Another story begins “Fighting to survive, Hillary Rodham Clinton is counting on female power to energize her faltering presidential bid.” (Star Tribune)
Some Democrats believe Hillary’s camp will sue over the complicated delegate selection process in Texas. (Houston Chronicle)
AP seems to have chosen their candidate, with a picture of Hillary with a devil right by her head.
The Family Research Council reports that Planned Parenthood clinics were contacted by the “racist donor” in seven states, inquiring if they would be willing to accept a donation earmarked for the abortion of black babies.
Every last clinic agreed. Not one employee objected or questioned the request, even when the actor insisted that the purpose was to "lower the number of black people" in America. Click here for a montage of these calls.
Meanwhile, Gary Bauer reports that several members of Congress are calling for an end to federal subsidies for the nation’s largest abortion provider. Their call is coming on the heels of yet another scandal involving Planned Parenthood, which is already under investigation in at least one state. (A Planned Parenthood clinic in Kansas is facing 107 charges, including nearly two dozen felonies, for violating the state’s 24-hour waiting period law and its parental notification law, among other issues.) The latest scandal involves a Planned Parenthood website that purports to offer “medically accurate” information to teenagers. Evidently, that includes encouraging them to view pornography on the Internet, even while recognizing that it is technically illegal for anyone under 18 to do so.
Responding to this accusation against Planned Parenthood, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said, “We should shut off all federal dollars to any organization that provides abortion services or counseling. There should be no money that goes to any Internet site that promotes promiscuity or sexual license in any way. If there is going to be sexual license promoted, let that happen some place else. But the federal government should not be subsidizing it.”
The diocese says the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, which has invested about $1 billion in cancer outreach and research, gives money to Planned Parenthood to hold breast exams and offer education to women in its clinics.
"Donors cannot control how an organization designates its funds," a diocese statement reads. "Therefore, money donated for a specific service ... directly frees up funds to support other areas of an organization's agenda."
Marianne Linane, director of the diocese's "respect life" office, said those other agendas includes abortions and contraceptive services. The Catholic church's policy is that abortion is wrong in every instance.
Linane said the Little Rock diocese, which oversees all churches in Arkansas, used the same statement sent out by the church's St. Louis diocese last year. However, the end of the Little Rock letter included addresses of Arkansas hospitals parishioners could donate to that would eliminate "the administrative funds for a middle broker."
Monsignor J. Gaston Hebert sent the statement to parishes and Catholic schools this month and planned to send out a follow-up letter, Linane said. Hebert did not return a call for comment Tuesday.
Little Rock follows other dioceses in raising concerns with the foundation. In 2005, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston abandoned its support of the foundation, while in 2006 the newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix took issue over Komen's Planned Parenthood funding.
Rebecca Gibson, a spokeswoman for the Komen foundation, said the group invested $69.6 million in more than 1,600 community-based education and screening programs during 2007. Planned Parenthood received less than 1 percent of that money, she said.
"It's insignificant in relation to all of the funding we do," Gibson said. "I think it's just really unfortunate undue attention is being shed on organizations that are providing vital services in those communities."
The diocese's decision comes as northwest Arkansas prepares for its running of the Race for the Cure on April 19.
Officials estimated Little Rock's running last year brought out more than 43,000 participants and raised more than $1.65 million.
Catholics still constitute the single largest religious denomination in the US, accounting for 23.9% of the adult population. Combined Evangelical churches are 26.3% of the American population. Yet those number divide among the different Protestant denominations.
Baptists run a distant second, with 12.7%. If you add together Americans who have deserted the Catholic Church of their childhood you have the third-largest religious group in the country, with 10.1% of the population.
About 44% of adult Americans now belong to a church different from the one in which they were raised. The Religious Landscape Survey shows that mainline Protestant churches have suffered the most severe losses, and Protestants are now barely clinging to their majority status, with 51% of the population. The largest gains show up, ominously, in the "unaffiliated" category, which now accounts for 16% of America's increasingly secularized people.
It's no wonder, when sex scandals, homosexual clergy and cirrus side shows with Jesus as the opening act grab headlines. As the lights, music and highly polished presentations of Christianized feel good social clubs draw people away from traditional denominations, one has to wonder what else is being abandoned in the process?
The Catholic proportion of the US population has remained roughly constant over the past 30 years. But 29% of American Catholics are of Hispanic origin. It no wonder we see the Catholic church joining the immigration debate and at times offering safe harbor for illegal immigrants. For without the Hispanic population, Catholic representation in America would decline sharply.
31.4% of the respondents said that they had been raised as Catholics. 2.6% had entered the Church as converts. But again, 10.1% had left the Catholic faith. That math does not paint a pretty picture. For every new convert, the Church loses four Catholics.
Blame for this is not in short supply. However blame does not change the fact that Catholics are leaving the faith. So why the exodus? My own theory is people don't not understand and have not been properly taught what it is they accept or reject.
Most Catholics can not express, explain, share or defend the scraps of Church teaching they have absorbed in their lifetime. Their Catholic faith is equal to their ethnic identity. It's something they are born with. They accept the identification regardless of their beliefs. In fact only a minority of self-described Catholics are regular church-goers. If you talk to any Catholic convert you will quickly find they know much more about the Church than most life long Catholics.
One encouraging sign I see is many young people are discovering the Church. In the wake of baby boomer generation, many are starving for truth. The seek leaders with moral clarity that will not wavier with the changing tides of culture. Some of that leadership is coming from sources other than clergy. There are some wonderful lay apostolate efforts that are challenging all people to not only learn, but live their faith.
