'Non Compos Mentis' on Guns
"Speak seldom, but to important subjects, except such as particularly relate to your constituents, and, in the former case, make yourself perfectly master of the subject." --George Washington
We often use the term "non compos mentis" to describe particularly outlandish pronouncements made by NeoComs or other "useful idiots" of the Left. The words are Latin for "not of sound mind," or, in short, insane. To be sure, that sums up all of so-called liberalism, but there are some subjects that seem to bring out the craziness more than others. The Second Amendment is one of them.
Last weekend, in an effort to portray Barack Obama as friendly to firearms, the White House backed up his boast of going skeet shooting "all the time" with a dubious photo of President "Skeeter" out at the range. (There's even an action figure now.) We soon outlined the reasons for our skepticism and then proceeded to have some fun at the president's expense, but the larger point is that the White House wants to marginalize as crazy any gun owners who call him on the gimmickry. Of course, we're not the ones who aren't of sound mind.
Many Beltway leftists have never held or fired a gun, much less actually know what they're talking about when it comes to the tools themselves or making policy regarding them. One of the most laughable examples is when Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) infamously described a barrel shroud as the "shoulder thing that goes up." Yet for a leading proponent and author of federal firearm legislation to be this ignorant is incredibly dangerous to Liberty.
Some insanity never ends. Joe "Non Compos Mentis" Biden, who after Newtown led the White House crisis exploitation team on gun policy, virtually threw out the Second Amendment when he said Wednesday, "It is clearly within the right of the government to determine what type of weapons can be owned by the public."
On the contrary, that's exactly what the Second Amendment is there to prevent.
Biden also lamented that 1,600 people have been killed by guns since Newtown. He didn't mention that 3,300 children will be killed by their own mothers today alone through abortion.
Meanwhile, when gun control doesn't actually reduce violence -- and it very rarely does -- leftists scramble for ways to explain it. White House adviser David Axelrod struggled this week to account for Chicago's shocking murder rate (42 already this year at the time of his comments), claiming that it's because "all around us are areas with weak laws and with very lax background checks and a lot of illegal guns flow into this city." Technically, he's correct: Guns used in Chicago crimes are often bought outside the city. But that's because there aren't any gun stores in Chicago. Criminals don't generally succeed in buying from licensed gun dealers, either. And Axelrod doesn't explain the low crime rate in surrounding communities.
Politicos aren't the only ones spouting crazy talk. Singer Tony Bennett showed an astounding ignorance of history when he said that if we don't enact strict gun control, it will be "the kind of turn that happened to the great country of Germany, where the Nazis came over and created tragic things and they had to be told off." Memo to Tony: If Germany's Jews had not been disarmed, millions of them might not have been slaughtered by their own government.
Certainly these leftists aren't heeding George Washington's advice to "speak seldom" and, when you do, "make yourself perfectly master of the subject."
Some final notes:
By way of rebutting the three stooges above, "universal background checks" enjoy more popular support than any other proposal. But we offer this caution: By statute, information obtained in a background check is not retained by agencies that do those checks. If new legislation doesn't contain that disposal provision, it would be a big hole that could become the "Universal Confiscation List." Think post-Katrina New Orleans. The government could then truly determine what we may own, and more of the nation could become like Chicago -- or worse.
Speaking of background checks, the FBI reports that the number experienced a significant drop in January. While it may appear that the rush to buy guns before a ban is abating, the real reason is simply that there's nothing left on the shelves to buy. "Skeeter" sure has earned his Gun Salesman Emeritus badge.
Some are suggesting that Dianne Feinstein's Defensive Weapons Ban will go nowhere, but we believe that Obama will continue expending a lot of political capital to ensure that he isn't embarrassed by its total defeat. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony this week as legislation begins moving forward. Some expect a bill that includes everything but the ban on defensive weapons, as it would be more likely to pass without that. But House Democrats have introduced their own version of Feinstein's bill, complete with a ban on semiautomatic rifles.
Banning guns is central to the NeoCom agenda -- they can't subjugate the people when the people are armed. We strongly suggest that you keep pressure on your legislators, because this fight isn't over -- by a long shot.
