The Catholic Church Fights Back

President Obama may have picked the wrong fight when his administration announced they were forcing the Catholic Church to provide contraceptives including the morning after pill to their employees. In his unforced error, the President may have awakened the sleeping giant of the Catholic Church and set the wheels in motion for a permanent political shift. From the Daily Mail:

Prominent Catholic leaders across the U.S. have threatened to turn voters against President Obama over his controversial plans to offer free birth control.

The fight is over a provision of the health reform law announced on January 20 that would require health insurance plans — including those offered by institutions such as Catholic-affiliated hospitals and universities — to offer free birth control including sterilization.

According to estimates, there are some 70 million Catholic voters – and many could be posed to vote against the president in the crucial upcoming election.

Catholic League head Bill Donohue said: ‘Never before, unprecedented in American history, for the federal government to line up against the Roman Catholic Church,’ CBS New York reported.

‘This is going to be fought out with lawsuits, with court decisions and, dare I say it, maybe even in the streets.’ Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who was promoted to the status of a Cardinal just weeks ago, spoke out about the issue.

‘It’s not about contraception. It’s about the right of conscience,’ he told reporters. ‘The government doesn’t have the right to butt into the internal governance and teachings of the church,” he said.

‘This is not a Catholic issue, it’s an American issue. We’re strong on this issue of conscience, and that’s what’s at stake here.’

Catholic clergy on Sunday called on the faithful to write Congress to protest new birth control rules from President Barack Obama’s administration, stepping up a campaign that began a week ago with denunciations from the pulpit at Masses across the country.

Catholics are traditionally staunchly pro-life despite their tendency to vote for Democrats. But over the past couple of election cycles, Catholics have slowly begun to wake up to the fact that many prominent Democrats who also profess to be Catholics (think John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi) don’t hold the same values as those that the church endorses.

The Catholic Church is rising to the challenge because they realize this controversy is not just about abortion. It’s also about religious liberty. And they are finally realizing that Democrats that they have worked to elect over the past several decades are not their allies. It’s about time.

Photo of the Day

Three minutes, two teleprompters.

The photo tells the whole story.

If President Bush had done something like this, well… know the rest.

Weekend Links

Some links of interest for your weekend reading:

Four words: He made it worse.

Making a case for tort reform.

The candidate who can win.

Time to end Medicare.

Baseball players are better athletes.

On being an elite, gifted, Socialist student

In the U.K., it seems that gifted students are being ignored by their teachers, lest they fall into the trap of promoting elitism. Per The Daily Mail,

Many teachers are not convinced of the importance of providing more challenging tasks for their gifted and talented pupils.

Bright youngsters told inspectors they were forced to ask for harder work. Others were resentful at being dragooned into ‘mentoring’ weaker pupils.

Teachers feared that a focus on the brightest pupils would ‘undermine the school’s efforts to improve the attainment and progress of all other groups of pupils’.

I find it interesting that the students interviewed expressed frustration at not only the fact that they aren’t getting more challenging tasks, but at also being forced to mentor their weaker (read: less adept) counterparts. Indeed, one has to wonder, if students are being  asked to mentor other students, exactly what are the functions and responsibilities of teachers in U.K. schools?

Yet, I can’t help but conclude that such nonsense is but an outgrowth of a socialist mentality. Socialism, per Wikipedia, may include,

…the view that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital and derives its wealth through exploitation, creates an unequal society, does not provide equal opportunities for everyone to maximise their potentialities and does not utilise technology and resources to their maximum potential nor in the interests of the public.

I’ve noticed some common threads, among those with whom I’ve debated the actions of our current administration: For one, they think that we (whether referring to the U.S. or the world) need to work together for the common good. Also, evil capitalistic greed is what has driven us to the unequal state we now find ourselves in, as a society. And, we should expect the government to be the means with which to provide and regulate the so called common good.

Do you remember this statement?

It’s not that I want to punish your success; I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance for success, too. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.

– candidate Barack Obama

When not reading from his carefully prepared text, Obama tends to reveal himself a bit more clearly. Notice that he thinks we need to make sure that other people behind a successful person (aka less gifted students vs. gifted students) get their chance for success. He also thinks that when the wealth is spread around (aka gifted students forced to mentor less gifted students) it is good for everybody.

As I see it, the problem with socialistic dreaming is that it promotes the notion that human depravity can be ultimately conquered by humans themselves.

The entire course of human history has shown us otherwise.

Can We Fix It?

Now we know where that annoying campaign slogan was really coming from:

Source: GraphJam

White House Goes To War Against Fox News

Frankly I can’t understand why any White House would declare war on a single media outlet but that’s exactly what the Obama Administration has decided to do with Fox News. Fox’s own Brit Hume succinctly points out what a huge losing strategy this is:

Hat tip: Don Surber

Responding to Obama’s Health Care Speech

I had been working on a lengthy post responding to the President’s health care speech and then ran across this column by Shikha Dalmia that makes my case better than I could so I’ll just encourage you to read it instead.

