Reports from Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia, indicate Obama was unable to fill the venue he chose to speak at. This seems to be a pattern around the country. Perhaps Washington Secrets has a clue why–college kids are learning the true costs of Obama’s meddling with the health system:
“The future frightening payoffs of college loans are taking a backseat to the immediate and soaring costs of health insurance students are getting slapped with as they return to school this fall, all thanks to Obamacare.
Because of a rule in the Affordable Care Act that lifts caps on policy payoffs, the cheap insurance policies typically healthy students previously got are skyrocketing, some over 1,000 percent. The reason: Without payoff caps, insurance firms are boosting prices to cover their potential losses.
One example: a late July email to incoming students from Guilford College of Greensboro, N.C. revealed a jump from $668 to $1,179, a 75 percent jump. The reason stated: “Our student health insurance policy premium has been substantially increased due to changes required by federal regulations issued on March 16, 2012 under the Affordable Care Act.”
A commenter at Tom Maguire’s blog Just One Minute, “bgates,” notes how thin-skinned Obama is when Romney makes jokes about him. He offers up this speech making fun of Barack’s ears:
Many of us were concerned about the idea of taking a man with no executive experience, a first-term Senator still wet behind the ears, and handing him the Presidency, especially given that anyone who went beyond the careful campaign speeches to hear how Barack Obama talked to the Left would get more than an earful of tired extremist left-wing notions that had never worked elsewhere and had always been rejected by the American people. Now those ideas have been tried here, and the result? Unemployment is up, confidence in the future is down, and we’re up to our ears in debt.”
“And what does Obama propose to do about it? What does he think went wrong? Well, listen to this — and you’re not going to believe your ears: He has said that his biggest problem in office has been not spending even more time telling us what he’s doing. After all the addresses, speeches, prime time tv appearances…Joe Biden would say he’s literally talked our ears off for the past three and a half years, and all he can think to do is talk some more? Talking would be fine, if he were proposing to do anything. Is he? In this entire campaign, has he proposed a single plan or initiative for his threatened second term? It seems like he spends all his time instead talking about me. Certainly my ears have been burning (which is less of a problem for me than it would be for some). But when it comes to the policies which would follow an Obama reelection, he’s mentioned no plan at all. Apparently he wants to just play it by ear.”
“Meanwhile, to fill the time he is not using to suggest his own plans, Obama claims we don’t have any of our own. In fact we have plenty, which we will be presenting throughout this convention. As a wise man once said, he who has ears, let him hear.”
“The relentless demonization of the opposing party which has characterized Obama’s reelection campaign is a stark contrast to the 2008 message of hope and change that candidate Obama used to deliver with an air of confidence and a grin that spread from ear to ear. The President promised at the start of his term that he would listen to both sides, and America believed him; he certainly appeared equipped for it. Very soon afterward, he switched to telling Republicans to shut up, as though his ears were too sensitive to bear even a whisper of dissent in our representative democracy. Of course, we didn’t shut up. We made our case to the American people, and in November 2010 we sent a message to Barack Obama loud and clear. Yet that message fell on deaf ears. Tens of millions of Americans delivered the biggest midterm rebuke to a sitting President in decades, and for Barack Obama that gigantic expression of dissatisfaction somehow just went in one ear and out the other. He’s taken the traditional American practice of a government representative of and responsive to its citizenry and turned it on its ear. It’s plain he will continue to govern as he has, no matter what anyone says, no matter what effect it has on our country, for as long as he is allowed to remain in office. His ideas have failed, he has no others, and he won’t listen to ours. We’ve tried two years of a united Democratic federal government and it didn’t work; we tried two years of a split government and it hasn’t worked. The only solution is for America to go to the polls on November 6, and throw Obama out on his….”
It was eye raising enough that when the Obamas needed more funds to maintain a nice lifestyle while Obama’s political career took off and the University of Chicago invented a $316,000 per year job for Michelle, but today we learn the center was even more deeply involved in promoting Obama.
News reports are that Obama’s friends offered Rev. Jeremiah Wright $150,000 in 2008 to shut up during the presidential campaign, doubtless because everyone knew that his intemperate, racist remarks would hurt Obama. The Daily Caller reports that Edward Klein’s new book says that Rev. Wright was offered the cash to remain silent during the campaign.
