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Daily Digest for Tuesday
July 29, 2014
“What country can preserve its liberties, if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.” –Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Stephens Smith, 1787
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Obama Strategizes for Immigration Fix
With Congress moving too slow for the legislator and justice in chief, Barack Hussein Obama said he would “fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own” using his infamous pen. Now, the Los Angeles Times reports, White House “[o]fficials signaled strongly Friday that Obama’s move would shield from deportation large numbers of immigrants living in the country illegally, as advocacy groups have demanded.” This comes as illegal immigrants demand a seat at the table discussing Obama’s next move on immigration. As Obama moves forward, there are rumblings of impeachment, some implied by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and some by Democrats, who are milking the idea of impeachment for donations. More…
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Obama: ‘You Don’t Get to Pick Which Rules You Play By’
In his weekly address, Barack Hussein Obama told us this is the United States, and Americans play by the rules. “The vast majority of American businesses pay their taxes right here in the United States,” Obama said. “But when some companies cherry-pick their taxes, it damages the country’s finances. It adds to the deficit. It makes it harder to invest in the things that will keep America strong, and it sticks you with the tab for what they stash offshore.” So Obama rose to the White House soapbox to spout the party line about corporate unfairness and economic patriotism. He continued, “Right now, a loophole in our tax laws makes this totally legal — and I think that’s totally wrong. You don’t get to pick which rules you play by, or which tax rate you pay, and neither should these companies.” At least this week, we agree with Obama: Rules are rules, and they can be so hard to follow sometimes. After all, there are rules about announcing prisoner swaps to Congress, immigration rules to enforce, a pesky document written 1787 that is fondly called the Constitution… More…
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VA Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Struck Down
The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Virginia’s definition of marriage as between a man and a woman — a 2006 constitutional amendment approved by voters 57% to 43%. The Associated Press reported, “The court itself also highlighted the debate that pits moral values and the idea of equality against states’ rights, recognizing that same-sex marriage ‘makes some people deeply uncomfortable,’ but argued in its ruling Monday that those concerns are ‘not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws.'” The ruling is part of a snowballing and troubling trend. When Connecticut legalized same-sex marriage in 2008, for example, the issue of marriage was a state’s issue, decided by the state’s Supreme Court. Today, these state-level constitutional issues are being decided by the federal legal system, and are providing precedents on the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Leftists’ strategy is to collect these precedents. More…
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U.S. Accuses Russia of Violating Missile Treaty
The United States has reason to believe the Russians violated the 1987 Nuclear Missile Treaty signed by then-President Ronald Reagan and Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The treaty banned nuclear missiles that had ranges between 300 to 3,400 miles, and the Obama administration called the reported new testing “a very serious matter,” according to the Associated Press. The relationship between the two countries continues to deteriorate. First, Russia granted Edward Snowden asylum, then Russia escalated the Ukrainian conflict (MH17, anyone?) and now, sanctions are working so “well” that Russians are snatching up American goods like cars and oil field machinery in anticipation of further sanctions. Is it getting cold in here, or is this the beginning of a new cold war? More…
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Catholics Denounce Executive Order for Violating Religious Liberty
Barack Hussein Obama recently issued an executive order granting special protection for transgendered federal employees. The order sets up almost inevitable conflicts over religious liberty because Obama didn’t listen to appeals for an exemption for faith-based federal contractors. Catholic bishops denounced the “unprecedented and extreme” order that “implements discrimination.” In fact, they said, it will “exclude federal contractors precisely on the basis of their religious beliefs.” Furthermore, explained Princeton Professor Robert George, who is also vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, “Barack Hussein Obama declared war on the Catholic Church and people of other faiths who hold to traditional beliefs about marriage and sexual morality. We must defeat the enemies of conscience — at the ballot box — not only to protect our own freedom … but also to protect the interests of those served so well by faith-based institutions. This is a war and we must win for their sake as well as our own.” Obama and the Left are growing increasingly beholden to the homosexual lobby, despite the fact that homosexuals make up less than 3% of the population.
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Kerry’s Tunnel Network Undermines Israel
Secretary of State John Kerry, presumably pursuing the wishes of his boss, has badly flubbed dealings between Israel and Hamas. The main reason for his failure is an assumption that both sides want peace and that all it requires is some magic words from the Obama administration. They’re dead wrong.
Over the weekend, Kerry pushed for a cease-fire negotiated in Paris with Israel’s enemies, Qatar and Turkey, and it contained practically every Hamas demand. We’re shocked — shocked — that it failed. The White House has pushed for a cease-fire only since Israel began its ground incursion into Gaza to clear out Hamas’ tunnel networks (built with forced child labor) and destroy its missile caches. In other words, once Israel started truly succeeding, the Obama administration sought to stop that progress.
A White House statement describing a call between Barack Hussein Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “The President … reiterated the United States’ serious and growing concern about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives, as well as the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza.” Furthermore, the statement read, “[T]he President made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire that ends hostilities now.”
Worse, the administration even turned on Israel at the UN, pushing a Security Council-enforced cease-fire.
Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Fatah (the other Palestinian faction that controls the West Bank) all want Hamas rule ended in Gaza. And the Obama Justice Department still classifies Hamas as a terrorist group. So why would the Obama State Department expect a good result from working for Hamas against all other interested parties?
Israel would love nothing more than to live in peace, but that’s difficult when its immediate neighbors want its total destruction. That’s why the “peace process” has yielded so little regardless of decades of trying, and that’s why Israel’s objective now is to cripple Hamas. Netanyahu warned Israelis to prepare for a “prolonged” war because Israel has no interest in quitting before its objectives are achieved, especially in the face of betrayal by the U.S.
The bumbling over the cease-fire isn’t the only thing the Obama administration is doing to enrage Israel. Nuclear talks with Iran continue to grant both time and concessions to the mullahs — who also happen to want Israel wiped off the map and support Hamas’ efforts to do so. Iran is not just a thorn in Israel’s side like Hamas; it’s an existential threat.
Perhaps much of the problem is that Kerry is the wrong man for the job. In 1971, he testified before the Senate against American troops, saying, “They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.”
If the man could so outrageously slander his own countrymen, why should the Israelis trust him to have their best interests in mind? Clearly he doesn’t (remember his apartheid state comments), and therefore they don’t trust him.
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The Clear Winner: Right-to-Work Compared to Minimum Wage
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released data this week that is sure to further stir the debate over how to improve wages in America. It turns out that Michigan, which became a right-to-work state in 2012, saw its per-capita personal income rise from $38,291 in 2012 to $39,215 a year later. This was the ninth highest income increase in the country.
Right-to-work laws essentially give workers the opportunity to pursue employment without having to pay dues to unions, who frequently use that money to secure political power at the expense of worker protections. Michigan, a state where unions have held sway for decades, shocked the country when the state’s Republican lawmakers passed a right-to-work law. Union-backed Democrats predicted an employment catastrophe, expecting the state to plunge into some sort of feudal system. That didn’t happen, and although the one-year gain is modest, it certainly offers encouragement for other states looking to find ways to boost incomes.
Richard Vedder, an economics professor at Ohio University, noted in an extensive study released this week, “Incomes rise following the passage of RTW [right-to-work] laws, even after adjusting for substantial population growth that those laws also induce.”
It’s certainly a better way to go than increasing the minimum wage. The White House and Democrats in Congress still cling to the backwards idea that raising the minimum wage will actually reduce unemployment. But it’s hard to see how making workers more expensive to hire will be more attractive to companies looking for help. Then again, liberals aren’t known for their skills in economics.
The minimum wage applies to only one in 20 workers, most of whom are under 24 or unskilled. A Heritage Foundation analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data from all 50 states between 1990 and 2013 found that teenage unemployment rates are higher and labor participation is lower in states with minimum wages greater than the federal minimum. In 2007 and 2008, the federal minimum wage was raised three times, and, as a result, the national teen unemployment nearly doubled.
The economy has improved to some degree, but unemployment and underemployment remain stubbornly high for a large portion of the working population. Teenagers, who stand to earn substantially more as adults if they work during their school-age years, have been priced out of the labor market. Raising the minimum wage again will further hurt their situation. Employers are simply not going to hire young workers with no job experience at $10 an hour. One solution is to create a teen wage of $5 or $6 an hour. Another option would be to let the market determine what a job is worth rather than leave the decision to social engineers in Washington.
In essence, the difference in these two approaches is this: Right-to-work allows for greater access to jobs, while a government mandated minimum wage prices some prospective workers out of those jobs. Which one makes more sense if creating jobs is the objective?
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TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
For more, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
English Poet John Dryden (1631-1700): “Ill habits gather by unseen degrees —
As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.”
Columnist William Murchison: “When John Kerry tries to convince Benjamin Netanyahu of the two-sidedness of the Palestinian question, he speaks an incomprehensible language, based on his own peacenik experiences with the war in Vietnam. Netanyahu hears in the whine of the rockets what Kerry can never hear — the sound of approaching extinction. Where is Kerry getting this stuff? That is surely Netanyahu’s question. … The whole culture of the West is under assault in a way the leaders of the West decline to acknowledge. Leaders? That’s possibly the worst joke of the 21st century. Followers is what the democracies now mostly install in positions of power: goers-with-the-flow, wherever it flows; insatiable absorbers of insults; Kerry-like victims of positive thinking and high-minded intentions. These followers don’t understand people who say to the Jews, as to the Christians of Iraq: Beat it; or prepare to meet your notion of God.”
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Economist Thomas Sowell: “There is something grotesque about people living thousands of miles away, in safety and comfort, loftily second-guessing and trying to micro-manage what the Israelis are doing in a matter of life and death. Such self-indulgences are a danger, not simply to Israel, but to the whole Western world, for it betrays a lack of realism that shows in everything from the current disastrous consequences of our policies in Egypt, Libya and Iraq to future catastrophes from a nuclear-armed Iran.”
Comedian Seth Meyers: “A judge wrote an opinion … in favor of Obamacare, saying that getting healthcare from the state or federal government is the same as ordering from Pizza Hut vs. Domino’s. I’m not sure I agree. THEIR websites always worked.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
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