Tag Archive: government


After 30 Years Of Lies, NY Times Admits “Assault Weapons Are A Myth”
Posted by Bob Owens on September 13, 2014 at 8:44 am
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In a stunning op-ed released Friday, the NY Times finally admitted that “assault weapons” are a made-up political term fabricated by anti-gun Democrats.

Op-ed writer Lois Beckett also admitted that once the term was manufactured and used to outlaw a class of weapons that dishonest anti-gun Democrats had used to con an entire nation, nothing happened.

It was much the same in the early 1990s when Democrats created and then banned a category of guns they called “assault weapons.” America was then suffering from a spike in gun crime and it seemed like a problem threatening everyone. Gun murders each year had been climbing: 11,000, then 13,000, then 17,000.

Democrats decided to push for a ban of what seemed like the most dangerous guns in America: assault weapons, which were presented by the media as the gun of choice for drug dealers and criminals, and which many in law enforcement wanted to get off the streets.

This politically defined category of guns — a selection of rifles, shotguns and handguns with “military-style” features — only figured in about 2 percent of gun crimes nationwide before the ban.

Handguns were used in more than 80 percent of murders each year, but gun control advocates had failed to interest enough of the public in a handgun ban. Handguns were the weapons most likely to kill you, but they were associated by the public with self-defense. (In 2008, the Supreme Court said there was a constitutional right to keep a loaded handgun at home for self-defense.)

Banning sales of military-style weapons resonated with both legislators and the public: Civilians did not need to own guns designed for use in war zones.

On Sept. 13, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed an assault weapons ban into law. It barred the manufacture and sale of new guns with military features and magazines holding more than 10 rounds. But the law allowed those who already owned these guns — an estimated 1.5 million of them — to keep their weapons.

The policy proved costly. Mr. Clinton blamed the ban for Democratic losses in 1994. Crime fell, but when the ban expired, a detailed study found no proof that it had contributed to the decline.

They created and then banned a class of weapons.

“Assault weapons” is a made-up term, used to scare citizens into thinking that military weapons were commonly being sold and used on the streets of the United States. Thanks to a dishonest and incompetent media, millions of Americans thought (and still think) that machine guns could simply be purchased at the local gun store. The reality that the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act outlawed the manufacture of automatic weapons for the civilian market in 1986, was always hushed up.

Yes, it has been 28 years since a single machine gun was manufactured for the American public. There are no assault rifles being sold in the United States. There are only firearms that look like weapons of war, but which lack their ability to fire multiple shots with a single pull of the trigger.

These firearms—AR-15s, AKMs and similar rifles—while incredibly popular with America’s law-abiding gun culture, simply aren’t used in many crimes. This should be surprising, since they are now among the most popular firearms sold in the United States in the past decade. The AR-15, in particular, is the most popular rifle sold in the United States year after year, and there are ten times as many in civilian hands as there are visually similar M4/M16 assault rifles in the entire U.S military.

But career criminals don’t want long guns. They want firearms that are compact and easy to conceal.

The op-ed concludes that violent homicides are primarily a poverty issue disproportionately concentrated among small groups of particularly violent young men, a stunning and rare admission that poverty and the drug trade are the primary problem driving murder, not access to firearms.

Don’t expect this sort of stunning admission of the facts to mark a change in cover from the Times, however. The brief bout of lucidity will quickly fade behind the veil of Alzheimer’s liberalism, and we’ll hear the rest of the deranged gaggle of op-ed writers to quickly fall back into the mantra of “Guns are bad, the NRA is evil, we need more taxes, government, citizen control, etc.”

Still… it’s nice to see that every once in a while a real and honest thought can escape from the morass of Manhattan, however fleeting that honest thought may be.

The Patriot Post · http://patriotpost.us/digests/29070
Daily Digest
Sep. 12, 2014

THE FOUNDATION
“[T]his is not an indefinite government deriving its powers from the general terms prefixed to the specified powers – but, a limited government tied down to the specified powers, which explain and define the general terms.” –James Madison, Speech in Congress, 1792

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Blocking Obama’s ISIL Strategy
In his speech to the nation1 on ISIL Wednesday, Barack Obama declared, “[W]e will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. … [W]e will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.” He claimed to be assembling a “broad coalition” in support of his mission so as to not, as he has previously put it, “go it alone” like George W. Bush in Iraq. Bush went with support from 37 countries; Obama has fewer than 10. And one of them is not Turkey, which announced Thursday2 it would not permit U.S. aircraft to conduct airstrikes from its air bases. That limits our options to carriers in the region or other NATO bases further away. Oh, and Great Britain and Germany3 also won’t be helping with airstrikes. Behold, the results of “leading from behind.”

We’re Not at War, Kerry Says
Secretary of State John Kerry insisted Thursday that we are not at war with ISIL – at least not just yet. “What we are doing,” he said, “is engaging in a very significant counter-terrorism operation.” Just to reiterate the point, he said, “If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with ISIL they can do so, but the fact is it’s a major counter-terrorism operation.” We’re glad he cleared that up. It reminds us of Kerry’s comments just over one year ago4, when he was pumping up action against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. He promised we would counter Assad “without engaging in troops on the ground, or any other prolonged kind of effort, in a very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort,” and that any action would be an “unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.” The administration sure is twisting itself into knots to assure its hard-left base that Barack Obama is not George W. Bush. Kerry’s remarks would be funny if they weren’t so disgraceful.

To Claim Islam Is Like Other Religions ‘Is Just Plain Wrong’
HBO’s Bill Maher is a leftist atheist and no friend of Christianity. But he came to the religion’s defense in addressing Barack Obama’s assertions regarding ISIL and Islam. “Vast numbers of Christians do not believe that if you leave the Christian religion you should be killed for it,” Maher said, objecting to comparisons. “Vast numbers of Christians do not treat women as second class citizens. Vast numbers of Christians do not believe if you draw a picture of Jesus Christ you should get killed for it. So yes, does [ISIL] do Khmer Rouge-like activities where they just kill people indiscriminately who aren’t just like them? Yes. And would most Muslim people in the world do that or condone that? No. But most Muslim people in the world do condone violence just for what you think. … So to claim that this religion is like other religions is just naïve and plain wrong.” For once, Maher is right on the money.

