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Daily Digest

Oct. 19, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“[A] good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.” —George Washington, 1790

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Is Clinton Guilty of ‘Gross Negligence’ With Email?

Last weekend, Barack Obama declared, “I can tell you that [Hillary Clinton’s unsecured email server] is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.” His blatant attempt to influence the FBI investigation into Clinton’s server wasn’t warmly received by agents at the bureau. In fact, an unnamed source let it be known that the FBI is focusing on whether Clinton violated the Espionage Act — specifically whether there was “gross negligence” on Clinton’s part regarding a subsection of the law covering national defense information. Fox News explains, “Under 18 USC 793 subsection F, the information does not have to be classified to count as a violation. The intelligence source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity citing the sensitivity of the ongoing probe, said the subsection requires the ‘lawful possession’ of national defense information by a security clearance holder who ‘through gross negligence,’ such as the use of an unsecure computer network, permits the material to be removed or abstracted from its proper, secure location.”

On top of “gross negligence,” agents are looking at a charge that should be very familiar to the Clintons — obstruction of justice. That is, after all, the name of the game for Bill and Hillary. The latter charge could be related to the fact that she deleted half of her emails before finally relenting and turning over the server, despite her laughable insistence at the debate that “I’ve been as transparent as I know to be.” We’ll see if the FBI agrees, because, unlike Bernie Sanders, investigating agents don’t seem to be “sick and tired of hearing about [her] damn emails.”

Oh, and by the way, when it came to overall cybersecurity, Clinton’s State Department was among the worst federal agencies.

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Gowdy to Dumb Republicans: ‘Shut Up’

Trey Gowdy has had enough of his work being undermined by fellow Republicans. After fellow congressmen Kevin McCarthy and Richard Hanna threw Hillary Clinton a lifeline, describing the Benghazi Select Committee as essentially a partisan witch-hunt, committee chairman Gowdy fired back. “Shut up talking about things that you don’t know anything about,” he said. “Unless you’re on the committee, you have no idea what we’ve done, why we’ve done it, and what new facts we have found.”

Clinton, of course, has used McCarthy’s and Hanna’s comments to her advantage at every opportunity, including in a campaign ad. “It’s pretty clear that whatever they might have thought they were doing they ended up becoming a partisan arm of the Republican National Committee with an overwhelming focus on trying to — as they admitted — drive down my poll numbers,” she said over the weekend. “I will do my best to answer their questions, but I don’t really know what their objective is right now.” Clinton will testify Thursday.

As for the objective, Gowdy made that clear: “Four dead Americans is more than enough work for me. [Clinton is] a witness. She was the secretary of state. You have to talk to her. But we have already talked to 50 people not named Clinton. We’re going to talk to another couple of dozen not named Clinton.” But Clinton also grossly politicized the attack that killed a U.S. ambassador and three others. She has much to answer for.

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Bullheaded Obama Begins Implementing Iran Nuke Deal

On Sunday, Iran was supposed to start dismantling some 15,000 centrifuges and the U.S. was supposed to start giving Iran that $150 billion in sanctions relief. So far, only Barack Obama has announced that he will hold up his end of the Iran nuclear deal. “I hereby direct you to take all appropriate additional measures to ensure the prompt and effective implementation of the U.S. commitments set forth in the JCPOA, in accordance with U.S. law,” Obama wrote in a memorandum to the secretaries of State, Treasury, Commerce and Energy. That announcement came after Iran announced last week that it test-fired a ballistic missile capable of delivering a payload to Israel, something that the U.S. condemned as violating UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which imposed further sanctions against the country. That was followed by an Iran state media segment that showed a tunnel filled with medium and long-range ballistic missiles. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a general in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, said there are many such installations scattered across the nation in case, y'know, “enemies make a mistake.” Still, Obama continues to ram headfirst through the brick wall of doubts about his deal. Of the reports of Iran’s militarization, his administration said the deal that’s supposed to ensure a nuclear-weapon free Iran is not contingent on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s investigation into the possible weaponization of Iran’s nuclear program, a report due Dec. 15. Meanwhile, no U.S. aircraft carrier is floating in Middle Eastern waters as the deal takes effect, which shows that Obama is willing to sit on his hands, wishing the best intentions from Iran. Iran’s enemies, indeed, have made a mistake.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Israel Fights Terror and Moral Relativism

By Arnold Ahlert

Some things never change — 1969 to today

There are a number of insidious aspects that form the heart of progressive ideology. But none are more insidious than the Left’s love affair with moral relativism. And nowhere is that contemptibly bankrupt notion pursued with more vigor than the ongoing attempt to blame both sides in what is looking more and more like a Palestinian-incited third intifada taking shape in Israel.

