GOLDBERG – Culture warriors; HANSON – Mass hysteria; DINAN – BO won’t rescind amnesties; McGURN – Justice Kennedy
PA: STAUB – Wolf’s veto; STAUB – Pension bill
LEADS: SAMUELSOHN – Fireworks lobby; SMITH – AK47s local; CHANG – China’s leadership.
THE HILLARY & EMAILS: WASHINGTON EXAMINER – She lies; Drudge Links 7/1/15
END NOTES: JEFFREY – Static national debt; LEVIN (6/30/15); HANNAN – Referendums mean to pols.
Recommended: JANET – Track the RINOs; Independent Women’s Forum.
“Why Has Chief Justice Roberts Moved from Umpiring to Batting on Healthcare? Could someone please remind Chief Justice John Roberts of his opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee in his confirmation hearings in 2005? That’s when he described his all-important judicial philosophy by saying: “Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them…I will remember that it’s my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.” I ask because his majority opinion in the King v. Burwell case this week is the second time he has rewritten the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in order to save it, moving out of the umpire’s stance directly into the batter’s box.” David Davenport, Hoover. Monday 29 July 2015 / Hour 1, Block D
Jonah Goldberg, NRO: “You Can’t Compromise with Culture Warriors”
“I loved reading the ‘If You Give a Mouse a Cookie’ books to my daughter.
“The somewhat Aesopian theme is that if you give the mouse what it wants – a cookie – it will just want more: a glass of milk, a straw, etc.
“The story came to mind last week, a week that began with many vowing to inter the Confederate flag and that ended with the Supreme Court mandating that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. As far as culture-war victories go, the flag news was big, but the marriage ruling was tantamount to VE Day.
“It might be too much to think that progressive activists and intellectuals would demobilize after such a “Mission Accomplished” moment. But a reasonable person might expect social-justice warriors to at least take the weekend off to celebrate.
But no. Even when the cookie is this big, the mice want something more. The call went out that there were new citadels to conquer. Within hours of the decision, Politico ran a call to arms titled ‘It’s Time to Legalize Polygamy: Why Group Marriage Is the Next Horizon of Social Liberalism.’ On Sunday, Time magazine had Mark Oppenheimer’s ‘Now’s the Time to End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions.’
“Earlier in the week, as corporations and politicians were racing one another to shove the Confederate flag down the memory hole, a co-host asked CNN’s Don Lemon whether the Jefferson Memorial should be removed from the National Mall because the former president owned slaves. He said no, but that ‘there may come a day when we want to rethink Jefferson.’ . . .” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/420560/culture-warriors-gay-marriage-polygamy-jonah-goldberg?target=author&tid=897
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “Progressive Mass Hysteria”
“Democracies have been fickle for 2,000 years, but the Internet makes it worse.
“One of the most harrowing incidents in the Athenian historian Thucydides’ history of the Peloponnesian War is the democratic debate over the rebellious subject state of Mytilene on the distant island of Lesbos. Thucydides uses his riveting account of the Athenian argument over the islanders’ fate to warn his readers of the fickle nature of democracy.
“Outraged by the revolt of the Mytileneans, the frenzied Athenians suddenly assemble and vote to condemn all the adult males on the island, regardless of the role any of them may have played in the revolt. They are to be executed en masse for rebellion, on grounds of collective guilt. The next day, however, cooler heads in Athens narrowly prevail. The radical demos just as abruptly takes a second vote and withdraws its blanket death sentence of the day before, voting instead to execute only 1,000 of the ringleaders of the rebellion. But what about the messenger ship that was dispatched hours earlier to deliver the mass death sentence?
