Via Campus Reform:
Administrators at Vassar College and Oberlin College agreed to personally shred a pocket Constitution after an undercover reporter posing as a student complained that she felt “triggered” by its distribution on campus.
The video was produced by Project Veritas, a non-profit established by conservative journalist James O’Keefe, and employs a similar style to the undercover ACORN videos that first brought him to prominence.
“Last week something kinda happened on campus that kind of really upset me and I ended up having a panic attack,” the reporter tells Vassar College Assistant Director of Equal Opportunity Kelly Grab. “It’s just I’ve been kind of hiding out in my room ever since kind of scared, so, finally somebody told me I should maybe come talk to you about it and see if there’s anything that can happen or anything… They were handing the Constitution out on campus.”
“Oh, CATO Institute,” Grab murmurs while looking the booklet over.
“They were handing it out and as soon as I saw it you know I started to not be able to breathe, hyperventilating,” the reporter elaborated. “My vision went blurry and I just – kind of just lost control.”
After establishing that the reaction was triggered merely by the offering of copies of the Constitution and not by anything the group had said, Grab offers her sympathies to the reporter.
On the last day of the fiscal year, Congress approved a short-term spending measure that keeps the federal government operating through Dec. 11.
The bill passed easily in the Senate, 78-20:
The bill faced strong dissension in the House, where 151 Republicans voted against it because the bill does not cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood (vote roll call here).
President Barack Obama signed the spending bill late Wednesday.
The vote was notable in the House in that it provided a chance for candidates for upcoming leadership races to weigh in on a controversial issue in the caucus.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who is the leading candidate to replace Speaker John Boehner, voted for the measure.
His only opponent for speaker, Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., voted against the bill, as did Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., who is one of two lawmakers running for majority leader.
The other majority leader contender, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., voted for the spending bill.
Some House members believed that the vote on the continuing resolution, as the funding measure is known, would be telling in how potential new leadership may handle future issues.
Conservatives argued that leadership candidates would be judged on if they stood up to Planned Parenthood in the face of a potential shutdown.
“It’s unfortunate that this thing passed,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, in an interview with The Daily Signal. “But I think the most unfortunate thing is we should have back on July 14, when the first [Planned Parenthood] video came out, went full commitment to making this a national debate and really elevating it and going all in. We could have been in a position to win, but we didn’t, and this is the part that frustrates me.”
“Our new leadership has to commit, whoever that happens to be, to the same effort on things that we’ve told the voters we were gonna do – like we all told them we were pro-life, right? – we have to have the same intensity in getting those things done that we did on, for example, trade promotion. We have to demonstrate we are actually fighting on the things we said and have that full debate. And that’s what we are not doing.”
Taking a different view, Rep. Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania, told the The Daily Signal that conservatives were wrong to try to hold up the spending measure to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood.
“Leadership will look feckless and ineffective if they try to appease the rejectionist members of this conference,” Dent said.
“Going forward,” Dent remarked, “leadership will have to find a way to move forward on five or six measures that must be resolved, including a budget agreement, tax extenders, the debt ceiling, and a long-term transportation measure. All will require a level of compromise required to move beyond the warfare and get to a better place.”
The continuing resolution funds the government at a rate of $1.017 trillion annually for the next two and a half months. Senate leaders argued the deal gives Congress time to negotiate a budget deal with the president, though Obama has been pushing Congress to break the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act.
The continuing resolution also provides $74.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations and reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration, E-verify program, and Internet Tax Freedom Act.
Senate Republican leaders introduced a government spending bill last week that included a one-year moratorium on funding for Planned Parenthood. The legislation also directed the $235 million in savings derived from the government funding allocated for Planned Parenthood to be directed to community health centers.
That bill, however, was blocked in the upper chamber, after it failed to reach the 60 votes needed to advance.
In October, High Bridge Arms – the last gun store in San Francisco – will be closing its doors for good due to gun controls with which the store refuses to comply.
