News and Commentary for March 25

Pray that the government doesn't get to stomp on it in the name of XXXX

Pray that the government doesn’t get to stomp on it.

Stories of the Day

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away… “Not too long ago, the Greens of Oklahoma City were law-abiding people running an arts-and-crafts chain called Hobby Lobby. They weren’t disturbing the peace, or denying anyone his or her rights. They were minding their own business — quite successfully and in keeping with their Christian faith. The roughly 600 Hobby Lobby stores stock Christian products, close on Sundays, and play Christian music. Then one day Uncle Sam showed up to make an offer that the Greens couldn’t refuse — literally. As part of Obamacare, federal law demands that the chain cover contraceptives that the Greens consider abortifacients. The family decided it couldn’t comply with the law in good conscience, and its case is now before the Supreme Court. Hobby Lobby went from an inoffensive business to a scofflaw and an alleged combatant in the “war on women” in no time at all — and without changing any significant employment or business practice. Thus is the transformation wrought by the coercive sweep of Obamacare, which risks doing as much damage to conscience rights as it has done to the insurance market.” The War on Hobby Lobby: The Obama administration wants to win this to prove a point.

What it’s really all about. “Protecting their rights to abstain from the mandate does not in any way endanger the rights of women or their health since Hobby Lobby employees are free to purchase such drugs on their own. What the government wants is not to protect the freedom to use contraception—which is not in question—but to be able to make religious organizations as well as private businesses pay for it and thus compromise their principles. Their reasoning is twisted, but at its heart is the belief that government can run roughshod over rights in order to obtain some larger good such as free health services. Upholding such a mandate would mean a re-writing of the First Amendment that would protect private expressions of faith but prohibit its exercise in the public square. The administration seeks to interpret the law in such a manner as to require people to choose between their faith and the survival of their enterprises. Our framers believed that government moral coercion of this sort was beyond the pale. That is why they sought to create a constitutional framework that ensured that while we would have no established church, neither would our government seek to constrain religious freedom.” Liberals’ Hobby Lobby Scare Campaign

The Hobby Lobby case, in pictures. “Today at the Supreme Court, some courageous Americans are standing up to Obamacare’s trampling of religious freedom. But outside the Court, the debate rages over the place of this valuable freedom in our lives. Planned Parenthood put together a graphic to express one argument—that Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood want to “deny their employees access to birth control.” As Heritage expert Sarah Torre explained in our video, nothing could be further from the truth. The companies actually pay to cover 16 different types of contraceptive drugs. Check out our version of the infographic, which explains what’s really at stake today.” INFOGRAPHIC: What Exactly This Hobby Lobby Case Is About

America in Decline

Feel safe? “The US Navy uses about 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles per year to deal with global threats or to send a message. The Hellfire missile has become a mainstay of anti-terrorism operations since the CIA and military adapted the Predator drone aircraft to launch them. But under President Obama’s military budget, both programs will be eliminated over the next year or two. By 2018, the United States will have used all of its remaining stocks of Tomahawk missiles. And the military has no replacement for either weapon system ready to go yet. [Snip] Yet another move in which Barack Obama is clearly weakening the United States just as Russia gains strength. Two words: Fundamental transformation.” Obama Moves to Kill Tomahawk, Hellfire Missiles

Big Government

Winning via intimidation. It’s the Obama way. “Such an organized-labor presence on OSHA inspections at non-union businesses is becoming more commonplace, owing to a rule clarification quietly drafted in February 2013. Responding to a union inquiry, OSHA decided that third-party agents who are not affiliated with the employees or the federal government are now allowed to tag along on safety inspections. A SEIU spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the presence of union representatives on inspections and did not respond to a request for comment. A major change, this so-called “clarification” opens up the potential for unions to use the threat of federal inspections against any business that refuses to bend to their wishes. (In the case of PJS, the SEIU wants a card-check election, which allows the union officials to see exactly who votes how, leaving employees who oppose organized representation vulnerable to intimidation, according to a source familiar with the situation.)” SEIU Uses Federal Inspections to Target Houston Small Business: OSHA brings organizers along on inspections to intimidate open-shop employees.

Elections

November is coming, and the Left wants to deny reality. “Silver, who left the Times to start his own website associated with ESPN, posted a piece this weekend establishing the GOP as a clear favorite to win control of the Senate this fall. But, as the Washington Post reports, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is trying to argue that the man who called all 50 states right in the 2012 election is wrong. [Snip] So my advice to Democrats is to not waste time arguing with Silver. He may be a liberal but as we have seen in the past few years, his background in baseball statistics as one of the leading lights of the SABRmetric revolution leads him inevitably to sober and unflinching looks at the numbers. If liberals don’t like the way things are heading this year, they would do better to evaluate their own positions on issues like ObamaCare or the fact that their out-of-touch “Downton Abbey” elitist party (to use the Daily Beast’s Lloyd Green’s apt phrase) is setting this midterm cycle up as one that will be extremely favorable for the GOP, not bad poll numbers or faulty analysis. If not, they’ll be eating crow that is just as bitter as the dish so many conservatives had to consume in 2012.” Dems Shouldn’t Bother Arguing with Silver

Listen up! “Voters who want what the Democrats offer can get it from the Democrats. Why should they vote for Republicans who act like make-believe Democrats? Yet there are issues where Republicans have a big advantage over Democrats — if they will use that advantage. But an advantage that you don’t use might as well not exist. The issue on which Democrats are most vulnerable, and have the least room to maneuver, is school choice. Democrats are heavily in hock to the teachers’ unions, who see public schools as places to guarantee jobs for teachers, regardless of what that means for the education of students.” How Republicans Can Win Black Votes: The GOP needs to offer something different from what Democrats are offering.

Foreign Policy

History repeating itself. “Our relationship with Russia is far worse now than during the Bush administration. Vladimir Putin is not just not deterred — who would be, after the U.S. fickleness in Libya, Egypt, and Syria, and in dealing with Iran? — but quite eager in the Crimea and Ukraine to show the world how to deflate American moralistic sermonizing. Putin believes that his amoral show of power impresses others who admire not his strength — for in truth he has little of it — but the simulation of strength that wins him support at home and a sort of sick admiration abroad. Being weak is sometimes dangerous. Being loud, self-righteous, and weak is always very dangerous indeed.” Loud + Weak = War: China and Russia are no more impressed with empty bluster today than Japan was in 1941.

Worse than Jimmy Carter,  if it’s possible. “’Now we are in the almost unimaginable position of looking back at Jimmy Carter as an example of comparatively sure, savvy leadership. The Russians invaded Afghanistan and Carter armed the rebels. The Russians invaded Crimea and Barack Obama went on Ellen to hear the hostess gush about how much America loves Obamacare.’” KURT SCHLICHTER: Ukraine Illustrates Hard Truths Liberals Won’t Face.

“It’s been a good month for Vladimir Putin : He got Crimea and the Internet.” How to Save the Internet: Congress can override the president’s decision to hand over control of Web addresses and domains to an international body.

Religious Liberty

It’s because Big Government and religion are not compatible. “The Vatican’s chief justice feels that President Barack Obama’s policies have been hostile toward Christians. In an interview with Polonia Christiana magazine –and transcribed by Life Site News — Cardinal Raymond Burke said that Obama “promotes anti-life and anti-family policies.” “It is true that the policies of the president of the United States have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization. He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies,” Burke told the magazine.” Vatican Chief Justice: Obama’s Policies ‘Have Become Progressively More Hostile Toward Christian Civilization’

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