Archive for January 8th, 2010

An Urgent Plea for Help

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Missi and I have, to date, never taken any financial help in regards to the website and blog. We have always been able to take care of the financial portion without asking for help.
This year is different. With the bad economy effecting my income, my cancer last summer and a change in the due date for our webhost renewal, we are in position this year where we are going to have to ask for assistance.
The bottom line is that we must raise $250 by January 9, 2010 in order to keep the website and blog running.
So I am turning to our readers for help. If there is anything you can do to help us, we would be very grateful.
We are not a non-profit group, so anything you gave us would not be tax deductible.
Please click on the PayPal link in our sidebar, if you feel you can help. If you wish to send a check or use some other method, please email me so I can give you specific information.
Thank you for considering this request. Please know how hard it is to write it to begin with. The matter is in God’s hands no matter what happens.
God Bless you all.
-Steve and Missi

Arizona Sheriff ‘Tough’ on Illegal Aliens Probed by Federal Grand Jury

Friday, January 8th, 2010

PHOENIX — Two officials said Thursday night they have been subpoenaed to answer questions next week before a federal grand jury about a high-profile Arizona sheriff who gained attention for aggressively cracking down on illegal immigration.

In statements read by a county spokesman, Maricopa County Manager David Smith and Deputy County Manager Sandi Wilson said they met with a federal prosecutor to discuss the case and will testify Wednesday.

Wilson said the general subject of the inquiry was abuses by Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office. Neither Wilson nor Smith offered specifics, said county spokesman Richard de Uriarte, who spoke with the two officials Thursday night.

Arpaio is widely known for tough jail policies and pushing the bounds on local immigration efforts. He has led a dozen crime and immigration sweeps, some in heavily Latino areas.

Critics allege that some of Arpaio’s deputies racially profiled people during immigration sweeps. But Arpaio maintains that people pulled over in the sweeps were approached because deputies had probable cause to believe they had committed crimes.

Sheriff’s spokesman Brian Lee said Arpaio was declining to comment on reports of the investigation. “He has stated that we will conduct business as usual,” Lee said.

Original Link.

“His ‘Highness’ or His ‘Highhandedness’?” by David Limbaugh

Friday, January 8th, 2010

The more we read about Obama’s health care scheme and his handling of it the more obvious his arrogance and contempt for the people become.

This is stunning behavior, really, for any administration (and his party), but especially one that holds itself out as a servant of the people and a model of transparency.

Just consider headlines from the past few days: “Obama Reneges on Health Care Transparency: As a Candidate, President Obama Promised to Put Health Care Reform Negotiations on C-SPAN,” “White House REFUSES To Discuss Broken C-Span Promise,” “Dems Will Bypass Conference Committee To Get Health Care Passed,” “Sources: Obama, Dems to sidestep GOP on health care,” “Hatch: Healthcare bill ‘rich’ for challenges on constitutionality,” “AP sources: Obama OKs taxing high-end health plans,” “Obama Pushes for Quick Health Care Deal,” “Conference Committee Bypassed,” “House Will Vote on Pro-Abortion Senate Bill” and — get this one — “Pelosi: ‘There Has Never Been a More Open Process.'”

Seriously, who do these people think they are? No wonder they always assumed the worst of former President George W. Bush and then accused him of sinister motives he never had and actions he never committed. As I’ve noted before, they were projecting. They knew how they would behave if in power. Now, once again, they’re proving it.

Think about it. Obama promised at least eight times — memorialized in video recordings — that he would air health care debates and negotiations on C-SPAN for all to see. If you watch the videos, you’ll notice that he was even wearing that smug, self-righteous look as he made his deceitful pledge, as if to say: “When I take over, we are finally going to return power to the people. We’ll be open and transparent. We won’t behave as Washington politicians are used to behaving. We’re better than that. We’re morally superior.”

