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Jindal Warns of ‘Silent War’ on Religion in Reagan Library Speech.


Image: Jindal Warns of 'Silent War' on Religion in Reagan Library Speech

Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 08:29 PM

By Greg Richter

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal blasted the “silent war” that he said is undermining the nation’s basic principles in a major speech Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Contrary to what liberals say, the Constitution was set up specifically for believers, Jindal, a Catholic who converted from Hinduism, said.

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“The American people, whether they know it or not, are mired in a silent war,” said Jindal, who is widely expected to run for president in 2016.

“It’s a war against the propositions in the Declaration of Independence: It is a war against the spirit that motivated abolitionism: It is a war against the faith that motivated the Civil Rights struggle: It is a war against the soul of countless acts of charity: It is a war against the conscience that drives social change: It is a war against the heart that binds our neighborhoods together: It is a war against America’s best self, at America’s best moment.

“It is a war — a silent war — against religious liberty.”

“This war is waged in our courts and in the halls of political power. It is pursued with grim and relentless determination by a group of like-minded elites, determined to transform the country from a land sustained by faith into a land where faith is silenced, privatized and circumscribed.”

Jindal, 42, is expected to be among a group of Republicans seeking the presidential nomination in 2016, and many see his speech at the library in Simi Valley, Calif., as part of the groundwork for such a run.

He follows other likely GOP contenders Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Jindal released the text of his speech before delivery. He said there was no better place than the Reagan Library to make his point because Reagan had said “Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few, but the universal right of all God’s children.”

“When he said this, he was not expressing a strictly personal belief in the nature of man as a created being, as a child of God” said Jindal. “He was reaffirming the most basic contention of the American founding, set forth in the Declaration of Independence, that we are a nation constituted in accordance with the ‘Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,’ and that we are a people ‘endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.'”

Jindal reminded his audience that as far back as 1798, President John Adams had written to Massachusetts militiamen telling them, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

But he claimed that the “secular elites” understood that to take over America they must make war on its philosophy.

“This silent war is the real undercurrent driving politically fractious debates in a number of areas of policy,” he said. “But why is this war happening? What does it mean for the country and people of faith? Why does it represent such a fundamental challenge to our American identity and the exceptional history that makes our nation great?”

In answering his own questions, Jindal pointed to the court battle over craft store Hobby Lobby’s contention it should not have to provide the morning-after pill. The Green family that owns the stores believes the pill causes an abortion, and they object to its use on religious grounds.

He said Hobby Lobby’s statement of purpose begins with a Bible verse, and that all of the stores close on Sundays. The company pays well above minimum wage and has increased salaries four years in a row. The family that runs it is committed to giving the majority of its wealth to philanthropy.

“None of this matters to the Obama administration,” he blasted. “The argument they have advanced, successfully thus far, is that a faithful business owner cannot operate under the assumption that they can use their moral principles to guide the way their place of business spends money.

“According to the administration’s legal arguments, the family that owns Hobby Lobby is not protected by the First Amendment’s ‘free exercise’ of religion clause.”

He pointed out the absurdity that Hobby Lobby — which has an offshoot company that sells Bibles — is considered a secular company, but Tyndal House, which prints Bibles, is not.

“Perhaps we should all start printing Bibles, so we can claim protection,” he said.

And he said he defended “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson and his family over Robertson’s controversial statements on homosexuality, not because Jindal is the governor of the state where the Robertsons live, but because “they have every right to speak their minds, however indelicately they may choose to do so.”

Jindal also raised the Hosanna-Tabor case in which the Obama administration argued that a Lutheran academy did not have the right to fire someone over a difference in beliefs. The Supreme Court unanimously threw out the government’s argument.

“So for the time being at least, the government doesn’t get to decide who can preach the gospel. But the important thing to note is that the government wanted to make that decision — that is truly offensive and frightening.”

He also brought up cases where bakers, photographers and others in the wedding industry have been told they must cater to same-sex unions.

“This assault will only spread in the immediate future,” Jindal said, foreseeing a time when believers who refuse to be cowed will be penalized for their views, denied membership in professional groups or even rejected from licenses.

“This is the next stage of the assault,” he said. “And it is only beginning.

