Sunday, February 26, 2012

op ed review 2/26

Editor’s note: No OER next week, I’ll be out of town.


Unemployment in the U.S. rose to nine percent in mid-February, up from 8.3 percent a month earlier, according to a new Gallup survey.

With their unemployment-insurance checks running out, some of the country’s long-term jobless are scrambling to fill the gap by filing claims for mental illness and other disabilities with Social Security — a surge that hobbles taxpayers and making the employment rate look healthier than it should as these people drop out of the job statistics.

With the economy on its knees, many American families have had to forgo their annual holiday just to make ends meet. But barely a month after returning from a luxury Christmas break in Hawaii Michelle Obama is on holiday again - this time at the exclusive Colorado ski resort of Aspen.

This makes the 16th time members of the first family have gone on extended vacations during their three years in office.

It's February, nine months before a presidential election, and only 22 percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going.

The Obama administration is starting to shut down a program that deputized local police officers to act as immigration agents.

Another reason to defeat President Obama: Ruth Bader Ginsburg will step down from the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015.

Seven states asked a federal judge Thursday to block an Obama administration mandate that requires birth control coverage for employees of religious-affiliated hospitals, schools and outreach programs.

Some Florida drivers are spending nearly $6 a gallon to fill up their gas tanks.

An Obama plan to triple the tax rate on dividends would hurt all shareholders, especially retirees and near-retirees who depend on dividend income. Almost three of four dividend payments go to those over the age of 55, and more than half go to those older than 65, according to the IRS.

A judge on Wednesday declared the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and ordered the federal government to ignore the statute and provide health benefits to the wife of a lesbian federal court employee.

A federal judge ruled that Washington State cannot require pharmacists to dispense emergency contraceptives if to do so violates their religious beliefs. U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton declared the state regulation unconstitutional because it trampled on pharmacists' right to "conscientious objection." The ruling only applies to Washington State but is sure to reverberate nationally.

The 20th, and possibly last, televised debate among Republican candidates for president of the 2012 cycle. “My analysis of how each contender performed: Newt Gingrich won the debate, Rick Santorum was tonight's clear loser. Although he offered a few flashes of excellence, Santorum's stumbling illustrated the perils of running for president with decades of Congressional votes hanging around your neck.”

Remember Solyndra? The solar-panel maker’s abrupt closure now threatens to leave behind an environmental mess. The company plans on paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up its own property in Fremont, Calif., but a separate leased property in nearby Milpitas sits vacant with barrels of unknown chemicals and lead-contaminated equipment.

A Delaware bankruptcy judge has approved close to $370,000 in bonuses for 20 former Solyndra employees.

President Obama sent Afghan President Karzai a letter of apology over the accidental burning of copies of the Koran…..”Afghan laborers found charred copies of the Koran while collecting rubbish at the Bagram Airbase, about an hour's drive north of Kabul.”

By contrast, in 2009, the U.S. military confiscated copies of the Bible that a church had sent to an American soldier to use in an outreach geared toward Afghan citizens. When the military discovered the Bibles, they were confiscated and burned, and the U.S. military defended its actions as a ‘force protection’ measure so it wouldn’t be perceived that the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims.”….Robert Spencer, founder of Jihad Watch, called the actions taken by U.S. Gen. John Allen offensive. “Allen’s statements amount to groveling before Muslims around the world,” he said. “This is the United States military, and he is the commander of all U.S. forces in Afghanistan. This is embarrassing and an insult to every American.”

Krauthammer: ”…..after the president apologized and after we have been on our knees groveling there was an increase in the violence.”

President Obama also plans to tinker with federal police curriculums for counterterrorism training classes. The first bit of “revamping” is the removal of all material that is offensive to the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Democrats are poised in November to lose their Senate majority and hand over control of Congress entirely to the Republican Party. With 22 Senate seats up for grabs this fall, Democrats are fighting to hold on to their 53-47 seat majority. They must defend at least seven seats considered "tossups" and are watching three others that could become competitive. Republicans, who already have a 24-seat majority in the House, need to win just four more Senate seats to achieve a 51-seat majority in that chamber.

A Survey USA poll for KING-TV in Seattle of 650 registered voters showed Barack Obama is in trouble in the Evergreen State.



