Barack Obama

President Obama has ignored the pleas of his own allies to provide a religious exemption for organizations that do federal work - such as Christian colleges and Catholic hospitals – under an executive order to be signed Monday banning sexual-orientation discrimination in hiring, The New York Times reports:

In a July 1 letter to Mr. Obama sent the day after the Hobby Lobby case was decided, leaders of religious groups wrote that “we are asking that an extension of protection for one group not come at the expense of faith communities whose religious identity and beliefs motivate them to serve those in need.”

The effort behind the letter was organized by Michael Wear, who worked in the White House faith-based initiative during Mr. Obama’s first term and directed the president’s faith outreach in the 2012 campaign. …

Mr. Wear, who calls himself an “ardent supporter” of the president and a backer of gay rights, said in an interview on Tuesday that the rationale of the organizations was to maintain the rights they have. “We’re not trying to support crazy claims of religious privilege,” he said.

He described the letter as a request from “friends of the administration” to ensure that the executive order provides “robust” protection of religious service organizations that uphold religious-based moral standards for their staff members, whether Catholic, Jewish or Muslim.

The signature of Gordon College President D. Michael Lindsay on the Wear-organized letter has led to a backlash against the evangelical school, though its accrediting body recently said it’s not facing loss of accreditation.

Read the whole article here.

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It’s not me, it’s you. That is the message the South Dakota College Republicans have for President Obama in a new video released last week, set to the song “Say Something” by A Great Big World.

The video depicts millennials “breaking up” with Obama like teenagers would break up with their significant others – his Facebook page is unfollowed, his pictures torn up, his text messages ignored.

Joe Schartz, chairman of the South Dakota College Republicans, told The College Fix that “Say Something” was “one of the saddest songs” he had ever heard. He thought it would be funny to use the popular song to show the weakening relationship between young people and Obama, believing the video would resonate with those who have gone through breakups.

Schartz believes the growing uneasiness with Obama among younger voters, who were instrumental to his election, is because they were drawn in by his large promises and the media hype surrounding him, but are now realizing it was mostly hype. He said millennials should vote for Republicans because they offer a stronger economy, less expensive healthcare and less government spying: “Your quality of life will be better when governed by conservative policies.”

The time was ripe for such a video, as recent polling provides evidence that millennials are breaking up with Obama and the Democratic Party. In a Harvard Institute of Politics survey  conducted between October 30 and November 11, and released in December, only 33 percent of young voters approved of Obama’s handling of the economy and just 34 percent his handling of healthcare.

While the percentage of millennials identifying as Republicans has stayed relatively constant since the 2012 election at 25 percent, the number identifying as Democrats has fallen 12 percentage points, from 43 percent the week after the 2012 election to 31 percent the following November, leaving a much smaller gap between young Democrats and young Republicans.

Future elections may show that Democrats will have to work harder for millennials’ votes. Schartz said Republicans “are working hard to turn out a demographic that Democrats are taking for granted.”

saysomething.SDcollegerepublicans.screenshotThe video has drawn significant media attention. It was featured on IJ Review, Young Conservatives and Chicks on the Right, and discussed on the Fox News show Red Eye by host Greg Gutfeld and his guests.

Young Conservatives said it was “the best video of the year,” while Chicks on the Right called it “kind of awesome.” The video had more than 63,000 views as of Wednesday morning, with many YouTube commenters saying they could relate to the video or that they had talked to disenchanted Obama voters who could probably identify with it.

The South Dakota College Republicans have received “a wide variety of responses,” Schartz said: The video really resonated with friends and family who voted for Obama but would no longer admit it.

Schartz believes the video highlights the rebranding effort the GOP is undergoing. “We believe young voters understand the consequences of the last two presidential elections, and they are ready for a new style of conservative leadership.”

College Fix contributor Matt Lamb is a student at Loyola University-Chicago.

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IMAGES: Pete Souza/White House, Internet screenshot

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When Hillary Clinton visited Yale University last fall to accept an award, 100 students signed up for a campus group dedicated to supporting her likely 2016 presidential election bid.

