The articles posted on this page are written from a conservative, Christian worldview. Patriot Post publications are usually posted M, W, & F. Others are posted as discovered by yours truly. These posting are meant to instill a love for God, family and country as well as to educate, equip, enlighten, and challenge to good deeds for the betterment of mankind, those who visit these pages.
"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president." Author Unknown
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The Patriot Post
Friday’s Daily Digest
Nov. 21, 2014
“[T]here is, in the nature of sovereign power, an impatience of control, that disposes those who are invested with the exercise of it, to look with an evil eye upon all external attempts to restrain or direct its operations. … Power controlled or abridged is almost always the rival and enemy of that power by which it is controlled or abridged.” –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 15, 1787
We lead today with special commentary by Mark Alexander rebutting last night’s presidential address.
By Mark Alexander
“All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” –(Article I, Section 1, United States Constitution2)
“I am not a dictator. I’m the president. … If in fact I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress then I would do so. … I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.” –Barack Obama
If you missed Obama’s well-crafted immigration amnesty announcement3 to fix “our broken system,” that is because his remarks were only carried by Fox News and, of course, across the board on Latino networks nationwide, the target market for this charade.
While the administration feigned outrage that its adoring mainstream media networks – ABC, CBS and NBC – did not carry Obama’s remarks, the White House press did not send out a formal request asking his media boosters to carry his primetime propaganda. Clearly, Democrats would prefer that their lower-income constituents4 not hear the news that Obama plans to dump 5-10 million immigrants into the labor pool, and millions more to follow, who will compete for limited jobs and drive wages down.
Fact is, as I noted in “The Democrats' REAL Immigration Strategy5,” the Left knows that “labor inflation results in wage deflation.” Thus, this political ploy is a win-win for Obama.
Republicans will chip away at his order, primarily by defunding and de-authorizing key components of its implementation and issuing legal challenges. Meantime, Democrats will receive credit from both their legal and illegal Latino constituencies for offering amnesty, and can blame those “obstructionist” Republicans for blocking them.
Indeed, if Obama really believes any of his eloquent points justifying his amnesty executive order (EO), Congress would have passed and he would have signed immigration legislation back in 2009 or 2010, when the Democrat Party controlled both the House and Senate. After all, in 2008 he promised, “I can guarantee that we will have, in the first year, an immigration bill that I strongly support.”
But Democrats did nothing.
There are two overarching issues with Obama’s power play.
First and foremost, Obama’s action constitutes a direct assault on our Constitution and the Rule of Law6 it enshrines. His EO is the boldest attack on the separation of powers since the reign of the last imperial president7, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Obama previously declared 22 times8 that he does not have the authority to legislate immigration policy by EO. But as a “lame duck” president now, beyond the midterm election9 that dealt his policies a severe defeat, he has found the power to legislate from the executive branch.
George Washington University constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, a self-acknowledged liberal Obama supporter, has issued severe criticism10 of Obama’s “über presidency” and his abuse of executive orders to bypass Congress. Turley notes: “What’s emerging is an imperial presidency, an über presidency. … When a president can govern alone, he can become a government unto himself, which is precisely the danger that the Framers sought to avoid in the establishment of our tripartite system of government. … Obama has repeatedly violated this [separation of powers] doctrine in the circumvention of Congress in areas ranging from health care to immigration law to environmental law. … What we are witnessing today is one of the greatest challenges to our constitutional system in the history of this country. We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis with sweeping implications for our system of government. … I hope he does not get away with it.”
Unlike Barack Obama, who has wantonly violated his oath to “support and defend our Constitution11,” there are millions of Americans who uphold it at risk of their lives. Obama’s actions are an affront to the honor of all Americans who have honored their constitutional oaths.
Second, while most Americans support providing “guest worker” permits for illegal immigrants, many of whom have been in the U.S. for a generation, the sticking point has been and remains the lack of border security12.
Obama’s EO will invite a massive wave of illegal immigrants across our borders in the coming years. As Charles Krauthammer put it13, “This executive action is a giant neon sign on the Rio Grande saying to Central Americans, ‘If you wait in line and apply for legal immigration, you’re a sap.’ … I would not oppose this if we were serious about shutting the border. … This is an invitation for mass migration.”
Of course, Democrats have obstructed meaningful border security for obvious reasons – they want as many future Latino voters flooding into the country as possible. In leftist parlance, “immigration reform” means providing a jackpot to illegal aliens – giving them official status so they can work and receive all associated taxpayer-subsidized services like housing, schooling and medical care. Once integrated, the second step is to provide a fast-track to citizenship. In other words, for Democrats, immigration reform means first and foremost seeding a large voter constituency.
As for some of the EO specifics outlined by Obama, allow me to take those apart:
BO: When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system. MA: But he didn’t, as I have already outlined5.
BO: Families who enter our country the right way and play by the rules watch others flout the rules. MA: And Obama is now rewarding the latter group with amnesty.
BO: Business owners who offer their workers good wages and benefits see the competition exploit undocumented immigrants by paying them far less. MA: So now, all those jobs can go to people who are willing to do them for far less.
BO: It’s been this way for decades. And for decades, we haven’t done much about it. MA: As noted, Democrats have obstructed border security measures for decades.
BO: Over the past six years, deportations of criminals are up 80 percent. MA: Actually, more Demo smoke and mirrors. Obama changed how “deportations” are counted.
BO: Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. MA: Obviously that is because it is evident, even to prospective illegal immigrants, that Obama’s economic “recovery” policies14 are a colossal failure and the prospects even for low paying jobs have dried up.
BO: There are actions I have the legal authority to take as president – the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican before me. MA: Actually, those “actions taken by Democratic and Republican presidents15” are in no way comparable to Obama’s EO, as noted by legal scholars16 both liberal and conservative.
On his three point plan:
BO: First, we’ll build on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel so that they can stem the flow of illegal crossings, and speed the return of those who do cross over. MA: No, “build on our progress at the border” is more double talk for obstructing efforts to “stem the flow of illegal crossings.”
BO: Second, I’ll make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy. MA: As noted, this really means “receive all associated taxpayer-subsidized services like housing, schooling and medical care” and join the ranks of dependent Democrat voter constituencies.
BO: Third, we’ll take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country. MA: That means, in the end, figure out how to provide them fast-track citizenship.
BO: We’re a nation of laws. MA: The audacity of including those words in an announcement to abjectly violate those laws falls squarely into the BIG Lie17 propaganda category.
BO: It’s not who we are as Americans. MA: Barack Obama is wholly unqualified to advise Patriots “who we are as Americans.”
BO: Their … hopes, dreams and patriotism are just like ours. MA: Again, Obama is wholly unqualified to advise Patriots “who we are as Americans.”
BO: We expect people who live in this country to play by the rules. MA: We expect the same of our president.
BO: To those members of Congress who question my authority … I have one answer: Pass a bill. MA: Actually, passing a bill comes first. You have no authority to legislate.
BO: That’s not how our democracy works… MA: Indeed, it is not.
BO: Let me tell you why I … feel so strongly about [immigration]. MA: No, tell us why you did nothing about it in 2009 or 2010 when your party controlled the House and Senate?
BO: [Immigrants are not] taking a dime from the government. MA: Seriously?
BO: Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger – we were strangers once, too. MA: So now Obama is citing Exodus 22:21 from a government podium18? Can he do that given the whole “wall of separation19” thing? I wonder if his mentor Jeremiah Wright20 added that line for him?
BO: What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal. MA: Unless you’re Obama, in which case you are above all others.
In his 1796 Farewell address, George Washington21 declared: “Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.”
Let’s see if Republicans can challenge Obama’s constitutional assault without self destructing24.
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Barack Obama is offering amnesty by executive order to some five million illegal aliens. The Daily Caller reports the significance of that number: “President Barack Obama’s unilateral amnesty will quickly add as many foreign workers to the nation’s legal labor force as the total number of new jobs created by his economy since 2009. The plans … will distribute five million work permits to illegal immigrants, and also create a new inflow of foreign college graduates for prestigious salaried jobs, according to press reports.” But there’s another angle. According to Mark Alexander in “The Demos' REAL Strategy5,” Obama does not actually intend to provide work status amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Alexander notes, “Labor inflation results in wage deflation. … Democrats really don’t want to dump millions of immigrant laborers, who are willing to take low wages, onto their dependable American low-income constituency, because that will, in effect, drive wages even lower, undermining the Democrats ‘living wage’ rhetoric.”
Democrats always downplay their policy proposals as merely “practical” until they’re enacted – then it’s the biggest deal since sliced bread. National Review’s Jonah Goldberg writes, “Here’s the problem. This is the way this president and his fans always sell his policies. They mock, ridicule, snark, smirk, wink, and guffaw at any notion he’s a radical or an ideologue when the action he wants to take is under debate. It’s just a modest this, a pragmatic that, an incremental the other thing. But once it’s a fait accompli, it’s a Big F'ing Deal – to borrow a phrase from the vice president. Right now, what Obama wants to do is par for the course for every president. Why, it would be weird if he didn’t give 5 million people amnesty. But I have no doubt that in the minutes, days, or, at the most, weeks to come I will be getting emails from the DNC telling me this a bold, historic, revolutionary piece of legislation executive action. And if not the DNC, then Salon & Co. will make that case for the DNC. … [E]veryone is an idiot for thinking Obama is doing anything radical right up to and until he does it. Then, suddenly, it’s ‘All Hail Obama for His Great Leap Forward!’”
Granting amnesty to five million illegal aliens is great and all, but activists always want more. “Today’s victory is tremendous, but to be real, it is incomplete,” United We Dream managing director Cristina Jimenez said of Barack Obama’s executive order. “But too many of our parents, LGBTQ brothers and sisters and friends were left out. United We Dream doesn’t agree with that decision and we are determined to fight for their protection. Our community sticks together. This is a long-term struggle. We will continue organizing until our entire community can come forward and enjoy the full rights of citizenship.” It’s never enough.
Nancy Pelosi has a (revisionist) history lesson for us. Barack Obama’s coming amnesty is just like another famous order: “Does the public know that the Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order?” she asked. “People have to understand how presidents have made change in our country.” Evidently, this is now a Democrat talking point32. As we’ve said before, the Emancipation Proclamation freed no one33, so perhaps in that sense, Obama’s lawless behavior will have similar results. Pelosi added, “[E]very time I’d say, ‘You wanna give me a clue as to what might be happening?’ He said, ‘It’s not going to be as much as you want.’ But in any case it’s going to be great.” No, it’s not.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) says Barack Obama’s immigration order really just means he’s a good guy who cares: “The president is not changing the law, he is simply extending a [sic] olive branch to the Republicans and to America showing that he has a compassion and the ability to be responding to the cry of so many.” He loves immigrants and he loves Republicans too, so can’t we all just get along?
OPINION IN BRIEF
Justice Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948): “A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company.”
Columnist Mona Charen: “Conservatives care deeply about process, while progressives care only about outcomes. If they can achieve their goals through legislation, they will. If not, they will look to the courts or the federal agencies to implement their preferred policies. However vehemently conservatives oppose abortion, for example, they can accept it if democratically enacted. What is unacceptable is judicial imposition. Now the left is adding presidential fiat to the category of powers it will cheerfully accept if it produces outcomes they favor. This is not constitutional government. This is not separation of powers. This is strong-arming. The left is fond of imagining that its opponents are corrupted by money. But there are other ways to be twisted. The will to power is arguably more dangerous than the love of money. It is not just the president – he and his entire party have surrendered to it.”
Columnist Michael Barone: “A better idea is to start all over again rather than patching immigration acts that are now 90, 49 and 28 years old. The United States should follow the successful examples of our Anglosphere cousins, Canada and Australia. They reserve most immigration slots for high-skill applicants who qualify under their point systems. The result: They have more immigration than we do as a share of their populations, and they also have higher test scores and more economic growth. Conservatives might note that both have conservative governments. America always needs high-skill immigrants. And we don’t need to tie them to specific employers. Let them make their way in what is still, despite over-taxation and over-regulation, our free enterprise system. The country will be richer for it. There is something in a high-skill immigration system for both political parties. Republicans could talk about whom they’d let in, not whom they’d keep out. Democrats could finally endorse a policy that would produce economic growth. All high-skill immigration policy lacks is a lobby. Maybe some members of Congress will step forward and fill the gap.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
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.
The Truth About Obama's "Temporary" Ebola Amnesty
11/21/2014 12:01:00 AM - Michelle Malkin
When it rains, it pours. Just before unveiling his colossal administrative amnesty for millions of "undocumented" aliens and foreign tech workers on Thursday, President Obama separately ordered up to 8,000 more executive pardons and special work passes for Liberians, Sierra Leoneans and Guineans illegally in this country.
Strange, isn't it? The same administration that refused to enact travel bans from Ebola-plagued West African nations to protect Americans is now granting "temporary protected status" (TPS) to West Africans on American soil so they don't have to go back.
It's not really about public health, of course. It's about political pandering and electoral engineering.
Here's the dirty open secret: There's nothing "temporary" about TPS benefits. Under both Democratic and Republican administrations, the program has become an endless, interminable residency plan for unlawful border-crossers, visa overstayers and deportation evaders from around the world.
