Mayors Play Chicken with First Amendment Rights
Though it would seem that Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's opinion that marriage is an institution between one man and one woman is protected by the Constitution's First Amendment, mayors in three cities have vowed to punish this heresy.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he “will do everything in my power to prevent such a vile establishment from setting up shop in my city. Mr. Cathy's values are not Chicago's values.”
In addition to Cathy's views on marriage, Emanuel also found the restaurant's policy of closing on Sunday's problematic, calling it “an unacceptable 'holier than thou attitude.' People need to eat on Sundays. Restaurants should be open to serve them. Besides, Sundays aren't sacred to other religions. Jews revere Saturdays, Muslims Fridays. By setting aside only Sundays, Mr. Cathy is discriminating against other faiths.”
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee warned the restaurant to “not even think about trying to open an outlet in our city.” Lee rebuffed criticism that penalizing a business for exercising freedom of speech was beyond his authority. “The Constitution says Congress shall make no law prohibiting freedom of speech,” Lee pointed out. “It doesn't say anything about mayors or city councils taking action to prevent the spread of heinous beliefs.”
Boston Mayor Tom Menino backed off from his promise to block any Chick-fil-A franchises from setting up shop in the city. “It appears that I have no say over who can and can't operate a business here,” Menino acknowledged. “However, it appears we can regulate businesses. Let's see how these purveyors of hate like having city inspectors hound them on a daily basis.”
Menino's strong stance against Chick-fil-A is a stark contrast to his assisting the Islamic Society of Boston’s establishment of a mosque in the city. This came despite the Islamic Society of Boston's Imam Yusef al-Qaradawi's insistence that homosexuals be put to death. “That's a freedom of religion issue,” Menino said. “As I understand it, the Quran explicitly commands that homosexuals be put to death. There is no language in the Christian Bible that explicitly says they can't marry. Anyway, Chick-fil-A is a business, not a church. It has no freedom of speech or religion rights per se.”
In related news, the US Department of Justice rejected Hercules Industries objections to being forced to cover abortions in the company's self-insurance plan. “Freedom of religion is an individual right, not a business right,” the DOJ wrote in its decision. “The business owners may choose to believe whatever they want, but as a business they must comply with the rules laid out by the Department of Health and Human Services. If the business owners feel these rules violate their beliefs they always have the option of exiting the market.”
Mainstream Media Accepts Government's Right to Censor News
A recent New York Times article admitted that it, along with other major “news” outlets, allows the White House to censor what it publishes. The basic protocol is for the media to submit a draft of a proposed piece to the White House for review prior to publication. The White House then edits the piece and returns it.
“It can be irksome at times,” Times reporter Jeremy Peters admitted. “But what choice do we have? If we don't cooperate we'll be cut off from access. And for what? It's not as if we aren't 100% behind the Administration on virtually ever issue. It's better to think of it as the kind of guidance a child gets from a parent. We may not like it, but in the long run we realize it's in our best interest.”
Axelrod Decries GOP Negative Campaign
Senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod accused the GOP of running ads that “cast a negative pall over the campaign.” Axelrod said he had a particular beef over the use of the “you didn't build that” quote.
“The GOP is playing on the egotism and greed of every small businessman in America,” Axelrod complained. “These self-centered twits congratulate themselves on their brilliance and hard work, but the fact of the matter is that the President is right on this issue.”
“The business owner may think 'I took the risk,' or 'I put in the 14-hour days' and conclude that he deserves the profit,” Axelrod elaborated. “What he overlooks is that the government allows him the freedom to take risk and to work hard when it could just as easily take everything he has, as many governments throughout history have done. Every atom used by every business was in existence long before it opened its doors. Therefore, everything a business makes is built from the common inheritance of humankind. All the President is trying to do is ensure that the benefits of this common inheritance are fairly distributed.”
Axelrod dismissed recent polls showing that business owners prefer Romney to Obama by a two-to-one margin. “Romney may capture the constituency of the greedy, but we're far ahead with the constituency of the needy,” he boasted. “Our figures show that among the far larger cohort of those on food stamps the President enjoys a ten-to-one margin of support.”
Pelosi Says Pope Unqualified to Have an Opinion on Abortion
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) demanded that Pope Benedict XVI “stop meddling in America's health care debate.”
“It's a question of experience and perspective,” Pelosi asserted. “I've had five children. I know what it's like to bring a child into the world. And so has every woman who's given birth. It's pure Hell.”
“On the other hand, there's never been a female Pope,” Pelosi pointed out. “No Pope has every had to suffer the pains of child birth. So, with the Pope lacking this crucial life experience, why should we consider his views on abortion sacrosanct when it is quite clear that he doesn't have the qualifications to hold a meaningful opinion?”
In Pelosi's view, “the decision on whether health insurance should be required to cover abortions is one that ought to be reserved to those capable of appreciating its impact. To paraphrase one of our greatest presidents, it should be a the decision of the women, by the women, and for the women.”
Administration Defends Siccing Auditors on Political Opponents
Reports that Romney donors may be subject to special audits by federal agencies were brushed off as “no big deal” by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner this past week. One targeted businessman, Frank VanderSloot, says that since donating a million dollars to presidential candidate Mitt Romney he has been notified by both the IRS and the Department of Labor that they will be looking into his records.
“I don't know what VanderSloot is so worked up about,” Geithner said. “Using federal agencies to put some heat on those opposing the President has a long tradition in American politics. FDR did it. LBJ did it. Nixon did it. You can't blame President Obama for exploiting every asset he has to protect himself from his enemies.”
VanderSloot's confidence that his company will pass the audits didn't faze Geithner. “Either way, he still has to endure the burdens of compliance,” Geithner observed. “That's extra time and money coming out of his pocket. It also serves as an example to others who might be contemplating aligning themselves with those trying to oust the President from office.”
Massacre Spawns Demands for Gun Control
The massacre of a dozen movie-goers in Colorado has sparked another spate of liberal demands for gun control.
University of Colorado Professor Chad Kautzer has launched an online petition aimed at banning “concealed carry laws.” While acknowledging that such a ban might not have stopped James Holmes from shooting 70 people in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, Kautzer insisted that “the ability to add an illegal possession of a firearm charge to the list of offenses for which he will be prosecuted would have a deterrent effect.”
In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested that police should go on strike until everyone in America surrenders their guns to the government. “Atrocities like this wouldn't happen if the police were the only ones that had guns,” Bloomberg argued. “I know some will characterize that as a veritable 'police state,' but you have to admit that police states don't suffer from these kinds of crimes.”
Democrats Vote against Bill They Sponsored
Eight Democratic co-sponsors of the “Audit the Fed” bill ended up voting against the measure. The unusual move was explained by Representative Pete Stark (D-Calif): “Look, this bill was Ron Paul's idea. We never expected the GOP leadership to allow it to come to a vote. I mean, it's one thing to try to pose as a champion of open government. It's another thing entirely to actually implement it.”
President Gains Another Endorsement
Ailing Venezuelan Dictator Hugo Chavez urged American voters to reelect President Obama. “After all I've been through with the cancer and chemo, it would really give me a boost to see this great man reelected,” Chavez said. “”It's also the only way to ensure that America's march toward a truly progressive future remains uninterrupted.”