The Patriot Post® · Guns, Liberty and Demo-goguery

· https://patriotpost.us/digests/14250-guns-liberty-and-demo-goguery-2012-07-27

“[T]he right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave.” –John Adams

The primary consideration in the mass murder in Aurora, Colorado, last week is the issue of Essential Liberty, as Mark Alexander observed yesterday. The natural right “endowed by our Creator” to keep and bear arms is, as James Madison’s Chief Justice, Joseph Story, put it, “the palladium of the liberties of the republic.” So given that some are pushing to take away that right, here are a few of our observations.

If at least one concealed-carry permit holder had been allowed to carry a firearm into that theater, the killer could have been stopped. Unfortunately, it is unlawful to carry a concealed weapon in Aurora, though that can’t preempt Colorado law, and the theater itself bans carried weapons, so the only one with a weapon that night was the perpetrator. Neither Aurora’s gun restrictions nor Colorado’s laws against murder stopped this incident, and taking more rights from the law-abiding won’t stop the next crime, either.

We wonder if the Left ever pondered this: Why don’t mass murders take place at gun shows or NRA conventions? Answer: The bad guys aren’t dumb and look for so-called “gun-free zones” where they can kill at will. Suggesting that violence is a “gun problem” ignores the real issue – the now-generational socio-pathology instituted by the Left.

Of course, those inconvenient truths didn’t stop the leftist chorus of gun grabbers.

New Jersey Demo Sen. Frank Lautenberg pontificated, “Let’s stop wasting time and start saving lives. We have to face the reality that these types of tragedies will continue to occur unless we do something about our nation’s lax gun laws.” Therefore, the Senate added an amendment to the pending cybersecurity bill banning magazines with a capacity higher than 10 rounds.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recommended that America’s police officers should strike until more draconian gun control laws are enacted. “I don’t understand why the police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say we’re gonna go on strike, we’re not gonna protect you unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.”

Setting aside the sheer legal idiocy of this remark – police officers are forbidden from striking precisely because of the potential threat to public safety, which Bloomberg was forced to admit – the mayor sounded just like an urban politico who has a 24/7 police escort. Perhaps he should set the example by discontinuing his security detail and displaying a “Gun Free” sticker. After all, if he’s assaulted and seconds count, the NYPD will only be minutes away!

Even Mexican President Felipe Calderon chimed in, saying, “Because of the Aurora, Colorado, tragedy, the American Congress must review its mistaken legislation on guns. It’s doing damage to us all.” And he would know, since Obama was practically gift-wrapping guns for Mexican drug cartels.

Not only did Obama’s lemmings carry water for him on gun control, but the Leftmedia piled on as well. The Associated Press’s Steven Hurst “reported” that, “controlling access to guns would appear, on its face, the simple answer to preventing public massacres like the movie-theatre tragedy in Colorado.” We note that this was not an opinion column, but a “news article.”

Perhaps the most egregious offense, however, was when ABC’s Brian Ross fired a round at the Tea Party with his now-infamous remark that the murderer, “Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado,” is mentioned “on the Colorado Tea Party site, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year.” With his unsubstantiated innuendo, Ross carelessly smeared an unrelated “Jim Holmes of Aurora,” all for the sake of a political point against the Tea Party.

On a final note, Barack Obama couldn’t resist the temptation to personalize it: “My daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been at the theater?” Of course, if Malia and Sasha had been in the theater, nobody with so much as a nail clipper would have been allowed in that mall. But then our kids don’t all travel with a Secret Service entourage. The bottom line: We mustn’t allow the Left to take away our Liberty. If we do, we become slaves.

This Week’s ‘Alpha Jackass’ Award

“I also believe a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals, that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.” –Barack Obama

Memo to Barack: AK-47s are usually in the hands of enemy soldiers shooting at our armed forces, and, thanks to you, in the hands of drug cartels terrorizing Mexican streets.

Government and Politics

News From the Swamp: Taxes and Spending

The White House released a new report that the expiration of numerous tax rates on Jan. 1 will hit 114 million families earning annual income below $250,000 with an average tax increase of $1,600 next year. The report’s purpose is to blame Republicans for insisting on “cutting taxes once again for the wealthiest few.” In fact, the GOP insists on extending the current tax rates for all income earners, recognizing that any tax increase in the current economic climate would spell disaster for the economy. The Democrat leadership says they are perfectly willing to let all taxes rise in January if Republicans don’t go along and raise taxes only on top wage earners. This is nothing more than callous political brinksmanship.

