Mid-Day Digest

Aug. 3, 2016


“It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf.” —Thomas Paine (1776)


Obama Gives Lunch Money to Bully

Some outrageous news broke Tuesday night regarding Iran’s release of four American hostages back in January of this year. Barack Obama agreed to pay $400 million in cash to Iran as part of a $1.7 billion settlement over disputed funds from a failed arms deal dating back to 1979, right before the Iranian revolution. As this news came to light, the State Department responded that the payment and the negotiation for release of the Americans “were completely separate” deals. However, U.S. officials also acknowledged that the Iranians working the prisoner exchange wanted the money in order to establish something “tangible.” In other words, the administration insisted it wasn’t a ransom payment, but Iran viewed it as exactly that.

Andrew McCarthy explains exactly what went down: “The cash payment, which was hidden from Congress, arrived in Iran the same day the American prisoners were released. … Obama has long taken the view that the federal law making it a felony to provide material support to terrorism does not apply to the enormous aid and comfort he has provided to our Iranian enemy, the world’s leading state sponsor of anti-American jihadist terror. He evidently had qualms, however, about laws denying Iran access to the U.S. financial system, which bar transactions with Iran in U.S. dollars. To skirt these, the State Department recruited the Swiss and Dutch governments into Obama’s conspiracy. The equivalent of 400 million in U.S. dollars was transferred to their central banks in exchange for hard currency. The piles of euros and francs were then boxed up and flown to Tehran.”

Upon hearing the news, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) noted that Obama’s ransom payment is a “break with longstanding U.S. policy,” warning that it puts “a price on the head of Americans, and has led Iran to continue its illegal seizures [of Americans].”

Obama touted the Iran nuclear deal to the American people and the world saying he was preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, at the same time declaring that the sanctions which had been in place since the Islamic revolution were somehow not preventative enough. All through the negotiation process word spread as to how much money Iran would stand to gain from the lifting of the sanctions. Now Americans learn that Obama negotiated via paying a ransom to free Americans, which only proves to validate the Iranians’ means of blackmail, and will only encourage the behavior. Giving the bully your lunch money doesn’t stop the bully from demanding it again.

On top of this there is news out of Iran that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final word in Iran’s national security as well as other government deals, has accused the U.S. of failing to honor its pledges — negotiations, he says, were “futile.” Although he has not publicly rejected the deal, it is clear that Khamenei is setting up justification for violating it whenever he sees fit. Obama famously said his foreign policy amounted to, “Don’t do stupid s—!” Here’s wishing he would have taken his own advice.

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Libya in Chaos, Obama Lobs Bombs

Despite recent setbacks, particularly in Syria, the Islamic State is on the move. Recall that in June, Barack Obama asserted, “Our mission is to destroy ISIL,” and “we are making significant progress.” He added, “And as a result, ISIL is under more pressure than ever before.” In light of the spate of Islamist attacks around the globe, yes, he said that with a straight face.

But according to a new report, government data reveals “a stunning three-fold increase in the number of places around the globe where ISIS is operating.” The State Department reports the Islamic State was active in seven nations just two years ago, but today that number has risen to “18 countries where ISIS is fully operational,” which doesn’t include “six countries where they’re taking root: Egypt, Indonesia, Mali, the Philippines, Somalia and Bangladesh.”

Roughly 2,000 miles to the west of ISIL’s central command in Raqqa lies one of those cities in which the militant group is hoping to regroup — Sirte, located in Libya, a desolate and feeble nation in North Africa that once was controlled by the autocratic ruler Moammar Gadhafi. On Monday, the U.S. began conducting airstrikes in the city in an effort to reverse the group’s momentum and loosen its stronghold.

The question is, what took so long? And why the hesitation? As recently as February, the Obama administration expressed deep opposition to providing aerial support. As reported in The Daily Beast at the time, “In recent weeks, the U.S. military … have pushed for more airstrikes and the deployment of elite troops, particularly in the city of Sirte. … But those plans have since been put on the back burner. ‘There is little to no appetite for that in this administration,’ one defense official explained.”

And even this week’s bombings took some prodding. According to Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook, “​At the request​ [emphasis added] of the Libyan Government of National Accord, the United States military conducted precision air strikes against ISIL targets in Sirte, Libya, to support GNA-affiliated forces seeking to defeat ISIL in its primary stronghold in Libya.” In other words, Obama’s ​modus operandi​ — “better late than ever,” but even then only half-heartedly and after our “allies” come calling — was demonstrated once again.

