Why We’re Losing The Culture Wars

The forces of intolerance on the left have taken several more scalps in the past few days. And boy, are they gloating about it.

Example No. 1 is Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones. He had the unmitigated gall not to praise Michael Sam, an openly gay football player, for kissing his boyfriend on national TV when he became one of the top selections in the recent NFL draft.

When Jones sent out a tweet saying “OMG” and “Horrible,” the roof caved in on him. Less than 24 hours later, he had deleted the tweets, issued an apology for his “inappropriate comments,” and said that he wished Sam “all the best in his NFL career.”

But that wasn’t enough for his bosses; the Miami Dolphins said they not only slapped Jones with a fine, he is also going to be banned from all team events until he finishes some sensitivity training. Sounds like something we used to hear coming out of Communist China, doesn’t it?

Gary Bauer, a Christian activist who is president of the Campaign for Working Families, hit the nail on the head when he wrote:

The effort to drive normalcy into the closet is in overdrive. In five short years in Obama’s America, we have gone from a country where the vast majority of states upheld marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the point where expressing this belief can cost you your job, Christians are being forced to participate in same-sex weddings and professional athletes are being forced to celebrate homosexuality.

But if you think the culture wars have brought about profound changes in civilian life in this country, consider what’s happening in our military. We’ve gone from a time when homosexuality was grounds for dismissal to “don’t ask, don’t tell” to an open acceptance of gays in uniform. Now, the left is ready for the next step.

During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” television program last Sunday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was asked whether the military would soon allow people who said they were transgendered to serve in the military. Hagel replied that the military’s policies are “continually reviewed” and that “I’m open to that, by the way. I’m open to those assessments.”

And it’s not just the sexually different – in the old days we would have said “deviant” – who are demanding open acceptance in the military. Recently, a humanist organization petitioned the Pentagon to appoint “atheist chaplains” for our armed forces.

Last year the House of Representatives rejected a measure that would have allowed the Pentagon to hire as chaplains individuals who were “certified or ordained as secular humanists and ethical culturists or atheists.” Don’t ask me how one becomes an “ordained atheist.” There’s probably someplace on the Internet where you can do it.

What do you think will happen when the military is forced to accept transgendered soldiers and atheist chaplains? Think it will improve morale? No matter; this is how the left is determined to remake our military.

If you worry that we may be losing the culture wars in our military, then you’d better not look too closely at our college campuses, where the left has held the upper hand for years. Now they are showing that they will not even permit a dissenting voice to be heard.

The latest example of the left’s organized intolerance comes from Rutgers University, where a group of students and faculty kicked up such a ruckus over the selection of Condoleezza Rice to be their commencement speaker that the former secretary of state and national security adviser withdrew her acceptance.

Now, I was never the biggest supporter of the policies of Ms. Rice – or of those of her boss, President George W. Bush, for that matter. But c’mon already, she certainly was a distinguished choice. I don’t blame Condoleezza for not wanting to face an angry mob – especially if she feared she wouldn’t have the full support of the Rutgers’ administration. But shame on Rutgers for caving into a vociferous minority.

Sad to say, the same sort of thing has been happening more and more often on our college campuses. Last November, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was prevented from speaking at Brown University; last month a lecture by the noted libertarian author Charles Murray was canceled by Azusa Pacific University because of protests.

Earlier this week, Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, changed her mind about giving the commencement address at Smith College when she learned that nearly 500 people had signed a petition objecting to her appearance. Oh, and let’s not forget about the decision of Brandeis University to change its mind about giving an honorary degree to human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, because of objections of some Muslims and some liberal professors who supported them.

Anne Neal, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a group which says it promotes academic freedom and free inquiry, rightly commented that “There are serious implications for what is going on here; universities are becoming havens of the closed minded.” And she added, “What we are beginning to see is a heckler’s veto.”

No, what we’re seeing is even worse than that. What’s happening is that the left is waging a culture war on traditional Americans, or maybe I should say America’s traditions. And since they know they can’t win in our legislatures, they’re using protests and legal ploys to enforce their views on the rest of us.

So far, they’re getting away with it. And the more scalps they collect, the more brazen they will become. If you think their demands are outrageous now, just wait. I’m sorry to say, there is much worse to come.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

-Chip Wood

This ‘Smoking Gun’ Could Doom The Democrats

What a gift the Republicans were given last week when news broke of an incredible, damning White House email, urging that blame for the murderous attacks in Benghazi, Libya, be placed not on terrorists, but on an obscure anti-Muslim video.

That email, written by Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, told then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to talk about the video, not terrorism, when she appeared on five Sunday news programs following the assault on our consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.

Coming less than two months before the November 2012 elections, the murders of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans made a mockery of Barack Obama’s assertion that his Administration had al-Qaida “on the run.”

The email was obtained by an organization called Judicial Watch, using a Freedom of Information Act request. In it, Rhodes advised Rice “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” He said that she needed “to reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, said that Rhodes’ email is “the smoking document” that proves the Administration intentionally covered up the truth about what happened in Benghazi that night. Indeed it does.

In an appearance on “Special Report with Bret Baier” on FOX News, Krauthammer said, “We now have the smoking document, which is the White House saying, ‘We’re pushing the video because we don’t want to blame it on the failure of our policies,’ which is what anybody who looked at this assumed all the way through.”

Krauthammer is too polite to use the word “conspiracy,” but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that that is exactly what has been taking place. More evidence of the plotting behind the scenes is the uncanny resemblance between what Rhodes said in his email and remarks by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton two days earlier. Dick Morris did a line-by-line comparison of what Clinton and Rhodes said. Check out the amazing “coincidences” he discovered:

Clinton: Let me state very clearly that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video.

Rhodes: We’ve made our views on the video crystal clear. The United States government had nothing to do with it.

Clinton: We absolutely reject its content and message.