This Week's 'Alpha Jackass' Award
"[I]f there's even one thing we can do to keep our children and our community safe -- [if] there's just one step we can take to prevent more families from feeling what they feel after they've lost a loved one -- we've got an obligation to take that step." --Barack Obama, still stumping for gun control on nothing but emotion
So he's trying to deflect the fact that AR-15s and other defensive weapons are responsible for very few deaths. They are, first and foremost, designed for defending Liberty, which is why the NeoComs want them outlawed.
The Right ... to Keep and Bear Arms
Please take a moment and join the 37,000 of your fellow Patriots who have pledged to support and defend our Constitution, including the Second Amendment. Share it with your family, friends and colleagues via social media and email, as well.
Amid the hysteria on guns, two stories saw better light this week, while a third one broke. First, recall the man who last August wounded a security guard at Family Research Council national headquarters. He chose his targets, which included three other organizations, because he found information on the Southern Poverty Law Center's website listing them as "hate groups." The latter organization is infamous for slapping the "hate group" label on any organization with which it disagrees. Remember leftist outrage at Sarah Palin's PAC for putting election "targets" on congressional districts not long before Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Tucson in 2011. Now? Not a word.
Second, in the even more famous case of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, still more evidence has surfaced that Zimmerman was not the racist portrayed by the Leftmedia and Barack Obama. In fact, Zimmerman had a black business partner, helped black kids in the neighborhood and, as a registered Democrat, supported Obama in 2008 because, in the words of his brother Robert, "the president's club had been a club of white men since our founding." Zimmerman, who still sports tire tracks from the Obama Express, apparently personifies this truth: When it comes to Obama supporters, black trumps Latino, and thug trumps gun owner.
Third, former Los Angeles police officer Chris Dorner allegedly went on a shooting rampage this week, murdering one officer and two civilians, as well as wounding two more officers. As we go to press, he is still at large. Dorner, also a Navy veteran, was fired from the department in 2009 for making false statements, and now claims he is seeking to punish corruption within the LAPD. What is often missing from media coverage, however, is the part of his manifesto announcing that he's pro-Obama, pro-Hillary for 2016, pro-gun control and anti-NRA.
Government and Politics
News From the Swamp: Sequester Politics
The White House missed its legally mandated deadline this week to submit a budget proposal to Congress. Shocking, we know. According to the law, the executive branch must propose a budget the first Monday in February, but for the fourth time in five years, Barack Obama failed to do so. There's no clear indication just when the Obama administration might fulfill its duty, assuming it's even on their to-do list, but there is a litany of excuses as to why they're late.
The president's number-crunchers claimed that the task is too daunting. Crafting a $4 trillion budget can't be easy, but the deadline for submission is well known, writing the budget is an annual process and the administration has months to do it. Yet his team acts like they were caught unaware by the volume of work to be done and the time frame in which to do it.
Press Secretary Jay Carney spun the White House's negligence by blaming Republicans for submitting "a highly partisan budget." What Carney refused to note is that House Republicans are the only ones actually making serious budget proposals. Every Obama budget that has been submitted to Congress has been overwhelmingly rejected (last year's version received zero votes), and the Democrat Senate hasn't passed a budget in four years. Carney suggested that reporters instead focus on "substance over deadlines." And by substance, he means bright, shiny objects like gun control and immigration that are meant to distract Obama's media lapdogs.
While staying busy not producing a new budget, Obama is also playing sequester politics in calling for Congress to stop the automatic budget cuts scheduled to hit March 1. On that date, the sequester will begin taking slices out of defense and domestic non-defense spending, adding up to $1.2 trillion in "cuts" (read: reductions in the rate of growth) over the next 10 years. These cuts have already been avoided once, but they were never supposed to become reality at all. The idea behind Obama's sequestration proposal (yes, it was his idea) was to create automatic spending "cuts" so scary that Republicans would have no choice but to strike a deal -- since it's worked so far.
Yet Democrats have made reaching a budget deal virtually impossible. They won't even consider touching entitlements, the primary drivers of the deficit. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) insists that no cuts will be made until Republicans agree to even more tax hikes. That was Obama's position during the fiscal cliff drama, and Republicans were foolish to ever believe that caving in on a $600 billion tax hike would satisfy the NeoComs' ravenous appetite for your money. Indeed, it only took six weeks for Obama to say, "[T]here is no doubt we need additional revenue."
