“National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman.” —John Adams, 1815
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
“I take classified information very seriously,” Hillary Clinton insisted Sunday. “You know, you can’t get classified information off the classified system in the State Department to put onto an unclassified system, no matter what that system is.” She’s not exactly correct, but it would take a herculean effort to strip classification markings — which is apparently what she did. “There is absolutely no evidence that I ever sent or received any email marked classified.” Marked is the key word in Clinton parsing, and even former Clintonista George Stephanopoulos cornered her on that one: “You’ve said many times that the emails were not marked classified. The non-disclosure agreement you signed as secretary of state says that that’s really not that relevant. It says classified information is marked or unmarked classified and that all of you are trained to treat all of that sensitively and should know the difference.” Bingo, though her comments above were, astoundingly, in reply to his charge.
It’s certainly inconvenient that the State Department just announced it would not release 22 of her emails at all because revealing the information contained in them — even if redacted — would be too damaging to national security. The State Department has already released more than 1,300 of Clinton’s classified emails, but these 22 are so serious as to merit holding them. (Those and 18 more that are direct communications with Barack Obama, who famously claimed he only found out about Clinton’s email practices “through news reports.”)
Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy sums up the problem: “The reasoning behind that conclusion is alarming. It is not just that the intelligence community (IC) understandably wishes to keep top secret national-defense information under wraps. Because of how recklessly Clinton and her top aides handled classified information, the IC must operate under the assumption that there are copies of these 22 emails floating around — whether in the possession of current or former government officials but unaccounted for or, worse, in the possession of, say, foreign governments that managed to hack into Clinton’s unsecured private system. If the State Department were to release publicly even redacted copies of the emails, those who may have complete copies will be able to figure out the SAP information and use that knowledge both to compromise government sources and programs, and in analyzing other U.S. government information to which they’ve gained access. In other words, it is potentially catastrophic.”
Heck, even Bernie “Sick and Tired of Her Damn Emails” Sanders now thinks Clinton’s malfeasance is “a very serious issue,” though he swears, “I’m not going to politicize it.”
Finally, on a related note, Defense Secretary Ash Carter has decided not to pursue further punishment for Gen. David Petraeus over mishandling of classified information. Perhaps Carter is simply trying to make life easier for Clinton.
“Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have the identical position on health care, which is they want to put the government in charge of you and your doctor,” Ted Cruz said Sunday, attacking his rivals’ health care plans. “Fact checking” site PolitiFact rated this statement false — because Clinton is the least leftist of the three, as she wants to preserve ObamaCare.
The next day, Trump called into ABC to defend his position. “Look, Ted Cruz is a total liar,” Trump said. “I’m so against ObamaCare. I’ve been saying it for two years in my speeches. I’m going to repeal and replace ObamaCare.”
So the question is this: What will Trump replace Obama’s failed policy with? Currently, Trump has not released a detailed health care plan. But if his past comments are any indicator, he will support some sort of single-payer health care system, similar to that of the socialist candidate. In 2000, while Trump was pondering a third-party presidential run, he published a book, “The America We Deserve.” In it, he wrote in praise of single-payer health care systems like the one in Canada: “We must have universal health care. I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on this one.”
In this weekend’s interview with ABC, Trump insisted he did not support single-payer, but he was downright idealistic regarding providing health care — and he sounded eerily like the liberals that condemn conservatives for their focus on fiscal responsibility: “We’ll work something out. That doesn’t mean single-payer and maybe [Cruz has] got no heart. And if this means I lose an election, that’s fine because frankly, we have to take care of the people in our country. We can’t let them die on the sidewalks of New York, or the sidewalks of Iowa, or anywhere else.”
The results, we fear, will be that TrumpCare would expand government even further and fulfill the ideological policy goals set by Obama.
It’s Iowa Caucus Day! Finally, after months of talk, donations, debates and ads, the corn meets the harvester when Iowans cast their votes — or in terms of the Democrat caucuses, stand by their candidates. Iowa delegates make up only 1% of the total available delegates nationwide, but because the Hawkeye State holds its caucus first, it’s the state that often sets the tone for the rest of the election. While the returns will start rolling in at 8:30 p.m. EST, the forecasts predict that Hillary Clinton will end up victorious, though if Bernie Sanders comes from behind for a win, it could handicap Clinton. The GOP race is mainly a competition between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, with Trump favored with a 46% chance of winning, according to polling website FiveThirtyEight.
