Monday Brief

Brief

Feb. 13, 2012

The Foundation

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.” –Thomas Jefferson, letter to a Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association, 1802

For the Record

We're not buying what the president's selling

“[I]t would be a mockery of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment if, for example, the Catholic Church were required by law to freely provide such ‘health care services’ … as contraception, sterilization and pharmacological abortion – to which Catholicism is doctrinally opposed as a grave contravention of its teachings about the sanctity of life. Ah. But there would be no such Free Exercise violation if the institutions so mandated are deemed, by regulatory fiat, not religious. And thus, the word came forth from [Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius decreeing the exact criteria required…. Criterion 1: A ‘religious institution’ must have ‘the inculcation of religious values as its purpose.’ But that’s not the purpose of Catholic charities; it’s to give succor to the poor. That’s not the purpose of Catholic hospitals; it’s to give succor to the sick. Therefore, they don’t qualify as ‘religious’ – and therefore can be required, among other things, to provide free morning-after abortifacients. Criterion 2: Any exempt institution must be one that ‘primarily employs’ and ‘primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets.’ Catholic soup kitchens do not demand religious IDs from either the hungry they feed or the custodians they employ. Catholic charities and hospitals – even Catholic schools – do not turn away Hindu or Jew. Their vocation is universal, precisely the kind of universal love-thy-neighbor vocation that is the very definition of religiosity as celebrated by the Gospel of Obama. … The contradiction is glaring, the hypocrisy breathtaking. But that’s not why Obama offered a hasty compromise on Friday. It’s because the firestorm of protest was becoming a threat to his re-election. Sure, health care, good works and religion are important. But re-election is divine.” –columnist Charles Krauthammer

Editor’s Note: Obama’s “compromise” is nothing of the sort. The mandate still stands for religious institutions to provide health insurance that covers contraceptives (including abortifacients), but they don’t have to pay for that part – the insurance companies do. Either he’s not smart or he thinks we’re not, because that isn’t how things work in the real world. That’s why the Catholic Church and others have rightly rejected his attempt to pull a fast one.
What’s your take on Obama’s “compromise”?

Insight

“I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.” –Sen. Barry Goldwater (1909-1998)

Opinion in Brief

“[Mitt Romney] comes across like a businessman who studied the data and came up with the formula that will make the deal. A particular problem is that he betrays little indignation at any of our problems and their causes. He’s always sunny, pleasant, untouched by anger. … Mitt Romney’s aides are making the classic mistake of thinking the voters want maturity, serenity and a jolly spirit. What they want is a man who knows what time it is, who has a passion to reform our country, and who yet holds these qualities within a temperament that is mature, serene and jolly. Newt Gingrich has half the package: He has a passion to reform, but it exists inside a crazy suit. Mitt has no particular passion within an obviously sane suit. Which leads to Rick Santorum. Nobody in the conservative base hates Rick. Newt is hated by many and Mitt by some. Mr. Santorum is liked. He has real indignation about what’s happened to America, and he brings passion to his ideas about reform. He’s got little money, little organization – there’s no broad assumption he can pull it off. And by the time the Romney campaign is done dismantling him, he may have some people who hate him. But this will only underscore the Romney campaign’s reputation for destroying, not creating. And nobody loves a Death Star.” –columnist Peggy Noonan

Re: The Left

“Americans seem to have decided that Obama is at bottom a trustworthy, honest man, regardless of his skills, or lack thereof, as an executive. That is unfortunate, because the facts suggest otherwise. As a presidential candidate Obama misled the public as to his intentions should he ascend to the Oval Office; as president, he has participated in open cronyism and corruption, buying votes to assure passage of unpopular legislation and awarding special favors to campaign contributors. In short, Obama the president, people forget, is Obama ‘the person.’ … How to explain such mendacity from the man who vowed to cure our capital from its endemic corruption and vice? Simple: Obama is a disciple of the far-left-wing radical political strategist and teacher Saul Alinsky. … In his famous tome, ‘Rules For Radicals,’ Alinsky wrote, ‘to me ethics is doing what is best for the most,’ and ‘ethics are determined by whether one is losing or winning.’ In other words, the ends justify the means for Alinsky – but he advised his students that they must always give their behavior the sheen of a morality to make it palatable to the masses…. Obama learned this lesson well. … Alinsky would be proud.” –columnist Matt Patterson

Political Futures

“Speaking of liberals, every time you hear one of them wail against photo IDs for voters, you know what they are really grousing about is that it would make it harder to cheat at election time. As usual, they, along with Eric Holder, try to pass off their criminal activities as compassion for young people and members of the black and Hispanic communities, pretending that photo IDs would disenfranchise millions of potential voters. On the face of it, it’s such blatant hypocrisy that only born liars and cheaters like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, would even pay it lip service. After all, as everyone knows, photo IDs are required if you want to drive a car, get on a plane or buy a six-pack of Bud. But the other day, the liberals in the Illinois legislature drove the point home when they passed a state law requiring that anyone who wanted to buy drain cleaner or any other caustic substance provide a photo ID. While it figures that in Illinois, the state where governors regularly wind up in jail and dead people get to continue voting for Democrats, honest elections would not be a priority. Still, even in Chicago, it requires a monumental dose of cynicism to suggest that maintaining eternal vigilance over the sanctity of the hardware store trumps that of the voting booth.” –columnist Burt Prelutsky

