If you haven't heard yet, there's a fellow on trial in the City of Brotherly Love who is accused of the most unbrotherly behavior: callously murdering newborn babies. Not "fetuses," but live born babies outside of the womb. Usually the result of a botched abortion, these babies would come out breathing, moving, sometimes even playing with the staff, and then Gosnell and his staff would sever their necks and kill them.
Yes, really. This isn't about abortion, it's about killing live and healthy born babies. It's sickening and gruesome. And that is part of why the media has largely ignored the story, because the actions of Kermit Gosnell and his staff are so horrifying to the overwhelming majority of Americans.
But there's another reason: the story undermines many of the arguments offered by some prominent pro-choice advocates, and the media, being pro-choice advocates, are afraid to take it on. It's not that they agree with Gosnell, but they literally fear where this story leads, and for very good cause.
We've been told for years that botched abortions are rare; that when they do happen, and the babies are born, that they are treated as patients and saved whenever possible; and, most of all, that a pre-born baby human is significantly different in proper legal staus from one of the same development that has been born: that it is justified to kill a 33-week old "fetus," who if born gets all our legal protections.
Many pro-choice advocates recognize these falsehoods, and therefore oppose late-term abortions. They draw different lines -- some choose heartbeats or brain waves, some choose certain actions and instincts, some pick a certain calendar date -- but most of them think there is a line other than, as Kirsten Powers put it, "geography": simply being in or out of the mother's womb. Most people recognize that this is not only an irrational way to define human life or to decide who gets human rights, but it's also terribly damaging to society to so arbitrarily define humanity, in the same way that slavery was: it's a corrupting sickness that affects us all, in how we see other people in society, and it has unexpected and terrible effects ... such as, justifying severing the necks of born, healthy, babies.
While I would love for abortions to end soon, that is perhaps a vain hope. But what realistically might come out of this is some permanent line-drawing of "how late is too late."
The left likes to drum up false solutions to problems all the time: gun bans and background checks and so on that, based on the facts, would have had no impact on the lives they say they are motivated to protect. But here we have lives being lost that can be saved, if we collectively not only go after people like Gosnell, but come together on more specific lines to draw.
Ferguson claims, "Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers based on sexual orientation. If a business provides a product or service to opposite-sex couples for their weddings, then it must provide same sex couples the same product or service."
Where does the law say this? I've never heard it before. I've heard that it is illegal to make hiring decisions based on sexual orientation, as well as housing decisions. But all products and services? I can't find it anywhere in the law.
Further, she is clearly not discriminating against the customer for their sexual orientation, per se, but discriminating against the event, which isn't the same thing. If they wanted to purchase her flowers they could (in fact, they did!), but providing them for an event is different, and again, I see nothing in the law backing Ferguson's claims.
And if it is in the law (which I doubt), it violates the First Amendment's protection of the right to association (which is implied by the rights to assemble and petition, which implies a right to not associate). It's one thing to force a business to sell a product, but when the florist is associated explicitly with an event, that association says something about her, to the public at large, and if she doesn't want to be associated with that event, it's absolutely her right to not be.
Ferguson's off to a terrible start as Attorney General: forcing a private business owner to associate herself with something she disagrees with can never be considered a good or reasonable thing, especially in a free country.
If a retail establishment provides for the purchasing of non-genetically modified foods, the establishment must also provide a customer with the ability to purchase substantially equivalent genetically modified foods. A retail establishment may not limit in any way a customer's access to genetically modified food.
As John Koster reaches his term limit on the Snohomish County Council, Ken Klein, Arlington City Councilman, is running for the seat. He's been a great public servant on the county's planning commission, and as a member of the city council. Come to his Campaign Kickoff Breakfast this Saturday, March 16. RSVP today!
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court of Washington said that only a simple majority can be constitutionally required to pass a law, regardless of repeated voter initiatives signalling a clear majority of voters want a two-thirds requirement to increase taxes.
I find the reasoning specious, as does a third of the Court. Indeed, the Court says something puzzling to defend its claim, that "[Whether to require a supermajority for the passage of tax legislation] is left to the legislative branch of our government. Should the people and the legislature still wish to require a supermajority vote for tax legislation, they must do so through constitutional amendment, not through legislation."
But the people are the legislative branch. It's right there at the top of Article II: "The legislative authority of the state of Washington shall be vested in the legislature, consisting of a senate and house of representatives, which shall be called the legislature of the state of Washington, but the people reserve to themselves the power to propose bills, laws, and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the legislature, and also reserve power, at their own option, to approve or reject at the polls any act, item, section, or part of any bill, act, or law passed by the legislature."
If the legislature can make a rule requiring a two-thirds vote, then so can the people.
