Catching up on the past week: Charter schools, Santorum, birth control, Whitney

While I’ve been away, I (and y’all) missed a lot of opportunities to comment on a lot of topics. Here’s some quick making up for lost time:

CHARTER SCHOOLS AMENDMENT FAILS: Here’s hoping a second effort this week finds success. If not, the agents of the status quo — i.e., the educational establishment trying to protect its turf — may find the next option even less palatable than this one. I’ve been hearing for weeks now that one prominent Plan B involves setting up a state commission to review charter applications in tandem with local school boards; if a local board doesn’t follow that commission’s recommendation, the board could find itself receiving significantly less state education money. It would be wholly constitutional — the Legislature already attaches all sorts of strings to state money, and the final decision on an application on the charter would rest with the local board — and there are Democrats and Republicans alike pitching its merits. Only a simple majority (rather than a two-thirds majority for the amendment) would be necessary for passage. I consider it less attractive than the amendment. I’m guessing the amendment’s opponents will come to the same realization … if perhaps too late.

SANTORUM SWEEPS FEB. 7 CAUCUSES: I’m partial to anything that happens on Feb. 7, but I’m not sure Rick Santorum’s sweep of the caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota and the non-binding primary Missouri means a whole lot. Mitt Romney pulled a similar trick four years ago, and it didn’t blunt John McCain’s momentum. Those states’ delegates to the Republican National Convention this summer are not bound to follow the results of last week’s votes. Still, Romney has been a shaky front-runner throughout this race, as conservative voters have proven desperate for anyone else who’s viable. Santorum led the most recent major national poll of GOP voters; can he now prove that he’s a viable contender against President Obama? If not, Romney is still going to win the nomination.

BIRTH CONTROL MANDATE FLAP: American Catholic bishops were right to reject the “accommodation” offered by the Obama administration regarding the mandate for a broad range of religiously affiliated employers to pay for contraception, abortifacients and sterilization. Either the Obama administration doesn’t really understand how health insurance works — which would explain a lot — or it just doesn’t care. But forcing the insurers of these hospitals, colleges and other organizations to pick up the tab, rather than the organizations themselves, is a distinction without a difference. The insurer is going to make someone pay for that coverage via some type of new charge or increase in premiums. If it’s the employees themselves, they’re no better off. If not, it’s going to be the employers, which brings us back to square one. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, or a free Pill. Obama can’t get off the hook for a major constitutional infringement (remind me what subject he taught at the University of Chicago law school?) this easily.

WHITNEY HOUSTON, R.I.P.: Surprised to see me mention this one? While I’m not a real R&B or pop aficionado, I am a child of the 1980s and ’90s — and Whitney Houston contributed to the soundtrack of that era as much as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana or any other performer. (OK, maybe not Michael, at least not on a sustained basis.) If you grew up in those years, it was sad to see Houston — someone who once sang about “learning to love yourself” as the “Greatest Love of All” — spiral into such self-destructive living and destroy a voice that was a gift to so many people. We don’t yet have a cause of death for her. But the first thought I had, and which surely many people had, was that it must have been one of the things that spawned so many demons in her for too many of her 48 years. I’m afraid that says enough to make her a cautionary tale for the children of today. Teach them well, indeed.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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163 comments Add your comment

DannyX

February 13th, 2012
12:54 pm

What if Obama called his birth control plan “charter insurance,” would that make it acceptable to conservatives?

thyra

February 13th, 2012
1:11 pm

If 28 states require companies have birth control on their insurance coverage, why all the flack now?

Sarah Coulter

February 13th, 2012
1:21 pm

I am shocked, too, that you mentioned Whitney Houston. Do they play her on C-Span or in-between Rush’s commentary, Kyle? :^)

Congratulations on being a new Dad.

As for the birth control, the Catholic Church really needs to change their stance on birth control. Does the rhythm method ever work?

Jefferson

February 13th, 2012
1:21 pm

When insurance is too high, then something can be accomplished.

DebbieDoRight

February 13th, 2012
1:21 pm

Charter Schools – If parents want “more choice” they have two choices:
(a) Move to a better school district or (b) Enroll their children in Private school.

If you want my tax dollars to be diverted to another “pet project” you’d better have a better reason than the ones that Charter School Parents have been giving.

Santorum – I hope like HECK he gets the nod. Matter of fact, I’d vote for him myself in the upcoming March 6 Primary. Go Rick Go!!!

Cathlic Church – Kyle said, “Obama can’t get off the hook for a major constitutional infringement (remind me what subject he taught at the University of Chicago law school?) this easily”.

