Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Odds and ends 11/27/2012

Keith Koffler of White House Dossier doesn’t want to hear any more Republicans denounce Mitt Romney for accurately citing the real reason he lost the election: Obama expanded the welfare state.

Only on Mars is what Romney said untrue. Instead of governing, Obama in fact spent the last year parceling out nicely wrapped little gifts to various constituencies.


A gift to gays: Obama’s position on same-sex marriage finally, in an election year, finished “evolving” to the point where he could accept it. Apparently the timing of Obama’s conversations with God on this issue couldn’t have worked out better.

A gift to Hispanics: In a probable violation of the Constitution, Obama stopped enforcing the law of the land, decreeing he would no longer deport illegal immigrants under 30 who came to the United States as children. In doing so, he basically implemented a portion of the Dream Act – creating by fiat legislation Congress refused to pass.

A gift to young voters: Obama bashed Congress into keeping student loan rates at 3.4 percent.

A gift to women: He resisted all efforts to change the Obamacare mandate that the ladies get free contraception.

Trevor Thomas writes a sobering article in the American Thinker on how America must suffer its mistakes.

I’m convinced that millions of Americans voted for Obama, et al, for no other reason than for their support of legalized killing of children in the womb, and for their support of perverted (same-sex) marriage. Too many Americans want the social and legal approval of sex without consequences. [link mine]


What liberals forget, or choose to ignore, is that even if such social and legal protections are achieved, this does not remove the tough natural consequences of immoral behavior. In other words, winning elections isn’t going to bring back a child killed in the womb or cure the many diseases that stem from illicit sexual activity.

Whoever wins elections does nothing to change the natural consequences of disobeying what is often referred to as Natural Law. There is no getting around it; human beings were meant to behave themselves in a certain way. When we violate the standards set by Natural Law, or when our own laws are in conflict with Natural Law, hard consequences await. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes, and as in the parable of the lost son, to return to what is right.

A quote from Yasser Arafat via Neil Snyder, in an aptly titled piece, “Peaceful Coexistence with Radical Islamists is Impossible” (re: “Herem”):

Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations. Since January 1965, when Fatah was born, we have become the most dangerous enemy that Israel has...We shall not rest until the day when we return to our home, and until we destroy Israel.

Glenn Fairman waxes poetic on the deterioration of the civil society at the American Thinker (re: “Mother isn’t there”):

We as moral beings are once again granted a ringside seat to an equally stripped subterranean view of the human condition – an odyssey into the ethical default state of man when reduced to primal powerlessness and carnal frailty. How axiomatic, then, that once the veneer of technology is exposed, our civility closely follows. What began, then, as The Day After soon crystallized into William Golding’s Lord of The Flies.


Beneath our parchment-thin wallpaper of moral obligation, mankind, whether residing in Calcutta or the Hamptons, is a seething cauldron of self. Any major urban center in America, faced with an overwhelmingly catastrophic earthquake, a flood, or even the detonation of a dirty bomb, will bring out self-interest, fear, and despair in the best of us – and, for the worst of us, transform our ethical countenances into those of cruel and clever beasts. Moreover, an apocalyptic war of “all against all” does not necessarily need to occur in order to bring this reptile out of its psychic lair, as any shopper at a department store on Black Friday can readily attest to. Try as I might, I cannot deny that there is a savage living under my skin.

In an age where government does everything it should not and fails in doing what it ought, we must keep in mind that the glib courtesies of civil society are only a mask for a measured depravity entrenched deep within us all – and we should develop at least a modicum of self-sufficiency should our time come.

Thomas Sowell eulogizes Hostess:

The work rules imposed in union contracts required the company that makes Twinkies, which also makes Wonder Bread, to deliver these two products to stores in separate trucks. Moreover, truck drivers were not allowed to load either of these products into their trucks. And the people who did load Twinkies into trucks were not allowed to load Wonder Bread, and vice versa.

All of this was obviously intended to create more jobs for the unions’ members. But the needless additional costs that these make-work rules created ended up driving the company into bankruptcy, which can cost 18,500 jobs. The union is killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

At First Things, Amy L. Wax reviews Christine Overall’s Why Have Children? The Ethical Debate:

Along came modernity, giving men—and especially women—an ever-expanding set of choices. Contraception, artificial insemination, prenatal diagnosis, and the legalization of abortion meant that people could routinely determine when to have children, which children to have, and whether to have them at all. There are limits, of course, and science has yet to master nature. Men still need women’s bodies, and women still need men’s sperm, but much that was once left to merciless chance is now within our control.