In interviews today, Klein is naming names. He says the offer was made by Eric Whitaker, a close, long-time friend of Barack and Michelle’s and currently a senior administrator at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Of course, no one believes Whitaker was offering up his own money, but how much loose change does the hospital have for such political activities . Remember, Michelle’s job there was to persuade poor Chicagoans to seek medical help at other clinics, not the University Center.
Heritage’s the Foundry reports that the U.S. Department of the Interior is proposing new regulations allowing wind farms to kill bald eagles. Is it just me or is this preposterous? The wind farms which create bird pate, are ugly and disruptive to neighboring inhabitants, are justified as a means of saving the environment. Now, we are being asked to allow the slaughter of our national and endangered bird to keep these unreliable sources of energy going.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a division of the Interior Department, is considering loosening regulations on the killing of bald eagles, the national bird of the United States, to accommodate the development of wind energy sources. A draft regulation first filed in April would allow businesses to apply for 30-year permits allowing them to kill bald eagles in the course of other legal activities. The length of those permits would be a six-fold increase over the five-year window allowed under current law.
The USFWS explains at FederalRegister.gov:
We have reviewed applications from proponents of renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar power facilities, for programmatic permits to authorize eagle take that may result from both the construction and ongoing operations of renewable energy projects. During our review, it became evident that the 5-year term limit imposed by the 2009 regulations (see 50 CFR 22.26(h)) needed to be extended to better correspond to the timeframe of renewable energy projects.
Current law allows permitting for “programmatic” killing of bald eagles, which “is recurring, is not caused solely by indirect effects, and that occurs over the long term or in a location or locations that cannot be specifically identified.”
The USFWS notes that permits “may authorize lethal take that is incidental to an otherwise lawful activity, such as mortalities caused by collisions with rotating wind turbines.”
When Harvard Law school was under the gun for not hiring enough women of diverse ethnicity, it hired Elizabeth Warren and widely publicized her American Indian heritage. Now that she’s running for Senate against Scott Brown and no one can establish that she has American Indian ancestors, Harvard claims not to reveal the ethnic background of its professors. Daily Mail has the story:
Elizabeth Warren’s purported Native American heritage had once been touted by her employer, Harvard Law School, as a proof of diversity at the Ivy League institution, but now the law professor’s roots are being called into question. According to the Boston Herald, Warren’s campaign staff failed to produce any documents supporting the claim that the Democratic candidate for the US Senate from Massachusetts indeed had ancestors on her mother’s side from the Cherokee and Delaware tribes. ‘Like most Americans, Elizabeth learned of her heritage through conversations with her grandparents, her parents, and her aunts and uncles,’ Warren’s strategist Kyle Sullivan told the paper.
Back in the 1990s, when Harvard Law came under fire for having weak diversity-hiring record and a faculty dominated by white male professors, the school widely publicized Warren’s alleged Native American roots.
What I wouldn’t give to see the papers she submitted in support of her hire and the notes of her discussions with the hiring committee. I don’t think Harvard just made up that story about her ancestry out of thin air at a time when they were under the gun to expand “diverse” hiring .And there is good evidence that she herself is the source of the false Indian heritage claim.
The whole concept of diversity is nonsensical, but if you claim to believe in it why lie to take advantage of it?
Only Barack Obama! Today the President tried to show he was a friend of the Jews with a beautifully crafted speech Holocaust Museum. Showing his words mean nothing, also today Samantha Power began work today as chair of President Barack Obama’s new Atrocities Prevention Board. If you don’t remember Ms Power she once called for a US force to invade Israel and force through a “peace settlement.” Powers also had some unflattering things to say about about America’s Jewish population during the 2008 campaign
How long do you think it will be before Powers uses that board as tool to de-legitimize Israel?
Power was a foreign policy adviser to the Obama campaign in 2008 when she blamed the Jews for the criticism of then Candidate Obama’s foreign policy platform.
He sure has an eye for talent and an ear for the concerns of one of his most important Democrat blocs, doesn’t he?
If you plan on engaging in sex while on business trips in Australia, the country’s workmens compensation laws have you covered. A woman who was injured while having sex in her hotel room during a work trip is entitled to workers’ compensation.
The woman, who cannot be named, challenged the rejection of her workers’ compensation claim for facial and psychological injuries suffered when a glass light fitting came away from the wall above the bed as she was having sex in November 2007.
The woman in her late thirties was required to travel to a country town by her employer, the Human Relations Section of the Commonwealth Government agency.
She arranged to meet a male friend there who lived in the town. They went to a restaurant for dinner and at about 10pm or 11pm went back to the woman’s motel room where they had sex that resulted in her injury.
