Friday Digest

Digest

Dec. 4, 2009

The Foundation

“There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.” –George Washington

Government & Politics

The Scandal That Never Happened

If you have watched only network news for the last two weeks, you may not have heard about the flap over climate change data. It’s the biggest scandal to rock the scientific world in quite some time.

As we noted Tuesday, servers from the UK’s University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) were hacked into and some 62 megabytes of data were subsequently made public. (We’re not discounting the inside whistleblower theory yet.) The data include e-mail communications between noted scientists in the field of global warming, including Phil Jones and Keith Briffa of the CRU and Michael Mann from Pennsylvania State University. The release is so damning that Jones has temporarily stepped down as CRU director, pending an investigation.

In an effort to play up Mann-made global warming, the communications discuss various ways to manipulate, suppress or even destroy data showing the earth’s climate to be cooling. Still, Rajendra Pachauri, who chairs the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), insists, “This private communication in no way damages the credibility of the AR4 findings.” AR4 is the latest IPCC report.

On the contrary, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), a leading opponent of anthropogenic warming theories, said, “It appears that, in an attempt to conceal the manipulation of climate data, information disclosure laws may have been violated. I certainly don’t condone the manner in which these emails were released; however, now that they are in the public domain, lawmakers have an obligation to determine the extent to which the so-called ‘consensus’ of global warming, formed with billions of taxpayer dollars, was contrived in the biased minds of the world’s leading climate scientists.” Billions of dollars only scratches the surface of the cost of fighting phantom warming.

Indeed, these revelations should be devastating to the envirofascists’ cause. But their accomplices on the nightly news have done their best to ignore the story, focusing instead on a golfer who can’t drive straight (roadway, not fairway) and a killer whale that ate a great white shark. (To their credit, newspapers such as The New York Times and Washington Post have devoted numerous stories to the scandal, though the Post laughably editorialized, “None of it seriously undercuts the scientific consensus on climate change.”)

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also downplayed the story, saying, “In the order of several thousand scientists have come to the conclusion that climate change is happening. I don’t think that any of that is, quite frankly among most people, in dispute.” Except, yes, it is.

The importance of the truth can’t be overstated, especially in the world of science and particularly with the climate summit at Copenhagen set for next week. To wit, the IPCC study blaming humans for global warming will be the basis for discussions among world leaders on how best to handicap developed industrial economies. The scientists involved in writing that report are the same ones implicated by the scandalous e-mails, leading us to conclude that much of the report – and therefore the efforts of the world’s political leaders – is based upon lies.

Not that it was ever about the climate, mind you. Political leaders are interested in one thing: power. As Pachauri declared, “Today we have reached the point where consumption and people’s desire to consume has grown out of proportion.” Their goal is to redistribute our money and limit our consumption.

The scandal has possibly cost Al Gore, the “Profit” of Doom, some cold cash. Gore will be attending the Copenhagen conference and was to offer a handshake and a picture for the bargain price of $1,200. But it appears the Goracle has cancelled the engagement due to “unforeseen changes” in his schedule. If he can’t even predict his own schedule, why should we believe his weather forecasts?

This Week’s ‘Braying Jenny’ Award

“You call it ‘Climategate,’ I call it ‘E-mail-theft-gate…. Part of our looking at this will be looking at a criminal activity which could have well been coordinated.” –Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

News From the Swamp: ObamaCare Follies Continue

Leftists in the White House and in Congress are so adamant about making ObamaCare a reality that they are parading bad news as good. Consider a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report this week stating that under the Obama plan individual insurance premiums will rise by as much as 13 percent more than they would if there were no plan at all. Family insurance plans would be $2,000 more expensive under ObamaCare than if Congress did nothing. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and their marching band of sycophant “journalists” reported this as evidence that the health care scheme will be a good thing for the American people.

But wait, it gets better. H.R. 3961, the Medicare Physicians Payment Rates Reform Act, which passed the House with only one Republican vote (thank you Michael Burgess, R-TX), amends the rate of pay for physicians serving Medicare patients. The CBO estimates that this bill will cost $210 billion over 10 years. Furthermore, H.R. 3962, the House version of ObamaCare, supposedly reduces the deficit by $109 billion over the same period. The net 10-year deficit increase for the two bills is at least $89 billion, which apparently is acceptable to Democrats despite their oft-repeated claim that health care legislation would be deficit-neutral. Furthermore, PAYGO, the Democrat plan to supposedly offset increases in spending with corresponding tax increases or cuts in spending elsewhere, conveniently does not apply here because, according to House Democrats, any adjustment to Medicare is a reflection of existing legislation. PAYGO applies only to “new” spending. Recall also that Barack Obama has pledged not to sign a health care bill “if it adds even one dime to our deficit.”