The Democrat-controlled Senate followed through on its threat, voting 51-48 to raise taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year, including roughly a million small businesses. The Democrats’ plan also raises the death tax from 35 to 55 percent and expands the number of filers subject to it. Nor does the plan “fix” the Alternative Minimum Tax, which will hit the middle class. The bill has virtually no chance in the House, but Democrats are now on record approving what even the Senate Finance Committee admits “represents an almost $3,400 tax hike on 28.8 million middle-class families.”

The U.S. Treasury recently published troubling news about federal spending and debt. Their report indicates that the federal government has already accumulated a budget deficit over $1 trillion for fiscal 2012 with less than one quarter remaining. Based on current spending, Treasury estimates the budget deficit for fiscal 2012, ending Sept. 30, at $1.35 trillion – the fifth straight year of deficits over $1 trillion. During that time, the total federal debt has risen from $9 trillion to $15.87 trillion. But Democrats would have us believe the real problem is that small businesses don’t pay enough tax.

Campaign Trail: Team Obama Runs a Deficit

Barack Obama’s re-election campaign appears to be adopting the same spending strategy that he’s applied to the whole country: deficits. Team Obama spent more money than it collected in June, dumping $38.2 million into television ads in a number of battleground states where the race has turned into a dead heat with Mitt Romney. By contrast, Romney spent $10.4 million on television ads during the same time frame. Obama still maintains a large cash advantage over Romney, with $97.5 million in the bank, compared to Romney’s $22.5 million, but super PACs have been helping Romney rapidly close the fundraising and advertising gap. High-dollar donations from repeat contributors have also put Romney ahead in several battleground states.

One way Obama may be able to keep Romney’s super PAC allies at bay is by sending federal attack dogs after them. Months ago, the Obama campaign published a list of wealthy Romney donors with “less-than-reputable” records while offering no proof of the allegations. The intent seems to have been to shame Romney supporters into silence. Now, the IRS is auditing one of those donors. Frank VanderSloot can’t recall being audited before and said, “I can’t help but wonder whether there is a connection.” Do we detect sarcasm? Two weeks after being contacted by the IRS, VanderSloot was notified by the Department of Labor of an impending audit of workers on his Idaho ranch who were there under the federal visa program. VanderSloot only has three employees under the H-2A visa program, and they have been with him for five years. That’s the Chicago Way of immigration enforcement.

Hope ‘n’ Change: More Bad News About ObamaCare

According to a study by the consulting firm Deloitte, almost one in 10 U.S. employers will stop offering health insurance for employees as ObamaCare takes effect. In a survey of 560 unidentified companies, Deloitte discovered that 9 percent of employers will drop employee insurance coverage within three years, 81 percent will continue coverage, and 10 percent were unsure. Smaller companies were more likely to dump coverage, whereas large companies with 1,000 or more employees were more likely to maintain their plans. An important note is that this study was concluded in April, three months before the Supreme Court’s ObamaCare ruling.

The Congressional Budget Office released a revised report this week, reflecting the Court’s ruling and indicating that business owners will pay some $4 billion more in taxes under the “Affordable” Care Act than the previous estimate. Individuals will be pummeled with another $1 billion in taxes. However, in the twisted accounting of Washington, the law will now cost $84 billion less over the next 10 years. How raising taxes reduces the cost of something is beyond us. Ironically, the law will now cover millions fewer people. That’s the original problem that was supposed to be remedied by the Left’s massive takeover of the health system.

New and Notable Legislation

The House amended its 2013 Defense appropriations bill last week to bar funds from being used to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies on military installations. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) sponsored the amendment, and it passed 247-166. It would block chaplains’ salaries and funds to run facilities like chapels that perform same-sex marriage services because they run afoul of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Obama administration refuses to defend DOMA in court, and is permitting same-sex marriages to take place on military bases in spite of the fact that DOMA is still law. King’s measure merely reinforces DOMA and offers specific repercussions for those who openly violate it. The House bill still faces reconciliation with the Senate version, not to mention the president’s likely veto.

