If you support our national security issues, you may love and appreciate the United States of America, our Constitution with its’ freedoms, and our American flag.
If you support and practice our fiscal issues, you may value worldly possessions.
If you support and value our social issues, you may love Judeo-Christian values.
If you support and practice all these values, that is all good; an insignia of “Wisdom” . - Oscar Y. Harward
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010
ConservativeChristianRepublican-Report - 20100210
Promoting "God's Holy Values and American Freedoms"!
"We aim above the mark to hit the mark." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Think about your goals and review them daily. Every morning when you begin, take action on the most important task you can accomplish to achieve your most important goal at the moment. -- Brian Tracy
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." -- Aristotle
"Daily Devotions" (KJV and/or NLT)
The LORD blesses them with peace. (Psalm 29:11)
Some years ago, I was invited to speak to the inmates of one of the most infamous high-security prisons in America: the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia.
When I arrived at the penitentiary's assembly room, several of the inmates rushed over to me, embraced me, and called me "brother." They told me they had been introduced to Christ or discipled by my books. Before I spoke, several stood and spoke of how they had been forgiven through faith in Christ's death and resurrection.
One man spoke of how he had murdered five people. Another man confessed to killing three. Others had committed similar crimes. They told of how they came to the prison full of hate and fear---and then they met Jesus and were transformed.
Tears streamed down my face as I listened to these stories of God's forgiveness, mercy, and love. Again and again different prisoners said, "I'm glad I'm here. If I had not been sent to prison, I would not know Christ, and I would probably be dead because of my life of crime."
These prisoners had experienced the wonder of God's eternal pardon. They had received peace of heart and mind. They were experiencing purpose for their lives, even in their prison cells.
God's mercy enables us to break free from sin. We can have peace, joy, and purpose. We will find true meaning - serving God. We will find true joy - serving others. We will find true peace - living in God's presence.
Your View of God Really Matters …
Do you know people who obviously lack peace in their lives? Pray for an opportunity to tell them about God's great love and mercy, which can bring to them precious healing and peace. Tell them how God's mercy has brought you peace.
"The Patriot Post"
"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them." -- Thomas Jefferson, Summary View of the Rights of British America, 1774
"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be to-morrow." -- Federalist No. 62
Regulatory Commissars: Obama Goes After Banks
Last week, we reported the White House's scheme to impose a so-called "financial crisis responsibility fee" (read: tax) which, according to the Treasury Department, "would require the largest and most highly leveraged Wall Street firms to pay back taxpayers for the extraordinary assistance provided so that the TARP program does not add to the deficit." (This proposal ignores the fact that nearly all the banks targeted by this tax have already repaid their bailout money.) Now Wall Street is fighting back, exploring a potential challenge to the tax on the grounds that its bank-specific, industry-specific bull's-eye makes it unconstitutional. The market responded with its worst two-day decline since August.
In classic "ignore the issue, attack the source" fashion, Barack Obama warned, "Instead of sending a phalanx of lobbyists to fight this proposal or employing an army of lawyers and accountants to help evade the fee, I suggest you might want to consider simply meeting your responsibilities." And the president might want to quit exceeding his.
Furthermore, as The Wall Street Journal reports, "responsibility" hardly seems the right term. "[T]he White House wants to tax more capital away from profit-making banks to offset the intentional losses that the politicians have ordered up at Fan and Fred. The bank tax revenue will flow directly into the Treasury to be spent on whatever immediate cause Congress favors. Come the next 'systemic risk' bailout, taxpayers will still be on the hook."
Also this week, the administration proposed adding insult to injury with further regulations on the industry with the goal of limiting the size and activities of the largest banks. The regulations would not allow commercial banks to own, invest in or advise hedge funds or private equity firms. Also, an existing cap would be strengthened so that banks would be prohibited from controlling more than 10 percent of not only the nation's insured deposits, but non-insured deposits and other assets, as well.
In other words, as The Journal so aptly explains, "Welcome to one more installment in Washington's year-long crusade to revive private business by assailing and soaking it."
"I don't see any reason why [banks] should be paying a special tax. ... I don't see the rationale for it. ... Look at the damage Fannie and Freddie caused, and they were run by the Congress. Should they have a special tax on congressmen because they let this thing happen to Freddie and Fannie? I don't think so." --billionaire investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet
Actually, that might solve a lot of our problems...
