Are You Listening Madame Speaker?

Friday, January 15, AD 2010

Archbishop George H. Niederauer of San Francisco addressed on January 13, 2010 a free will defense of abortion by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House:

In a recent interview with Eleanor Clift in Newsweek magazine (Dec. 21, 2009), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked about her disagreements with the United States Catholic bishops concerning Church teaching. Speaker Pelosi replied, in part: “I practically mourn this difference of opinion because I feel what I was raised to believe is consistent with what I profess, and that we are all endowed with a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions. And that women should have the opportunity to exercise their free will.”

Embodied in that statement are some fundamental misconceptions about Catholic teaching on human freedom. These misconceptions are widespread both within the Catholic community and beyond. For this reason I believe it is important for me as Archbishop of San Francisco to make clear what the Catholic Church teaches about free will, conscience, and moral choice.

Catholic teaching on free will recognizes that God has given men and women the capacity to choose good or evil in their lives. The bishops at the Second Vatican Council declared that the human person, endowed with freedom, is “an outstanding manifestation of the divine image.” (Gaudium et Spes, No. 17) As the parable of the Grand Inquisitor in Dostoevsky’s novel, The Brothers Karamazov, makes so beautifully clear, God did not want humanity to be mere automatons, but to have the dignity of freedom, even recognizing that with that freedom comes the cost of many evil choices.

Continue reading...

5 Responses to Are You Listening Madame Speaker?

  • So what next? Nice statement and all, but what hapens, in the highly probable event that this goes in one Pelosi’s ear and out the other (there being nothing in between to catch it)? What will he do when she comes back with some form of I politely disagree but must follow my own reason and conscience which tells me campaign fund– I mean, a women’s right to choose, is an inviolable right necessary for her dignity?

  • To answer the question posed by the title of this post: No.

  • What a great statement by the bishop! And thanks for posting it in its entirety, Donald.

  • Thank you Pinky!

  • Even though Speaker Pelosi may not take the archbishops instruction, this is a positive sign that many bishops in America are finally defending life in a public manner in the correct circumstances.

    Especially from this archbishop who is breaking the stereotype of a “personally orthodox” but “episcopally lax” mold a la Archbishop Wuerl of Washington DC.

"I agree with the Church in principle, but …"

Friday, January 8, AD 2010

Last week I posted a reaction to House Speaker Pelosi’s interview in Newsweek (cross-posted to First Things‘ “First Thoughts”). Perusing the comments, I discovered that the author of No Hidden Magenta — a blog with the daunting task of “bridging the gap between ‘Red and Blue State’ groupthink” — has responded with fury and dismay:

At least one reason why neither the Pope nor the Archbishop have denied Pelosi Holy Communion–despite having ample opportunity to do so–is because prudential judgments about how best to reflect a moral principle in public policy involved technical considerations of practical reason that do not go to the heart of what it means to be a Roman Catholic; in other words, they are not about the central value at stake. If Speaker Pelosi believes that abortion is a positive good that should be promoted by the state (rather than as a privacy right for all women) that is one thing (and her recent actions with regard to Stupak suggest that she doesn’t think this), but there are any number of good reasons for supporting less-than-perfect public policy as she claims to be doing in trying to reduce the number of abortions while not supporting an abortion ban. …

Now, we can and should have debate about this question–and I think Pelosi is profoundly mistaken in her position on public policy–but let’s be clear: both the Pope and her Archbishop do not think such a position puts her status as a Roman Catholic or as a communicant in jeopardy. And those who think it does would do well to follow their example in distinguishing between ‘moral principle’ and ‘public policy.’

I’m relieved that the author believes Pelosi is “profoundly mistaken” in her position on public policy. I’m less convinced, however, that “the Pope and her Archbishop do not think such a position puts her status as a Roman Catholic or as a communicant in jeopardy”, and the author’s explanation for why they allegedly do not think so.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to "I agree with the Church in principle, but …"

  • How could anyone say she accepts Church teaching on the matter?

    Pelosi: “I would say that as an ardent practicing Catholic this is an issue that I have studied for a long time, and what I know is over the centuries the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition. And St. Augustine said three months. We don’t know. The point is it that it shouldn’t have an impact on a woman’s right to chose.”

    Aside from her deficient understanding of Augustine and the Church(speaking as charitably as possible), she still negates her argument by the last line. “A women’s right to choose [killing her unborn child]” is not a Catholic concept and is clearly at odds with the Church (including Augustine and the other Doctors – not to mention that the Doctors aren’t the Magesterium either).

    Many bishops published corrections of Pelosi’s transparent theological hack job and there is nothing to indicate she was persuaded.

  • There may be several ways to exercise prudential judgment on how best to reflect the principle that abortion is evil in a specific public policy. But proposing and voting for legislation to keep it legal at all stages for any reason, refusing others to exercise their own conscience in opposing it, and getting it publicly funded ain’t one of them.

  • Public policy is crouched in the public good and unity. The good for the public could mean a need for euthanasia. We see these ideas put forth in the heathcare debate. Some illness are way too expensive at the end of life. So Ms Pelosi is saying she can separate ethical and moral discernment when it envolves public policy. What upsets me is that her ideas confuse her own beliefs in principle and she tell us we should follow her way.

  • W Posh,

    The public (common) good does not call for a moral evil. Euthanasia is such and is not consistent with the common good.

    Now it will in fact be that there will need to be limits on health care. Individuals will disagree with what should be covered for all and what some may pay for out of their own resources. These distinctions can be in concordance with the common good. But setting those limits is different that actively seeking to kill a person.

  • Pelosi, and others seem to be trying to justify themselves into Heaven. Isn’t this whole piece about relativism? 2 + 2 = 4, for ever and always – that’s a truth. God issued a COMMANDMENT, not a suggestion, which states (as near as we can tell) “thou shalt not murder” – that’s also a truth. No matter when you think life begins, if you plan and act to cause that life to cease, then you have committed a grave ( we used to use the more descriptive term “MORTAL”) sin. It doesn’t matter what your religion, it is STILL a Mortal Sin.

    Remember, God created us with free will. In the Garden, we exercised that free will, and turned our backs on God, chosing to follow the creator of lies. Why do we STILL follow those who justify their lies to us? At the end of our lives, and for all time, we will be in Heaven or Hell, Forever.

  • I agree with you marvin the only reason they changed the name to grave is people thought that mortal was to harsh… why is that so hard? dont like it? then don’t sin..

Why is Cardinal George Silent about Abortion in the Current Health Care Bill?

Monday, January 4, AD 2010

When Cardinal George requested that pro-life Republicans vote for the Stupak amendment to the health care bill, he was shaming conservative American legislators that they need to stand up for what they claim in public.  Cardinal George discounted reasonable Republican objections  that this was just a ploy by Nancy Pelosi to get pro-life Democrats on board knowing full well that all pro-life language would be stripped in the joint chambers conference committee.

Was Cardinal George this naive to fall for this parliamentary trick?  Can we assume he isn’t this naive?

No, Cardinal George is not this naive because why would the Vatican choose him to lead a diocese?  The Vatican certainly takes its time to make wise and knowledgeable decisions don’t they?  The Holy Spirit guides them in their work, granted that this is done primarily through the teachings of the Church.  Though we can be reasonable enough knowing that the Vatican wouldn’t choose someone who is incompetent to be a shepherd to his flock.

Continue reading...

29 Responses to Why is Cardinal George Silent about Abortion in the Current Health Care Bill?

  • Well, this is no excuse for the Cardinal — but the Republicans who thought about not voting for Stupak were acting on a consequentialist impulse. For all they knew, Pelosi could have had the votes and by their miscalculation, a bill with Capps language could have left the chamber when it could have gone differently.

    You don’t vote “present” and leave the unborn undefended on the presumption that such a provision would be stripped from the final bill. That’s consequentialism. You vote for the provision because it is the morally right thing to do regardless of the circumstances. I agree with the Cardinal because the GOP was behaving according to a moral theory (one that they tend to follow a lot in my view) that is deeply flawed.

    The fact that the Cardinal has not used his position to make statements toward members of the opposite party is open and free for criticism.

    I just don’t think the Republican objections were reasonable — it was a strategy to fight the health care legislation by any means, to the point of compromising basic ethics.

  • Moreover the writer you cite — whose views obviously differ from my own — far from just being partisan in his presenation, which I have no qualms with per se, but it is obviously clear he has not done his homework.

    http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=99578

    Last I checked, the USCCB has not endorsed the final passage of the health care reform legislation. Actually, the opposite is true.

  • But I do believe the GOP was right to vote against it. The Dems simply didn’t have the votes to begin with. They went against their better judgment, but got out-foxed by Cardinal George.

  • Eric,

    I know the opposite is true, but why the silence on behalf of Cardinal George?

    What will the USCCB do if the bill passes with abortion being funded by the federal government? Will they oppose that one particular premise yet hail the rest of the bill as “good” for America? Splitting the difference, but compromising their moral authority and hence cause a scandal to the whole Church?

  • Well, I will maintain my civil disagreement. I think such a position incorrectly applies natural law norms. In fact, the angered response of pro-life organizations at the news of the GOP helping a pro-life measure sink was quite appropriate.

    The Democrats did not appear to have the votes, sure. But what if for some reason they did? And we did not forsee it? Who forsaw even after the legislation passed in the House that it would survive the Senate hurdle?

    I agree entirely with Represenative Pitts who after the legislation passed, together with pro-life House Democrats and Republicans, reiterated you do not play politics with human life. The unborn should not be subjected to some consequentialist political gamble to stop legislation that one opposes. You vote for the unborn and do everything within the restraints of the moral law to stop bad legislation. I think to act otherwise amounts to moral compromise.

  • Thanks for being civil!

    🙂

  • I have no idea. I’m not speaking in favor of Cardinal George. I am sometimes disheartened because I believe Republicans get a “pass” from pro-life Catholics often because of their opposition to abortion. So, I sometimes see such a thing as “finally.” On the other hand, when it stops for the other side that is problematic — we cannot have a double-standard, which is the very thing I oppose. So I am not defending the Cardinal in that regard — only in his initial criticism.

    The USCCB will surely speak out against the bill. I think they would actively in the Midterm elections advocate that Catholics be conscious of candidates’ position on that issue.

    If anything, the USCCB — if happy with the other provisions in the legislation — would only want the abortion language changed. In other words, roll back the abortion funding only.

  • wow, excellent post. Very revealing..and sad at the same time. If our Catholic leaders don’t stand up for the unborn, who will?

  • Eric,

    I’m with you on that.

    Though the USCCB has criticized the current bill in the Senate, so they deserve that recognition.

    I’m waiting to see the final outcome and see how they respond.

  • Chicago political blogger Tom Roeser has long asserted that the Archdiocese of Chicago is for all practical purposes a subsidiary of the Cook County Democratic Party (which he refers to as “The Squid”). Perhaps that would explain why Cardinal George saves his criticism for Republicans?

    Roeser is a very conservative Catholic (politically and liturgically) and I don’t always agree with everything he says, but he may be onto something here. Here is a recent post by him on this topic:

    http://www.tomroeser.com/blogview.asp?blogID=25127

    I note that the two staunchly pro-life auxiliary bishops he names as having voted in the Republican primary are the two most often mentioned as prospective candidates for just about every episcopal vacancy that has come up in the last few years….

  • Eric,

    I agree that one can never vote for the creation or increase of abortion funding. Moral prohibitions bind, as the latin says, semper et pro semper. But must one always vote against such funding, if one can absent oneself from voting at all? Moral exhortations don’t bind the way prohibitions do. You can never steal, but you can refrain from making a contribution to the poor at times. You can never contracept, but you don’t have to be trying to get pregnant at every moment.

    You raise an important point, and I think it’s worth discussing.

  • Strategically, the Republicans should have voted against the amendmendment. However, the bill passing without the amendment would have placed them in an ethical dilemma and I can see whey they voted for it.

    My outrage is at Pelosi and the top Democrats for using the abortion issue as a bargaining tool to pass healthcare legislation. The bishops should be more outspoken about this point.

  • I don’t see the problem. The bishops opposed the House’s expansion of abortion, and the pro-life congressmen voted against it (actually, voted in favor of the Stupak Amendment which blocked it). The bishops again opposed it in the Senate, and were unsuccessful. When the final bill comes to Congress, if it increases abortion, the bishops (and, I hope, a sufficient number of congressmen) will oppose it.

    It’s not the bishops’ duty to anticipate political maneuvers. Indeed, if the bishops denounced the Stupak Amendment on the suspicion that it would be dropped in conference, that would only weaken their voices. They’ve been clear: nay on abortion coverage.

  • Where is it written that the bishops’ consciences must be represented by the USCCB? If every bishop wrote to the representatives and senators from his district and spoke to the people of his diocese, that would certainly have more effect than the words of the [arch]bishop of Chicago. As Abp. Chaput put it neatly “bishops should not be speaking to politicians. They should be speaking to their flock and the flock speaking to the politicians”.

    Cardinal George is not a sort of American pope.

    The problem, I suppose, is that our bishops have lost much of their credibility with the sheep because of the cover-ups in the sex scandals.

    As far as morality goes, it is the personal effort that counts with Our Lord, not indirect government roles. [“I gave at the office”]. Such problems are best solved locally and one by one.

  • Gabriel,

    I am pointing out he hypocrisy of Cardinal George’s actions, or non-actions.

    I don’t have any respect, nor do I recognize the legitimacy of the USCCB.

    I agree though that if the bishops would act more like ‘bishops’ rather than being someone’s friend or a Democratic Party groupie, they would gain the trust and respect of the laity and this country would be in a much better shape than it is now.

  • Lest anyone forget the USCCB sent out flyers to parishes across the country urging parishioners to oppose any healthcare plan that included abortion coverage.

    As Eric and other posters have also pointed out, the Bishops have been adamant about Stupak being included in the bill; this is as far as they have gone, and, frankly, is about as far as they can (and probably should) go, politically speaking. Questions about the intricacies of actual healthcare policy (will a public option work or not, etc.) are not “do or die” moral questions like abortion and euthanasia, but fall to the expertise of individual politicians to decide. It is best for the USCCB to remain nuetral on such matters while insisting that the allowance of any moral evil in the bill (abortions, etc.) impels a legislator to vote against it – which is exactly what they’ve been doing!

    Where is their any proof that Cardinal George is either for or against the House healthcare bill as passed? This article has nothing but speculation – where are the words of C. George himself that imply he supports the Pelosi bill? Did he ask parishioners to unconditionally support a bill that included the Stupak amendment? No. He merely asked that the lives of babies and their mothers take priority over political victories – hence the strong support for Stupak. Eric, Pinky, and Rep. Pitts are right. To vote “no” on Stupak as an amendment is to vote against the unborn – it’s placing a potential political victory ahead of the lives of the unborn.

    I have personally congratulated many people in the Chicago Archdiocese who worked with the Cardinal on this and I asked them to forward my accolades and gratitude to him. I find his actions to be heroic, not cowardly – partisan shill C. George is not, and this article is at best misinformed, at worst a calumny.

  • Andy K.,

    It’s interesting that you accuse me of speculation.

    I made a concerted effort to only report the facts, withholding my opinion.

    He was vociferous in demanding pro-life Republicans vote for the health care amendment, though he is dead silent when it gets revised in the Senate.

    And yes, you are correct, Cardinal George has been conspicuously silent about the bill.

    My speculations are reserved for the commbox. And I will only say he has continued to do nothing at all.

    And having the USCCB send out flyers is not the role of a bishop, ie, hide behind a bureaucratic organization.

    Where are our shepherds?

    Where is our Saint Ambrose?

  • Tito’s final question reminds me that we need to be *praying* for courageous bishops. Frankly, I think that’s the most effective avenue available to the vast majority of us.

  • Chris B.,

    I wish I could have said that.

    You’re right, lets pray for our bishops.

  • I’m with Eric and the Stupakites on this one. It’s hard to say what the result of trying to play it strategically would have been, but gutting the bill of a clearly-worded rejection of abortion would have been a recognized defeat for life.

  • These so-called health care bills are so horrible and anti-Christian and anti-American that abortion is not the only reason to oppose and destroy them. Since abortion is an intrinsically evil act it must be opposed no matter what political ploys are being used.

    To be in favor of these monstrosities is to discount the massive evil perpetrated by every government that has ever entered into this arena. It is foolish to think the National (oh, how I wish it were actually federal and respected subsidiarity) government we are burdened with will be any less evil.

    Cardinal George needs our prayers and it is prudential for us to ask our own bishop to condemn these bills with the politicians he shepherds. Cardinal George is one bishop he is not he bishop of the USA. The USCCB is useless organization.

  • I’m sorry, but this post is ridiculous.

    I don’t have any respect, nor do I recognize the legitimacy of the USCCB.

    OK? So? Good thing for Holy Church that Tito Edwards or Ryan Haber (me), despite all we know, aren’t heads over the Catholic Church.

    The simple fact is, as Eric pointed out, that to vote “present” on the Stupak Amendment would be a reprehensible parliamentarism worthy of our esteemed president. A rep can vote YES on Stupak and then NO on the final bill. That’s no problem, and no contradiction.

    Why hasn’t Cardinal George spoken out? I don’t know? I don’t have a bat phone to his office. Why does American Catholic seem to be so much more concerned with him than with some other bishop? What’s their deal? What has Cardinal George ever done to aid or abet abortionists? Where’s benefit of the doubt? Where’s Christian charity in interpreting others’ actions?

    Where’s a sense of deference to the men that GOD, not men, has ordained to lead his flock?

    Good grief. I’m gettin’ pretty tired of everybody knowing just how the Catholic Church should be shepherded. It’s really easy to do somebody else’s job. How armchair quarterbacks actually think they are actually helping anybody is entirely beyond me.

  • Ryan,

    Thanks for your charitable comment concerning my post.

    I have no deference to Cardinal George because he is not my shepherd, Cardinal DiNardo and Pope Benedict are my shepherds, but I do have deference to him as a leader of the flock. I hope he understands what his actions look like when he speaks out. He seems more as a vibrant supporter of health care as an ardent Democrat rather than a Catholic concerned for the well being of his flock.

    Plus Cardinal George spoke up, the only one of all the bishops that said anything to cajole the GOP to vote for the Stupak amendment.

    God bless you my brother in Christ,

    Tito

  • withouthaving seen,

    I guess avoiding parlimentarianism is good if the Supak language stays in the final version. The way the bill is being dealt with now I wouldn’t be so sure. And who’s to say that legislation down the road won’t put it in.

    As far as shepharding is concerned, teaching moral principles is properly the role of the bishops, applying it to the world is the proper domain of the laity. I think some criticism of the USCCB and, possibly, Cardinal George is warranted.

  • Lol, Tito, it doesn’t matter if he were the bishop of Timbuktu, he’d still be successor to an apostle and worthy of the respect of the likes me and you!

    I know that Cardinal George, much like the Church in general, gets trashed by all sides. That, in my opinion, wins him the benefit of the doubt from me.

