News/Politics 7-3-15

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread

1. 30 and counting. And these are only the ones they know about. 

From TheDailyMail  “FBI agents have made at least 30 arrests on US soil this year as they try to combat the murderous reach of ISIS and its warped followers, Daily Mail Online can disclose.

Officials revealed this week that the Islamic terror group has a foothold in all 50 states as it continues to target disaffected Americans through its torrent of online propaganda and slick videos of barbaric beheadings and mutilations.

The stark warning comes days after ISIS-inspired gunman Saif Rezgui unleashed horror on at a Tunisian beach resort, killing 39 vacationers and wounding dozens more. 

The FBI has reportedly set up command centers in each of its 56 field officers in case extremists try to mark the July 4 weekend by unleashing similar carnage here in the U.S. American ISIS ‘recruits’ to date have included schoolgirls, a young nurse, a pizza shop boss and even a National Guard soldier who hatched a plan to gun down 120 of his own colleagues. “

“Some have conspired to travel or send friends abroad to link up with fundamentalist fighters while others have plotted jihad here in the US – with Capitol Hill among the targets for a foiled bombing raid.”

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2. How the SSM “anti-polygamy” movement turned into Animal Farm.

From HotAir  “Speaking as a somewhat ideologically removed observer of the gay marriage battle still raging in the national discourse, I have to say that there are some very amusing elements to the current “GAY POINT 2″ argument taking place. I say this with all due respect for my traditional marriage supporting, conservative brethren who consider the matter a cornerstone of faith and a rightly viewed threat to the religious liberty rights of Christians who would opt to not participate in such ceremonies, but even you must surely be able to see some comedic value to the arguments currently coming from the Left. Having won the war for same sex marriage in the Supreme Court, more and more of them seem to be jumping on the dog pile of folks who insist – contrary to Chief Justice John Roberts’ arguments – that plural marriage can not possibly be just around the corner. I completely disagree, and have even come before you to say why plural marriage proponents now have a legally solid argument, but I’m forced to wonder where this sudden zeal for opposing them on the Left is coming from.

I suppose one possible explanation is that, even though there was zero value seen in the traditional definition of marriage as being the union of one man and one woman, the math underlying the equation was somehow sacrosanct. It didn’t really matter what genders filled the values of A and B in the principle of sums so long as C was still equal to two. Any other number would be an insult to… something.

A perhaps more cynical argument might be phrased as follows: Holy cow! We spent so long arguing against that slippery slope theory where letting gays marry could lead to polygamy that we’d damned well better come up with a convincing policy presentation now or we’re going to look like a bunch of self-serving asses! Find us an ethicist, stat!

I didn’t have long to wait to find out how that one would play out. Two examples popped up almost immediately. One came from Jonathan Rauch at Politico, who explains in no uncertain terms that Polygamy can’t be supported in the courts because it’s bad. And why is it bad? Well,it’s unfair to the men who don’t get wives, DUH.”

“But then we finally we come to the kicker of Cathy Young’s entire argument. I sincerely hope that everyone stuck with me this far into the diatribe, because this is the true cherry on top of the cake. With no further prelude, I offer you this closing argument from the author: (emphasis added)

In a free society, the private sexual choices of adults should not be criminalized. But they are not automatically entitled to cultural approval or societal support systems.

My, my my… that sounds awfully familiar. Where might I have possibly heard it before? Could it be some argument about how Christians really aren’t concerned about what gays do in the privacy of their bedrooms, but they just don’t want them redefining the concept of marriage? It is at this point where Young has gone full Animal Farm on us. Having taken over the formerly unassailable position of the farmer and his wife in the farmhouse, she is ready to begin banning the rest of the animals from having any of the apples and milk. After all, we don’t want Boxer the horse to get any strange ideas.”

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3. An interesting read. No truce with the left. 

From SultanKnish  “Republicans are still trying to figure out a truce on gay marriage. They retreated to civil unions, then accepted a full defeat on gay marriage and then acted baffled when Christian bakery owners were dragged into court for refusing to participate in gay weddings. When the left insisted that gay marriage was a civil rights issue, they refused to take them as their word.

