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Tuesday Morning Edition

The Front Page Cover
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened"
Celebrate Conformity!
Mark Steyn
"Know who you are standing with"
"Show me your friends and I'll show you your future"
MSNBC host Al Sharpton is back at the White House today, this time for a Holy Week prayer breakfast with President nObama and dozens of faith leaders. Sharpton’s arrival comes just two days after nObama
embraced the controversial activist and former FBI informant at a New York event hosted by the liberal broadcaster. nObama used the Sharpton event to accuse Republicans of trying to reverse the 1965 Voting Rights Act and intentionally suppress black voters with state laws requiring voters to show identification. “The real voter fraud is those that try to deny our rights by making arguments about voter fraud.” nObama compared the ID laws to the Jim Crow restrictions of the segregated South and cast himself as a modern-day civil rights leader. It may not wash with most voters, but will it be enough to frighten the Democratic base into action? - Fox News
 It worked before -  While liberals may be enthused that the president is back to attacking Republicans on matters of race, it’s not a risk-free path. The administration discovered the dangers of ham-handed outreach last week with a botched effort to alarm the single, female voters on whom Democrats rely. After getting pasted over their pay-equity gambit, though, the nObama Democrats are showing no reticence about applying blunt political force to sensitive topics, this time on race. But as campaign watchers learned in 2012, audacious negativity is not something of which Team nObama is afraid. In fact, the forecast for the coming election is increasingly negative and hostile. Remember, whatever was said about nObama’s unprecedentedly negative re-election campaign, it certainly worked.  - Fox News
 Top house Dem: GOP animated by racism -   Fox News: New York Rep. Steve Israel said Sunday a significant part of the Republican Party is ‘animated by racism,’ marking the third time in recent days that a leading Democrat has appeared to make race an issue and drawn a sharp response from Republicans… Israel made his comments after Attorney General Eric Holder testified Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, then suggested the next day at a forum on civil rights that the past five years in Washington have been marked by ‘unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity.’”
[“This strikes me as kinda crybaby stuff from Holder. My sense about this is both Eric Holder and Barack nObama have benefited politically enormously from the fact that they are African American and the first to hold the jobs that they hold.” –Brit Hume on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace] - Fox News
 No nObama generation in politics -  NYT: “Unlike John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, who inspired virtual legislatures of politicians and became generational touchstones... [President nObama] has so far had little such influence. That is all the more remarkable considering he came to office tapping into spirit of volunteerism and community service that pollsters say is widespread and intense among young people. Mr. nObama has come to represent that spirit, but he has failed, pollsters say, to transform it into meaningful engagement in the political process. ‘If you were to call it an nObama generation, there was a window,’ said John Della Volpe, the director of polling at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University. ‘That opportunity has been lost.’ He said the youth who came of voting age around the time of the 2008 election have since lost interest in electoral politics, and pointed to a survey he conducted last year among 18- to 29-year-olds. Although 70 percent said they considered community service an honorable endeavor, only 35 percent said the same about running for office.”  - Fox News
