The Patriot Post · http://patriotpost.us/digests/12736

Brief

The Foundation

“Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression.” –James Madison

For the Record

“With the average price of a gallon of gasoline rising 40 cents just last week, President Obama attacked Republicans [Thursday], trying to distract voters from his own failed energy policy. ‘The American people aren’t stupid,’ Obama said. ‘You know there are no quick fixes to this problem.’ … Obama has been in office for three years now. There is plenty the federal government can do to lower gas prices in three years. Problem is, everything Obama has done on energy has been designed to increase Americans' pain at the pump. … Yes, oil and gas production is up in the United States. But this is happening in spite of Obama, not because of him. It is being driven entirely by increased production on state and private lands, areas where Obama has little power to shut down production. The reality is that Obama’s goal has always been higher gas prices. His Energy Secretary Steven Chu famously told The Wall Street Journal in 2008, ‘Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.’ And when Obama was asked by CNBC’s John Harwood that same year if high gas prices actually ‘helped’ the United States, Obama said, ‘I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment.’ Americans aren’t stupid. They remember Obama’s words. They know that the only real regret Obama has about high gas prices is that he may get blamed for them at the ballot box.” –Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll

Is Obama playing political games with gas prices?

Opinion in Brief

“Corporate tax reform has long been an opportunity for a win-win bipartisan effort in Washington. Everyone agrees that the corporate code needs significant changes, if not a complete overhaul; it’s too complicated, too costly, and rewards the larger companies that can afford to analyze it for every possible benefit. Both parties have made corporate tax reform part of their platforms, Democrats arguing that we need to close loopholes, Republicans that we need simplification and lower rates. The White House decided to go first on corporate tax reform. … [F]rom a political perspective, [Obama’s proposal] may be even worse than its economics. For the second straight year, Obama has launched a major proposal while deliberately disregarding his own advisory panel’s recommendations. That turned into political disaster last year, when Obama’s budget ignored his own appointed deficit panel. … Now his new corporate tax proposal ignores the recommendations from the panel Obama created to much fanfare last year as part of his focus on job creation and economic growth. The obvious conclusion is that Obama has prioritized punitive tax changes on American business in order to fund his spending expansion over economic growth. Republicans need to emphasize that Obama’s job council turned out to be nothing more than a smoke screen, just the same as Simpson-Bowles, and that this corporate tax ‘reform’ is anything but.” –blogger Ed Morrissey

Government

“It turns out that under Obamacare … all insurance plans must cover, at no charge, abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, sterilization, and patient education and counseling for women of reproductive age. … This is not a one-time exception to the rule of Obamacare; it is the establishment of the rule itself. One can only imagine what life will be like when the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) begins rationing health benefits to reduce Medicare spending. It is not the details in Obamacare that are the real problem but the form of governance it establishes, by which unelected experts are empowered to make the rules as they go along. What is happening has little to do with health care or even public policy and everything to do with the role of government in the most immediate and intimate matters of our lives. All is subject to government control, regulatory dictate, and administrative whim. … It is what happens when a model of government focused on determining outcomes, despite good intentions, finally acquires the unlimited authority to reshape society to its bureaucratic blueprint.” –Heritage Foundation’s Matthew Spalding

The Gipper

“[W]e can either have an economy that puts the private citizen at the center – the consumer, the worker, the entrepreneur – and lets each individual be the judge of what to buy or sell, where to work, where to invest, and what to create. Or we can put the government at the center of the economy and let the bureaucrats and politicians call the balls and strikes and decide who’s out of business, or who will get the big contract and be home free.” –Ronald Reagan

Essential Liberty

“This perversion of rights is killing the Western world. … All the free stuff is free in the sense of those offers that begin ‘You pay nothing now!’ But you will eventually. No nation is rich enough to give you all this ‘free’ stuff year in, year out. … According to the Senate Budget Committee, U.S. government debt is currently $44,215 per person. Going by the official Obama budget numbers, it will rise over the next 10 years to $75,000. As I say, that’s per person: 75 grand in debt for every man, woman and child, not to mention every one of the ever swelling ranks of retirees and disabled Social Security recipients – or about $200,000 per household. … [A]t some point, no matter how painless the seductions of statism, you run up against the hard math: As those debt per capita numbers make plain, all this ‘free’ stuff is doing is mortgaging your liberty and lining up a future of serfdom.” –columnist Mark Steyn

Political Futures

“Obama supporters are beginning to feel more confident, or at least less embarrassed. A year ago, even three months ago, they were thinking: What a confounding, confusing loser this man is. They didn’t bother defending him never mind advancing him. But now they’re starting to get friskier. They believe there’s a new lay to the land: The economy is coming back, at least for now and at least a little; the Republican nominee will emerge so bloodied his victory will hardly be worth having; the Republicans are delving into areas so extreme and off point that by the end Mr. Obama will look like the moderate. … It is true the Republican candidates are making the president look better, and part of it has to do with circumstances. … They’re accusing each other, he’s ignoring them. He pounds away on his issues, they have a thousand issues, a jumble of questions and answers and stands. There is no nominee and so no prioritizing of concerns, and therefore no central meaning. It’s all an acrimonious blur. Good news: This may be the Republicans' low point. Bad news: The low point may last until the convention, and through it. It’s all getting a little exhausting.” –columnist Peggy Noonan