Rhodes: We reject its message and its content.

Clinton: The film is disgusting and reprehensible.

Rhodes: We find it disgusting and reprehensible.

Clinton: The film is no justification, none at all, for responding to this video with violence.

Rhodes: But there is no justification at all for responding to this movie with violence.

Remember, Clinton issued her remarks on the morning of Sept. 13. We now know that she was informed more than 24 hours earlier that the assault in Benghazi was a terrorist attack on our consulate there, not some spontaneous demonstration that simply got out of hand. But that was the Administration’s explanation, and they were going to stick with it.

There’s no collusion here, folks, just the long arm of coincidence at work. Sure. In fact, Tom Fenton, the president of Judicial Watch, said, “There’s a whole bunch of documents they [the White House] haven’t released to us.” And he added, “We should not be naïve about the ability of the Administration to stonewall.”

He’s got that right. He said his group currently has four additional lawsuits before the courts, asking for more Benghazi-related documents. “We’re just going to keep on keeping on.”

In the aftermath of these latest revelations, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that he would appoint Representative Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican and former Federal prosecutor, to head a special House select committee on Benghazi.

One of the questions the panel is sure to ask is why the Rhodes email wasn’t released before this. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the explanation is simple: Rhodes’ email wasn’t about Benghazi.

How’s that again? Yep, the White House press secretary actually stood in front of a group of reporters and contended that the memo was about “protests in the region” and not just Benghazi. And he repeated the line we’ve heard so many times before this: “The video turned out not to be the case, but it was based on the best information we had.” What a howler.

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Carney had “destroyed his own reputation” by his claim that the memo had nothing to do with Benghazi. “That, to me, is an all-time low for a Presidential spokesperson,” McCain said.

So what happens next? There is disagreement among Democrats about whether they should participate in the special committee. After the Boehner announcement, Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said that Democrats should boycott the hearings, to avoid giving them any credibility. But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) instead called for a committee that is “equally divided between Democrats and Republicans.”

Gowdy said that won’t happen. “I can tell you this,” he said. “It is not going to be evenly constituted.” He pointed out that “when she was Speaker Pelosi, she certainly showed no interests in having an equal number of Republicans and Democrats.” And he added, “I just find it interesting that people’s ability to do math changes when they go from being the Speaker to the Minority Leader.”

Regardless of how the committee is composed, one thing seems clear: The Republicans now have two issues that can help decide many of this November’s elections. The first, of course, is the incredible unpopularity of Obamacare. It is clearly the No. 1 domestic issue in the country. Now, the Benghazi cover-up has once again emerged as the top foreign policy issue.

Given these two explosive issues, why would Republicans want to do something as stupid and distracting as bringing up an immigration bill? But just last month, that is exactly what Boehner said he wanted to do so later this year.

Republicans would have to be absolute idiots to allow this happen. There is no way on Earth for a bill that doesn’t include amnesty for millions of potential Democratic voters to pass the Senate and get signed by the President. Talk about a lose-lose proposition for Republicans!

There are two issues that will enable the Republicans to keep control of the House and gain control of the Senate in the elections this November: the Obamacare disaster and the Benghazi cover-up. If Republicans don’t keep these two front and center for the next six months, they clearly will deserve their reputation as “the stupid party.”

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Hey, Don’t Blame Conservatives For Donald Sterling

The left must really regret that Donald Sterling, the beleaguered owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, isn’t a conservative Republican. Wouldn’t they just love to slap the “racist” card on us, as they’ve tried to do with Clive Bundy?

But so far as we can tell, the bigoted billionaire has never given a penny to anyone on the right. On the contrary, he’s been a faithful supporter of all sorts of politically correct endeavors, including (please note the irony here), the NAACP. In fact, his previous contributions to that organization were enough to persuade them to bestow a “lifetime achievement” award on him five years ago.

Once apparently was not enough. The NAACP was all set to give him yet another lifetime achievement award next month, when news of his racist comments, in a telephone call to his girlfriend, made headlines across the country.

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling sits court side with his wife, Rochelle Sterling
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (left) sits courtside with his wife Rochelle Sterling. Credit: UPI

In the recording, a man identified as Sterling told V. Stiviano (apparently, she has no first name, just an initial) that he didn’t care if she dated a black man, made him dinner, or even slept with him. But he didn’t want her to take a picture with one, or bring one to a Clippers game.

Talk about a strange set of priorities! Here’s an 80-year-old rich guy, telling his very young girlfriend that he doesn’t care if she sleeps with a black man, just don’t have your picture taken with him or accompany him to a basketball game.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar picked up on this in an op-ed he wrote for the Time magazine blog. After commenting on the “Extreme Finger Wagging” and “Morally Superior Head Shaking” that Sterling’s comments have provoked, the basketball legend wrote:

And now the poor guy’s girlfriend (undoubtedly ex-girlfriend now) is on tape cajoling him into revealing his racism. Man, what a winding road she led him down to get all of that out. She was like a sexy nanny playing ‘pin the fried chicken on the Sambo.’ She blindfolded him and spun him around until he was just blathering all sorts of incoherent racist sound bites that had the news media peeing themselves with glee.

At this point in time, we don’t know why Stiviano recorded the telephone conversation or how a copy of it reached the media. She says she didn’t do it. However it happened, the audio recording first appeared on the gossip site TMZ. The contents were explosive enough that they ignited a firestorm of controversy.

The first reaction came from the team’s players, who turned their warm-up shirts inside out before Sunday night’s game, so the team’s insignia couldn’t be seen.

Next, the Clippers’ advertisers and sponsors began distancing themselves from the team. State Farm Insurance announced it was “taking a pause” in its relationship. Used-car dealer CarMax said it was ending its nine-year sponsorship. Adidas, Kia Motors, Virgin America, Red Bull and Aquahydrate also said they were suspending their deals with the team.

Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers, when asked if he wanted to meet with Sterling to discuss the situation, said he would pass. Rivers did say, “I sympathize with my players. They didn’t sign up for this.”

Amazingly enough, his players didn’t let the media circus affect their playing when they met the Golden State Warriors in their playoff series on Tuesday night. They managed to win game five of the series, 113 to 103.

Of course, many of the usual publicity seekers promptly jumped in front of the TV cameras. The Rev. Al Sharpton, who is always ready for a racist rant, demanded that Adam Silver, the commissioner of the National Basketball Association, meet with him and some other civil rights leaders, to discuss the issue. But first, Sharpton said, he had to fly to Washington, to sit down with the Congressional Black Caucus. We can imagine the racist rhetoric that will be coming out of both meetings.

Even Michael Jordan, who almost never speaks out on racial matters, was upset by Sterling’s comments. The Hall of Fame basketball player, who is now an owner of the Charlotte Bobcats basketball team, issued a statement saying:

As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views… As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA – or anywhere else – for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed.

The biggest question, once the scandal broke, was what would the NBA do about it? The hot potato was tossed in the lap of Adam Silver, who had been named commissioner of the NBA just three months ago. This past Tuesday afternoon, the NBA commissioner revealed the verdict: Sterling would be banned for life from the NBA. In addition, he would be given the largest fine the league could impose, $2.5 million. Plus, Silver promised he would do “everything in my power” to get the NBA Board of Governors to force a sale of the team.

Under the lifetime ban that Silver imposed, Sterling may not attend any games or practices, enter any Clippers’ facility, attend any league meetings or activities, or take any part in business or personnel decisions concerning the team.

Moments after Silver announced the penalties, the Clippers issued a statement supporting his actions. “We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver today,” the team said. “Now the healing process begins.”

If he is forced to sell the team, Sterling certainly won’t be hurting financially. He paid $12 million when he purchased the Clippers back in 1981. According to Forbes magazine, the team is currently worth around $575 million. That represents around one-quarter of Sterling’s estimated $1.9 billion fortune. The guy may be hurting for friends, but he sure won’t be hurting for dough.

Does the NBA have the legal right to force Sterling to sell his team? According to Commissioner Silver, it does — if three-quarters of the 30 team owners say so. Sterling has been quoted as saying he won’t sell, so it looks like the matter will be heading to the courts.

In the meantime, Sterling is even having trouble giving some of his money away. After Silver’s press conference, UCLA announced that it was rejecting a $3 million gift from the Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation. The university said it was doing so because “Mr. Sterling’s divisive and hurtful comments demonstrate that he does not share UCLA’s core values as a public university that fosters diversity, inclusion and respect.”

Yes, indeed, the Morally Superior Head Shaking continues. But at least this time the media can’t blame us nasty reactionaries for the mess. Donald Sterling may be a racist bigot. But he’s not one of ours.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

-Chip Wood

A Stealth Threat To The Constitution

It isn’t often that you’ll see a large majority of Republicans and Democrats in Congress agree on something. But they did last week, when members of the House and Senate tried to ban an Iranian diplomat from entering this country.

In a real “poke us in the eye” move, Iran had announced it was naming Hamid Aboutalebi as its new ambassador to the United Nations. It just so happens that Aboutalebi was one of the leaders of the mob that stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran back in 1979 and took 52 Americans hostage. As you may recall, they were kept in captivity for 444 days and were released only when Ronald Reagan succeeded Jimmy Carter as President.

When Iran said it was appointing Aboutalebi as its ambassador to the U.N., Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz (R-Texas) immediately introduced a measure in Congress to ban him from stepping on U.S. soil. The measure passed by voice votes in both the House and Senate, without a single dissenting vote.

When the bill got to Barack Obama’s desk, the President signed it — then promptly announced that he wasn’t going to enforce it. He attached a signing statement that said he would treat the bill “as advisory in circumstances.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time Obama has decided to pick and choose which laws his Administration will enforce and which ones it will ignore. This is just business as usual for the Obama White House.

One thing that definitely isn’t business as usual is a measure making its way through various State legislatures that will dramatically affect the way this country chooses its President. At least one analyst believes that if enough States pass it, it will mean the end of any chance to ever again elect a Republican as President.

I’m referring to the National Popular Vote (NPV) interstate compact. If you’ve never heard of it, I’m not surprised. The left is keeping this George Soros-sponsored effort very hush-hush. But you need to know about it, since its adoption could render meaningless the votes of you and your friends for a Republican candidate for the Nation’s highest office.

Basically, the NPV says that a State must award all of its electoral votes to whichever candidate for president wins the national popular vote — regardless of how the citizens of that State vote.

In other words, if this measure takes effect and the Republican candidate receives the most votes in your State but his Democrat opponent gets the most votes nationally, then all of your State’s electoral votes will go to the Democrat. How’s that for making your State election meaningless?

Political analyst Dick Morris said, “If this thing passes, Republicans will never again win a presidential race and that’s why all the Democrats are lining up behind it.”

Does the NPV really have a chance of becoming the law of the land in this country? I’m sorry to say the answer is an emphatic “yes.” Last week, New York became the 10th State to pass it. The measure was approved last month by both branches of New York’s State Legislature and was signed into law last week by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“With the passage of this legislation,” Cuomo declared, “New York is taking a bold step to fundamentally increase the strength and fairness of our nation’s presidential elections.”

No, what New York has done is take a bold step toward making sure that the Democrats never relinquish control of the White House.

Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz is one of the few liberals who have spoken out against NVP. He said that it “certainly violates the spirit of the Constitution.” And he added, “Plainly, the founders of the Constitution did not intend for there to be a conspiracy among certain states to essentially abolish the Electoral College.”

Back in the time when the Founding Fathers created the Electoral College, we didn’t have the instant communications we enjoy today. It took a while to learn what happened in another part of the country.

