Senate Dems, including @KayHagan, set to try & “reverse” #HobbyLobby ruling

Posted by: ST on July 15, 2014 at 9:50 am

Hobby Lobby

Because religious freedom sucks and stuff – and so do the “five white guys” on the Supreme Court. Via The Hill:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) set up the first procedural vote on a bill that would reverse the recent Supreme Court ruling that allows some employers to deny birth control coverage for women.

“After five justices decided last week that an employer’s personal views can interfere with women’s access to essential health services, we in Congress need to act quickly to right this wrong,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said while introducing the bill last week.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that companies, such as Hobby Lobby, don’t have to provide their employees birth control coverage as mandated under ObamaCare. The 5-4 decision stated that the mandate violated the religious liberties of employers who don’t believe in the use of contraceptives.

Democrats have pounced on the issue ahead of the November elections in order to draw contrast between the two parties on the issue.

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision opened the door to unprecedented corporate intrusion into our private lives,” said Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), a lead co-sponsor of the bill. “My common-sense proposal will keep women’s private health decisions out of corporate board rooms, because your boss shouldn’t be able to dictate what is best for you and your family.”

Senate Democrats will need at least five Republicans to join them in voting to end debate on the motion to proceed to S. 2578, but it seems unlikely they will get that support. That vote is expected Wednesday.

In other words, they know they aren’t going to get anywhere on the bill. It’s just election-year posturing designed to let perpetual (and in some cases “professional”) “feminist” victims on the left who dogmatically support the demagogues in the Democrat party know that when it comes to choosing between respect for the First Amendment versus abortion on demand, they’ll choose baby-killing every single time.

And yes, as the headline to this post suggests, North Carolinians, Senator Hagan (D) supports this bill:


Shameful. And out of touch with North Carolina voters. But not surprising.

 

Teachers unions turning their backs on the Obama administration

Posted by: ST on July 14, 2014 at 10:16 pm
Teachers strike

Image via LaborUnionReport.com

The cracks in the Obama Coalition continue. Via The Hill (hat tip):

Teachers unions have turned on Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the Obama administration, creating a major divide in the Democratic Party coalition.

The largest teachers union in the country, the National Education Association (NEA), called for Duncan to resign at its convention on July 4, arguing his policies on testing have failed the nation’s schools.

Tensions between Duncan and the unions had been building for some time.

The administration’s Race to the Top program, which has provided $4.35 billion to states, incentivized changes that unions strongly oppose. One of the most controversial policies backed by Duncan is using students’ improvement on standardized tests to help evaluate teachers and make pay and tenure decisions.

“Our members are frustrated and angry,” said NEA president Dennis Van Roekel. “Number one is the toxic testing. There is too much.”

An added spark came on June 10, when a California judge ruled the state’s teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional because they keep ineffective teachers in the classroom and deprive poor and minority students of their right to an equal education.

Teachers unions, which are strong defenders of tenure, expressed outrage when Duncan said the plaintiffs in the case were just some of millions of students disadvantaged by tenure laws. He called the decision “a mandate to fix these problems.”

With the teachers unions at loggerheads with the administration, Democrats are suddenly at risk of losing one of their most reliable allies and fundraising sources.

It would appear that when it comes to crucial issues of “tenure” and “teacher performance”, Duncan is surprisingly more right than left. On the flip side, he supports the implementation of the controversial Common Core “teaching standards”, which the right strongly opposes and even a growing number of left wing educators have issues with.  If Duncan starts to become too much more of a liability for our celebrity President, look for him to “resign to spend more time with family” in the very near future …

 

Things I thought I’d never see: Egyptians supporting Israel against Hamas

Posted by: Phineas on July 14, 2014 at 3:43 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Seal of the Muslim Brotherhood

Seal of the Muslim Brotherhood

What’s next, lambs lying down with lions? Obama embracing the writings of Thomas Sowell?

While Egypt is a land rife with antisemitism (for example), it seems many Egyptians have found someone to hate even more than the Israelis — Hamas:

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi has thus far turned down appeals from Palestinians and other Arabs to work toward achieving a new ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Sisi and urged him to intervene to achieve an “immediate ceasefire” between Israel and Hamas. Abbas later admitted that his appeal to Sisi and (other Arab leaders) had fallen on deaf ears.