San Francisco has emerged as the gun control capital of California, with laws regulating everything from magazine capacity to allowable types of ammunition to limits on advertising to the manner in which guns must be stored–and beyond. For decades, High Bridge Arms has adapted to the passage of each new gun control, but it views the latest push as a step too far.
According to SFist, the newest control push “comes from Supervisor Mark Farrell (District 2), and proposes to require that all gun sales in San Francisco be videotaped.” It would also “further require that all gun and ammunition buyers’ names, birthdates, addresses and driver’s license numbers be supplied to the San Francisco Police Department. Sup. Farrell proposed the idea in July, and it may be voted on this month.”
Fox News reports that High Bridge Arms’ general manager, Steven Alcairo, said the store’s owners are tired of keeping up with the new regulations and equally tired of trying to guess what might come next. Alcairo said, “This time, it’s the idea of filming our customers taking delivery of items after they already completed waiting periods. We feel this is a tactic designed to discourage customers from coming to us.” He added, “This year, it’s this and next year will probably be something else. We don’t want to wait for it.”
Comments from Supervisor Farrell bolster Alcairo’s concern that further gun control is on the way. When Farrell began pushing for the videotaping of all gun sales, he said:
Easy access to guns and ammunition continue to contribute to senseless violent crime here in San Francisco and across the country. Even though San Francisco has some of the toughest gun control laws on the books in the country – there is more we can do to protect the public.
High Bridge Arms opened in the mid-1950s. It will soon be closed after dying the death of a thousand cuts.
A Boston Globe reporter attended a Hillary Clinton campaign event in New Hampshire and wrote an absolutely merciless take down of Clinton.
The article centers around Clinton’s inability to show empathy by using the story of a woman who spoke about her son’s suicide at the event.
The woman tearfully explained her son’s struggle with mental illness and his eventual suicide. The reporter says the entire room was visibly affected by the gut-wrenching story. But Hillary? Not so much:
Hillary Clinton physically backed up closer to a wall as she listened and nodded. When the woman finished her story, the leading Democratic presidential contender retrieved a microphone, turned away, and began asking another panelist to respond.
Then she stopped herself. ‘I’m very sorry,’ said Clinton, who followed with a bland observation. ‘We’re not doing enough on mental health treatment.’
No real show of compassion. No hug or even a touch on the hand.
The article includes a quote that sums up Clinton’s problem:
Claire Helfman put it on Saturday in Manchester clutching a ‘Ready for Joe’ sign: ‘Clinton just doesn’t have the spark.’
The article goes on to include more favorable quotes about Clinton and says that she can actually be good in one-on-one conversations, though she won’t get that chance with most voters. But the embarrassing Clinton response to the suicide story, high up in the article, says it all.
Clinton has taken big hits in the polls largely because of her email and personal server scandal during her time as secretary of state.
A recent poll shows that more than half of likely voters believe Clinton broke the law in her email scandal. On top of that, a poll earlier this month showed that Clinton popularity among Democrat-leaning white women has dropped 29 percent in the past eight weeks.
The Bremerton School District is investigating a football coach for praying after high school football games. District policy states “school staff shall neither encourage nor discourage” students from praying.
Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy, who is still coaching, said he always prays after games on the 50-yard line. He said sometimes he’s alone, sometimes players join him.
“I never asked anyone,” Kennedy said. “They just all showed up one day and the next thing I know, the other team was showing up with us.”
KING 5 spoke to Kennedy at Monday’s JV football game, He’s the assistant head coach for Bremerton High’s varsity team and the head coach for the JV squad. After Monday’s game, Kennedy still prayed on the field, and a large crowd made up of players and parents from both Bremerton and its opponent took part.
“I spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, and it’s been about protecting the freedom of other people,” he said. “It’s about the freedom, and people can believe whatever they want. I’m just exercising my right. The game is over, and I just thank god for every one of these young men that are out here.”
It’s not yet clear what promoted the district investigation, but many in the stands at Monday’s game assumed it came as the result of a complaint or concern about the separation of church and state.
