“A Great Day For Religious Freedom”: Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Hobby Lobby (Video)

In a 5-4 decision,  the U.S. Supreme Court  ruled that business owners can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Obama’s healthcare law that would require them to provide health insurance that covers birth control and abortifacients..

“We’re thrilled with the court’s decision today,” said Lori Windham Senior Counsel for the Becket Fund, in reaction to the news. “We think this is a great day for religious freedom.”

The decision means that employees who want certain types of  birth control will have to find another way to obtain it – like Planned Parenthood – or Walmart.

Via The Chicago Trib:

In a majority opinion by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the court said the ruling applies only to the birth control mandate and does not mean companies would necessarily succeed if they made similar claims to other insurance requirements, such as vaccinations and drug transfusions

In the majority opinion, Alito indicated that employees could still be able to obtain the birth control coverage via an accommodation to the mandate that the Obama administration has already introduced for religious-affiliated nonprofits. The accommodation allows health insurance companies to provide the coverage without the employer being involved in the process.

“The Hahns and Greens have a sincere religious belief that life begins at conception,” Alito said. “They therefore object on religious grounds to providing health insurance that covers methods of birth control that…may result in the destruction of an embryo.”

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas joined with Alito.

Confirmed: Benghazi Documents Point to White House on Susan Rice’s Bogus Talking Points

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge reported on some new developments via Judicial Watch in the investigation into the Sept. 2012 Benghazi attack, including the release of documents that lead directly to the White House. 

You will be not surprised to find that White House “fixer” Ben Rhodes wrote the memo emphasizing the importance of the youtube video  to Obama’s paid hacks, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Deputy Press Secretary Joshua Earnest, then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, then-White House Deputy Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, then-National Security Council Director of Communications Erin Pelton, Special Assistant to the Press Secretary Howli Ledbetter, and then-White House Senior Advisor and political strategist Davie Plouffe to disseminate to the public. In other words, the entire White House communications staff – public servants who work for the American people –  provided political cover to the Regime during an election year, rather than provide the best information they had on an issue of great national importance, to the American public. 

 Under the subject “prep call with Susan,” Rhodes wrote that the goal for Rice’s appearances on Sunday talk shows would be “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”

The message was sent three days after the attacks, which left four Americans dead at a U.S. consulate and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya.

Days later, Rice would go on numerous Sunday news programs, including on Fox News Sunday, to falsely assert that the Benghazi attack was spontaneous and occurred during a protest over an anti-Islam video. Since that time, the White House has come under fierce criticism from Republicans, who allege that the administration altered the CIA’s talking points about how the Benghazi attack unfolded.

We now know that the attacks had nothing to do with the video, and everything to do with the Regime’s failure to secure and defend the compound in Benghazi.

These people are disgusting.

You have to wonder – was it worth it to the Regime to invent the YouTube story?  – Since so many of us knew it was BS from the start, and it’s just one more scandal to add to the their impressive list of scandals?  But then – when I say “so many of us” I’m not talking about the public, at large, am I? The MSM went to bat for the Regime in the wake of the Benghazi attack – in many cases acting like unpaid members of Obama’s communication team (Candy Crowley comes to mind.)  In the end, it would seem that the lies helped Obama limp across the finish line because most people believed the lies that the White House and the media disseminated.

FLASHBACK to Feb 23, 2013: Susan Rice – No Regrets over Benghazi Remarks:

President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, said on Sunday she was not “100 percent correct” in her remarks after the deadly 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Libya, but called it patently false to say she intentionally misled Americans about the incident.

Republican critics were not satisfied with her explanation, with Senator John McCain proclaiming himself “almost speechless.”

On Sept. 11, 2012, an attack by militants killed four Americans at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, including American Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Just days later, Rice appeared on news shows and stated that the attack was the work of a spontaneous crowd, instead of Islamic militants.

When Rice’s 2012 account proved incorrect, Republican lawmakers accused her of trying to protect Obama during his re-election campaign, which the White House disputed.

