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Wednesday Morning Edition

The Front Page Cover
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened"
Moral equivalence is moral negligence
David Limbaugh
"Rise up together as one voice"
"Be careful where you stand"
With one eye on the clock and the other on the priming the pump for the home stretch of this year’s midterm elections, Democratic and Republican lawmakers are scrambling. Both sides are vying to reap the maximum political benefit from what does and doesn’t get done in the next few days before Congress adjourns for a five-week recess. The pressure to repair the broken Veterans Affairs healthcare system exposed by scandal and to stem the continuing flood of immigrants across the southern border is immense. Over the next few days the action or perceived inaction in Washington on these fronts will have a huge impact on the summer debate and major consequences for candidates moving into November. As of today, the prospects of a deal on the VA are brighter, while the border crisis may well go unresolved. With President nObama’s approval ratings in the tank and the likelihood that Democrats will lose control of the Senate increasing, don’t be surprised if the blue team squelches a border deal and engages in heavy finger-pointing, complete with claims of Republican inaction.
-Fox News
 VA a done deal? -   Fox News: “The leaders of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees reached a tentative deal Sunday to improve veterans’ health care -- a potential solution to help fix such ongoing problems as delays for benefits and long waits for medical treatment concealed by secret lists. The tentative deal would also end speculation about whether Congress would indeed begin a five-week summer recess without a legislative solution amid widespread national outrage over problems within the Department of Veterans Affairs. The committee chairmen, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., worked through the weekend and have scheduled a press conference for Monday to talk about the tentative deal….The pair said in a joint statement that they had ‘made significant progress’ toward an agreement on legislation ‘to make VA more accountable and to help the department recruit more doctors, nurses and other health care professionals.’… Sanders proposed a bill last week that would cost about $25 billion over three years. Miller’s proposal would approve $10 billion in emergency spending. Those proposals would have scaled back separate House- and Senate-passed bills after lawmakers in both parties expressed shock at price tags totaling more than $35 billion. The proposals would still allow veterans to go to private doctors if they face long waits for appointments at VA hospitals and clinics, or if they live more than 40 miles from a VA site.”   -Fox News
 Border deal stuck on Dems about face -   Washington Examiner: “While the border bill has stalled, there is still a small chance for a deal by Thursday, which is the last day the House is in session until Sept. 8. Democrats and Republicans are at odds over a 2008 deportation law that is preventing the fast deportation of the thousands of child migrants who have come here from Central America. President nObama initially backed a move to change the law in order to speed deportation of Central American minors. Federal officials say 61,000 unaccompanied children have crossed the southern border into Texas since October. But under pressure from immigration rights groups, nObama has since backed down and Congressional Democrats now say they oppose changing the law, which currently requires the government provide immigration hearings for Central American youth, a process that can take years. This week, Democrats will have to decide whether a provision to change the 2008 law is a deal breaker, since Republicans in the House are unlikely to pass a border spending bill without it. Both White House officials and House Minority Leader Nancy Pulosi, D-Calif., hinted Democrats might give in on allowing a change to the provision… If Congress agrees to pass a spending bill, it will likely be smaller than nObama's $3.7 billion request.”   -Fox News
House Speaker John Boehner lays out the importance of pursuing the House lawsuit against President nObama for overstepping his executive authority while Congress continues to focus on “jobs and the economy.” In an op-ed for USAT, Boehner argues that this debates is “not about [the speaker] vs. President nObama. This is about future Congresses and future presidents. There is a conflict between the executive branch and the legislative branch of our government. It is the judiciary branch’s role to help resolve it,” Boehner continues. “I believe this path is the right one to defend our institution and preserve the Constitution, while continuing to focus on the American people’s top priority — helping our private sector create more American jobs.”  -Fox News
This weekend leading Democrats blasted their base with multiple emails fundraising off Republican calls to impeach President nObama. Washington Examiner’s Byron York calls this a “farcical twist” since Dems now are campaigning to encourage the GOP to do exactly what they are fundraising to stop. “The Democrats' impeachment fundraising extravaganza”: “In the past 48 hours, first lady Michelle nObama, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer, White House spokesman Josh Earnest, House Minority Leader Nancy Pulosi, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and others have raised the specter of an nObama impeachment… There are some Republican backbenchers who would indeed like to impeach the president, just as there were (more senior and more organized) Democratic lawmakers who hoped to impeach George W. Bush after Democrats won control of Congress in the 2006 elections. Back then Pulosi, the new Speaker, said flatly, ‘Impeachment is off the table.’ Now, Boehner has said he ‘disagrees’ with former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s call for impeachment, and many observers see his lawsuit against the president as an effort to placate GOP lawmakers while stopping far short of impeaching the president. But Boehner has not made a far-reaching, definitive statement comparable to declaring impeachment ‘off the table.’ He might now be driven to do so, making the Democrats’ impeachment fundraising festival appear even more ridiculous than it already does.”  -Fox News
