CONTENTS: Evangelicals & Immigration; Erickson – religious freedom; NDakota anti-abortion; Const. & same sex; Justice Kennedy – too many SCOTUS referrals; Federal benefits for gays; Pay to Play; Bathhouses & soda pop; Rushbo – Spanish death sentence; Meteoric Ted Cruz; DHS moves its ammo & armor; OCare 7 voter regist; 2010 – 10,000 drones; Targeted US drone killings; Cyprus bailout; Cyprus accounts raided; Bachmann- ethics probe; Knepper – GOP sellout?; Orrie Melvin; Grand Old Oppty; Sowell – Cyprus here?; Guns – Cruz, Lee, Paul unite; Downloadable rifle; Gun control wanes?; Background checks remain; CIA & Syrian arms; Phillips – “Rally!”; Sowell – IQ & race; Announcements
“The problem is not wolves at the door but termites in the floor.” Os Guinness
John Kerry hides his Jewish heritage … Tom Marr,3/25/13,
“Bill Gates spent his life making patches and fixing leaks” Red Eye, in reponse to Billy Gates’ demand for an up-dated condom, 4:14am, 3/26/13. Also: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/03/25/bill-gates-offering-up-to-1-million-for-next-generation-condom/?cmpid=cmty_plus_fn
Passover: Monday, 3/25-4/2/13: “. . . celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt . . .”
March 28th, 7PM: Town Hall with Mike Folmer
Ono Fire Company, 10805 Jonestown Road, East Hanover
“I look forward to seeing you there – and addressing your questions and concerns on state-related matters “
1513: Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León sighted Florida.
1794: The government authorizes the creation of a permanent U.S. Navy and the construction of six frigates, including the USS Constitution. (Bennett & Cribb, 2010)
Huey-Burns & Cannon, RCP: “Evangelicals May Be Key to Immigration Reform”
“. . . Liberals are presumed to favor amnesty for illegals both because of their bleeding hearts and a cynical calculus (i.e., legalization is an easy way to immediately mint millions of new Democratic voters). Conservatives’ hostility to legalization is also presumed, at least by elites, who attribute nativist attitudes to a predominately white, and somewhat fearful, Republican electorate.
What that leaves out of the equation is what’s actually happening in the nation’s pews.
“Evangelicals take seriously the many texts in Scripture regarding welcoming the stranger, the outcast, the sojourner, and the neglected,” says Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics & Public Policy Center, a Washington think tank. “This sensibility makes them far more open to immigration than many would imagine. . .”
Erick Erickson, Red State: “Gay Marriage’ and Religious Freedom Are Not Compatible”
“The kids these days on the right are full of a great libertarian notion that “hey, let’s just get the government out of marriage.”
“‘Rock on,’ say other libertarians.
“They then all smugly self-congratulate themselves, pat themselves on the back, and move on to other issues.
“What they ignore is that the left will never take marriage out of the hands of the government. The left cannot. But it goes beyond that. The left cannot take marriage out of government because for so long it has been government through which marriages were legitimized to the public and the left must also use government to silence those, particularly the religious, who refuse to play along.
“Let’s ignore, for the sake of this post, that the Democracy of the Dead has settled for us that in society marriage should be between a man and woman as the best way to propagate the species.
“The left has done an admirable job in secular society making the case that gay marriage merely allows a class of people to be happy and have what everyone else has.
“The front on which the gay rights movement has failed is the religious and, in particular in the United States, the Christian front. . .”
LEADS . . .
Judy Keen, USA Today: “N.D. governor signs nation’s strictest abortion laws”
“North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed bills Tuesday making the state’s abortion laws the nation’s most restrictive and setting the stage for what he called a U.S. Supreme Court challenge of “the boundaries of Roe v. Wade.”
The bills bar abortions if a fetal heartbeat is heard, which can be six weeks into a pregnancy; ban abortions prompted by genetic defects; and require abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges. They become law Aug. 1 unless a court blocks them.
