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February 9, 2015
“As unbalanced parties of every description can never tolerate a free inquiry of any kind, when employed against themselves, the license, and even the most temperate freedom of the press, soon excite resentment and revenge.” –John Adams, Discourses on Davila
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
As we’ve noted on numerous occasions, U.S. oil production is up and demand is down, leading to lower prices. Increased production is taking place entirely on private lands, yet, once again, Barack Hussein Obama is happy to take the credit. On Friday, he told a crowd of adoring supporters, “We’re as free of foreign oil as we’ve been in 30 years. We’ve doubled the amount of clean energy that we’re producing. A lot of families are saving a lot of money at the gas pump, which is putting some smiles on folks’ faces.” His remarks received a smattering of chuckles and applause, to which he arrogantly responded, “You’re welcome.” His policies have nothing to do with lower gas prices. Indeed, those lower prices have happened despite his best efforts. He did warn, “[A]t some point, [gas prices] are going to go back up.” He has plans…
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Recent terrorist attacks serve as a gruesome reminder that Jihadistan remains a critical threat. In fact, at no other time in history have jihadis controlled such vast swaths of land and boasted such a powerful upper hand. Sadly, rising turmoil has done nothing to sway Barack Hussein Obama, who only reaffirmed he’s content to keep the issue on the back burner. His latest national security blueprint contains phony diversions like global warming and homosexual rights, while underestimating the world’s greatest enemy. According to the Associated Press, “Obama says the United States must resist the urge to ‘overreach’ abroad, as he outlined a new national security strategy Friday that is meant to serve as a blueprint for his final two years in office. The 29-page document hews closely to Obama’s long-held views of America’s role in the world and forecasts no major shifts in the military campaign against Islamic State militants or in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.” That’s rich, coming from a man who oversteps his constitutional authority every opportunity he can get. These “national security” protocols literally aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. More…
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After the Obama administration spent years calling Nidal Hasan’s murderous attack at Fort Hood an episode of “workplace violence,” and thus denying Purple Hearts for the victims, sanity has finally prevailed. Announcing the decision, Secretary of the Army John McHugh wrote, “The Purple Heart’s strict eligibility criteria had prevented us from awarding it to victims of the horrific attack at Fort Hood. Now that Congress has changed the criteria, we believe there is sufficient reason to allow these men and women to be awarded and recognized. It’s an appropriate recognition of their service and sacrifice.” Rep. John Carter (R-TX) fought long and hard to win this battle against foolish political correctness. “The victims of this attack have struggled, suffered and been abandoned by this Administration,” he said. “No more. Today is a day of victory and I am honored to have fought on their behalf.” Clearly, Hasan was in contact with foreign terrorists, and shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he pulled the trigger. No jihadi is a lone-wolf, and Hasan’s rampage was a terrorist attack on our men and women in uniform — they deserve appropriate recognition. More…
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The outgoing attorney general certainly tried. First, there was Operation Fast and Furious, the program that was supposed to track how U.S. guns were making their way to Mexican cartels. Then, Eric Holder pressured the FDIC to dry up the loans going to the firearm industry using Operation Choke Point, skirting Congress and the open lawmaking process. There was even the political push to pass federal gun control because of the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. It was the latter that Holder points to as the greatest failure of his tenure at the Department of Justice. Holder told MSNBC Sunday, “Well, I’ll say this, [viewing the aftermath of Sandy Hook] was the worst day I had as attorney general. It is, I think, the single failure that I point to in my time as attorney general that I was not able to … convince Congress to really follow the will of the American people — which was to enact meaningful, reasonable gun-safety measures. The gun lobby simply won.” In other words, Liberty was preserved, despite a partisan attorney general with an agenda. More…
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In response to the allegations that he lied about embellishing an Iraq war story, celebrity NBC anchor Brian Williams took a leave of absence and canceled an appearance on David Letterman’s “Late Show” to lay low until this whole scandal blows over. “As Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News,” he wrote in a statement, “I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days. … Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.” However, Williams’ stories of braggadocio continue to multiply and grow. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air theorizes that the reason NBC staffers have not come forward to contradict or confirm Williams’ Iraq war story is that they edited the footage to suggest their chopper was attacked. Combined with the possibly embellished accounts of Williams witnessing Hezbollah rockets and claiming to see a dead body floating in the French Quarter after Hurricane Katrina, Williams is demonstrating a gonzo streak more at home in Rolling Stone.
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In one of the more appalling moments of his presidency, Barack Hussein Obama demonstrated last Thursday an unprecedented level of moral bankruptcy, a breathtaking ignorance of history, and utter contempt for a country that twice elected him to the highest office in the land.
The scene was the National Prayer Breakfast, which took place exactly two days after ISIL released a 22-minute video showing captured Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh being burned alive. And in one of the most ham-fisted attempts by any politician to downplay the connection between a group of bloodthirsty thugs operating under the self-professed banner of Islam and Islam itself, Obama decided that putting Christianity on the same footing as ISIL was the right thing to do.
