Looks like liberals have another reason for gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes since Chik-Fil-A was just ranked as the nation’s number one, biggest selling fast food chain. Amusingly,
Marilyn Mosby is a racist, ladder climbing, corrupt prosecutor trying to make her political bones off the death of Freddie Gray. She threw specious, hyped-up charges against six cops, ruining
Earlier this month the House of Representatives passed the Massie-Lofgren Amendment to the Defense Appropriation bill that would prohibit the National Security Agency (NSA) from (1) rifling through the stored communications of Americans without a warrant, and (2) trying to sabotage Internet security by forcing private companies to weaken the privacy protections of their customers by installing "backdoors" into their software with the goal of enabling domestic surveillance. Under the pretext of monitoring foreign communications, the NSA has amassed a huge database that includes the communications of Americans that its minions claim it has the authority to search without seeking a warrant. The amendment would prohibit the spending of any funds by the NSA for either activity.
Importantly, the amendment which passed by a vote of 255 to 174 would simply require that federal officials who want to look at the communications of an American citizen go get a warrant as provided for by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Now the chief Congressional stooge for the surveillance state, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has sent out a letter urging all of those members of Congress who voted for the Massie-Lofgren Amendment to reconsider and rescind their votes.
Nunes includes a letter from confessed perjuror Director of Central Intelligence James Clapper who claims that the requirement to obtain a warrant would unduly interfere with the identification of terrorist plots in the U.S. As examples, Clapper then mentions such plots as the 9/11 atrocities, Fort Hood, the Underwear Bomber, the Navy Yard shootings, and Boston Marathon bombing. For his part Nunes notes that "in recent weeks, law enforcement agencies have disrupted homegrown terrorist attacks in Garland, Texas and Boston, Massachusetts." So far as I can tell from news reports, not one of the attacks and plots mentioned by either Clapper or Nunes was identified in advance by NSA surveillance. (And even had they been, tolerating such surveillance is still not worth the damage caused to our civil liberties.)
Below are some particularly salient remarks about protecting American civil liberties made during debate over the amendment.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) declared:
The American people can be kept safe, and we can follow the Constitution. We don't have to disregard it, and that is what this amendment would allow us to do, to keep the American people safe while protecting their civil liberties. There are two provisions here, and they both close backdoors. One backdoor currently allows, without probable cause or a warrant, for the NSA to query a database of American persons' information. This is wrong. They should have a warrant.
The other part of this amendment would prevent money from being spent to fund companies to put backdoors into products. When the government causes these companies to intentionally make defects in their products, they make Americans less safe. They make Americans' data less safe, and they compromise the quality of American goods overseas. Ultimately, this is about the Constitution, and if you believe in the Constitution, if you believe that it is still valid, if you think we can honor the Fourth Amendment and that we can still keep people safe, then I urge you to vote for this amendment.
In support, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii):
Our number one priority is keeping the American people safe. We do that by focusing our resources on those who actually pose a threat to our safety, while upholding the freedoms and civil liberties of the American people, not by continuing this dragnet spying on millions of Americans. There is no evidence to date that these programs have made our country more secure. Not a single taxpayer dollar should be used to fund a program that spies on innocent Americans, violating the principles of liberty and freedom that so many have fought and given their lives for.
Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) further noted:
The NSA has shown they will always interpret the law to the extent that allows them to seize the information. That is why the law has to be much more clear to the NSA. We all must remember that the NSA was violating the PATRIOT Act, as written. This amendment does something that is very concrete. It tells the NSA: Get a warrant. Get a warrant through the front door. You get a warrant through the backdoor. You can't spy on Americans unless you get a warrant.
As Cato Institute Policy Analyst for Homeland Security and Civil Liberties Patrick Eddington pointed out:
The Nunes-Clapper letter is the first salvo in the battle over the fate of this critically important surveillance reform measure. It will not be the last.
