The Global Day of Prayer

As the short term attention swings to the national day of prayer, let me remind you there is something else of significance happening on May 1st.

May 1st is Ascension Thursday or what Catholics commonly refer to as Ascension of the Lord. It is the day when Jesus was lifted up to Heaven after 40 days from his Rise on Easter. While some will join the prayer party for the day, Ascension Thursday is always a day of obligation for Catholics. That means Catholics must make it to church. It's not just a national day of prayer, it's a global day of prayer.

The reality of the Ascension is so important that the creeds (the basic statements of belief) of Christianity all affirm "He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead." The denial of the Ascension is as grave a departure from Christian teaching as is denial of Christ's Resurrection.

What Recession?

Times are tough in some areas but for months I've been avoiding calling the mess a recseesion. Some took me to task for that. I had my head in the sand they said.

But news now shows a bit of growth. That doesn't happen in a recession folks. A recession is defined as a decline in GDP for two or more consecutive quarters.

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2008, according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Wednesday. In the fourth quarter of 2007, real GDP also increased 0.6 percent.

BUSH BLASTS CONGRESS FOR INACTION ON ECONOMY

Including the Democrats’ refusal to drill for oil in the US. (FOX News)

From another story, Bush said "I've repeatedly submitted proposals to help address these problems, yet time after time Congress chose to block them." (Reuters)

From Robert Samuelson: It may surprise Americans to discover that the United States is the third-largest oil producer, behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. We could be producing more, but Congress has put large areas of potential supply off-limits. These include the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and parts of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. By government estimates, these areas may contain 25-30 billion barrels of oil (against about 30 billion of proven U.S. reserves today) and 80 trillion cubic feet or more of natural gas (compared with about 200 tcf of proven reserves). What keeps these areas closed are exaggerated environmental fears, strong prejudice against oil companies and sheer stupidity. (Real Clear Politics)

From Investor’s Business Daily: The media won't call either the House or the Senate on its failures, for one very obvious reason: They mostly share an ideology with the Democrats that keeps them from understanding how free markets and supply and demand really work. Sad, but true. So we were happy to hear the president do the job, calling out Congress for its inaction and ignorance in his wide-ranging press conference Tuesday. (IBD)

SUDDENLY OBAMA IS “OUTRAGED” BY WRIGHT

He defended the man who blamed the US for AIDS and 9/11 until his campaign became threatened. From the story: Campaigning in North Carolina, Obama denounced Wright's combative appearance Monday at the National Press Club as "a show of disrespect to me" and "an insult to what we've been trying to do in this campaign." (USA Today)

Looking back on his defense of Wright: (NRO)

The Boston Globe notes “voters and other political observers will inevitably wonder what took so long - and how Obama could have misjudged someone to whom he was very close.” (Boston Globe)

According to the NY Post, a source close to Wright said “Jeremiah doesn't care if he derails Obama's candidacy or not . . . He knows what he's doing. Obviously, he's not a dumb man. He knows he's not helping." (NY Post)

Transcript of Obama on Wright. (FOX News)

The Dems' latest faith costume

By Linda Harvey

The saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." Christian churches should have caught on to the quasi-Christianity of Jim Wallis and Sojourners by now.

Unfortunately, the first election year "Social Justice Revival" came to a church in my town of Columbus, Ohio, two weeks ago (April 16-18). But sadly, the Gospel was hard to find on this podium. The election year faith posturing could not have been more transparent, yet many young attendees were misled to believe that this might be authentic "revived" Christianity.

As part of the three-day event, Wallis told us he and the other pastors lunched with Ohio Democrats Gov. Ted Strickland and Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman. No Republicans were mentioned by these inclusive believers. What was on the menu? Perhaps how religion can prop up left-wing priorities like race divisiveness, perpetual poverty and America-bashing as the important issues "real" believers should care about, rather than fighting homosexual marriage and abortion.

Wallis' speeches were taken almost verbatim from his recent book, "The Great Awakening." Shouldn't there be something more spontaneous in a "revival"? Wallis' book outlines what he believes constitutes justice. The right, Jim tells us, is obsessed with fighting abortion laws and stopping "gay rights," for instance, which he supports as a justice issue (page 229). Both are way too divisive and not nearly as important as programs for the poor, climate change and giving away American sovereignty, preferably to illegal immigrants. The Christian right does not care about the poor, Wallis makes clear to those who did not realize this.

Wallis steered clear of his affinity for "gay rights" at the Vineyard Columbus, however. Perhaps he had been warned how controversial his appearance was, how Ohio radio talk shows were buzzing in the weeks ahead, how some pastors wanted to silence the discussions of Wallis' actual beliefs - all in the name of "justice," I'm sure.

"Justice" at this event was centered around Jim's interpretation of Luke 4:18. He told us the Gospel isn't good news unless it's good news to the poor. Did you catch that? In other words, salvation offered to all people isn't enough of a Divine gift to the ever-useful "poor" who were the stars of the speeches all three nights. Money, guaranteed jobs and worldly goods better be part of the package, apparently, or else Jesus can just pack up and go right back to Israel - whoops, I mean "Palestine." Like most of the left, Jim isn't exactly pro-Semitic these days.

Continue Article

United Methodists Elect New Liberal Judicial Council

The General Conference of the United Methodist Church elected five of the nine members of the Judicial Council, the church's highest court. The Judicial Council is charged with interpreting the church's Book of Discipline and frequently rules on controversial matters, such as enforcing the church's teachings on human sexuality or clergy conduct.

A slate of candidates backed by liberal caucus groups was elected. Some of these new council members are openly opposed to the church's teachings on homosexuality. Seemingly only one of the five would be regarded as a supporter of the church's stance.

This may be a tragic turn of events. We will continue to follow developments.

Federal Funds for Abortion, Racisim Sexual Crimes

Imagine you open your bank statement. As you look through the list of charges to your account you see a charge for Abortion. Further down there is charge for Racism and yet another charge for Sexual Crime. Would you want to know why those charges are there. In reality you pay those charges. They just don't appear on any statement.

Over $300 million of your tax dollars go to Planned Parenthood each year. That's the bill for killing American children over 12 months. If our government is unwilling to outlaw abortion, then at the very least those who hold life as sacred should not be forced to bankroll what is morally abhorrent.

The name "Planned Parenthood" is misleading. It's more about avoiding parenthood (ie. responsibility for personal actions) rather then planning it. The charges continue to pile up against Planned Parenthood. Some of them are more shocking then ever imagined. First came the revelations that Planned Parenthood clinic employees were coaching a 14-year-old girl on how to avoid triggering statutory rape reporting requirements against her 22-year- old boyfriend. That's called covering up a crime. Why has Planned Parenthood taken on the role of legal counsel? In fact, they are not even protecting their client, the are protecting the person who may have committed the crime of rape.

As recently reported, Planned Parenthood employees were recorded accepting donations from an avowedly racist customer. He asked that his money be earmarked for the abortion of an African-American baby. Even after making it clear that his intention was "to lower the number of black people in America" Planned Parenthood gleefully accepted the money. Was this an isolated incident? Apparently not. Seven clinics were called. Not one of them objected to or balked at taking donations targeted for the abortion of African-American babies. Where is the outrage and leadership in the black community? Where is Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton on this issues. I hear nothing but crickets. If the Rev. Jeremiah Wright really was to address a crime against blacks in this country, he ought to speak out against the government funded abortions of generations black children.

We live in a free country. That also means people are free to make bad choices. However when we are forced to fund the bad choices of others and the racist practices of an organization a line must be drawn. The issue involves us all. If a person is truly pro choice then they should acknowledge a persons right to chose not to have money fund the killing of babies.

Let Planned Parenthood financially stand on their own. If the pro-choice crowd loves them so much, then let them fund the organization. If any other group covered up sexual crimes against children and accepted racially motivated donations the outcry would be deafening. Not only would tax money cease, the group would be shut down and prosecuted. Yet some how Planned Parenthood is allowed to do what most of us don't even want to think about.

Conservatives came together to deliver the house and senate to Republicans who dangled the dream of ending abortions in front of us. We gave a pro-life president two terms. Abortions still remain legal and federally funded.

Before President Bush leaves office we must call upon him and all pro-life officials to use their God given position of authority and ensure that tax money must no longer be used subsidize abortion, support racism and hide sexual crimes against children.