North Dakota residents will vote in 2014 on a ballot measure that defines life as starting at conception. ..”
Michael McConnell, WSJ: “The Constitution and Same-Sex Marriage”
“Next week the Supreme Court will be asked to decide an issue in an area in which it has said it has no jurisdiction.
“For most Americans, the Supreme Court cases being heard on Tuesday and Wednesday next week are about same-sex marriage. But the cases—Hollingsworth v. Perry (the Proposition 8 case from California) and U.S. v. Windsor (the Defense of Marriage Act case)—also are a test of the nation’s democratic and decentralized constitutional structure. These cases thus are not just about marriage. They are about how we reach decisions regarding matters of deep moral significance in our federal republic.
We learned from Roe v. Wade that the Supreme Court endangers its own legitimacy and exacerbates social conflict when it seeks to resolve moral-legal questions on which the country is deeply divided without a strong basis in the text of the Constitution. The court sometimes intervenes when the legislatures of the 50 states are approaching a consensus. When it jumps into a live political controversy, the justices look like they are acting like legislators.
“The system today, without the Supreme Court’s intervention, is working as it should . . .”
From Matt Drudge, 3/27/13
HIGH COURT HINTS AGAINST SWEEPING DECISION ON GAY MARRIAGE...
SCALIA: 'When Did It Become Unconstitutional To Exclude Homosexual Couples From Marriage?'...
KAGAN: 'How does this cause-and-effect work?'
Punches fly outside court...
Breitbart: Prop 8 Oral Arguments
CBS/DC: “Justice Kennedy: ‘Serious Problem’ Supreme Court Deciding Too Many Issues That Can Be Decided By Congress”
“Kennedy, a former Sacramento law school professor, was asked by reporters whether he thought the court was deciding too many issues that can be decided by Congress.
“‘I think it’s a serious problem. A democracy should not be dependent for its major decisions on what nine unelected people from a narrow legal background have to say,’ Kennedy said. ‘And I think it’s of tremendous importance for our political system to show the rest of the world — and we have to show ourselves first — that democracy works because we can reach agreement on a principle basis.’ . . .”
Mark Sherman, MyWay; “High court hears case on federal benefits for gays”
“WASHINGTON (AP) – In the second of back-to-back gay marriage cases, the Supreme Court is turning to a constitutional challenge to the law that prevents legally married gay Americans from collecting federal benefits generally available to straight married couples.
“A section of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act says marriage may only be a relationship between a man and a woman for purposes of federal law, regardless of state laws that allow same-sex marriage.
“Lower federal courts have struck down the measure, and now the justices, in nearly two hours of scheduled argument Wednesday, will consider whether to follow suit. . .”
Gay Love and Marriage – Pay to Play
Many quirks come from genomic conflicts during gestation and interactions with environments – including recruiting by people with similar quirks – occur between the biological potentials in an individual and the settings he/she experiences.
The concept that every homosexual was “born to be gay” is misleading. Instead, personal choice plays in 66% of the cases and some portion of the health risk is attributable to personal choices. And, as is true in other afflictions such as alcoholism, drug use, smoking, obesity, reckless driving, and spousal abuse, protection from natural consequences simply aggravates the problem. In this case, getting “married” reduces insurance costs for at least one member of the happy couple.
I object to paying the costs for keeping someone else well just as I object to underwriting government and teacher pensions, and the bling known as Agenda 21.
George Dvorsky, io9.com: “Scientists claim that homosexuality is not genetic — but it arises in the womb” http://io9.com/5967426/scientists-confirm-that-homosexuality-is-not-genetic–but-it-arises-in-the-womb Original research at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668167
David Tuller, NYT: “For Gay Men, Health Care Concerns Move Beyond the Threat of AIDS”
“Mr. Ferguson and others cite concerns including major illnesses like hepatitis, chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer, as well as mental health issues, same-sex domestic violence and the relation of spirituality to health. Studies have indicated that gay men are more likely than the general population to have health problems like substance abuse, depression and some infectious diseases.”
