Patterico's Pontifications


Report: More Than Half of Nation’s Immigrants Receive Welfare

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:22 pm

USA Today:

More than half of the nation’s immigrants receive some kind of government welfare, a figure that’s far higher than the native-born population’s, according to a report to be released Wednesday.

About 51% of immigrant-led households receive at least one kind of welfare benefit, including Medicaid, food stamps, school lunches and housing assistance, compared to 30% for native-led households, according to the report from the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that advocates for lower levels of immigration.

“It is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both.” — Milton Friedman

Regarding the Kentucky Clerk’s Refusal to Grant Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:05 pm

First we have Rand Paul, saying the clerk’s refusal is “part of the American way.” No, Senator. Adherence to the rule of law is the American way.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) suggested Tuesday that a Kentucky clerk who is refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples was “making a stand” and “an important part of the American way.” But he argued the whole situation could have been avoided if states stopped processing marriage licenses entirely.

“I think people who do stand up and are making a stand to say that they believe in something is an important part of the American way,” Paul told Boston Herald Radio, according to The Washington Post.

Mike Huckabee is even worse, saying thank God for the clerk. Ted Cruz has a slightly more nuanced version (see the link immediately above), decrying the assault on religious liberty currently taking place in the U.S., but implicitly acknowledging that the law must be carried out, and pleading (without specificity) for “alternative ways” to allow the law to be carried out without trampling on religious liberty.

Which sounds good . . . but unless they want to reassign her, the main “alternative way” I see is: resignation. Even when you don’t like the law, as a government official, you must carry it out (unless to do so would be so immoral that it would represent the very breakdown of society).

Jonathan Adler quotes Justice Scalia on a similar issue: the role of judges:

[W]hile my views on the morality of the death penalty have nothing to do with how I vote as a judge, they have a lot to do with whether I can or should be a judge at all. To put the point in the blunt terms employed by Justice Harold Blackmun towards the end of his career on the bench, when he announced that he would henceforth vote (as Justices William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall had previously done) to overturn all death sentences, when I sit on a Court that reviews and affirms capital convictions, I am part of “the machinery of death.” My vote, when joined with at least four others, is, in most cases, the last step that permits an execution to proceed. I could not take part in that process if I believed what was being done to be immoral. . . .

[I]n my view the choice for the judge who believes the death penalty to be immoral is resignation, rather than simply ignoring duly enacted, constitutional laws and sabotaging death penalty cases. He has, after all, taken an oath to apply the laws and has been given no power to supplant them with rules of his own. Of course if he feels strongly enough he can go beyond mere resignation and lead a political campaign to abolish the death penalty” and if that fails, lead a revolution. But rewrite the laws he cannot do.

Ed Morrissey makes the argument very well today at Hot Air. I can’t add anything to it.

We’ve written plenty of posts defending religious freedom and the right to choose not to participate in private ceremonies, but this case is different. The other cases about which we have written involve private enterprise — bakers, photographers, venue owners — who do not exercise a monopoly on their markets. Operating a private business should not strip people of the right to free religious expression in all phases of their lives; other businesses can and do wish to participate in those events, and the free market should be free for all within it.

Government is not a free market, however; it is a monopoly backed up by force. If the law says these couples can apply for and receive a marriage license, then government has to abide by that law. They exercise a monopoly on marriage licenses; these couples cannot go anywhere else to get one. This is a denial of access to market by government force, essentially, a much different situation than with bakers, photographers, and so on.

One might sympathize with Davis on her religious objections to same-sex marriage, but that doesn’t give her the authority to deny it if it is lawful. A politician might object to alcohol purchases, perhaps even on religious grounds, but he can’t deny permits to liquor stores in a jurisdiction that allows them just because of his religious objections to alcohol consumption. That would be an abuse of power, the kind conservatives would protest in other circumstances.

Accepting office in government means upholding the law. If that conflicts with Davis’ religious beliefs, then she should resign and find other work.

I’d be open to “alternative ways” that don’t involve rejection of the rule of law (as strongly as we might disagree with the “law” as the Supreme Court has determined it) — but I think Sen. Cruz should tell us what those alternative ways might be.

Whatever they might be, they can’t involve simply refusing to carry out your duty. That is not the “American way” in my book.

Caveat: I have not heard Sen. Paul’s interview. If it turns out he was misrepresented — as Scott Walker was, when he supposedly advocated a wall on our border with Canada (watch the video and you’ll see he was simply being inattentive, and talking over Chuck Todd) — I’ll defend him. Until then, the criticism stands.

Carly Fiorina Now Very Likely To Be On Main Stage At GOP Debate

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:15 am

[guest post by Dana]

Do you think Fiorina is now vulnerable to being accused of gender politics given that she benefits the most from the rules being tweaked? And will Trump, with the most to lose, be the one making that accusation?

The organizers of the next Republican presidential debate have announced changes to debate criteria that mean former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will almost certainly join the rest of the top-tier candidates on the main stage at the Reagan Library on Sept. 16.

“CNN reevaluated its criteria and decided to add a provision that better reflects the state of the race since the first Republican presidential debate in August,” the network announced. “Now, any candidate who ranks in the top 10 in polling between August 6 and September 10 will be included.”


New Planned Parenthood Video: “It Just Fell Out”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:35 am

[guest post by Dana]

Yet another Planned Parenthood video has been released by the Center for Medical Progress. In this video, Planned Parenthood’s business of organ harvesting fetal baby parts is discussed in graphic terms:

The video features undercover conversations with Dr. Katharine Sheehan, the long-time medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest until 2013; Perrin Larton, the Procurement Manager for ABR; and Cate Dyer, the CEO of rival fetal tissue procurement company StemExpress.

Sheehan tells actors posing as a new human biologics company that at Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest, “We have already a relationship with ABR.” Sheehan explains, “We’ve been using them for over 10 years, really a long time, just kind of renegotiated the contract. They’re doing the big collections for government-level collections and things like that.” When one of the actors negotiates, “We return a portion of our fees to the clinics,” Sheehan responds eagerly, “Right, get a toe in and make it, make a pro–alright.”

Perrin Larton, the Procurement Manager at ABR, is shown describing ABR’s fetal tissue harvesting practice to a prospective buyer. “I literally have had women come in and they’ll go in the O.R. and they’re back out in 3 minutes, and I’m going, ‘What’s going on?’ Oh yeah, the fetus was already in the vaginal canal whenever we put her in the stirrups, it just fell out,” she explains of situations where there has been a great enough degree of cervical dilation to procure an intact fetus.

ABR, founded in 1989 by CEO Linda Tracy, charges $340 per second-trimester fetal tissue specimen, yet seems less concerned about tissue quality than other harvesting companies: “Whenever we have a smooth portion of liver, we think that’s good!” says Larton

Unsurprisingly, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this week that there are not enough Republican votes to defund Planned Parenthood as part of a federal spending agreement:

“We just don’t have the votes to get the outcome that we’d like,” McConnell said during an appearance on WYMT. “The way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it and the president has to sign it. The president has made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood.”

Well, there are enough votes for a shutdown, but who wants that, right?


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