Last week a federal judge ordered Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to allow 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, to be moved to the adult lung transplant list. That gives her a better chance of receiving a potentially lifesaving transplant. Sarah Murnaghan's fate should force us to examine our organ transplant policy.
There are more than 88,000 Americans on the organ transplant waiting list. Roughly 10 percent of them will die before receiving an organ. These lost lives are not so much an act of God as they are an act of Congress because of its 1984 National Organ Transplant Act, as amended, which prohibits payment to organ donors.
Touchy, touchy. Despite Team Anthony Weiner's best efforts at political rehabilitation, there's just no way to shore up his sorest scandal spot. As the New York Post reported this week, Weiner had a bit of a snit fit when a local Democratic official boldly slammed his sexting habits with underage girls.
Chris Owens, the Dems' state committee member in northwest Brooklyn, called out the skeezy ex-congressman at a mayoral candidate forum. "I am outraged and disgusted by you," Owens told Weiner. "Both by what you did and by the fact that you have the arrogance to run for mayor. I want to understand how you explain to us how you used a public facility to tweet offensive material to ... minors you did not know, you then lied about it ... and now you come back."
Isn't it ironic that President Obama, having acquired the highest office in the land by agitating — all his political life — against privilege and discrimination, is now systematically wielding his executive power lawlessly to favor his friends and punish his enemies?
We are witnessing an unmistakable pattern from Obama and those under his command of establishing different rules for different groups of Americans. I'm not just referring to his opportunistic championing of the "poor" and his vendetta against the "wealthy" or his relentless vilification of "fat cat banks," big corporations, private jet owners and the insurance, oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear power industries. It goes well beyond that.
Instead of showing endless loops of IRS employees wasting taxpayer dollars line-dancing -- Breaking news: Government employees waste millions of your dollars every single day! -- I think it would be more useful for the public to hear a few crucial facts about the exploding scandal at the Internal Revenue Service.
At Tuesday's congressional hearings on the IRS, witnesses provided shocking details about the agency's abuse of conservative groups.
Isn't it rich that the White House is accusing Attorney General Eric Holder's critics of being "partisans who seem more interested in launching political attacks than cooperating with him to protect the security and constitutional rights of the American people"?
Partisan? Launching political attacks? Well, if the White House and Holder were not so partisan and attack-oriented themselves, we wouldn't be having this discussion about Holder, the IRS or the AP.
On Memorial Day weekend, 2 million people marched in protests against seed giant Monsanto for the purpose of bringing awareness to hazards from genetically modified food, which it and other companies manufacture. Organizer Tami Canal said protests were held in 436 cities in 52 countries.
Genetically modified plants are grown from genetically modified, or engineered, seeds, which are created to resist insecticides and herbicides so that crops can be grown to withstand a weed-killing pesticide or integrate a bacterial toxin that can ward off pests.
Individually, Americans do not deserve to be subservient to such a fear-mongering, intimidating and powerful agency as the Internal Revenue Service; but collectively, we do. Let's look at it.
Since the 1791 ratification of our Constitution, until well into the 1920s, federal spending as a percentage of gross domestic product never exceeded 5 percent, except during war. Today federal spending is 25 percent of our GDP. State and local government spending is about 15 percent of the GDP. That means government spends more than 40 cents of each dollar we earn. If we add government's regulatory burden, which is simply a disguised form of taxation, the government take is more than 50 percent of what we produce.
It's been a bad few weeks for cultural assimilation. Last month, two welfare-receiving immigrants in the United States, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, set off bombs at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring hundreds. By the end of the week, they had murdered a cop and engaged in a wild shoot-out and bomb-throwing melee with the police.
Last week, a couple of ethnic Nigerians butchered a British soldier with meat cleavers in broad daylight on a bustling street in a London suburb, then boasted about the murder in video interviews with bystanders. (On the bright side, they did not claim to be princes and ask for your life savings.)
At first I thought the IRS scandal was leaked to distract from the Benghazi scandal. But that didn't make sense because the IRS scandal is a more obvious abuse of power than the White House lying about the murder of four Americans in Libya.
Before I had resolved which scandal was distracting from which, we found out the Department of Justice was spying on The Associated Press -- not to protect national security, but to prevent the AP from scooping the White House. Then, this week, it broke that the Department of Justice was also spying on Fox News for reasons that remain unexplained.
America has the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and the UCP (ultimate clutch players). One is mixed martial artists, and the other is quarterbacks of the NFL. They all are athletic warriors who are extremely determined to win.
My favorite in the UFC is Georges St-Pierre. My favorite in the UCP is Tim Tebow. I know what you are thinking: Tebow has been in the NFL for only three years. True, but Tim's 2011 season with the Denver Broncos was one of the most remarkable in football history.
Brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who are accused of setting the bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon, attended the University of Massachusetts. Maybe they hated our nation before college, but if you want lessons on hating America, college attendance might be a good start. Let's look at it.
"We need to think very, very clearly about who the enemy is. The enemy is the United States of America and everyone who supports it." That's taught to University of Hawaii students by Professor Haunani-Kay Trask. Richard Falk, professor emeritus at Princeton University and the U.N. Human Rights Council's Palestine monitor, explained the Boston bombings by saying, "The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world." Professor Falk has also stated that President George W. Bush ordered the destruction of the twin towers.
On Sept. 12, 2012, President Barack Obama vowed to "bring to justice" the perpetrators of the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya. On Oct. 26, 2012, Obama said his "biggest priority" was bringing the "folks" in Libya responsible for murdering four Americans to "justice." Tick, tock, tick, tock.
While White House press secretary Jay Carney sneers at the GOP's "obsession" with what went wrong at the besieged Libyan consulate, Obama continues to ply his emptiest talking point. On May 13, 2013, more than eight months after the bloody disaster, Obama snippily reminded reporters that he had told us all back in September that "we would find out what happened, we would make sure that it did not happen again, and we would make sure that we held accountable those who had perpetrated this terrible crime."
The Heritage Foundation recently issued a comprehensive report showing that Sen. Marco Rubio's plan to instantly legalize 11.5 million illegal immigrants would add $6.3 trillion to the nation's budget deficits over the next 50 years. Heritage assumed there are 11.5 million illegals, but other estimates put the number at 33 million, which would mean adding another $18 trillion to the deficit. To put that in perspective, the largest U.S. budget deficit in history was $1.4 trillion in 2009.
Currently, the average illegal alien gets about $24,721 in taxpayer-funded benefits and pays about $10,334 in taxes. After full legalization, they will be eligible for a whole new panoply of government benefits such as direct welfare payments, Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare. Heritage concludes that the total government benefits to these former illegal aliens will then rise to about $43,900 per household, while the taxes paid by them will increase only modestly to around $16,000.
In case you're hiding under a rock, you should know that an audit conducted by the inspector general for the Internal Revenue Service has found that IRS officials targeted for scrutiny certain groups critical of the administration.
Which groups? Well, those with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names and nonprofit groups that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution.
One definition given for insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results; it might also be a definition of stupidity. Let's look at some cities where large percentages of black Americans live under poor conditions.
Experiencing a violent crime rate of 2,137 per 100,000 of the population, Detroit is the nation's most dangerous city. Rounding out Forbes magazine's 2012 list of the 10 most dangerous cities are St Louis; Oakland, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; Birmingham, Ala.; Atlanta; Baltimore; Stockton, Calif.; Cleveland; and Buffalo, N.Y. The most common characteristic of these predominantly black cities is that for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably liberal administrations. Some cities — such as Detroit, Buffalo, Newark, N.J., and Philadelphia — haven't elected a Republican mayor for more than a half-century. What's more is that in most of these cities, blacks have been mayors, chiefs of police, school superintendents and principals and have dominated city councils.
Editor's Note: This was intended for publication on Wednesday. We apologize for the delay.
It's on. As the White House grapples with a growing backlash over its Libya lies and lapses, President Obama's apologists are gearing up for battle. Put on your hip-waders. Grab those tar buckets. Get ready for Operation Smear Benghazi Whistleblowers.
Capitol Hill hearings this Wednesday on the deadly 9/11 consulate attack by jihadists will feature three compelling witnesses, all State Department veterans: Gregory N. Hicks, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya and highest-ranking U.S. diplomat in the country at the time of the Benghazi jihad attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine who now serves as deputy coordinator for operations in the agency's Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the top security officer in Libya.
In 1998 when President Clinton signed the bipartisan Internet Tax Freedom Act, which prohibited state and local taxation of Internet access and Internet-only services, the purpose was to promote the commercial potential of the Internet, especially for start-ups and small businesses. Congress extended the bill three times, the latest until 2014.
Now there's the Marketplace Fairness Act, which, writes the Washington Post, "would allow states and local governments to require large Internet retailers and other 'remote sellers' with sales over $1 million annually to collect sales taxes and send the revenue to the appropriate location." This bill, which the Senate voted 69-27 to approve, would undo the protections Republicans and Democrats once felt necessary to promote e-commerce.
Every few months since at least 2006, The New York Times takes time out from brow-beating Evangelicals to praise them for supporting amnesty for illegal aliens.
Most of the "Evangelicals" the Times cites are liberal frauds, far from "unlikely allies" in amnesty, as alleged. It is a specialty of the left to pose as something they're not in order to create the impression of a zeitgeist. The only one I haven't seen quoted yet is the ACLU's minister, Barry Lynn.