Sisi’s decision not to intervene in the current crisis did not come as a surprise. In fact, Sisi and many Egyptians seem to be delighted that Hamas is being badly hurt.

Some Egyptians are even openly expressing hope that Israel will completely destroy Hamas, which they regard as the “armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization.”

Sisi’s Egypt has not forgiven Hamas for its alliance with Muslim Brotherhood and its involvement in terrorist attacks against Egyptian civilians and soldiers over the past year.

…and…

Egyptian ex-general Hamdi Bakhit was quoted as expressing hope that Israel would re-occupy the Gaza Strip. “This would be better than the Hamas rule,” he said.

…and…

[Egyptian TV presenter Amany al-Khayat's] colleague, Azza Sami of the newspaper Al-Ahram, went as far as thanking Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for ordering the attack on Hamas. “Thank you Netanyahu and may God give us more [people] like you to destroy Hamas,” she wrote.

Emphases added. This is pretty amazing stuff, akin to us rooting for the Russians in a confrontation with the UK. But, on further thought, it’s not as surprising as one might think. Egyptians experienced a year or so under the thumb of the Muslim Brotherhood, which spawned Hamas, after Muhammad Morsi replaced Hosni Mubarak as president. To say it was a miserable year for Egypt would be an understatement. The economic mismanagement and social disorder finally resulted in a coup d’etat by the army, an act that had massive support from the people. After the coup, the Brotherhood did nothing to redeem itself with Egyptians, attacking the army, a popular institution in Egypt, in a guerrilla war that continues to this day, especially in Sinai. And Hamas supported their fellow Brothers in this.

In addition Egypt has been an economic basket case for years, unable to feed itself without massive and expensive imports. (Skip down to “Wheat prices 101.”) The situation is only getting worse. With such problems, many Egyptians are understandably reluctant to give aid to a Brotherhood offshoot. As the Egyptian paper El-Bayasher wrote:

“The standard of living for a Gazan citizen is much higher than that of an Egyptian citizen. The poor in Egypt are more in need than the poor in the Gaza Strip. Let Qatar spend as much as it wants on the Gaza Strip. We should not send anything that Egyptians are in need of.”

I doubt a majority of Egyptians feel this way, but that so many feel free to speak publicly what would have been unthinkable just a few years ago is a remarkable change. Egypt is Hamas’ lifeline in the region; this is indicative of how thoroughly they’ve screwed up.

Darn.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

 

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Reid is “the da Vinci of distraction”

Posted by: ST on July 14, 2014 at 11:43 am
Harry Reid

Shame, shame, shame.

A perfect description of the despicable Senate Majority Leader from one of his hometown newspapers (hat tip):

Harry Reid is the da Vinci of distraction. The moment any scandal, policy failure or political defeat crashes down on him — and there have been plenty the past few years — the Senate majority leader unleashes outrageous rhetoric that’s better suited for a sandbox than what once passed for the world’s greatest deliberative body. Worse, the Nevada Democrat has become especially fond of slinging race cards just to crank up the outrage.

Last week, Sen. Reid was in rare form following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn part of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. The 5-4 ruling declared that closely held for-profit businesses, such as craft retailer Hobby Lobby, do not have to provide some forms of birth control to female employees if doing so violates the owners’ religious beliefs. Sen. Reid eviscerated the decision. “The one thing we are going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men,” Sen. Reid said.

[...]

Sen. Reid’s slip was no accident. He believes racial and ethnic minorities are ideologically monolithic constituencies who are incapable of independent or — gasp! — right-of-center thinking. In the majority leader’s mind, Mr. Thomas is not an African-American because the justice doesn’t blindly subscribe to liberal orthodoxy.

[...]

Never mind that Sen. Reid himself, like the entire Senate Democratic leadership, is as white as an Irishman in a snowstorm. And never mind that after more than five years of Democratic control of the White House and the Senate, black and Hispanic unemployment — especially among teenagers — remains scandalously high. Sen. Reid’s “fix” for this problem — a higher minimum wage — will actually make it worse.

