FRC Blog

Blogosphere Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

February 2, 2009

Here’s some interesting highlights from the blogosphere today.

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Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

February 2, 2009

Here’s what we are reading this morning.

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Why does Planned Parenthood hate family planning that creates families

by Family Research Council

February 2, 2009

In responding (as I was asked to) to Steven Waldman’s posting on Beliefnet.com it is easy to know where to start. It would be at the original title, “Why Pro-lifers Hate Family Planning,” which can be described mildly as inflammatory. It has since been changed to “Why Many Pro-lifers Oppose Family Planning,” which, at best, is less rabble-rousing. Taken with the rest of the post one could easily draw the conclusion that supporting family planning can only be defined as supporting taxpayer funding of condoms. But what of abstinence? Or natural family planning? While many religions are opposed to condoms, there are a few who are not, however still religious organizations are pretty active on family planning - be it pregnancy care centers, churches with abstinence and pre-marital and marital counseling, abstinence programs, etc. Most religious conservatives, in my opinion, are more unified in opposing federal involvement. With sheckles come shackles.

The rest of the post does seem to try to draw a balance, though I do disagree with the premise “that there is evidence that government financed family planning does reduce abortions” - which seems to have at its base a quote from Planned Parenthood’s research arm, the Guttmacher Institute. However Guttmacher’s own numbers seem to dispute their quote. Many major cities have been seeing an increase of both pregnancy and abortion, despite also having liberal rules and regulations on family planning. Take New York City, which has liberalized sex education and even has its own brand of condom. In New York State 1/3 of the pregnancies result in induced abortion. Additionally the state rate of abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age is almost double the national rate. It does not stop there, in New York City, rates for teenage pregnancy far exceed the national averages and the city “remains the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with youths, the poor, and minorities increasingly - and unevenly - affected by the disease.”

Finally Mr. Waldman points out that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest promoter of abortion, “also provides prenatal care that prevents infant death and birth control that stops unintended pregnancies.” While how much of this counseling and care is actually done by Planned Parenthood is disputed, what of the other groups that do not promote abortion, like pregnancy care centers, that because of their opposition to abortion, do not accept federal funds under the Title X program that distributes them? These pro-life pregnancy care centers, if they accepted Title X funds, would be forced by the federal government to include referring for abortions as part of their pre-natal care - thanks to a regulation passed by President Clinton and never rescinded by President George W. Bush. Additionally pregnancy care centers, unlike Planned Parenthood, do not spend tens of millions of dollars to elect pro-abortion politicians or overturn popular incremental pro-life laws like parental consent.

How much more could these pregnancy care centers do if they received the millions in subsidies that U.S. taxpayers are currently giving to Planned Parenthood? The question isn’t why do pro-lifers hate family planning but more why does Planned Parenthood hate family planning that creates families?

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President Obama’s first broken promise?

by Family Research Council

February 1, 2009

During the campaign there was a lot of talk from the Obama campaign that he would usher in a new era of open and honest government. In fact on the ethics page of his website there is this little tidbit:

Sunlight Before Signing: Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them. As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.

Then how does he explain the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which Heritage correctly describes as a payoff to trial lawyers? According to the Congressional website THOMAS the Lilly Ledbetter Act was passed by the Senate on January 22, then passed by the House of Representatives on January 27 and signed into law by President Obama two days later.

I searched the White House website and there was no five day “waiting period” before President Obama signed the legislation into law, and certainly no explanation that this trial lawyers’ dream of a bill is “emergency” legislation.

There is a section of the White House website on the bill that asks for comments - but I am told by people in the White House it did not go up till two hours AFTER the bill was signed!

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Change Watch Backgrounder: John Holdren

by David Prentice

January 30, 2009

POSITION: SCIENCE ADVISOR

AND Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

AND Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)

NOMINEE: John Holdren

BIRTH DATE: March 1, 1944 Sewickley, PA, grew up in San Mateo, CA

EDUCATION:

Ph.D. in aeronautics/astronautics and theoretical plasma physics 1970, Stanford University

M.S. in aeronautics & astronautics 1966, MIT

B.S. in aeronautics & astronautics 1965, MIT

FAMILY: Wife Dr. Cheryl E. Holdren, a biologist; two children and four grandchildren

FRC SCORECARD: NA

EXPERIENCE:

June 2005-present Director, Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA

1996-present Harvard University

  • Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy
  • Director, Science, Technology and Public Policy Program Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
  • Professor of Environmental Science and Public Policy

1973-present University of California-Berkeley

  • Professor of Energy and Resources

1972-1973 California Institute of Technology

1970-1973, 1973-present as consultant,  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

1969-1970 Stanford University

1966-1967 Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, Sunnyvale, California

Brief Professional CV at Harvard

And Woods Hole Research Center

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

  • 2007- Chairman of the Board of Directors
  • 2006- President
  • 2005- President-elect

1994-2001 Member of Clinton’s President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)

Member National Academy of Sciences

Member National Academy of Engineering

 

ON EMBRYONIC STEM CELL EXPERIMENTATION and CLONING

AAAS worked to increase support for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, too, by issuing a statement decrying the President’s second veto of the initiative, which had twice passed in the House and Senate, with votes from Republicans and Democrats alike. Association staff later teamed up with stem cell pioneer James Thomson to publish an op-ed that appeared in the Washington Post and at least nine other newspapers.”

Welcome Letter from John Holdren, AAAS Chair & Alan Leshner, AAAS CEO; AAAS 2007 annual report

[Source]

Holdren’s views on another controversy, embryonic stem cell research, also are likely to run contrary to those of Bush, who has restricted U.S. funding to minimize the number of embryos destroyed to create new colonies of cells.

