Another way to say what Lehigh University Professor, Dr. Monica Miller said is, "You're free to believe what you want as long as you don't share or live-out your beliefs in any way."
This is one of the Left's favorite mantras.
Another way to say what Lehigh University Professor, Dr. Monica Miller said is, "You're free to believe what you want as long as you don't share or live-out your beliefs in any way."
This is one of the Left's favorite mantras.
On this week's Townhall Weekend Journal:
Michael Medved spoke with Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Tom Cotton with Hugh Hewitt on Obama's national security. Historian and all-around ridiculously smart guy Sam Tanenhaus with Hewitt on the production and distribution of conservative ideas. Medved on Obama's presidential ranking among presidents since WWII. Dennis Prager on Burger King's pro-homosexual Whopper wrapper. Mike Gallagher talks with Ann Coulter about her recent controversial World Cup soccer columns. Prager says that attempts to remove "Redskins" from the NFL team is a leftist issue, not an American Indian one.
With the allegations of voter fraud stacking up in the aftermath of the Mississippi runoff, where does the McDaniel campaign go from here? Hypothetically, let’s say these allegations are true: It’s reprehensible; it’s outrageous; and legal action should be taken promptly. That being said, McDaniel could have a lot of evidence to present in court, but it seems that time is running our for Sen. Thad Cochran’s Tea Party challenger, who apparently is also lacking the funds for a legal fight (via Associated Press):
A tight timeline and potential cash crunch could make it impossible for tea party-backed Chris McDaniel to overturn his Republican primary loss to six-term Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran.
McDaniel has called the outcome a sham and excoriated Cochran on television and talk radio for seeking votes from "liberal Democrats." While McDaniel stops short of mentioning race, Mississippi is a state where Democrat is often synonymous with black. Cochran says there's nothing wrong with seeking support from Democrats and independents — it's something he's done for decades.
McDaniel faces daunting obstacles. In addition to the difficulty of proving widespread illegal voting, state law and state history also may work against him.
When McDaniel goes to court to seek a new election, he will have to show evidence to substantiate his claims of widespread illegal voting, which he has not done so far, or persuade a judge that the election was so sloppily conducted that a new runoff should be ordered.
Money is a problem, too. Even after the Senate Conservatives Fund wired McDaniel $70,000 for his challenge, he begged for money. "We don't currently have the resources to mount the legal challenge that this case deserves," McDaniel wrote Wednesday in the latest of several emails soliciting donations.
State law and state history also make a successful challenge by McDaniel a long shot at best.
Mississippi law requires McDaniel to file his first election challenge with the state Republican executive committee. His campaign attorney, Mitch Tyner, said that is likely to happen next week. Ten days later, McDaniel could file a lawsuit in any county where he believes problems occurred. The state Supreme Court would appoint a special judge.
The general-election sample ballot must be given to local election officials by Sept. 10, which is 55 days before the Nov. 4 general election. That squeezes the time for a lawsuit and a new primary runoff.
Nevertheless, his campaign seems to be ready to fight to the bitter end. Noel Fritsch, a spokesman for the McDaniel campaign told Townhall.com:
Given the growing number of serious allegations of criminal misconduct surrounding the primary runoff in Mississippi, conservatives here and from around the United States are coalescing around the effort to ensure the Republican Party operates primaries with integrity. We're honored to have financial support from many of those supporters. We are currently endeavoring to gain access to election records in all 82 counties, most of which have worked with us very well, but unfortunately some counties, like Jackson County and Circuit Clerk Joe Martin, are obstructing access to election records. Once we've gained access to records in all the counties, we will be able to make a decision about taking a challenge with the State Executive Committee. It's interesting to note that the Cochran campaign claims there are a small number of irregularities in counties where access to the records has not even been granted."
So, it seems like the battle for Mississippi isn’t quite over yet – at least, not for McDaniel supporters. Recently, Texas Senator Ted Cruz called for an investigation into the alleged voter discrepancies in Mississippi and Missouri GOP Chairman, Ed Martin, wants the RNC to conduct a review of the racially-charged ads that aired as well. Let's see how this plays out.
There has been no shortage of insane anti-hunting idiocy lately, but things just got a lot worse. Director Steven Spielberg is being accused of shooting a Triceratops. Why?
It all started when someone name Jay Branscomb posted this photo on Facebook as a joke. The caption reads, "Disgraceful photo of recreational hunting happily posing next to a Triceratops he just slaughtered. Please share so the world can name and shame this despicable man."
But people took it seriously and actually believe Spielberg shot and killed the dinosaur. Here are some examples.
Anti-hunting derangement syndrome strikes again. Whoever you are Jay Branscomb, I salute you.
Editor's note: In the July issue of Townhall Magazine, where this column originally appeared, AEI's Alex J. Pollock explains why now is definitely not the time for the Fed or politicians to promote further rapid house price inflation.
Would it be possible to have a new housing bubble? Yes, of course. How long does it take to forget the lessons of the last crisis? By the historical record, about 10 years, and it is already eight years since the peak of the great U.S. housing bubble of 1999-2006, and five years since the end of the financial crisis of 2007-2009. As former-Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker wittily observed, “About every 10 years, we have the biggest crisis in 50 years.”
