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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Cosby's Message Survives Personal Disaster
11/28/2014 12:01:00 AM - Suzanne Fields
What's fascinating about the coverage of the persuasive accusations against Bill Cosby, now 18 and rising, is that race doesn't dominate. There's an outcry at the abuse of women, and he's shredded the healthy black father family man image he carefully cultivated on his sitcom, but you don't read or hear notice taken of the fact that the women who say he drugged and raped them were usually white.
Nor is the culture called racist for having turned Bill Cosby into an angry black man who spent his aggression against those vulnerable white women. There's anger at a celebrity's abuse of power, that an icon of family values is a violent hypocrite, but it's not about race. No doubt a multitude of psychological and sociological interpretations will follow. The outrage is that he abused male power, destroyed a powerful positive image and broke a lot of black and white hearts.
Rape and harassment have become equal-opportunity degradations. If many of his prey didn't speak out, it was because he was so rich, powerful and loved by the public that nobody would have paid attention to the accusations.
"One of the reasons that Bill Cosby has been a beloved American comedian for six decades is that he offered one of the most soothing versions of the story of race in America," writes Rebecca Traister in The New Republic. He made both black and white feel good about racial progress, since nobody knew that his was a rake's progress. He was soothing about the dignity of the black family and the promise that those who did not yet enjoy that life might yet achieve it. That message is not lost in the scandals.
The followers of "Dr. Huxtable," as Mr. Cosby's character was called, were from every ethnic group, drawn by the idea that middle-class family values are not merely white values. It's what President Obama implies when he talks about expanding the middle class economy to include blacks "moving on up." Moral values are crucial to that.
As the granddaughter of Russian immigrants who endured the pogroms enforced by Cossacks before they managed to get on a boat to America, the aspiration toward middle-class values was crucial to my story as well. My father was an eighth-grade dropout, a bookie by trade and threatened with jail every time the cops raided his "establishment." But both before and after he joined the middle class, as a prosperous builder, the soothing voice of the"Dr. Huxtable" voice was his voice, too. The obstacles of ancestry could be overcome.
"The Cosby Show" didn't soothe so much as smooth, softening the harsh edges painful to every family. The color of the Huxtable family's skin was a reminder that even if many blacks (or immigrants) didn't have such a life, they might have one soon enough. Middle class values, accompanying middle class money, are the great equalizers.
Later, after Bill Cosby made millions and stepped from behind the actor's mask to take his message directly to the people, he told absent black fathers to shape up and they could win life's lottery. The color of skin, he said, is only one element in becoming who you are.
His overt political message was about education, discipline, self-reliance, self-respect. He refused to blame racism for continuing to keep his people down. In 1997, when his son was murdered while fixing a flat at the side of the Hollywood Freeway, his wife Camille wrote a bitter op-ed in USA Today, blaming white racism. Her husband nevertheless kept up his rhetoric against bad ghetto behavior, black-on-black crime, demeaning rap music and irresponsible black baby daddies who abandon their children.
In commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board Education decision mandating the desegregation of the nation's schools, he famously scolded a kid for stealing a slice of pound cake: "If you get caught with it, you're going to embarrass your mother."
Many in the black establishment attacked the rich entertainer as an "Afristocrat" who blamed the poor for being the poor. But if white liberals and black militants didn't like what they perceived as "blaming the victim," his speech was regarded as an act of "empowerment" in black churches, barbershops and barbecue joints. The message entered the black mainstream, pushing blacks forward from "victims to victors" in the tradition of Booker T. Washington's appeal to "black self-sufficiency" at the turn of the 20th Century.
One of the sad consequences of the fall of Bill Cosby is the exposure of his cynicism. Can his virtuous message survive? It must. We can't let the disgrace of the messenger kill the message.
Get Ready for a Two-Year Brawl Between GOP Congress, Obama, and the Last of the Left
11/28/2014 12:01:00 AM - Donald Lambro
WASHINGTON - If you thought the bare knuckled, no-holds-barred, midterm elections were rough, the last two years of Barack Obama's presidency will make that look like a Sunday school picnic.
Frustrated by the slow, plodding pace of democracy, the Constitution's checks and balances, and the pertinence of Republicans to want a say in their government, Obama's preparing for all out war in next year's GOP Congress.
He has taken to writing his own immigration laws, and by implication, erased Article I, Section 1 of our governing document that says "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States…"
And he has been sharpening his veto pen, vowing that the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline won't be completed as long as he is president. Pro-growth policies to put the American people back to work? Not on his watch.
And that's just for starters.
The Republicans, on the other hand, with their pocket Constitutions in hand, are going to court and preparing a battery of bills to overturn policies that have weakened our economy, forced Americans out of the workforce, and threaten to bankrupt our country.
They have filed a lawsuit against Obamacare, and are looking at strategies to overturn his unilateral rewrite of the nation's immigration statutes.
President Obama boasted this year that even though he had run his last campaign, his policies were effectively on the Nov. 4 ballot. The voters responded by giving him and the Democrats one of the worst election thrashings in the modern political era.
Republicans not only took control of the Senate, they increased their seats in the House in what may turn out to be their biggest majority since the 1940s.
Obama was unmoved by the voters' angry rejection of his presidency, policies and programs. And even seemed to dismiss the election's validity, arguing that a far larger share of the electorate had voted for him, while this year's election only drew a mere 36 percent of eligible voters.
But even that turnout percentage amounted to nearly 77 million voters which is still a lot of people. And, besides, many more Democrats did not vote, a midterm problem in his party that Obama complained about earlier this year.
Now comes the question of what the Republicans will do with their majority in the new 114th Congress.
They certainly have a strong and convincing mandate from the voters to change harmful policies, strengthen the economy, create jobs, boost incomes, curb wasteful and needless spending, and go after the mounting political scandals throughout the administration.
The Obamacare lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court was approved by House Republicans several months ago. It is being spearheaded by Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at the George Washington University Law School.
There was also some discussion among House GOP leaders about a suit against Obama's executive actions on immigration, but they are looking at legislative remedies to to block the president's sneaky maneuver.
"We're working with our members and looking at the options available to us, but I will say to you the House will, in fact, act," Speaker John Boehner said this week.
But Obama is still president and he has sworn to veto all of the GOP's most important legislation: finishing the XL pipeline, cleansing loopholes from the tax code and cutting corporate and individual rates to trigger stronger economic growth, capital gains tax cuts to unlock capital investment and job-creating business expansion.
Meantime, Republicans will have the power of the purse and they're preparing to use it to kill Obama's immigration initiative.
Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who will be the Budget Committee chairman in January, intends to add budgetary provisions in funding measures to block funds needed to implement Obama's immigration rule changes.
"He ignored the interests of the American people, the American workers, recent immigrants who have been here and are looking for jobs in a time of unemployment. He undermined, in my view, the moral integrity of immigration law. And even the constitutional separation of powers," Sessions said.
What isn't in the GOP's strategy plans next year is a attempt to force a government shutdown by holding up action on a budget for the fiscal year to force Obama to give in to their demands. Instead, GOP leaders plan to approve a short-term budget this month before the end of this Congress to carry the government into the new year.
Even then, Sessions says he wants to keep spending on a short time leash, which he thinks will make it easier to get needed majorities for GOP reforms.
Whether that works in the GOP-run Congress remains to be seen, but it suggests a legislature in a constant war with the White House that Republicans welcome in their drive to turn the country in new direction.
But win or lose, there's a bigger political purpose behind the GOP's hit-and-run legislative skirmishes to come, even if they can't overcome Obama's vetoes.
They will be building the case for their economic growth and deficit-cutting, fiscal reforms, thereby setting the stage for the GOP's 2016 presidential campaign to come.
The strategy is relatively simple and politically effective, especially in the battle to repeal and replace Obamacare and other unpopular policies he has inflicted on our health care system.
Bombard Obama over the next two years with one bill after another on health care, jobs, business deregulation, energy expansion and a simpler tax system that lowers tax rates and keeps businesses from relocating abroad, then watch the vetoes pile up.
Obama becomes the political poster boy for economic decay and decline and Democrats will be seen as his anti-growth, anti-job accomplices.
Yes, it's going to be one pitched battle after another, but what's at stake for our country is worth fighting for.
Rebuilding After The Riots: Ferguson Cake Shop Owner Grateful to Fellow Americans For Love and Support
11/27/2014 1:30:00 PM - Katie Pavlich
Natalie Dubose is a single mother of two living and working in Ferguson, Missouri. Dubose runs her own cake shop in the city called Natalie's Cakes and More, a business she dedicated all of her resources to in order to make a living. Dubose started her cake business by renting out a booth at the local flea market every weekend, selling her product and eventually saved enough money to open up a store, which had it's grand opening in August.
Despite pleading with protestors, her store was severely damaged in riots Monday night, but thanks to the generosity of fellow Americans she'll be back in the kitchen in no time. After learning about the destruction, fellow citizens from around the country donated more than $140,000 to a crowdfunding site dedicated to getting her back on her feet. Hundreds of people have also placed orders for her baked goods.
"It's been amazing. I've been crying but these are tears of joy. I'm just so grateful for the outpouring of love and support from people across the country and I thank them," Dubose said during an interview on Fox News Wednesday. "This [the shop] is my baby."
"I am so thankful and I'm so grateful. If I could have arms big enough I would just hug each and every last one of them but I just want to thank everyone that has contributed to helping me rebuild my shop to helping me live my dream and to helping for me to continue to be the mom that I've been to my children, to continue providing them with the support that they need," she said.
All the best to Ms. Dubose, what a wonderful example of the American Dream she is and her cake looks really yummy too! Be sure to check out more about her story below.
Hello, I'm Natalie Dubose of Ferguson, Missouri. I'm a small business owner with a cake shop and a bakery dream.
First, I would thank everyone for their warm wishes, empathy, and support during this crazy difficult time.
I would love to write more, and will try soon, but my business is so behind right now.
My shop, which had it's grand opening this summer was vandalized in the riots.
My main windows were smashed and bakery damaged. I'm beside myself, but with the holidays, can't stop working.
I'm very busy cleaning and trying to repair my business. I'm also trying to catchup on baking cakes for Thanksgiving!
I promise to update this later. I'm truly mixing batter right now. I began baking and selling cakes at local flea markets, slowly saving money to start my small business.
I LOVE TO BAKE !!!
It was my dream and I'm working hard to accomplish that dream.
The outpouring of support on Twitter, Facebook, and in the media has been amazing. I was in tears.
It was suggested that I start this account by a new friend and here it is. I do need help to rebuild and create a website, so any donations would be a huge assistance.
I'm not sure where to find the money to repair my little bakery. But, even if you just stopped by to say hello. Thank You !!!!
I've never felt such love.
Thank You !!!
Gun Sales Expected to Skyrocket on Black Friday, FBI Worried
Sarah Jean Seman
11/27/2014 5:00:00 PM - Sarah Jean Seman
From Cabela’s to Wal-Mart guns will be on sale a everywhere on Black Friday, and what better time is there to load up on a firearm? The manic shopping frenzy lands right before Christmas and right in the midst of deer hunting season.
With the expected increase in gun sales the Federal Bureau of Investigation is gearing up for a dense wave of background check requests. There are more than 48,000 gun retailers in the U.S., according to the Associated Press. For every sale, cashiers must call in a check to the FBI or to other approved agency to insure that the customer does not have a criminal record. When the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, was implemented in 1998, the FBI oversaw around 9 million checks. Last year that number inflated to more than 21 million.
“This Friday opens the busiest season for gun purchases, when requests for background checks speed up to nearly two a second, testing the limits of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS….
NICS did about 58,000 checks on a typical day last year. That surged to 145,000 on Black Friday 2013. They're bringing in 100 more workers than usual for the post-Thanksgiving rush this year.”
