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October 19, 2014

Remember When They Said Government Would Never Force Ministers To Perform Gay Weddings?

They lied -- because now we are seeing precisely that situation in Idaho.

Two Christian ministers who own an Idaho wedding chapel were told they had to either perform same-sex weddings or face jail time and up to $1,000 in daily fines, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court.

Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Donald and Evelyn Knapp, two ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene.

“Right now they are at risk of being prosecuted,” attorney Jeremy Tedesco told me. “The threat of enforcement is more than just credible.”

The wedding chapel is registered as a “religious corporation” limited to performing “one-man-one-woman marriages as defined by the Holy Bible.”

However, the chapel is also a for-profit business and city officials said that means the owners must comply with the local nondiscrimination ordinance.

That ordinance, passed in 2013, prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and it applies to housing, employment and public accommodation.

City Attorney Warren Wilson told The Spokesman-Review in May that the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel likely would be required to follow the ordinance.

“I would think that the Hitching Post would probably be considered a place of public accommodation that would be subject to the ordinance,” he said.

The Alliance Defending Freedom is on the case -- and noting that this case underscores the threat that gay marriage and non-discrimination ordinances that include homosexuality are to religious freedom.

Consider this observation by noted First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh.

Note that, if the law can be applied against the Knapps, public accommodation laws could also equally be applied to ministers who provide freelance officiating services in exchange for money. The particular Coeur d’Alene ordinance might not apply there, since it covers only “place[s],” and that might be limited to brick-and-mortar establishments; but similar ordinances in other places cover any “establishment,” and if a wedding photography service is an “establishment” then a minister who routinely takes officiating commissions would be covered as well.

That leads me to wonder as well if a church that allows non-members to marry in its building might also be subject to such laws. After all, during my wife's time as a pastor she officiated at the marriages of couples who were not members of the congregation but who wanted a church wedding. Would this be sufficient to make the church a "public accommodation" -- or to allow government to force her (or a future pastor) to perform gay weddings? [As an aside, the denomination in which she served today permits gay marriages, though ministers have discretion as to whether or not to perform them and congregations have the discretion to refuse to allow them to be performed in their church.]

But at its core, this raises two questions:



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A Friend And A Hero

Back in 2002, my wife and I got season tickets for the Houston Texans. Given her mobility issues, we were assigned seats in the southeast corner of the stadium, section 541. That changed our lives in ways we did not realize at the time.

You see, a couple of seats down was a fellow in a wheelchair -- not uncommon in the handicapped-accessible row, I know. David made a point of introducing himself and with his buoyant, enthusiastic personality he became a friend. Over the last dozen years, as Paula has dealt with various medical issues, surgeries, and decreased mobility, David was a great source of support. He suggested doctors, offered us questions we should ask her doctors, suggested equipment we might want to try to improve her quality of life, and invited us to events sponsored by a group he runs in Galveston, Turning Point Gulf Coast.

We got a surprise this morning when we opened up the newspaper and found David's face smiling back at us.

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David Gaston has been around boats all his life.

"Anything that floats interests me," he says.


Today, the 55-year-old is the Adaptive Waterfront Coordinator for the Sea Scout Base Galveston, a state-of-the-art sailing complex that opened this month. At the end October, the base will host the U.S. Disabled Championships; a fitting project to work on for Gaston, who is paraplegic and uses a wheelchair.

Gaston was injured in a motorcycle accident just three weeks shy of his 21st birthday. Although some aspects of his life are now drastically different, his penchant for the sea has remained constant.

* * *

Right around his graduation from Texas State Technical College Waco in 1986, Gaston caught wind of a potential job opportunity with Paraplegics On Independent Nature Trips, called POINT, which has headquarters in Dallas. He had modified a custom three-wheel Harley Davidson and rode it nearly 100 miles to the interview. The following year, the group held the first-ever adaptive regatta.

"I met with the director of Moody Gardens, Sherry Kerwin, in 1989 about creating the Inaugural Adaptive Sports Festival," Gaston says. Shortly after, POINT changed its name to Turning Point to include anyone with a disability.

"I was the first one to create my own private chapter, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, called Turning Point Gulf Coast."

Last month, the organization celebrated the 25th anniversary of the festival.

As I've said -- David is a friend and a hero. I'm glad to see him get a little bit of the recognition he deserves.

And if you are looking for a place to send some of the dollars you give to charity, I'd like to encourage you to look at Turning Point Gulf Coast as an option -- they do good work.


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October 17, 2014

Abortion Barbie Raises Campaign Funds By Selling. . . Baby Clothes!

Proving once again that Wendy Davis and her doomed campaign for governor for Texas are fundamentally tone-deaf.

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For a contribution of $20, you can own a “Wendy Davis for Governor” onesie. The onesie is available on Wendy Davis’s campaign store.

The description of the onesie states: “Let everyone know that you’re raising the next generation of Texas Democrats with this Wendy Davis onesie. Union made in the USA.”

You can also choose a size for the appropriate age from 3-6 month year-old, 6-12 months, 12-18 months and 18-24 months.

Wendy Davis was propelled into the national spotlight by filibustering for 11 hours against a bill restricting abortion access.

Now let's not forget that Wendy and her merry band of Moloch-worshipers are all about making sure that a lot of Texas children don't make it out of the womb in order to wear this or any other onesie -- and that Davis herself eventually confessed to aborting a child. I wonder if those things have anything to do with the lack of "newborn" as one of the sizing options?


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Houston Mayor Narrows Subpoena – But Appears To Miss The Point

On one level, this is a victory.

Mayor Annise Parker on Friday followed through on her pledge to narrow the scope of subpoenas sent to local pastors who led opposition to the city's equal rights ordinance earlier this year.

Though the subpoena's new wording removes any mention of "sermons" — a reference that created a firestorm among Christian conservative groups and politicians, including Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who accused Parker of trying "to silence the church" — the mayor acknowledged the new subpoenas do not explicitly preclude sermons from being produced.

"We don't need to intrude on matters of faith to have equal rights in Houston, and it was never the intention of the city of Houston to intrude on any matters of faith or to get between a pastor and their parishioners," Parker said. "We don't want their sermons, we want the instructions on the petition process. That's always what we wanted and, again, they knew that's what we wanted because that's the subject of the lawsuit."

Opponents took advantage of the broad original language, Parker said, to deliberately misinterpret the city's intent and spur what City Attorney David Feldman called a "media circus."

Let’s look at that, shall we?

When Mayor Parker declares that those non-parties to the case who received subpoenas that demanded "all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession," how exactly were they to know that all you wanted was instructions on the petition process? After all, these non-parties were ordered to produce so much more than that. Under this subpoena, a sermon on one of the many biblical passages condemning homosexuality was required. Indeed, a PowerPoint presentation to a teen group on sexual morality that was approved by the pastor would also be subject to compulsory discovery. So, too, would be a speech delivered by the pastor in his personal capacity that endorsed or opposed the mayor’s reelection. There were other provisions of the subpoena requiring the production of emails, letters, and other communications on these same topics, meaning that pastoral communication with a member of the congregation might also be subject to disclosure. Frankly, the least offensive part of these overly broad subpoenas was the compulsory production of sermon texts and recordings, given that those are often downloadable from the church’s website.