Executive Action on Immigration Possible by Year’s End
The White House promised angry Latino lawmakers Thursday the president would make his move on immigration “reform” before the end of the year. The lawmakers feel Barack Obama betrayed them when he announced delaying his pen from drawing sweeping changes to the immigration system, possibly granting amnesty to five million illegal immigrants. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said, “The president understands the depth of the broken immigration system that we have and he’s bound and determined to make sure that we fix it because it’s impacting our economy, it’s impacting our job growth and it’s a humanitarian issue that’s impacting families across the country. So we’re going to fix it and we’ll do it before the end of the year.” While the delay helps Democrats running for re-election in November, Hot Air’s Allahpundit5 says the president could wait until next year to act on immigration in order to help his successor win the White House in 2016. More…6

Scientists Say Gov’t Intervention Is Healing Ozone Layer
A new United Nations report praises government intervention for helping heal the ozone layer over Antarctica, a finding made famous by scientists Mario Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland in 1974 – incidentally during the height of the “next ice age” scare. The ozone hole was primarily blamed on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), prompting a global ban on the compound in 1987. Now, CBS News reports, “For the first time in 35 years, scientists were able to confirm a statistically significant and sustained increase in stratospheric ozone, which shields us from solar radiation that causes skin cancer, crop damage and other problems.” In fact, an older UN study predicted that, had no action been taken, we’d be looking at an additional two million skin cancer cases annually within the next decade and a half. So regardless of whether the ozone is experiencing a natural oscillation (which it most assuredly is), alarmists can now make the unproven assertion that their activism helped prevent a calamity. Molina says the recovering ozone layer is “a victory for diplomacy and for science and for the fact that we were able to work together.” And no doubt, scientists will use this new report to stress the need for a pact to limit greenhouse gases like CO2, which they say will otherwise threaten any long-term ozone recovery. More…7

For more, visit Right Hooks8.

RIGHT ANALYSIS
Boos for Cruz Shouldn’t Overshadow Christian Persecution
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was booed off the stage of a Washington, DC, summit exploring the plight of Christians in the Middle East because he supported the nation of Israel. The whole episode illustrates the complexity of the Middle East – especially when it comes to our understanding of the region’s religious and political tensions.

A video of the event9 shows Cruz standing before the crowd, which was murmuring angrily. “I will say this,” Cruz said. “I am saddened to see that some here – not everyone, but some here – are so consumed with hate.”

The audience grew angry and a man near the camera shouted, “You speak for yourself!”

“If you will not stand with Israel,” Cruz said, “then I will not stand with you,” walking off the stage. The camera follows him, catching the words projected onto the wall: “Solidarity Dinner.”

The summit, put on by In Defense of Christians (IDC), brought together Coptic Christians, Evangelicals, Orthodox Christians and Catholics, as well as Democrats and Republicans alike. All were there to raise awareness of the threats to religious freedom in the Middle East, particularly ISIL’s threat of genocide10 against Christians.

IDC president Toufic Baaklini said11 the goal of the summit was to “empower the Middle Eastern Christian Diaspora and energize the American people to stand in solidarity [with] the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East. Their survival is vital to stability in the region, and their ability to flourish in their countries of origin has national security implications for the United States.”

Unfortunately, that laudable goal will be eclipsed by click-bait headlines focused only on the brief altercation with Cruz. Meanwhile, the intolerant drum of radical Islam beats stronger and stronger in the dissolving states of the Middle East.

While the gathered Christians may have been of one Lord, one faith, one baptism, they were not all one with the state of Israel. Let’s give Cruz the benefit of the doubt on this one, as this misunderstanding is a common problem between Evangelical Americans and some of the Christian communities still living in the land where Jesus walked. Religion News Service points out12:

“The episode highlighted a central tension between U.S. evangelicals, who strongly support Israel, and Middle Eastern Christians – including thousands of Palestinian Christians – who hold Israel responsible for expropriated Arab lands and the death toll in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

However, despite the well-documented brutality of dictators like Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the Assads in Syria Christians in those countries prefer the relative stability of those dictators to the jihadist alternatives. The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan writes13, “An estimated two-thirds of the Christians of Iraq have fled that country since the 2003 U.S. invasion. They are being driven from their villages in northern Iraq. They are terrorized, brutalized, executed. This week an eyewitness in Mosul, which fell to Islamic State in June, told NBC News the jihadists were committing atrocities. In Syria, too, they have executed Christians for refusing to convert.”

IDC set a lofty goal. In its statement after the disruption14, Baaklini admitted that people in the Church and in the field of foreign policy thought the organization would fail. “For more than 48 hours,” he said, “our initial IDC conference was successfully bridging divides of faith, language, geography and politics.”

The views of the speakers ranged across the spectrum. Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) spoke, as well as writer Eric Metaxas, who schooled president Obama15 at the 2012 Presidential Prayer Breakfast. On the other hand, some of the Christian leaders from the Middle East supported groups like Hamas or Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, The Washington Free Beacon reported16.

Within that spectrum of Christians stood Sen. Cruz. In a statement17 explaining why he left the dinner, Cruz outlined his message on Israel:

“When I spoke in strong support of Israel and the Jewish people, who are being persecuted and murdered by the same vicious terrorists who are also slaughtering Christians, many Christians in the audience applauded. But, sadly, a vocal and angry minority of attendees at the conference tried to shout down my expression of solidarity with Israel.”

Cruz is right to show solidarity with Israel, a key ally of the United States and the only nation in the Middle East where Christians needn’t fear persecution. But Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist argues Cruz is no hero for what he did18, saying he approached the whole speech politically, meeting with The Washington Free Beacon beforehand and using the situation generally to advance his platform.

“When Cruz was supposed to give the keynote address and discuss the deadly serious topic of persecution of Christians,” Hemingway wrote, “he instead insulted a largely immigrant and foreign crowd as a group that didn’t understand their own political situation and stomped out of the room after calling them a bunch of haters.”

Thus was the IDC summit reduced to another sound byte in the Beltway political machine. But its purpose remains paramount: Christians are being threatened10 in the Middle East – Christians with complex and nuanced geopolitical views based on interests sometimes not aligned with the U.S. If they fall, the region – and the world – will be far worse for it.