Holdren has already said he thinks the research should advance without the funding restrictions, said David Baltimore, the 1975 Nobel Prize winner who is now a biology professor at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

[Source]

The President has again vetoed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which would expand federal support for embryonic stem cell research. AAAS, the world’s largest general scientific society, stands with a broad coalition of Americans spanning all parties and faiths that supports this bill.

The scientific consensus is that embryonic stem cell research is an extremely promising approach to developing more effective treatments for devastating conditions like diabetes, spinal cord injuries, and Parkinson’s disease. The bill would mandate that such research be allowed to compete for federal funding while following strict ethical guidelines.

The Executive Order is not a substitute for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. The new approaches addressed by the order are still in the early stages of development and appear to already be eligible for NIH funding. AAAS strongly believes that it is only through federal support of diverse avenues of stem cell research, including especially embryonic stem cell research, that we may better understand the potential value and limitations of each approach.

During his tenure the President has acknowledged that it is a critical time for the American scientific enterprise, therefore it is disappointing that he has chosen to maintain restrictions on such a promising area of research. AAAS will continue to support the interests of scientists and patients in fostering medical progress.”

AAAS statement, 20 June 2007

AAAS supports human experimental cloning

We believe that cloning for research purposes, where stem cells are extracted for further study, holds great promise for contributing to human health and dignity by developing effective treatments or cures for people whose daily lives are challenged by serious diseases and injuries that cause great suffering and premature death. On the other hand, AAAS has endorsed a legal ban on efforts to clone human embryos for reproduction.”

AAAS statement on March 7, 2005:

Other AAAS Policy Statements

 

ON GLOBAL WARMING/CLIMATE CHANGE

The extent of unfounded skepticism about the disruption of global climate by human-produced greenhouse gases is not just regrettable, it is dangerous.”

[Source]

Global warming is a misnomer. It implies something gradual, something uniform, something quite possibly benign, and what we’re experiencing is none of those,” Holdren said a year ago in a speech at Harvard. “There is already widespread harm … occurring from climate change. This is not just a problem for our children and our grandchildren.”

[Source]

Advised Al Gore on the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”

[Source]

Dr. Holdren’s resistance to dissenting views was also on display earlier this year in an article asserting that climate skeptics are “dangerous.”

[Source]

 

MISCELLANEOUS

In 1980 Dr. Holdren helped select five metals - chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten - and joined Dr. Ehrlich and Dr. Harte in betting $1,000 that those metals would be more expensive ten years later. They turned out to be wrong on all five metals, and had to pay up when the bet came due in 1990.”

[Source]

A John Holdren Reader (selected slides, videos, & writings by Holdren)

[Source]

In 1995 he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, for which he served as chair of the executive committee from 1987 to 1997.

Some consider Holdren to be intolerant of dissenting viewpoints.

[Source]

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Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

January 30, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

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Marriage in These United States

by Family Research Council

January 30, 2009

While the homosexual lobby suffered some losses last year they are not resting on their laurels and neither should we.

In Texas last week, a homosexual Dallas man filed for divorce from his partner in Dallas County’s 302nd District Court. The couple “married” in 2006 when they lived in Massachusetts. Up in Maine, on the heels of the homosexual lobby group GLAD’s vow to redefine marriage throughout New England, forces are gathering to defeat a legislative measure that would legalize homosexual marriage in the Pine Tree State. In the state of Hawaii, where in 1998 nearly 70 percent of Hawaii voters supported traditional marriage when they passed a constitutional amendment that gave the state legislature the authority to reserve marriage to one man and one woman, is now seeking to redefine marriage by passing “marriage lite,” or civil unions.

Two states that saw marriage victories in 2008 are still fighting back forces that seek to undermine families. In California a federal judge has denied a request to keep names of donors to the state’s marriage protection amendment secret. An updated list of late donors is to be released Monday. This is of great concern for we witnessed both during and after the marriage amendment debate in California donors in support of marriage faced vandalism, losing their jobs and other forms of thuggery. Meanwhile in Arizona, a new initiative drive seeks to give homosexual Arizonans civil partnerships or counterfeit marriage.

Pro-family advocates are not just sitting around waiting for the other side to attack. Just an example of the many pro-marriage initiatives include the state of Wyoming seeking to pass a marriage amendment in their state and the city council of Sioux City, Iowa looking to pass a resolution defining marriage for their city.

For more information on what is going on in your state and what you can do about it please contact your state family policy council listed here.

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Perkins’ Perspective: Icing on the Stimulus Cake

by Tony Perkins

January 29, 2009

As the ice melted off my computer yesterday morning in D.C., I was able to find an email from Chicken Little—disguised as Al Gore. He’s the Chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection. Mr. Gore was reaching out to the UFO crowd and others about how the “entrenched interests in Washington will be working hard to weaken” President Obama’s stimulus bill.

The closer one looks at the so-called stimulus bill, the more you see that is a pork-laden political payoff which includes billions of dollars to those “entrenched interests in Washington” which Mr. Gore speaks of, most of whom have been at the public trough for years. They include groups like Planned Parenthood and the controversial and corrupt ACORN. Because this measure—which is now estimated to cost taxpayers $1.1 trillion—is so big, there are billions to be passed out to all kinds of left wing groups. Near the top of this list is the green lobby that Al Gore and his global warming alarmists are a part of.

By the way, in a recent Pew Research Center Poll of what Americans said were their public policy priorities - Al Gore was left out in the cold - global warming ranked dead last.

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