Nanny Statism and Consumer 'Protection'
Among the many bad ideas for the liberal Democrats' nanny state utopia was the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency bureaucracy. As a condition for Sen. Chris Dodd's dying initiative to revamp financial-sector regulations, the future former senator has broached abandoning his push for a new stand-alone agency during negotiations to secure a bipartisan deal on the legislation -- so long as Republicans agree to create an intrusive consumer-protection division within another federal bureaucracy.. Some deal.
Although the Obama administration and congressional Democrats continue to champion a stand-alone agency, they have been unable to explain a clear need, mission or discernible expertise yet another new federal bureaucracy would bring to the table. Further muddying the waters, this new agency could subject financial institutions to onerous new regulations that conflict with regulations issued by current regulators, not to mention the realities of the financial industry.
Instead of creating ill-defined federal agencies, Congress should focus its energies on straightening out the regulators who failed to do their jobs and unleashed a horrible recession upon the nation. Of course, an even more effective mechanism to bottle the genie would be to retire inept congressmen who played a meaningful role in creating this calamity. After killing reforms when reform could have avoided the recession, and securing sweetheart mortgage deals for himself, Dodd's retirement is a good start. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), the House version of Dodd whose district just voted for Scott Brown, should follow suit.
Climate Change This Week: Another UN Scandal
It wouldn't meet the research standards of a basic college science class, yet it was enough for the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to rely on for claiming that Himalayan glaciers will melt away by 2035. Well, as Investor's Business Daily put it, "The scientists who said that Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2035 have admitted the claim has as much credibility as sightings of the mythical Yeti. It's their fraudulent claims that are melting away."
Actually, the alarm of imminent meltdown in the Nobel Peace Prize-winning report published by the IPCC in 2007 came from a 1999 article in the popular non-peer reviewed journal New Scientist -- an article which itself was based on a phone interview with scientist Syed Hasnain, who has since described his views as "speculation." UN Report lead author Murari Lal was quick to shift blame, however. "We relied rather heavily on grey [not peer-reviewed] literature," he said. "The error, if any, lies with Dr. Hasnain's assertion and not with the IPCC authors."
Hasnain countered, "The magic number of 2035 has not [been] mentioned in any research papers written by me, as no peer-reviewed journal will accept speculative figures," and, he added, "It is not proper for IPCC to include references from popular magazines or newspapers."
A Nobel Prize based on a fraud... Has that ever happened before?
Of course, propagating speculative "science" to prop up global warming alarmism is nothing new to the IPCC, whose founding principles assume "the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change." Perhaps it's fitting that the panel's chairman is not a climatologist at all but an economist and engineer. After all, engineering the facts seems to be a favorite IPCC pastime.
Faith and Family: Roe v. Wade Turns 37
Today marks the 37th anniversary of the most tragic Supreme Court decision in American history, Roe v. Wade. The primary issue, of course, remains the right to life affirmed in our Declaration of Independence.
About half of the people in the United States say they are pro-life and the other half say they are pro-"choice." How is this affiliation determined? For the most part, if you consider a fetus nothing but a blob of tissue within a woman's body, you become pro-choice. If you believe that a fetus is a human being and that life begins at conception, you are pro-life. Who is right?
It has always been evident to us, scientifically and morally, that life begins at conception. But for the last word on the matter, we consult our Creator's guidebook. The Psalmist wrote, "For You formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother's womb." And then he noted, "Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were written all the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them." Imago Dei!
Tragically, nearly 50 million lives have been sacrificed on the alter of "choice" since 1973, and now, the most pro-abortion White House and Congress in history are in control of Washington, trying to pass a "health care" bill that funds abortions. May God grant us mercy.
Judicial Benchmarks: Federal Power and Predators
The Supreme Court is currently considering whether the federal government has the right to "civilly commit" sex offenders after they have served out their federal sentence. Specifically, U.S. v. Comstock concerns the validity of the 2006 Adam Walsh Child Protection Act, so named after the young boy whose 1981 murder by a pedophile led to a victims' rights movement.
As appealing as this law might look at first blush, we must remember that the issue here is not whether sex offenders should be locked up indefinitely, but whether the federal government has the right to usurp a power traditionally left to the states.
