Wednesday Digest

Oct. 9, 2013

THE FOUNDATION

“No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt.” –George Washington

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Shutdown Showdown Day 9

 

The federal government’s partial shutdown is now in its ninth day and Republicans and Democrats are still bickering and seeking political gain. What else is new? The Republican-controlled House has passed 16 measures to fund parts of the government, while the Senate has rejected every effort. Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is pushing a $1.1 trillion debt ceiling increase through Dec. 31, 2014 – after Election Day. It includes no spending reform whatsoever.

For his part, Barack Obama trotted out to a press conference yesterday to denounce Republicans, who he says shouldn’t “demand ransom” for funding the government. Just to drill the point home, he used terms like “hostage-taking,” “nuclear bomb,” “extortion” and “economic chaos” to describe GOP tactics.

Aside from this verbal bludgeoning, he said he was “happy to talk” to Republicans “about anything” – provided they pass a continuing resolution and raise the debt ceiling first. He even dared the House to pass a CR1. Obama is clearly lying about his willingness to negotiate in a pathetic attempt to portray himself as eminently reasonable. And House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) didn’t bite: “What the president said today is if there’s unconditional surrender by Republicans, he’ll sit down and talk to us. That’s not the way our government works.”

Meanwhile, one stat you may have missed on the evening news is that the shutdown affects just 17% of the government2. That’s right: 83% of the government is up and running. But that hasn’t stopped Obama from his singular mission to make people suffer3. He even admitted that the reason for blocking partial funding and inflicting as much pain as possible is to make sure Republicans feel “political heat4.” The latest on that front is that the Pentagon is suspending death benefits for families of military personnel killed in Afghanistan. National parks remain Barackaded, though an exception was made for illegal immigration activists at the DC mall5.

But hey, Obama’s “happy to talk” – though talk is all he ever does. And the nation is getting tired of his constantly petulant, rude and childish rhetoric.

 

NATIONAL SECURITY

Warfront With Jihadistan: Al-Qaida’s Fate Not Yet Fully SEAL’d

 

Here’s a question: If al-Qaida has been “decimated” by the liberals’ messiah – that “decisiveness” term was of course what Barack Obama himself used to characterize what he had done to the world’s most notorious terrorist group – how come Africa is now a chaotic rubble of al-Qaida terrorist bombings that require U.S. Special Forces’ retaliation? Frankly, the only things we view as having been “decimated” lately are Kenyan shopping malls and the president’s reputation as the free world’s leader.

Of course, our strong support and thanks goes out to the brave members of the Army’s Delta Force and the Navy’s SEALs, teams from both of which ran headlong into harms’ way over the past weekend. In Libya’s capital, Tripoli, Delta Force successfully captured al-Qaida leader Abu Anas al Libi, who has been wanted since 1998 for the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa. In Somalia, Navy SEALs went after leaders of al-Shabaab, al-Qaida’s branch there that’s linked to the recent shopping mall bombing in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Unfortunately, after encountering considerably greater resistance and non-combatant presence than anticipated, SEAL Team Six had to abandon its firefight with al-Shabaab. This, of course, will only embolden the Somali terrorist group.

However, notwithstanding our concerns about how Mr. Executive Clown Act got us here in the first place, we applaud the gutsy decision by the White House to take the risks inherent in both of these raids: Without boots-on-ground intervention into these would-be sanctuaries, another 9/11 is not only possible, but also very likely. Actionable intelligence yielded by such raids is likewise priceless to securing the U.S. and preventing another 9/11.

From a national security standpoint, however, our real problem with this administration is its head-in-the-sand approach to dealing with worldwide terrorism and its Pollyanna-like painting of the world as a peaceful haven of bliss6 since Team Chosen arrived on-scene. Nothing of the sort has happened. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite: Al-Qaida networks are expanding, not contracting; worldwide terrorist acts are rising, not falling; and the Middle East is virtually on fire, not by any means at peace. What the nation really needs is not only a leader who acts decisively when crises reach their boiling points, but also one who does not lay fertile ground for those crises in the first place, by appearing weak and unaffected, and by ignoring real threats to national security until they fester to the point they are impossible to ignore.