That is why the framers of our Constitution decided to have representatives from each State gather together once every four years to elect a President and Vice President. They gave the responsibility of deciding who would be an elector to the individual States, because they were avid believers in limiting the power of the new Federal government as much as possible. Check out the Bill of Rights, and especially the 9th and 10th Amendments, to confirm this.

Do we still need an Electoral College to elect the President and Vice President? Maybe not. But if we’re going to change a system that’s worked for more than 200 years, let’s do it the way the Founding Fathers intended, by amending the Constitution. Not by a sneaky end-run around the Constitution.

You can tell a lot about which side wants this measure passed by looking at the States that have already ratified it. In addition to New York, the nine other States are California, Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. The District of Columbia has also signed the compact.

All of them voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. All of them are a deep, deep blue. All of them have a vested interest in keeping the entitlements coming from the Federal government. Altogether, these jurisdictions control 165 electoral votes.

Newsmax reported: “It also has been approved by at least one legislative body in these states: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon.”

If all 10 of these States also approve the compact, that will be another 78 electoral votes. Since it takes 270 electoral votes to select the next President, that would leave the measure only 27 electoral votes shy of the number needed to take effect.

If your State is one of the 10 where the compact has already been approved in one branch of the Legislature, you’d better get busy. Contact your State representatives and get them to agree to defeat this end run around the Constitution.

And if your State hasn’t made either list, don’t think for a moment that you don’t have anything to worry about. Chances are that there are people hard at work behind the scenes in your State capital promoting this measure.

If NPV does become the law of the land, it will pretty much let the Northeast, the West Coast and Chicago decide who will occupy the White House. And all the red States will be effectively disenfranchised.

If you don’t want to live in the result, you’d better get busy and stop the NPV.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Will Women Buy This Obama Lie?

Welcome to yet another desperate effort by the Democrats to come up with something — anything — that will distract voters from Obamacare.

Forget the absurdity Nancy Pelosi is trying to peddle, that the Senators and Representatives who shoved this monstrosity down our throats should be proud to embrace it. Too many Democratic candidates running for re-election know how unpopular Obamacare is with their constituents. Embracing it would be the kiss of death.

So it’s no surprise that they will try anything to keep this incredibly unpopular piece of legislation from being the No. 1 issue in the November elections. What can they do to energize their base and get voters eager to support them again? How about going back to the well for an issue that worked very well the last time out: accusing the Republicans of conducting a “war on women”?

Yes, that’s the ticket. What better way to get the troops ready for battle than to trumpet a promise to end the gender wage gap? The President repeated a line from his State of the Union address in January, that women earn only 77 cents for every dollar that a man does. That should get the feminine blood boiling.

“Equal pay for equal work — it’s not that complicated,” the President declared. He promised to push for passage of something called the Paycheck Fairness Act. And he said he would immediately sign two executive orders related to the issue. After all, why wait for those old fuddy-duddies in Congress to act? He had warned us that he has “a phone and a pen.” And by golly, he’d use them both.

All of this is a bunch of utter baloney, of course. It’s true that women, on average, earn less than men. But this is almost always because of career and life choices, not because of sexual discrimination. Equal pay for equal work has been the law in this country for several years.

There are several reasons for the pay disparity. For one, “full time” does not mean the same thing for women as it does for men. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that men are almost twice as likely as women to work more than 40 hours a week. Women, on the other hand, are almost twice as likely to work 35 to 39 hours a week.

Risk is also an important factor. By and large, men are far more likely to seek out positions that carry physical risk. The BLS reports that 92 percent of work-related deaths in 2012 happened to men. Dangerous jobs tend to pay higher salaries, to attract the workers they need.

Education is another significant factor. Men are more likely to major in such higher-paying areas as finance, accounting or engineering, while women often chose fields of study, such as liberal arts or sociology, that command smaller salaries.

But by far the biggest discrepancies occur when marriage and children are taken into consideration. Mark J. Perry and Andrew G. Biggs, two scholars with the American Enterprise Institute, addressed this topic in a column in The Wall Street Journal:

Child care takes mothers out of the labor market, so when they return they have less work experience than similarly-aged males. Many working mothers seek jobs that provide greater flexibility, such as telecommuting or flexible hours. Not all jobs can be flexible, and all other things being equal, those which are will pay less than those that do not.

That just makes sense, doesn’t it? Perry and Biggs say that once these variables are taken into consideration, the so-called gender pay gap virtually disappears. They cite a 2012 study by June and Dave O’Neill, two economists with the American Enterprise Institute, that found “nearly all of the 23% raw gender pay gap cited by Mr. Obama can be attributed to factors other than discrimination.”

Oh, and let me add one more argument against the Democrats’ contention that pay differences are because of anti-female discrimination, and that only the Federal government can make things right.

Consider this: What if it were true that businesses frequently had a choice between two different potential employees, a male and a female? Both are equally capable. But the woman is willing to do the work for 23 percent less money than the male.

C’mon, how many businesses would agree to hire the male at the higher salary, just because they didn’t want a woman in the job? Why would any business needlessly give a man more money, rather than add it to their own bottom line? Let’s give some credit to the profit motive here, folks.

The latest poll results show why the Democrats are so eager to start beating on the “war on women” drum. In the 2012 Presidential election, Obama received 67 percent of the votes of single women. Clearly, their multimillion-dollar advertising campaign against Mitt Romney and the Republican “war on women” worked.

But now, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Obama’s support among single women has dropped to just 48 percent. Better do something to shore up that base! And what better way than to promise to take action to end all that horrible pay inequality in the marketplace?

This is a classic case of “do as we say, not as we do.” No sooner had Obama huffed and puffed about the terrible disparity between what women earn in America versus male employees than someone compared salaries among male and female employees in the White House.