The Phony Investigation of Scott Walker
It’s not unusual for the Leftmedia to behave corruptly and circle the wagons for Democrats. Aside from becoming an echo chamber for Democrat talking points, the media have a history of dishonesty – from intentionally blowing up GM trucks to “prove” the dangers of owning them, to utterly ignoring Bill Clinton’s one-man War on Women. There isn’t much we haven’t witnessed. Currently, the mainstream media are aligned to smear Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker with lies and disinformation before the November election.

In 2012, Democrat Wisconsin district attorneys, led by Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm, launched a secret probe known as a John Doe investigation of Gov. Walker, alleging he illegally coordinated a conservative group’s fundraising. These Democrats sought to prove Walker received an illegal in-kind campaign contribution in the form of ads Walker approved. Since Democrats never violate campaign finance laws, they are uniquely qualified to pursue those who do. The district attorneys issued more than 100 subpoenas, demanded private information from individuals and conservative groups, and even conducted secret raids. Furthermore, those targeted or privy to the investigation were required to keep it secret.

But prosecutors lost the first round in court as Judge Gregory Peterson quashed their subpoenas, saying they “fail probable cause.”

After the John Doe debacle, the DAs appealed to U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Randa. The judge slammed the prosecutors for seeking “refuge in the Court of Public Opinion, having lost in this Court of law.”

The defendants then asked for the release of reams of the secret documents while leaving out those involving two unnamed, unindicted persons for the sake of their privacy. Randa agreed. The DAs then complained that all records should be made public rather than a select few. Randa shot back saying that the prosecutors’ complaint “smacks of irony.” Their position is “at odds with their duty as prosecutors, which is to see that in any John Doe proceeding the rights of the innocent accused are protected in pursuit of a criminal investigation.”

While that state appeal was pending, Eric O’Keefe of the Wisconsin Club for Growth filed a federal civil rights suit, alleging the DAs’ secret investigation and tactics are an unconstitutional abuse of his civil rights. The civil rights case is currently before three judges from the Seventh Circuit Court, and the media are dutifully touting a big win for the Wisconsin prosecutors.

The story broke last June, and since then the Leftmedia has portrayed Walker as another corrupt conservative politician, hypocritically violating campaign finance laws. Despite the fact that the case was thrown out of a state court and then a federal court for lack of evidence, Democrats continue pursuing Walker as though he were the reincarnation of another Wisconsinite, Sen. Joe McCarthy.

The real in-kind campaign contribution went from prosecutors to Walker’s Democrat challenger Mary Burke. Democrats have handicapped fundraising at many of the most effective conservative independent groups while forcing them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyers to defend their rights in court. Burke has made the probe a centerpiece of her campaign, which has helped her get close in the polls.

But prosecutors aren’t done yet. They’re asking the Seventh Circuit Court to let them reopen the investigation, despite its nearly two years of failing to nail Walker on any charge. Furthermore, they claim immunity from being sued and that the interests of the public outweigh the interests of the investigated group. Clearly, all they really want is to drag out the constant allegations until the November elections, hoping to rid themselves of Walker. Let’s hope the voters of Wisconsin aren’t fooled by Democrats’ shameful behavior.

For more, visit Right Analysis8.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
David Harsanyi: Actually, Senators, You’re the Ones Who Threaten the Country19
Jonah Goldberg: Is the Islamic State Really un-Islamic?20
Mona Charen: Presidential Malpractice21
Michelle Malkin: Post-9/11: Protect the Freedom to Warn22
Stephen Moore: In Japan’s Economic Folly, a Lesson for U.S.23
For more, visit Right Opinion24.

OPINION IN BRIEF
Canadian-American chemist and author O. A. Battista (1917-1995): “One of the hardest things to teach a child is that the truth is more important than the consequences.”

Columnist David Harsanyi: “It is true that 16 states and the District of Columbia, along with more than 500 cities and towns, have passed resolutions calling on Congress to reinstitute restriction on free speech. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support the abolishment of super PACs. So it’s important to remember that one of the many reasons the Founding Fathers offered us the Constitution was to offer a bulwark against ‘democracy.’ Senators may have an unhealthy obsession with the democratic process, and Supreme Court justices are on the bench for life for that very reason. On Monday, Democrats offered an amendment to repeal the First Amendment in an attempt to protect their own political power. Whiny senators – most of them patrons to corporate power and special interests – engaged in one of the most cynical abuses of their power in recent memory. Those who treat Americans as if they were hapless proles unable to withstand the power of a television commercial are the ones who fear speech. That’s not what the American republic is all about.”

Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “Is the Islamic State ‘not Islamic’? Moreover, is it really ‘clear’ that it’s not Islamic? … [T]he fact that the majority of its victims are Muslim is irrelevant. Lenin and Stalin killed thousands of communists and socialists; that doesn’t mean Lenin and Stalin weren’t communists and socialists. If such terrorists who kill Muslims aren’t Muslims, why do we give them Korans when we imprison them? … [I]t also seems flatly wrong for an American president to be declaring what is or is not Islamic – or Christian or Jewish. Given the First Amendment alone, there’s something un-American in any government official simply declaring what is or is not a religion. … Instead of Americans trying to persuade Muslims of the world that terrorism is un-Islamic, why shouldn’t Muslims be working harder to convince us?”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Obama vowed to arm Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. He had a change of heart. Last month he dismissed the rebels as doctors, dentists and pharmacists, but he’s come to realize it’s cheaper to give them the half billion now than pay their bills through ObamaCare.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

Links

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/29028

http://www.albawaba.com/news/turkey-u.s.-iraq-603319

http://patriotpost.us/posts/29034

http://patriotpost.us/posts/19926

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/09/11/oh-my-some-senate-democrats-now-want-obamas-executive-amnesty-suspended-indefinitely/

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/white-house-immigration-latino-lawmakers-110871.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ozone-layer-begins-to-recover-u-n-panel-says/

http://patriotpost.us/

http://patriotpost.us/articles/27642

http://www.indefenseofchristians.org/idc/release-washington-summit-call-attention-plight-christians-middle-east/

http://www.religionnews.com/2014/09/11/ted-cruz-booed-stage-touts-israel-christian-solidarity/

http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-genocide-of-mideastern-christians-1410474449

http://www.indefenseofchristians.org/idc/statement-idc-president-following-disruption-idc-gala-dinner/

http://freebeacon.com/issues/ted-cruz-stands-up-to-hatred-and-bigotry-at-conference-of-middle-eastern-christians/

http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1723

http://thefederalist.com/2014/09/11/ted-cruz-is-no-hero-for-insulting-a-room-of-persecuted-christians/

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29041

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29042

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29010

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29044

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29049

http://patriotpost.us/opinion

Republicans for What?
The GOP won’t get the victory it seeks without a positive agenda.