Seventy-one percent of background checks last year were instantly approved. According to Federal Law, a customer is disqualified from purchasing a gun if he/she is: underage, an illegal alien, a documented drug addict, a convicted felon, a fugitive from justice, underage, mentally ill, dishonorably discharged from the military, has renounced their U.S. citizenship, is subject to a court restraining order, or has a history of domestic violence.
Your Presence as Your Present
Jackie Gingrich Cushman
11/27/2014 12:01:00 AM - Jackie Gingrich Cushman
This Sunday marks the beginning of Advent. It is the season that marks the expectation, the waiting and the preparation for Christmas, the celebration of Christ's birth. It also marks the beginning of the church year, when the readings and the rituals observed throughout the year start anew. However, what I like most about this season is the repetition of things past.
Our family traditions include decorating the Christmas tree, making cookies and chocolate treats, cooking a breakfast strata for Christmas morning and Southern dressing for Christmas Day. It's also the time for family Christmas parties, Advent wreath making and tree lighting, gatherings on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Above all, it's time to spend with family and friends.
It's our daughter Maggie's favorite time of the year. Her first Christmas, when she was just 2 months old, she laid on a blanket under the Christmas tree and stared at the lights while I decorated it. She was mesmerized by the lights and the hanging ornaments. It's not only the decorations and bright lights that enthrall her; it's also the presence of family and friends, the shared memories and laughter.
And it's not only the season but the repetition of family traditions, small and large, that provide the comfort, reminder and framework to enjoy the season. So too does spending time with those we love, celebrating the birth of Christ, who provided hope and life to a darkness-filled world. This structure and framework provide a solid foundation from which to live.
Today we, too, have many reasons to feel dark, to feel overwhelmed, to worry about tomorrow: a static economy, international health issues and rapidly changing international relations. We do not live in a stable world.
It is during such fluid times that following traditions, routines and rituals can provide us with the most comfort. It allows us to remain centered and focused while the outside world is churning. It pulls our focus away from all that could happen to what is actually happening at any particular minute.
With our children now in middle school and high school, I am keenly aware that the years of easy Christmas planning are dwindling. This knowledge gives me pause, and helps me to enjoy the details and the small moments we have together.
This Christmas season, I'm attempting to worry less about the future, knowing that it is out of my control, and I am trying to slow down and appreciate the moments that we have. While it's made me more aware of how little power I have, it has also made me more aware of the power and grace of God.
God's grace appears not so much in large events, but more in the small, powerful moments of my day.
While it's always tempting to do more, to be involved more, especially this time of year, this is exactly the time we need to slow down, to do less, to be present more with those whom we love.
This Advent, remember that the season is not just about the event, but about the expectation, the waiting, the preparation, the everyday events where you can see God's grace shine. Slow down and let your presence be your present this season.
An Inconvenient Law
Victor Davis Hanson
11/27/2014 12:01:00 AM - Victor Davis Hanson
There is a humane, transparent, truthful -- and constitutional -- way to address illegal immigration. Unfortunately, President Obama's unilateral plan to exempt millions of residents from federal immigration law is none of those things.
Obama said he had to move now because of a dawdling Congress. He forgot to mention that there were Democratic majorities in Congress in 2009 and 2010, yet he did nothing, in fear of punishment at the polls.
Nor did Obama push amnesty in 2011 or 2012, afraid of hurting his own re-election chances.
Worries over sabotaging Democratic chances in the 2014 midterms explain his inaction from 2012 until now. He certainly wouldn't have waited until 2015 to act, because Republicans will then control Congress.
Given that he has no more elections and can claim no lasting achievements, Obama now sees amnesty as his last desperate chance at establishing some sort of legacy.
Obama cited empathy for undocumented immigrants. But he expressed no such worry about the hundreds of thousands of applicants who wait for years in line rather than simply illegally cross the border.
Any would-be immigrant would have been far wiser to have broken rather than abided by federal laws. Citizens who knowingly offer false information on federal affidavits or provide false Social Security numbers would not receive the sort of amnesties likely to be given to undocumented immigrants.
Obama has downplayed Americans' worries about social costs and competition for jobs, but studies show illegal immigration has depressed the wages of entry-level American workers while making social services costly for states and burdensome for U.S. citizens.
Obama says he has the legal authority to rewrite immigration law without working with Congress. Yet on more than 20 occasions when it was politically inexpedient to grant amnesties, Obama insisted that he would not -- or that such a move was prohibited by the Constitution.
Obama not long ago warned us about the dangers of granting amnesties by fiat. "The problem is that I'm the president of the United States, I'm not the emperor of the United States," he said. On another occasion, he lamented, "Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. ... But that's not how our system works. That's not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written."
By setting aside settled immigration policy and ignoring statutes he finds inconvenient, Obama has set a new precedent that a president can arbitrarily declare what is valid and what is not valid not immigration law. Should his successors make up their own versions of any federal statutes they choose, in areas ranging from abortion and gun control to drug enforcement and environmental protection?
Obama claims he has the legal authority to grant amnesty because Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush did it. But again, Obama predictably misleads. Both of those presidents worked with Congress to ensure that new immigration legislation would not split apart families. The amnesties they granted were in accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and had only a fraction of the impact that Obama's executive order would have.
More importantly, even those congressionally sanctioned and narrow amnesties were largely seen as failures. Past non-enforcement of immigration law helped lead to the explosion in illegal immigration of recent years.
Obama says Congress is stalling. But his characterization of congressional inaction simply means that the Congress does not wish to pass Obama's version of immigration reform. In 2015, if the Republican Congress submits an immigration bill to Obama, he will likely veto it. Would he then term his own opposition "obstructionism"?
Obama has claimed that under his administration, deportations have increased. That, too, is untrue.
The fraudulent statistics used to make this claim redefine how deportation is measured -- in much the same manner that other federal statistics like unemployment rates and GDP growth were recalibrated for partisan purposes. Under Obama, Mexican citizens who are apprehended after crossing the border and returned to Mexico are classified as having been deported.
Obama carefully omitted key details about qualifications for amnesty. He cited a criminal background check, but does that mean immigrants convicted of crimes such as driving under the influence or other serious misdemeanors will be deported? What about filing false federal affidavits or Social Security numbers -- crimes that are usually felonies?
The president suggested that all undocumented immigrants are here to work. Most are. But recent statistics still suggest that almost 40 percent of undocumented immigrants rely on some sort of state or federal welfare assistance.
Obama will immediately reward millions of undocumented immigrants with exemption from immigration law. But does that mean those who do not qualify -- those who committed felonies or serious misdemeanors, who have no sustained record of work, or who have been in the United States for only a year or two -- will now face deportation that is as rapidly applied as amnesty?
Because Obama has serially misled the American people on key issues such as Obamacare, the Benghazi attacks and his own prior constitutional inability to grant amnesty, there is no reason to believe him on the details of his new immigration move. Assume instead that Obama sees his executive order simply as a first step in a continual unilateral effort to dismantle immigration law that he finds incompatible with his own larger agenda.
For Obama, federal law is inconvenient -- and therefore irrelevant.
When The Enemy of The States is The State
11/26/2014 3:49:00 PM - Diana West
When St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch explained that some exonerating testimony in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, came from several African-American eyewitnesses who described Brown as having charged police officer Darren Wilson before he fired the fatal shots, it was a powerful moment.
Such testimony was consistent with physical evidence establishing that Wilson had not fired at Brown's back as repeatedly and poisonously alleged. Indeed, it would seem that the aggressor in this fatal encounter was not Wilson, but rather Brown. According to evidence the grand jury sifted and assessed, it seems that Wilson fired not in cold blood, as so often declared, but in self-defense.
It was this right to self-defense -- "even" for a policeman -- that the grand jury decision left sacrosanct when it determined there was simply not sufficient evidence to indict Wilson for any crime.
Shocking as it may seem, self-defense is not a bedrock right in some courts -- specifically, U.S. military courts, where U.S. soldiers have seen their right to self-defense on the battlefield negated by murder convictions.
The St Louis County prosecutor has now uploaded the grand jury proceedings (all 24 volumes), assorted evidence and witness interviews so all can see how the system worked, and how the grand jury came to its conclusion. This sets an unprecedented standard for transparency in the face of ongoing demagogic efforts to obscure or ignore these same facts. With incendiary talk of anger "rooted in reality," as the president put it, the need for protests, the specter of federal charges and "change," Barack Obama and an army of "racial arsonists" agitate not for justice, not for peace, but for power.
Listening to McCulloch's discussion of how it was that an unarmed, but powerfully built 18-year-old (who had a large dose of THC, the judgment-impairing chemical in marijuana, coursing through his blood) posed a threat to an armed policeman, I couldn't help but think about another case. When former Army Ranger Lt. Michael Behenna shot and killed an unarmed Iraqi terrorist named Ali Mansur in 2008, Behenna, too, claimed to have acted in self-defense when the Iraqi rushed him. Physical evidence supported Behenna's version of events, but he was convicted and originally sentenced to 25 years for murder. When the highest military appeals court affirmed his conviction, it determined that in the circumstances, Behenna had "lost the right to act in self-defense and did not regain it." Sickening.
Think of it. The military appeals court ruling tells us that justice would really have been better served had Behenna been killed in the altercation. I can't help thinking the agitators in the Brown case, from Obama on down, feel exactly the same way about Darren Wilson. To them, self-sacrifice (someone else's) is preferable to self-defense.
Earlier this year, an act of clemency released Behenna from the military prison at Ft. Leavenworth but not before he had served five years behind bars -- for what? Surviving? The legal travesty of the Behenna case is unlikely to have occurred in civilian court, which is one excellent reason why such cases should be removed from military jurisdiction.
There are others. More U.S. soldiers remain behind bars whose main crime seems to be that they, too, remained alive after a do-or-die point of crisis. There is Sgt. Derrick Miller, whose fatal struggle with an Afghan inside the defensive perimeter over Miller's own gun, earned Miller a premeditated murder conviction -- and a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole for 10 years. Miller, by the way, is an African-American who fails to rate the president's "community of color" concerns, which tells me they are so much smoke to fire up the mob.
There is 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, currently serving a 20-year sentence on two murder convictions, having ordered his men to shoot at three Afghans approaching their checkpoint in Taliban territory. There is also Master Sgt. John Hatley, convicted of the murders of four detainees in Iraq in harrowing conditions. Not only were the bodies never recovered, the deceased were never reported missing. Hatley, however, is serving 40 years in Leavenworth. There is Pfc. Corey Clagett (18 years for following orders to kill from scot-free commanders), whose inhumane abuse at the hands of military wardens is an egregious travesty. There is Marine Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins, whose repeated prosecutions amount to Kafkaesque mental torture.
Surely, these veterans merit the same clemency that has released literally thousands of enemy fighters with American blood on their hands, from Guantanamo to Iraq to Afghanistan. Tragically, Uncle Sam doesn't agree.
And this is where a disturbing pattern takes shape. The Obama administration at these fateful junctures is consistently and predictably callous or hostile to those who have protected it from our worst enemies abroad or maintained the peace at home. Did you hear even a word from Washington about the two sheriff's deputies gunned down in California last month by a twice-deported illegal alien? No, you heard amnesty instead.
By now, it's hard not to notice that these are the Americans in various uniforms who support the edifice of law and order, even world order, that the Obama-ites are committed to dismantling. This would seem to explain the many cases where Obama administration sympathies, or even benefits of the doubt, unduly extend to the other side, whatever form it takes, from terrorists to mobs.
As usual, this leaves the rest of us in serious trouble.
This Thanksgiving, Have an Attitude of Gratitude
11/27/2014 12:01:00 AM - Cal Thomas
If Thomas Jefferson could be faulted for one thing in composing the Declaration of Independence, it might be his inclusion of the words "the pursuit of happiness" in the text.
Happiness is a vapor that cannot be grasped; a temporary feeling based on transitory circumstances akin to the euphoria of a full-on sugar rush. Happiness is good for a time, but it cannot last. Life invariably intervenes.