It also demonstrates that despite the enormity of the revelations provided to the world by Edward Snowden about the scope and illegality of the U.S. government's mass surveillance programs, the Intelligence Community's power to fight back remains potent -- especially when its ostensible watchdogs are its biggest supporters and apologists.
All too true. Let's hope that the members of Congress will not be fooled by these additional lies from national security state bootlickers.
And, before I forget, James Clapper should be fired and prosecuted for lying to Congress. See video below.
So, now an MSNBC host is saying that the two murderers who escaped prison (and were recaptured this week) can’t be blamed for escaping prison! No seriously! He REALLY said
The news from the Iranian nuclear program negotiations in Vienna just keeps getting worse. Now, it seems like the United States is going to give up on military inspections that could be anything close to effective. From the AFP:
“We have worked out a process that we believe will ensure that the IAEA has the access it needs,” the administration official told reporters.
“The entry point isn’t we must be able to get into every military site, because the United States of America wouldn’t allow anybody to get into every military site, so that’s not appropriate,” the official said.
“There are conventional purposes, and there are secrets that any country has that they are not willing to share,” the first American official said.
Take a look at that bolded statement, because that’s what it all comes down to. If you needed any further evidence that our government is much more interested in playing nice with the Iranians than actually solving the problem at hand, then here it is. “That’s not appropriate” is reasoning that might have worked in high school, but in the real world, we are telling the one of the most dangerous and least trustworthy states in the world exactly where they can building nuclear weapons without worrying about being discovered. Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard sums it up well:
It turns out the left’s old doctrine of moral equivalence between the Soviet Union and the U.S. has been replaced by a doctrine of moral equivalence between Iran and the U.S.
This sentence says it all. Opponents of a bad deal should make it famous: You can only vote for this deal if you accept this basic equivalence between the Iranian regime and the U.S.
Whatever you think of Donald Trump (and I’m no supporter of his), he’s exactly right when he says “We look like we’re beggars,” at the talks. It is exactly the same kind of thing an Iranian general said back in February. With all the talk about the talks missing the June 30th deadline, it’s hard to understand why. The United States has essentially been giving the Iranians everything they want. The Islamic Republic knows it cannot directly ask the negotiating powers for the bomb, but they do know they can create exactly the conditions they want to get away with developing one in secret because they know the Obama administration will give it to them. Unfortunately, because of our President’s obsession with his legacy and his desire to bring the United States down to the level of the rest of the world, the Iranians are going to get the bomb, and everyone else is going to have to live with the consequences.
The post US Giving up on Military Inspections of Iran Nuke Sites appeared first on RedState.
National Review has a new video up today that asks if Americans really know Hillary Clinton. If the voters really know what they are getting. After all, whenever the mainstream media talks about her, in reverent tones, they can’t stop telling voters how great she is, even as they lead into the stories of scandal, fraud, lies, and deceit.
She’s the most qualified? True. Nobody has more experience misleading and taking advantage of Americans than Hillary Clinton. Except maybe her husband but I’m marking that one “too close to call.”
As NR puts it:
We don’t know what other skeletons may come out of Clinton’s closet, before or after she makes it to the White House. America can’t risk electing someone so untrustworthy — it’s time we took her contempt for transparency seriously.
What do we know about Hillary? Not nearly enough about what she did as Secretary of State. But EXACTLY enough to know she’s a disaster waiting to happen.
In a move that likely signals a willingness to deprive teachers unions of the power to collect compulsory fees, the Supreme Court has decided to hear a case challenging the practice next fall.
On Tuesday, the Court announced that it will take up Friderichs v. California Teachers Association. The petitioners are teachers who object to the union’s collective bargaining strategies, as well as its political advocacy. In California, even teachers who aren’t part of the union are forced to pay dues to fund the union’s activities.