Updated Sept. 4, 2014 5:09 p.m. ET
The post-Labor Day election campaign is underway, and the early conventional wisdom is that Republican hopes of a 2010-style wave are fading. GOP gains in the House could only be a few seats and the six pickups to take the Senate are still uncertain. This is coming from the usual liberal suspects, but it is also whispered by GOP strategists. Maybe Republicans should try to improve their odds by telling voters what they would do if they win.

By any typical political measure, this ought to be a great Republican year. President Obama is widely unpopular, the Senate playing field is largely in conservative states, the tide of war is rising around the world, and gains in stocks and other asset prices haven’t translated into higher wages for most Americans. Many Republicans look at this and think they can win merely by running to be a check on Mr. Obama.
Corbis
The trouble is that the House GOP already provides that check, and voters are even more unhappy with Congress than they are with Mr. Obama. The kamikaze government shutdown, among other fits of temper, has so tarnished the GOP reputation that even many voters who dislike Mr. Obama might stay home in November.

It’s true that individual candidates are running on their own issues. Repeal ObamaCare is popular in GOP precincts, even if can’t happen with Mr. Obama in office. And everyone favors the Keystone XL pipeline.

But the lack of any common GOP agenda is leading to the perception of a policy vacuum that plays into Mr. Obama’s critique that Republicans are opposed to everything. The President’s proposal to raise the minimum wage may be irrelevant to most Americans, but at least it’s something. And something usually beats nothing.

The current GOP campaign also plays into the Democratic strategy to make every Senate race an ugly brawl between two equally tarnished candidates. Harry Reid’s SuperPac is spending millions of dollars to define GOP challengers as creatures from the black lagoon. Since they’re mostly defending incumbents who are better known, Democrats figure they have the better chance to win a character fight. This is one reason races in Arkansas, North Carolina, Louisiana and Alaska continue to be close.

Especially as Election Day nears and disengaged voters pay attention, Republicans need to show voters what they’re for. This doesn’t have to be another Contract with America, a la Newt Gingrich in 1994. Given intra-GOP differences, the better model might be the Pelosi Democrats in 2006. Despite being dominated by war horses from the Great Society, those Democrats focused on six smallish ideas that united their ranks and didn’t scare moderates unhappy with George W. Bush.

The political point is to focus on a few proposals that address voter concerns and that Republicans could pass and put on Mr. Obama’s desk if they win both houses of Congress. This would give the GOP something positive to talk about, beginning the long process of repairing their public image.

It would also educate their own voters about what is achievable if they do take Congress. The worst outcome would be for Republicans to take the Senate by one or two seats and then fail to deliver anything because their yahoos demand the impossible. That would set up Hillary Clinton to run against the failures of a GOP Congress in 2016, and perhaps deny them a governing majority if a Republican does win back the White House.

We don’t know what the GOP House and Senate campaign committees might agree on, but here are a couple of ideas that would combine GOP principles with populist notes that fit the public mood:

• Pick up former Senator Phil Gramm’s proposal to offer the freedom option in health insurance, letting individuals opt out of ObamaCare’s regulations to buy the policies they want. This would address the concerns of voters who lost the insurance they liked or are paying more. The White House and left would howl, but many Democrats would find it hard to oppose.

• Promise to repeal “too big to fail.” Even Mr. Obama’s regulators recently admitted this policy remains in place when they rejected the “living wills” that banks must propose under Dodd-Frank. This is a populist way to reopen the issue of financial regulation.

• Go beyond Keystone XL by promising to quickly and greatly increase domestic energy production and exports. This would appeal to union voters as a jobs measure, to consumers in potentially lower energy costs, and to Americans concerned about growing turmoil in Europe and the Middle East. U.S. natural gas exports could make our allies less dependent on Gazprom.

This is far from a complete list, but the point is to run a campaign that is about more than attacking Mr. Obama. Most Americans already regret re-electing him. But they are more likely to give Republicans the big majorities they seek if they also sense their lives might be better with a GOP Congress.

Game-Changer: Lois Lerner’s IRS Emails Exist; But Will Obama Admin Look for Them?

August 26, 2014 By Greg Campbell

ZObamaLerner  Not a “smidgen” of corruption, eh?

The Obama Administration is purposefully burying their heads in the sand with regards to Lois Lerner’s emails. According to Justice Department attorneys, the “missing” emails from the computer of Lois Lerner actually exist and are backed up and retrievable, but Justice Department officials are unwilling to retrieve them because doing so is an arduous task.

Lerner is the disgraced IRS bureaucrat that, for years, was at the forefront of the IRS harassment of Tea Party and conservative groups. Emails from her time as the head of the tax exempt division of the IRS went missing after she reportedly suffered a computer crash. Her hard drive was, reportedly, salvageable, but was “misplaced” and likely destroyed. Thus, the public has been told that we may never know the content of the emails to and from the woman responsible for carrying out a campaign of harassment against political opponents of the Obama Regime.
However, in a shocking admission to the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, Justice Department attorneys have admitted that the IRS backs-up every email in case of a catastrophe, but that they are unwilling to retrieve the information because it would take a lot of effort to track down the emails.
“A Department of Justice attorney told a Judicial Watch attorney on Friday that it turns out the federal government backs up all computer records in case something terrible happens in Washington and there’s a catastrophe, so the government can continue operating,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told recently revealed.