Even now, the subpoenas are overly broad by the mayor’s own admission.

Though the subpoenas still cover speeches or presentations related to HERO, Parker stressed the filing was "not about HERO, it's about the petitions."

Sorry, Mayor Parker, but if it is only about the petitions, then you don’t need to gather materials that discuss the ordinance itself. That you are doing so indicates your intention to open churches and pastors up to harassment over their opposition to the ordinance – and that is simply intolerable. If you don’t go back and narrow the subpoena further, then it is clear that the original subpoena was not in error and your actions now are simply an effort at damage control after having been caught. And unfortunately, you are still lying to the people of Houston -- and the rest of the United States -- about what this has all been about.

On the other hand, you've managed to take a referendum that I thought would hurt Republican chances this fall if it appeared on the ballot and turn it into a GOTV tool that will bring conservatives and Republicans to the polls in droves.


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Because “Priorities”

After all, the private foibles of NFL players are much more important than the scandals surrounding the most inept and corrupt president of my lifetime.

In the crucial weeks leading up to the midterm elections, the broadcast networks were obsessed with scandals, but not any of the Obama administration controversies that might influence how voters behave on Election Day. No, despite revelations in the Benghazi, IRS, Veterans Administration and Secret Service prostitution scandals it was the NFL domestic abuse scandals that captured the attention of the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS) networks.

Since September 4 (the start of the NFL regular season) through October 15 the networks, on their evening and morning shows, devoted a total of 171 (NBC 71, CBS 55, ABC 45) stories or briefs to five NFL players (Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Jonathan Dwyer, Ray McDonald, Greg Hardy) embroiled in domestic abuse cases. Number of stories on Obama scandals over that same time period? Just three. And while no one would dispute the seriousness of the charges underlying the NFL cases, the question has to be asked doesn’t the state of the body politic deserve at least the same amount of coverage as the state of the NFL?

Let’s be honest – while there is no defense for the activities of these five players, theirs are the sort of offenses that are police blotter fodder for ordinary citizens. On the other hand, the high crimes and misdemeanors (and incompetence) of Barack Obama and his subordinates should be the lead story on every newscast. Unfortunately, our national priorities are a mess and so the media focuses on misbehaving jocks rather than misbehaving public officials. America deserves better – and Americans should demand better – for the good of the Republic.


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The Moral Bankruptcy Of “Social Justice” And “Diversity”

All summed up in one neat little package (which is not a reference to the “package” that the victim of these protests lacks despite claiming to be a man).

A student who was born female felt perfectly comfortable identifying as a man at Wellesley College — until people said he shouldn’t be class diversity officer because he is now a white male.

Timothy Boatwright was born a girl, and checked off the “female” box when applying to the Massachusetts all-women’s school, according to an article in the New York Times. But when he got there, he introduced himself as a “masculine-of-center genderqueer” person named “Timothy” (the name he picked for himself) and asked them to use male pronouns when referring to him.

And, by all accounts, Boatwright felt welcome on campus — until the day he announced that he wanted to run for the school’s office of multicultural affairs coordinator, whose job is to promote a “culture of diversity” on campus.

But some students thought that allowing Boatwright to have the position would just perpetuate patriarchy. They were so opposed, in fact, that when the other three candidates (all women of color) dropped out, they started an anonymous Facebook campaign encouraging people not to vote at all to keep him from winning the position.

“I thought he’d do a perfectly fine job, but it just felt inappropriate to have a white man there,” the student behind the so-called “Campaign to Abstain” said.

When it comes right down to it, the contemporary Left uses terms that may at one time truly been part of a movement to end racism and sexism to justify engaging in racially and sexually discriminatory conduct.

Or as NRO and InstaPundit put it, Students: Transgender Woman Can’t Be Diversity Officer Because She’s a White Man Now.


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A Voice That Ought To Be Heeded

A couple of years back, a black politician in Louisiana made a video explaining why he left the Democrat Party and became a Republican. I really knew nothing about him, but by coincidence had a colleague at school who was from Louisiana and who had the same last name and so asked if they were family. It turned out that they are cousins and my colleague had plenty to say about him – and by the time we were done talking I had become an admirer of Elbert Guillory.

I can’t even begin to excerpt this article from National Review in a way that does it justice – but I will share this with you:

Guillory’s personal investment in the [Opelousas] area derives from his belief that his story is the story of his family and his town emerging from the Civil War and gradually overcoming the racism and segregation of the 20th century. “I am the gumbo of Louisiana,” he says, referring to his African, Cherokee, and French heritage. And he takes pride in how his family helped shape Opelousas. His grandfather helped found two churches, including the Black Academy at Mt. Olive Baptist Church. Later, his father started a small school where black men in town could learn a trade.

Guillory still lives on the property that his grandparents purchased from their former masters after the Civil War — next door to the Big House, where the descendants of those former slave owners also live. “We still serve this family,” Guillory says. “We do their law stuff, now, we don’t do their horses.”

This isn’t just a story about politics. It is a story about good people who are committed to improving their community and their country, and who isn’t afraid to step on some toes along the way. Frankly, I think we could use a few more Elbert Guillorys in both parties.


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Transparency!

My buddy Hube found this little statistic on how the Obama Administration has dealt with leakers.

By my count, the Obama administration has secured 526 months of prison time for national security leakers, versus only 24 months total jail time for everyone else since the American Revolution. It's important and telling to note that the bulk of that time is the 35 years in Fort Leavenworth handed down to Chelsea Manning.

Then again, since this is the Obama Administration it is likely that the reason for such harsh punishments is that the leakers are all racists – and anyone who objects to these sentences is probably racist, too, and deserves some jail time for their hateful utterances against their unicorn-riding Lord and Savior.

And as an aside – Hube is getting married tomorrow. Here’s all my best wishes to him and his lovely bride, along with my observation that he is clearly getting the better end of the deal. May God grant the happy couple many years of joy together.


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Why Isn’t This Racial Attack A National Story?

Oh, that’s right – black on white violence is normal and acceptable. White on black violence is unusual and so must be highlighted in order to keep the racial grievance fires burning.

A black Baltimore bus driver organized a mob of 20 black people to assault a white family of three on her bus, which they did with gusto and pepper spray. All the while, the other black passengers hooted and hollered in encouragement.

All while the bus driver waited for the beating to finish so the attackers could get back on the bus. With her thanks.

The bus company didn’t give a darn. And it took Baltimore police two months before they even investigated it.

If you want to reread that another ten times, go ahead. I’ll wait.

More details from WBAL TV that somehow escaped the attention of the Baltimore Sun. (Which means either this happens all the time and is not newsworthy. Or the paper has an embargo on news about large scale black mob violence. Or both.)

Not only did the driver encourage the violence, she actually called for the mob of thugs that did the assault. Where’s Jesse Jackson? Where’s Al Sharpton? Where’s all the ratings-driven news-harpies from the cable shows doing highly concerned, highly inflammatory reports?

hustlersandharpies.jpg

Oh, that’s right – this sort of incident doesn’t matter because they don’t fit the politically correct narrative needed to keep certain demographic sub-groups voting Democrat.


