The Patriot Post® · Daily Digest
“Let us disappoint the Men who are raising themselves on the ruin of this Country. Let us convince every invader of our freedom, that we will be as free as the constitution our fathers recognized, will justify.” –Samuel Adams, A State of the Rights of the Colonists, 1772
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
February Jobs Thaw
The February jobs report contained a bit of good news this month, though it is just a bit. Some 175,000 jobs were created last month, numbers for December and January were revised up by 25,000, and more people entered the workforce. All good things, though of course the last item meant that headline unemployment ticked up 0.1 percentage points to 6.7%, the first increase in 14 months. And the Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore explains why optimism should be tempered: The added jobs are “still below the 200,000 to 250,000 a month we need to bring down the real unemployment rate and to keep pace with young people entering the workforce.” Furthermore, “there are more than 2 million FEWER Americans in the labor force today than one year ago.” Bottom line: The Obama “recovery” plods on.
Who’s Counting the Uninsured?
When Democrats were making the case for ObamaCare, they insisted that the primary problem they were trying to solve was covering the “47 million uninsured.” But when asked for metrics on how ObamaCare is solving that problem, we get this from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: “That’s not a data point we are really collecting in any sort of systematic way.” In other words, they’re not even bothering to check up on how the law is meeting its purpose. That can mean only one thing: Come election time, it’s easier for Democrats to defend their intentions than their results. Because according to one survey, only one in 10 uninsured people have enrolled so far. But just remember, Obama says, if you don’t sign up, “you’re punishing yourself or your family.”
‘God’s Work’: The Sequel
Just last week, Barack Obama told ObamaCare volunteers that they’re doing “God’s work.” Now his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, has picked up on the talking point. Gushing over the work of ObamaCare application counselors, Michelle said, “You’re changing lives. You realize that. … Keep it up.” Then she reiterated her husband’s phrase: “You are doing God’s work.” As we said last week, the hypocrisy is too much. This is the same couple, after all, that works to promote abortion in the name of health care and forces a Catholic nuns’ charity to offer an insurance plan that covers the life-taking procedure. That’s not God’s work; it’s someone else’s.
While Rome Burns
Now that Barack Obama has put Vladimir Putin in his place, he resumes his perpetual campaign stumping around the nation. Notably, among other campaign junkets this week, Friday he will be mixing it up with the wealthiest of liberal one-percenters at Key Largo’s exclusive Ocean Reef Club, where he is scheduled to play golf all day Saturday and Sunday. The excursion will cost taxpayers far more than the few million Obama will raise for Democrats’ 2014 re-election bids.
Violence Against Christians
Religious violence in Nigeria has accelerated of late, the AP reports: “Bishop Oliver Dashe Dome says than 500 of his parishioners have been killed since insurgency in the region began in 2009. At least 180 people have been killed in less than two weeks, including 60 children.” In addition to the killing, they’ve destroyed 20 churches. The perpetrators are, of course, Muslims, and the guilty Boko Haram insurgents are pushing Sharia law. Meanwhile, leftists in our own country are worked up in a lather over Arizona’s bill to secure religious liberty. “Misplaced priorities” doesn’t quite do justice describing the disconnect.
For more, visit Right Hooks.
The Failed ‘War on Poverty’ at 50
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released a 204-page report this week that thoroughly examines the federal government’s long-standing welfare programs. “Fifty years ago,” he says, “President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty. Since then, Washington has created dozens of programs and spent trillions of dollars. But few people have stopped to ask, ‘Are they working?’” His report, “The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later,” seeks to answer that question. It stops short of making any new policy proposals, but instead is meant, as Ryan said, to “help start the conversation” on the effectiveness of the government’s welfare efforts. As one might expect, the findings don’t offer much in the way of good news.
There are some 92 programs that make up the “safety net,” totaling $799 billion in spending in 2012. There is “little to no coordination” among programs, but there is plenty of costly duplication. The report goes on to note that Medicaid enrollees are actually in poorer health and use more services than people who have private health insurance plans, or even no insurance at all. Additionally, the food stamp program hasn’t moved the needle in a positive direction for poor families, and Head Start is a failure at preparing low-income kids for school. What we’re left with, then, is a half-century of accumulated debt and untold millions of ruined lives. But at least we know the government “cares.”
Naturally, Ryan’s report came under swift attack from the Left, which always stands ready to defend its entitlement cash cows from that two-headed monster otherwise known as reason and accountability. One media outlet, the Fiscal Times, was so eager to discredit the report that it accused Ryan of mischaracterizing the work of one economist – an economist who told the reporter covering the story that he was fairly represented in the report. Dr. Jeffrey Brown wrote the reporter to clarify the record, but we’re certain his comments won’t be as widely reported as the Fiscal Times’ flat-out falsehood.
Many leftist economists have happily worked the fields for Big Government for years, using their exalted status in academia to squelch any attempt at a debate they would surely lose on the merits. They want to confiscate the money of one group to comfort another group because they see that as a solution to society’s ills. Ryan, speaking at CPAC yesterday, challenged this notion: “That’s what the Left just doesn’t understand. People don’t just want a life of comfort; they want a life of dignity – of self-determination. … The party that speaks to that desire, that tries to make it concrete and real, that’s the party that will win in November.” Here’s hoping his GOP cohorts hear that message.