Real estate is often at the center of financial crises, both here and in other countries, because it has the most leverage, that is, the most debt relative to value, of any economic sector. This makes it vulnerable to cyclical downturns in which prices go down when people thought they would go up. The U.S. had big real estate busts in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and of course, the 2000s. Next?
Real estate is also a huge sector, so its troubles have big financial consequences. Housing in particular is politically potent and attracts government efforts to subsidize and expand debt. Of the $9 trillion in mortgage loans in this country, the 79.9 percent government-owned and heavily subsidized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac represent $5 trillion.
When the government pushes credit at housing, it makes house prices go up. This leads to a push for yet more credit. Washington discussions are now turning to lowering mortgage loan standards to encourage more loans, especially to riskier borrowers. The Senate Banking Committee has approved a bill to have the government explicitly guarantee mortgages. The new head of the regulatory agency for Fannie and Freddie appears to be more interested in being a promoter of housing debt than a guardian of financial soundness.
All the principal central banks of the world, including the Federal Reserve, have committed themselves to perpetual inflation. They have also manipulated interest rates to extremely low levels. Central banks now routinely make what would historically have been shocking statements that inflation is too low. But they have succeeded in generating a lot of one kind of inflation: asset price inflation. This is certainly true in bonds, in stocks, in collectibles, and in houses.
Looking around the world a bit, we find this: “The biggest domestic risk is the nation’s housing market, where prices are rising fast and buyers are taking on more debt.” That was the view recently expressed by the governor of the Bank of England in discussing what one astute financial commentator called “the runaway U.K. housing market.” This is after England had a housing bubble and bust in the last decade, just like we did. The Bundesbank is worried about inflated house prices in Germany. Brazil is said to have a housing bubble. And China is already experiencing the opening stages of the painful deflation of its housing bubble. When central banks create a lot of money, it goes somewhere—often enough to house prices.
What about the U.S.? House prices on average have been rising rapidly since the 2012 bottom. The fourth quarter 2013 Case-Shiller 20-major city house price index was up 13 percent for the year. The broader 380-market CoreLogic-Case-Shiller Index was up 11 percent for the same period. From their trough, national average house prices are up about 20 percent. On the other hand, they are still 21 percent below their 2006 peak—not that we want to get back there anytime soon! Overall, does the current level look too high or too low? We need some historical perspective.
Graph 1 is the Case-Shiller National Home Price Index from its beginning in 1987. The bubble, the ensuing shrivel, and the recovery are readily apparent. The trend line is based on the period 1987-1999—the trend is about 3 percent annual price increases. The recent price increases have brought us just about back to the trend line.
Graph 2 gives us a lot more history—60 years, back to 1953. It compares the growth in the consumer price index to estimated national average house prices, with the egregious bubble obvious. The strong correlation of house prices to inflation is also obvious. On this longer look, house prices got down just to their trend, and have now pushed back somewhat above it.
I think we can conclude that we are not at this point in a housing bubble again, but now is definitely not the time for the Fed or politicians to promote further rapid house price inflation. A new housing bubble in the future is certainly possible, but the every-10-years crisis may arise from something entirely different—something now unthought of. •
Alex J. Pollock is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. He was president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago 1991-2004.
Last night, New York Times best-selling author Katie Pavlich celebrated the release of her second book, “Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women,” in Washington, D.C. The event was attended by Townhall staffers, close friends, fellow journalists, and those, of course, whom helped bring this book to life. It was also, not so incidentally, Katie’s 26th birthday.
Hence the awesome birthday cake!
“This is the best week of my life,” Katie said last night after graciously thanking everyone for coming:
Anyway, dear readers, be sure to check out the rest of the photos below. And of course, pick up a copy of Katie’s book if you haven’t already!
1. Jonathan Garthwaite, VP & General Manager, Townhall Media.
2. Red State's Bryan Pruitt, Townhall editorial intern Kara Jones, and Townhall Marketing Assistant Christina DiSomma.
3. Human Events' Teresa Mull, along with Townhall staffers Cortney O'Brien, Daniel Doherty, Rachel Williams, and Sarah Seman.
4. Katie, Jonathan, and Townhall Managing Editor Kevin Glass havin' a good ol' time.
5. Katie being Katie.
6. Most of the Townhall Team.
7. Most of the Townhall Team...take two!
8. If you're wondering why Guy Benson is missing, he had other plans...
We forgive you, Guy. We'll catch you at the next one!
In spite of the recent tragedies of toddlers being killed or seriously hurt from being locked in a car, I guess it really isn't all that surprising that police are being extra-vigilant to protect kids from hot cars. Some cases, however, like that of a woman in Connecticut being criminally charged for leaving her daughter in a car, are downright ridiculous.
Officers were sent to 60 Middle Street on Tuesday where they said Christina Williams, 30, allegedly left her 11-year-old child inside a vehicle.
Police said the interior temperature of the car was about 85 degrees at the time they got to the scene.
When officers opened the car doors, they said the child was responsive and not in distress, and that the car was not "excessively hot."
Police said the child requested to stay inside of the car while her mother went inside a store, and Williams was located in the store and said the same thing.
The mother is due to appear in court at the end of the month.
While an 11-year-old certainly isn't entirely self-sufficient, they're certainly capable of taking care of themselves and letting themselves in and out of a car if they're about to overheat. Many 11-year-olds babysit, for instance. There's a huge difference between leaving an infant strapped in a car seat alone in a car for an extended period of time and leaving an 11-year-old in a not-overly hot car because she asked to stay there.
