December 13, 2014

Barely News: Congresswoman Lummis’s ‘Most Moving Moment’ at Gruber Hearing defines “glib” as “readily fluent, often thoughtlessly, superficially, or insincerely so.”

Jonathan Gruber’s apology at his Tuesday congressional hearing included that word. The word, especially the “superficial” element of its definition, applies to how the establishment press covered the hearing. With only rare exceptions, it excluded any mention of what has accurately been called “the most moving moment of the Gruber hearing”: Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis’s emotional recounting of how her husband died while the status of his coverage under Obamacare was in dispute.


Positivity: Pro-life ad group sees unprecedented success in 2014

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Austin, Texas:

Dec 12, 2014 / 07:09 pm

Heroic Media is celebrating their most successful year yet, reporting their pro-life ads have generated more than 360,000 responses, the highest number in the apostolate’s ten-year history.

“This is more than a number for us – every woman we are able to connect with a pregnancy center means a potential life saved,” Joe Young, vice president of operations at Heroic Media, said in a Dec. 9 statement.

Heroic Media is a pro-life organization that uses a variety of media outlets to connect pregnant women to life-affirming resources, utilizing information and pregnancy centers to provide women with alternative choices to abortion.

“Heroic Media is committed to serving women with positive messages. Our team of media experts works to produce and place research-based messages to meet women right where they are,” stated Marissa Cope, director of marketing for Heroic Media.

The more than 360,000 persons who contacted Heroic Media because of its advertising were given access to information about pregnancy resources and support. Contacts included texts, chats, online clicks, website visit, and calls to pregnancy centers.

“We empower women with information and access to hopeful, life-affirming resources,” Cope stated.

Those who responded to Heroic Media were given access to pregnancy centers across the country for support and information. Various pregnancy centers nationwide teamed with Heroic Media to spread life-affirming messages, promoting adoption instead of abortion as a viable option. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

December 12, 2014

Congresswoman’s Husband Dies While in Obamacare Limbo

I was hoping to do more with this item this morning, but getting ready for this got in the way (I know, it’s late notice for those who don’t go to Facebook, but hopefully a few readers will be able to make it to the musical extravaganza described at the links).

Anyway, Wyoming Republican Congresswomn Cynthia Lummis gave her own form of testimony during the John Gruber hearing on Tuesday (beginnning at the 0:45 mark in the video below). Since the establishment press has decided it’s not newsworthy — and they’re full of crap, as usual — I’m showing it below (HT Western Journalism Center and others):

Money quote:

… the so-called ‘glibness’ that has been referenced today have direct consequences for real American people. So get over your damn glibness.”

This whole administration can take its arrogant glibness and put it where the sun doesn’t shine.

December 8, 2014

Positivty: Little Sisters in court — Don’t stop our ministry of serving the dying poor

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:23 pm

From Denver:

Dec 8, 2014 / 05:30 pm

The Little Sisters of the Poor asked an appeals court Monday to shield them from the federal contraception mandate, saying that it threatens their 175 years of service to the poor and dying.

“As Little Sisters of the Poor, we offer the neediest elderly of every race and religion a home where they will be welcomed as Christ, cared for as family and accompanied with dignity until God calls them to Himself,” Mother Loraine Marie Maguire told members of the press.

“But now the government demands we choose between our care for the elderly poor and our faith. We cannot do that and we should not have to.”

Mother Maguire’s comments came after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals listened to oral arguments in the Little Sisters’ lawsuit against the HHS Mandate in Denver.

The oral arguments fell on Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a special day for the religious community.

“Little Sisters around the world renew their vows each year on the feast of the Immaculate. Please be assured of our prayers for you on this beautiful feast day,” a note on their website reads, which also asks for prayers for the success of the lawsuit.

Over a year ago, the Little Sisters of the Poor, aided by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, filed a lawsuit challenging the federal contraception mandate under the Affordable Care Act, which requires employers to offer health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization and some drugs that may cause early abortions.

Amid religious freedom concerns, the Obama administration revised the initial mandate, allowing religious employers such as the Little Sisters to sign a form that would trigger a separate health benefit provider to offer the coverage instead.

The Little Sisters object that they cannot in good conscience sign the form because it authorizes a third-party insurance company to provide the very products and procedures they believe to be gravely immoral. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

December 4, 2014

Positivity: Church ‘crucial’ to fighting AIDS; US must keep funding

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Dec 1, 2014 / 05:08 pm

The Church’s involvement in fighting AIDS is crucial and it must keep receiving funding from the U.S. for the number of infections to drop, said a health expert with Catholic Relief Services on World AIDS Day.

“We’ve seen a lot of positive outcomes in programs managed by the Church,” Dr. Jean Claude Kazadi told CNA.