“It’s freedom of religion, not freedom from religion,” said Bill Bailey, who was actually cheering for Bremerton’s opponent to win the game, but says he supports Kennedy’s post-game prayers completely. “If they don’t like it, they don’t have to participate.”
The district would not comment on the ongoing investigation, except to say that Coach Kennedy has not been fired or placed on administrative leave. News of the investigation spread online over the weekend, sparking protest on a Facebook page called “Support Joe Kennedy.”
Kennedy told KING 5 he’s not worried about losing his job. Instead, his team remains his top priority.
“I don’t really worry about all that nonsense,” he said. “The only thing I worry about is the kids. It’s not about what my beliefs are, it’s about believing in each other. It’s about the sport that we love.”
Parents in the stands on Monday told KING 5 they’ve watched Kennedy pray after every game for years. Some didn’t seem to understand why it’s all of a sudden become an issue.
“Maybe there are some people who don’t go to church and don’t want their kid exposed to it, but you can’t stop it for everyone,” said Wanda Stone. “He doesn’t tell the kids that if they don’t come out and pray they’re not going to play. The kids are voluntarily going out there.”
A rally in support of Coach Kennedy is planned for Friday – the day Bremerton High School’s varsity team takes the field.
The prayer Kennedy prayed after Monday’s game lasted only about 13 seconds.
“Lord, I just want to lift up all these warriors that came out here to compete today,” he prayed. “I don’t care what their beliefs are. We do believe in this sport. We believe in football, we believe in a team and competition. It’s all about the game. In your name, Amen.”
Many who bowed their heads with him also said “Amen” and cheered when he finished praying.
District policy states that staff members can’t encourage or discrouage a student from engaging in non-disruptive oral or silent prayer. So there’s nothing wrong with students or student athletes praying, it’s just a question of what role the teacher or coach is playing in that prayer. It appears that is what the district investigation will try to determine.
It’s not yet clear when that investigation will be complete.
Backers of private school vouchers won a huge victory Thursday as the North Carolina Supreme Court narrowly endorsed a program that allows public school money to be spent providing vouchers to attend private schools.
North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship program, created in 2013, allows for up to $4,200 per family to help pay for private school tuition. The scholarships are only available to low-income families, with the threshold pegged to 133 percent of the income required to qualify for free and reduced-price school lunches.
Demand for the program has been high, as only 2,400 scholarships are available and more than twice that number have applied, necessitating the use of a lottery system.
Shortly after the program’s creation, a coalition of public school teachers, parents, and school administrators sued, claiming the voucher law unconstitutionally supported religious schools and failed to spend public money on an exclusively public purpose, as required by the Constitution.
Writing for a 4-3 majority, Chief Justice Mark Martin said otherwise, overruling a lower court that had struck down the program.
“Our review is limited to a determination of whether plaintiffs have demonstrated that the program legislation plainly and clearly violates our constitution,” Martin wrote. “Plaintiffs have made no such showing in this case.”
The decision means that students will be able to receive vouchers in the upcoming school year.
National advocates for school choice have been quick to praise the ruling.
“With more than double the applications for scholarships in the first year of the program – approximately 5,500 applications for 2,400 scholarships – parents are making it abundantly clear that they want and demand more power over their children’s education,” said Kara Kerwin, president of the pro-voucher Center for Education Reform, in a statement sent to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “This is a giant step in the right direction for parent empowerment in North Carolina.”
The ruling is a big win for voucher supporters, especially as it helps make up for a ruling in Colorado in June which struck down a major voucher program in that state.
In their never ending quest to control all aspects of life with silly regulations, the liberal ninnies that run California have come up with a long list of safety rules for porno film shoots. Among other things, they want to require actors and actresses to wear safety goggles while performing sex scenes. It would seem as if the state has become every adult in the movie A Christmas Story: “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”
The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board released a 21-page proposal of porno regulations. If you find it funny that the state is pushing this volume of rules for porn shoots, it’s even more hilarious that they spent 5-years of hearings and research to come up with this stuff.
