ALLAHPUNDIT – Christian hate speech; MCGURN – Liza’s economics.
LEADS: HATTEM – Patriot Act teeters; HENNESSY-FISK – Immigrants’ setback; WEHNER – BO’s failures; YORK – OCare’s fixers.
THE HILLARY: KRIEGER – Donations to Clintons; GEARAN – Fiorina’s presser.
ISLAM: SCARBOROUGH – Pentagon doubts BO; GELLER – More signs.
PA: FIELD – Change our primary; STAUB – Pot problems.
END NOTES: LEVIN (5/26/15)
ANNOUNCEMENT: Ann Coulter, 6/15.
Recommended: JANET – Track the RINOs; Independent Women’s Forum.
Allahpundit, Hot Air: “Marco Rubio: We’re at the water’s edge of mainstream Christian teachings being branded “hate speech”
“Via the Brody File, hard to believe a country that’s 70 percent Christian would acquiesce in a legal regime like that, but then I look at this poll and remember we’ve already reached the point where Christian-owned businesses can be effectively shuttered by the state for politely declining to participate in a gay wedding. It’d be more accurate to say that the effort to brand Christian teachings that undermine progressivism as “hate speech” has already begun in the public sphere, with the fate of the private sphere still undetermined. Based on early indications, though, merely entertaining an opponent of same-sex marriage in your home has already risen to the level of a felony thoughtcrime, provided that he’s famous enough.
“Over at the Daily Beast, Tim Teeman responds to Rubio with a nice illustration of Rod Dreher’s Law of Merited Impossibility: It’s hysterical fearmongering to believe that gay marriage will threaten Christians, but to the extent that Christian teaching is prejudiced, well, then you deserve it.
‘Because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater,” Rubio said. Absurdly. You are only labeled a ‘homophobe’ and ‘hater’ if you come out and say something homophobic and hateful.
‘Mr. Rubio, despite great provocation by you and others like you, LGBTs and their supporters—many of whom are Christian, by the way—who back equality actually think you can say and think whatever you like, as long as it doesn’t incite violence and hatred. If it does, they will object, as any reasonable person might.
‘If you claim that LGBTs do not deserve marriage equality, and your argument has the ring of prejudice about it—and it necessarily would because you are arguing against the principles of equality—then expect to be called out for it.
‘But you are not being silenced. You are being disagreed with.’
“I don’t know. Does telling a gay couple “I can’t provide flowers for your wedding because my faith doesn’t recognize your union” have the “ring of prejudice” about it? If the attorney general of the state can level a six-figure fine for a statement like that, wrecking the business owner’s livelihood, is that being “disagreed with” or “being silenced”? If lefties are going to be ruthless with Christian holdouts from the new gay-marriage regime, they should have the decency to acknowledge the ruthlessness. . .”
William McGurn, WSJ: “Audrey Hepburn Teaches Economics”
Progressives rushing to help New York nail-salon workers should rent a copy of ‘My Fair Lady.’
“. . . It started, as these things often do, with a two-part exposé in the New York Times, NYT -0.46 % one focusing on the lousy pay and the other on the health threats. This provoked howls of outrage, and was in turn followed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo invoking “emergency measures,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) citing federal legislation on product safety she’s introduced and of course New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio presiding over a ‘day of action.’ The left-leaning Economic Policy Institute declares nail salon abuses a function of “national policy failures.”
“Enter Audrey Hepburn. In her opening scene, her Eliza Doolittle is selling flowers on the street when she realizes someone is taking down every word she says. She confronts him, insisting she’s a ‘respectable girl’ who is doing nothing illegal. It turns out the man—played by Rex Harrison—isn’t a copper but a professor of phonetics.
“In the discussion that follows, Professor Higgins notes that it is Eliza’s ‘curbstone English that will keep her in the gutter to the end of her days.’ He boasts that with a few months under his instruction, she could get a job ‘as a lady’s maid or a shop’s assistant.’
“The next morning, Eliza appears at Professor Higgins’s doorstep to hire him to teach her English because she wants to be ‘a lady in a flow’r shop, ’stead of sellin’ at the corner of Tottenham Court Road.’ He accepts.
