The Patriot Post® · Daily Digest
“Without justice being freely, fully, and impartially administered, neither our persons, nor our rights, nor our property, can be protected. And if these, or either of them, are regulated by no certain laws, and are subject to no certain principles, and are held by no certain tenure, and are redressed, when violated, by no certain remedies, society fails of all its value; and men may as well return to a state of savage and barbarous independence.” –Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
A bit of good news out of The Swamp for a change. The ATF says it’s scrapping plans to ban a popular round of ammunition after loads of negative public feedback. The Associated Press reports, “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says the agency received more than 80,000 public comments on the proposal to outlaw some types of 5.56 mm rounds, or .223 caliber. The agency says the comments were overwhelmingly critical of the proposal.” The ban was (supposedly) motivated by the “discovery” that “pistols” can now shoot armor-piercing ammo, but perhaps the ATF feared a successful court challenge to the National Firearms Act’s definition of “pistol.” Certainly, Second Amendment defenders think the NFA is in many ways incompatible with the Supreme Court’s Heller ruling.
But is this really good news, or just a tactical retreat? According to the ATF, “Although ATF endeavored to create a proposal that reflected a good faith interpretation of the law and balanced the interests of law enforcement, industry, and sportsmen, the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical of the framework, and include issues that deserve further study. Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework [emphasis added]. After the close of the comment period, ATF will process the comments received, further evaluate the issues raised therein, and provide additional open and transparent process (for example, through additional proposals and opportunities for comment) before proceeding with any framework.” So it really isn’t over.
Stay tuned for Mark Alexander’s analysis of the situation later today.
It’s strike two against the Social Security Administration. First, the agency wrote to Sen. Ron Johnson, telling him it was still implementing Barack Obama’s executive actions granting legal status to millions of illegal immigrants. Now, an investigation showed the agency did not prosecute illegal immigrants it found committing fraud with Social Security numbers belonging to citizens who died. According to a report by the agency’s Inspector General, “In three cases, [the Office of Investigators] confirmed that illegal aliens were using deceased numberholders’ names and SSNs to work, but U.S. Attorneys in Arizona, Florida, and South Carolina declined prosecution.” The report goes on to say there are 6.5 million Social-Security-card-carrying citizens who are over the age 112. Right. But then there’s this example: In 2008, a man whose Social Security number indicated he was 122 applied for a job in Arizona, even though the SSA’s payment records show it stopped paying him benefits in 1965. Either there was a zombie collecting a salary in Arizona, or the SSA’s shoddy record keeping has allowed fraud to fester. More…
After Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed right-to-work legislation Monday, Barack Obama bashed the Republican presidential hopeful. “Wisconsin is a state built by labor, with a proud pro-worker past,” Obama said. “So even as its governor claims victory over working Americans, I’d encourage him to try and score a victory for working Americans – by taking meaningful action to raise their wages and offer them the security of paid leave. That’s how you give hardworking middle-class families a fair shot in the new economy – not by stripping their rights in the workplace, but by offering them all the tools they need to get ahead.” Walker quickly fired back. “On the heels of vetoing Keystone Pipeline legislation, which would have paved the way to create thousands of quality, middle-class jobs, the President should be looking to states, like Wisconsin, as an example for how to grow our economy,” Walker replied in a statement. “Despite a stagnant national economy and a lack of leadership in Washington, since we took office, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is down to 5.0 percent, and more than 100,000 jobs and 30,000 businesses have been created.” Obama has spent more than six years undermining working Americans all while claiming to be in their corner – his magic “middle-class economics.” But higher taxes based on class warfare aren’t going to grow the economy. Encouraging work will.
Government employment usually entails good job security. Consider the EPA, where spending up to six hours per day looking at x-rated websites isn’t enough to get employees fired – even a year after the story broke. No matter which federal department or agency you represent, existing rules ensure that accountability is difficult to enforce, particularly when it comes to veteran workers. Based on a Government Accountability Office report published Monday, “A minimum of 170 days is required to fire a federal employee for poor performance, if a government agency properly follows the required dismissal process,” The Washington Free Beacon reveals. Administrators who follow chapter 43 of the United States Code allow misbehaving employees upwards of 110 days to make amends. And if that doesn’t work? “After dismissal, the employee is then given the opportunity to appeal, which itself takes an average of 243 days to complete,” the Beacon adds. “Alternatively, agencies can use chapter 75, which is ‘largely similar to chapter 43.’ Chapter 75 is generally faster since it does not require time to allow the employee to improve, but the ‘burden of proof for sustaining a dismissal’ is higher.” The infamous EPA porn-watcher by his own admission downloaded and viewed more than 7,000 files. What more “burden of proof” does the government need? More…
University of Oklahoma violated the First Amendment rights of two frat boys when it expelled them after they were videotaped leading a racist chant. Over the weekend, the school’s student newspaper published a story after it obtained video footage of a group of Sigma Alpha Epsilon frat boys chanting that “there will never be a n—– at SAE.” But the university’s discipline of the students may have just elevated the students to free speech martyrdom. Legal scholar Eugene Volokh writes, “First, racist speech is constitutionally protected, just as is expression of other contemptible ideas; and universities may not discipline students based on their speech. That has been the unanimous view of courts that have considered campus speech codes and other campus speech restrictions. … The same, of course, is true for fraternity speech, racist or otherwise.” But in the nanny-state that is often called higher education, administration officials simply see students as children, whose rights they can violate at will. A better discipline would have been to call out the perpetrators – by name – in the square of public ideas. More…
For more, visit Right Hooks.