Governments Adding Jobs As Private Sector Shrinks

(USAToday) Federal, state and local governments are hiring new workers at the fastest pace in six years, helping offset job losses in the private sector. Governments added 76,800 jobs in the first three months of 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

That's the biggest jump in first-quarter hiring since a boom in 2002 that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. By contrast, private companies collectively shed 286,000 workers in the first three months of 2008.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Center for Workforce Information & Analysis, Pennsylvania’s top employers are:

1. The federal government
2. PA state government
3. Wal-Mart
4. The City of Philadelphia
5. The School District of Philadelphia

It is telling that 4 out of 5 of the state’s largest employers are government entities!

Global Cooling: HURRICANE EXPERT MAY BE AXED!

He Doesn't buy the global warming hysteria and that's not playing well. Colorado State University admits Dr. William Gray’s stance is playing a role in their decision to cut out his hurricane forecasts. (FOX News)

Meanwhile, Anchorage sees a record snowfall. Perhaps Colorado State will cut that info out, too. (AP)

WRIGHT: AMERICA COMMITS TERRORISM

From just yesterday: “Jesus said do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you.” Obama is trying to distance himself from Wright, now that it’s no longer advantageous. (FOX News)

It was just a short time ago that Obama defended Wright. (IHT – Transcript) Another story notes “Reaction among Obama supporters ranged from resignation to exasperation after Wright capped four days of appearances with a feisty performance at the National Press Club here. He defended some of his more controversial remarks as a friendly audience of black religious leaders jeered reporters' questions.” (USA Today)

The U.S. Supreme Court Gets One Right

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Indiana’s law requiring voters to show a photo ID was constitutional and a valid measure to deter voter fraud.

The usual suspects opposed the law, stating that presenting a photo ID would place an undo burden on the poor and elderly. These arguments are bogus, as the government will provide a free photo ID to anyone who needs it.

In the Pennsylvania State House, Representative Daryl Metcalfe proposed similar legislation to Indiana’s law, which passed the PA House but was watered down in the State Senate before being signed into law by the governor. The Senate version stated that a voter only has to produce a photo ID the first time they vote if they are newly registered.

It would be nice to see the Pennsylvania Senate get on board and support a full photo ID requirement in Pennsylvania.

John Henry Cardinal Newman Beatified

The Vatican has approved the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, the English convert and theologian who has had immense influence upon English-speaking Catholicism.

John Henry Newman was born in 1801. As an Anglican priest, he led the Oxford Movement that sought to return the Church of England to its Catholic roots. His conversion to Catholicism in 1845 rocked Victorian England. After becoming an Oratorian priest, he was involved in the establishment of the Birmingham Oratory.

At his beatification ceremony later this year, John Henry Newman will receive the title “Blessed.” He will need one more recognized miracle to be canonized.

NY cardinal criticizes Giuliani for taking Communion

New York Cardinal Edward Egan says Rudy Giuliani should not have received Holy Communion during the pope's visit because he supports abortion rights.

Egan says he had "an understanding" with the former presidential candidate and New York mayor that he is not to receive the Eucharist. The Catholic church opposes abortion. The cardinal said Monday that Giuliani broke that understanding when he received the Eucharist during Pope Benedict XVI's visit.

Egan says he will be seeking a meeting with Giuliani "to insist that he abide by our understanding."

Steps to Take Before Merging

The Citizen Advisory Committee’s report recommending the merger of Pittsburgh’s and Allegheny County’s governments has reignited debate over an old and recurring issue. Their basic rationale is that City and County governments must become more cost efficient if they wish to stem the decades’ old population slide and energize the anemic pace of economic growth. One wonders whether or not talk of merging governments would be on anyone’s agenda if the City were enjoying strong growth, population gains, and a financially sound government. In such circumstances, it is highly likely the County’s economic growth would be far more robust and population loss would be minimal or non-existent. Moreover, the County’s government would probably not be using one time funding sources to balance its books and future budgets would not have large deficits looming as currently foreseen by the Controller. Continue

Obama's Ooops

Cmmunist
How many mistakes can one make and still be in the running for president? I'm still counting.

Recently the Obama campaign quietly removed from its official website a page managed by a fundraiser with ties to the Islamic terrorist group Hamas. Now its official blogger has come under attack as a "hardcore Marxist" for publishing in a self-professed 'revolutionary Marxist' journal.

Obama doesn't have skeletons in the closet. He has a parade of them front and center! Rev. Wright continues to speak and thereby inflict more damage as he explained just today to the at the National Press Club that often blacks and whites don't worship the same God. That's another article.

Sam Graham-Felson has now stepped into the circus spotlight. His bio is on the Obama website. There he quotes Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was a member of the Republican party. But don't let that fool you.
Graham-Felsen, according to a 2003 article in the Harvard Crimson, adorned one corner of his shared student apartment with "a Communist Party flag ... bought on their trip to Russia the summer after sophomore year."

Let's rewind a bit shall we. Back in February I reported the story of a Houston Fox TV affiliate who captured images of a volunteer in an Obama campaign office working in front of a flag featuring the image of Che Guevara, the South American revolutionary who became Fidel Castro's executioner after the communist takeover in Cuba.

I wrote: "At first I thought maybe this was just a renegade volunteer who decided to decorate an office like it was a dorm room" Boy was I wrong.

At the time the official campaign response was to blame it on "volunteers". However, Graham-Felsen is not a volunteer. This is the guy who portrays Obama to the nation through the official website.

The Obama campagin has no shortage of red flags. It the hammer and sickle on those flags that really concern me.

The End of Christian Radio?

The FCC is reviewing a proposal that would require every radio station to take programming advice from community advisory boards representative of the area's population. What's wrong with that you ask?

Well, it would require Christian broadcasters to seek advice from non-Christians and even those opposed to the Christian message. Some radio stations fear organized groups of atheists, for instance, could demand representation on the new FCC-mandated advisory boards that would factor into licensing decisions.

In addition to the requirement for advisory boards, the new regulations would also mandate radio stations produce every three months reports on how much programming of various types has been broadcast, who produced it and how it reflects the interests of the community – including segments who do not approve of or share Christian values.

The National Association of Broadcasters, which opposes the rule change, offers an online form for making comments on the FCC rule change – but the deadline is today. All comments must be filed under the assigned docket number No. 04-233, meaning that number must be included in all communications about the proposed rule change to be considered by the FCC.

Broadcasters don't like another element of the rule change – one that would require stations to have at least one employee on duty during all hours of operation. Breakthroughs in automated programming have made that unnecessary in recent years, so the rule change would mean more expense for some smaller-market stations.

Will all these rules and changes make radio better? I can't see how.

SOUTHERN BAPTISTS BAPTIZE FEWEST IN A DECADE

From the story: “Baptisms last year dropped nearly 5.5% to 345,941, compared with 364,826 in 2006, according to an annual report released Wednesday by LifeWay Christian Resources, the convention's publishing arm. Total membership was 16,266,920 last year, down nearly 40,000 from 2006.”

[USA Today]

EVANGELICALS HAVE HIJACKED THE NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER

From the USAToday piece: "The National Day of Prayer has been hijacked!" the group [Jews on First] declares on its website. "What began as President Truman's declaration of a National Prayer Day for all Americans is now excluding and dividing us on religious lines."

[USAToday]

THE REAL COST OF TACKLING CO2 EMISSIONS

Stephen Hayward, in today’s WSJ: “You can forget refrigerators, microwaves, clothes dryers and flat screen TVs. Even a house tricked out with all the latest high-efficiency EnergyStar appliances and compact fluorescent lights won't come close. The same daunting energy math applies to the industrial, commercial and transportation sectors as well. The clear implication is that we shall have to replace virtually the entire fossil fuel electricity infrastructure over the next four decades with CO2-free sources – a multitrillion dollar proposition, if it can be done at all.”

[WSJ]

.I. PACKER TO LEAVE ANGLICAN CHURCH OVER HOMOSEXUAL ORDINATION ISSUE

The influential Evangelical leader says he can no longer serve under his local bishop who in 2002 began sanctioning same-sex marriages. Packer’s conservative hermeneutic—leading him to the conviction that the scriptural prohibitions against homosexuality were binding today led to this criticism: “’It's the same process of logic that leads to supporting slavery,’ [the Rev. Kevin] Dixon said, noting that the apostle of Jesus also did not oppose slavery.” Packer calls the church’s position a "persistent unrepentant doctrinal disorder."

[Vancouver Sun]

Constitution Party stunner: Chuck Baldwin KOs firebrand Alan Keyes

From the story: Convening its national convention in Kansas City [on Friday], the Constitution Party picked radio talk-show host Chuck Baldwin over former Ambassador Alan Keyes as its 2008 presidential candidate.

