June 30, 2014

NPR’s Hysterical Totenberg Thinks Only Anthony Kennedy Stands in Way of Sex and ‘Foreign Origin’ Discrimination

In an MSNBC interview today, Nina Totenberg, National Public Radio’s longtime Supreme Court watcher, attempted to portray the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision as possibly wide-ranging, and even advised viewers that Anthony Kennedy’s presence on the court may be the only thing preventing it from bringing in an era of sex and “foreign origin” discrimination by “hundreds and hundreds and thousands and thousands of companies.”

Video follows the jump (HT Hot Air). Be sure to hang in there until the end, where Totenberg stammers as she appears to be grasping for more fuel to throw onto the fire, and ends up ridiculously claiming that a person’s “foreign origin” may become a basis upon which employers can discriminate (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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USAT’s Wolf Shows Financial Ignorance, Relays Non-Scientific Arguments for Hobby Lobby Decision’s Opponents

USA Today reporter Richard Wolf’s afternoon coverage of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision appeared to be completely ignorant of the dire financial consequences which would have been visited on the company had it lost today.

He also allowed unscientific and objectively wrong arguments about conception to be advanced by those who wanted to see Hobby Lobby defeated. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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The Supremes’ Decisions: I Guess I’m Supposed to Be Thrilled …

… but I’m not. Far from it.

Today, the Supreme Court upheld Hobby Lobby’s position that it cannot be forced by the Affordable Care Act to provide coverage for “contraceptive” drugs which terminate preborn babies’ lives because doing so violates its owners’ consciences.

The court also struck down Illinois’ attempt to force collection of “fees” (read: “union dues”) onto private in-home care providers.

Those are obviously correct decisions. But they are decisions which should have been obvious to all nine justices. Instead, each decision was 5-4.

Make no mistake. The four dissenters are saying that the law means what they want it to mean, and that they could are less about what the Constitution says a law must be to conform to it.

Combined with other relatively recent 5-4 decisions, particularly those upholding self-evident natural law-based individual Second Amendment rights, it is clear that the country I have known and loved is literally hanging by a thread.

So while I’m breathing a heavy sigh of relief, there is no joy. So please hold the champagne.

November’s elections could not possibly be more important.

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UPDATE: Regarding Hobby Lobby, John Hayward at Human Events understands the need to curb the enthusiasm and to remain appropriately alarmed (italics are his; bolds are mine):

For one thing, it should be patently obvious to every citizen of a free republic that Hobby Lobby was right about this. The notion of Big Government sweeping aside religious faith to compel obedience to a collective agenda is utterly incompatible with the American model of government. Explaining this case to the authors of the Constitution would make for a long seance, because they’d keep laughing in disbelief and asking you to start over.

But instead, we get a 5-4 bullet-dodging decision, and it’s not one of those sweeping citizenship-redefining judgments liberal courts love to hand down. It’s very narrow in terms of who and what it covers. A different Court shouldn’t have too much trouble reversing this, and in the meantime it doesn’t fatally injure ObamaCare. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this decision folded into the talking points of single-payer socialists – they’ll cite it as proof that leaving any degree of private-sector control over health care corrupts the pure vision of government-administered Free Stuff For All.

So this isn’t really a sweeping First Amendment beatdown, as it should have been; it’s a narrow decision upholding a law signed by Bill Clinton, a law the left-wing justices are chomping at the bit to quash, because the ideal of a self-described “benevolent” tyranny using a thicket of laws to micro-manage the lives of its unworthy citizens is so close they can taste it. They’re growing quite insistent that the only alternative to that benevolent tyranny is anarchy, chaos, and hatred. The Supreme Court may have registered a judgment against ObamaCare’s silly mandates today, but the Left is still burning to render a far more terrible judgment against the people of the United States, and there won’t be any appeals once they hand it down.

As noted, November’s elections could not possibly be more important.

Imagine That: 45 Days After Predicted ‘Irreversible Collapse,’ Antarctic Sea Ice Sets New Record

Hank Paulson, whose claim to fame in the public sector is panicking and browbeating the nation and its Washington politicians into accepting the Troubled Asset Relief Program in late September 2008, and who just two weeks later “put a (figurative) gun to the heads” of large-bank CEOs to “persuade” them to accept federal “investment” in their enterprises, has re-emerged to tell us, according to the Hill, that “Republicans are ‘ready for a serious discussion’ on climate change.”

