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Friday, October 24, 2014

Moe Lauzier’s

Issues of the Day

How long before Obama rides off into the sunset? Click below…


3 of Obamacare’s Biggest Broken Promises

On June 5, 2008, then presidential candidate Barack Obama promised, “In an Obama administration, we’ll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year….. We’ll do it by the end of my first term as President of the United States.” Of all the promises Obama has broken, affordability in healthcare is one of the most egregious. In truth, since the passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act in 2010, millions of Americans have had their healthcare disrupted against their will, and have often been forced to pay higher prices for fewer options.
A study released in June 2014 by Forbes Magazine’s Manhattan Institute analyzed data for 3,137 of the country’s 3,144 counties. This study surveyed men and women ages twenty-seven, forty, and sixty-four. The results showed Obamacare has raised 2014 individual health care premiums by an average of 49%.
Across the board, women’s health insurance premiums increased less than those of men. This reflects the fact that before passage of Obamacare, only eleven states prohibited insurers from charging men and women different rates, although women incur higher health care costs. Even considering this disparity, however, 27-year-old women saw an increase of 44 percent, 40-year-olds 23 percent, and 64-year-olds saw their premiums rise 42 percent.
Men took an even bigger hit. 27-year-old men saw a 91 percent increase in premiums. 40-year-old men had their premiums raised 60 percent, and 64-year-old men, 32 percent.
Americans pay in other ways, as well. Tax restraint advocate Grover Norquist has estimated Obamacare includes at least twenty hidden taxes. For example, there is a 3.8 percent surtax on investment income, and a 0.9 percent surtax on Medicare taxes for individuals who earn more than $200,000 and families with incomes above $250,000. These taxes seem patently unfair to people who have worked hard to achieve success, and people still working to attain a higher income.
Seven of the tax provisions directly hit the middle class, even though Obama guaranteed there would be no new tax on people earning below $250,000 – another broken promise. There are new taxes on Flexible Savings Accounts and Health Savings Accounts, and a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical equipment. There’s even a 10 percent tax on tanning services.
Fortunately the courts, all the way up to the Supreme Court, have curtailed certain aspects of Obamacare, but this year the law went forward to full implementation. Despite this, conservative lawmakers consider stopping Obamacare one of their top priorities. As Senator Ted Cruz tweeted earlier this year:


Owner of 'Muslim-free' gun range speaks out

By Chris Woodward,

A journalist and gun-range owner in Arkansas continues to get a lot of attention for her recent article titled" Why I Want My Range to Be a Muslim-Free Zone."

"That article was prompted by 12 years of studying Islam," said Jan Morgan during an interview Monday with Bryan Fischer on American Family Radio. "I've read the Koran [and other Muslim holy books] … I included in my article 109 verses straight from [those sources] that command hate, murder and terror against all people who refuse to submit or convert to Islam. That was the backbone of my article."
Morgan, who has faced threats dating back to before her article, also explained that her line of business is not a coffee shop.
"We deal in lethal firearms and we are given full discretion by the [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)] to determine who can and cannot handle firearms and purchase firearms from this location," she said. "All federal firearms license businesses are given that kind of discretion, and in fact we are directed by ATF ... to err on the side of caution."
Based on events like the 9/11 attacks, the Boston bombings, the mass shooting at Fort Hood, and the recent beheading of an American in Oklahoma, Morgan says she is doing exactly that: erring on the side of caution.
Morgan also informed Fischer about an encounter she had at her gun range in which two Arabic-speaking men wanted to rent a gun, even though one of them couldn't produce U.S. citizenship and another had a driver's license from California. "That's what finally promoted me to write this article about the gun range," she added.
"They had ... ringtones on their phone [so] every time they got a message alert, a text message, an email or a phone call, what we heard was Allahu Akbar. The people who were in my range when those two guys walked in were startled.
"I'm sitting there looking at these guys going 'What is up?' – and I'm wondering 'Are these two guys here to follow through some of the threats that I've received? Is that why they're here?'"


Obama Finally Appoints “Ebola Czar,” Most Notable for What He Doesn’t Know

President Obama has finally decided to appoint an “Ebola Czar” to coordinate the response of the federal government to the looming health crisis posed by the deadly virus. His choice is Democratic operative Ron Klain, who has extensive background in politics and administration, but absolutely no healthcare experience.  On Thursday, the President spoke to CNN and explained his choice:

It may make sense for us to have one person … so that after this initial surge of activity, we can have a more regular process just to make sure that we’re crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s going forward.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest added more details to the President’s announcement:

I think what you can assume Mr. Klain’s role will be is an important, high-level implementation role. Ultimately it will be his responsibility to make sure that all the government agencies who are responsible for aspects of this response, that their efforts are carefully integrated. He will also be playing a role in making sure the decisions get made.
Klain was previously Chief of Staff to Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden. Since 2011, he has worked as president of Case Holdings, a private holding company that manages the assets of AOL co-founder Steve Case.