So many seem so unthankful about so much these days. Turn on the TV or read a newspaper and you will find complainers. Democrats complain about Republicans and the reverse. The poor complain about the rich and the rich complain that they are being taxed too much. Citizens complain about illegal immigrants. Whites complain about people of color and people of color complain right back.
This week in Ferguson, Missouri, we saw lots of people complaining about the police and alleged injustice while storeowners whose businesses were destroyed legitimately complained about the rioters.
There's an old Southern gospel song whose title other writers have used with different lyrics, but the one I like best is the one that encourages people to "have an attitude of gratitude."
At Thanksgiving, those of us who believe in God thank Him for His many blessings. These include food to eat, clothes to wear, a roof over our heads, good health for those fortunate enough to have it and good doctors for those who don't, a job for those who have one and the chance to find employment for those who don't (and unemployment insurance to bridge the gap between jobs).
We aren't grateful enough for what we have. Instead of complaining about what we don't have, try thanking someone for what you do have. Thank a soldier for your freedom, even the freedom to complain about your political leaders without fear of being arrested, as is the case in many countries. Find something good to say about another person and thank them for it. Thank your parents, if they are living, no matter how bad your upbringing may have been. They gave you the gift of life, what you make of it is up to you.
Oprah Winfrey sometimes comes up with something worth quoting. I found this gem through a Google search: "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."
Have you noticed in the past several years how public storage units have sprung up all over the country? Think about this: In our very large houses we don't have enough room to store all of the stuff we've accumulated, so we rent other places to put it. Advertisers say acquiring stuff will make us happy. Obviously not, or we would be happy most of the time because most of us have more stuff than our parents and certainly our grandparents ever had, or ever needed.
Previous generations may not have had a lot of material things, but they had something we appear to lack -- contentment. To be content is better than being happy. Contentment is akin to satisfaction. Maybe the reason Mick Jagger couldn't get any satisfaction was because he was looking for it in the wrong place.
Author A.J. Jacobs says, "I've started to look at life differently. When you're thanking God for every little joy -- every meal, every time you wake up, every time you take a sip of water -- you can't help but be more thankful for life itself, for the unlikely and miraculous fact that you exist at all."
Mr. Jacobs has an attitude of gratitude. Try it and see what difference it makes in you and in others. If you do, you might have a happy -- strike that -- a contented Thanksgiving.
What Obama's Ferguson Sermon Left Out
11/26/2014 12:01:00 AM - Michelle Malkin
In his 967-word statement to the nation about the Ferguson grand jury decision on Tuesday night, President Obama devoted precisely one sentence to the risks and sacrifices police officers make to keep the peace.
Obama delivered a tepid, obligatory acknowledgement that "our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day." But he sandwiched it between a finger-wagging admonition that cops need to "show care and restraint" and a pandering discourse justifying the "deep distrust" that "communities of color" have toward law enforcement because of the "legacy of racial discrimination in this country."
Note: Multiple African-American witnesses told the panel that teen Michael Brown, suspected of robbing a local market, charged Officer Darren Wilson before his shooting death. The grand jury concluded that there was no probable cause for indicting Wilson after considering hundreds of pages and scores of hours of witness and expert testimony.
Yet, Obama's first priority was to dwell on racial injustice against "communities of color," and his first instinct was to warn police officers to restrain themselves.
Only after expending 756 words on the need to "understand" the "problem" that "communities of color" have with police did Obama address the thugs of color "throwing bottles" and "smashing car windows" and "using this as an excuse to vandalize property" in the name of social justice.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner had nothing to say about the hate-filled "F**k the police" refrain from rioters of color in Ferguson and anarchists of pallor in Oakland and Occupy Wall Street pot-stirrers of privilege poisoning social media.
The nation's self-styled healer of souls was mum in response to black radical grievance-mongers' calls to vengefully burn Ferguson to the ground -- a seething sentiment echoed the next day by Brown's stepfather.
Mr. Hope and Change stayed silent about the lynch-mob instigators calling for Wilson to be shot and his family murdered.
And while the uniter-in-chief has given several public shout-outs to Brown and his family, he has delivered no special national address addressing the families of police officers ruthlessly targeted by domestic terrorists and racist radicals.
Obama used his bully pulpit this week to bemoan the "real issues" of discrimination by some police officers. But he said nothing about the murderous strain of racial animus against America's men and women in blue.
It's part of a longstanding cultural war against cops that has permeated academia, Hollywood, media and "progressive" halls of power for decades -- from the "pig"-hating Weather Underground to mainstream rappers to MSNBC's Al Sharpton to high-ranking convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal's advocates such as former Obama administration green jobs czar Van Jones.
And the bloody beat goes on.
In October, a militant black nationalist and jihadist vigilante attacked white New York police officers with a hatchet. Zale Thompson maliciously wounded Officer Kenneth Healey in the head and slashed Officer Joseph Meeker in the arm. Thompson was no poor, uneducated youth. He is a College of New Rochelle liberal arts alumnus and one-time master's degree candidate at Obama's alma mater, Columbia University.
As the New York Post reported, Thompson was a radical "black power" proponent who converted to Islam, obsessed over jihad, spent months consuming pro-ISIS propaganda and "wanted 'white people to pay' for slavery."
Thompson was hailed as a "crusader for justice" by the Queens chapter of the New Black Panther Party. That's the same anti-white hate group whose members instigated racially charged chaos in Ferguson; racially charged intimidation at a Philadelphia voting booth in 2008 that went unpunished by the Obama administration; and racially inflammatory threats against the innocent Duke lacrosse players exonerated of false rape accusations in 2007.
A week after Thompson waged his racist anti-cop jihad, another police officer in Washington, D.C., was ambushed by an ax-wielding assailant in a chillingly similar attack. He remains on the loose.
To these men and women of all colors on the front lines, risking their lives against homeland security threats of all kinds, Obama last night offered hundreds of lines of warning and lecturing.
But not this one word: "Thanks."
Elite Contempt for Ordinary Americans
Walter E. Williams
11/26/2014 12:01:00 AM - Walter E. Williams
Jonathan Gruber, MIT economist and paid architect of Obamacare, has shocked and disgusted many Americans. In 2013, he explained to a University of Pennsylvania audience: "This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure (the Congressional Budget Office) did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies." He added that the "lack of transparency is a huge political advantage." Most insulting were his previous statements that "the American voter is too stupid to understand" and his boast of Obamacare's "exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter."
We recall that back in 2010, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously said, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." That comment was just as insightful as her response to a CNSNews.com reporter who asked, "Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?" Unable to respond intelligently, Speaker Pelosi gave her best political response: "Are you serious? Are you serious?" When asked recently about Gruber, Pelosi said: "I don't know who he is. He didn't help write our bill." She was quickly caught in a lie because during the 2009 health care debate, she mentioned Gruber's analysis at a news conference.
One little-noticed feature of Gruber's speeches was the type of place where he felt comfortable talking about the use of deception and mocking American intelligence. His speeches took place at the University of Pennsylvania, Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Rhode Island. Universities are home to the academic elite -- people who believe they have more intelligence than and superior wisdom to the masses. They believe they have been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. Gruber and his fellow academic elite have what they consider to be good reasons for restricting the freedom of others. But every tyrant who has ever lived has had what he considered good reasons.
America's elite found on university campuses, in news media and in political office are chief supporters of reduced private property rights and reduced rights to profits, and they are anti-competition and pro-monopoly. They are pro-control and coercion by the state. Their plan requires the elimination or attenuation of the free market and what is implied by it -- voluntary exchange. Their reasoning is simple. Tyrants do not trust that people acting voluntarily will do what the tyrants think they should do. Therefore, tyrants want to replace the market and voluntary exchange with economic planning. Economic planning is nothing more than the forcible superseding of other people's plans by the powerful elite backed up by the brute force of government.
In a 1991 speech, Yale University President Benno Schmidt warned: "The most serious problems of freedom of expression in our society today exist on our campuses. The assumption seems to be that the purpose of education is to induce correct opinion rather than to search for wisdom and to liberate the mind." I watched the videos of Gruber's speeches. Academics raised little concern as to either the dishonesty of Obamacare or the claim that Americans were too stupid to understand.
A study by my George Mason University colleague Daniel B. Klein, along with Charlotta Stern of the Swedish Institute for Social Research, titled "Professors and Their Politics: The Policy Views of Social Scientists" (http://tinyurl.com/qxne3db) concluded: "The academic social sciences are pretty much a one-party system. Were the Democratic tent broad, the one-party system might have intellectual diversity. But the data show almost no diversity of opinion among the Democratic professors when it comes to the regulatory, redistributive state: they like it. Especially when it comes to the minimum wage, workplace-safety regulation, pharmaceutical regulation, environmental regulation, discrimination regulation, gun control, income redistribution, and public schooling."
Focusing only on Professor Gruber's arrogance, we ignore the more important fact that he is highly representative of the academic mindset -- the people who are brainwashing our youngsters.
What Obama Can Learn From Hagel -- And From 'Mockingjay'
11/25/2014 2:59:00 PM - Rachel Marsden
Less than 10 days before Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced his resignation, he addressed a memo to senior defense leaders.
"While we have been engaged in two large land mass wars over the last 13 years, potential adversaries have been modernizing their militaries, developing and proliferating disruptive capabilities across the spectrum of conflict. This represents a clear and growing challenge to our military power," Hagel wrote. "I see no evidence that this trend will change. At the same time, downward fiscal pressure will constrain the way we have traditionally addressed threats to our military superiority and demand a more innovative and agile defense enterprise."
Although Hagel stepped down earlier this week, he must be relieved to know that his poignant message reverberates in a new blockbuster film based on some young-adult fiction.
Joan of Arc rescues Edward Snowden -- that's how one might encapsulate "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1," the latest big-screen installation of the "Hunger Games" book trilogy. It should probably come as no surprise that the series' author, Suzanne Collins, is the daughter of a U.S. Air Force officer who served in the Vietnam War.
The film's protagonist, Katniss Everdeen (played brilliantly by Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence), is shamelessly fashioned after Joan of Arc, the French peasant girl who had divine visions that resulted in her leading her countrymen to victory in several battles against the English during the Hundred Years' War, until she was captured and executed.
Katniss is the rebels' "Mockingjay" mascot, and much of the film involves dressing her up as Joan of Arc to film propaganda videos showing her dominating the fascist government forces of The Capitol (led by Donald Sutherland's President Snow) through asymmetric warfare. In one scene, Katniss and her hunky soldier pal Gale shoot two bombers out of the sky using nothing more than a firearm and an explosive arrow shot from Katniss' bow.
On the other side of this fictitious conflict, we have Katniss' friend, Peeta, who has been captured by The Capitol and is being used as a tool for propaganda purposes. Appearing regularly in contrived TV interviews, he denounces warfare as a means of securing peace -- even as his captors persist in their overt warfare against any entity that questions their authority. Peeta serves his captors in their effort to brainwash any opposition to the dictatorial regime now housing him.
The striking similarities between Peeta and Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor currently denouncing American intelligence and national security initiatives from his refuge in Moscow, don't end with the fact that Snowden and the actor who plays Peeta, Josh Hutcherson, look enough alike that they could pass for brothers.
It would be silly to ask what the filmmakers might be attempting to imply by juxtaposing such blatant Snowden and Joan of Arc symbols. Although it might prove interesting to read into the plot thread what each of these figures -- completely unrelated to each other in time and space -- represents, and to draw conclusions, it would nonetheless be nothing more than intellectual gymnastics.
Examining each character as a separate entity is more practical. Let's start with Katniss. This young lady seems to innately understand what Hagel explained in his memo about the importance of innovation and agility on today's battlefields. She's the epitome of agility in battle to the absurd extreme. She takes out bombers with a bow and arrow. She's the face of a rebel movement that understands that even though you might have a bunker full of ammo to use against the enemy, sometimes it's better strategy to eschew the heavy weaponry and instead use highly surgical operations based on actionable intelligence.
