Category archives: Government

President Bush: Crossing the aisle or crossing his allies?

by Family Research Council

January 24, 2007

In the past State of the Union speeches President Bush has been consistent in recognizing issues important to families. After the speech last night I would assume his focus is now away from families and includes Nancy Pelosi. Global warming? Amnesty? Redistribution of income (raising taxes on the rich)?

Past speeches mention of culture:

2003: By caring for children who need mentors and for addicted men and women who need treatment, we are building a more welcoming society, a culture that values every life. And in this work, we must not overlook the weakest among us. I ask you to protect infants at the very hour of their birth and end the practice of partial-birth abortion. And because no human life should be started or ended as the object of an experiment, I ask you to set a high standard for humanity and pass a law against all human cloning.

2004: To encourage right choices, we must be willing to confront the dangers young people face, even when they’re difficult to talk about. Each year, about 3 million teenagers contract sexually transmitted diseases that can harm them or kill them or prevent them from ever becoming parents. In my budget, I propose a grassroots campaign to help inform families about these medical risks. We will double Federal funding for abstinence programs, so schools can teach this fact of life: Abstinence for young people is the only certain way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.

Decisions children now make can affect their health and character for the rest of their lives. All of us, parents and schools and government, must work together to counter the negative influence of the culture and to send the right messages to our children.

A strong America must also value the institution of marriage. I believe we should respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization. Congress has already taken a stand on this issue by passing the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton. That statute protects marriage under Federal law as a union of a man and a woman and declares that one State may not redefine marriage for other States.

Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. On an issue of such great consequence, the people’s voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process. Our Nation must defend the sanctity of marriage.

The outcome of this debate is important, and so is the way we conduct it. The same moral tradition that defines marriage also teaches that each individual has dignity and value in God’s sight.

2005: Because a society is measured by how it treats the weak and vulnerable, we must strive to build a culture of life. Medical research can help us reach that goal, by developing treatments and cures that save lives and help people overcome disabilities - and I thank Congress for doubling the funding of the National Institutes of Health. To build a culture of life, we must also ensure that scientific advances always serve human dignity, not take advantage of some lives for the benefit of others. We should all be able to agree on some clear standards. I will work with Congress to ensure that human embryos are not created for experimentation or grown for body parts, and that human life is never bought and sold as a commodity. America will continue to lead the world in medical research that is ambitious, aggressive, and always ethical.

2006: A hopeful society has institutions of science and medicine that do not cut ethical corners and that recognize the matchless value of every life. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: Human cloning in all its forms; creating or implanting embryos for experiments; creating human-animal hybrids; and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos. Human life is a gift from our Creator, and that gift should never be discarded, devalued, or put up for sale.

2007: ?????????????

State of the Union, By the Numbers

by Family Research Council

January 24, 2007

During the State of the Union speech, how many times did President Bush use the word…?

Iraq 34

Child/Children 15

terrorists 15

Health insurance 11

Al Qaeda 10

Oil 9

Tax/Taxes 9

Border 7

Economy — 7

Baghdad 5

Earmarks 5

Iran 5

Budget 4

Schools 4

Immigration 4

Deficit 3

Baby Einstein 3

HIV/AIDS 3

Poverty 3

Cedar Revolution 2

Lebanon 2

biodiesel 1

ethanol 1

hybrid vehicles 1

judges 1

global climate change 1

Osama bin Laden 1

Islam 1

Holy Land 1

nuclear weapons 1

Darfur 1

Malaria 1

NBA 1

Love 1

God 1

Abstinence — 0

Stem cells — 0

Abortion - 0

Cloning — 0

Values — 0

Marriage — 0

Judicial Nominees Withdraw

by Brian Newell

January 9, 2007

The Associated Press has reported that William Haynes, William Myers, and Terrance Boyle have asked that their names be withdrawn from future consideration as candidates for judicial office. Further consideration would extend the unprecedented long wait these well-qualified candidates have been forced to endure in order to receive a fair up-or-down vote by the U.S. Senate. These distinguished public servants add their names to a growing list of nominees who have withdrawn from the confirmation process, a list which includes Miguel Estrada, Carolyn Kuhl, Michael Wallace and Charles Pickering.