    To clarify, when I wrote “this post is ridiculous,” I did not mean your comment in particular, Tito, but rather the initial article and the whole thread of follow-ups.

    Stupak and a number of others are threatening to kill the bill altogether if they can, rather than let it pass with abortion funding. Remember, reconciliation and closed-door meetings aren’t the final step. The suits on the hill still have to vote again and both houses have to pass it, and I see no reason why it will be a perfunctory vote in the House of Reps, where the Democrat coalition is shaky, to put it mildly.

    Phillip,

    The USSCB might very well need criticism, as might H.E. Francis Card. George. I know far less about their affairs than they do, and if I knew as much, I still would have a hard time seeing how Christ has ordained me to criticize his ordained ministers.

    Ryan Haber
    Kensington, Maryland

  • Ryan,

    Thanks for the clarification 🙂

    I was careful to point out what Cardinal George did in the post without offering an opinion.

    I placed my opinion only in the commbox because I still don’t know where Cardinal George’s heart is. Is it with the Democratic Party or is it in the Bride of Christ?

  • withouthavingseen,

    Criticize in a constructive way as the non-ordained Catherine of Sienna did the Avignon pope. Truth is truth. The laity has a better sense of the secular order. If there is a problem that the laity discerns in the prudential judgments of the clergy as relates to the secular order, they are within their licit Catholic rights to criticize those prudential judgments of clergy.

  • Thank you for this good commentary. I have been contemplating some of these questions, too. I have written to my Bishop and the USCCB, but there is only silence. Our Parish has sent out a FAX to all the Bishops with our concerns of the health care reform. To my knowledge, only one Bishop responded to the Fax. I have pondered why there is only a handful of bishops who have spoken on the the Church’s teachings of subsidiarity in regards to the health care bill and government take-over. The Stupak Amendment is not 100% pro-life and there is more than abortions which is very troubling in the House and the Senate health care bills. Should not the Bishops be concerned with all the life issues in the health care reform i.e. abortions, euthanasia, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, rationing, sterilization, teen clinics run by planned parenthood, contraceptions, cloning, or any injustice? Certainly, health care can be improved, but it does not require a government take over with individual mandates and loss of freedoms. Any health care reform should do no harm before doing any good. With all the haste, bribery and lack of transparency, I would certainly think this 2000 page plus health care reform is to be avoided. September 2009 I went to a town-hall meeting and my Congressman said this was not about health care but about government take-over and control. I believe he is right.

  • Pingback: USCCB and John Carr In Denial « The American Catholic

Nancy Pelosi to Bishops on Abortion: I practically mourn this difference of opinion

Wednesday, December 30, AD 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was interviewed in a recent edition of Newsweek, in which she had the opportunity to set the bishops straight on the participation of Catholics in public life.

I think you have had some brushes with [church] hierarchy.

I have some concerns about the church’s position respecting a woman’s right to choose. I have some concerns about the church’s position on gay rights. I am a practicing Catholic, although they’re probably not too happy about that. But it is my faith. I practically mourn this difference of opinion because I feel what I was raised to believe is consistent with what I profess, and that is that we are all endowed with a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions. And that women should have that opportunity to exercise their free will.

Is it difficult for you to reconcile your faith with the role you have in public life?

You know, I had five children in six years. The day I brought my fifth baby home, that week my daughter turned 6. So I appreciate and value all that they want to talk about in terms of family and the rest. When I speak to my archbishop in San Francisco and his role is to try to change my mind on the subject, well then he is exercising his pastoral duty to me as one of his flock. When they call me on the phone here to talk about, or come to see me about an issue, that’s a different story. Then they are advocates, and I am a public official, and I have a different responsibility.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf applies the necessary fisking and muses: “I cannot fathom why she hasn’t been told she must not receive Holy Communion. How much more public scandal does she have to give before the bishops of the places where she resides take concrete action?”

My thoughts exactly. Note that she has already received an admonishment from the Holy See and an invitation to “converse” from San Francisco Archbishop George H. Niederauer.

Continue reading...

11 Responses to Nancy Pelosi to Bishops on Abortion: I practically mourn this difference of opinion

  • Can a person rise to a political position so powerful that Bishops are unable to preform as they should in fear of retaliation? Not just the House Speaker but all so called Catholic politicians. Even after much discussion by the Bishops with these persons, nothing is done other than rarely. . If so, are they not therefore condoning the acts of this person by omission of action, and putting politics ahead of their beliefs.

  • The Lying Worthless Political Hack before breakfast is a bit hard on the digestion. Seeing the look on her face after she is no longer Speaker of the House is all the inducement I need for all of my political activities and donations in the coming year.

  • “When I speak to my archbishop in San Francisco and his role is to try to change my mind on the subject, well then he is exercising his pastoral duty to me as one of his flock.”

    At least she admits that much; which means that she would, logically, also have to admit that he would be within his bounds of “pastoral duty” to bar her from Communion. However this is not likely to happen since Abp. Niederauer seems not to be known for possessing an episcopal spine.

    Pelosi points out that she had five children in 6 years and “appreciates all that they (bishops) want to talk about in terms of family.” Does she bring this up in order to establish some kind of “pro-life” street cred — “Hey, I had lots of kids so I was really pro-life when it counted” — or as a subtle dig at the Church — “I kept myself barefoot and pregnant all those years because the Church demanded it and now look what they are doing to me.”

  • “I practically mourn”? What the heck is that? She does or she doesn’t. It means she doesn’t. What a wretched woman who has shipwrecked her faith.

  • St. Paul in 1st Timothy 1:19-20 shows our Bishops how to deal with this; why won’t they simply just do it?

    “Some, by rejecting conscience, have made a shipwreck of their faith, among them Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.”

  • TDJ Says: “I practically mourn”? What the heck is that?

    It means she mourns… right up to the point where the campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood and the gay brigades come in. Then the sack cloth and ashes turn into singing and dancing. Put another way…

    “I voted against abortion before I voted for it”

  • I echo the comment on Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s post. It is creepy that a woman who has five children is so adamant in supporting abortion.

  • Mrs. Pelosi is quite correct to say that she has free will. It has been the Church’s position since the beginning. It has been only the Church which has defended the free will of women, which is part of their dignity.

    Mrs. Pelosi fails, however, to acknowledge that women may also choose badly. They may talk themselves into hell.

  • Spot on, Gabriel. Pelosi is rated 100% by NARAL. She also voted against the partial birth abortion ban act. How dare Pelosi be a catalyst for the heinous sacrifice of infants when her Savior hung from a scaffold for her sake! She is trampling on the blood of Jesus. I would think she would tremble mightily when she hears the sound of the trumpet. Along with Ben Nelson.

    On a slightly different note, I was glancing through Good Housekeeping Magazine today and happened upon an eye-appealing ad reflecting a pretty American girl named Nina, from Chicago, aged 22, who wasn’t sure which job offer to accept. Contrasted was Wanjiru, 22, from Nairobi, who isn’t sure she can handle her fifth pregnancy. The ad states, “If you lived in a place like Kenya, chances are you’d have little say about when and how many children you’ll have. For these women and girls, life isn’t about choices.” This ad immediately gave me the willies, especially in this particular magazine. Unfamiliar with EngenderHealth, I did a little checking and found out that it was awarded the United Nations Population Award for its contribution to reproductive health care in resource-poor third world countries. I also discovered that EngenderHealth group was formerly the Steirlization League for Human Betterment. The pro-choice movement under the Obama administration has become very audacious in its ad campaigns. “Pro Choice” is simply a fashionable catch-all for eugenics, but since the Nazi regime, it’s uncool to use that terminology. Ironically, our secular world, oblivious to sin, but intent upon Utopia, is creating the very antithesis of a perfect society. They plot evil and they will perish in it. To create a perfect society, we must strive to emulate the sanctity of the Holy Family, and Our Lady, the most perfect of all mothers, is the premier example of every virtue. Perhaps Nancy Pelosi’s five children will pray for her salvation.

  • Oh, I get it. So for the BotoxBiddy it’s “MY will be done.” Not, “THY will be done.”
    Mmmmm ka-ay.

  • Pingback: Archbishop Niederauer instructs Nancy Pelosi on “free will, conscience and moral choice” « The American Catholic

Fiscal Health Care Reform: The Publics Option

Friday, December 11, AD 2009

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama continue to spend, spend, spend away money we don’t have.  With the public option now firmly established in the current Senate version of the health care bill, Election 2010 comes to mind.

Kick the bums out.

I love democracy.

(Biretta Tip: Glenn Foden of NewsBusters)

Continue reading...

13 Responses to Fiscal Health Care Reform: The Publics Option

  • Give me an alternative to Republicans, and I’ll happily comply. Let’s not forget that the borrow-and-spend mantra was begun by Mr Reagan, and continued by both Bushes, especially the last one.

    Lucky thing for the GOP that in our political system, you might be in last place, but you’re never more than one election from ascendancy.

  • Borrow and spend began with Reagan Todd only if Reagan’s name is spelled Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s Depression deficits, not including World War II, peaked at 5.4% of gdp. Obama’s deficit this year was 7.2% gdp. During Reagan and the first Bush the deficits averaged 4.3% gdp. Both parties have done a lousy job since the onset of the Great Depression of balancing tax receipts and spending, with the exception of Eisenhower and for a few of the Clinton years due to the dot.com bubble, and we are all going to be paying a high price for this for a very, very long time.

  • Running a deficit during a war of national mobilization, a banking crisis, or an economic depression is not unreasonable. During nearly all of Mr. Roosevelt’s tenure, the country was either producing below capacity (and had latent unemployment of such a level that public expenditure might actually be ‘stimulating’) or engaged in a war global in scope. Please note, the Roosevelt Administration did make a serious attempt to balance the federal budget in 1937.

    What has been troublesome has been the inability (since 1960) of the political class to balance the federal budget over the course of any one of the seven business cycles which have run their course since that time. We have had a few balanced budgets near business cycle peaks.

    It is not that difficult to manage. You have to fix your expenditure stream at where your revenue stream would be if the economy were producing at mean capacity. They do not do it because they just don’t feel like it.

  • Let’s not forget that the borrow-and-spend mantra was begun by Mr Reagan, and continued by both Bushes, especially the last one.

    Todd, you are of an age to recall that during a period of economic expansion lasting ten years and featuring improvements in real domestic product a mean of 4% per annum, the administration and Congress balanced the budget just once. Name the political party which had majorities in the upper and lower chamber of Congress during that entire period, and held the presidency for eight of those ten years.

  • When was the last time anyone heard of Congress raising our debt limit to aproximately 2 Trillion dollars. With our debt cost apprroaching 50% of our national income, and the new health bill
    and more stimulus spending to come..some thoughs..the
    government takes money from someone, it has none of its own, and giving money to others has to come from those who work for a living. When those who work for a living realize that if they didn’t and then the government would care for them, then what is their incentive to work and that is the begining of any nation to fail..the fact is that you can not mutiple wealth by spending it and dividing it.

  • I should have added that Medicare’s chief actuary states that Medicare under the proposed bill would spend 35.8 Trillion from 2010 to 2019. Wonder where the money is going to come from?

  • “Name the political party …”

    I would love to see national politics turned on its head, and some degree of sanity restored to foreign and economic policies.

    That either major party will effect that change is a vain hope. Given an alternative to an incompetent, lawless GOP, I’d prefer to hold my nose and take my chances with the current status quo. If nothing else, seeing the Republicans whine in defeat is more entertaining than the alternative.

    Seriously, I do think 2010 and 2012 will be an outlet for much anger if the job market doesn’t perk up. The feds borrowing money isn’t news; it’s been SOP for the last three decades. But unemployment is a crusher right now. The federal deficit? That’s just a useful tool for partisans. As of right now, it still means nothing, and either party is as much to blame as the other.

    Now let’s get back to Obama’s one-child policy.

  • I do not think it will be all that amusing if the U.S. Treasury suffers a failed bond sale. When the ratio of public debt to domestic product comes to exceed 0.9, the willingness of participants in the bond market to buy your scraps of paper diminishes considerably. And that won’t mean ‘nothing’.

    Quite a number of us have had occasion to assess what causes you to hold your nose.

    http://amywelborn.typepad.com/openbook/2005/11/settlement_in_s.html

  • Excellent research, Art. With the change in topic to Catholics behaving badly, I’ll accept your concession on my point that major party politics are bad news for economic good sense. I’m really curious about one point. Stocks are up forty-some percent and the Christmas bonuses for bankers are rolling through the economy. Just what is it that the GOP would have done differently? Mr Bush and the Fed starting the bailout to the tune of a third of a trillion last Fall. Would Mr McCain have ended all that?

    Now can we please get back to the secret Muslim/socialist takeover?

  • Stocks are up forty-some percent and the Christmas bonuses for bankers are rolling through the economy. Just what is it that the GOP would have done differently?

    I am not making any concessions, Todd.

    Counter-factual speculation is usually idle.

    Barney Frank was one of the obstacles to implementing debt-for-equity swaps to recapitalize the bulge bracket banks and in general casino bankers like Robert Rubin have more intimate relations with the elites of the Democratic Party; however, it is true that debt-for-equity swaps for these institutions and for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were also rejected for obscure reasons by Mr. Paulson and his camarilla.

    I have a suspicion a Republican Congress and Administration would have told the United Auto Workers to pound sand. They’d have had to accept a pre-packaged legislated re-organization or the corporations would have had to trudge through the standard proceedings of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, not to mention the ministrations of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. It would have been a good deal less sweet for General Motors’ legatees.

    As for the stimulus, by what accounts have appeared in the newspapers, it appears to have been an omnibus of programs Democratic members of Congress have had on their wish lists for some years. A Republican Congress and Administration would likely have preferred a legislated tax cut.

    There is quite a bit of dispute between economists as to the actual value of the multipliers associated with public expenditure in these circumstances, which is to say a dispute about the degree to which public spending crowds out private spending (one macroeconomist who has written on the subject has said recently that crowding out vitiates the effect of public spending so long as unemployment rates are below 12%). A suspension of payroll tax collections could have been implemented rapidly and would have dispensed a disproportionate share of its largesse to the segment of the population with the highest propensity to consumption, thus having the most impact toward the goal of maintaining aggregate demand. There was the anxiety that the demand for real balances was so intense last year that such would simply be added to people’s stock of cash reserves. The results of monetary policy innovation since then indicate that that concern was misplaced. I do not think the Republican caucus would have favored a payroll tax cut over an income tax cut.

    I think the Republicans, given a free hand, might have put the kibosh on scheduled increases in the minimum wage. The labor market would be in less parlous condition for a’ that.

    The Republicans likely would not have pissed away valuable time on a tar baby like Mr. Obama’s medical insurance proposal.

    I have no clue about what sort of mortgage modification plan might have been drawn up by a Republican Administration.

    So, we did not get debt-for-equity swaps, we got fleeced by the United Auto Workers, the Democratic Party got to do $787 bn in favors for their friends, we priced a good many low wage workers out of the market, we were saddled with a means-tested mortgage modification program that encouraged people to restrict their earnings, and we have had no action as yet on a revised architecture for the banking system or a general plan for working out underwater mortgages because Congress has wasted so much time debating a non-acute problem. It is possible that a Republican Congress and Administration could have done a worse job. It is also possible that I am Marie of Roumania.

  • “It is possible that a Republican Congress and Administration could have done a worse job. It is also possible that I am Marie of Roumania.”

    Ouch! Give it up Todd! You are batting way out of your league with Art. (When it comes to economics, so would I if I tangled with Art!)

  • No, president is can solve these problems. There is more going on behind the scene that we can’t see. Why don’t movie stars like Oprah and Jolie and many other people in the US try to help but stand and watch our country go down and stand before the camera with six kids from all around the world. Im sorry Oprah im black and I may just have to mail her. Why do people from out of the country get free education but not homeless vets? Or just homeless people?. And Obama is making it worse sending troops because he just gonna piss off those people and that’s the last thing we need here in America along with a race war. America is fake, why would anyone believe any presedent. Denmark, France are happy countries with healthcare but they pay a lot in taxes, not many people want to do that in America. America is not use to change. Change is easier for an eastern countries philosophy speaking.

  • “I am not making any concessions, Todd.”

    Then on the next thread we find ourselves conversing, I suggest you stick to your expertise, as Donald terms it, and set aside the desperate historical research.

Adios Heretics, Hello Orthodoxy!

Wednesday, December 2, AD 2009

With the recent scandals rocking the Catholic Church here in America as in President Obama receiving an honorary degree at the University of Notre Shame to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claiming that abortion is an open-ended issue in the Church, we have seen a reemergence of ecclesial leadership on behalf of our shepherds.  Many bishops have awoken to the fact that being “pastoral[1]” has been a remarkable failure in resolving the deviancy emanating from Catholics and Catholic institutions.

The upsurge of young adults rediscovering their faith to the excellent parenting of Catholic families in raising fine orthodox Christian children, we have seen what is only the beginning of a Catholic renaissance here in America.  And let us not forgot the ever faithful cradle Catholics among us that have contributed in keeping the faith in the tumult arising from the Second Vatican Council to today.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to Adios Heretics, Hello Orthodoxy!

  • Gates are not an offensive construct, they are purely defensive.

    It seems to me that Hell’s defenses are weak and rather than sit back and hold off Satan’s attack we should be taking the offensive. Christ has assured us that if we attack Hell’s gates, they cannot prevail against us.

    How do we attack Hell? We must seek virtue.

    Thanks for posting this. Will our orthodoxy increase the attacks against us individually in spiritual warfare? I don’t know about you, but the current situation, both in the Church and the secualr world; think more and more Tridentine Masses and mantillas as well as Tea Party Protests, is pusing more and more of us to conservatism and orthodoxy. Will that cause a step up in demonic attacks – it sure feels that way.

    Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio. . .

  • I wouldn’t have said “Goodbye, Liberals” as the title to Michael Voris piece, but “Goodbye, Heretics” which is more accurate in my opinion.

  • It sure is inspiring to see young people be proud of their faith. When my 16 year old daughter came back from an A.C.T.S. retreat, she inspired me to be closer to Jesus and proud to be Catholic. I was supposed to teach her and she ended up teaching me.

  • protestantism=institutionalized dissent….it also bleeds into Holy Mother Church members as well unfortunately.

  • Diane,

    I agree on some levels. It’ll be a generation or so until most (unfortunately not all) dissidents and heretics leave or are purged form Holy Mother Church.

    Ora pro nobis!

Pro-Life Republicans

Sunday, November 8, AD 2009

pro-life gopLast night all but one, who voted present, of the House Republicans voted in favor of the Stupak Amendment in spite of knowing that its passage made likely the final passage of ObamaCare.  Here is a statement of the House Republican Leadership issued last night before either the Stupak amendment or ObamaCare was passed:

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) issued the following statement in support of an amendment offered by Representatives Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA) that would prohibit federal funding of abortions under the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) health care plan: “We believe in the sanctity of life, and the Stupak-Pitts Amendment addresses a moral issue of the utmost concern. It will limit abortion in the United States. Because of this, while we strongly and deeply oppose the underlying bill, we decided to stand with Life and support Stupak-Pitts.