Herb Meyer 2/23

As we head into some crucial GOP primaries -- Arizona and Michigan on February 28, then Super Tuesday one week later -- grassroots Republicans remain sharply divided over which presidential candidate to support. A lot of us would vote for None of the Above, if we had that choice. But we're united in the belief that if our country continues on its present course for another four years, the damage to our economy and our national security will be catastrophic and irreversible. And we're perplexed by the obstinate refusal of so many Americans who aren't Republicans to acknowledge the acute danger we're in, and to at least consider voting in November for whichever candidate the GOP finally chooses to run against President Obama.…..Let's stop talking to voters as though they were children who need to be cajoled into eating their vegetables. Let's change the political culture itself by talking to voters as adults responsible for dealing with their problems -- or not dealing with their problems, if that's their choice:

My fellow Americans, we're in trouble. The national debt is staggering, government spending at all levels is out of control, and we've been passing laws that make it harder than ever for business owners to grow their companies and create new jobs. Congress has enacted a health care law that will devastate our country's health care system and reduce the services we depend upon, literally, for our lives. We're on the verge of turning our country's free-market economy -- the most productive, most innovative, most powerful economy the world has ever known -- into a socialist economy that will lead to decades of stagnation.

And our nation's security is at risk. At a time when radical Islam threatens to destroy Western civilization, and when Iran is on the brink of having nuclear bombs, we are slashing the Pentagon's budget. By pulling our troops out of Iraq too soon, we are now in danger of snatching defeat from the extraordinary victory our troops had won. We are about to give up in Afghanistan, precisely at that moment when our troops on the ground there are making real progress. And rather than taking steps to make our country energy-independent and no longer in need of Mideast oil, we are throwing every legal obstacle we can under the feet of our domestic energy production companies.

If we continue on our present course, more and more of you will lose your jobs, your homes, and even the pensions you've worked so hard, and for so long, to earn. The quality of our health care will decline. We will leave our children's generation crippled by debt and with no hope of prosperity or even economic stability. And we will leave our country vulnerable to another 9-11 attack -- this time, perhaps, with nuclear weapons.

You may believe we're exaggerating, and that you don't need to think about all this, at least not yet. Perhaps. There's just no way to predict whether our economy will hit the wall next year, or in the coming decade -- or two weeks from Wednesday because of a market crash triggered by the collapse of some obscure bank in Europe, or in China. Your own job may be safe, your pension well protected. You may not notice a drop in the quality of our country's health care system for quite a while, if you're one of the lucky ones who stays healthy. And while no intelligence service can prevent every terrorist attack on our homeland, perhaps ours will succeed in stopping the the next one, so we won't suffer another 9-11 for years to come.

All we can tell you is that if we remain on our present course, we're heading straight for that proverbial cliff.

We still have time to turn around. Changing course won't be easy or pleasant, but together we can do it. We can bring down the national debt to a manageable level, we can bring government spending under control, and we can restore the free-market incentives that will encourage business owners to invest in new products and services, and by doing so create new jobs. We can undo the health care laws that Congress has passed. We can make ourselves energy-independent. We can leave our children's generation with a robust economy that will enable them to live at least as well as we've lived, perhaps even to live in greater prosperity than we have known. And we can keep our country safe from the world's genocidal lunatics.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you're driving down the road and you realize you're going in the wrong direction, changing speed or changing lanes doesn't solve the problem. You have to get off at the next exit and make a U-turn. In politics, that "next exit" is called an election. Please, take this next exit and vote for us. Don't bet your money -- and perhaps your lives -- that there's no cliff up ahead, or that if there is a cliff ahead we're nowhere near it.

