All the lefty views fit to print 8

Newspapers are losing money and many are struggling to survive.

What a relief it will be if most if them don’t make it.

Kurt Schlichter explains why at Townhall:

What’s super sad is that when I started counting all of the mainstream media reporters I respect I didn’t run out of fingers. Most of them are just what Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds memorably labeled “Democrats with Bylines“. And that’s literally true – something like 90% of them are, in fact, Democrats. And they act like it. So when Trump refuses to play nice with them, or I hear about another round of lay-offs, the best I can summon up, if I’m in a generous mood, is a half-hearted “Meh”.

The MSM, of course, wants to have it both ways. It wants to be hailed as an institution composed of crusading truth-tellers whose integrity and willingness to speak truth to power make them the cornerstone of a free society. Except most of them are really partisan hacks who lie endlessly for the liberal politicians they suck up to. Their relationship with Democratic politicians is less speaking truth to power than sexting their masters. When it comes to covering for their progressive pals, it’s “50 Shades of Newsprint” and the MSM eagerly chomps down on its ball-gag.

They don’t even bother hiding their agenda – apparently they noticed that no one believed their protestations of objectivity anyway and decided it wasn’t even worth the effort to fake it anymore. …

Though Schlichter is no fan of Donald Trump, he notes how the MSM hacks “misreport and misrepresent” him:

When [Trump] – quite correctly – suggested that there was something weird about Obama’s inability to place the blame for radical Muslim terrorism on radical Muslim terrorists, this became “Trump Says Obama Supports Terrorists”. When he pointed out some troops (Trump says he was referring to Iraqi troops) in the Middle East were corrupt (sadly, some were), this became “Trump Calls All American Soldiers Thieves”. If Trump says he inhales oxygen, the headline will be “Trump Admits He’s Just Like Hitler”.

But with Hillary or Obama, it’s the reverse. At best, they report on facts that manifestly demonstrate her guilt of multiple felonies and misdemeanors, yet make sure to undercut their own reporting by asserting she can’t possibly be indicted.

The media can’t shut up about Trump U, but the $16 million the Bill and Hillary Graftatron 2016 nabbed from Laureate U? Apparently all the news isn’t fit to print.

The MSM is shameless. For example, when some gay Democrat radical Muslim slaughters LGBT clubgoers and then Anderson Cooper attacks the (Republican) Florida attorney general for not being sufficiently open to same sex marriage, it’s pretty clear whose team CNN is on. …

So we’re supposed to bewail the travails of these people? We’re supposed to get all fussy when Trump stands up to them and pulls their credentials? Note that’s “pull their credentials”,  not “bar them from his rallies”.  … Ewwww. This is the greatest atrocity in all of human history – Trump denying his active opponents a back stage pass to facilitate their lying about him.

But what really, really grates about these ardent defenders of the First Amendment is their ardent hypocrisy when it comes to the First Amendment. They … bemoan the fact that Trump thinks it should be easier to sue journoliars who lie about him because the MSM feels the First Amendment should allow them to lie about him with impunity  …  Apparently these things set us firmly on the road to fascism.

But what doesn’t the MSM think sets us firmly on the road to fascism? Liberal attorneys general persecuting and prosecuting people for “denying” the leftist lie about global warming. The IRS targeting Obama’s political enemies for advocating against liberal policies. The abusive sham government investigation of people speaking out for Governor Scott Walker. These actual campaigns of very real government suppression of dissenting speech are apparently cool with the MSM because the targets are on the MSM’s enemies list.

And how about the media cheerleading for the repeal of Citizens United. At the end of the day, Citizens United allows the government to put people in jail for criticizing politicians – the case involved the government’s ban on a movie talking smack about Hillary Clinton. Of course, the ban on free speech that Citizens United found unconstitutional – because it was a ban on free speech – excludes one key group.

Want to guess who?

Media companies.

Yeah, the MSM thinks the government being able to jail other people for speaking out is terrific as long as this constitutional catastrophe doesn’t apply to itself. The MSM is happy to defend only its free speech, and to the last drop of other peoples’ blood. …

But what do you expect from the kind of people who join the MSM? Instead of the colorful ink-stained wretches of the past, today’s journalists are social justice twerps whose daddies can shell out north of $59,000 to get a degree in what old school reporters learned on the job – though old-school reporters didn’t have the dubious benefit of leftist indoctrination and diversity seminars. Today’s cloistered creeps utterly missed the anger among normal Americas that led to Trump, but then they don’t think much of normal Americans. …

No wonder public regard for journalists hovers somewhere between “Raw Sewage” and “Herpes”, yet they still assume they are better than everyone else. …

Sure, technology is causing disruption in the industry, but the MSM would be better able to weather the storm if everyone didn’t hate it and want to lock it out of the tornado cellar. Trump being mean to you? Aw, poor babies. …

Posted under Commentary, Crime, Leftism, media, Terrorism, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

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“God” is superfluous to political requirements 1

Seth Mandel writes at Commentary online:

The fact that the Supreme Court will hear a religious freedom-based challenge to the ObamaCare contraception mandate is the kind of story that possesses significance likely beyond any volume of coverage it will receive. Indeed, while liberal activists will repeatedly try to cast this in the mold of the fictional “war on women,” their own arguments reveal just how far-reaching a definitive ruling on this would be for American religious and political practice. …

Liberals have a curious definition of rights. Last night … the birth-control activist Sandra Fluke [said] on MSNBC …

There’s an attack on allowing employers to be required to provide this insurance coverage on insurance that employees pay for, at the same time that there’s an attack on public availability through clinics.