Graydon Comstock was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of purchasing child pornography. After he had completed his sentence, the feds certified Comstock as a danger to the public and sought to extend his incarceration. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, landing the case squarely in front of the Supremes, where Solicitor General Elena Kagan argued that the federal government, which is responsible for the criminal justice system, should be allowed to commit Comstock under the "Necessary and Proper" clause of the Constitution.
This argument is a thinly veiled attempt to expand federal power. Twenty states have enacted civil commitment statutes for sex offenders, and the feds are seeking to remove that choice from the others. As Justice Antonin Scalia pointed out, the Framers intended the Necessary and Proper Clause to be used in conjunction with powers already bestowed upon the federal government, not take those reserved for the states. "The federal criminal proceeding is terminated," Scalia stated. "The individual is released. You could say it's necessary for the good of society, but that's not what the federal government is charged with. There is no constitutional power on the part of the federal government to protect society from sexual predators."
Frontiers of Junk Science: Cape Wind May Yet Fly
As the first year of the Obama administration concludes, the list of its unfinished (and urgent) business continues to grow. One of these items is the fate of Cape Wind -- an offshore wind energy initiative -- which has been in dispute for 10 years. The tips of the 130 proposed wind turbines will, if completed, reach 440 feet above the waters more than 15 miles off Nantucket.
The opposition to the project recently lost one of its biggest (and certainly most famous) members when Sen. Ted Kennedy, whose family compound on Hyannis Port looks out on the proposed site, died last summer. Kennedy was among a group of politicians and Native American groups, who contend that the project would ruin their view of Nantucket Sound and disturb Indian burial grounds. Coincidentally, the project site is close to Kennedy's Hyannis Port and would marginally obstruct their million-dollar view -- but only on a clear, calm day.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has promised to reach a decision on the project by April, stating that renewable energy is a "top priority" of the Obama administration. The president has yet to come down on either side of the issue; perhaps he was torn between his promises to environmental groups and the significant support Kennedy had thrown behind him during his campaign.
Can't get enough of Barack Obama? Longing for more than just the wall-t0-wall Leftmedia coverage of the Patron Saint of Big Government? Then there's a new iPhone app for you: "The White House." According to the White House blog, "The White House App delivers dynamic content from WhiteHouse.gov to the palm of your hand." Yes, now you can watch thrilling press briefings and riveting speeches like the State of the Union right on your phone or iPod touch. As columnist Michelle Malkin writes, "It's a revolution in open government! Watch the president yakking LIVE, right on your phone. He's mobile! He's streaming! Carry him around in your purse or pocket! iObama can now be with you 24/7." Unfortunately, though, there is one topic you won't be able to watch Mr. Transparency and his trusty congressional sidekicks tackle, and that's health care. Apparently, there just isn't good enough visibility for the video cameras in those smoke-filled cloakrooms.
From Homosexuality to Born-Again
By: Chuck Sproull, Springville IN
I have a completely different point of view of moral issues from most religious theory-ologians and non-religious people, so please consider this letter objectively, and try to see the issue from a 1st century Apostolic Pentecostal point of view.
Instead of arguing about whether it's better to allow homos to become members of our military, knowingly or keeping it secret (or to keep or repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"), I believe that now is the time to get homosexuality and all other selfish immoral desires and actions out of the hearts and lives of our military personnel and of our American Government leadership (including Barney Frank). I would like to see all of them be inwardly honest (subjective) enough to publically "tell" what they are, and outwardly honest enough to submit to the objective standards of God's righteousness.
It's time to tell all homosexuals the truth - they can be saved from the selfish erotic emotional condition that lead them into those perverted acts. By faith in God they can become normal men (same is true about lesbians, they can become normal women). There is plenty of objective evidence to prove this - Protestant ministries by Scott Lively (author of "Pink Swastika" exposing homosexuality of Hitler and the Nazis, and "Redeeming the Rainbow"), Stephen Bennett, and Exodus International.
But the best objective evidence and least understood is in the Bible. Science books may explain physical, biological and electrical things happening in the world today. But the Bible explains emotional and spiritual things that have been happening in the world for the past 6,000 years, in a different style but with scientific accuracy. For example, 2,000 years ago, in Rome and Corinth, homosexuals and lesbians were living in a gay-tolerant secular pagan culture (like the ACLU and HRC is trying to make America).
