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nChrist
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« on: August 08, 2009, 10:28:48 PM »

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The Patriot Post Digest 9-31
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THE FOUNDATION

"In politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution." --Alexander Hamilton

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

ObamaCare opponents beware
Calling All Informants


The White House this week took to quoting John Adams in an effort to "debunk" criticism of and opposition to ObamaCare. "Facts are stubborn things," said the administration. After videos resurfaced of Barack Obama saying in 2003, "I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program," and in 2007, "I don't think we're going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There's going to be potentially some transition process," damage control became imperative.

Linda Douglass, the communications director for the White House's Health Reform Office, came to the rescue with a video of her own, claiming that opponents were simply cherry-picking quotes to create a "very false impression." The trouble is, simply repeating Obama's claims about Americans keeping their insurance plans isn't the same as disproving the critics. Facts are stubborn things, Linda.

Not only is this administration intellectually lazy, it is thuggish. "There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care," says the aforementioned post. "These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can't keep track of all of them here at the White House, we're asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov." Got that? Team Obama wants you to be a snitch; they want you to report even casual conversation with those who oppose ObamaCare directly to the White House itself.

Red State blogger Erick Erickson says that could be illegal. "According to 5 U.S.C. 552a, United States agencies, including the Executive Office of the President, shall 'maintain no record describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by statute or by the individual about whom the record is maintained or unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity.'"

Next, the erstwhile community organizer and his Chicago thugs attacked community organizers around the country for attending town hall meetings hosted by congressmen and expressing their disapproval of Washington's takeover of health care. According to some Democrats, American citizens, when they actively protest the policies of the ruling party and the president, are a "mob" that is out to "hurt our president," not Americans exercising their constitutional rights to free speech, free assembly and petition to the government. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) went so far as to claim that the protesters were "carrying swastikas and symbols like that." Class act, that Speaker of the House.

Meanwhile, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) strongly implied that ObamaCare opponents are all just pawns of the insurance companies: "I hope my colleagues won't fall for a sucker punch like this. These health insurance companies and people like them are trying to load these town meetings for visual impact on television. They want to show thousands of people screaming 'socialism' and try to overcome the public sentiment, which now favors health care reform." He added, "There are health insurance companies that are ... very profitable and they don't want to see this reform so they are helping to organize these rallies."

To recap then, more than half the population is opposing massive, unconstitutional government intervention in health care only because profit-making health insurers told us to. And Obama supporters are supposed to rat out their friends and family for opposing this unprecedented Socialist power grab. Witness the Democrats' version of America.

Quote of the Week

"'Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.' We have heard that many times. What is also the price of freedom is the toleration of imperfections. If everything that is wrong with the world becomes a reason to turn more power over to some political savior, then freedom is going to erode away.... Ultimately, our choice is to give up Utopian quests or give up our freedom. This has been recognized for centuries by some, but many others have not yet faced that reality, even today. If you think government should 'do something' about anything that ticks you off, or anything you want and don't have, then you have made your choice between Utopia and freedom." --economist Thomas Sowell

News From the Swamp: ObamaCare Costs More

The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 31-28 last Friday to approve health care legislation. The Senate Finance Committee is nearing a "compromise" bill, as well. The only real compromising going on, however, is that of the principles of so-called fiscally conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats. A public option insurance plan still dominates the House bill and the estimated cost is still about $1 trillion over 10 years, though we don't believe that low-ball figure for a moment. As The Wall Street Journal notes, "The press corps has noticed the Congressional Budget Office's estimate that the House health bill increases the deficit by $239 billion over the next decade. But government-run health care won't turn into a pumpkin after a decade. The underreported news is the new spending that will continue to increase well beyond the 10-year period that CBO examines, and that this blowout will overwhelm even the House Democrats' huge tax increases, Medicare spending cuts and other 'pay fors.'"

