Religious Freedom In America?

Fox News posted an article today about the confirmation hearings for Omaha-based lawyer Brian Buescher who is nominated for the U.S. District Court in Nebraska.

The article reports:

Two Democratic senators are scrutinizing a federal judicial nominee over his membership in the Knights of Columbus, drawing a stern rebuke from the Catholic organization.

Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, raised concerns about Omaha-based lawyer Brian Buescher’s membership as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s review of his nomination by President Trump to sit on the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, as first reported by the Catholic News Agency.

In a series of questions sent to Buescher, Hirono asked whether his membership in the Knights of Columbus would prevent him from hearing cases “fairly and impartially” and, if confirmed, whether he would end his membership in the Roman Catholic charitable organization.

“The Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions,” Hirono said in the questionnaire. “For example, it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.”

Have we reached the point where taking a Biblical stand on marriage is considered extreme? I guess so.

The article continues:

Harris, in her questions to the nominee, called the Knights of Columbus “an all-male society” and asked the Nebraska lawyer if he was aware that the group was anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage when he joined. The California senator also referenced Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson’s statement that abortion amounted to “the killing of the innocent on a massive scale” and asked Buescher if he agreed with the statement.

Buescher responded that his involvement in the group consisted mostly of charitable work and community events at his local Catholic parish. He indicated he would abide by judicial precedent regarding abortion.

The Knights of Columbus maintained that its positions reflect Catholic teachings, and suggested that the senators’ scrutiny amounts to criticism of the Catholic faith.

Senator Harris wants to run for President. I am sure that in challenging the right of a member of the Knights of Columbus to sit on a U.S. District Court will win her votes on the extreme left. However, I am not sure it will win her votes in mainstream America. This is the equivalent of a religious litmus test of a nominee, which is unconstitutional and illegal. Being a member of a recognized church group should not disqualify a person nominated for a U.S. District Court.

Don’t Let The Facts Get In The Way Of A Political Smear

Yesterday Guy Benson posted an article at Townhall with the following headline, “FBI Director to Dems: Actually, Our Follow-Up Investigation on Kavanaugh Followed Standard Procedure.”

The article notes some of the events surrounding the confirmation of Justice Kavanuagh:

Let’s begin with a handy recap.  For nearly two months over the summer, Senate Democrats sat on Christine Blasey Ford’s 36-year-old allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein reportedly telling colleagues that the claim was too distant and too unverifiable to merit serious scrutiny.  Dr. Ford told Democrats that she did not want to be named publicly.  Kavanaugh’s contentious confirmation hearings came and went, over which period Democrats scored no points with their posturing and demagoguery (most of the Judiciary Committee Democrats announced their opposition to Kavanaugh within minutes of him being named, with some seeking to accrue extra style points for shrillness and hysteria).  At no time in any meetings with Kavanaugh did any Democrat ask about the high school-era accusation, nor did the subject come up at any stage of the public or private hearings.  None of the traditional committee protocols for investigating a nominee were ever set into motion.  

With a vote looming, the Democrats leaked Ford’s allegation, against her explicit wishes.  A deranged circus ensued, during which Feinstein and her colleagues (when they weren’t actively validating utterly outrageous, baseless, and ultimately discredited smears) demanded delays, new hearings, and an FBI investigation.  They ended up getting all three.

…Federal agents spoke to the alleged fact witnesses named by the two most credible (which is not to say credible) Kavanaugh accusers, filing a report with those interviews.  This resulted in absolutely zero new evidence or testimony that could corroborate either story — neither of which could be backed up by any of the accusers’ own named witnesses.  Indeed, the only new information the FBI appeared to turn up was apparent improper pressure applied against one of the fact witnesses by Ford’s allies. 

The article includes a statement to Congress by Christopher Wray:

FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate on Wednesday that the White House put limits on the re-opened investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but the law enforcement chief insisted that the process used was a typical one. “Our supplemental update to the previous background investigation was limited in scope and that … is consistent with the standard process for such investigations going back a long ways,” Wray said under questioning by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on global security threats…”I’ve spoken with our background investigation specialists and they have assured me this was handled in a way consistent with their experience and the standard process,” the FBI director said, later adding that the inquiry was “very specific in scope—limited in scope.”

There was no cover-up by the FBI. It is difficult to investigate a thirty-something-year-old alleged assault when the alleged victim can’t remember where, when, how she got there, or how she got home. All she remembered is that she only had one beer. Was that so unique that she remembered it?

