Saturday, June 29, 2013

Facebook bans Fox News' Todd Starnes over post supporting NRA, Paula Deen, Jesus

After posting a message on his fan page supporting the National Rifle Association, Paula Deen and Jesus Christ, Fox News' Todd Starnes found himself banned from the social media site and his post deleted, Fox News reported Saturday.

“I’m about as politically incorrect as you can get,” Starnes wrote on his Facebook page. “I’m wearing an NRA ball cap, eating a Chick-fil-A sandwich, reading a Paula Deen cookbook and sipping a 20-ounce sweet tea while sitting in my Cracker Barrel rocking chair with the Gather Vocal Band singing ‘Jesus Saves’ on the stereo and a Gideon’s Bible in my pocket. Yes sir, I’m politically incorrect and happy as a june bug.”

According to Starnes, the post went viral, generating hundreds of comments.

But Facebook claimed it violated their rules and standards.

“We removed this from Facebook because it violates our Community Standards,” Facebook told Starnes. “So you’re temporarily blocked from using this feature.”

Starnes said he was perplexed.

“Does Facebook have a bigger problem with Jesus or plump juicy chicken breasts?” he asked.

Facebook not only banned Starnes from posting, the site also prevented him from posting a daily Bible verse called “Morning Glory – Start Your Day Inspired.”

But after an outcry from fans and supporters, Facebook lifted the ban and apologized.

"They said one of their staff members 'accidentally' removed the posting," Starnes wrote on his page.

"'Accidentally on purpose', as my grandfather used to say!" one person responded on Facebook.

"Glad to be part of this God-fearing, Amercia-loving front porch!!"

A number of other Facebook users expressed support for Starnes and his message.

We reached out to Facebook earlier today for comment, but did not receive a reply.

As Starnes observed, this is not the first time Facebook has punished conservatives for little to no reason. Earlier this year, Facebook punished Florida blogger Diane Sori for a link to a beheading picture she never posted after applying a rule that holds all administrators responsible for what any administrator posts regardless of the circumstances.

Many other conservatives have been punished or banned for much less.

Twitchy noted the irony of Starnes' banning, considering the site permits pages calling for the murder of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer on trial for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

As a result, over 125,000 have migrated to Tea Party Community, a Facebook-like alternative that gives conservatives a site where they can exercise free expression.

Other sites like Online Fiends and United Patriots have also sprung up, and a Facebook event calls on users to stay off the social media giant on Independence Day.


Newsmax                                                        Obamacare Ruling: Religious Employers Must Provide Birth Control Coverage

By Todd Beamon

The White House ruled Friday that employees of religious-affiliated, nonprofit institutions would receive insurance coverage for birth control under Obamacare, ensuring more legal challenges to the rule.

"[Friday's] announcement reinforces our commitment to respect the concerns of houses of worship and other nonprofit religious organizations that object to contraceptive coverage, while helping to ensure that women get the care they need, regardless of where they work," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Early last year, the Obama administration said that universities, hospitals, and other employers with a religious affiliation could avoid paying directly for contraceptives.

Under that Obamacare arrangement, insurance companies would instead provide coverage and pay for it.

The rule requires an institution's health insurer or third-party insurance administrator to notify employees about birth control benefits and provide beneficiaries with direct payments that cover the cost of contraceptive services.

The announcement by Sebelius puts into effect a requirement that has been beset by more than a year of talks between administration officials and religious employers.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other denominations oppose contraception on religious grounds and have protested against the requirement, along with conservatives.

"We have received and started to review the 110-page final rule," New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the conference’s president, said in a statement. "It will require more careful analysis. We will provide a fuller statement when that analysis is complete."

While the rule took effect on Jan. 1, the White House gave nonprofit employers five more months to adjust to the new regulations by having them apply to plans beginning on or after Jan. 1 of this year.

Other employers have been required to make contraceptive coverage available to their workers since last August.

Meanwhile, women's advocates applauded the decision as a milestone that could have profound impact on the education and economic opportunities of women, including college students.

"Birth control is basic healthcare for women, and this policy treats it like any other kind of preventive care," said Planned Parenthood President Cecile Roberts.

Opponents say the policy, part of President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, violates religious tenets of both nonprofit and for-profit employers, particularly coverage for the morning-after pill to stop pregnancy and other types of contraceptives, which they view as tantamount to abortion.