“Note the assumptions. Eliza didn’t place her hope in new regulations for street-side flower mongering. For Eliza, upward mobility was about acquiring the skills she needed to get ahead, in this case proper English and the manners that went with it.
“How different this is to the approach to nail salons now being worked out in New York and Washington. Like so many other bursts of progressive passion, chances are that while their bid for more government will make the pols and activists feel better about themselves, it will do little to improve the lives of these women.
“That’s because most of what they propose does nothing to resolve the fundamental issues the Times rightly identifies as making these women workers vulnerable to abusive bosses: They don’t speak English, they don’t have skills, and about a quarter of them are here illegally. All this greatly limits their job opportunities.
“To put it another way, will a crackdown on licensing really help women who will need to complete the 250 hours of study for a New York state license?. . .”
LEADS . . .
Julian Hattem, The Hill: “Scramble begins as Patriot Act teeters”
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is running out of time to save sections of the Patriot Act that the White House deems crucial to national security.
“Top lawmakers and their aides are scrambling to find a last-minute deal to save the law, which is speeding toward expiration — at midnight Sunday — after a series of Senate votes failed to resolve an impasse over the National Security Agency (NSA).
“The White House is dialing up the pressure, with President Obama on Tuesday suggesting that the Senate should break from its Memorial Day recess to pass a bill that will ‘keep the American people safe and secure.’
“‘This needs to get done,’ Obama told reporters in the Oval Office. ‘And I would urge folks to just work through whatever issues can still exist.’
“‘Make sure we don’t have, on midnight Sunday night, this task still undone.’
“McConnell has already ordered senators back to Washington for a rare Sunday session, just hours before the Patriot Act deadline. It’s unclear what they might be voting on.
“The deadline is flipping the script in Washington, with McConnell rather than Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) struggling to find a path forward on major legislation.
“Earlier this month, the House overwhelmingly passed a bill to renew the law, called the USA Freedom Act, in a 338-88 vote. . .”
Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Cindy Carcamo, LA Times: “Obama immigration overhaul and ‘Dreamers’ handed another legal setback”
“A split federal appeals court on Tuesday let stand a lower court’s ruling that has stymied Obama administration plans to shield up to 5 million people – including young immigrants known as “Dreamers” – from deportation.
“At issue was President Obama’s proposed extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, created in 2012, and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Permanent Residents, or DAPA, which was schedule,ed to start in May.
Although the programs do not create a path to citizenship, critics have labeled them ‘amnesty,’ and on Tuesday they praised the 2-1 ruling from the New Orleans-based appellate court.
“‘Texas just won the executive amnesty case at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The PConstitution wins,’ Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a vocal critic of Obama’s immigration policies, wrote in a tweet.
“Twenty-six states, led by Texas, had sued to stop the programs, arguing that the president had overstepped his constitutional authority. Judges Jerry E. Smith and Jennifer Walker Elrod agreed. They also found that Texas officials could suffer a “cognizable injury” from the cost of having to issue driver’s licenses to at least 500,000 people that might be covered under the executive action. . .”
WSJ: “Obama’s Remedial Legal Education”
Amber Phillips, WaPo: “President Obama’s legacy is increasingly in legal jeopardy”
“President Obama’s second-term agenda, it seems, is in the hands of the courts.
Same-sex marriage. Obamacare. Climate change. And now immigration. And in many cases, there is significant doubt about whether his signature initiatives will stand legal scrutiny.
The latest blow to Obama’s second-term plans came Tuesday when a federal appeals court in New Orleans denied the administration’s request to move forward with implementing his expanded executive action on immigration to defer deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants.
Peter Wehner, Commentary: “Counting Up Obama’s Cataclysmic Foreign Policy Failures”
“With the Islamic State expanding its reach after two key victories in Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar Province, and Palmyra, a strategically important city in Syria, it might a good time to ask: What are the worst foreign policy failures of Barack Obama’s presidency? The list is long; here are several to choose from.
- The Rise of ISIS. President Obama failed to anticipate the rise of ISIS, which he ridiculed as a “jayvee team” as recently as last year, and he has since failed to do anything effective to impede it. ISIS had established territory in large parts of Syria and Iraq; it now “controls a volume of resources and territory unmatched in the history of extremist organizations.” Under Mr. Obama’s watch, a jihadist caliphate has been established in the heart of the Middle East — and the president has no strategy to deal with it.