The damage that has eroded the Church will not be repaired in quick fashion. Yet the process must begin. We are promised the survival of His Church. The question must be, are we active members of His Church, or simply associated in some superficial manner?
Lila Rose, who edits The Advocate, previously revealed how Planned Parenthood officials expressed a willingness to conceal statutory rape, an investigative piece that earned her an appearance on The O'Reilly Factor.
The Advocate released a transcript of a conversation between an actor presuming to be a racist and wanting to make a donation, and a woman identified as Autumn Kersey, vice president of marketing for Planned Parenthood of Idaho.
Actor: I want to specify that abortion to help a minority group, would that be possible?
Planned Parenthood: Absolutely.
Actor: Like the black community for example?
Planned Parenthood: Certainly.
Actor: The abortion – I can give money specifically for a black baby, that would be the purpose?
Planned Parenthood: Absolutely. If you wanted to designate that your gift be used to help an African-American woman in need, then we would certainly make sure that the gift was earmarked for that purpose.
Actor: Great, because I really faced trouble with affirmative action, and I don't want my kids to be disadvantaged against black kids. I just had a baby; I want to put it in his name.
Planned Parenthood: Yes, absolutely.
Actor: And we don't, you know we just think, the less black kids out there the better.
Planned Parenthood: (Laughs) Understandable, understandable.
Actor: Right. I want to protect my son, so he can get into college.
Planned Parenthood: All right. Excuse my hesitation, this is the first time I've had a donor call and make this kind of request, so I'm excited, and want to make sure I don't leave anything out.
Would any of the Pennsylvania State Legislators who recently voted to maintain Pennsylvania’s funding of Planned Parenthood care to comment?
Part of science is searching for proof to validate a theory. Prior to that proof discovery, one looks for clues and evidence as guideposts to point them in the right direction. Global warming is in the theory stage, even though many have just jumped ahead to considering it fact.
When you base things on emotional response and how you think they are, it's easy to get lost. Take for instance evidence for a cooling planet.
The most recent data from the past year shows China had its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad saw its first snow in all recorded history. North America had the most snow cover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.
That's good news right? Not if you have invested billions of dollars in the global warming theory.
While we can't say one 12 month period defines our global condition, we also can not ignore that recent evidence and hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously. A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here.
The total amount of cooling is in a range large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time! For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down. Should we now sound the global COOLING alarm?
So why the sudden change? Scientists link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases. While the data doesn't itself disprove that carbon dioxide is acting to warm the planet, it does demonstrate clearly that more powerful factors are now cooling it.
Could it be that God is that more "powerful factor" in control here? Is it possible that the Creator of the universe actually considered man might have an environmental impact on the planet by simply living here. Has anyone considered God may have factored green house gases into his divine plan?
Or could it be an over reaction to global warming fears has plunged us into the deep freeze?
Let' s hope it not the later. The mean temperature of the planet is about 54 degrees. Humans, and crops and animals prefer a temperature closer to 70. It looks like the mercury has much more room to move up then down and still keep us alive.
There is much more then temperature at stake here. If one believes that man can destroy the entire planet, then he must also believe that man can save the world. To believe the after of the globe rest in our hands assigns a greater power to man over God. It's possible the global warming crowd is more interested in power than temperatures. That's a chilly thought.
Story notes “The case tests the constitutionality of a handgun ban in Washington, D.C., where in 1976 officials imposed one of the nation's strictest gun-control laws in response to alarming levels of gun violence. The justices will hear arguments on March 18; a ruling is likely by the end of June.” (USA Today)
John Stossel explains “laws that make it difficult or impossible to carry a concealed handgun do deter one group of people: law-abiding citizens who might have used a gun to stop crime. Gun laws are laws against self-defense.” (Townhall)
Story begins “Aggressive cuts and thrusts over Iraq, health care and campaign tactics dominated the 20th and possibly final Democratic debate...” (USA Today)
Hillary got in a few good shots. (Washington Times)
She blasted him for not outright rejecting Farrakhan. (CNN)
Meanwhile, Hillary is claiming in an ad that the late Ann Richards would support her. Richards’ sons aren’t so sure. (AP)
Maggie Gallagher addresses the health insurance debate. Note, she refers to Obama’s “Bob the Builder campaign designed to appeal to the toddler in every American.” (Townhall)
A senator's investigation into spending and oversight at six "prosperity gospel" ministries has hit a roadblock with a minister intensifying his efforts to fight the inquiry, but made progress on Monday when another turned over documents.
Flamboyant Texas-based faith healer Benny Hinn had turned over material to the Senate Finance Committee in response to a letter of inquiry from Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, in early November, an aide to the senator said.
Meanwhile, another target of Grassley's investigation, Kenneth Copeland, sent a letter to supporters this month accusing Grassley of targeting the six ministries because of theological disagreements. Grassley denies the charge.
Copeland, whose supporters have called Grassley's office to protest, is a pioneer of the prosperity gospel, which teaches that God wants his followers to be rich both spiritually and materially.
Can someone remind me again why our tax dollars are funding Planned Parenthood?
As part of the bill to reauthorize health coverage for Native Americans, Senator David Vitter (R-La.) has proposed an amendment to ensure that "health care" does not include tax-funded abortion. Vitter's proposal mirrors that of the Hyde amendment, which prevents the federal government from funding abortion through Medicaid. Because the Indian Health Service (IHS) is subsidized by Interior Department appropriations, the Hyde amendment does not apply.