Williams isn't the only mother being accused of neglecting her children by leaving them safely in a car. Nickie Milem, a woman from South Carolina, is being charged with cruelty to children after she left her children in a running, air-conditioned vehicle with her sister-in-law while she ran into a grocery store.
Child endangerment is a serious crime--but not one that seems to be committed in these cases. This is the nanny state gone insane.
The rule of the law and the separation of powers are indispensable to our system of government. And yet, according to House Republicans, the president has violated his oath of office one too many times by encroaching on the rights of the legislative branch and re-writing laws as he sees fit. Hence why Republican House Speaker John Boehner is filing a lawsuit against him.
Obviously, there are many examples of President Obama circumventing Congress to advance his legislative agenda, but the Speaker of the House ultimately decided to sue him for a very specific reason: He unilaterally delayed implementing a provision under the Affordable Care Act that was wholly outside his purview.
“Today we’re releasing a draft resolution that will authorize the House to file suit over the way President Obama unilaterally changed the employer mandate,” Boehner’s office said in a statement yesterday. “In 2013, the president changed the health care law without a vote of Congress, effectively creating his own law by literally waiving the employer mandate and the penalties for failing to comply with it. That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work. No president should have the power to make laws on his or her own."
“As I’ve said, this isn't about Republicans versus Democrats; it’s about the Legislative Branch versus the Executive Branch, and above all protecting the Constitution," he wrote. "The Constitution states that the president must faithfully execute the laws, and spells out that only the Legislative Branch has the power to legislate. The current president believes he has the power to make his own laws – at times even boasting about it. He has said that if Congress won’t make the laws he wants, he’ll go ahead and make them himself, and in the case of the employer mandate in his health care law, that’s exactly what he did. If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well. The House has an obligation to stand up for the Legislative Branch, and the Constitution, and that is exactly what we will do.”
The White House has dismissed the lawsuit as a “political stunt,” and Nancy Pelosi herself has described it as a “legal boondoggle doomed to fail.” Nonetheless, according to legal scholar Jonathan Turley, there’s a real possibility that this lawsuit is more than just political theatre (via The Daily Beast):
While Obama and his cheerleaders in the media sneer at the notion of executive overreach, noted constitutional scholar and George Washington Law School Professor Jonathan Turley believes Boehner’s suit could prevail. “I think there is a case against the president for exceeding his authority…I happen to agree with the president on many of his priorities and policies, but as I testified in Congress, I think that he has crossed the constitutional line,” Turley told MSNBC the day Boehner announced his suit.
“When the president went to Congress and said he would go it alone, it obviously raises a concern,” Turley added. “There’s no license for going it alone in our system, and what he’s done is very problematic. He has shifted $454 million of the ACA from appropriated purpose to another purpose. He’s told agencies not to enforce some laws, like immigration laws. He has effectively rewritten laws through the active interpretation that I find very problematic. While I happen to agree with him, I voted for him, I think this is a problem."
As do House Republicans. In any case, the House Rules Committee will deliberate and discuss a bill next Wednesday on whether or not to sue President Obama, according to the New York Times. Stay tuned.
The media was all too quick to promote former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s book “Hard Choices.” Now, as her memoir has produced much less than desired, they’re all too quick to forget.
Clinton’s sales may not seem so bad on the cover, but as the NYT (begrudgingly?) explains in the piece, “A Provocateur's Book on Hillary Clinton Overtakes Her Memoir in Sales,” the numbers are disappointing considering what her publisher initially expected:
By normal nonfiction standards, “Hard Choices” has sold extremely well. But Mrs. Clinton’s multimillion-dollar advance and status as a probable 2016 Democratic presidential candidate have put added pressure on the publisher, Simon & Schuster.
Here are the specifics:
Current sales figures of 177,234 copies not including e-books, according to Nielsen BookScan, mean Simon & Schuster is unlikely to recoup Mrs. Clinton’s advance and could fall far short of the one million copies shipped to bookstores, industry executives said.
It is most interesting that Ed Klein’s “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. The Obamas” overtook Clinton in book sales (check out my interview with Klein here), for his book is highly critical of both the Clintons and the Obamas. It also proves that the conservative book audience is still thriving. The NYT touches on this, yet the headline they chose suggests editors wanted to place more attention on the “controversial” “Blood Feud” author, who cites a number of unnamed sources in his book, rather than Clinton’s unsatisfactory sales.
At least they considered it news fit to print.
Speaking of books, have you bought your copy of Townhall News Editor Katie Pavlich’s second book, “Assault and Flattery?”
According to Border Patrol sources, violent MS-13 gang members are using the Nogales processing center in Arizona as a recruitment hub and as a transfer point for gang members to get into the United States.
The Red Cross has set up phone banks inside the processing center so unaccompanied minors can make phone calls to family members inside the United States and back home in Central America. According to sources, those phones are also being used by MS-13 members to communicate with gang members already in the United States and operating in cities like Atlanta, New York and Chicago. Further, many teenaged males inside the facility have approached Border Patrol agents and have said gang members have tried to recruit them from shared cells. According to the FBI, MS-13 regularly targets middle and high school students for recruitment.