Also: Keith Rice, Integrated SocioPsychology?: Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture
Billy Hallowell, The Blaze: Coulter – Bathhouses & soda pop
“. . . In making the point that cigarette smoke isn’t the only activity that impacts overall health care costs, Coulter noted that sodomy, gay bathhouses and AIDS are all issues that also raise the cost of medical care.
“Her point? If the government is going to go after smokers with the rationale that their activities impact the greater society, why not go after those who use gay bathhouses and, as a result, are at increased risk for health-related expenses?
“Coulter noted that she wasn’t advocating for the latter point and that she was simply comparing Bloomberg’s policies on smoking and cigarettes to other issues that she said have a similar health impact. . .”
Rushbo: A Spanish Death Sentence
“ . . . I think this is a disaster here for the Republicans to support amnesty. They are signing their own death sentence. And it’s mathematics. It’s nothing more than mathematics. It’s not even theology. If amnesty ever does happen with full citizenship and the right to vote, then the country becomes California politically, where the Republicans don’t ever have a prayer. That’s what’s at stake. So the idea, Patricia, is to illustrate that by suggesting, “Okay, hey, you know what? I’ll go for amnesty, but they can’t vote for 25 years. How many of you support it then?” And there’s not one Democrat that will. Nobody will. It’s simply a way to call ‘em out. . . “
It’s also probably true that any speed bump to immigration increases the chances for a Republican vote . . . remember the ’65 reform made it quicker and easier for impulsive folks – those with a limited “sense of the future” – to move north. Impose delays and harvest smarter applicants . . .
Madeleine Morgenstern, The Blaze: “The New Standard-Bearer for Constitutional Conservatism’: Ted Cruz’s Meteoric Rise Is Sitting Well with His Supporters”
“U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz tried last week to instigate meaningful action to repeal President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law.
“But that hasn’t disillusioned Konni Burton, a stay-at-home mom from Colleyville, Texas who crisscrossed the state volunteering and helping to get Cruz elected to the Senate last November.
“Introducing legislation to repeal Obamacare was one of Cruz’s top campaign promises, a vow that endeared him to many Tea Party-minded activists and supporters. But despite Friday’s setback, Burton and others remain extremely happy with the kind of splash the Republican senator has made in his first few months on the job.
“All of us like-minded Texans feel the very same way,” Burton said. “We have been starving for somebody that will fight for the principles that we believe in. The fact that he is jumping out there and fighting for those principles right off the bat, it just pleases us even more. . .”
Steve Watson, Info Wars: “Video: Hundreds of DHS Armored Trucks On The Move?”
“. . . The video was uploaded to YouTube last week by a user who stated that it was shot in the middle of the desert between Hackberry and Peach Springs, Arizona.
It shows hundreds of military style trucks loaded on to a train, presumably in the process of being delivered domestically for law enforcement or military purposes.
“. . . the DHS’ mass arms build-up continues, with the report that the agency has bought another 360,000 rounds of hollow point ammunition to add to the roughly 2 billion bullets already bought over the past year.
Such stark activity with little to no background detail has prompted several Congressmen to ask the federal government for an explanation. According to some elected representatives, the DHS has refused to answer specific questions on the purchases, stating only that the ammunition is for “training purposes” over the next five years, and has been bulk ordered to save money.
Efforts by government media mouthpieces to dismiss the story have only caused it to become more viral.
The DHS has also purchased 7,000 fully automatic assault rifles, as well as cementing a $2 million dollar relationship with a contractor that recently had to apologize for producing shooting targets of pregnant women, children and elderly gun owners depicted in residential settings. . .”
