The Patriot Post® · Monday Digest
“It has been said that all Government is an evil. It would be more proper to say that the necessity of any Government is a misfortune.” –James Madison
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Countdown to Shutdown
On Saturday, the House passed another Continuing Resolution to temporarily fund the government, this time with a one-year delay of ObamaCare and a repeal of the medical-device tax – the one that Harry Reid called a “stupid tax” but promised to save. The House also passed a separate CR to fund the Defense Department in the event of a shutdown.
Reid, of course, has no intention of going along with anything the House proposes regarding ObamaCare when the Senate resumes its session at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon. Congress has until midnight tonight, and as long as Reid continues to insist “the American people will not be extorted by Tea Party anarchists,” there’s little room for debate.
The clock has run down on the ability of House conservatives to return a CR in time for Senate debate and action. It is possible, however, that there could be a bridge agreement on a one week CR extension, ostensibly to allow time for debate and action prior to shuttering the government. If there is a CR extension, we hope Republicans will amend it to remove any insurance subsidies for the Legislative Branch, and require that all senior employees of the Executive Branch subscribe to ObamaCare. Then, a week later, they should tie the “delay” measure to legislation on the debt ceiling.
The problem is that Democrats refuse to allow Republicans any influence over ObamaCare. But the president himself has already unilaterally delayed and continues to delay key parts of the law. He delayed the employer mandate until 2015, though the individual mandate stands. He delayed income verification for those seeking insurance subsidies. And just last week, the administration delayed online enrollment in federally run small-business exchanges. There are cracks in the Democrats’ line, however, as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) broke ranks in order to support a year delay of the law, so it will be interesting to see if Reid can keep other Red State Democrats like Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor in line.
Cruz’s Box Canyon
Mark Alexander examines the strategies of House Republicans and Ted Cruz.
Read more and comment here.
UN Approves Syrian Chemical Weapons Deal
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) approved a resolution on Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons, but only after Russia proposed the deal on its own terms and virtually stripped the deal of any real consequences. The UNSC will have to vote later on punitive measures should Syria fail to comply. It was Secretary of State John Kerry who made off-the-cuff remarks about Syria turning over its weapons to prevent a U.S. attack that provided the opportunity for Russia to seize the lead role in the ordeal, but he quickly took as much credit as he could and is quite pleased with himself and the UN now. “The United Nations Security Council has demonstrated that diplomacy can be so powerful it can peacefully diffuse the worst weapons of war,” Kerry cooed.
Kerry also assured that, while U.S. military action is not part of the agreement, it’s also not “off the table.” We’re sure that Kerry’s tough talk over recent months – recall his “threat” (if you can call it that) of an “unbelievably small” military strike – has Bashar al-Assad laughing all the way to the inspections.
Indeed, Assad is more or less claiming victory. Removing “the chemical weapons is not the goal of the United States and their allies,” he asserted. “They wanted to change the balance of power and to protect Israel. We turned the tables and sent the ball into their court,” Assad said. “This move embarrassed them in front of the American public, in Europe, and even in front of the U.S. government.” It’s hard to argue with that.
Around the Nation: Golden State Wages
It’s no secret that for the past several years, California – the nation’s most populous state and one with a very high cost of living – has been dealing with a tanking economy. It’s also no secret that when faced with such systemic problems, California Democrats consistently choose “solutions” geared more toward garnering votes than getting to the root of the issue. This is no better illustrated than the recent bill to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016. It will be the highest minimum wage in the country and well above the federally mandated $7.25 an hour.
No one is arguing that Californians don’t need to earn more than residents of other states; however, as Republicans point out, mandating $10 an hour will further hinder the economy, hurting small businesses and, in the long run, making it more difficult to find – and keep – minimum wage jobs. In other words, the people who the Democrats are claiming to help will once again be the hardest hit. Even Democrat Governor Jerry Brown was originally opposed to the bill, agreeing that it posted a risk to the state’s economic recovery. As Brown has historically been a champion of “progressive” measures, his concern is quite telling. But his rather anemic stance quickly disintegrated in the face of pressure from Nancy Pelosi and company, as well as the looming midterm elections in 2014. Yet somehow, we don’t have any doubt that, in spite of the damage they’re doing, Democrats will retain their strangle hold on the Golden State.
NJ Judge Demands Same-Sex Marriage
New Jersey became the latest state to have its definition of marriage effectively rewritten by a judicial despot. Citing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – the federal law that defined marriage as between one man and one woman and part of which was recently struck down by the Supreme Court – Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled, “Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey constitution.”