Now they’re wondering how an accommodation can be made with tranny rights. A brief look back at gay rights will show that the only possible accommodation is one in which men in dresses have a legal right to use the ladies room and every single closed female space and event. And yes, that means your business will be shut down if you object to Steve using the female locker room.

After a few skirmishes, some fundraising and angry letters, the accommodationists will find ways to accommodate that and we can look forward to conservative activists eagerly crowing about the first gay Republican presidential candidate around say, 2024, and the first Republican man in a dress in the Senate around the same time.

Of course by then it will be something else. Maybe pedophiles. Gay rights activists don’t like the analogy, but their movement and its assorted allies, particularly in Europe’s Green parties, have a long history of advocating it. The same pop culture methods that were used to sell gay rights and Bruce Jenner can easily be flipped around to sell NAMBLA.

By 2024, the Republican gay and tranny candidates will be dismissed as tokens while the media oohs and aahs over a vocal and charismatic campaigner for some other love that dare not speak its name.

And that’s the point. It has always been the point.”

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News/Politics 6-29-15

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread

1. The Resistance begins……

From TheChristianPost  “At a press conference in Memphis, Tennessee, members of the Coalition of African-American Pastors joined Christian ministers at the Church of God in Christ’s historic Mason Temple to warn the Obama administration to prepare for massive civil disobedience among pastors and clergy if state bans on gay marriage are deemed unconstitutional.

“If they rule for same-sex marriage, then we’re going to do the same thing we did for the civil rights movement,” said Rev. Bill Owens, president and founder of CAAP. “We will not obey an unjust law.”

“The politicians and courts have tried to take God out of this country,” continued Owens. “This country was founded on Godly principles. We will not stand back.”

Rev. David Welch, president of the Pastor’s Council in Houston, Texas, spoke out at the conference explaining the lengths people of faith might go to resist gay marriage.

“God created marriage between a man and woman and no Supreme Court jurisdiction can define this,” said Welch. “We stand clearly saying we will acknowledge God’s law no matter what the cost, no matter what the price. If they want to fill jails with pastors across the nation of every color, denomination and every size who will stand for the laws of God and His truths.””

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2. Texas isn’t having it. 

From TribuneNewsService/MSN  “Conservatives responded forcefully to the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, but nowhere more so than in Texas, which openly defied the ruling.

“No Texan is required by the Supreme Court’s decision to act contrary to his or her religious beliefs regarding marriage,” said Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

Resistance to the ruling was deep-felt across the conservative spectrum and in many of the 14 states, including Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana, which have had laws forbidding same sex marriage. To opponents of gay marriage, religious liberty trumps the Supreme Court.

“No court can overturn natural law. Nature and Nature’s God, hailed by the signers of our Declaration of Independence as the very source of law, cannot be usurped by the edict of a court, even the United States Supreme Court,” said Frank Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.”

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More here, from TheStatesman  “County clerks can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on religious objections to gay marriage, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Sunday.

Paxton noted that clerks who refuse to issue licenses can expect to be sued, but added that “numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs,” in many cases without charge.

The formal opinion did not specify what constitutes a sincerely held religious belief, noting that “the strength of any such claim depends on the particular facts of each case.”

Paxton said Friday’s “flawed” opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned bans against same-sex marriage in Texas and other states, placed religious people in conflict between following their faith and the U.S. Constitution.

“Friday, the United States Supreme Court again ignored the text and spirit of the Constitution to manufacture a right that simply does not exist. In so doing, the court weakened itself and weakened the rule of law, but did nothing to weaken our resolve to protect religious liberty and return to democratic self-government in the face of judicial activists attempting to tell us how to live,” Paxton said.

Paxton’s opinion also noted that judges and justices of the peace can refuse to perform same-sex marriages.”

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3. The Democrats are gettin’ their crazy on. 

From Powerline  “The floodgates are open, and craziness is pouring out. The Democrats’ Confederate flag victory has them lusting for more. Hillary Clinton says South Carolina is only the beginning:

“It shouldn’t fly there. It shouldn’t fly anywhere,” Mrs. Clinton said of South Carolina….