Appearing on the NBC program “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Rice said, “I commented that this was based on what we knew on that morning (and) was provided to me and my colleagues – and indeed to Congress – by the intelligence community. And that’s been well validated in many different ways since.”

“And that information turned out, in some respects, not to be 100 percent correct. But the notion that somehow I or anybody else in the administration misled the American people is patently false,” she added.

Rice said she did not have any regrets about the 2012 comments. She also said the United States remains committed to catching the perpetrators of the attack. “And we will stay on it until this gets done,” she added.

Does it make you rest easy at night knowing that this woman is the president’s National Security Advisor?

Video: Priest Sings Hallelujah For Wedding Couple

I’ve been waiting until Easter to post this heart-warming video of an Irish priest singing  Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah  for newly married couple, Chris and Leah O’Kane.

Father Ray Kelly, the parish priest of Oldcastle, Meath told couple Chris and Leah O’Kane he had a small surprise them during the ceremony.
At their wedding last Saturday, Fr Kelly began a note perfect rendition of Leonard Cohen’s/Jeff Buckleys Hallelujah. The talented priest is no stranger to singing and is currently working on his third album he told Evoke.ie.
Fr Kelly had no trouble hitting any of the high notes, even having time to have a little joke with the bride and groom. He received a rapturous applause following the song and received a standing ovation from some of the congregation.

The song was originally released in 1984 on Leonard Cohen’s album Various Positions  but achieved little initial success.  

The song found greater popular acclaim through a cover by John Cale, which later formed the basis for a cover by Jeff Buckley. It is the subject of the book The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah” (2012) by Alan Light. In a New York Times review of the book, Janet Maslin praises the book and the song, noting that “Cohen spent years struggling with his song ‘Hallelujah.’ . . . He wrote perhaps as many as 80 verses before paring the song down.”

Many cover versions have been performed by many and various singers, both in recordings and in concert, with over 300 versions known.  The song has been used in film and television soundtracks, and televised talent contests. It is often called one of the greatest songs of all time

Father Kelly customized the lyrics for the happy couple. Here is the wonderful result. (The video starts off with the tail ending of a gorgeous duet of “Be Now My Vision”.)

Kelly was later interviewed on the radio about the video that went viral.

Father Ray’s Lyrics:

Read the rest of this entry »

Audio: Rush Roasts Joe Biden For Awkward Boston Bombing Memorial Gaffe

Rush Limbaugh spent some time on his radio show, Wednesday, lampooning Vice President (Joey Choo-Choo) Biden for making an awkward comment at the Boston bombing memorial, Tuesday. As you may have heard, the Vice President had a “Biden” moment, and said something totally inappropriate to the crowd of survivors. I wrote about it at Breitbart’s The Conversation, yesterday.

In visiting Limbaugh’s site looking for something else I heard Rush say, today, I was surprised and delighted to find that he had quoted me from the post I wrote at the Conversation.

RUSH: Less than a minute into his speech at the Boston Marathon bombing memorial yesterday… By the way, Obama went out there and spoke, too.  Do you know he never used the words “terrorism” or “militant Islamist” or anything of the nature about what it was?  He just called it a “tragedy.” But the real fun began when the vice president stood up there.

Less than a minute into his speech, Vice President Biden went tragically off script and told the crowd of survivors, “It was worth it.”  You want to hear?  It’s only 14 seconds.  We’re gonna have to replay this. I’m sure the shock here is such that we’ll have to play it a couple of times.

BIDEN:  Let me say, uh, to, uh, those, uh, quote, “survivors,” my God, you have survived, and you have soared.  It was worth… It was worth it!

AUDIENCE: (stunned silence)

My post at the Conversation:

Less than a minute into his speech at the Boston marathon bombing memorial on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden went tragically off script and told the crowd of Boston bombing survivors that “it was worth it.”

After expressing how impressed he was with the tribute, he said somberly, “let me say to those ‘quote survivors,’  my God, you have survived and you have soared. It was worth it. I mean this sincerely – just to hear each of you speak. You’re truly, truly inspiring.”

The audience sat in stunned silence until Biden declared, “I’ve never heard anything so beautiful than what all of you just said.”

