Is The USCCB Responsible for ObamaCare?

Friday, July 16, AD 2010

The American Life League (ALL) is making a strong case of placing most of the blame for passage of ObamaCare squarely on the shoulders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

What the ALL is alleging is that the USCCB was very desperate to push for universal health coverage that they compromised on some key principles.  One of which was that of abortion where instead of fighting against abortion they decided to stick their heads in the ground and use “abortion neutral” language.

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10 Responses to Is The USCCB Responsible for ObamaCare?

  • It was imprudent for the USCCB to advocate for universal health care. While it is important and appropriate for the USCCB to explain the moral rules of engagement regarding access to health care, how a society can best satisfy those moral imperatives is outside its competency. Its opinions are no more or less instructive or insightful than mine, yours, etc. One of the most important moral rules of engagement regarding health care is that abortion is unacceptable.

  • I agree with Mike, but this is BS. The bishops (who certainly favor HC reform of some sort and in many or most cases prefer a government based system) were one of the loudest and most influential voices against abortion and the lack of conscience provisions. If it weren’t for them and other pro-life orgs like NRTL Obamacare would have steamrolled through with generous abortion provisions. In large part it was their influence with “pro-life” Dems that resulted in making the matter an obstacle to be overcome by Dem leadership and gaining what little protections there are.

  • There = their. Illiterate or something.

  • RL,

    Got it fixed for you buddy.

    Cardinal George personally telephoned pro-life GOPers to push for the pro-life amendment when it was in the House.

    He didn’t do any such thing when Bart Stupak and his Benedict Arnold’s reversed course and put the death sentence on innocent unborn children.

  • I’m with RL. The USCCB was one of the loudest opponents of ObamaCare. To say that they are somehow responsible for it passing is bizarre.

  • Thanks Tito.

    The bishops spoke to anyone and everyone who would listen. They made it clear to Stupak too. The bishops were rightfully disappointed in the “pro-life” Dems that changed their vote, and outraged at the shenanigans and betrayal of the CHA. I use the owrd outraged because that is pretty much what it would take for them to speak so disapprovingly publicly.

  • Why is it that anyone continues to think that our bishops are men of honor? Which of them would accept martyrdom in support of Church? Why was it necessary for the Vatican to issue rules about the protection of children?

    Blind mouths, as Milton called them.

    Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold
    A sheep-hook, or have learn’d aught else the least That to the faithful herdman’s art belongs!
    What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
    And when they list, their lean and flashy songs
    Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw:
    The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
    But swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw
    Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:
    Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
    Daily devours apace, and nothing said:

  • Gabriel,
    I think you paint with an exceedingly broad and uncharitable brush. And to answer your insulting rhetorical question, I bet quite a few would accept martyrdom if it came to that — but like STM have no interest in initiating or accelerating the process.

  • Politics are a problem for the USCCB. There are many so called “Catholics” who continue their support of todays culture and relativisms in Congress. The only fault of these Bishops , for most of them , is their inability in their teaching of the Church’s tenets to really enforced these teachings on those politicians after meetings and consultations with these so called “catholics” who continue to support the culture of death. A good example is the record of Nancy Pelosi and yet the extreme measure of excomunication is not used. These leaves many of the laity to wonder why they also can not pick and choose what tenets they may or may not follow, or disagree with, or why if these politicians are are able to cotinue their ” standing ” in the Church why then can’t they.

  • Mike Petrik said Friday, July 16, 2010 A.D.
    “Gabriel,
    I think you paint with an exceedingly broad and uncharitable brush. And to answer your insulting rhetorical question, I bet quite a few would accept martyrdom if it came to that — but like STM have no interest in initiating or accelerating the process”.

    My point is quite simple: our bishops are failing in their duty. Compare ours with the bishops in China, Vietnam, Africa.
    A.N.Whitehead described religion in our time as “decoration for comfortable lives”. Our bishops are afraid; they congregate behind the chancery walls and the bureaucratic pomposities of the USCCB.

    Consider but the inanities of Fr. McBrien, published in so many diocesan papers. Uncharitable is permitting his misleading notions to be published under episcopal authority. {One among many examples: Fr. McBrien believes that ensoulment of the fetus happens three months after conception – which is to say that an abortion before the 3rd month is not murder].

    Bishops like hanging around politicians. They are not unlike the Arian bishops who delighted in being received at the court in Constantinople. Plus ca change…

HHS Statement on Abortion Funding

Thursday, July 15, AD 2010

The Department of Health and Human Services has released the following statement regarding allegations that newly approved Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans would cover abortions:

As is the case with FEHB plans currently, and with the Affordable Care Act and the President’s related Executive Order more generally, in Pennsylvania and in all other states abortions will not be covered in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) except in the cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered.

Our policy is the same for both state and federally-run PCIP programs. We will reiterate this policy in guidance to those running the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan at both the state and federal levels. The contracts to operate the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan include a requirement to follow all federal laws and guidance.

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0 Responses to HHS Statement on Abortion Funding

  • A case of “he says, she says”? Who’s right?

  • “The high-risk pool program is one of the new programs created by the sweeping health care legislation (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) that President Obama signed into law on March 23. The law authorizes $5 billion in federal funds for the program, which will cover as many as 400,000 people when it is implemented nationwide.

    “The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million in federal tax funds, which we’ve discovered will pay for insurance plans that cover any legal abortion,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of right-to-life organizations in all 50 states. “This is just the first proof of the phoniness of President Obama’s assurances that federal funds would not subsidize abortion — but it will not be the last.”

    An earlier version of the health care legislation, passed by the House of Representatives in November 2009, contained a provision (the Stupak-Pitts Amendment) that would have prevented federal funds from subsidizing abortion or insurance coverage of abortion in any of the programs created by the bill, including the high-risk pool program. But President Obama opposed that pro-life provision, and it was not included in the bill later approved by both houses and signed into law. An executive order signed by the President on March 24, 2010 did not contain effective barriers to federal funding of abortion, and did not even mention the high-risk pool program.

    “President Obama successfully opposed including language in the bill to prevent federal subsidies for abortions, and now the Administration is quietly advancing its abortion-expanding agenda through administrative decisions such as this, which they hope will escape broad public attention,” Johnson said.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has emphasized that the high-risk pool program is a federal program and that the states will not incur any cost. On May 11, 2010, in a letter to Democratic and Republican congressional leaders on implementation of the new law, DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote that “states may choose whether and how they participate in the program, which is funded entirely by the federal government.”

    Details of the high-risk pool plans for most states are not yet available. But on June 28, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario (a member of the appointed cabinet of Governor Edward Rendell, a Democrat) issued a press release announcing that the federal Department of Health and Human Services had approved his agency’s proposal for implementing the new program in Pennsylvania. “The state will receive $160 million to set up the program, which will provide coverage to as many as 5,600 people between now and 2014,” according to the release. “The plan’s benefit package will include preventive care, physician services, diagnostic testing, hospitalization, mental health services, prescription medications and much more, with subsidized premiums of $283 a month.”

    Examination of the detailed Pennsylvania plan, reveals that the “much more” will include insurance coverage of any legal abortion.

    The section on abortion (see page 14) asserts that “elective abortions are not covered.” However, that statement proves to be a red herring, because the operative language does not define “elective.” Rather, the proposal specifies that the coverage “includes only abortions and contraceptives that satisfy the requirements of” several specific statutes, the most pertinent of which is 18 Pa. C.S. § 3204, which says that an abortion is legal in Pennsylvania (consistent with Roe v. Wade) if a single physician believes that it is “necessary” based on “all factors (physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman’s age) relevant to the well-being of the woman.” Indeed, the cited statute provides only a single circumstance in which an abortion prior to 24 weeks is NOT permitted under the Pennsylvania statute: “No abortion which is sought solely because of the sex of the unborn child shall be deemed a necessary abortion.”

    As a result, “Under the Rendell-Sebelius plan, federal funds will subsidize coverage of abortion performed for any reason, except sex selection,” said NRLC’s Johnson. “The Pennsylvania proposal conspicuously lacks language that would prevent funding of abortions performed as a method of birth control or for any other reason, except sex selection — and the Obama Administration has now approved this.”

  • I disagree. I think the assumption should remain that abortion is being funded and that the Administration should be forced to affirmatively show that abortion is NOT being funded EVERY TIME one of these funding decisions is made.

    They are the ones who fought the inclusion of the Stupak language, and the burden of proof, therefore, remains with them on a case-by-case basis to show that federal funds are not being expended on abortion.

    I’m not worried about crying wolf because (a) because I don’t believe for one minute the Administration’s protestations that abortions aren’t being funded and (b) every time the Administration has to issue one of these denials it reinforces in the mind of the public that federal funding of abortion is taboo.

  • It seems from Donald’s link that abortions are being funded – and not just those allowed by the Hyde Amendment. Is what NRLC is reporting false?

  • The problem I have with HHS is that they don’t state where the prohibition occurs. The EO is useless in the face of the actual law. Which is why I’ve asked defenders to point out where in the federal law the funds are prohibited from funding abortions.

  • It looks like this is a case of crying wolf, and if it is, it discredits the pro-life movement. We can’t afford to look foolish. What scares me is that the administration’s defenders are replying that (a) no money will go to abortion, (b) it’s not much money anyway, and (c) the program will do a lot of good. I don’t see a reason to make the last two points, unless the arguments are being field-tested for future use.

  • At least some money will be going to fund abortionsw if it pays for abortions in cases of “rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.” Even though these are in the Hyde Amendment, they are contrary to Catholic moral teaching. They were put into the Hyde Amendment to ensure passage – an acceptable political move if complete prohibition would have stopped passage.

    The question here is, even using the Amendment, is there a net increase in the killing of babies even if only for these politically accepted reasons? If so then Obamacare does increase abortions.

    The next question is, if there is an increase in abortions, did the provision of health care to more individuals justify this increase in abortions?

  • July 14, 2010

    The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

    Washington, D.C. 20201

    Dear Secretary Sebelius:

    We have recently learned that the Pennsylvania application to administer a federally subsidized Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (also referred to as a high-risk pool) for individuals with pre-existing conditions contains a provision that allows federal funding for abortion in virtually any case except sex-selective abortion. Similarly, we understand that a draft summary of benefits for New Mexico’s Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan explicitly lists elective abortion as a covered, and therefore subsidized, service.

    Both of these cases will result in funding for abortion in direct contradiction of longstanding U.S. policy against federal funding of abortion or abortion coverage. Unfortunately, statutory language prohibiting such funding was not included in the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Instead of a statutory prohibition, the President assured Members of Congress by signing an Executive Order that claimed to ensure that abortion would not be funded under the authorities and appropriations provided in PPACA. However, further details regarding how this assurance would be implemented and enforced have not been released.

    In light of the newly discovered information about the Pennsylvania and New Mexico Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans and the paramount importance of this issue, we would request the following information no later than close of business Friday, July 16, 2010.

    1. A list of all states and the District of Columbia that plan to administer federally funded high-risk pools at the state level, including the following for each:

    a. whether an application has been submitted,

    b. whether an application has been approved, and

    c. a copy of any application that has been either submitted or approved.

    2. According to the HHS website (http://www.hhs.gov/ociio/initiative/), “HHS has contracted with the Government Employees Health Association (GEHA) to administer the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan” that will provide high-risk insurance to individuals in 21 states. Please provide a list of the states that have indicated they intend to opt into the GEHA program rather than establish their own state program, and a copy of the complete contract with GEHA including any language regarding abortion.

    We look forward to your prompt response.

    Sincerely,

    [Signed by John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mike Pence, Joe Barton, Darrell Issa, Chris Smith, and Joe Pitts]

  • The PA plan states it will not cover “elective abortions.” What abortions fit the requirements? According to 18 Pa. C.S. § 3204:

    “In determining in accordance with subsection (a) or (b) whether an abortion is necessary, a physician’s best clinical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors (physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman’s age) relevant to the well-being of the woman. No abortion which is sought solely because of the sex of the unborn child shall be deemed a necessary abortion.”

    Why did administration officials not ask that this be changed when the PA plan was approved? Did someone in the govt. just not read it? And if, according to state and Federal officials, Federal law will take priority, will they go back and change it?

  • Another update. Perhaps there is also problems with New Mexico’s plan and the Executive Order may not cover high-risk pools:

    http://lifenews.com/nat6540.html

  • From Life News:

    “Meanwhile, Bakus claimed the state web sites containing information about the high risk pools, that provided the information NRLC used to verify the abortion funding, will be updated in the next couple of weeks to show they will not fund elective abortions.

    “If HHS does now issue new directives to keep abortion out of this particular program, it will be because NRLC blew the whistle on them,” Johnson said. “The Obama Administration shows a pattern of relentlessly pushing pro-abortion policies through the federal agencies and on Capitol Hill, whenever they think they can do so under the public radar — and then scurrying for cover when the spotlight comes on.”

    That both states reported they would cover elective abortions is not a dispute, although both appear to be backtracking after Right to Life uncovered the abortion funding.

    The Associated Press reported Wednesday that New Mexico “initially listed elective abortion as a covered benefit” but then “reversed course” after AP inquired about the coverage NRLC discovered.

    Michelle Lujan Grisham, deputy director of the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool, told AP that the state’s contract with HHS stipulated the plan must follow federal law but did not spell out details on limits to abortion coverage.

    “As a result, New Mexico included elective abortion as a covered benefit, following what it was already doing with its own state health programs,” AP indicated.

    NRLC identified how the Internet site describing the New Mexico plan listed “elective termination of pregnancy” as a covered benefit and noting how it would pay for 80 percent of the cost of the abortion after the insured woman met the $500 deductible.

    Grisham initially told AP the state would follow through on that plan but then called the news outlet back later Wednesday saying otherwise: “We are in the process of correcting the package so it will not have elective abortion coverage.”

    Pennsylvania officials are backtracing as well, with Rosanne Placey, a spokeswoman for the state insurance department, telling AP the high risk pool will now not cover elective abortions: “That is not part of the benefit package.”

    Backus also said the Obama administration would ensure any abortion coverage under the new national health care program would be limited to cases when the mother’s life is in danger or rape and incest — which the Hyde Amendment limits funding of abortions to regarding other funding from the federal government, but which does not apply to the new health care law.

    Johnson ultimately told LifeNews.com: “I can and have been asked, can the Administration be trusted? Sure, they can be trusted — to try to expand federal support for abortion every sneaky chance they get.”

    “Everybody needs to constantly watch what people in this Administration are doing, not what they are saying,” he concluded.”

    http://lifenews.com/nat6540.html

  • Pingback: Rampant Dishonesty Continues « Vox Nova
  • Who are these people suddenly worried about “crying wolf” and being labelled as “crying wolf”? The bishops along with every other group concerned about murder said abortion was covered under this law. Independent news reports verify that until yesterday when prolifers made a cry (of wolf (Ha Ha)) abortion was on the website as covered.

    “But at least one state — New Mexico — initially listed elective abortion as a covered benefit, reversing course after The Associated Press inquired on Wednesday.”

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700048295/More-questions-on-health-plan-abortion.html?s_cid=rss-5

    These WOLVES need to worry about their credibility before GOD and what eternal damnation feels like not to mention what an aborted baby feels–and her mom and dad when they wake up to what they did–and stop throwing up RED HERRINGS. Whose paying you–CHA?

  • It seems on one of the threads over at Vox Nova they have stopped anyone commenting on how the Hyde Amendment results in more abortions under Health Care Reform. No refutaion of the argument, just prohibting comments on it. Now it couldn’t be because people are right?

    http://vox-nova.com/2010/07/15/rampant-dishonesty-continues/#comments

  • Rampant Dishonesty Continues « Vox Nova says:
    Thursday, July 15, 2010 A.D. at 12:06 pm

    Somebody please read our blog. Somebody. Please. Hello?

  • For programs such as Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs that are jointly funded by the states and federal government, each state has to draw up a set of rules that specify who is covered, for what procedures/treatments and under what conditions. These rules are called “State Plans.”

    All State Plans, and any significant changes made to a State Plan, must be approved by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is a division of HHS. As long as a State Plan doesn’t directly conflict with federal law, it is usually approved, so states do have some discretion.

    State Plan amendments also normally have to go through a period of review and public comment at the state level — this varies depending on each state’s administrative law — before they can be adopted as well.

    Apparently, these federally subsidized high risk insurance pools MAY operate in a similar manner. If that is the case, when each state draws up its plan, it will be done in the form of rules promulgated by the agency that administers the plan in each state. In most states, that includes some kind of public comment period, and if they know they are going to get a lot of negative public comment, they can usually be persuaded to backtrack on those rules.

  • Read this op-ed by Helen Alvare, one of the most intelligent and thoughtful people I know – http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/07/1423

  • Just an update. It seems NPR believes that neither the health care law nor the Executive Order prohibits abortion funding for high risk pools. Also seems, per NPR, that New Mexico was already using Federal funds for elective abortions in their high risk pool.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/07/15/128546416/abortion-supporters-now-blast-adminstration-over-health-law

Surprise! ObamaCare is Going to Pay for Abortions

Wednesday, July 14, AD 2010

In a completely predictable move, ObamaCare will pay for abortions.  Lifesite News is on the story:

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Obama administration has officially approved the first instance of taxpayer funded abortions under the new national government-run health care program. This is the kind of abortion funding the pro-life movement warned about when Congress considered the bill.

The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new “high-risk” insurance program under a provision of the federal health care legislation enacted in March.

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33 Responses to Surprise! ObamaCare is Going to Pay for Abortions

  • So, his response to “recycled scare tactics” is recycled excuses?

  • The abortion catholics that voted for Obama are worse than hitler.

  • The abortion catholics that voted for Obama are worse than hitler.

    I’m unclear how “gullible” or “self-deluded” or “making poor moral/political judgments” translates to “worse than hitler”. Such uses of polemic rob history of any meaning.