Continue reading...

43 Responses to Pro-Life Republicans

  • It is an easy decision when you are genuinely pro-life; however, political pragmatism would be very tempting in this situation. It must have been difficult to know that you are voting to create the climate that will pass the Obamanation assault on health care.

    Nevertheless, we may credit them with taking the correct moral stance and pray for the Senate to kill the bill.

    What the heck is with Cao? Is he another Dede?

  • Cao is very liberal for a Republican but also absolutely pro-life. I am sure no political calculation entered into his head and that he voted for ObamaCare simply because he thought it was the right thing to do, especially since he probably assumes he isn’t coming back to Congress no matter what he does. He was elected from an intensely Democrat district in New Orleans simply because his opponent is a crook and it would take a major political miracle for him to win re-election.

  • They receive it from me, Don. I really was expecting a “present” vote from them, to assure the defeat of the health care bill… but they really surprised me. My hat is off to them.

  • I have been struggling with this all night. Keep in mind I am no a Republican and I think over the years they have done much damage to the cause of liberty. I also find many to pander to religion and actually employ political pragmatism.

    Part of me wants to be mad at them for giving the Demoncrats cover to pass this monstrosity. Stupak will likely be removed or the rules developed in darkness, behind closed doors by unelected officials will create a work around to kill babies. Nevertheless, we are to always pray, “Fiat voluntus tua” – Thy Will be done. We have to trust God and even if some Republicans voted for this ammendment knowing that it would allow the assualt on health care to pass and perhaps just to fool us into voting for them in 2010 – it is still a principled victory.

    Life is the most precious gift and all other rights, both human and civil are derived from the right to life. The defense of life has been marginalized so much, even by Christians, perhaps especially by Catholics. I am so sick of being called a one-issue voter – I am not, neither are most pro-lifers I know. It is the primary issue and that cannot be avoided no matter how severe the mental gymnastics employed may be. So long as killing the innocent is legal and even encouraged this country is heading toward extinction.

    This is a principled victory and we must give thanks even if we are tempted, as I am, to see it as hollow becuase God’s ways are not our ways.

    Mary, Mother of Life, ora pro nobis.

  • “Cao is very liberal for a Republican but also absolutely pro-life. I am sure no political calculation entered into his head…”

    If he were “absolutely” pro-life, wouldn’t the rationing, contraception, and other nasty provisions come into play for him? Evidently not.

    Also, I’d be more likely to believe no political calculations entered his head if he didn’t wait until the Dems secured the necessary number of votes to win before he voted.

  • Here is what Cao says about this on his webite.

    “Tonight, Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (LA-2) voted in favor of the comprehensive health reform bill, H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

    Of his vote, Cao said: “Tonight, I voted to keep taxpayer dollars from funding abortion and to deliver access to affordable health care to the people of Louisiana.

    Cao said: “I read the versions of the House [health reform] bill. I listened to the countless stories of Orleans and Jefferson Parish citizens whose health care costs are exploding – if they are able to obtain health care at all. Louisianans needs real options for primary care, for mental health care, and for expanded health care for seniors and children.

    The bill passed the House at a 220-215 vote.

    Cao said: “Today, I obtained a commitment from President Obama that he and I will work together to address the critical health care issues of Louisiana including the FMAP crisis and community disaster loan forgiveness, as well as issues related to Charity and Methodist Hospitals. And, I call on my constituents to support me as I work with him on these issues.

    Cao said: “I have always said that I would put aside partisan wrangling to do the business of the people. My vote tonight was based on my priority of doing what is best for my constituents.”

    http://josephcao.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=154007

    Needless to say I disagree with Cao profoundly on this, but I do not doubt his sincerity.

  • Seems to me this is just a brief side trip along the road of the decline of western civilization.

    Reelection is usually what matters most to folks, if it means maintaining power, influence and a “comfortable” standard of living. I am grateful not to be a politician.

    Nothing surprises me. I have come to “lean on” no institutions and very, very few people. We are each capable of the worst choices and these days those choices are made with ever increasing frequency, I regret to observe.

    We pay “lip service” to moral absolutes, finding all manner of “justifications and rationalizations” to find cover for our decisions which are made in support of the “Culture of Death”, although we try to wash our hands of these as did Pilate when he handed Jesus over to pay for OUR SINS, FOLKS.

    MINE AND YOURS.

    Some things never change.

  • It was also the political expedient thing to do. Can you imagine the outrage had they voted against the Stupak Amendment?

  • This seems to be good news for the pro-life cause—so why does it taste like poison to me?

  • “It was also the political expedient thing to do. Can you imagine the outrage had they voted against the Stupak Amendment?”

    The politics aren’t that simple restrainedradical. A strong majority of Republicans oppose abortion. Almost all Republicans oppose ObamaCare. I am seeing plenty of opposition on Republican sites to this move:

    “As I responded to Daybrook, I appreciate the answer but this is horrible strategy. The NRLC should have been adults about this. They are going to save this amendment and ensure final passage. Then it’s going to get struck in conference and a chance to kill this will have been lost.

    Right now it’s passing with 63 Dem votes and 170+ Republican votes.

    The GOP leadership got rolled on this by Pelosi.”

    http://ace.mu.nu/

    Long term I think this will work out well for the Republicans, but short term there is a political price to pay for this move by the Republicans in the House.

  • Donald,
    You are not thinking clearly. Of course it was the politically expedient thing to do. The logic is impeccable: Republicans are not really pro-life and will do whatever is politically expedient; Republicans voted in favor of this pro-life measure; ergo, the vote must have been politically expedient. Hope that’s clear now.

  • 🙂

  • “short term there is a political price to pay for this move by the Republicans in the House.”

    I don’t think so. Voting against the bill gave them the cover they need. There may be some opposition, but I think the vast majority of their constituents will support this move. It’s a win-win for both sides. The Democrats get to vote pro-choice and for universal health care and the Republicans get to vote pro-life and against socialized medicine.

  • I see that some people in this thread are more partisan Republicans than Catholics. I’ve met Joseph Cao. My wife has been to numerous fundraisers for Joseph Cao. Joseph Cao is a highly honorable man, a true Catholic public figure. He promised that he would support healthcare reform if the Stupak amendment was included, simply because he knew it was the right thing to do. Joseph Cao is a hero. If only a few Republicans would follow him.

    And to Donald – yes, I very much appreciate GOP support for the Stupak amendment. The cynic in me would say they were caught between a rock and a hard place, and could not be seen publicly opposing a pro-life measure on tardy political grounds. But let’s give them some credit. And now that we have a decent bill with ironclad abortion protection, I would like to see some Republicans start supporting this bill – just a few Catholic Republicans would make a difference here. So where were they last night? Are they willing to support a pro-life universal health insurance plan that actually reduces the deficit, or are they instead enslaved to a rigid free market ideology and to insurance company money?

    I don’t know what is going to happen in conference. But with enough GOP support, we can get this bill passed withe the Stupak amendment.

  • Somebody mentioned “socialized medicine”. Sigh. This reform twins an individial mandate with community rating-style restrictions on what insurance companies can do (you know, refusing coverage, dropping people, charging exhorbitant premia based on “pre-existing condition”). For everybody in empoloyer-insurance, hardly anything changes. For those in medicare and medicaid, hardly anything changes. For those in the individual markets, they will purchase insurance on a regulated exchange, which will include a public option that will be wholly funded by premia and which cannot use medicare reimbursement rates. And those below a certain threshold will receive subsidies to help they purchase the insurance.

    How is any of this “socialized medicine”? You know, people on the right would perhaps had a better ability to shape this debate if they actually delved into the issues, instead of relying on slogans.

  • We agree that Cao is an honorable man Tony. As for the bill I think it is atrocious and I pray it is buried in the Senate, although from my partisan perspective it would be better if it passed since I believe that it would ensure the GOP taking the House back in 2010. At any rate if a bill does get out of the Senate it will bear as much relationship to the House bill as a bat does to a spider.

  • Please Tony. Your whole goal has been a single payer, socialized medicine, system. The intent of this bill is to drive private insurers out of business and to force people to become health wards of the state ultimately. Fortunately this bill has as much chance of ever becoming law as Madonna, the strumpet and not the Mother of God, does of becoming a spokeswoman for the Eagle Forum.

  • A good AP story explaining why the House bill is DOA in the Senate.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091108/ap_on_bi_ge/us_health_care_overhaul

  • We have to be careful not to confuse Catholic intentions (ends) with practical methods (means). Yes, it is true that we, as Catholics, are to provide for all those in need and that includes health care; however, the Church does not demand that we use the government for that purpose. Does government have a role? Yes. Not always at the federal level. In fact as seldom as possible should the federal government be employed.

    Furthermore, Charity is what we as individuals are called to do, when government forces one of us to provide for another then it is theft and not charity.

    This bill is a disaster. Anyone who supports it has either not read it, doesn’t understand it, has no concpet of basic enconomics, is extremely naive, or has sinister intentions to make us all slaves of the state.

    I haven’t read this entire thing, it is over 2,000 pages!!!! The parts I have read are frigtening. We will be left with one, two or three enormous insurance companies with their market secured by government force. I doubt we will get to government provided health care. What we will probably get is government protection for a few insurance companies at the expense of all the other insurance companies and the people.

    Even if the Stupak ammendment makes it into the spider or the bat version that Donald is referring to, that does not guarantee that abortions will not be increased under this mess. Bills become laws and laws become regulations. Regs are not written by elected reps, they are determined by government agencies behind closed doors and always further the expansion of government and aid the corporate interests that fabricated the legislation in the first place.

    The murder of the per-born, the elderly, the disabled, you know the same old targets Eugenecists have always had is firmly set in the minds of many of those in power and any and all means to achieve this will be utilized. Those on the Left and the Right, the Libertarians (of all stripes), the Republicans and the Democrats all need to realize this NOW. If we play ‘wait and see’ it will be too late to stop it. We’ve been killing babies for almost four decades and this is going to be just another step toward more death and the destruction of what this nation can be.

    Combine this mess with Cap and Trade and you have a recipe for how you make the USA into China. No Catholic in their right mind can want that.

    I am confident that this will die in the Senate; however, these are dark times and anything is possible. Pray.

  • Suz,

    I’m with you.

    This’ll disappear in committee *IF* the Senate passes the health care bill.

    But in the end this violates the rule of subsidiarity.

    Technically speaking, why bother giving money to Catholic hospitals, or any other Catholic Charity, if the government is going to provide it to you at the expense of your children having to pay off this monstrosity of a debt in the very near future.

  • How is any of this “socialized medicine”? You know, people on the right would perhaps had a better ability to shape this debate if they actually delved into the issues, instead of relying on slogans.

    1). As someone that follows politics, one should be able to safely assume you are aware that Republicans have offered, in recent years, several reform proposals. Agree or disagree, there is substantive opposition. And slogans are necessarily a part of all debates.

    2). The label “socialize,” and the ensuing slogans, are correct. This House proposal is a large-scale federal government intrusion and cash influx (which is sickening for those of those of us that can’t stand the quite brazen A. Stern and SEIU). In this context, “nationalize” is an incomplete but usable description. And to “nationalize” is to “socialize.” These two words, in the political context of advanced liberal democracies, are synonyms. (In fact, feel free to go right ahead and make a case for any one time in 20th Century American history where this was not the case – I’ve had people try and it’s pretty difficult.) This is why I have for some time now found the supposedly “Catholic anarchist” arguments for this particular brand of reform to be quite strange.

    3). As an advocate for health care reform, I applaud the efforts of Rep. Stupak and also hope the Democratic efforts, for far too long the pawn of public sector unions, trial lawyers, and the abortion lobby, go down in flames. Any reform efforts need, at minimum, three things: a). strong protections for the unborn b). a serious appraisal of the demographic impact of baby boomer entitlements, senior care – including discussion of some manner of what could be termed ‘rationing,’ and illegal immigration (I favor a halt on all immigration, especially with double digit unemployment and until such time as the number comes much close to 3 or 4 percent – the wage destruction of the past few decades has been terrible) c). measures that make trial lawyers furious.

    All Catholics must agree on the first point. The Senate Democrats and the president are horrible on that score, especially compared to the always running for re-election House, but let us hope for a surprise.

  • In regard to Representative Cao, this article is in accord with my view of him:

    http://spectator.org/blog/2009/11/08/defending-cao

  • Cao is a good guy. Part of the problem here is the LSU Charity hospital that was destroyed by Katrina and still has not been rebuilt.

    It was pretty clear to a lot of us on Obama’s visit to New Orelans and his elusive answers on Federal finds for this that he sending a message to CAO. I think CAO doid what he had to do

  • This is NO victory. This is a political public stunt, & abortion was used as a red herring.

    This is the Stupak Amendment:

    Page 154, after line 18, insert the following new section (and conform the table of contents of
    Division A accordingly):

    SEC 265. LIMITATIONS ON ABORTION FUNDING.

    (a) IN GENERAL.–No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act

    (or any amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion

    or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage

    of abortion, except in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder,

    physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician,

    place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including

    a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy

    itself, or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of pregnancy or incest.

    The last clause: “unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of pregnancy or incest,” places in law a class of human beings that has no protection of life and is jeopardy of loss of life through no fault or responsible action of their own: those who have been conceived by the sins of rape or incest and have not yet been born. This is NOT a pro-life amendment.

    I got this from a friend in regards to the Rep who voted present:

    “Well, Shadegg had a plan to throw sand in the gears and likely ruin the political machinery grinding out a victory for the government takeover of health care. He was rounding up the votes to kill the pro- life amendment (by voting “present”) and thereby killing the whole bill and quite possibly the entire effort. This would have caused such a train wreck, it is doubtful the liberals could have
    recovered, i.e., Waterloo.”

    http://prop207az.blogspot.com/2009/11/with-friends-like-right-to-life-who.html

    I wonder if Rep Shadegg’s-(AZ) strategy actually would have killed the bill?

    Because of the USCCB encouraging lay faithful to call their Rep to add the Stupak (anti-life) amendment to the bogus health “care” bill, we could possibly have a socialistic country. Thanks USCCB! Next time you want to do something dramatic, have the pastors read & stuff the bulletins with
    Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum_en.html

    Faithful Catholics NEVER have & NEVER will support socialism!!!

  • Faithful Catholics will never support socialism? Indeed, if you define socialism correctly and not as a mere slogan. But remember, Catholic social teaching tells us that faithful Catholics should also eschew the ideology of free market liberalism. Pius XI referred to both as the “twin rocks of shipwreck” – extreme individualism and extreme collectivism.

  • “Combine this mess with Cap and Trade and you have a recipe for how you make the USA into China. No Catholic in their right mind can want that.”

    China has neither universal health care nor cap-and-trade. Did you mean the UK?

  • Or did you mean that no Catholic in their right mind can want to make the USA into Malta which does have universal health care and cap-and-trade.

  • Pope Pius XI:
    “No one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist”

    Every Pope, beginning w/ Leo XIII to our current Pope Benedict, condemns socialism. The main underlining reason is that socialism ultimately denies the central truth of Christianity, that man needs GOD.

    The bill does not deal only w/ “health care.” There are other issues in the bill such as, the bill will create a government home visitation program, with federally funded bureaucrats giving out parenting advice, and nothing in the bill makes it clear that these programs must be voluntary.

    I take it you support the bill, because my previous post started w/ the wording on the Stupak amendment, showing how it is NOT pro-life & as well, to Shadegg’s plan. “But remember” the Catholic Church is pro-life. However, you don’t discuss these items, instead you zero in on socialism, because in your mind you think the USCCB was right. Well, they weren’t & now they are regretting their decision. They DON’T approve of the bill.

    Get it in your head – Americans want health care REFORM – not govt. take over.

  • The Stupak Amendment–if it stays in after the Conference sausage making (and I think it will, all things considered)–certainly removes the deal killer aspect of the House plan for me. And the Amendment also greatly diminishes the problems with the conscience clauses, which were pretty iffy beforehand.

    As much as it may grate folks here, MM is unimpeachably correct–health care is a right. In the absence of any other moral objections, it isn’t a bad day for Catholics. Far from it.

    Now the kicker is to see what the Senate does, and to make sure the Amendment stays in.

  • NY Times: Dems Banking on Later Squeezing Pro-Life Language Out of Bill in Committee
    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09110705.html

    Abortion in or out of the bill was a ruse. If Stupak’s Amendment stays in, which I highly doubt, don’t think for one moment that Planned Parenthood & other abortion activists will not be plotting how to bring this bill to court in three years to say it is unconstitutional.

  • If it stays in, they instantly lose the Court challenge on stare decisis. Hyde survived the Supreme Court.

    A “ruse”? Maybe that’s what the pro-aborts were hoping, but I don’t think that’s fair to the overwhelming majority who voted for Stupak.

  • Actually I think one can argue from Catholic Social Teaching that this is a failure for Catholics. Starting here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/08/AR2009110817808.html

  • rradical: “China has neither universal health care nor cap-and-trade. Did you mean the UK?”

    Sure, UK, China, whatever. It is just the difference between socialism and communism. A little bit less of a bad thing doesn’t make it good.

    Control health care (HR 3962), life (Roe v. Wade), food (FDA), money (the Fed) and energy (Cap and Tax) and you have slaves not citizens.

  • Just becuase health care is a right doesn’t mean the government has to directly provide it. Our rights come from God and are secured by government. Government can secure the right to health care by allowing a market of businesses to provide medical services and insurance services as well as allowing overall wealth to increase by not confiscating it so that we can take care of the indigent with Charity instead of theft.

    Why would anyone who is remotely Catholic want the government to start providing our tangible rights directly. Health care includes food, water, exercise, medical treatment, shelter, clothing and love – should the government provide all that as well?

  • “Why would anyone who is remotely Catholic want the government to start providing our tangible rights directly.”

    Because an uninsured friend of mine died at age 33 because of cancer that wasn’t diagnosed in time. Because there are plenty of folks “enjoying” long stints of unemployment here in Michigan who can’t afford COBRA. Which runs out in 18 months anyway.

    Actually, I don’t want the government to *directly provide* free coverage for everyone. I just want it to make sure that coverage is *available* for everyone. I’m all ears as to viable alternatives, which haven’t been proffered.

    I am also cognizant of the problems with the Pelosi bill apart from abortion, specifically the costs and regulatory problems which will likely result.

    However, at least it does provide coverage for those who need it. Which, alas, the Republican plan didn’t, despite the fact it contained some long-overdue reforms.

  • Dale,

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend. You should know, though, that cancer survival rates in the United States are higher than in Europe and Canada (where the government plays more of a role), and one of the reasons is that we actually do *more* screening than do other countries, and treatment comes faster once there is a diagnosis.

  • Exactly BA, which is why one may find varied reasons as a Catholic to be bothered by this.

  • BA:

    Yes, and I recall reading somewhere that overall cancer treatment in the US is the best in the world, by a wide margin. God knows I don’t want to see that lost with any reform.

  • Some cancers yes, some no. I seem to recall the evidence is mixed. But in general, there is nothing wrong with the quality of US healthcare. It’s just that a lot of people can’t get it, and it’s incredibly expensive.