If the measure passes, the longstanding policy would be codified, and IHS could not use government funds to pay for abortion-on-demand. Please call your senators at 202-224-3121 and ask them to support the Vitter amendment to S.1200.
There are an estimated 1.6 million Muslims in Great Britain. By some estimates, more people attend mosque than go to Anglican churches every week. Judging by recent comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury, it is easy to see why.
As most of you by now know, Archbishop Rowan William said in a recent interview that the “UK has to ‘face up to the fact’ that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.” He left no doubt who those “citizens” are: British Muslims.
So according to Williams, British Muslims should not have to choose between “the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty.” Instead, in the tradition of having your cake and eating it too, he proposes finding “a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law”—in other words, sharia.
British Muslims could choose to have “marital” or “financial” disputes resolved in sharia courts. Sharia courts in Britain? At first I thought the Archbishop misspoke.
But it turns out, no. He calls this “supplementary jurisdiction” unavoidable. He compared it to accommodating Christians in areas like abortion or gay adoption.
With all due respect to the Archbishop, there is no such parallel. The only thing that is unavoidable here is his failure to see sharia as it is practiced in the real world, as opposed to in seminars. As the Asia Times columnist “Spengler” put it, Williams is conceding “a permanent role to extralegal violence in the political life of England.”
In real-world Muslim communities throughout Europe, coercion is so commonplace “that duly-constituted governments there” no longer wield justice among its citizens. The imams do. And where would the Archbishop draw the line? At husbands beating their wives for wearing Western clothes or maybe stoning a woman accused of adultery?
Nor will, as Williams hopes, permitting sharia on British soil aid social cohesion. On the contrary, Williams’s fellow bishop, Michael Nazir-Ali, recently spoke about what he calls “no-go zones” in Muslim communities where Christians dare not enter. As a result of death threats, bishop Nazir-Ali and his family require police protection.
Nazir-Ali, whose father had to leave Pakistan after converting to Christianity, told the UK Telegraph that sharia is “in tension” with “fundamental aspects” of Anglo-American law. That is because our “legal tradition” is “rooted in the quite different moral and spiritual vision deriving from the Bible.” This crucial difference seems to have escaped the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The West’s greatest contribution to civilization has been the rule of law, the bulwark of freedom, captured in Anglo-American jurisprudence. Now a ranking religious official proposes compromising that with a theocratic church rule? Please.
Williams’s comments are a tragic sign of the Church’s weakness. We fawningly respond to Islamic overtures for dialogue, even as we see Christians being persecuted in Muslim nations—and sharia law being imposed on others right in our own backyards.
This weakness is the stuff that empty churches are made of.
The Liberals at our universities want to prevent our military recruiters from being present on Career Day. It makes no difference what you want. Liberals do not like the military, and military recruiters should not be allowed to talk to you on "their sovereign land." Notice how I call universities their sovereign land. Universities have become breeding grounds for liberalism, and the Liberal see the universities as their sovereign land and do not like it if Conservative values are expressed on their sovereign land. The Liberal doesn't care if you are considering a career in the military. They know what is best for you and the military must fail.
This simple behavior characteristic tells us more about Liberals than you may imagine at first. In the healthcare industry this behavior characteristic is called a symptom. A symptom is a physical or mental sign of a disease. I had to pick the word symptom because I do see liberal behavior as a disease. Well, back to my point, when a Liberal fights to keep military recruiters off the campus the Liberal is revealing a symptom of a larger behavior characteristic.
Let's take a look, what does this behavior characteristic tell us about the Liberal? One, it tells us if they don't like something, then you're not allowed to hear or like it either. Two, in the mind of the Liberal, freedom of speech is not one of the rights of others, such as military recruiter or you as a Conservative, on their sovereign land.
But that is only the tip of the iceberg of what their behavior characteristic tells us about the Liberal. As Liberals will fight to keep military recruiters off campus, they will fight to limit what the average citizen is allowed to hear in the media. Can you see the comparison? Liberals openly obstruct military recruiters from campus, their sovereign land, just as they openly obstruct you from hearing what is being achieved by the military in the media, their sovereign land. In the mind of a Liberal the media is also "their sovereign land".
Can you see the behavior characteristic? Liberals want to control and manipulate what others are allowed to hear, see, and do.
The Liberal is desperate to control what you are allowed to hear, see, and do in addition to what you are not allowed to hear, see, and do whether it is on Career Day, or in the classroom, or in the media. They know in their hearts, and they do know it in their hearts, that if you heard opposing points of view, you would no longer believe or respect their point of view.
When a Liberal doesn't like something, by God, you better not like it either. Right?
Oh, I saw you. You were thinking that there are those on campus who don't want to hear what the military has to offer. Right? Well, couldn't they just walk past the booth? Here, let me show you how this works. There is the military recruiter's booth coming up next and here I go walk, walk, walk, right past the booth. See how easy that was? The recruiters don't jump out and grab me. I didn't have to listen to a single word they had to say. Oh, look at that student. That student wanted to hear what the military has to offer, went in to see what the military recruiter had to say, and they were under no obligation after listening. That student, and all the other students like them, can listen to what every employer has to offer and then select what is best for him or her. That's a good system. That's a fair system.
