The Patriot Post · http://patriotpost.us/digests/34773
Apr. 22, 2015
“We may look up to armies for defense, but virtue is our best security. It is not possible that any state should long remain free, where virtue is not supremely honored.” —Samuel Adams, Letter to Joseph Warren, 1775
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
Obama Lied About Iranian Nuclear Breakout Times1
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists might want to move the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock2 a few minutes closer to midnight because of Barack Obama’s lies over how close Iran is to nuclear breakout. For months, the official talking point of the administration has been that Iran is a year away from placing fissile material in a warhead. But the assessment of U.S. Intelligence and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has always been that Iran is months away from becoming a state sponsor of terrorism armed with nukes. Now, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz admitted to Bloomberg News that Iran is spinning nearly 10,000 centrifuges and could reach nuclear breakout in two to three months. Yet even with this knowledge, Obama discouraged Israel from acting militarily and continued to send John Kerry to craft a lousy deal with the Iranians.
The U.S. has repositioned ships3 in the waters off Yemen, partially because Iran is sending a flotilla to supposedly arm Yemeni rebels. Meanwhile, Iranian aircraft are buzzing U.S. naval ships4. And all the while, Obama keeps insisting climate change is the gravest threat we face. More…5
Green Times for Energy Efficiency, No Thanks to Government6
Are you feeling green this Earth Day? You should. The White House would have you believe our days are numbered because we’ve failed to enter another ice age (take a moment to shiver in the irony), but statistics suggest we’re in unprecedented times — in terms of energy efficiency. But here’s the kicker: Neither Earth Day nor government intervention have anything to do with our greener ways. Based on data from the Energy Information Administration, American Enterprise Institute’s Mark Perry writes, “In 2014, it required only 6,110 BTUs of energy (petroleum, natural gas, coal, nuclear and renewables) to produce each real dollar of GDP, which was the least amount of energy required to produce a dollar of real GDP in US history.” That’s even more extraordinary when you consider how much the economy has expanded. “[T]he US economy was 28% larger last year than 14 years ago, even though slightly less total energy was required in 2014 than in 2000 (98.324 vs. 98.819 quadrillion BTUs) to produce $3.5 trillion more real output,” says Perry. “That would be like adding an economy about the size of Germany’s to the US, but without requiring any additional energy to produce 28% more output!” And consider this even crazier statistic: It cost a whopping 15,930 BTUs in 1949 to squeeze out just $2 trillion in GDP. So next time you hear demagogues claiming we’re dirtying up our planet, tell them we’re living in remarkably efficient times relative to yesteryear using the same old fossil fuels. And tell them they can thank capitalist innovators for the progress.
Democrats Drop Abortion Fight for Lynch Confirmation Vote7
After stalling a bill to fight human trafficking because Republicans wanted to strengthen its provisions forbidding federal funds for abortions, Democrats finally relented so the Senate could get around to its confirmation vote on Loretta Lynch as the next attorney general. To stall a bill8 that would help society’s most vulnerable women is one thing. To stop that opposition just to get a fellow leftist into an appointed seat is another. It’s surely part of the Democrats’ strategy to advance in incremental steps.
“I’m glad we can say there is a bipartisan proposal that will allow us to complete action on this legislation so we can provide help to the victims who desperately need it,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell9 said from the floor of the Senate. “As soon as we finish the trafficking bill, as I’ve indicated for some time now, we’ll move to the president’s nominee for attorney general.” As Ed Morrissey10 writes at Hot Air, the Left may spin this as a political victory, but Senate Democrats backed down from their obstructionism over “abortion rights.” Meanwhile, the winds coming from Congress indicate Lynch will be confirmed — even though she supports Barack Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty. More…11
FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
When Government Takes the Grapevine12
By Jim Harrington
Raisin growers Marvin and Laura Horne have run afoul of one of those federal agencies you’ve never heard of, but it could have far-ranging consequences. The Supreme Court will soon decide the reach of federal power over food growers.
Horne, a former tax auditor, retired to raise raisins in Kerman, California, a farming community just outside Fresno. He soon discovered that he’s required to hand over a large percentage of his raisins to the federal government — specifically, the Raisin Administrative Committee, a grandchild of the price stabilization programs adopted by FDR’s “brain trust.” The original intent was arguably noble — to stabilize farm prices for people struggling to keep their farms. But as with all socialist programs, noble beginnings lead to evil ends.
Thus in 1949 when the government stopped buying massive quantities of raisins for our overseas troops, raisin prices plummeted. To correct this imbalance in the economy, the Department of Agriculture promulgated Marketing Order 98913 requiring serfs, er, farmers to fork over a significant portion of their crops to the Raisin Administrative Committee, the intent being to artificially raise raisin prices.
“An elected board of bureaucrats known as the Raisin Administrative Committee decide what the proper yield should be in any given year in order to meet a previously agreed-upon price,” writes14 Reason’s Zach Weissmueller. The committee then gives a percentage of each farmer’s crop to packers working for the committee. The raisins go into a holding vat and sit. They can’t be sold in the United States, but they can eventually be sold overseas or to school lunch programs.
Weissmueller says farmers theoretically “get a percentage of the money raised from the [confiscated] raisins, but as profit margins dwindled … so did the return to farmers. The tipping point [for Horne] came in 2003 when farmers received zero dollars in return for the 47 percent of the crop they had surrendered.”
