Newslinks 11/21/10

November 21, 2010 at 11:23 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Obama’s Asia Trip Not Seen As a Success
– As he ended a 10-day visit to Asia, President Obama told reporters on Air Force One he believed that “all of Asia is eager for American engagement and leadership,” but his upbeat assessment sharply contrasted with the view of critics who have characterized the trip as disappointing – if not a downright failure.

Q&A With Virginia Attorney General: State’s Lawsuit Against Obamacare ‘Is Not About Health Insurance, It’s About Liberty’
– Virginia Atty. Gen. Ken Cuccinelli told that the lawsuit his state has filed against the health-care reform law signed by President Barack Obama in March is about preserving the liberty of individual Americans against a federal government that is over-reaching its legitimate constitutional authority.

Obama’s Claiming More Power Over Americans Than King George III, Says Virginia Attorney General
( – Virginia Atty. Gen. Ken Cuccinelli, who has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the health-care law signed by President Barack Obama last March, says Obama and the Congress that enacted that law–which mandates that individuals must buy government-approved health insurance plans–are seeking a power over the lives of Americans that even King George III did not claim to possess.

‘Real Solution’ to U.S. Debt Crisis Is ‘Death Panels and Sales Taxes,’ Liberal Economist Says
– A liberal economist who blasted Republican warnings about death panels as “smears” and “lies” is now using the term himself.

Obama’s Radio Address Highlights Web Site to Increase Transparency on Gov’t Wasting ‘Billions of Taxpayer Money’
– In his weekly radio address, President Barack Obama announced an update of the administration’s Web site, saying it will help shed light on “Washington’s habit that wastes billions of taxpayer dollars.”

Actor Kevin Spacey Says Networks Should Air ‘Legitimate’ Political Ads ‘For Free’
– Emmy award-winning actor Kevin Spacey, star of the new film “Casino Jack,” says he blames television networks “to some degree” for lobbyist influence on the political process. He says television networks should run legitimate political ads “for free” as a public service.

Supporters Worry About Freed Burmese Leader’s Safety
– As the newly released Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi prepares to travel around her military-ruled country to “hear the voice of the people” on the future of the pro-democracy movement, supporters are concerned about her safety. Suu Kyi said on Sunday that, like any other citizen, her safety depends on the authorities.

Aid Group Urges Prayer as Haiti’s Cholera Death Toll Passes 900
Cholera has claimed nearly 1,000 deaths in Haiti, the government reported Sunday. The outbreak continues to devastate the Caribbean nation that is still recovering from the 7.0-magnitude earthquake from early this year.

Football Star: God Will Take 999 Steps for You to Take One

Atheists Lose Another ‘God’ in Pledge Battle

Abortion Demand Drops in Wash.

Bishop Eddie Long Absent from Christian Rally in Atlanta

Last-Minute Finalist Wins First Place in National Bible Bee Contest

Napolitano: ‘More to Come’ on Women in Hijabs Undergoing Airport Full-Body Pat-Downs
– When asked Monday if she will insist that Muslim women wearing hijabs go through full-body pat downs before boarding planes, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano did not say yes or no, but told there will be “adjustments” and “more to come” on the issue. “With respect to that particular issue, I think there will be more to come,” she said.

McCain Worried About ‘Protectionism and Isolationism’ in GOP
– Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he is worried about protectionist and isolationist views taking root in the Republican Party, particularly among the newly elected group of conservative Republicans. McCain said these stances might contribute to dwindling GOP support for the war on terrorism.

At Turkey’s Insistence, NATO Will Not Name Iran As a Missile Threat
– Ahead of a key summit this week, NATO’s secretary-general has confirmed that the alliance will not identify Iran as a threat requiring the deployment of a NATO-wide missile defense umbrella in Europe. Turkey’s Islamist-leaning government has deepening political and economic ties with Tehran, and it has insisted that Iran not be singled out in NATO documents.