He went on to describe how “the first responders” (aka the MSM) handled the gaffe, which was to ignore it entirely – something I had also noted in my post:

RUSH: He went on to say, “I mean this sincerely.  Just to hear each of you speak, you are truly, truly inspiring.  It was worth it.  I mean this sincerely.  Just to hear each of you, it was worth it,” to find out how good you were. It was worth it to find out how strong you are. It was worth it to find out how strong we are.  The audience, of course, sat there in stunned silence.

And after a moment of stunned silence, Biden then said, “I’ve never heard anything so beautiful than what all of you just said.”  They didn’t say anything.  “I’ve never heard anything more beautiful than what you’ve just said.”  Of course, the Democrats say, “That’s just Joe being Joe.  Ah, it was just Joe being Joe.”  Let Bush or Cheney show up at this thing and tell ‘em it was worth it and you see what would happen then.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  It’s fascinating, by the way, to take a look here, folks, at how the left reacts. I call ‘em the left-wing first responders.  Whenever Biden steps in it or Obama or any Democrat makes a mess of things and causes an emergency, then you have the first responders (i.e., the Drive-By Media) come out and deal with the carnage and try to recast it.  In this case, the Regime’s first responder was the Atlantic.com website, rushing to Biden’s defense.

Here’s what they said: “We, like most viewers of the speech, assumed Biden was (poorly) talking about coming to the event, rather than the bombings themselves. Despite getting flagged by a Fox News reporter, the quote didn’t even make it into the news channel’s write-up of the tribute. ” Of course not!  Of course.  That’s what the first responders do, is they keep it out of the news.  But we, ladies and gentlemen, found it.  We’re not gonna shield you from it.

So the Drive-By first responders’ emergency services personnel arrive on the scene, and clean up the mess that Biden makes. “Oh, no, he wasn’t talking about the bombing being worth it! No, no, no, no, no.  He was talking about it was worth it attending the event, that everybody in the audience attending the event was worth it.”  Okay.  Well, let’s listen again.  What is a “quote, ‘survivor,'” by the way?

Me, yesterday:

But of course, that was just Joe being Joe. The MSM knew exactly what the Vice President meant to say, and thus it wasn’t a story, today:

We, like most viewers of the speech, assumed Biden was (poorly) talking about coming to the event, rather than the bombings themselves. Despite getting flagged by a Fox News reporter, the quote didn’t even make it into the news channel’s write-up of the tribute.

No, of course it didn’t. Joe meant well. If a Republican had said something similarly stupid and awkward, though, he would have been crucified – because in the media’s eyes no Republican ever means well.

Via the Daily Rushbo: SHOCK! RUSH: Biden Goes Tragically Off Script:

Limbaugh’s website linked to my post at the Conversation and a couple of other websites.

And now I can’t remember what it is that I was originally looking for.

 

Video: Former Seal Pursues Assailents After Being Shot In Stomach

chris heben

Former Special Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Chris Heben was on his way to buy his mother a birthday gift March 28 when an altercation in the  Bath Township, Ohio, shopping center parking lot became deadly and he was shot in the lower abdomen. Operating out of instinct, Heben, 44, hopped in his truck and tried to pursue his assailant while holding a finger in his bullet wound. It wasn’t long before he  was seeing stars, so pulled over at the police station and get some medical help.

The Navy Times interviewed  Heben about the incident:

It all started when a gray, low-profile sports car nearly backed up into him in the parking lot. Heben said they exchanged strong words, but no one was yelling.

“You almost ran me over,” he recalled saying. “If I wasn’t paying attention, I’d be under your car right now.”

Thinking the situation was over, he headed for the Mustard Seed Market & Cafe. But then the car came back and Heben got shot.

Navy Times spoke to Heben over the phone April 3, following his discharge from the hospital.

Q. What happened when the car pulled up?

A. I’m going toward the store and he comes up next to me and shoots me through the door, basically. He said, “you got a real big mouth and you need to learn some respect. Where I come from we have to earn respect. I’d be willing to help you with that right now,” or something like that.

