninth Circuit acknowledges that the Second Amendment means what it says.
NASA warns in a new study that our “system is moving toward an impending collapse.” NASA blames the coming catastrophe on “the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity” and “the economic stratification of society into elites and masses (or ‘commoners’).” Just in case you were wondering, yes, this is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. But all is not lost, says NASA: “Collapse can be avoided, and population can reach a steady state at the maximum carrying capacity, if the rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed equitably.” The last space shuttle was retired in 2011, and the guys at NASA must have a lot of time on their hands.
Court Upholds Incredible Idea: Proving Citizenship in Order to Vote
U.S. District Court Judge Eric Melgren put the brakes on the Obama administration’s efforts to gut state election laws this week, ruling that Arizona and Kansas can enforce voter ID checks. As columnist David Limbaugh observes6, “The fact that this issue would be disputed at all is astonishing. That it is legally contested is stunning. That the prime mover in initiating the legal challenge is our own federal government, which has a compelling interest in ensuring the integrity of the election process, is mind-blowing.”
Both states had enacted measures requiring new voters to provide proof of citizenship with a birth certificate, passport or other legal documentation, but the Election Assistance Commission refused to amend federal forms distributed in those states to reflect the change. The EAC, a creation of Congress in the wake of the 2000 election, parroted the Obama Justice Department’s claim that such laws actually suppress voter turnout and are unnecessary because there is no such thing as voter fraud. In reality, voter fraud is quite prevalent, but since it usually works in Democrats’ favor, Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder don’t want to prevent it.
In fact, they argue that such laws are racist because they negatively affect minorities. Limbaugh counters, “If anything racist is involved here, it is in the suggestion that minorities are too incompetent to furnish their IDs.”
In ruling against the EAC, Judge Melgren noted that the Constitution gives states the power to determine voter qualifications, and the EAC has no legal authority to deny requests from the states to update its forms to reflect their laws. “The EAC’s nondiscretionary duty is to perform the ministerial function of updating the instructions to reflect each state’s laws,” he said, ordering the EAC to make the change immediately.
“This is a huge victory … for the whole cause of states’ rights,” said Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach after the ruling. It certainly is. Obama, with the aid of the Justice Department, has done everything in his power and then some to strip away the rights of the states, and this victory now gives other states the opportunity to reclaim the power to establish their voting laws as the Constitution intended.
The EAC is reviewing the decision and Justice has yet to comment on it, but this battle is far from over. Leftists have never let obstacles like constitutional law and legal precedent stop them before in their quest for centralized federal power, so it’s unlikely that this setback will stop them.
Health State Butts in on Cigarettes
After pharmacy giant CVS announced last month that it would cease the sale of cigarettes at its stores, a group of 28 state attorneys general decided to put their collective weight behind the suggestion that several other retailers should take the hint and drop out of the tobacco-selling business, too. We’re not advocating cigarette smoking, but sadly, this sort of government parenting is becoming all too common.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
OPINION IN BRIEF
Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “Lately, Obama and Kerry have been talking a lot about how Russian strongman Vladimir Putin is on the ‘wrong side of history.’ Before that, Obama announced that Putin was on the wrong side of history for supporting the Assad regime in Syria. He also said that Assad himself was on the wrong side of history. And so on. Note the difference in usage? In domestic affairs, it’s a sign of strength. But in foreign affairs, invoking history as an ally is a sign of weakness. On social issues like, say, gay marriage, it amounts to a kind of impatient bullying that you can afford when time is on your side; ‘Your defeat is inevitable, so let’s hurry it up.’ But in international affairs, it is an unmistakable sign of weakness. When the president tells Putin that he’s on the wrong side of history, the upshot is: ‘You’re winning right now and there’s nothing I can (or am willing to) do to change that fact. But you know what? In the future, people will say you were wrong.’”
British novelist C. S. Lewis (1898-1963): “Let us not be deceived by phrases about ‘Man taking charge of his own destiny’. All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of the others.”
Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins: “Listen, if students are as motivated to vote as they are to buy alcohol, then acquiring an ID shouldn’t be a problem. Applying a form of identification in the age of technology isn’t nearly as difficult as the Left makes it out to be.”
Columnist Burt Prelutsky: “I say if a person can learn to fly a military jet in a matter of months, a human being should certainly be able to learn how to be an accountant or an insurance agent in less than a year. And if a person intends to become, God forbid, a politician or go to work for the State Department, I would think he or she could master lying, cheating and stealing, without wasting three years in law school.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
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