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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 28, 2013 / 19 Sivan 5773

Professor of Constitution goes to war against it

By A. Barton Hinkle




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A physician's expertise makes him capable of inflicting great harm, noted Plato a couple thousand years ago, and no one is better positioned to steal than a guard. So perhaps we should not be surprised that the most conspicuous foe of liberty and the Bill of Rights turns out to be a former professor of constitutional law.

As a general rule, politicians tend to whipsaw between two poles. Conservatives try to increase economic liberty but show less regard for civil liberties. Liberals care deeply about civil liberties while trying to restrict the economic kind.

But the Obama administration is remarkable for its degree of disdain for both.

The president's principal first-term achievement was the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The law greatly increases government's role in health care and includes an expansion of government power unprecedented in American history: a requirement that all citizens purchase a consumer good irrespective of their personal behavior.

The administration also has pressed relentlessly - and successfully - for tax hikes, which shift control over economic resources from private hands to government. It also has indulged a regulatory binge, which shifts control indirectly, by cranking out burdensome new rules at a rate far faster than the Bush administration ever did. (This holds true even if you count only "economically significant" rules - those costing $100 million or more - and rely only on administration-friendly accounts.)

The result: Government not only is taking more of your money, it increasingly is telling you how to spend what's left. A recent study estimates the cost of regulation at nearly $15,000 per household. This means the three principal drains on the family checkbook, in order, are: (1) taxes, (2) housing, and (3) regulation. And Washington is working hard to move regulation into the second slot.

While trends like these drive conservatives nuts, they gladden liberal hearts. Yet liberals are not happy with the Obama administration these days - for exceptionally good reasons.

Most saliently, the Justice Department has been trolling through the phone records of reporters for The Associated Press and, even worse, has accused a reporter (Fox News' James Rosen) of acting as an unindicted co-conspirator in the unlawful leaking of classified materials. Rosen's offense was to do what reporters are supposed to do: break a story. This, too, is unprecedented, and it goes too far even for Obama's most knee-jerk defenders. The New York Times views the investigation as "threatening fundamental freedoms of the press."

The Rosen matter alone would suffice to disqualify the administration from any Friends of the First Amendment society. Yet it is only one of several such assaults. Others include the administration's campaign, through its insistence on a contraception mandate under Obamacare, against religious liberty; the president's suggestion after Citizens United that "we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process" to limit the free-speech rights of people who incorporate their social organizations; and its thuggish targeting of its political opponents.

If the IRS' treatment of tea party groups were an isolated story, you could swallow the explanation that a few low-level bureaucrats went rogue. But that account does not explain why the EPA has been far more generous to freedom-of-information requests from liberal groups than from conservatives. Or why, shortly after the Obama campaign slimed Romney supporter Frank VanderSloot as a disreputable fellow, he was audited three times - twice by the IRS and once by the Labor Department. Or why, after Texas resident Catherine Engelbrecht started a tea party group, she received scrutiny not just from the IRS but also from the FBI. And OSHA. And, just for good measure, the ATF. Or why the IRS took 17 months to respond to an initial tax-exempt status application from the conservative Wyoming Policy Institute. Or why it shared confidential files from conservative groups with the liberal ProPublica. Or why

Enough on the First Amendment. The president also has tried with considerable vigor to undermine the Second, and has succeeded in subverting the Fourth: Under Obama, who has gone to court to defend warrantless wiretaps he once condemned, warrantless "pen register" and "trap-and-trace" monitoring has soared to unprecedented heights.

In 2011, the president signed a reauthorization of the Patriot Act with just one regret: Congress approved an extension of only one year, while Obama wanted three. He signed into law a defense reauthorization bill allowing the indefinite detention, without charge, of American citizens, thereby gutting the principle of habeas corpus. Granted, he issued an executive order promising not to exercise that power. But the order does not constrain future presidents or, technically, even him.

