Newslinks – 07/25/09

July 25, 2009 at 6:30 am | Posted in Newslinks | 4 Comments
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 Sotomayor Hearings Wrap Up; Dems Press for Quick Vote
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor appeared headed for confirmation as the first Hispanic justice on the U.S. Supreme Court after Senate hearings ended Thursday.

Senate OKs Hate Crimes Amendment to Must-Pass Defense Bill

 Episcopal Head Clarifies Gay Ordination Resolution

 Survey: Megachurch Leaders See Themselves as Teachers, Not Pastors

 Grieving Community to Remember, Honor Slain Couple at Fla. Megachurch

 BGEA Set to Kick Off Youth-Geared ‘Rock the River’ Tour

 Orthodox Bishops Call Episcopal Church’s Actions ‘Cynical Double-Think’
Conservative bishops believe that The Episcopal Church’s recent decisions favoring gay ordination and the blessing of same-sex unions will only lead to disaster.

 Calif. Leaders Urged to Reform Costly Prison System

 Judge Tosses Prop. 8 Challenge, OKs Removal of Calif. from DOMA Suit

 World Vision Shifts Focus as IDP Homecoming Gains Momentum in Pakistan

 Charlotte Megachurch Goes ‘Cow Tipping’

 Billy Graham Pays Tribute to Walter Cronkite

 Health Care Bill Directs HHS Secretary to Develop ‘Standards for Measuring Gender’
– The Senate’s health care legislation will give the Health and Human Services secretary the authority to develop “standards of measuring gender” — as opposed to using the traditional “male” and “female” categories — in a database of all who apply or participate in government-run or government-supported health care plans.

Health Care Bill Would Curb Job Growth by Encouraging Small Businesses to Remain Small
– The Senate version of President Obama’s health care overhaul contains a mandate that all businesses provide their employees with health insurance or pay a fine, unless the business employs fewer than 25 people. Critics say that mandate could prompt companies to stop growing at 24 employees.

Dodd on Why Health Care Bill Allows Federal Funding of Abortion: ‘We Like the Idea That People Have Choices’
– The Senate version of health care reform would effectively mandate federal funding of abortion through the various insurance coverage mechanisms the bill includes. When asked about the fact that the bill will allow federal funding of abortion, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) told, “We like the idea that people have choices and, indeed, the law of the land permits people to make those choices, and we respect that, and we are going to pursue that.”

Tennessee’s Troubled ‘Public Option’ – TennCare – Could Foreshadow Obama’s Health Care Plan
– Tennessee is in the process of cutting about 150,000 people from the TennCare program after a reevaluation of enrollee eligibility to participate in the state-run insurance program. TennCare, the managed-care Medicaid program that began in 1994, was enacted on the promise of increasing competition and bringing down costs, but it has not worked out that way.

‘Jerusalem Is Not a Settlement,’ Netanyahu Reminds Obama Administration
– An already uneasy relationship between the U.S. and Israeli governments looks set to become significantly more chilly with the Obama administration’s decision to challenge Israel’s freedom of actions in its own capital. The State Department late last week again warned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government not to permit the construction of an apartment building on a piece of privately owned land in Jerusalem.

Clinton Accepts Blame for ‘Global Warming’ Role, Ponders Link Between Climate Change and Family Planning
– Urging India not to emulate America’s “mistakes,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the weekend accepted responsibility on behalf of the U.S. and other developed nations for contributing towards climate change. While stopping short of an apology for the U.S. role in “global warming,” Clinton’s remarks came closer than previous ones.

Top Republican Dissatisfied with Sotomayor’s Answers On Second Amendment
– Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) told that he is not satisfied with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s answers to questions about the Second Amendment, particularly her ruling that the right to bear arms does not apply to the states. That ruling leaves unresolved the depth of her understanding of the Second Amendment, as well as a 2008 Supreme Court case, District of Columbia v. Heller, which ruled that individual Americans have the right to keep and bear arms, said Sessions.

Sotomayor Would Not Concede a Right to Self-Defense
Washington (
– When Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) asked Wednesday whether citizens have a right to self-defense, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor told the Senate Judiciary Committee, “I don’t know.” Later in the exchange, Coburn said, “I wasn’t asking about the legal question. I’m asking your personal opinion.” “But that is an abstract question with no particular meaning to me,” Sotomayor relied.

