Family Research Council
December 1, 2011
Click here to listen to Part 1 of the interview
Click here to to listen to Part 2 of the interview
This week on American Family Radio, Ohio Congresswoman Jean Schmidt discussed the recent case in Ohio, where case workers removed a 200 pound third grader from his home. Congresswoman Schmidt argued that in many cases, obesity is the result of emotional stress, and that taking the child away from his mother might actually worsen the problem.
Think about an eight-year-old child. Only knowing its mother, and the loving arms of its mother. Every morning that child runs to its mommy for a hug and a kiss, it’s part of its security…In most cases, people who are obese are obese because they use food as a cover for their emotions. So now you’ve put him in a new setting…where there’s all kinds of emotional trauma going on, and what is this child going to reach for? Or want to reach for? The cookie
Why didn’t the state step in and really help her and that child? Not just marginally, but really stepped in and helped them in the home. That’s where it should have occurred. All of the help should have occurred inside the home
Congresswoman Schmidt is an avid marathon runner, and works with Congress on issues including child nutrition and women’s health.
December 1, 2011
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The likeability of a presidential candidate is important to both political parties and to the American people. Some of us will vote less on the content of a candidate’s character and convictions than whether or not he seems “nice.”
The cover story of this week’s Time Magazine is titled, “Why They Don’t Like Mitt (Romney).” A Los Angeles Times poll last month found Newt Gingrich to be “one of the least likeable candidates.” And in a poll reported by the Des Moines Register, Michele Bachmann was rated as the “least likeable” of the Republican presidential candidates.
During one of the 2008 presidential debates, this exchange occurred between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama:
Then-Senator Hillary Clinton was asked about her deficit of “likeability” and joked that the question hurt her feelings but she would “try to go on.” The audience laughed and Clinton , looking over at fellow candidate for the Democratic nomination Barack Obama, admitted “he’s very likable - I agree with that.” “I don’t think I’m that bad,” Clinton said, smiling. Obama barely looked up from his notes. “You’re likeable enough, Hillary,” he said.
In one respect, these perceptions are meaningless: Many of us like people for whom we would not vote for President, and support presidential contenders we might not want for neighbors. Moreover, one person’s likeability is another’s distaste: Subjective impressions about likeability should be far down the list on our electoral criteria.
Character counts far more than likeability. A person can be winsome, charismatic, and funny, and also be a serial adulterer. On the other hand, someone might be socially stiff and a bit awkward and be an exemplar of sterling virtues. Ideally, we want to be able to support someone both pleasant and principled. But should not principle triumph over a ready smile, if it comes to that?
“A vote is like a rifle,” wrote Theodore Roosevelt in his autobiography. “Its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.” As each of us thinks and prays about our vote in the 2012 primaries and general election, let’s bear in mind that our choices will reflect our own character as much as that of those for whom we vote.
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council
P.S. It’s been two months since the military opened its doors to homosexuality. Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis (USA-Ret.) was a member of the 1993 Pentagon team that wrote the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy. In his new paper Looking Back, Looking Forward: Homosexuality and Military Service, Maginnis details how America’s armed forces have become a cultural battleground for advancing the radical gay agenda.
Educational Freedom and Reform
Legislation and Policy Proposals
- “Making sense of the whole “Are teachers overpaid?” thing,” Rick Hess, Education Week
- “Where are the Christians in Academia?,” Qideas
- “Graduation Rates Can Be Predicted More Precisely by Examining Student Characteristics, Report Says,” Jennifer Gonzalez, The Chronicle of Higher Education
- “A Plea to College Presidents: Exercise Your Moral Leadership,” Cathy N. Davidson, The Chronicle of Higher Education
- “Best and Worst in American Education, 2011,” The Hoover Institution
- “Christie makes education reform bills a priority for December,” Diane D’Amico, Press of Atlantic City
- “Jury still out on success of Teach for America,” Christine Armario, Associated Press
- “Want cheaper tuition? Find religion,” Blake Ellis, CNNMoney
Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts
- “Handicapping ObamaCare’s Day in Court,” Thomas P. Miller, The American
- “The health spending 1 percent,” Christopher J. Conover, American Enterprise Institute
- “Natural Rights Trump Obamacare, or Should,” Hadley Arkes, First Things
- “Medicare Privatization Push Becoming Bipartisan?,” Wesley J. Smith, Secondhand Smoke
- “Bye-Bye, Berwick,” Dr. Milton R. Wolf, The Washington Times
- “Liberating Medicine’s New Frontier,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Paul Howard, City Journal
- “Health-Care Law Violating the Interstate Commerce Clause?,” Daniel D., The 1789 Project
Human Life and Bioethics
- “Here’s a Good One for the “Dirty Jobs” Show: Health Inspector of Illinois Abortion Clinics,” Cathy Ruse, Family Research Council
- “A Snapshot from the House Health Subcommittee Hearing on Obamacare’s “Contraceptive Mandate”,” Jeanne Monahan, Family Research Council
- “Is the “Good War” Against Abortion, and the “Bad War” Against Gay Marriage?,” Timothy Dalrymple, Patheos
- “Why Can’t the Constitution Protect Unborn Children?,” Hadley Arkes, The Catholic Thing
- “Philosophy, The Handmaid of Judicial Review,” Francis Beckwith, The Catholic Thing
- “San Jose Articles Used to Block Right to Abortion in Uruguay,” Austin Ruse, The Friday Fax
- “Va. Del. Bob Marshall files anti-abortion bill that grants fertilized human eggs ‘personhood’,” Associated Press
- “Why contraception mandate should be scrapped,” Richard W. Garnett, USA Today
- “Pro-life advocates: Study shows link between breast cancer and abortion; cancer institute: no way,” Caroline May, The Daily Caller
- “Behind Romney’s change of heart on abortion,” Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post
- “Probe: Obama Admin Broke Law to Push Abortion in Kenya,” Jeff Sagnip and Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com
Bioethics and Biotechnology
Euthanasia and End of Life Issues
Stem Cell Research
To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.
Marriage and Family
- “America’s Gerontocracy,” Samuel Gregg, The Acton Institute
- “Signs of life,” Warren Cole Smith, WORLD Magazine
- “Recession hits families hard as half of Americans fear they won’t be able to do their holiday shopping,” Meghan Keneally, The Daily Mail
- “A Tax Code for Tomorrow,” Josh Barro, City Journal
- “Is There a Retirement Crisis?,” Nicole Gelinas, City Journal
Religion and Public Policy
Religion in America
International Economy and Family
Sharia law — U.S., foreign
Other News of Note
- “Why We Should Call Ourselves Christian,” Joseph Wood, The Catholic Thing
- “Amiable Atheism,” R. J. Snell, First Things
- “Treadmill complexities,” Marvin Olasky, WORLD Magazine
- “The Boitnott Doctrine,” Mark Helprin, The Claremont Review of Books
- “The Bubble President,” Nicole Gelinas, City Journal