Daily Digest

Mar. 20, 2014

THE FOUNDATION

“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government.” –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28, 1787

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

Atheist Day at AFA?

“You are all invited to attend ‘Ask an Atheist Day’!”

That invitation was issued by an Air Force Academy cadet to the entire Cadet Wing assembly on Tuesday. The event has been advertised all week on Academy bulletin screens, and in official emails sent to the Cadet Wing.

Notably, the Cadet who promoted the atheist event has the same leadership rank and position in his squadron as the Cadet who was asked last week to remove a Bible verse (Galatians 2:20) from his dorm door whiteboard.

Notable why? Because Air Force Academy Superintendent Michelle Johnson claimed, in a press release regarding the Bible verse, “The scripture [on the Cadet’s door] could cause subordinates to doubt the leader’s religious impartiality.” Mark Alexander detailed this in Wednesday’s column, “Obama’s DoD v The Constitution.”

So would Johnson have us believe that posting a Bible version on a dorm room door raises doubts but promoting atheism to the entire Cadet Wing does not? Clearly, it is Johnson’s leadership that raises questions about “religious impartiality.”

(Protesting the apparent hypocrisy, some Cadets have elected to post “IN GOD WE TRUST” on their doors. The Patriot Post is offering 4"x6" stickers with our flag over our national motto to Cadets at any Service Academy, free of charge. E-mail [email protected] to inquire about obtaining quantities of these stickers.)

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TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

We Won’t Do What No One Wants

“We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine,” Barack Obama proclaimed this week in an interview, a sentiment echoed during a second questionnaire: “Obviously, you know, we do not need to trigger an actual war with Russia.” Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey notes the curious element of these remarks: “No one wants it [war], no one would approve it, and for a couple of really good reasons – we have no national interest in who governs Crimea, and an attempt to start a war there would make Dieppe look well-considered. It’s in the Russian’s back yard. So why bother saying it at all?” Because, Morrissey continues, “Obama has an annoying habit of attempting to present his critics’ arguments in his own fantasy reductio ad absurdum constructs that end up bearing no resemblance to the actual criticisms, all to paint himself as the voice of centrist reason.” Obama’s straw man doesn’t change the fact that, especially when it comes to foreign policy, he’s just an empty suit.

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Opposing Natural Gas Exports

One of the best things the U.S. could do to make Russia’s acquisition of Crimea a bit more painful is to increase liquid natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe. So obviously that means it’s time for envirofascists here to ramp up their opposition to such a move. A coalition of greens is pressuring Barack Obama to reject pending applications for LNG export terminals in order to “protect the environment.” Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune opined, “Building a new LNG terminal doesn’t strengthen our nation, and it further disrupts our climate.” That’s funny because just five years ago the Sierra Club was all about natural gas being the “next-cleanest fuel” to renewables. But whatever. Given the choice between countering Russia and appeasing green groups, it’s almost a sure bet the White House will go green.

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Say It Ain’t So, Joe!

You knew it was coming. While visiting Poland this week to “reassure our allies” in Eastern Europe that everything will be all right, Joe Biden dug once again into his repertoire of profound gaffes by blithering about another faux achievement. “Fifteen years ago, I was honored, as the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, to lead the fight for Poland’s admission into NATO,” he bragged. Only problem is, he wasn’t chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee: “Former Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) had been chairman of the committee at the time Poland campaigned to join NATO,” reports The Hill. “Helms initiated the floor debate over whether Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary should join NATO.” Sending Biden to address our allies was bad enough; giving them even more reason to fear strongman Vladimir Putin is hardly reassuring.

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‘Irresponsible’ Debt

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) told a town hall meeting, “I do believe that a $17 trillion debt is irresponsible.” We in our humble shop have been saying that for years, so welcome aboard. She also admitted that we’re “doing things the federal government was never intended to do.” She said, “That’s not the way our Constitution was designed. We weren’t supposed to have the federal government paying for education. … I do think we have to be careful about trying to make the federal government the answer to everything, because it’s gonna get us in a position that we’re not a first-tier nation anymore if we get swallowed up by the debt.” Who is this impostor and what did she do with the Democrat senator from Missouri?