  • Here endeth mention of Hitler in this thread.

  • What about Himmler? Can I mention Himmler?

  • How about “worse than the people who elected” the person who is not to be named in this thread?

    And while it may be charitable to mark up the support for Obama by the “abortion catholics” to their being gullible, self-deluded, or having made poor moral/political judgments, I think it is probably more the case that they just don’t give a rat’s @$$ about abortion when weighed in the balance against all the other leftist goodies that the Democrat Party has on offer.

  • lol, Blackadder.

  • “I think it is probably more the case that they just don’t give a rat’s @$$ about abortion when weighed in the balance against all the other leftist goodies that the Democrat Party has on offer.”

    Bingo

    “What about Himmler? Can I mention Himmler?”

    No, nor any other members of the Third Reich. This is a Nazi free thread. 🙂

  • Bart who? Oh yeah, that congresscritter from Michigan. I thought he was already residing in the Where Are They Now File. Looks like all he got for his allegedly historic compromise was 15 minutes of fame and an early retirement.

  • For the life of me, i can not understand why this informatiion suprises anyone now, we all knew what was going to happen when the so called compromise was made. Our President modus operani has always been to appease someone with a promise and then make a political move. Like he promised the Seniors that they would have more coverage and better medical care because of his health bil and would not get hurt. What a joke and AARP bought it and they can say goodbye to mnay members. Wait til the Seniors find out how badly they have been had. The wanted change and boy are they going to get it.

  • Jill Stanek has good coverage linked below:

    http://www.jillstanek.com/obamacare-to-fund-abortions-in.html

  • The really sickening thing about this is to realize it could have all been avoided had a good portion of misled “Social Justice” Catholics and the USCCB who were more dedicated to political correctness than Biblical truth and more fearful of Federal lawmakers than the voices of their flocks. And in particular one Doug Kemeic, (now Obama’s appointed ambassador to Malta) who used his status as and elitist in catholic doctrine to conger a guilt complex on any of the faithful who would waste a chance to vote for a minority president regardless of his lack of experience or his vague past and highly questionable background and associations.
    There were many prominent catholic leaders who were duped either by the Obama media or their own shallow catholicity who joined the false Hope and Change brigade in some sort of self chastisement to relieve or remove a dark shadow they believed existed within their conscience. The accolades and support filled the catholic media and were hand picked to blast all over the mainstream press and television. But none more so than (Ambassador) Doug Kemeic who just could not heap enough praise on the anointed One or criticize and admonish Catholics who took pause to question his credentials or values.

    I write for any and all the Church’s faithful who remember this and feel the betrayal imposed on us as our nation slips deeper into the culture of death and corruption.

  • I just want to know how I can ensure that when I pay my taxes – my section of that money does not go to that funding… If I can’t how can I even justify paying my taxes at all?

    Side note (No member of a Socialist Party in Germany during WWII was harmed during the making of this comment)

  • We need to take a whole life approach to health care which looks out for those who are out of the womb as well as those in the womb.

    Really, we should all take these wise words to heart. How many Catholics do you know who claim to be pro-life and yet neglect provide food and shelter for their children? If you’re like me, the answer is “a whole lot.” I forget how many kids I have because they’ve all been born already, but the other day one of the younger ones, I think, got hit by a car. I think he’s all right, but I probably ought to check on him. I’ll call up the city council, who should be handling these kind of cases, and find out what hospital he’s in.

  • Pauli, you are the Catholic Iowahawk!

  • Can we call them “Catholics for Voldemort?”

  • The really sickening thing about this is to realize it could have all been avoided had a good portion of misled “Social Justice” Catholics and the USCCB who were more dedicated to political correctness than Biblical truth and more fearful of Federal lawmakers than the voices of their flocks.

    You hit the nail right on its head.

    The USCCB is partially responsible for the fiasco we are in now.

    Cardinal George pulled out all the stops to get pro-lifers to vote but remained mute and silent when Bart Stupak surrendered to the Culture of Death.

  • Pingback: Rampant Dishonesty Continues « Vox Nova
  • “Can I mention Himmler?”

    No, nor any other members of the Third Reich. This is a Nazi free thread.

    I’ll do my best.

  • “Can I mention Himmler?”

    No, nor any other members of the Third Reich. This is a Nazi free thread.

    What about Sergeant Schultz or Colonel Klink? General Burkhalter? Major Hochstetter?

    No? I know nothing! Noth-thing!

  • We are being told two completely different stories about this, and I for one would like to know which story is accurate. Vox Nova has challenged you. Please answer their charge that you (and NRLC) are spreading lies:

    http://vox-nova.com/2010/07/15/rampant-dishonesty-continues/

  • I’ll allow fake comedic Nazis but only beause I’m a sucker for Colonel Klink:

  • The abortion catholics that voted for Obama are worse than hitler.
    This doesn’t leave anything for the so called Catholic blogs that spend most of their time defending and shilling for the democratic party’s love of abortion.

  • Vox Nova has challenged you

    If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still made a sound?

  • If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still made a sound?

    The laws of physics dictate that it does. Whether the sound is missed or is of any consequence or not is another thing.

  • Pingback: HHS Statement on Abortion Funding « The American Catholic
  • UPDATE, 4:03p: I’m told on high authority from someone who saw it that the Obama administration issued a statement last night stating the $160 mil wouldn’t cover abortions and then pulled it back. I’m told a new or revised statement is in the works.

    http://www.jillstanek.com/obamacare-to-fund-abortions-in.html

    Apparently M.Z. “doesn’t believe his readers are worthy of knowing the truth.” The “Rampant Dishonesty Continues”

  • The Oxford Dictionary of Current English gives the following definitions for “sound”:

    1. sensation caused in the ear by the vibration of the surrounding air or other medium. 2. vibrations causing this sensation. 3. what is or may be heard.

    The tree would not make a sound under the first two definitions, but probably would under the third.

  • July 14, 2010

    The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

    Washington, D.C. 20201

    Dear Secretary Sebelius:

    We have recently learned that the Pennsylvania application to administer a federally subsidized Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (also referred to as a high-risk pool) for individuals with pre-existing conditions contains a provision that allows federal funding for abortion in virtually any case except sex-selective abortion. Similarly, we understand that a draft summary of benefits for New Mexico’s Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan explicitly lists elective abortion as a covered, and therefore subsidized, service.

    Both of these cases will result in funding for abortion in direct contradiction of longstanding U.S. policy against federal funding of abortion or abortion coverage. Unfortunately, statutory language prohibiting such funding was not included in the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Instead of a statutory prohibition, the President assured Members of Congress by signing an Executive Order that claimed to ensure that abortion would not be funded under the authorities and appropriations provided in PPACA. However, further details regarding how this assurance would be implemented and enforced have not been released.

    In light of the newly discovered information about the Pennsylvania and New Mexico Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans and the paramount importance of this issue, we would request the following information no later than close of business Friday, July 16, 2010.

    1. A list of all states and the District of Columbia that plan to administer federally funded high-risk pools at the state level, including the following for each:

    a. whether an application has been submitted,

    b. whether an application has been approved, and

    c. a copy of any application that has been either submitted or approved.

    2. According to the HHS website (http://www.hhs.gov/ociio/initiative/), “HHS has contracted with the Government Employees Health Association (GEHA) to administer the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan” that will provide high-risk insurance to individuals in 21 states. Please provide a list of the states that have indicated they intend to opt into the GEHA program rather than establish their own state program, and a copy of the complete contract with GEHA including any language regarding abortion.

    We look forward to your prompt response.

    Sincerely,

    [Signed by John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mike Pence, Joe Barton, Darrell Issa, Chris Smith, and Joe Pitts]

  • Actually I would say that number is 2 the most relevant. It doesn’t mean there needs to be an ear detecting it. Wiki:

    Sound is a travelling wave which is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.[1]

    I don’t think anyone disputes that sonar is the use of sound waves to measure. Typically the human ear doesn’t even pick up the sound waves.

  • From Life News:

    “Meanwhile, Bakus claimed the state web sites containing information about the high risk pools, that provided the information NRLC used to verify the abortion funding, will be updated in the next couple of weeks to show they will not fund elective abortions.

    “If HHS does now issue new directives to keep abortion out of this particular program, it will be because NRLC blew the whistle on them,” Johnson said. “The Obama Administration shows a pattern of relentlessly pushing pro-abortion policies through the federal agencies and on Capitol Hill, whenever they think they can do so under the public radar — and then scurrying for cover when the spotlight comes on.”

    That both states reported they would cover elective abortions is not a dispute, although both appear to be backtracking after Right to Life uncovered the abortion funding.

    The Associated Press reported Wednesday that New Mexico “initially listed elective abortion as a covered benefit” but then “reversed course” after AP inquired about the coverage NRLC discovered.

    Michelle Lujan Grisham, deputy director of the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool, told AP that the state’s contract with HHS stipulated the plan must follow federal law but did not spell out details on limits to abortion coverage.

    “As a result, New Mexico included elective abortion as a covered benefit, following what it was already doing with its own state health programs,” AP indicated.

    NRLC identified how the Internet site describing the New Mexico plan listed “elective termination of pregnancy” as a covered benefit and noting how it would pay for 80 percent of the cost of the abortion after the insured woman met the $500 deductible.

    Grisham initially told AP the state would follow through on that plan but then called the news outlet back later Wednesday saying otherwise: “We are in the process of correcting the package so it will not have elective abortion coverage.”

    Pennsylvania officials are backtracing as well, with Rosanne Placey, a spokeswoman for the state insurance department, telling AP the high risk pool will now not cover elective abortions: “That is not part of the benefit package.”

    Backus also said the Obama administration would ensure any abortion coverage under the new national health care program would be limited to cases when the mother’s life is in danger or rape and incest — which the Hyde Amendment limits funding of abortions to regarding other funding from the federal government, but which does not apply to the new health care law.

    Johnson ultimately told LifeNews.com: “I can and have been asked, can the Administration be trusted? Sure, they can be trusted — to try to expand federal support for abortion every sneaky chance they get.”

    “Everybody needs to constantly watch what people in this Administration are doing, not what they are saying,” he concluded.”

    http://lifenews.com/nat6540.html

  • Pauli, you are the Catholic Iowahawk!

    Answering that accusation with specificity is above my pay grade.

  • I just want to look into the eyes of my supposedly pro-life friends who supported this, and scream at them, “How could you not have known? How could you possibly not have known that this was the inevitable consequence of giving men and women who have proven themselves dishonest and pro-abortion, controll over life and death in America? You know what, let me answer that for you: you did know; some where inside you did know, but you just didn’t really care!”

9 Responses to Obamas Counterfeit Catholics

  • Truth.

    Maybe, maybe not.

    Not my blog, but I wouldn’t post anything with the term “Counterfeit Catholics”. I don’t object to saying “Counterfeit Catholicism” or something to call out viewpoints falsely labeled as Catholic.

  • Spambot,

    Interesting point about the headline.

    Charity is certainly needed in the blogosphere.

    I was simply retyping the title they placed on their YouTube video. I’ll be more prudent the next time and consider a more appropriate name depending on the column.

  • Spambot – please do consider actually watching the program – you will see what that title refers to. And how accurate it truly is.

  • To Catholic Forums,

    At the beginning of the second episode of the video titled “Obama’s Counterfeit Catholics,” produced by the Catholic Investigative Agency, Michael Voris began the presentation by pointing out to what does it mean to be a Catholic according to the Catholic Catechism, Paragraph 834, which states, “Particular Churches are fully catholic through their communion with one of them, the Church of Rome “which presides in charity.” “For with this church, by reason of its pre-eminence, the whole Church, that is the faithful everywhere, must necessarily be in accord.”

    So, there is no doubt that the Catholic Church in America is one and the same with the Church in Rome, and there is no doubt that in 1954 the Catholic Church in America has surrendered her voice to Caesar under the IRS 501c3 Tax-Exempt Code, with the full consent of the Church in Rome, under the following Popes, Pius XII (1939-58), John XXIII (1958-63), Paul VI (1963-78), John Paul I (1978), John Paul II (1978-2005), and Benedict XVI (2005—).

    Therefore, since Jesus Christ has been silenced and pushed aside by agents of darkness, now the devil is the spiritual head of the Catholic Church. If you have any doubts, look at the destructive bitter fruits harvested in the last sixty-three years, which God hates with a passion, such as Separation of Church and State, Affirmative Action, the Theory of Evolution, Abortion on Demand, Euthanasia, Divorce, Sodomy, and Same Sex Marriage.

    Jesus said in Matthew 12: 29- 30, “How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house. He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”

    At the end of the second episode of Obama’s Counterfeit Catholics, Michael Voris said, “The Bishops must do something to stop this matter, clap, clap, clap… this is an evil coapting of the truth of the faith given to us by Jesus Christ, protected by the Holy Spirit, and it is not their church. This Church belongs to Christ and they have the duty, and obligation to tell the truth no matter what is the cost to them. Souls are a stake, clap, clap, clap, clap…clap.

    Well, that sounds very impressive, but it does not conform to reality. Please explain. how in the world the Bishops are supposed to tell the truth, since the US Government through the IRS 501c3 Tax-Exempt Code gags them? The entire Catholic Clergy is prohibited by the US Government to preach against all legislation, and all US Government legalized abominations such as Separation of Church and State, Affirmative Action, the Theory of Evolution, Abortion on Demand, Euthanasia, Divorce, Sodomy, and Same Sex Marriage.

    You just don’t get it that the IRS 501c3 Tax-Exempt Status is gagging the Christian pulpits of America since 1954. That fact just can’t enter your mind, you just keep beating the horse not realizing that the spokes of the wheels have come undone, that’s why you are stuck in the same rut, and regardless of the severe beating you are inflicting on the horse.

    I have been locked out permanently from the Catholic Forums, One True Faith (Michael Voris) vs. other Christians for agenda posting, but according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary the word “agenda” means: an underlying often ideological plans or program. How can you say that an undisputable evil fact such as 501c3 Church Incorporation is someone’s underlying ideological plan? When did the truth metamorphosed into an agenda?

    RealCatholicTV.com is not a non-profit organization therefore it is not 501c3 tax deductible, but RealCatholicTV.com is connected to Saint Michael’s Media, a Catholic television production company which is 501c3 tax deductible. So who is the one with the agenda? Michael Voris of course. Michael like thousands of gagged opportunists under the IRS 501c3 Tax–Exempt Code go for the gusto of fleecing the deluded unsuspecting dumbbells under the guise of fighting against the evils of society, and Michael Voris under the guise of fighting against the evils inside the Catholic Church, go on deceiving and fleecing the so-called Catholic dumbbells.

    In reality, you bow down in submission to your god, whose name is mammon. Only an unscrupulous imposter would have the temerity to trample on the Holy name of Christ, and sell out his voice and his Lordship to the US Government for thirty silver coins. Consequently, the wicked for the last sixty-three years has successfully usurped the pulpits of America launching and legalizing one abomination after another, such as Separation of Church and State, Affirmative Action, the Theory of Evolution, Abortion on Demand, Euthanasia, Divorce, Sodomy, and Same Sex Marriage.

    Lets face it, Christianity began as a way of life consisting of a personal relationship with God the Father through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, best illustrated in John 4: 19-24, “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

    But when Christianity reached Athens it became a philosophy, in Rome it became a religion, in Europe it became a culture, and in America it became a business. The Clergy of the Catholic Church are nothing more than self-gagged underlings of Caesar or the Federal Government under the IRS 501c3 Tax-Exempt Code, seeking after filthy lucre. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” There is no alternative, you will either serve God or you will serve money, regardless of what you say.

    The Catholic Church is a failure, it is no longer the bacon of truth, her lamp has gone out and the wicked rejoice. She is working in unison with the wicked on a daily basis by keeping silent to all government legalized abominations, and to all present, and future evil legislation. In reality the Catholic Church has failed most miserably as ambassadors of Jesus Christ, and as a beacon of truth. The Church no longer has the life giving, and cleansing truths of God, or the lifeblood of the culture, which is supposed to keep it from moral degeneration and self-destruction.

    He who has ears to hear, let him hear, Jesus Christ will build his church, if not with this generation, with the next, or the next, but the gates of Hades will not overcome it, and at the end of the age Christ will gather his Church in triumph, but the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars, their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

    Henry

  • Henry,

    Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!

    –Isaiah 5:21

  • Just to make sure people know, that Henry certainly was not me.

  • “Obama’s Counterfeit Catholics” follows the MONEY funding for fake Catholic groups, And points out heretical Catholics who have been inside the USCCB. Great written documentation is provided as well.

    Our Pope has stated there are enemies within the Church.

    To know the truth, read the Bible and Church Doctrine. Church Doctrine is contained in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” first printed in the US in March 2000.
    Every home should have one, and they make great gifts.

  • “Obama’s Counterfeit Catholics” (and probably most of what I’ve seen on that silly network!) is absurd and tends to stoke the flames of fear stoked by the Radical Right and their conservative agenda. I suggest Sandy track the “MONEY” of so called pro-American organizations, such as the Tea Baggers, to see where the destructive influences in America and the church are coming from. I’d say track the funds backing ultra-conservative Republicans but they have conveniently shrouded their records in secrecy and foreign sources of income!

Cardinal McCarrick and Sister Carol Keehan

Friday, June 25, AD 2010

The ever exceptional Catholic blogger Diogenes couldn’t help himself as he commented on “Sister” Carol Keehan’s reading at a Mass for retired Archbishop Theodore Cardinal McCarrick.

“Sister” Carol Keehan, who is the president of the Catholic Health Association, endorsed ObamaCare.  Thus declaring themselves in contradiction with Francis Cardinal George and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who opposed ObamaCare.

Here is Diogenes’s brilliant column:

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has devoted so much of his episcopal career to the effort to make everyone comfortable, is approaching his 80th birthday, and already the celebrations have begun.