“But it would be too hard to go get Lois Lerner’s e-mails from that backup system,” Fitton continued, explaining what the DOJ official told Judicial Watch. “So, everything we’ve been hearing about scratched hard drives, about missing e-mails of Lois Lerner, other IRS officials, other officials in the Obama administration, it’s all been a pack of malarkey. They could get these records, but they don’t want to.”
Fitton also claimed that Judicial Watch will be pursuing legal remedies to get the emails. Fitton stated,
“This is a jaw-dropping revelation. The Obama administration had been lying to the American people about Lois Lerner’s missing emails. There are no ‘missing’ Lois Lerner emails – nor missing emails of any of the other top IRS or other government officials whose emails seem to be disappearing at increasingly alarming rate. All the focus on missing hard drives has been a diversion. The Obama administration has known all along where the email records could be – but dishonestly withheld this information. You can bet we are going to ask the court for immediate assistance in cutting through this massive obstruction of justice.”
Forty years prior, President Nixon’s administration was undone when it was revealed that there was a “back-up” of conversations taking place in the White House. Similarly, if Judicial Watch is successful, we may soon have the smoking gun that shows the orchestrated and politically-motivated effort by the IRS to quell political dissent.

However, unlike the Nixon era that was equipped with a diligent media, hungry for the truth, Americans today are saddled with a complacent, leftist mainstream media unwilling to pursue truths that lead to unfavorable narratives for Obama and his lackeys.

Still, the alternative media is alive and well and willing to shine a light on the regular diet of lies spewing from the Obama Administration and what this revelation details to even a cursory observer of politics is that the Obama Administration is pathologically incapable of telling the truth- something one would not expect from an administration that has repeatedly promised to serve as the model for transparent government.

» Blacks Must Confront Reality » Commentary — GOPUSA

walter_williamsThough racial discrimination exists, it is nowhere near the barrier it once was. The relevant question is: How much of what we see today can be explained by racial discrimination? This is an important question because if we conclude that racial discrimination is the major cause of black problems when it isn’t, then effective solutions will be elusive forever. To begin to get a handle on the answer, let’s pull up a few historical facts about black Americans.

In 1950, female-headed households were 18 percent of the black population. Today it’s close to 70 percent. One study of 19th-century slave families found that in up to three-fourths of the families, all the children lived with the biological mother and father. In 1925 New York City, 85 percent of black households were two-parent households. Herbert Gutman, author of “The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925,” reports, “Five in six children under the age of six lived with both parents.” Also, both during slavery and as late as 1920, a teenage girl raising a child without a man present was rare among blacks.

A study of 1880 family structure in Philadelphia found that three-quarters of black families were nuclear families (composed of two parents and children). What is significant, given today’s arguments that slavery and discrimination decimated the black family structure, is the fact that years ago, there were only slight differences in family structure among racial groups.

Coupled with the dramatic breakdown in the black family structure has been an astonishing growth in the rate of illegitimacy. The black illegitimacy rate in 1940 was about 14 percent; black illegitimacy today is over 70 percent, and in some cities, it is over 80 percent.

The point of bringing up these historical facts is to ask this question, with a bit of sarcasm: Is the reason the black family was far healthier in the late 1800s and 1900s that back then there was far less racial discrimination and there were greater opportunities? Or did what experts call the “legacy of slavery” wait several generations to victimize today’s blacks?

The Census Bureau pegs the poverty rate among blacks at 28.1 percent. A statistic that one never hears about is that the poverty rate among intact married black families has been in the single digits for more than two decades, currently at 8.4 percent. Weak family structures not only spell poverty and dependency but also contribute to the social pathology seen in many black communities — for example, violence and predatory sex. Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person. Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation’s population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. Nationally, the black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it’s 22 times that of whites. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims. Coupled with being most of the nation’s homicide victims, blacks are also major victims of violent personal crimes, such as assault, rape and robbery.

To put this violence in perspective, black fatalities during the Korean War (3,075), Vietnam War (7,243) and all wars since 1980 (about 8,200) come to about 18,500, a number that pales in comparison with black loss of life at home. Young black males had a greater chance of reaching maturity on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan than on the streets of Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, Newark and other cities.

The black academic achievement gap is a disaster. Often, black 12th-graders can read, write and deal with scientific and math problems at only the level of white sixth-graders. This doesn’t bode well for success in college or passing civil service exams.

If it is assumed that problems that have a devastating impact on black well-being are a result of racial discrimination and a “legacy of slavery” when they are not, resources spent pursuing a civil rights strategy will yield disappointing results.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at http://www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM

Russia’s Message on Jet: Conciliation and Bluster
By NEIL MacFARQUHARJULY 21, 2014

President Vladimir V. Putin visited an aerospace center in Samara, Russia, on Monday.
MOSCOW — Russia presented a combination of conciliation and bluster on Monday over its handling of the downed Malaysia Airlines jet, with President Vladimir V. Putin seemingly probing for a way out of the crisis without appearing to compromise with the West.

On one hand, he offered conciliatory words in a video statement, oddly released in the middle of the night, while the separatists allied with Moscow in southeastern Ukraine released the bodies of the victims and turned over the black box flight recorders from the doomed aircraft to Malaysian officials.

However, two senior military officers forcefully demanded that the United States show publicly any proof that rebels fired the fatal missile, and again suggested that the Ukrainian military shot down the Malaysia Airlines jet despite the fact that Ukraine has not used antiaircraft weapons in the fight along its eastern border.

Pro-Russian militiamen keep watch as Dutch forensic investigators prepare to inspect bodies.Journey Home Finally Begins for the Victims of Malaysia Airlines FlightJULY 21, 2014
Obama Denounces Russia and Separatists for Obstructing Crash SiteJULY 21, 2014
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announces that two black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines flight will be handed over by Ukrainian rebels.Malaysia Premier Brokers Deal to Recover Black BoxesJULY 21, 2014
A piece of wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines jet downed over eastern Ukraine last week shows damage, including shrapnel holes and blistered paint, that is consistent with a hit from a fragmenting warhead, according to consultants with IHS-Jane’s.Jet Wreckage Bears Signs of Impact by Supersonic Missile, Analysis ShowsJULY 21, 2014
Times Topic: Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
Mr. Putin seemed to respond to the outraged international demands growing daily that he intervene personally to rein in the rebels — particularly to halt the degrading chaos surrounding the recovery of the remains. But at the same time, Moscow did not concede that it was at fault.

In the investigation of the Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine and urged Russia to push separatist rebels for access to the wreckage site. Publish Date July 21, 2014. Image CreditGabriella Demczuk/The New York Times

“Putin is trying to find his own variation of a twin-track decision, because he does not have a clear exit,” said Gleb O. Pavlovsky, a political consultant who once worked for the Kremlin.

