Sunday, June 30, 2013

op ed review 6/30


THIS WEEK’S NEWS
A mostly bad week. The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and issued a separate ruling that paves the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California. 

“The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.. DOMA was passed by a bipartisan Congress and signed by Democrat President Bill Clinton in order to protect states from having to recognize the decisions made by other states on marriage. Justice Anthony Kennedy, however, wrote, "DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment."

Hypocrites:  Democrats who backed DOMA now laud its end

Dissenting from the opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia – as expected – holds nothing back.  In a ripping dissent, Scalia says that Justice Anthony Kennedy and his colleagues in the majority have resorted to calling opponents of gay marriage "enemies of the human race."   It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race. It takes real cheek for today's majority to assure us, as it is going out the door, that a constitutional requirement to give formal recognition to same-sex marriage is not at issue here—when what has preceded that assurance is a lecture on how superior the majority's moral judgment in favor of same-sex marriage is to the Congress's hateful moral judgment against it. I promise you this: The only thing that will "confine" the Court's holding is its sense of what it can get away with.

Democrats strut; social engineering pays off:  “Over the last week, four. aspirations of the modern Democratic Party converged…. in every instance, top Democrats – including a sitting president – rallied around a stance that would until recently have been considered politically perilous. A decade ago, it would have been unthinkable for a national party to stake its future on solidly liberal positions on all four of those issues. Even Obama himself didn’t run on such a platform in 2008.

Gay rights lobbyists plan to use their victory at the Supreme Court to push legislation that would ensure married same-sex couples are eligible for federal benefits in all 50 states.
Mickey Mouse just officially added the gay agenda to his programming. In early 2014, Disney Channel will be all set to air its first openly gay couple in its family-oriented TV show “Good Luck Charlie.” According to TV Guide, an episode of the family show will air a plot in which one of the four children has a playdate with a kid who has “two moms.

“Brightening up my Monday morning is an item carried at CNN.com last Friday whose headline basically tells loyal, faithful spouses that they´re nature-defying freaks who in the vast majority of cases are ignorantly honoring an institution which doesn´t make any sense. What else are we supposed to conclude from a column entitled "Face it: Monogamy is unnatural"?

The Secular Coalition of America reported a “positive step” in opening lines of communication between the White House and the “nontheistic community”

In a decision that marks the end of a major civil rights-era reform, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the federal government can no longer force states and jurisdictions with a long-past history of voting discrimination to have to get federal approval for all of their voting laws. The 5-4 ruling rewrites a key tool of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which for five decades has given the federal government unprecedented say in everything from how some states draw their congressional maps to where they place polling locations…..beneath the legal ruling is a broader social significance, with the justices saying that past discrimination cannot be perpetually held against a state. “Tuesday’s court decision stands in some ways as a rebuke of Congress.”
Attention is shifting to the House and its conservative majority after the Senate passed a landmark immigration bill.
“Obama Calls Rubio to Congratulate Him on senate passage of immigration reform bill.

26% of Obama Supporters View Tea Party as Nation’s Top Terror Threat

The IRS‘ own auditor told Congress this week that it stands by its determination that conservative groups were uniquely singled out for special scrutiny by the tax agency, rebutting Democrats’ contention that liberal groups also were targeted…..IRS targeted 292 Tea Party groups, just 6 progressive groups
Twelve different groups within the IRS targeted conservative organizations applying for tax-exempt nonprofit status. The revelation disproves the suggestion by a top congressional Democrat that only one IRS group was responsible for scrutinizing tea party and conservative applications.

The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to “unauthorized” alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Obama unveils climate change plan that goes around Congress
Sheikh who OK’d killing Americans in Iraq gets White House reception.

Illegal immigrants who commit crimes face lesser punishment than U.S. citizens

ABC News displays its own kind of bigotry by setting up their hidden cameras at a famous steakhouse in Amarillo, Texas, to hunt for homophobes. Three child actors dressed as Boy Scouts sit at a community table. One comes out to his friends as gay, and ABC News is there to capture the Southern-fried bigotry. Except, all they find is loving Christianity: "What Would You Do?" is a regular ABC News feature and probably the most appalling kind of gotcha journalism allowed to broadcast these days. The segments are almost always politically correct (race, homophobia, Muslims, bullying, smoking )…..
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
20 Signs America is in Decline
John Hawkins  6/30

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” -- Ronald Reagan

Those who attack American culture and tradition should recall that historically, freedom and prosperity are the aberrations, not servitude and poverty. Our nation's success is not a happy accident or part of a natural, unstoppable progression that can't be changed. Nothing could be more foolish than to abandon the traditions, religion, work ethic, family structure, moral code and culture that made this country wealthy and free while expecting to continue to reap the rewards of practices we now scorn as too demanding and judgmental. What we sow as a nation, we should expect to reap and the crop these days isn't looking very good.