Her decision means the Garden State must perform and recognize same-sex marriages beginning Oct. 21. Keep in mind, Jersey already allows civil unions. But unions don’t go far enough for same-sex activists intent on ramming through their agenda. As Jazz Shaw of HotAir notes, “[W]hile it’s not illegal for a judge at that level to issue such a ruling, it was obvious from the moment it happened that this was going to get bounced up the chain.”
Indeed, the strategy here is based on the assumption that if DOMA can be struck down as a federal law, there’s nothing that can prevent a similar law at the state level from getting the boot. DOMA’s demise has generated a chain reaction throughout the country, giving more leverage to same-sex advocates.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie is prepared to appeal the ruling, but his decision to defend it based solely on the “the will of the voters on the issue of marriage equality,” as his spokesman Michael Drewniak put it, is disheartening. What ever happened to defending “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”?
Columnist Star Parker: “The founders of the United States drew up a Constitution to serve as an operating manual, in its checks and balances, for peaceful, deliberative government. They understood human nature and set up a system in which competing interests would have to give in. Compromise, they understood, is a necessary lubricant for the wheels of government ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people’ to turn and allow us to move forward. But compromise is meant for those competing interests – not for the core principles of the country that the Constitution exists to protect and secure. When the principles of our free nation under God are under siege, it is a time for confrontation, not compromise.”
Re: The Left
Columnist Arnold Ahlert: “Nothing amuses me more than the typical leftist garbage – aided and abetted by these same establishment Republicans – that it is the American right who has become radicalized, even as the Democrat party has welcomed every socialist/Marxist, redistributionist, race-baiting, Alinsky-ite hack into its midst. Those who don’t believe that assessment should ask themselves how far a politician who believes in a strong military, a largely self-reliant populace and large tax cuts would go in today’s Democrat party. If you answered virtually nowhere, you’d be right on the money. If you recognized those policies were heartily endorsed by a Democrat icon, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, you’d begin to get a clue about which political party has really undergone a radical transformation. And yet establishment Republicans remain more than willing to split the difference with Democrats, under the banner of ‘compromise’ in the House and ‘collegiality’ in the Senate. What’s the split-the-difference position between freedom and slavery? Solvency and national bankruptcy? The rule of law and executive fiat? All Constitution all the time, or only when it suits the ruling class’s political purposes?”
Ronald Reagan: “Governments that set out to regiment their people with the stated objective of providing security and liberty have ended up losing both. Those which put freedom as the first priority find they have also provided security and economic progress.”
For more, visit The Right Opinion.
Columnist Mark Steyn: “Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, we have been less rich, and our stupidity ought in theory to be less affordable. Instead, it’s been supersized. To take only the most obvious example, President Obama has added six-and-a-half trillion bucks to the national debt, and has nothing to show for it. As Churchill would say, had his bust not been bounced from the Oval Office, never in the field of human spending has so much been owed by so many for so little.”
The BIG Lie
Barack Obama: “They said [ObamaCare] would be a disaster in terms of jobs. There’s no widespread evidence that the Affordable Care Act is hurting jobs.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “[T[he myth and the farce about the approach that’s being adopted up there on Capitol Hill by Republicans, is the idea that it’s a concession to raise the debt ceiling. It’s not a concession. It is your constitutional responsibility. You were not elected to tank the economy. You were not elected to punish the middle class in order to achieve a political objective that you lost through the legislative process and you lost through the elective process, and you lost through the judicial process.”
From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File
White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer: “We are for cutting spending. We’re for reforming our tax code. We’re for reforming our entitlements. What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest.”
Sen. Barbara Mikulski: “The reason Ted Cruz showed up and asked for a delay is so that he could vote during today when his – the teabaggers in his Tea Party were going to watch. This is why I repeatedly said the greatest deliberative body in the world has become the greatest delaying body in the world.”
CNN’s Piers Morgan: “There is no better person to explain what’s going on in Washington and the world for that matter, than Bill Clinton. The former commander in chief is honest, blunt and fascinating. … I talk a lot about the Second Amendment, as you know, on my show and gun control and so on. But the 22nd Amendment to me is even more flawed because that’s the one that stops presidents serving more than two terms. Bill Clinton would still be president now.”
CNN’s Don Lemon: “[L]let’s just be honest. Part of the reasons Republicans don’t like the president is because he’s a Democrat. Part of the reason, some Republicans, not all, don’t like the president is yes, because he’s black. You know that. I know that. They know that. And the president knows that. So that’s why, as I said before on CNN and elsewhere, he cannot get heated. He can’t get heated. He cannot be the angry black man no matter how much some might want him [to].”
Comedian Jay Leno: “President Obama is now making his case for raising the debt limit. He said raising the debt limit does not increase debt – you know, like raising the speed limit does not increase speed.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
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