It’s one example of how a grassroots movement to get the first female president elected is taking hold on college campuses nationwide. Her mobilizers are already actively rallying support there, determined not to let a key voting bloc slip through her grasp this time.

In 2008, one of the critical sectors Clinton lost to Barack Obama in the Democratic nomination primaries was that of college-aged Millennials. This time, Clinton has Ready for Hillary behind her, a super-PAC dedicated to garner as much campus support as possible.

This isn’t her official initiative. She is yet to indicate if she is running, and whether she is behind the scenes pushing this effort remains unclear.

The super-PAC Ready for Hillary is working with 270 Strategies, a consulting firm started by Obama supporters, to employ the “snowflake model” on campuses across the country, reports the National Review. This model allows campus groups that calls themselves “Students for Hillary” to receive guidance from the super-PAC, but to adopt their own campaigning strategies.

Ready for Hillary’s youth vote coordinator, Rachel Schneider, has been traveling the nation to recruit students to serve on Students for Hillary groups on their campuses, according to a lengthy feature in Mother Jones.

Every week, Schneider holds video conference calls to teach groups the basics of campus organizing and campaigning. The super-PAC hopes to build strong student leadership in its Students for Hillary chapters by the fall, so that upperclassmen can aggressively recruit freshman classes and other students for votes, the article details.

There are now dozens of “Students for Hillary” chapters nationwide, which operate on campuses like Yale, the University of Iowa, the University of Miami, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, according to Schneider.

Many of these groups are in their infancy, but the groundwork is being laid. Some are more ahead of the game.

At the University of Missouri, students have already plastered Clinton stickers to their backpacks and cars, due to its chapter’s extremely active work – its members have been tabling at a popular spot on campus in an effort to recruit 400 to 500 students by the end of the semester, the Mother Jones article states.

Caleb-Michael Files, the founder of Students for Hillary at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, explained to The College Fix in an email why his chapter feels the need to promote Clinton so early.

“As a very progressive student body with a very active chapter of College Democrats it was in the best interest of our students to start early,” Files said.

Files explained the UMKC chapter, which currently consists of about 20 to 25 students, believes that Clinton’s extensive and high-profile political involvement qualify her to serve as president.

“Hillary has the experience. From serving as a U.S. Senator, Secretary of State and First Lady, HRC has the experience, both foreign and domestic,” Files said. “Hillary is a mom… I am sure as hell ready for a mom to be my POTUS.”

The UMKC chapter is doing voter registration drives weekly. Next semester, they will launch a series of informational events and recruit students to sign pledge cards. They will also attempt to engage in rallying the off-campus community.

Dr. Paul Kengor, professor of political science at Grove City College and author of God and Hillary Clinton, said Clinton is very clever to mobilize college students this early. Since many colleges laud gender, race, and sexual orientation issues, Kengor said that a liberal female candidate “will be greeted with great fanfare and adulation.”

“[Colleges] are liberal bastions—left-wing ideological monoliths that trumpet diversity but reject it entirely when it comes to conservative viewpoints,” Kengor told The College Fix in an email. “The professors will embrace her as the second coming of Eleanor Roosevelt.”

However, Kengor does not believe that Clinton has the same appeal to young people that Obama did during his own presidential campaigns.

“I think a younger, hipper Republican candidate, like Marco Rubio or Rand Paul, would be more appealing to college students than Hillary Clinton,” Kengor said.

Kengor said that the vote is “wide open” in 2016, and that Clinton is “eminently beatable.”

“It would be insane for conservatives to cede the youth vote to Hillary in 2016,” he said.

According to a CIRCLE study, Mitt Romney would have won the 2012 presidential election if he had secured the youth vote in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida.

College Fix contributor Claire E. Healey is a student at Grove City College.

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OPINION

Most know by now that the once-innocent teen heartthrob Justin Bieber has become a pot-smoking, house-egging little thug who likes to race cars and objectify women.

