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National Catholic Register: His inaugural address equated same-sex ‘marriage’ with civil rights for black Americans and pledged to advance ‘gay rights’ in 2013, raising serious religious-liberty concerns.
Bloomberg: President Barack Obama’s recess appointments to the U.S. National Labor Relations Board last year were “constitutionally invalid” because the Senate wasn’t in recess at the time, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled. | Canning v. NLRB, No. 12-1115 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 25, 2013)
Boston Globe: Gen. Martin Dempsey is chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He said Thursday the assault problem is due partly to the military’s separate classes of personnel—male ‘warriors’ versus the rest of the force, including women.
AP: Gay rights advocates are renewing their push for President Barack Obama to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees.
Ryan Smith at Wall Street Journal: Yes, a woman is as capable as a man of pulling a trigger. But the goal of our nation’s military is to fight and win wars. Before taking the drastic step of allowing women to serve in combat units, has the government considered whether introducing women into the above-described situation would have made my unit more or less combat effective?
NewsMax: Former Navy SEAL commander and Montana State Sen. Ryan Zinke reacted sharply Wednesday to news the Obama administration will drop the prohibition against women serving in military combat roles, warning it is “nearly certain” to cost lives.
“Despite Obama’s Divisive Speech, Gays and Lesbians Are ‘Treated Like Anyone Under The Law’” | Brian Brown at CNSNews
Brian Brown at CNSNews: Sadly, the President squandered this opportunity when he chose to proclaim that our journey as a people would not be complete until gay and lesbian people are “treated like anyone under the law,” a not-so-veiled reference to his politically-motivated decision to endorse the radical movement to redefine marriage, one of our most sacred institutions. First of all, gay and lesbian people are already treated equally under the law. They have the same civil rights as everyone else. They’re free to live as they choose and love whom they wish. What they don’t have is the right to redefine marriage for society.
AP: President Barack Obama’s emphatic gay-rights advocacy in his inaugural address thrilled many activists. Yet almost immediately came the questions and exhortations as to what steps should be taken next.
USA Today: With the Supreme Court poised to take up two cases that could determine the future of gay marriage, supporters of its legalization are hailing President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address as a watershed moment, as he once again publicly embraced support for legal unions between gay couples.
Bill Donohue at Newsmax: Hollywood was not given a pass because of the delicacy of the Constitution: there are First Amendment considerations in trimming the rights of the mentally ill, and there are Second Amendment rights involved in gun control. Hollywood was given a pass because it greases Obama.
Ruth Malhotra and Jennifer Keeton at The Christian Post: Our cases, filed by Alliance Defending Freedom, defended the freedom of Christian and conservative students to speak on matters of public importance and to pursue our fields of study without compromising our convictions. In response to our lawsuits, the Tolerance Inquisition unleashed its fury. We faced everything from snide insults to false attacks on our character to threats of rape and murder so serious that Ruth was put under police protection.
AP: President Barack Obama and his family are beginning inauguration day by attending services at St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House.
LifeNews: Cecile Richards, the president of the nation’s biggest abortion business, joined President Barack Obama at the pre-inaugural church service today. Richards was so excited about being with the pro-abortion president, she Tweeted about it.
LifeNews: President Barack Obama declared today Religious Freedom Day as his administration is working overtime to deny religious freedom to pro-life Americans who do not want their companies, schools or businesses to pay for drugs that may cause abortions.
Heritage Foundation: The U.S. is not going to default on its interest payments, Foster said, and “this assurancerests not on congressional action to raise the debt ceiling, but on the simple fact that the Treasury has far more than enough funds to pay all interest as it comes due.”
Family Research Council: Shuns of Anarchy
Jordan Lorence at Speak Up Movement: Leftist bloggers successfully convinced officials for President Obama’s Inauguration to pressure Pastor Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta to withdraw from praying the benediction at the ceremony January 21.
The Hill: Senate Democratic leaders have sent a letter to President Obama pledging their support if he raises the nation’s $16.4 trillion debt ceiling unilaterally in the face of Republican resistance.
Washington Post: A conservative megachurch pastor was wiped from the inaugural program Thursday after a strongly anti-homosexuality sermon he gave in the 1990s surfaced, evidence of how fast Americans’ views on gays and lesbians are shifting and the political pitfalls for a liberal president attempting to reach out to religious conservatives.
George Neumayr at American Spectator: One of the items on Obama’s second term agenda is to root out traditionally Christian chaplains from the military. He sees them as bigots unworthy of conscience protections. Like Chick-fil-A, they don’t uphold Obama’s “values.”
