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, March 24, 2010
ConservativeChristianRepublican-Report - 20100324
Promoting "God's Holy Values and American Freedoms"!
"In these days, a man who says a thing cannot be done is quite apt to be interrupted by some idiot doing it." -- Elbert Hubbard
"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." -- Carlos Castaneda
Coaching isn't an addition to a leader's job, it's an integral part of it. ~ George S. Odiorne
"Daily Devotions" (KJV and/or NLT)
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)
Some people make the mistake of depersonalizing the Holy Spirit. They think of Him as some kind of will or force within them, not a He but an It. They confuse Him with the vague generic idea of a conscience. They pick up false ideas from Eastern religions about some small "spark" of God within us. But the Bible is very clear that none of these are accurate descriptions of who the Holy Spirit is and how He relates to us.
God's Spirit is fully a person with all His own individual traits. He speaks, inspires, guides, convicts, comforts, and encourages. He can be lied to and grieved. All these traits are functions of personality. Jesus always referred to Him in that light. He used the personal pronouns He and Him, but never the impersonal pronoun it. When He spoke to His disciples in the upper room about the Holy Spirit, He used the Greek word paracletos meaning called to one's side. That name tells us that the Holy Spirit has the ability to give aid and to comfort or console.
God's Spirit is a unique member of the Trinity. As you come to learn more about His work in your life, you will be more aware of His presence and power. You will come to recognize His gentle voice, welcoming His comfort and basking in His encouragement. He will come to be like a perfect friend. You will have an awareness of His personality and presence everywhere you go.
Your View of God Really Matters …
Do you view the Holy Spirit more as a person or as an impersonal force? If you want to see how the Bible portrays the Holy Spirit, look up each verse below and write down the various characteristics that imply personhood.
"The Patriot Post"
"There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism." --Alexander Hamilton
Opinion in Brief
"Americans cherish their independence. One interesting aspect of the spontaneous tea party movement is the constant invocation of the Founders and the prominence of the 'Don't Tread on Me' flag. ... Americans tend to see themselves as independent doers, not dependent victims. They don't like to be told, especially by those with fancy academic pedigrees, that they are helpless and in need of government aid. That's why the politically popular American big government programs -- Social Security, Medicare, veterans' benefits, student loans -- all make a connection between effort and reward. You get a benefit because you've worked for it. In contrast, Americans have loathed and rejected big government programs with no nexus between effort and reward. Welfare was begun in the 1930s to help widows with children, whose plight, as Russell Baker's memoir 'Growing Up' showed, was often dismal. But when welfare became a mass program to subsidize mothers who didn't work and to excuse fathers from responsibility for their actions, it became wildly unpopular. Bill Clinton recognized this when he signed welfare reform in 1996. ... Barack Obama, who has chosen to live his adult life in university precincts, sees ... Americans generally as victims who need his help, people who would be better off dependent on government than on their own. Most American voters don't want to see themselves that way and resent this condescension." --political analyst Michael Barone
"When Republicans regain a majority in the House and Senate -- either this fall, as seems increasingly likely, or in the election following -- they must learn from their previous mistakes when they last held power. In addition to focusing on overturning whatever health insurance 'reform' proposal this Congress eventually passes (by a veto override, or a lawsuit challenging the measure's constitutionality), a Republican congressional majority must help large numbers of the public unlearn the factual errors they have been taught to accept. From 'climate change,' to the notion that government is a guarantor through 'entitlement' programs of a minimal outcome in life, to the forgotten idea given to us by the Founders that Liberty is the most precious gift there is, the country needs a history lesson based on truth, experience and provable facts. ... A Republican majority should turn the nation's attention away from Washington. A Republican majority must teach us again that 'you can do it,' like so many of our fathers did when the training wheels came off and we learned we could fly down the sidewalk without assistance. America doesn't need restructuring. It needs revival; revival of the principles that made us strong and great; revival of the moral foundation that proved to be our real strength and allowed us to conquer our demons and become independent, not dependent on government. This is the message most Americans want to hear and need to hear. Will the Republicans deliver it?" --columnist Cal Thomas