Hillary Clinton finally addressed the brouhaha over her majesty’s secret servers at a press conference Tuesday, but beginning with the first seemingly planted question it amounted to partying like it was 1999.
Last week, Clinton handed over 55,000 pages of emails from her private clintonemails.com email accounts. It’s a fair guess that hardly covers her entire tenure as secretary of state. So where’s the rest? What’s she hiding?
Since the account is hers, she has sole access and control over it (well, besides potential hackers), and she’s refusing to turn over everything. She reiterated Tuesday that she would not turn over the actual emails or the servers, which “will remain private.” She claims 30,000 emails were personal – including messages with husband Bill, who claims to have sent all of two emails, ever – and she admitted to deleting many of them because she “didn’t see any reason to keep them.” That’s nice, but as a high-ranking public official it’s not for her to decide which emails are personal and which are official, or what’s relevant for keeping.
She explained her choice to exclusively use a private email account as merely a matter of “convenience” because it enabled her to “carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.” Yes, we’re very sure it was “convenient,” but we’re not clear on how her inability to walk and chew gum at the same time commends her for the presidency.
Besides, she did carry both an iPhone and a Blackberry. Nice try.
She insisted Tuesday, “I fully complied with every rule that I was governed by.” But the fact that she used only private accounts during her time in office violates federal record-keeping laws. She’ll never be prosecuted, but she wants to be our next president, so these are matters of great importance.
Not only did Clinton use this email to control the flow of information, it diverted her information to the wrong hands. Case in point: An unemployed Romanian taxi driver and part-time hacker called Guccifer discovered the existence of Clinton’s secret account in 2013. If a Romanian hacker can find it, surely the Chinese, Russians and others have too.
Not to worry. The smartest woman in the world surely made her site ironclad secure. Right? No. Her site is so vulnerable that independent security expert and developer Nic Cubrilovic said, “It is almost certain that at least some of the emails hosted at clintonemails.com were intercepted.”
Meanwhile, Madame Clinton apparently takes national security as seriously as her former boss. Presidents are duty-bound to name inspectors general to police each agency of government, but Obama refused to name one for the State Department during Hillary’s entire tenure. How convenient. Whatever’s on the servers, Obama would almost certainly pardon Clinton if need be. But he can’t protect her politically if the stink of corruption rises high enough.
Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state was a rocky one, filled with crises and scandals. A good chunk of the emails most likely would shed light on her cover-up of malfeasance in the Benghazi disaster, but she might be hiding even worse information. The Clinton Foundation, now known as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, has been doing the legal two-step ever since Slick Willie founded it in 2001. And we believe Clinton’s real reason for refusing to reveal the emails is the Foundation. After all, the Foundation’s history of accepting money from anyone who wants to give is legendary.
Ron Fournier, a long-time friend of the Clintons, wrote a particularly damaging op-ed in which he observed, “[T]he biggest threat to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential dreams is not her emails. It’s her family foundation. That’s where the money is: corporate money, foreign money, gobs of money sloshing around a vanity charity that could be renamed ‘Clinton Conflicts of Interest Foundation.’”
Furthermore, Fournier concluded, “Hillary Clinton’s secret communications cache is a bombshell deserving of full disclosure because of her assault on government transparency and electronic security. But its greatest relevancy is what the emails might reveal about any nexus between Clinton’s work at State and donations to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation from U.S. corporations and foreign nations.”
From Whitewater to Lippogate to White House coffees and everything in between, the Clintons have never changed. Coming out of Arkansas with a judge in Bill’s pocket, they’ve always been about the acquisition of power and money – Hillary’s claims about being “dead broke” notwithstanding. They’ve done very well, rising from small-time lawyers to multimillionaires with a formidable political machine. But the damage they’ve wreaked on the nation is obscene. It won’t wipe away with a simple stroke of the “delete” key.