As a reminder, in 2007, the late Robert Novak wrote that Paulson “contributed to Bill Clinton in 1992, Democrat Bill Bradley’s 2000 presidential campaign, the feminist Emily’s List and Wall Street’s favorite Democrat, Chuck Schumer,” before financially supporting George W. Bush in 2004. Paulson was also “regarded in his own administration as less a true Republican secretary than a transition to the next Democratic Treasury.” One of Paulson’s current assertions parrots global warming alarmists’ claims in mid-May that that a serious and supposedly irreversible collapse of Antarctic Sea ice will catastrophically raise worldwide sea levels. Over the weekend, meteorologist Joe Bastardi, Chief Forecaster at WeatherBell Analytics LLC, relayed some very inconvenient data (bolds are mine):

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NYT: Scientists ‘Startled’ at Great Lakes’ Rise; Another Warmist Prediction Is Biting the Dust

UPDATE: Long-time commenter Gary Hall has provided a link to a chart with 95 years of Great Lakes temperature data.

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An undated but clearly recent page at the National Wildlife Federation breathlessly warns readers, in a section entitled “Threats from Global Warming,” that “Lake Erie water levels, already below average, could drop 4-5 feet by the end of this century, significantly altering shoreline habitat.” A Thursday Huffington Post Canada Business entry observed that “the (Great Lakes) basin has experienced the longest extended period of lower water levels since the U.S. and Canada began tracking levels in 1918.” Of course, it’s because of “climate change.”

Friday, Julie Bosman at the New York Times reported (HT Powerline) that “The International Joint Commission, a group with members from the United States and Canada that advises on water resources, completed a five-year study in April 2013 concluding that water levels in the lakes were likely to drop even farther, in part because of the lack of precipitation in recent years brought on by climate change.” But the reason Bosman was on the story is because — fortunately for area residents, but unfortunately for “startled” global warming adherents claiming to be “scientists” — Great Lakes sea levels are rising again (bolds are mine throughout this post):
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Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (063014)

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

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Vatican upholds nature, importance of family in UN session

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

un 25, 2014 / 07:54 am

During the 26th Session of the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi affirmed that the family nourished by the marriage of one man and one woman offers a “dynamic energy” to society.

“Most people find unique protection, nurture, and dynamic energy from their membership in a strong and healthy family founded upon marriage between a man and a woman,” the archbishop stated in a June 24 letter to the president of the U.N.’s Human Rights Council.

“Moreover, ample evidence has demonstrated that the best interest of the child is assured in a harmonious family environment in which the education and formation of children develop within the context of lived experience with both male and female parental role models.”

According to Vatican Radio, Archbishop Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, delivered his letter to the president of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council on the occasion of their 26th Session.

The Human Rights Council is an intergovernmental body within the United Nations, and is composed of 47 States who are responsible for the protection and promotion of every human right worldwide.

At the beginning of his letter the archbishop drew attention to the U.N.’s celebration of the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family, which took place May 15 under the theme “Families Matter for the Achievement of Development Goals.”

Choosing such a theme, he noted, displays “a strong relationship to Resolution 2012/10, adopted by ECOSOC that stressed the need ‘for undertaking concerted actions to strengthen family-centered policies and programs as part of an integrated, comprehensive approach to development.’”

Going on, the archbishop recognized the numerous debates currently surrounding “the nature and definition of the family.”

“Such discussions often lead States to conclude that the family is more of a problem than a resource to society” he observed, drawing attention to the U.N.’s preparatory documents for the International Year of the Family, which explained that families are finding it harder to fulfill their responsibilities due to “rapid socio-economic and demographic transformations.”

However in spite of the current challenges, Archbishop Tomasi said that the Holy See’s human rights delegation firmly believes that “the family, in fact, is the fundamental unit of human society.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Scandal Exhaustion (Yours Truly) = Scandalclipse (Jonah Goldberg)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:21 am

At National Review, in a passage articulating what yours truly noted a year ago in May (paragraph breaks added by me):

SCANDALCLIPSE

Have you noticed that basically the only way this White House can get out from under one scandal or controversy is by getting crushed by another?

The White House was reeling from the VA scandal, which is why they rolled out the Bergdahl news. They didn’t expect that the Bergdahl story would become so controversial; fortunately they were rescued by the June 6 news of thousands of immigrant children showing up at the border.