Guess what? It turns out that women in the West Wing earn significantly less money than men. Yep, the average female employee in the Obama White House earns just 88 percent as much as the average man.

When asked about this, Obama press secretary Jay Carney could only mumble something about how the White House record is “better than the national average” — and that female staffers tend to earn less than men because they occupy more of the jobs at the lower end of the pay scale.

Yep. And are you surprised to learn that the same thing happens in the rest of the country, Mr. Carney?

It turns out that the so-called gender pay gap has almost nothing to do with the sex of an employee and almost everything to do with career and life choices. But, of course, acknowledging these facts would mean that the Democrats could no longer beat Republicans over the head with all those “war on women” accusations.

For Democrats desperate for a way to divert attention from their disastrous healthcare plan and the sad state of the economy, it’s a simple choice. Which will get them the most publicity and the most votes? Tell the truth or fudge the facts?

Will women buy this Obama lie? Or will a majority see through this effort to enlist them in another phony war? Let’s do our part to make sure it’s the latter.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

 

Editor’s Note: If you are looking for Wayne Allyn Root’s video and column, it will appear here tomorrow. –BL

The Liberal Bigots Strike Again

If you support the traditional view that marriage should be between a man and a woman, could that cost you your job? The intolerant left says the answer to that question is a loud and emphatic “Yes!”

Their latest victim is Brendan Eich, an inventor of JavaScript and the co-founder of the Web browser Firefox. Back in 2008, Eich donated $1,000 to the campaign for Proposition 8 in California, a ballot measure that said, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Recently, when Eich was named CEO of Mozilla, the company that oversees Firefox, that 6-year-old contribution cost him his job. We’re told that half of Mozilla’s board of directors resigned to protest Eich’s appointment. But that leads to a question: If half the board opposed him, how the heck did he get the job?

The wireless company Credo Mobile launched an online petition demanding that Eich either renounce his beliefs or resign. The petition quickly acquired nearly 75,000 signatures.

OKCupid, a popular online dating service, urged its followers to boycott Firefox to protest Eich’s selection. The company posted a letter denouncing the CEO, stating: “Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame and frustration are our enemies and we wish them nothing but failure.”

Those are pretty harsh words against a person who, in 15 years at Mozilla, had never been accused of demonstrating any prejudice against gay employees — or anyone, for that matter. In one of his few statements on the subject, Eich said: “I don’t want to talk about my personal beliefs because I kept them out of Mozilla all these 15 years we’ve been going. I don’t believe they’re relevant.”

How he performed on the job didn’t matter to the gay and lesbian brigade. They wanted his scalp. And they got it.

After Eich agreed to resign, Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker issued a statement that said in part, “We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.”

So forcing someone to resign because of a private donation made more than six years ago is how you demonstrate that you’ve “stayed true to” yourself? Remember, not a single person claims that Eich did anything on the job to demonstrate any kind of anti-gay bias. By all accounts, he was scrupulously fair to everyone.

And bear in mind that, at the time, most of the public said they agreed with him that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Proposition 8 passed easily in California, one of the most liberal States in the Nation, although it was later overturned by the courts. It won the support of a substantial majority of blacks and Hispanics.

In fact, let me mention two prominent Americans who also opposed same-sex marriage back in 2008: Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama. Of course, both now claim that they’ve had a change of heart.

More than 35,000 people donated to the campaign for Proposition 8. Thanks to a court ruling, the names of all the contributors — and in some cases, their addresses and the name of their employers — have been made public. I wonder how many more will become targets of angry and intolerant gays.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas warned of this possibility four years ago. In a 2010 dissent to a court decision requiring such disclosure, he wrote:

I cannot endorse a view of the First Amendment that subjects citizens of this Nation to death threats, ruined careers, damaged or defaced property, or pre-emptive and threatening warning letters as the price for engaging in “core political speech,” the “primary object of First Amendment protection.”

Not every gay person agrees with the angry intolerance Eich witnessed. Andrew Sullivan, a well-known gay-rights activist, wrote:

If we cannot live and work alongside people with whom we deeply disagree, we are finished as a liberal society.

What we have here is a social pressure to keep your beliefs deeply private for fear of retribution. We are enforcing another sort of closet on others. I can’t believe the fanaticism.

Just how bad will could this latest form of bigotry get? On Sunday, during an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said what we’re witnessing is the left’s “new fascism.” He warned:

This is just the most open and blatant example of the new fascism, which says, “If you don’t agree with us 100 percent, we have the right to punish you unless you’re like Hillary and Barack Obama and you recant.

I think the question I’d ask yourself is: Are you willing to live in an open and tolerant society, or do you have to impose your views at the cost of people’s jobs?

One of the most ironic statements on the controversy came from the gay-rights organization GLAAD. President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said: “Mozilla’s strong statement in favor of equality today reflects where corporate America is: inclusive, safe and welcoming to all.”

Yes, the GLAAD’s leader actually said “welcoming to all.” What she meant, of course, was welcoming to everyone who will march in lockstep with GLAAD. If you dare to disagree with the gay rights brigade and they find out about it, watch out. They’ll go after you, your family, your job and your employer.

If you’re a Christian photographer who’d prefer to not to cover a gay wedding, they’ll go to court and force you to do so. If you’re a baker who has religious objections to a gay marriage, you’d better not decline to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple or you might get sued.

It seems that it is only traditionalists who must demonstrate “tolerance” these days. Apparently, the gay-rights activists can be as bigoted and intolerant as they want.

Welcome to the Brave New World of America in 2014. If you don’t like it, you’d better do something about it.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Note from the Editor: Under the Obama Administration, the NSA, the IRS, and the State and Justice departments are blatantly stepping on Americans’ privacy—and these are just the breaches we’re aware of. I’ve arranged for readers to get a free copy of The Ultimate Privacy Guide so you can be protected from any form of surveillance by anyone—government, corporate or criminal. Click here for your free copy.