Reviewers who have been claiming that "Mockingjay" doesn't have much action are missing the point, much like U.S. President Barack Obama's strategy against the Islamic State misses the point. There's no sense tossing bombs from planes in a big show of military might, and standing up a massive army, in instances where intelligence work coupled with precision strikes is the more sensible approach.
Snowden-like Peeta, meanwhile, represents a formidable and increasingly critical component in modern warfare: the battle for hearts and minds through propaganda. Both state and non-state actors have taken to leveraging social and traditional media to achieve goals ranging from recruitment to messaging. The agitprop aspect of warfare has grown to be much more sophisticated and insidious than the simple issuing of talking points.
In "Mockingjay," Peeta is the subject of staged interviews intended to look natural and not like prepared speeches. Katniss' rebels quickly realized that their own propaganda would have to consist of filming her authentically in the battlefield rather than having her perform to script.
Obama and his next secretary of defense would benefit from spending some quality time at a matinee with a bucket of popcorn.
Illegal Executive Orders Reward Illegal Immigration
Dr. Ben Carson
11/26/2014 12:01:00 AM - Dr. Ben Carson
Like millions of other Americans, I appreciate the plight of billions of people throughout the world who would like nothing more than to find themselves in the United States, where they could enjoy a much higher standard of living and wonderful opportunities for advancement.
It certainly seems like a compassionate thing to offer them legal status in America and the opportunity to pursue their dreams. It should first be considered, however, that we have millions of people already mired in dire poverty in our inner cities, rural townships and places such as Appalachia who would certainly appreciate a helping hand before we extend one to foreigners. The same principle is seen when you board an airplane and hear the announcement, "In case of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Put yours on first, and then administer help to those around you." There are many around us already in need of help.
According to President Obama, only those five million or so illegals who have been in America for five years or more will benefit from his largesse. He indicates that they will not be eligible for health care and other benefits. Obviously, this fits right into the same category as his promise: "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."
Once illegals have legal status, it will be difficult to deny them any of the multitudinous entitlements that are freely distributed throughout our society. Also, we must remember that illegals who have been here for less than five years only have to claim that they have been here longer than that in order to collect goodies. In effect, instead of helping five million people, we probably will be aiding at least twice that many.
Even this would not be a problem if we had plenty of money. The sad fact is our national debt is approaching $18 trillion. If you paid that back at a rate of $1 billion per day, it would take nearly 50 years. Many powerful nations before us have met their fate through fiscal irresponsibility. What makes our leaders think we are immune from the destructive forces of a shaky financial foundation?
The founders of our nation feared that the time would arise when an individual or group of individuals in our government would become intoxicated with their power and attempt to impose their will upon the entire society through dictatorial decrees rather than through the legal process established by our Constitution. For this reason, they established three separate but equal branches of government, dividing the powers. This ingenious method of power division worked beautifully until recently, but hopefully, we are about to experience a demonstration of how the separation of powers preserves the integrity of our system. It will require that the legislative and judicial branches of government manifest the necessary courage to stand up for the people they represent.
The American people should not be manipulated into believing that they are heartless simply because they want to preserve the rule of law in our nation and look after their own before they take in others. We also have to consider the millions of people who have immigrated here legally, as well as those who are in the queue. It is incredibly unfair to them to grant amnesty to those who have jumped ahead of them in line illegally. I hope all of our government officials will recall the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, with particular emphasis on the part that says: "with liberty and justice for all."
Beware of Our Betters
11/25/2014 12:01:00 AM - Thomas Sowell
Jonathan Gruber's several videotaped remarks about the gross deceptions that got ObamaCare passed in Congress should tell us a lot about the Obama administration. And the way that the mainstream media hesitated for days to even mention what Professor Gruber said, while they obsessed over unsubstantiated charges against Bill Cosby, should tell us a lot about the media.
Whatever did or did not happen between Bill Cosby and various women is not likely to affect the lives of 300 million Americans. But ObamaCare does.
For both the politicians and the media, this was not just an isolated incident. Gruber's videotaped discussions of the complicated deceptions built into ObamaCare with his help, designed to take advantage of what he called the "stupidity" of the public, are all too typical of the role played by the political left.
Neither the politicians nor the intelligentsia -- including the media -- want that role exposed for what it is.
Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi acted as if she had never heard of Jonathan Gruber, and had no idea who he was. But she too had been caught on tape, a few years ago, citing him as someone whose support of ObamaCare was supposed to show that the "experts" knew how good it was.
President Obama gave a somewhat more sophisticated version of the same act. He pointed out that Professor Gruber was not part of his staff. But he did not mention that Gruber had been to the White House 19 times, and the Obama administration had paid Gruber about $400,000 of the taxpayers' money for his supposedly unbiased expert opinion.
Gruber's own statements seem to indicate that his mathematical models were enough to baffle the Congressional Budget Office in its efforts to figure out how ObamaCare works. That kind of expertise apparently does not come cheap. Moreover, the 400 grand is chump change compared to the millions that Jonathan Gruber has reportedly raked in from state governments for his expertise.
Barack Obama is currently playing the same political game of parading experts by citing a list of prominent law professors who say that he is not exceeding his Constitutional power by granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
Someone at the Fox News Channel has checked out these professors and found that every one of them whose political registration could be traced is a Democrat. But the names of these profs are still being paraded as if they were simply eminent scholars seeking the truth. Maybe. But maybe not.
Whether the issue is ObamaCare, amnesty for illegal immigrants or "global warming," when you hear that "all the experts agree," that may mean nothing more than that the fix is in. And "all" may mean considerably less than 100 percent -- or even 50 percent.
No one can know for sure what motivated Professor Gruber to do what he did, or what motivated the media to stonewall as if he had never spilled the beans, or the liberal law professors to give Obama cover while he violated the Constitution.
But running through all of their actions seems to be a vision of the world, and a vision of themselves, that is a continuing danger to the fundamental basis of this country, whatever the specific issue might be.
Probably few people on the political left are opposed to the Constitution of the United States, much less actively plotting to undermine it. But, on issue after issue, what they want to do requires them to circumvent the three words with which the Constitution begins: "We, the people..."
Many on the left may want to help "the people." But once you start from the premise that you know what is best for the people, better than they know themselves, you have to figure ways around a Constitution based on the idea that the people not only have a right to choose their government and control government policy with their votes, but also that there are vast areas of the people's lives that are none of the government's business.
Jonathan Gruber's notion that the people are "stupid" is not fundamentally different from what Barack Obama said to his fellow elite leftists in San Francisco, when he derided ordinary Americans as petty people who want to cling to their guns and their religion. We need to see through such arrogant elitists if we want to cling to our freedom.
The Path to a Permanent GOP Majority
11/25/2014 2:31:00 AM - Scottie Hughes
They say in the finance industry that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. In politics, you can almost always drop the “not.” The past tells us what Republicans are prone to do when in January, a new crop of GOP legislators come to Washington and take the gavel of both houses of Congress.
The last times Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress were 2003-2005 and 2005-2007. The signature legislation of those eras were the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit in the 108th Congress and then the lack thereof of the pork barrel-filled "Do Nothing Congress" in the 109th.
One of the best, but little noted things that happened was the cutting of taxes for the middle class. Despite it being very good for the economy, it is rarely mentioned because of the economic collapse of 2008 that each party has tried to cast the blame on the other for.
After those four years Republicans lost control of both houses of Congress for the 110th Congress (2006 election) and then lost the Presidency two years later.
There are two lessons to be learned for the new GOP majority. And that is to avoid to being known for 1) the largest expansion of government spending since the Great Society program, and 2) doing nothing. Those four years Republicans basically became Democrats when it came to spending. They brought home the bacon, appropriation bills were filled with pork, and the Medicare Prescription Drug bill was a monstrosity.
The GOP has been granted a second chance after the November 2014 elections. If we want to lose our majorities again and help elect Hillary Clinton or whoever the Democrats decide to crown in 2016, the quickest way for us to do that is to spend like drunken sailors like we did last time we controlled both houses of Congress and get nothing else done.
What should we be doing? Tax reform. Border Security. Defeating ISIS. Lower the corporate tax rate. Regulatory reform both for small business and to make it easier for businesses to access capital. Dodd Frank Reform. Open up American energy and pass energy bills under the guise of jobs bills. Crack down on the IRS and the NSA. Repeal sections of the Patriot act. Defund the DOJ. The opportunities to fix this Country are endless and for once Congress can look like heroes to the public.
What should we not be doing? NOTHING for fear that the President will veto. Let him and when he does make sure every Communications staffer on the Hill pushes the veto to every media outlet large or small. I would love to see a wall on the new Majority Leader McConnell’s wall which is covered in all of the legislation that the President vetoed. Let Obama veto most of them, then he will be the Do Nothing President. Hillary will inherit his obstructionism and the GOP will have something to demonstrate they were adults in office and deserve to stay in the majority.
Just as dangerous however is divisive rhetoric within our own Party. Right now the Democrats realize their charade is up however and they realize the only way they can win is by running a campaign based on emotions and facts and make sure the GOP is divided. Comments from the newly announced director of the NRSC Ward Baker were an example of the mindless aspersions that Washingtonians feel the need to cast in the direction of tea party and constitutional conservatives: "We said we were going to be the Nick Saban of recruiting, we were going to recruit the best candidates, put them in the right position. We decided we couldn't be Akin-ed anymore. No more witches, no more gaffes.” These need to be erased from any conversations happening both internally and in the public eye.
Truth is, the 2014 election cycle has taught us within the GOP that neither the establishment nor the grassroots are strong enough to be on their own. Neither side can declare a total victory as both groups won and lost different races. Together as a team we won and beat the Democrats.
Maybe it’s naïve. Maybe it’s innocent. But in 2015, Republicans have a chance to buck the trends of their abysmal past performance. If we continue the unity, respect the various viewpoints within our Party and work together, we can reclaim the White House in 2016 and establish a long-term majority dedicated to reducing the size of government.
We Have a Moral Divide, Not a Racial One
11/25/2014 12:01:00 AM - Dennis Prager
As we await protests and riots scheduled for Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere if a grand jury in Missouri does not indict the white officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, a black teenager, a little moral clarity is called for.
For decades now, we have been told that there is a black-white divide in America. The problem with this belief that is that it renders moral judgment -- of white police, of black crime and black incarceration rates, of white judges and jurors, and of black riots and protests - impossible.
It is, we are told over and over, all about "perceptions" -- a "black-white divide" in the way each race perceives racial matters. This is how it works:
Many blacks see racism almost everywhere -- especially in arrest, conviction and incarceration rates, and in white police interactions with blacks. On the other hand, whites (specifically, whites who are not on the left) think that white racism has largely been conquered, and therefore blacks' disproportionately high arrest and conviction rates are the result of black behavior, particularly the high out-of-wedlock birth rate that has deprived the great majority of black children of fathers, not white racism.
According to the "black-white divide" way of thinking, these are simply two conflicting perceptions.
It is difficult to overstate how damaging this is.
It denies the very existence of the two pillars of civilization -- objective truth and moral truth.
For every black and every white unwilling to condemn the protests over Michael Brown's killing that took place before any relevant facts came out -- their half-hearted condemnation of the riots notwithstanding -- truth doesn't matter. The protests, riots and liberal condemnations of the white officer began when no one knew anything about the killing.
There is, then, some validity to this notion of blacks and whites having different perceptions. But when the truth is knowable, one of the "perceptions" has to be wrong. Two distinct ethnic or cultural groups may have different perceptions of musical beauty or of what foods they like. But this is not the case regarding truth, which is based on facts. In Ferguson, either the black (and left-wing whites') "perception" is not truth-based or the (non-Left) white (and black) "perception" isn't.
