PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – Wishful Thinking at the Associated Press + A narrow ruling in the Colorado cake baker case

Powerline John Hinderaker at HoaxAndChange

PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – Wishful Thinking at the Associated Press + A narrow ruling in the Colorado cake baker case

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

A narrow ruling in the Colorado cake baker case

Posted: 04 Jun 2018 04:38 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)As Steve noted here, the Supreme Court ruled today in favor of Jack Phillips, the Colorado cake baker who refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex couple because he believed that doing so would violate his religious beliefs. Phillips’ victory wasn’t narrow. He won 7-2. However, the opinion that accompanied the victory was quite narrow.

Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog explains:

Although Phillips prevailed today, the opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy rested largely on the majority’s conclusion that the Colorado administrative agency that ruled against Phillips treated him unfairly by being too hostile to his sincere religious beliefs. The opinion seemed to leave open the possibility that, in a future case, a service provider’s sincere religious beliefs might have to yield to the state’s interest in protecting the rights of same-sex couples, and the majority did not rule at all on one of the central arguments in the case – whether compelling Phillips to bake a cake for a same-sex couple would violate his right to freedom of speech.

Thus, a state human rights agency, for example, can get around the Court’s ruling by concealing its contempt for religious views like those of the baker and pretending neutrally to balance them against the imperative, as Justice Kennedy sees it, that “gay persons and gay couples [not] be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity and worth.”

If the state human rights agency, or other defendants, succeeds in this concealment and pretense, it will be an open question whether a cake baker or other commercial provider, must deploy his skills to help celebrate a gay wedding. The Supreme Court leaves the resolution of that question for another day.

Or perhaps other days. Justice Kennedy’s opinion suggests that the outcome may vary depending on the nature of the provider and his services. Thus, these disputes may have to be decided case-by-case for all types of wedding vendors. Courts can become wedding planning review boards.

It might not be as easy as it sounds for outfits like the Colorado civil rights agency to mask their contempt for Christian views when they are asserted in opposition to the left-wing agenda. That contempt often runs deep. However, I think we can expect these bodies to rise to the occasion.

I hope that when this issue returns to the Supreme Court, it will be decided by a more conservative group of Justices.


Give Him the Boot: The Derangement of Never-Trumpers

Posted: 04 Jun 2018 03:27 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)There are plenty of reasons to be generally skeptical of President Trump, and especially to be critical of his trade policy and the recent announcement of seeking to require electric utilities to buy electricity from coal and nuclear power plants (though this particular thing requires separate comment). But Max Boot abuses the privilege.

Here’s his tweet related to his latest Washington Post column attacking Trump’s abandonment of traditional Republican lip service to free markets:

The longer version in the column itself is even worse:

Trump doesn’t care that Canadian soldiers have fought and bled alongside Americans for a century. In Afghanistan, Canada lost 158 troops in a U.S.-led NATO mission. All of that counts for nothing with a president who is determined to rearrange the economy according to his own mad whims. . .

So . . . I guess Max boot has never heard of the U.S. tariffs on Canadian lumber imports from previous administrations that are estimated to have cost nearly 10,000 Canadian jobs. Did Trump’s predecessors also not care about Canadian soldiers? How about President Obama? Did he also not care about Canadian sacrifice when he blocked the Keystone pipeline for eight years?

Also this from Boot’s column:

My heart went out to Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland when she said on Sunday: “So what you are saying to us, and to all of your NATO allies, is that we somehow represent a national security threat to the United States. … Seriously?”

Funny, that’s very close to the complaint Margaret Thatcher made in 1982 of Ronald Reagan’s sanctions on European banks and companies (which Reagan’s own secretary of state opposed) that were building the Soviet natural gas pipeline (a policy that largely failed in the long run, incidentally, enabling some of Putin’s natural gas extortions today—irony alert!). Thatcher publicly called Reagan’s treatment of NATO “appalling,” and “a lesson in how not to conduct alliance business.”

Trump’s tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum are bad policy, likely to be counter-productive. Why not just argue the economic merits of the case? Never Trumpers who default to hysterical rhetoric do themselves no favors. Boot ought to get a grip. Or get the boot.


Does anybody really know what time it is? (Minnesota DFL edition)

Posted: 04 Jun 2018 12:59 PM PDT

(Scott Johnson)Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party held its state convention in Rochester over the weekend. They should have checked into the Mayo Clinic for a wellness examination. Instead, the lunatics took over the Democratic asylum.