She gives long and careful consideration to disagreements between biological parents over whether to continue a pregnancy and allow a child to be born. Taking a distinctly feminist tack, and consistent with current law that views abortion as a right that is individual, fundamental, and virtually absolute, she insists the mother’s prerogative always trumps the father’s. The father can never prevent the mother from obtaining an abortion or insist that she have one.

She recognizes that this asymmetry can curtail a man’s capacity to become a parent or refuse that option, and so it potentially limits his reproductive “rights,” but she justifies this incursion by pointing to men’s need to enlist a women’s body and thus her consent and cooperation. This natural necessity, she believes, more than justifies limiting a man’s right to become a parent or not.


She seems unaware that channeling people’s behavior through imperfect and sometimes arbitrary conventions that assign intelligible and reciprocal responsibilities, burdens, and benefits might best minimize the evils she seeks to avoid. The most important convention is, of course, marriage. It is indeed an astonishing shortcoming of this book that the word “marriage” is almost entirely absent—it does not even appear in the index.

Traditionally, marriage carried implicit premises and promises. “Only if you marry me and stand by me can you count on me to bear and help raise your children.” Charles Murray once suggested that marriage should form the sole channel through which men’s rights and responsibilities toward women and children are recognized. Women and their offspring could not call upon unmarried fathers to support them, and unmarried men would have no power over or access to their children without the mother’s consent. This draconian suggestion certainly comes at some cost to innocents, but its logic is a bracing reminder that an individualistic and rights-based approach too often gives short shrift to the social systems that promote virtuous behavior.

J. Robert Smith summarizes the modern Left in the American Thinker:

The modern left has shed faith in God. God – who is foundational to our rights and being as a nation. The left seeks, in fact, to infringe on the rights of churches and their agencies regarding the provision of contraceptive and abortion services. That’s a first step in subordinating religion to the state. It has sought to drive and largely succeeded in driving out faith from the public square. It pushes to impose a smothering political correctness – a tyranny on expression and action. It acts to hobble and punish enterprising and productive citizens and nurture government dependence.

A sobering article on debt from Bill Bonner at The Daily Reckoning:

Debt has become a major burden in the economies of the US, Europe and Japan. It blocks them from saving, spending, investing and creating new wealth. Why? Because the resources that might have been put to work building the future have already been claimed by the past. Debt was contracted. Now, it must be paid. It is as if Pharaoh had already borrowed the needed grain…as if the grain needed to plant for next year had already been eaten. Once consumed, it cannot be borrowed. It is gone. When you owe money on your credit card, it is often for things that no longer even exist. Hamburgers eaten a month ago. Clothes that went out of style last summer. Ski vacations in last winter’s snow. With this burden of the past on your shoulders, you find it harder to move into the future. Your footsteps drag; your life shrinks. You are forced to use your time tomorrow to make up the time you borrowed yesterday.


Readers may consider the magnitude of the current problem by realizing that, according to the US Federal Reserve, total debt in the US is now about 353% of GDP. At 5% interest, forgetting taxes, the debtor must work nearly 1 day per week just to pay for past consumption.

Dan Amoss, also at The Daily Reckoning, writes:

A critical mass of voters demand government services, including health care — health care that remains waiting for bureaucrats to define. Here is a guess, based on government intrusion into markets: The health care system will become as popular as your local Department of Motor Vehicles within five years. Tuesday’s exit polls revealed that the popular American characteristic of self-reliance is not so popular anymore. Many voters see a European-style welfare state not as a bankrupting failure, but as a model for the U.S. They’re trading their freedom for the illusion of economic security.