The pick was seen as something of an upset, given Keyes' higher national profile. Known for his fiery stem-winders, Keyes is a two-time GOP presidential candidate who abandoned the Republican Party this month to join the Constitution Party, which believes in limited government and is committed to ending abortion and bringing American troops home from Iraq. Read more…

Well, this has to be one of the shortest honeymoons in history. It also marks another “false start” for the Constitution Party. They will be fortunate if they break 2%.

Gas Money! Rebate Checks Sent by Direct Deposit Monday

(CNSNews.com) - On Monday the Treasury Department will begin delivering the first of the tax rebates President Bush approved as an economic stimulus by direct deposit, followed on May 9th with the first mailed checks from the Internal Revenue Service. During the first week, 7.7 million Americans are expected to receive their tax rebates electronically, Bush said Friday. By the summer, the Treasury Department will have sent rebates to 130 million U.S. households.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hinted that a second stimulus package could be on its way. She called the tax rebates an example of what Congress can accomplish when they work together in a bipartisan way.

Can we work on tax cuts like that so we don't have to send the money in only to get it back???

Story

Barden rails against 'conspiracy' in casino delays

Majestic Star Casino owner Don Barden blamed a national credit crunch and a "conspiracy" involving losing bidders for Pittsburgh's slots license for delays in opening his casino on the North Shore. Read More

Pa.'s student-loan agency to cut grants, offer buyouts

The state's student-loan agency will cut college grants by up to $750 and offer voluntary buyouts to some employees to ease financial woes blamed on strained credit markets, officials said yesterday. Read More

BLACK PASTORS ACCUSE PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF RACIST AGENDA

The story begins: The Planned Parenthood Federation of America has perpetuated a “genocide on the black community,” says a group of African-American pastors who claimed Thursday the birth control and abortion provider has had a racist agenda since its beginnings in 1921.

FOX News

IRANIAN WEAPONS FOUND IN IRAQ

From the story: Officials in Washington and Baghdad said the purported Iranian mortars, rockets and explosives had date stamps indicating they were manufactured in the past two months.

FOX News

OBAMA’S PASTOR BLAMES MESSENGERS

In a PBS interview: Moyers only posted a portion of the interview so it’s not clear if he asked any logical questions, like “do you really believe the United States created AIDS to kill blacks?” Instead, the segment focused only on those who put the clips out there, as though they are to blame. (PBS)

In context, his sermons are still outrageous. (ABC News)

Wright will be speaking to the National Press Club on Monday. (Sun Times)

Meanwhile, now Harry Reid says he plans to pressure superdelegates to commit by July 1. (Roll Call) And some in the media are blatantly trying to help Obama.

Howard Fineman gives him image recommendations. (Newsweek) And Paul Krugman suggests Obama and Democrats in general “portray themselves as the party of economic security, the party that created Social Security and Medicare and defended those programs against Republican attacks — and the party that can bring assured health coverage to all Americans.” (NY Times)

But, as Charles Krauthammer points out, Obama’s problems aren’t so simple. “Then came the three amigos: Tony Rezko, the indicted fixer; Jeremiah Wright, the racist reverend; William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist. And then Obama’s own anthropological observation that “bitter” working-class whites cling to guns and religion because they misapprehend their real class interests.” (Prime Time Politics)

Hillary's Catholicism

AmericanPapist has a major photo scoop. For a Methodist, Hillary Clinton is wearing something undeniably Catholic in nature. She won almost 70% of Catholic votes in Pennsylvania.

On the day of a crucial primary for her campaign, in a state with a large Catholic vote, Hillary Clinton deliberately wears a piece of religious jewelry identifying her with a popular Catholic devotion.

$15 MIllion Found in Pittsburgh Subway

A mural in a PAT subway station is worth $15 million. You would think that would be good news, but the station is to be demolished.

"We did not expect it to be that much," Port Authority of Allegheny County spokeswoman Judi McNeil said. "We don't have the wherewithal to be a caretaker of such a valuable piece."

It would cost the agency more than $100,000 a year to insure the 60-foot-by-13-foot tile mural by Romare Bearden, McNeil said. Bearden was paid $90,000 for the mural, titled "Pittsburgh Recollections." It was installed in 1984.

Why the agency thought it was a good idea to spend 90k on art underground is another issue.

The subway station that is home to the mural is being demolished as part of a $435 million plan to extend the subway. The authority didn't know what it was going to do with the mural but wanted to know its value before taking it down, McNeil said.

Only a public agency could spend $90,000 to buy a 15 million dollar piece and pay $435 million to have it destroyed. The county this year implemented a 10 percent alcoholic drink tax and $2-per-day car rental tax to help pay its $30 million subsidy for the Port Authority.

Story

ANTI-TEEN NOISE MAKER SELLING IN THE U.S.

I want one!!! Already, nearly 1000 units of the “mosquito” have sold. The story notes “The high-frequency sound has been likened to fingernails dragged across a chalkboard or a pesky mosquito buzzing in your ear. It can be heard by most people in their teens and early 20s who still have sensitive hair cells in their inner ears.” And it works. Later, from the story: "We'd have crowds gather in parking lots, and there'd be the usual trash talk, then you'd have fights," said Rick McGee, the school district's emergency services manager. "Now, there's no confrontation at all; they just get aggravated and leave within a few minutes."

Now, if they can come up with something to neutralize that irritatating thumping bass rattling my teeth at the stoplight live would be greatly improved!

CNN

OBAMA TAKES IN OIL MONEY, AD CLAIMED HE DIDN’T

Story begins: Sen. Barack Obama continued accepting donations from oil company executives and employees last month even as he aired ads in which he stated he took no oil company money, his campaign finance reports show. But the story does point out “Obama's ad is factually correct. He does not take money from oil companies. A 1907 federal law bars all corporations from giving money to political candidates. However, oil company employees can make donations.”

LA Times

DEMOCRATIC LEADERS PUSH FOR END TO BATTLE

From the story: Party leaders expressed concern that, as Clinton and Obama continue to focus on each other, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the presumed Republican nominee, is getting a free ride as he reintroduces himself around the country and begins laying out his platform for the general election. (Washington Post)

From Time Magazine on Obama’s struggle: In the course of six weeks, the American people learned that he was a member of a church whose pastor gave angry, anti-American sermons, that he was "friendly" with an American terrorist who had bombed buildings during the Vietnam era, and that he seemed to look on the ceremonies of working-class life — bowling, hunting, churchgoing and the fervent consumption of greasy food — as his anthropologist mother might have, with a mixture of cool detachment and utter bemusement. All of which deepened the skepticism that Caucasians, especially those without a college degree, had about a young, inexperienced African-American guy with an Islamic-sounding name and a highfalutin fluency with language. And worse, it raised questions among the elders of the party about Obama's ability to hold on to crucial Rust Belt bastions like Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey in the general election — and to add long-suffering Ohio to the Democratic column. (Time)

From ABC News: He's had persistent problems in winning working-class, less-educated, whites -- and Pennsylvania accentuated his seeming inability to connect with those voters. (ABC News)

From Karl Rove: Mr. Obama is befuddled and angry about the national reaction to what are clearly accepted, even commonplace truths in San Francisco and Hyde Park. How could anyone take offense at the observation that people in small-town and rural American are "bitter" and therefore "cling" to their guns and their faith, as well as their xenophobia? Why would anyone raise questions about a public figure who, for only 20 years, attended a church and developed a close personal relationship with its preacher who says AIDS was created by our government as a genocidal tool to be used against people of color, who declared America's chickens came home to roost on 9/11, and wants God to damn America? Mr. Obama has a weakness among blue-collar working class voters for a reason. (WSJ)

Then there’s this from Robert Novak: Pollster John Zogby (who correctly predicted Clinton's double-digit win Tuesday) said what practicing Democrats would not. "I think voters face-to-face are not willing to say they would oppose an African-American candidate," Zogby told me. (Townhall)

Meanwhile, the media go after McCain over nothing. (IBD)

Floridia Faith Plates

Florida drivers can order more than 100 specialty license plates celebrating everything from manatees to the Miami Heat, but one now under consideration would be the first in the nation to explicitly promote a specific religion.

The Florida Legislature is considering a specialty plate with a design that includes a Christian cross, a stained-glass window and the words "I Believe."

Rep. Edward Bullard, the plate's sponsor, said people who "believe in their college or university" or "believe in their football team" already have license plates they can buy. The new design is a chance for others to put a tag on their cars with "something they believe in," he said.

Cue the ACLU.....

