This is not how you get religious people to change their minds

Little Sisters of the PoorMona Charen has written an excellent article about the Obama administration’s use of Obamacare as a vehicle for attacking religion and religious people.  I urge you to read it.

I was particularly struck by one point Charen made, regarding Sebelius’s previously stated view about religious accommodation — to wit, that the religion, not the state, has to adapt:

Two years ago, announcing that non-profits like the Little Sisters would be required to go along with providing all contraceptives and abortifacients even if it violated their religious convictions, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sniffed that the religious would “have to adapt.”

Put aside the fact that the Constitution, by making freedom of worship religion one of the paramount rights vested in the individual, means that the state, not the individual (or corporate collections of individuals), must adapt.  After all, we’re now used to hearing this combination of ignorance and disdain when the Obama crowd talks about the Constitution and constitutional rights.  That Sebelius erred there is a no-brainer.

The thing is that Sebelius didn’t just err about the Constitution.  She also erred about the way assimilation has always worked in America.  It hasn’t worked by persecuting religions (which is what the administration is doing now).  Instead, if you want to get rid of religion in America, you make the secular popular culture so attractive that religious people voluntarily abandon their doctrinal and procedural commitments to God.  Coercion begets resistance.  Enticement is what gets results.

Perhaps I should be grateful that, when it comes to Obamacare, the administration is clueless about this fact.

Wednesday stuff, for want of a better word

My day is not proceeding as planned.  Grumble, grumble, grumble.

But I still found some good stuff out there:

For all the criticism aimed at him for daring to defend his nation from nuclear annihilation, Netanyahu successfully shifted the paradigm — not far enough, but it’s movement in the right direction.

Apparently 25 years or so is all it takes for New Yorkers to forget the horrors of Progressive government.  I know this is unfair to the small, smart minority that didn’t vote for de Blasio, but I hope that New York goes to hell in a hand basket very quickly (kind of the way Hollande’s France or Mugabe’s Zimbabwe did).  That seems to be the only way in which people invested in liberalism learn lessons.  (And sadly, sometimes, even the worst that can happen isn’t bad enough.)

Here are Seven devastating facts about Obamacare that you should memorize and politely slip into conversation whenever you find yourself trapped in conversation with those who still believe it’s a winner.

Jonah Goldberg suggests that the Republicans might want to be there for Tea Partiers because, ultimately, Tea Partiers are there for the Republicans.

And two from Keith Koffler.  The first is about Obama’s fraudulent conduct with regard to his “changing” views on gay marriage, and the second is about his administration’s fraudulent conduct regarding Obamacare.

I think it’s important that we stop using the word “lie.”  In the context of politics, we tend to think of a “lie” as an after-the-fact cover-up (“I did not have sexual relations with that woman”). What Obama has done, repeatedly, is to commit fraud.  Fraud is a very specific legal animal.  Here’s as good a definition as any, culled from a fairly recent California case:  “The tort of deceit or fraud requires: “(a) misrepresentation (false representation, concealment, or nondisclosure); (b) knowledge of falsity (or ‘scienter’); (c) intent to defraud, i.e., to induce reliance; (d) justifiable reliance; and (e) resulting damage.” (Engalla v. Permanente Medical Group, Inc. (1997) 15 Cal.4th 951, 974, 64 Cal.Rptr.2d 843, 938 P.2d 903, internal quotation marks omitted.)  Fraud is not a lie.  It’s much worse than a lie because you’re not just protecting yourself; you’re deliberating setting out to make others rely on you to their detriment.

And of course, Sebelius seems charmingly insouciant about the fact that your private information could end up in the hands of felons that Obama’s government has hired to collect that private information:

Found it on Facebook: Republicans cannot complain about Obamacare because of ChimpyBushHitler

My liberal friends have been absolutely silent about Obamacare.  Not a whisper . . . until today:

I know Obamacare has been totally fucked up.  I still feel like i’m gonna puke, though, when i hear republicans blaming democrats and yelling for Sibelius to resign. Where were they when Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld sent thousands of people to their graves in Iraq because of their fuck up?

In comments, the same person makes it clear that, because Sebelius had to testify before Congress and said she took responsibility, justice has been served and no more is required.

A little flotsam, a little jetsam, and a sprinkling of malice

First, I’m gonna hit you with the visuals.  Isn’t this a great Halloween poster, courtesy of Chris Muir?

On Track Black & White

Rep. Renee Ellmers put Sebelius on the hot seat. Watch Sebelius twist and squirm like a worm on a hook as she avoids saying that people who don’t buy health insurance are violating the law and as she is forced to admit that men must buy maternity care, whether they need it or not:

Dennis Prager, one of whose many virtues is the fact that he is a temperate man who relies on logic rather than emotion to guide him, assembles a compelling body of facts to support his conclusion that, despite having disagreements with past presidents, “I have never written or broadcast that our country was being seriously damaged by a president. So it is with great sadness that I write that President Barack Obama has done and continues to do major damage to America.”