Employers have had legal successes, raising speculation that the lawfulness of the rule may eventually be tested by the Supreme Court.

Religious organizations and businesses have filed more than 60 lawsuits against the requirement — and the courts have granted nearly 20 private businesses temporary relief from the law while their cases proceed in court.

Earlier this month, a federal judge in Pennsylvania granted the same relief to a religiously affiliated nonprofit for the first time in the case of Geneva College, which was established by the Reform Presbyterian Church.

The Friday ruling came a day after a federal appeals court in Denver ruled that Hobby Lobby, the family-owned arts and crafts chain, may be exempt from offering contraceptive benefits to its 13,000 full-time workers.

Hobby Lobby's lawyer, Kyle Duncan, of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said his organization filed an emergency request late on Thursday asking a federal district court to take immediate action on the company's request for an exemption from the mandate.

The retailer, based in Jensen Beach, Fla., was excused by a federal judge on Friday from paying up to $1.3 million a day in fines for not providing coverage.

10 Takeaways From The Senate Immigration Fiasco  
By: Hugh Hewitt/ Townhall Columnist

It was a fiasco -- the worst possible result: A terribly flawed bill that, of all the GOP's Senate superstars, only Marco Rubio could support. All the other rising stars -- Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and John Thune -- voted "no," as did Leader McConnell and Whip Cornyn.

Worse yet, the jam down created a toxic environment around immigration reform, greatly complicating if not dooming the effort in the House for this session.

For reasons I discussed with Bill Kristol (transcript here) and Mark Steyn (transcript here) on the day of the vote, the Speaker needs to find a way to distance the House from the Senate train wreck.

Perhaps a quick vote down would be the best way, or a "no" vote on the same day the House passes its own "first step" border security bill. Who knows? As Robert Costa notes this morning, the Speaker plays his own game. But the Senate bill is political poison, and the Speaker and the Leader have no intention of surrendering their majority by embracing this fiasco of a bill.

How much of a fiasco? Read my interview from Wednesday with a very good guy and a serious conservative, Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota. It is pretty clear he got terrible advice on how statutes actually work when interpreted by the courts, and worse advice on what the fence meant to border security conservatives. We too often assume that legislators actually know how the laws they think they are drafting will actually work. There wasn't a member of Congress in the early '70s who knew how the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Acts would turn out to be twisted engines of anti-growth extremism, and as the Hoeven interview made clear, one of the authors of the key amendment actually thought he was mandating a fence that would work when he was doing exactly the opposite.

The job of immigration reform now falls to House Judiciary Chair Goodlatte and some key House members, among them Raul Labrador. But with proponents of smart, comprehensive immigration reform losing at half-time, here are ten key things to keep in mind -- the first five on the substance of the subject, the latter five on the politics.

1. The need for real reform is enormous for all the reasons Senator Marco Rubio has repeatedly stated, among them the national security issues of porous borders and millions of illegal immigrants already in the country, with more headed this way.

2. The humanitarian issue is real and pressing -- Catholics, evangelicals and other people of faith are pressing for relief for the millions of honest, hard-working illegal immigrants living in fear of deportation and separation from their families. We should continue to press for serious legislation while realizing that many opponents of the Senate bill share these concerns and wish only to solve these problems. Without real border security, the humanitarian situation will only deteriorate further. The solution begins with a strong fence.

3. The connection between Obamacare and the regularization process is real -- and it needs a true remedy, not a glossing over. If the illegal immigrant population is regularized, it cannot be eligible for Obamacare (the cost would be staggering). Neither should this ineligibility become a reason for employers to prefer the newly regularized over citizens and legal residents with green cards.

4. The demand for a fence is real, and it must be mandated with specific language. It must extend across tribal lands where necessary, it must contain citizen standing to sue for enforcement, it must trump all contrary laws which contain citizen standing provisions that could be used to block it, and it must have detailed construction specs and mapping. The fence is the first line of defense against a recurrence of this problem, not pie-in-the-sky alleged technology breakthroughs, no matter their detail. The new technology is very nice, but double-layered fencing works where it is built, so build it across vast stretches of the 2,000 mile border. There is nothing sacred about the 700 miles used in the 2006 law that has been ignored.