The problem with the state manufacturing the plate is that it "sends a message that Florida is essentially a Christian state" and, second, gives the "appearance that the state is endorsing a particular religious preference," said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

Howard, it's the owner of the car that CHOOSES the plate, not the state. What happened to those civil liberties? One plate does not represent the entire state. That's why they are called "specialty license plates".

The bill creating the "I Believe" plate would also create an "In God We Trust" plate to benefit the children of soldiers and law enforcement officers whose parents have died. It also could face opposition as a violation of the separation of church and state.

Get your plate, fish sticker, dashboard Mary, "God on Board" sign in the window, whatever. If it's your car I say decorate at will.

Biblical Scholars Challenge Pelosi's 'Scripture' Quote

From the story: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is fond of quoting a particular passage of Scripture. The quote, however, does not appear in the Bible and is "fictional," according to biblical scholars.

In her April 22 Earth Day news release, Pelosi said, "The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, 'To minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.' On this Earth Day, and every day, let us pledge to our children, and our children's children, that they will have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and the opportunity to experience the wonders of nature." Read more…

This ranks up there with Howard Dean claiming that his favorite New Testament book is Job. The story mentions that Pelosi used this same quote at least 4 other times. While we all have the biblical responsibility to be good stewards of God’s resources, Pelosi’s made-up “scripture” quotation smacks of Pantheism.

The Catholic Reformation

There was a time when Catholicism was abhorred by Protestants all over the world. The horrors of the medieval church and its sales of indulgences caused an uprising to counter act these abuses. For some the answer was was to break free from Catholicism and pursue a new form of religion.

Those that remained within the Catholic church have always been looked upon with suspicion. John F. Kennedy when running for president of the United States had many wondering about his intentions. Would he take his marching orders from Rome? That answer turned out to be no, as he won the election and the people’s fears of Catholicism abated. We had taken a step forward. There was still a long way to go.

In 1966, Pope Pius VI spoke at the United Nations, President Lyndon Johnson visited the pontiff at his hotel. Had the pope come to the White House, there would have been an uproar. Still, the president met with the pope. Another step forward. In 1979, Pope John Paul II became the first pope to visit the White House.

It seems those early small steps have now become a giant leap as President Bush not only hosted the pope at the White House, he picked him up at the airport! The words of President Bush said it all: "The best way to honor Pope…, truly one of the great men, is to take his teaching seriously; is to listen to his words and put his words and teachings into action here in America. This is a challenge we must accept." .

How the times have changed from Luther to Pope Benedict. While some will always choose to preserve the separation between Catholics and other Christians, that mentality is finally fading. It does not make sense anymore to continue distrust of Catholicism when the acts of kindness through school and hospital networks make Catholics and the fruit of such labor a powerhouse for good in this world.

Today, the very meaning of Christianity is under attack as issues of homosexuality, same sex marriage and what role God has in society, trade traditional Biblical teaching for a more politically correct language of tolerance and acceptance. This is not the time for Christians to be divided. We need each other if we hope to face the challenges before us. Christ wanted us to be one. That time has come.

I believe the recent visit of the pope was much more then that. It was a presentation of Catholicism to the nation. In that moment of opportunity, Pope Benedict XVI showed a faith that is compassionate and accepting. He showed a faith that stands firm on beliefs that have not changed in 200o years and will not wavier with the changing whims of culture. He showed a faith that remains available to all, even those that have been hurt of the church. In essence he showed Christ to a nation that often can no longer recognize what Christianity is about. It poetic irony that the one who was once shunned has brought the message of salvation to all.

SCIENTIST: FEAR GLOBAL COOLING

Finally someone has joined my cause! I'm recruiting celebrities to increase awarness about the postive effects of greenhouse gases. First on board is astronaut and geophysicist Phil Chapman who said the world cooled very quickly between January last year and January this year, and noted "This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record.” He concluded “If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over." Then what will Al Gore do? (FOX News)

Meanwhile, some scientists say they can alter the weather. (Denver Post)

OBAMA/HILLARY BATTLE EXPECTED TO HEAT UP

From the Washington Post: Unable once again to score a knockout, Sen. Barack Obama is likely to make his new negative tone even more negative -- with a sharp eye on trying to end the Democratic presidential nomination fight after the May 6 primaries in Indiana and North Carolina. The story notes while Hillary “delivered a victory speech in Philadelphia devoid of attack lines” Obama “took up the cudgel.” (Washington Post)

The battle has exposed several vulnerabilities in Obama. (Houston Chronicle)

The New York Times editors are terribly upset to see the Democrats beating themselves up, calling the campaign “meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it.” They really like that word, “vacuous.” The editors are clearly upset that their love candidate, Mr. Obama, is being vetted. (NY Times)

From the also unhappy but much wittier Maureen Dowd on Hillary: Her message is unapologetically emasculating: If he does not have the gumption to put me in my place, when superdelegates are deserting me, money is drying up, he’s outspending me 2-to-1 on TV ads, my husband’s going crackers and party leaders are sick of me, how can he be trusted to totally obliterate Iran and stop Osama? (NY Times)

HILLARY WINS BY 10, VOWS TO FIGHT ON

The New York Times reluctantly admits Hillary’s victory “gives her a strong rationale for continuing her candidacy in spite of those Democrats who would prefer to coalesce around Mr. Obama.” (NY Times)

From a political scientist: "This looks like the Democratic Party leaders' worst dream - a Clinton margin not large enough to put her in a strong position to carry on and an Obama vote not large enough to end things.” (Boston Globe)

Another story notes “Gun owners, people who attend church at least weekly, and rural residents were all supporting Clinton by margins of about six in 10.” (ABC News)

From CBS News: Sixty-nine percent of white voters who attend religious services more than once a week supported Clinton, while 31 percent supported Obama. (CBS News)

From the Washington Times: Complicating the issue as Mrs. Clinton started to close in on Mr. Obama's popular vote lead was his inability to win over Pennsylvania's seniors, white males and blue-collar voters. It's a major warning sign that gives Mrs. Clinton wide room to argue that she would be the better Democratic nominee, even though her possible path to winning remains difficult. (Washington Times)

Hillary asked for donations during her victory speech, and it appeared to work. (The Hill)
FOX News exit poll. (FOX News)

Communion Showdown Part 3: Rudy Giuliani

Twice-divorced former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani took Communion at a Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict on Saturday, breaching rules that bar those who remarry outside the Church from doing so.

As he left New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral with his third wife, Judith, he confirmed to Reuters that he took Communion from a priest.

Asked if he was uncomfortable with having broken the Church ban on the divorced and remarried taking Communion, Giuliani said, "No." And there is the problem. Where is the authority of the church on this?

The Church does not recognize divorce and teaches that divorced Catholics are still married to their earlier partner unless the Church grants them an annulment, or ruling that the initial marriage was invalid.

Despite his Catholic faith, Giuliani has espoused socially liberal political positions such as backing a woman's right to choose an abortion and supporting gay rights.

Last year Pope Benedict reaffirmed that Catholics who divorce and remarry cannot receive Communion unless they abstain from sexual relations with their new partner. No one asked him that question.

Story

The Promise: God's Purpose and Plan for When Life Hurts

We just wrapped up a radio interview with Fr. Jonathon Morris. You may have seen Fr. Morris on Fox News. He was traveling with the pope and while he was here in America I jumped at the chance to talk to him.

Fr. Morris has written a powerful new book that I highly recommend. He delves into healing the spiritual, emotional and physical scars of suffering.

The Promise comprises three parts, each addressing a step in the process of healing. Part 1, "God on Trial," speaks to doubts and anger that arise when we suffer and poses tough questions such as "Does God even care?" and "Why should we trust a God who allows innocent suffering?" Part 2 takes the reader on a journey of finding emotional and spiritual healing from suffering. In part 3 Father Jonathan introduces the five "Principles for Freedom-Living." From living your personal vocation to a step-by-step guide for sketching a plan for your spiritual life, the freedom principles are practical and easily applied to everyday life. Together these five principles have the power to transform what would otherwise be useless suffering into a means of great sanctification and personal fulfillment. While pulling back the layers of philosophy and theology that surround human suffering, Father Jonathan offers not only a deeply spiritual answer but also a practical one to this most fundamental of human questions: Why do we suffer?

Birth Control circa 1957

My thanks to PowerBlog! reader Vincent who sent me this video. It's hosted by Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes fame. It aired in 1957. Margaret Sanger, the leader of the birth control movement in America, talks to Wallace about why she became an advocate for birth control, over-population, the Catholic Church, and morality. In the middle of it all Wallace is smoking and trying to get you to do the same as Phillip Morris sponsored the show.