TPS golden ticket holders live here, work here, travel freely and are immune from detention or deportation. They are eligible to apply for an "adjustment of status," which puts them on the path to green cards and eventual citizenship.
In theory, TPS is a short-term humanitarian program built on good intentions. The secretary of homeland security "may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately." Those conditions include hurricanes, environmental catastrophes, civil war, epidemics and other "extraordinary and temporary conditions."
In October, the White House extended TPS status and employment permits for an estimated 90,000 illegal alien Hondurans and Nicaraguans "for an additional 18 months, effective Jan. 6, 2015, through July 5, 2016." Who are these TPS winners? Well, they've been here since 1998 -- when Hurricane Mitch hit their homeland. That was 16 years ago. Their "temporary" status has been renewed a dozen times since the Clinton administration first bestowed it.
Last October, the Obama administration extended TPS to an estimated 3,000 Syrian illegal aliens; the status will be up for renewal next March. At least 3,700 Liberians who have been here since 1991 on TPS won deferred deportations in September before securing renewed TPS status this week. And several hundred Somalis remain in the country with TPS first granted in 1991, along with some 700 Sudanese who first secured TPS benefits in 1997. TPS for both the Sudanese and Somalis was extended in September and lasts until May 2016.
An estimated 250,000 illegal aliens from El Salvador first won TPS golden tickets after an earthquake struck the country in January 2001. Their latest extension was granted last May and lasts until March 2015.
In addition, 60,000 illegal alien Haitians received TPS after earthquakes in their homeland in 2010. Their "temporary" status was renewed in March and extended "for an additional 18 months, effective July 23, 2014, through Jan. 22, 2016."
As I've reported previously, TPS beneficiaries are supposed to provide proof that they arrived here on an eligible date, committed no more than two misdemeanors and no felonies, and maintained a continuous presence in the country. But the feds' past experience with amnesties dating back to 1986 shows that the programs are dangerously rife with unchecked document fraud.
A homeland security source pointed out to me recently that the agency is still failing to check biometric records (or, even worse, ignoring them) before granting immigration benefits to aliens who had been put into removal proceedings but then gamed the system by using new, unvetted aliases. Moreover, after more than two decades, the federal government still doesn't have an entry-exit database in place to track legal short-term visa holders.
The dictionary informs us of the origin of the term "amnesty." It comes from the Greek word "amnestia," which means "to forget." And that is exactly what America is suffering from when it comes to learning amnesty history lessons. There is no such thing as a "temporary" pardon from immigration law-breaking.
Each new infusion of indiscriminate, unskilled foreign labor begets more of the same -- all while backstabbing politicians bemoan stagnant wages, high unemployment and the beleaguered plight of American workers paying a steep price for D.C.'s bottomless "compassion" for the rest of the world.
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Let's Really Reform Immigration -- To Encourage High-Skill Immigrants
11/21/2014 12:01:00 AM - Michael Barone
"When the facts change, I change my mind," economist John Maynard Keynes said when charged with inconsistency. "What do you do, sir?"
As President Obama threatens to stretch his power to faithfully execute the law to a breaking point by effectively legalizing some 5 million illegal immigrants, perhaps I owe readers an explanation of my own changes of mind on immigration.
I tended to support the so-called comprehensive immigration bills passed by the Senate in 2006 and then rejected by the Senate in 2007, due to missteps by new Majority Leader Harry Reid. But I think the similar bill the Senate passed in 2013, which never came forward in the House, is a wrongheaded approach.
Why? Because the facts changed.
When the 2006-07 bills were drawn up, just about everyone assumed that the surge of both legal and illegal immigration from Latin America, mostly from Mexico, would continue indefinitely. With low unemployment, it seemed there was demand for the mostly low-skill workers that would keep arriving.
Economists skeptical of immigration could point to only small downward pressure on low-skill wages in the United States as a result. Otherwise, the economy benefited. The need, then, was to regulate this flow by securing the border and improving workplace enforcement. Technological advances seemed to make this possible.
But even as Reid was killing a bill that could have passed the House and was supported by President George W. Bush, the facts started changing. Housing prices peaked and started falling. Mortgage foreclosures climbed, and a vastly disproportionate number of them struck Hispanics.
The surge of Latin immigration, which had grown in the 25 years from 1982 to 2007 -- the same span of time as the huge surge of internal migration of Southern blacks to the North from 1940 to 1965 -- suddenly ended. Net migration from Mexico to the United States between 2007 and 2012 was zero, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. The number of illegal immigrants in the United States fell.
The economy dived into a recession, followed by years of agonizingly sluggish economic growth. Most Americans think the recession is still on. The demand for low-skill workers has plummeted. The need for high-skill workers with the potential to increase overall productivity has increased.
With the midterm elections over, Obama is itching to effectively legalize millions of mostly low-skill illegals -- one aspect of the 2006-07 and 2013 bills that the nation clearly doesn't need in 2014.
Back in 2006-07, I argued that providing a path to legalization for illegal immigrants would not incentivize further illegal immigration because the surge of Latin immigration would continue one way or the other. But the surge is over. Last summer we saw how the prospect of legalization -- Obama's 2012 "Dreamers" executive order -- incentivized a surge of illegal Central Americans across the Rio Grande. The facts changed, undermining my own argument.
American immigration law is an accretion of old statutes. Latin and Mexican immigration surged despite low quotas in the 1965 act because of the family reunification provisions carried over from an earlier 1924 law. But America's economy doesn't need more low-skill collateral family members now.
High-skill immigration is channeled through H-1B visas established in earlier law. These tend to tie high-skill immigrants to particular employers. The high-tech lobby pushed relentlessly for more H-1B's in the 2006-07 and 2013 legislation. Comprehensive immigration bills are a deal among lobbyists: legalization for the Hispanic lobby, H-1B's for the high-tech lobby, other provisions for other lobbies.
A better idea is to start all over again rather than patching immigration acts that are now 90, 49 and 28 years old. The United States should follow the successful examples of our Anglosphere cousins, Canada and Australia. They reserve most immigration slots for high-skill applicants who qualify under their point systems. The result: They have more immigration than we do as a share of their populations, and they also have higher test scores and more economic growth. Conservatives might note that both have conservative governments.
America always needs high-skill immigrants. And we don't need to tie them to specific employers. Let them make their way in what is still, despite over-taxation and over-regulation, our free enterprise system. The country will be richer for it.
There is something in a high-skill immigration system for both political parties. Republicans could talk about whom they'd let in, not whom they'd keep out. Democrats could finally endorse a policy that would produce economic growth.
All high-skill immigration policy lacks is a lobby. Maybe some members of Congress will step forward and fill the gap.
The Will To Power
11/21/2014 12:01:00 AM - Mona Charen
"I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
President Obama twice pronounced those words. On the first occasion, Chief Justice Roberts erred slightly in the wording. So mindful was Obama of the importance of complying with the letter of the law that he arranged for Roberts to administer the oath again the following day. The second time, both spoke the words verbatim.
Process matters. The law matters. Obama knows this. He has repeatedly explained to impatient illegal immigrants that he cannot waive deportation for an entire category of people with the stroke of a pen. "I'm not the emperor of the United States," he said in early 2013. "My job is to execute laws that are passed. And Congress right now has not changed what I consider to be a broken immigration system. And what that means is that we have certain obligations to enforce the laws that are in place even if we think that in many cases the results may be tragic."
The president's now abandoned reticence to make law by executive fiat on immigration was the one realm in which he showed some deference to the constitutional order. He felt no such scruples on the dozens of occasions when he airily rewrote the Affordable Care Act -- postponing deadlines that were found in the text of the law, offering exemptions to favored businesses and suspending the employer mandate, the individual mandate and various other provisions. The health care law is now so perverted from its original form (not that the original was a thing of beauty) that it isn't so much a law as a series of decrees from the Most High Leader. If he wakes up tomorrow morning and decides that the employer mandate should wait until 2018, that, apparently, will be that.
This, as the former constitutional law professor in the White House has said, "is not the way our system is supposed to work."
He showed no fealty to the law when he dictated terms to the auto industry in violation of bankruptcy law; when he failed to obtain congressional approval for military action in Libya; when he made "recess" appointments to the National Labor Relations Board though Congress was not in recess; when he waived the work requirements of the welfare laws; or when he declined to enforce federal laws on marijuana.
We can speculate about why Obama is so disrespectful of the Constitution, the law and the voters. We can imagine that this latest arrogation is impeachment bait -- hoping to draw Republicans into a fight that will unite the Democratic base and divide Republicans. Or perhaps he knows that as the first black president, he's immune from impeachment and is putting a finger in Republicans' (and voters') eyes because he can.
Progressives have tamely accepted and even cheered each and every usurpation by this president. The center/left think tank Brookings, for example, offered analysis of the merits of changing immigration law with barely a nod to the method. Calling the president's plan "big" and "bold," Audrey Singer called it a "step in the right direction."
"Bold" is one way to put it. Flagrantly flouting the law is another. Yet there has been barely a murmur from Democrats. This is one of the great divides between right and left. Conservatives care deeply about process, while progressives care only about outcomes. If they can achieve their goals through legislation, they will. If not, they will look to the courts or the federal agencies to implement their preferred policies. However vehemently conservatives oppose abortion, for example, they can accept it if democratically enacted. What is unacceptable is judicial imposition.
Now the left is adding presidential fiat to the category of powers it will cheerfully accept if it produces outcomes they favor. This is not constitutional government. This is not separation of powers. This is strong-arming. The left is fond of imagining that its opponents are corrupted by money. But there are other ways to be twisted. The will to power is arguably more dangerous than the love of money. It is not just the president -- he and his entire party have surrendered to it
Conservatives Must React to Obama Speech with Courage and Energy
11/21/2014 12:01:00 AM - Mark Davis
I trust we have established that the Reagan and Bush 41 immigration adjustments were vastly different than what President Obama has foisted upon us.
That said, Reagan and Bush should have run their immigration bill edits through Congress, too. If we’re going to stand on principle, let’s stand on principle. I know full well that throughout American history, executive orders have been used as nudges toward goals presidents could not win from Congress.
Tough. Congress makes laws, presidents enforce them. Let’s insist on that moving forward, through presidents we vote for and those we do not, on agendas we support and those we oppose.
Only that kind of consistency and clarity provide the proper ethical foundation for identifying the Obama speech as what it is: a callous, craven usurpation of power designed to satisfy his political base irrespective of the damage done to the nation and its founding concepts.
We have endured six years of Obama’s dalliances with the rule of law. But never before has he flouted the Constitution when sound bites abound of recent promises not to commit the exact offenses he is committing.
He has said he is not an emperor. He has said he cannot bring about immigration reform unilaterally. He has said such things must be run through Congress.
So now he wields the arrogance of an emperor, crafting immigration reform unilaterally, bypassing Congress. No one should be surprised, but this sets new records for cynical excess.
Also reaching for new lows are the supporters of soft immigration laws who have cobbled together a knee-slapper of a defense: A president, they say, has vast discretion over which laws he enforces and which he does not.
His oath of office says otherwise, with its references to “faithfully execute” his duties and “preserve, protect and defend” the law of the land.
Does anyone in executive enforcement power have some latitude in how to slice the attention pie? Of course. But this is not the local police chief saying child abduction will get more emphasis than bank robberies. This is the police chief saying there are crimes occurring in town that are to be willfully ignored, and in fact no longer characterized as crimes.
Setting up a whole new base camp on the mountain of lawlessness will draw proper revulsion from anyone caring about borders, the rule of law and the separation of powers. But the worst thing we can do is react clumsily.
The president invoked a government shutdown because that is exactly what he wants the GOP to propose. I’m surprised he didn’t add: “…and surely you don’t want to be drafting articles of impeachment.”
A strong argument can be made for just that, but it is not worth it when the stage is set for a far better use of the next two years— a conservative campaign of constructive ideas on everything from immigration to the economy to national security, creating a contrast that not only further suppresses Obama approval numbers, but also stigmatizes Hillary Clinton and any other Democrat stepping out next year with the same failed agenda that has burdened us since 2009.
I actually favor a type of under-reaction, a detached acknowledgment of the president’s ploy, coupled with a tone that suggests our intention to make it irrelevant.
Let him trample our founding documents. We will honor them with a bill that makes sense, and we will do it very early in 2015 so every GOP presidential candidate can run on it. Newly elected and incumbent Republicans should be working on it right now and straight through the holidays so that the first big story of the new year can be the best response conservatives can muster— not the doomed drama of impeachment or a flurry of well-intentioned but probably equally doomed lawsuits, but a positive agenda that will bring additional Americans on board for a Republican wave lasting the rest of the decade.
It can be phrased with a simplicity that will resonate with even the least-informed voter: Confirmable border security first, then a gradual non-amnesty path toward legal status for non-criminals with a willingness to assimilate.
This means English fluency in addition to fines and back taxes. How many local TV stories have we seen where reporters interview 30-year residents speaking through an interpreter?
No more. The path to legal status will be demanding, sifting out those with faint hearts or a penchant for crime. Those left contain a good number of people who will become proud and productive Americans.
But not one of them moves one day toward legal status until we get that full year of demonstrable border security. No deals, and no surrender. No legal status in return for the promise of border security— we have been hosed too many times. Secure border first, then we begin step one of the path to legal status.
