March 21, 2010

Doug Ross on the ‘Bought Stupak’ Sellout (See Updates; Final Vote 219-212, Driehaus Votes ‘Yes’)

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:51 pm

Reacting to the Stupak sellout:

Stupak: the Sanctity of Life is Important to Us, Which is Why We Will Slash Care for Old People and Further Enslave Children to Massive Deficits

… The bill uses every account gimmick known to man — including slashing Medicare payments (really humane, Bart) and double-counting the cuts — and invents a few new ones to create a brand new entitlement when the country is already in dire financial straits.

This bill fundamentally changes the relationship between the federal government and the people; and it does so in a despicably evil way …

Congratulations, Bart Stupak and your so-called “Pro-Life” Democrat Caucus, you’ve sentenced the unborn generations of this country to misery, poverty and economic ruin.

Not yet, but on the verge … with a possible Plan B (also here).

Stupak’s cave-in is best seen as the final result of the abject failure of the pro-life movement to make the arguments put forth here last summer.

______________________________________________________

UPDATE: Further proof that there is no such thing as a pro-life Democrat — because when it matters, human life is not as important as the advancement of statism. That is in essence what Stupak said last year (HT HyScience) –

UPDATE, 8:35 p.m: Phyllis Schlafly

“This vote will expose the myth of the ‘pro-life Democrat.’ With this single vote, the Democratic Party will divide our nation into the Party of Death and the Party of Life, and future elections will never be the same.”

“Someone” made the point that there are no pro-life Democrats as long as they support a the most radically anti-life president ever as their standard-bearer back in October 2008.

UPDATE, 8:55 p.m.: Received in a GOP Leader e-mail –

  • “If the bill is signed into law, these statutory requirements and defects are not subject to correction or nullification by the chief executive or his appointees, whether by Executive Order, regulation, or otherwise.” (National Right to Life Committee statement)
  • “An Executive Order cannot prevent insurance companies that pay for abortions from participating in the exchanges. Further, Executive Orders can be undone or modified as quickly as they are created. This is a blatant attempt to subvert democracy and should be quickly quashed.” (Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President & CEO of Americans United for Life Action)
  • “If the Obama Administration continued to falsely believe the Senate bill had no problem on the issue of funding abortion and funding health plans that include abortion, he certainly would not put forth the idea of an EO. Because of an EO would give no protections to the unborn when it comes to funding for abortion in the Senate and Reconciliation bills, FRCAction will still score votes on both in our scorecard for the Second Session of the 111th Congress.” (FRC letter to members of Congress)

UPDATE, 9:05 p.m.: Via Fox (HT Hot Air) –

Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the group was revoking its “Defender of Life” award to Stupak, which was to be awarded at its Wednesday night gala.

“We were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform. We will no longer be doing so,” Dannenfelser said. “Let me be clear: any representative, including Rep. Stupak, who votes for this health care bill can no longer call themselves ‘pro-life.’”

UPDATE, 10:50 p.m.: Plan C.

UPDATE, 10:55 p.m.: Does anyone think that Mike “ObamaCare Is Stopped Because of My Gang of 14” DeWine would care to comment?

UPDATE, 11:00 p.m.: 219-212 (roll call link coming tomorrow). Stupak’s sell-out made the difference. Current Drudge headline: “Day Which Will Live in Infirmary.”

UPDATE, 8:00 a.m., March 22: Roll call is here. Driehaus sold out with Stupak.

What She Said

Filed under: Activism,Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:12 am

Read:

AnchoressOnPelositStJoseph031910

‘Twas the Eve of State Health Care

NoObamaCare0809With non-festive apologies to Clement Clarke Moore.

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Note: This item orginally went up at Pajamas Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Friday.

Update: If we’re to believe ‘em, Congress has abandoned the Slaughter Rule attempt referenced in what follows. But it appears that they are open to using it in other matters in the future (i.e., they won’t “won’t use the tactic of deem and pass for healthcare reform”).

___________________

‘Twas the eve of state health care, and all through the House
The bill was unread even by the head louse.
The statists hung ’round with a faux-festive air,
Hoping their awful “dream” would indeed soon be there.

The USA’s children were snug in their beds,
Unaware of the pain being laid on their heads.
Everyday people opposed to this crap,
Wondered when or if DC’s hypnosis would snap.

When out from O’s House there arose such a clatter,
‘Twas the President’s flacks and their usual chatter.
They showed docs in white coats supporting this trash,
Using children as props as they threw around cash.

