If there is one subject we know Speaker Boehner is passionate about, it’s the minimum wage. Although many have questioned Mr. Boehner about his squishiness on multiple issues lately, he certainly won’t be budging on his refusal to vote for a clean minimum wage hike.
Back in 1996 Boehner told The Weekly Standard, “I’ll commit suicide before I vote on a clean minimum-wage bill.”
Now, the only time Boehner didn’t keep his promise was in 2006, but it was for the sake of his party. Boehner backed the GOP measure that raised the minimum wage over three years, but it also contained deep cuts to the estate tax that made the bill dead-on-arrival in the Senate. He knew the bill wouldn’t pass, but he wanted to show support for his party. He also wanted to make sure this would not become an issue for him during the upcoming campaign.
Although Speaker Boehner has basically kept to his word about not voting for an increase in minimum wage, Democrats think they have a chance in getting him to cave and allow a vote this year. The liberals are hoping for a vote in this election year.
Ohio Rep. Steve LaTourette says Boehner has “always believed that it’s a job killer.” And who wouldn’t think that after the CBO’s recent report found increasing the minimum wage could cost the economy 500,000 jobs?
It’s going to take the Democrats a lot more than pure optimism to get Speaker Boehner to allow this vote. Clearly, Mr. Boehner has the country’s best interest at heart here and is not backing down on his promise to refuse votes on a hike in the minimum wage.
On this week's Townhall Weekend Journal:
Frank Dowse, a 20-year Marine Officer who understands the Ukraine situation as well as anyone speaks with Hugh Hewitt. Charles Krauthammer explains to Hewitt the U.S. role in the Ukraine conflict. Bill Bennett discussed the gender madness with Dr. Leonard Sax, author of several books covering the innate differences between boys and girls. Dennis Prager spoke with Ann McElhinney, director and producer of the magnificent documentary “Frack Nation.” Amy Chua (author of "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother") and husband Jed Rubenfeld, are now out with a new and similarly provocative volume: “The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America" speak with Michael Medved. Dennis Prager on the wave of negative stories rushing in concerning the legalization of marijuana.
Congratulations, 18-26 year olds of America: Michelle Obama thinks you can't be trusted with knives and therefore need a government-subsidized insurance plan.
Speaking on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night, the First Lady said that young people are "knuckleheads" who need Obamacare.
I'm sick of this ridiculous condescending rhetoric coming from the White House regarding my generation. It's offensive, unnecessary, and arrogant — and as Fallon pointed out, older people cut themselves on knives all the time.
Look. I'm a young person. At 22, I'm the youngest member of the Townhall editorial team. If I wanted to, I could have stayed on my father's insurance plan for another four years — but since I'm fortunate enough to be employed, I didn't. I also cook fairly regularly, and I've never managed to slice my finger open with a knife, mostly because I'm a responsible woman who exercises caution around sharp blades. When I go to bars, I tend to keep both feet on the ground and avoid dancing on things that aren't a dance floor. Between this and the horrendous Brosurance ads, it is clear that this administration thinks that my generation is a bunch of idiots.
Considering that Obamacare is on the verge of falling apart because youth enrollment is so much lower than expected, one would think that the Obama administration would be a bit gentler with their sales pitch to young people. Nobody likes being called a knucklehead.
After the bloodiest day in Ukraine’s history since the Soviet Union collapsed, President Viktor Yanukovych has made at least three major concessions to the Maidan protest movement, according to the Associated Press: (1) the presidential elections initially scheduled for March will be moved up to December; (2) members of the opposition will have a voice in the new coalition government; and (3) the powers of the president will be significantly curtailed:
Ukraine's president gave in to pressure from European diplomats and offered concessions Friday to defuse a crisis that has divided his country and left scores dead. Shots rang out near Kiev's protest camp and protesters fought among themselves about what to do next.
The capital remained tense after President Viktor Yanukovych announced early presidential elections and promised to bring opposition members into the government — but didn't say when. …
Yanukovych also promised constitutional reforms trimming presidential powers, a key demand of protesters.
Nonetheless, many Euromaidan protestors want President Yanukovych gone. No matter. The AP reports today that leaders of the opposition have embraced the accord:
MORE: Ukraine opposition leaders have agreed to the deal and are heading to president's office, spokeswoman says: http://t.co/wOoTzisfKb— The Associated Press (@AP) February 21, 2014
And indeed, they have signed it already:
Two opposition spokeswomen said the deal was signed in the Ukrainian president's office Friday, but had no details.
