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Category : Issues: Personal Freedom & Liberty

Supreme Court won’t block Obama health law’s contraception mandate

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to block the Obama administration’s contraception mandate from taking effect.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected a request for an emergency injunction that would have shielded employers from the mandate.

The request was filed by Hobby Lobby, an arts-and-crafts chain. The company’s Catholic owners say the contraception mandate violates their religious freedom.

Hobby Lobby might eventually win on that point, Sotomayor said, but the company didn’t meet the standard for an injunction blocking the mandate from taking effect.

The administration’s policy requires most employers to include contraception in their employees’ healthcare policies, without charging a co-pay or deductible. Churches and houses of worship are exempt, and religious affiliated institutions such as Catholic hospitals don’t have to cover contraception directly. (Their insurance companies cover the cost of making it available at no cost to the employee.)

But some Catholic employers say they should be able to opt out of the mandate simply because it violates their personal faith, no matter what type of business they run.

Hobby Lobby had asked the Supreme Court for an emergency injunction preventing the contraception mandate from taking effect as scheduled on Jan. 1. Lower courts have split on narrow requests for case-by-case exceptions, so Hobby Lobby said the court should block the mandate and immediately hear arguments about whether the policy is constitutional.

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Appeals Court Oral Arguments Signal Trouble for Obamacare HHS Mandate

A top federal appeals court signaled Friday that it might act on Obamacare’s HHS Mandate—requiring employers to cover birth control and abortion-related services.

After repeated assurances that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would not mandate abortion or people of faith violating their religious beliefs, the Obama administration issued a mandate requiring both, when Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) saying that a vague provision in the ACA requiring employers provide “preventive care” means that employer healthcare policies must cover birth control, abortion-related, and sterilization services.

A torrent of lawsuits have flooded the federal courts, with people of faith arguing that the HHS Mandate is both unconstitutional and a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

The Obama administration did two things trying to derail this litigation. One was to include in the final rule an exemption for religious employers, which is so narrow that it only covers houses of worship. The other is that it issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), saying that it would expand this protection to accommodate other religious employers in a new rule that will be finalized in 2013.

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Obama won’t go after marijuana use in 2 states

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama says the federal government won’t go after recreational marijuana use in Washington state and Colorado, where voters have legalized it.

In a Barbara Walters interview airing Friday on ABC, Obama was asked whether he supports making pot legal.

“I wouldn’t go that far,” Obama replied. “But what I think is that, at this point, Washington and Colorado, you’ve seen the voters speak on this issue.”

But the president said he won’t pursue the issue in the two states where voters legalized the use of marijuana in the November elections. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

“… as it is, the federal government has a lot to do when it comes to criminal prosecutions,” Obama said. “It does not make sense, from a prioritization point of view, for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that under state law, that’s legal.”

Marijuana officially became legal in Washington state and Colorado this month.

The Justice Department hasn’t targeted recreational marijuana users for decades. With limited resources, its focus has been to go after major drug traffickers instead.

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Michigan Right to Work law an opportunity to partially defund Planned Parenthood, gay activists

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder Tuesday signed the nation’s 24th state Right to Work law, a move that some observers say presents an opportunity to at least partially defund major pro-abortion and pro-homosexual activist organizations.

The Right to Work law, which is expected to take effect in April, frees Michigan workers from being forced to join or pay dues to a union in order to get a job. Michigan has long been one of the nation’s most heavily unionized states. Until now, the government and auto industries, which employ thousands of Michiganders, have required workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

Many workers don’t realize that their union dues are spent by union officials not just on collective bargaining, but on politics and social activism – much of it offensive to the union members they are supposed to represent.

Despite the fact that their membership is about evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, major Michigan unions spend nearly 100 percent of their political cash on the campaigns of some of the nation’s most pro-abortion Democratic politicians.

They also support Planned Parenthood and same-sex “marriage” campaigns.

“Planned Parenthood and the UAW [United Auto Workers] share a planned vision for this country,” said Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards at the National Community Action Program (CAP) Legislative Conference in Washington.

