“Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?” –Thomas Jefferson
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Spending Deal Swamped by Senate
Barack Obama’s shutdown
No one can accuse Senate Democrats of merely rejecting House proposals for restarting the government. The government will reach its debt limit Thursday, and for some reason Democrats think that’s a good reason to increase spending. Over the weekend, they demanded that debt ceiling negotiations begin at pre-sequester funding levels. But the Senate couldn’t even pass a bipartisan proposal from not-exactly-Tea-Party-extremist Susan Collins to maintain current spending levels until March with a debt limit increase good through January. House Republicans, meanwhile, weren’t at all pleased that Senate Republicans were trying to cut them out of a deal, but they also backed off many of their demands, especially regarding ObamaCare, only to have Barack Obama reject a deal.
Of course, the end game for Obama and Senate Leader Harry Reid isn’t to avert “default” or end the shutdown — it’s to hang blame around Republicans’ necks.
As for “default,” Senate Democrat Whip Dick Durbin warned, “For the United States to default on its national debt for the first time in history would be catastrophic.” But according to The Wall Street Journal, “The Treasury says that on Thursday it will be left with $30 billion in cash to pay the government’s bills, an amount that could run out in a week or two.” Moody’s Investors Service, one of the nation’s most watched credit raters, says that Democrat rhetoric about the U.S. credit rating collapsing is hyperbole. If Congress fails to lift the debt ceiling, Moody’s indicates that the Treasury Department would most certainly continue to pay interest on the U.S. debt. All government revenue — of which there is still a large amount — should be first allocated for debt service, but with Obama in charge of what checks are written, all bets are off.
As the Senate produced nothing during its Sunday session, Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, along with 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, joined a crowd of veterans and others to remove the Barackades at the World War II Memorial and take them to the White House. Unfortunately, the White House wasted no time in returning them to the Memorial.
Regulatory Commissars: EPA to Scale Back Ethanol Mandate?
Last Friday, we reported that two senators are seeking to more strictly enforce the ethanol mandate, part of the Renewable Fuel Standard. But that doesn’t mean all is going according to plan. In fact, Reuters reports, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering a proposal that would set next year’s target for use of renewable fuels at 15.21 billion gallons, less than the 18.15-billion gallon 2014 target established in the law.” Scaling back on a federal regulation? Paint us gold and call us Oscar.
Indeed, the EPA has gone so far as to punish oil companies for failing to use biofuels that weren’t even available. But as Hot Air’s Erika Johnsen writes, “The EPA has been heretofore undeterred in continually raising the requirements, but I suppose it must be getting harder to ignore that nobody but nobody except agribusiness and their associated Big Ethanol lobbyists are fans of ethanol — not oil companies, not environmentalists (and how often do those two groups unite?!), and certainly not American consumers paying higher food and gasoline prices as a consequence.”
About those Big Ethanol lobbyists: They’re not going to go quietly. The EPA reassured them that nothing is final and it’s only a “draft proposal.” But Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, called for “an immediate investigation by the Justice Department and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to determine if this was an attempt to manipulate markets such as corn futures, ethanol futures and/or RINS markets.” In other words, despite all the damage ethanol does to engines and food markets, the ethanol lobby isn’t about to let their sweet deal run out of gas.
Immigration Front: California Makes Its Own Rules
California Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown signed a series of bills that will make his state a haven for illegal aliens. The so-called “Trust Act” will ban state law enforcement from transferring detained illegals into federal custody for deportation unless the detainees have committed serious crimes. California law enforcement has long since given up arresting illegals based on their residency status, so the only reason they would be arrested in the first place is because they committed another crime. Just how serious that crime has to be for Governor Moonbeam to allow federal officials to do their job remains unclear.
Other laws Brown signed include allowing illegals to obtain driver’s licenses. Activists say this is a first step toward “equality” for illegal aliens, but it would appear that they’ve already won “equality” since Brown also signed a law that allows illegals to practice law in California. That law grew from a court case in which an illegal Mexican immigrant who came to the U.S. as a baby went on to obtain a law degree in the state. It’s interesting that in all those years specializing in law he never found time to pursue citizenship or even legal status.
Sadly, Brown’s work to make California a sanctuary state for illegals may not have been necessary. The National Border Patrol Council has revealed that agents from San Diego to the Rio Grande were ordered to stand down and not pursue human traffickers, drug runners or other potential security threats. This news comes as a recent Pew Research Center survey found that the recession-induced decline in illegal immigration has ceased and illegals are once again streaming across the border. Pew believes the uptick is related to the increasing availability of low-income jobs, but the perks being given by California surely sweeten the pot.
Happy Birthday to the U.S. Navy
On Oct. 13, 1775, the U.S. Navy was born. Be sure to wish our sailors well here.
Village Academic Curriculum: Sex on Campus
Given the astronomical inflation precipitating the tremendous cost of higher education, you would think the majority of students casting themselves into long-term debt would want to max out the value of their investment. The issue, of course, is what students define to be valuable, as colleges are seemingly more focused on sex education than, say, preparing pupils for a career focused on hard work.
Take for instance the University of Maryland, host of “Sex Week.” “The event features a local D.C. sex shop called ‘The Garden’ whose mission according to its website is ‘commitment to body safe and eco-friendly products,'” reports CNS News’ Tim Graham. In other words, it’s no ordinary sex shop — it’s eco-friendly. It’s a telling example when progressives are far more concerned with “saving” the planet than even acknowledging an issue of cultural degradation.