1) The CBO estimates that the interest payments on our debt alone will take up 36% of the budget in 2030, 58 percent in 2040 and 85 percent in 2050.
2) Fears that America would go bankrupt in the next few years used to be a fringe belief. Now, Doomsday Preppers is a TV show, gold, guns and survival seeds are being widely advertised and vast numbers of Americans are making decisions about purchases, investments, and saving money that take into account the possibility that the country could bankrupt within the next decade or two.
3) "Half of all children born to women under 30 in America now are illegitimate. Three in 10 white children are born out of wedlock, as are 53 percent of Hispanic babies and 73 percent of black babies." -- Pat Buchanan
4) "The IMF calculates that to maintain the present spending trend the United States will have to nearly double (88 percent increase) all federal taxes to maintain theoretical solvency." -- Kevin Williamson
5) In 1963, a movie that wanted to get the approval of the Production Code of the Motion Picture Association of America "could not include any profanity stronger than hell or damn," couldn't take the Lord's name in vain, and "couldn’t present sex outside of marriage as attractive or justified." Today, even many video games targeted at teenagers don't meet those standards.
6) "Fewer Americans are at work today than in April 2000, even though the population since then has grown by 31 million." -- Mortimer Zuckerman
7) The U.S. put a man on the moon in 1969; yet we no longer even have a manned space program.
8) Like the Roman Empire in the decades before her collapse, America is unable to control its borders or properly assimilate vast numbers of people entering our country.
9) In 2005, roughly 10% of our Gross Domestic Product was spent on compliance with regulations created by the federal government.
10) America lost its AAA credit rating that it has held since 1917 and no one is even discussing how we could get it back.
11) Economic growth for the middle class has essentially been flat since the 1970s.
12) Forty seven percent of Americans don't pay income tax. That means not only are the poor not paying their own way, a significant number of Americans in the middle class aren't being asked to pay in taxes what they receive in government services.
13) There is a 100 trillion -- with a "T" -- gap between what our government is currently promising to pay to retiring senior citizens and the money it's on track to have. Just to give you a little perspective, our current national debt is approaching 17 trillion dollars.
14) Only about 30% of Americans think the country is on the right track.
15) Only about 15% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. The British undoubtedly would have had better poll numbers than that before our ancestors revolted against them.
16) "In the fifties, one in twenty members of the workforce needed government permission in order to do his job. Today it’s one in three."
17) "In 1950, 78% of households were occupied by married couples. Today, that number has slipped all the way down to 48%."
18) "Consider this: the U.S. economy has created 2.6 million jobs since June 2009. In the same period, 3.1 million workers have signed up for disability benefits. Back in 1992 there was one person on disability benefits for every 36 people in employment. Now the ratio is 1 to 16." -- Niall Ferguson
19) Gun sales hit record highs in 2012. That's partially because of fears of gun control, but it's also because of a growing fear that a breakdown in societal order is coming down the road.
20) "John Kichen of the U.S. Treasury and Menzie Chinn of the University of Wisconsin published a study in 2010 entitled: Financing U.S. Debt: Is There Enough Money in the World — and At What Cost? The fact that sane men are even asking this question ought to be deeply disturbing. As to the answer, foreign official holdings of U.S. Treasury securities have usually been less than 5 percent of the rest of the world’s GDP. By 2009, they were up to 7 percent. By 2020, Kitchen and Chinn project them to rise to 19 percent of the rest of the world’s GDP, which they say is….do-able. Whether the rest of the world will want to do it is another matter. A future that presumes the rest of the planet will sink a fifth of its GDP into U.S. Treasuries is no future at all." -- Mark Steyn


Another good read:  “Many people choose to become Democrats when they are young because of a humane belief that government policies in America are stingy in providing resources to the poor. William Voegeli fingered the attitude in his book, Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State: “no matter how large the welfare state, liberal politicians and writers have accused it of being shamefully small” and “contemptibly austere.” Barbara Ehrenreich expressed the same attitude in her book, Nickled and Dimed: “guilt doesn’t go anywhere near far enough; the appropriate emotion is shame” regarding the stingy miserliness of America’s welfare state. Once such a decision is made, habits are formed, and many continue to vote reflexively Democrat, regardless of facts on the ground. As people start busy careers, and take on family responsibilities, basic assumptions are never questioned, the effects of policies are never considered, identification with “their team” becomes hardened, and it is easy to burrow into like-minded media cocoons, where contrary facts and probing questions are never aired, or printed. But the term “welfare state” does not begin to encompass the totality of America’s commitment of resources to aid the poor. It is more like a vast empire bigger than the entire budgets of almost every other country in the world. America’s welfare empire encompasses close to 200 or more federal/state programs, including 23 low income health programs, 27 low income housing programs, 30 employment and training programs, 34 social services programs, at least 13 food and nutrition programs, and 24 low income child care programs, among others. Federal and state governments spend a trillion dollars a year just on these means tested welfare programs, which does not include Social and Medicare. That is more than we spend on national defense. It adds up to roughly $17,000 per person in poverty, over $50,000 for a poor family of three. The Census Bureau estimates that our current welfare spending totals four times what would be necessary just to give all of the poor the cash to bring them up to the poverty line, eliminating all poverty in America.
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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
"It is remarkable that when the scientific consensus on global warming is at its weakest state in years, President Barack Obama has decided to make the issue a new focus of his troubled presidency -- and, indeed, that he intends to use the issue as the launching pad for a radical extension of federal power even more significant than his health-care takeover. ... [T]he president announced that, on behalf of 'all of humankind,' he is in effect directing the EPA to take over the American economy. New power plants will be subject to emissions controls, and existing plants will have to be retrofitted to comply with new standards. New restrictions on heavy trucks will affect the movement of freight and goods across the country. New subsidies will be handed down for politically connected energy firms, and federal lands will be set aside for their use. New federal impositions will affect the construction of factories, commercial buildings, and private homes. The president says that this is all enabled by the 'overwhelming judgment of science.' ... Every economic activity involving energy or transportation -- which is to say, every economic activity -- will be affected by the president's global-warming program.”
            -National Review

