Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Good morning! In the news today: Court hears gay marriage case arguments; swing vote Kennedy unclear, but appears to lean toward backing same-sex unions; Christian leaders vow defiance; Baltimore calmer amid ashes, crackdown; Huge backdoor channel for secret Clinton Foundation donations uncovered; and Muslim portion of world population to soar, while Christianity to stay the same.
Have a great day.
Court hears gay marriage arguments . . . Justices were fractured Tuesday over fundamental questions of society, child-rearing and equal treatment under the law as the Supreme Court struggled with whether the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry or if voters should still have the power to say what marriage means within their own state borders. Washington Times
Kennedy sends mixed signals . . . But most believe he’s more likely to side with gay marriage proponents, giving them a 5-4 decision. “Given a choice between writing an opinion upholding judicial modesty and an opinion that waxes poetic about dignity and ennoblement, my bet is that Kennedy will write the latter opinion.” writes Paul Mirengoff in Power Line
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Christian leaders vow civil disobedience . . . “We will not obey.” That’s the blunt warning a group of prominent religious leaders is sending to the Supreme Court of the United States as they consider same-sex marriage. “We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve.” The signees are a who’s who of religious leaders including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, National Religious Broadcasters president Jerry Johnson, Pastor John Hagee, and Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse. Fox News
Religious colleges could lose tax-exempt status for opposing gay marriage, Obama’s Solicitor General Ronald Verrilli admits.
Huckabee: Criminalization of Christianity . . . The persecution of Christians because of their moral opposition to homosexual behavior and so-called gay marriage is on the rise in America, to the point where “Christian convictions are under attack as never before” and “we are moving rapidly toward the criminalization of Christianity,” said former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. CNS News
A Reuters poll says most Republicans would attend a loved one’s gay wedding.
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Obama declares a police discrimination “crisis” . . . President Obama today termed the issue of racially motivated police brutality a crisis, one he said has been going on for some time and is now being fully uncovered though the use of social media and video cameras. White House Dossier
Obama: Change must come to minority communities . . . Saying it can’t just be left to the police to “do the dirty work of containing the problems,” President Obama today said change must come to minority communities, implicitly acknowledging that the root of the deadly confrontations that crop up between police and African Americans lies in the communities themselves. White House Dossier
Now, I would disagree with his solutions to these problems. But I give the president credit, unlike the race baiters who descend on episodic violence to promote anger and hatred, for understanding that this is not simply about police racism, but about a societal problem that leads inevitably to conflict between the police and minorities.
ISIS leader may have been paralyzed . . . Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), is reportedly in such bad condition after being wounded in an airstrike that he is unable to move. Newsmax
How ironic. In a sense, he’s been beheaded himself, but must continue living. Divine justice?
Iran’s naval moves could harm deal’s prospects . . . On Tuesday morning, several Iranian navy vessels approached a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz. The Iranian forces fired shots across the ship’s bridge and boarded it when it refused to pull farther into Iranian waters. The Hill
It’s also emerged that Iran threatened a U.S.-flagged ship Friday. I thought we were supposed to be safeguarding the shipping lanes?
Obama vows to defend Japanese islands from China . . . “I want to reiterate that our treaty commitment to Japan’s security is absolute, and that Article 5 covers all territories under Japan’s administration, including Senkaku Islands,” Obama said in a carefully crafted statement. Washington Free Beacon
Huge backdoor channel for secret Clinton Foundation donations . . . A charity affiliated with the Clinton Foundation failed to reveal the identities of its 1,100 donors, creating a broad exception to the foundation’s promise to disclose funding sources as part of an ethics agreement with the Obama administration. The number of undisclosed contributors to the charity, the Canada-based Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, signals a larger zone of secrecy around foundation donors than was previously known.
The Canadian group has received attention in recent days as a potential avenue for anonymous Clinton Foundation donations from foreign business executives, including some who had interests before the U.S. government while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state. Washington Post
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Bill Clinton heads to Africa on Foundation junket . . . On their nine-day trip to Africa, Bill and Chelsea Clinton are traveling with 20 wealthy donors and foundation supporters, a group that includes fundraisers for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid and others who are expected to give generously to her campaign. Politico
Bernie Sanders gets in the race Thursday.
Walker opens up double digit lead in Iowa . . . At 23 percent, he is soundly ahead of his nearest Republican opponent, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 13 percent, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 12 percent. The Blaze
Recasting Rick . . . Santorum’s team wants to cast him as a working-class champion, but first they have to shut him up. National Journal
Rubio signs Grover Norquist pledge not to raise taxes, joining Paul and Cruz.
IRS watchdog recovers thousands of Lerner emails . . . The Treasury’s Inspector General for Tax Administration notified the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday that they have recovered thousands of Lois Lerner emails that were not previously produced to Congress, committee members told Fox News.
Muslims worldwide to nearly equal Christians by 2050 . . . In the United States, Christians will decline from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050, and Judaism will no longer be the largest non-Christian religion. Muslims will be more numerous in the U.S. than people who identify as Jewish on the basis of religion. Pew Research Center
Baltimore calmer amid crackdown . . . A pallor reminiscent of an earlier desperate era hung over this city Tuesday as National Guardsmen with rifles and police in riot gear looked on while fire-scarred buildings smoldered, burnt cars were towed away and the rocks hurled by rioters were swept from the streets. The acrid smell of smoke lingered, just as it had in Harlem, Watts, Newark, Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington during the tumultuous decade of the 1960s. Washington Post
Video || Legendary Baltimore linebacker’s message to rioters . . . “No way. No way. No way this can happen in our city . . . No! Young kids, you’ve got to understand something: get off the streets. Violence is not the answer. Violence is never the answer,” said Ray Lewis. The Blaze
Video || Geraldo gets into it with a protestor . . . “Stop blocking my camera! Stop blocking my camera!” The Blaze
Giuliani: This is what Democratic rule brings . . . “I would ask all those politicians you saw there talking about the terrible conditions, economic conditions, they have been in charge of Baltimore for the last 30 years. This is a Democratic city.” Newsmax
Jesse Jackson calls the Baltimore police – which is half African American – an “occupying force.”
What do climate skeptics believe? . . . Climate skeptics and the climate alarmists agree CO2 creates warming. How the climate reacts to the initial warming is the main area where most skeptics have problems with the IPCC and others. The final IPCC warming estimates for doubling CO2 range from 1.5 to 4.5 C. The skeptics have no common voice, but their values range from about 0.5 to 1.2 C, a significant reduction. Power Line
Hospitals failing health grade . . . Forty percent of U.S. hospitals were graded as mediocre or failing in a report released Wednesday. The latest hospital ratings by the Leapfrog Group underline ongoing concerns about hospital-acquired infections, which kill 75,000 patients a year and are estimated to cost $36 billion. Washington Examiner
Don’t know much about history . . . Only about a quarter of eighth graders showed solid performance or better in U.S. history, civics and geography on tests known as the Nation’s Report Card. CNS News
University of Florida closes frat that battered vets . . . The University of Florida closed a fraternity Tuesday amid allegations that its members hurled drunken insults and spat at a group of disabled veterans at a Panama City Beach resort. Fox News
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