Kerry's Rainbow Connection
The problem at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv wasn’t that officials were saluting the flag. The problem was which flag they were saluting. “Proudly flying the colors,” Ambassador Dan Shapiro posted on the embassy’s Facebook page, where people were stunned to see the rainbow flag waving alongside Old Glory. For the first time in Israel, American diplomats put the controversial agenda of a sexual fringe on par with the stars and stripes millions of brave men and women have died for.
Unfortunately for the United States, the jarring sight was just one of the flags President Obama is planting for “gay rights” around the globe. No sooner had Hillary Clinton taken over the State Department than the White House ordered her to use the agency as a club to beat other nations into submission on sexual politics. Now, while American forces look anxiously to Iraq, the Obama administration is launching another global offensive: Operation International “Tolerance.” While the rest of the world debates the Middle East, the President is trying to put troops on the ground in the fight to promote global homosexuality.
Secretary John Kerry made that quite clear yesterday in a speech to his own State Department, where he sent a warning shot to other nations that same-sex “spouses” of U.S. personnel will be treated as “married,” regardless of the host country’s beliefs. “Let me be clear,” he lectured, in a defiant speech, “we oppose any effort by any country to deny visas for spouses of American staff. It’s discriminatory, it’s unacceptable, it has no place in the 21st century.”
Neither, apparently, does real diplomacy -- which, until President Obama’s election, meant a respectful deference to other countries’ values and traditions. The Obama State Department has worked from Kenya to El Salvador -- not to advance America’s interests -- but the interests of the President’s radical social agenda. And unfortunately, in most cases, this aggressive strategy has made more enemies of nations than friends. Under Clinton and Kerry, the State Department has openly demonized other countries’ religious beliefs and promoted homosexuality as an international “human right.” They ignore the fact that the U.N. has refused to adopt any resolution or treaty that declares homosexuality as a human right.
“We are instructing embassies to inform governments locally that this is our policy and that they need to honor our policy. It’s that simple… At some point in time,” he went on, “we may have to begin to make it clear to them that that can affect one program or another or the choices that we make. It’s not going to be a normal relationship. This is who we are, this what you have to respect, and that’s the way it is.” Translation: bow to our demands, or we’ll make it hurt.
Of course, if the President is willing to strong-arm his own country, what makes people think he’d stop there? Unfortunately for Meriam Ibrahim’s two tiny children, Pastor Saaed Abedini, and others, religious liberty is the casualty of the push to export immorality. America’s credibility is the other.
Paul Revered: Rep. Ryan Hits back at IRS
What’s a billion dollars between friends? The President certainly doesn’t seem to think anything of tacking another IOU on the backs of taxpayers, who are already bearing the brunt of the White House’s scandals. If failure is anything, it’s expensive -- a fact made painfully obvious yesterday, when House members put the spotlight on another major flaw in the ObamaCare law.
Since the get-go, insurers have been hemorrhaging money under the health care exchange -- in part because of the administration’s incompetence and in part because there weren’t nearly as many paying customers as the President promised. The White House vowed to make up the losses to insurers to help keep its unsustainable law afloat. There’s just one big problem: there is no money for an insurance bailout. But, as House conservatives pointed out yesterday, that never stopped President Obama. Even though it lacks the authority -- and the budget -- to transfer billions of dollars to insurance companies, the administration says it’s moving forward on the payments anyway.
“The American people have a right to know how much these backdoor bailouts will cost,” fumed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). “The information provided by insurers suggests that the total taxpayer bailout could well exceed $1 billion this year alone.” All to cover up the law’s shortcomings. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was so outraged at the idea that he took the unusual step of sitting in on a House hearing on the issue and reminded HHS that it doesn’t have the legal authority to cut those checks.
“Chalk up another executive fiat for this imperial presidency,” said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.). “This reversal underscores the administration’s disregard toward the law and Congress, and reveals its ‘whatever it takes’ and ‘whatever it costs’ effort to prop up this broken law.” Making matters worse, the President is considering a new tax to pay for the bailout -- a so-called “user fee” that would hit already struggling families. “Since ObamaCare health plans were prevented from pricing products to reflect true risk,” Forbes explains, “…the red ink was inevitable. Now all of us will be forced to pay for it, whether we have an ObamaCare plan or not. That new tax will be passed onto everyone in the form of higher premiums.”
Unfortunately, every Obama scandal seems to be taken out on the backs of taxpayers. Thursday, a fired up Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) called the IRS on the carpet in an explosive hearing that had Americans cheering. Saying everything taxpayers wish they could, the former Vice Presidential candidate scorched agency commissioner John Koskinen for lying about the 24,000 “missing” emails in the conservative targeting scandal. Ryan tore into Koskinen, repeating, “I don’t believe you! … That’s your problem -- nobody believes you.”
He lit into the IRS’s excuse-makers, blaming them for a pattern of abuse. “…You are the Internal Revenue Service. You can reach into the lives of hard-working taxpayers and with a phone call, an e-mail or a letter you can turn their lives upside down. You ask taxpayers to hand onto seven years of their personal tax information in case they are ever audited and you can’t keep six months’ worth of employee e-mails? And now that we are seeing this investigation, you don’t have the e-mails, hard drives crashed. You learned about this months ago. You just told us, and we had to ask you on Monday.”
Democrats tried to interrupt, insisting that Ryan was “disrupting” the hearing. But let’s face it: his remarks are nothing compared to the real disruption caused by the IRS to thousands of innocent conservatives.
Keeping Up Your ENDA the Bargain?
No wonder the President had to resort to an executive order on special treatment for homosexuals. Turns out, the American people aren’t nearly supportive of his agenda as the media led us to believe. In a Huffington Post poll, only 50% of Americans support an ENDA-type (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) law, which gives preference to homosexuals and transgenders in the workplace. Congress had been reluctant to act on ENDA, and now we see that leaders are more in line with the majority of Americans than the President, which jumped ahead of the legislative branch to impose those rules on federal contractors. So much for the groundswell of support for measures that crushthe constitutional freedoms of both employers and employees. Most people apparently think the current anti-discrimination statutes are strong enough.
** If you missed yesterday’s March for Marriage, check out the video below.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.