The AP cites several of the reasons why certain members of the Senate opposed their confirmation yet fails to mention any facts which strongly support the several nominees. Other media outlets have reported this as a concession to the Democrats. While it is deeply unfortunate that the nation will not benefit from their service on the federal bench, one surely cannot blame the nominees from exiting a confirmation process where extreme liberal interest groups rule the day, with decency and fairness being shut out.

Quote of the Day

by Family Research Council

January 5, 2007

The haters… and negative nabobs…the people who spoke against [Rep. William Jefferson] couldn’t prevail against the people who spoke for him.”

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, master of ceremonies for the Congressional Black Caucus’s celebratory event. The FBI is currently conducting an investigation that alleges Jefferson accepted $100,000 from a telecommunications businessman ($90,000 of which was later recovered in the congressman’s freezer). The caucus members—part of the “most ethical congress ever”—gave Jefferson a standing ovation.

Ethnic Cleansing…in Louisiana?

by Family Research Council

January 5, 2007

Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) says that President Bush’s policy toward Katrina victims represents a policy of “ethnic cleansing by inaction.”


And, what I believe is, at this point youre not talking about [inaudible], but what youre talking about is, I think, a [inaudible], what youre talking about is when you simply, in a calculated way, refuse to do anything for well over a year … [inaudible] … and [stuttering] I, I, the policy I think here is ethnic cleansing by inaction.

Its not ethnic cleansing in the sense that theyre killing people or [driving] people out, but what we need to recognize here is that, theyre in this happy position for them, where the federal government does nothing, as they become richer and richer, because well not only black people needed housing assistance,…”

Transcript by SevenStripes.com.

Related: Michelle Malkin finds that Frank stands by his claim.

The 110th Congress: Hey who needs an excuse to party?

by Family Research Council

December 21, 2006

Could he leave Nancy Pelosi in San Fran instead of his heart?I predicted Al D’Amato would beat Chuck Schumer. I predicted George H. W. Bush would beat Bill Clinton. I predicted Hillary Clinton would never become Senator of New York State. I predicted the Republicans would retain both Chambers of Congress. I predicted a ship like the Titanic could never be sunk and the Hindenburg was as safe as a horseless carriage. Finally, I predicted that the Democratic leadership wouldn’t be able to help themselves after winning Congress and would throw a lavish Hollywood type “Inaugural” - the kind normally reserved for Presidential elections. I guess I had to be right one of these times:

Tony Bennett is coming, of course, to croon his trademark “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

Carole King and Wyclef Jean will be there. Mayor Gavin Newsom is scheduled to be there, too.

And a big delegation of San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and labor leaders is jetting back East, together no less.

All will converge on Washington in early January to take part in four days of events surrounding the swearing-in of Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, who will be elected the new speaker of the House and the first woman and first Californian to occupy the post.

After running through a long list of planned events designed to highlight different phases of 66-year-old Pelosi’s life, her spokesman Brendan Daly said, “Overall this is who Nancy Pelosi is. And this is a chance for people to meet Nancy Pelosi and see who she is.”

Already “historians” are “>trying to rewrite history to say such a party isn’t unusual:

The communications strategy is simple,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. “Feature those facets of biography that make it harder for people to say ‘San Francisco liberal.’”

That focus on personal history is a marked contrast from the festivities that surrounded the installation of Speaker Newt Gingrich with the Republican revolution of 1994. Then, the GOP limited the formal revelry to two days, and Gingrich concentrated primarily on speeches articulating conservative plans for the country.

We’re at a different time and a different place right now,” said Jamieson, author of several books on political communication. “Speaker Gingrich wasn’t trying to overcome a lot of stereotypes. He hadn’t been regularly vilified by the other side.”

Newt Gingrich wasn’t vilified by the other side? Apparently the liberal Ms. Jamieson didn’t read the newspapers at the time (or she doesn’t realize which party the mainstream media actually works for.) As the Media Research Center points out it was the Press vilifying Newt Gingrich in 1994.