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Democrats – Party Of The Rich

This says it all.

Republicans are the party of the rich, right? It's a label that has stuck for decades, and you're hearing it again as Democrats complain about GOP support for tax breaks that benefit corporations and wealthy individuals.

But in Congress, the wealthiest among us are more likely to be represented by a Democrat than a Republican. Of the 10 richest House districts, only two have Republican congressmen. Democrats claim the top six, sprinkled along the East and West coasts. Most are in overwhelmingly Democratic states like New York and California.

The richest: New York's 12th Congressional District, which includes Manhattan's Upper East Side, as well as parts of Queens and Brooklyn. Democrat Carolyn Maloney is in her 11th term representing the district.

Per capita income in Maloney's district is $75,479. That's more than $75,000 a year for every man, woman and child. The next highest income district, which runs along the southern California coast, comes in at $61,273. Democrat Henry Waxman is in his 20th term representing the Los Angeles-area district.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district comes in at No. 8.

Across the country, Democratic House districts have an average per capita income of $27,893. That's about $1,000 higher than the average income in Republican districts. The difference is relatively small because Democrats also represent a lot of poor districts, putting the average in the middle.

In other words, the GOP is the party of the hard working American middle class. Democrats are the party of the rich and of those the rich need to keep poor in order to win elections.


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Early Voting High – And That’s A Problem In My Book

Here in Texas, millions of mail-in ballots are in the hands of Texas voters – often for no reason other than the age of the voter. On Monday, early voting starts. Before November 4, millions of Texans will have cast their ballot – and in some counties, the total number of votes cast in the days and weeks before the election will approach the number cast on that day. That’s a trend nationwide.

Midterm elections are less than three weeks away, yet more than 904,000 Americans already have cast their ballots, with almost 60 percent of those early votes in Florida, according to data compiled by The Associated Press from election officials in 11 states. Those numbers are climbing daily as more states begin their advance voting periods and more voters return mail-in ballots ahead of Nov. 4. Early voting doesn’t predict electoral outcomes, but both major parties emphasized the opportunity in recentelections as they try to lock in core supporters. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia allow some form of advance voting other than traditional absentee voting requiring an excuse.

Now I understand the desire to lock those votes in early, but doing so creates a problem. Things can change in the weeks prior to an election. Crises can occur that test the mettle of an officeholder. Candidates can die or become engulfed in scandal. And these things can change people’s view of a candidate – consider the 2000 presidential election in which the revelation of a long-hidden drunk driving conviction shifted enough votes Al Gore’s way to create the electoral fiasco that engulfed the country for weeks thereafter. But the number of votes already cast by early voters secured the election for George W. Bush – despite the fact that many of those voters might have voted differently if they had the same information as their fellow citizens who voted on Election Day. A partially informed segment of the electorate determined the outcome of the election. And that happens year after year.

Am I against absentee ballots? Not at all – those who are ill, travelling, or on military deployment need to be afforded the opportunity to vote. But for the average American, early voting is a convenience that allows them to opt out of fully participating in the electoral process with their fellow citizens. Is it truly of such great benefit to the body politic that it should continue at the expense of diluting the practice of communal voting on one Election Day?


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October 15, 2014

Is This Statement Really Appropriate From An Official Of The US Government?

After all, if the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment means anything, it obviously means that a government official has no place declaring in his official capacity what is or is not the theologically correct interpretation of a faith’s religious texts or teachings.

Secretary of State John Kerry said ISIS is “dead wrong” in its justification of slavery that appeared in the latest issue of its English-language magazine.

The Dabiq issue describes how Yazidi women and children were “divided according to the Sharī’ah amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations” and analyzes how “one of the signs of the Hour is the increased conquests and bringing in of slaves from the lands of kufr.”


“One should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffār and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Sharī’ah that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur’ān and the narrations of the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and thereby apostatizing from Islam,” the article states.

“Finally, a number of contemporary scholars have mentioned that the desertion of slavery had led to an increase in fāhishah (adultery, fornication, etc.), because the shar’ī alternative to marriage is not available, so a man who cannot afford marriage to a free woman finds himself surrounded by temptation towards sin. In addition, many Muslim families who have hired maids to work at their homes, face the fitnah of prohibited khalwah (seclusion) and resultant zinā occurring between the man and the maid, whereas if she were his concubine, this relationship would be legal.”

Kerry’s statement late this evening said “no one needed a reminder of ISIL’s depravity and evil, but now we have the latest example.”

“ISIL now proudly takes credit for the abduction, enslavement, rape, forced marriage, and sale of several thousand Yezidi and other minority women and girls—some as young as 12 years old. Just as despicably, ISIL rationalizes its abhorrent treatment of these women and girls by claiming it is somehow sanctioned by religion. Wrong. Dead wrong,” he said.

“ISIL does not represent Islam and Islam does not condone or honor such depravity. In fact, these actions are a reminder that ISIL is an enemy of Islam.

Let’s set aside for a moment the question of whether or not Islam condones slavery, especially considering that Islamic tradition has always allowed for slavery and the practice has continued in the Islamic world up to and including the past decade. That really isn’t my point. Instead let’s focus on the fact that we have a US Secretary of State declaring that, as a matter of government policy, Islam does not condone slavery. Since when does the US government get to decide what is the correct doctrine in any faith or declare that some sect within a larger religious faith group is wrong in its teachings? Should we allow such declarations, given that they could well lead to declarations that opposition to certain government programs or policies is contrary to the Gospel and therefore not consistent with the teachings of the Christian faith – even if those who hold to the positions opposed to those promoted by the government have centuries of Christian theology on their side. Frankly, that is dangerous, un-American, and unconstitutional.


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Wendy Davis Says More Stupidly Insensitive Stuff About Greg Abbott

Now she is using words that appear to mock his inability to use his legs.

Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis appeared on MSNBC Tuesday, refusing to apologize for a recent ad that snidely referred to her opponent’s disability.

But Davis went further than that, choosing a rather unfortunate metaphor in response to host Andrea Mitchell’s questions about the criticism over the ad.

“[Greg Abbott] received millions of dollars in a settlement, and since then, in his entire public service career, he has been working to kick that ladder down and deny that same opportunity for justice to other people,” Davis said.

“Kick down the ladder”? Really Wendy? You didn’t see anything wrong with that turn of phrase?

Indeed, the tactics the desperate Democrat is using in this race cannot even be reasonably described as “gutter” – they are below the gutter.

But then again, consider how Davis made it in life – her deadbeat dad set her up with a wealthy donor to his theater group in return for a donation, and she made the most of that relationship by having him pay her way through college and law school before dumping him and leaving her kids behind. She’s since sold her votes on the Fort Worth City Council and in the Texas State Senate in the same way, making money for both herself and her clients. Her ethical standards just don't rise much above gutter level to begin with.


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This Put A Really Strange Image In My Head For A Moment

From InstaPundit:

HARVARD LAW PROFESSORS go after Harvard’s new sex Kangaroo Courts.

Sex kangaroos? Is nothing sacred?

And then I realized it wasn't what I thought.