"The National Border Patrol Council believes there to be serious security issues at the Nogales Processing Center. Agents' hands are tied due to the policies governing the care and lodging of juveniles and this has allowed gang recruitment and activity to flourish amongst those being detained," vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Shawn Moran tells Townhall. "Customs and Border Protection needs to do more to ensure that gang members that are in custody at the NPC are identified, prosecuted, and prohibited from benefiting from this crisis."
Earlier this week an internal Border Patrol summary confirmed at least 16 MS-13 gang members from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala are being housed in the processing center after graffiti was found on bathroom walls. These same gang members admitted to acts of torture and murder in their home countries before heading north to the United States.
"Border Patrol Agents (BPAs) and Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBPOs), assigned to The Nogales Placement Center (NPC), discovered that 16 unaccompanied alien children (13 El Salvadoran males, two Guatelmalan males and one Honduran male) currently being held at the NPC are members of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). The MS-13 gang members admitted to their gang associations following a discovery of graffiti at the NPC. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) were notified," the summary states. "Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) were notified."
MS-13 members are required to be processed by Border Patrol and then are handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, where they are often times placed inside the U.S. and given a court date. They rarely show up. By U.S. legal standards many gang members operating in Central American countries and traveling north are classified as minors due to being under the age of 18. However, many young males are actively engaged in violent cartel and criminal activity, yet are treated as children when processed through the Department of Health and Human Services or Department of Homeland Security systems.
Yesterday, Americans For Prosperity has launched their post-Independence Day offensive by running new ads in Arkansas and Louisiana. Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu are some of the most vulnerable Democrats running for re-election this year. It also doesn’t help that Romney won both their states by ten-plus points or more back in 2012.
This ad running in Louisiana features veterans voicing their disappointment and frustration over the Veterans Affairs (VA) catastrophe. They ask her if government health care can’t adequately help the needs for veterans, how can it work for the entire country with Obamacare.
The second ad, also targeting Sen. Landrieu, deals with the new EPA regulations that are projected to kill jobs and raise electrical costs in the Bayou State. It’s been met with less than enthusiastic support from business owners.
The last TV spot targets Sen. Mark Pryor, tying him to President Obama for voting with him 90% of the time, increasing health care costs due to Obamacare, and the national debt.
This will be one of the largest ad campaigns Americans For Prosperity has initiated in this 2014 midterm cycle, according to Alex Roarty of National Journal. Right now, this new media campaign is costing AFP $940,000 in Louisiana and $920,000 in Arkansas.
From AFP’s press release:
Americans for Prosperity is continuing to hold these senators accountable for their big-government records that hurt hard-working families who just want to secure a better future. People shouldn’t have to live paycheck to paycheck because government bureaucrats believe our energy or health care bills should be higher. They shouldn’t have to worry about the debts their children will owe because elected officials keep voting for more government overspending.
“When it comes to energy prices, Senator Landrieu’s clout has yet to slow the Obama administration’s assault on affordable energy. Louisiana’s energy industry is going to be disproportionately harmed by the EPA’s proposed regulations, killing good-paying jobs and raising energy bills.
“When it comes to health care, the unacceptable treatment for our veterans should serve raise alarm bells for the rest of us: government-run care is not the answer.
“Many Arkansans may see their friends or their loved ones reflected on their screens in our latest ad on Senator Pryor’s record. For the sake of their well-being, they need Senator Pryor to stop voting with President Obama to keep growing our debt and our government.”
November is coming.
Some members of the armed services, all of whom are currently deployed in war zones, will soon be notified by the Defense Department that they will be involuntarily discharged from the military at the end of their current tours. Why? “Budget cuts.” It’s as simple as that. Shockingly, too, hundreds of Army captains have already been handed the devastating news, according to the New York Post, and more officers are expected to get it, if they haven't already, soon enough.
For obvious reasons, this is an outrageous and heartless way to “thank” combat veterans:
What is astonishing is that the Defense Department thought it would be appropriate to notify deployed soldiers — men and women risking their lives daily in combat zones — that they’ll be laid off after their current deployment.
As one Army wife posted on MilitaryFamily.org, “On some level I knew the drawdowns were inevitable, but I guess I never expected to be simultaneously worried about a deployment to Afghanistan and a pink slip because my husband’s service is no longer needed.”
Awful. To put things in perspective, the government wasted some $100 billion last year alone on frivolous expenditures, and yet it can’t even wait long enough to lay off combat veterans until they’re out of harm’s way? The author describes the Defense Department’s handling of this situation as a “stunning act of callousness.” True. But I’d go a step further, and say its actions are a stunning act of cowardice. This is no way to treat American combat veterans.
And yet, as we’ve seen with the unfolding VA scandal, and now this, combat veterans are often forgotten and mistreated by the same government that purports to represent them. It’s not fair and it’s not right, and Congress should be doing everything in its power to ensure these men and women are taken care of after they retire. Right?
Townhall News Editor Katie Pavlich’s new book ‘"Assault and Flattery" exposes the Democrat Party’s manipulative tactics in trying to convince women Republicans are taking away their reproductive rights. In reality, Pavlich explains, it’s the Democrats who are waging a war on women by telling them to vote with their lady parts instead of their brains and trying to take limit their Second Amendment rights with cries of "gun control!" It’s the perfect book to annoy liberals. Here are just a few places we went around the nation’s capital reading "Assault and Flattery" to prickle some feminist feathers.