(No, I don’t mean the celebrations of the fact that as of July 7, “Uncle Teddy” will be ineligible to vote in a papal conclave—although that’s definitely reason enough to chill the champagne.)

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11 Responses to Cardinal McCarrick and Sister Carol Keehan

  • More likely—and we’re talking dollars-to-donuts here—she was chosen as a signal that in the benign view of Cardinal Ted, we’re all still friends, despite our little disagreements on subjects such as whether or not babies should be dismembered in the womb.

    So, basically, Diogenes lied, and Tito reinforces the slander. Got it. Tito will probably next say “you slander me.” I am used to it. It’s his response when people call him out.

    CHA and Sister Keehan do not think babies should be dismembered in the womb. As long as you continue with this misrepresentation, all you get is proof of your own ill will.

  • Henry K.,

    You wonder why you are placed on moderation?

    It’s because of your unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks on many of the columnists here at TAC.

    “Sister” Keehan is clearly going against Church teaching as she gleefully accepts a pen from President Obama in celebrating the murders of millions more innocent children.

  • Tito,

    Not only is she a sister, she didn’t celebrate the murders of millions… nor did Obama. And you talk about “unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks…”

  • Henry K.,

    She pushed hard, using the Catholic Health Association, to help pass ObamaCare.

    ObamaCare will fund millions of abortions.

    Your comments are bizarre and without basis.

  • She pushed hard to get health care reform. She believed that the reform bill will not fund more abortions. Therefore, she is not celebrating the death of more children.

    Now show us where it funds abortions which were not already being funded by the government.

  • Henry K.,

    She has reached the age of reason.

    She has received a fine education in Church teachings prior to accepting final vows.

    She has purposely and consciously decided to oppose Church teaching by supporting and pushing for the death of millions of innocent unborn children.

    She was gleeful in her acceptance of one of the pens that President Obama gave her that he used to sign ObamaCare with.

    Now show us where it funds abortions which were not already being funded by the government.

    Are you trying to be funny?

  • Guys,

    Anyone who supports Obama supports a man who believes in the “right to chose”.

    Anyone who supports Obamacare supports the “right to chose”.

    Now people can use all the obfuscation and sophistry they want, but one cannot in good conscience support either Obama or Obamacare.

    I wish people would pay attention to the daily Old Testament readings this week from 2nd Kings. The people of Judah were deported to Babylon because they sacrificed their own children to Baal, Asherah, Molech and the other Canaanite gods. How different is that from Obamacare which provides health insurance coverage to murder babies in the womb?

    Yes, God IS merciful and loving, and He is about to show Obama, Sister Keehan and every other liberal democrat how merciful and loving He is towards the unborn.

  • “So, basically, Diogenes lied, and Tito reinforces the slander. Got it. Tito will probably next say “you slander me.” I am used to it. It’s his response when people call him out.”

    Mr. Karlson,

    Back it up. You made the accusation. Provide proof. Otherwise you have nothing to offer except ad hominem.

  • Excellent, Mr. Primavera; and, of course, Mr. Edwards.

    Ancient fertility cults sacrificed first born sons (sometimes daughters, less valued) to appease the (river, rain, sun, etc.) gods and reap good harvests.

    Esau gave up his birthright for a bowl of lentils. Sister Carol, Henry Karlson, et al have aided and abetted the sacrifices of 47,000,000 (and counting) unborn babies for a chimera: social justice.

    And, THEIR trump card was commented on by F. A. Hayek: “ . . . ‘social justice’ is not, as most people probably feel, an innocent expression of good will towards the less fortunate, but that it has become a dishonest insinuation that one ought to agree to a demand of some special interest which can give no real reason for it. …I have come to feel strongly that the greatest service I can still render to my fellow men would be that I could make the speakers and writers among them thoroughly ashamed ever again to employ the term ‘social justice.’”

    Repent, confess, do penance, amend lives and (through personal good works) glorify God.

  • Our Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is a “Catholic”, is virulently pro-abortion,( she supported and was friends with Tiller the baby killer so IMO that says it all)and that gives one great concern when considering that she is the person who has the authority over the decision-making for the funding of the Community Health Centers.

    Here are the Bishops’ concerns:

    In the Senate bill, there is the provision that only one of the proposed multi-state plans will not cover elective abortions – all other plans (including other multi-state plans) can do so, and receive federal tax credits. This means that individuals or families in complex medical circumstances will likely be forced to choose and contribute to an insurance plan that funds abortions in order to meet their particular health needs.

    Further, the Senate bill authorizes and appropriates billions of dollars in new funding outside the scope of the appropriations bills covered by the Hyde amendment and similar provisions. As the bill is written, the new funds it appropriates over the next five years, for Community Health Centers for example (Sec. 10503), will be available by statute for elective abortions, even though the present regulations do conform to the Hyde amendment. Regulations, however, can be changed at will, unless they are governed by statute.

    Additionally, no provision in the Senate bill incorporates the longstanding and widely supported protection for conscience regarding abortion as found in the Hyde/Weldon amendment. Moreover, neither the House nor Senate bill contains meaningful conscience protection outside the abortion context. Any final bill, to be fair to all, must retain the accommodation of the full range of religious and moral objections in the provision of health insurance and services that are contained in current law, for both individuals and institutions.

  • Those Catholics who support Obama and Obamacare have their reasons. I think they are much weaker then finding justification for the Iraq War or even the folloy of equating such support with support for changing the rules of engagement in Afghanistan.

    But they will hold onto whatever straw they need.

Where's Stupak?

Monday, May 3, AD 2010

Hattiip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Representative Joe Pitts (R. Pa) has introduced a new bill that bans abortion funding from ObamaCare.  It largely replicates the language of the old Stupak Amendment.  The bill has 57 co-sponsors and growing.  Thus far these real pro-life Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors:  Reps. Travis Childers of Mississippi, Lincoln Davis of Tennessee, Tim Holden of Pennsylvania, Dan Lipinski of Illinois, Jim Marshall of Georgia, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Gene Taylor of Mississippi.  I salute each of them.  Each of them voted against the final pro-abort version of ObamaCare.  Bart Stupak and his “pro-life” Democrats who hid behind the fig leaf of the meaningless executive order in order to vote for ObamaCare, are of course not supporting this legislation.  I think this is significant.  ObamaCare passed.  From the perspective of a truly pro-life Democrat who supported ObamaCare, why not amend the law now to ban abortion funding?  Failure to support this legislation should finish the idea that such a Democrat  in Congress is in any sense pro-life.  This legislation should of course be a major voting issue for all pro-lifers in November

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6 Responses to Where's Stupak?

  • Don’t hold your breath on this one, Don.

  • Agreed Jay! 🙂

  • What concerns me is the total lack of concern by the USCCB bishops regarding all the other anti-Catholic (subsidiarity etc.)trash wrapped up in Obamacare.

    If I didn’t know better…

    And why was it that one of the three official bishops who finally (only after their joining Stupak allowed it to leave committee with an apparent imprimature) ended up opposing the bill was titled the “migrant” bishop? I thought it was about abortion not border issues? But then the Catechchism tells us that the laity is to decide upon immigration questions. And then there’s the silence about the death panels – the theft of (1/2 trillion) money for the health and care of the medicare class. I’ll never understand why the state (Caesar) is the first choice of these religion trained people. I also failed to hear a large USCCB protest when Obama suggested taking the tax benifit away from private charity economically forcing charity to become controlled by (Caesar)government’s business. Didn’t they ever hear John Paul’s admonition to be wary of the welfare state?

    There are far too many unanswered questions about the construct and motives of this group. Millions of dollars in street money collected for the poor given by them to ACORN to help elect the most aggressively pro-abortion/infanticide president in history needs a serious investigation -not just an “oopps -sorry.” That didn’t work with the priest coverup and wont with the politics. And then there’s Notre Dame -the moral/political scandal of the decade?

  • Not that I have time, during lunch, to decrypt that mess…
    I’ll presume that someone who reads for a living has read it and thinks it would at least limit federal funding on abortions and provide abortion-free options for Catholics.
    That said, let’s return to the “myth” of the pro-life Democrat.

    If you have a couple of million in your bank account and heart, swelled with civic duty, perhpas you might think Congress or the Senate, or your state versions are the place yu can “do the most good.” So far, so-so.
    If you have swallowed whole the notion that Jesus will be mollified, during the promised Matthew 25 test at the conclusion of this life, by your demonstrated williingness to reach into the pockets of others to fund the many do-gooder programs that come up for a vote during your tenure; thereby sacrificing subsidiarity and free will on the altar of ever-dubious government largesse. If this is you, you obviously opt to run as a Democrat, albeit a conscientious “pro-life Democrat, and caucus with your party of choice- in order to do the most good with OPM.
    So, by the very fact that you win, go to DC, caucus with your fellow travelers, you help insure that it will be they who control the committees, they who elect the speaker of the house, they who set the table for the legislative agenda that will cause acts to land on the desk of the POTUS- and they who orchestrate any attempts to override irresponsible vetos by the Abortionist-in-Chief.
    So how was it you were going to do good without materially contributing to the expansion or continuance of the evil of taxpayer funded abortion (not just here- remember Mexico City)?

  • Call me crazy, but I would rather Rep. Joe Pitts walk up to these men and women and seriously engage them and try to win their votes.

    What’s more important? Verbal condemnation or their votes and not funding abortions? I’m not suggesting writing things off as if there is not an issue at all. But I think the order of business puts stopping abortion funding first and I happen to think some of the Democrats who voted for the bill would vote for this legislation if it hit the floor. Granted that they voted for the health care bill, I don’t think they are now pro-choice extremists no different than Pelosi.

    But in another sense — this legislation is dead until at least next January. I could see it (by a stretch of the imagination) passing in the House if it made it out of committee somehow and failing in the Senate.

  • Eric, I would love it if Stupak and some of the other Democrats who voted for ObamaCare would sign on to the bill. As Jay indicated above however, I am definitely not holding my breath.

Tennessee: No To Abortion Under ObamaCare

Thursday, April 22, AD 2010

Tennessee is the first state to declare that any health care plan exchanges set up by ObamaCare may not offer abortion coverage:

“No health care plan required to be established in this state through an exchange pursuant to federal health care reform legislation enacted by the 111th Congress shall offer coverage for abortion services.”

The legislation passed by impressive margins:  70 to 23 in the House and 27-3 in the Senate.

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12 Responses to Tennessee: No To Abortion Under ObamaCare

  • Csongratulations from a Tennesseee resident and Catholic. This is stronger action than the majority of our churches where the death penalty is the cause du jour of the church.

  • “Fight the pro-abortion provisions in Obamacare?”

    Are you mad?? This opt-out was a basic provision in the healthcare bill that passed; that, and the fact that every exchange must offer a pro-life option, and that every plan than includes abortion must insist on a separate payment covering the gross cost of such provision. This is far far stronger that the pathetic “pro-life” provisions that the NRLC signed off on during the Bush years on the issue of Medicare Advantage (where the government subsidized private insurance companies to provide healthcare under the Medicare program, with no protections against those funds going to abortion).

    When, I wonder, will pro-life groups start fighting the real scandal here, the cozy relationship between private insurance and abortion? Remember, the people on the exchanges will have far more pro-life options than those of us in employer-based insurance. Is this not a concern? After all, there is no moral difference between paying into a plan that covers abortion using private premia or taxes.

  • Are you mad?

    Very much so. I tend to think federal funding of abortion is something worth getting upset about.

    After all, there is no moral difference between paying into a plan that covers abortion using private premia or taxes.

    Great. Since you’ve agreed that paying for abortion is bad, whether from insurance or federal funding, you’ve agreed that Obamacare is bad and we should work to defeat it, just as you want us to work to defeat pro-abortion insurance.

  • Darkness’s Minion seeks to cover for pro-death Obama again.

  • Morning’s Minion’s basic point is quite right. I, however, do not share the same conclusions necessarily. The Senate bill (and thus the final bill that passed since it was unamended) had explicit provisions to allow states to bar insurance companies from selling policies with abortion coverage in the exchanges—in effect, what the Stupak-Pitts Amendment would have done at a national level, the Senate bill authorized at the state level. This wonderful act by the Tennessee legislature is not a novel in-your-face slap to the federal government. The legislature is taking advantage of a specific provision of the new health care law. A number of states will do this and should do so. Missouri is soon to follow Tennessee as it has already passed legislation out of committee in the state legislature doing the same thing.

    I work for a pro-life organization in Texas and I know that this is at the top of our lobbying agenda for the Texas legislative session.

    Morning’s Minion other point is also quite correct. The pro-life movement has really dropped the ball on dealing with the abortion moneymaking juggernaut in the private industry. In the legislative language passed by Missouri, it reads:

    Under current law, health insurance policies are barred from providing coverage for elective abortions except through optional riders. This act extends this prohibition to health insurance policies offered through any health insurance exchange established in this state or any federal health insurance exchange administered within this state. In addition, no health insurance exchange operating within this state may offer coverage for elective abortions through the purchase of an optional rider.

    It just so happens that Missouri and Tennessee have some of the most restrictive laws when it comes to abortion coverage. Missouri is one of five states that ban private insurance companies from offering abortion coverage in any comprehensive insurance policy. The “optional rider,” however, is virtually not on the market in the state. This is why many “pro-choice” advocates were diametrically opposed to the Stupak-Pitts Amendment. If there were a federal mandate that anyone receiving federal monies to purchase insurance could not buy comprehensive plans with abortion, then there is a huge market incentive to offer most, if not all, plans without abortion. Why would men, women passed childbearing age, families, and various other demographic cases purchase an insurance policy and pay extra to have abortion coverage? The fallback was that people that desired abortion coverage could purchase a supplemental rider with their own private funds. But it might turn out (like in Missouri) that riders are virtually not sold. This surely is not something for someone who is pro-life to be concerned about. This is reason for celebration.

    Nevertheless, it is certainly desirable that more than five states ban coverage of abortion in all comprehensive private insurance plans—unless our commitment to a market of maximum freedom overrides our pro-life ethic, which it should not. No one has the right to market a policy to reimburse a woman for the “choice” to kill her child.

  • “When, I wonder, will pro-life groups start fighting the real scandal here, the cozy relationship between private insurance and abortion?”

    Hey Tony, any time anyone wants to propose a ban on private insurance paying for abortion such legislation will have my immediate support. One little problem however: such legislation would doubtless be ruled unconstitutional under Roe and its progeny. The Supreme Court has made it clear that under the Federal constitution public funds need not be used to pay for abortions. Attempting to say that private funds may not be used to pay for a legal abortion would never pass constitutional muster. The solution of course is to overturn Roe, something made vastly harder by the pro-abort justices who are now being picked by the man you voted for.

  • Donald,

    Legal bans on private insurance offering abortion as a primary benefit in comprehensive plans has survived in five states. I believe we can make ground there. 🙂

  • I’m no lawyer, Donald (thank God!), but I don’t see how that follows. There is a supposed “right” to abortion, not a right to health insurance that covers abortion (the right to healthcare comes under Catholic social teaching, but sadly not from the American constitutional framework). States regulate what private insurance companies can and can’t do all the time – I see no reason why they cannot be prohibited from covering abortion.

    And remember, the part of Obamacare that you are praising in this post (for that is exactly what you are doing!) pertains to all plans on the exchange, even those available to people without subsidies. In other words, it effectively says that even private funds cannot pay for abortions if this provision is invoked by the states. This completely breaks new ground. And nobody to my knowledge has suggested that it is unconstitutional.

  • Could they have written the ban for private insurance paying for abortion into the federal legislation? Kind of like a Civil Rights Bill for the unborn. If they could have, why didn’t they? Why do states need to opt out at all?

  • Well Tony in the case of states banning private insurance I hope my legal analysis is incorrect, but I believe that the Supreme Court would find that a ban on private insurance paying for abortions is an undue restriction on the constitutional right of a woman to have an abortion. As in most cases in this area Kennedy would be the deciding vote. I do encourage states to pass such legistation however and put the issue to a test.

  • Don,

    As has been mentioned, given that 5 states have long had such laws on the books, it seems these laws would stand.

    I think the RTL movement would be well advised to take up the cause of restricting the facilitation of abortion by private industry, something they have generally been rather quiet about.

ObamaCare Bounce? What ObamaCare Bounce?

Wednesday, April 14, AD 2010

Perhaps a sign of public discontent with the passage of ObamaCare, the Republicans now lead by four points, 48-44, on the Gallup Generic Congressional ballot among registered  voters.  It is rare for Republicans to take the lead in this poll as Gallup notes:

The trend based on registered voters shows how rare it is for the Republicans to lead on this “generic ballot” measure among all registered voters, as they do today. Other recent exceptions were recorded in 1994 — when Republicans wrested majority control from the Democrats for the first time in 40 years — and 2002, when the GOP achieved seat gains, a rarity for the president’s party in midterm elections.

On the other hand, the Democrats are not performing in the poll as they have in years when they have won Congress:

In midterm years when Democrats prevailed at the polls (such as 2006, 1990, and 1986), their net support among registered voters typically extended into double digits at several points during the year — something that has yet to happen in 2010.

Gallup notes the enthusiasm gap that currently exists between the parties:

Gallup will not begin identifying likely voters for the 2010 midterms until later in the year. However, at this early stage, Republicans show much greater enthusiasm than Democrats about voting in the elections.

In other poll news, the Republicans retain a nine point lead, 45-36, over the Democrats on the Rasmussen Generic Congressional ballot of likely votersRasmussen also reports that in his latest poll on repeal of ObamaCare, 58% of voters support repeal.  Nate Silver at 538, a site which leans left politically, states the following in regard to current generic ballots:

Their bad news is that the House popular vote (a tabulation of the actual votes all around the country) and the generic ballot (an abstraction in the form of a poll) are not the same thing — and the difference usually tends to work to Democrats’ detriment. Although analysts debate the precise magnitude of the difference, on average the generic ballot has overestimated the Democrats’ performance in the popular vote by 3.4 points since 1992. If the pattern holds, that means that a 2.3-point deficit in generic ballot polls would translate to a 5.7 point deficit in the popular vote — which works out to a loss of 51 seats, according to our regression model.