ECONOMY

Yellen Tapped to Head Federal Reserve

 

After months of debate over Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s successor, Barack Obama has chosen Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen7 to fill the post by February. “If confirmed,” reports The Wall Street Journal8, “Ms. Yellen, 67 years old, would become the first female Fed chief in its 100-year history. She would also be the first Democrat in the position since Paul Volcker left the Fed in 1987.” She’s almost certain to be confirmed, as many Senate Democrats lined up behind her early on. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) praised Yellen’s “great experience” and “great judgment” and said she would make a “terrific” chair. But then, that’s hardly a reassuring endorsement given the source.

What this means is that the Fed is unlikely to drastically change course from its easy-money and low-interest policies any time soon. Indeed, Yellen has suggested near-zero interest rates into 2016. And, of course, “quantitative easing” – essentially printing more money – is one of the primary methods of keeping the government afloat with its astronomical Obama debt, and Yellen’s job will be covering for her boss. In March, she said, “I view the balance of risks as still calling for a highly accommodative monetary policy to support a stronger recovery and more-rapid growth in employment.” That hasn’t exactly worked out very well for the last five years.

CULTURE

Hail to the … No Names?

 

Across the country over the last few decades, a number of college sports teams have changed their nicknames as part of the rush toward political correctness, with many casting aside Indian-based names in favor of new monikers deemed less offensive, like Eagles, Redhawks, Red Storm or Crimson Hawks.

Professional teams have also faced the same pressure, particularly the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, Cleveland Indians, and most recently and relentlessly the Washington Redskins. The stakes for a change from the NFL franchise were raised this week when Barack Obama couldn’t resist spouting off9 that he would “think about changing” the name if he owned the team. On the other hand, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has consistently said he would never change the name.

Yet there is pressure from other avenues, along with local precedent for changing team monikers. Former FCC chairman Reed Hundt is trying to persuade broadcasters to stop using the “Redskins” nickname, and it was then-Washington Bullets owner Abe Pollin who grew “tired of the association” between his team’s nickname and the violence gripping the city when the NBA franchise became the Wizards in 1997 after a renaming contest.

But NFL fans who have remained steadfast and loyal to their Redskins for nearly 80 years are a harder group to crack, and, far from being offended, even Indian tribes are mainly indifferent to the name. It seems the group most offended are the professionally aggrieved and busybody sportswriters who have invested barrels of ink trying to change what most people find utterly banal and unimportant.

BRIEF OPINION

Re: The Left

Economist Thomas Sowell: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he wants a ‘clean’ bill from the House of Representatives, and some in the media keep repeating the word ‘clean’ like a mantra. But what is unclean about not giving Harry Reid everything he wants? If Senator Reid and President Obama refuse to accept the money required to run the government, because it leaves out the money they want to run ObamaCare, that is their right. But that is also their responsibility. You cannot blame other people for not giving you everything you want. And it is a fraud to blame them when you refuse to use the money they did vote, even when it is ample to pay for everything else in the government. … Unless the Republicans get their side of the story out – and articulation has never been their strong suit – the lies will win. More important, the whole country will lose.”

For the Record

Columnist Arnold Ahlert: “On Saturday, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Trust Act. It prohibits illegal aliens from being turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities for possible deportation unless they have been charged with or convicted of a serious offense. … The federal government’s priorities are tellingly selective. When the state of Arizona passed SB 1070, a law that allowed law enforcement officials to inquire about proof of residence from those detained for other legitimate reasons, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice (DOJ) sued the state. The DOJ won a partial victory when the Supreme Court ruled that asking people to produce proof they are in the country legally if they have been stopped for another legitimate reason is constitutional, but Justice Anthony Kennedy determined that immigration law per se – including the decision not to enforce the law – remains exclusively under federal jurisdiction. The likelihood that the DOJ will file a similar lawsuit against California for its decision to openly defy federal immigration law? Zero.”