1. Planned Parenthood’s downtown clinic in D.C.
The most pro-abortion organization in the country was our first stop. These 10 truths I learned about the business last month will shock you.
2. The White House.
The most “pro-woman” president in history? We think not.
3. At the National Organization for Women office.
4. Next to this “sexist” metro ad.
No, feminists, this ad is not “sexist.” Girls like shoes. Deal with it.
5. The Health and Human Services building.
For trying to force Christian companies to provide abortifacients to their employees, the HHS was another obvious destination.
6. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) office.
Sen. Feinstein, keep trying to suppress our Second Amendment freedom, we’ll keep reading how firearms can often be a woman’s best friend.
7. The Feminist Majority Foundation.
This liberal organization is doing its best to defend abortion clinics from the Supreme Court’s unanimous decisions to strike down buffer zones that would have kept pro-life activists 35 feet from clinic entrances. Pro-lifers still have their freedom to witness to girls with unplanned pregnancies, and we still have the freedom to read ‘Assault and Flattery’ wherever we choose.
8. Next to (discounted) copies of "Hard Choices."
It was certainly not a hard choice to pick up “Assault & Flattery" over Hillary’s overrated book.
9. House Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) office.
10.The Democratic National Headquarters.
Dear Democratic Party, for trying to manipulate women into thinking Republicans are taking our “rights” away, you have been “Assault and Flattery” bombed.
Want to be featured on Townhall? Pick up a copy of “Assault and Flattery” and tweet a picture of you reading it to @townhallcom. You could be featured on the site!
Earlier this week, MRCTV’s Dan Joseph attended a protest hosted by immigration activist groups, specifically Casa De Maryland. Given the situation on the border, where undocumented minors are arriving to the United States in droves; do these activists discourage illegal immigration into the country?
Casa De Maryland’s Executive Director Gustavo Torres said they’re for comprehensive immigration reform. But, when Joseph pressed him to go record stating that he and his organization would discourage families from trying to enter the United States illegally, his staff initiated secondary protocol and whisked him away.
Soon afterwards, Dan Joseph found himself being subjected to the silent treatment by protest organizers, warning other participants not to speak with him.
Joseph wrote in a blog post for CNSNews.com that:
Some lawmakers believe that the recent influx of unaccompanied minors, mostly from Central America, is due to executive action that the president took in 2011, when he unilaterally granted amnesty to millions of young illegals currently in the United States.
Additionally, despite the activists [sic] claims that illegals are being deported at an alarming rate, statistics show that the number of illegal immigrant minors who have been deported is at an eight year low.
Of course, the liberal, and - Washington Post affiliated, site Slate had to continue lamenting the series of judicial losses they endured at the end of the Supreme Court’s term. The big three: Harris V. Quinn, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, and McCullen v. Coakley gave conservative victories within the realm of First Amendment rights, albeit Quinn and Hobby Lobby being limited rulings. Nevertheless, Dahlia Lithwick said this current term was disastrous if you’re a woman, or something.
The last time anyone checked, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), or any law enforcement agency, wasn’t drafting plans to raid CVS, Rite Aid, and other drug stores to confiscate contraceptives. It’s not happening, nor will it ever happen.
First, it’s an insane theory. Second, that’s not what the Hobby Lobby case was about; it was about religious liberty and whether Hobby Lobby merited a religious exemption via the very bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Lithwick wrote:
In the majority opinions in all three, there is scant attention paid to real women, their daily lives, or their interests, and great mountainous wads of attention paid elsewhere. It’s almost as if the court chose not to see women this term, or at least not real women, with real challenges, and opted instead to offer extra protections to the delicate women of their imaginary worlds.
This fact has been proven empirically already, in a quick and dirty word count conducted by the Washington Post’s Emily Badger in the aftermath of Hobby Lobby. It seems that in the 49-page majority opinion penned by Justice Samuel Alito, the word women or woman appears a mere 13 times (excluding footnotes and URLs), whereas in the 35-page dissent by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the word shows up 43 times.
Really? We’ve all known liberals love the cookie-cutter stratagems in their electoral strategy, but it’s now seeped into their legal analysis as well. Guy Benson and Christine Rousselle wrote that this ruling’s impact isn’t far-reaching in the slightest. It only is applicable to for-profit, “closely-held corporations.” In other words, companies where five people or fewer own 50% of the assets.
The injunction granted to Wheaton College, which said they’re against the contraception mandate, merely states that they might have a case. In other words, the Court said they’re waiting to see how this plays out.
The invisible women thesis continued in Lithwick’s Quinn review:
The same is true in Harris v. Quinn, where, as multiple court-watchers have already indicated, the majority opinion by Alito starts from the legal presumption that the (mostly poor and minority women) who care for the sick and elderly at home are simply different creatures from the firemen and teachers who are usually represented by public-sector unions. They are doing, as Robin Marty explains, “women’s work,” and they are doing it in the home. As a result, the court crafts a whole different category—“partial public employees”—to describe their jobs.
Well, if you read the opinion, Alito explains why they’re different:
PAs [personal assistant] are much different from public employees. Unlike full- fledged public employees, PAs are almost entirely answerable to the customers and not to the State, do not enjoy most of the rights and benefits that inure to state employees, and are not indemnified by the State for claims against them arising from actions taken during the course of their employment. Even the scope of collective bargaining on their behalf is sharply limited. Pp. 20–25.