In her discussion Tuesday with community leaders at Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant, Mo., Mrs. Clinton said the flag’s removal would be “just the beginning of what we have to do” to combat racism.

Of course it is. Everywhere, people preemptively abandoned the Stars and Bars. Alabama’s governor directed that it be taken down from that states’s capitol grounds. Amazon, Walmart, eBay and Sears all dropped the flag like a hot potato. Flag manufacturers terminated their Stars and Bars products. One leftist wrote Pope Francis to request that he denounce the use of St. Andrew’s Cross on the Confederate flag:

Doesn’t the fact that Saint Andrew’s cross appears on this evil symbol serve as an insult to the Catholic church which you lead?

But of course, it’s not just the flag. Shouldn’t every reminder of the Confederacy be eradicated? The New York Times headlines: “Calls to Drop Confederate Emblems Spread Nationwide.””

“It isn’t just the states who are participating in this historical cleansing:

Democratic Senators are reviewing the inventory of 100 statues and a few flags in the U.S. Capitol to identify and remove anything representing the Confederacy, in the wake of the Charleston, S.C. shootings in an historic black church.”

Some Democrats even want to dig up the dead over it. 

From FoxNewsRadio  “Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton wants to dig up the bodies of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife and remove them from a city park in the latest and perhaps most despicable example of the anti-Southern cleansing spreading across the nation.

“Which African-American wants to have a picnic in the shadow of Nathan Bedford Forrest?” Wharton said in a Thursday press briefing.

In addition to desecrating the graves, Wharton wants to tear down a massive statue honoring the Confederate general who was involved in organizing the Ku Klux Klan. The bodies of Forrest and his wife would be relocated to a cemetery.

Memphis city officials have been waging a fierce and unrelenting war on southern heritage.  In 2013, the city council changed the name of Forrest Park to Health Sciences Park. They also changed the names of Jefferson Davis Park and Confederate Park.

So now they want to disinter the dead? What in God’s name is wrong with the mayor? What kind of sick, twisted person wants to dig up dead people?

No word yet on how they plan on getting around the Tennessee’s Landmark Protections Act of 2013, which prohibits exactly what he’s proposing. But hey, when have Democrats ever let the law stop them?

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4. How republics die. 

From PJMedia  “Eight hundred years and 11 days after the stamping of the Magna Carta, it’s been an appalling week at the Supreme Court for the Constitution and the rule of law. Today’s ruling is, in a sense, the Roe v. Wade of our generation. And I would think that even if I were gay and wanted to marry.

As I noted on Twitter yesterday, it is entirely possible to like the outcome of a court ruling (or legislation) while being appalled at the process by which it was achieved. For instance, one can be both pro-choice and still believe (as in factRuth Bader Ginsburg does) that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.

But too many people (including, apparently and sadly, many of the justices themselves, perhaps even including the chief justice) think that the purpose of the Supreme Court is to give them things they like, like subsidies for health care, or the right to marry someone of the same sex. They care only about the results, and are utterly indifferent to the process (as we saw with the way the PPACA was passed). They believe that the ends, if sufficiently desirable,always justify the means. But the means matter.

If, as Chief Justice Roberts implied yesterday, ambiguous laws can  be changed by judges per their divination of legislative intent, then there is no law except what the judges think it is. (I would note that in fact his reasoning was fundamentally flawed by his statement that it was Congress’s goal to simply “improve insurance markets.” I think their intent was to increase their control over our health providers, and ultimately lead us down a path to single payer. But neither of us knows.) This was not judicial activism — it was judicial nihilism.

Similarly, if the Fourteenth Amendment contains a hitherto unknown right to marry someone of the same sex, then it contains multitudes of rights that will be discovered in the future by more “enlightened” judges.”

“When we ignore and side step the Constitutional and legal process to achieve a desired end, the bedrock starts to turn to sand. When the laws are ignored by those who have sworn to uphold or review them, the rule of law itself disintegrates. When the public doesn’t care, or understand the role of the branches of government, but votes anyway for people who tell them they’ll just give them stuff they like, that is how republics are lost.”

