Monday, June 30, 2014

What Is (and Isn't) at Stake for Obamacare in the Hobby Lobby Case

National Journal ^ | June 24, 2014 | Sam Baker
The Supreme Court won't strike down Obamacare's contraception mandate, but a ruling for the law's challengers could still render the policy toothless for millions of women. The justices are set to rule any day now in a challenge to the birth-control mandate, and any decision against the policy would have ripple effects far beyond the two companies that filed this lawsuit. Just how far, however, depends on how broadly the Court rules—and it has plenty of options. No matter what happens, the Court won't strike down the entire mandate. The two companies that brought their challenge to the Supreme Court—Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties—haven't asked the justices to ax the entire policy.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

President Valerie Jarrett? She says not likely, but doesn’t say no (Projectile BARF Alert)

Communities Digital News ^ | 6-29-14 | Jacquie Kubin
WASHINGTON, June 30, 2014 – If asked, few Americans would know who Valerie Jarrett is but after President Obama she may be the most powerful person in the United States. Some think she is more powerful than the president. In her role as White House Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison, Jarrett’s influence has been a subject for discussion over the last six years. Some say she has more power in the Oval Office than the Chief of Staff. When Jarrett tussled with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and then Bill Daley, many say first she emasculated them and then she forced them out of the White house. And that Obama supported her in her conflicts with his senior staff. Jarrett is what is known as a ‘limousine liberal’, a government official that calls for a populace living under governments thumb even while they enjoy a life of luxury.
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Is Obama Trying To Get Us Killed?

American Thinker ^ | 6/30/2014 | Stella Paul
As thousands of disease-riddled criminals storm across our borders, is it really time to mince words? President Obama appears to have an Agenda for America that stinks worse than a Border Patrol bus depot crammed with urine-drenched illegals. Is the man trying to protect and defend us, or does he want us to kick the bucket, run down the curtain, and join the choir invisible?On January 29, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security advertised for a vendor to escort 65,000 “unaccompanied alien children,” indicating that they not only knew the alien invasion was coming, they planned it.Now the feds are spreading these disease vectors from sea to shining sea, stuffed full of HIV, scabies, TB, swine flu, MRSA staph infections, syphilis, and other communicable infestations. “One person can infect a thousand people, and then that thousand can infect thousands more. There is an exponential increase," warns public health expert Dr. Elizabeth Van Vliet.Already, Border Patrol agents are getting sick from these contacts; soon these kids will start showing up in your public school. If you found it annoying when little Jake caught that cold that was going around, wait till he comes home with swine flu.Mixed among the multitudes are notorious gang members, drug dealers, sex criminals, and terrorists. The gangs will massacre us in our cities, the drug dealers will rape our children’s minds, and the terrorists will disassemble our loved ones’ body parts. As for those poor pathetic youngsters brought here by human smugglers, they eventually will get the jobs that Americans won’t do – working as sex slaves.
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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Obama spokesman is ‘Already worse than Carney’:

Twitchy ^ | 6 20 2014 | Various
‘Already worse than Carney’: Obama spokesman’s scapegoat for influx of young illegals drops jaws Unaccompanied young people have been flooding across the border and crowding temporary shelters in the U.S. Is the reason this has been happening due to lax border security combined with an expectation the U.S. government might soon grant blanket amnesty to people in the country illegally?According to Josh Earnest, who is replacing Jay Carney as White House press secretary, the blame is elsewhere: A “misinformation campaign” by “syndicates”? Oh, ok Josh. “Devoid of self-awareness,” and then some: This administration isn’t even trying to make sense anymore:

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Obama’s Left Hand Doesn’t Speak to His Right Hand

Gates of Vienna ^ | June 20, 2014 | Pseudonym

What if Barack Obama wasn’t inept at all? What if his many failures and misdirections were part of a larger scheme to confuse, misdirect, and eventually destroy our ability to make any reasonable predictions about what comes next? On the other hand, what if his utter hubris has engineered so vast a mistake that his bridge collapses? [Update: Below is a video of one woman speaking out at the meeting in Lawrenceville. Many thanks to the anonymous commenters who provided these links. Open up YouTube and look at the sidebar for more Lawrenceville videos.] video here I can only deal with a few parts of this administration’s huge and sprawling Hell House. So I will stick to some of what I know well, and hazard a few guesses as to what is going on. Take the “humanitarian” crisis he has fomented along our southern borders. It appears that advertisements or news reports ran in Central American news media; they claimed new opportunities for illegal alien children IF they came to the U.S. border unaccompanied by adult members of their family. New, softer rules would apply for these children; they would be more kindly treated if they were to arrive in huge droves, serving to undermine the strictures in place. What if those “news” stories served to turn on a spigot? What if families with no hope for the future sent their malnourished and diseased children (not to mention adults who’d been miniaturized by a life of semi-starvation who tried to “pass” as children) on a fearsome odyssey, including a trek through Mexico? What if they appeared in the thousands to overwhelm those whose job it was to keep the borders secure?
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Welcome to the White House's Nightmare