One promise that President Obama isn’t backing away from

From CNN, Obama may quickly reverse abortion policy,

President-elect Barack Obama is considering issuing an executive order to reverse a controversial Bush administration abortion policy in his first week in office, three Democratic sources said Monday.

Obama’s second full day as president falls on the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States.

The sources said Obama may use the occasion to reverse the “Mexico City policy” reinstated in 2001 by Bush that prohibits U.S. money from funding international family planning groups that promote abortion or provide information, counseling or referrals about abortion services. It bans any organization receiving family planning funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development from offering abortions or abortion counseling.

Will you begin your term, President-elect Obama, with an act that may begin to help confirm Robert George’s pronouncement of you being our most pro-abortion president ever?

Amidst the incessant proclamations of history being made, what with Obama’s inauguration,  I can’t help but wonder what Dr. King would think of how Obama has already betrayed, and will continue to betray, the most innocent in our land.

Christians: Pray for Barack Obama

Bush’s Legacy and Obama’s Burden

As we approach the end of George W. Bush’s presidency, many postmortems will be written to explain how horrible or wonderful the President performed depending on point of view. No doubt many liberals will be quick to proclaim Bush as the worst president ever. But he did in fact have many achievements.

I believe that history is likely to judge him far more kindly as time passes. President Bush’s lasting legacy will be the War on Terror. His response to the 9/11 attacks reset forever our approach to terrorism. Unless President-elect Barack Obama totally dismantles the anti-terrorism measures adopted under President Bush (and I don’t think he will), President Bush will long be remembered as the President who forever changed America’s approach to terrorism.

But there are those critics of President Bush who will bring up the economy as evidence of malfeasance on the part of the outgoing President. A couple of factors to consider: (1) the foundation for the economic collapse was laid back during President Clinton’s time in office when regulations restricting lending practices at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and (2) the financial crisis occurred so late in President Bush’s term that there was not time for him to see the crisis to a conclusion.

Come January 20th, the economy will be Obama’s problem. It will be the issue most likely to dominate his presidency much as the Great Depression did for most of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s time in office. The best way that President-elect Obama can succeed is to realize first that blaming President Bush will get him nowhere.

Mr. Obama has stated on several occassions that FDR has been a role model for him as he prepares for the presidency. He would do well to remember that Roosevelt’s economic policies did more to prolong the Great Depression that to relieve it. Unfortunately for him, Democrats have never met a government program that they didn’t like. Unless Mr. Obama can demonstrate a willingness to stand up to his party and try to relieve the economy through other means besides more spending we may be in for tough economic times for many years to come. That will  be the legacy that will dog President Obama, not President Bush.

What was that about “Peace on Earth”?

President-elect Obama, the One, is less than a month to his inauguration and he’s already getting tested.

From CNN, At least 155 killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.

Israeli Maj. Avital Leibovich told CNN the military began the attacks “in order to preserve the security situation in Israel.”

“We are prepared for any type of scenario right now. We have our own operation and assessments as we go along, and we are ready to continue this operation as long as it takes,” Leibovich said by phone from Tel Aviv.

The campaign is over, Barack.

Pray for Barack Obama, and his cabinet.

Prayer, Politics, and Rick Warren

Much has been written about Pastor Rick Warren’s invitation to give the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration in just a few weeks. Many on the left have been upset about the selection of Pastor Warren because of his stance against homosexual marriage. Some on the right are suggesting that he may be compromising the gospel for the sake of political influence.

Pastor Warren is symbolic of what’s happened to evangelicals over the past 30 or so years. The church has forsaken the gospel in favor of gaining political and cultural influence. As a result, principles have been compromised.

If Pastor Warren truly wants to be effective, then he should take Cal Thomas’ advice and be more like the prophet Nathan:

If Obama plans on having Warren as a presence in his presidency, Warren should seek to model himself more after Nathan the prophet. Nathan confronted King David over his affair with Bathsheba, whose husband, Uriah the Hittite, David sent to the front lines to ensure he would be killed so that David could have his wife. God sent Nathan to David. Nathan told David a story about a rich man who stole a poor man’s lamb rather than take one from his own flock to feed a visitor. Nathan asked David what should happen to such a man. David replied, “that man should surely die.” To which Nathan replied, “You are the man.” (2 Samuel 12) Blockquote

Nathan’s confrontation led to David’s repentance and one of the most beautiful Psalms ever written (Psalm 51). The point is that Nathan did not compromise Truth, but confronted David with what he had done wrong. How many modern preachers would confront a president like that? Probably not many if they wanted to maintain access.

Former Governor Mike Huckabee wrote this in his book Do The Right Thing quoting his mentor James Robison:

The prophets of old were rarely invited back for a return engagement. In fact, most of them were never invited the first time. They came to speak truth to power regardless of the consequences.

Governor Huckabee goes on to note that one can be a politician or a prophet but never both. My hope is that Pastor Warren will take this opportunity to be a prophet and not worry about being invited by President Obama for another speaking engagement.

