Daily Digest

Jul. 18, 2014

THE FOUNDATION

“The great object of my fear is the federal judiciary. That body, like gravity, ever acting, with noiseless foot, and unalarming advance, gaining ground step by step, and holding what it gains, is ingulfing insidiously the special governments into the jaws of that which feeds them.” –Thomas Jefferson, letter to Judge Spencer Roane, 1821

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Obama vs. Reagan

Barack Obama strutted to the podium for a stump speech in Delaware Thursday, just after the Soviets Russians shot down a Malaysian airliner. He began his remarks with just 38 seconds discussing the plane. “[I]t looks like it may be a terrible tragedy,” he said. “May be”? He then noted his national security team would stay on it, and quickly returned to his regular programming – beginning with jokes about Joe Biden. By contrast, when the Soviets shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, Ronald Reagan, who was on vacation in California at the time, immediately canceled all events to return to the White House. When Reagan addressed the nation about the shoot-down, there was no equivocation. He called it “a massacre,” a “crime against humanity,” an “act of barbarism.” Obama, on the other hand, went on joking about Joe Biden and slamming Republicans. As Red State’s Erick Erickson put it, “Reagan led. Barack Obama could learn from the last guy from Illinois to sit in the Oval Office.” More…

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Israel Invades Gaza

Israel has taken the next step in its response to unprovoked Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza. Fox News reports, “The Israeli military reportedly sent thousands of troops into the Gaza Strip Thursday as part of a large-scale ground operation aimed at destroying underground tunnels and other ‘terror infrastructure’ used by Hamas to target the Jewish State.” This follows 10 days of aerial bombings against Hamas targets and Hamas’ rejection of an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire. Israel had little choice but to respond with overwhelming force, as Hamas has proven incapable of anything but violence. Despite Israel’s above-and-beyond efforts to avoid civilian casualties, Hamas deliberately puts civilians in harm’s way to increase those casualties. Furthermore, The Wall Street Journal adds, “Hamas hides its immense arsenal of ever-longer range rockets in hospitals, mosques and, as we learned Thursday, even U.N. administered schools.” Western Leftmedia outlets routinely fall for Hamas’ charade, offering misplaced sympathy while condemning Israel. But Israel should stay the course and neutralize the threat. More…

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‘I’m a Reasonable Guy’

In the latest DNC fundraising email, Barack Obama insists, “I’m never going to apologize for trying to do my job … especially when the other guys are doing nothing.” He then complains that the GOP is all that’s wrong with America. “I’m a reasonable guy,” he says. “I’ll work with anybody to get the job done. But House Republicans have done anything they can – including shutting down the government – to block the change we’re fighting for.” That’s because the change he’s fighting for is unconstitutional and just plain wrong. And as far as being a “reasonable guy,” Obama’s nothing but an ideological narcissist.

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Hope & Change Didn’t Happen

Perhaps Joe Biden wants to carry the torch into 2016 and beyond and therefore needs to justify it. Or perhaps Joe is just being Joe. “Look folks, this is within our power to change,” he told a crowd this week. “Everybody says because we tried in ‘08 and it didn’t happen, it’s not possible. Wrong.” Whoa. Did he just admit that Hope & Change™ was a failure? “We’ve gone through these periods before,” Biden continued. “But folks, this is totally within our power. Change. Change for the better is absolutely possible and I believe it’s close to inevitable if you’re the drivers of it.” We only wish he and Obama had failed to bring about “fundamental transformation.”

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Founders Sought to Avoid Obama

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley has long supported Barack Obama, but he’s also become alarmed at Obama’s increasing imperial presidency. “Our system is changing,” he warned, “and [Congress] is the one branch that must act if we are to reverse those changes. We are seeing the emergence of a different model of government, a model long-ago rejected by the framers.” Regarding a possible lawsuit against the president, Turley added, “A dominant presidency has occurred with very little congressional opposition. Indeed, when President Obama pledged to circumvent Congress, he received rapturous applause from the very body that he was proposing to make practically irrelevant. Now many members are contesting the right of this institution to even be heard in federal court.” Moreover, “This body is moving from self-loathing to self-destruction in a system that is in crisis. The president’s pledge to effectively govern alone is alarming, and what is most alarming is his ability to fulfill that pledge. When a president can govern alone, he can become a government unto himself, which is precisely the danger the framers sought to avoid.”