But now, his highness is not only not going to air the negotiations on television; he and his party are making sure to negotiate behind closed doors, period. Even the Republicans — you know, that other political party — will not be invited or permitted to participate in the discussions.

It gets worse. When pressed to respond to the open-and-shut claim that he deceived the people in promising a transparent process, he simply says — through his disgraceful surrogates — that he isn’t going to be bothered to discuss it. He doesn’t have to explain himself. He’s the messiah. Who are we to doubt — much less question — him?

Keep in mind, folks, that this is a bill the public has clearly indicated it does not want passed. Americans are not ready for socialized medicine. But Obama and his party don’t care. They are forcing it down our throats as quickly as they can, unilaterally — to borrow their favorite term to criticize President Bush’s foreign policy.

The White House is also being completely dismissive — another term Obama is fond of using, to describe the United States before he ascended to the throne — concerning legitimate questions about the constitutionality of Obamacare.

Read the rest of the article here.

“Harry Reid’s Corrupt Christmas Present” An Email From Newt Gingrich

Friday, January 8th, 2010

The Democratic leaders of the House and the Senate reportedly are planning on finalizing their differing health care “reform” bills in secret.

That’s right. They’re kicking out the C-SPAN cameras and planning on huddling behind closed doors with a few Obama Administration power brokers to transform the American health care system.

Not that anyone should be surprised by this, of course. “Secret” and “corrupt” are the two words that best describe the process by which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid produced his trillion-dollar government takeover of our health care system.

A First Look At Harry Reid’s Corrupt Christmas Present

The American people didn’t have much of a chance to get a good look at Senator Reid’s corrupt Christmas present before it was passed. The legislation would dramatically expand the power and scope of the federal government – and fail to fix any of the problems we face.

That continues the course of action that Democrats have taken this entire year on health reform. Every bill that has been introduced, from the House Tri-Committee bill this summer to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee to Harry Reid’s latest bill, the recipe is the same: More regulation, higher taxes, bigger government, less control for you.

Here are just a few of the Reid bill’s details:

* 2,409 pages (by comparison, the legislation that created Social Security was just 82 pages long)

* $518 billion in tax increases (Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office)

* $466 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid (CBO)

* Many costs of the legislation won’t begin until 2014, but taxes will be imposed immediately (CBO)

* Federal outlays for health care would increase by about $200 billion between 2010-2019 (CBO)

* $26 billion of unfunded mandates to states over the next 10 years that will likely result in higher taxes (CBO)

* Would increase non-group premiums by $300 per individual and $2,100 per family (CBO)

* Up to 10 million people will lose their current health insurance coverage under the bill (CBO)

* Adds a 10% tax on indoor tanning services (Section 10907)

No Christmas Miracle, Just a Lot of Washington Payoffs

As I mentioned before, Harry Reid didn’t need a Christmas miracle to pass this massive bill. Instead he used an approach more appropriate for The Sopranos than for the nation’s capital: payoffs. There may not have been any smoke-filled rooms, but there were plenty of shady deals.

The most egregious were those for Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska. He was the final holdout. Without his support, the bill would have been stopped. But Ben buckled under the pressure.

He was particularly pliable on his demands that no federal funding go to cover abortions. Instead he accepted a watered down compromise that allows individual states to prohibit plans that cover abortion services—a compromise that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and numerous pro-life groups denounced as paving the way for federally funded abortions.

The Nebraska Exemption to Higher Medicaid Costs

But when Harry Reid needed his vote, Sen. Nelson took the money and ran — $100 million to be exact. Nebraska will be the only state in the country where the full costs of Medicaid expansion will be covered by the federal government. Specialty hospitals in Nebraska will be exempted from new regulations. The state’s largest insurers will be shielded from new regulations. Here are the details of the Nebraska Exemption:

* Federal government fully finances Medicaid expansion for two years and then increases its matching funds (known as FMAP) thereafter to 100% — in perpetuity (Section 10201), totaling about $100 million

* Reid bill specifically identifies Nebraska for higher federal matching funds, fully funding its expansion for an additional year