The CBO expects the government to subsidize 57 percent of all individual health insurance premiums, covering nearly two-thirds of the total cost. In addition, all individuals and families making up to 400 percent of the poverty level ($87,400) would also be subsidized. Democrats always want us to forget that when they say the government is going to pay for something, it really means that the taxpayers are paying for it. And there won’t be enough “rich” people or evil insurance companies to cover the tab.

Video of the Week

Health care hoops

New & Notable Legislation

“The broadest revamp of financial regulation in seven decades cleared a key congressional committee Wednesday and will move next week to debate on the floor of the House of Representatives,” McClatchy Newspapers reports. “On a 31-27 party-line vote, the House Financial Services Committee passed the Financial Stability Improvement Act.”

Naturally, to deal with financial firms that are considered “too big to fail,” the regulatory overhaul calls for a government that’s too big to fail – at crushing liberty, anyway. The bill, crafted by alleged financial genius Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), would create “resolution authority” so that the government could dismantle large firms that are “near collapse” (such as the banks forced by the government into receivership this year.) It was unable to do so with Lehman Brothers in September 2008. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) succeeded – after 25 years of trying – to pass an amendment requiring an audit of the Federal Reserve. It remains to be seen if that amendment will survive.

Just in time for the holidays, the Associated Press reports, “The House voted Thursday to extend indefinitely a 45 percent inheritance tax on estates larger than $3.5 million, canceling a one-year repeal of the tax set to begin next month.” The vote was 225-200 with all Republicans opposed. According to the AP, “Under the House bill, estates smaller than $3.5 million would continue to be exempt from the tax. Married couples, with a little estate planning, could exempt a total of $7 million. That leaves less than 1 percent of all estates subject to the tax.” Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) summed up Democrats’ view of taxes, saying, “This bill gives our nation’s wealthiest families the ability to know exactly what their obligation to the nation that fostered their wealth will be, and it is fair and it is just.”

Bernanke’s Re-Nomination Hearing

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke faced his Senate re-nomination hearing this week, though it’s little more than a formality. Still, Bernanke has his detractors, not the least of which is The Wall Street Journal. The Journal editorialized that “the country needs a new Fed chief.”

It isn’t necessarily Bernanke’s response to the panic of ‘08 that disqualifies him, but the policies that led to that panic. According to the Journal, the released 2003 Federal Open Market Committee transcripts “show that Mr. Bernanke was the intellectual architect of the decision to keep monetary policy exceptionally easy for far too long as the economy grew rapidly from 2003-2005. He imagined a 'deflation’ that never occurred, ignored the asset bubbles in commodities and housing, dismissed concerns about dollar weakness, and in the process stoked the credit mania that led to the financial panic.” Yet Bernanke still blames the “global savings glut” instead of acknowledging the Fed’s role. In this respect, Bernanke is a good fit for an administration whose primal instinct is to blame others when something goes wrong.

Not Just on TV Too Much, But Mount Rushmore?

Polls which become news are nothing new in our 24/7 news cycle, but a recent “60 Minutes”/Vanity Fair poll question may have jumped the shark when it comes to inanity. As part of a poll billed to determine “the pulse of America,” respondents were asked to choose which president they would place as the fifth face on Mount Rushmore. In chronological order of holding office, the choices were Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. While Kennedy won and Reagan was second, 16 percent picked Obama – good for fourth on the list – leading one of the on-screen personalities to note, “it could be a little premature though, maybe like that Nobel Prize.” Ya think?

It’s enough for a once-respected morning show and network to devote time to have such a poll featured as “news,” but placing Obama in the company of several of his predecessors who actually demonstrated leadership and devotion to country shows why people are turning off network news in droves. Besides, any accurate depiction of Obama would require the carving of teleprompters into adjacent peaks.

Honduras Elections a Success

The struggle for Honduran Rule of Law closed yet another victorious chapter on Monday when the people elected their new president, conservative businessman Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo. On Wednesday, the Honduran Congress voted to deny reinstatement to Manuel Zelaya, whose term was set to end in January.

