The Patriot Post® · Daily Digest
“I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the States the powers not delegated to the United States.” —Thomas Jefferson, letter to Samuel Miller, 1808
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
On Monday, new Attorney General Loretta Lynch was sworn in, formally taking over for the contemptuous Eric Holder. And to say she entered the position amid chaos is an understatement. Gangs throughout Baltimore continued to wreak violence and havoc, injuring police officers and destroying property in protest over the death of Freddie Gray, the circumstances of which are still unknown. In response, one of Lynch’s first acts on the job was to send in the troops. “The Department of Justice will send two officials to Baltimore amid clashes in the city between police and citizens,” The Hill reports. We wish we could say she will be an improvement over her predecessor, but all evidence suggests she will continue the Holder legacy. Joe Biden illuminated this concern at Monday’s swearing-in ceremony when he said, “[Lynch] is a woman who is incredibly qualified, just like Eric Holder, who I’ve known and has been my close friend for years and years and years, over 30 years.” He added, “He might be one of the finest attorney generals [sic] we have had. He has been in this environment of such political hostility. He has stood his ground on principle. He has never yielded. And he has been right.” If he was one of the finest attorneys general in American history, why are sights like Ferguson and Baltimore seemingly becoming the norm? Lynch has a lot of work to do — but at least she’d be hard pressed to make things worse.
Today is a big day for the Supreme Court as the debate over same-sex “marriage” takes center stage. Two and half hours of oral arguments will be presented to the justices, whose decision on America’s biggest social controversy since Roe v. Wade will have monumental implications. And just like Roe v. Wade, as Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins points out, the government meddling in what should be an issue left to the states isn’t going to end the debate. Forty-two years after that dreadful ruling, America has come no closer to unanimously accepting abortion, and the same fate awaits the gay marriage dispute. Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Perkins explained, “The courts are supposed to interpret the Constitution and the constitutionality of laws, not create public policy.” And as Jennifer Marshall of The Daily Signal reports, some 50 million Americans have voted in support of traditional marriage — only to have the courts silence the majority of them. “Only 11 states have redefined marriage democratically,” writes Marshall. “In the 37 states that currently recognize same-sex marriage, 26 have been forced to do so by courts.” Today, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee and Ohio will defend their bans on same-sex marriage against 16 plaintiffs, and a decision will be announced before the Court adjourns in June. The Tenth Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The right ruling rests in those 28 words. More…
Regarding the security breach of the White House’s computer network, it might be easier to ask what the hackers didn’t gain access to. In the early part of April, news broke that a group of hackers — probably with some link to the Russian government — compromised the White House email system and accessed Barack Obama’s full schedule. But the White House has remained mum on how deeply the hackers penetrated. According to The New York Times, the hackers were reading some of Obama’s unclassified email messages, the ones where he drafted upcoming speeches, worked out upcoming policy, complained about Congress, talked about staffing changes and, yes, even described his golf game. The Times says Obama’s account itself was not compromised, nor was the classified email system the White House uses. As Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air, “This administration has a problem with information security, and it’s becoming clear that their carelessness is a threat to American national security.” When Obama declared his administration was the most transparent in history, none of us thought he was talking about the Russians. More…
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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
By Lewis Morris
The city of Baltimore is reeling after a savage night of rioting downtown that led to the burning of stores, looting and violent confrontations with police officers. The violence erupted in the hours leading up to and following Monday’s funeral of Freddie Gray, who died several days after suffering a spinal cord injury while in police custody. Facts are still hazy about Gray’s arrest and injury and just how an initially peaceful demonstration devolved so quickly into full-scale rioting.
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency late yesterday and called out the National Guard to assist overwhelmed city law enforcement. “The National Guard represents the last resort in restoring order,” Hogan told reporters. “I have not made this decision lightly.”
Up to 5,000 soldiers could eventually be deployed. There are already at least 100 Maryland State Police officers already in the city, as well as municipal police from surrounding towns and counties. Close to two-dozen Baltimore police officers have sustained injuries in close-quarter confrontations with rioters who assaulted them with rocks, bottles and other objects.
Schools are closed today in Baltimore, and last night’s Orioles game was postponed, with baseball commissioner Rob Manfred suggesting the matchup between the Orioles and Chicago White Sox could be played elsewhere.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake ordered a week-long 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, calling out the rioters as “thugs who only want to incite violence and destroy our city.”
This is a much more decisive Rawlings-Blake than just two days ago, when she said during a press conference in the early hours of unrest over the weekend that “we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate.”
Rawlings-Blake’s words were quickly clarified by her office in a follow-up statement that said, in part, “There was an effort to give the peaceful demonstrators room to conduct their peaceful protests on Saturday. Unfortunately … that also meant that those seeking to incite violence also had the space to operate.”
In some cases, it is prudent for law enforcement to back off to prevent further confrontation, and it seems the Baltimore Police Department did so at least a few times yesterday. But to come right out and say it, telling rioters and looters what the police will do? That’s absurd!
Whatever Rawlings-Blake meant to say, the opportunity to de-escalate the situation has clearly passed. The scope of the rioting and looting quickly overwhelmed the police, and it is not clear at this point just what their strategy was in the early hours of the mayhem. Sporadic acts of violence over the weekend spread into full-scale chaos Monday afternoon after a number of youths, fresh out of school, joined those already engaged in unlawful activity.