CL, who sent the link to me, suggests the plaintiff should have said, “It was mainly indoor work with no heavy lifting. That’s why I loved the Secret Service.”
In today’s American Thinker, former Congressman Tom Tancredo notes the NYT’s slippery use of Hispanic or the newly invented “White Hispanic” when one or the other suits the paper’s preferred narrative:
“The New York Times reported, “As the nation’s only Hispanic governor, Mr. Richardson could become a champion for Mr. Obama among Hispanic voters, who have been an important voting bloc for Mrs. Clinton in the primaries thus far.”
Richardson was born William Blaine Richardson III. He attended prep school at Middlesex, known for educating the WASP elite in New England. His paternal grandfather was a WASP, and his paternal grandmother is Mexican. His maternal grandfather is from Northern Spain, and his maternal grandmother is Mexican. If anyone is a “white Hispanic,” it is William Blaine Richardson III.
While occasional media profiles of Richardson mention his background, he is always described as Hispanic or Latino. They never question whether he is really Hispanic or explain how “complicated” classifying Latinos is, much less describe him as a “white Hispanic.”
It is worth contrasting the media’s treatment of Richardson’s ethnicity with their treatment Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman, whose father is white and mother is Peruvian.
The media almost initially called Zimmerman white, and it fit into their narrative of white racism holding down Hispanics. However, after Zimmerman’s father sent a letter to the Orlando Sentinel (and major conservative news sites like Breitbart.com and Drudge Report linked to the letter), they stopped referring to Zimmerman as white. The New York Times and Reuters began referring to him as a “white Hispanic.” Virtually the rest of the media followed suit. If you put “white Hispanic” and “Zimmerman” into a Google News search, over 1,200 stories pop up. If you put in “white Hispanic” excluding the word “Zimmerman,” there are about 50 stories, but a closer look shows that every single one of them is indirectly referring to Zimmerman, or else the two words are next to each other as a coincidence (e.g., “Asian, white, Hispanic, or African American.”) “
Once again Tom Maguire does what the media is too lazy to do. He has carefully mapped the routes reportedly taken by Zimmerman and Martin, compared the various accounts of what happened and to a careful reader it appears that Trayvon’s family lawyer is handing the press rather fanciful versions of what went down. Here’s an example of his careful reconstruction of the events:
Here is Trayvon Martin’s father recreating the police version of Zimmerman’s alibi told to him a few days after the killing. Unless he had notes I wonder how much detail he was taking on, since he had to be shaken up. Regardless, the police told a tale of two encounters:
According to Tracy Martin, the Sanford, Fla., detective recounted this sequence of events: Trayvon Martin walked up to Zimmerman’s vehicle and asked why he was following him. Zimmerman denied following the youth and rolled up the car window. Minutes after Trayvon walked away, Zimmerman got out of his vehicle.
Surely that would be on the 911 tape where Zimmerman says Martin is “checking me out”? But I don’t hear it. Mute button, bad audio, BS? Why would Zimmerman make that up – he had to know he had been calling 911? Oh, well, head trauma, PTSD. Or, why would the cops make that up – to get dad to back down? How’s that working?
Then came the second encounter, according to Tracy Martin’s recollection of the detective’s account. Trayvon Martin appeared from behind a building in Zimmerman’s gated community, approached him and demanded, “What’s your problem, homie?”
When Zimmerman replied that he didn’t have a problem, Martin said, “You do now.” The unarmed teenager hit Zimmerman, knocked him to the ground, pinned him down and told him to “shut the [expletive] up.”
During the beating, Zimmerman pulled his gun and fired one shot at close range into Martin’s chest. “You got me,” the teenager said, falling backward.
“You got me”? They lost me. Save it for the screenplay.
If Obama hasn’t stirred the pot enough on the Martin-Zimmerman matter, a matter where the case for Zimmerman’s innocence looks stronger day by day, his election committee just threw oil on the fire by offering for sale hoodies with Obama’s name on them.
American Doctors for Truth publicizes Obama’s Medicare cut, reprising the old Democrat video showing Boehner pitching grandma over the cliff.
Big news that will surely inspirit the Syrians being butchered by Assad: The EU is considering imposing a shopping ban on Mrs. Assad, Anna Wintour’s Near East model woman:
On Friday, it is expected to take new steps. For Asma, they will mean she will no longer be able to travel to the EU or buy products from EU-based companies, in her own name.