Horne decided enough was enough. In 2002 he stopped giving up his grapes. The regulation specifies “raisin handlers,” and the Horne’s consider themselves “raisin farmers” for whom the rule doesn’t apply. The government, however, sees otherwise. One of the most annoying aspects of this sorry story is that this law should have been sunsetted long ago. Instead it was actually renewed in 1989 with some legislators voting with greased hands.
Now the government is demanding the Hornes pay at least $650,000 (some sources say $1 million) in fines and surrender 1.2 million pounds of raisins, or about four years’ worth of harvest.
Outraged, Marvin decries the government’s thievery. “The hell with the whole mess,” he said, “It’s like being a serf.” Indeed it is. The Hornes and other growers tried to challenge the USDA’s seizure of their crops without payment as an unconstitutional taking in violation of the Fifth Amendment, but the USDA claimed the issue should be heard in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Instead, the Hornes took the USDA to an administrative court, but they were shot down there, too. Next they took their case to a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court and lost again15. Challenging that ruling, they asked for a hearing before the entire Ninth Circuit. After hearing the case, the court surprisingly declared it had no jurisdiction in the matter. But the Supreme Court disagreed and sent it back to the Ninth Circuit to decide on the merits.
This time the Ninth Circuit almost seemed to retaliate to being challenged. They found that, as The Wall Street Journal put it16, “the Takings Clause was meant to address the seizure of land, not other personal private property. And even if the government did take raisin farmers’ property, the confiscation created raisin scarcity which raised raisin prices, so the Hornes were compensated for their property in that way.”
Even for the Ninth Circuit, this is a bizarre ruling. By its logic, any company could be ordered to hand over a percentage of its profits, or even its holdings. And there’s no end to this line of reasoning. No end, that is, except the crystal clear language of the Fifth Amendment: “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
In the case of the Raisin Administrative Committee, its actions are unconstitutional because Congress did not create it and endow it with the powers it wielded. Beyond that, government has no power to seize the raisins without due compensation.
The Court that wrongly decided Kelo v. New London could go some way toward correcting that blatantly improper eminent domain decision. Each day brings news of yet another attack on the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, too few Americans understand what’s at stake in these cases. We’re thankful for Patriots like the Hornes who not only stood up to a bullying federal agency, but also had the strength of will and the stamina to get the case into the hands of the Supremes for the final decision. Let’s just hope the nine robed justices get it right.
ALSO AT PATRIOTPOST.US TODAY
ANALYSIS: Will the Clinton Foundation Be Hillary’s Downfall?17
When Will Hillary Answer for Libya?18
Americans Ditch Gun Control to Secure Their Own Security19
Perception Dictates Reality for Parents20
Bill Nye Carpools With Obama21
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
Joe Bastardi: Some Inconvenient Global Warming Truths22
Ben Shapiro: Hillary’s Vietnam23
Tony Perkins: Republicans Look to Red-light District’s Intolerance24
For more, visit Right Opinion25.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Columnist Ben Shapiro: “Headless bodies lie in the sand. Above those corpses stand the black-clad minions of ISIS, outlined against the coastline of Libya. This is the second video in three months depicting Islamic terrorists cutting the heads off of Christian captives. Bodies float in the Mediterranean Sea, face down. Twelve Christian bodies, thrown from a rubber boat by 15 Muslims. Their launch point: Libya. Approximately 700 more bodies float face down in the Mediterranean, victims of a smuggling operation gone wrong when their rickety craft sunk as it made its way to Italy. Its source location: Libya. Four American bodies in Benghazi, Libya. These are the wages of Hillary Clinton’s war. … Vox.com, a leftist outlet, points out, 1,600 migrants ‘have drowned in the Mediterranean this year.’ Why? Again, according to Vox.com, when Moammar Gadhafi ‘ruled Libya, his government had an agreement with Italy to try to intercept and turn back ships leaving for Europe. … And in the utter chaos that’s engulfed Libya over the past few years, there’s no government entity really capable of patrolling the Mediterranean.’ Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy has promoted chaos around the world. Nowhere is that better illustrated than in her signal foreign policy legacy, the collapsed state of Libya.”
On this date in history: “In God We Trust” — Congress first authorized the official use of this phrase; it became the national motto in 1956
Non Compos Mentis: “People keep saying, ‘We need to have a conversation about race.’ This is the conversation. I want to see a cop shoot a white unarmed teenager in the back. And I want to see a white man convicted for raping a black woman. Then when you ask me, ‘Is it over?’ I will say yes.” —Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison (She wants to see a white unarmed teenager get shot? Isn’t that, by definition, racism? For the record, police are more likely to kill whites than blacks26.)
Dezinformatsia: “Mitch McConnell and others who are trying to obstruct climate protections will be regarded one day in the same way we think of 19th-century apologists for human slavery: How could economic interests blind them to the immorality of their position?” —Lexington Herald-Leader editorial
The BIG Lie: “It is not true that regulation holds poor people down or regulation keeps the middle class from advancing. That’s kind of patently bulls—.” —former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Wayne Crews estimates the regulatory state cost the economy $1.863 trillion in 2013. And we’re supposed to believe that doesn’t have any effect on economic mobility?)
Demo-gogues: “[T]here actually is probably less war and less violence around the world today than there might have been 30-40 years ago. It doesn’t make it any less painful. But things can get better.” —Barack Obama (See, his foreign policy is awesome!)
Late-night humor: “An intruder was arrested at the White House [this week] after trying to jump the fence. Authorities aren’t releasing the fence jumper’s identity, but they did say that she tore her pantsuit.” —Seth Meyers
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
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.