The Daily Beast: “Unfortunately, things are only getting worse for most doctors, especially those who still accept health insurance. Just processing the insurance forms costs $58 dollars for every patient encounter, according to Dr. Stephen Schimpff, an internist and former CEO of University of Maryland Medical Center who is writing a book about the crisis in primary care. … What worries many doctors, however, is that the Affordable Care Act has codified this broken system into law. While forcing everyone to buy health insurance, [nObamaCare] might have mandated a uniform or streamlined claims procedure that would have gone a long way to improving access to care… Industry leaders are fixated on patient satisfaction, despite the fact that high scores are correlated with worse outcomes and higher costs. Indeed, trying to please whatever patient comes along destroys the integrity of our work. It’s a fact that doctors acquiesce to patient demands—for narcotics, x-rays, doctor’s notes—despite what survey advocates claim. And now that Medicare payments will be tied to patient satisfaction—this problem will get worse. Doctors need to have the ability to say no. If not, when patients go to see the doctor, they won’t actually have a physician—they’ll have a hostage.”
 - Fox News
 “Nothing negative” criticism of Islamic religion” 
Fresh from addressing the Annual Awards Banquet of the Oklahoma chapter of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations, Saudi-funded academic John Esposito says makes some Pinocchio-like claims in an interview with NewsOK... “‘Islamophobia’ as I define it is not about people who have a kind of good fact-based criticism of the Islamic religion. There’s nothing negative about that. People are entitled to those types of criticisms. ‘Islamophobia’ is when you have an unfounded irrational fear that tends then to lead to bias, discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes.” This is, quite simply, a false claim. There is no one who opposes jihad terror who is acceptable to John Esposito and his allies. The reporter, of course, doesn’t press him on this, and that’s a shame. It would have been very interesting to have seen Esposito’s answer if she had asked him to give an example of a “good fact-based criticism of the Islamic religion.” I doubt he would have been able to, if he had answered honestly, as he and his ilk smear any and all critics.
 Mex Drug Cartels Have Infiltrated More Than 3,000 U.S. Cities 
Near the U.S.-Mexico border, the federal government has posted signs warning passersby that the area they are in is not safe, as they’re entering an “active drug and human smuggling area.”...Sheriffs in Arizona even admit that parts of the state are in fact controlled by Mexican drug cartels. But the dangerous problems associated with the cartels—drug and human trafficking, kidnapping, prostitution, violence, money laundering—are now reaching places in the United States far beyond the Border States. “If we fail to secure our borders, then every sheriff in America will become a border sheriff,” said Sam Page, sheriff of Rockingham County, N.C., reports the Washington Times. “We’re only a two-day drive from the border and have already seen the death and violence that illegal crossings brings into our community.”
 Palin on Sebelius Replacement Sylvia Burwell 
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin blasted President Barack nObama for nominating as his new Health and Human Services Secretary the same woman who ordered the shutdown of the war memorials during the so-called government shutdown last year...After accepting Kathleen Sebelius' resignation Friday, Obama nominated Sylvia Burwell, the former Office of Management and Budget director. This is the same person who sent the email initiating the barricading of the memorials, even as veterans were arriving in D.C. on their "honor flights" to see the memorials that they built. Palin, along with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT), joined veterans as they protested the barricades.
 Why Are Americans Paying to Be Searched and Robbed Blind? 
There was a time in our history when our forebears said “enough is enough” and stopped paying their taxes to what they considered an illegitimate government...They stood their ground and refused to support a system that was slowly choking out any attempts at self-governance, and which refused to be held accountable for its crimes against the people. Their resistance sowed the seeds for the revolution that would follow. Unfortunately, in the 200-plus years since we established our own government, we’ve let bankers, turncoats and number-crunching bureaucrats muddy the waters and pilfer the accounts to such an extent that we’re back where we started. Once again, we’ve got a despotic regime with an imperial ruler doing as they please. Once again, we’ve got a judicial system insisting we have no rights under a government which demands that the people march in lockstep with its dictates. And once again, we’ve got to decide whether we’ll keep marching or break stride and make a turn toward freedom.
 The Reporter Who Quit CBS 