Despite his lack of background in medicine, some observers believe Klain’s managerial skills are the most important qualification for the position. CNN commentator David Gergen, who has served as a presidential advisor, said of Klain: He’s strong. He’s very tough. It’s important in this job to be a coordinator; you have to knock heads together. He’s tough enough to do that.

Washington Democrats applauded the President’s choice, coming as it does just before the midterm elections. The New York Times reports one official quoted one party official, who wished to remain anonymous:
He’ll control the message better than most people would, which is really important from an economic standpoint, from a health standpoint, but it’s also important from a political perspective.
Klain will be reporting to national security adviser Susan Rice and Obama’s homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco.

The administration has been under fire for failing to be proactive in its response to the Ebola epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control have been widely criticized for the inadequacy of preparation in hospitals as well as the nation’s transit system. Some lawmakers are advocating a travel ban on West African nations, but the President has thus far been opposed to that step.


BREAKING: New Forensic Evidence Is a GAME CHANGER in Mike Brown / Officer Darren Wilson Case

Months after the shooting death of street thug Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, it appears blood evidence is now a major development in the ongoing investigation.

Angela Whitman, a resident of Ferguson, spoke with outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder in August. At the time, Holder’s Justice Department had launched a civil rights investigation into officer Darren Wilson’s motives, in an effort to stir up racial tensions.

Whitman said that if the investigation goes Officer Wilson’s way, St. Louis was “going to burn” thanks to the rioters.

As more evidence comes out to verify Wilson’s claim that he feared for his life and acted in self defense, it is becoming clear that no civil rights case will be officially filed. Why? Because, as the left-wing New York Times found out, Brown’s blood was on the gun, as well as on the interior door panel and on Officer Wilson’s uniform.

WASHINGTON — The police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., two months ago has told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as he struggled over his gun with Mr. Brown, according to government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation into the matter.

The officer, Darren Wilson, has told the authorities that during the scuffle, Mr. Brown reached for the gun. It was fired twice in the car, according to forensics tests performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first bullet struck Mr. Brown in the arm; the second bullet missed.

The forensics tests showed Mr. Brown’s blood on the gun, as well as on the interior door panel and on Officer Wilson’s uniform. Officer Wilson told the authorities that Mr. Brown had punched and scratched him repeatedly, leaving swelling on his face and cuts on his neck.

See what happened here? The evidence didn’t fit the assumption that President Barack Obama and Holder had about Officer Wilson’s guilt. And now that the evidence is becoming overwhelming, this case will be dropped.

Now, comes the threat of riots. And the Black Panthers have already promised it will happen:
Malik Zulu Shabazz, former head of the New Black Panther Party, is demanding a rebellion against the government if Police Officer Darren Wilson is not indicted by a grand jury for allegedly murdering Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.

While Shabazz allowed that he would not specifically call for violence, he also refused to condemn it. “The authority of the white man and white America is illegitimate,” he said. “You have been killing us for 400 years.”

It seems like far too many people were quick to blame a police officer, as it fit so perfectly into the media narrative about police brutality. But now the facts are coming out, and the resulting damage will only escalate.

Do you believe Officer Wilson is innocent? Please leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

Jeanne Shaheen’s victory lap on chemical weapons in Syria exposes ignorance


New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen may not have delivered the worst performance of her political career in a debate with former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, but she also provided opposition researchers and Republican ad makers with quite a bit of fodder to use against her in the remainder of the campaign.
One moment which may have gone under the radar, however, was a bizarre moment in which she sought to criticize Barack Obama’s approach to the Syrian civil war which, left unchecked, exploded into a regional conflict while simultaneously taking credit for its supposed successes. What successes, you ask? The dubious but oft-repeated claim from White House allies that Syria is today free of chemical weapons after the Bashar al-Assad regime consented to surrendering those weapons in exchange for American passivity as part of a deal proposed by Moscow.
Shaheen began by touting the fact that she, along with the members of the Foreign Relations Committee, voted in favor of a resolution authorizing the use of force in Syria in 2013 – a resolution subsequently tabled by the Senate majority leader and was never put to a vote. In this answer, she appeared to criticize the president for abandoning his “red line” for action in Syria. Bizarrely, she went on to defend the president’s alternative to acting on his “red line.”
“I think now, as a result of that action, fortunately now ISIS does not have access to those chemical weapons in Syria,” she insisted.
By the administration’s own admission, the Syrian regime misled the world and hid four chemical manufacturing facilities from international weapons inspectors. Declared or undeclared, Syria maintains its chemical weapons capability and a stockpile of unconventional munitions. As for ISIS, reports indicate that the Islamic State has gotten its hands on weapons of mass destruction, too, and the messianic militia is deploying them against Syrian Kurds.
On Tuesday, Kurdish sources told BBC reporter Güney Yıldız last night Kurdish fighters defending the city of Kobane told him “they suspect IS might have used chemical weapons against the city.”
But this is not even an especially recent development. As early as mid-September, the BBC revealed, “there have been persistent, if unconfirmed, reports that IS has been deploying chlorine gas in Iraq in recent weeks.”
One refers to an attack on Iraqi troops on 16 September in Saladin province, north of Baghdad, in which 12 soldiers were affected.
Another refers to an incident in late September where 15 IS fighters were reportedly killed while filling rockets with chemicals.
At the end of September officials from the UK, French and German governments reached the joint conclusion that it was “plausible” that IS both possessed chlorine gas and had used it against Iraqi troops although they had no hard evidence.
The images of Kurds suffering after having been exposed to chemical agents are hard enough to endure, but juxtaposed with the callous statements of American lawmakers who insist that their ordeal is not even occurring is a powerful message indeed.