Unsurprisingly, the latest campaign of murder, assaults and stabbings perpetrated by thugs and wannabe terrorists was engendered by a lie. “Arabs are convinced that Israel is set on destroying, desecrating or ‘Judaizing’ Haram al-Sharif, the Jerusalem compound that includes al-Aqsa, Islam’s third-holiest site,” explains New York Post columnist Benny Avni. “As [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas indelicately put it in a mid-September speech, the Jews are trying to ‘defile al-Aqsa with their filthy feet,’ and must be stopped.”

Thus, it doesn’t matter that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied that assertion, banned both Arab and Jewish Israeli officials from visiting the site, and offered to meet with Abbas to defuse the violence. It doesn’t matter that Jewish officials have pointed out the same arrangement in place since 1967, giving the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic trust) de facto control of the site, remains intact.

Nor does it matter that Abbas, who continues to spread that rumor, has also been caught in another vicious lie. In a speech Wednesday, Abbas claimed Israelis “executed” an innocent 13-year-old boy, Ahmad Mansara, “in cold blood.” First, Mansara is hardly an innocent. He and his 15-year-old cousin were captured on video stabbing an Orthodox Jew and a Jewish child. The 13-year-old then attempted to attack two policemen and was shot. “I went there to stab Jews,” he told investigators about his crime spree. As for his “execution,” here is a picture of Mansara recovering from his wounds — in a Jewish hospital.

And it certainly doesn’t matter that during this latest terror campaign, Palestinian assailants have assaulted more than 50 Jews, killing eight. That includes 60-year-old Rabbi Yeshayahu Krishevsky, run over by a thug who drove his car into several people waiting at a bus stop and then emerged with a cleaver and hacked the man to death.

All that matters is the kind of fecklessness demonstrated by Secretary of State John Kerry, who insisted (before it was walked back) the latest murder campaign is due to a “massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years” (they are the same number with more population), or the equally disgusting comment by State Department spokesman Mark Toner, who stated the Obama administration was trying to “drive home the point that both sides need to take affirmative actions that reduce tensions.” He added, “I don’t think it’s necessarily saying that we’re blaming one side or another.”

Another State Department spokesman, John Kirby, upped the moral relativist ante. “Individuals on both sides of this divide are — have proven capable of, and in our view, are guilty of acts of terrorism,” he declared.

Both sides are equally at fault? Perhaps the conglomeration of moral cowards that inhabit the Obama administration can enlighten us regarding an Israeli effort that is “more or less” equal to the torching by Palestinians of the highly revered Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank Thursday night, or a Palestinian diagram displayed by Israel’s UN Ambassador at the United Nations on Friday entitled, “How to stab a Jew.” Perhaps they could point to a Jewish campaign similar to Palestinian calls for a “Friday of revolution” aimed at precipitating additional violence.

Obama condemned the violence perpetrated against Israel, but couldn’t leave moral relativity out of the equation. “It’s important for both Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israeli elected officials and President Abbas and other people in positions of power to try to tamp down rhetoric that may feed violence or anger or misunderstanding,” he insisted.

Misunderstanding? What Obama ignores Netanyahu has clearly understood for decades. “The root cause of terrorism lies not in grievances but in a disposition toward unbridled violence,” he stated back in the ‘80s. “This can be traced to a worldview which asserts that certain ideological and religious goals justify, indeed demand, the shedding of all moral inhibitions.”

Shedding morality itself is also a staple of the left-wing media, led by The New York Times and its shameless attempt to question Jewish history regarding the location of the Temple Mount, insisting that certainty remains “elusive” — before adding a subsequent correction that stated the article does not “directly challenge Jewish claims to the Temple Mount.” Leftmedia behavior is best explained in one sentence by The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens: “In the Middle East version [of media-covered violence], a higher Palestinian death toll suggests greater Israeli culpability.” Stephens deftly sums up the current state of affairs, writing, “Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.”