Lead plaintiff Rebecca Friedrichs says mandatory dues violated her First Amendment rights by requiring her to provide financial support to causes she doesn’t support. When I interviewed her for The Daily Caller in December of 2013, she told me that she favors school choice, but is forced to give money to a union that lobbies against that policy. She also thought the union was harming her students’ interests by protecting bad teachers.
The teachers are represented by the Center for Individual Rights. Its president, Terry Pell, worte in a statement:
This case is about the right of individuals to decide for themselves whether to join and pay dues to an organization that purports to speak on their behalf. We are seeking the end of compulsory union dues across the nation on the basis of the free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Rebecca Friedrichs and the other California teachers we are representing are looking forward to their long overdue day in court.
The Supreme Court has never held that compulsory union dues violate free speech rights. But there is good reason to expect that the current court might rule that way. The conservative 5-4 majority in 2012’s Knox v. SEIU essentially invited such a challenge, and the decision today by the Court to hear the case is a very good sign.
A big win for Friedrichs could have massive consequences. California is just one of 20 “closed-shop” states that require non-members to pay union dues. Compulsory unionization could be ruled unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds nationwide.
We’ll have to wait until June 2016 to find out.
Online retail giant Amazon.com quickly jumped on the bandwagon to ban sales of the Confederate flag but a review of it products shows that it is still selling items with
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Friday redefining marriage across all 50 states will likely have many serious, even unintended, consequences for the rule of law, democratic self-governance, and—in particular—religious freedom.
Before the ink was dry on the court’s activist decision, a columnist for The New York Times was already calling for the end of non-profit tax status for churches, charities, and other religious institutions. Just days earlier, the American Civil Liberties Union urged Congress to “amend” (read: gut) the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act—a commonsense, federal law that protects Americans’ free exercise of religion from unnecessary government interference and one the ACLU lobbied Congress to pass in the first place.
These calls to strip people and institutions of faith—with long-standing legal protections—are outrageous, but not unexpected. Numerous friend-of-the court briefs detailed the potential ramifications of redefining marriage for religious liberty, yet Justice Anthony Kennedy afforded just one paragraph to these considerations, writing in the majority opinion:
[I]t must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.
As pointed out by Chief Justice John Roberts in dissent, Justice Kennedy fundamentally misunderstands the Constitution’s robust protection of religious freedom:
The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to ‘advocate’ and ‘teach’ their views of marriage. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to ‘exercise’ religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.
We’ve already seen numerous threats against Americans’ freedom to exercise their beliefs about marriage, in how they run their businesses, or serve their communities. Faith-based adoption and foster care agencies have been forced to close their doors, rather than abandon their commitment to placing children in homes with a married mother and father. Numerous photographers, florists, cake makers, farmers, and many others have been hauled into court or fined for simply declining to help plan or participate in a same-sex wedding ceremony.
During oral arguments in the marriage cases, the Obama administration’s solicitor general, Donald Verrilli, acknowledged that religious schools losing their non-profit tax status is “certainly going to be an issue” if they refuse to accept a redefinition of marriage.
>>> For more on this, see Ryan T. Anderson’s new book, “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom”
Future collisions of same-sex marriage with religious freedom could have at least been minimized had the Supreme Court respected the Constitution and allowed citizens to continue debating the issue and making marriage policy for themselves.
“Had the majority allowed the definition of marriage to be left to the political process—as the Constitution requires,” writes Justice Clarence Thomas in his dissent, “the People could have considered the religious liberty implications of deviating from the traditional definition as part of their deliberative process. Instead, the majority’s decision short-circuits that process, with potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.”
Justice Samuel Alito echoed that concern, forecasting a troubling picture of future freedoms for Americans who continue to believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman:
“I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools … By imposing its own views on the entire country, the majority facilitates the marginalization of the many Americans who have traditional ideas.”
But that grim prediction need not become reality. Congress should protect the rights of all Americans to speak and act consistent with the truth about marriage—whether speaking in the “recesses of their homes” or working, serving, or educating others.
