Two news items from the Vatican criticizing Obama for his anti-Life executive orders.
My prayer is the Vatican keeps up the good work and keeps up the pressure.
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I thought the Democrats believed the financial implosion was caused by arrogant and greedy men who thought the rules didn’t apply to them because they were so important. I guess they didn’t mean it.
Britain to Follow Netherlands Soon?
In an astonishing display of cowardice and contempt for freedom of expression, the London School of Economics has banned the tastefully-named Douglas Murray from chairing a debate on Islam tonight, citing "security concerns." Douglas, no relation, runs the Centre for Social Cohesion in London (a much better group than its name might suggest). Alex Singleton and Damian Thompson have more.
Shocking news that federal bailout dollars were channeled, in part, according to the preferences of such notables as Rep. Barney Frank.
Bankers, regulators and politicians complain of a secretive and opaque process for deciding which banks get cash and which don't. The goal of aiding only banks healthy enough to lend -- laid out by the Treasury when the program began -- clearly seems to have shifted, but in a way that's hard to pin down and that the Treasury has declined to explain. Part of the problem is that some powerful politicians have used their leverage to try to direct federal millions toward banks in their home states.
"It's totally arbitrary," says South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. "If you've got the right lobbyist and the right representative connected to Washington or the right ties to Washington, you get the golden tap on the shoulder," says Gov. Sanford, a Republican.
Several Ohio banks received funds after Ohio's congressional delegation complained bitterly about the treatment of Cleveland-based National City Corp., which regulators forced into a merger rather than provide with cash. And in Alabama, the state's top banking official says a windfall there -- five banks are slated to receive funds -- is testament to the influence of two powerful Alabama lawmakers who sit on key congressional committees.
Restoring Science to Its Rightful Place [Iain Murray]
How convenient that just after the inauguration, we discover that Antarctica has been warming after all? Or has it? How did the climate scientists discover this? Well, they literally made the data up (in scientific terms "used satellite data and mathematical formulas to fill in missing information"). As noted global warming alarmist, Kevin Trenberth, says of this study, "I have to say I remain somewhat skeptical. It is hard to make data where none exist." Moreover, even if Antarctica has been warming since the 1950s—and there is no way to know for sure—this study shows it has been cooling since the 1990s.
More on this from Chris Horner over on Planet Gore, Marc Morano at the Senate EPW minority staff, and Roger Pielke Jr., who notes how just about anything is "consistent with" global warming.
In 2001, during the confirmation of John Ashcroft to be attorney general, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee forced a one-week delay in the committee's vote on Ashcroft, saying there had not been enough time to answer all the questions about the nomination. On January 24, 2001, the Washington Post reported the story under the following headline:
Vote On Ashcroft Is Delayed A Week; Democrats Cite Need for More Review
Yesterday, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee did precisely the same thing for the nomination of Eric Holder to be attorney general. Today, the Washington Post is reporting the story under the following headline:
Republicans Obstruct Holder's Path to Justice Department
My grandmother helped shape my worldview. She used to tell my brother and me, "We're sending you out into the world. You're going to meet four types of people - hold-outs, sold-outs, drop-outs and all-outs."
The hold-outs, she said, are the self-doubters - they always have low expectations. The sold-outs would rather exploit humanity than enhance it. The drop-outs don't understand that the human condition, the human struggle, is sometimes painful. They don't understand that you have to go through the thunder and the lightning and the clouds and the overcast days to reach the sunshine. So they find an escape, whether it's alcoholism, drug addiction or watching soap operas all day.
The all-outs, she said, are just ordinary folk who give you 100 percent. They're not sprinters, but long-distance runners.
Obama - the president we inaugurate today - is a testimony to all the ordinary long-distance runners in America's 232-year history.
“It is time to reawaken this industrial giant. . . . And as we renew ourselves here in our own land, we will be seen as having greater strength throughout the world. We will again be the exemplar of freedom and a beacon of hope for those who do not now have freedom.”
“We are not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope...
“Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors... We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free.”
A Muslim scholar chosen to speak at President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural prayer service Wednesday is the leader of a group that federal prosecutors say has ties to terrorists.
Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America, is one of many religious leaders scheduled to speak at the prayer service at Washington's National Cathedral.
What is the Practical Impact of FOCA?
In elevating abortion to a fundamental right, FOCA poses an undeniable and irreparable danger to common-sense laws supported by a majority of Americans. Among the more than 550 federal and state laws that FOCA would nullify are:
- Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003
- Hyde Amendment (restricting taxpayer funding of abortions)
- Restrictions on abortions performed at military hospitals
- Legal protections for Catholic and other religiously-affiliated hospitals who, while providing care to millions of poor and uninsured Americans, refuse to allow abortions within their facilities
- Restrictions on insurance coverage for abortion for federal employees
- State and federal legal protections for individual healthcare providers who decline to participate in abortions
- Informed consent laws
- Waiting periods
- Limits on the use of public facilities (such has public hospitals and medical schools at state universities) for abortions
- Parental consent and notification laws
- Health and safety regulations for abortion clinics
- Requirements that licensed physicians perform abortions
- “Delayed enforcement” laws (banning abortion when Roe v. Wade is overturned and/or the authority to restrict abortion is returned to the states)
- Bans on partial-birth abortion
- Limits on public funding for elective abortions (thus, making American taxpayers fund a procedure that many find morally objectionable)
- Bans on abortion after viability. FOCA’s apparent attempt to limit post-viability abortions is illusory. Under FOCA, post-viability abortions are expressly permitted to protect the woman’s “health.” Within the context of abortion, “health” has been interpreted so broadly that FOCA would not actually proscribe any abortion before or after viability.
Notably, pro-abortion groups do not deny FOCA’s draconian impact. For example, Planned Parenthood has explained, "FOCA will supercede anti-choice laws that restrict the right to choose, including laws that prohibit the public funding of abortions for poor women or counseling and referrals for abortions. Additionally, FOCA will prohibit onerous restrictions on a woman's right to choose, such as mandated delays and targeted and medically unnecessary regulations."