by Ken Blackwell
January 5, 2015
FRC Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment, Ken Blackwell appears on Meet the Press to discuss the economy under the Obama Administration.
FRC Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment, Ken Blackwell appears on Meet the Press to discuss the economy under the Obama Administration.
Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (Ret.-USA) was interviewed by The Daily Caller about how the Obama administration has handled the VA and Benghazi scandals and the possible ramifications from these dealings.
In a biting, perceptive, and troubling-because-it’s-true op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, Eliot Cohen writes of an Executive Branch governed as much by immaturity as Left-wing conviction. As he notes, “The Obama administration is not alone. The teenage temperament infects our politics on both sides of the aisle, not to mention our great universities and leading corporations.”
The particular danger imposed by the Obama Administration is that it leads (or is supposed to lead) the greatest nation in world history; such leadership demands what Cohen calls “the old, adult virtues—gravitas, sobriety, perseverance and constancy.”
A President who takes a “selfie” at the funeral of an international statesman and who sniffingly refers to the burgeoning Russian threat as “a regional power” simply doesn’t know how to take American foreign policy and national security seriously. In fairness, of course, when you’re busy transforming America, who has time for international affairs?
Read Cohen’s insightful piece here
The radicalism of the Obama Administration never ceases to amaze us, does it? This was brought home this week by Mark Levin’s extended discussion of “President Obama personally nominating a former cop killer’s lawyer, Debo Adegbile, to head up the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.” Please listen to the introduction Mark gives to his
Remember also that Mark Levin was the chief of staff at the Department of Justice to a United States Attorney General, Ed Meese. He knows a great deal about the Department of Justice.
Brandon Darby has written a succinct background article on Adegbile who, as an attorney, fought to save Mumia Abu-Jamal from the death sentence and continued imprisonment. Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer, Daniel Faulkner, on December 9, 1981. This was a completely cold-blooded killing. But, later, “Free Abu-Jamal” was the cry of the Left and Hollywood for years and years. It worked. His death sentence was made impossible.
Even the worst criminals are entitled to a defense under our legal system. However, that does not mean that the lawyers who choose to do that work are worthy of holding highly trusted positions of authority in our government. Do we want this man reviewing the policing activities of law enforcement agencies across America for violations of federal civil rights laws? Do you want him overseeing discipline policies in local schools? Clearly not.
Chuck Canterbury, the President of the Fraternal Order of Police, an organization representing 330,000 police members, wrote this scathing letter of protest to the President on January 6th expressing his organization’s outrage about the nomination. If you want to learn a more about the case go to the website created and maintained by Officer Faulkner’s loving widow, Maureen.
Folks, this nomination does not have to succeed. Spend an hour or two learning about the case, and consider calling the offices of your two United States Senators. Hopefully, this nomination will fail demonstrably, but we can’t be passive and assume it will happen.
It could hardly be more of what we used to call an “open and shut” case. Nidal Hasan, an active duty Army major and psychiatrist, walked into a room at Fort Hood, Texas, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” and shot thirty people, killing fourteen. One of his victims, Francheska Velez, was pregnant at the time.
She cried out “My baby! My baby!” but Hasan killed her and her unborn child anyway. The Obama administration has elected not to charge Hasan with violation of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, even though the law was passed explicitly to cover such instances.
The Fort Hood shootings occurred in November 2009. Hasan is only now slated to be brought before a court martial. The proceedings are scheduled to begin by July 1st, three and a half years after the killings. The old maxim is: “Justice delayed is justice denied.” The foot-dragging on the part of the Obama administration in this case is unconscionable.
Because of these interminable delays, Hasan has been allowed to accumulate some $278,000 in pay and benefits as he awaits his court martial. Army spokesmen say Hasan has “earned” that much because he has not yet been convicted of anything and we must presume his innocence.
Must we presume it for three and a half years? It’s useful to compare the Obama administration’s treatment of Nidal Hasan with the Roosevelt administration’s actions toward captured Nazi saboteurs in World War II.