“A second trireme is now sent off by the contrite democracy with orders to the crew to row as fast as they can, in hopes of delivering the reprieve in time. The relief vessel and its exhausted crew arrive at Lesbos at the very moment that all the adult male islanders have been lined up and are about to have their throats slit. “Thucydides uses the frightening story to warn of the wild — and often dangerous — swings in public opinion innate to democratic culture. The historian seems at times obsessed with these explosions of Athenian popular passions, offering an even longer and more hair-raising account of popular mood swings over invading Sicily. We forget sometimes that the Athenian democracy that gave us Sophocles and Pericles also, in a fit of unhinged outrage, executed Socrates by a majority vote of one of its popular courts. “American democracy has become increasingly Athenian, as it periodically whips itself up into outbursts of frantic indignation. While the government in theory still operates according to the checks and balances of the Constitution, in reality, in the hyped Internet world of modern pop culture, fevered passions can seize the majority of the population in a matter of hours. . .” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/420496/progressive-mass-hysteria
Stephen Dinan, Washington Times: “Obama defies federal judge, fails to rescind wrongly issued amnesties”
“The Obama administration still hasn’t fully rescinded the 2,000 three-year amnesties it wrongly issued four months ago in violation of a court order, government lawyers recently admitted in court, spurring a stern response from the judge who said the matter must be cleaned up by the end of July — or else.
“It’s the latest black eye for President Obama’s amnesty policy and the immigration agency charged with carrying it out. The agency bungled the rollout, issuing three-year amnesties even while assuring the judge it had stopped all action hours after a Feb. 16 injunction.
“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency responsible for overseeing the amnesty, said it’s trying to round up all of the permits, sending out two-year amnesties and pleading with the illegal immigrants to return the three-year cards.
“But they are having trouble getting some of the lucky recipients to send them back. . .” http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/29/three-year-amnesties-not-fully-rescinded/
William McGurn, WSJ: “Justice Kennedy’s Bitter Truth”
“The same-sex marriage ruling will unleash the legal furies against those who disagree with it.
“In the heady days since Anthony Kennedy unearthed a constitutional right for Americans “to define and express their identity,” the extravagance of the Supreme Court’s claim has taken some by surprise. It shouldn’t have. In finding for same-sex marriage the way he did, Justice Kennedy made official what he made inevitable a quarter-century back.
“That was in 1992. The occasion was a Supreme Court decision on abortion into which Mr. Kennedy inserted a new definition of liberty. Where Thomas Jefferson had grounded human liberty in self-evident truth, Mr. Kennedy holds that the mere self suffices.
“‘At the heart of liberty,’ he wrote, ‘is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.’
“Now he has followed through. In Obergefell v. Hodges, the court substitutes for the laws passed by the people acting through their state legislatures a new constitutional right to ‘dignity’ based on the court’s ‘better informed understanding.’
“Back when poor Harry Blackmun in Roe v. Wade established a right to privacy that likewise appears nowhere in the Constitution, he wrote under the conceit that his decision would resolve the issue once and for all. Instead, his 1973 ruling launched the culture wars.
“Obergefell is Roe on steroids. Roe legalized a market for abortion for those who wanted them and those who provided them. It was qualified by conscience protections plus riders attached to federal legislation greatly limiting the use of taxpayer dollars to underwrite the practice. So Roe didn’t demand much of those on the other side—or on the sidelines.
“Obergefell is another thing altogether. In one of the great flimflams of American life, it is a prescription for endless litigation smuggled in under libertarian clothing. This began with the opening question put to all those who held the classic view of marriage: What can it possibly matter to you, they were asked, if two men or two women who love each other call their relationship marriage?
“We learned that it matters a great deal.
“It matters to Brendan Eich, who was forced to resign last year as CEO of the company he co-founded after it became public that he had donated $1,000 to Proposition 8, the successful California ballot measure banning same-sex marriage.
“It matters to Chick-fil-A, which in 2012 saw the mayors of Chicago and Boston declare the
restaurant chain had no place in their cities because its chief executive held the same view of marriage that Barack Obama held until very recently.
“It matters to Catholic Charities, which in several states has been forced out of the adoption business either because the charity does not offer same-sex spousal benefits or declines to place children for adoption with same-sex couples.