"Perhaps you and I have lived with this miracle too long to be properly appreciative. Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again. Knowing this, it is hard to explain those who even today would question the people's capacity for self-rule. Will they answer this: if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?" --Ronald Reagan
"Filibusters are devices for registering intensity rather than mere numbers. Besides, has a filibuster ever prevented eventual enactment of anything significant that an American majority has desired, strongly and protractedly? Liberals say filibusters confuse and frustrate the public. But most ideas incubated in the political cauldron of grasping factions are deplorable. Therefore, serving the public involves -- mostly involves -- saying 'No.' The Bill of Rights effectively pronounces the lovely word 'no' regarding many possible government undertakings -- establishment of religion, unreasonable searches and seizures, etc. The fiction that government is 'paralyzed' by partisanship is regularly refuted. .... Liberals are deeply disappointed with the public, which fails to fathom the excellence of their agenda. But their real complaint is with the government's structure. And with the nature of the politics this structure presupposes in a continental nation wary of government and replete with rival factions." --columnist George Will
For the Record
"For those not versed in the arcane rules of the U.S. Senate, reconciliation is not what a divorced couple attempts when they visit Dr. Phil. It is a mechanism for avoiding filibusters on certain budgetary issues. If Democrats can find a way to apply it to health care reform, they could pass a bill with just 51 votes, negating the election of Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and the loss of the 60-seat supermajority. Reconciliation was established in 1974 to make it easier for Congress to adjust taxes and spending in order to 'reconcile' actual revenues and expenditures with a previously approved budget resolution. Thus, at the end of the year, if Congress found that it was running a budget deficit higher than previously projected, it could quickly raise taxes or cut spending to bring the budget back into line. Debate on such measures was abbreviated to just 20 hours (an eyeblink in Senate terms), and there could be no filibuster. As Robert Byrd, (D-W.V.), one of the original authors of the reconciliation rule, explained, 'Reconciliation was intended to adjust revenue and spending levels in order to reduce deficits ... [I]t was not designed to ... restructure the entire health care system.' He warns that using reconciliation for health care would 'violate the intent and spirit of the budget process, and do serious injury to the Constitutional role of the Senate.' In fact, in 1985, the Senate adopted the 'Byrd rule,' which prohibits the use of reconciliation for any 'extraneous issue' that does not directly change revenues or expenditures. Clearly, large portions of the health care bill, ranging from mandates to insurance regulation to establishing 'exchanges,' do not meet that requirement." --Cato Institute senior fellow Michael D. Tanner
Faith & Family
"One of the major differences between the right and the left concerns the question of authority: To whom do we owe obedience and who is the ultimate moral authority? For the right, the primary moral authority is God (or, for secular conservatives, Judeo-Christian values), followed by parents. Of course, government must also play a role, but it is ultimately accountable to God and it should do nothing to undermine parental authority. For the left, the state and its government are the supreme authorities, while parental and divine authority are seen as impediments to state authority. ... In a nutshell, the left wants to have ever-expanding authority over people's lives through ever-expanding governmental powers. It does so because it regards itself as more enlightened than others. Others are either enemies (the right) or unenlightened masses. It is elected by demonizing its enemies and doling out money and jobs to the masses." --radio talk-show host Dennis Prager
"Personal responsibility is a real problem for those who want to collectivize society and take away our power to make our own decisions, transferring that power to third parties like themselves, who imagine themselves to be so much wiser and nobler than the rest of us. Aimless apologies are just one of the incidental symptoms of an increasing loss of a sense of personal responsibility -- without which a whole society is in jeopardy. The police cannot possibly maintain law and order by themselves. Millions of people can monitor their own behavior better than any third parties can. Cops can cope with that segment of society who have no sense of personal responsibility, but not if that segment becomes a large part of the whole population. Yet increasing numbers of educators and the intelligentsia seem to have devoted themselves to undermining or destroying a sense of personal responsibility and making 'society' responsible instead." --economist Thomas Sowell
