Saturday, January 5, 2013

January 5, 2013

Hobby Lobby CEO Pens Tragic Letter About Loss of Religious Freedom
by Steven Ertelt
January 4, 2013

The CEO of Hobby Lobby has penned a tragic letter about the loss of religious freedom and liberty in America. The Christian crafts company has been forced by the Obama administration to pay for drugs for its employees in their health care plan that may cause abortions.

Doing so violates the religious freedom of the founders and owners of Hobby Lobby, but the firm has, so far, been unsuccessful in getting courts to give it an exemption while its lawsuit against the HHS mandate continues.

Tens of thousands of Americans have committed to support the Christian crafts store Hobby Lobby on Saturday, January 5 after courts have refused to issued an ruling stopping the Obama HHS mandate.

The letter from Hobby Lobby CEO David Green that LifeNews received follows:

When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God‘s word. From there, Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

 We’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that’s what we’ve tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week’s biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it’s the same for everybody. But that’s not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief.

So, Hobby Lobby – and my family – are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don’t like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.

My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that’s a choice no American – and no American business – should have to make.


David Green
CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

Beltway Republicans planning to intervene more in GOP primaries
by Allahpundit
January 4, 2013

I remember when the NRSC took such intense heat for endorsing Charlie Crist in the primary over Rubio that then-chair John Cornyn vowed to stay out of primaries in the future. Three years and several Sharron Angles/Christine O’Donnells/Todd Akins later, the tune has changed among the broader Republican establishment. Question for readers: Is this worthy of automatic opposition on “damn these establishment RINOs” grounds or is it more of a wait-and-see thing? My sense from the comments here after Akin blew up over his rape remarks was that even a lot of grassroots conservatives wished he’d been torpedoed in the primary by a more electable candidate. Maybe that buys moderates a tiny bit of leeway among the base to push more “electable” candidates. At least until they go and back another Crist.

High-profile Senate Republicans are going to try to pre-empt bloody primaries with aggressive, early recruitment and support — effectively trying to clear fields…

Further, top Senate Republicans have made clear to outside groups that they’d like the third parties to not exist simply as entities that air attack ads against Democrats in general elections but to play a more hands-on role in GOP primaries…

Translation into non-Senate speak: The big-money establishment Republican super PACs like American Crossroads need to serve as a counterbalance in primaries to conservative outfits such as Club for Growth and former Sen. Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund…

“To be effective, you have to go well before the primary and identify well-qualified candidates using a number of criteria,” said one source familiar with Crossroads’s thinking. “It’s not who’s more or less conservative, but putting together a more discriminating evaluation of candidates.”…

“When a center-right Republican is in a primary and is being targeted by some group as a RINO, we’re going to make sure we have their back,” said LaTourette. “Not just with speeches and press releases but with money.”

Better recruitment would sound wonderful if not for the fact that the establishment’s talent evaluators decided that this soulless careerist was a worthier candidate than Marco Rubio, a guy who’s already being touted as a potential Republican presidential nominee in 2016. Is there any situation where American Crossroads would endorse a more impressive, more conservative longshot over an ostensibly more “electable” centrist (especially a centrist incumbent)? My agita here isn’t over Steve LaTourette’s RINO Super PAC wading into a primary to try to torpedo a conservative, it’s the fear that it’ll wade in to torpedo impressive conservatives like Mike Lee or Ron Johnson or Pat Toomey or Ted Cruz or any of the other credible right-wing candidates who’ve been elected since 2010. Whom do you trust, among either the establishment or the grassroots, to consistently reliably discern “worthy” candidates from unworthy ones?

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Cruz Joins Senate, Moves to Repeal Obamacare
by Ben Shapiro
January 4, 2013

Tea Party favorite and newly-elected Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took his oath of office today – and immediately moved to take on President Obama’s chief legislative accomplishment, Obamacare. Cruz is the first Hispanic to serve as a Texas Senator.

His first bill, Cruz said, would move to strike “every syllable of every word” of Obamacare. With the retirement of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and the increasing battle between Tea Party conservatives and Republican Party establishment types, Cruz is set to become a leader early in his tenure – and grassroots conservatives are already rallying to his cause.

Cruz, 42, is slated to appear on Fox News Sunday. He is a Harvard Law graduate, the first Hispanic to clerk for a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (William Rehnquist), and a former Department of Justice lawyer. His rise has been so swift that he is already vice-chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

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Tim Scott Responds to "Ridiculous" NAACP Smear
by Guy Benson
January 4, 2013

Fresh off of his induction into Congress' upper chamber, Sen. Tim Scott fired back at NAACP president Ben Jealous, who stated on CNN that Scott doesn't "believe in" civil rights.  From Greta Van Susteren's Fox News program last night.

If you click through to the YouTube page, the very first commenter calls Scott a "Nazi" and an "Uncle Tom."  Lovely.  This is the brand of invective that conservatives of color regularly endure from the self-appointed titans of tolerance.  The Senator comes across as reasonable, cheerful and passionate throughout his conversation with Greta.  He shrugs off Jealous' slander with grace and composure, a feat I'm not sure I could accomplish.  (I might be slightly more inclined to borrow John Boehner's turn of phrase, given the implications of what Jealous said).  He slaps aside the accusation as "ridiculous" and "baseless," but uses most of his airtime to promote conservative values.  Rather than exploiting the segment as an opportunity to vent some (justifiable) indignation, he stays upbeat and positive:

It appears the people of South Carolina have themselves a very fine junior United States Senator.

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