$4.10 Per Pound: Ground Beef Price Climbs to Another Record High

The average price for a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high--$4.096 per pound--in the United States in September, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In August, according to BLS, the average price for a pound of all types of ground beef topped $4 for the first time--hitting $4.013.  In September, the average price jumped .083 cents, an increase of 2.1 percent in one month.
A year ago, in September 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.502 per pound. Since then, it has climbed 59.4 cents--or about 17 percent in one year.
Ground Beef Price
Five years ago, in September 2009, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $2.138, according to the BLS. The price has since climbed by $1.958 per pound—or 91.6 percent.
The overall Consumer Price Index measures the relative change in the prices of a basket of goods and services relative to a basis of 100.  Subordinate indexes measure the relative change in price for individual goods or services or categories of goods and services.
The price index for seasonally adjusted uncooked ground beef hit an all-time high of 289.685 in September, up 3.5 percent from July when it was 279.812. In 1947, the earliest year in this index, it was 26.5.
“The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in September on a seasonally adjusted basis,” the BLS reported. “Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.7 percent before seasonal adjustment.”
“Increases in shelter and food indexes outweighed declines in energy indexes to result in the seasonally adjusted all items increase,” said BLS. “The food index rose 0.3 percent as five of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased.”
“The index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs continued to rise, increasing 0.7 percent after a 1.5 increase in August,” said BLS. “The index for beef and veal rose 2.0 percent in September and has now risen 16.7 percent since January.”