According to CBO director Douglas Elmendorf, new revenue to pay for health care would grow at 5 percent per year for the decade following 2019, while spending will increase at more than 8 percent per year. Worse, the Journal adds, "The CBO score almost surely understates this deficit chasm because CBO uses static revenue analysis -- assuming that higher taxes won't change behavior. But long experience shows that higher rates rarely yield the revenues that they project. As for the spending, when has a new entitlement ever come in under budget?" Democrats may indeed win approval for their plan by claiming it will be "deficit neutral" through 2019, but that's what we call the BIG lie.
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2009, 10:30:19 PM »

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From the 'Non Compos Mentis' File

"President Obama and I are working closely with Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate and health care experts to make sure we get the details of health reform right. But we can't let the details distract us from the huge benefits that reform will bring." --Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who admitted that she has "no idea" about a provision in the health care bill that requires her to "develop standards for the measurement of gender." Details, details...

The Truth About Cash-for-Clunkers

The Obama administration has been raving about the success of "Cash for Clunkers" (officially named the Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS), and this week Congress dutifully approved $2 billion more for the program. Why the popping of champagne corks? First, the demand for the program was so great that consumers burned through the $1 billion allotted for the rebates in a matter of days. Second, with the amount of flak the administration has taken for its mismanagement of the economy and the health care debate, any perceived victory is welcome. But this is simply not the victory that Obama wants us to believe it is.

Even in the handful of days that the program was active, CARS was plagued by administrative problems -- just like any other government program. The government Web site that dealers were told to use to submit buyers' rebate applications crashed repeatedly due to the high volume of requests. Dealers also had a difficult time registering for the program. Fine-print stipulations about the types of cars and light trucks that could be turned in and which ones could be bought led to customer confusion. Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) said, "If this is how the government is going to handle billion-dollar programs affecting all Americans, I ask, whatever will we do if this administration takes control of our health care?"

Meanwhile, the positive impact on the automotive industry and the economy, and indirectly on energy consumption and the environment, is grossly overstated. The upsurge in new vehicle sales that CARS is expected to bring will likely to be short lived -- all it did was condense several months of expected new vehicle sales and old vehicle trade-ins into a shorter period of time. No new wealth is being created; it's just moving from one pocket to another. And destroying thousands of older, cheaper automobiles negatively affects the economy. Having trouble finding an inexpensive used vehicle for your newly driving son or daughter? Thank the CARS program.

Beyond all these issues, Fox News' Glenn Beck reported that the federal government posted an ominous message at the Clunkers Web site stating that while logged into the Department of Transportation CARS system, users' computers would be considered property of the federal government and therefore all materials on the computers could be scanned, recorded, monitored, inspected and disclosed to any element of the government, including law enforcement. After Beck's program aired, the government quickly "clarified" that users who logged into the site had no explicit or implicit expectation of privacy, which sounds essentially like what Beck reported, just in better legalese.

This should be considered an outrage of epic proportions, but the response from watchdog groups has been muted. The ACLU, which challenged every move the Bush administration made during his eight years in office, had this to say: "It is hard to believe that [the Obama administration] would do something like this." Unfortunately it's not hard to believe that the ACLU's selective view of civil liberties would cause them to be asleep at the switch while Socialists run the White House.

Sotomayor Confirmed to Supreme Court

Sonia Sotomayor became the first wise Latina justice on the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday as the Senate confirmed Barack Obama's nominee to replace David Souter by a vote of 68-31. While Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) was absent because of illness, nine Republicans voted for Sotomayor -- Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe (ME), Richard Lugar (IN), Mel Martinez (FL), Kit Bond (MO), Judd Gregg (NH), George Voinovich (OH), Lindsey Graham (SC) and Lamar Alexander (TN).

There is a key difference between the Republicans who voted for Sotomayor and those who didn't. If this is all about politics as the be-all and end-all, as the Leftists believe, then a Republican vote for Sotomayor is defensible on political grounds -- that "elections have consequences," a president deserves deference to his judge picks, and a vote against Sotomayor may alienate Latino voters who adhere to identity politics. If, however, this is about something larger and greater than politics -- a view of the Constitution that gives political positions their form and meaning -- then a "Nay" vote on Sotomayor, to preserve the Constitution she treats cavalierly, is the only defensible position.