One more time: [Fluke reckons that] there’s an attack on allowing employers to be required to provide this insurance.

To the left, there is no freedom without government coercion. … That’s the argument the left is running with: they want you to be forced to provide the funding for even their most private activities; only then will you be truly free.

But Fluke isn’t the only one making this argument. … [In] an MSNBC roundtable on the issue … the panelists are panicked at the thought of affording Americans full religious liberty because, essentially, it’s then a slippery slope to protecting all constitutional rights. And then – mayhem, or something:

“This is another reason why we should have moved toward a single payer system of health coverage, because we’re just going to end up with one challenge after another – whether it’s in the courts or outside of the courts – and I just don’t see an end to this,”  [Bob] Herbert submitted.“We’re already on the slippery slope of corporate personhood,” he continued. “Where does it end?”

“Where does it end” is the attention-getter in that comment, but I think Herbert’s plea for single-payer health insurance is just as telling. Put the government in charge of the country’s health care, Herbert argues, because then it will be much more difficult for Americans to “challenge” the government’s infringement on their freedom. It’s not just legal challenges either. Herbert says those challenges can be brought “in the courts or outside of the courts,” the latter perhaps an allusion to the shady world of participatory democracy.

So this is much more than a fight over birth control, or even health insurance. It’s about two fundamentally different views on American constitutional freedoms. Conservatives want those freedoms to be expansive and protected, as the Founders did. Liberals want those freedoms to be curtailed lest … the democratic process imperil the state’s coercive powers.

Thus far we agree with Seth Mandel. We are for individual freedom: the Left (whether it calls itself liberal or progressive or socialist) is not.

Free people can say what they like and do what they like (short of interfering with anyone’s else’s freedom), and that means they can believe anything they like, worship anything they like or nothing at all, make and follow any self-imposed rules they like. They only mustn’t impose their rules on anyone else, or if they’re in a group on anyone outside it.

If the government pays for everyone’s health care, it will claim the right to dictate how everyone must live in order to stay healthy. Paying for health care is the quickest way for a government to become a dictatorship. That is why government should not be the paymaster for health care.

But now the article changes from making good sense to arguing a spurious case for religion as a brake on government power:

The Founders saw religious freedom as elemental to personal liberty in America. But they were not alone in thinking that unimpeded religious worship was a guard against an overly ambitious or arrogant national government. As Michael Burleigh writes about the role of religion in post-French Revolution European politics, with a supporting quote from Edmund Burke:

The political function of religion was not simply to keep the lower orders quiescent, as has been tiresomely argued by generations of Marxists, but also to impress upon those who had power that they were here today and gone tomorrow, and responsible to those below and Him above: “All persons possessing any portion of power ought to be strongly and awfully impressed with an idea that they act in trust, and that they are to account for their conduct in that trust to the one great Master, Author, and Founder of society.”

Guarding against ambitious and arrogant government was not at all the point of allowing religious freedom in America. Allowing freedom and establishing participatory democracy set limits on government power, but the idea that the unleashing of all religions was done to ensure some sort of cumulative force for restraint is absurd.

Edmund Burke was an important philosopher of Conservatism. But that assertion of his does not stand up to examination. Were the popes and primates of the Catholic Church ever restrained in the way they exercised their nearly totalitarian power by remembering that they were “here today and gone tomorrow”? That they would have to “account for their conduct” to their Master, Author or whatever else they called their god? No, they were not. Nor did their actions ever suggest that they thought they “ought to be”. They carried on, and expected their successors to carry on, in the well-established tradition of compulsion by terror.

Mandel goes on:

Religion was not the “opiate of the people,” intended to keep them in line. It was, rather, to keep the government in line. This was not a revolutionary idea; it predated the American Constitution, certainly. As Francis Fukuyama writes in The Origins of Political Order: “The existence of a separate religious authority accustomed rulers to the idea that they were not the ultimate source of the law. The assertion of Frederic Maitland that no English king ever believed that he was above the law could not be said of any Chinese emperor, who recognized no law other than those he himself made.”

The medieval Church kept everyone in line, monarchs and people alike, as firmly as it could. It did exercise a brake on the powers of the secular rulers. (One famous example: King Henry II of England felt that he had to submit to the humiliating punishment imposed on him by Pope Alexander III for letting his knights murder Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170.) But it is also true that the secular rulers exercised a brake on the power of the Church. There was a long sustained secular-papal power struggle (manifested notably, for instance, between the Pope-supporting Guelphs and the Emperor-supporting Ghibellines in Italy, a struggle that lasted from the 12th to the 15th centuries).