One of the big recommendations is to make condom use mandatory for all filmed sex scenes, something Los Angles passed into law recently. As unenforceable as that is, there’s even more hard-to-regulate regulations:
No one on a porn set would be allowed to pick up broken glass with their hands. They’d have to use a broom and dust pan.
Porn actors would not be allowed to share razors or any personal grooming devices.
Porn sets would have to be covered in plastic protective coverings capable of keeping the area safe from contamination.
There’s a set of rules regarding the cleaning of dildos.
Porn producers would have to provide soap to the actors that is not irritating.
Anyone handling clothing, including the actors, must wear latex gloves.
And the best of the bunch: If there is to be a facial “money shot” actors and actresses would have to wear eye protection. In fact, the facial as we know it would be outlawed by these regulations:
6. Barrier protection for the eyes, skin, mouth, and mucous membranes. The employer shall not permit ejaculation onto the employee’s eyes, non-intact skin, mouth or other mucous membranes.
In addition to this stuff, there are pages and pages of regulations requiring that porn producers provide vaccinations, laundry service, and my favorite: that they post warning signs on the set. It’s not real clear what these warning signs should be, but I imagine “Caution: Splash Zone” would do the trick.
In addition, there are 10 different regulations related to condom use, including mandatory lubricant. If a porn actor changes the point of entry, he must then remove the condom and put on a new one.
Cal/OSHA is holding public hearings on their massive porn regulation proposal and will soon make a decision on whether to implement these rules or not. This being California, it’s a given that they will vote in favor of unrealistic unenforceable regulations.
I think it will be hilarious to see a porno shot with all of these rules in place: the walls and furniture are covered in plastic drop cloths, the actor and actress are wearing latex gloves and safety goggles, every time they switch positions the actor stops to apply a new condom and lubricant, when it’s over crew members in biohazard suits rush in to quickly decontaminate the set. It should be pretty hot.
There were no complaints nor denials of service to anyone ever, but because of their religious beliefs, Memories Pizza stands in ruin and the family who owns it has had their lives threatened countless times. How did the O’Connor family, owners of Memories, find themselves in this situation? They were honest with a reporter in search of a story to fit the media’s narrative.
Alyssa Marino is a reporter with ABC 57 News in South Bend, Indiana. With her state in the center of a hurricane over religious freedom, Marino must’ve thought she’d had a coup – a devout Christian business owner willing to speak on camera about their religious beliefs and how it impacts the operations of that business.
The issue of gay marriage is not one that generally comes up when talking about a pizzeria. Neither is straight marriage, for that matter. Local pizza joints aren’t generally hotbeds of wedding receptions. Yet, Marino found herself wandering into Memories Pizza to get the unsuspecting owners to weigh in on an emotional issue which has never come up in the course of the business’s nearly 10 year existence.
When owner Crystal O’Connor told Marino, “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” she had to know she’d struck gold.
Marino had her headline, “RFRA: Michiana business wouldn’t cater a gay wedding.” O’Connor’s quote was in paragraph three. The chyron on the screen for the report read, “Restaurant denies some services to same-sex couples.”
Buried in the second to last paragraph of Marino’s report:
The O’Connor family told ABC 57 news that if a gay couple or a couple belonging to another religion came in to the restaurant to eat, they would never deny them service.
So how did Marino find Memories Pizza? Brian Dorman, the ABC 57 anchor, opened the broadcast by saying, “We went into small towns tonight for reaction to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. We found one business just 20 miles away from a welcoming South Bend with a much different view.” (Emphasis added.)
For Dorman’s introduction and the fact that Memories Pizza is the only business featured in the story, it gives the impression that the ABC 57 news team had an idea of what they were looking for, and they found it.
The Daily Caller reached out to Marino to ask how many businesses she approached for “reaction” to the law and whether or not she was tipped off to the fact that the O’Connor family are devout Christians. She did not answer our inquiry.
She did, however, respond to a man named Marc Goldberg on Twitter. He asked her how Memories managed to come to her attention, and if they’d ever denied anyone service for their wedding.
