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Jared Brees (geek)
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New blog post.

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My pro sanders anti hillary stance is based on evidence.

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Saw this awhile ago, took a picture at the stupidity, just now posting. This was when I went to drop something off at UPS.

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Of note: Someone dug up the NYT's first reference to Adolf Hitler, from November of 1922. The beginning of the third-from-last paragraph seems like something I could have read in a comment thread, well, yesterday:

"But several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler's anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch messes of followers..."

I have long suspected that politicians are significantly more honest than they are ever given credit for. Hitler was never even remotely subtle about his aims. Even among American candidates, you can find in their pre-election speeches a pretty clear guide to the way they think about running the country, and a fair notion of their priorities. While claims to perform economic impossibilities are routine nonsense ("Cut all the taxes, raise spending, balance the budget, provide cheap bread, and free circuses!") on most other things they're fairly straightforward.

I'm reminded of how many people on the Left were shocked to discover that Obama had no revolutionary change at all planned, and felt betrayed by his centrism, even though he had always announced it far and wide. People from all sides of the political spectrum superimposed upon him the president they imagined he would be, from a radical left-wing hero to the Muslim Antichrist.

The moral of this story: Pay attention to what people say. Assume they're telling the truth as they see it unless there's clear reason to think otherwise.

h/t @snowden on Twitter.

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Running for president of the US, but clearly focused elsewhere.

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It's not a religious infringement to have to sign a paper declining to be religiously infringed upon

The 10th Circuit Court has ruled against the Little Sisters of the Poor and their battle against entangling paperwork:

At question was the ACA contraceptive mandate. In both Hobby Lobby and Wheaton College, SCOTUS has provided guidance for how religious folk (either actual institutions or religiousy businesses) can deal with things they consider naughty in the Affordable Care Act's medical coverage, including the possibility of providing coverage outside of active participation by objecting employers. 

Fine and dandy. So the government has said, "Hey, if providing this coverage is an infringement on your religious liberty, just let us know, and we'll make arrangements for your employees to get the coverage separate from your being involved."

The Little Sisters of the Poor -- who do all sorts of good works, don't get me wrong -- decided that even submitting a form saying that they opposed having to provide contraceptive coverage was an infringement of their religious freedom ... because it meant that, because of something they were doing, someone would get contraceptive coverage from somewhere else.

The 10th Circuit has decided that, well, no, filling out a form declining to provide contraceptive coverage is not really an unreasonable infringement or a substantial burden on their religious freedom, and, no, formally declining with the knowledge that means someone will get coverage from somewhere else doesn't reasonably make them complicit in the evils of someone hypothetically using birth control. 

The Little Sisters' legal reps, the Becket Fund, thinks that's outrageous: '"It is a national embarrassment that the world's most powerful government insists that, instead of providing contraceptives through its own existing exchanges and programs, it must crush the Little Sisters' faith and force them to participate," Becket Fund senior counsel Mark Rienzi said. "Untold millions of people have managed to get contraceptives without involving nuns, and there is no reason the government cannot run its programs without hijacking the Little Sisters and their health plan."'

Crushing! Forcing! Hijacking! How amazingly brutal!

Mr Rienzi does have a point -- that we so tightly link medical insurance coverage to employment is, indeed, a national embarrassment. The government paying for health coverage in general through a single payer model, for example, would make much more sense and keep the Little Sisters' hands completely clean (since they don't pay taxes). But that was the compromise against more conservative politicians (you know, the ones supporting the Becket Fund) who thought the idea of any sort of government involvement in health coverage was communistic blasphemy.

While I applaud the Little Sisters for their charitable support of the elderly, I really don't have any sympathy for them in this case. Accommodating those with religious objections is one thing; accommodating those who decline to even state their religious objections seems quite another.

(Concidentally, the Dept of Health & Human Services has issued new regs today on how to address this issue based on SCOTUS rulings to date: )

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On what the Charleston shooting was REALLY about

Rick Perry referred to it was an "accident" and probably involved overuse of prescription drugs:

Michael Savage thought it might be drugs, too. Or maybe a government assassin:

But Rick Santorum said it was all about attacks on religious liberty:

Fox & Friends agreed, it might very well be part of the ongoing attacks on Christians:

Regardless of the motivation, we know why it turned out as tragic as it did ... because the church was a "gun-free zone":

Brian Fischer confirms the shooting took place because it was a "gun-free zone":

Fox & Friends is definitely behind the idea that more guns would have averted the tragedy:

Mike Huckabee definitely thinks the prayer group should have been packing:

Yup, no question that it was because the church was a "gun-free zone":

And one NRA board member makes it clear that it was actually the fault of the killed pastor of the church because of his support for gun control laws:

It surely had nothing to do with why a guy would wear a jacket with the flags of white-minority-government Rhodesia and apartheid-era South Africa on it, nor how he was able to get a gun because of loopholes in the law in South Carolina. That's just crazy talk.
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