Once the facts comes out, we are no longer speaking of "perceptions." We are speaking of truth and falsehood.
The other victim of this "black-white divide" explanation is moral truth.
If the truth here accords with what the police officer said, he did not commit an immoral act when he shot Michael Brown. On the other hand, if he shot the young man for no good reason, he committed an immoral act.
But according to the it's-all-a-matter-of-perceptions view, there is no moral truth, only black perceptions and white perceptions.
This all accords with the left's views of truth and morality. Neither exists. Visit any university to confirm this.
The left is philosophically deconstructionist. Shakespeare doesn't say what he wrote, Shakespeare says what the reader perceives. The notion of "original intent" as applied to the Constitution is, to the left, farcical. We cannot know the original intent. It's all a matter of individual perception -- or, more precisely, the perception of different socioeconomic classes, different genders and different races.
And, of course, for the left there is no moral truth. Morality is entirely subjective. "Good" and "evil" are individual or societal preferences. No more, no less.
Like truth, morality is just a perception, one determined by an individual's race, gender, and/or class. That is why, for the left, no man can judge any abortion, no matter how late in pregnancy and no matter the reason -- because men do not possess a uterus.
So who are you, white man, to condemn black protests? You have your perceptions and they have theirs. What you have to do is what the Los Angeles Times did during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, during which 53 people died as a result of black rioting -- including 41 by shooting, four in fires, three by beating and two in stabbings. The Times titled its special section each day of the riots "Understanding the Riots."
So, if there are riots following the Ferguson's Grand Jury decision, we'll know how to behave: no judgment, just understanding. After all, there is no truth; there are only perceptions.
Sticks in Spokes
11/25/2014 12:01:00 AM - Mona Charen
During the 2012 campaign, President Obama often resorted to his favorite substitute for thinking: ridicule. Before enthusiastic audiences (who were assured his reelection would spell a thriving economy and a revived middle class), the president would mock Republicans by suggesting that "they have the same prescription they've had for the past 30 years. ... Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning."
Obama's prescription, which we are now in a position to evaluate for effectiveness, was the most massive increase in regulation of modern times. There is no industry or economic sector that the Democratic Party does not believe would benefit from badgering interference from Washington. Adding insult, every new regulation is trussed up and presented as "being on the side of the middle class."
Sometimes, as in the case of Obamacare, that required lying to voters about what the law contained. In the case of Dodd-Frank, it required insulating regulators from democratic accountability. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a creature of Dodd-Frank, is not even funded by our elected representatives, but instead gets financed directly from the Federal Reserve. Translation: If the "middle class" ever decides that Congress should relieve it of the CFPB's ministrations, they will be unable to exert any influence. Like HAL in the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey," the CFPB has a life of its own.
It's odd that Democrats are so rarely challenged on their claim to speak for the broad middle class, because the story of Democratic policy over the course of the past century has been to withdraw more and more power from ordinary people and place it in the hands of the unelected. They've succeeded very well with the judiciary and with federal agencies. Dodd-Frank, however, marks a new milestone. Not only does it empower new regulators to police an already heavily regulated industry, but it insulates the bureaucrats from congressional oversight. A number of states have sued, calling the law unconstitutional.
As for how the middle class is faring, The Wall Street Journal provides some useful statistics. The bottom 60 percent of American income earners were worse off in 2011 than in 2007. Two years after the official end of the recession, middle-class Americans got more government checks than they had in the previous decade (transfer payments were up 25.9 percent over 2007), but after-tax income fell by 1.9 percent.
There are other ways to examine the record: Poverty has hit a 50-year high. The wealthiest 10 percent saw incomes rise during the Obama years, while everyone else's incomes declined or remained stagnant. With interest rates effectively at zero, capital searched for higher returns and found them in the stock market. Income inequality, that great bugbear of the Democratic left, has increased, not decreased, under Obama's policies.
Dodd-Frank is the poor stepchild of Obama-era enactments, receiving far less attention than Obamacare, but its contribution to the stagnant economy deserves more recognition. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was 31 pages long. Dodd-Frank weighs in at 2,300 pages, not counting 13,789 pages of regulations as of 2013. Here is how a (SET ITAL) defender (END ITAL) of the law described it: "Sure, Dodd-Frank is a mess; sure, the statute is unwieldy and inefficient; sure, the statute takes power away from citizens and states and transfers it to the federal government. However, it's not unconstitutional or otherwise illegal for Congress to pass a bad law. And this is what Dodd-Frank is." Remind me never to ask Jonathan Macey, of Yale Law School, for a testimonial.
While big Wall Street houses can tolerate the added burdens of Dodd-Frank without breaking a sweat, smaller banks, like the ones that routinely issue personal and business loans, are being squeezed. A study by the Mercatus Center found that 83 percent of small banks reported that their compliance costs had increased by more than 5 percent. Most planned to hire more compliance staff and cut back on mortgages, home equity lines of credit and other services in order to cover those costs. Employment at small and medium-sized banks has been slow or negative, while large banks have seen robust growth.
Obama mocked concerns about regulation, but his embrace of it has successfully put sticks into the spokes of the economic wheel. The price, Democratic talking points notwithstanding, is being paid by the poor and the middle class.
Free Pass for One Percenter Al Sharpton on $4.5 Million Owed in Taxes
11/25/2014 12:01:00 AM - Rachel Alexander
Years of massive corruption by the man known for stirring up race relations and making them worse are finally being exposed. While flying around the country first class, dressed in lavish suits, and most recently stirring the pot in Ferguson, Mo., Al Sharpton has avoided paying millions in taxes - that would have landed the rest of us in prison. The situation is so egregious that even the left-wing New York Times finally wrote a long article last week exposing Sharpton’s tax evasion as well as graft and crime going all the way back to his teenage years.
The Times found there is currently more than $4.5 million in state and federal tax liens against Sharpton and his for-profit businesses. That number apparently doesn’t even include the amount owed by his nonprofit, the National Action Network (NAN). According to the Times, “Mr. Sharpton has regularly sidestepped the sorts of obligations most people see as inevitable, like taxes, rent and other bills.” Sharpton repeatedly failed to pay off travel agencies, hotels and landlords. A Treasury report found that only 1,200 organizations in the entire country owed more than $100,000 in unpaid payroll taxes, making Sharpton’s group one of the most delinquent.
NAN was able to afford Sharpton’s one percenter salary of $250,000 annually by not paying federal payroll taxes on its employees. A sympathetic writer at the New York Daily News says Sharpton told him in 2008 that he made $750,000 that year from media gigs alone. He speculated that after MSNBC hired Sharpton, his annual income must have exceeded $1 million.
It is incredible that Sharpton would continue to collect a $250,000 annual salary from NAN even though the organization was years behind in taxes. The Times reports that Sharpton also illegally used funds from NAN to pay for his daughter’s private school tuition.
Sharpton responded to the article, claiming that he has been paying the delinquent taxes down, but the Times contradicted this, stating that the amount owed to the state had actually been increasing.
A quick Google news search reveals the latest Americans sentenced to prison for tax evasion owed significantly lesser amounts than Sharpton. A physician in Wisconsin was sentenced to a year and a half in federal prison last month for not paying $191,000 in income tax and lying about it. For evading over half a million in taxes, two brothers known for their sports-car racing teams were sentenced to one year in prison for one brother, and five months in prison for the other.
Republican lobbyist and businessman Albert Pirro, Jr., the ex-husband of district attorney and Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, was sentenced in 2000 to 29 months in federal prison for improperly deducting $1.2 million in tax write-offs.
None of the amounts of these previous offenders even comes close to the $4.5 million in taxes Sharpton hasn’t paid. Failing to file a tax return for a year in which taxes are owed is a crime punishable by a fine and a prison sentence of up to one year. If the failure was done willfully to evade taxation, it is a felony punishable by a fine and up to five years in prison.
Sharpton has apparently been getting away with tax evasion for a decade. According to the Times, Sharpton’s failure to pay taxes goes back to at least 2004, when NAN underpaid the federal government by $900,000 in taxes, which increased every year to almost $1.9 million by 2006.
It is unlikely Sharpton will ever serve a day behind bars. The left - which controls much of our legal system and currently the IRS - frequently looks the other way at its own who commit tax fraud - especially those high in prominence (the one percenters). Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle are two prominent Democrat politicians who were offered plumb positions in the Obama administration despite a history of tax evasion.
During Geithner’s confirmation hearing for Treasury Secretary, it came out that he had not paid $35,000 in Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes from 2001 through 2004. Although he was about to become one of the leading figures in charge of finance in the country, with a prestigious background that included an education at Dartmouth College and serving as the ninth President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, his explanation of blaming TurboTax was bought, and nothing ever happened to him; he went on to hold the powerful post for several years.
Daschle failed to pay taxes as a consultant and took deductions for contributions he was not entitled to take in the mid-to-late 2000s. He paid back $140,167 in 2009 when called to account for it, but still reportedly owed thousands in Medicare taxes. Once his tax evasion became public, his name was withdrawn as a cabinet member in the Obama administration; nevertheless, he was not prosecuted, and never served a day in jail.
According to Jim Sleeper, a writer for Salon who has done investigative portrayals of Sharpton over the years, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch once described to him Sharpton’s connections with powerful leaders this way, “He plays them like a piano board.” Long known for shaking down corporations for money, Sharpton admitted to Sleeper in 1992 that “society is basically a hustle from top to bottom.”
New York Democrat Mayor Bill DeBlasio - even though he admitted he had not read the Times article - immediately came to Sharpton’s defense, calling him an “important civil rights leader” and saying he “knew a lot of good people” who had struggled with tax troubles.
Sharpton frequently pals around with Obama, adding a further level of insulation from prosecution as well as reinforcement of his shakedown tactics. At Sharpton’s recent 60th birthday party, attended by a raft of leftist celebrities, an Obama representative read a message from the president, praising him for his “dedication to the righteous cause of perfecting our union.” He should have hailed Sharpton instead as the greatest scofflaw of the Union in the 21st century.
Taxes are a clever way to use the government to unfairly target conservatives, because tax laws have become so complex that no one knows what to think - yes, they’re guilty because they broke the law vs. no, it must be targeting because the laws are so difficult they are only selectively enforced.
It is no longer possible to trust the government under this administration. Leftist one percenters who violate the law generally get a free pass, while unconnected, middle-class Americans and political conservatives are unjustly targeted using government resources. It is well known that this Democrat administration used the IRS to wrongfully target innocent conservative groups for purely political reasons. Until this administration is removed from office, criminals will get a free pass and conservatives should be afraid
The Patriot Post
Nov. 24, 2014
“[T]o preserve the republican form and principles of our Constitution and cleave to the salutary distribution of powers which that [the Constitution] has established … are the two sheet anchors of our Union. If driven from either, we shall be in danger of foundering.” –Thomas Jefferson, letter to Judge William Johnson, 1823
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
It is argued that the “round 'em up and send 'em back” solution to illegal immigration is not an option. Indeed, that would be very difficult given the fact that millions of illegal immigrants have been in the U.S. more than a decade, and most are very socio-economically integrated. But there was a successful round-up a half century ago. Mark Alexander first wrote about Dwight Eisenhower’s “Operation Wetback” in his 2007 column insisting that border security2 must preclude any discussion about “immigration reform.” In 1954, illegal immigration across the Mexican border swelled the illegal population to almost three million. Ike cut off this traffic with a decisive policy and only about 1,000 Border Patrol agents – fewer than a tenth of the force now on our border – in an operation praised by veteran agents to this day. According to a 1954 New York Times article on illegal immigration, “The rise in illegal border-crossing by Mexican 'wetbacks’ to a current rate of more than 1,000,000 cases a year has been accompanied by a curious relaxation in ethical standards extending all the way from the farmer-exploiters of this contraband labor to the highest levels of the Federal Government.” Sound familiar? In June of 1954, Ike launched “Operation Wetback,” and in three months, agents arrested almost 150,000 illegals and sent them back deep into Mexico. Consequently, another 1.5 million illegals left the U.S. “voluntarily,” which is to say that, when enforcement got serious, illegals got the message. Veteran Border Patrol agent Walt Edwards notes, “Some say we cannot send 12 million illegals now in the United States back where they came from. Of course we can! … When we start enforcing the law, these various businesses are, on their own, going to replace their [illegal] workforce with a legal workforce.”
