Category archives: Government

Funding the War on Spinach

by Family Research Council

March 16, 2007

A list of provisions in the emergency war supplemental U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans Health and Iraq Accountability Act, 2007” that do not fund the war:

  • $74 million for peanut storage costs.
  • $25 million for spinach growers.
  • $25 million for livestock (2005 Hurricane Livestock Indemnity program).
  • $100 million for citrus assistance (2005 Hurricanes Citrus program)
  • $283 million for the Milk Income Loss Contract program.
  • $120 million to compensate for the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the shrimp and menhaden fishing industries.
  • $60.4 million for salmon fishery “disaster” in the Klamath River region in California and Oregon.
  • $48 million for salaries and expenses for Farm Service Agency.
  • An additional $500 million for emergency wildfires suppression even though the Forest Service already has $831 million available for this purpose.
  • $400 million for rural schools.
  • Government contracting reform.
  • Minimum wage increase, which is already moving on a separate track.
  • $50 million for asbestos mitigation U.S. Capitol Plant.
  • $16 million for security upgrades to House of Representative Office buildings.
  • $6.4 million for House of Representatives Salaries and Expenses Account for business continuity and disaster recovery expenses.
  • $35 million for NASA risk mitigation projects in Gulf Coast.
  • $20 million for Emergency Conservation Program for farmland damaged by freezing temperatures.
  • $5 million for losses suffered by aquaculture businesses including breeding, rearing, or transporting live fish as a result of viral hemorrhagic septicemia.
  • $4 million for Office of Womens Health of FDA.
  • $10 million for the International Boundary and Water Commission, US/Mexico for the Rio Grande Flood Control System Rehabilitation project.

Nancy Pelosi Tries To Foster ‘CAIR

by Tony Perkins

March 16, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

In Congress, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is making room for radical Islam. Literally. Last week, despite protests from other members of Congress, Pelosi gave CAIRthe Council on American-Islamic Relationsa meeting room in the U.S. Capitol to host a panel on Islam. The groups already been tied with terror groups and questionable donors. In the last few years, five of their members have either been convicted or deported. Its ironic. Earlier this year, Pelosi wouldnt give congressmen a room to hold Bible studiesbut shell give one to radical Muslims, despite their animosity toward the very government that she serves. And she did so knowing that CAIR has refused to condemn terror groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. Any organization that condones violence has no place in Americas greatest symbol of freedom and democracy. As one critic said, You cant fight a war on terrorism when [youre] acting with a terror front. In the future, Pelosi would be wise to handle CAIR with care.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Keeping ‘Pace’ With Military Morality

by Tony Perkins

March 15, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

With a new congressional majority in Washington there are new priorities. One apparent priority shift is the military’s mission from fighting war to becoming a battle ground of social experimentation. Congressman Martin Meehan from Massachusetts is attempting to repeal the military’s ban on homosexuals openly serving in the military. President Bill Clinton attempted to remove the ban but settled for a compromise known as the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prevents questions from being asked about military personnel’s sexual orientation. Clinton’s compromise policy was an act of accommodation for homosexuals. This week, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Peter Pace, said he supports the current policy and would not recommend the change being entertained by congress. He said that homosexuality, like adultery, has a negative impact upon the mission of the military. Gen. Pace immediately came under fire for his comments and homosexual groups demanded his resignation. Gen. Pace is being criticized for failing to salute homosexuality. Foes of the current law don’t want just service in the military—they have that. Their response makes it clear that they will not settle for accommodation, they want forced acceptance.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Send Out the Clowns

by Tony Perkins

March 13, 2007

If liberal judicial activism were ever put on trial, the foolish decisions of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (sometimes referred to as the Ninth Circus) would be Exhibit A. An editorial in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal notes that the Supreme Court has reviewed eight decisions by the Ninth Circuit in its current term—and has overturned all eight. The cumulative vote of the justices against the Ninth Circuit’s positions is an astronomical 67-5.

This gives hope that the Supremes will overturn another absurd Ninth Circuit ruling handed down Friday. The Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library makes meeting rooms available to the public for “educational, cultural and community related” activities—but forbids their use for “religious services.” A district court judge overturned this blatantly unconstitutional policy, but a Ninth Circuit panel overruled that decision, and now the full court has refused to hear an appeal. The judges argue that “mere religious worship” is entitled to less protection under the First Amendment than is secular speech or religious speech other than worship. The dissenting judges declared that “the majority has disregarded equal-access cases stretching back nearly three decades.”

It’s no wonder that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Dr. James Dobson last week in a radio interview that he favors abolishing the Ninth Circuit altogether.

Poll Position

by Tony Perkins

March 6, 2007

At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), every GOP presidential candidate but Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) tried to stake a claim for conservative support. The results of CPAC’s presidential straw poll indicate that voters are grappling to find candidates whose platform addresses both the crisis abroad and the dilemmas at home.