The House voted 327-98 on a bill to audit the Federal Reserve. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who will retire after this term, has long advocated at least this much to place a check on the Fed’s power, while Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has long opposed it for obvious reasons. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) once supported an audit, but we doubt he will make time in this legislative session to put his vote where his mouth was.

Economy

GDP Takes a Hit

“Real gross domestic product – the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States – increased at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012,” reports the Bureau of Economic Analysis this morning. That’s down from 2.0 percent growth in the first quarter. Economic growth is so anemic, the Federal Reserve is once again pondering – drumroll, please – “doing something” to spur it on. Because it worked so well before. Not to worry: As Obama told us last month, the “private sector is doing fine.”

How fine? The Obama “Recovery” has generated cumulative 6.7 percent growth, an average of 2.2 percent per quarter. By contrast, the Reagan Recovery produced 18.5 percent growth, an average of 5.7 percent per quarter.

Keen Sense of the Obvious

“The economy is not growing fast enough. Unemployment is very high.” –Treasury Secretary Timothy “Turbo Tax” Geithner

The BIG Admission?

“Just like we’ve tried their plan, we’ve tried our plan, and it worked.” –Barack Obama

Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh replied, “That is quite an admission. I don’t know how else to look at this. He is admitting that this has been the plan all along, and that everything has gone right.”

Spread the Poverty

Barack Obama spent so much time talking about the exit strategy from the war in Afghanistan that he forgot that we need one for the War on Poverty. The number of poor Americans is higher than it’s been in decades, and economists and think tanks across the political spectrum are predicting that it will soon reach the levels of the 1960s. Scarier still is that poverty is cutting a wide swath across several socioeconomic levels. Suburban poverty is spiraling out of control. Even middle and upper-middle class people now find themselves on food stamps.

Not to worry, though. As House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said last week, “If you talk to economists, they will tell you there are two things that are the most stimulative that you can do – one’s unemployment insurance, the other’s food stamps, okay?”

But Hoyer missed one “economic stimulant”: disability. In 1956, the government added disability insurance to the list of Social Security benefits. Since then, the ratio of those working to those collecting disability has declined from 65 to 1 in 1967 to just 16 to 1 in 2012 (down from 19 to 1 when Obama took office). The Social Security Administration reported that in June the number of people collecting disability reached a staggering 8,753,935. That’s more than the populations of 39 states.

Income Redistribution: The Follies of Youth Votes

Once upon a time, it was easy for scofflaws who wanted to escape those oppressive student loan payments to have the debts discharged in bankruptcy court: a few legal maneuvers and voila! no more onerous debt. These welchers caused lenders to “eat” the financial loss – money that otherwise would benefit the local community.

When private lenders still handled most student loans, that scenario rarely occurred. But now the government is in charge of 90 percent of the business, and Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is exploring ways to reverse the protections for these non-governmental lenders. In particular, Obama wants to rescind laws that prevent student loans from discharge in bankruptcy, but his plan only includes money lent by the private sector – government-backed loans would not be included.

It’s just another indication that the current administration doesn’t care about private business. Meanwhile, Obama can make another shameless pander to middle-class Americans and solidify the youth vote without really providing meaningful help. Since nearly all student loans now come from the federal government, any changes to private lenders won’t affect most borrowers – at least not yet.

Money for Nothin’

“Canyon” is a masterwork of 20th-century art inherited by the children of the late Ileana Sonnabend. What makes it unique, however, is the outrageous tax burden attached to it. The New York Times reports, “Because the work, a sculptural combine, includes a stuffed bald eagle, a bird under federal protection, the heirs would be committing a felony if they ever tried to sell it. So their appraisers have valued the work at zero.” Never mind that fair-market appraisal, in accordance with the law, though. The IRS appraised “Canyon” at $65 million and billed the owners $29.2 million in taxes. We’ve all seen or heard of ticketing blitzes when a local government needs revenue. With over $15 trillion of public debt and a stagnant economy, this may be the federal equivalent. The heirs, who have already had to sell nearly $600 million in art to cover estate (a.k.a. “death”) taxes, are challenging the IRS in tax court.

Hot Air’s Allahpundit set out the Kafkaesque choices facing the family: They can “(a) keep it and come up with $29 million, (b) sell it and go to jail for that, © refuse to pay the tax and go to jail for that, or (d) accept the feds’ valuation and come up with the $29 million, then donate the sculpture to charity and take a relatively small charitable deduction every year for the next … 75 years.” Perhaps there’s another way: They could donate the piece to the IRS.