President Yanukovych, for his part, released this statement:
In these tragic days, when Ukraine suffered such heavy losses, when people died on both sides of the conflict, I consider it my duty to the bright memory of the deceased to declare that there is nothing more important than human life. There are no steps that we must not do together to restore peace in Ukraine.
I declare steps that must be done to restore peace and avoid more victims of the confrontation.
I declare that I initiate early presidential elections.
I initiate the return of the Constitution of the year 2004 with redistribution of powers aside parliamentary republic.
I call to begin the procedure of establishing the government of national trust.
As Ukrainian President and Guarantor of the Constitution, I fulfill my duty to the people, to Ukraine and to God for the sake of preservation of state, for the sake of saving the life of people, for the sake of peace in our land.
The opposition, however, seems to have forced his hand to make concessions, given how unpopular he is:
After 48 hours in which the fate of Ukraine was fought out in the square, Yanukovich was rapidly losing support.
The deputy chief of the armed forces resigned and opposition deputies in parliament voted to overturn severe anti-terrorist laws enacted by Yanukovich's government this month and ordered security forces back to barracks.
Meanwhile, the situation on the ground is far from stable. While at least 77 people lost their lives on Thursday -- and those numbers will presumably rise in the coming days -- there were reports today of more gun shots fired and clashes breaking out in Independence Square.
But the worst of the fighting is over, it seems. For now at least.
New York City has proven to be a nightmare for unborn babies.
A new report from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reveals that, in 2012, more African-American babies were aborted than born. Here are the stunning numbers from the Summary of Vital Statistics 2012 The City of New York, Pregnancy Outcomes:
The numbers show that in 2012, there were 31,328 induced terminations (abortions) among non-Hispanic black women in New York City. That same year, there were 24,758 live births for non-Hispanic black women in New York City. There were 6,570 more abortions than live births of black children.
In total, there were 73,815 abortions, which means the 31,328 black babies aborted comprised 42.4% of the total abortions.
Once these horrific statistics are digested, the next question must be: Why do so many young women in America’s most populous city feel the need to end their pregnancies? Perhaps the answer lies in the Big Apple’s lack of common sense restrictions:
New York has remained an island of unrestricted abortion rights. Medicaid pays for abortions for low-income women. Teenagers don’t need a parent’s permission to have an abortion. There are no 24-hour waiting periods.
Unfortunately, the election of Mayor Bill de Blasio is not likely to help stem this trend. The staunchly pro-abortion Democrat has pledged to open more abortion clinics and has referred to pro-life pregnancy centers as ‘shams.’
His vision may not be completely realized, however, thanks to a federal appeals court’s recent ruling that city provisions against anti-abortion centers were unconstitutional.
Hopefully one day New York will stop living up to its notorious status as the “abortion capital of America.”
In December 2012 the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Illinois' ban on concealed carry as unconstitutional, finally opening the door for residents in crime ridden areas of Chicago to protect themselves and their communities. Although permits must be approved by local police and a state licensing board, it's a start. People who have applied for permits are expected to get approvals and permits in the mail by the middle of March 2014.
Now that Illinois residents have finally been given their rights back, they're flocking to concealed carry classes to learn more about how to safely carry a firearm. The Reader just did a feature story Gerald Vernon, a long time Second Amendment advocate and firearms instructor living in Chicago's south side.
The first lesson Gerald Vernon shared with his conceal-and-carry class is, to him, the most fundamental: "The only thing that stops bad people with guns is good people with guns."
His ten students—eight men and two women, all African-Americans—were listening intently. They had gathered in a meeting room at a south-side social service center to learn about gun ownership and self-defense from Vernon, a veteran firearms instructor who was seated at the front of the room next to a table set with an array of revolvers and semiautomatic handguns from his collection.
The students didn't appear to need any convincing. "I'm interested in protection," explained Thomas Brandon, 57, when it was his turn to introduce himself. The others said they were there for the same reason.
"Over the last 20 years, I've been places I don't think a lot of other black people have been," he told the class. "I've spent a lot of time and a lot of money traveling the country and getting this training so I could bring it back to the community."
He added: "Most of what Americans know about guns they learned from TV and the movies, and 99 percent of it is wrong."
Vernon has been a firearm owner and activist for decades, but he doesn't fit the stereotype of a gun nut. He's a middle-class African-American who lives on Chicago's south side. A former university administrator, he's studied civil rights history for decades.
Vernon believes that African-Americans, of all people, should embrace the right to bear arms, even if they don't want to carry a gun themselves. "Black people have been programmed to think that self-defense, our defense, is someone else's responsibility—that good, honest, decent black people have nothing to do with guns, because guns are for white folks, police, and black criminals. I find it to be an absurd notion. The vast majority of gun laws in America have been aimed at trying to disarm black people."