Former president Manuel Zelaya was removed from office in June after he attempted to call a popular referendum to cancel the elections and extend his term, which is a violation of the Honduran constitution. Upon a search of Zelaya’s residence after the ouster, law enforcement discovered computers preloaded with votes in favor of Zelaya. In addition, Zelaya had refused to transfer funds to the electoral council necessary for its preparation ahead of the election – another violation of Honduran law.

Clearly, Zelaya had expected his power grab to be successful. According to one Honduran official, Zelaya had invited the leaders of the Bolivarian Alternatives for the Americas (ALBA) to visit his country the night of the attempted referendum. ALBA is the socialist brainchild of Hugo Chavez, whose membership also includes Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua. Under Zelaya, whose close ties to Chavez are well known, Honduras had joined the organization. The official also revealed that Zelaya had ordered food for 10,000 – fitting for a celebration of the hijacking of his country, which others in the region, including Chavez, have already done.

Not surprisingly, the Obama administration originally favored the corrupt and constitution-trampling Zelaya and spent months exerting intense economic and diplomatic pressure on Honduras. In fact, the State Department issued a blanket denial of U.S. visas to Hondurans and threatened not to recognize the presidential election. After the elections, however, the State Department issued a statement praising Hondurans for “peacefully exercising their democratic right to select their leaders.” The statement should have gone on to say “in the face of despicable bullying from nations around the world, including ours.”

National Security

Warfront With Jihadistan: Just Enough Support to Fail

Amid much fanfare, the Chosen One finally issued orders Tuesday to send roughly 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, bringing total U.S. forces to about 100,000. This decision arrives some three months after a request from General Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, for 40- to 60,000 additional troops. (Don’t miss The Patriot’s analysis of the reason for McChrystal’s request and our counterinsurgency efforts here.)

Reaction to the president’s speech has been almost uniformly negative. Given that Obama had to attempt to strike fear into the hearts of our enemies while placating his dovish liberal base with a timetable for retreat at the same time, this is understandable.

The president’s non-Pattonesque promise was, “I will end the war successfully.” Not “win,” but “end.”

Obama declared, “I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan.” But he immediately went on to say, “After 18 months our troops will begin to come home.” Memo to the Taliban and al-Qa'ida: Mark your calendars, and lie low for a while.

Columnist Michelle Malkin further observed that the speech contained the usual Obama fare: “Bush-bashing? Check. Noxious complaining about the cost of fighting a necessary war? Check. Disingenuous denial that he dithered? Check. ‘Let me be clear’s = 9. Self-congratulations for sticking to Gitmo closure policy = 1. Self-referential 'As your Commander-in-Chief’s = 2. References to global jihad = 0.” Not to mention the more than 30 uses of the words “I,” “me” or “my.”

Notwithstanding these criticisms, we support the president’s decision to send additional troops to Afghanistan. However, we would go even further, offering two additional suggestions from this “teachable moment:” 1) as commander in chief, you owe your commanders whatever reasonable support they’ve asked for, and nothing less – if they botch the job, fire them and get new ones who can execute your directions, but don’t hobble their efforts with stingy, second-guessed support; and 2) never delay a decision on a request for support from a combatant commander, whether you grant or deny that request – a delayed decision at best stalls operations, and at worst leads to defeat via lost initiative and momentum.

Finally, we must ask: is this support – only three-quarters of the bare minimum requested, at that – too little, too late? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, we’re praying that the Obama administration hasn’t given Gen. McChrystal just enough support to fail.

Even the Media Get It

“Reporters love a deadline – we’ll hound him over it. Just wait until next year. There will be flashy graphics on our screens saying, 'Countdown to Drawdown.’” –CBS’s Kimberly Dozier

“How do you on the one hand say: ‘We need to send these troops over there; it’s critical; this is in our national-security interest to do this.’ But then say: ‘But we’re only going to keep them there for 18 months; we’re going to start to withdraw them after 18 months’? I just don’t understand the logic of how that works. … This is not a football game, where the time runs out. To win this war, you have to defeat the enemy.” –CBS anchor Bob Schieffer

Here’s one more: “If I were with the Taliban right now, I’d put a little Post-it up on that month in 2011, and say: ‘This is when we do our surge.’” –MSNBC’s Chris Matthews

This Week’s ‘Alpha Jackass’ Award

Rep. David Obey (D-WI), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, called again for a surtax for the war against Jihadistan, saying, “I’m generally in favor of paying for what we do.”