The Last Word
"[W]ho are regular, run-of-the-mill, tax-paying Americans to question Obama? He's brilliant, after all. ... [I]f Obama is so brilliant, why does he parrot the words and thoughts of a bunch of schmucks like Karl Marx, Saul Alinsky, Al Gore and Michael Moore? Why does he insist that the trouble with the Constitution and the Civil Rights movement is that they didn't focus on the redistribution of wealth? Why would he hand over the federal budget to a couple of morons like Pelosi and Reid? And why on earth would he put Henry Waxman in charge of his energy program? A brilliant person wouldn't trust Waxman to bring baked beans to a picnic. When someone decides to model a health care plan after such dismal failures as England, Canada and Cuba, while exhuming the failed economic policies of FDR, why would anyone suggest he is anything but a left-wing ignoramus? This is an American president, for heaven's sake, who has more in common with Noam Chomsky, Hugo Chavez and some Berkeley hippie than he has with Washington, Jefferson and Adams. Except that he is now 30 years older, Obama seems to think exactly the same way he was thinking back in college, when he was a pot-smoking idiot who sought out students who were self-professed revolutionaries and professors who were communists. If we have come to a point where the ability to read scripted lines off a teleprompter is considered a sign of brilliance, no matter how fatuous the actual words may be, we are in even worse shape than I imagined." --columnist Burt Prelutsky
Healthcare Lawsuit By State AGs Attacks Health Insurance Law
By Joel Zand on March 23, 2010 9:54 AM | No TrackBacks
Thirteen State Attorney Generals filed a federal lawsuit today alleging that the federal health care and insurance bill passed by Congress over the weekend, and signed into law by President Barack Obama this afternoon, is unconstitutional.
The heart of the multi-state lawsuit contends that the new federal health care law far exceeds federal legal authority under Article I and the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The states also contend that the health care reform law imposes an illegal tax penalty against a state's citizens and legal residents who do not have qualifying health care coverage, a provision that they maintain constitutes an unlawful direct tax that violates Article I, sections 2 and 9 of the U.S. Constitution.
You can read the State Attorney Generals' lawsuit challenging the new national health insurance law here:
Va. Sues Over Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
By Joel Zand on March 23, 2010 1:39 PM | No TrackBacks
The state of Virginia filed a federal lawsuit today, charging that if Virginia citizens and residents decide not to buy health insurance, then they can't be subject to the new federal health care and insurance law — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) — because they are not not engaging in interstate commerce.
Why did Virginia file its own federal health care lawsuit instead of joining the multi-state lawsuit filed by thirteen (13) other states challenging PPACA?
Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cucinelli, II says that his state is different because it:
is the only state so far to pass a law protecting its citizens from a government-imposed mandate to buy health insurance.
By BrianBurch - CatholicVoteAction.org
Dear Friend of CatholicVote.org,
I just got off the phone with the campaign director for Rep. Bart Stupak.
I told her that the members of CatholicVote.org were appalled by his decision to cave and give President Obama control over taxpayer funding for abortion. I also told his staff that we are rescinding our invitation for him to speak at a special CatholicVote.org event scheduled in Chicago for late April.
Rep. Stupak accepted a meaningless promise of an “Executive Order” that does not address the fundamental problems of the bill. In doing so, he not only allowed the pro-abortion bill to pass, his actions gutted any hope for a bipartisan pro-life movement that many argued would have been possible had he stood firm.
After everything we did to support Stupak and his coalition, his actions yesterday were devastating. We were betrayed.
Confronting a loss of such significance is dispiriting. The emails pouring into CatholicVote range from frustration with politics in general to questions about whether there can truly be a pro-life Democrat.
I share many of these frustrations. Our staff did everything possible to stop this disaster. We worked around the clock last week and all weekend to hold the votes together. We worked with individual bishops and staff to encourage wavering votes to hold firm. We were in regular communication with key representatives and their staffs. We ran radio ads, and launched the Stand With Stupak campaign.
We were confident that we had the votes to stop the legislation, until the end, when Stupak and his key allies folded.
The “Stand With Stupak” campaign was about a principle, not a single man. The principle was simple – no compromise on abortion.