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Something To Tattoo (In Reverse) On The Forehead Of Every Liberal Who Ever Said “Bush Lied”

V the K over at GayPatriot supplies us with this from the New York Times.

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Of course, I noted this several years ago.


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City Of Houston Seeks To Intimidate Religious Leaders With Sermon Subpoena

Looks to me like Mayor Annise Parker believes that gay people should have limitless rights but that religious believers should have none.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys have filed a motion in a Texas court to stop an attempt by the city of Houston to subpoena sermons and other communications belonging to several area pastors in a lawsuit in which the pastors are not even involved.

City officials are upset over a voter lawsuit filed after the city council rejected valid petitions to repeal a law that allows members of the opposite sex into each other’s restrooms. ADF attorneys say the city is illegitimately demanding that the pastors, who are not party to the lawsuit, turn over their constitutionally protected sermons and other communications simply so the city can see if the pastors have ever opposed or criticized the city.

“City council members are supposed to be public servants, not ‘Big Brother’ overlords who will tolerate no dissent or challenge,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “In this case, they have embarked upon a witch-hunt, and we are asking the court to put a stop to it.”

“The city’s subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Christiana Holcomb. “The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions. Political and social commentary is not a crime; it is protected by the First Amendment.”

Now consider this for just a moment. It isn’t just the writings and speeches of those who are parties to the lawsuit that have been subpoenaed. The city is going after the papers and sermons of pastors who are not part of the suit but who may have expressed an opinion on the wisdom and propriety of the proposed city ordinance the mayor and her policies, or even about homosexuality generally. Apparently Mayor Parker wants to silence the Christian opposition – but she would no doubt be outraged if there were an attempt to subpoena all writings and speeches of every prominent gay man or lesbian woman in the city regarding the ordinance without regard to their involvement in the lawsuit. That amounts to liberal fascists using the jackboot of big government to oppress the citizenry.

Of particular note is that the lawsuit in question is in regards to the standard used by the city to determine the validity of signatures on petition pages and the unprecedented intervention of the city attorney to throw out signatures after they had been determined to be valid by the city secretary. What the contents of a sermon or a letter by someone not a party to the suit and uninvolved in the certification decision would have to do with the subject of the lawsuit is mystifying – unless it is merely an effort to intimidate Christians who believe that they have the right to take their place in the public square like other citizens. Apparently Houston’s lesbian mayor considers it an essential right that one be allowed to let one’s freak flag fly, even on private property and against the will of the proprietor of a business – but to the preaching of the Gospel and its relevance to contemporary issues is something that must be suppressed at all costs.


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Someone Should Lose His Coaching Job

I’ll be honest – I don’t agree with my district’s hard line on social media which threatens disciplinary action for anything it finds inappropriate on the internet. To listen to some district administrators, becoming employed in education requires us to surrender all First Amendment rights – something the Supreme Court has stated is not true in any number of cases, including Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District.

"It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

And if we don’t shed those rights at school, we clearly have them off school grounds and on our own time.

But if we make statements in connection with our employment that do cause a problem, I agree that something can and should be done. Which is why I’m glad that a neighboring school district has taken action over something one of its coaches put on Facebook.

A history teacher who is also the head coach of the freshman football team at Goose Creek Memorial High School in Baytown is on paid leave because of a Facebook rant administrators say he posted.

The post was made by Scott Griffin and it bragged about Memorial beating its rival Lee High School 40-6 on Oct. 6. It used profanity and said, 'you’re the worst team in town.'

Parents contacted Local 2, outraged by what they read and said it was bad sportsmanship, especially coming from a coach.

Parents also showed Local 2 a drawing that appeared on the white board in the school’s field house. It showed some Patriots, which is Memorial’s mascot, shooting and killing Ganders, which is Lee’s mascot. It's unclear who put the drawing there but parents said it's taking the rivalry too far.

The board was full of threatening words and even said, “Dig up the Ganders that are already dead and kill them again.” Parents feel it’s taking the rivalry too far.

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The problem, of course, is that he publicly disparaged the students of another school in his district in a publicly available Facebook post connected to an account that identifies his employer and his position as a coach. What’s more, his words were quite clearly intended to be coming from him in his position as a coach after he allowed his team to run up the score against the other school. The words on the white board might be over the top “fire ‘em up” motivational stuff before the game that might be justified on such grounds – the mocking of the kids on the opposing team after the game clearly was not.

Frankly, I don’t know that this is the sort of person who should be in a coaching position. That said, I’ve heard that this individual is a pretty good teacher in the classroom. I’m hoping that his district relieves him of his coaching duties – but that they don’t remove him from the classroom. Good teachers with a passion for their subject are hard to find.


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About The Claim That Republican Budget Cuts Are Responsible For Lack Of An Ebola Vaccine

Have you considered what the federal health bureaucracy had the money to do research on?

For example, instead of studying Ebola, the National Institutes of Health were studying the propensity of lesbians to be fat.

Then there was the money for a study on wives who calm down quickly.

And the Centers for Disease Control spent its budget on gun violence studies on order of the President as part of his agenda to curtail the second amendment.

The CDC also spent its money to survey what bus riders thought of HIV videos.

Hey, and let’s not forget all the money the CDC spent to convince people to stop smoking and now we need tobacco to manufacture the drug to fight Ebola. Classic.

Maybe if they had done the important research on Ebola instead of on these peripheral health issues, the budget cuts would not have mattered.


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October 14, 2014

Something For Your Entertainment

Life, work, and a bout with allergies have left me not in a blogging mood. Therefore I give you a little something to make you smile.


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October 11, 2014

Wendy Davis Desperately Attacks Abbott's Disability

When you are utterly unqualified for the office you seek, have no accomplishments other than blathering away while wearing pink tennis shoes, hold political positions that are rejected by most voters, and are congenitally unable to put forth a coherent case for your election, of course you have to go negative in every campaign ad. But Texas Democrat Wendy Davis has reached a new low in her floundering campaign for governor -- she has attacked Greg Abbott, her Republican opponent, because he was paralyzed in an accident as a young man.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is using Republican opponent Greg Abbott’s disability against him in a new TV ad, accusing the attorney general of repeatedly siding against victims like himself.

The Abbott campaign was swift to condemn the 30-second spot, which opens with a reference to the 1984 accident that left him partially paralyzed.

“A tree fell on Greg Abbott,” a narrator says over an image of an empty wheelchair. ”He sued and got millions. Since then, he’s spent his career working against other victims.”

Let's be clear about the three cases the Davis ad highlights -- and how she misrepresents Abbott's position in each of them.

  1. In the case of the amputee with the prosthesis, the in pretrial motions the AG's office argued that because her prosthesis allowed her to perform her job without any modification, the ADA was inapplicable. This was one of several defenses asserted (the two main ones were sovereign immunity and that she was passed over for promotion for reasons unrelated to her disability. At trial, the state showed won after proving that the failure to promote her had no relationship to her being an amputee.

  2. In the case involving the salesman who committed a rape, Abbott's position was that his employer (an independent distributor of Kirby vacuums) was the party that should be sued for failure to do a background check on the salesman, not the manufacturer of the vacuums. He did not argue she could not pursue damages in the case.