Edited from a longer column. Herb Meyer, formerly a senior intelligence official for President Reagan, now helps people understand what's happening in the world. He is rumored to live in Friday Harbor, WA



"The semiotic search for the racism beneath Newt's food-stamp line. The dismissal of 'the Constitution' in haughty air quotes. The wasting of primetime minutes pondering which wife would make the best first lady. The obsessive deposing of Romney on the legality of condoms. The condescending identity politics of carting out a token Latino to ask an immigration question. The dings. The bells. The buzzers. The Google Chat notification tones. ... These are just some of the lowlights of the umpteen Republican debates thus far. And ... they were all brought to us by the mainstream media. That's the same media that daily carry water for the Obama administration, approach the tea parties as anthropological curiosities, and persistently skew the public discourse leftward in ways large and small, conscious and unconscious. ... While dismantling the presuppositions of the political media is surely a skill a conservative president would do well to acquire, it does not rank with the ability to clearly and persuasively articulate a conservative policy vision for solving America's most pressing problems, or with the ability to display fiscal sobriety, strategic acumen, and strong instincts toward liberty when presented with new challenges, foreign and domestic. These abilities -- and not the ability to cleverly parry liberal inanities -- are what the primary debates are meant to test. ... [W]e favor the plan recently floated by Hugh Hewitt. Come the 2016 election season, the RNC should set the number, dates, and locations of debates. They should be fewer in number than the 20-odd we will see before this year is out, so that they are not so unduly agenda-setting. And the party should partner with local party officials, conservative think tanks, alternative media, tea-party groups, and grassroots organizations to determine formatting and questions. ... The alternative is to hope MSNBC and CNN come into the flock between now and 2016. Don't hold your breath."

-National Review



“Sometimes I miss the good old days–what was it, a year ago?–when liberals were in favor of civility. Remember when talking about “targeting” a Congressional district could get you accused of murder? Things were a lot more genteel back in 2011. On Thursday, Charles Koch authorized employees of Koch Industries to reveal the contents of “hundreds of e-mails that the Kochs and employees have received in the last year, containing death threats and obscenity-laced hate messages.”

Rep. Maxine Waters of California, who sees frightful apparitions everywhere she looks, told the California state Democratic convention last week that House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, are “demons” and now she’s afraid to watch television.

Guess who was a key player in pushing through the birth control mandate in ObamaCare? Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards. According to reports, not only did Obama listen to Richards, but took her word over the suggestions his top advisers.



A trial court in Iran has issued its final verdict, ordering a Christian pastor to be put to death for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity. The 34-year-old father of two who was arrested over two years ago on charges of apostasy, may now be executed at any time.

“Arab flies into a rage over couple's kiss at lodge”



Mitt Romney’s favorability among Republicans is on the upswing, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.,0,516566.story

Romney has jumped back into the lead in Michigan’s Republican Primary race. The vote’s on Tuesday.

Romney leads President Obama by 4 percentage points in Gallup’s latest national head-to-head polling. If the election were held Thursday, 50 percent said they would support Romney, versus 46 percent who would support Obama, according to Gallup.

Rep. Ron Paul (R.-Texas.) told Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that social conservatism is "a losing position" for the Republican Party.

With his candidacy surging, Rick Santorum on Saturday questioned the legitimacy of state-run public education systems and suggested that President Obama’s agenda sprang from a “phony theology.” At one appearance here, he said the idea of schools run by the federal government or by state governments was “anachronistic.”

On today’s Up with Chris Hayes, the host unveiled a 2008 talk by Rick Santorum that could possibly be the only thing to make him lose the American religious vote: one in which he condemns “mainline protestantism,” of all things, and claims it is now “gone from the world of Christianity.” Needless to say, these sorts of words coming from a Catholic cannot inspire confidence in the sort of voter that looked askance at John F. Kennedy for being a Papist

Wes Pruden, Washington Times: “There is no religious test for office in America, and God forbid there ever will be. But if the nation survives, there will always be a conscience test. Conscience, that wee small voice that instructs in right and wrong, good and evil, is tutored by moral and ethical codes born of knowledge and fear of God. Every president so far has acknowledged his debt to a power greater than anything in himself, understanding that if he forgot that debt there would be the devil to pay. Rick Santorum may or may not make it to the White House; the likeliest way he’ll see the Oval Office is at the invitation of Mitt Romney. His views on sex and contraception lie far outside the American mainstream. For his own good, he ought to keep his lip buttoned until he is sure of what he wants to say (and then not say some of it). But even a presidential candidate has the right to teach dogma and creed in chapel and Sunday school. If that gets the skeptics, in Sarah Palin’s felicitous phrase, “all wee-weed up,” they’ll just have to get over it…”

To help Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich pull off a needed win in Georgia, former candidate Herman Cain stepped onto Gingrich’s campaign bus Saturday to ride along for all three campaign events of the day and introduce the candidate, whom he endorsed in January, at each stop.