It’s refreshing to finally see ​some​ sort of anti-terrorism U.S. response in Libya, but keep in mind, none of this would even have been necessary had Obama and Hillary Clinton not bungled Middle East policy by destabilizing Libya and abandoning Iraq. Obama & Co. say ISIL is on the run. They are indeed running in many different directions, recruiting and proselytizing as they go.

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Regulations Cost Us How Much?

On the heels of more disappointing GDP numbers comes even more data on Barack Obama’s economic malaise. Obama loves to remind us that he “inherited” a recession, which is true to a certain extent, but he somehow always leaves out the part that Democrats policies created it in the first place. And as is always the case with leftists, they create problems with government and promise to then solve those problems with … more government.

Such has been the case for the last eight years. Obama’s regulatory bonanza has certainly put a drag on the U.S. economy. According to a new report from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, “The economy would have been about 25 percent larger than it was in 2012 if regulations had been frozen at levels observed in 1980. The difference between observed and counterfactually simulated GDP in 2012 is about $4 trillion, or $13,000 per capita.” In other words, Obama “saved” the economy by costing us $4 trillion.

On top of that, Investor’s Business Daily writes, “[H]ad Obama’s recovery — which is now in its 28th quarter — been as robust as the average of the past 10 recoveries, the nation’s economy would be $2.2 trillion — with a ‘t’ — bigger than it is today.” But it couldn’t be average when Obama was regulating it to death. Voters should remember that in November before we elect Hillary Clinton to continue Obama’s disastrous economic policies.

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The Brazen Demands of Black Lives Matter

By Louis DeBroux

“There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays.” —Booker T. Washington, freed slave, educator, orator

As if this election season had not already been enough of a mind-boggling, common sense-defying circus, along come more clowns to add to the antics. We refer to the Black Lives Matter movement, the latest incarnation of the racial grievance cartel, carrying on in the (not so) proud tradition of huckster race pimp Al Sharpton.

Some 60 groups associated with the Black Lives Matter movement have issued a list of policy demands. These demands include reparations for slavery, additional “investment” in education (including free education for life for all blacks), jobs programs, and an end to the death penalty, just to name a few.

On the question of reparations, how exactly do we atone for real injustices against past generations without punishing the innocent and the living? Well, here’s an idea: Since the Democrat Party is the party of slavery (the GOP was founded as an abolition party), and enacted Jim Crow laws, and since the KKK was the militant terror arm of the Democrat Party, perhaps we should confiscate all funds and assets of the Democrat Party and place them in a trust fund from which reparations will be paid. Furthermore, in states with party registration, perhaps a fee of $25 for anyone registering as a Democrat is in order — the proceeds of which will also be placed in the reparations fund. This will allow the guilty party (or Party, as it were) to pay for its institutional sins, without punishing the innocent.

We will also agree to end the death penalty for innocent blacks, and what blacks are more innocent than the unborn? In the United States, blacks make up 13% of the population but account for a staggering 37% of all abortions. These tiny, defenseless black babies have committed no crime, yet are literally ripped from the womb. In America, there are nearly as many black babies aborted as are born, and in New York City, more black babies are aborted than born.

Of course, for those black children that manage to escape the womb before being killed by a Democrat, there should also be legal protections. The Black Lives Matter movement began following the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Freddie Gray. Martin was killed after he attacked a neighborhood watchman. Brown was shot and killed when, after a convenience store robbery, he attacked officer Darren Wilson and tried to wrestle his gun away. Garner died of a heart attack after resisting arrest. And Freddie Gray was a drug dealer who died while thrashing around in a police van following his arrest. None of these men would have died had they not been engaged in criminal activity.

Yet we must also acknowledge that police don’t always get it right, and in those instances when officers use excessive force, they should be held accountable, including prosecution and imprisonment if the facts of the case warrant such a verdict.

Interestingly, one of the demands of the BLM crowd is an end to the use of body cameras by police. One can only wonder why that might be. After all, if there is truly a war on black men by the police, and innocent young black men are being gunned down without provocation, one would think that BLM would want those atrocities captured on camera, showing for the entire world the veracity of their claims. If they are innocent, why would they not want video of these interactions?

Some of the other demands are simply non-starters.

