Daily Digest for Thursday
November 13, 2014 Print
“Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.” –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 15, 1787
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Details of Obama’s Immigration Plan Leaked
As early as Nov. 21, Barack Obama will announce his 10-point plan on immigration, circumventing Congress and disregarding the Constitution. Fox News reports on a leaked draft of Obama’s executive action that does everything from giving Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers a raise, to granting differed action to 4.5 million illegal immigrants. It will also give a discount to the first 10,000 illegal immigrants who apply for naturalization. In response, some GOP lawmakers advocate a tough line against Obama’s plan. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) wants the GOP to work a provision into December’s appropriations bill where Congress leaves no money for Obama’s executive actions. But Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell wants a softer approach — more cooperation among politicians. Still, Obama could continue going Rambo on immigration by waiting until after Congress passes its appropriation bill Dec. 11, or by placing a few Republican carrots in the executive order. Republicans need to remember this is not just a policy debate: This is an argument over Rule of Law and the constitutionally separated powers in Washington. Both high ideals. More…
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Reid Has ‘No Desire’ to Create Obstruction
Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ran the chamber with an iron fist, but now that he’s headed for the minority, he wants everybody to get along. “I’ve always believed it wise to follow Will Roger’s admonition: ‘Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today,'” he said from the Senate floor. Therefore, he added, “I’m ready … to work with [Mitch McConnell] in good faith to make this institution function again for the American people.” He then had the temerity to blame Republicans for the dysfunction. “I saw firsthand how a strategy of obstruction was debilitating to our system,” he continued, blaming McConnell for creating gridlock. “I have no desire to engage in that manner.” That’s all he ever did as majority leader — blocking amendments, letting House bills stack up on his desk, etc. We don’t believe for a second he’s turned over a new leaf.
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Part-Time Workers Can’t Get Full-Time Jobs
About 32% of part-time workers wish for a full-time job, according to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, but a lack of education and a crummy job market has landed those people in jobs bringing in little money on few hours. Of those wishing for full-time work, 39% say they have to stretch their salary and 31% say they are the only person bringing home the bacon in their family. The challenge to getting that 40-hour-a-week position? Only 31% said they weren’t looking, 51% said they didn’t have the necessary skills, and the top reason was the lack of full-time work since the recession (54%). Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said, “Though we’re seeing an uptick in full-time, permanent hiring, many workers are still having difficulty finding positions in their field of expertise.” Five years after the federal government declared the recession over, one-third of the part-time workforce wishes for something better, but the jobs are opening up at an excruciatingly slow pace. Just the latest dispatch from the sorry Obama recovery. More…
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Senate Vote Looming on Keystone
Earlier this year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid squelched any effort to pass legislation regarding the Keystone XL pipeline. Now that Democrats got thumped in the election, however, the legislation is headed for a vote. Why? Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu needs help in her Louisiana runoff. Bloomberg reports, “The purpose of the vote would be symbolic: To highlight Landrieu’s support for the pipeline and her influence on energy issues in Washington — a centerpiece of her campaign. A vote in favor of the pipeline may benefit Landrieu in her Dec. 6 runoff election, in which she faces Republican Representative Bill Cassidy.” Landrieu’s being able to tout passage of the pipeline sure would be good on the stump in a state that stands to benefit from it. In fact, it may even be more helpful if Barack Obama vetoes it — he and his ecofascist constituents get what they want, while Landrieu can claim to have opposed Obama on something. It’s a win-win … for Democrats. Unfortunately, that usually means a loss for the country. More…
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School Refused Veterans Day Ceremony Over Firearms
The Eau Claire school district in Wisconsin did not hold its traditional Veterans Day ceremonies Tuesday because guns are scary. That’s right — the 21-gun salute that was a standard part of the program is no longer acceptable on school grounds. “We like to honor the veterans; we bring them in on a regular basis,” says Tim Libham, the executive director of administration with the district. “There are just some conditions that we have to adhere to and the shooting of guns, even with blanks, is something we don’t feel is appropriate given society, and the concerns that we have and that the community has, on school premises.” The ceremony was instead held at a local Burger King. School officials should be ashamed. They’re teaching kids that fear is more important than honor. More…
The Phony Climate Deal With China
Obama at the Star Trek convention
Barack Obama waves around five magic beans from his climate change talk with the Chinese while China walks away with the cow. On Tuesday, the White House announced it made an agreement with the Communist nation limiting carbon emissions. Obama’s in China this week, where the world’s two biggest energy producers hashed things out before UN delegates meet in Paris in December 2015 to write a new treaty regulating the world in response to supposedly man-made global warming.
