Feinstein's Shot Heard 'Round the World
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined." --Patrick Henry
A troop of utterly shameless stage actors and demo-gogues took to the microphone Thursday to assist Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in announcing "The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013." These petty NeoCom tyrants tugged at the heartstrings of the nation by once again stacking up the coffins of children as their platform to call for the disarmament of law-abiding citizens.
"If 20 dead children in Newtown wasn't a wakeup call that these weapons of war don't belong on our streets, I don't know what is," Feinstein thundered. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tearfully named all 20 children. But as emotional as that appeal is, the issue isn't about those kids. It's about the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution -- which is about the preservation of Liberty.
Feinstein officially introduced her new gun ban, and, as we expected, it's much worse than the 1994 version. Among the details: It bans the sale, transfer, importation or manufacture of semiautomatic rifles, handguns and shotguns with any one of a list of undesirable features. Also banned: 157 specifically named semiautomatic rifles, handguns and shotguns, though there is also a whitelist of 2,258 "legitimate hunting and sporting" firearms.
Furthermore, the bill requires a background check on all sales or transfers of grandfathered weapons, and prohibits the sale or transfer of legally owned but newly banned "large-capacity" magazines. It also requires safe storage of grandfathered firearms. The bill has not yet been released to the public, but at this point it does not appear to contain the registration requirement for legally owned firearms that was in Feinstein's original summary. If this ends up being the case, we suspect that it was practically unworkable for the ATF. Finally, unlike the 1994 ban, the bill has no sunset.
The only effects this bill will have on crime is to turn law-abiding citizens into felons and to make everyone less safe. Not to mention that it tramples the Constitution.
Contrary to media myth, of course, these are not "assault weapons." Indeed, this bill is written by people who don't even know what an "assault weapon" is, other than the Left's prevailing definition: "Assault weapon -- noun, 1. a scary-looking black rifle, 2. anything a politician says it is." Indeed, to determine the restrictions in both her bills, Feinstein recently admitted that she looked at pictures of guns.
Meanwhile, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced separate companion bills to ban magazines with a capacity of higher than 10 rounds. In other words, standard-capacity magazines for most handguns and semi-automatic rifles.
We encourage you to contact your senators and representatives to express your opposition to these unconstitutional bills. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) vows to do whatever he can to block the bill. Even Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is opposed and indicated he won't allow a vote on a bill that couldn't make it through the House, though he will allow the bill to proceed with open amendments. We suspect the legislation will face tough sledding, but we're not taking that for granted.
You may not be a gun owner, but if you like to be safe in your home, thank a gun owning neighbor -- because violent criminals don't know which homes are occupied by somebody able to defend themselves and their families. Violent felons prefer unarmed victims.
As Thomas Jefferson noted in the year our Constitution was written, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." And on that note, make no mistake: Obama's current assault on the Second Amendment has nothing to do with "keeping children safe from harm," and everything to do with the confiscation of the type of weapons that have one primary purpose under the Second Amendment -- defending our Constitution.
Sign the Pledge!
Join the critical push for American Patriots across this great nation to pledge: "We, the People, affirm that we will support and defend Liberty as 'endowed by our Creator,' enshrined in our Constitution and empowered by its Second Amendment, against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Please take a moment and join the more than 32,000 of your countrymen who answered the call. Share it with your family, friends and colleagues via social media and email, as well.