Marino’s response was, “I just walked into their shop and asked how they feel. They’ve never been asked to cater a same-sex wedding.”
So a hypothetical situation that has never occurred was enough for Marino to do a remote outside the business on the ABC 57 nightly newscast and make citizens who’ve never been accused of harming anyone the top story of the night.
The story went viral, as it obviously would, and Memories Pizza is now closed and the O’Connor family is receiving death threats. Crystal O’Connor told Marino, “We’re not discriminating against anyone, that’s just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything.” She was right on the first part, her and her family are learning, thanks to “journalists” like Alyssa Marino and Brian Dorman, that she was woefully wrong on the second part.
Jess Dooley, who teaches at Concord High School in Elkhart, wants everyone to grab the pitchforks.
Concord High School
Athletic Director: David Preheim
59117 Minuteman Way
Elkhart, IN 46517
Phone: (574) 875-4804
Fax: (574) 875-0103
But don’t worry, it’s those crazy conservatives who are the intolerant ones.
Update: Let me guess… with pay?
Concord High School girl’s golf coach Jess Dooley has been suspended from coaching for a Tweet she allegedly posted Tuesday evening.
The Tweet under @dooley_11 said “Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me? Agree with #FreedomofReligion bill? “That’s a lifestyle they CHOOSE” Ignorant”
The account has since been deleted.
On Tuesday night, the owner of Memories Pizza said they would not cater a gay wedding, but would not deny service to gay customers.
Concord Schools Superintendent Wayne Stubbs wouldn’t speak on camera, but said Dooley has been suspended from coaching until further notice pending an investigation.
And that number continues to increase.
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone out there who stood in the gap for business owners persecuted for their faith. We had the idea to create this GoFundMe account about 15 minutes before the show after I spoke with Crystal O’Connor, 21, and heard how she is worried that the intensity of the hatred over their stand for faith may make it impossible to continue to keep their doors open. The O’Connors were already dealing with hardship and it would have been easy for them to deny Christ for earthly gain and say what they thought the local affiliate wanted to hear. They could have avoided controversy, taken the easy way out. They didn’t. They stood up for their faith and explained that while they serve all customers, for the particular function of a same sex ceremony they cannot as that ceremony is at odds with their faith. We just put up the page, you actually made it happen. We were blown away by the number of donations, the amounts; some gave $100, some gave $5. Every bit matters to these folks who can’t earn a living because the world has gone mad and their at the epicenter of this particular storm.
This isn’t a social issue and don’t pay any mind to those who want to obfuscate the real matter at hand with the “social issues” veneer. Those who are protesting against religious freedom are demanding that the government determine the sincerity of a religious belief, that government determine when someone can practice their faith, and for the government to determine where someone can practice their faith. That’s not the free excercise of religion.
Thank you all for standing in the gap. This is the real culture war. Never leave someone on the field when they’re standing for faith. Never let them stand alone.
As of 2pm eastern time, over $190,000 has been raised online to offset the financial losses suffered by the proprietors of Memories Pizza.
Click HERE if you would like to make a donation to these innocent victims of leftist, anti-Christian bigotry.
There are two easy ways to get a Republican to roll over and put his paws up in the air: The first is to write him a check, which is the political version of scratching his belly, and the second is to call him a bigot. In both cases, it helps if you have a great deal of money behind you.
Tim Cook, who in his role as chief executive of the world’s most valuable company personifies precisely the sort of oppression to which gay people in America are subjected, led the hunting party when Indiana’s governor Mike Pence signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, while Walmart, a company that cannot present its hindquarters enthusiastically enough to the progressives who hate it and everything for which it stands, dispatched its CEO, C. Douglas McMillon, to head off a similar effort in Arkansas, where Governor Asa Hutchison rolled over immediately.
There are three problems with rewarding those who use accusations of bigotry as a political cudgel. First, those who seek to protect religious liberties are not bigots, and going along with false accusations that they are makes one a party to a lie. Second, it is an excellent way to lose political contests, since there is almost nothing – up to and including requiring algebra classes – that the Left will not denounce as bigotry. Third, and related, it rewards and encourages those who cynically deploy accusations of bigotry for their own political ends.