The motives really stand out after all this time. To view it click here

Is It Over Yet?

I can't wait until the polls close. I'm sick of the ads. I'm sick of the press releases about every stinking stop the candidates make. "She will drink a beer at 7:03pm , he will use the men's room in Altoona this afternoon". Who cares?

If the election was based on the amount of email I get Hillary wins. Just today they have offered me interviews with actors Ted Danson, Sean Astin, Erika Alexander, Harry Lennix. Maybe Author, John Grisham would interst you. I often wonder, "What would John Grisham do?" Well how about Singer/Songwriters for Hillary. Carole King, Judy Collins, Sophie B. Hawkins and Helen Reddy are all ready to "sing" the praises of Hillary.

Maybe you're a McCain fan. You can dress the infant of your choice and use the child to make a statement.

And Obama.... he needs to keep his friends off of youtube.

YALE DEMANDS ABORTION GIRL/ART STUDENT ADMIT SHE MADE UP STORY

The sage continues over the girl who allegedly used artificial insemination to impregnate herself and induced miscarriages to create very sick “art”. Is it true is anyones guess. Now she claims it is no hoax. The school said she admitted it and wants her to confess to all.

FOX News

OBAMA/HILLARY BATTLE HEATS UP

In the latest ads, Hillary talks war, gas prices, Obama talks pharmaceuticals. (CBS News) And Obama ripped Hillary for negative politics while doing the same. (Boston Globe) Another story looks at how Obama’s image is fading. (Chicago Sun-Times) And his answer to what he thinks of Carter’s meeting with Hamas: “Let me eat my waffle.” (AFP)

Meanwhile, the New York Times went back to calling an Obama/Clinton combo a “dream ticket.” (NY Times)

Michael Moore called Hillary “disgusting” as he begged fellow Democrats to vote for Obama. In typical Michael Moore insanity, he accused Hillary of “appealing to the worst side of white people” by trying to “smear the black man.” (MichaelMoore.com)

Friends of Obama

Barak Obama seems to be made of teflon. Nothing seems to really stick. Despite Rev. Wright's rants, God, Guns & Bitterness and all the media coverage he is hanging in there. But wait, there's more!

Yet another Barack Obama adviser is under scrutiny for showing disdain for America's mainstream, this time after the unearthing of video footage in which the candidate's key technology guru gleefully introduced a YouTube piece that mocks Jesus Christ.



Larry Lessig is shown at a 2006 seminar for Google employees introducing a clip that depicts an effeminate Jesus singing Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive." The Jesus figure throws off his robe, revealing a diaper-like covering, and eventually is run over by a bus as he sashays through city streets, reports Erick Erickson of the blogsite RedState.

Obama's military adviser and national campaign co-chairman, Merrill A. McPeak, recently suggested U.S. politicians are afraid of Jewish voters and that American Jews are impeding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Other advisers who have created problems for the Obama campaign include top foreign-policy adviser Samantha Power, who resigned after calling Hillary Clinton a "monster," and economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, who reportedly confided to Canadian officials that Obama's position on the North American Free Trade Agreement was merely political posturing.

Maybe Obama should adopt "I Will Survive" as his theme song.

Story

Barden's $3 MiIllion Nevermind

North Shore casino developer Don Barden wants to drop a $3 million commitment he made to support Hill District redevelopment efforts .

In a petition filed with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Mr. Barden's company, PITG Gaming LLC, asked for permission to eliminate the financial commitment of $1 million annually for three years "due to the grant of the development rights to another party." The language is a reference to the award of development rights for the 28-acre Mellon Arena property to the Penguins last year as part of negotiations over a new building for the team.

Barden did not reach a deal therefore he want to keep the cash. The problem is the commitment of $1 million annually for three consecutive years is one of the 57 formal conditions the gaming board imposed in awarding Mr. Barden the license for the casino in December 2006.

Stay Tuned

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Correction: Ted Kennedy DID receive Communion

Last week I reported Sen. Ted Kennedy abstained from receiving communion at the papal mass. (Kennedy is pro-abortion). I have to change that. This email was sent to Lifesite News:

"Two of my sons and I attended the Papal Mass yesterday. We were seated in section 216, directly above the section in which Ted Kennedy was seated. Several minutes prior to the general distribution of communion a priest walked down to Ted Kennedy and gave him communion. There was some discussion amongst we in our section about the inappropriateness of his reception of the Host. Be certain, he remained seated not out of some self-enforced respect for the sacrament, but rather out of respect for his girth and mobility."

I stand corrected.

Drinking the Liberal Kool Aid

The following web ad from the Hart campaign focuses in on Jason Altmire’s closet support for Sen. Barack Obama. The ad even highlights a photo of Altmire at a recent Obama campaign rally.

“Jason Altmire might claim that he is remaining neutral in this Democratic primary contest, but it couldn’t be any clearer who he is pulling for behind the scenes. After all, Altmire refused to condemn Barack Obama’s elitist remarks after he insulted Pennsylvania voters by claiming that they ‘cling’ to the Second Amendment and religion because they are ‘bitter.’”– Ken Spain, NRCC Press Secretary

'Don't forget us,' PA candidates tell voters

As Pennsylvanians prepare to go to the polls tomorrow to cast ballots in the April 22 presidential primary, experts wonder how the surge in registered voters will affect little-noticed state legislative races, particularly those in the House, where Democrats cling to a one-seat majority. Read More

Ed & Chelsea's Bar Crawl

PA Gov. Ed Rendell hit the town (Philly that is) Friday night. His party partner was none other than Chelsea Clinton.

It wasn't your typical campaign stop. Rather it was a Philadelphia gay bar crawl. Yes Rendell and Chelsea were mobbed by local gays and lesbians, as they walked from one club to the next. In all, she visited four bars in Center City, concluding her tour at the city’s most famous gay bar.

MSNBC reported "Rendell appeared to be in his element". Rendell has toured gay bars in Philadelphia since the 1970s, he said, and made a similar trek for John Kerry in 2004.

Well, it nice to know our Governor frequents gay bars for political purposes. There was a time when this would be a scandal.

Story

Steelers Dan Rooney Fumbles

I was disappointed to see Dan Rooney, owner of the Steelers, publicly endorse Barack Obama. Not that Mr. Rooney does not have the right to do so, however Mr. Rooney claims to be a Catholic man that goes to Daily Mass. Despite clear and unwavering church teachings on the sanctity of life, Mr. Rooney has endorsed Barack Obama who does not support a pro-life policy.

Many Americans see Obama as a kind and compassionate candidate. However, Mr. Obama’s compassion does not extend to our most vulnerable members of society - the handicapped and the unborn.

It is well documented that Obama spoke against and voted against the “Born Alive Infants Protection Act”. This Act would require medical care for babies who survived abortion attempts. According to Obama, “these babies should just be left to die”. Also in a debate on MSNBC, when Obama was asked to name a regret. Barack Obama said he would like to take back his vote authorizing congress to intervene to save brain injured Terri Schiavo.

Everyone should be outraged that a potential U.S. President would so callously regret his vote for life over death. He is implying that some citizens are less worthy of life than others. He did not regret his vote for death, when he voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

The Bush administration fought to keep abstinence funding in the federal budget, that soon will change if either Clinton or Obama are elected. Obama has stated that if his daughters were to make a mistake, he wants them to avoid the “punishment” of having a baby.

Obama has stated in a open letter to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community that they can be assured of full equality and he advocates the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. (This act defends the definition of Marriage as one man and one woman) I question exactly what values and morals he will advocate if he becomes our President.

It is my hope that the recent visit by the Holy Father will inspire Mr. Rooney and all Catholics to embrace the teaching of the church in which life is valued and protected for all. Without life..... liberty & the pursuit of happiness are worthless.

What You Need To Know

Election Day is Tues., April 22. Please vote pro-life and take family and friends to polls. LIFEPAC info at www.lifepac.net Don't forget to write in candidates in Congress 12th District Bill Russell; in State House District 39 Monica Douglas (last minute decision, by strong pro-lifer); House District 46 Frank Yuvan.

There was an interesting article about Cindy McCain, the Senators wife. After having three children, on a medical mission trip, Cindy adopted one of Mother Teresa's babies with a cleft palate, and has raised Bridget as their daughter.
Public Hearing by Senate Appropriations Com. on Marriage Protection Amendment April 29th

On behalf of Pennsylvania For Marriage, thank you for all the support and action you have taken to help move the Marriage Amendment along. From calls to your legislators to joining the capitol hearings, you have made a huge impact on the success of this campaign. With that said, there is still more that needs to be done to continue this success.