These sorts of questions have been the subject of many, many academic studies, almost all of which involve far more rigor than what I’ve applied here. This is just meant to establish a benchmark. But that benchmark is a really bad one for Democrats. One reasonably well-informed translation of the generic ballot polls is that the Democrats would lose 51 House seats if the election were held today.

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20 Responses to ObamaCare Bounce? What ObamaCare Bounce?

  • The Dems are trying to reassure themselves by pointing — of all places — to Reagan’s somewhat similar circumstances in 1982. Ramesh Ponnuru and Jonah Goldberg briefly discussed this yesterday at the Corner here and here.

  • Not to crap in the cornflakes, but I really do think this is not a Republican surge. Its a anti-Obama/Pelosi/Reid, anti-government surge that will probably be greatly disappointed when STILL nothing changes after the GOP is back with increased power.

  • This is the same sort of surge that brought Obama/Pelosi/Reid to power. They greatly misinterpreted their victories as a mandate from the American public as “Yes! Democrats!” as opposed to “No, not Bush & Co.” As the GOP is set to make gains this November, my hope is that they do a better job of reading the public’s sentiments than did their opponents.

  • I ran the numbers using a “corrected” version of Nate Silver’s methodology and came up with a 51-57-seat pick up for the GOP. http://restrainedradical.wordpress.com/2010/04/14/extra-extrapolating/

    But as I also note, the rage may subside by November and the economy is a gigantic unknown.

  • If the Dems allow themselves to be caught without a response, they deserve to lose the mid-terms.

    That said, it was the Republicans who gave us two immoral and ludicrously expensive wars, plus half the bank bailout. They have no cred on the economy, and truly, the other party isn’t much better. Eighteen months out of the meltdown and we still have no meaningful reform, only the promise of more money.

    If we had a multi-party system, the GOP would already be down the drain and the Dems would be circling it.

  • That said, it was the Republicans who gave us two immoral and ludicrously expensive wars

    The Taliban and al-Qaeda mount an unprovoked attack on a trio of office buildings, kill nearly 3,000 civilians, and a war to expunge them is ‘immoral’; we devote < 5% of our military manpower to the task and it counts as 'ludicrously expensive'.

  • Thank you for saving me the work Art!

  • You’ve pretty much nailed it, Art. But I forgot to mention “incompetent” in my description of GOP Adventurism. The Taliban is still going strong. We still don’t have the Al Qaeda head. And we took out a non-aligned dictator instead. Good work, Mr Bush.

    Maybe Mr Obama should have asked for another trillion to lay waste to Southwest Asia.

    On the other hand, when other presidents have prosecuted a war against unjust enemies, people were asked to make sacrifices. Our previous president: just go shopping.

  • Non-aligned dictator? Was it in the alternate bearded Spock universe Todd where Saddam was not a dedicated enemy of the US?

  • Don,
    Todd’s point is that Saddam opposed both the US and the no longer existing Soviet Union equally. LOL.

  • Well, if you insist on being dense, Saddam was unaligned with the 9/11 attacks. If the Al Qaeda and the Taliban were such significant threats, why did the Bush administration allow itself to get distracted by Iraq? The war was incompetently waged. Enemy prisoners were tortured and killed. Whatever the initial motivation for protecting the nation after 2001 was lost in a neo-con jungle of ends justifying the means. Plus it was a hideously expensive adventure, one in which US citizens were not called to sacrifice. Only our military. And their loved ones.

    The GOP has learned no lessons from its recent tail whuppings. The Dems are little better. We need new parties and new ideas. Not the same old protectionism disguised as deregulation as an excuse for lawlessness.

  • “Well, if you insist on being dense, Saddam was unaligned with the 9/11 attacks.”

    As Hitler had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor Todd which made him no less an enemy of the United States. Why we went to war with Saddam is set forth below in the Congressional resolution authorizing the use of force:

    “Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq
    Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq’s war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;

    Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;

    Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

    Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;

    Whereas in 1998 Congress concluded that Iraq’s continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in “material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations” and urged the President “to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations” (Public Law 105-235);

    Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

    Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;

    Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people;

    Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

    Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

    Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;

    Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;

    Whereas Iraq’s demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;

    Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688, and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949;

    Whereas Congress in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) has authorized the President “to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677”;

    Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it “supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1),” that Iraq’s repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and “constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region,” and that Congress, “supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688”;

    Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;

    Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to “work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge” posed by Iraq and to “work for the necessary resolutions,” while also making clear that “the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable”;

    Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq’s ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;

    Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 or harbored such persons or organizations;

    Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

    Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and

    Whereas it is in the national security of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region;

    Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

    SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This joint resolution may be cited as the “Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq”.

    SEC. 2. SUPPORT FOR UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS

    The Congress of the United States supports the efforts by the President to–

    (a) strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions applicable to Iraq and encourages him in those efforts; and

    (b) obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions.

    SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

    (a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to

    (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and

    (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.

    (b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION.

    In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon there after as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that

    (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq, and

    (2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

    (c) WAR POWERS RESOLUTION REQUIREMENTS. —

    (1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION. — Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

    (2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS. — Nothing in this resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

    SEC. 4. REPORTS TO CONGRESS

    (a) The President shall, at least once every 60 days, submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant to this joint resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the exercise of authority granted in section 2 and the status of planning for efforts that are expected to be required after such actions are completed, including those actions described in section 7 of Public Law 105-338 (the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998).

    (b) To the extent that the submission of any report described in subsection (a) coincides with the submission of any other report on matters relevant to this joint resolution otherwise required to be submitted to Congress pursuant to the reporting requirements of Public Law 93-148 (the War Powers Resolution), all such reports may be submitted as a single consolidated report to the Congress.

    (c) To the extent that the information required by section 3 of Public Law 102-1 is included in the report required by this section, such report shall be considered as meeting the requirements of section 3 of Public Law 102-1.”

    “If the Al Qaeda and the Taliban were such significant threats, why did the Bush administration allow itself to get distracted by Iraq? The war was incompetently waged. Enemy prisoners were tortured and killed.”

    The US Todd had more than enough power to wage war in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The initial campaign in Iraq was a masterpiece of how to topple a regime with few casualties to your side. The insurgency was a problem which, far too late it is true, the surge countered. As for enemy prisoners being tortured and killed, unfortunately that is something that occurs in all wars. Unlike most nations, the US does try individuals guilty of those offenses. If the administration you voted for wishes, it could bring charges against Bush administration officials for such offenses. Why they have not, I will leave to your musings.

    “We need new parties and new ideas. Not the same old protectionism disguised as deregulation as an excuse for lawlessness.”

    You do love Mother State don’t you Todd? I think the big lesson of the Obama debacle that you helped curse the nation with, is that most Americans now realize what a sham Nanny State truly is. We shall see.

  • Donald, either you are a super fast typist, or you have totally mastered Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V. Good work. And again, I think Mr Bush contributed far more to your so-called debacle than I did. The GOP couldn’t conduct a war, and couldn’t protect a homeland from disaster. They were bounced for good reason in ’06 and ’08. 2010 would be too soon for a comeback, I would think. But I never discount the short memory of angry citizenry. Good thing we’re not a parliamentary democracy, eh?

  • Copy and Paste were made for comboxes Todd. 🙂

    “The GOP couldn’t conduct a war, and couldn’t protect a homeland from disaster.”

    I missed the other 9-11s Todd. Keeping the US safe from a repetition of that attack was a major achievement of the Bush administration. We will see how Obama does on that score by the end of his term.

  • You’ve pretty much nailed it, Art.

    Irony is dead.

    Mr. Bush’s critics might consider the following:

    1. Decisions in war and diplomacy are commonly made under conditions of uncertainty;

    2. The Bush Administration and the Clinton Administration faced a disagreeable trilemma concering the Iraqi regime: take the sanctions off and live with the consequences, leave the sanctions on and live with the consequences (were not the humanitarian aid hucksters assuring us that there were six figures worth of excess deaths in Iraq every year?), or eject the government and live with the consequences.

    3. Institutions have skill sets useful for some purposes and not others. The measure of them is how adaptable they are to circumstances. That includes learning techniques of counter-insurgency in novel terrain.

    4. People of integrity keep their hands off the goalposts.

    5. People with a lively sense of who they are and what they amount to generally need not be reminded that if they are vociferious in their judgment that others are small, they had better be big.

    6. Self-aggrandizement is a common purpose of political discourse. It shouldn’t be, but it is.

    http://www.amazon.com/Vision-Anointed-Self-Congratulation-Social-Policy/dp/046508995X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271336185&sr=1-1

  • Yes, there was quite the push to end sanctions because of all the secondary deaths that were supposed to be caused by them. France, if I recall correctly was calling for their repeal and I believe even JPII chimed in.

    Some perspective on this from the time:

    http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/170/41947.html

    The push to keep sanctions came only after the US threatened war with Iraq.

  • “John Paul II said in his address, sanctions are “an act of force,” and current experience demonstrates that a policy of sanctions “inflicts grave hardships upon the people of the countries at which it is aimed.” Indeed, after a March 1995 meeting with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister,Tariq Azi, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state, said that sanctions “must not be used as a means of war or to punish a population.” For all of these reasons, the criterion for sanctions cannot be reduced to the one of effectiveness.”

    The end of sanctions were being pushed for, Saddam continued to defy the conditions for the end of the Gulf War and diplomacy was (as is often the case) ineffective.

    The longer I think on it the more the Iraq War does seem just.

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  • “Keeping the US safe from a repetition of that attack was a major achievement of the Bush administration.”

    Except they didn’t. The anthrax attacks ended, but were never solved. And despite a beefed up Homeland Security, Katrina was a disaster after the disaster. Political cronyism, including defense contractors, dogged the Republicans for years.

    That’s not to say the Dems would have fared better. In nearly every way, they’re just as bad.

    But hey, on the bright side, with $700B a year, at least some of that says stateside to enrich the coffers of warmongers. The alternative is to clean up health insurance. That will certainly ship American money overseas to good use, eh?

    Take the last word, gents; you’ve earned it on this thread.

  • The Anthrax attacks Todd I suspect were domestic loon based and had no overseas terrorist involvement. Katrina was mishandled, but unless I missed something had no terrorist affiliation. Political cronyism and corruption indeed helped bring down the GOP Congress.

    As always I will happily take the last word until you come back for more. 🙂

Maybe They Should Have Read the Bill?

Monday, April 12, AD 2010

Hattip to Allahpundit at Hot Air.  Sometimes life is so much funnier than any comedy ever written.  Apparently the wise Congress Critters who passed ObamaCare may have taken away their own health insurance.  According to the New York Times:

The law apparently bars members of Congress from the federal employees health program, on the assumption that lawmakers should join many of their constituents in getting coverage through new state-based markets known as insurance exchanges.

 

But the research service found that this provision was written in an imprecise, confusing way, so it is not clear when it takes effect.

 

The new exchanges do not have to be in operation until 2014. But because of a possible “drafting error,” the report says, Congress did not specify an effective date for the section excluding lawmakers from the existing program.

 

Under well-established canons of statutory interpretation, the report said, “a law takes effect on the date of its enactment” unless Congress clearly specifies otherwise. And Congress did not specify any other effective date for this part of the health care law. The law was enacted when President Obama signed it three weeks ago.

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15 Responses to Maybe They Should Have Read the Bill?

  • I think the inability of Congressmen to read the bills they’re voting on speaks volumes about the need for a diminished size of government-including the states, but especially at the federal level. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t be doing it.

  • “If you don’t know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t be doing it.”

    I have often given that advice to clients in almost precisely those words!

  • And the citizen lawsuits to enforce this aspect of ObamaCare will begin to be filed, in Five, Four, Three…

    What are “citizen lawsuits”?

  • Suits by non-members of Congress to enforce this provision, although considering all the publicity it is now getting I think some members of Congress might join in.

  • Congressional bills are not made to be read. If you ever try to take a look at them, the actual language makes no sense because most of the time, it is an amendment to the US Code. So the health care bill is nonsensical to 95% of the population because it contains numerous legal changes. I’d actually be angry if they did waste their time reading every page of the bill. Not caring what was in it is a different matter….

    Also, the provision was a political stunt to show that Congress is a bunch of normal people as well. It was supposed to be removed in the final bill, but sometimes politics gets in the way.

  • “Congressional bills are not made to be read.”
    Actually they are read all the time by attorneys like me. Congress has the resources to have had this bill read over countless times by staff attorneys who could have made the members aware of booby-traps in the bill like this one.

  • Agreed. I just hate when people criticize member’s of Congress for not reading legislation. I think it’s valid to wonder why their staff isn’t preparing them better.

  • Suits by non-members of Congress to enforce this provision

    I’m not sure how they would have standing to sue.

  • As someone who lacks an understanding of how many of these legal issues of standing and such work, can the lawyers here help me understand a bit how something like this works?

    As I understand the NY Times piece, the legislation as passed includes a provision that members of congress no longer be included in the federal employee health plan. Through an oversight, this provision appears to go into effect before the insurance exchanges are available as fall-back.

    I would assume, neither those in congress nor the current administration is all that enthusiastic to revoke coverage from representatives and their staffs before the exchanges are available.

    Is any particular group within the government required to enforce the provision as written? Or is BA saying that this would never go into effect because there would be no one with both the interest and the standing to insist on enforcement?

  • I doubt if they would be held ultimately to have standing, although I am not certain on that point. What I am certain of is that suits will be filed and that the publicity that this will gain will further lower, if that is possible, the view of the public as to the competency of Congress.

  • Vis a vis staff reading the legislation: sometimes the doesn’t even do that. I know someone who is a staff member for a Senator, and they were completely blindsided by a provision in the Stimulus Bill that they didn’t realize was in the bill – word searches failed to pick up on the provision because of the way it was worded. So yeah, it’s remarkable what gets into these bills without either the reps or their staff knowing.

  • Darwin,

    A citizen suit to enforce the provision would, I think, go nowhere, as there would not be standing to sue. My understanding is that the OPM would be charged to enforce the statute. If the issue really is clear cut I expect the OPM would enforce the law, but if congress makes a big enough squawk they might choose to interpret the statute to have a later effective date (assuming a non-frivolous argument can be made on that score).

  • Is any particular group within the government required to enforce the provision as written?

    Yes. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has the duty to enforce this. They would treat such persons just like anyone else who lost their eligibility to participate in FEHBP.

    It should be noted that this provision was not written by the Democrats but came from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Grassley is not known as a deep thinker or particularly good legislative draftsman.

  • This is a problem at the state level too. I deal all the time with the consequences of bills that pass the Illinois General Assembly without legislators having taken the time to read them. Agency rules and regulations can be just as bad, if the agency hasn’t taken the time to read the bill/statute that the rules are supposed to implement. I am sure this happens at the federal level also.

  • My understanding is that the OPM would be charged to enforce the statute. If the issue really is clear cut I expect the OPM would enforce the law, but if congress makes a big enough squawk they might choose to interpret the statute to have a later effective date

    Looks like it’s the latter.

Stupak to Retire?

Thursday, April 8, AD 2010

Hattip to Gateway Pundit.  NBC’s First Read is reporting that Stupak is considering retirement.

Stupak to call it quits? With just a few days to go before the end of this recess, House Democrats are cautiously optimistic that they could get through it without a single retirement announcement. That said, there is still a concern that some important incumbents in districts that they are uniquely suited could call it quits. At the top of the concern list this week: Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak. The Democrat best known this year as the Democrat who delivered the winning margin of votes for the president’s health-care reform bill is said to be simply exhausted. The criticism he received — first from the left, and then from the right — has worn him and his family out. And if he had to make the decision now, he’d probably NOT run. As of this writing, a bunch of senior Democrats (many of the same ones who twisted his arm on the health care vote) are trying to talk him into running. The filing deadline in Michigan is still a month away, but veterans of that state’s politics are skeptical anyone other than Stupak can hold that district in this political climate.

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24 Responses to Stupak to Retire?

  • Whether Stupak retires now, or runs for reelection and loses, he’s already suffered plenty of humiliation.

    Just look at the poster at the top of this post — that’s an internet meme that will be around long after he’s gone from Congress (hopefully soon). His very name has become a synonym, at least in some circles, for being betrayed or screwed (“Stupak’d”)

    No matter what he does, he’ll still get his Congressional pension, and still be in line for some high-paid lobbying job or whatever. Either way, his last-minute cave-in cost him his seat in Congress and that’s good enough for me.

    Of course, there’s always a chance he’ll win if he runs again… though at least one Gateway Pundit commenter, who recently visited Sault Ste. Marie and says Stupak is “toast” there, indicates otherwise.

  • “Any decision, he said, would come after the April 15 deadline by which his opponents would submit financial statements to the FEC but before the May filing deadline.”

    With the iron determination he demonstrated in voting against his own amendment, my guess is that his ultimate intentions are a complete mystery to him at the present time.

  • True. But don’t underestimate the call of power, especially when those about him proclaim him a hero for his vote.

  • He’s apparently announcing his retirement today at 12:30.

  • Thank you for the update Chris.

  • Stupak’s fall reminds me of something out of a Greek tragedy. It’s a shame–I’m reasonably convinced he thought he was doing the best he could, but his collapse at the last minute has the potential to damage the country and the pro-life cause for decades.

  • Dale, I don’t see it. The shrill attacks on him have deeply damaged the pro-life movement in the public eye. It may well be that a few fringe folk orchestrated the attack on one of our own. But critics like the ones on this web site have allowed their focus to shift far away from the defense of the unborn and the persuasion of women in crisis (real or perceived) pregnancies.