This Week's 'Braying Jackass' Award

"Those who oppose [Sonia Sotomayor] for fear of her unique life experience do no justice to her or our nation. Their names will be listed in our nation's annals of elected officials one step behind America's historic march forward." --Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), employing the Obama administration's straw-man approach to political discourse

We're still trying to come up with anyone who opposed Sotomayor "for fear of her unique life experience." And Durbin hails from the Party that smeared and filibustered judicial nominee Miguel Estrada in 2001...

New & Notable Legislation

The House voted against removing funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada, but Sen. Harry Reid is doing his best to get the Senate to kill the project in his home state. Together with President Obama, Reid is working to withdraw funding, claiming, wrongly, that the project is scientifically unsound. For some reason they believe it's safer to keep used nuclear fuel stored at 104 facilities around the country within 75 miles of 161 million Americans than it would be to bury it 2,000 feet below a mountain in the middle of the desert.
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2009, 10:31:30 PM »

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The government moved one step closer toward dictating private sector pay with passage of a House bill to give shareholders and the government more say in establishing executive compensation in public companies. The Senate never picked up previous similar measures, but in an era of growing socialist tendencies, that is little comfort.

In the spirit of keeping America from drifting toward the monarchy that President Obama seems to want, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) sponsored H.R. 3226, the Czar Accountability and Reform Act. This bill would bar the use of appropriated funds to pay expenses or salaries of "members of task forces, councils, or similar offices established by the president and headed by a person appointed inappropriately to such a post without Senate advice and consent." The bill stands little chance of passing, but it demonstrates that people are taking notice of the ongoing executive power grab.

The Justice Department's Black Panther Scandal Continues

The pursuit of justice in the Black Panther voter intimidation case is moving forward on two fronts. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) obtained an opinion from the Congressional Research Service last week that charges against the three Philadelphia men who intimidated and threatened white voters on Election Day 2008 could be re-filed without violating the Constitution's Double Jeopardy clause. Also, the independent U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has called upon the Justice Department to explain its dismissal of the original case against the men.

In May, the Obama Justice Department summarily dismissed charges brought by the Bush Justice Department in January against the New Black Panther Party, its Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz (former lieutenant to Louis Farrakhan), Minister King Samir Shabazz and member Jerry Jackson for intimidating voters and making racial threats and insults at a polling place in Philadelphia. Samir Shabazz was also carrying a nightstick. The Justice Department said it no longer had sufficient evidence to follow through with the case despite the fact that the event was caught on video and that there were several witnesses.

DOJ also says charges against Mr. Jackson were dropped because "he was a resident of the apartment building" where the incident took place. The building was in fact an elderly care facility and Jackson never lived there. But even if he did, would his residency grant him license to shout racial epithets at and otherwise threaten voters? Incredibly, Jackson's credentials as a Democrat Party poll watcher in Philadelphia were restored in May.

Wolf repeatedly called upon Attorney General Eric Holder to explain why the Department acted the way it did. Holder refused to respond. Apparently, he belongs to that "nation of cowards" he spoke of earlier this year; the one that's afraid to "have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us."

Jefferson Convicted of Bribery

"Former congressman William J. Jefferson was convicted of corruption charges Wednesday in a case made famous by the $90,000 in bribe money stuffed into his freezer and a legal battle over the raid of his Washington office that reached the highest levels of the U.S. government," reports The Washington Post. "Federal jurors found the Louisiana Democrat guilty of using his congressional office as a criminal enterprise to enrich himself, soliciting and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to support his business ventures in Africa." The FBI raided Jefferson's freezer in 2005 and found the frozen cash, but he was re-elected anyway in 2006. Finally ousted from Congress in the 2008 election and now convicted, Jefferson faces 150 years in prison. Our republic would be better off if that happened to more of his cohorts on Capitol Hill.

