The Patriot Post · http://patriotpost.us/digests/29070
Sep. 12, 2014
“[T]his is not an indefinite government deriving its powers from the general terms prefixed to the specified powers – but, a limited government tied down to the specified powers, which explain and define the general terms.” –James Madison, Speech in Congress, 1792
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Blocking Obama’s ISIL Strategy
In his speech to the nation1 on ISIL Wednesday, Barack Obama declared, “[W]e will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. … [W]e will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.” He claimed to be assembling a “broad coalition” in support of his mission so as to not, as he has previously put it, “go it alone” like George W. Bush in Iraq. Bush went with support from 37 countries; Obama has fewer than 10. And one of them is not Turkey, which announced Thursday2 it would not permit U.S. aircraft to conduct airstrikes from its air bases. That limits our options to carriers in the region or other NATO bases further away. Oh, and Great Britain and Germany3 also won’t be helping with airstrikes. Behold, the results of “leading from behind.”
We’re Not at War, Kerry Says
Secretary of State John Kerry insisted Thursday that we are not at war with ISIL – at least not just yet. “What we are doing,” he said, “is engaging in a very significant counter-terrorism operation.” Just to reiterate the point, he said, “If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with ISIL they can do so, but the fact is it’s a major counter-terrorism operation.” We’re glad he cleared that up. It reminds us of Kerry’s comments just over one year ago4, when he was pumping up action against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. He promised we would counter Assad “without engaging in troops on the ground, or any other prolonged kind of effort, in a very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort,” and that any action would be an “unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.” The administration sure is twisting itself into knots to assure its hard-left base that Barack Obama is not George W. Bush. Kerry’s remarks would be funny if they weren’t so disgraceful.
To Claim Islam Is Like Other Religions ‘Is Just Plain Wrong’
HBO’s Bill Maher is a leftist atheist and no friend of Christianity. But he came to the religion’s defense in addressing Barack Obama’s assertions regarding ISIL and Islam. “Vast numbers of Christians do not believe that if you leave the Christian religion you should be killed for it,” Maher said, objecting to comparisons. “Vast numbers of Christians do not treat women as second class citizens. Vast numbers of Christians do not believe if you draw a picture of Jesus Christ you should get killed for it. So yes, does [ISIL] do Khmer Rouge-like activities where they just kill people indiscriminately who aren’t just like them? Yes. And would most Muslim people in the world do that or condone that? No. But most Muslim people in the world do condone violence just for what you think. … So to claim that this religion is like other religions is just naïve and plain wrong.” For once, Maher is right on the money.
Executive Action on Immigration Possible by Year’s End
The White House promised angry Latino lawmakers Thursday the president would make his move on immigration “reform” before the end of the year. The lawmakers feel Barack Obama betrayed them when he announced delaying his pen from drawing sweeping changes to the immigration system, possibly granting amnesty to five million illegal immigrants. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said, “The president understands the depth of the broken immigration system that we have and he’s bound and determined to make sure that we fix it because it’s impacting our economy, it’s impacting our job growth and it’s a humanitarian issue that’s impacting families across the country. So we’re going to fix it and we’ll do it before the end of the year.” While the delay helps Democrats running for re-election in November, Hot Air’s Allahpundit5 says the president could wait until next year to act on immigration in order to help his successor win the White House in 2016. More…6
Scientists Say Gov’t Intervention Is Healing Ozone Layer
A new United Nations report praises government intervention for helping heal the ozone layer over Antarctica, a finding made famous by scientists Mario Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland in 1974 – incidentally during the height of the “next ice age” scare. The ozone hole was primarily blamed on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), prompting a global ban on the compound in 1987. Now, CBS News reports, “For the first time in 35 years, scientists were able to confirm a statistically significant and sustained increase in stratospheric ozone, which shields us from solar radiation that causes skin cancer, crop damage and other problems.” In fact, an older UN study predicted that, had no action been taken, we’d be looking at an additional two million skin cancer cases annually within the next decade and a half. So regardless of whether the ozone is experiencing a natural oscillation (which it most assuredly is), alarmists can now make the unproven assertion that their activism helped prevent a calamity. Molina says the recovering ozone layer is “a victory for diplomacy and for science and for the fact that we were able to work together.” And no doubt, scientists will use this new report to stress the need for a pact to limit greenhouse gases like CO2, which they say will otherwise threaten any long-term ozone recovery. More…7
For more, visit Right Hooks8.
Boos for Cruz Shouldn’t Overshadow Christian Persecution
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was booed off the stage of a Washington, DC, summit exploring the plight of Christians in the Middle East because he supported the nation of Israel. The whole episode illustrates the complexity of the Middle East – especially when it comes to our understanding of the region’s religious and political tensions.