Fracking Benefits

In news that should have the environmental lobby dancing in eco-friendly confetti, a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that energy-related CO2 levels have dropped to 5,473 million metric tons (MMT) in 2011, down from a high of 6,020 MMT in 2007 and nearly to 1995 levels – and they’re still falling.

Yet instead of emitting joyful noise pollution on the news, ecokooks remain virtually mum. That’s because a primary reason for the drop is the emergence of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” as an efficient means of extracting natural gas from the ground. As Investor’s Business Daily reports, “Increasingly, power plants are turning to natural gas because it has become abundant, and therefore cheap. And though technology is improving our ability to reduce emissions from coal usage, natural gas is still a much cleaner source.”

To ecofascists, however, fracking represents great evil, poised to trigger earthquakes and incinerate tap water (an astounding lack of evidence to support these claims notwithstanding). Ergo, attributing fracking’s contributions to the significant drop in CO2 emissions simply isn’t an option. When it comes to the narrative the Left has worked so hard to create, facts can be such stubborn things.

Around the Nation: High on High Speed Rail

California Gov. “Moonbeam” Jerry Brown gave the state a thumbs-up on a new high-speed rail project despite a nearly $16 billion budget deficit – all to support “investment in the future.” The train will eventually link Sacramento and San Francisco to Los Angeles at a low-end price estimate of $68 billion, though real cost might surpass $100 billion – assuming it’s ever completed. The project includes an initial $2.6 billion in state bonds authorized for the construction of 130 miles of railway through Central Valley that unleashes another $3.2 billion in federal funds as long as construction begins by the end of this year. All this despite the cities of Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and San Bernardino filing for bankruptcy protection, and Compton looking to follow suit.

Gov. Brown supports the railway because the “legislation will help put thousands of people in California back to work” and “by improving regional transportation systems, we are investing in the future of our state and making California a better place to live and work.” Sound familiar? It’s the same rhetoric Barack Obama has used for over a dozen failed federally backed “green” energy projects like Solyndra.

Brown should follow the example of Republican governors in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin by rejecting federal funds on railway projects destined to become trains “to nowhere.” Only by cutting spending and tackling runaway public pension costs will the Golden State see a brighter future. “Investing in the future” by way of boondoggles doesn’t solve the problems of today.

Security

Who’s the Leaker? Depends

Needing good news to bolster his re-election chances, Barack Obama received just that thanks to some well-placed leaks to an adoring mainstream media about national security items, such as the “kill list” of terror suspects. Responding to pressure to find the leaker, Attorney General Eric Holder put two federal prosecutors on the case, and they determined that the Pentagon isn’t responsible. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, thought she knew the culprit, but to make sure that the buck did not stop with Obama, she said, “I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.” Indeed, Obama adviser David Axelrod sat in on meetings about the “kill list,” and The New York Times’ story on the matter cited a dozen advisers.

Obviously, however, Feinstein got a talking to because she walked back her charge a day later. “I was asked whether the White House might be responsible for recent national security leaks,” she explained. “I stated that I did not believe the president leaked classified information. I shouldn’t have speculated beyond that because the fact of the matter is I don’t know the source of the leaks.” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney insisted that it’s “an insult and preposterous to suggest that this White House would leak … classified information for political gain.” Sure thing.

Meanwhile, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) opined: “A number of those leaks, and others in the last months … are frankly all against national security interests. I think they’re dangerous, damaging, and whoever is doing that is not acting in the interest of the United States of America.” Kerry, of course, is an expert on doing things “against national security interests.” In his infamous 1971 Senate testimony, he charged his fellow American soldiers in Vietnam with horrendous war crimes. Maybe after all these years he’s learned his lesson.

Immigration Front: Obama Plan Is Expensive

The White House recently made quite a power grab with Barack Obama’s executive order effectively implementing the DREAM Act without congressional action. For the next two years, Obama’s Department of Homeland Security will no longer enforce deportation law on the children of illegal aliens, and those who are old enough to work will be granted work authorizations. To qualify, one must have been in the country for five years, have no criminal record and be enrolled in high school, college or the military.