Why is government-provided economic security an illusion? Simple: There is no way to pay for these benefits without raising tax rates to a degree that would destroy both the economy and the financial markets or annihilate the value of the dollar. Confiscating the income and assets of the “rich” (ignoring the fact that this would put countless people out of work) would make an unnoticeable dent in the budget deficit. This is a fact, not an opinion. Unfortunately, rather than start a factual conversation about the deficit, politicians choose to inflame the toxic emotion of envy.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds at USA Today suggests federalism to cure secession fever:

Let the central government do the things that only central governments can do – national defense, regulation of trade to keep the provinces from engaging in economic warfare with one another, protection of basic civil rights – and then let the provinces go their own way in most other issues. Don’t like the way things are run where you are? Move to a province that’s more to your taste. Meanwhile, approaches that work in individual provinces can, after some experimentation, be adopted by the central government, thus lowering the risk of adopting untested policies at the national level. You get the benefits of secession without seceding.

Sound good? It should. It’s called federalism, and it’s the approach chosen by the United States when it adopted the Constitution in 1789. As James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 45, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

In other words, states’ rights. No EPA, no Department of Education, no Obamacare. No top-down, government-directed society. Isn’t that what conservatives have been arguing for, and what the Democratic Party, the party of big government, stands against?

William Doino, Jr. writes in “The Temptation of Secular Conservatism” at First Things:

In his famous book, God and Man at Yale (1951), William F. Buckley lamented the collapse of Christian consciousness among higher academics, and hoped conservatives could reverse the trend. Russell Kirk followed with his classic, The Conservative Mind (1953), arguing that conservatism was nothing if it was not supportive of a transcendent Judeo-Christian order. And Clinton Rossiter’s neglected study Conservatism in America (1955), declared that “no conservative can afford to be casual about religion. Those political or cultural conservatives who are indifferent are to that extent—and to a goodly extent it is—imperfect conservatives.” In recent times, many of these notions have been challenged. While many conservatives still embrace faith, and defend the Judeo-Christian heritage, the idea that modern conservatism is synonymous with faith and tradition has lost traction. A whole new generation of self-styled conservatives want little or nothing to do with either.


Intimidated by loose (and often ludicrous) charges of “theocracy,” many committed religious believers have hesitated to cite the Bible in support of anything political, even though our Founding Fathers did. A few misleading accusations against the Bible—on slavery or women’s rights, for example—are enough to cause modern conservatives to abandon Biblical arguments altogether. They have adopted a secularist tongue, albeit one that stresses conservative values and the Natural Law (as close to Biblical morality as they are willing to get.)

The debate over how to attract young voters is symptomatic of the challenges faced by American conservatives. Because the young are more liberal on social issues—at least at this point in their lives—traditionalists are being counseled by secularists to either remain silent about abortion and same-sex marriage, or even change their beliefs. But that would be tantamount to repudiating authentic conservatism itself. And since when did conservatives, who believe they have an “adult” understanding of human nature and culture, start deciding they should be deferring to the young for moral instruction? Wasn’t that destructive concept a distinguishing feature of the left during the 1960s? Shouldn’t responsible adults be instructing the young, and not the other way around? And if the young are allowed to drive our moral decisions, where does that leave the commandment, “Honor thy father and thy mother”?

Doino, Jr.’s argument unfortunately runs off the rails when he describes the CIA’s responsible use of waterboarding detainees known to be withholding key information on terrorist networks and impending terrorist attacks as a “direct assault on the dignity of the individual.” Oh well.

Even some “adult” conservatives have proven poor role models for the young. It’s not just a relaxed attitude to adultery, divorce, and pornography; it’s a swerve into political immorality as well. After 9/11, it was perfectly reasonable and just to respond to the terrorists with force (and still is), restrained and guided by just war principles. But then, something happened along the way, and certain conservatives—not all, but far too many—snapped, and came out in defense of torture as a means of resisting terrorism. To this day, many still defend “enhanced interrogation,” a euphemism if ever there was one, and a direct assault on the dignity of the individual.

So obvious is the economy in shambles, I find the necessity to even make the argument against big government condescending. This shit sells itself, is my attitude. Apparently, it’s not so obvious to a great many Americans. J.T. Young makes the argument at the American Spectator:

The federal government spent $3.5 trillion in fiscal year 2012. As CBO observes: “Federal spending has totaled between $3.5 trillion and $3.6 trillion in each of the past four years…” Prior to these four years, government spending had never broken $3 trillion.


