It's been five years since Congress last raised the federal minimum wage, and the laugh-a-minute gang over at Organizing for Action wants you to do something about it. You might better remember the group as Organizing for America. An offshoot of President Obama's campaign apparatus, the grassroots organization is tasked with promoting his legislative agenda. Not sure why they dropped "America" from their name. Perhaps too many members found it offensive. I kid, I kid. Sort of. Anyhow, by their calculation, people who earn minimum wage are left with about $77 per week for food and transportation after other expenses. In the grand tradition of meaningless political theater, they are challenging sympathetic Americans to live for one week on that budget and chronicle the results on the Twitter hashtag #LiveTheWage. The results could not possibly be more entertaining.
Whenever conservatives talk about defunding Planned Parenthood, the left points out that the women's "health" business also provides a number of important services other than abortions. Pro-life group Live Action recently released a video that showed a Planned Parenthood employee providing one of these services: teaching underage girls about S&M.
The video is the fourth released by Live Action showing Planned Parenthood staffers encouraging investigators posing as fifteen-year-old girls to to partake in violent sex. From the Daily Caller:
In uncensored transcripts obtained by the Daily Caller, the girl tells the counselor her boyfriend wanted to try some “kink,” although she herself has no idea what that means.
“Different people have different types of fetishes,” the counselor explains. “Some guys like feet, and they find that kinky, and maybe they’ll wanna suck on your toes during intercourse. Or some guys will even want to, you know, ejaculate into your shoes, which is a little different.”
How did our national government grow from a servant with sharply limited powers into a master with virtually unlimited power?
— Senator Barry Goldwater writing in The Conscience of a Conservative (1960)
July, 1964. Fifty years ago this month. The Republican Party nominates Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater for president. The resulting uproar was somewhere north of hysteria. And that was just from the GOP establishment of the day. Followed famously by a November landslide Goldwater “defeat” in which the Arizonan carried a mere five states in his race against Democratic President Lyndon Johnson.
Goldwater was the first conservative Republican to win nomination since the 1924 selection of Calvin Coolidge (the vice president who had succeeded Warren Harding after his death). From 1928 all the way through 1960, every GOP nominee from Hoover to Nixon was drawn from the progressive/moderate wing of the party.
This morning the head of the IRS, Commissioner John Koskinen, returned to Capitol Hill to testify on the ongoing investigation into the role the IRS played in targeting conservative and tea party groups. This comes after testimony that Lois Lerner, according to the head of the National Archives, broke the law.
The last time Koskinen appeared before the committee, things got testy and many Republican lawmakers questioned his credibility as a truthful witness. The commissioner testified that Lerner’s hard drive had been destroyed after her computer crash. This is despite the fact that Lerner’s emails were sent to and from her BlackBerry, which leaves the possibility that her phone could be searched.
The legend that is John F. Kennedy today, the martyred youthful president who is perpetually popular in polls rating the “greatness” of presidents, has left out a number of facts.
But one of those facts has resurfaced with the news that former congressman Ron Paul, father of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul—the latter a 2016 presidential possibility—has written a column sympathizing with Vladimir Putin’s Russians.
For those unfamiliar with the Kennedy story, essentially it is this. JFK’s father was Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. Joe Kennedy, whose own father Pat was a bartender, was an up-by-his-bootstraps Harvard grad, a wealthy banker and wheeler-dealer who accrued the Kennedy fortune from not only banking but (pre-regulated) Wall Street, Hollywood, and—famously—bootlegging in the days of Prohibition.
In two separate rulings today, Obamacare subsidies were both upheld in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and struck down in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Both cases deal with the textualism versus intent debate—whether judges can claim to divine the intent of legislators when ruling on a law, or have to read only the text in front of them.
In the D.C. ruling, the court agreed in a two-to-one decision that the text of the Obamacare law was to be interpreted as it stood. This means that subsidies in the federal exchanges are supposed to stop, but reports have since surfaced that the president is intending to ignore this ruling until there is further deliberation.
“If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”
Every American remembers hearing this empty promise. I bet you can even hear the inflection of the president’s voice as you read that line.
Or how about our president telling us how much money his new health care law would save us? If not, let’s refresh our memory:
I couldn’t even watch the whole thing. After a while, you just get sick of the lies.
So here’s a new question for President Obama: “Where’s my $2,500?”
In a highly anticipated decision, this morning the D.C. Circuit Court ruled on the Halbig v. Burwell case argued back in March. The decision, which had court-watchers on edge for a better part of a month, was closely watched because of its potential impact on Obamacare subsidies and the power the IRS had to distribute those subsidies. In short, the text of Obamacare only provides for subsidies to be used in state exchanges. The lawsuit argued that this made federal exchanges, established when thirty-six states refused to set up their own exchanges, ineligible for subsidies.
The ruling was a 2-1 decision against the government, with a concurring decision and a dissent. It mostly examined the idea of textualism versus intent by members of Congress. In the concurring opinion, Judge Randolph gets to the heart of the issue by quoting former Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis in another case:
Great piece by former colleague Alyssa Mastromonaco who defines smart, savvy and fashionable.
Thus began a tweet on Thursday by Jen Psaki, the execrable State Department spokeswoman who thought it would be a good idea to depart from that day’s shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 over the Ukraine by Russian separatists, if not actual Russian military operators, using a SA-11 missile system.
It was the second Psaki gaffe of the day, as she had already opened her daily briefing not with reaction to the downing of the plane, but rather a series of minutiae so insignificant that Fox News’s Shepard Smith angrily denounced her as “highly inappropriate” for wasting airtime.
Property rights took a significant step forward in Virginia earlier this month when the “Boneta Bill,” which protects farmers and other residents from heavy-handed zoning policies, officially became law. The bill grew out of a dispute between Martha Boneta, who owns and operates the sixty-four-acre “Liberty Farm” in Paris, Virginia, and local government officials. Liberty Farm is about an hour car ride from Washington, D.C.
The case, which has attracted national attention, reached a critical turning point in August 2012 when the Fauquier County Zoning Board of Appeals voted to uphold a series of $15,000 per day fines against Boneta based on amendments made to the county’s zoning ordinance. The fines, which have never been enforced, were issued against Boneta for hosting a birthday party for eight ten-year-old girls and for advertising pumpkin carvings, according to a press release from the Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.