“Lest we get on our high horse and think this [barbarity] is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama declared. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
Once again, Obama feels the need to belittle or apologize for America in a pathetic attempt to produce moral equivalency. And even then, he gets it wrong or omits half the story. As noted Islamic historian Bernard Lewis writes, “The Crusades could more accurately be described as a limited, belated and, in the last analysis, ineffectual response to the jihad — a failed attempt to recover by a Christian holy war what had been lost to a Muslim holy war.”
As for the Inquisition, there were several, spanning the 12th and 13th centuries, including some that were secular in nature. In 1998, the Vatican granted 30 scholars access to the archives of the Holy Office, the modern successor to the Inquisition. These scholars produced an 800-page report concluding the barbarism attributed to them was vastly overstated. “The Inquisition was not born out of desire to crush diversity or oppress people; it was rather an attempt to stop unjust executions,” notes historian Thomas F. Madden.
As for slavery and Jim Crow, Obama neglected two things: Slavery was universally practiced by all cultures for centuries, and Christians led the charge in abolishing slavery in the West. Moreover, millions of Christians opposed the institutionalized segregation of Jim Crow that was ultimately undone by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
None of this is meant to excuse abuses, or those who used Christianity as an excuse to perpetrate them. But note the president had to reach at least 50 years into America’s past — and nearly a thousand years into Church history — to find behavioral and cultural comparisons with what Islamist barbarians are doing right now. Furthermore, Christianity and America have engendered something most Muslim nations and Islam have not: genuine reformation.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal aptly addressed that reality. “It was nice of the President to give us a history lesson at the Prayer breakfast,” Jindal said. “Today, however, the issue right in front of his nose, in the here and now, is the terrorism of Radical Islam, the assassination of journalists, the beheading and burning alive of captives. We will be happy to keep an eye out for runaway Christians, but it would be nice if he would face the reality of the situation today. The Medieval Christian threat is under control, Mr. President. Please deal with the Radical Islamic threat today.”
And let’s not forget part of the Islamic threat includes enslavement — again happening right now. In December, ISIL published a pamphlet entitled “Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves.” Nigeria’s Boko Haram has also sold young girls into slavery, apparently unfazed by the fierce #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign launched against them.
Atrocities Jindal listed as well as the ongoing slave trade were all done in the name of Islam, even as our president has fought tooth and nail to avoid using that term. That is, until Obama finally admitted at the same National Prayer Breakfast that the world’s foremost terror threat is being engineered by those who “profess to stand up for Islam but instead betray it” — followed immediately by his denigration of Christianity. Moreover, it is interesting to note that when Obama was illuminating Christianity’s shortcomings he referred to them as being perpetrated “in the name of Christ.” Would he ever speak of the Islamist’s current depredations being perpetrated “in the name of Muhammad?”
Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, gets to the real bankruptcy behind the president’s invidious comparison. “When Christians act violently they are acting in opposition to the teachings of their founder, Jesus Christ,” he told Fox News’ Todd Starnes. “They cannot cite a single verse in the New Testament that calls for violence against unbelievers. On the other hand, radical Islamists can point to a number of verses in the Koran calling for Muslims to ‘crucify the infidels.'”
Perhaps Obama could point to a group of Christians currently engaging in savagery similar to that of ISIL, denounced by the UN last Wednesday for engaging in “the systematic killing of children belonging to religious and ethnic minorities … including several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive.”
How tone deaf is Obama? He made his inflammatory remarks at a breakfast commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Armenian Genocide — during which more than a million predominantly Christian Armenians were exterminated by Muslim Turks.
It appears there is something profoundly lacking in the mental makeup of Obama. This is a man who spent more than two minutes at a Tribal Nations Conference in 2009 making introductory remarks and offering a “shout out” to a Medal of Honor recipient — before mentioning that Maj. Nidal Hasan, a Muslim, had just killed 13 and wounded 31 soldiers at Fort Hood. When Muslims murdered ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith and Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods in Benghazi in 2012, Obama handed off the crisis to then-Secretary of State Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, not to be heard from again until he turned up at a fundraiser in Las Vegas the following day. Literally minutes after announcing Muslims had beheaded American journalist James Foley, Obama went golfing — and blamed the ensuing firestorm on the press and “bad optics.”
All of those were appalling moments as well. And perhaps what Americans should fear most is what this president is capable of doing “in the name of Obama.”
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| Pendulum swings aren’t enduring
A 2002 book, “The Emerging Democratic Majority,” posited, as the title suggests, an “enduring Democratic majority” in the wake of “permanent changes” to America’s demography. Co-authored by John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira, the book’s central idea — the heart of the Emerging Democratic Majority (“EDM”) theory — was that the Democrat Party had amassed such a solid coalition of voters over the decades that the party could endure occasional bad election cycles and still retain control of the levers of government over the long haul. Recently revisiting his book, Judis noted it is, well, wrong. How times change.