Obamacare Is Still A Fraud!

What a disgusting amount of self-congratulations we’ve had to endure from Barack Obama and his cronies, who are now boasting that 7.1 million people had signed up for Obamacare when the first open enrollment period ended on March 31.

“The debate over repealing this law is over,” the President declared. Continuing his outburst of wishful thinking, he added, “The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”

Not so fast, Mr. President. The issue is not nearly as settled as you’d have us believe, as a closer look at those enrollment numbers will quickly reveal.

How many of those alleged 7 million new customers for Obamacare had no health insurance before this? It’s no surprise that we can’t get precise numbers out of this Administration, but consensus estimates are that it’s about 2 million.

In other words, about 5 million of the people who’ve signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act previously had some form of coverage. How many of them were among the approximately 5 million people who had their health insurance canceled because of Obamacare? Nobody’s bothered to find out. But you can bet it’s a bunch.

We all know that Obama repeatedly promised us, “If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your health insurance plan. Period.” And of course, we all know that was a lie – and the President knew it. Some 5 million people found that out the hard way, when they received letter from their insurance companies notifying them that their health insurance coverage was canceled.

We were also promised that the cost of health insurance would drop dramatically. After all, that’s why the word “affordable” was included in the name of the law. That turned out to be another blatant misrepresentation. Millions of Americans have seen the cost of their health insurance go up. The only ones getting a deal are those receiving a government subsidy.

In other words, Obamacare turns out to be another Democratic scheme to redistribute the wealth. In the words of former President Lyndon Johnson, it’s all about their plan to “take from the haves and give it to the have-nots who need it so much.”

And if you think the price of health insurance has gone up this year, just wait until next year, when the insurance companies factor in their actual costs of this monstrosity. It turns out that far fewer young, healthy adults are signing up for the program than its planners estimated.

Everyone knew that older Americans would be the most costly people to insure, especially now that anyone with a prior medical condition is entitled to coverage. The idea was that these higher costs would be balanced with the premiums paid by younger Americans, who typically have the fewest claims.

The plan might have looked good on paper, but it came crashing up against reality: Huge numbers of young Americans declined to sign up. And at least so far, the Administration isn’t allowed to round them up and force them to join.

So what will happen? The result is bound to be a substantial increase in health insurance premiums next year. Many insurance company analysts predict that increases of 25 percent to 50 percent will be the norm, with some policies rising even higher than that.

If you think Obamacare is unpopular now, just wait until those rate increases hit. Of course, this will be well after the elections this November. The Democratic leadership is hoping to get past the midterm elections without too many losses — and that the shock and anger over Obamacare will have largely dissipated by the time we elect a new President in 2016. Let’s hope the voters have longer memories than the Democrats are counting on.

But back to those sign-up numbers, which had Obama performing a victory dance in the Rose Garden on April Fool’s Day. (Mmmm, think it was just a coincidence that the big celebration for Obamacare came on April 1?)

One of the most closely guarded secrets of Obamacare is the answer to this question: How many of the people who signed up for coverage have actually begun paying for it? If you haven’t paid for it, you’re not officially enrolled in it. That’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, whose department is responsible for the program, says she’s sorry, but they can’t tell us. She’ll admit that, overall, the number is probably about 15 percent to 20 percent. That would be almost 1.5 million of those alleged 7 million sign-ups.

That’s why syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer says, correctly, that the Administration’s claim of 7.1 million sign-ups is a “phony number.” Of course it is.

But it turns out that the number of non-payees is actually much higher for people who have never purchased health insurance before. Maybe as much as double the “average” rate.

If true, this means that as many as 800,000 of those supposedly 2 million new customers will never be officially enrolled, because they won’t make their first payment.

When the debate over Obamacare began, we were told this massive takeover of our healthcare system by the Federal government was necessary, because something like 40 million Americans didn’t have health insurance.

Well, now it looks like 38 million of them still don’t.

If other words, millions of Americans have lost health insurance they liked, thanks to Obamacare. Under their new plan, they’ll see higher premiums and much higher deductibles. They may no longer be able to see they doctor they prefer or go to the hospital of their choice. And just wait until they have to confront one of those “death panels” that Sarah Palin made so notorious.

This is what “success” looks like? Sure. And in the inimitable words of George Orwell’s 1984, “Freedom is slavery.”

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood 
Note from the Editor: As you’ve just read, the Obamacare abomination doesn’t bode well for anyone. But if you know how to navigate the system you can still control your own healthcare—as every American should! My trusted friend and medical insider, Dr. Michael Cutler, and I have written a concise guide to help you do just that. I urge you… Click here for your free copy.

A Democrat Is Double-Crossed by Obama — And We Get Obamacare

So the Democratic Congressman who helped get the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as the monstrosity called Obamacare) shoved down our throats in 2010 now says he was double-crossed by the Barack Obama Administration. Are we supposed to be surprised?

Four years ago, Bart Stupak was a member of Congress from Michigan who served as the leader of a group of anti-abortion Democrats. In an op-ed in USA Today two weeks ago, he told a very revealing story:

During the battle over the ACA’s passage, pro-life Democratic members of Congress negotiated with the President to ensure that the Act would not be employed to promote abortion. During the final debate on the Affordable Care Act, I engaged in a colloquy with Chairman Henry Waxman reaffirming that Americans would not be required to pay for abortions or violate their conscience by participating in or promoting a procedure they find morally objectionable.

Stupak says he and his colleagues got exactly what they requested: “In response, we received an ironclad commitment that our conscience would remain free and our principles would be honored.”

Of course, that is not what happened. Thanks to the support of Stupak and his colleagues, every Democrat in Congress voted for passage of the Affordable Care Act — even though none of them had actually read the thing. You’ll remember that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they had to pass the measure to find out what was in it.