Hey, quick question: I can’t get my kid out of an airport without her getting messy. Isn’t it strange that all of these kids seem to show up, after a 1,000-mile journey looking so spiffy? Anyway, the immigrant-kid story was pretty brutal for the White House; fortunately they were rescued three days later by the news that ISIS had taken Mosul.

The “Who Lost Iraq?” narrative isn’t great for the White House either, which is why it might have been a relief when the IRS announced on June 13 that they lost Lois Lerner’s e-mails.

You miss a year, you miss a lot, Jonah.

June 29, 2014

NewsBusted (062714)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 7:06 am

Here we go:

TOPICS:
– NSA
– Television News
– President Obama
– Washington Post
– Brian Schweitzer and Eric Cantor
– CNN’s Paul Begala
– Michelle Obama
– Jennifer Lopez
– Hillary Clinton’s Book
– Tinder

Best Lines (among many more):

  • “Current surveys show America’s confidence in televsion news has fallen to an all-time low — Which is scary, because TV news is President Obama’s only source of information.”
  • “The editor of the Washington Post says we should negotiate with the Taliban more. So it’s official: Liberals want Obama to negotiate with everyone except Republicans.”

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062914)

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

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Pope — Jesus was a pastor, not a ‘moralistic’ power-seeker

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Jun 26, 2014 / 01:14 pm

In his daily homily Pope Francis warned of those who reduce the faith to moralism and ambition, stating that people in Jesus’ time followed him because he spoke the truth in a way they understood.

“This is why the people followed Jesus, because He was the Good Shepherd. He wasn’t a moralistic, quibbling Pharisee, or a Sadducee who made political deals with the powerful, or a guerrilla who sought the political liberation of his people,” the Pope explained in his June 26 daily Mass.

“He was a pastor! A pastor who spoke the language of His people, who understood, who spoke the truth, the things of God.”

Addressing those present in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse, the Roman Pontiff drew attention to the scene in the day’s Gospel from Matthew in which the people were astonished by the teachings of Jesus.

The Pope said so many followed Jesus because “they were astonished by His teaching,” and his words “brought wonder to their hearts, the wonder of finding something good, great.”

Pope Francis noted there were four specific groups who also spoke out at the same time as Jesus, but were unable to reach the people.

The first such group were the Pharisees who reduced “the faith in the Living God” to a type of “casuistry” and bickering by burdening their people with “more than three hundred” commandments to follow, and subjecting them to “contradictions of the cruelest kind of moralistic quibbling.”

Giving an example, the Pope stated “You have to obey the fourth commandment!” to which the people respond “Yes, yes, yes!” or “You have to feed your elderly father, your elderly mother!” to which they also say “Yes, yes, yes! But you know, I can’t because I gave my money to the temple!’”

“You don’t do that? And your parents starve to death!” he went on.

“The people respect (the Pharisees), because the people are respectful. They respected them, but they didn’t listen to them! They went about their business,” the pontiff observed.

The second group, the Sadducees, “did not have the faith, they had lost the faith,” because they “made it their religious work to make deals with the powers: political powers, economic powers. They were men of power,” the Pope said.

Another group was the “revolutionaries,” or the zealots, who “wanted to cause a revolution to free the people of Israel from the Roman occupation,” he noted.

However the people “had good sense, and knew to distinguish when the fruit was ripe and when it was not! And they didn’t follow them.”

The last group was the Essenes, the Pope observed, saying that they were “good people” but that even though they were monks who had consecrated their lives to God, they were still “far from the people, and the people couldn’t follow them.”

Pope Francis went on to describe that these “were the voices that reached the people, and none of these voices had the power to warm the hearts of the people.”

“But Jesus did! The crowds were amazed: They heard Jesus and their hearts were warmed. The message of Jesus reached to the heart.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 28, 2014

As Wind Farm Gets Permit to Kill Eagles, AP’s Scott Smith Claims Wind Energy Has ‘Exploded’ Under Obama

In a Thursday evening writeup about how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will allow a California wind farm to “become the first in the nation to avoid prosecution if eagles are injured or die when they run into the giant turning blades,” reporter Scott Smith at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, took a big gulp of his hi-test White House koolaid and wrote: “Under President Barack Obama, wind energy has exploded as a pollution-free energy source that can help reduce the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.”

As we approach 18 years of no global warming, poor Scott probably has no idea, after decades of effort and tens of billions of dollars in tax credits and other subsidies, how insignificant wind energy remains in the grand scheme of U.S. energy production. So let’s help him.

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