The First Amendment Defense Act, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and in the House by Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, would prohibit the federal government from discriminating against any individual, organization, school, or business because they acted in accordance with the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Specifically, the policy would prevent the government from taking adverse action against those groups in tax policy, employment, licensing, contracting, grants, and accreditation.
Similar policies can be pursued in the states. Governors can issue executive orders preventing state bureaucrats from discriminating against citizens who wish to live and act in accordance with the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. State legislatures can, likewise, pass legislation that protects the freedom of Americans to continue witnessing to the truth about marriage.
Even President Obama, in his remarks celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling, reminded the nation that “Americans of goodwill continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue” and urged citizens to “revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.”
Everyone is free to live and to love as they choose, but no one should demand that government coerce others into celebrating their relationship. All Americans should remain free to run businesses, serve the poor, and educate the next generation in accordance with the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
The post How to Preserve Religious Freedom After Supreme Court’s Activist Decision on Marriage appeared first on The Daily Signal.
I keep showing the Hindenburg Explosion Led Zep Art in conjunction with the poor, miserable Greek Economy. I figure right about now, we can also offer up a little bit of night music. Not quite Mozart, but “In My Time of Dying” from “Physical Graffiti” would about describe the current state of play down yonder by the Mediterranean.
This is not only apropos to the failure of the Greeks and IMF, but also to the behavior of the government in the face of this disaster. As the people of Athens stand in line by the ATMs attempting to withdraw money that rapidly dwindled, the government prepared to manfully pass the Euro. Specifically, PM Tsipras has reviewed the final offer from his myriad creditors and deemed in overly harsh. Not having the leather balls necessary to play rugby over the issue, and formally reject the offer, he has scheduled a national referendum for 5 July on the aid package. If “Yes” wins, Greece takes the aid. If “No” wins; we assume the fireworks go off in Athens one day after the grace the skies over the Boston Pops Orchestra.
Tsipras has been maestro at handling this entire Big, Fat Greek disaster. Not on behalf of the nation or its people, but he sure as handled it like a political pro on behalf of the constituency that really matters. Alexis Tsipras has managed to abdicate his professional responsibility while retaining all the powers and perquisites of his office. The son of a misbegotten mother has out-Clintoned Hillary.
He has blamed literally everything else for Greece’s predicament. The list includes, I kid you not, WWII. He has attempted to declare everything Greece owes to other people a portfolio of odious debts. Tsipras has always banked* on the prospects of Angela Merkel not particularly wanting to negotiate with Tsipras’ “loyal opposition” over in The Golden Dawn Party**.
Well, the Greek debts may or may not be odious and Tsipras’ political opposition may or may not be serious when they offer to control immigration through the judicious application of landmines. However, Tsipras’ multitude of angry creditors could seemingly care less than does the evening breeze. Thus, the Greek Stock Exchange is closed and its banks are on “holiday” for six days as all liquid assets of the Greek people are frozen for potential confiscation against these debts. Or, as the government euphemistically phrased it, “Visitors to Greece should be aware of the possibility that banking services – including credit card processing and servicing of ATMs – throughout Greece could potentially become limited at short notice.”***
So Tsipras faces this crisis by holding a cynical referendum designed to put the Greek People rather than Red Alex on the hook for all the future carnage that comes from having to decide. With any luck at all, the Greek People will ignore this slight against decency, refrain from voting in the referendum in massive numbers and then decide that they still need a PM despite the worthless performance of the one they have in office right now. The scary conclusion of this could be that they decide there is an alternative to having a PM. Stupidity on this epic a scale could become a mechanism by which democracies start to die off.
*-Dammit, RMJ, knock off the puns!