So far, there have been two public hearings on SB 1250 - the Marriage Protection Amendment -under the direction of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This committee has already voted to pass SB 1250 into the next phase- the Senate Appropriations Committee. On April 29th, there will be another public hearing on the Marriage Protection Amendment; this time run by the Appropriations Committee. This committee will be the next to vote on the bill before it can reach the full Senate.

This public hearing will take place at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg, East Wing Room 8E-A. The hearing will start at 9am. After the hearing, the Appropriations Committee will soon vote to pass Senate Bill 1250 onto the full Senate. They are in recess until after the election - Maybe you can reach local ones in their home offices.

So here are the action steps you can take in the coming weeks to help the marriage efforts
1. If you can come to Harrisburg, plan to attend the hearing on April 29th and get as many people as possible to come with you.
2. Please pass this message on and pray for the pro-marriage testimony being given at the hearing
3. Contact your state senator and representative and ask them to support SB 1250. If you don't know who they are or need contact information for them, go to the Citizen Action Center.
4. Contact the Senators on the Appropriations Committee- they are next to vote on this bill following the hearing. Click here for their contact information.

EXPELLED LANDS AT NUMBER NINE AT THE BOX OFFICE

Pretty good for just 1052 screens. The Ben Stein documentary about the bias against anyone who questions evolution pulled in just over $3 million in its opening weekend. (Box Office Mojo)

Dinesh D'Souza looks at the Dawkins dilemma in the film – explaining how life began. (Townhall)

MUSLIM GROUPS DEMAND MCCAIN DROP WORD “ISLAMIC” WHEN TALKING OF TERRORISTS

Why don't these groups spend their efforts denouncing the wacko murders that proclaim Islam as their motivation to kill people? A McCain spokesman said “the reality is, the hateful ideology which underpins bin Ladenism is properly described as radical Islamic extremism. Senator McCain refers to it that way because that is what it is." The story notes “The two remaining Democrats in the presidential field, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, generally shun such word usage.”

Washington Times

AYERS AT CENTER AS CLINTON/OBAMA SPAR

From the story: A Clinton supporter is circulating a mailer raising the issue of Obama's acquaintance with Bill Ayers, a Chicago professor who was once a member of the violent Weather Underground. The mailer, created by union activist Rick Sloan of the International Association of Machinists, claims Republicans will "channel Joe McCarthy" in the fall, turning Obama's "change we can believe in" into "change no patriotic American could stomach." (ABC News)

McCain said Obama’s “relationship with Mr. Ayers is open to question. He became friends with him and spent time with him while the guy was unrepentant over his activities as a member of a terrorist organization, the Weathermen. Does he condemn them? Would he condemn someone who says they're unrepentant and wished that they had bombed more?” Instead of dealing with facts, an Obama campaign spokesman complained “Unable to sell his out-of-touch ideas on the economy and Iraq, John McCain has stooped to the same smear politics and low road that he denounced in 2000. The American people can’t afford a third term of President Bush’s failed policies and divisive tactics." (Politico)

From Michael Barone: Obama’s choices to associate with Wright and Ayers tend to undercut his appealing message — very appealing after 15 years of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — that we must strive to overcome the racial and cultural and ideological divisions which have dominated our politics They are something that voters are entitled to weigh as they make their decisions. (NRO)

Communion Showdown Part 2

Several Catholic lawmakers who support abortion rights, including Sen. John Kerry, Sen. Chris Dodd and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received communion at the Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI despite the pope’s views on the issue.

Four years ago, when questions arose over whether then-presidential candidate Kerry should receive the sacrament, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote that it could be withheld in certain circumstances, such as “obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin.” One example of such sin, he said, “was consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws.”
The Vatican had invited all Catholic lawmakers to the Mass at Washington’s Nationals Park, and many went to the service, although their offices deflected questions. Rep. Jose Serrano was one of the few to confirm he had received communion.

Pro-abortion Senator Ted Kennedy respectfully did not receive Communion. It seemsSenator Kennedy is, at least in public, refraining from Communion and thus refusing to create what the Church calls public "scandal".

In March 2007 the Pope warned Catholic pro-abortion politicians against receiving Communion. In the document on Holy Communion, called "Sacramentum Caritatis" or the Sacrament of Love, Benedict XVI gave Catholic politicians a biblical warning against receiving Communion unworthily.In a section on "Eucharistic consistency", the Pope said that politicians must adhere to "non negotiable" values "such as respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one's children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms." He added, "Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature."

GOP balks at Rendell bench picks

Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania Senate are sending Gov. Rendell signals that his nominees to fill temporary openings on the state's appellate courts are not acceptable. Read More

Abortion Art a Hoax?

I'm thankful if this is not true. A Yale University art student's claim that she induced repeated abortions on herself and used the blood for her senior project is false, school officials said after her account was published in the student newspaper.

The account swept across blogs and media outlets before Yale issued a statement saying it investigated and found it all to be a hoax that was Shvarts' idea of elaborate "performance art."
But in a guest column published in Friday's student newspaper, Shvarts insisted the project was real. So which is it?

We don't really know. Repots say when confronted by three senior Yale officials, including two deans, Shvarts acknowledged that she was never pregnant and did not induce abortions. Then she said if Yale puts out a statement saying she did not do this, she would say Yale was doing that to protect its reputation.

More

Kenneth Copeland's IRS Problem

On Saturday, April 12, Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) issued a statement criticizing Sen. Charles Grassley's investigation into the finances of six televangelists. Copeland said Grassley had no constitutional basis for many of the 42 requests he originally made last November.

Copeland's statement also said he "would be willing to fully cooperate with the IRS to ensure that the requested information is provided in a timely and efficient manner."

However, Rusty Leonard, the founder and president of MinistryWatch.com, said the response from Copeland was "deceptive and misleading."

According to Leonard, "Copeland is trying to create the impression that he is being cooperative, when in fact he failed to comply with 25 of the 42 requests for information from Sen. Grassley. Now, he wants the IRS to continue the investigation, but only because IRS investigations are confidential. Copeland doesn't want the public or his donors to see what he's been doing, and that's alarming. It screams that he his hiding something from KCM donors and the public."

Leonard said that Copeland was clever by asking for the IRS to intervene, because it is his best chance to hold Grassley and the media at bay. "For many years the IRS has been under-resourced when it comes to this kind of investigation," Leonard said. "An IRS investigation could take years, will be completely out of the public eye, and may result in nothing more than fines for KCM. Copeland has made a business decision that it's far better for him to deal with the IRS in secret than to face Sen. Grassley or '60 Minutes' in public. One can only wonder what he might be trying to hide from his donors."

Copeland should "come clean," Leonard said, and fully disclose all requested information to both Grassley, to the donors to KCM, and to the public. "The idea that Copeland is standing on some constitutional principle is simply a diversion," Leonard said.

Leonard added: "Copeland's complaint about Sen. Grassley's right to ask for this information is nothing more than a sideshow. KCM donors themselves have every right to ask for this information and Copeland has a moral obligation, that overrides any constitutional issue, to provide it. Donors are fortunate that Grassley is using his position to act on their behalf. We would have no problem with Copeland not giving the information to Sen. Grassley as long as he made the information public. Hiding behind the veil of the IRS, however, is unacceptable."

"Grassley is not the issue, it is the lack of accountability and transparency at KCM," Leonard said.

CHUCK COLSON: WHY WE CAN’T LEAVE IRAQ

Colson explains “Anybody who thinks that an American withdrawal from Iraq would not embolden Iran and its apocalyptically minded leader is fooling himself.”