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DoJ Settles With Toyota

Toyota has been fined a record $1.2 billion after the federal investigation into vehicles allegedly suddenly accelerating due to safety flaws. But as Attorney General Eric Holder announced the penalty, he condemned Toyota for supposedly having “intentionally concealed information and misled the public about safety issues.” The acceleration problems first came to light in 2009, just a few months after the federal government essentially became the owner of Toyota’s largest competitor, GM. So it’s interesting that the announcement of this massive fine comes once again just in time to distract from news of GM’s own fatal design problems – faulty ignition switches that results in at least 13 and perhaps 300 deaths. Far be it from us to suggest that politics are at play here, but the timing sure is suspicious.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

They Even Regulate Transparency

According to a report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Barack Obama has far surpassed his predecessors when it comes to regulation. Under Obama, the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which is the “codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register,” has expanded by some 17,522 pages – an 11% increase. That’s an average of 3,504 pages every year – and he still has three long years left in office.

Those regulations have cost the economy billions of dollars, heaping on additional burdens and making the Obama “recovery” historically sluggish. The president remains stubbornly determined to use his pen whenever Congress doesn’t conform to his will. It’s all part of his effort to “fundamentally transform” America, and he’ll do it regulation by regulation.

At the same time, Obama and his red tape bandits have for years declared this White House the “most transparent in history.” We’re shocked – shocked – to report that this claim just isn’t true. A new report from Cause of Action, a watchdog group, says that in 2009, Barack Obama basically rewrote the Freedom of Information Act, and, oddly enough, he did so to limit the freedom of information.

As Cause of Action explains in the report, “FOIA is designed to inform the public on government behavior; White House equities allow the government to withhold information from the media, and therefore the public, by having media requests forwarded for review. This not only politicizes federal agencies, it impairs fundamental First Amendment liberties.”

With an administration that’s cranking out regulations left and further left, transparency is sometimes the only warning. And the “White House equities” exemption frees the administration of uncomfortable news within the 20 days otherwise required by FOIA. Cause of Action notes that it’s “still waiting for documents from 16 federal agencies, with the Department of Treasury having the longest pending request of 202 business days. The Department of Energy is a close second at 169 business days. The requests to the Department of Defense and Department of Health and Human Services have been pending for 138 business days.” A lot of damage can happen in the interim, and the White House can now take as long as it wants.

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Minimum Wage Is Bad Policy Even Before Increasing It

Hiking the federal minimum wage to $10.10 has become a favorite Democrat cause this election year. In February, Barack Obama said that raising the minimum wage “is not just good policy; it also happens to be good politics.” He’s right that increasing the size of people’s paychecks does tend to poll well, but as Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman once said, “one of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”

Read the rest of the story here.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Columnist Jeff Jacoby: “This is no time to go wobbly, but when it comes to foreign policy, wobbly is what Team Obama does best. … To be sure, ‘wobbly’ isn’t the word the administration would use. It prefers terms like ‘flexibility’ or ‘reset.’ Yet from the Kremlin’s perspective, the bottom line is crystal-clear: American leadership in the world is weaker than it has been in decades. … No one expects or wants the United States to go to war over Crimea. But when will it dawn on the president that a US foreign policy based on retrenchment and accommodation makes the world more dangerous, not less? With the best will in the world, the United States cannot retreat from confronting the planet’s bad actors and expect them to reciprocate in kind. Timidity is provocative and invites aggression. The way to discourage hostile regimes is through strength and resistance, not sotto voce promises to be more flexible, or lectures about ‘19th-century behavior.’”

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Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677): “Only free men are thoroughly grateful one to another.”

Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner: “[J]ust half of the previously uninsured have actually paid their first month’s premium, meaning that we could have as few as 500,000 newly insured. On the other hand, even the White House admits, at last count, that at least half a million Americans lost their insurance because of Obamacare and were not able to find an affordable replacement. Now there’s a slogan for Democrats to run on: ‘We’re spending $41 billion of your money this year and we’ve insured as many people as we’ve uninsured.’”

Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “The White House revealed that more than 5 million people have now signed up for Obamacare, thanks to the administration’s recent push. They said, ‘And if 5 million signed up, that means at least 50 million tried to sign up.’”

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

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