This means the race may come down to whoever can run a better get-out-to-vote campaign. Cruz is burning the shoe leather in a get-out-to-vote campaign that features 12,000 volunteers going door to door. Meanwhile, Trump is relying on the energy generated through his rallies to get his supporters — many potential first-time caucus-goers — out to their precincts tonight. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio, currently the GOP’s third-place candidate, has seen a bump in the polls. Rubio really needs a stronger-than-expected finish to propel him forward to wins in future battleground states. Regardless of what happens, tonight is when the presidential race really gets its start.
FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
By Robin Smith
In this most unconventional election cycle, there have been a few things that have remained constant. One of them is the effort on the campaign trail to appeal to Christians.
Call them by whatever name of the era — the “Moral Majority,” the “Religious Right” and now “evangelicals” — those who generally affiliate with the Republican Party due to non-negotiable issues of their faith comprise a large number of voters. That’s especially true in early contest states like Iowa and South Carolina.
In the 2012 Iowa Caucus, those who self-identified as “evangelical” or born-again Christians in an entrance poll by Edison Research numbered 57% of all participants. The value of this group of voters is undisputed; yet winning the hearts and minds of these voters seems to be awkward for many campaigns, which, alone, should convey a message.
Evoking surprise from some candidates and their Beltway consultants, these voters are driven by their faith in the civic arena to pursue obedience in Christ’s command to be “the salt of the earth” and “the light to the world.” These same values voters aren’t looking for a preacher but are sure quick to spot the inconsistencies of pandering politicians who fall back on props and catch phrases.
A few weeks back when Donald Trump took the platform at Liberty University, the audience of the Christian school, founded by evangelical stalwart and pastor Jerry Falwell, caught the real-estate tycoon making reference to a Bible verse in a manner that exposed his unfamiliarity with Scripture. Instead of quoting “Second Corinthians,” Trump referenced “Two Corinthians.”
Gaffe of the century? Hardly, but his cavalier dismissal of questions about his faith made it something to ponder.
Trump’s ascendency has been borne out of an absolute disgust toward “the GOP Establishment,” which excels in empty promises and deliberate lies to the base so as to get elected. Those promises have too often been forgotten by those safely ensconced in their DC digs. The obvious question has to be asked, “Why are these same voters permitting Donald Trump to use their faith with such disregard and deception?”
Was it more disgusting to watch an abortion-loving, same-sex-marriage-defending Leftmedia screech indignations about Trump’s misuse of the Bible, or to witness the very casual and superficial use of God’s Word by someone proclaiming it the only book better than his own?
Far more important was another of Trump’s illustrative musings.
Speaking to a group of Christians at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa last summer, Trump’s response to pollster Frank Luntz’s question should have alarmed values voters. When asked, “Have you ever asked God for forgiveness?” Trump’s answer appeared to be far from a sincere evocation of one’s need of a Savior who redeems from sin and more a calculated reply to continue the narrative that he controls his own destiny: “I’m not sure I have. … I don’t think so. If I do something wrong, I just try and make it right.”
That’s the answer of a man who seemingly doesn’t understand the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith.
With just these two examples, never mind the long list of liberals and their secular causes that Trump has supported over the course of time, all may easily discern that his goal is an awkward courting of Christian voters. With a longer history of behavior and actions that seem as comfortable easing in and out of the talking points that fit a specific audience as one would be taking off a jacket in a costume change, Trump has been very adaptable over this election cycle to woo his loyal following.
There is danger in patronizing devout Christians to garner their votes. One account in Scripture records Jesus Christ passing a fig tree, full of foliage yet barren of the buds that would produce fruit during season. Christ, finding no signs of the early edible precursors to figs, gave a harsh response to the tree’s healthy appearance and lack of creative obedience to yield fruit. His curse caused the tree to wither and was a clear demonstration, among many others, that the expectation to produce fruits of the faith is part of the life of obedience as a believer.