Okay for People With HIV, AIDS to Be Barbers, Cosmetologists, Home Health Care Aides
– The U.S. Justice Department last week released a new “fact sheet” saying that individuals with HIV or AIDS who want to become barbers, massage therapists or home health care assistants, for example, must not be turned away because of their illness.

 Idahoans Lift Up Prayers for Captured Soldier
Friends and family of an Idaho soldier who was captured in Afghanistan prayed for his safe return Sunday – the day after a Taliban video posted online showed him expressing doubt as to whether he’d ever be able to see his family again.

Priest Makes Impassioned Calls for Action Following Church Shootings

 Church-Loving Christians Make Case for Organized Religion

 Kansas City to Host 3rd Nat’l Worship Leader Conference

 Apollo 11 Ad Promotes ‘Potential’ of Every Human Life

 Christian Agency Appears on MTV’s Pregnant Teen Series

 Obama Stimulus Spending Includes Rental Cars, Outhouses, and ‘Sediment Removal’
– Among the 3,266 entries in a government database detailing to-date spending under the Democrats’ stimulus spending program are expenditures for concrete outhouses, “deli-sliced” turkey, and hotel bills. When President Obama signed the stimulus bill into law, he declared at the time, “We have begun the essential work of keeping the American dream alive in our time.”

White House Unsure How Closely Tennessee ‘Public Option’ Was Examined
White House (
– The Obama administration is looking more closely at health care’s rising costs than it is at some of the states that have instituted health care reform programs, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told Monday. Gibbs was responding to a question about a Tennessee health reform law that essentially established a “public option” to compete with private insurers – a focal point of the health care plan supported by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats.

White House: Obama Made Same Abortion Pledge to Pope That He Made to Planned Parenthood
– On Monday, asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs if President Obama’s commitment to the pope to work to reduce the number of abortions means that Obama supports a Republican amendment to the health-care reform bill that would prohibit federal funds from going to abortion through federally subsidized health-insurance programs. Gibbs interrupted the question to say that Obama had said the same thing to Planned Parenthood in 2007 that he said to the pope this year.

First Lady’s Office Mum on When Obamas Will Pick a Church to Attend
– The White House has told that First Lady Michelle Obama is in charge of handling questions from the press about whether and when the Obama family will join and attend a church in Washington. But repeated requests to her press office asking for a response to that question have gone unanswered.

Republicans Say Obama Has No Plan for Dealing With Guantanamo Bay Terrorists
– House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday reacted to news that two task forces appointed by President Obama in January have failed to meet their six-month deadlines for making recommendations on how terror suspects should be interrogated and whether they should be transferred to other countries or held in U.S. custody.

Farm Groups Say Food Safety Bill Would Make It Tougher for Farmers to Produce Safe Food
– Major farm groups are concerned that a bill in Congress intended to bolster food-safety guidelines could actually make it harder for some livestock and poultry producers to guarantee safe food. The current version of the Food Safety Enhancement Act, sponsored by Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman, would require all ranchers and farmers to meet new FDA regulations. Currently the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state authorities oversee the raising of livestock.

Biden’s Visit to Ukraine, Georgia Comes Amid Growing ‘Nervousness’ Over Obama’s Approach to Russia
– Vice President Joe Biden on Monday returned to a region where prominent politicians are voicing concern that the Obama administration’s efforts to improve relations with Moscow will come at their countries’ expense.

Cracks Widen Within Iran’s Islamic Establishment
– In a provocative challenge to the theocracy that rules Iran, a former president has called for a referendum on the government’s legitimacy after the disputed June 12 election. The call came on the heels of a sermon by another ex-president who sharply criticized the leadership for its handling of the election crisis.

 Congresswoman Backs New Equal Rights Amendment; Points to Afghanistan, China as Models
– Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) told activists rallying in support of the newly reintroduced Equal Rights Amendment that the United States should join 27 other countries that have equality guarantees for women, including Rwanda, Algeria, China and Afghanistan. Those four countries are described by the U.S. State Department as nations where women face grave injustices, including rape, domestic abuse, and trafficking for prostitution.

Lawmakers Express Outrage at the Bank Bailout’s ‘Potential’ $23.7-Trillion Liability for Taxpayers
Capitol Hill (
– Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) called it a “brave new world.” Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) called it “one fraud after another.” Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) said the corporate bailout was being run as a “don’t ask, don’t tell program.” A bipartisan group of lawmakers were mystified Tuesday at how what began as the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) could potentially reach a liability of $23.7 trillion for U.S. taxpayers–compared to the U.S. gross domestic product of $14 trillion.