You may now wipe the coffee off your keyboard.

Obey added, “If this endeavor [in Afghanistan] is to be pursued, we must have a renewed sense of shared sacrifice – because right now only military families are paying the cost of this war. A progressive war surtax is the fairest way to pay for it – fairest to working class families and fairest to military families.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has all but killed this proposal, however.

From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File

“Our number one enemy concern is the existential threat, al-Qa'ida. Number two is the stability of a nuclear state called Afghanistan, under siege by radicals.” –Vice President Joe Biden

Maybe he meant to say Pakistan, but we’ll never know because ABC’s Diane Sawyer let Biden squeak by with that one.

Department of Military Correctness: SEALs Face Courts Martial

As if there weren’t already enough evidence that Obama’s war “leadership” is insane… On Sept. 3 in Iraq, three of our elite SEALs captured Ahmed Hashim Abed, a high value target whom the military had code-named “Objective Amber.” Abed was responsible for murdering four Blackwater employees in March 2004 and hanging their charred bodies from a bridge over the Euphrates River near Fallujah for the entire world to see. Clearly, Abed was someone the U.S. wanted, and our SEALs expertly and professionally captured him this past September. Time for saluting our heroes and giving them commendations, right?

Fat chance, because somehow Abed got a fat lip, or possibly a punch in the stomach, by one of our SEALs – or so he says. Standard jihadi operating procedure, after all, is to claim abuse at the first opportunity. And in today’s upside-down, PC military, such “extensive abuse” of a prisoner means that our three SEAL heroes will, unbelievably, be facing courts martial for possibly injuring a wanted terrorist while capturing him.

The three heroes, Petty Officers Matthew McCabe, Jonathan Keefe and Julio Huertas, could have chosen an administrative hearing, leaving them with no possibility of jail time or dishonorable discharges, but tarnishing their reputations forever. Instead, like the men they are and knowing they are in the right, they chose a court martial, which could (and should) exonerate them completely, though, if convicted, it could also land them behind bars and end their military careers.

Leaving aside the question of how, or even whether, Abed was hurt, does a sane country prosecute its own soldiers for fighting and capturing the enemy? Why are these young heroes standing trial for bringing an enemy suspect in alive? Where is the outrage?

Supreme Court Rules in Detainee Photo Case

“The Supreme Court threw out an appeals court ruling that ordered the disclosure of photographs of detainees being abused by their U.S. captors,” reports The Wall Street Journal. Monday’s ruling is a welcome piece of news in the war against Islamic jihad.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled in favor of the ACLU and directed that photos of abused detainees be released. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who served on the 2nd Circuit until August but not on the panel that ruled in this case, didn’t participate in the Supreme Court’s ruling. Barack Obama originally did not object to the release of the photos but later changed his mind, and the administration appealed the matter. The ACLU, meanwhile, says it won’t give up fighting for our enemies.

Iran Continues to Taunt the West

Like a broken record, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed Resolution 2009-82, which calls upon Iran to straighten up and fly right. The toothless resolution insists that Iran meet its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the five UN Security Council Resolutions enacted since 2006. No other penalties or impositions, no deadline – just another friendly reminder that Iran is not in compliance with all the previous IAEA and UNSC measures. Both Russia and China voted in favor of the resolution, although it passed with only 25 votes out of 35. Serial miscreants Venezuela and Cuba voted against the resolution, while seven others abstained.

Iran’s reply was no surprise to anyone who has followed this issue for the last six years. The did their best Monty Python impression: “You don’t frighten us, UN pig dogs. Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you…. Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time.”

Lunatic-in-Chief Mahmoud Ahmadinejad immediately declared that not only would Iran not cooperate, but it would build 10 more uranium enrichment sites. Other Iranian officials claimed that Iran would enrich its own 20 percent uranium for the Tehran research reactor, an act that would be tantamount to producing weapons-grade uranium.

While a cynical observer might point out that Russian and Chinese votes at the IAEA mean little – only the UNSC has the power to levy sanctions – it is worth noting that the last time the IAEA issued such a resolution, UN sanctions followed within six months. Something else followed as well – a massive Iranian military exercise in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, featuring extravagant claims of Iranian capability, doctored footage for the Western media, and a public message of Iranian defiance. Iran’s explicit message at the end of that exercise, spelled out on a banner and hung on the side of an Iranian ship during the pass-in-review photo op: “The USA can’t do a darn thing.”