Kyle this is a dead issue. It has died a death a dozen times over in more than a dozen attempts by the Catholic Church et al.’s pettitions to the Supreme Court. They’ve already been rejected. If the catholic church or ANY church for that matter want to bring it up again, tell them to forego their tax exempt status and start pay property taxes etc. on all that real estate they’re sitting on. Let’s see how quickly they change their tune then.

Whitney Houston — Nice words. Thanks for being respectful. Although at the present time we don’t know what killed her, we do know that she’s dead, and has left a daughter and family behind who mourns her more than any fan could. That’s all that maters.

Don't Tread

February 13th, 2012
1:27 pm

“Obama can’t get off the hook for a major constitutional infringement”

Obama commits a constitutional infringement almost daily. Seems it’s just a piece of paper written by some dead white men, and not at all relevant to the “needs” of today. And of course we have Sotomayor and Kagan (and a host of federal judges in lower courts) to rubber-stamp anything he does.

Do what??????

February 13th, 2012
1:42 pm

“Surprised to see me mention this one? ”

She was 100 times better than ANY pop star today.

Do what??????

February 13th, 2012
1:43 pm

“Obama can’t get off the hook for a major constitutional infringement (remind me what subject he taught at the University of Chicago law school?) this easily.”

He taught? I was under the impression that he spent all his time organizing something.

Peter

February 13th, 2012
1:48 pm

Whitney is an example of making it big and losing your personal identity.

Since when did getting messed up to the point of heavy drug use make a life better ?

I call it suicide.

Seems the education system needs to make some changes, teach about personal finance, teach about drugs use, and alcohol abuse.

Getting all messed up doesn’t solve a thing, but creates more heart ache for the personality, and all family and friends involved.

[...] While, I (and y?all) missed a lot of opportunities to comment on a lot of topics. Here?s some quick … Written by admin in: Michael Joseph Jackson News | [...]

St Simons - we're on Island time

February 13th, 2012
1:55 pm

having children will make you have more of the truly human trait

of empathy, A trip to de golden islands mon will teach a fellow bulldawg

that we are all in this together, dontcha know.

MarkV

February 13th, 2012
1:56 pm

Kyle: “Obama can’t get off the hook for a major constitutional infringement.”

Kyle, are you now a constitutional scholar? If so, please explain how the proposed regulation infringes on the Constitution.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…

How does the regulation prohibit the free exercise of religion? Does it prohibit praying, serving mass, the building of churches? Does it force anybody to use birth control, undergo sterilization?

jconservative

February 13th, 2012
2:02 pm

“If 28 states require companies have birth control on their insurance coverage, why all the flack now?”

Because all 28 states had an opt out for the churches; either by self-insuring or by a clause in the federal ERISA statutes. The HHS mandate closes off both of these remedys.

And it is not just catholics, you might want to check out the Southern Baptist Convention website. Richard Land is calling for all to refuse to comply with the manfate.

See the “free exercise” clause of the 1st Amendment. Three cases are already in the pipeline with more to come.

jconservative

February 13th, 2012
2:13 pm

More from Richard Land:

“NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, February 8, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – One of the most influential evangelical leaders in the United States says Christians should go to jail rather than comply with the Obama administration’s mandate to provide all contraception, including abortion-inducing drugs, in their health care plans.

Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), told LifeSiteNews.com “we will not comply” with the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ mandate requiring religious institutions to cover abortifacient products such as Plan B, Ella, and the IUD.

“We want the law changed, or else we’re going to write our letters from the Nashville jail, just like Dr. King wrote his from the Birmingham jail,” Dr. Land said.”

Mad Max

February 13th, 2012
2:16 pm

Nacy P. must be happy now that we’ve passed and are starting to find out what is in it. Just wonderful, we pass a law with no real structure and then flush it out on the administrative level. HHS now determines who qualifies as a religious entity and determines what the law means. But the government hasn’t taken over according to our friends on the left. How in God’s name did birth control (in all of it’s forms) ever become a right? According to this line of thinking, vasectomy’s must be a right too! And we wonder why medical care costs so much.

john

February 13th, 2012
2:21 pm

Strange how conservatives are making a big issue over birth control. Many states, including GA, not only have the same mandate to cover contraception but goes further by having no exceptions….including for Churches.

Hillbilly D

February 13th, 2012
2:22 pm

How in God’s name did birth control (in all of it’s forms) ever become a right?