We should note that we can thank the graduated income tax that turned 100 years old on Feb. 3 for this runaway government spending. The 16th amendment was ratified in 1913, and the federal government hasn't stopped growing since. On December 16th, 1773, "radicals" from Boston, members of a secret organization of American Patriots called Sons of Liberty, boarded three East India Company ships and threw 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor. This iconic event, in protest of oppressive taxation and tyrannical rule, is immortalized as "The Boston Tea Party." It was launched in response to a three-pence tax on each pound of tea. Goodness, how times have changed.
The BIG Lie
"The American people need to understand that it's not as if we've done nothing for the debt. $2.6 trillion -- $2.6 trillion already we've made in cuts. And all those cuts have come from non-defense programs." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Again, those "cuts" are merely reductions in the projected rate of growth over the next 10 years. Oh, and by the way, Reid's number includes the massive tax hikes Democrats forced through at the beginning of the year. Debt reduction? Hardly.
Hope 'n' Change: ObamaCare Predictions Keep Coming True
The Department of Health and Human Services released a new set of regulations last week meant to alleviate concerns that the ObamaCare contraception mandate violates religious liberty. A federal court ordered HHS to rewrite the rules after a lawsuit brought by two colleges demonstrated the violation of their First Amendment rights. The new regulations were carefully crafted to cater to the plaintiffs in this particular case, but they do nothing to address the broader concerns of religiously affiliated organizations or private business owners.
The original contraception mandate allowed that religious organizations claiming special status under the Internal Revenue Code could be exempt from the mandate if it violates their beliefs. The exemption, however, did not extend to Catholic charities, hospitals and schools, and the new regulations still don't solve this problem, much less for Christian-owned businesses like Hobby Lobby. Instead, insurance companies are still required to provide free contraception coverage directly to employees rather than through the businesses and organizations themselves. In the long run, of course, religious institutions will still pay for the coverage because the insurance companies will raise their premiums in order to provide the "free" services.
In other ObamaCare news, HHS claimed that it will cut a relative handful of unnecessary health care regulations from the books, saving $3.4 billion over five years. Practically, this cut means little in a $2.7 trillion health care economy, and it won't put a dent in the burden of ObamaCare, which already weighs in at 13,000 pages of regulations.
The Congressional Budget Office piled on even more bad news about ObamaCare, noting that the law will cause seven million people to lose their employer-based insurance, twice the original estimate. It makes even bigger the lie that Obama used to sell the law in the first place: "If you like your coverage, you can keep it." The CBO also noted that the insurance options in the marketplace will be narrower than originally anticipated, that Medicaid is unprepared for the influx of new enrollees and that ObamaCare subsidies for the insurance exchanges will cost $1 trillion through 2022, or 29 percent higher than projected just one year ago. The law's total cost will now be $1.3 trillion over a decade instead of $1.1 trillion, and instead of the "roughly $900 billion" that Barack Obama himself originally promised. Finally, the law will cost 127 million man-hours per year for compliance.
It's almost as if all this were part of the plan...
Dept. of Justice Sues S&P
Attorney General Eric Holder's Department of Justice filed suit against the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's for the ratings that the latter assigned to mortgages prior to the 2008 housing meltdown. Justice is basing the case on a series of S&P internal memos expressing concern about credit quality and market share. Of course, one will find the same conversations going on in any bank today, or 10 years ago or 50, because those are the two primary concerns of any financial institution.
So why aren't the other two credit rating companies, Moody's and Fitch, being sued since their ratings criteria yielded the same ranges of ratings as S&P, and all three firms' movements tracked evenly over the period in question? Simple: S&P had the temerity to downgrade U.S. Treasuries when Barack Obama engaged in his foolhardy strategy to spend his way out of a recession. The suit is payback for embarrassing Obama with the first downgrade of U.S. debt since the nation's founding.
While S&P may have much for which to be held accountable, blame for the mortgage meltdown actually rests with Congress. It was they who attempted to create a utopia of universal home ownership through incentives for the construction industry (Affordable Housing Act) and programs to encourage individuals to buy homes beyond their means (FHA and the Community Reinvestment Act).
In too many ways, the system reeks of fascism, which is defined as a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry and commerce, and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism. Of those six key elements, Obama and his fellow NeoComs display strong performance on five, the only exception being nationalism.