And in the end, even Bart Stupak didn’t stand with Stupak.
We may be a movement that is hope-filled, but we are also a movement of action.
The frustrations and anger you are inevitably feeling now cannot be ignored. Over the next 7 months, we will be preparing for the November elections.
Any politician who supported this bill must pay a price. And that price is ultimately paid at the ballot box.
The backers of this health care bill never gave up. They fought for nearly a year against public opinion, and wore down their opponents until they got what they wanted.
We must resolve to do the same.
Remember what happened last night.
Remember how you feel right now.
November will be here before you know it.
Exempted From Obamacare: Senior Staff Who Wrote the Bill
by Ben Domenech
For as long as the political fight took over the past year, the abbreviated review process on the health care legislation currently pending on President Obama’s desk is unquestionably going to result in some surprises — as happens with any piece of mashed-up legislation — both for the congressmen who voted for it and for the American people.
One such surprise is found on page 158 of the legislation, which appears to create a carveout for senior staff members in the leadership offices and on congressional committees, essentially exempting those senior Democrat staffers who wrote the bill from being forced to purchase health care plans in the same way as other Americans.
A major story during the course of the health care debate was whether members of Congress would commit to placing themselves in the same health care exchanges as average citizens, or whether they would hang on to their government plans — that’s why leadership chose to add this portion to the bill, serving as a guarantee that members would participate in the same health plans as the people. Here’s the relevant text:
(D) MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE-
(i) REQUIREMENT- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are–
(I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or
(II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).
But as with a lot of legislative matters, the devil is in the details — or in this case, the definitions. As anyone who’s worked on Capitol Hill knows, the personal office staff for a member is governed by different rules than those who work on committees and in the leadership offices. It appears from the way this language is written that those staffers NOT in personal offices, such as those working and paid under the committee structure (such as those working for Chairman Henry Waxman) or those working on leadership staff (such as those working for Speaker Nancy Pelosi) would be exempt from these requirements (emphasis added).
(ii) DEFINITIONS- In this section:
(I) MEMBER OF CONGRESS- The term `Member of Congress’ means any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate.
(II) CONGRESSIONAL STAFF- The term `congressional staff’ means all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.
According to the Congressional Research Service, this definition of staff will only apply to those staffers employed within a member’s “personal office” — meaning that it will absolutely not apply to committee staff members, and may not apply to leadership staff.
This problem was acknowledged earlier in the process — last year, Senator Grassley tried to repair it, but he was rebuffed.
As Speaker Pelosi said a few weeks ago, it’s only after this legislation is passed that we’ll truly find out what’s in it.
Follow Ben Domenech on Twitter.
Coburn introduces health bill amendment to prevent sexual enhancers for child rapists
By Jordan Fabian -
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) Tuesday introduced an amendment to the health law fixes that would ban child molesters and rapists from receiving insurance coverage for erectile dysfunction drugs.
The provision will likely come up later this week, when a rapid round of amendments are introduced to the package of fixes under the rules governing the reconciliation process.
While the rules limit debate to 20 hours, senators are allowed to propose an unlimited amount of amendments.
Republicans plan to introduce many amendments and points of order to slow the process down.
Senate Democrats are using the reconciliation tactic to sidestep a Republican filibuster to the bill and pass fixes to the underlying legislation signed by President Barack Obama using a simple majority vote.
Coburn's amendment would also ban coverage of emergency contraceptive abortion drugs. He has also introduce several other amendments.
Here is a portion of the erectile dysfunction amendment:
Amendment 3556 – Reduces health care costs by preventing fraudulent payments for prescription drugs, prohibits coverage of erectile dysfunction drugs to child molesters and rapists, and excludes coverage of abortion drugs.
This amendment would save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars a year by preventing payments for fraudulent prescriptions by Medicaid and prohibiting coverage of unnecessary drugs—such as RU-486 and other abortion drugs as well as Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs for those convicted of rape, child molestation and sexual assault—in the new health care exchanges.
These cost saving provisions will save taxpayers’ money and ensure more resources are available to provide medically necessary care to patients.