* Carve outs for physician-owned hospitals in Nebraska

* Physician self-referral exemptions within Nebraska

* Nelson’s abortion compromise: a state may elect to prohibit abortion coverage in qualified health plans offered through an exchange if the state enacts a law to prohibit it

* Shields two Nebraska insurers from taxes that other plans will pay: Mutual of Omaha and Blue Cross/Blue Shield (language crafted so it only affects these two in Nebraska)

The Roll Call of Shame:
Senator Nelson Wasn’t the Only Senator Bought Off

But Sen. Nelson wasn’t the only senator to be bought off by Majority Leader Reid. More than a dozen other states received special goodies, including:

* Louisiana
$300 million in additional Medicaid funding

* Vermont
2.2% FMAP increase for 6 years for Vermont Medicaid program
$600 million in additional Medicaid funding (CBO)

* Massachusetts
0.5% FMAP increase for 3 years for their entire program
$500 million in additional Medicaid funding (CBO)

* Hawaii
Restores DSH funding eliminated in the past to expand Medicaid eligibility

* Michigan
Adjusts payments to hospitals according to local wage levels, which when adjusted aids Michigan Exemption for non-profit insurers in the state from large excise tax

* Connecticut
$100 million earmark for construction of a University of Connecticut hospital

* Montana
Medicare coverage for individuals exposed to environmental health hazards in or around the geographic area of Libby, Mont., subject to an emergency declaration as of 6/17/09

* South Dakota , North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana
Adds 1% hospital wage index
Adds 1% practice index for physicians to cover geographic cost differences

A Massive Bill, Compiled in Secret and Negotiated Through Corruption, Will Now Be Finalized in Secret

And so it has come to this: A massive bill, compiled in secret, negotiated through corruption, and passed by a party-line vote, will now be finalized in secret.

Americans deserved better for Christmas.

Reports are that House and Senate Democrats will go around the normal legislative process of a formal, transparent conference to iron out their differences. (This chart written by Democratic staffers provides a good summary of both bills, though it also includes a lot of spin.) But rather than a representative group of lawmakers from each chamber negotiating in good faith in the open, House Speaker Pelosi, Senate Leader Reid, and White House officials are planning to do the work themselves, locking out the vast majority of lawmakers—from both parties.

If these secret proceedings are not stopped, the American people, through our representatives in Congress, will be presented with a done deal. If 2009 is any guide, the final vote will then be called before many members of Congress or the public has a chance to read, understand, and debate the details of the final bill. And in the end, the American people will be left to speculate as to the corrupt bargains that were required to see this monstrosity through to final passage.

Turn on the C-SPAN cameras

But this does not have to be the outcome. Americans do not want our lawmaking to be done in secret. In 2008, then-candidate Obama condemned “negotiating behind closed doors” and instead called for “bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are, because part of what we have to do is enlist the American people in this process.” In this spirit of candidate Obama, C-SPAN Chairman Brian Lamb asked congressional leaders this week to let the American people have a seat at the table where decisions affecting every single American will be made and to allow C-SPAN to cover the health care negotiations among Senate, House, and White House representatives.

President Obama was right in 2008 as a candidate. Brian Lamb is right today. These health care negotiations should be held in the open and C-SPAN should be allowed to provide coverage so that all Americans can see how health legislation will affect their lives.

Open, honest government should be an American birthright. Joining Brian Lamb in requesting our elected leaders to live up to a minimum standard of openness and honesty is one New Year’s resolution that every American can agree on.

“PRAY FOR MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY” a Letter From the Alliance Defense Fund

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Dear Steve,

For 16 years, the Alliance Defense Fund and our allied attorneys have been at the forefront of the battle to preserve marriage in America as the union of one man and one woman – and we’ve won 39 out of 48 marriage cases litigated to completion. But today, your prayers are needed like never before. (John 15:5)

The epicenter of the marriage battle is currently in California, where ADF is defending Proposition 8, the state constitutional marriage amendment enacted by 7 million California voters in 2008 upholding marriage as the union between one man and one woman. But advocates of same-sex “marriage” have filed a lawsuit claiming that marriage defined as the union of one man and one woman violates the United States Constitution.