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

All Roads Lead to Russia

Surveying the wreckage

This week began with accolades about Barack Obama’s foreign policy prowess from his chief propagandist, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who claimed his boss “has substantially furthered American interests and has substantially improved, uh, the uh, the, you know, uh, the tranquility of the, of the global community.”

Tranquility? Not so much.

On Thursday, as Israel began its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, a Boeing 777 with 298 passengers – 23 of whom were reportedly U.S. citizens – was shot down over Donetsk, near Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia, spreading debris and bodies for miles. While U.S. military and intelligence analysts have not released much information about the attack, no doubt exists about the cause: a sophisticated Russian-made surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. (See our real-time analysis of this attack.)

What is not yet known is whether the SAM was launched by regular Russian forces or by the so-called “pro-Russia separatist rebels” whom Russian President Vladimir Putin is well-known to be using as his insurgent surrogates in an effort to topple the sovereign nation of Ukraine. Spokesmen for both armies deny responsibility, and we can expect the usual lose-the-lead-in-diplomacy-doublespeak tactics from all concerned, along with finger-pointing and more denials. For our part, we would simply ask the question, “Who cares which one pulled the trigger?”

Anti-aircraft missile

Both trails lead back to Putin, either directly, via use of Russian forces, or indirectly, through use of Putin’s insurgent surrogates, which he all but directly controls. Either way, Putin is responsible for the deaths of 23 Americans. Ironically, Putin was the first to condemn the act, blaming Ukraine: “This tragedy wouldn’t have happened if there had been peace on this territory, if the military actions hadn’t been restarted in southeast Ukraine.” Never mind the fact Ukraine wouldn’t have needed to use military force had Putin not organized, funded, armed and fomented the insurgency against which Ukraine was forced to react.

No doubt, Obama will join in the doublespeak charade. For five years Mr. Tranquility has systematically orchestrated the implosion of U.S. foreign policy. Starting with his World Apology Tour and continuing through a long chain of blatant missteps, Obama, our nation and the world are now reaping what he has sown. The shoot-down was possible only if Putin were allowed to continue his well-known-but-low-profile, thuggish re-consolidation campaign against the now-sovereign republics of what had been the “glorious Soviet empire.” That the Obama regime turned a blind eye toward Russia while it ran roughshod over its sovereign neighbors is disgraceful.

At least this event will highlight with laser focus Obama’s look-the-other-way approach to “the Russian problem” and spur angry questions as to why the U.S. failed to act earlier to stem aggressive Russian actions in Georgia, Crimea and now Ukraine. In any case, if Obama is not moved to decisive action following this wanton act of war involving the murder of 23 American innocents, and its very traceable set of proximate-cause dots ending at the Kremlin, then Putin will be further emboldened: Appeasement as foreign policy has never been a winner. The only thing despots truly understand is decisive action.

Even Democrat Carl Levin, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, insists, “Whoever did it should pay a full price. If it’s by a country, either directly or indirectly, then it could be considered an act of war.”

Summarizing the evidence gathered from the tragedy, one U.S. official stated, “All roads lead to the Russians.” We agree. Now let’s see if Obama will take a break from his full-time “day job” of stumping for donor cash long enough to focus his attention on fixing yet another crisis his malfeasance helped create.

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Fiddling While the Border Burns

Over the last week or two, we in our humble shop have alerted you to the upcoming “broad” and “generous” executive order permitting amnesty, the rampant increase in grants of “asylum” to illegal aliens, Democrat delusions about a secure southern border, and even larger delusions about the urgency of addressing the problem – it’s about the children, you see. While thousands of unaccompanied minors stream across our southern border, Barack Obama and Democrats use the situation as a political football. And rather than address the problem with tried and true solutions like better barriers, better security and pressuring the nations providing all these border crossers to cease and desist, they’re doubling down on their misguided ideas.

White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri chastised Republicans for “using the Rio Grande as a reason not to do immigration reform,” and added, “Our belief is now, more than ever, the American people see immigration as an urgent issue and want the administration to act.” In the latter respect Palmieri is correct, but the Obama idea of action is to just let all of them in, and Americans prefer a secure border as well as returning these people to their homelands. It’s likely Obama will write an Executive Order later this summer expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) order he wrote two years ago, which was the backdoor method by which he put the defeated DREAM Act into place.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), though, is fighting back. While his proposed bill won’t address those already allowed to stay under the current DACA order, it would prohibit the expansion of DACA beyond its currently prescribed limits. “We want to stop any more people from getting deferred action under DACA and we want to stop the president from being able to expand it as we have heard he wants to do,” said Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), meanwhile, will introduce a bill to amend the 2008 anti-trafficking law being abused to allow this surge of illegal minors. “We need a policy that actually deters illegal immigration,” Vitter said. “I’ve said that if we want to send a message to others thinking about coming here illegally, let’s deport these people by the planeload.”