A video of the event9 shows Cruz standing before the crowd, which was murmuring angrily. “I will say this,” Cruz said. “I am saddened to see that some here – not everyone, but some here – are so consumed with hate.”
The audience grew angry and a man near the camera shouted, “You speak for yourself!”
“If you will not stand with Israel,” Cruz said, “then I will not stand with you,” walking off the stage. The camera follows him, catching the words projected onto the wall: “Solidarity Dinner.”
The summit, put on by In Defense of Christians (IDC), brought together Coptic Christians, Evangelicals, Orthodox Christians and Catholics, as well as Democrats and Republicans alike. All were there to raise awareness of the threats to religious freedom in the Middle East, particularly ISIL’s threat of genocide10 against Christians.
IDC president Toufic Baaklini said11 the goal of the summit was to “empower the Middle Eastern Christian Diaspora and energize the American people to stand in solidarity [with] the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East. Their survival is vital to stability in the region, and their ability to flourish in their countries of origin has national security implications for the United States.”
Unfortunately, that laudable goal will be eclipsed by click-bait headlines focused only on the brief altercation with Cruz. Meanwhile, the intolerant drum of radical Islam beats stronger and stronger in the dissolving states of the Middle East.
While the gathered Christians may have been of one Lord, one faith, one baptism, they were not all one with the state of Israel. Let’s give Cruz the benefit of the doubt on this one, as this misunderstanding is a common problem between Evangelical Americans and some of the Christian communities still living in the land where Jesus walked. Religion News Service points out12:
“The episode highlighted a central tension between U.S. evangelicals, who strongly support Israel, and Middle Eastern Christians – including thousands of Palestinian Christians – who hold Israel responsible for expropriated Arab lands and the death toll in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
However, despite the well-documented brutality of dictators like Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the Assads in Syria Christians in those countries prefer the relative stability of those dictators to the jihadist alternatives. The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan writes13, “An estimated two-thirds of the Christians of Iraq have fled that country since the 2003 U.S. invasion. They are being driven from their villages in northern Iraq. They are terrorized, brutalized, executed. This week an eyewitness in Mosul, which fell to Islamic State in June, told NBC News the jihadists were committing atrocities. In Syria, too, they have executed Christians for refusing to convert.”
IDC set a lofty goal. In its statement after the disruption14, Baaklini admitted that people in the Church and in the field of foreign policy thought the organization would fail. “For more than 48 hours,” he said, “our initial IDC conference was successfully bridging divides of faith, language, geography and politics.”
The views of the speakers ranged across the spectrum. Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) spoke, as well as writer Eric Metaxas, who schooled president Obama15 at the 2012 Presidential Prayer Breakfast. On the other hand, some of the Christian leaders from the Middle East supported groups like Hamas or Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, The Washington Free Beacon reported16.
Within that spectrum of Christians stood Sen. Cruz. In a statement17 explaining why he left the dinner, Cruz outlined his message on Israel:
“When I spoke in strong support of Israel and the Jewish people, who are being persecuted and murdered by the same vicious terrorists who are also slaughtering Christians, many Christians in the audience applauded. But, sadly, a vocal and angry minority of attendees at the conference tried to shout down my expression of solidarity with Israel.”
Cruz is right to show solidarity with Israel, a key ally of the United States and the only nation in the Middle East where Christians needn’t fear persecution. But Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist argues Cruz is no hero for what he did18, saying he approached the whole speech politically, meeting with The Washington Free Beacon beforehand and using the situation generally to advance his platform.
“When Cruz was supposed to give the keynote address and discuss the deadly serious topic of persecution of Christians,” Hemingway wrote, “he instead insulted a largely immigrant and foreign crowd as a group that didn’t understand their own political situation and stomped out of the room after calling them a bunch of haters.”
Thus was the IDC summit reduced to another sound byte in the Beltway political machine. But its purpose remains paramount: Christians are being threatened10 in the Middle East – Christians with complex and nuanced geopolitical views based on interests sometimes not aligned with the U.S. If they fall, the region – and the world – will be far worse for it.
The Phony Investigation of Scott Walker
It’s not unusual for the Leftmedia to behave corruptly and circle the wagons for Democrats. Aside from becoming an echo chamber for Democrat talking points, the media have a history of dishonesty – from intentionally blowing up GM trucks to “prove” the dangers of owning them, to utterly ignoring Bill Clinton’s one-man War on Women. There isn’t much we haven’t witnessed. Currently, the mainstream media are aligned to smear Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker with lies and disinformation before the November election.