There has never been an explanation for the number; it is a classic Beltway convention without any substance behind it. Put in writing on a map where and why the double-layered fencing will be built and the where and why it won't be built. In no other business in the world would such sloppiness on such a key issue be tolerated, but the Senate just waived the whole thing off and then proposed to empower Janet Napolitano to waive even more of it off. The very worst part of the very bad Senate bill was Section 5(b). Read it and weep over the fact that either (a) the GOP staff lawyers are so bad or (b) the Democratic staff lawyers are so good.

5. No bill is better than a terrible bill, or even a badly flawed bill, or even a decent bill without a fence that will simply recreate the problem with bigger numbers over a shorter period of time.

6. Senator Marco Rubio remains a GOP superstar who will be in much demand in 2014 and a very serious contender for the GOP presidential nomination if he chooses to be. And his candidacy will be greatly enhanced by this. He has marked out his reformist credentials on a key issue and can go as conservative as he wants to on every other issue. Thanks to his immigration efforts, the media won't be able to paint him as an extremist as it is trying to do with Ted Cruz right now. The immunization process is painful, but Rubio's a pretty tough character. In addition, the noise from the extreme wing of the anti-immigration reform movement is wildly amplified by the media. Here's a test: Ask any elected official you know if they'd like to have Senator Rubio headline a fundraiser for them next month. They will all say "Yes!" Almost everybody in the GOP still loves Rubio, but many disagree with him on this key issue. Big deal. Recall that W had the same issue with things like ports and immigration reform but never lost the GOP base.

7. Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and John Thune all helped their national ambitions as well, should they decide to pursue them, because they all participated in a very smart way in the Senate debate. Cruz was an eloquent, precise lawyer with style and energy. Paul kept up his campaign to be taken seriously as a legislator known for candor and responsiveness. Thune offered the sort of simple, clear border fence amendment that appeals to those of us who long for legislators to do their jobs with precision and transparency, not with talking points. Along with Governors Christie, Jindal, Kasich, and Walker, the GOP has a deep bench of potential nominees for 2016. None have been damaged by this debate.

8. No House GOP member at all afraid of a primary can support the Senate bill. Period. That's why it was wildly reckless as a matter of party politics for GOP senators to push it forward without a real fence. The border fence remains the physical expression of a national resolve to stop not just illegal immigration, but also terrorism and trans-national crime. Refusing to build it -- turning their collective back on the clearest part of GOP agreement -- was hurtful to the House GOP in a way that borders on contempt.

9. Read Jonathan Alter's new book The Center Holds (or at least my interview with Alter from Thursday's show) to discover details of the 2012 campaign in Spanish language media. Ignore that "campaign-within-a-campaign" if you will, but understand this: There are states in play in 2016 that will be decided based on what happens between now and the fall of 2015 on immigration reform. The Supreme Court, which figured so prominently in this week's headlines, will be fundamentally recast by 2020. If the GOP wants to compete in 2016 --if it cares about the country's role in the world and the make-up of SCOTUS -- it must get immigration reform done.

10. But for the politics of the immigration reform to be good, the substance of immigration reform must be great, not terribly flawed as it is in the Senate bill.

That's where we are at the close of the first chapter of the immigration reform debate, one written largely by Chuck Schumer. (Even most of the paragraphs allegedly written by Republicans were ghosted by Schumer's troops.) Senator Schumer is very, very smart. Perhaps the House Republicans will find a way out of this corner into which their Senate colleagues have sent them, but that will require a great deal more innovation and energy than they have shown thus far.

For months now I have written extensively in numerous national publications about the treacherous legislation that is the “scamnesty” bill that will pass out of the U.S. Senate this week.

When you have a “gang” writing legislation you get gangster government just like this.

All of the people -- and by all I mean all -- claiming to be conservative who are either still advocating scamnesty or defending those that are fall into one of four categories:

1) Woefully uninformed to the point that they should no longer criticize anyone else for being a low information voter, and should perhaps have to pass a drug test before ever voting on anything other than a chili cook-off ever again.

2) More concerned about preserving their seat at the GOP establishment table than they are the future of our Constitutional Republic.

3) More concerned about preserving Marco Rubio’s flailing presidential ambitions than they are the future of our Constitutional Republic.

4) Traitors to the cause actively looking to undermine the base of patriotic Americans that put them there, so they can stuff the ballot box with more Government-Americans that won’t stand in the way of more gangster government.

