The Patriot Post® · Daily Digest
“The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.” –George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
CBO Rebuts Obama Again
“Raising the minimum wage is good for business, and it’s good for workers, and it’s good for the economy,” Barack Obama said last week. The Congressional Budget Office once again burst his bubble, however, reporting Tuesday that his proposed minimum wage hike to $10.10 an hour would result in the loss of 500,000 jobs – and perhaps as many as one million – by 2016. Democrats stubbornly insist that increasing the price of labor will have no negative effect on unemployment or will even add jobs. But we know the only jobs Democrats care about are their own, and “raising wages” will play well with their low-info constituency.
Get Behind Me, Satan
The upcoming movie “Son of God” is a two-hour condensed version of last year’s hit miniseries “The Bible.” Among the things that didn’t make the cut is Satan. Roma Downey, who produced the movie with her husband, Mark Burnett, explained, “Someone made a comment that the actor who played the devil vaguely resembled our president, and suddenly the media went nuts. The next day, when I was sure everyone would only be talking about Jesus, they were talking about Satan instead. For our movie, ‘Son of God,’ I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus. I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor.” We’d prefer they kept Satan in the movie and cast the president out instead.
If It Were Unconstitutional…
Barack Obama’s latest unilateral delay of an ObamaCare provision lets small businesses with 50-99 full-time workers temporarily off the hook. Naturally, Democrats are excusing Obama’s lawlessness, but with a new twist: “[I]f this were against the Constitution, someone would have sued by now, and the president would have had to stop,” says Rep. Xavier Becerra. But he’s being sued by both Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor over the blatantly unconstitutional contraception mandate. “If you were going around Congress to rewrite law, that would be different than trying to use the flexibility you’re given by the Congress to execute the law,” Becerra added. “The president is not trying to rewrite [the law]. The president has never said I’m going to go it alone.” None of which explains Obama’s going around Congress to rewrite the law or his SOTU declaration that he’ll go it alone.
Obama’s Debt Bomb
While he was campaigning for president, Barack Obama called the $4 trillion in debt accumulated by the Bush administration “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.” But CNS News reports, “The marketable debt of the U.S. government has more than doubled – climbing by 106 percent – while President Barack Obama has been in office.” It nearly doubled under George W. Bush, as well, and neither man should take that as a compliment. But despite Bush’s spendthrift ways, “Obama managed to accumulate more additional marketable debt in his first five years in office than all the presidents who preceded combined.” It’s a debt bomb that endangers our future.
GOP vs. Tea Party?
Fox News analyst Pat Caddell thinks that the Republican establishment actually wants the IRS to target Tea Party groups “because the Tea Parties are an outside threat to their power hold, and I’m telling you, the lobbying, consulting class of the Republican Party and Republican leadership who have been attacking the Tea Parties and alienating them, they want the IRS to do this.” It’s an intriguing hypothesis, and not at all far fetched. After all, the Tea Party has made a habit of attacking establishment Republicans – even very conservative ones like Mitch McConnell – in an effort to move the GOP rightward. Those in power generally want to keep it.
For more, visit Right Hooks.
Snake Handlers Are Just Like … Gun Owners?
When Jamie Coots, the Pentecostal snake handler who rose to fame as the subject of National Geographic’s “Snake Salvation,” died from an untreated rattlesnake bite, Slate’s William Saletan took the opportunity to call for gun control. Apparently, any excuse will do. Saletan begins by asking, “How many people must die before the U.S. gives up this insane practice?”
He recounts story after story of accidental deaths caused by guns but replaces each instance of the word “gun” with the word “snake.” “I took these stories from Slate’s archive of post-Newtown gun deaths,” he writes. “The archive captures a year’s worth of reported fatalities, from December 2012 to December 2013. It includes more than 12,000 victims. We are killing one another, our children, and ourselves. We are a nation of gun handlers, as reckless as anyone who handles serpents.”
We note that Saletan doesn’t mention gang-related murders, which account for a significant number of those 12,000 victims. And even using his number, more Americans are killed by cars and drug poisonings than guns.
“We need more than laws,” Saletan concludes. “We need to change our culture. We must ask ourselves whether the comforts and pleasures of owning a firearm are worth the risks. Having a gun in your home is far more dangerous than having a snake.”
To be sure, he recounts horrific incidents of negligent gun handling, and it’s shameful that each death could and should have been prevented by simple respect for the tool being used. Every gun owner should have the sense to realize they’re handling a deadly weapon and to act accordingly. The vast majority of gun owners do. But libeling all of them as irresponsible and likening them to snake handlers is inexcusable. Snake handlers deliberately play with a dangerous animal – one capable of acting on its own – practically asking to be bitten so they can display their great “faith.” Law-abiding gun owners, by contrast, handle and properly store an inanimate tool that secures their safety and, more important, their Liberty.