“Never Allow A Crisis To Go To Waste”

The top issue on President-Elect Barack Obama’s agenda on January 20 will no doubt be the economy. Over the weekend, Mr. Obama gave a hint of who he was looking for as a role model in an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes:

(CBS) Kroft: Have you been reading anything about the Depression? Anything about FDR?
Mr. Obama: You know, I have actually. There’s a new book out about FDR’s first 100 days and what you see in FDR that I hope my team can–emulate, is not always getting it right, but projecting a sense of confidence, and a willingness to try things. And experiment in order to get people working again.

The problem is that such experimenting that Mr. Obama is referring to could very well be rehashing old liberal ideas. Ironically, FDR did the same thing according to Amity Shlaes:

The trouble with new financial crises is that they provide pretexts for implementing old social agendas. As the president-elect’s new chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said recently, “never allow a crisis to go to waste.”

Consider President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, which President-elect Barack Obama invokes when he talks of “a defining moment.” Like Obama today, FDR was inaugurated into trouble. He wisely addressed the financial crisis through the steps that we learned about in school. He signed deposit insurance into law, reassuring savers. He created the Securities and Exchange Commission, making the stock market more transparent and consistent. He soothed our grandparents via his radio Fireside Chats. This was the FDR we love.

But FDR also used the crisis mood to push through an unprecedented program of reforms that progressives had been hoping to put in place for years. Sen. George Norris of Nebraska, for example, had for decades argued that utilities should be in the public, not the private, sector. As far back as the early ’20s, Norris wanted to build a big power project on Tennessee River. He wanted the government – and not the Ford Motor Company, which was drawing up such plans – to be in charge. FDR made Norris’ progressive dream a reality by creating the publicly owned Tennessee Valley Authority. Washington won out, but it wasn’t clear its power served the South down the decades.

Miss Shlaes goes on in the column to document other spectacular failures of experimentation in the New Deal including the NRA. The entire column is, of course, worth reading.
I’ve just started reading Miss Shlaes’ book The Forgotten Man: A New History of The Great Depression. Perhaps Mr. Obama would be well served to also read it before he takes office. While some of FDR’s experiments were huge successes, many were not. President-Elect Obama should be careful to not experiment with solutions simply for the sake of experimentation. Yes, voters asked for change but more importantly they want governmeent to deliver solutions and not create more problems. FDR’s legacy was one of creating as many economic problems as he did solutions. Perhaps Obama can avoid repeating that legacy.

Another New Deal? Let’s Hope Not

President-elect Barack Obama frequently referred to the state of the economy as the worst since the Great Depression during the most recent campaign. But adopting New Deal policies like those imposed by Franklin Roosevelt would be a mistake according to author Amity Shlaes (The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression):

The historical model that the Democrats are choosing to hold up as they ponder our financial crisis isn’t Harry Truman’s Fair Deal or Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. It is Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. At least three economic reforms under discussion now were also central in the New Deal package. Trouble is, these reforms didn’t necessarily work well when they were first tried – and some failed outright.

Roosevelt tried a stimulus package and investment in infrastructure both of which are being considered under the incoming Obama administration. But Roosevelt’s leadership style was also a huge liability:

Even more than specific New Deal projects, Obama and his fellow Democrats are evoking Roosevelt’s leadership style. In school, we learned that it was FDR’s personality that pulled the country through the Depression. If only, the suggestion is, we can have a strong enough leader, Americans will also find recovery again. We need some “bold persistent experimentation” of the Roosevelt variety.

There is evidence, however, that FDR’s very strength was a negative, because he used it to give himself a license to do true experimenting. In his second inaugural address, FDR said that he sought “an instrument of unimagined power for the establishment of a morally better world.”
No one knew what it meant, and markets were terrified. Everyone feared FDR would regulate or prosecute them next. Businesses refused to invest. The 1930s’ second half proved frustrating for the country: The economy was always recovering but never quite recovered. The Dow didn’t get back to its 1929 level until the mid-’50s.

President-elect Obama will be under tremendous pressure come Inauguration Day to do something to fix the economy if it isn’t already back on track by then. If history is any guide, repeating the failed policies of FDR is not the answer that America needs.

Why “My President is Black” is incorrect

Via Malkin, it seems we have a new slogan, what with the election of Barack Obama.



Truth be told, Barack Obama is half black and half white. In other words, he’s biracial.

Martin Luther King said, in his I Have a Dream speech, that he dreamed of the day when his children would

not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

So, let’s encourage supporters of Barack Obama to start following Dr. King’s wishes, and not focus so much attention on the color of Obama’s skin. Or, if they must draw attention to it, to at least begin admitting that, Our President is Black & White.


Obama In His Own Words

As Jim Geraghty says, “All Barack Obama Statements Come With an Expiration Date. All Of Them.” Mary Katherine Ham, who is without a doubt one of the most talented bloggers in the center-right blogosphere, pulled together the video clips and compiled them into the video below. Hat tip: The Corner

Ask yourself this question: can we really trust anything Senator Obama says?

I don’t think so.

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