Eight German and German-American fighters in two squads were landed in June 1942, by U-boats on the beaches of Florida and Long Island. The Long Island group was spotted by a young U.S. Coast Guardsman. Seaman John C. Cullen refused a bribe from the Nazis and alerted his superiors back at his station. Because they had changed into civilian clothes, the saboteurs would be regarded as spies if apprehended.
Apprehended they soon were, as one of their number, George Dash, ratted out his cohorts. They had orders from their Nazi superiors to blow up war industries and military installations. By order of President Roosevelt, they were tried before a secret military tribunal on July 2, 1942.
Matters moved quickly for [Army Judge Advocate General Myron C.] Cramer since he and [U.S. Attorney General Francis] Biddle began presenting evidence to the tribunal on July 8. Preliminary arguments and the taking of testimony took 16 days—an average of two days for each accused. The military commission completed its work on August 1, when it found all eight defendants guilty of “attempting to commit sabotage, espionage, and other hostile acts” and “conspiracy” to commit these same offenses. Cramer and Biddle argued that the Germans must be sentenced to death, and the commission agreed. Roosevelt approved the death sentence for six of the eight men, and those six were electrocuted on August 8, 1942. The other two were imprisoned and later deported to Germany after the war. The U.S. Supreme Court later upheld the jurisdiction of the military commission, and the lawfulness of its proceedings, in the case of Ex parte Quirin, which continues to be cited with approval by today’s Supreme Court.
Cramer’s work as co-prosecutor was praised by his superior as “historic evidence of his legal ability and sound judgment.” He and Biddle had successfully completed the first military commission convened by a President and had achieved the best possible results for the government.
I am not necessarily endorsing capital punishment in this column. FRC has not taken a position on that question. But clearly this was no drumhead court martial. Instead, it was a serious and expeditious judicial proceeding. Our government was then able to act with speed and justice in prosecuting our enemies in wartime “to the full extent of the law.”
Nidal Hasan was known to federal investigators. He had been under surveillance for some time. As a medical graduate student, he had openly advocated jihad and justified killing “infidels.” And still he was allowed to continue in uniform as a major in the Army.
Even after his murderous spree in 2009, political correctness was not furloughed. The Army’s Chief of Staff, General George Casey, rushed to the Sunday TV talk shows and said: “As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.” What the general seems not to have understood is that it is only by enforcing the Oath of Office that all service members voluntarily take that we can have the level of trust for all our troops that a vigorous national defense requires.
While Nidal Hasan continues to accrue pay and benefits, this administration has classified his killings as “workplace violence.” Thus, his injured victims have been denied Purple Hearts and the status of combat-wounded veterans. A bi-partisan group of congressmen, including Reps. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Chaka Fattah (D-Penn.) have written to Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel urging him to re-classify theFortHood killings as “combat-related.”
This would seem to be the bare minimum this administration could do to show it is serious about the defense of theUnited States. And it could also benefit from reading how their great liberal Democratic model, Franklin D. Roosevelt, acted in time of war.
Yesterday the Obama Education Department eliminated Mothers and Fathers in official government documents. As a mother, I find that deeply offensive.
I carried my children for 9 months in my womb, I endured the pain (and joy) of birth, I nursed them for many months after they were born, and every morning they jump into my bed screaming, “Mommy!”
But the federal government says I’m Mommy no more.
I am Parent 1.
Or maybe Parent 2.
Kind of like Thing One and Thing Two. But Dr. Seuss was being ironic.
Mr. President, I dare you to tell my daughters I’m not their mother.
Hot Off the Press: Tony Perkins on CNN News
FRC’s President Tony Perkins, was on CNN this morning discussing the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) vote that would allow open homosexuals to become members and leaders. Perkins points out that the BSA has stood for moral principles for decades and that the boys should not have to worry about being with men or boys who are attracted to them. The BSA is designed to help raise boys into manhood. The Associated Press and the Washington Post has just reported that the BSA will not vote on the decision until May. Please be in prayer for the BSA that they would stand firm in their timeless values. You can share the ad from FRC via email, Facebook, Twitter and any other favorite media sites!