Well it’s not final yet and she’s used other names to buy before. Still, the possibility of being confined to shmatas and makeup from Iran is a scary possibility.
My friend bgates has a brilliant legislative proposal:
I renew my call for federal CAFE (Cap All Fees in Education) standards to first limit and then steadily decrease the cost of higher education in this country. Congress feels competent to tell engineers how much the latest advances in materials science, aerodynamics, and engine design will translate into greater fuel efficiency; surely if they can do that they can tell colleges to quit hiking tuition.
Besides being the right thing to do, a Republican proposal to halt the increase in student debt would make two important Dem constituencies into mortal enemies. Couple CAFE with new copyright law – I’m thinking a limit of 14 years or $14 million in sales, whichever comes first – and we win the college vote by cutting two of the most vocally anti-American Dem constituencies off at the knees.
Where Are Andrea Mitchell, Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw’s Apologies for Their Colleagues’ Misogynistic Rants?
As usual the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto makes an excellent point. He commends Kirsten Powers for noting the misogyny on the left and observes that no one has asked the stars of NBC why they haven’t apologized:
But Schultz, Olbermann and Matthews are especially worthy of note because at the time of their offending comments they all worked for NBC (Schultz and Matthews still do). We haven’t heard anyone demand that respectable NBC personalities like Tom Brokaw, Andrea Mitchell and Brian Williams denounce their colleagues’ indecent, misogynistic rants. Yet the left has been hectoring Republican politicians to repudiate Limbaugh, even though he has no formal connection to them or the party: “The GOP Can No Longer Avoid Its Rush Limbaugh Problem,” the Washington Post editorialized last week.
The explanation for the double standard is obvious: The attack on Limbaugh is not primarily about establishing or enforcing standards of decency and respect for women. Rather, it is an any-weapon-at-hand assault by a liberal elite desperately trying to maintain its grip on cultural power. “It matters more to society what a person with a big following says than what a person with a small following says,” Timothy Noah of The New Republic acknowledges. The problem with Limbaugh isn’t that he’s occasionally coarse, it’s that he has a big following.
To better grasp the boneheadedness and spleen of LBJ and Robert McNamara read this chilling account of a 1965 meeting between the President and his Joint Chiefs of Staff published by George Mason University’s History News Network under the title The Day It Became the Longest War. Here’s a sample:
Despite the lack of a clear-cut intelligence estimate, Admiral McDonald and the other Joint Chiefs did what they were paid to do and reached a conclusion. They decided unanimously that the risk of the Chinese or Soviets reacting to massive US measures taken in North Vietnam was acceptably low, but only if we acted without delay. Unfortunately, the Secretary of Defense and his coterie of civilian “whiz kids” did not agree with the Joint Chiefs, and McNamara and his people were the ones who were actually steering military strategy. In the view of the Joint Chiefs, the United States was piling on forces in Vietnam without understanding the consequences. In the view of McNamara and his civilian team, we were doing the right thing. This was the fundamental dispute that had caused the Chiefs to request the seldom-used private audience with the Commander in Chief in order to present their military recommendations directly to him. McNamara had finally granted their request.
Does the stubborn refusal to acknowledge reality seem familiar?
Between the September 11th attacks and 30 August 2011, more than 2.3 million American military personnel were deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan or both. Hundreds of thousands more served rotations in support countries that are not always friendly. If America’s regional posture – training, arms, money and troops – is not making our citizens and our allies safe, it is time to bring the troops home.
It is surely time to bring the troops home from Afghanistan and build a policy for the Middle East/South Asia that does not rely on the fantasy of people with entirely different interests, values and priorities doing what we would have them do. We cannot win their wars, and they certainly don’t seem inclined to fight ours.
The Washington Free Beacon shows how NPR and an outfit that opposes war with Iran found it to their mutual benefit to work together:
The Ploughshares Fund opposes military action against Iran and has funded organizations that share this goal, including the Center for American Progress, the pro-Tehran National Iranian American Council, and liberal fringe group J Street.
One of Ploughshares’ highest profile recipients is National Public Radio. NPR was paid $150,000 by the group in 2010. The money was used to fund “increased coverage of U.S. nuclear policy issues and the proliferation risks from North Korea and Iran,” according to funding documents publicly available on Ploughshares’ website.
Coinciding with the payment was NPR’s series of articles and reports that closely reflected Ploughshares’ anti-nuclear worldview.