This Monday, the Proposition 8 legal defense team, comprised of the ADF Marriage Litigation team, allied attorney Andy Pugno, and the Washington, D.C.-based allied law firm Cooper & Kirk, PLLC, will begin a trial before the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to defend the future of marriage and the family in California.

The stakes in this battle are extremely high, as this case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, could go all the way to the United States Supreme Court, which could be asked to decide marriage issues for all 50 states. This case will determine what tomorrow will look like in America for marriage and the family. A loss could result in the re-definition of marriage and the erosion of our nation’s foundation of religious freedom.

By God’s grace, ADF and God’s plan for marriage will prevail – but we need your prayers. “If we ask anything according to God’s will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14)

Please join us in faithfully praying for these specific requests:

1. Pray for strength and perseverance in what will be a long-term legal battle, most likely going all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
2. Pray for wisdom from the judges and that they will rule on the merits of the case, free of any personal bias.
3. Pray that ADF will continue to have the financial and manpower capacity for not only this case, but the numerous other challenges to marriage and religious freedom across America.

Thank you for your fervent prayers and for standing with ADF to defend marriage as the union God intended – between one man and one woman. May God bless you and the United States of America!

“It’s Freezing: Must Be Global Warming” by Mona Charen

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Great swaths of Britain are buried under more than a foot of snow as the country shivers through the coldest winter since 1981. Airports have been shut down, trains have been canceled, and the army had to be called out to rescue more than 1,000 motorists stranded in Hampshire.

In Germany, most of which is also blanketed in white, temperatures have dipped to record lows of -7.6 F degrees. In Norway, reports the AP, the thermometer read -42 F degrees Jan. 5, the coldest reading since 1987.

The eastern two-thirds of the United States are coping with unusually severe cold. Atlantic, Iowa posted a temperature of 29 below zero, breaking a record set in 1958. Florida’s $9.3-billion citrus crop hangs in the balance as the coldest weather in years is draping palm fronds with icicles and causing iguanas to drop frozen from the trees.

Could it be global cooling? A Tory MP was jeered for suggesting as much in parliament. If the members had been hooting the unscientific use of particular weather to draw vast conclusions about climate, the derision would have been justified. But the avatars of climate change have been over-interpreting changeable weather for years. So the members were probably just towing the climate change party line with their catcalls.

The cold snap has spurred the “warmists” to spin control. Here’s a typical AP headline: “Cold Weather Doesn’t Disprove Global Warming: Experts.” And this from the Voice of America: “Meteorologists: Global Warming and Cold Weather Go Hand-In-Hand.” The World Meteorological Organization is at pains to distinguish between weather and climate. “I think we have to be careful not to interpret any single event as a proof of either warming or the fact that warming has stopped,” cautioned Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.

Ah. Where has he been? As recently as 11 months ago, when brushfires raged across Australia, the “experts” were ready with interpretations. “Why Global Warming May Be Fueling Australia’s Fires,” reported Time magazine. The Huffington Post quoted Neville Nicholls, “an expert on climate change and wildfires” at Australia’s Monash University: “The terrible events of the past couple of weeks are, without doubt, partly the result of global warming and the greenhouse effect.” Can’t have doubt, can we?

CBS’s morning show chimed in with this report from correspondent Daniel Sieberg: ” … a dire new warning from scientists says the amount of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide is higher than predicted … Scientists say those higher temperatures are fueling the intensity of wildfires, now raging in places like Australia … (It’s) a vicious cycle — each changing ecosystem affecting the other and made worse by human activities. For environmentalists and many others, it’s a cycle that needs to be broken. And soon.”

Read the rest of the article here.