Well, they did. And as a result, the Department of Health and Human Services, which was given the job of enforcing the new law, issued a mandate in 2012 requiring all health plans cover all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives. Among the 20 different contraceptives that employers would be required to pay for were four drugs and devices that could terminate human life at its earliest stages.

Bart Stupak’s USA Today column carried the headline, “Contraception Mandate Doublecross: Column.” Welcome to Obama’s world, Mr. Stupak.

It is that provision that led two companies to challenge the mandate. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties claim that provisions of a 1993 law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, mean they should be exempt from this requirement.

Hobby Lobby is a family-owned chain of 560 arts-and-crafts stores. It was founded by David Green, who is an evangelical Christian who says, “I have deeply held convictions and I should not have to be required by the government to violate my conscience.” Conestoga Wood Specialties is a cabinet maker owned by a Mennonite family. Both contend that four of the contraceptive measures that HHS has mandated — a morning after pill and certain intrauterine devices — promote abortions, which their faith prohibits them from providing.

The government, of course, disagrees. The case has made it before the Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments from both sides this past Tuesday. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, arguing on behalf of the government, told the justices that because the two companies are for-profit businesses, they are not entitled to the same Constitutional rights as a private individual.

This led to an amusing exchange between Verrilli and Justice Antonin Scalia. The Solicitor General told the court: “In the entire history of this country, there is not a single case in which a for-profit corporation was granted an exemption.”

Justice Scalia replied: “Not a single case in which it was denied exemption either. All you’re saying is that there are no cases.”

It’s always dangerous to try to parse how justices will vote on a case based on their questions and remarks at a public hearing. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. seemed to be leaning in support of the plaintiffs when he observed that minority-owned businesses can bring racial discrimination lawsuits. So why can’t a Christian business (or a Muslim one, for that matter) base a policy on the religion of its owners?

But remember what happened when the original challenge to the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act reached the Supreme Court in 2012. Many observers concluded that Roberts would vote against it, based on his remarks at the public hearings back then. So they were surprised (many even said they were shocked) when the chief justice voted to confirm the law — and used some very twisted logic to do so. Writing for the majority, Roberts said Obamacare was Constitutional because the mandate it imposed was a tax – this, despite the fact that Obama had spent the past two years emphatically denying that Obamacare was a tax.

So we know the justices can twist and distort the Constitution to say almost anything they want. Heck, that’s what they’ve been doing for more than 60 years. So I won’t be surprised if they decide to drive another nail in the coffin of religious liberty when they issue their decision in this case. We’ll find out in June.

In the meantime, I’m glad to see former Congressman Stupak on the right side of the fence at least this once. He’s joined with Democrats for Life in filing a brief urging the Supreme Court to rule on behalf of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Cabinets.

But that doesn’t mean he’s seen the light about Obamacare. In fact, in the op-ed piece I quoted above, he says he’s still convinced it’s a great idea. “As a member of Congress,” he wrote, “I was proud to vote for the Affordable Care Act.” And he continued: “No, I haven’t changed my position. I continue to believe the Affordable Care Act is critical to reforming our health care markets and providing a critical safety net for millions.”

I guess we should thank him for taking one tiny step in the right direction — and hope that at least five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court agree with him in June.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Let’s Stay The Heck Out Of Ukraine!

Did it finally happen? Did Barack Obama’s bumbling incompetence actually lead to a decent result for this country?

I’m surprised to say the answer appears to be yes. Obama’s milquetoast response to Vladimir Putin’s bold aggression in the Crimean Peninsula may have made him a laughingstock among Russian leaders. But it’s also reduced the likelihood of U.S. intervention there. And that’s a good thing.

Let’s face it: The United States has absolutely no vital interest at stake in that part the world. What do we care if a majority of citizens in Crimea vote to declare their independence from Ukraine? Or even that they want to become part of Mother Russia? What business is it of ours to tell them they can’t?

Now I’ll grant you, conducting a plebiscite under the watchful eyes of 40,000 Russian troops may lead some to suggest that a little pressure was being exerted on the populace. Was anyone surprised to hear that the proposal to rejoin Russia was approved by a whopping 96 percent of the people who cast ballots? That’s the sort of landslide we’re used to hearing from North Korea or some African dictatorship.

Now, I’m not about to beat the drum for this country to take tougher measures against Russia. The best thing for us to do is to sit this one out. I don’t think we should even provide aid, whether financial or military, to Ukraine.

The House of Representatives doesn’t agree. An emergency measure to give the Ukraine more aid was rushed through by a sizable bipartisan majority. But when the bill reached the Senate, Harry Reid decided to… send everyone home for a short vacation.

Mmmm, now I find myself agreeing with Reid. Maybe I’d better rethink this.

OK, I did. And I still think what happens in the Crimean Peninsula is not our problem or our responsibility.

But what Obama ended up doing is worse than nothing. In what the President described as a “calibrated” response, he decided to impose economic sanctions on all of 11 people. Obama said the people on the list — seven from Russia and four from Ukraine — had threatened “Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” But none of them were the key players in this melodrama. Putin’s chief of staff, his defense minister and his chief intelligence officer were all conspicuous by their absence.

The Russian stock market, which had been falling for the two weeks after Russian troops invaded Crimea, in fear of what sanctions might be imposed on the country, climbed higher when it became apparent how insignificant the U.S. and European response would be.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny even sent out a tweet, declaring: “Obama only delighted all our crooks and encouraged them.” One of the people on the list, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, promptly confirmed this appraisal, when he sent out his own tweet, saying: “It seems to me that some kind of joker wrote the U.S. president’s order.”

It doesn’t sound like they’re taking our President too seriously, does it?

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry has been flying all over Europe and the Mideast, trying to get someone to agree with his “better not do this” brand of bluster. To say that he’s been ineffective would be a compliment.