When it Comes to Religious Rights, “Accounting Gimmicks” Won’t do!
After the outcry of “foul play” from religious organizations, the Obama administration is offering a proposal which will allow faith-based organizations to be exempt from paying for contraceptives. Churches and synagogues can choose not to provide contraceptives. However, “non-profits with religious affiliations” are not exempt. Anna Higgins, FRC’s Director for the Center of Human Dignity, was quoted in a recent CBS News article and stated that:
“The accounting gimmicks HHS is now proposing under the latest regulation fail to satisfy the religious freedom protections that exist in other current laws and in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution”
How to Really Help the Economy: Save the Family
Dr. Patrick Fagan, Senior Fellow and Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) at FRC, wrote an insightful article in The Public Discourse. Fagan’s research shows that even if the best of conservative economic plans were put into action, it still would not be enough to fix the economy. We must promote solid marriage, which produces solid children and productivity. As Fagan states:
“The intact married family with children is the household that generates the productive work, income, and savings that purchase houses, food, cars, and clothing, use energy, send children to school, and save for college and weddings.”
Our alma mater, Biola University, has now joined the growing number of Evangelical and Catholic colleges and universities suing the federal government over the Obama health care law’s requirement that all health care providers provide medical insurance plans that include access to abortion and abortion-causing drugs.
Biola President Barry Corey explained why our school is fighting the Obama anti-conscience mandate in these eloquent words:
“It is simply a natural outgrowth of our calling to be stewards of the mission Biolas founders have trusted to us, to hold fast to biblical convictions even in the midst of shifting cultural sands. It is unjust that the federal government has mandated that institutions of faith like Biola, which has held biblically centered convictions for over a century, violate their consciences in this manner. It is an infringement on our freedom to be the university God has called us to be.”
Biola’s suit, undertaken jointly with Indiana’s Grace College and Seminary, is being filed by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). As East Coast Biolans, we are proud of and grateful for the stand of our school. To learn more about the Obama anti-conscience mandate and what FRC is doing to oppose it, click here.
We represent two different generations of Biolans (Rob, ‘79 and Julia,‘09), but Biola represents something timeless: The eternal truth of the Word of God. For standing up for that truth, we’re thankful for President Corey’s leadership and the continued strong stance of our school.
I hadn’t really expected to see the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag flying at an Independence Day celebration on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. But I knew this would be a special celebration. Peter and Margarete wanted to include a reading of the entire Declaration of Independence at their gathering of family, friends and neighbors. The Chesapeake Bay breezes, very warm, ruffled and flourished the American,Maryland and Gadsden flags on Cook’s Point.
The waters of the bay invited, but we were warned of jellyfish beneath the cooling waves. A boat ride may be better than a swim today. Maryland is just beginning its Bicentennial of the War of 1812. Two hundred years ago, it was stinging British warships that posed a greater danger than jellyfish in these waters. You cannot go anywhere these days, it seems, without pointed reminders of the country’s heritage.
We began our July 4th observance with prayer. A priest reminded us of the rare privilege we have in this country to pray publicly and how this right is the basis for our civil liberty, as well. Then, we all faced the flagstaff as the Star-Spangled Banner was played.
Following this, our hosts’ 13-year-old daughter stood atop a picnic table and read the first two stirring paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence.
She read with the enthusiasm and conviction that only a bright teenager can bring to this venerable 236-year-old document.
I had the honor of reading the middle part, everything from “…pursuit of happiness” to “…let facts be submitted to a candid world.”
My portion of the Declaration included that line stating that “governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.” I cannot help but consider the process of passing Obamacare when we talk about consent of the governed.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and the White House rammed through the Senate a bill that did not include protections from abortion coverage—on Christmas Eve, 2009. This in a country that Gallup tells us is increasingly pro-life. (51%-41% in the latest survey.)