From the Left: Making Up a Docket Instead of a Document

Once again, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather is creating news rather than reporting it. This week, he sued to reinstate two CBS executives, network president Leslie Moonves and former news division president Andrew Heyward, as defendants in a $70 million breach of contract suit he filed against CBS. The pair were named in Rather's original 2007 lawsuit but a New York State Supreme Court judge removed them as defendants last year, stating Rather had no case against them.

Meanwhile, as Rather tried to enrich himself through the legal system, he made a call for his cohorts to be enriched by our government, saying in an address to the Aspen Institute that he "personally encourage(s) the president to establish a commission on public media." Media czar, anyone? Further, he noted the industry had been damaged by "corporate and political influence." A master of seeing the forest despite the trees, that Dan Rather. Now turn the telescope around.

The former CBS Evening News anchor, who was forced out after a scandal just prior to the 2004 presidential election involving forged documents about former President George W. Bush's military service, now produces an hour-long program called "Dan Rather Reports" for the little-watched HDNet. At least that's what we've heard.

'Agents of Change' -- But Deserving?

Each year, the president determines a list of people he deems worthy for the Medal of Freedom, our top civilian honor. This year President Obama listed 16 "agents of change" he found worthy of the honor, a list notable for its diversity.

A name that sticks out, however, is former President of Ireland Mary Robinson. While her time as president of the fair isle wasn't particularly noteworthy, her tenure as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights revealed an astounding anti-Semitism, a blind support of the Palestinian cause, and a most undiplomatic bashing of President Bush over our treatment of enemy combatants. In short, Robinson is a woman who thrived on "irritating" America while deriding our efforts against Islamic terrorism.

So why the high honor for Mary Robinson, one which also will be bestowed on notable thinkers and doers like Stephen Hawking, Sandra Day O'Connor and Jack Kemp? (Then again, Ted Kennedy is also receiving one despite his lack of thinking and doing 40 years ago.) It's yet another signal that America may be turning its back on old friends in the vain hope our enemies may come to like us.
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2009, 10:32:48 PM »

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NATIONAL SECURITY
Bill Clinton to the Rescue


Former President Bill Clinton returned triumphant from North Korea on Wednesday having negotiated the release of two American journalists who had been imprisoned by Kim Jong-Il. They were kidnapped in March while working near the North Korean-Chinese border. While we applaud Clinton's willingness to use his still-considerable clout to free the two Americans, we note that his boundless ego required a homecoming staged by a Los Angeles PR firm, complete with red velvet ropes, catered food and a PA announcer. We're surprised there wasn't a band and an open bar.

Following their meeting, a very unhealthy looking Kim Jong-Il appeared in the obligatory photo with Clinton -- the only envoy the North Koreans would talk to -- and Pyongyang's state press agency claimed that Clinton apologized for the journalists' "hostile acts" towards North Korea. Negotiating with terrorists provides a regrettable but unavoidable propaganda benefit to North Korea, but on the other hand, two Americans were freed from Kim's gulag. Yet to be seen is what claims Kim or his minions make about concessions offered by Clinton on the United States' behalf regarding North Korea's nuclear program. While we have no reason to think that Clinton made any such concessions, the mere claim will throw a wrench into the next round of six-party talks. Such are the problems of dealing with one of the last true lunatic regimes in the world.

Warfront With Jihadistan: Prison Plans Develop

The Obama administration is still debating how to handle the transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, suggesting this week that one possibility is a courtroom-within-a-prison complex in the U.S. The military penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and a maximum security prison in Michigan that will soon be closed are leading candidates. Obama has promised to close Gitmo by Jan. 22, 2010, but has faced immense pressure to keep these terrorists off American soil. Congress stripped $80 billion from the defense appropriations bill for the transfer of prisoners, and no one wants them in their back yard.