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America still the shining city on a hill (GOP must not abandon its principles)

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Published on: December 13, 2012

Illustration Freedom by John Camejo for The Washington TimesWhat possibly could inspire someone to leave behind the comfort and familiarity of home and the warmth of friends and relatives to seek the unknown alone in a foreign land?

It’s a question Republicans should ask as a panicked posse presses us to leave behind our principles in order to appeal to the growing immigrant vote. Here’s a hint: The motivation is not a longing for big government.

I arrived in the United States as a refugee from Russia in 1994 with my family, a few bags and a dream of life in liberty.

After Russian police had torn apart my family’s tiny apartment in Moscow to intimidate us, my mother looked my scared little brother in the eyes and told him: “Don’t be afraid. In just a few days, we go to America. This will never happen there.”

She had never been to the United States, but that didn’t matter. She instinctively knew the meaning of freedom.

Every immigrant family, no matter its origins in Moscow, Macau or Mexico City, has such a story.

Something compelling unites those of us who seek refuge in America. We share a faith in the fruits of freedom and knowledge of the gloom and despair brought by its absence.

My family fled a government big enough to control the books we could read, careers we could pursue and how much hot water we could use in our apartment (none in the summer). So did other immigrants.

We fled from “free” and universal health care whose voice was the Soviet 9-1-1 operator coolly asking: “How old is the patient?” before sending an ambulance.

We fled the central planning that made bananas an unexpected luxury, bread and sugar prizes earned after a freezing, five-hour wait in line in winter, and mystery meat subject to rationing cards.

We fled the philosophy of taking from each according to his ability and giving to each according to his need, which made everyone equal in misery.

Epic Fail: Only 15 States Opt to Run Obamacare Exchanges!

Only 15 states have told the federal government they plan to operate health insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama’s reform law, leaving Washington with the daunting task of creating online marketplaces for two-thirds of the country.

On the eve of a federal deadline for states to say whether they will run their own exchanges, a top health care policy official told lawmakers that the exchanges will start enrolling eligible families starting on Oct. 1.

“I am confident that states and the federal government will be ready in 10 months, when consumers in all states can begin to apply,” Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, told a House panel.

Cohen was among federal officials who testified alongside state health authorities at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

In written testimony, Cohen said that while 15 states have told the administration they will operate exchanges, 11 others have opted for versions that will require major involvement by the federal government.

Experts say the number of states planning to operate their own exchanges could reach 18, plus the District of Columbia, by the time the deadline arrives Friday.

But the administration would still be left to set up exchanges in at least 30 states, a challenge that is raising questions about how successfully U.S. officials can implement a key provision of the health care reform law.

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An American Divorce Agreement (We Divorce The Libs)

This originally appeared on freerepublic.com

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, regressive, Marxists, and Obama supporters, et al:

We have stuck together since the late 1950s for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let’s just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Here is a model separation agreement:

  1. Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by land mass, each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy. Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides had such distinct and disparate tastes.
  2. We don’t like redistributive taxes, so you can keep them.
  3. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.
  4. Since you hate guns and war, we’ll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA, and the military.
  5. We’ll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar, and bio-diesel.
  6. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore, and Rosie O’Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.
  7. We’ll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Walmart, and Wall Street.
  8. You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless homeboys, hippies, druggies, and illegal aliens.
  9. We’ll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO’s and rednecks.
  10. We’ll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood ..
  11. You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we’ll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us.
  12. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we’ll help provide them security.
  13. We’ll keep our Judeo-Christian values.
  14. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness, and Shirley MacLaine. You can also have the U.N., but we will no longer be paying the bill.
  15. We’ll keep the SUV’s, pickup trucks, and over-sized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.
  16. You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors..
  17. We’ll continue to believe healthcare is an earned luxury and not a right. With affordability reforms needed.
  18. We’ll keep “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “The National Anthem.”
  19. I’m sure you’ll be happy to substitute “Imagine”, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”, “Kum Bay Ya,” or “We Are the World”.
  20. We’ll practice trickle-down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.
  21. Since it often so offends you, we’ll keep our history, our name and our constitution and our flag.