Battle Begins Over Whether Tea-Party Backed Politicians Will Take on Social Issues
– A gay Republican group and some Tea Party organizers want GOP leaders in the new Congress to concentrate on fiscal issues and not social ones such as same-sex marriage and abortion. “This election was not a mandate for the Republican Party, nor was it a mandate to act on any social issue,” said the letter, released Monday by GOProud, a group that “represents homosexual conservatives and their allies.”

Conservative Activists Rally on Capitol Hill As Lame Duck Session Begins
– As Congress began its lame duck session on Monday, activists from around the country met at the Capitol to “keep the pressure on to ensure Congress does not pass radical legislation.” The grassroots conservatives enthusiastically welcomed to the podium several conservative leaders such as Reps. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

Republican Bill Would Require Federal Reserve to Focus Solely on Inflation
– Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) says he’s introducing a bill on Tuesday that would require the Federal Reserve to focus solely on inflation. The bill would strike the “dual mandate” in the Federal Reserve Act of 1977, which directs the Fed to promote stable inflation and maximum employment.

DeMint Opposes Gov’t Mandate for Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage in Health Care
– Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) does not back a government mandate that would force insurance companies to cover individuals with pre-existing conditions. “We don’t need to do that,” said DeMint. “We have examples of what they call high-risk pools at the state level that create an option for people with pre-existing conditions…What we need to do is multiply that over all the states.”

DeMint: Obama, Pelosi Not ‘Free Market Americans As I Understand It’
– In an interview with on Monday, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) would not say whether he thinks President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are “extremists,” but he said they are not free market Americans. “Freedom comes from millions of people making their own decisions. The folks in power now think that a few people should be making the decisions for everybody else, whether it’s education, health care, whatever. It’s just a different worldview that doesn’t fit with American philosophy.”

McCain Says He Will Oppose Repealing Law That Bans Homosexuals from Military
– Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Monday that he will continue to oppose a repeal of the law that bans homosexuals from serving in the U.S. military.

Many Supporters of U.N. Resolution against ‘Blasphemy’ Have Terrible Record on Religious Freedom
– A group of nations on the State Department’s watch list for violators of religious freedom will vote at the U.N. General Assembly in December on a resolution to combat “defamation of religion.” This is the sixth consecutive year in which the General Assembly will vote on the resolution, which is being pushed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

Joel and Victoria Osteen’s Latest Projects Get Support from NY Fans
Joel and Victoria Osteen received a warm reception from a group of loyal fans during their stop in New York City on Monday to promote their latest books.

Evangelical: We Don’t Need Rite of Exorcism, Just Jesus

N.J. Pushes for Controversial Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights

Head Catholic Bishop Defends Criticism of Health Care Reform

Number of N. Korean Defectors in South Rising, Says Official

Muslims Burn Christian Homes in Egypt over Romance Rumor

Republican Senator Challenges Medicare and Medicaid Director Donald Berwick on His Recess Appointment
– Donald Berwick, President Obama’s Medicare and Medicaid administrator, told a Senate panel Wednesday that he accepted his recess appointment because he “wanted to serve his country” regardless of the controversy surrounding his appointment.

Obama Finally Names Nominee for U.N. Reform Post, But He Has No U.N. or Diplomatic Experience
– Twenty-two months into his administration and almost a year since a previous effort failed, President Obama has nominated an envoy to the United Nations with a mandate focusing on reform. But the choice of nominee, a person whose resume includes no United Nations or diplomatic experience, may bring fresh criticism.

Researchers Create National Registry to Track Teen Weight Loss
– Researchers at Brown University have created a national weight loss registry to document and track obese adolescents who have lost weight and managed to keep it off for at least one year. The program will, among other things, track factors that may have influenced young people’s weight loss, such as family structure, peer groups, and the family’s eating habits.

Man Denied Life-Saving Liver Transplant Because of Cuts in Arizona’s Medicaid Program
– Arizona’s Medicaid agency announced earlier this year that it would no longer cover liver transplants for Hepatitis C patients, a move blasted at the time as “a death sentence” by one patient advocacy group. And now a Hep-C patient has been denied a life-saving liver transplant because he couldn’t afford to pay for it himself.