The Speaker stood forth for her part in the show,
It will be when we pass it that you’ll get to know,
The wonders we’re bringing that statists will cheer,
Creating more wards who’ll elect us for years.”

They were led by a punk, not so lively or slick,
Who knew that to pass it the thing must go quick.
For this speed the protests and polls were to blame,
So he called out supporters and hailed them by name:

“Axelrod, Zeke the Bleak,
Plouffe and Michelle!
Pelosi and Reid,
Now unleash health care hell!
Take the world’s best system,
Reorder it all.
Stop doc-patient decisions.
Now we’ll make them all.”

What they said ’bout the bill was just lie after lie,
Many wouldn’t support it, and this explains why
They turned to Ms. Slaughter, who took time to note,
That they’d “deem” it a law without taking a vote.

They’d rely on the bill that had gone through the Senate,
Then promised repair (not that they really meant it).
Our dear Constitution they’d turn on its ears,
But they hoped that somehow they’d save their careers.

The American people were fit to be tied,
What about unemployment, the jobs that have died?
What about all the other things you’ve tried to manage,
Like Medicare and FICA, with trillions in damage?

Their emotions transformed into true righteous rage,
At the bill’s loss of freedoms its passage presaged.
New burdens on businesses, families, and workers,
That only might help whiny fakes and tear-jerkers.

They knew their well-being would be second to money,
That “just take the darn pill” was not even funny.
While they saw its supporters on so many channels
Praise what they knew would soon lead to death panels.

The clergy and faithful were late to the game,
Their fetal concerns were important but lame,
Compared to the nightmarish loss of control
Over life-death decisions because of “the whole.”

This weakness gave statists the room to create
A fig leaf of “concern” that might yet save its fate.
If it becomes law it is so sad to state,
That pro-lifers weighed in with too little, too late.

So we’ll lobby and call and send e-mail and faxes,
Objecting to bloat and the myriad taxes.
But it might become law because we didn’t see,
That it’s really about whether we’ll remain free.

Positivity: Beatification date announced for Italian teenager who died in 1989

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:54 am

From Rome:

Mar 19, 2010 / 03:32 pm

Venerable Chiara Badano will be beatified next fall, the Bishop of the Diocese of Acqui, Italy announced on Friday. She provides a “meaningful” testimony to young people because she never lost sight of God in the midst of her battle with terminal cancer.

Bishop Pier Giorgio Micchiardi and the postulator of the Chiara Badano’s Cause for Canonization announced on Friday that the date for her beatification is set for Sept. 25, 2010, according to SIR news.

Bishop Micchiardi’s predecessor, now retired Bishop Livio Maritano, explained his reasons for putting the beatification process in motion for the girl who died in 1989, saying, “It seemed to me that her testimony was meaningful, particularly for young people.”

According to an official website created in Chiara’s honor, she lived a short, but intensely spiritual life before she succumbed to ravages of osteosarcoma, a malignant bone cancer.

The story of her life reveals an immense love for Christ and an inexhaustible faith in God’s will. From the time she found out about the disease, she was often heard saying “If you want it Jesus, so do I.”

As the disease ran its course over the period of three years, she was never heard complaining. After an operation left her paralyzed and suffering from extremely painful and constant leg contractions, she even said, “If I were now asked if I want to walk, I would say no, because this way I am closer to Jesus.”

Having become a member of the Focolari Movement at the age of nine, she was said to have had a “mother-daughter like relationship” with its foundress, Chiara Lubich, who nicknamed her “Luce” or “Light.”

Stories on the website dedicated to her relate that the young girl often reflected on the words of the foundress, “I’ll be a saint, if I’m a saint now.”

Contemplating the life of Chiara Badano and her example, Bishop Maritano explained, “There is a need for holiness also today.” Her life is a “witness of faith, of strength fortitude” that instigates many people to change their lives, said the Italian bishop, adding that, “we have almost daily testimony of it.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

NYT Print Edition: Financially Imperiled ACORN ‘Attacked by the Right’

NYTfrontPageACORN032010Who knew that two brave twenty-somethings and a skilled mentor constituted America’s entire right wing?

That’s apparently how Ian Urbina at the New York Times sees it. In a subheadline employed in a front-page article in the paper’s March 20 print edition (relevant portion shown at right) but not used in the online edition’s version, the reporter told readers that the poor, put-upon Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is on the brink of bankruptcy because it was “ATTACKED BY” the streamrolling monolith known at “THE RIGHT WING” (cue the scare music and the blood-curdling scream).

