Tonight's Crazy Story:
Toothless Pa. Woman Robs Bank for Denture Money
A toothless woman confessed to a bank robbery, saying that she needed the money to pay for her dentures.
Topic One: Contraception Coverage
The White House announced today that it would "compromise" on the birth control mandate, but the move is unlikely to satisfy Catholic leaders and others opposing the mandate. Basically, the move will allow religious employers to not advertise the availability of contraception, but the insurer will then reach out and offer it. American Thinker explains why this compromise will not be accepted.
Related stories: John Kass: this is about religious liberty, not birth control || Rick Warren: I'd rather go to jail || Obama overreaches again || ObamaCare's coercive essence || The tranformation train has left the station
There's Always Time for a Laugh:
"A new survey found that the average guy will spend about $200 on Valentine's Day this year. Yep, that's 20 bucks for flowers and 180 bucks for last-minute delivery of flowers."
Topic Two: The Election
Santorum's sweep has increased the discussion about the possibility of a brokered convention. Jim DeMint admitted it was a possibility yesterday. WaPo has an explanation of what exactly would happen at the convention if no one wins the first ballot. Basically, the delegates would cast a first ballot, during which each bound delegate would be obligated to vote for the candidate they represent (unless the candidate has released his delegates.) If no candidate has a majority, the delegates would be free to vote for any candidate on subsequent ballots until one candidate has a majority.
James V Capua on why Reagan was a great President: "The recent anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth brought home why so many have been discouraged by the Republican primaries. We remembered that while Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, et.al. have been scrambling to, as the current usage goes, "show leadership" -- with 157-point economic plans, visions of Moon colonies, and mostly documenting what bums the other guys are -- Ronald Reagan never sought to "show" any such thing. Instead, even as a candidate, Reagan led, and it is the sober recognition of the extraordinary effectiveness of his leadership, and not some gauzy-focus nostalgia that makes him stand, even now, a head taller than his would-be successors."
Yesterday, the government spent $20,172,705,641.07 over what it took in, raising the national debt to:
Topic Three: Iran
The National has a piece on the situation inside of Iran. The sanctions are doing their job of hurting the Iranian economy, but will it be enough to force change in Iran? Meanwhile, this freedom-loving nation has begun blocking access to popular websites.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio says that there is no price too high to pay for avoiding a nuclear Iran. "That being said, we have to deal with what we have now and what we have now I hope is a unified bi-partisan belief that what we need to impose on Iran in an international way is crippling economic sanctions that are a consequence of their nuclear ambitions and ultimately … we need to have every single option on the table because the idea of a nuclear Iran is so catastrophic that there’s virtually no price too high to pay to avoid it."
However, an American Thinker article by Neil Snyder urges caution by listing ten things we should know about Iran before we attack. "Laying the proper groundwork for a war with Iran is essential. It should involve the European Union because European countries have become dependent on Iranian oil. Although Western nations may not be able to win China's and Russia's support, those countries should be consulted as well since they are Iran's allies. We should also coordinate/consult with Iran's Arab neighbors because they will be involved whether they like it or not. Finally, under no circumstances should Israel be called upon to go it alone against Iran. This is our struggle at least as much as it is theirs." Finally, one Israeli Facebook user has his priorities straight: he is asking Israel to hold off an attack on Iran until after Madonna's concert in May.
Tweets of the Day:
Olivier Knox (@OKnox): What's the coverage for self-inflicted political wounds under the Affordable Care Act? Is there a co-pay?
Topic Four: The Tax Debate
Blake Hurst discusses a topic that is forgotten in the debate over taxes. "The more skillful the investor, the more cash is generated from profitable investments. Cash left in the hands of successful investors increases the chances that capital will be allocated in efficient and productive ways. The more profits invested in growing businesses by the founders and managers of those businesses, the more quickly the economy grows.
The skills that make successful businessmen and investors are not spread equally among the population, and they certainly don’t coincide with the ability to win elections. Better to encourage investment by leaving cash in the hands of those who know how to use it. Even if tax rates have no incentive effects (although I’m sure they do), cash in the form of retained earnings is important, and too often overlooked.
My family businesses don’t add much to the overall economic prosperity of our nation. They’re small, not terribly profitable, and are hardly giant engines for job creation or on the cutting edge of innovation. They do, however, employ nine family members throughout the year, with another dozen or so employees during the busy season. Without sensible tax rates on both labor and capital, we can’t build the equity we need to expand in good times and survive the bad times. That’s why tax rates matter."
Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States."
Topic Five: The Foreclosure Settlement
I have not commented much on the proposed foreclosure settlement primarily because I have not had the time to look into the details of exactly what it contained. Fortunately, The Financial Times has provided a summary of the major details. The Wall Street Journal has analysis of what this means for homeowners. Sam Zell says this is another government intervention into the housing market, which is what got us into problems in the first place.
Tomorrow in History
February 11, 1752 - The first hospital in the United States, Pennsylvania Hospital, is opened by Benjamin Franklin.
Grab Bag - Interesting and Important Stories to Conclude Your Evening
The Constitution is an impediment to liberals
Entitlements live on in President's budget
Will the Supreme Court carve up ObamaCare?
Edwards campaign still spending money
Santorum or Romney more electable in Ohio?
Will the tax cuts lapse?
Government dependence hits record
Muslim Brotherhood calls for military government's removal
Obama: dictator of education
Blame government, not capitalism
S&P warns of another downgrade without a budget plan
The Closing Argument
I still cannot understand why people are missing the real problem on the contraception mandate. It definitely lives up to all of the criticism that has been leveled against it, but it is also wrong on an individual level. This mandate forces individuals to pay for birth control methods that they find morally wrong. When a person purchases a plan, the money from everyone purchasing the plan is combined and then used to pay for covered benefits. Even if a person does not take advantage of the contraception benefit, that person is still forced to contribute to the pool of money that is used to pay for contraception for others. As I wrote on Twitter yesterday, "Whenever a lib tries to defend the contraception mandate, all they can do is quote stats on the percent of Catholics that use birth control." This is larger than whether or not Catholics use birth control; this is a matter of the government saying everyone must pay for items that some say violate their religious-based morals. Liberals make a huge issue out of the separation of church and state, but now they have no problem with the state being involved in religious decisions.
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