But when Paul preached the good news of the gospel to them, (death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ - 1 Cor 15:1-4); those who believed the gospel also "obeyed the gospel" - ie; were born again.
According to Rom 6:3-5 and 2:10-15, Obeying the gospel (also referred to as circumcision of the heart from the flesh) refers to our personal death (repentance),
burial (water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins), and resurrection (receiving the Holy Ghost) of the soul into new life of love and holiness.
Rom 1:18-32 and 1 Cor 6:9-10 lists many of the sinful emotions and acts that God hates and that will prevent the people He loves from spending eternity with Him in heaven. But right beside these sins, as light is right beside the dark shadow, the light in Rom 1:16-17 and 1Cor 6:11 exposes the truth - that when sinners (including homosexuals) were born again, God's powerful heart-cleansing life-changing influence (the real meaning of "grace") saved them from their sins, including homosexuality.
Planned Parenthood Pushes Intensive Sex Education for Kids as Young as 10
By Ed Barnes
"Stand and Deliver," a new report by the International Planned Parenthood Federation, advocates that children as young as 10 be given extensive sex education.
A new report by the International Planned Parenthood Federation is advocating that children as young as 10 be given extensive sex education, including an awareness of sex's pleasures.
The report, "Stand and Deliver," charges that religious groups, specifically Catholics and Muslims, deny their young access to comprehensive sexual programs and education.
"Young people's sexuality is still contentious for many religious institutions. Fundamentalist and other religious groups — the Catholic Church and madrasas (Islamic Schools) for example — have imposed tremendous barriers that prevent young people, particularly, from obtaining information and services related to sex and reproduction. Currently, many religious teachings deny the pleasurable and positive aspects of sex." the report states.
Click here to read the report. http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/020210_sexeducation.pdf
The report demands that children 10 and older be given a "comprehensive sexuality education" by governments, aid organizations and other groups, and that young people should be seen as "sexual beings."
"Young people have the right to be informed about sexuality and to have access to contraceptives and other services," Bert Koenders, the Netherlands Minister for Development Cooperation, wrote in the foreword to the report. It was his organization that helped fund the report.
The report argues that sex education should be "recast" to show sexuality as a "positive force for change and development, as a source of pleasure, an embodiment of human rights and an expression of self."
Much like a U.N. report released last August that advocated teaching masturbation to children as young as 5, "Stand and Deliver" has set off a wave of protest among religious and conservative groups.
Ed Mechmann, spokesman for New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, charged that Planned Parenthood was "trying to teach children sex without values and that sex is a matter of pleasure and done without consequences."
He said religions like Catholicism and Islam teach sex as part of a much bigger picture and that Planned Parenthood was trying to de-link sex from traditional values.
"It is part of an effort to get children to reject traditional values and accept a liberal American-European view," he said. "In many traditional countries — Catholic and Muslim — it won't work and should be seen as cultural imperialism."
Mechmann also charged that Planned Parenthood's report was compromised because it has a financial stake advocating the changes. "The difference between Planned Parenthood and us is that we don't make money off what we teach and say. They do. They make money off contraceptives and abortions," he said.
Michelle Turner, president of the Maryland-based Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, said Planned Parenthood was simply trying to eliminate parental say.
"What are they trying to do? They are trying to eliminate the role of mom and dad in the family," Turner said. "For Planned Parenthood to decide that governments, private organizations and religious organizations should make decisions about kids' sexuality is just going too far."
"It is part of a bigger push to change the way we think about sex," she said. That sex is all about pleasure and there are no consequences. They are wrong. No matter how much we teach children, some will make mistakes. They will forget. And Planned Parenthood doesn't want to deal with that," she said.
"They see religious groups, especially those that counsel abstinence and waiting until marriage, as bad guys," she added. "We aren't."
Planned Parenthood said it was unable to comment because the report was issued by its European office and it was unable to contact them.