Unfortunately, nearly half the country doesn’t care. As Fox News commentator Juan Williams noted, “In terms of the big political picture, there is no evidence [the email charade] is damaging her with the Democratic base.” Far too many Americans couldn’t care less about a Democrat candidate’s behavior, as long as he or she keeps the free stuff coming.
Forty-seven Senate Republicans sent a letter to Iran’s leadership earlier this week making clear that the nuclear deal currently being negotiated does not meet the standards of a binding treaty, and that a future U.S. president could nullify it at any time. In other words, stating the obvious. The reaction was swift and furious – from the Democrats, that is.
Every leftist from presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to Smiling Joe Biden piled on, calling the letter “dangerous” and “out of step with the best traditions of American leadership” (rimshot!), while claiming it was motivated by a “rush to war” by Republican “traitors.” If anyone is a traitor, it’s the guy negotiating the deal – John Kerry.
All that said, it would have been better if the Republican senators had not sent this letter to Iran. In addition to being a poor method of conducting diplomacy, it’s bad politics. It will be spun by the Democrats and their sycophants in the media as just another example of personal animus and racism toward Barack Obama. And it will probably end up being a self-inflicted political wound that could have been avoided. Those who defend it on the basis that Democrats have done it before miss the mark. Since when has imitating Democrats been good practice?
A better approach would have been to address the letter to Obama himself and the American public, and publish it in The Washington Post and other newspapers.
In doing so, the 47 senators, led by Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Tom Cotton, could have framed the issue in terms of the Senate’s role in treaty-making, and insisted the president respect the Senate in this regard. They could have emphasized the foolishness of accepting a handshake deal with Iran instead of a binding treaty. They could have highlighted Obama’s absurd notion that deals of this magnitude should be done in secret and then presented to the American people and their representatives as a fait accompli – something that would have resonated strongly given Obama’s past deceptiveness about keeping your health plan under the Affordable Care Act. The senators could have pointed out that Iran could nullify an agreement at any time, just as the United States could.
All of this could have been used to challenge Obama to make his case to the American people before reaching a deal with Iran – to explain how a deal would somehow not do fatal damage to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
What’s done is done, and the letter may at least have the salient effect of making the current deal with Iran less likely to come to pass. It will also force 2016 presidential hopefuls to stake out their positions on this matter, which will be beneficial over the next 18 months. But this continues a trend in which Republicans are missing the target.
For more, visit Right Analysis.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Tony Perkins: Navy Caves to Pier Pressure
- Jonah Goldberg: Carefully Scripted Hillary Knocked Out of Comfort Zone
- Michelle Malkin: ObamaCare’s 1095-A Nightmare
- Terence Jeffrey: A Containment Policy for Militant Islamist Ideologues
- John Stossel: What’s Fair?
For more, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Political commentator Lawrence Auster (1949-2013): “Once the government becomes the supplier of people’s needs, there is no limit to the needs that will be claimed as a basic right.”
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins: “Like most Christians, Lt. Commander Wes Modder knew the military was changing. But he didn’t know how much until the battle landed on his doorstep. … [T]he 19-year veteran has been stripped of his duties for sharing the good news he was hired to share. … Believe it or not, he was targeted by his own assistant – who Modder didn’t realize was gay. Looking back, the chaplain says the young officer asked a lot of questions about homosexuality, which Modder answered as most would expect: in accordance with the Bible’s teachings. The mask finally slipped in December, when representatives with the Equal Opportunity office served Modder with papers accusing him of ‘discrimination.’ … Worse, he didn’t have a chance to defend himself. Almost immediately, the dad of four was relieved of his duties and told to clean out his office. He was guilty before proven innocent. And of what? Fulfilling his job description? … It isn’t supposed to be this way – and it doesn’t have to be this way – if Americans who love their freedoms and their country will stand up and speak out!”
Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “The trouble for [Hillary] Clinton is that, despite all of her preparation, all of her coordination, the world is going off her script. And for a woman who thinks off-the-cuff speaking is switching from her prepared remarks to her prepared note cards, that’s a scary place. That is surely why she set up her own private Internet server. Four times at the U.N., Clinton said she had created her ‘home-brew’ email system simply for ‘convenience.’ ‘I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two,’ she said. Never mind that it’s much easier to set up two email systems on one device than it is to set up a whole dark server hidden from the government. And leave aside that a woman who travels with a very large entourage on non-commercial flights could probably manage two devices. I’m sure she’s right. She set up the server for convenience – but not the convenience of sparing her the load of an additional 4-ounce phone. When you want to hide what you’re doing, a private server is definitely the way to go.”
Fred Thompson: “Not only did Hillary Clinton use a private email address as Secretary of State, she ran it from her own private computer system. I’ll be THAT had a ‘Reset’ button that worked.”
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