Just like he has with so many other policies, Obama went it alone. Most everyone was surprised by the announcement that China and the U.S. had reached an agreement — a bad sign on an issue so large as climate change. But it’s a bum deal, and the Republican-led Congress must rescue Obama from himself.
During his first term, Obama set the goal of cutting the nation’s emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. This week’s announcement increases that goal of cutting emissions to 26-27% of 2005 levels by the year 2025. The White House said it was opening trade with China for “sustainable environmental goods and clean energy technologies.” The nations will be working to study responses to climate change together.
While Obama pledges to further cut emissions — strangling business and increasing the almighty power of the EPA — China pinky-promises (with fingers crossed) it will begin to decrease its emissions by 2030 and start to produce 20% of its energy from clean energy sources. Only years after the United States has met its goal will China think of following in those footsteps. Really? We’re supposed to believe this?
Last September, it was checkup time at the UN. Every country, from Ebola-stricken Liberia to large, industrialized nations, gathered in New York City to share specifics of what each had done to combat the scourge of global warming.
China slunk into that climate summit like the slacking student in a group project. It’s a “responsible major country,” said Zhang Gaoli, Vice Premier of the State Council of China, who added, “We will announce post-2020 actions on climate change as soon as we can.” The world’s biggest polluter, one of the giants when it comes to industry and energy production, had nothing.
In response to this week’s U.S.-China announcement, the UN released a statement: “Today, China and the United States have demonstrated the leadership that the world expects of them. This leadership demonstrated by the Governments of the world’s two largest economies will give the international community an unprecedented chance to succeed at reaching a meaningful, universal agreement in 2015.”
It took Obama — not the U.S. — a promise to further cut and cripple the U.S. economy for China to agree to the most basic of plans that would be agreeable to the ecofascists in the global community.
Senate Republican leaders hope to undermine Obama’s environmental policies. One of Congress’ most important tools is control of the purse strings. Republicans could defund Obama’s environmental policies, hamstring new EPA regulation by withholding funds and weaken Obama’s presence at the UN 2015 Paris meeting.
Indeed, the GOP believes it has a mandate from voters to stand in the gap against Obama and his economically damaging environmental policies. In a statement, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “The President said his policies were on the ballot, and the American people spoke up against them. It’s time for more listening, and less job-destroying red tape. Easing the burden already created by EPA regulations will continue to be a priority for me in the new Congress.”
But Obama has plenty of moves to hinder the Republicans’ pledge to work against his green policies. Obama still wields the veto pen and Republicans don’t have veto-proof majorities in either chamber. But neither can Obama enter into a binding international treaty. So he uses his phone to create working groups, research centers and initiatives with China — all little things compared to what Obama would truly like to accomplish.
“It’s hollow and not believable for China to claim it will shift 20 percent of its energy to non-fossil fuels by 2030, and a promise to peak its carbon emissions only allows the world’s largest economy to buy time,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said. “China builds a coal-fired power plant every 10 days, is the largest importer of coal in the world, and has no known reserves of natural gas. This deal is a non-binding charade.”
Obama has his five magic beans, a pat on the back from the UN, a boiling political fight when he returns to Washington and a long road until the UN meeting in Paris. Going it alone has weakened Obama on the global stage. He can only go so far before the Constitution reins in his unlawful attempt to transform the country. But he’s still trying.
Pirouette Toward Asia
China is aggressively pushing asymmetric militarization — that is, targeted ramping up capabilities to probe vulnerable seams and gaps in U.S. capabilities — as well as conducting more pronounced maneuvering in the South China Sea. That means the Obama administration’s strategy of “pivoting toward Asia” is now in what can best be described as an endless “pirouette.” A better description would be a classic death-spiral.
The U.S. just reached agreement with Communist China on notification protocols for major military exercises, ostensibly diffusing alarm when one nation conducts such an exercise. Perhaps like conducting an otherwise-unannounced major naval exercise in the South China Sea. Another agreement reaffirms the now 50-year-old traditional rules for encounters at sea and in the air, because, apparently, these things aren’t patently evident to all civilized nations by now, having been codified into international law for half a century or so. Great job, Chosen One! We’ll show those naked aggressors who’s boss!
