All posts from “November 2009”

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November 20, 2009

Did You Read Sarah Palin's Book?

Have you read Sarah Palin's Going Rogue yet?

Dan Gilgoff offers some excerpts where Palin talks about her faith:

And I do know there is a God. My life is in His hands. I encourage readers to do what I did many years ago, invite Him in to take over . . . then see what He will do and how He will get you through. Test Him on this. You'll see there's no such thing as coincidence. I'm thankful for His majestic creation called Alaska.

She also talks about putting your life in God's hands in an interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Sarah Palin: "My very last paragraph there sums it up and invites people, encourages people to do what I did and that's put their life in God's hands, our Creator who knows probably better than we know what the perfect path is for a person so God being so extremely important my faith is to my life I wasn't going to be hesitant at all to let people know what I believe."

Sarah Palin: "How in the World would I sum up my life except to say God at the end of the day I have really nothing but my faith, my reliance on you lord and I wanted to articulate that."

She talks about her faith in God here, but there's little mention of Jesus. If you've read Palin's book, what did you think?

November 18, 2009

Abortion Remains Central in Health Care Debates

Debates over whether the federal government should fund abortion became central in passing final health care legislation after the House passed the Stupak amendment, which bans funding abortion. “The simple math in the House suggests the health bill wouldn't have passed without the votes of the moderates who came to the ‘yes’ side after the Stupak amendment,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Some pro-choice critics of the amendment say that it goes far beyond previous limits placed on federal funding of abortions, diminishing the legal standing of abortion based on Roe v. Wade. Pro-choice advocates are determined to stop the bill from passing the Senate with the amendment attached. Tuesday, the pro-choice Center for Reproductive Rights launched a new ad aimed at warning viewers that Congress could “ban abortion coverage millions of women already have.”

The Conference of Catholic Bishops is pushing back against pro-choice lobbyists in order to retain the amendment, denying in a recent assessment that the Stupak amendment would affect existing access to abortion because it only applies to the use of government money and not private insurance options. (The Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio also break down the terms of the amendment and agree that the affect of the amendment will be minimal.) The Los Angeles Times noted that the Catholic organization, which has been lobbying the federal government to provide universal health insurance for the past three decades, wielded significant influence in the addition of the amendment because the organization will not support a bill that covers abortion.

Continue reading Abortion Remains Central in Health Care Debates...

November 7, 2009

House Passes Health Care Bill, Bars Funding for Abortion

The House just voted 220-215 to approve health care legislation that would create a public health insurance option and require employers to offer health insurance.

Before the final vote, the House also voted 240-194 to bar federal funding of abortion in the proposed government-run health care plan.

Sixty-four Democrats voted in favor of the amendment led by Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), while Republican Rep. John Shadegg voted present in an effort to derail the bill. Here's the full description of the Stupak amendment.

The amendment prohibits federal funds for abortion services in the public option. It also prohibits individuals who receive affordability credits from purchasing a plan that provides elective abortions. However, it allows individuals, both who receive affordability credits and who do not, to separately purchase with their own funds plans that cover elective abortions. It also clarifies that private plans may still offer elective abortions.

Here's analysis from the Associated Press:

Under the Stupak amendment, people who do not receive federal insurance subsidies could buy private insurance plans in the exchange that include abortion coverage. People who receive federal subsidies could buy separate policies covering only abortions if they use only their own money to do it.

Companies selling insurance policies covering abortions would be required to offer identical policies without the abortion coverage.

...A health overhaul bill pending in the Senate also bars federal funding for abortion, but the language is less stringent. Discrepancies between the House and Senate measures would have to be reconciled before any final bill is passed.

Continue reading House Passes Health Care Bill, Bars Funding for Abortion...

November 5, 2009

C. Everett Koop's Letter Shuts Down Reid's Office

His letter was protesting federally funded abortion under health care legislation.

An unstamped letter from former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop caused a security scare when Capitol Police shut down Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s for 45 minutes office yesterday.

