The University of Chicago Medical Center has announced plans to turn Ronald Reagan’s childhood home in Chicago into a parking lot for President Barack Obama’s library.
The Commission on
Chicago Landmarks previously denied the Gipper’s home landmark status in 2012,
according to The
Washington Times, and the university subsequently scheduled
demolition to begin in January. Officials claim the home does not reach
landmark status because it is not architecturally significant and the nation’s
40th president did nothing notable while living there.
With the wrecking balls in place, it could be 90
days or less before the home is knocked down. In its place, a plaque would
serve as the marker of the historic spot, according to university
Reagan was 4 when
his family moved to the 832 E. 57th St. home in the Hyde Park District of the
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The decision from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals last Friday that ruled Obama’s recess appointments in January of 2012 were illegal has elicited the following response from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB): So what?
Specifically, the Chairman of the NLRB stated the following:“The Board respectfully disagrees with today’s decision and believes that the President’s position in the matter will ultimately be upheld.”
And with that said the NLRB is going on about its business as if the ruling never happened.
Obama made the recess appointments in January 2012 during a break in the congressional schedule attempting to avoid the regular constitutional advice and consent process. However, the Senate was holding pro forma sessions specifically to prevent Obama from avoiding Senate scrutiny of his nominees. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that the appointments were done illegally, but so far, the Obama administration is refusing to acknowledge the Appeals Court ruling.
A Wall Street Journal editorial published on January 29 called on Congress to defund the NLRB if they fail to comply with the court ruling.
Nathan Mehrens, the general counsel at Americans for Limited Government has explainedthat any rulings made by the NLRB after the illegal recess appointments should be null and void—effectively reversing nearly 200 NLRB decisions that impact job creation.
If the Obama administration fails to acknowledge the illegalities surrounding the appointments to the NLRB and continues on with business as usual, Congress has no choice but to defund. If they allow the NLRB to continue to violate the law by funding their existence then they are effectively taking part in the death and burial of the Constitution.
In fact, the danger is apparent in the Administration response. The Court rules that they ignored and abused the prerogatives of the legislative branch, and Obama’s response is to ignore and abuse the prerogatives of the Court.
In one fell swoop, Obama is challenging and ignoring the basic checks and balances between the three branches of government by simply claiming that since his Administration does not agree, they don’t matter.
This should not be a partisan matter, but even if Democrats on the Hill threaten to oppose the defunding of the NLRB in the Senate with a threat of a government shutdown, Republicans must be willing to uphold the legitimacy of the Courts and of the Senate’s confirmation check on Executive branch appointments. If the left chooses to shut the government down because they disagreed with a court ruling, that is a fight worth fighting.
When the Wall Street Journal, hardly a bastion of radicalism, calls on Congress to defund a rogue agency that refuses to follow the law of the land, due to the extreme Constitutional consequences of failing to take a stand, the line in the sand has been drawn.
Because if Congress rolls over on this issue, then the government has no legitimacy or basis other than the threat of force, and they will have effectively ended the Constitutional government that has been in place for a system that befits a dictator.
By Adam Bitely —
Sunday, January 27, 2013
A new study by a media-monitoring organization exposes the New York Times’ consistent anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian bias in its coverage of the Middle East conflict.
The study was conducted by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle Eastern Reporting in America (CAMERA), which claims 65,000 U.S. members across a broad political spectrum.
CAMERA investigated the Times’ coverage between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2011, and says the probe “reveals empirically that there is real cause for concern. The dominant finding of the study is a disproportionate, continuous, embedded indictment of Israel that dominates both news and commentary sections. Israeli views are downplayed while Palestinian perspectives, especially criticism of Israel, are amplified and even promoted.”
Among the findings of the CAMERA study:
• The Times presents criticism of Israel more than twice as often as it criticizes the Palestinians. Of 275 passages in the news pages classified as criticism, 187 were critical of Israel while 88 criticized the Palestinians.
• Of 37 articles mentioning Israel’s border policies and naval blockade of Gaza, just six cited Israel’s goal of preventing weapons from entering Gaza and even fewer noted that weapons in Gaza often are fired into Israel.
• When the Times reported on the Israeli military boarding a Turkish ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists, only eight of 37 articles mentioned the activists’ violence that precipitated the use of firearms by the Israelis.
• Twelve headlines mentioned Palestinian fatalities in the conflict, while none explicitly mentioned Israeli deaths, even though 14 Israelis were killed during the study period.
• Israeli actions frequently were cited as obstacles to peace, but the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to recognize a Jewish state was never described as an obstacle.
• On the paper’s opinion pages, editorials consistently blamed Israel for the Palestinian-Israel conflict. Of 20 editorials, columns, and Op-Eds cited by CAMERA, 15 predominantly criticized Israel and none predominantly criticized the Palestinians.
CAMERA concludes: “Although the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict is a matter of great controversy, with loud voices on all sides seeking to make their case, only one side’s concerns are promoted in The Times, while the opposing side is marginalized.”