An excellent illustration of this dynamic is on display in the recent pronouncements of columnist and gay-rights activist Dan Savage, who, in what seems to be an effort to resurrect every lame stereotype about the shrill, hysterical, theatrical gay man, declaimed that the efforts of those who do not wish to see butchers and bakers and wedding-bouquet makers forced by their government at gunpoint to violate their religious scruples is – you probably have guessed already – nothing less than the consecration of Jim Crow Junior. “Anti-black bigots, racist bigots, during Jim Crow and segregation made the exact same arguments that you’re hearing people make now,” Savage said. Given the dramatic difference in the social and political position of blacks in the time of Bull Connor and gays in the time of Ellen DeGeneres, this is strictly Hitler-was-a-vegetarian stuff, the elevation of trivial formal similarities over dramatic substantial differences. The choices for explaining this are a.) moral illiteracy; b.) intellectual dishonesty; c.) both a and b.
Adlai Stevenson famously offered this definition: “A free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.” We do not live in that society.
Barack Obama can run for office as an anti-gay-marriage candidate – which he did, more than once – and that is a ho-hum business, because nobody believed him to be sincere. Brendan Eich was driven out of the company he helped found for holding a substantially identical view sincerely – and that sincerity is an unforgivable sin in a society in thrall to the teapot-totalitarian temptation. When there is no private property – the great legal fiction of “public accommodation” saw to its effective abolition – then everything is subject to brute-force politics, and there can be no live-and-let-live ethic, which is why a nation facing financial ruination and the emergence of a bloodthirsty Islamic caliphate is suffering paroxysms over the question of whether we can clap confectioners into prison for declining to bake a cake for a wedding in which there is no bride.
The people who have hijacked the name “liberal” – the étatists – always win when social questions are decided by the state rather than in private life, because the expansion of the state, and the consequent diminution of private life, is their principal objective. The self-styled progressive sets himself in rhetorical opposition to Big Business, but the corporate manager often suffers from the same fatal conceit as the economic étatist – an unthinking, inhumane preference for uniformity, consistency, regimentation, and conformity. It is no surprise to see Apple and Walmart joining forces here against the private mind. There is a reason that the atmosphere and protocols of the corporate human-resources office are a great deal like those of the junior-high vice-principal’s office: All reeducation facilities have a little something in common.
The ancient rival to étatism in the Western world is the church militant, both in its formal institutional expression and in the relatively newfangled (and thoroughly American) choose-your-own-adventure approach to Christianity. For the culture warrior, bringing these nonconformists to heel is a strategic priority. Gay couples contemplating nuptials are not just happening into cake shops and florists with Christian proprietors – this is an organized campaign to bring the private mind under political discipline, to render certain moral dispositions untenable. Like Antiochus and the Jews, the game here is to “oblige them to partake of the sacrifices” and “adopt the customs” of the rulers. We are not so far removed in time as we imagine: Among the acts intended to Hellenize the Jews was a ban on circumcision, a proposal that is still very much alive in our own time, with authorities in several European countries currently pressing for that prohibition.
“I expect to die in bed,” Francis Eugene Cardinal George famously remarked. “My successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.” Perhaps it will not come to that. But we already are on the precipice of sending men with guns to the homes and businesses of bakers to enforce compliance with dictates undreamt-of the day before yesterday.
Yes, render unto Caesar, and all that. But render only what is Caesar’s – and not one mite more.
On Tuesday, Arkansas legislators, ignoring the deafening cry from LGBT supporters against Indiana’s religious freedom law, finished approving their own version of a similar bill. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has already indicated that he would sign the bill once it was sent to him, and with the 67-21 vote approving the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the Arkansas House, Hutchinson will get his chance. The Arkansas Senate already has approved the bill.
Hutchinson told KARK that the bill represents an effort to balance religious freedom and equal protection of the law, saying bluntly, “This bill tries to do that, and it’s not that complicated.”
