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THE WATCHMAN ON THE WALL SOUNDING THE ALARM
“How could a readiness for war in time of peace be safely prohibited, unless we could prohibit, in like manner, the preparations and establishments of every hostile nation?” —James Madison, Federalist No. 41, 1788
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
Another life was lost in Ferguson this week, and hers was indisputably innocent. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, “A 9-year-old girl doing homework on her mother’s bed was killed when someone fired shots into a Ferguson home Tuesday night, according to police and family. Jamyla Bolden’s grandmother said she ran into the bedroom after someone opened fire about 9:30 p.m. Jamyla’s mother was hit in the leg. Jamyla was fatally wounded. ‘I was holding her the whole time,’ the grandmother said of the child Wednesday. She did not want her name used because she feared for her safety. ‘I kept holding and holding her,’ the grandmother told the Post-Dispatch. ‘I still have her blood on my hands. She was still breathing. I was telling her to just breathe.’” Such senseless acts of violence are all too common in the St. Louis suburb where the radical group “Black Lives Matter” was born. Yet they’d rather protest and riot over the death of another man killed by police — after he pointed a gun at them. Just one man is marching for Jamyla. The police aren’t always blameless, of course, but the real blame lies with thugs who are young, male, urban and all too often black. To these killers, black lives don’t matter at all — not even the life of a nine-year-old girl. But there is a bit of good news: Ira DeWitt, wife of St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt, is going to pay for the funeral. Rest in peace, Jamyla.
In June 2014, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the Clean Power Plan, which the Obama administration finalized earlier this month, “is about environmental justice … because lower-income families and communities of color are hardest hit.” Why, then, is the EPA enacting standards that adversely affect minorities? Last week, McCarthy similarly remarked, “We know that low-income minority communities would be hardest hit.” But there was one important distinction: She wasn’t referring to environmental hazards but the plan itself. In other words, the EPA’s massive power grab, which ostensibly “is about environmental justice,” instead hurts those it’s supposedly intended to protect. That’s not the surprising part — independent studies have already warned about the consequences. What’s surprising is hearing the head of Barack Obama’s EPA admit it.
McCarthy counters by arguing that consumers will see substantial savings by 2030 and that the government intends to help minorities neutralize the initial impacts by giving states that invest in new and upcoming energy efficiency programs a 2-for-1 federal credit. But as The Daily Signal’s Nicolas Loris writes, existing energy efficiency programs have failed to live up to expectations. And just because the government wants to make purchasing decisions for you doesn’t mean consumers are better off: “Arguing that increasing energy prices with regulations will save money by forcing energy-efficient product purchases is equivalent to cutting employees' salaries and telling them that they will save money by shopping at Target. Just as the option to save money at Target existed before the pay cut, families and businesses already have an incentive to purchase energy-efficient products. When the government mandates efficiency, it removes that choice and makes consumers worse off.” No one is against energy efficiency, but that’s best attained through innovation in the free market. When the government gets involved, the results are bad for everyone.
Working off a tip, the VA’s inspector general in February sprung a surprise inspection on the VA Regional Office in Los Angeles. He found that employees were about to shred nine unprocessed claims that veterans filed with the agency. Of those claims, two of them were from homeless veterans who were seeking disability compensation, The Washington Times reports. Another was from a veteran who said he could not be employed because of the severity of his PTSD. In short, the VA’s action would have entrapped those veterans in a bureaucratic morass. The IG’s report could not verify that VA supervisors had ordered the paperwork destroyed, nor could it determine how many unprocessed claims passed through the shredder. In response to its findings, the IG made surprise inspections in 10 other VA offices to see if the paperwork problem is systematic. Secret wait lists are one thing. Document destruction and the resulting denial of care is another.
FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
By Patriot Post Staff
Barack Obama famously made resetting relations with Russia one of his very first foreign policy initiatives, even deploying then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a ridiculous photo-op with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (Lavrov can be seen in the photo above laughing in what could fairly be interpreted as genuine amusement that any U.S. president could be so naïve). Now, six years later, it’s apparent that we have indeed reset relations with Russia — to about 1977. From snapping up Crimea to fomenting insurrection in Ukraine to propping up Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin hasn’t missed an opportunity to poke us in the eye.
And now the latest such poke. This week, Russia and Iran announced the completion of a deal for the S-300 surface-to-air missile, one of the most capable such missiles in the world. Iran had originally attempted to acquire the S-300 in 2009, but Russia eventually backed out of the deal in the face of international pressure during the ongoing UN sanctions process over Iran’s nuclear program. But with sanctions now conveniently lifted thanks to Obama’s Iran deal, that same Sergei Lavrov has just wrapped up meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in which the S-300 deal was confirmed.