Even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while. CNN’s Chris Cuomo called out White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on the disconnect between Barack Obama’s failure to pass “immigration reform” in 2009 or 2010 when he had control of both the Senate and House, and then his repeated subsequent assertions that he did not have the authority to use an executive order to legislate that reform. “The president promised not to do this,” Cuomo argued, noting that Republicans warned Obama, “If you care about working with us, don’t do it, and then he did it. What’s the calculation?” Earnest trotted out the worn out “House Republican obstructionism” rhetoric, prompting Cuomo to respond, “The problem is how this was done may overshadow what was done because now the motivation is to stop this from happening, not to come up with their own plan. I mean, you had to see that coming, Josh. … [Obama] had a lot of time; he didn’t do it. Now all the sudden he has to do it?” Cuomo is driving home the point Mark Alexander argued last week in The Democrats' REAL ‘Immigration Reform’ Strategy4: “[Obama] and his fellow Democrats were just pandering to Latinos; they had no intention of passing legislation to provide worker permits for five to 10 million illegal immigrants. Why? Because another larger and more critical Democrat voter constituency is composed of low-income Americans, whom the Left baits with class warfare rhetoric centered on issues like ‘living wages’ and increasing the minimum wage. Democrats don’t really 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. So Obama crafted an EO that Republicans can take apart. Then Democrats can get credit from their Latino constituents for trying, and blame ‘obstructionist Republicans’ for blocking them.”
Remember all those “missing” emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner the IRS said it was unable to retrieve? According to the IRS inspector general in a Friday afternoon news dump, they’ve now magically reappeared. Via the Washington Examiner6: “Up to 30,000 missing emails sent by former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner have been recovered by the IRS inspector general, five months after they were deemed lost forever. The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informed congressional staffers from several committees on Friday that the emails were found among hundreds of ‘disaster recovery tapes’ that were used to back up the IRS email system.” That’s awfully convenient timing now that the midterm election is behind us. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said, “This discovery … underscores the lack of cooperation Congress has received from the IRS. The agency first failed to disclose the loss to Congress and then tried to declare Lerner’s emails gone and lost forever. Once again it appears the IRS hasn’t been straight with Congress and the American people.” Don’t expect the agency’s obfuscation to end with this new revelation, either. The question remains: What is Lois “Plead the Fifth” Lerner hiding? Stay tuned…
The U.S. House of Representatives filed a lawsuit8 against the Obama administration Friday, arguing the administration violated the Constitution when it used non-appropriated monies to fund the “Affordable” Care Act and amended the law by using a Treasury regulation. House Republicans first talked of suing the president in July9. They finally found a lawyer, George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley10, to represent them. Obama’s newest constitutional overreach – his immigration executive action – is not part of this suit. “The Administration has made no secret of its willingness, notwithstanding Article I of the Constitution, to act without Congress when Congress declines to enact laws that the Administration desires,” the complaint said. “Despite such fundamental constitutional limitations, the Administration repeatedly has abused its power by using executive action as a substitute for legislation.” Even with both chambers headed toward a Republican majority, the GOP is working cautiously to rein in Obama. The House’s true power – impeachment – is still politically impossible.
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) released its report13 after two years of studying the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that left an ambassador and three other people dead. No one did anything wrong, it concluded, except the compound could have been better secured. “In summary, the Committee first concludes that the CIA ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi and, without a requirement to do so, ably and bravely assisted the State Department on the night of the attacks. … Second, the Committee finds that there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks. … Fifth, the Committee finds that the process used to generate the talking points HPSCI asked for – and which was used for Ambassador Rice’s public appearances – was flawed.” Did the intelligence community do its job, or did it give politicians bad information? While the report suggests Ambassador Chris Stevens died because of a bumbling government, this is not the last investigation into the Benghazi attack. Rep. Trey Gowdy14 (R-SC) still leads the Select Committee on Benghazi, which has yet to release its findings.
Thursday evening’s executive decree by Barack Obama marked a particularly significant reversal. But it’s not what you might think.
In September 2012 at their nationally televised party convention, Democrats loudly booed the mention of God and the proposal by former Democrat Governor Ted Strickland to add the Judeo-Christian God, Jehovah, to the party’s platform written and approved every four years. Despite delegate opposition to the amendments, Los Angeles Mayor and DNC Convention Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa overruled the vocal crowd to return this statement to the 2012 platform: “We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”
Now, just two years later, the president evokes Scripture in announcing policy. It wasn’t from the New Testament, which leftists frequently select – especially the Sermon on the Mount – for the purpose of pushing “social justice,” but from Exodus, that book where Jehovah handed down the Law to Moses to govern the conduct of the nation of Israel and its people.
Flowing across the lips of one of the most secular leaders in our nation’s history came, “Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger – we were strangers once, too.” He was paraphrasing Exodus 22:21 and Exodus 23:9, the former of which says, “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.” He did this merely to add moral authority for his unconstitutional action.
Will America soon see Barack Obama’s newfound application of the Bible in other policies such as monogamous marriage between a man and a woman or the protection of the life of the unborn?
Let’s pray to see that miraculous conversion.
On Thursday, America witnessed a despicable demonstration of grazing from the oft-used Biblical Buffet, picking and choosing Holy Scripture to fulfill one’s argument, justify a narrative, and, yes, even to justify sin.
To Obama, progressives and all those who worship the secular triune of me, myself and I, plucking Holy Scripture out of context is deemed useful and is employed to rationalize select agendas. However, they say employing those same Scriptures in their entirety to govern one’s behavior, applying virtues in the corporate world, selection of education, entertainment, relationships, et al, should be viewed as extremist and not be permitted in the public square of debate or civic engagement.
All of Scripture testifies to Jehovah, characteristic of mercy, grace, compassion, limitless love – and righteousness, justice and wrath toward sin. Selective application of God’s Truth is exposed as false teaching and bearing a false witness to the Gospel.
Those of us watching Obama use God’s teaching in such a craven way winced. He supports the murder of the unborn; he has scrambled domestic and military policy to normalize homosexuality in our culture; he was disciplined in racial hate and leftist “liberation theology” by Jeremiah “God damn America” Wright20; he has openly mocked those who “cling to religion”; and he supports all manner of activism contrary to our nation’s Judeo-Christian foundation.
To see the president flippantly use his momentary public profession of faith to Christianity in justifying the disregard for America’s laws as he evokes a commandment of Jewish law was too rich. Remember, this is the same president who refuses to identify and work to eradicate Islamic terrorism while hundreds and thousands of Christians in the Middle East are persecuted and executed for their refusal to denounce Christ as Lord.
Yet, the reality is raw: Gone are the Olympic-god-invoking Greek columns of Obama’s coronation in Chicago’s Butler Field in 2008. Gone are the screaming, fainting crowds of hundreds of thousands in Germany. Gone are the soaring statements of great intellect and political prowess amongst media and colleagues after the merry-go-round of scandals.
After having his six years in office, Obama’s policies and his team of fellow progressives overwhelmingly rejected on Nov. 5, this former political messiah has been exposed. He has no personal authority that remains credible – he’s broken the trust of those he was elected to serve.
While all who watched Thursday’s proclamation know that the policy of legal immigration must be reformed and enforced with humanity, we witnessed a failing leader attempt to justify his own lawlessness and that of millions by standing on a moral platform that, until now, he has openly mocked and betrayed.
The pitiful display of the countless who continue to defend Obama and practice the overt disdain for truth, integrity and goodness should send those of us who abide in the Almighty to our knees and on our faces in prayer. America deserves leadership that is not double-minded and is rooted in honor – on both sides of the political aisle.
This is a tale of two Bills, one black, one white. Both are high-profile celebrities, household names if you will, and both share what appears to be a rather large appetite for extra-marital affairs. Some of those affairs allegedly involve sex that may not have been consensual. Despite such remarkable similarities, one of these Bills is in the process of being socially ostracized. The other remains not only popular, but revered as a feminist icon.
Bill Cosby’s descent into a hell seemingly of his own making began four weeks ago when a bit22 by stand-up comic Hannibal Buress went viral. “Bill Cosby has the f–ing smuggest old black man public persona that I hate,” Buress jibed. “‘Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the '80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom.’ Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby. So, [that] brings you down a couple notches. I don’t curse on stage. But yeah, you’re a rapist.”
Cosby did himself no favors when he fired23 back on Twitter. “Go ahead. Meme me!” he tweeted. That response elicited a barrage of slurs amassed at the #CosbyMeme hashtag. Next, a Washington Post column24 written by alleged Cosby victim Barbara Bowman appeared on Nov. 13, followed by an NPR interview two days later, during which Cosby maintained25 complete silence when host Scott Simon asked about the allegations. Prior to both the column and the interview, Cosby’s name was deleted from the “Late Show With David Letterman” guest lineup for the following week.
Since then, Cosby’s ostracization has ramped up in earnest. NBC canceled26 a deal for a Cosby sitcom, one of his live shows was axed27 by an Arizona casino, Netflix dropped28 the launch of stand-up comedy special “Bill Cosby 77,” and cable channel TV Land canceled reruns of “The Cosby Show,” one of the most popular sitcoms in television history. And while all of this was unfolding, model Janice Dickinson and other women29 joined the chorus accusing Cosby of sexual assault.
Barring something completely unforeseen, Cosby’s career is over, and it is more than likely he will remain a pariah for the rest of his life.
Justified? It would certainly seem that way – provided one is content with the reality that Cosby has never30 been criminally charged with sexual assault, much less rape. Or provided that one must deal with the reality that one of his accusers, Joan Tarshis, alleges31 Cosby drugged and raped her twice, meaning she gave Cosby a second opportunity to abuse her after the first incident. And provided the screaming double standard of a suddenly self-righteous Hollywood that has long lionized convicted child rapist Roman Polanski can be ignored.
Bowman offered an explanation for such behavior in her column: “The entertainment world is rife with famous men who use their power to victimize and then silence young women who look up to them. Even when their victims speak out, the industry and the public turn blind eyes; these men’s celebrity, careers, and public adulation continue to thrive.”
Changing “entertainment world” to “political world” brings us to Bill Number Two, as in former President Bill Clinton. His numerous extramarital dalliances were dubbed32 “bimbo eruptions.” It was a phrase coined by 1992 presidential campaign Deputy Chairwoman Betsey Wright, and one rife with the kind of denigrating implications of women that should have set feminists' teeth on edge.
Yet those feminists, along with countless others, were more than willing to dismiss more than 20 years33 of sexual assault allegations against Clinton. They remained indifferent when Paula Jones, who won an $850,000 out of court settlement from Clinton after he allegedly exposed himself to her in a hotel room, was constantly referred34 to as “trailer trash” by the Clinton smear machine. Clinton’s “intentionally false” testimony during that trial cost35 him a $90,000 fine and the loss of his law license, and it still didn’t matter.
Nor did it matter when the man in the most powerful position in the world took advantage of then-19-year-old Monica Lewinsky, shamelessly lied about it to the nation, and trashed her reputation – until a semen-stained dress revealed the truth.
The response? It was “just about sex” and the investigation that ultimately led to Clinton’s impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice was little more than a “witch hunt” orchestrated36 by a “vast, right-wing conspiracy.”
