Newslinks 10/17/09

October 17, 2009 at 6:30 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Health Bill Would Make It Harder to Deduct Medical Expenses, but That Won’t Affect Middle Class, Democrat Claims
– A Democratic member of the Senate Finance Committee claims that a provision of the Senate health-reform bill will not make it more difficult for middle-class Americans to deduct medical expenses on their tax returns. But Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) says that is because “most Americans” don’t itemize their income tax deductions.

Pro-Life Democrats May Block Health Bill If Pelosi Won’t Allow Vote on Abortion Funding Ban
– Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus, told that Democrats who oppose government funding of abortion will try to block the health care reform bill from coming to a vote on the House floor unless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi allows a floor vote on an amendment that would explicitly prohibit abortion funding. “There are many of us Democrats in the House who are philosophically, legally, and morally opposed to public funding for abortions,” Stupak told in a statement.

Scientists Rebut Claim That Man Causes Climate Change
– A small group of determined scientists gathered in a Senate office building Friday to present evidence backing their claim that climate change is caused by nature, not man, and that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but the hope for a greener planet.

Clinton Says U.S. Confident That Pakistan Can Control Its Nuclear Arsenal
– Recent terrorist successes in Pakistan, including the weekend attack on national army headquarters – Pakistan’s equivalent of the Pentagon — have raised fresh fears about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons arsenal, although both the U.S. and British governments are playing down the concerns.

Nobel Decision Seen As Attempt to Steer U.S. Policies
– A Norwegian committee’s decision to award the 2009 Nobel peace prize to President Obama has some people questioning the implications for future U.S. policy. Coming at a time when the administration is grappling with the issue of whether to deploy tens of thousands more troops in Afghanistan and how to deal with Iran if the nuclear dispute is not resolved, the award is seen in some quarters as an attempt to influence those decisions.

President taps lesbian activist to EEOC
President Barack Obama continues to deliver on his promises to the homosexual activist community.

Perspective: Reagan in a dress
Since the moment she burst onto the national scene, Sarah Palin has been subjected to an unparalleled effort amongst the so-called sophisticated elites to destroy her.

Don’t model Obamacare after Massachusetts’ program
Thousands of people will be heading to Boston next weekend to protest government-run healthcare.

Battling ‘climate change’ – an issue of morality?
The president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation is calling on Christians to combat climate change.

Perspective: Consumers need protection – from gov’t
When bureaucrats get authority to determine what is fair, the very people who they supposedly are charged to protect — us — are the ones who get hurt.

Republicans Formally State Their Objections to Senate Finance Committee’s Health Care Legislation
– “Pretty much everything’s been said, and now it’s time to get the job done,” Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said Tuesday as the Senate Finance Committee prepared to vote on the fifth and final Democratic health care bill to emerge on Capitol Hill. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking Republican, outlined his objections after Sen. Baucus declared the Democrats’ health care bill to be “balanced,” timely and necessary.

Baucus Health Bill Could Prevent Medical Expense Deductions: Wheelchairs, Chemotherapy, Seeing-Eye Dogs
– The health care reform legislation outlined by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and the Senate Finance Committee includes a provision that would raise the threshold for deducting costly medical expenses from income tax returns–meaning that people who do not meet the threshold could see their taxes rise. The exemption, used by cancer patients and those with other costly, chronic diseases, allows people to deduct a variety of medical expenses that are not covered by insurance.

Baltimore Schools Embrace Anti-Meat Movement with ‘Meatless Mondays’
– The first graders lining up for lunch at Arlington Elementary School in Baltimore, Md., on Monday could pick a cheese sandwich or cheese lasagna along with vegetables. They could not, however, have meat for lunch now that cafeterias throughout the school district have adopted “Meatless Mondays” — a national and international movement with ties to animal rights activists.

Obama: Homosexual Relationships ‘Just as Real and Admirable’ as Heterosexual Marriage
– President Obama delivered an unprecedented message to the Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual advocacy group, on Saturday night. Sounding more like a homosexual activist than a sitting president, Obama went well beyond his expected message of “I’m here with you” on the homosexual agenda. Even Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese was stunned at the breadth of Obama’s statement, calling it “something quite remarkable.”