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News/Politics 5-26-15

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread

1. The tolerant jeweler and his impure thoughts……

From NationalReview  “In the American Conservative yesterday, Rod Dreher related the following story:

So, a Canadian Christian jeweler custom-made a pair of engagement rings for a lesbian couple, Nicole White and Pam Renouf, at their request. Later, when they found out that the jeweler personally opposes same-sex marriage, they went to pieces and demanded their money back. The couple now believes the rings they ordered will have been tainted by having been fashioned by jeweler Esau Jardon’s hands, given what impure thoughts he holds in his mind.

One could be forgiven for wondering how we are all supposed to keep up. Last month, as Indiana’s rather tame religious-freedom legislation was being torched by the mob, America’s more devout dissenters were informed that the price of participation in the marketplace was the subjugation of one’s conscience to one’s Caesar. “You can’t opt out of the law,” the agitators explained. “This isn’t the Jim Crow South!” Their core message? That if we all keep quiet about our views — and if we treat commercial transactions as commercial transactions — nobody will end up getting hurt. Or, put another way: “Cater my wedding, you bigot.”

In Dreher’s story, alas, the opposite case appears to obtain. “We can’t be expected to honor our contracts with companies that disagree with us,” the outraged couple is arguing, “for that might taint our nuptials.” The new message? That we can’t all get along by keeping quiet, but instead need to positively affirm one another or face the consequences. Or, put another way: “Even if I ask you to, don’t cater my wedding, you bigot.”

Would that the agitators could settle on a strategy.”

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2. Disarming the PC police with a pre-apology. 

From HotAir  “It seems ever since #GamerGate kicked off last August the PC police have begun lashing out in every direction as if to compensate for their inability to cower gamers back into line.  Just a few days ago Jazz covered how an implied rape scene in the most recent Game of Thrones episode created an uproar, even though the show is full of nudity, sex, and of course, gratuitous and graphic violence against everybody.  “Never mind all that brutal murder, off-screen rape is where I draw the line!”

Just a couple weeks earlier there was a backlash against Avengers: Age of Ultron because Black Widow’s desire to have children apparently undermines her character in a way the skin-tight leather suit never did.  There was so much vitriol sent Joss Whedon’s way for this that when he left Twitter, everyone assumed angry feminists drove him off.  He later told BuzzFeedthat was not the reason despite his explanation sounding quite a bit like it was.” “And it goes on and on. Scientists wear unacceptable shirts. Star Wars fans are racist for wondering about that black Stormtrooper. Yahoo even has people complaining that the new Supergirl series’ trailer is too girly and therefore sexist.

“Well, Jurassic World star Chris Pratt decided he’s not waiting to be accused of some kind of -ism for a comment during the upcoming press junket for that film.  Instead, he issued a terribly amusing pre-apology on his Facebook page:

I want to make a heartfelt apology for whatever it is I end up accidentally saying during the forthcoming ‪#‎JurassicWorld‬ press tour. I hope you understand it was never my intention to offend anyone and I am truly sorry. I swear. I’m the nicest guy in the world. And I fully regret what I (accidentally will have) said in (the upcoming foreign and domestic) interview(s).

Has it really come to this?

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3. Cutting member benefits while spending big on politics/politicians.  

From TheWashingtonTimes  “The Teamsters have begun informing retirees and current workers that their pension benefits may soon be cut, the final ironic twist to a lobbying campaign that saw the union spend its own members’ dollars to win the right to shrink their retirement pay.

The somber notifications began going out from the Teamsters Central States Health and Welfare Pension Fund this spring, a decision that could ultimately affect 410,000 current pension participants and a total of more than 10 million U.S. workers nationwide. Cuts could begin as early as next year.

The cuts were made possible after the lame-duck Congress late last year passed the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA), enabling any multiemployer pension fund to cut benefits to workers and current retirees if the plan is underfunded by at least 20 percent.”

“The Teamsters pension fund has been struggling with severe shortages for years, even as the union continued to pour millions of dollars into political election efforts and Washington lobbying.

In 2014 alone, the union and its affiliates spent nearly $5.9 million on lobbying and political contributions, and one of its main legislative targets was passage of the pension reform law that finally gave it the right to start reducing benefits, according to the lobbying reports it filed with Congress.”