Good question. If people want birth control, that’s their business but don’t force somebody who doesn’t believe in it to pay for it.

john

February 13th, 2012
2:24 pm

Kyle,

Please explain what major constitutional infringement President Obama is committing. Can you cite Supreme Court judgments to support your claim?

Jefferson

February 13th, 2012
2:27 pm

Those folks don’t have the guts to go to jail.

Do what??????

February 13th, 2012
2:27 pm

“Strange how conservatives are making a big issue over birth control. ”

Not just conservatives. See also: independents.

Do what??????

February 13th, 2012
2:29 pm

“Please explain what major constitutional infringement President Obama is committing.”

Um…..forcing a religious group to do something against their will/doctrine. I guess you don’t understand separation of church and state.

“Can you cite Supreme Court judgments to support your claim?”

See summer 2012 when the SC overturns Obozocare.

Do what??????

February 13th, 2012
2:31 pm

But the government hasn’t taken over according to our friends on the left.”

They also believe that 8.6% unemployment rate is a good thing.

This is Obama in a nutshell: The country has a 102 fever. Obama comes in and it goes up to 104. Three years later he/the left think it’s great that the fever came down to 103.

Make sense, left wingers?

jconservative

February 13th, 2012
2:36 pm

See No. 10–553. EEOC v. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School
Decided January 11, 2012

The Court held 9-0 that the EEOC could not determine who a church hired and fired as its ministers.
The Lutheran Church and School had fired a teacher/minister. She sued through EEOC. EEOC ruled that the Church had to re-hire her as a teacher/minister. The court held otherwise on the 1st Amendment prohibition of “establishment” of a religion and the church’s right to “free exercise”
of its religion. Again, the vote was a unanimous 9-0.

If interested you can read the entire case at supremecourt.gov.

MarkV

February 13th, 2012
2:36 pm

“Um…..forcing a religious group to do something against their will/doctrine.”

Wonderful. All a church, any church, needs to do to avoid acting according to a law is to proclaim that it is against their will/doctrine, and presto, they are not subject to a law.

MiltonMan

February 13th, 2012
2:37 pm

“Strange how conservatives are making a big issue over birth control”

Hilarious that the libs do not even recognize that the Catholics are in their corner & are very, very far from being conservative. The Catholic clowns voted en masse for Obama in ‘08. Funny to see the religious wannabes complaining that their man is now turning on them.

john

February 13th, 2012
2:37 pm

Do what?????? @2:29pm

“Um…..forcing a religious group to do something against their will/doctrine. I guess you don’t understand separation of church and state.”

Read the 1st amendment and then get back to us.

I see you can cite a single Supreme Court case to back your claim…I can to support my case. Check out Reynolds v. United States dealing with polygamy.

MarkV

February 13th, 2012
2:39 pm

jconservative @2:36 pm

Perhaps you have not noticed that it was “Lutheran Church and School,” a religious institution. Those are still exempt under the proposed regulation.

DebbieDoRight

February 13th, 2012
2:39 pm

See the “free exercise” clause of the 1st Amendment. Three cases are already in the pipeline with more to come

That clause has nothing to do with the separation of church & state. If you want to pull a precedence pull this one:

Lemon v. Kurtzman, 91 S. Ct. 2105 (1971)

Established the three part test for determining if an action of government violates First Amendment’s separation of church and state:
1) the government action must have a secular purpose;
2) its primary purpose must not be to inhibit or to advance religion;
3) there must be no excessive entanglement between government and religion.

DebbieDoRight

February 13th, 2012
2:46 pm

See No. 10–553. EEOC v. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School

Dude — you must’ve had to limber up before you reached for that one.

Skip

February 13th, 2012
2:53 pm

87% of Catholic women use contraceptives, who do you think they side with?

jconservative

February 13th, 2012
2:55 pm

The terms “conservative” and “liberal” are thrown around without much thought.
Politically the Catholic Church is not conservative. Politically the Catholic Church is not liberal.

Note the following from the bishops website:

Bishops Renew Call to Legislative Action on Religious Liberty

Bishops Urge Congress To Protect The Life And Dignity Of Jobless And Working Poor

Catholic Bishops Denounce As ‘Grave Injustice’ Appeals Court Ruling Striking Down California Marriage Law

Bishops Hail Court Decision Upholding Religious Liberty (Lutheran Church case)

Bishops Welcome New Mercury and Air Toxics Standards to Protect Human Life and God’s Creation

Bishops Urge Unemployment Insurance and Compensation In The Face Of ‘Pervasive Economic Pain’

Both Republican and Democratic measures are supported by the Catholic Church. The Church is apolitical. All positions are a reflection of the mission of the Church. And to my knowledge this is true of all the US churches.