At any rate, the political left will continue to demonize Justice Kavanaugh just as surely as he will make decisions based on the Constitution. It’s up to the American voters to decide how much of what they have heard is true.

 

 

Where Is The Younger Generation?

A baby boomer is our current President. Chances are, if the economy continues to grow, he will serve two terms. Logically in 2024, Mike Pence would run. So who would the Democrats run in 2020 and 2024? The Democrats are a party in flux–half of them are openly embracing socialism and half of them are trying to bring their party more into the mainstream of America.

The Hill posted an article recently about the Democrat field of candidates for President in 2020.

The article reports:

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are the most popular potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, according to a new American Barometer poll. 

The poll, which is a joint project of Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, showed Biden with a 50 percent favorable rating, while Sanders trailed with a 48 percent favorable rating. 

Only 31 percent of those polled said they viewed the former vice president unfavorably. A third of respondents said they viewed Sanders unfavorably. 

The survey comes as speculation swirls around a slew of potential Democratic contenders, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Cory Booker (N.J.), who could challenge President Trump in 2020. 

Warren held the highest favorable rating among Democratic senators listed in the survey, with 33 percent of those polled saying they held a favorable view of the senator.

The poll showed Gillibrand holding a 20 percent favorable rating, while 21 percent of respondents said they have a favorable view of Harris, and 23 percent said the same for Booker.  

Name recognition remains an obstacle for many Democratic contenders. 

Thirty-four percent of respondents said they had never heard of Gillibrand, while 36 percent said the same for Harris. Thirty-two percent of respondents had not heard of Booker.

Only 4 percent of those polled said they had never heard of Biden or Sanders. 

I realize that you have to be 35 to be President, but you don’t have to be over 60! Bernie Sanders is 76, and Joe Biden is 75. They are leading in the polls. Elizabeth Warren is 69. The younger contenders are Kirsten Gillibrand is 51, Kamala Harris is 53, and Cory Booker at 49 is the youngest of the group.

Where are the millenniums in either party?

In November 2017, Quorum posted the following chart about the House of Representatives:

This is the Senate:

Where are our young political leaders?

 

It’s Time To Elect People Who Have Read The U.S. Constitution

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article quoting a letter written by nineteen California legislators to the state attorney general.

The article reports:

California congressmen wrote a letter to state attorney general Kamala Harris claiming the freedom of speech “is not designed to protect fraud and deceit” of the likes being spread by oil company ExxonMobil about global warming.

Nineteen Democratic lawmakers told Harris her “investigation as to whether ExxonMobil lied about the truth of climate change and misled investors does not constitute an effort to silence speech or scientific research.

“The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, but it does not protect companies from defrauding the American people or improperly disclosing information to their shareholders,” lawmakers, including California Reps. Maxine Waters and Ted Lieu, wrote to Harris.

So these legislators want the attorney general to decide which speech is protected. Evidently they believe that only some speech is protected by the First Amendment. I think I have heard this story before in Animal Farm where all animals were equal, but some animals were more equal than others.

Justice Turned Upside Down

According to a CNS News article in January 2014, Planned Parenthood’s net revenue increased 5% to total of $1.21 billion in its organizational fiscal year ending on June 30, 2013, according to its new Annual Report 2012-2013. I don’t have the latest revenue figures, but I am sure they are impressive. It is sad that the abortion business is so profitable. It can also be concluded that because of the amount of money it generates, Planned Parenthood has a certain amount of influence. I have no doubt that the influence of Planned Parenthood is involved in the following story.

CBS News in Sacramento, California, is reporting that California Department of Justice agents raided the home of David Daleiden Tuesday. David Daleiden is the founder of a group called the Center for Medical Progress, which released videos last year of Planned Parenthood selling aborted baby body parts.

The article reports:

Rachele Huennekens, a spokeswoman for state Attorney General Kamala Harris, said in an email that she can’t comment on any ongoing investigation.

Harris said in July that she planned to review the undercover videos to see if center violated any state charity registration or reporting requirements. She said that could include whether Daleiden and a colleague impersonated representatives of a fake biomedical company or filmed the videos without Planned Parenthood’s consent.

Harris, a Democrat, is running for the U.S. Senate. Daleiden suggested in the social media posting that the raid was politically motivated because Harris has accepted campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood.