  The New Yorker delves into a 1993 Chicago murder case of Marshall Morgan and asks, “Did the Chicago police coerce witnesses into pinpointing the wrong man for murder?”: “[Convicted murder Tyrone Hood], could be up for parole in 2030... In 2009, Gayle Horn and another lawyer, Karl Leonard, filed a petition for post-conviction relief for Hood, arguing that the evidence against him had ‘unraveled,’ and that the officers involved had ‘a long history of similar misconduct.’ …The petition contained several components: the claim that [Morgan’s father’s] ‘pattern’ of murder pointed to Hood’s innocence; police misconduct; and constitutional violations related to the prosecution’s undisclosed payments to Jody Rogers’s brother. The judge, Neera Walsh, granted an evidentiary hearing about the payments, but dismissed the other components, calling the pattern of evidence against Morgan, Sr., ‘immaterial in nature,’ and rejecting the police-misconduct and innocence claims on procedural grounds. No date has been set for the payments hearing.”  -Fox News
 Iran, Sudan Owe Billions to Embassy Bombing Victims  
In landmark judgments, the Washington, DC district court issued $8.6 billion in damages against Iran and Sudan for their role in al-Qaida's 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam that killed hundreds of people and injured thousands...The judgments covered four separate cases: Monicah Okoba Opati, et al. v. Republic of Sudan, et al.; Milly Mikali Amduso, et al. v. Republic of Sudan, et al.; Mary Onsongo, et al. v. Republic of Sudan, et al.; Winfred Wairimu Wamai, et al. v. Republic of Sudan, et al. Out of the award, more than $5 billion is for compensatory damages and $3.1 billion for pain and suffering. Other elements bring the total damages to around $8.6 billion. Victims of the bombings and their families sued the governments of Iran and Sudan under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act ("FSIA") for their roles in funding and supporting the attacks. A November 2011 ruling issued by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates found the defendants complicit in the 1998 embassy bombings. The opinion covered six separate cases that were consolidated for purposes of expediency. You think they well receive any settlements from Iran or Sudan?
 Emerson to Hanoi Kerry-nObama: It's Terrorism, Stupid  
Secretary of State Hanoi John Kerry's push for a ceasefire in Gaza last week was so flawed it managed to unite Israel's fractious political leadership in opposition while simultaneously being lambasted by the Palestinian Authority...The proposal called for negotiations on Hamas demands, including opening border crossings into Gaza and relaxed boating restrictions off the Gaza coast. In addition, its language reportedly upgraded Hamas – a designated terrorist organization – to an equal plane with Israel. Then, President nObama called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday to make "clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement." In other words, nObama demanded that Israel institute an immediate unilateral ceasefire even while Hamas continues its terrorist operations against Israel. True to form, Hamas escalated its attacks on Monday. Just by their words and action they are against Israel.
 Hamas Mortar Shell Kills 4; IDF Foils Terrorist Infiltration  
Another deadly Hamas mortar attack killed four people on Monday afternoon, targeting the Eshkol Regional Council along the Gaza border, the Jerusalem Post reports...Click here to watch the repercussions of the attack. At least nine severely injured people were taken to a medical center in Beersheba. Unlike other projectiles, mortars do not trigger the Code Red rocket siren and tend to strike targets without notice. Thus no warning siren preceded this attack. While Hamas has repeatedly rejected multiple cease-fires throughout Operation Protective Edge, the terrorist organization continues to fire mortar shells and rockets at Israeli civilians. Today, Hamas rocket fire renewed as scores of missiles targeted the entire country.
 Egypt Standing with Israel against Hamas and Turkey  
As the international community at large attempts to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas based on moral equivalency, Egypt and Turkey are both taking sides...Egypt, under General Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, is joining Israel in attempting to destroy the terrorist tunnel systems under Gaza’s borders with the two countries. Turkey is hinting at launching another Gaza flotilla. Since the election of Mohammed Mursi as President of Egypt in 2012 – and his subsequent removal from power one year later – Egypt understands perfectly the enemy Israel is dealing with. Egypt has been fending off Muslim Brotherhood elements ever since Mursi’s removal and is necessarily finding itself even more closely aligned with Israel:
 dHillarious and Pulosi Publicly Defend Hamas  
There is a mantra among the left that Israel and Hamas are equally to blame when it comes to the fighting in Gaza right now. There is one simple explanation for that position; such individuals want to support Hamas but cannot do so for political reasons...There is no other explanation. After all, Hamas is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Israel is an official ally. Any honest assessment of what’s going on in Gaza right now requires deference to Israel unless you’re bought, evil or both. That’s a perfect segue to both dHillarious Clinton and Nancy Pulosi. In this first video, dHillarious is interviewed by Jorge Ramos and actually attempts to defend Hamas firing from civilian locations by pointing to Gaza’s size not allowing for the rockets to be placed anywhere else. Translation? She’s defending Hamas as much as is politically possible. In so doing, dHillarious is blatantly defending Hamas. The giveaway starts at the 1:21 mark, when dHillarious says, “Obviously Israel has a right to defend itself BUT…’ (h/t Breitbart): And the liberals want her as prez. God help us.
6. Must Read...
 Social Security Report: Massive Deficits Obligation by $1.1 T  
Today’s release of the 2014 Social Security Trustees Report shows its programs’ finances are in dire need of reform if the programs are to provide to seniors and the disabled protection from poverty and do so in an affordable and sustainable manner...Social Security paid out nearly $71 billion more to retirees and other beneficiaries than it collected in tax revenue in 2013. This is the fourth straight year the retirement and disability programs are running cash-flow deficits, as highlighted in today’s trustee report. Deficits are only growing worse. The trustees project $80 billion in deficits in 2014, which will more than double before the end of the decade. At $110 billion in average annual deficits throughout the next decade, the combined programs are facing more than a trillion dollars in deficits just over the next 10 years.
 Nancy Pulosi: Qataris “have told me Hamas is a humanitarian org. 
There is nothing to salvage on the left. They are devoid of morality, humanity and reason. They roll around in the mud with the rest of the savages baying for blood cloaked in sanctimonious condescension...Pulosi is a constant reminder of how low and debased the left has degenerated. “Moderate” Qatar: Friday Sermon: Allah, Kill the Jews, Freeze their blood in their veins.” Has anyone asked Pulosi about that? The Arab emirate of Qatar has issued a decree criminalizing leggings. And a French high school principal had to flee Qatar where he faced arrest for offending Islam. Qatar is leading sponsor of Hamas – a vicious genocidal jihad group.  Hamas leadership is  holed up in five star luxury hotels in Qatar while sending Gazans to their death in the cause of Islamic Jew hatred.  Does Nancy Pulosi really believe that the Qataris are qualified to judge what is human? Perhaps she, too, is missing that quality as well.
 nObama requests Iraq AUMF be repealed  
The situation in Iraq grows more perilous by the day. The nation seems of the verge of dissolving into now only warring ethnic enclaves but warring ethnic enclave engaged in their own civil war...Barack nObama and his administration has stood idly by as the situation has spiraled out of control and any gains made during the Iraq War have been erased. Yet, on Friday National Security Advisor Susan Rice sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner asking him to pass legislation to revoke the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq. What is noticeable is that even though the White House has asked for the AUMF to be withdrawn, despite the worldwide fight against terrorism continuing in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East it has not submitted an alternative which would allow the United States to continue prosecution of that fight with military means rather than going back to the Clinton era philosophy of treating it as a law enforcement problem. Though Politico reports that the White House wants new authority, Susan Rice’s letter makes it clear that report is simply wrong.
 Nancy Pulosi’s Perversion of Piety  
House Minority Leader Nancy Pulosi’s recent attempts at Biblical proof-texting clearly evidences that she, like many politicians, is a pawn being used in a scheme much larger than American politics...Pulosi’s bizarre political statements are not new. But referencing Biblical terminology is. She’s been in office for 27 years, but only in the last ten has she revised her remarks to include “Christian” concepts. She didn’t wake up one day and think, “I’ve got to start talking about Jesus.” No, her perversion of scripture was well-calculated and thought out over ten years ago by George Soros. In 2004, Soros began creating and funding numerous organizations, mastering Screwtape’s approach to infiltrate and erode every area of American political, news, economic and social culture. To influence a broader audience, he funded efforts to train Democratic politicians and inform voters under the guise of “faith.”
 Iran’s Proxy War Against Israel  
While the mainstream media has focused solely on Hamas and Israel in the current ongoing war, there has been less attention given to the major role that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been ratcheting up the conflict with its military assistance to Hamas fighters, including Iranian-built Fajr 5 and M-75 with ranges of approximately 75 kilometers. These are missiles and rockets that can target cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. It is worth noting that the export of arms as well as military and weaponry assistance by the Islamic Republic to Hamas is legally prohibited by the United Nations Security Council, written in UN Resolution 1747. Although Iranian leaders often deny that they are supporting Hamas militarily, some, including former Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, admitted that the Islamic Republic has been supplying military aid and technology to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Where is the outrage against Islamic Republic, the UN and the west just holding their hands and being silent.
Moral equivalence is moral negligence
David Limbaugh