Then, they spoke of having to go to a conference committee of the House and Senate to reconcile the different versions of the bill. That was because the House of Representatives in November 09 had passed Obamacare with the famous pro-life Stupak Amendment. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) joined with Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Penn.) to attach a pro-life provision to the Obamacare measure that passed the House.
Earlier, on November 7, 2009, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment passed the House by a vote of 240-194. It was the highest vote cast on any measure related to the overhaul of health care. If you were seeking consensus, if you yearned for bi-partisanship, if you cared about the consent of the governed, you must look to this historic vote.
The Senate might have taken up the House-passed version, and passed it, with its pro-life provisions. Or, it might have gone to a conference committee, reconciled the two versions and then re-passed the result.
But the Senate had passed a milestone with the Jan. 2010 special election in Massachusetts. Republican Scott Brown had been elected promising to be “#41” —a decisive vote to stop Obamacare from passing. In that famously liberal state, in a special election to fill the unexpired term of Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Massachusetts voters emphatically did not give their consent to Obamacare.
Faced with the possibility of the Senate’s having to swallow the House version, with the Stupak Amendment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pledged to go down the chimney, around the gate, over the wall; in short, to do whatever was necessary to steamroll the bill through. Stupak and most of his pro-life Democratic House colleagues were pressured and arm-twisted into swallowing an Executive Order from President Obama. They were gulled into believing this measure from the most pro-abortion president in history would protect Americans from having to pay for abortions. It wasn’t a fig leaf; it wasn’t even a bay leaf to hide their nakedness.
Dozens of those faux-life Democrats went down to defeat the following November as voters gave a “shellacking” to the president’s party. But not before the whipped and tricked House Members voted through the Senate version of the health care bill, 219-212. It was a hair’s breadth victory, but it met the Pelosi test of doing anything to jam and sham it through.
It was to this dog’s breakfast of a process that Chief Justice Roberts gave his blessing in his infamous ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius late last month. Then, continuing a wholly dishonorable tradition, the Chief absconded to the island fortress of Malta. He left the country perhaps to avoid having to answer any questions about his tortured reasoning and its suspect timing.
The American people at every point had rejected this bill. They had voted in an avowed opponent in the nation’s most liberal state. They had voted out scores of Obamacare backers in the House. And yet, Chief Justice Roberts genuflected to this bizarre legislation as evidence of his judicial restraint. He tells us he is constrained to respect this abuse of power, this rape of the representative process, as the prerogative of the legislative and executive branches.
One of the classic political science texts on Congress is called The Dance of Legislation. This bill might more properly be called the St. Vitus Dance of Legislation. And the four-Justice minority pointed out that if this is a tax, then tax bills have to originate in the House of Representatives (Art. 1, Sec. 7, Clause 1).
The pretzel pundits in many an elite journal are tying themselves in knots trying to see a silver lining in the dark cloud Chief Justice Roberts pulled over us.
He labeled the Individual Mandate a tax, they say, thus making it harder for this administration, or any liberal successors to do anything worse.
If you allow them to keep this scaffold in place, why do they need anything worse? Roberts’ ruling merely takes away one rope. Just as then-Speaker Pelosi swore back in 2010, they will find another rope.
Let’s understand what Obamacare is: It is the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade. It is the basis for the HHS Mandate against hospitals, schools and para-church ministries. The HHS Mandate is the gravest threat to religious freedom in our nation’s history. It will force all of these private and religious groups, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, to provide coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs. If they can Mandate abortion drugs now, why not Mandate abortion procedures and sex-change operations after election day? Then, as we’ve all overheard, Vladimir Putin and the rest of the world may see an even more “flexible” administration.