One NPR piece was written by Stephen Walt, co-author of The Israel Lobby, a controversial book that accused the pro-Israel community of putting U.S. foreign policy in a nefarious chokehold.
Once again we have proof of the need to rein in our too wealthy, uncontrolled foundations. Daily Caller reveals how wealthy foundations,in this case principally the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, meddled to scotch the Keystone Pipeline from Canada we desperately need.
Perhaps we ought to start with a low ceiling on foundation salaries so the meddlers can get a better idea of the economic costs of their anti-capitalist policies. For future consideration, we might form committees to induce rich men and women to spend their wealth on wine, women and song because it is a certainty that any long term foundation where they park their wealth will in time, like Rockefeller’s, be up to no good.
Over at Just One Minute, Tom Maguire links to a Reuters article reporting that the President is searching for a new motto for 2012. Posters have made lots of great suggestions, but once again, bgates proves himself the winner.
O Debt Owe China Obama ?
I like MarkO’s.
“Freedom Isn’t Free, So Who Needs It?”
1 lb top end beef eaten while telling you people to sacrifice: $100 1 ;
week vacation rental in Martha’s Vineyard visited after telling you people to tighten your belts:
Budget deficit after promising a net spending cut: over $1,000,000,000,000/year, every year;
Killing bin Laden: Priceless
Finishing the Dream
I’m the Only One Putting Between You and the Pitchforks
Too Smart to Fail
Help Me and Warren Buffett Fight the Rich
Vote Obama. It’s Like Having a Real Black Friend
If I Don’t Win, I’m Just Going to Make Ginsburg Retire and then Appoint Myself as Her Replacement, So It’s Not Like I’m Going Anywhere.
Yesterday I noted the number of Jewish philanthropies which claim to support Israel but fill the coffers of Media Matters, the anti-semitic, anti Israeli propaganda outfit . Today Big Government begins looking at individual Jewish philanthropists doing the same thing. J. B. Pritzker for example . Why stop there though the chart of donors is full of them. Keep at it guys.
Among other civic and philanthropic causes, Pritzker is heavily involved in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which promotes a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. He has served on AIPAC’s national board, regularly chairs AIPAC events in Chicago, and attends the organization’s annual Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.
Given his devotion to a strong U.S.-Israel alliance, it is extraordinary to discover that Pritzker also contributed heavily to Media Matters for America. Through the Pritzker Family Foundation, which he leads, J.B. Pritzker has given $150,000 to Media Matters for America–$50,000 in 2008 and $100,000 in 2009, according to public records analyzed by Big Government.
Take a peek for example at Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation which contributed $2,225,000 to Brock’s hate machine from 2003 to 2010. Or Barbara Streisand whose foundation kicked in $85,000.
The Daily Caller lists grants to Media Matters.
Aside from such reliably leftist foundations and contributors such as the Ford Foundation, sponsor of the odious Durban conference noted for its anti-American, anti semitic tone; the Joyce Foundation; the Sandler Foundation; and the Tides Foundation,noted leftist money laundering outfit for other donors and foundations, which alone has kicked in $4,384,702, there are four Jewish groups whose members ought to be asking questions of their officers.
Professor Alan Dershowitz has slammed Media Matters for its anti-semitic bigotry. But according to the grant list published by the Daily Caller, in addition to a number individual Jewish donors and Foundations–like Barbra Streisand’s–established by Jewish donors who sustain and support this disreputable outfit,four specifically Jewish organizations have been among its contributors: the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, Inc; Community Foundation of United Federation of San Diego; Jewish Communal Fund; Jewish Community Foundation of Cleveland.
These organizations should be called to account for their actions by their own contributors.
The Jewish Community Foundation is NOT a program of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County. They are completely different entities.
Please revise your article as such, and check your references before posting content.”
I have checked by references and
Page 3 of the Daily Caller printout derived from the Media Matters filings lists “Community Foundation of the United Jewish Federation of San Diego” as having made 2 donations, one for $100,000 and one for $50,000. If there’s an error it is either Media Matters’ or Daily Caller’s.”
I would hate to misreport anything, but that is what the pdf which reportedly is based on Media Matters own records show. If there is any further clarification, I’ll post it gladly.
There’s a good argument that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 makes the HHS regulations illegal. Others have argued (I think persuasively) that they violate the First Amendment, but Tom Maguire reviews the arguments on this Act . I think those advocating this point of view have the winning side of the argument.