EPA to Wrap Up First Phase of Controversial Hudson River Toxic Dredging Project in November
– The Environmental Protection Agency and General Electric are preparing to shut down for the winter their controversial project to dredge contaminated sediment from the bottom of the Hudson River. The EPA claims the project is a success, and the panel charged with reviewing the operation before it moves into its next phase will not consider canceling the dredging. Dredging skeptics worry that the next phase will targt PCB “hot spots” that may contaminate surrounding “clean” areas.

White House Says Catholic Bishops Have Misinterpreted Law Banning Federal Funding of Abortion–And Its Application to Health-Care Bill
– One day after the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops vowed to “vigorously” oppose the health care bill under consideration in Congress if it is not amended to explicitly prohibit federal funding of abortions, the White House for the second time in a week said the bishops are wrong to assert that the bill permits funding of abortion. White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs told the bishops do not understand the existing law restricting federal funding of abortion.

U.N. Chief Now Supports Move to Reopen Debate on ‘Israeli War Crimes’ Report
– U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon now supports Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ attempt to reopen debate at the U.N. Human Rights Council on a report accusing Israel of war crimes, his spokeswoman said Monday. Reopening debate could lead to Israel’s referral to the International Criminal Court over its military offensive against Hamas in Gaza last winter.

Hillary Clinton Says She Will Not Run for President Again
– Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she has “never” wished that she could be the one making the decisions facing President Obama, and she insisted she will not run for president again. It is believed to be her first unequivocal, public disavowal of still harboring presidential ambitions.

NAE Head Opposes Federal Health Care Coverage for Illegal Immigrants

Calif. Conservatives ‘Disappointed’ with New Harvey Milk Day

Has Obama Ushered in a New Era for LGBT Rights?

Caritas Report Calls for New Global Ethic on Climate Change

‘Brick Testament’ Illustrates Over 400 Bible Stories with Legos

Forget the people – ram healthcare bill through
One healthcare reform expert says Democratic leaders in Congress who are seeking to pass healthcare legislation before Thanksgiving are “deceiving themselves into thinking they know what’s best for the American people.”

Perspective: Show me the bill!
When the healthcare bill comes up today, senators will be voting on something that does not even exist yet. Are you angry yet?

Montana judges smack down parental rights
The Montana Supreme Court has granted parental rights to a non-parent.

Flip-flopper governor signs ‘Harvey Milk’ bill
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a law designating May 22 as “Harvey Milk Day” for public school students.

Disney elevates homosexual to studio chief
Pro-family activist Peter LaBarbera says he’s not surprised that the Walt Disney Company has named an open homosexual as studio head.

Climate Change Will Be Its Highest Priority, Says U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
– According to its new “action plan” released last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is charged with protecting fish, wildlife and plants, will focus first and foremost on global weather. “Climate change must become our highest priority,” says the agency’s new action plan.

FCC Commissioner Says Diversity Chief’s Ideas for Regulating Free Speech Are ‘Troubling’
– Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell said Tuesday that statements about regulating freedom of speech in broadcasting made by FCC Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd are “troubling.” McDowell said everyone should be concerned when federal regulators have the power to impact freedom of speech.

Finance Committee Health Bill Includes $507 Billion in New Taxes and Fees
– The health-care bill that the Senate Finance Committee passed Wednesday will cost a total of $829 billion over 10 years, with $507 billion of that cost being covered by new federal taxes and fees, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Here’s a look at some of them.

One Republican on Senate Finance Committee Voted for Baucus Health-Care Bill
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– Only one Republican — Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine — voted in favor of the Senate Finance Committee’s version of the health-care reform bill. The liberal Republican, however, said she agrees with her Republican colleagues that a health-care bill should not increase government intervention or create new bureaucracies. She said her one yes vote on Tuesday does not guarantee another one later.

Despite Obama Administration’s Hopes, Russia Giving No Ground on Iran Sanctions
– Hopes that Russia might be more accommodating following the Obama administration’s missile defense shift appeared premature Tuesday, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton found no support at the Kremlin for tightening sanctions against Iran. “Clinton Fails to Advance U.S. Case on Iran,” declared the Moscow Times.