When I wrote about the insane sums of taxpayer money paid to federal employees who weren’t even working yesterday, and noticed Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) was on the case, I figured the paid administrative leave scandal would make it into his annual Wastebook – that indispensable chronicle of absurd government spending, the cudgel you should reach for every time you hear a Democrat moan that spending cuts are impossible without sacking teachers and firefighters.  I didn’t realize Wastebook 2014 would be released the very next day, and “Paid Vacations for Bureaucrats Gone Wild” would be the very first item.
If “punishing” the vast army of high-compensated federal employees camped on the Potomac by giving them paid vacations that can last for years doesn’t grab you, how about the government spending $856,000 of your money to put lions on a treadmill, $307,000 to teach synchronized swimming to sea monkeys, $387,000 to give Swedish massages to rabbits, or $171,000 to bankroll monkey gambling?
The Wastebook offers a lot more than just animal acts.  There are plenty of Stupid Bureaucrat Tricks, such as $350 million spent by NASA on a launch tower for a rocket that was scrapped long before the tower was completed, north of $70 million to develop and deploy a high-tech ferry boat whose poor passenger capacity and high maintenance costs are bankrupting the Alaska town it was built for, $1.2 million for the EPA to build a warehouse where it stores years worth of junk paperwork that should have been recycled, and $45,000 wasted on a Colorado bridge that might have to be torn down and rebuilt because it used Canadian steel, in violation of the federal government’s “Buy America” rules.  An awful lot of wasteful spending could be avoided if the right hand of this oversized, over-funded government knew what the left hand was doing.
NASA pops up several times in the Wastebook, as a classic example of an unfocused agency throwing bags of cash at projects with only the most tenuous connection to what most Americans think the space agency should be doing.  For example, they spent $392,000 studying how humans would react to contact with extraterrestrials – something the private sector has been doing at a profit for decades, in the form of science fiction literature.  They funded a $15,000 challenge to find the lost tomb of Genghis Khan, which would seem to have little to do with space exploration, unless it turns out he was an extraterrestrial.  If so, NASA’s $30,000 study predicting the collapse of human civilization will be exciting news for the Khan’s fellow alien conquerors.  NASA also blew $10,000 attending Comic-Con to “bring to life the science behind Marvel Super Heroes” – not their first foray into the funny pages, since they helped out with the production of the 2012 blockbuster “Avengers,” which went on to rake in $2 billion at the box office. Not to be outdone, the Defense Department spent $80 million trying to design a suit of powered armor like Iron Man’s, having apparently missed the part of the story where Tony Stark is a private sector entrepreneur who doesn’t need $20 million in R&D just to design a pencil, as one defense industry official quipped.
Many of the Wastebook’s boondoggles amount to promotional efforts by Big Government to ingratiate itself with various constituencies – you might have noticed the government funding a lot of zombie-themed projects to synchronize with the current “Walking Dead” craze.  The DEA spent $95,000 building a museum to celebrate itself.
Some of the more cringe-inducing chapters involve misguided priorities, such as FEMA’s decision to bypass Texas homeowners after the “storm of the century” and rebuild a flooded golf course instead.  Golf also figures prominently in the FAA spending $18 million on the low-traffic airport that brings well-heeled vacationers to Sun Valley.  “Airports of our size don’t normally get grants of this size,” said the stunned airport manager.  Yeah, well, most airports of your size don’t have Bruce Willis and Tom Hanks picking up their luggage at the carousel.
And then you’ve got the good old-fashioned pork-barrel spending.  Wastebook 2014 is stuffed with more pork than a barbecue joint on SuperBowl Sunday.  A great deal of the spending tucked into our gigantic appropriations bills was put there by individual representatives looking to bring home the bacon to their constituents, a time-honored practice that turns Congress into a cage match between looters.  The rocket tower that doesn’t have a rocket is a good example, but there’s also an unnecessary sheep research station that costs taxpayers $2 million a year, $16 million to build a road through a largely abandoned shopping mall in Fresno, $15 million to transform a derelict Pennsylvania mall into a Hollywood studio, the million-dollar “airport to nowhere” in Syracuse, a minor tree-trimming project at another airport in Sioux Falls that somehow turned into a $5 million golf course renovation, and a grant of $200,000 to buy SWAT equipment for “the safest small town in America.”
Several timely entries detail what government health agencies did with all the money we thought they were spending on little things like Ebola preparedness, including $371,000 spent by the National Institutes of Health to discover if moms love their dogs as much as their children (the answer was “yes,” apparently), and $533,000 to study Buddhism.  The “massages for rabbits” thing was an NIH caper, too.
There are scads of goofy federally-funded entertainment projects – from a kung-fu dance play, to Teddy Roosevelt and Elvis Presley making a “hallucinatory journey” to Graceland together.  (Is there a zombie-themed government-subsidized musical?  You betcha!)  There are taxpayer-funded videogames, including one that simulates infantry combat so well that intelligence experts fear terrorists could use it as a training tool.  Uncle Sam loves throwing good money after bad, as in the case of an “unwanted, unneeded, and unused ice house” in Louisiana that HUD just can’t stop pouring cash into, because the parish in question doesn’t want to admit the project is a bust and refund its original million-dollar grant.  An outrageous, but unsurprising, amount of money is spent by the government on pushing its own agenda, from tax hikes to “green energy” programs, which means taxpayers are paying to propagandize themselves.
Senator Coburn is retiring, so this will be the last Wastebook he edits.  Hopefully one of his fellow senators will pick up the baton and keep these books coming.  “With no one watching over the vast bureaucracy, the problem is not just what Washington isn’t doing, but what it is doing,” Coburn remarked.  “Only someone with too much of someone else’s money and not enough accountability for how it was being spent could come up some of these projects.  I have learned from these experiences that Washington will never change itself. But even if the politicians won’t stop stupid spending, taxpayers always have the last word.”
Do we, though?  With all due respect to the Senator, a great deal of the big-ticket buffoonery chronicled in his Wastebook series happens on autopilot.  The checks are signed by bureaucrats the American people will never have a chance to vote against.  Some Wastebook items are programs that have been running for years, with only the most dubious results, such as the Job Corps of America – $1.7 billion spent over five decades.  It sounds good – who can be against a “job corps?” – and most Americans have very little idea of what it’s actually doing.  Even if they did, where exactly would they go to vote it out of existence?  It’s got $13 billion in additional funding secured through 2020.  What can voters do to shut off that cash spigot, if they review the performance of the Job Corps program and decide it’s not money well spent?
Stupid spending can’t be micro-managed; the government has grown much too large and powerful for that.  Leviathan can defend itself against fiscal reforms, with everything from taxpayer-funded propaganda to legions of angry dependents – quite a few of them millionaires – who will fight to defend their piece of the action, no matter how silly or wasteful it might seem to the rest of us.  Everyone who received the money detailed in the Wastebook cares about that money more than the taxpayers who provide it, especially in the era of big-time deficit spending, where a good deal of the cash is conjured out of thin air.  The only way to impose the sort of discipline Coburn advocates is to reduce both the amount of money government is given, and the amount it spends, while forcing it to balance income with expenses… in other words, force Uncle Sam to live the same way his constituents do.  Only then will the bureaucracy start looking over its expenses and thinking long and hard about whether it really has three hundred grand to spare on teaching synchronized swimming to sea monkeys.