This legislation is so bad it’s actually worse than Obamacare and TARP, because it takes the gangster government, anti-Constitutional principles of both and then registers to vote millions more people who will just turn right around and vote for more of the same until the light of liberty is lost for good.

So what should we do instead?

We are in dire need of immigration reform in this country. But this scamnesty will not reform anything, for anything that locks in amnesty before promises of future border enforcement (which have always been broken in the past) are fulfilled will just make the situation worse.

If I were advising the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives this would be what I urge them to do next:

1) Whatever you do, do not pass any comprehensive immigration reform package out of the House of Representatives this year. Not even a good one.

The reason for this is that any House version of comprehensive immigration reform will then be sent to Conference Committee where the details of it will be hashed out alongside the Senate’s scamnesty plan. That means even a good plan out of the House will be polluted with the Senate version, and a
little bit of leaven ruins the whole loaf.

2) It’s not border enforcement first -- it’s border enforcement only.
Instead of a comprehensive immigration reform package, the GOP-controlled House should instead pass a stand-alone bill that puts teeth on real border enforcement and send it to the Senate to call their bluff prior to the 2014 election cycle. By teeth I mean public Congressional certification within one year that our borders are secure, and that requires a secondary and unanimous assent from all border state governors and state legislatures as well.

3) Promote a Meritocracy.
We do have demographic reality to confront, and that demographic reality is created by the more affluent and educated having fewer and fewer children as well as erasing over 50 million Americans before they were born. We have corporations running commercials on television begging for more skilled workers. We also have a bevy of labor the American people no longer want, or no longer want to do for the job’s current price point. Given those two realities, there are no good reasons to have 10-20 million illegals living and working in the country while at least 4 million are waiting to immigrate here legally. We need to modernize and streamline our legal immigration system, where waits currently last years if not decades, and we should give preferential treatment to those whose skills are proficient in what our industries need (especially math and science). At a time when our government indoctrination system is producing a generation of Government-Americans believing they’re entitled to other people’s prosperity, an import of those who obey the rule of law and have a skill-set to offer would promote American Exceptionalism.

4) Only after these measures are met should the question of what to do with those already in the country illegally be confronted.

The idea that we have to deal with this right now is a childish premise put forth by gangster government politicians who never want to let a good (phony) crisis go to waste. It’s been six years since we last had this argument in 2007, so if this was really a cataclysmic event, how come it took us six years to have it again?

This has been a problem for decades going back to the Reagan amnesty of 1986, so I doubt setting it aside for a few more years until we adequately put the foundation in place will be the end of the world. Once those real solutions are implemented, then and only then should there be a conversation about what to do with the illegals already here.

I suggest a four-point plan:

1) Instant and irrevocable deportation for all illegals that have committed any additional serious misdemeanors or felonies during their stay other than breaking the law by coming here in the first place.

2) Instant and irrevocable lifetime disqualification of welfare state benefits (including so-called “Dream Acts”) for all illegals except as it directly relates to emergency life-or-death situations.

3) The establishment of a real national guest-worker program complete with e-verify so that folks who are just working here and sending money home can be accounted for and regulated.

Furthermore, there should be punitive punishment for corporations caught hiring illegals once this program is implemented.

4) Any current illegals who wish to still become citizens after all these measures are taken, and who can speak English as well as prove they have a skill or trade to offer, are then put into the legal immigration system starting at the back of the line. Of course, given that all their welfare state benefits have evaporated, it’s highly unlikely this number will be nearly as high as it currently is. If they make it through the process and are naturalized they are then barred from ever voting in any election for as long as they live as restitution for breaking the law.

This is a better idea of restitution than having them pay fines that will just confiscate their productivity and make them more a drain on the system. I don’t believe mass deportations are either practical or moral.

I believe this plan is a mixture of both grace and law. There are both consequences for breaking the law and mercy for those whose intent wasn’t malevolent but only to escape the kind of squalor blessedly most Americans can’t even fathom. On the other hand, the rule of law must be upheld, and the productivity and prosperity of the American people must be protected.

I believe this plan does that.
A dream sidetracked by a case fueled by hate
By: Diane Sori

"I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

And so said great American Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 28, 1963...a dream that all men of conscience long for...a dream sadly perverted and twisted by those who feed the flames of racial hatred...racial division...and 'supposed' racial inequality.