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of morally equivocating accomplices in the Obama administration, the UN or all the other countries and media outlets that constitute “world opinion.” World opinion that reflexively blames Jews for having the temerity to defend themselves from people like Hamas, whose charter of existence calls for the extermination of the Jewish State, or Palestinians who broadcast TV shows in which cartoonish characters teach young Palestinian children to embrace Jew-hatred.

Ever since 9/11, the American Left has been determined to figure out why terrorists hate us, even as leftists remain utterly blind to the most obvious answer: Terrorists hate us because evil exists, and they are animated by that evil. And those who embrace moral relativism embrace cultural suicide, be it in Israel, Europe — or the United States.

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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TOP HEADLINES

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Jeff Jacoby: “Liberals have had a crush on Scandinavia for decades. … As with most urban legends, however, the reality of Scandinavia’s welfare-state utopia doesn’t match the hype. … For example, Sweden was a poor nation for most of the 19th century (which helps explain the great wave of Swedish emigration to the United States in the 1800s). That began to change as Stockholm, starting around 1870, turned to free-enterprise reforms. … In fact, between 1870 and 1936 Sweden had the highest growth rate in the industrialized world. Scandinavia’s hard-left turn didn’t come about until much later. It was in the late 1960s and early 1970s that taxes soared, welfare payments expanded, and entrepreneurship was discouraged. But what emerged wasn’t heaven on earth. … Sweden’s world-beating growth rate dried up. In 1975, it had been the 4th-wealthiest nation on earth (as measured by GDP per capita); by 1993, it had dropped to 14th. … Denmark has come to a similar conclusion. Its lavish subsidies are being rolled back amid sharp concerns about welfare abuse and an eroding work ethic. In the last general election, Danes replaced a left-leaning government with one tilted to the right. … Social trust and cohesion, a broad egalitarian ethic, a strong emphasis on work and responsibility, commitment to the rule of law — these are healthy attributes of a Nordic culture that was ingrained over centuries. … The good outcomes and high living standards they produced antedated the socialist nostrums of the 1970s. Scandinavia’s quality of life didn’t spring from leftist policies. It survived them.”

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SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “[N]o arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”

The BIG Lie: “Probably one of the most egregious, wrong pieces of legislation that ever passed the Congress when it comes to this issue is to protect gun sellers and gun makers from liability. They are the only business in America that is wholly protected from any kind of liability. They can sell a gun to someone they know they shouldn’t, and they won’t be sued. There will be no consequences.” —Hillary Clinton (The only ones unaccountably selling guns to bad guys are the Obama administration in Fast and Furious.

Alpha Jackass: “I believe that being shot should be a requirement for gun ownership in America. It’s very simple. … [T]ake a bullet and you will be granted the right to purchase the firearm of your choice.” —Salon’s D. Watkins

Braying Jenny: “Here in Alabama, without the right kind of ID, it’s nearly impossible to vote. It’s hard to believe we are back having this same debate about whether every American gets a chance to vote. This is a blast from the Jim Crow past.” —Hillary Clinton on voter ID

Village Idiots: “It is not a coincidence that immediately prior to the civil war in Syria, the country experienced the worst drought on record. … Now, I’m not telling you that the crisis in Syria was caused by climate change. No, obviously, it wasn’t. It was caused by a brutal dictator who barrel-bombed, starved, tortured and gassed his own people. But the devastating drought clearly made a bad situation a lot worse.” —John Kerry (In other words, the Syrian crisis was caused by climate change…)

For the record: “[My payroll tax plan] would hit everyone — yeah, it would. But it would mean we would join the rest of the industrialized world and make sure that when a mom has a baby she can in fact stay home with that baby for three months, rather than going back to work at the end of one week.” —Bernie Sanders

Late-night humor: “New research shows that China has a bigger middle class than America, and more people in China are living what we would call the 'American Dream.’ That’s when you know things are bad — when even the American DREAM is made in China.” —Jimmy Fallon

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