Pro-Life Activists Speak Out Against Pro-Abortion Leaders in U.S., Spain
– As President Barack Obama met with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero on Tuesday, pro-life activists gathered on Capitol Hill to condemn both leaders’ pro-abortion policies, including Zapatero’s support for a Spanish law awaiting approval by Parliament that would make abortion available on demand to women 16 and older.

Bible verse ban spawns ‘wave of support for Christ’
A controversial school policy in northern Georgia has compelled many students to passionately defend their free-speech rights and proclaim their Christian beliefs.

State custody step for Rifqa ‘just a guise’
A Florida-based organization believes immigration papers may be the only thing that will prevent a 17-year-old Christian convert from Islam from being returned to her Muslim parents in Ohio.

Parents voice opposition to Obama ‘praise’ song
New Jersey school officials responsible for having elementary school students sing an anthem of praise to President Obama remain under fire from parents who accuse the district of political indoctrination.

Suspended 1st-grader can return to school
A Delaware first-grader who was facing 45 days in an alternative school as punishment for taking his favorite camping utensil to school can return to class after the school board made a hasty change granting him a reprieve. POLL: What’s your take on ‘zero-tolerance’ policies?

Homosexuality ‘not a civil right’
The chairman of the Orange County (California) Board of Education says she is “appalled” that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is asking schools to set aside a day to honor a controversial homosexual activist.

Former CBO Chief Calls Obama Administration Fiscal Policies ‘Laughable’
– A former Republican congressional budget chief called the Obama administration’s claims to fiscal responsibility “hypocritical” and “laughable,” noting in particular the mounting unemployment numbers (9.8 percent nationwide) despite the $787-billion stimulus plan enacted in February. Douglas Holtz-Eakin said the stimulus package said was poorly designed.

Hillary Clinton Now Viewed More Favorably Than Barack Obama, Especially Among Republicans
– Among Republicans, 35 now have a more positive view of Hillary Clinton than they do of Barack Obama (19 percent). Compare that to a Gallup poll in January, when Republicans’ views of Obama were more positive (60 percent) than those of Clinton (35 percent).

Chamber of Commerce Says Private Sector, Not Government, Will Create Jobs
– U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue says that people, not government, will create the jobs needed for economic recovery. He spoke Wednesday at an event to launch the Chamber’s new campaign to promote the American free enterprise system.

Hoyer Now Says Health Care Legislation Will Be Changed in Committee Before House Votes on It
– One day after the Senate Finance Committee passed its version of health-care reform, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the health-care legislation under construction in both the House and Senate will ultimately need to go to a conference committee to work out the differences between the versions of the bill crafted in each chamber–a process that will prolong congressional consideration of the bill and give the public more time to analyze what Congress is drafting. Previously, Hoyer told that he would not rule out the possibility that the House would vote on the Senate bill without amending it, allowing it to go straight to the president for his signature.

Despite Violating U.N. Resolutions, Lebanon to Get Security Council Seat
– Lebanon is expected Thursday to be chosen to serve on the U.N. Security Council for the 2010-2011 period, despite signs in the country of ongoing violations of Security Council resolutions calling for Hezbollah to be disarmed. Resolution 1701 requires “the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that … there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state.”

Poll: Mexicans say Mexican-Americans Owe Loyalty to Mexico Over U.S.
– Nearly 70 percent of Mexicans surveyed said that Mexican-Americans — including those born in the United States -– owe their primary loyalty to Mexico, not the U.S., according to a Zogby poll commissioned by the Center for Immigration Studies. The in-person poll, taken during August and September, sampled 1,004 Mexicans across the country on subjects related to illegal immigration and amnesty in the United States.

Japan Wants to Change Agreement on Relocating U.S. Marine Base Ahead of Obama’s Upcoming Visit
– Eight months after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed an agreement in Tokyo mapping out the realignment of U.S. troops in Japan, plans by the country’s new left-leaning government to change it up are causing friction ahead of President Obama’s visit next month. More than half of the 47,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan currently are on Okinawa, and their presence there has long drawn opposition from some quarters – for safety, environmental and ideological reasons.

Lieberman pushing pro-homosexual measures
Senator Joe Lieberman is working hard to advance two top legislative priorities of homosexual activists in Washington.

Student sues for right to wear pro-life shirt
A Pennsylvania boy is in a legal battle with his school over his pro-life T-shirt.