The pressure continued to expand. President Obama delivered yet another personal rebuke to Mr. Putin from the White House lawn over the intransigence of the rebels toward the international investigation, hours before they agreed to more cooperation. In addition, an initial expert analysis of photographs of the airplane’s fuselage found that the damage was consistent with being struck by the type of missile that U.S. officials said was used.

On Tuesday, Russia faces the threat of far more serious sanctions from its main trading partners in Western Europe.

“Of course this is a strong blow to him, a strong blow to his strategy,” said Mr. Pavlovsky, referring to the fact that Russian separatists fighting in eastern Ukraine have been discredited globally, due to suspicions that they shot down the aircraft and their handling of the crash site.

“It touches him too,” Mr. Pavlovsky said, “He wants to get out, but to get out without having lost.”

Mr. Obama called for Mr. Putin to “pivot away” from the rebels, linking him directly to their abuse of the crash site.

Continue reading the main story
Where the Wreckage Fell UPDATED JULY 21
Satellite imagery captured by DigitalGlobe on July 20 shows debris and burned ground within the area where witnesses say wreckage from the plane is most concentrated. The wreckage was strewn across farmland over an area estimated to be as large as 13 square miles. Related Maps »

“Russia, and President Putin in particular, has direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation,” he said in brief remarks. “President Putin says that he supports a full and fair investigation and I appreciate those words, but they have to be supported by actions.”

Mr. Putin’s statement was issued on the Kremlin website at 1:40 a.m. Monday on video, with analysts suggesting the timing was aimed more at Washington than Russia.

The world’s leaders have no real ability, nor the stomach for significant action against Russia’s current strongman. Nothing will be forgiven, but all will be soon forgotten. I
His usual swagger seemed absent; instead he looked pasty and unsure, avoiding talking into the camera directly and leaning on a desk.

The statement did not break new ground, either. The Russian leader repeated his support for a thorough international investigation, and said Russia would pursue its efforts to move the fight over the future of southeastern Ukraine from the battlefield to the negotiating table. Mr. Putin did not address directly any accusations of Russian complicity in downing the aircraft.

By the end of the day there was one small diplomatic victory. The Malaysian government dealt directly with the leadership of the Russian-supported Donetsk People’s Republic, the breakaway faction in southeastern Ukraine, in negotiating the release of the bodies and the flight recorders.

Amid all the negotiating, the Ukrainian government pressed its attack on Donetsk, firing on rebel positions in the northwest of the city and killing at least three civilians. Ukraine denied that it hit civilian areas, but heavy damage in the city cast doubt on that assertion.

In his statement, Mr. Putin also warned that he was suspicious of all the criticism directed at the Kremlin. “No one should and no one has the right to use this tragedy to pursue their own political goals,” he said.

Mr. Putin often seethes with distrust and anger that the United States seeks to exploit any opening to weaken Russia, a widespread sentiment in Russia reflected in his high approval ratings. The entire Ukraine confrontation is rooted in his determination to stop the West from wrestling Ukraine out of Moscow’s orbit.

Russians, too, exhibited a certain defensive anger about the current accusations, convinced that the West leapt to condemn them no matter what the issue.

Anastasia Lukina, 30, a sales manager in Moscow, said either side might have shot down the plane. “So the West says it wants a full investigation, but they’ve already accused us of killing those people?” she said. “We all know what the conclusion to that investigation will be. So why even bother pretending? Russia is the world’s scapegoat.”

That is the theme of much of coverage on state-run television, which has also aired all manner of theories lifted from the dark corners of the web.

One such theory holds that whoever shot down the plane was actually gunning for Mr. Putin, whose plane was over Eastern Europe at the time, returning from Latin America, for example

What Happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
An updated summary of what is known and not known about the crash.

Another argues that the bodies were actually from the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared four months ago — dumped only now to make the separatists look bad.

“In Russia, no one thinks that Russia is guilty,” said Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a sociologist who specializes in studying Russia’s political elite.

The Kremlin actually spent months using state-run television to build the case that the Kiev government are a pack of “fascists,” bent on killing the ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. It has softened that message somewhat in recent weeks, but not abandoned it.

Hence two senior Russian military commanders, sitting in a vast briefing room and dwarfed by the giant electronic screens overhead, used various satellite images and charts to raise a series of rhetorical questions that suggested that Ukraine and the United States deliberately plotted to shoot down the passenger jet. The unusual bilingual briefing was broadcast live on state-run television.

Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
“According to U.S. declarations, they have satellite images that confirm that the missile was launched by the rebels, said Lt. Gen. Andrei Kartopolov, of the Russian General Staff. “But nobody has seen these images.”

He called for them to be released, hinting that they were taken by an experimental military satellite that was orbiting over eastern Ukraine on Thursday because Washington knew what it would photograph.

Among other accusations, the Russians said a Ukrainian Sukhoi-25 fighter jet that was airborne at the time briefly approached the same 33,000-feet altitude as the Boeing 777 and was within range to bring it down with an air-to-air missile.

As for Russia, it had nothing to do with arming the militiamen, General Kartopolov said. “I would like to emphasize that the Russian Federation did not deliver to the militiamen Buk antiaircraft missile systems, nor any other types of weapons or military equipment,” he said.

Ultimately, Russian policy might actually tilt according to what emerges from the investigation. If there is even a hint of doubt, Moscow might cling to both its support for the rebels and claims of its own virtue, analysts suggested.

“If there is not 100 percent proof, then Russia will continue to say” that they are not at fault, said Alexei V. Makarkin, an analyst at the Center for Political Technologies in Moscow. “If there is 95 or even 99 percent, then Russia will not agree with it. They can continue to support the insurgents in the east.”

Correction: July 22, 2014
Reporting was contributed by Andrew Roth and Alexandra Odynova from Moscow; David M. Herszenhorn from Kiev; Sabrina Tavernise and Noah Sneider from Torez, Ukraine; and Keith Bradsher and Chris Buckley from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 

The power to destroy

THE POWER TO DESTROY
JUDGE ORDERS IRS TO EXPLAIN MISSING EMAILS
Big court victory for government watchdog group
Published: 7 days ago
author-image GARTH KANT About | Email | Archive

WASHINGTON – The IRS will have to explain exactly what happened to Lois Lerner’s missing emails to a judge and under oath.