PJ Media states: “CAMERA’s study provides objective documentation that demonstrates exactly how The New York Times abandoned journalistic standards to turn coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict into the supposedly ‘progressive’ cause of indicting Israel.”
Saturday, January 26, 2013
President Obama has shown increasing contempt for the constitutional limits on his power, and the courts are finally awakening to the news. A unanimous panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that the President's non-recess recess appointments are illegal and an abuse of executive power.
On January 4, 2012, Mr. Obama bypassed the Senate's advice and consent power by naming three new members of the National Labor Relations Board and appointing Richard Cordray to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Other Presidents have made recess appointments and we've supported that executive authority.
But here's the Obama kicker: He consciously made those "recess" appointments when the Senate wasn't in recess but was conducting pro-forma sessions precisely so Mr. Obama couldn't make a recess appointment. No President to our knowledge had ever tried that one, no doubt because it means the executive can decide on his own when a co-equal branch of government is in session.
In Noel Canning v. NLRB, a Washington state Pepsi bottler challenged a board decision on grounds that the recess appointments were invalid and that the NLRB thus lacked the three-member quorum required to conduct business. The D.C. Circuit agreed, while whistling a 98 mile-per-hour, chin-high fastball past the White House about the separation of powers.
In the 46-page opinion, the three-judge panel said that "not only logic and language, but also constitutional history" reject the President's afflatus. The Federalist Papers refer to recess appointments expiring at the end of the following session of Congress, the court explained, so it stands to reason that recess appointments were intended to be made only when the Senate is in a recess between sessions, not any time the Senators step out of the Capitol.
"An interpretation of 'the Recess' that permits the President to decide when the Senate is in recess would demolish the checks and balances inherent in the advice-and-consent requirement," wrote Chief Judge David Sentelle for the court, "giving the President free rein to appoint his desired nominees at any time he pleases, whether that time be a weekend, lunch, or even when the Senate is in session and he is merely displeased with its inaction. This cannot be the law."
Judge Sentelle added, in a clear warning to the lawyers who let Mr. Obama walk out on this limb, that "Allowing the President to define the scope of his own appointments power would eviscerate the Constitution's separation of powers."
In a particular surprise, two of the three judges also ruled that recess appointments are only allowed to fill vacancies that arise during the time the Senate is in actual recess. This has not been the recent practice, and it means that Presidents could not wait, say, until a recess in December to appoint a controversial replacement for a Secretary of State who resigned in October.
The court nonetheless makes a plausible case based on the text of the Constitution, government practice in the decades after ratification and legal precedent. Mr. Obama's imperial overreach has invited the courts to re-examine the Constitution's Appointments Clause and tilt the balance of power back toward the Senate.
Meantime, the ruling potentially invalidates dozens of NLRB decisions since the illegal recess appointments were made. A similar mess occurred in 2010 when the Supreme Court ruled in New Process Steel v. NLRB that some 600 decisions made by the NLRB without a three-member quorum were invalid.
The decision also means that Mr. Cordray has no authority to run the consumer financial bureau, which has been busy issuing thousands of pages of regulations since he was illegally imposed in the job. Mr. Obama renominated Mr. Cordray this week, which is an insult to the Senate and after this ruling to the Constitution too.
One question is whether Mr. Cordray can legally keep accepting his paycheck. Especially as a former Attorney General in Ohio, he ought to resign for having agreed to play along as a constitutional usurper.
White House spokesman Jay Carney criticized the unanimous decision Friday, which is consistent with the President's sense of constitutional entitlement. Mr. Obama decided last year he could selectively enforce the immigration laws, exempting certain young people even if Congress hadn't passed the Dream Act. We support the Dream Act but not his unilateral way of imposing it.
Mr. Obama has also signaled his intention to govern as much as possible by stretching the legal bounds of regulation and executive orders. The D.C. Circuit ruling is thus a particularly timely warning that while Mr. Obama was re-elected, has most of the press in his pocket and is popular with 52% of the public, he's subject to the rule of law like everybody else.
A version of this article appeared January 26, 2013, on page A14 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Obama's Abuse of Power.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Thursday, January 24, 2013
by Michael Brown
The president declared it. A pastor prayed it. And woe betide those who differ with this new reality announced at yesterday’s presidential inauguration: Gay is now an official social category as defined and tangible as black or white. Put another way, romantic attraction and sexual desire are now viewed as being as innate and immutable as skin color.
Make no mistake about it. Another significant step was taken yesterday at the inauguration, and what was once associated with the extremist views of radical gay activists is now as American as apple pie. As expressed in the closing prayer of Episcopal pastor Luis León, “We pray for your blessing, because without it we will see only what the eye can see. But with your blessing, we’ll see that we are made in your image, whether brown, black or white; male or female; first generation immigrant or Daughter of the American Revolution; gay or straight; rich or poor.”
Earlier in the festivities, and framing his speech in historic, Constitutional terms, President Obama said, “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths—that all of us are created equal—is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall . . . .”
Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall? By Seneca Falls, Obama was referring to a watershed moment in the women’s rights movement that took place in the mid-1800s in Seneca Falls, New York. By Selma, he was referring to the pivotal Civil Rights marches and protests that took place in Selma, Alabama in the mid-1960s. And by Stonewall, he was referring to the Stonewall Riots that took place in New York City in 1969 when drag queens and their gay friends fought back against the police who raided their bar.
So, the president spoke of Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall in the same breath, and in front of the whole nation at his inauguration, thereby equating women’s rights, black civil rights, and “gay rights” – which include bisexual, transgender, and other categories as well – also putting the women of Seneca Falls, the blacks of Selma, and the drag queens of Stonewall in the same category.
Do we realize just how significant this is? Do we grasp the implications?
The president also said: “It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
To repeat my opening comments: woe betide those who differ with this new reality announced at yesterday’s presidential inauguration. The war is on against people of conscience and people of faith who do not affirm homosexual practice, no matter how loving and fair-minded they may be.
In Michael Brown's book, A Queer Thing Happened to America, I stated that this was the progression of gay activism:
First, gay activists came out of the closet;
Second, they demanded their “rights”;
Third, they demanded that everyone recognize those “rights”;
Fourth, they want to strip away the rights of those who oppose them;
Fifth, they want to put those who oppose their “rights” into the closet.
I have often been ridiculed for laying out this progression, but it is unfolding in front of our eyes, with a massive shift taking place in just the last year. And with the president of the United States declaring at his second inaugural speech that homosexuality (and more) is equivalent to gender and skin color, a line has been drawn in the sand. And that line in the sand will soon become a line in the courts and law books to the point that anyone who does not affirm homosexual practice will be codified as a bigot or worse.
As Michael Brown wrote in 2011, “the legitimizing of homosexuality as a perfectly normal alternative to heterosexuality also requires that all opposition to homosexual behavior must be delegitimized. At the very least, the gay agenda requires this (and let recognized gay leaders renounce this if it is not so):
“Whereas homosexuality was once considered a pathological disorder, from here on those who do not affirm homosexuality will be deemed homophobic, perhaps themselves suffering from a pathological disorder.
“Whereas gay sexual behavior was once considered morally wrong, from here on public condemnation—or even public criticism—of that behavior will be considered morally wrong.”
Yesterday marked a watershed moment in the “gay rights” movement, and it is time for people of conscience and faith to draw our own line in the sand: We will be loving and respectful to all people. We will oppose bullying and unfair treatment of all people. But we will not equate homosexuality with gender and skin color, and we will not celebrate that which we morally and spiritually oppose.
And so, Mr. President, we will not be intimidated, and to use your terms, in the spirit of Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall, we will stand up for what we believe is right, regardless of cost or consequences.
If we agreed with you, sir, that there is no moral or social distinction between homosexuality and heterosexuality and that homosexuality was innate and immutable, we too would champion this cause. But we do not agree, sir, and in the spirit of Martin Luther King and others whom you hail, we will not compromise our convictions, come what may.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Just read this, wow how true!
"A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger
Who was new to our small town. From the beginning,
Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer
And soon invited him to live with our family. The
Stranger was quickly accepted and was around
From then on.
As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my
Family. In my young mind, he had a special niche.
My parents were complementary instructors: Mom
Taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey.
But the stranger... He was our storyteller. He would
Keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures,
Mysteries and comedies.
If I wanted to know anything about politics, history
Or science, he always knew the answers about the past,
Understood the present and even seemed able to predict
The future! He took my family to the first major league
Ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The
Stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem
Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of
Us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to
Say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet.
(I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)
Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions,
But the stranger never felt obligated to honor them.
Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home - not
From us, our friends or any visitors. Our long time visitor,
However, got away with four-letter words that burned my
Ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.
My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol but the
Stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He
Made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished.
He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments
Were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally
I now know that my early concepts about relationships were
Influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed
The values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked...
And NEVER asked to leave.
More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved
In with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly
As fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into
My parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over
In his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and
Watch him draw his pictures.
We just call him 'TV.'
(Note: This should be required
Reading for every household!)
He has a wife now....we call her 'Computer.'
Their first child is "Cell Phone".
Second child "I Pod"
And JUST BORN LAST YEAR WAS a Grandchild:
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Section 317 of the freshly approved legislation includes an extension for “special expensing rules for certain film and television productions.” Congress first enacted production tax incentives favorable to the domestic entertainment industry in 2004, and extended them in 2008, but the deal was meant to expire in 2011.
The fiscal cliff deal extends the tax incentives through 2013–even as payroll taxes rise on ordinary Americans.
The lesson here is that ‘tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires’ is just fine with Barack Obama, so long as that tax relief goes to actors, directors, and producers duping impressionable low-information voters into re-electing him into office. That’s balancing the books on the back of the little people, and making gullible middle class Democrat voters eat Hollywood’s “fair share.”
Meanwhile, 77% of Americans will be seeing a 2% hike on their payroll taxes. The lamestream media can now take their make-believe scripts of ‘Obama the small-government guy‘ and ‘Obama the tax-cutter‘ and send them to Steven Spielberg for his next Hollywood blockbuster, in left-wing fantasyland where they belong.