  • MM,

    I think you’re missing BA’s point, which is that the facts suggest that even given the fact that number of people in the US do not have health insurance, people _still_ overall get cancer screenings more and survive cancer longer.

    Frankly, I think in this case it’s probably a wash since the pending legislation will probably only increase the number of insured nominally — you aren’t simply “given” health care, you need to pay for insurance, and paying a fine for not having insurance is cheaper than paying for insurance (even after subsidies), so those who can’t afford insurance now mostly still won’t have insurance. The main people helped by this will be people with lots of money who nonetheless don’t have employer insurance and can’t get individual insurance because of some pre-existing condition.

  • MM — since you’re here, you might want to correct your constant misinformation and lies about how often private insurance covers abortion. A quote from yesterday’s NY Times: “A 2003 study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute found that 13 percent of abortions were billed directly to insurance companies.” Note, that’s billed, not paid.

    This refutes your dishonest attempts to claim that “most” people are contributing to private insurance policies that pay for abortion.

  • Pingback: A Tale of Two Votes « The American Catholic

President Log

Tuesday, October 6, AD 2009

Obama Clueless

“THE FROGS WHO WISHED FOR A KING

The Frogs were tired of governing themselves. They had so much freedom that it had spoiled them, and they did nothing but sit around croaking in a bored manner and wishing for a government that could entertain them with the pomp and display of royalty, and rule them in a way to make them know they were being ruled. No milk and water government for them, they declared. So they sent a petition to Jupiter asking for a king.

Jupiter saw what simple and foolish creatures they were, but to keep them quiet and make them think they had a king he threw down a huge log, which fell into the water with a great splash. The Frogs hid themselves among the reeds and grasses, thinking the new king to be some fearful giant. But they soon discovered how tame and peaceable King Log was. In a short time the younger Frogs were using him for a diving platform, while the older Frogs made him a meeting place, where they complained loudly to Jupiter about the government.

To teach the Frogs a lesson the ruler of the gods now sent a Crane to be king of Frogland. The Crane proved to be a very different sort of king from old King Log. He gobbled up the poor Frogs right and left and they soon saw what fools they had been. In mournful croaks they begged Jupiter to take away the cruel tyrant before they should all be destroyed.

“How now!” cried Jupiter “Are you not yet content? You have what you asked for and so you have only yourselves to blame for your misfortunes.””

Like most conservatives, after last year’s election I thought that Obama would prove a President Crane as far as conservatives were concerned.  With large Democrat majorities in the House and Senate I assumed that Obama would implement changes in this country to send it on a left-ward trajectory.  Instead, other than passing the Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009, sometimes erroneously called the Stimulus bill, Obama has accomplished virtually nothing, a fact which even Saturday Night Live is now mocking. This is astonishing considering the size of his victory last year and the strength of his party in Congress.  Or is it?  I believe there were clear clues from the background of Obama that this might occur.

Continue reading...

2 Responses to President Log

  • I think it is incautious of Martin Peretz to offer a clinical diagnosis of a man he has only seen on the news. What is notable about the President is his tendency to plumb the shallows of whatever endeavour he sets himself to: he is admitted to the bar, apparently elects to forego any sort of clerkship, is (after a year) hired as an adjunct at a law school, publishes no scholarly work in twelve years on the faculty, is (after two years) hired as an associate at a law firm, is not granted a partnership and is classified by the firm as ‘of counsel’ after just three years in their employ, is elected to the state legislature, is identified with what notable amendments to the Illinois Revised Statutes nobody knows, allows his membership in the Illinois bar to lapse to a status of ‘inactive’, is elected to the federal legislature, spends about 40% of his time running for higher office and votes ‘present’ a good deal, and so forth. What kind of a lawyer is he?

  • “What kind of a lawyer is he?”

    One who obviously never wanted to engage in the practice of law. To be fair to Obama I’d say about a quarter of law school grads fall into this category.

    Obama seems to be very good at getting where he wants to go, but once he is there he doesn’t seem to do anything except move on to the next goal. I wonder what his goal is after the presidency.

Radio Personality: Members of the Opposing Party Should be Denied Health Care

Friday, October 2, AD 2009

Garrison KeillorYesterday Rush Limbaugh said that Democrats should be denied health care.  No, no, wrong radio personality!   If Rush had said anything that stupid, rest assured that you wouldn’t have had to wait to read about it on this blog to learn of it.  The networks would have been shouting the news and condemnatory editorials would have been thundering from newspapers coast to coast.  Instead it was just Garrison Keillor, National Public Radio’s Mark Twain wannabe, who decided that there are just too darn many Republicans and by gosh something should be done about it.  (As they would doubtless phrase a call for gopcide in Lake Wobegon.)  Writing in the Chicago Tribune,  Keillor has this charming sentiment:

When an entire major party has excused itself from meaningful debate and a thoughtful U.S. senator like Orrin Hatch no longer finds it important to make sense and an up-and-comer like Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty attacks the president for giving a speech telling schoolchildren to work hard in school and get good grades, one starts to wonder if the country wouldn’t be better off without them and if Republicans should be cut out of the health-care system entirely and simply provided with aspirin and hand sanitizer. Thirty-two percent of the population identifies with the GOP, and if we cut off health care to them, we could probably pay off the deficit in short order.

Denying health care on the basis of political ideology.  Nice guy.  Of course Keillor was merely joking.  He has a long history of hating Republicans,   but I am sure he merely jokes, and perhaps fantasizes, about the deaths of those who have the temerity of disagreeing with him politically and in reality he would never harm a fly.  At least a Democrat fly.

Continue reading...

38 Responses to Radio Personality: Members of the Opposing Party Should be Denied Health Care

  • Keillor is a typical “progressive” idiot. He has a platform and a reputation bought with out tax dollars and he acts as thought that gives him the right to do our thinking for us. God save us from such fools.

    By the way, where did he acquire the reputation for being a humorist? I have tried on several occasions to listen to his radio show and found only low grade witticism no better than what fellow workers produce freely in the course of the workday. And if I’m driving, I am constantly in danger of being put to sleep and driving off the road.

  • I confess Jim that my wife and I in the mid to late eighties listened to Prairie Home Companion. We stopped, partially due to the politics that began seeping in, but mostly because Keillor simply was recycling the same gags and skits in the show with minor variations. It got boring to us, a cardinal sin when your goal is entertainment.

  • I remember coming across the show quite by accident in the mid-80’s. Keillor was talking about being raised in the austere sect of the Plymouth Brethren and his secret boyhood wish to be Catholic (specifically an Italian Catholic – red wine, spaghetti, paintings of nekkid ladies, and “Let’s do the motorola!”) I laughed so hard I cried.

    I think the politics began seeping in because there is only so much material you can squeeze out of Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery and a small handful of characters. How many Norwegian farmer jokes can you do?

  • Oh, and it’s one thing to bring politics into the show, but Keillor has gotten increasingly bitter and spiteful about it. For a guy who places such a high value on “being nice to each other” – well, apparently conservatives are barely human (we’re all rich and greedy too), so there’s no need to be nice to them.

  • I recall that one Donna! Keillor definitely had his moments.

  • Keillor used to be pretty funny — mostly back before he started retiring with a big farewell episode every year and then coming back again. (Which was, what, 15-20 years ago?) Though even then there was a certain amount of off-key political ranting about Reagan.

    Well I remember the NPR lineup of Prairie Home Companion, following by the BBC imports My Word and then My Music. Ah, youth…

    But this editorial piece of his is just moronic. And then, of course, we have the Democratic congressman from Florida calling saying we need to pass the Obama bill now in order to stop the holocaust.

  • I peg the date that Keillor stopped being even remotely funny and started being a partisan hack at roughly November 1994. He completely went off the deep end and became unbearable to listen to right about 1998.

  • I think some folks here are being lead around on their nose by their ideology. Feigning may be a skill in court, but it is tiresome in writing. I also find it interesting that you don’t just have to disagree with Keillor’s column, but you also can’t find him funny, entertaining, or even like him.

  • I think some folks here are being lead around on their nose by their ideology.

    Unlike you, of course, who is the world’s last independent thinker. Never mind your recent penchant for defending any piece of left-wing agitprop, no matter how silly or offensive. Oh, if only the world had as many courageous, independent minds like Mz Discalced Yooper Forrest.

  • That one should be left up to show how the intelligentsia thinks.

  • “Old men shouldn’t be allowed to doze off at the switch and muck up the works for the young who will have to repair the damage. Get over yourselves. Your replacements have arrived, and you should think about them now and then.” Keillor

    Though given M.Z.’s last comment perhaps its the middle aged that should take over.

  • I deleted MZ’s use of the colloquial term for fornication and e’s quotation of the same. I trust that people can express their thoughts adequately without using some of the language prized by the felons I defend in criminal matters.

  • Donald (?):

    Thanks for cleaning up M.Z.’s mess.

    M.Z.:

    You’re fortunate that the TAC moderators were kind enough to wipe that little expletive of yours off the record. You might want to exercise a little more retraint. To resort to such profanity can only worsen your case, not to mention, reveals certain aspects of your character, too.

    God bless.

  • Donald: So it was you! Just wanted to bring to the attention of the TAC moderators that little expletive of M.Z..

    I appreciate greatly how promptly you attended to it. Needless to say, such profanity is undeserving a place here at TAC.

    I find it ironic that just a little while ago, Vox Nova, of which M.Z. & Michael Iafrate are part, looked down on such comments as these and even devoted an entry to address the matter with such supposedly noble intention that they would hitherto not allow that kind of foul commentary on their blogs.

    I guess that doesn’t apply to the Vox Novans themselves as far as their own participation goes on other blogs.

  • I knew your intentions were honorable e.

  • If you’re going to go to the trouble of taking down my comment, take them all down, and at least remove my name from Paul’s comment.

  • Nothin’ like some good ad hominems

  • I have no idea of what has transpired in the past 90 minutes, but if MZ would no longer have his full name associated with his comments, then it’s fine by me if you delete that portion of my comment.

  • MZ I have no problem with Paul’s comment or a rejoinder from you so long as no language better left to lock ups is used.

  • Uhhhh… Paul, I believe that little expletive of M.Z., which subsequently followed your comments, was meant for you.

    I can’t be sure, but perhaps it was something you said that enraged him so?

  • e:

    I have no idea what MZ said in response to my comment. I went out for lunch and came back and saw only the aftermath of the controversy.

  • If I see either of you in real life, you’ll regret it.

  • M.Z.

    Was that a threat?

    Hopefully, Paul hasn’t divulged his personal information or the results could prove disastrous.

  • Now my comments make less sense. But they’re still billiant!

  • Yes, e, the *natural* reading of “If I ever see either of you in real life, you’ll regret it” is a physical–albeit conditional and not immediate–threat.

    Having been repeatedly accused of issuing a threat myself (since graciously retracted by the accuser), I hold out hope for another explanation.

  • e.,

    Please stop provoking M.Z. You can say the same thing without having to use certain adjectives and adverbs.

  • Hold on, now —

    Before M.Z. sics his mafia hitmen on me, let me just say that it was Paul who provoked M.Z.’s ire; not me.

    I only entered into the scene because I deplored M.Z.’s subsequent comment to him which contained uncalled-for profanity.

  • e.,

    I know what you’re saying, just being your friendly taco tracker and making sure this doesn’t escalate anymore.

  • Before M.Z. sics his mafia hitmen on me, let me just say that it was Paul who provoked M.Z.’s ire; not me.

    Oh come on e, that’s just not fair. I now have to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder, hoping against hope that some crazed albino assassin doesn’t whack me while I’m out for a stroll along the Potomac. For the love of humanity, one of his co-bloggers knows exactly where I am every Sunday morning. What chance do I have?

    Time to write that will.

  • Back to GK’s statement. I get the humor and don’t mind it at all. I just don’t get the math. He seems to forget that the 32% self-identified GOPers pretty much pay for their own health care insurance and are almost certainly aggregate net contributors to the care of the other 68%. No money to be saved there unless one expects the GOPers to pay for nothing, which as I think about is probably just shorthand for the public option.

  • Thank you Mike for bringing this back to the post. All further comments on this thread, please focus them upon the post.

  • There’s nothing more spiteful and mean then a Liberal that’s been disagreed with!

  • Pingback: 53-47 « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Stupak Gets His Vote « The American Catholic
  • Reading this blog entry has made me choose to abandon this blog altogether. There are so many things in this world to complain about – why don’t you choose one of the real ones?

  • Suit yourself LTN. This is a fairly eclectic blog when it comes to what we write about, and part of our blog brief is to write about American culture and politics.

  • Pingback: ObamaCare=Jonestown Politically for Democrats? « The American Catholic

Who Is Irrelevant, Obama or Americans

Wednesday, September 23, AD 2009

Tea Party Protest 9-12

At this point it is almost irrelevant what President Obama thinks, says, or does.

As long as former Presidents Carter and Clinton keep calling Americans racists…

As long as Speaker Pelosi refers to Patriots as violent, swastika wearing, un-Americans…

As long as the extreme left on the Democratic Party insist on ignoring a movement that not only contains conservatives and Republicans, but pretty much everyone else in America…excluding most liberals.

Then it really doesn’t matter what the Obama Administration and their proxies continue calling ordinary American patriots.

Thus the only relevant question that can be asked is how badly will the Democrats continue to shoot themselves in the foot?

…It depends on how radical a health care bill they pass.

In the meantime  an insignificant handful of crazies the rest of America will wait for another round of insults as they continue to turn a deaf ear to the rhetorical platitudes of an ever increasingly irrelevant presidency.

Continue reading...

10 Responses to Who Is Irrelevant, Obama or Americans

  • A lot can happen between now and November 2010. One thing the Dems can count on is Americans’ short attention span. They can keep shooting themselves in the foot until May 2010.

  • That’s what I am anticipating.

    More shoot-in-the-foot comedy from here till next year.

  • The Seniors will remember. There are 9 Million plus who elected to replace normal Medicare with Medical Advantage Plans which have more coverage and very minumunal $10 and $25 dollar deductibles for regular or Specialist vists. O on Hospitalization and any type of lab tests and X Rays including MIRs Cat Scans etc. plus an excellent RX program. All the bills plan to strip the coverages and increase premiums for these plans. The 9 Million plus Seniors will not forget in 2012.

  • You are assuming the new plan will allow those 9 million to still be alive to vote in 2012.

    One year plus is a long time and we, the public, are entertained idiots. But it only takes a few people with strong conviction to keep the pressure on and the blind arrogance of the left to keep over-reaching and upsetting people to change the wind beginning this year in VA and NJ and next year in the House.

    The problem as I see it is that the change will be simply to put Republicans back in charge so they can do the same stupid stuff Democrats do while pandering to the pro-Life movement (while doing nothing to protect life), lowering visible taxes (while inflation is the real tax and it is hidden and increasing dramatically, smaller government (while expanding the strained empire), etc.

    I think thinking Americans are fed up with both parties, but third parties don’t seem to succeed at anything other than peeling votes off to ensure the worse of two options wins.

    Teddy Roosevelt crushed the Republican and gave us Wilson, Perot gave us Clinton, it is a ruse. What we need is to revitalize the Republican party so that they can actually be conservative.

    The Constitution is just a piece of paper if the political class walks all over it and the public sits back and does nothing.

  • You are assuming the new plan will allow those 9 million to still be alive to vote in 2012.

    I don’t know what’s with today, but I’m just cracking up at all the comments!

    Keep bringing them!

  • American Knight…from my Actuary background I would first suggest to you that over 92% will still be with us and able to vote. I would also suggest you might want to look at the “liquidity trap” rather than inflation which can and will cause deflation. Most of money in the stimulus package is still in the Banks and they are keeping it, not lending it or helping other to create jobs. Also if the current administration keeps on its downgrade of our CIA, Military, Homeland Seurity and appeasement toward those who want us to fail and attack us, we may not get to 2012.

  • afl,

    I wasn’t referring to the aged dying naturally, I was implying, toungue in cheek, that the current so-called health care plans may lead to expedited, mercy killings for the useless old people. In other words, a kind way of legalizing more murder.

    As for liquidity and inflation, inflation has already occured tot he tune of trillions on newly fabricated money units and as you said, the banks are still holding on to it but it has occured – the money supply has been inflated. If you are referring to the symptom of inflation, price increases, we will see that. Right now it is offset by low demand, but the supply will clear soon. Also, the losses of the stock and real estate markets have reduced the overall amount of additional money stcked (using fractional-reserve banking). All this accomplishes is delaying the inevitable inflation (money unit devaluation, loss of purchasing power). Qui bono? Government, banks, military-pharma-industrial corporations that are closely allied with government.

    Central banks breed fascism/corpratism and eventually a communist oligarchy. That frigthens me more than any other earthly thing.

  • American Knight Amen and I totaly agree. Point I was making on deflation ( prices go down ) as people do not have the money to spend and unemployed continues to escalate ( Ala 1930’s and it took WWII to change the economy. not FDR ) so we keep printing worthless paper. Maybe we do need to start start a new political party or bring the orthodox thinkers together to keep us from continuing socialism and an oligarchy run by all these new CZARS.

  • afl,

    Ok so we agree, then why do we think we might not. I am not necessarily referring to you and I, just this topic in general.

    It is designed to be confusing. The terms are designed to get us off track.

    What is inflation? No one really knows except the perpetrators of the theft.

    INFLATION is often thought of as prices going up. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Prices will probably go up as a result of inflation but rising prices are NOT inflation.

    INFLATION is the increase in the quantity of money.

    DEFLATION is obviously the decrease.

    Prices do not necessarily rise or fall as a result of inflation. Prices are merely distroted and so is the entire nervous system of the economy — price signals fail and no one knows what to make or not make.

    Prices are determined by SUPPLY and DEMAND, independent of the quantity of money.

    It is a stable quantity of money that allows for a stable measurement and allows the price system to signal properly.

    Inflation/deflation of the supply of money, a change in quantity, distorts those signals.

    Obamunism is designed to destroy the pricing system of whatever it is he and his masters want to control next. Right now it is so-called health care.

    Perhaps they will combine the clunkers program and health care and just pour ‘liquid glass’ into pefectly functional but old engines that are emitting too much CO2 becuase they are upset about losing their medical coverage.

  • Pingback: Carter Tries to Deny He Said Obama Critics Driven By Race « The American Catholic

Lying Worthless Political Hack Fears Violence in the Debate Over ObamaCare

Friday, September 18, AD 2009

The Lying Worthless Political Hack, a/k/a Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, not content to call opponents of ObamaCare Nazis,  has now raised the spectre of political violence:

“I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw … I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco,” Pelosi said, choking up and with tears forming in her eyes. “This kind of rhetoric is just, is really frightening and it created a climate in which we, violence took place and … I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made.”

Continue reading...

36 Responses to Lying Worthless Political Hack Fears Violence in the Debate Over ObamaCare

  • And her concerns during the Bush years were where? When protesters wouldn’t even let the man take a vacation without picketing at the end of his driveway. When members of her party advocated every measure of obstruction, and hurled every sort of vile epitaph at Bush. Where was her concern?