He emphasized that the “comprehensive” focus on medication-based treatment combined with individual and communal empowerment is the “most effective way” of treating the disease.

Kazadi is the senior technical health advisor for Catholic Relief Services. He spoke with CNA on World AIDS Day, December 1, about the work CRS does in fighting and treating AIDS globally.

It is a comprehensive approach that seeks to empower the individual and the community through providing medication, he said, while also ensuring that infected persons take the medication daily and are held accountable by those living around them.

“You cannot have a good outcome,” Kazadi warned, “without getting (medications) involved.”

Medications can reduce the reach of AIDS, but they must be taken regularly for life. When the anti-retroviral medication is combined with all the rest of the treatments, the risk of spreading the disease is reduced by 96 percent, he maintained.

By focusing on medication-based treatment, Catholic Relief Services is thus able to prevent the spread of AIDS without purchasing or distributing condoms, the use of which violate Church teaching.

Even with the medication, Kazadi insisted, the global focus moving forward must be on children who are infected with AIDS. Out of the 2 million persons infected last year, 240,000 were children. Orphans especially must have access to the anti-retroviral treatment that is so critical to fighting the disease.

“That is one of our commitments for years to come,” he said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 30, 2014

Positivity: Fight discrimination against pro-life doctors, bishops ask Congress

From Washington:

Nov 20, 2014 / 03:35 pm

The U.S. bishops are imploring Congress to enact stronger medical conscience protections against state abortion laws by passing the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act.

“We want to underscore the increasingly urgent need for Congress to protect rights of conscience with regard to the taking of innocent human life,” Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston stated in a letter to all members of Congress.

Archbishop Lori chairs the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Cardinal O’Malley heads the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

“Government should not force hospitals, doctors, nurses and other providers to stop offering or covering much-needed legitimate health care because they cannot in conscience participate in destroying a developing human life,” the prelates told U.S. lawmakers.

The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act would strengthen the rights of those persons or institutions facing legal action over their refusal in conscience to perform abortions.

The bishops gave multiple examples of parties being coerced by authorities to perform abortions or pay for abortion coverage. Most recently, the state of California forced two Catholic colleges to include abortion coverage in employee health plans, in a move that Bishop Robert McElroy, the auxiliary bishop of San Francisco, called “coercive” and “discriminatory” and that “directly targeted” Catholic universities.

In such cases, aggrieved individuals or groups may file a complaint with the HHS Office of Civil Rights. A legal provision known as the Weldon Amendment prohibits governmental bodies receiving federal funds from discriminating against individuals who choose not to partake in abortions out of conscience.

However, the bishops argued that this protection is not enough because it doesn’t explicitly guarantee the rights of persons to defend themselves in court. In addition, the U.S. bishops’ conference has argued that when complaints are filed with the HHS, the agency has sometimes downplayed the importance of such cases or “has been the perpetrator of the discrimination.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 20, 2014

Positvity: Retiring Cardinal George opens up on faith, freedom and death

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Chicago:

Nov 18, 2014 / 11:58 am

As he enters retirement, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago noted the importance of living faith in the truth, reflecting on his time as archbishop, the approach of death, and advice for his successor, Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich.

“The faith, what it means, and then the habits of life that protect a life of faith, are part of personal formation in the truth, and the Church should attend to those dimensions as much as she possibly can,” the 77-year-old Cardinal George said in an interview with the Catholic New World, published Nov. 16.

He discussed the need to save people from the dangers of living in falsehood, “especially religious falsehood.”

“You also want to see to it that they have the habits of life that keep them free, particularly the young people. If young people get caught early on in habits that enslave — drugs or sexual promiscuity or gangs — they’re never free. Christ died to make us free.”

Cardinal George also noted the importance of engaging people who disagree with him or the Church.

“If you don’t do that you risk reducing people to their ideas. People are always more than their ideas. I think Pope Francis reminds us of that. Also, when you reach out, you often discover things you wouldn’t have found out had you not made the effort to speak with them.”

“I try purposely to keep all of the doors open that I can,” he added. “God wants us to talk to him and he wants us to talk to one another. Conversation is part of loving.”

Cardinal George has headed the Archdiocese of Chicago since 1997. He will be the first Chicago archbishop to retire. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 18, 2014

Positivity: Pope Francis blasts abortion, euthanasia as ‘sins against God’

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Nov 15, 2014 / 07:53 am

Pope Francis has told a group of Catholic doctors that “playing with life” in ways like abortion and euthanasia is sinful, and he stressed that each human life, no matter the condition, is sacred.

“We’re are living in a time of experimentation with life. But a bad experiment… (we’re) playing with life,” the Pope told an audience of 4,000 Catholic doctors gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall on Nov. 15.