The administration seeks to move all Gitmo detainees to one U.S. prison in a system jointly operated by the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the military. The facility would include a courtroom for prosecution, as well as long-term holding cells for detainees determined too dangerous to be set free. Other cells would hold detainees whose release has been ordered but have no country willing to take them. According to the Associated Press, "As many as an estimated 170 of the detainees now at Guantanamo are unlikely to be prosecuted. Some are being held indefinitely because government officials do not want to take the chance of seeing them acquitted in a trial. The rest are considered candidates for release, but the U.S. cannot find foreign countries willing to take them. Almost all have yet to be charged with crimes." Maybe that's because this is a war, not a criminal justice problem.

Remains of Gulf War Pilot Found

The remains of Navy Capt. Michael "Scott" Speicher were discovered and identified last weekend in Iraq. Capt. Speicher's F/A-18 Hornet was shot down over the Iraqi desert on Jan. 17, 1991, the first night of the Gulf War. The Navy had struggled over the question of whether he was dead or alive for nearly two decades, changing his status several times from killed in action to missing in action and later to "missing-captured." Adm. Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, said the finding demonstrates the military's commitment to bring its troops home: "Our Navy will never give up looking for a shipmate, regardless of how long or how difficult that search may be."

ICE to Arpaio: Shut Up

We have noted on several occasions that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is no stranger to immigration controversy, and the latest news is no exception. In late July, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ordered the sheriff's deputies to release some illegal aliens caught in a broad criminal sweep. Arpaio complained to the media, leading ICE to blame the sheriff for the release. But Arpaio turned up the heat, releasing audiotapes proving that ICE officials had ordered the release, not him. As The Washington Times put it, "Caught looking foolish, ICE officials threatened to withdraw the sheriff's authority to enforce any immigration laws because the sheriff had violated a ban on contacting the media without first obtaining approval from the Department of Homeland Security, which is ICE's parent agency." Shut up, they explained.

Even more astounding, ICE's principal legal adviser, Peter Vincent, wrote, "Few courts would consider an obligation to consult with the federal government before releasing information to the media that may involve sensitive law enforcement issues to be an unreasonable burden on the right to free speech." Furthermore, government can "lawfully" require "the surrender of a constitutional right ... provided the conditions are reasonable." Clearly, one of the greatest obstacles to solving the illegal immigration problem is a rather large ICEberg.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Income Redistribution: Read His Lips


In the true spirit of read-my-lips pledges, President Obama has repeatedly declared to middle-class America, which he defines as families earning less than $250,000 annually: "You will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime." Technically that's true, notes The Wall Street Journal: "It's going to be many, many, many billions of dimes."

This rejoinder comes in the wake of a battery of hedging disclaimers this week, led by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (the one who cheated on his taxes) and National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, all of which indicate that the president may have, er, "exaggerated" in making his no-new-taxes promise. Geithner would not rule out higher taxes because reducing the nation's $2 trillion deficit would "require some very hard choices." Summers added, "It is never a good idea to absolutely rule things out, no matter what."

President Obama disagrees. Well, okay, spokesman Robert Gibbs says he does, anyway, explaining, "The president's clear commitment is not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000 a year." Um, okay ... then why the full-court disclaimer press?
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2009, 10:34:25 PM »

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Shoring up his trial ballooning with the same keen economic know-how used to figure his taxes, Geithner offered health care reform and increased unemployment benefits as ways to lower the crushing deficit. Of course! Democrats believe massive spending will "lift" the economy, so that makes perfect sense. Unemployment dropped to 9.4 percent and only 247,000 jobs were lost in July -- Obama's plan is working, they wasted no time in claiming. But as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) dryly notes, "It's pretty clear, if you pump trillions of dollars into the economy, you will see some recovery." He further added, however, that the long-term consequences of doing so would be devastating.

Naturally, media propagandists (but we repeat ourselves) pooh-pooh spending cuts and demand tax hikes, but none evidently remember the Reagan era, when tax cuts and sound monetary policy resulted in years of economic growth. Still, with the national debt topping $11 trillion and the federal deficit projected at a minimum of $1 trillion per year for the next 10 years, even Reagan would have his hands full fixing the current mess.