For example, BLM demands include the end of private education in America, and putting all hiring, firing, curriculum and discipline issues in the hands of “parents, students and community members.” We can look at the absolute most expensive, worst performing school systems in major cities throughout the country, and most of them have one thing in common: They have been run by Democrats for decades. There is no legitimate reason why we should make all of the nation’s schools as bad as those run by Democrats.

Also included is “a guaranteed minimum livable income for all Black people,” to which we offer a counter-proposal of lowering taxes so that all Americans get to keep more of what they earn, thereby making living more affordable for all.

In a summary explanation of the demands, the BLM groups demand reparations for “past and continuing harms to African-Americans.” But rather than fund reparations for ongoing harms, we should enact policies that better the lives of black Americans so that there is no need for reparations.

For example, Democrat policies have utterly destroyed the black family, with nearly 75% of American black children born out of wedlock. Since roughly 85% of men in prison were raised in homes without a father, one of the best things we could do is acknowledge the importance of fathers to the raising of children, and enact policies that encourage marriage before childbirth, and stop paying rewards for unwed pregnancies. Likewise, minimum wages will be irrelevant if we are holding the national education cartel accountable for results, rather than sending these children out into the world completely unprepared to compete in a global economy.

Salvation for blacks in America, and for all Americans, comes not in the form of reparations, or yet another government program. It comes in the form of personal responsibility, morality, civility, education and individual freedom.

But that doesn’t bring money or power to the likes of Al Sharpton and the Black Lives Matter movement, so they aren’t interested. For those of us who truly believe that black lives matter, let’s reject the extortion racket benefiting the few and do what benefits the most.

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Gary Bauer: “[Khizr] Khan’s suggestion that it is unconstitutional to limit immigration based on religion may be taken for granted by the left and most journalists, but it’s incorrect. The response often heard last week in the wake of the speech was that the Constitution says religious tests are not permissible. The religious tests provision appears in Article VI of the Constitution. It states that no officeholder or government employee can be required to adhere to a particular religion. That provision has been misinterpreted in several ways, including to suggest that a voter may not take religion into account when choosing whom to vote for. But that’s not what the article says. It says that the government cannot take religion into account, but voters certainly can. More to the point, the provision says nothing about whether lawmakers can take religion into account when deciding who may enter the country. For example, during the Iranian hostage crisis, the U.S. banned Iranians from entering the country unless they opposed the Shiite Islamist regime. Who issued the order? Oh yeah, it was that radical right-wing demagogue Jimmy Carter. It is amazing that liberals now seem so concerned with the Constitution, a document they have long dismissed. … It is also amazing how much of the left’s strategy is based on distorting the Constitution. Sadly, they know they can get away with it because so few Americans are familiar with what the Constitution actually says.”

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Good question: “[John] Kerry has never apologized for his calumnies against his fellow Vietnam veterans, which the liberal media played down as he was pursuing the Democratic nomination. When a group of vets eventually called him out on it, Democrats and journalists smeared them. In 2013 Kerry left the Senate after the president nominated him as secretary of state. If by Obama’s standards Trump is unfit to serve because of his obnoxious comments, how is Kerry fit?” —James Taranto

Hypocrite: “I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president. I said so last week and he keeps on proving it.” —Barack Obama (Of course, Obama is the world’s leading authority on being unfit to serve, and repeatedly proving it.)

Concern trolling: “The question [Republicans] have to ask themselves is: If you are repeatedly having to say in very strong terms that what [Donald Trump] has said is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him? What does this say about your party that this is your standard-bearer?” —Barack Obama (What does it say about your party that the nominee is a criminal?)

Friendly fire: “Please, for the sake of the country, tell her: Stop lying.” —The Atlantic’s Ron Fournier in a piece, “Why Can’t Hillary Clinton Stop Lying?” (“I have been very consistent over the course of my entire life.” —Clinton during a CNN debate, Oct. 2015)

Dezinformatsia: “Police Fatally Shoot Woman Holding 5-Year-Old Boy In Her Lap.” —Think Progress headline (Small detail buried in the story: “[A]n officer walked through the [black suspect’s] door to find Gaines sitting with her son in her lap and pointing a gun at the cop. … Gaines said she would kill the police if they didn’t leave. One of the cops fired a single shot at Gaines, in response. When the woman fired back, officers gunned her down, striking the child in the leg as well.”)

And last… “Not a ransom but $400M stacked on pallets in an unmarked cargo plane secretly shipped to kidnappers during release AND THIS IS A COINCIDENCE. … At least Jimmy Carter had the good sense to not pay a ransom.” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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