G’ day…
Ciao…….Moe Lauzier

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Moe Lauzier’s

Issues of the Day

How long before Obama rides off into the sunset? Click below…

Moe Lauzier’s

Issues of the Day

How long before Obama rides off into the sunset? Click below…

Everything Was Going Fine… Until Joe Biden Said This

Ole “Gaffe-A-Minute” Joe Biden is at it again.
How Joe has survived through a long career of making wild, exaggerated, fictitious, and just plain idiotic statements in public almost boggles the mind.
Remember the Dan Quayle “fiasco” when he misspelled “potato” as “potatoe”? That was the main topic of the biased liberal media, 24/7, for months.
Of course, Dan is a Republican and Joe is a Democrat.
So, rather than being pounded mercilessly by the media after each of his outrageous gaffes (like any Republican would), Joe gets a free pass.
“Oh, that’s just Joe being Joe Biden”, his media friends and party pals opine. “He doesn’t mean any harm.”
“That’s just Ol’ Joe”, others explain with a chuckle.
But while “Uncle” Joe Biden’s defenders find his many misstatements charming, sane folks should find them truly disturbing.
Let’s take a look at just a few of Joe’s recent gaffes:
  • On Friday, at a speech in Joplin, Missouri to recognize the amazing resilience of the city after its devastating tornado in 2011, Joe sorrowfully noted the “161,000 brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandparents lost” in the awful storm. The only problem is… the actual death toll was 161, not 161,000, which, by the way, is more than three times the city’s population of 50,000.
  • On Thursday, while speaking at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Biden had to later walk back his comments that U.S. allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates funded and armed terrorists.
  • During that same appearance, the man second in line to be our commander in chief said his job – hardly one of the most demanding – was a “bitch.”
  • A few weeks earlier, even the liberal Washington Post admitted that Biden had “the worst week in Washington.” The gaffe assembly line kicked off when Biden offended the Jewish community by grousing about the “Shylocks” who lend to military members and their families. It continued when Jumpin’ Joe designated the prime minister of Singapore as “the wisest man in the Orient.”
But this one has to be the capper…
Joe Biden praised one-time Republican Senator Bob Packwood – a man who was forced to resign in shame amid charges of sexual harassment and assault.
The problem? Joe sang Packwood’s praises during a speech at a Democratic leadership forum… for women.
All this would be laughable if this man was not next in line to be president. And now we know why Barack Obama will never be impeached.

It wasn’t enough for Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor of Texas, to claim that her opponent — who is wheelchair-bound — doesn’t care about disabled people. Now she and her campaign are claiming that Abbott might also want to ban interracial marriage.
There’s only one problem: Abbott’s wife Cecilia is Hispanic.
Even though nobody has ever accused the Wendy Davis campaign of having the slightest clue what it’s doing, this particular line of attack is shocking in its incompetence. As the Texas Tribune wrote back in March:
While Gov. Rick Perry is bowing out of Texas politics after an unprecedented three four-year terms in office, history could also be made if the Governor’s Mansion stays home to a Republican. If Attorney General Greg Abbott wins his campaign to succeed Perry — and he is favored to do so — his wife would become the first Latina to be the first lady of Texas.
Cecilia Phalen Abbott, 54, has been a regular at her husband’s side as he travels across the state for his campaign. He often talks about how Abbott, the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, has helped him embrace the culture of a growing number of Texans, though talk about her heritage has been part of the conflict during the campaign.
This new campaign tack from Wendy Davis — accusing the guy whose wife is Hispanic of maybe wanting to ban interracial marriage — was roundly mocked by pretty much everyone on Twitter within minutes of the attack going out.