How convenient! 

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News/Politics 5-21-15

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread

1. An impartial judiciary…… Not.

From NationalReview  “Since there was no bride to be the “belle” at the ritzy D.C. wedding of Shakespeare Theater Company artistic director Michael Kahn and Manhattan architect Charles Mitchem this weekend, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who officiated, was happy to play the part. And she did so with panache, says Maureen Dowd:

The most glittering moment for the crowd came during the ceremony. With a sly look and special emphasis on the word “Constitution,” Justice Ginsburg said that she was pronouncing the two men married by the powers vested in her by the Constitution of the United States. . . . The guests began applauding loudly.

For a sitting Supreme Court justice facing a case on precisely this divisive issue, her remark seems — let’s put it mildly — injudicious. But Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not just some Supreme Court Justice. “

“When the feminist outlet Jezebel reported this remark, it worried in passing that Ginsburg might be “hesitant to pass anything broad-sweeping when it comes to marriage equality rulings.” Precious. Not only is Ginsburg the go-to justice for same-sex-wedding officiating, but she is currently featured in advertisements by the Human Rights Campaign. “Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg [sic] agrees Americans are ready for marriage equality,” the ad declares.”

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2. I’ll Ginsburg credit, at least she’s honest about it. Unlike this guy. 

From Politico  “One of the authors of a recent study that claimed that short conversations with gay people could change minds on same-sex marriage has retracted it.

Columbia University political science professor Donald Green’s retraction this week of a popular article published in the December issue of the academic journal Science follows revelations that his co-author allegedly faked data for the study, “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support of gay marriage.””

“In an email to POLITICO, Green said he spoke with LaCour by phone on Tuesday and that he “maintained that he did not fabricate the data but told me that he could not locate the Qualtrics source files for the surveys on the Qualtrics interface or on any of his drives.”

Qualtrics was the survey platform that was purportedly used, though a company spokesman clarified to POLITICO that it did not collaborate with LaCour or anyone else on the study.

“I asked him to write a retraction, and he indicated he would do so, but when it did not appear last night, I sent off my own retraction,” Green wrote.

The investigation into the paper began when graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley, were initially impressed with the work and wanted to do an extension of it, according to a timeline of their probe posted Tuesday. When the students started a similar study, they found they were not getting the large response rate that Green and LaCour received in theirs.”

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3. The media has been using an Iraq question to try to trip up Republicans seeking the nomination. Here’s an Iraq question for Democrats, but don’t expect the media to actually ask it. 

From TheDailyBeast  “The Iraq Question Democrats Don’t Want the Media to Ask

It goes to Clinton and Kerry, and it’s simple: If they knew then what they know now, would they have backed Obama’s decision to leave Iraq?

Some 16 months away for the election to choose the 45th President of the United States, many in the mainstream media have come up with a new parlor game to amuse themselves. The latest obsession is to corner a Republican running for president and ask them a variation of the following: “If you knew then about what you know about Iraq now, would you have agreed with President George W. Bush to invade Iraq?”

Let’s be honest, shall we? No reasonable person would agree to invade Iraq today based on what we know now about weapons of mass destruction being stored in the country. Hindsight some 12 years later will always appear to be 20/20. At the time, President Bush and many foreign leaders around the world strongly believed in the threat Saddam Hussein posed to the Middle East as well as the United States and acted, accordingly.

No, this latest media ploy is not about asking a legitimate question of a contender for the nomination about his views on American military/foreign policy. Instead, this is an effort to bring up their favorite bogeyman, former President George W. Bush, and continue with a variation of the “Bush lied, troops died” trope they hope will trip up Republicans and ostensibly help former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her presumed path toward coronation to the presidency.”

But don’t worry, the press is still totally unbiased as always……. 🙄

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News/Politics 5-8-15

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread

1. You know this is coming. 

From TheFederalist  “While most commentators are still focused upon marriage and federal versus state power, the actual questions before the United States Supreme Court on its gay marriage decision show consequences that were once dismissed as alarmist now seem prescient.