Charlie Martin does a fabulous (no exaggeration) job explaining how real insurance works and how Obamacare perverts and ultimately destroys real insurance.  I don’t think he says anything that you and I don’t already know and that we didn’t predict years ago, but I’m greatly impressed by how accessible he makes complex ideas.  If you have a tween or teen, or a liberal relative or friend who has never actually contemplated how the real world works, you could do a lot worse than forwarding Martin’s post to them.

One of the things that distinguishes the PBS crowd (both creators and audience) from other Americans is their smugness.  They are the self-styled intelligentsia.  Their neatly packaged two-to-fifteen minute segments tell you everything you need to know.  Unspoken in that last sentence is this part:  “everything you need to know in order to maintain your smug disdain for Americans who live in flyover country, or didn’t attend Ivy League colleges, or believe in God, the flag, and America, etc.”  Sometimes, to preserve this wonderful feeling of superiority, of course, you have to lie . . . just a little bit . . . or maybe a lot . . . but it’s a “truthy” lie because, even if the facts are kind of not really correct, you’re right about the overarching idea or theory.  This attitude probably explains why PBS did a report on Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast and repeated as truth the claim that ordinary Americans were so stupid that they succumbed to mass panic.  The so-called panic, in fact, was puffery from a media anxious to trumpet its importance.  I’m thinking that maybe PBS stands for “Pure Bulls**t.”

Sebelius has taken full responsibility for the Obamacare rollout debacle.  In a normal world, she’d be standing on a street corner now with a sign saying “Will work for food.”  In Obama-world, she will keep her job until she decides to leave.  When she does leave, she’ll get on the speaking circuit and make $30,000-$50,000 for a 45 minute speech touting what a wonderful job she did.  After all, it’s worked for Hillary and Holder, so why shouldn’t it work for Sebelius?  As she’s already made clear, she doesn’t work for the people who actually pay her salary (that would be you and me) but, instead, works for much more important people who also get their salary from us.  It’s easy to confess a sin when you know that you need not fear either punishment or repentance.

All the liberals are piling on Obama now.  The most recent is the WaPo’s Dana Milbank.  I’m unimpressed.  All of these things about Obama were obvious in 2007 and in every year thereafter.  Before about two minutes ago, the same people now criticizing him were either lying through their teeth when they praised him and his plans, or they were pathologically dumb to the point of complete mental retardation.  So now, when the damage is done, suddenly they’ve discovered that Obama has managed to be simultaneously corrupt and ineffectual.  Who cares.  What I want, and what none will do, is to see these people issue the groveling apologies that the American people deserve, and to promise to bring a swift, impeachment-style conclusion to the most corrupt presidency ever.

Kathleen Sebelius’ defense of the new ObamaCare mandate is pathetic

Pathetic is a very strong derogatory word, but I think it’s apt when looking at Kathleen Sebelius’ defense for the Obama administration’s recent mandate that all employers must purchase insurance that provides their employees with birth control, sterilization and morning-after pills.  A fisking is in order (all hyperlinks in original omitted):

One of the key benefits of the 2010 health care law is that many preventive services are now free for most Americans with insurance. Vaccinations for children, cancer screenings for adults and wellness visits for seniors are all now covered in most plans with no expensive co-pays or deductibles. So is the full range of preventive health services recommended for women by the highly respected Institute of Medicine, including contraception.

[Don't you love that concept of "free"?  In fact, nothing's free.  It's simply that the plan shifts the cost from employee to employer -- so that the employer has less money for salaries, other benefits, new job creation, facility maintenance, etc.  But it's all good in Obama-land.  I also like the way that the only one of the "full range of preventive health services recommended for women" that Sebelius names is the fairly non-controversial "contraception."  To those who haven't been paying attention to the details, the message is clear:  all those conservatives are getting their knickers into a twist for nothing.]

Today, virtually all American women use contraception at some point in their lives. And we have a large body of medical evidence showing it has significant benefits for their health, as well as the health of their children. But birth control can also be quite expensive, costing an average of $600 a year, which puts it out of reach for many women whose health plans don’t cover it.

[Again, in a marvel of sleight of hand, Sebelius is pretending that this whole uproar is about nothing more than contraception.  As a matter of law, deceit includes misrepresentation through omission.  This is deceitful.  Also, note that careful language, to the effect that "birth control can also be quite expensive."  Aside from the fact that those are wiggle words, she's doing the same thing that Babs Boxer did, which is to try to cast this as an economic issue, when it is, in fact, a much deeper one:  the morality and Constitutionality of forcing religious institutions to subsidize a doctrinally offensive practice.]

The public health case for making sure insurance covers contraception is clear. But we also recognize that many religious organizations have deeply held beliefs opposing the use of birth control.