Political Futures

Columnist Judi McLeod: “Used to be that politicians faced off their opponents in the fine art of debate. There was a time when sacrosanct elected officials met face to face with angry taxpayers, and at least gave the appearance of trying to answer some of their questions. Both those ideals jumped down Alice’s rabbit hole when Obama came into power and took over the social media networks10. Why bother with statesmanship and run-ins with those plebes who pay your salary; why worry about ObamaCare when as a politician you don’t have to sign up; when all you have to do is come up with the right #hashtag like ‘Joe Schmo’s an anarchist and an arsonist’ and run your message in the blink of an instant across the worldwide web? Left on their own for any length of time, politicians will always find the easy way out, and character assassination by public messaging is the easiest way out. Nothing ever sticks to them after Tweeting their worst and they can laugh about it out on the golf links.”

For more, visit The Right Opinion11.

CHRONICLE QUOTES

Editorial Exegesis

The Wall Street Journal: “The Supreme Court ruled in June that a section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is no longer justified due to racial progress, but the U.S. Attorney General has launched a campaign to undo the decision state-by-state. … Mr. Holder wants to haul North Carolina and Texas back into long-term federal supervision through a back door. Under Section 3 of the Act, states can be required to get federal preclearance if a court finds that the state has intentionally discriminated against minorities in its voting laws. That’s a high legal bar that the Justice Department will find hard to prove, especially since many of the two states’ voter ID provisions are widespread in other states. … All the evidence suggests that Mr. Holder’s real motive here is political. Portraying voter ID laws as racist helped to drive Democratic voter turnout among minorities in 2012, and the White House wants a repeat in 2014. Never mind if the suits eventually fail in court. The goal is to elect more Democrats in the meantime, even if it means needlessly increasing racial polarization.”

Insight

Economist Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992): “There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal.”

Demo-gogues

“Imagine in your private life if you decided that ‘I’m not going to pay my mortgage for a month or two.’ First of all, you’re not saving money by not paying your mortgage. You’re just a deadbeat. … What’s true for individuals is also true for nations, even the most powerful nation on earth.”

From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “[Obama’s] willing to have negotiations about what steps we should take to fund our government in a way that allows us to invest in the future, protect the middle class, attract businesses to the United States, and reduce our deficit in a responsible and balanced way. … But he’s not willing to negotiate over Republican demands to collapse the world economy if they don’t do away with affordable health insurance for the American people.”

Braying Jackass

Harry Reid: “I just finished a telephonic conversation with Speaker Boehner. My message to him was very simple. We have to stop playing these foolish games that keep coming to us from the other side of the Capitol. This is not about him or me, about scoring points for one side or the other, name-calling, like the villain of villains. It’s about doing the right thing for the American people. They expect us to act like adults.”

Dezinformatsia

NPR memo to editors: “‘Obamacare’ seems to be straddling somewhere between being a politically-charged term and an accepted part of the vernacular. And it seems to be on our air and in our copy a great deal. … But word choices do leave an impression. Please avoid overusing ‘Obamacare.’”

The BIG Lie

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: “[ObamaCare’s health exchange marketplace] is simple and user-friendly, and the coverage is affordable. Jan. 1 will be a new day for millions of Americans who have waited a very long time to obtain affordable health insurance.”

Village Idiots

Jimmy Carter: “The disparity between rich people and poor people in America has increased dramatically since when we started. The middle class has become more like poor people than they were 30 years ago. So I don’t think it’s getting any better.”

Short Cuts

Comedian Jay Leno: “President Obama has officially canceled his trip to Asia. He said he didn’t want to be in Indonesia not doing anything to solve the crisis when he could be in Washington not doing anything to solve it. … Actually, it’s the perfect time for President Obama to go to Asia. I mean, what better time to leave Joe Biden in charge of the country than during a shutdown?”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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