Sadly for EDM — and every other Democrat-ideology theory forced into sustained contact with reality — the theory was flawed. It turns out — to paraphrase Mark Twain — news of the Republican Party’s death was greatly exaggerated. What hasn’t been exaggerated is the magnitude of just how far the authors’ theory missed the mark. The theory wasn’t just wrong: It was exactly wrong — a feat extremely difficult even for Democrats to pull off. As Noah Rothman notes at Hot Air, the fatal flaw in EDM is, “Voters expected results from the party in which they had vested new authority.” After the better part of a decade getting none — or should we say the wrong results — voters learned to vote with their feet, walking out on Democrats at the polls.
The results of that reality check have been telling. Americans do not believe Democrats can provide economic security, let alone national security. The Democrat Party has become the party of racial, social and economic division, promoting class warfare as a primary means to gain political power, at the expense of all. It has accelerated national spending to a point of unfathomable debt, reincarnated the permanent welfare state, and turned public education into a 12-year babysitting service in which children simply bide time until they are turned out onto the streets of reality, lacking critical skills to become productive members of society.
In broad brushstrokes, in the wake of the contentious Barack Hussein Obama Era, Democrats have lost both the House and the Senate, lost control of 69 of 99 state-level legislative chambers, and lost countless officeholder seats. In short, the Democrat Party is in its worst position in 90 years. Americans no longer believe Democrats can deliver on any of their Pollyanna visions of the future.
Lest Republicans succumb to the same ruinous party-in-majority arrogance that (at least for the time being) wiped out the Democrats, we should warn that there’s a lesson here for every politician. The lesson is this: Ignoring or mistaking the will of the people can be hazardous to one’s political health.
Surveying the Democrat debris in the wake of the 2014 midterm Republican wave, the Chosen One commented, “To everyone that voted, I want you to know that I heard you.” The problem is that in his arrogance he didn’t hear. Immediately following his seemingly conciliatory statement, he punchlined, “To two-thirds of voters that chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.” Sure, Barry: It wasn’t popular will, it was just all those eeevil Republicans holding “the people” back from the polls. Any wonder why Democrats went 0-for-2 in Obama’s midterm cycles?
Summarizing the myriad lessons-learned littering the landscape of Democrats’ political destruction, we offer the same advice to Democrats as we do to Republicans: Take time to do the hard thinking to connect the dots between our nation’s core founding principles and today’s voters. The notion that a party can have an enduring majority without understanding the fundamental principles upon which America was founded is mistaken. The same is true for a party that ignores or misunderstands the will of America’s voters. Listen to the Founders. Then listen to the voters. That’s how to create an “enduring majority.” Anything else is just another political theory on the ash heap of history.
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TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
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OPINION IN BRIEF
The Gipper: “We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him. … But we cannot have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure.”
Columnist Jeff Jacoby: “Perhaps the most chilling words ever written about book-burning were penned in 1821 by the great German poet Heinrich Heine: Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen — ‘Where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people.’ … Just one day after news emerged of the book-burnings in the Islamic State’s so-called ‘caliphate,’ the jihadists released a video exulting in the horrific murder of Jordanian pilot, Moaz al-Kasasbeh, who was burned alive in a metal cage. There is something uniquely diabolical about setting books on fire, a lust to obliterate that almost ineluctably leads to even more dreadful evils. It is no coincidence that those obsessed with annihilating the physical expression of dangerous thoughts or teachings so often move on to annihilating the people who think or teach them. … Any brute can burn parchment, or ransack a library, or blow up a mosque, or bulldoze cultural treasures. But not even mighty armies can destroy the ideas they embody. … ISIS can’t either.”
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FRC president Tony Perkins: “[Obama] didn’t mention his stop in Saudi Arabia on the way back to this country, and the fact that they rank by his own State Department as one of the worst abusers of religious freedom in the world. Did he publicly lecture the Saudis for their current climate of oppression? Did he try attending a Christian church during his stop there? I’m sure he didn’t because there are no Christian churches in Saudi Arabia. They’re illegal. Mr. President, the next time one of your family members becomes ill, try finding a local Muslim hospital. Or the next time your motorcade speeds through a town whose economy has been shuttered by your big government economic policies, try referring people to the local Islamic homeless shelter. In your next speech about families, maybe you could challenge Americans to consider adoption through the local Muslim adoption agency. The reality is, Christianity isn’t just the largest religion in America, it’s also the most charitable. And disheartening as this may be to your worldview, Mr. President, America was in fact founded on Christian truths and principles — and it’s that heritage that makes America an exceptional nation.”
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Comedian Conan O’Brien: “Brian Williams has admitted he embellished a story about being in a helicopter that was shot at in Iraq. Williams says the helicopter part was true, but it was a coin-operated helicopter outside of a Chuck E. Cheese.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
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