Imagine this scenario: an otherwise law-abiding company is prosecuted under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for inadvertently killing four mallard ducks; meanwhile, wind turbines slice and dice thousands of birds a year with no accountability. If you're North Dakota-based Continental Resources, you don't have to imagine this because the federal government attempted to prosecute them under the MBTA until the case was laughed out of court by a federal judge.
Yet Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana is asking these questions about partiality on behalf of the federal government. Vitter, who serves as the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, recently accused the Justice Department of "hand-picking" cases to prosecute, unfairly targeting oil and gas producers and of taking a pass on wind farm operators. "This does not pass the common sense test," he said.
But the Justice Department may not have a legal basis to go after wind turbine operators if that industry gets its way. Quietly, behind the scenes, Big Wind is attempting to shield itself from prosecution, a move that has divided environmentalist groups over whether to back the "clean energy" created by wind farms or fight on behalf of the aviary wildlife -- including endangered and protected birds like bald eagles -- being slaughtered. In the end, though, it may be the oil and gas industry that becomes endangered thanks to overzealous legal poaching.
Going Postal, Just Not on Saturday
The financial disaster that is the United States Postal Service announced this week a long-expected change. It will cease Saturday mail delivery beginning in August. The move is complicated. Congress controls the Postal Service, and has mandated six-day delivery. But with the government now operating on a continuing resolution rather than an actual budget, the Postal Service believes it can make the change anyway, in part, by keeping open post offices and continuing delivery to PO boxes on Saturdays.
According to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, the goal is to save about $2 billion each year. The Postal Service lost some $15.9 billion last year, with more red ink forecast for this year. Of course, the lion's share of that shortfall -- $11.8 billion -- is due to employee benefits for health and pensions. Same old, same old.
Warfront With Jihadistan: Obama Drones
It's well known that armed drones have become a key weapon in America's war against terrorists and other widely dispersed, non-uniformed illegal combatants, with the U.S. expanding their use in Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, in part from a newly revealed and especially interesting base in Saudi Arabia. This week, a confidential 16-page Justice Department memo obtained by NBC News provides details about the Obama legal team's reasoning that the U.S. government can use drones to kill "senior operational leaders" of al-Qa'ida or "an associated force," even if they are American citizens, so long as an "informed, high-level official" of the Obama administration determines it. The administration says no more information will be forthcoming.
Few people would argue with targeting active al-Qa'ida operatives, even American citizens fighting for al-Qa'ida -- citizens who, by committing treason and taking up arms for an entity at war with the U.S., clearly have given up their rights. But the new memo's broad definitions and lack of specificity raises serious concerns, not least of which is its arguments for granting open-ended powers to "informed, high-level" government officials to decide who is or is not a legitimate target. Who knows what a lawless regime (anyone seen one of those?) might do with such an ability to define "targets." The administration is also blowing opportunities to gain intelligence from these jihadis for the expedience of merely blowing them up. That said, Congress did authorize strikes against al-Qa'ida, albeit 12 years ago, and dead bad guys are better than live ones attacking innocents.
The Left wanted to crucify President George W. Bush and his team for use of wiretaps on suspected terrorists, and the extremely rare use of waterboarding on captured al-Qa'ida operatives who were known to possess actionable, high-level intelligence. One of three such cases involved al-Qa'ida's No. 2, who helped plan 9/11. Obama's actions haven't been met with nearly that level of indignation, but the following quote is instructive: "This administration acts like violating civil liberties is the way to enhance our security. It is not." The speaker? Barack Obama in 2007.
On a related note, John Brennan appeared before the Senate Thursday for confirmation hearings on his nomination to be director of the CIA. CBS News describes Brennan as "the person who has for the past four years overseen and managed the White House's kill lists, and essentially institutionalized the drone program itself." He also vigorously defended it, while condemning waterboarding.
Immigration Front: Hearings Begin
The House Judiciary Committee held its opening hearings on immigration reform this week. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who chairs the committee, set the stage: "I think we can all agree that our nation's immigration system is in desperate need of repair and it is not working as efficiently and fairly as it should be. The American people and members of Congress have a lot of questions about how our legal immigration system should work. They have a lot of questions about why our immigration laws have not always been sufficiently enforced. And they have a lot of questions about how a large-scale legalization program would work, what it would cost, and how it would prevent illegal immigration in the future."