The hue and cry over the religious freedom bill in Indiana prompted the governors of New York, Connecticut and Washington to curtail some government travel to Indiana. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy blustered, “They knew what they were doing. They were going to make it legal to refuse to serve gay men and women. Somebody has to call them on it.” Resorting to typical Democrat name calling, he said of Indiana Governor Mike Pence on MSNBC, “When you see a bigot, you have to call him on it.”
The Arkansas bill states: “The Arkansas Constitution recognizes the free exercise of religion; Laws neutral toward religion have the same potential to burden religious exercise as laws purposely intended to interfere with religious exercise; Governments should not substantially burden the free exercise of religion without compelling justification.”
The bill justified its necessity, asserting:
In City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997), the United States Supreme Court held that the protections of religious exercise afforded by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb, only applied to religious exercise burdened by federal law or agencies and provided no protection from burdens on religious exercise from state or local law or governments; to provide the same level of protection from burdens on religious exercise from state or local governments, a state must enact an equivalent to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb, that was passed by Congress.
The Wisconsin Senate passed legislation late Wednesday to limit union powers amid a second day of protests as the state capitol again became a battleground over the future of organized labor.
The GOP-controlled Senate passed a “right-to-work” bill with a 17-15 vote that would allow employees in unionized private-sector workplaces to opt out of paying union dues. Republicans also control the state Assembly, making passage likely during the next week, and Gov. Scott Walker – who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 – has said he would sign such a measure into law.
Immediately after passage, the spectator gallery erupted in boos and chants of “shame, shame!” as the Senate ended its day.
Debate on the bill began Wednesday afternoon in the Senate as about 2,000 protesters jostled and chanted on the steps of the capitol and in the rotunda.
The measure comes four years after Mr. Walker pushed through legislation limiting the reach of public-sector unions, drawing tens of thousands to protest in the capitol and launching a contentious recall election, which the governor won.
Minutes after debate began, a spectator in the gallery stood up, and started yelling before being escorted from the chamber by a police officer. “This is an attack on Democracy!” he shouted.
A few minutes later, another audience member did much the same, before the gallery calmed down and debate continued. Spectators interrupted the session regularly, with the Senate president punctuating the outbursts by banging her gavel and summoning police to escort offenders from the chamber.
At the end of the night, her gavel fell apart in her hand mid-bang.
Although no arrests were made in the Senate, officers took four people into custody during protests in the rotunda, according to capitol police.
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, the majority leader, said the bill would create a more competitive state economy and give workers more individual freedom to choose union membership, adding that the bill doesn’t prohibit collective bargaining between unions and employers.
“This legislation will ensure that Wisconsin’s workers have the sole power to determine whether they wish to belong to or support a labor organization,” he said in a statement following the vote.
“Right-to-work: it does impact the economy, except in the wrong direction,” said Democrat Senator Lena Taylor during the debate. “It will have an impact on so many things we aren’t even aware of because we’re rushing it through.”
Since his re-election last year, Mr. Walker has shown little interest in expanding union curbs to the private sector, but in recent days he reiterated his support of a right-to-work bill after state lawmakers took the lead.
The legislation still faces opposition from unions and Democratic lawmakers, who argue it is meant to undermine organized labor and won’t deliver the economic benefits backers promise. They also have accused Republican leaders of fast-tracking the legislation to stifle debate.
“It’s bad for the working men and women of this state, both union and nonunion,” said Sen. Dave Hansen, a Democrat, after the vote. “It’s ridiculous.”
But Myranda Tanck, spokeswoman for Mr. Fitzgerald, dismissed the argument, saying the idea isn’t new and possible legislation has been discussed in the state since the 1990s.
Still, the timing appears to have caught some opponents off guard, with labor leaders so far unable to muster the large crowds seen in 2011.
Senate Democrats presented more than a half-dozen amendments which were all defeated before the final vote Wednesday night. Assembly leaders have said they would take up the legislation next week following Senate action.