 

Sincerely,
An American Law Student

 

P.S.: Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Barbara Streisand, and Jane Fonda with you.

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55 Reasons Why California Is The Worst State In America

Why in the world would anyone want to live in the state of California at this point? The entire state is rapidly becoming a bright, shining example of everything that is wrong with America. It is so sad to watch our most populated state implode right in front of our eyes. Like millions of Americans, I was quite enamored with the state of California when I was younger. The warm weather, the beaches, the great natural beauty of the state and the mystique of Hollywood all really appealed to me. At one point I even thought that I wanted to move there. But today, hordes of Californians are racing to get out of the state because it has become a total nightmare. It is the worst state in the country in which to do business, taxes were just raised even higher, unemployment is more than 20 percent higher than the national average and the state government is drowning in debt. Meanwhile, poverty, gang activity and crime just seem to get worse with each passing year. On top of everything else, the insane politicians in Sacramento just keep on passing more laws that make the problems that the state is facing even worse. Unfortunately, what is happening in California may be a preview of what is coming to the entire nation. The old adage, “as California goes, so goes the nation”, has been proven to be true way too many times.

In dozens of different ways, the state of California is showing the rest of us what not to do. Will we learn from their mistakes, or will we follow them into oblivion? Please share the list below with as many people as you can. In addition to a large amount of new research, this list also pulled heavily from one of my previous articles and from outstanding research done by Richard Rider. The following are 55 reasons why California is the worst state in America…

1. One survey of business executives has ranked California as the worst state in America to do business for 8 years in a row.

2. In 2011, the state of California ranked 50th out of all 50 states in new business creation.

3. According to one recent study, California is the worst-governed state in the entire country.

4. Thanks to Proposition 30, California now boasts the highest state income tax rate in the nation.

5. Even though California just raised taxes dramatically on the wealthy, state revenues are falling like a rock. State revenue for November 2012 was 10.8 percent below projections.

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How Will Obama Respond to Legal Pot in Colorado and Washington?

The Obama administration is strategizing how to fight legal pot in Colorado and Washington, reports Charlie Savage of The New York Times. While “no decision” is “imminent,” Savage reports that senior level White House and Justice Department officials are considering “legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives.”

A taskforce made up of Main Justice, the DEA, the State Department, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy is currently considering two courses of action, reports Savage:

One option is for federal prosecutors to bring some cases against low-level marijuana users of the sort they until now have rarely bothered with, waiting for a defendant to make a motion to dismiss the case because the drug is now legal in that state. The department could then obtain a court ruling that federal law trumps the state one.

A more aggressive option is for the Justice Department to file lawsuits against the states to prevent them from setting up systems to regulate and tax marijuana, as the initiatives contemplated. If a court agrees that such regulations are pre-empted by federal ones, it will open the door to a broader ruling about whether the regulatory provisions can be “severed” from those eliminating state prohibitions — or whether the entire initiatives must be struck down.

Option one could possibly mean that Obama would break a campaign promise he’s already split hairs over: That his administration will not go after people who smoke marijuana for medicinal reasons. Savage makes it seem as if there are people in Washington who are more than happy to take that route: Apparently some law enforcement officials are so “alarmed at the prospect that marijuana users in both states could get used to flouting federal law openly,” that they “are said to be pushing for a stern response.”

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Michigan House passes right-to-work measure in defiance of angry unions, commie Democrats

Michigan House Right To Work

Members of the Michigan House quickly voted in favor of a new bill Thursday evening that would make Michigan a right-to-work state, as Democratic representatives left the floor in protest. The legislation passed on a vote of 58-52 in the House and is currently being voted upon in the state Senate.

The legislation was attached to existing bills in the House and Senate to bypass rules requiring new bills sit in each chamber for five days, according to the Detroit News.

Calling it a measure to protect “freedom in the workplace,” Gov. Rick Snyder (R) finally voiced his support for controversial right-to-work legislation in Michigan. If it passes, the bill would prevent any Michigan company from signing labor agreements requiring mandatory dues payment by employees in union workplaces.