    We never save so much bile as for those once loyal we perceive to be disloyal.

    And a “fall?” You speak as if public life were some high calling. If the man’s family has been the target of harassment and obscenity, the man is a hero for sacrificing his own career for the greater good.

    This is a sandals-and-dust moment for Mr Stupak. His district, the country, and the pro-life movement are the losers here.

  • Todd, how do I fit the pattern of “shrill,” “fringe” and “bile” that you decry here? I’m going to decline the invitation to be your straw-y sparring partner. I’m sure someone else here will be happy to take up the gauntlet, though.

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  • Oh well, wrong again. Or maybe I should be happy. 🙂

  • “His district, the country, and the pro-life movement are the losers here.”

    Yeah, self-serving cave-in artists are always in short supply.

  • Dale, I used your name, “shrill” and “bile” in the same post, but careful reading here would indicate I accused you of neither of these. I’m sure you and your colleagues here have also typed “Obama” and “pro-life” in the same post, but I’m sure no connection was intended.

    “Bile” is associated with “we,” and I was careful to include myself as part of the human condition of our reaction to disloyalty.

    You can engage my argument or not: that’s your choice. But don’t play the aggrieved when you are quick to paste labels on me and others based on your own perceptions.

    That said, it’s remarkable how quickly you folks zero in on the critic here, not his argument. Mr Stupak is taking his toys and going home. It’s not tragedy; it’s a career decision. Moral adults make such decisions every day.

    My sense is that a pro-lifer finally got something substantive done in the political sphere, and danged if he happened to be a Dem.

  • “My sense is that a pro-lifer finally got something substantive done in the political sphere, and danged if he happened to be a Dem.”

    “Substantive” as in an executive order that can be rescinded at any time, that did not remedy the problem with abortion funding that Stupak saw clearly in the Senate bill before his cave-in and that would not stand up for a moment in court, because an executive order cannot prevail over a law.

  • Timothy Noah at Slate explains just how completely meaningless Stupak’s executive order is:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2248490/

  • Ah, so you were talking *at* me and not *to* me. That’s an improvement over insults, yes, but I tend to bow out of “conversations” where people ride up to me on a hobbyhorse and start barking about the bad behavior of the disliked other.

    If you want to springboard off my comments to make a point about what you regard as the many failings of the pro-life movement, it’s a free internet. Just do me the courtesy of bracketing me off from what you’re going to harangue the comment box about. As an additional example of the peril of talking at, not to:

    “You speak of public life as if it were a high calling.”

    Yeah, Todd, I do. Given that public service is what I have done for the bulk of my professional life, I like to think I make a difference and that it’s not some transactional time serving.

    Oh, and just where “have I been quick to paste a label” on you, Todd? Maybe an old liturgical thread from a few years back? Seriously–what?

    Finally, a substantive point: Stupak took a lot of threatening hate from the pro-abortion left prior to the vote, too, with him describing it as “a living hell.”

    http://thehill.com/homenews/house/87519-its-been-a-living-hell-says-rep-stupak

    Having the pro-lifers pile on afterward was almost certainly the breaking point, but the left had rolled out a primary challenger and was making his life miserable, too. It just didn’t get on CNN.

  • “Oh, and just where “have I been quick to paste a label” on you, Todd?”

    The other day, the other thread.

    Look, my friend: I may or may not be angrier today than I was a few years ago. Odds are you can pick out two days in my life and say I was more angry here, less angry there. It’s also easy enough to make other people angry on the net. Some of our blogging friends are experts at it. And I don’t deny I’ve been the cause of vituperative upset on the part of some folks. To a degree, we all make choices every day about putting a shine on things or moping around.

    As for your comment about bracketing, point taken and accepted. I apologize for rendering guilt by association. You don’t have a character limit here at AC, so I will take the extra minute, the extra sentence to be careful, not only with you, but with your blogging comrades.

    Because I know you to be a man dedicated to truth and faith, I mention a final suggestion directed at you, Dale. Why is it that you chose to ignore my point that pro-lifers behaving badly damage the movement in the perception of the abortion fence-sitters as more significant than Mr Stupak’s “betrayal” to the hard-core movement? This political defeat was hard for the GOP–no doubt about that. But women may well choose not to have abortions, even in the hundreds of thousands in the years ahead, and this would be a victory for the pro-life effort, wouldn’t it?

  • Please point out the other thread. I simply do not remember it–not the weasely “do not recall” but rather complete amnesia–and from what you say, it appears I owe an apology.

    Pro-lifers behaving badly damages the movement–I would be an idiot to argue otherwise. They do it often, and I think the shellacking administered to Stupak by the hotheads was excessive. I think he was [given that his political career is now gliding to its end], in the main, a decent public servant.

    The political defeat was not of the GOP–that happened in 2006 and 2008, for which it paid rightly for its sins.

    Rather, the defeat–the tragedy–is two-fold. First, the pro-life movement in America is now, and entirely for the worse–anchored politically to the Republicans. Stupak’s fold–and that’s what it was, intentions aside–means that the pro-life Democrat is dead and buried at the national level, for at least a generation. Pro-lifers need voices in both parties, and while Stupak and his colleagues held out, we thought we did. Now we don’t. Instead, we have a sorta voice in the GOP and the finger from the majority party.

    Which brings me to the second fold: we can’t celebrate women who choose to do the right thing under the legislation when that same legislation pays them to do the wrong thing. The bottom line is that funds abortions and herds people into exchanges where there may be only one insurer who doesn’t. Stupak understood that, otherwise he wouldn’t have crafted his amendment as he did and decried Casey’s semantic re-write of Capps. The fact he sought out an an executive order to “correct” it speaks volumes about the legistation as passed. [As an aside, I think Bob Casey Jr.’s actions are by far more troubling than Stupak’s.] Our HHS secretary has assured us that it funds abortion, and I have every confidence in her judgment and the impotence of the executive order that it will.

    As I said in another thread that I remember (if having no desire to re-argue), I’m happy with the bits of the legislation that support working mothers and help women and men make the right decision. In a related vein, I’d be altogether delighted with the passage of the Pregnant Women Support Act. But I can’t support expanded abortion. The pro-life parts of the legislation still strike me as equivalent to adding a vitamin supplement to a goblet of hemlock. Yeah, in some sense it’s better but it’s still bad overall.

    Thank you for the courteous response, not so by the way.

  • If I could get my comment out of moderation, I’d appreciate it. I think the software’s glitching.

  • I’m not going to say there weren’t things said in reaction to Stupak’s move that reflected poorly on the pro-life movement, but why do those who feel it important to make the observation not consider that Stupak himself made the pro-life movement look bad?

    Stupak was held out as a staunch defender of the unborn. He was bucking his own party, crafting iron clad legislation, condemning the Senate bill and the sell-outs and unethical political payoffs that came with it, etc. Good stuff. Then, when things came down to the wire, his district was awarded federal funds for airports, he voted against his own legislation, and voted with his party and justified it with the magic beans of the EO.

    Who made the pro-life movement look bad?

  • Well now we know he didn’t do it for political gain. If I were pro-choice and in favor of ObamaCare, I’d send him a letter of gratitude and another letter to Obama urging him to award Stupak a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

  • I appreciate the reply, Dale. We’ve often butted heads, especially in the early days of the St Blogosphere, but I always respected you–and still do–for piecing together a decent argument. Not to mention being a guy I know I could sit down for a coffee or a beer and have a solid man-to-man chat.

    To answer your question, it was your last post on the Gomez thread referring to my anger and bitterness. If anything, I’m willing to concede that since Nov 2008, I don’t avoid getting under conservative skin here and there. And also willing to concede that I’ve been delivered a pink slip or two in the aftermath of ’08, so I have fewer qualms about sticking a sliver under someone’s philosophical fingernail. All for the cause of keeping the opposition honest, if not above-board.

    And I confess: you and Donald are far more politically aware on this level than I bother to be. Honestly, I have no stomach for national politics. I stopped reading serious history and politics years ago. Local action in fighting arts-and-music cuts and volunteering as an election official–that’s a whole lot more appealing to me. I know I can make a difference there. Fighting Big Oil and DuPont and media empires–not so much.

    Lots of good Catholics knowledgeable about insurance reform and the goings-on in Washington thought Mr Stupak got as much as he could out of this. And more, they convinced me the bill was sound for the pro-life effort. The president was going to the wall for insurance reform, and seemed prepared to make concessions on the abortion front. And quite honestly, given the level of rhetoric on FOCA (I may not know much, but I do know the basics of how legislation happens) if Deal Hudson and a few others try to tell me this is bad, I’m inclined to believe the opposite.

    If you were in Mr Stupak’s shoes, you would have done differently. I can respect that. My problem with your site here is that too many of you bloggers lack basic respect. The photoshopped slogan on the image at the top shows it. Whatever kind of man Bart Stupak is, he doesn’t likely deserve that level of disrespect. But I think it’s pretty clear that on this issue, the blog author hasn’t risen above the sandbox at second grade recess.

  • Todd:

    As God is my witness, I didn’t comment on any of the Gomez threads, nor did I ask anyone to take down a comment on them. Darwin and Don did, and perhaps you confused “D”ale with them, given the alliterative quality of our handles. 🙂 That said, I can’t imagine that I *haven’t* given you ample and rightful reason to feel cheap shot offense in the past, given our clashes, and for that I offer an overdue apology.

    As to Rep. Stupak, I sincerely hope he’s *right* and that his EO prevents abortion funding. I’d note that my archbishop, Allen Vigneron, was careful to hope for the same in a recent speech and avoided condemnation. For my part, I simply can’t see how it will work. I hope and pray to God I am wrong, but I am morally certain I am not.

    Keep fighting the good fight on the arts front. I’m trying to make sure my kids get drenched in the arts, and Detroit area museums are taking it in the shorts in this economy. It’s the first thing that faces the knife, and it shouldn’t be.

  • Dale, I offer my unconditional apology to you. It was Darwin. I need to check my own reading comprehension. Or my glasses.

Can Catholics Abstain From ObamaCare

Thursday, March 25, AD 2010

I came across this American Thinker article on the exclusion of Amish and Muslims from ObamaCare:

The Senate health care bill just signed contains some exemptions to the “pay-or-play” mandate requiring purchase of Obamacare-approved health insurance or payment of a penalty fine. As Fox News has pointed out, for instance, the Amish are excused from the mandate:

So while most Americans would be required to sign up with insurance companies or government insurance plans, the church would serve as something of an informal insurance plan for the Amish.

Law experts say that kind of exemption withstands scrutiny.

“Here the statute is going to say that people who are conscientiously opposed to paying for health insurance don’t have to do it where the conscientious objection arises from religion,” said Mark Tushnet a Harvard law professor. “And that’s perfectly constitutional.”

Apparently, this exemption will apply similarly to believers in Islam, which considers health insurance – and, for that matter, any form of risk insurance – to be haraam (forbidden).

Steve Gilbert of Sweetness & Light calls our attention to the probability that Muslims will also be expempt. According to a March 23 publication on an authoritative Islamic Web site managed by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, various fatwas (religious decrees) absolutely forbid Muslim participation in any sort of health care or other risk insurance:

Health insurance is haraam like other types of commercial insurance, because it is based on ambiguity, gambling and riba (usury). This is what is stated in fatwas by the senior scholars.

In Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (15/277) there is a quotation of a statement of the Council of Senior Scholars concerning the prohibition on insurance and why it is haraam:

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (15/251):

Firstly: Commercial insurance of all types is haraam because it involves ambiguity, riba, uncertainty, gambling and consuming people’s wealth unlawfully, and other shar’i

Secondly: It is not permissible for the Muslim to get involved with insurance companies by working in administration or otherwise, because working in them comes under the heading of cooperating in sin and transgression, and Allaah forbids that as He says: “but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment”

[al-Maa’idah 5:2]. End quote.

reservations.
And Allaah knows best.

So, it turns out that observant Muslims are not only strictly forbidden from buying any health insurance under the ObamaCare mandate, but may also not even work for any company that provides such insurance or any other form of commercial insurance.

(…)

Being an observant Catholic I don’t have to participate because it goes against my faith to kill unborn innocent children?

The 5th, 7th, and 10th Commandments and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) forbids me from participating.

5th Commandment & CCC 2268-2269: You shall not kill. (ObamaCare kills unborn babies)[1]

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23 Responses to Can Catholics Abstain From ObamaCare

  • The bill requires that at least one plan on the exchange not cover abortion, so I don’t think this is an issue.

  • The Church also teaches about double effect and remote material cooperation with evil. I don’t know how many times I’ve been told to pay taxes for nukes because Jesus said, Give to Caesar what is Caesars. Perhaps there is some common ground in the making here! 🙂

  • I’m willing to allow an out on my tax filings for both nukes and ObamaCare.

    Is this possible in the U.S.?

  • Abstain from it Tito? I want to kill it!

  • I’m with Donald.

    Though being proactive and searching for many possible alternatives to further mitigate ObamaCare is what I’m after as well.

  • Does your insurance at work cover abortion or contraception? If so, should you opt out and pay for a private plan that excludes these?

  • JohnH,

    I plan to once I get a permanent full time job.

    Contract work at the moment.

  • Good on you, Tito.

  • I’d be a little leery of saying Muslims are forbidden to participate on the basis of Sheik Sumduud’s website, or even a fatwa. Fatwas are pretty easy to come by, actually, and have about as much force as the individual Muslim wants to accord it. To use a (very, very) rough analogy, they are like a trial court’s ruling, binding to varying extents on the parties involved, but lacking precedential force.

    More to the point, Muslims have worked out ways to get around prohibitions like this before (e.g., murabaha, which manages to do a fine job of mimicking interest via a client paying a financial institution an agreed upon marked-up price for a commodity).

  • Eliminating “nukes” in paying one’s taxes: would this include nuclear power plants? Labs which study detection of atomic weapons? etc etc

  • Catholics should get involved in a campaign to sign pro-lifers (and others) up with plans that don’t cover abortion. Hopefully, abortion coverage will die from lack of demand.

  • RR, that is really an excellent suggestion, and I can imagine it’s also one that would be quite easy for us to do as individuals, as well as collectively. Even for my moderately pro-choice friends (esp. the males), I think they would probably agree to purchase insurance that excludes abortion coverage.

    This seems worthy of really looking into and organizing as a pro-life goal.

  • “Catholics should get involved in a campaign to sign pro-lifers (and others) up with plans that don’t cover abortion. Hopefully, abortion coverage will die from lack of demand.”

    Considering the number of abortions we have in this country I think that hope is both futile and farfetched.

  • Pingback: Health Care Exemptions? « A Voice into the Void
  • The concern I have is that in order to get a general religious exemption from Obamacare for Catholics, wouldn’t we have to prove that abstaining from absolutely all participation in abortion, no matter how remote, was an integral and non-negotiable part of Church teaching, and that ALL Catholics were bound under pain of mortal sin or excommunication to abide by it (like the teaching against participating directly in abortion itself)?

    However, that is not true — remote material cooperation such as would occur in the case of paying taxes under Obamacare or participating in an insurance program that covered abortion is permitted for sufficient reasons, for example, if it would be extremely difficult or impossible to find another insurance plan. A Catholic CAN refuse to participate in such a plan on moral grounds, but he or she is not necessarily obligated to take such action.

    As for Muslims, I have heard that many Muslims do not believe in borrowing money and so they pay cash for everything, but how on earth do so many of them manage to run businesses (shops, etc.) without insurance? What happens if the shop burns down, or a pipe freezes, etc.? How do they legally drive cars if they can’t have car insurance? If Muslims really are forbidden to have insurance, it must be a teaching many Muslims either don’t know about or ignore, kind of like Catholic teaching against contraception.

  • Donald, I don’t think it’s futile or far-fetched to think plans that cover abortion can become unpopular, not just among pro-lifers but anyone who doesn’t think they need abortion coverage.

  • Ooops, my first sentence should have read “wouldn’t we have to prove that abstaining from all COOPERATION in abortion, no matter how remote…”

  • restrainedradical, don’t get me wrong. If people wish to persuade others not to get insurance that covers abortion, I am all for it. However, considering the sheer number of abortions, I don’t think this strategy will have much of an impact in reducing the total number of abortions. However, I would be delighted if I were proven to be in error.

  • So the Stupak Amendment wouldn’t have had much of an impact on the number of abortions? Maybe.

  • I don’t know how many abortions the Stupak amendment would have stopped. I know it would have stopped any of my tax money paying for abortions which is extremely important to me. Too bad Stupak folded like the weasel he apparently is.

  • Donald-
    I was really hoping the pro-life dems would actually come through.

    When I heard the news say they agreed to vote for it in exchange for Obama signing something that “clarified” federal funding of abortion… sounds like a setup for a bad, bad literal genie moment.

  • I have long had hopes for the pro-life Democrat movement Foxfier. More fool me. A handful of pro-life Dems stuck to their guns, but most proved that their pro-life stance was, at best, conditional to the needs of their party. These remarks are of course only aimed at pro-life Dem Congress Critters and not at rank and file pro-life Dems.

  • Are believers in Christian Science exempt?

4 Responses to Spike in New Jobs Creation

What Will ObamaCare Look Like

Friday, March 5, AD 2010

[4 updates at the bottom of this post as of 8:08am CST]

If ObamaCare somehow passes through Congress and signed by President Obama, what can Americans look forward to?

Well the Republican Party’s very own potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney did just that as governor of Massachusetts, passing universal health coverage for the entire state.

The results are mixed at best, and scary at worst.

Here are some highlights from the op-ed titled Romneycare model a dud in the Boston Herald by Michael Graham where Massachusetts is “already glowing in the radioactive haze of Romneycare, aka “ObamaCare: The Beta Version.” [emphases mine]:

Shouldn’t Obama have been bragging yesterday about bringing the benefits of Bay State reform to all of America?