  3. In the malpractice case, Abbott's office intervened not to argue against a malpractice award for actual damages, but instead to defend a state law passed by the voters that caps punitive damages.

As for Abbott's own award nearly two decades before the passage of tort reform by Texas voters, the money he receives are actual damages for his injuries and the cost of his healthcare, NOT punitive damages. Such an award would still be permitted under Texas tort reform laws.

Abbott has responded with a level of dignity and decencyy that Davis has refused to show during her doomed campaign against him.

The 30-second ad, which the Davis campaign said Friday would start running across the state, drew a swift rebuke from Abbott's campaign, which called it "disgusting" and "desperate."

"It's offensive ... It shows the tenor of the campaign," Abbott said during an exclusive interview with the San Antonio Express- News. "If you look at my ads, I focused on what I'm going to be doing as governor, and my opponent spends all her time in ads attacking me, as I'm attacking the challenges that fellow Texans deal with."

Abbott, the state attorney general, lost the use of his legs after his spine was crushed when a tree fell on him while jogging in 1984.

"It's her choice if she wants to attack a guy in a wheelchair. I don't think it's going to sell too well," Abbott added.

It isn't unexpected that Davis acolytes are celebrating this ad as "The Greg Abbott ad we’ve been waiting for." After all, the scum who are working for Battleground Texas have been mocking Abbott's disability since early in the campaign and local left-wing bloggers here in Houston who have been backing Davis have had a great time yukking it up over the accident for over a year. Remember -- these are guys who consider any criticism of Obama from the right to be racist and any criticism of Davis from Republicans to be sexist -- but fail to recognize that their own attacks on Abbott over his disability are fundamentally bigoted -- just like this ad.

Now let's consider how Davis has campaigned. Her campaign ads have almost all been negative attacks on Abbott because she has little in the way of accomplishment in her own time in office to qualify her to be governor, has a record of unethical activity to enrich herself and her donors via her votes on city council and in the state senate, has lied about her biography in an attempt to deceive the voters of Texas, and has positions on the issues that are out of step with most Texans. Indeed, the only thing more fake than the claims in a Wendy Davis campaign ad are her hair color and her breast implants.

The nice thing is that Davis is being attacked from all sides over this ad. Of course conservative sites like Hot Air, National Review Online and Weasel Zippers attack Davis over this one, But they aren't alone. Libertarian blogger Doug Mataconis, who finds the ad despicable, notes that even those from the Left are troubled.

The ad is obviously being condemned on the right, but the Davis campaign is also being criticized from the left by people who are otherwise inclined to support the campaign. Mother Jone’s Ben Dreyfuss, for example, calls the ad “offensive and nasty,” and says that it shouldn’t exist. Additionally, as Aaron Blake notes, this kind of ad is the kind of desperation move that one sees from a campaign that is losing and losing badly. In Davis’s case, she has trailed Abbott by double digits in polling for months now, and the RealClearPolitics Average currently gives Abbott an 11.3 point average in the race. In other words, Davis is going to lose this race. It’s too bad she couldn’t lose with dignity.

I've got some things I would like to say about Davis in light of this ad, things that I've refrained from saying because I don't want to lower myself to the level of Davis and her supporters. Instead I'll just settle for putting up this graphic from January.

I think that says all that needs to be said about Davis and the degree to which she deserves to be taken seriously by anyone. Now come on, fellow Texans -- go out and vote for Greg Abbott.

UPDATE: Noah over at Texpate -- a Davis supporter -- clearly explains what is wrong with the ad.

In 1984, when Abbott was 26 and studying for the bar exam, a tree fell on him in a freak accident. He was running around his neighborhood following a storm. The accident left him permanently paralyzed from the waist down; it also prompted him to sue both the homeowner and the landscaping company responsible for maintaining the structural integrity of the tree in question. He won about $10 Million off of that lawsuit. Later, Abbott heralded tort reform that capped punitive damages in lawsuits and brought about big changes that made suits harder for victims. Longtime readers of my opinions will be familiar with my skepticism of so-called tort reform, but that’s not really at issue here.

Accordingly, this narrative, that Abbott rightly received justice after he was wronged but then pulled up the ladder behind him to prevent others from doing the same, is somewhat compelling. It is edgy but it makes a valid point. Considering how Abbott has used his wheelchair to benefit himself in his ads, it appears it is fair game to bring it up in a respectful manner on a relevant point.

All that being said, the ad does not talk about tort reform. Instead, the 30-second spot — filled with ominous narration and music — broadly connects the accident/lawsuit with some of Abbott’s actions in the past, none of which related to tort reform.

Please note -- Noah thinks that there is a legitimate point to be made about Abbott receiving the settlement and his position on tort reform. I disagree, given that Abbott's settlement is entirely for economic damages rather than non-economic and punitive damages. But I at least respect his position because he gives the matter a reasoned intellectual approach rather than the "mock the cripple" approach taken by Davis and so many of her supporters. I give him props for that.


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The Answer Is "No"

In the wake of his once again being permitted to address a college graduation, one conservative site raised the question of whether or not President Obama would pardon cop-killing scum-bag Mumia Abu-Jamal.

I mention “CV” and “Obama administration” in the same sentence for a reason. As I read it, Abu-Jamal’s commencement address is the latest entry in a résumé he has been compiling with one purpose in mind: to convince a president one day to grant him a pardon. Recall that Abu-Jumal was initially sentenced to death but managed, after intense lobbying, to get his sentence commuted to life in prison without parole. Only a presidential pardon can get him out. Obama is his last and only chance.

Furthermore, Obama could use the Abu-Jumal pardon as a sort of one-upmanship should Hillary Clinton be elected in 2016. Recall that on his last day in office, Bill Clinton pardoned indicted businessman Marc Rich, who reportedly had donated more than $1 million to the Democratic Party, including $100,000 to Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign and $450,000 to the Clinton Library. Obama would be able to argue moral superiority: he was being charitable where Clinton had been venal. Abu-Jumal, arguably rehabilitated as a published author of world renown, would make valuable contributions to society as a free man – unlike the (alleged) crook Clinton pardoned. The Clintons would squirm at the unflattering comparison but would have to lump it. Score one for Obama.

The revenge factor would come into play if a Republican is elected president in 2016. Obama’s deep animosity toward the GOP, bordering on hatred, is well-known. The president has blamed Republicans for his many failures, at home and abroad, so often that it has become a broken record and something of a joke. The Abu-Jumal pardon would be one last act of defiance and contempt for the GOP by President “Pen-and-Phone.” Besides, Obama wouldn’t need to worry about the judgment of history if he went through with it. The army of sycophants clamoring to compose glowing narratives of his presidency would cover for him with a portrayal of the pardon as – you guessed it – an act of Christian charity by a forgiving president. Score one more for Obama.

The answer is simple -- no, Obama will not make such a pardon. He lacks the constitutional power to grant a pardon for a state offense -- which is something that this lawless president's Department of Justice explicitly acknowledges.