National Journal ^ | June 19, 2014 | James Oliphant
Already swamped by domestic and foreign crises, Obama finds that even his self-proclaimed successes are at risk. That's just about the last thing he needs now.  Of all the things to rise up and bedevil President Obama again, Iraq seemed to be low on the list. But now the White House must live with the reality that, almost three years after the war was declared over, American blood could be spilled anew in a conflict that could readily escalate. Obama's announcement that up to 300 military advisers would be sent to Iraq marks a brutal moment in a brutal stretch for this presidency, one that threatens to indelibly stain not only his foreign policy record but his legacy as well. This was a man who, as a candidate and as a chief executive, made pulling the United States out of two intractable wars in the Middle East central to his theory of governance. He ended wars, he liked to say. He didn't start them. Sending a relative handful of forces back to the region doesn't mean he's doing so, of course. "American forces will not be returning to combat," Obama was sure to pledge to the public Thursday, and White House aides insist that this is a limited mission, that the Iraqi government, ultimately, will have to be the ones to repel the forces of the Sunni insurgency and mend the broken country. Still, the move is a tacit acknowledgment that many of the assumptions that Obama and his foreign policy team made about the world have proven to be incorrect:◾That without the leverage of U.S. military power in the country, Iraqi leaders would pursue political change that wouldn't leave Sunnis alienated and antagonized and that its security forces could counter internal threats; ◾That Afghanistan would be stable enough for the U.S. to end that war and depart with confidence the government can keep the nation on a stable path; ◾That the U.S. could pursue a "reset" with Vladimir Putin's Russia—but then watched his troops take Crimea and threaten the rest of Ukraine; ◾That the civil war in Syria could somehow be contained within its borders—and could reach a resolution without American intervention.More than anything, these events and others have served as a rebuke to Team Obama's worldview that a new generation of leadership could move on from both the Clinton-era and Bush-era policies. Both of those administrations were more hawkish and aggressive about the exercise of American power, whether it was to intercede in regional conflicts in the Balkans or take down Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Disdainful of much of Washington's foreign policy establishment, Obama and his close-knit circle of advisers, on the other hand, talked about engaging Iran diplomatically, using sanctions to punish bad actors, "pivoting" to Asia, and neutralizing the threat of terrorism more bloodlessly through the use of drones. They viewed American power in terms of limits. This was a president, after all, who opposed the U.S. "surge" that arguably stabilized Iraq to the point where Obama could pull the troops out. Yet here was Obama on Thursday using the language of presidents past such as John Kennedy and George W. Bush, talking of sending "advisers" into a global hot spot and warning of the need to deny "safe haven" to terrorist groups. "Right now, this is the moment when the fate of Iraq hangs in the balance," he said—something that sounded So 10 Years Ago. That's why Obama's remarks had to have left such a bitter taste. Iraq was a box that his administration had checked. And already, the unrest there is casting fresh doubt on his decision to leave Afghanistan just a few years removed from calling for his own "surge" there. Americans are giving his handling of foreign policy the lowest marks of his presidency. With Syria on fire, Egypt and Libya in turmoil, and Russia meddling in Ukraine, the world has reached up and pulled the once-soaring avatar of change crashing earthward The White House's best hope is that a political solution can indeed be reached in Iraq and that the crisis falls off the radar screen. Other than targeted airstrikes, there aren't great options for Obama beyond this point: The public is dead set against a further involvement and Congress—especially Obama's fellow Democrats—is skittish. If the president wants to do more on this battlefield, he'll end up owning this in a way he never wanted and, a few years ago, probably couldn't have contemplated.(VIDEO-AT-LINK)

Friday, June 20, 2014

BEST of Scathing Hillary Book Reviews...

Reaganite Republican ^ | 20 June 2014 | Reaganite Republican
Not only did it not reach #1 on the Amazon Best Seller list, but Hillary Clinton's disingenuous re-invention of herself 'Hard Choices' is already headed south at #5-and-tanking on the Amazon. Small wonder some see a wider case of Hillary-fatigue setting in, just when she's trying to re-con/launch the Hillary brand for 2016.

And the reviews are more than a little bit harsh...