“2. Losing the War in Iraq. President Obama’s predecessor handed to him a war that had been won. Don’t take my word for it; take the word of Mr. Obama and his vice president. . .
“3. Failing to Aid Iran’s Green Revolution. In the summer of 2009, a revolution in Iran threatened to topple the mullahs. Leaders of the so-called “Green Revolution” pleaded for support. They got none. . .
“4. Triggering a Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has long advocated a Middle East free of nuclear weapons. But President Obama’s determined effort to strike a deal with Iran, in which all the important concessions are made by us and none by the Iranians, has petrified our traditional Sunni allies in the region. Fearful of Iran, nations like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and others are now considering and/or preparing to acquire nuclear weapons. . .
“5. Erasing the “Red Line” in Syria. In 2012, President Obama said Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad — who the previous year was referred to as a “reformer” by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — should step down and that the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against rebel forces would constitute crossing a “red line.” Mr. Assad crossed the red line, and President Obama did nothing. The brutal Syrian leader is still in power, Syria is being torn apart by a civil war in which around a quarter of a million people have died, around four million have fled as refugees, and around eight million have been internally displaced. Syria’s neighbors are being destabilized. And an unmistakable message of weakness was sent by Mr. Obama and received by every adversary and ally of the United States: Mr. Obama’s words and threats are worthless.
“6. The Failure to Arm Syrian Rebels. As Syria began to unravel, in 2012 then-CIA director David Petraeus and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton developed a plan to vet Syrian rebels and train a cadre of fighters who would be supplied with weapons. The plan was supported at the time by Leon Panetta, who was defense secretary, and Martin Dempsey, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But it was ultimately vetoed by President Obama, according to Mr. Panetta. . .
“7. Libya Collapses and Becomes a Terrorist Safe Haven. On March 19, 2011, President Obama unilaterally authorized the U.S. military to begin “a limited military action in Libya” to protect Libyan civilians. . .”
“8. Russian Aggression in Crimea and Ukraine. . .The United States scrapped a missile-defense system the Poles and the Czech Republic had agreed to house despite Russian threats, as a way to pacify Russia’s Vladimir Putin. In return, Russia has reasserted its presence in the Middle East in ways unseen since the 1970s, propped up the Assad regime in Syria, supported Iran’s nuclear ambitions and its repression at home, invaded Crimea, militarily intervened in Ukraine . . .’
“ A few summary thoughts on all this: There are limits to America’s capacity to influence world events. It’s difficult for even the best presidents to deal with an untidy and sometimes uncooperative world. And in some of the examples I’ve cited, President Obama is more responsible for the failures that have occurred than in others. But in each of these instances Mr. Obama has made things worse, and in most cases he has made things markedly worse. The cumulative and convulsive effects of his failures are extraordinarily damaging to America and the world.”
Byron York, Washington Examiner: “Obamacare advocates seek to fix problem they made worse”
“. . .A different healthcare issue has emerged for Democrats, in sync with the party’s pitch to workers and middle-class voters ahead of next year’s elections,” reported the Associated Press a few days ago. “It’s not the uninsured, but rather the problem of high out-of-pocket costs for people already covered. Democrats call it ‘underinsurance.’ ”
“The problem is that the deductibles on many Americans’ health insurance policies have shot up so high that as a practical matter they can’t afford care. If a couple had a deductible of, say, $500 in the past, and it’s now $3,000, that couple has to spend a lot of money out-of-pocket before reaping the benefits of coverage. And the higher the deductible, the more likely a person is going to skip some sort of needed treatment or medicine because he or she can’t afford the up-front costs.
“About a quarter of all non-elderly Americans with private insurance coverage do not have sufficient liquid assets to pay even a mid-range deductible, which at today’s rates would be $1,200 for single coverage and $2,400 for family coverage,” the Wall Street Journal reported in March.
“So now, many of the same groups that agitated for Obamacare are agitating for new government spending or tighter controls on the insurance industry and businesses to “solve” the problem. But perhaps the first question to ask is: How did those deductibles get so high in the first place?
“The answer is Obamacare.