Oh, I heard what you were saying to yourself, you were saying to yourself that the Liberals on campus are just protecting those who are scholastically challenged from the "evil military" just as the Liberal protects the consumer from the low prices at Wal-Mart.
University professors are supposed to teach students how to think for themselves, not control their students thoughts. Well, isn't that what university professors are supposed to be doing?
As simple an observation as this may be, it does provide us with insight into the minds and hearts of the Liberal. Does the Liberal really have any intention of being fair on our university campuses? Or fair in their treatment of Wal-Mart? Or fair in their reporting of the news? Do they have any desire to understand your needs or your wants?
I question whether the Liberal really wants to be fair. I think Liberals knowingly force their will on you. They know how to use all the buzz words like bipartisanship but they don't behave in a bipartisan way. The Liberal says they love our military personnel and are only opposed to the war on terror. The thought that the Liberal cares about our military personnel is buffalo chips, because their behavior tells us otherwise.
Liberals try to create a false reality with their political correctness and spin. All we need to do is realize that spin is nothing more than another word for lie and ignore their false reality and have a true understanding reality.
Ralph Nader said Sunday he will run for president as a third-party candidate, criticizing the top White House contenders as too close to big business and pledging to repeat a bid that will "shift the power from the few to the many."
Wake me up when it's over.....
Meanwhile, Hillary turns from anger to sarcasm. [NY Times]
At a separate event Hillary accused Obama of misrepresenting her views: “Shame on you, Barack Obama.” [AP]
In related news, Farrakhan says that Obama is the “hope of the entire world.” [AP]
Ouch, that's not a good endorsement.
Are the Obamas, at bottom, snobs? Do they understand America? Are they of it? Did anyone at their Ivy League universities school them in why one should love America? Do they confuse patriotism with nationalism, or nativism? Are they more inspired by abstractions like "international justice" than by old visions of America as the city on a hill, which is how John Winthrop saw it, and Ronald Reagan and JFK spoke of it?
Have they been, throughout their adulthood, so pampered and praised--so raised in the liberal cocoon--that they are essentially unaware of what and how normal Americans think? And are they, in this, like those cosseted yuppies, the Clintons?
Why is all this actually not a distraction but a real issue? Because Americans have common sense and are bottom line. They think like this. If the president and his first lady are not loyal first to America and its interests, who will be? The president of France? But it's his job to love France, and protect its interests. If America's leaders don't love America tenderly, who will?
Compare Noonan’s column to the story by Ben Smith at The Politico, “Obama Once Visited ‘60s Terrorists.”
When the great California businessman Holmes Tuttle and two other principled conservatives approached Reagan about running for office, Reagan said no. But Tuttle kept after Reagan, asking him not to reject the idea out of hand. He formed "Friends of Reagan" to raise money in case Reagan changed his mind.
He asked Reagan to give his famous "Rendezvous With History" speech at a $1,000-a-plate Republican fundraiser in Los Angeles and then bought airtime for the speech to be broadcast on TV days before the 1964 presidential election.
The epochal broadcast didn't change the election results, but it changed history. That single broadcast brought in nearly $1 million to the Republican Party -- not to mention millions of votes for Goldwater.
After the astonishing response to Reagan's speech and Tuttle's continued entreaties, Reagan finally relented and ran for governor. In 1966, with the help, financial and otherwise, of a handful of self-made conservative businessmen, Reagan walloped incumbent Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, winning 57 percent of the vote in a state with two Democrats for every Republican.
None of that could happen today.
If Tuttle found Ronald Reagan today, he couldn't form "Friends of Reagan" to raise money for a possible run -- at least not without hiring a battery of campaign-finance lawyers and guaranteeing himself a lawsuit by government bureaucrats. He'd also have to abandon his friendship with Reagan to avoid the perception of "coordination."
Tuttle couldn't hold a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser for Reagan -- at least in today's dollars. That would be a $6,496.94-a-plate dinner (using the consumer price index) or a $19,883.51-a-plate dinner (using the relative share of GDP). The limit on individual contributions to a candidate is $2,300.
Reagan's "Rendezvous With History" speech would never have been broadcast on TV -- unless Tuttle owned the TV station. Independent groups are prohibited from broadcasting electioneering ads 60 days before an election.
A handful of conservative businessmen would not be allowed to make large contributions to Reagan's campaign -- they would be restricted to donating only $2,300 per person.
Under today's laws, Tuttle would have had to go to Reagan and say: "We would like you to run for governor. You are limited to raising money $300 at a time (roughly the current limits in 1965 dollars), so you will have to do nothing but hold fundraisers every day of your life for the next five years….." Read more…
From Wolf Blitzer: Clinton still has time to come back between now and March 4, when there are major contests in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island. There is no doubt she is facing an uphill struggle, but it would be premature to say it’s over. (CNN)
Either way, the Democrats could face an uphill battle. (NRO)
From Robert Samuelson on Obama: “you examine his agenda, it is completely ordinary, highly partisan, not candid and mostly unresponsive to many pressing national problems. By Obama's own moral standards, Obama fails.” (RealClearPolitics)
The story opens: Early in Senator John McCain’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers. A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity. (NY Times)
The McCain camp quickly responded. (FOX News)
The New York Times reluctantly endorsed McCain from among the GOP candidates. (NY Times)
No word if the NY Times is interested in the bizarre “fainting” at Obama rallies. (YouTube) And the Los Angeles Times in a “news” story generously called Michelle Obama’s line about being proud of America for the first time “nothing more than a little hyperbole.” The story does note, however, Michelle’s constant negative talk. (LA Times)
The House Democratic Campaign Committee in November and December paid $40,683 to retire Veon's campaign debt, according to Veon's report filed recently with the state election bureau. Veon could not be reached Wednesday.