In the oral arguments for Obergefell v. Hodges last week, counsel told Justice Alito that if the court found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, then religious institutions’ tax-exempt status is “certainly going to be an issue.” I concur with this reaction from Michael Greve:

[I]f the tax exemption jazz becomes ‘an issue,’ it’s decided the minute gay marriage becomes the constitutional baseline. Because everyone knows that. Because the LBGT folks already have those complaints and briefs in their drawers, to be filed (almost ‘certainly’) on July 1. And because DoJ and the IRS and OCR, in their last remaining eighteen months in office, are in a hurry to roll over to their constituencies and to hammer the hold-outs, in meticulous observance of the law. A hallmark of this administration. Or maybe they’ll hand out waivers. ‘I don’t deny that’ says ‘dare me. It’s not going to hurt me in this case, and I’ll plant a flag for the next cases.’

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2. The Faustian Bargain Between Church and State

From TheAtlantic  “It was Pulpit Freedom Sunday in early October, when preachers who’ve signed up to trespass into electoral politics go well beyond the limits their churches have agreed upon when accepting tax-exempt status. Organized by the conservative movement Alliance Defending Freedom, they praise or condemn candidates. They urge parishioners to avoid this politician or that one; Barack Obama was a regular target, even in a few black churches such as Hope Christian, because of his support for gay marriage and abortion rights. Occasionally, favored politicians are even invited to a service to be anointed by the minister’s endorsement.

Some pastors tread nervously onto this forbidden ground, because they don’t want to lose their churches’ tax exemptions. But others zealously hope for just that. They are trying to provoke the Internal Revenue Service into an adverse ruling so they can challenge the constitutionality of the law, which they believe violates the First Amendment. For many years, the IRS has refrained from taking the bait, and citizen complaints against churches’s electioneering have disappeared into the agency’s bureaucratic abyss.”

“The ban on electioneering by tax-exempt charities may seem high-minded, but it was enacted for crass political reasons. It may be a principle of good government to protect taxpayers from subsidizing candidates’ supporters, but the prohibition was added to the law to protect one candidate, Lyndon B. Johnson, who faced extreme right-wing opposition in his reelection bid for the Senate. On July 2, 1954, he rose on the Senate floor to propose amending section 501(c)(3), which already restricted lobbying. Now he asked that the ban be extended to political campaigning. “The whole thing was over in a matter of minutes,” writes the sociologist James D. Davidson. “There was no discussion, and the amendment was passed on voice vote.”

“Without the tax exemption, his center is hobbled. Donations can still be received, but the donors won’t get tax deductions. The organization would have to pay taxes on its income. But the larger result will not be silence, he promises. “The thing about a political movement is that people who are in it for the long haul like me do the best to adhere to the rules and regulations,” he said. “The government can’t take away our right to free speech by denying us a forum … If they say we can’t assemble under this umbrella, then we’re going to assemble under another. They’re not going to stop the true believers.””

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3. The assassin’s veto. 

From HotAir  “New York Daily News columnist Harry Siegel may not be a fan of Pamela Geller, but he’s much less a fan of those rushing to condemn her for her speech rather than lay blame at the feet of terrorists seeking to silence her. Having lived through the last round of Mohammed cartoon publications, Siegel blasts the media elite for missing the real threat while stroking their own egos by prioritizing their sneering at Geller over the threat to freedom of speech. In doing so, they are embracing the assassin’s veto, Siegel warns — after indulging in a short bout of sneering himself:

But the assassin’s veto, as historian Timothy Garton Ash termed “the use of violence to impose your taboos,” is pointed at her neck. The nastiness of her words, about “the savages” trying to impose Sharia law here, is no longer the issue.

The threat to Geller’s life for speaking is.

Yet many among the literati, who typically fancy themselves truth tellers and idol smashers, spent the last week competing to disdain the obvious and explain why the murdered Charlie Hebdo cartoonists weren’t worthy recipients of an award from a group dedicated to “defend(ing) writers endangered because of their work.”

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4. Here we go again…..

From TheGuardian  “Only a couple of hundred yards away, cars rushed along the Anzalduas international bridge, gateway to one of several legitimate ports of entry in the area.

