Author archives: Chris Gacek

Lawlessness California-style: Ahnuld and Moonbeam Take a Pass on Defending Prop 8

by Chris Gacek

August 13, 2009

This from an Associated Press story about California’s defense of Prop 8:

The governor and attorney general, who are supposed to defend state laws, submitted separate but similar filings Friday saying they would leave it to the conservative legal group the Alliance Defense Fund to take the lead in defending Californias gay marriage ban.

How completely revolting. The people of the State of California pass an amendment to the State Constitution that is upheld by the State Supreme Court and neither the attorney general nor the governor will defend the amendment.

The governor and the attorney general should be impeached — or recalled. Whether you love or loathe Proposition 8, it should be clear that executive branch of the California should defend the State’s constitution in court. To refuse to do so constitutes complete lawlessness.

Perhaps, some legislator can attempt to appropriate funds for Alliance Defend Fund’s legal efforts. It only seems fair that ADF should be reimbursed for doing the government’s work.

Furthermroe, the governor and attorney general should save everyone some time and let the State know which laws they find it PC to defend. This might be a useful flash page to set up on the AG’s website.

What will ObamaCare do to your current health plan?

by Chris Gacek

July 20, 2009

As the health care debate heats up it is hard to get straightforward, understandable information on the nuts and bolts of how Obamacare will operate. Big picture, no trees, no weeds. Thats what we need. Well, there was an extremely powerful eight minute interview on Mark Levins radio show last Friday (July 17, 2009) that you must listen to. (We make it easy to do so below.)

Mark Levin interviewed Betsy McCaughey, adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute and the chairman and founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, about the Obama Administrations health care plan. She clearly and frighteningly describes provisions of the current House bill that will reduce care for the elderly and compel all programs to provide regimented, HMO-style care for the rest of us. (FYI, McCaughey served also as the Lt. Governor of New York from Jan. 1995 to Dec. 1998.)

If you would like to listen we are going to provide two ways to do so. First, you can click here and listen or listen below to the eight minute interview using the Family Research Council website:

We want to heartily thank The Mark Levin Show for most graciously giving FRC permission to play the audio from our website.

You can listen or download the entire Friday, July 17, 2009 program from Mark Levins website this is his Audio webpage. Once on the Audio page, do the following: 1) click on 07/17 The Mark Levin Show; and, 2) start the player at 8 minutes, 45 seconds.

I believe this audio will sharpen your focus on the key features of the health bill.

U.S.A.F. Airman Convicted under Unborn Victims of Violence Act

by Chris Gacek

May 4, 2009

It appears that the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-212) (UVVA) has produced its first conviction. This took place over the weekend pursuant to a court martial at the Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage, Alaska.

United States Airman 1st Class Scott Boie of Milton, Wisconsin, was sentenced on Saturday, May 2nd to nine years, six months in prison after he was found guilty of attempting to kill his unborn child. Boie was tried by a military court made up of ten member of the United States Air Force. The ten panel members convicted Boie late Friday night.

After Boie’s wife, Caylinn, told him that she was pregnant, Boie requested that she get an abortion. After she declined to do so, Boie used his computer to gather information about abortion inducing drugs. Boie discovered that the anti-ulcer drug, misoprostol (Cytotec), could be used. Misoprostol is the second drug in the RU-486 (mifepristone) abortion regimen and is widely used in some countries like Brazil as a cheap abortifacient. (For more information on mifepristone and misoprostol - download and read this FRC pamphlet (PDF): LINK.)

With the help of a fellow serviceman Boie obtained misoprostol and crushed some of the tablets which he placed in his wife’s food. A miscarriage followed one week later. His wife thought the miscarriage occurred naturally, but learned from a friend that her husband had attempted to kill their child. My news accounts do not reveal how Caylinn Boie’s friend learned this. Mrs. Boie confronted her husband about the miscarriage while covertly taping their conversation. Scott Boie confessed to her that he had attempted to kill the baby, and the recording of this confession was played in court.