Nor is this the only example of such raunchy escapades. At Brown University, Nude Week featured an assortment of events geared toward “confronting stigmas about the naked body,” National Review’s Alec Torres explains. Evidently, “tolerance” has no bounds — and any arguments to the contrary are now characterized as “stigmas.” And at the State University of New York, “A sex lecturer paid for by required student activities fees at a public university will teach college kids masturbation techniques and give away sex toys,” reports The Washington Free Beacon’s Mary Lou Byrd. The keynote speaker at the forum was Megan Andelloux, a former Planned Parenthood employee.
All the while, progressives promote “equality” and “tolerance,” and the breakdown of the family and educational norms continues.
For the Record
National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke: “There have been 17 shutdowns before this one, and a host of debt-ceiling fights to boot. Some of these happened during periods of divided government; others happened during periods of unified government. All told, they are a bipartisan game, although it seems that Democrats prefer to shut down things more than Republicans do. Fifteen of America’s previous funding gaps occurred when Democrats controlled the House, and five of them came to pass while Democrats ran every single branch of government.”
Columnist John Stossel: “Government wants you to play a role in the ‘shutdown’ of the federal government. Your role is to panic. … If the public starts noticing that life goes on as usual without all 3.4 million federal workers, we might get dangerous ideas, like doing without so much government. … The federal government remains the biggest employer in the country. President Obama says so with pride. Compare this to what happens in the private sector in tough times: AT&T cut 40,000 workers. Sears cut 50,000. IBM: 60,000. They weren’t easy decisions, but they enabled the companies to stay profitable. With fewer workers, leaner companies found more efficient ways to get things done. And the rest of us barely noticed. We expect change and adaptation in free-market institutions. But it doesn’t happen in government. Government just grows. … No wonder politicians and bureaucrats are convinced big government is essential to keep the economy going — it is essential to keep them going.”
Economist Walter E. Williams: “Black congressmen and black public officials in general … always side with teachers unions in their opposition to … measures that would allow black parents to take their children out of failing public schools. … [T]hey themselves have abandoned public schools. They see their children as too precious to be sacrificed in the name of public education. … According to a report by The Heritage Foundation, ‘exactly 52 percent of Congressional Black Caucus members and 38 percent of Congressional Hispanic Caucus members sent at least one child to private school.’ Overall, only 6 percent of black students attend private school. … I don’t think anything that black politicians get from … others who have a vested financial interest in a failed educational system is worth committing whole generations of black youngsters to educational mediocrity.”
For more, visit The Right Opinion.
Investor’s Business Daily: “”This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been given to the ‘Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,’ a group whose main achievement seems to be good intentions. This award is getting ridiculous. … It’s a $92 million United Nations-linked paper-pushing agency founded in 1997, whose 500 bureaucrats draw salaries around $120,000. All this agency does is ratify that nations have complied with their treaty obligations long after the fireworks and negotiations are done, undoubtedly sending stern letters out for non-compliance. … It no longer goes to people who promote actual peace. Nobel Prizes are now doled out as political statements, encouragement for the kind of do-gooder missions that global bureaucracies favor. Showing results, making a difference, these no longer count.”
Novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand: “Economic power is exercised by means of a positive, by offering men a reward, an incentive, a payment, a value; political power is exercised by means of a negative, by the threat of punishment, injury, imprisonment, destruction. The businessman’s tool is values; the bureaucrat’s tool is fear.”
Barack Obama: “The reason we are where we are right now is because Speaker Boehner, the House Republicans, thought that they could get leverage in budget negotiations — or defund the Affordable Care Act: ObamaCare — by taking us to the brink and essentially trying to hold the entire U.S. economy hostage. And what I’ve said is, I’m happy to negotiate — and Democrats have shown themselves happy to negotiate — on any issue, but you can’t threaten to shut down the government as means of getting leverage in negotiations. … Nobody is going to get 100% of what they want. What Mr. Boehner has essentially said is unless I get what I want — completely — then I’m not going to reopen the government.”
MNSBC’s Joy Reid: “[Republicans] are now essentially taking hostages. But this is beyond a hostage situation. They have shot a hostage. They went ahead and shut the government down. Having done that, you cannot then go to the hostage negotiator and say, ‘Why won’t you talk to me? Why won’t you sit down and have a conversation with me?'”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren: “When I hear the latest tirades from some of the extremists in the House, I am struck by how vague these complaints are. The anarchy gang is quick to malign government, but when was the last time anyone called for regulators to go easier on companies that put lead in children’s toys, or for food inspectors to stop checking whether the meat in our grocery stores is crawling with deadly bacteria, or for the FDA to ignore whether morning sickness drugs will cause deformities in little babies?”
Jay Carney: “What the president has been crystal clear about all along is that it is unacceptable to him that the Republican Party, driven by the Tea Party caucus, you know, try to extract ideological objectives in exchange for opening the government and raising the debt ceiling.”
From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File
Broadcaster Bob Costas: “‘Redskins’ can’t possibly honor a heritage or noble character trait, nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term. It’s an insult, a slur, no matter how benign the present-day intent.”
Columnist Burt Prelutsky: “Just recently, after performing a marriage service for a couple of lesbians, [Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg] reported that ‘same-sex marriages prove the genius of the Constitution.’ This is the same Constitution about which she said not too long ago she wouldn’t advise an emerging nation to adopt as its own. So, just as it took her husband’s presidential nomination to finally make Mrs. Obama proud of America, it took institutionalizing homosexual marriages to get this former counsel of the ACLU to say something nice about our most sacred document.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
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.
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