The correlation between recessions and tax revenue is apparently lost on Democrats. As they continue piling on with health care reform and massive, failed-Keynesian-theory "stimulus" spending, the recession is emptying the nation's coffers. Tax revenue is on track to drop 18 percent this year, the biggest single-year drop since 1932, during the middle of the Great Depression.

Ironically, Obama asserts, "We've pulled back from the possibility of a depression. That's not the danger." No, that's exactly the danger. The solution, however, lies not in overhauling health care, tackling climate change, levying new financial regulations or strapping taxpayers with a European-style value added tax (VAT). Simply put, it involves less government.

This Week's 'Alpha Jackass' Award

"I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess." --Barack Obama
Federal Spending Review

While taxes in Obama-land are climbing, federal spending is skyrocketing. The Heritage Foundation reports that 2009 per-household spending will reach $33,932, a full $8,000 more than last year. In fact, spending has grown so much that estimates place the 2009 budge deficit at $1.845 trillion, far more than the pre-recession average of $100 billion to $400 billion. While part of the payout is temporary -- a recessionary reaction, so to speak -- thanks to the president's 2010 budget, the expense explosion is staking its claim as permanent, with a 10-year annual budget deficit projection of nearly $1 trillion.

Of course, the administration thrives on emphasizing it "inherited" this fiscal fiasco in the form of a $1.3 trillion deficit, but as NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard notes, last year, then-Senator Obama voted "yes" on the 2009 budget, containing $3.1 trillion in federal spending and a projected $400 billion deficit. A few months later, Senators Obama, Biden and Clinton supported $700 billion in TARP spending. Once president, Obama signed the $787 billion "stimu-less" bill, and promptly gave the nod to $410 billion in additional FY2009 spending. An unwelcome "inheritance?" As Sheppard points out, "Tough to claim you inherited something you voted for, isn't it?"

Around the Nation: Blue States Raise Taxes

After unwisely choosing to tax a small percentage of their populations under the guise of "fairness," states that chose to tax only the wealthy instead of diversifying their revenue throughout the income brackets now face plummeting revenues. Because high income tax brackets endure the widest income swings between boom and bust years, soak-the-rich taxation schemes feature the same instability between inflated tax revenues and spending during boom times along with a more pronounced loss of tax revenues coupled with residual spending inflation during the lean years.

One immutable characteristic of money and capital is their mobility, yet a common misperception among Democrat-dominated state governments leads them to believe they can increase taxes on "rich" voters without driving those voters to states that compete for jobs and businesses via lower taxation. Instead, some states put the "fun" in dysfunctional by electing to raise taxes during a recession. All have Democrat governors (except for Hawaii, which has a Republican governor who vetoed a tax increase) and legislatures. The result of higher taxes has been an exodus of residents from California, New Jersey and New York. While this sort of Marxism inevitably leads to unstable and declining state fortunes, it was aptly described by another famous Marx -- Groucho, who described politics as "the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." Raising taxes and spending is the wrong remedy at exactly the wrong time, and voters are not amused.

CULTURE & POLICY
Second Amendment: Ninth Circuit to Hear Gun Case


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed this week to review en banc (by the full court) a panel ruling from earlier this year which held that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments through the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. The idea of such incorporation has long been a question regarding the Second Amendment, though no one would seriously question that the First Amendment, for example, applies to state and local governments. And the First Amendment contains the far more specific provision of "Congress shall make no law..." (emphasis added). The Second is far broader: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Still, we were rather surprised to see even a panel of the Ninth Circuit find that the Second Amendment means what it says.