2. Federal convictions only

Under the Constitution, only federal criminal convictions, such as those adjudicated in the United States District Courts, may be pardoned by the President. In addition, the President's pardon power extends to convictions adjudicated in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and military court-martial proceedings. However, the President cannot pardon a state criminal offense. Accordingly, if you are seeking clemency for a state criminal conviction, you should not complete and submit this petition. Instead, you should contact the Governor or other appropriate authorities of the state where you reside or where the conviction occurred (such as the state board of pardons and paroles) to determine whether any relief is available to you under state law. If you have a federal conviction, information about the conviction may be obtained from the clerk of the federal court where you were convicted.

Until and unless a Pennsylvania governor issues a pardon, Mumia will stay exactly where he is -- behind bars for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.


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October 09, 2014

More Corruption From Travis County

In Travis County, it is a crime for the governor to exercise his constitutional power to veto an appropriation. It apparently is not a crime for the special prosecutor handling that case to over-bill the taxpayers for his time.

Travis County Attorney David Escamilla has decided there’s not enough evidence to pursue a criminal complaint alleging the special prosecutor handling the indictment against Gov. Rick Perry is over-charging taxpayers for his services.

Houston attorney David Rushing last month filed the complaint against prosecutor Michael McCrum, accusing him of billing the county more than three times what’s allowed. McCrum initially made $300 an hour, a rate he volunteered to reduce by $50 after recruiting a co-counsel last month.

So remember – in Travis County, it isn’t a crime when Democrats do it no matter what the law says.


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Freedom Of The Press, Democrat-Style

A New York Times reporter recently observed that President Obama appears to hate the press. In recent days there have been reports of reporters being ordered not to talk to attendees at an event at which Michelle Obama spoke, and of the exclusion of a reporter from a Mary Burke campaign event in Wisconsin because her staff objected to the conservative publication in question. But those pale in comparison to what happened to online journalist Jason Mattera when he asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a couple of questions his bodyguard deemed insufficiently deferential.

One of Harry Reid’s bodyguards accosted a conservative journalist for asking a few basic questions about the Senate Majority Leader’s wealth.

Jason Mattera, author of the explosive new book CRAPITALISM: Liberals Who Make Millions Swiping Your Tax Dollars, recently caught up with Reid and asked him, “How did you become so rich working in government?” The senator refused to answer.

Mattera, who publishes Daily Surge, followed up. “How does someone on a government salary most of their career accumulate your type of wealth?” Still, there was no answer from Reid.

Suddenly, one of the Majority Leader’s bodyguards intervened. “Are you press?” he asked, before shoving Mattera and then pinning him against a wall.

“What are you doing holding me up like that?” Mattera asked the bodyguard.

After the author identified himself as a member of the press, the bodyguard retorted, “I don’t care if you’re press or not.” The man refused to give Mattera his name

Remember – Jefferson considered a free press to be essential to the preservation of liberty. That the Democrats are so incredibly hostile to press freedom should tell every American something.

H/T Hot Air


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A Standard I Believe To Be Wrong

I had never heard of Treon Harris before the story about his suspension by the University of Florida football program in the wake of an allegation of sexual assault made by a female student at the school. I have nothing invested in his guilt or innocence. But as I read a long commentary by Andy Hutchins, a sports journalist covering the Florida Gators, I came across an assertion that just struck me as wrong.

But we need to be fair to Harris, who would merit a presumption of innocence in a court of law that he's not going to get in the court of public opinion, and to his accuser, whom we should believe because we must believe victims, and to the process of investigating this incident, which will take time and care to do right.

Do you detect the problem in the standard that has been set out by Hutchins? It is a flagrant double standard that leads to the statement contradicting itself and rendering all the nuanced effort at fairness to be nothing but the sort of pious hypocrisy historically used as the justification of lynching. I’m going to translate it for you into what is REALLY being said.

For all we talk about Treon Harris being legally innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, the reality is that we should presume him guilty. After all, the accusation MUST BE BELIEVED, and any investigation that is conducted MUST result in his being deemed a rapist. To do otherwise is to fail to believe the victim, and we must believe the victim.

Hutchins is, of course, simply parroting the politically correct party line that has been set forth by the Obama Administration, the screeching harpies of cable news, and the anti-male extremists of the feminist movement. On a college campus today, the standard of guilt necessary to find a male student guilty of sexual assault has been reduced to a mere preponderance of evidence – what amounts to “we think it probably happened” – and accusers are permitted to demand repeated hearings and proceedings until they get the result they demand, meaning that the prohibition of double jeopardy enshrined in the Bill of Rights has been rejected in the name of “believing the victim”. We have in recent years seen horrible miscarriages of justice in such cases based upon the standard of “we must believe victims” – universities denying accused students the right to legal representation in hearings, universities denying accused students of the right to cross-examine their accuser lest they “revictimize the victim”, “expert testimony” by “victim advocates” which include the assertion that one sign of an accused student’s guilt is a claim of innocence (so much for the right to plead “not guilty”), an Ivy League university expelling a student because the accuser was the daughter of a major donor, and even an incident in which a student was deemed “responsible” for a sexual assault and expelled despite his being cleared by the local police and prosecutor and his accuser having been indicted for having filed a false report in the case. An ethic of “believing the victim” is one in which the presumption of innocence in every instance must be rejected and replaced with a presumption of guilt.

Does this mean that I believe we must presume every accusation of sexual assault is a lie? Hardly. We can, should, and must take every accusation of sexual assault at face value until and unless the evidence leads to some other conclusion. This necessarily means that we can, should, and must investigate every accusation properly. And following such investigations we can, should and must bring charges when and if they are warranted by the evidence. But what we cannot do, should not do, and must not do is declare the accuser a “victim” and the accused a rapist or sex offender based upon the mere fact that an accusation has been made.

And let no one mistake me for an apologist for sex offenders. Too many women in my own life have been victims of sexual assaults for me to ever dismiss rape as something trivial or accusations as unworthy of consideration. Having seen the impact on one of those women of having law enforcement officers blame her for the assault and refuse to investigate her claim lest it mess up the life of the man who assaulted her, I’m a fan of vigorous prosecution of those who engage in sexual assault. I would, in a world in which the United States Supreme Court had not declared capital punishment for rape to be cruel and unusual punishment, advocate for laws imposing the death penalty for rape. But just as I don’t want to see rapists go free because we do not take the crime seriously enough, I also reject the notion that it is better to brand an innocent man as a sex criminal lest we leave an accuser feeling that she has not received justice. Because after all, one does not remedy past injustice be creating future injustices in the opposite direction.


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When Reality Is Better Than Fiction

Look where the Fundraiser-in-Chief is getting campaign dollars for his fellow Democrats.

A terrible slaughter is coming in the Middle East, Ebola virus has invaded our shores, and President Obama is in the affluent Manhattan suburb of Greenwich, Conn., for a Democratic fundraiser at a $16 million estate owned by a rich guy whose actual name is Rich Richman. This is not a parody.

Too perfect!


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Race-Baiting Bigot Plays Race Card On Ebola Patient Death

Brought to you by the idiot who declared that the scientific term “black hole” is racist, John Wiley Price.

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price was blunt. He said Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital originally sent Thomas Duncan home three days before ‎he was diagnosed with Ebola because he’s African and uninsured. “It is historical what has happened in this community,” Price said. “If a person who looks like me shows up without any insurance, they don’t get the same treatment.”