This is worrisome: “Gingrich’s Transcendent Self-Regard”

Goldberg: “If we could just take a little bit from each of them." I've lost track of how many people I have heard say some version of this in the last couple of months. The "each of them" refers to the final four combatants for the Republican nomination…”,0,2730736.column

President Obama trails three of the four Republican candidates in head-to-head match-ups if the election were held today, according to a new Iowa Poll.

Unions say they are gearing up to spend more than $400 million to help re-elect President Barack Obama and lift Democrats this election year in a fight for labor's survival. Under siege in state legislatures around the country - and fearing the consequences of a Republican in the White House - union leaders say they have little choice as they try to beat back GOP efforts to curb collective bargaining rights or limit their ability to collect dues.



If you were a president who for three years presided over an economy with more than 13 million unemployed, a growth rate gasping around 2%, an historic credit downgrade and underwater home mortgages drifting like icebergs toward the American Titanic, what would you do? You'd do what Barack Obama's done: Reboot. With his recently announced campaign platform—An Economy Built to Last—President Obama has essentially constructed a virtual economy. Instead of the economy we all live in, he's making one up and inviting us to pretend we are living in it. Welcome to the Sim City Economy.

“I have frequently discussed in this column the concept of Calculated Deception. That is President Obama's practice of taking advantage of what he calculates average people don't know, and what the Democratic Party-controlled media won't tell them, to mislead them into thinking and believing what will most benefit him politically. That practice is now spreading across the entire Democrat party. We are seeing this play out now in particularly ugly fashion in regard to the fabricated issue of contraception. President Obama, the Democrats, and their party-controlled press are play-acting as if the Republicans are campaigning to ban contraception. That is their interpretation of Republican opposition to President Obama's mandate forcing Catholic institutions to provide for their employees free contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization.”

The House Judiciary Committee recently passed a bill that would ban selective abortions based on race or gender by a 20-13 vote. The biggest hurdle to passage was the bill's name. Democrats proposed calling the bill “The Ronald Reagan Impose Your Beliefs on a Woman's Womb Act” and “The Tea Party Determines What Rights a Woman Has Act.”

“In the most recent round of National Assessment of Educational Progress tests, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the winners were indeed indisputable. Catholic schools thrashed public schools. It wasn't close. "In 2011," says the Department of Education in a report on the NAEP tests, "the average reading score for eighth-graders attending public schools was 19 points lower than the overall score for students attending private schools,and 20 points lower than for students attending Catholic schools specifically." If the Catholic school in your community beat the public school in basketball by 20 points, partisans of both teams would deem it a rout. If the Catholic school beat the public school by similar margins year after year, people would wonder what was wrong with the public-school basketball program. Were the coaches incompetent? Did they not care about instilling excellence in their teams?.....So, what is the matter with public schools? Why can't they compete with Catholic schools in basic academic disciplines like reading and math? One thing is certain: It isn't a lack of money……”

In an apparent fit of rage against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, liberal New York Times columnist Charles Blow took to Twitter to tell him to "stick that in your magic underwear" for supporting the idea that society ought to concern itself with the large numbers of children born outside of wedlock.

A shameful story: “The Struma’s story is seminal in understanding why the Holocaust was possible and why a second Holocaust cannot be ruled out. More than anything, the Struma powerfully illustrates what happens when Jews rely on others’ goodwill.”

News item: “Harvard University plans to host conference next week based on a "one state solution" calling for dismantling the state of Israel.”



Chart: Nearly Half of All Americans Don’t Pay Income Taxes

Chart: The Scariest Housing Market Ever

Chart: America’s Per Capita Government Debt Worse Than Greece

Didn't get the memo? Hillary Clinton dons lime green shirt for G20 'family photo' while everyone else wears white

Moose checks into Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage as captured by the hospital’s security camera.

That was 4 years ago, but it happened again this week:



"Excessive taxation ... will carry reason and reflection to every man's door, and particularly in the hour of election."

-Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, February 18, 2012

op ed review 2/18


Gallup released new information on Monday showing that the unemployment rate has managed to creep back up to 9.0 percent.

After three years with unemployment topping 8 percent, the U.S. has seen the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression, the Congressional Budget Office noted in a report issued today.

The federal debt has increased by $4.47 trillion since President Barack Obama released his first federal budget on Feb. 26, 2009. That first budget was entitled, “A New Era of Responsibility.”

Deficit spending during Obama’s four years in the White House (based on his own figures) will be an estimated $5.170 trillion — or $5,170,000,000,000.00. To help put that colossal sum of money into perspective, this works out to just over $17,000 per person — or about $70,000 for a family of four.

President Obama now is admitting he was in way over his head when he was elected in 2008. Instead of learning from President Bush’s failed stimulus of $150 billion in 2008, President Obama went with a stimulus 5 times as large. It failed in 2009 and in 2010. In fact, the economy was adding jobs just as this stimulus kicked in and slowed the growth.

Obama: “(At least) I've Made It Easier To Navigate Government Websites”

Obama style border protection: “President Obama's immigration enforcement officials prevented 13,000 dangerous hair dryers from entering the country (illegally), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) trumpeted today.”

President Obama has ordered the Pentagon to consider cutting U.S. strategic nuclear forces to as low as 300 deployed warheads—below the number believed to be in China’s arsenal and far fewer than current Russian strategic warhead stocks.

“Obama touts South Carolina Boeing plant that his NLRB sued”

54% of Catholics voted for President Obama in 2008. Now, things are different. The Rasmussen Poll found his approval among Catholics plummeted to 40% approval, 59% disapproval. “Republican hopeful Mitt Romney currently leads the president among Catholic voters by a 52% to 35% margin,”

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday morning that the government should require self-insured religious institutions, such as the Catholic church in Washington, D.C., to directly pay for contraception and abortifacients.

A KING 5/SurveyUSA poll of the Washington State Governor’s race shows Republican Rob McKenna in a 10-point lead over Democratic congressman Jay Inslee, a lead that includes a healthy advantage in the central Puget Sound.

Opponents seeking to overturn Washington’s newly signed same-sex marriage legislation may not have the governor or the Legislature on their side, but they do have history. It’s a matter of record that voters always have rejected gay marriage whenever the issue has appeared on state ballots. Days after Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, signed a bill making Washington the seventh state to recognize same-sex marriage, opponents this week launched campaigns for two proposed ballot measures aimed at overturning the law. The first measure is a referendum to repeal the gay-marriage law. The other is an initiative that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

More than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage. “This is the liberals' ultimate dream: A nation of Omamas waiting for Obama to take care of them and their litters.” One group still largely resists the trend: college graduates, who overwhelmingly marry before having children.

Massachusetts hospitals are poised to receive a $3.5 billion windfall in federal funding over the next 10 years thanks to a little-known provision Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) inserted into the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, also known as “Obamacare.” The increased funding—$367 million a year in the form of Medicare reimbursement payments, according to the Federal Register—would not only come at the expense of hospitals in the 49 other states, it would also directly benefit an organization that has given generously to Kerry’s campaign.

How politics works: “$3.9B in Federal funds flow to clean-energy firms with Obama administration ties”

Filmmaker Michael Moore glorified the United Kingdom’s National Health Service in his 2007 documentary ”Sicko,” making a cult film argument that socialized medicine works. But Prime Minister David Cameron, the Tory MP who heads a coalition government in England, is apparently not a Moore fan: He is working to partially privatize the NHS, beginning a massive outsourcing of medical services to private health care providers throughout the U.K.

The Virginia House of Delegates approved legislation that would define life as beginning at conception.

More than 24 million voter-registration records in the United States— about one in eight — are inaccurate, out-of-date or duplicates. Nearly 2.8 million people are registered in two or more states, and perhaps 1.8 million registered voters are dead.



Ann Coulter 2/15

One theory for why Barack Obama pushed the contraception mandate right now is that it helps Rick Santorum. Others theorize it's because Obama is an anti-religious bigot with a left-wing agenda. Reasonable minds can disagree on this.