That pretty well sums up the problem. It's the solution that leaves something to be desired.
On the other side of the aisle, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) offered these words of warning: "I hope no one uses the term 'illegal immigrants' here today. Our citizens are -- the people in this country are not illegal, they are out of status, they are new Americans that are immigrants, and I think that we can forge a path to citizenship that will be able to pass muster." In his politically correct rant, Conyers practically conferred citizenship on the illegal immigrants -- oops, we said it -- in question.
Our hope is simply that Rule of Law isn't lost amid the pandering of politicians.
Village Academic Curriculum: A Texas-Sized Lesson
In its quest to turn America's youth against America, the Left seemingly forgot the admonition not to mess with Texas. As the Star-Telegram reports, a web-based curriculum used by more than 70 percent of school districts in the Lone Star State is asking 6th grade students to help design a flag for "a new socialist country." The lesson plan reads in part, "Notice socialist/communist nations use symbolism on their flags representing various aspects of their economic system. Imagine a new socialist nation is creating a flag and you have been put in charge of creating a flag. ... What kind of symbolism/colors would you use?"
On the other hand, other Texas students are being taught that the Boston Tea Party was an act of terrorism. Texas state legislators are looking none too kindly on the lesson plans, with one state senator noting, "It's amazing that when you all called our Founding Fathers terrorists, in Texas, that you thought that wasn't going to cause problems." Clearly, this should cause problems not only in Texas but also everywhere in America. Of course, with Democrats' strategizing to turn Texas into a blue state, better government school brainwashing is surely one way to do it.
Elsewhere on the education front, last week the Obama administration issued 160 pages of regulations governing school snacks. The rules, which govern "competitive" food not part of regular school meals, "replace traditional potato chips with baked versions and candy with granola. Regular soda is out, though high-schoolers may have access to diet versions." We're not denying that eating healthfully is important for overall well-being, but since when did Uncle Sam's jurisdiction include the vending machine? We hardly believe that when our Founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor they did it for life, liberty, and the pursuit of diet soda.
Faith and Family: Boy Scouts Postpone Decision
The Boy Scouts -- born this day in 1910 -- announced this week that they will not decide on any changes to their policy regarding homosexuals until May, as "more deliberation is needed." Given the immediate protests this proposal evoked from rank-and-file leaders and Scouts, contrasted with the full weight of the presidential bully pulpit in favor of the change, we certainly hope the delay isn't tantamount to approving the change.
For background, Mark Alexander laid out the case in his Letter to an Eagle Scout.
Super Power Outage
Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans was a thriller. The first half featured a dominant performance by the Baltimore Ravens, while the second half featured a near-historic comeback by the San Francisco 49ers. As for the venue, having spent billions of dollars on cleanup and restoration projects following Hurricane Katrina ($336 million on the Superdome alone), New Orleans was anxious to show off their rebuilt "green" city. Their goal was to make this year's Super Bowl the greenest ever, even drawing praise from the Department of Energy. But like most green projects, it wound up mirroring Obama's failed renewable energy policies.
For 34 minutes early in the second half, the stadium went dark after an "abnormality" led to a power outage. While officials still haven't determined precisely the reason for the outage, some speculate that Beyoncé's halftime performance was too much for the new technology. Others no doubt are still blaming George W. Bush for his hurricane response ... or something. Perhaps others believe the "efficient" part of this experiment was shutting off the lights for a while.
Besides the cost of tickets, about the only thing green in this game was the exorbitant prices fans had to pay for refreshments during the Great Blackout. Let's hope the rest of the city doesn't face the same "renewable" fate as the Superdome's botched experiment.
The Center for Economic Policy and Research, a leftist Washington think tank, offered some new advice for reducing the effects of global warming: Work less. It's just that simple, according to economist David Rosnick, author of the study. Apparently with a straight face, he wrote, "If the world were to follow a more European model of work, we would expect fewer hours, less output, and lower emissions of greenhouse gases." Sure lower income would be part of that deal, but he says it's a small price to pay. Who knew it was that easy? All we have to do is put our feet up and stop trying so hard. In fact, with all the snow in the U.S. this weekend, we think we'll just leave early and hit the ski slopes. With a tip of the hat to global warming, of course.
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team