From a civil-liberties perspective, Obama has carried forward nearly every one of the war on terror powers that led liberals to denounce George W. Bush as a goose-stepping fascist, and in fact has made many of them worse. When he retires from public life, perhaps he will return to teaching the Constitution. That should be much easier work - given how little of it there will be left.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

A. Barton Hinkle is Deputy Editor of the Editorial Pages at Richmond Times-Dispatch Comment by clicking here.


Previously:




05/23/13: REVEALED: IRS letter to tea party groups
05/15/13: Today on NPR: The smothering tax burden
04/30/13: What does Boston say about diversity?
04/25/13: For some libs, 'courage' = agreeing with them
04/18/13: Utterly outraged by their president's callous betrayal
04/11/13: Cognitive dissonance on guns
04/04/13: Do unto others, but not unto us, say the media
04/01/13: Observations from the auto shop holding pen
03/14/13: The nation-building follies
03/12/13: Will the right come around on pot?
03/07/13: Another U.S. dupe falls for a dictator
02/28/13: How dare you say that here!
02/26/13: Eating Frito-Lay chips at gunpoint
02/20/13: Death Star petitions are just what we need
02/13/13: ObamaCare proves law correct --- deep down you knew it would
01/29/13: It's Time to Get Judgy About Incompetency
01/23/13: Look who's mocking fascist fear-mongering now
01/16/13: Only in Washington could you get away with referring to spending and tax increases as spending 'cuts'
01/09/13: Obama begins his second term, Bush's fourth
01/07/13: Who's Attacking the Constitution Now?
01/03/13: Why, historically, January is the perfect time to debate the filibuster
12/26/12: When libs devalue diversity
12/20/12: Mark Your Calendars
12/13/12: Gun control, ad infinitum
12/11/12: Fracking can help fix the CO2 problem
12/06/12: Let's open the door to lots more immigration
12/04/12: Who's watching the kids? Just about everyone
11/29/12: The Real Middle-Class Champion was Mocked and Opposed
11/26/12: It's time to cut a deal on the budget
11/20/12: The case for a carbon tax
11/15/12: Cue the hysterics. Reports of Democracy's Death Greatly Exaggerated
11/07/12: The $4,000 Trash Can: We need regulation, but not this much
10/23/12: The Ballad of Islamist Rage Boy
10/17/12: Undermining the values that enable people in poverty to escape it? Sadly, yes
10/11/12: How Much Is This Tax Cut Gonna Cost Me, Doc?
10/04/12: Warrantless spying skyrockets under Obama
08/20/12: The wrong side absolutely must not win
08/14/12: America was not built on dirt alone
08/02/12: Libs Discover Their Inner Cheney
07/30/12: Feds want to help you --- whether you want help or not
07/23/12: Barack Obama, Storyteller-in-Chief
07/23/12: Nation's worst outsourcer? You
07/19/12: Listen up, America: You need to knuckle under
07/12/12: Obama, Romney: As Different as Two Peas in a Pod
07/05/12: Are teenagers big children --- or little adults?
06/25/12: Minorities treated as mere numbers
06/21/12: Memo to the the Little Guy: Seemingly innocuous activity could bring the federal hammer down out of a clear blue sky
06/19/12: We mustn't let America be buffaloed
05/31/12: Drop and Give Uncle Sam 20
05/15/12: The feds would like to know if you enjoyed that video
05/03/12: Obama inspires: 'America --- Still Not as Bad Off as Venezuela!'
04/26/12: It's everyone's favorite time of year again
03/29/12: GOP disillusionment is a good thing
03/27/12: Just what America needs: more red tape
03/20/12: Nation wondering: what happening to language?
02/21/12: Culture warriors resort to propaganda
02/15/12: Step away from that cookie and grab some air
02/08/12: Lessons in heresy
02/01/12: Do We Really Need Pickle-Flavored Potato Chips?
01/11/12: Shut up, they explained
12/30/11: A Modest Proposal: Let's Ban All Sports!
12/26/11: A Christmas letter from the Obamas
02/24/11: Will the next Watson need us?
12/24/10: Here Are Some Good Gifts for People You Hate
06/15/10: The Presinator
05/26/10: More than equal
04/08/10: Angry Right Takes a Page From Angry Left but guess who is ‘ugly’?
02/16/10: Either Obama owes George W. Bush an apology, or he owes the rest of us a very good explanation for his about-face on wiretapping
02/03/10: Talkin' to us 'tards
01/27/10: I never thought I'd see the day when progressives would howl in ragebecause the Supreme Court said government should not ban books
01/07/10: Gun-Control Advocates Play Fast and Loose
12/31/09: Nearly everything progressives say about neoconservative interventionism abroad applies to their own preferred policies at home





© 2011, A. Barton Hinkle

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