Caroline May, Daily Caller: “Draft Obamacare application asks about voter registration”
“. . . Page 59 of the 61 page draft application, ‘List of Questions in the Online Application to Support Eligibility Determinations for Enrollment’ developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and first reported by The Washington Examiner, asks applicants ‘Would you like to register to vote?’ The ‘yes’ answer linking [sic] to a blank registration form.
“On Monday, House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany of Louisiana called on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to provide more information about the voter registration portion of the draft.
“‘The health care law spans 974 pages and regulated nearly one fifth of our economy, yet nowhere in the law is voter registration mentioned,’ Boustany wrote in a letter to the HHS secretary. . .”
Joe Schoffstall, CNS: “FAA Predicts 10,000 Drones Could Be in the Skies By 2020”
“. . . Phil Finnegan, director of corporate analysis at the Teal Group, which monitors the aerospace industry says when rules are written, law enforcement will be first in line, followed by civilian applications. According to an FAA document, which references the Teal Group, it is estimated $94 billion will be spent over the course of 10 years for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
“As of now, the FAA has issued 1,428 licenses to police, universities, and federal agencies since 2007- a number far higher than previously known. Of these, 327 are still listed as active. . .”
David Weigel, Slate: “A 50-Point Swing against Targeted Drone Killings of U.S. Citizens”
“A year ago, as the presidential race was taking shape, The Washington Post’s pollster asked voters whether they favored the use of drones to kill terrorists or terror suspects if they were “American citizens living in other countries.” The net rating at the time was positive: 65 percent for, 26 percent against.
“Today, after a month of Rand Paul-driven discussion of drone warfare, Gallup asks basically the same question: Should the U.S. “use drones to launch airstrikes in other countries against U.S. citizens living abroad who are suspected terrorists?” The new numbers: 41 percent for, 52 percent against.
“The lede of the poll is even kinder to Paul, finding as high as 79 percent opposition to targeted killing in the United States. But that’s a new question. On the old question, we’ve seen a real queasy swing of public opinion. . . “
Denise Roland, UK Telegraph: “Cyprus bail-out: live”
• Bank of Cyprus chairman Andreas Artemis resigns: reports
• Thousands of Cypriot students protest against bail-out
• ‘We are facing an emergency': Cyprus finance minister
• Banks in Cyprus to stay closed until Thursday
• Cyprus president announces criminal probe into crisis
• Eurogroup head hails Cyprus bail-out as a template
• Russia’s Putin orders restructuring of €2.5bn Cyprus loan
Bruno Waterfield, UK Telegraph: “Cyprus bail-out: savers will be raided to save euro in future crises, says eurozone chief”
“The new policy will alarm hundreds of thousands of British expatriates who live and have transferred their savings, proceeds from house sales and other assets to eurozone bank accounts in countries such as France, Spain and Italy.
“The euro fell on global markets after Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch chairman of the eurozone, announced that the heavy losses inflicted on depositors in Cyprus would be the template for future banking crises across Europe.
“If there is a risk in a bank, our first question should be ‘Okay, what are you in the bank going to do about that? What can you do to recapitalise yourself?’, he said.
“If the bank can’t do it, then we’ll talk to the shareholders and the bondholders, we’ll ask them to contribute in recapitalising the bank, and if necessary the uninsured deposit holders.” (emph added, jb)
Bill Hoffman, NewsMax: “Bachmann Presidential Campaign Hit by Congressional Ethics Probe”
“. . . William McGinley, a lawyer for Bachmann, confirmed to the Beast that the Office of Congressional Ethics was eyeing her presidential campaign last year.
“But he added, “There are no allegations that the congresswoman engaged in any wrongdoing.’’
“We are constructively engaged with the OCE and are confident that at the end of their review the OCE Board will conclude that Congresswoman Bachmann did not do anything inappropriate,’’ McGinley told the Beast. . .”
PA . . .
Leo Knepper, CAP: “Will Pennsylvania’s Senate Republicans Sellout Consumers?”