But then again, what else do we expect of a corrupt racist but more racial invective thrown to his prime constituency to distract from the real issues in that community?


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What Will Obama Do After The White House?

Eugene Volokh points to this suggestion by Lawrence Tribe that is truly stomach-turning.

Justice Barack Obama?

President Obama will be only 55 years old when he leaves office. Even if he spends a few years after that earning money on the lecture circuit, he’ll still be young enough to be a Supreme Court pick. His youth may cause him to want to be more than just an ex-President and the things that come with that. [President Taft’s gap between the White House and Supreme Court was eight years.]

There are a lot of other reasons why Obama could someday end up a Supreme Court Justice. [This is not a political discussion. Coverage Opinions never gets into politics. It is simply objective observation.] There are very few real jobs that an ex-President can have, given their celebrity and the security issues. Supreme Court Justices are generally insulated from the public and the job already comes with a built-in security function. Obama has taught constitutional law. He is reported to be less than fond of political schmoozing. That is not a job requirement. And serving on the Supreme Court — thus in all three branches of the federal government — would have a huge impact on his legacy.

I asked Professor Tribe if he “can envision Obama someday wearing a robe at One First Street?” He replied: “That’s not hard to envision. He would make a first-rate Justice on every dimension that matters.”

[Incidentally, Obama, while a student at Harvard Law School, served as a research assistant to Professor Tribe for two and a half years. Tribe can point to a 1989 Harvard Law Review article where he thanked student Barack Obama for his assistance.]

Not. Gonna. Happen.

Let’s consider why.

First, Obama is a polarizing figure who will be unable to make it through the confirmation process unless there is a Democrat in the White House and Democrat-controlled Senate. Heck, I don’t know that even a Democrat-controlled Senate will be sufficient to get a confirmation done without invoking a harsh level of party discipline not seen since the days of Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson and a willingness to invoke the nuclear option to clear away the filibuster.

Second, Obama’s record of public service is much more sparse than that of William Howard Taft. Taft had been a successful Cabinet member and territorial governor prior to his time in the White House as well as a respected federal judge. Obama, on the other hand, has a much less substantial resume and lacks the legal credentials – both in terms of teaching, academic scholarship and legal practice – that have come to be expected of a Supreme Court justice today. I don’t know that (absent his years in the Oval Office) he would be recognized as qualified for a seat on a Circuit Court or even a District Court.

Third, there is the small matter that Obama is no longer even licensed to practice law in any jurisdiction in the United States. Obama does not currently have an active law license, having changed his registration to inactive when he began his presidential run in 2007 and to retired after his election as president. While he might go back and pay a decade’s worth of registration fees after his time in office expires, I find that unlikely – and I doubt sincerely that an individual not eligible to practice law is going to be deemed qualified for the highest court in the land.


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October 07, 2014

Stupid Woman Fails To Recognize That Employment Problems Are Caused By Husband's Policies, Not "This Country"

I guess that Michelle Obama is back to hating America now that America hates her husband.

Michelle Obama says that America is responsible for a female veteran’s unemployment.

She’s been given the cover in the Oct. 14 issue of Redbook to tout the administration’s claimed support for women veterans, just three weeks before the Nov. 4 election.

She returned the favor by blaming Americans for their shared economic difficulties.

“She’s been trained to be a leader,” Obama said about one unemployed veteran.

“And this country’s not giving her that opportunity, someone who wants it so desperately,” she claimed.

As I've been pointing out -- even if one rejects claims that the unemployment numbers are being falsified for the political benefit of Obama and his allies -- Obama's policies have created a part-time economy with high levels of long-term unemployment and millions dropping out of the labor force. Even Obama-worshiping liberal journalists like Andrea Mitchell have come to recognize the failure of Obama's policies to create a sustainable recovery. So the reality is that Michelle Obama wants to blame America for her husband's failures -- which I believe is only reasonable if you recognize what Obama really stands for.

one-big-ass-mistake-america_design[1].png


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Death Threat For Pro-Life Legislator In Pennsylvania

Looks like the Moloch-worshipers don't want to allow anyone to interfere with -- or even oppose -- the continued slaughter of the innocents.

A Pennsylvania woman has been charged with making threats to a pro-life legislator specifically because he opposes abortion. The woman in question is now awaiting a district court preliminary hearing after having been charged by authorities with leaving threatening, vulgar messages at state Rep. Mario Scavello’s Pocono Township office.

According to news reports, Sharon Marie Manning, 47, stands accused of leaving harassing and life-threatening voicemails on Representative Scavello’s office voicemail.

“With your backwards (expletive) views on abortion, you should be taken out back and shot,” Manning said in one voicemail. “You’re a (expletive) and an (expletive) and and you deserve to die.”

In a followup phone call, Manning added: “If your jackass self ever decides to run for office in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, the women would beat you senseless themselves. And if you ever try to legislate in this country, I’ll make sure your life is a living (expletive) hell. Do you understand me? You piece of (expletive)!”

Why do I suspect that this individual is among the out-of-state abortion lovers who has given money to the Wendy Davis campaign -- and that even if she isn't, she represents the views of many of those who have donated? After all, when you have no respect for innocent human life whose only crime is having been conceived, why on earth would you feel the need to respect the lives of those who have already been born who dare to disagree with you?


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No Wonder Rudolph’s Nose Glows

Could Santa have nukes?

Radioactivity in Norway's reindeers hits high
Of course, maybe the reindeer have been helping to deliver too many “My First Uranium Enrichment Lab” kits to good little boys and girls in Iran.
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Muslims Burn 185 Churches – Liberals Silent

Wanna bet that if one mosque were burned by a group of Christians anywhere in the world, there would be international howls of outrage from the Islamophiles of the Left?

A prominent Nigerian reverend has revealed Islamist terror group Boko Haram destroyed over 180 churches in the West African country following its capture of towns and villages in the north-eastern states of Borno and Adamawa.

Reverend Gideon Obasogie, the director of Catholic Social Communication of Maiduguri Diocese in Borno State, said the group's seizure of territory in both states has seen 185 churches torched and over 190,000 people displaced by their insurgency.


Of course, it is possible that the Left’s Christophobic support for Islamist extremists is not at work here. It may simply be that progressive racism makes them fundamentally incapable of criticizing Boko Haram because they are black. Come to think of it, this would explain the Left’s failure to condemn black-on-black crime or the disproportionate harm done to the African-American community by Obama’s economic policies.


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Why Can’t We Impeach Obama?

Because while we can probably find a number of legitimate high crimes and misdemeanors, the result would be unthinkable for anyone who loves America.

joe-biden-tiny-fingers[1].jpg


What patriot could possibly do anything that would make this man president?


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October 06, 2014

SCOTUS Makes A Mistake Of Constitutional Proportion In Decision Not To Rule On Gay Marriage

By refusing to take up any of the gay marriage cases that were brought to it on appeal.

The Supreme Court on Monday decided to let stand rulings that allow same-sex marriage in Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin, a surprising move that may clear the way for the expansion of such unions throughout the nation.

The court’s decision came without explanation and puts off a ruling about the constitutionality of gay marriage that would apply to all 50 states. But it sent a clear signal that a majority of the court did not feel the need to overturn lower court decisions that found state prohibitions were unconstitutional.