But it may end up helping Mitt Romney by reminding people that the "individual mandate" is the least of the problems with ObamaCare. (The "individual mandate" is simply the legal argument for why ObamaCare is unconstitutional in a country that has accepted Social Security and Medicare as constitutional.)

This isn't a Catholic issue or even a religious issue. Conservatives are falling into the Democrats' trap by denouncing it as such. It's a freedom issue. (Or, as Democrats call it, "the F-word.")

If liberals like it, it's subsidized; if they don't, it's prohibited. And now they can impose their left-wing authoritarianism on the entire country by calling their mandates and prohibitions "insurance."

Liberal fundamentalists say: I don't see why anyone needs to hunt; I don't know why anyone needs to eat meat; I don't see why anyone needs to bathe every day; I don't know why anyone minds looking at urine in a low-flow toilet; I don't know why anyone needs an incandescent light bulb ...

….I don't know why anyone needs an abortion, free contraception……non-farming farmers or a $1 million pension for Anthony Weiner.
But I'm forced to subsidize all of that. And now we're all going to be forced to subsidize the entire wish list of the Berkeley City Council, recast as "health insurance."

Insurance is not supposed to be for normal expenses in the ordinary course of events, such as multivitamins, house painting or oil changes. Insurance is for unexpected catastrophes: fires, accidents, cancer.
The basic idea is to spread the risk of unforeseen disasters. Filling up your gas tank, for example, is not an unforeseen disaster (though it's getting to be under Obama).

So why is birth control covered by insurance? Birth control pills aren't that expensive -- generics are about $20 a month -- nor is the need for them a bolt out of the blue. Why not have health insurance cover manicures, back massages, carrot cake and nannies?

Liberals huffily ask why it's so important to the Catholic Church not to pay for insurance plans that cover birth control, but the better question is: Why is it so important to liberals to force them to?
The answer is: They want the government giving official sanction to birth control and, later, abortion. That comes next. They want it for same reason gays want gay marriage -- it's purely symbolic.

Following Betty Friedan, gender feminists believe the pill is so central to what we are as a nation that it must be paid for by all, i.e. by insurance. The argument for fully subsidized abortions will be: We don't vote on a basic human right!
Whether or not it's a "right," it's not an area for "insurance." Abortion is an elective procedure. No families are going bankrupt because they had to pay for an abortion -- which costs about as much as a haircut for John Edwards or Bill Clinton. Can't we limit the health insurance we are all required by federal law to purchase to financially ruinous, actual medical problems?

No, that is not in the cards. Just as liberals have turned the Constitution into a vehicle for achieving all the left-wing policies they could never get Americans to vote for, now they are going to use "insurance" for the same purpose. Their new method doesn't even require them to get votes from five justices on the Supreme Court.
The secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, will do it all on her own.

Anything close to the beating heart of feminism is about to become a mandatory part of insurance coverage: fertility treatments, chemical sensitivities, a year's leave of absence for fathers after the birth of a child, attention deficit disorder, massages, aromatherapy, watching MSNBC, sex change operations, gender reassignment surgery, gender re-reassignment surgery.

And then, once every single insurance plan in the country is required by federal law to cover one million liberal causes having nothing to do with medical problems, Democrats will be happy to let us purchase health insurance across state lines. Sure, buy your insurance from Utah or Kentucky. Every insurance plan in the country, by federal law, will be identical.

The contraception diktat is only the beginning of the government controlling your life under ObamaCare. There are approximately 100,000 more decisions the HHS Secretary will have to make under ObamaCare that you will not be able to appeal… As we have seen, Sebelius is not a go-with-the-flow kind of secretary. She is a doctrinaire feminist who thinks it's important to make a statement by ordering something that has only a tangential connection to health care but will have the effect of costing everyone more money.
Are you getting why this isn't a Catholic issue? So what if some "compromise" is reached that makes the Catholic bishops happy? They supported ObamaCare to begin with! They ought to be forced to live with the consequences of the totalitarian regime they helped foist on the rest of us.

Maybe they'll get a waiver from the contraception mandate on religious grounds -- just like unions and Obama-friendly corporations got waivers on the grounds that they realized ObamaCare would suck and they didn't want to be a part of it.
What about the rest of us? You know, the ones who didn't support ObamaCare? We still have to live under the thumb of a nutcase gender-feminist with unlimited authority to ban whatever she doesn't like, subsidize whatever she does like and call it "insurance."