As a parting mental exercise, suppose we recounted story after story of children’s deaths but replaced the word “shot” with “aborted.” How would Saletan respond to that? After all, he says, “We are killing … our children.” One million of them every year.
Sebelius: ‘No Evidence’ ObamaCare Is Anything but the Best Law Ever
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently analyzed ObamaCare’s high cost to the job market, projecting that the health care law “will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 to 2 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor – given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive. The reduction in CBO’s projections of hours worked represents a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024.” That’s a pretty clear indictment of ObamaCare, as it will cost (and already is costing) the economy big time.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appeared to dismiss that report this week, insisting, “There is absolutely no evidence, and every economist will tell you this, that there is any job loss related to the Affordable Care Act.” She added, “I know that’s a popular myth that continues to be repeated but it just is not accurate.”
Sebelius conveniently neglected to mention that the law prohibits employers from specifically blaming ObamaCare for personnel decisions. In other words, a business can fire a worker or reduce hours so long as ObamaCare is not the stated reason, making metrics on its exact cost difficult. The CBO’s projections are based on an actuarial analysis of the law’s subsidies as an incentive to tailor work hours in order to maintain those subsidies.
She also makes an absurdly false generalization of “every economist.” Economist Lawrence Kudlow wrote about the CBO report, and concludes of ObamaCare, “There is no ladder of opportunity here. It’s really a work trap that becomes a poverty trap.” The Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk likewise observes, “The Affordable Care Act has discouraged companies from creating jobs and workers from accepting them.” And numerous other conservative economists understand perfectly well that ObamaCare is destroying jobs.
Meanwhile, Gallup reports that one-quarter of Americans consider “jobs and unemployment as the most important problem facing the country,” making Sebelius’s cavalier dismissal of any negative effects from ObamaCare particularly out of touch.
For more, visit Right Analysis.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Jacob Sullum: Hung Up on ‘Stand Your Ground’
- George Will: Breaking Unions’ Grip
- Jonah Goldberg: Obama, the Shrinking Imperialist President
- Thomas Sowell: Cruz Control?
- Walter E. Williams: Concealing Evil
For more, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Columnist George Will: “Sixty years ago, 35 percent of America’s workforce was unionized, almost entirely in the private sector. Today, 11.3 percent is unionized. About half (49.6 percent) of this minority are government workers whose union dues do much to elect their employers. … It is commonly, and carelessly, said that Washington bailed out ‘the’ automobile industry. Actually, government bailed out two of the three companies in one of the two U.S. auto industries – the UAW-organized one. The other industry, located in the South and elsewhere … did not need rescuing because it does not have UAW presence, which helped ruin General Motors, Chrysler and their headquarters city, Detroit. … Capital is mobile. It goes where it is welcomed and stays where it is well-treated, so states compete to create tax and regulatory environments conducive to job creation. Liberals call this a ‘race to the bottom.’ Conservatives call it a race to rationality.”
Economist Water E. Williams: “Helping one’s fellow man in need by reaching into one’s own pockets to do so is laudable and praiseworthy. Helping one’s fellow man through coercion and reaching into another’s pockets is evil and worthy of condemnation. Tragically, most teachings, from the church on down, support government use of one person to serve the purposes of another; the advocates cringe from calling it such and prefer to call it charity or duty. … In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who had fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia, James Madison rose on the floor of the House of Representatives to object, saying, ‘I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.’ Tragically, today’s Americans … would hold such a position in contempt and run a politician like Madison out of town on a rail.”
French economist Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850): “By virtue of exchange, one man’s prosperity is beneficial to all others.”
Columnist Burt Prelutsky: “[T]he real middle class doesn’t just have a financial identity. In spite of what liberals will tell you, it’s also a way of life. It consists in part in education and learning a skill – whether the end result is a brain surgeon or a plumber – being law-abiding, forsaking illegal drugs and not having babies until you’re married and can afford to raise them. In addition, members of the middle class tend to be patriotic, not out of chauvinism, but because they sincerely believe in the exceptional nature of the nation founded by the extraordinary likes of Washington, Madison and Jefferson.”
Comedian Argus Hamilton: “A massive snowstorm hit the Eastern Seaboard last week, burying Washington D.C. in snow. They actually hired convicted criminals to shovel the snow outside the U.S. Capitol. It’s nice to see members of Congress doing something useful for a change.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
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