I believe the Roberts Ruling and the media reaction to it reflects a bottomless, Inside-the-Beltway cynicism. The best example of cynicism I’ve read comes not from Washington but from Paris. In 1815, France’s Foreign Minister Talleyrand waited impatiently for the Russian Minister to meet him. When the Russian failed to show up on time, Talleyrand tapped his foot in irritation. Told that the Russian had collapsed and died in his carriage en route to the meeting, Talleyrand stroked his chin pensively and said: “I wonder why he did that.” That’s how I read the pretzel pundits.
Chief Justice Roberts may actually come back to the Constitution when the many lawsuits against Sec. Sebelius’ HHS Mandate get to the Supreme Court. Let us pray he does. But that is no reason to go silent now. If his outrageous ruling of June 28th was a mere maneuver intended to give him more latitude later, that ignoble tactic can only work if conservatives help him out by raising a hue and cry against his unprincipled opinion. We must beat the drums of opposition to this appalling decision.
After he was confirmed in 2005, reporters asked Chief Justice Roberts if he would wear the three gold stripes that the late Chief Justice had added to his robes as a badge of rank. “I think I’ll have to earn them,” Roberts said with becoming modesty then. Now, unfortunately, it is the liberals and the pretzel pundits who are sewing on those gold stripes.
As the sun set over the Chesapeake, I was encouraged by the faith and courage of the good people I met on July 4th on Cook’s Point. Our beloved Declaration was crafted with such folks, the “good people of these colonies,” in mind.
After our reading of the Declaration, I pored over the names of those intrepid Signers of 236 years ago. Two names stood out:New Jersey’s Rev. John Witherspoon andMaryland’s Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Witherspoon was a Presbyterian pastor, a leader among hundreds of clergy in the “Black Regiment” of preachers who rallied to Freedom’s cause. Charles Carroll lived in my home town of Annapolis. A wealthy landowner, he was the only Catholic to sign the Declaration. Witherspoon and Carroll pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Can we do any less? In that Catholic-Protestant alliance our nation was forged. In such a strong faith coalition, it may yet be saved.
Last year, we celebrated when the Supreme Court upheld the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling that the Christian charity World Vision was within its legal rights to fire three employees who, after signing the ministrys doctrinal statement, admitted to denying the Deity of Christ.
Now, World Vision and other international Christian ministries are once again being pressured to jettison a key biblical teaching only this time, on marriage. According to Christianity Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development has issued a new federal policy that strongly encourages all contractors to develop anti-discrimination policies covering employees’ sexual orientation.
According to World Vision Senior Vice-President Kent Hill, all World Vision U.S.employees must sign a statement of faith and agree to a standard of conduct that limits sexuality to a God-ordained covenant between a man and a woman.
But World Vision is hardly alone: many other Christian charities that operate abroad could be affected. Many of them belong to the Accord Network (formerly the Alliance of Evangelical Relief and Development Organizations), whose Executive Director, Chad Hayward, warns of a chilling effect on the federal governments willingness to partner with Evangelical ministries as a result of the new encouragement.
Interestingly, the only way I have been able to access the text of this new “encouragement” is by going to the Web site of the Washington Blade, a homosexual newspaper, which has printed a PDF of the USAID letter. A review of the USAID Web site reveals neither publication of this announcement nor any news release relating to it.
The Obama Administration was quick to deny any potential discrimination: According to USAID spokesman Drew Bailey, The LGBT anti-discrimination policy is not binding … Nothing in the policy precludes our continuing strong partnerships with religious organizations or otherwise affects contracting or grant decisions. We have strong, productive relationships with many faith-based organizations, and [they] will not be adversely affected by this policy.”
Let us hope. Yet if thats the case if the religious convictions of Christian relief and anti-poverty groups is, in fact, not only recognized but respected why send a formal government letter with the inference of a veiled threat to ministries that affirm the historic, orthodox Christian belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, for life.
Let us do more than hope: Let us pray that this tacit attack on religious liberty will not impede the ability of Christian groups to partner with Washington in providing aid to those so in need. And let us act, by contacting the Obama Administration and our elected federal representatives to express to them that this potentially massive violation of our first freedom freedom of religion will be stopped.
To contact the White House, click here.