But [three of the four HDCC leaders] -- Reps. Joe Preston, Dan Frankel and Jennifer Mann -- apparently had no knowledge of the payments. Tribune Review
While one campaign committee is permitted to pay off another campaign committee’s debt, it certainly raises questions when 3 of 4 committee leaders are unaware of the transaction.
There is a possibility that the funds transferred from the HDCC to Veon's committee may have been received from another source as a donation to the HDCC, but with the understanding that the donation was to be forwarded to Veon’s campaign committee. These multi-looped donations are tough to trace back to the original donor.
Romney's total loan also equates to about $167,000 for each of the 253 delegates he won before suspending his campaign. Read more....
To put this into perspective, the victor in most PA gubernatorial races spends between $8 to $15 per vote. Most state representatives spend under $5 per vote, but not always. In the 2004 primary, one Republican candidate for state representative in Butler County spent over $45 per vote in a losing effort.
Wheaton first came under fire for inviting self-proclaimed "gay Christian" activist Harry Knox to participate in a panel discussion during which he repeated the claim that his sexual preference is a "gift from God." This evening Wheaton will feature Jim Wallis, editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine and author of the new book The Great Awakening, in which Wallis claims the effort to legitimize homosexual relationships in the law is "a justice issue."
I don't agree with Wallis at all. We have had him on the show. In fact, many of the people who endorse his book (Bill Hybels, Joel Hunter & E.J. Dionne) have been or will be on the show soon.
While I believe both sides need to be respectfully represented, running away from the conversation solves nothing. We as Christians need to be able to enter the arena of ideas, articulate what we believe and why we believe it. We also need to learn how to listen to others and compassionately defend our faith. The best way to prove a person wrong is to let them do it themselves.
We live in country filled with a mix of ideas, beliefs and life choices. If everyone agreed with me life would be boring. It is the challenges to our faith and understanding that either solidify our foundation or causes us to reconsider.
Do you know why I am stronger in my Roman Catholic belief today then at any other point in my life? It's not because of a priest or a nun. It wasn't the years of CCD. It was not some magical conversion. It was challenges by protestant evangelicals that reject the Catholic Church teachings.
For a long time I could not defend my faith or my Church. It took a period of serious reflection and study and understanding before I chose to defend what has been revealed as truth to me.
I'm not defending Jim Wallis or his ideas. However, I will defend his right to have the conversation and present his views.
Many us fear that ideas, music, movies, anything outside our comfort zone will somehow infect us and change us. At the same time we hope the gospel will have a similar effect on others. If you think you can change my mind, go for it. I'd rather be challenged then live life with my fingers in my ears.
Media pundits now have begun to predict that Senator Barak Obama (D-IL) will be the Democratic Presidential nominee. Some even have pronounced that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) is finished. Washington pundit Chris Core, on WMAL Radio, one of the most able prognosticators in the country, had a celebration on his radio show to commemorate the end of the Clintons. The basis for these predictions is as follows: Obama is leading in delegate count with Wisconsin and Hawaii expected to add to the total. Some so-called super delegates have come out in support of Obama though they had been expected to support Clinton. Pollsters have noted a shift in national support for Obama. This is the first time since national measurements have been taken beginning in mid-2007 that Clinton has not been in the lead.
Obama seems to have what former President George H. W. Bush called “the Big Mo.” Is Clinton really finished? Don’t believe it! First, Clinton’s so-called “firewall” states are coming up. She is currently leading by large margins of about two-to-one in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania. Were she to win big in those states she would then resume the lead in delegate count. She won New Mexico after nine days of counting, giving her a small boost in the media. If she does win big in those three major states she would be branded “the comeback kid” and she, not Obama, would have momentum as the primary season will have concluded. That, in turn, would affect the super delegates. They are elected officials who would be inclined toward Clinton and if they think she will be the nominee they won’t hesitate to jump on her bandwagon.
Then there is the matter of Michigan and the all-important State of Florida. Those states have been deprived of the delegate count because the Democrats agreed that those states should be punished for holding primary elections before Super-duper Tuesday. Now Senator Clinton, who is leading in both states, is calling for another vote. Clinton points out that for seven years Democrats have insisted that Florida was stolen from Vice President Al Gore as the United States Supreme Court ended the selected recounts in Florida and declared George W. Bush the President. Obama pointed out that he, Clinton and John Edwards all agreed to the punishment. “I wonder if I had won the Florida primary she would be clamoring for a recount,” Obama said.
It is unclear if the Democratic National Committee will order a recount. To do so probably would cause an uproar among some in the Party. On the other hand, not to do so could enable Clinton to charge that Obama had deprived Democratic voters in Michigan and Florida of an impact in the 2008 primaries. In any case, Clinton is far from out of the race. Core may wish he never held had that commemoration. True, Clinton not only must win those “firewall” states but must win big due to the proportional system used by the Democrats. However, it always is a mistake to count out the Clintons. Were Obama to win who could imagine the nature and intensity of Clinton or Clinton-inspired revenge?
Paul M. Weyrich is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.
The director of the center in charge said “One implication that comes from this is that religion is the default position, and atheism is perhaps more in need of explanation.”