Federal Judge Emmett Sullivan ordered the IRS to make a sworn declaration in writing describing how Lerner could have lost all the emails she sent to other departments from mid-2009 to mid-2011. The declaration is due by August 10.

The judge also assigned federal magistrate John Facciola, an expert in e-discovery, to find out if there is another way to retrieve the emails.

Lerner claims her emails were lost when her hard drive crashed on July 13, 2011. The IRS claims her hard drive was then recycled and destroyed.

The missing emails were sent during the very period in which Lerner, the former tax-exempt division chief, improperly targeted conservative groups.

The judge’s ruling was a significant victory for Judicial Watch, the non-profit government watchdog group which had filed a Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, request for Lerner’s emails from 2010 to the present.

Judicial Watch has been seeking the emails since May 2013 and requested today’s hearing to have the IRS explain what happened to Lerner’s emails, and to explain why the group was never informed they were missing.

Judicial lawyer Ramona Cotca said the IRS never informed the group or the court about the lost emails, even though, she noted, the judge had ordered the department to produce requested documents monthly.

Representing the IRS, Justice Department attorney Geoffery Klimas cited a series of precedents to argue the agency was not legally obligated to inform Judicial Watch about the missing emails because they had disappeared before the group requested them.

Judicial Watch grew so frustrated with the IRS it filed a lawsuit in October, stating the agency had produced no documents related to the group’s request.

Judge Sullivan did not grant a request from Cotca to conduct a limited discovery into what happened to Lerner’s emails, which could have compelled IRS officials to testify, saying that would be premature.

However, the judge did authorize Judicial Watch to submit a request for limited discovery into the missing IRS records after September 10.

Klimas revealed that the Treasury Department’s inspector general has begun an investigation into the missing emails, and has asked the IRS not to question witnesses, so as not to interfere with the investigation.

Lerner is not the only IRS employee under investigation whose emails are missing.

Incredibly, the IRS says the hard drives of six other employees also lost their emails due to hard drive crashes.

When Judge Sullivan asked the IRS attorney if they had all lost their emails at the same time, a smattering of laughter rippled through the courtroom.

The judge isn’t the only one who may be skeptical about the extraordinary timing of the lost emails.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said after the hearing, “In our view, there has been a cover-up that has been going on.”

“The Department of Justice, the IRS, had an obligation, an absolute obligation … to alert the court and alert Judicial Watch as soon as they knew when these records were supposedly lost.”

Fitton said Judicial watch attorneys were encouraged and very pleased with the judge’s actions, and call the assignment of a magistrate, “extraordinary.”

When a reporter asked if it were not better to let Congress continue its investigations before taking legal action against the IRS, Fitton noted that Congress had only learned of numerous emails crucial to the investigation because of FOIA requests made by Judicial Watch.

Just one month ago, the IRS belatedly informed congressional committees that Lerner’s emails were missing.

The IRS then informed Congress that Lerner’s computer hard drive was recycled and apparently destroyed.

The IRS also then informed Congress that it did not keep backup copies of emails for more than six months, because they were stored on a on old-fashioned tape that is re-used every six months.

Members of Congress were incredulous that the IRS, which requires tax-payers to save records going back seven years, did not save emails for more than six months.

As WND reported, when asked by members of the House Oversight Committee on June 23 why the IRS used such an antiquated system, IRS Comissioner John Kokinen testified that the estimated cost of $10-to-30 million was too much.

Expressing disbelief, Chairman Darrell Issa,R-Calif., said, given the IRS’s $1.8 billion IT budget, should that not have been a priority?

“If we had the right resources, there would be a lot of priorities,” testily retorted Koskinen.

However, Rep. Scott Desjarlais, R-Tenn. pointed out that $10-to-30 million was not much compared to the $89 million the IRS paid in bonuses last year, including $1 million to employees who actually owed back taxes.

Lerner has admitted the IRS improperly targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, and testimony from others has revealed the agency asked such as invasive questions as what books their members read and what prayers they said.

However, Lerner refused to testify before Congress, twice invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

After she pleaded the fifth a second time, Issa told WND that without Lerner’s testimony, investigators might never find out who ordered the IRS to target conservatives.

Investigators had hoped Lerner’s emails might reveal that information.

IRS chief Koskinen testified he’d learned of a problem with Lerner’s computer in February but didn’t learn of the missing emails until April.

Members of the Oversight committee were livid that not only did the IRS not inform Congress about the missing emails until June, someone at the IRS informed the White House in April.

GOP lawmakers demanded that Koskinen find out who at the IRS leaked the information to the White House.

Thursday’s court action follows Wednesday’s revelation of more key emails from Lerner, during an Oversight hearing, unrelated to the IRS scandal, that was actually called to look at improper government payments.

An email Lerner sent on April 9, 2013, warned colleagues to be careful about what they wrote in emails because Congress could end up reading them.

The IRS first became aware that Congress was looking into potential targeting of conservatives on Jun 3, 2011, when chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., sent a letter to the IRS.

“I was cautioning folks about email and how we have had several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails — so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails,” Lerner wrote in April.

She also asked whether the IRS instant message communications were stored automatically.

When a tech staffer said they were not unless employees copied them, she replied, “Perfect.”

Less than a month later, Lerner would use a planted question at a conference event to admit the IRS had improperly targeted conservatives.

Oversight committee members were yet again incensed it took so long for them to learn about Lerner emails requested for more than a year.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/07/judge-orders-irs-to-explain-missing-emails/#5ULOoDG3rYkLJ6cT.99

» Birthright Citizenship is Flatly Unconstitutional » Fresh Ink — GOPUSA

constitutionBecause the current policy is that any child who is born here, even to an illegal alien, is automatically a citizen of the United States, pregnant illegal aliens by the thousands commit criminal trespass in order to give birth on U.S. soil. There is also a bustling business in birth tourism, where pregnant foreigners on tourist visas are hosted by a growing hospitality industry devoted to their comfort until the day of delivery – and U.S. citizenship – arrives.

All this has led to calls to amend our Constitution to bring this misguided and misdirected practice to an end.

But we do not need to amend the Constitution to fix this problem; a correct reading of the Constitution indicates that such children born on our soil are specifically excluded from citizenship.