Catholic News Agency: The petition reveals an “underlying agenda,” which is not simply to prevent violent crimes, but to “stigmatize any disapproval of homosexuality at all and essentially to silence us,” said Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.
Wall Street Journal: During the negotiations, the White House won a concession from Republicans to allow phaseouts for personal exemptions and limitations on itemized deductions, starting at an income of $250,000 for individuals and $300,000 for joint filers.
Stephen Moore at the Wall Street Journal: What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: “At one point several weeks ago,” Mr. Boehner says, “the president said to me, ‘We don’t have a spending problem.’ ”
Religion Clause Blog: President Obama issued a statement Wednesday rejecting several provisions of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including a conscience protection for military chaplains that he called “ill-advised”.
he Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, an organization of chaplain endorsers, is calling on President Obama and senior Department of Defense leaders to honor religious liberty protections for chaplains passed by Congress despite an Obama statement that calls the protections “ill-advised.”
Global Post: President Barack Obama, a former member of the Illinois state senate, is endorsing a gay marriage bill two state senators plan to introduce during a lame-duck session of the Illinois legislature this week, Reuters reported.
Topeka Capitol-Journal: The president has four spots — a number larger than usual in one year — to fill in 2013 on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a tribunal one step below the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Hill: President Obama will nominate Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to replace Hillary Clinton as the secretary of State on Friday, according to multiple reports.
AP: President Barack Obama’s possible pick of Republican Chuck Hagel to run the Pentagon raises serious concerns among some of his former Senate colleagues, who question his pronouncements on Iraq, Israel and the Middle East.
National Review: In Cairo on Wednesday, a Coptic Christian blogger named Alber Saber was convicted of blasphemy and “contempt of religion.” There’s a tragic irony: As any of the country’s Christians can tell you, contempt of religion is not merely permitted but encouraged in the new, post-Mubarak Egypt. What is criminal, what has become increasingly perilous, is any criticism of Islam.
The Hill: The president is likely to want a cabinet that reflects the country’s diversity and is made up of more than just white men, who appear to be the frontrunners for the top jobs at the Pentagon, State and Treasury.
Washington Post: The White House and the nation’s most prominent charities are embroiled in a tense, behind-the-scenes debate over President Obama’s push to scale back the nearly century-old tax deduction on donations that the charities say is crucial for their financial health.
CNSNews: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that the debt limit is “not real” and should not be part of any negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff.
AP: Senate Republican Leader Mitch Connell insisted on Tuesday that President Barack Obama and Democrats spell out where they would cut government spending as part of any massive budget deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff” double hit of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts.
The Hill (includes video): Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday offered an amendment to force a vote on President Obama’s deficit-reduction plan, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was having none of it.
Washington Times: A federal appeals court on Wednesday questioned not only President Obama’s controversial January recess appointments but the entire system of such appointments, using oral arguments in a case to cast doubt on whether presidential powers can ever be exercised unless Congress has adjourned for good.
NBC News: A federal appeals court on Wednesday takes up the issue of a president’s power to make appointments when the Senate is out of town, one that has divided Congress and the White House for decades.
Weekly Standard: Don’t the American people have a right to see these taxes and where they will fall? Shouldn’t the President of the United States, the only person who represents everybody in the country, lay out his plan, or must that remain a secret too? Will it just be revealed to us on the eve of Christmas or eve of the new calendar year? We will be asked to vote for it, to ratify it like lemmings, I suppose.”
AP: Senate Democrats rallied to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s defense as Republicans said they were even more troubled by her account of the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and signaled they would try to scuttle her nomination if President Barack Obama tapped her as the next secretary of state.
Washington Blade: The White House announced on Tuesday that Obama named Nitza Quiñones Alejandro as part of a group of three nominees to sit on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. According to the Human Rights Campaign, Quiñones is a lesbian and was recommended by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.).
Washington Post: If you voted this election season, President Obama almost certainly has a file on you. His vast campaign database includes information on voters’ magazine subscriptions, car registrations, housing values and hunting licenses, along with scores estimating how likely they were to cast ballots for his reelection.
Washington Post: BarackOFraudo.com lists Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia as states “won by Voter Fraud.” Slate’s David Weigel talked to Chambers, who pointed to some overwhelmingly Democratic districts and the way Virginia’s votes came in as signs of voter fraud. …
Despite President Obama’s Win, Pro-Life Victories “are in the works,” says AULA’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest
Sacramento Bee: Americans United for Life Action President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest said that despite the possible continuation of the pro-abortion federal policies of now re-elected President Obama, AUL’s proven track record of state legislative success is a roadmap to expand a culture of life – with or without the president’s support. A pro-life majority being retained in the U.S. House also means that President Obama will not be able to force through his radical abortion agenda without opposition.
