FRC Blog

King of the Hill

by Tony Perkins

March 29, 2007

Somewhere between the November elections and this week’s debate, the GOP must have rediscovered its backbone. Apart from the runaway pork, which a handful of Republicans did support, the new minority has used its humble status to block several unconstitutional anti-family measures on everything from emergency contraception to D.C. voting rights.

Tuesday, the GOP’s latest move, prompted by the Minneapolis lawsuit filed by the “flying imans” against their fellow plane passengers, managed to take liberals completely by surprise. Using a procedural vote, introduced an amendmentRepublicans to the Rail and Public Transportation Security Act that would protect passengers from being sued when they report suspicious activity. Although the debate was heated, the provision proved extremely popular among Republicans and nearly half of the Democrats, passing 304-121. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) dismissed the claims that the bill would lead to racial profiling. When Americans “see something,” they should be free to “say something,” King argued.

Unfortunately, the suit in Minneapolis is just a symptom of the broader strategy by radical Islamists to manipulate American law. The Twin City taxi drivers, three-fourths of whom are Muslim, now refuse to transport passengers carrying alcohol. Likewise, Muslim clerks at Target stores are refusing to scan items that contain pork. In both instances, Islamic law forbids the consumption of these foods—not the handling of them. But until their agenda is challenged by leaders like Rep. King and the freedom of Americans upheld, these determined radicals will continue to use our own code of tolerance to chip away at Western law.

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Liberals’ ERA Denotes Screwball Politics

by Tony Perkins

March 29, 2007

Despite suffering several rounds of defeat on the state level, the Senate’s pro-abortion dream team of Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) reintroduced an archaic (and unnecessary) Equal Rights Amendment for consideration. In conjunction with the Feminist Majority Foundation, liberals hope their transparent ploy for women’s rights will ultimately nullify parental notification laws and the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of taxpayer funds for abortions.

As an added bonus to same-sex marriage advocates, a federal ERA would create a legal avenue for attacking traditional marriage. Already a Maryland state court has ruled in favor of same-sex unions on the grounds that the state’s ERA prohibits a “sex-based classification.” If feminists were truly concerned about women, they would concentrate their efforts not on achieving a status they already enjoy but on policies that will reverse the worldwide phenomena of sex selection abortion and infanticide that have resulted in an estimated 100 million missing girls. It is clear that what radical liberals lack in principle, they certainly make up for in persistence.

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News from Pelosi-land

by Family Research Council

March 28, 2007

Looking for an environmentally safe way to bring home your spotted owl steaks and baby seal sausages? Once again the hometown of speaker Nancy Pelosi has the answer.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - City leaders approved a ban on plastic grocery bags after weeks of lobbying on both sides from environmentalists and a supermarket trade group. If Mayor Gavin Newsom signs the ban as expected, San Francisco would be the first U.S. city to adopt such a rule. The law, passed by a 10-1 vote, requires large markets and drug stores to give customers only a choice among bags made of paper that can be recycled, plastic that breaks down easily enough to be made into compost, or reusable cloth. San Francisco supervisors and supporters said that by banning the petroleum-based sacks, blamed for littering streets and choking marine life, the measure would go a long way toward helping the city earn its green stripes.”

Apparently this has been a real source of worry for those who lean green . . .

The new breed of bags “offers consumers a way out of a false choice, a way out of the paper or plastic dilemma,” Noble said.”

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Funding the War on Sugar Beets

by Family Research Council

March 28, 2007

Last week, the U.S. House proposed funding the war on spinach. This week the Senate has shifted the funding to the war on sugar beets. Here is 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:

1) $24 million for funding for sugar beets.

2) $3 million for funding for sugar cane (goes to one Hawaiian co-op).

3) $20 million for insect infestation damage reimbursements in Nevada, Idaho, and Utah.

4) $2.1 billion for crop production losses.

5) $1.5 billion for livestock production losses.

6) $100 million for Dairy Production Losses.

7) $13 million for Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Program.

8) $32 million for Livestock Indemnity Program.

9) $40 million for the Tree Assistance Program.

10) $100 million for Small Agricultural Dependent Businesses.

11) $6 million for North Dakota flooded crop land.

12) $35 million for emergency conservation program.

13) $50 million for the emergency watershed program.

14) $115 million for the conservation security program.

15) $18 million for drought assistance in upper Great Plains/South West.

16) Provision that extends the availability by a year $3.5 million in funding for guided tours of the Capitol. Also a provision allows transfer of funds from holiday ornament sales in the Senate gift shop.

17) 165.9 million for fisheries disaster relief, funded through NOAA (including $60.4 million for salmon fisheries in the Klamath Basin region).

18) $12 million for forest service money (requested by the president in the non-emergency FY2008 budget).

19) $425 million for education grants for rural areas - (Secure Rural Schools program).

20) $640 million for LIHEAP.

21) $25 million for asbestos abatement at the Capitol Power Plant.