Eight People Who Refused Chlamydia Tests Face Police Roundup in Sweden
– Eight people in northern Sweden who have refused to submit to a test for the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia could be forced to do so by police, a local newspaper (Norrlandska Socialdemokraten) reported. An administrative court on Monday authorized forcible examination of the eight refusniks.

Poll: Seniors See Bleak Future for Their Children, Grandchildren’s Retirement Future
– A retiree health care advocacy group polled 1,996 retirees, and 83.8 percent agreed with the statement, “I have been afforded the opportunity to live and participate in the ‘American Dream.’” However, only 1.7 percent said it would be “easier” in the future for their children to achieve the same opportunities, while 89.2 percent said it would be “more difficult for my children to achieve” those opportunities.

Elton John On His Charity Work: Government Should Be Doing Our Job For Us But They’re Not
– The World TeamTennis annual charitable exhibition, held this year in Washington, raised more than $500,000 to fight HIV and AIDS through Sir Elton John’s AIDS Foundation. When asked what the federal government should do to encourage more individuals to donate to charities like his, Sir Elton John told that “government should be doing our job for us” but “they’re not.” YouVersion Bible App Users Grow to 10.7 Million
Leaders of one of the top 10 largest churches in America announced Tuesday that the Bible app YouVersion has surpassed all expectations and now has 10.7 million users.

Ga. Baptist Convention Cuts Ties with Second Church with Woman Pastor

John Lennox Takes on Stephen Hawking after God Denial

Canadian Student Group Forced Off Campus for Pro-Life Views

Resurgence of Calvinism is Real Despite Survey, Pastors Say

Pro-Abortion Group Sues FDA to Expand Access to Plan B Drug

U.N. Torture Expert Says U.S. Should Probe Bush-Era Torture Claims With Intention to Prosecute
– The U.N. Human Rights Council’s newly installed expert on torture says the Obama administration should investigate allegations of torture under President George W. Bush and prosecute those responsible – including those who gave the orders. In his newly published memoir, President Bush said he had personally approved the “waterboarding” of senior al-Qaeda terrorist Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

Obama Sets Aside Only Two Hours to Meet With European Leaders at NATO Meeting in Portugal
– Nine months after disappointing European leaders with a decision not to attend a scheduled United States-European Union summit, President Obama will meet with E.U. leaders on the sidelines of the NATO gathering in Lisbon this weekend. Two hours reportedly have been set aside for the meeting on Saturday afternoon, with a crammed agenda topped by economic issues and including security – especially in the light of recent terrorism alerts in Europe – trade, development aid and climate change.

Obama Administration Finalizes New Rules on ‘Equal Visitation Rights’ for Hospital Patients
– In another bow to the homosexual community, the Obama administration on Wednesday issued news rules for hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid: Patients must be allowed to say who may visit them, and that includes same-sex partners. “Basic human rights…must not be checked at the door of America’s hospitals,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday, after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued the final rules.

Sen. Hatch: ‘Pathetic’ That Senators Did Not Get Enough Time to Question Berwick During Senate Hearing
Washington (
– Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told that members of the Senate Finance Committee did not have enough time Wednesday to fully question Dr. Donald Berwick, the recess-appointed head of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), during his first appearance before the committee. He told that Democrats are “deathly afraid” that some of Berwick’s controversial ideas will emerge during a full-length hearing.

Medicare Chief Berwick Ducks Question of Whether Obamacare Redistributes Wealth
– Dr. Donald Berwick, the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), declined to answer a reporter’s question on Wednesday about whether the health-care law signed in March redistributes wealth, something that Berwick in the has insisted is a necessary element of any “just” health care system.

Cabinet Secretaries Support Diverting Food Stamp Money to Expand School Nutrition Programs
– U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday he supports using stimulus money originally intended for the food stamps program to pay for a bill expanding child nutrition programs in the nation’s schools. But Vilsack did not tell how the government, which now has a record number of people on food stamps, could replace the missing funds without raising the deficit.

Sen. Lindsey Graham Defends Certain Congressional Earmarks for U.S. Military
– Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday defended certain spending earmarks that are set aside for the military on Tuesday. “Earmarks have been abused,” Graham told “There’s plenty of examples of times when money was wasted. But I’ll give you one example of where an earmark I think was wisely invoked. Remember the Up-Armored Humvee debate?”