Furthermore, Ninth Circuit Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain's ruling in favor of gun rights is at odds with rulings by other Courts of Appeal -- including a ruling penned by Sonia Sotomayor on the Second Circuit. The U.S. Supreme Court deliberately left the issue for another day in its Heller ruling last year, because the District of Columbia is not a state. Expect that silence to be broken in the not-too-distant future.
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2009, 10:35:42 PM »

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Climate Change This Week: NYT Hypocrisy

It must be great fun to be part of the mainstream media these days: Make up stories, unencumbered by fact, and when contradictory facts do get in the way, just spin it a little more. A prime example is The New York Times' treatment of global warming. In a recent article, the Times named this summer the coolest in the Big Apple in over a century, citing a "persistent jet stream" (a.k.a. Mother Nature). Yet the Times was also careful to remind us that 2009's cool summer and extremely cold winter do not disprove the theory of man-made climate change.

Granted, there is a difference between the weather and the climate, but when asked to explain its 2000 article stating that the warmer-than-usual winter of that year was man-made, the Times responded simply that those temperatures had been on point with scientific predictions -- made by scientists purporting that humans are causing global warming. And around and around.

But the media are not alone in pumping out bogus stories of anthropogenic global warming. Many scientists are bent on suppressing any opinions (along with the very real scientific findings supporting those opinions) that run contrary to their own. But a revolt has started among the "deniers" (as those who do not believe in man-made climate change have been dubbed). Recently, several members of the American Chemical Society wrote scathing letters to its global warmist editor in chief, Rudy Baum, exposing his shoddy treatment of them and their work. "Your editorial was a disgrace," wrote ACS scientist Dennis Malpass. "It was filled with misinformation, half-truths, and ad hominem attacks on those who dare disagree with you. Shameful!" One can only imagine the similar disgust journalists with integrity must feel toward those in their profession.

Faith and Family: MTV Reality Check

A few months ago when The Patriot covered the MTV reality show "16 and Pregnant," we focused on the lowbrow voyeurism of reality TV in general and MTV's glamorization of teen pregnancy in particular. In his recent opinion piece, however, Brent Bozell points out another angle to this story, a cloud with a silver lining: In a time when half of teen pregnancies end in abortion, the teenagers featured on the show opted, not to abort their babies, but instead to deal in adult fashion with the consequences of their actions.

Bozell applauded not only the unwed parents, but MTV as well for depicting the downside of the casual sex typically celebrated by the network's programming. One couple even chose the most selfless route imaginable: They gave their baby up for adoption to a couple that was better equipped to care for it.

But while Bozell makes a valid point, there is clearly a tightrope to walk here. For example, who's to say that after viewing the hardships of teen parenting, some teens wouldn't, upon finding themselves pregnant, be more likely to choose abortion? And no one knows this better than MTV, for while the show's Web site offers advice on contraception (and states that the only surefire way to prevent pregnancy is to abstain), it also clearly endorses Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider.

And Last...

Gotham is atwitter over the latest affront to our hero in the White House, as posters of Barack Obama painted up like the late Heath Ledger's Joker from "The Dark Knight" turned up in Los Angeles. The 2008 film spawned a Vanity Fair drawing of George W. Bush as the Joker, as well as similar caricatures of other conservative public figures, but nary a word of complaint was heard among the Leftmedia at the time. Tarnish their messiah, however, and they show how two-faced they really are. "Mean-spirited and dangerous," they call it. Or as one bizarre column charged, racist.

Of course, tenderhearted socialists overlook what radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh observed: "The Joker in that movie took every opportunity to remake Gotham City, didn't he? He had a big ... chip on his shoulder about his childhood and about a bunch of other things. His goal was to undermine the whole system. I think whoever did this is pretty brilliant, actually. And to effect the change that the people of Gotham City didn't want, the Joker created chaos upon chaos. The whole city was focused on him and what he was going to do next. He viewed crisis as an opportunity. So the Joker orchestrated crisis after crisis after crisis." Indeed, the whole thing left us wondering, to paraphrase the Joker: Obama, why so socialist?

*****

Veritas vos Liberabit -- Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis! Mark Alexander, Publisher, for The Patriot's editors and staff.

(Please pray for our Armed Forces standing in harm's way around the world, and for their families -- especially families of those fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, who granted their lives in defense of American liberty.)
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