Meanwhile, as Russian President Vladimir Putin tries desperately to get the gang back together — a few invasions of sovereign states, a shoot-down of a plane carrying a few hundred innocent civilians — Team Hopeless is trying to return to its “pivot” script. Never mind that Putin just solidified Russian economic ties to China with another Siberia gas deal. Also overlook the fact Moscow has reclassified NATO as Russia’s official adversary (did we mention NATO is ostensibly led by the U.S.?). We should also not dwell on “blame” for that SA-11 shot that murdered 300 innocents, either, right? Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
The whole reason Barack Obama “pivoted” to “Asia” (read: China) in the first place was because of so much intense saber-rattling in the South China Sea. China’s bald regional hegemonic machinations meant the U.S. could no longer ignore the threats to its allies — Japan, Australia, New Zealand and a host of others within that vulnerable region.
Our “good friends” in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) recently developed their own version of the Marshall Plan to cope with all the unrest (which, by the way, they have generated): The so-called “Silk Road” is a $40 billion plan to buy off opposition to Chinese designs on regional hegemony. Effectively, it will force nations in the region to “chose a side” — the sides being, of course, the U.S. and China. As such an unwaveringly solid friend as the kowtow administration has demonstrated itself to be to these “lesser” states, any guesses which side most of them will choose?
Luckily, China has a long way to go to catch up with the U.S., despite the debut of its new J-31 stealth fighter — during Obama’s attendance at the Asian economic summit in Beijing, no less. Who could have predicted such timing for test flights? Of course, the “Chinese stealth fighter” is better known as the “F-35 Joint Strike Fighter,” an American jet, since the Chinese unabashedly stole top-secret technical data through cyber espionage against Lockheed Martin and its subcontractors. Testing their plane during Obama’s visit signals they know they have nothing to fear from him.
We should also point out the inconvenient truth of China’s deployment of two brigades of DF21D ballistic missiles — so-called “carrier killers,” and not without good reason. Supposedly, these missiles had been a long way off from reaching operational capability. Yet they are now part of what the emperor Chinese leader might call a “fully armed and operational battle station.”
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall put a fine point on the whole issue of technology: “Our technological superiority is very much at risk. There are people designing systems specifically to defeat us in a very thoughtful and strategic way, and we’ve got to wake up, frankly.” Kendall went on to name several areas in which the U.S. remains critically vulnerable: China’s threat to the U.S. surface fleet as well as U.S. overseas bases; China’s challenge to U.S. air dominance; Chinese threats to U.S. space capabilities and access to space; and finally, China’s ability to mount cyber assaults on U.S. networks. The myth of U.S. technical superiority is quickly becoming just that: a myth.
The real lesson here is what is wrought when a nation chooses a position of weakness. Starting in 2009 with his World Apology Tour and continuing with numerous international failings and foreign-policy-related humiliations, Obama has abjectly demonstrated what happens when the U.S. abdicates its leadership role in the world and chooses instead to be the world’s buddy. Rogue nations, belligerent nations and nations ruled by an iron thumb are not content with being anyone’s buddy. They are content only with being conqueror.
OPINION IN BRIEF
American writer E. B. White (1899-1985): “Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time.”
Columnist Ann Coulter: “People who voted Republican took the attitude of ‘We’re giving you one more chance.’ They are not going to back off, and they can’t be tricked or lied to. They’re looking the GOP in the eye and saying: We’re not fooling around: Amnesty is dead, right? Republicans won by ignoring the establishment when it said, Don’t criticize amnesty! and ignoring the tea party when it said, Let’s run candidates like Christine O’Donnell! Don’t confuse who’s good at what here. The establishment has to drop amnesty and the tea party has got to drop — for now — demands for government shutdowns to repeal Obamacare. Without the presidency, Republicans’ sole objective for the next two years is to keep sending Obama bills that 80 percent of Americans will support. They can pass some great legislation — and they’ll also force Democrats into votes that won’t be easy to explain to their constituents. Republicans might start by dusting off that bill requiring Congress to live under Obamacare.”
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Historian Victor Davis Hanson: “Midterm voters apparently understood that ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ has devolved into something like comprehensive health care reform — a euphemism for Obama’s larger efforts at fundamentally transforming America. … It’s hard to find supporters of immigration reform who argue that the Kenyan, South Korean, Czech or Jamaican applicant for entry into the U.S. should be treated equally on the basis of skill sets, education or prior background — rather than as a future identity-politics voter. … If advocates of comprehensive immigration reform are going to win Americans over to their side, they are going to have to find a new approach to the debate that they have now lost. For now, the position remains the current one of ethnic-privileging one group over another. The selfish position is the current one of burdening the host society by accommodating the language of the guest. The surreal position is that of ingratitude of guests toward generous host country by demanding that its laws either be ignored or changed to fit their own particular agendas and preferences. On matters of immigration, open-borders advocates have become reactionaries. Last week’s midterm results proved it.”