In a rather direct conversation former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson talks about her decision to leave CBS News...Some of the interesting aspects she discusses are how CBS was uninterested in airing numerous reports on scandals that surround the Obama administration and White House. She also talks about how the White House would call CBS to pressure the network to stop airing information, and how even her print reporting would find White House officials calling to express their concerns.
 Attkisson: Getting Under nObama Scandal, CBS Pull Me Off  
One month ago. long-time investigative eporter Sharyl Attkisson left CBS amid rumors that she had grown frustrated with the network stifling her investigations...Thursday night on Bill O' Reilly's Fox News program she confirmed those rumors. "There is unprecedented, I believe, influence on the media, not just the news, but the images you see everywhere. By well-orchestrated and financed campaign of special interests, political interests and corporations. I think all of that comes into play." After introducing his guest, O'Reilly asked Attkisson about her investigation into the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal. The former CBS reporter asserted that she began to make inroads into the story but had to drop it:
 What No One Wants to Admit About Social Security Taxes 
It’s a bummer when you see how much income tax comes out of your paycheck. But when you see that Social Security line item, do you think, “At least that’s going to pay for my retirement”? It’s not...The tax money you’re paying into Social Security today is going to fund today’s retirees. Who will pay for your benefits? The next generation of workers. And the payout gets worse with each generation.
 Pulosi arms Dems against Ryan budget 
House Minority Leader Nancy Pulosi (D-Calif.) is arming Democrats in their fight against the Republicans' latest budget proposal as Congress heads into the long, spring recess...Democratic leaders have decided that hammering the 2015 budget plan from Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is a winner. With that in mind, Pulosi's office has issued an attack guide to each member of her caucus highlighting provisions of the GOP plan that Democrats think will generate the most backlash from voters. The strategy is designed to contrast the sharp differences between the parties' economic visions for the country, but also to steer the campaign debate away from President nObama's healthcare law. That law remains a political liability for Democrats in much of the country, particularly the purple districts that will be the most hotly contested in November.
 White House reserves judgment on photo Social Security cards
The White House said Friday it had not had a chance to review a proposal, endorsed by former Presidents Clinton and Carter, for Social Security cards to incorporate photo identification...The idea was proposed as a way to help mitigate the Supreme Court's weakening of the Voting Right Act. The idea of issuing Social Security cards with photo IDs was offered by civil rights pioneer Andrew Young at a summit marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act on Friday in Texas. Young, a leader of the Why Tuesday? voting issues group, said the proposal could be accomplished via executive order, and that it would help combat a Supreme Court ruling last year that gutted a top provision of the Voting Rights Act.
 Muslim Brotherhood Launches Own U.S. Political Party 
With an eye toward the 2016 election, the radical Muslim Brotherhood has built the framework for a political party in America that seeks to turn Muslims into an Islamist voting bloc... 'Muslim voters have the potential to be swing voters in 2016," said Nihad Awad in launching the benign-sounding U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, whose membership reads like a Who's Who of Brotherhood front groups. "We are aiming to bring more participation from the Muslim community." Boy, we didn't see this coming.
Celebrate Conformity!
Mark Steyn
    On Wednesday, I wrote about the Mozilla CEO in trouble for a five-year-old donation to Proposition Eight, the successful California ballot measure that banned gay marriage - if only until America's robed rulers declared the will of the people to be "unconstitutional". Brandon Eich is a tech genius: Aside from co-founding Mozilla and creating Firefox, he also invented JavaScript. Apparently, the disgusting homophobic hatey-hatey-hateful belief that marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman is not incompatible with knowing your way around a computer.