Jindal was speaking the day after a legal challenge was filed to get Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage overturned.

“Today, an overwhelming majority of those who belong to a religious denomination in America — that’s more than half the country — are members of organizations that affirm the traditional definition of marriage,” he said. “All of those denominations will be targeted in large and small degrees in the coming years,” he predicted.

Jindal ended his speech by referring to President Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, in which he said that history shows “that nations that uphold the rights of their people — including the freedom of religion — are ultimately more just and more peaceful and more successful.”

“Well said, Mr. President. I couldn’t agree more,” said Jindal. “The president is very concerned about religious liberty.

“And also… if you like your religion, you can keep your religion.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Obama to Pitch Ideas in Speech for Spurring ‘Upward Mobility’.


President Barack Obama will urge the U.S. Congress on Tuesday to do more to help poor and middle-class Americans move up the economic ladder.

Both Obama and congressional Republicans view that issue as a high priority, a rare point of agreement between the two sides. But the Democratic president and Republicans disagree on the remedies, setting up a debate that Obama will discuss in his State of the Union address to Congress.

In the speech, scheduled for 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Obama will push an agenda for increasing economic upward mobility and propose aid to the long-term unemployed, an increase in the minimum wage and an expansion of early-childhood education.

After Obama’s speech, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the fourth-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, will deliver a response on behalf of her party. She will likely emphasize free-market ideas for improving prosperity.

Senator Marco Rubio and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, two Republicans who are both seen as potential 2016 presidential candidates, spoke this month on proposals for helping people climb out of economic hardship.

Rubio has suggested shifting responsibility for many federal benefit programs to the states. Ryan has floated the idea of providing a single benefit to low-income families, modeled on one in Great Britain.

The problem of economic stagnation is expected to be a theme in congressional election campaigns this year.

Analysts said social mobility was a potent political issue because the United States has long seen itself as a place where anyone with grit and determination can succeed.

In recent years, however, the wages of many low- and middle-income workers have held steady or fallen on an inflation-adjusted basis. The slow growth after the 2007-2009 recession has exacerbated this trend.

At the same time, the wealthiest and most highly educated Americans, referred to as the “1 percent,” have grown more prosperous.

 

Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed concern about studies showing that economic mobility in the United States lags that of some other industrialized economies, calling into question the nation’s reputation as a land of opportunity.

More than 40 percent of American men born into the poorest one-fifth of earners remain there, a 2006 study led by Finnish economist Markus Jantti showed. In Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden, only about 25 percent of such men stay in that income segment.

American sons of low-income fathers are more likely to remain stuck in the bottom tenth of earners as adults than are Canadian sons, University of Ottawa economist Miles Corak said in a study published in 2010. In the United States, 22 percent of men born to low-income families stayed in that category, while the same was true of only 16 percent of Canadians.

In 2012, former U.S. Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger published a study that linked income inequality with low levels of upward mobility. He devised a chart he named “The Great Gatsby Curve” after the fabulously wealthy protagonist of the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

It showed the United States toward the upper end of the range of both inequality and low economic mobility, along with Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. At the opposite extreme, with low inequality and high mobility, were Denmark, Norway and Finland.

A study from a group led by Harvard University economist Raj Chetty added a new wrinkle to the debate with its finding that American children’s chances of moving up the economic ladder had not changed much in the past few decades. The study also made clear that children’s prospects were tightly linked to their parents’ socio-economic status – more so in the United States than in some other leading economies.

“It’s not so much that we’re losing the American dream,” said Harvard economist Nathaniel Hendren, one of the study’s authors. “It’s did we ever have it, and do we want it?”

The focus on economic mobility builds on a pledge Obama has emphasized over the past two years: to improve the standing and security of the middle class.

The theme is newer for Republicans, who failed to capture the White House in 2012 in part because many voters perceived their party’s candidate, Mitt Romney, as dismissive of the struggles of the poor and working classes.

But analysts say a promise to boost economic mobility could resonate across the ideological spectrum.

“The idea of the United States being exceptional in its ability to promote economic opportunity or the notion of the nation being suited to help people rise is very much part of our national ethos,” said Erin Currier, director of economic mobility for the Pew Charitable Trusts.