Barack Obama will veto this, invoking as many heart-rending anecdotes as he can pack into his terse refusal. He will thus become The President of No, obstructing the first immigration reforms real majorities of Americans— and both houses of Congress— can embrace.
Conservatives, especially the near-dozen who may run for president, can then loudly embrace a solution that makes real progress while honoring the Constitution, the rule of law and our very sovereignty.
The president surely believes he has Republicans right where he wants them— poised to whip up a fire of litigation and bellicose posturing that will enable him to paint us with the slander that strong immigration laws are somehow bigotry.
If we play our cards right, we can make clear at every juncture that we are trying to make a better America, even for some of today’s illegals to eventually grow old in, if they follow the rules, learn our language, atone for their illegal entry and assimilate as past immigrant generations have.
The key for anyone seeking that goal is to walk through the necessary turnstile— one full year of a proven secure border that will at last give us some security that the tidal waves of illegal entry will finally stop.
The Obama speech was not a grand destination, or even a defining moment along the road to meaningful resolution of our immigration crisis. It was a roadblock that needs to be worked around so that we can craft legislation that people can actually support, and that a much better president can actually sign.
The Justice Department becomes a schoolyard bully in Wisconsin
By George F. Will Opinion writer November 19 at 8:15 PM
It is as remarkable as it is repulsive, the ingenuity with which the Obama administration uses the regulatory state’s intricacies to advance progressivism’s project of breaking nongovernmental institutions to government’s saddle. Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers unions, the Justice Department wants to destroy Wisconsin’s school choice program. Feigning concern about access for disabled children, the department aims to handicap all disadvantaged children by denying their parents access to school choices of the sort affluent government lawyers enjoy.
The Justice Department’s perverse but impeccably progressive theory can be called “osmotic transfer.” It is called this by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), which is defending Wisconsin children against Washington’s aggression. The department’s theory is: Contact between a private institution and government, however indirect or attenuated the contact, can permeate the private institution with public aspects, transferring to it, as if by osmosis, the attributes of a government appendage.
Wisconsin’s school choice program was pioneered by an American hero, Mississippi-born Annette Polly Williams, who died Nov. 9 at age 77. During her three decades in Wisconsin’s legislature, she overcame the opposition of fellow Democrats to offering education choices to low-income parents. At the end of her life, however, she saw an African American attorney general, serving an African American president, employing tortured legal reasoning in an attempt to bankrupt private schools that enlarge the education options of disadvantaged children.
Children are accepted for the choice schools randomly, and no child accepted by the lottery can be rejected by a school until its capacity is filled. The parents of admitted children are informed by the private schools — about 85 percent of them religious — if the schools cannot afford to offer to those with disabilities as rich a menu of services for the disabled as government schools offer. If the parents consider this unacceptable, they can return to public schools. Tony Evers, superintendent of Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction, fully shares the public education establishment’s hostility to school choice, but he acknowledged in 2011 that his agency had never received a complaint from parents alleging discrimination against a child with a disability.
Nevertheless, the Justice Department suggests that the choice schools discriminate because they do not do something they do not have the resources to do. That is, they do not offer the panoply of services that public schools, with ample state and federal funding, offer to children with special needs.
With sanctimony commensurate with their hypocrisy, school choice opponents borrow language from the era of Brown v. Board of Education to accuse Wisconsin of sanctioning a “dual school system.” The federal government is attempting to order the state to require the choice schools to choose between the impossible and the fatal — between offering services they cannot afford or leaving the voucher program.
Closing the voucher program is the obvious objective of the teachers unions and hence of the Obama administration. Herding children from the choice schools back into government schools would swell the ranks of unionized teachers, whose union dues fund the Democratic Party as it professes devotion to “diversity” and the downtrodden.
The Supreme Court has held that commandeering state officials to enforce federal laws is unconstitutional. This, however, is the least of the Justice Department’s departures from the rule of law.
Religious schools are exempt from certain requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act. And the ADA section that Washington is commanding the DPI to enforce against the choice schools applies only to “public entities.” Undaunted by inconvenient law, federal lawyers argue that because public funds, in the form of tuition vouchers empowering parents to make choices, flow to private schools, the schools become “public entities.”
WILL responds that this is like arguing that when food stamps are used for purchases at Wal-Mart, America’s largest private employer ceases to be private — it becomes an extension of the government. Inconveniently for the Justice Department, the U.S. Supreme Court has said the fact that a “private entity performs a function which serves the public does not make its acts state action.” The Supreme Court has held that, under voucher programs, government does not place children in schools; the placements are made by parents empowered by vouchers.
The good news is that Washington is bludgeoning Wisconsin with a legal theory too cynical to succeed. The bad news is that the bigger government becomes, the bolder it becomes in bullying people with legal complexities, confident that its nastiness will rarely be noticed because there is simply too much government to monitor.
Thanks and Giving
Jackie Gingrich Cushman
11/20/2014 12:01:00 AM - Jackie Gingrich Cushman
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. A chance to be grateful instead of focusing on gift-giving and gift-receiving. Family, friends, bountiful feasts and football are at the forefront of our minds rather than cocktail parties and gifts. Think of it as a time to pause and give thanks before the whirlwind of December.
Thanksgiving began in 1621. The pilgrims invited the Wampanoag Native Americans to join them in celebration of the fall harvest. The Native Americans traveled for several days, created their own camp and stayed with the pilgrims for three days of feasting and celebration. This first Thanksgiving sounds similar to our tradition of family members invading the home of others in their family for days on end.
The holiday received official status in 1789, with George Washington's first presidential proclamation, which designated the 26th day of November next, to be set aside for thanksgiving. "It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God and to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor," he wrote.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared a day of Thanksgiving after the Union victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg, acknowledging "The gracious gifts of the Most High God" and noting that it "seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People." Lincoln invited his fellow citizens to observe "a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father, who dwelleth in the Heavens."
After being observed at various times between the third and fourth weeks in November, Thanksgiving was given a permanent date in 1941 when President Roosevelt signed legislation declaring it on the 4th Thursday in November.
Possibly before the Thanksgiving meal we might pause for a few moments to say thanks for all the blessings that we have been given in life, which, at least for me, include the following:
-- Living in a country where you can express your opinion, even if no one else agrees with you
-- Being able to vote
-- A warm home on a cold night
-- Pets who love you no matter what
-- Parents who find the time to participate in their children's schools
-- Teachers who are concerned about every child in their classroom
-- People you do not know, who will smile and assist you when you are in need
-- People you know, who will still smile and assist you when you are in need
-- Being healthy and active
-- Family to share the holidays with
-- Friends who go out of their way for you
-- Foot massages
-- Hot chocolate
-- Feeling grace when you do not expect it
-- Watching my children change and grow
-- Changes in life, without which you would be bored
-- Laughing so hard that you cry
-- Reading a book so touching that you cry
-- Watching children experience joy by simply being alive
-- Occasionally being able to experience that same joy yourself
-- Friends who celebrate milestones with you
-- Bright sunshine on a cold day
Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful; it also provides an opportunity to give to others who might need additional help or support. Giving can come in the form of time, money or talents. This Thanksgiving, take the opportunity to not only give thanks, but also to give to those in need, thereby giving them a reason to be grateful as well.
Meet the Snobocrats
Victor Davis Hanson
11/20/2014 12:01:00 AM - Victor Davis Hanson
Last week, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Jonathan Gruber, one of prominent architects of Obamacare, was exposed as little more than an elitist fraud.
Gruber was caught on videotape expressing the haughty attitude that drove the Affordable Care Act, deriding the "stupidity" of Americans as a way to justify misleading them.
Gruber apparently thinks such deception is OK because yokel voters could not handle the truth about the looming chaos he helped to engineer in their health coverage.
Unfortunately, Gruber's disdain for the proverbial masses -- he was paid nearly $400,000 in consulting fees -- is thematic of the last six years.
Another master-of-the-universe drafter of Obamacare was Ezekiel Emanuel. He scoffed on national television that the number of people covered by Obamacare at that point was "irrelevant."
Emanuel also drew attention for his recent adolescent rant in a men's magazine about the desirability of everyone dying at 75 to save society the expense of maintaining what he sees as the unproductive elderly.
Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi lectured of Obamacare that "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what's in it." The same elitist message reverberates: that government and academic elites are smarter than average Americans, and so need not explain what they are doing.
This is a pattern of Obama administration ruling elites who express disdain or lack of concern about the people they are supposed to serve. Former Energy Secretary Steven Chu made a series of astounding statements about energy use, the most inane being that America would be better off if gas costs soared to Europe's sky-high prices.
Susan Rice, the former U.N. ambassador and current national security advisor, has misled in chronic fashion. She was untruthful about the Benghazi killings on national television, claiming that the attacks on the American consulate were the result of a spontaneous riot over a video. Rice defended the administration's surreal Sgt. Beau Bergdahl prisoner swap by claiming that the AWOL soldier had served with "honor and distinction." She again prevaricated on national television when she boasted of a diplomatic breakthrough in getting Turkey to provide U.S. bases and support against the Islamic State.
The list of deceptions and untruths goes on. Remember IRS bureaucrat Lois Lerner's cute trick of planting a questioner at a conference to leak her own past targeting of conservative groups? The Veterans Administration hierarchy did not just cause the deaths of its own patients, but tried to cover up the scandal.
Do we recall how Attorney General Eric Holder contemptuously called Americans collective "cowards" because they did not necessarily share his identity-politics idea of race relations? Holder was the first attorney general in the nation's history to be held in contempt of Congress.
President Obama habitually believes that his own superior talents make him immune from accountability.
He has referenced his own talent by bragging, "Just give me the ball," or, "I'm LeBron, baby." In 2008, he bragged to an interviewer, "I think that I'm a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I'll tell you right now that I'm going to think I'm a better political director than my political director."
That same sense of superiority explains his campaign boast that, "We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
No wonder Obama believes that he can just give millions of foreign residents amnesty by executive order -- against the will of Congress, the American people, the courts and his own prior warnings that the president has no such power of fiat.
What explains the sense of entitlement of a few self-anointed grandees believing that they are somehow superhuman and not accountable to common notions of truth?
Progressivism has always assumed that the supposed noble ends of fairness and quality justify any means necessary to achieve them.
Influential Americans also have developed a sick idea about higher education, equating wisdom and character with a degree stamped from an Ivy League or exclusive university.
The media has abdicated its watchdog role. Barack Obama, Jonathan Gruber, Eric Holder, Lois Lerner and Susan Rice are empowered by understandably assuming that they should be exempt from media criticism.
Wealth and status assure elites that their own lives are never affected by the laws they pass or by the concrete ramifications of their own ideology.
In the view of the snobocrats, the harm that follows from Obamacare, blanket amnesty or out-of-control bureaucracies should always affect someone else -- someone thought to be too stupid to figure out what hit them
The Challenge: The Threatened Church
11/20/2014 12:01:00 AM - Rebecca Hagelin
Editor's note: this piece was coauthored by Hagelin's daughter, Kristin Carey.
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
Those famous words from our favorite modern president, Ronald Reagan, never rang more true than when the freedoms of religion and of speech were recently threatened for pastors in Houston, Texas.
The story is now infamous: Mayor Annise Parker issued subpoenas to five Houston pastors as part of an oppressive effort to advance her own agenda. The subpoenas demanded that the pastors turn over sermons, notes, emails, text messages and all forms of private church communication, or be held in contempt of court. The mayor’s actions were in clear violation of the First Amendment - but it took an outcry from across the nation to convince Mayor Parker to rescind the subpoenas.
The fact that a mayor would issue the subpoenas at all is evidence of a major shift taking place in our government’s attitude toward the rights guaranteed in the First Amendment. The subpoenas were an intimidation technique, intended to silence pastors who spoke out against the ordinance (one major objection to the ordinance is that it makes it illegal for public establishments to have "men only" and "women only" restrooms.)
Thankfully, those fearless five pastors in Houston did not allow oppressive measures to force them into silence. Instead, they banded together with the support of many other churches around the nation and used their time in the public eye to fight for freedom and to share the message of the Gospel.
Magda Hermida, founder of Magda Hermida Ministries and Khanh Huynh, senior pastor of the Vietnamese Baptist Church, who both immigrated to the United States years ago in search of freedom, shared their stories when Christians gathered in Houston on November 2 for a simulcast called,"I StandSunday" in response to Mayor Parker’s attack.
We have included some of their statements below, edited for clarity.
Magda Hermida shared:
“My husband and I left Castro Communist Cuba to seek freedom in the United States. Thank God we found it here. And we have been blessed by it for almost 50 years. We used to live in Cuba through a police state in which our possessions, our speech, our faith were monitored closely by the government with the fear of punishment if we said something or did something those in power didn’t like. We never thought we would see what is happening now in this country, here, in Houston and in our beloved America. But it is here. It is now…. Hear me today, people. We cannot allow this now or ever.”