Treasury Has No Clear Rules for Bailed Out Banks Trying to Buy Their Stock Back from Government, Says GAO
– More banks that took federal bailout money late last year are beginning to buy back their preferred stock from the federal government, but their ability to do so is hampered by the lack of clear guidelines provided by the Trouble Assets Relief Program, according to the Government Accountability Office. The Treasury Department needs to develop “clear and consistent guidelines” to help federal regulators determine when financial institutions are eligible to repurchase their stock, the government watchdog said.

Management Problems Prevent FDA From Keeping Up With Its Workload, Government Watchdog Says
– A government watchdog says the Food and Drug Administration is unable to fully meet its congressionally mandated responsibility to oversee the safety and effectiveness of medical products because it lacks “basic data needed for managing its programs.” This – despite almost a decade of funding and staff increases for the FDA.

Hoyer Says Abortion Funding in Health-Care Bill Splits House Democrats
– House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) admitted Tuesday that there is dissension among House Democrats about whether the final health-care reform bill should include federal funding for abortions — so much so, that the issue is still under discussion in the Democratic Caucus. Hoyer also assured reporters that he believes a “public option” for government-funded health care would be part of the final bill, despite the objections of moderate Blue Dog Democrats.

Hugo Chavez Maintains ‘Pact’ With Colombian Drug-Trafficking Guerillas, Say Venezuelan Government Officials
Washington (
– Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sympathizes with FARC, a Colombian drug-trafficking guerilla faction , government officials from Venezuela who oppose Chavez’s socialist regime told “I have no doubts that Chavez’s government has a political and ideological identity with the FARC guerilla,” Cesar Perez Vivas, governor of the Venezuelan state of Tachira, told in Spanish Tuesday.

Hispanic Firefighter Says Sotomayor Judged Him on Race Rather Than Content of Character
– Firefighter Ben Vargas, who is Hispanic, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Judge Sonia Sotomayor played “racial identity” politics instead of judging him and his fellow firefighters “on their qualifications and the content of their character” in a reverse discrimination case he brought against the city of New Haven, Conn.

Obama May Delay Report on Closing Guantanamo Until Congress Is Out of Session to Avoid Publicity and Scrutiny, Hoekstra Warns
– The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee warned that the Obama administration is postponing a meeting with the committee as well as the release of its six-month report on clsoing Guantanamo Bay prison camp until August, when people will not be paying close attention to the issue. “I hope these rumors are false, and the administration will give the American people the full transparency on this issue that they deserve,” Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) said.

Clinton Declares the U.S. to be ‘Back’ in Asia; Signs Regional Non-Aggression Treaty
– Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday signed a non-aggression pact with a group of Southeast Asian nations, committing the United States to “renunciation of the threat or use of force” and to non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. Those countries include Burma, whose military junta has been targeted by U.S. sanctions since 1997, and North Korea.

  13,000+ Signed Up for Tomorrow’s Emergency Pro-Life Webcast on Obama Healthcare

Obama: “Let’s Not Get Distracted” over Taxpayer-Funded Abortion Coverage in Healthcare

More Pro-Life House Democrats Stand against Healthcare Abortion Funding

Congressman Makes Bid to Strip Planned Parenthood of Title X Funds

Bishops Distance Themselves from Catholic-Funded, Homosexuality-Promoting Marriage Counseling Group

Demographic Report Reveals “Unprecedented Global Aging” – Childlessness in US Women at 20%

Mexican Government Promotes “Morning After Pill,” Condom Use, to 10-Year-Olds

Gay Activist in Hot Water for Revealing Conspiracy to Promote Homosexuality

Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan, and Other Ex-Presidents Slam Christian Churches for Not Ordaining Women

Vatican and U.S. Bishops Criticize US Gov’t Plan to Publicly Fund Abortion

UK Lesbian Couple Wins Fight for IVF at Taxpayers Expense

Wisconsin Court Rules Religious Schools’ Teacher Hiring Not Subject to Anti-Discrimination Laws

Conservatives Deny Funding to Montreal Gay Pride

 Homosexual Groups Petition Library Board to Refuse Pro-Family Man

 Orthodox Anglican Leader: Choice is Between Life and Death
The head of the newly established Anglican Church in North America released an open letter to the entire Anglican Communion, contrasting the recent actions of his orthodox body to that of The Episcopal Church.