The Wall Street Journal‘s article authored by David B. Rivkin , Jr. and Edward Whelan details the argument that the regulations violate the law. Maguire shreds the New York Times(Linda Greenhouse) and Daily Kos efforts to argue otherwise.
The Hill reports Senator Reid has changed his mind and will bring to a vote the HHS limitation on the religious exemption for employers mandated to provide contraceptive, abortifacient and sterilization coverage:
Republicans are picking a new fight over contraception — and at least some Democrats are happy to let them have it.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that he’ll let the Senate vote on a proposal to reverse the White House’s controversial birth-control mandate. The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), would let employers opt out of any coverage mandates they find immoral.
Reid blocked a vote on the same amendment last week, before the White House had announced new “accommodations” for religious organizations. Senate Republicans pressed ahead after Obama’s announcement, despite pundits’ warnings that the party could appear to be attacking contraception rather than defending religious liberty.
Gulag Bound says these Senators are sitting on the fence and suggests proponents of the law contact them:
Philly.com carries the fully text of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput’s scathing response to the Administration. His blistering retort includes the following:
But it’s clear that such actions are developing into a pattern. Whether it was the administration’s early shift toward the anemic language of “freedom of worship” instead of the more historically grounded and robust concept of “freedom of religion” in key diplomatic discussions; or its troubling effort to regulate religious ministers recently rejected 9-0 by the Supreme Court in the Hosanna Tabor case; or the revocation of the U.S. bishops’ conference human-trafficking grant for refusing to refer rape victims to abortion clinics, it seems obvious that this administration is – to put it generously – tone deaf to people of faith.
Philadelphians may wish to reflect on the following facts: The Archdiocesan Secretariat for Catholic Human Services spends $278 million annually on services to the community. About 4,000 employees make up our secretariat’s workforce. Catholic Social Services is the largest social-service agency in Pennsylvania and the largest residential care/social-service subcontractor with the Department of Human Services of the City of Philadelphia[snip]
The current administration prides itself on being measured and deliberate. The current HHS mandate needs to be understood as exactly that. Commentators are using words like “gaffe,” “ill conceived,” and “mistake” to describe the mandate. They’re wrong. It’s impossible to see this regulation as some happenstance policy. It has been too long in the making.
Despite all of its public apprehension about “culture warriors” on the political right in the past, the current administration has created an HHS mandate that is the embodiment of culture war. At its heart is a seemingly deep distrust of the formative role religious faith has on personal and social conduct, and a deep distaste for religion’s moral influence on public affairs. To say that this view is contrary to the Founders’ thinking and the record of American history would be an understatement.
How long before the Pennsylvania democrats abandon Obama?
Riffing off the justification given for the HHS regulations on insurance provision for birth control, Tom Maguire shows how the same rationale requires a program to provide us all with free coffee:
THE DEPARTMENT OF GOOD IDEAS NEVER SLEEPS (WHICH MAY BE THE PROBLEM…) Since individual liberty and property rights are no longer an issue, here is a Big Idea – many studies document that caffeine enhances mood, cognition, and physical performance. And what employer doesn’t want happy, alert, energetic employees?
So, the Wake Up And Smell The (Free!) Coffee Act of 2012 will require every employee to provide either a free coffee station (Keurig is fine!) for each twenty employees, or hand out vouchers for the local delis and Starbucks. I have no doubt we can gin up studies demonstrating that the enhanced employee energy will make this a self-financing effort, i.e., FREE! – if not a Laffer Curve, call it a Gulper curve. Other than Mormons, there should be no religious objections. And clearly, we are talking about real money – let’s flash back to Gutmacher and the financial obstacles to contraception:
Methods of contraception vary not only in their effectiveness, but also in their costs and the timing of those costs. Condoms are relatively inexpensive on an individual basis, but 50 cents or a dollar per use can add up to substantial amounts of money over a year, much less the 30 years that the typical woman spends trying to avoid pregnancy. Brand-name versions of the pill, patch or ring can cost upwards of $60 per month if paid for entirely out-of-pocket, although generic oral contraceptives can cost considerably less; these methods also require periodic visits to a health care provider, at additional cost.
$60 per month or less for pills? $1 per day for condoms? Have they priced a cup of coffee lately? I never get out for less than a buck fifty, which runs to maybe $30/month right there, and I am not even talking about the crumb cake. Poor women (and men!) who lack mental acuity and physical energy because they haven’t had their daily Joe need this program.