The BIG Lies and 'Braying Jackasses'
"Today we are introducing legislation that will help end the mass shootings that have devastated countless families and terrorized communities. ... [O]ur weak gun laws allow these mass killings to be carried out again, and again, and again in this country. ... No weapon is taken from anyone. The purpose is to dry up the supply of these weapons over time, therefore, there is no sunset on this bill. ... We must balance the desire of a few to own military-style assault weapons with the growing threat to lives across America." --Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
"Senator Lautenberg and I have reintroduced the bill to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines because they're the common thread in every major mass shooting in recent history and taking them off the market can have a major impact on saving lives in America. The horrific murders in Newtown have shown how our nation's lax attitude towards gun violence has gone too far and we must take action to save lives." --Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)
"This just isn't a matter of an issue of the Constitution, it's an issue of conscience, an issue of conscience." --Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
"Kids would be alive today in Newtown, Connecticut, if the law that we're proposing today were in place on December 14th of last year. It's as simple as that." --Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)
"[T]here's no right to use 100 round clips in assault rifles." --Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
"The latest tragedy in Newtown was a wake up call for our nation, and now we must now turn our grief into action to reduce further tragedies. It is clearer than ever that there is no place in our communities for military-style super-sized magazines like those used inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Aurora, and in Tucson, and I will keep working to reinstate the ban on them." --Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
"I believe that the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby. ... [B]less our elected leaders with the wisdom and the courage needed to bring about the changes that the people demand." --Dean of the National Cathedral Rev. Canon Gary Hall, who prayed before the circus
"A shotgun will keep you a lot safer ... than an assault weapon in somebody's hands who doesn't know how to use it -- even one who does know how to use it. ... So you want to keep people away in an earthquake? Buy some shotgun shells." --Joe Biden, who clearly thinks the Framers gave us the Second Amendment to discourage looting
Government and Politics
News From the Swamp: House Passes Temporary Debt Ceiling Deal
The battle over Washington's spending troubles took a new turn this week as the House passed a bill that postpones enforcement of the debt ceiling limit until May 18, giving Capitol Hill some wiggle room to keep debating spending issues. The No Budget, No Pay Act passed 285-144 with the support of 199 Republicans and 86 Democrats, and it calls for both chambers of Congress to pass full budget resolutions by April 15 or have their pay withheld. The postponement will allow the Treasury Department to continue paying the government's bills until May 18 by essentially ignoring the debt limit. This exercise is pathetic in itself, but with Barack Obama and the Democrats refusing to negotiate in good faith, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had little choice. Republicans are now absolved of supposedly threatening to shut down the government, and the responsibility for moving toward an agreement is placed on the Democrats -- or so the playbook says.
It doesn't take a cynic to recognize that this latest play to get the government's fiscal house in order is still fraught with problems, but Boehner's plan may be the best yet to break the endless cycle of manufactured crises over spending. The Senate under Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has steadfastly since 2009 ignored its lawful duty to produce a budget. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) suddenly welcomes the idea of pushing for a budget resolution, calling the vote in the House a "major victory for the president." Schumer also says that by producing a budget, Democrats would have the opportunity to raise more revenue through further tax hikes on businesses and the "wealthy." Beyond the tax fight, which was supposed to have been put to rest after the fiscal cliff resolution (cough, cough), Congress will still have to deal with the automatic cuts that are expected to hit defense and domestic programs on March 1. The GOP remains firm that any change in those cuts must be met by trimming spending in other places.
Barack "No Negotiations" Obama has noted that he won't oppose the Republican plan to postpone the debt limit, but he isn't exactly prodding the Senate into action either. He will likely stand aside for the moment while House Republicans and Senate Democrats duke it out over the 2014 budget and how seriously it will address our nation's perilous spending problem -- the problem that NeoComs deny exists. Whether the final plan includes tax hikes, spending cuts or more likely both, the fact is that the government is running out of time to get its house in order. Washington is digging America's fiscal grave at an ever-increasing rate. In 2001, the debt ceiling stood at $5.95 trillion. It has been raised 13 times since then, and is currently $16.4 trillion.
Obama again fumbled the recitation of his oath, as he did in 2009. This time he was unable to say "United States" correctly, and smirked. We mention this because there are two distinct "poker tells" that betray Obama's efforts to deceive. One is the prolific use of "uh" when he is telling a lie that is not scripted from a teleprompter. The other is when he fumbles the simplest of words, as he did once again with his oath.
Read the rest of Mark Alexander's essay, 'I, Barack Hussein Obama...'.
Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law Upheld
Public sector unions in Wisconsin seeking to undo Republican Gov. Scott Walker's collective bargaining reforms were dealt a blow last week when the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law in a 2-1 ruling. The ruling didn't explicitly reverse an earlier state court decision that prevents the law from being enforced, but it does mean that the case will have to be revisited. Recent legislative actions in Michigan pushing for right-to-work laws also bode well in the continuing fight to loosen the fiscal stranglehold the public sector unions have placed on government.