"Mainstream media" are alarmed by reports that billionaires Charles and David Koch are considering the purchase of Tribune Company's eight daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times.
When Warren Buffett spent $344 million to purchase 28 newspapers, there were mostly sighs of relief from journalists glad to keep their jobs. However, reaction to reports of the Koch brothers' interest in buying the Tribune papers was quite different. Charles and David Koch, you see, are conservative libertarians, not liberals. Will the Kochs, gasp, force their conservatism on readers? Will they sully journalism's good name? Truth is, no one knows what the Kochs plan to do.
I think the current controversy over immigration reform points to a larger issue in America today, which is that Americans are essentially split on the very idea of what America is and should be.
It used to be that Americans mostly agreed that in order to attain citizenship, immigrants had to not only come to this country legally but also demonstrate, after training and study in the American system, that they believed in the unique United States Constitution and embraced what it means to be an American. Though that still occurs in the naturalization process, we seem to have abandoned it altogether in connection with the immigration debate.
You can tell the conservatives liberals fear most because they start being automatically referred to as "discredited." Ask Sen. Ted Cruz. But no one is called "discredited" by liberals more often than the inestimable economist John Lott, author of the groundbreaking book "More Guns, Less Crime."
Lott's economic analysis of the effect of concealed-carry laws on violent crime is the most thoroughly vetted study in the history of economics, perhaps in the history of the world.
In 1787, when delegates at the Constitutional Convention were divided and at an impasse regarding how to build our government and frame the U.S. Constitution, 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin appealed to the other delegates to pray for divine intervention to help them out of their darkness:
Addressing a meeting of Planned Parenthood last Friday, President Obama accused pro-lifers of wanting to "turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century."
Like any decade, the '50s had its problems -- racism, discrimination, sexism -- but I'll defend the '50s on other grounds, if the president will defend the decade that followed. In the '50s, for much of mainstream America drugs were something you bought at a pharmacy with a prescription; living together meant getting married first, then having babies; abortion was not legal; our culture wasn't the enemy; metal detectors were instruments one took to the beach to find loose change and schools and the streets were mostly safe.
Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio seems well meaning enough. As second-generation conservative Americans, I know we both share a common passion for this great land of opportunity. But when it comes to comprehending the real agenda of the open-borders zealots he's allied himself with, Rubio doesn't have a clue.
And his abject ignorance threatens all of us who cherish American sovereignty and exceptionalism.
America's political and cultural left is, step by step, demonizing and marginalizing Christians and Christian values, to the point that even the congenitally apathetic should be concerned.
Fox News' Todd Starnes reports that the U.S. military has blocked access to the Southern Baptist Convention's website on an undetermined number of military bases because it supposedly includes "hostile content." Just a few weeks before, as noted in this space, an Army briefing labeled evangelical Christians and Roman Catholics as religious extremists.
The people of Boston are no longer being terrorized by the Marathon bombers, but amnesty supporters sure are.
On CNN's "State of the Union" last weekend, Sen. Lindsey Graham's response to the Boston Marathon bombers being worthless immigrants who hate America -- one of whom the FBI cleared even after being tipped off by Russia -- was to announce: "The fact that we could not track him has to be fixed."
Post-publication note from Chuck: At the time I wrote the column below, news had not broken about the massive and devastating explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas. Of course, all of my condolences and commendations about the victims and crisis care community in Boston I extend with profound correlations to my own heartbroken neighbors in Texas. One television news report estimated that 700 first responders were deployed immediately into action there. Let no one say the selfless and sacrificial American spirit isn't alive and well!
As with others across the nation, my wife, Gena, and I are so proud of the first responders and host of rescuers, medical personnel, law enforcement personnel, firemen, military members, crisis counselors and good Samaritans who immediately were called into action and undoubtedly saved lives, limbs and souls because of their heroic efforts. Truly, America's best shine brightest during our country's most difficult and darkest moments.
The last time there was a terrorist attack on America, we got the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration. Each entity has spent billions to keep us safe, but neither could stop two brothers, Tamerlan, a permanent resident, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a newly minted U.S. citizen, who lived in America and, reportedly, became radicalized jihadists, from killing and maiming innocent people at the Boston Marathon last week.
According to Dana Priest and William M. Arkin of The Washington Post, "Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States. ... An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances. ... In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings -- about 17 million square feet of space."
I wonder why President Obama feels he has the right to be outraged when legislators don't automatically roll over to his policy demands. I suspect that his moral indignation is more about personally losing than it is about policy issues themselves.
For indeed, President Obama was obviously furious when his gun control bill failed to muster sufficient votes to pass the Senate. Politico reported, "More than anything, it was an emotional blow to Obama, who was as irritated at the four members of his own party as he was at the 90 percent of Republicans who defeated the bill."