Townhall

More Unsettling Confusion Emanates From the Port Authority

With all the talk about the need for a City-County merger so the region can speak with one voice, it seems the County government might be hearing multiple ones inside its own head. That’s the only explanation making any sense when the County Executive said in Executive Order 2007-1 that Allegheny County is legally required to provide the Port Authority (PAT) with annual funding while at the same time vowing to withhold state required local match funds until PAT’s unions make substantial concessions. Now, to further complicate the picture, the County has, as of this writing, voiced no opposition to the revelation that PAT is making plans to borrow the money necessary to receive state funds and keep the transit system unions on the job. Continue

CARTER: ISRAEL TREATMENT OF PALESTINIANS “A CRIME”

This, after a three hour meeting with terrorists. (LA Times)

Carter also claimed “for every Israeli killed in any kind of combat, between 30 to 40 Palestinians are killed because of the extreme military capability of Israel.” (Jerusalem Post)

Senator Lieberman blasted Carter as “na├»ve” noting “There is a long list of people who thought they could reason with dictators and killers, going back to Neville Chamberlain and Hitler in the 1930s, but it has been shown to be absolutely wrong." (FOX News)

From Oliver North: Regrettably, what citizen Carter has succeeded in doing is encouraging our nation's adversaries, lending credibility to terrorists who have killed our countrymen, and disparaging a beleaguered ally. (Townhall)

From Cliff May: Does Carter sincerely think he can convince Meshaal to reject such ideas and embrace the Carter Center’s kumbaya mission of “waging peace and building hope”? Does he really believe he can change Mashaal’s mind, much less open his heart? If so, Carter is as clueless now as he was almost 30 years ago when, on his watch as president, the Ayatollah Khomeini took power in Iran, seized America’s embassy, held our diplomats hostage and sat back to watch Carter do nothing effective in response. (Townhall)

Street Cash For Primary Day

From the story: …[T]the Los Angeles Times reports that the Barack Obama campaign says it won't pass out street cash for primary day, and Philadelphia ward leaders warn that their foot soldiers could defect to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Then the Clinton people say they, too, aren't reaching into their wallets. To every reporter who will listen, and there are many, ward leaders and committee people use this as an occasion to ask for money. They're not dumb.

Carol Ann Campbell is a West Philadelphia ward leader. She's secretary of the Democratic City Committee, a former city councilwoman, a super-delegate. "I find this despicable," she said by phone the other day.

What, the lack of folding money?

No, the attention she and other Philadelphia politicians are getting for a time-honored local custom.

"The committee people and the ward leaders have to buy lunch for hundreds of people, otherwise they won't have good workers. They have to buy coffee, orange juice and doughnuts. That's just the way it is."

It would take a good $400,000 to $500,000 to properly arm the 14,000 people the machine can put on the street, she says. Read more...

So a Democrat primary presidential candidate is expected to pony up about $35 per Democrat “activist” in Philadelphia! No wonder some Philadelphia precincts are rumored to report more than 100% turnout.

Just to think that for the last 12 years, I have been pulling the 13-hour shift for free at the polls, handing out literature in all kinds of weather because I believed in the candidate. How could I be so stupid? Show me the $$$$$!

Bill Maher to Apologize

Bill Maher, whose controversial comments about the pope drew fire from the Catholic community, is planning to apologize Friday night for falsely accusing Pope Benedict XVI of being a Nazi, the Catholic League announced Thursday.

Catholic League President Bill Donohue received a phone call Thursday from an HBO executive regarding comments Maher made last Friday on HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher." As previously reported, Donohue said Maher "lied when he said the Pope 'used to be a Nazi.' Like all young men in Germany at the time, he was conscripted into a German Youth organization (from which he fled as soon as he could). Every responsible Jewish leader has acknowledged this reality and has never sought to brand the Pope a Nazi. That job falls to Maher."

Full Story

Supreme Court lets executions resume

Missouri, 35 other states and the federal government are free to resume executions under a U.S. Supreme Court decision Wednesday rejecting a claim that the three-drug "cocktail" may be inhumanely painful. Read More

School tax cut from slots will be $169

The average homeowner's tax cut from slots won't buy a high-definition TV or a riding lawnmower, but then again, it's doubtful that anyone's going to turn down a tax break of $169 from the state government. Read More

Communion Showdown

Catholic members of Congress who publicly support the right to abortion will trek to Nationals Park for the Mass celebrated by a pope who has said such lawmakers should not receive Communion.

Leading these lawmakers, some of whom have repeatedly complained about remarks by Pope Benedict XVI and a few bishops on the subject, will be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the government's highest-ranking Catholic and a supporter of abortion rights.

Will Pelosi have the gall to defy church teaching and present herself before the Holy Father? Nothing has stopped her in the past. However, it will be Pelosi that will have to answer for her actions and not the pope. The ironic part is President Bush is more Catholic in my opinion then Pelosi.

She bent to kiss the pope's ring at the White House Wednesday as Benedict arrived, and later she spoke glowingly on the House floor about his commitment to truth, justice and freedom. A commitment that she apparently does not share.

And yes, her spokesman said, she intends to receive Communion from one of the 300 priests and lay ministers who will offer it to the gathered flock of 45,000.

I can only hope she is convicted before she does so once again.

Full Story

Abortion As Art

The horror of this story is beyond explanation.

Aliza Shvarts is an Art Major at Yale. She will be displaying her "art project", a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself "as often as possible" while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process.

This young lady need to be in therapy, not art class. Since when is the murder of human beings considered art? Can all you "pro-choice" folks see how far we can sink?

Shvarts said, her goal was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body. We had a discussion about the "Bodies Exhibit" that mixes human bodies and art. This to me is very different. In the Bodies Exhibit humans were not created for the single purpose of art. What Shvarts fails to understand is she is not creating art, she is destroying it.

God is the ultimate artist. Look at a sunset, snowfall or a child. For anyone to destroy such an amazing creation, the result can not be art but a crime against all.

The abortifacient drugs Shvarts took were legal and herbal, she said, and she did not feel the need to consult a doctor about her repeated miscarriages. Therein lies the problem. Freedom of choice allows destructive and often dangerous decisions.

It's hard to believe that this will be hosted at Yale. Yale’s roots can be traced back to the 1640s, when colonial clergymen led an effort to establish a college in New Haven. The charter was granted for a school “wherein Youth may be instructed in the Arts and Sciences [and] through the blessing of Almighty God may be fitted for Publick (original spelling) employment both in Church and Civil State.”

How far they have strayed.

Story

HILLARY/OBAMA DEBATE

Again, Obama tried to claim his anti-small town comment was a mistake saying he meant that people “end up focusing on those things that are constant, like religion.” Which makes no sense because he also rattled off other negative traits, like racism. The moderators seemed to miss this. Obama further explained “They end up feeling "This is a place where I can find some refugee. This is something that I can count on." They end up being much more concerned about votes around things like guns, where traditions have been passed on from generation to generation. And those are incredibly important to them.” (Transcript – IHT)

From Larry Elder: Obama apparently believes one embraces religion out of bitterness, not due to spirituality, values, belief in or the acceptance of and submission to a higher power. Perhaps this explains why Obama clung to the Trinity Church of Christ for 20 years, with its anti-Semitic, anti-white, anti-American, conspiracy-believing pastor, Jeremiah Wright. If Obama attended the church out of "bitterness," surely, his reasoning goes, others do so as well. (Townhall)

Hillary blasted Obama for the Wright controversy, saying “For Pastor Wright to have given his first sermon after 9/11 and to have blamed the United States for the attack, which happened in my city of New York, would have been just intolerable for me. And, therefore, I would have not been able to stay in the church. You can pick your pastor. You can't pick your family, but you can pick your pastor." (ABC News)

Liberals were quite upset Obama and Hillary were asked questions that challenged their character. (Huffington Post)

From MSNBC: Could tonight's true winner be John McCain? We're betting that's the unanimous pundit scoring tonight. (MSNBC)

Jonathan Alter, who claims without hesitation, evidence or specifics “The GOP is out of synch with the American public on most major issues,” worries the bitter issue could hurt Obama. (Newsweek)

'Willed,' 'Loved,' and 'Necessary'

Pope Benedict XVI spent his first full day in Washington, D.C. with intense media coverage, commentary and protests, some of it depressingly familiar. The Huffington Post published an obscure history professor's diatribe titled "Pope Should Start 'Spiritual Renewal' with Bisexual God." Pollsters built up to the Papal visit with their usual reports suggesting that U.S. Catholics differ with their church on such issues as abortion and civil unions for homosexuals. Noisy protests on D.C. streets heaped scorn on the Pope because of the child sexual abuse scandals, which have taken a heavy toll on the victims and provided opponents of the Catholic Church's moral voice with a new means to cudgel it into silence.

In the former Cardinal Ratzinger, the critics have a target whose career has been as closely identified as possible with that moral voice; it is highly unlikely that he will be quiet now, and this is clearly what worries the critics most. Even before his plane touched down at Andrews Air Force Base, Benedict XVI spoke of the "shame" occasioned by the sex abuse scandals in America and his resolve that they will not recur.

Greeted by President Bush and a massive crowd at the White House, the Pope heard a chorus of Happy Birthday as he celebrated his 81st. That music must have been sweet to his ears, but even sweeter must have been President Bush's hopeful words about human life, as he told the nation, "In a world where some treat life as something to be debased and discarded, we need your message that all human life is sacred and that each of us is willed, each of us is loved, and each of us is necessary."