    Efforts to proclaim moral equivalence are not always misguided; sometimes each side is equally at fault or close enough. But these efforts are often misguided and unhelpful – and sometimes harmful.

    Throughout my life, there has been an increasing trend to attach moral equivalence to all kinds of disputes and conflicts, such as Israel vs. Hamas, which is the subject of a future column. I assume this is mostly an outgrowth of our culture’s descent into moral relativism, but it’s also a product of our intellectual laziness.

    We see it everywhere. It is a common practice in describing marriages gone wrong. “It takes two.” “Who’s to say who is more at fault?” Well, that sounds good and is often true, but how about in the case of the spousal or child abuser?

    But where I find it most troubling is in partisan politics. There the trend toward moral equivalence is the wrongdoer’s best friend. If we dismiss every despicable and corrupt act with the mindless cliché, “everyone does it,” then we excuse the wrongdoer for his misconduct and encourage further misbehavior.

    Sure, both sides are often at fault, but that isn’t always the case, and it doesn’t make you a better person to say otherwise if it isn’t true.

    For example, I don’t know a single conservative who supports muzzling leftist thought or speech, no matter how repugnant he may find it. Yet leftists are strongly supportive of various measures to suppress, even outlaw, conservative speech, from campus speech codes to the Fairness Doctrine. There is no way to describe this disparity in terms of moral equivalence.

    I sincerely believe there is a reason liberals engage in this behavior far more than conservatives. It is because many of them believe that their ends, which they believe are vastly superior, justify their means. I’ve seen it so much that I suspect it is inherent in leftist ideology.

    See the irony? Liberals, who are usually the first to throw up moral equivalency arguments when caught red-handed, are skilled practitioners at judging us – their political opponents – all the while claiming they just want everyone to get along. Through such moral shaming about moral judgments, the left intimidates conservatives from making and articulating their own moral assessments.

    Modern manifestations of this practice are the left’s virtual weaponization of political correctness, its obsession with so-called “diversity” and multiculturalism, and its rejection of the idea of American exceptionalism.

    Multiculturalism is, for many of its most ardent leftist proponents, an Orwellian tool to disparage Western civilization and Western culture. The multiculturalist professes that all cultures are equal and in the next breath condemns Western culture because, in his view, it is unfairly exclusive, intolerant and bigoted.

    He sees no conflict in making this negative judgment, because to him, it’s not intolerant to refuse to tolerate cultures and worldviews he believes to be intolerant. It’s the exact type of warped and muddled thinking that leads him to justify muzzling conservative speech; in other words, conservative ideas are so despicable that they don’t deserve protection. But his argument is self-defeating because while he says it’s intolerant to judge other cultures, he is judging ours.

    But there’s a big difference between treating everyone – all people and cultures – with respect and treating their ideas as equally valid and profitable. Though I agree that we can borrow and have borrowed great things from other civilizations and peoples, I believe that the American idea is exceptional and that it has led to the freest, most prosperous and most beneficent nation in world history.

    That’s hardly a racist or nativist idea, for Americans truly are – at least up until recent times – a melting pot of all races and ethnicities. It is the American idea that is superior, not the American people. America is about freedom, made possible by limited government, established by a Constitution anchored in Judeo-Christian values.

    Our nation, based on a superior system of government, has been the beacon to the world. This system was crafted by 18th-century giants who knew that certain ideas are superior to others and that the political history of the world provides the clues. They designed our system to allow what is great about human beings to flourish and to keep in check our evil propensities.

    But when we abandon our God-given gift to make intellectual distinctions, when we surrender our duty to make discriminating moral judgments, we forfeit our own intellectual integrity and moral authority. When we can’t hold up certain standards as preferable, we descend into irrelevance and meaninglessness.

    The United States, despite its faults and missteps, has, among nations, been the greatest force for good in history and can continue to be if we return to our roots and our founding ideals.

    President Barack nObama and his leftist ilk outright reject these ideas. They don’t believe in American exceptionalism and the superiority of the American idea, which explains why they have no problem managing the decline of our military power and refusing to zealously protect our borders.

    Conservatives, for their part, need to overcome their timidity and quit trying to appease and emulate the left and mollify the gods of political correctness. It’s time that we start championing our ideas – based on the American idea – as if we believe they are superior.

    We must remember what has made us unique and great and rededicate ourselves to re-establishing those founding principles. There is no room for moral equivalence here and nothing moral about pretending there is. We forsake the American idea at our peril.

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