What about allegations of actual rape? “[Clinton] turned me around and started kissing me, and that was a real shock. I first pushed him away. I just told him ‘no.’ … He tries to kiss me again. He starts biting on my lip. … And then he forced me down on the bed. I just was very frightened. I tried to get away from him. I told him ‘no.’ … He wouldn’t listen to me,” alleged Juanita Broaddrick on “Dateline” in 1999. NBC had thoroughly vetted37 Broaddrick’s accusation and found it credible, but didn’t air it until almost two weeks after Clinton was acquitted by the Senate.
Bill Clinton has remained a highly regarded, celebrity ex-president ever since – one that still sets feminist hearts a-flutter.
Why the blatant discrepancy? Politics. A longtime, in-your-face challenger of liberalism’s “victimist” black American narrative will inevitably be held to a higher standard than an ex-president whose “pro-abortion on demand” bona fides38 have apparently granted him a lifetime absolution from anything resembling genuine scrutiny, much less accountability.
Thus concludes the sordid Tale of Two Bills. Cosby is headed for the celebrity ash heap, Clinton could end up back in the White House, and the army of hypocrites who defend the latter Bill will remain willfully oblivious to their contemptible double standard. That’s the way it goes in a nation where some alleged sexual abusers are “more equal” than others.
OPINION IN BRIEF
The Gipper: “Government growing beyond our consent had become a lumbering giant, slamming shut the gates of opportunity, threatening to crush the very roots of our freedom. What brought America back? The American people brought us back – with quiet courage and common sense; with undying faith that in this nation under God the future will be ours, for the future belongs to the free.”
Economist Larry Kudlow: “Obama’s executive actions not only usurp powers that are not his, they don’t really solve key immigration problems. Mainly, not even Obama is attempting to increase visas (that are the purview of Congress). Therefore there’s no clear legal immigration process for the most important group: the high-tech brainiacs who are likely to be the entrepreneurial engines of new business start-ups and overall job-creating growth. Tight limits on high-skilled worker visas and the whole whacky system of green-card, permanent-resident status are not being fixed. This can only happen through legislative change. In other words, Congress has to act (in this and a dozen other places). So the Silicon Valley crowd is not cheering Obama’s executive actions. … As Michael Barone has noted45, it’s the high-tech brainiacs that we want to invite and protect. They are more important than the low-wage groups. … If the president had come to the GOP leadership and said, ‘Give me something in a couple of months,’ the whole immigration problem could be solved. But he didn’t. So now even I’m saying it looks like this game is not worth the candle.”
Columnist Burt Prelutsky: “[B]eing American should never be the end result of sneaking across our border in order to give birth. Sneaking in is against the law, and in no other circumstance are people permitted to benefit from the commission of a crime. If that’s too complicated for Obama and the self-righteous members of the Congressional Latino Caucus to grasp, it would be tantamount to an illegal alien robbing a bank and his family getting to keep the money. What’s more, in 2011, Obama told an audience that he lacked the constitutional authority to grant any form of immunity to illegals. Although he’s done his best to ignore the fact, the Constitution hasn’t changed over the past three years.”
Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Missouri’s governor called out the National Guard ahead of the grand jury verdict in Ferguson. The weather is chilling both protestors and the police. It’s so cold in Ferguson that CNN just retreated back to their warm studio and resumed looking for the missing Malaysian airliner.”
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.
Obamagration and our Disdainful President
11/24/2014 12:01:00 AM - Star Parker
The executive order, which President Obama has issued, granting amnesty to millions of individuals now residing illegally in our country, should make clear the profound disregard our president has for American voters, our constitution, and our two-party system.
It might be possible to justify this action if it was addressing a national emergency of utmost urgency or clearly reflected the priorities and wishes of the American people. But neither is the case.
Republicans just won a decisive election, giving them control of both houses of congress, interpreted uniformly as a repudiation of the president and his agenda.
To totally disregard what just happened at the polls, and not wait the few weeks until the new Congress is sworn in and has the opportunity to deliberate on this huge and complex issue, shows the contempt which this president holds for the constitutional republic which put him in office.
But don’t just take my word for it.
In a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, 48 percent expressed opposition to the president acting through executive order on the immigration issue and 38 percent supported it.
In the same poll, 56 percent said congress should “take the lead in setting policy for the country” and 33 percent said President Obama should.
There are differences of opinion whether the president’s action is constitutional, not surprisingly aligned with party affiliation.
But appreciating that there are sharp differences of opinion leads again to the same conclusion. Short of a national emergency, wait until the new government the American people just voted for convenes and can deliberate, in a manner consistent with how this nation was conceived and designed to work.
There is no poll showing that that the immigration issue sits at the top of concerns of the American people.
In exit polls from the last election reported by the Wall Street Journal, 45 percent said the economy was their issue of top concern compared to just 14 percent who gave immigration top priority.
Even among Hispanic voters, according to the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project, exits polls showed 49 percent said the economy was the most important issue, compared to just 16 percent ranking immigration at the top.
This is all too reminiscent of what we went through with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, at the beginning of the first term of this administration.
The economy was in deep recession. When all efforts and attention should have been on fixing the economy and restoring growth, the main focus of the first year of the Obama administration was on the president’s pet personal agenda – nationalizing one sixth of the American economy by way of health care.
For those with short memories, it was finally rammed through without a single Republican vote, and against the sentiments of the American people, as indicated by the polls.
A history of the average of polls on Obamacare from the day it was signed into law in March 2010 to today shows that there has not been a day when the polling has been net favorable.
Even from the point of view of blacks, who have been Obama’s most consistent and loyal consistency, this executive order is inscrutable. How can unilateral amnesty, making millions of low-income workers here illegally, legal, be in the interest of black Americans, where unemployment stands at 10.8 percent – twice the national rate?
Immediately poisoning the well from which both parties must draw water in order to do the nation’s business over the next two years, says something about the importance our president gives to the nation’s business.
As has been the case from day one, the Obama priority is the progressive transformation of America, not the strength, meaning, and integrity of our nation.
The recent elections show that citizens are finally waking up. But it’s going to be a long and bitter two years.
The Odious Corruption Enabled by Big Government
Daniel J. Mitchell
11/24/2014 12:01:00 AM
I’ve argued that the crowd in Washington profits by plundering America, but that’s just part of the equation.
There are also plenty of big companies that have their snouts in the public trough.
No wonder many people have become disgusted
Writing for the Wall Street Journal, James Freeman points out that a growing number of Americans think the system is rigged against them and he links this disillusionment to an ever-expanding federal government.
According to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, a full 56% of Americans agree with this statement: “The economic and political systems in the country are stacked against people like me.” This disillusionment index has been rising for more than a decade and coincides with an explosion in the size of the federal government. …The last time Americans had this little faith in the country’s political and economic systems was for a brief period in 1992, in the aftermath of President George H.W. Bush’s breaking of his no-new-taxes pledge in a deal with Congressional Democrats that enabled more spending. …more government enables people to get rich through political favoritism. In the era of the Beltway boom, no wonder so many people feel the deck is stacked against them.
So is this just empty anti-government rhetoric?
I don’t think so.
Consider the way a select handful of big companies use the Export-Import Bank to obtain undeserved profits.
And examine how big financial firms pillaged taxpayers as part of the sleazy TARP bailout.
How about the way big agri-businesses rip off consumers with the ethanol scam.
Don’t forget H&R Block is trying to get the IRS to drive competitors out of the market.
Big Sugar also gets a sweet deal by investing in politicians.
Another example is the way major electronics firms enriched themselves by getting Washington to ban incandescent light bulbs.
Needless to say, we can’t overlook Obama’s corrupt green-energy programs that fattened the wallets of well-connected donors.
And General Motors became Government Motors thanks to politicians fleecing ordinary Americans.
After looking at that list, I’m surprised that 100 percent of Americans haven’t concluded that the system is rigged for corrupt insiders.
But just in case you think that list is inadequate, let’s look at some new examples.
But first, allow me to reiterate my view on markets.
Simply stated, I believe in genuine unfettered capitalism within a system that protects life, liberty, and property (in other words, “unfettered capitalism” obviously doesn’t include the right to hire a hit man to kill your mother-in-law).
Within those boundaries, I have no objection to people taking risks, accumulating wealth, or losing all their money. Heck, it’s not just that I have “no objection.” I welcome such a system since it means the maximum freedom and prosperity for people, particularly the less fortunate.
But I don’t want people to get rich(er) because they have political allies who will adopt cronyist policies that tilt the playing field in favor of well-connected insiders.
And that’s exactly what’s happening in my two new examples.
First, we have the case of a big Democratic donor who invested a lot of money in a short sell position on Herbalife, which means he will profit if the stock falls in value.
Nothing wrong with that, at least in theory. Short selling can be a very economically beneficial way of correcting markets when something is over-valued. Heck, we would all be much better off today if there had been some short selling to pop the housing bubble before it got so big.
But as Tim Carney explains in a column for the Washington Examiner, this short-selling insider isn’t relying on market forces. Instead, he is asking his buddies in the Obama Administration to use coercive government to hurt the company and lower its value.
Here are some excerpts.
Politically connected hedge-funder Bill Ackman…shorted the nutritional supplement company Herbalife in late 2012… After Ackman’s announcement, Herbalife shares fell from $46 to $27. Ackman kept hammering away, taking his compelling slide show on the road to convince the investing public that Herbalife was a house of cards. But after the initial drop, Herbalife stock rebounded… But Ackman had another weapon in his arsenal. Namely: Big Government. Ackman lobbied congresswoman Linda Sánchez, D-Calif., to sic the Federal Trade Commission on Herbalife.Sanchez complied. Ackman also…“paid civil rights organizations at least $130,000 to join his effort by helping him collect the names of people who claimed they were victimized by Herbalife in order to send the leads to regulators…” Ackman’s firm, Pershing Square Capital Management, hired an army of K Street lobbyists — paying a combined $14,000 a month to three firms that disclose lobbying for him — to turn the government against Herbalife.
What reprehensible behavior on the part of Ackman.
I have no idea whether Herbalife is a good company or a bad company. And I have no idea whether its stock is over-valued or under-valued.
But I do know that Ackman shouldn’t be getting his political buddies to intervene. As Tim points out, this is a recipe for rampant cronyism.
This is different from ordinary lobbying. Typically, companies lobby to protect or subsidize their business. When hedge funds play Ackman’s game, helping or hurting some other company is theentiretyof that business — and so lobbying can become the core of their business plan. We’ve seen it before. Investor Steve Eisman took a short position on for-profit colleges and lobbied Congress and the Department of Education to crack down on them. The Obama administration this monthannounced new proposed regulationson these colleges.
Now let’s look at another example.
Only this time it involves a big-donor Republican who wants favors from big government.
As the Washington Post reports, Sheldon Adelson doesn’t want his casinos to face competition from the Internet.
Given the more than $100 million that Sheldon Adelson has donated lately to Republican causes, the billionaire casino tycoon is well-positioned to get what he wants from a GOP-dominated Congress. But it turns out that the item on top of Adelson’s wish list — a ban on Internet gambling — is encountering resistance. And it’s not Democrats who stand in his way but a small group of fellow conservatives. …Online betting has been embraced by a number of Adelson’s industry rivals and several states eager for the additional tax revenue it provides….Yet the move to the Internet has also been seen as a threat that could deplete the customer base for Adelson’s brick-and-mortar casino resorts. …Half of the 22 Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee have co-sponsored the Adelson-backed legislation.
So what’s the status of the battle?
…conservative opposition began to emerge. …leaders of the other groups, including the American Conservative Union, did not mention Adelson by name. But their letter follows the publication this week of a fiery online column by former congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex.), the libertarian hero and father of potential presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). He called the bill an example of “crony capitalism” written “for the benefit of one powerful billionaire.” …Adelson called the 2011 Justice Department legal opinion a mistake and has taken steps to rein in online gambling,fighting state-level proposalsto authorize it and pushing for the federal ban. A company lawyer penned an initial draft of theRestoration of America’s Wire Act— later refined and introduced last year by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) — which would effectively prevent states from authorizing online betting.