The clause at issue is found in the 14th Amendment, which reads, “All persons born or naturalized in the United Statesand subject to the jurisdiction thereofare citizens of the United States…”

A plain reading clearly indicates that birthright citizenship is granted only to those who are “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States when they are born on American soil. Illegal aliens and their children, by definition, are not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. That’s why they can be deported. Their children are no more subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. than their parents are, and as little entitled to citizenship.

The “jurisdiction” clause was added to the 14th Amendment only after a lengthy debate. According to NumbersUSA, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan proposed the amendment because he wanted to make it clear that the simple accident of birth on U.S. soil was not in fact enough to confer citizenship.

Sen. Howard said the jurisdiction requirement is “simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already,” an apparent reference to the Civil Rights Act of 1866, about which more in a moment.

In his debate, Sen. Howard said, “[T]his will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States…”

The logic is inescapable. If the children of foreign diplomats, who are in this country legally, are not U.S. citizens by birth, how is it possible that children of illegal aliens could be?

The only Democrat to participate in the debate was Sen. Reverdy Johnson of Maryland. In debate, he said this about the meaning of this particular clause: “[A]ll persons born in the United Statesand not subject to some foreign Power– for that, no doubt, is the meaning of the committee who have brought the matter before — shall be considered as citizens of the United States.”

The 14th Amendment was passed in order to elevate the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 to constitutionally protected status and insulate it from legal challenge. The CRA of 1866 has a virtually identical clause in it, which reads, “[A]ll persons born in the United Statesand not subject to any foreign power,excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States.”

This makes it particularly clear, for the children of those in Indian tribes were born on U.S. soil, but were not considered citizens under the Civil Rights Act of 1866 because they were subject to a foreign power, the sovereign Indian nation to which they belonged.

As George Beck writes, “‘[T]ribal’ Indians were purposefully excluded from citizenship. The drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment clearly defined ‘tribal’ Indians as ‘Indians not taxed,’ as not ‘subject to the jurisdiction’ of the United States.”

Ken Kuklowski puts it this way, “[T]he Civil Rights Act’s parallel language, ‘and not subject to any foreign power,’ instead shows the Jurisdiction Clause excludes all citizens of any foreign country. The Citizenship Clause was intended to overrule the most infamous Supreme Court case in American history—the 1857Dred Scottcase—and ensure free blacks born in America could not be denied citizenship. It was never designed to make a citizen of every child born to a foreigner.”

Since 1795, aliens have been required to renounce allegiance to any foreign power and declare allegiance to the U.S. Constitution to become a naturalized citizen. They are required to do so because such allegiance was never assumed or taken for granted for an alien born on American soil. For instance, our family has a framed copy of my great-grandfather’s renunciation of his allegiance to the Czar of Russia hanging on the wall of our living room. It was a prerequisite to his being granted full citizenship in the United States.

Anyone born here, on U.S. soil, whose parents owed allegiance to some foreign power, were not considered citizens of the U.S. by birth and should not be today.

Bryan Fischer is director of issues analysis for the American Family Association. He hosts “Focal Point with Bryan Fischer” every weekday on AFR Talk from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Central).

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Hobby Lobby Does Want Bosses Out of the Bedroom. Why Are These Liberal Senators Against That?

Sarah Torre / July 10, 2014

Obamacare has been on a collision course with Americans’ individual liberty and religious freedom from the beginning. Last week’s Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case prevented Obamacare’s Department of Health and Human Services mandate from careening into the religious freedom of family business owners, on the basis of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

Now some liberals would like that religious freedom protection out of the way of Obamacare’s health care dictates.

Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash. and Mark Udall, D-Colo., introduced legislation yesterday that would essentially exempt all federal health care mandates from the protections afforded by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The bill would force families like the Greens of Hobby Lobby and the Hahns of Conestoga Wood Specialties who run businesses and other American employers to provide coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and devices, contraception, and sterilization — regardless of religious objection. It would also prohibit employers from seeking relief from any federal health care mandate — no matter how coercive the rule or controversial the procedure.

The bill could also affect the freedom of non-profit employers like religious schools and charities.

Murray’s proposal would specifically prohibit employers from seeking relief from the HHS mandate under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) – a law the senator voted for in 1993.

Passed by unanimous voice vote in the House and 97-3 in the Senate, the religious freedom law prohibits substantial burdens on religious exercise unless the government can show a compelling interest in burdening religious liberty and does so through the least restrictive way possible. Congress included religious organizations and businesses in the law’s protections and its delicate balancing test has served the country well for more than 20 years.

RFRA has not, like Murray and others claim, offered a blank check for religious believers to do whatever they want in the name of religion. Neither did the Court’s decision last week.

Nor did the Supreme Court’s decision strike down the HHS mandate, as Murray and others claim. Non-grandfathered health plans must still include coverage of all FDA-approved contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs and devices, and sterilization. And all women remain free to make decisions about those drugs and devices for themselves. A handful of family businesses like the Greens’ Hobby Lobby and the Hahns’ Conestoga Wood Specialties simply want the freedom not to participate in those decisions in violation of their deeply held beliefs.

Murray, Planned Parenthood, and others would like to “get bosses out of the bedroom,” and these bosses – it turns out – would very much like to oblige, if only government bureaucrats weren’t blocking the doorway.

As the Supreme Court noted in its opinion last week, there were plenty of other ways for the government to provide no-cost contraception directly to women who wanted it – without hijacking employers’ health plans and trampling on religious freedom. Murray’s approach, however, takes none of those alternate routes, but would only accelerate the government’s running roughshod over fundamental freedoms.

Ironically, Murray hopes her efforts will “return the right of Americans to make their own decisions, about their own health care.” But that won’t happen while Obamacare is law of the land, since it gave government bureaucrats the authority to decide the details of insurance plans, dictating what employers must offer and individuals must purchase.

Employees, individuals and all Americans should be able to choose health care that best fits the needs of their families and respects their freedom. And employers should be able to build businesses in accordance with their values without threat of penalties.

Americans deserve a health-care system that increases access, helps keep costs down, and allows individuals and families to provide and choose health care coverage that respects their values. They shouldn’t have their healthcare dictated by unelected bureaucrats or their fundamental right to religious freedom disregarded.

 

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