Boie was also dishonorably discharged, demoted to E-1, and assessed a “total forfeiture of all pay and allowances.”

Congratulations should go to all those who worked to enact the UVVA and to President George W. Bush for signing it.

Call to NPR in Los Angeles; Customers Misusing Plan B

by Chris Gacek

April 29, 2009

     Last week, the Obama Administration announced that it would not appeal a federal district court’s decision commanding the FDA to begin selling the Plan B contraceptive to 17-year-olds as an over-the-counter product.  Previously, the FDA and drug company set the lower age at 18.   Plan B’s  manufacturer-distributor, Teva, will have to submit an application to FDA which the agency will then approve.

     As we noted last week, the Family Research Council has been concerned that women might use Plan B frequently, repeatedly in the place of standard contraceptives.  The labeling contains no clear warning about such use.  FDA officials have pooh-poohed this argument, but one interesting anecdotal piece of evidence has come in on this topic.

     The changes to Plan B marketing were discussed on “AirTalk,” a public radio program broadcast by KPCC-FM, a station owned by Pasadena City College on April 23rd.  The guest-host was David Lazarus of the Los Angeles Times, and he interviewed Dr. Susan Woods, former FDA official and Plan B supporter, and Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America.  The show can be heard via this weblink.

     There was one extremely interesting caller who was referred to as “Steve from Diamond Bar.” (Steve start: 22min 05sec; Steve end: 23min 05sec.)  Steve is a co-owner of a pharmacy, and he explained that a few years ago 30-minute consultations were needed before the pharmacists could dispense Plan B over-the-counter in California. 

     Steve had occasion to notice the buying patterns of his customers.  He noted that many purchasers were responsible about using Plan B, but he also described a class of customer who came to the store “on a regular basis” and purchased Plan B “week after week.”  When David Lazarus asked him whether the repeat users “were a majority or minority of users,” Steve responded that they were probably half of the Plan B purchasers.
 
     Even if Steve from Diamond Bar did not remember correctly and inflated his estimate, it is clear that a substantial population of Plan B users were using this drug very frequently - as many have feared.

Obama FDA Caves on Plan B

by Chris Gacek

April 22, 2009

The Associated Press is reporting today that the Obama Administration has decided to roll over for a federal district court decision issued last month commanding the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to sell the morning-after-pill, Plan B, to 17-year-olds without a prescription.

Typically the Department of Justice (DoJ) would vigorously defend an agency decision - in this case FDA’s restricting Plan B over-the-counter sales (OTC) to women 18 and over.  Here, however, the Obama FDA and DoJ have decided to accept an aggressive court ruling without appeal.  In essence, the Administration let a judge make a scientific decision as to when it was safe to sell Plan B over-the-counter.

 

In order for a drug to be sold OTC patients must be able to safely medicate themselves without medical supervision.  FRC has always felt that the studies tracking the label comprehension for Plan B showed a poor awareness that Plan B was not a substitute for standard contraceptives.  That would seem to be important for a contraceptive.

The Bush Administration officials were not convinced that the label comprehension data for teens demonstrated that they could use Plan B safely.  The Bush officials thought more data needed to be submitted.  Not exactly a crazy point of view. 

Furthermore, the FDA-approved label for Plan B gives no clear indication that repeated use of Plan B in a short period of time is not safe.  This feeds into the possibility that some women might repeatedly use Plan B rather than safer alternatives.

We noted last month that some minor girls will be able to obtain this drug without any guidance from a doctor or without any parental supervision. We lack scientific studies on the long-term effects of Plan B with respect to high dosage and repeated use in both women and adolescents.  Also, research from Scotland in the 1990s indicated that the increased use of the morning-after-pill did not decrease abortion rates. 

FRC has also pointed out that interaction with medical professionals is a major screening and defense mechanism for victims of sexual abuse.  The availability of Plan B over-the-counter also bypasses the routine medical care of sexually active girls and women, which is important to allow screening for other health conditions, including sexually transmitted diseases.  This is especially important for teenagers.