“Americans feel strongly that the United States should be the land of opportunity.”

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Bolton: Hillary Would Be Worse Than Obama.


John Bolton, former ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, believes Hillary Clinton would be worse than Barack Obama as president because she is smarter and more effective.

During an appearance on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show Tuesday,  Bolton said he agreed with former defense secretary Robert Gates that Vice President Joe Biden has been wrong on basically every single foreign policy decision made by the Obama administration.

When Hewitt asked whether he thought Biden or Hillary Clinton would make a worse president, Bolton responded, “I think Hillary Clinton would be a worse president, because she’s smarter and more effective than Biden, and would be smarter and more effective than Obama.”

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Bolton continued, “And I view her policies, she and her husband were a year ahead of me in law school. I’ve known them for a long time. And back in law school, she was very radical. Her appearance as a moderate these past ten years, I think, is due to the sophisticated political advice of Bill.”

“But I think where her heart is was Hillarycare in 1993-94, the ancestor of Obamacare. And that would be the direction of a Clinton administration,” he added.

Currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Bolton also discussed his new committee, BoltonPac, established to support congressional candidates in the midterm elections who support a strong national security policy.

“Our way of life here at home depends on a strong American position internationally, and [leaders] who are willing to stand up for those positions. I think under Obama, national security has fallen off the radar screen of political issues,” he said.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Lisa Barron

 

Ex-Sen. Joe Lieberman: Hillary Will Be Democrat Nominee in ’16.


There’s little or no doubt that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the next Democratic presidential nominee, although she could face some early competition, according to former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman.

“If she runs, and I guess she’ll run, then she’ll be the nominee of the party,” Lieberman told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“Interestingly, there could be somebody from the left who will take Hillary on because they think she’s too moderate.

“Unless something really agitating is happening, I don’t think that will be successful – something like a war that she’s supporting … So my guess is she’ll be the Democratic nominee. She’ll be formidable, but it depends on who the Republicans nominate.”

Story continues below video.

Clinton will likely have to answer questions about her role in the lack of security at the consulate in Benghazi, where terrorists killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, Lieberman believes.

He and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine were among those who conducted an early Senate investigation into the attack.

“Our conclusions were very close to what the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation reported last week,” he said.

“We called our report ‘Flashing Red’ because, looking back, you look at the intelligence reports about the terrorist extremists gathering in Benghazi, you see that there is a consulate there with very little protection and it just seems inevitable that there’s going to be an attack on that consulate.

“Also, that there was no real ability of a defense department to get help to our people out there. So our conclusion was …. the U.S. government — State Department, in this case — should have provided more security at Benghazi or should have closed up the consulate.”

Lieberman says his probe never found “any specific proof that Hillary Clinton sort of made a decision not to provide more security. So the real question … will be to what extent is she culpable for things that happened in the State Department?

“She’s answered that to some extent, but I’m sure she’ll be asked it more and more over the next couple of years, particularly if she runs for president.”

Lieberman finds it “unusual” that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will not bring a House bill calling for additional sanctions against Iran — which is in nuclear disarmament talks with the United States — reportedly at the request of President Barack Obama.

“When it comes to Iran, the threat to the United States, to our allies in the Middle East particularly Israel, is so clear that if Iran gets nuclear weapons, it changes the world for us, for our kids, for our grandkids,” he said.

“I don’t get why the administration opposes this … I just have a confidence that in the end, Sen. Reid’s going to have to bring it up and when he does it’s going to pass … and I got to tell you that I don’t think President Obama will veto it …

“Incidentally the Iranians threaten to leave the negotiations if this legislation passes… I don’t believe that either. They’ll hang right in there because so far the negotiations have worked to their benefit.”

See the “Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

By Bill Hoffmann

Rubio: I’ll Wait a Year Before Deciding on White House Run.


Same time next year.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is going to wait a year before deciding on a run for the White House, he told CNBC in an interview Tuesday from Tokyo, where he is on a weeklong tour of Asia.

“At this time next year I will have to make a decision about something like that and that time will come,” Rubio said.

