The Patriot Post® · Daily Digest
“Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God.” –Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Convention, 1775
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
In response to Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced he would sign an executive order banning state-funded travel to Indiana. This is the same knee-jerk reaction from Malloy that brought Connecticut some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. “Because of Indiana’s new law, later today I will sign an Executive Order regarding state-funded travel,” Malloy wrote on Twitter. “When new laws turn back the clock on progress, we can’t sit idly by. We are sending a message that discrimination won’t be tolerated.” Well, we guess every liberal has to do his or her part to chip away at religious liberty. But Malloy really could have given it some thought before he acted, as Connecticut is one of the 19 states in the union that has the very same law on its books. In fact, some argue the Constitution State’s law is more absolute in protecting religious Liberty than Indiana’s – and it hasn’t been a problem until liberals decided otherwise. More…
Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act stirred plenty of opposition, including from many corporations doing business in the Hoosier State – Cummins, Apple and the NCAA to name a few. But National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke wonders how this is possible, writing, “We were told at the time of Hobby Lobby that companies can’t have consciences. We were told that they can’t have feelings. We were told that they can’t corporately opine on moral or legal questions as might an individual, and in consequence they can’t be worthy of praise or admonition. What, one wonders, has changed? It couldn’t be, could it, that progressives are opposed to the idea that corporations are entities that are capable of holding opinions and taking political stands … until they are needed in a fight that they care about?” Remarkable, isn’t it, how “new” arguments present themselves when leftists have a bone to pick?
On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case of a group of California students who were sent home after they wore American flag-themed shirts on Cinco de Mayo. In 2010, the Morgan Hill Unified School District forbade students from wearing American flag themes because it feared the act would spark racial violence. But the Supreme Court upheld the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling that justified stifling the students’ speech. In an amicus brief, siblings Mary Beth Tinker and John Tinker wrote to the Supreme Court, “If students learn that threatening speakers is an effective way to suppress speech, this will produce more threats, and more suppression of a wide range of other speech. And beyond this, even peaceful students will learn that free speech must yield whenever its opponents are willing to threaten violence – a message antithetical to all things this Court has tried to convey about the First Amendment.” It wasn’t always this way. The Tinkers were the two siblings in a 1976 ruling that students have First Amendment rights just like every other citizen. More…
The Obama administration will announce today what the U.S. will contribute to the UN’s effort to fight global warming and change the world economy as we know it through an international treaty. But the pledge to the UN will be a rehash of all Barack Obama’s old dreams. According to the Associated Press, Obama will pledge to cut America’s greenhouse gas emissions 26% to 28% by 2025 – a war on cars, coal and capitalism. It’s a move that’ll make Obama’s international cronies happy, but will probably face fierce opposition at home. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Considering that two-thirds of the U.S. federal government hasn’t even signed off on the Clean Power Plan and 13 states have already pledged to fight it, our international partners should proceed with caution before entering into a binding, unattainable deal.” In the months before the UN’s December meeting in Paris to draw up the treaty, look for the Obama administration to embellish the grandeur of it all: the legacy, the hope, the change. But this time, Obama has to work against a Republican Congress to enact his goals. More…
Barack Obama spoke Monday at the Dedication of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston, which, by the way, cost taxpayers $38 million. Naturally, he spoke well, if inaccurately, of the “Liberal Lion” of the Senate. “What if we carried ourselves more like Ted Kennedy?” Obama asked. “What if we worked to follow his example a little bit harder? To his harshest critics, who saw him as nothing more than a partisan lightning rod – that may sound foolish, but there are Republicans here today for a reason. They know who Ted Kennedy was. It’s not because they shared Ted’s ideology or his positions, but because they knew Ted as somebody who bridged the partisan divide over and over and over again, with genuine effort and affection, in an era when bipartisanship has become so very rare.” Wait, did he just use the word “bridged” in a eulogy for Ted Kennedy? Joe Biden was even worse, saying, “He was an anchor to many of us.” Mary Jo Kopechne was not available for comment.
For more, visit Right Hooks.
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The deadline is midnight on Tuesday for a deal resulting from the latest round of nuclear talks between the United States, several other world powers and Iran, and – surprise! – it appears Iran is backing away from some of the terms. But at least the nations can look forward to a new round of talks and a real deal in the future – at least, in the words of Secretary of State John Kerry, “Allah willing.”
Several months ago, Iran tentatively agreed to send a large portion of its stockpile of enriched uranium to Russia, where it would be inaccessible for the Iranians to use in any future nuclear weapons program. However, Iran’s deputy foreign minister ruled out such an agreement, claiming, “The export of stocks of enriched uranium is not in our program, and we do not intend on sending them abroad.”
So much for the tentative agreement. So, on to Plan B, which according to Western officials consists of convincing Iran to blend the enriched uranium into a more diluted form that can’t be used as weapons-grade material – at least not until the process is reversed in a couple of weeks. Quite the diplomacy here; uh, you can keep the enriched uranium, but only if you dilute it. Political analyst Charles Krauthammer calls this “one cave after another.”
If Iran were to agree to option two, then the Obama administration will be swift to claim that as long as regular inspections are conducted all will be well. At least until Iran bans inspectors from entering the country – a move right out of North Korea’s playbook.
We aren’t sure why this news is surprising to anyone, given that Iran has long desired and pursued nuclear weapons capability. Why on earth would they want to give up the enriched uranium they have when it’s their stated goal to destroy Israel? Further, why is this administration so inept at dealing with rogue nations like Iran, which supports terrorism and has a long track record of breaking its word?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t at all impressed with the Iran nuclear negotiations, as he has warned all along. Netanyahu realizes that if Iran created a nuclear weapon, it would threaten his country. Regarding the nuclear talks, he told members of his cabinet, “This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that.” He said Iran is trying to “conquer the entire Middle East,” citing the recent Iranian-allied advances in Yemen. Netanyahu went as far as condemning the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, outright, stating that “the Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is very dangerous to humanity, and must be stopped.”
Israel’s leader has the backbone to stand up to the Iranians, so why can’t the world’s major powers do the same? Because our “leaders” haven’t learned from previous talks with Iran.
As we’ve repeatedly noted, ever since it was discovered in 2003 that Iran had a nuclear program, Iran has used these bait-and-switch tactics. The United States and the major powers in Europe come to the negotiating table thinking they have a deal only to see Iran demand new concessions and blame the West for the impasse. More often than not, this ploy works. If and when the talks fail, the West has to regroup, and Iran continues to go on working toward having nuclear weapons capability. Over time, Iran makes demands for more concessions in order to come back to the table, all the while knowing it’s buying time for its nuclear weapons program.
Instead of acquiescing to Iran’s refusal to abide by any agreement, why not just lay out an offer and add or enhance sanctions upon Iran’s rejection? Well, that would require Netanyahu to be present, or the likes of Reagan or Churchill.
Obama and his diplomatic clowns just can’t seem to accept that, in dealing with Iran’s nuke program, no deal is better than a bad deal – even if they’ve said so themselves. A bad deal with Iran is a bad deal for the entire Middle East and the world.
Yet Obama is more concerned with partisan politics, telling Senate Democrats they need to stick with him on this terrible deal. His pitch to them is that if the Iran nuclear talks fail, then the GOP wins. How’s that for foreign policy? He’s more concerned about his perceived enemies from the other party than he is about a real enemy that wants to wipe the United States and Israel off the map.
The happy news of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s impending retirement has lost some of its luster now that he’s tapped Chuck Schumer of New York as his successor. So what do we have to look forward to?
Schumer, now the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, is one of the party’s most prodigious fundraisers. He is also a shrewd political strategist who was the architect of the strategy that flipped 14 Republican-held seats in two consecutive election cycles in 2006 and 2008, giving Democrats a filibuster-proof majority to pass ObamaCare in 2009.
The New York Democrat has an unrivaled reputation as a press hound. One of the running jokes in DC is that the most dangerous place in Washington is between Chuck Schumer and a TV camera.
A number of Schumer’s colleagues, including Minority Whip Dick Durbin, have endorsed him for leader primarily because of his extensive work in bolstering the Democrat caucus. He is known for burning up the phone lines to keep the caucus in line and for his dogged leadership at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Policy and Communications Center, which he founded. Schumer has a reputation for being a pragmatic dealmaker … with other Democrats, that is.
Senate Republicans can look forward to a nightmare not much different than they faced with Reid. Schumer has always been a vocal and unapologetic proponent of Big Government and the nanny state, and he won’t hesitate to twist arms to get it – or pick any fight to stay in the media spotlight.
Schumer’s list of crusades over the years is a sign of what’s in store. Schumer has called for investigations, regulations or outright bans on so many products and services it’s difficult to keep track: cereal prices, e-cigarettes, fast-food bread, powdered caffeine, yoga mat chemicals, Bitcoin, laser pointers, payday lending and flame retardants to name a few.
Furthermore, Schumer’s on the record musing about nationalizing oil companies, pushing a universal carbon tax, and, of course, even more taxes for the “wealthy,” however that is defined these days.
Most important, Schumer has never seen a gun control measure he didn’t like – unless it wasn’t strict enough.
The quest to find a Democrat candidate to run for Reid’s Senate seat in Nevada isn’t as clear as who will fill his leadership post. Nevada has become uncertain territory for Democrats, and Reid may have decided to retire rather than risk losing his re-election bid in 2016. He denied being worried, but he nearly lost in 2010. And he said, “I think it is unfair for me to be soaking up all the money to be re-elected.” If he had it in the bag, why would it take so much money to win?
To take his Senate seat, the outgoing minority leader favors former Nevada attorney general Catherine Cortez Mastro, who he claims is unbeatable. Other possible candidates include Ross Miller, who lost the attorney general race last year, and former representatives Steven Horsford and Shelley Berkley, voted out of office in 2014 and 2012, respectively.
The only other viable candidate may be Rep. Dina Titus, but Democrats might not want to risk running her, as she is the only remaining member of the state’s Democrat delegation in the House. Whoever they choose to run for the open seat in 2016 will almost surely face Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, a strong candidate who could give the GOP a pickup in Nevada.
All in all, we’re glad to see Reid headed for the Senate exit, as he has done tremendous damage to the institution itself. But Schumer won’t be an improvement, and if a Democrat wins Reid’s seat little will have been gained.
For more, visit Right Analysis.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Arnold Ahlert: A Deal Like the One With North Korea?
- Thomas Sowell: Etiquette Versus Annihilation
- Dennis Prager: Life Lessons From the German Air Disaster
- Michael Barone: Where the Red Line Came From – Before It Was Crossed
- Tony Perkins: The End of the Road for Religious Freedom?
For more, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
French sociologist Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859): “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.”
Columnist Thomas Sowell: “Why is Barack Obama so anxious to have an international agreement that will have no legal standing under the Constitution just two years from now, since it will be just a presidential agreement, rather than a treaty requiring the ‘advice and consent’ of the Senate? There are at least two reasons. One reason is that such an agreement will serve as a fig leaf to cover his failure to do anything that has any serious chance of stopping Iran from going nuclear. Such an agreement will protect Obama politically, despite however much it exposes the American people to unprecedented dangers. The other reason is that, by going to the United Nations for its blessing on his agreement with Iran, he can get a bigger fig leaf to cover his complicity in the nuclear arming of America’s most dangerous enemy. In Obama’s vision, as a citizen of the world, there may be no reason why Iran should not have nuclear weapons when other nations have them.”
Columnist Dennis Prager: “One psychopath, in one hour, killed 149 innocent people aboard a Germanwings airliner. How many people will ever be able to do nearly as much good for 149 people in a lifetime? With very few exceptions, good can only be achieved one by one by one. That’s why, if you want your name remembered by many people, you have a far better chance of accomplishing it by doing evil than by doing good. And that’s why most great evils are done by movements that want to change the world. If you really want to change the world for the better, work on making better people, not a better world. … [Andreas] Lubitz murdered 149 people because he was a narcissistic individual who lacked a properly functioning conscience. The number of people walking around in the world with a broken moral compass is quite large. Not all of them are depressed. And I am not only referring to violent Islamists. The U.N. just voted to condemn one country in the world for mistreatment of women: Israel. Are all those U.N. ambassadors depressed?”
Humorist Frank Fleming: “We need to stop Christians from forcing their beliefs on us about how we shouldn’t be forcing beliefs on them.”
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
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.