Tea Party News and Heritage Foundation Update
Freedom of Speech Threatened—
1. How the Illiberal Left Uses Silencing Tactics
By Jennifer Harper – The Washington Times – Sunday, May 10, 2015
There’s much talk about free speech, and the right to it. Now comes a new book explaining who and what is eroding this most basic tenet. Now on book shelves: “The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech” by Kirsten Powers, a lifelong liberal and daughter of a feminist who converted to Christianity as an adult and is now a frequent contributor to Fox News.
She points out that leftist methodology is to simply shut down public debate with the help of a compliant liberal news media and a secular culture — while squawking about tolerance and values.
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In March 2014, pioneering Internet company Mozilla announced the appointment of co-founder Brendan Eich as CEO. That same day, a Twitter mob exploded with criticism of Eich. Gay rights supporters were angry about a 6-year-old donation of $1,000 to the “Yes on 8” campaign, which sought to ban same-sex marriage in California in 2008.
It’s OK to be angry about Eich’s donation. Screaming for Eich’s head on a pike for his failure to conform to Mozilla’s majority view on same-sex marriage is not.
Liberals are supposed to believe in protecting minority views, even when they disapprove of those views.
Instead an online mob of presumably “liberal” people tweeted about Eich’s donation, many calling him a bigot and homophobe for supporting Prop 8. Remember, this proposition passed the same year Senator Barack Obama sat in Rick Warren’s church to explain his religious based opposition to same-sex marriage. Eich took the time to address the criticisms.
Such assurances proved inadequate, however. Almost 70,000 people signed a petition organized at Credo Action, a progressive social change organization, telling Eich to renounce his beliefs or resign as Mozilla’s CEO. They accused him of “advocat[ing] for inequality and hate” and ordered Mozilla to fire him if he refused to resign.
Finally, just over a week after his appointment, Mozilla announced that Eich would be stepping down as CEO. “While painful,” wrote Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker, “the events of the last week show exactly why we need the Web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better.”
It’s not necessary to support Eich’s donation to recognize something deeply disturbing occurred here. Pushing someone out of his job for dissenting on an issue that has nothing to do with the mission of the company and then portraying the purge as a “free” conversation that boosted humanity is creepily Orwellian.
The writer Andrew Sullivan—who is gay and was one of the earliest public advocates of same-sex marriage—wrote at the time of Eich’s ouster, “When people’s lives and careers are subject to litmus tests, and fired if they do not publicly renounce what may well be their sincere conviction, we have crossed a line. This is McCarthyism applied by civil actors. This is the definition of intolerance.”
2. Tea Party News: GOP Hypocritical on Obamacare Exemptions:
GOP Senators’ Pro-Congressional Obamacare Exemption Crusade Draws Scorn – from America
Pity the poor Senators:
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), 40%
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) 45%
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) 14%
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) 32%
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) 42%
Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) 58%
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) 51%
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 49%
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) 93%
and at least three other GOP Senators too timid to allow a reporter to quote them by name as they disparaged a fellow Republican.
Section 1312 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says specifically that upon enactment of the law, “the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff … shall be health plans that are – (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).”
Further, according to Section 1512 of the law, employees who purchase their health insurance through the exchanges “lose the employer contribution” many received to help defray the cost of their premiums.
In other words, Members of Congress and their staffs shall, upon enactment of the law, be required to give up their generous Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan health benefits – which included a generous taxpayer-funded subsidy to cover upwards of 70 percent of the cost of individual and family insurance premiums – and, instead, must purchase their health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges, without benefit of any employer contributions to subsidize the cost of their insurance.
That is the law, as written. Unfortunately, that is not the law as practiced, at least not since OPM ruled in clear violation of the law that Members and their staffs would continue to receive taxpayer-funded subsidies to help defray the cost of their premiums. And the absurdity of the OPM ruling is demonstrated by the lengths to which Congress had to go to pretend to stay within the confines of the law – Congress had to declare itself a “small business” with “fewer than 50 employees.”
Sen. Vitter believes the law should be implemented as it was enacted, not as some Members – apparently, many Members – want it to be enacted. In his determination to force Congress to live under the law as it was enacted, he is using his position as Chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee to seek records of Congress’ application to the D.C. small business exchange.
3. Patriot Act Facts: Stop Government Spying!
Have you seen the Drudge Report recently? We’re right up at the top!
You see, the entire country is talking about one thing right now: the renewal of the PATRIOT Act, and the disastrous blow that this Big Government program would deal to our Constitutional liberties.
That’s why we’re fighting back.
We’ve taken the lead in opposition to this unconstitutional bill by joining forces with some unlikely allies: the ACLU and the NAACP.
And now, we need your support to defeat this bill and kill this big government program once and for all.
You see, we’ve allied with the ACLU and the NAACP to produce and run some hard-hitting TV ads in the home states of several on-the-fence Senators.
We’re reaching millions of Americans, urging them to put the pressure on their Senators to kill this unconstitutional big government program.