“It matters for cake bakers, photographers, florists, jewelers and pizza-parlor owners who happily serve gay customers but draw the line at assisting gay weddings.
“Finally, it matters to all religious schools and religious institutions. Give the Obama administration its due: The president’s solicitor general admitted during the Obergefell oral argument that a victory for same-sex marriage would put the tax-exempt status of such institutions on the chopping block. . .”
Also – Kathryn Vasel, CNN: “America’s favorite fast food chain is…”
“Not everyone likes Chick-fil-A’s politics, but they sure seem to like the food.
It’s the highest ranking fast food restaurant in the U.S. for customer satisfaction, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index Restaurant Report 2015.
But that hasn’t stopped fans from flocking to its restaurants, and giving it high marks for customer experience.
PA . . .
Andrew Staub, PA Independent: “Wolf’s veto, opposing mandates leave Pennsylvania without budget”
“HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania – Republican lawmakers on Tuesday steamrolled through liquor privatization, public pension reform and a state budget without a tax increase.
“They were doing what the people elected them to do, they said.
“Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, squashed the conservative celebration not long after, announcing he will veto the entire GOP budget. He is doing it because he believes he was elected with a different mandate — one that Republicans ignored.
“This year’s budget season already has been cloaked in partisan ideology. The fact that Wolf and the Republicans who control the General Assembly both believe they have vastly different mandates from voters only exacerbated the discord in the run-up to Tuesday’s soft budget deadline.
“‘It looks like it’s going to take some genuine crisis to resolve it,’ G. Terry Madonna, a pollster and political science professor at Franklin & Marshall College, said about the budget dispute.
“Republicans have long eyed selling off the state-run wine and liquor stores and putting new state and public school employees into a 401(k)-type retirement plan, and they got that under their budget that holds the line on taxes. But even after including a $100 million increase for basic education, Republicans gave Wolf little reason to be happy with their budget.
“The governor wanted a severance tax on the natural gas industry to fund big increases for education funding. The GOP declined to pass that. They also refused to consider higher income and sales taxes as part of a sweeping tax shift Wolf wanted to use to lower property taxes.
“Wolf also asked that lawmakers erase a structural deficit without so-called ‘gimmicks.’ Republicans said they did, but the governor contends the spending plan is put together with smoke and mirrors and would build upon the deficit. . .”
Also – Leo Knepper, CAP: “A Busy Day in Harrisburg”
“Prior to the June 30th end of the state fiscal year, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a $33 billion budget; that is an increase of $1 billion over last year’s budget. Despite claims that the budget underfunds education, this year’s budget increases education spending by nearly $500 million to historically high levels. Unfortunately for students, most of this funding increase will be consumed by increased payments to the pension system.
“Governor Wolf was not satisfied with a mere $33 billion in state spending. He vetoed the entire budget.
“On that note, the General Assembly passed historic changes to the public employee pension system. Most new teachers and state employees will automatically join a 401k type plan, instead of a defined benefit plan. The changes will reduce future liabilities by $11 billion. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, the pension reform does not address current employees or the state pension system’s combined $53 billion in unfunded liabilities.
“Finally, both chambers passed legislation to privatize liquor stores and lease the state’s wholesale operation. Although this legislation is a far cry from an actual free market, it represents a historic change to Pennsylvania’s prohibition era liquor sales system. According to proponents of the plan, the new system will generate $220 million per year in revenue.
“There is sure to be developments on all fronts related to the budget throughout the week. We will keep you updated.”
Andrew Staub, PA Independent: “Altered pension bill would save PA $11 billion over long term, analysis finds”
“HARRISBURG, Pa. — Changes to a pension reform bill poised to reach Gov. Tom Wolf this week might alleviate some concerns about a legal challenge, but it will cost the state billions of dollars of savings, according to an actuarial analysis released Monday afternoon.