The decision will likely expand same-sex marriages to other states covered by the federal appeals courts that already have ruled that the bans are unconstitutional, including Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. That would bring to 30 the number of states where gays can marry.

Marriages that had been on hold in the five states that were before the court began taking place a few hours later.

Now I will concede that I am an opponent of legalizing same sex marriage for a variety of reasons -- not the least of which being the near unanimity with which the American people have spoken whenever they have been given the opportunity to weigh in on the issue at the ballot box. But even if I were a supporter of homosexual nuptials, I would still be angry with the justices over their failure to hear oral arguments in even one of these cases and to issue a definitive ruling on the question of same sex marriage. Why? Because today's action leaves us without guidance on the question from the nation's highest court.

The New York Times gets right to the heart of the problem with today's move.

In a move that may signal the inevitability of a nationwide right to same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court on Monday let stand appeals court rulings allowing such unions in five states.

The development, a major surprise, cleared the way for same-sex marriages in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. Officials in Virginia announced that marriages would start at 1 p.m. on Monday.

The decision to let the appeals court rulings stand, which came without explanation in a series of brief orders, will almost immediately increase the number of states allowing same-sex marriage from 19 to 24, along with the District of Columbia. The impact of the move will in short order be even broader.

Monday’s orders let stand decisions from three federal appeals courts with jurisdiction over six other states that ban same-sex marriage: Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming. Those appeals courts will almost certainly follow their own precedents to strike down those additional bans as well, meaning the number of states with same-sex marriage should soon climb to 30.

By failing to act, the Supreme Court has allowed lower courts to impose gay marriage on a number of states and will lead to its extension to still others by judicial decree in coming weeks. Couples will marry in those states -- indeed, they already have -- and those marriages will be unquestionably legal in those states. As noted by Professor Carl Tobias of the University of Richmond School of Law, this non-decision may effectively be the decision on the matter.

"It's all tea leaves," Tobias said. "Even if the 6th Circuit upholds the ban on same-sex marriage I don't see the Supreme Court taking the case and affirming it."

Tobias said he doubts the Supreme Court wants to trigger the chaos that would ensue if they were to rule against the legality of same-sex marriage. Hundreds of valid gay marriages have already been held, and thousands more will be held in the coming days in response to the Supreme Court's lack of action today, Tobias said.

"I don't see how you un-ring the bell," Tobias said. "That's not how it happens. I just don't think the Supreme Court would want to create that legal morass of having to go back and undo tens of thousands of gay marriages."

I think he is exactly right. I don't think that there would be five votes to forcibly divorce thousands -- perhaps even tens of thousands -- of couples nationwide or to allow for states to refuse to recognize marriages that were validly performed and licensed by the states.

Why do I think this outcome came about? Not because of judicial activism, but because of judicial cowardice. Everyone expected this matter to ultimately come down to the vote of Justice Kennedy, and I would suspect that the uncertainty about how he would rule led to a conscious decision by his fellow justices not to grant certiorari. The justices opposed to gay marriage did not want to risk an expansive decision not anchored in the text of the Constitution and so demurred, while the four who would have supported such a decision refrained from voting to hear these cases because the risked losing if they did so while effectively gaining victory by ensuring the case was not heard. That none of the conservative stalwarts on the Supreme Court dissented from the denial of certiorari is particularly disappointing, for this situation serves to embolden those who object to preserving the traditional definition of marriage.

Thus marriage as it has been understood in the Western tradition dies without a whimper in the United States -- and the battle for the legal recognition of polyamorous marriage under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution will no doubt be aggressively joined in the near future. Expect the supporters of this practice to be successful in a dozen years or so.


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Boehner Raising Money For Gay Republicans

To which I say “Great!”

Speaker John Boehner vowed last year that he’d back gay GOP candidates. Now, he’s making good on his word.

The Ohio Republican is heading to California this week, where he’ll raise cash for openly gay Republican candidate Carl DeMaio in defiance of several conservative groups.

Boehner’s trip to the Golden State marks the second leg of his fall tour to expand House Republicans’ 17-seat majority. The GOP’s efforts to broaden the playing field include races in blue states New York, New England and California, and support for gay candidates DeMaio and Massachusetts’s Richard Tisei.

“I’m disappointed but not terribly surprised that some extreme far right groups would rather lose elections than win elections, and have been very destructive for so many years within the Republican Party,” DeMaio said in a phone interview. “I’m glad so many people are finally realizing that and standing up to that, saying we may not agree on all issues but we agree on the vast majority of issues.”


To those alleged conservatives who are upset by the prospect of gay Republicans being elected to Congress, I ask this question – are you more likely to be happy with these individuals and their votes in Congress or with solidly heterosexual left-wing Democrats and the policies they will seek to enact? Think above the waistline when you cast your ballot, please.


|| Greg, 05:33 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Add your comment || TrackBacks (0) ||

When Obama Has Lost Andrea Mitchell

You know he’s in trouble.

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell struggled to get something off her chest during Sunday’s Meet the Press, regretfully informing her fellow panelists that she agrees with “partisan” RNC chairman Reince Priebus’s claim that unemployment is far worse that the White House would have Americans believe.

Priebus had just spoken to Chuck Todd about Friday’s new jobs numbers, which saw unemployment drop to below 6 percent. The RNC head said that figure hid the true number of Americans out of work, noting that a record number have simply given up and dropped out of the labor force altogether.

“You know — I’m not echoing Reince Priebus, because he is obviously partisan, and that’s his job,” she said haltingly. “But if you look at all the reporting from the jobs data on Friday reported that participation rates are at historic lows, decades lows. Fifty-nine percent are not involved in the labor force. That’s just not a sustainable recovery.”


The thing is, the analysis that Mitchell was loathe to agree with was not a partisan one. The numbers are clear – despite the mirage of an improved employment situation, the number of Americans who are working part-time, who are long-term unemployed, or who have dropped out of the labor force makes the employment situation much worse than the nominal 5.9% unemployment rate would seem to indicate. And given the history of the Bureau of Labor Statistics cooking the books in advance of recent elections for the benefit of Obama, the truth is probably that 5.9% will be recalculated to be a higher number sometime after election day.


|| Greg, 05:32 PM || Permalink || Add your comment || TrackBacks (0) ||

If Election Is Obama Referendum, Then Dems Are In Trouble

After all, Obama has lower numbers than either of his immediate predecessors.

Angry and frustrated voters are planning to use the midterm elections in one month to tell President Obama they oppose his agenda, the highest “no vote” percentage in the last 16 years measured by Gallup.

The polling outfit found that 32 percent of voters want to send a message of opposition with their vote, compared to just 20 percent who are sending a signal of support.

That is 13 points higher than in 1998 when former President Clinton was headed to impeachment for lying about his sex affair with a former White House intern and even a smidge higher — 2 points — than in 2008, when Americans were tired of President Bush’s military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.


As I said the other day – Obama has declared this election to be about him. If you disapprove of his policies and his record of failure, then vote for every Republican on the ballot.


|| Greg, 05:31 PM || Permalink || Add your comment || TrackBacks (0) ||
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