In fact, his most recent stunt – drag racing with a model sitting shotgun – landed him an overnight stay in a Miami jail. 

Americans aren’t reacting favorably to Bieber’s out-of-control behavior; a WhiteHouse.gov petition asking President Obama to deport the “Boyfriend” crooner back to Canada garnered more than 275,000 signatures. Obama’s staff even responded to the petition recently, using it as a PR-tool to promote the president’s lax stance on immigration.

Alternately, Mrs. Obama addressed the problem by reaching out to Justin Bieber’s mother, Pattie Malone. Mrs. Obama suggested that Momma Bieber draw near to her son while he goes through a rough patch, saying that he’s still a kid, he’s still growing up.

However, Bieber’s actions have little to do with his age and everything to do with his lack of accountability. Living with few consequences has caused Bieber to become, as the ol’ saying goes, “too big for his britches.”

If he gets arrested, he has the best lawyers representing him in court. If he’s deported, other countries will welcome him with open arms. If he’s dumped by his girlfriend, thousands of other women are waiting in line. If he damages someone’s property, he’ll pay to fix it and still have millions in the bank.

In sum, Bieber has more money, fame, and power than most of us can ever imagine or comprehend; and now he is a product of the “too big to fail” mentality. And he’s not the only one guilty of it.

This destructive “too big to fail” culture has crept into our expanding government, setting the stage for our leaders to act narcissisticly and with indemnity toward the American people.

One doesn’t have to look far to see such claims in tangible form. The National Security Agency has overstepped its bounds, time and time again, spying on American citizens unconstitutionally. And why? Simply because it can.

Following this pattern, the Internal Revenue Service has illegally targeted individuals based on their political affiliation – something that is strictly prohibited. If these agencies knew they were held to a standard – held accountable for their actions – this would not be going on. But who do they report to? Mr. Big-Britches himself, President Obama.

President Obama is the worst offender of the too big to fail mentality. He has said he would act if Congress wouldn’t; he would use his “pen and phone” to legislate. This is unbelievably unconstitutional. 

He also refuses to take any responsibility for the attacks in Benghazi, Fast and Furious, or the several thousand that lost their insurance plans due to his healthcare law.

If Bieber was a normal teen with a DUI, his parents would ground him, while the government would suspend his license, apply fines, and require community service. It would put a blemish on his senior year of high school and possibly affect his life trajectory. But Bieber, dealing only with the short-term consequence of media coverage, continues down a path of destruction.

In the same way, President Obama and his respective agencies continue to act with impunity.

As the saying goes – absolute power corrupts – absolutely.

College Fix contributor Lauren Cooley is a student at Furman University.

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A biography of Barack Obama designed for fourth graders and approved under the new federal Common Core curriculum standards portrays white voters as racists, hell bent on preventing Obama from becoming president.

The book in question, entitled “Barack Obama,” is published by Scholastic, and is now being read by elementary school students under the Common Core program, Red Flag News reports.

The book tells the story of Obama’s historic campaign to become the nation’s first black president. So far so good. But along the way the text paints white voters in a rather unflattering light: “Some people said Americans weren’t ready for that much change. Sure Barack was a nice fellow, they said. But white voters would never vote for a black president,” the book reads.

The book then mentions Obama’s former minister Jeremiah Wright: “Obama’s former pastor called the country a failure,” it reads. “God would damn the United States for mistreating its black citizens, he said.”

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The text makes no mention of the fact that millions of white voters did, in fact, vote for Obama. Nor does it mention that Obama distanced himself from Wright during his campaign.

With no real context provided for these assertions, it’s reasonable to assume that many nine or ten year old kids would simply take these assertions at face value, believing, for example, that “white voters would never vote for a black president.”

The Common Core standards, which the federal government has used to consolidate control over the curriculum that local schools use, have been controversial from the start, coming under fire for poor quality and political bias.