Little surprise then that Washington racked up mind-boggling deficits over these last four years. Before these last four years, Washington’s annual deficit had peaked at $459 billion. Last year’s deficit? $1.1 trillion – well more than twice the record high before these last four years’ – and the lowest of the four.


For all this federal spending, deficits, and debt, what has America gotten in return? The worst economic recovery of any post-Depression period. In 2009, the economy shrank 3.1 percent. In 2010, it grew 2.4 percent; in 2011, 1.8 percent; and in 2012, it is projected to rise 2.1 percent.

Barely keeping pace with increases in the population.

Conn Carroll of the Washington Examiner performs an autopsy on California:

Don’t think for a second that California’s chronic deficits are caused by low taxes. Even before last Tuesday’s tax hikes, California had the most progressive income tax system in the nation, with seven brackets, and the second-highest top marginal rate. Now it has the nation’s highest top marginal rate and the nation’s highest sales tax. And the budget still isn’t balanced.

The real cause for California’s fiscal crisis is simple: They spend too much money. Between 1996 and 2012, the state’s population grew by just 15 percent, but spending more than doubled, from $45.4 billion to $92.5 billion (in 2005 constant dollars).

What are Californians getting for all this government spending? According to a new census report released Friday, almost one-quarter, 23.5 percent, of all Californians are in poverty. One-third of all the nation’s welfare recipients live in the state, despite the fact that California has only one-eighth of the country’s population. That’s four times as many as the next-highest welfare population, which is New York. Meanwhile, California eighth-graders finished ahead of only Mississippi and District of Columbia students on reading and math test scores in 2011.

Middle-class families that want actual jobs, not welfare, are fleeing California in droves. According to IRS data compiled by the Manhattan Institute, since 2000, almost 2 million Americans have left California for other states. Their most popular destination: Texas.

Go South, young man.

It isn’t a tough move to make. Thanks to low taxes and simple regulations, Chief Executive magazine ranked Texas as the best state to do business in for 2012. Guess who ranked dead last? That’s right, California. And not only does Texas (6.8 percent) have a far lower unemployment rate than California (10.2 percent), but, according to the Census Bureau, income inequality is worse in California than it is in Texas.

Wealth redistribution via job creation. Who’d’ve thunk it? Texas, Marxist utopia!

Andrew Ferguson writes an interesting article in the Weekly Standard on libertarian economist William Niskanen and the “starve the beast” myth:

[Jonathan Rauch:] “Voters will not shrink Big Government until they feel the pinch of its true cost.”

For that reason, the great libertarian pot-stirrer [Niskanen] said that spending would never decrease—that government would never get smaller—until federal revenues increased from 15.8 percent of GDP, where they are today, to higher than 19 percent of GDP: an amount totaling in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

This part of Niskanen’s argument follows economic logic too—raise the price of something and people will want less of it—but it’s still conjectural. He had no way to measure whether demand for federal benefits was rising or falling among voters at any point in time.


Yet not all voters are taxpayers, at least not to the same degree. A progressive tax code like ours is meant to redistribute wealth, so that people with less of it get more of it, in the form of government benefits. Under such a system, an increase in taxes— say, on the upper 2 percent of tax- payers—won’t reduce demand for government services, because the demand isn’t coming from the people who will “feel the pinch.”


The only system that would sustain Niskanen’s logic—raise taxes to reduce demand for government benefits—is one in which everyone pays the same percentage of their income in taxes. When taxes were increased to pay for government, everyone would feel the pinch. Such a system is called the flat tax. Good luck with that.

Margaret Wente writes a perfect article on the male crisis in The Globe and Mail:

Boys’ existential issues are different from girls’. For a boy, the two most important life questions are: Will I find work that’s significant? And will I be worthy of my parents? When boys themselves are asked what they need, they say: I need purpose. I need to make a difference. I need to know I measure up. I need challenge. Above all, I need a meaningful vocation.

No wonder so many boys are so miserable. The modern world of extended years in school and delayed adulthood cuts them off from what they need most. As Adam Cox, a clinical psychologist who interviewed hundreds of boys across the English-speaking world, writes: “The primary missing ingredient in [their] lives – the opportunity that separates them from a sense of personal accomplishment, maturity, and resilience – is purposeful work.”