Ray Nagin Indicted
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray "Chocolate City" Nagin was indicted last week on 21 counts of fraud, bribery, money laundering and tax falsification related to kickbacks he took from businesses looking to rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina. The indictment accuses Nagin of using his office to enrich himself and business associates through wire transfers, free travel and other illegal means. Nagin's indictment is no surprise, considering the corrupt history of New Orleans politics and Nagin's own reputation. It's also no surprise that only one major news outlet reporting of the event identified Nagin's party affiliation. In case you were wondering, he's a Democrat, through and through.
Income Redistribution: First-Term Record
The statistics of Barack Obama's first-term "achievements" are glum to say the least. Outstripping the total amount borrowed by every president from George Washington to Bill Clinton through peace and war, prosperity and economic panic, Obama racked up $5.8 trillion in debt in his first term alone. The only president competing with Obama is budget-busting George W. Bush, whose debt was "just" $4.9 trillion in eight years.
Next, while the "official" unemployment rate dropped slightly below 8 percent just in time for the end of the campaign, there are now 88.9 million Americans 16 years old and over who are not seeking a job. Certainly some in that group are still furthering their education and many are retired after long careers, but more and more Americans are claiming disability -- a record 8.8 million now receive federal disability payments. That's one disability recipient for every 13 workers. In an era when labor force participation is at a record low, carrying the load for those in the cart is becoming an ever-greater burden for working Americans.
Yet the president's "laser-like focus" that he once promised on the jobs issue is belied by the fact that his so-called Jobs Council hasn't met in over a year and will cease to exist by month's end unless it is renewed. Not that these Keynesians would accomplish anything other than further growing the welfare state -- as evidenced by the number of families forced to subsist on government help because they've exhausted all other options -- but Obama would rather focus on infringing the Second Amendment or solving climate change rather than boosting the anemic 1.6 percent annual GDP growth characterizing his tenure in office. In the words of some other infamous Democrat: It's the economy, stupid.
Regulatory Commissars: Keystone Delay Replay
Obama's rhetoric about energy independence being a priority will soon be put to the test -- again. He failed this test miserably last year when he nixed the energy-producing, job-creating Keystone Pipeline in favor of pleasing green goons who would rather save a blade of grass than safeguard our national security. On Tuesday, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman put the ball back in Obama's court by informing the administration of his approval of a revised pipeline route that would be more environmentally favorable. Now, the president finds himself in quite the quandary: outrage the green faction by making good on his promise of job growth and energy independence through approving a pipeline forecasted to generate millions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs, or stave off the enviro-zealots' wrath by once again blocking the pipeline while China lays claim to the massive energy stores we ignore.
Facing such a dilemma, the administration did the only thing it could do: delay the decision. Instead of announcing its decision by the end of March, the administration will now wait until after March. How long after March? Who knows? Perhaps long enough to grow a backbone, but we doubt it.
Responsibility Without Consequences: Clinton and Kerry
Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asserted Wednesday during her Benghazi testimony, "I take responsibility" for the murder of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. But in the absence of any penalties or censure, what exactly does it mean to "take responsibility"? To date, only four subordinate officials have been "dismissed" -- and even that amounted to little more than a game of musical chairs. Charlene Lamb, a deputy Assistant Secretary and probably the one individual who contributed the most to prevent increasing security in Benghazi prior to the attack, resigned. Her resignation was inevitable due to the trail of evidence pointing to her repeated efforts to block requests for increased security -- possibly for political reasons, as her ultimate boss was running for re-election and wanted to use the "al-Qa'ida is on the ropes" talking point to help his campaign.
More significantly, Clinton resorted to theatricals when asked about the administration's response and public message following the attack. When pressed on the cause of the attack, she objected, "What difference, at this point, does it make?" It matters a great deal when the White House and State Department, in an attempt to deceive the public leading up to an election, put out a risible story about protests over an amateur video that virtually no one had heard of, and then stuck to that story despite mounting evidence to the contrary. With a lapdog media utterly uninterested in the real story, the president cruised across the election finish line virtually unscathed by the Benghazi debacle. And Clinton herself escapes untarnished, with a 2016 presidential campaign still viable. That is the answer to Hillary's faux-outraged question.
While Hillary was baring her claws and getting not just a media pass but a commendation, she was also covering for her soon-to-be replacement, John Kerry. The Massachusetts senator was undergoing confirmation hearings of his own. Kerry will of course sail through the Senate, as they handle their longtime colleague with kid gloves, not least because Kerry is the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee that heard his testimony today. It was complete with tears over the sacrifices of American diplomats, as well as a reminder that Kerry both served in Vietnam and was a war protester when he returned.