As we prepare to wander into this coming nuclear winter of hyper-partisan politics – one in which we’re almost certain to see widespread political fatalities among congressional Democrats – I have to ask: If bringing Massachusetts-style “universal coverage” to America is worth this terrible price, why doesn’t Obama at least mention us once in awhile?

Maybe he thinks of us as the Manhattan Project of medical insurance reform. Too top secret to discuss. More likely, it has something to do with the nightmare results of this government-run debacle. Here are a few “highlights” of the current status of the Obamacare experiment in Massachusetts:

It’s exploding the budget: Our “universal” health insurance scheme is already $47 million over budget [imagine it in trillions for American tax-payers] for 2010. Romneycare will cost taxpayers more than $900 million next year alone.

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11 Responses to What Will ObamaCare Look Like

  • Clearly, the program only failed because it wasn’t properly funded. The rich need to pay their share to ensure everybody has access to health care. Your opposition to health care reform is really a manifestation of your deep-seeded hatred of the poor and fear of those who are not like you. It is shameful for you to use abortion as a smokescreen for your racism.

    //There. Just saved a few folks some time this morning.

  • Steve,

    That is a failure of imagination.

    All problems cannot be solved by throwing more money at it.

    Massachusetts is a model of what will happen to America.

  • Steve, you do deadpan humor better than I do it! You parodied the arguments of the Left to perfection. Well done!

  • Steve,

    I’m enjoying my sucker-pie right now.

    Good one!

    🙂

  • Yes, but Steve forgot to mention fascism. A fatal flaw in any real argument

  • I don;t know enough about Mass to comment.

    However, if public options are doomed to fail, how come they seem to do OK in Canada and Europe and have done for decades?

  • RuariJM,

    Canada and Europe have been subsidized by American military power for the past fifty years. If those ungrateful countries had to spend money on their own military, they wouldn’t have enough money for universal health care. The only our country could afford to ensure health care for all is to do what those countries do – gut our military spending and shut down the one trillion dollar budget.

    Yeah, right! Who else is going to stop Western Civilization from succumbing to the jihadists, if not the American military?

    // I jest. 🙂

  • “universal” health insurance scheme is already $47 million over budget

    Thanks to greater-than-expected enrollment. It’s a good thing.

    Romneycare will cost taxpayers more than $900 million next year alone.

    So what’s an acceptable price tag? The VA budget is $57 billion. Is that too much?

    Besides, most of the $900 million was already being spent to reimburse hospitals for treating the uninsured. The shortfall is $100 million.

    The choice is between insuring the uninsured, reimbursing hospitals for treating the uninsured, making hospitals suffer the losses from treating the uninsured, or allowing hospitals to turn away the uninsured. Pick one.

    Average Massachusetts premiums are the highest in the nation and rising. We also spend 27 percent more on health care services, per capita, than the national average.

    It was probably already the highest before the reform. I do know for a fact that since the reform, the rate of increase has declined both compared to the past and compared to other states. This is consistent with the CBO report which predicts lower costs offset by higher premiums for more comprehensive plans (a net increase in premiums but a decrease in cost). The Massachusetts plan apparently lowered costs more than it increased the price of premiums.

    In Massachusetts, ObamaCare 1.0 is such a mess our governor is talking about imposing draconian price controls.

    The federal government will deal with a larger deficit the way it always does, borrowing. If the federal government was going to impose price controls, it would’ve done so already to save money on Medicare/Medicaid which dwarfs ObamaCare.

    uninsured Bay State residents has gone from around 6 percent to around 3 percent.

    That’s hundreds of thousands of people. That’s great news! A federal program will help millions!

    In conclusion, the Massachusetts plan doesn’t defy logic and works largely as it’s expected to work. Nobody expected it to be free.

    If you oppose ObamaCare, offer an alternative. The way I see it if you take out the public option and include the Stupak Amendment, you have an acceptable plan. Sure, HSA’s would be preferable but if that’s not an option, insurance is still better than nothing.

  • In all seriousness, the rich have no greater right to health care than the poor. The rich are rich not for their own sake, but for the sake of the poor. To those whom much is given, much will be expected.

    Now, having said that, I do not approve of national taxes and national health care schemes. State taxes and state health care schemes . . . I’d have to think about.

  • RuariJM,

    That would explain why the premiere of Newfoundland decided to have surgery in the US and not Canada.

    As well as many more Canadians crossing our border for superior and sorely needed doctors visits.

    Remember, dead patients don’t complain while waiting in line for a transplant.

    That’s why you don’t hear much of them complaining, but there are complaints and it is ugly.

  • I hope Republicans will run attractive candidates for every open House and Senate seat who promise to repeal it. If this Obama/Piglosi/Reid abomination can be crammed down our throats via the nuclear option, why can’t it be repealed via nuclear option once all the Marxist-Alinskyite dirt bags have been voted out of Congress this November? By the grace of God there will be enough of a conservative flip to override ObaMao’s veto.

Ronald Reagan Warns Against ObamaCare

Sunday, February 28, AD 2010

This is a clip of Ronald Reagan warning us of socialized medicine, the very same bill that President Obama and the Democratic Party are trying to ram through congress.

Reagan warns us of how people such as six-time presidential Socialist Party candidate Norman Thomas, and many others, explained how to move their agenda of achieving a socialist state by a Foot-in-the-Door policy of socialized medicine.  Which is eerily similar to what President Obama and the Democrats are doing, against the will of the people with their European socialized health care bill.

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40 Responses to Ronald Reagan Warns Against ObamaCare

  • I love that clip. It shows why Ronald Reagan will always be “The Great Communicator”. Clear, factual, and with his own depth of Philosophical belief. Unlike most politicians, what Reagan said, he believed.

    After watching the “Bipartisan Healthcare Summit” I was truly astounded at how poor Obama is at communicating without a pre-prepared speech and a teleprompter. The man is rude, cuts people off, stutters and stammers, and has trouble forming thoughts about his beliefs.

    Basically, to anyone who watched the BHS (no, not Barack Has to Stutter) this was a wake up call–Barry isn’t a good speaker, he is a good reader.

  • Is this a real or a parody post? If the latter, well the joke’s on me then…

    But assuming it isn’t – I assume you realize that Reagan was making all kinds of outlandish claims about Medicare, including that it tell doctors where they had to live? I think history had proved him a tint bit wrong – so much so that the party that now idolizes his memory is fighting tooth and nail against “cuts” in this very same Medicare..

    Oh, and as superior as single payer is (and Medicare is single payer by the way), the Obama bill retains the current system of privaet insurers. There is nothing “socialistic” about it. Of course, it attempts to regulate private insurers, including (by the way) how they must deal with abortion – something no Republican has ever supported.

  • MM,

    He was talking about the slow descent to socialism, or does this escape you?

    As for abortion, no matter your hollow arguments, you still voted for the most pro-abortion president in the history of the United States of America.

  • You need to study more on what Reagan actually predicted pertaining to Medicare. Also, tell me why his acolytes currently are its biggest defenders? Also, please tell me what abortion protections were put into the Republican-sponsored Medicare Advantage expansion? And please tell me what exactly is “socialist” in the HCR bill?

    Of course, having a policy debate would require moving past mindless slogans – “socialist”, “most pro-abortion president”. Of course, I could also point out to your that your own ideology is almost identical to the liberalism opposed by the Vatican for quite a long time.

  • Awesome Post!

    Reagan also signed the UN declaration against torture and his DOJ successfully tried and convicted a Texas sheriff for waterboarding prisoners, so I guess that he solved those current debates as well!

  • Oh No! But I just realized that Ronald Reagan might disagree with Friedrich von Hayek on this question, who wrote, in his Road to Serfdom, that “Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance, where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks, the case for the state helping to organise a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong.”

    And now I don’t know WHAT to think!?!

  • We could also say that Reagan raised taxes pretty much every year of his presidency, and pushed for a very ambitious arms control deal! The modern GOP would denounce him a “lib-uh-ral socialist”!

  • Here is the text of the speech:

    http://www.elephantowners.com/?page_id=68

    Reagan’s warnings have proven prescient. Medicare and Medicaid have grown and grown. We cannot pay for them just as we cannot pay for Obamacare. The government as an insurer has driven up the costs of medicine for all.

    Oh and Tony, the most pro-abortion President in our history isn’t a slogan, but a reality. You supported him and now you aren’t even going to get health care. He is also producing a political reaction which is going to sweep the Democrats from power in November in Congress and across the country. As a Republican I would like to thank you. Obama is the best thing that has happened to the GOP since Jimmy Carter!

  • “Reagan’s warnings have proven prescient. Medicare and Medicaid have grown and grown. We cannot pay for them just as we cannot pay for Obamacare.”

    As have Eisenhower’s regarding the military-industrial complex. But few “conservatives” seem to think that that is much of a problem.

    The point of all this, of course, is that it’s rather silly to think that the policy positions of American politicians–Republican or Democrat–should have any bearing on arguments (rather than sloganeering) about what is actually beneficial to the commonweal.

  • However plausible Reagan’s predictions may have been at the time, they have not been borne out by subsequent events. It’s been 45 years since Medicare was enacted, and it hasn’t led to a total government takeover of medicine. In fact, I think there’s a plausible argument to be made that Medicare is one of the main impediments to passing a universal health care plan today.

  • Instituting programs that we cannot pay for is not beneficial to the commonweal, but rather bankrupts the commonweal. As for Defense, that thing that gives you the freedom to comment on blogs, it took up 23% of the federal budget in 2009. Social Security took up 20% and Medicare and Medicaid 19%.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget

    Medicare and Medicaid are going to explode in costs over the next two decades and there is no clue how to pay for them other than for the government to continue to borrow until—well, I guess until we can’t borrow anymore or our economy collapses under the debt burden.

  • I’m not sure how mandating that people purchase something from the private sector constitutes “socialism”?

  • And that’s not even to say it is a good idea. This is strictly speaking toward definition.

  • Wj,

    If you think that Hayek quote is amazing, check out this one (from the Constitution of Liberty):

    Once it becomes the recognized duty of the public to provide for the extreme needs of old age, unemployment, sickness, etc., irrespective of whether the individuals could and ought to have made provision themselves and particularly once help is assured to such an extent that it is apt to reduce individuals’ efforts, it seems an obvious corollary to compel them to insure (or otherwise provide) against those common hazards of life. The justification in this case is not that people should be coerced to do what is in their individual interest but that, by neglecting to make provision, they would become a charge to the public. Similarly, we require motorists to insure against third-party risks, not in their interest but in the interest of others who might be harmed by their action.

    Finally, once the state requires everybody to make provisions of a kind which only some had made before, it seems reasonable enough that the state should also assist in the development of appropriate institutions . . .

    Up to this point the justification for the whole apparatus of “social security” can probably be accepted by the most consistent defenders of liberty. Though many may think it unwise to go so far, it cannot be said that this would be in conflict with the principles we have stated . . . It is only when the proponents of “social security” go a step further that the crucial issues arise. Even at the beginning state of “social insurance” in Germany in the 1880’s, individuals were not merely required to make provision against those risks which, if they did not, the state would have to provide for, but were compelled to obtain this protection through a unitary organization run by the government.

  • Reagan’s warnings have proven prescient. Medicare and Medicaid have grown and grown.

    Reagan was warning that eligibility for the programs would expand, not cost. That hasn’t happened.

  • “As for Defense, that thing that gives you the freedom to comment on blogs….”

    Funny, I thought that was the Constitution. Thanks for pointing out my ignorance!

  • Eric,

    The moment congress passes this bill, within a generation, we will no longer have what you refer to as the “private sector”.

  • The moment congress passes this bill, within a generation, we will no longer have what you refer to as the “private sector”.

    This strikes me as unlikely. What in the bill do you think will do away with private sector health care?

  • It’s not in the bill.

    But succeeding congresses will expand the bill to include a government option. Will ultimately be a single payer “option”.

    I probably should have said an incremental march towards the elimination of private health insurance.

  • Blackadder,

    Yes, that quote is amazing. I am always impressed by the clarity and nuance of Hayek’s thinking; if Republicans were more consistently Hayekian and Democrats were more consistently social democratic then we might have actual arguments about policy! We would also be living on another planet, of course.

  • Tito,

    Why do you think passing this bill now will make passing those bills in the future any more likely? Usually passing a bill on a subject makes it harder to revisit that subject legislatively, not easier.

  • BA,

    They would not necessarily pass more bills, but it can happen.

    They would also expand the power of said agencies that would squeeze the private sector more and more.

    Not to mention executive orders that can expand the powers of said agencies and restrict those of the private sector.

  • Well, what do you mean by “private sector” anyway?

  • Tito,

    Okay, but all that stuff could happen regardless of whether the current bill is passed. Why is this an argument against the current bill?

  • I ask because it seems that, in your mind, there are these two abstract entities–the “private sector” on the one hand, and “government” on the other–that are necessarily in opposition. But this over-simple characterization does not fit the *actual* way in which the health-care industry (and, for that matter, most other large industries) operates in America.

  • BA,

    Because it is a slippery slope of creeping government involvement in people’s lives.

    WJ,

    Please explain.

  • Can’t–going to bed; briefly, though, I understand your distinction to hold for small businesses, relatively local economies, etc. but not for huge corporate enterprises which sometimes enjoy monopolist status and have the clout to influence legislation in their interests; for such enterprises, any simple distinction like the one you draw seems inadequate for accounting for the facts on the ground.

  • “Funny, I thought that was the Constitution. Thanks for pointing out my ignorance!”

    You are welcome. Without military force to back it up, the Constitution is just another piece of paper.

  • As have Eisenhower’s regarding the military-industrial complex. But few “conservatives” seem to think that that is much of a problem.

    Perhaps becuase the allocation of available resources to military expenditure fluctuates up and down in response to external conditions and is lower now than was the case in 1960.

  • which sometimes enjoy monopolist status and have the clout to influence legislation in their interests;

    The only monopolists in our economy are gas and electric companies and (to some extent) the postal service.

  • (and, for that matter, most other large industries) operates in America.

    That’s just what we need, more crony capitalism.

  • Well, what do you mean by “private sector” anyway?

    Never mind.

  • We could also say that Reagan raised taxes pretty much every year of his presidency,

    You could say that, if you’ve forgotten that legislation is enacted by Congress and that legislative initiative in matters of taxation and appropriation rests with the lower house of Congress, and that the lower house of Congress was controlled by the political opposition for all eight years he was in office.

  • Of course, having a policy debate would require moving past mindless slogans – “socialist”, “most pro-abortion president”.

    Those are not slogans, those are characterizations (the latter quite accurate).

  • Tito: “we will no longer have what you refer to as the “private sector”…slippery slope of creeping government involvement in people’s lives.

    So, the government should not regulate anything that privaet insurers do? So you are fine with them covering abortion, I take it?

  • As for Defense, that thing that gives you the freedom to comment on blogs, it took up 23% of the federal budget in 2009.

    I’m reminded here of an old Lincoln quote:

    All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

    We don’t need to spend anywhere near 23% of the budget on defense to ensure freedom of blogging in the U.S.

  • Blackadder,

    You’re being much too reasonable to be taken seriously on this thread.

  • We don’t need to spend anywhere near 23% of the budget on defense to ensure freedom of blogging in the U.S.

    Just out of curiosity, do you have in mind a scenario of what occurs given particular levels of American military spending?

  • “All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.”

    Considering how fearful Lincoln was during the Trent Affair of the possibility of British intervention, I doubt if he meant that statement literally. Additionally, in an age of ICBMs and the coming age of portable nukes by non-state terrorist groups, things have changed militarily a tad since Lincoln gave that speech.

  • Anyone who cannot see that Reagan was right about his beliefs needs to answer these questions:

    1. Did Medicare achieve the goals intended at the costs it promised? Further, is it almost broke now?

    2. Was Reagan right that Medicare was just a preemptive move to pass Socialized Healthcare?

    My answers for those questions are:

    1. No, it has exploded in size, cost, and is rife with Govt corruption and inefficiency.

    2. Obamacare anyone?

This was my heart, my choice and my health

Thursday, February 25, AD 2010

In this post I mentioned that the Premier of Newfoundland, Danny Williams, came to the US for heart surgery.  As the video above indicates, Williams is also an ardent support of Canadian Government Health Care, at least for everyone but himself.

Williams is unrepentant for not standing in line with other Canadians awaiting heart treatment.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Williams said he went to Miami to have a “minimally invasive” surgery for an ailment first detected nearly a year ago, based on the advice of his doctors.

“This was my heart, my choice and my health,” Williams said late Monday from his condominium in Sarasota, Fla.

“I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics.”

Some people might say that Williams is a hypocrite.  If he is a hypocrite he is not alone.  Members of Congress, in all their votes on Obamacare, have made certain they will keep their current health care and not be subjected to it.  Members of Congress who vote for Obamacare are thereby implicitly saying:  “Obamacare, it’s good enough for the peasants.”

Continue reading...

11 Responses to This was my heart, my choice and my health

  • Dennis Broyles made the wry remark that the only way to abolish differentials in service is to abolish money. I think what differentiates the Democratic Caucus from their opponents is that the latter accept service differentials which result from social stratification which result from impersonal processes like the market. The latter wish to replace this with service differentials driven largely by politically-determined criteria, i.e. by people like themselves.

  • I think this “above it all” attitude is indicative of the prevailing mindset of most government “servants” today. Capitalism for me – socialism for thee.

    Art is on to something there. The money flows in our “capitalist” economy largely flow one way – UP. Those at the top then get to decide how “we’re” going to fix things.

    http://tinyurl.com/ylbla49

    A perfect case in point is the famous (or should I say notorious) hedge fund short seller Jim Chanos or George Soros who make a living (more like a killing) off bets that companies, countries will fail then say “we” have to fix this financial system. That’s like putting an arsonist in charge of the fire brigade. The politicians are largely little more than sock puppets for these oligarchs.