“Instead of netting up to $18 billion in savings by revamping retirement benefits for state workers and public school employees, the Public Employee Retirement Commission projected the state will net long-term savings of about $11 billion after a House committee tweaked Senate Bill 1.
“‘It’s not as great as it was under Senate Bill 1 in its original form, but it’s what the amendment did,’ said James McAneny, executive director of the commission.
“PERC had to approve the actuarial analysis before the House could advance the bill Monday and position it for a final floor vote Tuesday, the final day of the current fiscal year.
“A top priority of Republicans who control the General Assembly, the bill would move all new and public school employees into a 401(k)-type defined contribution plan similar to retirement plans used in the private sector.
“The legislation originally would have increased contribution rates for current employees to maintain benefit increases that lawmakers approved in 2001. The House State Government Committee stripped that provision from the bill, perhaps heading off any litigation regarding contract impairment. PERC, though, noted such a challenge is still possible.
“While the bill still nets billions in savings, that change also carved $7.9 billion from the original 30-year savings for the Pennsylvania School Employees’ Retirement System, leaving that figure at about $8.3 billion.
“Savings for the State Employees’ Retirement System are spread out over a longer period, but would save $2.7 billion — $713 million more than the original bill did. The additional savings, McAneny said, were driven by the elimination of a reamortization of pension debt. That saved almost $5 billion, he said.
“In another change, the committee also exempted about 20 percent of the commonwealth workforce from the legislation when it allowed new state troopers, corrections officers, wildlife conservation officers and others in hazardous duty jobs to stay in the current defined-benefit system.
“Democrats are likely to line up against the bill . . “
LEADS . . .
Darren Samuelsohn, Politico: “Fireworks lobby to Obama: Enough with all the rules”
“Has the administration gone “completely insane” with regulation? The pyrotechnics industry thinks so
“Fireworks manufacturers have been on something of a winning streak of late: Sales of both low-and high-grade celebratory explosives in the U.S. are projected to top $1 billion this year; more states than ever now allow consumers to buy sparklers, Roman candles and other do-it-yourself pyrotechnics. Obscure regulations are being scaled back to help light up the country’s summertime skies.
“But with the Fourth of July busy season bearing down, the industry says it still has one big problem: President Barack Obama’s administration.
“Whether it be duplicative safety rules on the fireworks themselves or requirements that truckers limit their weekly time on the road, the makers, marketers and distributors of pyrotechnics complain that Obama’s regulators are ‘completely insane’ by forcing so many standards on an industry that’s as much a part of a patriotic summer as baseball and apple pie.
“Officials at the Consumer Product Safety Commission counter that the fireworks industry is still operating in a danger zone. . .”
Aaron Smith, CNN: “The first American-made Kalashnikovs are now for sale”
The Kalashnikov USA web site provides a menu of two rifles and two shotguns, all semiautomatics. One of the rifles features a curved, banana-style high capacity magazine with 30 rounds.
Thomas McCrossin, CEO of Kalashnikov USA, told CNNMoney in January, at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, that his company was going to manufacture the guns in America as soon as a factory was established. The company has not told CNNMoney where the factory is located.
The Kalashnikov USA brand is owned by RWC, based in Tullytown, Penn. The company slogan is, “Russian heritage, American innovation.”
Gordon Chang, John Batchelor: Monday 29 July 2015 / Hour 1, Block C:
“Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: China tells Japan that it’s ships are not welcome in the South China Sea!! Beijing upset; but four days ago a Japanese patrol plane was exercising with a Philippines craft, and also with India. Ergo, , Japan and India are there at the same time. China stares, eyes wide. Next move may be to put military assets on the invented reefs, then a South China Sea ADIZ. Note that under Mao and Deng, China and Japan had excellent relations. China need an enemy for its weak leadership?”
THE HILLARY & EMAILS . . .
Washington Examiner: “Yes, Clinton lied about her emails”
“It is rare for news events, even as momentous as the past week’s, to drown out absolute proof that a candidate for president has lied willfully to the public and Congress. Yet precisely such proof has emerged, and it has appeared not only in this newspaper but also in The New York Times (albeit with a headline designed not to draw attention).
