There are days when you really must wonder if the folks over at ThinkProgress, the opinion site of the left-leaning, George Soros backed think tank Center for American Progress, actually, you know, think about what they’re writing. This recent piece on Rand Paul and contraception just shows they don’t do critical thinking very well.
Although GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has dodged questions about whether he believes the Constitution protects a woman’s right to use birth control, one of Romney’s top legal advisers is a leading opponent of the right to contraception. Robert Bork, the former federal judge who serves as co-chair of Romney’s Justice Advisory Committee, described the first Supreme Court case to protect access to contraception as “utterly specious” and a “time bomb.”
In a surprising departure from conservative orthodoxy, Tea Party Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) broke with Romney’s legal adviser yesterday, stating that the Constitution does indeed protect a right to birth control:
Last week, my colleague Brian Lehman wrote a great post on gay marriage, offering up a deal for social conservatives in order to ease some of the tension over it. I would like to sweeten the pot, a bit, if that’s possible.
For a long time, we’ve had the right and left wings in this country ignore the pressing issues of our time—crushing debt, a horribly mangled tax code, an economy infested with out of control cronyism and regulation, a monetary system that isn’t working, dismantled civil liberties, and looming entitlements that threaten to wash away all of our prosperity in a megatsunami of unfunded liabilities—to focus instead on issues such as gay marriage, abortion, Islamic mosques, and whether or not Barack Obama is a neo-marxist anti-colonialist Kenyan who wasn’t born in the United States (and ate a dog in Indonesia when he was five.) Oh, and Chick-Fil-A.
Because of this more important things we should be focusing on, and because we need to do something about them today, I would like to put forward a “grand bargain” of sorts between conservatives and liberals, so we can put the social issues conflict to rest. It basically involves a trade, and while I know nobody is going to be 100% happy with it, I think it will lead to overall better happiness. (Paging Jeremy Bentham.)
The bargain is such: in exchange for conservatives dropping opposition to same-sex marriage, liberals will tone down their crusade for abortion.
As an Eagle Scout, I follow the BSA policy controversy towards homosexual scouts only occasionally. For me, the big issue was never that—I am not gay, and I do not know any Scouts or potential scouts who were or are gay—for me it was the religion. I’m an atheist, which is the one theologica position that the Boy Scouts actively frown upon. (I was forced to get a religious “medal” in the United Methodist Church, and the last point in the Scout Law is that a scout is to be “reverant.”)
However, I have gay friends, and I have always thought that the BSA’s policy towards homosexuals was, in a word, disappointing. And now that they’ve finished their review, they’re keeping the same disappointing policy:
After a confidential two-year review, the Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday emphatically reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays, ruling out any changes despite relentless protest campaigns by some critics.
An 11-member special committee, formed discreetly by top Scout leaders in 2010, “came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts,” the organization’ national spokesman, Deron Smith, told The Associated Press.
Smith said the committee, comprised of professional scout executives and adult volunteers, was unanimous in its conclusion — preserving a long-standing policy that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 and has remained controversial ever since.
As a result of the committee’s decision, the Scouts’ national executive board will take no further action on a recently submitted resolution asking for reconsideration of the membership policy.
In my recently published op-ed at the Daily Caller, I ask why we can’t just leave each other alone, and why we shouldn’t turn to the government to fix our problems:
…we are seeing the breakdown of our economy and our government. Millions of jobless Americans are not counted as unemployed because they’ve given up looking for work entirely. Congress, although always a bit of a joke, is no longer functioning at all. And last year (and the year before) thousands of Americans took to the streets to protest.
Occupy Wall Street, the Tea Party, whatever — they protest because they know what is going on is against human nature. It’s something we learn as children on the elementary school playground, the first time the big bully takes our lunch money and makes us prostrate before him for mercy. It’s something we naturally recoil at as teenagers when our parents tell us to be home by nine or we’ll get the belt (again). Deep down, we all recognize that it is human nature to want to be free.