“Be careful, because this is a sin against the Creator: against God the Creator.”

Pope Francis offered his words in an address given to members of the Italian Catholic Doctors Association in celebration of their 70th anniversary.

He recalled that many times in his years as a priest he heard people object to the Church’s position on life issues, specifically asking why the Church is against abortion.

After explaining to the inquirer that the Church is not against abortion because it is simply a religious or philosophical issue, he said it’s also because abortion “is a scientific problem, because there is a human life and it’s not lawful to take a human life to solve a problem.”

Regardless of the many objections he has heard saying that modern thought has evolved on the issue, the Pope stressed that “in ancient thought and in modern thought, the word ‘kill’ means the same!”

“(And) the same goes for euthanasia,” he explained, observing that as a result of “this culture of waste, a hidden euthanasia is practiced on the elderly.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 13, 2014

Positivity: Religious freedom battle ‘daunting,’ but bishops urged to persist

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Baltimore:

Nov 12, 2014 / 05:05 pm

The leader of the U.S. bishops’ religious freedom committee encouraged his fellow bishops not to lose heart, but to place their trust in God, in the ongoing battle for religious liberty.

“Sometimes it might seem that fighting or struggling against threats to religious liberty is a daunting task,” Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore acknowledged, but we know that “with God all things are possible.”

“And we realize that with prayer is the ultimate source of our wisdom and our strength and our pastoral love in these struggles,” he stressed.

Archbishop Lori addressed the U.S. bishops at their annual fall assembly in Baltimore on Nov 11, giving an update on the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, which he chairs.

He listed current affairs that the committee is keeping a close eye on, which include new state proposals requiring all health plans to cover abortions with no religious exemptions.

In a similar case in August, California’s state Department of Managed Health Care declared that employee health plans at two Catholic universities limiting abortion coverage were in violation of state law.

The state’s Catholic conference had deplored the action, saying it “directly targeted” Catholic institutions and calling it “government coercion of the worst kind” and a “flagrant violation of their civil rights.” Archbishop Lori singled out that case as one of particular concern to the committee.

Also among the laws and regulations being monitored by the committee is the HHS mandate, which requires employers to offer health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization and some early abortion drugs.

The federal mandate has prompted lawsuits from more than 300 plaintiffs. The Supreme Court issued a ruling affecting some of these cases over the summer, upholding the right of closely-held corporations owned by individuals with religious objections to the mandate, such as Hobby Lobby.

However, more than 100 legal cases against the HHS mandate are currently open, the archbishop said. “That’s keeping us all pretty busy,” he admitted. An update to the mandate was recently released and is being studied by the bishops’ religious freedom committee.

In addition, Archbishop Lori noted the growing threat to religious liberty being posed by “laws redefining marriage.” Such laws have led to businesses and religious entities being threatened with fines or closure for seeking to maintain their longstanding beliefs on marriage.

Despite the ongoing challenges in the realm of religious freedom, the archbishop called for hope.

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 11, 2014

Man Who Has Surfaced Damning Gruber Vids Faults Media’s Failure to Discover Them

David Weigel's writeup this afternoon at Bloomberg Politics ("Meet the Mild-Mannered Investment Advisor Who's Humiliating the Administration Over Obamacare") is about the guy who has found at least two incriminating videos of Jonathan Gruber revealing the true intentions behind the Affordable Care Act. In some respects, it's well done and interesting.

What’s not well done is Bloomberg’s choice of the pull quote to highlight:


November 3, 2014

Why ‘It Matters’: Our De Facto Open Borders Policy Is Killing People, Including Children

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:43 am

No sensible person would allow the situation on our southern border to continue, let alone expand it. But that’s what’s imminent unless there is pushback. The most immediate form of pushback is informed voting. That’s why “It Matters“:

* * * * * *

It’s no longer an exaggeration to say that you need to vote as if your life and the lives of your loved ones depend on it.

We’re not talking long-term here, though we could certainly go there with an argument about statist health care-related rationing leading to end-of-life decisions based on the state’s convenience and not the patient’s and family’s preferences.

We’re talking right here and right now. Innocent children are dead, thanks to our for all practical purposes open borders:

The deadly EV-D68 enterovirus epidemic, which struck thousands of kids this fall, was likely propelled through America by President Barack Obama’s decision to allow tens of thousands of Central Americans across the Texas border, according to a growing body of genetic and statistical evidence.

The evidence includes admissions from top health officials that the epidemic included multiple strains of the virus, and that it appeared simultaneously in multiple independent locations.

The question can be settled if federal researchers study the genetic fingerprint of the EV-D68 viruses that first hit kids in Colorado, Missouri and Illinois to see if they are close relatives to the EV-D68 viruses found in Central America.