Will Congress Reduce Drug Costs?

by David Christensen

December 21, 2006

A couple of FDA items in the news yesterday are of interest, as is an oped about dealing with drug costs. First, the Washington Post reports on a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) study that new drugs are decreasing while the cost of drug R&D is increasing. In fact, the cost of R&D for drugs has increased to $60 billion annually from 1993 to 2004.

The amount of regulation on drug companies is definitely part of the reason for the enormous costs of getting new drugs to the market. I had a friend working for a company, and her job was to help companies run clinical trials in line with FDA regs. After a trial was complete, she said the amount of paperwork literally filled two trucks (not pickup trucks either). The amount of paper work alone has got to drive up costs, which of course are passed on to the consumer.

Second, it was widely reported yesterday that the FDA will require clearer labels for over-the-counter pain meds. I was shocked at how many deaths are attributed to pain killers (Tylenol, Aleve, etc). According to a Washington Post article:

Acetaminophen [Tylenol] sends an estimated 56,000 people to the emergency room each year, the FDA said. About 100 people die each year after unintentionally overdosing on the drug. Ibuprofen is sold under the brand names Advil and Motrin and in generic form. Naproxen is best known as Aleve but is also sold generically. The NSAIDs are blamed for sending more than 200,000 Americans to the hospital every year and are linked to an estimated 16,000 deaths, the FDA said.

Third, there’s an interesting oped “Freeing the Drug Market” in yesterday’s National Review online. David Gratzer calls for the removal of FDA’s “efficacy” standards, not “safety” standards. (Remember, the FDA is to ensure drugs are “safe and effective.”) He makes some good points about over-regulation, drug R&D costs, etc. If I understand correctly, his main argument is that FDA’s testing for “efficacy” of a drug (not just “safety”) is always different than real-world “efficacy,” because doctors use drugs off-label. So, Gratzer argues we should just get rid of the FDA’s efficacy requirement, which would reduce regulations and thereby reduce drug costs without risking “safety.” I think it’s an interesting idea. Of course, one could easily argue, instead, that we should restrict off-label use. I’m not sure either option would work at reducing costs….but I do think that restricting “off-label” use would be a disaster for our “free market” health system. It would mean that physicians would not be the primary caretakers, but rather those in Washington.

According to the WaPo article on the GAO drug R&D costs study, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Ted Kennedy (D-Mass) requested the study, and now they want to “reexamine” the drug development system. We’ll see what the new Congress decides to do.

Sandy Berger: Keeping America Safe from the Truth

by Family Research Council

December 21, 2006

Mishandling classified information, committing a crime and then lying to cover it up - and then when caught he still denies everything!! Where did he learn his ethics from? Oh wait I forgot who his former boss was.

Report Says Berger Hid Archive Documents

President Clinton’s national security adviser removed classified documents from the National Archives, hid them under a construction trailer and later tried to find the trash collector to retrieve them, the agency’s internal watchdog said Wednesday.

The report was issued more than a year after Sandy Berger pleaded guilty and received a criminal sentence for removing the documents.

Berger took the documents in the fall of 2003 while working to prepare himself and Clinton administration witnesses for testimony to the Sept. 11 commission. Berger was authorized as the Clinton administration’s representative to make sure the commission got the correct classified materials.

The 109th Congress: What’s In a Name?

by Family Research Council

December 14, 2006

It appears the majority of the bills came from the Democrats. What will be left to name once they are in power?

Hey its Christmas bonus time, I'll take all opportunities to suck up

109th Congress a success at naming buildings

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Despite criticism for adjourning last week without acting on several major legislative initiatives, members of Congress can boast significant achievements in at least one area of federal lawmaking — naming post offices.

Of the 383 pieces of legislation that were signed into law during the two-year 109th Congress, more than one-quarter dealt with naming or renaming federal buildings and structures — primarily post offices — after various Americans.

Three post offices were named after entertainers. Ray Charles, the late singer and musician, was honored with a post office in Los Angeles in July 2005 in a bill sponsored by Rep. Diane Watson, D-California Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, authored a law naming another Los Angeles post office after actor and former American Express pitchman Karl Malden.

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