What do we want? A half-caf mocha latte! When do we want it? NOW!
Legal Insurrection catches ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an apparent plot to pave the way for the HHS regulation bomb the White House was about to drop:
Well what do you know, about a month later the Obama administration proposes administrative rules under Obamacare which would require free contraception be provided even by religious institutions which oppose contraception on religious grounds.
It’s almost as if Stephanopoulos got the memo first. Unless, of course, you believe in coincidences.
It’s time the RNC asks him if he coordinated this with the White House directly or through its media shills like Media Matters. And if he did or refuses to answer or to offer a credible explanation, ABC should be booted from further debate moderating privileges.
From the Carpe Diem, shocking proof of the disparity in medical school acceptance based on race. Click to enlarge:
Rumors abound that the newly named leader of North Korea has been assassinated while in Beijing . Forbes reports:
In the past two hours, Twitter has exploded with unsubstantiated rumors that the new North Korean dictator died in Beijing today and that a coup is underway in North Korea. All rumor of course, and one that appears to have been started on China’s twitter-like platform Weibo. As the story goes, a couple assassins barged into Kim’s room in Beijing and shot him, before being shot and killed themselves by bodyguards.
Guess who’s breaking with Obama? John Kerry according to Fox Hill reporter Trish Turner:
JohnKerry- HHS rule “I think it needs to be compromised, adjusted.” Says “people’s conscience(s)” needs to be “protected” – Obama meant well
8 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
Speaker of the House John Boehner enters the HHS Obamacare regulations fight on the side of the Catholic Church, reports Yahoo.:
From the Republican presidential candidates to top GOP lawmakers in Washington, party leaders are engaging in a full-court press against the Obama Administration’s decision to force employers affiliated with religious groups to offer health care insurance plans to workers that cover birth control free of charge, even if the action contradicts the employer’s religious beliefs.
In a rare move for someone in his office, House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, took to the floor of the chamber on Wednesday to discuss a legislative plan to overturn the decision. Calling the rule “an unambiguous attack” on faith-based groups, Boehner said the House would begin work on a bill immediately.
“If the president does not reverse the department’s attack on religious freedom, then the Congress, acting on behalf of the American people, and the Constitution that we’re sworn to uphold and defend, must,” Boehner, a Catholic, said. “The House will approach this matter fairly and deliberately through regular order and appropriate legislative channels.”
Boehner said that the chamber’s Energy and Commerce committee will take the lead in drafting the legislation to overturn the decision.
Heritage Foundation reports on the number of other religious organization joining the Catholics in fighting for religious freedom:
The Catholic Church is not alone in its opposition to Obamacare’s onslaught against religious freedom. David Addington, The Heritage Foundation’s vice president of Domestic and Economic Policy, details the growing ranks of the faithful who say the Obama Administration has crossed a very dangerous line. The National Association of Evangelicals commented that “The HHS rules trample on our most cherished freedoms and set a dangerous precedent” and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America stated, “In declining to expand the religious exemption within the healthcare reform law, the Obama Administration has disappointingly failed to respect the needs of religious organizations such as hospitals, social welfare organizations and more.” The Agudath Israel of America stated its opposition, as did the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America.
The Obama Administration is beginning to feel the pressure. On Sunday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius authored an op-ed in USA Today defending the Obama Administration’s actions, claiming that a very narrow exemption to the mandate is evidence that the White House is “working to strike the right balance between respecting religious beliefs and increasing women’s access to critical preventive health services.” That exemption, though, does not apply to institutions like religious schools and hospitals. Sebelius might claim the Administration is offering grace to people of faith, but in fact it is not. In an editorial that ran the same day as Sebelius,’ USA Today agreed with those standing on the side of religious liberty, writing that “in drawing up the rules that will govern health care reform” the Obama Administration “galloped over” the line and violated the “simple proposition that the government should steer away from meddling in church affairs.”
The Obama Administration’s actions, though entirely counter to the freedom of religion, should not be surprising given the nature of the President’s health care law. Obamacare has given the federal government broad power over one-sixth of the American economy and thereby purports to grant Washington the power to force religious institutions to take actions contrary to their faith. Addington writes that this kind of concentration of power “has proved to be a drastic and dangerous experiment.” America’s religious leaders and the faithful have awoken to this wolf at their door and are lashing out in defense of their freedoms. Congress, too, should act now by repealing Obamacare and restoring the religious liberty that is so central to our way of life.