“The Pennsylvania House has passed legislation aimed at dismantling our prohibition-era state store system and improving convenience for consumers. You might think it would be smooth sailing through the Republican controlled Senate. Sadly, you would be wrong.
“In general there is remarkably little interest in the Senate for the privatizing the state stores and improving convenience. As noted in a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial:
“Although the latest privatization debate has gone on for years – and is only the latest of several pushes to dismantle the Prohibition-era system – Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware) noted puzzlingly that the issue had not been a matter of “active interest and discussion” in his chamber.”
“The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette echoed that sentiment . . .”
Melissa Daniels, PA Independent: “Convicted PA justice leaves deadlocked Supreme Court”
“HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille called Monday ‘a sad day’ for the judicial system.
“One of his former colleagues on the bench, former Justice Joan Orie Melvin, resigned from her seat after a conviction for corruption.
“‘It reflects poorly on the entire judiciary,’ Castille said.
“But the ramifications of Orie Melvin’s conviction go beyond her own day in court to the inner workings of the state’s highest judicial body. Without Orie Melvin on the bench, and no replacement on deck, Pennsylvania’s highest court is stuck in a tie with three Republican and three Democratic judges. . .”
Yuval Levin, Weekly Standard: “Grand Old Opportunity”
“. . . Both parties give the impression of having outlived their eras. The moment feels more like the late 1970s than the late 1980s. And if Republicans are to regain their balance and lead the country again, they will have to develop an agenda for national renewal that speaks to today’s policy challenges and to the sources of voters’ anxieties.
“At the heart of those anxieties is a sense that America’s economic promise—the promise of growth-fueled upward mobility backed with security against the gravest misfortunes and risks—is waning. Economic growth has slowed dramatically—it averaged 3.6 percent annually from 1950 through 2000 but only 1.6 percent since then. And the cost of living in the middle class has been rising without a comparable improvement in living standards, especially because health care and higher education have gotten much more expensive without getting much better.
“The key reasons for this are not income inequality or high marginal tax rates. They basically come down to the inefficiency of our economy. Growth is a function of an expanding labor force and increasing productivity. For much of the postwar era, our economy had both in droves—as women and the baby boomers flooded the workforce and a series of technology-driven efficiency explosions boosted output.
“In the coming years, our labor force will not be growing as it did. The baby boomers are retiring, women are fully in the workforce, and a lack of the requisite skills leaves many Americans (and many immigrants) unsuited to the jobs our economy offers. Growth will therefore require solid, steady productivity improvements.
“But our economy is profoundly ill-suited to enable them. . .”
Thomas Sowell, NRO: Cyprus: Can It Happen Here?
Quantitative easing is another way to steal your savings.
“. . . One of the big differences between the United States and Cyprus is that the U.S. government can simply print more money to get out of a financial crisis. But Cyprus cannot print more euros, which are controlled by international institutions.
“Does that mean that Americans’ money is safe in banks? Yes and no. The U.S. government is very unlikely to just seize money wholesale from people’s bank accounts, as is being done in Cyprus. But does that mean that your life savings are safe? No. There are more sophisticated ways for governments to take what you have put aside for yourself and use it for whatever politicians feel like using it for. If they do it slowly but steadily, they can take a big chunk of what you have sacrificed for years to save before you are even aware, much less alarmed.
“That is in fact already happening. . .”
AWR Hawkins, BigGovt: “Sens. Paul, Cruz, Lee Stand United in Opposition to New Gun Control”
“Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Mike Lee (R-UT) scheduled a letter to be sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office on March 26 to let him know they will “oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions.”
“They did this because Reid has made clear his intention to bring up gun control measures aimed at expanding background checks and enacting new laws against gun trafficking following the Senate’s current recess.
“Although Paul, Cruz, and Lee did not use the word “filibuster” in their letter, the intimation was that they will filibuster, if necessary, because they fear anti-gun amendment after anti-gun amendment will be added to the gun control bills if they reach the floor for a vote. And these fears are not without foundation, as Reid has already said he plans to allow an “assault weapons” ban to be presented as an amendment, which would include a “high capacity” magazine ban.
