Friday Digest

Sep. 27, 2013

THE FOUNDATION

“They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men.” –John Adams

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

The Republican Endgame

by Mark Alexander

Despite all the Leftist rhetoric about ObamaCare being “the law which must now be funded,” it was wholly rejected by Republicans in the Senate and House, along with many House Democrats. Thus, proposals to defund it, delay it or amend it are exactly in line with what our Founders expected legislators to do in the interest of defending and sustaining Rule of Law.

After 41 previous attempts to delay or amend this behemoth, House Republicans attached a “defund” DemoCare condition to its Continuing Resolution legislation (CR being that “pass the buck” gimmick to fund government without actually passing a budget – which has not been done since George Bush’s last year in office). Using the CR to make their case against nationalized health care effectively elevated Republican objections above the political din – thanks in large measure to the much-maligned efforts of Sen. Ted Cruz. Republicans had no intention of “shutting down government,” but have used the CR to force Democrat votes on defunding, delaying or amending key ObamaCare mandates.

Here is the Republican endgame (yes, there is one, even if GOP “leadership” is trying to catch up with the rank and file): There is a growing grassroots storm brewing in opposition to socialized medicine, now that the reality and consequences of ObamaCare are starting to sink in. Accordingly, some non-establishment Republicans in the House and Senate have thrown up a DemoCare dare, a measure to defund this job-killing budget-buster, which is really a strategic long shot effort to delay implementation of the “individual mandate” until after the 2014 election when Republicans believe they will have generated enough political opposition to the plan to significantly modify major portions of the law. Indeed, Obama has, for political expediency, already unilaterally (and unconstitutionally) delayed implementation of the employer mandate.

Of course, the House “defund tactic” won’t pass the Demo-controlled Senate, so Republicans are banking that Demo Majority Leader Harry Reid will strip that measure from the current Continuing Resolution and send it back to the House, where Republicans will return a clean CR, but then replace “defund” with “delay” as a condition for raising the debt ceiling, which we hit sometime between 17 and 22 October. Additionally, they will return the debt ceiling legislation to the Senate with a “wish list” of other amendments, which should include one requiring that all members of the House and Senate and their staffs will be subject to all provisions of ObamaCare, as well as other items to include tax reform, approval of the Keystone pipeline, regulatory and entitlement reforms including means-tested Medicare, and a “chained” Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The delay measure, and most if not all of the other Republican amendments, will be rejected by the Senate, at which point Republicans should get out of the way and let the Senate send the Continuing Resolution and the upcoming debt ceiling legislation to Obama, thus allowing the ObamaCare mandates to go into effect as scheduled. (There is an old adage: When your adversary is defeating himself, don’t interfere.)

The net effect of the Republican strategy is that, in advance of 2014, Democrats in the House and Senate will have to vote on a lot of measures and then will have to defend those votes ahead of the 2014 elections. In regard to the measure to “delay” the implementation of ObamaCare, Demo votes against that “compromise” will be judged harshly in states and districts with only modest support for ObamaCare, amid growing grassroots protests against Obama’s socialized medicine scheme.

What will drive those grassroots protests?

Obama, the consummate narcissist, having embraced the name “ObamaCare,” will himself, along with current and future generations of Democrats, suffer a reversal of political fortunes after ObamaCare is implemented. Why? Because every American of every political stripe who has any issue with health care, whether a hangnail or heart transplant, a delay in a doctor’s office or in critical care for a loved one, will tie blame for their discontent like a noose around the necks of Obama and his Democrats, who were solely responsible for forcing this abomination upon the American people. No matter how Fab-Tastic ObamaCare may be for some Demo constituencies, Democrats are going to be the target of every health care complaint.

Even Demo National Committee chair and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz can see that pitfall from her perspective in the House. She is insisting that Democrats “must not treat every minute provision in the law as sacred.” She added that Demos “should be open to suggestions for improving the law.”

If Republicans successfully herd the inevitable consumer dissatisfaction and anger toward Democrats, the electoral awards will be substantial in 2014, 2016 and beyond. Of course, given that establishment Republican have a propensity for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, that’s a big “if.”

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Adding to the List of Problems

ObamaCare’s exchanges are scheduled to kick off Oct. 1 with the individual mandate going into effect, but they’re not ready. And there’s another significant problem with the law as written.

Read more and comment here.

Second Amendment: Kerry Signs UN Anti-Gun Treaty

by Mark Alexander

Secretary of State John Kerry made our nation a signatory to the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty, ostensibly regulating small arms trade between nations.

At the signing ceremony, Kerry claimed, “Make no mistake, we would never think about supporting a treaty that is inconsistent with the rights of Americans, the rights of American citizens to be able to exercise their guaranteed rights under our Constitution. This is about keeping Americans safe and keeping America strong. This treaty will not diminish anyone’s freedom.”

Make no mistake, the ATT is a Trojan Horse.