Edited from a longer column, read it here:



"[I]t would be a mockery of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment if, for example, the Catholic Church were required by law to freely provide such 'health care services' ... as contraception, sterilization and pharmacological abortion -- to which Catholicism is doctrinally opposed as a grave contravention of its teachings about the sanctity of life. Ah. But there would be no such Free Exercise violation if the institutions so mandated are deemed, by regulatory fiat, not religious. And thus, the word came forth from [Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius decreeing the exact criteria required.... Criterion 1: A 'religious institution' must have 'the inculcation of religious values as its purpose.' But that's not the purpose of Catholic charities; it's to give succor to the poor. That's not the purpose of Catholic hospitals; it's to give succor to the sick. Therefore, they don't qualify as 'religious' -- and therefore can be required, among other things, to provide free morning-after abortifacients. Criterion 2: Any exempt institution must be one that 'primarily employs' and 'primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets.' Catholic soup kitchens do not demand religious IDs from either the hungry they feed or the custodians they employ. Catholic charities and hospitals -- even Catholic schools -- do not turn away Hindu or Jew. Their vocation is universal, precisely the kind of universal love-thy-neighbor vocation that is the very definition of religiosity as celebrated by the Gospel of Obama. ... The contradiction is glaring, the hypocrisy breathtaking. But that's not why Obama offered a hasty compromise on Friday. It's because the firestorm of protest was becoming a threat to his re-election. Sure, health care, good works and religion are important. But re-election is divine."

-Charles Krauthammer



Now Al Gore wants to re-invent "unsustainable" capitalism.



Protesters at the “Occupy CPAC” event, organized by the AFL-CIO and Occupy DC to target the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, were unaware of what they were protesting against Friday afternoon. The Daily Caller spoke to several protesters outside of the conference venue and many said they had no idea what the Conservative Political Action Conference was, or what they were supposed to be opposing.

The were paid by the unions $60/day to protest.

“Atheists To Hold Massive Rally On National Mall Next Month”

The Angry Left is mobilizing to tilt the GOP nominating process in Rick Santorum's favor. Why? I'll let them explain…

During the opening monologue on Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher, host Maher derided Rick Santorum as "the little creep that could" because of the GOP presidential candidate's recent electoral victories. He also mocked the concern conservatives have about abortion by cracking that Mitt Romney had come to CPAC with a "fetus in a jar" to try to outdo Santorum with the audience.



An Iraqi woman in Arizona has been accused of beating her teenage daughter and padlocking her to a bed after she was seen speaking to a young man. She told police she wanted to punish the girl for violating her 'culture'.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to bring down Northwest flight 253 over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 with an underwear bomb, said he was "proud to kill in the name of Allah" before he was sentenced to multiple life sentences in a Detroit courtroom.



Mitt Romney won two Republican presidential straw polls, victories he hopes will put his campaign back on track and help him regain momentum after losing three nominating contests last week. The Republican party of Maine declared Romney the winner of a presidential survey of voters attending the state’s local caucuses. And Romney also came out on top in a poll of activists attending the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

Michigan Gov. Snyder has endorsed Mitt Romney for president.

But Rick Santorum has overtaken Mitt Romney in the race for the GOP primary vote in Michigan, a state long considered a lock for Romney that has become a make-or-break test for his campaign.

Santorum: "I am not a libertarian, and I fight very strongly against libertarian influence within the Republican Party and the conservative movement."

“There seems to be an orchestrated effort emerging to undermine Sen. Marco Rubio.

If Sarah Palin had been on the ballot for the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference, there is little doubt she would have won. The former Alaska governor received far-and-away the most spirited and enthusiastic reception at this convention of about 10,000 conservative activists. She drew the audience to its feet more than a dozen times during her keynote address on Saturday. The cheers for Palin were so loud that they drowned out her remarks again and again. Conference organizers had to set up three overflow rooms to accommodate the throngs of supporters eager to hear her words.