Predictably, the plan will cost a lot of money. The Associated Press reports, “The Obama administration’s new plan to grant temporary work permits to many young, illegal immigrants who otherwise could be deported may cost more than $585 million and require hiring hundreds of new federal employees to process more than 1 million anticipated requests.” No wonder Obama wants to hike taxes. He needs more voters.

Warfront With Jihadistan: Violence in Iraq

On Monday, multiple attacks throughout Iraq killed at least 115 people and wounded hundreds more, making it the deadliest day of the year in Iraq. In one attack, three carloads of gunmen pulled up to an Iraqi army base and opened fire, killing 13 soldiers. The deadliest attack occurred just north of Baghdad in the town of Taji, where a double bombing killed over 40 people and was timed to hit as police rushed to help victims of other explosions minutes earlier. The government and Shiite targets and the well-planned timings bore the fingerprints of al-Qa'ida, whose Sunni leader just last week warned of a new offensive, seeking to sow instability across the country.

Ever since Barack Obama pulled the last U.S. troops from Iraq last December, al-Qa'ida and other Iraqi militants have maintained a steady pace of attacks, attempting to increase the instability of the Iraqi government, created by the deepening political divisions between the Sunnis and Kurds on one hand and Shiites on the other. “Al-Qa'ida is trying to send a message that it is still strong and can choose the time and places to attack,” said Shiite lawmaker Hakim al-Zamili, a member of parliament’s security and defense committee. He further said that Iraq’s inability to gather intelligence about possible strikes, or to stop them despite tight security, shows how weak the government is in protecting the Iraqi people. A full-blown Iraqi civil war is a real possibility.

On Monday, the Obama campaign released – with no small irony – a video praising the president for “ending the war” in Iraq. While Obama and his minions might think that simply pulling troops out ends a war, they are sadly mistaken. The Iraq War was over and won by U.S. troops under President George W. Bush’s troop surge, leaving Iraq in relative stability with a nascent democratic government. All Obama did was remove U.S. stability and influence from Iraq, which cost us greatly in blood and treasure, and left Iraq open to decay and civil war. Iraq is still far better off than it was five years ago, but that could change all too quickly.

Syria Deteriorates

Syrian officials on Monday issued a blunt warning that outside intervention in the country’s continuing civil war would be met with chemical and biological weapons, a sure sign that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is increasingly nervous about its prospects for survival. A Syrian official clarified that such weapons would never be used during internal fighting, which must be a great relief to those Syrians who continue risking their lives fighting the Syrian Army in the streets.

The usual suspects made the usual vapid statements meant to show resolve against Syria’s threat. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: “It would be reprehensible if Syria is contemplating using chemical weapons.” State Department rep Victoria Nuland trotted out the hackneyed phrase that the use of chemical or biological weapons would be “completely unacceptable.” But all Barack Obama could bring himself to say was that Assad and his thugs “will be held accountable by the international community and the United States should they make the tragic mistake of using those weapons.”

The bottom line is that Syria has chemical and probably biological weapons – at least some of which likely came from Iraq in 2002, as we said at the time – and the Assad regime will stop at nothing to avoid the fate recently suffered by Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi. So Monday’s announcement should not change the basic calculus of the Syrian uprising for any nations considering jumping in – including the United States. But those who’d hoped for a more forceful response from the leader of the free world to an open threat of chemical weapons were greatly disappointed.

Department of Military Readiness: More Green to Move Our Armed Forces

Every day it takes thousands of gallons of fuel to complete our military’s missions. And while it’s a little more complicated to refuel a jet fighter than it is to pull up to the pump to fill up the family car, in each case it costs money to keep the vehicle going. With a globally armed force, we spent $17.3 billion on fuel in FY2011.

Yet the stated goal of both the Navy and Air Force – which together consume over 80 percent of the petroleum used by the Department of Defense – is to use more alternative sources in the near future. A Congressional Research Service report revealed that the Navy seeks to ensure that at least 50 percent of its total energy consumption comes from alternate sources by 2020, with the Air Force seeking the same with domestic aviation fuel by 2016.