Twenty-four states have “right-to-work” laws, yet only three have passed such legislation in the past decade: Oklahoma, Michigan and Indiana. That could change in the coming months as several other states debate such bills.
Undeterred by chilly weather or the Christmas holiday, dozens of antipolice demonstrators marched through downtown Oakland on Thursday evening – some smashing windows of businesses in Jack London Square, throwing bottles, and even tearing ornaments and lights from a large Christmas tree – in the latest round of protests against what they see as police violence toward minorities.
A passenger was escorted off an American Airlines flight Thursday after he became enraged when two flight attendants wished him a “merry Christmas.”
I knew there was a reason I love that movie so much.
Top IRS officials specifically targeted tea party groups and misled the public about its secret political targeting program led by ex-official Lois Lerner, according to a bombshell new congressional report.
A topless FEMEN protester squeezed through a gate at a nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Thursday, and tried to steal baby Jesus from the nativity scene while yelling, “God is a woman!”
A Queens man who wished the two assassinated city cops had been white was overheard vowing to make it right by drawing fresh NYPD blood – and he had the weapons to get it done, law-enforcement sources said Thursday.
Topnotch reporting by the Gateway Pundit reveals that earlier today at the National Action Network headquarters in NYC, the Reverend Al Sharpton complained about those pesky “cheap demagogues who are trying to score cheap points off the deaths of” NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. He also reportedly claimed that the recent protests in NYC have not been anti-police or part of a “kill police movement.”
With no signs of disapproval numbers for the president’s signature legislation abating, the White House is looking to clean up the mess in its aftermath. But technology continues to prove a difficult thing for the otherwise tech-savvy Team Obama.
Part of the reason for the major public rift between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the police forces he commands has been the freedom that anti-police protesters have enjoyed over the past several weeks.
The Obama administration’s nominee for a senior legal position at the Pentagon is one of the congressional staffers accused by Republicans and intelligence officials of stealing classified documents from the Central Intelligence Agency, Fox News has learned – and the controversy could imperil her shot at a major career promotion.
Satanic displays will be going up at Statehouses in Michigan and Florida this Christmas season. The Florida Department of Management Services approved the display in Tallahassee from the Satanic Temple after rejecting it last year as “grossly offensive.” The satanic display will be put up in the first-floor rotunda of the Capitol for the holiday period beginning on December 22.
Merry Christmas, everyone! Unfortunately, left-wing website and perpetual joke Salon believes your holiday – and all religion – is founded on rape.
President Barack Obama began 2014 vowing to act without Congress if need be to get things done. This week, the White House proudly heralded more than 80 executive actions taken during the year, some of biggest taking place after his party took a beating in the November midterms.
Liberalism is the inversion of moral values, adulating what is bad and vilifying what is good. Liberals, particularly of the Hollyweird variety, are infamous for their morbid narcissism. So if the treasonous Jane Fonda is going to build a shrine, who do you think that shrine will honor? You guessed it: herself:
Apparently, the Obama administration’s ostensible determination to foster “diversity” in the military is a one-way street. Army Chaplain Joseph Lawhorn was disciplined for mentioning his faith and the Bible as part of a November suicide prevention training seminar with the 5th Ranger Training Battalion. “You provided a two-sided handout that listed Army resources on one side and a biblical approach to handling depression on the other side,” wrote Col. David Fivecoat, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade at Ft. Benning, Georgia, in an official Letter of Concern. “This made it impossible for those in attendance to receive the resource information without also receiving the biblical information.”
The manspreading complaint is couched as a response to “rudeness” by men, but it is no such thing: it is pathetic feminist pipsqueakery, the last dying gasp of a movement with nothing to win and nothing to say, determined to abuse and antagonise the male sex at all costs and for whatever perceived or outright imaginary infraction it can conjure from the vicissitudes of everyday life. It is offensively trivial, and those associated with it ought to be ashamed.
Violent protesters following in Al Sharpton’s footsteps in New York are planning to disrupt the traditional Ball Drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, sources say.