We thought the 2008 election of Barack Obama as president was supposed to herald an age of post-racial politics. So much for hope and change. Quit the race-baiting already, Sen. Reid. You’re clearly colorblind — in all the wrong ways.

AMEN.

By the way, Reid was quoted years ago as saying to the director of LVRJ advertising during a Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce business luncheon that he hoped the Review-Journal would “go out of business.”  Gee, I can’t imagine why, can you? l-)

 

WH @PressSec stands by “most transparent admin in history” claim

Posted by: ST on July 14, 2014 at 9:31 am
I wonder if even they laugh over some of the ridiculous claims they make?

I wonder if even they laugh over some of the ridiculous claims they make?

Continuing in the predictably dishonest fashion of Obama press secretaries before him, Josh Earnest went on CNN’s Reliable Sources yesterday and said he “absolutely” stood by the White House’s continued claims of being “the most transparent administration in history”: 

The White House on Sunday stood by President Obama’s position that he continues to be the most transparent president in U.S. history, despite widespread complaints from journalists and other Americans about a lack of information or apparent misinformation.

“I have a responsibility in this job to try to help the president live up to his commitment to be the most transparent president in history,” new White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

Earnest said he “absolutely, absolutely” sticks by Obama’s line about having the most transparent administration, after continued criticism about apparent attempts to not make full disclosures.

Among the criticisms are that the president and his administration misled Americans by telling them they could keep their existing health insurance plans under ObamaCare, intentionally tried to conceal what sparked the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya in which four Americans were killed and prosecuted federal employees who should have been protected under the whistleblower protection act.

Last week, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Poynter Institute and others sent a letter to Obama complaining about the lack of access to information from federal agencies, citing several recent examples.

Hmm. Well, I would agree this has been the “most transparent administration in history”, except it’s a sure bet that Earnest and the rest of ObamaCo have a vastly different definition of “transparent” than mine.  You see, “transparent” in this particular situation to me equates to “seeing right through your misrepresentations and lies to your true intentions.” Earnest’s, I suspect, is something else entirely ….

 

Remember kiddies, opposition to Obama is racist. Eric Holder says so.

Posted by: Phineas on July 13, 2014 at 8:56 pm

**Posted by Phineas

"I am not a crook!!"

Projecting

Man, this guy makes me ill:

Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday he and President Obama have been targets of “a racial animus” by some of the administration’s political opponents.

“There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me [and] directed at the president,” Holder told ABC. “You know, people talking about taking their country back. … There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some there’s a racial animus.”
Holder said the nation is in “a fundamentally better place than we were 50 years ago.”

“We’ve made lots of progress,” he said. “I sit here as the first African-American attorney general, serving the first African-American president of the United States. And that has to show that we have made a great deal of progress.

“But there’s still more we have to travel along this road so we get to the place that is consistent with our founding ideals,” he said.

Eric Holder wouldn’t recognize our “founding ideals” even if they walked up to him and gave him a big wet kiss.

It’s gracious of him to admit we’ve made a lot of progress since the days of slavery and Jim Crow, both of which his party once fought to defend, but it would be nice if he would allow that administration opponents could themselves have good motives. And I’m not letting get away with that weaselly qualification “some,” as if he really believes that “just a few” are racist toward he and the president.

No, to a racialist ideologue like Eric Holder, that we may strongly disapprove of Obama’s policies and actions can’t be due to his and his administration’s leftist philosophy, redistributionist politics, rampant corruption, lack of respect for the American settlement, and overall incompetence. No, it has to be due to the fact that we don’t like a Black man in the White House.

I guess all those years in the late 90s when I backed Colin Powell for president was just a clever disguise on my part.

This, sadly, is what we can expect from the Left, who assume they have the course of History figured out and are therefore both smarter and morally superior to the rest of us. It’s an assumption of self-righteousness, a certainty that, since “we” know the right answers, strong opposition or serious difference of opinion is illegitimate. No principle, no reason, no empirical evidence could be behind it: it has to be racism.

Well, screw you, Mr. Attorney General. Take your racialist condescension and shove it.