We suppose Kerry is uniquely qualified to represent U.S. interests abroad. After all, he began his career by meeting illegally with the North Vietnamese in Paris while the U.S. was still at war. He also testified before the Senate as a young war veteran and protester that his fellow soldiers were war criminals:
"They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country."
Kerry hasn't changed his colors, either. In 2005, he chastised American soldiers for "going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, women." No doubt with those accusations in mind, he promises as secretary of state to de-emphasize the military, saying "we cannot afford a diplomacy that is defined by troops or drones or confrontation." That this man will soon be the face of U.S. foreign policy is a reprehensible disgrace in an administration where that is all too common.
Join the more than 214,000 people who have signed our petition to indict Kerry for acts of treason.
Warfront With Jihadistan: A Look at Algeria
Capitalizing on troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan while reminding his mindless minions about a campaign promise, Dear Leader announced in his inaugural speech, "a decade of war is now ending." But whenever clueless Leftists speak of peace, as Obama did Monday, unbelievably quoting Neville Chamberlain's infamous Hitler-appeasing phrase "peace in our time," reality immediately drives the body count ever higher.
First stop is Algeria where additional details have emerged about last week's hostage situation. After a four-day siege, last Saturday Algerian forces stormed the natural gas plant that had been seized by members of the Masked Brigade. The Brigade is an Islamist group that threatened attacks against any country backing France's military intervention in neighboring Mali, where the French are trying to stop advances by Islamic extremists. Over 80 people died in the Algerian raid, including 37 hostages, three of whom were Americans. In another sign that the "Arab Spring" has turned deadly, many of the jihadis who shot their way into the natural gas plant used Libyan Kalashnikov AK-104 rifles, which were used by rebels in the war against Moammar Gadhafi. They also possessed F5 rockets that were used in the Libyan war and wore the battle outfits that Qatar had provided to the Libyan rebels.
And sadly, the Algerian attack appears to be yet another example of malfeasant U.S. policy and leadership that's reminiscent of Benghazi and 9/11. According to the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, before the Algerian hostage crisis the U.S. had several reports that "something big" was coming against a Western target. While it's true that no specific target could be gleaned from this intelligence, Western interests in the area should have been warned and on heightened alert.
Meanwhile in Mali, the U.S. military is now involved, airlifting French soldiers and equipment to Mali from southern France. At the same time, military forces from Chad moved toward the Mali border and additional African troop deployments swelled international support for France's military action. France is urging a rapid deployment of the UN-mandated African force to back up the 2,150 French soldiers already there. "A decade of war is now ending"? Hardly.
In other news, North Korea announced Thursday that it would conduct a new nuclear test along with further long-range rocket launches. According to the Norks' National Defense Commission, this is all part of an "upcoming all-out action" to challenge the United States, "the sworn enemy of the Korean people." The North also threatened South Korea should the latter join a new round of tighter sanctions. Surely this has nothing to do with Obama's projected weakness.
Department of Military Correctness: Women in Combat
In a surprise move, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta removed a 1994 ban that prevented women in service from serving in combat roles. Continued pressure from the feminist movement coupled with Obama's goal of "fundamental transforming" our nation undoubtedly influenced Panetta's decision.
One of the Left's arguments is that conservatives don't want "equal rights" for women or think that women aren't as "good" as men. Let's be clear: Women have already given their lives fighting for this country, and we are grateful for their sacrifice. But the implementation of this policy has nothing to do with inequality -- rather, that women and men have different roles. The obvious physical differences between the sexes hinder women from carrying out burdens associated with front-line combat. Additionally, we can't pretend that combining men and women on the battlefield won't cause emotional and hygienic problems, and increase the likelihood of abuse -- to say nothing of compromising the mission of our fighting forces.
Simply put, this change is nothing more than a continuation of NeoComs treating the military as a petri dish for social experimentation, and the results won't be any different this time. "Women and men are not interchangeable biological units," says National Review's David French. "There will be consequences to this change, both expected and unexpected. Is 'social justice' worth this very deadly risk?"