    Lying Worthless Political Hack is too polite a title for this mouthpiece of Satan.

  • She’s desperate. With 48 congressional Democrats (8 more than their majority) coming from districts that voted for both Bush and McCain, Mrs. Pelosi knows that in all likelihood her gavel will be handed over to Mr. Boehner in 2010.

  • Templar:
    Mouthpiece of Satan – good one. I’m stealing that.

  • This name-calling does grave disservice to the church in that you identify this blog as Catholic. I am not convinced by your argument that Pelosi is liar, but even is she were, there is a way–a Catholic way–of calling attention to the truth that avoids the ad hominem. Not to mention that there is a way–a Catholic way–of calling another Catholic to conversion. And yes, Nancy Pelosi, is a Catholic. And no, you or I, until such time one of us is named to the bishop of the diocese in which she lives–you or I do not have the authority to determine that she is not a Catholic. Mouthpiece of Satan–the name-calling gets more ugly and unbefitting of followers of Jesus.

  • Harold, you seem much more concerned about the fact that I accurately refer to the Lying Worthless Political Hack as a Lying Worthless Political Hack than you do about the misdeeds of the Lying Worthless Political Hack, which includes being one of the champions of abortion in Congress. I think your priorities are upside down.

  • As to name-calling not befitting followers of Jesus, actually Our Lord was quite fond of calling a spade a spade as any member of the “Generation of Vipers” could attest.

  • Speaker Pelosi – a Catholic, as Harold reminds us – is calumniating her political opponents as Nazis and fomenters of violence, and is doing so on a much bigger stage than what Don has here at American Catholic; but it is Don who is a big ‘ol meanie for calling her out on it.

    Nice set of priorities you have there, Harold.

  • Okay, so let’s retract the mouthpeice of Satan wording, if that makes everyone feel better. The fact remains that Speaker Pelosi is trying to short-change public discourse and short-cut our Freedom of Speech just because she feels its violent. As the article points out, the only real violence came from those for Obama Care and she publicly called everyone who opposed this plan Nazis.

    Nice work for a communion-receiving Catholic. We need to pray for her – she seems to be quite a mess these days.

  • There is a Catholic description of Pelosi: a fountain from which all fecal matter springs.

    If you folks truly believe Pelosi’s program of vicious Pro-abort initiatives is actually ‘Catholic’, then you don’t know exactly what that word actually means!

  • Harold says, “The name-calling does grave disservice to the church in that you identify this blog as Catholic.”

    This is one of the underlying reasons why we should eject the entire corpus of Pauline writings from the New Testament.

    Who can trust somebody with a foul mouth as his who himself did curse at people?

    1 O stupid Galatians!
    3 Are you so stupid? (Galatians 3:1,3)

    SOURCE:
    http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/galatians/galatians3.htm

    Obviously, this “name-calling does grave disservice to the church”.

  • St. Paul was a self-proclaimed sinner. We imitate their holiness, not their sins.

    Our Lord tells us, “You have heard hard it said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven…for if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you only salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (cf. Matthew 5:43-48)

    Just a week ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who was pro-choice. She has now rethought her position and is going to attend the Texas Right to Life Gala (on my invitation) and seek to learn more about the pro-life movement. Even despite her originally very “radical” positions, I did not take liberty to insult her. And this is no testament of self-proclaimed holiness. I am in front of St. Paul as the foremost of all sinners.

    But, what does it gain us to return evil for evil? What do we gain morally? And how does it make us any more like Our Lord and perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect?

    It seems to become very petty and childish. At the end of the day, when you call Speaker Pelosi a “Worthless Political Hack” there is not one unborn child saved from that comment nor is there any amount of justice restored or reconciliation between divided sinners brought about. It just reaffirms much of what is wrong with our society.

    We all do it. We are all guilty. But this is no way establishes justification.

  • And yes, Christine. Let us pray for her. I’m not sure how going through a litany of Pelosi’s sins — except but to establish correctly a false sort of thinking that we admonish other Catholics not to follow — really will solve anything but to reaffirm our only self-righteousness. I’m not accusing anyone of being sanctimonious. It is very subtle. And before we are so sure that we can correct judge Nancy Pelosi to be “worthless” and a “hack,” it wouldn’t hurt to do an examination of conscience. We’re all just as guilty and we all have sins too many in number to account for on the Day of Judgment.

    Division is the game of the Devil.

  • Charity does not consist in not being bluntly honest to those wielding power. In her public capacity I fear my description is not blunt enough. Of course I addressed these points in the comboxes in the first post in which I referred to the Worthless Political Hack after she was denied a photo-op by the Pope.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/02/18/pope-denies-worthless-political-hack-photo-op/

    Pelosi is a born and bred Catholic. She does not have the benefit of a rank ignorance of the Truth that actually causes me to have some sympathy for Mr. Obama, believe it or not. She was educated at Catholic schools and her family long prided itself on its Catholicism. In spite of that, throughout her career she has been at war with the Church in regard to abortion, escr, euthanasia and other issues.

    She has deliberately mistated Catholic teaching in defense of her positions:

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/aug/08082502.html

    If I were to be completely honest in my assessment of Ms. Pelosi, my statements would be considerably stronger than Lying Worthless Political Hack.

  • “Just a week ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who was pro-choice. She has now rethought her position and is going to attend the Texas Right to Life Gala (on my invitation) and seek to learn more about the pro-life movement.”

    That is wonderful news, Eric.

    You have done a great thing!

  • God working through you Eric, and I completely agree with Joe!

  • Sure, I’ll pray for this hack.

    And pass the ammunition.

  • Really?

    Lord, have mercy on us.

  • Career and Special Interests Politicians, Sebelius, Mikulski, Pelosi, Biden, all I’m sure raised Catholic.

    They sell their soul a bit to do this, you know, I’m not against the individual personally but their stances on the issues.

  • What is really sad is that whenever someone tries to disagree with the current bills based on facts ( I have read them ) they are called racist or anti gay in this case. Each of us can voice our opinion civility, but this pseudo Catholic uses her rhetoric as a political tool to enhance her position instead of defending her stance with facts and this is what makes her a disgrace to her position.

  • Harold, you are my kind of Catholic. As I have tried to explain to other commenters before, this blog is actually the Republican American Catholic,
    very often, the Catholic part goes out the window if it doesnt line up with the Republican part.

  • Any Catholic who isn’t horrified by the abortion advocacy of the Lying Worthless Political Hack is a Catholic who needs to read this section of the Catechism:

    “2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.(71)

    Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. (72)

    My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth .(73)

    2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

    You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish .(74)

    God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.(75)

    2272 Formal co-operation in an abortion constitutes a grave offence. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. ‘A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae’ (76) ‘by the very commission of the offence’, (77) and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law . (78) The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

    2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:
    ‘The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.'(79)

    ‘The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.’ (80)”

  • The title of the article is unnecessarily offensive. From this distance (the Caribbean)the language used on Fox News, and reports in other media,all seem to point to a desire for violence to get rid of Obama. The fears of the Speaker are shared by many – don’t blame her. She may not be a “good Catholic” and the U.S. may not be a good country for leagalizing abortion (which the Constitution clearly supports)But do try to be civil while working hard to persuade both Catholics NOT to avail themselves of the legislation (after all it is permissive not mandatory)and the wider population that abortion is murder by another name. It is very sad to admit ther’s some truth in the statement, made long ago by a European, that the “U.S. moved from primitive to modern without passing through a period of civilization”. Please do not confuse a strong conservative Catholicism with either religious fundamentalism or downright incivility. These attitudes only turn people off our pro-life cause, which we SHALL win, because it is the truth about the human person NOT because we maligned our enemies. J-P II’s Peace Message a few years ago on Ro. 12:14-21..”do not let evil defeat you, but conquer evil with goodness”.

  • “and the U.S. may not be a good country for leagalizing abortion (which the Constitution clearly supports)”

    You say tomatoe, I say tomato, right?? You will not slide this aberration by. Only per legislating from the judicial bench, does this lie fly. Without wasting time on such a cruel view: The Constitution protects life and extends rights to all living, so therefore a pre-born should have rights.

    Cheers for the Tories in England who brought out how Ted Kennedy supported horrid partial birth abortion in discussing whether he should receive Knighthood. This horridly offends most of the English, late term abortions who have a very liberal policy already. But figures, with the liberals, the constitution protects it. Pathetic.

  • I discussed in a prior post, that the debate is often couched in such terms of which I often do not approve of between what the Left and the Right says, it gets to be a vicious circle and I tend to shy away from saying such things, often. At times, unfortunately, it seems to be saying the truth as well.

    To another subject and adding on to my last post, great to see LA Lett’s word on this, I guess Slaves were 3/4 of a human being as well under the constitution.

  • “She may not be a “good Catholic” and the U.S. may not be a good country for leagalizing abortion (which the Constitution clearly supports)”

    From the dissent of Justice White in Roe:

    “With all due respect, I dissent. I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers [410 U.S. 222] and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally dissentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the mother, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.”

  • Tip of the Hat Donald, it is better to light a candle!

  • Pingback: Radio Personality: Members of the Opposing Party Should be Denied Health Care « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Stupak Gets His Vote « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Get Health Insurance—Or Else! « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Father Norman Weslin, Champion of the Unborn « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Pelosi, Saint Joseph and the Catholic Medical Association « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: ObamaCare=Jonestown Politically for Democrats? « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: The Dignity and Worth of Every Person « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: The Values of the Word « The American Catholic

Pro-Abort Catholic Politicians and the Church

Wednesday, September 9, AD 2009

Pro-abort Catholic PolsFather Roger J. Landry concludes here that the strategy of the Church to privately persuade Catholic pro-abort pols of the errors of their ways has been a flat failure.

“Let us take an honest look at the numbers. When we survey the long list of pro-choice Catholic politicians from both parties — Kennedy, Kerry, Giuliani, Schwarzenegger, Daschle, Dodd, Durbin, Leahy, Mikulski, Pelosi, Delahunt, Capuano, Markey, McGovern, Meehan, Granholm, Sebelius, Pataki, Richardson, Cellucci, Cuomo, and Biden to name just a handful — is it possible to say that the strategy has worked with any of them? Over the last three and a half decades, can we point to even one success story?

Another way to assess the results of the education-alone strategy is to measure the direction that pro-choice Catholic politicians have moved over the years. Even if they haven’t experienced a total conversion, have they moved closer toward limiting abortions or toward making abortions easier to access? The facts show that the vast majority of personally opposed, publicly pro-choice Catholic legislators have become far less personally opposed and far more publicly in favor over the duration of the strategy.

In the initial years after Roe versus Wade, publicly pro-choice Catholic legislators generally whispered their support for abortion. They displayed a palpable sense of shame, letting their abortion position out just enough so that it wouldn’t cost them the votes of abortion supporters. That discomfort began to dissipate after Governor Mario Cuomo’s 1984 pro-choice defense at Notre Dame. We’ve now come to a situation when pro-choice Catholic legislators vigorously curry the favor of Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Emily’s List;  scores of Catholics in Congress have the chutzpah to co-sponsor the Freedom of Choice Act, which would eliminate almost every abortion restriction ever passed at the federal or state level; and 16 out of 25 Catholic Senators vote against conscience protections to prevent their fellow Catholics in the medical field from being forced to participate in abortions and sterilizations.”

Father Landry ends by suggesting a new approach, perhaps we might call it the “more than hot air” approach:

“Jesus spoke of a different way in the Gospel (Mt 18:15-18). It involves not merely general educational statements that we hope offenders will apply to themselves in conscience, but the type of one-on-one instruction traditionally called fraternal correction. If that fails, and fails repeatedly, Jesus enjoined us to regard the offender as someone who no longer belongs to the community, who is no longer a member in good standing. This may seem harsh, but we should remember that Jesus always seeks nothing but the best for his Church and for individual sinners, even obstinate sinners. Implied in Jesus’ strategy is that education involves not just information, but formation, and that you can’t form disciples without discipline. This is a lesson that, after four decades of the undeniable failure of another approach, we need to consider anew.”

Hattip to my friend the ever vigilant Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia,  and please go here to read his comments on Father Landry’s argument.

Continue reading...

17 Responses to Pro-Abort Catholic Politicians and the Church

  • Finally, someone has the courage to state what must be done.

    Thanks
    Paul

  • Yes, I agree with the idea of not considering them part of the community anymore but I think we need to voice that more. We need to let our congregation, the nation and the world know that we do not tolerate abortion support….and that Catholics who support and advocate it are excommunicated. We need to literally stand up and state what our Catechism says:

    “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,” “by the very commission of the offense,” and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.”

  • Well stated Simon. I was disappointed that Caroline Kennedy was pro-choice, repulsive, it’s incompatible with Catholic beliefs. Isn’t their someone in the Kennedy clan who bolts from this philosophy and ideology? Isn’t it good to know, of course, that Alveda King, Martin Luther King’s niece is pro-life.

    I have never wavered being pro-life though I have considered the question in full when younger, I respect an argument. Now, I consider how central and pivotal of an idea is it for the Church to be pushing.

    It was an interesting editorial in the UK, by a spokesman for the Tories I believe in the Daily Telegraph that grilled Ted Kennedy for voting for the partial birth abortions. England, can’t speak for the total UK because abortion is still illegal in Northern Ireland like the Republic of Ireland, but one would think England is a bit like the USA in this regard. However, many in England find our “partial birth” abortions very evil. Okay, I would find fault with all abortions but I have met others from England who do not accept the late terms abortions that occur in the USA even though they are pro-choice. The Tories by the way in the above articles did not want Ted Kennedy to get Knighthood since basically, he’s had long term ties to supporting the IRA or something of this nature. I apologize for any of this being offtopic.

  • Don:

    Totally agree with your post and the comments of Jay Anderson and the good Father. People forget that there were even limits to Christ’s spirit of charity and inclusiveness such as when he tossed the money changers out of the temple.

    That being said how can one justify actions by other “Catholic” laity and politicians in promoting other activity that runs contrary to Catholic teaching, i.e. torture, pre-emptive war, the death penalty, divorce? How can one be a “Catholic” divorce lawyer? How can one be a “Catholic” judge or prosecutor that encourages or enforces the death penalty? How can one be a “Catholic” public official that allows or attempts to justify torture and pre-emptive war?

  • Like most things in life awakaman you deal with each issue on its own merits. The Church has spoken with one voice on abortion since the time of Christ.

    On the issue of preemptive war on the other hand, well, I assume some of the popes have had interesting discussions on that topic in the next life. For example John Paul II and Urban II on the First Crusade. I would love, and I mean that sincerely, to listen to that discussion.

    On divorce John Paul II seemed at one point not to want Catholic attorneys involved in them, but then in a clarification said that Catholic attorneys could be involved if their aim was to secure a good custody outcome for any minor children involved. That is one area where I personally would like some clarification since, although it makes up a miniscule portion of my practice, like most small town attorneys I am confronted with these cases from time to time.

    In regard to the death penalty we have the problem of Church teaching basically being reversed on that question under John Paul II, with a great deal of confusion now as to when the death penalty is licit and when it is not.

    I have no problem with holding the feet of Catholic pols to the fire on any number of issues, but I believe that Church teaching is the clearest on abortion, it is the issue that involves the greatest death toll each year for the innocent, and for me, as it has been since 1973, abortion will always be the overriding moral issue of our time.

  • Don:

    In regards to the 1st Crusade it is debatable as to whether it truly was pre-emptive war. First, it went beyond its initial objective of defending the Byzantine Empire and the West from the expansion of Islam and became more of a war of aggression with the reconquest of Jerusalem. Secondly, saying the 1st Crusade was fought by those exclusinvely seeking to protect Christainity is like saying the Civil War was fought exclusively over the issue of Slavery – total nonsense. It was extremely interesting that Jerusalem was a major trading center as well as an important city to Christians – just as it was an amazing coincidence that Iraq happened to have a lot of oil as well as a nasty dictator. Finally, even if we regard it as a pre-emptive war to prevent the spread of Islam given the current status of Islam in the middle east (and Europe) I would hardly say that it speaks well for pre-emptive war.

    In regard to the Death penalty did church teaching on the death penalty reverse or did it develop as a result of the growth or evolution of the modern prison system? Your argument reminds me of those offered by the Church of Christ as to why they do not have instrumental music at their services – because the early Christians did not – of course they didn’t have air conditioning or heating either. As prisons have become relatively “escape proof” and we have developed systems of rehabilitation (as I assume you agree that it is our Christian duty to do) the death penalty has become less necessary unless you want to engage in pure retribution. I know, I know . . . the deterance argument . . . but given that countries and states without the death penalty generally have less crime then those with the death penalty this is not a very good argument.

    Finally, given that JPII was rather adament in his denunciation of Catholic lawyers being involved in divorces “Roman Catholic lawyers should refuse to handle divorce cases, Pope John Paul has said.
    He said divorce was ‘spreading like a plague’ through society, and lawyers should refuse to be part of the ‘evil’.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1787106.stm

    Yes, one can engage in some self rationalization such as one is doing some good such as getting children into a good custody situation, but isn’t that the type of rationalization used by pro-choice politicians and those who vote for them, i.e. ignoring the great evil you are doing by pointing ut the small amount of good that may result.

  • well, we as catholics are so stupid. If you work, for example for Pepsi, but you don’t like Pepsi, and talk the whole day about the wonders of Coke, and try to sell Coke at every chance you have … what would your boss do? Fire you!!

    Off course, if you were coherent and a normal and rational person, you would leave Pepsi and move to Coke asap.

    This is how ratio works, this how the world is, this is how everybody in this planet feels. And what does the hierarchy do, not only in the States but anywhere else, without some honorable exceptions? They are SCARED, because the sheeps will leave the flock.. so WHAT?

    It is better to be fewer but real,rather than have many who disturb, who don’t leave us do the work of our Heavenly Father!

  • I believe the Catechism [2383] expresses well the Church’s position. Separation [divorce] is not immoral. Indeed it may be for the benefit of both parties.

    It is remarriage which is wrong.

  • Exactly, Gabriel. No off the cuff statement, even by a pope, even by a saint, can change that.

  • TomSVDP,
    The late Eunice Kennedy Shriver was notable for her pro-life advocacy within the Democratic party and her activism outside it. Her passing several weeks ago was noted on this blog and elsewhere, though there was little mention of her pro-life associations outside pro-life sources.

  • Awakaman in regard to divorce cases and Catholic lawyers this is where the ambiguity enters in:

    “Lawyers, as independent professionals, should always decline the use of their profession for an end that is contrary to justice, as is divorce. They can only cooperate in this kind of activity when, in the intention of the client, it is not directed to the break-up of the marriage, but to the securing of other legitimate effects that can only be obtained through such a judicial process in the established legal order (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2383). In this way, with their work of assisting and reconciling persons who are going through a marital crises, lawyers truly serve the rights of the person and avoid becoming mere technicians at the service of any interest whatever.”

    http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/pope0264xh.htm

    In this area I wouldn’t mind at all if the Pope told me that I could never take such a case again as it would give me an excellent reason not to do so when clients press me for my services in these types of matters. These cases are time consuming, emotionally draining, and, as I noted in my earlier comment a miniscule portion of my practice, and the only reason I get involved with them now is when a client convinces me that the kids would be better off with them, or they are being denied visitation, or they want an increase in child support, or they wish to attempt to change custody because the kids are begging to live with the client, etc. I would cheer a papal ban as giving me a good conscience deafness to their pleas, but I do not think the Pope has done that yet.