Let’s Hear it for Islamic “Tolerance”: This is Our Future–& Already Our Present, America
By Debbie Schlussel
We already know what happens when Muslim employees cheer the 9/11 attacks at a Ford Motor Company plant. They get to keep their jobs for three years. We already know what happens when Muslim students at a Dearbornistan high school wear sweatshirts memorializing their own frequent praise of the 9/11 attacks. Their America-hating parents hold an indignant meeting with school officials defending their America-hating kids.
Teacher Nicholas Kafouris Experiences the Joys of Islamic Tolerance and Moderation
And, so, it would be no surprise if what happened to Nicholas Kafouris in Great Britain happened here. In fact, similar things have already happened and will continue to, since we’ve done nothing to stop Islamic immigration into America, and everything to encourage it. Whenever you hear Muslims lecture about “tolerance,” this is what they want us to tolerate. Well past time to stop tolerating it.
A Christian teacher told today how he lost his job after complaining that Muslim pupils as young as eight hailed the September 11 hijackers as ‘heroes’.
Nicholas Kafouris said he was forced from his £30,000-a-year post because he would not tolerate the ‘racist’ and ‘anti-Semitic’ behaviour of children.
He said the predominantly Muslim youngsters openly praised Islamic extremists in class, and hailed the terrorists of the 2001 atrocities as ‘martyrs’.
Mr Kafouris, 40, told how one pupil said to him, ‘Don’t touch me, you’re a Christian’, when the teacher accidentally brushed against him with his arm.
Others said, ‘We want to be Islamic bombers when we grow up’, and ‘the Christians and Jews are our enemies, you too because you’re a Christian’, he added.
Mr Kafouris, who had taught at Bigland Green Primary School, in Tower Hamlets, East London, for 12 years, said there was a change in attitude of pupils at the school – where the majority of pupils are Muslim – after the World Trade Center attacks. . . .
Mr Kafouris, a Greek Cypriot, said pupils told him, ‘We hate the Christians’ and, ‘We hate the Jews’, despite his attempts to stop them.
The teacher is now suing his former school, the headteacher, and the assistant head for racial discrimination after they failed to take action about the comments made by pupils to him.
He had filled out a ‘Racist Incident Reporting Sheet’ but claimed the headteacher Jill Hankey dismissed his concerns.
In a statement submitted to the Central London Employment Tribunal he said: ‘Miss Hankey proceeded to excuse and justify the pupil’s behaviour, conduct and remarks to me as if I had no right to be offended by the child’s remarks and conduct. . . .
He said: ‘In late November and December 2006 a number of unacceptable and blunt racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Christian remarks were being made by various children in Year 4 where I taught, such as, ‘We want to be Islamic bombers when we grow up”,
“The twin tower bombers are heroes and martyrs”, “We hate the Jews”, “We hate the Christians”, “The Christians and Jews are our enemies, you too because you’re a Christian” – directed to me personally.
‘Some children were expressing delight at the death and killing of people of other cultures and religions: In the last week of November 2006 a child was talking about stabbing another child and I told him this was dangerous talk and that a lawyer had recently been stabbed by teenagers; his reply was:, “I’m glad that man died”, ‘Why?’ I asked. “Because he’s a Christian and English and we’re Muslim”.’
During a religious education lesson about Jonah and the whale, he claims one of the pupils asked if Jonah was a Jew, before shouting: ‘I hate the Jews, they’re our enemies.’
Mr Kafouris said he again tried to speak to the headteacher about it.
He said: ‘The head’s response was hostile and offensive again. The very first thing she said to me was: “Oh you again! You’re the only teacher that reports these things! Nobody else does!”. . . .
His case against Tower Hamlets Borough Council, Miss Hankey, Miss Coleman and Bigland Green School opened today.
I can tell you, from my own experience, that I know this same type of thing goes on in Dearbornistan and elsewhere in America, every single day. Don’t think we’re different from Great Britain in this respect. We’re only about a decade or so behind.
You can take the savage out of the Middle East, but you can’t take the Middle East or the Islam out of the savage. And so, no matter how dignified the school, or high school, the surroundings, or Western his clothing and gear, savage he remains.
Wake up, America.
Rep. Issa: Was Obama ‘Just Lying to Congress’ on Tort Reform Pledge?