Rubio also said he will consider whether he will seek re-election in 2016 or drop out of public office altogether.

“My most important job is the job of father and husband, so that will be the first thing I think about. The second is whether I feel like there is another office in which I can further this agenda that I’ve outlined, or whether there is work that remains to be done in the Senate or whether my time has come to return to the private sector,” he said.

“All those are valid choices, and I will explore those at the appropriate time.”
“I’ve always believed if you do a good job at the job you have now you’ll have an opportunity, including opportunities you have not anticipated in the past.”

The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee is also visiting the Philippines and South Korea

He also added there was a good chance the GOP will retake the senate. “The Republican Party is an energized party. We feel like we’re going to have a real opportunity in 2014 to retake the Senate. I think that is where you are going to see the majority of Republican donors focused.

“And 2016 will be here soon enough. I am confident we are going to field a strong nominee.”

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Rubio Wants Senate Probe of State Department on Benghazi

Sen. Rubio: Democrats’ ‘Answer to Everything’ Is Send a Check

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Cynthia Fagen

Under Cloud of Scandal, Christie to Be Sworn In Again.


Tuesday’s celebrations to mark the start of Gov. Chris Christie’s second term could be tempered by multiple investigations into traffic tie-ups that appear to have been ordered by his staff for political retribution and an allegation that his administration tied Superstorm Sandy aid to approval for a real estate project.

But the 55th governor of New Jersey has a full schedule of inaugural events.

His day is scheduled to start with a service at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church before a swearing in and address in Trenton and an evening party on Ellis Island, a symbolic spot synonymous with the promise of the United States. The island where some 12 million immigrants first entered the U.S. is divided between New Jersey and New York, but his party is to be in a hall on the New York side.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who was drawn into the controversy surrounding Christie this weekend, is also to be sworn in for her second term.

Christie won re-election in November by a 22-point margin over state Sen. Barbara Buono, a Democrat.

The Republican governor built a national following as a blunt-talking and often funny politician who strived to show that he could find common ground with Democrats on some key issues, including overhauling the state’s public-worker pension program and making it easier to fire teachers who are found to be underperforming.

Christie became a fixture in speculation about who would seek the 2016 presidential nomination with his leadership after Superstorm Sandy slammed into his state in October 2012.

He worked with President Barack Obama and took on Republican members of Congress who were reluctant to approve aid for storm victims, receiving high marks from his constituents and plentiful national attention.

But his reputation has been battered somewhat since revelations this month that a staffer ordered two of three approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge from the town of Fort Lee shut down for four days in September apparently as political retribution against the mayor there, perhaps for not endorsing Christie for re-election.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and two state legislative committees are now investigating.

Christie has apologized, denied any involvement with or knowledge of the plot and fired a deputy chief of staff at the center of the controversy. But questions have continued.

Christie’s administration also faces an allegation from the Democratic mayor of Hoboken that it tied the delivery of Superstorm Sandy aid to the low-lying city of 50,000 across from Manhattan to support for a prime real estate project.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer said that she was told by Guadagno that the ultimatum came directly from Christie. Guadagno strongly denied those claims Monday and described them as “false” and “illogical.”

“Any suggestion that Sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project in New Jersey is completely false,” she said.

Also on Monday, nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis said Christie dropped a plan to appoint him the state’s first physical fitness ambassador when he launched a political campaign against a Christie friend. Christie’s administration hasn’t returned an email seeking comment.

In his re-election campaign, Christie did not make big new promises, but said he would continue to work on recovery from Sandy, seek tax cuts and push for other previous priorities with which the Democrat-controlled Legislature has not been willing to go along.

Christie has not ruled out a 2016 presidential run.

But last week in an event with storm victims in Manahawkin, he emphasized his New Jersey roots and the task before him as governor.

“Come next Tuesday, I’ve only got about 1,400 days to go as governor. We’ve got plenty of time to get this job done,” he said. “You asked me and I accepted the task of leading this state for eight years, not four years.”

The $500 tickets to the inaugural celebration and other contributions will be used to help support three charities: Save Ellis Island, The New Hope Baptist Church and New Jersey Heroes, which was founded by first lady Mary Pat Christie.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

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