It is just as bad as we all figured it would be. So glad I didn't have to pay for it or I wouldn't have bought it.
Hillary is the consummate power hungry witch, a crooked lawyer in every way. She is a national disgrace and this is yet another self serving pack of lies as she so desperately tries to brag to us about all she did as Secretary of State when in fact she has NOT ONE accomplishment, just as she had no success as the phony senator to New York, even she never lived there.
This may be her last shot at running for president and with nothing to show for all of her years in the White House (except for a stained dress, a cigar butt and a few dead bodies) she obviously hopes this festering TURD of a book will fool the voters....

More at Reaganite Republican...
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Axis of Evil

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Not Enough!

Too Late!

National Interest

What they left behind

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To Tell The Truth

Moochelle Obama Tells the Congress ‘It’s Unacceptable’ To End My School Lunch Program

IJ Review ^ | 6-20-14 | Kevin Boyd
House Republicans are trying to end Michelle Obama’s school lunch initative and the First Lady’s not happy about it.She used a White House event on Tuesday to rally opposition to a bill passed by a House subcommittee that would allow districts to suspend the program. From Fox News:
Seeing her nutritional standards under threat, the first lady hosted a discussion with school leaders on Tuesday afternoon at the White House where she ripped efforts to roll back those guidelines. “This is unacceptable,” Obama said. The first lady said families realize the country is facing a “health crisis,” and the “last thing we can afford to do right now is play politics with kids’ health.”
School districts are claiming that the lunch guidelines are overly restrictive and kids are throwing away the required fruits and vegetables. Some children have complained they were still hungry due to limited portion sizes as a part of the initative (the USDA eventually scrapped the strict portion limits).It is not “unacceptable” to believe that local school districts, who deal with students and parents on a daily basis, would have a better idea of how to feed their students than Washington bureaucrats and bored un-elected activists who dare to tell the people’s elected representatives how to do their jobs.