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer
President Barack Obama delivers a statement on his budget that he sent to Congress, Monday, Feb. 1, 2010, in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
(CNSNews.com) – In September, President Barack Obama told a joint session of Congress that his administration would look into tort reform as a means of lowering health care costs, but the administration’s Department of Health and Human Services stated in congressional staff report that medical malpractice reform is “not a priority.”
As congressional Republicans prepare for a Feb. 25 meeting with Obama, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wonders if Obama was lying.
Issa is the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which released a study last week showing that tort reform – such as capping non-economic damages – could save as much as $210 billion per year in medical costs. The report showed the impact lawsuits are having on doctors – particularly OBGYNs – and also how capping rewards have reduced medical costs in California, Texas and Georgia.
In his September speech, Obama said, “Now, I don't believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I've talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs.”
“So I'm proposing that we move forward on a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first and let doctors focus on practicing medicine,” the president said. “I know that the Bush administration considered authorizing demonstration projects in individual states to test these ideas. I think it's a good idea, and I'm directing my Secretary of Health and Human Services to move forward on this initiative today.”
The Oversight report says, “Committee staff inquired of HHS whether they had an updated figure, but staff was told by personal of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation that the report in question involved medical litigation which ‘is not a priority with the administration.’”
Issa knows what he wants to ask the president at the Feb. 25 bipartisan conference.
“The first question I have for President Obama is if he still stands by his call for tort reform or was he just lying to Congress when he directed Secretary [Kathleen] Sebelius to pursue an initiative addressing the costs of defensive medicine,” Issa said in a statement Monday.
“When HHS is telling me that malpractice reform is not a ‘priority of this administration,’ I have to question the sincerity of the President’s commitment to working with congressional Republicans on a bipartisan basis,” Issa continued.
“A clarification from the administration would tell us if he is sincere in his effort for bipartisan discussions or if this is just another exercise in futility aimed to make the American people think the White House is serious about bipartisanship.”
In 2003, HHS found the federal government spends between $33.7 billion and $56.2 billion annually for malpractice coverage and defensive medicine. The HHS study said “reasonable limits on non-economic damages would reduce the amount of taxpayers’ money the federal government spends by $28.1-$50.6 billion per year.”
Health care spending consumes 17 percent of the economy, or about $2.5 trillion, and is projected to reach $4.7 trillion by 2019. The committee report contends that putting some restraints on medical malpractice lawsuits will reign in medical costs.
“It is estimated that these additional liability-based medical care costs adds at least 3.4 million
Americans to the rolls of the uninsured,” the report said, citing data from the Pacific Research Institute.
Further, the higher malpractice awards were in a state, the higher the Medicare spending was in a state, the report said, citing a study in the May-June 2007 issue of the journal Health Affairs.
The report cited three states that saw significant reduction in medical costs after passing liability caps.
In California – where awards were capped at $250,000 in 1975, premiums for doctors are as much as 50 percent lower compared with other states. In one example, OBGYNs pay a high of $89,953 per year in California compared to $214,893 per year for medical malpractice in Florida.
Texas enacted reforms in 2003. Medical malpractice rates for doctors have dropped by 50 percent, after a $250,000 non-economic award cap was implemented, and the average award in a lawsuit dropped from $1.2 million to $880,000.
Georgia – which also imposed a $250,000 cap in 2005 – had a 39 percent decrease in medical lawsuits and insurance for doctors decreased by 18 percent.
A 2005 survey by the American Medical Association found that 93 percent of doctors said they practice defensive medicines, while 92 percent said they have made unnecessary referrals to specialists or ordered unnecessary tests to avoid lawsuits.
A 2007 AMA study found that 60 percent of malpractices cases are dropped, but these cases cost an average of $18,000 to defend. Meanwhile, since 2000, the median award for a malpractice case has been $1 million or more.
Internal medicine premiums in states with caps on awards were 17.3 percent lower, according to a study by the research firm Kilgore, Morrisey and Nelson. For OBGYNs – among the hardest hit specialties – premiums were 25 percent.
More than two-thirds of OBGYNs were “forced to alter their practice in some way” because of a lack of affordable malpractice insurance, according to a 2006 report by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Further, 90 percent of OBGYNs have been sued, according to the group.