Profiles of Valor: Col. Van Barfoot

This is not the usual profile of valor. This is the story of a highly decorated 90-year-old World War II and Vietnam vet fighting his homeowner’s association to keep his flagpole. Col. Van Barfoot has been awarded more than 20 medals, including three Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit and the Medal of Honor, and is thought to be the most decorated living combat veteran.

Barfoot recently placed a flagpole and U.S. flag outside his home near Richmond, Virginia. The homeowner’s association guidelines don’t expressly forbid flagpoles but say they must be “aesthetically appropriate.” Apparently, that means only short poles on porches. The association issued a statement saying, “This is not about the American flag. This is about a flagpole… We are a neighborhood of patriotic Americans, many of whom have served our country in the military as Col. Barfoot has done…” They might try serving it again by dropping this outrageous request.

Barfoot’s story is also quite a contrast with that of our current commander in chief, who, while at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, refused to be photographed with the F-22 that he fought so hard to cancel.

Business & Economy

‘Jobs Summit’ May Leave Out the Best Ways to Create Jobs

He promised that the $787 billion stimulus package would “save or create 3.5 million jobs” within two years, he called job growth his number one responsibility, and he pledged he wouldn’t “let up until the Americans who want to find work can find work.” Well, with unemployment at 10 percent, Barack Obama has now decided to call in the “experts.” Yes, when all else fails, what’s left for a garden-variety community organizer to do but host a summit? This week, Obama did just that, holding a jobs summit with representatives from business, labor and academic sectors.

According to White House Spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki, “The president is open to all good ideas to supplement the steps we’ve already taken to put Americans back to work. There are limits to what government can and should do, even during such difficult times. That is why we have invited representatives from across the private sector to discuss how we can work together to continue to spur job creation.” This summit, however, holds little promise, coming from an administration with less than 10 percent of its appointees having prior private sector experience.

As the Associated Press notes, “summitry” is nothing new for the president, with a “fiscal responsibility summit,” a “distracted driving summit” and a “swine flu summit” – not to mention the “beer summit” – already under his belt. Yes, and we all saw how effective those were.

The most effective measures the government could take would be to cut taxes and leave businesses with more capital to invest in job creation; cut government spending that burdens us all; and dispense with unnecessary regulations that handcuff businesses. But don’t expect those suggestions to be high priorities after this summit.

Income Redistribution: Unemployment Benefits

Congress thrives on the praise and adoration of the chattering class, which is always so “concerned” about the plight of the average consumer. So Congress is proposing to help struggling unemployed consumers with an expansion of unemployment benefits to the tune of $100 billion (that’s $100,000,000,000).

With unemployment benefits averaging $315 per week and approximately eight million individuals expecting to have their benefits expire in 2010, what this means is an additional four weeks of benefits for those currently on the rolls. But as Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) explained, this benefit will, unlike the stimulus plan, place funds directly into the hands of those who need the money. “It’s given to people who are simply out of money,” McDermott said. “They’re spending it. They’re not socking it away in a mattress somewhere.” Ah, it seems like only yesterday that Democrats were railing about the dismal savings habits of the American consumer. Perhaps someone might explain to the congressman that money socked away is called capital formation, the first component of an economic expansion that creates jobs.

Of course, this proposal dovetails nicely with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman’s suggestion that the Obama administration fund a jobs creation bill. The former Enron adviser conceded that while his critics would call this as a make-work bill, the Works Progress Administration under Franklin Roosevelt created a tangible legacy, that of public projects still in use. Krugman did not acknowledge that the Depression of the 1930s was finally ended only when excess labor in the market was put to work to win WWII.

Both of these extending unemployment benefits and a modern WPA fail the sustainability test. While the element of compassion is an effective marketing tool to promote these ideas, their lack of sustainability insures that the ill effects to follow will vastly exceed the short-term benefits derived from the programs. Again, looking back to the 1930s, Europe was experiencing an economic expansion by 1935-36 while the U.S. continued to flounder for another four years due to Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

Compassion is a wonderful sentiment and should motivate each of us during the Christmas season to do all we can to help those who have fallen on hard times. But beware “compassion” from the likes of McDermott and Krugman, lest it become the shackles of involuntary servitude.