Fliers promoting Democrat Kay Hagen use lynching imagery

By Fayetteville Observer (NC)      

Dawn McNair said she was surprised Sunday when her daughter pointed out the background on a political flier urging people to get out and vote.
The front of the flier blares: "Kay Hagan doesn't win! Obama's impeachment will begin! Vote in 2014."
The words are superimposed over a grainy reproduction of a photograph of what appears to be a lynching.
Someone tucked the flier under McNair's windshield wiper while her car was parked at her church, Kingdom Impact Global Ministries on Murchison Road.
"My daughter said, 'Mom, look in the background. They're lynching somebody.' It's the lynching of an African-American man," McNair said.
At the bottom, the flier reads, "Not endorsed by any candidate. Paid for by Concerned Citizens of Cumberland County." No contact information for the group was on the flier.
Democrat Kay Hagan is locked in a tight race for U.S. Senate with Republican Thom Tillis. She is the incumbent senator, and he is s the speaker of the N.C. House.
Polls have shown the race leaning toward Hagan but well within range for Tillis. Because of that and because the outcome of the North Carolina contest could determine whether the GOP takes control of the Senate, more than $100 million has been or will be spent on the race, much of it to pay for attack advertising and much of it spent by groups operating independently of the campaigns.
McNair, 39, said she was confused by the image on the flier and whether it was meant to scare her into voting or frighten her away.
Fliers attributed to Concerned Citizens of Cumberland County also were distributed at First Baptist Church on Moore Street. They had the same message but did not depict a lynching.
Jimmy Buxton, president of the Fayetteville branch of the NAACP, said Monday morning that he had not seen the flier. But he said he does not think the impeachment message is racist.
"That's what the community feels," he said. "That if the Senate is taken over by the Republicans, and it remains the Republicans (in the majority) in the House of Representatives, they're going to impeach him."
Some hard-right GOP lawmakers have called for the president's impeachment, but party leaders have squelched the talk. Even if the GOP were to win control of the Senate, it would not have the two-thirds majority -- 67 seats -- necessary for an impeachment conviction.
Linda Devore, the county's Republican Party chairwoman, said she does not know of a group called Concerned Citizens of Cumberland County.
"I think it's unfortunate to use this kind of emotion as a means to getting people out to vote. It's bad information," Devore said. "It's the wrong way to inform voters."
Chris Hayden, a spokesman for Hagan, was quick to distance his candidate from the flier. He said, "I don't know anything about the group or flier. We don't coordinate with outside groups."
Vikki Andrews of the local Democratic Party could not be reached for comment. Daniel Keylin and Meghan Burris, two people in the Tillis campaign, did not return telephone messages left late Monday afternoon.
Terri Robertson, director of the Cumberland County Board of Elections, said she had not seen the flier when first contacted by a reporter. But once it was described to her, Robertson said, "That would probably be intimidation to me."
She planned to send a copy of it to the state Board of Elections and ask the state to look into it.
Curtis Worthy, a former five-term member of the Fayetteville City Council, helped organize a group called Concerned Citizens of Cumberland County in the 1990s. On Monday, Worthy said it has been a while since he was involved in the organization and he does not know if it still exists. There was no indication that the group listed on the leaflet had any connection with the group once connected to Worthy. That group was formed to protest the principal selection at Seventy-First High School.

About Those Subpoenas to Local Churches… Houston Mayor Gets a Heavy Dose of Reality.

Here’s a shocker: After the story about the City of Houston issuing subpoenas to local churches went viral, resulting in a huge backlash, the Mayor and the City Attorney are now singing a different song. According to a story in the Houston Chronicle, city officials are now blaming the subpoenas on their outside counsel:
Amid outrage from religious groups, Mayor Annise Parker and City Attorney David Feldman on Wednesday appeared to back off a subpoena request for the sermons of certain ministers opposed to the city’s equal rights ordinance, with Parker calling it overly broad.
The subpoenas, handed down to five pastors and religious leaders last month, came to light this week when attorneys for the group of pastors filed a motion to quash the request. Though Feldman stood behind the subpoena in an interview  Tuesday, he and Parker  said during the Mayor’s weekly press conference Wednesday that the wording was problematic.
The wording was the issue?  The subpoena demanded that pastors turn over all sermons and documents related to their thoughts on sexuality, gender identity, and a petition originally filed to protest the City’s new Equal Rights Ordinance that permits anyone wearing a dress, regardless of gender, to use women’s bathrooms in private businesses. Oh, yes, and any mention of the mayor herself.

According to City Attorney Feldman, he had not seen the subpoena, because it was written by outside counsel apparently working pro-bono for the city. Mayor Parker also said she only learned about the subpoena this week. The mayor responded to the furor by adding,
There’s no question the wording was overly broad, But I also think there was some misinterpretation on the other side.
Let me just say that one word in a very long legal document which I know nothing about and would never have read and I’m vilified coast to coast.
The negative response to the subpoenas has exceeded even the anger generated by the passage of the ordinance. In their legal response to the subpoenas, the pastors point out the abridgment of their rights to free speech, and  violations of the constitutional protections afforded all citizens under the First Amendment. Reaction also extended far outside of Houston. Texas Senator Ted Cruz issued a statement Wednesday, saying Parker “should be ashamed.”