Let People Decide, ACRU Says in New Jersey Recall Brief
February 9, the American Civil Rights Union filed an amicus brief in support of a grassroots citizens effort to petition for recall of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
The Sussex County Tea Party and NJ Tea Parties United, which filed the original petition request to gather signatures as The Committee to Recall Senator Robert Menendez from the United States Senate, contend that Menendez has violated his oath of office by voting for unconstitutional measures such as the attempted government health care takeover bill.
The New Jersey Secretary of State at the time rebuffed the request. So the matter is in court. Menendez is up for re-election in 2012. A successful recall petition drive could put him on the ballot this November.
Peter Ferrara, general counsel for the American Civil Rights Union, who authored the brief, said, "We will just be supporting the Committee to Recall Robert Menendez in asking the Court to order the Secretary of State to follow the explicit New Jersey state law and to recognize the right of the people of New Jersey, as explicitly provided in the New Jersey State Constitution, to petition their government for redress of grievances, and to publicly express their opinion as to whether Senator Robert Menendez should be recalled."
The Committee filed a notice of intent with then-Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells on September 25. After Wells failed to respond, the group filed a lawsuit. Wells resigned on Jan. 19 as the new administration of Gov. Chris Christie took office.
A lawyer for Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who is serving as Secretary of State, will represent the state in court. Oral arguments are slated Feb. 26. If the petition goes forward, citizens will have to collect signatures totaling 25 percent of the votes in the last election. In 2008, 3.67 million people voted in New Jersey, so the petitions must have more than 917,000 signatures, according to the New Jersey Herald.
"Senator Menendez thinks he has a constitutional right to freedom from criticism, and is asking the Court to enforce that right by shutting down the petition drive to recall him and the public expression by New Jersey citizens of their opinion regarding such recall," Ferrara said.
New Jersey is one of eight states that have broad constitutional language providing for recall of elected officials, including Members of Congress. A ninth, Montana, has a recall statute. Here is New Jersey's constitutional provision, which took effect in 1995:
Article 1 Section 2b: The people reserve unto themselves the power to recall, after at least one year of service, any elected official in this State or representing this State in the United States Congress. The Legislature shall enact laws to provide for such recall elections.
For more information on New Jersey and other states that have recall laws, click on www.recallcongressnow.org.
"The ACRU feels that the American people deserve to know that recalling rogue legislators is an option in several states," said ACRU CEO and President Susan Carleson. "We do not advocate the removal of any particular official, nor does the ACRU participate in any petition gathering campaign. We are, however, providing as much information as possible to Americans who want to fully exercise their right to a representative, responsive government."
Morning Bell: Snow Slows Obama’s Second Stimulus
The snowstorms that have already dumped over two feet of snow on the nation’s Capitol and that are threatening to dump another 12 to 16 inches, have grounded the legislative process to a halt. But that might not be such a bad thing. Senate Democrats had hoped they could pass President Barack Obama’s second stimulus today, but with only three of the Senate’s 100 lawmakers able to make it to the chamber, that vote has been postponed indefinitely. And the more we learn about what might be in President Obama’s second stimulus, the better a little delay looks.
The Las Vegas Sun reported this weekend that big labor leaders are pushing to include their long-sought “card check” provisions into Obama’s Second Stimulus. This legislation would effectively end a worker’s right to fight unionization through secret ballot elections, would give the federal government the power to run small businesses and would cost the American economy thousands of jobs.
The other major provisions of Obama’s second stimulus are also job killers. The $5,000 new worker tax credit does not create any incentive for already-struggling companies to begin long-term hiring. What’s worse, it could even increase unemployment; companies would delay existing plans to create jobs so they could take advantage of the tax credit. And it would add to our national debt. Then there’s the TARP-funded government-subsidized loans for small businesses. It’s a big-government program destined to fail since the Small Business Administration has a terrible record of effectively allocating capital to the private sector.
For months, the American people and small businesses have been trying to tell the White House and Democrats in Congress that federal regulations and spending are part of the problem, not part of the solution. According to the latest National Federation of Independent Businesses survey, small business owners identified high taxes and government regulation as two of the top three problems facing their business.
