A round-up of news items, columns, articles and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.
Work prevented us from attending one of the many "Stand Up for Religious Freedom" rallies that were held around the country on Friday.
One who did, Dawn Wildman of the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition had this to say:
Today I attended one of the 140 Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies. This one took place in San Diego, CA , where over 2000 people exercised their First Amendment right in all its forms. They stood up against the HHS mandate that flies in the face of their religious beliefs. They held a peaceful assembly of citizens seeking redress of the federal government due to this latest assault on the US Constitution. For those that are a little fuzzy on the First Amendment this is it in its entirety:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
So while Congress did not actually make the HHS mandate which forces religious affiliates as employers to pay for and give their employees free contraception, it is still the government under the tutelage of Secretary Sebilius who is demanding that religious organizations facilitate this law. Many speakers referenced this mandate as a “conscience tax” and I couldn’t agree more.
Here's B-Daddy of The Liberator Today:
I was struck by how impassioned both the speakers and participants were. The President's policies are uniting people of faith against him. The speakers all spoke of the importance of freedom and conscience to the proper functioning of government. They spoke of the continued assault on religious liberty. They spoke of the laughable accounting shell game of the administration: "Religious associations don't have to pay for birth control, only their insurers will be required to provide that." My personal estimate was that about 700 people turned up. We got honks of support throughout the rally.
“Religious freedom is not a gift from politicians: It is a gift from God,” said Bishop Flores. “Today’s debate is not about the access to contraceptives…it is about the federal government forcing the Church to act against its teachings”.
And Leslie of Temple of Mut has a very comprehensive round-up here to which she adds:
Our opponents must be very worried. They sense they have “awakened a sleeping giant and filled it with a terrible resolve”. The elite media reports I am reviewing, with the jaundiced eye of a recovering reporter, are going out of their way to minimize this unification of religious faiths across this country in standing behind the Catholic Church in its defiance to implement the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate to offer contraceptive/abortion/sterilization coverage in health plans.
For those of you in the tea party/freedom coalition movement who are either pining for or conversely running away from any social issues, relax! This issue is perfect. An authoritative and overreaching government mandating goods and services provisions upon a private entity and which also happens to violate the fundamental religious conscience of a religious entity. What are we missing?
If you wanted an issue over which to beat the head of a dreadful administration and which also helps define your guiding principles, it doesn't get any more basic and fundamental than the 1st amendment, gang, so let's have at it and pull no punches!
And speaking of dreadful... similar to his Skip Gates the police acted stupidly remarks, the President can't help putting his foot in his mouth whenever he goes off-script and away from the teleprompter.
President Barack Obama weighed in Friday on the shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, calling it a national tragedy — and saying that the young man reminded him of his own children.
"When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids," Obama said in the Rose Garden. "I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this. And that everybody pull together."
Obama has come under fire from some black leaders for failing to comment on a case that has become a major national story — and brought thousands of Americans into the streets for demonstrations calling for the arrest of Martin's shooter. One black leader even wondered why Obama called a Georgetown student who was attacked by Rush Limbaugh but not Martin's family. Obama's comments Friday represent the first time the president has addressed the growing controversy.
"My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon,"
Obama said. "All of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves."
That's his main message? Bizarre yet entirely predictable. There you have it, ladies and gentlemen: when asked to offer some commentary and perspective on the shooting, he serves up one of the most self-serving and narcissitic statements we have ever heard. Gawd, this guy is a piece of work.
And from the Nice Try Department, the President running away as fast as he can from Solyndra:
"Obviously we wish Solyndra hadn't gone bankrupt. Part of the reason they did was the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways Solyndra couldn't compete. But understand, this was not our program per se."
-- President Obama talking to National Public Radio's "Marketplace."
President Obama is on a swing-state campaign blitz this week, looking to stifle voter anger over high energy prices. While the White House is casting the trip as an effort to lay out Obama's vision for future energy abundance, much of the message is aimed at reducing the supply of blame.
And how does that square with reality? From FactCheck.org:
President Obama exaggerated when defending his administration’s approval of a $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra, a now-defunct solar company.
Obama referred to Solyndra’s loan at an Oct. 6 press conference as “a loan guarantee program that predates me.” That’s not accurate. It’s true that the Energy Policy Act of 2005 created a loan guarantee program for clean-energy companies developing “innovative technologies.” But Solyndra’s loan guarantee came under another program created by the president’s 2009 stimulus for companies developing “commercially available technologies.”
The president also overstated past Republican support for the program, saying “all of them in the past have been supportive of this loan guarantee program.” Republicans overwhelmingly opposed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and some of them even voted against the Energy Policy Act of 2005 at a time when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress.
Independent auditors and even officials within the administration warned Team O that Solyndra was a dog but they cronied ahead anyway with highly favorable interest rates and then shoved their cronies to the front of the bankruptcy line ahead of the tax-payers when the $535 million house of cards came tumbling down.
And you'll love this:
Several key White House offices were involved with the Obama administration’s messaging plans and other preparations as the collapse of the taxpayer-backed solar company Solyndra was imminent, newly released documents show.(italics, ours)
The latest White House documents delivered to House Republicans on Friday again highlight the extent to which senior administration officials braced for the fallout as Solyndra – a company President Obama had personally visited – was about to go under.
A White House memo that noted the danger of “imminent bankruptcy” at the end of August 2011 says, “OMB, DPC and NEC have been working with press and OLA to be prepared for this news to break.”
Acronym translation: OMB is the Office of Management and Budget, DPC is the Domestic Policy Council, NEC is the National Economic Council and OLA is the Office of Legal Affairs.
Working with the press? We were previously unaware that one of the job descriptions of the 4th estate was to frame a message and provide cover for incompetence if not outright malfeasance in the executive branch. We kind of knew it along along, however, there is still some shock value to see it mentioned in such a casual and matter-of-fact manner.
More media double-standard red meat, this time with respect to gas prices/energy policy:
Column headline of the week:
Is it us or is there cottage industry within the feminist movement that agitates women to be in a constant state of being pissed-off?
So, who is it that is waging a war against women?
Obamacare contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and employers. Five are especially-harmful for women, be they Moms, singles, or retirees.
The jobs-killing Obamacare law contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and employers. Many of these tax increases fall on families making less than $250,000--a direct violation of candidate Obama's promise not to raise "any form" of taxes on these families. In less than a week, the second anniversary of Obamacare being signed into law will take place. The Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments about the constitutionality of Obamacare next week.
Out of the 20 new or higher taxes in Obamacare, here are the five that most hurt women.
Read about them at the link.
And finally, the way NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was firing off suspensions and fines this past Wednesday as punishment for the New Orleans Saints' participation in Bountygate reminded us of Michael Corleone wacking members of the other crime families in the baptism scene of the God Father I.
Sean Payton. Wack. Mickey Loomis. Blam. Greg Williams. Pop. Joe Vitt. Wham.
More carnage than we've ever seen in one day in the NFL. Lessons learned: don't lie, don't ever lie to Roger Goodell.
OK, gang, that's it. We'll see you all tomorrow.