Idaho ministers forced to perform same-sex weddingsIDAHO MINISTERS FORCED TO PERFORM SAME-SEX WEDDINGS

In the early days of the same-sex marriage crusade, I had an interesting discussion with a strongly libertarian correspondent who thought redefining marriage was the more libertarian position.  He viewed it as a process of discarding the laws that restricted marriage to one man and one woman, which meant the power of government would be reduced.
I told him I understood his theory, but he was completely wrong about how this would work in practice.  The force of law and scope of government would increase, because same-sex marriage would be forced on dissenters.  The goal of this crusade was not merely to allow such marriages, but to require them, and compel everyone to not merely recognize but salute them.  This new definition of marriage would have to transcend the American understanding of religious liberty, because dissent would not be permitted, no matter what the dissenter’s religious beliefs might be.  I postulated that the number of people with sincere objections to gay marriage would be much larger than the number of gay people who actually chose to get married; therefore, the balance of compulsion would increase considerably.  It’s just that the compulsion would now be directed at a much larger group of people the dominant media culture does not find sympathetic – in fact, actively despises – so the resulting regime might claim libertarian trappings, of the “get government out of the bedroom!” variety, but in practice it would be anything but.
I suspect some gay-marriage supporters might believe the long-term result of all this compulsion would be a society in which dissent against gay marriage had been socially engineered out of existence, so the compulsive force deployed over the coming decades would eventually abate.  Needless to say, the people who find this approach laudable in the case of gay marriage would recoil in screaming horror if the same “force now, acceptance later” strategy was proposed for even the most vaguely socially-conservative end.
For years, we were assured gay marriage would never require anything so absurd as forcing ministers to marry same-sex couples.  Why, that was just slippery-slope fearmongering!  Well, here we are at the bottom of the slippery slope, having sailed past forcing bakers and photographers to participate in these ceremonies.  As The Blaze reports, a pair of Idaho ministers is indeed being forced to perform same-sex weddings, in absolute defiance of their religious convictions, under the threat of financial penalties, and even jail time.  If you support this in any way, please do the rest of us the courtesy of abandoning all pretenses to “libertarianism,” or anything resembling the freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution.  You really should have the intellectual honesty to propose rewriting that amendment, because its guarantees of religious freedom are not compatible with your vision of how society should be ordered, and how much compulsive force should be deployed to maintain that order.
Two ordained ministers have filed a federal lawsuit and are seeking a restraining order to prevent local officials from forcing them to marry same-sex couples, saying they have been threatened with fines and possible jail time over their refusal.