  • You want congressmen to receive ObamaCare subsidies? Don’t you think they’re already getting enough?

  • I want Congress Critters restrainedradical who supported a single payer system to have to live under such a system with no option for medical treatment from a free market system when they do not wish to stand in line with the common herd.

  • A single payer system hasn’t been proposed. You also don’t seem to understand why he chose treatment here and not in Canada. It had nothing to do with standing in line.

  • Actaully MZ that is what the man you voted for said he was in favor of during the campaign. A lot of very gullible people believed him. In Congress the liberals in the Democrat party pushed for a single payer system, but lacked the votes to pass it.

    Williams claimed the heart surgery was not available in Canada:

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100202/national/nl_premier_surgery

    He lied.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/williamss-heart-surgery-choice-was-based-on-ignorance/article1480937/

    His real reason is that the Newfoundland Health Care System is in crisis.

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nlvotes2007/story/2007/09/27/hospital-williams.html

    Risk his precious hide on Newfoundland government medicine? Not on your life!

  • Deleted your last comment MZ. Go be snarky elsewhere.

  • Please change the name of your blog to “An American Catholic”.

    You should not use “The American Catholic” unless your posts reflect the actual position of the Church. Yours do not.

    There is at least one false statement in your commentary, but I ascribe that to a failure to read carefully. He said the particular surgery he wanted was not available in his province, not in Canada.

    He consulted a graduate of a Newfoundland med school practicing in New Jersey, who sent him all the way to Florida for the surgery. Now the doctor in New Jersey is a renowned cardiac surgeon, so why did he send the premier to Florida? Could it be because the particular technique the premier wanted was uncommon, and the Florida surgeon did a lot of it?

    He could have gotten the normal operation in his own province, or from his consultant in New Jersey, but he wanted a more complicated procedure that left a much smaller and less obvious scar.

    Would your insurance pay for that? I doubt mine would, and I have very good insurance.

    IOW, a very rich man got what he wanted. And I’ll bet he got a discounted price. If you wanted that same surgery you might have to pay more. After all, he had bargaining leverage, do you?

    In Canada, if you need that condition, a leaking valve, treated, you get it treated, just not the way he did. In they US, if you need that condition treated, you get it treated, if you can pay for it. Otherwise, die vermin!

    And in the US you will most likely get the treatment preferred in Canada, not the one you can buy in Florida. Unless you can pay for it yourself, that is.

    The Catholic church is big on social justice, and universal health care. If you are not you can claim the perspective of a Catholic, but not “The” Catholic perspective.

  • You confuse socialism with social justice, just as you confuse government medicine with universal health care. Danny Williams came to the US because he preferred the treatment available to him here to what he could receive for “free”, forgetting the taxes paid for it, in Canada. He had that option because he is rich. Other Canadians not as wealthy are beginning to flock to private clinics which are on the rise in Canada.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/30/canada-sees-boom-private-health-care-business/

  • “In they US, if you need that condition treated, you get it treated, if you can pay for it. Otherwise, die vermin!”

    That is a lie. Everyone in the US receives treatment regardless of ability to pay. Most of the poor are covered by Medicaid. Those who are not still receive treatment.

USCCB Scandal Deepens, U.S. Bishops Remain Silent

Thursday, February 4, AD 2010

[Update at the bottom of this post]

The scandal that has engulfed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) shows no sign in abating.

Today we learn even more incriminating facts that continue to tarnish the image of the USCCB.

In the latest RealCatholicTV.com program Michael Voris explains the deep entanglement of Democratic Party and anti-Catholic operatives that hold high positions within the USCCB.

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67 Responses to USCCB Scandal Deepens, U.S. Bishops Remain Silent

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  • All this sounds like the attitude of the bishops about the sex scandals. “Don’t confirm; don’t deny. Maybe it will all go away”.

    The road to hell is indeed paved with the skulls of bishops.

  • Well, it will only make them look even worse.

    With the new media, ie, blogs, twitter, facebook, etc, the news of their lack of action will spread like wildfire.

    It’ll be interesting to see how much tap-dancing will occur and who will do the tap-dancing.

  • I guess I’m a little perplexed as to how this is in some sense a current or deepening “scandal”. It doesn’t take much dealing with most diocese with large national Catholic organizations (with the exception of some of the newer, more orthodox ones) or with the USCCB to find that a lot of their employees are left leaning politically and progressive leaning in regards to theology and liturgy. If anything, this was more pronounced 10-20 years ago than it is now.

    I think it’s generally been bad for the Church, and we’re suffered as a result, but if anything it’s a bad scene we’re gradually coming out of (it takes a long time to turn over employment) rather than a new breaking scandal of some sort.

  • It’s probably perception more than anything.

    Many of us maybe never bothered to think much, if anything, about the USCCB.

    Then when they got a bit higher visibility when they actively involved themselves with ObamaCare more Catholics took notice.

    Over time as Catholics began to look into the USCCB, what you may call something that has been there for awhile, to us is scandalous.

    So there it is.

    You probably were fortunate enough to be raised a solid Catholic as a child, then progressed to a fine Catholic university immersing yourself even more in Catholic culture. All the while you were already aware of the problems with the USCCB since age 7.

    Me, and many others like me, returned to our faith through various forms. So many of us are behind the loop, so to speak, of the many warts and issues involved in the Catholic Church in America.

    So when many of use “reverts” or “converts” find scandalous information such as an openly professed lesbian or a woman priest advocate working in high profile positions in the USCCB, we are scandalized by this.

    So those are the perceptions.

    The attitude of “well it’s always been there and besides it was worse 10-20 years ago” is understandable.

    But to me and many others its scandalous. 😐

  • Except the problem is: this report is filled with lies, misrepresentation, and logical fallacies. It does no one any good to be scandal mongers and gossipers using false information — though it seems it is all for politics (which is why Voris acting like an authority also suggests, falsely, anyone who said a Catholic could vote for Obama was wrong).

    Want to see the kind of error? Well, it is simple: Mary Kay Henry was NOT given a position by the USCCB. She was brought into talks with people representing different labor groups, and represented one such labor group. In other words, it would be like someone condemning Pope Benedict for his dialogue with Islam and saying “there is something wrong with the Vatican, it is promoting Islam.”

  • Henry K.,

    You made a lot of accusations but you haven’t offered any evidence to back any of it up.

    I respect your knowledge in your fields of study, but where is the evidence of what you propose?

  • Tito

    Voris makes all kinds of accusations and claims, and you never ask him to back it up; you just upload and attack. You never look to the sources yourself. But you want source? Ok.

    http://vox-nova.com/2010/01/29/virtual-polemical-videos-not-real-catholic-tv/

    Go to that thread. Read the post. See the logical fallacies being exposed. Then read the commentary thread. In it you will see this linked: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/usccb_clarifies_involvement_with_controversial_expert/

    And what it says is clear:

    Washington D.C., Dec 7, 2009 / 05:44 pm (CNA).- On Monday, Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, media director for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops spoke with CNA, clarifying the role of Service Employees Union executive and gay rights activist Mary Kay Henry with the bishops’ conference.

    Sr. Walsh noted that in the past, Mary Kay Henry was chosen by the unions to take part in a dialogue with the USCCB but left in 2006.

    She was not appointed by the bishops, Sr. Walsh explained.

    So there you go, an example of distortion going on. Sure, she talked with the USCCB representing unions. Jesus, and the Catholic Church, has always had dialogue with people in such roles before; will anyone condemn Pope St Gregory the Great for meeting with Atilla the Hun? Using the loopy logic in this video, Pope St Gregory the Great was promoting Atilla’s rampage!

  • Henry K.,

    Good catch on the CNA article.

    I’ll send that link over to Mr. Voris so he can avoid making that mistake.

    (my article didn’t make that connection)

    And for your VN posting, very interesting reading.

    I’m not up to speed in many of the subjects you touch upon, but I’ll be rereading it again. Every little bit helps!

  • As I mentioned in the thread about the CCHD, the underlying theme behind these criticisms is a deep hostility toward not only the USCCB, but the bishops themselves. In this thread, we have read: “The road to hell is indeed paved with the skulls of bishops.” Tito has said that he has been scandalized – i.e., tempted to lose faith.

    Henry is right – these accusations fall apart upon further research. Catholics are being told to doubt the authenticity of the bishops’ teaching and governing office. Moreover, we are being told to question their very sincerity and faith. This is the scandal we should be afraid of.

  • When Bishops have dialogue with lesbians and gays and other members of the legions of hell, liberal Catholics say it’s a scandal to criticize the Bishops.

    When Bishops take false Catholics like Representative Patrick Kennedy on the carpet for open apostasy, liberal Catholics say it’s a scandal the Bishops are using the Communion Rail politically.

    No, folks, the best liberal is the repentent liberal, and failing that, a defeated, muzzled and emasculated liberal. The only dialogue we should have with them is this: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

    P.S., I’ll trust Michael Voris before I’ll trust any liberal Democrat.

  • PS, Mary Kay Henry should re-read what 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 states (NIV):

    Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    So why are we having dialogue with the wicked? Jesus didn’t have dialogue with them. He preached the Gospel of repentance to them. We ought to do the same.

  • Jesus didn’t have dialogue with the wicked? The Jews certainly thought he did — he was dining with sinners, indeed, drunkards; he was hanging out with the Samaritans; and he said nothing about the abuse of Roman society upon the Jews, yet affirming the faith of a non-Jewish Centurion (are you going to say he was without sin)?

    And that’s just the start of the matter.

  • Mary Ann Walsh did not participate in a women’s “ordination” ceremony. After one such event, the participants marched to where the bishops were meeting. When they didn’t go away, she appeared, met with them, received their rose bouquet, and they left. It’s the kind of thing a media relations person does.

    And her statement that a person could vote for Obama (not that they should – I certainly didn’t) matched up pretty well with an interpretation of Faithful Citizenship that many orthodox bishops accept. Of course, when you’re part of the neo-Donatist movement that thinks Cardinal George and Archbishop Wuerhl are closet leftists, none of this will satisfy you.

  • Zak,

    I caught it right before you posted your comment.

    I corrected my post to reflect this fact.

  • Henry,
    I agree with the points you’re making – one factual issue: it was Leo the Great, not Gregory the Great, who met with Atilla.

  • I agree with both Paul P. and Henry K.

    Whether it was dialogue or preaching, Jesus certainly spent time with sinners, but not to reaffirm their sinfulness but to show them the light.

  • Zak

    Oops — you are right (though I know this, I often do this same mistake when typing, for some reason — I have a few other lapses where my fingers go into automatic writing mode — an interesting phenomena and I expect many of us have examples of this)

  • Another example of what is going on: Voris says people in the hallways are found supporting Obama’s policies. Ok.

    The question is: which policies? All of them? Some of them? A couple of them? But yet by saying it in this way, it’s easy to create a false picture, and that is exactly the kind of strategy which is done for propaganda not for the exploration of truth.

  • Well hopefully they’re not supporting this:

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/60893

  • I think ultimately though one needs to see that the USCCB is a political organization in addition to a religious organization. That’s fine as long as people realize it is and that it will have the problems of any organization that is political. I think Henry has pointed out such problems with some pro-life organizations.

  • Well I’m pretty sure that the USCCB is not a political organization in any legal, tax or regulatory sense of the term. But any tax exempt group is permitted (within certain constraints) to work to advance their charitable agenda via supporting and opposing relevant legislation, though not supporting or opposing political candidates. The USCCB has a reputation for generally supporting the liberal approaches to addressing Catholic concerns. To the extent this is true, it is not especially scandalous, but it may be imprudent. My guess is that the policy preferences expressed by the USCCB are more representative of its staffers than the bishops, and that neither the bishops nor the staffers are especially gifted at public policy, but probably think they are.

  • I think John Carr is one of the most thoughtful Catholics in America–and certainly one of the best spokesmen for Catholic social teaching. And I find it more than a little dismaying that a group of self-anointed REAL CATHOLICS are spending so much energy trying to undermine the work of the bishops of this country. This is not just unhelpful; it’s diabolical.

  • Mike,

    There is political and there is political. I think Henry points out some of the foibles of pro-life conservative organizations that are tax exempt also.

    I don’t think the USCCB generally supports liberal approaches I think it pretty much always does. Again understanding the experts that advise the body may give understanding to why they do.

  • Ron Ch.,

    Thoughtful as in promoting that more innocent children be killed?

    Yeah, and THAT’S not diabolical.

  • Phillip,
    I have not read Henry’s expose on the foibles of “pro-life conservative” organizations, but if the problem is that they are willing to support candidates who are imperfect on life issues in order to prevent the election of candidates who are abortion enthusiasts, ok, but I don’t see that as a foible. On the other hand, if they are favoring pro-choice candidates over pro-life candidates because they former are otherwise considered more conservative than the latter, then that would be worse than a foible — and I’d really appreciate knowing more about it.

  • Tito, what you are doing here is slanderous–to a good man and to the bishops whom he serves as a spokesperson. Do you happen to KNOW John Carr? Have you ever heard him talk about abortion? Do you suppose his work for peace/justice . . . and the work of our bishops through the USCCB to uplift the poor . . . has nothing at all to do with fostering respect for human life? For that matter, do you recognize any connection whatsoever between poverty/racism and abortion, or do you think it is purely coincidental that poor minority women patronize the killing clinics at such a disproportionate rate?

    Sorry, fella, John Carr is a REAL Catholic, not some Pharisee with video blog, a big mouth, and way too much time on his hands.

  • Ron Ch.,

    I’m not sure what blog you are reading, but I have never said anything such about John Carr.

    Joe H. posted a video that stated John Carr has been with an organization that promotes abortion for decades. I don’t see how you got your conclusions from this, so I’ll just chalk it up to your liberal-tainted glasses getting the better of your imagination.

    Get a hold of yourself brother.

  • Some other concerns about the CCC that I’m sure can be disproved:

    http://www.catholicadvocate.com/?tag=john-carr

  • Phillip and Ron Ch.,

    The evidence is devastating concerning the cooperation in evil that John Carr has led and been involved in.

  • American Catholic began as a healthy alternative to the consistently left-leaning Vox Nova. It seems to be reinventing itself in the spirit of the old Wanderer. That is a terrible shame, and shame on anyone here–and in the holier-than-God “orthodox” blogosphere–who casts aspersion on a man who has faithfully served the Church in the United States and its bishops for many years.

  • No, what this post is doing is highlighting a story. If any of the facts are mistaken Ron tell us precisely what facts are wrong. The USCCB has a history of allowing its staffers to associate the USCCB with some pretty unsavory groups that promote positions directly contrary to Church teaching. The USCCB needs to address this story directly and not simply play a game of hear no evil, speak no evil and see no evil.

  • Donald, a lot of the ‘facts’ have been debunked, and one glaring piece of slander removed (the picture of Sister Mary Ann Walsh). The more you dig into this, the more you see that a mountain is being made out of a molehill.

  • That sounds intereting. I can’t believe it. gochristian shoes

  • I have to say, I don’t find this video or the accusations very substantial. Everyone is entitled to their polemics, of course, and so I can see why some anti-Democrat Catholics enjoy this type of stuff. But, as Mike Petrik says above, some members of the USCCB preferring policies favored by the Democratic party to advance the common good “is not especially scandalous, but it may be imprudent.”

    Also, on a personal note, I’m shocked, shocked that anyone could write an article suggesting it was possible for Catholics to vote for Obama. That Sister Mary Ann Walsh must be way out there.

    To be clear, I think legitimate criticisms can be made of the USCCB. But these types of videos blend and muddle legitimate concerns with partisan attacks in a way that I think is unhelpful. The problem with the Vortex, as I see it, is that it isolates and absolutizes one of many possible approaches to serving the common good, and regards any other approach as illegitimate. It seems to me that it instrumentalizes the Faith in the service of a conservative political polemic, and in the process does a disservice to the Faith and to the USCCB.

  • The USCCB needs to address this story directly and not simply play a game of hear no evil, speak no evil and see no evil.

    I don’t really see what you’re talking about. These accusations are pretty small beer in the grand scheme of things, and, as Darwin notes, there is nothing new in there. In the 1980’s, sure, the USCCB was basically co-opted by Democratic partisans. But the Vortex is basically the mirror image of it from the right; they are not raising any new questions. Most of these issues have already been addressed, are matters for prudential judgment where reasonable people can differ, and/or are inaccurate to begin with.

  • I’ll spell it our for you John Henry. They should explain why they were shoveling money into an organization that one of their staffers served as the head of. Can they even spell “conflict of interest”? Rather than attacking the people who are bringing this to light they should be ramping up their own investigation. They might also wish to explain why Carr omitted noting his involvement with the CCC from his USCCB bio. They might also explain why Tom Chabolla, associate director of CCHD programs until 2008, and who worked under Carr, took Carr’s place on the CCC board after Carr left, during a time period when the CCC became involved in pro-abortion advocacy, and whether Chabolla and Carr maintained contacts about the CCC. Chabolla since leaving the CCHD is now assistant to the President of the Service Employees International Union. Finally, perhaps they can explain why, when this all came to light, the first reaction from the CCHD was to scrub their website of all mention of ties with the CCC. This story is not going away.

  • Don,

    I get conflict of interest issue; and I get that the CCHD has had very poor oversight. I think the CCHD should be either scrapped or completely overhauled, and I’m in favor of more transparency. But I don’t think the video covers these issues very well.

    My issue is that I think the Vortex (and, really, couldn’t they find a better name?) is advancing a partisan agenda, rather than simply voicing legitimate concerns about conflict of interest or the funding of groups whose values conflict with those of the Church. For instance, the video keeps repeating the word ‘Democrat’ or ‘Democractic’ as if it’s an epithet. And some of the charges in the video are just ridiculous (implying that making the case that Catholics could have voted for Obama should disqualify someone from working for the USCCB?). In other words, as I said above, the video “blends and muddles legitimate concerns with partisan attacks in a way that I think is unhelpful.”