Yeah and I'll pitch in $3.00 for them to study who made it the "default position"
More on Barack from Victor Davis Hanson. (Victor Davis Hanson)
After listening to a recent speech, I guess we are to bow down at the altar of Barack Obama. It was some scary messiah talk from his wife Michelle Obama. According to Michelle Obama, at a speech delivered to UCLA about 2 weeks ago, apparently Americans need to fix their souls. And apparently Barack Obama is the only one that can "heal" our nation.
She made the claim Tuesday despite the fact her campaign posted video clips on YouTube illustrating similarities in the speeches and has suggested in several instances that the shared lines amount to plagiarism. Read more…
The AP must be a member of the “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy”.
Another local Presbyterian church is asking Pittsburgh Presbytery to dismiss it from the Presbyterian Church (USA) to the more theologically conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
However, unlike some larger Presbyterian congregations that sought similar realignment, the tiny Fourth Presbyterian Church congregation in Friendship has not asked to keep its property. The vote to change denominations was 27-2 on Sunday, said the Rev. Doug Portz, acting pastor to Pittsburgh Presbytery.
The church took the vote "after prayerful consideration and working in a spirit together to honor Christ," said the Rev. Portz, who said that one of the congregation's elders had authorized him to speak about it on behalf of the congregation as well as the presbytery. Although the church is not asking to keep its building, issues regarding a property settlement will be worked out before the presbytery votes on the request for dismissal at a future meeting, he said.
The pastor of Fourth Presbyterian, the Rev. David Shrader, has said that he intends to remain in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and will not be leaving with his congregation, the Rev. Portz said.
Dwindling donations to the Living Word Christian Center have prompted its high-profile pastor, Mac Hammond, to put his private business jet on the market.
Church spokesman the Rev. Brian Sullivan says Living Word has also cut its hourlong Sunday morning television broadcast to 30 minutes to save money. He says the church has fallen $40,000 to $70,000 short of its weekly budget in recent weeks. Sullivan says the church is adjusting its budget accordingly.
Oh the sacrifices we make to serve God......
The prosperity churches are based on the idea that success in business or personal life is evidence of God's love.
Maybe this is evidence that God is really ticked.
"I will not aspire nor accept, I repeat I will not aspire or accept, the post of President of the Council of State and Commander in Chief," he wrote in a letter to Granma, the Communist Party daily.
The move ends the near 50-year reign of the 81-year-old Castro for all practical purposes. Castro's brother Raul, 76, is expected to succeed his brother. Fidel Castro handed powers of office temporarily to his brother on July 31, 2006, when the elder Castro announced that he had undergone intestinal surgery. Since then, Fidel Castro hasn't been seen in public.
Cubans elected a new National Assembly in January, and that body will meet for the first time Sunday to pick the governing Council of State, including the presidency.
His resignation letter. (CNN)
McCain told ABC's "This Week" that under no circumstances would he increase taxes, and added that he could "see an argument, if our economy continues to deteriorate, for lower interest rates, lower tax rates, and certainly decreasing corporate tax rates," as well as giving people the ability to write off depreciation and eliminating the alternative minimum tax.
McCain was defending his support for an extension of tax cuts sought by President Bush, which McCain voted against. The Arizona senator now says allowing the tax breaks to expire would amount to an unacceptable tax increase. Read more...
Well, at least this beats $500 billion in proposed new spending being pushed by others…
Though the Arizona senator and all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee doesn't detail his voting record on the campaign trail, an examination reveals a striking opposition to abortion in most of the major fights such as partial-birth abortion down to the smallest of skirmishes, even when he was in a distinct minority.
Even outspoken critic Rick Santorum, who over the past month had savaged Mr. McCain's commitment to the issue, has gone quiet. When asked for an interview with The Washington Times, his spokeswoman said the former senator didn't have anything to add to the debate at this point. Read more…
While McCain was not my first choice (or second choice for that matter), his pro-life record is acceptable, given the alternatives.
Beyond this, it gets muddy when you have office holders, ranging from Republican State Committee members through U.S. Senators, claiming to be pro-life, but using their position to stump for pro-choice candidates over pro-life candidates in contested primaries. Do these same officials have the right to claim the pro-life mantle and receive endorsements from pro-life groups?
The Super Delegates are getting a pile of cash from Hillary and Obama. (Boston Globe)
Meanwhile, it looks like Obama will get the backing of the SEIU labor union. (CBS News)
And Hillary has sharpened her attacks on Obama. (CNN)
Obama is surging in the polls. (Rasmussen)
From Newt Gingrich: Bill Clinton is a superdelegate, as is Al Gore. They are Democratic Party insiders whose purpose is to put down insurgent campaigns and protect the interests of Democratic politics as usual. (WSJ)
On an odd note, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega seems to have bought into Obama’s “change.” (Herald Tribune)
Why are so many conservative Republicans upset about the inevitable nomination of Sen. John McCain, and what are we going to do about it?
The cause of conservative discontent isn't hard to fathom. Start with the Arizona senator's voting record on many key issues. He has opposed pro-growth tax cuts and supported limits on political speech. He has pushed amnesty when it came to illegal immigration and half-measures when it came to interrogating terrorists. He wants to close Guantanamo and allow the reimportation of prescription drugs into the United States. Not only does he part company with conservatives on these and other issues - climate change, drilling for oil in the Alaskan hinterland, federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, international criminal courts, gun-show background checks - he invariably adopts the rhetoric of the left and stridently leads the opposition.