Filter

February 13th, 2012
2:56 pm

Richard Land is the spokesman for a bunch of windbags that lord over the denomination I grew up in and was ordained a minister in a few years back. But then all of the silliness came up about boycotting Disney over Gay Day and all sorts of other nonsense and I packed my things and headed over to the Vineyard rather than continue to expose myself to the diversions from the very real issues facing the church and the mission field.

You need a better example if you want people to take you seriously.

I remember when...

February 13th, 2012
3:00 pm

The Catholic clowns
Milton Man, you have absolutely no credibility when you sling gratuitous and ugly insults. What is the matter with you? First, you have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m Catholic, and I know plenty of Catholics who voted for McCain. Second, are you upset because some Catholics may have voted differently than you? Lots of people did, Champ, enought to make President Obama the President. And seriously, “clowns”, “religious wannabees”…what’s wrong with you?

DebbieDoRight

February 13th, 2012
3:06 pm

The separation clause has nothing to do with it. The clause was put in place so that:

(a) We wouldn’t be forced to live in a theocracy (I know that hurts some of you)

(b) The government can’t force you to change your religion to the one that the ruling party is a member of. eg: When Henry VIII threw out the bishops of the catholic church, set up the church of england, and proclaimed that everyone in the land were now part of the church of england whether they wanted to be or not.

(c) The church can not force the government to adhere to its polcies.

Sarah Coulter

February 13th, 2012
3:11 pm

Obama commits a constitutional infringement almost daily. Seems it’s just a piece of paper written by some dead white men, and not at all relevant to the “needs” of today. And of course we have Sotomayor and Kagan (and a host of federal judges in lower courts) to rubber-stamp anything he does…

*******************************************************************************

And who said that about the constitution first:

“I don’t give a goddam*ed. I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way. …
Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It’s just a goddam*ed piece of paper!”

You gotta love George W. Bush!

Dusty

February 13th, 2012
3:14 pm

Good to have you back, Kyle. We missed you.

You threw some “fat on the fire” I see.

Well, I’m for better schools whatever it takes.
————
ObamaCare is not a good thing for anybody including Catholics. Poor people already have many advantages for health care. . Preventive care or birth control or what you eat should be one’s own perogative unless someone is without mind or money. When did dependency like a parasite become a the ideal life style ?
——————-
Santorum? Who? He aint the man! History will give him one line if any.
——————
Republicans are having such a good time picking a winner. Poor Democrats! Stuck with a loser…

jconservative

February 13th, 2012
3:15 pm

DebbieDoRight February 13th, 2012 2:46 pm

The facts of this case have nothing to do with the current dispute of abortion insurance funding. I listed the case to show that the Court does not always split into automatic Conservative and Liberal sides as most people believe. In short, Sotomayor and Kagan were incorrectly called Obama “rubber stamps” by a previous comment.

The three cases in the pipeline are by the law firm The Becket Fund. They were the law firm that won the Lutheran Church case.

The cases in the pipeline are:

EWTN v. Sebelius (Department of Health and Human Services) (2012-current)
Colorado Christian University v. Sebelius (Department of Health and Human Services) (2011-current)
Belmont Abbey College v. Sebelius (Department of Health and Human Services) (2011-current)

They have another case, Stormans v. Selecky, Washington (2010 – current), dealing with whether pharmacist have a religious right not to “dispense Plan B emergency contraception because they believe that life begins at the moment of fertilization, and that Plan B can destroy a fertilized egg.”
The case was argued 2/1/2012 and a decision from the Court should come down any day.

Stay tuned.

Mary Elizabeth

February 13th, 2012
3:15 pm

Plan B: “. . .if a local board doesn’t follow that commission’s recommendation, the board could find itself receiving significantly less state education money.”
===============================================================

I hope that I am not the only citizen who sees a “bully tactic” at work in Plan B, which would continue to insist upon some form of State Commission for charter schools review. I do not see this issue as a conflict between “the educational establishment trying to protect its turf” vs. innovative ideas in education, offered mainly through public charter schools.

I see this issue as a conflict between sustaining public education, itself, which serves the “common good” of all citizens through taxes levied on all citizens vs. having special interests educate select children through establishing “public” charter schools, which are often operated by private enterprise.