The Latest Scott Walker Smear, Debunked

Powerline ^ | 6-19-14 | John Hinderaker
Democrats are giddy over the unsealing of “secret” documents that charge Scott Walker’s recall campaign with illegal coordination with outside conservative groups. To name just a few: USA Today: “Prosecutors: Wis. Gov. Scott Walker in criminal scheme.” Associated Press: “Prosecutors: Gov. Walker part of criminal scheme.” Washington Post: “How the State of Wisconsin alleges Scott Walker aides violated the law, in 1 chart.” If you didn’t know better, you might think this is a big story, highly damaging to one of America’s most successful governors. In fact, the current frenzy merely demonstrates the laziness and bias of reporters who don’t understand the events they write about. Here is what is going on: a group of partisan local prosecutors launched a never-ending “John Doe investigation” into essentially every conservative group in the state of Wisconsin. The “investigation” is a scandal, a naked effort to shut down conservative speech. Federal Judge Rudolph Randa described how the investigation proceeded in an Order dated May 6, 2014: Early in the morning of October 3, 2013, armed officers raided the homes of R.J. Johnson, WCFG advisor Deborah Jordahl, and several other targets across the state. ECF No. 5-15, O‘Keefe Declaration, ¶ 46. Sheriff deputy vehicles used bright floodlights to illuminate the targets‘ homes. Deputies executed the search warrants, seizing business papers, computer equipment, phones, and other devices, while their targets were restrained under police supervision and denied the ability to contact their attorneys. Among the materials seized were many of the Club‘s records that were in the possession of Ms. Jordahl and Mr. Johnson. The warrants indicate that they were executed at the request of GAB investigator Dean Nickel. On the same day, the Club‘s accountants and directors, including O‘Keefe, received subpoenas demanding that they turn over more or less all of the Club‘s records from March 1, 2009 to the present. The subpoenas indicated that their recipients were subject to a Secrecy Order, and that their contents and existence could not be disclosed other than to counsel, under penalty of perjury. The subpoenas’ list of advocacy groups indicates that all or nearly all right-of-center groups and individuals in Wisconsin who engaged in issue advocacy from 2010 to the present are targets of the investigation. The case in which Judge Randa ruled was brought by the Club For Growth and Eric O’Keefe. Plaintiffs alleged that the purported investigation was in reality an unconstitutional infringement of their First Amendment rights, intended to deter the expression of conservative speech. Judge Randa agreed. In his May 6 Order, he found that the partisan “investigation” had no legal basis: The defendants are pursuing criminal charges through a secret John Doe investigation against the plaintiffs for exercising issue advocacy speech rights that on their face are not subject to the regulations or statutes the defendants seek to enforce. This legitimate exercise of O‘Keefe‘s rights as an individual, and WCFG‘s rights as a 501(c)(4) corporation, to speak on the issues has been characterized by the defendants as political activity covered by Chapter 11 of the Wisconsin Statutes, rendering the plaintiffs a subcommittee of the Friends of Scott Walker and requiring that money spent on such speech be reported as an in-kind campaign contribution. This interpretation is simply wrong. Judge Randa analyzed the law as it relates to campaign finance. He noted that the conservative groups denied any coordination, and their denials appear to be well-founded. But, in any event, their activities were constitutionally protected and cannot be the basis of a criminal investigation: It is undisputed that O‘Keefe and the Club engage in issue advocacy, not express advocacy or its functional equivalent. Since § 11.01(16)’s definition of “political purposes” must be confined to express advocacy, the plaintiffs cannot be and are not subject to Wisconsin‘s campaign finance laws by virtue of their expenditures on issue advocacy. However, the defendants argue that issue advocacy does not create a free-speech “safe harbor” when expenditures are coordinated between a candidate and a third-party organization. Barland at 155 (citing Fed. Election Comm’n v. Colo. Republican Fed. Campaign Comm., 533 U.S. 431, 465 (2001)); see also Republican Party of N.M. v. King, 741 F.3d 1089, 1103 (10th Cir. 2013). O‘Keefe and the Club maintain that they did not coordinate any aspect of their communications with Governor Walker, Friends of Scott Walker, or any other candidate or campaign, and the record seems to validate that assertion. However, the Court need not make that type of factual finding because — once again — the phrase “political purposes” under Wisconsin law means express advocacy and coordination of expenditures for issue advocacy with a political candidate does not change the character of the speech. Coordination does not add the threat of quid pro quo corruption that accompanies express advocacy speech and in turn express advocacy money. Issue advocacy money, like express advocacy money, does not go directly to a political candidate or political committee for the purpose of supporting his or her candidacy. Issue advocacy money goes to the issue advocacy organization to provide issue advocacy speech. A candidate‘s coordination with and approval of issue advocacy speech, along with the fact that the speech may benefit his or her campaign because the position taken on the issues coincides with his or her own, does not rise to the level of “favors for cash.” Logic instructs that there is no room for a quid pro quo arrangement when the views of the candidate and the issue advocacy organization coincide. Judge Randa concluded that the Club For Growth was likely to prevail on the merits, and he issued an order directing the partisan prosecutors to cease their unconstitutional investigation: Therefore, for all of the foregoing reasons, the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on their claim that the defendants’ investigation violates their rights under the First Amendment, such that the investigation was commenced and conducted “without a reasonable expectation of obtaining a valid conviction.” Kugler v. Helfant, 421 U.S. 117, 126 n.6 (1975); see also Collins v. Kendall Cnty., Ill., 807 F.2d 95, 101 (7th Cir. 1986); Wilson v. Thompson, 593 F.2d 1375, 1387 n.22 (5th Cir. 1979). Judge Randa’s conclusion is politely phrased, but understand what he is saying: the partisan prosecutors are so obviously wrong on the law that they could not have had a reasonable expectation of convicting anyone of anything. Their so-called investigation was in fact mere harassment, intended to chill the exercise of First Amendment rights by conservatives. The next stage involved procedural maneuvering that I won’t try to explain. The prosecutor defendants appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and argued that Judge Randa lacked jurisdiction to order them to terminate their faux investigation. The Court of Appeals issued an order to the effect that Judge Randa would need to make a finding that the defendants’ appeal was frivolous in order to retain jurisdiction. That resulted in another Order, dated May 8, 2014, in which Judge Randa described the discredited prosecutors’ appeal as “the height of frivolousness.” He continued: To be clear, the Court is absolutely convinced that the defendants’ attempt to appeal this issue is a frivolous effort to deprive the Court of its jurisdiction to enter an injunction. An appellate judge has now ordered certain pleadings in the case to be unsealed, an order to which the Club For Growth did not object. The hysterical accusations against Scott Walker that the Associated Press, the Washington Post and others are now gleefully celebrating are simply the unfounded assertions that the prosecutors made in a failed effort to justify their partisan investigation. They are precisely the allegations that have been resoundingly rejected by the federal judge who has presided over the case and who has found the defendants’ investigation to be a naked violation of the conservative groups’ constitutional rights. So the reporters who are now trumpeting the discredited prosecutors’ assertions either have no understanding of the case, or they are part of the partisan witch hunt that gave rise to the unconstitutional investigation in the first place.

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Skyrocketing crime rate in California called 'good progress' after jails emptied

American Thinker ^   | 06/16/2018 | Ed Straker  Here's a thought experiment: what happens if you release criminals, a lot of them, f...