And Pastor Khanh Huynh said:
“I’m alive in the fierce nation of the Earth because of God’s immeasurable grace. Over 2 million Vietnamese boat people risked our lives to escape from the oppression and violence of the communists of Vietnam. 10,000 died and those of us who made it to the United States are grateful. We have paid with our lives, braved 20 foot waves, watched people die, to find our freedom here in the United States of America. The freedom of speech and freedom of religion were among the first to be lost in Vietnam. And now, I am facing the same marching boot of tyranny right here where I live….. My vow to God was, 'God would you let me live? After I go through this ordeal, I will spend the rest of my life telling people about your love and your grace.' And I enjoyed that in the first 31 years here in the United States. But right now, that freedom has been threatened. This cannot happen. Mayor Parker, is so committed to her own agenda, she’s willing to trample on our right to vote, speak and practice our faith freely.”
The Hope: Revival in the Church
The lineup of speakers at "I Stand Sunday" also included Dr. Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention. In his speech, he focused on what the reaction of the American church should be in difficult and discouraging times. He said:
“It is time for the church of America to look at our own sin, to repent of our own apathy. If we are going to be heard by a world that needs Jesus Christ desperately, then they need to see people of God that are committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, committed to the vibrancy of the local church. And that we must leave our lukewarm status, repent of our status, and come by faith and trust to Christ and him alone.
“It is time for us to wake up from our slumber. It is time for us to understand that our greatest problem is not in the White House, nor is it in the state house, but it is in the church house of Jesus Christ… The greatest need in America is for the church to be revived. And the greatest need in America is for us to see the next Great Spiritual Awakening in this land. That is our greatest need.
“And while we might wish that certain things would be different politically or legally, and we need to give our all to doing what we can about it, we need to understand that regardless of the laws or the ordinances that may be made that appear to stop us, I notify Houston and every city in this country and around the world: the Kingdom of God is unstoppable.
“…this might be a time when we would say in the church, ‘Wow, we better be careful. This is coming to our town, this is coming to our city.’ It may. But the question is, what will we do?”
He then led the auditorium full of people down on their knees in a fervent, powerful prayer. May it become the prayer of all Christians so that we can continue to reach hurting people for Christ through a powerful faith, freely lived and words of truth, freely spoken:
“We turn from our lukewarm status, we turn from being asleep. We turn from appearing apathetic and at times very apathetic. We turn from being a people that pronounce hopelessness. Because, Lord, none of that is right, it is all sin… And we ask, Lord that we will run to you, that we will return to you with all of our heart. And that we will do everything that we can to walk with Jesus, to be empowered with the Spirit of Jesus, to have churches that are alive in Christ, filled with the power of God and the glory of God. And Lord, that our heartbeat would not be simply to see our culture changed but to see millions and millions of lives changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because that is our hope.
“We want to be a people full of hope. While we must tell the truth, may we tell it with love and may we tell it with a great overflowing confidence and hope that Jesus is Lord and the Kingdom of God is unstoppable.”
Isn't Jonathan Gruber Worse Than the Downing Street Memo?
11/19/2014 8:10:00 PM - Ann Coulter
Gruber, who was paid half a million dollars to design Obamacare, is on tape bragging about how the Democrats relied on "the stupidity of the American voter" to pass that law. Which, ironically, was sort of a stupid thing to say on camera.
By now there are so many tapes of Gruber explaining how Obamacare fooled stupid Americans that they're being released as a boxed set in time for Christmas.
Gruber, who will hereafter be known as "the architect of Obamacare," said:
"If you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in -- if you made it explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed. ... Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass."
The Downing Street memo consisted of minutes from a July 2002 meeting of British labor, defense and intelligence officials during the run-up to the Iraq War, in which the MI6 head, Richard Dearlove, reportedly said that "Bush wanted to remove Saddam Hussein, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
These notes from a British cabinet meeting were called the smoking gun of Bush's lying his way into war.
The Downing Street memo was written about in dozens of New York Times articles -- including six hysterical Frank Rich op-eds. It has been mentioned more than a hundred times in The Washington Post. It was covered on ABC's "Nightline," by George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week," on NBC's "Meet the Press" -- even on the "Today" show. It was discussed nightly on MSNBC, where Keith Olbermann covered it like it was Kim Kardashian and he was the E! Network.
By contrast, this week, NBC's Chuck Todd dismissed the Gruber tapes as "a political story" and The New York Times said of Gruber: "In truth, his role was limited." (NYT, March 28, 2012: "Mr. Gruber helped the administration put together the basic principles of the proposal, (then) the White House lent him to Capitol Hill to help congressional staff members draft the specifics of the legislation.")
But when the Downing Street memo came out, conservatives weren't allowed to say, Yeah, well, the British memo writer didn't have anything to do with the president's decision to go to war -- even though that guy really didn't have anything to do with it.
Those weren't Tony Blair's notes. They were a secretary's interpretation of the MI6 chief's interpretation of the Bush administration's argument to the United Nations. It's like a movie review, written by someone who knew someone who had seen the movie.
The memo writer also wasn't being paid $400,000 by the Bush administration to make Iraq War policy. Jonathan Gruber was paid that much -- plus another several million from the states -- to design Obamacare.
You don't pay a half-million dollars to someone who is only peripherally involved in making policy. (Unless we're talking about Obama himself.)
There was no tape of Bush and Blair running around saying: Trust this guy -- the memo writer is our guide! But that's what Obama, Nancy Pelosi, then-Sen. John Kerry and other Democrats said about Gruber.
-- Kerry on Oct. 1, 2009: "(Gruber) has been our guide on a lot of this ..."
-- Pelosi on Nov. 5, 2009: "Our bill brings down rates -- I don't know if you have seen Jonathan Gruber's MIT analysis ..."
-- Obama's Organizing for Action website, until the tapes surfaced: "Jon Gruber, who helped write Obamacare ..."
Gruber had more than a dozen meetings at the White House during the drafting of Obamacare. The Downing Street memo writer had no meetings at the Bush White House. Even the guy he was quoting had only one.
The outrage over the Downing Street memo concerned the claim -- in the memo writer's words -- that the intelligence was being "fixed" around a policy. Although a number of commentators claimed that the British meaning of "fixed" is more like "arranged," let's assume "fixed" implies trickery.
It's still one word! Gruber has given six different speeches rambling at length about how Obamacare was intended to deceive "stupid" voters.
You can't say the Downing Street memo was a totally legitimate news story, but that the Gruber tapes are meaningless.
Ninety-nine percent of Americans were utterly unaffected by the invasion of Iraq -- other than to be made safer, until Obama threw our victory away. Every American is affected by Obamacare.
The bald-faced lies told to pass Obamacare expose not only that law, but all Democratic economic claims. When Obama boasts that it will be a huge boon to the economy to give amnesty to millions of low-wage workers, who won't pay income taxes but will need a lot of government services, remember: Obamacare was supposed to save money, too.
A White House Mass Pardon for Identity Thieves
11/19/2014 12:01:00 AM - Michelle Malkin
President Obama is poised to show his "compassion" this week by granting work cards to an estimated five million illegal immigrants through an imperial executive order. As for the vast, untold number of law-abiding citizens whose identities have been stolen by foreign law-breakers, two words: Tough luck.
Social Security card fraudsters have made out like bandits thanks to the White House. Their victims are about to get kicked in the teeth again.
Two years ago, when Obama launched his first administrative amnesty known as "DACA" (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the White House gave aid and comfort to illegal alien applicants who were concerned that their previous felony identity theft and fraud crimes would preclude them from the new non-deportation benefits. The Department of Homeland (In)security made clear that illegal workers who wanted coveted employment documents would not have to disclose to the feds whether they used stolen Social Security numbers.
Center for Immigration Studies analyst Jon Feere reported at the time that ethnic lobbyists and open-borders businesses lobbied the Obama administration hard "to keep American victims of ID theft in the dark while shielding unscrupulous businesses from enforcement." As an Obama official told The New York Times, DHS employees are "not interested in using this as a way to identify one-off cases where some individual may have violated some federal law in an employment relationship."
Translation: See no identity theft. Hear no identity theft. Speak no identity theft.
A high-profile immigration attorney crowed: "Good news for deferred action applicants: If you used a false Social Security card, you need not reveal the number on your deferred action application forms. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has clarified that when the forms ask for an applicant's Social Security number, it refers to Social Security numbers issued to the applicant. If you used a friend's number, a made-up number or a stolen number, you should answer N/A for 'not applicable' where it asks for the number."
Since then, more than 500,000 DACA applications have been approved with abysmal oversight, little public disclosure and total absolution for identity rip-off artists. The latest planned administrative amnesty will dwarf that ongoing fiasco.
Victimless crimes? Tell that to those who have been harmed by the estimated 75 percent of working-age illegal aliens who have fraudulently used Social Security cards to obtain employment. Tell it to victims in border states with the highest percentages of illegal aliens, where job-related identity theft is rampant.
Tell it to hardworking Americans like Wisconsinite Robert Guenterberg, whose Social Security number was exploited by illegal aliens for years to buy homes and cars -- while the IRS refused to tell the victims about the fraud to protect the thieves' privacy rights.
Tell it to U.S. Air Force veteran Marcos Miranda, whose name and Social Security card were filched by an illegal alien to work at a pork slaughterhouse. He was even thrown in jail for unpaid traffic tickets racked up by his identity thief. "Even though I am Hispanic, I am against illegal immigration," Miranda told the Associated Press. "Even though a lot of them come to work, there are always bad apples. (Identity theft) has really made my perspective ... negative about immigration."
And what about the children? As the Center for Immigration Studies points out: "Children are prime targets. In Arizona, it is estimated that over one million children are victims of identity theft. In Utah, 1,626 companies were found to be paying wages to the SSNs of children on public assistance under the age of 13. These individuals suffer very real and very serious consequences in their lives."
They include Americans like Jay Di Napoli of Colorado Springs, who has fought for years to clear his name and financial records after his late father -- an illegal alien who abandoned his American wife and children -- "took my original Social Security card and birth certificate when I was 2 years old." The criminal "began selling these documents to undocumented workers coming across our border with Mexico. In fact, he sold my Social Security number to illegals over 28 times before his death in 2009, and my number continues to be sold to this day. What's more, my late father's actions have caused extremely grave damage in virtually every facet of my life."
The amnesty brigade loves to extol the virtues of those who are "doing the work no Americans will do." But when it comes to punishing illegal workers who have raided the lives of innocent Americans to feloniously secure jobs, mortgages and medical care, mum's the word.
Obama's new "American Dream" is the stuff of hellish nightmares: Reward the law-breakers. Punish the law-abiders. And sell out our national identity in pursuit of cheap votes and cheap labor. R.I.P.
Obama vs. Us
Walter E. Williams
11/19/2014 12:01:00 AM - Walter E. Williams
Suppose you saw a person driving his car on the wrong side of a highway, against the traffic. Would you call him a stupid and/or incompetent driver? You say, "Williams, what kind of question is that? Of course he's one or the other!" I'd say, "Hold your horses. What are his intentions?" If the driver's intentions are to cause highway calamity, one can hardly call his actions stupid or incompetent. Given his intentions, he is wisely acting in a manner to achieve his objectives.
This observation lies at the heart of my colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell's column last week, in which he says, "Pundits who depict Obama as a weak, lame duck president may be greatly misjudging him, as they have so often in the past." After suffering an elective trouncing at the polls, President Barack Obama issued Congress an ultimatum, saying that if it doesn't enact the kind of immigration law that he would like, he will unilaterally issue an executive order to change the nation's immigration laws. This threat, along with other abuses of his office, is not a sign of presidential stupidity or incompetence.
Obama is doing precisely what he promised during his 2008 presidential campaign, to cheering and mesmerized crowds: "We are going to fundamentally change America" and "We will change America. We will change the world." Obama is living up to those pledges by subverting our Constitution and adopting the political style of a banana republic dictator. He showed his willingness to ignore the Constitution when he eliminated the work requirement in welfare reform laws enacted during the Clinton administration. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, was enacted by Congress and hence is the law of the land. Obama has used executive orders to change the law on several occasions. Ask yourself whether our Constitution permits the president to unilaterally change a law enacted by Congress. For a president to do so is for him to behave like a banana republic dictator. As Sowell says, "people who are increasingly questioning Barack Obama's competence are continuing to ignore the alternative possibility that his fundamental values and imperatives are different from theirs."
The recent elections, which gave Republicans control of both houses of Congress, clearly indicate a repudiation of much of Obama's agenda. But the question is whether the Republican majority has the courage to act on that repudiation and stop the president from running roughshod over the Constitution. Because Article 1 of the Constitution grants Congress the power of the purse, there is not much a president can do without a budget appropriation. The question is whether Congress has the guts to exercise its power.
We can rightfully condemn the president for picking and choosing which laws of the land he will obey and which he won't, in violation of the Constitution's Article 2, but is his administration's executive branch that much of an exception to the other branches of the federal government -- the legislative and judicial branches?
The legislative branch is bound by Article 1 of the Constitution. Section 8 of Article 1 delineates the scope of congressional power to tax and spend. Nowhere within Article 1, Section 8 is Congress granted the authority to tax for at least two-thirds of the federal budget.
The courts are bound by the Constitution's Article 3. Part of the courts' responsibility is to ensure that the executive and legislative branches of government uphold the Constitution. In that respect, the courts have been grossly derelict, particularly during and after the New Deal era.
Seeing as all branches of federal government ignore most of the provisions of the Constitution, I think we can safely say that we've reached the post-Constitution stage of our history. Washington politicians are not to blame. It's the American people who've lost their love and respect for our Constitution. Washington's politicians are simply the agents for that contempt.