Uncle Sam, the answer to American ignorance!
Everyday it seems as if everyone somewhere is calling on the 'government' to bail them out. If the local governments and/or state governments gets into financial trouble, they call on the federal government to bail them out. If businesses get into financial trouble, they call on the government to bail them out. Majority Democrat Party members on Capitol Hill are expressing their worse at spending (y)our tax monies. California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the most wealthy state of them all, is now calling on the taxpayers to bail them out. Where and when will it end? Does the Liberals ever remember that sometimes even governments must cut back on our governments taxpayers' expenditures; just to practice responsibility - oyh
Uncle sam paid for my shoes; and now I want some new boots.
Uncle sam paid for my tube and now I want some new boobs.
Uncle sam paid for my house and helped me find a new spouse.
Uncle sam got me a new art and now I need some new art.
Unlce sam gave me the best and I don't care about the rest.
Uncle sam bought me my car; it'll take me very far.
Uncle sam paid for my phone so I could talk all day long.
Uncle sam paid for my dress and got me out of a big legal mess.
Uncle sam paid for my gas, so the rest of you can kiss my Uncle sam!
Yes, every breathing standing upright American citizen needs a Sugar Daddy named uncle Sam. All you gotta do is hollar and then he'll send you your dollars!
Inside the Pelosi Sausage Factory
Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak sold his anti-abortion soul for a toothless executive order.
By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL
Last week Republican Rep. Mike Pence posted on his Facebook site that famous Schoolhouse Rock video titled "How a Bill Becomes a Law." It's clearly time for a remake.
Never before has the average American been treated to such a live-action view of the sordid politics necessary to push a deeply flawed bill to completion. It was dirty deals, open threats, broken promises and disregard for democracy that pulled ObamaCare to this point, and yesterday the same machinations pushed it across the finish line.
You could see it all coming a week ago, when New York Rep. Louise Slaughter let leak a breathtaking strategy whereby the House would not actually vote on the unpopular Senate bill. The House would instead vote on a "reconciliation" fix to that bill, and in the process "deem" the underlying legislation—with its Cornhusker kickbacks and Louisiana purchases—passed.
View Full Image
Associated Press - House Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill yesterday.
The Slaughter Solution was both blunt admission and warning. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not have 216 votes to pass the Senate bill, there never was going to be majority "support" for it, but they'd pass it anyway. The final days were a simple death watch, to see how the votes would be bought, bribed or bullied, and how many congressional rules gamed, to get the win.
President Obama flew to Pennsylvania (home to five wavering House Democrats), Missouri (three wavering), Ohio (eight), and Virginia (four) to hold rallies with small, supportive crowds. In four days, Mr. Obama held 64 meetings or calls with congressmen. The goal was to let undecideds know that the president had them in his crosshairs, that he still had pull with the base, and he'd use it against them. By Saturday the tactic had yielded yes votes from at least half the previously undecided members of those states.
As for those who needed more persuasion: California Rep. Jim Costa bragged publicly that during his meeting in the Oval Office, he'd demanded the administration increase water to his Central Valley district. On Tuesday, Interior pushed up its announcement, giving the Central Valley farmers 25% of water supplies, rather than the expected 5% allocation. Mr. Costa, who denies there was a quid pro quo, on Saturday said he'd flip to a yes.
Florida Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (whose district is home to the Kennedy Space Center) admitted that in her own Thursday meeting with the president, she'd brought up the need for more NASA funding. On Friday she flipped to a yes. So watch the NASA budget.
Democrats inserted a new provision providing $100 million in extra Medicaid money for Tennessee. Retiring Tennessee Rep. Bart Gordon flipped to a yes vote on Thursday.
Outside heavies were enlisted to warn potential no votes that unions and other Democrats would run them out of Congress. Al Lawson, a Tallahassee liberal challenging Blue Dog Florida Rep. Allen Boyd in a primary, made Mr. Boyd's previous no vote the centerpiece of his criticism. The SEIU threatened to yank financial support for New York's Michael McMahon. The liberal Working Families Party said it would deny him a ballot line. Obama deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand vowed to challenge South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin if she voted no. New York's Scott Murphy was targeted as a part of a $1.3 million union-financed ad campaign to pressure him to flip. Moveon.Org spent another $36,000 on ads in his district and promised a primary. Messrs. Boyd and Murphy caved on Friday.