Examples of Common Core gone amuck include a 4th grade workbook that that depicts Uncle Sam as a father figure, holding a baby “citizen.” The workbook tells students that the government “is like a nation’s family,” and is there to protect and provide for citizens. Another Common Core text coaches students in ebonics, utilizing terms such as “Po Pimp” and “mobstaz.”

The “Barack Obama” biography is the just the latest example of how Common Core curriculum is being polluted by distortions of the facts and political bias. Worst of all, these standards are being nationalized. So they will affect students all across the country.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

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OPINION: An increase in the minimum wage would actually hurt those who it seeks to help—poor people, young people and minorities

President Barack Obama recently made a full-throated appeal for an increase in the federal minimum wage, and thusly, both minimum wage hikers and minimum wage cutters are now lining up and girding their loins for a battle on the economic front.

In the pro-hike corner is University of Massachusetts-Amherst economist Arindrajit Dube, whose recent study shows that a minimum wage increase might be the magical elixir that the ailing economy needs to decrease unemployment and lower the nation’s poverty rate.

His study suggests that if Congress were to implement the president’s plan to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, an increase of 39 percent, it would essentially reduce the poverty rate.

The data, Dube says, shows that a minimum wage increase would jettison 4.6 million people out of poverty directly and, over time, eat away at the myriad number of the nation’s poor by 6.8 million.

In short, the UMass economist states, the economy and the well-being of low-wage workers would be greatly improved if Congress forced poor people to sell their labor at higher costs.

The irony, of course, is that an increase in the minimum wage would actually hurt those who it seeks to help—poor people, young people and minorities.

To wit, if the minimum wage is raised from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour–and foisted upon the people in any particular region–then, many economists argue, the necessary consequence will be new, more qualified applicants will emerge for the higher-paying jobs and erase the opportunities for those doing the labor in the first place. Again – poor people, young people and minorities.

Those who are on the lower rungs of the economic totem poll are the ones who suffer the consequences of a minimum wage increase.

Noted economist Robert Murphy recently echoed this sentiment in an article for Library of Economics and Liberty.

He said, among other things, that raising the minimum wage would likely induce harm to young teenagers and college students, all of whom lack workplace experience and market place skills, if “the specific employees who would be working for $10.10 an hour are different from those who would be working for $7.25 an hour.”

What is likely to happen, according to Murphy, is that the new $10.10 an hour wage would attract new workers into the labor pool, allowing firms to be pickier about those they employ, inevitably causing companies to leapfrog over some of the younger and inexperienced candidates.

At the end of the day, labor is, much like a gallon of milk or a car, a commodity with a price tag on it, meaning that it can be sold on the open market.

If the federal government mandates that it be priced at a higher level, then not only is the government making the price of doing business increase, but it is also essentially telling youngsters and disenfranchised minority groups to sell their labor for a higher price than what the market can abide.

The data appear to show that the young, poor and minorities need to be wary about calls to increase the federal minimum wage.

Which takes us back to Dube’s analysis of the data.

The nearly 40 percent minimum wage increase may decrease the poverty rate, but it’s at the expense of poor people, young people and minorities.

Economist David Neumark of the University of California-Irvine, conducted an exhaustive study last year showing that the 70 percent increase in the minimum wage in 2009 cost young people hundreds of thousands of jobs. The teen unemployment rate for September of 2009, shortly after he made his prediction, hit 25.9 percent (a quarter of all teenagers 15-20 years-old were unemployed), which was up from 23.9 percent in July of 2009.

Worse yet, Newmark’s data showed the unemployment rate for black people during that same interval went up from 39 percent in July of 2009 to an astonishing 50.1 percent after the minimum wage increase.

It is important to note that a sky high unemployment rate for teenagers and early 20-somethings spells ruin for future generations because prosperity for individuals is accumulated over a period of time through vast amounts of experience in the work force.

In other words, the longer the young are unemployed, the longer it takes for them to become productive members of the American economy.

College Fix contributor Christopher White is a University of Missouri graduate student and an editorial assistant for The College Fix.

IMAGE: Trusty Pics / Flickr

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