But spring and summer are peak seasons for crossings by other means. A couple of minutes earlier a border patrol van drove under the bridge along a bone-jangling rutted single-track path, carrying 13 women and children from Guatemala and Honduras who had turned themselves in to border patrol agents.

“Every day we’re getting more women and children than the day before,” said Cabrera, 41, a local border patrol union representative. He estimated that 60% of those apprehended are turning themselves in.”

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News/Politics 5-6-15

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread

1. An excellent read about how the issue isn’t really the issue.

Gay Marriage; A Trojan Horse Movement

From AmericanThinker  “The Left doesn’t care about gay rights, any more than they care about civil rights, welfare rights, minority rights, animal rights or any other “rights.” According to the Left, “the issue is never the issue; the issue is always the revolution.” The various “rights” the Left has aggressively promoted over the years are merely vehicles to advance the Left’s power.

Consider: the welfare “rights” movement, founded by the notorious socialists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, was not established to guarantee welfare to the poor. As they said, their purpose was to pack the welfare rolls with so many beneficiaries that the government would collapse of its own weight. In the ensuing riots, they hoped policy makers would be driven to accept their socialist solution. In short, they sought anarchy, using a militant poor as their foot soldiers. They couldn’t care less what happened to the poor in prosecuting this agenda, and they said so. Doubt me? Just look at the status of the poor today. There are more people on welfare than at any time in history. And the crime and degeneracy that accompany it are epidemic.

Look at our country today. With manufactured crisis Strategist-in-Chief Obama, we are almost there, and Cloward and Piven’s intellectual descendants were out in force in Ferguson. The communist agitators seeking “social justice” for Michael Brown burned down much of the neighborhood. Do black lives matter to them? Apparently not. And they have even said so. The issue is not the issue.

Occupy Wall Street’s black anarchist organizer Nelini Stamp’s new group, Dream Defenders, popularized the slogan “Hands Up Don’t Shoot!” But prior to Ferguson there was Trayvon Martin. Working with Eric Holder’s DOJ, Stamp’s group was responsible for getting Sanford, Florida police chief Bill Lee fired. This despite the fact the FBI agreed with Lee’s assessment that there was no case against Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman. Did Stamp care about “Justice for Trayvon?” Not according to Stamp. “We are actually trying to change the capitalist system we have today, because it’s not working for any of us,” she said.

The Left uses “rights” agendas to wrap itself in the mantle of righteousness and seize the moral high ground, tactically putting us on the defense in the process. But they couldn’t care less about the actual issue except in its ability to facilitate their path to power.”

Click the link to read it all. All these professional agitators have one of two things in common. They started with ACORN or their front group, the Working Families Party. They’re all Obama type community organizers. 

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2. Here’s yet another example of the dishonest left at work. First they mock the right for not being diverse enough, now they mock the diversity of the right. Some people are just never happy. So they want everyone else to wallow in their misery with them. No thanks. 

From HotAir  “It’s almost like the left’s commitment to diversity is a dishonest political vehicle aimed only at delegitimizing their opponents. Almost.

In 2012, the GOP presidential field’s lack of diversity — perhaps the least interesting form of diversity, but one which nevertheless enjoys near religious devotion from the left — did not go unmentioned by partisan Democrats.

As early as 2009, the left was salivating at the opportunity to see Barack Obama challenge what looked likely to be a field of predominantly white, aging, and nearly exclusively male candidates. While the smug, self-satisfied liberal elite was robbed of a cherished opportunity for self-congratulations by the lack of a purely monochromatic GOP field in 2012, the Republican Party’s defeats in that election year nevertheless buoyed the left’s hopes for the future.

Today, however, the GOP has remarkably self-corrected. To borrow a ubiquitous phrase that Democrats deployed with abandon in 2012, the GOP presidential field looks a lot more like the America they are hoping to represent.”

“And, with that, the goalposts that were once here are now over there… somewhere. Whereas the slate of Republican candidates were once so unrepresentative of America that they couldn’t be taken seriously, now it is the fact that the white majority is generally more supportive of Republicans than Democrats that is the GOP’s true political obstacle. Do you sense a common thread here yet?”