He also mentioned that extending the Abood decision “would invite problems,” hence making Quinn a limited decisions and saving public sector unions from a complete gutting.
And, alas, we reach McCullen:
And the same is true in McCullen, as I suggested last week, when the case came down. In the court’s view there is something different about these abortion-seeking women, fundamentally fragile and uncertain, that makes the majority of the court especially inclined to accept the argument that they just need more information—helpfully provided by gentle “sidewalk counselors”—before they can fully appreciate the enormity of their decisions to terminate pregnancies. Reading the concurrences in McCullen, one can only imagine what Alito and Justice Antonin Scalia would think of an argument that holds that men entering a gun store to purchase an assault-style weapon would also benefit morally and psychologically from gentle sidewalk counselors warning them that they may be contributing to the end of a life or that they may come to regret their decisions. The implication that women need counseling and men need to be left alone to make bold, manly decisions is hard to escape after McCullen.
The right to bear arms is a constitutional right; the right to an abortion is not. Second, this had nothing to do with viewing women as delicate creatures. It had to do with buffer zones that prevented pro-life Americans the right to protest on public sidewalks and streets where abortion clinics are located. That’s unconstitutional.
And, it’s funny how Litchwick doesn’t mention how this ruling was a unanimous 9-0 decision.
Charles Cooke at National Review penned a good piece about liberal illiteracy when it comes to the courts earlier this month:
The justices are jurists not doctors — they are nine appointed attorneys whose role in the American settlement is to provide legal answers to legal questions. Man or woman; straight or gay; handsome or ugly; Jew, Catholic, or protestant — the law must remain the law, regardless of in whose name its intricacies are decided. The alternative would be disastrous.
The Supreme Court is not a legislature; it is a court. The majority in the Hobby Lobby case didn’t rule “against contraception coverage” or women or atheists or employees; it ruled against the administration.
If you want to go further into the twisted arena of “war on women” politics, Katie Pavlich has a whole book on it.
His Jesus complex must be built into the DNA.
"We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19)."
Wendy Davis, current Democratic nominee for governor of Texas who rose to national fame after an 11-hour filibuster against a bill that would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks gestation, is now selling various baby outfits on her campaign website.
Davis is currently polling 12 percentage points below Republican Greg Abbott.
Editor’s note: This piece contains language some readers might find offensive.
President Obama secured his re-election in 2012, in part, because he won over a growing and important demographic: unmarried women. Exit polls showed "67 percent" of single women supported his re-election campaign. Furthermore, after a string of Republican gaffes, Democrats were all-too-willing to mislead the public into thinking Republicans were waging a so-called “war on women” for political gain. Despite zero evidence that such a “war” even existed, let alone was being waged, this narrative nevertheless took hold. And Republicans suffered the consequences on Election Day.
Now, however, in her new book, “Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women,” Katie Pavlich explains why this narrative is complete nonsense. In fact, she writes, Democrats and their enablers on the Left have been guilty of the exact same charges they invariably level at Republicans. Three notable examples from her introduction:
Consider the case of MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, who in 2013 said someone should punish Sarah Palin by, in effect, defecating in her mouth…Bashir’s comments were well-planned, typed into a teleprompter, and approved by an entire production team before being broadcast to his
millions offew viewers. But the women of MSNBC, including feminist heroine Rachel Maddow, never uttered a word of criticism.
Sadly, even her daughter wasn’t off limits:
In June of 2009, sixty-two-year-old Late Night creep and serial adulterer David Letterman thought it would be hilarious to make a sex joke about Sarah Palin’s daughter. “One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez,” Letterman joked. Palin went to that Yankee game with her daughter Willow, who was fourteen years old at the time.
And of course:
…Bachmann made an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to promote her book. Unbeknownst Bachmann—whose many virtues do not include an extensive knowledge of popular music—the show’s band led by a rapper named Questlove played “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” when Bachmann was introduced and while she walked across the stage. The song includes the charming lyrics “slut trash can bitch.” Neither Fallon nor the band believed anyone would think the prank was inappropriate, because after all, everyone hates Michele Bachmann. Right?
Too often, attacks against conservative women go either ignored or unchallenged. The point of her book, then, is to expose both the hypocrisy of the Left, and explain why "feminism" itself isn't enabling or empowering women, but holding them back.
To learn more about these important issues, pick up a copy of Katie's book here.
"This is a problem of the President's own making. He's been president for five and a half years!"
Townhall.com News Editor and Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich has a new book out this week titled, "Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women."
"Assault and Flattery is a book about women," Katie writes, "but it’s for fathers, husbands, sons, and boyfriends, too."
To that end, I asked Katie how specifically what conservatives could learn from the book.
CC: You write in the book that Republicans need to fight back hard against the Democrats War on Women. What specifically should Republicans be doing/saying?
KP: It's simple. If Republicans want to win and promote a pro-women, pro-free markets, pro-growth, pro-opportunity agenda then they have to have to courage to play hardball in the same way Democrats do. The only difference is that the GOP doesn't need to lie, exaggerate or scare in order to win. Not addressing this issue isn't an option and leads to failure. Go on offense, state a position and defend it with the truth.
CC: Can you give me one specific example of where Republicans should go on offense?