Instead of piling on more debt and more regulations, the federal government should move in the opposite direction. For example, suspending the Davis-Bacon rules for the construction industry could fund 160,000 new jobs. Rescinding the unspent dollars from Obama’s first failed stimulus would signal business owners that they will not face crippling new taxes enacted to cover the deficit. Killing the economically-devastating cap-and-trade legislation and prohibiting the EPA from regulating carbon-dioxide under the Clean Air Act would stabilize the regulatory environment so businesses could safely make long term decisions again.
There are things this Congress could do to help spur job creation. Notably, those job-creating ideas do not include more regulations and more deficit spending. Maybe a good thaw is what Washington needs to get back on the same page as the American people.
White House playing politics with terror
In a breathtakingly cynical example of playing politics, the White House just accused Republicans of playing politics over its Miranda-rights Christmas gift to the crotch bomber.
With fumbling terrorism czar John Brennan walking point, administration spokesmen attacked those who believe that treating would-be suicide-bomber Umar Abdulmutallab the way we handle shoplifters harms our national security.
The White House position is a PR blend of lies, half-truths and ignorance. Let's strip out the politics and lay out the facts from an intelligence professional's perspective:
Brennan: Gives misleading spin on Xmas-bomber interrogation.
* The administration claims Abdulmutallab is now cooperating. That's either dishonest or idiotic -- or both.
If he is cooperating, jeez, you don't tell the terrorists. Why on earth leak it that the guy's blabbing, thus warning the enemy? Could the administration -- just possibly -- be playing politics?
* Even if he's talking now, Abdulmutallab won't provide actionable intelligence. It's too late: His contacts had time to vacate the premises and alter their modes of operation.
The best information that a low-level operative like the Jockey-shorts jerk possesses is highly perishable -- the captive isn't privy to long-term plans, just the immediate details of his mission and a few basic contacts.
Information that might have been valuable on Dec. 26 may be worthless by Jan. 26. Yet, in that critical early window we convinced Abdulmutallab to clam up -- thanks to the folly of treating him to a lawyer.
In the intelligence world, where I served for decades, we derided such useless data as we're getting now as "history lessons."
* What plea bargain did we have to grant Abdulmutallab to get him to talk? Why should we ever have to plea-bargain with terrorists? Can any serious lawyer show us where in the laws of land warfare (which include the Geneva Convention) or in the broader sphere of international law it specifies that terrorists must be read their Miranda rights upon capture?
We're doing this to ourselves, folks. And it's going to kill more Americans.
With its desperate counteroffensive on this issue, the White House is struggling to recover from the PR debacle over the decision to award Abdulmutallab (and other terrorists) rights to which they are in no way entitled.
But this administration has other disastrous policies in place, too.
Retired Army Col. Stu Herrington -- the most noteworthy military interrogator of his generation -- highlights a particularly destructive one: making it next to impossible to keep terrorist captives isolated while they're imprisoned.
When dealing with top-end prisoners (the KSMs, not the Abdulmutallabs), interrogations can last for months or even years. The last thing you want is to allow prisoners to communicate with and discipline one another.
You don't want terrorists coordinating their stories, bolstering each other's morale or bringing pressure on those who might be cooperating. Just the ability to monitor a prisoner's absences from his cell can tip fellow captives that he's talking.
A consistent advocate of humane interrogations, Herrington would treat terrorists more mildly than I would -- but we agree that interrogations require sensible flexibility. You can't protect Americans by bolstering the terrorists' camaraderie and cohesion.
Both sides of the aisle seek political gains from the terrorism issue -- too often forgetting the essential goal of protecting the United States. This time, though, the White House is unquestionably in the wrong -- trying to deceive the American people on an issue of life and death.
In the end, there is no reason -- legal, moral or practical -- to treat foreign terrorists bent on massacre as if they were citizens of the country they dream of destroying.
Ralph Peters' latest book is "The War After Armageddon."
"The e-mail Bag"
Conversation Overheard On The VHF Guard Radio
Iranian Air Defense Radar: 'Unknown aircraft you are in Iranian airspace. Identify yourself.'
Aircraft: 'This is a United States aircraft. I am in Iraqi airspace.'
Air Defense Radar: 'You are in Iranian airspace. If you do not depart our airspace we will launch interceptor aircraft!'
Aircraft: 'This is a United States Marine Corps FA-18 fighter. Send 'em up, I'll wait!'
Air Defense Radar: (no response .... total silence)
God bless our troops.