The Wrong Way to Address Sexual Assault in the Military
As if the proposed Pentagon budget cuts announced last week weren’t enough, the Left continues to chip away at the foundations of one of our nation’s last bastions of exceptionalism. After latching on to a widely publicized – but highly suspect – study last spring, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has been working to remove military commanders from the decision-making process in cases involving allegations of sexual assault.
Citing deeply flawed statistics and employing the standard Democrat tactic of using victims as props, Gillibrand’s proposed legislation questions all commanders’ integrity and their ability to maintain good order and discipline within their formations. While her overt purpose may be to “level the playing field” and seek justice for victims, the net result and likely real purpose is to continue to tear down the institution whose meritocracy and character are anathema to modern liberalism.
She argues, “[T]he reason why I want to take the decision-making out of the chain of command is because we need to hold these commanders responsible.” Military leaders, including Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, strongly oppose her legislation and point out the gaping hole in her “logic.” Hagel warns, “[I]f you disconnect the commanders … then you [are] taking away a certain responsibility of that commander on not only knowing what’s going on in his or her command, but actually having some responsibility. I don’t want to do that. I want more responsibility put on our commanders, not less.”
Gillibrand’s bill failed Thursday – the Senate instead prepared to vote Monday on Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill’s alternative that would keep the command chain intact – but her politicization of military justice is already being used against one of those she presumably seeks to protect. In a high-profile case at Fort Bragg, Brig. Gen. Jeffery Sinclair, a former Deputy Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, faces a number of charges related to an affair with a female subordinate. A significant part of his defense will be that Army senior leaders overreacted and over-charged out of fear they would be accused by Gillibrand’s cronies of being weak on sexual assault.
Given the attention Gillibrand’s crusade has received and the way she has brought commanders’ integrity and impartiality into question, it’s not hard to envision Sinclair’s defense attorney arguing – convincingly – that military leaders are spineless sycophants incapable of impartially executing their duties. The fact that the lead prosecutor resigned shortly before the trial began, citing “politics and outside pressures,” will reinforce that perception. In short, when you attempt to manipulate the justice system to achieve a desired outcome, it’s highly likely that the law of unintended consequences will ultimately punish those you sought to protect while offering a survival line for the truly guilty.
For more, visit Right Analysis.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Michael Barone: Obama’s Mistaken Belief That Others See the World as He Sees It
- Mona Charen: Cry Havoc (Racism) and Let Slip the Dogs of War
- Charles Krauthammer: The Wages of Weakness
- Arnold Ahlert: Obama’s Devious O'Care Delay
- Tony Perkins: A Slow Lerner
For more, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Political analyst Michael Barone: “Solipsism. It’s a fancy word that means that the self is the only existing reality and that the external world, including other people, are representations of one’s own self and can have no independent existence. A person who follows this philosophy may believe that others see the world as he does and will behave as he would. It’s a quality often found in narcissists, people who greatly admire themselves – such as a presidential candidate confident that he is a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, knows more about policy than his policy directors and is a better political director than his political director. If that sounds familiar, it’s a paraphrase of what President Obama told top political aide Patrick Gaspard in 2008, according to the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza. More recently, Obama’s narcissism has been painfully apparent as the United States suffers one reversal after another in world affairs. But it has been apparent ever since he started running for president in 2007.”
Columnist Mona Charen: “When seven Democratic senators voted with all of the Republicans to reject Debo Adegbile’s nomination to serve as head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, Harry Reid cried racism. It’s as if Reid was on autopilot, and the aide who usually touches his elbow to correct him wasn’t available. If the aide had been there, he would have whispered, ‘Um, Senator, you’re accusing your own side of racism.’ … ‘Racist’ has become the synonym for ‘conservative’ among liberals. … Republicans are wrong to ignore the smears. For every one person who is repelled by the false and libelous accusation, there are probably two others who think that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. A failure to demonstrate outrage at the accusation might be taken as evidence of guilt. … It’s obviously impossible for Democrats to acknowledge honest differences. That’s why they wind up even calling their fellow Democrats racists when things go against them.”
Irish statesman and author Edmund Burke (1729-1797): “The great inlet by which a colour for oppression has entered into the world is by one man’s pretending to determine concerning the happiness of another.”
Columnist Charles Krauthammer: “Crimea belonged to Moscow for 200 years. Russia conquered it 20 years before the U.S. acquired Louisiana. Lost it in the humiliation of the 1990s. Putin got it back in about three days without firing a shot. … Obama declares an end to austerity – for every government department except the military. Can Putin be faulted for believing that if he bites off Crimea and threatens Kiev, Obama’s response will be minimal and his ability to lead the Europeans even less so?”
Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Russian President Vladimir Putin has been nominated by a Russian world peace group as a candidate for this fall’s Nobel Peace Prize awarded in Oslo. It could happen. Vladimir Putin’s chances of winning are good because his strategy is to have all the other nominees killed.”
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.