KP: They should go on offense on every issue but specifically on the issue of contraception. I can't tell you how many women I spoke to during 2012 campaign who told me they voted for Obama over Romney because Romney would have "banned their birth control." That lie was repeatedly told by left but was only addressed by the right a handful of times. Bobby Jindal has some good ideas on the issue. Chris Christie's approach, stating his position and saying "take it or leave it," is another good way to handle it.
If there is one thing that is always true about President Obama, it is that nothing is ever his fault. Hence his workmanlike performance at a press conference in Dallas yesterday, designed to shift the blame for the current border crisis away from himself and on to Republicans in Congress. Obama's border blame game is premised on five big lies all detailed below.
1. The current crisis is being caused by violence in Central America.
"I think that the challenge we have that has really caused a spike is the significant security challenges in these Central American countries themselves," Obama said yesterday. And it is undeniably true that Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala are very violent countries.
But the current wave of violence in all three of these countries peaked in 2009 and has been declining since. Asylum requests from those countries to surrounding countries has risen since 2009, but that doesn't explain why a rising tide of migrants since 2009 suddenly turned into a tsunami just this year.
The reality is that word has gotten back to Central America about the very real facts on the ground here in the United States. The truth, not rumors, of the matter is that migrants from Central America simply are not being sent home.
Yes, a 2008 law signed by President Bush is partly to blame. But so are a series of memos written by Obama's DHS making it a matter of policy not to even apprehend, let alone deport, non-violent illegal immigrants.
It is the combination of the 2008 law requiring Border Patrol agents turn migrants from countries-other-than-Mexico over to Health and Human Services, combined with Obama's refusal to enforce interior immigration laws (this includes but is not limited to DACA), that has created the reality that people from Central America are being released deep into the United States with permisos.
2. Most of the children crossing the border now will be sent home.
"While we intend to do the right thing by these children, their parents need to know that this is an incredibly dangerous situation and it is unlikely that their children will be able to stay," Obama said yesterday, echoing a line his administration has been pushing since the crisis began.
This also is just plain false. Just ask the Center for American Progress' Marshall Fitz who told PBS Monday:
"All of the reporting that has been done so far by international independent agencies, not the Border Patrol, show that somewhere upwards of 58%-60% of the kids are entitled to some form of protection. And we are seeing that. Many of these kids are being granted either asylum or special immigration juvenile protection, or they are getting other visas. So the facts are these kids are eligible for status because they are fleeing traumatic situations in their own countries or they are being trafficked along the way."
One immigration attorney even told Fox News Latino, "The numbers that are eligible are really high... 80 or 90 percent would qualify for some type of relief."
3. The Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill would have prevented the crisis.
Yesterday Obama claimed, "The Senate passed a common-sense, bipartisan bill more than a year ago. It would have strengthened the border, added an additional 20,000 Border Patrol agents. It would have strengthened our backlogged immigration courts. It would have put us in a stronger position to deal with this surge and, in fact, prevent it."
Considering that Obama couldn't build a single website for his signature domestic accomplishment in over three years, it is laughable to claim his administration could have beefed up immigration courts in less than a years time to the level necessary to process the current wave of migrants.
And Obama himself even said earlier in the same press conference, border security is not the problem. The current wave of migrants are not sneaking across the border, they are surrendering to Border Patrol agents.
The only way to prevent the current crisis would have been to repeal the 2008 Trafficking Act. And nothing in the Schumer-Rubio bill did that.
4. Obama's supplemental will solve the current crisis.
"There’s a very simple question here," Obama said yesterday, "and that is Congress just needs to pass the supplemental."
But nothing in the supplemental Obama submitted Tuesday would solve the problem. The current crisis is a policy crisis, not a resource crisis. Giving $1.8 billion to HHS to help migrants in the United States will only encourage more migrants to come.
Until the 2008 Trafficking Act is repealed throwing more money at the border would be like throwing gasoline on a fire.
5. We can solve the current crisis with out repealing the 2008 Trafficking Act
"I indicated to him that part of what we’re looking in the supplemental is some flexibility in terms of being able to preserve the due process rights of individuals who come in, but also to make sure that we’re sending a strong signal that they can’t simply show up at the border and automatically assume that they’re going to be absorbed."
Obama is in a hard place. He knows the 2008 Trafficking Act must be repealed, but he has faced heavy pushback from his base against repealing it. He could, of course, just simply use the same executive enforcement powers he used to create DACA to also simply ignore the 2008 Trafficking Act, but his base would never allow that.
He desperately needs political cover from Republicans to fix the problem. But Senate Democrats are never going to agree to just repeal the 2008 Trafficking Act. They are going to demand a larger amnesty closer to the Schumer-Rubio bill in return.
Republicans can't play this game. They can't let Democrats create a border crisis and then demand Republicans accept policy concessions in return for agreeing to clean their own mess. The House should pass a simple repeal of the 2008 Trafficking Act and say they will consider Obama's supplemental request after he starts enforcing the pre-2008 border procedures.
IRS counsel will face government watchdog group Judicial Watch in court today and will be required to explain the "loss" of former IRS official Lois Lerner's emails in front of a judge.
Judicial Watch has been pursuing information about IRS targeting of tea party groups since last year. Despite current lawsuits against the agency, IRS officials failed to disclose why, when and how emails were lost to the court and to Judicial Watch attorneys.