[Is that all she's got?  The fact that for some people birth control can cost $600 per year is her entire "public health case for making sure insurance covers contraception" is her justification for a vast cost-shifting program that requires practically every employer in America to subsidize insurance that covers women in the workforce between age 16 and menopause?  Remember, this "clear" case will cost employers a bundle, a cost that will inevitably be shared out to old people, infertile people, gay people, celibate people, etc.  How nice of Sebelius, secure in her own lack of logic, to recognize that her little economic scenario might offend core religious beliefs.  Fear not, though.  She's got an answer for those offended people.]

That’s why in the rule we put forward, we specifically carved out from the policy religious organizations that primarily employ people of their own faith. This exemption includes churches and other houses of worship, and could also include other church-affiliated organizations.

[We covered this often, so I won't go on at length.  The exemption is so narrow that it pretty much covers only the smallest of churches, the one staffed by two nuns and a priest, all three of whom do the janitorial and grounds maintenance work too.]

In choosing this exemption, we looked first at state laws already in place across the country. Of the 28 states that currently require contraception to be covered by insurance, eight have no religious exemption at all.

[This one really steamed me.  Someone in the Obama administration forgot to read the Constitution.  You see, states have broader rights vis a vis individuals than does the Federal government.  This makes sense because (a) the feds have more coercive power than the states and (b) it's easier to relocate from a state you don't like, than to be forced to emigrate from a country that's oppressing you.  If Alabama is too rough, go to California.  If the Obama government is coming after you, though, it's a lot harder to find a safe haven.]

The religious exemption in the administration’s rule is the same as the exemption in Oregon, New York and California.

[See comments above.]

It’s important to note that our rule has no effect on the longstanding conscience clause protections for providers, which allow a Catholic doctor, for example, to refuse to write a prescription for contraception. Nor does it affect an individual woman’s freedom to decide not to use birth control. And the president and this administration continue to support existing conscience protections.

[Again, sleight of hand.  What doctors can or cannot do is not the issue.  The issue is that faith-based organizations are being forced by the federal government to subsidize a product that offends core doctrinal beliefs.  If that isn't a violation of the First Amendment, I don't know what is.]

This is not an easy issue. But by carving out an exemption for religious organizations based on policies already in place, we are working to strike the right balance between respecting religious beliefs and increasing women’s access to critical preventive health services.

[To which I have a last word:  Feh!]

To its credit, USA Today, which hosted Sebelius’ advocacy piece, openly disagrees with her — and provides a link to its opposition right in the body of her dishonest little essay.

Hugh Hewitt hits an important nail on the head regarding the new ObamaCare mandate

I hadn’t looked closely at what Sebelius said when promulgating the new ObamaCare rules that require religious organizations to fund birth control, sterilization, and morning-after pills.  Hugh Hewitt, however, did look — and caught something interesting:

The press release that accompanied the new rule didn’t mention “Catholics” or “Catholic institutions,” but was as obviously aimed at Catholics and their institutions as the Blaine Amendment of long ago.

“This decision was made after very careful consideration, including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty,” said Obama’s HHS secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, a pro-choice absolutist. “I believe this proposal strike the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services.”

To begin with: You cannot “balance” the right to free exercise of religion any more than you can “balance” the right of a newspaper to print stories that may injure national security.

You cannot “balance” the right to vote with the desire to save money in a time of extreme fiscal crisis.

You simply cannot indulge in social engineering when the Constitution of the United States declares the rights that you wish to engineer off-limits to the political forces of the day.

Keep your mouth shut when you talk about Obama

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is now accusing Republicans of speaking “code” to make racist remarks about Obama:

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius accused Republicans on Tuesday of injecting race into the presidential campaign, arguing that they are using “code language” to convince Midwesterners that Democrat Barack Obama is different from them.”Have any of you noticed that Barack Obama is part African-American?” Sebelius asked with sarcasm. “(Republicans) are not going to go lightly into the darkness.”

Sebelius was responding to a question from the audience at the Iowa City Public Library about the tenacity of Democrats and whether they would fight for victory as hard as Republicans in the closing weeks of the election.

She did not elaborate on her comment.

It’s another of those lovely false syllogisms emanating from the Left.  This one is pretty special in that it is not only false in its construction, but also false in its premises.

Here’s how it goes:  Conservatives are racists; conservatives are saying mean things (not racial things, just mean things) about Obama; Obama is black; therefore those means things are implicitly racist, regardless of whether they’re explicitly racist.

End result:  any negative thing Republicans say about Obama — he’s a community organizer, his tax plan will bankrupt the US economy, his ears are big, he tried to sell Iraq and America out to Al Qaeda to win the election, he intentionally used “pig” and “lipstick” in the same sentence knowing that his acolytes would make the connection with Palin — anything like that is ipso facto racist, because any criticism of Obama is racist, because Obama is black and conservatives are racists.

Did you get that?  If you didn’t, believe me, over the next 49 days you’ll have lots of chances to have that lesson in reinforced.  After all,  assuming that Republicans have learned their PC lesson and shy away from any hints of being (God forbid!) racists, they’ll shut up every time that slur is levied against them.

By the way, let me remind you all that I am a racist, and pretty damn proud of it too.  Those words are as true today as they were when I wrote them this past June.