“Obamacare’s upward pressure on deductibles started in the law’s first year. By the fall of 2010, six months after President Obama signed the bill into law, Obamacare dictated that insurers could no longer impose lifetime caps on payments, could not deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and had to insure adults up to the age of 26 on their parents’ policies.
“Those provisions raised the insurers’ costs, and since then some additional cost-increasing Obamacare provisions have become law. Sure enough, deductibles began to increase significantly. . .”
THE HILLARY . . .
Michael Krieger, InfoWars: “How Donations to the Clinton Foundation Led to Tens of Billions in Weapons Sales to Autocratic Regimes”
“Another day, another Clinton Foundation related scandal. In the latest expose by International Business Times’ David Sirota, we learn about the explosion in weapons sales to certain nations during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. Billions of dollars in sales went to autocratic regimes notorious for human rights abuses who donated generously to the Clinton Foundation. Should we be surprised? No. Should we be outraged and disgusted? Absolutely. Of all the Clinton scandals, the following is the most dangerous to peace on earth.
Here are some excerpts from the IBT article detailing how taxpayer money is being used to arm the world into oblivion:
‘Even by the standards of arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia, this one was enormous. A consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to the United States’ oil-rich ally in the Middle East.
Israeli officials were agitated, reportedly complaining to the Obama administration that this substantial enhancement to Saudi air power risked disrupting the region’s fragile balance of power. The deal appeared to collide with the State Department’s documented concerns about the repressive policies of the Saudi royal family.
“In the event you want a highlight reel of heinous Saudi behavior, click here.
“These were not the only relationships bridging leaders of the two nations. In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing — the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release. . .
Anne Gearan, WaPo: “Carly Fiorina aims to show up Clinton with press conference outside Clinton event”
“Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina and Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton will cross paths Wednesday in South Carolina. And the Republican — the only woman among the vast GOP field — will try to show up Clinton by holding a regular old press conference.
Clinton has been under fire of late for avoiding reporters’ questions at her campaign events. She did take questions last week in Iowa and New Hampshire, but has often walked away from the shouting throng penned behind the ropes.
“Carly Fiorina is speaking in downtown Columbia, SC on Wednesday. And guess what? So is Hillary Clinton,” Fiorina spokeswoman Sarah I. Flores wrote in an e-mail Tuesday. . .”
Byron York, Washington Examiner: “Clinton emails ignored growing crisis of anti-Western violence in Libya”
“. . . Beginning in the spring of 2012, the threat — and the reality — of violence in Libya were ever-present. There was attack after attack, and warning after warning, yet none seemed to penetrate Hillary Clinton’s carefully-constructed email world. Most significantly, on Aug. 16, 2012, less than a month before the attack, Ambassador Chris Stevens sent an urgent warning to the State Department saying Americans in Libya could not defend U.S. facilities “in the event of a coordinated attack, due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound.” Clinton has testified under oath that she never saw Stevens’ call for help. . .”
ISLAM . . .
Rowan Scarborough, Washington Times: “Obama’s Islamic State strategy sparks doubt, resentment among Pentagon officials”
BO and Val will need Muslim votes in his next job . . .
“Beneath the glowing battle reports about Iraq from U.S. military spokesmen in recent months, there remains a strong undercurrent of dissatisfaction among the Pentagon rank and file with the Obama administration’s Islamic State strategy.
“‘What strategy?’ asked a Pentagon official involved in counterterrorism analysis. ‘We are now floating along, reacting to ISIS,’ using a common acronym for the Islamic State.
“This source said the military has a plan for introducing ground troops and defeating the Islamist group, but the belief is that President Obama will never activate it.
“Whether this unhappiness has reached the inner sanctum of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is unclear. In public, the military leadership says it is squarely behind the strategy of limited U.S.-led airstrikes coinciding with the rebuilding of the Iraq army for all the ground fighting.
“But a Washington Times spot check of department officials and people who interact with the Pentagon reveals deep-seated doubts. . .”
Pamela Geller, BigGovt: AFDI’s New Free Speech Bus and Train Ad Campaign Featuring Muhammad Cartoon”
“Because freedom of speech is under violent assault, the human rights advocacy group the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) has announced a new ad campaign to defend freedom of speech and stand up to violent intimidation kicking off in the nation’s capital.