    Nevertheless, unlike Hollywood director Brett Ratner, Mr Eich declined to eat gay crow. And so he was fired. Mozilla's chairwoman Mitchell Baker issued the usual tortured justification:

"Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech," Baker said. "And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard."

    I heard a lot of this stuff during my free-speech battles in Canada. The country's chief censor, the late Jennifer Lynch, QC, was willing to concede that free speech was certainly a right, but it was merely one in a whole range of competing rights - such as "equality" and "diversity" - that needed to be "balanced". What the "balancing" boils down to is that you get fired if you are an apostate from the new progressive groupthink. Underneath the agonized prose, Mitchell Baker is a bare-knuckled thug.

~It's the thuggishness and bullying that ought to disgust people, even those who support gay marriage. My final appearances at National Review Online were a spat with my editor, Jason Lee Steorts, over "two jokes one can no longer tell on American television" that I quoted in a column on Phil Robertson's suspension for "homophobia". First, Bob Hope, touring the world in the year or so after the passage of the 1975 Consenting Adult Sex Bill:

"I've just flown in from California, where they've made homosexuality legal. I thought I'd get out before they make it compulsory."

    Second, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin on stage in Vegas throughout the Sixties and Seventies:

Frank: "How do you make a fruit cordial?"

Dino: "Be nice to him."

    Mr Steorts thought my resurrection of these ancient "slurs" was "derogatory" and "puerile":

People who used them in different times need not be regarded as monstrous, nor must the canon be censored; we could instead feel good about having awoken to a greater civility and make generous allowances for human fallibility.

    Yeah, just like Brandon Eich "awoke to a greater civility" yesterday morning. What Mr Steorts especially disliked about my column was "the slur in its borrowed concluding joke". Which was:

How do you make a fruit cordial?

Be nice to him.

Or else.

    But isn't that what's just happened to the Mozilla guy? Nobody's asking him to have a genuine conversion. The gay enforcers don't care if, somewhere deep down in his heart he still believes marriage is the union of a man and a woman; all that matters is that he's not allowed to say so in public. Billions of people around the world believe as Mr Eich does, and they shouldn't be allowed to say so in public, either - not if they want to keep their jobs. I'm currently trying to fund my own free-speech battles at the DC Superior Court through sales of my book Lights Out, personally autographed copies of which are exclusively available through the Steyn store - if you like the squaresville hardback edition, that is; but, if you're part of the Mozilla set, you can also get it on Kindle, Nook and Kobo, at least until those outlets ban on it on the grounds of "respect" and "inclusion" and "balancing" free speech with "equality". On page 181 of Lights Out, I write:

Most Christian opponents of gay marriage oppose gay marriage; they don't oppose the right of gays to advocate it. But increasingly gays oppose the right of Christians even to argue their corner. Gay activists have figured that, instead of trying to persuade people to change their opinions, it's easier just to get them banned.

    Those words are not as old as Frank and Dean's gag, but sad to say they're likewise prescient. And that's why, pace Mitchell Baker, what happened to Brandon Eich is not an "equality" issue but a free-speech issue.

~Ed Driscoll wonders, if you dump Mozilla's Firefox browser, where do you go? Over at Free Canuckistan, the Binksmeister has a few suggestions.

~By the way, let's not forget how all this targeting of "homophobic" contributions started. The IRS leaked "traditional marriage" donor lists to the gay enforcers at the "Human Rights Campaign". America has a corrupt government - so corrupt that many Americans now think it entirely normal for the state tax collector to target the regime's political enemies. I don't, and for the last year I've called for the abolition of the institutionally corrupt IRS and its replacement by an agency with far more limited powers appropriate to a free society. Surprisingly few Republican candidates seem interested in joining that campaign. But the IRS' wholesale corruption is a free-speech issue, too: it's about using state power - the threat of audits and, ultimately, asset confiscation - to get you to shut up. And the alliance between the IRS and the gay enforcers is a foretaste of where things are headed. If your confidential financial information can be leaked to those who want to take you down, why should your medical information or your vote by "secret ballot" be any more secure?

~Meanwhile, serial litigant Michael E Mann takes time out of preparing for the forthcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century to ReTweet the following:

Remove David #Koch from the Board of Trustees at @wgbh

    Michael Mann isn't really a scientist. Oh, yes, I'm sure he still dabbles in it now and then just to keep his hand in. But the bulk of his energies are devoted to getting people who disagree with him fired, banned or silenced. Real Nobel Prize winners (as opposed to fraudulent self-garlanded ones) don't do that. But every day Dr Mann is demanding that someone be shut up.

~I don't want to live in the world of "greater civility" that Michael Mann and Mitchell Baker are building for us. Oh, to be sure, it's technologically exciting: There will be a thousand different apps on which to download Jessica Alba warning you about Antarctic sea ice. But there'll be only one Thought App. And it will come pre-installed.

    And eventually there won't be any Jessica Alba apps, either. Because a society that imprisons opinion as tightly as Mann and Baker demand is a society that will cease to innovate, and decline.

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