Actually, it was filmmaker James O’Keefe, his investigative partner Hannah Giles, and Andrew Breitbart, the pair’s take-no-prisoners mentor. Three people, hardly “the right wing,” basically did it all. What followed — the de-fundings, the abandonments by former political and corporate friends, and now apparently its imminent financial demise — was largely inevitable fallout from a brilliantly conceived series of stings followed by a savvily managed exposure campaign that ultimately forced holdout establishment media publications, including the Times itself, to play catch-up after days of embarrassing unprofessional silence.

Obviously, that’s not how Urbina sees it, occasionally with barely concealed bitterness (bolds are mine throughout this post):

The community organizing group Acorn, battered politically from the right and suffering from mismanagement along with a severe loss of government and other funds, is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy, officials of the group said Friday.

Acorn is holding a teleconference this weekend to discuss plans for a bankruptcy filing, two officials of the group said. They asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the news media.

Over the last six months, at least 15 of the group’s 30 state chapters have disbanded and have no plans of re-forming, Acorn officials said. The California and New York chapters, two of the largest, have severed their ties to the national group and have independently reconstituted themselves with new names. Several other state groups are also re-forming outside the Acorn umbrella, and will not be affected if the national organization files for bankruptcy.

This week, the Maryland chapter announced that it would not reopen its offices, which were shuttered in September in the wake of a widely publicized series of video recordings made by two conservative activists, posing as a prostitute and a pimp, who secretly filmed Acorn workers providing them tax advice. In the videos, Acorn workers told one of the activists, James E. O’Keefe III, how to hide prostitution activities from the authorities and avoid taxes, raising no objections to his proposed criminal activities.

After the activists’ videos came to light and swiftly became fodder for 24-hour cable news coverage, private donations from foundations to Acorn all but evaporated and the federal government quickly distanced itself from the group.

Yep, if it wasn’t for Fox News, Urbina apparently reasons, we might have been able to get away with ignoring those dumb videos and ACORN would still be viable. Puh-leeze.

Urbina goes on to try to impress us with a few statistics about the organization’s allegedly noble endeavors:

A network that once included more than 1,000 grass-roots groups, Acorn, which stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, was created in 1970 and has fought for liberal causes like raising the minimum wage, registering the poor to vote, stopping predatory lending and expanding affordable housing. The organization helped roughly 150,000 lower-income families prepare their tax returns and obtain $190 million in tax refunds between 2004 and 2009, Acorn officials said.

As I pointed out last September (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), that supposedly impressive tax stat, amounting to 25,000 returns per year, is really laughably unimpressive (a previous link to King County has been removed because its content has since been changed):

25,000 returns nationwide? That’s … just over 200 per year in each of ACORN’s 110 cities, and likely includes a lot of repeat-year returns that are pretty easy to prepare.

By contrast, here’s just one example of a United Way taxpayer assistance outreach effort out of Washington state (bold is mine):

“In 2009, 530 volunteers dedicated 16,000 hours to United Way of King County’s Free Tax Prep Campaign. Volunteers prepared 13,631 tax returns, helped return $17.3 million in federal refunds back to the community, including $5.2 million in Earned Income Tax Credits, and saved customers an estimated $1 million in tax preparation fees.”

The King County group, in just one metro area, did over half as many returns as ACORN did in the entire country, and provided their services for free.

… reporters should be ashamed that they have ignored the obvious indications that ACORN’s offices really accomplish very little of value on behalf of the poor people they allegedly serve.

It would appear that Mr. Urbina was unaware of how truly pathetic the ACORN performance was, because he was actually touting it. If he had recognized it, he might have asked this critical question: What in the world have these people been doing?

Mr. Urbina wrote up part of the answer in a later paragraph:

In Pittsburgh, Acorn officials said they were trying to continue work while they decided whether to stay with the national organization or form a new one. Maryellen Hayden, the volunteer director of Allegheny County’s Acorn, said the group was continuing to counsel people facing foreclosure and had recently sent two buses with dozens of members to Washington to rally for the Democratic health care bill.

The answer, of course, is that ACORN was really all about leftist activism. Tax return prep, housing assistance, and other services served as fig leafs to conceal the organization’s real aims, which were (and will be, if or when successors get back on their feet) to radicalize communities, test the limits of election control systems, and, when called upon, intimidate vulnerable targets.

The country owes O’Keefe, Giles, and Breitbart a debt of bottomless gratitude for decimating this once insufferably arrogant and defiant bunch. Too bad Ian Urbina and the establishment media don’t see it that way.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.