  • Clearly many improvements or even an overhaul of the program needs to take place. Attacking the structures of sin is a laudable activity with a positive goal. However, the problem with many (most?) secular groups that appear to be doing that sort of work is that they’re almost always trying to exchange one structure of sin for another. They are typically shells for particular political parties or have too closely aligned themselves to party interests.

    Therein lies part of the danger for third party benefactors like the USCCB. It’s one thing to work with a secular org for a shared interest even though they may not share all interests, it’s another to thing to support that org directly. What happens is that you run the real risk of becoming an integral part of a structure of sin.

    All that said, I think those ads are poorly done in substance. They smack of overblown righteous indignation, take many intellectual shortcuts, argue by assertion, use charged words that are usually quite subjective, makes unwarranted assumptions, etc. Frankly, I can’t see any difference in what is being done here than what some authentic Catholic anti-american-calvinist crusaders do. The only difference is what side of the fence their sitting on.

  • I’m not touching this story with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole. Regardless of the accuracy or inaccuracy of the reporting (and I have my doubts), the blatant guilt-by-association-and-innuendo style of the reporting left me feeling dirty after watching.

    “… I’m shocked, shocked that anyone could write an article suggesting that it was possible for Catholics to vote for Obama. That Sister Mary Ann Walsh must be way out there.”

    Yeah, tell me about it. I must be a stark-raving lefty.

  • Rick,

    Right. There are problems on both sides of the fence. There are pro-life pharisees. There are also social justice pharisees.

    Just hard to recognize one’s own as such sometimes.

  • Great comments and insights.

    About the overhaul of the CCHD – they have two overall programs, one focusing on political activity, the other focusing on business activity. The business grants are amazing – helping poor people build skills and worker-owned businesses. The political grants are a lot more tricky – often involving people with liberal mindsets – and I agree that it needs to be overhauled.

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  • Henry K, for your insights on what the Bishops knew and didn’t know, you are probably right. For your history on St. Gregory the Great meeting Atilla the Hun, you are at least a century off. It was St. Leo the Great in 451 who met with Atilla, thus delaying the destruction of Rome by 25 years……historical footnote worth noting….

  • Nate W., John Henry, Ron Ch., Jay Anderson, et al,

    You guys are building straw men arguments by attacking the messenger.

    By shining the light on the problem, you guys go ahead and savage the reputation of those doing the reporting and you all should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Granted that Mr. Voris *may* have gone over the top in some of his analysis, especially the innuendos to being a “Democrat”, but the basic story is this, the USCCB has been dealing with anti-catholic organizations for years. Just because they’ve done it in the past, doesn’t allow them a free pass, such as John Henry’s comment, ‘small potatoes’.

    If the USCCB wants to be taken more seriously they need to get their ‘allegedly’ devout Catholics like John Carr OUT of pro-abortion organizations and place Catholics without, as Jay says, a ‘conflict of interest’.

    Thank you for your comments, I’m learning a lot on how to report such news.

  • Dennis

    Yes, that was established above about Gregory/Leo. Often my fingers will mix them up when typing — but the point behind it still stands. Thankfully, I know I’m not impeccable nor infallible!

  • Tito, the guys you reference have no reason to be ashamed of themselves, anymore than does anyone who notes that other journalists & commentators occasionally make generalizations and inaccurate statements.

  • Chris,

    There is no evidence of inaccuracy.

    If Nate could name what was inaccurate instead of making things up I can see your point.

    On the rest, I understand what you’re saying.

  • Pingback: The Many Scandals of the USCCB « The American Catholic
  • The liberal agenda and left-leaning “Catholics” is one reason, among others, that I dropped out of RCIA and chose not to convert to the RCC. The USCCB is only one of the problems. Out-of-control renegade priests can feel real comfy in many a parish in these United States.

    Face it, the liberals are an energetic, visible force within the Roman Catholic Church and they are not going away. They have become a cancer that is multiplying at an exponential rate. Michael Voris can’t stop it. EWTN can’t stop it. AveMaria Radio can’t stop it. Just look at the mess out in California, with all pro-gay, pro-choice bishops. They’re quite happy, comfy, and content behind encased in their ivory towers. And the disease has spread eastward to parishes in the Midwest, Florida, and the Northeast.

    Where’s all this “unity” that I was told existed in the “one, holy, Catholic, Apostolic” Church? It ain’t there! The current RCC barely resembles the RCC of 100 yrs. ago. So continue to have your “CHURCH” but don’t call it “holy” or “Catholic” or “Apostolic.” Those who have eyes to see will see. Those who wish to continue living in “LaLa Land” will continue to wear blinders.

  • The liberal agenda and left-leaning “Catholics” is one reason, among others, that I dropped out of RCIA and chose not to convert to the RCC. The USCCB is only one of the problems. Out-of-control renegade priests along with their progressive laity can feel real comfy in many a parish in these United States.

    Face it, the liberals are an energetic, visible force within the Roman Catholic Church and they are not going away. They have become a cancer that is multiplying at an exponential rate. Michael Voris can’t stop it. EWTN can’t stop it. AveMaria Radio can’t stop it. Just look at the mess out in California, with all pro-gay, pro-choice bishops. They’re quite happy, comfy, and content encased in their ivory towers. And the disease has spread eastward to parishes in the Midwest, Florida, and the Northeast.

    Where’s all this “unity” that I was told existed in the “one, holy, Catholic, Apostolic” Church? It ain’t there! The current RCC barely resembles the RCC of 100 yrs. ago. So continue to have your “CHURCH” but don’t call it “holy” or “Catholic” or “Apostolic.” Those who have eyes to see will see. Those who wish to continue living in “LaLa Land” will continue to wear blinders.

  • Darlene

    So basically, you are telling me you are still a Protestant, and the reason why you didn’t convert is because you are a Protestant? Big deal.

  • Pingback: Fr. Frank Pavone Defends John Carr of the USCCB « The American Catholic
  • Henry,

    No, I am not a Protestant. It’s easy to assume things in a forum like this where face-to-face, in person dialogue is absent.

    Protestant evangelicalism has many problems, one of which is that they (for the most part) ignore the creeds and councils of the first millenia.

    So, I came to the conclusion that Protestantism is a schism from a schism and will continue to split and divide. Sola Scriptura is not a unifying force within Protestantism, but a disunifying force. Hope that clarifies things.

    As far as my emphatic, blunt post, I understand that it will offend Roman Catholics. Offending was not my intent. With that said, the priest with whom I had counsel was very kind, long-suffering, and understanding. Even taking into consideration my original comments, I do not judge the salvation of individual Catholics. That is God’s business.

    If I have sinned in being so bold, forgive me.

  • The USCCB website says that Mary Kay Henry was appointed to a USCCB subcommittee and the USCCB accepted the subcommittee’s findings. Why would the USCCB look to anti-Catholic “experts” like Mary Kay Henry for advice in developing policy?

    Answer: For the same reason they invited Father Thomas Reese and Diana Hayes to speak at their conference last week-end.

    Jesus had something to say about this: “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

  • Michael Voris is certainly human, and on rare occasions he may get his facts wrong, but taken as a whole, there is a mountain of evidence against the USCCB. A favorite liberal trick is to suggest that one flaw in the evidence damns all the evidence. I’m not fooled.

  • Nothing has been said here. Absolutely nothing.

    All of you are defending nothing and have nothing concrete to say about anything.

    The fact is you can not vote for a man who kills babies, I’d like to see you explain that when you come face to face with your creator. Can’t do it.

    The fact is, you can not give money to death programs from unsuspecting pew sitters – its illegal as well as totally against what Jesus commanded of us.

    Who cares who supports John Carr? It’s irrelevant? If the man has put any support into anti-God programs he is out.

    The Jews (many) did it wrong and so are the Catholics (many). You don’t reject the sacraments because the gatekeepers are corrupt. God said to St. Teresa of Avila “I put myself in the hands of thy enemies for your sake!” If you reject the commandments and the working of the Holy Spirit in the Church through those sacraments – then you hold man up as God.

    Don’t give money if you don’t know where the money is going. Put your money in areas you know are deserving of it. Don’t vote for the slaughter of innocence. Don’t keep quite when a priest is an idiot or a Bishop is a nutcase. Fight – and stop trying to defend your need for comfort.

    Newsflash the Church has the enemies within. Fight it – get them out – run them out of town but stop trying to give yourself an excuse to take a nap.

  • My dealings with the USCCB and the two of the organizations it sponsors and funds leads me to believe this organization is more a socialist political group than people working to live up to the Gospels. Obama and far too many of the Democrats in office are sociast with a socialist agenda. I fear that some of the Bishops may have been sucked into the false notion that socialism serves the needs of the poor. SOcialism brings the entire society down to the level of the laziest. Socialism depleats to will and ability of the society to provide for all.

  • WayneK,

    It is quite apparent in Europe today. France is turning into an economic basket case with gov’t unions striking each day preventing Sarkozy from instituting well needed reforms.

    It’s a slow creep towards totalitarianism.

  • MIchael Voris and Simon J. Rafe practice censorship of
    anyone who does not accept their messages on face value. That leads me to believe they are fake critics
    seeking to marginalize rather than serve any issue.

  • I believe they love their faith and don’t like it when bishops fail in their duty to feed their sheep.

    Instead they hide behind man-made bureaucracies hoping that difficult issues that don’t adhere to their Democratic Party Catholic leanings would just go away.

  • Archbishoip Raymond Burke was well known for “speaking out”. In an article for Time online, Amy Sullivan (Priests Spar Over What it Means to Be Catholic) alludes to the fact of his removal by the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference. In particular, the article states that because of a “calming down” of the anti-abortion rhetoric, the president was elected. In fact, I can tell you that here in St. Louis, the archbishop who replaced Burke (Carlson) silenced the Latin rite Church (St. Francis De Sales) from speaking out against abortion from the pulpit.

  • D Paul,
    That surprises me greatly. I wonder whether the “silencing” actually referred to exhortations on who to vote for or not vote for, which is a violation of federal tax law. Under federal tax law churches and other 501(c)(3) organizations may receive contributions on a tax deductible basis only if they refrain from political or partisan behavior. Within much more relaxed constraints they normally can engage in legislative or policy behavior. Telling a congregation that it is important to vote for candidates who are opposed to abortion is fine (even if somewhat simplistic from a Catholic perspective), but a minister may not tell his congregation to vote for X or against Y, at least without losing the right to receive contributions on a tax deductible basis. I’d be very surprised if AB Carlson told the priest at SFdS that he could not speak out against abortion from the pulpit. If true, that really would be quite scandalous, and shocking given that AB Carlson is among the bishops who criticized ND for awarding pro-abort Obama an honorary degree.

The Massachusetts Miracle: What Does It Mean?

Wednesday, January 20, AD 2010

Well Massachusetts has elected a Republican US Senator for the first time in 37 years.  What does this political upset of the century mean?

1.   ObamaCare is dead.  Not only because the Democrats now lack 60 votes to invoke cloture in the Senate, but because opposition to ObamaCare was the signature feature of Scott Brown’s campaign and the results of this race in bluest Massachusetts will send chills down the spine of too many Democrats.

2.   We now have further evidence that the Democrats are looking at a political storm of the first magnitude in the Fall.  If a US Senate seat in Massachusetts isn’t safe for the Democrats, it is hard to imagine what seat in Congress outside of urban centers they can take for granted in November.

3.   The fundraising success of Scott Brown over the internet was astounding.  A demonstration that the internet fundraising effort of the Democrats in 2008 now has a GOP counterpart.

4.   Look for a wave of Democrat retirements in Congress as more Democrats decide that ending their political careers with a voluntary retirement is preferable to defeat.

5.   More Blue Dog Democrats in Congress will follow the example of Congressman Parker Griffith and announce that they are switching to the Republican Party.

Continue reading...

16 Responses to The Massachusetts Miracle: What Does It Mean?

  • President Obama took his election victory as an endorsement of an extreme liberal agenda.

    When people were just tired of Bush which Obama capitalized on.

    Now, even right before the results were announced, Robert Gibbs was announcing an even more “aggressive” and “vitriolic” agenda of pushing health care.

    I doubt they got the message.

    I’ve read on NBC and ABC that they refer to Tea Party activists as “extremists”.

    When the mainstream media is in cahoots with the Obama administration, I believe we may be marching towards the worst re-election campaign since Jimmah’ lost to Ronald Reagan.

  • One unfortunate (at least in my opinion it’s unfortunate) effect of the Mass. special election is that Romney now probably cakewalks to the GOP presidential nomination. Maybe I’m making too big a deal out of it since we’re still a couple of years away from the GOP primaries, but that was a huge swing of momentum Romney’s way last night.

  • Jay,
    I don’t think so at all. Romney’s absence from Brown’s campaign was conspicuous. Also, Romney was an elite candidate in 04, not the kind of retail politics-guy with Brown’s mass (no pun intended) appeal. I think it strengthens candidates with an emphasis on cost cutting (Indiana’s Mitch the Blade for VP?). I still don’t see any 2012 front-runner at all for the Republicans.

  • Romney’s a cool cat, but I am hoping for something significantly better.

    Gingrich is to wishy-washy.

    Huckabee is finished.

    McCain is a loser.

    Brownback is an opportunist and weak.

    Palin has “it”, but too many elites “pooh-pooh” her “smarts”.

    Pawlenty isn’t well-known enough.

    Pataki is a baby-killer and so is Giuliani.

    Thune, Pence, and Barber are unknowns.

    Jindal looks promising.

    Santorum is good but compromises his principles too many times.

    I’m holding out for Jindal, Thune, and Palin.

    Romney looks like “one” of the frontrunners, but he’s all for universal health care coverage, look at his RomneyCare in Massachusetts.

  • Its a victory, and that’s good. The progressive agenda might even hide out for a little while, but it will be back, and we can’t get complacent.

    They will use any tactic or strategy, however dishonest, to change this country into the progressive utopia that they envision. They’ve brainwashed the next generation with music and movies and they practically own the educational system, and run the courts.

    The only thing standing in their way is “we the people”, and our willingness to expose whats going on, even when most of the mainstream media refuses to. They have enough brainwashed zombies who think that America is a bad place to eventually get their agenda through, unless we gear up and stop it.

  • But Romney WAS conspicuously present last night. There’s a lot of talk going on right now about how his campaign team helped orchestrate Brown’s win and the important role Romney played behind the scenes.

    Unfortunately, that WILL play well with GOP primary voters, many of whom already rallied to Romney once in 2008 as the “anti-McCain”. I think the guy’s a fraud, but think he may have just notched the sort of win against the Obama team that will impress Republican primary voters.

  • Jay, I don’t see it. If you notice when Romney was introduced last night, the reaction wasn’t as loud as you would think. Sure he was cheered, but it felt muted. I think Romney might get a small boost, but it doesn’t seem like many people are really associating what happened last night with him.

  • We’ll see, Paul. I hope you’re right. But I’m guessing Kathryn Lopez and her crew will do their part to try to associate Scott Brown’s win with their beloved Mitt.

  • Romney’s people helped Brown prepare his strategy, and apparently Brown likes Romney (why else would he have Romney introduce him, and then call him out also during the speech). At the same time, 2012 is still a long way off. A lot can happen; hopefully someone better than Romney will emerge.

    I don’t really get the visceral dislike some people have for him, although I see why he doesn’t connect well. All politicians are frauds to some extent; some are better at concealing it than others. He’s not as good as some others.

  • Let’s face it, Scott Brown could just be Mitt Romney with a latex mask and some hair dye. Politically they are very similar. Personally, if Scott Brown thinks I voted for him because he drives a truck he’s dreaming, I would have voted for a brown paper bag over any Ma Democrat.

    Mitt Romney holds alot of sway here in Ma, as he won the 08 Republican primary. If Scott Brown goes out of his way to endorse Romney in the next repub primary it will probably mean that Romney helped him alot behind the scenes.

    Romney has little appeal to values voters, but hes seen as competent on the economy. If the economy and unemployment don’t get alot better, Romney will be strong contender in 012.

  • Actually, i would have voted for a brown paper bag full of dog poop and lit on fire before just about any Massachusetts Democrat.

  • Interesting that the GOP now has a state senator-come-U.S. Senator with potentially larger national ambitions.

    This win only changes the relationship between the two major parties. It does not change the trajectory of America overall, particularly in economic and foreign policy terms. If anything Brown is more hawkish than Obama, who for the most part has retained Bush’s foreign policy outlook.

    Anger and resentment drove this win, not Brown’s ideology nor even his policy positions (its should be noted that he DOES desire to expand health care, just not ObamaCare).

    Hopefully before people start voting for the GOP in droves they will quickly remember that they were the ones very much responsible for our current predicament.

    Personally I’m hoping for another attempt from Ron Paul in 2012. He will do much better this go around and can tug the GOP towards a proper, Constitutional position. Unfortunately I see little to no signs that the GOP is willing to give up its love for war-making and aggression.

  • Cupofwrath

    Sorry, Mitt doesn’t do porn, but from what I read, Scott Brown did (at least porn-lite for Cosmo).

  • Twice in one day!

    I agree with Henry again!

    Sorry, Mitt doesn’t do porn, but from what I read, Scott Brown did (at least porn-lite for Cosmo).

  • “Twice in one day!

    I agree with Henry again!”

    Two seals broken!

    In all seriousness, I think we would agree on most things, at least in the ideals, if not in how to execute them.

  • Sorry so late:

    “More Blue Dog Democrats in Congress will follow the example of Congressman Parker Griffith and announce that they are switching to the Republican Party”

    But even the devil can don a sheep’s clothing. Can we trust these ex-pats of the left? Seriously.