The Church or the belief in a Heavenly Judge had nothing whatever to do with English kings accepting that the law was above them. Magna Carta held them to it, and it was issued by King John in 1215 without any help from the Church.

Mandel seems to be trying to build a case – which he touches on by mentioning the Founders, but then wanders off it – that the liberty-enshrining Constitution of the United States was a product of the religiousness of those who framed it. The Constitution itself said no such thing. Individuals among the framers may have thought they were carrying out their God’s will when they wrote it – who  can know? But what is certain is that they were inspired by the secular ideas of the Enlightenment – ideas which broke the power of the Churches forever. With all due respect to Edmund Burke – it was especially in post-French Revolution European and American politics that religion had no significant role.

If rulers are to be restrained by anything, it must be by the people they rule: by the democratic process that Mandel himself refers to.

“God” is superfluous to democracy, to justice, and to freedom. In his – ie the Church’s – long reign over Europe, there was no democracy, no justice, and no freedom. And wherever else religion dominates to this day, there is only oppression, injustice, subjugation and fear.

He lies! 1

President Obama has no respect for the truth.

John Ellis has posted a long list of his lies at Front Page.

And Erick Erickson provides a list of lobbyists who are serving in his administration even as Obama continues to claim falsely that he’s ‘excluded lobbyists from policy-making jobs or seats on federal boards and commissions’.

Obama  is not merely an occasional liar as politicians tend to be. He apparently lies as a matter of habit, and with such conviction that he probably believes his own whoppers as he tells them. This characteristic dishonesty is one of the many facts about him that make him unfit for the office he holds.

Now Hans von Spakovsky, who has served on the Federal Election Commission, writes at The Foundry of the Heritage Foundation:

The two claims President Obama made [in his State of the Union speech] about  the Court’s decision … in the Citizens United case are categorically and undeniably false.

President Obama claimed that the Supreme Court had “reversed a century of law to open the floodgates – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections.” Justice Alito seemed to shake his head and mouth the words “not true.” And well he should.

First of all, the 100-year claim is completely wrong. In 1907, Congress passed the Tillman Act that banned direct contributions by corporations to federal candidates – there was no ban on independent political expenditures in the law. “Contributions” are funds given directly to candidates for their election campaigns; independent expenditures are funds spent by third parties on things like political advertisements without any coordination with the candidate.

The Tillman Act was sponsored by South Carolina Senator Ben “Pitchfork” Tillman, probably the most vicious racist to ever serve in Congress. Tillman was a Democratic segregationist who was chiefly responsible for the imposition of Jim Crow in South Carolina after the end of Reconstruction when he was governor. This federal law, that so-called “progressives” like the President are constantly praising, was intended by Tillman to hurt the Republican Party – the party of abolition and Abraham Lincoln – because many corporations contributed to the Republican Party, not the Democratic Party. These corporations did not like segregation in the South – it cost them money and made it more expensive to sell their goods and services.

Congress did not ban independent political expenditures by corporations and labor unions until 1947. For three decades after the passage of that law, the Supreme Court went out of its way to avoid upholding its constitutionality, and the Court actually struck down a separate ban on independent expenditures … It was not until 1990 in the Austin case that the Court, in a 5-4 decision, upheld a state ban on independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation (a trade association) in a case completely at odds with prior precedent. The actual electioneering communications provision at issue in the Citizens United case was part of the McCain-Feingold amendments to federal campaign finance law in 2002.

While the Supreme Court in Citizens United found that the corporate ban on independent political expenditures is unconstitutional, it did not touch the ban on direct contributions to federal candidates. That is the ban that represents “a century of law” and it remains in force today contrary to the President’s assertion.

The President’s second point about those evil foreign corporations is also totally wrong. … It is simply not true that Citizens United freed foreign corporations to make independent expenditures in American elections… Under current law, there are multiple layers of protection to prevent foreign influence on our elections. …

Foreign corporations are prohibited from participating in American elections. But their domestic subsidiaries that are American companies, employ American workers, have American officers, and pay American taxes, are able to participate in the American election process to the same extent as other U.S. companies as long as all of the money and all of the decisions are American. …

The Citizens United decision did not even consider this ban on foreign nationals.

So the President was completely out-of-line when he made the claim that foreign corporations would be able to spend without limit in our elections, a claim that seems to have become a talking point for critics of the Supreme Court’s decision.

The President should know better than to make these false claims. After all, he taught a voting rights class at the University of Chicago that loosely covered campaign finance law, and his new White House counsel is Bob Bauer, probably the leading Democratic campaign finance lawyer in Washington. Bauer even wrote one of the only books that exists explaining the nuts and bolts of federal campaign finance law.

The President owes Justice Alito and the other justices of the Supreme Court an apology for completely mischaracterizing their opinion, an opinion that helped restore the full protections of the First Amendment. It was a decision that upheld some of our most basic principles, principles about the freedom to engage in political speech that are incorporated into the Constitution, a document that the critics of this decision seem all to willing to ignore when its requirements don’t fit their political objectives.

Posted under Commentary, Law, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, January 29, 2010

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