**-It’s not everyone who can point at their political opponent, argue ad Hitlerum and look like a rational actor.
***-What a verbose and eloquent manner of saying “@#$%-You.”
This is what a truly good person does… an officer overheard this young woman on the phone with her fiance, discussing scraping enough money together for gas. She’s 26 weeks
If you want to see some of the dumbest people on earth, just visit any college or university. Today’s tableau of stupid comes from the University of Texas where liberal
Last week's historic Supreme Court victory for gay marriage has been widely praised by American liberals. But at the left-wing site Salon.com, one liberal law professor has cast a dissenting vote. Sure, Obergefell v. Hodges is "great news," concedes Northwestern's Andrew Koppelman, but the decision is nothing to get too excited about on account of "the remarkably weak reasoning by which the Court got there." What's the problem with the Court's reasoning? Here is Koppelman's explanation:
The decision relied on the doctrine of "substantive due process" — the idea that some liberties, not enumerated in the Constitution, are so important that government can’t take them away. "The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach," Kennedy's first sentence declared, "a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity."...
Substantive due process, however, invites courts to invent new law out of nothing — to declare as constitutionally protected any conduct that they think is important.
Substantive due process is the idea that the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment—which forbids the states from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without first providing due process of law—offers not just procedural safeguards but also protects a range of substantive individual rights. This doctrine played an important role in the Supreme Court's 1965 decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, in which the Court struck down a state law banning the use of birth control devices on the grounds that it violated the unenumerated privacy rights of married couples. Substantive due process also played a key role in the Court’s landmark 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down that state's ban on "homosexual conduct" for violating the liberty rights of gay people under the 14th Amendment.
But wait a minute. Aren't Griswold and Lawrence both cases where the liberal side won? Why would a liberal like Koppelman want to distance himself from the constitutional underpinnings of Griswold and Lawrence? Here is the explanation.
In addition to Griswold and Lawrence, substantive due process also played a central role in the Supreme Court's famous 1905 decision in Lochner v. New York, in which an economic regulation setting maximum working hours at a bakery was struck down for violating the unenumerated right to liberty of contract protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. To say the least, Lochner is not the sort of case that liberal law professors tend to admire.
But Lochner also poses a real problem for any intellectually honest liberal legal thinker. As I explain in my recent book Overruled, Griswold and Lawrence both owe a vast intellectual debt to Lochner. Indeed, as I put it, Lochner's libertarian DNA "lives on prominently today in the landmark liberal rulings that legalized birth control and eliminated state restrictions on 'homosexual conduct.'"
So what's an honest liberal law professor to do? On the one hand, liberals are supposed to hate Lochner for striking down state regulation that violated an unenumerated right. On the other hand, liberals are supposed to love Griswold, Lawrence, and now Obergefell for striking down state regulations that violated unenumerated rights. To his credit, Koppelman recognizes this fundamental contradiction in modern legal liberalism. He's struggling to reconcile the irreconcilable.
Ironically, Koppelman's liberal critique of Obergefell is practically the mirror image of the dissenting opinion cast in that case by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts. "Allowing unelected federal judges to select which unenumerated rights rank as 'fundamental'—and to strike down state laws on the basis of that determination—raises obvious concerns about the judicial role," Roberts declared in Obergefell. He went on:
Ultimately, only one precedent offers any support for the majority's methodology: Lochner v. New York, 198 U. S. 45. The majority opens its opinion by announcing petitioners' right to "define and express their identity." Ante, at 1–2. The majority later explains that "the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy." Ante, at 12. This free- wheeling notion of individual autonomy echoes nothing so much as "the general right of an individual to be free in his person and in his power to contract in relation to his own labor." Lochner, 198 U. S., at 58 (emphasis added).
In other words, John Roberts and Salon are in total agreement: The Supreme Court's landmark decision legalizing gay marriage rests on a libertarian legal foundation that protects "the general right of an individual to be free in his person." In their common view, that right shouldn't exist. Thankfully, they're both on the losing side of this case.
The Barack Obama Administration is – even more than any of its predecessors – the Crony Socialism Administration.
No prior presidency has used and abused government to do more for its friends – and more to its friends’ competitors – than has this one.