Aaron Klein: Obama Pushing Saudi Plan for Israel-Arab Peace

by Chris Gacek

April 22, 2009

            Perhaps, Barack Obama’s bow to the King of Saudi Arabia was much more than a common courtesy.  If Aaron Klein of WorldnetDaily and Schmoozing with Terrorists (his book) is correct then President Obama owes a great intellectual debt to the Saudi monarch, Abdullah.  This is so because Obama is using the Saudi King’s “Arab Peace Initiative” as the framework of his Middle East foreign policy.

            In an April 21, 2009 WorldNetDaily article Klein summarizes the Arab Initiative as follows:

The Arab Initiative, originally proposed by King Abdullah in 2002 and later adopted by the Arab League, states that Israel would receive “normal relations” with the Arab world in exchange for a full withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip, West Bank, Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem, which includes the Temple Mount.

It also “demands the imposition of a non-binding U.N. resolution that calls for so-called Palestinian refugees who wish to move inside Israel to be permitted to do so at the ‘earliest practicable date.’”  There are approximately 4 million Arabs who claim Palestinian refugee status with the United Nations.

            Netanyahu has told U.S. envoy, George Mitchell, that Israel will condition talks “with the Palestinians on Palestinian leaders’ first recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, a step that would be difficult should Hamas join a unity government.”  According to Klein, Mitchell recently described Obama’s general plan to Netanyahu, and the Israeli leader was dismayed to learn that Obama was following the Saudi proposal.  Klein described these developments in an interview during the second hour of the John Batchelor Show (April 19, 2009) (minute 15 (mp3 file)).

            In late January, Klein discussed Obama’s attraction to the Saudi plan on the day of President Obama’s interview on an Arab TV network.  In that interview Obama referenced King Abdullah’s plan and spoke approvingly of it (“… I might not agree with every aspect of the proposal, but it took great courage to put forward something that is as significant as that.”).  Given Obama’s admiration for a courageous plan, a bow to the author of the courageous plan was probably in order.  (Unfortunately for Abdullah - Obama didn’t give him the really cool Hugo Chavez-handshake in addition to the bow.)

             Make no mistake about it:  these are very dangerous times for Israel.  According to Klein, “Defenders of Israel warn the plan would leave the Jewish state with truncated, difficult-to-defend borders and could threaten Israel’s Jewish character by compelling it to accept millions of foreign Arabs.”  More to the point, Klein states that “Arab Street” views the Arab Peace Initiative as a way to fatally undermine the state of Israel.

Gates Greenlights Iran’s Bomb; Israel/USA Imperiled

by Chris Gacek

April 17, 2009

            Given the great focus on Tax Day and the April 15th Tea Parties held across the nation little attention has been paid to a major story regarding American policy toward Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

            Yesterday Mark Levin, radio talk show host, discussed an article in the Los Angeles Times which gave this description of remarks made Monday by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at Quantico, VA:

Reporting from Washington — Amid increasing suggestions that Israel might attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warned this week that such a strike would have dangerous consequences, and asserted that Tehran’s acquisition of a bomb can be prevented only if ‘Iranians themselves decide it’s too costly.’

Using his strongest language on the subject to date, Gates told a group of Marine Corps students that a strike would probably delay Tehran’s nuclear program from one to three years. A strike, however, would unify Iran, ‘cement their determination to have a nuclear program, and also build into the whole country an undying hatred of whoever hits them,’ he said.”

Well, the cat is definitely out of the bag now, and it is pretty clear that the Obama Administration will take no military action to stop the Iranian weapons program.

            First, Gates’s observation that the acquisition of an Iranian bomb can only be prevented by Iranian action really runs up the white flag while defying reality.  The United States surrounds Iran with air bases in the Gulf States, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  We can also have naval assets in the region on command.  The U.S. has tactical bombing capabilities second to none in the history of warfare, and the Secretary of Defense says that?  Either he thinks he’s running the Meals-on-Wheels program for Arlington, Virginia, or this country has wasted a whole lot of money on planes, ships, and related gizmos.