Christians Decry Tax-Funded Abortion in Health Care Bill

 Over 4,000 Pro-Israel Evangelicals Gather in D.C.

 Judge Orders Joyce Meyer Ministries to Make Requested Docs Public

 2 Teens Charged in Chicago Church Shooting

 Nationwide Campaign to Raise Awareness of Students’ Religious Rights

 Episcopal Head Offers Report Amid ‘Misinterpreted, Exaggerated’ Claims
The presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church wrote a letter to members of the denomination Wednesday to summarize the results of their recently concluded triennial conference and to clarify the details behind two resolutions that have drawn notable, and mostly negative, attention from the media.

Progressive Christian Leader Backs ‘Common Ground’ Abortion Prevention Bill

 156 Conservatives Urge Senate to Reject Sotomayor

 Christian Nurse Forced to Assist in Late-Term Abortion

 Former Miss California to Release Tell-All Book

 Ex-Worship Leader: Why I Left the CCM Movement

 Healthcare Vote Pushed Back to September

Obama Committed to Women’s Health in Health Care Reform: White House Staffer to Planned Parenthood

Battle Lines Drawn As Obama Administration and Bipartisan Forces Clash over Health Care “Waterloo”

Toronto Archbishop Will Only Allow D&P Funds to go to Groups Approved by Local Bishops

Interview: Head of Vatican’s Liturgical Office says Principle of Refusing Communion is “Charity in Truth”

NY Catholic Nurse Sues Hospital after Forced to Participate in Late- Term Abortion

UK Gay Activist “Pleased” with Lords for Protecting Free Speech in Hate Crimes Bill

Feminists Plan Commemorative “Beijing +15” Reproductive Rights Push

 Midwives Would Be Paid the Same as Doctors Under Provision in Health Care Bill
– If the House of Representatives passes the health-care bill approved by the Ways and Means and Education committees, midwives will receive the same level of government reimbursement as obstetricians. Section 1304 of the Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (H.R. 3200) would raise government Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for certified nurse midwives to the same level as the reimbursement for doctors who perform the same services.

Iraqi Prime Minister Brings Largely Unnoticed Message to White House: Successful ‘Surge’ Has Led to ‘Stability’ in Iraq
– In the nuanced language of diplomacy, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sent an upbeat message that went practically unnoticed by U.S. media during his visit to the White House Wednesday: The surge of U.S. troops under President George W. Bush has meant success for Iraq and brought stability to that nation. “Our sons and daughters succeeded on both sides, which led to stability and the return of the strength of the Iraqi government under full sovereignty,” Maliki said.

Black Caucus Members Agree With President Obama’s Criticism of Cambridge Police, Call Harvard Professor’s Arrest ‘Racial Profiling’
– Members of the Congressional Black Caucus said the recent arrest of a black Harvard University professor for disorderly conduct was a case of “racial profiling” and that President Barack Obama’s comment that Cambridge police had acted “stupidly” was an apt description.

House to Vote Friday on Amendment Stripping Planned Parenthood of Taxpayer Money
– “It is morally wrong to destroy innocent human life through abortion, but it is also morally wrong to take the tax dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to promote or perform abortions at home or abroad,” says Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the amendment’s author.

Another New Study Challenges Climate Change ‘Orthodoxy’
– Virtually all changes in global atmospheric temperatures in the late 20th century were the result of nature rather than human activity, according to a new peer-reviewed study. One of the authors predicted Friday the study was “sure to cause a stir.”

Higher Minimum Wage May Stifle Employment, Group Warns
– House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants “hardworking Americans” to remember that it was Democrats who made a higher minimum wage their first order of business when they took control of the House two years ago. A free-market group says now is a bad time to be burdening small business owners.

Israelis Unsure of Obama; Palestinians Prefer Osama
– Like other U.S. presidents before him, Barack Obama aspires to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but a new global opinion poll six months into his administration suggests that he faces an uphill battle to win the trust of the protagonists.

Mental Health Advocates Blast ‘Psycho Donuts’ Shop
– A mental health support group is blasting a Northern California donut shop that boasts of taking donuts to the next “demented level.” But the shop’s owner says “most people have a sense of humor and like our donuts” – including the “Bipolar” and the “Cereal Killer.”


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  2. […] Here is the original post:  Get the Word out! (2009-07-25 05:30) […]

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