Appealing to raw “for the children” emotion, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) railed, “Before Republicans help our Border Patrol agents and all the personnel that’s [sic] trying to do something to handle this humanitarian crisis, they want President Obama to deport the DREAMers who are … legitimately here. These are children. But instead of considering a thoughtful, compassionate solution to a real-life crisis on our border, radical Republicans are trying to hold these kids ransom.” Illegal aliens are “legitimately here”? Who knew?

Middle ground may be electoral quicksand for GOP hopes this fall, particularly if fed-up voters view Republicans as afraid to act for fear of alienating a portion of the Hispanic vote. Ample evidence indicates that this problem was not unforeseen, so the question about who’s to blame is just as important as what to do about it.

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Keep Talking in Order to Keep Talking

According to knowledgeable sources, it appears the P5+1 (United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China, plus Germany) and Iran have agreed to an extension of their November nuclear deal beyond its July 20 deadline for a final agreement to be reached. This should come as no surprise, as the two sides remain light-years apart in their negotiating positions, while a failure to extend talks would force the Obama administration and the rest of the “international community” to fish or cut bait. With numerous other parts of the world currently less than tranquil, and with a congenital aversion to military force, Barack Obama undoubtedly sees more talks as the best option. He’s not alone – the Iranians have successfully extended debate for 11 years and would love nothing better than to keep that streak going.

The crux of the matter is and always has been uranium enrichment. The P5+1 want Iran’s capability cut back significantly; Iran not only dismisses cutbacks, it openly says it intends to expand enrichment. Iran insists it must be self-sufficient in producing reactor fuel, while the P5+1 point out that many other nations with civil nuclear programs do not produce their own fuel. Iran’s desire for self-sufficiency is a common theme in its military, civil and scientific efforts, and originates with its experience in the Iran-Iraq War. Denied arms by virtually everyone while arch-enemy Iraq was supplied with numerous modern weapons, Iran’s leaders swore “never again.” Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is himself an Iran-Iraq War veteran, and he has made his position crystal clear time and time again: “We will never give up our right to a nuclear program.”

It’s difficult to see how the two sides can bridge the enrichment gap. The hardliners remain firmly in control in Tehran and are unlikely to soften their position. The P5+1 cannot – cannot – give in and acknowledge Iran’s right to unrestricted enrichment. But absent a meaningful, workable agreement, the Obama administration must be willing to return to the economic sanctions approach. Extending talks merely for the sake of more talks is not a strategy – it’s a dodge.

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For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Author E. B. White (1899-1985): “Liberty is never out of bounds or off limits; it spreads wherever it can capture the imagination of men.”

Columnist Charles Krauthammer: “It was less than 10 years ago that worldwide television showed the Israeli army pulling diehard settlers off synagogue roofs in Gaza as Israel uprooted its settlements, expelled its citizens, withdrew its military and turned every inch of Gaza over to the Palestinians. There was not a soldier, not a settler, not a single Israeli left in Gaza. And there was no blockade. … No one seems to remember that simultaneous with the Gaza withdrawal, Israel dismantled four smaller settlements in the northern West Bank as a clear signal of Israel’s desire to leave the West Bank too and thus achieve an amicable two-state solution. … Israel, a state warred upon for 66 years … goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming the very innocents its enemies use as shields. It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear.”

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Columnist David Harsanyi: “Though the idea can be somewhat amorphous, patriotism, especially in this country, is driven by idealism rather than chauvinism or ethnic and religious considerations – the kind of idealism that soldiers go and die for. So if you believe that left-wing economic policies are synonymous with ‘patriotism’ but religious freedom, freedom of speech and economic freedom are antiquated notions in need of fixing, maybe it’s your idea of American patriotism that is warped.”

Comedian Conan O'Brien: “Some people are critical of Hillary Clinton’s speaking fee. The University of Buffalo reportedly paid Hillary Clinton $275,000 to speak. And apparently, Joe Biden got $300,000 not to speak.”

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

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