The Gipper

“People ask me if in looking back at my college years I can remember any inkling that I would one day run for president. Well, actually, the thought first struck me on graduation day when the president handed me my diploma and asked, ‘Are you better off today than you were four years ago?’” –Ronald Reagan

Government

“The CBO examined workers with otherwise similar characteristics and found that ‘for workers at all education levels, the cost of total compensation averaged about $52 per hour worked for federal employees, compared with about $45 per hour worked for employees in the private sector.’ … [F]ederal workers enjoy gold-plated benefits worth 48 percent more than what they would receive outside of government. They also get nearly automatic seniority-based pay raises. … Even better (or worse, if you’re taxpayers footing the bill), federal workers enjoy a remarkable level of job security. … That’s not to say that all federal employees make more than their private-sector counterparts. … Overall, though, there’s no denying the obvious: Compensation for government workers is too high – and it’s completely unmoored from any kind of market-based reality.” –Heritage Foundation president Ed Feulner

Essential Liberty

“In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson called the pursuit of happiness an unalienable right. This was a radical idea. For most of history, most people didn’t think much about pursuing happiness. They were too busy just trying to survive. Then came the liberal revolution based on the idea of individual freedom. Only then did they start thinking that happiness might be possible on earth. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, the right to pursue happiness has been perverted into a government-backed entitlement to happiness.” –columnist John Stossel

Culture

“Super Bowl XLVI was a good football game, marred once again by the bohemian elite at NBC. NBC could have prevented, but failed to stop, the broadcast of a female rapper ‘flipping the bird’ at 114 million viewers during Madonna’s halftime show. It was another ‘fleeting expletive’ of the hand-gesture variety, and somehow, despite elaborate rehearsals, no one at NBC could seem to stop it. The same network skillfully edited God out of a clip of children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during last year’s U.S. Open golf tournament. As usual, and just as CBS did with Janet Jackson, NBC tried to shift the blame in a statement, declaring that ‘the NFL hired the talent and produced’ the show. As usual, the NFL statement stressed a ‘failure in NBC’s delay system’ and characterized the gesture as ‘completely inappropriate’ and ‘very disappointing’ and ‘obscene.’ … [A]nd just as Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake declared, M.I.A.’s camp claimed the gesture was ‘not premeditated’ and did not occur in rehearsals. … Although the NFL foots the bill to produce the halftime show, the league does not pay performers, since the massive exposure is enough reward. But artists do sign decency clauses, according to an NFL publicist, who added that the league is ‘exploring all of our options.’ That’s publicist lingo for ‘hoping it just goes away.’ … As usual, if NBC had made a serious attempt to employ its otherwise meaningless 7-second delay technology, none of this would have happened.” –columnist L. Brent Bozell

Reader Comments

James Madison, Thomas Paine, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, George Washington, Samuel Adams, John Adams

“Thank you for the great image The Patriot Post created combining our Founding Documents with images of those ‘traitors’ who risked everything for Liberty, and not just for themselves but for all people forever. I think I recognize all of them, but please publish the names of these heroic Patriots in order of appearance on the image.”

“Some commenters have questioned whether there was such an FBI bulletin released. Well, for the record, I AM a career senior federal agent, and on Monday of the week Mark Alexander published, FBI Terrorist Alert: Beware of Those Who ‘Reference the Constitution or Bible’, I received the FBI bulletin about the dangers of ‘sovereign citizens, as referenced in this column. As I read it, it was clear that much of the language used promoted an underlying political agenda, so in disgust, I deleted it. That is how I reacted to the bulletin, and I can assure you a great many of my colleagues did, likewise.” –Kalifornia Kop

“I have been a Democrat all my life. I am ashamed of what the president has done on the contraception issue, which is patently un-American. This is an attack on a fundamental principle of our country which is religious liberty. I cannot in good conscience support his re-election, as he can no longer be trusted.” –Kevin

“Barack Obama’s contraception mandate is a total affront on the First Amendment. The man has been trampling the Constitution and Bill of Rights since he was sworn in.” –Robert

“I was feeling very sick about the direction the Republican nomination process was headed. Now with Rick Santorum rising, there is a chance we will have a real choice between an establishment Republican and a real conservative.” –Ron

The Last Word

“[T]here’s still one or two Nonconformists out there, and they have to be forced into ideological compliance. 'Maybe the Founders were wrong to guarantee free exercise of religion in the First Amendment,’ Melinda Henneberger of the Washington Post offered to Chris Matthews on MSNBC. At the National Press Club, young Catholics argued that the overwhelming majority of their coreligionists disregard the Church’s teachings on contraception, so let’s bring the vox Dei into alignment with the vox populi. Get with the program, get with the Act of Uniformity. The bigger the Big Government, the smaller everything else: First, other pillars of civil society are crowded out of the public space; then, the individual gets crowded out, even in his most private, tooth-level space. President Obama, Commissar Sebelius, and many others believe in one-size-fits-all national government – uniformity, conformity, supremacy from Maine to Hawaii, for all but favored cronies. It is a doomed experiment – and on the morning after it will take a lot more than a morning-after pill to make it all go away.” –columnist Mark Steyn

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team