Culture & Policy

Faith and Family: San Francisco Persecution

The Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco is facing quite a real estate tax bill this year – $14.4 million to be exact. Why such an outlandish figure? Although the city doesn’t dare admit it, the tax is likely retaliation for the church’s support of California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage statewide.

The Archdiocese was previously owned by two corporations but in 2007 restructured its property holdings into a single entity. The reorganization was technical because there was no sale or transfer of land to a different party. Real estate taxes normally don’t apply in such situations, but San Francisco Assessor Phil Tung had different ideas. The resulting $14.4 million tax bill would be the second largest in the city’s history. However, the church has taken the matter to court. Spokeswoman Maura Healy said, “We are glad that having exhausted the required administrative process, we can finally proceed to a formal, neutral civil court forum. We trust that the civil court will carefully consider the applicable law, devoid of the sensationalism and politics that the archdiocese thus far has faced.” We pray that they have success.

Burqa Barbie Hits the Shelves

In a show of solidarity with their subjugated Muslim sisters, liberals and women’s rights groups across the country are vociferously decrying the introduction of a new burqa-clad Barbie doll. Or not. The truth is that leftists and feminists have been strikingly silent at the introduction of “Burqa Barbie.” As The Washington Times reports, “The message to little girls worldwide: Abandon all hope.”

It’s no secret that Middle Eastern Islamic culture rejects the Barbie symbol. According to the Iranian newspaper Kahyan, “Barbie … promotes moral corruption and consumerism of the West” and is “produced with the evil intention of destroying [Iranian] identity.” Never mind the identities of millions of women, which that culture counts as nothing.

The Times wonders whether Burqa Barbie “will have acid thrown in her face if she removes the burqa, which is the current fad among hard-core Islamists in Afghanistan targeting schoolgirls who abjure the offensive garment. If the doll were anatomically correct, we might expect to see Genital Mutilation Barbie.”

Yet the Left has sounded scarcely a peep against Burqa Barbie’s endorsement of gender-based suppression and subjugation. Instead, as burqa-clad women are forced into obeisance by Islamofascist males, the Left stands silent in voluntary obeisance at the altar of political correctness.

To Keep and Bear Arms

Lynn Bond was expecting a guest when he soon heard the arrival of someone at his house. As he stepped into his garage to greet his visitor, however, it was not exactly the person he expected. Instead of a friendly greeting, Bond found a man dressed in only boxers searching through his garage. After asking who the intruder was, Bond told him to leave. The intruder refused. To get his point across, Bond went to get his .45-cal. handgun giving the suspect reason enough to leave. Michigan police caught the intruder and also found that he was in possession of drugs. The suspect also left a .22-cal rifle at the scene.

In other news, the Supreme Court has scheduled hearings in a landmark case to determine whether the Second Amendment prohibits states and local governments from restricting gun rights. Oral arguments in McDonald v. City of Chicago, which challenges the Windy City’s total handgun ban, will be held on March 2, 2010. A decision is expected by the end of June.

Did You Know…?

The Patriot Post‘s Digest represents a collaborative effort of more than 30 contributors and editors who bring their passion and expertise from all walks of life. Thursday and Friday in particular represent some pretty long days (and nights) as we refine our publication to ensure an accurate and penetrating analysis of the week’s news, policy and opinion. Indeed, this is what you, our readers, have come to expect over the last 13 years. While many volunteer their time and efforts, the rest receive only a meager salary, and we do have substantial overhead costs.

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Thank you and God bless!

Nate Jackson

Managing Editor

And Last…

'Tis the season to assault anyone and everyone for using the word “Christmas” to describe Christmas. For example, the Orange County Superior courthouse promptly removed a Christmas tree upon fielding a single complaint. The tree had been a holiday fixture for about 20 years, and courthouse officials soon received dozens of counter-complaints about its removal. This caused them to restore the tree to its proper place. Meanwhile, The Gap has an ad wishing you a “Happy Whatever-you-Wannakah” – what we jokingly refer to around our humble shop as Christmahanakwamadan.

With that wonderful holiday spirit in mind, we have a suggestion. We believe that the ACLU, which is often at the forefront of the battle against religious liberty, could benefit from a little less bah humbug. Therefore, we recommend sending them a Christmas card. Don’t be rude or crude, simply ensure that the card says “Merry Christmas” and send it to 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004. And sign it Bob Cratchit.

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