November 26, 2012

NYT Still Wants Readers to Believe ‘There Is a Dispute’ Over Role of ‘Innocence of Muslims’ in Benghazi Terrorist Attack

Others can comment on the entirely of the Sunday New York Times story by Serge F. Kovaleski and Brooks Barnes (used in Monday’s print edition) about Basseley Nakoula, the maker of the infamous “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube trailer the authors characterize as a “film” a dozen times in their write-up. Nakoula has now been in jail for two months.

I’m only going to comment on the following two sentences from the writeup which follow the jump:

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Politico’s Tau Ignores ‘Hostage’ Language in Obama Admin Econ Advisers’ Report

This morning the Obama administration’s “National Economic Council & Council of Economic Advisers” jointly released “The Middle-Class Tax Cuts’ Impact on Consumer Spending & Retailers.” Among the howlers in this non-economic political document: “Independent Economic Analysis Clearly Demonstrates Why We Need to Extend
the 2001/2003/2010 Tax Cuts for the Middle-class.” But not everyone else? Don’t high income-earners spend money too?

The primary thrust of the administration’s release is that, in regards to negotiations to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” is the predictable class warfare clarion call, complete with kidnapping-related rhetoric: “There is no reason to hold the middle-class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the highest income earners.” The word “hostage” appears three times in the first two pages of the document. The subtext, of course, is that the hostage-holders are the Republicans in Congress, particularly the House of Representatives. At the Politico, Byron Tau ignored this classless, tasteless partisan tack by supposed professionals:

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IBD and WSJ Editorials Make Morsi Power Grab-U.S. Praise Linkage the Rest of the Press Won’t

As has so often been the case for nearly four years, one needs to go to the editorial pages of the nation’s two leading financial publications, the Wall Street Journal and Investor’s Business Daily, to get to the truth behind news developments, especially the ones with potential to cast the Obama administration in a bad light.

There may not be a better example of the press ignoring the obvious than the circumstances surrounding Mohammed Morsi’s dictatorial power grab in Egypt. Morsi gained substantial perceived world standing when the U.S. government praised him lavishly (or is it slavishly?) for his involvement in brokering a truce of sorts in the Israel-Hamas conflict. As a Friday IBD editorial pointed out, Morsi is now “using America’s stamp of approval to oppress his own people” (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (112612)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Hobby Lobby appealing refusal of HHS mandate injunction

From Oklahoma City (bolds are mine):

Nov 20, 2012 / 05:00 pm

The retailer Hobby Lobby will appeal a federal court’s refusal of its request for an injunction against a Health and Human Services rule that requires the Christian-owned business to cover abortion-causing drugs in its health insurance plans or face millions of dollars in fines.

“We disagree with this decision and we will immediately appeal it,” said Kyle Duncan, General Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

The religious freedom group is representing the Oklahoma City-based company, which is owned by Founder and CEO David Green and his family. Hobby Lobby’s sister company Mardel, Inc. is also a plaintiff in the case.

Green and his family object to providing abortion-inducing drugs.

“Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs. The Green family needs relief now and we will seek it immediately,” Duncan said Nov. 19.

The case is the latest in the controversy over the Department of Health and Human Services mandate requiring insurance coverage for sterilization and contraception, including some abortion-causing drugs. Its narrow religious exemption applies only to non-profit organizations which aim to spread religious values and which employ and serve primarily people of their religion.

Employees who violate the mandate risk fines of $100 per employee per day. Hobby Lobby, which employs over 13,000 full-time employees, said it faces a daily $1.3 million fine beginning Jan. 1, 2013 if it ignores the law.

A lawyer for the federal government said the drugs do not cause abortions and the U.S. has a compelling interest in mandating insurance coverage for them, the Associated Press reports.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton of the Western District of Oklahoma on Monday ruled that Hobby Lobby and Mardel “are not religious organizations.” The judge also noted that the plaintiff’s lawyers did not cite any case and the court did not find any case concluding that “secular, for-profit corporations” such as Hobby Lobby have “a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.” He said the mandate only “indirectly” burdens the Greens’ religious beliefs.

Judge Heaton wrote that the court is “not unsympathetic” to the company’s dilemma. He said the 2010 health care law’s expansion of employer obligations has caused “concerns and issues not previously confronted by companies or their owners.”

The question of whether restrictions on business corporations violate the religious freedom of their owners is one of “largely uncharted waters,” he said.

Meanwhile, David Green said the legal action was necessary because of Hobby Lobby’s dedication to God.

“It is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured,” he said. “Therefore we seek to honor God by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.”

Hobby Lobby has 500 stores in 41 states. …

Go here for the rest of the story.