In the modern world, boys are often treated as a problem. The dominant narrative around difficult boys – at least in the public school system – is that they’re unteachable, unreachable, disruptive and threatening. Many commentators – men as well as women – blame male culture itself for the problems with boys. In their view, what we need to do is destroy the death star of masculinity and all the evil that goes with it. What we need to do is put boys in touch with their emotions and teach them to behave more like girls.

This argument might make some sense – if you’re someone who believes that masculinity is nothing but a social construct. But people who care about real boys know that’s not true. They know you have to celebrate boys’ boyness – and work with it.


If boys are failing schools and schools are failing boys, it’s really not too hard to see some of the reasons why. They really are fish out of water. Before the Industrial Revolution, boys spent their time with fathers and uncles, often engaged in strenuous physical activity. Now they spend their time in the world of women, sitting behind desks. If schools threw out the desks, they’d probably be a lot happier.

Mark Steyn writes a piece on immigration in National Review that is darker than usual:

It may be that Charles Krauthammer is correct that Hispanics are natural Republicans merely pining for amnesty, a Hallmark Cinco de Mayo card, and a mariachi band at the inaugural ball. Or it may be that, in defiance of Dr. Krauthammer, Grover Norquist, and Little Mary Sunshine, demographics is destiny and, absent assimilationist incentives this country no longer imposes, a Latin American population will wind up living in a Latin American society.


Republicans think they’re importing hardworking immigrants who want a shot at the American Dream; the Democrats think they’re importing clients for Big Government. The Left is right: Just under 60 percent of immigrants receive some form of welfare. I see the recent Republican proposals for some form of amnesty contain all sorts of supposed safeguards against gaming the system, including a $525 application fee for each stage of the legalization process. On my own recent visit to a U.S. Immigration office, I was interested to be told that, as a matter of policy, the Obama administration is now rubberstamping all “fee waiver” requests for “exceptional hardship” filed by members of approved identity groups. And so it will go for all those GOP safeguards. While Canada and Australia compete for high-skilled immigrants, America fast-tracks an unskilled welfare class of such economic benefit to their new homeland they can’t even afford a couple of hundred bucks for the necessary paperwork.

Aside from essentially endorsing multiculturalism in this article in the Jewish Journal, Dennis Prager makes a good argument against pro-choice Jews who refuse to speak on the immorality of abortion:

I presume that just about every Jew — from ultra-Orthodox and politically conservative to completely irreligious and politically left — would oppose criminalizing adultery. In other words, all Jews are pro-choice on adultery. Yet, I would also presume that nearly all Jews, and certainly all rabbis, if asked whether they are pro-choice on adultery, would respond that while they are, they want to make it abundantly clear that they regard adultery as immoral.

Why, then, can’t pro-choice Jews — especially rabbis — say the same thing about abortion? Why can’t they say that while they are pro-choice, as Jews and as moral humans they regard most abortions immoral?

Is it moral to abort a female fetus solely because the mother wants a boy?

Is it moral for an affluent married woman to have an abortion solely because she just doesn’t want a child at this time, or just doesn’t want any more children?

Is it moral to have an abortion when the fetus can live outside the womb — and there is no medical necessity to have one?

Is it moral to have an abortion for no medical reason even though there are myriad married couples who ache to adopt a newborn?

Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart, infamous for ginning up the Rick Perry “niggerhead” controversy, says he’s worried about Republicans. Poor Republicans, they just don’t know what’s good for them.

He ascribes Republican opposition to Susan Rice to racism. He doesn’t mention the fact that she blamed the murder of an American ambassador on Muslim hypersensitivity to a YouTube video, belied by the Administration’s censoring references to a bona fide terrorist attack in the CIA’s briefing materials. According to USA Today:

Former CIA director David Petraeus told lawmakers in a closed-door session earlier this month that that the CIA’s draft talking points written in response to the assault had referred to it as a terrorist attack. But he also said the reference was removed from the final version – although he wasn’t sure which federal agency deleted it.

However, Rice appeared on several Sunday talk shows on Sept. 16 and insisted the attack was prompted by the video. She recently said she was only relating the intelligence information she was handed by the White House, and Obama defended Rice, saying it was not her fault.