    More on your other points in a day or so when I am no longer shackled to my desk in my law office.

  • But how can civil divorce really be “contrary to justice” in cases where an innocent spouse is merely trying to remove herself or himself and any children from a situation that gravely endangers their physical, mental, or spiritual health or safety?

    I don’t think even JPII would have argued that it was “evil” for a woman to divorce a husband who was beating her or molesting their children, or a man to divorce a wife who was shooting up drugs and prostituting herself to get the money for them, or had taken up witchcraft or Satan worship, etc.

  • On the other hand, if it’s just a case of a man or woman having fallen in “love” with someone else and wanting to divorce their spouse to marry their partner in adultery, that’s another story, and a case in which I would think no observant Catholic lawyer would want to get involved.

  • You can also add into the complexity mix Elaine that clients are often less than forthcoming in this area of the law, and will frequently tell their attorney all about the misdeeds, real or imagined, of their spouse while not mentioning their own. Not infrequently this is being done in a high state of emotion, especially when the custody of children is at stake, and quick decisions often have to be made by the attorney. In hotly contested custody cases sex abuse allegations regarding the kids not infrequently enter into the case, and often the attorney has no way of knowing if the allegations are true. This is a difficult area of the law for an attorney concerned about following a moral path, and, unfortunately, not difficult at all for an attorney completely unconcerned with the morality of what is going on.

  • Pingback: digg » Blog Archive » Roundup: Obama’s Speech on Health Reform
  • Elaine,

    I don’t think even JPII would have argued that it was “evil” for a woman to divorce a husband who was beating her or molesting their children, or a man to divorce a wife who was shooting up drugs and prostituting herself to get the money for them, or had taken up witchcraft or Satan worship, etc.

    divorce is still an “evil”, but it is the guilty party who is culpable. In the same sense, war is an “evil”, and the unjust aggressor is culpable.

  • And what of Catholic priests and bishops who encourage divorces when they know that one of the parties is opposed to the divorce and they, the Catholic priests and bishops, flatly refuse to listen to them as they plead for action to support their marriage? What when this goes on for twenty years and the Holy see has completely ignored the same please?

    Some of us have seen this and have chosen to leave the Catholic Church over this. Why is there no support among “rank and file” Catholics for the plight of abandoned spouses who have to defend their marriage against both civil courts and marriage tribunals? And why, when one has defended one’s marriage before the highest courts in the Catholic Church, and watched those courts uphold that marriage, is their no action on the part of priests, bishops and the Roman Curia to canonically hold to account a spouse who has abandoned, wrongly, a faithful spouse, when the evidence is clear and in the possession of the Catholic Church(and has been for twenty years) that the marriage was usurped with the full cooperation of priests(to this day) and bishops(to this day)with mostly complete disregard for the valid, sacramental marriage?

    I think the politicians should receive a bye on this divorce/annulment issue while the Catholic Church tends to the clergy whose actions are far more harmful in this regard. Only after the Catholic Church has tended to its own, in house, facilitators of adultery and all the crimes that unjust divorce entails should it take the time to attempt to call to order catholic politicians. the house should be in order before that house attempts to call others to order.

    Just my two cents.

Overreacting, The Left Needs To Wake Up To Reality

Tuesday, September 8, AD 2009

GOP overreaction to Obama speechLiberals and Democrats have accused many Americans of overreacting to the speech that President Obama will be delivering to school children today (at 11:00 am Central Daylight Time).

On the surface this would seem a fair evaluation but if you dig a little deeper, those on the Left may well be making another crucial misdiagnosis of the source and cause of this reaction.

First lets examine the prism that those on the Left have viewed this reaction.

Continue reading...

33 Responses to Overreacting, The Left Needs To Wake Up To Reality

  • You, and so many others, are conflating legitimate opposition to policy with lunacy. Just because you’re on the same side of the aisle doesn’t mean you have to defend all of them. The Birthers and now the Uneducators cannot be reasoned with and trying will only be politically counterproductive. Obama and the Democrats gain by keeping alive this perception that Republicans are crazy.

  • Well I am opposed to Obama’s nationwide speech to school kids and I am not an “Uneducator”. I have a teacher’s BA in social studies which I obtained before I ran off to Law School. My wife has an MA in Library Science and an MA in Spanish, and has taught Spanish in a public high school, and she opposes this use of the students of America as a political prop for this floundering administration. All three of our kids attend our local public high school. The superintendant of our school system has decided to burn the speech onto some DVDs and make them available to kids who want to watch it, but not to turn over instruction time to this Presidential nationwide photo-op.

  • I don’t oppose the president’s speech at all, but I do think the teacher’s lesson plan put out by the White House smacked of the cult of personality.

  • The text of the speech is here. On a quick perusal, it appears to be an “eat your vegetables” speech, no different from those given by prior presidents. Not sure what the fuss is about.

  • Blackadder-
    Given that it doesn’t match up with the topics listed even in the re-done study guide, it would be reasonable to assume the speech was significantly re-written. This guess is bolstered by the fact that they didn’t release the speech days ago, instead of the morning prior to the scheduled talk.

  • Lesson plans asking students to write about “Is he challenging you to do anything?” Easily can be lead down the partisan route by a partisan teacher (and plenty of those in public schools.) Doesn’t help that is was written in part by the White House with the Dept. of Education. The faux pas was clear even to the White House and DOE resulting in changes to the lesson plans. Should have also released the content of the speech prior to today. Who’s to say the opposition didn’t change the wording of the speech.

    Some potential problems with the lesson plans:

    http://blog.heritage.org/2009/09/03/politicizing-the-department-of-education/

  • Foxfier anticipated part of what I am saying.

  • Foxfire,

    I’m not sure what study materials you are referring to. The study materials I’ve seen (and that would include the materials referenced in the article Phillip cites to) seems to match up pretty well with what’s actually in the speech.

    My understanding is that the study materials for the Obama speech track pretty closely the materials for Bush’s speech to school children back in the early 1990s. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if whatever Dept of Ed underlying was assigned to prepare the materials just ripped off the prior version.

  • Actually no. The Dept. of Ed admits the lesson plans were written in collaboration with the White House – and not the Bush White House.

  • The topics mentioned were “citizenship, personal responsibility, and civic duty”– only two of those three can sort of be found in the speech.

    Do you have a link to said materials? I’ve heard that statement morphing from “maybe Bush the Elder did it” to “these are exactly what Bush the Elder had” over the course of the weekend.

    Also, we do know who wrote the lesson plans– they were in large part provided by the White House.

  • Folks like MM love to make the hypocrisy point, claiming that everyone was fine when Reagan and Bush made similar speeches. Not so fast: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/When-Bush-spoke-to-students-Democrats-investigated-held-hearings-57694347.html

  • I’m sure this point will be brought up on NPR this afternoon. Waiting…Waiting…Waiting.

  • SB, you simply don’t understand. The problem is the difference between devils (R) and gods (D).

    Either way though, it’s just one more reason to homeschool.

  • Here’s the lesson plans. Also the Dept of Ed site notes that the plans were written in collaboration with the White House:

    http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html

  • Folks like MM love to make the hypocrisy point, claiming that everyone was fine when Reagan and Bush made similar speeches.

    Okay, so liberals are hypocrites for objecting then and not now, and conservatives are hypocrites for objecting now but not then. The question is whether there’s anything objectionable about what the President said. If there is, I’m not seeing it.

  • Is there anything objectionable about the lesson plans as originally formulated – Yes. Is there anything objectionable about what he was going to say before the fuss began – maybe. The protest may have done its job in more ways then one.

  • What was objectionable about the lesson plans as originally written?

  • What *isn’t* creepy about telling kids to write letters on how they can help the president, to be collected and passed out later to see how they’re living up to the goal?

    What if you’re not inspired by Obama, for that matter?

    (For that matter, the idea of a speech being interesting and challenging for pre-schoolers through seniors is kinda bloody weird, too, especially for someone that has kids.)

  • If I want my kids to listen to a politician I’ll take them to see said politician, without the assistance of the school or the White House, thank you very much. (In regard to my kids, however, if Obama wanted to address a classroom in person I would love for the class to contain my three kids. Two of them would ask follow-up questions that would leave a mark! My autistic son would probably be wondering how one of Dad’s boring political shows followed him to school!)
    A factor overlooked in all of this of course is that the National Education Association, the teacher’s union, has been a dominant power in the Democrat party for decades. The idea that a fair share of their membership will not be attempting to make partisan hay out of this is risible.

    The link below is to their story on the Obama address at the NEA website. As the first comment notes the NEA protested Bush addressing four classrooms in 1991.

    http://www.nea.org/home/35721.htm

  • One of the suggested activities in the original was to write about “how to help the president.” It was changed to “how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.” IMO the criticism was fair and it was rectified. Still doesn’t explain why so many are opposed to children even hearing the speech.

  • Restrained Radical,

    I noted your points in my posting. And I explained why there was an overreaction.

    The reaction is to President Obama’s policies itself that manifested since the mainstream media refused to air any of the legitimate news concerning this growing grassroots movement. Add to this that President Obama and his proxies continue to slur and belittle any news that percolates to the surface and you have what happened with President Obama’s video to kids.

    It’s all in my posting.

  • Another problem is that the lesson plans ask older students to look at past Obama speeches on education and post quotes around the classroom. Of course past education speeches of Obama are riddled with errors. This from teh Washington Post:

    “Studies show that children in early childhood education programs are more likely to score higher in reading and math, more likely to graduate from high school and attend college, more likely to hold a job and more likely to earn more in that job. For every dollar we invest in these programs, we get nearly $10 back in reduced welfare rolls, fewer health-care costs and less crime. That’s why [the stimulus law] invests $5 billion in growing Early Head Start and Head Start.”

    Early education is a contentious issue, with many types of programs serving various goals.

    There is research to show lasting benefits for some kids who later move into good schools. There is research to show that such benefits fade if they do not move into strong schools. There is research to show that some programs help kids from low-income families become academically prepared for school. And there is research to show some programs don’t do more than babysit.

    Head Start, the country’s largest publicly funded preschool program, is praised by supporters for providing comprehensive education, health care and other support to low-income families. Critics say some programs are uneven and have little or no impact on academic performance. Finally, there are many estimates about how much money preschool saves in the long run. Obama’s is not the final word.

    DROPOUTS

    “Our high school dropout rate has tripled in the past 30 years.”

    For this statistic, the Education Department says that the president drew on a report from the National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy at Boston College that was cited by the College Board in December. It said: “The rate at which students disappear from schools between grades 9 and 12 has tripled in the last 30 years.”

    How such rates are calculated is highly controversial. Dropouts are hard to track in part because kids move around. Graduation rates are often cited, but analysts say they have been fudged in some places. According to University of Chicago professor Melissa Roderick, it all depends on how and whom you count. One way is to calculate the people who wind up getting some kind of high school diploma or equivalency degree by their mid-20s. About 87 percent of people ages 25 to 29 are getting such degrees.

    If you look at kids who are getting diplomas on time, after four years of high school, that overall rate is about 75 percent, she said, although it is much lower for black and Hispanic students. States, pushed by the federal government, are moving to standardize the use of this on-time graduation rate.

  • What *isn’t* creepy about telling kids to write letters on how they can help the president, to be collected and passed out later to see how they’re living up to the goal?

    One of my co-workers told me the other day that he remembers watching Ronald Reagan speak when he was a kid in school and was assigned to write about how he could help the President (the co-worker is a conservative Republican, btw, and no fan of Obama).

    It’s only creepy if you want it to be.

  • On graduation rates– don’t forget private or homeschooling might “look” like a kid dropped out, or those folks who join the military early and get their GED in bootcamp.

  • True. My point is that included in the lesson plans was quoting past Obama speeches on education. Even one’s that are quite flawed in their data. So a student might decide to write his legislator about increasing funding for Headstart. Even though there’s no evidence that that works. Except from a partisan perspective. And there’s the problem.

  • Blackadder-
    Was that from the nation-wide, White House provided lesson plan, or did his teacher do it on his own?
    Was this after he directly contacted principals to get them to show his speech?
    Come to think of it, how old was your co-worker? How well does he remember this? (I’ve seen false memories show up for stuff that’s less than a year old, let alonenearly twenty-one years old.)

    November 14th of 88, Reagan did a Q&A for school kids that was carried on C-SPAN. He was nearing the end of his term, had no big irons in the fire, wasn’t hugely controversial, didn’t try to subvert usual channels, hadn’t just chosen a ton of highly controversial advisors and wasn’t accusing the opposition of manufacturing (violent) protests while doing so himself.
    With just one or two of these, the Obama thing might not be a big deal. With all of these things, it’s a big deal.

  • Yes. It would be good to see the lesson plans developed by the DOE and the White House for both the Reagan and Bush speechs. I just can find them on Google.

  • Pingback: Obama Speech: Public Option Now « The American Catholic
  • So after all of this fuss and fuming and hyperbole, and after the speech has been described as good, topical and non-partisan by a great number of independent and moderate Republican leaders nation-wide, the anti-Obama posters here still think there was a great conspiracy to indoctrinate kids – wow, what a shock. I guess it is better to accuse the president of an unproven, unlikely theoretical malfeasance based upon one’s political orientation than to judge what actually happened.

    That

    First, yes the Dept. of Education wrote a series of suggested activities and topics – that is what the Dept. of Education does.

    Second, yes White House staff – not a giant uber-being called the White House, but some White House staffers helped. Why? Because they being in the White House, actually might have known some of the topics of the speech. If the WH had sent no staff to the Dept. of Ed., that would have been really stupid and the Dept. of Ed. would have not known what to activities to suggest. Is this logic difficult to follow?

    Third, all speeches go through a series of revisions (as do ALL lesson plans) up until they are published. Now, maybe Obama originally had the words, “Look into my eyes and join the Democratic party,” or “Hey kids lets all chant, ‘public option, public option, yea public option,” or maybe even “When I was your age, I enjoyed reading such books as Mein Kampf and histories of the Bolshevik revolutionaries,” until right-wingers complained and then he removed them … or maybe he actually wanted kids to stay in school and be responsible for their own education … and then maybe someone said, “Make sure you add something about being careful about coming down with the flu,” and so things like that were added? As Tito demonstrated in the article, it is easy to overlook the simple answer when you are passionately looking for a more sinister one.

    Phillip: So you say that statistics can be difficult to interpret and the methodology of creating them differs from organization to organization and state to state. Yeah, I think we probably already know that. That may be one of the bad effects of local control. When you want to compare things across the nation, it is often useful to use national standards … oops, that darn federal government getting in our business again! There is actually a valid way, though of looking at data that comes from different sources and that is to study it longitudinally. That is, as long as the different statistics consistently use the same techniques from year to year (this is the reason we have state statisticians) then you can look for trends. If these trend show increases and there are what are called “internal or external threats to validity,” then those statistics can give you some insight. It is limited and it is conditional, but I’m sure you as a teacher and a lawyer, you must use some statistics in your work.

    Foxfier, they already know which students are homeschooled and even private schools have to give their data for these studies. The most difficult thing that I came across when I worked for a few years in an urban school, was with the students who changed schools mid-year if their family moved. This is a surprisingly large number of kids (5-10%) and a real problem with their education.

    Foxfier, I think you are a bit disingenuous when you say that Reagan’s talk to students (carried on a network that was broadcast to many schools) was somehow so innocent and apolitical and as if you was just a kindly old man talking to some kids. Well, yes democrats largely kept it apolitical because liberals realized that it was a great thing for the most powerful man in the world to take time out of his day to talk to kids and I guess that was a time of greater respect for the office. However, Reagan was NOT uncontroversial – he had the Iran-Contra scandal that still is reverberating, he had the most advisors of any president ever (until Bush 2) under indictment, he had . He WAS accusing his opposition of a great many things, it was just that his opponents were mostly protesting issues, like moving nuclear waste and clear-cutting redwoods, they weren’t attacking him or arriving to his speeches holding semi-automatic weapons.

    Aside: After the attempted assassination on Reagan, how restrained do you think Reagan’s secret service would have been compared to the way restraint that Obama’s secret service detail has been even as people have waved signs describing how blood should be spilled and that he is the moral equivalent to Hitler? Given that the last few years have shown that it is mostly radical white conservatives how have killed the most people for cultural and political reasons, the authorities have shown remarkable skill and restraint.

    So Obama is really no more controversial than Reagan was, they both inherited problems, though Obama inherited worse ones according to Bush, and they both took principled stands that have made them targets for dissent, but there is a difference. Just like Tito and Foxfier some conservatives are already so convinced of a pattern of behavior, so prejudiced to a perception about Obama that ANYTHING he does is colored. And of course to my mind, the problem is that this perception is false.

    Obama has not belittled his opponents, has never dismissed the tea partiers as unAmerican (find the video!!) or even lashed out at those who whine about his citizenship. He is actually almost to “no drama Obama” about almost everything, except when he jumped the gun on the Gates arrest. If you can’t see that he is the most restrained president in a long, long time than you are mightily biased and you’ve forgotten when Reagan said this:

    I realize that for some, as long as an older, moderately conservative white president tells someone to shut up, that it is a “manly, American” moment, yet if a younger, moderately liberal black president would say the same thing, it would be the act of an arrogant elitist cult figure. I’m not accusing anyone here of this, but I can’t help think of what the “birthers” would say. It is prejudice, it is about culture war politics and it is a symptom of people who have lost or never had a way to be self-reflective and intellectually honest.

    The liberal hecklers who shouted at President Reagan and the two Presidents Bush, were generally young and though vocal were not a large segment of the population – those who actually formed the loyal, liberal opposition were usually respectful. Those who over-reacted to Obama’s speech and attended some of the town halls and tea parties are parents and people who should either know better or be better role models. Not to stop voicing their opinions or to stop articulating their opposition – for that is the messy reality of democracy – but they should at least act like adults.

    To me the thesis of this entire thread seems to be false as I read it.

    1. President Obama was not elected because people were merely protesting a bad economy. That is flat out unsupportable. Both McCain and Obama were BOTH running against the Bush economy and the people actually had a choice of philosophies and a choice of candidates and Obama fit what the people wanted.

    2. The voters did not vote for a greatly expanded bureaucracy, yes, but they did vote for a candidate who was refreshing in several ways, first he actually didn’t blame the federal government for everything. He talked about government in an adult manner, not trying to call it evil while at the same time trying to get the job to run it, and not pretending to cut the expanse of government while actually increasing it. Case in point, the federal government expanded under every president and the single biggest increase in federal jobs occurred under George W. Bush with Homeland Security.