Just Don't Call It Islamic
11/19/2014 12:01:00 AM - Mona Charen
The Islamic State beheaded another American this week. The Obama administration's response revealed its stubborn determination to deny reality.
Peter Kassig was a former Army Ranger and emergency medical technician who was moved by the suffering of Syria's civilians and returned to the region after his discharge to provide aid. He helped some of the one million Syrian refugees who have fled into Lebanon, using his own funds to buy supplies like diapers and other necessities and driving an ambulance into Syria. He was kidnapped in October of 2013.
According to those who analyze such things, something went wrong with the video of Kassig's beheading. It wasn't caught on tape. We can speculate that the former Ranger had enough strength left to fight back. Perhaps his was not the only blood on the sand. In any case, ISIS felt obliged to offer video of Syrian soldiers' beheadings instead, together with a tutorial on the history of the Islamic State, which began as an al-Qaida cell. The Islamic State executioner joked over Kassig's severed head, "He doesn't have much to say."
President Obama condemned the atrocity, saying that Kassig "was taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group." He continued, "While ISIL revels in the slaughter of innocents, including Muslims, and is bent only on sowing death and destruction, Abdul-Rahman was a humanitarian who worked to save the lives of Syrians injured and dispossessed by the Syrian conflict."
Hold on. Kassig converted to Islam and took the name Abdul-Rahman -- but only in captivity. Obama's insistence upon using his Islamic name reflects his continuing belief that by denying Islamic extremism, he can promote peace. "ISIL's actions represent no faith," he said, "least of all the Muslim faith, which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own."
When someone converts at the point of sword, in hopes of saving his life, is that "adopting the Muslim faith as his own"? Who is Obama respecting by using the Islamic name: Kassig or his executioners?
The New York Times explained it this way: "The president used the Muslim name that Mr. Kassig adopted after his capture, making the point that the Islamic State had killed a fellow Muslim." If that's the motive for using the Islamic name, it raises this question: Who does Obama imagine is unaware that the Islamic State kills Muslims? Certainly in the very tape confirming the beheading of Kassig, ISIS provided graphic and high-definition evidence of the execution of 13 Syrian soldiers. They weren't Baptists. A recent UN report depicts widespread ISIS terror and horror across Syria and Iraq. "Executions have been recorded in Aleppo, Raqqa, Idlib, Al-Hassakeh and Deir Al-Zor provinces," according to a Reuters account. "Witnesses saw scenes of still-bleeding bodies hanging from crosses and of heads placed on spikes along park railings."
But Obama is still at pains to protect the good name of Islam. He condemns the barbarism of ISIS and other terrorists, but feels the need to quickly add that their crimes "represent no faith, least of all" Islam.
Least of all? The president is living in an alternate reality. Throughout the Muslim world, extremism is in full bloom. Only a minority of Sunni extremists travel under the name al-Qaida. Others are called al-Nusra (Syria) and AQIM (North Africa) and IS (Iraq and Syria) and Wahhabi (Saudi Arabia) and Boko Haram (Nigeria) and Abu Sayyaf (Philippines) and Taliban (Afghanistan and Pakistan) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (Pakistan) and al-Fatah (Palestinian territories) and Hamas (Gaza). The Shia extremists include the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hezbollah (Lebanon) and the Mahdi Army of Iraq.
Most Muslims worldwide doubtless want only to be left in peace. They are the first, but far from the only victims of a movement that has taken the Islamic world by storm, and that Barack Obama thinks he can wish away by denying.
Poverty Causes Crime?
11/19/2014 12:01:00 AM - Dennis Prager
One of the first clues that this Columbia-educated, liberal, Democrat, New York Jew had that there was something wrong at the heart of progressive/left-wing thought was when I read and was taught over and over that "poverty causes crime."
I knew from the first that this was dogma, not truth.
How did I know?
First, I thought about the world that I knew best -- my own. My paternal grandparents were extremely poor immigrants from Russia. They lived in a small apartment in Brooklyn where they raised four children, none of whom, of course, ever had their own room. Moreover, my grandfather was a tailor, and as such made little during normal years, and next to nothing during the Great Depression.
They were considerably poorer than the vast majority of Americans who lived below the poverty line as it existed when I was in college and graduate school. And they would have regarded most of those designated poor today as middle class, if not rich by the standards of their day.
That is worth remembering whenever an American claims that violent crime in America is caused by poverty. The poor who commit murder, rape and robbery are not only not starving, they have far more material things than the word "poverty" suggests.
According to the U.S Department of Energy's Residential Energy Consumption Survey for 2005 (the last year I could find in detail -- but it doesn't matter what year because those who say that poverty causes crime have said it for a hundred years and continue to say it), among all poor households:
Over 99 percent have a refrigerator, television, and stove or oven. Eighty-one percent have a microwave; 75 percent have air conditioning; 67 percent have a second TV; 64 percent have a clothes washer; 38 percent have a personal computer.
As for homelessness, one-half of one percent living under the poverty line have lost their homes and live in shelters.
Seventy-five percent of the poor have a car or truck. Only 10 percent live in mobile homes or trailers, half live in detached single-family houses or townhouses, and 40 percent live in apartments. Forty-two percent of all poor households own their home, the average of which is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage and a porch or patio.
According to a recent Census Bureau report, 80.9 percent of households below the poverty level have cellphones.
When the left talks about the poor, they don't mention these statistics because what matters to the left is inequality, not poverty.
But that is another subject. Our subject is the question: Given these statistics, why do the poor who commit violent crime do so? Clearly it is not because they lack the basic necessities of life.
Now I didn't know any of these statistics back in college and graduate school. So how did I know that "poverty causes crime" was a lie?
I thought about my grandparents, and I could not imagine my grandfather robbing anyone, let alone raping or murdering.
Why not? Because it was unimaginable. They were people whose values rendered such behaviors all but impossible.
But there was another reason.
I was as certain as one could be that if I were poor in America, I wouldn't rob, rape or murder.
Which leads me to wonder about people who believe that "poverty causes crime."
When people say this, there are only two possibilities. One is that, on some level of consciousness, they think that if they were poor, they would commit violent crimes. My hunch is that this is often the case. Just as the whites who say all whites are racist are obviously speaking about themselves, those who claim that poverty leads to violence may well be speaking about themselves, too.
The other possibility is that they are not speaking about themselves, in which case they would have to admit that poor Americans who rob, rape or murder are morally inferior to themselves.
Which, of course, happens to be true. People (of any income level) who rob, rape and murder do so because they lack a functioning conscience and moral self-control. It is not material poverty that causes violent crime, but poor character. But the "poverty causes crime" advocates refuse to acknowledge this because such an acknowledgment blames criminals -- rather than American society -- for poor peoples' violent crimes.
And that they won't admit. Because once they do, they will have begun the journey toward affirming conservatism and Judeo-Christian values, both of which are rooted in the belief that values, not economics, determine moral behavior.
AP U.S. History - How Low Will They Go?
11/19/2014 12:01:00 AM - Jane Robbins
On one level it’s been entertaining to watch the College Board scramble to defend its radical new Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) Framework. When the public can see the truth merely by going to the College Board website and reading the Framework, it’s certainly a challenge to prove that the document isn’t what it clearly is – a leftist polemic that presents American history in a relentlessly negative light. An unfortunate recent performance by College Board vice-president Trevor Packer before a Georgia House study committee suggests that the College Board team is cracking under the strain.
The APUSH course that was in effect for decades was a five-page Topic Outline identifying broad categories of material to be covered but relying on state standards for its content. Teachers had a good idea what content to focus on by reviewing the wealth of resources, including past Exams, available to them. The new Framework replaces the Topic Outline with a detailed 142-page tome that purports to be the “required knowledge” for the course. The new Framework even warned, in bold print, that no content outside the Framework would be included on the end-of-course APUSH Exam (under duress, the College Board has removed this statement – without affirming that, in fact, material from state standards may be included on the Exam).
When the APUSH controversy initially flared up, the College Board offered its first defense: Nothing has changed! APUSH teachers will still teach state-standards content just as they always have. That defense morphed into the claim that the previous Exam was much too broad, and that trying to teach the content from state standards was driving APUSH teachers to distraction. So, the College Board said, we’ll make the detailed Framework the focus so that teachers won’t have to worry about extra-Framework content. Thus did the College Board replace its initial nothing-has-changed argument with an everything-has-changed – and for the better! – argument.
Eventually the College Board appeared to settle on a complete refutation of its original nothing-has-changed claim by embracing, and defending, the biased slant of the Framework. APUSH must present the leftist perspective, the College Board suggested, because that’s how American history is taught in college (at least according to the relatively few professors the College Board consulted).
But in his Georgia appearance, AP vice-president Packer seemed to retreat from this retreat, suggesting that the new Framework actually is more conservative than the old Topic Outline because it eliminates the possibility of leftist professors’ including their idiosyncratic questions on the Exam. (This raises the question why, since he has been in charge of APUSH for 11 years, Mr. Packer would have allowed this to happen, but never mind.) The head spins in trying to grasp the shifting defenses.
Mr. Packer bolstered his new position with a cavalcade of demonstrably untrue assertions about the old and new APUSH courses (too many to relate here – they will require their own article). But toward the end of his testimony, Mr. Packer fell back on the time-honored leftist tradition of smearing his opponents – when you don’t have the facts on your side, resort to ad hominem attacks. He first dismissed the concerns of retired APUSH teacher Larry Krieger, who first sounded the alarm on the APUSH putsch, as motivated by greed. Mr. Krieger, declared Mr. Packer with absolute certainty, is merely angry that he’s losing money because his test-preparation book is now outdated by the new Framework.
Does Mr. Packer realize that the best thing that can happen to a writer of test-prep materials is for the test to change – because then he can write new materials, which schools and families will buy to replace the books they already had? Does Mr. Packer know that Mr. Krieger in fact was offered a lucrative contract to write such new materials, but turned it down because he couldn’t in good conscience profit from an APUSH course that was so deeply anti-American?
Could it be that Mr. Krieger is more honorable than his critics?
But Mr. Packer wasn’t finished with his smears. When asked about the anti-APUSH resolution passed by the Texas State Board of Education, Mr. Packer, in gossipy tones, suggested that Texas Board chair Barbara Cargill can’t be trusted because she rejected the requests of university faculty to serve on a history-standards review committee and replaced them with her own pastor.
Once again, however, Mr. Packer was playing fast and loose with the facts. Ms. Cargill did not place her own pastor on any committee, nor did she reject any university professors. Moreover, the pastor she did nominate is a history scholar who has a personal library of 1,500 history books, all of which he has read and can discuss at length. He also has children in the Texas public schools. In other words, he is exactly the kind of person who, under Texas law, should serve on a history-standards review committee. But Mr. Packer chose to engage in gratuitous slander – what does any of this have to do with APUSH anyway? -- to distract attention from the Texas Board’s rebuke of the College Board.
Mr. Packer’s misrepresentations (to use a nice word) about his opponents – made in a public forum in another state – are simply astonishing. Does College Board president David Coleman condone this behavior? Is the College Board so desperate to defend its rewrite of American history, and so bereft of substantive arguments, that it will stoop to falsehoods and slander?
How low will it go?
Stupidity Reconsidered: Election Proved Americans Aren't Fooled by Gruber and Obama
Dr. Ben Carson
11/19/2014 12:01:00 AM - Dr. Ben Carson
Jonathan Gruber set off a firestorm of controversy, at least in the conservative media, with the recent revelation of his comments about the "stupidity of the American people," which allowed the Affordable Care Act to be passed. In essence, he admitted that the bill was written in a way that would allow its purveyors to characterize it as the cure-all and salvation for a health care system that was in trouble, with no danger of their deception being discovered by a populace that is trusting and naive. He obviously never intended for his comments to make it into the public sphere and did not consider the fact that someone is always recording on their smartphone.
What is truly disturbing is the fact that our government is willing to engage in the purposeful deception of the populace in order to thrust its secretive agenda onto an unsuspecting populace and a sycophantic mainstream media. As I have said many times before, Obamacare was never about health care; it was about government control and wealth redistribution. If there was real concern about the uninsured, it would have been much cheaper and considerably less complex to simply give all of the uninsured Cadillac health plans for life. I am a firm believer that health care reform was and is needed, and I have been advocating for it for several years. It needs to be done correctly, though, and in a way that does not create different levels of access and treatment.
There is no question that the American people are distracted by sports and entertainment and that we confer godlike status on actors and some athletes. There is also no question that we could do more to enhance our knowledge about important issues. However, to assume that the American people are stupid and uncaring and to design programs and speeches around that assumption is arrogant, disrespectful and, frankly, very shortsighted. As has famously been said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."
This most recent revelation by the unmasking of one of the chief architects of Obamacare is far from the first and only indication of a pattern of deception and manipulation by the current administration. There appears to be overt contempt for the intelligence of the populace by people who would have us believe that the Benghazi disaster was caused by an ill-defined and little-watched video, and that there was not even a smidgen of evidence of wrongdoing surrounding the "phony" Internal Revenue Service scandal, and that the government would never engage in spying on its own citizens without cause. Unfortunately, the administration knows that it can say virtually anything, and that there are some people who are so desperate to believe that it will be accepted as truth. They also know that many members of the mainstream media subscribe to their same ideology and will protect them, regardless of the consequences.