It doesn’t end there. The Washington Post editorial board caught Capehart’s race card infection:

Could it be, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus are charging, that the signatories of the letter are targeting Ms. Rice because she is an African American woman? The signatories deny that, and we can’t know their hearts. What we do know is that more than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy.

As James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal notes:

The Post acknowledges that “we can’t know their hearts.” But it finds a (literally) prima facie reason to suspect them of invidious motives: Almost all of them are persons of pallor. The Post is casting aspersions on Duncan and his colleagues based explicitly on the color of their skin. And it is accusing them of racism!

M. Catharine Evans takes a more cynical view:

When members of this administration watched for 7 hours as our people were brutally murdered and did nothing to help, even denying repeated requests for help, Clinton or Panetta wouldn’t do. Too white. The quickest way to stop all the tough questions was to make Rice a victim of racism.

Capehart goes on:

The GOP is about to face another test with Hispanic voters on the question of statehood for Puerto Rico. In a commentary Sunday, D.C. political analyst Mark Plotkin called the Caribbean island’s embrace of statehood “a good deal for the District and Puerto Rico” because it could provide the District its own, long-awaited path to statehood. Included in Plotkin’s piece is a killer quote from Ricardo Aponte, executive director of the Republican Party of Puerto Rico.

“If the Republican Party rejects statehood for Puerto Rico because it has a Hispanic population, that explains and perpetuates the 71 percent [of Hispanics] who voted for Obama,” Aponte said. “This is an opportunity for the Republican Party to redeem itself.”

In summary: For Republicans to gain traction with Hispanics, they have to give Democrats two guaranteed Senate seats from the District of Columbia, and pray Puerto Rican voters don’t follow the majority of their brown-skinned brethren into government dependency and largesse. Such foolish pandering has never worked, will never work. It will only accelerate America’s demise. Or, in Capehart’s view, its transformation.

Speaking of the Hispanic vote, here’s a little post-election demographic wisdom from Pat Buchanan:

Hispanics constituted 10 percent of the electorate, up from 7.5 in 2008. But Mitt got only 27 percent of that, the lowest of any Republican presidential candidate.

This, we are told, was because of Mitt’s comment about “self-deportation” and GOP support for a border fence and sanctions on employers who hire illegals. If only we embrace the Dream Act and provide a path to citizenship – amnesty – the GOP’s problem is solved.

The Republican capacity for self-delusion is truly awesome.

Set aside the idealized Hispanic of the Republican consultants’ vision. What does the real Hispanic community look like today?

Let us consider only native-born Hispanics, U.S. citizens.

According to Steve Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies, which analyzed Census Bureau statistics from 2012:

-- More than one in five Hispanic citizens lives in poverty.

-- One in four Hispanic-American men 25 to 55 is out of work.

-- More than half of all Hispanic women 25-55 are unmarried.

-- Half of all Hispanic households with children are headed by an unmarried woman, and 55 percent depend on welfare programs.

These numbers do not improve with time, as they did with the Irish, Italian, Polish, Jewish and German immigrants who poured into the United States between 1890 and 1920. Third-generation Hispanics do worse than second-generation Hispanics in all the above categories.

This is a huge community being sucked into the morass of a mammoth welfare state.

Speaking of the welfare state, Christopher Chantrill writes of its inevitable, violent end:

The basic divide in this country is between two ideas of the individual. There is the “responsible self,” a notion that Robert Bellah attributes to the Axial Age when all modern religions got their start. And there is the client self, the powerless peasant that attaches himself to a powerful patron.


The end game of the patronage/client business, when there is no more money, provokes people to seek an answer in the street.

Willful ignorance of science, or just plain Christian common sense? Marco Rubio and Barack Obama, respectively:

I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.

I believe that God created the universe and that the six days in the Bible may not be six days as we understand it … it may not be 24-hour days, and that’s what I believe. I know there’s always a debate between those who read the Bible literally and those who don’t, and I think it’s a legitimate debate within the Christian community of which I’m a part. My belief is that the story that the Bible tells about God creating this magnificent Earth on which we live—that is essentially true, that is fundamentally true. Now, whether it happened exactly as we might understand it.

Finally, a quote from William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection: “When people criticizing Republicans need to start their argument by announcing that they are “reality-based,” you know an epistemic closure argument cannot be far behind.”

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