Baucus’ bill not the end-all
The top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee says the healthcare legislation currently working its way through the Senate will dramatically drive up healthcare costs and further increase the strain on the budgets of American families. POLL: Should healthcare reform be top priority? VOTE

Nobel for Obama injurious to America and its allies?
In the wake of President Barack Obama’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize, concerns are being expressed that the award may mean bad news for both Israel and America’s efforts to bring about a secure Afghanistan.

Iran – not Palestinians – primary culprit in Middle East
A former Israeli ambassador to the U.N. says many people in the United States and Europe are mistaken in believing that the key to achieving stability in the Middle East is to solve the Palestinian problem.

Pastor Offers a Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional

ELCA Bishops Urge Obama Stay Committed to Mideast Peace Efforts

‘Twitter Bible’ Converts Scripture into Mini Messages

‘Save the GMA’ Event Raises Over $350K

NIH Head Francis Collins Appointed to Vatican’s Scientific Academy 

Lawyers Call for Changes in International Law to Help ‘Climate Exiles’
– International law dealing with refugees should be amended to cover people affected by disasters attributed to climate change, environmental lawyers are arguing. The London-based Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development says ‘climate exiles’ need help dealing with “statelessness and compensation.”

Sex Ed Should Not Promote Only Marriage or Heterosexual Relationships, Advocates Say
– A coalition of liberal sex education advocates says the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress will end support for abstinence-only programs that emphasize marriage and heterosexual relationships. Liberals claim that emphasizing marriage and heterosexuality is discriminatory.

Liberal Editor Suggests Making the Recession ‘Worse’
– Emily Douglas, Web editor for The Nation magazine, said Wednesday that making the “recession worse” and making goods “more expensive” for Americans are ways to reduce consumerism and preserve the environment. She later defended her comments as ‘tongue in cheek.’

Nation’s ‘Long-Term Fiscal Outlook Remains Unsustainable,’ GAO Says
– Weaknesses in the economy and financial markets–and the government’s response to them–have helped boost federal deficits, and the government faces even larger fiscal challenges that will persist long after the return of financial stability and economic growth, says a new GAO report.

Despite Widespread Contraceptive Use, One Third of Pregnancies in France ‘Unplanned,’ New Study Confirms
– While the number of unplanned pregnancies in France has declined since the 1960s as the number of planned pregnancies has increased, according to the study, the large number of “poorly planned or unwanted births” is high “and confirms the fact that no contraceptive method is totally reliable.”

Does Obama Support or Oppose Amendment to Prohibit Abortion Funding in Health Bill? White House Isn’t Saying
– Does President Obama support or oppose an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bart Stupak (D.-Mich.) that would explicitly prohibit federal funding of abortion in the health-care bill now being considered in Congress? As of now, the White House isn’t saying. On Wednesday, the White House did not respond to’s direct written question on the matter. At Tuesday’s White House press briefing, spokesman Robert Gibbs declined to specifically address Stupak’s amendment.

Israelis Took Unprecedented Steps to Safeguard Civilians, Says British Officer
– In its offensive against Hamas in Gaza last winter, the Israeli army “did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare,” the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan told the U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday. Col. Richard Kemp was speaking on the second day of an emergency “special session” called by pro-Palestinian governments aimed at endorsing a report accusing Israel of war crimes during the operation.

Will Rangel ever step down?
The powerful chairman of the tax-writing committee of the U.S. House is being urged to step down from his post for, among other things, failing to pay taxes. POLL: What if Charlie Rangel was a Republican? VOTE

Ministry leader: Obama ‘loathes’ Israel
A Messianic Jewish leader and Israel supporter is outraged that an Obama website recently published an article comparing Israelis to Nazis.

Perspective: MTV’s ‘dark side’ on display
During last month’s MTV music video awards ceremony, actor Jack Black urged the audience join hands and pray to “dear dark lord Satan.”

Dems’ healthcare ideas ‘all increase the deficit’
Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker says the healthcare bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee is bad for the economy, bad for the deficit, and doesn’t provide better healthcare.

Mom wants baby after trying to have it killed
Utah’s legislature will be asked to deal with a loophole in homicide law that allowed a teenager to be set free after hiring someone to beat her to cause a miscarriage.

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