The Patriot Post ·
Daily Digest
Jul. 28, 2014

“[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.” –Zacharia Johnson, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

Judge Rules DC Gun Carry Ban Unconstitutional
After a five-year court battle, a federal judge ruled that the District of Columbia’s ban on the carry of firearms was unconstitutional. This is another big win for the Second Amendment six years after DC’s total handgun ban1 was likewise overturned. Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. wrote in his decision, “There is no longer any basis on which this court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.” Of course, leftists are reacting predictably: It’s a security threat to the Washington machine, guns are scary, blah, blah, blah. Politicians forget there is a city beyond Capitol Hill plagued by violence where only the cops and criminals carry. But we’re glad to see that Police Chief Cathy Lanier instructed officers not to arrest anyone carrying a firearm legally. More…2

Stopping a Shooter in a Gun-Free Zone – With a Gun
Here’s an ethical conundrum: A bad guy brings a gun into a gun-free zone, starts shooting, but another person who carried a gun into the gun-free zone – an otherwise law-abiding gun owner – stops him. What to do? A psychiatric patient at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Pennsylvania opened fire in a doctor’s office, killing a nurse. The patient could have continued to kill but Dr. Lee Silverman, a psychiatrist, ducked behind his desk, drew his pistol and returned fire, critically wounding the patient. Chief of the Yeadon Police Department Donald Molineux said Silverman “without a doubt saved lives.” But that act could cost Silverman his license to practice. Signs at the hospital’s doors forbid weapons in the building. The hospital’s code of conduct3 forbids employees “from bringing firearms or explosives of any kind into the workplace,” and Silverman’s failure to obey the code threatens his credentials as a doctor. Citizens who choose to carry a firearm shoulder more responsibility than non-carrying citizens. And while the incident illustrates how gun-free zones are moronic, there may be consequences – even after saving lives. More…4

UN Proves Uselessness With Anti-Israel Vote
Just in case there were any remaining doubts about the utter moral bankruptcy of the United Nations, its “Human Rights” Council voted 29-1 to investigate Israel for “war crimes.” As we’ve recounted numerous times, Hamas is using civilians as human shields so when they are killed in the fighting they are of propaganda value. But “defenders of human rights” such as China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and … drumroll … Russia can’t tolerate Israel defending itself against the barbarian aggressors of Hamas. Britain, France, Germany and 14 other nations abstained. It’s worth noting the U.S. delegation was the only “no” vote, so maybe Barack Obama’s “unshakeable” support for Israel is actually worth something. Not much, but something. More…5

You Say ‘Taxes,’ He Says ‘How High?’
CNBC’s Steve Liesman asked Barack Obama, “You’ve said a bunch of times that [we should be] getting the wealthy to pay a little bit more, and you’ve succeeded in raising that top tax rate to 39%, or rolling back the tax cuts. Is there a limit there? Is there a limit to how much you believe the government should take from an individual in terms of a top tax rate?” Obama cavalierly responded, “You know, I don’t have a particular number in mind, but if you look at our history we are still well below what, you know, the marginal tax rates were under Dwight Eisenhower or, you know, all the way up even through Ronald Reagan. Tax rates are still lower on average for most folks. And what that means is that we probably can make some more headway in closing loopholes that folks take advantage of. As opposed to necessarily raising marginal rates.” So much is wrong here: Reagan lowered taxes from a 70% top rate to 28%. And Obama seems to think there’s lots of wiggle room to hike taxes without crushing the economy. But a 1970s-style tax policy is wrong for America.

The Phony Threat of Impeachment
The Obama administration is supposedly worried about impeachment. The Hill reports, “Senior White House advisers are taking very seriously the possibility that Republicans in Congress will try to impeach President Obama, especially if he takes executive action to slow deportations.” White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer pointed to Sarah Palin’s call for impeaching Obama as reason to take it seriously. But despite polls showing some support for impeaching Obama, Palin may be the only Republican talking about it seriously. And she’s in no position to do anything about it. In reality, the White House is trying to rally its base for the November election with fear mongering about something that won’t happen. More…6

For more, visit Right Hooks7.

The Manipulative Core of ObamaCare
While Jonathan Gruber isn’t exactly a household name, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) economics professor was one of the many architects of ObamaCare, and he’s making waves again. He’s had a few things to say about the subsidies given on state versus federal exchanges over the years, and it’s rather enlightening to see what Democrats’ true vision was when crafting the abomination of a law: Lie, coerce and manipulate.

When it comes to insurance subsides for shoppers, Democrats are now in the position of arguing the law doesn’t mean what it says – that it isn’t, after all, the “law of the land.” Recall last week’s appeals courts rulings8 on the subject. The DC Circuit Court ruled that subsidies given via the federal exchange were illegal because the law permits them only through the state exchanges. Since 34 states elected not to set up exchanges, that substantially undermines the outworking of the law.

The Fourth Circuit Court, on the other hand, said the intent of the law’s authors must have been to grant subsidies to everyone. Therefore, those subsidies stand, regardless of what the law actually says.

Cue Gruber, who argued the law means what it says. In 2012, he said9, “What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits – but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens, ‘You’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country.’” Translation: Subsidies are available only on state exchanges, not the federal one. And he said it before the Halbig suit (the one heard by the DC Circuit) was even filed.

Gruber now describes his 2012 comments as “a speak-o – you know, like a typo.” He explained, “Congress made a mistake drafting the law and I made a mistake talking about it.” We’ll agree Congress made a mistake drafting the law – it never should have been drafted. But Gruber is at best misrepresenting now what he said then. There are other instances when Gruber distinguished between state and federal exchanges. Did he commit the same “speak-o” more than once?