Kerry stuck his foot squarely in his mouth by lecturing Putin: “You don’t just, in the 21st century, behave in the 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext.”

When I heard this, I wondered how long it would take someone to say: “Oh, yeah? What about Saddam Hussein and all those so-called weapons of mass destruction?” I hope whichever speechwriter was stupid enough to put those words in Kerry’s mouth is now looking for another line of employment.

Or maybe we shouldn’t blame some anonymous scribe for this embarrassing mistake. Maybe Kerry came up with that absurd reprimand all by himself.

Unfortunately, it looks like the situation will continue to escalate. Vice President Joe Biden has flown to Lithuania to reassure countries on Russia’s borders that the United States will stand by them. Since three former Soviet satellites — Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — are now members of NATO, we are committed by treaty to come to their rescue if Putin puts his eyes (and his military) on them next.

“We’re in this with you, together,” Biden said. Don’t you wish that weren’t the case?

And of course, the so-called “international community” has to meddle in events as well. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is flying to Russia and the Ukraine, to meet with Putin and other leaders in an effort to resolve things diplomatically. The United Nations is also sending a 34-member “human rights monitoring mission” to Ukraine. And we know how much good such observers have done in the past, in Chechnya, Serbia and other hot spots, from the Mideast to Africa.

How should this conflict be resolved? I like what Pat Buchanan, a longtime Washington observer and ardent America-firster, had to say:

America and Russia are on a collision course today over a matter — whose flag will fly over what parts of Ukraine — no Cold War president, from Truman to Reagan, would have considered any of our business.

If the people of Eastern Ukraine wish to formalize their historic, cultural and ethnic ties to Russia, and the people of Western Ukraine wish to sever all ties to Moscow and join the European Union, why not settle this politically, diplomatically and democratically, at a ballot box?

Of course, a peaceful, practical solution like this one will never win the approval of the New World Order advocates. There’s never been a tar baby they could resist. And they don’t care how many eggs get broken along the way. The interventionists know there is no better way to increase their control over their own citizens than to focus on the threat posed by some far-off enemy.

It’s time to tell Washington that in regard to Putin’s actions in the Crimean Peninsula, we’re going to mind our own business: no aid, no troops, no interference. That’s what our country’s foreign policy was for the first 150 years of our existence. Wouldn’t it be great to return to it again?

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Barack Obama, The Democrats’ Albatross

One analyst called it “The Race Democrats Can’t Afford to Lose.” And guess what? They lost it.

I’m talking about the special election to fill the Congressional seat in Florida’s 13th District. It became available when Bill Young, the Republican who had held it for 42 years, died in October.

If the Republicans held the seat for so long, why were Democrats confidant they could win it? There were several reasons. For one, Barack Obama carried the district in both of his Presidential runs. For another, Alex Sink, the Democratic nominee, had better name recognition than David Jolly, her Republican opponent. She’d won statewide office in 2006 and was the Democratic nominee for Governor in 2010. Although she lost the gubernatorial election to Rick Scott, she carried the district in which she was running for Congress.

Plus, Sink had more money to spend than Jolly — almost three times as much. And she spent most of it attacking him for his previous job as a Washington lobbyist. Jolly had some other personal issues, including a divorce and an auto accident years ago in which he killed someone. So he wasn’t the ideal candidate.

But Jolly had one thing going for him: the public’s anger at Obamacare. And that was enough to sweep him to victory.

How important was this election? Stuart Rothenberg is a longtime Washington observer who has written a column for Roll Call for the past 20 years. I quoted the headline for his piece at the top of today’s column. Here’s how he began that article:

It’s rare in politics that anything other than a presidential contest is viewed as a “must win” — but the special election in Florida’s 13th District falls into that category for Democrats.

A loss in the competitive March 11 contest would almost certainly be regarded by dispassionate observers as a sign that President Barack Obama could constitute an albatross around the neck of his party’s nominees in November.

That’s what happened in Florida’s 13th District Tuesday. Jolly beat Sink by 48.5 percent to 46.7 percent. A Libertarian candidate, Lucas Overby, got 4.8 percent of the vote.

The next day, there was even more bad news for Democrats. The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll came out, revealing that the President’s approval ratings have hit an all-time low. His job-approval number was a pretty dismal 43 percent percent in January, the last time the survey was taken. Now it’s fallen even further, dropping to 41 percent. A majority of those surveyed, 54 percent, said they disapprove of the job Obama is doing.

Even more worrisome for Democrats running for office this November, the poll revealed that Obama’s disapproval rating from his fellow Democrats has climbed to 20 percent, his highest ever. And the number of respondents who said the country is headed in the wrong direction was 65 percent, according to the survey.

In its article about the poll results, The Wall Street Journal reported: “Americans surveyed in the poll said they were less inclined to support a candidate if the person had been endorsed by Mr. Obama or was a ‘solid supporter’ of his administration.”

The gap is huge. Forty-eight percent said they were less likely to support a candidate identified as “a solid supporter of the Obama Administration,” while just 26 percent said that would make them more likely to support such a candidate. That’s a 22 point difference.

And here’s more bad news for the White House: The President’s personal endorsement of a candidate is becoming the kiss of death. Forty-two percent of those polled said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate Obama endorsed, while only 22 percent said Obama’s endorsement would make them more likely to support such a candidate.

I guess we won’t see Obama doing much campaigning for candidates this fall. It’s no surprise that he stayed far, far away from that “can’t afford to lose” Congressional race in Florida’s 13th District.

Yes, it looks like Republicans have a golden opportunity to make some major gains this November. They should easily maintain control of the House of Representatives. And chances look good for picking up several Senate seats — maybe even enough to gain control there.

We’ll have more to say about specific contests in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, congratulations to the voters in Florida’s 13th District for confirming that there is indeed a darned ugly bird wrapped around the President’s neck.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood