The Patriot Post® · Daily Digest

· https://patriotpost.us/digests/34820-daily-digest-2015-04-24

THE FOUNDATION

“The consciousness of having discharged that duty which we owe to our country is superior to all other considerations.” —George Washington, letter to James Madison, 1788

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Drone Killed American Hostage and Obama Barely Apologizes

In January, the U.S. drone program killed three American citizens in Pakistan, one of them Maryland doctor and al-Qaida hostage Warren Weinstein. After piecing together drone footage and intercepted jihadi communications, U.S. officials concluded that a “signature strike” killed hostages Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian. A signature strike is a drone attack where the CIA doesn’t know exactly who is on the ground, yet they take action based on suspicious activity.

Officially, Barack Obama apologized. “As president and as commander in chief, I take full responsibility for all our counterterrorism operations, including the one that inadvertently took the lives of Warren and Giovanni,” he said. “I profoundly regret what happened.” But then Obama spokesman Josh Earnest and the CIA undermined the executive’s apology by insisting Obama didn’t sign off on this particular strike. What a stark contrast to Obama’s obnoxious victory laps after Navy SEALs dispatched Osama bin Laden.

The other two Americans killed in January strikes were al-Qaida jihadists — one of them the first American convicted of treason since World War II. Yet because the strike killed hostages it raises questions about Obama’s management of the U.S. drone program itself — his signature counter-terrorism strategy. That said, it’s an effective tool that’s far more precise than conventional World War II bombing raids or coating Vietnam forests with Agent Orange, though as long as jihadis hide among civilians, avoiding civilian casualties will be difficult. And Obama isn’t doing nearly so well at it as he claims. More…

Did the IRS Intentionally Provoke Customer Service Woes?

Remember when federal agencies were ordered to intentionally manipulate the impacts of the government “shutdown” to take political advantage? The Internal Revenue Service is apparently borrowing from the same playbook. Commissioner John Koskinen testified that stringent budget cuts by Congress have hampered the agency’s ability to adequately handle certain functions, like customer service. Just recently the Treasury’s inspector general found that before March 7 nearly 4 in 10 customers who called into the agency never reached a representative — a drastic spike from the 1-in-10 ratio of a decade ago — and those that did waited an average of 25 minutes. A headline from The Hill described it as “IRS service worse than expected,” but a new report suggests the abysmal service was self-inflicted — and potentially strategically implemented.

Here’s how: “While congressional funding for the IRS remained flat from 2014 to 2015, the IRS diverted $134 million away from customer service to other activities,” reports John McCormack of The Weekly Standard. “In addition to the $11 billion appropriated by Congress, the IRS takes in more than $400 million in user fees and may allocate that money as it sees fit. In 2014, the IRS allocated $183 million in user fees to its customer service budget, but allocated just $49 million in 2015 — a 76 percent cut.” In other words, the agency could have helped more Americans with our complicated tax-filing system but instead diverted funds elsewhere (perhaps toward targeting conservative groups?). At best, it’s government inefficiency, and, at worst, the agency is caught in more malfeasance. Considering its track record, forgive us for assuming the latter. More…

Parents of Michael Brown File Civil Suit Against Ferguson

Michael Brown’s mother and father won’t stop until they see their definition of “justice” carried out. First, a grand jury declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the self-defense shooting death of their son. Then, Eric Holder’s race-baiting Department of Justice not only declined to charge Wilson on civil rights violations but vindicated his actions. Still eying the prospect of winning the legal lottery, however, Brown’s parents are going to try one more time. They filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday against the City of Ferguson, former police chief Thomas Jackson and Wilson. The suit seeks $75,000 and changes in the way the city conducts policing, because the Ferguson Police Department “had a custom or policy of negligently hiring and retaining officers, failing to property train and/or supervise officers in the use of deadly force,” the suit reads. The lawsuit builds off the DOJ’s report, which found the city practiced racial bias, with employees distributing racist jokes by email, for example. There are examples of the Ferguson PD seemingly abusing its power, such as one woman’s illegally parked car turning into a six-month legal battle, $1,000 in fines and six days in jail. Abusive systems should certainly be reformed. But how many times must Darren Wilson prove his innocence? More…

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Rubio, Walker Struggle With Immigration Footing

By Lewis Morris

Immigration is likely to become a major issue in the 2016 presidential race, which is a good thing because the nation’s immigration policies could use some reform. Unfortunately, any attempt at discussing reform will bring bombast, pandering rhetoric and misstatements of the facts.

GOP candidates Marco Rubio and Scott Walker have already been caught up in the debate, taking heat from all sides for their recent statements. And the changing positions these two men have held on the issue hasn’t done either of them any favors.

Right now, the focus is on Barack Obama’s amnesty plan, which thankfully has been stalled in the courts. Given Obama’s habit of thumbing his nose at the Constitution and circumventing the law to suit his political needs, we can be sure the matter won’t end there. But there is a larger issue at play than just the 12 million illegals being recruited to join Democrat ranks.

Recently released U.S. Census figures reveal America is in the midst of an immigration wave unlike any the country has ever experienced. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, “Absent a change in current policy, the Census Bureau projects that in 2023 the nation’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) will reach 14.8 percent (51 million) of the total U.S. population — the highest share ever recorded in American history.” And by 2060, one in five people in the U.S. will be an immigrant.

These are astounding numbers, and, while America is a nation of immigrants, such a large influx raises questions. What will the impact be on American workers, our schools and our infrastructure? How will we be able to assimilate all these new arrivals? What if they don’t want to assimilate? After all, the Left tells them not to. Thanks to our current lack of direction on immigration policy, there are no sure answers.

One thing is certain: The American people are concerned. Every major polling organization from Pew to Gallup and beyond indicate Americans want to see some level of restrictions on immigration. They are concerned about the impact on their ability to get jobs, the downward pressure mass immigration puts on wages, and what will happen to an entitlement system already stretched to the breaking point.

For his part, Rubio has recently voiced support for an enforcement-first immigration policy that includes an E-Verify system in which all businesses large and small would take part. But, to many conservatives, Rubio’s bona fides were sullied by his involvement in crafting the Gang of Eight’s plan that eventually turned into an elaborate mask for amnesty. Rubio originally participated because he was motivated by the idea of comprehensive immigration reform, although he walked away from it after realizing (or perhaps we should say proving) Democrats couldn’t be trusted. Piecemeal reform, starting with enforcement and border security, is really the only way to go, he now says.

CBS’s Bob Schieffer tried to catch Rubio in a gotcha moment with the question of whether a President Rubio would sign into law the Gang of Eight bill he once championed. Rubio ducked by saying, “That’s a hypothetical that will never happen,” because such a bill would never survive the House. True enough, but a simple yes or no answer that more clearly illustrated his current position could have mitigated the appearance of pandering.

Walker has similarly taken heat from all sides because of recent statements on his immigration position. In an interview with Glenn Beck, Walker asserted, “The next president and the next Congress need to make decisions about a legal immigration system that’s based on, first and foremost, on protecting American workers and American wages.”

That makes sense, and it’s in line with what the vast majority of Americans believe. However, The Washington Post accused Walker of being protectionist, and others have accused him of being a flip-flopper because he had previously suggested support for a path to legalization for illegal immigrants. Of course, his idea of legalization didn’t approach amnesty, but his position has been rather hard to pin down.

The vitriol Rubio and Walker face is due in large part to voicing the idea that legal immigration needs to be curbed and illegal immigration needs to be dealt with by enforcement before any other means. (No doubt they’re both moving Right for the primary.) While a majority of Americans, as well as a sizable number of recent immigrants, hold these views, the “enlightened” leftist elites in Washington don’t think this is the answer. And that’s only because they see a fresh block of voters who will support Democrats indefinitely if they can get them securely into the U.S.

Standing with the majority of Americans on immigration is a good start for both Rubio and Walker. But they will also need to be clearer in their messaging and remain consistent if they hope to be taken seriously.

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Linda Chavez: “Between 2001 and 2013, Bill Clinton earned more than $100 million in speaking fees, $26 million of which came from donors to the Clinton Foundation. What’s more, the foundation itself has accumulated $250 million in assets, much of it from foreign donors, The New York Times has reported. The Times … described the ‘special ethical challenge’ the foundation faced accepting huge sums of money ‘even as (Bill Clinton’s) wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.’ The Times piece focused on the possible role that cash paid to the foundation and to Bill Clinton personally might have played in a deal that handed Russia effective control of 20 percent of the United States’ uranium reserves. … [I]t gave the Russians control over uranium mines and exploration in several Western states. As a result, Russia now controls 20 percent of U.S. uranium. Hillary Clinton’s campaign would like to ignore this story. But it is unlikely … that they can sweep it entirely under the rug. But who knows? Does anyone even remember that the Whitewater investigation was sparked not by sex between a president and a White House intern, but by a land deal meant to enrich then Gov. Bill Clinton and his wife?”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.” —Columbia University professor Charles Austin Beard (1874-1948)

Race bait: “‘Those six [Baltimore] police officers acted like a lynch mob against Freddie Gray. … The police [have] been ISIS to us. We’ve been terrorized with no accountability.” —Rev. Jamal Bryant, Empowerment Temple AME Church

Demo-gogues: “When people say this [Trans-Pacific Partnership] trade deal is bad for working families, they don’t know what they’re talking about. I take that personally. My entire presidency has been about helping working families. … I’ve got some of these folks who are friends of mine, allies of mine, saying this trade deal would destroy American working families, despite the fact that I’ve done everything in my power to make sure that working families are empowered.” —Barack Obama

Village Idiots: “At this point there has not been any evidence presented that would prompt the president or anybody at the White House to be unsettled by Secretary Clinton’s conduct as secretary of state. In fact, everyone here at the White House including the president continues to be very proud of her service to this country as secretary of state of the United States.” —Josh Earnest, denying the cloud of corruption surrounding the Clintons

Braying Jenny: “America moves forward when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby.” —Hillary Clinton

And last… “A new study shows that President Obama’s new coal-plant-killing EPA rules could destroy up to 300,000 jobs. So, only marginally worse than the programs he passes to save jobs.” —Fred Thompson

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.