As a taxpayer, I have no objection to paying my property taxes to serve the common interests of society through public schools (even though I have no child in school), but I do object to having my tax money used toward backing so-called “public” charter schools, that are now (or will be in the future) operated by private enterprise, which has its own special interests to safeguard. (See link below.) However, I have no objection to charter schools which are established by local Boards of Education. These charter schools would work in harmony with local Boards of Education, both instructionally and financially. They would not be based on a private business ideological model, as I believe a State Commission for Charter Schools would be, in Georgia, especially at this time.

I must state, again, that Thomas Jefferson was a proponent of public schools, paid for by taxes on all citizens. This issue involves more than “the educational establishment trying to protect its turf” but is, instead, an assault on public education, itself, as so well-stated last week by Herb Garrett, spokesman for the Superintendents of Schools of Georgia, on GPB-TV’s “The Lawmakers.” We must improve public education; we must not dismantle it.
——————————————————————————————————-

Be more informed about private enterprise’s interest in the charter school movement by reading the information in the following link, in full, which I found last week by googling “private business interests/charter schools.” Please do not be put off by the title, and instead read for the facts and illustrations included, within.

http://www.isreview.org/issues/62/feat-charterschools.shtml

———————————————————————————————————–

Whatever

February 13th, 2012
3:15 pm

I’m a conservative and I say no to he charter amendment. I have a locally elected board to oversee my tax money. I don’t need a far away appointed commission! I can’t vote out the commission. That’s called taxation without representation!

Feds out of state business and the state ou of local business.

Do what??????

February 13th, 2012
3:16 pm

“All a church, any church, needs to do to avoid acting according to a law is to proclaim that it is against their will/doctrine, and presto, they are not subject to a law.”

Obama’s church does.

Do what??????

February 13th, 2012
3:17 pm

“I see you can cite a single Supreme Court case to back your claim…I can to support my case. Check out Reynolds v. United States dealing with polygamy.”

Guess that answers the gay marriage question.

Gimme Gimme Gimme

February 13th, 2012
3:21 pm

“having children will make you have more of the truly human trait of empathy”

It will more likely lower your tolerance for people who want to tax you to death and take money from said family.

Do what??????

February 13th, 2012
3:23 pm

“87% of Catholic women use contraceptives, who do you think they side with?

So you’ve personally seen 87% of all Catholic women take birth control?

Dusty

February 13th, 2012
3:24 pm

Sarah Coulter, 3:11

Still depending on George W. Bush to make a point I see. You miss him, don’t you?

No wonder. There is a void in Washington now that Democrats keep trying to fill with trillion after trillion of $$$$$$.

Nothing cheap about our president. He wants the best in bankruptcy for us.

Real American

February 13th, 2012
3:25 pm

The Catholic Church disagrees with itself. They don’t think indirect employees (which is what the hospitals and college/university employees are) are their responsibility.
************
In court papers, the Milwaukee archdiocese is arguing in three test cases that the claims should be tossed out either because the abuse or church cover-up occurred too long ago, involved perpetrators such as a choir director who were not direct employees of the church, or involve victims who had already obtained settlements.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/08/usa-church-abuse-bankruptcy-idUSL2E8D7DQ320120208

So now how can they claim the ‘Catholic Church’ would be paying for the contraception for employees whose paychecks are not coming from the account of the Catholic Church – nor the employers premium payments – but then turn around and say this same Catholic Church is not responsible for a choir director working directly in the church and molesting juvenile parishoners?

Kyle Wingfield

February 13th, 2012
3:33 pm

Sarah: Seriously? You’re comparing Obama’s public action(s) to an anonymous quote that’s since been retracted by its publisher?

Linda

February 13th, 2012
3:34 pm

Rather than Obamacare, if it was Obamadrunk & Obama was requiring all religious employers to provide free hard liquor to their employees, citing the right to get drunk, liberals would still support it. If Obama required liquor stores to provide it for free to employees of religious institutions, liberals would still not see a problem. They would still be citing polls to prove how many people drink & requesting Supreme Court cases to prove why it might be a wee bit unconstitutional.

Do what??????

February 13th, 2012
3:35 pm

Dusty

Sarah is not the sharpest tool in the shed. I wouldn’t get worked up over her dimwitted remarks.

md

February 13th, 2012
3:39 pm

“having children will make you have more of the truly human trait of empathy”

And allow one to understand that enabling is the disease…..not the cure.

Kyle Wingfield

February 13th, 2012
3:41 pm

Whatever @ 3:15: The state isn’t dealing with local tax money, either in the case of the charter school amendment or of the Plan B mentioned in the OP. Btw, statewide, more tax dollars for education come from state revenues (about 48 percent) than from local revenues (about 41 percent — the balance comes from the feds). It varies widely by individual district.