    3. The voters voted for someone who would stop lying to them about Iraq, not break international treatise, end torture of prisoners (which he has done mostly), end intrusion into people’s live by wiretaps and other means as implemented by the “small government” of GW Bush (which he really hasn’t done), improve the diplomatic corps that was decimated by Bush, opened dialogue with our allies without bribing them into helping us … etc., too many things. I hope you get it. He was voted in on a broad agenda of changes that now have been conveniently forgotten about.

    4. The original post is also wrong in stating that he failed “to recognize genuine American concern to deficit spending…” Actually he didn’t. He unlike Bush put the Iraq War back into the budget so people could actually see and congress could be more responsible for its affects on the budget, which Bush liked to hide. He also staunchly would veto any health care reform that would create deficit spending and is the first president in a while to advocate for “pay as you go.” Some here may not know what that means, but it means “don’t add to the deficit.” So that means cut programs or raise taxes. You may agree with his tax plans, but you can not call him unconcerned for deficit spending – two different things.

    5. The article says that Obama failed to recognize how much Americans don’t want “the nationalization of the motor industry.” No one wants the nationalization of the motor industry, Obama has said repeatedly that he doesn’t want to run GM or have the government nationalize any corporation. You may not agree with the tactics but bailing out GM just means having a 60% non-voting investment in it. It is one company, not an industry. It is temporary and GM is already planning to pay it back because they don’t want the government strings that are attached. And why are they attached, because the government (the Fed Reserve and Treasury) by law CAN NOT just give money away without protecting the taxpayer. It is too much to get into hear, but even the financial news pundits who hate government intrusion have come to realize that GM still went out under bankruptcy, but that it did so in a far quicker time frame and it saved all of the thousands of smaller companies and many dealerships (which of course IS the majority of the motor industry) from having to go bankrupt and thus not become nationalized. This was not perfect and I think the unions got a better deal than they deserved and some of it was political (wow, McCain would never have been political!?), but to call that nationalization of the motor industry is so far from reality that it is laughable. Ford is doing just fine and if Chrysler fails or GM has any more problems, it will be gone. The bailout was only deemed necessary because it happened to coincide with the failure of Wall Street and even though I believe in the principle of moral hazard in capitalism, I also feel that once a century the rules of the game need to be bent to prevent needless pain as long as it is temporary – and that is from Thomas Jefferson’s (a great small government guy) views.

    6. The article says, “Then came the town hall meetings where Americans began to voice their displeasure. Again, President Obama and his proxies dismissed them as “astro-turf”. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi derided them as Nazi’s.” This is a particularly biased statement in my opinion. First Obama, again, did not dismiss the town hall protesters … ever!!! Some did of course, because some protesters were way over the top, but there is no cabal of Obama proxies soing anything. There are some pundits and some politicians who think that many of the tea parties and town halls had some outside influences – and they did, but no one said that all or even most of the people there genuinely expressing opinions were that way. As a matter of fact the administration has mostly said that it was only the most vocal that got on TV, but that most town halls went well with plenty of genuine and passionate viewpoints.

    Also I find it interesting that Pelosi (of whom I am not a fan) says the term “Nazi” once in relation to, not protesters, but to the people who yell to the point that no one can speak, she gets blamed for that hyperbole even as hundreds of right-wingers and dozens of conservative talk show hosts actually call Obama a Nazi on a daily basis. Just think use some perspective hear, the Speaker of the House can use it once about one particular instance and every extreme conservative makes a huge deal out, yet when conservatives say the same thing on a daily basis, they are somehow patriotic Americans. I guess some people just don’t get irony.

    There is more that I could write, but this is way too long already. I just think that the premise of the thread is so much ado about nothing. The Obama admin. hasn’t over-reacted or demonized conservatives. It was dealt a bad hand in the way that President Bush 43 was dealt a bad hand with 9/11 and both administrations had political operatives whose job it is to look for ways of dealing with emergencies and even using them as opportunities for change. Bush and Cheney used 9/11 as a reason to invade Iraq and to greatly increase the power of the presidency. It is unclear how Raum E. expects to use the current crises, but Obama has chosen to look at how Reagan era deregulation substantially led to the Wall Street credit problem and the recession is a good time to reform the system. That is actually a responsible position to take. We’ll see if it works. Health care will bankrupt the country if it is left to grow at the existing rate, and in an economic down turn, this may also be the time to reform it as well. Finally, wars and security issues are good drivers for reforming the countries energy policy.

    My point is that you can disagree with Obama’s philosophies and argue his policies and even dislike his personality, but to say he is that much different from most other administrations, both Republican and Democrat, is quite the overstatement. And yes, if he does over-react (which he hasn’t yet) or he takes on too many issues to change (which he probably did), then elections will be his report card. Let’s just keep the hyperbole and biases to the pros, like Beck.

    BTW, his approval rating has fallen from 70% to 50%. A big drop, but 50% is pretty high for any president during a once in a century economic crisis and in the midst of two wars and as a target of plenty of prejudice even as he has maintained by and large his dignity and not simply fallen into the tactics of most other presidents of wrapping himself in the flag and causing people to be scared.

    BTW, the whole point of the cartoon at the top has obviously been missed.

  • You have a lot of time on your hands. Your ignore the bottom line. The lesson plans were changed. The White House itself by its actions admitted they were wrong by doing so. They may very well have changed the speech due to the democratic efforts of Republicans. Can’t deny the truth of this.

  • Would you like a match for your strawman? Maybe a thresher?

    I haven’t seen such a load of hooey since my little sister tried to use “nothing happened” to prove “nothing will ever happen” when she stayed out too late in high school.

  • I do think that the fuss about the school address has been excessive — at the same time, however, I think MacGregor’s extensive comment above falls into the basic pattern (all too easy to fall into) of looking at things through a tribal lens and thinking, “Sure there are some crazies on my side, but there aren’t many and they’re harmless. Now the other guys! They’re bad!”

    Yes, there have certainly been over-the-top reactions to Clinton and Obama, but there were incredibly extreme amounts of hate directed at Reagan and Bush2, and both of them dealt with it in a calm and statesmanlike fashion. Attempts to portray Obama’s critiques as more deranged or dangerous than the sufferers from Bush Derangement Syndrome over the last eight years suggest a certain lack of perspective.

    This is not to say that people are right to behave irresponsibly in response to Obama, but perspective is always necessary.

Obama Drops Public Option, Showdown With Pelosi Looms

Wednesday, September 2, AD 2009

Obama Pelosi

President Obama will be dropping the socialistic Public Option from his government-run health care plan.  This will certainly anger the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and make for some interesting showdowns with both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (emphasis mine).

“…Obama’s willingness to forgo the public option is sure to anger his party’s liberal base. But some administration officials welcome a showdown with liberal lawmakers… …The confrontation would allow Obama to show he is willing to stare down his own party to get things done.”

Continue reading...

15 Responses to Obama Drops Public Option, Showdown With Pelosi Looms

  • Pingback: Dueling ObamaCare Videos! « The American Catholic
  • You do realize that:

    (i) the proposed public option is strictly limited to those without employer-based coverage, and is designed to compete with private options, and that it’s sole point is to keep costs down (it would be very easy just to subsidize people to purchase very expensive coverage)?

    (ii) about 40 percent (this is off the top of my head, but I think it’s right) of healthcare spending in the United States now originates with the government. Medicare, covering all seniors, is basically a Canada-style single payer system. The VHA, covering military veterans, goes even further and is basically a UK-style single-provider system. Overall, this means a larger public role than the systems in countries like Germany and France. Do you propose to abolish medicare?

  • Do you propose to abolish medicare?

    Git ‘r done.

  • (i) without employer based coverage

    Meaning what exactly – if your employer pays your coverage, or if it is offered, but you have to pay? E.g., employer covers the cost for the employee, but the employee has to pay out of pocket for spouse/dependent. Would the spouse/dependents qualify for the public option? If not, then they are really getting screwed.

  • MM — it’s wonderful that you finally, after so long, admit to the level of government spending in America, but you fail to follow the logic where it leads: if a single-payer system established in America would magically give us the cheapness and results of France (as you so commonly claim), then we should ALREADY see that Medicare covers everybody in America (not just the elderly), while spending less money to boot. The fact that Medicare does not even remotely do so betrays the vacuousness of your habitual refusal to consider all of the many reasons that American health is different from European countries, and why an American government program will with 100% certainty be incomparably more expensive than what is seen in France.

  • C Matt – if you have employer-based coverage, nothing changes. This was an issue during early negotation and it was decided to restrict to public option only to those out on their own and in small busineses.

    SB– I have never made such a magical claim, and you know it. But we do have a very good comparison — Medicare and private insurance. And we know that while costs are rising unsustainably in both, the rise is actually smaller in medicare. Of course, everybody focuses on the explicit cost on the public balance sheet (taxes), but not the implicit cost on household balance sheets (rising premia preventing wages from increasing).

    On why the cost per capita is twice as high in the United States, there is no simple answer. Part of it is insurance company profit-seeking and administrative– single payer is able to keep costs in check by simply efficiency gains — spreading risk over the greatest number of people and having a single administrative system. That’s an important part of it, but it’s not all of it. Like everyone else who follows this issue seriously, I was impressed by Atul Gawande’s little cost experiment. And here is the paradox — on one hand we have so many people left behind (47 million with no insurance, 25 million with insufficient insurance, widespread rationing by cost) and yet on the other hand we clearly have a lot of treatment that is not needed. And this happens in places where the income of a doctor or healthcare provider is tied directly to the quantity of treatments ordered. This is a classic market imperfection, as the healthcare provider is exploiting an information asymmetry in a way that maximizes his revenue. In places where doctors are paid a salary, or where income is pooled, you do not see these problems with ineffiency (the Mayo clinic is a good example here).

    So, there are really 2 issues — access and cost. Access is actually not that hard — dish dish out a lot of money to subsidy coverage at whatever cost demanded by private insurance companies. I think everybody would agree that this is unsustainable. We must also trim costs. The public option is a small step in that direction — though it is not neutered that I doubt it will do much good at this point. The big cost issues remain outstanding.

  • SB– I have never made such a magical claim, and you know it.

    No, I don’t know it. I can’t even count how many times you’ve made the claim that European countries with single-payer get better healthcare for less money. It’s clear that you’re trying to suggest that the US could replicate the same. If you’re not trying to suggest that, you should write more clearly.

    Anyway, if you read Gawande’s article, he points out that the incentives in the fee-for-service model are so overwhelming that the method of payment (government vs. private insurance) is pretty much irrelevant. That point seems right on to me.

  • MM,

    C Matt – if you have employer-based coverage, nothing changes. This was an issue during early negotation and it was decided to restrict to public option only to those out on their own and in small busineses.

    This is simply not true. Under all of the public option proposals, ANYONE (including illegal immigrants) can chose any plan in the HIE including the public option. Even if such a restriction were added nothing stops the employer from opting to drop it’s employees into the public option.

  • SB: ” can’t even count how many times you’ve made the claim that European countries with single-payer get better healthcare for less money.”

    Yes, I’ve made it a zillion times because it is A FACT. I have no doubt that a single-apyer system in the US would reduce costs and increase coverage, and be better aligned to the requirements of Catholic social teaching. Will it magically reduce costs from 15 percent of GDP to 8 percent of GDP? Of course not. Any anyway, this is all irrelevant, since clearly the great free market liberal masses would rather suffer and die from lack of care than flirt with “socialism”.

    Matt: You are flat out wrong on this one. Restricting the public option to those outside employer-based insurance is central to the proposals (I think that is silly, but anything stronger would clearly not pass muster with the ideological liberals that oppose healthcare reform). See a flow chart that makes this point succinctly: http://vox-nova.com/2009/08/19/9222/. And as for employers dropping coverage, there would be a big penalty for doing something like that.

  • Matt: No public option covers illegal immigrants. The congress and the president have already said they will not agree to any legislation that says this. The only way they get treatment is by going into emergency rooms where hospitals are morally obligated to give them care if the injury or sickness is serious.

    The part of this article that shows the lack of intellectual honesty with many conservative pundits, is that when President Obama proves that he is not a liberal ideologue, when he shows that he believes in bipartisan, pragmatic governance – no one commends him on it. They only talk about “show downs” and his political problems as if he failed. What hypocrisy!

    And Art Deco, what part of your post is in any way Catholic? I challenge you to get in front of any congregation in the country as say that.

    “Do you propose to abolish medicare?

    Git ‘r done.”

  • And Art Deco, what part of your post is in any way Catholic? I challenge you to get in front of any congregation in the country as say that.

    The parishs I attend congregate for the Divine Liturgy, not to listen to my opinions on anything. Minion can ask a rhetorical question. If he gets a serious answer, that’s a gift. Me stingy today.

    I have already bored the assembled with my suggestion of what a revised mode of financing medical care might look like, as a component of a reconstituted tax and welfare system. Of course, there were a mess of holes in the idea, but I am not in the insurance business and I was only ever the smallest fry in the world of hospital administration, so I cannot draw on any fund of knowledge to fill the holes. If you are interested, it is here somewhere.

  • I’d have far less problem with the public option if there was some mechanism to guarantee that the government would remain one competitor among several and not a slow-growing monopolist of the system. The government is no mere private competitor–it has pricing and contracting advantages unique to its role as the trustee of the public fisc. I am unaware of any such mechanisms in the plan(s) before Congress.

    And, in one of the plans before Congress, there is a penalty of up to 8% of payroll for employers who want to dump their coverage. I also believe it caps out the size of the employer which can take advantage of the option, but I’m much less clear on that.

    As I said in a previous thread, 8% of payroll may or may not be an incentive to drop coverage. Without knowing how health costs compare on average to payroll, I have no meaningful frame of reference.

  • Yes, I’ve made it a zillion times because it is A FACT. I have no doubt that a single-apyer system in the US would reduce costs and increase coverage, and be better aligned to the requirements of Catholic social teaching.

    A little more epistemic modesty might be in order, wouldn’t you think? In discussing any policy issue of any magnitude, 100% certainty amounts to overconfidence and bias. Has it never crossed your mind that the same forces that have caused Americans to spend so much more on health care — including via government spending, which isn’t subject to your canards about administrative costs or insurance company profits — may well continue to be in place? That this will cause Americans to overuse medicine in a single payer system to an even greater degree, thus causing overall costs to rise?

  • The real issue is liberal agenda. Get the liberals out of absolute power and see how many problems disappear. The american ppublic is already sending that message at the polls and it’s about time!
    Also; someone with the guts needs to take Obama into custody by citizen’s arrest for failure to prove he qualifies under the U.S. Constitution to hold office; since the justice system in this country is failing to do it’s duty. Every executive order Obama has signed is worthless and must not be recognized officially. Those he has placed in office are there illegally and must be removed. Those of you who are supporting Obama must realize you are supporting a usurper and probably illegal alien. Someone with authority must investigate fully all the hidden personal information which cannot be released to the public under court order. This has nothing to do with national security and everything to do with treason; which when prosecuted rightfully carries the death sentence during this time of war we currently are fighting.

Sleeping Giant Awakes and Democrats Blink

Thursday, August 13, AD 2009

Today Senator Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said that senators are excluding a provision on end-of-life care from the House bill.  This is a major victory for ordinary Americans.

As senior citizens voice their displeasure with “death-panels” and other provisions in the House bill, the Democrat leaders are grudgingly realizing that maybe, just maybe, some provisions in their House bill will not pass with the American public.

The most recent polls show that the demonizing tactics of President Obama and Speaker Pelosi have failed to cover the growing grassroots activism that is rising among ordinary Americans.

Continue reading...

28 Responses to Sleeping Giant Awakes and Democrats Blink

  • Taco Man,

    Kindly correct “Nazi’s” as “Nazis”.

    I’m not entirely sure why you happen to have employed the possessive in this context.

  • Ill see your 2010 and raise ya a 2012.
    Nice echo in here. Im Catholic, Im an Obama supporter.
    Again, tell me why the vocal majority here wants to penalize the sick?

  • Master C,

    What penalty?

    You mean why are Americans tired of being over taxed and regulated? Why having to pay for such great government-run success stories like “Cash for Clunkers” and “FEMA” have inspired lack of confidence?

    Geeee, I don’t know what you mean?

  • I guess you have never been sick.denied coverage, or been out of a job and had to pay like crazy for COBRA.
    This country, the richest in the world, cant seem
    to help the least of us [THAT penalty]

  • I have been deathly ill, been denied coverage, and I am out of a job as I type this. And I refuse to pay COBRA (kind of helps when you have no money to pay for it).

    So I guess I will be demonized as well since I’m not being payed nor have I been contacted by any Vast Right Wing Conspiracy™ machine.

  • Demonized?
    I asked why the vocal majority here wants to penalize the sick.
    ….and I still havent heard the reason.

  • I asked why the vocal majority here wants to penalize the sick.

    See, this is what’s known as a strawman argument. The reason no one has answered your question is because your premise is logistically flawed. Please prove you’re not some 17-year old troll and actually attempt to argue in good faith, otherwise the rest of us will continue to ignore your moronic assertions.

    Hope that clears that up.

  • Since you have a taste for demagoguery, mc, why do you support government-funded abortion?

    http://asia.news.yahoo.com/ap/20090805/twl-us-health-care-overhaul-abortion-ef375f8.html

    [For the record, I support universal health coverage. But not this monstrosity.]

  • Nobody here wants to “penalize the sick.” However, we would like to find a way of helping the sick that DOESN’T involve running up vast amounts of debt for future generations to pay with crushing taxation, or the government paying to kill unborn children, or a gigantic bureaucracy deciding what kind of treatment we can and cannot have.

    .

  • So interesting,
    I am asking why we would penalize the sick, and if that is moronic, so be it. I have had 12 years of Catholic school education and have attended church all my life and consider myself well versed in what Jesus chose to spend his time talking about. The status quo protects INSURANCE companies not people. I am asking why you all would want to keep that in place. I know change is scary, but I believe that taking care of our people is important.

  • Pingback: We Are Americans, Not Europeans « The American Catholic
  • master c has decided to don troll garb. Do not feed the energy creature.

  • psst.. The ‘evil’ insurance companies are made up of people. Like me. And my Mom. Evil healthcare companies are made up of people, too. Like my Dad and many of my cousins.

    Personally, I always viewed insurance as a sort of capitalist socialism..

  • master c:

    I find it curious that even with a seemingly extensive education, you still suffer from what apparently are cognitive deficiencies you are unable to remedy in spite of your professed years at academia.

    To make the remarkably bold, outright assertion that anybody opposed to the Obamacare death squads as actually the ones penalizing the sick; I take it when such a hideous plan as in its original conception were actually implemented, you would have been amongst the first to dance for joy when the lives of your loved ones are truncated simply to promote system efficiency and cost savings.

    So, if anybody is doing any sort of penalizing, it is your much favored fiercely Pro-Abort administration seeking to extend the tentacles of its Culture of Death principles upon the general populace.

    Extra credit points, though, for your (albeit futile) attempts at making the proponents of evil as actually the advocates of good.

  • Master C: Read chapters 2 and 3 of B16’s Jesus of Nazareth and then come back for some big boy discussion of social justice issues.