Richmond Times Dispatch: In his first term, President Barack Obama has had an unprecedented impact on what was long considered the most conservative federal appeals court in the country. Except for the handful of cases that make it to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the court of last resort for the states of Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and North and South Carolina.
Religion Clause Blog: As part of his trip to Burma (Myanmar), President Obama spoke today at the University of Yangon in Rangoon. (Full text of speech.) His speech included a plea for the country to deal with the ethnic-religious violence faced by the Rohingya Muslim minority, and the persecution of ethnic minority Chin Christians in Kachin state . . .
BuzzFeed: The White House announced on Wednesday that President Obama has nominated Judge William Thomas, an out gay man, to serve on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Thomas would be the first out LGBT black man to serve as a lifetime-tenured federal judge.
Washington Examiner: Planned Parenthood, whose federal funding was threatened by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is taking credit for President Obama’s reelection by keeping independent women scared long enough about Romney’s agenda for Obama to win them over.
DailyCaller.com: By 6:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, more than 675,000 digital signatures appeared on 69 separate secession petitions covering all 50 states, according to a Daily Caller analysis of requests lodged with the White House’s “We the People” online petition system.
PolicyMic: To date, citizens of 18 states have petitioned the White House for consideration of a peaceful withdrawal from the United States. That’s right, thousands of Americans have already signed petitions at whitehouse.gov asking President Obama to allow them to peacefully secede from the union.
The Hill: A new attorney general will face a thorough grilling from conservative senators on highly sensitive issues like the decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, attempts to close the Guantánamo Bay prison, moves to block the implementation of state voter ID laws and the department’s refusal to give Congress thousands of documents relating to a failed gun-tracking operation.
The New American: A once reliable friend of the Obama administration is becoming its frequent foe. On Wednesday, the day after President Obama was reelected, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) leaned on the president to keep one of the first promises he made after being elected in 2008.
LifeNews: Exit polling data from Tuesday’s presidential election shows the pro-life movement may have itself to blame partly as pro-life voters failed to either show up to vote in the election or did not support pro-life candidate Mitt Romney if they did.
NewsOK.com: With President Barack Obama’s victory, the nominations of U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert E. Bacharach and Tulsa attorney John E. Dowdell should “fly through” the Senate, Sen. Tom Coburn said Wednesday.
AP: In the end, President Barack Obama won re-election exactly the way his campaign had predicted: running up big margins with women and minorities, mobilizing a sophisticated registration and get-out-the-vote operation, and focusing narrowly on the battleground states that would determine the election.
Juan Williams at Wall Street Journal: The critical political message from President Obama’s re-election victory Tuesday is that he cemented a new coalition of Democrats, led by the Latino vote, which threatens to reduce Republicans to an afterthought in future national elections. Yes, Mr. Obama won with the same group of voters—Hispanics, blacks, Asians, young people and educated women—that brought him to power in 2008 . . . Demography is political destiny and today Democrats have the numbers to prove it.
Forbes: The decades-long campaign by conservatives to build a lasting majority on the U.S. Supreme Court may come to an end over the next four years, now that President Obama has apparently been reelected to the White House.
One News Now: Despite the increased demand and bigger budget, the Department of Education and the Obama administration have been working for a year to limit participation in the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program.
Piero Tozzi at the Bell Towers: Restoring dignity to the Office of President is not something to be taken lightly – character matters, and the President should be a role model. Integrity radiates from the top: as Confucius noted, the virtuous ruler is like the pole star, setting the standard for those around him. When those in high office act virtuously, people are inspired to virtue. And when that happens, young lads stop cussin’ around the house… Actually Confucius did not say that last bit, but of this much I am confident: there will be no more upending the ottoman in an effort to reach the remote in order to hit the mute button and prevent an assault on tender ears when a President Romney or his minions speak.
LifeNews: Supporters of President Barack Obama in Wisconsin who were waiting to get into a local event with Vice President Joe Biden vandalized and spray-painted over pro-life signs held by pro-life rally protestors.
The Hill: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned Mitt Romney this week that upper-chamber Democrats would be no rubber stamp for Republican ideals if the GOP contender wins the White House next Tuesday.
Boston Globe: Mainers United for Marriage, the group leading the campaign in favor of gay marriage, says the Obama campaign’s regional press secretary issued a statement Thursday giving support to Maine’s gay marriage referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Washington Post: President Obama is heard endorsing same-sex marriage in a new radio ad being aired by supporters of Question 6, the Maryland ballot measure that would legalize gay unions.