Of 1,705 registrants, 21 percent backed former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) for President. Rudy Giuliani, who was given a prime-time slot at the event, came in second-place with just 17 percent of the vote. Senator Sam Brownback received 15%. The poll also surveyed conservatives for their opinion on what the government’s priorities ought to be. Half responded that “their most important goal is to promote individual freedom by reducing the size of government.”

However, what voters considered the second biggest concern wasn’t national security or immigration, but “promoting traditional values by protecting marriage and the life of the unborn.” Although attendees deemed marriage and life priorities, CPAC organizers did not. Neither issue was highlighted during the three-day conference. These results are indicative of the greater divide in the GOP.

Contrary to what pundits said in the aftermath of the 2006 election, values voters are still a force to be reckoned with. This is even more evident in the CPAC split over the 2008 conservative frontrunner. Social conservatives are looking for a Commander-in-Chief who will provide bold leadership in tackling both the internal threats brought about by social decay and the external threats posed by radical Islamists.

In Hawaii, Coast Is Clear from Civil Union Threat

by Tony Perkins

March 1, 2007

After a grueling five hours of testimony, Hawaiian lawmakers refused even to vote on a bill in committee that would have allowed same-sex unions. Later, the state’s legislators refused to offer an explanation for the move, but we applaud the Hawaii Family Forum for motivating voters to voice their opposition to this dangerous measure. The vote in Hawaii is more evidence that legislatures are reluctant to change the public understanding of marriage when they are free to debate and vote in the absence of a judicial decree that puts a finger on the scales of justice.

Hawaii is a politically liberal state, but it was one of the first in the nation to grapple with a pro-homosexual judicial ruling upsetting the man-woman character of marriage. When Hawaii courts first ruled on the matter roughly a decade ago, voters amended the state constitution to require that any changes in state law on the nature of marriage could only be made by the elected branches of government, not judges.

This stands in sharp contrast to the judicially-driven outcomes in Vermont, Massachusetts, and now New Jersey. It also has the virtue of being more honest: elected officials must account for themselves, and not point to another branch of government and say, “They made me do it.” Whatever your position is on this issue, or any other controversial matter, voters should expect their elected officials to stand on the courage of their convictions, not the convenience of coercion.

Government Agencies Caught In The Act

by Tony Perkins

February 28, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

At the Sundance Film Festival, Americas government ensured that the show would go on. According to the American Family Association, two U.S. agencies helped to sponsor the eventand, until this week, they had managed to get away without publicizing it. Reports show that the National Endowment for the Arts and Public Broadcasting gave as much as $350,000 of your tax money to an event that featured graphic films on bestiality and child rape. The 2007 festival highlighted the documentary Zoo about sexual relationships between a man and his horse. The truth is, independent films should have independent support. You and I shouldnt have to pay for Hollywoods pet projects. Our money should be spent keeping Americas families safenot exposing them to radical ideas that harm society. They may be partnering with filmmakers, but when it comes to understanding right from wrong, its apparent our government doesnt get the big picture.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Parental Rights Should Reign ‘Supreme’

by Tony Perkins

February 23, 2007

On Wenesday, FRC filed a “friend-of-the-court” brief with our friends at the Alliance Defense Fund in the U.S. Supreme Court case Fausey v. Hiller. We are arguing that the Court should review the case, which would determine if parents can control “third-party visitation rights.” These cases pit a third party (often a grandparent) against a parent in determining whether visits with the parent’s children will be permitted, and on what terms.

Some states have sought to use a standard (“best interests of the child”) that was developed for mother-and-father disputes and to expand that standard to other relatives and parties. In today’s world these disputes can enmesh families where the grandparents are in fact loving in their intentions.

While recognizing this, FRC maintains that before the state intervenes in a decision made by what the law deems “a fit parent,” the only reasonable standard is to put the burden on the third party to show that the child would suffer harm if such visits were denied. Only such a standard can preserve the fundamental right of parents to supervise the upbringing of their children, a right long ago recognized by the Supreme Court as fundamental under the U.S. Constitution. Churches, counselors and other resources can and should employed to help families achieve reconciliation and enjoy the important cross-generational ties that strong families experience.

On Religious Freedom, Justice Is Served

by Tony Perkins

February 22, 2007

Stating that “nothing defines us more as Americans [than] our religious liberties,” Attorney General Alberto Gonzales unveiled the Justice Department’s “First Freedom Project” to the Southern Baptist Executive Committee in Nashville on Tuesday. His new Religious Freedom Task Force will step up enforcement of laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion and will educate churches on how to file complaints about violations of their rights. We applaud Attorney General Gonzales for recognizing the ongoing threat to religious freedom and for taking firm steps to defend our “first freedom.”