Barack Obama and Kerry assure us that the treaty exempts any regulation of domestic gun sales and ownership in the U.S., but with the stroke of a pen, it could implement severe gun restrictions and even confiscations – an end run around the Second Amendment that would provide political cover for gun control Leftists in the Senate and House.

Indeed, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) warned that if this treaty were ratified, “Make no mistake, they will ultimately register, ban and CONFISCATE firearms owned by private citizens. Not long ago, Obama told Sarah Brady from the anti-gun Brady Campaign, ‘I just want you to know that we are working on [gun control]. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.’”

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) rightly put Kerry on written notice, informing him that the ATT is “dead in the water,” concluding, “The administration is wasting precious time trying to sign away our laws to the global community and unelected UN bureaucrats.”

But, in what amounts to another end run around our Constitution, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), fully aware that he can’t possibly win the necessary two-thirds majority of votes in the Senate to ratify this treaty, may not allow any vote at all. If that happens, Obama might just sign the treaty and ignore the constitutional mandate, as he habitually does when Rule of Law interferes with his political agenda.

Then what?

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, in a letter to Obama, expressed his concern about this issue, and demanded he not take any further action on the ATT without the consent of the Senate, because the treaty raises “fundamental issues” concerning “individual rights protected by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

To be clear, the Constitution specifies in Article II, Section 2: “[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur…”

As John Jay elucidated this specification in Federalist No. 64: “The convention have done well, therefore, in so disposing of the power of making treaties, that although the President must, in forming them, act by the advice and consent of the Senate…”

Article VI specifies: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

In other words, the Constitution specifies that duly ratified treaties are “the supreme Law of the Land,” with the exception that such treaty may not violate provisions of the Constitution.

Let’s see who abides by their Oath to Support and Defend our Constitution regarding this treaty…

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CULTURE

UN Now Really, Positively Sure Man Is Causing Warming

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released their highly anticipated climate report that, as expected, raises more alarmism and calls for action to cool Earth’s “fever.” Despite global temperatures sitting on a plateau, the paper continues where its 2007 predecessor left off.

According to Reuters, “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a report that the current hiatus in warming, when temperatures have risen more slowly despite growing emissions, was a natural variation that would not last.” That’s a curious explanation considering beforehand they were telling us global warming would continue unless drastic initiatives were taken to combat climate change. In fact, no one among the IPCC panel foresaw the possibility of a temperature hiatus. Scientists for years have argued that the rise in greenhouse gases would dwarf any natural factors that would potentially balance the observed global warming.

“The study, meant to guide governments in shifting towards greener energies, said it was ‘extremely likely’, a probability of at least 95 percent, that human activities were the dominant cause of warming since the mid-20th century,” Reuters continues. “That was an increase from ‘very likely’, or 90 percent, in the last report in 2007 and ‘likely’, 66 percent, in 2001.” The irony here is almost too much: As the globe has cooled counter to projections over the last 15 years, their “certainty” regarding the matter increased. Sounds, well, “progressive.”

Officials were quick to hype the report. “The heat is on. Now we must act,” declared UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “Those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire,” trumpeted John Kerry. “If your doctor was 95 percent sure you had a serious disease, you would immediately start looking for the cure,” proclaimed European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard.

On the other hand, you may want to reconsider your doctor if they’ve been continually and profoundly wrong.

And don’t forget, climate change will kill 750 million people.

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ECONOMY

The Efficient Way to Burn Money

There are countless ways the federal government squanders taxpayer dollars, but among the most hard-headed is the Department of Energy and its loan guarantees. A blind squirrel may have better luck in selecting viable companies, but instead we’re saddled with an outfit for which no scheme is too grandiose nor any crony too hapless to be passed over for largesse.

The latest blemish on the DoE’s record: Ecotality Inc. The company received a $99.8 million federal grant in August 2009 for the EV Project, a plan to develop charging stations in metropolitan areas. Instead, it’s gone bankrupt, filing for Chapter 11 protection.

Yet even as Ecotality is the latest in a string of failures characterized by the massive implosion of Solyndra, the Obama administration is ready to pour another $8 billion into a program meant to develop “complex, unproven, and expensive” technology the private sector won’t touch. It’s likely a significant sum of that money will go to those who financially backed the president in one of his two campaigns, such as a recent $4 million grant to LanzaTech, a biofuel company. A key investor in LanzaTech also holds interests in eight other companies that have benefited from federal assistance.

Perhaps the TransCanada Corporation needs to pony up some political contributions so they can get in on the fun. All they want to do is build the Keystone pipeline.

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NATIONAL SECURITY

FBI Under Fire

A substantial contingent of FBI agents and resources arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, this week to begin investigating the Westgate Mall attack. The purpose, in part, is to determine if there are links to the Islamic terrorists killed there and American citizens with origins in the region, or if American citizens were indeed involved in that attack. The FBI is being criticized for the three-week delay getting on the ground after the Islamic assault in Benghazi, yet arriving just three days after the Nairobi assault. Of course, that criticism is misplaced because the Benghazi delay was political (read: “Democrat obfuscation”), not tactical.