All the while Mrs. Pelosi was desperately working to provide cover with a Congressional Budget Office score that would claim the bill "saved" money. To do it, Democrats threw in a further $66 billion in Medicare cuts and another $50 billion in taxes. Huzzah! In the day following the CBO score, about a half-dozen Democrats who had spent the past months complaining the bill already had too many taxes and Medicare cuts now said they were voting to reduce the deficit.
Even with all this, by Friday Mrs. Pelosi was dealing with a new problem: The rule changes and deals winning her votes were losing her votes, too. The public backlash against "deem and pass" gave several wary Democrats—such as Massachusetts's Stephen Lynch and California's Dennis Cardoza—a new excuse to vote no.
Mrs. Pelosi jettisoned deem and pass. Once-solid Democrat yes votes wanted their own concessions. Oregon's Pete DeFazio threatened to lead a revolt unless changes were made to Medicare payments to benefit his state. On Saturday Mrs. Pelosi cut a deal to give 17 states additional Medicare money.
By the weekend, all the pressure and threats and bribes had left the speaker three to five votes short. Her remaining roadblock was those pro-life members who'd boxed themselves in on abortion, saying they would vote against the Senate bill unless it barred public funding of abortion. Mrs. Pelosi's first instinct was to go around this bloc, getting the votes elsewhere. She couldn't.
Into Saturday night, Michigan's Bart Stupak and Mrs. Pelosi wrangled over options. The stalemate? Any change that gave Mr. Stupak what he wanted in law would lose votes from pro-choice members. The solution? Remove it from Congress altogether, having the president instead sign a meaningless executive order affirming that no public money should go to pay for abortions.
The order won't change the Senate legal language—as pro-choice Democrats publicly crowed within minutes of the Stupak deal. Executive orders can be changed or eliminated on a whim. Pro-life groups condemned the order as the vote-getting ruse it was. Nevertheless, Mr. Stupak and several of his colleagues voted yes, paving the way to Mrs. Pelosi's final vote tally of 219.
Even in these waning minutes, Senate Democrats were playing their own games. Republicans announced they had found language in the House reconciliation bill that could doom this entire "fix" in the Senate. Since many House Democrats only agreed to vote for the Senate bill on promises that the sidecar reconciliation would pass, this was potentially a last-minute killer.
Senate Democrats handled it by deliberately refusing to meet with Republicans and the Senate parliamentarian to get a ruling, lest it be unfavorable and lose House votes. The dodge was a clear dereliction of duty, but Democrats figure the Senate parliamentarian won't dare derail this process after ObamaCare passes. They are probably right.
So there you have it, folks: "How a Bill Becomes a Law," at least in Obama-Pelosi land. Perhaps the most remarkable Democratic accomplishment this week was to make the process of passing ObamaCare as politically toxic as the bill itself.
President Obama was elected by millions of Americans attracted to his promise to change Washington politics. These were voters furious with earmarks, insider deals and a lack of transparency. They were the many Americans who, even before this week, held Congress in historic low esteem. They'll remember this spectacle come November.
A Point of No Return?
by Thomas Sowell
With the passage of the legislation allowing the federal government to take control of the medical care system of the United States, a major turning point has been reached in the dismantling of the values and institutions of America.
Even the massive transfer of crucial decisions from millions of doctors and patients to Washington bureaucrats and advisory panels-- as momentous as that is-- does not measure the full impact of this largely unread and certainly unscrutinized legislation.
If the current legislation does not entail the transmission of all our individual medical records to Washington, it will take only an administrative regulation or, at most, an Executive Order of the President, to do that.
With politicians now having not only access to our most confidential records, and having the power of granting or withholding medical care needed to sustain ourselves or our loved ones, how many people will be bold enough to criticize our public servants, who will in fact have become our public masters?