Only people who doubt the analytical ability of the populace would believe that giving people free phones and generous entitlements could purchase their loyalty forever. Only people who think the populace consists of morons would believe that they could keep delaying the employer mandate portion of Obamacare until after an important election, and that people would not realize that they were being manipulated.
The recent election results indicate the resurgence of an informed populace in our nation. Even though the awakening is not complete, I believe Gruber may be proved wrong about the intellect of the American people.
The Patriot Post
Tuesday’s Daily Digest
Nov. 18, 2014
“Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally. … A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.” –George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
It just doesn’t stop. Another video of MIT professor and ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber is out. This time, he explains that Barack Obama sought Gruber’s assistance telling lies to obfuscate their so-called Cadillac tax on premium health plans: “The problem is it’s a political nightmare, and people say, ‘No, you can’t tax my benefits.’ … So what we did a lot in that room was think a lot about, well, how could we make this work? … And [Obama] is really a realistic guy. He was like, ‘Look, I can’t just do this.’ He said, ‘It’s just not going to happen politically. The bill will not pass. How do we manage to get there through phase-ins and other things?’ And we talked about it. He was just very interested in that topic.” And that’s just part of how Gruber managed to rake in nearly $6 million2 doling out health care policy advice – often specifically to Barack Obama3. Not bad for a guy who Obama says4 was “never on our staff” and had a bunch of opinions “that I completely disagree with.” Where do we sign up for that gig?
National Journal writer Ron Fournier has long been a supporter of ObamaCare. But Jonathan Gruber’s inconvenient disclosures6 have made Fournier almost see a ray of light. “The problem is the central attribute you have to have as any leader, in any walk of life and certainly in government is trust,” Fournier said. “This president has destroyed the credibility of his administration himself and government itself.” We couldn’t have said it better. And for Fournier and his cohorts, that’s a huge problem – because they want Big Government to have credibility. “In the long run, as somebody who would like to see this bill work, I think they have really undermined it,” he added. “And it’s going to be harder to defend it.” Lies do have a tendency to reduce trust.
It’s cold outside, but the streets in Ferguson, Missouri, may be about to heat up. The Washington Times reports8, “Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard in advance of a grand jury decision about whether a white police officer will be charged in the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. … The St. Louis County prosecutor has said he expects the grand jury to reach a decision in mid-to-late November.” We have surmised they’re waiting for cold weather before exonerating Officer Darren Wilson because frigid temperatures may help keep protesters off the streets. That said, protesters are better organized now9 than rioters were in August. Perhaps that’s because, as Al Sharpton recounted, Barack Obama met with them and encouraged them to “stay on course10.”
The White House believes the Republican majority in Congress cannot stop Barack Obama from enacting his sweeping environmental policies12. Soon, the Obama administration will pass new ozone regulations, politic with the international community to create a global treaty in response to climate change, and renew his attack on the coal industry. John Podesta, a White House counselor, boasted to reporters, “I believe the president will complete actions. It is a top priority of his and I don’t believe they can stop us. Notwithstanding Sen. [Mitch] McConnell making this a top priority to leave the status quo, to leave the air dirtier.” He also forgot to mention that McConnell hates puppies. While Republicans have the majority, they don’t have a veto-proof majority. They can’t defund the EPA without starting a roaring fight on Capitol Hill that may end up shutting the government down. At least in the short term, Obama continues unchecked.
Barack Obama played the nuclear option against his military advisers. Sending U.S. troops to Iraq is still not in Obama’s playbook and he publicly contradicts his military advisers who want to keep the strategy open. Well, there is one scenario where Obama would send troops: if ISIL got its hands on a nuclear bomb. “There are always circumstances in which the United States might need to deploy U.S. ground troops,” Obama said15. If we discover that ISIL had gotten possession of a nuclear weapon … then yes, you can anticipate that not only would Chairman [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin] Dempsey recommend me sending U.S. ground troops to get that weapon out of their hands, but I would order it.“ That red line doesn’t extend to chemical weapons, apparently, and Obama is content to lead a waffling, less-than superpower. As Mitt Romney said16 about sending U.S. troops to the region, "You don’t take that as a source of our strength from the battlefield.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs is making progress in reducing the number of veterans who have been waiting longest for care, according to James Hutton, a VA spokesman. Long-term wait-lists have been reduced by 57%, but the news isn’t all good. More than 600,000 veterans, 10% of all VA patients, still wait over a month for appointments at VA clinics and hospitals, according to a report by USA Today21.
VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who took over the embattled department at the end of July, has been working overtime to get the VA back on track. Frequently crisscrossing the country to visit facilities and speak with VA administrators and veterans, McDonald discovered there is much left to do to raise the level of veterans' care to where it should be.
Since the wait-list scandal22 exploded earlier this year – revealing the outrageous fact that veterans were waiting in some cases more than a year to receive care – the department has dropped the number of chronic wait-times from 120,000 in May to 23,000 in October. The kicker is that a substantial amount of those veterans seeking care obtained it from private providers outside the VA system.
Some VA facilities still have long wait times, with 64 of them having average wait times of more than 60 days for new patients. Major facilities like Baltimore, Atlanta and Jacksonville each have at least 30,000 pending appointments. An additional 33 facilities have a two-month wait for new patients seeking mental health appointments.
McDonald announced a restructuring plan on Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day23. He wants to include a VA-wide customer service office, create new partnerships with private organizations that can help with the VA backlog, and take action to simplify the department’s structure. He is also seeking to expand the staff at VA hospitals.
McDonald is also moving to fire VA employees who do not meet the department’s values. “We are acting aggressively, expeditiously and consistent with the law,” he said. The VA has taken disciplinary action against 5,600 employees in the last year, but attempts to fire poor performers have been stymied by bureaucracy24. VA executives who face the ax can appeal their firing with the Merit System Protections Board, which has a policy of addressing appeals within 120 days but has a significant backlog of cases stemming from last year’s government furlough. Two VA leaders – Deputy Chief Procurement Officer Susan Taylor and Dublin, Georgia, VA Director John Goldman – retired during the termination process with their pensions intact.
Restoring trust in the VA will be no easy task, and it won’t happen soon. The second largest government agency is home to the largest health care system in the country. McDonald doesn’t seem to be taking his job lightly. The former Procter and Gamble CEO is also a graduate of West Point, so there is at least hope that he is sincere in his efforts. The big question is whether he will get the congressional backing that he needs. The $17 billion bill25 Congress passed earlier this year included $360 million in employee bonuses that could have been better spent on our veterans. As long as there is a mentality by those in power in Washington to protect their own, veterans will suffer neglect.
Leftists are more concerned with who you are than what you do. And the U.S. Armed Forces has become a prime target for social engineers to advance their twisted cultural agenda through a manufactured gender-identity crisis.
Here are but two examples:
First, the ongoing debate regarding roles and standards for women in certain military specialties reflects the Left-driven trend of favoring identity over ability. At the behest of women-in-combat advocates, the Pentagon directed the services to assess the impact of opening male-only combat specialties to women.
Seeking empirical evidence in order to respond objectively, the Marine Corps provisionally opened its Infantry Officer Course to females last year. None of the applicants had made it beyond the first major hurdle – the Combat Endurance Test (a.k.a., Endurance Course) – until three completed it last month. Proponents' hopes were quickly dashed, however, when all three were dropped soon thereafter for failing to meet standards in subsequent events.
Similarly, the Army recently announced27 a pilot program at its grueling Ranger School to assess “whether and how to open combat arms military occupational specialties to women.” While the Army’s announcement protests that standards will not be altered to accommodate the females, they would do well to learn from the Marines' experience.
As females have repeatedly failed to meet combat-tested standards – validating the existing restrictions – advocates have shifted their argument28 from “you can’t exclude them just because of their gender” to “you can’t exclude them just because they can’t meet the standards … the standards aren’t ‘fair.’” Leftists always have to move the goalposts to meet their objectives.
Second, in a similar vein, leftist social engineers are working to enforce “tolerance” of gender-disorientation pathology29 in the Armed Forces. The military is forcing a combat pilot into retirement because he tried to stop two lesbians from making out on the dance floor at a formal ball. According to a lawsuit against the Army for throwing the pilot under the bus, the couple was kissing for long periods, taking off each other’s jackets and a scene was developing.
According to The Washington Times30, “Lt. Col. Christopher Downey, who was once assigned to the White House and completed tours in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, ended up being convicted administratively of assaulting a soldier trying to videotape the kissing and grabbing. Col. Downey’s attorney, Richard Thompson … said Col. Downey’s commanding officer also convicted him of violating the directive that ended the ban on gays openly serving in the military. ‘It’s political correctness run wild,’ Mr. Thompson said. ‘Military rules do not apply to lesbian officers because of political correctness.’”
These sorts of activists and incidents place our national security at risk by elevating identity above accomplishment and actions. The contrast with Congresswoman-elect Mia Love’s election-night emphasis31 on substance and results, for example, is stark and highlights one of the fundamental differences between Right and Left.
Goodbye to an old friend … who never met a stranger. Harold Coker32 devoted most of his 84 years to all that is good and right about our community, state and country. He was both an astute business and political leader, and his name remains synonymous with the conservative values of East Tennessee. His legacy is framed by the model of selfless leadership he demonstrated, as well as his devotion to family and faith. Our mutual friend, Sen. Bob Corker, noted, “Anyone who spent any time with him knew his favorite roles in life were being husband to Lill, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.” The Patriot Post team is grateful for Harold’s life, and extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Lill Coker, and his family. (Mrs. Coker was the subject of a 2012 column, “The Battle of Athens33.”
OPINION IN BRIEF
President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919): “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming.”
Economist Stephen Moore: “Japan is suffering another economic free fall. Following a second quarter GDP decline of an annualized 7.3 percent, this last quarter the economy in Tokyo sank again by another 1.6 percent. … There are lessons here for U.S. policymakers if they are paying attention. Japan’s economic plunge coincides with the disastrous blunder by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government to raise the nation’s sales tax from 5 percent to 8 percent starting in April. To offset the negative effects of the tax hike, the Japanese central bank has flooded the nation with paper money; the yen has subsequently fallen in value relative to the dollar. … The nation has massively increased government ‘infrastructure’ spending to try to bump up demand. … But the spending only exploded net government debt as a share of GDP, which is now above 140 percent. So to lower the debt, the Abe government enacted the tax hike on consumers, which has had the predictable effect of reducing family spending. … It wasn’t so long ago that American intellectuals were fawning all over Japan as the planet’s new economic superpower. … If anything good can come out of this calamity it is that other nations learn the lesson that Keynesianism is a fraud. So why does Washington keep trying it?”
Columnist Ed Feulner: “Ready to pay more for Internet access? Me neither. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what we can expect under the ‘net neutrality’ rules being pushed by President Obama. ‘Net neutrality’ may sound harmless, but there would be nothing neutral about this change. … In short, [broadband providers] can offer – and charge – what they want. That’s good for consumers, because it means that in order to compete, they’re always trying to win and keep customers by offering better, faster service at lower rates. … [N]et neutrality would mean more than a rate hike (which will naturally hit lower-income Americans the hardest). Coming under the FCC’s regulatory thumb would harm innovation and make broadband companies wary of investing in new ways to provide better, faster and cheaper service. … So let’s see: We’d pay more – for less. Sounds like a government plan, all right. Here’s a better idea: Leave ‘net neutrality’ junked on the shoulder of the information superhighway instead.”
Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “Why is the Gruber stuff shocking? Isn’t it wildly known progressives consider themselves geniuses and the public stupid?”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
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.
Racial Quota Punishment
11/18/2014 12:01:00 AM - Thomas Sowell
If anyone still has any doubt about the utter cynicism of the Obama administration, a recent agreement between the federal government and the Minneapolis Public Schools should open their eyes.
Under the Obama administration, both the Department of Education and the Department of Justice have been leaning on public schools around the country to reduce what they call the "disproportionate" numbers of black male students who are punished for various offenses in schools.
Under an implicit threat of losing their federal subsidies, the Minneapolis Public Schools have agreed to reduce the disparity in punishment of black students by 25 percent by the end of this school year, and then by 50 percent, 75 percent and finally 100 percent in each of the following years. In other words, there are now racial quota limits for punishment in the Minneapolis schools.
If we stop and think -- as old-fashioned as that may seem -- there is not the slightest reason to expect black males to commit the same number of offenses as Asian females or any other set of students.
When different groups of human beings have behaved differently in all sorts of ways, in countries around the world, for thousands of years of recorded history, why would we accept as dogma that the only reason one set of students gets punished more than others is because the people who are doing the punishing are picking on them?
Politically -- which is the way the Obama administration looks at everything -- any time they can depict blacks as victims, and depict themselves as their rescuers, that means an opportunity to get out the black vote for Democrats.
On the surface, this may look like a favor to blacks. But only on the surface.
Anyone with common sense knows that letting a kid get away with bad behavior is an open invitation to worse behavior in the future. Punishing a kid for misbehavior in school when he is 10 years old may reduce the chances that he will have to be sent to prison when he is 20 years old.