You can check out the entire profile from Reader here.
Newly released FBI crime stats show during the first six months of 2013, violent crime across the country decreased, a trend we've seen for five years in a row. At the same time, more people than ever own guns and are carrying them concealed on a daily basis. A recent Gallup poll shows more Americans are dissatisfied with gun control being too strict.
As more people carry concealed in Chicago, the crime rate will decrease. Guaranteed.
Looks like the Left is making another attempt to chill free speech after their last failure of trying to institute the Fairness Doctrine. The panel calls it "chilling, scary, and outrageous." Krauthammer appears to be pretty upset.
Meet the two “most refreshing things on ice” Coca-Cola and former-Olympian Michelle Kwan. The only problem? Kwan also sits on President Obama’s public health panel, a combination which the Center for Science in the Public Interest claimed sends very mixed signals.
According to CSPI Director Jim O’Hara:
The President's Council is one of the premier platforms the federal government has for promoting its official advice on nutrition. Therefore the Council has an obligation to protect the integrity of its public health messages. Allowing makers of sugar drinks or junk foods to rent Michelle Kwan or other Council members is unacceptable.
This is not the first time athletes on the President’s Council have posed with sugary drinks. Drew Brees, Allyson Felix, and Chris Paul have endorsed Pepsi, Gatorade and Powerade.
As reported by The Hill:
The nonprofit says Kwan and at least five other athletes on the panel are current or former “endorsers of sugar drinks.”
It said it was impossible to reconcile Kwan’s efforts on the nutrition commission with her paid support for a soft drink company, “since Coca-Cola and the President's Council communicate opposing messages when it comes to sugar drinks.”
In a letter to the commission, the health group asked for guidelines to protect “the integrity of the Council’s public health messages, including its recommendation that people drink water and not sugary beverages.”
“When the Council chooses a celebrity to deliver its public health messages, it gives that celebrity a ‘halo,’ to use the jargon of the public relations industry,” the letter continues. “The question is whether the Council is OK with Coca-Cola and other sugar-drink producers renting that halo for their purposes?”
So let's get this straight. Private businesses are renting the special celebrities the government has put a halo on? How dare they.
Hell, it’s a terribly slow news day so why not blog about this?
Secretary Clinton tops Gov. Christie 49 - 36 percent in an early look at the 2016 presidential race in this critical swing state. This compares to results of a November 27 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University showing Clinton at 42 percent, with Christie at 41 percent. The Democrat tops other possible Republican contenders:
•51 - 36 percent over former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush;
•50 - 36 percent over U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida;
•51 - 38 percent over U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky;
•49 - 40 percent over U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin;
•51 - 34 percent over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas;
•51 - 39 percent over Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
A presidential nominee hasn’t lost the state of Ohio and won the presidency since 1960. So while this poll is technically meaningless -- after all, it was conducted two and a half years before voters will cast their ballots -- it’s nonetheless interesting to see Hillary Clinton virtually uncontested in the Buckeye State. And she’s not just edging her opponents, either; she’s dominating them. History tells us, then, if the presidential election were held today -- despite all the problems with Obamacare and the president’s relative unpopularity -- the 45th president of the United States would almost certainly be Hillary Clinton.
“As Ohio goes, so goes the nation,” the political aphorism warns us. Perhaps Republicans should keep that in mind.
Discussing whether the “lure of the first female president” will be enough to overcome concerns voters have about Hillary Clinton, Rep. Michele Bachmann told Cal Thomas that the former secretary of state would essentially be “Obama’s third and fourth term in office,” which may “scare enough people to vote for the Republican nominee.”
She also added that many voters “aren’t ready” for a female president:
Bachmann says a lot of people "aren't ready" for a female president. "I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt." (Presumably she means because of slavery and the lengthy denial of civil rights to blacks.) "People don't hold guilt for a woman," she says, adding that while people vote for women for virtually every other office "I don't think there is a pent-up desire" for a woman president.
She says while Obama was "new and different," Hillary Clinton has been around a long time and is less likely to stir the juices as Obama did.
Bachmann, of course, ran for president in 2012. "Based off her own personal experience, Rep. Bachmann found that voters weren’t simply interested in electing a president based on their gender, but were focused on finding a candidate based on their merits," Bachmann's Communications Director Dan Kotman said in an email to Townhall. "When it comes to the merits of a Hillary Clinton candidacy, the former Secretary of State has many glaring challenges to address." In other words, voters will not be "ready for Hillary" in 2016.
Editor's note: This post has been updated.