Despite whatever "firewalls" or "lockboxes" there may be to shield our medical records from prying political eyes, nothing is as inevitable as leaks in Washington. Does anyone still remember the hundreds of confidential FBI files that were "accidentally" delivered to the White House during Bill Clinton's administration?
Even before that, J. Edgar Hoover's extensive confidential FBI files on numerous Washington power holders made him someone who could not be fired by any President of the United States, much less by any Attorney General, who was nominally his boss.
The corrupt manner in which this massive legislation was rammed through Congress, without any of the committee hearings or extended debates that most landmark legislation has had, has provided a roadmap for pushing through more such sweeping legislation in utter defiance of what the public wants.
Too many critics of the Obama administration have assumed that its arrogant disregard of the voting public will spell political suicide for Congressional Democrats and for the President himself. But that is far from certain.
True, President Obama's approval numbers in the polls have fallen below 50 percent, and that of Congress is down around 10 percent. But nobody votes for Congress as a whole, and the President will not be on the ballot until 2012.
They say that, in politics, overnight is a lifetime. Just last month, it was said that the election of Scott Brown to the Senate from Massachusetts doomed the health care bill. Now some of the same people are saying that passing the health care bill will doom the administration and the Democrats' control of Congress. As an old song said, "It ain't necessarily so."
The voters will have had no experience with the actual, concrete effect of the government takeover of medical care at the time of either the 2010 Congressional elections or the 2012 Presidential elections. All they will have will be conflicting rhetoric-- and you can depend on the mainstream media to go along with the rhetoric of those who passed this medical care bill.
The ruthless and corrupt way this bill was forced through Congress on a party-line vote, and in defiance of public opinion, provides a road map for how other "historic" changes can be imposed by Obama, Pelosi and Reid.
What will it matter if Obama's current approval rating is below 50 percent among the current voting public, if he can ram through new legislation to create millions of new voters by granting citizenship to illegal immigrants? That can be enough to make him a two-term President, who can appoint enough Supreme Court justices to rubber-stamp further extensions of his power.
When all these newly minted citizens are rounded up on election night by ethnic organization activists and labor union supporters of the administration, that may be enough to salvage the Democrats' control of Congress as well.
The last opportunity that current American citizens may have to determine who will control Congress may well be the election in November of this year. Off-year elections don't usually bring out as many voters as Presidential election years. But the 2010 election may be the last chance to halt the dismantling of America. It can be the point of no return.
Nawar Shora takes battle for Arab and Muslim rights inside the TSA
Nawar Shora is used to fighting for the civil rights of Muslims and Arabs, but now he will do so as a federal government official. (Gerald Martineau For The Washington Post)
By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Nawar Shora, the legal director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, has sparred with the federal government over what he saw as security abuses against minorities. Now, he is joining the Transportation Security Administration as a senior adviser for its office of civil rights and liberties.
Shora, 33, said the move next month to the Department of Homeland Security will back up what he has been telling summer interns for a decade as he urged them to enter federal service.
"I'm finally practicing what I preach," said Shora, a self-described "Arab country boy" who was born in Syria and raised in Huntington, W.Va. "It's about time I cross over to the government and start working within the system. That's the beauty of our society: Anybody can work with the government."
The move by Shora, who started with the ADC as an intern in 1999 after graduating from Marshall University and the West Virginia University College of Law, comes at a challenging time for the TSA and other security agencies.
U.S. law enforcement agencies have confronted a growing number of incidents since 2009 involving violent "homegrown" extremists and cases in which overseas terrorist groups have recruited and trained Americans. Separately, vulnerabilities in international aviation security were exposed in the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, an alleged al-Qaeda operative from Nigeria charged with trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.
In January, the TSA heightened security measures for travelers who are from -- or traveling through -- 13 predominantly Muslim countries, plus Cuba. Those procedures drew criticism from Arab, Muslim and South Asian civil liberties groups, which said the measures were too broad.