Ugh, how nauseating.
Though I’m glad to see that there is opposition inside the GOP to Adelson’s self-serving proposal.
I realize we can’t say for sure whether opponents are motivated solely by good principles of non-intervention and federalism. Perhaps they’ve received money from interest groups on the other side, but at least there is resistance and presumably some of that opposition is for the right reasons.
By contrast, I’m not aware of any Democrats who are opposed to Ackman’s cronyist attack on Herbalife.
The moral of the story is that big government enables insider corruption. Which is the message of this video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity.
But if you don’t want to watch the video, just remember the simple lesson of today’s column, which is that all the examples of sleazy cronyism we discussed (both the new ones and the old ones) were only possible because government had the power to trump free markets.
Now let’s return to where we started. Yes, a growing number of Americans are getting disillusioned, and with good reason. But will the good people in Washington appeal to them with a principled campaign against corporate welfare and other policies that help insider fat cats?
Or will it be business as usual, with GOP cronyists replacing Democrat cronyists?
Even worse, will statists latch onto the issue and say the solution is to impose higher tax rates? That presumably would take some money from rich insiders, but it also would penalize folks who earn money honestly.
And it means the money that consumers lose because of cronyism winds up in the pockets of politicians.
Wouldn’t it be better to simply get rid of the bad subsidies and handouts and solve the real problem?
P.S. Since today’s column looks at capitalism vs cronyism, here’s the famous example of how you can explain various economic systems using two cows.
Surprise: Border Crossings Surge With Obama's Legalization Announcement
11/24/2014 7:10:00 AM - Katie Pavlich
Last week President Obama announced his plan to legalize at least five million people living illegally in the United States during a primetime address to the nation from the White House. He detailed the plan again last Friday at a Las Vegas high school.
Just before his announcement, law enforcement officers working in and people living along the Texas border with Mexico were already seeing a surge in illegal immigration as a result. From Local ABC 5 news in the Rio Grande Valley:
The flow of illegal immigrants appears to be on the rise again in Brooks County.
Rugged trails on ranches are littered with empty bottles, the remnants of the journey made by those who entered illegally and those who are making their way north. People in the area said foot traffic is once again on the rise.
Dr. Michael Vickers said he is seeing more of these water bottles left behind on Brooks County ranches.
Vickers said, "We had two groups, Sunday a week ago. Seven of them gave up to me. They were Hondurans and Salvadorans."
Vickers said President Obama's talk of executive action on immigration could be looked at as an open invitation to people south of the border to make their way north.
"Every time he opens his mouth about immigration and what he's gonna do, there's a huge negative impact on us that live out here along the border, especially in the rural areas where all the smuggling trails are," said Vickers.
The phenomenon of border crossings increasing when either the President or lawmakers in Washington D.C. start talking about some kind of amnesty plan is nothing new. Back in early 2013, border crossings doubled as Senators began debate on the Gang 8 illegal immigration overhaul.
As the immigration reform Gang of Eight inside the Beltway prepares to announce a deal later this week, claiming border security will come before a path to citizenship for millions of illegals, Border Patrol agents have seen illegal border crossings double and warn the cutting of agent work hours will only result in less border security, not more.
"We've seen the number of illegal aliens double, maybe even triple since amnesty talk started happening," an agent told Townhall, who asked to remain unnamed due to fears of retaliation within Customs and Border Protection [CBP], something he said is common. "A lot of these people, although not the majority, are criminals or aggravated felons. This is a direct danger to our communities."
The Rio Grande Valley in Texas and Nogales, Arizona is where we saw the huge surge in unaccompanied minors over the summer that overwhelmed law enforcement and pulled resources away from patrolling the border into overcrowded warehouse processing facilities. Last week as President Obama announced his legalization plan, Immigration and Customs Enforcement readied thousands of beds for a potential incoming surge of illegal immigrants unaccompanied minors.
On the same day President Obama announced his executive immigration overhaul we learned that the administration was gearing up for yet another surge of illegal immigrants coming this spring—more than 100,000 to be exact. And to do so, they’re getting a family detention center ready with 2,400 beds.
“We must be prepared for traditional, seasonal increases in illegal migration. The Dilley facility will provide invaluable surge capacity should apprehensions of adults with children once again surge this spring,” said Acting ICE Director Thomas S. Winkowski, reports The Washington Examiner.
America, You’ve Been Grubered!
11/24/2014 12:01:00 AM - Kurt Schlichter
The most important effect of the revelations of the Administration’s flunkies’ history of cheesy lies about Obamacare is that liberals must now answer one threshold question before discussing the substance of any new socialist scheme:
Why should we trust anything liberals say about anything?
Grubergate is just one of the score of scandals, frauds, and failures that have destroyed any trust in this collection of creeps by anyone except the most leftist and the most stupid, two sets which, if graphed in a Venn diagram, would be represented by a single circle.
IRS oppression. Executive amnesty. VA death lists. The Benghazi filmmaker frenzy. You’d think that statistically this Administration would have to act honestly and/or competently sometime. Instead, Obama’s managed to create the political equivalent of a broken clock that’s never right.
The liberals are fuming, infuriated that Jonathan Gruber let the cat out of the bag. Then let out another. And another. In fact, he dumped out a whole bag of cats as new media detectives released fresh clips daily depicting his smarmy confessions that he thinks the people who fell for Obamacare are drooling idiots. No, don’t look at us conservatives – we saw through this crypto-fascist scheme from Day One. Your boy Gruber is just telling it like it is – when liberals aren’t liars, they’re morons.
Like the hip kids say, hate the game, not the single payer.
What to do? With apologies to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the liberals in the media, which is to say “the media,” ran through the first four of the five stages of grief in record time.
Stage One – Denial: “Gruber who? Never heard of the guy I said was key to the whole Obamacare idea. And I never heard of Obamacare either. Look, a squirrel!”
Stage Two – Anger: “This is an outrage, citing the statements of a guy we spent years touting as an expert on Obamacare who says it was all a giant scam! You are the worst human being since that inhuman monster who wore a whimsical shirt to a comet landing!”
Stage Three – Bargaining: “Well, uh, Mitt Romney hired him too so it’s not so bad. Wait, what? You say that for conservatives, defending Mitt Romney over Romneycare is not a thing?”
Stage Four – Depression: “How can we ever hope to trick – I mean ‘convince’ – the American people to trust us enough about made-up crises to ever again transfer massive amounts of money and power to us liberals and the institutions we control?”
How indeed. The liberals will probably never reach Stage Five (Acceptance), and they face the huge hurdle the next time they gin up some bogus problem that demands a solution that – here’s the shocker – requires they be given more money and power. That hurdle is the fact that we conservatives are never going to let anyone forget how they Grubered America.
The climate change scam? They’ll Gruber at us that it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened, even worse than the ice age they were predicting back in the 70s if we didn’t – wait for it – give liberals more money and power.
The midterm election was a big blow to the fading cash and freedom-devouring climate change scam. The fact that global warming does not seem to involve any warming was already presenting a problem for the slobbering fetishists of the climate panic. Now, every time they start saying, “Trust us. I know how a year ago I said that by now the oceans would be dried up, but they’ll totally be gone next summer – really,” people will respond, “Don’t Gruber me, bro.”
It’s kind of hard to build up a lot of trust for your next big idea when you excuse lying about your last big idea because it was so darn important: “Oh yeah, deceiving you about health care was cool because health care is a big deal. Sure, climate change could mean the end of the world, but on that one, well, absolute honesty. This whole green energy thing totally won’t cost you more for electricity, limit your freedom, or enrich our liberal billionaire donors. Cross my heart. Now excuse me, I gotta catch a chartered jet to Gstaad for a conference on the importance of taking away your cars.”
Similarly, those pushing “net neutrality” – that is, allowing the government new and unprecedented power to regulate the web – have to contend with the annoying threshold question of why any sane person would ever allow this Administration to dig its claws into that final bastion of unregulated freedom. The responses liberals have to our refusal to trust them with more power over the online world are quite illustrative of exactly why we should refuse to trust them with more power over the online world. For example, sometimes they call us stupid for not trusting the same people who Gruber demonstrated think we are stupid. As a lawyer, I have to assess the notion that I’m stupid for not wanting to empower people who think I’m stupid as an unconvincing argument.
They also call us crazy, as if it’s nuts not to trust an Administration that Grubered us on its last big project. In fact, it’s the opposite of crazy – it’s ancient wisdom. That ancient wisdom is today distilled in the jury instructions given in our courts, like this snippet from California Civil Jury Instruction (CACI) 107: “However, if you decide that a witness has deliberately testified untruthfully about something important, you may choose not to believe anything that witness said.” In other words, as legendary Roman lawyer Cicero probably said, liars gonna lie.
You truly can’t fool all of the people all of the time, and thanks to Gruber, the time of trusting liberals is drawing to a close. This is wonderful. Look, we conservatives always knew these clowns were pushing Marxy snake oil on a gullible electorate. Now, the truth is impossible to hide. It’s right there on video, and it’s Gruberiffic.
Why Do Leftist Liberals Love to Mislead
11/23/2014 12:01:00 AM - Michael Youssef
Whether it’s church liberals or political liberals, they have at least one thing in common—they often speak one way, but walk in the opposite direction.
A prime example of that character trait comes from “Gruber-gate,” namely the recent scandal about remarks of Jonathan Gruber, a key architect of Obamacare. Mr. Gruber has stated that the bill’s passage was contingent on exploiting the “stupidity” of the American voter.
As with Mr. Gruber, most liberals—whether they’re from mainline denominations or liberal evangelical churches, or from the political sphere—believe that the average American is stupid.
As they view their world through that prism, they naturally use words and proclamations that are designed to mislead and sucker the poor saps.
Let’s first take a look at the world of religion.
Thirty years ago, well-organized forces opposed to biblical teaching began to invade the mainline denominations, which they viewed as “paternalistic.” Those forces couldn’t oppose biblical teaching directly, so they systematically used language to lull the unsuspecting into a soft surrender.
The misleaders used language such as: “We need to be loving to everyone.” Who could disagree with that? I mean, one could almost disagree with Jesus himself before disagreeing with that statement.
And they came with words like: “We are a big tent. We should include everyone.” And, again, who could quarrel with that?
What they intended all along, however, was to open the tent to all sorts of false beliefs, and even non-belief. Once they had conquered enough of the minds within the church, they moved in for the kill—namely, to crowd out the “close-minded” believers by making everyone in the tent convert to the new prevailing falsehood.
Of course, with the final move, out went the twin ruses of “loving everyone” and “the big tent.”
Similarly, when we look at this country’s national political developments, we find the same chapter and verse.
Once liberal progressives found an articulate spokesman in Barack Obama, they knew their moment had arrived. Who could ever forget his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004? Remember the smooth words that dreamed poetic about the desire for no red states nor blue states, but only United States?
Wow, a star was born! We would finally have that “big tent” in our political world, also.
Of course, in six years, we have traveled a long way from the dream of purplish, United States. We now have a leader in a permanent state of divisiveness. Now that a disapproving country is slowly waking up, he preaches a “my way or the highway” philosophy.
Any politicians who are inclined to oppose the president know that they will either have to get with the program or Mr. Obama will have the media slap the “obstructionist” label on them. So much for the big tent.
I pray regularly for our leaders, including Mr. Obama. As a Bible-believing Christian, I am commanded to do so—for not praying for our leaders is contrary to Scripture.
As a praying Christian who believes in the true message of “loving everyone,” I see a day when a heavy price will be paid by those who view godly, liberty-loving people as stupid. I fear for them.
They need to repent of their arrogance while there is still time. One day the truth will triumph, and all deceivers will have to face the Judge of the universe. I pray that they awake to their eternal reality soon.