Please share this as widely as possible. Everyone needs to hear this message: conservatives, liberals, socialists, even libertarians. (Make sure you read my line about the Yankees and the Red Sox, too. And the Raiders. Especially the Raiders.)
There has been an interesting an important back and forth on this site over the issue of fusionism. Jeremy Kolassa made the case that little, if anything, has been accomplished by fusionism. In response, Jason Pye defended fusionism, citing a litany of conservative leaders and organizations that have been welcoming of libertarians and advanced libertarian policy.
I think both authors make well thought out cases and I think this debate is a healthy one. My post isn’t intended to weigh in on the general question of fusionism, clearly I am a believe in fusionism - though I recognize that there are times when fusionism is a loser for libertarians. Instead, I wanted to specifically speak to an individual that my friend Jason Pye pointed to as an example of a conservative leader who has offered an “olive branch” to libertarians: South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint.
I respect and like Jason a ton (which you know always is going to preface a disagreement), but in this case Jason is simply wrong. Jim DeMint is no friend of libertarians - unless, of course, you toss out gay people or anyone else who cares about gay people from the libertarian movement.
Jason cited the Mike Huckabees and Rick Santorums of the world as responsible for trying to keep libertarians out of CPAC. Well the ugly truth is that Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum have been down right welcoming compared to Jim DeMint - as it regards CPAC. Indeed, Jim DeMint officially joined a boycott of CPAC because of the inclusion of a gay group - GOProud - that I helped co-found.
The United States Constitution. Many consider it one of the greatest documents ever devised by man. The idea that men could govern themselves was radical. The United States was the first nation to ever try it. It’s just to bad that the Founders managed to also illustrate the folly of central planning.
What’s that? What in the heck did the Founders have to do with central planning? An excellent question.
You see, the Founding Fathers tasked with creating the Constitution were a small, select group of people. They wanted what was best for the new nation, and so they wrote out a guide. These were people driven by a noble ideology, that of a free nation, and yet they screwed up oh-so-royally.
“They didn’t screw up! We’re the ones screwing up the Constitution,” some might say. Well, you’re partially right. Unfortunately, where you’re wrong is that that the Founders did make mistakes. You see, there are a lot of areas where they were less than clear, or inserted things that weren’t really necessary. There are few actual definitions of what they wanted or envisioned.
Here are some examples. None of these even touch on the horror that was slavery, codified in a document intended to create a free nation (irony much?)
To promote the general welfare
That phrase is used to justify all kinds of crap. Every time someone claims an entitlement is unconstitutional, someone else will trot out this gem. Now, if you’re reading this blog, I’m going to assume you understand that this was not what it was intended to support. Instead, the government was to exist to protect an environment where people could take care of themselves. Unfortunately, that’s not what they said.
First, as you’re probably already aware, the Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare is constitutional, and that the individual mandate is also constitutional, but not as how it was argued in Congress, but rather as a tax. So instead of the extremely dangerous Commerce Clause (which is really, really badly written) we have it surviving under Congress’ taxing power.
This is really just as bad. Although now technically, they can’t “force” us to buy things with Commerce power, the federal government now has absolutely no limits on taxing us. This is going to be 1775 all over again, except we can’t say “No Taxation Without Representation!” (unless we live in DC.)
The one silver lining that some are bringing up is that, because Obama campaigned hard on Obamacare and the mandate not being a tax, and now with SCOTUS saying “it’s a tax,” he’s going to be royally screwed come November. I have to agree with the results; I’ll defer to one of my friends who has this down:
— George Scoville (@stackiii) June 28, 2012
That is pretty much going to ruin Obama’s chances of reelection, especially with so many already up in arms over this (something like 55-60% wanted this law overturned?)