In 2012, Democrat Wisconsin district attorneys, led by Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm, launched a secret probe known as a John Doe investigation of Gov. Walker, alleging he illegally coordinated a conservative group’s fundraising. These Democrats sought to prove Walker received an illegal in-kind campaign contribution in the form of ads Walker approved. Since Democrats never violate campaign finance laws, they are uniquely qualified to pursue those who do. The district attorneys issued more than 100 subpoenas, demanded private information from individuals and conservative groups, and even conducted secret raids. Furthermore, those targeted or privy to the investigation were required to keep it secret.
But prosecutors lost the first round in court as Judge Gregory Peterson quashed their subpoenas, saying they “fail probable cause.”
After the John Doe debacle, the DAs appealed to U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Randa. The judge slammed the prosecutors for seeking “refuge in the Court of Public Opinion, having lost in this Court of law.”
The defendants then asked for the release of reams of the secret documents while leaving out those involving two unnamed, unindicted persons for the sake of their privacy. Randa agreed. The DAs then complained that all records should be made public rather than a select few. Randa shot back saying that the prosecutors’ complaint “smacks of irony.” Their position is “at odds with their duty as prosecutors, which is to see that in any John Doe proceeding the rights of the innocent accused are protected in pursuit of a criminal investigation.”
While that state appeal was pending, Eric O’Keefe of the Wisconsin Club for Growth filed a federal civil rights suit, alleging the DAs’ secret investigation and tactics are an unconstitutional abuse of his civil rights. The civil rights case is currently before three judges from the Seventh Circuit Court, and the media are dutifully touting a big win for the Wisconsin prosecutors.
The story broke last June, and since then the Leftmedia has portrayed Walker as another corrupt conservative politician, hypocritically violating campaign finance laws. Despite the fact that the case was thrown out of a state court and then a federal court for lack of evidence, Democrats continue pursuing Walker as though he were the reincarnation of another Wisconsinite, Sen. Joe McCarthy.
The real in-kind campaign contribution went from prosecutors to Walker’s Democrat challenger Mary Burke. Democrats have handicapped fundraising at many of the most effective conservative independent groups while forcing them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyers to defend their rights in court. Burke has made the probe a centerpiece of her campaign, which has helped her get close in the polls.
But prosecutors aren’t done yet. They’re asking the Seventh Circuit Court to let them reopen the investigation, despite its nearly two years of failing to nail Walker on any charge. Furthermore, they claim immunity from being sued and that the interests of the public outweigh the interests of the investigated group. Clearly, all they really want is to drag out the constant allegations until the November elections, hoping to rid themselves of Walker. Let’s hope the voters of Wisconsin aren’t fooled by Democrats’ shameful behavior.
For more, visit Right Analysis8.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
David Harsanyi: Actually, Senators, You’re the Ones Who Threaten the Country19
Jonah Goldberg: Is the Islamic State Really un-Islamic?20
Mona Charen: Presidential Malpractice21
Michelle Malkin: Post-9/11: Protect the Freedom to Warn22
Stephen Moore: In Japan’s Economic Folly, a Lesson for U.S.23
For more, visit Right Opinion24.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Canadian-American chemist and author O. A. Battista (1917-1995): “One of the hardest things to teach a child is that the truth is more important than the consequences.”
Columnist David Harsanyi: “It is true that 16 states and the District of Columbia, along with more than 500 cities and towns, have passed resolutions calling on Congress to reinstitute restriction on free speech. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support the abolishment of super PACs. So it’s important to remember that one of the many reasons the Founding Fathers offered us the Constitution was to offer a bulwark against ‘democracy.’ Senators may have an unhealthy obsession with the democratic process, and Supreme Court justices are on the bench for life for that very reason. On Monday, Democrats offered an amendment to repeal the First Amendment in an attempt to protect their own political power. Whiny senators – most of them patrons to corporate power and special interests – engaged in one of the most cynical abuses of their power in recent memory. Those who treat Americans as if they were hapless proles unable to withstand the power of a television commercial are the ones who fear speech. That’s not what the American republic is all about.”
Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “Is the Islamic State ‘not Islamic’? Moreover, is it really ‘clear’ that it’s not Islamic? … [T]he fact that the majority of its victims are Muslim is irrelevant. Lenin and Stalin killed thousands of communists and socialists; that doesn’t mean Lenin and Stalin weren’t communists and socialists. If such terrorists who kill Muslims aren’t Muslims, why do we give them Korans when we imprison them? … [I]t also seems flatly wrong for an American president to be declaring what is or is not Islamic – or Christian or Jewish. Given the First Amendment alone, there’s something un-American in any government official simply declaring what is or is not a religion. … Instead of Americans trying to persuade Muslims of the world that terrorism is un-Islamic, why shouldn’t Muslims be working harder to convince us?”
Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Obama vowed to arm Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. He had a change of heart. Last month he dismissed the rebels as doctors, dentists and pharmacists, but he’s come to realize it’s cheaper to give them the half billion now than pay their bills through ObamaCare.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
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