Palin called on conservatives to unify behind the eventual Republican presidential nominee to help right a “sinking ship” captained by President Obama. “Don’t let them divide us — we must stand as conservatives with common sense, with a servant’s heart, for the good of our party, but more important for the sake of our country — we must stand united whoever our nominee is,” said Mrs. Palin, who delivered the keynote speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. “We must replace Obama at the ballot box. He is sinking our ship of state. When a ship is going down, the last thing you need is a community organizer just reorganizing the deck chairs.”

Mitt Romney is faltering with white working-class voters crucial to his party’s drive to capture the White House, even as he tries to fend off Rick Santorum, who wields strong blue-collar appeal.

Newt’s faltering campaign is about to get another shot in the arm from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.$10-million-from-casino-backer-sources/?tag=contentMain;contentBody



Michael Novak: “The most evil thing about the Obama administration’s recent violation of the separation of church and state is its deceptiveness. With his order requiring inclusion of contraception and abortifacient drugs in insurance coverage, the president is smuggling the hidden premises of NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and other supporters of abortion into U.S. law, and doing so untruthfully. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) instruction attacking religious institutions such as hospitals, universities, and programs for the poor rests on four hidden premises………(2) The second deception is that sterilization, contraception, abortifacients — and by logical extension, at the proper hour, abortion — are not matters of private choice, but matters of women’s health. This definition is then expanded into an enforceable right to women’s health. This supposed right is then expanded into a duty upon others to pay for the private choices and values systems of some women. In other words, this is naked coercion in its most deceptive form, and an illicit and twisted use of rights talk.

“The Real Contraception Question”

It seems that Obama, in a classic act of hubris, has created the means of his own destruction…..he has struck what was surely intended to be a lethal blow against the oldest organization on earth -- an organization with something on the order of a billion members, with a cadre of hundreds of thousands of highly trained and dedicated personnel, and a history of overcoming political threats that make Obama look like a kindergartner. I'm referring, of course, to the Catholic Church.

When Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), spoke at CPAC on February 10th, he predicted that if Barack Obama wins a second term it will usher in an all-out attack on the Second Amendment. In so many words, he said the same people who brought us Fast and Furious, “a criminal enterprise” for which there has yet to be prosecutions, will use four more years to gut constitutional protections on the right to keep and bear arms. And anyone who wonders what this assault on the Second Amendment would look like need look no further than Illinois, where a judge that President Obama appointed has just ruled that we have the right to keep arms, but not to bear them.

Lloyd Marcus: “Our 40th president's birthday earlier this month caused me to reflect upon how Ronald Reagan impacted my life. In 1981, I was a young singer/songwriter, clueless about politics, when Ronald Reagan won the presidency. An event planner asked me to perform at an inaugural ball. Reporters asked, "Why are you here and why do you like Reagan?" I could not help noticing the baffled looks on their faces upon hearing my reply. "I like Reagan because every time I hear this man speak, I feel good about my country and myself."

I later learned that as a black person, I was supposed to hate Reagan. Democrats said Reagan's talk about welfare reform was "code" for his racism and hatred of blacks. As I said, I was young and clueless regarding politics, codes, and such. And yet, in my gut, I knew that Reagan was a good man.”

AMERICANS love to laugh at ridiculous regulations. A Florida law requires vending-machine labels to urge the public to file a report if the label is not there. The Federal Railroad Administration insists that all trains must be painted with an “F” at the front, so you can tell which end is which. Bureaucratic busybodies in Bethesda, Maryland, have shut down children’s lemonade stands because the enterprising young moppets did not have trading licenses. The list goes hilariously on. But red tape in America is no laughing matter. The problem is not the rules that are self-evidently absurd. It is the ones that sound reasonable on their own but impose a huge burden collectively. America is meant to be the home of laissez-faire. Unlike Europeans, whose lives have long been circumscribed by meddling governments and diktats from Brussels, Americans are supposed to be free to choose, for better or for worse. Yet for some time America has been straying from this ideal.



What a comeback! Eleven months after the tsunami ravaged Japan, a series of pictures reveals the incredible progress being made to clear up the devastation

Two performances, 47 years apart.



"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State."

-Thomas Jefferson

"I ... place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared. ... Taxation follows that, and in its turn wretchedness and oppression. ... We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude."

-Thomas Jefferson