According to a notice by the Baltimore Police Department, there is a credible threat that the Black Guerilla Family, Bloods, Crips and other gangs entered into an agreement to attack police and coordinate looting. Furthermore, some of Baltimore’s outlaw elements may want to take the violence outside the city, targeting white police officers. The West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center released a memo warning police officers that they might be the target of gang violence. Remember: The man who killed New York City Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos earlier this year was associated with the Black Guerilla Family gang in Baltimore.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) suggested that the violence was actually perpetrated by out-of-towners. “[A]t the end there were a few people who said, ‘We’re gonna turn this city down [sic], we’re gonna close it down,’ and the next thing you know we had a few people mainly from out of town … start beating up on police cars and throwing all kinds of projectiles.” It may just be that Cummings doesn’t want to admit the fact that Baltimore has a criminal element capable of fomenting such chaos.
Rev. Al Sharpton, never one to miss a race-baiting opportunity, pledged to visit Baltimore to reach out to local church leaders who have been gathering with community leaders to find ways to stop the violence. Unfortunately, if history is any guide, Sharpton’s appearance might distract from that opportunity as he grandstands for the camera and solicits donations for his National Action Network.
And what about the man whose death sparked the rioting? The Baltimore Sun has attempted to piece together a timeline of the arrest of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, looking to discover how he sustained the injuries that led to his death. Like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, Gray has been made out to be a martyr at the altar of police brutality, but he was no angel. Gray’s rap sheet includes at least 18 arrests for various offenses. Baltimore police have not shed any light on why Gray was arrested earlier this month, stating only that he was carrying a knife, which was actually discovered after he was arrested.
It can be said that Gray was not a model citizen; however, the Baltimore Police Department is not a model law enforcement agency. The local police department has some problems of its own. A lengthy investigation in 2014 by the Baltimore Sun uncovered numerous incidents of police brutality and resultant civil suits that cost the city $5.7 million over three years.
As with civil unrest in Ferguson, Oakland, CA, and other cities around the country, a terrible pattern is playing out in Baltimore, and it looks something like this: In an effort to reclaim the city from criminals and gangs, police have on occasion gone beyond their mandate and sometimes been guilty of the very crimes they attempt to stop. The community, which should welcome and feel protected by the police, instead fear and loathe them because of injustices, either real or perceived. The situation can fester for years until an incident, oftentimes the shooting or death of someone in police custody, pops the top off a pressure cooker.
Not all those arrested are victims, and not all cops are criminals. Far from it. Yet, the media, ever in pursuit of a story, will report any angle that feeds the story. Sometimes facts are optional. Race hustlers like Al Sharpton and naïve liberals like Stephanie Rawlings-Blake don’t help the situation. Cooler heads must prevail and examine the root causes of these issues; otherwise Baltimore will be just another name on a sad and growing list of cities tearing themselves apart.
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OPINION IN BRIEF
David Limbaugh: “Forget for a moment the ever-failing economy, the implosion of our foreign policy coherence, and our virtually unilateral withdrawal in the war on terror under Barack Obama’s presidency. If liberty lovers don’t start fighting back soon, we’ll forfeit our freedom of thought and religious expression under the assault of fascist leftist activists in our culture. … The real fight on [social] issues in this nation is no longer about the underlying ‘rights’ involved. It concerns the appalling mission of activists to marshal the coercive power of government and of commercial blackmail to compel other people to agree (and publicly say they agree) with their opinions on issues they deem important. Isn’t it ironic that the people who are pushing for these rights always wave banners of tolerance, love, compassion and liberty? More than ironic, it’s outrageous. And fewer and fewer people of principle are standing up to this tyrannical bullying because, understandably, they don’t want to put themselves in the crosshairs of this gestapo. But history tells us the logical conclusion of this story. Some socially liberal Republicans naively believe that this is only about the social issues themselves, but it’s about liberty. God help us.”
Insight: “[T]he Government is merely a servant — merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.” —Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Non Compos Mentis: “We … have to be very careful about the language we use to talk about [the situation in Baltimore]. I’m not calling these people rioters. I’m calling these uprisings and I think it’s an important distinction to make. This is not a riot. … [R]esistance looks different ways to different people and part of what it means to say black lives matter, is to assert our right to have rage — righteous rage, righteous indignation in the face of state violence and extrajudicial killing. … The city is burning because the police killed Freddie Gray and that’s a distinction we have to make.” —Morehouse College professor Marc Lamont Hill (How can anyone argue that turning a city into a war zone isn’t rioting? Moreover, there’s this thing called “due process.” And until the courts rule otherwise, the police are innocent.)
Dezinformatsia: “I don’t remember seeing anything like this in the United States of America in a long time.” —CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on the Baltimore riots (Was Ferguson really that long ago?)
The annals of the absurd: “Looting [is] a real shame. But FAR MORE shameful is [the] pattern of police violence against [the] black community! Perspective, people.” —CNN contributor and Daily Beast columnist Sally Kohn
The BIG Lie: “[Loretta Lynch] is a woman who is incredibly qualified, just like Eric Holder, who I’ve known and has been my close friend for years and years and years, over 30 years. He might be one of the finest attorney generals we have had. He has been in this environment of such political hostility. He has stood his ground on principle. He has never yielded. And he has been right.” —Joe Biden
Late-night humor: “New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has been positioning himself to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Hillary once developed a program to deliver rural healthcare, while de Blasio once dropped a groundhog on its head.” —Jimmy Fallon
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.