Virginia High School Allows Cheating Students to Retake Tests
– A Fairfax County high school last month told teachers to let cheating students retake tests so they wouldn’t receive zeros, the Washington Post reported.

TSA Administrator: ‘No Exceptions’ to Full Body Pat Downs–For Religious or Any Other Reasons
– Transportation Security Administration Chief John S. Pistole told a Senate committee Wednesday that air passengers selected by the TSA for enhanced screening who decline to undergo either a full-body scan or a full body pat down will not be allowed to board planes in the United States. There will be no exceptions, Pistole said, even for people who cite religious reasons for refusing to undergo the scan or pat down.

U.S. Needs $2.1 Billion More for Water Projects in Afghanistan Despite Problems Managing Those Efforts, GAO Says
– The U.S. government estimates that from fiscal 2010 through fiscal 2014, it will spend an additional $2.1 billion to fund water sector projects in Afghanistan — on top of the $250 million that has been spent since 2002 — and despite problems in sustaining, coordinating, and managing such projects, according to a government audit. Among other things, the U.S. government lacks “a centralized database that tracks all U.S. development projects in Afghanistan.”

Mexico’s Violent Murder Rate Is More Than Twice That of USA
– Individuals run a greater risk of being violently murdered in Mexico than in the United States, where the population is more than three times larger than its southern neighbor. Mexico’s secretary of Interior, Francisco Blake Mora, said there currently are 12 violent homicides registered for every 100,000 Mexican residents, as reported in the Nov. 10 El Universal, a Spanish-language newspaper in Mexico.

Obama’s ‘War Czar’ Says U.S. Will Make ‘Enduring Longer-Term Commitment’ to Maintaining Forces in Afghanistan
– At the NATO summit beginning Friday the United States will endorse turning over security responsibilities in Afghanistan to Afghan forces by the end of 2014–but also commit to “an enduring longer-term commitment,” President Obama’s “war czar” said this week…

Nineteen is the Number to Watch as UN Committee Prepares to Vote on Religious ‘Defamation’
( –
As a U.N. General Assembly committee prepares to vote on a controversial religious “defamation” resolution – possibly as early as Friday – critics will be keen to see how successful their lobbying against the Islamic-led initiative has been…

Time for ‘Upgrade’ in Ties With European Union, Says Transatlantic Expert
– The bilateral relationship between the United States and European Union is “one of the most important, and understated” in the world, but needs an “upgrade,” an expert in transatlantic ties says ahead of a U.S.-E.U. summit this weekend…

Sen. Barbara Boxer Likens U.S. to Iran, North Korea and Pakistan Because U.S. Bans Homosexuals From Military
– Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) today likened the United States of America to Iran, North Korea and Pakistan because those nations also do not allow homosexuals in their militaries…

Some Christians Still Denounce Harry Potter as Dangerous
Another Harry Potter film hits theaters everywhere Friday and Steve Wohlberg, author of the new book Exposing Harry Potter and Witchcraft: The Menace Beneath the Magic, strongly advises against seeing it.

Marriage Is Not Obsolete, Family Expert Says

Depreciation of U.S. Dollar Gives Missionaries Hard Time

Texas Pastor Leads Evangelicals to Shake Off Isolationism

Burmese Officials Order Closure of Church in Chin State

Movie-Quality Audio Bible Now Online for Free

Creditors and Feds Object to Crystal Cathedral Salaries
The U.S. Trustee Program and creditors are objecting to salaries given out by the Crystal Cathedral to several of its employees as the Garden Grove, Calif., megachurch undergoes bankruptcy proceedings.

Christian Earthkeeping – Social Justice Over Climate Change

Disbelief Over Couple’s Poll on Whether to Abort Baby

U.N. Anti-Blasphemy Proposal Meets Firm Resistance

Filmmakers Try to Break Negative Stereotype of ‘Christian Films’

Saddleback Pastor Launches ‘Secret Questions Men Ask’ on YouTube

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