Donald and Evelyn Knapp, owners of Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, are being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal firm, claiming that city officials told them that they are required to conduct gay marriages under a nondiscrimination ordinance.
If they do not, the Knapps say, that they could “face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines,” according to a press release from Alliance Defending Freedom. The firm said the couple could face up to 180 days in jail or $1,000 in fines for each day they refuse.
“Each day the Knapps decline to perform a requested same-sex wedding ceremony, they commit a separate and distinct misdemeanor, subject to the same penalties,” reads the official complaint. “Thus, if the Knapps decline a same-sex wedding ceremony for just one week, they risk going to jail for over three years and being fined $7,000.”
An apparent refusal reportedly came last Friday when a man called the chapel two days after gay marriage was legalized in Idaho to inquire about a same-sex ceremony. The couple declined to perform the wedding, essentially placing them in violation of the ordinance; they subsequently filed the lawsuit.
Back when people were still pretending gay marriage was compatible with individual liberty, it was commonly argued that something like this would never, ever happen, because there would be plenty of venues available to perform same-sex weddings after they were made fully legal.  The magic of the free market would kick in, and the gay wedding custom would flow around stubborn chapels like the water of a fast-moving stream flowing around rocks.  Anyone who warned that activists would deliberately seek out traditional chapels and bring in government muscle to force them into compliance, or force them out of business, was denounced as a slippery-sloper.
Speaking of getting forced out of business, believe it or not, that’s the trendy left-wing way to spin this story: the Knapps run a for-profit business, so they can keep their precious religious traditions if they just go out of business.  Just go on welfare, sign up for a food-stamp card, and you can practice your silly little religion in the basement.  Easy peasy!
While some might be wondering why ordained ministers are purportedly being forced to marry gay couples, consider that the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, which opened in 1989, is a for-profit business, which means it is not exempt from local nondiscrimination regulations.
That said, the Alliance Defending Freedom claims that Donald and Evelyn Knapp perform religious ceremonies, which include references to God and Bible scripture. The firm is fighting back, arguing that the couple should not be coerced to take actions that violate their faith.
“The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy Tedesco said. “Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that’s what is happening here — and it’s happened this quickly.”
The couple has been clear in the past that they would rather close up shop than perform same-sex ceremonies.
“I think the Bible is pretty clear that homosexuality is not his way, and therefore I cannot unite people in a way that I believe would conflict with what the Bible teaches,” Donald Knapp told KXLY-TV back in May.
I ask again: who is so deluded as to believe this bears any resemblance to “libertarianism” or the Constitutional understanding of religious freedom?  The Founders would have been rather astonished by the notion that religious freedom means the citizen can follow his conscience after sacrificing his livelihood to the almighty State.  Combined with the legal battle over ObamaCare’s contraception mandates, this case brings us a shriveled understanding of “religious freedom” as something which exists solely within the confines of a church or temple recognized by the State.  If you’re not a direct employee of such a certified reservation for religion, your conscience means nothing; you may not own the fruits of your labor unless you set your beliefs aside.  This is true even when your resistance does not actually thwart the will of the State and its chosen ones.  It doesn’t matter how many chapels, photographers, and bakers are willing and eager to do what you believe is wrong.  You will be made to do it as well; not even trivial dissent is permitted.  The water refuses to flow around the rock, no matter how wide and deep the social river might be.
If same-sex marriage is the new popular consensus, with irresistible support from the American people, why are they so rarely given a chance to vote on it?  Why is it necessary for a handful of judges to impose the new “consensus” and then set about crushing all resistance?  If a great majority has embraced same-sex marriage, why not allow their voluntary choices through the free market “punish” those who refuse to provide services for same-sex weddings, and reward those who do?  That’s exactly what would happen, if market forces and individual conscience were properly respected.  The Hitching Post is turning its back on what we are told would be a sizable market for its services.  Why wouldn’t confident same-sex marriage supporters allow them to do so, with a cheerful tip of the cap, and take their money elsewhere – including the money of heterosexual couples who find the Knapps’ stance against performing gay weddings offensive?  One wonders if perhaps the same-sex marriage groundswell doesn’t include quite as much swelling ground as we’ve been told.  It’s the unstoppable juggernaut that a few people can completely derail by politely refusing to get on board.
A common thread running through these battles over conscience and dissent is the dominant culture’s belief that dissent against same-sex marriage is insincere.  It’s viewed as a completely irrational prejudice no one could possibly hold for honest reasons.  Religious belief is viewed as a hobby to be practiced in the basement, not a deep spiritual understanding that informs every aspect of the believer’s life.  Even some secular libertarians speaking up in defense of the Knapps, and others who have resisted mandatory participation in same-sex weddings or the ObamaCare contraception mandates, treat the religion as a quaint eccentricity the resisters should be allowed to indulge in a free society.  It should not be necessary to share someone’s religious beliefs to respect them more than that.   Secular libertarians who seriously wish to help preserve religious liberty must learn to see it as more valuable than that, because I’m here to tell you, guys: our tightly fused government/media culture long ago abandoned the notion of absolute principles.  Everything is a value judgment now.  Nothing is truly off-limits to the power of the State; it awaits only an invitation from those who passionately desire its presence to enter any part of our lives.
In a contest between super-sincere same-sex couples who totally love each other and want to get married at this chapel right here, and stubborn eccentrics who defend their kooky hobby by quoting from some dusty old Bible, there is no way to hold compulsive force at bay by muttering about the theoretical right of American citizens to practice kooky hobbies.  Everyone who values liberty needs to get passionate about defending people like the Knapps, and that includes same-sex marriage proponents who believed a single word they said about valuing freedom and respecting conscience over the past decade.  You don’t have to share their beliefs in order to respect them.  And if you’re cool with the idea of using State power to break people whose beliefs you don’t agree with or respect – even when it’s not necessary to stamp out dissenters in order for your beliefs to flourish – the correct word for you is totalitarian.  It doesn’t matter one little bit that you think your beliefs are righteous.  Every other totalitarian feels the same way.
The fact that we’re having this discussion at all means that secular libertarians allowed themselves to be pushed back onto what Sun Tzu called “fatal terrain”: the ground that cannot be lost.  There is no reason to believe this new regime of coercion – this new understanding of obedience to the State’s understanding of morality in every aspect of life, by anyone who dares to engage in voluntary commerce for profit – will stop with enforcing gay marriage.  The totalitarian beast has never been sated; the taste of blood only sharpens its hunger.  What else will we be required to do, what else will we be forbidden to say, if we want to keep our property and retain our livelihoods?  What else will be imposed upon us, using the argument that what is “good” must be universal and compulsory?
Update: The rest of the Left’s spin on this story amounts to arguing that it’s excessive to say the Knapps are being “forced to perform same-sex marriages,” because they can escape fines and imprisonment by the simple expedient of going out of business.  I’ll let Sam Adams respond to that argument: “Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.  May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”

G’ day…
Ciao…….Moe Lauzier

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