In less favorable news about FBI operations, Justice Department investigation revealed that certain FBI field offices willfully violated rules against interacting with known terrorist organizations. Of particular interest is the New Haven field office, where agents were allowed to develop and coordinate a diversity-training workshop with members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR has been directly linked to Hamas and was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a 2007 trial in which it was proven that charitable front groups in the U.S. were funneling contributions to al-Qaida. The directive to work with CAIR was provided by FBI field office managers and the Bureau’s public outreach arm, the Office of Public Affairs.

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BRIEF OPINION

Essential Liberty

Columnist Selwyn Duke: “Given how important economic freedom is, we should note how it’s lost: through lack of appreciation. After all, cease to value something, and you may not preserve it – demonize it enough, and you’ll surely destroy it. … [O]ur whole modern world is a tribute to economic freedom. … The problem here is that people tend to take what they have for granted and view wealth in relative terms. … In America today [being poor] generally means you have an older car, a TV, refrigerator, air conditioning and a host of other luxuries. The reality? Our government’s ‘poverty line’ is a political ploy. In an absolute sense, there is very, very little poverty in the U.S. – because of economic freedom. Our great discoveries, inventions and innovations were not made by bureaucrats, nor generally at their direction. … Economic freedom unleashes the creative capacities of the common man, from border to border, transforming the populace into an army of wealth creators. And nothing can compete with that. Without creation, there can be no distribution.”

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Don’t Miss It – These quotes and quick-hit stories are available daily under Right Hook on our main page!

Re: The Left

Columnist Michelle Malkin: “Like an estimated 22 million other Americans, I am a self-employed small-business owner who buys health insurance for my family directly on the individual market. We have a high-deductible PPO plan that allows us to choose from a wide range of doctors. Or rather, we had such a plan. Last week, our family received notice from Anthem BlueCross BlueShield of Colorado that we can no longer keep the plan we like because of ‘changes from health care reform (also called the Affordable Care Act or ACA).’ … In short: Obama lied. My health plan died. … My family is not alone. Across the country, insurers are sending out Obamacare-induced health plan death notices to untold tens of thousands of other customers in the individual market. … Obamacare is destroying the private individual market for health insurance by design, not accident. For hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of self-employed job creators, three fundamental Obamacare truths are becoming as clear as Obama’s growing nose: 1) You can’t keep it. 2) We’re screwed. 3) The do-gooders don’t care.”

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Political Futures

Columnist Cal Thomas: “The president [in his UN speech] said America has been humbled by its foreign adventures. Humility and retreat are not a policy, unless we plan to surrender to Islamists. He didn’t articulate America’s foreign policy, because he doesn’t have one. Islamic fundamentalists can only be encouraged by this speech. They include Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, who wants to suddenly make nice with President Obama in large part to ease crushing economic sanctions. … If the United Nations could bring peace and prosperity to the world, progress toward that goal should have been made by now. Instead, 68 years after its founding, wars and rumors of wars are increasing.”

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For more, visit The Right Opinion.

CHRONICLE QUOTES

The BIG Lie

Barack Obama: “[N]o Congress before this one has ever – ever – in history been irresponsible enough to threaten default, to threaten an economic shutdown, to suggest America not pay its bills, just to try to blackmail a president into giving them some concessions on issues that have nothing to do with a budget.”

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Braying Jackass

Barack Obama: “A few years from now, when people are using this to get coverage, everybody is feeling good about the choices they’ve got, there are going to be a whole bunch of folks that will say, ‘Yeah, yeah, I always thought this provision was excellent. I voted for that thing.’ You watch. It will not be called ObamaCare.”

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Demo-gogues

Nancy Pelosi: “I do think … that none of us should be negotiating on the debt ceiling, it should just be lifted. When it comes to the C.R. (continuing resolution], the president has negotiated. … [T]his is a president who has been so bipartisan and that is a quality that the American people like.”

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From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File

Harry Reid on whether Democrats would consider repealing the medical device tax found in ObamaCare: “No, they can play around all they want. Some of the biggest supporters for doing away with the stupid tax – I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that – doing away with that tax have told me they will not support that on CR.”

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Dezinformatsia

NPR’s Cokie Roberts: “I also think … that some of this Tea Party anger is racist and that having a non-black person on the ticket will diffuse it to some degree.”

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Village Idiots

Bill Clinton: “I think it’s important for you to tell the people why we’re doing all this outreach, because this [law] only works, for example, if young people show up. … We’ve got to have them in the pools, because otherwise all these projected low costs cannot be held if older people with preexisting conditions are disproportionately represented in any given state.”

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Short Cuts

Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “Where did we get this idea that we need to save the environment? Has the environment ever tried to save us? No. Since the dawn of time, nature has tried to kill us. Earthquakes, plagues, sharknados – nature is always trying to find new ways to wipe us out.”

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

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.