Protesters who rallied against the right-to-work legislation were barred from entering the Capitol building, with at least eight protesters arrested and crowds maced by Michigan State Police. House Democrats walked off the floor to protest the Capitol not being opened to the public, despite an injunction by an Ingham County Court judge, according to the Detroit Free Press.

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Norquist still calling cadence in GOP ranks (RINOs Run for Cover!)

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Published on: December 3, 2012

At times, it has seemed that Republican lawmakers eyeing a fiscal compromise with President Obama were moving closer to a public split with Grover Norquist, author of the famous no-new-
taxes pledge that has defined conservative politics for decades.

Yet Norquist, whose influence in the conservative movement spans well beyond his well-known fixation on taxes, remains an unwavering force in the GOP debate — and even some of the most prominent lawmakers publicly flirting with a break from Norquist have assured him in private that they remain loyal soldiers in the anti-tax cause.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), for example, might have seemed a perfect illustration of the trend away from Norquist’s hard-line views when he said recently that policies backed by Norquist would lead to more debt.

“I care too much about my country — I care a lot more about it than I do Grover Norquist,” the senator told a Georgia TV station.

But five days later, on the phone with Norquist, Chambliss was sounding a conciliatory tone. As Norquist read aloud a transcript of Chambliss’s earlier remarks, item by item, Norquist recalled later, the senator repeatedly assured him on each one that he did not mean to imply they had major differences when it came to GOP principles on taxes.

“He said he’d wished he hadn’t invoked my name and wished that he’d been clearer,” Norquist recalled from the Monday conversation.

Norquist said he came away from the conversation with this understanding of Chambliss’s position: “If he’d get a jillion dollars of spending cuts, he’d be willing to get rid of a deduction or two.”

Chambliss’s office said he was unavailable for an interview. A Chambliss aide later said that the purpose of the call was “most definitely not an apology.” In a written statement to The Washington Post, the senator said he and Norquist agree on “the vast majority of fiscal policy,” including that tax rates should not rise and spending should be reined in, though he added: “Grover disagrees with my longstanding position of using some revenue from closing special-interest loopholes to pay down our national debt, which is something I’ve never apologized for.”

For two decades, Norquist, 56, has been the most ardent enforcer of the Republican Party’s anti-tax theology. And Republicans have dutifully hewed close to that dogma.

But humbled by last month’s election results, and facing a ­determined President Obama in deficit-reduction negotiations with tax rates set to rise Jan. 1 for all Americans as part of the “fiscal cliff,” several Republicans in recent days have expressed a willingness to compromise. Some have suggested striking a deal with Obama to raise tax rates on higher-earning Americans, as the president has pushed for, or rolling back tax credits and closing loopholes as a way to increase revenue — stances that could well violate the Norquist pledge.

The debate over the fiscal cliff presents a test for Norquist, whose influence is likely to rise or fall depending on how the fight plays out in the coming weeks — and what punishment, if any, Norquist can exact on GOP lawmakers he views as transgressors.

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Massive Anti-Obama Rally Planned for Inauguration Day

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Published on: December 3, 2012

 

Inspired by concerns of unemployment, the economy, Benghazi, and matters of foreign policy; organizers are promoting a “Massive Anti-Obama Rally @ Obama’s Inauguration Day.”

Their goal? 500,000+ protesters armed with signs identifying the reason for their participation in the rally. The invitation expresses the following:

“If you are unsatisfied with President Barack Obama’s reelection win and you further feel that he will ultimately destabilize America completely, then let us join together with bold Anti-Obama signs clearly stating our main grievances…”

Organizers are encouraging those who aren’t able to participate in the rally, on Washington D.C.’s National Mall, to form groups and hold non-violent protests at state capital buildings or other local government venues. View the invitation.

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Obama Administration Silent After Egyptian Constitution Restores Slavery


According to the AP Egypt’s new constitution has dropped its ban on slavery:

Omissions of certain articles, such as bans on slavery or promises to adhere to international rights treaties, were equally worrying to critics of the new draft, who pulled out from the panel before the vote.

The Obama administration declined to criticize Egypt’s constitution despite its slavery clause.

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