Faith and Family: Roe v. Wade
Tuesday was Sanctity of Life Day, or the 40th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision. To commemorate what, to them, is a holiday, Planned Parenthood released a video. Set to romantic background music, a suave black man sits in front of a fireplace holding a rose and liquor, while reassuring his "baby" that he didn't forget their anniversary, even after "all these years" of people "trying to tear us apart, take you away, put limits on you."
What the libidinous man failed to mention -- indeed, what Planned Parenthood tries very hard to hide -- is that the nation's largest abortion provider was started by Margaret Sanger, an advocate of eugenics and aborting black children to reduce the black population. Her disciples now suppress the facts, but they still work diligently toward her goal. And, sadly, black women are the highest per capita users of abortion services. Thanks to Sanger and her ilk -- and proponents of the Democrats' welfare plantation -- a young black man can comfortably impregnate as many women as he wants without the responsibility of fatherhood. Unwed and negligent fathers are perhaps the single biggest problem in the black community today. And the Left celebrates it.
In related news, Mary Elizabeth Williams, writing for Salon, asks, So what if abortion ends life? Her argument is basically that leftists shouldn't beat around the bush -- life does begin at conception. But no matter, "All life is not equal," she argues. "[A] fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She's the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always." She concludes that, yes, a "fetus is indeed a life." But it's "[a] life worth sacrificing."
In a twisted way, such honesty from a feminist zealot is refreshing, but honesty doesn't mean much when you're advocating such horrific utilitarian beliefs.
To Keep and Bear Arms
Amid all the hubbub surrounding Sen. Dianne Feinstein's "assault weapons" ban, there are still everyday stories of average law-abiding citizens using firearms to defend themselves and others from evil -- or in this case, serious harm. An 11-year-old boy was riding his bike in a Washington, DC, neighborhood when he came upon three pit bulls. The dogs pounced, mauling the boy.
Fortunately, a neighbor saw what was happening, grabbed his handgun and rushed out to shoot one of the pit bulls. A DC police officer patrolling nearby on a bicycle heard the shot, and came to the boy's aid as well, shooting the other two pit bulls. The boy's injuries were severe, but he will survive, thanks to the quick action of this neighbor.
However, the hero is under investigation for violating local gun laws -- discharging his weapon while not on his own property. No word yet on whether charges will be filed, but DC's gun laws are what put children at risk.
'Rooney Rule' to Be Expanded by NFL
When you don't get the results you desire, change the rules. That seems to be the next step for the National Football League, an organization that expressed its disappointment that, of 14 head coach and front-office vacancies filled so far this off-season, no minority candidate has been hired. On the other hand, black coaches like Romeo Crennel of the woeful Kansas City Chiefs, and Lovie Smith, who coached the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl appearance in 2007, were dismissed by their respective franchises.
Reports are now circulating that the NFL will mandate the same quota rules for offensive and defensive coordinator positions because these posts tend to be the training ground for future head coaches. The mandate, known as the Rooney Rule and named after Dan Rooney, a part-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers -- also, coincidentally, a staunch supporter of Barack Obama -- mandates that teams with an opening for general manager or head coach must interview at least one minority applicant. The one team that ran afoul of that rule, the Detroit Lions, was fined $200,000 by the NFL in 2003.
Yet while the league's number of black football players far exceeds their proportion in society at large (and the number of white players), the league won't be happy until the correct percentage of coaching and front-office posts are filled by a racial composition satisfying to them. True fans couldn't care less about the racial makeup of the front office as long as their team wins. Affirmative action never gained a first down or kicked a winning field goal.
A Harvard University professor aroused controversy in a recent interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel by claiming that cloning the long-extinct Neanderthal man will be possible within our lifetime, although he cautioned that it "depends on a [heck] of a lot of things." Professor George Church, who is billed as a "synthetic biology expert," breezily noted that while cloning is illegal in many countries, "laws can change" and the largest obstacle to creating a Neanderthal from ancient DNA might instead be to find an "extremely adventurous human female" to carry the clone to term. DNA could even be the basis of building materials in the future, Church believed.
Yet while Church defends the idea of cloning Neanderthal men as a way to "increase diversity," we happen to think there are enough Neanderthals pitching a particular insurance company. Not to mention voting Democrat.
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team