Daleiden faces related charges in Texas. One of his Texas attorneys, Terry Yates, did not return telephone and email messages Tuesday.

Ever notice how frequently the ‘I can’t comment on an ongoing investigation’ excuse is used? This is a glaring example of the negative role money can play in politics.

The article further reports:

Texas authorities initially began a grand jury investigation of Planned Parenthood after the undercover videos were released in August.

But the grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of misusing fetal tissue and indicted Daleiden and a colleague, Sandra Merritt, in January on charges including using fake driver’s licenses to get into a Houston clinic.

Daleiden previously said his group followed the law in making the videos. His post Tuesday called the raid an “attack on citizen journalism” and said he will “pursue all remedies to vindicate our First Amendment rights.”

What Mr. Daleiden did used to be called investigative journalism. Unfortunately, under the current government (unfortunately at local, state and federal levels), investigative journalism is only allowed if it supports certain political interests.

Regardless of how you feel about abortion, this is not a good thing. Essentially this means that any American who steps outside the wishes of a powerful business can be harassed by the government. Right now the issue is abortion, but in the future the issue could be anything. This sets a dangerous precedent.

Looking For Your Keys Under The Streetlight

There is an old story about a man walking around under a streetlight. A friend comes along and asks him what he is doing. The man explains that he has lost his car keys and is looking for them. The friend asks where the man lost his keys. The man points across the street. The friend then asks why he is looking for them on this side of the street. The man explains that the light is better over here. Unfortunately, there are times when our legal system is equally illogical.

Fox News is reporting today that California Attorney General Kamala Harris has replied to the letter written to her by four members of Congress (see previous article) requesting that she investigate the group that recorded the video of Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of baby body parts.

The article reports:

“We will carefully review the allegations raised in your letter to determine whether there were any violations of California law,” Harris said in the letter to four members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

She said her office will look into “allegations that individuals impersonated corporate officials from a fake biologics company, resulting in the release of secretly filmed videos of Planned Parenthood physicians without their consent.”

Harris, a Democrat, plans to run for the U.S. Senate in 2016.

The group that released the videos claims that no laws were broken:

David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress, the group that released the videos, contends it follows all applicable laws when making videos that he called investigative journalism.

He said in a statement that Planned Parenthood is “trying to use the power of their political cronies to shut down free speech” and to “silence the freedom of the press.”

The videos have shined the spotlight on Planned Parenthood’s policies on aborted fetuses by three Republican-led congressional committees and three states.

Federal law prohibits the commercial sale of fetal tissue, but it allows the not-for-profit donation of tissue if the women who underwent abortions give their consent. Planned Parenthood says the payments discussed in the videos pertain to reimbursement for the costs of procuring the tissue — which is legal.

Planned Parenthood must be pouring a lot of the money it receives from the government into political campaigns. That is the only possible explanation for political figures not being disgusted by what the videos show.

Quote Of The Week

Taken from a Power Line article posted today by Steven Hayward:

I have a good conservative friend who has lived in Washington, DC most of his adult life, where he is a registered Democrat, so that he could vote for Marion Barry in Democratic primaries, on the theory that “if you can’t have effective government, at least you can have entertaining government.”

The article is about the Democrat race in California to replace Barbara Boxer. The author of the article feels that the above quote defines the race.

The article also mentions another aspect of the race:

Former LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is said to be interested in running, and also Rep. Loretta Sanchez. Mixed-race (and therefore a two-fer) Attorney General Kamala Harris has indicated she may make the race. Lt. Governor Gavin Newsome, perhaps the leading white guy Dem in the state, will probably take a pass and run for governor in 2018 instead. So is there another white guy anywhere who might make a serious candidate? Ah yes, Tom Steyer is thinking about it. I think he’s going to be surprised when he finds out he doesn’t have the proper melanin privilege for today’s Democratic Party.

But he will deliver lots of comedy gold in any case, such as his comment to the Puffington Host a few days ago that “People rail that democracy has been subverted to powerful economic interests, that ‘we the people’ have been overlooked. Based on what I have seen over the last several years, I fear there’s some truth in that charge, and that scares me—badly.” “Powerful economic interests”?—from a billionaire who spent $100 million trying to influence the last election? I’d say “that’s rich,” but the irony would be too obvious, even for a liberal.

California is, after all, the home of the entertainment industry.