“The Republican Senators do not believe the anti-gun amendments will pass. Rather they fear moderate Democrats who are vulnerable in 2014 elections may vote against the amendments and then use those votes to try to show they are somehow pro-gun.”
Brian Preston, PJM: “Gutenberg’s Rifle: The Downloadable Firearm Is Almost Real”
“. . . The man with the strange rifle is Cody Wilson, 25, the co-director of Defense Distributed. That’s the group that in the past year has gone from not even existing to being on the verge of changing everything.
Or nothing. The fact is, neither Wilson nor anyone else knows what effect realizing his idea will have. But we’re very close to finding out.
Defense Distributed is about to create the world’s first fully functional, fully printed gun. The wikiweapon will be real. . .”
Sarah Dutton et al: CBS: Poll: “Support for stricter gun control wanes”
“Soon after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced an assault weapons ban would not be part of a gun control bill, a new CBS News poll shows support for stricter gun control laws overall has dropped since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“Currently, support for stricter gun control laws stands at 47 percent today, down from a high of 57 percent just after the shootings. Thirty-nine percent want those laws kept as they are, and another 11 percent want them made less strict. . .”
CBS: “Pared-down Senate gun bill focuses on background checks”
“Gun control legislation the Senate debates next month will include an expansion of federal background checks for firearms buyers, Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday in a victory for advocates of gun restrictions.
“The announcement underscores that Democrats intend to take an aggressive approach in the effort to broaden the checks, currently required only for transactions involving federally licensed firearms dealers. . .”
Chivers & Schmitt, NYT: “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, with Aid from C.I.A.”
“. . . The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the data shows. It has grown to include more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari military-style cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, at other Turkish and Jordanian airports.
“As it evolved, the airlift correlated with shifts in the war within Syria, as rebels drove Syria’s army from territory by the middle of last year. And even as the Obama administration has publicly refused to give more than “nonlethal” aid to the rebels, the involvement of the C.I.A. in the arms shipments — albeit mostly in a consultative role, American officials say — has shown that the United States is more willing to help its Arab allies support the lethal side of the civil war. . . “
END NOTES . . .
Judson Phillips, TPN: RALLY!
“. . .The scholars at AEI looked at rallies in the 2009 and 2010 time period and discovered something amazing. Where rallies were held, there were more votes for Republican candidates and more money was raised to help elect conservatives to office.
“The scholars needed some way of determining whether the rallies really impacted the local races so they found an original way of determining this.
“The compared rallies in similar areas but they looked for areas where it rained and the rally turn-out was much smaller.
“They found a huge difference between the two areas. The area that had the rally showed more support for conservative candidates and more success for those candidates.
“The places where the rallies were rained out showed less success.
“What does this mean?
“It means that we must go back to our roots. Four years ago, we flooded the streets with patriotic Americans who demanded change. In 2010, we swept the House for the GOP and came close to sweeping the Senate too.
“In 2014, we must now hold the House and sweep the Senate.
“To do that, we must recreate that energy of 2009. . .”
Caroline May, Daily Caller: “Thomas Sowell examines intellectuals’ damaging role in racial issues”
“. . . In an interview with The Daily Caller last week about his most recent book “Intellectuals and Race” Sowell explained that the desire of intellectuals — or people who make their living off ideas and theories — to create all-encompassing reasons for racial differences, often leaves little room for nuance or contradicting views.
“It is grabbing one or a few facts and running with them to create some kind of overarching theory to supposedly explain it all,” Sowell said, noting that right now discrimination is one theory of racial outcomes that has taken hold.
“The fact that there was discrimination has been undeniable, it doesn’t mean it explains everything,” he said.
“Groups do differ, and one of the questions that get very little attention is: What do you do when the differences are huge? . . .”