Anyway, the main point is the latter part: guess what's coming next? You can bet your bottom tax dollar that we'll have a constitutional amendment on the table soon, to put this thrice-passed initiative into the state constitution.
And thankfully, with Republicans controlling the Senate with a few anti-tax Democrats, we won't see tax increases any time soon, regardless.
There's this idea out there that the sequester and its effects are the fault of Republicans. No one following along thinks that, but it's the majority opinion.
In early 2011, the debt limit was going to be reached within the year. President Obama knew this was coming, and should have reduced spending early in the year to prepare for the fact that the law said he couldn't borrow any more money.
Instead, Obama spent as though there would be no limit. He said it was Congress' job to increase the limit, even though he had voted against doing it as a Senator, and told many lies about how not increasing it was going to result in default, even though we had enough money to pay for all mandatory spending.
They did come to an agreement on the debt limit, thanks to Obama promising two things: that there would be automatic cuts if they didn't come to an agreement on deficit reduction. Stated all along was that we need a "balanced" approach, with both tax increases and spending cuts.
So fast forward to 2012, and Obama saying the sequester is a terrible idea that came from the Republicans, and doing other antagonizing of the Republicans that seems designed to push them away, so they would be less likely to want to make a deal. And then in early 2013, the Republicans agreed to spending increases, getting absolutely nothing in return. Obama said he "fulfilled a major campaign promise" by getting the tax increase. Republicans said that this was understood to be the tax increase portion of a deal, and now it was time to work on the spending cuts.
So now we're looking at the deadline to avoid the sequester, and the Repulicans have made several proposals, including to change nothing except to fund certain things that would otherwise be cut, and to cut spending more intelligently. Obama has rejected everything that does not include another tax increase.
And let's not also forget that every single cut that has been announced is a choice. The amounts cut are mandatory, but how they are applied is a choice. Every time someone says "we have to cut teacher pay" or "we have to do this or that," they're lying. They are making a choice about what to cut, and it seems like -- just as Obama is trying to antagonize Republicans into not making a deal by lying about them nearly every day -- Obama is picking cuts designed to make the public angry. The Republicans even offered a proposal to make those choices easier and smarter, and Obama rejected it.
Obama is saying the Republicans came up with the sequester, even though he did. Obama is saying the Republicans won't concede to a tax increase to avoid sequester, even though they did just last month. Obama is saying the Republicans are to blame for no agreement, holding the country "hostage," even though Republicans have made explicitly balanced offers and Obama rejects them.
There's no question that Obama deserves the overwhelming majority of the blame here. He is lying about the lack of tax increases, lying about specific cuts being necessary, and apparently doing anything he can to avoid a deal. Either he doesn't want a deal, or he is doing a great job of pretending he doesn't want a deal.
Indeed, even Democrats are pointing out that because most Americans are blaming Republicans, the President has no real reason to come to an agreement. So avoiding the "pain" of a sequester is not reason enough for him, apparently. It's a bizarre thing: Obama is acting like he wants sequestration, and is responsible for almost every part of how we got here, but everyone is still blaming Republicans.
As I've said, I am open to having the sequestration. If they won't cut spending on their own, this is a good start. It's a terribly dumb way to cut, but it's better than not cutting. But I think Obama wants sequestration a lot more than I do.
Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat was shocked, shocked to find that Washington Senate Democrats actually are trying to send cops to inspect your home if you own a gun.
The provision of SB 5737 -- sponsored by Democratic Senators Adam Kline, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, and Ed Murray, designed to ban the sale of assault weapons -- states, "In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing shall ... safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection."
Kline says he didn't know that was in the bill. "I made a mistake. ... I frankly should have vetted this more closely."
Well, that's funny to me, because I recall a certain SB 6396 in 2010, which Kline and Kohl-Welles sponsored, which, regarding "safe storage" of assault weapons, read: "The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection."
Oh, and then there's SB 5475, also sponsored by Kline and Kohl-Welles, which on the same topic, read: "The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection."
Danny, can we please not pretend this was accidental? Three bills, two sponsors, all about banning assault weapons, all giving sheriffs the power to inspect homes ... Klein didn't make a mistake. He simply lied about it when you pointed it out. If I knew the predecessor to this bill said the same basic thing three years ago, is it really reasonable to think Klein and Kohl-Welles, who sponsored both, didn't know?
And while we're not pretending, can we admit the bill is nonsense even without this provision? People would still have and get these guns, and would still be able to buy new guns that are functionally equivalent to the ones that would be banned. There are many pistols and rifles that fire the same bullets at the same velocity and same rate that would not be banned by this bill and would be available for similar prices. It cannot possibly have any effect on gun deaths. It's the opposite of "common sense" legislation.