So far, that virus has been found in nine people — including at least three American kids — who died from illness. It has apparently inflicted unprecedented polio-like paralysis in roughly 50 kids, and it has put hundreds of young American kids into hospital emergency wards and intensive care units throughout more than 40 states. Most of the dead have not been publicly identified.

The issue is dangerous for scientists because it could spike existing public opposition to the unpopular effort by Obama, Democrats and business-backed Republicans to increase the migration of foreign nationals — including many foreign scientists — into the United States. That inflow is a top priority for the Democratic leaders, who have the power to make life difficult for grant-dependent American scientists who discover politically damaging information.

It’s easy to point all of the blame at the President, and certainly he comes in for his share. But as noted, the pressure for immigration uber alles also comes from “business-backed Republicans” like those who run the Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages.

Where is the public health establishment, which is supposed to be looking out for the nation’s health, politics be damned? The answer, as indicated in the excerpt: They’ve apparently been captured by the politically correct establishment and blackmailed with the implicit threat of funding cutoffs.


UPDATE: Another public health fiasco

Seeking a more robust defense in the event of a bioterrorist attack on the United States, the Bush administration created a $6 billion fund to prepare the nation for such threats, including the deadly Ebola virus.

The Obama administration, however, has not used the range of tools and budget provided by the post-9/11 project, focusing instead on only three targets and diverting at least $1 billion to other priorities, a review by The Daily Signal found.

Those cries in previous weeks about Congress cutting Ebola funding are awfully hollow — and obviously hypocritical.

October 27, 2014

Positivity: Pregnancy centers, not politics – the future of the pro-life movement

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Front Royal, Virginia:

Oct 24, 2014 / 02:04 am

Amid the chilling dark chaos of a woman’s unwanted and unexpected pregnancy, a group of pro-life Catholics try to be a light to both the mother and the unborn child.

October 19, 2014

Arizona’s Dem Candidate For Governor: 14 Year-Old Shouldn’t Need Parental Consent to Abort

To the relief of sex offenders throughout the state, Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal, during a Tuesday forum at Redemption Church in Gilbert, said that, in the words of an unbylined Washington Free Beacon story, “he is opposed to mandating parental consent for a girl as young as 14 years old to get an abortion.”

This is a non-story in the establishment press, which made it a mission to take out two GOP U.S. Senate candidates two years ago over abortion-related remarks with far less real-world impact. Based on a search on “DuVal parental consent” (not in quotes) at the Arizona Republic, the paper hasn’t done a story specifically noting DuVal’s outrageous position — even though it did manage to notice that DuVal, like Ed FitzGerald, the Democrat who is running for Governor in Ohio, has been known to drive without a valid driver’s license, though far less often or brazenly.


October 13, 2014

Positivity: Still doesn’t cut it, bishops say on latest mandate tweak

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington (bolds are mine):

Oct 11, 2014 / 06:44 am

Despite another wave of changes to the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate, the U.S. bishops’ conference says that the regulation still fails to respect religious freedom.

“(T)he mandate continues to substantially burden the religious liberty of stakeholders with religious objections to the mandated coverage,” said Anthony Picarello and Michael Moses, general counsel and associate general counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Because it does not further a compelling government interest by the means least restrictive of religious exercise, the mandate continues to violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” they stated in Oct. 8 comments to the Department of Health and Human Services.

… In the wake of the Hobby Lobby case, the administration has proposed an “interim final rule” that would alter this accommodation and also extend it to closely-held for-profit companies. Under the original mandate, for-profit businesses were excluded from both the exemption and the accommodation.

Under the proposed changes, non-profit and closely-held for-profit employers would be able to directly notify the Department of Health and Human Services of their religious objection to the provision of contraception or related products and procedures. The government would then facilitate contact with insurers and third party administrators to initiate the coverage.

In their comments, Picarello and Moses explained that the proposed rules do not fundamentally alter the mandate, nor do they adequately address the concerns of “the vast majority of individual and institutional stakeholders with religious or moral objections to contraceptive coverage.”

They also noted that the new rules for the accommodation of non-exempt religious groups still require employers to participate in the facilitation of contraception coverage by providing the government with “all it needs” to provide the objectionable products and procedures.

Go here for the full story.

October 11, 2014

Positivity: Backing ‘Humanae vitae’ a prime goal for bishops’ synod

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 11:00 am

From Vatican City:

Oct 9, 2014 / 12:03 pm

With Paul VI due to be beatified at the end of the Synod on the Family, his teaching on the regulation of birth in Humanae vitae has been re-launched by the synod fathers, presenting the teachings in a positive way.