“I said in a statement: ‘Because the media and the cultural and political elites continue to self-enforce the Sharia without the consent of the American people by refusing to show any depictions of Muhammad or showing what it was in Texas that had jihadists opening fire, we are running an ad featuring the winning cartoon by former Muslim Bosch Fawstin from our Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas.’
“Let the American people see what the cowardly press is censoring in accordance with the blasphemy laws under the sharia (Islamic law).
“The ad campaign has been submitted to the Washington, D.C. MTA to run on buses and train dioramas in the Foggy Bottom, Capitol South, Bethesda, L’Enfant Plaza, and Shady Grove stations.
“‘Drawing Muhammad is not illegal under American law, but only under Islamic law. Violence that arises over the cartoons is solely the responsibility of the Islamic jihadists who perpetrate it. Either America will stand now against attempts to suppress the freedom of speech by violence, or will submit and give the violent the signal that we can be silenced by threats and murder.’
“We cannot submit to the assassin’s veto.”
PA . . .
Nick Field, Politics PA: “PA May Move Up the 2016 Presidential Primary”
“Pennsylvania is a key state when it comes to presidential general elections.
“When it comes to primaries, however, PA usually takes a backseat in importance.
“Some state Republicans are looking to change that.
“Drawing inspiration from the Obama-Clinton contest that captured national attention in 2008, they want the Keystone State to have a say in who the GOP nominee is. It’s unlikely, though, that a primary contest will stay so competitive into April again.
“Therefore, according to James O’Toole of the Post-Gazette, State Rep. Keith Greiner is sponsoring a resolution to move PA’s 2016 GOP primary into March. . .”
Andrew Staub, PA Independent: “‘Slap in the face:’ Mother questions committee assignment for medical cannabis bill”
“The state Senate passed a bill that would allow doctors to recommend some forms of medical marijuana, which Bentch hopes could help her 7-year-old daughter, Anna, who has at times endured as many as 150 seizures in a day.
“The excitement didn’t last long, not after the bill was assigned to the Health Committee, anyway. State Rep. Matt Baker, a Tioga County Republican and staunch opponent of medical marijuana legislation, chairs the committee and told Watchdog.org this week he doesn’t expect to move the bill anytime soon. . .”
END NOTES . . .
Mark Levin Show (5/26/15)
“On Tuesday’s Mark Levin Show: It’s amazing how excited we get when we have a court that actually upholds the Constitution, like the 5th circuit court shooting down President Obama’s executive amnesty. Obama argued that the court doesn’t have the power to review his unconstitutional act, even though he never had the power to do it in the first place. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are just as unconstitutional as Obama for endlessly surrendering power to the Executive Branch. The Founders debated about how powers should be delegated in order to avoid exactly what is happening today. Also, four words in the Obamacare bill are under dispute, which is exactly what happens when you draft a law in a hurry and pass it without reading it. Obama doesn’t get to go back and change the words now; only Congress can.
“Later, violence in cities like Baltimore and Manhattan has skyrocketed since the beginning of the year. The elected liberals in these communities don’t even live in the neighborhoods they claim to represent, but in gated communities away from the turmoil.
“Finally, Michelle Obama is now on the talk circuit, going from one left wing college to the next to spread her hate for America. She’s not only attacking America, but American citizens; she’s attacking you and your way of life every time she speaks.”
ANNOUNCEMENTS . . .
Ann Coulter in Phoenixville!: “Adios America”
Monday, June 15, 7 PM
The Colonial Theater, 227 Bridge St., Phoenixville 19460
Join Chris Stigall as he hosts Ann Coulter for discussion of her latest book Adios America. This Speaker Series event will take place in the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA on Monday, June 15th at 7pm. Ann Coulter will also host a book signing post discussion. Tickets are $30.00 and include a copy of Adios America.
Ann Coulter: Ann Coulter is a conservative American syndicated columnist, bestselling author, constitutional lawyer, and television pundit. Her commentary has earned her a reputation as a vehement critic of social and political liberalism. Her speaking and writing style is aggressive and often controversial.
Independent Women’s Forum
Janet: Track the RINOS
“If you would like to follow your Representative and our Senators, go to this link:
A good way to see what our Rino’s are doing in D.C.