And then he looked at his buddy, turned back and looked at me, and that’s when I felt like I got mule-kicked in the gut. I never saw a gun.

I had a gun in my car at that time, a Glock. If I would have had the gun on me, I still think, legally, I couldn’t have shot because I didn’t see a gun.

Q. Did you see the plate?

A. No, but that’s why I gave chase. I’m all amped up. You know, I’m a SEAL — I’m not thinking 911, I’m thinking, ‘must catch people.’

Q. How long did you follow the car?

A. I could never get more than 75 yards from them because I have a truck, they have a souped up little car. At some point in time, I’m like, I can’t follow these guys anymore. There’s a police station literally right here, I’m going to pull in there and get some help.

I went from seeing stars to like, looking through a kaleidoscope into a lava lamp. Everything was kind of blue.

I would just guess it was less than five minutes. My belly was on fire. I got shot about five inches below my belly button and about an inch over from that.

It was burning, my heart’s racing, I’m sweating, my eyes aren’t working. And I’m thinking, what’s the end game here? If you catch up to them, and you probably won’t, what are you going to do?

You’re going to pit maneuver them, and spin them out, and hope you can get out with your gun? And you still haven’t seen a gun, and now you’re pursuing people, which is outside of the concealed carry statutes. Dude, just get help.

WND reported  that Heben stated in an “exclusive interview” with reporter F. Michael Maloof that there might be a terrorist connection to the shooting.

A former U.S. Navy SEAL who publicly had expressed concern about terror attacks on the U.S. electrical grid believes he became the target of an al-Qaida attack – or a mercenary hired by al-Qaida – in the United States.

But after reflection, he thinks it might be part of a series of unprovoked attacks on SEALs.

Heben recently had been prominently featured on Fox News and other media outlets, issuing a warning of the prospect of terrorist attacks on the U.S. electrical grid system.

Asked about the report on Facebook, Heben said,  “I spoke with the author briefly, and he definitely made some stretches. I told him that I didn’t ‘think’ I was targeted, but it isn’t outside the realm of possibility. I also NEVER told him that I had a definitive description of the neck tattoo’s, only that I saw some. He also never asked me for an official interview. The message: Never trust anyone.”-CMH

 Previous posts with Christopher Mark Heben:

Jeanine Pirro Investigates Possibility of Catastrophic Power Grid Failure: “This is Not Science Fiction – It’s Real”

Judge Jeanine Pirro: The Timing of Petraeus Resignation Anything But a Coincidence (Video)

 

Hobby Lobby vs Sebelius Goes Before the Supreme Court

Today, in cold and snowy Washington, the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in the  Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius case  addressing the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of business owners to operate their family companies without violating their deeply held religious convictions.

Friday   will decide if they take up the lawsuit.

The Becket Fund is representing Hobby Lobby.

In Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, 84 amicus briefs were filed – among the largest amicus efforts ever. By an almost three- to-one margin, these briefs favored Hobby Lobby, demonstrating the breadth and depth of support for the Green family, Hobby Lobby, and religious freedom. Not only are the numbers large, the briefs include powerful arguments from leading scholars, top Supreme Court practitioners, and prominent religious leaders, forming a diverse coalition in support of Hobby Lobby before the Supreme Court.

Amicus briefs (friend-of-the-court briefs) are filed by groups, individuals, and scholars who are not part of the case before the Supreme Court, but who care about how the Court rules.

 

The Wall Street Journal has a live blog of the Contraception cases before the Supreme Court.

OUTSIDE THE COURT III: While we’re talking about messaging: Americans United for Life coined the #TEAMLIFE hashtag we mentioned earlier, and that’s just one of the Twitter plugs being offered on that side of the plaza. Meanwhile, UltraViolet, a new-on-the-scene women’s rights group, is using a variation on a tried-and-tested abortion rights message designed to appeal to libertarian-leaning voters: “No bosses in my bedroom.”