22) $388.9 million for funding for backlog of old Department of Transportation projects.

23) $22.8 million for geothermal research and development.

24) $500 million for wildland fire management.

25) $13 million for mine safety technology research.

26) $31 million for one month extension of Milk Income Loss Contract program (MILC)

27) $50 million for fisheries disaster mitigation fund.

28) $100 million to help pay for Republican and Democrat party conventions.

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Public Libraries Overdue for Internet Filters

by Tony Perkins

March 28, 2007

Thanks to Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D), parents who drop off their kids at the public library can now have more assurance that their children are checking out books and not pornography on the Internet. After a prolonged, three-year battle, state legislators passed a bill that requires public libraries to install filtering software on their computers to protect patrons from pornography and indecency.

Before the legislation passed, fewer than half of the library systems in Virginia had installed the software. Without them, a simple, misspelled word in a web search could lead children to pornographic and violent sites instead. The bill passed both the House and Senate by wide margins, echoing the broad local support for the proposal.

According to a survey by the Virginia Family Foundation, 89% of citizens supported the measure when asked last October. Virginia will join 21 other states that have similar legislation in place. Unfortunately, several other states legislatures have debated comparable bills but seen them fall prey to “free speech” objections. Ironically, some politicians seem more interested in protecting kids from the so-called “dangers of religious speech” than from the perils of pornography.

Virginia leaders were able to overcome the First Amendment obstacles by including a provision that allows adults to have the filters disabled for legitimate purposes. We applaud the Virginia Family Foundation and pro-family leaders, all of whom fought tirelessly for “safe surfing” in the state.

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Wedding Crashers: States Battle Against Same-Sex Marriage

by Tony Perkins

March 28, 2007

As their motto implies, residents of Indiana truly are at “The Crossroads of America” when it comes to traditional marriage. When Rep. Patrick Bauer (D) campaigned to become the next Speaker of the state House, he pledged to “allow committee meetings, floor debate, and a final vote in the chamber on a constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriages in Indiana.”

Since his election, things may have changed. Bauer is reportedly considering new language that would undercut traditional marriage and deny citizens a vote on the issue until at least 2010. In response, FRC Action and allies placed a full-page ad today in the South Bend Tribune calling on the Speaker to keep his promise on the amendment and let the people of Indiana decide.

Perhaps Bauer could take his cue from the Senate President of Massachusetts, Therese Murray, who announced this week that she will not use her power to block a vote on the state’s marriage protection amendment. Despite her objections to the proposal, Murray put the democratic process ahead of her political agenda. In Maryland, the prospects of passing a marriage amendment were crushed by the House Judiciary Committee, whose members rejected the bill before it reached the floor.

On the bright side, South Carolina celebrated the formal ratification of its new constitutional amendment upholding traditional marriage last week. The state officially joins 27 others that have resolved to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

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Case Closed on Parents’ Rights

by Tony Perkins

March 28, 2007

On March 26, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case of Fausey v. Hiller, in which FRC submitted an amicus curiae brief through our friends at the Alliance Defense Fund. We hoped that the Supreme Court would take the opportunity to clarify the law on the question of third-party visitation rights.

FRC contended that fit parents have the right to direct the upbringing of their children without state interference. For the state to force parents to accept visitation from other parties, who are not the legal parents of the child, is an unacceptable infringement. Currently this can occur when a court deems it to be “in the best interests of the child to have third-party visits.” Such decisions risk reinforcing a growing government trend to “micromanage” the American family.

If our courts go too far and start overruling parents on these issues, then the results will not only promote worthy goals—like encouraging grandparents’ access to their grandchildren—but also access by unrelated adults, whose presence the judges think would be good for children. It’s not hard to see what harm judges could do with such an elastic standard.

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Planned Parenthood prepares for a shakedown

by Jared Bridges

March 27, 2007

Darth Vader has the stormtroopers. Your local subdivision has the Neighborhood Watch. Heck, even the mall has rent-a-cops. Apparently, Planned Parenthood felt a little left out in its lack of a rapid-deployment force, so the nation’s largest abortion provider is now sending out the Pill Patrol. Planned Parenthood intends to unleash its legions upon unsuspecting pharmacies who have not stocked the controversial over-the-counter version of Plan B:

The group is encouraging its supporters to contact pharmacies at Costco, Target, Wal-Mart, or Osco stores - because those four chains have not signed on to Planned Parenthood’s policy of guaranteeing women access to emergency contraception - “without discrimination or delay.”

Plan B, also known as the “morning after pill,” was recently approved for over-the-counter use, despite obvious risks to womens’ health. Planned Parenthood apparently plans to use the findings of its Pill Patrol to bully pharmacies into stocking the drug. Ironically, the group claims on its website that the goal of the campaign is “to protect womens health.”

And yes, Planned Parenthood is funded with your tax dollars (nearly 273 million dollars, according to their annual report).

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