The S-300 is a very low- to very high-altitude missile, able to intercept aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles out to nearly 200 miles. Iran has reportedly contracted for four battalions' worth at a cost of just under $1 billion, out of an annual defense budget estimated between $11-14 billion. Both Iran and Russia say the system will be delivered before the end of the year.
And we’re essentially paying for it with the $100 to $150 billion in sanctions relief through the deal.
Iran will almost certainly deploy two of the four battalions to cover its nuclear sites in central Iran and one battalion to protect Tehran. Each battalion comprises six launchers and a total of 24 missiles, plus a targeting radar, all of which are mobile. The S-300 will complicate enormously any attempt to fly into Iran’s airspace and attack its nuclear sites, which is Russia’s goal as well as Iran’s.
Why is Russia going through with this sale to a pariah nation like Iran? Partly because military systems are one of the very few Russian export items anyone wants to buy, but mainly because propping up those nations opposed to the United States has been Russian policy since 1945. As we said in 2009, Russian national interests were not going to change suddenly just because a neophyte in the Oval Office wished it were so — especially with a former KGB goon holding the reins of power in Russia. Anywhere Putin can cause headaches for the U.S. he will do so, which was obvious to everyone in 2009except the community organizer and his secretary of state. The S-300 deal is just the latest such move, but it won’t be the last. Reset, indeed.
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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Charles Krauthammer: The Immigration Swamp
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For more, visit Right Opinion.
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OPINION IN BRIEF
Charles Krauthammer: “Birthright citizenship is a symptom, not a cause. If you regain control of the border, the number of birthright babies fades to insignificance. The time and energy it would take to amend the Constitution are far more usefully deployed securing the border. Moreover, the real issue is not the birthright babies themselves, but the chain migration that follows. It turns one baby into an imported village. Chain migration, however, is not a constitutional right. It’s a result of statutes and regulations. These can be readily changed. That should be the focus, not a quixotic constitutional battle. … [I]t is estimated by the conservative American Action Forum that mass deportation would take about 20 years and cost about $500 billion for all the police, judges, lawyers and enforcement agents — and bus drivers! — needed to expel 11 million people. … [O]f course, it won’t ever happen. But because it’s the view of the Republican front-runner, every other candidate is now required to react. So instead of debating border security, guest-worker programs and sanctuary cities … they are forced into a debate about a repulsive fantasy. Which, for the Republican Party, is also political poison. Mitt Romney lost the Hispanic vote by 44 points and he was advocating only self-deportation. Now the party is discussing forced deportation. … Yes, I understand. The anger, the frustration, etc., etc., that Trump is channeling. But how are these alleviated by yelling ‘I’m mad as hell’ — and proceeding to elect Hillary Clinton?”
Insight: “The ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle, home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics, he feels himself master of his fate. But otherwise he simply lies down and lets things happen to him.” —George Orwell
Upright: “Some laws that regulate legal immigration may need adjustment. But our immigration system is not broken. The politicians charged with enforcing it are. It is illegal to sneak across the border. It is illegal to overstay a visa. It is illegal to work in the United States unless you are a citizen, a legal permanent resident or have a visa that authorizes you to work. It is illegal to use a false or stolen Social Security Number, and it is illegal to use fraudulent documents to obtain work. But the laws that immigrants here illegally routinely violate are not routinely enforced — even in Washington, D.C., and its immediate surroundings.” —Terence Jeffrey
Amending the Constitution is unconstitutional? “It turns out that an amendment aiming to change the Constitution to end birthright citizenship for the children of immigrants — a move that squarely targets Latinos — could theoretically be found unconstitutional long before it could make it into the document in the first place.” —Huffington Post legal affairs writer Cristian Farias
Non Compos Mentis: “Britain built an empire on the slave trade. Germany perpetrated the greatest genocide in human history. Who says the Islamic State won’t be a U.S. ally someday? … [I]f Western history is any guide, the Islamic State could well be on its way to global legitimacy.” —former State Department advisor Rosa Brooks
Circling the wagons: “[Y]ou want me to indict and damn Hillary Clinton? I’m not going to do that.” —New York Times' Jeremy Peters
Late-night humor: “Hillary Clinton released an ad that emphasizes her humble economic background. In the ad she says, ‘Just 15 years ago, my family and I were evicted from our house.’” —Conan O'Brien
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
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.