  • How about reading the Caritas in Veritate encyclical?
    Does that qualify as big boy enough for you?

    I’m Catholic, Im American, yet Im a troll.
    Nice.

  • “I’m Catholic, I’m American, yet Im a troll.”

    So, you mean to argue that since you’re Catholic, you’re American; therefore, you cannot be a troll?

    Don’t get it. at all.

    “How about reading the Caritas in Veritate encyclical? Does that qualify as big boy enough for you?”

    It only qualifies as “big boy” enough if you read it thoroughly and with sufficient comprehension so as to discern exactly that what the fiercely Pro-Abort administration seeks to advance in such policies stands completely opposite to the very Christian principles essentially enshrined in such encyclicals.

  • what about the fiercely pro social justice part?

    http://ncronline.org/blogs/essays-theology/popes-social-encyclical

    a little something for all us!

  • So since it contains a pro-social justice part; therefore, adopting and, even further, implementing policies that would most certainly advance the Culture of Death must somehow be alright then.

    After all your comments, I seem to have gleaned an insight into just what you’re master of.

  • OK gentlemen,

    Enough with the “troll” comments.

    Just argue the substance, not the person.

  • Can we argue the source of master c’s understanding of the Church’s teaching:

    The pope’s social encyclical
    by Richard McBrien on Aug. 10, 2009

  • A guy who repeatedly asks “why the vocal majority here wants to penalize the sick” and dodges questions about his support for abortion doesn’t offer much substance to address.

    But, OK:

    mc–Caritas in Veritate condemns abortion three times. How does the Obama “health care” plan that pays for abortions [see the link to the Associated Press analysis I provided above] square with Catholic social teaching as set forth in the encyclical?

    I await your next change of subject.

  • Respectfully, here is the link from the lead post:

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservative#US_Voters

    That list of what conservatives seek or support doesnt entirely square with my Catholic beliefs, that’s all. That’s what Im here to say, not dodge, demagogue or demonize. I know your one issue that trumps all is abortion. I know lots of Catholics who let that determine how they vote.

    Dont know if it matters, but I am a woman.

  • “I know your one issue that trumps all is abortion.”

    I’m sorry–have we met? I have no idea who you are, so I doubt I’ve informed you as to my political beliefs. If it’s one thing people here will gladly testify to, it’s that I resent to high Heaven people who label me and assign opinions to me that I do not hold.

    So, speaking of demonizing, you’ve done it and not apologized for it, stating authoritatively that I (and others) want “to penalize the sick.” That was uncalled for, and still unapologized for, and now you make more assumptions. For the record, I have voted for pro-choice candidates in the past (regretfully, but there was no other options). Thus, your second assumption about me is false. I respectfully request that you cease and desist.

    And, yes, you’re dodging and changing the subject again, pointing to the Wikipedia link this time.

    Back to the question: how can a Catholic square support health care that funds elective (i.e., not for medical reasons) with authentic (as opposed to purely secular) social justice principles?

    The basic problem is this: we don’t help the hungry by knowingly giving them loaves of spoiled bread that won’t kill most of them outright (even though we know some will die from food poisoning). “But they’re hungry and we have a duty to feed the hungry” doesn’t cut it. Likewise, we don’t help the sick by giving them “health” care we know–KNOW–will result in the deliberate killing of human life. It is really as simple as that.

  • The link was from the original post [see the top], and prompted me to reply in the first place. Im not sure if you actually read it, it is not from wikipedia. It was provided as support that this is a conservatively plural nation. As it was a set forth as a basis for this discussion, Im not sure how it is “dodging and changing the discussion” I apologize for all the demonizing. I respectfully cease and desist.
    Not sure what qualifies as on topic around here.

  • Since “conservipedia,” like Wikipedia, can be freely edited by anybody who logs in, it’s a Wikipedia for conservatives, mc. It even rips off the template. Nice try.

    At least it was better than your canned apology for slandering everyone here as a “penalizer of the sick.” And much, much better than your third evasion of the abortion/health care question.

    I have no interest in talking with you further.

  • Dude, the link came from THIS post by the author of THIS BLOG!
    get a clue.
    I am glad ypu wont be talking to me anymore

  • Pingback: ObamaCare Update « The American Catholic

Anger and Astroturf

Wednesday, August 12, AD 2009

democrats_republicans_head_to_head_hg_wht

There are two observations I have noticed during this health care debate that President Obama and Congressional Democrats have been pushing.

One, there is anger from the American people concerning the direction and the destination of health care ‘reform’.  Genuine anger.  The unfortunate problem is that a small minority have chosen to shout down congressional leaders in Town Hall meetings that have proven to be a distraction at best and a public relations disaster at worst.  Those that oppose any health care ‘reform’, especially the socialist laden package that is currently being drafted, should respect the opposition and engage in constructive dialogue.  Showing anger and disrespect to your elected officials is simply wrong and uncalled for and should be stopped now.

Which leads to my second observation and the accusations that this grass roots opposition to health care ‘reform’ is being labeled as astroturf.  Due to the cooperation of the mainstream media in failing to provide unbiased programming of the health care debate in addition to leading Democrats from President Obama to House Speak Nancy Pelosi having mislabeled genuine American concern of government intrusion via health care ‘reform’ as artificial.  If leading Democrats continue to mischaracterize the opposition as such, they will do this to their own detriment.  Meaning a possible loss of one or both chambers of congress in the 2010 Congressional Elections and possibly the executive branch in 2012.  They need to take the American people seriously, not ignore the problem.

Just my two cents worth.

Continue reading...

27 Responses to Anger and Astroturf

  • Tito,

    The unfortunate problem is that a small minority have chosen to shout down congressional leaders in Town Hall meetings that have proven to be a distraction at best and a public relations disaster at worst. Those that oppose any health care ‘reform’, especially the socialist laden package that is currently being drafted, should respect the opposition and engage in constructive dialogue. Showing anger and disrespect to your elected officials is simply wrong and uncalled for and should be stopped now

    I think there’s 2 misperceptions here. One is that there is a general shouting down of the politicians. If you watch the whole presentation in context, I suggest that what happens is the politicians refuse to allow alternate points of view to be presented, refuse to answer, obfuscate and/or outright lie about the bill. Sometimes it is necessary to get loud to be heard. Granted it doesn’t always make good press when it’s cut by the liberal media to try and discredit the protesters. Caution is necessary to be sure, and there may have been excesses at times.

    Secondly, there is not many people who oppose reform of the health care funding system we have. Most support tort reform, and leveling the playing field between employer and privately purchased plans, as well as freedom of choice as to levels of coverage.

  • I don’t subscribe to bizarro news network, so I don’t know which town halls you are referring to.

  • I don’t subscribe to bizarro news network, so I don’t know which town halls you are referring to.

    It’s interesting that you (rightly) castigate the media for not fully reporting what’s going on, and yet you’re mocking Matt because he has a more accurate understanding of the complete picture behind the town halls. What you see on the nightly news or are hearing reports of are small snippets. People are asking thoughtful questions, and people are being respectful. However, people begin to get agitated once their representative begins to hem and haw, and then simply lie.

    I agree that there’s no use in yelling for the sake of yelling, and we should allow our opponents time to speak – after all, in many cases, they do a fine job of defeating their own cause. But it’s simply wrong to say that the protesters are not allowing Congressmen the opportunity to speak at all before the shouting begins.

  • Paul,

    Only a small minority is needed to make our arguments look bad.

    The mainstream media, as I wrote in my posting, is doing a terrible job covering what is actually happening.

    We all know that the MSM tilts heavily towards the left, don’t you think it would be wise to be a bit more careful when articulating our arguments.

    The MSM will give liberal protesters a pass when they portray Bush as Hitler, but will play up Pelosi’s “swastika” comments. And she was lieing!

  • Paul,

    thanks. Taco Tito has already apologized deeply and profusely for his error, he’s just too ashamed to do so publicly.

  • Matt’s been drinking kool-ade again.

  • Could somebody kindly explain Tito’s rather sarcastic dismissal of Matt’s previous comments?

    I thought the whole point of Tito Taco’s post was concerning the poor depiction of what is actually transpiring in these Town Hall meetings, which I thought Matt’s own comments attempted to provide a more accurate portrayal thereof.

    Was there some sort of rhetorical irony I might have missed in Matt’s comments that I may have missed which seemingly sought to make a mockery out of Taco’s post?

  • Never mind.

    I see Matt & Tito are simply flirting with one another.

    Still getting used to this “modern” world.

  • If leading Democrats continue to mischaracterize the opposition as such, they will do this to their own detriment. Meaning a possible loss of one or both chambers of congress in the 2010 Congressional Elections and possibly the executive branch in 2012. They need to take the American people seriously, not ignore the problem.

    These nutjobs are all hardcore Republicans. The Dems lose nothing. Still, it’s generally wise for a politician to at least pretend like the wackos are saying something worth listening to.

  • e.,

    This is to much fun, but since you may not be aware, Matt and I work together. In fact our offices are right next to each other.

    So we rib each other from time to time.

    Hopefully that will calm you down and relieve some of the anxiety you have.

  • unrestrainedradical,

    like the typical leftist elite you completely misunderstand the American people, the majority who are opposed to ObamaCare.

  • The nutjobs are all hardcore Republicans.

    I’m afraid the only nutjob here happens to be the commenter making this comment.

    Still, it’s generally wise for a politician to at least pretend like the wackos are saying something worth listening to.

    Wackos being the Demo-n-Caths and all wackjobs of fellow adherents of that sordid political party that merely pretends to usher in change on behalf of the general populace all the while under this veneer of healthcare for the common man lies a most devious atrocity which can only be conceivably advanced by the democrat death squads.

  • Yeah, it’s just the Republicans who are opposed to a single-payer system and are generally fearful of a government take-over.

    You guys keep telling yourselves that. Complete denial of public disapproval worked so well for the GOP in 2005-06.

  • Highly recommend the attached article by Camille Paglia. She, of course, is in favor of health care reform, but she correctly places the blame for the heated discourse where it belongs on the Democrats and Obama for attempting to hastily push through poorly explained and thought out legislation.

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2009/08/12/town_halls/index.html

    She states:

    “But who would have thought that the sober, deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises — or that he would so easily cede the leadership clout of the executive branch to a chaotic, rapacious, solipsistic Congress? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom I used to admire for her smooth aplomb under pressure, has clearly gone off the deep end with her bizarre rants about legitimate town-hall protests by American citizens. She is doing grievous damage to the party and should immediately step down.

    There is plenty of blame to go around. Obama’s aggressive endorsement of a healthcare plan that does not even exist yet, except in five competing, fluctuating drafts, makes Washington seem like Cloud Cuckoo Land. The president is promoting the most colossal, brazen bait-and-switch operation since the Bush administration snookered the country into invading Iraq with apocalyptic visions of mushroom clouds over American cities.

    You can keep your doctor; you can keep your insurance, if you’re happy with it, Obama keeps assuring us in soothing, lullaby tones. Oh, really? And what if my doctor is not the one appointed by the new government medical boards for ruling on my access to tests and specialists? And what if my insurance company goes belly up because of undercutting by its government-bankrolled competitor? Face it: Virtually all nationalized health systems, neither nourished nor updated by profit-driven private investment, eventually lead to rationing.

    I just don’t get it. Why the insane rush to pass a bill, any bill, in three weeks? And why such an abject failure by the Obama administration to present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way? The U.S. is gigantic; many of our states are bigger than whole European nations. The bureaucracy required to institute and manage a nationalized health system here would be Byzantine beyond belief and would vampirically absorb whatever savings Obama thinks could be made. And the transition period would be a nightmare of red tape and mammoth screw-ups, which we can ill afford with a faltering economy.”

    She even has sympathy for Sarah Palin’s recent statements about Death Panels:

    “As a libertarian and refugee from the authoritarian Roman Catholic church of my youth, I simply do not understand the drift of my party toward a soulless collectivism. This is in fact what Sarah Palin hit on in her shocking image of a “death panel” under Obamacare that would make irrevocable decisions about the disabled and elderly. When I first saw that phrase, headlined on the Drudge Report, I burst out laughing. It seemed so over the top! But on reflection, I realized that Palin’s shrewdly timed metaphor spoke directly to the electorate’s unease with the prospect of shadowy, unelected government figures controlling our lives. A death panel not only has the power of life and death but is itself a symptom of a Kafkaesque brave new world where authority has become remote, arbitrary and spectral. And as in the Spanish Inquisition, dissidence is heresy, persecuted and punished.”

  • Awakeman,

    You and I enjoy reading the same articles.

    You beat me to the punch, I was going to post this article later today, but this is just as good.

    Good job!

  • “If leading Democrats continue to mischaracterize the opposition as such, they will do this to their own detriment. Meaning a possible loss of one or both chambers of congress in the 2010 Congressional Elections and possibly the executive branch in 2012. They need to take the American people seriously, not ignore the problem.

    These nutjobs are all hardcore Republicans. The Dems lose nothing. Still, it’s generally wise for a politician to at least pretend like the wackos are saying something worth listening to.”

    Do you actually believe this? I talked to a friend of mine that is a Senate staffer in the most least populated area of the State ,In the most obscure areas it is standing room only and trust me these are not RUSH LIMBAUGH Republican Ditto heads

    I am always amazed on the left or right how some see some plot. I have been through this enough times to see that is a purely bipartisian affair.

    It is slighlty amusing, though with a bit of sadness, that SOcial Justice Catholics that proclaim themselves above such petty things as party fall into the same ole tiresome thing they rant against. No these people have legitimate concerns. They want answers. To call them “nutjobs” right off the bat shows a particular disconnect. Like I said I have seen this on both sides. Right now it is just you.

  • Oh, please, gents–

    Surely by now you’ve all seen the SEIU squad beat up a conservative activist (posted below, if I recall), the bullhorn-toting Obamacare supporters trying to intimidate the opposition at Pelosi’s visit of a Denver clinic:
    http://www.lookingattheleft.com/2009/08/pelosi-astroturf-healthcare/
    and the guy with the Obama with Hitler mustache poster (evidently obtained from Lyndon LaRouche’s organization) who was later spotted handing out literature for Rep. Dingell:
    http://theblogprof.blogspot.com/2009/08/busted-obama-as-hitler-poster-was.html

    There’s poor footing to argue that the vocal nutjobs are all on the right, especially when some of those rightists turn out to be plants. Be wary of opening your mouth precipitously; you may find later you have inserted your foot!

    For the record, I went to a town hall earlier this week and the one attendee there who distinguished herself by attempting to interrupt the speaker and trying to rumble with the police security was an Obamacare supporter.

  • I do believe the “death panel” portion of the current bill has been blown way out of proportion — and I have actually read it, by the way.

    It states simply that the healthcare plan will pay for senior citizens to have consultations with their doctors regarding advance directives (such as living wills or healthcare powers of attorney) at least every 5 years. Such consultations would be paid for on a more frequent basis if the person becomes seriously ill — not necessarily because anyone is trying to hasten their death, but because the person themselves may want to make changes or adjustments in their advance directive as their condition changes or worsens. Bringing the doctor into the discussion makes sense because many times, advance directives are drawn up by and filed with lawyers and the doctor may be the last person to know that a patient even has an advance directive.

    Federal law already requires hospitals to ask patients whether they have advance directives and inform them of their right to have one — but it doesn’t REQUIRE anyone to actually have a directive if they don’t want one. Mandating that insurance pay for a service is NOT the same as mandating that the policy holder actually take advantage of the service. Most if not all of us probably have health insurance that by state or federal law has to cover things we never personally take advantage of.

    Now, it is true that National Right to Life and other pro-life groups would like to see stronger language in this bill to protect seniors and the handicapped from being pressured by their doctors, family, or others into signing away their right to life-saving or life-sustaining treatment. That is a legitimate concern which must be addressed, but it is a far cry from asserting that the bill creates an all-powerful “death panel.”

    I know it is very easy for conservatives, and particularly pro-lifers, to assume the worst about the Obama administration given his record so far. However, that does not excuse intentional distortion or hasty misinterpretation of the healthcare bill for purely political reasons.

    Now, all that being said — there are still very, very many serious questions to be raised about this bill and attempting to rush it through Congress without giving Congresscritters themselves — let alone the public — time to understand what it really does, and instruct them to stick to canned talking points, is the WORST possible strategy the Democrats could take. The more they attempt to dismiss and discredit criticism of the bill, the more they come off looking like dictators and playing right into the fears of those who are opposed to the plan. It’s enough to make me think they WANT to lose control of Congress next year… maybe they’ve discovered that being the party in power isn’t as much fun as they thought!

  • It is confusing to have any discussion, when the elected officials can’t refer to any facts. There are so many versions and variations of health initiatives crafted by staff and lobbyists, we can’t keep track. How can there be a discussion on smoke and mirrors! They are blowing the smoke, by confirming “my version doesn’t say that!”
    The media choose to ignore this mutliple layers and versions as adding to anger and confusion. It’s like buying a car with 3 different contracts in front of you.

  • Elaine,

    I’m sorry, with this bill the bureaucrats have the power to require such consultations and possibly to sign directives that the patients don’t agree with. There’s nothing in the bill which enforces the voluntary nature, it’s in the hands of government, we just have to trust them.

  • I’m not talking about mere opponents of Obamacare when I say “nutjobs.” I’m not a supporter of Obamacare. Those who support or oppose the plan on its merits are a small intelligent minority. I’m talking about the Glenn Beck groupies that show up at the town hall meetings with their birth certificates in zip-lock bags yelling about how the big black socialist is going to kill their grandmas. Dems can mock them with political impunity.

  • elitistunrestrainedadical,

    Matt McDonald Says:
    Wednesday, August 12, 2009 A.D. at 1:06 pm

    unrestrainedradical,

    like the typical leftist elite you completely misunderstand the American people, the majority who are opposed to ObamaCare.

  • Saying that the end of life consultation provision could be open to abuse in the future is accurate — just about ANY provision of any law is open to abuse, and the potential abuses have to be considered when the law is written. However, saying this bill actually creates “death panels” is NOT accurate. In fact it may be even less accurate now that the Dems are seriously talking about removing that whole provision from the bill, which is fine with me.

  • RestrainedRadical,

    I’m talking about the Glenn Beck groupies that show up at the town hall meetings with their birth certificates in zip-lock bags yelling about how the big black socialist is going to kill their grandmas.

    You have to admit that that is a leap of logic of connecting genuine grassroots opposition to socialized medicine to racist birthers.

    Elaine,

    It has been removed, but don’t you think they removed it because perception is reality? Meaning that it could be used to implement Aktion T4 like directives?

    Aktion T4: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_T4

  • During this whole debate, nobody consulted Michael Moore on his documented health care in Cuba. If we opened relations with Cuba,and sent cruiser ships with seniors for health care to Cuba, then we could find a happy solution.
    Grandpa could retire there with a bottle of viagra, lots of cigars, and plenty of rum! That’s what I call a great way to end your days!
    If I had to choose between Canada and Cuba, there’s no question I want Cuba!