And notice I said 'great American' NOT great Black American because I judge Dr. King by the 'content of his character' NOT by the color of his skin.

But it's so sad that this great man's dream has been dishonored and ignored by a legion of today's 'supposed' black leaders who revel in using their blackness to spew hate...leaders who put aside everything Dr. King stood for and hoped leaders the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, and the worst of all...Barack HUSSEIN Obama...all who (I believe) have knowingly, willingly, and with malice, set race relations in this county back 50 years or more...and I would safely say that Dr. King would shake his head in disgust for this was NOT his dream.

All these men make everything about race whether it deserves to be or NOT...all these men maneuver their way into affairs they have NO business butting into...all these men twist and distort facts to play into their hatred of anyone NOT black, and use misplaced jealousy and perceived feelings of injustice at the hands of whites to make any and everything a racial issue.

And all these men get away with this because they know most cower in fear of the race card being used against they throw the hopes and dreams of Dr. King aside to push forward with their hate-filled agenda.

A perfect case in point is the ongoing Trayvon Martin murder case...a case in which all these men have put their two cents into. Instead of keeping their thoughts to themselves...instead of closing their eyes to the color of the skin of those involved these men took a simple case of self-defense and turned it into a theater of the absurd where it became all about race instead of about the facts and the evidence involved.

All these men spoke in the public venue damning the killing (without knowing the facts) as a white man killing yet another black boy just because he was black and for NO other reason. All these men kept at it...fueling the hatred on...forcing George Zimmerman, the accused killer, into fear for his life from people...people like the New Black Panthers...who condemned him, convicted him, and put a bounty on his head by finding him guilty without so much as a trial...just because he was white and the victim was black, and for that reason alone.

But the facts speak otherwise including facts that the bleeding heart liberal judge will NOT allow into evidence...facts like the oh so sweet picture of Treyvon blasted all over the media and the internet was 5-years old and NOT the person killed that night. The Trayvon killed that night was a young man recently suspended from school for drugs (in fact here are photos of home-grown pot plants, him smoking dope, and holding a gun all in his cell phone)...a young man who had bulked-up, was strong, and a devotee of the martial arts...a young man who knew NO one in the gated townhouse community he was 'supposedly' cutting through, yet there he was aimlessly wandering around in that gated community that had recently reported a rash of break-ins and robberies to the police.

And none of this is allowed to be said.

And notice I say NOTHING about the color of Trayvon's skin for the color of his skin has NO bearing on this least it doesn't for those of us who look at the evidence and the facts NOT at the fabricated racial garbage spewed out by the media, the left, the rabble-rousers, and all 'those men' who are fueled by racial hatred alone.

And what of George Zimmerman...the man who was clearly overpowered by the young bulked-up, strong, martial arts devotee...the man who had his head pounded into concrete by someone possibly hyped-up on drugs...the man whose injuries can be clearly seen in hospital and police photographs as being on the receiving end of a brutal beating...that man is being charged with second degree murder for acting in self-defense for shooting a young man many claim was just in the wrong place at the wrong time...but I don't think so for I believe, and it's my opinion alone being said here, that Trayvon Martin was in that gated townhouse community to break-in and commit robbery to feed his drug habit, and that Zimmerman caught him.

There, I said what many are thinking and without a mention of anyone's skin color because this was NOT a racially motivated killing but a killing in self-defense by a man being brutally beaten by a person he suspected as being there to commit a crime.

And as the trial unfolds my supposition about why Trayvon was in that gated community (where he knew NO one) seems more and more plausible for the star witness for Trayvon was told over this past year NOT to mention the case to anyone...yet she has been all over twitter showing a side of herself that as Treyvon's girlfriend speaks volumes about Trayvon himself for one doesn't 'hang' with people like this without being like this themselves...and again the color of the people's skin involved plays NO part in this.

The bottom line in all this is that if the parties involved were reversed...if George Zimmerman had been killed by Trayvon Martin...we would NOT be hearing a word for in Florida shooting someone in self-defense is justifiable, and the media would NOT have turned a black on white crime into a three ring circus. But that was NOT the case here as the color of the victim's skin alone fueled a non-case forward by the very hate-mongers out to divide this country, and that is a disgrace NOT only to this country but a disgrace to the legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.