The biggest drawback is the price. The Navy’s “Great Green Fleet” demonstration project last week burned 450,000 gallons of synthetic fuel – a single day’s supply – which cost $26 per gallon, while another recent pilot program by the Air Force consumed 11,000 gallons of synthetic jet fuel at a staggering $59 per gallon. Normally, jet fuel runs less than $5 per gallon. Moreover, supplying the needs of the military could be an issue for biofuel makers, as the projected biofuel supply runs some 500 million gallons short of what the Armed Forces have mandated by 2020.

To understand this push toward alternative fuel, though, one just has to follow the money. Solazyme, who supplied the biofuel for the Navy demonstration, was a recipient of a $21.8 million “stimulus” grant, while Air Force biofuel maker Gevo is connected to Vinod Khosla, a venture capitalist who’s donated over $400,000 to Democrats since 1996. Khosla’s firm owns 27 percent of Gevo.

Culture

Faith and Family: Boycotting Chick-fil-A

It’s already an anomaly in the business world because of a “closed on Sunday” policy, but the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain finds itself in the middle of a controversy over same-sex marriage that it didn’t create. Instead, news reports spun an interview with CEO Dan Cathy as revealing that he’s opposed to same-sex marriage when he was simply extolling the virtues of the biblical principles of traditional family upon which his company bases its policies and supports in the community at large. When asked about supporting traditional values, Cathy said he was “guilty as charged” – but he made no mention of same-sex marriage in his remarks.

This misrepresenting of Cathy’s words has now led two of America’s big-city mayors, Boston’s Thomas Menino and Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel, to condemn the company with unconstitutional threats. While Menino vowed to make it “very difficult” for the chain to open a restaurant within Boston’s city limits, Emanuel was more blunt: “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values.” He then turned around and welcomed to the city Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who thinks white people should become Scientologists to prevent them from being “devil Christians” and “Satan Jews.” At least he doesn’t make chicken sandwiches.

The obvious question, then, is what the values of Chicago (and Boston) are. Perhaps they match those in British Columbia, where Lee and Susan Molnar, a couple who formerly operated a bed and breakfast, were fined $4,500 by the province’s Human Rights Tribunal for refusing to rent a room to a same-sex couple in violation of their Christian beliefs. The Molnars have since left the business rather than compromise their values.

Radio host and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is leading a nationwide effort to support Chick-fil-A by patronizing the chain next Wednesday, Aug. 1. It may require a little travel from Boston or Chicago, but we’ll see just how popular biblical values remain in a country that still regularly asks for God’s blessing.

Village Academic Curriculum: Penn State Punished

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was recently found guilty of molesting numerous boys dating back to 1998. Former FBI director Louis Freeh conducted an investigation to determine if long-time head football coach Joe Paterno, who died earlier this year, or any school administrators had knowledge of Sandusky’s crimes or did anything to stop them. Freeh’s report was scathing, concluding that numerous figures in the scandal not only failed to act but also sought to protect the university and its football program at the expense of the victims.

Last weekend, the university responded by removing a prominent Paterno statue from outside the stadium, and on Monday, the NCAA came down with its own punishment. While the NCAA didn’t issue the “death penalty,” which would have shut down the football program for a time, it did fine the university $60 million (which will go to the victims), ban the school from bowl games for four years, reduce the number of scholarships available and vacate all the school’s wins since 1998. The last of these sanctions drops Paterno from being the winningest coach in college football history to 12th on the list.

The moves generated a sharply divided response. For our part, we think St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz got it right: “Penn State isn’t the victim here. Any penalties imposed on Penn State don’t compare to the repercussions, the pain, the lifelong agony that will be felt by the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s brutal crimes. This all went down on Penn State’s watch, and the school let this sickening, sordid behavior continue. If you are inclined to feel sorry for Penn State, take a deep breath, pause, and think about the real victims in this atrocious scandal. When we consider what the real victims have endured, and what they will have to live with, the health of Penn State football is irrelevant.”

And Last…

The president has been hitting people up for donations for many years now, but he’s become more desperate of late. Team Obama has even tied fundraising to weddings, anniversaries and birthdays as they try to match Mitt Romney’s fundraising prowess. A recent email to supporters encouraged them to “pitch in whatever you can” in exchange for being entered to join him at his own birthday party in August. Gee, second prize must be joining him and Joe Biden. What got our attention, though, was actually the first line: “My upcoming birthday next week could be the last one I celebrate as President of the United States.” Wow, that’s the happiest thing we’ve heard all week!

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