Insight

“The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The greatest achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from … grinding poverty … the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kind of societies that depart from that.” –economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

Faith & Family

“Yelling racist and bigot and charging cowardice are the only stratagem left to liberals who cannot win on the merits of their arguments. They dismiss defense of marriage and pro-life measures as ‘wedge issues.’ In fact, they are bridge issues, since they form a bridge between races, religions, and ethnic groups. Those liberals who press to overturn marriage laws resort to name-calling and character assassination. All the while they hypocritically wrap themselves in the mantle of civility. … In the past decade, the Supreme Courts of Washington State, New York, and Maryland – three very liberal states – came down on the side of true marriage. Why? Each court said that the raising of children was a compelling state interest. Each court – of course – is being radically transformed by liberal governors to facilitate their assault on the family. In Maryland, Attorney General Doug Gansler openly avows this as his governor’s strategy. We who defend true marriage are equally committed to civil rights. We strongly believe that marriage is a civil right – and that overturning true marriage will cause grave harm to all Americans, not the least to the poor and to minorities.” –columnist Ken Blackwell

Culture

“There is nothing good about illegitimacy. … In the 21st century, we pretty much affirm everybody’s right to do as he or she wants – no advice, no lectures or finger-pointing, just do it! It shows. An above 50 percent bastardy rate for under-30s is more than a scandal; it’s a social crime. … The marriage structure – one man, one woman, children of differing number – is a society all its own. It binds and in binding, liberates by enabling. … A man and woman who make a covenant of lifelong union … have a structure within which to live, and I don’t mean a house. I mean something bigger: an undertaking within which sorrow and joys are to be duly enacted and – the present point – children to be conceived and raised. … Illegitimacy strips children of rights and dignity and exposes them to insecurities and anxieties (not least concerning who they really are) that they would less commonly encounter as members of the ordinary family tribe. … Do we ever think we’re smart in the 21st century – so smart that we can let go of rules and institutions, doing just what we like and no more?” –columnist William Murchison

Reader Comments

“Not that my reverence for the towering figure required bolstering but Mark Alexander’s essay on the character of George Washington was, without doubt, the greatest single compendium of tributes to Washington I have ever encountered. Thank you much!” –Jack

“In Mark Alexander’s essay, ‘Model for Presidential Character,’ General Washington’s horse is identified incorrectly as ‘Traveller.’ I believe you will find that ‘Traveller’ was the name of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s horse, and that General Washington’s horses for most of the Revolution were ‘Nelson’ and ‘Blueskin.’” –Carolyn

Alexander’s Reply: OK, you get the award, Carolyn. I wondered how many of our readers knew enough about history to question “Traveller,” and suffice it to say many did! George Washington had seven horses. Old Nelson and Blueskin were most noted, but he also rode Mongolia, Samson, Steady, Leonidas and Traveller. (His dogs did not have such distinguished names, Drunkard and Tipsy, for example, but that is another story.) The son of Washington’s longtime friend, Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee, was Robert E. Lee, who had the greatest admiration for his lifetime historic mentor, General Washington. Like Washington, Lee was called to lead a Revolutionary War for Independence and was said to have carried one of Washington’s battle swords in his personal baggage. Indeed, R.E. Lee named his horse Traveller after one of his mentor’s favorite steeds.

“Regarding Friday’s ‘Competing Tax Visions,’, both the president’s and governor’s ‘plans’ tinker around the edges to determine winners and losers in the income tax game. Why don’t we just hit the ‘Delete’ button on the income tax and totally replace it with the FairTax?” –Chuck

“Tax proposals come and tax proposals go. It’s all just more sleight of hand to distract us from the real issues. That’s right, the real issues. Like so-called national leaders who regularly and routinely violate their oaths.” –David

“How am I coping with gas prices? I’m not. I have to drive 80 miles a day for my job. There is no public transportation here and no car pooling. So I pay whatever the going rate for gas and pray God gets me where I have to go. And as for the president not taking the blame? What ever happened to, ‘The Buck Stops Here’?” –Sandra

The Koran is nothing but a book, the soldiers were Americans. I am outraged but not surprised at his outrage turned upside down. It is time to end this egregious hypocrisy and end this traitorous regime.“ –Les

"Let us know when the Million Mullet March will be, I have a friend who needs to be in the front row!” –Lyna

The Last Word

“It’s becoming clear that the more the United States apologizes to Afghanistan for burning a few Korans, the more Afghans leap into the streets. So White House Dossier has helpfully compiled for Obama a list of ten alternative approaches that the president could have taken to deal with the problem. … 1. Dedicate a round of golf to the people of Afghanistan. 2. Send Michelle for a symbolic vacation to Jalalabad. 3. Ask the Afghans if they’d like the Russians back instead. 4. Head to a local Afghan restaurant and bow to the wait staff. 5. Offer to make Afghanistan’s heroin ‘The Official Heroin of the United States.’ 6. Give Afghan children a permanent exemption from Michelle’s ‘Let’s Move’ school lunch offerings. 7. Provide unlimited, free doses of Prozac to the entire adult population of Afghanistan. 8. Change the lyrics of O Tannenbaum to O Taliban. 9. Set up a program to provide virgins to Afghan men who refuse to commit suicide bombings. 10. Demand an apology from Afghanistan for the more than 1,800 U.S. forces killed since the start of the war.” –White House Dossier’s Keith Koffler

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