Set all this against the issues on which he's led conservatives over his three decades in the Senate - opposition to pork-barrel spending and support of the Iraq War - and you can sense why conservatives worry about where McCain's passions lie.
Of course, this wouldn't be the first time Republicans nominated a moderate to carry their banner in November. In fact, from the Great Depression until 1980, Republican presidential candidates were almost exclusively moderates. So why is the prospect of one more Republican moderate atop the ticket causing many conservatives to talk about forming a third party or voting for Hillary Clinton, for goodness' sake?
To read Senator Santorum’s full column, please visit: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/15624602.html
In a joint campaign, the British Humanist Association and National Secular Society accused the Scout Association, which has around half a million members, of excluding atheists from its ranks. Read more..
From the story: Most taxpayers will receive a check of up to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples from the Internal Revenue Service, with an additional $300 per child. People earning at least $3,000 and those who owe little or no taxes would get $300 for singles, $600 for couples. Those making more than $75,000 and couples with income exceeding $150,000 are to get smaller rebates — $50 less per $1,000 they make over those thresholds. (FOX News)
From John Stossell: One problem, which George Mason University economist Russell Roberts observed, is that the money that will allegedly be "injected" into the economy is already in the economy. So how can it be a stimulus? "The politicians are always going to inject some amount of money into the hands of consumers and into the economy, like a doctor giving a lifesaving blood transfusion," Roberts says. "But where does the economic injection come from? It has to come from inside the system. It's not an outside stimulus like the chest paddles or the transfusion. It means taking money from someone or somewhere inside the system and giving it to someone else." (Townhall)
See Also "Rebate Questions & Answers"
To pay for his giant government plan. (Washington Post)
Meanwhile, the New York Times gushed over Michelle Obama. (NY Times)
Beginning this spring, more than 130 million people will get rebate checks in amounts from $300 to $1,200. Most households will get another $300 for each child under the economy relief bill passed by Congress. All must file an income tax return for 2007 to qualify.
Here are some questions and answers about who will get checks and for how much:
Q: Who gets a rebate?
A: Anyone who pays taxes or earns at least $3,000, including through Social Security or veterans' disability benefits. Singles with income of more than $75,000 and couples with more than $150,000 get only partial rebates.
Q: Who does not get a rebate?
A: People who earn less than $3,000, illegal immigrants, anyone who does not file a tax return, singles with incomes exceeding $87,000 and couples with incomes exceeding $174,000. The caps rise by $6,000 per child.
Q: What do you have to do to get the rebate?
A: Eligible people must file a 2007 tax return with a Social Security number for each person listed.
Q: How much is the rebate?
A: Single taxpayers get a rebate of at least $300, with couples receiving at least $600. The rebate will be equal to the taxes they paid, up to $600 for singles and $1,200 for couples, plus an additional $300 per child. That amount will be reduced by $50 for every $1,000 above the income limits of $75,000 for singles and $150,000 for couples.
People who earn too little to pay taxes but at least $3,000, including elderly people whose only income is from Social Security and veterans who live on disability payments, will get $300 if single or $600 if a couple.
Q: How are the rebates calculated?
A: Rebates are calculated on the basis of taxpayers' 2007 adjusted gross income, which includes salaries and wages, interest, dividends, capital gains, taxable pensions, royalties and farm or rental income. It does not count contributions to individual retirement accounts, 401(k) retirement plans, tax-free health savings accounts or student loan interest payments.
Rebates for low-income people who don't pay taxes, including the elderly and disabled veterans, will be a flat $300 if single and $600 for couples.
Q: When will the rebates arrive?
A: The Treasury Department says the IRS will begin sending out rebates in May.
Q: Will the rebates be deducted from taxpayers' regular tax refunds?
A: No, the rebates are on top of any tax refund.
Q: Where does the money come from?
A: The government will borrow the money to pay for the rebate, which is projected to cost about $117 billion over the next two years, adding to the federal deficit.
Gov. Ed Rendell, one of Hillary Rodham Clinton's most visible supporters, said some white Pennsylvanians are likely to vote against her rival Barack Obama because he is black.
"You've got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate," Rendell told the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Now, how does he know that? Rendell cited his 2006 re-election campaign, in which he defeated Republican challenger Lynn Swann, the former Pittsburgh Steelers star, by a margin of more than 60 percent to less than 40 percent.
What he forgets is this state predominantly blue collar, union and democrat. For any Republican black, white or other to get 40% of the vote in nothing to scoff at. Not to mention it was Lynn Swann's first run for public office of any kind.
I dare say you put a black democrat up against a white republican in Pennsylvania and the democrat has the better chance at winning. It's simple math, not racial prejudice.
This is very concerning that we have a Governor who thinks this way. While gender and race may be a issue for some, our elected officials should not exploit such ideals for political gain.
Rendell's spokesman said the governor did not mean to offend anyone. No doubt, but he DID offend people. Present company included.
"He was simply making an observation about the unfortunate nature of some parts of American society," said spokesman Chuck Ardo. "He wasn't being critical, he wasn't making accusations, but just being realistic."
Here is reality. I may not like Obama because of his liberal ideas. I may not like his policy, priorities or his worldview. I have plenty of reason not to vote for him. Skin color is not one of them. Ideas can change. Skin color can not and I would never vote for or against anyone based on such a trivial thing.
It is sad that in this day and age that this is even uttered from the mouth of those who should know better. I'm sorry to be so harsh toward Gov. Rendell. However, I choose to judge him on the content of his character. Right now that character leaves much to be desired.