"These emails could be critical to getting to the bottom of the IRS scandal where Tea Party and other conservative group applications were illegally delayed by the IRS," the group released in a statement. "In addition, Lois Lerner had communicated with Department of Justice officials to see if it was possible to prosecute these groups."
The hearing will take place at U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. at 11 a.m.
Townhall's Sarah Jean Seman went to Capitol Hill to find out more about the so-called "War on Women."
Be sure to check out Katie Pavlich's newest book "Assault and Flattery" here.
Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the July issue of Townhall Magazine.
The global warming fear mongers are at it again.
But twice recently they’ve been caught in the act. Not only are they lying, they’re so desperate that they’re starting to look ridiculous.
“Three years of observations show that the Antarctic ice sheet is now losing 159 billion tonnes of ice each year—twice as much as when it was last surveyed,” reports the U.K.’s University of Leeds. “A team of scientists from the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, led by researchers at the University of Leeds, have produced the first complete assessment of Antarctic ice sheet elevation change.”
Like you, I’m suspicious of any group of scientists that live in a “kingdom” that can’t even practice general dentistry correctly.
Or health care.
Or, apparently, math.
The press release goes on to say that the ice melt could contribute to an increase in “global sea levels by 0.45 millimetres each year alone.”
That figure is really not that impressive, especially when you understand that it means about a 2 inch rise over 100 years.
But what’s really impressive about the figure is that it’s just not true.
From climate website Watts Up With That?:
From Climatesanity: Conversion factors for ice and water mass and volume
If one cubic kilometer of water (i.e., one gigatonne of water) is spread evenly over the entire 361 million square kilometers, the thickness of the new layer of water will be given by:
1km3 /361x106km2 =2.78x10-6 meters = 2.78 microns.
Or, in terms of gigatonnes:
1Gt x (1km3/Gt) /361x106km2 = 2.78 x 10-6 meters = 2.78 microns / Gt
That is, one cubic kilometer of water (i.e., one gigatonne of water) will add less than 3 millionths of a meter to the oceans!
From the press release, we are seeing about 159 billion tons/year of ice convert- ed to meltwater (unless it sublimates), so the effect on sea level would be 159/1000 or 0.159 x 3 millionths of a meter, or 0.477 millionths of meter of sea level rise per year from this.
I’ll leave it to the highly trained scientist at the University of Leeds to convert the millionths of a meter into inches for you. But it’s my strong recommendation you not allow them to do your taxes.
But hold on there, pardners, we’re not done yet.
We can at least agree, as we’ve been told for years, that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that global warming is caused by man, right? I mean, that’s indisputable.
Then why are the scientists so eager to hide their data?
“The University of Queensland in Australia is taking legal action to block the release of data used by one of its scientists to come up with the oft-quoted statistic that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that mankind is causing global warming,” reports the Daily Caller.
It seems a blogger has gotten ahold of the primary data used in the research, and the data suggests that far from having a consensus that global warming is entirely manmade, scientists are still skeptical.
This is not the first time that critics have questioned the results of that study. A catalog of studies in a report pub- lished by Science & Education shows that a little more than one quarter of 1 percent of all studies conclude that glob- al warming is entirely man-made, says the Daily Caller.
“In fact, Cook’s paper provides the clearest available statistical evidence that there is scarcely any explicit support among scientists for the consensus that the IPCC, politicians, bureaucrats, academics and the media have so long and so falsely proclaimed,” says statistician Dr. William Briggs in a press release accompanying the report. “That was not the outcome Cook had hoped for, and it was not the outcome he had stated in his paper, but it was the outcome he had really found.”
And here’s what I know about people who lie: they are liars.
Some people lie for profit, some people lie for power, and some people just lie for the fun of it. I suspect in the global warming crowd there’s a small group of people who are liars, with the large admixture of people who are just believers.
But among believers in history, even Thomas had doubts.
It is up to the faithful, the believers, the ideologues, to cast out the liars.
The people who should be offended by these ploys, stratagems, and sophistications are those who believe deeply in the science of global warming.
But until they cast out the liars, their faith counts for nothing.
After all, it is just another lie. •
John Ransom is the editor of TownhallFinance.com
"Not interested in photo ops." Really, President Barack Obama said that.
Needless to say, commentators noted the absolute absurdity of that statement - it would be hilarious if the crisis weren't so serious.
A hashtag was spawned on Twitter as people noted the obsession that this White House has seemed to have with photo ops:
"I'm not interested in photo ops." pic.twitter.com/sLuMeXb8Uj— Josh Perry (@MrJoshPerry) July 9, 2014
"I'm not interested in photo ops." pic.twitter.com/Dne2RcIh7e— Josh Perry (@MrJoshPerry) July 9, 2014
"I'm not interested in photo ops..." - Obama pic.twitter.com/X1O7qmbhFu— John Sexton (@verumserum) July 9, 2014
Many of those photos are instantly recognizable for the craven politicking that President Obama has engaged in, time and again, with regard to "photo ops."
The Obama White House, as has been noted, is absolutely obsessed with the management of its own image. They've gone to extraordinary lengths, including banning independent photographers from the White House, in order to control President Obama's portrayal in the media. Dylan Byers noted that even the mainstream media has become tired of the lockdown:
The White House Correspondents Association and several leading media outlets have sent a letter to the White House protesting its policy of banning photographers from covering the president at certain events.
"As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government," the WHCA board wrote in the letter delivered to the White House press office.