"Complaints are going to come in fast and furious" from Americans visiting those countries during the upcoming peak summer travel months, said James Zogby, founder of the Arab-American Institute and a longtime Washington civil rights advocate. "I know no one better equipped to handle them than Nawar."
"All of a sudden, people are labeled as being related to terrorism just because of the nation they are from," Shora said this winter, calling the TSA move "extreme and very dangerous."
Federal civil rights offices have for decades tapped a pipeline of talented young lawyers from private organizations. Shora also has built a decade-long track record of trying to bridge the differences between law enforcement and Muslim and Arab Americans.
Shortly after the 2001 attacks, Shora became a founding member of an Arab, Muslim and Sikh advisory council set up by the former head of the FBI's Washington field office, Joseph Persichini Jr. The council aired concerns about hate crimes, the USA Patriot Act, FBI investigations and other sensitive topics.
Shora made nearly 50 appearances before FBI agents to increase cultural awareness of Arab and Muslim Americans; appeared in training videos for the Justice Department Community Relations Service and the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in 2003 and 2007; and joined a group organized by the American Society for Industrial Security International dedicated to security issues for religious groups including Jews, Muslims and Mormons and other Christians.
"As a devout Muslim, my mother always taught me you must be a good Jew and a good Christian," too, said Shora, who met his wife, a French Catholic exchange student, at law school in West Virginia. "That lesson stayed with me over the years."
Shora also has written a book, "The Arab American Handbook," which is billed as a "non-politicized, fun . . . quick read."
On Friday, Shora will be honored by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, receiving the director's Community Leadership Award, for his role in creating the FBI's Future Agents in Training program, which began as "a cross between Space Camp and Boys State" aimed at South and Central Asian youths and has since become a week-long program introducing the bureau to 40 high school juniors selected from across the country.
"In his position at ADC, Mr. Shora has consistently advocated on behalf of the community's concerns," TSA Special Counselor Kimberly Walton said in a statement. "He . . . will bring a wealth of experience in community outreach, training and civil rights and civil liberties law."
Shora said he worked with, not for, the FBI, and never on investigations. Still, he acknowledges that increasing communication and understanding between two camps can be a "lose-lose" proposition, with some Muslim activists labeling him a "collaborator" and some law enforcement agents suspicious of an Arab or a Muslim working alongside them.
"The trust a number of us have worked so hard to build since 9/11 has unfortunately had a few notches against it the past few months," Shora said, referring to tensions that flared over such matters as allegations that the FBI infiltrated mosques in California and elsewhere and the death of a Detroit imam shot 20 times in an FBI sting operation involving stolen goods.
"We need to reenergize that trust-building," he said. "The big-picture issues are too important for us to get off track."
"The e-mail Bag"
A pretty little girl named Suzy was standing on the sidewalk in front of her home. Next to her was a basket containing a number tiny creatures; in her hand was a sign announcing FREE KITTENS.
Suddenly a line of big black cars pulled up beside her. Out of the lead car stepped a tall, grinning man.
"Hi there, little girl, I'm President Obama. What do you have in the basket?" he asked.
"Kittens," little Suzy said.
"How old are they?" asked Obama.
Suzy replied, "They're so young, their eyes aren't even open yet."
"And what kind of kittens are they?"
"Democrats," answered Suzy with a smile.
Obama was delighted. As soon as he returned to his car, he called his PR chief and told him about the little girl and the kittens.
Recognizing the perfect photo op, the two men agreed that the president should return the next day, and, in front of the assembled media, have the girl talk about her discerning kittens.
So the next day, Suzy was again standing on the sidewalk with her basket of "FREE KITTENS" when another motorcade pulled up, this time followed by vans from ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN.
Cameras and audio equipment were quickly set up, then Obama got out of his limo and walked over to little Suzy.
"Hello, again," he said, "I'd love it if you would tell all my friends out there what kind of kittens you're giving away."
"Yes sir," Suzy said. "They're Republicans."
Taken by surprise, the president stammered, "But... But... Yesterday, you told me they were DEMOCRATS."
Little Suzy smiled and said, "I know. But today, they have their eyes open."