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Koop's letter, addressed to Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, protested federal funding of abortion in health care legislation.

"More specifically, I am troubled about the possibility of federal dollars being used to pay for elective abortions and Americans being forced to subsidize them," Koop wrote. "I firmly believe that strong protections must be included in this legislation so that health care providers are not forced to participate in abortions against their will."

Roll Call reports that the letter was stampless with "C. Everett Koop" written in the upper-left corner, and staffers reported it as a suspicious package to the police.

Reached at his home Wednesday, Koop confirmed that he wrote a few “beautifully typed” pages on his views of the health care legislation. The fact that it caused a Capitol Hill scare is “nonsense,” he said.

“I wasn’t aware that sending a hand-delivered letter was an offense,” he said, later adding: “I did it over a weekend. I don’t have a lot of secretarial help and I’m 93.”

Continue reading C. Everett Koop's Letter Shuts Down Reid's Office...

November 4, 2009

Maine's Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Claim Victory

Early exit polls show Maine heading towards a repeal of a state law that would have allowed same-sex marriage.

The Legislature passed the law in May, but the election offered voters the chance to repeal the measure.

With more than 84 percent of precincts reporting early Tuesday, voters seeking to repeal the law claimed 53 percent of the vote.

In Washington state, early election results showed that voters were approving the state’s “everything but marriage” law, which gives registered domestic partners additional state-granted rights currently given only to married couples.

Continue reading Maine's Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Claim Victory...

November 3, 2009

Republican Chris Christie Takes New Jersey

Chris Christie became the first Republican in several years to become New Jersey's governor in the Democratic-leaning state.

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He joins Virginia governor-elect Bob McConnell as the second Republican Catholic to be voted into gubernatorial office today.

The Associated Press reports that with 75 percent of the precincts reporting, Christie leads with 50 percent of the vote over his Democratic opponent Gov. Jon Corzine, who is left with 44 percent of the vote. President Obama invested in the race, campaigning with Corzine five times on three visits.

During the campaign, Corzine targeted Christie in an ad criticizing Christie's support of a constitutional ban on abortion and opposition of funding stem cell research.

Continue reading Republican Chris Christie Takes New Jersey...

November 3, 2009

Republican Bob McDonnell Wins Virginia Governor's Race

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Republican Bob McDonnell won Virginia's governor race today, becoming the second Catholic governor of Virginia, the Associated Press reports. Outgoing Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine became the first.

The former state attorney general defeated Democratic candidate, R. Creigh Deeds, who attempted to slam McDonnell for his 1989 master’s thesis while attending Regent University. McDonnell had described working women and feminists as "detrimental" to the family. Deeds's strategy didn't work, the Washington Post writes.

The strategy appeared to work for a time, as polls tightened. But McDonnell fought back with a series of TV spots featuring supportive testimonials from his daughter, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, and a gallery of professional women who had worked for him in the attorney general's office. Increasingly, voters said they saw Deeds's campaign as a largely negative one that failed to define his own vision for the state.

Continue reading Republican Bob McDonnell Wins Virginia Governor's Race ...

November 2, 2009

Maine Voters to Decide on Same-Sex Marriage

The Maine Legislature legalized same-sex marriage in May, but voters will get a chance to repeal the new law on Tuesday.

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This is the first time voters have had a chance to repeal a legislature-initiated law that extends marriage to same-sex couples. If voters repeal it, the law will not be implemented.

The campaign to approve the law, Protect Maine Equality, and the campaign for repealing the law, Stand For Marriage Maine are still fighting hard as Election Day approaches to get the voters out. Protect Maine Equality raised $4 million for advertising and other campaign material, compared to $2.6 million raised by Stand for Marriage Maine, according to The New York Times. In addition, Gov. John Baldacci (D) publicly supports the law.

The final public opinion polls taken before the election suggest that the vote is a dead heat, the Washington Post reports.

Continue reading Maine Voters to Decide on Same-Sex Marriage...