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Special Report

This Woman’s Arrest Proves Gun Laws Make No Sense

By 7.30.14

Never figured I’d say this, but congratulations are due to ThinkProgress, the lefty news site that usually reads like a less drunk version of the stuff you find on Media Matters’s page, as well as to the Daily Kos, which is the more drunk version.

On Monday, those two sites broke the Left’s blackout on the story of Shaneen Allen, a mother of two boys and a licensed handgun owner with no criminal record who is facing three to ten years in a New Jersey prison for crossing state lines with her otherwise legal handgun.

Last October, Allen was pulled over in Atlantic County, New Jersey, by police for one of those violations indistinguishable from a pretext: the ol’ unsafe lane change. Allen told the officer that she had a concealed carry license from Pennsylvania, and that she had her handgun — a .380 Bersa Thunder — in the car.

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Another Perspective

Whom Would Jesus Shoot?

By 7.30.14

This question is posed by a liberal Baptist Huffington Post columnist, and the answer has potential public policy ramifications for all.

It’s both a strength and weakness that Protestantism and Evangelicalism traditionally emphasize personal relationship with Jesus. The strength is that faith becomes intimate and warm. One potential negative is that it tends to focus on Jesus the man during His earthly walk while often unconsciously minimizing that Jesus, according to Christian theology, is the eternally existent Second Person of the Trinity.

The Christ of Christian faith was present at creation and present through all the drama of the patriarchs and prophets of the Hebrew narrative. God in Christ ordained kings, summoned nations, ordered generals into battle and presided over great and often violent events.

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A Further Perspective

The Quirks of the Nanny State

By 7.30.14

Under the nanny state, what qualifies as a risk is often perplexing. Its champions usually see risks everywhere, from climate change to oversized sugary drinks to cupcake parties in public school classrooms. They press for more and more safety and healthy regulations in every area of life, demanding that society err on the side of caution. But when topics such as over-the-counter abortifacients and drug legalization come up, proponents of the nanny state suddenly change their tune. Risks are downplayed and freedom is extolled.

The New York Times, which normally favors hyperactive legislation and regulations for imaginary risks, has adopted a dismissive attitude about the real risks of marijuana use. Its editorial board has pronounced marijuana a “substance far less dangerous than alcohol” and declared that pot “addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco.” It continued, “Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the ‘Reefer Madness’ images of murder, rape and suicide.”

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The Right Prescription

Obamacare’s Prognosis Worsens

By 7.30.14

A while back, I suggested in this space that Obamacare might go the way of McCain-Feingold. That campaign finance “reform” law was not, you will recall, killed by a single lawsuit or act of Congress. Indeed, the general consensus at the end of 2003 was that McCain-Feingold was in perfect health. Less than seven years later it was, for all intents and purposes, dead. It had succumbed to a long series of attacks by determined opponents who were convinced that it was unconstitutional. Much the same thing is obviously happening to PPACA.

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A Further Perspective

Hillary’s the One — Until She’s Not

By 7.30.14

Early in the 2008 presidential election season, I was invited to attend a luncheon and panel discussion on the upcoming election at the magnificently restored Willard Hotel. The event was sponsored by one of the large law firms in Washington. Law firms don’t do this kind of thing where I used to practice. But this is the Imperial City.

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Politics

RNC to Discuss Mississippi Radio Ads

By 7.29.14

The Republican National Committee will take up the explosive subject of the race-card playing radio ads in the Mississippi Senate GOP run-off election between Senator Thad Cochran and Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel. The RNC is scheduled to hold its summer meeting in Chicago August 6-9 at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

The discussion, according to an RNC source, will occur on the morning of August 7 — behind closed doors — at the “Members Only” breakfast that runs between 8:00-9:30. There is no word whether RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, under pressure to investigate the ads, will then comment publicly on the discussion.

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Main Street U.S.A.

The Gospel of the Terrorists: Beat It or Die

By 7.29.14

Word to Christians from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria: Convert, leave, or die. Forget accommodation. Forget religious tolerance and related catchphrases from the always tolerant, perpetually forbearing West. Convert, leave, or die.

Against the backdrop of attempts to exterminate — not just subdue, not just conquer; exterminate — Christianity in the Middle East, Secretary of State John Kerry’s frantic appeals for an Israeli stand-down in the war with Hamas look more absurd by the second. The firers of rockets from Gaza into Israel are of the same kidney as the ISIS terrorists. If you’re not one of them, they want you gone or dead.

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Political Hay

Headless Elephants

By 7.29.14

Last week, amid alarm bells going off in Gaza, Ukraine, and on the Texas border, and while he golfed and attended campaign fundraisers, President Barack Obama saw his approval rating as measured by Gallup drop to 39 percent. Some 54 percent of the venerable polling firm’s respondents registered active disapproval of the president’s job performance, an indication that America is coming to a consensus around the idea that Obama is a failure in office.

This comes with a flurry of mainstream media reports speculating that Obama has checked out of his job, and a growing acceptance of the narrative that the president simply doesn’t care anymore.

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At Large

Cease the Cease-Fires

By 7.29.14

Many years ago, on my first trip around the world, I was struck by how the children in the Middle East — Arab and Israeli alike — were among the nicest looking little children I had seen anywhere.

It was painful to think that they were going to grow up killing each other. But that is exactly what happened.

It is understandable that today many people in many lands just want the fighting between the Israelis and the Palestinians to stop. Calls for a cease-fire are ringing out from the United Nations and from Washington, as well as from ordinary people in many places around the world.

According to the New York Times, Secretary of State John Kerry is hoping for a cease-fire to “open the door to Israeli and Palestinian negotiations for a long-term solution.” President Obama has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to have an “immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire” — again, with the idea of pursuing some long-lasting agreement.

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Constitutional Opinions

Obamacare Was Designed to Punish Uncooperative States

By 7.29.14

It all comes down to four crucial words. In 2009, as the Affordable Care Act was being rammed through the Senate, those words made their way into the statutory behemoth. The law says that the federal government has the power to dole out premium-lowering subsidies through those insurance exchanges “established by the State.” Now that thirty-six states have declined to set up exchanges, the implication is that those who purchase insurance from the federal HealthCare.gov website are, under the text of the law, ineligible for the tax credits. Their premiums would be much higher.

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