A word of caution to voters and activists: The moment that our time, talent and treasure go disproportionately to causes that compete for our faith and the passions of our efforts, we are idolaters. The passion for winning a political campaign in the heart of a Christian should be fueled by the desire to honor Christ and not to gain power, prestige nor the prowess of the purse.
Further, politicking for Jesus followers while taking liberties with His Truth to which Christians are called is dangerous. While some are personally pious, others, paradoxically, employ the Biblical Buffet approach to make one’s platform of issues “Christian enough” but culturally acceptable.
It’s clear. There is power in the votes belonging to values voters. It’s also evident that some dare to touch that which is sacred and precious in a very cheap and demeaning manner to appeal to those voters.
Values voters don’t want a theocracy and know that Liberty enhances the practice of one’s faith. Yet the same deception employed by the governing class to be elected only to squander the GOP majority must serve as the benchmark to authenticate leaders who operate from consistent principles, rather than those whose foliage is appealing to the eye but bears no fruit.
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OPINION IN BRIEF
Thomas Sowell: “More than two centuries ago, Edmund Burke said: ‘Constitute government how you please, infinitely the greater part of it must depend upon the exercise of the powers which are left at large to the prudence and uprightness of ministers of state.’ In other words, the personal character of the people to whom you entrust the powers of government matters even more than what kinds of government institutions there are. There have been some good kings and some bad presidents, as well as vice versa. In a world where the future of this country is threatened from within by increasingly angry polarization, and where external threats can become nuclear, are we really going to entrust the safety of this country to a man who still needs to grow up? … The White House is not a place for on-the-job training. You are supposed to be ready, or at the very least grown up, before you walk in the door. Aging happens automatically, but maturity is optional — and it is an option that Donald Trump has not yet chosen to exercise. … Trump is not the only one who needs to act like an adult. With this country starting to unravel from within, while ruthless enemies overseas are developing both nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles to deliver them, we face problems that cannot be solved by candidates with glib words or by voters who vote for whoever meets their emotional needs. If you don’t understand the issues, but want to do your patriotic duty, then stay home on election night, whether in the primaries or in the national election in November. Uninformed voters turn elections into a game of playing Russian roulette with the future of America.”
The Gipper: “The themes of a sound foreign policy should be no mystery, nor the result of endless agonizing reappraisals. They are rooted in our past — in our very beginning as a nation.”
Observations: “[A]fter months of Trump leading the polls, fatalism about him has set in. Nothing can be done to stop him, and the sophisticated play is to pre-emptively accept him. Perhaps Trump will sweep all before him. But no one has voted yet, and there are still vastly preferable, more conservative candidates in the field, including Cruz and Marco Rubio. When it comes to Trump, the pungent phrase Cruz used about the establishment during the government shutdown fight is apt. It is indeed the ‘surrender caucus.’” —Rich Lowry
The BIG lie: “What … some officials over [at the Justice Department] have said is that [Hillary Clinton] is not a target of the [email] investigation. So [an indictment] does not seem to be the direction that it’s trending.” —Josh Earnest
Braying Jenny: “This [email debate] is very much like Benghazi. … The Republicans are going to continue to use it, beat up on me. I understand that. That’s the way they are. But after 11 hours of testimony, answering every single question, in public, which I had requested for many months, I think it’s pretty clear that they’re grasping at straws and this will turn out the same way.” —Hillary Clinton
Nope. There’s a reason our rights are codified: “The [gun control] actions we can and should take can certainly be done consistent with the Constitution and the rights of gun owners. That has never been in doubt, unless you’re a paid lobbyist for the gun lobby. There is no doubt about that.” —Hillary Clinton
Braying Jackass: “When Republicans talk about family values, what they are saying is that no women in this room, in this state, in this country should have the right to control her own body.” —Bernie Sanders
And last… “Surely it means something that Mr. Obama spent eight years insisting he was not a socialist, and Bernie Sanders is rising while saying he is one.” —Peggy Noonan
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.