The default answer to that last question is “But of course.”
Almost certainly the Administration’s Best Crony – is Google.
All of which begs (at least) a couple of questions. Why would Congressional Republicans want to thus emulate this Administration – and does Google really need even more Big Government assistance?
Some Elephants bizarrely seem to think the answer to the latter is – “But of course.”
Can anything be called “reform” – if it’s creating even more Big Government Cronyism? For one of the biggest Cronies going?
Congress has yet another way to build in even more Cronyism for even more Cronies – the legislative amendment process. Thankfully, there are some objecting.
(O)nce again Cong. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) 67% introduced an amendment to extend the (Covered Business Method) CBM program, which is set to expire in 2020….
The (American Banking Association) ABA Banking Journal described the defeated amendment as an “ABA-supported amendment to extend the Covered Business Method program….”
The committee defeated Issa’s amendment by a 18 to 13 vote….
There should be as many objections as there are Crony amendments.
The drug industry is circulating a sign-on letter to build support for exempting drugs from a streamlined patent challenge process….
A companion bill in the Senate, the PATENT Act, doesn’t include the carve-out either, but key senators have pledged to continue working with the industry before that legislation advances to the floor for a vote.
“Key Senators” should pledge to not do any such thing.
We’ve had a lot of warped impositions of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment “equal protection” clause. Creating different law for different patent types would be yet another – and should be avoided like the plague.
Thankfully, Congressman Bob Goodlatte recently said at a hearing that he didn’t want to turn his Innovation Act into a Crony carve-out fest. Excellent on him.
But the Congressman’s bill is too big, too far-reaching – too much government. If the bill is too much government for some – hence their requests for exemptions – it is too much government…period.
The solution is – Less Government. A patent reform bill that is thus actual reform.
Fortunately – there are already two.
This is not fundamental transformation. It specifically reforms demand letter abuse – without total system disruption.
It gives the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the authority to deal with bad demand letter writers – on an a la carte basis. The FTC examines each case as it comes – rather then preemptive, all-encompassing legislation where every single patent holder trying to protect their intellectual property is assumed to be acting in bad faith.
And that’s about it. With DC – less is almost always more….
This isn’t fundamental transformation either. It reforms demand letter abuse – and cleans up some previous DC mistakes.
The last patent reform bill – the America Invents Act – established overly broad standards for when and how patents can be challenged at the patent office. This bill tightens them.
And it uses the TROL Act language that ends abusive demand letters.
A lot of time and effort can be saved by not trying to amend a bad, too-much-government bill – and instead going with a ready-to-go, less government, equal-protection, Cronyism-free good one.
It would be an incredibly refreshing change of D.C. pace.
For decades Economist Walter E. Williams has served as a strong supporter for fiscal conservatism.
In his interview with The Daily Signal, Williams talks about several different topics, ranging from race to why conservative principles work best for those who are poor and impoverished.
“Racial discrimination and racism could have died a well deserved death, but it’s been resurrected poverty pimps and other people who benefit from exploiting the problems that black people face in our country,” said Williams, who is the author of the new book, “American Contempt for Liberty.”
You can see his answers to specific questions by referring to the time codes below:
- 00:11 Williams talks about Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who posed as a black woman as president of the NAACP in Spokane, Wash. He compares her situation to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., claiming Cherokee Indian heritage.
- 1:11 Where is the U.S. when it comes to the issue of race?
- 1:42 Why does the free market system work and how does it benefit impoverished people?
- 3:38 Do African Americans relate to conservative principles?
- 4:52 Are conservatives sensitive to the poor?
The post Poverty Pimps, Free Markets And Freedom: Walter Williams Talks Race and Economics appeared first on The Daily Signal.
I’ve heard of ‘fresh’ beef, but this is ridiculous. I’m a devoted carnivore, but this might put me off my feed as well. An hour after this Chinese woman brought