            Second, contrast Gates’s thinking with that of Israel in 1981 when it bombed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program out of existence.  Sure, Saddam kept trying, but he never built a bomb: the damage was irreparable.  A successful attack could buy us decades.

            Third, Gates’s psychobabble about Iran living in “undying hatred” of the nation that ends their nuclear program seems completely wrong.  If you were an Iranian what would you prefer — Israel bombing your nuclear program with conventional weapons or Israel retaliating with nuclear weapons after the ayatollahs have flattened Tel Aviv?  Iranians must know that every day their leaders have nuclear weapons would be a day their lives and the continued existence of the Persian civilization would be in grave danger.  Hillary Clinton was correct when she observed that an Iranian nuclear attack would lead to annihilatory retaliation.  Millions of dead.

            Finally, these comments indicate that American cooperation with an Israeli preemptive strike is unlikely.  In fact, it appears the Obama Administration will do all it can to prevent Israeli action.  Instead, the administration is going to try to persuade Iran that the political cost of a weapons program for Iran will exceed its value, and that is an argument the Iranians have already rejected.

Did ABC Show “The Ten Commandments” a Week Late?

by Chris Gacek

April 13, 2009

Working under the assumption that a movie ought to be shown before the event it is meant to commemorate, I wondered this weekend if the folks at ABC mistimed their showing of a classic film.  But then again - maybe not. 

This past Saturday, Easter Eve (4/11/2009), ABC broadcast the much-beloved film by Cecil B. DeMille, The Ten Commandments.  The film is a classic.  Here is an excerpt from ABC’s press release:

Starring Charlton Heston as Moses, this dramatic Biblical epic is presented with an all-star cast, including Yul Brynner as Pharaoh, Anne Baxter as Queen Nefretiri, Edward G. Robinson as the overseer of the slaves and Yvonne DeCarlo as Moses’ wife.
 
The Ten Commandments won the 1956 Academy Award for Best Special Effects and received nominations for Best Picture, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best Sound.

Unfortunately, the movie was trounced at the Oscars by Around the Word in 80 Days (Best Picture) and The King and I ‘s Yul Brynner (Best Actor).  Heston was not even nominated for an Academy Award.

Since the weeklong celebration of Passover began last Wednesday night (4/8/2009), I probably would have shown The Ten Commandments before the beginning of Passover on the previous Saturday.  In that way, the events of the Jewish captivity in Egypt and the Israelite’s deliverance from bondage would have been retold before the entirety of the holiday.

That said, ABC may have had the far better approach - whether by accident or design.

From a Christian perspective, there is a beautiful Old Testament-New Testament flow in showing a film about Moses and the giving of the Law at Sinai on the eve of the Resurrection Sunday.  Jesus observed in Matt 5:17 (ESV):  “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”  A central promise made by the Lord and delivered through one those prophets is found in Jeremiah 31:33 (RSV):

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Jeremiah’s declaration and its fulfillment seems to be echoed in this writing by Paul to the church in Galatia, “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’”  (Gal. 4:6 ESV).

All praise and glory to you, Lord.

Has CNBC Hoisted the White Flag ?

by Chris Gacek

April 2, 2009

For weeks the FRC Blog has been commenting on the growing prominence of CNBC as a national news outlet.  We have also commented on the liberal counter-reaction against the network.  Our point has been that even though the Left dominates the mainstream media (MSM), in a time of financial and economic crisis the MSM news organs are structurally ill-equipped to deal with stories of such complexity.  CNBC has on-air staff with the smarts and the career training to discuss these matters at a sophisticated level.  The MSM does not have people like this on their programs with a few exceptions (e.g., Lou Dobbs at CNN (who is not MSM)).   Consequently, there has been a tremendous power shift toward CNBC

CNBC is more conservative than the MSM, but it might be fairer to say CNBC is more libertarian and market-oriented.  That being said there has always been a good mixture of liberals and conservatives on CNBC, and many Wall Street players were Obama supporters. 