John McCain: "Difficult" Not to Pick Running Mate Who's Pro-Life on Abortion

From the story: John McCain hasn't given much insight publicly about the person he will choose to become his vice-presidential running mate. But he told a television program on Tuesday night that he would have a "difficult" time picking someone who didn't have a pro-life view on abortion. Read more…

I hope that the PA GOP is listening to this. The PA GOP operates under the assumption that any ticket with a pro-life candidate must be “balanced” with a “moderate pro-choice” running mate. This is a fallacy! Note the disastrous paring of Mike Fisher and Jane Earll for governor and lt. governor in 2002.

In 2007, with a strong pro-life Superior Court candidate, Cheryl Allan, already on the ballot for the fall election, state GOP leaders wanted to “balance” the ballot with pro-choice Jane Earll for the other open Superior Court position. In a 65 – 45 split, the rank-and-file state committee members overrode the party leadership and endorsed pro-life Jackie Shogan. Guess what? Both pro-life candidates won!

Despite this history, watch for the PA GOP leadsership to urge a “pro-life / pro-choice balance” in the presidential ticket.

FEDERAL COURT TELLS COACH HE CAN’T BOW HEAD WHEN TEAM PRAYS

After the East Brunswick school board demanded the coach neither bow his head nor kneel when students lead a prayer. He plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Star-Ledger

LIEBERMAN COULD KEYNOTE GOP CONVENTION

The story notes “Appearing before the Republican convention carries some risk for Lieberman. His Democratic colleagues could seek retribution by taking away his gavel on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee next Congress.”

The Hill

IN DEM WORLD, OBAMA UNDAMAGED BY LATEST CONTROVERSY

Democrats don’t seem to care that Obama finds small town people racist and bitter while treating their religion with distain. (Gallup)

Hillary still holds a solid lead in Pennsylvania, though the polls vary quite a bit. (RealClearPolitics)

From Hugh Hewitt: Crying won't work. Bill cannot help. To win, Hillary has to do the unthinkable: She has to be brutally honest with the voters about just how unelectable Obama is. Does she have it in her? (Townhall)

And while an Obama ad rips Hillary for ties to lobbyists (Washington Times) he has ties of his own. (USA Today)

The Pope & The President: Live from The White House

The pageantry. The president. The pope. It was an electric, historical morning on the White House lawn. Here’s a brief montage of some of the music and some of the comments offered today by President Bush and Pope Benedict, who received a special greeting in honor of his 81st birthday.

Listen Here


Reauthorizing AIDS program is good foreign policy

By: Rick Santorum

Mission: Impossible” — that’s what many called the effort to combat HIV/AIDS internationally five years ago. They had good reason. Two-thirds of those infected with HIV were in Africa, and the virus was ravaging a continent that was already a “perfect storm” of health and development woes. I’m proud to have worked on the original President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief legislation. Five years later, I’m happy to report that this ongoing mission proved far from impossible. I’m also happy to report that, in a rare expression of bipartisan unity, the House recently reauthorized PEPFAR.

I urge my former Senate colleagues, especially my fellow conservative Republicans, not to drag their feet and jeopardize the program’s reauthorization in this Congress. Delay is not the friend of those suffering abroad or, in fact, of our own nation’s health.

PEPFAR constitutes the largest international health initiative any nation has ever undertaken against a single disease. The progress has been remarkable. As a result of the program’s support for anti-retroviral treatment, more than 1.3 million people in Africa who would otherwise be dead or dying are alive today.

Some balk at PEPFAR’s $50 billion price tag, but this may be some of the best money Congress can spend. It not only addresses a grave humanitarian crisis, it helps protect our nation.

Last November, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made a case for the strategic importance of “soft power” in the war against Islamic fascism. “For all of those brave men and women struggling for a better life, there is — and must be — no stronger ally or advocate than the United States,” he said at Kansas State University. “Let us never forget that our nation remains a beacon of light for those in dark places. And that our responsibilities to the world are not a burden on the people or the soul of this nation. They are, rather, a blessing.”

There’s no better proof of Gates’ hard-nosed case for “soft power” than PEPFAR. By supporting effective methods of prevention of mother-to-child transmission, the program has already kept more than 150,000 children from being born with HIV. Each U.S. dollar spent — and each child — has been a blessing, and these blessings translate into global goodwill.

A 2006 Pew Foundation study found a direct correlation between U.S. aid in response to Indonesia’s tsunami and support for U.S. efforts in the war against radical Islamists. In 2002, 61 percent of Indonesians held a favorable view of the United States. That fell to 15 percent following the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. When Pew next surveyed Indonesia in 2005, however, America’s favorable rating bounced back up to 38 percent. The increase, Pew concludes, was “due in large part to the aid provided by the U.S. after the December 2004 tsunami.”

This is soft power, and it is critical in our difficult times. As Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has said, PEPFAR “strengthens our national security” because AIDS is “destabilizing governments and societies” in whole regions of the world.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, funding since 2001 for military operations and other war-related activities in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the struggle against terrorism will total $752 billion. As Gates suggested, investments in “soft power” — such as PEPFAR — play no less vital a role in our war on terror.

Finally, some of my other former colleagues are concerned with the reauthorization’s focus on social policy. The original PEPFAR legislation protected funding for “Abstinence and Be Faithful” interventions, but that protection has been removed. That’s regrettable, but the fact is that the House and Senate bills would still restore protections to ensure balanced funding for the full range of abstinence-based programs. New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith said the House bill has “balanced funding for sexual transmission prevention, including abstinence.”

The reauthorization actually strengthens the “conscience clause.” It ensures that organizations would not be forced to engage in prevention or treatment methods they object to on moral or religious grounds.
Both bills also maintain existing provisions that bar PEPFAR funds from being used to advocate the legalization of prostitution. They must also certify they have policies opposing prostitution and sex trafficking. Finally, the bills have deleted references in earlier drafts to family planning as a means of HIV prevention and language that could possibly authorize the use of funds for family planning.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) told the House that the PEPFAR reauthorization ensures that this foreign aid is administered under “historic, pro-life guidelines” and “vital pro-family provisions.”

Yes, $50 billion is big money. But PEPFAR is now a big part of our foreign policy. It offers people hope instead of hopelessness. It shows the world our heart and that America is a blessing to the oppressed and suffering across the globe. And it needs reauthorizing now.

Joint Statement of The United States and Holy See

The following statement is released by The White House:

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and President George W. Bush met today in the Oval Office of the White House.

President Bush, on behalf of all Americans, welcomed the Holy Father, wished him a happy birthday, and thanked him for the spiritual and moral guidance, which he offers to the whole human family. The President wished the Pope every success in his Apostolic Journey and in his address at the United Nations, and expressed appreciation for the Pope's upcoming visit to "Ground Zero" in New York.

During their meeting, the Holy Father and the President discussed a number of topics of common interest to the Holy See and the United States of America, including moral and religious considerations to which both parties are committed: the respect of the dignity of the human person; the defense and promotion of life, matrimony and the family; the education of future generations; human rights and religious freedom; sustainable development and the struggle against poverty and pandemics, especially in Africa. In regard to the latter, the Holy Father welcomed the United States' substantial financial contributions in this area. The two reaffirmed their total rejection of terrorism as well as the manipulation of religion to justify immoral and violent acts against innocents. They further touched on the need to confront terrorism with appropriate means that respect the human person and his or her rights.

The Holy Father and the President devoted considerable time in their discussions to the Middle East, in particular resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict in line with the vision of two states living side- by-side in peace and security, their mutual support for the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon, and their common concern for the situation in Iraq and particularly the precarious state of Christian communities there and elsewhere in the region. The Holy Father and the President expressed hope for an end to violence and for a prompt and comprehensive solution to the crises which afflict the region.

The Holy Father and the President also considered the situation in Latin America with reference, among other matters, to immigrants, and the need for a coordinated policy regarding immigration, especially their humane treatment and the well being of their families.

Specter's Hodgkin's Disease Reappears

From the story: Sen. Arlen Specter, who beat Hodgkin's disease in 2005, yesterday revealed that the cancer has returned.

Mr. Specter, Pennsylvania's senior senator, said he has been advised that he will be able to continue to perform all the duties of his office, and the five-term Republican vowed that he will proceed in his pursuit of a sixth term in 2010, performing all the activities associated with a re-election campaign. Read more…

Senator Specter will be 80 years old in 2010. Although I strongly disagree with his positions, he is a fighter, and is one of the few people who can fight cancer and still run an aggressive schedule at his age. Hopefully this early diagnosis will lead to a full recovery.