Catholic Vote org. reports that bishops representing 90% of the Catholic Dioceses in the U.S. have issued statements in opposition to the Administration’s demand that the heath insurance they provide employees of Catholic institutions covers contraception, abortion and sterilization and that their hospitals provide these services. The site lists the 167 bishops who have spoken out against the HHS mandate.
How ignorant are American High School students on geography and civics? More than you can imagine. http://www.youtube.com/embed/MHtDF-z77wk
Michael Gerson in the Washington Post takes aim at the administration’s demand that all employers who provide health coverage must provide for abortion, contraception and sterilization in their policies and all hospitals must perform these services:
The implications of Obama’s power grab go further than contraception and will provoke opposition beyond Catholicism. Christian colleges and universities of various denominations will resist providing insurance coverage for abortifacients. And the astounding ambition of this federal precedent will soon be apparent to every religious institution. Obama is claiming the executive authority to determine which missions of believers are religious and which are not — and then to aggressively regulate institutions the government declares to be secular. It is a view of religious liberty so narrow and privatized that it barely covers the space between a believer’s ears.
Obama’s decision also reflects a certain view of liberalism. Classical liberalism was concerned with the freedom to hold and practice beliefs at odds with a public consensus. Modern liberalism uses the power of the state to impose liberal values on institutions it regards as backward. It is the difference between pluralism and anti-clericalism.
A Catholic poster at Just One Minute, Cathyf, explains why the Church cannot back off on this fight:
Something that I’m pretty sure that non-Catholics have no idea about, and Catholics are mostly ignorant as well is the latae sentiae excommunication. “Officially, a latae sententiae penalty follows automatically, by force of the law itself, when the law is contravened… A latae sententiae penalty differs from a ferendæ sententiæ (sentence to be passed). If one commits an ecclesiastical offense for which a ferendae sententiae punishment is prescribed, the penalty will only take effect when imposed by the competent ecclesiastical authority.” In other words, a normal excommunication requires a Church trial, where you can mount a defense, get off on a technicality, bribe or threaten the judges, blah-blah-blah. But with the automatic excommunication, there is no judicial process, no requirement to get caught, no one but the person who committed the offense has to even know that it happened — boom — game over.
And paying for an abortion (“procuring an abortion”) is one of the eight automatic excommunication sins.
Obama, being a politician, believes that he can convince, bribe, threaten, etc. the Church into going along. But, sorry, there is no way a bishop is going to excommunicate himself for Obama. But, simultaneously, there is no way that a bishop is going to risk the shutting down of every Church school, hospital, social service agency, etc. in order to score debating points.
It looks like the Administration’s requirement that Catholic organizations provide abortion, sterilization and contraception coverage for its employees and hospitals provide those services as part of their operations is meeting with strong opposition throughout the country:
From the Palm Coast this report from my friend “JIB”
Our pastor read a letter from the Bishop of St. Augustine (our diocese) saying that the Church will not obey the law and regulation set down by Sibelius in regard to offereing contraceptives, abortions and sterilization as part of Catholic Church employee health plans and hospital operations.
Here is the letter from our bishop (Jenky, Peoria). I’m not sure if any non-Catholics will appreciate the addition of the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel being inserted into all Masses in the diocese — the Church is going to war. Here is the prayer:
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
UPDATE:Archishop Vlazny ,Portland Oregon:
Letter January 25, 2012 from Archbishop John G. Vlazny on the matter of freedom of conscience and decisions by HHS
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
It is important for you to know that the federal government has just dealt a heavy blow to the Catholic population and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.
By this ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. Unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to violate our consciences or drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.
We cannot and will not comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom.
In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.
And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I recommend visiting www.usccb.org/conscience, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision.
Thank you for all you do to build the Church and society.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend John G. Vlazny
Archbishop of Portland in Oregon
From Mary D in NH
(MANCHESTER, NH) Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, and other leaders of Catholic institutions in New Hampshire are denouncing the recent announcement that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) intends to implement a rule that mandates that coverage for sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception be included in virtually all health plans, regardless of whether the employer or the insured individual has a moral objection to such drugs and procedures. Bishop Libasci said the edict represents an untenable attack on religious liberty and a radical incursion into freedom of conscience.
“The HHS rule creates an alarming and serious concern that negatively impacts the Catholic Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith,” said Bishop Libasci. “The federal government, which claims to be ‘of, by, and for the people,’ has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people—the Catholic population—and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.”