The answer is resoundingly no. In fact, in prepared remarks on at least two other occasions, he pointed to states not setting up exchanges as one of the primary threats to the law, saying that decision would cost citizens of those states “hundreds and millions and billions of dollars.”

Now Gruber is doubling down, adding, “It is unambiguous this is a typo. Literally every single person involved in the crafting of this law has said that it’s a typo, that they had no intention of excluding the federal states.” He didn’t think so when he was explaining how important the distinction was back in 2012. His tune only changed when his side lost a court case.

Let’s assume for a moment that it was a typo in the law. Wouldn’t that prove the danger of passing multiple-thousand page bills without reading them10?

But what Gruber now calls a “typo” was actually a Democrat strategy. As The Wall Street Journal explains in an editorial11, “Liberals feared some states wouldn’t set up exchanges, so they deliberately wrote incentives into the law so the states would do so. This was the conventional liberal wisdom until this year when it suddenly became legally and politically inconvenient for the Administration to admit it.”

Aside from what we see as ObamaCare’s primary fault – that it is patently unconstitutional – this episode highlights another serious flaw: Every one of ObamaCare’s goals is achieved through coercion and manipulation. That the law was falsely sold as one “providing health insurance for millions” is one BIG Lie12.

What Will It Take to ‘Stiffen Spines’ Against Russia?
In the dismal two weeks since the destruction of 298 lives aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH1713, it’s become more and more apparent Vladimir Putin and Russia may get away almost scot-free for supplying the Ukrainian rebels with the surface-to-air missile that downed the doomed flight. That’s the conclusion of a lengthy cover story14 in this week’s Time magazine.

In reference to Barack Obama’s call on Putin to cooperate with the MH17 investigation, Time reporter Simon Shuster noted, “That was the crisis in a nutshell: the least Putin could do was the most Obama could ask for.”

So far the administration’s reaction of choice has been sanctions on Russia, or at least enhancement of those already put in place when the whole Ukrainian crisis began. While the sanctions are supposedly horrifying the Russian business elite15, Europeans aren’t keen on them. In both cases, it’s because Putin controls a vital function: Russian business elite are forced to keep their objections close to the vest for fear of retribution from the state, while European nations depend on Russia as both an export market and provider of natural gas. Germany and Italy lead the exporters, while Austria and the Baltic states rely on Russia’s energy resources. “As soon as the EU gets the slightest chance to turn away from Washington on the issue of Ukraine, they will take it,” predicted Sergei Markov, a political consultant.

Thus it’s truly an open question on whether the Malaysian jet tragedy will really “stiffen the spine of our European partners going forward,” as Barack Obama said. Despite Hillary Clinton insisting “the reset worked16,” the actions of the United States under Obama make it little wonder that Europe is moving, as Obama put it, “[n]ot as fast as we’d like” on sanctions.

Analyst Charles Krauthammer notes, “I think there’s a general perception that the world is going to hell and the president’s out there playing golf.” The Europeans aren’t going to follow him as long as he’s content to play 18 holes.

One place Obama won’t be playing a round of golf is Chechnya. Russia just banned the U.S. president, among others, from traveling to the area because, the Russian foreign ministry says, “[T]he Obama administration has some responsibility both for the internal conflict in Ukraine and its severe consequences.” Furthermore, Moscow is taking aim at a universal symbol of American capitalist might: McDonald’s17.

In 2012, Obama was caught on a hot microphone promising the Russians he’d have more flexibility after being re-elected. And in a debate that year, he mocked Mitt Romney, who believed Russia was a significant geopolitical threat, saying, “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” Well, we had a pretty good solution to the Russian problem in that decade, but Obama’s lack of leadership 30 years hence will assure us our next president will have to reset Russian relations once again on better terms for America and its European allies. As Time put it: “Cold War II is underway – and the West is losing.”


The Gipper: “Cures were developed for which there were no known diseases.”

Economist Stephen Moore: “Energy is the master resource. Without it, we return to a Stone Age existence. Life in its absence is nasty, brutish and short. Is that where the radical Greens, one of the most influential political forces in America today, would take us? If we continue to follow their advice, electric power and fuel will become more expensive (as President Obama has admitted). [A recent] Investor’s Business Daily editorial noted, ‘as the Sierra Club, billionaire Tom Steyer and the Obama administration rage war against coal and other fossil fuel,’ we could end up seeing ‘rolling brownouts and even blackouts in the years ahead.’ In other words, the apocalypse confronting America may not be the havoc of ‘climate change,’ but a slow-motion return to a medieval lifestyle. … In fact, the editorial notes, we get about 90 percent of our power from sources that the Left is trying to shut down. … I wonder how many young people will be so excited about ‘green energy’ when … outages are commonplace and they come to the realization that life without those ‘dirty’ sources of power won’t be so wonderful.”

Columnist Arnold Ahlert: “One thing is certain: Israel will not go quietly. But if the unthinkable should come to pass, one other thing is equally certain: the appetite for Jewish blood will not be satiated, nor will that appetite be confined to the deserts of the Middle East. For those who refuse to comprehend the breadth of the threat, it is worth remembering that Islamists refer to Israel as the Little Satan. America is the Great Satan. ‘An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last,’ Winston Churchill once remarked during another existential crisis. One is left to wonder what Churchill might have thought of morally bankrupt equivocators who would stand in solidarity with the crocodiles.”

Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “Israel would like Hamas to not launch rockets at them and Hamas would like Israel to not have Jews. Hopefully they can work out a compromise.”

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

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