 

  • OUTSIDE THE COURT II: The women’s rights groups are carving up one end of the color spectrum (Planned Parenthood Federation of America activists are wearing pink hats, Naral Pro-Choice supporters are using purple.) Some of the religious liberty campaigners are using green for the “Religious freedom is everyone’s business” signs but there’s also a competing “Repeal the HHS mandate” placard doing the rounds in red (and a conservative group, Women Speak for Themselves, is trying to take back pink in their placards.)

  • OUTSIDE THE COURT: A banner case like Hobby Lobby brings out an array of advocacy groups, and presents a tough marketing problem: How do you distinguish your organization from your allies, let alone your opponents?

 

UPDATE via Hot Air:

Ed Whelan hears second-hand that Justice Breyer may be a vote to overturn the mandate, and perhaps a 6-3 victory for Hobby Lobby is in the offing. We’ll check back when Whelan reads through the transcripts.

SEE ALSO:

The Conversation: Some of the The Zaniest Pro- HHS Mandate Signs Outside SCOTUS Today

The Foundry: Meet the Real People Hurt by Obamacare’s Mandates And Disregard for Religious Liberty [PHOTOS]

Gabe at AoSHQ: Reviewing The Legal Arguments In The Contraception Mandate Cases:

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Supreme Court will today hear the contraception mandate cases, popularly styled Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby. Politically, these cases hit a bunch of fraught notes on sex, power, religion, and free speech. I covered that, with emphasis on the lies leftists will tell, yesterday. Legally, however, these cases also raise important questions, and I want to cover that today.

As I’ve written before, these cases won’t bring down Obamacare. But they will determine how government will interact with religious individuals for decades to come. Here are the most important legal questions the Supreme Court will have to consider today.

***

I will conclude with a prediction based only on their briefs (and this comes before argument): the businesses will win. There is a key difference between a political argument and a legal argument that the government seems to have forgotten here. To win in politics, you take the other side’s worst argument and hammer that. To win in a legal argument, however, you must take the other side’s best argument and tear it down. Here, the government’s brief doesn’t directly address the businesses’ arguments, preferring instead to take a rambling trip through concepts like piercing the corporate veil, “attenuation,” and ERISA lawsuits. By contrast, the businesses focus directly on the question at issue: does RFRA protect them. It’s a telling difference.

Cruz Press Release: Sen. Cruz supports Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties:

SCOTUS should defend the First Amendment
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today released the following statement reiterating his support for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties as oral arguments for Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius begin tomorrow at the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court has the opportunity to affirm our fundamental right to religious freedom,” Sen. Cruz said. “Time and time again, President Obama has granted exemptions to the politically powerful, yet refuses to grant the same leniency to those for whom Obamacare’s contraception mandate infringes on their beliefs. I urge the court to unequivocally stand up for the First Amendment rights of all Americans and stop the government from forcing employers with valid religious objections to violate their faith.”

Last January, Sen. Cruz, joined by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Mike Lee, R-Utah, and David Vitter, R-La., filed an amicus brief defending Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties against Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

In the amicus brief, Sen. Cruz details several of the most egregious examples of the Administration selectively enforcing and modifying provisions of Obamacare, which include making the unilateral decision to delay health insurance requirements; capping out-of-pocket costs; expanding and delaying the employer mandate penalty; and granting health subsidies to members of Congress and congressional staff.

The Mama Grizzley’s Still Got It: Sarah Palin Rocks #CPAC2014

There’s a reason why Sarah Palin is able to snag the primo keynote speaking spot at conservative events five years after she left elected office. The woman gives a speech like none other. The pitbull with lipstick that we fell in love with at the 2008 Republican  Convention, has still got it.

Packed with Palin’s trademark zingers and a highly entertaining reading of her own special version of Green eggs and ham, Palin had the CPAC crowd on their feet roaring with approval.

It was  fun watching this in person:

I do not like this Uncle Sam, I do not like his healthcare scam.   I do not like these dirty crooks or how they lie and cook the books. I do not like when Congress steals. I do not like their crony deals. I do not like this spying, man. I do not like, ‘oh yes we can.’ I do not like this spending spree. We’re smart, we know there’s nothing free. I do not like reporters’ smug replies when I complain about their lies. I do not like this kind of hope and we wont take it…

nope, nope, nope.

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