FRC Blog

Congress Blocks Funding of Baby AIDS Program (Update)

by Family Research Council

February 21, 2007

Last week I wrote about Congress’ de-funding of the Baby AIDS program Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) believed the move was retribution by appropriators for his militant stance on spending, as well as for his criticism of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while others claimed the initiative was simply an unfortunate casualty of earmark reform.

The new House appropriations chief David Obey (D-WI) even attempted to use this line of reasoning, claiming “Many worthwhile earmarks are not funded in this measure, but we had to take this step to clear the decks, clean up the process and start over.”

But notes Kimberley Strassel of The Wall Street Journal, The key language here is not funded in this measure,…

Congressional members, led by appropriators and an army of staff, have already figured out a new way to keep their favors in the money, and it might as well be called 1-800-EARMARKS (which unfortunately is already taken). All across Washington, members are at this moment phoning budget officers at federal agencies—Interior, Defense, HUD, you name it—privately demanding that earmarks in previous legislation be fully renewed again this year.

To ensure this back door option wouldnt be available to Coburn, language was included in the bill that explicitly stated that None of the funds appropriated by this division may be used for the infant AIDS program. Someone at the CDC was apparently still upset over another one of the Senators amendment to move $60 million from the CDC construction program to another AIDS reduction program.

Although the language will try to be overridden, Coburns staff is unsure that the money would actually be used for HIV/AIDS testing and prevention. In a memo to the CDC they wrote:

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FRC Blogger’s conference call write-ups

by Jared Bridges

February 21, 2007

Matt Anderson at Mere Orthodoxy has written some summaries (with commentary) of two of our recent FRC Blogger’s Briefing conference calls:

If you’re a socially conservative blogger and would like to join us for some of our conference calls,

with your name and blog information.

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Iowa Puts Cloning Bill under the Microscope

by Tony Perkins

February 21, 2007

The state of Iowa is synonymous with farming, but if a dangerous bill passes the House, it could be cloned human embryo farms, not traditional agriculture, that the Hawkeyes will become known for. Yesterday, legislation that would repeal Iowa’s current ban on all human cloning passed through one of the state’s House committees.

The issue is reaching critical importance in the state, as the Senate narrowly voted to lift Iowa’s human cloning ban last week. A vote by the full House is next. Supporters of the bill are using deceptive tactics, similar to the campaign in Missouri, to convince citizens that the bill would not allow human cloning but only permit SCNT (somatic cell nuclear transfer) to generate embryonic stem cells.

Unfortunately, what some voters and legislators may not understand through the fog of scientific jargon is that SCNT is human cloning. This fact shouldn’t be lost on the University of Iowa, yet school officials are urging alumni to support the bill, writing, “Opponents of the bill are saying it will lead to human cloning. It [cloning] is unethical, immoral, and we will never support it.” As the University well knows, the bill under consideration will not lead to human cloning, but instead will legally protect human cloning.

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Elderly Homosexual Atheists Need Not Apply

by Family Research Council

February 20, 2007

If you’re a 72 year-old homosexual who doesn’t believe in God your chances of being elected POTUS are rather slim.That’s one of the conclusions that could be gleaned from a recent Gallup poll on presidential candidates. The poll asked Americans whether they would vote for “a generally well-qualified” presidential candidate nominated by their party with each of the following characteristics: Jewish, Catholic, Mormon, an atheist, a woman, black, Hispanic, homosexual, 72 years of age, and someone married for the third time. The results:

gallup_20070219_diversity.png

According to Gallup, only about one in five Americans said they would vote for an atheist when the item was first asked in the late 1950s, compared with 45% today. Just 26% said they would support a homosexual presidential candidate in 1978, compared with the current 55%.

(HT: Outside the Beltway)

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Coming to a Library Near You…

by Family Research Council

February 20, 2007

Hey kids, want to see a R-rated movie? Whats that? Your parents wont take you to see and the video clerk wont rent it to you because youre under age? No problem. Just get the movie from your local librarian.

Libraries in Johnson County will let anyone, regardless of age, check out an R-rated movie. This news surprised Sally O’Rear. She found out the hard way. She saw her 13-year-old daughter with the movie.

ORear said, I want people to know you can go out there to the library and check these out. I want to be that voice to say, ‘Hey parents wake up. Look this is what’s going on.’”

For O’Rear, it is not so much that the movies are available. She wants the staff to help monitor what kids are doing inside the library. She said, I feel the parents should keep an eye also, but I feel the library needs to put up notification.”

North Liberty librarys assistant director Jennie Garner said, We can’t be baby sitters. We can’t monitor everyone’s age.” Library staff will tell you blocking kids from any material at the library is unconstitutional.

Garner said, Anyone, including minors, has the right to access any materials under the First amendment.”

The American Library Association’s website offers a “sample answer” that librarians can give when parents ask about such policies:

Kids can’t rent R-rated movies at the video store, or buy Playboy at the newsstand. Why won’t you use the same common sense restrictions at my public library?

* Those types of rating systems are voluntary, and libraries make them available to assist parents and others in making decisions for their families and themselves. As librarians, we strongly encourage parents to take an active role in monitoring what their children see and view, but as public employees, it’s not appropriate for librarians to make those decisions for them.

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Meet Generation Next

by Family Research Council

February 19, 2007

The Pew Research Center released a survey report that examines how young people ages 18 to 25 view their lives, futures, and politics. The results are alternately fascinating and disheartening:

About half of Gen Nexters say the growing number of immigrants to the U.S. strengthens the country more than any generation. And they also lead the way in their support for gay marriage and acceptance of interracial dating.

Beyond these social issues, their views defy easy categorization. For example, Generation Next is less critical of government regulation of business but also less critical of business itself. And they are the most likely of any generation to support privatization of the Social Security system.

They maintain close contact with parents and family. Roughly eight-in-ten say they talked to their parents in the past day. Nearly three-in-four see their parents at least once a week, and half say they see their parents daily. One reason: money. About three-quarters of Gen Nexters say their parents have helped them financially in the past year.

One-in-five members of Generation Next say they have no religious affiliation or are atheist or agnostic, nearly double the proportion of young people who said that in the late 1980s. And just 4% of Gen Nexters say people in their generation view becoming more spiritual as their most important goal in life.

They are somewhat more interested in keeping up with politics and national affairs than were young people a generation ago. Still, only a third say they follow whats going on in government and public affairs most of the time.

In Pew surveys in 2006, nearly half of young people (48%) identified more with the

Democratic Party, while just 35% affiliated more with the GOP. This makes Generation

Next the least Republican generation.

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FRC at National Religious Broadcasters

by Family Research Council

February 18, 2007

FRC_booth_team.jpg

The National Religious Broadcasters have hit Orlando and FRC is here talking about our radio program, Washington Watch Weekly. (You can listen here!) If you are anywhere in the area, be sure to come by and see us at Booth 324. . .

… this is the booth going up with our NRB team: Dave Salkeld, Bethanie Swendsen, Alexandria Crowley, Craig Ballard and my daughter.

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Pro-Life Members Work to Make “Amends” on GINA

by Tony Perkins

February 16, 2007

Despite support by pro-life Republicans and Reps. Dale Kildee (D-MI) and Jason Altmire (D-PA) an amendment to expand the definition of “family member” to include the unborn and adoptive children in the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act failed in the House Education and Labor Committee. Chairman George Miller (D-CA) did offer a provision that would include “fetuses” in the bill. However, this does not address children in the process of being adopted and unborn children younger than nine weeks’ gestation. Also, it does not remedy the dilemma for IVF embryos. FRC will continue to urge House members to close this devastating loophole.

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