“Americans learned this spring that Hillary Clinton, in contravention of federal records rules and current law, conducted all her State Department business using a private email address, housed in a server at her home in Westchester County, N.Y.
“But not to worry — the former secretary of state swore that she had diligently preserved and passed to the State Department every email she had written in the course of her job. Even though she destroyed all the evidence by wiping the server afterward, she assured the public that everything related to her conduct of official business had been kept and turned over, as the law requires.
“It turns out that this is not true. Not only did Clinton fail to turn over work-related emails, but she or her staff also edited some of those emails before submitting them, as the Examiner‘s Sarah Westwood reported Saturday.
“The missing materials, which the State Department says it does not have, came to Congress by other means. They include writings about the jockeying for oil contracts in Libya after President Obama engaging in a war without congressional approval to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi. This comes among her back-and-forth emails with Sidney Blumenthal, a former staffer who had been barred from employment in the Obama administration, to continue offering his insight and advice on Libya.
“It is possible but not plausible to construe these omissions as an honest mistake. The wife of a president who caviled over “what the the meaning of the word ‘is’ is” will split hairs and dispute what is and what is not a work-related email.
“But the proof of intent to deceive comes in the fact that Clinton or her staff actually edited some of the emails and turned over censored versions to State before destroying her copy of the originals. . .”
EMail (Drudge Links, 7/1/15)
‘I heard on radio there is Cabinet mtg this am. Can I go?’ Dozens Now ‘Classified’… IRS FIX-IT LAWYER NOW IN CHARGE… REVEALED: SIDNEY WAS EVERYWHERE… White House Officials DID KNOW About Private Server… Begala asked State Dept how to grade her on CNN… How Clinton Plays the Media… Axelrod caught in new lie…
END NOTES . . .
Terrence Jeffrey, CNN: 15 Weeks: Treasury Says Debt Has Been Frozen at $18,112,975,000,000”
Mark Levin (6/30/15)
“On Tuesday’s Mark Levin Show: Compromise is not leadership, but that’s what Gov. Chris Christie is promoting in his bid for the 2016 presidency. Part of the reason the nation is on the brink today is because the Republican leadership has done more than compromise; they’ve surrendered. Christie did a lot of compromising while Governor of New Jersey, and allowed Democrats to get what they wanted all the time. Some things you just can’t compromise on, especially with a president that seeks to destroy civil society and refuses to comply with the law.
“Also, Democrats never talk about the national debt because they don’t mind robbing future generations in order to acquire power. Our debt is the #1 issue of the day, yet it receives no attention despite red flags everywhere. The United States has reached a point where if we don’t start to reverse course, we’ll be in the same situation as Greece. Greece is going under because of excessive spending and borrowing and taxing; exactly what President Obama is doing to America.”
“Daniel Hannan, a British member of the European parliament, sarcastically tweeted, ‘Calling a referendum is, to Eurocrats, the most offensive thing a politician can do.’ Stripped of their veneer, Eucrocrats’ arguments against all referendums amount to saying that referendums are a bad idea because they shift power from small cliques of unelected but wise rulers to an unsophisticated, nationalistic mob that might fall prey to populism, scare stories, and tabloid headlines. “Hannan, familiar to National Review readers as one of his country’s most articulate conservatives, wrote to me today, saying that while the Greek tragedy will cause much unneeded pain, it also provides a valuable lesson about the perils of ever greater political centralization: We can see, in Greece, how the EU project ends: in the almost total control of a country’s affairs by Brussels. Greeks now have a chance — as Britons soon will — to opt instead for independence. We have been told for decades that European integration was necessary to our economic well-being. When the euro was launched, the European Commission solemnly assured us that it would add an extra 1 percent of annual growth to every participating economy in perpetuity.
As Sarah Palin might put it, “How’s that workin’ out for ya?”