However, as another friend of mine points out, this is no silver lining at all:
I haven’t heard yet that SCOTUS has ruled on Obamacare, but in a bit of good news, the Federal Communications Commission can no longer fine broadcasters for obscenities and nudity:
The US Supreme Court has prohibited the FCC from imposing fines and sanctions for spoken obscenities and nudity on television in a ruling today. While the court didn’t tackle the constitutional validity of the FCC’s authority to set indecency rules, its decision shows that it has begun to back away from policies that were implemented prior to the ubiquity of media over the internet. Broadcast networks work under a set of indecency rules no internet outlet is required to consider because they use scarce public spectrum, and prior to today’s ruling, they faced severe penalties for airing curse words or nudity that violated the FCC’s policy.
This doesn’t mean that broadcasters will start worshipping at the feat of St. Carlin and drop f-bombs left and right, After all, they still have an audience to maintain, and many audiences frown on vulgarities and nudity (or at least, its inappropriate for said audience. Like many of my fellow United Liberty contributors. [Stop picking on Doug. - Editor]
Even so, despite whatever the hell Middleborough, Massachusetts thinks, there is absolutely no role for government to keep our mouths clean. Free speech, after all, is free speech, even if you don’t like it. And besides, when you consider that most youth can easily get porn and whatever on the Internet for free—yeah, your “parental controls” don’t really mean anything, because your kid knows about about hacking then you know about word processing, in all likelihood—the fines are sort of irrelevant.
If there’s one thing that can be said for the national GOP leadership, it wouldn’t be that it has fully considered the long-term ramifications of its current predicament. Consider the “presumed” nominee this election cycle, one Willard “Mitt” Romney. Formerly a liberal Republican when it suited him in Massachusetts, the wily politician is hoping that eight years in absentia from holding office and growing distrust of our current President will propel him to the highest office; all without having to stand tall on any conservative meat and potato issue.
The last time a Republican won with this strategy, it was a squeaker of an election. Eight years of Clinton fatigue made even some democrats weary (a mathematical necessity if any Republican can expect to win the Presidency)..
Consider that Dubya in 2000 at least threw a bone to anti-war liberals and conservatives by claiming he would institute a humble foreign policy and eschew the nation-building that had ended so tragically for our former allies in Serbia ( ironically the US sided with extremist Muslim groups tied to Osama bin Laden ) and our troops in Somalia. In fact, it was this particular stand that may have solidified conservative support for Bush and some moderate anti-war liberals.
To add a bit of intrigue into the mix, Ralph Nader decided to run on the Green Party ticket splitting some of the anti-war left away from Gore and Bush resulting in a nail-biting affair that left most astute watchers with a bad taste in their mouth. It was not pretty watching weeks of hanging chad on TV and ugly legal challenges to election results that left the real outcome in doubt.
You always hear about how the left is so tolerant, so open-minded, so embracing, so encouraging of individual people to be themselves and live their own lives.
The introduction of Senators Schumer and Casey’s new tax collection law—and some of the commentary on it—shows how much of that is just totally bupkiss.
As many of you are no doubt aware, Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook, gave up his US citizenship in 2011 and became a permanent resident of Singapore. Many believe this is because of his stake in the Facebook IPO—he could pay upwards of $100 million on that if he’s still a citizen due to capital gains taxes. (Although I’m pretty sure you still have to pay taxes for some odd number of years after you renounce your citizenship, though I may need to check that out.)
Doug Mataconis blogged about this last week over at Outside the Beltway, where he notes that it’s probably an unconstitutional law and is going nowhere. But it was in his comments that I found something much more illuminating: how the left truly sees this.
We immediately start off, right at the beginning, with this, from a guy named “Norm”:
This guy is a scumbag.
Well, isn’t that nice and compassionate and caring. Doug challenges him, to which Norm responds with:
He came to America and benefited from the safety and education and business opportunities that taxes help fund. Only now he doesn’t want to pay the taxes that fund those things he benefited from.
Ipso facto…scum bag.