“Keep in mind that last month the Administration quietly raised the 'social cost' of carbon by 60% in a regulatory filing related to microwave ovens. That means the EPA can jack up costs by 59.99% and still justify them by claiming the higher benefits. ... The Americans who will be harmed will have to console themselves with 99 weeks of jobless benefits, food stamps and ObamaCare."
          -The Wall Street Journal

“Anyone know if President Obama intends to perform background checks on Syrina rebels before providing them with weapons?”
         -Sen Ted Cruz
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GLOBALONEY
“Obama has failed to fix the economy or win the war in Afghanistan, but give him an imaginary problem and he’s on it like Michelle on a glazed poundcake. Even major liberal media outlets are admitting that the whole Global Warming thing isn’t panning out. So that’s the perfect time for His Majesty Barack I, Protector of the Planet from the Carbon Devil, to announce that he will be bypassing Congress and going all Imperial Presidency on a problem that even its enthusiastic backers are backing away from.”

A White House climate adviser and director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, tells the New York Times "a war on coal is exactly what's needed”
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CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY
“Democrats get this, some Republicans don’t: You have to satisfy your base. In 2012 Obama built out from his base, satisfying them enough on ObamaCare and then using wedge issues to build out from the base and attract low-information voters. He used the Zimmerman/Martin case to shore up support among black voters, he used the “war on women” and “free” contraception to shore up younger women’s votes, and he used Obama phones and welfare to draw out new voters who had not been engaged before. It wasn’t any single strategy but the combination of all of them that helped him eek out the win. Republicans haven’t learned anything from 2012. Passing the Rubio-Schumer bill is an excellent way for Republicans to throw the 2014 election and grant Barack Obama unchecked power during his last two years in office. The GOP base worked hard to win elections for people like Marco Rubio. When he ran for Senate in 2010, Rubio promised Republicans that he was against amnesty, for border security first. That’s turned out to have been a lie. He supports legalization first, and border security eventually. We may as well have elected Charlie Crist….”
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ARTICLES
Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, the day he died in the terrorist attack, because Clinton ordered him there. Hicks said Stephens wanted to have the Benghazi complex upgraded to a permanent constituent post so Clinton could make this announcement in her planned visit to Libya before the end of 2012.
“I’ve been trying to think of the right metaphor for the giant Corker-Hoeven amendment, the one that is reportedly giving the Gang of 8′s immigration bill enough votes to pass the Senate. Sure, it’s a fig leaf–but a fig leaf is usually something insignificant-yet-real. This is something grandiose that’s a fraud. The best I can come up with is this: A man comes into your restaurant. You recognize him–he’s a guy who ate a $100 meal last year and said he’d pay later, but he stiffed you. Now he’s back and wants another meal on credit. He senses you are wary and makes a new offer. “This time I’ll pay you … $2 million! How can you refuse? It’s 2 million dollars!” You get the idea.  Just try and collect.”

The architects of health reform say the law will make insurance more affordable and widely available. But in 2014, benefits experts say, the cheapest option for 20-somethings will be to pay the penalty for not buying health insurance, rather than paying for any health insurance at all—that is, provided they don’t get sick. And as more young people do the math, more seem to be deciding the Affordable Care Act isn’t such a good deal for them.
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WISE WORDS
"Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness."
                   -George Washington
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LATE NITE
Leno:  Yesterday, the Supreme Court opened the door for same-sex marriage to resume in California. Apparently, the judges were really swayed by that Liberace movie…… The Girl Scouts announced that their pension plan has a $347 million deficit. The Girl Scouts are $347 million in debt so in addition to teaching girls about camping it also is preparing them for careers in government…… In an interview, Pat Buchanan predicted that the inflow of Hispanics from the immigration bill will break the U.S. into two countries with different cultures and different languages. Of course, as a resident of Los Angeles, I can't imagine what that would be like.


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