The insanity first manifested with the party’s rejection of popular incumbent Attorney General Lori Swanson for endorsement. The Democrats in convention assembled rejected Swanson in favor of unknown attorney Matt Pelikan (D, Gay Millennial).

The insanity next manifested with the party’s endorsement of state representative Erin Murphy for governor (D, Metro Leftist). Murphy won the endorsement over Minnesota First District Rep. Tim Walz, who is taking his challenge to the primary. Murphy’s first move as the party’s endorsed gubernatorial candidate was to select state representative Maye Quade (D, Metro Leftist) as her running mate. My friend Susan Closmore presciently commented on Twitter.

Whelp…this news is a hard stop for any momentum Murphy gained yesterday. #mn2018 pic.twitter.com/NY2cJt0BYp

— Susan Closmore (@sclosmore) June 3, 2018

The probable statewide weakness of the endorsed Democratic candidates has reverberated. Swanson has declared herself a candidate for the gubernatorial endorsement. She has announced retiring Eighth District Rep. Rick Nolan as her running mate.

And that’s not all. The rumor mill has it that Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison will jump into the primary battle for the Attorney General endorsement on the Democratic side. If so, state representative Ilhan Omar (D, Little Mogadishu) would surely announce her candidacy for Ellison’s seat, with other Bernie Bro identity candidates (one Black, one Gay, but not one Black and Gay so far as I know) waiting in the wings to enter the primary contest as well.

It may, after all, be Time For Ilhan, as the documentary that debuted in Duluth over the weekend has it. Omar embodies the Bernie Bro identity politics that now consumes even the Minnesota DFL. Yet I’m pretty sure Rep. Omar would actually have to contemplate answering a few serious questions about her mysterious husband number 2 in the process.

Nurse Ratched, report to your station!

If all this comes to pass, however, there would be an opening for some sane Democrat to run in a multicandidate primary for the Fifth District DFL congressional endorsement. Such a candidate might only need 35-40 percent of the vote to pull it off. I wonder if my cousin Jonathan Applebaum (D, Minnetonka), for example, stepping down from his seat in a nearby state legislative district, might sense a possible market niche for sanity by the filing deadline of 5:00 pm tomorrow.


Wishful Thinking at the Associated Press [Updated]

Posted: 04 Jun 2018 12:50 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)The Associated Press takes up the topic of the day, President Trump’s tweet about presidential pardons. The AP story is titled “Can Trump Pardon Himself? Not If He’s Impeached.” The AP quotes Trump’s tweet as follows:

Now, Trump says, he has the power to keep himself out of jail if he wanted, declaring an “absolute right to PARDON myself.” This time though, it seems, he isn’t joking.

Trump’s full tweet gives the point quite a different context:

As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!

The AP follows with a reasonably accurate description of the basics of the president’s pardon power, emphasizing that, as everyone knows, a president can’t defeat the political remedy of impeachment through a self-pardon. You get the feeling the AP’s attitude toward the possibility of impeachment is hopeful.

But this is the entertaining part. The AP story concludes:

Comey is former FBI director who was leading the Russia investigation when Trump was fired.

While the error no doubt will be corrected at some point, it is, I think, a clear case of wishful thinking.

UPDATE: Here is the correction:

Rather than the other way around. Sadly, for the Left.


Today’s Gratuitous Smile

Posted: 04 Jun 2018 11:59 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)Today’s completely unexpected smile comes to us courtesy of the New York Times, of all places. Scott has already noted Bill Clinton’s discomfort in being asked on the Today Show about Monica Lewinsky, which was supposed to be about the novel he has “co-written” with James Patterson. The novel, The President Is Missing, has as its main character “President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan,” which offers a surprisingly close parallel to “William Jefferson Clinton.”

Now I’m not going to read the novel, though there is this one sentence from the New York Times‘s review today that might almost make it worth it:

Readers may wonder why the authors decide early on to kill off the first ladywho was a brilliant law student when she first dazzled Duncan, and why some of her last words were: “Promise me you’ll meet someone else, Jonathan. Promise me.”

Methinks there’s some subliminal projection here.

P.S. Why is Clinton suddenly “co-authoring” novels with mega-best seller James Patterson? Ah, to ask the question is to answer it. With the Clinton Foundation money-machine no longer working to fulfill Clinton’s grifting habits, getting some best-selling novel money may be the next easiest way to fill their bank accounts.


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