But in a blistering dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justice Sotomayor, lambasted the majority opinion—delivered by five male justices—as "a decision of startling breadth" that would allow corporations to "opt out of any law … they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs."
The majority view "demands accommodation of a for-profit corporation's religious beliefs no matter the impact that accommodation may have on third parties who do not share the corporation owners' religious faith—in these cases, thousands of women employed by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga or dependents of persons those corporations employ" wrote Ginsburg, a stalwart member of the Court's liberal wing.
Didn't President Obama allow certain segments of the population to "opt out" of the law? Didn't his decisions to allow those groups to opt out have "impact" on "third parties"? Hasn't the President also applied his decisions on who must follow, and who is exempt with "startling breadth"?
Isn't Obama "guilty" of doing the exact same thing that Ginsberg is mad at Hobby Lobby for doing? And if so, shouldn't he be held to the same level of disgust she is leveling at Hobby Lobby?
Hobby Lobby is merely following the example that the President of the United States has set (multiple times, in fact). In this instance, Hobby Lobby even has a better reason than Mr. Obama.
Preferring to look ignorant rather than irresponsible, President Obama said last week that he only recently learned of scandals at the Department of Veteran Affairs through news reports. He spoke of the problems at the department as if they had blindsided him, despite the fact that as a candidate in 2008 he railed against the “the broken bureaucracy of the V.A.” and decried outrageous delays in treatment for veterans.
He didn’t need news reports to inform him of the depth of the department’s flaws; he could have reviewed his own campaign speeches. His long familiarity with the department’s problems gave his press conference last week an air of adding insult to injury. Somehow he was at once aware of the department’s deplorable condition and unaware of it.
Obama doesn’t mind appearing as the hapless spectator on the sidelines of his government if that saves him from the charge of dereliction of duty about a known problem. Yet the plight of veterans at the hands of indifferent bureaucrats clearly lost its urgency for him once the 2008 campaign ended and only now resumes urgency for him as an annoying political problem.
He said last week that he won’t “tolerate” mistreatment of veterans but he managed to tolerate it easily enough since he gave those speeches over five years ago. His aides claim he is “madder than hell” about the scandal, but at last week’s press conference he implied that his anger was provisional. He is still not sure if the “allegations” of mistreatment are true and needs to wait for more investigations in order to determine whether or not “accountability” is required.
Learning about problems in his own government through random news reports has become one of Obama’s common refrains. Last year he said that he learned of the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups through glancing at the newspaper and he made a similar claim about his knowledge of various Justice Department scandals. Historians, looking for a simple snapshot of his administration’s fecklessness, can cite the frequency of Obama’s admission.
Obama also learns of non-events through news reports, as evident in his administration’s reliance upon fragments of reporting from the foreign press to claim that the Benghazi terrorist attack was a demonstration over an Internet video that turned violent. Former Obama administration spokesman Tommy Vietor commented to Fox News, “What I’ve seen is, in a number of outlets, reporters talked to people on the scene that night… who said they were there because they were upset about this video.” Vietor suggested that “guys quoted in newspapers saying that’s why they were there” was the reason for the bogus storyline.
All of this contributes to a picture of an administration that is hopelessly superficial, dishonest, and incompetent. It also exposes Obama’s ideology as false: the federal government is clearly too big to know and too dysfunctional to control if he can only keep up to date on its failures through news accounts.
86 million full-time workers support 148 million "takers":
Buried deep on the website of the U.S. Census Bureau is a number every American citizen, and especially those entrusted with public office, should know. It is 86,429,000.
That is the number of Americans who in 2012 got up every morning and went to work — in the private sector — and did it week after week after week.
These are the people who built America, and these are the people who can sustain it as a free country. The liberal media has not made them famous like the polar bear, but they are truly a threatened species.
It is not a rancher with a few hundred head of cattle that is attacking their habitat, nor an energy company developing a fossil fuel. It is big government and its primary weapon — an ever-expanding welfare state.
First, let's look at the basic taxonomy of the full-time, year-round American worker.
In 2012, according to the Census Bureau, approximately 103,087,000 people worked full-time, year-round in the United States. "A full-time, year-round worker is a person who worked 35 or more hours per week (full time) and 50 or more weeks during the previous calendar year (year round)," said the Census Bureau. "For school personnel, summer vacation is counted as weeks worked if they are scheduled to return to their job in the fall."
This brings us to the first category of benefit receivers. There were 49,901,000 people receiving Social Security in the fourth quarter of 2011, and 46,440,000 receiving Medicare. There were also 5,098,000 getting unemployment compensation.
And there were also, 3,178,000 veterans receiving benefits and 34,000 veterans getting educational assistance.
All told, including both the welfare recipients and the non-welfare beneficiaries, there were 151,014,000 who "received benefits from one or more programs" in the fourth quarter of 2011. Subtract the 3,212,000 veterans, who served their country in the most profound way possible, and that leaves 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers.
The 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers 1.7 to 1.
People participating in the food stamp program outnumbered the women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 2012, according to data from the Department of Agriculture and the Census Bureau.
But it was the line photos that we found arresting. And it's clear McGuinness was advancing a White House line. Press secretary Jay Carney opened his daily briefing yesterday with the following gasconade: "As you can see by the lines around the country this weekend, we are seeing a surge in enrollment."
The first thing we thought of when we saw the pictures was the photos we've recently seen on Twitter of Venezuelans waiting in bread lines. Waiting in line to purchase necessities is a characteristic not of a prosperous free society but of command economies under repressive regimes. Closer to home, one doubts even the Transportation Security Administration would be so tone-deaf as to advertise long airport lines as an indication it's doing a great job.
So what in the world could the White House have been thinking? Here's a guess: They look at the ObamaCare lines and think not of communist subjects queuing up for bread or toilet paper, or Americans for driver's licenses, but something more like the lines of consumers eager to be the first to get the new iPhone or the latest Harry Potter book. Affluent people often wait in line for things about which they have a particular enthusiasm--or for special experiences, like an amusement park ride, concert or meal at a favorite restaurant.
One obvious difference is that whereas the iPhone and Harry Potter queuers are eager to get the new thing first, the ObamaCare ones are presumably anxious not to miss the deadline (even if it's not rigorously enforced). ObamaCare lines might have been impressive if they'd begun to form in the last days of September. At the end of open enrollment, the White House boast is akin to the IRS's citing a "surge" in filing of tax returns two weeks from now as evidence that the income tax system is popular and well designed.
In fact, there is some evidence that young people may be more willing to gamble with their future than to buy Obamacare. I live in New Jersey, where Internet gambling has just been legalized. Each of Atlantic City’s twelve casinos can operate up to five gambling websites so long as they screen out customers from out of state. Peggy Holloway, senior credit officer for Moody’s Investors Service, says the new sites will “appeal to a younger, more Internet-savvy demographic that might lack the discretionary budget to travel to one of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos.” And indeed, fifty thousand people signed up online for New Jersey’s gambling sites in the first week. That compares with 741 who signed up for Obamacare during all of October. Yes, the Obamacare website has been plagued with problems, but the disparity between the two programs is still eye-popping.
Dr. Jeff Singer, a surgeon and scholar at the Cato Institute, told Fox News that the gambling boom shows “younger and healthier people are making the decision — rightly or wrongly — that they are getting a better value by using some of their money, for example, in a gambling site than they are for buying health insurance which is covering things that they don’t need.”