Well, the Left noticed the increasing prominence of CNBC and a campaign of mau mauing began quickly once Barack Obama became president.  First, Rick Santelli was attacked; this effort was assisted by NBC’s Today Show.  Jim Cramer was next, and his assault by Jon Stewart soon followed.  However, it appears that a larger effort to compromise CNBC is underway, and it may be working.  There is now an entire Leftist-“progressive” website devoted to serving up ideological attacks on CNBC: it is called “Fix CNBC.”  (Go to the website and look at the long list of liberal big-wigs who have signed on.  Amazing.  This is quite an effort.  I wonder who is paying for it?)  Interestingly, Media Matters also  presents an online petition at “Change CNBC,” and the language looks pretty similar to Fix CNBC’s petition.

(Please note: I am not saying we should be unconcerned about conflicts of interest in financial reporting.  See Dan Gifford’s excellent article (“Big Hollywood” website; March 22nd) discussing “Fix CNBC” and the journalistic integrity of business reporting.  However, the house cleaning being called for by these “progressive” groups seems suspiciously timed to protect the Obama political agenda from rigorous analysis and criticism.)

Within the past two weeks, former Vermont governor and former Democratic National Committee head, Howard Dean, was given a two-hour guest role on CNBC’s morning show, “Squawk Box.”  Similarly, on March 31st, doyenne of the Left, Arianna Huffington (founder “Huffington Post” website), was similarly ensconced on the “Squawk Box” for two-hours.  There are reports that Dean will be a regular CNBC contributor.  To the best of my knowledge, neither person has a substantial background in financial or economic matters.

CNBC is flirting with danger here.  I am sure that there have been GOP political figures on the show.  For example, Dick Armey appears on occasion.  However, I have never seen Matt Drudge on “Squawk Box.”  The real test will be if we see the CNBC management interfering with Larry Kudlow’s program at 7:00 p.m.  

Only time will tell whether CNBC fights to maintain its political and intellectual independence.  CNBC may not be perfect, but it does provide analysis of our economic problems that lies outside the MSM groupthink and political agendas.  We should all hope that CNBC survives.

The War against CNBC (and Free Speech) Escalates

by Chris Gacek

March 18, 2009

            You can’t say the FRC blog isn’t timely.  Over the past two weeks my colleague Michael Fragoso and I have written on this blog about the emerging position of CNBC as a major, national news source and the adverse impact of that development on the Obama administration.   

            This state of affairs escalated enormously over the weekend after CNBC’s Jim Cramer was slapped silly on Jon Stewart’s Comedy Central program last Thursday.  Stewart is part of the Democrat-Left-Borg collective that hurtles through space attempting to bludgeon those who oppose their agenda into abject submission.  (For an excellent analysis of Stewart’s completely dishonest attack on CNBC’s Rick Santelli read this post by Dan Gifford on the Big Hollywood blog.)

            Stewart has been on television for years, but I don’t recall that he ever attacked the integrity of CNBC before.  Of course, CNBC never before pointed out that the Obama economic program was failing miserably.  Therein lies the difference.  When was the last time Stewart viciously sandbagged a Lefty guest while declaring his righteous outrage?  Answer: [Hear crickets chirping] Never happened.

            In short, we have entered an unparalleled time in which the Hollywood-media-“news”-industrial-complex makes little or no attempt to pretend that it is not advancing the socialist, anti-family, anti-church agenda of the Left.  Where will Barack Obama be tonight?  On the Jay Leno show, I believe.  The alliance begun during the presidential campaign appears to grow stronger daily.

            In the last couple weeks The Politico (www.politico.com) has published a series of extraordinary stories describing planned attacks originating from the White House and Leftist activist groups targeting political enemies. Read this piece as an example.  As such, it was not surprising that Tony Blankley observed here in today’s Washington Times that the atmosphere in Washington has become incredibly poisonous and ugly.

            Well, folks, about two months down and forty-six to go.  It’s going to get interesting.

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