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3. Anybody shocked?

Me neither…..

From CBSNews  “Sixty-one percent of Americans now say race relations in the United States are bad, the highest percentage since 1992, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll, which finds that majorities of both whites and blacks now view race relations negatively.

Meanwhile, 79 percent of African Americans think police are more likely to use deadly force against a black person than a white person, but 53 percent of whites say race does not play a role in such instances.

The survey found that blacks are more likely than whites to report that their local police make them feel anxious rather than safe.

In the wake of the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore and the unrest that followed, Americans’ views on race relations in the U.S. have grown significantly more pessimistic. Sixty-one percent now say race relations are generally bad, up 23 points from earlier this year. It is the first time a majority has held this view since the 1990s. Just a third of Americans now say race relations are good. These opinions are the most negative this poll has found since 1992, when riots broke out in Los Angeles following the acquittal of police officers in the beating of Rodney King.”

So the whole “post-racial president” thing has been a complete failure. Kinda sums up his presidency. 

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4. And speaking of failures…… 

Here’s a costly one.

From TheWashingtonTimes  “The IRS doled out more than $5 billion in potentially bogus college aid payments in 2012 under an Obama stimulus tax credit, according to a report Tuesday from the agency’s inspector general that said the administration still doesn’t have a good handle on how to root out erroneous claims.

Nearly 4 million students had questionable claims, totaling more than $5.6 billion in that one year alone, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said. At least half of the students never provided tuition statements showing what they paid, while others attended schools that didn’t qualify them for the tax credit.

Other students claimed the credit for more than four years, which should have automatically earned a rejection, the investigators said.

“The IRS still does not have effective processes to identify erroneous claims for education credits,” said Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George, who said he has warned the IRS repeatedly about the problem, but “many of the deficiencies TIGTA previously identified still exist.””

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News/Politics 4-30-15

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread

Here’s a couple to start things off. 

1. We will not obey.

From FoxNews  “That’s the blunt warning a group of prominent religious leaders is sending to the Supreme Court of the United States as they consider same-sex marriage.

“We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross that line,” read a document titled, Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage. “We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve.” 

“While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross,” the pledge states.

The signees are a who’s who of religious leaders including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, National Religious Broadcasters president Jerry Johnson, Pastor John Hagee, and Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse.

 The pledge was co-drafted by Deacon Keith Fournier, a Catholic deacon, and Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel. Also involved in the document were Rick Scarborough, the president of Vision America Action and James Dobson, the founder of Family Talk Radio.”

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2. More abuse of the H-1B visa program, and of course, at the expense of American workers. 

From ComputerWorld  “At the end of October, IT employees at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts were called, one-by-one, into conference rooms to receive notice of their layoffs. Multiple conference rooms had been set aside for this purpose, and in each room an executive read from a script informing the worker that their last day would be Jan. 30, 2015.

Some workers left the rooms crying; others appeared shocked. This went on all day. As each employee received a call to go to a conference room, others in the office looked up sometimes with pained expressions. One IT worker recalls a co-worker mouthing “no” as he walked by on the way to a conference room.”

“Disney CEO Bob Iger is one of eight co-chairs of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a leading group advocating for an increase in the H-1B visa cap. Last Friday, this partnership was a sponsor of an H-1B briefing at the U.S. Capitol for congressional staffers. The briefing was closed to the press.

One of the briefing documents handed out at the congressional forum made this claim: “H-1B workers complement – instead of displace – U.S. Workers.” It explains that as employers use foreign workers to fill “more technical and low-level jobs, firms are able to expand” and allow U.S. workers “to assume managerial and leadership positions.”

“From the perspective of five laid-off Disney IT workers, all of whom agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, Disney cut well-paid and longtime staff members, some who had been previously singled out for excellence, as it shifted work to contractors. These contractors used foreign labor, mostly from India. The laid-off workers believe the primary motivation behind Disney’s action was cost-cutting. “Some of these folks were literally flown in the day before to take over the exact same job I was doing,” said one of the IT workers who lost his job. He trained his replacement and is angry over the fact he had to train someone from India “on site, in our country.””

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