PS: I really like being lectured by a guy whose underlings ran guns to violent drug cartels in Mexico, who ignores obvious voter intimidation when the victims are White, who refuses to enforce laws he dislikes and encourages state attorney generals to do the same, but does decide to investigate a satirical parade float, free speech be damned.

PPS: If you want to know more about the worst Attorney General since John Mitchell or even A. Mitchell Palmer, let me recommend two books: J. Christian Adams’ “Injustice,” and “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric holder’s Justice Department, by John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky. If these don’t leave steam coming out your ears, there’s something wrong.

via Rick Moran

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

 

Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) apparently has trouble with the Constitution

Posted by: Phineas on July 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm

**Posted by Phineas

dunce_cap

So, I’m enjoying a quiet morning and reading an article on the reactions of the various candidates for the US Senate from Alaska to the Hobby Lobby decision, when I come across this howler from the incumbent, Mark Begich:

“I believe people, not corporations, have a right to practice their constitutional right to freedom of religion, but not at the expense of others,” said Begich.

Sigh.

It’s tough to decide whether Senator Begich, whose seat is not secure, is just ignorant of what the Supreme Court decided, the Constitution, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or if he’s a desperate hack just reciting DNC talking points. Of course, both could be true. But the key to that quote above is the senator’s odd belief that, upon forming a corporation, individuals somehow give up their natural rights.

Senator Begich, meet the First Amendment. First Amendment, meet Senator Begich:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The right to peaceably assemble has been held to include the right to freely associate. See, for example, NAACP v. Alabama (1958), which held, in effect, that individuals do not give up their rights when they form an association (1). And a corporation is an association of individuals with rights and inherits those rights:

Corporations have rights because natural persons have rights. It is sometimes said that corporations are “creations of the state,” but that’s not really true. Corporations are created by people — they are merely recognized by the state. 

To deny the rights of a “legal person,” such as a corporation, is no different than denying those rights to the individuals who own that corporation. Perhaps the newspaper editors of Senator Begich’s home state would like to ask him if their papers, in his view, lack the rights of free speech and freedom of the press, also recognized by the First Amendment, simply because they’re incorporated businesses. The answer should be interesting.

PS: Democrats sure have a problem with that whole freedom and democracy thing, don’t they? Why, yes. Yes they do.

Footnote:
(1) In short, the state of Alabama demanded the NAACP surrender its membership lists. The NAACP argued –correctly, given the times– that this loss of their members’ privacy would have a chilling affect on their members rights of free speech and free association.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

 

Weekend Open Thread

Posted by: ST on July 12, 2014 at 10:42 am

Muffie has her yearly veterinarian appointment this morning (fun fun!), and I have some other errands to run after that. Hope everyone has a gorgeous Saturday!

Keep calm weekend

 

 

Fearmongering Pelosi: We should “be afraid” of “five guys” on #SCOTUS

Posted by: ST on July 11, 2014 at 11:51 am
Pelosi and Assad

”We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace.” – Pelosi on Assad, April 2007. But ‘five guys’ on the Supreme Court are frightening … SMH.

Considering the depth of ignorance on display here, it’s astonishing  how high this woman has risen in power in Congress over the last couple of decades. Then again, maybe not, considering how Democrats think and operate:

Americans should live in fear of the Supreme Court, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday.

Hammering a pair of recent rulings related to birth control access, the House minority leader suggested the conservative-leaning court is stealing women’s freedoms when it comes to making healthcare choices.

“We should be afraid of this court. That five guys should start determining what contraceptions are legal or not. … It is so stunning,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol.

Pelosi said last week’s Supreme Court ruling that the birth control mandate under President Obama’s healthcare reform law is a violation of religious freedom was particularly egregious.

“That court decision was a frightening one,” she said. “That five men should get down to the specifics of whether a woman should use a diaphragm and she should pay for it herself or her boss. It’s not her boss’s business. His business is whatever his business is. But it’s not what contraception she uses.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again in hopes it will sink in with the clueless: By forcing your boss to pay for healthcare options that go against his or her religious conscience, you ARE putting them in the middle of your healthcare decisions.  Furthermore, you’ve told them that their religious rights should be laid at the feet of the state simply because you want something that you think shouldn’t have to pay for.  Not only that, but in the case of Hobby Lobby, it already offers – and continues to offer – healthcare coverage for sixteen types pf birth control.  It wanted nothing to do, however, with abortifacients, which was the issue at the heart of their case against the Obama administration.