Other schools in other cities, which have also caved under pressure from the federal government, and agreed to lighten up on black kids who misbehave, have reported an increase in misbehavior, including violence. Who would have thought otherwise?
Letting kids who are behavior problems in schools grow up to become hoodlums and then criminals is no favor to them or to the black community. Moreover, it takes no more than a small fraction of troublemakers in a class to make it impossible to give that class a decent education. And for many poor people, whether black or white, education is their one big chance to escape poverty.
The people in the Obama administration who are pushing this counterproductive policy are not stupid. They are political, which is worse. They know what they are doing and they are willing to sacrifice young blacks to do it.
This punishment issue made me think back to the 8th grade, when I was punished by being kept after school, more often than any other kid in the class -- black, white, Hispanic or whatever. I was bored in school and did various pranks to liven things up.
One day, after school, as I sat alone among the empty chairs in the classroom, the teacher said, sarcastically: "Well, here we are again, Sowell, just the two of us!"
"Good grief, Miss Sharoff," I said. "If we keep staying in after school together all the time, people will begin to talk."
"We will just have to live with the scandal," she said, without even looking up from the papers she was correcting.
Thank heaven there was no Obama administration to exempt me from punishment. Who knows how I might have ended up?
Years ago, there was a study of a working class community where there were black, Hispanic and Italian kids, and where many of the cops were Italian. When a black or Hispanic kid broke the law, the police took him down to the station and booked him. But, if an Italian kid did the same thing, they reacted differently.
The Italian cop would take the Italian kid out into an alley and rough him up. Then he would take him home to his family, tell them what had happened and leave him there -- where the kid could expect another beating, instead of the wrist-slap punishment of the law. Those cops understood the realities of life that politicians ignore. And they were doing a favor to their own.
The Depression of Obama
11/18/2014 12:01:00 AM - Rachel Alexander
Obama’s frequent vacations and increase in golfing excursions have become bizarre, considering so many continue to struggle economically almost six years into his presidency, and the world is being rocked by an epidemic of Islamic jihadist torture and horrendous murders, moving increasingly closer to our shores. Few Americans can afford to take vacations - if they actually have a job that is full time and gives them the ability to take a vacation - yet Obama continues to take exotic trips around the world with his wife and kids. Both Republican Presidents Bush never engaged in lavish family trips to the extent Obama has.
Obamacare, the signature of his presidency, has been a failure. As a result of it and other Democrat disasters during his tenure, Democrats took a historical, crushing defeat during this year’s midterm elections, which went well beyond typical midterm setbacks. In addition to taking back the U.S. Senate, Republicans now control 68 of 98 partisan state legislatures, the highest ever in the party's history.
Oddly, many conservatives are afraid to point out the obvious - that Obama is in over his head and depressed. Gawker reported in 2011, “There are people at the[New York] Times who, based on the paper's reporting, believe Obama is depressed - the kind of depression where, if he weren't the president of the United States, he wouldn't be getting out of bed in the morning.” Although multiple media outlets wrote at the time that the Timeswas coming out with an article about Obama’s depression, nothing ever materialized, fueling speculation that the White House put pressure on the Gray Lady to kill it.
Tellingly, even the satire website, The Onion, ran a video about Obama’s depression, which said, “White House officials admit Obama's extreme confidence and total euphoria over ‘hope’ and ‘change’ were symptoms of a prolonged manic episode.”
Yahoo News, no conservative news site, listed several signs that Obama is depressed in an article last year. Besides the Obamacare disaster, Yahoo contributor David Schribman listed as reasons the surveillance debacle, which has Americans all across the political spectrum alarmed, massive opposition to immigration reform, and Israel’s increasing dislike of Obama. Schribman compared Obama’s implosion to former president John F. Kennedy, pointing out, “Today almost everyone acknowledges that the 35th president was breathtakingly unprepared for the White House.”
Like Obama, Kennedy was propelled to the White House based less upon his ability than factors like his looks and charisma. Obama comes from a privileged background; he attended a private high school in Hawaii which cost more in tuition than many universities. He is used to smoking pot, cigarettes and drinking alcohol whenever he feels like it.
As president, he no longer has that freedom. Every move he makes is watched by the Secret Service and the media. He can’t get high anytime, since there are always important meetings, speeches and phone calls.
Obama is used to being fawned over and having things easily handed to him. As an attractive, leftist-black man in politics, people have always been eager to help him succeed. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize immediately after entering office, even though he hadn’t yet done anything. Now, as president, he is exposed to everyone and their opinions around the country, not just syncophants. He never built up the stamina and drive to get to the demanding, intense level where he’s at, so he does not have the psychological preparedness to deal with it.
D.C. insider Wayne Madsen reported that Obama is a narcissist who spends hours googling himself, getting very upset and swearing when he finds negative news articles. In fact, Madsen believes Obama is so angry at his reporting that he wants him dead. Obama’s handlers have figured out that it’s best to keep him on the campaign trail as much as possible, where “he is the focus of adulation by swooning crowds,” Madsen writes. “Some White House officials have expressed fear to Democratic Party officials and elected Democratic office holders around the nation that Obama is on the verge of a mental breakdown.”
A few less prominent websites also report similarly disturbing things about Obama’s signs of depression, although the veracity of these reports cannot be easily verified. This site claims to have interviewed a White House insider who worked with Obama and observed his depression.
As a depressed president with little energy left to help Democrats, he may be doing more harm than good for their agenda the last couple of years he’s in office. On the other hand, as Glenn Beck observed recently, Obama may use the now Republican-controlled Senate as an excuse to justify ramming unpopular measures through such as amnesty using executive orders.
Whether Obama’s implements his radical agenda now through executive orders because he’s depressed about his legacy, or because he is a radical leftist, ultimately doesn’t matter. These drastic actions must be stopped before he can do massive damage to the country. It may come down to the Supreme Court as the only entity capable of striking them down. Let’s keep his legacy as the golfer of the one percent.
House Republicans Can Stop Obama's Amnesty Agenda
11/18/2014 12:01:00 AM - Ken Blackwell
With already dismal approval ratings, this has been the most difficult month for President Barack Obama yet. After voters from coast to coast soundly rejected Obama-supporting Democrats on Election Day, video was leaked of left-wing economist Jonathan Gruber - the chief architect of Obamacare - admitting that the sweeping health care bill became law because Americans are "stupid."
As if that wasn't embarrassing enough, a source leaked to Fox News copies of Obama's unconstitutional 10-point plan to grant amnesty to 4.5 million illegal immigrants through executive order, which is supposed to be announced this week. After reading just what he has in mind, it's clear Gruber isn't the only one who thinks we're stupid.
In the plan, Obama is prepared use executive orders to stop the deportation of illegals through what's known as "deferred action." This plan would prevent illegal immigrants who came to America as children - along with their children born in America - from ever facing deportation. In addition, Obama is expected to end the Secure Communities program, which helps facilities information sharing between federal immigration agents and local police when trying to identify illegal immigrants.
Most Americans don't approve of Obama's immigration policies and his" the President-is-King"approach. They, particularly middle class voters, are deeply concern about the impact of his policies on jobs and stagnant wages.
Now, it appears that conservative Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have a unique opportunity to stop Obama's amnesty agenda dead in it's tracks. Because Congress is going to need the passage of a short-term spending bill soon to fund government through the next fiscal year, an embolden Republican majority is ready use Congress' power of the purse to defund Obama's amnesty orders, including any renewal funding for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
This movement in the House is lead by conservative Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), who now has 63-signatures on his letter which would block all funding for Obama's executive amnesty orders. The letter was forwarded to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) and ranking member Nita Lowey (D-NY), which requests that such anti-funding language be included in "all appropriations legislation prohibiting the use of funds by the administration for the implementation of current or future executive actions that would create additional work permits and green cards outside the scope prescribed by Congress."
Salmon, who said this effort is gaining an astonishingly large amount of traction thanks to the 2014 election results, is confident House conservatives can be successful. As he explained in a recent interview, this defunding effort "will stop him dead in his tracks if our conference decides to put on the spending bill that the president has to have by the end of the year that no money in that spending bill can go for these purposes, for this executive amnesty. If he does that, he's in direct violation of the law."
Unfortunately, Obama doesn't seem to understand just how bad the elections were for his radical agenda. Instead of waiting for the new Congress to start and making his arguments, he is gearing up to impose his pro-amnesty agenda on the American people in ways that would shock our Founding Fathers. With only two years left in his term, he is ready to appease his left-wing base and politically tear the country apart, while forcing local communities to deal with the extreme costs and safety risks of illegal immigration.
It is time to urge the Republican leadership to understand just why 74 percent of Americans want Obama to work with Congress on immigration instead of going around them. Republicans must stop Obama's lawless amnesty agenda now.
Think Obamacare's Affordable? You're Stupid
Debra J. Saunders
11/18/2014 12:01:00 AM - Debra J. Saunders
Before he became the Obama administration's least favorite overpaid expert, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber was its darling. He appeared in an Obama campaign ad saying, "I helped (Massachusetts) Gov. (Mitt) Romney develop his health care reform, or Romneycare, before going down to Washington to help President Obama develop his national version of that law." The false portrayal of Romneycare and Obamacare as practically identical fueled the Democratic delusion that Congress had drafted the Affordable Care Act to appeal to rascally Republicans.
Now Gruber is in the doghouse because he was captured on video being brutally honest. In 2010, Gruber told a panel, "Barack Obama's not a stupid man, OK?" Obama knew the public doesn't care about the uninsured, Gruber said. "What the American public cares about is costs. And that's why even though the bill that they made is 90 percent health insurance coverage and 10 percent about cost control, all you ever hear people talk about is cost control."
Ergo, candidate Obama's 2008 promise that his universal health plan would "bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family."
What happened to those savings? Josh Archambault, senior fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability, a free market think tank, answered, "We have not seen them yet."
Even in 2008, it was clear that pledge was bogus. The New York Times reported in July, "The health policy advisers who formulated the figure say it actually represents the average family's share of savings not only in premiums paid by individuals, but also in premiums paid by employers and in tax-supported health programs like Medicare and Medicaid." Economist David Cutler admitted to "occasional misstatements" made in service to a desire to "find a way to talk to people in a way they understand."
(Three Harvard professors made a "best guess" as to how much the government, employers and consumers might save when Obama's proposals are fully implemented -- $200 billion annually -- divided by the number of Americans and multiplied by four. Then they let Obamaland talk as if all the savings would go to premium reductions.)
At a different venue, Gruber alluded to the "stupidity of the American voter" for falling for the administration's claim that Obamacare's Cadillac tax on employer-paid health plans would be "a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people when we all know it's a tax on people who hold those insurance plans."
Obama whisperer David Axelrod tweeted, "If you looked up 'stupid' in dictionary, you'd find Gruber's picture." For a stupid guy, Gruber sure cashed in. According to Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler, the federal government paid Gruber almost $400,000 to consult on the Affordable Care Act in 2009 and another $2 million over seven years to assess Medicare choices.
In 2012, Gruber was a key figure in the making of a myth -- that is, that Democrats drafted Obamacare to attract Republicans, who perversely would not vote for the law, thus forcing Democrats to enact a measure they didn't really want. Chalk that up to the stupidity of the consulting class -- which pays very well.
How Democrats Defeated Themselves
11/17/2014 12:01:00 AM - Star Parker
New Gallup polling on party favorability ratings should be useful reading for leaders of the Democratic Party who are still in denial about the meaning of the Republican sweep in the recent elections.
The percentage of Americans giving the Democratic Party a favorable rating is at an all time low – 36 percent. It now stands below the current 42 percent favorable rating of the Republican Party.
Notable is that Democrats themselves are increasingly unhappy with their own party. Whereas now 81 percent of Democrats give a favorable rating to their own party, this is 14 points below the 95 percent where it stood in December 2012.
Also of note are Independents. Favorability rating of the Democratic Party by Independents now stands at 25 percent, compared to 42 percent in December 2012.
A Gallup poll published at the beginning of this year showed the percentage of Americans identifying as Independent at a record high 42 percent.
But of particular interest is how much Democrat favorability tanked in the short period from right before the election until now. Democrat favorability in October stood at 42 percent compared to the current 36 percent.
According to polls, in October Americans said that the economy was the most important issue and today they still say the economy is the most important issue.
The current rate of unemployment remains above where it was before the recession began in 2008, as is the case with the overall percentage of Americans currently working.
But the economic news is improving, although much more slowly than anyone would prefer.
So why the big drop in Democrat approval in just one month?
I think a lot has to do with the message the Democratic Party delivered nationwide in this election.
For lack of something of substance to tell the American people, Democrats ran a campaign of hate, blame, and division.
Not only did this not help win votes for Democrats, it lowered the esteem in the eyes of the American people for the Democratic Party.
Unfortunately, the message that your life is not in your own hands, that you have less because someone else has more, and that only the government can make your life better, has always been center stage of the Democratic Party.
But this time it was particularly vicious and vacuous with no pretense of substance. “You don’t have because they have and they don’t want you to have.” This, combined with suggestions that Republicans are racists, was the best Democrats had to offer.
Data from the Census bureau as of 2013, compiled by economist and blogger Mark Perry, boldly speaks to what really lies behind income inequality in America.