Did anyone miss these guys? As usual, note the "union victories" mentioned in the article:
From the story: Steven Beer, an entertainment attorney at Greenberg Traurig, predicted that working writers may have fewer opportunities as studios use the strike as a means to cut programming budgets, greenlight fewer pilots, reduce fees and limit the number of production deals on their lots.
Ahh victory is sweet.....
Don't you think he could have learned in 17 years? It might be good career move. Maybe we need "No teacher left behind"
I guess he isn't smarter then a 5th grader.....
Exit polls. (FOX News)
All eyes may turn to the super delegates. Story notes “The elite party insiders will likely determine the Democratic presidential candidate.” (LA Times)
Of those super delegates, the Boston Globe notes “Some are labor leaders still angry that Bill Clinton championed the North American Free Trade Agreement as part of his centrist agenda. Some are social activists who lobbied unsuccessfully to get him to veto welfare reform legislation, a talking point for his 1996 re-election campaign. Some served in Congress when the Clintons dismissed their advice on health care reform in 1993. Some called her a bully at the time. Some are DNC members who saw the party committee weakened under the Clintons and watched President Bush use the White House to build up the Republican National Committee. Some are senators who had to defend Clinton for lying to the country about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Some are allies of former Vice President Al Gore who still believe the Lewinsky scandal cost him the presidency in 2000. Some are House members (or former House members) who still blame Clinton for Republicans seizing control of the House in 1994. Some are donors who paid for the Clintons' campaigns and his presidential library. Some are folks who owe the Clintons a favor but still feel betrayed or taken for granted.” (Boston Globe)
Hillary has her sights set on Texas. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Catholic News Agency covered a story on how Google-sponsored YouTube censored the last ALL Report for "inappropriate content". You can read the article by clicking here.
Those of you who saw the ALL Report on Planned Parenthood's "Mile High" ad know very well that there was nothing "inappropriate" about this report. Thankfully, you can still view the report by clicking here.
ALL has started an online petition to send YouTube a message, which you can sign by clicking here.
Corbett, a Republican, has been looking into whether the bonuses were illegally used to reward work performed on political campaigns. His office has sent subpoenas to both the Democratic and Republican caucuses in the House.
Democratic and Republican leaders doled out nearly $4 million in bonuses in 2005-06 to hundreds of legislative employees. Some of the bonuses were well over $10,000 and many of the largest payments went to politically active aides who took leaves of absence to campaign. Read more...
Attorney General Corbett has just earned my respect. The House Democrats awarded the most in very questionable bonuses , with the Senate Republicans coming in a distant second. Corbett investigated the House Democrats first and is now expanding the investigation to the Senate Republicans, as he should.
Obama campaign person with an once of common sense would ask "Ahhhh, hey. What's up with the flag?"
I'm referring to the flag hanging on the wall of the Obama Campaign office in Houston, Texas. ( See Photo)
Now to be fair, the office in the picture is funded by volunteers of the Barack Obama Campaign and is not an official headquarters for his campaign. However, paid staffers will man the office.
Back to flag in question.... Barack Obama won’t wear an American flag on his lapel because it has become a substitute for “true patriotism” since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks according to him, but a Cuban flag with a picture Che Guevara is apparently acceptable.
At first I thought maybe this was just a renegade volunteer who decided to decorate an office like it was a dorm room. I was wrong as evidenced by the second photo.
Well it certainly seems like Obama has locked up the Communist mass murderer vote. Another loss for Hillary.
Hillary said of future embarrassing Bill Clinton scandals “…that is not going to happen. You know, none of us can predict the future, no matter who we are and what we are running for, but I am very confident that that will not happen." (Politico)
Obama’s win in Maine yesterday exceeded expectations. (CBS News)
Now Hillary is courting Edwards. (NY Observer)
By NICOLE GELINAS
Six years after Enron, we're right back where we started.
In 2001, politicians saw Enron's collapse as an unprecedented market failure needing an unprecedented remedy: the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate "reform" act.
Yet, as the mortgage crisis shows, no law can protect investors and the economy from catastrophic misjudgment — and Sarbanes-Oxley may have made things worse.
Enron failed because it overvalued its assets while undervaluing its liabilities. It was easy for Enron to do this because many of its assets were difficult to value. They were worth what Enron said they were — until the market decided otherwise.
By booking future profit immediately, Enron worsened its predicament. A mistake or a lie compounded over 20 years is far greater than one that covers only one year.
What's more, the company didn't disclose clearly enough, in hindsight, that it was funding precarious investment partnerships with its own stock — which it might have to replace with cash if the stock price fell.
Sound familiar? Until last spring, mortgage-backed securities were worth what their "securitizers" said they were worth, and it's obvious they disregarded, at minimum, some key risks to shareholders and mortgage-securities investors.
His campaign announced the endorsement of Bauer, former head of the Family Research Council and founder of the Campaign for Working Families, as McCain left Annapolis for Richmond, Va. Bauer himself unsuccessfully sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2000.
A well-known abortion foe, Bauer said in a statement that McCain "has dedicated his life to defending human rights around the world, including the rights of the unborn." Read More….
While McCain does have a good record on abortion, many pro-lifers are not so happy with McCain’s stand on embryonic stem cell research.
Good ruling – now if only the Gaming Control Board would also abide by the Right-To-Know Law and conduct its interviews of potential casino owners in public.