But we’ve rehashed that again and again. What I want to address is the sexism, yes, outright sexism Pelosi – and other female Democrat politicos and so-called “woman’s rights activists” on the left who’ve uttered similar remarks – has blatantly exhibited here, and how this disturbing double standard has unfortunately become “acceptable” over the years because too few have dared to question it and/or call it out.  Her implication here is that if we’d just had a Supreme Court full of women, they’ve have never ruled this way.  To Pelosi, there’s no way the five (male) justices who ruled the way they did in the Hobby Lobby case could have done so for any other reason other than they hate women or, at the very least, want to see them relegated back to being barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.    Keep in mind that Pelosi has offered no legal basis for her disagreement with the high court’s decision, so we’re left to assume that not only does she believe the “five guys” are misogynists, but also that she’s in favor of women on the court ruling based on feelings rather than the law.  And here you thought, by the standards that Democrats themselves have set, that it was wrong to believe women make judgment calls based purely on their emotions.

Lastly, I want you to imagine for a second that we did have a majority female Supreme Court, and how high the level of outrage would be nationwide if anyone on the right condemned a case ruling based solely on the sex of the justices who ruled for or against it.   We’d be at Code Red on the outrage meter, and understandably so.  That we’re not when it comes to “reverse sexism” just shows how successful feminists on the left have been over the years at demonizing men and demagoguing and dumbing down the debate over women’s rights issues – and issues that go beyond women’s rights but are nevertheless hijacked by “feminists” for their own warped agendas.  That needs to change.

 

Federal judge to IRS: You must explain ‘lost’ emails under oath

Posted by: ST on July 11, 2014 at 9:49 am
Lois Lerner

Lois Lerner

The room definitely just got hotter for Democrats hoping this scandal will just go away. Via Fox News:

A federal judge has ordered the IRS to explain “under oath” how the agency lost a trove of emails from the official at the heart of the Tea Party targeting scandal.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan gave the tax agency 30 days to file a declaration by an “appropriate official” to address the computer issues with ex-official Lois Lerner.

The decision came Thursday as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which along with GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill has questioned how the IRS lost the emails and, in some cases, had no apparent way to retrieve them.

The IRS first acknowledged it lost the emails in a letter to senators last month.

“In our view, there has been a cover-up that has been going on,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The Department of Justice, the IRS, had an obligation, an absolute obligation … to alert the court and alert Judicial Watch as soon as they knew when these records were supposedly lost.”

The IRS says it lost the emails in 2011 when Lerner’s computer crashed. At the time, Lerner headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. She has since retired.

During the court hearing, Sullivan indicated he wanted the portion of the declaration on the computer issues to be wide-ranging, saying “that’s about as broad as I can make it.”

It also emerged at the status hearing that a Treasury Department inspector general probe into the matter is underway.

In related news, Hot Air’s Noah Rothman filed this report on new claims being made by Lerner’s attorney:

On Wednesday, former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner’s attorney changed his tune on just how lost those two years’ worth of emails actually were. Lerner’s lawyer, William Taylor II, said that Lerner had printed out some emails in order to comply with records-keeping laws. He had previously said that Lerner did not print and file her email communications because she was unaware that she was required to do so.

“During her tenure as Director of Exempt Organizations, she did print out some emails, although not every one of the thousands she sent and received,” Taylor said in a statement.

In an exchange with Politico, Taylor quibbled over whether or not he had misled that news organization when he told them that Lerner did not print out any emails.

“Your question was whether she printed out ‘official records’ and filed them. I am not saying she did that,” Taylor wrote to Politico reporters. That presumes a level of scrutiny and process over every email that did not occur.”

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before Congress that it was his understanding that Lerner had printed out her emails as required by the Federal Records Act. Later, however, Koskinen testified that Lerner may not have printed out her emails because she “did not think it was required.”

Sigh. So many conflicting stores from the mouths of the accused.  I wonder if we’ll ever get to the truth?

(Hat tip: Memeorandum)