Comparing households with median income in the highest fifth of the country to the lowest fifth what do we find?
Seventy seven percent of households in the highest fifth are headed by married couples compared to 16 percent of those in the lowest fifth. Twenty three percent of those in the highest fifth are single parent homes or singles compared to 84 percent in the lowest fifth.
And 65 percent of those in the highest fifth had a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 13.5 percent in the lowest fifth.
Unfortunately, those in the lowest fifth are also disproportionately minorities. Exactly those who Democrats targeted in their campaign to inspire hate and division.
Polls also show that after the economy, dissatisfaction with government is the next thing bothering Americans.
Government must get out of the way so the economy can grow and create conditions where individuals can best take advantage of opportunities.
For Americans of every background, this begins with getting married, having children in the framework of marriage, and getting an education.
Freedom and personal responsibility defines America’s future, not blame and division. Democrats are selling the latter and why they defeated themselves so badly.
The Liberals Are Going To Lose If We Just Let Them
11/17/2014 12:01:00 AM - Kurt Schlichter
Let’s take a moment to revel in the utter failure of progressivism. Let’s stand back, gazing and smiling, as it crashes and burns. And let’s suppress the urge to do something stupid to extinguish the flames.
We must to give ourselves permission to enjoy liberals’ pain, and to accept that we’re winning. Now, there's a strain of conservatism that always seems to be solemnly assured that everything is going to go to hell and there's nothing we can do about it. America is doomed, doomed! The liberals will prevail and we might as well bury our gold, guns, and survival food behind the bunker.
Yet, right now we conservatives are winning, and not just in elections. To keep winning, all we have to do is not indulge our instinct for making bad tactical choices that are fueled by emotion instead of ruthlessly executing sound tactics designed not to make us feel better, but to inflict maximum damage upon our pinko opponents.
As Napoleon taught, never interrupt your enemies when they are making a mistake. Exhibit A: Barack Obama is about to use his executive power, or his perverted version of his executive power, to effectively legalize about five million illegal aliens. He wants to do that in spite of just having an election where exit polls showed about 65% of Americans don't want five million illegal aliens legalized. Does anyone still think that Obama is some sort of political evil genius, dwelling in a volcano lair and plotting world domination? This isn't a brilliant masterstroke. It's insanity. He’s not Ernst Stavros Blofeld. He’s not even Dr. Evil. He’s more like Professor Tiresome.
Let’s review. President Cunning is going to do something that two thirds of Americans hate, and he's going to do it quasi-legally through an executive action that can be undone by the next president. He’s going to hang this pseudo-amnesty anchor around Hillary Clinton’s neck and drop her off the boat. Everywhere she goes she's going to be asked, “Will you undo Obama’s order?” And she’ll tap dance, riling up the angry and demoralizing her allies, while the Republican nominee – unless it’s super-squish Jeb Bush – will gleefully spend the entire election saying, "Oh, I'm going to undo it Day One!"
And Obama’s not even going to buy her dinner first. Of course, Hillary is used to being shafted by the men around her. Well, at least figuratively.
Now, the Republicans really can't do much about executive amnesty except make it an issue and try to nibble around the edges via the power of the purse. You'll hear some people screaming about impeachment, but let's because let's be frank. Impeachment a bad tactic.
Impeachment is not going to work. We don’t have the votes. And no, not doing something stupid is not the same as “not doing anything.” Whether or not he deserves it is irrelevant. And even if it could work, here’s three terrifying words to ponder: President Joe Biden.
No Democrats are going to split off to vote to impeach. Instead, it would galvanize Obama’s support among people who we should be stealing from the liberal coalition, like black Americans. If KKK kleagle/Democrat icon Robert Byrd planned it with his pointy-hooded cronies, he couldn't do more damage to the black community than Obama has done. President Hope N’ Change wants to import millions of low-wage workers to steal all the entry-level jobs from impoverished black Americans who are already at 10%+ unemployment. Instead of forcing them to rally behind this charlatan, maybe we ought to go out and appeal to them as the party that isn’t trying to keep them poor. If we start getting just 20% of the black vote, the Democrat Party is finished.
But amnesty’s not the only looming liberal disaster. Savor the hilarious spectacle of the runoff-inspired embrace of fossil fuels by Mary Landrieu and the Keystone Communists. This comes after anti-oil dilettante Tom Steyer squandered $74 million on her fellow travelers. Smooth move, sucker. Even the dumbest rich liberal will see the lousy return on investment in giving money to Democrats. Anyone think Steyer wants to be a laughingstock again in 2016?
Hey, it's that time of year again when families gather for the holidays around their tables to talk about the latest Obamacare premium increases and how liberals think Americans are stupid for letting themselves be Grubered. Millions of Americans will spend Thanksgiving discussing why liberalism’s premier project sucks. Of course, Obamacare may not last that long. With at least two serious Supreme Court challenges coming, Obamacare is a dead scam walking.
On the pop-culture side, we may have reached the crest of the liberal cultural wave. There's finally been some pushback against the leftist assault on manhood in all its forms, and shockingly it came from videogame-playing nerds. The Gamergate gang rejected the protests of shrewish social justice whiners that their world of videogames is insufficiently welcoming to shrewish social justice whiners, and went right on gaming. The liberal feminists were stunned that someone finally told them to take their personal psychodramas and buzz off. They were used to unquestioning obedience, and when the nerds laughed at them they felt compelled to turn their harpy claws on some wussy astrophysicist who cheerfully humiliated himself by apologizing for wearing a Hawaiian shirt featuring the kind of women liberal feminists are jealous of – hot ones with guns who men like.
And then there's Lena Dunham, the poster girl for progressive millennials. She established the high water mark of cultural leftism with her revelations of inappropriate intimacy with her little sister. Finally, cultural degeneracy reached a limit. Even liberal feminists are queasy about their soul sister’s antics, and the gal who was universally praised for everything she did was shocked to find she had gone from “You go, girl” to “Eww gross, girl!”
We’re winning. So how do we exploit these liberal defeats? Let's pick our battles. Let's find and exploit their many weaknesses. Let's wedge issue them. Let's brutalize them. And let's enjoy watching the wreckage of their poisonous ideology burn.
Democrats Move Gun Confiscation Underground
11/17/2014 12:01:00 AM - Katie Kieffer
Fear of sunlight and guns is leading Democrats to turn nocturnal.
Bats, mice, skunks and other nocturnal creatures are most active between sunset and sunrise. Nocturnal creatures do not “choose” to avoid sunlight anymore than fish “choose” to avoid dry land; it is instinctual, healthy and normal for nocturnal creatures to work in the dark. Humans, in contrast, are by nature not nocturnal in either a literal or a metaphorical sense.
Social by nature, it is abnormal for humans to skulk in the shadows. Rational by nature, it is also unhealthy for men and women to metaphorically work in the dark by deceiving each other because fraud is counterproductive to efficient trade and commerce.
Today, I’ll let you in on a clandestine but fast-moving effort on the part of Democrats to implement universal background checks under the cover of darkness. The danger of losing your 2nd Amendment rights has never been more palpable.
On November 4, Washington State passed expanded background checks through a ballot initiative that garnered 60% of the vote. As USA Today puts it: “Largely overshadowed by the GOP’s capture of the Senate, the Washington vote is being touted by gun control advocates as a potential template for establishing universal background checks as a condition of all gun sales throughout the country.”
While jubilant Republicans and independents celebrated midterm election results, Democrats quietly celebrated their own victory in controlling gun-owners. Gun grabbers tiptoed through the twilight while journalists covered hard stories like Chelsea Clinton’s new baby. (Because, in Katie Couric’s world, an heiress with world-famous anti-gun parents and mother of one like Chelsea Clinton is a far better role model for women than a self-made mother of five like Sarah Palin who believes every woman has a natural right to self defense.)
Universal background checks failed by a vote of 54-46 in the Senate last spring. Americans were too smart to let Congress pass a federal background check measure (take that, Jonathan Gruber!). Experts like Dr. John Lott have shown that burdensome checks will not improve public safety. In fact, Dr. Lott has shown that extended background checks can backfire by delaying law-abiding women from obtaining firearms for personal protection against violent stalkers.
A November Gallup poll found that 63% of Americans believe that guns make their homes safer. The majority of Americans are intelligent enough to find great comfort in knowing that their loved ones are within close proximity of a firearm.
So, Democrats moved their gun control operation underground. Liberal “philanthropists” Bill and Melinda Gates (a.k.a. wealthy emotionalists) and their partner in pandering, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, infused $11 million dollars and copious misinformation into Washington state to convince voters that background checks would make them safer.
As the sun rose on November 5, the Pistol Prying Party celebrated that it had moved one step forward in accomplishing piecemeal what it could not accomplish under the scrutiny of a national spotlight.
Implementing onerous background checks state-by-state is only one example of the upward trend in surreptitious gun grabbing. In late September, California Gov. Jerry Brown quietly signed a measure that encourages law enforcement officers and California residents to turn in strangers, colleagues, friends and even family members who they deem to be a “threat” to society or themselves.
As a little girl, I attended a summer day camp. My friends and I spent several days building a miniaturize neighborhood out of grass and twigs. One afternoon, a jealous camper sauntered over and kicked our stick village to smithereens. Outraged by this injustice, I informed our teenage counselor who snipped: “Don’t be a tattletale.”
Ironically, the same slothful attitude that motivates a teenage camp counselor to tell children to cower in the face of playground bullies is evident in adult politicians like Jerry Brown. Too lazy to do his real job which is to defend (not control) Californians and their private property, Brown encourages Californians to cave to bullies (i.e. sexual predators and thieves) and tattle on law-abiding gun owners.
Gun owners and law-abiding citizens: you must be diligent. Despite big wins for freedom on Election Day, we cannot afford the luxury of resting on our laurels. Share this message with your friends and family so that we can defeat the nocturnal Democrats’ nefarious attacks against our natural right to self-defense.
Obama is the Problem - Walmart is the Solution
11/17/2014 12:01:00 AM
Once again, we can say "thanks" to a private sector that is routinely berated by the government-loving statists of the Democrat Party. It turns out that the heartless corporations, and not the big-government juggernaut of good intentions, are the ones actually doing good for Americans, their families, and their communities. In a piece of news that is tailored fit to annoy the liberal in your life, it turns out Walmart’s healthcare plans are measurably more compassionate than the stock plans offered by Obamacare.
I’ll give you a minute to fit that last thought on a bumper sticker that you can stealthily sneak onto the back window of a liberal friend’s Chevy Volt.
The Messiah President’s signature piece of legislation – often considered the Holy Grail for well-intentioned limousine liberals – fails to outperform the healthcare offerings Walmart makes available to its vast army of non-union employees. So, while liberals berate the corporation for low wages, “inadequate” healthcare options, and general callousness, just remember that working at Walmart is still better than getting something for “free” from Big Brother.
According to an article in the Washington Examiner from earlier this year, an exhaustive study comparing Walmart’s standard employee plans and Obamacare alternatives, have unequivocally proven the moral superiority of big business over big government. Walmart offers all its employees (from janitor to CEO) two standard plans (wow… no special exemptions for management? Already it looks like a better deal than Obamacare!)… And both plans have proven to be more cost effective, comprehensive, accessible, and efficient than even the most “affordable” alternatives available on healthcare.gov.
The Washington Examiner provided a wide range of examples, but the most impressive portion of the report was highlighted in regards to the insurance requirements:
Unlike Obamacare, there are no income eligibility requirements. Age and gender do not alter premium rates. The company plan is the same for all of Walmart's 1.1 million enrolled employees and their dependents, from its cashiers to its CEO.
So while Obamacare imposes varying tiers, exemptions, and carve outs, the private sector corporation has managed to extend low cost (high quality) options to everyone with a blue vest. The cost differences were equally astounding:
The unsubsidized premium for a nonsmoking couple age 60 can cost $1,365 per month [under Obamacare] versus the Walmart cost of about $134 for the same couple.
In addition to better price, the Walmart plans provided a more comprehensive list of hospitals, doctors, and services. While free contraception might be Sandra Fluke’s primary concern, access to actual healthcare generally tops the list of priorities for average Americans.
The “news” that companies take care of their employees better than some DC Bureaucracy is highly illustrative of the private sector’s superiority in providing amicable solutions to moral and societal questions. While the left routinely trashes Walmart as being a heartless greed-machine, the company has been marching forward in providing for the people that make it run with capitalistic efficiency. It must pain the left to know that a profit-hungry giant of consumerism has somehow accomplished for its “underprivileged” workforce something big government has largely made impossible for low-income citizens: Affordable health insurance.
This, of course, is nothing surprising to capitalists and free-market advocates. The private sector thrives only when balancing the demands of consumers with a certain level of generous compensation for employees. Anyone who has run a business understands the importance of rewarding labor and value while adhering to budgets and market forces – and Walmart is no exception. Government, by comparison, does not respond to labor conditions, market values, consumer reaction, or profit motives… Which means it is directed only by the statist desires of bureaucrats and technocrats.
Business, and not government, is the key to progress in America; a fact lost on occupy-protestors, anti-corporatists, and the Democrat Party of Barack Obama. If we had a little more Walmart and a little less Government in today’s economy we might be making far more progress in putting Americans back to work, and back on the path to prosperity.